Did McAleese score own goal with Famine tale?
President McAleese last night revealed a link between Turkey, the Irish Famine and Drogheda's football team. At an official dinner she told President Gul that in the Famine, Turkey's leader Sultan Abdul Majid sent three ships loaded with food to Drogheda.
President McAleese said: "Since then at the insistence of the people, the star and crescent of your country forms part of the town's coat of arms. Those symbols of Turkish kindness are to be found today on the crest of Drogheda's football team -- a fitting link given that football is as much a national passion in Turkey as it is in Ireland."
But Drogheda's own official website doesn't agree -- instead stating the town was founded by the Normans and given its coat of arms by King John. "The star and crescent on the Drogheda crest differs significantly from the ones on a number of flags, including Turkey, thus dispelling the myth that it was adopted following a visit by Turkish ships during the Famine."