BUCCANEERS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB’S fifth Business Networking Lunch attracted hundreds from the business, commercial, financial and sporting worlds to Athlone’s Sheraton Hotel.

The key speakers were newly appointed Chairperson of IDA Ireland Fergal O’Rourke, who recently retired as Managing Partner at PWC, and Julie Ennis, CEO Corporate Services Sodexo UK and Ireland. Ronan Berry, Midlands Radio’s business correspondent, proved an adroit interviewer as he teased out their opinions on matters such as continued overseas investment in Ireland and the challenges facing businesses in an ever-changing world economy.

At the lunch Tom Quinn, chief executive at Alkermes Athlone, confirmed the sale of the plant to Denmark healthcare giant Novo Nordisk, whose valuation exceeds the entire Danish economy!

Club President Brendan Wilkins expressed immense gratitude on behalf of Buccaneers RFC for the contribution of our guest speakers to whom presentations were made. With the lifelong association by the O’Rourke family in the rugby club, the presenting of a specially compiled unique booklet that commemorated their late father Enda’s involvement at Athlone Rugby Football Club to Fergal and brother Aengus was touching and extremely well-received (with a third copy produced for his widow Mary). Kudos here to Michael Cleary and Liam Rattigan on their initiative and creativity on its production.

Prof. Wilkins also thanked Garrett McGuinness and staff at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel for the first-class meal and service and to The Bounty Bar & Venue who sponsored the wine. Buccaneers also gratefully acknowledge all who supported the club through their attendance and patronage and he noted the efforts and enterprise of the event’s organisers, particularly Patrick O’Meara and Eamonn Fagan, on producing another interesting and smartly-run occasion.

Finally, the audience prize for a pair of coveted tickets to Ireland’s Six Nations match against Wales plus two nights B&B with dinner one night at Dublin’s Hyatt Centric Hotel was won by Amy Greene.