Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The people have spoken / Paul Earley / G.A.A. Fixture Postponements / Boyle Celtic

The people have spoken ... loudly!

And they have been pretty articulate and nuanced as well. Once again the small party in a coalition has been whipped. In a J.F. Kennedy speech he said; ‘He who rides the tiger often ends up inside’. Labour have taken the big hit. As Pat Rabbite said; ‘Labour have taken 80% of the blame for 20% of the input’. It may not be fair but ….

In the Roscommon County Council elections, with the luxury  of hindsight, things went almost as expected though. John Cummins did excellently and deservedly so as it did for Valeria Byrne. Rachael Doherty continued the family tradition. Charlie Hopkins experienced the difficulty of making the come-back. Gerry Garvey saw the tight geographical zone could not do it all in the unwieldy electoral area. The real surprise was the performance of Maura Hopkins.

Indeed the performances of many first timers in these elections was pretty awesome. While Miss Hopkins would probably take the plaudit of coming from nowhere Kathleen Shanagher in Roscommon town was pretty impressive also. Oral Leyden and Dominick Connolly did pretty well  seeing that they could not vote for themselves! Nigel Dineen showed the competitive edge with a fine win. While there were many disappointed contenders the sight and thoughts of long-time councillor Sean Beirne of Mid Roscommon after defeat represented the heartache. He is quoted as saying ‘The party might be able to save the country but they are not fit to save themselves’. Being a councillor was the totality of his life and what to do now - perhaps too old to reinvent himself. It is the dilemma and the trauma faced by thousands who lose or have lost their jobs generally.

In the European elections there were a number of spectacular first timers also. Perhaps Luke Ming Flanagan was top of the podium in that respect despite the claims of the three Sinn Fein winners in Dublin, the South and the Midlands North West constituencies.

When one considers Ming, the historians of political firsts might look again at Roscommon which has broken the mould a number of times down the years. This started with the election of Count Plunkett in 1917 who after election declared he would absent himself from Westminster and became the first Sinn Fein member elected. In the late forties footballer Jack McQuillan became a Clann na Poblachta T.D. The suggestion by his running mate - I think he was Michael Kelly - that; ‘With my brains and McQuillan’s boots I should take the seat’. As it happened the boots of McQuillan proved the winner.

A few years later McQuillan, having left Clann na Poblachta, formed a formidable Dail combination with Dr. Noel Browne. Then in later decades there was the turn of Tom Fox the then defender of the status of Roscommon Hospital.

In 2011 came the most unique winner of them all with the victory of Luke Ming Flanagan. His ascent has been meteoric. One can only imagine the impression- visual or otherwise - he will make in the corridors  of Europe. He will certainly get the wider media attention now.
The marathon count has not ended as I write but Marian Harkin looks a real possibility of winning thus returning two independents, one Sinn Fein and one Fine Gael M.E.P. in this constituency. The length of this count especially has revived calls for electronic voting.

In Germany where the election was on Sunday all was sorted by Monday with a multiple of Ireland’s population and M.E.P's. In terms of observing the count one was divided between the myriad of media sources. However I think in those terms the Twitter contribution of Hugh Lynn deserves special commendation. Hugh was short of health warnings which permeated all other sources.

So while Minister Phil Hogan may have suggested that ‘Paddy now knows the price of water’ a few weeks ago perhaps Big Phil now knows the cost of the water price in the only really hard currency available to the general public i.e. the ballot box. This encouraged commentator John Bowman to suggest that this was a ‘Historic election’ with ‘no vote like it in one hundred years’ possibly heralding  ‘a Fianna Fail/Fine Gael coalition’. There was an awful lot  there for the power brokers to think about.    

Paul Earley;

It was sad to hear of an accident to Paul Earley incurred while he was cycling in tandem with the Ras. Paul was on social media relaying his experience and saying also that it might have been even more serious but for the quality of his helmet. While the rise of cycling is to be applauded it is a risky activity on narrow Irish roads and streets. This country makes little or no allowance for cyclists now. During the last week I drove to a game out the Strandhill Road and passing cyclists on that winding narrow road was a real challenge. Cycling in cities like Dublin is also growing but challenging. As I said recently mutual respect and consideration is vital. So I wish Paul a speedy recovery and I hope that it does not hinder  his developing T.V. sports career. 

G.A.A. Fixture Postponements;

The postponing of club league games last week raised one of the real thorny problems within G.A.A. activity. This is the dual allegiance of players to club and to county. It a problem seemingly impossible to resolve to everybody’s satisfaction. The progress of the flagship county senior team is in everybody’s interest but leaving a huge number of ordinary club players just training, training, training is most unsatisfactory and will cause disaffection and may even cause rebellion. Roscommon’s postponement cause was not helped over the week end on hearing that Mayo had a pretty full programme of fixtures. It is not just a Roscommon dilemma of course. Certainly some study and imagination is necessary in its resolution. Perhaps we are at the point where there is a nominated county core panel of around twenty players and that the Leagues are played without these players and that some regard is given to Championship record –where club teams have to be allowed their full team-in retaining League status also. 

Boyle Celtic;

This Wednesday Boyle Celtic V Calry Bohs in Boyle at 7 . Friday away to Real Tubber and Sunday home to Cartron Utd. 
Celtic require two wins from these three games to win this league for the first time in, I would guess, fifteen years.   


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