herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

BOD shares a gallery of heroes with Mandela and Rosa Parks

Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll is in good company in a parish in England that paid tribute to him alongside Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as inspirational figures.

A Catholic church in Bracknell, Berkshire, included the former Irish captain in its "Gallery of Good Examples".

The candidates in St Joseph's Church were chosen by local schoolchildren who recently made their Confirmation.

Rugby hero BOD caught wind of his inclusion and sent "sincere appreciation and best wishes" to the parish.

A painting of the former Ireland number 13 shows him in his kit running with a rugby ball in hand.

Mandela, with his famous quote that "sometimes it falls on a generation to be great", is to the left and Martin Luther King is on the right. Other heroes include cook Mary Berry, actress and singer Demi Lovato and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Parish co-ordinator Hugh Gibbons, who arranged the exhibition, said it is meant to be a source of motivation for people.

He said: "The aim of these galleries is to educate, inspire, intrigue and amuse for many years ahead."

charitable

Mr Gibbons said he wants more schools and churches to follow St Joseph's lead in creating a "vision board" of heroes regardless of religion.

He also said the gallery was different from typical church decorations.

"They're different from religious art bought in for churches because they're home-grown, specific to your place and time," he said.

Also included in the church gallery is St Joseph himself as well as the late Archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero.

While former Leinster centre BOD has stepped off the pitch, he continues his charitable work under the radar here, making surprise visits to sick children in hospitals up and down the country.

Last Christmas Eve both he and his actress and model wife Amy Huberman visited baby Grace Kavanagh in Temple Street Hospital away from the cameras.

Grace's parents said the O'Driscolls 
had made Christmas for them on 
what had been the "worst night of their 
life".

jfegan@herald.ie

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