Courts legend Hughie Clarke celebrates his 60th in Style
On Saturday night we headed for the newly refurbished Fagan's Bar on Castletown Road where a special 60th birthday party was taking place for Hugh Clarke from Avondale Park and there to make sure he had a fantastic night was his wife Katherine, kids Stephen, Louise, David, grandkids Sarah, Rachel and Katie, mother Nancy Clarke from O'Hanlon Park and a huge collection of family and friends.
Hugh who does a bit of shooting and fishing in his spare time is possibly the best known man around Dundalk Courthouse where he is a Service Officer and he was the first person I met when I got in the door.
He told me not to forget to give a mention to his brother Gerry from Ashling Park who couldn't make it and also not forget Stephen's wife Sinead, David's wife Kerriann and Louise's husband Peter Sharkey as well as his court compadres who were ensconced in a corner in this hugely spacious function room.
I then decided to have a look round to see who else was enjoying the party and first met up with Andrew Healy and Linda McAlevey both from Castlebellingham who told me that Linda is a friend of Katherine's and they both wanted to wish Hughie a very happy birthday.
Also in their company were Karen Tobin from Red Barns Road and Noeleen McAlevey from Doolargy Avenue who told me they work with Katherine in Pro Biotech Ireland and assured me it was going to be an excellent night.
Making my way over to another table I then caught up with aunt Alice Clarke from Bay Estate who was there on the night with cousins Carmel Sherry from Dublin, Shirley Lawless from Darver and Patricia and Brian Sherry who wanted to wish cousin Hughie a very happy birthday and assured me it was going to be a mad one for sure!
I then caught up with Dorothy and Ken Cairns from Racecourse Road who were enjoying the company of Peter and Phil McArdle from Greenacres, my old mate Peter told me he does a bit of hunting and fishing with Hughie and they were all looking forward to a good night with him and his family.
Meanwhile over in the corner were Hughie's Court compadres and they included Brede Brogan, Mary Stewart, Jimmy and Lily Fitzgerald, Tanya Friary, Jennifer Farrell, Christine Harmon, Mairead and Tim Ahern and Noeleen Halpin who told me that the birthday boy is a really decent guy to work with and is somewhat of a legend on the courthouse steps! They all wanted to wish him all the best on his big night.
After this I caught up with Jimmy, Mary and Siobhan Sharkey from Wolfe Tone Terrace who were with Carmel Pinto from Blackrock and Peter and Louise Sharkey from Avondale who told me I was completly mixed up, the night was actually the 39th anniversary of Hugh's 21st birthday, glad we sorted that one out!
Not too far away I then got talking to Sean and Margie McQuillan from Bay Estate who were with Claire Woods from Inniskeen who told me her daughter Kerriann is married to Hughie's son David and they were having a laugh with his other son Stephen who was with his wife Sinead from Riverside Drive and kids Katie, Rachel and Sarah and they all wanted to wish Hugh all the best on his big night.
Stephen was also having a laugh with nephew Hubby and Anita McEneaney from Avondale Park who were with Sean and Brenda Roddy from Fr. Murray Park who assured me it was going to be an epic celebration.
Next I got talking to Catherine and David Jackson from Manydown Close who were having a right old time of it with Martin McHugh and Linda Jackson from Dunleer who wanted to wish their friend Hugh a very happy birthday.
I then caught up with Gerry Gore from Ashbrook who was with his wife Betty and he told me he would be part of Hughie's fishing and shooting mates and wanted to wish him all the best on his big night.
Not too long later I caught up with Hughie's mum Nancy Clarke from O'Hanlon Park who was having a laugh with Hughie's wife Katherine and Margie McQuillan along with Betty Gore, Margaret, John, Claire and Susan Dignan from Bay Estate, Margaret is Katherine's twin and they all wanted to wish Hughie a very happy 60th and hoped he had a sensational night.
Finally, before I departed I caught up with cousin Lillian and Gerry Smith from Castle Heights who told me I'd missed a major night in the Clans the previous night, but certainly weren't going to miss Hughie's bash for love nor money!