Star-studded polo for the Julian Benson CF Foundation

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A HEADY mix of high fashion, high heels and celebrity polo has raised a minimum of €20,000 for the Julian Benson CF Foundation.

Keelings Team Ireland April Kent (l-r), Siobhan Herbst Caroline Keeling and Emily Beere won the Julian Benson CF Foundation ECOMM International Ladies Match against Diageo England on 5 goals to 3 at the AIPC in Phoenix Park


The 20th Anniversary International Ladies Tournament, held at the AIPC earlier this month in Phoenix Park was the place to be and be seen as celebrities rubbed shoulders on and off the field with Miss Universe Ireland Fionnghuala O’Reilly, socialite solicitor Ger Kean and AIPC President Paul Monahan and his wife Elaine.

Miss Universe Ireland Fionnghuala O’Reilly (left) and Rosalind Lipsett, the Best Dressed Lady at the Julian Benson CF Foundation fundraiser at the AIPC in Phoenix Park


Everybody who was there in the massive marquee beside the All Ireland Polo Club’s iconic pavilion – up to 300 guests who stumped up €200 per person to the black-tie afternoon gala – was there to support ‘Dancing with the Stars Ireland’ judge Julian Benson and the Foundation he established last December for people with Cystic Fibrosis and their families.

‘Harry Potter’ alum Devon Murray, who played Irish wizard Seamus Finnegan in the movie series may have caught the polo bug, given the skill he showed at the Julian Benson CF Foundation charity match at the AIPC in Phoenix Park


“There are so many families who travel to Dublin week on week for treatment for CF and people who are on transplant lists, so I am trying to build a 10-bedroom facility in Dublin for families where they can stay in a safe haven with their loved ones who are sick in hospital,” said Julian Benson, who lives with CF.

“I am trying to build Ireland’s first wellness respite retreat where families and patients can go and recover in a holistic environment, to give them treatment in an open air environment. No matter what challenge anyone has, you just have to believe, support each other and you can make it.”

Julian has by far exceeded all predictions of life expectations which were at one time, limited to the age of 12. The 48 year old much sought talent agent and choreographer wanted to give back, and was “personally delighted that my foundation has been chosen by the polo team at (the AIPC) to be the beneficiary”.

‘Harry Potter’ alum Devon Murray, who played Irish wizard Seamus Finnegan in the movie series brought girlfriend Shannon McCaffrey to the AIPC in Phoenix Park for Julian Benson’s fundraiser

While Keelings Team Ireland went on to win their match against Diageo Team England, the stars came out to play in the versus the Julian Benson CF Foundation celebrity game. In an amazing half-match of two chukkas, the final score stood at 5-all. Dancing with the Stars alum Erin McGregor lined out with television and radio presenter Eoghan McDermott, reigning Mr Ireland and top hurler Wayne Walsh and social media personality James Alan Kavanagh for

The Julian Benson Foundation team included fitness and fashion blogger Niamh Cullen, Irish flat racing champion jockey Colin Keane, flat racing jockey and trainer Johnny Murtagh and ‘Harry Potter’ alum Devon Murray, who played Irish wizard Seamus Finnegan and has since turned his wizard’s wand to a stud farm in Offaly.

Donations can be made directly to The Julian Benson Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by texting BUILD to 50300. The Text-to-Donate Campaign goes directly to the charity in every text message received.

Kim Mullahey

Kim Mullahey is’s Ireland Correspondent. She holds an honours undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Chicago and has taught Adult Education Creative Writing Studies. Through a media career spanning nearly 25 years Kim has written and photographed regional news, national and international horse sports, fashion and lifestyle. Kim lives with her husband and son in Kildare Ireland, and a stray marmalade cat who has adopted the family.

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