Navy vs. Notre Dame

A group of ’66 Classmates enjoyed touring Ireland, with part of their adventure being to attend the Navy/Notre Dame game in Dublin. Charlie & Ginny Jones and Charlie & Sharon Votava, with their son and his wife, were on the same tour. Donna Phillips & Carol Porter’s tour coincided in Dublin, but their pre and post cities (Donegal & Galway) were in reverse order. Scott and Dervilla Gordon were in Dublin to join in the Navy festivities, as they visited family in Ireland. 66ers John & Ann Jackson and Ace & Lynne Sarich were in Dublin for the game but were not part of the tours pictured below.

Pre-Game Adventures

  • Arriving in Dublin and then beginning the route to Donegal at sunrise.
  • Jackson’s Hotel, quaint lodging in the little town of Ballybofey and a scenic view of the amazing countryside.
  • Below: Glenveagh National Park, with its lovely gardens & castle.

Arriving in Dublin

  • Welcome signs and balloons greeted us in Dublin, as well as in our other stops in Ireland.
  • The Alumni Association sponsored a “Hooley” (big Irish party) at the Epic Museum.

Game Day

  • We all enjoyed Dublin’s welcoming atmosphere with numerous Navy signs, treasured sites, shopping, food, etc.
  • The festive Navy Pep Rally in Merrion Square, where the cheerleaders, D&B and “Bill the Goat” displayed our team spirit well, was a time to be proud.
  • Navy’s Welcome Experience at the Guinnes Storehouse was an evening filled with lots of Irish entertainment, food, drink, grand views of the city and fun.
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral, including the opportunity for a memorable Eucharistic Service in “Lady’s Chapel” for some of us, was impressive.
  • The “Big Game” was filled with much excitement and great Navy spirit. The beautiful stadium had quite the sunset view through its glass structure.
  • Though it wasn’t a Navy win, they DID score. So, the singing of “Navy Blue & Gold” among all the green and Irish signage was still a time of pride.

Post-game Exploring

  • During a stop to visit Athlone Castle in route to Galway, we got to see  “Sean’s Bar”, the oldest pub in Ireland.
  • Galway Bay joins the waterfront by the Spanish Arch and is across from the busy Latin Quarter and Quay St, filled with lots of shops and pubs, where signs continued to welcome us to this part of Ireland.
  • Beautiful countryside, and possibly even more sheep, greeted us on our next day of touring. What a fun surprise to have a chance to actually feed and pet the sheep.
  • As we headed into the Connemara Region, the terrain changed, and we saw more mountains. Beautiful Kilmore Abbey, was nestled at the foot of such lovely mountains.
  • We were greeted there by another welcome sign AND 2 goats wearing Navy blue blankets with an “N*” on them. What a great surprise to see this special Navy spirit. Another highlight of Kilmore Abbey was their gorgeous, manicured walled garden.
  • The visit to the Cliffs of Moher was truly amazing. The trip to and view from the top will be quite a memory. The gusts of wind at the top literally came close to blowing some of us over.
  • The Jones’, Votava’s and 2 sets of tour friends from ’69 and ’65 gathered at the hotel on our last night in Galway before going off for farewell dinners.