Ode to hockey and an anthem for Ireland


Sir, – It has been mentioned to me by several people how proud my late mother Winifred Templeton would have been of the success of the Ireland women’s hockey team at the recent World Cup.

Mrs T, as she was affectionately known, died suddenly in January 1977, having umpired two matches that day, when she held the office of president of the Irish Ladies Hockey Union.

Like many of her contemporaries, my mother travelled the length and breadth of Ireland in the administration and promotion of the game she loved. This despite never having driven a motor car herself. Relying on her many friends within the game of hockey for transport, she crossed the Border regularly from her home in Belfast during the height of the most troubled times in our country’s history. Of stern will, she refused to contemplate not journeying either to meetings or wherever hockey was being played, even in those dark days.

While delighting in our girls’ success, she would have been saddened at the crass attempt by Tom Cooper in his letter of August 8th, to drive a wedge between those who so proudly represented the whole of our nation.

What a joy it was to see all those smiling faces united in the singing of Ireland’s Call and then proceeding to demonstrate exceptional unity and team spirit during the games. Along with every right-thinking sports fan, my admiration is boundless. – Yours, etc,


Crawfordsburn, Co Down.

Sir, – Perhaps we should have a new anthem to play at all-island sporting events. To keep whingers and nit-pickers at bay we would have to follow European, Spanish, San Marino and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have no words to theirs. – Yours, etc,


Co Westmeath.