Sister Zoe Killeen (left) and Liam Walsh (right) of RESPECT Ireland with 2013 Irish Open Champion Paul Casey during the prize giving ceremony of the 2013 Irish Open at Carton House (Getty Images)
Paul Casey’s dramatic eagle on the final hole at Carton House not only sealed a first European Tour victory in two and a half years for the Englishman, it also helped boost the overall amount of money raised for RESPECT Ireland, the Official Charity of the 2013 Irish Open.
The Tour Players Foundation (TPF), the charitable arm of The European Tour, the Mallaghan Family, owners of Carton House, and a private donor joined forces with an ‘Irish Open Birdie Pledge’, each giving €10 per birdie, €20 per eagle and €50 per Albatross during the four tournament rounds last week.
Casey’s stunning 45ft putt on the final hole earned the 35 year old his 12th European Tour title, and took the total number of eagles to 22 for the tournament, raising a total of €1,320.
Subsequent closing birdies by Casey’s final round playing partners Robert Rock and Joost Luiten helped the pair share second place and also took the total number of birdies to 1,405, raising €42,150.
A total of €43,470 was generated by the ‘Irish Open Birdie Pledge’, which will be added to money raised from other charitable activities during the tournament week.
During Wednesday’s Official Pro-Am, The European Tour professionals taking part donated their Pro-Am fees to RESPECT, producing a donation in excess of €14,000 which was presented by The European Tour Wives Association, on behalf of their partners, during a visit to RESPECT’s Consilla Care Centre, near Carton House.
Spectators also added to the fundraising total when they purchased the Official Programmes or Drawsheets, which included a donation of €1 per programme or drawsheet sold. Fundraising activity also took place on RESPECT’s exhibition stand and, along with donations from a variety of private donors, added more than €11,000 to the fundraising total.
When combined, all of the Irish Open fundraising initiatives raised a grand total of €70,000 for RESPECT Ireland, a charity that supports people of all ages with intellectual disabilities in the Dublin area from two Care Villages within 20kms of Carton House.
In addition, The European Tour players and caddies showed their support for the Official Charity by wearing RESPECT pin badges on their hat or collar.
George O’Grady, European Tour Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted with the fundraising total for RESPECT from the Irish Open.
“Everyone at the event got behind this fantastic charity, which does such great work in the local area and which has a close association with this year’s Irish Open through the Mallaghan Family. The European Tour is proud that through the Tour Players Foundation, our charitable arm, we were able to contribute greatly to the fundraising total and we thank everyone else for their support.”
Sister Zoe Killeen, Director of RESPECT Ireland said: “Congratulations to The European Tour and the Mallaghan Family at Carton House for a wonderful tournament. The amount raised was truly remarkable, and on behalf of our people with an intellectual disability and RESPECT, a very special thank you must go to the Tour Players Foundation, the Mallaghan Family and the private donor for their support via the Birdie Pledge. Also, congratulations to Paul Casey on his fantastic win, and we were very proud to see that he wore our pin badge for the entire week.”
Lee Mallaghan, Owner and President of Carton House, said: “The Mallaghan family has been involved with RESPECT for over 20 years, so we are very grateful that a cause so close to our hearts has benefited from the Irish Open at Carton House. It was great to see so much money raised for such a wonderful charity. Our thanks go to everyone who contributed, especially The European Tour and its charitable arm, the Tour Players Foundation, and of course all of the players who made so many birdies and eagles.”