Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Update 25th March

Joe Brolly and Organ Donor Week

As John Mac Phearson related in the post on the Home Page of realboyle last week this is Organ Donor Week.  John told of his personal experience and gratitude to those who participate in the scheme. One of its great proponents is the former Derry footballer and TV analyst Joe Brolly. Joe was on the Brendan O’Connor TV show a short time ago and spoke with emotion and compassion on a number of subjects demonstrating his hitherto disguised vulnerability. Indeed some of the memorable moments on TV are those when some unexpected guest, shows that vulnerability such as the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan once when talking of his wife who had Alzheimer’s.  Joe had himself donated a kidney to a friend which did not succeed and obviously it had impacted pretty severely on Joe himself. While he did not mention it then he is advocating an ‘Opt Out’ system regarding Organ Donation. That involves people who do not wish to participate ’opting out’ thus leaving the remainder as potential donors under appropriate terms and conditions. 

On the night Joe curiously wore a rose with the figures 65 which he explained was a way to help kids pronounce ‘cystic fibrosis'. Being a former footballer he referred to the ‘introduction of professional standards and expectations into an amateur game’, to 68% of injuries in Gaelic being linked as ‘over-use injuries’ , ‘sprawling fixture lists’ ‘training bans being ignored’ ‘fourteen training sessions for one Gaelic game as opposed to three for a soccer game’ and so on. One of the salient points the barrister Brolly made was that he got by on two hours sleep a night!

Joe now contributes a column to the Sunday Independent.While Brolly has his critics and occasionally goes a bit over the top he is as Sean O’Dowd refers to occasionally ‘one of the good guys’.  

GAA Review

Boyle win Opener

Boyle defeated Tulsk in their first league game of 2015 at Boyle on Sunday morning. At half time Boyle lead by 0.12 to 0.1 and we, the Boyle supporters, were basking in the sunshine of a near perfect display. What happened next is currently being described by the phrase ‘reality check’. When I say that the final score was Boyle 0.13 Tulsk 1.8 you can understand what I mean. (On the day Galway did not score in the second half in their League game v Laois). Anyway Boyle’s second half was as poor as the first half was good. What happened? Tulsk certainly improved a great deal. The loss of Stephen Tonra from midfield unhinged things but this could hardly have been the head-scratching full story. Points in this League will be very, very, difficult so a loss last Sunday would have been sad. But Boyle did secure the points so that was a positive start.  

Boyle GAA Know Your Sport

Boyle GAA’s current fund-raiser is titled ‘Know Your Sport’ a James O’Boyle creation. It lists 25 sports events for the coming year and asks you to choose from a number of options regarding these accumulating points. The events run through to October so keep a photocopy of your entry to see how you are doing though regular updates will be emailed through Boyle GAA media outlets. I am currently in a St. Brendan’s GAA Club fund-raiser and have survived after five rounds and it is quite appealing. This can be entered by card or online so for our Diaspora in Oz/Canada/U.S./and England i.e. so Damien, Cillian, Tadhg, Darren, Damien, John Harrington, Caoimhin, Ciarán in Perth (congrats on your elevation by the way), Paddy, John Austin and Sean + A.N.Other spread the word. Also it is not just for a Boyle audience everyone is invited. 

Roscommon Dig out Win over Meath

Meath are like an old chestnut tree there for a long time and hard to deal with. This was a poor game but the result was a very good one for Roscommon. The gifted goal which Senan Kilbride finished with aplomb was the difference. The initial target in this League of securing staying there has been achieved and the possibility of promotion is good. Some people seem to have mixed views about this but I firmly believe that it would be great and the worst that could happen, if one looked at the worst case scenario, would be demotion to Division Two next year. This would not be a disaster either. A trip to Killarney would be nice.

The table now stands at :-

Down, 8 points with Meath and Laois to play.
Roscommon, 7 points with Galway and Westmeath to play. 
Cavan 5 points with Westmeath and Meath to come.
Meath 5 points with Down and Westmeath to play.
Laois 5 points with Kildare and Down to play.
Galway 4 points with Roscommon and Kildare.
Westmeath 4 points with Cavan and Roscommon.
Kildare 2 points with Laois and Galway to come.    

Weekend Games

The coming week-end games include Roscommon v Galway in Hyde Park on Sunday at 1.30.
On Saturday Roscommon C.B.S. take on Good Counsel of New Ross in the All-Ireland Colleges ‘A’Final at St. Conleth’s Park in Newbridge.

I see the position of Roscommon GAA Administrator has been advertised again. This process had been well advanced prior to Christmas but was guillotined to the surprise of a number of people.
The possible game of the week-end may well be the relegation play-off between Kilkenny and Clare on Sunday next in Nolan Park, Kilkenny. The fact that the game is in Nolan Park will give Kilkenny the edge. I imagine the retiree Henry Sheflin will make an appearance. The rumblings regarding Davy Fitgerald’s  regime are also in play.


Congrats to Lee McKilleen

Congrats to Lee McKilleen who scored four goals in Boyle Celtic’s win over Carrick-on-Shannon last week. There were some great goals included in that virtuoso performance. 

Palliative Care Unit at The Plunkett Home 

I was just wondering what ever happened to the Palliative Care Unit at the Plunkett Home which had been ready for use a few years ago now?

Tony Blair

It seems to be the fate of some former Prime Ministers to float in a netherland. I see that the reputation of Tony Blair, ironically a Middle East peace broker of sorts, is being dismissed as irrelevant. I occasionally wonder if Mister Blair regrets his disastrous decision regarding Iraq. Blair was a man of considerable ability with a fair wind in terms of popular support and had such a capacity to redress the demons of Thatcher. But he ‘messed it all up’ and is now but a straw in the wind with his legacy in history in tatters. He could have been a contender.  


The Bright Spark Quiz takes place on Good Friday in St. Joseph’s Hall. It is in aid of the Christmas Lights financing. I used to be ok at quizzes but I’m afraid time takes its toll on the memory cells. I still watch them though, from time to time, on TV. One I really look out for is University Challenge which is approaching its 2014/20015 semi-finals on Monday next March 30 on BBC at 8. One of the semi-final teams includes a member by the name of Gabriel Trueblood and I would say he is the best individual contestant I can remember on that quiz. He is the captain of the St. Peter’s College Oxford team and has a penchant for pulling at his hoodie toggle string. Other quizzes I have noticed are Connect, The Chase and of course the long-standing classic Mastermind. So there are some quizzes to sharpen your mind with in preparation for Bright Sparks.  


I am nearly there now being at number two here. This could be many people’s number one and perhaps mine also but for relevancy issues for number one which I will tell you about next week. 

2. Kings of September: The Day Offaly Denied Kerry Five in a Row (GAA)Michael Foley (2007, O’Brien) 

The magnitude and magnificence of the day Seamus Darby made and shattered history was always going to be worth a book someday but that didn’t necessarily mean it would be served by a book worthy of it. Thankfully for everyone all round, especially future generations, Michael Foley would present Kings of September for the 25th anniversary of that landmark game.

Similar in style and format to Alan English’s brilliant ‘Stand Up And Fight’ from a couple of years earlier, Foley would weave together the strands of the Offaly and Kerry stories through painstaking research and countless interviews - Foley would manage to track down and sit down with every player who featured that day, bar an understandably-reticent Tommy Doyle, who Darby either nudged or pushed under the most timeless dropping ball of them all. What follows is not just history but poetry. “The raindrops falling from the net is what I saw,” Eugene McGee would recall. “I felt the breeze going through my fingers,” Charlie Nelligan would wistfully say.

There’s poignancy here too. Two years after that game, the finest of many fine players who took to the field that day would be in a car crash, leaving Matt Connor paralysed in a wheelchair; with remarkable dignity and stoicism, he too tells his story to Foley. Another Offaly player would go homeless a few years later before picking himself back up. But for those Offaly men, they will always have ’82. So too will Kerry; as Foley astutely notes, if it wasn’t losing for that All-Ireland, they most likely wouldn’t have garnered the energy for winning the overlooked three in a row of ’84 to ’86 that enhanced their greatness more than a win in ’82 ever would. And thanks gloriously to Foley; the rest of us will always have ’82 as well.

Sin é

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