ROD Stewart has told of how he was left “moved” by a visit to the church where Irish Freedom Fighter Grace Gifford was married before her husband was executed for his part in the 1916 Easter Rising.
The rockstar and his band (pictured above) visited Kilmainham Gaol this week ahead of their appearance at Dublin’s 3 Arena. Sir Rod (74) is famed for rendition of the Irish ballad Grace, that tells the story of 1916 Rising leader Joseph Plunkett and Grace Gifford, who were married in the Dublin prison. They got married seven hours before he was executed.
Grace was written by Frank and Seán O’Meara in 1985, but was picked up by Sir Rod after he heard Celtic supporters singing it. The singer, who also performed in Belfast this week, spoke previously about visiting the Chapel “where it all happened so I could understand the song”. “It really is the most gorgeous song,” he added. And this week he paid another visit to Killmainham when he took his band to the prison to learn of the history.
Posting a photo on his Twitter page of himself with members of his band, he wrote: “Grace remains a most tragic love story to me. Today I took some of my band mates to show them Kilmainham Gaol where it all happened. “It’s impossible not to be moved and we were.” Sir Rod included the ballad on his 30th studio album. Blood Red Roses, and said at the time that he recognised it might be seen as a “controversial” choice. “It’s not really an IRA song and was written in the Eighties,” he said last year. “We’ve been signing it at my house for six months now. Even my boys [Alastair and Aiden] are singing it.”
With many thanks to: The Irish News and Suzanne McGonagle for the original firstname.lastname@example.org
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With many thanks to: Irish Central for the original story
Celtic have confirmed they will continue their tradition of recognising National Famine Commemoration Day by wearing special jerseys during the final Scottish Premiership match of the campaign.
To mark the tragedy of The Great Hunger (An Gorta Mór), the Hoops will take to the Celtic Park pitch wearing shirts with a Celtic Cross emblem alongside the regular club crest.
The gesture, which Celtic have been doing for a number of years, was described as “hugely important” by club chief executive Peter Lawwell, who added: “The origins of Celtic Football Club will forever be connected to The Great Famine and it is hugely important that we once again mark this annual memorial.
“It is important that we always remember the devastating and lasting affect which the Famine had on the lives of so many millions of people, and we are pleased again to play our part in this year’s commemoration.”
A statement from the club added: “As a Scottish club established in 1888 with such proud Irish roots, Celtic will always be linked to these tragic events.”
“Unquestionably, The Great Hunger was a transforming event in Ireland, which changed the demographic and cultural landscape forever. Indeed, there is nothing else in the history of the Irish people that can be likened to The Great Hunger, either for its immediate impact, or its legacy of emigration, cultural loss and decline of the Irish language.”
A number of the jerseys will be auctioned for charity, with the money raised going towards the work carried out by the Celtic FC Foundation.
With many thanks to: The Scotsman and Kathleen Oates for the original story
Scottish football fans have been left disgusted by the violent scenes in Glasgow city centre after the Celtic v Rangers game on Sunday.
The 47-year-old dad was attacked in Blackfriars street at 5pm on Sunday after the Celtic v Rangers game.
He was rushed to Glasgow Royal Infirmary with serious injuries after reportedly being stabbed in the neck.
Police are treating the violent attack as attempted murder.
Man stabbed in Glasgow fighting for his life as cops launch attempted murder probe after Celtic v Rangers clash
Messages of support for Francis have flooded in from football fans who were outraged at the violent attacks following the Old Firm.
John Ronnie said: “Keep fighting Francis McCann, Celtic family all behind you.”
Francis Marra wrote: “Brilliant big guy in my prayers Francis.”
Moragh Jones said: “God Bless, Francis McCann,Prayers going to you Francis,your family and friends.Keep Fighting The Good Fight.”
Mags McDowell said: “God bless Francis hope all our prayers make you stronger and see you throw this HHGB love from the Celtic family xx”
Alice Wilson said: “Glad to hear you are still fighting this. ynwa everyone is on your side and praying for you and the other two men that were stabbed, god bless.”
Two other men, aged 29 and 30 were also seriously injured and taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
The 30 year-old man remains in hospital in a stable condition while the 29-year-old has been released.
Police are treating those attacks as serious assaults.
Detectives are now hunting the knifemen.
Three ‘stabbed’ in Glasgow city centre in violent clashes after Celtic v Rangers crunch match
One eyewitness told the Daily Record a ‘mass brawl’ involving 15 or so people took place on Blackfriars Street and spilled into Albion Street.
A second witness said: “Albion St next to Italian kitchen was where the guy was with a stab wound to the neck.
Another eyewitness said: “Three stabbed from what I heard. Saw one stabbed in shoulder and cut on forehead.
Footage shows rampaging football fans hurl chairs at Glasgow pub after Celtic v Rangers clash
The Strathduie Bar said no attacks took place inside the venue.
A staff member told the Daily Record: “The incident never happened here. We had our doors closed and as I was letting a man out, an injured boy was standing at the door.
“I let him in and some other staff and I assisted in helping him until more help arrived.
“The Strathduie is a friendly and quiet old man’s pub.”
A statement from The Strathduie said: “The owners would like to thank our staff and the customers who also assisted the injured man.”
“We have provided the Police with CCTV coverage which will hopefully assist them in identifying the perpetrators.”
FAN TROUBLE IN GLASGOW AFTER CELTIC V RANGERS GAME
Detective Inspector Peter Crombie of the Major Investigations Team, said: “We are currently going through CCTV and speaking to those who were in the area at the time to try to establish exactly what happened here.
“We are treating the attack on the 47 year-old man as attempted murder, and the attacks on the 29 and 30 year-old men as serious assaults.
“There may have been more people injured in this incident who did not seek medical treatment last night and we would appeal for them to come forward and speak to us.
“We also know that there were a number of people in the area who may have got caught up in it, or stopped to see what was going on. We would ask these people to check back and see if they have any mobile phone footage or images that can help us.
“If you were driving in the area, you may also have dash-cam footage that can help – either prior to the incident taking place or in the aftermath.”
With many thanks to the: Daily Record and Samantha Croal for the original story
One of the DUP’s best known Antrim councillors has decided to retire at the age of 86, after 18 years in politics.
Alderman William DeCourcy has decided to step down from his role on Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
He has been the recipient of much good natured-banter over the years due to his affection for Scottish football club Celtic FC, leading to him becoming known as the “only Celtic fan in the DUP”.
However, he denies that he is the only Celtic fan in the DUP, saying that there are a few “secret supporters” within the party.
After lunch with his fellow DUP councillors on his 86th birthday on Monday he was presented with gifts marking his two great sporting loves – Celtic FC and the Ulster Rugby team.
Alderman DeCourcy is also a keen fan of Crusaders in the Irish League.
He grew up in the Sailortown area of Belfast before moving to Rathcoole after getting married and said he could tell plenty of stories about loyalist “‘Buck’ Alec Robinson and his lion” from his days living on York Street, but “nobody would believe them”.
Alderman DeCourcy and his wife have three children and he worked for many years at Gallaher’s cigarette factory and later Northern Bank before entering politics in 2001 at the age of 68 on the old Newtownabbey Borough Council.
He served as Mayor of Newtownabbey in 2005/06 and also served two terms as deputy Mayor. The veteran DUP member is also heavily involved in his local Baptist Church.
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Thomas Hogg@ThomasHogg88Birthday lunch for our senior Alderman Billy DeCourcy who turns 86 today. Billy will retire next month after 18 years as a @NorthBelfastDUP Councillor for Rathcoole. As his birthday presents suggest, Billy is the only @CelticFC fan in the DUP. 😁224:02 PM – Apr 1, 2019 ·
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Alderman DeCourcy said that he felt the time had come to stand down, joking that he didn’t want people to think he was “past it”.
“I think I will miss it. I enjoyed my work on the council and the councillors I worked with over the years. I never fell out with anyone and it broadened my mind,” he said.
The DUP representative said one of the highlights of his time on council was taking part in a “special” cross-border delegation to the Somme.
“We went on a pilgrimage with representatives from Co Donegal and became friends with (the late Fine Gael TD) Paddy Harte,” Alderman DeCourcy said.
“I enjoyed helping the local community with things like road widening outside a school and having traffic lights erected, I also liked to help look out for older people and their constituency issues.
“I’m a local guy and my door was always open to anyone who wanted to call. I’ve been in the same house nearly 60 years and Rathcoole isn’t a bad place to live.”
Alderman DeCourcy said that he became a Celtic supporter because of his admiration for Belfast Celtic star Charlie Tully who later went on to play for the Glasgow giants.
“When I went to the soccer as a young man all this hatred stuff wasn’t part of it, I’ll always love Charlie Tullly, he was my favourite player of all-time apart from maybe Georgie Best,” he explained.
“He led me into Celtic and I have always been a big Crusaders man. I’m a big Ulster Rugby fan too and was down in Dublin on Saturday. It was a great day. To tell the truth, I enjoy the rugby even more than the soccer now.”
The Celts fan comes from a family that includes Linfield and Rangers supporters, but Alderman DeCourcy said he wasn’t gloating after the Old Firm game on Sunday.
“I don’t rub it into them much, just give a wry smile when they score,” he joked.
Alderman DeCourcy said he was disappointed by the current state of politics in Northern Ireland and that as a Brexit supporter he was worried it now wouldn’t happen.
“Nobody can be happy with the state of politics at the minute if nobody’s representing anybody,” he said.
“My health’s been good and I’ve been very lucky, I’ll be staying in the party but when you’re out of politics you’re out.
“I have no regrets about entering politics, my church is a big part of my life, I’ve got good health and the Lord’s been good to me. I’ve also been lucky to have a wonderful wife and family.”
Former Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey and Alderman DeCourcy’s DUP colleague Thomas Hogg paid tribute to the departing councillor.
Councillor Hogg said that Alderman DeCourcy’s popularity in the area had been proven after he topped the poll at four consecutive elections.
“He’s been a great support to his colleagues and friends across all parties in the chamber, he’s a man of strong Christian principles and he’s very generous and compassionate in his dealings with others. He always looks out for the underdog” he said.
“He’s a strong-DUP representative but he would get on well with all the nationalist councillors and always likes to be as inclusive as he can, he could teach us all a thing or two.
“He’ll be missed, but he’ll still be out canvassing and involved in various things.”
With many thanks to the: Belfast Telegraph and Gareth Cross for the original story