“What I saw in Kabwe made me realise that the one single factor that supersedes everything else is opportunity. Here were children as intelligent and enthusiastic as any child in Ireland but unfortunately, they may never get the opportunity to achieve what I took for granted as a child.”
– Ciarán Kilkenny
Over 400 people attended the first Edmund Rice Development Big Match Dinner in Croke Park the Friday before the All-Ireland Football Final. The evening was a great celebration of all things GAA, and a demonstration of solidarity and friendship with the people and projects of the Edmund Rice Missions.
During the evening, guests enjoyed a lively panel discussion about the upcoming cluiche mór as panellists Colm O’Rourke, Barney Rock, Ger O’Keeffe and Brian Talty debated the merits of finalists Donegal and Kerry with compère Micheál O’Muircheartaigh.
The keynote speech was given by Edmund Rice Development’s Special Ambassador, Ciarán Kilkenny. The Dublin footballer and county hurler spoke gave a moving account of his recent visit to Zambia with Edmund Rice Development saying: “What I saw in Kabwe made me realise that the one single factor that supersedes everything else is opportunity. Here were children as intelligent and enthusiastic as any child in Ireland but unfortunately, they may never get the opportunity to achieve what I took for granted as a child.”
A short video showing Ciaran’s visit to some of Edmund Rice Development’s schools and projects in Zambia was shown on the night. Speaking about these, Ciarán said, “They don’t offer unrealistic guarantees of success in life but they’re trying to go some way towards giving a child born into poverty the basic opportunities that we regard as a given.”
Just under €30,000 was raised on the night for the Edmund Rice Missions. Jenni Barrett, chief executive of Edmund Rice Development thanked all of those companies, groups and individuals who supported the event and outlined the four projects that would benefit from the night: Changa Changa Primary School (Zambia), Edmund Rice International, Kanvilli High School (Ghana) and the West Africa Ebola Relief Fund.
One thought on “Big Match Dinner a huge success”
It’s great to read again what Ciaran said at the Big Match Dinner. Hopefully the money collected on the night will provide more young people with opportunities to use their God-given intelligence to make their world and ours a better place for all.
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