Leinster Rugby and IRFU Charitable Trust Launch Partnership

Posted on Leinster Rugby’s website 26th March 2024 – click here to view article or continue reading.

Leinster Rugby and the IRFU Charitable Trust have this morning announced a formal partnership that sees the Charitable Trust become Leinster’s official Rugby Charity Partner going forward.

While Leinster Rugby and the IRFU Charitable Trust have worked closely together over many years, this formal arrangement gives clarity and certainty to the partnership and allows both parties to maximise the exposure of the relationship to, ultimately, benefit the 36 amateur rugby players who have been injured playing the game that we all love.

The new arrangement will complement Leinster Rugby’s already established charity affiliate programme which sees the organisation support various charities following consultation with its players, sponsors and the Official Leinster Supporters Club (OLSC).

Speaking this morning at Leinster Rugby’s head office in UCD, Michael Whelan, on behalf of the IRFU Charitable Trust said, “The importance of the rugby community is vital to ensuring the continuity of care for all our seriously injured rugby players.

“To quote Mick O’Connell, seriously injured in 2003, ‘the rugby community – they are always very kind. Not just with money, but with their time, their support and expertise. There are always people around, caring and giving. And that helps.’

“The IRFU Charitable Trust is therefore delighted to be partnering with Leinster Rugby and we truly believe this is a highly effective way to ensure all Leinster Rugby supporters are firstly made aware of the work the Charitable Trust undertakes in helping seriously injured rugby players and their families.

“And secondly to engage the Leinster Rugby community to get involved with the Trust’s various initiatives including our FRIENDS programme for individual supporters and businesses, as well as rugby clubs and schools.  For this we are truly grateful to the entire team at Leinster Rugby for their partnership – recognising that Leinster Rugby have always been a great supporter of the Trust; and we are now collectively motivated to bring the partnership to the next level.”

The IRFU Charitable Trust is a registered charity and was established in 1978 to help seriously injured rugby players and their families with every day needs such as medical care, wheelchairs, physical therapy and education, transport including vehicle adaptations, home alterations, and just being there for them when they need someone.

Of the 36 players that are currently in receipt of the Trust’s help, 12 of those are based in the 12 counties of Leinster or played with Leinster Rugby clubs.

In attendance at today’s announcement were Leinster Rugby senior team head coaches, Leo Cullen and Tania Rosser, as well as a number of Leinster players.

Marcus Ó Buachalla, who manages the charity partner programme for Leinster Rugby said, “This is something that has been in the pipeline for a while now and it is great that we can formally announce it today.

“There will be a number of initiatives as part of the partnership, such as donations from the sale of match programmes and visibility at all our match days, our website and social channels, and the hope is that this will elevate the Trust and the work that they do with our supporters, with our clubs and our schools and that people will begin to realise the difference that their support of the Trust can have.

“There are currently 36 players in receipt of that support, and that support is needed on a daily basis and it was great to have Garrett Culliton, Wanderers FC and Bernard Healy, Skerries RFC here with us today for the launch.

“We know that our supporters will get behind this partnership and I am delighted that this partnership will live on beyond a season or two and will be ingrained in the work of Leinster Rugby as an organisation going forward.”

Leinster Rugby confirmed that the game against Leicester Tigers in the Investec Champions Cup  would be used to formally launch the partnership with supporters and that a number of fundraising events, such as the IRFU Charitable Trust Ball held last week, have already been in receipt of Leinster Rugby support.

On behalf of all our seriously injured players, and their families, thank you to everyone at Leinster Rugby for your commitment and ongoing support.