From our postbag

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Intrigued by Brazil footballer’s story

Sir, – An article recently appeared in the Journal and Gazette which we and friends in Brazil have read online.

We are intrigued as it featured Gerry Sweeney who is perhaps related to Tom Donohoe (not Donohue) who first introduced football to Brazil. My contacts in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia would like to know if Gerry is in fact a descendant relative of Thomas Donohoe.

To explain, I am the local historian who researched the Donohoe families in the village of Busby, East Renfrewshire, and linked with the Brazilian researchers to write the whole story of Tom Donohoe’s life.

Together, after three years we finally achieved our objective of interesting the world media and the supporters of Bangu Atletico FC raised funds for the erection of a statue to his memory and achievements.

Tom went to Bangu, Rio de Janeiro, in May 1894 followed by his wife Eliza, their two sons and sister-in-law Mary in August of that year.Only Mary ever returned to the UK.

There were families of Donahue and Donogues in Busby - all unrelated to the Donohoes.

Through the Journal and Gazette would it be possible if you can find out from Gerry Sweeney which of the Donohoe sons or daughters he is descended from?

I have full details of the Donohoe families from County Wicklow dating from 1837 to 1901. Tom was born in 1863.

If Gerry is a descendant of Tom’s family then I will put him in touch with my friends in Brazil as the only descendant they have traced is a great-grand-niece in Brazil.

Your help in this matter will be very much appreciated both here and in Brazil.

John McVicar

by email


Thanks to unit staff

Sir, – In respect of Forth Valley Hospital, after some bad press it has received lately I would like to give it some praise.

The treatment I received from the staff in the oncology unit was superb over a nine-week course from the doctors, staff nurse, nurses, receptionist and even the tea ladies was second to none. Thanks to you all. – Yours etc.,

John Freeburn

31 Muirepark Court




Sir, – There are over 660,000 unpaid carers in Scotland who save the economy some £10.3 billion every year.

However, without the right support carers can experience poor health, poverty and disadvantage.

That’s why it is important that carers have the opportunity to have their say – to talk about what support can help them and what national and local government, the NHS and others need to do to support them more effectively.

Every year the carers parliament gives carers the opportunity to do just that.

This year’s parliament will be held on October 8 in Edinburgh.

We are writing to encourage your readers, who are also unpaid carers, to register for the ballot for places for the event.At least two carers from every constituency in Scotland will be chosen. To register for the ballot visit and complete your details by July 31. – Yours, etc.,

Fiona Collie

Policy and Public Affairs Manager,

Carers Scotland



Sir, - It is sometimes the case people with diabetes come away from appointments with health professionals feeling confused about their treatment.

Our free booklets and newsletters for people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes aim to give people information and support to help them manage their condition.

Our booklet ‘Diabetes – Everyday Eating’ is very popular because it provides 28 days of meal plans so that they know what they can eat, not what they can’t!

This is also a very useful booklet for people who are told they have ‘borderline’ diabetes.

We are happy send out free booklets and newsletters to your readers if they contact the InDependent Diabetes Trust (IDDT) on 01604 622837, email or write to IDDT, PO Box 294, Northampton NN1 4XS. - Yours etc.,

Jenny Hirst