Dundalk Af­ter Dark

The Argus - - NEWS - Bernie and Jen­nifer Hig­gins.

Ai­danDul­laghan/Newspics ON Satur­day Night I headed for the Im­pe­rial Ho­tel where a spe­cial sur­prise 60th birth­day party was be­ing held for Chris ‘Bear’ O’Don­nell from Mar­ket Street and there to make sure he had an epic night was his part­ner Regina Reynolds from Black­rock, her daugh­ters Caitlin and Grainne, Chis’ brother and wife Joe and Jacque­line O’Don­nell from Belfast, nephew John O’Don­nell and a huge col­lec­tion of fam­ily and friends.

I wasn’t too long in the door when I met up with Regina who was with Caitlin and Grainne and their friend Saoirse Myles and she told me he hadn’t a clue and couldn’t wait to see the look on his face when he came in.

Next, I headed over to his brother Joe who was with wife Jacque­line, Mark McKay from Dun­gan­non who told me he was one of Chris’ in­ter­na­tional ami­gos and they were in the com­pany of Lisa Crowe from Dublin and Michaela Fitzsi­mons from Belfast who all wanted to wish him a very happy birth­day.

Look­ing ex­tremely well even though they had been trav­el­ling since 9.00 am the pre­vi­ous day to get back home from Capetown, were Karen McAr­dle from Chap­lins and Martin McLough­lin from 5 cabs who had spent the pre­vi­ous 7 days on a build­ing blitz on the Niall Mel­lon Ed­u­cate scheme and they wanted to thank ev­ery­one who had spon­sored them and also wanted to wish a very happy 60th to Bear.

Next, I caught up with some of Bear’s old­est mates Bernie and Tony Car­lyle and Jen­nifer Hig­gins from New­cas­tle who were in rare form when I met them. Bernie told me that Tony is only four days older than Bear and Jen­nifer just wanted to say to him ‘ fol­low the Mars bar’!

Not too long later I then got a word with Tina Crosby from Hag­gard­stown and Michael McLough­lin who said they too have been long time friends of Bear and tried to tell me it was go­ing to be a quiet oc­ca­sion.

I then had the plea­sure of talk­ing to Sadie Maggs from Castle­belling­ham and Gabrielle Reynolds from Kil­saran who could be de­scribed as fu­ture in­laws (no pres­sure there, Bear) and they were ready to make a ma­jor night of fun out of it with the birth­day boy.

Bear is best known around town as be­ing part of the Dundalk Sub Aqua Club and has been for a num­ber of years, next I got talk­ing to Bernie Hig­gins from Ca­van and Ian Fitzsim­mons from Kilmes­san who had met the birth­day boy while he was away on hol­i­days in Tur­key a few years ago, and sur­prise, sur­prise he couldn’t swim then, fail play to you Bear, one of the best move you ever made.

Seated close by was my old neigh­bour Ai­dan and Theresa Hoey from Lower Point Road who wanted to wish Chris a very happy birth­day and hoped he had a great night. They were en­joy­ing the evening with the lovely Gayle Flynn from Mul­la­har­lin Park who is a friend of Gina’s and was def­i­nitely up for mak­ing the best of the oc­ca­sion.

Tak­ing up one of the main ta­bles were Bear’s friends from the Dundalk Sub Aqua Club and Pic­turesby they in­cluded Stephen Crosby from Louth Vil­lage. He was hav­ing a laugh with Sor­cha Bro­phy from town, Dean Fer­gu­son from Faugh­art, Nessa Dug­gan from Black­rock, Amanda Nero from Swe­den (ex­pen­sive cab fare home I thought, but Amanda said ‘any­thing for Chris’).

Amanda was hav­ing a laugh with Blath­naid McClean from Lis Na Dara, Carol Cal­lan from Car­rick­macross and Lor­raine McCoy from St. Malachys Vil­las who all wanted to wish Chris all the best on his big night.

Also in their com­pany were Aaron Rooney from Bay Es­tate, April Dil­lon from New­town­bal­re­gan, Fer­gal Ó Siochrú orig­i­nally from Cork but now hang­ing his snorkel and flip­pers in Black­rock and Mar­garet McCarthy from Point Road who were de­lighted to be there to wish Chris all the best on his big night.

Af­ter this I caught up with some of Chris’ older mates who were up for mak­ing it a real night to re­mem­ber and they in­cluded Ea­monn and Elaine O’Far­rell from Greenacres, Joe Murtagh from Cedar­wood Park and Phil Toner from Bea­con Court, Harry Bellew from Wynnes Ter­race and An­nette Hodgers from Dis­tillery Lane, Olive and Harry Fee from Long Av­enue, Brian ‘Pid­geon’ Clarke from The Val­ley Brian McShane from Old­bridge, Tony ‘Woo’ Fee from Beech­mount Drive and Lee Ed­wards from Northamp­ton who were all in party mode and were ready to make sure Bear had a huge night of cel­e­bra­tions on his 60th.

Martin McLough­lin and Karen McAr­dle.

Chris O’Don­nell and Regina Reynolds at Chris’ 60th birth­day party in The Im­pe­rial Ho­tel.

Mark McKay and Sean O’Don­nell

Sor­cha Myles, Muirhev­namor and Caitlin Buck­ley, Black­rock.

Ja­son Ro­gan, Ash­ling Park and Grainne Buck­ley, Black­rock.

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