In memory of Tony Tierney 1949-2018

 

As an association, but more so as a group of close friends, members of the ICA are having difficulty coming to terms with the passing of one of our most illustrious members, Tony Tierney.

This is a tribute to Tony, seen through the prism of Irish curling.

Photo credit – WCF

Tony and his two-year battle with cancer went down to the last stone in an extra end. We all knew it was peels at the start of the year and although Tony fought all the way, throwing guard after guard in the path of his disease, his opposition had the crucial last stone. We all prayed for a reprieve for him, that cancer would come up short, but it drew the shot and Tony shook hands and left the ice with his head held high, having given his all.

Tony was one of the original members of the Irish Curling Association, a regular supporter of its competitions and a committee member for many years.

Tony also had the honour of playing for his country 104 times. During his Irish curling career, he achieved the one thing that every competitive sportsperson dreams about – he became a world champion.

Tony (second left) with his teammates and coach – photo credit – WCF

Tony played lead in the Irish team that won the World Men’s Senior Championships in Tårnby, Denmark, in April 2012, in one of the most unforgettable weeks of his life. He and his teammates – Johnjo Kenny, Bill Gray, David Whyte, David Hume and coach Gordon McIntyre – went through the entire championships undefeated and beat hot favourites Canada in an extra-end to take the gold.

His sterling performance for Ireland in Tårnby led to the nickname ‘Tony Two Ticks’ but he was even more proud of his teammates, after that monumental success, than he ever was of himself.

Photo credit – WCF

He followed that up four years later in Karlstad, Sweden, winning a bronze medal at the same championships, playing for Ireland with Peter Wilson, Peter JD Wilson, Ross Barr, Neil Fyfe and, once more, coach Gordon McIntyre, one of Tony’s closest friends.

European ‘B’ Gold medallists 2007 – left to right – Neil Fyfe, PJ Wilson, Robin Gray, Peter Wilson, Tony Tierney and coach Ron Myers.

He was also in the team that won Ireland’s very first gold medal at any championships, winning the European Curling Championships ‘B’ League in Füssen, Germany, in 2007 with Peter Wilson, Robin Gray, Neil Fyfe, PJ Wilson and coach Ron Meyers. From 2005 to 2016, he represented Ireland in eight World Senior Championships, two European Championships, six European Mixed Championships and one World Mixed Championships.

Photo credit – WCF

On the ice Tony was committed, competitive and played hard to win. He was also famous for taking into consideration every possible outcome before making a tactical decision and was locked into a wonderfully idiosyncratic pre-shot routine that he was mercilessly ribbed about.

Off the ice, ‘Tony Terrific’ was nothing short of a legend. Blessed with exquisite comic timing, he was a regular when curling social events called for an entertainer. His stand-up routine was unforgettable, with his audience bent double with laughter as Tony reached the punchline. Aided by his “it’s the way I tell ‘em” Belfast accent; such was his talent and command of the floor he managed to make often told tales sound just as fresh and funny as the first telling.

We all will have our favourite Tony Tierney joke, but I doubt we will ever want to hear them again as only Tony could tell them…… and sadly, he is suddenly gone and with him, the magic of a storyteller with the room in the palm of his hand.

Photo credit – WCF

Of course, our sadness pales in comparison with what his devoted wife Charlotte and his family are going through and our deepest sympathies go out to them at this most difficult of times.

Tony had many things to be proud of away from curling. He was a successful and respected businessman with a wide circle of friends. He was a man of integrity, honesty and faith. He was warm, witty, charming, easy-going and generous to a fault, but most of all he was happy and fulfilled in his personal life. He adored Charlotte who was clearly the love of his life, as he was hers.

It was with that immense love as his talisman that he fought leukaemia so long and so bravely.

Photo credit – WCF

In his lifetime, Tony Tierney conquered the world, but his world was Charlotte and their life together and he would want our gaze now to turn to her and to give her all the strength and support we can.

That, surely, would be the finest of tributes to Tony.

Tony Tierney – world curling champion. April 21st, 2012.

 

 

International Mixed Doubles in Dumfries

The MD Irish champions

The International Mixed Doubles has started today in Dumfries, Scotland. The Irish Mixed Doubles Champions (Eoin McCrossan & Jen Ward) are competing with 23 other teams for a $4,900 purse.

Up to date scores etc. are on the World Curling Website.

It is an ideal event for Eoin & Jen to compete in prior to the World Mixed Doubles in Sweden next month.

New Irish Mixed Champions 2018

John Wilson, Jen Ward, David Whyte (presenting), Eoin McCrossan and Erin Furey

An exciting playdowns for the Irish Mixed title at Greenacres Ice Rink on Saturday 10th March 2018.

The new Irish Mixed Champions for 2018 are:

  • John Wilson (skip),
  • Jen Ward, 
  • Eoin McCrossan and 
  • Erin Furey.

The first game swung on a 7th end take-out which was missed twice by the opposing skip, James Russell. Skip John Wilson made impressive draw shots against large heads on several ends.

In the second game, the most notable shots were Erin freezing several on button and Eoin lifting two consecutive double takeouts.

The first 2 games were won by team Wilson in a  best of 3 format, so thay can represent Ireland at the World Mixed Championships later in the year – date & venue still to be decided.

This was a debut playdowns for 12 year old Erin Furey (daughter of Irish Mens Team player, John Furey) who curled beautifully and clearly enjoyed herself.

Clearly Erin has aspirations ….

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.

Curling at the Olympics; Curling in Ireland

We have been receiving a considerable number of enquires from people wanting to try curling, as a result of the excellent coverage of curling at the Olympics.

As an Association, we are hugely frustrated that we can’t offer any opportunities in Ireland at the moment due to the lack of any facilities. We have, over the last 15 years, tried along with the Irish Ice Hockey Association and the Irish Skating Association of Ireland, to get a viable ice rink up and running but to no avail. We are still trying!!

We hope to be able to offer some come and try sessions next Christmas but we realise that this doesn’t appease demand at the moment.

Stranraer Ice Rink, in Scotland, is offering come and try sessions (this is the closest ice rink and the cheapest to get to) and you would be made most welcome. Click Try Curling link below.

In the meantime, please also add your name to the Petition for Ice for Ireland and also have a look and like the Ice for Ireland Facebook page and keep watching the curling!! Here’s a link curling on the Olympic website.

If there are any more developments we will keep you posted. Please do not hesitate to contact us or like us on Facebook.

Teams drawn for Bonspiel weekend in Stranraer

Last years winners: Peter, Karlyn, Louise (presenting), Frances and David

As we return to Stranraer – not long after the 4N – the draw for the first game  always has everyone on tenterhooks. The Secretary and the President conducted the the draw at other ends of the telephonic communicating device and to ensure absolute fairness, two adjudicators – Ellie and Fergus – were in attendance. (Labrador and Flat-coated Retriever respectively).
So here it is:

Saturday 9.00 am

PJ Wilson vs Kate Adams
Ian Donald vs John Gilmore
Tommy Campbell vs JJ Kenny
David Whyte vs Michael Sutherland

11am

John Brown vs John PJ Wilson
Drew Paton vs John Graham
Jim Cannon vs Bill Gray
Andy Robinson vs Arran Cameron.

Can we also ask that teams bring one raffle prize for the Grand Draw.
Many thanks and see you there.

Irish 4 Nations Draw

Looking forward to the annual 4 Nations curling this weekend in Stranraer.

Here are the Irish teams taking part:

Friday 19th January
Wales 8pm Mixed

Johnjo Kenny Carolyn Hibberd
Jen Ward Arran Cameron
Eoin McCrossan Frances Whyte
Gillian Russell Steve Callan

Saturday 20th January
England 9am Men and Women

Neil Fyfe Carolyn Hibberd
Craig Whyte Louise Kerr
Ross Barr Christina Graham
John Burns Clare McCormick

Scotland 3pm Mixed

Bill Gray Johnjo Kenny
Jen Ward Marie O’Kane
Ken Hutchison Ian Donald
Frances Donald Frances Whyte

Sunday 21st  January
Wales 9am Men and Women

Neil Fyfe Marie O’Kane
Craig Whyte Louise Kerr
Eoin McCrossan Christina Graham
John Burns Roberta Warwick

England 11.30am Mixed

John Furey John Wilson
Christine Furey Margarita Sweeney Baird
Nathan Furey Steve Callan
Erin Furey Trish Boult

Scotland 2.00 pm Men and Women

PJ Wilson Marie O’Kane
Arran Cameron Louise Kerr
Ross Barr Clare McCormick
Ian Donald Frances Donald

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 www.dibca.co.uk

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