Irish players battle it out for contract with Inter Milan in dramatic TV finale
IT'S Ireland versus England tonight in the finale of the TV series Football's Next Star. Thousands of talented young footballers from Ireland and the UK applied to the show hoping to win the glittering prize of a contract with Jose Mourinho's reigning Serie A champions, Inter Milan.
The climax of the Sky 1 show, which will be broadcast at 8pm tonight, will focus on the last three contestants standing -- 16-year-old Connor Smith from Delvin in Co Westmeath, 17-year-old Craig Walsh from Inchicore in Dublin, and Ben Greenhalgh from Kent in England.
Over the past six weeks, TV viewers have followed the progress of the final 10 players selected by Inter Milan coaches Marco Monti and Paolo Migliavacca -- as they battled it out at Inter's famed football academy.
Connor has been tipped by Inter coaches as a player with a big future. Former England star Jamie Rednapp, who fronts the show, said: "Connor understands the game. He has good touch, good technique, but he needs to score more goals (and) work on the physical side of the game."
Rednapp also has a high opinion of Craig Walsh, who has played for Ireland Under-17s. "He is a central midfield player. He's technically good and can pass the ball with either foot and he can also score goals."
But the Irish lads face stiff competition from English finalist Ben Greenhalgh. "Ben can go past people like they are not there. He can cut inside and hit a pass from 40 yards to put someone through," said Rednapp.
Top flautist for St Valentine's concert
Viennese flautist Karin Leitner will visit Clones, Co Monaghan tonight for a special St Valentine's Day concert at 8pm in the Canal Stores. Karin will be accompanied by Cormac de Barra on harp. Her latest CD, 'Music of the Great Irish Houses', is available now on iTunes.
Newstalk presenter Keane is on song
Newstalk presenter and singer-songwriter Eamon Keane, who saw a 9,000 jump in listenership figures for his lunchtime show, is to appear on RTE's successful new chat show The Saturday Night Show with Brendan O'Connor on February 27 to launch his new album.
Historic maps are hailed by historians
A COLLECTION of some of the country's oldest maps, which date the transformation of Limerick's urban area since Viking times, has been hailed as the most important publication on the history of the city in almost 150 years.
The rare maps have been located, carefully researched and put together into one compilation, which was launched in Limerick by Mayor Kevin Kiely in the city's Georgian quarter.
The new addition to the Irish Historic Towns Atlas series features fascinating illustrations, plans and accounts of Limerick city. The collection includes three splendid Elizabethan maps from around 1590, which pre-date Dublin's earliest known city map by 20 years.
Speaking at the launch last Thursday night, Dr John Logan -- from the University of Limerick -- placed huge significance on the atlas. He described it as "the single most important publication on the history of the city since Lenihan's History in 1866".
Global warming feature to stir debate
THE documentary, Not Evil, Just Wrong, is having its Irish premiere in Cork on Tuesday. The film, made by Phelim and Ann McElhinney looks at the human cost of global warming and how "alarmism" is leading to loss of jobs and lack of development in the Third World.
The couple has made a number of controversial documentaries in the past. The Irish premiere will take place in University College Cork on Tuesday in the room Boole 3 on campus at 7pm. There will be a debate afterwards including speakers Pat Finnegan from Grian and Fergal Corcoran (ex-president of An Taisce).