Special birthday celebration for Alvaro's 80th
One of the biggest nights of the weekend had to be the 80th birthday party being thrown for the living legend that is Alvaro Lucchesi from Aghameen Park and there to make sure he had a fantastic night were his kids Santina, Luanna, Riccardo and Alvaro, partner Graziella Mori and a huge collection of family, relations and friends.
I wasn't too long in the door when I met up with Alvaro's son Riccardo from Manydown Close who was there with his wife Anita, daughters Anna, Lara and Carla, her husband Mark and kids Cole, Amber and Christian.
Next I got a word with son Alvaro from St. Patricks Terrace with his wife Marissa and daughter Kate and they were enjoying the company of sister Santina from Doolargy Avenue with kids Carla, Morena, Sofia, Santina, Loriana, Fra and Tony and sister Luanna with Paul Lynam from St. Brigids Terrace who all wanted to wish the birthday boy all the best on his big night.
I then caught up with three ladies who were looking very well and they were Loriana, and Morena Lucchesi from Ashbrook with Anna Lucchesi from Manydown who were up for making it a real night to remember with their grandad.
Making my way through the crowds I got talking to Marissa who introduced me to Alvaro's grandniece Elena Vanni who had come over specially from Tuscany with Nicholas Sardo to wish Alvaro all the best on his big night.
After this I got a word with some of Alvaro's old mates and they included Aidan and Breda O'Kane from Chapel Street who were with Irene Myles from Muirhevnamor who were all delighted to be there to celebrate with him.
I then headed over for a chat with brothers Pat and Jack Lee who had travelled from London. The lads are brothers of Alvaro's late wife Maureen and were looking forward to a nice quiet celebration, in Seatown? I was thinking no there lads!
After this I met up with another of Alvaro's mates none other than Jim 'Mr. Ballymac' Smyth from Chapel Street who told me they used to be neighbours and have remained friends ever since. He was sitting having a laugh with Rosemary and Liam Duffner from St. Marys Road who told me they've been friends with Alvaro since 1957.
After this I headed over for a word with a group who included Patricia and Nicola Stewart, Helen Owens and Roisin McLoughlin all from Muirhevnamor who are friends of Carla's and they assured me it was going to be a mad night for sure.
They were sitting with Kellyanne Ross from Seatown who is a family friend and wanted to wish Alvaro a happy 80th.
Next I got a word with mum and son Noreen and Patrick D'Arcy from Blackrock who were just in and were looking forward to a great night.
Not too long later I got a word with a lifelong friend of Alvaro's Johnny and Olive Hickey from Muirhevnamor who wanted to wish him all the best and they there to celebrate along with Elaine and Jackie Maguire from Waterville Crescent, Fiona and Alan O'Connor from Manydown Close, Janette and Conor McConville from Patrick Street.
Seated close by were Rachael and Eugene Rooney from Aghameen Park who were on for a 'great night with a great man' with Olga and John Rooney from Finnabar Crescent.
After this I caught up with some of Ricco's mates and they included Pat and Catherine Sloan from Dunboyne, Raymond Clarke from Ardee, Joe Cannon from Lis Na Dara who were talking to Peter McGuinness from Drogheda who all wanted to wish Alvaro all the best on his big night.
Beside them were Shandell Kelly from Mary Street North and Allie Mulholland from The Quay who were in great form and assured me it was going to be an epic night.
I then headed for a table where I caught up with Eamonn and Roma Mulholland from Doylesfort Road who were with their kids Christopher and Hannah and her friend Robyn Agnew as well as Eamon's sisters Marian Dillon from Newtownbalregan. They have known him for years and told me he even worked for Mullen's for a time in their flagship premises on the Castletown Road. He's a lovely man and they were delighted to be there on the night.
Making my way through the huge crowds I then caught up with Roy and Yolanda Robertson originally from Belfast but now living in Scotland who told me that Yolanda is from the same region in Tuscany as Alvaro and they were up for making the best of the night with Fiona Bannuchi, Brendan and Ciara McBrien from Bangor, Irene Bannuchi from Scotland, Fernanda, Donal and Christina Crawley from Belfast who had travelled to be there and wouldn't have missed the night for anything!
Not too long later I got a word with Noel Minto from Bay Estate and Liam Nolan from Manydown Close and Noel told me he used to be Alvaro's neighbour and used to call over to get the kids ready for school!
Finally, before I departed I met up with Gerry and Eileen Duffy from The Meadows who were with Hugh O'Hagan from Knockbridge who wanted to wish Alvaro all the best on his big night.