The clean-up ahead of the Com­mu­nion has turned into a mam­moth task

Bray People - - NEWS -

Tier­ney and nav­i­gated by Egon Friedrich and sup­port boat ‘ The Chris­tine’ skip­pered by Pas­cal Ryan with the help of Liana Friedrich. Steven Ryan and Paul Mor­ton will be on hand to help row­ers trans­fer from The Chris­tine to the trans­fer rib while Safety Crew on the rib are Peter Ka­vanagh Sean Barnes and Brian Ber­gin. Mick O'Neill and Cor­mac Kelly will be in charge of lo­gis­tics..

Trainer Ea­monn Ka­vanagh has been putting the row­ers through their paces for months and says that they will have a tough com­pe­ti­tion on their hands.

‘ The girls have been train­ing since Oc­to­ber do­ing cir­cuits, run­ning, cy­cling, weights-you name it.

‘ This is one of the fittest crews I have ever sent from Ark­low town and I have been in­volved in ev­ery race since 1993. We could have sim­i­lar con­di­tions to last time but only time will tell. Once of the Welsh teams are ru­moured to have some Lon­don 2012 coaches so we have a tough com­pe­ti­tion to face,’ says Ea­monn.

Crew mem­ber Tilly Jordan says that the jour­ney to­wards The Celtic Chal­lenge has been won­der­ful and that while the crew is fit­ter than ever that suc­cess is not eas­ily won.

‘We are fit­ter than we have ever been but each chal­lenge has its own twists and turns. One time our rud­der got caught in the black of night in a rope tied to two small lob­ster pots in the mid­dle of the sea miles from land. We could not see what was hold­ing us back un­til the safety rib was launched to come to our aid.

‘We thought our first chal­lenge was rough with high seas and winds, but then we found that it was calm in com­par­i­son to one of our chal­lenges which was so rough that 10 of the 22 boats which left the start line had to re­turn due to dan­ger­ous con­di­tions, we con­tin­ued re­lent­lessly on, fight­ing the winds and waves, to win for our third time.

‘ The sea sick­ness lasts for hours, un­til you reach calmer sea. It is a case of feel­ing so ill, but still wait­ing for your chance to hop in for your next row and to row the way you have been trained to row, steady, with power, and striv­ing for per­fec­tion as your oar yet again sweeps through the wa­ter, one more stroke, each one bring­ing us closer to the fin­ish line.’ O THE clean-up has been com­pleted. The skip ar­rived on Holy Thurs­day and Oper­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion be­gan Good Fri­day morn­ing. I made my­self scarce for the dirty bit and went to Tesco, leav­ing Him­self and the El­dest to start fill­ing it. But the Mother in Law ar­rived on the scene and as fast as they were fill­ing it, she was emp­ty­ing it.

‘What are you throw­ing that out for?’ she said as she hauled a kid's garage out of the skip.

‘No­body wants it, the kids are never go­ing to play with it again and it's too big to keep,’ ex­plained Him­self.

‘I'll take it,’ she says, lug­ging it over to her house where it will re­main with all the other toys, out in the garage. I ar­rived back in time to stop her pulling out a big dirty bar­rel which she thought would be great for putting my fire­wood in. ‘I am NOT hav­ing that near my house,’ I said putting my foot down. ‘ There could have been rats in it.’

‘Have you never heard of Domestos?’ she scoffed. That woman thinks Domestos and Sudocrem can fix any­thing.

Mean­while we had to tell the Com­mu­nion Girl, who is the world's big­gest hoarder, that all the rubbish was go­ing off to be washed by the Skip­man for her big day. To dis­tract her, I brought her to Party World to get a few bal­loons.

I hadn't re­alised what a thriv­ing lit­tle in­dus­try had been built around Holy Com­mu­nions! Je­sus, Mary and Joseph, there were bal­loons and dec­o­ra­tions, (strings of pink and blue chal­ices, I kid you not!) and ta­ble cloths with the sign of the cross, there were com­mu­nion nap­kins, cups, hats, stream­ers and flags. It was like a mini Vat­i­can right there amidst the rails of cos­tumes of Miss Piggy and Bat­man.

I con­ceded on the ta­ble cloths, nap­kins and cups but re­fused point blank to buy the chal­ice dec­o­ra­tions. In the mean­time she spotted a pink uni­corn pinata (yes, Dora the Ex­plorer has a lot to an­swer for) and begged me to get it. It was hard to refuse when she got down on her knees in the mid­dle of the shop with ev­ery­one watch­ing. E RE­TURNED home with our haul and thank­fully the skip had been re­moved. Him­self eyed the table­ful of tat. ‘We're send­ing out in­vi­ta­tions? Se­ri­ously?’ I sank into a chair and whis­pered, ‘ wine, beer, gin, al­co­hol, Give me what­ever we've got!’

He got the two of us a beer and sat down op­po­site me. ‘So that's a skip, a bouncy cas­tle, a party for both our fam­i­lies who will drink it off a sore leg and eat us out of house and home, bal­loons, pinatas and com­mu­nion dresses. Je­sus I hope she never gets mar­ried.’

Just then she comes burst­ing in the door, ‘Can we have a Karaoke ma­chine for the party?’ ‘No!’ we shout in uni­son. It SO would have been cheaper to have been C of I!

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