Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Update 11th July

Plastic, Plastic and more Plastic.

I ‘put out the GAA bins’ at the Abbey Park. I could try and make a few smart remarks regarding that post but I am not in the humour to do that right now. A temporary condition I imagine. The week after the magnificent Féile week-end I went to do this as usual. I knew that there would be a complement of full bins. That was a simple assessment. In bringing those full bins out to the road they were very heavy. I did my usual investigation and saw them packed with plastic bottles generally. One of the bins had almost all recyclable EMPTY bottles. But it was not a Wers bin, Wers being our current garbage contractor. When I transferred the recyclable material to an appropriate bin the bottom third was just garbage which was a recyclable spoiler. No big deal there just a little disappointing after the initial optimism.
Then to some other bins which weighed as if they had a generous number of concrete blocks included. When you pay by weight this is a costly process for disposing concrete blocks. On investigation there were no blocks on board of course but what gave that impression was a multitude of plastic bottles containing water to a variety of levels. I am conscious of this for a number of years now. The new kids on the block are the Polystyrene cups which are commonly called Styrofoam cups. When capped they are stubborn space occupiers and when left with liquid they are not… to use that word again…recyclable.  
 I do not know what other GAA Clubs do in the disposal of waste but there must be some innovation somewhere. At a match you can ask a person from a neighbouring club how his teams are going but it is not a great conversation plank to ask “By the way how does your club deal with plastic bottles?”  The BIG QUESTION is how can we reduce the amount of plastic bottles that find their way in GAA grounds into their bins? Before I retire from being the bouncer for bins I hope to achieve something in that area.
I see in The Roscommon Herald of July 9th bottom of page 14 a headline; “Twelve (Roscommon Town) businesses sign up to refill project”. This is where businesses agree to refill reusable water bottles of the public for free. Apparently 2.5 million plastic water bottles are disposed of every day in this country of which 40% are recycled. Apparently there are ‘special’ water reusable bottles as the usual plastic bottles, if you continue to use them, flake plastic or something like that. I am certainly in the market for ideas/suggestions regarding this subject.


A short time ago I mentioned a proposition of a friend of mine regarding the renaming of Boyle as Abbeboyle which it had been centuries ago. I thought it would illicit some comment but alas … Amongst my favourite poems today is one called ‘The Listeners’.

The Listeners By Walter De La Mare

"Is there anybody there?" said the Traveller,           
Knocking on the moonlit door; 
And his horse in the silence champed the grass       
Of the forest's ferny floor;         
And a bird flew up out of the turret,   
Above the Traveller's head:       
And he smote upon the door again a second time; 
"Is there anybody there?" he said.      
But no one descended to the Traveller;          
No head from the leaf-fringed sill        
Leaned over and looked into his grey eyes,  
Where he stood perplexed and still.    
But only a host of phantom listeners   
That dwelt in the lone house then        
Stood listening in the quiet of the moonlight
To that voice from the world of men: 
Stood thronging the faint moonbeams on the dark stair, 
That goes down to the empty hall,      
Hearkening in an air stirred and shaken         
By the lonely Traveller's call.      
And he felt in his heart their strangeness,      
Their stillness answering his cry,           
While his horse moved, cropping the dark turf,      
'Neath the starred and leafy sky;          
For he suddenly smote on the door, even     
Louder, and lifted his head:--    
"Tell them I came, and no one answered,     
That I kept my word," he said.  
Never the least stir made the listeners,           
Though every word he spake    
Fell echoing through the shadowiness of the still house    
From the one man left awake:  
Ay, they heard his foot upon the stirrup,       
And the sound of iron on stone,           
And how the silence surged softly backward,          
When the plunging hoofs were gone.     

                                                                                                                                                               The Games ……Super 8s’.

So Roscommon v Tyrone

The big game between Roscommon and Tyrone takes place this coming Saturday in Hyde Park at 5. Roscommon has had a month now since the Connacht Final win over Galway while Tyrone has been through a couple of games since their loss in the Ulster championship. Which side benefits most from their programme or non- programme is to be seen. Tyrone gave Roscommon a real red alert with their demolition of Cavan last Sunday. While we in Roscommon have had our disappointments Cavan supporters have had disappointment in spades since they were royalty in the Gaelic football over 50 years ago. This game like many can go so many ways and it is impossible to call. I cannot say Tyrone will win as I just cannot do that publically even if I felt that way. So I say I just haven’t a clue as to how it will go. Tyrone are firm favourites with the way they dealt with Roscommon last year in Croke Park is the championship evidence. Roscommon teams of late seem to get lost in Croke Park. So Hyde Park is an advantage with a partisan crowd. If the suspension of Peter Hart sticks that too is an advantage. Roscommon are a better team this year. There are a number of extras this season. Connor Cox is a big one, the collective of the three Dalys is a second, the pace and obvious ‘conditioning’ of the team looks good and so on. Cox will probably face/hear the full range of Tyrone players palette of which ‘sledging’ is a serious issue. The opening 17 and a half minutes are key but then so are the other quarters especially the final quarter which will tell us a lot. With Dublin in the group the other teams have to win two games so this game is just a necessary component of continuing interest in the group in terms of results. The reality of dead rubber games is something that has to be addressed in the Super 8s’ structure.

Mayo take out Galway
Last Sunday after a pathetic first half by Galway followed by a feisty second half when Galway nearly stole the game Mayo survived and got to the Super 8s’. This is one of the top games of the coming week-end.
The RTE schedule for Sat. RTE 2 has Dublin v Cork. This should tell us something about what sporting life in the GAA Coliseum will be like this year.  I do not know for sure but maybe Roscommon v Tyrone is on Sky.
Sunday, RTE 2 Kilkenny v Cork (hurling) and Tipp. v- team of the moment- Laois. On RTE 1 on Sunday at 3.45 Kerry v Mayo. 
Apart from our own game on Sat. the two stand-out games are Kilkenny v Cork in hurling and Kerry v Mayo on Sunday. Joe Brolly writing on Mayo last Sunday issued a health warning on watching them as follows

“Watching Mayo playing football is like watching Amir Khan boxing. The knockout could come at any moment.
This fallibility is what has made them the most entertaining team in Irish sport for almost a decade, and what makes their games unmissable. Before the throw-in, after the ritual strangulation of the anthem, the announcer should say "Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a safety notice. Would all patrons with weak hearts please leave the ground."

The other game to try and watch is Kilkenny v Cork. This is traditional rivalry at its best. 

Wimbledon a Television Institution
Declan Lynch reviewing television over the week-end gave a great tribute to the survival of Wimbledon on terrestrial television BBC. He began his piece thus; “Sir David Attenborough arrived on the mainstage at Glastonbury, hailed as a god, which of course he is”. He wrote about Attenborough’s role in establishing these great set piece coverage of historic and sporting events sixty and fifty years ago. One special one disappeared and went to the Sky pay per view television it being the British Open Golf Tournament (The Open) which will be in Portrush shortly. Lynch referred to this as; “A symbolic act of vandalism against the most venerable tradition of our TV civilization”. The BBC coverage over the decades -post war- was responsible for expanding enormously the game of golf with its great iconic commentators Henry Longhurst and Peter Allis. It is a game in decline since it left its nurturing medium.
At the top of a Google list of the top ten of commentators of BBC is the Australian cricket commentator Richie Benaud; ‘A man who mastered the art of silence!’ Tennis whose great commentator was Dan Maskell who prompted an American guest commentator to suggest that he ‘was lucky he was not being paid by the word’. Wimbledon is possibly the last sporting extravaganza where the ART of broadcast commentary and the traditional cinemascope production survive.

Brexit on T.V.
My  programme of the television week has been ‘Brexit: Behind Closed Doors’. (RTE 1 Monday and Tuesday) Its prior promotion was advertised as;      
‘The gripping untold story of the Brexit negotiations - from the inside. For two years, Belgian film maker, Lode Desmet, has had exclusive access to the Brexit coordinator of the European parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, and his close knit team. This revelatory fly on the wall film captures the off the record conversations and arguments of the European negotiators as they devise their strategy for dealing with the British’.

This included an Irish lady, -Edel ? I think- in a prominent role. Also in a prominent role was some wine and bad language! If Theresa May and company did twitter it would have a meltdown.
For me it joins a number of Brexit  dramatic documentaries as my television programmes of the past year. Looking at the warnings regarding the damage that Brexit will do to employment in the Republic of Ireland and today’s report of job losses of 30/40 thousand in Northern Ireland and then see what the U.K’s political response with its probable new Prime Minister being Boris Johnson. Unbelievable…. but ….it’s not!


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