Ballsbridge Lions Roar

Photo of the Ballsbridge Lions Club courtesy of Farrell O’Boy.

By Eoin Meegan

The Ballsbridge Lions Club is celebrating its first birthday. Founded in May 2018 by Farrell O’Boy, who transferred from the Maynooth-Kilcock Lions club to do so, their mission is to serve Dublin’s elderly, youth and disadvantaged. The Lions describe themselves as ordinary people who do extraordinary things.

Only three months after the group’s formation they were invited by the Lord Mayor of Dublin to hold an inaugural meeting and fundraiser in the Mansion House. The occasion was very successful and helped the club get recognition and recruit new members.

In November last, they ran their first event, which Farrell described as “an old-fashioned drinks party,” in O’Boy’s house in Ballsbridge. The night included an auction, which raised €11,000 for the nominated charity, the Linen Guild in the National Maternity Hospital. The Linen Guild provides clothing and other supplies for babies born to disadvantaged mothers.

This event was quickly followed in March by the Ballsbridge Lions inaugural golf classic in the K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare, in aid of Addiction Recovery Ireland, an event which raised €12,500. In April they organised a clothes run appeal for the Dublin branch of Dress for Success, organised by Lisa Murray, which was another success.

So, who exactly are the Lions?  They are a not-for-profit international organisation of 46,000 clubs comprising in excess of 1.4 million members in 210 countries, dedicated to creating a better world and helping those in need. All work, or service as the Lions themselves like to refer to it, is entirely voluntary.

Among the many international deserving causes they support is a project called the ‘Forgotten Children’, a Safe Centre in Zahle, a city east of Beirut in Lebanon, which cares for children abandoned or made orphans as a result of the war. The Irish Lions Club is proposing to contribute $25,000 per year for 4-5 years towards the running of this safe centre. A very worthwhile cause.

They are also renowned for their Lions Club Christmas Appeal, in which they raise much needed money for causes nearer to home. 

In Ireland there are 2,300 members of Lions Clubs, which are organised within District 133. The 108 Lions Clubs in Ireland are governed by a team comprising the District Governor, first and second Vice District Governors, and the immediate Past District Governor, who in turn oversee administrative officers, project officers, and the chairs of nine Zones representing clubs throughout the country.

The present Irish District Governor is Frank O’Donoghue, who has worked in many posts in the UK before returning to Ireland to help build up the organisation here. Each club relies on its own volunteers and members, and does not have an office, management or staff, thus freeing up all monies raised to go to the intended projects.

The Irish Lions also organise breaks for the elderly and those who otherwise couldn’t afford them, which takes place in Trabolgan Holiday Village in June each year. They also help to refurbish homes, and create sensory gardens, among other things.

In April of this year Gudrun Yngvadottir, the international president of Lions Clubs International and her husband Dr. Jon Bjarni Thorsteinsson paid a visit to Ireland where they were warmly greeted by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who had special praise for the fundraising work the Lions do.

They also met Dublin Lord Mayor Niall Ring and other dignitaries and Lions members, including the new Ballsbridge Lions Club where the aforementioned Farrell O’Boy received a bannerette from International President Yngvadottir.  

The Lions was founded by Melvin Jones in 1917 so the parent group also celebrated a big birthday recently. The guiding principle of the organisation worldwide is “We Serve”.

The purpose and ethics of the clubs include: to organise, charter and supervise service clubs, to create and foster a spirit of understanding among the peoples of the world, to take an active interest in the civic, cultural and social welfare of the community, and to unite in friendship and mutual understanding.

The Ballsbridge Lions Club, as we said, is relatively new, but already they are making their mark. O’Boy is the current President, David Nowlan Vice President, and John Gavigan the Treasurer.

Their current campaign is to raise much-needed funds to help with the restoration of St Mary’s School in Haddington Road. For this cause the club are planning a BBQ on August 9th. They are expecting 500 at the event, tickets are available on line at a special site to be set up called No doubt it will be a big success.

We at NewsFour would like to wish the Ballsbridge Lions every success in this and all their future endeavours. If you wish to be part of this very worthwhile work you can contact the group at

BBQ details for August 9th at