Maureen O’Sullivan Full Circle
I was involved a little in last Sunday’s event remembering the visit to Boyle in 1988 by Maureen O’Sullivan. It was most enjoyable and very well organised by Helen and Patricia of Una Bhan. As I may have said before amongst the highlights was the concert in the Royal Hotel with Miss O’Sullivan and her husband in attendance and really enjoying it all. It is great to have so many stalwarts of Boyle singing and music on the record such as May Conroy, Aggie Devine-Conlon, Josie McDermott, Jim Casserly and so on. Mary Ryan played a key role in making the event such a success. Maybe we could now U tube some of the highlights which I imagine would be popular and give the town and Maureen O’Sullivan’s connection to it extra recognition.
Summer is a traditional time for visitors and last week I met up with Father Tony Conry who was home from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Tony contributes a regular column now to the Roscommon People newspaper having done so for the Roscommon Herald previously. His native place is Killina and proud he is of it. He has been in Brazil for forty five years. Tony was a mine of information on the history, past and present, of South America and the travails of that continent with the machinations of the United States and its vested interests there. I know little of the history of South America and its countries or even its current social and political story. Perhaps when Tony visits again I will organise that he give a talk in Boyle on part of it.
On a genealogy visit to what I regard as a lovely graveyard, Eastersnow/Estersnow, I met another pioneering priest, by accident this time. That was Father Gerry Shanley. I know his brother P.J. who was a great quiz enthusiast and having retired from quizzes took up the game of Bridge. Anyway Gerry having ministered in the States transferred to the Mexican border city of Matamoros. He spoke of his work there and the issues of drugs, murders, corruption and social deprivation. While it may be regarded as in the film ‘No Country For Old Men’ yet he was able to say he liked it and his work there. Of course there are and have been heroic figures like Tony and Gerry on the front lines for decades it is so interesting to meet them and hear their stories.
Two topics of the moment in this country are; the drugs issue in Roscrea and The Water Problem in Roscommon. Indeed I feel that the water problem and charges in Roscommon will be a battleground for the foreseeable future with the suggested average charges of €240 a myth.
The All-Ireland Fleadh gets into gear next week with its multitude of music schools leading to the week-end highlights through from the 15th. to the 17th. Of course Boyle was the venue for two great Fleadhs in 1960 and 1966 which are still remembered by the older generation in the town and those who visited Boyle then. Recent Fleadhs in Derry and Cavan have been hugely successful so it is great challenge to Sligo who have hosted the festival before of course in 1990 and 1991.
Ireland 17 New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ 14
I am nearly sure that this is the first victory for an Irish national team over the almost invincible All Blacks ladies team. I happened to tune into the game in the second half as the Irish ladies defended stoutly. The game seemed to be moving towards its inevitable New Zealand victory if a narrow one this time. Then the Irish ladies broke clear to score a fine try and conversion to take the lead. New Zealand drew level with a penalty but this was negated by an Irish penalty. It was Ireland who were on the offensive as the game drew to a conclusion. Their achievement was evident in the joy and celebration at the game’s end. This victory is up there with the cricket team’s defeat of Pakistan and England a few years ago
McGovern Directional Drilling Boyle Senior Team
Boyle Senior team take on St. Brigid’s in the Championship at Boyle on Saturday evening in Boyle at 7.30. This is part of a worthy double-header with Kilmore v Castlerea at 6. Boyle had a good win over St. Aidan’s in the League on Friday evening of last week. On Monday they were well beaten by an impressive Roscommon Gaels also in the League leaving them with two remaining games there. Boyle ran St. Brigid’s to one point in an early league game but St. Brigid’s are going for five in a row county titles. So for followers of the game Saturday evening should provide a good selection of domestic fare.
(I wish Tadgh Lowe all the best in terms of recovery from a shoulder injury in the game. His loss for next Saturday was one of the deficits of having an important league game in the same week as a very challenging championship fixture).
Boyle Ladies had a convincing win over Roscommon Gaels on Monday and will be contesting the ‘business end’ of their Intermediate championships with optimism.
The GAA Games Nationally
Nationally things went as expected with Kerry defeating Galway and Mayo falling over the line against Cork having been in dominating positions earlier. Amongst the armoury that Kerry possess is the twenty to thirty yard kicked pass perfectly placed for the receiver. Galway on the other hand fist-passed to shoelaces. Had Mayo lost out to Cork it would have been a real disaster for them. They have quite a number of good players and the O’Sheas, particularly Seamus, did well on Sunday. Still they have a number of weaknesses and the management decisions are not ‘A’ standard either. Mayo now meet Kerry and their emerging star O’Donoghue. In semi-finals suggesting who might come through should be getting more difficult. While I would of course like very much to be wrong I think the Kerry naturals will prevail.
This week end Dublin take on Monaghan. While Monaghan are an improving side they could face a blitzkrieg of power and pace which could result in a heavy defeat. Armagh, also on an upward curve, play a talented Donegal side. The natural inclination is to say Donegal who seem to have more aces in the pack but Armagh can adapt and smother as Roscommon found out. A draw here is an outside possibility.
Kilkenny still calling on some long-term veterans such as Shevlin, Delaney, Larkin, Tyrell, Walshe and take on a fresh Limerick team buoyed by their demolition of Wexford. This will almost certainly be Henry’s last season and perhaps others such as Delaney who Brian Coady rates as one of the greatest Kilkenny defenders ever. The conveyor belt in Kilkenny has slowed considerably and that is why the old hands are still on duty. The next few years promises to be a much more open one in terms of hurling winners.
Well done to Roscommon minors who made a fine late rally that ‘nearly’ got them past a highly rated Donegal side on Saturday in Sligo. Boyle’s Evan McGrath put in a great shift especially as he drove forward in the latter stages and he might have proved the hero but for a finger-tip Donegal save of a goal-bound shot towards the end.