Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Update 20th December

Ciaran Conlon and family/ Paraic Sweeney & Sarah/ Conor Nangle/ Enda, Jacquie and Emer O’Callaghan/ Seamie Gallagher/ Damien Keenehan/ Ciaran Keenehan/Clodagh Egan from Green St. in Sydney/Ger. O’Gara and clan including Joan and honorary Boyle man, Sean Casey/ Joseph Moran in Sydney/ Jenny Jessop (O'Dowd) from Abbeytown/ Dr. Timothy O'Dowd/ Benny Sheerin, Sydney.

The U.S.
Damien Dooley/ Frankie Flaherty/ Marcus Kennedy/ Joseph Mahon/ Brendan O’Callaghan/ Chris O’Dowd/ Doirbhle O'Dowd/ Austin and Paraic Beisty/ The Spellman family x Forest View/ Pat and Margaret Lavin also x Forest View now/ Niall Mc Crann  /Pat and Peter Nicholson/ Arnold Gaffney, Boston/ Hillary and Kenneth Beirne.  (I’m sure there are many more but….)

Tadgh Egan/ Sean Mullaney/ Miss Compton/ Dearbhaile Mac Namara in Toronto/ Dr.Patrick Nicholson, formerly Sheegora now in Toronto.

Caoimhin Young/ Killian (with a K) Egan/ John Harrington/ Gary Tiernan/ Nicky Emmett/Sarah Mullaney/ John O'Dowd from Abbeytown/ Niall Greenan/ Christy and Jim Toolan, London.

Liam Young & family /Rory Nangle.

James Candon in Brussels

Germany and Belgrade
The Gannon family Belgrade/ Michael and Maria Kelly and family in Munich/ Gareth Gilmartin.

Sean Young & family/ John & Joan Gallagher and family, thanks again for your hospitality in October./ Gavin, Declan and Anthony in various places.

Mattie Scott in sunny Portugal.

Paddy Conlon stationed in The Gulf temporarily/ Darren Dockery, the Gulf!/ Neil Nangle in Bahrain.

Abu Dhabi
Ronan Smith and Gratiana Lyons, Maple Drive (home for Christmas)

South Africa
Carmel Finneran.

Fr. Tony Conry.

Kate Gilmartin coming home for Christmas.

Catriona Moran and family. 

New Zealand
Elisabeth Hemi Taute (Sweeney) husband and son Cian in N.Z. 

                         Christina Marnell daughter of Marie Paul also in New Zealand.

(Above is just a guesstimate as to Boyle people in far flung places. We would like very much to have a comprehensive list so if people let us know we will add names to the record).

Boyle Celtic Back on Track Connacht Cup Boyle Celtic 4 Galway Hibernians 2 at Lecarrow.
Boyle Celtic with a very good second half performance on Sunday last showed many of the qualities which were so evident last season. This was a key game being in the knock-out tournament the Connacht Cup against Galway Hibernians in Lecarrow. At half time things were still problematic as Hibernian pushed forward with determination and led by 2 goals to 1 at half time. The Boyle goal came from an excellent header by Ml. Corrigan. Shortly into the second half the switch of Martin Doherty to the right side, the introduction of Jake McCrann and the more forward role of Dylan Edwards saw Boyle come good. A cracking long range goal from Gerard Mc Dermotroe levelled things and Boyle were going up the gears. Dylan Edwards added a third goal with a brilliant mazy run which would have graced any level, 3 : 1 to Boyle. While Hibernian tried hard to get back in the game Boyle secured the points in emphatic fashion with a fantastic goal from a free by Gerard McDermotroe close to the end. Gerard had shown this great dead ball skill regularly last season.
So they now break until the new year when, if they can repeat the quality of their second half performance, they should certainly be more consistent than heretofore.  

"Banged Up Abroad"
Many of you will be familiar with the series of that name or at least what it means. On Monday’s online edition of the Independent there was a telling story of Tyrone footballer Dean McNally on a stag party in las Vegas and what happened to him. I’ll just suggest that you check it out as it is too long to sum up here.  

An Post   
There are confusing reports coming from An Post these days. On the one hand there is a surge of package mail through online shopping and a fall-off in letters due to email. I am a regular user of An Post for letters/books etc. and I find that An Post have contributed themselves to the downturn through charges which are steep. I sent a medium sized book to Dublin a couple of weeks ago and it cost me 8 or 9 euro. A tad dear I would have thought. I believe in doing that rather than having the said book getting a sun tan inside the back window of the car for months waiting until I meet up with the person.
Christmas cards to the U.K. and U.S.A. €1.35 I think. The same price and so on. The post has been a huge community service for over a century and a half so it is a pity that it is under pressure.   

Roscommon People Highlights
On last week’s Roscommon People there was a series of mini interviews with a number of people regarding their favourite sporting moment of the year, sportsman of the year and so on. Now if I was nominating such I might have followed Athleague Camogie player Kelley Hopkins (a new name in Athleague to me) who nominated Kerry’s  precocious Gaelic player at minor level David Clifford. I have seen some young Gaelic stars in my time and until this summer I had Michael Finneran aged 16/17/18 of Ballinagare as my number one but David Clifford was majestic this season. 

I digress to cricket here. When the Olympics went to Sydney in 2000 there was a case to have cricketer Don Bradman light the Olympic Torch because he was Australia’s greatest ever sportsman. Cricket of course was not an Olympic sport. In nearly all sports there are arguments regarding the number one-Messi v Ronaldo- but what put Bradman on the lunar pinnacle is that he stands so far ahead of the second person.  Bradman’s Test batting average stands at 99.94 runs in tests while in second place is the Indian god of cricket Sachin Tendulkar who stands at 55.44. Why I go to that analogy is that David Clifford similarly is so far ahead of any player his age that I’ve seen. I look forward to him in the future. He carries a huge expectation.  

Miriam Kerins Columnist
Since I have referenced the Roscommon People one of the most energetic columnists that I tune into from time to time plies her trade there. Last week Miriam covered Mister Jack Brennan’s telling contribution on the RTE programme on the challenges facing Carers. Miriam Kerins tells it as she sees it in a very forthright manner. A couple of weeks ago she reminded us that Mel Gibson was not the benign character he seems in ‘Daddy’s Home 2’. And so it goes. 
So if I was chairing say Brendan O’Connor’s ‘The Cutting Edge’ and was in charge of the panel for a week or so Miriam would be there with Joe Brolly, Gerry Emmett and Eamonn Sweeney. It’s a sports ‘Edge’ that week Miriam so I hope that is ok with you.  Being a Dub. I imagine it would.  

The Season of Dickens
I often associate many of the books of Dickens with Christmas. In the magical ‘A Christmas Carol’ there is an enduring relevance in the character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Indeed in every book of Dickens there are memorable characters. The list would include;

Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)/Uriah Heep (David Copperfield)/ Estella (Great Expectations)/ Joe Gargery (Great Expectations)/ Bill Sikes and Nancy in Oliver/Pip in Great Expectations/ Mr Pickwick (The Pickwick Papers)/Micawber (David Copperfield)/Miss Havisham (Great Expectations). 
There are many more. From my list there are four from my favourite of all books Great Expectations. I suppose my favouring of Great Expectations is reinforced by my exposure to it as the classic film by David Lean in the late forties. Dickens was the greatest ever story teller. The most popular early representation of a coach and horses on many Christmas cards, which I well remember and continues a little, may have been inspired by his writing.  

Great Sports Books
We are really spoiled with a selection of great sports books this year. It is a bit of a mantra of mine which says if  book does not carry you on, then leave it as there are millions of books that will. We have had a number of banal sports books of course where top names like Coady, Shevlin and perhaps The Gooch this year trade on their names and profiles and produce  disappointing books. However at this year’s end there seems to be, if the widespread reviews are valid, some riveting sports books.     

I’ve mentioned the sports books of the year some weeks back and it seems as if the ones that are getting the top reviews consistently include ‘The Choice’, Philly McMahon with Niall Kelly (Gill Books). A gripe here is that Philly gives no credit or mention to the ‘ghost’ writer Nially Kelly. 
A book that is getting rave reviews is ‘Centaur’ and is a possible William Hill Sports Book of the Year. It is by jockey Declan Murphy who was close to death after a fall.
“Coping with your own death, when you are not yet dead, is a strange thing... This is a story of triumph, fear, love and loss, by turns primal, heart-breaking and inspirational, and ultimately, it is the story of hope, and of life”.
The one I will probably go for initially is ‘The Warrior’s Code: My Autobiography, Jackie Tyrell with Christy O’ Connor. O’Connor wrote an award winning book called The Club some years ago. This one is the first real glimpse inside the Kilkenny hurling dynasty and I am tuned into that. 

Other worthy titles include The Ascent: Séan Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, Barry Ryan (Gill Books); Form: My Autobiography, Kieran Fallon with Oliver Holt (Simon & Schuster UK) and The Pursuit of Perfection: The Life, Death and Legacy of Cormac McAnallen, by Donal McAnallen, published by Penguin Ireland.

An Irish Political Leonardo da Vinci 
In googling through Ministers and Junior Ministers for a quiz question for next week I came across an astonishing Irish politician -who I had never heard of- by the name of Pat Breen. Pat is listed as;    
‘Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection’.

Not since Ray Burke, in the final days of Brian Cowan, have I seen such capability and range! 

The passing of two Boyle Ladies.

Mary Daly R.I.P.
Surrounding Christmas is always a particularly sad time for a family bereavement. There were two such bereavements in Boyle within the last week.  
The death occurred last week of Mary Daly of Plunkett Avenue. Mary was predeceased some time ago by her husband PJ. I remember Mary as being an activist with Boyle Scouts of which her sons were members. I was told that she was also a member of Foroige and a Boyle Celtic supporter.  I met her  down the years when she worked in Mick Gilmartin’s Three Counties and in Feighan’s Newsagents. She was always a pleasant and courteous lady. She will be sadly missed by her sons Martin and Phillip, who I have known for many years, and her extended family.

Frances McGee R.I.P. 
The death also occurred of Frances McGee (nee Beatty). Mrs. McGee with her husband Paddy was a founder of Marians Fashions, an iconic Boyle ladies fashion outlet, in 1954. I came to a bustling busy town which was Boyle in 1972. Marians was known the country over and had a top reputation for ladies fashion for all occasions. Boyle, particularly then, was a great shopping town and had a wide catchment area. Marians contributed greatly to that. That reputation has stood the test of time by consistently retaining the highest standards and presentation.
I always saw her as ‘Marian’ personifying her own place and not Frances. She was an iconic figure as she walked the short distance from her home on the Crescent to her shop. She was a formidable lady, a great innovator and supporter of the town. The Chairman of Boyle Chamber of Commerce, Michael Keville, pays Mrs. McGee a worthy tribute in the Boyle Notes of the Roscommon Herald. 
My sympathy to both the Daly and McGee families at this time.  

News Headlines
The story of the questionable reading and now review of over 40 thousand scans in a Tralee Hospital is top of the news this evening Wednesday. Now I have a question? How was it that a single (it appears) radiologist in a Tralee Hospital had over 40,000 scans to work on over a period of I think 18 months, March ’16 to July ’17. As they say in the U.S. ‘do the Math.’ 40. 000 divided by 18 months = 2,222 i.e. 555 per week. Even our Da Vinci, Pat Breen would be challenged with that. 
The other constant theme is to do with homelessness - 8,100 including 3,000 children; tracker mortgages, rising rents, the lack of prospect of young people buying a house, especially in Dublin.
Now if I am here in Dec. 2018 I doubt that this housing story will be much different. Perhaps Eoghan Murphy will do a runner as Simon Coveney did. 

I’ll leave it at that for now.           

I wish you all a Happy Christmas and 2018.

Drink Responsibly. Drive Safely. Never Drink and Drive.

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