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‘Butcher Travel’ prepares for take-off

Although known throughout the county from his years working in the meat business, his dart throwing and for his role as a Gaelic football umpire, Pat ‘Butcher’ McCarthy has now branched into the travel agency business.
Umpire turned travel agent: Kilmurry Ibrickane’s Pat ‘Butcher’ McCarthyEschewing the recession, two of ‘Butcher’s buses’ will leave Quilty at 10.30am on Saturday week, bound for Shannon Airport and eventually Gatwick in London.
The following day (January 24), Kilmurry Ibrickane will play Tír Conaill Gaels in Ruislip for a place in the All-Ireland club semi-final against Portlaoise next month.
Even if Kilmurry win on Sunday week, that achievement will be dwarfed by ‘Butchers’, who has succeeded in booking 58 rooms for approximately 125 Kilmurry Ibrickane supporters in Days Inn Hotel, Ruislip.
Butcher was determined to ensure that Micheál McDermott’s Clare and Munster champions won’t be short of support in London.
“I said if I could round up 50 to go t’would be great. But it spiralled from there. I got the nearest hotel to the pitch. It’s five minutes from the field,” he told The Clare Champion on Wednesday.
Having dubbed his new business ‘Butcher Travel’, McCarthy nearly hit an early snag when negotiating for breakfast at the hotel. 
“I told him we wanted a full fry-up but the manager said they just do continental. I said ‘you better get a few sausages and rashers in for this crowd’,” Butcher explained, still a bit shaken at the near escape.
He expects up to 500 Kilmurry supporters to make the match in Ruislip.
“There’s a major amount of ex-Kilmurry people living over there. You have John Coughlan, Gerard Leary, Joseph Sexton and a few like that. He’s Noel Downes uncle and he told me there’s a big interest in it.”
However, Butcher did admit that there is some confusion as to the distance from Gatwick Airport to the hotel in question. 
“It depends on who you listen to. It’s from five minutes round the corner to 80 or 100km. I suppose if we’ve a few cans we won’t notice how long it will take us anyway,” he mused.
On the evening of January 23, the Kilmurry supporters have the option of listening to a performer they may have heard before. PJ Murrihy will be playing in Seamus Moore’s bar.
“So a crowd leaving Quilty on the Saturday are going to London and are heading straight to listen to PJ Murrihy, a Mullagh man. PJ has swapped with Foster and Allen and Paddy Cooney’s brother’s bar is right near that as well,” Butcher explained, having thoroughly researched his travel brief. 
Although keen not to look too far ahead, Butcher McCarthy says he will be in Dublin for an extended period if Kilmurry reach the All-Ireland club final on March 17.
“We won’t look too far ahead but if the luck is with us and we get to the All-Ireland club final, we’ll definitely go to Dublin for a fortnight,” he forecast.

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