August 30th, 2022
Galway Corinthians RFC to honour club legend as part of fundraising event for IMNDA
THIS Saturday evening, Galway Corinthians RFC will host an evening of sport and enjoyment with the goal of raising much-needed funds for the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The evening will start with a game between the “Legends” of Galway Corinthians RFC and Galwegians RFC at 6pm followed by a special presentation to former president Paddy Flynn who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year.
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the motor neurons, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord. This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting. MND can affect how you walk, talk, eat, drink and breathe. However, not all symptoms necessarily happen to everyone and it is unlikely they will all develop at the same time, or in any specific order.
Born in Bloomhill, a village located outside Athlone, A keen rower, Paddy did his apprenticeship in Athlone before moving to Galway where he worked with Hynes Builders on Merchant’s Road before opening Galway Real Estate in the late 1970’s.
As a player, Paddy was captain of Galway Corinthians in the 1969-70 season at a time that saw Corinthians battle with UCG and Galwegians in the Connacht Senior League and Cup. He was also honoured with selection for Connacht at senior level, making his debut against Leinster on the 4th of November 1972 playing six times. His last game for the province was on the 8th of December 1973 against Munster in a team that was coached by another Corinthians man in Mr Tony Browne.
Once he finished playing with the Club, Paddy immediately took up the role of coaching and was involved with U16s/18s and 20s teams, where a trip away was always part of Paddy’s plan with a trip to Portadown the highlight of many player’s season.
Paddy held a variety of positions in Corinthians and became president of the club for the 1982-83 season that saw the club win the Connacht Senior League and reach the Connacht Senior Cup Final against Galwegians.
The evening will feature a Barbecue and for €25 those who attend will get food and a drink with all profits from the evening going to The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The event is organised by the club. Speaking on behalf of the organising committee Fergal Leonard of DNG Maxwell, Heaslip and Leonard who are sponsoring the event said “What we are doing are getting Galway City’s two biggest rivals together in a show of solidarity, for our great Clubman, Paddy Flynn.”
“Paddy has bore this disease with dignity since being diagnosed. At present, Paddy continues to attend his office in Galway Real Estate once a week and more when possible. He continues to keep his finger on the pulse with all things property, as this is a true passion for Paddy, along with meeting people. We are urging all rugby people regardless of club allegiance to join us on the evening and we can guarantee a great night’s entertainment and some surprises too!”
The Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association (IMNDA) was set up in May 1985 to provide care and support to people with Motor Neurone Disease, their carers, families and friends and provides specialised services for people affected by this debilitating disease such as equipment on loan, financial assistance towards home help, advice and home visits by MND Nurse.
However, in order to provide these vital services the IMNDA depends heavily on the generosity of the public and supporters of the association who generate 85% of its income.
“The IMNDA rely heavily on donations, so events like yours mean the world to us as over 80% of our funding comes from donations and support from the general public so we can’t thank everyone in Corinthians RFC enough for taking on these fantastic fundraisers,” said Maeve Leahy, Head of Communications and Advocacy.
“Money from events means we can continue to provide vital support for over 400 families right across Ireland, 19 of which live in Galway. It allows us to provide specialised equipment like wheelchairs, communication aids, hoists and beds. It means we can continue to provide funding towards counselling and homecare hours and it will ensure that our 4 nurses can keep visiting people in their homes.”
Chairperson of Galway Corinthians RFC Pearce Flannery summed up the club’s passion and enthusiasm for the event saying “The club has got behind this event in a big way. First of all we are getting a rematch of two great teams who were always fierce rivals on the field but also held a great respect for each other off it. It is apt that we also honour Paddy that evening. Paddy is one of the great clubmen and his passion for Galway Corinthians and Connacht Rugby has never waned through his years as a player, coach and officer. This is our opportunity to recognise his many years of service and by raising money for the IMNDA, we are also showing our support for an incredible organisation who provide a crucial service for so many who suffer from Motor Neurone Disease and for their families.”