Friday, July 17, 2015

Update 17th July

Frank Feighan to Step Aside

Boyle will again return to the situation of not having a T.D. representing the town and area as obtained for so many years. The rock on which Deputy Feighan foundered  has been the Accident and Emergency closure in Roscommon. Of course the good that he did was submerged by that.

Whether there was any other decision that could have made the impact which would have satisfied all is questionable. Having one deputy opt out as Deputy Naughten decided, and another stay inside the decision making process seemed to be a reasonable strategy even if it was not deliberate as such. Indeed Mister Feighan was left to hang out to dry by the Fine Gael leadership on the issue. They and the Roscommon Fine Gael hierarchy may feel privately comfortable that Deputy Feighan has opted out from the next election.

Deputy Feighan had a loyal and receptive following in Leitrim but the redrawing of the constituency has shorn him of this support. It gives the Roscommon/East Galway constituency the option of selecting a candidate who is without the tangible baggage of the Roscommon Hospital issue. The prospect, in an election setting, of canvassing and being regularly met with bitter reverberations from this would have to be too much to take. Indeed while people have the right to their own opinions and also the right to let their representatives know of these, surely there are boundaries as to how these are presented. Deputy Feighan certainly received an  amount of strident criticism and some people might reflect on the way they couched this and not be too pleased with themselves on mature reflection.

I have known Frank Feighan for a long time and I have found him always to be an honourable person who would have done his very best and I wish him well into the future.

What now of the pending election? Michael Fitmaurice seems to be in a very strong position considering the boundary changes. It is as well for him that he did not hang on too much to the coattails of Ming Flanagan as Ming’s European ascendancy has reduced his profile no end locally.
Dennis Naughten looks a strong prospect and will have the support of those who were active on the hospital issue.

The Fine Gael candidate looks certain now to be Cllr. Maura Hopkins who has been groomed assiduously for a run in the last couple of years.

It is Fianna Fail who have the conundrum. The fact that they have no obvious candidate as the time for a general election comes closer does not seem to auger well for their prospects. One would have expected that a possible candidate would be recognisable by now and it is certainly not the way of the old Fianna Fail machine. I presume that the party would expect that the numbers are there for them to have a Fianna Fail T.D.  Ivan Connaughton’s position is difficult to pin down now as he has issues with the leadership.

It is not difficult to see that these four as the main contenders barring a surprise like Michael Fitzmaurice was in the bye-election. Within these four blocs there will be one high profile loser. It will make for an interesting contest. 

Then there is Senator John Kelly of Labour. The constituency will hardly be fertile ground for a Labour candidate since there is expected to be a Labour meltdown at the next election.

I imagine Sinn Fein will also have a candidate. The loss of South Leitrim is again a big deficit for them in this new constituency. Then there are the probabilities of new party candidates such as Renua and further Independents. A Hospital Action Committee candidate would be problematic.
Brendan O’Connor ‘We’ve had enough, but of what?
“ ‘People can’t understand the news anymore’” is the shock conclusion of a top-secret, high-level report. There is growing unrest among the Irish public over the perfect storm of current news stories. The fallout from the Nama ‘Project Eagle’ story, the Greek crisis, and the Banking Inquiry have combined to drive so called ‘ordinary people over the edge’”.
These are the opening lines of Brendan O’Connor’s column on the front of the Sunday Independent of Sunday the 12th of July last. They certainly resonated with me.
I remember my late brother who lived in London, going to work, looking after his family, going to his local church club at the weekends, flicking through his paper, especially at the weekend, keeping an eye on the progress of Arsenal and Roscommon football. He certainly did not ‘wreck his head’ with the ‘perfect storm’ of current, local, national and international news stories.

Miriam’s Star in Decline ?
The decline of the impact of a fine broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan was evident in the trivialisation on last Saturday night’s show. First there were  Packie Bonner, Ray Houghton & David O'Leary talking for the one thousandth time of Italia ’90 where Ireland scored two goals in four games –I think- apart from penalties i.e. two goals in  six hours. This led to a manic reception when they returned to the country. While I enjoyed it at the time as much as anyone its constant repetition has been overdone in my opinion.
Miriam’s next guests were three former Miss Irelands. I had only heard of Amanda Brunker who obviously just loves being on television  but has nothing of note to contribute.
This was followed by Panti Bliss, at which point I had enough. Still Miriam’s  Sunday morning radio conversations with some interesting people is good. I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure. My broadcaster of the moment is Aine Lawlor.

 Roscommons Team’s Hard Landing
There was no ‘soft landing’ for Roscommon at Enniskillen on Sunday last. It was just a crash. Leading by five points at the break and at the same level coming into the final five minutes one would have thought that Roscommon were home. But Fermanagh came with a late surge and everything went right for them as Roscommon froze being unable to get the ball forward.  Roscommon were caught in the headlights and we all left Brewster Park as shocked as we had been at Sligo in mid-June. It didn’t have to end this way and with the gift of hindsight the mistakes surface. It appeared there was a lack of leadership on the pitch and some puzzling substitutions. The introduction of Ronan Stack -a good wing back- at centre forward against the claim of Donie Smith who had been named on the team programme was puzzling. Towards the end there was an imbalance of backs versus forwards with at least eight backs on the field such as Niall Carty. Where was he actually meant to be playing? Another mistake goes back to Cavan with the introduction of Diarmuid Murtagh which resulted in exacerbating a prior injury.

 It might be said that our heads were higher than our possibilities and we were, thinking above our station, prior to the championship at least.  On a positive note there are a lot of very good young footballers in the county. If the deficits of midfield and centre back could be miraculously transformed by natural players in those positions, as Seamus Killoran and John Newton were, then we could be contenders. Anyway we will learn a lot in Division One of the League next spring.       
P.S.1. It was a nice touch to see the side-line flags at Brewster Park in the Roscommon colours though offset somewhat by the omission of a main Roscommon flag. What is it with flags and angst?
P.S. 2. The famous Black Card has to come under serious pressure at the end of the year. It was introduced to stop the pulling down of a player going through with a clear possibility of a goal chance. Players have now adapted to the ‘black card’ and use it the same way by taking ‘one for the team’ feeling that the penalty is not so severe. If Roscommon had indulged in some- such  ‘gamesmanship’, towards the end of the Fermanagh game, we might have got into last Monday morning’s pot and...

Sligo v Mayo Connacht Final in The Hyde
Sligo supporters will stream through Boyle on Sunday and enjoy it. On one of their last occasions in The Hyde some Sligo supporters from Cloonloo travelled in style by hiring stretch limos which really caused a stir around Hyde Park. Best of luck to our neighbours Sligo and their manager Niall Carew who proved in the game versus Roscommon that he had his homework done. One of his assistants is Keith Carty from Ballinafad a former student of Corrigeenroe N.S. and St. Mary’s College. Roscommon GAA is very pleased to host this big game with all the commercial benefit accruing to the county town. Douglas Hyde Park has failed to keep up with modern required standards so this is a big test for the venue and a real revamp of the facilities there is overdue.

Boyle’s Fine Performance v St. Brigid’s
Boyle had a fine win over St. Brigid’s in Kiltoom on Wednesday evening. While there was evidence of Boyle’s capability in earlier games such as v Western Gaels in the league and Elphin in the championship this was a virtuoso display packed with courage, pace, incisiveness and top class displays from everyone on view. Boyle have had their best teams in my experience in ’84, ’95 and 2006. This team now joins them and Wednesday’s performance is high on the list of top performances by a Boyle team.

Boyle led at half-time on the score Boyle 1.8 (goal from Enda Smith on 21 mins.) St. Brigid’s 0.5. Boyle actually led at one stage by eight points. The final score was Boyle 2.15 St. Brigid’s 2.9 so the second half went Boyle 1. 7 St. Brigid’s 2. 4.

The Boyle team was as follows; T. Lowe/ C. Cox/ C. McGowan/ C. Brennan/ M. Hanmore/ S. Purcell/ T. McKenna/ C. Cox/ R. Hanmore/ D. Keenehan/ D. Smith 0.6/ E. McGrath 0.2/ D. East 0. 1/ E. Smith 2.3/ M. O’Donohoe 0.1 with J. Suffin 0.1/ C. Goldrick/ A. Sharkey.                                              

In the league to date Boyle have beaten; Tulsk/Western Gaels/St. Brigid’s and drawn with Padraig Pearses giving them 7 points. They next play Strokestown on Wednesday July 22nd.  They have lost to Roscommon Gaels and Clann na Gael. They still have to play Strokestown/Elphin/Kilmore and I presume St. Faithleach’s
Jim Gavin Takes a Hit.
Dublin football team manager Jim Gavin is a highly regarded persona in GAA management. His response to News talk’s Colm Parkinson’s queries regarding the injuries sustained by Dublin’s Davey Byrne after an altercation in a ‘friendly’ match versus Armagh were juvenile in the extreme(Sunday Indo sport page 4). The injuries necessitated two nights in hospital.  I hope the GAA authorities take it out of Jim’s hands and have a proper investigation and try and ensure that such incidents  get the appropriate sanction. I imagine that the incident and his dealing with it the way he did is causing Jim Gavin some grief. On mature reflection he may not see it as his finest hour.

Roscommon football legends book for Pieta House fundraiser
A friend of mine and a former sports reporter with the Roscommon Herald, Richard Canny, is currently compiling a book on the Roscommon Senior Football Teams from the late 1970s and early 1980s and he wants to hear from people who followed the teams during that era. The following is a message from Richard and his co-author Billy

“2015 marks 35 years since the ending of a golden period for Roscommon football when a team laden with stars just fell short in 1980 to win a first All-Ireland SFC title for the county since 1944.
The great Kerry team of that era put paid to those dreams but many Primrose and Blue supporters still hold wonderful memories of these Roscommon footballing legends.

This special group of players won the hearts of Rossies everywhere as they captured four successive Connacht titles from 1977-1980 and National League honours in 1979. Their exploits during this time ensured they sat comfortably at Gaelic Football’s top table.

Reflections on that great Roscommon team are now to feature in a new book - as part of a special fundraising initiative for Pieta House. All proceeds from the book will go towards the charity which continues to do such valuable work in the area of suicide prevention. (
We want you to be part of the book by providing us with your favourite memories of that great team: it could be the All-Ireland final fever which gripped the county at the time; particular moments from championship or league games; personal reflections on players; general anecdotes or even stories handed down through the decades. We would particularly welcome any valuable photographs of that time you may wish to see in the book.

You can send your contributions or scanned photographs to Alternatively, you can also post your comments on our ‘Roscommon Football Legends’ Facebook Page. All contributions will be considered for this special fundraising publication. Please make sure you leave your name and preferably your general locatiowhen making a submission. Watch out for more details over the coming weeks. Contacts: Richard (086) 8168900 or Billy (087) 120 8699. The deadline is basically NOW@>


The Death of Omar Sharif
Jim Sheridan said of Omar Sharif on his death “He loved the world and the world loved him”. That about sums him up. Omar Sharif starred in two iconic films in the sixties ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ with Peter O’Toole and ‘Doctor Zhivago’ with Julie Christie. Omar was Egyptian and known also for being a notable Bridge player. He was a popular and engaging guest on T.V. talk shows.  
Boyle GAA have been running a ‘Know Your Sports’ challenge for most of the year. This is the latest top ten table.
Henri Clifford 66 : Steve Tonry (1) 63 : Trevor Conroy 62 : Colin Ginty 60 : Gerry Nerney 60 : Steve Tonry (5) 59 : Eamonn Davey 58 : Paul Doran 58 : Cormac Regan 57 : Paul McDonagh 56
Congrats to
Carmel Goldrick who recently completed the Ring of Kerry Cycle. It certainly was an ideal location for a cycle but I imagine it could be distracting.
New Referee on the Block
I was pleased to see a new referee in the Abbey Park during the week. This was former St. Ronan’s stalwart, Patrick McTiernan. Fair play to you Patrick, it is good to see former players get involved.  
St Swithen’s Day.
St. Swithin's Day is 15 July, a day on which people watch the weather for tradition says that whatever the weather is like on St. Swithin's Day, it will continue so for the next forty days. That was yesterday Wednesday and it was a lovely fine day. Today Thursday not so.
**Since it has been a big week for sport and the result from last Sunday subdued the poetry gene in me I have postponed ‘Echoes of Yeats’ for this week.

No comments:

Post a Comment