Category: Archive

Around Ireland: Drogheda hosts soccer stars

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter


Members of the Ireland soccer team are still being feted around Ireland. Last week, the three Drogheda-born players, Gary Kelly, Ian Harte and Stephen Staunton, were the toast of Drogheda town.

“They are unbeaten on the playing field, each and every one of us is proud of them, especially the three local boys, and we are looking forward to meeting them at the civic reception,” said Drogheda mayor Jimmy Mulroy, according to the Drogheda Independent.

Cllr. Ged Nash, who grew up with Harte in Newfield, said that the reception would be a “very positive thing” for the town.

“There is great support for them in the town,” he said. “They have done themselves and the town proud and it’s very encouraging for the young people who are involved in soccer at the moment.”


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Unusually for an Irishman, Bob Dowling from Tralee has received a knighthood from the queen of England.

Bob Dowling was knighted during the same ceremony as Mick Jagger and former English football manager Bobby Robson.

Dowling was chosen for the award because of his contribution to the field of special needs education the UK. He admits the award is unusual.

“To give a knighthood to a Paddy is unusual, but to give it to a Kerryman is unheard of,” Dowling told the Kerryman newspaper. He admitted that he is expecting “a bit of a slagging” the next time he returns to Kerry on holiday.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the letter. My wife didn’t know what was wrong with me.”

Twelve years ago, Robert Dowling founded the Selly Oak Special School in Birmingham, which is now a leading center for teaching children with dyslexia. Since then he has gained a reputation for taking on struggling schools and rescuing them.


A newly wed Irish couple recently returned from an unusual experience in Japan, where they had gone to get married.

Sonya Quinn, from Belfast, and Paul Joyce, from Tuam, both wanted to experience Japanese culture, although Paul, the Tuam Herald surmised, was more interested in the World Cup than local culture.

“It’s a fantastic country and the people were wonderful; they couldn’t do enough for us,” Joyce said. “A Cork-born priest, Fr. Horgan, made all the arrangements in liaison with our own Fr. Charlie McDonnell at home, and in the parish of the church we’d chosen for our wedding they even announced it in their weekly newsletter.”

At the ceremony, local Japanese people showed up and showered the wedding party with flower petals.

Paul did get to see the soccer — he went to all three of Ireland’s group matches. Then it was back to Ireland to prepare for a big reception for their families and friends, in Galway City.


The Leinster Leader congratulates Josephine English this month, after the 85-year-old completed a degree in liberal arts at the Free University of Ireland in Dublin.

English has poor eyesight, making it an all the more important achievement for her.

She spoke her essays and thesis on to a tape recorder, and her daughter then transcribed the words.

“The eyesight is a major drawback, but a lot of people helped me and I’m delighted to have got the degree,” she said. “It was just over two years ago when I started it and I’ve always been interested in history and similar subjects.”


Carlow town hosted visitors from afar last week, during an elaborate twinning ceremony that made the town a triplet, according to the Carlow People.

Representatives from Tempe, Ariz., and Northwich, England, visted Carlow, and a moving moment came at a special ceremony to unveil a commemorative stone, which had been paid for by the Tempe Group, at the Carlow Famine Burial Plot in Green Road on Friday morning.

Ten visitors from Northwich, including Mayor Mary Bowhay-Meritt, five councilors, and two representatives from Northwich’s twinning committee made the journey across the Irish Sea.

The guests from Tempe also visited Killarney, Galway, Waterford and Killishen as part of their visit, while organizer Mick Purcell helped several of them to meet with their relatives in Mayo.

Four students from Tempe are also visiting Carlow as part of an exchange that will see Carlow students heading off to study at Arizona State University in July.


In Fermanagh, a police station was attacked on Sunday by a crowd of stone-throwing youths in masks.

A police spokesperson said that the riot coincided with a visit to the area by the Sinn Fein youth wing.

Local police commander Chief Superintendent Gerry O’Callaghan said he saw no gain in carrying out the attack.

“This incident added nothing to the debate on the future of community policing and the potential closure of community stations,” he said.

Said local Unionist Arlene Foster: “I think it is more than a coincidence that an attack has taken place on Rosslea Police Station at the same time that the Sinn Fein youth group was visiting.”

On a happier note, one Fermanagh family were celebrating on Sunday — Lisbellaw’s Thomas Fagan and his Brazilian wife, Gisele, who first met as penpals.

Along with their three children, Tatiana, Thomas and Hannah, they have been following Brazil’s World Cup progress closely through the rounds, celebrating every victory with a barbecue and a phone call home to Rio.

Gisele told the Impartial Reporter that she thinks she is the only Brazilian in Fermanagh.

Enniskillen, twinned with the German town of Bielefeld, must have had a few down-in-the-mouth German supporters last Sunday as well.

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