Christmas arrived early for pupil Noah Mehigan and his friends at Dunderrow National School near Kinsale.
Football legend Roy Keane dropped by the school in what turned out to be an early Christmas present for 70-plus school children in fifth and sixth class. The children enjoyed an hour of the former Irish midfielder’s company.
The Manchester United legend showed up at the school in response to a heartfelt letter written by fifth-class pupil Noah Mehigan. Noel insisted in his letter that he would love to meet his footballing hero Keane.
Noah’s letter was one of the many written by the kids of fifth class which were addressed to their respective heroes such as children’s author David Walliams and legendary Mayo footballer, Cora Staunton.
On Friday morning, both the children and the staff at the school were “blown away” when the former Ireland captain showed up to speak with them in an hour-long question and answer session that left the kids awestruck.
The surprise ended the kids’ festive week on a high note; earlier in the week, the school organised a fundraiser for the RNLI along with Christmas concerts and visits from Santa but school principal Triona Hannon was adamant that Keane’s visit put the “icing on the Christmas cake”.
“He arrived at around 11am and took us completely by surprise,” she said.
“We had a Q&A with him and he was very gracious and spent lots of time answering questions.”
The former United captain spent time discussing his career with Rockmount, Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forrest, and Man United while engaging with the kids as well.
“He was very inspirational. He spoke to the children about teamwork being the most important aspect of play and to keep practising, and practising, all of the time. We were blown away,” Ms. Hannon said.
Young Noah, whose letter brought Keane to his school in the first place was absolutely delighted to see his hero.
“Noah couldn’t believe that his hero had turned up and was absolutely blown away,” added Ms. Hannon.
“It’s been a week that keeps on giving. We’ve had a great week. This is certainly the climax that we wouldn’t have expected and it is really the icing on the Christmas cake.
“We couldn’t be in a better place. Every staff member and child would say today there’s nowhere else that they would rather be.”