Friday, February 12, 2016

Update 12th February

Fine win for Roscommon in Killarney.

It was a long but very worthwhile trip to Killarney on Sunday last. Even the rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of the large Roscommon travelling support. Many supporters had gone on the Saturday and I was told that the atmosphere and welcome was top of the range on the Saturday night in Killarney. The long stand at Fitzgerald stadium accommodated all the 4 to 5 thousand supporters so no ‘trickle down’…. the neck effect here.
Kerry started better and for the opening ten minutes things looked a bit threatening . Then on ten minutes Enda Smith after a good run pointed and Roscommon kept the score-board ticking over, as they say, with several great scores from Cathal Cregg (2 points), Murtagh, Devaney, Fintan Cregg and Connolly to reach the 28th minute 8 to 3 in the lead. Kerry came with a late surge which included a goal to leave the half-time score Kerry 1.6 Roscommon 0.8. Roscommon had been playing with the wind and Buckley and Moran were on top at midfield for them so they looked in pole position at that stage. However the mobility, fitness and work rate  of all the Roscommon players stifled  Kerry in the second half and even against the wind Roscommon outscored Kerry to win on the score of Roscommon 0.14 Kerry 1.10. Two more excellent Cathal Cregg points were amongst the highlights of this half as was the dogged rear-guard action of the final minutes.
All the Roscommon players played well with a lot having outstanding games including Cathal and Fintan Cregg and Conor Devaney up front, the full back line of Seanie McDermott, Neil Collins,Niall McInerney and particularly Niall Daly at centre-back. The TG4 ‘Man of the Match’ award went to Enda Smith who posed a real threat when driving forward in possession. The substitutes Cathal Shine and Seanie Purcell also made vital contributions. It was great to see Enda getting ‘Man of the Match’ and to see Seanie Purcell coming on to such affect.
One of the real bonuses of being in division one is that many of the games are covered by TG4 and one can record them when at the game and review them on television at one’s leisure later. Also the coverage on the national newspapers is good and it was nice to see the top ‘strap’ of Monday’s Independent front page picturing Roscommon players celebrating and the banner headline reading “Roscommon win leaves Kerry in a spin.”
So well done to the team and all involved with them for this spirited performance.
The next match is against Cork, in Cork, in two weeks’ time. Cork had a convincing win against Mayo in their first game but went down well to an impressive Donegal on Sunday continuing a thing with Cork teams, their inconsistency.  

O’Rourke Cup Division One League

Next Sunday the senior club league begins in Roscommon and Boyle make the long journey to play Padraig Parse’s at Woodmount for 2 p.m. Boyle have prepared well under their manager Ml. Jordan and assistants and a good start is half the battle but there are no easy games at his level so every game is vital. In this way it mirrors the county’s position.

GAA Errata

The decision of the GAA at high levels to fine Longford club Dromard €3,000 later reduced to €2,000 for allowing the club ground to be used for a soccer summer school has been widely criticised. I know the arguments but if the GAA were to avoid much bad press on the issue they might have issued a stern warning to the club regarding a repeat and leave it at that. €2,000 down the drain is a large amount for a small club for which, like all clubs, the burden of fund-raising is a constant chore. Croke Park is constantly on the airwaves at the moment for the promotion of two Bruce Springsteen concerts in May. Now I regard Bruce highly but he is not Gaelic sport. Many events other than Gaelic games have taken place in GAA grounds and Croke Park itself did facilitate rugby and soccer only a short time ago. In small towns the duplication of facilities means that what could be very good facilities are divided by two with another code down the road. 

The death of Mayo’s Father Peter Quinn.

For Mayo GAA followers their dual All-Ireland winning team of ’50 and ’51 are the benchmark heroes for them as the Roscommon team of ‘43/’44 are for us. The names of that Mayo team are known far and wide. The ’51 Mayo team was as follows; S. Wynne/J. Forde/ P. Prendergast/ S. Flanagan (Capt.)/ J. Staunton/ H. Dixon/ Fr. Peter Quinn/ E. Mongey/ J. McAndrew/ P. Irwin/ P. Carney/ S. Mulderrig/ M. Flanagan/ T. Langan/ J. Gilvarry with L. Hastings. (those on in 1950 team not listed above were W. Durkin, goals/ W. Kenny/ P. Solon/ M. Mulderrig/ M. Caulfield). In the ’50 final they defeated Louth by 2.7 to 1.6 and in ’51 they defeated Meath by the score of Mayo 2.8 Meath 0.9.That Mayo team won four Connacht titles in a row. With the death of Peter Quinn aged 91 and recently based in Florida, there are now just two members living of that great team who are Paddy Prendergast who lives in Kerry and Paraic Carney ‘the flying doctor’ which appendage he got because he flew home from the U.S. for some games. Father Quinn was ordained ‘for the missions’ shortly after those All-Ireland victories and the team presented him with a signed football used in the final prior to his departure.
Just for your information there are two of the Roscommon all-Ireland winning team of ’44 still with us. Liam Gilmartin now approaching 95 is still hale and hearty and lives in Dublin and the ‘forgotten man’ Paddy Beisty who was a young substitute  in ’44 and lives in Rathcroghan and will be ninety in March.

Liverpool Fans and ticket Prices

Apparently ticket prices for premiership games are very high or at least the cost of decent tickets are. I haven’t been to a premiership equivalent game for decades. I went to White Hart Lane, Stamford Bridge and Loftus Road in the sixties. I don’t remember the prices from then!  In any event in Monday’s Independent there is a picture of a large crowd of Liverpool fans leaving the grounds in protest at the prices in the 77th minute. The 77 was chosen to coincide with a new price of £77 for particular tickets. At the time Liverpool led Sunderland by 2 goals to nil but ironically Sunderland levelled with two late goals. In an attendant article the greed of various branches of the football hierarchy were referenced, from players with obscene wages to agents, to Gordon Taylor PFA Chairman getting wages of over £3million. Much of this is on foot of the huge money that T.V. pay for the rights to screen the games which necessitates ‘pay per view’. It is all a long way from the flat capped traditional working class supporters who populated the Kop end, in decades past.  


I did not see the Ireland v Wales game on television on Sunday. The interest in rugby, despite the huge coverage of the games in newspapers and television, is in a hiatus as I see it. The shock of the performances of the Northern Hemisphere in the Rugby World Cup last summer plus the fact that no Irish province has qualified for the Heineken Cup play-offs will take some time to recover from. The Irish coach Joe Schmidt is no longer the messiah he was spoken of prior to the World Cup. The image of Paul O’Connell being carried off after getting injured against France is kinda symbolic of the closure of a great era for the game in this country. It will be difficult to replicate those years of success and expectation in Northern hemisphere rugby.  

The Save Roscommon Issue

Things have gone quiet on this front in the last week or so after the great response of over 25,000 submissions being advanced to the Review Commission. However an interesting development which will be given close attention by the campaign’s leadership is reported on page 7 of the Roscommon People this week. It reports that there is similar resistance to the same proposal by south Kilkenny to the expansion of Waterford City at their expense. There however they are going to the High Court contesting the issue. The case result will have implications for all four areas affected by the same proposal. It may not be the current Minister Alan Kelly’s bother then with a new Government and Mister Kelly himself reported to be in a fight for the last seat in Tipperary.

Shane Curran Joins the Race

The addition of Shane Curran to the list of candidates in the Roscommon/East Galway constituency has certainly put a cat amongst the pigeons. It is understandable that Eugene Murphy is annoyed but the Dublin hierarchy obviously felt that they needed to bolster their chances of a seat by adding a higher profile candidate in Curran. How this plays out is a real conundrum. How the first count goes will be hugely important. It is expected that Dennis Naughten and Ml. Fitzmaurice are certain to win seats though they would dislike that being said right now. Curran will shave some votes of course from both candidates probably more from Naughten because of location. Many people feel that it is Maura Hopkins’s seat to lose and that she is the favourite for the third seat having really got around the county since coming into politics in the county. Fianna Fail’s prevarication for so long in their team selection hasn’t helped them and now the addition of Curran does not help their campaign atmosphere. But as the old phrase goes ‘we are where we are’ and it would be in the interests of the Fianna Fail candidates to mend bridges for the purpose of the campaign. The Roscommon People on page 23 has its ‘Quote of the Week’ as a stray in the wind from Eugene Murphy as follows; ‘If Shane Curran can transfer to me and get me over the line I would be very, very, happy.’
Also the advent of Shane Curran has reduced the light thrown on the other candidates for the time being at least. I imagine that Senator John Kelly, Sinn Fein’s Claire Kerrane and the other candidates feel that is the case. There are suggestions that Claire Kerrane will do well but is perhaps a candidate for the future if Sinn Fein develop in the constituency.  Eddie Conroy will get a good Boyle vote for a start and hope to build on that. Anne Farrell and Miriam Hennessy have a lot to do to establish identification  especially outside their own zones of recognition. Like many of the constituencies the count for Roscommon/East Galway will be fascinating.           

Fine Gael-------------------------- Maura Hopkins

Fianna Fáil----------------------- Eugene Murphy, Shane Curran

Sinn Féin -----------------------  Claire Kerrane

Labour Party --------------------John Kelly

Social Democrats ------Anti-Austerity Alliance

People Before Profit-----------Eddie Conroy

Green Party----------------------Miriam Hennessy

Independents/ Others-------Michael Fitzmaurice, Denis Naughten

Renua Ireland ------------------Anne Farrell

I see from the Roscommon People page 32 that another person has put their name forward as an Independent community candidate named Thomas D. Fallon originally from Kiltoom and now resident in Tulsk.



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