Looking back at Ireland’s 2017 Six Nations campaign, most fans will point to the last day victory over England, which denied their opponents a record breaking run of victories, as the most memorable moment. For Enniskillen Student, Moira Johnston, however, it was an earlier match which provided a much more unforgettable experience.
Moira, along with her family, attended Ireland's Six Nations game against France at the Aviva Stadium, thanks to support from Starlight Children's Foundation. Starlight is a national charity that grants once-in-a-lifetime wishes for ill children and teenagers, restoring the magic and fun of childhood and giving the whole family happy memories to share.
We returned to the Aviva stadium on Saturday to watch Ireland play France in the Six Nations Championship and I was delighted that Ireland won! The weekend was amazing!'
For Moira, her wish was to meet some of her rugby heroes, and as Starlight explain, ‘we contacted the Irish Rugby team and they were happy to help.’ For Moira, this arrangement allowed for a fantastic two days. She explains, 'I was nominated for a wish to be granted from the Starlight Children’s Foundation and my wish came true. I got picked up at my house along with my sister and parents early on Friday morning and we were driven to Dublin, to the Aviva Stadium where we met a representative from the IRFU and a wish granter from Starlight Children's Foundation.
‘The representative from the IRFU brought us down to see the tunnel where the Ireland team get dropped off in the Aviva stadium. We then had a tour of the stadium including the changing rooms and got to see where the post-match interviews take place. After seeing all these exciting things we were brought out through the players tunnel onto the pitch where we sat in the substitute's seats to watch the captains run. After the captains run all the players made time to meet with fans. This give me an opportunity to get a rugby ball signed and pictures taken with the whole team. Once all this was over we were taken to a hotel where were would be staying the night. We returned to the Aviva stadium on Saturday to watch Ireland play France in the Six Nations Championship and I was delighted that Ireland won! The weekend was amazing!'
Jasmin, Moira’s Wish Granter, said, ‘It was an absolute pleasure granting Moira’s Starlight Wish to meet the Irish Rugby Team. Moira is such a friendly, sweet and bubbly girl, so we were really pleased that we were able to give her and her family a special once-in-a-lifetime experience. She was so excited when she met the players she couldn’t stop smiling, and she was delighted to cheer the team on to victory at the Six Nations match the next day! We’d like to say a huge thank you to the Irish Rugby Team for making Moira’s Starlight Wish possible.’