Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween at The Warren Boyle / Chris O’Dowd in Boyle Library / Paul Young and ‘Song of the Sea’ Boyle GAA plus / Water Charges Protest Meeting/ Congratulations to: Frank Geelan, Seamus Flynn and Michael Brennan

Halloween at The Warren Boyle:
‘Trick or Treat’ is the finely crafted sign on the house of Suzanne Coles and her partner Brian Prince at The Warren Boyle (just beyond Drumderrig Nursing Home….you can’t miss it, truly). They are having a kids Halloween party on Friday next from 5 pm. There will be a raffle in aid of ‘Temple Street Children’s Hospital’ which they are supporting. So spread the word in the neighbourhood.
Chris O’Dowd in Boyle Library:
The visit of Chris O’Dowd and his good wife Dawn was a huge success and as I mentioned last week was akin to the visit of Maureen O’Sullivan in August 1998. It was like a Chris O’Dowd solo Festival and his energy and contribution to the many demands on him during the week is to be applauded. One of the events that will remain long in the memory of those present is of his and Nick Vincent Murphy’s readings and interaction with awe-struck young students in Boyle’s lovely Library. Librarian Patricia O’Flaherty dropped me a note, as requested, on that event,  as follows;
“On Thursday the 23rd of October 2014 at 10am, Patricia O’Flaherty from Boyle Library on behalf of Roscommon County Library Services was honoured to welcome Chris O’Dowd and Nick Vincent Murphy to launch their new book ‘Moone Boy – The Blunder Years’ in King House.
They read and acted out extracts from their book to the delight of the boys and girls and they took questions from the floor (120 pupils) some of which were very humorous and entertaining.
Chris and Nick sat for pictures with Mr. Richie Farrell, County Librarian and his staff and  all the classes from 4th, 5th and 6th from Scoil na nAingeal nAoife, St Joseph’s Boys School, The Parochial School, Boyle and St. Michael’s from Cootehall. Chris and Nick signed copies of their book for all the boys and girls and of course for the teachers. They  spoke to each boy or girl and signed whatever comment they wished put in ‘Moone Boy- The Blunder Years’. The patience and consideration of the authors was admirable and it is an event that Boyle Library and of course the young students will treasure for a long time.”  (The tail/tale in Chris’s present presence is the filmic presentation,  ‘Of Mice and Men’, in Carrick-on-Shannon Cineplex on Monday November  10th).

Paul Young and ‘Song of the Sea’:
I was talking to Paul Young a short time ago and he was extremely positive about Cartoon Saloon’s current creation. Paul’s work is very visible in Moone Boy and in the current Moone Boy publication mentioned above.  Cartoon Saloon is based in Kilkenny and was responsible for the classic animation, academy award nominated ‘The Secret of Kells’. Their present work is titled ‘Song of the Sea’. The storyline is as follows:
“Saoirse is a child who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy creatures trapped in the modern world.” There is a trailer to be seen on U tube.  It has already been premiered at film festivals in Toronto and London and the reviews are very positive. The voices are provided by
Brendan Gleeson, David Rawle, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt and Jon Kenny. It will be released in Ireland in the spring. So the celluloid tradition for Boyle continues its upward curve.      

Boyle GAA plus:
The Boyle U 21 team had a close run with Michael Glavey’s in their first round championship game at Castlerea on Saturday last. We are spoiled a bit,  for some time now, with expectation from this group of players. The half-time score was Michael Glaveys 0.7 Boyle 1.3 with the final score being Boyle 3.5 Michael Glavey’s 0.11. Donie Smith was the main man scoring 3.4 of Boyle’s total with Colin Goldrick getting the remaining point in the first half. I imagine the experienced and highly regarded Boyle management of Jonathan Conroy and Barry Greaney will have a deal to mull over from this game. Boyle looked disjointed at times and had to rely too much on Donie to see them home. Personally, being a traditionalist, I prefer the straightforward player positioning as opposed to sweepers and so on. It goes back to the trauma of the All Ireland Final. All managers are there to manage of course, but then I am advancing in years! The full back line was the stand out line last Saturday. Boyle won and beat a good Michael Glavey's side in the process.
The team was; J.McDermott, B. Furey, M.Goldrick, L. Brennan, R. Finneran, E. McGrath, J. Sweeney, E. Smith, T. Halligan, C. Flanagan, C. Goldrick, B. Conway, C. Tivnan, D. Smith, T. McKenna with D. Matttimoe, G.Gilmartin and S. Filan.
The side had been scheduled to play Roscommon Gaels on Sunday next but looking at the fixtures on the official Roscommon GAA web site the game, for whatever reason, is not listed. Roscommon Gaels did not play last week-end either. So this late competition is likely to run much later than planned which is hardly the way to run a railroad.

**The Cian Smith game (I’ll call it) takes place on Saturday November the 8th.  Considering the Boyle GAA Facebook reaction it is arousing a major response.  

  The Ireland team head off to Australia to play in the Compromise Rules game V Australia in Perth. The Manager is Paul Earley and the Roscommon player on the panel is Cathal Cregg from Western Gaels. The game will be played at Patterson’s Stadium on Saturday November the 22nd.

I see from Tuesday’s Independent bottom of page 56, in an article by Colm Keys, that the GAA is considering having the All-Ireland Finals a week earlier to facilitate the completion of club championships in the same calendar year. I imagine that means the All-Ireland club championships. This was the essence of a motion submitted by Boyle GAA and passed at  Roscommon GAA Convention about three years ago. It did not get traction then but perhaps it is doing so now.

 Water Charges Protest Meeting:
As the opposition grows to increased and varied charges and it coalesces around the proposed Water Charges there is a number of protest meetings around the country, including Boyle, on Saturday November the 1st. The Boyle rally meets at the Royal Hotel Car Park at 1.45. While I personally am willing to pay for water and think that paying for water is a general thing I can understand why it has aroused such anger and opposition. Water charges are an extra tax, one of a number which have been introduced in very recent times.  Their introduction as almost everyone now accepts has been a shambles, one that could turn out to be a disaster for the current Government. It is akin to the Poll Tax that was introduced in England around 1989, later dropped by John Major, which led to the fall of Margaret Thatcher.

Congratulations to:Frank Geelan, Seamus Flynn and Michael Brennan and all associated with the really impressive 19th Infantry Battalion FCA Visitor Centre at the Military Barracks, Boyle which was officially opened by Colonel Brendan McAndrew last Sunday. Anyone who was associated with Battalion in the decades from the sixties on would have to be interested. Perhaps the collection can now expand even further and go back to the earlier post war decades. If anyone has relevant material from then I imagine Frank and colleagues will be interested.
Next week Barry Feely launches his book ‘A Life of Stone’ which speaks for itself. I am also looking forward to the Regan family’s photographic tribute to Christy. In talking to someone who has read Shane ‘Cake’ Curran’s book his response was that;  ‘ It does what it says on the tin’.  
I was disappointed to have missed Darren Dockery who was home some time ago. Darren is currently in Dubai. Greetings to distant friends and associates.  

P.S. I see a new (to me anyway) sign indicating the direction to Boyle town at what we call the first Arch. By such increments was Rome built. Unfortunately just a hundred yards on I encountered a considerable cache of litter debris which, with the assistance of a local resident, was dealt with. ‘One Good one Bad’ as they say on a TV. sports programme.  

P.P.S. I am always conscious of making errors –facts, spellings etc.- in these pieces, so when that happens I apologise in anticipation and can be advised regarding same!


Forest View,
Co. Roscommon

Mob: 086/8163399

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chris O’Dowd; ‘Free at Last, Free at Last…’

Chris O’Dowd gave his own unique interpretation of being granted ‘The Freedom of Roscommon’ at a truly atmospheric and celebratory occasion in King House last night. In a speech speckled with wit, humour,  insight and emotion he had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. In fairness the same audience had come to cheer and celebrate him. Chris started his speech by questioning the notion that he needed to be freed as he never felt ‘imprisoned’ in his native Roscommon and wondered now what it all meant. His insightful view of Roscommon people’s life longevity was linked with clever references to Roscommon’s A.& E. and Water issues. Looking around the audience of familiar faces he took the opportunity of thanking, in words mixed with emotion, the many people who had been an influence in his early life especially his parents Denise and Sean with his extended family referring to them as ‘local heroes’. They must have been hugely proud of him last night. Chris went on to  reference his former teachers who were present such as Mister Paddy Nangle also Frank O’Mahoney who introduced him to the stage; those who gave him his ‘first pint’, ‘first kiss’ and coached him in sport.  He embraced the county by mentioning many locations where he had played football and lost, romanced with varying degrees of success and all the building blocks  of life that HIS county of Roscommon had provided him with. He was full of praise for his home county and town and referred to its artists and writers and the names of Douglas Hyde, John McGahern, Brian Leyden, Percy French were interspersed with John Carty, Johnny Reilly and Maureen O’Sullivan and tellingly of the Boyle- born Suffragette, Margaret Gillespie Cousins. Chris also made numerous references to his radiant wife Dawn O’Porter and the pending birth of their baby. 
‘When I lose the run of myself, Roscommon stays put. I love it. Not because it is privileged but because it’s real’ he evinced. 
The event was organised in great detail by Roscommon County Council with Fiona ni Chuinn at the helm and acting as a pleasant and efficient M.C.  It must have been one of Mr. John Cummins's most pleasing engagements as Chairman of Roscommon County Council to present his neighbour Chris O’Dowd with the honour of Freedom of the County following in the footsteps of Brendan Shine, Dermot Earley and of President Mary McAleese with her husband Martin. John spoke with humour and brevity about Chris and outlined  the path to the award and what privileges such an honour bestowed. He praised Chris’s contribution to ‘enhancing the image and profile of his native county and of helping to putting his native town of Boyle especially on the map’. 
Tommy Ryan Chief Executive Officer of Roscommon County Council endorsed the Chairman’s sentiments stating; ”We are proud of what you have done and that you have not forgotten your native place is so obvious in so many ways”. The C.E.O. went on to talk of what the county has to offer a sentiment that was pervasive on the night. He concluded by saying that; “ Chris is a product of the environment and community he grew up in” and he urged Roscommon people to ‘talk up their county’ as Chris has so regularly and effectively done. 
A number of appropriate presentations followed including a symbolic ‘Red Rhino’ scarf to Chris’s wife Dawn.
It was a great night of celebration with Chris and his speech the diamonds amongst his family and friends glowing with pride. The media, national and local were out in force. Ciaran Mullooly, regional correspondent for R.T.E. television, talked to Chris and a number of people who knew him and this all featured on the prime time 9 O’Clock News  on R.T.E. It was reminiscent of another great social occasion in Boyle in August of 1988 when another star, Maureen O’Sullivan, born in Boyle, returned to her native place to be honoured by and to honour  her native place.                                   
(The Broadway, New York play of Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ starring Chris will be screened in Carrick-on-Shannon cinema on Thursday November the 6th at 7 pm. To book you can call 071 967 2000 and Lauren will look after you).    

[P.S. I had intended to break some more good news of another Boyle film activist, Paul Young and Cartoon Saloon’s current creation ‘Song of the Sea’ which promises to be ‘big’ when released next spring but I will get to that next week.] 

‘All the President’s Men’
Continuing the film theme one of my favourite films is ‘All The President’s Men’. It deals with the Watergate break-in and the eventual resignation of President Nixon mixing, fact, drama and tension with compelling performances from Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. Jason Robards won a supporting actor Oscar for his portrayal of the editor of the Washington Post newspaper which was central to the film. Robards played the role of the editor named Ben Bradlee who died this week. If you haven’t seen this film I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Boyle Church Roof, Fundraising Concert:
While the above is finely noted on realboyle home page I thought I might encourage support for the James Kilbane concert on Friday evening.

The Season of the Book Launches: 
Barry Feely will launch his book “A Life in Stone” on Friday November the 7th in Feelystone New Kitchen Showrooms, Boyle, with Guest speaker Brian Leyden. (I will return to Barry’s book anon).
On Saturday evening next at 7.30, in Gleeson’s Restaurant,  Roscommon, Kathy Hegarty Thorne will launch two volumes of her history of the I.R.A titled ‘Echoes Of Their Footsteps’ dealing with the IRA nationwide from 1913 to 1922 and from 1922 to 1924. A third volume to be launched will go to press at a future date. Kathy-Hegarty-Thorne who has connections in the county produced the very important book, a number of years, on the Old IRA in Roscommon titled ‘They Put the Flag a Flyin, the Roscommon Volunteers 1913-1923’. 
Elsewhere in the South of the county Shane Curran will launch his book titled ‘Cake’ which will get considerable traction in Roscommon I imagine.
I read an interesting piece in the Sunday Indo regarding ‘Ghost’ writers for sports books. It brought to mind a story I heard regarding the Liverpool player Rob Jones who told Jason McAteer that he had an autobiography coming out. 
McAteer not noted as being the brightest pin in the set asked: 
‘What is that?’
To which Jones replied; ’The story of my life and football’   
McA. ‘Is it any good?’
Jones; ‘I don’t know, I haven’t read it yet’.   

Congratulations To..
The Boyle U 12 side who completed the grand slam with victory over Clann na Gael in the Division 1 League final on the score of Boyle 1.7 Clann 1.4. this is a very good side and I commend the work being done with them.
Boyle minor team on their 3.16 to 4.8 victory over Michael Glavey’s in the Division 3 Final at Knockcroghery on Saturday. Hopefully they will progress through the divisions henceforth. While a number of players were very impressive my informant –since I was unable to be there- was hugely impressed with the performance of Darren Deery.
Boyle have a big game on Saturday October 25th at 4 in Castlerea V Michael Glavey’s in the first of their U 21 Championship games.  
Coming in December is a Boyle GAA promotion ‘Who Wants to Be a Thousandaire’ which will be launched on Thursday November the 6th. More later regarding same.

Forest View,
Co. Roscommon
Mob: 086/8163399

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tony Conboy's Oblique View - Thursday 16th October

The Election:

Roscommon continues its tradition.
In U.S. presidential elections it is said that; “Where Ohio (state) goes the country goes”. Roscommon as a voting constituency does not engender that conformity. The county has a reputation of de-electing many notable representatives over the decades. While I am not an expert on this and would not have the full run of evidential material to hand, from memory the casualties would include Gerry Boland, Dan O’Rourke, Brian Lenihan, Jack McQuillan, Sean Doherty I think once, Terry Leyden and so on. There have been a number of near certainties too who have come unstuck. Roscommon has also elected some pretty radical candidates including the aforementioned McQuillan, Tom Foxe, Ming Flanagan and now Michael Fitmaurice. It is a huge achievement for Fitmaurice to get elected from over the constituency mearing. Why did it happen? The reasons might include the following, in no particular order I suppose:
1.Disaffection with the established parties as a whole. More than a mid-term election for the Government. 
2.The quality of Fitmaurice himself as a bold straight-talking individual with a clever slogan ‘Standing With the People’. He was obviously well known in the areas of the pretty successful turf campaign. Perhaps the shadow of Ming was influential though I did not see him canvassing. It could be said that Fitmaurice came from nowhere. In the late sixties the New York Mets baseball team came from the basement of their league to win The World Series. They became known as, ‘The Amazing or Miracle Mets’. Fitmaurice was the stand-out performer on the Miriam O’Callaghan chaired R.T.E. Prime Time debate though not as impressive with Vincent Browne.  
3. The Tsunami of the Water issue was critical and seems like it will continue to be so.

Need To Do Better

The agenda of a number of the candidates was on highlighting certain issues, which they did, particularly O’Boyle, Guckian and John McDemott. Tom Crosby was on a more personal trip and was again let down by an ungrateful electorate as Emmett Corcoran emerged with a  very good performance. Martin Kenny, a solid performer, tried to stoke a Sinn Fein fire but was relying on Leitrim too much as the party’s fire did not catch on in Roscommon. I imagine this is a little puzzling to Sinn Fein since Roscommon was one of the earliest templates of its evolution. I imagine it will take quite a bit longer for people to forget Omagh and Enniskillen and the ‘disappeared’. Maybe the results in both Roscommon and Dublin will be a bit of a reality check for Sinn Fein in that its progress is not certain. 
Apparently Fine Gael are happy with the performance of Maura Hopkins but of course if that is so it throws up the conundrum of representation for the next election. Both John Kelly and Ivan Connaughton will be very disappointed with the result. Kelly was one of the better T.V. debate performers but the labour numbers just are not there. For Fianna Fail it has to be a big disappointment and the post mortem will include three elements which were key:
1. The candidate whose second general run this was, despite incorrect references to this being his first time out on R.T.E. twice in my hearing. Every effort was made but there is regularly the ‘nearly but not quite there man’. U.S. presidential elections are strewn with examples of these. 
2. Micheal Martin, while a reasonable party leader, does not cut the mustard as stand out Prime Ministerial material at present. Also there is an anonymity about the Fianna Fail reduced ranks as evidenced by an attempt to name say the Fianna Fail shadow cabinet. With prompting maybe McGuinness, O’Cuiv, McGrath (in fairness a pretty impressive contributor), Calleary then Charlie McConalogue F.F. spokesperson on Education and Skills! 
3. The Fianna Fail legacy of the Celtic Tiger/Bertie Ahern years (apart from his Northern Ireland peace contribution of course) is still very much on the file of many people.

Now to the Upcoming Real General Election!

This was just an interim By Election. What of the real thing locally? This will be pretty interesting. Dennis Naughten is seen as a certainty! Michael Fitzmaurice, with additional territory in the revised constituency boundaries, could continue to take the disaffected vote i.e. if the era of Independents is still in vogue. A year will hardly change that. Fianna Fail have a real challenge. Will they stay with their current candidate? Will he be interested? Who could Fianna Fail spring from the bench. Orla Leyden perhaps or the highly regarded John Cummins. Then there is ‘official’ Fine Gael who will have their own dilemmas. How they accommodate the sitting T.D. Frank Feighan and ascending star Maura Hopkins is the trick. Will John Kelly try valiantly again? I imagine Sinn Fein will want to be in the frame but it is hard to imagine a ‘new’ Sinn Fein candidate making an impression. The Hospital Action Committee say they will have a candidate and Tom Crosby promises he will go to the mountain again. Then, as on all provisional team lists, there is the versatile A.N.Other. While geography has always been a prime consideration Fitmaurice overcame that in coming from outside the constituency to win. He will be inside the tent the next time. Soon the question will concern the timing of the General Election proper and when that is revealed the race is on again.  

Boyle GAA Fixtures

Boyle Minors V Ml. Glavey’s in the County Final, division three, in Knockcroghery on Saturday the 18th at 1.30.  It is a bit of a wayward venue for this fixture.  

The U 21 competition fixtures for Boyle are as follows:
Saturday October the 25th V Michael Glavey’s in Castlerea at 4 pm.
Sunday November 2nd …….V Roscommon Gaels in Hyde Park at 1 pm.
Sunday Nov. 9th ……………….V Padraig Pearses at 1 pm.
There is an ongoing dilemma with the very late scheduling of this competition and this has been so for a long time now. I remember Boyle being involved in competition  end-games either side of Christmas not too long ago. I see the Boyle V Kilmore senior league game has still to be played! 

The Budget

Yeats said that; “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy”. This is the most oblique view of the budget that I can muster. 
I’ll damage that line now by asking a question that about the water charges. What if 50% of people-including myself- pay the water charges leaving say 30% of eligible payers not paying? There is the prospect of an injustice there. The water company’s slogan is “We are on a journey together”. The ‘together’ element is getting somewhat frayed.  

Ebola threat:

This is a global threat. We were being reassured that there were no direct flights from the affected countries to Dublin. Fine. But then we hear that a ship comes in to Dublin Port from that area with little or no intervention. There is also the curious situation that it was the Minister for Agriculture who initially spoke on the matter. But then when one looks up Minister Coveney’s areas of responsibility  it can be seen that he is; The Minister for Agriculture/Food/The Marine and Defence. Some multi-tasking there. Echoes of Ray Burke and latterly Brian Cowan. For Ireland the best way of defence against this threat would be exclusion as the old adage shouts ‘if something can go wrong it will’.    


To Kevin Hickey who climbed Croagh last Sunday for charity. His mentor  en route was Danny Doherty. Perhaps he encouraged Kevin with a song from The Sound of Music.

Just a hello to Sean Mullaney, formerly of Rockingham and St. Mary’s College, and his good wife who now live in Canada. I met them recently in Boyle and they were continuing their holiday in Europe which I hope lived up to its possibilities.   

Next Week

Next week is shaping up to be a very busy one in Boyle town with Chris O’Dowd centre stage as he receives The Freedom of Roscommon and the launch of his and his co-writer’s Moone Boy book. 

John Spillane will be on T.V. on Tuesday and Thursday with his Boyle song programme and he will be in town in person launching his C.D. in Wynne’s on Thursday. On the GAA front there is a T.V. programme called Insiders on R.T.E. featuring Tommy Kenoy and his drive to amend the GAA rule to allow ‘foreign’ games in Croke Park also on Tuesday night.

Singer James Kilbane performs in the Church of Ireland on Friday at 8. This is in aid of the Church re-roofing project.

Sin é

Email Tony at

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sports Books and other Markets / GAA Rule Changes / Proposed New House-Buying Financial Regulations / T.V. Social Issue Programmes / Congratulations

Sports Books and other Markets

Thursday October the 9th is known in the book publishing market as ‘Super Thursday’ due to the number of new books released on that day. I attended the launch of the updated biography of Dermot Earley titled ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ by John Scally in Seamus Hayden’s/Larry Brennan’s bar ‘Down the Hatch’, Roscommon a short time ago. Another quite different Roscommon footballer Shane Curran has his book published under the title ‘Cake’.
There was a long amusing extract in last Sunday’s Independent relating to the famous penalty incident in the 1989 minor final against Galway. The title of the piece was ‘More Calculating than Crazy’. Cake has been one of the most colourful characters in Gaelic football. He was/is also a fine goalie. One of the memorable games I remember him making a big contribution to was the replay against Sligo in Sligo in May 2004.
Roy Keane’s second biography is also making waves. I feel this is an orchestrated publicity circus. Interestingly it is written by Roddy Doyle. I hear Eamon Dunphy getting in on the publicity act here also. I remember George Best once being interviewed by the saccharine Michael Parkinson about being in the process of compiling his second or third ‘biography’  replying along the lines of : ‘Yes and if anyone knows where I was between 1972 and 197? please get in touch’.
The great Brian O’Driscoll’s book titled ‘The Test’ comes out later this month. While there was a very public falling out with Paul Kimmage I do not see a ‘ghost’ writer named on the cover illustrations I have browsed. (As an aside I watched a film once called ‘The Ghost’ only to find it was about a ‘Ghost’ writer!).
There are many great sports books especially from United States sports of baseball and so on.
Nearer home you have Chris O’Dowd’s and Nick Vincent Murphy’s ‘Moone Boy’ book which will be a hit with the host of followers of the T.V. series. Even closer is the upcoming tribute to Boyle photographer Christy Regan in a book being compiled by the Regan family. It is sure to have many interesting photographs. There is something for everyone in that selection.                

GAA Rule Changes

Suggestions for Consideration:

It is the season for reflection by the GAA and the issues that have surfaced with the games of hurling and football this summer. It seems as if there is a groundswell of opinion emerging for a further rule amendment to the penalty free in hurling. The safety issue which led to the enforcement of the twenty one yard line or greater seems to now favour the defensive side and not allow enough advantage to the aggrieved . The emerging suggestion is that it goes to the striker versus the goalie only In my opinion this would be a swing too far.
1.       What about  an incremental adjustment such as a penalty taker versus the goalkeeper and one defender?
2.       Another idea I have read of is that two points be allowed for a penalty struck over the bar. This might complicate the scoring process though Rugby has scores of two, three and five points.
3.       The summer’s football and especially the final has brought about calls for remedial action here also. The hand-passing disease is really in the firing line and suggestions vary from restricting the number of hand-passes to a more interesting idea that hand- passes would only be allowed if they went forward, the opposite to rugby.
4.       My friend John O’Brien has suggested that frees and side-line kicks return to being taken from the ground. This will encourage that skill and also ensure that these kicks are taken from the proper spot.
5.       The idea of two referees, especially for hurling, should also be on the agenda. 
6.       I see Tony Mac Manus has suggested that referees from other counties be brought in for the final games in county championships. This I think has a lot of merit. It would not discommode local referees for if they were good enough they would go to other counties. (Some wags might see a lot of merit in this). I seem to remember this practise being in vogue in the distant past.
Now if any club was putting forward motions for upcoming County Conventions they might consider some of the above! Feel free to borrow from these ideas.

Proposed New House-Buying Financial Regulations

News is just filtering out about new regulations regarding the financing of new home purchases. I imagine these suggested regulations have sent alarm bells ringing for prospective purchasers. For a house, say in an urban area, costing say €300, 000 the new regulations will require the purchasers to have a 20% deposit i.e. 60,000 or 20,000 –obviously- per hundred thousand.  It is some ask to require say a couple to save  50,000 for a deposit. Allied to that is the multiple of salary which will be loaned now being 3 and half times the salary. I imagine that would be the cumulative salary of a couple. I fully realise that the infamous 100% loans plus of the Celtic Tiger years contributed to subsequent devastation for many. I am wondering about the fall-out from these moves. Who will they benefit? Speculators who may be in a position to rent perhaps. I imagine this is just the beginning of the debate.
On the other end of the spectrum there is the issue of savings and the pressure on those with savings. They have reached the point where they are being charged for having savings at all with all the Dirt tax rates and inflation. Once upon a time savers were regarded well, as being ‘prudent’ and so on but now that seems out of fashion.  

T.V. Social Issue Programmes

There was a group of television programmes in the last few nights which outlined the depth of the social deficit in our capital city. I gave in and dropped my boycott of ‘Love /Hate’ on Sunday night so that I could inform myself on the reasons for its popularity. I followed this up the following night with a related but non-fictional programme titled ‘Inside Probation’ which dealt with the huge challenges faced by those who work in that challenging arena. Then to cap it off I took on ‘Darndale: The Edge of Town’ which was a very good, at times very raw, yet sympathetic view of the social deprivation which is encountered by a substantial number  of communities. Collectively they represented a bleak pessimistic landscape with ‘Darndale: The Edge of Town’ the standout programme.           


A number of Boyle GAA players were in differing spotlights over last week-end. 1. Seanie Purcell, Brian and Jake McCrann played for the Connacht soccer team in the Intermediate Inter –Provincial series in Donegal.  While Connacht lost to Ulster in their opening game they defeated Munster and Leinster but lost out to Ulster overall on the head- to-head. 2. David Casey managed St. Croan’s as they won the Intermediate title with an impressive display against Tulsk.  3. Further afield Roch Hanmore and Cillian Conboy featured for Ireland in a European Cup Australian Rules Tournament at the London-Irish ground of Sunbury on-Thames. They were defeated by a very good Denmark side in the semi-finals but defeated Germany for the third place and the bronze medals! 4. Popular Boyle restaurateur Gerry Emmett was pictured receiving the Roscommon Herald/Supervalu Sportstar for the month of May in the said paper this week.  



Friday, October 3, 2014

Hibernia Course Material : Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink : Monday Night’s Prime Time Debate : The Cats Prevail.

Hibernia Course Material:

If anyone reading this is doing the national school teacher online training per. Hibernia - or if you know anyone in our locality- I have a good deal of material, to pass on, which they might find helpful. 

‘Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Drop to Drink’: Coleridge

I am aware that I have referred to this issue before but it seems to morph into differing avenues in an ongoing way. I may of course be wrong (!) but I see it as a significant issue in all its hues, into the future as they say. Water bills will be the major issue for most people of course. An element  that  I am not very comfortable with is the requirement for P.P.S numbers on the current water registration forms.  I have little confidence in the reassurances being given by  Irish Water regarding their use of P.P.S. numbers. I suppose these numbers are used for so many things now that their security is already compromised. I seem to remember a move towards National Identity Cards. Was that in England or here or in both countries?
I checked my water meter yesterday and it is going to be a bit of a challenge for an elderly (more so than I am myself) person to do so. While I felt that the readers of such meters would have a really challenging job further research told me that they would be read electronically or scanned. 
 In terms of payment it is suggested that water will not be turned off completely, for basic health reasons, if a person is in default. I imagine this will be well tested by differing strands of consumers. Perhaps the Water Board will go the way of the Property Tax and ask the Revenue Commissioners to do the collecting! It could be regarded as another tax anyway.
I feel that the whole landscape of water provision, regulation and payment will also give a lease of life to the Joe Duffy Show. The initial threads are already audible.  The Water Provision and payment issue could lead to a coalition of social disaffection.   
By the way what will happen to all the water which people are obviously going to save? It will probably go underground.

Monday Night’s  Prime Time Debate

There was no outstanding performance on Monday night’s significant R.T.E. Prime Time debate featuring ten of the eleven candidates in the upcoming Roscommon/Leitrim by election. I fully realise that it was a very intimidating atmosphere for all. Of the main party candidates there was not a lot between them. Maura Hopkins was in a particularly difficult position being the sole female candidate and that of the Government party which is being criticised on various fronts. I met Miss Hopkins at the Keenan Cup Final last week and she is a very affable person and has achieved a considerable profile in a very short space of time. She adopted a very anxious demeanour in the cauldron of Monday night. I am a bit surprised that she is down at number four in the bookies odds  but I presume this is explicable by those who can explain those things.  The North-West of the constituency is a very crowded arena with a large area north of Athlone without a contender. The odds suggest that the Fianna Fail candidate Ivan Connaughton is a clear favourite and the election is his to lose. This is something he may not like being highlighted. Someone Mister Connaughton will be particularly wary of is Michael Fitzmaurice. Fitzmaurice is from Glinsk on the edge of the current constituency but much better positioned for the revised constituency of Roscommon/Galway East which will obtain in the general election. It appears as if Mr. Fitmaurice, after a good display in the Prime Time Debate, will be in the leading group, a view endorsed by the odds. Though he is endorsed, as in posters etc., by Luke Ming Flanagan he is a different more traditional independent candidate. While many voters do not see stand-out  options in this by-election –as Ming was the last time like him or not-there may come a time when the move towards independent candidates will dissipate. In current circumstances what a disparate group of Independents can achieve is very problematic. Anyway this is a short term election the and just a positioning for the general election in the next eighteen months. For most of the candidates it is highlighting their issues.   
 Returning to the debate, while Senator John Kelly did reasonably well this constituency and Labour are not a good fit due to the employment, or lack of it, profile. For The Roscommon Hospital Action candidate, John McDermott, the A.& E. issue has run the course before and the prospect of a reversal of policy regarding the County Hospital is not seen as very credible apart from a core action group and its supporters in the Roscommon town region. The days of the Tom Foxe enthusiasm and effect have passed. Still they are in a better position to judge than I am. Sinn Fein’s Martin Kenny is an able and experienced performer and while he will get a large section of the Leitrim vote and pockets of support in Roscommon the numbers do not seem to be there. It is fairly widely suggested that Sinn Fein have to emerge from the leadership of Gerry Adams to achieve its full potential. Des Guckian from Leitrim highlighted the serious issue of the introduction of Fracking in the region.  He also had one interesting suggestion that of treating a major area of the West of Ireland as a Region drawing on a Scottish model of Islands and Highlands. There is a  move towards regionalization in a number of services such as hospitals, colleges, tourism and perhaps in the future in local government. Emmet Corcoran too suggested an idea for a National Park type status for Sliabh Ban area. I once suggested that the Tulsk /Rathcroghan area had such a wealth of ancient t heritage that in many countries it would be designated a national heritage area. It was interesting to see a twenty two year old in the ring though he dressed older than his age. Gerry O’Boyle spoke with passion on the issue of home re-possessions while Dennis O’Brien was an absentee from the debate so he was opinion neutral. Tom Crosby came with a late surge of his ideas to the debate and in full flow outlined many past initiatives which were obviously forgotten by an ungrateful County  Council electorate.  
Some voters who are not fundamentally aligned might feel that there is an element of Tweedledum and Tweedledee about their options. 
I must admit that I am not very enthused by it all and while I will of course vote I am looking forward to seeing how.            

The Cats Prevail

Kilkenny crossed a number of milestones with their victory over Tipperary last Saturday evening. Their win was well deserved. It was a very different game to the free-flowing drawn encounter. This time the scoring rate was well down and the elements that prevailed were courage, tenacity and work rate. Different skills shone through with hooking and blocking to the fore. King Henry achieved his tenth All-Ireland on the field of play. One could easily fall into the trap of saying we will not see that again but Henry’s achievement overshadowed those of J.J. Delaney and Tommy Walshe both reaching the nine medal mark. Certainly J.J. could emulate Henry in the next year or so. The questions now being asked are about the future in Kilkenny of some major figures. There was a suggestion  just a year ago that the great team was in decline and that there would be a more democratic future. However the profile of the team from last Saturday suggests that rumours of their decline are exaggerated. Henry might call it a day but one never knows. And what of Coady? He may not rush into a decision as it is his life really. Another fine if not truly great team is there. Coady is presently  a selector with his club James Stephen’s.
While I mentioned the prospect of a game to watch last week the comeback of the summer was that of Cork ladies in the All-Ireland Football Final. With fifteen minutes or so remaining on the countdown clock the score stood at Dublin 2.10 Cork 0.6. The final score was Cork 2.13 Dublin 2.12. It was a thrilling finish for Cork, a huge disappointment for Dublin, but great viewing for those who tuned in.