Thursday, August 13, 2015

Update 13th August

The Pleasure Ground by Jarlath Tivnan in Galway Town Hall Theatre, Friday, August the 21st and Saturday the 22nd.
Boyle actor Jarlath Tivnan, fresh from his successful appearance in ‘The Dead School’ at Galway Arts Festival, now appears in his own play the Pleasure Ground in Galway Town Hall Theatre for two nights, Friday August the 21st and Saturday the 22nd. The play is Directed by Jarlath’s cousin Maria Tivnan of Fregoli Theatre Company Galway, whose company has performed at Boyle Arts Festival a number of times.
So if you are from Boyle and in Galway reading this, as the Aldi Challenge goes, ‘Tell your friends and (maybe) they’ll tell their friends…..’ and we could generate a supporting crowd, which would be nice.   
The story of the play centres around, ‘a group of friends who’ve gone their separate ways who meet back at their teenage haunt, the town park and playground, known as the Pleasure Ground. The town is in limbo, the Pleasure Ground’s glory has faded, and life hasn’t quite matched up to youthful expectations. Over their night together, buried secrets become unearthed, past grievances boil over, and scores are settled’.

The plays performers are Kate Murray, Peter Shine, Eilish McCarthy and Jarlath Tivnan

Initial reviews say;

“bog gothic… reminiscent of Patrick McCabe”
“a marriage of brutality and tenderness” Irish Theatre

70th Anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs

The recent week or so has seen the 70th anniversaries of the dropping of two atomic bombs by the United States on Japan at the end of World War 2. The first bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on August the 6th 1945 and the second on the city of Nagasaki on August the 9th. Up to 130, 000 people were killed in total in the two cities on the actual days with many thousands more, over the succeeding decades, dying as a result of radiation sickness, usually cancer. RTE screened  an incisive programme on Thursday night August the 6th, the 70th Anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, titled ‘Hiroshima: The Real Story’.
There were a good few points made, some that I was aware of and a good number that I was not aware of heretofore. Apparently Einstein’s famous mathematics equation  E=mc2 contributed to the possibility of harnessing a powerful new force. German scientists led by Heisenberg were at the forefront of the development of an atomic bomb using this force. The US joined this race, with a galaxy of famous scientists led by Oppenheimer, because there was a great fear of a Hitler dominated Germany using the bomb if they developed it first. (The US effort was called The Manhattan Project and the bomb in development was called ‘the gadget’…the ultimate ‘gadget’). With the defeat of Germany this threat evaporated. The rationale behind the dropping of the bombs on Japan has been questioned ever since. This especially applies to the dropping of the second bomb on the city of Nagasaki despite the reservations of some of the scientists who contributed to its development. The reason forwarded by the United States was that it would prevent the loss of at least half a million American lives that would be lost in the invasion of Japan.
In 1964 Truman added that it also saved the lives of half a million Japanese lives which would also be lost in that invasion. The programme touched on the reasons why the bombs might not have been used citing the facts that Japan was then becoming a spent force with constant bombing, the destruction of its resources and formerly powerful fleet and the possibility of a peace or surrender- seeking grouping in the country emerging. It also suggested that Japan could have been blockaded and so on. Japan, while nominally ruled by an Emperor holding God-like status, was actually dominated by a militaristic elite who were determined to fight to the end.
Of course military influence was not just a Japanese phenomenon. It was also a powerful force of influence in the US as it still is. New to me was the struggle to actually complete the bomb and the implication that some vital material was scavenged  from the German Atomic Research Programme which helped complete the process.
Anyway after the first test at Los Alamos New Mexico, demonstrated its power the US military, with the assent of President Truman, were anxious to demonstrate its capacity in an actual war deployment. Its effects were devastating as we know. Japanese authorities did not respond instantly after the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August the 6th and were given little time until the second bomb was dropped on August the 9th. This drew the Japanese Emperor out in the open with a call for surrender. Thus began the Atomic Age.
Those of us, old enough, will remember the days of fear during the Cuban Missile Crisis during the 13 days of October 1962 when the world teetered on the brink of a nuclear holocaust. The world got another graphic reminder of its destructive power and legacy with the Chernobyl disaster in April ’86

Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 70 years on is a hugely important story and  a constant reminder of man’s capacity to …..                            
A Japanese survivor described the damage to people:
“The appearance of people was . . . well, they all had skin blackened by burns. . . . They had no hair because their hair was burned, and at a glance you couldn't tell whether you were looking at them from in front or in back. . . . They held their arms bent [forward] like this . . . and their skin - not only on their hands, but on their faces and bodies too - hung down. . . . If there had been only one or two such people . . . perhaps I would not have had such a strong impression. But wherever I walked I met these people. . . . Many of them died along the road - I can still picture them in my mind -- like walking ghosts”.

Christy Wynne’s London Memories
I enjoyed Christy’s memories of his time in London as presented on last week. Having spent some time myself in London in the later sixties Christy’s  reflections resonate with me. Indeed he has written quite a number of fine articles reflecting on times past in Boyle and long may he continue to do so..          

Mayo advance
Well done to Mayo who reached the All-Ireland Semi-Final with a comfortable win, in the end, over Donegal on Saturday last. The contributions of O’Shea at full forward was a match winner but there were many other fine contributions. So this year Mayo look better equipped to continue the challenge. It is a pity that they now have to face the powerful challenge of Dublin who have an extended panel to draw on thus leaving them with 15 + 5 options on Sunday the 23rd. Mayo do not have the strength in depth in any way to match that. The foolishness of Kevin Keane in getting himself sent off eliminates one option. Donegal were relying too much on Michael Murphy and it looks that Sunday’s game was the swan song for a number of their fine team such as McFadden, Gallagher, Lacey, Toye and so on.

Tyrone v Monaghan was a poor game with a nasty edge to it. Tyrone did well to win but continue to bring a gamesmanship element to the game that is off-putting.

Kilkenny were convincing winners over Waterford without  putting in a Rolls Royce performance as so often in the past. They still have many powerful hurlers in Reid, Hogan and Fennelly. There was, however, a high toll of uncharacteristic wides from the sides. Waterford are a young side and hopefully they will continue to develop.

Next Sunday it is the turn of Galway and Tipperary. Again the question is; Which Galway will turn up? Tipp look really strong this year and are fancied by many to go all the way. Kilkenny are a bit off being the super team of past years, especially with the loss of J.J. Delaney, so next Sunday’s winners will go in at least 50:50 to the final. If Galway win they have always being an issue for Kilkenny. In any event it looks like a good pairing for the hurling final.

Boyle Seniors Continue to Impress
While being a pretty confusing team formation for Boyle seniors in Strokestown on Sunday last they were convincing winners, in the end, over an under-resourced Kilmore side who put up a traditional energetic first half performance. Boyle supporters have become spoiled a bit –of late- with some silky football from this team played at pace. The first half was not thus and with Enda Smith being well marked at half-time the result looked in the balance somewhat. The second half was very different with Enda coming out and Jim Suffin going to full forward with telling effect. It was great to see another of the young guns making a big impression as Colin Goldrick did with a contribution of four points. Boyle had fine performances from Tadhg Lowe in goals, Cillian Cox, Conor McGowan, Ml. Hanmore in the back line and Jim Suffin up front. Conor Flanagan marked his introduction to senior football with a well taken early goal. The introduction of Mark O’Connor was telling and Mark O’Donohoe also did well when introduced. Towards the end Kilmore went all-out for the necessary goals which left them wide open at the back from which Boyle took advantage with a late scoring flurry.
The final score was Boyle 3.12 Kilmore 0.10.
They now need to overcome St. Croan’s who suffered a narrow defeat to Castlerea-in the next round on Sunday evening the 16th, in Hyde Park at 7 pm. This would ensure a deciding final game against a resurgent Strokestown to see who will join Castlerea in qualifying from the group. This is as I see it.

Boyle U 14 Girls Capture the Sean Daly Memorial Cup
On a beautiful Wednesday evening in the Abbey Park, Boyle U 14 girls had a convincing win over Kilmore to take the Sean Daly Memorial Cup. Present was one of the most eclectic crowds, of young and not so young, I’ve seen in the park for some time. The location of all the requisite tents and paraphernalia of Circus Corvinni Ireland on the training ground lent a carnival atmosphere to it all. I may go as oddly I’ve never been to an official circus per se.
The availability of a team programme was a great help in acquainting oneself with the names of those involved. Boyle had 31 participants listed. The Boyle players who stood out were, Rhiannon Connolly in goals, Shannon Kerins at number three, Ciara Sheerin at number six, Kate Harrington and Erica O’Connor at midfield, Grace Flanagan and the Duggan sisters Ruth and Sarah. The team manager is Vinny Flanagan with Tom Kearney. As I’ve said before the Abbey Park on a fine summer’s day or evening enveloped by a large group of young people involved in sport is an idealistic scene.  



Great win for Shane Lowry
Well done to another Irish golfer, Shane Lowry, on his great win on Sunday in Akron Ohio and I hope the Irish golfers do well in the last of the majors this weekend. 
I March 2008 Shane stopped off at the Moving Stairs on his way home through Boyle after winning the ‘West of Ireland Championship’ at Rosses Point. Benny Morgan who has strong connections in Shane’s home golf course of Esker Hills, Tullamore, Offaly was on hand to take the picture.

John Evans Steps Down
John Evans has stepped down after three years as manager of the Roscommon senior team. His achievement has been in the promotion of Roscommon from Division Three to Division One and supporters applaud this. However there was huge disappointment with Roscommon’s losses to Sligo and especially to Fermanagh at Enniskillen. While the County Board Executive were interested in retaining John for another year the vibes from the clubs did not seem to line up with this. Rather than having a divisive debate at Wednesday’s County Board meeting John Evans decided, apparently, to step aside. We wish him well henceforth. Of course the issue which will engage the minds of Roscommon GAA people in the near future is who his successor as manager. Roscommon will be. Whoever it is will face a challenging league campaign next spring in Division One , a trip to New York for the first round of the championship and an expectation of a decent run in the championship. Perhaps the expectations of fans will be tempered by challenging league. 

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