Supporting Local News

Signed rugby jerseys from all the greats up for grabs – to help the Little Blue Heroes

By Dave O’Connell

It might be the greatest ever giveaway of signed rugby shirts – from World Cup winners South Africa to Six Nations Champions Ireland, not to mention, Australia, the All-Blacks, all of the Home Nations and the Barbarians – all foraged by a determined Galway Garda doing his bit for a great cause.

Simon Tierney is based at Mill Street Garda Station in the city, and with the Rugby World Cup on the horizon, he wanted to do something for a cause close to the heart of the entire force – Little Blue Heroes, the charity run by the Gardaí to give some of the country’s bravest, but seriously ill, kids a special day out.

The Tuam native, who came to Mill Street two and a half years ago after over six years in Ennis, aimed to secure a jersey from all 20 teams at the World Cup. But ultimately he has ended up with even more than he’d aimed for, because he is now auctioning and raffling 33 signed rugby jerseys – international, provincial and invitational teams – by the end of this month.

Among the signed shirts are jerseys from the All Blacks, South Africa, Ireland, France, Australia, Argentina, Wales, England, Scotland and both tops from a Barbarians/World XV clash at Twickenham.

Twenty of the jerseys will be raffled off by Simon himself at 7pm on Saturday week, March 23, and the remaining 13 are up for auction bids which will be closed off the day after the raffle – Sunday, March 24.

“We were waiting for one last jersey after the World Cup, but when that ran aground, we then decided to hold off until the Six Nations was at fever pitch across the country – which is why we’re doing it now,” says Simon.

Last week Simon and his Mill Street Station colleague, Community Garda Marcus Flynn, brought a host of the signed shirts to the open training day for the Irish team, and the current and past stars were only too happy to pose with them for the cause.

Caption: Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony poses with a signed Ireland top as Garda Marcus Flynn holds the autographed Connacht jersey and event organiser Simon Tierney has the signed Lions top. Photo: Billy Stickland, INPHO.

Get the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now, or you can download the digital edition from You can also download our Connacht Tribune App from Apple’s App Store or get the Android Version from Google Play.

Full details of the raffle and the auction can be found on the Little Blue Heroes Facebook page or on iDonate.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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