Rugby-obsessed teacher left speechless as students get him Peter O'Mahony pajamas
A RUGBY-obsessed teacher was left speechless after Santa and a group of Cork schoolchildren worked some Elf-like festive magic - and got him a pair of Ireland and Munster star Peter O'Mahony's pajamas!
The rugby star was so taken by how highly the youngsters thought of Fifth Class teacher Shane McCarthy that he also included in the surprise gift a signed photograph of him extending his best Christmas wishes.
Peter's pajamas were formally presented to the unsuspecting teacher by his thrilled students at Ovens National School in Cork - and Mr McCarthy admitted he couldn't have been more stunned than if he was tackled by the entire Irish front row.
"I just can't believe it," he said.
"It's the best Christmas present ever."
The gift arose from a humorous Tweet posted by Shane on November 17 in the wake of Ireland's historic victory over the All Blacks.
A keen rugby and GAA fan, Shane was euphoric after Ireland's second win against the All Blacks in three years.
Peter O'Mahony was outstanding in the Aviva Stadium victory, even earning plaudits from New Zealand newspapers for his all-action performance.
"I want Peter O'Mahony's pajamas for Christmas," Shane later Tweeted.
Students at Ovens National School, where Shane is a teacher, learned of the Tweet and decided to do something about it as a Christmas surprise
Abby Clifford and the 32 other Fifth Class students consulted with their parents about precisely what to do.
One parent remembered that Peter's father, John, was the President of Cork Constitution rugby club.
Abby penned a letter to John explaining that the youngsters wanted to present their teacher with his son Peter's pajamas.
"John couldn't have been nicer," Abby's father, Tim Clifford, explained.
"He said to leave it with him and he would see what he could do."
Last week, Abby was thrilled when a specially wrapped pair of Peter O'Mahony's pajamas arrived at her door - complete with a signed photo of the rugby star extending his personal Christmas wishes to Shane McCarthy and everyone at Ovens NS.
The Ovens students then organised a special festive presentation to Shane on their final day before the Christmas break.
"Christmas dreams do come true," Shane joked.
But the teacher was tightlipped about whether the pajamas will be worn on Christmas Eve or now placed into careful storage for sporting posterity!