Takeaways from the Business of Rugby Lunch

Irish News, Latest News | Thu 24 Nov | Author – Business & Finance
Photographed at the Business of Rugby Lunch 2022: Paul Connolly, Ian Hyland, Keith Wood and Liam Fitzgerald
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

Irish and Australian business leaders came together at the Westin Hotel in Dublin on November 18th to strengthen the ties between both communities. 


The event took place on the eve of the international rugby test between the two nations on November 19th in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Ireland came away from the match with a narrow 13–10 victory over The Wallabies.

The Business of Rugby Lunch was a unique gathering of Australian and Irish business leaders promoting both nations binding ties through the legacy of the  special sporting occasion. The event was also in support of the UNICEF Ukraine appeal.

Photographed at the Business of Rugby Lunch 2022: Andy Marinos, CEO, Rugby Australia; Hamish McLennan, Chairman, Board of Directors of the Australian Rugby Union; Debbie Carty, President, Leinster Rugby; Keith Wood, Former Ireland Rugby International & Donnacha O’Callaghan Former Ireland Rugby International: Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

Over 150 guests attended the lunch which included Irish rugby legend Donnacha O’Callaghan who hosted the event.

“I deeply appreciated being asked to host this special occasion on the eve of the Ireland v Australia match in Dublin. It is rare that so many incredible people from the worlds of both business and rugby come together in one room, and it was fascinating to discuss what the future of rugby might look like in both Europe and Australia,” he said in his address.

MC Donncha O’Callaghan
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

MC O’Callaghan led the informal conversation discussing the links and history between Ireland and Australia both on and off the rugby field.

The panel comprised former Ireland rugby international Keith Wood, Leinster Rugby President Debby Carty, Hamish McLennan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Australian Rugby Union and Andy Marinos, CEO of Rugby Australia & former Welsh rugby international.

Photographed at the Business of Rugby Lunch 2022: Ambassador Gary Gray, Peter Silvester, Kieran McLoughlin and John Cunningham
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

An auction and raffle took place on the day to raise funds for UNICEF to which guests gave generously to bid for a host of items sponsored by Qatar Airways and some lucky winners went home with signed Irish and Wallabies rugby jerseys.

Paul Connolly, Chairman of UNICEF Ireland commented on the event:

“Business & Finance’s ‘The Business of Rugby lunch’ was a fantastic occasion and we were deeply grateful for everyone’s contributions to UNICEF. As Chairman of UNICEF Ireland, I would like to thank all involved for making this unique event a reality, and for putting UNICEF’s work for children at its heart.”

“It was a pleasure to be able to speak to attendees at the ‘The Business of Rugby lunch’ about UNICEF’s work in Ukraine and across the world for children. Our amazing supporters in Ireland are fundamental to the work UNICEF teams do, and I was delighted to be able to share some of these stories with everyone at the lunch,” said UNICEF Spokesperson James Elder.

If you would like to support the work of our business for good partner UNICEF, you can donate online here.


Business of Rugby Lunch Photo Gallery:

Photographed at the Business of Rugby Lunch 2022: Margaret Sweeney, Brian Kearns and Imelda Hurley
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

Photographed at the Business of Rugby Lunch 2022: Rugby Australia
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

Australian Ambassador to Ireland Gary Gray
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media

Paul Connolly
Photo by Kevin McFeely FLY media