Paul O’Connell’s portrait up for charity auction

The rugby titan and the artist: Paul O'Connell with artist Dave Duffy and a representative of the charity Haven, which builds homes in Haiti
A PORTRAIT of Munster and Ireland rugby legend Paul O’Connell is to be auctioned to the highest bidder to help a charity’s efforts in Haiti, writes Anne Sheridan.

A PORTRAIT of Munster and Ireland rugby legend Paul O’Connell is to be auctioned to the highest bidder to help a charity’s efforts in Haiti, writes Anne Sheridan.

Artist Dave Duffy, who has now given the piece to the charity Haven, created a time lapse video of a Paul O’Connell portrait, which went viral within hours of it being posted on a number of social media sites.

He then reached out to Haven and offered to auction the image to benefit their ongoing work in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. The shared video carried a message calling for the Irish rugby captain to personally sign the artwork, as this would inevitably add much value to the piece.

When contacted, Haven Ambassador Paul O’Connell, agreed to sign the portrait immediately and did so at Thomond Park after a Munster training session last week. “Dave is clearly a very talented artist and I was more than happy to sign this portrait, which he has kindly donated to Haven to auction off,” said O’Connell.

The artist said he couldn’t be happier and said he has always admired Paul O’Connell. “To have his name associated with my work is a dream come true and more than enough payment for my efforts in drawing his portrait. So it is with great joy that I hand it over to Haven and hope the public will get behind the auction,” he said.

Antonia King, general manager of Haven, said they are “really humbled that Dave has decided to auction this wonderful portrait off for Haven. From the video it is evident he put a lot of hard work into this piece and to offer it to us, to raise money for our programmes on the ground in Haiti, is most generous”.

Haven’s mission is to build strong sustainable communities in Haiti by facilitating the construction of shelter and the provision of water and sanitation solutions, and to provide training and community development to ensure sustainable livelihoods. The portrait is currently being auctioned until May 31 on www.havenpartnership.com