Friday, February 19, 2016

Update 19th February

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On the request of Frankie Flaherty New York  I post again this pic. with the correct set of names this time. 
The 1975 Boyle U16 County finalists with Seamus Sweeney current Chairman of Roscommon County Board GAA. Beaten by a Ml. Finneran powered  Western Gaels in Castlerea. 
Back Row: A. Morris/T. Regan/ SEAMUS SWEENEY/ P. Connaughton/ C. McMurrough/ D. Harrington/ J. Cox/R. McLoughlin/ J. Gallagher/ P. Butler/ M. Candon/ A. O’Dowd/ K. Lavin/ F. Harrington/ M. Quinn/ T. Conboy, Manager. ( James Dodd, missing from pic.)
Front: G. Murray/ G. Hannon/ J. McDermott/ D. O’Connor/ D. Dodd/ P. Daly/ S. Brennan/ B. Shannon/ B. Gaffney/ M.Martin/ G.Wynne/ S. Daly/ Players missing from this pic. Joe Warde/ Ml. Jordan/ R. Mullarkey,

Memorial Mass for Gerry O’Malley

A Memorial Mass for Gerry O’Malley will take place in Curragboy Church on Sunday next February 21st at 10.30. I am going, so if any GAA person wishes to accompany me give me a ring.

Political Literature

I collect political literature-ephemera of a kind- in this constituency for a friend who has transferred to Athlone. I am missing, as of now, material from Miss Miriam Hennessy of the Green Party; Tony Coleman from Loughglynn and Thomas D. Fallon from Tulsk. So if anyone comes across election material of those three candidates they might let me have same.  

Cake :-)

A large Fianna Fail (I think) didactic poster advertisement at Shilling Hill says ‘It is time to get our slice of the cake’! 

The Election.

There is a small amount of smoke but no fire in the election atmosphere that I discern in our area. The perceived wisdom is that Michael Fitzmaurice and  Dennis Naughten will be elected easily, perhaps in that order. The fight is for the third seat. A Fianna Fail of yore would be  a certainty to take at least that. But it seems that they will be challenged to take the one seat and Maura Hopkins will be the winner here with probably Shane Curran as her nearest challenger. However the Fine Gael fair wind is said to have run out of steam nationally so this will not help. There are mixed reactions to Shane Curran even amongst what one would label as GAA personnel. Shane is a kind of technicoloured dream-coat individual and some of those coats are confusing to a cadre of voters. Indeed, in our area, with the resignation of Frank Feighan, there is less of an impetus to get engaged at all. I know that Eddie Conroy from Boyle will engage a dedicated support but being part of ‘People Before Profit’, while a commendable aspiration, the party will not engage a large section of the electorate. That said, one of the stand out soundbites of this week’s Claire Byrne RTE television debates was Richard Boyd Barrett’s reference to the closure of Loughlinstown Hospital with the resultant overspill to St. Vincent’s Hospital which was already struggling to cope with its own intake. Substitute there the closure of Roscommon Hospital A&E and the transfer to University College Hospital Galway. Anyone who has experience of being there will understand the inference.

Dodgy Claims

I hadn’t heard the reference to the 50 cent raise in the minimum wage for a few weeks and then a politician referred to it again on the Vincent Browne debate this week as a real achievement of this Government. This cheeses me off as a claim of a significant  advance when the speaker himself starts at a salary of  €87 thousand plus expenses per annum. Another issue that is mentioned is the JobBridge Scheme.
“JobBridge, the National Internship Scheme, provides work experience opportunities for unemployed people. It is aimed at people who have been either getting certain social welfare payments or signing for credits for at least 3 months. Participants in the scheme will be offered an internship of 6 or 9 months with a host organisation. If they take up an internship they will keep their social welfare payment and will get an extra €52.50 per week.” 
I have heard on radio etc. much criticism of this scheme and of it being abused by its hosts.

Musicians John and Maggie Carty in Spells.

Boyle/Ballinameen musicians John and Maggie Carty accompanied by Francis Gaffney and bouzouki player Noel O’Grady from Swinford will be performing in the well- known Ballaghaderreen venue ‘Spells’ on Friday February the 26th at 9 pm. This is the first of Spells Ireland 100 series held in the Rum & Black club to commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising. John is one of the finest musicians in the country and was involved in the music for the film Brooklyn. John has travelled widely playing his music. His daughter Maggie is a fine musician and also an emerging singer. Francis Gaffney is well known also as an accompanist and is a fine singer himself and a regular at the Boyle sessions in Dodd’s every second Friday night. The Spells night promises to be a great night of quality music. Early booking is advised. Tickets are €15/€12 and can be obtained from 094 9860144. (While talking of music sessions I might make my first mention of a concert in King House on Friday March 4th in memory of Kieran Emmett. I will refer to this in detail next week.)

Dónall Mac Amhlaigh at the Boyle Fleadh

In a phone conversation with Jim Ganly of the Roscommon History Society this evening our talk strayed into the fact that his dad had worked with the writer Dónall Mac Amhlaigh in Northampton. Dónall was responsible for the very popular book in Irish  Dialann Deoraí (Diary of an Exile) later published in translation as ‘The Navvy’. 
Anyway the mention of Dónall reminds me of a story written by him after being in Boyle during the great Fleadh of 1960. Apparently he wandered in and out of a particular bar a number of times during the week-end of the event. Each time he saw and had words with the same man. On the Monday as Dónall was having his last drink before he took the train out of Boyle he asked his new friend if he enjoyed the Fleadh? His friend replied; “It would have been a great Fleadh only for all the bloody music”!

Boyle GAA

After their good win on Sunday, Boyle will hope to do well also on Sunday next v Kilmore in Kilmore at 2pm. Early points are vital to staying in the senior league which is very important in the development of the team. The minors play Castlerea at Castlerea on Saturday at 4pm in the Division 3 League. This will pose concerns for managements since a couple of the minors played key roles last Sunday v Pearse’s.

I remember fondly this time last year and being at the Sigerson Cup final in Cork when DCU with three Boyle club players, Enda and Donal Smith and Tadgh Lowe, were on the winning team over the home team UCC. DCU have qualified for the semi-finals again this year. Enda Smith is our sole representative now with DCU.
Sigerson Cup semi-finals : UCD v University of Limerick, at  Jordanstown, Belfast, 1pm : Dublin City University  v University of Ulster Jordanstown, Belfast, 3 pm.
The favourites are UCD and Jordanstown. The final takes place on Saturday at 2.30 and will be screened live on TG4.


I mentioned last week a very good film called ‘Spotlight’ showing in Carrick. It may still be there this coming week. A film I am going to see is ‘Concussion’ which deals with this issue in an American football scenario. As I have said it a very relevant issue in rugby especially and last Saturday’s encounter between Ireland and France did nothing to usage the concern. Ireland’s next rugby game is V England on Saturday the 27th in Twickenham.


A couple of seasons ago I referred to the Champions League as the television series of the spring. Tuesday’s game between Chelsea and PSG (Paris) was an excellent game and then on Wednesday night it was worth watching Real Madrid playing Roma for the performance of Ronaldo in particular. One of my earliest memories of a televised soccer game was from 1960. The 1959–60 European Cup was the fifth season of the competition. The competition was won by Real Madrid, who beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7–3 in the final at Hampden Park, Glasgow. It remains the record score for the European Cup final. It was Real Madrid's fifth consecutive European Cup title. Amongst the great Madrid players were Puskas, Stephano and Gento. It was a real treat even though one watched through what looked like a snow storm but it was just quality of the reception then.

Next week it is Arsenal v Barcelona and another genius of a player in Messi.

Next week’s RTE Election debate will possibly be worth watching, for a while anyway, as the players have got familiar with the process and with Fine Gael now getting nervy the issues and attack lines will have been distilled. Three days before the polls open, Miriam O’Callaghan will host a special Prime Time Leaders Debate on Tuesday 23rd in the RTÉ studios in Dublin, with the leaders of the four biggest political parties invited. The debate will be followed by a live reaction programme, The Spin Room, hosted by David McCullough. This is quite a good segment and assesses the performances well and in that sense one can learn……just like a football game……any game really! 

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