Jackie stands down after racking up 35 years

Paudie McShane and Frank Wright make a presentation to Jackie Henry who is retiring from Ballycastle Pool League after 35 years.INBM23-11 230JC
Paudie McShane and Frank Wright make a presentation to Jackie Henry who is retiring from Ballycastle Pool League after 35 years.INBM23-11 230JC

BALLYCASTLE Pool League paid a fond farewell to outgoing chairman and long-term stalwart of the league Jackie Henry last week.

The ace cueman stepped down after 35 years in the role, during which he worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the competition each year.

Jackie took the helm of the fledgling club having been a keen participant as a player, and he plans to continue potting for McKeagues bar.

The sprightly 71-year-old from Mayo Drive said the league played an integral role in the local community.

“It has been good for the town and good for business as far as publicans are concerned,” he told Times Sport.

“When I started there were 16 teams in the league and then there was the Golden Chip competition, so you might of had 108 players from the Ballycastle area.”

A special send-off in honour of Jackie took place last week during which he was presented with a crystal gift from the league and a presentation plaque on behalf of Moyle District Council from chairman Padraig McShane and a gift voucher for a meal.

Frank Wright is taking over the reins from Jackie, having worked alongside him as past four years.

“We wanted to show how much we appreciate his efforts over the past 35 years,” said Frank.

“He has done an incredible job in that time and during periods it would have been very difficult, such as throughout the Troubles.

“But he kept the boys together and also brought about a lot of business for bars.”

Despite stepping down from his role as chairman, Jackie will be no stranger to the pool table and plans to be racking up the balls for a while yet with his special 80 year-old-cue.

“I’ll play as long as the health keeps up and the eyesight of course,” he laughed.

Jackie wished to thank everyone for their support over the years.