Saturday 27 May 2017

Robbie feeling swell after LA's Irish welcome gift

Robbie Keane is presented with a custom-made surfboard as a welcome gift by the local Irish community after the LA Galaxy v Chivas USA game at The Home Depot Centre in LA
Robbie Keane is presented with a custom-made surfboard as a welcome gift by the local Irish community after the LA Galaxy v Chivas USA game at The Home Depot Centre in LA

Patricia Danaher in Los Angeles

ON his journey from Tallaght-fornia to California, Robbie Keane has taken some sharp and unexpected turns. But he will have to go about things a lot more smoothly if he is to enjoy his latest mode of transport.

"I'll have to learn how to swim now!" he laughed after he was presented with a green surfboard by the Irish community of Southern California on Sunday night.

The event was organised shortly after the LA Galaxy game at the Home Depot Centre by Sandra Dunne, a sister of Richard Dunne. Ms Dunne now lives in Southern California.

Representatives of GAA clubs, rugby clubs and Irish businesses attended the reception on the field immediately after the game, although the striker didn't play in because of injury.

"It was nice to get. It's a lovely gesture. I was very happy for them to give it to me and to receive it," said Keane after the ceremony.

"I don't surf, but I'll have to start practising now," he said of the green surfboard, which bears the Celtic symbol 'Arrow of Brotherhood'.

Asked if he and Claudine were planning to live in Malibu, Keane admitted they were still on the hunt for a house in Los Angeles.

"We don't know where we'll live yet. We're looking everywhere, but at the moment we're still staying in hotels, but no idea as yet where we'll move to," he said.

Despite the 11-hour plane trip from LA to Europe, Keane said the commuting had not been troubling him too much.

"I sleep on the plane and I'm very well taken care of, so it's fine. I'm just looking forward to getting fit and getting ready to play in the playoff'," he said.

David Lynch, from Dublin, who runs the Eire Og GAA club in Thousand Oaks, California, showed up with his daughter, Nessa.

The club has about 100 young members and teaches hurling and Gaelic football.

"It's a great boost for us and for the young players to have a world class player like Robbie Keane among us here in California," he said.

Niall Johnston, who works in California with an Irish medical company, was among the 120 or so Irish business people who attended the $70- (€51) per-head reception.

Irish Independent

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