People came dressed in their finest denim jackets to see Kenneth Egan hand over his own infamous jacket at Foley’s Antiques in Tougher Business Park last Tuesday, 21 August.
The man himself upped the ante by wearing a pair of denim shorts that stopped well above the knee. He told RTE’s The Mooney Show, who sent presenter Brenda Donoghue from Newbridge to broadcast the handover, that he had cut the shorts himself from an old pair of jeans.
The stonewashed denim jacket, worn by Egan while working as a pundit on RTE during the Olympics, had been the source of jokes in RTE and on Twitter and Egan decided to auction it in aid of Temple Street Children’s Hospital. He got it signed by Ireland’s triumphant Olympic boxers. Foley’s Antiques, whose owner Derek Carruthers is a supporter of Temple Street, won the bidding with an offer of €5,000.
Alan Redmond, general manager of Foley’s and wearing a denim jacket himself, accepted the jacket from Egan. “I was in England when the Olympics were going on,” he explained. “I was only able to watch the BBC coverage. My wife actually told me that Kenneth was wearing this fairly loud jacket and the next thing we heard was that it was up for auction.”
Redmond says the jacket will go on display in the store showrooms for people to see or have their picture taken with. “We’re very very proud of our Olympians and it ties in with our ethos – we have a sporting area here as well – and also it’s very important that we’re able to give €5,000 directly to a charity.”
Egan, who says he bought the jacket in Brown Thomas for €220, stayed true to his fashion tastes, telling the Leinster Leader: “I genuinely think it’s a nice jacket.”
“I didn’t want to wear a blazer and a shirt every day of the week so I wore it in on one of the days and all the staff laughed at me and I got stick on Twitter and stuff so I said I’m gonna wear it again. And then I gave it to [athletics pundit] David Gillick. He asked me could he wear it and I said: ‘yeah, no problem’. So he wore it one night and that caused a bit of craic on Twitter.”
There was some support for Egan. Phil McAree, who came down from Maynooth to see Egan, said: “I enjoyed Kenneth over the Olympics; I think he was brilliant and I think people were horrible to bring up the whole thing about his jacket. If we want glamour we’ll have Rosanna Davison talking baloney about boxing.”
Egan described Temple Street as “a great cause” and was delighted to have raised so much. He said Foley’s has bought “a piece of history”. “Everyone when they’re talking about the Olympic Games, they’ll be talking about the stone-washed denim.”
- Liam Godinho