Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Oblique View update Friday 7th November

Hospital Visiting Experience

One imagines that when the Winter comes, to use a common phrase ‘things will settle down’ but that is not the case, at this point in time anyway. A few weeks ago I read a fine piece on the Sunday Independent by Rachael Lavin from Balymore in which she talks of the travails with the establishment of the National Children’s Hospital and her and her family’s experiences of attending medical clinics in Dublin. Last Tuesday I took a relative to a clinic in the Mater Public Hospital. We had been there a number of years ago when the clinic was a decrepit place. This hospital has been revamped now. I endorse Rachel’s description of the challenges for people travelling from the country to Dublin hospitals have in terms of traffic, parking especially and so on. We certainly could have no complaints with regard to the care, commitment and treatment that my relative received  One of the real hidden issues for those clinics is the ‘no shows’ for appointments.  In the clinic the administrator called out from the list people due to be present at one particular ‘clinic’ and the number of ‘no shows’ was extraordinary. On one of the walls a prominently displayed poster read; ‘We were here where were you?’  Of course the knock-on effects for those who would benefit and the costs involved are very considerable.
I had to go University College Hospital Galway a couple of days later for an check on a slight eye issue. One of the first challenges there was parking as it often is around hospitals. I was there around 12 noon. I was directed to go through casualty. I waited for a couple of hours and eventually was admitted into casualty. It was there that I observed the full panorama of the challenges in this environment. It was like a railway station at rush hour. The ubiquitous trolley dominated. The shoe box spaces were like Manhattan real estate in terms of demand. The term ‘excuse me’  dominated as the nurses and doctors hustled for their space. It was just incredible where people were required to administer and receive treatment. While those who work there and can make enough sense of the bedlam to enable them to carry out their onerous duties, for them and their patients it is so wrong. This will not come as a surprise to the many people for whom this environment is a regular experience.         

 Enda Smith

This is a very busy period for Boyle GAA. There has been a major response to the Cian Smith game on Saturday in the Abbey Park and a significant crowd is anticipated. As an event it is expected to both emotive and celebratory. Cian is hugely popular within the club and his cohort of contemporaries in various areas of his life. He has faced his huge challenges with great good grace. Ian Cooney captured his essence in an interview with Cian as published in the Roscommon Herald this week. So if you are in a position to attend at the Abbey Park on Saturday it would be a nice thing to do.

Representation on Top Team

Three Boyle players played with DCU in the Third Level Colleges Senior League against Jordanstown this week--Tadhg Lowe in goals with Donie and Enda Smith. Well done to all three. It's certainly a "first" for the Club to have three of our players on a such a star- studded team. It is nice to Tadhg return to a position where he was a contender for high levels just a couple of seasons ago and has been required to sacrifice this for club team benefits. I feel that players are best in the positions they prefer to play in.  
Congrats also to Enda who is attending an awards ceremony in Dublin tonight where he will be presented with a "Man of the Match" award which he won in this year's Senior Championship Qualifier win. It is hard to keep track of the awards in the Smith household.

Boyle GAA’s Fundraiser ‘Who Wants to Be a Thousandaire’

The club has put a major effort into this innovative fundraiser which will take place on December 6th. The home page of realboyle has link to a selection of photographs from a publicity launch which took place on Wednesday night in the club rooms. It is really great to see the involvement and initiative of new personnel in the various branches of the club. I am thinking especially, from Wednesday night and this project of Karen Brogan (McGee). Karen appears to me to have given this and other club GAA projects an injection of professionalism and impetus with the assistance of the other club officers and leaders. On Wednesday night  there was a test drive for the show proper with Noel Collins of Elphin in the hot seat. Had I been a more observant card player I might have been more help to him but it was not too costly. Still it demonstrated the shows capacity to generate the requisite balance of entertainment and desire to show one’s best side. Hopefully the numbers will turn out for the event proper. Tickets are on sale for €15 with groups of five for €50.                 

Of Mice and Men

It was a rare unique privilege to have seen the Steinbeck’s play ‘Of Mice and Men’ in Carrick cinema on Thursday night. For those who might like to share the experience it is on again on Monday night next. The performances of both Chris O’Dowd and James Franco were spellbinding. The interval explanation of the American social backdrop to the work was enlightening. The vulnerability of Chris’s character Lenny must have been challenging to watch especially for those close to him. For Chris it is acid test endorsement of his acting qualities and demonstrates that he can transfer from ‘lighter’ roles.
If I were to nominate a favourite writer overall as opposed to individual books it would be Steinbeck. His best known work ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is monumental with its themes of despair, journey, courage and hope. I remember years ago reading a lesser book known of Stenibeck’s which became one of my favourites ‘Travels With Charlee’, Charly being his dog.

Political Landscape

I have tried to avoid mentioning water this week but I have failed. There is the slight possibility of a Government fall on the issue. There are a few idioms which might be considered in these circumstances such as ‘Be careful what you wish for’. The landscape of political possibility is very uncertain and fragmented in this country and an early election could have chaotic consequences. A certain number of Independent candidates are fine but there must be a plimsoll line in that respect.    


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