The chef and restaurateur Richard Corrigan is offering frontline healthcare workers a chance to win a luxury all-inclusive wedding package, worth an estimated €90,000, at his 18th-century Virginia Park Lodge estate, in Co Cavan. The wedding party, for up to 160 guests, can be booked for any available date up to April 2022.
The competition goes live at 9am tomorrow through virginiaparklodge.com. Each entry, or nomination of someone eligible, must be accompanied by a €10 donation to the Society of St Vincent de Paul's emergency fundraising appeal.
“I’ll be there, and we will give them one hell of a couple of days,” says Corrigan, speaking from his London home. “It’s a full-on bespoke service that we offer, and it will be completely all-inclusive. I am building a town house in the middle of the town, in Virginia, so the winner will be getting the town house the night before the wedding and then a day and a half exclusive use of the lodge.”
Corrigan will design the menu for the day, in conjunction with the winner, and the prize will also include a champagne reception, and wine pairings for the wedding feast, donated by Le Caveau, the Kilkenny wine merchant.
A wide range of wedding-service suppliers have also backed the #CorrigansVowToTheFrontline initiative. Wedding planning by Collette O'Leary of Elegant Events will be on offer, and the package will also cover make-up by Michelle Field and Paula Callan, hair by Norma Jean, a wedding cake by Cove Cake Design, flowers by Joeanna Caffrey Flowers, invitations and stationary from Appleberry Press, and photography by Dasha Caffrey. Musical entertainment will also be included.
“Any frontline worker – not just nurses and doctors but cleaners, porters, anyone working in that environment – can be nominated or enter themselves. You have to live on the island of Ireland, but you can be nominated by anyone, anywhere in the world,” says Corrigan. The winner will be required to submit a letter from their employer confirming their eligibility.
The competition will run for two months, after which five finalists will be chosen at random and invited to submit 300 words saying why they, or their nominee, deserve to win. The winner will be selected by Kieran Stafford, national president of St Vincent de Paul.
“I’ve two sisters who are nurses, my wife is a former nurse, now working for the NHS, and my nieces are nurses,” says Corrigan of the inspiration behind the initiative.