Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boyle Tourism / Brazil and The World Cup / Roscommon GAA Advance / Boyle Ladies GAA / Garth Brooks Concerts / Political Discomfort.

An Observation on Current Boyle Tourism

While I may be wrong, from my observation there seem to be a good few visitors on the streets of Boyle at the moment. Hopefully this is the experience of people in the hospitality business. With the Arts Week in the offing this bodes well for the town, a town which has benefitted from a facelift in recent weeks. I have not heard of the impact which the Shuttle Bus to and from the park has had. Hopefully it is doing ok and is one of the contributors to my assessment. Also there seem to be a good few people stopping off in the town supplemented recently by some tourist buses. Perhaps it is the publicity which Boyle has received generally from such as Moone Boy and other areas allied to the very significant visitor attractions locally.
Why visitor numbers to the town would actually rise is something I would be curious about but difficult to ascertain casually.   
The emergence of a number of restaurants to complement those already there is a very positive element. The problem there is consistency in opening times and the restaurants not all being closed at the same times or days. Sean is publishing the times and details on so perhaps this will be helpful. 
Recently with holidaying friends I visited the Model Railway project. My friends were very impressed but the visitor numbers there were not what one might expect. It is certainly another impressive prospect when it finds a true home.
In any event the visitor barometer, as I observe it, is positive and hopefully this progress will continue and can be built on.

Brazil and The World Cup

It is a time of withdrawal symptoms from the World Cup which as anyone who has read these paragraphs will have gathered I really enjoyed. In the end the best team won and even if this is debateable history will record it so. I was surprised to see a Northern Ireland company -Moy Park- being displayed prominently around some of the football grounds. Apparently it was taken over by a Brazilian company called Marfrig with its brand name being retained hence its presence on the hoardings. The words on the Brazilian flag translate from Portuguese to ‘Order and Progress’. Now that the World Cup is over with its ecstasy and agony that is the challenge that now faces that country. I’ll be meeting Killina native Father Tony Conry soon. He will be home on holidays from Brazil and I will get a first-hand account of it all.  Father Tony once had a very interesting column in the Roscommon Herald.

Roscommon GAA Advance

Roscommon overcame a very poor Cavan team in Breffni Park on Saturday evening. The first half was pretty dire but Roscommon really got going in the second half and Enda and later Donal Smith contributed greatly to that. It is nice to have people saying to you as you exit the grounds “Yer Boyle lads did well” 
So it is another step on the upward ladder on Saturday next at 5 in Hyde Park. Armagh having beaten Tyrone in their last game, are still in a rebuilding process but will be formidable opposition and a real guide as to Roscommon’s progress. There is history between us  also from ’53 when Armagh overcame Roscommon in the All-Ireland Semi-Final repeating this in ’77 after a replay but Roscommon got a Semi-final back in 1980. It is felt by many that the fine Armagh team from a decade or so ago  were short-changed by winning just the one All-Ireland in 2002. 
The Roscommon minors gave a pretty good looking Mayo side a real good run in Castlebar and they now face the Ulster Champions which is another big challenge for the side and team manager Fergal O’Donnell.

Boyle Ladies GAA

Boyle Ladies had a good win over Shannon Gaels on Sunday in the Abbey Park. The speed , skill and commitment of these young ladies is really admirable. If they can improve in their shooting in the scoring zone then they should be real contenders in the Intermediate Championship.

Garth Brooks Concerts

The debacle of the Garth Brooks concerts is nearly over now I presume. Still a few curious details continue to emerge. There is a populist phrase which says; ‘You couldn’t make it up’. There certainly is material for a book, film, opera or musical in it all. For a country that has much going for it how come we manage to mess up so often?

Political Discomfort

There was a disconcerting picture of the new Labour Party leader, Joan Burton, in the media in the last few days. She did not seem at all happy and it suggests that the relationship with the Taoiseach will be a fragile one. While this Coalition will certainly want to go the distance the mood music of the moment suggests otherwise. Still being there for the Centenary of 1916 is a strong incentive.

Another Minister who was in an uncomfortable situation in the last few days was The Minister for Equality and Law Reform, Frances Fitzgerald, when putting the Irish State’s case before the European Human Rights Commission. Chairman, Nigel Rodley, gave a withering summary of the state’s historic failings on a number of fronts as the Minister listened.     

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