London’s West End was the location for a Tipperary GAA fund-raising function last Friday afternoon when in excess of three hundred supporters and friends enjoyed an unforgettable social occasion.
The opulent Intercontinental Hotel just off Park Lane near Hyde Park Corner was the venue for what was undoubtedly one of the most stylish and spectacular functions ever hosted under the ‘blue and gold’ banner in the English capital in decades.
And from a fund-raising viewpoint the novel idea of Corporate Lunch, co-ordinated by Nicole Parkes and London-based Clonmel natives Brian Acheson and Kevin Leahy, was also an outstanding success. The latter also purchased the signed hurley of all existing All-Ireland winning Tipperary captains during the auction which was the climax of a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Special guests included former Republic of Ireland international soccer star Niall Quinn, who is also a former Dublin minor hurler with staunch Tipperary roots, current Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea, former Tipperary manager, Tipperary captain double All-Ireland winner and All-Star Nicky English and recently retired legendary hurling goal-keeper Brendan Cummins, plus former Tipperary footballer Philly Ryan from Clonmel. But unquestionably the man who played a real ‘blinder’ during an unforgettable afternoon was Annacarty man, broadcaster and MC Paul Collins from Today FM, who co-ordinated a very lively and entertaining Question and Answer Forum among the special guests before he turned a very effective auctioneer that reaped rewards for Tipperary GAA and the fund to develop the current Dr. Morris Park into a state-of-art Centre of Excellence Facility for what is expected to be a projected cost of €1.5m. Among the Tipperary GAA officers present were Chairperson, Sean Nugent, Secretary, Tim Floyd, Treasurer, Buckley Eamon Buckley and Vice- chairman Michael Bourke. Sean Nugent also addressed the attendance after they enjoyed a splendid meal. All of the special guests were invited to address the attendance before a lively Question and Answer Forum got underway. Although there was a brief reference made to the recent loss to Kilkenny in the League Final it was generally a distant memory among the happy and generous Tipperary supporters. With this kind of ‘momentum’ behind the Tipperary GAA cause it’s all systems go for the Tipperary-Limerick football/hurling ‘double-header’ on the weekend after next!