Closing bonspiel winners

James, David, Margarita and Bill with their prizes.

Congratulations to James Russell, Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird and David Hume who won the ICA closing bonspiel at Greenacres today.

Six rinks were on the ice with many members staying on for the annual general meeting in Gateside Hall and the meal in the pub afterwards.


Johnjo Kenny 7 Andrew Gilmore 6; James Russell 10 Arran Cameron 8; Marie O’Kane 5 John Furey 5.

Mixed playdowns this weekend

Good luck to the two teams who have entered the Irish Mixed Championships this weekend at Greenacres.

James Russell skips the rink of Katie Kerr, Craig Whyte and Ailsa Anderson who will play a best of three against John Wilson, Jen Ward, Eoin McCrossan and, making her playdown debut………Erin Furey!

Game times are 10am and 3pm Saturday, 10th March and at 9.30am on the Sunday, if required.

The winners will represent Ireland at the World Mixed Championships later in the year.

Blast from the past – original members

From time to time it’s interesting to look through the old ICA archives, compiled by Jane Paterson. Before the digital age overtook us all, printed photos of ICA events were filed away by Jane and this particular photo takes us back to the very beginning and the members of the Northern Ireland Curling Association which existed briefly before it was decided to make the association inclusive of the Four Provinces of Ireland.

The date is unknown but perhaps some of those young things from the north in the photograph could get in touch and fill us in?

So, from left to right  we have – John Burns, Tony Tierney, Jim Winning, Liz Knox, Fiona Turnbull, Gordon McIntyre, Susan Scotland and Carolyn Hibberd.

Stranraer weekend won by skip Wilson number 3

The winner of the high road

Another enjoyable ICA Stranraer Weekend at the North West Castle Hotel and Ice Rink complex ended with a win for Team Wilson, but it wasn’t PJ or Peter skipping his team to the top spot this year, but John Wilson, PJ’s son.

It was a changing of the guard moment when John, ably supported by Katie Stevenson and Lyndsay Spence from Lockerbie, and his old Stranraer Academy school mate Andrew Chambers, swept through their four games undefeated, taking the Granite Trophy with a comprehensive victory over Johnjo Kenny, Gillian, Russell,  John Burns and Russet Fullarton in the 1v2 high road final round on Sunday afternoon.

High road runners-up

The runners-up in the high road and winners of the Ailsa Craig painting by Jane Paterson were the team of David Whyte, Kara Compton, John Ferguson and Frances Whyte, who finished on the same points as PJ Wilson’s team, but just squeaked second place by one end with 17 ends scored.

Low road winners

The low road winners of the Irish Oak low road trophy were Billy Johnston, Kate Adams, Gordon Adams and Elspeth Johnston and the low road runners-up, taking home the Basil Gray Memorial Trophy  were Stuart Wilson, Elaine Turnbull, Tommy Campbell and Anne Wilson.

Low road runners-up

A raffle at the Saturday night reception in the North West Castle Hotel raised £270 for ICA funds.

The ICA also welcomed Canadian curler Matt, currently based in Dublin, and hope he comes back to play with us on a regular basis.

Kinross winners

A most enjoyable spring bonspiel was held on Sunday at Kinross.

President David presenting the trophy to winners Frances, Gillian, Niamh and James

The event was won by the rink of  James Russell, Frances Whyte, Gillian Russell and Niamh Begley, who were presented with the perpetual trophy and prizes by ICA President David Whyte.

The Association was delighted to welcome three potential new members – Maria O’Neill, David McHale and Niamh, one of the winners.

4N afters

Someone out there won a bottle of ‘Echo Falls’ summer fruits fusion wine in a silver bottle bag last Saturday night in the raffle. It ended up in my carrier bag down in the function room at the NWC. Does anyone remember winning it?

If it’s not claimed it will go into the Irish Weekend raffle next month.

And a new boy band was formed the same night. They are hoping to get a summer season gig at Bantry…….if Eoin gets his world tour over in time.

Masters champions 2018

The green tinged Masters champs with RCCC President Jim Cullen

PJ Wilson, David Whyte, David Hume from the ICA plus Jim Stirling were crowned the Masters champions at Greenacres last weekend. After taking eight points from the five game round-robin, including a last end victory over former Scottish champion skip Kenny Horton, the team won their semi-final after only five ends. A three in the first end in the final was a good start to an eventual 7-5 victory over Jim Stevenson, Robin Aitken, Jim Taylor and Douglas Rodger.

The proud skip said afterwards: “My team were just brilliant. I wasn’t too bad either.”

Wasn’t that a party……

The first Four Nations to be held at Stranraer Ice Rink, hosted by the ICA, turned into an epic, on and off the ice.

Session 1 was held on the Friday night, with sessions 2, 3 and 4 on the Saturday. The busiest day was the Sunday with curling starting at 9am and, with three sessions to get through, the seventh and last session finished around 4pm.

Margaret Pottie presents the Marshall Millennium to Louise

Ireland’s highlight was defending the Marshall Millennium against Scotland with an eight-shot advantage 28 to 20.

Louise presents the Meikle Trophy to Adrian Meikle

The Meikle Trophy against Wales was lost this year 29 to 31 after a spirited show from the Welsh rinks, in particular ladies skip Dawn Watson who held her nerve to remove Marie O’Kane’s shot stone at the last end to secure the victory. The Welsh ladies are few on the ground and play multiple games at every 4N, and throughly deserved their hard-fought victory.

Louise presents the Turnbull Trophy to Tommy Campbell

The Turnbull Trophy was lost to England by 32 shots to 35. This was despite a win from the first family team to represent Ireland internationally when four Fureys took to the ice for the mixed game on the Sunday. John and Christine with a green-clad Nathan and Erin sporting shocking pink, won by one shot to do their bit for their country.

The 4N game and Glittertree-winning Fureys!
Ari, John, Erin, Nathan and Christine

They also picked up the ICA Glittertree for 2017!

Off the ice, the Saturday evening gala dinner and dance turned into a most memorable evening for a variety of reasons. The drinks reception raffle raised £314 for association funds. The staff of the North West Castle served up a specially-created Four Nations menu with Scottish themed starters, potato and Welsh leek soup, brisket of beef with a Guinness jus or chicken fillet in Irish whiskey sauce for the  mains and England bringing up the rear with bread and butter pudding or Bakewell tart.

After speeches from myself for the Irish, Margaret Pottie for the Scots, Adrian Meikle for the Welsh and Tommy Campbell for the English, the highlight of the evening was the the appearance of 16 Irish dancers from the Trim the Velvet troupe, who came over from Belfast for a special ‘4N at the NWC’ entertainment. After half an hour of mesmerising toe-tapping and high kicks, John Munro’s excellent disco rounded off a special night.

We really thought nothing could ever surprise us again, after all the many incidents we have witnessed over the years involving Irish curlers, but…….late in the evening….and after a few liquid refreshments………Eoin took to the floor and morphed into Michael Flatley. As he Riverdanced across the dancefloor, the Trim the Velvet girls lined up behind him and created something magical downstairs in the Castle ballroom. The roar of approval at the end from the party people left nearly blew the windows out. Eoin McCrossan – Four Nations legend with bar.

Thanks goes to all the ICA members who made the trip to the deepest south-west, despite difficult conditions on the roads over the weekend; to Gail Munro, Stranraer Ice Rink manager and all the staff of the North West Castle who worked their socks off all weekend to ensure that everyone in the hotel for the Four Nations had the best time possible.

Over to the English Curling Association for 2019, who hope to host the event at a new ice rink in Preston………anybody know any Morris dancers in the north west?

Here’s the results, thanks again to Adrian:

Results-4 Nations-Jan 2018


New mens champions head to Denmark for C League

Congratulations to John Wilson, James Russell, Craig Whyte, John Furey, Eoin McCrossan and coach Martin Sutherland who won the Irish mens championships at Dumfries today winning the first two games in a best of three challenge against Andrew Gilmore, David Hibberd,  Steve Callan and Tom Roche.

They will now represent Ireland in the European C League in Taarnby, Denmark, April 11 – 18.

Mens playdown for Irish championships

Two teams will play the best of three games over the weekend at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

John Wilson, James Russell, Craig Whyte, John Furey and Eoin McCrossan will play Andrew Gilmore, Ross Barr, Tom Roche and Steve Callan at 11am and 4pm tomorrow and, if needed, 10am on  Sunday

Last year’s Men’s Champions, Craig, Eoin, John, James and Arran

There will be a webstream link to follow the action at

Good luck to both teams. The winners will represent Ireland at the European C League in April.