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long and shorts of it Farmer (78) who won Paul Mescal signed shorts in raffle admits he hasn't watched Normal People

Nevertheless, Mr Ryan said that he is 'delighted' to have won the shorts and they have now pride of place at his Cooraclare home

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Noel Ryan from Cooraclare, Co Clare, with the raffle prize of Paul Mescal's signed GAA shorts. Picture: Eamon Ward

Noel Ryan from Cooraclare, Co Clare, with the raffle prize of Paul Mescal's signed GAA shorts. Picture: Eamon Ward

Noel Ryan from Cooraclare, Co Clare, with the raffle prize of Paul Mescal's signed GAA shorts. Picture: Eamon Ward

A 78-year old farmer who has won a coveted framed pair of O’Neill’s shorts signed by actor Paul Mescal has admitted that he has never watched Normal People.

The TV breakout hit of 2020 has made Mescal a global star but west Clare man Noel Ryan said today: “I didn’t even look at it,” when asked did he see Mescal star in the sexually charged coming-of-age series.

Mr Ryan made his comment after Cooraclare GAA club confirmed that Mr Ryan had the winning ticket for the signed O’Neill’s shorts that were raffled as part of a fundraising drive for the club.

Mr Ryan said that he is “delighted” to have won the shorts and they have now pride of place at his Cooraclare home.

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Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones in Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones in Normal People

Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar Jones in Normal People

The O’Neill’s shorts contain the dedication penned by Mescal “to the Normal People of Cooraclare”.

The Kildare man has close family links to the west Clare village and his celebrity status has proven to be a winner for Cooraclare GAA, which has raised €10,000 for much needed club facilities on the back of the €20 Mescal shorts.

The club sold around 5,000 tickets and Mr Ryan said he was one of the first to buy a ticket.

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Paul Mescal's signed €20 O'Neill's Mourne GAA shorts which were won by Noel Ryan. Picture: Joe Considine

Paul Mescal's signed €20 O'Neill's Mourne GAA shorts which were won by Noel Ryan. Picture: Joe Considine

Paul Mescal's signed €20 O'Neill's Mourne GAA shorts which were won by Noel Ryan. Picture: Joe Considine

Cooraclare GAA spokesman Joe Considine said Mr Ryan “has been a member and supporter of Cooraclare GFC all his life”.

Mr Considine said Noel knew Mescal’s grandparents, the late Michael, and Mairéad who still lives in the Mescal homestead.

He said Noel worked with Paul’s uncle Paudie Mescal “when they both drove for the McNamaras, a local silage contracting outfit”.

"The club is delighted that Noel won this prize as he was one of the first to buy a ticket as he always is,” Mr Considine said.

Mr Considine added: “The funds will go towards badly needed renovations of our gym facility and the balance is earmarked for covering yearly running costs and maintaining our pitch.”

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Mr Considine said the club sold tickets “home and abroad” through the association with the 25-year-old actor.

Paul’s father, Paul Snr, was born in the parish and his uncle Paudie, nephews and nieces, Clodagh, Aoibhinn, Páraic and Darragh Jim, and first cousins are an integral part of the Cooraclare club today.

During the autumn, Paul came along to watch his godson, Daragh Jim, train with the club’s under 9s at Cooraclare GAA grounds.

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Paul Mescal on a recent visit to Cooraclare GAA club where he met up with his godson, Darragh Jim Mescal and other budding Cooraclare footballers. From left to right: James Considine, Tommy Considine, Daragh Jim Mescal (Paul Mescal’s nephew and godson), Paul Mescal, Micheál Galvin, Diarmuid Galvin, Fionn Considine and Hugh Kelly. Picture: Joe Considine

Paul Mescal on a recent visit to Cooraclare GAA club where he met up with his godson, Darragh Jim Mescal and other budding Cooraclare footballers. From left to right: James Considine, Tommy Considine, Daragh Jim Mescal (Paul Mescal’s nephew and godson), Paul Mescal, Micheál Galvin, Diarmuid Galvin, Fionn Considine and Hugh Kelly. Picture: Joe Considine

Paul Mescal on a recent visit to Cooraclare GAA club where he met up with his godson, Darragh Jim Mescal and other budding Cooraclare footballers. From left to right: James Considine, Tommy Considine, Daragh Jim Mescal (Paul Mescal’s nephew and godson), Paul Mescal, Micheál Galvin, Diarmuid Galvin, Fionn Considine and Hugh Kelly. Picture: Joe Considine

Co-owner of O’Neill’s, Paul Towell said on Wednesday: “We’re delighted that a pair of O’Neill’s shorts has helped raise this type of money for a GAA club”.

Mr Towell quipped: “It is a pity that Paul Mescal can’t sign all our shorts.”

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Mescal, who was a rising GAA star before his acting career took off, wore GAA shorts on screen and in public. Photo: Enda Bowe

Mescal, who was a rising GAA star before his acting career took off, wore GAA shorts on screen and in public. Photo: Enda Bowe

Mescal, who was a rising GAA star before his acting career took off, wore GAA shorts on screen and in public. Photo: Enda Bowe

However, Mr Towell said the ‘Mescal effect’ continues with sales of the €20 Mourne shorts.

Last month, Mr Towell said the Mourne shorts were “by far O’Neill’s best selling product for 2021 and sales have increased by 30 per cent on last year".

Mescal made the O’Neill’s shorts one of the most sought-after fashion items of this year after the former Kildare minor football captain was photographed out and about during 2020 sporting his ONeill’s shorts before wearing them with a €10,000 fleece for a GQ cover photo shoot last autumn.

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Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal in Ireland. Photo: Instagram

Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal in Ireland. Photo: Instagram

Phoebe Bridgers and Paul Mescal in Ireland. Photo: Instagram

Mescal is currently home in Ireland for Christmas with American singer-songwriter girlfriend Phoebe Bridgers, and fans have been posting sightings of the pair online, including one in Dalkey, south Dublin, earlier this week.

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