World Cup comes to Cork

The World Cup of Mixed ability rugby (IMART) is being held in Musgrave Park from June 5th to the 10th and over 1200 players from 14 different countries both with and without disabilities will participate. Ray Dennehy, a nurse from Blarney, has been involved with mixed ability in Ireland since it’s inception in Ireland in 2014 when Sunday’s Well RFC became the first club to introduce this to Ireland, mainly due to the efforts of Alan Craughwell who saw an article in Rugby World magazine and Liam Maher a member of Sunday’s Well RFC executive. The first mixed ability session in January 2014 had 13 participants and Sunday’s Well Rebels were born, going on to win the inaugural mixed ability world cup in Bradford 2015. The Rebels participated in Vittoria, Spain, in August 2017 losing narrowly in the final. Sunday’s Well RFC were awarded hosting duties for IMART originally for June 2020 but, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was postponed not once but twice but finally it is game on! The Rebels will be joined by fellow Cork sides West Cork Jesters and Ireland’s only Women’s mixed abilities side the Ballincollig Trailblazers. Talking to The Muskerry News Ray said, “Mixed ability rugby is a form of rugby where people with and without disabilities play on the one team under world rugby rules with only minor adaptations to the game for example uncontested scrums. The Mixed Ability Model developed by IMAS encourages social inclusion by removing barriers to participation for people who feel unable to join mainstream grassroots clubs or groups due to physical or intellectual disabilities, mental health issues, size, shape, age or a perception of ‘not being good enough.’ “ Ray continued that the social side of the team is equally if not more important then the sport itself and that he has great memories of all the trips over the years The Rebels have a busy schedule, they will visit the IRFU high performance centre on May 14th where they will play against other teams and enjoy coaching sessions, moving on to a game against Arklow RFC the following day before returning to Cork. They will play Muskerry RFC in Musgrave park on Tuesday May 17th May at 6pm in a game sponsored by the Dennehy family in memory of Liam Dennehy (Snr) who passed away in 2018. There is a fundraising raffle being held on May 24th and you may see Ray selling tickets around the area, please be generous! Ray is always looking for a spot prize or two to add to the prize pot which already includes items as diverse as signed rugby shirts, vintage whiskey, tablets (the computer kind) and a top of the range telescope for the stargazer in your life. If interested in donating Ray can be contacted at

The World Cup kicks off on Sunday June 5th with a parade of nations at an opening ceremony followed by a comprehensive four day rugby programme, as well as fabulous entertainment throughout the week. Tickets can be prebooked on The tournament organisers are actively seeking volunteers to assist with the running of such a large event, and there are many roles available for people. You can commit to as little as a half day and make a difference in lives and communities across the world. Log on to www.imartworldcup,org for details of how to attend or better yet to volunteer.

Community, Sports