Thursday, July 2, 2015

Update 3rd July

John Joe’s Final Lap.
Boyle and Roscommon paid a dignified and appropriate salute to John Joe Nerney on his passing last week.  The guards of honour from Boyle and Eastern Harps on Friday evening with that of the post office on Saturday were symbolic of their regard.     
The Mass service, in all its elements, on Saturday was moving tribute and in keeping with a deeply religious man. From Father Coughlan’s opening remarks and tribute through the presentation of the symbols of John Joe’s life, sporting and otherwise, to his daughter Theresa’s final commendation all were fitting of our friend and inspiration. The route of the cortege, stopping at the Abbey Park past the old Abbey with flags flying at half-mast at Shilling Hill past John Joe’s home in Mockmoyne to his final resting place was symbolic of his life’s journey. His final journey is recorded tellingly in Sean’s pictures on realboyle. 
The esteem for John Joe can be gleaned from the efforts made by many people to be present such as Geoffrey Brennan, Galway, Bill Corcoran  and Liam Gilmartin, Dublin all former football colleagues.
As I said elsewhere we thought in a sense he would always be with us. He will be of course be in our  memories. We will miss him but can are grateful for his long presence with us.  

Boyle Juniors Top of Their Table

Boyle Junior GAA - click on photo to view large version

Ballinameen Junior GAA - click on photo to view a large version.

Well done to the Cooney Motor's/Centra Junior team on their win over neighbours Ballinameen in the Division 5 league on Wednesday evening in the Abbey Park, on a score line 4-11 3-06. There were standout performances from Jim Suffin at midfield, veteran forward Liam Conroy bagging 4-03 with minors Conor Deery, Liam Casey and Jack Cox making telling contributions. The team are now top of the Division 5 table with a couple of games to play. Their next outing is in Junior ‘B’ championship this Sunday against Kilglass Gaels in the Abbey Park at 4:00pm.
Team: J. McDermott, J. Cox, D. Mattimoe, B. Furey, C. Brennan, C. Beirne(Capt.), D. Kelly, P. Lavin, J. Suffin, L. Casey, C. Goldrick, G. Goldrick, C. Deery, L. Conroy and B. Kerins. 
 Subs: D. O'Driscoll, M. Lavin, C. Beirne, C. Tivnan, D. McGovern, K. Kelly, S. Tonra and S. Spellman. 
When I asked Liam coming off what he had scored in his total, he replied ‘I got four goals anyway’ leaving aside the trivia of points. It was a great personal performance from Liam a stalwart of Boyle GAA down the years. I remember about a decade ago, at a game in Ballinlough, Liam exhorting his team mates to put the ball into him with “Give me the ball I’m on fire”. The fire was still burning on Wednesday evening. Well done to the management of Aidan Lavin and David O’Connor. The introduction of the young players on Wednesday was a real injection though it was the introduction of Steve Tonra that steadied the ship in the second half. The panel now seems pretty good though a number will be missing due to having played in the Senior Championship.

It was good to see a similar make-up to the Ballinameen squad with long-time players Joe Kearns, John Murtagh, Pat Casey and Paraic Brehony leading some good young players in their team. It was a good enjoyable game played in the right spirit. 
It was nice to see a tweet from Ballinameen team assistant manager Brian Costello afterwards as follows;

“Abbey Park, Boyle. One of the most beautiful GAA grounds in the country @BoyleGAA @Ballinameen_GAA”

Boyle Representation on Roscommon Girls U 16 Team
The Roscommon Girls U 16 side defeated Leitrim in the Connacht U 16 ‘B’ final at Ballyhaunis on Wednesday evening. Boyle was represented by Aine Mullens, RoisinWynne, Sinead Glennon and Ruth Cox with Sinead Keenehan as part of the Management. Roisin Wynne won the ‘player of the game’ award. So the future of the game in Boyle looks healthy with Miss Wynne carrying on the fine family tradition.

Boyle u12 Panel ... click on photo to view large version

U 12s’ at Croghan
I spent a good part of Sunday June 21st in Croghan supporting Boyle’s under 12 footballers in two League finals. The first game involved them in the Division 2 Final versus old adverseries, Strokestown. It was a game of swaying fortunes between two evenly matched teams. However Boyle just lost out to the black and amber. Niall O’Donnell, Luke McGrath, Oisin Cregg, Conor McPhearson and Daniel Casey had stand out games though it probably unfair to nominate some to the exclusion of others but c’est la vie. The final score was Strokestown 3.9 Boyle 2.10. It was confusing for a time since the team did not play as numbered in the programme. 

The next game was between St. Michael’s and Kilbride in the Division 3 League Final. I knew a bit about the St. Michael’s team from the Cumann na mBunscol final but alas they went down to a slightly better Kilbride side especially in the second half. One of their managers Vernon Keaveney, I was told, works in Chicago and commutes in a sense from Cootehall. Now that is a serious commute.
Boyle ‘B’ were out again in the Division 5 final this time against St. Barry’s. This was another close encounter but this time Boyle came out victors. Goals were the order of the day with David Duggan (O’Donohoe) bagging four goals. Niall O’Donnell was again on duty here to great effect as were Eden Kerins, and Gavin O’Connor who clocked up the miles. The panel was treated after in the club rooms. So well done to all involved.          

World Cup Football
I had hoped to watch more of the Women’s World Soccer Cup finals in Canada but was unable to due to the lack of coverage on the channels I have anyway. The final takes on Sunday next when Japan, the holders, play the U.S. former winners. The English lady player, Laura Bassett, scored an ‘own goal’ in the 92nd minute of their game versus Japan in their Semi-Final which ended their chance of a Final appearance.
The final takes place on Sunday midnight our time.  

Death of ‘crooner’ Val Doonican
‘I became an overnight success after twenty years trying’ I associate as a saying of Waterford born Val Doonican about his stardom in England in the sixties and seventies. His first song to do well was  ‘Walk Tall’ and others included ‘The Special Years’ and a comic rendition of Paddy McGinty’s Goat. He became associated with a varied and colourful clothing apparel, cardigans and pull overs. He came across as a pleasant reliable and down to earth individual, a kind of favourite uncle. He based his singing on the style of Bing Crosby that of a crooner. He hosted his own television show from 1965 to 1986. Along with Terry Wogan he established a very acceptable Irish persona in England when ‘The Northern Troubles’ created some difficulties for Irish people there. He was made a Freeman of home city of Waterford in 2011 and died at the age of 88.     

O Sé - A Legacy
Tuesday night’s documentary on the Kerry legend Paidi O Shea was a very impressive programme. It pulled no punches with its earthy directness and the undercurrent of Paidi being a brash, forceful individual who burned the candle  at both ends. 
His sudden death at a young age shocked the Kingdom with telling recollections of when they heard of his death from Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh and playing colleague Sean Walshe. The most obvious element that permeated the programme was the fierce determination of Ó Se to succeed and the ability to dispense this determination to those around him. His mam came from Sligo. Did Pat Spillane’s mam also come from Sligo? He also made a significant contribution to his home place in terms of tourism identity.  I have not been to that area of Kerry yet but it is on my ‘bucket list’.

Hugely Important Game for Roscommon
This Saturday evening Roscommon play Cavan in historic Breffni Park. This is a hugely important game for the Roscommon GAA project. Many of us were extolling the status of the team but the Sligo result was a reality check. Roscommon football has been on an upward curve for some time and especially in this past year. We go to Cavan with an even chance and hopefully we will be the winners. Little went right for many players in Sligo so hopefully they will get back on track on Saturday and I wish all involved well.              

Best Wishes to Father Brian Conlon
Like a lot of people I would like to wish Father Brian as he is affectionately known all the very best in the next phase of his life’s calling. I know he will be greatly missed from his present posts in Cootehall and in Boyle. I have known Father Brian for a long time and his positivity and sociable demeanour was always uplifting. He officiated at a family occasion last summer and contributed significantly to it being the memorable occasion it was. So I wish him the very, very, best in his new domain of activity. Our loss is certainly someone else’s gain.

Murmurations of Starlings 
I came across a reference to great gatherings of starlings –murmurations-around Carrick-on Shannon in recent times in Joe Kennedy’s Country matters on the Sunday Independent. (Oddly I have not seen this pictured locally). Mister Kennedy describes it thus ‘….thousands of birds displaying their lives for all to witness, swaying and waltzing in the evening skies, celebrating life’s joys..’ Apparently all this was captured on video and with music added was online in the Irish Independent Tuesday the 23rd of June. The video was compiled by Edwina Guckian of Sean-nos ar an t-Sionann. Perhaps some people might remember this phenomena on T,V, from south of Athlone some years ago. These air shows go on from 8 to 10 pm. I actually came across a mini display where the Boyle Celtic road meets the N4 on Wednesday evening!

The Black Beach
Now that I have nearly completed my contribution for this week my next project for the evening is a visit to the ‘black beach’ i.e. the bog.  


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