After a week long campaign to raise funds for departing defence coach Kurt McQuilkin and his family, the Leinster Rugby Shave or Dye campaign ended last night after a phenomenal show of support from Leinster and rugby supporters around the world.

Before he departed McQuilkin spoke to to address the support that both he and his family had received.
“This was not an easy decision by any means because you do become very close to a team and to this team in particular and to this group of players and coaches. The last week or so and the support they have shown both me and my family I suppose reinforces that feeling that I have for Leinster Rugby. This is a special place with special people.
“But I am needed at home. And that is where I must go to be with my family and with my dad and sister in particular who are ill as they go through a tough time and to support them up close rather than from afar.
“I would though like to thank from the bottom of my heart all those that have supported the fundraising efforts.

“The gesture took me by surprise and it is very humbling to see the outpouring of emotion from players, back room staff and Leinster supporters and indeed from the wider rugby family. It has raised my own spirits and indeed the spirits of my family back home to know that we are in people’s thoughts.
“Best of luck for the season ahead and thank you for a wonderful 14 months back at the club and until we meet again, cheers.”

Leinster Rugby sports scientist Peter Tierney was behind the Shave or Dye campaign but before long other members of the coaching and back room team, as well as players had pledged their support. And on Tuesday of last week Aoife and Niamh from Toni & Guy in Dundrum got to work. 

Incredibly, just short of €;7,000 has been raised from the GoGetFunding page set up to support the McQuilkin family.

In addition a limited edition Shane Monahan Designs painting of Paul O’Connell, signed by the former Munster and Ireland captain has raised an additional €;1,000 for the McQuilkin family. 

All in all, everyone at Leinster Rugby is hugely grateful for the donations and the support, in particular from our two charity partners Aware and DEBRA Ireland. The funds raised will be donated to the McQuilkin family to help them over the coming weeks and months. 

Finally, Kurt, his dad Noel, sister Kim and the wider McQuilkin family are in all our thoughts and we wish them the very best.