Connacht Rugby have today announced two new charity partners for the 2015/16 season, with Pieta House and Ability West confirmed.

Connacht Rugby will work closely with the two charity partners throughout the season to help fundraise and promote specific campaigns.

Pieta House is Ireland’s first community based centre for the intervention and prevention of self-harm and suicide. Founded in 2003 by Joan Freeman the mission of Pieta House is to reduce the number of deaths by suicide, reduce the number of people engaging in self-harming behaviours and break down the stigma associated with suicide and self-harm.

Pieta House West provides one-to-one professional and therapeutic support to individuals across the western region who are struggling with thoughts of suicide or engaging in self-harm. Furthermore clients can self-refer into the service directly or via a family member, meaning a GP or Psychiatric referral is not required. This specialised counselling service in addition to support for family members is provided Completely Free of Charge.

Brian Higgins CEO of Pieta House commented on the partnership “I’m very grateful to the Connacht Rugby Team for choosing Pieta House as their official charity partner. Partnerships and support of this kind are essential to raise awareness of suicide and self-harm in our communities. Our vision is to live in a world where suicide, self-harm and stigma have been replaced by hope, self-care and acceptance. Supporting and looking out for each other is a vital part of team sports and I encourage all those who are part of the club to continue to look after themselves and to watch out for each other.”   


Ability West is a voluntary organisation, set up by parents and friends, which provides high quality services and supports to over 530 individuals with intellectual disability in 11 geographical locations throughout Galway City and County.  We have 55 centres providing services and supports including: day, residential, respite, rehabilitative training, supported employment, active ageing and community supports.  Ability West is patron of four special schools located in Ballinasloe, Carraroe, Galway City and Tuam.

The vision of Ability West is to enable people with intellectual disability to realise their dreams and ambitions and to take their rightful place in society.  Ability West values community engagement and involvement and since our inception in 1962, we have always provided services in local communities.


Breda Crehan Roche, Chief Executive of Ability West: “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 the home games on a regular basis. We are 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 .

Ability West photo









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