Monday, April 10, 2017

Update 7th April

Boyle Celtic in The Showgrounds Sunday at 3. (Admission fee on Sunday is €10 for adults -set by the FAI- €5 for students and OAPs’ and please note U 16s are free)    

I contributed my paragraphs on Boyle Celtic’s journey here last week. The game has been highlighted generously in all the media in the intervening time with Ian Cooney, Sports Editor of The Roscommon Herald pushing the boat out with extensive coverage in the Herald’s sports section of last Tuesday. The other local papers such as the Roscommon People and Leitrim and Sligo papers have also done their bit as has Shannonside Radio. It may also feature on the Sunday independent’s ‘Hold the Back Page’ next Sunday i.e. match day. 
The launch of Donie O’Connor’s song is a further string to the bow of publicity and interest. This has been supplemented with the publication of colourful match programme which includes team member profiles, some short articles and sixteen pictures of Boyle Celtic youth teams both boys and girls. Also included are the words to the Boyle Celtic anthem which could get a Welsh style airing on Sunday evening in ‘The Showgrounds’ . 
Celtic have played three games in the last couple of weeks. They defeated Ballymoe in the Connacht Cup and followed this up with an impressive victory in the same competition in Bellmullet on Sunday last. Sandwiched in between was a hard-earned victory in the local league over Ballisodare.  

** Boyle Celtic Song CDs’ and match programmes now available in many shops and other outlets throughout the town and also on match day inside the grounds.  

Organ Donor Awareness Week 
Donor Awareness Week takes place between the 1st and 8th of April. Indeed awareness of organ Donation does not have time boundaries but the week is used to raise Awareness of the huge benefits and hopefully expand the number of donors.

My good friend John Mac Phearson, related to me, some time ago, his personal experience of receiving a life enhancing organ donation, the Gift of Life, in 2011 when he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He expressed his huge gratitude to those who participated in the scheme and urged people to become involved by having a donor card.  One of its great proponents is the former Derry footballer and TV analyst Joe Brolly.  Joe has himself donated a kidney to a friend.

It must be one of the most noble acts imaginable for someone to donate a life enriching bodily organ to another person. There are approximately 700 people in Ireland awaiting life-saving heart, lung, liver, kidney and pancreas transplants. Thanks to the gift of organ donation over 3000 people in Ireland are enjoying extended life. In 2015, 266 organs were transplanted, 233 were as a result of the generosity of the families of 81 deceased donors and the remaining 33 were from living kidney donors.

The focus of Organ Donor Awareness Week is also to raise awareness about the ongoing and ever increasing demand for organ transplantation which relies on the public for organ donation. Its key message is that families need to talk and keep accessible the reminders of their willingness to donate by carrying the organ donor card, downloading the Smartphone App and permitting Code 115 to be included on their driver’s license.

The Irish Kidney Association is the national organisation charged with the promotion and distribution of the organ donor card in Ireland, on behalf of Organ Donation Transplant Ireland.

Free information fact files, which accompany organ donor cards, are obtainable from the Irish Kidney Association and are available nationwide from pharmacies, GP surgeries and Citizen Information Offices etc.

Organ Donor Cards can also be obtained by phoning the Irish Kidney Association  LoCall 1890 543639 or Freetext the word DONOR to 50050. Visit website It is now possible to store an organ donor card, the ‘ecard’ on Smart mobile phones.   Simply search for ‘Donor ECard’ at the IPhone Store or Android Market Place.

Boyle GAA O’Gara Cup Fixture;
The McGovern Directional Drilling sponsored seniors play Michael Glavey's in the O'Gara Cup on Saturday April 8th in Ballinlough at 5:30pm.

Roscommon County Fleadh Castlecoote/Fuerty on Easter Sunday/Monday. 
I mentioned this recently but I imagine a reminder is no harm. 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 village of Castlecoote is now traditionally vying with Keadue for the top place in County Roscommon. 
I presume that the Fleadh 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. 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. P.J. is Chairperson of the local Fleadh Committee. 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.  
The Roscommon Fleadh is the first county Fleadh nationally and attracts a dedicated following from many parts of the country. When in Boyle, back in the day, it used to have quite a number of visitors from Northern Ireland.  So hopefully Boyle will be represented at the County Fleadh in Castlecoote and that I will not be the only Boyle person there! I had thought of hiring a 20 seater bus for the Sunday but perhaps that idea is a bit too ambitious.    

Irish Women’s Soccer Team
When the Irish Women’s Soccer team listed their grievances and conditions under which they played international football and represented their country most people were aghast. The standards in terms of track suits, changing venues, hotel accommodation, monetary payment and compensation for loss of earnings and general respect were met with disbelief by the sporting public.

I don’t know if it was by accident or design that the ‘women’ took their stand around the time the Chief FAI CEO, John Delaney who is said to ‘earn’ a salary of €400, 000 was in Helsinki being voted onto the Uefa's Executive (Soccer) Committee which will bring him a further €100,000. 

The women showed a true competitive spirit despite a veiled threat about damaging their future in the game and there seems to now be a resolution with most of their demands being met. The mind boggles that such basic demands have not been par for the course for some considerable time anyway.

In a press release by those involved in putting the women’s case the following  sentence summarised the women’s position;       

"The events of the past two days amount to a short, sharp and successful campaign to advance the rights of women in sport. They are also a reminder that, in any area of modern Irish society, women should never accept being treated as second-class citizens."

Some of the details of the confidential agreement are said to include;
“The Ireland women's football team will each receive the full €300 match fee they sought, a win bonus of €150 for competitive games and €75 for a draw, as outlined in the players' document during their press conference in Liberty Hall earlier this week. Players who have to take unpaid time off while representing their country will also be remunerated”. 
The talks took 9 hours and ended at 4am on Thursday morning. It is hard to believe that, since so much was just basic stuff, that it could have taken so long. 
There are early reports that the Irish women’s agitation has echoed internationally and is being taken up by other women’s international teams.
So well done to the group 

Frank (Monty) MONTGOMERY R.I.P.
The deaths of Frank Montgomery known to so many as ‘Monty’ and his daughter Michelle Keenan (nee Montgomery) has cast a deep sadness over the community in Boyle and beyond. Monty was part of the lives of the Boyle community for over four decades as he played his music at weddings, dinner dances, celebrations and a myriad of events through those years. I am sure there are people who know his musical track record better than I but in the Moylurg Writers first volume of essays on Boyle there is an essay on ‘Bands of Boyle’ by Veronica O’Connor and Monty of course features there. He is pictured with his great friend and long-time accompanist Frances Grehan with Brendan O’Dowd in a trio called ‘Spalpín’. On the following page Monty is listed under the band title ‘Freeeway’ with Brendan O’Dowd, Michael (George) Mullaney, Paul Emmett and Michael Harrington. The last entry has a group titled ‘Who Says What’ with Jackie Harvey and Monty’s colleague Sean Kenny. ‘Monty’ seamlessly became a large part of the great Boyle musical tradition which he enhanced. 
Quite a few years ago Frank brought his music to the United States and there was a little ‘going-away’ party with him in the Moylurg. Someone suggested a few words and I was nominated to do that. I expressed the surprising sentiment that I hoped he would get homesick…… on the basis that he would return quickly and we could all enjoy his music regularly once again. He did of course return and we all enjoyed his music and song for a considerable time afterwards. Monty was a musical backdrop of the lives of many of us and we are indebted and will long remember him for that. 
Our deepest sympathy goes to Andrea and Kian and the extended family and to Michelle’s husband Gary and their children Ronan and Roisin and family.  

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