Connacht Rugby is delighted to announce its official Charity Partners for the 2014-15 season – Ability West, Mayo Roscommon Hospice and Special Olympics Connaught.

Connacht Rugby will work with all three charity partners throughout the season to fundraise for and promote their organisation throughout the province. At the beginning of every season, our official Charity Partners are selected in conjunction with the Connacht Rugby Team and Management.  Each charity is entitled to a number of exclusive promotional opportunities with Connacht Rugby.

Ability West                                                     

Ability West, a parents and friends Galway based voluntary organisation  is dedicated to enabling children and adults with intellectual disability to realise their full potential so that they can take their rightful place in society and in their communities. Since our establishment in 1962,  we are proud that we continue to deliver high quality services to people with intellectual disability and their families throughout Galway City and County.

Ability West is based in 11 geographical locations where we have 55 centres providing services and supports to over 520 children and adults with intellectual disability.  These services include: day, residential, respite, rehabilitative training, supported employment, active ageing and community supports.  Multidisciplinary supports such as speech and language therapy, social work, psychology, positive behaviour support, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are also provided to both children and adults.  Ability West is patron of four special national schools located in Ballinasloe, Carraroe, Galway City and Tuam.

Breda Crehan-Roche, Chief Executive  ‘We are delighted that Ability West is one of Connacht’s RFC nominated charities for the year. It is particularly special as many of our service users attend many of the home games on a regular basis. We are also delighted to have Aly Muldowney on the Board of Directors of Ability West. On behalf of everyone in Ability West, I would like to wish Connacht Rugby every success in the coming season’


Mayo Roscommon Hospice                                                       

Mayo Roscommon Hospice Foundation exists to provide palliative care services to people with life limiting illnesses and their families in County Mayo and County Roscommon. The Foundation affirms life, respecting the uniqueness of each individual, by caring and supporting to meet the physical and emotional needs of patients and their families living with life threatening illnesses. The Service enables patients to live out the remainder of their lives in comfort and dignity. The Palliative Care Service is provided free of charge to all.

The majority of patients cared for by our teams are cancer patients, however as the service has developed and expanded, it is now available for pain and symptom control in patients with other non-malignant conditions such as end stage Motor Neurone, Muscular Dystrophy, MS, COPD and Heart Failure.  Since 1992 the Palliative Care Teams have assisted in the care of over 10, 000 patients and their families.

The service is available free of charge for patients in their own homes and in the hospitals and nursing homes throughout Mayo and Roscommon.  The aim is to improve the patient’s quality of life by maximising pain control while relieving any other distressing symptoms.  The service recognises and responds to physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, which may be experienced by patients and their families – adults and children.


Special Olympics Connaught                                                      

Special Olympics is a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport.  It’s about fun, friendships and team spirit; it’s about a feeling of belonging, and ultimately improving quality of life. Special Olympics changes lives in so many different ways. Through sport, athletes develop both physically and emotionally, they make new friends, realise their dreams, and come to learn that they can fit in. Special Olympics enables athletes to achieve and win, not only in sport, but in life too.

Special Olympics Connaught provides year rounds sports training and competition for over 1, 400 adults and children with intellectual disabilities in Galway, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

Matt English, CEO, Special Olympics Ireland, commented,

Special Olympics Connaught is delighted to have been selected as one of Connacht’s Rugby’s charity partners for the season ahead. This is a fantastic opportunity for our organisation and athletes and provides us with a platform to increase our recognition and visibility within the sporting, public and corporate worlds. We are looking forward to developing and strengthening our relationships with Connacht Rugby staff, players and clubs over the coming months.”


Gallery: Connacht v Benetton