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.  



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