Tickets for IRFU’s 150th anniversary dinner on course to sell out at €650 per head

Gala event in Dublin’s RDS to feature interviews with Ireland’s four surviving Grand Slam-winning captains

The Irish Rugby Football Union’s 150th anniversary gala dinner will cost €6,500 for a table of 10 people, an average cost of €650 per person.

Scheduled for November 29th this year, organisers of the event, which will be held in Dublin’s Royal Dublin Society, the home ground of Leinster Rugby, say the event is on course for a 1,600 sell-out.

The evening will begin with a cocktail reception followed by a three-course dinner served “with premium wines”. Guests will also have the benefit of a full complimentary bar for the evening including champagne as well as live entertainment.

One of the highlights of the event will be interviews with Ireland’s four surviving Grand Slam-winning captains. Brian O’Driscoll, who captained the side in 2009 to Ireland’s first Grand Slam since 1948, is expected to attend the dinner, as is Fiona Coghlan, who wore the armband when the Irish women’s team won their first and only Grand Slam in 2013.


Former Irish hooker Rory Best, who captained the team to its 2018 win, and Johnny Sexton, who was the captain when Ireland won the Grand Slam last year under coach Andy Farrell, will also be guests. Dr Karl Mullan, who captained the 1948 Grand Slam winning side, died in 2009 aged 82.

The €6,500 per table entry fee also provides a limited edition IRFU 150th commemorative jersey, provided by Canterbury, for each guest as well as the attendance of additional “Irish sport greats” on the night. The IRFU explained its costing and said there has already been considerable public interest. It expects to sell out what will be a historical black-tie event.

“It is a gala night to mark the IRFU’s 150th season, which is being held in the RDS on the eve of our 150th fixture,” said an IRFU spokesperson.

“There has been huge interest already in the gala dinner and we are pleased to say we are on course for a sell-out. It is competitively priced alongside similar gala events and proceeds on the night will go to the IRFU Charitable Trust as well as towards funding grassroots initiatives throughout the year. Smaller groups are also being accommodated on shared tables.”

The history of the Ireland rugby team began in 1875, when the team played its first international match, a 0–7 loss against England. It was not until 1881 that the Irish team first won a Test, beating Scotland at the Ormeau Grounds in Belfast.

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson

Johnny Watterson is a sports writer with The Irish Times