IRFU Charitable Trust inaugural Ulster Charity Golf Outing

Thank you to everyone involved for making the inaugural IRFU Charitable Trust Ulster Golf Outing an incredible success.  The event took place on Thursday 23rd May 2024 and all proceeds will be used to support seriously injured rugby players and their families.  In particular, we would like to thank Lisburn Golf Club and all their members and staff for hosting the event.  The course was immaculate and an absolute pleasure to play … despite the sometimes blustery weather!

The Charity Golf Outing kicked off with teams and guests meeting for breakfast from 11am before heading out to their designated tee for the 12:30pm shotgun start.   For this Golf Outing we had a special “Hole in One Competition” very kindly sponsored by Donnelly Honda and City of Armagh RC.  The top prize – for a hole in one on the Par 3 18th – was a brand new Honda HRV!  Unfortunately no one was able to drive off with the Honda but one guest was only a few feet away.  The Winning Team on the day was made up of Robbie Milliken, Paddy Wallace, Liam Botham and Peter Bradley; with the second and third placed teams not very far behind.  Congratulations to all winners including the two Nearest the Pins and the two Longest Drives.   Following their rounds, each Golfer was treated to a complimentary pint courtesy of Tennent’s – thank you Tennent’s.

Our MC for the post-golf activities was none other than Ulster, Ireland and Lions Legend Tommy Bowe who kept the whole evening running smoothly including a Q&A with Paula Stewart from Ulster Rugby and Jan Cunningham talking about youth rugby and growth of female rugby in particular in Ulster.   Tommy also spoke with three of the 16 seriously injured rugby players from Ulster who attended the event.  Niall McCool, Ian Wallace and Andrew Kelly spoke about their injuries, the journeys they have been on with their families since sustaining their injuries and how the rugby community, including the IRFU Charitable Trust, has always been there for them throughout their journeys.  Despite their injuries occurring on the rugby pitch, they remain avid fans of the game and are truly inspiring to listen to.   A note of special thanks as well to Andrew Kelly, who despite his serious injury was our videographer on the day – please take the time to watch the video on this page created by Andrew which is brilliant and will give you a great overview of the event.

While being served outstanding food by Mel and his team at Lisburn Golf Club (thank you Mel and team), a second Q&A took place with Tommy, John Cooney and Iain Henderson; covering topics from the Rugby World Cup pain to the URC and who was your ‘favourite’ roomy when touring?!  Thank you to Tommy and all our special guests for their time and insights; and in particular thank you to John Cooney who also donated a Silent Auction Lot of a Kicking Clinic for up to eight kids and an Ulster jersey signed by John.

Speaking of the Silent Auction, the Lots up for grabs, exclusive to guests in attendance, were outstanding including a Lot featuring: Ulster Mascot, a Team Signed Ulster Jersey, and the chance to meet your favourite player.  Another Lot offered the chance to experience Corporate Hospitality at the 2024 Irish Open plus a signed flag by Rory McIlroy; and another Lot to secure tickets to see Ireland v New Zealand in November, with lunch and accommodation.  Please take a look at the Table Card on this page for all the Silent Auction Lots and again, thank you to all who contributed – your generosity is greatly appreciated.

In addition to the Silent Auction, a popular Raffle was hosted by a very entertaining Philip Gregg with great prizes up for grabs including a substantial Aldi voucher, lots of four balls and much more.  Again, the generosity from all who contributed to the Raffle Prizes is much appreciated.   There was also an incredible show of support from the wider rugby community, as voiced by Niall, Ian and Andrew; and in particular from Ulster Rugby Clubs with many Clubs sponsoring Tee Signs, which alone raised over £5,000 for seriously injured rugby players and their families.  There are too many to mention individually but you can see all the Tee Sponsors on the Table Card graphics on this page – thank you again to all of you for your support.  We also had another very special guest join us from the world of rugby – the Guinness Six Nations Trophy was on display with many guests taking photos with the Trophy, some of which you will see from the photos on this page.

Finally, thank you to the Charitable Trust’s Ulster Team of volunteers: Jan Cunningham and Philip Gregg for driving the event, as well as incredible support from Stephen Elliot, Robbie Milliken and Andrew Kelly.  In addition to our volunteers, we’d also like to say a very warm and heartfelt thank you to Ulster Rugby for their support from the very outset for this Charity Event.  Many Team Captains have already signed up for the 2025 IRFU Charitable Trust  Ulster Golf Outing so please visit our events page again as we will be announcing the date for 2025 Ulster Golf Outing very shortly.

But that’s not all!  The IRFU Charitable Trust was also delighted to announce at the Ulster Golf Outing the introduction of the “Irish Rugby 150th Golf Cup” which will be part of the IRFU’s 150th Celebrations during next season.  The winning team from this Ulster Golf Outing, along with the winning team from the other three 2024 Provincial Golf Outings, are all invited to the very first IRFU Charitable Trust “Irish Rugby 150th Golf Cup” which will take place on Friday 6th June 2025 at The K Club … more details to follow!