Sunday, April 19, 2015

Update 15th April

Student’s Death in Glasgow

As I write the news that the remains of the body of Karen Buckley, the Cork student missing in Glasgow, have been found. This is of course the nightmare scenario for her parents, family and friends. I know that we as parents are continually emphasising to family members to take care in various situations and especially when abroad. Perhaps these requests do have the desired effects but occasionally they can be seen as an overload of parental concern.
In any event there are a good few examples of tragic outcomes, such as Karen’s, in various parts of the world. Indeed it has happened to a foreign student in our country in the benign –one would have thought – city of Galway when Swiss student Manuela Riedo was murdered in September 2007. Again the confluence of coincidental happenings led to the tragedy as they often do. The whole country felt the pain of those Swiss parents. We also felt a communal shame that we in some way were responsible for her child and did not take care of her.
In my own lifetime I have ended up in a very small number of situations or locations that prompted me to say to myself with urgency ‘I shouldn’t be here’. Once was in New York when I exited the underground train at the wrong-very wrong-station. A second was feeling I was being followed as I walked home late in London. The third time was taking a short cut by a Dublin canal. Short cuts are hazardous. Nothing happened but the brief time it took to get out of those situations were periods of fear. Being alone or leaving someone alone is taboo in many of those circumstances.  
Young people may not always realise the worry and concern of parents and despite the advance of those young people into mature adulthood that parental safety concern remains, perhaps latent but entrenched.     
 Karen Buckley, by all accounts, was happy; living away from home, studying at university in Glasgow and surrounded by friends. This was her right of course. But some evil has intervened to bring closure to this normal bright life and to pass a terrible burden of loss on to her family and friends.


Roscommon CBS Brave Challenge

I attended the Roscommon CBS v Dingle game in Croke Park on Saturday. It was a fine occasion as all these type of competition finales are. They may not have broad appeal but for the core group involved they are of major significance. It was nice to meet up again with former student colleagues in the Croke Park Hotel prior to the game. The atmosphere there before games is always good, as, at that stage, there are no losers. While the CBS were defeated by the better team they might have ‘stolen’ it with a couple of goal chances that were not converted. CBS went ahead some ten minutes from the end and the possibility of the silver lining shone for a brief time but Dingle steamed ahead in the final minutes to add to their 2014 title. Still Roscommon CBS did very well and this broadens the C.V. of Roscommon football that obtains at the moment. This is giving supporters a feast of good football and results of late and we can hear Roscommon being commended for its progress by the various pundits and sounding boards that obtain in the varied media of the moment. This week sees that continue in Sligo.

All-Ireland U 21 Semi-Final Roscommon V Tyrone in Sligo.

Roscommon take on Tyrone in the All-Ireland U 21 Semi-Final in Sligo on Saturday evening April 18th at Markievicz Park in Sligo at 6 p.m.
Roscommon overcame Galway in a brilliant game at Tuam a couple of weeks ago. The team looks in good shape at the moment having a number of star senior players and a credible ‘strength in depth’ which is now a requirement in any game. While the Roscommon versus Galway game was a classic shoot-out, Tyrone will most likely pose a very different proposition. It is likely that they will bring a very defensive model to the game and it will be a real test for the Roscommon forward line to make inroads against it. Still with an astute management and a good deal of experience in the team of big games the hope is that Roscommon will proceed to another U 21 Final where Saturday’s winners will meet the winners of Dublin versus Tipperary.
 We wish all involved and particularly the Boyle participants Enda Smith and Evan McGrath the very best on Saturday evening. Boyle streets will be busy on Saturday afternoon from around four as the large following, which this team has, makes its way north towards Sligo. Hopefully the town can benefit as the same crowd wend their way home through Boyle circa eight o’clock.


Kieran McDonald

It was nice to see and hear Kieran McDonald the Crossmolina and former Mayo senior Gaelic football star on the popular T.V. show ‘Second Captains Live’ last week. As one of the presenters noted ‘it is novel to actually hear Kieran as no one –outside his own zone- had heard him talk publicly before’.   Kieran who was formerly a very colourful blonde destroyer and All-Star player proved an interesting guest with the measured comments of a different personality. One incident he referred to was regarding a time he gave up inter-county football. It resulted from abuse his sister was getting regarding Kieran. As he said he could take a certain amount of it himself but when it transferred to his family he drew the line. Abuse of players from side-lines or from spectators is an issue. While it is practised thankfully by a very small minority it can of course be damaging to a young players self- esteem and confidence.  There are a number of versions of the ‘Praise the child and it will prosper’ proverb. Then at an inter-county level the abuse players and managers get from time to time is just absurd.  Often this is from people who have not played the game to any high level. Amongst the games spectators invariably there are the parents, extended families and friends of players. Sometimes they have to listen to their sons and daughters getting this abuse and that cannot be easy for them to listen to. To confront it causes its own issues. Players and managers do not make mistakes deliberately so they should not be accosted as if they did. In Gaelic they are all amateurs and often our neighbours. As the sign recently placed on the Boyle GAA complex wall suggests ‘Give Respect Get Respect’.
I have drifted from Kieran McDonald there but I was impressed by him and it was nice to hear the voice of the great Crossmolina footballer.

Lip Reading

An element of T.V. coverage in recent years is its capacity to pick up on so much. Even with our own television sets we can play and rewind to try and grasp some little item. In recent times one sees managers and some players cover their mouths as they talk through some ideas. I presume this is to ensure that what they are saying is not picked up by someone with an ability to lip read their thoughts and secrets!

Last Man Standing

I am still standing after seven games in the St. Brendan’s Club’s ‘Last Man Standing’. I have been going with the top teams of course and they have stood me in good stead but now it is into the ‘second cut’. This week it looks like it has to be Crystal Palace to win at home over West Brom.

The Masters at Augusta

While I could only follow it in the last two days The Masters is a great event with one of the great commentators in Peter Allis. It was good to see Rory McIlroy do well from a slow start but it seems as if a new star has emerged in Jordan Speight to challenge Rory for top spot. It looks as if the tiger is in decline and as a writer quoted by Paul Kimmage in his article in the Sunday Independent said “Tiger has to find himself first before he finds his golf” and that may not happen. I imagine Rory will eventually win The Masters at a place where tradition permeates all. It is a pity that the policy towards ladies is so archaic and wrong though.

Sin é 


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