Friday, May 10, 2019

Update 11th May

European and Local Elections and an appended Referendum,

I was ‘studying’ the candidates and possibilities for the upcoming elections on May 24th. Then I thought maybe there would be a constituency of people who read this who might be interested in an unauthorised view of same. In review it is pretty conservative but it is what I anticipate rather than what I might wish for.   

The county for local elections to Roscommon County Council is divided into 3 constituencies i.e. Local Electoral Areas. These hinge on the towns of Boyle (which also incorporates Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown), Roscommon and Athlone. These areas seem to be sub areas of the County Council and have their own chairperson etc. I am puzzled by their roles as they seem to be very much in the background.  If one thought the Northern Ireland border was irregular then the borders between these 3 units are even worse. I forget if this is the first year of these boundaries, perhaps not, but they throw up such conundrums as established councillors being unable to vote for themselves, because they live outside their electoral area. Then there are areas which are a major distance from their core town eg. Castlecoote being in the Athlone (25 miles distant) area when their natural town is Roscommon five miles away. The Council once having 26 Councillors now has 18 with each ‘area’ returning 6 councillors. Here is the list for the Boyle Electoral Area with the sitting Cllrs. *. At least two Cllrs. have stood back from this election they being Rachael Doherty F.F. Cootehall and Michael Creaton F.G. from Loughglynn.              

Sampey, Aidan. Castlerea Co. Roscommon. Factory Employee Fianna Fáil. (Was a candidate previously). 

*Cummins, John. Boyle Co. Roscommon. County Councillor Fianna Fáil. (A solid long-serving Councillor for Boyle area). 

*Murphy, Joe. Scramogue, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. Post-person Fianna Fáil. (As far as I remember was co-opted on the success of his brother Eugene’s Dail victory). 

Hussain, Sajjad (Saj). Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon Barber Non- Party. (Certainly a new face and possibly stating a trend but how he can gain traction outside Ballaghaderreen is problematic). 

*Byrne, Valerie. Elphin, Co. Roscommon. Public Representative Non-Party (Long-time candidate succeeding her husband Gene). 

*Mulligan, Michael Patrick. Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon Public Representative and Shopkeeper Sinn Féin. (A regular and visible councillor).

Suffin, Keith. Boyle, Co. Roscommon Community Worker Fine Gael. (A former Boyle Town Commissioner and this is a big challenge at this level).

*Callaghan, Liam. Castlerea, Co. Roscommon Farmer and Public Representative Fine Gael. (Liam has been quietly visible around Boyle in recent times. Was co-opted on the nomination of Maura Hopkins to the Senate).

Reynolds, Andrew. Rooskey, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Roscommon Entrepreneur Fine Gael. (Has a profile with choirs and social initiatives. But a kind of crowded area).  

Crosby, Tom.  Tarmonbarry, Co. Roscommon Businessman Non-Party. (Tom was a former Councillor and a pretty disappointed one when losing last time out. His experience will engender an all-out campaign to retrieve his seat).  

O’Donnell Mary. Ballinameen, Boyle, Co. Roscommon Researcher Non-Party. 
Sitting Councillors are in a strong position and hard to displace. The absence Cllrs. Doherty and Creaton means at least two new faces. So my guess, being a novice in this, is as follows. In no definite order John Cummins, Valerie Beirne, Michael Mulligan, Tom Crosby, Joe Murphy, Liam Callaghan with Sampey being reserve.   
Athlone (Roscommon)  *1  CONNAUGHTON  Ivan   IND / *2  FALLON  Laurence   IND / 3 GREHAN  Ger FG  / 4  HAND  Malachy FF/  5 HARNEY  Joe SF / 6  KELLY  Seamus  FF/ *7  KEOGH  John FF / 8  KILDUFF  Donal IND / *9  NAUGHTEN  John  FG/  *10  WARD  Tony  IND/ 11  McCABE  Derek  IND.  
There are 5 sitting Cllrs. here and it is hard to see any of them displaced with Kilduff, because of connections, being in a strong position for seat number six.   
Roscommon: 1  COFFEY   Gerry  FG/ *2 CONNOLLY  Dominick IND/ *3  DINEEN  Nigel IND/ *4  FITZMAURICE  Paschal FF/ 5 GROARKE  John IND/ *6  LEYDEN  Orla FF/ 7  McDERMOTT  Marty FF/ 8  MORRIS  Padraig IND/ 9  O'BRIEN  Séamus SF / 10 *SHANAGHER  Kathleen IND/  11  WALDRON  Anthony IND. (former Cllr. Ml. Creaton F.G is not contesting the election). 
Again there are 5 sitting Cllrs. It will be interesting to see if Waldron can make the comeback and McDermott seems to have momentum. There is the possibility of a sitting Cllr. Being a casualty in this area.   

I’ll be the most interested of anyone to see how close the conservative view above is to what transpires!

The European Elections

There are, again, three big Electoral areas. We ae in the Midlands- North- West area.

 Midlands-North-West is a four-seat constituency, comprising Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Kildare, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

Midlands North West (4 seats):

Cyril Brennan (Solidarity-People Before Profit)

*Matt Carthy (Sinn Féin)*

Peter Casey (Independent)

*Luke “Ming” Flanagan (Independent)*

Patrick Greene (Direct Democracy Ireland)

Dominic Hannigan (Labour)

Fidelma Healy Eames (Independent)

Dilip Mahapatra (Independent)

*Mairead McGuinness (Fine Gael)*

Saoirse McHugh (Green Party)

James Miller (Independent)

Diarmaid Mulcahy (Independent)

Olive O’Connor (Independent)

Michael O’Dowd (Renua)

Anne Rabbitte (Fianna Fáil)*

Brendan Smith (Fianna Fáil)*

Maria Walsh (Fine Gael)*

The outgoing MEPs for the constituency are Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Matt Carthy, Mairead McGuinness with Marian Harkin (Independent standing down). Mairead McGuinness F.G. will top the poll with Ming Flanagan Ind. and Matt Carthy S.F. looking strong. How Peter Casey former presidential candidate fares will also be interesting. The contenders for the fourth seat are, by my assessment, Anne Rabbitte F.F. v Brendan Smith F.F with Maria Walsh F.G. also in the hunt. Presuming that the ballot paper is listed in alphabetical order those three possible contenders for the last seat are the last three on the list.  While I would like to see the Green candidate Saoirse McHugh doing well, name recognition is a major factor and I, as an example, do not know much about Saoirse. 

The Referendum on the Regulation of Divorce in Ireland 

The proposal
The proposal is about two issues relating to divorce, namely how long people must be living apart before applying for a divorce, and the recognition of foreign divorces.

There will be one question on the ballot paper and voters can either vote Yes to allow both changes, or No to reject both changes. Voters cannot accept one change and reject the other.

If a majority votes Yes, then the Constitution will change.

1 The Constitution will no longer require a person applying
for a divorce to have lived apart from his or her spouse for
at least four years. The minimum period of four years of
living apart set out in the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996
will continue to apply, unless and until the Oireachtas
changes the law.
2 The Oireachtas already has power to make laws
recognising foreign divorces. This power will be made
explicit in the Constitution.
The explicit constitutional prohibition on a person
remarrying in the State who has obtained a foreign
divorce not recognised under Irish law will be removed. It
will still be prohibited for a person to remarry in the State
unless their foreign divorce is recognised under Irish law.
If a majority votes No, then the Constitution will
remain unchanged.
1 The Constitution will continue to require that those
applying for a divorce must have been living apart for at
least four out of the previous five years. The Oireachtas
will not have the power to change this.
2 The existing power of the Oireachtas to make laws
recognising foreign divorces will not change.
The explicit constitutional prohibition on a person
remarrying in the State who has obtained a foreign
divorce not recognised under Irish law will remain.

Basically it gives the Oireachtas (Government) power to amend present conditions (laws/regulations) on acquiring divorce in this country and also dealing with out of state divorce recognition. 
It would have been helpful if an explanatory postal leaflet drop explaining these issues had been done as has happened generally in such Referenda. (Maybe it has and I have missed it.)      

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Update 3rd May

Reminder: The Month’s Mind Mass for Sean Young takes place on Sunday next May 5th at 9.30.

Highlight: On Wednesday evening in Sligo Showgrounds Sligo Rovers LOI (League of Ireland) U 15 team defeated Derry City on the score of 3 goals to 2. The scorer of the Sligo Rovers 3 goals was Boyle player David Flanagan!

Chernobyl A  Historic Disaster … T.V. Series not to be missed.
Last Friday was the 33rd Anniversary of the greatest accidental tragedy which man was instrumental in. On that date the reactor of a Russian nuclear power plant in the Ukraine exploded and led to the spread of nuclear, cancer causing, radiation over a large part of North western Europe even to a degree in Ireland.  From next Tuesday, May 6th , Sky Atlantic T.V. channel will screen a series based on those events and the heroic attempts by thousands of conscripted men to try and reduce the impact with many losing their own lives. The series will relate the disaster and the huge efforts to cover up the event by the Soviet government and the legacy of a despoiled land that exists now and will continue thus for possibly centuries.
Regrettably it is being shown on Sky Atlantic which many people do not have but hopefully it will transfer to more accessible channels in time.
The production (HBO in the U.S) was shown in New York at the U.N. on the disaster’s 33rd Anniversary last week. Ambassadors present were reported as crying as they watched the disaster unfold.
Adi Roche has been organising for years the holidaying of children in Ireland, with birth disabilities as a result of the tragedy, from that zone. She is also lobbying for the ‘first responders’, or ‘liquidators’ as they are referred to there, to be awarded the Nobel Prize for their efforts and sacrifices. (People might better remember the images of New York firemen unknowingly walking to their deaths in tackling the Twin Towers outrage).       

I remember the time afterwards as the scale of the Chernobyl disaster began to emerge. The weather was particularly bad in the following days with wind and rain. The news and weather forecasters tracked the course of the dust emissions with the prevailing winds tracking up from the Ukraine across Russia. Lithuania, Scandinavia, Scotland and touching on Ireland. It was referred to closer to the explosion site as a black rain. It seemed a bit black here too. The fears for those regions were for the risk of cancer inducing radiation on people of course and also on animals and food products.
The Chernobyl disaster demonstrated the tragic destructive power of nuclear plants and the huge and possibly insurmountable challenges in controlling it after accident, use in a war, or in the decommissioning process which emerges with the ‘standing down’ of power stations.

As a postscript: There was also a serious incident at ‘Three Mile Island in the U.S. in 1979.  A 1979 film called ‘The China Syndrome’ (where a reactor could explode and burrow its way to China i.e. uncontrollable) with Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas was a pretty good if ‘clean’ representation of the early stages of such an event.

People of my vintage grew up with a real awareness of nuclear danger. It came to the fore with the Atom bombing by the U.S. of two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended the Pacific War of WW2. Then there was the race to get the atom bomb by others including Russia which did so with the help of spies et al. Then there emerged and even greater bomb called the Hydrogen Bomb. The real fear of a nuclear war emerged with the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 with President Kennedy and the Russian leader of the time Khrushchev playing a poker game for a time until the Russians climbed down.
The United States, Russia, the UK, France, China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, and Israel all control some nuclear capacity. There is always the fear of spread called ‘proliferation’. The current example of this is Iran.
War usage is a great danger but accidental meltdowns are a real threat. There was talk of building a nuclear power plant in Ireland once at Carnsore Point County Wexford. The nearest power plant to us is Sellafield formerly Windscale located in Cumbria, North Western England. There were fires there in ’57 and as recently as 2007 plus the danger of toxic material leaking into the Irish Sea. I haven’t heard much of that in recent years.     
Anyway as a documentary addict I will try and access the start of next Tuesday’s Chernobyl series. It is said that it is not for the faint hearted!         

Bio-Diversity/ Global Warming/ Endangered Species.
There is plenty of coverage of Global warming and the threat to a wealth of species of animals, insects and the diverse nature that obtains. It is frightening that we will pass on to our children and certainly our grandchildren a natural world that has been depleted of so much in recent decades. Some people might see this as abstract opinion and some people even deny the idea of ‘global warming’. In a background radio programme I heard the first reference to there being a marked decline in the number of salmon returning to their classic spawning grounds in Ireland from North America. Crossing the Salmon Weir bridge in Galway always induced a look into the waters below to observe the plentiful (when in season) salmon forcing their way upstream. I remember a story from then of an American tourist asking a local –possibly a poacher with his line a gaff hook-‘How come salmon can travel such a distance across the Atlantic to spawn and then return to Newfoundland back again?’ The poacher had heard that question many times and probably had polished the following answer; “Until salmon can talk we won’t know that”.   

Some time ago I referenced the decline of the Corncrake almost to extinction. The distinctive sound of the Corncrake was part of my boyhood in the hayfields and grasslands of my home farm. Now it is unheard of.…almost . A favourite place of mine is the island of Innis boffin (white Cow) off the Connemara coast out from Cleggan. The corncrake is ‘alive and well’ there and may even be a tourist attraction now.
Of course the decline of the bee with all its huge importance has been well proclaimed. I thought the rabbit too was on a downward spiral until I went to ‘Boffin’. Many young children were introduced to reading by a book series called ‘Ladybird’. It is a while since I have seen a real Ladybird or am I just imagining it?     

The Declared Decline of the Curlew.
Another species that are declining rapidly are the Curlews. I thought that these were so common that they were safe from serious decline. However the bird with the distinctive hooked bill and call are under threat as Siobhán Devoy in a recent article I came across proclaimed.  So I’ll post that simple article here rather than try to summarise it:

“People have been urged to watch out for sightings of the curlew bird as the National Parks & Wildlife Service endeavours to protect the endangered species.

The call comes as Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan launches World Curlew Day in Ireland.

While species of curlew are under threat worldwide, there has been a 97% decline in the population of the wader in Ireland since the 1980s, according to a recent study.

A conservation programme is working with farmers, land-owners and communities across the country to prevent the extinction of the curlew.

Noted for its distinctive long legs, long neck and down-curved bill, the curlew is a winter visitor to wetlands across Ireland, according to Birdwatch Ireland.

However, it tends to live predominantly in the north-west of the country and along the Shannon River.

The bird also has a distinctive call that people may be familiar with during the summer months.

Dr O’Donoghue said: "The beautiful bubbling call of the curlew has always been a soundtrack to the Irish summer, but has sadly fallen silent across much of the countryside.

"To lose the Curlew would be like losing a big part of Ireland - like our music, our landscape or identity."

"We have a dedicated and hardworking team engaged in parts of Kerry, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Longford, Monaghan and Donegal and we are supporting local community projects elsewhere," added Dr O’Donoghue.

Easter Sunday marks World Curlew Day and to raise awareness of the shorebird’s vulnerability, a special Curlew Day flag will be flown at County Council and school buildings in the most important areas for curlew.

Members of the public are asked to be alert to the sound and sightings of the Curlew and reporting any  observations to the National Parks & Wildlife Service”. Ends.

Hopefully we can do better and reverse this decline. I have a back, back garden, which could in previous terms get some intensive treatment. Lately my conscience is suggesting the gesture of restraint and donating it as my legacy to nature and ‘biodiversity’.   

                                                                                                         Sports Notes
Some GAA fixtures; Boyle v Michael Glavey’s in the O’Rourke Cup, in the Abbey Park at 7 on Sat. May 4th.
The U 12s’ play Western Gaels in Fenchpark at 11am on Sunday.
The senior ladies had a very good win over St. Faithleach’s in Ballyleague last week. Boyle 9.8 St. Failes 4.7. They now play in their final on Saturday the 11th.
Best wishes to Boyle representatives on the Roscommon LGFA and management; Maeve Brogan/ Kate Harrington/ Megan McKeon/Saoirse Wynne and with management Kieran McKeon. They will play their
Connacht ‘A’ minor final on Monday May 6th against Galway in Ballintubber. I may be wrong but I feel that this is a first ‘A’ final in this age group for Roscommon. 

The Connacht Senior Championship
The Connacht Senior Championships gets under way this week-end. It is said that there are thousands of Mayo people heading to New York for the preliminary round in Gaelic Park (Capacity say 3000). It should be a walk in the park for Mayo who seem to have retained the resilience  of the past decade.
Galway visit London’s McGovern Park for their preliminary round and unless there has been seismic changes there, Galway should emulate Mayo in terms of result.
Roscommon take on Leitrim on Sunday the 10th in Hyde Park. I am told the ticket for the stand is priced at €25 which is at least €5 above reasonable which may be reflected in the attendance. While Leitrim will be buoyed by a good league campaign and promotion from Division four, history is with Roscommon. Regarding Roscommon, despite a competitive league of 7 games there is still a considerable question as to what the team will be. Back in the day (whenever that was) teams could, as the term went, ‘pick themselves’ at least down to 12/13. It would be a good challenge, a week out from the first championship game, to get 12 definite starters for Roscommon. It must be corrosive to the confidence of players to be started, dropped, come on as a sub and go through the whole range of uncertainty. A decent display against Leitrim is required as the fences get tougher from there.

Champions League Plus
The knock out stages of the Champions League has been great television viewing for a number of years now. This week saw Tottenham Hotspurs defeated by Ajax of Amsterdam by 1 goal to nil in a very poor game. Spurs were really missing two star players Kane and Son. Son will be back for the second leg but Spurs will ‘have it all to do’ away next week to get through to the final. The second semi-final was a cracking game and Liverpool were pretty unlucky to end up 3 to 0 losers to Barcelona. They need a performance of historic dimensions to overturn this situation. Barca scored three very different goals. Number one a great Suarez finish as PFA 'Player of the Year' Virgil Van Dijk was dozing, a fortunate rebound off the crossbar with Messi chesting it home was next; with the third being a sublime free kick from the genius player Messi taking him to 600 Barcelona goals. Anfield will be a cauldron of hope as opposed to expectation next week and the first goal will be key. Still this week Liverpool did contribute in a large measure to a great game.  

I remember seeing Spurs for the first time in the mid -sixties with part of the great team of the earlier sixties. Jimmy Greaves scored a goal that night that I still seem to remember. I have not heard of Greavsie for a good while now but he was a classic striker whose omission from the 1966 World Cup winning England playing team crushed him.    

In the Europa Cup Arsenal defeated Valencia by 3 to 1 while Chelsea drew with Eintracht Frankfurt 1 all.  Eintracht Frankfurt were involved in the first soccer game I saw on television in 1960. It was the European Cup Final against Real Madrid in Hampden Park, Glasgow before a crowd of 127, 000 people. It is regarded as one of the greatest football games ever played. Real Madrid with three masters, Di Stéfano, Puskas and Gento playing, ended up winning on the score of 7 to Eintracht Frankfurt’s 3. It was Real’s 5th final win in a row.
Those two London teams, Arsenal and Chelsea have real chances of progressing to the final. So two London clubs could meet in the final in the Olympic stadium of Baku,  Azerbaijan 2, 400 miles from London. Why this distant location from the possible final qualifiers was decided upon is not very logical as my friend Spock would endorse. Of course with Qatar hosting the World Cup in November/December 2022 anything is possible.  

Contributors Welcome
I mentioned before that if anyone was interested in forwarding a few paragraphs for publication consideration here we would like to see that happen. When I mentioned this to someone they suggested that perhaps encouraging members of communities such as Polish and Indian or other could be a good idea. There are quite a number of both communities in the region now. Whether they tune into realboyle I would not know but they’d be welcome here.

‘And so to bed’ Samuel Pepys.   


Monday, April 29, 2019

The Passing of Sandra

The community of Boyle has been deeply saddened by the passing of one of it's greatest activists Sandra McCrann. That community had been shocked when they first heard the news of her illness and displayed their concern at a communal prayer service in early March. I have used the word ‘community’ three, now four, times in a couple of lines, something one should not do. But Sandra was THE great community person. This has been referred to many times in recent weeks and especially in recent days. Sandra was always for the underdog. There were no boundaries. 

I’ll retreat to a well-known verse from a Kipling poem that highlights those qualities. 

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it”   

Boyle Golf Club in its tribute to her spoke appropriately thus; 
“The feeling around the club this week is one of great sorrow, we have been left bereft by the loss of one of our finest members, Sandra Mc Crann. Sandra was a former committee member and Lady Captain of the club, and was the co-author of the book produced to commemorate Boyle Golf Club's centenary in 2011. She also gave of her time to the club in many other ways, including helping out with both events in the clubhouse and maintenance on the course. However, none of this quite touches on the most important thing Sandra brought to the club, which was Sandra herself. Her easy-going, selfless, inclusive and generous nature were what set Sandra apart - from small acts such as her welcome and support for new members of our club to such significant ones as acting as carer for loved ones who needed her help”

These sentiments are re-echoed by the various organisations Sandra was involved with. And when she was involved it was not in a casual way, it was real involvement. Still while her mind might be playing with ideas, a deal of the time, the outward demeanour was calm, calm.

Apart from a very productive period with the Golf Club she has had a lengthy association with Boyle Celtic. Circa 2006 she explored the role of linking soccer with advancing education possibilities. In this she and a number of Celtic officials visited Sunderland then under the direction of Niall Quinn where this was in train. Niall welcomed them and they explored their ideas. 
Twice young Celtic teams were brought to England once to Reading and then to Sunderland for tournaments. I asked one of the officials if Sandra was with them “If she wasn’t there we wouldn’t have been there either” was the confident reply. “She was a brilliant organiser and had everything down to a tee”. These were totally financed by fund-raising campaigns one involved the production of St. Brigid’s crosses from Corrnameeltha.
Two of her boys Brian and Jake are fine footballers and she supported them diligently and calmly. In more recent times she provided the half time refreshments during Boyle Celtic games. ‘Provided’ is not just a right word there, ‘presented’ might be more appropriate. For someone like me with a very sweet tooth it was special every time. Visitors were awe struck by the ‘spread’ at those games. If you showed a particular fondness for a certain variety you could even get to take it home! I felt ok in doing same as I was not alone in that. She had a hand too in the impressive Sporting Mural on Celtic’s Clubhouse gable.    

Apart from her culinary expertise she assembled a very impressive pictorial history  of Boyle Celtic some of which adorns its clubhouse walls while the remainder is included in large files. These were used to advance the club's status when in the final grouping for National Junior Club of the Year in Kilkenny in 2017. She certainly contributed to raising Boyle Celtic to a new level of achievement and possibility.  

With Boyle GAA I remember her when the young Boyle team, including Brian, went all the way to Mosney and the finals of the Community games. While her boys were more into soccer Sandra did her bit with a number of years on that tough gig of the weekend GAA Club Lotto.

There was also her interest in local history as with her important project in numerating the names on the headstones in The Church of Ireland graveyard at the top of Green Street. In this I was told she was assisted by her mother.
Sometimes Sandra would come across some items of interest and pass it on to me such as the newspaper accounts of Sir Alan Cobham’s Air Display near Grange, Boyle in 1933.  
She spent a number of years working with David O’Connor Auctioneering Boyle where her manner, disposition and work ethic shone through. In asking a few people of their memories of Sandra the recurring theme is of a woman who treated everyone the same with courtesy and consideration.

Boyle GAA Club in extending its sympathy to the Mc Crann family on the sad passing of Sandra referenced her thus;

“Sandra was  a dedicated member of a lotto team for many years and an avid supporter of Brian and Jake’s teams. Her friendship, lively wit and can do attitude  will be remembered with great fondness.”

As her funeral cortege passed by the Abbey Park and Boyle Celtic Park a guard of honour from the Golf, GAA, and Celtic clubs with community groups lined the roadway for a distance. It was a telling testament to the regard, recognition and respect for a very special, unique person, who leaves a legacy of ‘communal’ achievement and a treasury of memories     

Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dilis.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Update April 17th

Some Week-End Events
  1. The Boyle Angling Community will be busy with their annual Fishing Festival on Lough Key. With the promise of fine weather it should be helpful whether it applies to the fish being cooperative I do not know. I missed the Angling Club from their regular participation of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Perhaps they passed on this year to give others a winning chance!
  2. Boyle Seniors play Clann na nGael  on Saturday away. The team have 4 points from their first three games so something from this game would be very helpful towards retention of O’Rourke Cup status.(The minors play Pearse's in the Abbey Park on Thursday at 7).
  3. The Annual Roscommon Fleadh Cheoil takes in Ballaghaderreen this Easter week-end. It is quite some time since it has been there but being the home town of Matt Molloy and with a top traditional pub called ‘Spells’ should help in attracting the crowd. This is the first of the county fleadhs and I remember fondly a number of them being in Boyle in the seventies.
  4. Boyle Tidy Towns Committee continue their litter picking endeavours especially on the roads into the town each Tuesday at 7. Hopefully the public will come out in their own areas to help with the effort.        

The Burning of Notre Dame ... A Universal Cultural Tragedy.

"Notre Dame is our history, our imagination, where we've lived all our great moments, and is the epicentre of our lives," said Emmanuel Macron the President of France last evening, continuing

"It's the story of our books, our paintings. It's the cathedral for all French people, even if they have never been. But it is burning and I know this sadness will be felt by all of our citizens."

The sadness goes well beyond the state frontiers of France, it is felt universally including of course in our own country. Regrettably I have never been to Paris though I have had the thought with me from time to time. I would certainly have visited Notre Dame had I done so. It is the major jewel in the crown of European Cathedrals. It became famous in literature with Victor Hugo’s ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ which was late adapted as a musical.

I have been to a good number of magnificent churches such as those in Barcelona, Rome, Venice, Florence and so on. During the summer of 1968 I ‘worked’ in New York diocesan block in Manhattan including St. Patrick’s Cathedral. 
We in Boyle know only too well about the economic and emotional cost of fires in our town with the fire in the fine Gothic Parish Church in 1977. Before that there were the fires at Rockingham in the 50s’, The Roscommon Herald in the ‘60s’ and a number of commercial buildings within the town. 

It is just so sad. It will be rebuilt which will take a long time but the provenance of the original building will be compromised for decades. Notre Dame (which kind of translates as ‘Our Lady of Paris’) was obviously having work being done to it with the scaffolding around it. The fire seems to have been accidental and due to the wooden roof of centuries the fire spread rapidly.  However the wall structure is said to be still intact and rebuilding will pursued. Perhaps this disaster will be a warning to similar buildings.
For Parisians, irrespective of religion, being a building of such beauty it is akin to a bereavement.       

The Affirmation of Sport

Tiger Back from the Death

For a certain constituency sport does not play a significant part in their lives and that is their right. For those of us for whom sport plays a significant role in their lives it colours our lives immeasurably. Since last Thursday I’ve been able to watch portions of the U.S. Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia in the U.S. Like so many things there are deficits with The Masters and the golf club there in terms of sexual discrimination and the overplay of deference to its membership and traditions and the idea of ‘the Green Jacket’ and so on. It is still a unique sporting event though. It has had its heroes and high drama over the decades. It has broken hearts and elevated some humble players. And in recent times the Irish players have played a small part in this.
The headlines of today’s newspapers and all media platforms are elevated by the victory of Tiger Woods. ‘ Back from the Death’, ‘Glory Day’ and so on. This was his 5th Masters win and was probably the greatest sporting comeback, for an individual, in sporting history. I used to play a little golf some years ago but felt it was a ’luxury’ in terms of time allocation. The win last night may rescue a declining game. It will certainly be welcomed by Golf internationally and by Augusta in particular. The response of the crowd to his win was evidence of something special happening. His own reaction was also evidence of having overcome many demons in overcoming ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.
One had to feel for the Italian golfer Molinari and the person I would like to have won Ian Poulter but their diversion into water drowned their chances of golf coronation. All in all, it was, with all its twists and retrospective inevitability, like a Shakespearian drama.
Later this summer the British Open Golf Championship comes to Northern Ireland and the Royal Portrush golf club from July 18th to 21st with a prize fund of over 10 million dollars. This is just the second time for the Open to visit Northern Ireland with the last being in 1951 at the same course with the winner being Max Faulkner with Irishman Fred Daly coming fourth. Fred Daly was the first Irish man to win the Open which he did in ’47 at Hoylake near Liverpool.

Another… Different Tiger
A couple of weeks ago being flued out I watched a deal of Cheltenham racing and say a Willie Mullins trained horse, ‘Al Boum Photo’ finally win for his trainer who had horses second for six times.  While I am not a gambler at all it too was a tapestry of drama in victory. There was tragedy also with a number of horses dying through injury.  Then came the English  ‘Grand National’ and another Tiger rolling home for the second year in succession. The horse was a ‘guest’ on Friday night’s 'Late Late Show' illustrating its status. Ireland or a certain part of it has a love affair with racing horses.  

Back to Basics … GAA

CBS Roscommon at Croke Park
At a more mundane level on Grand National Day, Saturday April 6th , I was in Croke Park as the secondary school I attended, Roscommon C.B.S., won the All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ football championship versus Rathmore of Kerry. It too had its twists, seemed won, saw a generous lead seep away, was level going towards extra time but saw a great winning point scored by my side over our Kerry opponents. It was not overwhelming just a nice one.

Boyle Club Games
On a very local level I have been impressed with Boyle senior GAA team in the last few weeks. They should have got a draw in their opening game against St. Brigid’s, struggled too much to get scores in their win over St. Croan’s and I am told (as I was otherwise engaged) Boyle were very impressive on Sunday last in a high- scoring game against Roscommon Gaels. Boyle 3. 9 Roscommon Gaels 1.14. While Boyle have a number of county names now, an emerging star is their goalkeeper Rob Kearney who has been excellent in the games to date. This Saturday there is big challenge when the travel for the first time to their fourth game v Clan na nGael on Saturday evening next.
On Tuesday evening I caught most of the second half of an under 16 game v Roscommon Gaels again. It was a fine narrow win for Boyle and a great game of football with skills a plenty and some stars for the future of both clubs.  
I am aware that Boyle ladies at under-age and senior are also doing well and also have members contributing to county teams. Alas I am not as tuned in to the ladies game as I might be. That is the price the sports anorak pays sometimes.

Hurling Vibes!
I heard a whisper that there were some gentlemen suggesting starting to introduce ‘hurling’ again to Boyle. It is one of my regrets that I did not do this or get engaged with those who did since I came to Boyle in ’72. I have heard that there was tentative hurling in Boyle in the late forties. Then an Offaly man, Bob Carr, who had a saw mill near Ardcarne Church,  made some effort with the schools in the mid-sixties. Bob became very involved with hurling at County level during the sixties. In the early seventies Limerick army man and former Limerick and Munster hurler P. J. Keane had another go at it. He had some very good under –age players with two notable players in Martin Candon and T.P. Toolan. Perhaps the last shot at it was a Galway gentleman who had come back to Boyle from England. A Mister O’Dowd if I am not mistaken. He had all the gear, helmets and hurleys of course but it too ran out of steam. It would certainly be a challenge and a ten yea project as the camogie seems to be taking hold with the young ladies right now.           

The FAI & John Delaney Debacle

The John Delaney saga rolls on. The debate has mushroomed as the days lengthen. Last week’s appearance of a group of FAI officials at an Oireachtas Committee had large elements of farce attached to it. A number of the Oireachtas members were compromised by being ‘friends’ of John Delaney. Then there were the very uneven contributions of the personnel on both sides. John Delaney’s contribution in just reading a short statement and then claiming privilege in terms of avoiding further questions was surreal. While legally entitled to that course it was like Hamlet being there but not contributing…though he did make a few banal contributions. It took another twist when Padraig O’ Ceidigh of the Committee understandably confused by the personnel of the FAI delegation tried to get to grips with ‘who was who’ on the opposing benches.  Some were recent appointees and so many of their contributions were; “Leave it with me. I’ll get back to you on that one”. However he did come up with an interesting personage who turned out to be a legal eagle covering John Delaney. So it was a little like Tony Soprano, all lawyered up before (the very Irish version… Healy- Rae et al) of  some grand jury.     

The Chairman, Fergus O’Dowd, bent over backwards to be ‘fair’ to both sides constrained it seems by a previous court ruling involving Angela Kerins of Rehab and her appearance before this committee some years ago.
While the only real contributor was the President of the FAI Donal Conway as the other members present were pretty pathetic including the Honorary Treasurer 
It was odd that Ml. Healy Rae got to speak as he is not listed as being on the Committee. Michael obviously ‘crashed’ the party to praise of Delaney and of his contribution to Kerry soccer. I was down in Killarney when Boyle Celtic played in a national competition there during their great season of 2016/2017 and the evidence of  Killarney’s soccer was evidence of this.. They certainly had access to funding to put it all in place.
One of the most impressive interrogators on the committee was Jonathan O’Brien a Sinn Fein T.D. He was not of on the official list either. He seemed to be pursuing a particular line and it turned out that he was very involved with soccer in Cork City. 
T.D. Kevin O’Keefe from East Cork was just an embarrassment with his tentative questioning obviously knowing the soccer people present especially Delaney. However I see a colourful line quoted from him as follows; ”You (Delaney) could be regarded as the Tump of the F.A.I.”   (This could be along the lines of a classic reference which suggested that; ’This young man is capable of anything’!  

So the blazers took a big hit. Perhaps the green revolution could spread to places like the north west.  

Three Different Anniversaries

The Limerick Soviet
There have been documentaries detailing three very different historic events. The first was a short social experiment; the second a horrific Bloody event and the third the declaration of Ireland as a Republic.
The social experiment took place in Limerick in April 1919. After the shooting of a volunteer by the British Army there followed a number of protests by the united people of Limerick city coordinated for the most part by the Trade Union Movement. The committee involved set up a Free area within the city of Limerick where they administered their rules and provided for the people. The area was surrounded by the British Army and the stand- off lasted for a number of weeks. The hammer and sickle symbols were used on the red flag and it came to be known as ‘The Limerick Soviet’. One pretty unique facet of it was that it actually printed its own money in that short time. This like the next paragraph has a resonance in Derry.

The Amritsar Massacre
The Amritsar massacre, took place on 13 April 1919 in Northern India when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Acting Brig-Gen Reginald Dyer fired rifles at a crowd of Indians, who had gathered in a compound for a protest meeting in Amritsar, Punjab. Nearly 400 hundred people were killed and some 1200 injured. It followed the death of a British soldier and happened in the background of racial contempt for the Indian people by section of their British colonists. I seem to remember that General Dyer had some Irish connections!

Ireland Declares a Republic
This only happened in April 1949 as prior to that Ireland was a weak member of the British commonwealth. The Irish Coalition Government of the time was led by Fine Gael’s John A. Costello with the aid of Sean McBride’s Clann na Poblachta party. Fianna Fail had been in government from ’32 to ’48 and Eamon de Valera accepted the Commonwealth arrangement out of some deference for the Northern unionist population in the hope of some future reconciliation of a kind. It is kind of replicated today by Micheal Martin v the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.  

While I had a couple of other ideas for paragraphs I’ll adjourn for now and hopefully get to them next time.

Good night and may your Gods go with you.




Thursday, March 28, 2019

Update 28th March

Father Peyton..'The Rosary Priest’              blog march 28th

While I get very little ‘mail’ response to these blogs I did get three relating to my reference to the T.V. programme on Father Peyton titled ‘Guns and Rosaries’.

I mentioned his possible connection with Croghan but I had mixed him up with Bishop Fulton Sheen who had connections to Croghan/Elphin as J.K. clarified for me with; “  Bishop Fulton Sheen who also had huge Media popularity was a descendant of Croghan parents. He is on way to being sanctified. His American relatives were in Croghan late last year meeting up with their local cousins, Whitneys and Kellys. Bishop Sheen used to visit Elphin when he came to Ireland in the ‘50s and ‘60s. I actually met him as he stayed with my aunt and uncle- in- law Mick Kelly who was his cousin. Mick Kelly was the principal of Knockvicar NS for many years.” Tom Mullaney was also in touch regarding Bishop Sheen as I felt he would know his Croghan background.

Christy Wynne remembered Father Peyton being in Boyle in the mid ‘80s on a Sunday in June as follows;

“Hi Tony,
               Reading your Blog re the television programme “Guns and Rosaries” shown a few nights ago brought back memories of the visit of Fr. Patrick Peyton (the central figure) to Boyle back in the mid-eighties. It happened on a Sunday in June when Roscommon were playing either Mayo or Galway in the first round of the championships. Clearly a clash of interests that day but nevertheless a huge turnout of families and admirers gathered in what was the old soccer pitch or Roe’s Field (as we called it then). The then Bishop, the late Dr Dominick Conway, was there in person. I happened to be a member of the choir that day singing our hearts out under the sure baton of (Mrs.) May Conroy. The gallery or stage that day was (as always) Sean Mc Quaid’s large trailer.  The weather was sunny and Fr. Peyton spoke in his beautiful soft humble voice for a good half an hour and was given a rapturous reception.  Bishop Dominick spoke for an hour about the monumental work the man was doing for God and the practice of the family Rosary in every home. The whole event from beginning to end lasted about three hours with the members of the choir having the honour of shaking hands personally with the great and humble man. Crowds gathered around afterwards hoping to get close up to him hopefully to shake his hand. A day to remember! I regret to say I cannot recall if The Rossies won that day”.

Thanks Christy.

After reading the above  a faint recollection emerged with me of passing over the railway bridge and almost wondering what was going on in that area on that day. I was on my way to the match so Father Peyton’s drawing power had waned a good deal from the fifties. Looking up GAA records the best bet I have is that, that was Sunday June 16, 1985. Roscommon played Galway in Hyde Park with the result being a draw. Someone should confirm that or correct the record. I imagine there was a programme of the Father Peyton occasion. I have one for the match!

Brexit Update

Updating Brexit is almost a daily challenge. Last night, Wednesday, there were eight votes on a variety of options. None of them got a majority. These are called ‘INDICATIVE’ votes. That means that they can give indications as to the feeling/opinions of the members of The House of Commons but they are NOT binding…..a kind of debating forum. However three came up close to the winning post;

1.        A  proposal by Ken Clarke re. the Customs Union Defeated by 272 votes to 264, majority 8.

2.        Confirmatory public vote Defeated by 295 votes to 268, majority 27 proposed by Margaret Beckett. (That is the REMAIN horse and it is getting traction but just slowly trotting down to the start as of yet).

3.        Labour’s alternative plan Defeated by 307 votes to 237, majority 70

These may return on Monday in some guise.

The running order of the day was taken over from the Government by the generality of M.P.s’  led by a proposal of Sir Oliver Letwin. His amendment called for the indicative votes.

The chaos of the Commons was best illustrated by the moment Anna Soubry M.P. (former Conservative now Independent) was shouted down by MPs amid more chaotic Brexit scenes in the Commons despite her suggestion that “the country is watching”. Indeed M.P.s’ seem not to care about the country watching such a circus.

Prime Minister, Theresa May, continued on the carousel of HER DEAL which looks like returning to the chamber possibly Friday but probably Monday. The fact that the DUP still oppose this sees its possibility of success being minimal. This is despite Jacob Rees –Mogg and Boris Johnson now grudgingly supporting her. This is after months of castigating HER PLAN as being x, y, z terrible. Poor Jacob seemed ghostly as he talked to T.V. reporters in the foyer of the House relaying this while Boris was smirking, probably feeling his time was nigh for the Premiership.

Theresa threw in her final card to get support for HER PLAN. The card was that if she got the support to get it through she would resign before the next phase of negotiations! Now I ask you about the logic of that. Bring it home. The Chairperson of Boyle GAA wants to build a one million euro whatever and it is opposed by a large majority. The Chairperson suggests that if the proposal is supported that she/he will then resign. Where is the logic in all that?

The reality for Theresa is that she is on the political plank in any event and suggesting her departure ensures that, in the short-term, now.

THEN THERE IS THE PROSPECT OF BORIS JOHNSON AS PRIME  MINISTER. What a prospect!! And it is suggested, rarely now, that things in that HOUSE could not get any worse!! It all reminds me of one of my favourite films, the classic ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. I don’t think Mrs. May is ideal for the role of Nurse Ratched though. Now Mrs. Thatcher that would be different.

P.S. it was interesting to see Donald Tusk send a message of support to REMAIN CAMPAIGN though the E.U. mandarins need to be careful in their support being a red rag to John Bull.   
E.R.G. = Eur. Research Group.

Television Programme Reflection
Like most people I enjoy watching television. News, documentaries, politics (Brexit!), quizzes, some films and of course sport. The soaps and those ‘reality’ programmes are not for me. Why are they called soaps? Because when they first emerged in the U.S. they were mainly sponsored by soap and detergent companies…Procter & Gamble etc. The soaps are a politics free zone. Never a reference to the trials and tribulations of the Universe as their universe navigates around a square or a pub. Their lives are intertwined like a Christmas lights cord.  Still a Brexit free zone though.

Looking at today’s- Thursday- T.V. Guide there is the following toxic zone for me; ‘Celebrity Globetrotters’ as David Norris and company flail around in North Africa. Terrible. ‘First Dates Ireland’. ‘Say yes to the Dress’ with a possible sequel being ‘Say Yes to the Suit’.  Then there is very popular Mrs. Browne’s Boys in all its variations. I shake my head.
 Plenty of cookery programmes with Nevin McGuire in danger of becoming the Daniel O’Donnell of T.V. Daniel and his wife Majella are out meeting friends in the U.S. Marty Morrissey is coming closer to being Wee Daniel as he and another male called Bernard O’Shea (I never heard of him) ‘Star’ in a two hander called “Marty and Bernard’s Big Adventure” . The T.V. promos for this encourage distance, like, Lough Key Park. Marty take care, you could become the Ann Widecombe of Strictly Come Dancing. That programme became so famous that its title could be referred to by just ‘Strictly’. (There is a word for that which escapes me just now or even longer) like Messi or Ronaldo. Spurs footballer Dele Alli wants to achieve that honour of being known as just ‘Dele’. I presume because the name Alli had been taken already. 

Soap of the Week, says my guide, is EastEnders…..”Tiffany has returned…..”   

(That paragraph is a kind of ‘stream of consciousness’ text a bit like its subject. Needs work). 

Roscommon Lift Down
Roscommon dropped to Division Two on Sunday when they were outclassed by an emerging Kerry side at Hyde Park. As in previous games Roscommon came through with a good first half performance with the half time score being Kerry 1. 8 Roscommon 0. 8. However the quality of the Kerry players shone through in the second half and they were very comfortable winners. The final score was Kerry 2.17 Roscommon 0.13. The damage to Roscommon’s opportunities to stay in the top division was done in earlier rounds. Even in the first round against Mayo during a cyclone there was a decent chance to get point(s). Whatever happened in Cavan Roscommon in the second half did not perform. Perhaps the goal just before the break there was a telling score. I will not dwell on the obvious in the Tyrone game. It is a pity. I don’t subscribe to the idea that Division Two is where we are at level wise. There is a buzz about playing the top teams such as Dublin, Kerry, Mayo Tyrone and so on. The crowds seemed to me to be greater by a good deal this year also.

Annoyance; Kerry showed scant respect to the supporters with the team they obviously forwarded to those who prepared the match programme. There were 5 changes to the starting programme line out. I can understand a couple but five! Then further confusion of a kind. David Clifford started wearing no. 22. The name on the programme  after number 22 was Adrian Spillane. Why the change from the number he had on the programme which was number 27?  
Odd; There was considerable comment on the fact that team captain Enda Smith did not start on Sunday. It was puzzling. One would have thought that starting a top player and taking it from there would have been a more logical approach.

Boyle v St. Brigid’s Sunday.
This week-end it is back to the Division One County League when Boyle play St. Brigid’s at the Abbey Park on Sunday at 2. The ground looks in great shape at the moment and with the extension of the lighting on the ‘training’ pitch the facilities continue to improve.  

Boyle minors play St. Aidan’s on Saturday at 4.30 in Boyle.

Boyle Celtic v Manulla on Sunday at 2.
Celtic were pipped by St. Peter’s in the Roscommon District league. St. Peter’s defeated Ballymoe to take the title for the second year in a row. For Celtic an earlier loss to Kilkerrin and home defeats to Ballymoe and Castlerea proved costly. A number of injuries also told against Celtic throughout the season. 
On Sunday next they play Mayo club Manulla in the Connacht Cup which Boyle have challenged well for in recent years just failing in the closing stages.
Speaking of soccer what about John Delaney then? A bit of pressure, move over and create a new high profile job….reincarnation of a type. ‘Chameleon’ would be the word there…but if you do not know what that means you’ll just have to google it.

‘May your Gods go with you’.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Update 20th March

‘Guns and Rosaries’…. Father Peyton of Mayo and the U.S.  RTE 1 Thursday 10.15.
 Senior people will remember the year 1954 as Marian Year. (Marian’s of Boyle) Many ladies carry that name as a result of a special  Catholic emphasis on Our lady during that year. Most of the shrines you see in Boyle, Fuerty and so on resulted from then along with other symbols. One of the great advocates of veneration to Our lady was the priest Father Patrick John Peyton through the praying of the Rosary. He was born in 1909 in Attymass, East Mayo and died in California in ’92 aged 83.

On Thursday night on RTE there is a programme on Father Peyton titled ‘Guns and Rosaries’. The Irish Priest who became an unlikely Hollywood celebrity recruiting other celebrities to a global prayer campaign-crusade- that reached millions. It is currently being advertised on television with images of Grace Kelly , Vice-President (then) Richard Nixon and so on. In the background are Fidel Castro, Nikita Khrushchev of Russia and images from the Russian invasion of Hungary in 1956. Peyton was a precursor of Billy Graham. Older people will remember the very strong tradition of families gathering each night before bedtime and saying the rosary. I would not know if that still survives today.
Father Peyton became known as ‘The Rosary Priest’ and  traversed the world with his Rosary Crusade and coined the phrase of ‘The family that prays together stays together’.  I have some recollection of him having a connection to Croghan. Tom Mullaney may advise on that. He is apparently near the end of the process of being canonised a saint. He was a really influential figure in the 1950s of a very dogmatic Catholic ethos more based on a fear of hell than anything else. I remember shards of it.

Brexit Keeps on Giving
 I should have gone, with my three vote forecast regarding Brexit of last week, to the Bookies as it was also Cheltenham. The 3 were; 1. Theresa May’s proposal being shot down again; 2. Taking a No Deal off the table and 3. Looking for an extension. The No Deal had an interesting amendment in that they added a ‘Never’ to No Deal which when it gets cemented in with legal cement (like you use in fire stoves etc.) It is pretty strong stuff.

There were a number of other division 2 votes. One concerned another Referendum. Now that had a nuanced twist to it in that The House of Commons first had to vote if they would allow such a vote. The vote was allowed by a decent majority but when the vote was taken it was shot down by a ‘decenter’ (sic) majority. Play with that for a while. ‘Would you get a decent pub quiz team from the front benches of both Conservatives and labour?’  After that Jeremy mentioned something about backing a Referendum. There is a sense of Boda Berg about it …..but…..I’m….hooked. Box set for next Christmas please.

I took leave of Brexit for some days then and joined the high jinks at Cheltenham. While I am aware of gambling addiction and cruelty to horses (four died during the meeting) it was a theatre of a very different hue.

Forgetting that Monday was not a Bank Holiday it was only late in the day that I heard rumblings of something else going awry at the Commons and poor Theresa being blindsided again. The Chair of the House i.e. The Speaker whose name is John Bercow threw a ‘spaniard’ in the works as I once heard a Dub. expounding on a building site. Bercow resurrected a law or directive from 1604 resisting a motion being brought before the House too many times without significant amendments. It would probably have been defeated anyway. While Bercow seems to be enjoying himself too much in this whole circus, considering how dammed serious it all is, he was probably right in this.
Now the question arises as to the length of the postponement. There are European Election which take place between the 23rd and 26th of May. The U.K. Prime Minister would like a short postponement but that now seems unlikely considering the amount of new thinking required. The danger with a long postponement is that BREXIT may just unravel and offers solace to REMAINERS such as former Tony Blair Secretary Alastair Campbell who we often see on RTE. There is a ‘spaniard’ which could emerge with the May Elections in the U.K. in that the reputational damage being shipped by the Conservatives and Labour is such that it will give Pro-Brexiteers big advantages in the first past the post elections.


The Rossies House Draw

There are a number of groups who deserve praise for their work in recent times. Before Christmas I waxed as lyrical as I could on the achievement of the Roscommon GAA Group who ran a hugely successful draw for a Sean Mulryan House and netted something near 1 million euro profit.

I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here…Organisers and Participants
Last Saturday night St. Joseph's, the Town Hall was packed and enjoyed a fun fund-raising event organised by a Boyle GAA ‘Young Turks’ Committee. They comprised of Brian Furey, Roch Hanmore, David Kelly, Karl Kennedy, Marc O’Connor, Mark O’Donohoe, Sean Purcell and Cian Smith. It took a great amount of organising and tying all the strings together and they were just great in doing all that. It is said that Barack Obama won his first U.S. Presidential election in the States on the foot of modern technology and communications platforms. I am not tuned into much of those but they are obviously the future and I’m sure they played a big role for Saturday night’s event as it had done for Roscommon last winter.
The competitors also deserve great credit. It was for a few a really nervy/tricky time dealing with the spider touch and snake familiarisation process. This was really evidenced with Michael Cawley during those two Trials. The panel here included; Barry Simon, Damien Butler, David McKenna, Derek Brady, Donal Connaughton, Enda Smith, Ian Cooney, Jacinta Callaghan, Joe Ryan, Karl Keenan, Laura Horan,  Mairead McKeon, Mark O’Connor, Mary Flynn, Niamh Beirne, Ray Hannon, Seamus Keane, Saoirse O’Flaherty, Seanie McDermott [Who grew up (a little) in Brooklyn N.Y. until he was 9], Sham Hanifa-‘I use fake tan a lot’; Shauna Moran, Sinead O’Donohoe and Vickie Lavin.  These represented a formidable cast with Donal Connaughton and Seamus Keane coming out tops.
The more senior members of the club were delighted to see the energy and innovation of these young guns and it is fair to say that the future of the club is in rude good health with this imaginative and linked in community. Fair play to you all.

St Patrick’s Day Organising  Committee
I may have only imagined hearing, some time ago of the possibility of there being no St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boyle this year. Anyway a committee emerged comprising of Joe Ryan, Derek Dooley, Martin Downes, Lorcan Egan, Brian Kelly, A Kohler, D. Shannon, B. Simon and Keith Suffin. A successful parade emerged. The day was dry, the crowds were out and the atmosphere was fine and business was done. So hats off to the Committee and all who helped them; Gardai, sponsors, participants, helpers, M.C., platform  and the photographers who recorded and posted to their various media platforms.
I have pondered on mentioning this but since I did last week I had broken the ice. It emerged again at the parade. Standing for a while with a cup of tea outside Mattimoe’s I could not hear the introductions of the M.C. Jnr. Smith. I moved up to the bridge and it resulted in only minimal improvement. Not to be able to hear Jnr. at say 20 feet is something. At Boyle GAA grounds we use an old inadequate East European sound system. So maybe someone who would be qualified in the arts of sound systems for outdoor events might come on board with a system that would straddle the main line of Bridge St. to The Crescent next year.
Fair play to Danny Tiernan with his themed messaged entry. I was happy to see Richard Connolly Snr. back from Crufts. Who actually won? There is a very decent prize pot for the winners, plus the honour …not to be sneezed at!

Schools For Climate Change
Climate change is an accepted fact by most (excepting Donald Trump and similar geniuses). I open with the obvious by saying that I am no expert in any way in all this. Still in accepting the veracity of climate change it behoves us all to make our contribution to help turn the tide on this. It may not impact on senior people like myself but it certainly will on people I care greatly about. Last Friday thousands of school children throughout many different countries took to the streets to highlight the issue and bring pressure to bear on those in positions of power and influence to address the issue more aggressively. The EU has allotted certain fossil fuel emission quotas to its member countries to be reached by a certain year. Ireland apparently are falling way behind in their required targets. Its approach is lazy and deferential. Of course it needs courses of action that will not be popular especially with the farming community. Bord na Mona too with its power stations and the harvesting of peat on an industrial scale are in the cross hairs.
Anyway the young school people are a very important pressure group as they have most to lose. They also have time and many of them will become influencers and decision makers in the near future. Oddly some school managements adopted a negative attitude to their pupils involvement in last Friday’s protests. One would have thought it would have been a great and memorable ‘field trip’ for them and a chance to make a real difference to show leadership in a zone where it is obviously lacking with the political classes and vested interests. The Australian minister for education saying that the Friday strikes were illegal for example!
The original school protestor was a 16 year old Swedish girl called Greta Thunberg and she has spoken to the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland; to the super rich at Davos and the E.U. Friday was chosen as the day last week because it is the day Great was allowed/allocated for her protests in her home school. She will probably be nominated for a Nobel Prize.
She is following in the footsteps of Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan who won a Nobel Prize in 2014 in pursuit of education for female students in her country prohibited by extremist elements.
There is a young Cork lady with disability who I am a great admirer of Joanne O’Riordan who also addressed the U.N.  in 2012. Donald Walshe from Tralee I think who died of cancer in May 2013. A young lady with disability who I see at Roscommon GAA games regularly and is Wheelchair hurling All-Star i.e. Sarah Cregg. These are some of the young people who set major examples to us all. Let us work with them for as I applaud them and wish them well. There are many hurdles to negotiate.

Boyle Athletic Club Up and Running
Tonight Tuesday I came across a group of Boyle Athletes out for their run. On enquiry I was told that this a fairly recent club i.e. Boyle Athletic club and now they were up and running with a membership of 170 or so. That is a magnificent number for a young club. I believe they had a huge number participate in a Drumshambo Run recently and that they can travel to venues far and wide to participate. Again the leaders are as follows that I know of; Dean and Melissa Beirne, Noel Scally. Neil Conlon, John Brennan, Helen Beirne. A number of these people are involved in the very popular Lough key run on Saturday mornings  and have extended to this Athletic Club chrysalis.



Roscommon went down to Galway last Saturday in Salthill. I missed this one for a variety of reasons. Roscommon host Kerry on Sunday next and it would take a great performance to see Roscommon get a result that would retain them in the premier division. The points in this division are as follows; Kerry-10/ Galway-8/ Mayo-8/ Tyrone-7/ Dublin-6/ Monaghan-4/ Roscommon-3/ Cavan-2. Sunday’s games are as follows; Cavan v Dublin/ Mayo v Monaghan/ Roscommon v Kerry/ Tyrone v Galway.  The pity is that Kerry could still need a point I imagine since Mayo beat them last week and I am not sure could Galway overtake them? Tyrone have come a good way since we gifted them a point. They were impressive on Saturday v Dublin.
One thing I was not impressed with though was the ‘tackle’ of the Tyrone goalie on Paddy Andrews. It deserved a red card. Paddy Andrews got badly injured in this ‘tackle’. Another bad ‘shoulder- to- the- chest charge that got away lightly was that of the Rd. Croke's defender early in the first half v Corofin. Referees have a duty of care to players and there seems to be a season of aggression emerging.
A man who paid a big price, reputationally, for an incident he was involved in with Galway in the All-Ireland of ’83 was Kieran Duff of Dublin. I watched a poignant documentary on his life on Friday 15th on TG4 as part of the Laochra Gael series. Perhaps it will be repeated and I recommend it. I t follows a very good similar documentary on Jason Sherlock around Christmas. One I missed was ‘Players of the Faithful’ on the Offaly team which stopped Kerry’s drive for five in ’82.

In two weeks the County Senior League-O’Rourke Cup- begins with a game in Boyle v St. Brigid’s and then there are a series of games on a regular basis. This new process should be interesting as it segues into the championship nicely in the later summer. Boyle should be contenders this year so bring it on.
Boyle Celtic after some blips are still in with a chance of the Roscommon League but have a last away game against title champions and leaders St. Peter’s Athlone. They had a very good win in Connemara to qualify for the Connacht junior Cup Quarter finals when they meet Manuella of Mayo.

Sin e from this bridging blog.

‘And so to bed’.