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For the past 4 days, Neil Booth the International Team Manager, has been touring the BLI clubs as part of his 51 club challenge.  The purpose of the challenge was to raise money for the two mental health charities Mindwise in Northern Ireland and Pieta House down here in the Republic.  Many thanks are due to all those individuals and clubs that donated funds and either attended as spectators at one of the matches or took part in one.

Particular thanks are due to Ollie O’Brien who had the dual role of driver and marker for all matches.  Shay Tyrrell who kept us entertained by live streaming all the matches on Facebook and delivering a scintillating commentary, is he the new Jimmy Magee we ask, and of course Neil himself.

Shay posted a report on the tour this morning on Facebook and it is repeated below for the benefit of those who do not use Facebook.

Hi all.

As most of you are aware for the last four days the Ireland team manager Neil Booth myself and Ollie O’Brien travelled around most of our clubs here in the bowling league of Ireland raising money for two great charity’s.  This great idea came from the manager himself Neil Booth.  Neil asked could we come on board and do a roadmap up for a visit.
We were delighted to get involved.  Richard Leonard came on board and also helped out.

Neil has previously visited two of the three associations up north before coming south. Neil’s goal was to raise €2,500 for two fantastic charities mindwise in the north and Pieta House here is the south.  I just want to say we have raised over 9,000 already incredible achievement and credit to the generosity of all the clubs.

With the whole Covid 19 in the county this was a difficult journey as some people understandably were a little apprehensive.  To be honest the biggest problem was a lot of clubs were only opened and couldn’t get the information to there members.  We will be forever grateful to you all for your support, friendship, and generosity greatly received.  Some clubs could only afford a small donation others went to another level altogether.  I can honestly say the amount that people gave is irrelevant as every pound and euro matters.  Remember one phone call could be the difference between someone looking for help and doing something that would effect there families and friends forever.

Day one.

We started in Skerries then AerLIngus, Sportslink, Irene, finally arriving in Clontarf.  We were extremely well received everywhere and the icing on the cake was dinner and a couple of beverages in Clontarf great end to day one.

Day two.

Well that was a long day.  Traveling to Rosslare and then up the east coast. Bray, Dun Laoghaire Golf and Bowling, Shankhill, Railway Union and finally Cym Terenure.
Captain Myles and the team later brought us to the Terenure inn for dinner and a few more beverages.

Day three

We started in Kenilworth on the synthetic green playing two academy lads. Then down to the grass green to play Bank of Ireland on to Leinster over to Crumlin where they had a carnival of bowls, BBQ,  fun games and a family day.  We were to go to Blackrock bowling club but the executive committee there didn’t want visitors which is understandable during there difficult times so off to Dun Laoghaire. Heading back to Crumlin to relax and watch the gang playing fun games on the green. A small beverage and off home.

Day four

We started in Greenhills then over to the presidents green Westmanstown.  We had the privilege of a visit from the IBA president Dan Dempsey who travelled from the north.
We were to play North Kildare but they were put in lockdown so they played in Westmanstown as they have people who are members of both clubs. Finally off to Trim In Co. Meath.
Another great reception followed with a great meal in Trim castle hotel.  Thanks for your hospitality Joe Fitzsimons and Johnny Dixon.

To you all again unbelievable achievement

Neil thanks for giving your time and vision to these great causes.

Ollie O’Brien thanks for the company but most of all for all the driving pickups and drop offs.

I decided on the spur of the moment in Skerries to video the bowling and give a little commentary I know it wasn’t great but it was a bit of crack.
Next year I think the iPad for the camera.  This will become a massive yearly event and I honestly can’t wait.

Remember it’s easier to talk than you believe.
People do care and will listen.