Boys from New Inn National school will feature in a video that could be seen by over 35 million people. The film is to say happy birthday to Barcelona soccer player Leonel Messi. The Argentinian is reckoned to be the world’s best player and his club Barcelona have a policy of sponsoring charities rather than carrying commercial logos on their strip. Foundation Leo Messi is dedicated to assisting children in the developing world through nutrition centres, economic support on education or medical treatment and so on. Messi is a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. This Thurdsay is Messi’s 25th birthday and the foundation have asked children from around the world to send in a happy birthday greeting to the soccer star. Last year the birthday greeting was watched by 35 million people on You tube and played at a live game in Barcelona stadium.
Michael Prendergast who is an ex-pupil of New Inn school is now working in Milan in a legal office, where coincidentally a brother of Federico Retorri who runs the Leo Messi foundation in Argentina works. The two got talking and Michael suggested contacting his old school for a short video from Ireland. School Principal Michael Heffernan wasn’t available to shoot the video, he was off taking children to a school’s rugby match. So Michael called Sean Laffey and asked him could he do a You Tube film at the school.
“So I went along with some special You Tube gear and we get the footage” Sean told us. “It was a wicked wild day with the wind blowing and the Tricolour being blown all over the place, but the lads were brilliant, they had the happy birthday message translated into Irish and we shot the clip under the hurling posts with lads at the front waving hurleys. Then is was a quick dash to my office. They needed the clip by 5pm Spanish time, a call to Milan to set things up , an email to Argentina and then the clip went off to Barcelona in Spain, all within 20 minutes.
The video should be live on You Tube at the end of this week and it will be great to see the lads in New Inn on such a big stage, they were really excited about it.”