Leinster Rugby has announced St Michael’s House as its latest charity partner, as part of the Charity Affiliate Programme which was first launched in November 2020.

St Michael’s House have been nominated by one of Leinster Rugby’s partners, Aircoach, who transport Leo Cullen and Tania Rosser’s teams to interprovincial fixtures and to Dublin airport as required.

Aircoach have a long-established relationship with St Michael’s House and through their partnership with Leinster Rugby, have now brought that relationship to the attention of Leinster supporters across the 12 counties.

St Michael’s House started with an ad in The Irish Times in June 1955 looking to establish an association for parents of children with disabilities, and within 12 months a house had been purchased in Ranelagh – later known as St Michael’s School – and a teacher, Sheila McCabe, took a class of 12 pupils.

Today, St. Michael’s House provides a comprehensive range of services and supports to men, women, and children with intellectual disabilities and their families in 170 locations in the greater Dublin area. It supports around 2,300 people and this has an impact on thousands of family members.

In attendance at today’s launch in Leinster Rugby head office in UCD, were Leinster players Aoife Moore, Josh van der Flier and Jimmy O’Brien.

“St Michael’s House is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to live life to the fullest, promoting inclusivity, and providing vital services and support to those in need.

“St Michael’s House is committed to ensuring that it is an organisation that delivers services to people with disabilities based on rights.

“This partnership with Leinster Rugby comes at an exciting time for us, as we will be launching our foundation in February 2024,” said Rhoda Judge, Corporate Liaison Officer at St Michael’s House.

”The new foundation will strengthen St Michael’s House’s fundraising efforts, tapping into the organisation’s existing networks and expertise, while amplifying its charitable benefits.”

“We are truly honoured to be associated with St Michael’s House and are delighted to be the link that joins them with Leinster Rugby,” added Celine Coleman of Aircoach.

“We are confident that St Michael’s House will benefit greatly from the exposure that Leinster Rugby can provide them, and we know those attending Leinster games and events from the charity will enjoy them thoroughly.”

“It’s been hugely rewarding working with our commercial partners and our players and supporters to help bring our charity programme alive and this is another great example of this,” said Eamon de Búrca, Commercial and Partnerships Manager with Leinster Rugby.

“It will be great to visit St Michael’s House later this week with Leo Cullen and as well as that to welcome St Michael’s House and the Aircoach team to the Stade Francais game in Aviva Stadium in January.”

Like all the charities selected, St Michael’s House was selected by Leinster Rugby after a consultation process involving the leadership group of the men, women’s and Academy teams and consultation with the premium sponsors and partners and the OLSC.