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  • David Crandall

The Blarney is back!

Updated: Nov 3

David Crandall

2008 Rookie of the year

Welcome Back!


Hello Irish!


Some of you will remember The Blarney as one of our principal means of member communication. An email from John Dennett reminded me about how much people used to enjoy the Blarney, so I decided to bring it back for a special COVID edition.

I had a lot of fun putting this edition together, and I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading it. As you do, please keep the following in mind:

  1. none of the articles harv been editid;

  2. I disclaim all responsibility for any mistakes;

  3. as usual, all complaints should be addressed to Mark Gallagher (mjdgallagher@hotmail.com).

Thank you to all the contributors to this edition.


This COVID edition promises to be a ton of fun, and I sincerely hope that you enjoy it. If you would like to contribute to the next edition of the Blarney, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

So Many Kind Messages


I have received (or seen via email) so many nice message from past and present club members since this whole Covid situation started.


I’ve heard from Dermot Mulholland, Eric Tremblay, Eduardo Castenada, Calen, Andy Tolson, Rory Cantwell, Coach Baillie, Dickie Clegg, Mari Vachon, Nancy Napolitano, Jonh Dennet, Carolyn Macgregor, Matt Harris, Don Chartrand, Eric Van Sickle, Rob Lowe, Colm Brennan, Frank Rooney, Mike Webb, Ron O’Shaughnessy, Paul Foylan, Jamie Lockwood, just to name a few. Many of these people reached out to see if they could help with our club’s Covid initiatives. It was heartwarming.

Eric Van Sickle, a.k.a. Red


I received a few messages from my old 2nd row partner, Eric Van Sickle (“Red”). Red reports that he enjoyed seeing the old photos in the Bridgeman/Plimer basement (MIRFC Cribs, Episode 2) and that his kids enjoyed hearing him referred to as Red, his “rugby name”. Red sent along this photo of him getting ready for a zoom call. Some things never change…



Stories of Kindness


I find a lot of comfort in simple stories of human kindness.

In addition to Rugby Soupe, below are two stories of kindness in our community.

Kindness begets kindness.


From Dickie Clegg: “Carol & I were contacted by Huw Robert's, early on in this C-19 saga, offering to shop for us in Kanata, when he was to travel here, recently. We were quite taken aback.”


From John Dennett: “(…) kudos should go to Dickie for being so incredibly upbeat in the face of lung cancer, old age, arthritis from long ago rugby injuries, and, of course, Covid 19. He really is a compassionate guy and will bend over backwards for you. He was waiting patiently at the finish line to cheer me home in a 15km ski race and when I never turned up he rattled cages and moved mountains to eventually track me down in the hospital with concussion and broken collar bone. And then he very kindly put me up for the night and gave me a sumptuous breakfast and we reminisced about (…) the good old rugby days.”

Old Men Relive Glory Days / Fun Times


On two relatively uneventful COVID nights, six or seven of the best ever rugby players (according to themselves) got together to reminisce about past glory.

James McKay recounted his myriad tackles, Gareth went on about his work rate, Rory Cantwell shared stories his brief but illustrious career, Shanno Brown flaunted many tries, Huw Roberts talked about playing rugby with gloves, Gallagher recounted his leadership, and Plimer talked about birds.

I am happy to report that everybody is doing well!


In other fun news, I just really like this picture of some club people having a good time while Cathy McKee tries to figure out how video calls work!


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