Tyrone schoolboy thanks Pope for blessing football jersey and invites him to his school

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An Eglish Primary School is hoping that a letter written in Spanish and delivered to the Pope this week will help encourage him to visit the North during the proposed Papal visit in 2018.

Eleven-year-old student Lorcán McGeough wrote the letter in the Pontiff’s native Spanish inviting the Holy Father to Derrylatinee Primary School in the Brantry.

Lorcán, who is a P7 pupil at the St Francis P.S., hopes that the Pope will read his letter in person and accept the invitation.

“Our teachers asked all of us to write to the Holy Father and invite him to Derrylatinee as it is named after St Francis, the same name he took as Pope. Since I speak Spanish I thought that it might be cool to write to him in his own language”, Lorcán said.

The Pope is from Argentina and Spanish is his mother tongue. Although born and reared in Ireland, Lorcán’s mother is from Barcelona and he and his siblings were raised speaking both English and Spanish in the home, leaving them proficient in both languages.

“Even though I will have left Derrylatinee by the time of the visit, I really hope the Pope comes to our school. It would be the biggest event in its history ever”, said the Brantry pupil, who sits his Transfer Test this year. In his letter Lorcán reminded the Pope that he had recently been presented with an Eglish GAA top during a visit to Rome by Fr Michael Toner, a former PP of the parish. Lorcán pointed out that he plays for the Eglish under-12s team.

“I’d also like to thank him in person for having blessed our jersey and given us that extra edge on the field”, Lorcán joked.