Happy Birthday Mr President!

Happy Birthday PJ – he doesn’t look 60….does he?

irish-balloons-thA very big Happy Birthday to our President PJ Wilson from all the members of the Irish Curling Association.

Peter has been a tremendous servant to the cause of Irish curling over the years from that first memorable trip to Sofia, Bulgaria in December 2004 with the men’s team for the Europeans, on to Garmish, Germany in 2005, Lowell, USA and Basel, Switzerland in 2006, Füssen, Germany in 2007, Örnsköldsvik, Sweden in 2008 and coach at Aberdeen, Scotland in 2009. His senior career began in Minneapolis-St Paul’s, USA in 2011, then to Fredericton, Canada in 2013. Quite a record.

Here are some photographic memories of Peter’s curling adventures.

Early days when he was Scottish!

Early days when he was Scottish!

Playing for Ireland in Fredericton in 2013

Playing for Ireland in Fredericton in 2013

Skipping the team at his first world seniors in 2011

Skipping the team at his first world seniors in 2011

His first Irish outing  in Sofia  at the Europeans 2004

His first Irish outing in Sofia at the Europeans 2004

Up the top of a ski jump in Sweden!

Up the top of a ski jump in Sweden!
















Only once has his normal air of diplomatic bonhomie disappeared and that was at the Europeans in Aberdeen in 2009.Ireland’s men were playing Wales when Adrian Meikle pulled out the world’s greatest ever fluke shot. Up on the coaches’bench, right beside the Welsh contingent, PJ momentarily forgot the video also had a microphone……..

Playdowns looming

The playdowns for the ICA men’s championships will be played at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Friday, March 6th; Saturday March 7th and Sunday March 8th.

There are two teams entered:

Peter Wilson, Andrew Gilmore, Alan Mitchell, Tony Tierney (Robin Gray unavailable for playdowns).

James Russell, John Furey, Johnjo Kenny, Arran Cameron, Eoin McCrossan (Craig Whyte unavailable for playdowns).

The championship will be a ‘best of five’ format  – all games 10 ends – with the winners going forward to represent Ireland at the European C League in Champrey, Switzerland, 12th – 17th October.

Three teams have entered for the Irish Mixed Championships:

Johnjo Kenny, Marie O’Kane, Tony Tierney, Jen Ward

Neil Fyfe, Alison Fyfe, David Whyte, Ailsa Anderson

Bill Gray, Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Ross Barr, Jacqui Barr

The playdowns for this will take place at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday, 28th March and Sunday, 29th March. Round-robin games will be followed by a semi-final and then a final. The winners will represent Ireland at the World Mixed Curling Championships in Berne, Switzerland, 12th – 19th September.

Andrew joins the ICA

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA's latest recruit

Sixteen-year-old Andrew Gilmore (right) is the ICA’s latest recruit

A thousand welcomes to 16-year-old Andrew Gilmore who joined the Irish Curling Association at the weekend.

Andrew is a keen member of Stranraer Young Curlers and will be playing for Peter Wilson’s team at the men’s playdowns in Dumfries 6th / 7th / 8th March.

Andrew says he is delighted that he has been asked to curl with the  ICA and looking forward to his first game!
He lives with his mum and dad, John and Diane, a couple of miles outside the village of Drummore, near the Mull of Galloway. Andrew turned 16 last November started curling when he was in primary 7.  He is now in 5th year at Stranraer Academy and currently studying hard for his highers.  Andrew’s career plans are to apply to Glasgow City Nautical College to study as a deck officer, hopefully on cruise ships.  He plans to stay on at school for a sixth year as he can’t go to sea until he is 18.
His hobbies are curling, golf and sailing.  He  also plays the piano and has just passed his grade 5. He also plays the guitar.  Andrew has an under 17 Asham team which he skips.



Kinross Bonspiel team line-up

The teams have been picked for the ICA bonspiel at Kinross on Sunday at 12.15pm and the six rinks will line up thus:

Marie O’Kane, Ross Barr, Yvonne Chalmers, Nathan Furey
John Furey, Gillian Drury, John Burns, Gillian Russell

Arran Cameron, Christine Furey, Eoin McCrossan, Erin Furey
Ian Donald, David Hume, Christina Graham, Jen Ward

James Russell, Louise Kerr, Elizabeth McKay, Frances Donald
Bill Gray or Johnjo Kenny, Craig Whyte, Alison Barr, Clare Darragh

Four Nations this weekend at Fenton’s

Good luck to all the curlers representing Ireland this weekend in the Four Nations at Fenton’s Rink in Kent against Wales, Scotland and hosts England.

Our teams line-up as follows:


6.00 pm

Men v  Scotland

PJD Wilson JJ Kenny J Burns P Cromey

8.15 pm

Ladies v England

C Hibberd M Sweeney-Baird C Darragh  G Russell


9.00 am

Men v Wales

B Gray A Cameron  R Barr  Eoin McCrossan

Ladies v Wales

C Hibberd, C McCormick C Darragh F Donald

13.30 pm

Ladies v Scotland

M Sweeney-Baird C Graham C Darragh G Russell

15.45 pm

Mixed v Scotland

JJ Kenny C Graham J Burns  J Ward

B Gray C McCormick P Cromey  F Donald


9.00 am

Men v England

PJD Wilson, A Cameron, Eoin McCrossan J Burns

11.15 am

Mixed v Wales

JJ Kenny C Graham R Barr J Ward

B Gray C McCormick P Cromey F Donald

13.30 pm

Mixed v England

C Hibberd  R Barr G Russell Eoin McCrossan

PJD Wilson M Sweeney-Baird A Cameron J Ward


ICA Glitter Tree Trophy 2014

The ICA Glitter Tree Trophy

The ICA Glitter Tree Trophy

All the Christmas trees entered in the ICA Christmas Tree Challenge for 2014 are now being judged by Christine Cannon and the winner will be announced at 5pm today here on the ICA website.

The owner of the top tree for 2014 will receive the ICA Glitter Tree Trophy and a box of Tayto crisps!

Thanks to all who took the time to enter.

Show us your trees!

IrishTreeIn the run-up to Christmas the ICA are holding a Christmas tree competition to find the best festive fir in the rank and file!

All the trees entered will be judged by the current senior women’s world champion skip, Scotland’s Christine Cannon, who will show no favouritism and is above being bribed (PJ has tried).

Email a colour picture of your Christmas tree to Louise at louise.kerr@gallowaygazette.com or l.kerr871@btinternet.com by midnight on Tuesday, December 23rd. The pictures will then go onto the website anonymously, Christine will study the trees entered and choose the best one and the judge’s decision is final.

The winner of the ICA Christmas Tree challenge will be announced on Christmas Eve and will receive a substantial prize.

So get decorating!

New kids on the seniors’ block

Galacticos 1A new mens’ seniors team, formed out of the embers of Peter Wilson’s senior champs from 2013, took to the ice for the first time last weekend.

Robin Gray, having now turned 50, takes over as skip with Peter playing third stones, PJ Wilson goes to second and coming in at lead is Tony Tierney.

Tony, who was previously with the team that unforgettably won senior gold in 2012, was looking for a new challenge this season and Team Gray were more that happy to welcome him into the fold.

The four of them got the stiffness out of their legs with an intensive two days of on ice action at Stranraer Ice Rink,  including a high-quality bounce game against a Stranraer select skipped by Peter’s brother Philip.

The team will now have their first competitive test playing in the European Senior Invitation at Greenacres in early November. This will be part of their preparation for the Irish Senior Championships at Dumfries Ice Bowl, 9/10/11 January 2015. 

The championships looks like being a three-way tussle between the new team, the current champions, skipped by Johnjo Kenny, and another team of challengers, rumoured to be skipped by David Smith. 

After the Stranraer weekend, Robin Gray said: “A very enjoyable weekend that mixed some old and new practice drills with a competitive game against some old friends! Incidentally, that game included one of the best curling shots I have ever seen from Philip Wilson when he took out four well spread stones and lay, in a last gasp effort to save the  fifth end. The new stones ensured we were looking at a good swing on the ice and Stranraer was playing better than I can ever remember. Having been out of mens competitive curling for three years now, I am really looking forward to the European Seniors at Greenacres and thank the organisers for allowing us to be there. Big thanks to Gail Munro at NWC for her hospitality and support during our time here.”