Blog Friday Nov. 29.
1. Congratulations to Conor Mc Phearson who was the goalie on the Roscommon Fr. Manning Shield -winning U 16 team at Longford last week-end. Recently I referenced the tradition Boyle has had in producing very good goalkeepers so Conor looks set to continue that tradition. My comrade friend, his grandfather John, would be proud of him. Well done Connor.
2. I saw a list of the critics of Greta Thunberg the young Swedish environmentalist with the top three listed as; Donald Trump, Jeremy Clarkson and Piers Morgan!
3. China Watch; (a) the phone ap. Tik Tok where a young girl took a pop at China and its treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang province. It is suggested that over one million people there are in ‘re-education camps’. (b) The owners of stockbroker Goodbody have agreed a deal to sell the company to Bank of China.
4. On the death of Australian writer and commentator Clive James. The Irish Times had a fine and succinct tribute to him in their headline; ’Clive James-Few others did so many things so well’.
5. Boyle GAA…Super Saturday Nov. 30th. (a) Boyle Minor ladies v Clann Na nGael at Tarmonbarry in Div. 1 Final at 12. (b) Garda Cup Final, Boyle v Ml. Glavey’s /Eire Og at Boyle @ 1 (c) Keenan Cup Final @ B. at 2.30 provisional. (d) Boyle U 20 v St. Ciaran’s i.e. Fuerty & Creggs at Kilbride in Div. 3 Semi-Final.
6. In England the senior police officer present at the Hillsborough ground, David Duckenfield, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in 1989 was found not guilty of responsibility for the disaster. The big cats rarely get bitten.
7. Forklift driver wanted. Apply to the management of the Dáil building, services provision.
Death of Fleadh Cowboy
Sean has paid tribute to Philip Donnelly already. Ronan Collins had referred to him being in Waterford hospital on his radio show last Monday. His death reminded me again of a great occasion in 1984 in a packed Ceili House Bar. Apparently, Sean (O’Dowd) met Philip and his friend a barrister called Meehan in Lough Key Forest Park on a sunny April, Easter Sunday in ‘84 and the result was a magic session in the then music mecca of Boyle, The Ceile House (where Londis is now). Amplification, instruments and a supporting cast came on board and the music echoed across The Crescent. It continued until the late hour of 11.13 p.m.! Closing time on Sunday nights then was 10! At 11.13 Gardai on duty called and the great session ended abruptly. Names were taken and when Mister Donnelly gave his address it was 1203 Apple Blossom Street, Nashville, Tennessee. The Garda responded by asking him; “Have you any home address?”
Subsequently at a court session in June the defendants of the misdemeanour, the ‘ons’, were listed in court. Mr. Callan gave a spirited defence with “It was Easter Sunday night and the place was thronged with Visitors! The people got carried away with this famous musician”. In fairness a Garda witness suggested that; ‘Most of those on the premises were about to leave!”
The licensee was fined £10 while the ‘ons’ were fined £3 and a further small number were fined £5 for whatever reason! There were a number of people from the Gaeltacht and a German couple from ‘Munchen’ though they were in Corrigeenroe for some time then.
There was a small report in the following week’s ‘The Roscommon Herald’ headed; ‘Man from Nashville Was to Blame’. The newspaper actually found its way to Philip in Nashville where it was enlarged and placed in a picture frame which adorned licensed premises there for a time.
Many years later the Clontarf Cowboy returned to Barry Lowe’s Moving Stairs and I brought him the paper account cutting I had retained which he read out to his appreciative audience.
He was a great musician and entertainer and he is fondly remembered for his gigs in Boyle and especially the memorable occasion on that Easter Sunday of ’84.
Bernard McGuire a Note
One of Boyle’s outstanding individuals Dr. Bernard McGuire died two years ago on November 24th 2017. I got to know him in U.C.G.’S boxing club in the late sixties and I was happy to see him come to Boyle circa 1980. He was an imaginative man and a great doctor. He was regularly engaged with some project or other from trying to harness water power for electricity generation. A more subtle project which I saw him complete and getting an airing was his construction of a concertina.
Every time I have occasion to visit Ashlynn cemetery I look over the roadside wall to where he lies in the shadow of a yew tree. While the following poem is a tribute to the ‘Village Blacksmith’ and the tree is chestnut it has echoes appropriate to me remembering Bernard.
The Village Blacksmith
Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
By- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow –
Crèches in the Regulatory Spotlight
An issue in the news right now is the climate regarding the regulation of crèches following the ‘RTE Investigates’ expose of July last. A chain of Dublin crèches titled ‘Hyde and Seek’ came in for severe criticism for its supervision protocols in that programme and are now under threat from TUSLA -the Child and Family Agency- of being delisted.
This also led to tsunami of regulatory demands by TUSLA on crèche administrators in recent days, one being fire regulations. The date for these to be in place has now been postponed. In radio coverage of all this it seemed as if quite a number of crèches would not be able to comply by stated date and also with cost concerns. This would lead to their possible closure which would cause serious problems for parents of children presently in their care and reduce the number of facilities in an already restricted environment.
Crèches and child care is a huge strain on young couples in terms of access and cost. It is often said child care was like another mortgage.
There have a number of articles in the print media on GAA issues in a number of counties. Last Sunday’s Independent had a long article relating to Meath where the now former Chairman tried to induce a referee to sway a game or some such result against a particular club with which he had a gripe.
Limerick had two members of their hurling team sent home early from a trip to New York. There seemed to be a reference to two other Limerick stories but I have not seen the other two.
Galway seems to have a series of issues. In one the founder and chief of Supermacs, Pat Mc Donagh has begun seeking to know how the sponsorship he has given the county has been spent. While he seems to have donated a large amount of money he has certainly benefitted by the enormous brand- name recognition that his company has, particularly in Galway. Last weekend after getting the Sunday independent as I always do I tried to dismiss, into the recycling bin, some irrelevant sections (to me) such as the Life magazine. Not last Sunday though as the dramatic cover picture was of Galway hurler Padraic Mannion. Padraic was striding through a group of people, mostly youngsters, in Sierra Leone in West Africa. It was accompanied by a solid three page article by John Green sports editor of the Indo. outlining the trials and tribulations of that country. That was good.
But what caught me was Padraic as he walked like a Cuchulainn through the street. He wore the Galway hurling jersey emblazoned on which was the ’Supermac’s’ signature advertisement. I am looking at it now and the incongruity of it is to me striking. Maybe it is an odd observation but it is mine.
Indeed when one thinks of it the GAA under-age practise of taking teams, winners and especially losers, for a treat after games and what are the venues we have been taking them to…Supermacs or McDonalds? When nutritionists begin to part of under-age back room teams they might have something to say about that. I’ve gone up a side-road there.
Counties with issues …Mayo… consistent
We had our own serious episode circa 2004 of which I know very little. I’d like to though.
‘May your gods go with you’.