2018-03-28 21:13:00


Mother. Relax!

We have all arrived safe and well in Malta.

It was a long day.

Just waiting to go seemed to drag and drag. It did not help that the weather was a tease. Sometimes sunny, sometimes even a little heat in that sun but mostly wet. The morning dragged. There is only so many times you can check the bag to make sure you have everything.

Eventually we started to gather at Kilmartins N6 Centre after 2.00pm all looking forward to the 2.30pm departure.

All modesty aside we look good. The new tracksuits are fantastic and we scrub up well.

We loaded our bus and soon we were ready for the off. A few parents looked a little bit altogether too happy with themselves and seemed just a bit enthusiastic in waving us off while a few more could not conceal their anxiety to see their pride and joy head off for ten whole days. All of this was met by a blind and total indifference by those on the bus who never even cast a passing glance at the huddled parents waving them off!

On the way we had a few efforts at rehearsals of the Tour song. Let’s just say it is a work in progress!

By the way quite how Sam O is in a choir is beyond belief! He has not a note in his head but he is enthusiastic!

We were then told who we would be sharing with in the Hotel. Most seemed happy enough but the Tang Holy Trinity are split up and it remains to be seen how that one works out. The 2 Shane’s are experiencing a form of “separation anxiety” already.

We stopped in Apple Green on the way. We had to. Sam F has a Voucher for SubWay. Could not let that go to waste. All €2 of it.

Meanwhile Darragh has taken to gambling. Mind you, he is off to a good start. We think he won the Lotto or at least twice as much as Sam’s voucher!

The excitement levels were rising the nearer we got to the airport. Well giddy! It is also the case that a few are in fact flying for the first time and leaving Ireland for the first time.

However the band of brothers are looking after their buddies.

Yeah, right!

Shane K is a little bit nervous but hiding it well. He is on a mission to get a few sweets or some gum and apparently all will be well with the world. When he asked if you could sit anywhere on the plane he was told that he must sit in his allocated seat. It was explained that in the event of a crash it would assist in identifying the bodies! Some buddies!

At the airport all went well. Shane H outsourced most of his bag and we all checked in our luggage without great issue. We went straight through to Departures. Danny was delayed on account of the dynamite in his right foot but we all got through.

While waiting at our Gate we met Mark Rohan, the double World and Paralympic Champion from Ballinahown. He was very generous with his time and we got a few photos. He is a good guy and it was great to meet with him. That was good.

Our flight was delayed a little but we soon boarded and took off about thirty minutes after schedule. We were fine. Even Shane K was fine once he was peeled out of his seat!

We were sitting all over the plane. Here and there, in one’s and two’s. All over the place. God bless you Michael O’Leary!

At one stage we thought we lost Bobby but he was there. We also met a man from Athlone, well who left Athlone in 1973. He was amazed that there were so many people from Athlone on the plane. He, like loads others, all wished us well in our Tournament in Malta.

It was a long flight. Just over three hours and they are an hour ahead so it was ten to midnight when we landed. It was great to be in Malta. We have so looked forward to this. The dream has come true.

We got through the airport a little slowly but our bus was waiting for us to take us to our hotel. It was a little concerning that there was no sign of a Supermacs anywhere on the way! Not a sign!

Our Hotel looks okay in the dark. We were soon checked in and up to our Rooms on the sixth floor of the Qawra Palace Hotel. The rooms are good but lads were slow to settle. A bit of messing. All very exciting but it was nearly 2.30am before lads were beginning to settle down.

A great first day.

And mothers, you can relax. Your little dears are well and fine, safe and happy and looking forward to a great adventure.

P.S. Many thanks to all those who have sent messages wishing us the best of luck. Many thanks and greatly appreciated.


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