By Noel Dundon
Tipperary hurling captain Eoin Kelly will meet US President Barack Obama at a special reception in the White House tomorrow, St Patrick’s Day, and will present the first African American President with a Premier County blue and gold jersey.
The wonderful honour for the Mullinahone man must surely rank as one of the highlights of his tenure as leader of the Tipperary hurlers and will be up there with the moment he lifted the MacCarthy Cup in Croke Park last September. And, while Eoin and his new bride Sarah, will be meeting and greeting in the most famous house on the planet, the MacCarthy Cup will be heading up the New York St Patrick’s Day Parade in the company of Moyne native Pat Costigan who is being honoured on the day.
While Eoin would love to show President Obama what he can do with a hurley and sliothar - perhaps while Sarah chats with First Lady Michelle Obama- his abilities have been considerably diminished by a compound fracture to a finger, suffered on Sunday in the Allianz National Hurling League tie against Offaly in MacDonagh Park Nenagh. Eoin travels with a splint for company but he had better hope that President Obama - a keen sportsman himself - doesn’t squeeze too hard!!
Meanwhile, the St Patrick’s Day festivities will kick off in earnest tomorrow across Tipperary with many parades and events organised to celebrate out national holiday. A real chance to take a break from the doom and gloom of the economic recession, Tipperary folks are being encouraged to don the green, white and gold and portray a positive image of Ireland at a time when the worlds focus will be on us for all the right reasons.
Thurles will welcome the Mayor of Bollington and a number of members of the council for the parade on Sunday - the Cathedral town is twinned with Bollington and Thurles Mayor John Kenehan issued an invitation to the Mayors and members to travel across the water as Guests of Honour at the local parade.
In next weeks Tipperary Star we will carry extensive coverage of the parades and festivities around the county. Don’t miss it.