By Ken Kelly
A Taughmaconnell student, volunteering in Ghana, West Africa, has helped to kit out a soccer team with jerseys from Joe Kelly’s Bar in Ballinasloe. Publican Joe has been a life-long supporter and sponsor of the Skyvalley Rovers soccer club, who now sees his branded jerseys being worn in West Africa. Katie Phelan, daughter of Joe and Rose, from Camla, Taughmaconnell, is a third year student in the University of Limerick and is a playing member of Skyvalley Rovers. As part of her studies she decided to volunteer at the Padre Pio Rehabilitation Centre in Ghana’s Cape Coast and brought with her a set of jerseys that had been donated to her club by Joe Kelly’s Bar. These she gladly gave to a group of enthusiastic soccer players, who are now displaying them with pride in their inter-village matches.
A spokesman for the Taughmaconnell club paid tribute to Joe Kelly for his support and sponsorship since its foundation in 1971. “He has been a true supporter over the years and was a special guest at our 40th anniversary celebrations in 2011. Now his son, Joby, has come on board to continue the sponsorship. The whole family have been most generous and we all here wish Joe a speedy recovery from his recent illness” he stated. Meanwhile, Katie, who is a former pupil of Ardscoil Mhuire, said the Cape Coast boys are the envy of everyone as they tog out in Joe Kelly’s Bar jerseys!
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