Great News! For campaigners and Irish Golf.
Great news to hear that Royal Portrush G C, Northern Ireland. Will host the 2019 Open Championship.
I was lucky enough to play my tiny part when I exhibited 'Open Champions' at Stormont Great Hall, Belfast in 2011. I was invited by the speaker of the NI Assembly, Mr William Hay as part of the campaign to bring 'The Open' back to Northern Ireland, namely, Royal Portrush G C. Despite later agent problems, that evening was special.
The winner of the Open in 1947 was a Northern Irish Pro called Fred Daly and his son kindly attended my Preview Evening in the Great Hall. I had included my portrait of Fred, with his Open Champion medal in the collection. Attending also were, Dame Mary Peters, Barbara Best , many other dignitaries and the NI Assembly MPs. It was really special to have my mother, family and friends there too. My Mother told me that, 'back in the day', Stormont grounds were the place for courting! Too much info Mum. She is a proud Belfast lady that still plays for the Irish Vetts TT Team to this day!!
She was the 1st Female Sports Centre Manager in the UK and as kids we sat and took the mick when she was on the TV. Proud of her now. Kidz......
I had to say a few words to everyone in the Hall. Standing at the lecturn, at the bottom of those famous steps, I couldn't get the thought of my Grandfather cleaning the floors there out of my head, it helped calm me. A war hero, mentioned in dispatches, scrubbing the floors. Life was hard then.
I was born in the City Hospital, Belfast. I am proud to call myself Northern Irish and wish everyone great success with The Open in 2019. Many thanks to David Nolan, Fine Artist, who helped me get through the aftermath. His Paisley portrait was looking down on me throughout the evening. Great painting.
My sister Lynne made the whole event possible. I've included a few pix from the evening. It is only now that I can begin to feel better because something good has happened as a result of everyone's efforts in Northern Ireland. Congratulations to everyone that has worked so hard to get to this point. Congrats also to Darren Clarke.
Thanks to everyone for their lovely comments and best wishes on the night.