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HAVING just returned from Limerick to see the Munster XI v Sunderland benefit football match for the Shane Geogegan Trust Benefit Fund which was set up to improve the lives of the disadvantaged, I wish to say what a worthwhile and enjoyable trip it was.
Thanks to Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn, Sunderland AFC’s Foundation — the charity wing of the club — is heavily involved in this impressive venture.
We were treated to typical Irish hospitality from the Limerick people who were keen to express their appreciation that we had made the trip over for the occasion.
Sunderland AFC’s Irish midfielder Andy Reid sums up the Sunderland/Ireland connection with these well chosen words:
“Why is there such a strong bond between Sunderland and Ireland? Well, partly because of Niall Quinn. He has led everthing from the top. But just as significant is the fact that Sunderland people are quite a lot like Irish people in that they are very down to earth, staight-talking and have good morals — the kind of people I was brought up with.”
I was proud to read in the Irish Examiner (July 12) about Sunderland supporters travelling to Cork to support a local suicide prevention group by taking part in a fundrasing football event which will help the Charleville-based group to train leaders in the early detaction of sucide.
Two teams of Sunderland fans giving up their own time to play in a football tournament in Mayfield in Cork city was a very commendable gesture indeed.
In a global media that seems to thrive on negative news it was refreshing to hear some positive stories that reflected so well on communities divided only by the Irish Sea.
Wearside SR4 7LU
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