The Blitz of Christmas Past – The 2020 Virtual Show Must Go On

St. Mary’s Basketball Club and Christmas Blitz founder, Donal ‘Duke’ O’Connor (third from right) accepting a Munster Joinery sponsorship package from Alan and Angela Ring for the 1992 blitz at the launch at Skevena’s Bar. Included are from left: Tim Egan and Eamon O’Connor, St. Mary’s; Angela Ring, Munster Joinery; Jay McLaughlin, St. Mary’s; Donal ‘Duke’ O’Connor, Alan Ring, Munster Joinery and Dermot ‘Domo’ Lyne, St. Mary’s. ©Photograph: John Reidy 11-12-1992
A presentation was made in May 2005 by St. Mary’s Basketball Club to teachers in the three local post primary schools where the game is nurtured with a remarkable level of success in recent years. Holding the awards are from left: John Enright, St. Joseph’s Presentation Girls’ Secondary; Ciaran Fleming, Castleisland Community College; Julie Twomey, Coláiste Phádraig Boys’ Secondary and Jack Nolan, Castleisland Community College. Club PRO, Liz Galwey and Chairman, Tom Kenny made the presentations on behalf of the club. ©Photograph: John Reidy 19/05/2005
Like father..: Vincent Murphy and his son Gerard perusing the programme for the 37th annual Christmas Basketball Blitz at the River Island Hotel .©Photograph: John Reidy / The Kerryman 8-12-2006

Good news for all basketball fans, there will be a Blitz of sorts, for Castleisland and beyond this Christmas.

Some months ago St. Mary’s Basketball Club was forced to announce that its annual ‘Christmas Blitz’ would not go ahead this year.

It was like many other events a victim of Covid-19. The Blitz should have been entering its 51st. year and this news was a huge blow to all in the basketball community and the thousands of supporters who attended each year.

Confirming a Virtual Blitz

“On the weekend that should have been the launch of the annual blitz programme, organisers have announced that they are currently working closely with Richard Nolan of Art Customized and can confirm that there will be a virtual Blitz in 2020,” said club PRO Liz Galwey.

“People were constantly saying how they would miss the event this year and that they would not know what to do with themselves in the days after Christmas.

“We felt it was only right to try and put something in place and we are fortunate to have the support of Garvey’s SuperValu to assist us in doing so,” said Liz.

Old Video Tapes

“We did have some old video tapes and CDs from the late ’90s and early 00s so it was decided to see what was still working and what we could put in place, a lot of people can’t make it home this year so it will be great for them also.

“The event is still in the planning but the hope is to have a mixture of games, from all age groups and all years on each of the five days after Christmas if possible.

The Show Will Go On

“Not all years were available and the quality was no longer great in some cases but we have certainly managed to pull a considerable amount from what we have.

“Full details of ‘The Blitz of Christmas Past’ will be available over the next few weeks. But, for now, it is safe to say that St. Mary’s will be putting on a Blitz this Christmas,” said Liz – fresh from her trip down memory lane.

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