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  • Southside

New Ken Wall centre honours St Mary’s man

Thursday, 3rd October, 2019 7:59am
New Ken Wall centre honours St Mary’s man

Minister Shane Ross with with Leinster players Ed Byrne and Adam Byrne.

New Ken Wall centre honours St Mary’s man

Minister Shane Ross with with Leinster players Ed Byrne and Adam Byrne.

OVER €1.5 million has been invested in a new centre of excellence at Energia Park, Donnybrook, which was opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

The Ken Wall Centre of Excellence, named in honour of the late St Mary’s RFC clubman, is one of five planned for each of the rugby areas of Leinster.

The centre was funded by Minister Ross’s Department’s Sports Capital Fund and will be home to the Leinster Rugby Sub Academy as well as the Leinster Age Grade programme.

Members of the Wall family attended the launch. 

Speaking at the opening, Minister Ross said: “I am delighted to officially open the Ken Wall Centre of Excellence.

“The investment of Sports Capital Programme funding by my Department in this magnificent new facility will be of tremendous benefit in developing rugby from grassroots to high performance level.

“While much of the focus at the moment is on our international side, we must not neglect our upcoming stars and the players of the future in Leinster will benefit greatly from this investment.”

The new centre became operational on July 1 and opened its doors to this season’s age grade players.

Since then almost 4,000 players have availed of the facility, covering the Leinster U19s, U20s, Leinster ‘A’ and Women’s teams.

The Centre is 606 sq metres in total and is fully operational with a 210 sq metre gym, two meeting rooms, a large open plan office with space for 20 staff, two dressing rooms and showers, a medical room and a kitchen.

Ken was a lifelong Leinster and Irish Rugby supporter.

He began playing the game after he left school and joined St Mary’s College RFC in 1952. The highlight of his career came when playing on the wing for the 1958 Senior Cup winning team, the first ever for St Mary’s College RFC.

He remained a member of St Mary’s until his death in 2008.

Ken also was a keen tennis and squash player and played veterans squash for Ireland in 1985.

He was CEO of Lombard and Ulster Bank from its inception until he retired in 1989.

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