Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, is currently visiting Ireland for a few days and has had a very busy schedule; between Sock Wars with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, trying out our national sport of Hurling, meeting President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins and taking in the joys of running in Dublin’s Phoenix Park with the Taoiseach. However, his schedule has facilitated the mention of our wonderful Flying Ducks on not 1 but 2 occasions; at 2 very high profile events. One at Farmleigh Estate and the other at the Gala Dinner held in his honour.
Prime Minister Trudeau made a point of commenting on the visit of our team to Montreal in March this year for our 10-day hockey trip which included an opportunity to take part in the St Patrick’s Day parade in front of over 500,000 people. The team got to meet PM Trudeau and Lord Mayor of Montreal Denis Coderre in Montreal thanks to the huge efforts by our colleagues in the United Irish Societies of Montreal. He commented on the fact that the Irish and Canadians have a lot in common and that the children are our future. How right he is. Our Flying Ducks players got to live with their Canadian host families and live the Canadian life. It was truly life changing stuff. Our hosts were coordinated through our dear friends at Somang Hockey. An article in the Summer 2017 edition of Celtic Canada’s magazine has a big article about the trip; it’s well worth a read.
Minister for Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, T.D., met the Flying Ducks in Montreal and he has been a superb supporter of the Flying Ducks and the sport of ice hockey in Ireland. The next big step Ireland needs is an ice rink. Ireland are not permitted to take part in IIHF World championships due to Ireland not meeting the minimum qualifying standard of having 1 ice rink. The Flying Ducks completely support the Irish Ice Hockey Association in their constant efforts to raise the awareness of the sport in Ireland and the need for facilities in Ireland. Let’s hope that Prime Minister Trudeau’s wonderful comments trigger an interest in our sport and generate some action to get Ireland a full sized permanent ice rink.
Picture Credit: Our continued thanks go to Irish Ambassador to Canada Jim Kelly for his support of the club and for providing the picture above within seconds of the Prime Minister mentioning the Flying Ducks.