Thursday, November 14, 2019

Update 15th November



Prologue Notices

1.       Boyle juniors play FUERTY (Note spelling please) in the replay of the Junior ‘B’ championship on Friday night in Strokestown at 8.30 p.m.!  Boyle was in a winning position, coming down the straight, in the first game but the winning chance slipped away in the very end.
2.       Sister Act’ begins next week on Wed. the 20th and continues to Sat. night. The Musical is one of the highlights of the Boyle entertainment calendar so make sure you do not let the opportunity pass without being there.
3.       Climate Change’/ ‘Global Warming’ Disaster the greatest universal challenge for mankind.  
4.       The Irishman’ film. I went to see this film on Wed. It was scheduled for 7.30 but with trailers for coming (and past) films it began at 7.55. It is a very long film and went on until after 11 so over three hours. It has a stellar cast of De Niro/Pacino/Joe Pesci with director Martin Scorsese. Much of it is related in extended flashback. It hangs on a journey and is the supposed memoir of De Niro’s character Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran. There is actually no Irishness about it. It tells the story of Teamsters (Truckers) Union President, Jimmy Hoffa played with panache by Pacino. The film was financed by Netflix and I presume planned to be shown in say 3 segments of an hour each at most. It shows the strong links between the Union and the gangster clans, Italian in this film. A Sat. Indo. Reviewer gave it 5 stars but I’m afraid it would get no more than 3 from me. Firstly it is much too long and a real challenge on the butt. It could have been edited down by the guts of an hour. The hanging of the story around a car journey is problematic. The Sat. reviewer used a nice assessment of the role of Pesci as “gloriously composed’. Pacino was excellent but De Niro had too much in terms of a repetitive nature as the minder/enforcer. The ladies in the film are classic Italian gangster asides. So 3 from me but it is a real challenge to go the distance with it. Back in the day there was an ‘Intermission’ for such films eg. Ben Hur. The ‘Irishman’ is only in cinemas to give it Oscar credentials. It will struggle there but Pesci and Pacino might make a medium list. I’ve already awarded my Oscar from ‘The Joker’ to actor Joaquin Phoenix.           

Climate Change
This was once called ‘Global Warming’ but the name was changed to the softer more benign title of ‘Global Warming’. This week RTE in supporting Science Week dedicated an amount of coverage to highlighting its progress and the devastating consequences for the human race in the near future say 40 or so years. I am not an expert on it all but there is plenty of evidence that changes in the climate are taking place. As I write I can see on the T.V., over my shoulder, the devastating fires in Australia now on the edges of the great and beautiful city of Sydney. Later the news item focuses on the flooding of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice.
During this week as I said R.T.E. transmitted a series of programmes dedicated to the threat of Global Warming. On Monday night the title of the programme was “Will Ireland Survive 2050?” In it meteorologist Gerald Fleming talked of melting glaciers causing rising sea levels and displayed diagrams of areas around our major cities that will be impacted by this and they are hard to comprehend. One gentleman related how he moved from Clontarf to a district which was considerably more elevated because of the future flooding threat to his home. That must be an unsettling example to the people living there or possibly seeking a house there. The thing about the potential disaster is that it may not impact too much on us senior people but we have children and grandchildren and what is the legacy the actions of our generation pass on to them?  Vested interests will hone in on defending their sectors in short minded ways. The farmers will defend their herd and cow numbers and say that they are producing milk at low carbon emissions as opposed to x country and so on. I was puzzled by a farmer last night saying it cost €5 approx. per kilo to produce beef and he sells it for under €4. I may be wrong but the dairy herd has increased enormously in very recent years since the changes to ‘milk quotas’. Why was that allowed when the call now is to decrease cattle and cow numbers?     

Tuesday night’s programme was titled ‘Hot Air; Ireland’s Climate Crisis’. This examined what and where Ireland needs to make the necessary changes to current practises.  A current issue is the generation stations at Lanesboro and Shannonbridge. Since the forties Bord na Mona has been extracting turf from the midland bogs on an industrial scale but a few years ago it was the domestic turf cutters who were first accosted. The use of fossil fuels, oil, gas and peat are also huge contributors to carbon emissions and ‘Global Warming’. But the question for us as consumers seeking to keep reasonable warmth in our homes is; how do we do that? Electric generation by wind is progressing but it too has its costs in environmental impact. Still it is looked on as one of the get out mechanisms. Wave power is not touched on in Ireland though France generated from wave power decades ago.   
An area that is hardly visible to us is the pollution of seas. Tuesday night showed areas around Kerry which were filmed some 30 years ago and again recently. From being a vibrant fishing area with a fulsome eco system some 30 years ago it has turned into what was referred to as ‘a desert’. We hear this from time to time about one of the natural wonders of the world i.e. ‘The Great Barrier Reef’ off the coast of Queens land Australia. 
The skies too contribute with aeroplanes contributing on each journey proportionally huge amounts to the carbon footprint.
What are the answers? Reduction of fossil fuels; major transport efficiencies and so many more. Ireland despite its difficulties is a wealthy advanced country so we should be able to achieve our targets. A question we do not see debated is while we could and should make our positive contribution it would be very small by comparison to the Global giants such as China, the U.S. Brazil and India.    
The Voice of Greta Thunberg
One can see in the demeanour of the young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg the concern and almost the despair in her cry for positive action on ‘Climate Change’. While she is being listened to are her cries being heeded by the powers that be?    
It is important that this lobby does not allow itself to be brushed aside with platitudes by the vested interests and lobby groups who rarely took student activism seriously. Hopefully in the immediate years there will be many more like her.
Occasionally, in say London, one would come across some eccentric with a banner slogan ‘The End is Nigh’ and this was also a cry prior to New Year’s Eve 2000. If the current pessimism is valid those sentiments are not far off unless mankind can rise to this incredible challenge.
Commemorating the Great War
It was on last Monday, November 11th that the end of W.W.1 one hundred and one years ago in 1918 was commemorated. There were a number of T.V. programmes remembering this historic event. These included ‘The Unremembered –Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes’. These turned out to African soldiers and a large number who acted as ‘porters’ who facilitate the transport of goods to the front lines. These front lines were in Eastern Africa where the British colonists faced up German colonists. This is one of the forgotten war zones of WW 1 as Burma became in WW 2.
Also on Sunday night on BBC 2 was ‘They Shall not Grow Old’ about the Western Front with old film getting a modern facelift. Gary Lineker also investigated his grandad’s war which his grandad never talked of. This was the campaign in Italy and the battles against the Germans particularly around the great mountain monastery of Monte Cassino a place I visited once.
When I was circa 15 and going to Roscommon CBS I frequently visited the County Library across the road from the school to borrow books. For some reason I was absorbed by WW 2 and read a great deal on it. It wasn’t quite so with the first war apart from some books like Eric Maria Remarque’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’- a rare German take on War 1. There was also one by American writer Ernest Hemingway called ‘A Farwell to Arms’.   
World War 1 saw the emergence of a group of poets who became collectively known as ‘The War Poets’. Amongst these was Laurence Binyon with his most referenced poem being ‘For the Fallen’;
‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them’.
Wilfred Owen with ‘Dulce et Decorum’
 It relates the horror of war and warns against the old lie about the glory of it. 
Rupert Brooke, ‘The Soldier’
‘Think only this of me
That there is some corner of a foreign field forever England’


Siegfried Sassoon 
Does It Matter?
Does it matter?-losing your legs?
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When others come in after hunting
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter?-losing your sight?
Ireland also contributed a famous war poet with Francis Ledwidge of Slane, County Meath. Senior people will remember his tribute poem to Thomas McDonagh;
 ‘He shall not hear the bittern cry.   In the wild sky, where he is lain, Nor voices of the sweeter birds, Above the wailing of the rain”.       
When I first started teaching-English-in St. Mary’s College one of my classrooms was in the grounds of the Vocational School where the principal was Anthony Martin. My classroom was a double prefab. I taught a first year class, including Paddy McLoughlin, there and used a basic book for First Year edited by Kevin Brophy. Oddly for a first year book it included two WW 1 poems. One was called;
‘Reconciliation’ by Sassoon again.
When you are standing at your hero’s grave,
Or near some homeless village where he died,
Remember, through your heart’s rekindling pride,
The German soldiers who were loyal and brave.

Men fought like brutes; and hideous things were done;
And you have nourished hatred, harsh and blind.
But in that Golgotha perhaps you’ll find
The mothers of the men who killed your son.
It is a generous and rare enough sentiment penned shortly after the war. 
Last Sat. night I happened on a late film titled ‘Testament of Youth’ where this sentiment was also at its end. The original book was by Vera Brittain and was published in 1933. In it the horrors of war, love, loss and the futility of it all are portrayed with the expression of reconciliation at its end.
I know that there is a group of Boyle people for whom the Remembrance of that War, its local participants and its implications are their lives legacy to it not being forgotten. I’m thinking of Oliver Fallon, Michael Beirne and Danny Tiernan. I’m sure there are others. 
There were many more distinguished War Poets such as Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke     


R.T.E. in Crisis
A minor crisis by comparison is the future of R.T.E. RTE is funded by a license fee of €160 and whatever it raises from its advertising. There is supposed to be a significant percentage of defaulters in terms of paying the license fee and RTE currently is in financial jeopardy. The head of RTE Dee Forbes says that the license fee model is broken and the whole funding model needs to be restructured. The ideal would be for central funding from the central funds.  
RTE raised some €60m. or so from the sale of lands adjacent to its home at Donnybrook in recent years but that is now gone. A few weeks ago the Director mentioned the sale of ‘paintings’ which might raise a million or so. It was hardly a strategic answer to its problems.
It is proposed to reduce staff by 200. I wonder how many are actually employed by RTE?
A lot of us cringe at the salaries of RTE stars with the frontrunners being regularly listed as Ryan Tubridy €495,000, Miriam O’Callagahan €299,000, Ray D’Arcy €450,000, Joe Duffy €395,000, Sean O’Rourke and Marian Finucane (2 week-end radio shows) €300,000 in 2016. I’ve made the comparison before with the population of Ireland being the equivalent of Birmingham. I would very much doubt if that would obtain there. Yet big star salaries in a small pool environment emerged. While a number of Irish presenters from Ireland ‘made it’ in England I doubt if this would be the case with most of the above.  
Even serious and logical savings in these salaries would not be of much help. Still I’m puzzled by the disregard for current licence payers who must contribute a decent sum. There will always be defaulters but it does not sound logical to abandon a rich source unless a better one is in place.
I may have my paragraphs back to front here because I am a supporter of RTE. It can be criticised in its parts but it has regularly been outstanding also. (This could also be said of the traditional standard bearer of Public Service Broadcasting i.e. the BBC.) It has over the years made telling investigative series and even with a sometimes maligned Joe Duffy it has an outlet for many of the publics woes and difficulties as it is currently doing with its ‘bullying theme’.
So hopefully RTE, in a more subtle way perhaps, will continue to be a national platform for national issues and concerns.   

Slán

T.C.




      
       
              

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Update 30th October


1.   An important meeting re. Termon Lands and the Community initiative to develop a range of sporting facilities there takes place on Friday evening next, November 1st in St. Joseph’s Hall at 8.30. While there are a number of ‘other things on’ it is important that those who can attend do attend on Friday night. 
2.       Boyle Junior team reached the Final of the County Junior ‘B’ competition on Saturday in Strokestown at 5.15. This is very interesting for me with two teams I have followed for large tranches of my life contesting a final for the first time in 69 years. The last time was a junior final in 1950.Boyle were impressive in the second half of the replay v Strokestown last Saturday in Boyle. One fisted point by Boyle, always a pleasant score for me.
3.       British Election Thursday December 12th. The first British Winter Election in around 100years. Westminster term ends on Wednesday Nov. 6th Guy Fawkes Night!
4.       What are the odds on an Irish General Election…December??? 

Super Saturday 19th Not So Super.
I read over my last blog of Friday October 18 there now. It anticipated the following day as being ‘Super Saturday’ inclusive of sport and politics. The two main events of the day were Ireland v New Zealand and Boris Johnson getting his Brexit Deal passed by the narrowest number of votes in The House of Commons. Well Super Saturday turned into a damp squib. First up was the rugby game and from the off Ireland were in deep trouble and were slaughtered on the score of New Zealand 46 Ireland 14. It was a tad embarrassing. However it was not embarrassing apparently to the Irish support present at the game. They celebrated like it was a win and the Irish coach Joe Schmidt was clapped on the back for services rendered as he walked down from his viewing nest at the close of the game. He at least showed his shock and ashen faced he must have been embarrassed by the Irish fans reaction to him in the loss. If this had been an Irish soccer manager there would be little dancing with Sake or back clapping. It would also be the lot of a GAA inter-county manager after a big loss…Roscommon 0.09 v Mayo 4.19 replay in Croke Park 2018.
Personally I was not surprised though I did not pin the score I anticipated to the mast in that blog. A New Zealand banner was unfurled as the match ended and it read ‘Never in Doubt’ which was true for…a week at least.
The reality is that while rugby supporters for the most part enjoy their teams winning it is just part of a package. The package includes the pre-match drinks (maybe even a meal) in good hotels and bars around Lansdowne Road; meeting old boarding school chums, a night on the town following the game and so on. Defeat …no big deal. The disappointment soon melts. It is certainly not an occasion of life or death. On an occasion at rugby international in Lansdowne road in the 70s’ there was a small group of supporters in front of me with their backs to the game all through. Irish scores hardly made an impression. They were there for the occasion.
Another thing was the inflated expectations from nearly all the pundits print, radio, television, former players. The team/organisation and the rugby fraternity milk this. This creates the product.
Almost immediately after the game former international now RTE pundit Stephen Ferris was talking about France and the next Word Rugby Cup 2023! The golden duo of Murray and Sexton will be no more and as Schmidt announced around a year ago (!) he will be back in his home country.  
Ewan McKenna of the Independent really railed into the Irish performance and the apologists.
I was going to list the day’s newspaper predictions prior to the game but it is all water under the bridge now.
Just to add a little salt to the wound last Saturday England 19 comprehensively defeated New Zealand 7. England had two tries disallowed while they ‘gifted N.Z. their try. That will go down very badly in Kiwi country where rugby is their religion. Eddie Jones the Australian manager of England had a real put down of Steve Hansen the manager of N.Z. who suggested that England had peaked a game too early; ‘I send him my best wishes for their  third place play-off’.
On Sunday morning South Africa narrowly defeated Wales in a poor game. They go on to meet England in the final next Saturday at 9. England would be slight favourites. A picture of the South African team in their dressing room is doing the rounds and what beasts they all look. Amazing what strength and conditioning can do… weights etc. though Paul Kimmage might not be totally convinced as he chips away Jamie Heaslip.   

The Death of a Boyle Institution…Paddy Daly R.I.P.
There are people who you feel were and will always be …around. Paddy Daly was one of those Boyle icons. There are but a few of them left now. Age should be regarded and respected, as in that long life there is a lot of living and activity, of successes and failures and a reservoir of accumulated wisdom.
Paddy came from Ballycroy in North Mayo and spent some early years in England in the forties a fact few people knew. He came to Boyle in the latter forties and worked in Lowes hardware shop on Bridge Street with another icon named Bill Corcoran from Corrigeenroe. Both are pictured on Boyle GAA teams of the late forties.
He started his own business and expanded it in various ways. Paddy was obviously a very progressive business man and put a very firm stamp on the way he carried on that business. He married Monica and they became a loyal and highly regarded couple by all who came in contact with them. Their family too followed into sport and Sean, Paraic and Seamus were prominent Boyle GAA and soccer players. Sean helped establish Boyle ladies GAA Club and Paddy and Monica were very visible at many of their games. Sean’s death in 2011, still a young man, was a great blow to the family and community.
I remember a particular great afternoon in Daly’s bar. It was after the re-opening of the Abbey Park in May 2005 when a number of people retired to their bar. Amongst them were Danny Burke and his driver Christy Glynn, Mickie Menton, David O’Connor , Damien Killoran and many more talented individuals. It was a great evening of song and merriment. Paddy too participated and displayed a particular trick he had. It was a winning entry as it did not go exactly to plan and was the more enjoyable for that.
Daly’s was the great Fianna Fáil meeting house on Sunday afternoons. Paddy’s adherence to time regulations was legendary and I quote Paraic from his tribute on that; “You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here” Paddy would announce as the clock ticked towards closing time. 
Paddy’s sport- of- passion were his greyhounds and I was often in the Abbey Park to witness them getting a practise run. He must also have been into golf as I was hardly a wet week in Boyle until he tried to recruit me-unsuccessfully- to the game.   
In my time in time in Boyle I got to know two people very well who held Paddy in the highest esteem. One was Canon Dodd and the second was Kathleen Dwyer Morris.
As a quotation collector of sorts I remember a popular one from a man called Grantland Rice which goes; “It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game.” Paddy Daly played his life with a straight bat. May he rest in peace.

Jarlath Michael Campbell R.I.P.
It is a coincidence that I was at a funeral in Castlebar last week of a fellow Mayo man like Paddy Daly. His name was Jarlath Campbell. Both of them worked in Lowes in Boyle in the early fifties. Jarlath was born in 1932 and was younger than Paddy. Both played for Boyle. Jarlath also went on to play for Roscommon in 1952 the year that Roscommon shocked All-Ireland champions Mayo in Connacht. After Boyle Jarlath went to Ballina and won a Mayo senior title with them. Then he immigrated to Canada, got married there and returned to Castlebar in the mid-sixties. He established an express phot-printing business there. Jarlath became very involved in Castlebar Athletic Club which was very successful in the 60s’ and the 70s’. Once when passing through Castlebar I decided to seek him out as I knew he lived in a town area called Kilkenny. I stopped and asked a walker where it was and the person asked me who I was looking for there and when I said Jarlath Campbell he replied; “You’ve found him. I’m he.” A long conversation followed as he enquired about his pals from Boyle, Bill Corcoran and Paddy Daly and he telling me of being in Lough Key Forest Park at numerous Cross Country Meets with members of his family and remembering happy times in Boyle and the Abbey Park. This was again referenced by his daughter in her tribute to her dad at his funeral mass. The family was pleased to see that Jarlath was not forgotten in Boyle. Sometimes we do not follow our instincts in those things and regret it a little afterwards. I was glad also that I was there.

Dáil Voting
Perhaps I am wrong but is there not too much hoopla and crocodile tears in the debate about some voting irregularities in the Dáil? Surely this should not come as a shock horror to most of those present and especially to the Ceann Comhairle whose job it is to have oversight in this respect. Could it not be sorted and the yellow card given without  making a mountain out of molehill and pronouncing the death of democracy because a couple of buttons were pushed?

Insurance Campaign
Now here is a real issue.
I see, from a large sign on the Sligo Road below the GAA grounds, that the two Sinn Féin T.D. s Martin Kenny and Pearse Doherty are having a seminar in King House on this coming Thursday at 8 pm on this hugely important issue.
The subject is also reflected in this week’s Roscommon Herald page 13 where Eugene Murphy T.D. is hosting a seminar called “Time for Insurance Reform” Monday Nov. 4th in The Abbey Hotel, Roscommon at 8 pm.  His keynote speakers amongst others are Pat McDonagh CEO of Supermacs and Robert Troy T.D. F.F. Spokesperson on Enterprise and Jobs.
Nearly all of us know issues with all kinds of insurance, car, house, public liability, health insurance if that is not breaking into a different area. People in business especially those in crèches, any kind of adventure facility.  People are very conscious of their exposure to insurance claims. This is leading to business closures or threat thereof and of reluctance to get involved in x, y, and z because it might lead to insurance claim with the consequent spiralling of their already high premiums. There are reasons being widely broadcast such as exorbitant settlements by insurance companies in Court. Fraudulent claims are also an issue. I read/heard on radio about 4/5 weeks ago that around 90% of patients attending whiplash treatment clinics do not return after their claims come through.
Attending one of those meetings above might be beneficial and also demonstrate that people generally are agitated about it.
P.S. It is something to see that the car of Martin Kenny T. D. and a Garda Station have both been the subjects of arson attacks in recent days. 
P.P.S. When watching Brexit on BBC last night I saw an M.P. Paul Maskey I had never heard of. Paul is apparently a Sinn Féin M.P. I decided to Google to see how many like Paul exist there and who the other Sinn Fein M.P. s’ are. It turned out that there are seven Sinn Féin M.Ps’ returned from Northern Ireland. They do not take part in proceedings at Westminster of course…a long-standing tradition. In their absence my friend Sammy Wilson dominates N.I. interests there!   

Local People in Limelight…a little.

Owen O’Donohoe
It was nice to see that my neighbour and good friend Owen O’Donohoe (correct spelling) featured in  Brian Farrell’s popular series of profiles in The Roscommon Herald page three. Owen had also been nominated in the ‘Roscommon People of the Year’ listing for his contribution, for quite a number of years, to The Brothers of Charity.

Conor Mc Phearson, a grandson of another long-time friend and ‘comrade’of mine, John McPhearson, is playing in goals for Roscommon U 16 team in the Fr. Manning Cup now. So, good luck with that Conor. Boyle down the years has had a number of fine goalkeepers. Young Carney at the moment. A few years ago we had a fine long-time keeper in Jonathan Conroy who got a number of runs with the county. In the seventies we had the county goalkeeper in Gerry O’Dowd. In the fifties there was Bill Corcoran who succeeded Paddy Leonard.

James McDermott Cork Co. Final Winner;
James McDermott a doctor from Roscommon town and a stalwart for Ros. Gaels for years collected a Cork County Senior medal with Nemo Rangers on Sunday last. The last Roscommon person to do similar was Niall Daly with U.C.C. There were two other winners in the fifties both Roscommon greats named Eamon Boland and Eamon Donoghue. Boland had won a number of County finals with Tarmon; Castlerea in the 40s’and Eamon Donoghue won with St. Patrick’s Knockcroghery also in the forties.  The Cork club they both won their final with was called ‘Lees’ in 1955. Does anyone know anything about ‘Lees’?
It would be interesting to gather the names of other Roscommon footballers who have won county medals with other counties. 
 
‘Dark Lies the Island’ film.
Last night I went – out of curiosity- to see the above in Carrick. A lot of the production was filmed, obviously late at night or very early in the morning, in Boyle and around Lough Key.
My curiosity was misguided on this occasion.  

‘And so to bed’   S.P.
               
                     

Friday, October 18, 2019

Update 19th October


UNBELIEVABLE

BREXIT…  A MUST VIEW T.V. WATCH on Sat. 19th from 5.45 pm on BBC… until late.

There is only one story in town this weekend so I just want to alert you to it hence this short Oblique View.  The story is BREXIT. Apparently Boris Johnson has blindsided the great majority of pundits and observers and achieved the impossible.  Superman. In his trail he has left a distraught DUP party with Arlene Foster, Nigel Dodds and the intellectual wing of the party, Sammy Wilson, in shock. Boris, in July, told the DUP that under no circumstances would he ever do x, y, z but then very unfairly did x,y,z! The observers said of this behaviour it was ‘promiscuous’ and that, ‘Boris was faithful to……Boris of course’. So move over ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ the cereal of the moment is…B…R…E…X…I…T.

(The irrelevant Baron Kilclooney (John Taylor former N.I. Minister) who reclines in The House of Lords has hit the headlines with a racial insult of Leo Varadkar and the suggestion that the Brexit Agreement would lead to a United Ireland which would make it necessary for thousands of Unionists to leave Northern Ireland and go to …I presume the mainland.  John Taylor is involved with the newspaper group Alpha the group that once bought The Roscommon Champion and had a premises on St. Patrick Street in  Boyle. The Roscommon Champion no longer exists of course. Anyway that is a minor digression).

Today, Friday, Boris is getting plaudits from Junker, Tusk, Barnier, Macron and a whole panel of politicians including Merkel who he insulted some time ago. He is just outside the nomination time-line for a Nobel ‘can do’ award. Maybe next year Boris. All is forgiven! The Commons last sat on Saturday during The Falklands War when the Iron Lady called the shots.  The fight now is for VOTES on Saturday with the margins being the slimmest. The key is the number of Labour MP's who abandon the (a)pathetic Corbin. These are Labour MP's who represent constituencies which voted LEAVE. They are under very severe pressure as their necks (jobs) are on the line. Macron might divert some Guillotines to Westminster and revive an old English tradition of ‘heads off’.        

Tomorrow, Saturday, we have as the main event THE VOTE in The House of Commons. This is the European Cup Final of Politics played out in the Palace of Westminster. No dodgy pitch there. All red carpet for the occasion.

One would nearly have to pencil in a Spanish nap tomorrow Sat. as first up is the Republic of England v The Commonwealth of Australia at 8.15am I think and then the Republic of Ireland plus the Northern Ireland  v New Zealand All-Blacks (their basketball players are called The Tall Blacks!). In the evening Boyle play Strokestown in Strokestown at 7.30 in the Junior ‘B’ semi-final. Everything is relative!

Tadhg T.V.

The smile inducing commentary of the week comes from realboyle’s television reviewer Tadhg as follow;          

“Monday
Fox 9pm
The Walking Dead
ANOTHER tadhg tv favourite is back this week, a show where our hero tries to survive in a world full of zombies
Now the zombies are not able to talk but just look at you and mumble.
I think I  tried to sell Boyle GAA lotto tickets to a few of them on a couple of Saturday nights.”

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Update 12th October


*** Saturday Night Concert:

Donie O’Connor’s 60th Birthday ‘Bash’ takes place in St. Joseph’s Hall this Saturday Oct. 12th  @ 8. Donations to Mayo/Roscommon Hospice and Tommie Simon Fund. Special Guests St. Josephs Choir.
This is sure to be a really cracking night and maybe even a long night. The Choir was one of the stand-out performers of the July Arts Week programme with their special music renditions and some popular songs. Director Anne Kielty has become a Boyle musical icon who seeks the highest standards and infuses everything she is involved in with great energy and vitality.
Donie O’Connor himself is a hugely talented singer/songwriter with a number of C.D.s incorporating collections of wonderful songs on various themes including the famous ‘Boyle Song’ which is a homage to Boyle town and its personalities in the seventies. There will be many more supporting artists as the music fraternity are always willing to support one of their own in ventures like this.
So we look forward to the Donie Bash and it will bring back memories of two Kieran Emmett inspired great nights one in the hall and the second in King House.

An EPIC trip to Dublin

The Epic Emigration Experience

On Friday October the 25th I took a trip to the capital. I often think that I would have liked to have spent a real wedge of time there to familiarise myself with what Dublin has to offer. That will hardly happen now so it will have to be explored as per usual in short visits. The most recent visit was motivated by two things in no particular order. One was the very positive reports emanating from friends who had visited the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum. 
   EPIC in Dublin's Docklands covers the history of the Irish diaspora and emigration to other countries. Its founder is Downpatrick born,  South Africa raised Coca Cola supremo E. Neville Isdell and it was designed by the London-based design firm and was voted as "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction" at the 2019 World Travel Awards. This is an outstanding achievement for a tourist destination in its very short existence having come on stream in 2016. It is now challenging for world recognition through a voting system.  
It is located on Custom House Quay about 7/8 minutes from Connolly Station. It was formerly a bonded warehouse for wine and this evident by the vaulted ceilings  of the succession of ‘bridge like’ caverns which house the broad range of emigration themes on display.
The varied themes celebrate the millions of Irish people who have emigrated to the various parts of the globe and how many of them and their descendants achieved great things and made enduring impacts on their adopted countries. I was not taking any notes during my three hour tour as I soon realised that I would need to revisit the EPIC Centre again to get a better evaluation of it. There are many connections with Roscommon noted such as Margaret Cousins of Boyle and her work in India also the painter Roderic O’Connor. It was in the traditional music area that Roscommon was best represented. First there was a stirring display of a music session in a pub in London, The Auld Triangle, and there playing were James Carty Jnr. and his uncle James. Minutes later in that same vault we heard more traditional musicians and were introduced to John Carty and Matt Molloy. Nearby were the McNulty family originally from Kilteevan who were prominent entertainers in New York up to the 1950s’. This area had a hugely impressive tribute to Riverdance and Roscommon was represented by Michael (?) Donnellan from Ennis the son of Michael from Ciaran’s Park in Roscommon town. There was also a fine representation of the GAA also with team pictures from clubs around the world. In the one for a Perth, Australia  team was a friend of ours, Sean Casey, just visible in the background. Sean is married to Joan O’Gara of Boyle. I figured he might be visible in any GAA representation so Joan/Séan if you read this you are in there in the EPIC. As James Cagney’s character Coady Jarrett exclaims in the film ‘White Heat’…”Made it Ma! Top of the world”. I’m forcing that in there Sean!
Anyway as General McArthur said ‘I will return’ to the aptly named Epic anon. If anyone else visits it, who reads this, please let me know what they think. As part of my China watch I noticed in the queuing at the reception area A 4 sized laminated pages with the flag of China top left corner. I did not investigate it further after a guide told me they hadn’t noticed it before or knew anything of it. The guides are very helpful and would like a stamp of approval in the evaluation area at the end. There is also a process where you can nominate a person who you feel should be considered for the exhibition. I nominated Maureen O’Sullivan as an example. On a practical level thee are also lockers if you have already done some shopping etc. Also, also, there are numerous eating and coffee locations in the mall of which it is the basement part and you can also (again) exit from the Epic for refreshments and return to the Epic with your day pass. All this information is online of course and as those seasoned travellers will know to avoid mid- summer etc. etc.
I really recommend the EPIC Emigration Experience and of course I am not doing justice to it here just alerting you to it.  

A Couple of Dublin Streets 
The walk from Connolly along Talbot Street to O’Connell St. can be off-putting with a whiff of intimidation from druggies or drinkers arguing. O’Connell St. is a major vista with its ‘what’s that about spire?’ and the great Cleary’s shop swathed in bandages, fast food outlets and a real mix of the good and the not so good. I have to go to the GPO museum yet. Henry Street looks fine now as a pedestrian way but is blighted by the seeing  of ‘down and outs’ in doorways at every 80 metres or so. Why an advanced society cannot provide for these unfortunate people rather than they resorting to this lifestyle is a mystery to me. (Perhaps we have a touch of it in Boyle as we see some individuals whose lives are consumed with just traversing the streets from early morning until night-time.) Down this street I located an in interesting Church now a restaurant and one I can recommend too.

Mossie’s C.D. Launch…Humours of Derrynacoosan
Later that night we were part of the second, third or fourth launch location of  Maurice (Mossie) Martin’s traditional music C.D. titled ‘Humours of Derrynacoosan’ . Derrynacoosan is wee townland not far from Keadue but in Ardcarne Parish. That is the Martin home and where the CD was born and produced. Mossie is very well known in traditional music circles as they say. I have known him since he was a boy when he attended St. Mary’s College here in Boyle. It was as a fine student and as an equally fine footballer that I got to know him nearly 30 years ago. He played for St. Michaels, St. Mary’s College and Roscommon U 16 and minor teams. He was also a very good soccer player with Boyle Celtic. However all along his music developed and has reached a lifetime goal in the production of this impressive musical treat. Noted musician Michael Rooney referenced  Mossie as  ‘… one of the finest exponents of the music of North Connacht’. John Carty in the introductory notes to the CD speaks tellingly of Mossie’s love for the music and how evident this is when he plays or in this instance records the music as in ‘…every sinew of his being, he infectiously shares with his audience and with his fellow musicians.’ This Saturday Oct. 12th  he will be performing at Strokestown Feile and on the 25th he will be back in Sitges near Barcelona at the festival there organised by Carline Wynne of Croghan. A number of Boyle people will also be there as in previous years.
Mossie is supported on the CD by his dad Tom, and family members Áine and  Brendan and accompanied by John Blake on various instruments. John also recorded the CD. Supporting Mossie in The Cobblestone were his dad Tom, Dylan Carlos, from Tulsk and Enda McGreevy from Elphin.  
The Dublin launch was in a noted traditional bar called the Cobblestone in Smithfield owned by the Mulligan family originally from Leitrim.

Roscommon People Shine
Mention of Dylan Carlos above reminds me of Roscommon people who have achieved in their various field recently. In no particular order starting with Dylan.
  1.  Dylan became the first Roscommon man to win the All-Ireland Senior fiddle competition at the All-Ireland (All-World) Fleadh last summer in Drogheda.
  2. Enda Smith Captain of Roscommon Connacht Champions.
  3. Chris O’Dowd Emmy award winner.
  4. Eoin Kennedy son of Eugene of Elphin Street, Boyle who captured his 10th All-Ireland Senior handball championship.   
  5. Jack Carty Rugby international with Ireland in the World (rugby) Cup.  
  6. The wins by Aoifa and Lisa O’Rourke from Castlerea in boxing.
  7. Sinéad Flanagan (father from Elphin) Rose of Tralee 2019.
  8. Ml. Corrigan Boyle Celtic on Irish junior soccer team v Northern Ireland.   (Sean Purcell actually captained an Irish U 16 team v England in Longford circa 22 years ago).   
  9. Roscommon Golf Club members, Fed Daly All-Ireland tournament winners.
  10. All-Star nominations Niall Daly and Conor Cox. If I have missed some other notable achievements please let me know.

Brexit

I hear that relevant negotiators have moved into a ‘tunnel’ in Brussels as I speak. It seems as if there is some kind of a breakthrough of sorts in Brexit negotiations. We can only wait (it won’t be long) to see how that turns out. Nothing is predictable in this ongoing drama. As the Taoiseach said after meeting with Boris Johnson some time ago this may only be the beginning of a huge cycle of negotiations which could last for a decade. As Churchill said after the battle of el Alamein  
“This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.”  

Turkey/Syria @ the Kurds

The U.S. troops have withdrawn from the border area of Kurdish Syria and now the Turkish army are ‘clearing that area’ of what they see as terrorists with the unavoidable collateral damage to life and property of the innocent.
There has been the threat of sanctions by European countries and organisations. What is really interesting is the response of Turkish President  Erdogan who has threatened to send millions of Syrian refugees to the west. He can facilitate this by opening the gates of the camps in Turkey where there are some 3 million Middle East refugees . Much of these camps are financed by the west but if they employ sanctions the refugee card could be played. That is a big trump card to hold!

Rugby in Japan
The rugby World Cup is encountering climate difficulties in Japan which could cause an almighty row if say Scotland get scotched from the tournament if they cannot play their last game.

The World Athletics Championships were held in Doha where temperatures meant the marathon had to start at midnight and even with this nearly half the competitors were unable to complete the course due to heat and humidity inducing illness. Eamon Sweeney in last Sunday’s Independent had a telling article on these games and the influence of drug cheats and their apologists and all that. I watched little of it from the sparsely occupied stadium. The next World Athletics C ’ships are possibly going to Eugene Oregon the home of NIKE Corporation. So corporations can get major events once the domain of countries. Was that the case with the Olympic Games on 1996 in Atlanta home of Coca Cola? The top man in Athletics is Lord Sebastian Coe of England. Next year the Olympics will take place in Tokyo where it had been previously in 1964. In 2020 it takes place from July 24 to August 9th .        

The next soccer World Cup will be held in Qatar another hotspot during our winter and at the height of normal soccer leagues in Western Europe. The top man here used to be Sepp Blatter our rep. was (is ?) John Delaney.



Nobel Prize for Peace the President of Ethiopia
 The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his or his involvement in peace initiatives in East Africa especially between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
It is encouraging that it is felt that a leader of substance has emerged in that part of troubled East Africa. He joins the small number of African recipients which include Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu.
Another candidate was the Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg for her advocacy on ‘global warming’ now being referred to as ‘climate change’…milder title!                             




Thursday, September 26, 2019

Update 27th September


Our Big Game on Sunday; Boyle v Padraig Pearses

Boyle return to the County Semi-Finals on Sunday next at Hyde Park at 2.45. Their opposition, Padraig Pearses, are possible favourites for the title. Boyle narrowly lost in their first round to Pearses so they too are in with a good chance of progressing on Sunday. This will be Boyle’s third semi-final in three years the other two being in ’16 and ’17 where they lost out to St. Brigid’s and Roscommon Gaels. I see a different atmosphere about the team this year though and this could be a breakthrough year. Boyle are a better side this year and there is a quiet resolve to maximise the window of opportunity that seems to be there this time. However having said all that while their first half performance against Michael Glavey’s in Castlerea last Saturday was scintillating their opening 20 minutes of the second half was puzzling dipping into a valley.  It was like an effort at Dutch football deserting  the defensive trenches to play in no man’s land. I’m confident though that all that is absorbed and that winning pragmatism will emerge on Sunday. So hopefully the town, which currently has hedged its bets in terms of flag-waving will, flower after Sunday. Tonight -Thursday- I drove home through the town and I am puzzled by a noticeable absence of the colours even in places where it would be thought a given.
Win or lose I applaud the huge effort that all of the panel members and management have put into this and previous campaigns. They are putting Boyle football on the map and hopefully a big and VOCAL support from Boyle will congregate in a not very hospitable environs of the large stadium that is Hyde Park.      

Two Weeks in the Life of…

All-Ireland Football Reflection 

Oscar Wilde said he always wanted to have something to read in his travels and that was the reason why he used to carry his diary with him. I keep a raw record also which is locked in being illegible to everyone else but myself!
Why I mention it here is that when I sat down to stay on track with a few paragraphs bi-weekly I wondered what will I ‘scribble’ this evening ? Also the evening is short as I am going to Roscommon …again …as I hear over my shoulder.  I left off last time preparing to go to the All-Ireland football final replay. That is nearly forgotten now! However it was a real contest between two gladiatorial giants. For quite a while it was a chess game with little to choose at half time. Dublin reenergised from an escape in the drawn game saw new heroes emerge with Mannion, O’Callaghan, Kilkenny,  Cluxton and a relatively unknown i.e. Murchan striding around Coke like antelopes in a safari park. The old aristocrats Kerry brought their warriors and great tradition to the table too with names we will hear for the next decade like Clifford, O’Shea, Murphy and Geaney but in the end the blues for a combination of reasons finally arrived at station number 5 and being cast into the folklore of Gaelic football for as long as it survives.
Last Sunday in the independent Sports Section there were two columns on the back page one by Colm O’Rourke and the other by Joe Brolly. I haven’t read Colm O’Rourke’s piece yet maybe on the train tomorrow but I have scanned Brolly’s. towards the end it deals with the Dublin football team in broadest terms and how they have reached out to Diarmuid Connolly as told by selector Declan Darcy. It is worthy of your attention. A telling end to his column is the following, and I quote " Long after the stadium was empty the stewards at Coke park went into the empty Dublin dressing- room, only to find Stephen Cluxton mopping the floor" !

Having returned to base I tuned in on Sunday to the ladies All-Ireland final. After a tough contest in terrible conditions they won their third title in a row. I had hoped Galway would win but they fell short. I expect that they will return


Sunday Morning Hurling Abbey Park on the 29th
I have been informed that the official launch of a hurling initiative will take place on Sunday morning next at the Abbey Park at 11m. I think that hurling is the supreme game and that it was never better. The skills which are on display in top games are mesmerising. And what’s more it’s getting better if that is possible. I played hurling as a boy since it was part of the heritage of Athleague with which club I played as I did in the CBS.
There have been a number of times that hurling has sparked as if into life in Boyle. I remember Richard McGee mentioning that it was around in the late forties. A legendary character called Bob Carr who came from Offaly and had a saw-mill at Ardcarne promoted the game through the later sixties. Army officer P.J.Keane, who played for Limerick and Munster, got a good young team together in the early seventies with T. P. Toolan and Martin Candon being on Roscommon under-age teams. The fire went out but a Mister O’Dowd originally from Galway but back in Boyle from England tried again to light the flame. I do not know why it died again.
Now I am told that a number of people are setting out on that journey again with the support of the County Hurling Board for Minors. From what I have heard there are enthusiasts from Cork and Wexford amongst those involved. I really hope it catches on. I see its sister game camogie beginning to be nurtured by a number of dedicated and excellent ladies in the park at the moment. Bringing a game like hurling to a new place is not a short project it is a ten year one and I wish it well because to me it is the Riverdance of sport.  

 A Scottish Story of Appreciation
I will just paste to here a nice heroic story as told by Neil Francis rugby columnist of the Sunday Independent of Sept. 15th  

“A TRANQUIL gathering in the Scottish highlands is disturbed as a small boy falls into the icy waters of a nearby river. There are shrieks as the boy is carried away towards a waterfall and certain death. Before anyone can even think, a young man dives in and swims heroically for the toddler. Just as it seems that the waterfall is about to take him, the hero lunges and grabs the child by the scruff of the neck. He scrambles for an outlying rock right on the edge of the waterfall. Against all odds, he holds on until they can both be pulled to safety. Once back on land, the hero returns the child to his grandfather. The old man turns to the rescuer and points to the child's head:

"He had a hat..."

(I got interrupted when doing up this blog which I send to post late Thursday night ... well actually very early Friday am.  Perhaps I can get back to the second half on Saturday!)
 

     

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Update 12th September


It has been brought to my attention that;
 At the car charging point, outside the Garda station, cars are parking and denying reasonable access to the charging facility. It is a pretty thoughtless practise but ... Perhaps there should be a marked/coloured rectangle to highlight the charging parking area. It is not as if there is not reasonable parking near that space on either side of the road. While there are occasional breaches of the disability spaces reasonable people do respect them. My reporter was pretty annoyed at the practise which I have to admit did not catch my attention. It will now of course!

Boyle GAA Senior Team in County Championship Quarter Finals.

Consider flyin' the flag.
Following a creditable draw against a good Western Gaels side at Frenchpark on Sunday Boyle have advanced to the quarter-finals of the senior championship. They have been here and beyond a couple of years ago but I sense the feeling is more optimistic this year.
Boyle were defeated in their first game against Padraig, gave a dazzling display against Clann na nGael and came back from a 7 point deficit to draw with Western Gaels. (in coaching I had a few mantras, one of which was; ‘If you are 7 points ahead you haven’t won the game and if you are 7 points down you haven’t lost the game. Another was ‘fisted points count hi’…Mickey Linden) Western Gaels weren’t aware of that manta, replaced a couple of important players, took the foot off the pedal and were thus consigned to a difficult ‘play-off’ against an improving St. Brigid’s. Boyle’s second half performance was top class with a number of significant moments. These included three big catches by Evan McGrath; a good tactical foul by Sean Purcell!, a strong shoulder charge by Colin Goldrick and a magnificent period by Cian McKeon which included a second goal and 3 mighty pointed free kicks from difficult positions especially the one to tie the game at the death.
For a more extended report you can tune into Ronan Flanagan’s account in this week’s The Roscommon Herald, Sport’s section.

In any event this is one of those years where the window of opportunity beckons, I know it is the correct managerial policy that the focus is always  on the NEXT game. As the Jockey answered when asked; ‘Which fence in the Grand National circuit do you fear the most?’ He responded; ‘Always the next one!’

Still Boyle town could begin some polite encouragement and recognition of what is going on with a bit of flag waving and display of same.  

This year, incredibly, I have two sporting teams in the race they being Boyle of course and my native parish of Fuerty. A few years ago Fuerty was a humble junior team but they have climbed the ladder incrementally in the last five years and are now in with the big boys. Great to see.  

Boyle Celtic’s Michael Corrigan
I wish to heartily congratulate Michael Corrigan of Boyle Celtic who has been called into the Irish National Junior soccer team. It is a recognition of his consistent high quality performances for Boyle Celtic over recent years and his goal-scoring prowess to boot. So well done Michael and I hope you enjoy the experience. Fair play to you.

Eoin Kennedy’s 10th All-Ireland
In reading realboyle in the last week you will have been alerted to the achievements of Eoin Kennedy son of Eugene and nephew of Pat and Joe of Elphin Street. Eoin, at the age of 40 years captured his 10th All-Ireland senior title in the final versus the favourite Robbie McGrath from Westmeath. It was also special in that it was the last such final to be played in this particular complex at Croke Park as it is being replaced. Maybe footballers Donie and Enda smith might remember dabbling in the game against the national School alley walls with Eoin close to 15 years ago when Eoin was involved in a Setanta t.v. programme.  

Brexit and Westminster House of Commons dis..ORDER
So Johnson has ‘prorogued’ (a quiz question there!) Parliament, a hugely unusual tactic. It is the tactic of many historical dictators Hitler being the most obvious. (There are considerable parallels between the period of the rise of Hitler and the collapse of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the late 20s’ and early 30s’…Hindenburg/The Queen of England etc.). It was an unseemly event. I occasionally used to attend college debates and raucous, disorderly events many of them were. The most respected stars were those who heckled and for a few people that was their vocation. Westminster was no better on Monday night. One regular veteran back bench Tory contributor referred to the ‘RABBLE over there’ i.e. on the Labour, Liberal and S.N.P. benches. He should have consulted his wing mirror to reflect on his own ‘rabble’. It is truly amazing to me to see people using their mobile phones, the smirking and shared jollity in the House of Commons as they sail like the crew of the Titanic towards the iceberg. The difference is that this crowd KNOW that there is a huge iceberg in their path!  Anyway Speaker Bercow had another difficult day in the chair and understandably has decided to retire at the end of October. Johnson blusters around with a cohort of believers while the majority wouldn’t believe the Lord’s prayer from him. The Commons passed a law preventing a No Deal exit but for Johnson & Co. that is for interpretation. He looked for a general election which would be like spraying the country’s present divisions with a generous covering of political propellant. A report has now emerged called ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ which lays out the stark consequences for a post No Deal Britain.
I must commend the Irish Taoiseach (which would not be a regular practise) for one enlightening analysis point during his press conference with Johnson while the British Prime Minister was in Dublin. Mister Varadkar stated that Deal or No Deal on October the 31st was only the BEGINNING of the divorce process and that the negotiations on so many levels would continue for years. BREXIT is just an early fence in the Grand National Aintree circuit. In no way can a withdrawal by Britain be just a case of pulling up the drawbridge at Dover and covering that country in a symbolic duvet. The mind boggles at it all. Books on this period will fill libraries in the decades to come.
Last Monday night I was impressed by two people. The leader of the emerging clearly REMAIN Liberal Democrats, Scottish lady Joe Swinson and the Commons leader of the S.N.P. i.e. Scottish Nationalist Party (who favour an Independent Scotland in appropriate circumstances) Ian Blackford. You would imagine that the Irish Sinn Féin party would learn something from the S.N.P. in terms of being in the right place at the right time. But as they say themselves their time will come! They are not readers of the Bard it seems…who wrote ‘There is a tide in the affairs of men etc…’  Scéal eile sé sin.  

Television Watch
De Valera in the States 1919/1920
I probably watch too much television which is allied to having to sit down! Anyway -which I should not use as much as I do- my favourite genre of programmes are probably documentaries. (I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure). I record some of them for future viewing but that does not always happen. Last night I watched De Valera in America in 1919-1920. He was going home in a reverse way. He got a huge reception from the millions of Irish or Irish decent there. It was not all happiness though and there were opposing views in certain media. The United States had been an ally of G.B. in WW1 which had just ended and certain swathes of the country did not see the justification for giving credibility to an upstart calling himself the ‘President’ of an as yet unestablished state i.e. Ireland. The relations between the primary Irish American leaders Devoy and Cohalan was not always sweetness and light either. De Valera during the tour got the appendage ‘Chief’ after visiting an Indian tribe which had, remarkably, supported Ireland during the Famine. $5 million was collected for the emerging Irish Republic. It is disparagingly suggested that some of this money was still in the control of the De Valera faction a decade later when Dev established the ‘Irish Press’ as a supporting organ of Fianna Fáil.
I learned a couple of things there which I may forget but that is how things go. Every day a learning day.

“Facing Ali”
This was a very different theme. It was based on a book by Stephen Brunt and the film was made in 2009. To be regarded highly by opponents and those you confront is a rare tribute. (I mentioned that in relation to         
Eugene McGee recently). In the film nine of the top fighters who fought Ali were the primary sources with films of the fights they were involved with Ali. I remember as a boy getting up in the middle of the night with my father to listen to radio commentary of a Cassius Clay fight with Sonny Liston. It was a short shift). While Ali seemed very hostile in the build up to his fights the boxers interviewed talked of him with great respect and emotion. There were incredible fights such as ‘The Thrilla in Manilla’ v Joe Frazier and ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’ with George Foreman. Ali missed out on some four of his best fighting years during a dispute where he refused to be enlisted into the U.S. army to go to Vietnam. He was born in 1942 and died in 2016. In his latter days he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. During that time he made a memorable appearance lighting the flame at the U.S. Olympics at Atlanta in ’96. He was also in Croke Park (for the second time) at The Special Olympics in Dublin in 2003. Frazier, Foreman, Cooper, Norton, Spinks and Holmes were all in this film and for a number there were tears in their eyes as they reflected on their old adversary ‘The Greatest’, Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali.

There are two other very worthy  documentaries running just now ‘Spotlight on the Troubles’ in Northern Ireland Tuesdays on BBC 1. The other is a forensic analysis of ‘The Rise of the Nazis’ and Saturday and Monday on BBC 2 at 9.       

Missing Dogs
Some of you might have seen a sign at Shilling Hill but not got the message if you were in a car. They are elsewhere also I’m told. Well in walking by it yesterday I got the full message as follows;

€,1000 (one thousand, true) Reward
 ‘Help get Holly and Bozo home, owners are distraught.
 Missing from Ballintogher …last seen in Ballyfarnon
 Call Gayle on 0877629396.

While this is a distance from Ballintogher or Ballyfarnon even the reward and sense of the sign demonstrate a real loss to the owners. Hopefully there may be a positive ending.

Sin é

‘And so to bed’.