• Service: Infrastructure, Human Resources, Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Type: Press release, Video
  • Date: 29/03/2012
  • Length: Minutes

Rugby Star Leo Cullen Lines Out to Launch SIFE Ireland 

29 March 2012


  • Ireland 39th country to join global network SIFE 
  • First chance for Irish university students to showcase social entrepreneurship talent at SIFE World Cup in Washington DC
  • Ireland rugby star Leo Cullen new non-executive director of SIFE Ireland.

SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) has announced the launch of SIFE Ireland, making Ireland the 39th country to join the world’s largest university-based partnership between business and higher education for social change. At the launch in the Aviva stadium in Dublin, Irish international and Leinster Rugby captain, Leo Cullen, confirmed he will join the board of SIFE Ireland as a non-executive director.


Founded in the US in 1975, SIFE is an international, not-for-profit organisation, which encourages university students to make a positive difference to their communities, while developing the skills to become socially responsible business leaders of the future.


The establishment of SIFE Ireland means students from the first four Irish universities – Dublin City University, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin – will, for the first time, take part in SIFE’s annual competition to reward student social entrepreneurship. The student teams are being challenged to apply their applied learning to develop outreach projects designed to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need in a practical way.


The teams will present their projects to a judging panel of senior Irish business leaders at a national competition, which will be held in Dublin on 29 May 2012. The winning team will progress to represent Ireland at the prestigious SIFE 2012 World Cup, which takes place in Washington DC from 30 September to 2 October. The Irish team will also join with the other finalists from around the world at an event hosted by the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton.


The establishment of SIFE Ireland comes as a result of KPMG’s long-standing international support for the initiative. The firm has been involved with SIFE in the US since 1990, helping grow the programme globally and, today, works with SIFE in over 30 countries worldwide.


The establishment of SIFE Ireland is being supported by Arthur Cox, Chartis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Ireland Funds, KBC Bank, KPMG, McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland, The Irish Times, Unilever and Senator Feargal Quinn.


Launching SIFE Ireland, Terence O’Rourke, Managing Partner, KPMG and Chairperson of SIFE Ireland, said:

"KPMG is delighted to bring SIFE to Ireland for the first time. It’s a remarkable initiative, which KPMG is proud to have a long-standing association with. This really is a fantastic opportunity for Irish university students to showcase talent and skills in a practical way. It’s ensuring our next generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs act in a more socially aware and responsible way for the benefit of their communities. Students have a tremendous role model in Leo Cullen, whom I welcome warmly to the board of SIFE Ireland as a non-executive director. I wish the students from our first four universities success with their projects and presentations at the national competition in May and look forward to seeing SIFE Ireland establish itself as Ireland’s leading programme for social change through business. I’m delighted that so many companies and individuals have pledged their support to the establishment of SIFE Ireland.”


Speaking at the launch of SIFE Ireland, Leo Cullen, Ireland international and Leinster rugby player, said: “It’s an honour to join the board of SIFE Ireland and have the opportunity to work with so many young people who feel as passionately as I do about innovating social change. Now, more than ever, it’s important that students realise how their skills and abilities can be fulfilled personally to effect positive change for people less well off in our society. It’s a powerful message and the reason I’m delighted to lend my support to SIFE Ireland.”


Student Daithí de Buitléir of DCU SIFE said: "Joining SIFE has been a brilliant experience so far. I'm really enjoying the challenge of working as part of a team on a project which can make a real difference to other people's lives. It's been great getting to know other students too who are just as interested in giving something back. We've had a lot of fun and success with all our fundraising events and we're looking forward to telling everyone about our work at the national competition in May.”

About KPMG

  • KPMG in Ireland has 80 partners and 1,900 people in offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork and Galway.
  • KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services.  We operate in 153 countries and have 145,000 people working in member firms around the world.  The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity.  Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.

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