Top Note Query; Next week we will continue with the Boyle town series dealing with the Upper Crescent.
1. St. Joseph’s Hall is one of the few prominent buildings not written of in either of the two important Boyle Moylurg Writers books. I’d like to learn more about its origins and highlights so if anyone can contribute to that I’d like to hear from them. email@example.com
The Rooskey Shepherd Gets Help from Afar
I accidentally came across this incident in an Independent Newspaper online farming page. Roots you know! A lady was being asked about how the sheep flock was going and responded as below;
"Oh, they have my heart broken," she replied, "you won't believe this, but last week my son phoned from Australia and said: 'Mam, go down to the road quick, the sheep are out.'"
The vigilant son had seen a live feed on Facebook put up by one of his friends.
"The rascals of sheep had the whole place held up and he knew it in Australia before I did," added my exasperated friend.
I know that long distance vigilance is now possible and I have heard of a bar owner who kept an eye on his pub from God knows where and of a sports ground that was likewise observed. A number of years ago we used to be pretty impressed with farmers having lambing sheep or calving cows monitored from their kitchen but the son in Australia was a game winner. To give realboyle a thumbs up quite a few people have mentioned of contacting family members abroad and relaying some snippets of news from Boyle only to be told ‘Yeah I know that, I saw it on realboyle’. That’s fine by us.
The U.K. Attacks and Response
I try to read a fair amount and this includes weekend national and weekly local newspapers. Today as I write I have honed in on a small piece by Miriam Kerins in the Roscommon People page 14. It relates to the ‘One Love Manchester’ Concert in Aid of the victims of the bombing in the city on May the 22nd. Miriam talks of the spirit of the English and applauds the young star Arian Grande who –with a lot of goodwill and support- had made last Monday’s benefit concert happen. Apparently Miriam was not a fan of Ariana but gave her and the concert huge praise. I had never heard of Ariana Grande before the bombing atrocity. I tripped across the concert on television and stayed with it. It had echoes of the famous Bob Geldof Live Aid Concert of 1985, the scale and significance of which grew as the day progressed.
There was an impressive line-up of star ‘acts’ such as Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, a maturing Justin Bieber, Robbie Williams, Liam Gallagher (no Noel) and more, with hit songs that would not be identifiable to me but were echoed by the young crowd of 50,000 present. For me the act that really stood out was Steve Martin with the Manchester anthem Oasis’s ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’. A small number of victims of the bombing were ferried to the concert from their beds in Manchester hospitals.
On the same day, on the idyllic island of Barra in Scotland one of the victims, Eilidh McLeod aged 14, was laid to rest. Both sides of the coin were poignantly demonstrated on a sunny June afternoon.
Miriam Kerins headlined her short piece ‘I salute the British people’s incredible spirit’.
Bob Dylan’s Unique Nobel ‘Lecture’
To qualify for the monetary award that goes with the Nobel Prize for Literature the recipient has to deliver a lecture to the Nobel Committee. As can be seen on realboyle Bob Dylan did so in his own very independent way with a recording of his lecture which he submitted by whatever means.
I have only listened to it twice so far and all I am doing here is recommending that you spare the time to tune in also. It is pretty revealing of Bob himself. It starts with a tribute to the overlooked singer Buddy Holly who died in his prime. Dylan then takes three books that made a major impact on him when young which were ‘Moby Dick’ by Helmut Melville; ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ by Eric Marie Remarque and Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’. He really analyses these in detail showing a forensic capacity to do so.
So your homework for a week or so is to listen to the Dylan lecture.
Continuing with Bob, though I am not a regular browser I did tune into Jessie Smith singing the Dylan song ‘A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall’ at the Nobel Award ceremony in Stockholm. It is often seen as an apocalyptic view of the future when written though he does not go along with that. Still it was nearly prophetic as shortly after it was written the Cuban Missile Crisis happened which brought the world to the edge of nuclear war. The song is over seven minutes long and Jessie Smith went astray with the lyric on the occasion which may have added to the effect. She ended the song powerfully and emotionally however and I also recommend a listen but it is not as homework.
A Hard Rains Gonna Fall by Bob Dylan
"Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways"
Letter Writing a Declining Art
A noted writer, whose name escapes me now, once wrote something like ‘I regret three of the letters I have written in my lifetime and three hundred of those that I did not write’. With modern technology the art of letter writing is in serious decline. Perhaps handwritten letters are an endangered species. When I raid the letter box in the morning and on the odd time there are a few ‘letters’ there, the one which really grabs my immediate curiosity is the handwritten ‘unofficial’ one.
I see the Sunday Independent has begun a summer campaign to celebrate great letters and the art of letter writing. The writer Joseph O’Connor has a nice introductory piece on the subject on page 21 of the paper. In the usually irrelevant Life Magazine section three well known people write letters they wish they had sent. I will return to the subject next week.
The U.K. Election. Surprise Surprise!
I write this early on Friday am after staying with the count in the U.K. election into the late hours. Here we had another incredible result and poor Theresa May was in a state of shock. This she shared with many in the Conservative/Tory party. The commentators were also in the shocked category. Theresa had started off seven weeks ago in a very comfortable position which she wanted to make more comfortable as she went into Brexit negotiations with the EU. Jeremy Corbyn looked easy prey as a hapless ‘leader’ of a divided Labour Party. But lo and behold it all went terribly wrong and when Mrs. May accepted her own election in her Maidenhead constituency at 4 am she was like the proverbial person who had seen a ghost.
That great question to George Best ‘Where did all go wrong George?’ echoes for Theresa.
Theresa to me glided too easily across the seat from anti Brexit to asserting that she would carry out the wishes of the people though I presume still harbouring the fact that she thought it was a mistake, a difficult stance. Her election campaign had similarities to that of Hillary Clinton and got the same response. Apparently an unpopular Tory manifesto also played a big part. Mrs. May while steady when pronouncing from scripts was fragile in debate.
And then there was the Corbyn factor as he rose like Lazarus with a stellar election performance armed with a populist manifesto. It was a performance that echoed that of Bernie Saunders in the U.S. election which used all the modern social media platforms and apparently the ‘young vote’ surfaced in a major telling way for Labour. That young electorate had been dealt a bad hand with the Brexit Referendum result and perhaps felt that they better get into the game or lose again.
UKIP of Farage was dumped and got the return they deserved. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) suffered badly from the sweep of last time. This puts paid to the prospect of another Independence Referendum in the foreseeable future. The Northern DUP are now the Queen/King makers whatever that means. Northern Ireland is now a two party region as far as Westminster Parliament is concerned though the irony is that Sinn Fein M.P.s’ do not sit there but do have offices there! The demise of the SDLP is sad in that respect.
Two points that I have not heard getting any real criticism on the morning’s commentary are; 1. The ‘First Past the Post’ system in U.K. elections where a person can get elected on say 25% of the actual vote. Also a party can get a large % of the popular vote but few members of Parliament. Our Single Transferable Vote is much more imaginative, nuanced and just better system.
2. Did Theresa May not reflect on the decision of David Cameron who went for a Referendum on EU membership in June 2016 and lost when he was not required to do so. Indeed the use of Referendum, regularly used in this country, hardly exists in the U.K.
We live in interesting and very unpredictable times.
Niall Brennan of Boyle Celtic who travels to Turkey with an Irish soccer regional side in July.
Some GAA Fixtures
Aidan Lavin’s Junior Lions take on St. Michael’s in the Abbey park on Saturday at 7pm
On Sunday of course there is a big Connacht game with the meeting of Galway and Mayo in Salthill at 2.
In Ulster Cavan v Monaghan also Sunday.
Kerry v Clare and Offaly v Westmeath.
Leinster Hurling C’Ship Wexford v Kilkenny in Wexford Sat. evening at 7.