Business Ireland Cape Town Rugby Lunch on 29th April at The President Hotel

Business Ireland Cape Town recently hosted a rugby lunch at the President Hotel in Bantry Bay ahead of the Leinster versus Stormers match the following day.  The guest of honour was Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby, who is stepping down at the end of 2022 after over twenty years at the helm of the rugby powerhouse.

He was ably flanked by special guests Freddie McLennan, former Irish Rugby International and well known South African Sports Commentator and Editor, Matthew Pearce.

Spaces were limited and booking was essential to this event which was a sellout.  With one long table on the first floor of the President Hotel full and direct access onto the sun-drenched balcony, guests were able to easily network and catch up in a relaxed setting.

First up on the Irish themed menu was the toughest choice of the day, Beef and Guinness Stew or Stout Marinated Chicken.  Compliments to the chef as those present were able to enjoy a beautiful South African day with a very Irish dish, no matter the choice.  Dessert was either Baileys Cheesecake or Irish Apple Cake, another difficult selection and certainly not one to be passed.

The lunch was perfectly paired with wine from Spider Pig Wines who supplied multiple bottles of white and red varietals to match the Emerald Isle food.  Feedback was good and volumes well matched.

Frank Gormley, BICT Chairman, kicked off the proceedings with a warm introduction from BICT, paid appreciation to the special guests and thanked those present for the time taken to experience what Ireland and South Africa were offering.

The interactive panel discussion commenced as dessert was served and both were treats worth waiting for.  The panel told stories and providing those present with behind-the-scenes insights from their careers.  It was a fantastic end to a super afternoon and climaxed with a no holds barred question and answer session.  The panel was challenged!  Those present at the lunch covered, hospitality, engineering, construction, banking, agri and renewable energy to name but a few.  They were also spread from small and medium size enterprises to large corporates. It was a great opportunity to see what collaborations or business could be done and all present were full of praise.

While the result in the following days match did not go as hoped for the Irish contingent, it was a super game of rugby and provided a further opportunity to meet and build relationships.

Thanks must go to the President Hotel for its fantastic venue and flexibility with our events, Spider Pig Wines for providing a taste of South Africa with the Irish food, special guests Mick Dawson, Freddie McLennan and Matthew Pearce and not least BICT Board Members Frank Gormley and Claire O’Gorman who seamlessly pulled the event together.

We look forward to our next event, keep posted through our newsletter and website.

Thank you to our Speakers on the Day

Frank Gormley Chairman of BICT

Mick Dawson, CEO of Leinster Rugby

Freddie McLennan, former Irish Rugby International

Matthew Pearce, South African Sports Commentator and Editor

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