Take me to your Paradise

Take me to your paradise

The famous Scottish entertainer Glen Daly sang of Celtic Football Club “Sure it’s a grand old team to play for, and it’s a grand old team to see.” And for 31 lucky youngsters aged 11 to 15 years from eight schools in the Ringsend and Pearse Street areas, the latter of that infamous lyric became a reality thanks to the Kano Foundation.

The Kano Foundation are a Glasgow-based charity that have devoted themselves to providing match day experiences for youth groups who otherwise might not get that chance. Every year they secure 80 season tickets for Celtic home games in Glasgow and any group is welcome to use the tickets free of charge. But with the youngsters of Ringsend and Pearse Street, they went above and beyond.

With the help of Julie O’Hagan from the Dublin School Completion Programme, Hail Hail Media.com and the Naomh Padraig Celtic Supporters Club, the Kano Foundation managed to coordinate and fully fund this one-of-a-kind experience for all involved.

There were a lot of bleary-eyed school kids climbing on board the coach to Glasgow at 4.15am on November 22nd, but after arriving in Belfast harbour all were in high spirits. Out on the open seas a pandemic of travel sickness kicked in and kept pace until the group arrived safely in Glasgow at Celtic Park, the place Celtic fans call Paradise.

Despite the horizontal rain, the group really enjoyed themselves. Everyone received a goodie bag, food token, scarf and flag as they took their seats behind the goal in the Lisbon Lions Stand to see Celtic beat Kilmarnock 2–0.

As a special treat, the Kano Foundation arranged for the Celtic manager Ronny Diela and a selection of Celtic players to meet the group for pictures and autographs before boarding the coach to head back for Dublin where they wheeled back into Pearse Street around 12.30am, every one of them wearing the famous green and white of Celtic.

By Joe McKenna