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‘Day of a lifetime’ for proud Ireland mascot

A very proud Seamus Hanley (front, second from left) stands with Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip and the Irish rugby team ahead of Ireland's RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland last Sunday. Photo: �INPHO/Dan Sheridan

A very proud Seamus Hanley (front, second from left) stands with Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip and the Irish rugby team ahead of Ireland's RBS Six Nations clash with Scotland last Sunday. Photo: �INPHO/Dan Sheridan

One young Longford rugby fan and player will remember Sunday’s Six Nations clash between Ireland and Scotland long after it has become a footnote in sporting history.

For nine-year-old Newtownforbes rugby fanatic Seamus Hanley the day was especially significant because he was mascot to the Irish team.

And in this role, a proud Seamus joined Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in leading out Joe Schmidt’s side at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

Speakinjg to the Leader yesterday, the Scoil Mhuire National School pupil was still coming to terms with the enormity of it all.

“It was fantastic being the mascot,” said Seamus, as he described the Irish skipper and Leinster number eight as “really nice”.

As well as shaking hands with President Michael D Higgins and IRFU President Pat Fitzgerald, Seamus who plays rugby for Longford U-10’s, was given a full kit to take home as a memento of his big day.

That said, the son of Matt and Kathleen was adamant that the occasion hasn’t changed his mind as to the identity of his favourite player.

“Shane Jennings of Leinster,” he said.

 

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