Posts Tagged ‘ Birmingham ’

Irish Basketball Team Secure Victory Over England


The Irish select side have recorded a second consecutive victory over an English select side in Birmingham. After a shaky start the Irish finally went and took the lead in the fourth quarter, going on to win the game by nine points.

UL Eagles big man Delwan Graham led the way for the Premier League Select team as he racked up 21 points over the course of the match. The British roared into a 10 point advantage when leading 24-14 at the end of the first quarter. Whilst the Irish, led by Head Coach Mark Keenan, managed to improve in the second quarter they still trailed by 6 as they headed into the break knowing that a big second half performance was required. Continue reading

TNA’s Storm To Battle For World Title In Father’s Homeland


Honorary Irishman ‘Cowboy’ James Storm will challenge for the TNA World Heavyweight Title at the huge TNA IMPACT WRESTLING event coming to Dublin’s National Stadium on Wednesday January 29.

Storm, who is part Irish on his father’s side , a fact uncovered in a recent interview with Irish News Review,  will battle Englishman Magnus in the show’s main event. Magnus recently made history by becoming the first ever British World Champion for a major American wrestling company.             Continue reading

Basketball : Irish Premier League Select Squad Announced


The 12 players that will represent the Men’s Irish Premier League in Birmingham, England on January 12th have been announced.  Head Coach Mark Keenan revealed the squad yesterday in the Irish Daily Star following trials that have taken place over the past few weeks. Mark Keenan is set to be assisted by Jerome Westbrooks and Mike Hickey from Killester and UL Eagles respectively.

The twelve players listed below are set to take on the best in British Basketball in just over a weeks time. Coach Keenan has selected just four members of the squad that beat the English last year when they also played before the British Cup final, a result which was a major upset. Continue reading

Villa Confirm Tribute For Kildare Native Jody O’Reilly


Aston Villa have confirmed that a minute’s applause will be held for Kildare native Jody O’Reilly during the St Stephen’s Day clash with Crystal Palace.  .

The news comes following a large social media campaign after Leixlip man O’Reilly was the victim of a hit and run in Birmingham hours before Villa lost to Manchester United on December 15th.

The 22-year-old student moved to the West Midlands in 2010 just to be close to the club he loved and was killed just hours before the match he was due to attend.

And while strict rules meant a silence would not be possible before Thursday’s match, Villa officials proposed a minute’s applause which was granted by the FA in tribute of Jody.

The large social media campaign initiated by his friends has received extraordinary backing from Villa heroes such as Stilian Petrov and Stan Collymore while fans of Villa’s arch rivals Birmingham City have also offered their support.

An official club statement released today reads

“The Club extends its sincerest condolences to the O’Reilly family and to Jody’s many friends following this tragic loss of life in the hours leading up to our game against Manchester United”.

Jody had tickets for the game and in the three years since he first came over from Ireland – having selected his university course in 2010 so he could be as close as possible to Villa Park – he had become a regular attender at Villa games.

“We will be holding a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day in respect of his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this time.”


Serial Fraudster Set For Bail Hearing

MUFCA serial English fraudster is to appear in court on March 1st to answer bail for 33 offences he has pleaded guilty to.

Shane Jackson (23) of Malvern, Worcester is to be charged with the offences after he conned unsuspecting Manchester United fans out of tickets to see their beloved team. Continue reading

Tipperary Tornado Primed And Ready For Martinez Battle

The eyes of Ireland will fall on Madison Square Garden this weekend when Irish fighter Matthew Macklin faces Sergio Martinez in the fight of his life.

 Birmingham born middleweight Macklin says he is ignoring the hype surrounding his opponent and is sure he possesses the ability to topple the Argentine, who is regarded by many as one of the top three boxers in the world.

29 year old Macklin also known as The Tipperary Tornado cannot wait to do battle with Martinez for the middleweight title.

“It’s a difficult fight, no doubt, but he’s not unbeatable. I have the tools to beat him,” said Macklin who made his boxing debut 18 years ago to the day.

“The media can build you up but no-one’s a monster, he’s a man, and when he gets hit on the nose it’ll hurt.”

Martinez, 37, is widely considered to be among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and Macklin knows he has to be at his best.

“He’s a really good fighter, what he does he does well,” said Macklin who grew up in his mother’s home county of Tipperary.

“He’s slick, an awkward southpaw, lots of lateral movement and has good reflexes and good timing.”

Macklin has been patiently waiting to get his hands on Martinez and feels that his recent move to New York is benefitting his career.”I feel like I’m getting better and better. I’ve had frustrating times when I’ve been inactive but I feel that’s kept me fresh for all these years.

“I feel like my hand speed’s improving and I’m getting sharper and the reflexes are better, I’m just becoming a better fighter.”

“The stage is set for me to go and beat Sergio Martinez and I’ll just explode overnight,” concluded Macklin who is fully focused on dethroning one of the greatest middleweights of all time.

Traditional Irish craft at the Knitting and Stitching Show, RDS, Ballsbridge

I went to catch the last day of the show yesterday (hoping for a few bargains) and was plunged into a veritable Aladdin’s cave of wool, material and pretty shiny things. Perhaps not surprisingly most of the visitors hunting for just the right shade of thread were female. At any rate the event was very well attended so craft traditional skills are obviously thriving. It would be interesting to discover how much of the interest is due to our recessionary times and how much down to the efforts of craft lovers to promote and pass on old skills to a new generation.

As well as the stands selling an incredibly wide range of craft supplies there were some amazing examples of craft on display. In an exhibition area the winners of the Festival of Quilts 2011 (held at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham in August) were on display to delight and inspire craft aficionados. It is clear from the gorgeous pieces on show that there are a great many talented people bringing traditional skills and crafts back into a twenty first century Ireland. All kinds of materials, fabrics and inspiration were used. Things have moved on considerably since the days when a quilt was made primarily for warmth on a cold winter’s night.

 And very appositely one of the award winning pieces was entitled Dear Jane, it’s the 21st Century (by Valerie Mullally from Kells) which was the winner of the contemporary quilts category in this year’s competition. The quilt was a pictorial representation of contemporary life.  Logos and signs that we see everyday such as the Apple logo or the envelope sign in your inbox were all there. Twenty first century life in a quilt; what would our great grannies have made of it I wonder? 

The Irish Patchwork Society based in Blackrock, Co. Dublin promotes patchwork, quilting and appliqué in Ireland and is a member of the European Quilt Association and of the Crafts Council of Ireland. Members are a mixture of both amateur and professional fabric artists and are able to showcase their work at national and high profile international events.

As 2011 has been designated the Year of Craft it’s especially good to see that young crafts people are learning old skills and creating something of lasting value. One of the winners at this year’s international quilt festival was Fybough National School, Castlemaine with a lively piece called The Fun of the Fair about the Puck Fair. A piece of social history recorded by and for a younger generation.

Ireland was also well represented this year in the Fashion Sans Frontiers Show which was part of the quilt festival. Four women: Paula Rafferty, Bernadette O’ Sullivan, Mags McDonnell and Pauline Holt used a variety of techniques to produce the fabulous clothes on display. And they got to wear their creations at the Birmingham fashion show. Real women doing a cat walk show: a revolutionary idea. But will it catch on I wonder? We’ll see.

For more information: (Irish Patchwork Society also have a blogspot)   (Crafts Council of Ireland)