RSVP Magazine

Ronan O’Gara will receive The Freedom of the City of Cork on Thursday

Ronan O’Gara will receive The Freedom of the City of Cork in a special ceremony on Thursday May, 11.

This huge honour comes following a motion from Cork County Council back in February.

Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Des Cahill, revealed the good news after a lot of speculation from sports enthusiasts and Corkonians alike.

The father of five is being celebrated following a glittering career in rugby field with both Munster and Ireland.

Ronan said that he was “humbled” by the announcement and he thanked his fans for all of their support over the years.

“Thanks to the people of Cork who have always backed me.

“Proud of where I come from.

“Very humbled and honoured,” he said.

Members of Cork City Council will bestow the award on Ronan this Thursday at 3pm.

“O’Gara and party will line out at the Anglesea Street entrance to City Hall before the visiting party will huddle into the Lord Mayor’s Chambers for the signing of the visitors’ book.

“The 3pm throw-in will see O’Gara make his way through the Concert Hall with help from the Lord Mayor and team-mate Ann Doherty, Chief Executive of Cork City Council.

“They will then travel up the centre aisle, preceded by the support of the mace bearers,” explains Cork Independent.

Launch of the 2016 Longines Irish Champions Weekend. Pictured (LtoR) Ronan O’Gara and his wife Jessica wearing a dress by Louise Kennedy, at the at O Reilly Hall, UCD. Photo: Photocall Ireland

The Cork man first rose to fame when he lined out for Munster against Connacht back in 1997.

After years of hard work and dedication, and heartbreaking final and semi-final defeats in the years previous, his home province finally got over the line to win two iconic Heineken Cups- in 2006 and 2008.

In his important role as out-half, the 40-year-old smashed records to become Munster and Ireland’s all-time top scorer and he also holds the record for the most points scored in the competitive Heineken Cup championship.

The noughties was a big decade for Irish rugby and Mr O’Gara played a pivotal role in Ireland winning a grand slam title in 2009, as well as four triple crowns.

Cllr Des Cahill said: “As well as for Munster and for Ireland, for his leadership, resilience, skill and courage on the field of play, in acknowledgement of the immeasurable pride and pleasure he has brought to his fellow people of Cork, Munster and Ireland, in recognition of his legacy to Irish sport and in civic recognition of the high esteem and affection in which he is held by the people of Cork.”

The good news continues for fans as it looks like Ronan may be coming back to Ireland sooner than we think.

He is set to join Ireland’s coaching staff, alongside former teammates Girvan Dempsey and Felix Jones, for the summer tour to America and Japan.

Ronan confirmed the news when he told SportsJoe Live: “I’m luckily going on the first week of the summer tour to America.

“It’s really exciting and a great opportunity for me to learn from who I consider the best coach in world rugby in Joe Schmidt. I can’t wait.”

Jessica Daly and her husband Ronan O’Gara at Holy Trinity Abbey Church in Adare, Co. Limerick for following the wedding of Jonathan Sexton and Laura Priestley. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22

When you think of inspiring couples in Ireland, you can’t but admire Ronan and his stunning wife, Jess. After celebrating 10 years of marriage last year, their relationship has continued blossom following their first meeting in secondary school in their home city.

Their-long standing bond has largely remained behind closed doors over the years as they shied away from the limelight and Jess shunned the negative “wag” stereotype.

Parents to Rua, Molly, JJ, Zak and Max and now based in France, their love for one another is largely undeniable and Ronan affirmed that “The spark is still there”.

Gushing about his wife, he told RSVP “It’s amazing the way things keep going. It’s just amazing that you’re boyfriend and girlfriend, engaged, married, five kids. You appreciate it, too. She’s a great woman.”

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