Tommy O'Donnell will join his fellow Munster stars on the panel at the event to raise money for Castleconnell NS PICTURE: Sportsfile
CASTLECONNELL NS has organised an event Off the Ball, Second Captains or Sports Joe would be proud of.
The latest Irish and Munster rugby star to join the already announced evening with CJ Stander and Andrew Conway is Tommy O’Donnell. This Saturday night, July 20 at 7.30pm attendees will get a rare and relaxed insight into the players’ minds ahead of the World Cup in September and the coming season for Munster. It takes place in the Castle Oaks House Hotel – the Irish players are currently staying in Pat McDonagh’s sister hotel, the Castletroy Park Hotel while they train in UL.
Taking the role of Joe Molloy, Ger Gilroy or Eoin McDevitt is the Limerick Leader’s own sports editor and local man, Donn O’Sullivan. All monies raised will go towards the Castleconnell Community Sports Facility. Donn is looking forward to grilling the triumvirate for this very good cause.
“The night, which is being held with thanks to the Castle Oaks, is sure to be an evening of great craic more than anything. Tickets cost €25 but children go free. So many boys and girls in the locality look up to CJ and Andrew, as well as Dan and Tom Morrissey.
“We want to encourage these children to get off their phones and iPads and play sport like their heroes. There is no facility like this astro turf pitch in Castleconnell. It is badly needed to foster the next generation of sports stars,” said Donn.
The experienced sports journalist hope to get an insight from CJ, Andrew and Tommy into the day to day life of an international rugby player.
“What drives them on and off the field, the pressures of rugby and, of course, the upcoming World Cup in Japan. And all in the knowledge that we are building a better future for the kids in our entire community, thanks in no small part to Pat McDonagh and his team at the Castle Oaks House Hotel,” said Donn.
With a raffle and auction for some top prizes, Saturday night is expected to be an evening few will forget, and especially for boys and girls who get to see their heroes in the flesh.
Richie Ryan, principal of Castleconnell NS, has been involved in the sport facility project since 2014.
“The objective is to provide a modern sporting facility for the pupils of Castleconnell NS during the school day for physical education and also as a play area for break times.
“It would also be available to the school for organised after school activities such as hurling, soccer, athletics and basketball etc. Outside of these times it is envisaged it would be made available to sporting organisations in the area for training purposes,” said Mr Ryan.
Saturday night will be their 20th fundraiser. So far they have collected €45,700. A Sports Capital Grant for €64,300 brings the total to €110,000. The cost of the astro turf pitch will be around €175,000. Tickets, €25, are available from the hotel reception.