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Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane, at Cork On Ice, Mahon Point. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane, at Cork On Ice, Mahon Point. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Age is no barrier as Michael returns to the ice

WHILE most Grandads are content with comfy slippers, Michael Finnegan has opted for a pair of ice-skates instead.

The 82-year old from Ballyvolane returned to the Cork on Ice rink last week marking over a decade since he took up skating. 

The regular Winter event located in Mahon Point started this month and runs until January of 2019. Michael from Ballyvolane has become so dedicated to his passion he frequents the ice rink around three times a week.

 Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane with his wife Eileen and daughters, Majella and Valerie. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane with his wife Eileen and daughters, Majella and Valerie. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
He even ordered his own skates online after conducting research into a number of brands.

"You always feel better in your own skates," he said. "That's why I ordered mine off the internet. I don't order much off the internet but when they arrived they were perfect. I remember trying to walk up the hall in them to make sure they didn't pinch."

Michael also avails of the internet to pick up tips from youtube ice-skating tutorials.

He initially got involved in skating after joining his grandchildren on the ice.

"It's nice to be able to dust off the skates again," he said. "I was looking forward to kicking away on the ice again and meeting all the old gang. The great thing about Cork on ice is there's no snobbiness.

Even the much better skaters will tell you to "keep going and stick at it."

Michael confessed he was initially nervous.

"You tend to feel foolish going out for the first time and having to hold on to the sides. It's a lot more difficult to get into something like this at my age. You're a bit more vulnerable at the start."

"Nobody wants to be the first out on the dancefloor and skating is no different. The bones are more fragile so you're more scared of falling. However, there's a very friendly crowd here and everyone's very encouraging."

In the years since he discovered the ice Michael has mastered a number of impressive moves including skating backwards. However, the grandad said the best thing about ice-skating is getting the chance to meet new people.

 Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane with his daughter, Valerie Finnegan Cahill. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Michael Finnegan, from Ballyvolane with his daughter, Valerie Finnegan Cahill. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Michael, who has five daughters and 13 grandchildren, has always been sporty.

"When you get to a certain age there's not a lot open to you. I can't play football anymore so ice-skating is great exercise."

He encouraged other men and women his age to join him on the ice.

"Once you get over the initial hurdle it can be a great challenge."

The team at Cork on Ice were so impressed with Michael they have given him a VIP lifetime free pass to the rink.