Sunday, March 19, 2017

Update 19th March

Roscommon County Fleadh Castlecoote/Fuerty at Easter
This year’s Roscommon County Fleadh will take place over the Easter Sunday/Monday week-end the 16th/17th of April. It takes place for the first time in Castlecoote, Fuerty, five miles from Roscommon town. I have been ‘encouraged’ to publicise it as much as I can and since I come from Castlecoote that is not a burden. A lot of work has gone on there in recent years in terms of Tidy Towns and the elongated village of Castlecoote is now traditionally vying with Keadue for the top place in County Roscommon. I presume that the competitions will be divided between the Community Centre and the National School. The Community Centre was formerly the parish church and is adjacent to the ‘new’ church which was dedicated circa 1958. I served mass there for T. S. O Laimhin who has connections here in Boyle and was the brother of noted Sligo footballer and athlete John Joe Lavin who is buried in Killaraght. 
Anyway apart from the competitions there is a small necklace of 3 bars in the area being overall about a kilometre between first and third. The first one is in Fuerty proper, the second is in the heart of Castlecoote village and is run now by P.J. Naughton who has featured on a number of bands down the years and hosts music sessions in his premises regularly. The third one is called ‘The Dail Bar’ with a political theme and is owned by Senator Terry Leyden and family. It is on what locals call the ‘new road’ to Donamon Castle.  
So hopefully Boyle will be represented at the County Fleadh in Castlecoote and that I will not be the only Boyle person there!   

Gentleman Jim
I was saddened on hearing of the death of Jim Clarke of Lowparks recently. I am not pretending that I knew Jim very well but I did meet him a good few times and chatted and a more sociable, friendly person one could not wish to meet. I remember him particularly when Anthony Morris was the proprietor of Wynne’s Bar for a few years around fifteen years ago. A number of couples came regularly to the bar at weekends and I remember them as a pub landlord’s favourite people. They chatted and socialised and enjoyed the sing-song or music or whatever entertainment was in progress. Jim and Nancy, Gerry and Mary, Brendan and Josie and John and Lily are the four couples I remember collectively. We had good times there and Jim and Nancy were people who enjoyed and participated in that fun. Jim always had a smile or it wasn’t hard to bring that smile or laugh to the fore. He loved life and could talk about a wide range of things and was never extreme in his views. I used to meet him when he worked at the gardens of people in Abbeytown or Forest View and we’d have the few words. I heard at his mass that he was fond of dancing and when in London he went to the Galtymore where I went myself occasionally. It was poignant that as he was brought from the church that the anthem of his native town ‘The Fields of Athenry’ echoed clearly, sung by Paddy Nangle. Those nights in Wynne’s I remember fondly as I will remember Jim likewise.  

Boyle/ Roscommon GAA Associations
Last week I listed a pretty comprehensive group of Boyle people who had participated at county level in various areas. I asked for contributions to fill in likely gaps. True to form my New York friend and proud Boyle man John Austin Beisty obliged with the following;             

“Hello Tony,

                    A few add-ons, who were from Boyle or played for Boyle.

     Late 40's  Michael Sharkey- Carlow, Roscommon (Snr.)
     Early 50's Patsy Horkan-      Mayo (S)
                      Frank Kelly-          Roscommon (S)
                      T.P. Mullaney       Roscommon   (S)
                       Vincent Powers   Waterford       (S)
                      Paddy McCarron   Roscommon  (M)

      Late 50's  Larry Giblin           Sligo               (S)
                       Jim Killoran          Sligo                (M. later senior for Sligo for a decade)
                       Vincent Cryan      Sligo               (M)

      Early 60's  John McDermott, Roscommon    (M)

There may be more- Hal Cawley would be the man to ask regarding this.

                                                                               Austin B. “

Thanks for that Austin. The one person there that I haven’t heard of is Vincent Cryan, Sligo.
Another man who played for Boyle and played for Galway in the 60s’ was Joe Tormey.  
om Cox from Boyle was on the minor team of 1939 who won Roscommon’s first All-Ireland in any grade. Tom was a noted athlete but died a young man. He would be an uncle to members of the Cox family of Abbeytown and the Nerney family of Carrick Road.         

New York City Council Honour Boyle man Hillary Beirne.
Some time ago I wrote a couple of paragraphs about a former St. Mary’s College student and Boyle GAA player Hillary Beirne. I wrote about his major role with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City. As can be seen in the correspondence below he is being honoured by New York City Council next week for his work with the largest St. Patrick’s Parade in the world. Hillary is the twin brother of Kenneth and their father was Johnny Beirne a well - known vet with the Dept. of Agriculture in Roscommon town.
So congratulations from Boyle, Hillary.                            

From: Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito <>
Sent: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 12:20 PM
Subject: A Very Special Invitation & Request 

Dear Mr. Beirne: 
On behalf of the New York City Council, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your many years of service as a member of the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee. 
Your dedication and pride in your Irish ancestry , as well as your innovative work as the Parade’s Executive Secretary, have served as an inspiration to many both within and well beyond the Irish community. 
On Thursday, March 23, 2017, beginning at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall, the New York City Council and I will be hosting our Irish Heritage & Culture Celebration. 
Given your many significant accomplishments on behalf of New York’s Irish American community , we would be thrilled to have you join us that evening so that we can present you with our 2017 Thomas Manton Irish Person of the Year Award. 
My office will be in touch with you shortly to provide additional details and to answer any questions you may have about the event. 
Thank you in advance for considering our request.  We look forward to celebrating Irish heritage and culture with you and our other distinguished guests! 
Melissa Mark-Viverito  

Boyle’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade 
I cannot do justice to Boyle’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in words here but I imagine that will come with pictures from the parade which will be ‘up’ on various mediums as I speak. I must commend however the organisers of the parade, all those who participated and all those who attended. It was a foul day with wind and rain and there were many parades cancelled/postponed in various parts of the country because of this. There were a number of excellent floats and the atmosphere belied the weather and a great crowd attended. Some I imagine feeling that they should make their small effort of attending to endorse the efforts made by the organisers and participants.   
Certainly ‘The Voice’ of Marc Egan was a challenge to the weather deities. Well done to all including the moderator of realboyle, parade committee member Sean O’Dowd.  

‘Settle Out of Court’
‘Settle Out of Court’ is the unusual title of the latest CD by John Carty and his daughter Maggie which was launched in ‘Whistlers Bar & Restaurant’ Boyle on St. Patrick’s Eve, March 16th. While the title is good advice for litigants generally in its CD manifestation it is also a collector’s item for followers of traditional music and song. In fairness I haven’t sat down and listened to the collection of tunes and songs fully yet but I have heard a flavour of them and I like what I hear. The launch night ran to time as scheduled but I did not, which meant that I missed a portion of the presentation and the ‘appropriate words’ of Boyle wordsmith Donie O’Connor who ‘launched’ ‘Settle Out of Court’. John Carty is an iconic musician and is highly regarded at the forefront of traditional music nationally and internationally. The tradition was passed onto him by his dad and uncle and he does likewise with Maggie and James. His brother James is also an accomplished musician so as the saying goes ‘the apple does not fall far from the tree’. 
While I mentioned good night in Wynne's above Thursday night in Whistlers brought back memories of many occasions in the same location when it was Grehan’s made famous by the Grehan Sisters. It was then a mecca for singing and music and was a regular house for the likes of Christy Moore and a multitude of other singers and musicians. On the wall outside is a plaque to the singer/song writer Johnny Reilly some of whose songs became part of Christy Moore’s repertoire such as ‘Well Below the Valley’ and ‘Raggle Taggle Gypsy’. 
After the Grehan’s it was taken over by Anthony Gallagher and Barry Lowe and named ‘The Moving Stairs’. How it got that title is an oral story so I will not attempt explanation here.  Barry booked many very prestigious singers and musicians in his tenure there, including the Australian guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel. Tommy visited Barry not too long ago while on tour in Ireland so his trip to the then ‘Moving Stairs’ made a lasting impression on him. A favourite group of mine that visited there each year was from the Cork area and called ‘Loudest Whisper’. A flavour of those times returned with the post launch session that ensued the launch of ‘Settle Out of Court’.   

‘The Age of Chivalry is Dead’
Thus wrote the great and influential writer Edmund Burke in the late 1700s’. I was reminded by that recently when I heard a simple story from a senior lady with a walking stick. The lady waited for a train to Sligo at Connolly Station. There were just three carriages on platform 4 the designated platform as listed on the electronics in the main foyer. Destination signage changed on these carriages until it eventually ended up as ‘out of order’. After some time a fuller set of carriages arrived upward of the original 3 and the now gathered crowd surged forward but my friend with the walking stick was not an Olympian so was pretty late for seat acquisition. Traversing in hope through the narrow crowded aisles of the carriages she and a now companion dropped anchor in one of the carriages. There were two other ‘senior’ ladies nearby and two young ladies and two men (I don’t use gentlemen for a reason which will become clearer) seated. After a wee while the two young ladies offered their seats to the first two senior ladies saying they were getting off at Maynooth anyway 
and could stand until then. The two men ignored all. Things rested so. The two ladies moved to exit at Maynooth and at the last moment were followed by…… the two seated men. My senior lady friend with the stick sat down and thanking the men……after a fashion.  


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