Friday, February 10, 2017

Update 11th February

Prime Time and those Lists;
Apparently the HSE was way ahead of the U.S. in terms of ‘Alternative Facts’ with its three lists, a kind of Premier League, Championship and whatever is after that arrangement. Apparently 1 in 8 of the population is ‘waiting’ for procedures of one kind or another and wait they will. As nobody could have any optimism that there will be significant progress in those figures in say the next 5 to 10 years. After a fairly aggressive start poor Simon Harris is beginning to wilt. I actually accompanied a ‘senior’ relation to University College Hospital Galway last week. If you go in through the main entrance of UCGH you quickly become enveloped in a vortex of humanity. It is like one of those shopping ‘mauls’ (sic) or a London railway station at rush hour. Surprisingly  my friend got seen as per appointment quickly. His doctor said he would try and get a procedure he was scheduled for last August ‘bumped up’ in terms of time. In a small annex office a nurse wrestled with a pile of files and if they fell there would be a humpty dumpty scenario.

The Sgt. McCabe Debacle
Last night on Prime Time there was a report by the impressive Katie Hannon on the Garda McCabe debacle. It was harrowing stuff and the role of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, was just incredible in it all. The endorsement of the Taoiseach Enda Kenny of some of the main personalities in all this, may very well come back to haunt him soon enough.
So this 2017 is just over six weeks old and we have had crises in homelessness, the hospitals, and now with the Department of Justice. It must be somewhat demoralising for the vast majority of the Garda who just want to do their best to provide the service that they is expected of them with all this swirling around at top levels.
Once I suggested that we were only a small country and should be able to sort out issues. But perhaps it is because we are a small country with cabals who support each other without regard for the common good that give rise to a continuous stream of controversies.   

The Plunkett Centenary Commemoration

I attended most of the events surrounding the Count Plunkett Election Commemoration last week end. Considerable effort was put into it by the Sinn Fein Organising Committee with Jane Suffin and Cllr. Michael Mulligan to the fore.
Conor Mc Namara gave an interesting talk on Friday night and amplified it on Saturday on the election of the Snows and the context of it in the subsequent struggle for independence. It was interesting to see close family of Plunkett present. Also it was good to see members of the Devine family present. Their grand-uncle T. J. Devine was one of the three people who contested that election. Honor O’ Brolcháin, Great-Granddaughter of Count Plunkett gave a very interesting talk on her illustrious ancestor and concentrated on him where others like Mary Lou McDonald in her ‘keynote’ address, after a few remarks about the Count, drifted into a party political speech, rallying the Sinn Fein support present.
It was great to see progress with the courthouse renovation and it being able to facilitate the events and Frank Geelan spoke of the Courthouse committee’s efforts and requirement for financial assistance. He also referenced the state of the building on its handover to the committee from the County Council something I witnessed at first hand. So it was a worthy commemoration and re-enactment of a historic event in North Roscommon and in the country in 1917.
*On a critical note it was very disappointing that the Centenary was disregarded nationally by state agencies. Perhaps I missed them but also disappointing was the lack of reference to the Centenary in the national media apart from The Irish Times early in the week in An Irishman’s Diary.      
Boyle Celtic’s Fine Win
Boyle Celtic continued their run in the FAI Junior Cup with a convincing win over Terenure VEC at Boyle on Sunday. While the final score was 2 to 0, with the second goal coming in extra time, Boyle should have secured the result long before that. They had an early goal in the 7th minute from Neil Brennan and controlled the game for long spells but a one goal lead is a fragile one and the supporters were pretty anxious until that second goal was finally scored in the dying seconds. VEC created just the one dangerous move in the 40th minute and they were not as strong a side as one would have expected from the Dublin Leagues. They did however threaten more in the second half and had a couple of chances on 5 and 25 minutes with Boyle goalie Kyle Suffin touching over a threatening effort late in the half. Boyle also had chances with a screamer from John Connolly and two chances scorned by Brennan. So when ‘Man of the Match’ Shane Battles was fouled for a penalty and Luka Roddy converted convincingly the players and their supporters celebrated another step in a big journey.
Present was one of the biggest crowds seen at Celtic Park for a long time on a day ideal for football. Both teams behaved impeccably and the Letterkenny referee had an incident-free run.
Another facet of the occasion was the significant preparations which the small hard-working committee had put in place to ensure an ideal environment for the event which it was. For this they deserve great credit. In this group there were Richard Kennedy, Eddie Conroy, Paddy McLoughlin, Aaron O’Connor, Sean Kerins, Paul Connolly, Owen O’Donohoe and the O’Donohoe clan, Geoff Henry, Kieran Spellman and Ml. Gilmartin. Most of those have been with the club for a very long time now. Former Celtic stalwarts were present in numbers such as Hal Cawley, James Candon, Sean Foxe, Johnny Greenan, Chris Hill, Liam Kerins, Christy Grehan, Ml. O’Dowd and Gerry Emmett.
There was, as always, great praise for the sumptuous food on offer courtesy of Sandra McCrann, Paula Kerins, Theresa O’Dalaigh and team. The generosity of the community effort was evident in their provision of the very functional Fishing Club tents which they erected.
Boyle Celtic have a fine facility there and while I don’t know who all the principals were in its provision it included many of those already listed with Sean Daly, Frank Feighan, Tommy Vesey as I remember and I am sure that I am forgetting many. Then there were the ball boys who will remember the game before the big crowd. A great supporter of all things Boyle and former Boyle GAA stalwart was also present in the person of Paddy Daly.
A nice touch was the applauding of the Terenure VEC team as they left the field at the end. I hope their trip, while a losing one, was one they will remember. 
On Sunday next February 12th at 2pm  Boyle Celtic v Manulla in the TP Brennan Connacht Cup First Round which is another big fixture for the team.

Roscommon v Donegal in the ‘new’ Hyde Park pitch.
I was not at last Sunday’s game against Tyrone but by reports Roscommon showed some true grit in the second half. This sets up a really top game to look forward to on Sunday in Roscommon.
People will also be interested in seeing the revamped pitch which was so necessary. One of Roscommon’s fine wins of last spring was in Letterkenny v Donegal. Roscommon seem to have a distance to go before they have a regular team and the deficiencies will be hard to remedy. So Sunday will tell us a good deal more on where the team is at as it were.

Tom Brady’s Super Night
It was the game of a script writer as Tom Brady of The New England Patriots dragged his team back from a major deficit of 28 to 3 points to level in the 4th quarter and in extra time win with a touchdown in the first drive of extra time against Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons in the Superbowl football final in Houston. Brady stacked up the records with this one, winning his fifth Super Bowl in seven appearances along with a number of other records which now see him being regarded as the finest quarter back in the history of the game. This football win added to the Chicago Cubs thrilling baseball win last October saw both games in a bright light.

Ireland’s Rugby team disappoint against Scotland.
Perhaps it was over confidence but a series of fairly basic mistakes plus imaginative Scottish play led to Ireland’s defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield last Saturday.  One crazy error was not seeing a maverick Scottish player, on his own for a Scottish line-out, take the ball and sail over unopposed from 7/8 yards. It was clever but you could hardly have expected to ‘get away with it’. He did. I remember a parody on the Dublin Manager, Jim Gavin and not underestimating any opposition along the lines of saying; “I know Leitrim football pretty well and I respect it. I know that 3 players have retired, 3 are injured a little and a few have gone abroad but I know that they have 3 or 4 new players who were part of their U 16 Development Squad a couple of years ago so we will not be taking anything for granted”.
The Scottish loss has knocked the bottom out of Ireland’s season. This coming week-end they play Italy but all that remains are consolation prizes. This in a Lions year also and many of the payers might have been looking in that direction. Also the will he or will he not play regarding Sexton continues?   


A review I noticed somewhere of the current hit film ‘La La Land’; ‘"They are not making films like them any more" !

Paul Young and Cartoon Saloon
It was good to see Paul Young making the headlines with an extension of the work of Cartoon Saloon in Kilkenny. The company announced  140 new jobs in the city.
The jobs at Lighthouse Studios – a brand new full service 2D animation studio – are coming about as the result of a new partnership between Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon and Canada’s Mercury Filmworks.


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