RUGBY star Jerry Flannery swapped the red of Munster for the red suit of Santa Claus as part of a fundraising drive.
Jerry, whose father is proprietor of Jerry Flannery’s pub on Catherine Street, agreed to dress up as Santa Claus for three and a half hours last week as traders from Catherine and Roches Streets raised €1,000 for St Camillus’ Hospital.
More than 60 traders on the two streets got together for a Christmas get together last week in the bar.
And with a €15 entry fee, and a raffle with star prizes, the traders raised €1,000 for the Shelbourne Road hospital, who will use the funding to buy Ipads and other things to help patients recover and rehabilitate.
Grainne Vaughan, proprietor of Joli Boutique, and the newly opened La Copa shoe shop which lie side by side in Roches Street, organised the night out.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, she said the traders decided to get together for a night, because they do not do this very often.
There was a touch of poignancy, with the traders remembering one of their own: grocery shop owner Betty McDonagh who died of a stroke earlier this year.
Grainne said the evening was in memory of the popular businesswoman, saying: “We unified for one of our colleagues.”
The traders got together after a tough days work, and then partied the night away.
“We are very supportive of each other all the time, and we don’t ever get to really spend any time together. There are a lot of us around the area. It was great to have a night together rather than lots of separate nights.”
Grainne praised Munster’s number two for his efforts for the various charities he has helped down the years.
She revealed that she only asked Jerry last Monday to dress up as Father Christmas.
“I asked him only last Monday if I hired him a suit, would he wear it. And he not only wore it for about three and a half hours, but everyone who won a spot prize sat on his knee and had a photo taken with him. He was a really great sport,” she concluded.
Traders in Roches Street and Catherine Street take part in various fundraising activities throughout the year.
Every September, they hold their annual art exhibition, in which traders agree to place paintings in their window.
Shoppers who like the look of any painting can head inside to buy it, with the majority of the proceeds going to Milford Hospice and a second nominated charity. The street is renowned as a hub for independent companies.