Donal Lenihan & Greg Barrett

RUGBY MEN HONOURED

Donal Lenihan and Greg Barrett are March Cork Persons of the Month to honour their contribution to the growth and popularity of rugby in Ireland.

Donal Lenihan is admired around the globe for his expertise in every aspect of rugby. He is a co-commentator and panellist with RTÉ as well as the game’s top writer with the Irish Examiner. A great player himself, he captained both the Irish International team and the British & Irish Lions squad. He also managed those teams and, of course, was also a player and administrator with his beloved home club, Cork Constitution.

Greg Barrett is the incoming President of the IRFU and has given a lifetime’s voluntary work to rugby. Greg and his colleagues in the IRFU have received wide praise for their promotion and growth of rugby over the four provinces and especially with the Irish national team. On the administration front, they achieved what many politicians could not, by uniting Northern and the Republic of Ireland, combining Amhran na bhfiann with Ireland’s Call to acclaim and acceptance by the whole 32 counties of Ireland. 

Greg, like Donal, also played for Cork Constitution, and played rugby at all levels and famously was a member of the Munster team that beat the All-Blacks back in 1978.

Donal Lenihan and Greg Barrett have more than played their part in making rugby the enormous success it is in Ireland today. The game attracts huge television audiences and attendances at matches, and now we have the World Cup games to look forward to later this year.

The Irish Rugby team is currently ranked 1st in the world and recently had great success in the Six Nations, going unbeaten to claim the Grand Slam. None of this would be possible if it was not for the great foundations laid by Donal and Greg. 

Greg and Donal have put a great deal of time and effort into getting younger generations playing Rugby. We saw this hard work pay off recently with the Ireland U20 team also winning the Six Nations and claiming the Grand Slam. This is the first time in the history of the Six Nations that the senior and U20 teams from the same nation claimed the Grand Slam. 

“What other sport in Ireland boasts the Number One position in the world. Ireland can be very proud of the role these two Corkmen have played in achieving that,“ said awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan.

Donal and Greg will now go forward alongside the other monthly winners for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year at the annual Gala Awards Lunch in January, 2024.