Friday, May 11, 2018

Update 11th May

Friday 11th Boyle Camera Club carry out their noble project ‘A Moment in Time’ in photographing Boyle people over a single long day. So if you can spare a little time present at the Crescent between 9am and 9pm on Friday. 

Maybe some of you, like me, think through the winter that you will achieve much more when the days lengthen, the temperature rises and the mood blossoms. Put it on the list I say. Then as the long days flit past it is seven/eight o’clock before you know it. Then you tell yourself that this is something that you might better use your time at during the long winter evenings/nights. But then the shades are down on the night and yourself and you reassure yourself that ‘I’ll, I’ll get to it in May’.  

Visitors from the U.S. of A.
We spent a deal of the May Bank Holiday with relations from New Jersey and what a treat it was for us. I know they enjoyed it but so did we, very much. Treating of Mister Trump, Northern Ireland and the international stories of the now showed how much we had in common. The enthusiastic exchange of photographs, the study and teasing out of family genealogy, the gelling of family links were all compressed into that short memorable time. Visiting the remains of an ancestral homestead was an emotional highlight in the ironic way that it is. So…. in the unlikely event that you read these few lines…. Terri and Jay it was a just lovely experience.        

Vótáil 100 Roscommon Commemoration Lecture Series of Wednesday April the 25th 
In my last blog here I wrote on a number of speakers from the Seminar in King House towards the end of April. They were the Chairperson of Roscommon County Council Orla Leyden who gave a very personal account of the challenges of women in politics. Ivana Bacik showed all her experience with an accomplished and humorous address on the Irish Suffragettes including Margaret Cousins. Margaret Cousins was dealt with in greater detail by Boyle’s Marie Paul Egan who has made a special study of her. This was supplemented by her relation Dr. James Cousins. One would recommend to Boyle people that they get to know an overview of this remarkable woman. 

*With a number of local people such as Joe Mahon, David Gillespie, Knockvicar –a relation of Margaret (Gillespie) Cousins- and Frank Geelan a plaque to her memory was placed on the border of two houses on the upper side of the Crescent , since, apparently they had once been one residence when Margaret lived there.
The plaque details reads; “Margaret Cousins (nee Gillespie) Born in this house 1878. Died in India 1954. Irish Suffragette. Wife of Irish Poet Dr. James Cousins. Founder, in 1921, of The Women’s India Association Madras. Co-founder in 1926 of the All India Women’s Conference. First woman magistrate in India (Madras 1923). Plaque unveiled by the President of the A.I.W. C. Smt. Shobhana Ranade 16th Sept. 1994”.   

Other speakers included Mary McAuliffe of UCD who focussed on Cumann na mBan and how active women were in the Revolution years and in the early years of the Free State. She referenced the ‘anti-women’ legislation and tone of succeeding Irish Free State Governments. Especially noted was the requirement –from 1933 to 73-of married women to terminate their state jobs on marriage. Claire McGing talked of the record of the very poor representation of women in the Dail saying that there were more women in the Dail in 1923 than in 1973. (This has currently led to the introduction of the quota system where parties are obliged to have a certain percentage of women on the ballot paper….that of course does not automatically lead to a large increase in their  numbers elected). There was a comment that the Irish Revolutionaries must have been most conservative revolutionaries to carry that label. (Indeed reactionaries might be a contending label). Claire note that of the 15 women elected between ’32 and ’73 nine were the wives of deceased male members and 3 the daughters. In the Labour Party their only T.D. in the early decades was Maureen O’Carroll in ’54. She was the mother of the present show business personality Brendan.   Again the cry of ‘A Lot Done More to Do’ closed Claire’s address.    

Ireland v Pakistan and My Cricket Journey 
On this Saturday I will be present on the second day of Ireland’s historic first five day test at Malahide. I believe that any game played well is worthy. I think that cricket is the game that is most easily dismissed by people generally. Yet during my time with this blog the paragraphs I wrote on cricket some years ago now drew the most comment. At least four people mentioned it. I think that was when Ireland  defeated Pakistan on St. Patrick’s Day 2007 in the West Indies in the World Cup. It was probably the greatest win by an Irish sporting team in any sport and was only rivalled when they defeated England in India in 2011 in the World Cup again. A number of years ago with some neighbouring cricket enthusiasts I went to Headingly in Leeds for a Test, England v Australia. Unfortunately by midway on the first day we could see the trend of the result while we still had maybe two if not three more days to go. 
I got to know cricket and its supposed unfathomable rules when I was a barman (barboy more like) in The Swan Bar on Hammersmith Broadway in London in the mid-sixties. The great West Indies side with Gary Sobers were touring England. During the day the Tests were broadcast by BBC and I ‘worked’ and watched with the bar flies and they taught me the rules and I kept an eye on it ever since. A year or so after  my Swan days I was working with Murphy’s, in London also, with a ‘search and find’ gang at Chadwell Heath. ‘Search and Find’ meant search for gas leaks, find them and repair same. That’s another story with some drama attached. It was the summer of another visiting touring team -perhaps Australia- in England with its Test Series of five matches.  Anyway there I was down in the trench, teasing my way delicately around a smelly gas pipe with the shovel. It was on some of those many sunny London days. The commuters passed on the sidewalk a number of pessimists with bowler hat and umbrella as they headed to and from ‘the city’. At certain times of the day I would accost one of them with the question; ‘What’s the score in the match?”. “What match Paddy?” was the usual response. “The Test match” I’d reply feigning agitation that it should have been pretty obvious. “You follow the cricket Paddy?” “Of course I do, do I not look like a cricket supporter?” “Not really Paddy, if you don’t mind me saying so. The Ozzies are looking strong but Truman is doing well for England”.  “Go raibh maith agat agus slán” added to his confusion. But perhaps I had given him a little anecdote to relate in the bar as he quaffed his glass of bitter with his hard cheese roll. 
So on Saturday I will journey back to the cricket field and writing (a bit of a strong word for me) of it reminds me of my favourite sport’s poem which deals with cricket and the autumn of life and I attach a verse from it here.

AT LORDS  by Francis Thompson   

 It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though my own red roses there may blow;
It is little I repair to the matches of the Southron folk,
Though the red roses crest the caps, I know.
For the field is full of shades as I near a shadowy coast,
And a ghostly batsman plays to the bowling of a ghost,
And I look through my tears on a soundless-clapping host
As the run stealers flicker to and fro,
To and fro:
O my Hornby and my Barlow long ago !              

Sports Review

Champions League Drama Continued in Semi-Finals.
If you read this blog ongoing you will know that I really tune in to Champions League and while it is ‘old’ news now what a week last week was. Real Madrid got through in a thriller with so much happening. The Bayern Munich goalkeeper gifted them a very odd goal which he will remember for a very long time. On the Wednesday Liverpool wen to Rome to finish off from the first leg where they won by 5 goals to 2. A Roma goal early in the second game put it  5 to 3 and the fat was in the fire. But a gifted goal to Liverpool meant them leading by 6 to 3. Still Roma pressed especially late in the game and actually won on the night by 4 goals to 2 but lost on aggregate 7 to 6. A Liverpool managerial mistake in taking off Mo Salah early in the first game plus a couple of bad refereeing decisions relating to hand ball and off-side told against Roma all contributed to the drama.  I am pleased that Liverpool have qualified for the Champions League final in Kiev on Sat. May 26th . My own view though is that the two better teams lost in the semi-finals but as John Joe Nerney used to say; “The best team always wins”.   So Saturday evening May 26th is going to be a big evening of sport with Roscommon versus Leitrim in Carrick-on-Shannon on as the undercard fo4 the Champions League Final.   

The Success of Boyle Teams 
I have attended a number of Boyle games in the past two weeks and was heartened with some fine and very enjoyable games and results. Stephen Tonra , Michael Bermingham and Kevin Mullin the management team of the juniors have worked the oracle getting 27 players out for the game last Saturday night against Kilglass Gaels who had just 13, so it was played as a 13- a –side. This was a league and championship double fixture in Junior ‘B’. Boyle won on the score of 3.17 to Kilglass 0.10. The star turns for Boyle included Conor Boylan, Jack Moran and Niall O’Donohoe. The previous Saturday they had defeated Fuerty by 4.14 to 0.7. On Sunday the minors gave one of their best displays for some time in division 3 (where Boyle teams should not be) defeating Western Gaels on the score of Boyle 3.14 Western Gaels 1.12. The top players here included Tomas Regan, James Bolger, Cathal Feely, Kelvin Morris and David Battles. I am aware that his team has not had the best of times in earlier age groups but they looked pretty good on Sunday and there is room for optimism that some good players are around the corner age-wise. They now meet a strong Tulsk in the next round. Another game I got part of was a cracking U 14s game v Roscommon Gaels and there was quality a- plenty on show here from both sides. 
I’ll finish with the game of the coming week-end which has to be Galway v Mayo in a sold out Castlebar. They are two teams with possibilities and the questions to be partially answered on Sunday are; A, Is Galway an emerging force? And B, ‘Is Mayo on the way down?  There was a good book published last Autumn titled ‘Will Galway Beat Mayo?’ by James Laffey documenting this long term rivalry.  Feichimid le feichimid.     

( There were a few items I had intended to ‘treat of’ but the day wasn’t long enough).    

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