Thursday, December 10, 2015

Update 11th December

Blog 9th December 

‘Pleasure Ground’ Saturday Night.
Just to remind viewers that Jarlath Tivnan’s play ‘Pleasure Ground’ will take place on Saturday night next in St. Joseph’s Hall at 8. The title may be somewhat confusing as it is just the ‘venue/location’ where the play is set. Over sixteens only.

The Flooding Crisis
Last week I was writing a note on a lovely television programme ‘Lesser spotted Journeys’ and how it dealt with Athleague and the tranquil River Suck that runs through it.
This week Athleague is again making the TV news but this time the tranquillity has been transformed into a battle ground as the forces of nature bare their teeth and residents struggle to contain the tempest.
This is a repeat of a similar scenario in 2009 when the village was engulfed by floodwater. When that passed the feeling was that such an event would not happen again for decades into the future which acted as a consolation and an expectation. Why people might drift into that idea is, perhaps, strange. The respite has proved to be very short term.
Anyway I was in touch with my cousin who lives in Athleague and he relayed the detail of the battle that was on their hands as the whole community rallied. The result of their efforts is still very problematic with the rainfall continuing.
In nearby Carrick-on-Shannon we see a variation on the theme as the water rises and threatens homes and businesses. It is now a crisis of national proportions and certainly a large number of peoples’ lives will be in upheaval as a consequence.
Another debate will surely emerge regarding a host of causative issues such as planning, global warming and lack of protective measures. That is for the future.
What an agony it must be to watch the waters rising and having to just anticipate the inevitable consequences for homes and livelihoods.   

Boyle ‘Men’s Shed’- A Haven of Possibility
One of the winners of the Rehab/RTE ‘People of the Year Awards’ , which was televised  last week-end, was John Evoy who introduced the ‘Men’s Shed’ concept to Ireland a number of years ago. John had first experienced this in Australia where it was founded in the ‘90s’. The Boyle ‘Shed’ began in 2012 with initial encouragement from Louise Carty of the Family Life Centre.
There are ‘Sheds’ in Ballyleague, Castlerea, Roscommon Town and Strokestown. The Irish Men’s Sheds Association was set up in January 2011 with the purpose of supporting the development and sustainability of Men’s Sheds on the Island of Ireland.
It is suggested that, “Men don’t talk face to face; they talk shoulder to shoulder”
The three principles of the organisation are as follows:
1)      Honesty and Openness. Everything we do is transparent and accountable to the Shedders and to the public.

2) Equality and Inclusion: Our work creates places of belonging, participatory democracy, mutual respect, companionship and community for all Shedders.
3) Leadership: We demonstrate and promote leadership in everything we do.
The concept is not an age thing and so is fully inclusive. All men are welcome and encouraged to call into the Boyle Shed, which is located behind Visionary Photography formerly Emmett Electric on The Crescent, Boyle. Neither is it for Boyle town as its current members come from the local region.
The first project with which the ‘Shed’ was involved in Boyle was the Model Railway which was constructed on the Trojan premises and it is hoped will become a centre-piece display when the Courthouse is renovated. The Model Railway featured on a Joe Duffy television show some time ago.
There are 45 members in Boyle with a core of active participants. The participants ‘must want to come themselves’. The problem is awareness of its existence and understanding of its role. I talked at length to Martin Connolly regarding the role of the Shed in Boyle and he was comfortable with its progress. Martin is in Boyle eight years and sees the Shed as a social and recreational environment while at the same time developing and accommodating interests with, and learning from, the many talents of the other members. He also sees it as contributing to the local community as the fine achievement of the Railway hopefully will do. Recently they have been involved with the lighting of the Town Clock and by associating with Boyle Tidy Towns they will be able to help with town enhancement schemes. They have developed a visible and attractive Boyle GAA Lotto presentation which the club is currently distributing to business premises.
A lot of work has been done on their current premises and it has a very well equipped woodwork room and a music centre with a small recording studio, which people are welcome to use. Indeed the ‘welcome’ motif is core to the activity or just social atmosphere that obtains. It is a therapeutic tool in men’s wellbeing and positivity in being active and contributing to the community in a relaxed and inviting environment. 
“To you it may only be a shed
But to me it is a sanctuary”  
The members are in the process of developing a computer room which would be a fine facility to help members with modern technology and communication skills.
Personally I also see the ‘Men’s Shed’ as a much better recreational and economic option than others to which some men, with time on their hands, are drawn.
Anyway I was very impressed by a number of elements with Boyle Men’s Shed’ such as the welcome and, dare I say it, ‘laid back’ non-judgemental atmosphere that obtained. It has great potential and I hope it prospers. It deserves our support. I encourage anyone who reads this to think about or refer it to someone they think might benefit from it or be a benefit to it.

Rehab/RTE People of the Year Awards
I’ll just add the list of the remaining winners of ‘People of the Year’ as follows:
Padraic Mangan and Aoibhean Godwin, Young People of the Year for founding FarmSafety4Kids
Philip Grant, Irish Consul, California, and Fr. Brendan McBride, International People of the Year, for their efforts following the Berkeley balcony collapse
Fadhili Haji, of Sports Against Racism Ireland and Football Against Racism in Europe for her work in encouraging Muslim girls to play football
Ade Stack and Marty Curley, for assisting parents and families of sick children, through the founding of Hugh's House, which provides accommodation near the Rotunda and Temple Street Children's Hospitals
Yes Equality (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, Irish Council for Civil Liberties, Marriage Equality Ireland) for their campaign to amend the Constitution
Paul O'Connell, former Munster and Irish rugby captain, Sports person of the Year
 Emergency nurse practitioner Ken Maleady received the Everyday Hero award for saving the life of fellow marathon runner Mary Leech, when she collapsed during the Dublin City Marathon
Irish Defence Forces- Navy- for their work in rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean.
Boyle GAA Club Happenings From Here!
Two finals this coming week-end
(Weather permitting of course).

Garda Cup. Boyle v Tulsk Sat. 11am Abbey Park
One would have thought that the club’s GAA activities would have tapered off by this stage but success extends seasons. The weather has been a factor also in postponing games so hopefully all will be concluded successfully this coming week-end.
On Saturday morning Boyle takes on Tulsk in the Garda Cup Final, at Boyle, at 11 am. Boyle has already won the Keenan Cup so it would indicate a good pool of under-age players if they could add the Garda Cup which they also won last year.
I imagine most of the players from the successful Feile team will be playing here.  Tulsk is another club working hard at under-age development. They won the initial competition in ’84 and again in ’87 and possibly in ’03.
Boyle won their first Garda Cup in ’91 with Donal Kelly as captain and in ’92 and ’94.  In ’98 Roch Hanmore was a winning captain. Boyle were of course winners a good number of times subsequently.
The Keenan and Garda Cups have been very popular with many clubs and are seen as building blocks for the full county championships. 
The Garda Cup has always been well thought of by the Gardaí and I can think of stalwarts such as Tom Commins, Sgt. John Kelly, and Fergal O’Donnell giving it their support.  So if you can, make your way to the Abbey Park on Saturday morning. 
[Referencing Tulsk.  In a picture of a dressing room opening at Tulsk grounds recently the Roscommon Herald has a picture of the event on page 66. In the picture of 9 people there is 1 Tulsk GAA officer, 1 County Board GAA officer and 7 politicians!]  

U 21 County ‘A’ Final Boyle v Clann na nGael Sunday, Enfield (St. Croan’s grounds, Ballintubber)
This is huge game for Boyle against top opposition in Clann na Gael. Clann would be favourites outside Boyle but this Boyle side has a very good balanced team and have had two excellent wins against Padraig Pearse’s and St. Brigid’s to get to this stage. The second half performance against St. Brigid’s was very encouraging. Their management of Aidan Lavin assisted by Ml. Hanmore, Shane Spellman, Mark Goldrick and Donal Kelly have also played their part in organising the side.
There are many fine players on this team. The half-back line of team Capt. Tadgh McKenna, Evan McGrath and Conor Tivnan played a key role in the win against St. Brigid’s while another line –the full forward line- with young guns Cian McKeon and Conor Deery and the very impressive Dylan East- caused major problems for the opposition up front.
Boyle’s star player Enda Smith will be the focus of a lot of opposition attention but that will be nothing new to him.
 Clann have up to a dozen players who participated in their county senior championship win with a large number of players who have represented the county at minor, U 21 and senior. Their star player is Ultan Harney.
I know that there is a fine spirit and resolve in the Boyle team and management and they are determined to give it their best shot. A victory here would be a major one, next to a senior win, so we wish them all well. It would be a nice Christmas present for the club.
Your support would certainly be appreciated.
Boyle Club Lotto now stands at €10,000 plus for Saturday night’s draw.

Boyle GAA Club AGM
There was a very positive atmosphere at this year’s AGM. There were excellent reports of the club’s activities for 2015 and a real sense of optimism for 2016. Personally I feel that the club is in a very good place and was never as strong as it is at the moment. Nothing of course is perfect so if everybody contributes those gaps can be reduced. As Gerry Cregg commented there is great work being done at many clubs, especially at the top clubs who have the population numbers.  I have occasionally referred to St. Brigid’s, for example, in US terms; it is not just a club it is an Organisation. So smaller clubs now have to maximise their resources and work hard to stay in the game at a decent level. Boyle club has an excellent corps of officials and each year seems to bring in someone special. One of the deficits at the AGM was the fact that the age profile was pretty senior and that few if any of the adult footballers were present. As is often written and said the local GAA club is at the heart of the community. I don’t know if that can be said about Boyle just now but it certainly plays a significant role in the community as it does nationally.
Details of the AGM officers can be gleaned by logging into Boyle GAA on the realboyle home page. The only ones I will refer to here are the incoming dual Presidents, Barry Feely and Sean Young.
They are a yardstick for commitment, loyalty and longevity to the Boyle cause.
They succeed our esteemed former President John Joe Nerney who passed to his eternal reward last summer. Might I also remember Paddy McDermott who passed away just a year ago.
While it was at the funeral of their brother P.J. it was nice to meet two very good Boyle footballers from back the years, Freddie Daly now resident in Donegal and Frankie residing in Enniskillen.
I’ll leave it at that for this week!         


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