Glittertree 2016

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

The 2016 ICA Glittertree

It’s Glittertree time again with our annual competition to find the best Christmas tree in the ICA ranks.

Andrea Schopp

Andrea Schopp

The entries will be judged this year by two-time World Champion and seven-time European Champion, Germany’s Andrea Schopp.

Pictures of your tree should be emailed to or before the closing date of Friday, December 23rd.

The winner, chosen by Andrea, will be announced on Christmas Eve.

Good luck everyone!

Mixed Doubles starts this Friday

The ICA mixed doubles championships starts on Friday at Dumfries Ice Bowl.

Five teams have entered – Alan Mitchell and Margarita Sweeney-Baird (A); Ross and Jacqui Barr (B); Eoin McCrossan and Jen Ward (C); Neil and Alison Fyfe (D) and Craig Whyte and Ailsa Anderson (E). Teams will play a round-robin of 8-end games.  Games are: Friday 9th at 5.30pm – A V B; C V D; bye E; then: Friday 8.30pm – C V A; E V B; bye D; Saturday 10th 9am B V D; A V E; bye C; Saturday 1pm – D V A; E V C; bye B; Saturday 5pm – B V C; D V E; bye A.

WCF rules – wins, head to head wins, DSC – will be used to establish ranking. If a team has won all their games, and all others have been beaten twice, they are declared winners. Otherwise, final games are Sunday 11th at 9.30am and 1pm.

The winners will earn the right to represent Ireland at the World Mixed Doubles in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada from 22-29 April, 2017.

Good luck to everyone!

World Mixed countdown

The team representing Ireland at the World Mixed Championships in Kazan, Russia have arrived in the city. So it’s good luck from us all

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

Bill, Margarita, Ross and Jacqui

to Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr and Jacqui Davidson. Ireland are in the same group as Sweden, Finland, England, Brazil, Hungary and Slovakia, and their first game is at 8am (local time) against Sweden tomorrow. Bill will be blogging live from the venue keeping us up to date with all the news and the full schedule is here:

Welsh Dragon Club

WelshLogoOur Welsh Curling friends are now actively fundraising for their new ice rink.

A big initiative is the formation of a Welsh Dragon Club.  This gives you the opportunity to win up to £500 twice a year – it could cover your ice fees for the season!

Please consider supporting them.

Welsh Dragon Club

  • Open to members and friends of Welsh Curling
  • Cost is £5 a month, payable by standing order, or £60 cheque/cash for each year
  • 50% of money collected will be returned in prizes, and 50% spent on development of curling within Wales
  • The Welsh Dragon Club runs from 1st Sept to 31st Aug each year, with draws in April and September
  • The money raised will initially be for the development of the dedicated curling rink in Deeside and thereafter will be for the development of curling within the rink.  All ideas for how the money could be spent will be welcome and encouraged and the final decision will be by the WCA committee.

Application forms will be available to download from the Welsh Curling website and will also be available during curling on Monday evenings at Deeside.


ECC Ticket Pre-Sale

RCCC Ticket Pre-Sale Starts 10am
Le Gruyère European Curling Championships


19-26 November 2016 – intu Braehead Arena

Be part of the crowd and make some noise as Scotland welcomes over 25 nations to one of the biggest sporting events in Scotland this year!

Grab your tickets for the 2016 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships before they go on general sale this Friday.

The RCCC pre-sale starts today (Monday 5th September) at 10am. Click below to buy your tickets online from Ticketmaster.


Show your support for Irish Olympians

Olympic pinThe Rio Olympics are just over a week a way and the ICA have been given ‘Team Ireland Rio 2016’ pins by the Olympic Council of Ireland to wear during the Games.  If If you would like to show your solidarity with the Irish athletes, just email me at:

louise.kerr@gallowaygazette .com with your postal address and I’ll send a pin out to you.

Some of the Irish Olympians at the recent kit launch in Dublin

Some of the Irish Olympians at the recent kit launch in Dublin

Come on Ireland!

PJ to step down from world stage

PJ Wilson has decided to retire from the world seniors after winning a bronze medal in Karlstad.

PJ and Christine pose with their world senior championships medals - bronze for Ireland and gold for Scotland.

PJ and Christine pose with their world senior championships medals – bronze for Ireland and gold for Scotland.

He and his wife Anne, plus ICA President (me), were the guests of Jim and Christine Cannon last weekend to celebrate the success of Christine winning her second senior gold for Scotland and PJ winning his bronze for Ireland.

With a large glass of coca-cola in his hand (he was driving) the Irish stalwart announced: “Karlstad was my last appearance for Ireland. I have enjoyed every moment but have now decided it’s time to do other things. I started by winning a bronze world junior medal for Scotland 41 years ago and I finish with a bronze world senior medal for Ireland, so now is the perfect time to go out – at the top!

” I just want to thank all my team-mates down the years – I’ve been lucky to curl with great curlers on the ice who were also great friends off the ice.”

PJ say he will still turn out for Ireland for the Four Nations and take part in Irish bonspiels, but is now looking forward to taking things a bit easier now he’s in his 60s.

He has represented Ireland  68 times, (35 wins and 33 losses) starting at the very beginning with the European B League in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2004 where he won silver. He was on the team at the European A League in Garmisch, Germany, in 2005,  that secured Ireland a place at the world championships, for the first and so far only time, in Lowell, USA in 2006. He was back on the ice at the European A League in Basle, Switzerland, that December, when Ireland went down to B. But he was in the team that won European B League gold in Fussen, Germany,  before skipping the team at the A league in Onskolsvik, Sweden, in 2008. He then concentrated on the Seniors, skipping Ireland at the world seniors in Minneapolis-St Paul’s, USA, in 2011. He was back as a member of Peter Wilson’s Irish senior champions at the world seniors in Fredericton, Canada, in 2013 before his bronze medal-winning swansong in Sweden last month. He also was coach to the Irish mixed doubles teams at the world championships in 2014 and 2016.

Peter was also the skip of the rink that won the Scottish junior championships in 1974. That team then went on to win a bronze medal at the first world junior championships in Toronto in 1975.

PJ served as President of the ICA from 2013 to 2015.

Well done and thank you Peter JD Wilson  – what a terrific servant you have been to Irish curling.

Ladies team to be sponsored by Kerry Group

Ladies-with-bronze-medalsThe current Irish ladies curling squad (Team Anderson) have announced that Kerry Group has come on board as main sponsor to the team for the forthcoming WCF C-Division European Championship and the 2016/2017 season.
Kerry Group logoWith its headquarters based in Tralee, Co. Kerry, Kerry Group is a world leader in the global food industry. Kerry provides market leading innovation through its Taste & Nutrition technologies and systems for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical markets.

Kerry has enjoyed phenomenal success since commencing operations in 1972, and now markets some of the best known and best performing brands in the chilled food sector including, Dairygold, Richmond, Charleville and Yollies through its Kerry Foods branch. Kerry Agribusiness forms the third strand of the Group, which works closely with the Group’s 3,500 milk suppliers in the South West of Ireland, ensuring the efficient production of high quality milk as a source of premium quality, sustainably produced dairy and nutritional products.

Speaking about the ladies team, Kerry Group  Director of Corporate Affairs Frank Hayes said:

Kerry Group has a proud record of supporting a range of community development, arts, education and sporting initiatives. We are pleased to support the Team Ireland Ladies Curling and wish the team every success in the upcoming tournament.”

As the ladies prepare for the C-Division European Championship, taking place in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 25 April to 1 May 2016, skip Ailsa said:

We are absolutely delighted to be joined by Kerry Group. Their generous sponsorship means that the ladies can invest in the future of the team.


“Kerry Group’s sponsorship also secures the attendance of Coach, Martin Sutherland at the Championships, something which the Team might otherwise have been unable to afford without securing sponsorship.


Martin is an invaluable member of our Team and we are thrilled that he will be able to accompany us later this month in the pursuit of building on our bronze medal in 2015.”

Hardline-logoIn addition to the Kerry Group sponsorship, the ladies area also pleased to announce that they have agreed a deal which sees them join the Hardline Family (#Hardlinenation). Watch out for the Irish Ladies using Hardline Power Grip brooms at the C-Division Championship and at competition throughout the 2016/2017 season.

Irish Curling benefits from Schengen Treaty amendment

The amendment to The Schengen Agreement agreed in Brussels last month may have made waves in Calais and Dover and the other channel ports but for Irish Curling there has been an unseen and surprising benefit.

The extension of country borders into the port of departure will mean that once the Schengen Appendix 1 Charter comes into effect in a few months the area extending three miles in-shore from Loch Ryan near Stranraer will in effect become part of Ireland, or at least it will for citizenship purposes. Irish Curling Secretary Bill Gray takes up the story: “It is a strange bit of bureaucracy which will not have much effect on most folk however in curling terms anyone born in or residing within three miles of the shoreline around Stranraer could become eligible for team Ireland”. Appendix 1 only applies to the Ports of France, UK and Ireland and to their closest destinations. There had been concern that with the main ferry terminal now in Cairnryan rather than Stranraer this would take most good curlers out of the zone but the UK government minister responsible for Homeland security, Theresa May MP, confirmed the Irish zone extended for three miles inshore from the whole of the Loch Ryan Port area.  Bill Gray continued: “For the three mile rule to incorporate an area of such curling tradition and indeed talent is something we could not have dreamed off”.

Bizarrely The Irish Curling Association were made aware of this law change by the Republic of Ireland Taoiseach himself. Enda Kenny is the cousin of Irish Curling’s Development co-ordinator Johnjo Kenny.  Johnjo explains: “I was surprised to get the call from Enda especially given  his current political woes but he has taken a keen interest in curling over the years and he is very aware of the curling heritage in Stranraer having himself visited the rink at North West Castle in 2013. While the port of arrival will be Belfast this makes no difference in terms of the Citizenship eligibily”.

Irish curling president Louise Kerr is “over the moon” with the news. “I live locally” says Louise, “although not quite in the catchment zone, however, there are literally dozens of international curlers who will very soon be eligible to curl for Ireland. The prospect of Hammy McMillan, Hugh Aitken etc wearing the green and white of Ireland is something none of us thought we would see”.
We contacted  April Fecher TD (The Irish immigration minister) for a comment however she was not available.