Ireland’s Call Six Nations Ball 2023 – supporting the IRFU Charitable Trust

Wow!  Having missed the last three years due to that which shall not be mentioned, the 2023 Ireland’s Call Six Nations Ball took place on Saturday 28th January.  A wonderful night was had by all and it was worth the three year wait!  The Ireland’s Call Six Nations Ball Committee had a single mission – to give back to the game we love by supporting those who have been seriously injured playing rugby.  With a record amount raised this year for the IRFU Charitable Trust, everyone involved – including the Committee, special guests, volunteers, those who contributed amazing auction items, the Ball sponsors and especially all who attended – certainly achieved this mission.

The Ball was sponsored by KPMG, a loyal supporter of the Charitable Trust and previous sponsor of the Ball, another previous sponsor Northern Trust, and new sponsor IPUT Real Estate – many thanks to all three sponsors for their generous support.  Guests once again experienced the splendor of the five star Shelbourne Ball Room with the Black Tie event kicking off with a drinks reception kindly sponsored by Heineken, followed by a gala dinner, fine wine and entertainment – including music from the fabulous ‘The Controversial All Stars’.  A very special thank you to Matt Cooper, who hosted the Ball in a very entertaining and professional manner; as well as a big thank you to Committee member Keith Lowe for running an incredible auction with all funds raised going towards supporting seriously injured rugby players and their families.  It is very important to thank all of you who generously contributed to the auction items – a “Thank you” list is shown below as there are simply too many of you to mention – again demonstrating the exceptional kindness and generosity of rugby supporters.

There was also a very unique and extraordinarily generous surprise for everyone on the night.  Harris Motors CEO, Denise Harris donated a brand new MAXUS MIFA 9 fully electric MPV which will be altered for one of our seriously injured players.  Given the focus on mobility this year for our seriously injured players and their families – words cannot express the deep appreciation and heartfelt thanks for this extremely charitable gift.

Very special thanks to our very special guests on the night, including Ireland’s most decorated rugby player – Rob Kearney and his wife Jess Reddan.  As well as Marie Louise ‘Maz’ Reilly and her father, Devin Toner and his wife Mary, and Rhys Ruddock with his girlfriend Caoimhe O’Malley.  Rhys joined us after captaining Leinster to victory over Cardiff in the RDS that very evening!  In addition, guests had the unique experience of Matt Cooper interviewing Head Coach Andy Farrell and Captain Johnny Sexton from their Guinness Six Nations preparations in Portugal – big thanks and the very best of luck to Andy, Johnny and the entire squad in the upcoming Championship.

The Ireland’s Call Six Nations Ball would not have happened without the drive, determination and passion of the organising Committee co-chaired by the dynamic duo of Helen Gannon and Tanya McEnroe.  A massive thank you to Helen and Tanya for leading a great team made up of Linda Black, Robert Deacon, Frank Gannon, John Jacobs, Stephen Jacobs, Keith Lowe, Linda Lynch, Paul McEnroe, Antoinette Redmond, Niall Rynne, Marc Sheridan, Audrey Toner and Michael Whelan.

Finally, an enormous thank you to everyone who attended the night, and especially those of you who gave so, so generously – the night was once again a wonderful and humbling example of how the rugby and wider sporting community comes together to support seriously injured rugby players and their families.  Please take the time to watch the above video of the evening kindly created by the Trust’s video partner Get Broadcasting.