Super surprise for Seamie

HUBERT MURPHY

Published 02/01/2013 | 10:01

SEAMIE Briscoe is usually the man behind the scenes, promoting others and helping to organise whatever is needed, but his last day in his role as the head of FAS scheme based out of the rugby club - and his birthday - saw the tables turned completely on him.

Family and friends gathered from as far away as Scotland, for a surprise bash at the rugby club.

Old pal Eamon Duffy was the culprit this time as he organised a team of workers to set the scene, the family getting Seamie to the doors of the club with the offer of a ' few quiet drinks' only to be greeted by the Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell, the head of SIPTU Jack O'Connor and Boyne President Reggie McHugh.

After that he was caught in a 'rolling maul' of best wishes from all quarters while a special video show saw best wishes coming from around the world, some live from Wales and Australia.

Former referee John West described Seamie as the 'catalyst' for the creation of Boyne RFC from the former Drogheda and Delvin clubs while Niall Ronan, the Munster star, was delighted that Seamie could now get the ' bus pass' - adding 'now you can come down and support us in Thomond Park!'

Friends in Wales gathered live in Llanelli while George Hunter in Australia and Craig McGrath in Italy also spoke of Seamie's dedication as did the clan in Kilkelly in Co Mayo, where his sister and family reside. Tom Carolan was praised for putting the whole package together. Various speakers rose to applaud Seamie's career, with Mayor Paul Bell describing him as an 'amazing citizen and a huge role model, a friend of everybody's who could talk to anyone.'

He revealed Seamie proposed him for union membership as he started put in his own career.

'His contribution to Boyne is more than people realise,' club president Reggie McHugh added, as he bestowed Hon Life Membership on his fellow clubman.

Jack O'Connor expressed a wish that Seamie never retire from the community, because it needs him too much.

'Like any good official he has vision and his dedication has been to the working people,' he added.

Ken Kearney from Dalkeith, Scotland, came over for the night and spoke of his own first introduction to Seamie and Delvin in 1974. 'A lot of us were coming to Ireland for the first time on a tour and the lads wanted a drink in an old Irish thatched bar and the next thing we turned into a place called the El Molino in Julianstown!'

Former Ireland star Shane Horgan also got in touch by phone on the night from the UK.

As for Seamie he outlined his own working life, starting on New Year's Day in 1961 as a farm hand on Sweeneys farm in Milltown, before moving to GEC in Dunleer and Unilever. McDonnell's was a special place too. 'I remember going in on my first morning and Dessie Hand asking me to sing ' A Scottish Soldier'.

His love and work for Boyne RFC won't change he added, 'retirement is not over and out,' he declared.

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