Friday, September 26, 2014

Keenan Cup Final: The Scottish Vote: Thoughts on Kerry v Donegal: 1944 Seventy Years On: Water charges: Leicester 5 Manchester United 3

Keenan Cup Final:

The Keenan Cup Final between Boyle and Castlerea took place on Thursday evening in Boyle. It was an impressive win for Boyle with this very good team playing fine football. Good combination play. Good passing at the right height, varied scoring approaches foot and fist, a big squad, top players comfortable on the ball. The future. Good to see an enlightened use of all subs last night when it was evident that the game was secure. It showed the appropriate consideration for a weaker opposition which equals sportsmanship. It was nice to see two great veterans of Roscommon football Sean Young of Boyle and Danny Burke of Castlerea present the medals. The Keenan family were out in force and the Keenan Cup was presented by Karl Keenan home on a break from Australia but who returns there today. Bon voyage Karl good to see you around again.  This continues to be an excellent  foundation tournament for young players and is a barometer of a team’s standing for the under-age cycle. So if you attend on Thursday evening I imagine you will not be disappointed with the standard of play.  

The Scottish  Vote:

It was somewhat as I anticipated with Scotland turning down the opportunity to go it alone. The traditional song line of ‘Scotland the Brave’ took a bit of a hit in the process. The increasing influence of the ‘grey ’ and ‘quiet’ vote seemed to be very influential. For those who were dedicated to a ‘Yes’ future it must be a huge disappointment considering the panorama of possibilities and challenges that it presented. I’m sure the result will be parsed in great detail ongoing. Still to reach the percentage of 44.7% for Yes was an achievement. It also achieved the wringing of many concessions from the Westminster Parliament for Scotland with a knock-on effect for Wales and Northern Ireland. Ironically it is having resonances also for England itself with the call for ‘English Laws for and by English people’. Perhaps there is an historic thread here in that this is the  era of Federalism as opposed to unitary states. And when the nationalism aspiration has been vented as in the Balkans there is the return to the Federal dependency, efficiencies and maybe betterment.

Thoughts on Kerry v Donegal:

I saw this described in one tweet as; ‘An absorbing game of bad football’. I have seen quite a number of games this season where one could write off the first forty minutes and really call it a twenty minute game. 
The absorbing element in it was waiting to see if Donegal could untangle themselves from the Kerry’s spiders web. Kerry of all people playing like that! Kerry used the Donegal template and the old saying of ‘he who lives by the sword dies by the sword’ obtained. The game was dominated by the tactics engineered by Donegal in the last four years. A half-time score of Donegal 0.6 and especially Kerry’s 1.3 was a miserable viewing vista. Still Eamon Fitzmaurice proved the better general on this occasion.      
The defeat of their minors had a deflationary effect on the huge Donegal support and this was endorsed when Kerry struck for that early Geaney goal. Also it has to be said, in the clarity of hindsight, that the McGuinness  managerial reputation hit a downward curve. There were a number of questionable decisions such as starting young O’Connor perhaps anticipating a running game as in the Semi-Final. Not starting McBrearty and Christy Toye was a dual mistake. Toye was on the very short list for Donegal ‘Man of the Match’. Retaining the ineffective McFadden for so long seems another mistake.  The suggested philosophy of Kilkenny manager Brian Cody of starting players who showed form in training might have promoted both of these but of course I would not know. The error of Paul Durcan where he gifted a goal to Donaghy, turned out to be decisive. Indeed Durcan, a good keeper generally, had a confusing game or perhaps Kerry made it so. 
The effectiveness of the Kerry stranglehold was epitomised by the performance of Aidan O’Mahoney in that he hobbled Donegal’s key player Michael Murphy. In a sense it is a pity that a great player like Murphy was unable to shine. Former Kerry stars of the traditional game must have been cringing at the style on display. It was, in my view, the poorest Kerry team to win an All-Ireland in decades. While I heard the suggestion that last Sunday we had the volleyball final and on next Sunday we’ll have the football…the Ladies final Cork v Dublin! 
Still when all is said and done had McFadden’s touch gone to goal it would have been a draw ! There are so many finals like that but sport’s history is not too interested in the pain of the losers. History will record it as Kerry’s day. Back to Croke Park on next Saturday evening for Kilkenny v Tipperary in the replay. If it matches last year’s Clare v Cork replay that will do me ! 

1944 Seventy Years On:

It is hard to believe that it is seventy years since Roscommon last won an All-Ireland senior final. I attended a function on Saturday night in The Gresham Hotel, in Dublin, to commemorate that win. It was held in the Gresham because the celebratory dinner after the ’44 final was held there organised by a Roscommon Association grouping then headed by a man from Ballinameen, and uncle of the late Sean J. McQuaid, called Murty O’Beirne. He was an active business man and politician in the capital in his time and stood for election, unsuccessfully, in 1937. Last Saturday night’s event was also organised by the Roscommon Association and Roscommon GAA Supporters Club in Dublin spearheaded by Mike Lennon from between Elphin and Strokestown with Seamus Scally as M.C.. The attendance included many members of the families of the participating Roscommon players such as the O’Callaghans, Murrays, Lynches, Kinloughs, Keenans and  the Gibbons family and others. The highlight of the evening was an address by one of the surviving players of 1944 against Kerry, 94 year old Liam Gilmartin. Liam had captained the first Roscommon team to win an All-Ireland, the minors of 1939. He won Senior All-Irelands in ’43 and ’44. He has the distinction of having won three All-Ireland medals and never being on a losing Roscommon C’ship team. He got T.B. early in ’45 and this ended his playing career. Had he not gotten ill the possibilities for that Roscommon side were many. But ‘fate goes where fate must’ as Seamus Heaney once said. Liam with John Joe Nerney of Boyle and Paddy Beisty of Rathcroghan are the three surviving members of the team. Among the gathering on Saturday night was one of the greatest servants of Roscommon’s interests down the years in the capital, Michael Fitmaurice uncle of footballer Gerry Fitmaurice of Ballinlough. Michael is married to a Drury lady whose father was postmaster in Boyle a long time ago. Also present was the former ‘Mayor of Boyle’ , from the middle fifties, Bill Corcoran with his wife Phil. Bill was originally from Corrigeenroe but came into Boyle and operated a bar where Londis is now. He played in goals for Boyle through the fifties and still keeps a keen eye on Boyle and Roscommon’s fortunes. It was interesting to attend and address such a gathering in the setting of an iconic hotel in the capital. While my dad would have been proud of my elevated circumstances my mother would have been pretty surprised by it all. 

Water charges:

I see the upcoming Water Charges becoming a battleground for social angst and unrest as they progress especially with the probability that the juggernaut’s charges will be all over the place. Their requirement for P.P.S. numbers, for dubious reasons, is a serious issue and the organisation’s explanation re. their requirement and proposed use is unconvincing. Last Sunday Gene Kerrigan had a hard-hitting piece on this issue in the Sunday Independent. Gene’s soapbox is worth a read for the alternate piercing view to ‘all is well with the world’. 

Leicester 5 Manchester United 3

A scribe in Monday’s Independent, in the aftermath of the above result, referenced United’s rebuilding programme in terms of the hugely expensive players bought in to the club recently as; ‘The folly of their fur coat and no knickers approach to team building’!


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Living The Scriptures / Smash and Grab at Taylors Jewellers / Roscommon / Sth Leitrim by-election / The cast of Boyle Musical Society's 'Grease' / Yoga for Beginners Thursday 18th / Tony Conboy's Oblique View, 18th September / Jim (Jimmy Barry) Corrigan. R.I.P. / Ardcarne Massive Autumn Sale

Living The Scriptures Joyfully

A series of talks in Galilee Community on 6 consecutive TUESDAYS  beginning on Sept 30th. The speakers are Sr. Moya Hegarty, Fr. Vincent Sherlock, Fr. Noel Rooney, Ms. Carole Barry, Fr. John Coughlan.  Sessions begin at 8pm and conclude at 9:30pm. Donation €5.

Smash and Grab at Taylors Jewellers

Taylors Jewellers

Taylors Jewellers were victims of a Smash and Grab raid before 4am this morning. A thief or thieves broke a shop window and stole several thousand euros worth of gold rings, chains and some watches. They did not enter the premises, and left a hammer on the ground afterwards. Garda investigations are underway. CCTV cameras were in operation at the time.
Please contact Boyle Gardaí if you noticed anything suspicious in the area last night by calling 071 966 4620

Roscommon / Sth Leitrim by-election

The Roscommon/South Leitrim by-election has been set for Friday October 10th. The person elected will fill the seat vacated by Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

The cast of Boyle Musical Society's 'Grease'

Grease advertnew graphic ©

Boyle Musical Society are delighted to announce that all the principal parts have now been cast for their forthcoming November production of 'Grease'.
Adrian King will play Leading man, Danny
Colette Noone will play Leading lady, Sandy
Marc Egan will play the part of Kenicke
Grainne Caldbeck will play the part of Rizzo
Ceara Conlon will play as Marti : Robert Reid will play as Roger : Darragh Beirne will play Doody and newcomer to BMS, Tracey Gunning will play Jan.
Edel Dwyer will play as Frenchie : Conor Durkin the character Sonny : Gavin Wardwill take on the role of Eugene and Kayleigh Geoghegan will play Cha-Cha andBrendan Reid Teen Angel
There are still a few more parts to be cast and we will keep you updated over the coming days. 'Grease' will open on Wednesday November 19th and continue until Sunday November 23rd.

Yoga for Beginners Thursday 18th


Tony Conboy's Oblique View, 18th September

This week Tony sadly remembers 'The Passing of a Friend ... Sean McNama / Roscommon Victory of 1944 / Kerry v Donegal and the Scotland Vote. Read Tony's Blog column [here...]

Jim (Jimmy Barry) Corrigan. R.I.P.

The death has occurred of Jim (Jimmy Barry) Corrigan, Drumderrig Nursing Home, Boyle and formerly of Marian Road, Boyle. Reposing at Mahon’s Funeral Home, Boyle on Saturday from 3.30pm until 5.30pm with removal arriving to St. Joseph’s church, Boyle at 6.15pm. Mass of Christian Burial on Monday 11am. Funeral afterwards to Assylinn cemetery.

Ardcarne Massive Autumn Sale


For this week

> Coffee morning in Family Life Centre from 10am
> Yoga for beginners in St. Joseph's Resource Centre 7pm. Call Christine for details 087 225 1138
> Boyle Library Lecture at 7pm "Irish Soldiers in World War 1
Friday> Hospice Coffee mornings at several Boyle locations
> Simpsons Games Arcade, Main Street opening 6pm
> Boyle Library Gerry Boland "If you like books" at 6pm
> Sports Complex reopening at 6pm
Saturday> King House "The Great War Roadshow" with Dr. Myles Dungan
> High Nelly ... Cycle Club - Ride out 12 noon from the Crescent

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Passing of a Friend / Roscommon Victory of 1944 Remembered / Kerry v Donegal / Scotland Vote

The Passing of a Friend

My friend John Mac Nama passed away last week end. I was aware of his illness and its possibilities. His passing like that of anyone will leave a void. The life and death of each of us has its influence on others. I got to know John ( his family knew him as Sean) over thirty years ago. It was centred around our mutual interest in the hobby or pastime of quizzes. He was a regular participant in a quiz which ran for a few years, over the winters, in The Ceili House Bar, Boyle. Then John and I joined up making up a team with a number of others particularly  John Casey and Eamon Perry and at other times Liam O’Callaghan, Bill Mannion, Tom Mullaney, Sheila Tighe and Liam Coyle. We participated in quizzes within a twenty mile radius and had great battles with good teams from a number of places especially  Carrick-on-Shannon, Croghan and Drumsna.

I used to say that when we had John with us we were contenders but when we did not it was Kilkenny without King Henry. We were only half serious about it all and we had great fun. The team travelling to quiz  venues was akin to the dedicated car loads that used to go to championship football games. We had a great run in a Carrick-on-Shannon Golf Club Quiz with Bill Mannion and Liam O’Callaghan and Liam Coyle. It is fair to say that at the time we liked a pint or more and once we were in a strong position at the half-time break but our form declined somewhat as the second half progressed!
John was a classical quiz enthusiast. The trivia introduced in more recent times was not for him. “Sure this isn’t a quiz at all” he’d exclaim, frustrated that the Greek Gods were not on the agenda. The classic set pieces of Greek and Roman Gods, obscure anniversaries, the names for groups of mammals or animals, horse racing and Gaelic sport were grist to the mill of his broad mind.

Once when asked the name of an obscure-to us- Turkish Prime Minister he came up trumps and as a  rider suggested that we include his first name, Suleyman, also!  Another one was; What is the state capital of Hong Kong? (before its take-over by China). One would have thought that Hong Kong was its own capital but John in a flash said ‘Try Victoria’. Now when John said “Try or I think it is. ” the answer writer did not argue. It took us a little while to realise that to our initial cost. Picture rounds with Beyoncé and Katy Perry and company were an occasion for his cigarette break.
I did a series of quizzes for the County Library Services involving national Schools where John with John Casey and Pat Duignan accompanied me as correctors. I used to introduce us as former actors from the Television series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. Being the droll man that he was, John enjoyed such harmless devilment.    
John was a great Longford supporter being from Ballinalee and often referred to his Alma Mater St. Mel’s where a colleague was Christy Wynne. He was employed for some time as a librarian which gave him an ideal background for a man of his interests. He was also a dedicated Fine Gael supporter. 
John had fine and helpful neighbours as he was himself one. He was supported in his illness with great love and care by his close family in Galway. He is survived by his brothers Leo and Jim; sister-in-law Rita, nephew Kevin, nieces Leonie, Claire and Lorraine and extended family. The regard in which he was held by his family, relations, neighbours and friends was very evident during his funeral days and they and I will miss him greatly. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dilis. 


I extend my congratulations and best wishes to John Murphy on his retirement from long service at Boyle Community Information Service as covered on realboyle this week. 

Roscommon Victory of 1944 Remembered

The victory of Roscommon over Kerry in the 1944 All-Ireland Football Final will be remembered at a function in the Gresham Hotel Dublin on Saturday night, the eve of this year’s final. The celebratory reception in 1944 was held in the same hotel hence its selection for this 70th  recall. The event is being organised by Roscommon supporters in Dublin headed by Mike Lennon. The event in 1944 was organised by Murty O’Beirne from Ballinameen. Murty was an uncle of the late Sean J. McQuaid and was prominent in Dublin business and political circles running for election in 1937 in Dublin. 
 Family members of many of the Roscommon ’44 team will be present at Saturday night’s function.  One of the three surviving members of the team 93 year old Liam Gilmartin will be the special guest. The other two surviving members is player John Joe Nerney of Boyle and panellist Paddy Beisty of Rathcroghan. It could hardly be imagined that the ’44 win would not be repeated by Roscommon in the following seventy years! 

Kerry v Donegal

Once again it is very difficult to have much confidence as to a winner, this time of the senior football final. Can Donegal play as well again as they did against a shocked Dublin side? Kerry will not be as surprised as Dublin were. How will  Donegal cope with Kieran Donaghy? I imagine they will do much better than Mayo did, probably in a more physical way. This match up here will be one to watch. The double against Mayo will have brought on a developing Kerry side. It is felt that the Kerry fullback line is suspect and can be exploited by the good Donegal forwards. Kerry seem to have a better midfield pairing. The Kerry bench can provide a player who you may not have heard of but can contribute a vital score or two as happened against Mayo. So while I wish Donegal to win I think Kerry might shade it. If Donegal win it will be a great achievement for the team and their Management since they looked a spent force in the middle of 2013. So I hope our dedicated club person Mary Clifford will be celebrating from Sunday evening.  

Scotland Vote

What a historic day Thursday September the 18th  is going to be for Scotland and its people. It has only seemed to dawn on people over the last few weeks. It is really a difficult tantalising Yes/No decision for a nation.  For the diehards on both sides it is not so. However it is the middle ground that will decide as it so often does. While the Yes side have had the more prominent campaign it is probable that there are many No voters who are keeping their own counsel but in the anonymity of the voting booth they will be able to have their say and they will probably tip the balance. It may not be as close as is being predicted. But then what do I know?  t.c.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Scottish Referendum / All-Ireland Hurling Final / Sheepdog Trials / Boyle GAA Ladies

The Scottish Referendum 

The Scottish people go to vote on Thursday September 18th  of next week on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or to vote for an independent Scotland. It is the most important vote that the Scottish people have ever or will ever cast. It is a vote that will affect generations of their people. Thus it is a huge responsibility on each voter. As such there should be a major turnout of voters. While the Yes vote has made considerable ground in recent times the possibility exists that when it comes down to voting Yes with all its imponderables  people will shy away from such an enormous decision and vote No. How would You advise a Scottish voter if asked? 


Rollercoaster of an Amazing  All-Ireland Hurling Final

The drawn All-Ireland final between Kilkenny and Tipperary has been widely viewed as one of the greatest finals ever. This was a game that had everything. It was a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end as first one side and then the other seemed on their way to All-Ireland glory. The drama went down to the last puck of the ball and those of us present watched with bated breath as the sliotar bore down on the Kilkenny goals from close to one hundred metres distance. The reaction from behind the goals in the Davin End seemed to indicate a score. However in the end it was decided by technology as Hawkeye decided that the last gasp Tipperary free was just wide and the 82,000 attendance, plus I imagine the huge television audience, exhaled, some with disappointment, but most probably feeling that a draw was a fair result that  gave the mouth-watering prospect of another chance to see those two powerhouses of hurling go head to head again in three weeks’ time. Hawkeye has paid its way for the GAA. There was no celebration or displays of disappointment as supporters looked at each other knowing it was not necessary to articulate their feelings. It was understood by most that they had been privy to something special, something that they would remember for a long time, a game that would go down in the annals as one of the great ones.
It was just amazing to see the quality of scoring on Sunday as players got the sliotar and instinctively struck and cracked the ball over the bar. It is statement of its own that there were no wides between the 44th and 72nd minute of the game, twenty eight minutes. It is something that teams could score 3.22 and 1.28 and still not win. It is said that 1.24 of the Tipp total came from play. If that is so it is an almost incredible statistic.  It was hugely physical but yet hugely sporting. For a period the duel between Richie Hogan of Kilkenny and Tipp’s Seamus Callanan was like an epic tennis game as ace followed ace.  While I am not a twitter devotee I have been shown the reaction of people who saw the game of hurling for the first time through Sky 1 in England. While we know the greatness of the game and perhaps it is an indulgence that we are curious to see foreign reaction to our national treasure. The reactions varied from the confused to the dazzled and I quote just one; ‘the skills on show in this hurling final are outrageous and slightly insane’. This classic game said it all about itself. 

Call Centre Charges Plus

I see a report this week that highlights the potential extreme costs involved in using Call Centres to obtain telephone numbers. I wrote a note about this here a good while ago. I got to know of it at a cost to myself when I checked my phone bill. Many bills now are not paper records but online so the possibility of something like this getting through the net is perhaps greater. I hope that people make themselves aware of this practise especially more vulnerable people. With the high tech savvy people there are other ways of getting telephone numbers or so I am told.  The only real safety net is avoidance.
Another slightly related topic are the television quizzes on major shows. A question such as; What is the capital of France? Is it Delhi, Paris or London? This of course is not a real question but just a hook. It may be a requirement of the process. However if you look at the inflated costs of the phone or text entry it is easy to see that they are self- financing and more.     

International Sheepdog Trials

I mention this event because it takes place near the village of Creggs which is the next parish to my own native parish of Fuerty. Apparently it is going to be a major event and there is an expectation of 20,000 visitors including 6,000 international visitors. The publicity blurb also suggests that it is ‘The West of Ireland’s Largest Agricultural and Lifestyle Event’. Certainly it is going to be the biggest event in the history of the Creggs region. With the weather looking good for the week-end, for those with an interest it promises to be a worth considering. I am sure there are ways of finding out more about it on modern and traditional media sources. 

Boyle GAA Ladies

Boyle Ladies have a big game on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the Abbey Park against Western Gaels in the intermediate ladies semi-final. Your support would be welcome.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Play’s the thing / Sports National / Errata

On Friday night The Clock Theatre Group will perform Brian Friel’s ‘The Communications Cord’ Directed by Gerry Golden.  I saw and enjoyed it earlier this summer and I recommend it and the efforts of all involved. 

Sports Review Local

Boyle went down by the narrowest of margins to Castlerea in the senior championship on Sunday evening last at Strokestown. While I was unable to attend I am led to believe that this was a game Boyle could have won and looking at wide counts from both sides 10 to Boyle and 3 to Castlerea that is logical. It was therefore an opportunity missed to remain in the Championship and contest the quarter finals v Western Gaels. While we can rightly say that the objectives for the year have been achieved, those being consolidating the team’s status at senior level in League and Championship. Still windows of opportunity at this level are rare gifts.  

Sports National

What a dramatic week-end it was with the All-Ireland Football Semi-Finals. Mayo failed somewhat to maintain the momentum of the second half in the drawn game while Kerry learned more from that game. In 2008 Keith Duggan had published a book on Mayo Gaelic football titled ; ‘House of Pain: Through the Rooms of Mayo Football’. No Gaelic Athletic Association football county has endured more anguish and disappointment in the quest for the Sam Maguire Cup than Mayo. The intervening six years have provided a great deal of extra pain and the book seems to be regularly in need of updating. It is an incredible story. It is in a perverse way also a story of resilience and courage as the county rises form those deep and regular disappointments to embark again on their odyssey towards the Holy Grail of Gaelic Football. One must give credit to Kerry who, despite their luxury of many victories, constantly seek that same reward with a tenacity and commitment buoyed by huge tradition. In watching the late night assessment of the game the role of the referee came under searching scrutiny by Kevin McStay. Some of the incidents he highlighted were just difficult to watch. Oddly there was no call for the revival of the old chestnut that of having  a second  referee on the field. If the role of linesmen and umpires continues to be benign then it will have to come. There is also the notion out there that the appointment of referees, for big games, is kind of political as opposed to the ‘best’ man getting the job. Certainly the referee last Saturday did little to assuage Mayo’s pain. And again it might have been different had the Mayo goalkeeper’s effort not fallen a metre or so short ! It is time that the Gods take a more sympathetic approach to Mayo.
Donegal gave an exhibition of football after weathering the early Dublin blitz. It led to the defeat of a team that looked unbeatable this summer. It demonstrated once again the beauty of sport where the impossible dream can emerge against all the odds and predictions. Outside of Donegal few saw it coming. While we can have our opinions of who will win the final between Donegal and Kerry it is said that; ‘When man attempts to predict the future the Gods smile’.    
Hurling referees seem to cope better with its requirements. I do not know why this is so. One thing perhaps is that the top hurling referees are better known to the participating players. Barry Kelly from Westmeath will be in charge on Sunday for his fourth All-Ireland final. The battle between Tipp’s ‘Hurler of the Year’ contender, Seamus Callinan, and Kilkenny great J.J.Delaney will be one to watch. It could be a titanic struggle again between these old and intense rivals.  Who will win? I don’t know.  


On a recent trip through road works at Greatmeadow I was stopped at a red light. Then I noticed that my waiting time was counting down on a incorporated clock. While I know that those can be seen at bus stops and rail stops this was the first time I saw it in this work environment. 
The bypass of Ballaghaderreen was opened this week. This will give a great stretch of road all the way to Castlebar. It is part of folklore that Paraic Flynn, when in the relevant department, said that he would start these fine roads in Castlebar and work out from the county’s capital. The N5 through Roscommon must be one of the worst stretches of National Primary roads in the country from near Ballagh to Tarmonbarry via Frenchpark, Ballinagare, Tulsk and Strokestown. I heard a complimentary word used last week that I had not heard for some time and it was said of someone that he was; a ‘topping’ man. Maybe P. Flynn was a ‘topping’ man for Mayo in respect of road provision at least. 

Regards to

When I was doing the Boyle GAA Facebook page I used to be in contact with some Boyle GAA men in far flung places mainly Australia. I do not know if any of you tune in here but my regards to Darren Dockery, in Dubai ; Tadgh Egan in Canada, Killian with a K Egan, Seamie Gallagher, Damien Keenehan, Ciaran Keenehan, Ciaran Conlon, J.S. Lyons and Karl Keenan in Oz. There is nearly half a good team there. I’ll have to update my list as I am sure there are many more and also my gender balance is pitiful as I do not know the Boyle ladies in those places apart from my neighbour Miss Brady in Dubai . Anyway regards to you all from Boyle. t.c.