He has won the Grand National and every other top prize in horseracing. He has played golf with Tiger Woods and harbours a dream to bring the Ryder Cup to Adare Manor. He has supported his native Limerick in every sporting endeavor down the years, culminating in last month’s first All Ireland hurling title since 1973 and only the second in his lifetime.
Now he is being hailed in every GAA parish in the country after news broke yesterday of a letter to each county board with an offer to donate €100,000 to be divided equally among clubs for the development and support of Gaelic games.
It is a noble gesture and one which will have a major impact on some of the smaller and less well-off counties, as well as a solid boost even in the biggest.
As an absolute amount, it will come to less than 10 percent of the total philanthropic funding which has been distributed through the JP McManus Benevolent Fund in areas across health education, community, and sport.
The amount of money being channeled through his different philanthropic arms will rise again in 2020 when the JP McManus ProAm Golf tournament returns to Adare Manor, with all of the sports biggest names from Rory McIlroy to Tiger Woods.
That alone has raised €140 million for good causes down the years.
Philanthropy is one of the major ways in which education, health and sport is funded in the United States. In Ireland, we have barely scratched the surface in terms of what we might ask of benevolent billionaires.
It does exist though and this latest gift from McManus highlights again the strong impact which money freely given can have throughout the community infrastructure on which Ireland still rests.
In this instance, the motivation is one of a celebration of Limerick’s achievements. Even the most die-hard of Galway fans will tip their hat to that.
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