IT WAS 48 hours that Kilmallock’s Aidan and Kitty Carroll, who travelled to Australia for the birth of their first grandchild, will never forget.
As luck would have it, it coincided with the second Lions test in Melbourne for massive rugby fan Aidan.
A very considerate Seamus Aodhan, a son for Melanie and Steve, was born on Friday, June 28 - the day before the match - weighing 8lbs 8oz.
“I wanted to call him Paul, Brian, Conor or Jamie after the Irish Lions but was overruled and voted down!” joked Aidan.
The new arrival on Friday allowed him to watch the game with their youngest daughter, Grace, on Saturday.
The Carrolls, from Maiden Hall, Kilmallock were joined at the Etihad stadium by the Sheehans of Rockhill, Bruree - Dick, Michael and Richard, who are all resident in Melbourne, along with daughter Deirdre.
“This made for a real Irish and Limerick occasion away from home. It was disappointing to lose the second test and that the Munster talisman, Paul O’Connell, was absent through injury. However, Conor Murray acquitted himself very well when he came on in the second half,” said Aidan.
While Aidan and Grace were at the game, proud grandmother Kitty was on hand to help the new arrival settle in and give Melanie a well-deserved rest.
Seamus Aodhan couldn’t have been in safer hands as the playgroup teacher has minded countless children. Often children who went to Kitty Carroll’s Playgroup were taught in later life by Aidan, an English teacher for many years in the CBS in Charleville.
For Aidan, a regular at Thomond Park for RaboDirect and Heineken matches, the Etihad stadium experience was exceptional.
“Imagine Thomond Park on one of its spectacular days and multiply by ten,” was Aidan’s response to the atmosphere at the sold-out stadium.
They couldn’t have had a better view of Leigh Halfpenny’s agonisingly close penalty kick to win the series either.
The seats obtained through a family connection of Melanie’s in The Australian newspaper and Channel 10 TV were on the half-way line in the premium section, plus corporate hospitality.
Aidan says he will be watching the third test in Sydney in Melbourne with a, hopefully, sleeping Seamus Aodhan.
Melanie, a secondary school teacher and Head of English Department in University High School, Melbourne, has been in Australia for 15 years.
While Grace, a nurse in the Royal Melbourne, has been down under for 10.
Meanwhile, back on the domestic front, argument has been raging as to whether little Seamus Aodhan was more qualified for the Wallabies, or the Lions, or for Aussie Rules team Richmond!
Whatever he chooses to play when he grows up there is a wonderful sporting story surrounding his birth.