Nieldy's Irish tour diary: St. Gabriel's and Limerick OSC
- 14 February 2012 07:48
- Posted by Chris Nield
The first full day of the CITC tour of Ireland began with a moving visit to St. Gabriel’s School and Centre in Limerick; a day that the 47 children who attend the facility will never forget.
Our group, including Patrick Vieira and CITC Ambassador Paul Lake were given the warmest and most hospitable welcome from the staff, volunteers and pupils upon arrival at the centre which provides a range of disability services to children and young adults.
A touching series of presentations, photos and autographs followed before it was time to depart St. Gabriel’s (look out for a full report on the visit on Wednesday) and drive the short distance to Fairview Rangers AFC - a proud, local club where the first of the CITC Soccer Schools were taking place.
Almost 300 children are due to attend the free coaching courses arranged during our week-long visit, and the budding young footballers who attended in Limerick set a precedent for the remainder of the sessions with a fantastic display of skills and determination.
Needless to say that a certain World Cup winner in our travelling party was the main attraction once the cones and bibs were stored away and Patrick duly obliged to chat and pose with the children and parents.
The evening saw the hundred-plus strong members of the Limerick Official Supporters Club descend on our hotel for an evening of fun, prizes and the chance to question Paul Lake on a host of City-related issues.
The warmth of the welcome from the local branch of Blues was boundless and a humbling experience for our group. There was even time for a sing-a-long to ‘Blue Moon’ tunefully backed by acoustic guitars!
Another early start on Tuesday as we pack up the CITC bus and make the six-hour long journey north to Donegal.