Thursday, March 2, 2017

Update 3rd March

Car Purchasing Finance

An advertisement in the Roscommon People of February 17th reminded me of a similar presentation of just over a year ago which I may have touched on here.It was an advertisement for a ‘New Ford Fiesta from only €35 A WEEK. Same Day Finance Available’.

The total cash price of the car was listed as €16,000. 30% Customer Deposit/ Part Exchange €4,800. Amount financed €11,200 (which I don’t follow). 36 monthly instalments of €151. APR 3.9%. Optional final payment of €6,700. Terms and conditions apply.

This offer needs some careful scrutiny. The 36 instalments = €5,436 + Deposit of €4,800 plus Optional final payment €6,750 giving a final total at €16,986. On the face of it no real issues there but my concern relates to the final payment of €6,750. To actually own the car one has to come up with this significant lump sum after the three years. The other option is to ‘trade in the car’ against another new one and keep the process as a rolling one. In this way you don’t actually own the car as such. It sounds like a long lease arrangement. Tease it out before you decide to go down this route.

Contaminated Recycling Waste

This has become a significant issue in an otherwise pretty cooperative national effort at recycling. Much of Irish recycled material is exported to China. However it must be via Holland as a significant amount of it is intercepted there as contaminated and returned to Ireland.  A recent t.v. programme gave as over 30% the amount of waste that is ‘contaminated’ by material which should be disposed of in pure waste bins. The incentive to do this in a significant way is big where recycling is collected free. I have a little experience of this in putting out the bins at Boyle GAA Abbey Park. People may take care in how they fill their home bins but bins in public places do not get due concern. It is a pity that when one cultivates and is interested in approaching the practise correctly that good practise can be ambushed by careless practitioners. The blue bins are for recycling and black bins are for pure waste. Write out ten times.  

The Plight of the Curlew

A year or so ago I wrote of the decline of the corncrake and the piece resonated with quite a few people including Sean Mullaney in distant Vancouver. Recently I referenced ‘my guest robins’ perhaps I should have put a capital ‘R’ there for them. The ‘Eco Eye’ programme of mid-January focussed on the Plight of the Curlew. The sound of the Curlew is one of the sounds of our youth and they were so plentiful then that it could hardly be thought that they would become an endangered species. Apparently over 20% of species measured are in danger of extinction. The Curlew is said to be a beacon for all we stand to lose. Since the 1980s’ the population has reduced by 80% and if that continues they will become rare if not extinct. That is hard to countenance. The reasons given for their decline are the basic ones of reduction of ‘habitat’ due to farming practises, drainage, forestry and turf excavation on an industrial scale etc. . They now need help to survive. The programme focussed on the involvement of Moore Gun club in South Roscommon and their efforts in this regard. It involved ‘habitat and predator management’ and the cultivation of appropriate habitat environments. I know that there are farm schemes who promote environmental protection but it is something that we should all be generally aware of.        

The Gym in Abbey Park

On doing my bin duty in the Abbey Park on Wednesday night last I saw that there was activity in the ‘old dressing rooms’ latterly the ‘gym’. Naturally I wandered in and there was a Boyle club player plastering the walls. This is the spirit that has made the GAA the organisation it has become. The old dressing rooms have been gutted and this has created a near dancehall space. A lot of work has been done, led by the player group themselves which is great to see. When the building is finally refitted it will be a valuable asset to the club and its members. So well done to all the lads involved in this work and I look forward to seeing it on completion. 

Boyle Celtic v Carrick-on-Suir

Sunday March 12th  is Boyle Celtic’s date with destiny with the long trip to Sean Kelly country and Carrick-on-Suir. The pre-game atmosphere will heighten, I expect, next week so we will monitor things better then. In the meantime I am aware that there are supporters buses going and those seeking to book a seat should call into Trojan to do so. They leave from The Crescent on Sunday the 12th at 8.30 fare = €10.

A good story from this already is the initiative of Colm Duignan of StrongLife Gym who set out, via his Facebook page, to raise some finance to help cover the team’s trip and overnight stay prior to the game. The result was a hugely generous response from the Boyle community and various places. The effort has resulted in over €2, 500 being donated. This has to be a great relief to Boyle Celtic finance committee who will also recognise the goodwill involved. So well done to all contributors and especially to Colm Duignan whose bright idea really took off.       

Roscommon GAA in the Spotlight again

Former Roscommon goalkeeper and senior team manager Gay Sheerin has, last Saturday evening, been very critical of the Roscommon team management and the imbalance of Mayo personnel within it. This has led to Roscommon GAA being in the spotlight once more. After the whirlwind of last spring’s campaign, the collapse during the summer championship and the divisive split of the then management, things were not going to be smooth. It seems as if Roscommon GAA affairs in general in recent times have been problematic and have attracted national interest for the wrong reasons. In fairness when things were going well in the spring of ’16 we were flavour of the season.

Gay, analyst on Shannonside Radio at the Roscommon v Mayo game, cites the intense rivalry between Roscommon and Mayo in stark terms. Too stark in my view. I think Gay has over-personalised the issue.    

Gaelic football is significant in our lives but it is not a matter of life and death.

I noted here a couple of weeks ago my view on Roscommon players doing their best, that in fact we have a dearth of good to very good players. We lack a spine in the team and are in difficulty in midfield and I would agree with Gay we do not have leaders on the field. They are a young team so maybe I am ahead of myself and wrong in that assessment. We are certainly missing Collins and Cregg. Senan Kilbride’s retirement evokes a line in the Joni Mitchell song ‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’. The Daly story is a conundrum and ordinary supporters don’t know what is going on there.

The management works with what it has. This management team, by and large, led St. Brigid’s to an All-Ireland Club title a few years ago.. The movement of managers across county boundaries is a fact of the times though Kevin Mc Stay has his ‘Roscommon Green Card’ at this stage.  Roscommon GAA endorsed this management. I know that Gay is hugely passionate about Roscommon football but such a broad ranging criticism of the management so early in their term is unhelpful.

It is often said that Roscommon supporters have unrealistic expectations and there is truth in that. Just a few years ago I thought, with all the under-age success, that Roscommon would challenge for significant honours but the struggle goes on.              

Roscommon V Kerry on Sunday in Hyde Park

Kerry are not regular visitors to Roscommon in recent times because of the teams being in different divisions. Last year in the enjoyable run in the League one of the stand-out wins was against Kerry in Killarney, Roscommon had been doing much pre-league training and so had built up an advantage in that way which proved decisive. Both Roscommon and Kerry really need the points on Sunday. Roscommon because they are three games without a win while Kerry also need a win or else they will also be in relegation difficulty. A win they might have expected against Monaghan did not materialise so they will certainly be marking down Roscommon as a victim of their requirements.

It will be interesting but Roscommon were really overwhelmed by Mayo last Saturday evening. One could clutch at straws with the missed goal efforts but towards the end, with Mayo injecting new players it was a bad evening for Roscommon. Kerry are not going very well at the moment but in a critical area like midfield with Moran and Maher and livewire forwards it would take a huge effort from Roscommon to achieve a win on Sunday.      

The Oscars Fake News

A question that I have noted already for the quiz next Christmas is; ‘Name the two films which won the Oscar for ‘Best Film’ at the Oscars on February 26th.  Naturally there is an Irish connection in that the person who was in charge of the envelopes was Brian Cullinan of Pricewaterhouse Coopers who is now said to be sanctioned by his company. There is a reverse publicity here which is more that the straight line version. This incident has created more publicity for both films La La Land and Moonlight than they might ever get normally. So what’s the big deal. Was it just fake news or a conspiracy in the great tradition ?  


Each of the seasons has its poetry. This Spring poem is by the Jesuit priest poet Gerald Manley Hopkins who was English but spent many years in Dublin and is buried in Glasnevin cemetery. 

Spring By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring –          
   When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;          
   Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush          
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring          
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing; 
   The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush          
   The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush          
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.          

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