London’s West End was the venue for a recent Tipperary GAA fundraising function, when more than 300 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 fundraising viewpoint the novel idea of the Corporate Lunch, co-ordinated by Nicole Parkes and London-based Clonmel men Brian Acheson and Kevin Leahy, was also an outstanding success, with €40,000 raised.
Kevin paid £1,000 for a hurley signed by 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 strong Tipperary roots, as his father Billy comes from Rahealty near Thurles; Tipperary hurling manager Eamon O’Shea; former Tipperary manager, double All-Ireland winner and All-Star Nicky English; recently retired legendary hurling goalkeeper Brendan Cummins; former Tipperary footballer Philly Ryan from Clonmel and former County Board PRO Liz Howard.
A real “blinder” during an unforgettable afternoon was played by 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.
He was also a very effective auctioneer in an auction that reaped such rich rewards for Tipperary GAA, with a major contribution being made to the fund to develop Dr. Morris Park in Thurles into a state-of-art centre of excellence facility for what is expected to be a projected cost of €1.5 million.
Among the Tipperary GAA officers present were secretary Tim Floyd, treasurer Eamon Buckley and county chairman Sean Nugent, who also addressed the attendance after they enjoyed a splendid meal. All of the special guests were also invited to address the attendance before a lively Question and Answer Forum got underway.
Although there was a brief reference made to the defeat by Kilkenny in the National Hurling League Final, it was generally a distant memory among the happy and generous Tipperary supporters who raised an estimated €40,000, including €10,000 alone from the auction.