Friday, March 4, 2016

Update 4th March

Patricia O’Flaherty Retiring from Boyle Library

Patricia presenting certificates to competition prizewinners

Patricia O’Flaherty will be retiring from Boyle Library from the end of next week. Patricia has a been a real asset to the library service in Boyle for nearly twenty years. The Library at King House was opened in July 1996 and Patricia joined the service in November of that year. Boyle Library, in the basement of King House, is one of the nicest libraries to be found anywhere. Indeed Roscommon County is privileged to have a number of fine libraries such as Boyle, Roscommon, Castlerea and Ballaghaderreen. These are hugely important to the local community. In my experience the staff in those libraries have been first class, none more so than in Boyle. Not only did Patricia set the service standard in Boyle it was evident that she enjoyed her role and was proud of her environment. Over the twenty years she has been involved in numerous Library initiatives and has generously assisted various groups. Patricia was involved with the Moylurg Writers group which has left us a particular legacy with its two volume publication on the local history of Boyle and its social, sporting and community organisations.    
Patricia also facilitated Boyle Library Book Club one of whose driving forces has been Margaret Mulligan. Patricia has guided many people on the right path who have used the library to assist them in local history and especially with genealogical research.
The library has always been on hand to help with events and exhibitions during the Arts Festival. A regular feature has been the Camera Club exhibition. I also remember a GAA exhibition there at one time with other exhibitions national and local promoted by the County Library Services. Another very successful event promoted by the library has been the annual National Schools Quiz in which I was initially involved with my friend John Mac Nama. A number of well- known writers have also visited and given readings in the Library including Gerry Boland, Peter Regan and Jennifer Johnstone.  A highlight of Patricia’s time in Boyle Library was the launch, by local star Chris O’Dowd, of ‘Moone Boy The Blunder Years’ which he had co-authored with his friend Nick V. Murphy. In our casual conversation -not intended for this treatment -she paid tribute to many colleagues over the years and especially to County Librarian, Richie Farrell. So I am sure I am not alone in expressing my thanks and appreciation to Patricia for her courtesy and assistance over the years and wishing her bon voyage in her retirement and in whatever enterprises she may now adopt.

Managing players, managing addiction’ Roscommon hurling manager Justin Campbell being interviewed by Seamus Duke for the Roscommon People.

This was a very important interview by Seamus Duke with Justin Campbell in the Roscommon People of Friday February 26th (last week) page 32. In it Justin deals with the problem of alcohol addiction and the growth of gambling addiction. Justin was on the Galway hurling team that lost the All-Ireland Final of 1993 to Kilkenny and at the pinnacle of his career he became addicted to alcohol. He had a number of personal tragedies in his life, with the deaths of both his parents when he was 11 and 14. After successful treatment for his own alcohol problem he became an ‘Addiction Counsellor’ and has become part of the GAA’s Health and Wellbeing Committee. While the threat of alcohol addiction is well flagged it is what Justin has to say about Gambling Addiction that rings further alarm bells. “The gambling problem is exploding at the moment and is a huge issue with young people now” the interview relates, continuing “…many news report about major young GAA figures who have come out in the past few years to admit that they were addicted to gambling” . The problem is increased by the easy access to gambling, online. It is suggested that that online betting provides 77% of the income of betting companies’. “Drugs is not near as big a problem as gambling or alcohol” according to Justin. Justin now visits colleges, schools and clubs with his message and hopes that every club will have a dedicated Health and Wellbeing Officer. He suggests that coaches be on the look-out for signs of addiction in young players and act appropriately. Justin is available to talk about addiction issues to any group or individual and can be contacted on 086 8840469 or you can access his web site – If you have an interest in this article I suggest you source it online as it a clear warning of a growing issue of huge importance.                         

Roscommon GAA-A Major Week-End Past.

I received the following email from Club Rossie early this week regarding renewal of Club Rossie membership. The reason I copy it to the blog is that it clearly highlights one very good week-end for Roscommon GAA on many fronts.

“Dear Tony
Today is a rare day for Roscommon supporters, not just because it's February 29th, but because we are all reflecting on a great weekend for Gaelic Games in the County. A weekend where 
•  Our Senior Football Team travelled to Cork, scored 4-25 and gave the home side their first League defeat in Pairc Ui Rinn for three years
•   Where our Junior Camogie Team travelled to Cavan, scored 2-15 and only conceded 3 points
•   Where our Intermediate Ladies Footballers travelled to Down and came home with their third win of the season
•  Where our Minor Camogie Team began the defence of their All-Ireland title with an away win against Laois
•  Where the Roscommon CBS Hurling team, featuring the majority of our Minor Hurling Team, defeated a Galway team to win a Connacht Senior title

Rare days, and weekends, like this are great.
We want as many days and weekends like this throughout the year. Every year.
To do this takes support and money.
We want and need you to renew your Membership of Club Rossie as soon as possible to help achieve these things.

David O'Connor,
Club Rossie Chairperson”

Roscommon’s Great Win

Roscommon 4.25 Cork 3.10

On a sunny day in a lovely ground on the banks of the Lee I was one of a substantial number of Roscommon supporters who were privileged to see one of the best performances by the Roscommon Senior footballers for decades. In 1979 Roscommon also defeated Cork in the League Final in Croke Park on the score of Roscommon 0.15 Cork 1.3. I imagine most of you are now attuned to the headline features of the team’s performance of last Sunday. They led by 2.13 to Cork’s 1.7 at half time. All 2.13 came from play. They ended up on 4.25 with 4.21 from play. Twelve players scored. Roscommon had a number of players in contention for ‘Man of the Match’ an accolade I would give to Fintan Cregg, a great asset this year. There were outstanding performances all over the field with Cathal Cregg, Conor Murtagh, Cian Connolly, Conor Devaney and Senan Kilbride starring in an exhibition of forward play. I have always felt that Geoffrey Claffey is a fine goalkeeper and a number of years ago should have been and All-Star contender. His kick-outs on Sunday were exemplary in their precision. The quality of the long foot-passing into the forward players, at the right height, was real bonus. One could go on. The blemish was in the fact that Cork scored 3.10. It must also be borne in mind that Cork had a horror day. A Cork supporter is said to have tweeted that as he left the ground shortly after half-time he was accompanied by a number of the Cork players!
Next Sunday Roscommon take on Down in Hyde Park. Down were well beaten by Kerry on Sunday and Roscommon beat them twice last year in the League. However this is a key game and I know that all Roscommon GAA interests will be taking nothing for granted. To stay in Division One would be a fine achievement and great for Roscommon football.   
 A special mention of the Boyle contributors, players and management; Sean Purcell, Enda Smith, Donie Smith- injured just now-, Tadgh Lowe, Stephen Bohan, James O'Boyle, Fergal O'Donnell, David Casey and Joe Sweeney. 

After The Election

I will not dwell too much on this as I am sure that people are spun out with the election at this stage. Though the further issue of forming some shape of a Government will be fraying through the coming weeks.  However, having said that (clichés emerging) it is now hugely important that those who lead the elected T.Ds get serious, stop posturing and form a Government that will give the country some guidance through the uncertain future that prevails. The electorate are a vengeful force.  I would imagine that Fianna Fail as a body must be feeling that a number of their Christmases came together on February 26th. Their hierarchy could hardly believe it. In 2011 they were nearly destroyed and deservedly so.  As Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ song goes;

‘Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
‘Til it's gone’

Fianna Fail had to feel some of that since 2011. They have now been gifted with a huge early reprieve by the electorate. It could be suggested as being much too early. Surely they now have to repay the people for that, rather than start playing ‘next election’ games. Perhaps the electorate too might also feel the sting of Joni’s song!
It is something that political parties can get so arrogant so quickly. The present Government had a good deal going for it but shot itself in the foot, first with that oft used word ‘arrogance’ especially from the leadership compounded by schoolboy errors with references to ‘whingers’ and economic dunces. Then came an unusual one with a big giveaway that people rejected as inappropriate. Also there was not a real recognition that the improving economy was not embracing a large sections of the country particularly the rural areas.  
It was a critical error of the Government not to have held the election in November which led them to be backed into a corner of no choice in timing. Of course it is said the hindsight is the foresight of the gobsh***. Now, in a period inclusive of our national holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, followed by the 1916 Centenary Commemorations we are down to a caretaker Government.
A coalition or a national Government is not going to be easy to put together but the elected TDs have a duty to the electorate and the country. I remember a national government being mooted at the peak of the crisis circa 2009/10.
The issue of the Water Charges and organisation of a water utility has ended up in a huge mess. I believe that a national water provision utility (as it is referred to) is vital for many reasons. I am also not averse to paying at a reasonable rate for water. But it has become such an emotive and paralysing issue that it seems almost impossible to resolve.
It is now up to the elected players. We live in uncertain times. It’s tiring.

Stutterer Short Film Oscar
Stutterer a short drama film written and directed by Dubliner Benjamin Cleary was one of the two Irish Oscar winners on Sunday night. I actually saw this ten minute film on RTE One on Friday the 26th. Perhaps it will now be reshown. It is a clever little film with a twist. I recommend it. (For a similar ‘twist’ I recommend Chris O’Dowd’s acceptance speech at the Spirit of Ireland Awards, New York, St. Patrick’s Day 2013 on YouTube)   

Respect for The National Flags
As one goes around the country one can clearly observe the national flag being flown in various degrees of repair or disrepair. There is a booklet on all the protocols for the flying of the flag. One regularly ignored is that it should only fly from sunrise to sunset. It should not be defaced with slogans or pictures. It should not be allowed to touch the ground and so on. I know that in Boyle GAA ground we have our own ex- army flag man and we can rest assured, when he is around, that the national flag gets the appropriate treatment. The coming weeks are particularly sensitive ones for the flying of the flag.
I see in New Zealand that they are going through an extensive decision making process on whether to change their flag design or retain it as it is.  

1.      Might I mention some emigres like Lukie Brennan, Seamus Gallgher, Ciaran Conlon in Oz; Damien Dooley, Arnie Gaffney and Marcus Kennedy in the U.S.; Tadgh Egan in Kanada; Megan Morris, Darren Dockery and co. in the Middle East and  John Harrington and co. in London.

I looked for election ‘bumph’ last week for three Roscommon/East Galway candidates I had nothing on, Miriam Hennessy of the Greens; Mister Fallon from Tulsk and Tony Coleman from Loughglynn. If anyone has such material please forward.. 


1 comment:

  1. Great read Tony (as always), Keeps us in touch with the local news, cheers