Law vs the order monks kick habit for charity
IT may not have been a match made in Heaven but it's not everyday that a group of monks shed their habits and sandals in favour of a soccer kit.
Yesterday it was a case of the law versus the order when the monks of Moyross squared up to Limerick gardai in a thrilling charity match.
Former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea went on the offensive as he led the Moyross monks to victory.
The Limerick TD did not actually tog out to join the Moyross Monks and a celebrity panel on the field of play but dispensed invaluable tactical advice from the side-line at Shelbourne Park before a crowd of several hundred enthusiastic spectators.
"It's a fascinating experience to give a pep-talk to a team, to encourage them and get the best out of them," said Mr O'Dea, who acted as assistant manager.
"I told them that I had given every member of the media from Cork to Donegal my commitment that my team was going to win today."
The advice worked and despite several heroic saves by goalkeeper Garda James Ellard, the Moyross Monks hit the back of the net five times.
It was enough to beat the gardai from Mayorstone and Henry Street garda stations, who scored three goals during the epic 90-minute clash.
Munster rugby hero Keith Earls, who originally hails from Moyross, was one of the hundreds of spectators at the game, supporting his father Ger Earls, who played a pivotal role at centre field, and his uncle Robert Earls, who scored the first two goals for the Moyross team.
Former Limerick hurling captain Ciaran Carey made a smooth transition from the hurling pitch to the soccer pitch and set up a number of chances on goal.
The charity soccer match was hailed as a huge success, and the big winners on the day were Irish Cancer Research and the Special Olympics who benefited from the proceeds of the fun match. Organiser James Daly said "the turnout shows that people of Moyross do care".
He was elated following the monks' victory over the gardai and said: "They have to go back to work after this and myself and Willie O'Dea are going celebrating."
Captain and manager of the garda team, Garda John Noonan of Mayorstone garda station, was gracious in defeat. "Ah they were very good in fairness to them. They put a lot of work into it, so congratulations to them."