herald

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Stars honour green giant O'Driscoll

PARTY PACK: Brian's delight at 'huge honour'

Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman
Brian O'Driscoll and Amy Huberman
Jamie Heaslip and Sheena O'Buachalla
Brian's parents Frank and Geraldine O'Driscoll
Paul and Emily O'Connell
Cian Healy and Holly Carpenter
Lisa and Keith Duffy
Aoife Cogan and Gordon D'Arcy
Gillian Quinn
Pippa O'Connor
Imelda May
Storm and Caroline Downey

Tickets were like gold dust for the biggest rugby event of the year.

Last night 1,140 lucky ticket holders and guests crowded into Dublin's Convention Centre for Brian O'Driscoll's glitzy testimonial dinner.

Ireland's captain fantastic said he was overwhelmed by the tribute.

But he said that the final whistle hasn't gone on his career quite yet.

"It's a huge honour," Brian told the Herald. "When it's your home city and a lot of people you're going to know, you can't but be touched by that.

"The strange thing is I'm not finished yet. I want to be able to enjoy these last seven months. I've still got some time left in the jersey."

And Brian said when he does hang up his green and blue jerseys, he looks forward to spending quality time with eight-month-old daughter Sadie.

"I was only away for a couple of days at camp and she looks at you strangely," he said.

"They are loyal to the people who are there with them all the time so I have to work on that.

"I'm excited about the next phase of life wherever that does bring us."

Amy looked chic in a black Lennon Courtney dress and vintage waist belt by Judith Leiber and said the testimonial dinner in Dublin had an added resonance.

And she said that the Dublin event was extra special.

"It means more than the testimonial dinner in London because it's home ground. This is where he plays.

"I hope I don't get too emotional during the speeches," she said. "I am so proud.

"This is his night. He doesn't usually like when the spotlight is on him; I'm telling him to enjoy it. But it was a little surreal coming over the bridge and seeing those massive projections."

The pair had left baby Sadie at home.

"She can't do late nights," Amy joked.

Brian's dad Frank kept it short and sweet. "It's terrific. Delighted but I'm keeping my mouth shut tonight it's all about Brian."

 

GIANT

Rugby studs and TV stars mingled on the green carpet and sipped bespoke bottles of Heineken.

Liam Cunningham, Dylan McGrath, Gay Byrne, Kathleen Watkins, Liz O'Donnell, Brian and Pippa Ormond, Lisa and Keith Duffy, Ian Madigan, Paul O'Connell and the Kearney brothers were all in attendance.

Outside giant projections of BOD lit up the Convention Centre, which team mate Gordan D'Arcy thought was a fitting tribute.

"He's a mountain of a player," Gordan D'Arcy said. "He was always representing Ireland whether it was on or off the pitch."

hnews@herald.ie

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