Thursday, October 29, 2015

Update 29th October

The Great Poems of John Keats

My reflection, a couple of weeks ago, on the John Keats poem ‘To Autumn’ prompted the following nice paragraph from Christy Wynne who has written some lovely essays on elements of Boyle life down the years. 

Having sparked the poetic streak in me after reading John Keats’s ‘To Autumn,’ I automatically moved on to ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ written by the same man. It is one of my favourite poems for a variety of reasons, notwithstanding the vein of sadness that runs through it. We had three stanzas to learn for Leaving Cert but I opted to learn all eight of them. A search for Happiness, a dissertation on life and death, they are all there. Keats’s short life was an aesthetic love affair with valley glades, quiet streams, plots of beechen green and winding mossy ways, ‘Beakers full of the warm south with beaded bubbles winking at the brim and purple stained mouth’. He died of T.B. at the tragically young age of twenty six years. At the end of the poem the man simply asks the question, ‘was it a vision or a waking dream’
Goethe the great German dramatist once said, 
One ought, every day hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and if it were possible to speak a few reasonable words.
One could start with ‘Ode to a Nightingale’.
Christy Wynne.”   

So here are the opening two verses of another great poem of Keats which Christy learned at St. Mel’s College, in Longford some time ago now.  

Ode to a Nightingale

By  John Keats   

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains 
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk, 
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains 
One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk: 
'Tis not through envy of thy happy lot, 
 But being too happy in thine happiness,— 
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees 
 In some melodious plot 
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, 
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. 

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been 
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, 
Tasting of Flora and the country green, 
Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt mirth! 
O for a beaker full of the warm South, 
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, 
And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, 
And with thee fade away into the forest dim:

I might as well end my treatment of Keats by making a short reference to his other poem ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’ with lines that may echo with some senior readers. Like so many pieces of classical writing people will remember the opening lines or remember them when prompted to do so. Thus these are the opening four lines with the famous final lines and the message therein.  

Ode on a Grecian Urn 
THOU still unravish'd bride of quietness,   
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,   
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express   
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:

'Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all   
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

(If anyone wishes to comment on the content here, or, as Christy has so nobly done, add their own three halfpence worth you may forward your thoughts to me for consideration
at Thanking you in advance. Terms and conditions apply of course !) 

Knock Airport Thirty Years, On a Wing and a Prayer

The encounter between R.T.E.’s Western Correspondent, Jim Fahey and Monsignor James Horan at a huge building site on a hill near Charlestown in County Mayo over thirty years ago regularly crops up on television be it ‘Reeling in the Years’ or whatever.
Jim Fahey “What are you doing here?” Monsignor Horan “We’re building an airport, but don’t tell anybody”. My memory of the disparaging reference to that area was as ‘a foggy, boggy hill’ in Mayo but it seems that it was “foggy boggy site” uttered by Jim Mitchell of Fine Gael. What matter.
It was looked on by many and especially the Dublin establishment as the height of madness. It was however supported, to a degree, by the Fianna Fail government of the Castlebar-born Taoiseach Charlie Haughey. Monsignor Horan who was parish priest of Knock was responsible for the invitation of Pope John Paul 11 to Knock having built a huge Basilica there. 

(As an aside I remember vividly being there ‘stewarding’ for the Pope’s visit. The GAA as an organisation was mobilised to help with that element of things and Micheal O’Callaghan, Chairman of Roscommon County Board rallied the Roscommon GAA. So we identified ourselves with our yellow caps et al and the Boyle company ‘stewarded’ under the direction of Miko Finneran. There was a huge crowd of course. However things must have run a bit late and the Pope was unable to do his usual tour of the grounds in the Pope mobile to the great disappointment of the people. He did wave down to them from the helicopter taking him away. Then the serried ranks of the stewards were really tested as people broke to return to their modes of transport and despite the best efforts of Miko and company we were unable to hold back the tide. God indulged us all and no one got hurt. I’ll return to the Monsignor).

The Fianna Fail defeat in the ’82 election meant a different and less supportive Government. A great appeal went out to the people of the region and particularly the diaspora especially those from Mayo and the money flowed in with the bold Monsignor travelling to the U.S. and various places seeking financial assistance. The project had captured the imagination of the country as evidenced in a song by Christy Moore; “

‘From Fatima to Bethlehem, from Lourdes to Kiltimagh,
There’s never been a miracle like the airport up in Knock’

The first passenger flight took place on October the 25th 1985 for a pilgrimage group to Rome and the Vatican. Despite the smiling public image of Monsignor Horan the whole project took its toll on him and he died less than a year later on a pilgrimage to Lourdes. The return of his remains was the first funeral to come to Knock Airport. It was later named after the Monsignor but is now known as Ireland West Airport Knock, the fourth busiest airport in the country with 700,000 passengers in 2014. A statue of the good Monsignor stands proudly on the once ‘foggy boggy hill’. Those of us who have travelled via Knock owe a huge debt of gratitude to Monsignor James Horan. He certainly adopted the phrase famously uttered by Robert Kennedy, adapted from a sentence of George Bernard Shaw; ‘Some people see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say, why not?”    
‘Streets of London”

Last week-end I attended a concert in the Hawks Well Theatre in Sligo performed by Ralph McTell. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable evening with the singer accompanying himself with excellent guitar playing. Ralph McTell is known for two songs especially, ‘Streets of London’ and ‘From Clare to Here’. I have to confess that I have not listened to Ralph enough down the years. A song I was not aware of titled ‘Mister Connaughton’ really impressed me. The singer who is now seventy continues to tour and talked of being in Sligo in the past and referred to The Venue Bar in Strandhill as a venue. The then proprietor of The Venue and a former manager of Planxty, Kevin Flynn, was there to meet Ralph again. I used to think that the singer was from Scotland, or the North East of England when in fact he is from Croydon, London and he has been an influential figure in English folk music for decades.



Boyle Juniors take the Cup. Boyle 0.12 Kilglass 0.11.

Back; A.Lavin/B.Shannon/ G.Gilmartin/ J.Suffin/ T.McGarty/ L.Casey/ J.Cox/ D.Mattimoe/ P.Goldrick/ C.McKeon/ GaryGoldrick/ B.Kerins/ T.Halligan/ P.Lavin/ C. Cox/ A.Sharkey/ D.O’Connor/ B.Goldrick.
Front; M.McGovern/ C.Flanagan/ C.Horan/ K.Kelly/ M.Goldrick/ C.Beirne Capt./ D.East/ C.Goldrick/ L.Conroy/ S.Tonra/ C.Deery. (26 players, three management).


Boyle Junior team defeated Kilglass Gaels ‘B’ by the narrowest of margins in Kilglass on Saturday evening last in the King & Moffatt Division 5 final. While it was not pretty at times, as possession was gifted to either side and the ending was somewhat nail-biting the victory was just reward for the management and players who ‘turned out’ at times during the summer when it may have been easier to fold. The object of the exercise was to give extended members of the club’s football group, game- time which it did. But it was not always easy to get a full team. This was not the case on this final day.
The late arrival of the referee on Saturday pushed the ending to the twilight hour. At half time the score stood at Kilglass 0.5 Boyle 0.4. Mid-way in the second half Boyle led by 9 points to 5 but Kilglass rallied and reeled of four unanswered points to level affairs by the 20th minute. Both sides traded points but Cian McKeon scored a fine point from a free to give Boyle the win close to full time. The introduction of veteran players Liam Conroy, Mark McGovern, Aaron Sharkey, Jim Suffin and Steve Tonra tilted the result in Boyle’s favour eventually. So well done to all involved.

Seamus Nugent Representing the County Board presents the cup to Boyle Capt. Ciaran Beirne. In the background are, P.Lavin/A. Sharkey / K.Kelly/ S. Tonra/ P. Goldrick/ T. Halligan. On the right are, C. Goldrick/ M. Dolan/ D. O’Connor

Boyle are now involved in the U 21 championship with a game v Padraig Pearse's on Saturday at Woodmount. There are some very good players on this panel as evidenced down the years in the various under-age competitions but again it hinges on the question of who makes themselves available.

Last Sunday saw a host of county finals and inter-provincial club games. There was a double scenario where two brothers faced each other being on opposing sides. In the Kilkenny senior hurling final Keith Hogan was on the winning Clara side while his brother Brian was with the defeated O’Loughlin Gaels team. In Castlebar Tommy O’Reilly was on the Breaffy team defeated emphatically by the Castlebar Mitchell’s side which included his brother Eoghan. There is the standard quiz question there so bank that for the Boyle GAA Christmas Quiz which will take place on Sunday December the 27th in St. Joseph’s Hall. 

Rugby World Cup Final
So it has come down to a kind of Kerry v Dublin World Rugby Cup Final between New Zealand v Australia. N.Z. always looked like they were going to be in the final and probably win it. Australia had to get the rub of the referee in the Scotland game to get there. It is pretty unusual that these two sides have not met before in a final. I thought that N.Z. were unbeatable but they had to struggle against South Africa and the champagne rugby had to be put in the ice bucket. N.Z. have beaten Oz eleven times in the last 12 games but the Australian win was the second last game in Sydney and they put out a very different team for the last game. No team has won back-to-back world Cups and N.Z. have not a World Cup outside N.Z. If they are to be beaten then it is quite possible that Australia is the team to do it as no other team could be as motivated to beat N.Z. other than Australia. On reading the reviews the Australian back row pairing of Pocock and Hooper could be the difference. 
It is a great pairing for the final and could be the icing on the cake of a pretty remarkable tournament. 
(South Africa play Argentina on Friday night at 8 in the plate. While the final is on Saturday at 4.)    

I mention the Seminar below, which is organised by John Scally from South Roscommon, author of the biography of Dermot Earley. I expect to go myself as there is a very interesting broad programme and notable speakers. 

Interdisciplinary Ethics in Sport Conference Programme 

Date: Saturday November 7, 2015.

Venue: The Long Room Hub, Trinity College.

10.00 Welcome and Introduction: Dr. John Scally Department of Religions and Theology
10.15 Ethics and Sport: A Personal Perspective George Hook, Broadcaster and Rugby Journalist
11.00 Mind Matters: Gareth O’Callaghan, Broadcaster, Therapist and Mental Health Campaigner
11.45 Mind Matters:  The GAA Response Colin Regan, GAA Community and Health Manager
12.15 Sponsorship of Sport by Alcohol Brands: Suzanne Costello, CEO Alcohol Action Ireland 
12.45 Special Guests: Emma Spence and Ollie Campbell

1.00 Break 

2.00 Keeping Children Safe: Dr. Gary O’Toole: Swimming Champion and Whistleblower
2.30 The Concussion Crisis?: Karol Mannion, Roscommon footballer.
3.00 Ethics and the GAA: Joe Brolly, GAA Legend 

Admission is Free. Places are limited so early booking is advised.

For further information and for registration contact John Scally at:

Slán ... comments and email welcome ...


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