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Scrabble champ has Westport roots

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British Champion has Westport connections


Kevin MacMahon, who recently won the British Matchplay Scrabble Championship in Staffordshire, England is the son of Tony and Maureen MacMahon, from Artane, Dublin. Tony, a Westport native, lived at Station House, Altamount Street, Westport where his father was Stationmaster. He is nephew of Fintan McMahon, Westport/Castlebar.
Kevin beat off the challenge of over 100 competitors to claim the trophy and a prize of £1000 and became the first non UK person to win the title since its inception in the 1970s.
Scrabble may not be an Olympic sport but it has a dedicated worldwide following. It is a board game that can be played and enjoyed at all ages as the player seeks to build words on a 15 x 15 square grid of tiles.  At its highest level, it requires exceptional concentration combined with above average mental ability and an exceptional memory.  Kevin has all of those.
Scrabble is played in 121 countries worldwide and there are 29 different language versions. National Championships are held in most countries each year and a World Championship is held every two years, the latest was held in Warsaw, Poland in 2011. 
Kevin competes regularly in Scrabble tournaments in Ireland but frequently travels to tournaments in the UK where the competition is stiffer. He is no stranger to mind games involving letters and numbers.  When just 16-year-old, he featured on the popular Channel 4 programme, ‘Countdown’  in 2001 where he was unbeaten for eight consecutive weeks  - the maximum number of weeks allowed on the programme.
It’s a tremendous achievement for Kevin and he is already looking forward to competing in the World Scrabble Championships in 2013.