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01 Jul 2022

Dundalk RFC hold 'No High Tackles, Just High Heels' ladies event

Dundalk RFC hold  'No High Tackles, Just High Heels' ladies event

Sophia Murdock Dundalk RFC U18 Player Making A Presentation on Behalf of Dundalk Girls Rugby to Ireland Women's Head Coach Greg McWilliams

Dundalk RFC held their “No High Tackles, Just High Heels,” ladies event in aid of breast cancer research in the Fairways on Saturday.

The event saw a day of competitions and fun all for a good cause.

Club PRO Mary Murdock said:

“Dundalk RFC has had many defining moments in its  club history but one which set it apart was when the club came together with the Leinster Northeast rugby family in February 2019 to honour the memory and to celebrate the life of Dundalk RFC Ladies Caroline Gray, Wife of Dundalk RFC Senior Player Jonathon  who had at the time  recently lost her battle with breast cancer.

“Dundalk  RFC  then began our journey as a club  to tackle Breast Cancer and forged links with National Breast Cancer Research Institute

“We took our journey a step further  this year with the “ No High Tackles, Just High Heels,”Ladies Event on Saturday which  while it was a huge undertaking and an event which had been sold out since 2020 and delayed by the pandemic has been a resounding success and a first for a Rugby Club and one which received  the backing  of both  Leinster Rugby and the IRFU.”

“The club was joined by Head Coach to the Irish  Womens Rugby Team Greg McWilliams as a Special Guest. This Event, while celebrating Dundalk RFC Ladies, was also dedicated to the memories  of those rugby ladies who have lost the battle against breast cancer and to those who courageously continue the fight.

“The glass ceiling has broken and women are at the cutting edge of everything.

“It is no different at Dundalk RFC! It was  our desire to host an event in celebration and in appreciation of all Ladies with an association to the club and of the  Dundalk RFC Girls who have continued to develop their game and worn the jersey with such passion, desire and pride.

“This Event saluted them and made them feel good about themselves as we recognised their contribution both on and off the pitch at Mill Road.

“The Dundalk RFC Ladies Event was one of the clubs major fundraising events of the 2022 rugby season. By partnering with National Breast Cancer Research Institute

“We are supporting a research team who are successfully working on improving breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. All of these programmes are technically demanding and expensive so the support of the public is significant.”

The afternoon was kicked off by MC Caroline McElroy and followed a drinks reception of prosecco and sixlings gin from local successful entrepreneurs Tom and Nicola Grills accompanied by the  fabulous sound of An Cor Chairlinne and  local artists Maria Dawe and Anna McKenna followed by a four course lunch, and then a fashion show.

Former Dundalk RFC  Youths Players Maria Smith, Eleanor McElroy, Sophia Murdock, Aoife  Purcell and Jennifer McElroy took  to the catwalk with the latest fashion trends from Sheba and Elmay Boutiques , Dundalk and Venezuela and Avida Boutiques Ardee.

This was followed  by the announcement of Linda Valentine as “ No High Tackles, Best Dressed Lady ” 2022 with the winning ensemble from Rapport Boutique Dundalk. 

Her prize was presented to her by Dundalk RFC U18 Players Aoife Purcell and Jennifer McElroy, followed by  a Monster Raffle with fabulous prizes kindly donated by local sponsors as well as a silent auction for an amazing coaching session  for 20 children very kindly donated by  local rugby legends  and former Dundalk RFC players Rob and Dave Kearney. 

The evening finished off with music from the very talented. Cian McKeever and DJ Goosey spinning discs into the late hours to end the perfect day.

Mary Murdock concluded:

“It was  a day that achieved the perfect balance as Dundalk RFC celebrated the growth and development of girls rugby, celebrating the women at the heartbeat of the club while honouring and remembering women like the late Caroline Gray who have lost their battle with breast cancer while supporting those women who continue the fight. 

“John McKevitt, Dundalk RFC  Club President, opened the proceedings to welcome those gathered at The Fairways Hotel and to thank them for their support. Greg McWilliams Ireland Women's Rugby XV Head Coach captured the hearts of all present with his emotive account of his  adored wife's breast cancer journey and its impact on their lives and his passionate vision of his drive to achieve success with the Irish Women's Rugby Team.”

Mary then shared her personal family experience of breast cancer, her involvement in the Caroline Gray Memorial Event and  identified the event as a significant step on the journey of Dundalk RFC to tackle breast cancer. 

She spoke passionately of the investment at grassroots level of Dundalk RFC in the girls game and paid tribute to the female players coming through the club. 

Greg McWilliams was presented with a symbol of appreciation of his support of the event by Sophia Murdock, a Dundalk RFC  Player who was selected for the Leinster Sevens u18 Girls Squad this season symbolic of the success and development of Dundalk RFC Girls Rugby.

Mary Murdock acknowledged the significance  to Dundalk RFC of having the family of  the late Caroline Gray present  as she remembered her and she paid tribute to another amazing woman Cara McAdam who was  also present as she recognised the success she and her husband Niall Carroll have achieved since they started 100 in 30 Days to support breast cancer research. 

She thanked all who had bought tickets, donated raffle prizes and given sponsorship giving special mention to Keith Manning and his Gaelic Plant hire Team who came on board as lead sponsor and to ASM Accountants for their generous sponsorship of the Best Dressed Lady Prize.

She thanked the  Dundalk RFC  Executive Committee for their support and the Team behind the event Kathy Cranny and Barbara Egan Tooher,  Denis Cahalane. Carmel McElroy, Irenaeous McCaffrey, Maria Greene, Emer Reynolds Holmes , Louise O’Mara and Darren and Jenny Crilly.

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