Painting of Celtic FC founder and Marist Brother unveiled
Former Ireland international Niall Quinn and former Shelbourne player Richie Baker with students and staff from Moyle Park College

Painting of Celtic FC founder and Marist Brother unveiled

Moyle Park College welcomed former Shelbourne star Richie Baker from Tallaght and former Irish International, Niall Quinn from Perrystown to the school where a painting of Glasgow Celtic founder and former Marist Brother, Brother Walfrid was presented, reports Abigail Glynn.

Joining them on the day was Carol Quinn (shop steward Tallaght Debenhams), Jane Crowe (shop steward Henry St. Debenhams) and Carmel Redmond (Henry St worker at Debenhams) along with Fergus Dowd, author of the book ‘406 Days: the Debenhams Workers’ stories’.

Linking the Debenhams strikers and Brother Walfrid is Fergus Dowd – an IT systems analyst who has dedicated himself in recent years to a number of causes.

The incredible story of the Debenhams Strikers is currently being made into a documentary. Fergus has a keen interest in soccer and has spent months fundraising for the project and as part of the fundraising efforts, a painting of Br. Walfrid, depicting the founder of Glasgow Celtic was donated to the group.

Ms Cahalane, Principal of Moyle Park College noted that “the inspirational stories on the day reminded everyone of the importance of solidarity and teamwork”.

Walfrid was born in Ballymote in Co Sligo in 1840. Throughout his life he was a major contributor in relation to Catholic education and charity in Glasgow and to the emergence of organised sport in Scotland in the late nineteenth century. He survived the Famine and at the age of 15 he emigrated with a friend to Glasgow.

He joined the Marist Brothers in 1824 and became the teacher known as Brother Walfrid.

The presence of the Brothers in the poverty stricken East side of Glasgow led Walfrid to spend his life helping deprived families.

As of his work he set up a penny dinner’s scheme for school children and hit on the idea of running charity soccer matches to raise funds. One thing led to another and Glasgow Celtic was founded in 1888 to provide a permanent source of financial support for the dinners.

The Celtic FC Foundation continues that charitable work today. You cannot miss the large bronze statue of Walfrid outside the entrance of Celtic Park.

For Ballymote, and Celtic fans, the first biography of Br Walfrid has now been written by Dr Michael Connolly ‘Walfrid: A Life of Faith, Community and Football’ which is published by Thirsty Books.

The book launch was attended by Walfrid’s great grandniece and a number of Marist Brothers. It will be available in all Celtic FC stores priced at £20.