'Sports' Council were very keen that bowling would play its part in attracting tourists back.'

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'Sports' Council were very keen that bowling would play its part in attracting tourists back.'


Tom recounts the exchange of his bowling club with Israel and with other countries in order to stimulate tourism in Northern Ireland after the troubles.


Tom Sutton


Trinity College Dublin




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With few visitors coming to Northern Ireland because of the troubles in the province, as things improved the Sports' Council were very keen that bowling would play its part in attracting tourists back. Straight away, Israel accepted our invitation and so began a great relationship between the two countries, with Ireland accepting a return visit to Israel. The ladies followed suit and it was the start of a great friendship for me with an Israeli -Norman Spiro -which still exists today. Many clubs from Scotland and England also came to Northern Ireland for a week's tour and, for me, it was always a pleasure to make all the arrangements for their itinerary, right from transport, hotel, fixtures and places to visit. The Belfast City Hall was always a place to go to and nearly always the Lord Mayor entertained visitors in his parlour. I must say, I always felt very proud to take visitors there and I was very appreciative to the clubs who entertained and played a fixture against the visitors. Visits to the north coast, to Portrush, the Giants Causeway, Bushmills Distillery, Ulster Folk Museum, Bangor and Newcastle and Stormont were some of the places visited. Nearly always, the Ulster transport coach was driven from Lurgan by Bobby McNally, not only a great driver, but also very helpful in many ways, carrying bags etc., to make journeys so happy for everyone. Over the years, I made many, many bowling friends throughout the world and try to keep in touch with them still.


Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)


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