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Seven Reasons Why That Was An Amazing Weekend To Be Irish

By James Fenton

July 24, 2019 at 12:08pm

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Every now and again it's nice to take a step back and appreciate the achievements of our little country. The weekend provided plenty of opportunities to do so with Irish people taking home silverware in various sports, charming reality TV viewers and displaying all the best aspects of our national game.

In case you slept throughout the whole weekend, here's what you missed. Olé olé ole, etc.

1. Shane Lowry wins his first major

There's only one place to start and that's with Shane Lowry winning The Open in Portrush. When it was decided that the 2019 edition was to take place in Ireland, all we needed was an Irish winner to put the icing on the cake.

Lowry duly delivered and left the nation bursting with pride, as evidenced by the scenes in his local golf club.

2. Amber picks Greg on Love Island

Irish Love Island fans rejoiced on Friday night as Amber picked Limerick's Greg O'Shea ahead of Michael. The Ireland rugby sevens player has only been in the villa for a few days but he's already gotten people talking.

3. The 50th anniversary of the Moonlanding

Saturday marked 50 years since one of the most famous events in human history and as with most of Earth's achievements, if there's a connection to be found, the Irish will find it.

Researchers at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) were among the first to study lunar material brought back the Appolo 11 team so if anyone deserves to celebrate it's us, to be fair.

4. Ireland under-19s progress to semis

Over in Armenia, the Ireland under-19 soccer team clinched a place in the European Championships semi-final with a 2-1 over Czech Republic. Tom Mohan's lads now move on to play Portugal on Wednesday and it would take a brave person to bet against them progressing to the final.

5. Troy Parrot makes his mark

Speaking of young Irish players, Troy Parrott is seen by many as the country's next great hope in the search for a Robbie Keane-type figure that has been missing since the latter's 2016 retirement.

Keane's fellow Dubliner made his debut for Tottenham Hotspur in a 3-2 win over Juventus and it was his shot that set up Eric Lamela to score Spurs' first goal. The future is bright indeed.

6. Gaelic Football is back

After weeks of fans complaining about venues, scheduling and the poor standard of matches, Kerry and Donegal served up a Super 8 thriller at Croke Park on Sunday.

Fittingly for two of the most aesthetically pleasing counties in Ireland, the two sides provided a feast for the eyes by playing out a 1-20 1-20 draw at GAA HQ.

7. Athletics success

Ireland holds a proud tradition of punching above our weight when it comes to athletics and over the weekend, we had a few more things to celebrate.

Darragh McElhinney took 5,000m bronze in the U20 European Championships, while Sarah Healy won silver in the women's 1500m.

Before that, on Friday, Kate O'Connor won a silver medal in the heptathlon. With all that bling, the metal detectors will certainly be busy on the way back from Sweden to Ireland.

READ NEXT: WATCH: The Weather Fails To Dampen Spirits As Golf Fans Dance In The Rain In Portrush

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