Thursday, November 12, 2015

Update 12th November

Feile Success

I was fortunate to be in Oran on Sunday last to witness a fine game full of skill, endeavour and courage when Boyle finally overcame a St. Brigid’s team who fought valiantly to the end in the Feile qualifying final.
Being 2.2 down after seven minutes looked bleak for Boyle but by half time they had retrieved the situation to a large degree as the score stood at St. Brigid’s 2.4 Boyle 1.3. The goal shortly before the break was a real bonus for Boyle. It is well to point out that Boyle were playing against a near gale. Boyle dominated the second half to a degree though St. Brigid’s kept trying to the end. Boyle might have paid a price by going for goals rather than the easier option of points. Still they scored three goals in the half to win on the score of Boyle 4.5 St. Brigid’s 2.5. 
Barry Molloy was hugely impressed by the quality of the football and the effort of both 13-a-side teams in the full pitch under the conditions that prevailed. Barry was the captain of the Roscommon minor team of 1951 which won the All-Ireland minor title by defeating Armagh on December 16th in Croke Park. So Barry, a senior person, deserves credit for being present to hand over the shield. 
Michael O’Brien gives an excellent account of the game on the back page of the Roscommon Herald Sports Section including two pictures one of the team and a second of team captain Josh Cronin accepting the shield from Mister Molloy. 
A picture was taken, on the prompting of Boyle Manager, Gerry Cregg, of both teams together which was the subject of much favourable comment subsequently as being a rare occurrence and representing the true spirit of sport. So, well done to the team and all involved with them.

U 21's v St. Brigid’s

Boyle U 21s’ play St. Brigid’s again on Sunday next, this time in the U 21 ‘A’ Co. Semi-Final at Boyle at 2 pm. This should prove to be an interesting encounter. Actually the spirit of sport as referred to above was demonstrated here also with the two managers drawing for home advantage which was a very logical thing to do.

Sir Patrick Hannon, Taverne, Cloonloo.

As the title used by actor Michael Caine for part one of his autobiography went ‘Not a Lot of People Know That’ I doubt that too many people will know of the person, named above, that I am going to write a few lines about now. This biographical note is abstracted from the story of the Irish in Birmingham in a book titled ‘Birmingham Irish ... Making Our Mark’ by Carl Chinn re-published perhaps circa 2000.
Patrick Hannon was born at Taverne, Cloonloo, County Sligo and educated at university in Ireland. Deeply concerned for improving the conditions of Irish workers, he became involved in schemes for the agricultural and economic regeneration of Ireland. After a time in South Africa he came to England in 1910 where he gained influence in the British Commonwealth Union and the Comrades of the Great War. In 1921 he became the Unionist Member of Parliament for Moseley. He held his seat until he retired in 1950, even doing so in 1945 when Labour swept the board in Birmingham bar for Moseley. A deputy chairman of the BSA, Sir Patrick Hannon was involved with HP Sauce and a wide range of business and social activities in Birmingham. A devout Catholic he was president of Aston Villa soccer club and was knighted in 1936.
[I wonder are there any connections of this Irishman-made-good still in Cloonloo?
 Regarding Michael Caine’s biography, part two was titled; ‘Not a Lot of People Know this either’!] 

Frank Keenan

I had a brief note, by text, after my lines on Frank Keenan last week. “In my early days in Boyle circa 1970 Frank lived with his brother Ambrose in Greatmeadow. Frank was said to have come back from Covent Gardens, English National Opera (Theatre, London) maybe for a break but did not return.” My texter seems to remember Frank performing in St. Joseph’s Hall. He refers to Ambrose also as a very good singer. I remember Ambrose being recruited by me once for a quiz team going to the Golf Club as he had a reputation as a quiz person. When the questions were asked his regular response was ‘That’s a good question’. The fact that he went no farther left John MacNama unimpressed.   

Boyle Courthouse

Sean has a selection of telling photographs on regarding the courthouse one of the iconic and historic buildings of Boyle. It tells the story of neglect and decay. When the court service was still active there I happened to access the upper floor. There in a room was a very large collection of records, documents and so on relating to the business of the building going back to the mid-1800's at least. I brought this to the attention of the County Library certainly if not other agencies. I doubt if anything was done. (I am open to correction on that… as in all things.) It would have been a big undertaking to assess value, remove and store appropriately the material involved. The task of preserving the Courthouse for some functionality is a huge one but its further degradation would be a sad tale also.
Bank of Ireland Back-Track

I do not know the full details of this but when the Bank of Ireland announced that it would only allow deposits from €3,000 and withdrawals from €700 to be carried out without recourse to the ATM's on the premises there was a big backlash and rightly so. These came particularly from what are called the ‘grey vote’ and the Joe Duffy Lifeline Show was the medium. It apparently caused a reaction which led to some roll-back on the plans. The plans seem to be driving society towards a cashless society where all business is done electronically. I forget now if that is referenced in George Orwell’s futuristic – at the time - novel 1984 which introduced us to Big Brother. While the Lifeline programme has its critics and I am NOT one of them it can certainly flash-mobilise public opinion on matters of public concern and has the power to influence change or reversal of change for the good of sections of community.

The Winding Road to Roscommon Town

As someone who is from mid-Roscommon and lives in Boyle I have travelled on the N 61 road that links those two towns many, many, times for many reasons. The news that three of those curvilinear bends were to be straightened out was welcome news. However, perhaps John Mulligan’s observations in the Roscommon Herald regarding the loss of the Greenway cycle route from Athlone to Galway, because of objections from vested interests, should have stopped one from believing before seeing its initiation. The closure of the road for a year was to have begun on Monday last November 9th but at the 11th hour, it seems, environmental concerns seem to have surfaced. Why this was not flagged much earlier in the process and a resolution found is puzzling.  

Drug-taking and Sport

The disclosures regarding the purported Russian drug-taking programme prior to the London Olympics poses a big challenge for The Rio Olympics, the incoming President of the International Athletic Federation and for sport in general. The credibility or lack of it with many sports continues to grow. People’s faith that the winners are legitimate, drug-free winners is declining. Sporting Carnivals like The Olympics will be eroded by incredulity and the original inspiring mottos will be dismissed as pie in the sky. 
Interestingly it is said that the London Olympics has failed to generate an upward curve in participation. Perhaps this is because possible participants see no way or have no desire to compete against drug cheats. 
In rugby while a huge number of people watched the Rugby World Cup the numbers participating in rugby is declining. Clubs having team five, team six and so on are no more. 
Is the distribution of funding towards ‘elite’ sports people now questionable?
Should funding be spread towards providing facilities for broad popular participation?
Are some of the great sports of generations self-destructing?     
Return to Sender

In this morning’s post my 9g letter, which I had posted on September the 22nd, returned festooned with labels and date stamps. It apparently stood no chance of making its destination, which was London. It was date-stamped like a pilot’s passport i.e. if that is required of them. The AMC (Athlone Mailing Centre) had first go with the 23/9/15. The next stamp, the 29 Oct 2015 was on a pink label with English and French possible reasons for non-delivery. Where it had been in the previous month one could hardly imagine, perhaps some envelope carousel in an automated sorting office or before a tribunal of enquiry.  In national school all those years ago a group essay topic used to be ‘My story as told by…’ An old schoolbag’,’ A lost penny’, perhaps even ‘A lost letter’; a bit like Toy Story.  The third date stamp was 11 Nov. 2015 with the direction ‘Return to Sender’ as Elvis sang, with a solid arrow indicating ‘Address on Reverse Side’ which I had luckily enough added. The next appendage a yellow label told the story, bilingually, of the letter’s dilemma, ‘Posta’s Gearriochta’. So the Red Fox of my stamp wasn’t cute enough to fool the keen eye of An Post’s scanner.
Seasonal Poem

Since I gave autumn its poem a few weeks ago the current weather forecast has prompted me to give winter its due this week. The poem is in the play 'Love's Labour's Lost'
"Winter" by William Shakespeare
When icicles hang by the wall 
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail 
And Tom bears logs into the hall, 
And milk comes frozen home in pail, 
When Blood is nipped and ways be foul, 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 

When all aloud the wind doth blow, 
And coughing drowns the parson's saw, 
And birds sit brooding in the snow, 
And Marian's nose looks red and raw 
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 

Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 


I quote here a nice observation which is what we try to achieve here on, as received during the week;  
“Continuing to enjoy the Oblique View. I find it interesting that in an age of instantaneous global news and opinion which bombards us at every turn, the appeal of local affairs still manages to compete!!! Something I feel helps to keep the individuality of a small local community”. R. O’D.

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