| 12.3°C Dublin

We're Blue Streaks with emerald roots

One of the American College Football teams visiting Dublin this weekend said they took a 12-week course in Irish history and culture to prepare for their trip to Ireland.

But three players for the Blue Streaks team from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio already know plenty about the Emerald Isle thanks to their Irish roots. Marty Gibbons(20) told the Herald: "I know I'm from Mayo and Kilkenny. I'm almost 100pc Irish, I'm a little bit of Welsh too. I think my ancestors left Ireland during the famine times.

"My sister came here and lived in Malahide for five years so I know a little bit about the area.

"I haven't met any of my relatives here, but it's cool because you never know if someone you meet could be one of your relatives. This is awesome."

The Blue Streaks tight end Tim Nagle (19) said he was delighted to finally visit Ireland after hearing about it from his cousins here.

"I have relatives in Clare and Roscommon. It's my first time in Ireland but I've met some of my relatives from here who have come to the States.

"My grandparents on my dad's side were born in Ireland and we're third generation on my mom's side. When my coach called me to say I was coming here it was brilliant."

Bill O'Brien (21) said he's Irish through and through: "My family is Irish on both sides. This is my first time in Ireland. Some of my relatives back home think they're still in Ireland. They still talk with the brogue at family reunions so it's really funny."