Boyle Arts Week:
Boyle Arts Week is regarded as one of the finest such festivals in the country. This is a tribute to the people who have been involved down the years. It celebrates 25 years of the best of Irish Arts and Culture this year. I cannot really say what was the highlight of those years for me. I would want to google my memory for that. Perhaps it was meeting one of my heroes, Seamus Heaney, and having him autograph my son’s leaving certificate anthology for him. I later acquired a lovely drawing of Mister Heaney from the Local Artists Exhibition by a talented young man named Shane Meehan. One of the pictures from the King House exhibition also sticks very much in my mind is of a boot and blood flowing from it into a sidewalk culvert. It was representing the Northern Troubles.
I have gone through this summer’s programme and have marked a number of the many events which I could easily attend. They include Kieran Goss on Friday night and Donie O’Connor on Sunday with Brian Friel’s ‘The Communication Cord’ in between. The three talented ladies Lizzie, Lynda and Ceara entertain on Monday though one might develop a conscience for allowing oneself the luxury of an afternoon indulgence. On Tuesday Joseph O’Connor continues the tradition of an impressive array of writers of fact and fiction who have been present down the years. Mister O’Connor is a very impressive contributor to the Drivetime Radio Show with his ‘Drivetime Diaries’. I had meant to access his address at the Royal Albert Hall for the Michael D. Higgins concert, on the occasion of the President’s English visit, but it slipped through the net. On Wednesday there is the Mayo ‘Band of Brass’ in the Church of Ireland and ‘The Plains of Boyle’ concert on Friday night. Perhaps I might get to a talk by one of Boyle’s gentlemen, Michael Archer, on ‘Habitats and Wildflowers’ on the Saturday. On Sunday August the 3rd I am obliquely involved in the celebration of the visit of Maureen O’Sullivan to Boyle over 25 years ago. I will treat of that next week. Oh yes on further review there is the gifted guitar playing of Frankie Simon on Saturday the 26th and John Carty and company on Tuesday night. There is a feast of events so do not miss out. ‘Nothing Beats Being There’ .
Sports Review: Approaching the Business End of the All-Ireland Championships:
While I do my best, I happened to miss a game I would like to have been at, that is Boyle’s under 12 League Final win over St. Brigid’s in Oran. It was an impressive display and a convincing victory I am told and the names from this side will resonate over the coming years on Boyle teams. It is nice to hear the sound of the traditional winning cavalcade as they do their victory tour of the town subsequently. Memories of these evenings last a long time.
Armagh proved too strong for Roscommon on a muggy evening in Hyde Park. It was a difficult evening for football due to the rain but Armagh adapted well and suffocated Roscommon’s efforts. Still this team is a work in progress and being in division Two of the League next season should provide the experience and maturation for a championship challenge in 2015. Hope springs eternal and I am optimistic for real progress in the next two or three years. The quality of the GAA football Championship this summer to date has been pretty miserable. As all the indicators suggest It is hard to see Dublin being beaten. The blitzkrieg style that humbled Meath on Sunday looks imperious at the moment. This week-end has Cork v Sligo with the winners playing Mayo in the Quarter Finals/Tipperary v Galway, winners play Kerry/followed by Armagh v Meath and Kildare v Monaghan winners playing Dublin and Donegal. It is hard to go beyond the provincial winners for the semi-finals.
It is left to the hurling to provide the drama again as it did last year. This coming week-end has Limerick playing the welcome surprise packet of the summer in Wexford and Tipperary, a real All-Ireland challenger, should overcome Dublin. Dublin have become stranded at a level that is just not going to make what would be a historic and meaningful breakthrough.
In Roscommon we are now back to ‘domestic’ fare with League and championship games coming thick and fast so keep an eye on the fixtures.