To say I’m excited is a big time understatement!
A week or so passes at a blink of an eye. It’s all happening in Bangor where I live as the town gets prepped for the homecoming of our band ‘Snow Patrol’. Although Belfast stakes a claim as does most of Scotland. Anyhow bars up and down the have their entertainment in place and artwork done syndicating they’re open for business and ready to get the 35,000 plus people who will descend on Bangor next Sat 25th May ready for an amazing day celebrating Northern Ireland music culture and 25 years of Snow Patrol. To say I’m excited is a big time understatement.
It’s been black tie season for me and I’ve loved getting dressed up to host some brilliant events over the past couple of weeks. The Belfast Business awards in Titanic Belfast where a celebration of all that is great in the business community. Willy Jack who owns the Harp bar, Orpheus and the Duke of York picked up the lifetime achievement award. If you’ve been in any of his venues you are bound to have come across him. He is a visionary, a brilliant business man but more importantly a gentleman who will never forget a name and will always make you feel welcome. His acceptance speech raised the roof. If it wasn’t for people like him with their drive to make Belfast welcoming we wouldn’t have an influx of tourists. Roll on Stormont getting back to business and supporting people just like Willy, helping them continue their great work and putting our country on the map for all the right reasons.
In other black tie news many congratulations to all the winners at the ‘families first’ people and business awards which I hosted at the Clandeboye lodge hotel last week. People came from all the counties in the North to celebrate their success in business. Small enterprises mixed with bigger business, school teachers, community services etc. It was a great fun night of celebration and achievement.
Finally I hosted the Simon Community gala ball at Galgorm this week. The event was well supported with around two hundred people raising £12000 to help the homeless charity continue their amazing work. Their work was highlighted by a client who had lost everything and had to depend on the Simon community. His words were heartfelt and resonated with everyone in the room, just how most people are only a pay packet or two away from being in that position themselves. If you are faced with being homeless and no longer have an address how do you go about getting a passport or a bank account? It certainly gave us all something to think about. The Galgorm have now raised over £100000 for the Simon community in recent years.
Also this week I got to wear my new red football boots (purchased in the sale last week) to represent the Coachman bar in Magherafelt in the BT Pub Cup which was played at the National Stadium at Windsor Park. It was a fantastic day and we even had a ringer in Eoin Bradley who plays for Coleraine representing the bar. Big time thanks for the invite and to all the lads who made me feel so welcome. If only I could have slotted home and got us a goal. My work down the right wing was lethal as you can see below 😂
In other news this week, the curtain has come down to two Ulster Rugby careers. Both captain Rory Best and Darren Cave bowed out after a defeat to Glasgow in the semi final of the Pro 14. Two amazing careers, two gentlemen who have both given their all to the club. Over the years both Rory and Darren have given off their time to come on the radio show to talk rugby, give an insight to their life of the pitch and have the craic. Many thanks to them for their support and friendship and I wish them every success in the careers going forward. Rugby still be at the forefront of Rory’s mind and the small task of the leading Ireland to the World Cup in September before full retirement from the game.
One of the most fun and random things I’ve ever done happened this week as I was the judge of the ‘champion of champions’ at Ireland’s biggest Agricultural and food show, ‘the Balmoral Show’ or as we say in Northern Ireland ‘the showwww’. Each champion animal in their section are paraded in the parade ring on the final day. It’s awarded at the end of the 4 day show and is the highlight of the event. I myself am a townie and thought it was funny that someone with limited agricultural knowledge was given such an honour. I stood with my daughter Ivana and had a chat to each of the animals owners. We viewed, cows, pigs, rabbits even a rooster. A gentleman with a goat was in his third champion of champions final and was yet to win. He is still to win as I chose the sheep which in my opinion has swagger lols and it seemed to go down with the crowd watching proceedings. I have made a friend in the sheep owner Graham Foster who won the £1000 prize money but I fear the owner of the goat could see me far enough. Thanks to the organisers Royal Ulster Agriculture Association for having me. It was a brilliant experience.
As always thanks so much for reading. Have a great week…..