Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Update 3d September

Refugee Crisis

Apparently nobody ever anticipated that such an event would happen as is happening on the borders of Central Europe currently. One might think that with all the research and doctorate theses that this eventuality might have been spotted. Maybe it did of course.

In a Late Review programme last night on TV 3 the various sides of this issue, in as far as it effects Ireland, were put.  A regular reporter Colette Brown was an energetic advocate for the position that Ireland should do much more and allow a much greater number than the proposed 600 entry into Ireland. The second lady was for resisting pressure to allow any significant numbers of these migrants into Ireland at all. A security lady was for Ireland doing much more and that the West must do a lot more as it was the initial actions of the Western powers which accelerated the chaos which now exists in the Middle East and elsewhere i.e. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other African countries. The fourth member of the panel, a columnist had a confused analysis of the situation.

What is happening on the borders of the EU is perhaps the biggest challenge which that institution has faced. While the numbers now are large the possibility of a Tsunami of displaced migrants moving west is a very real possibility. The issue seems to be here for the long term. One can hardly blame people for moving to attempt to get a better and safer environment for them and their families. Then once a certain or large number of people are accepted into western European countries it will encourage more to follow suit.

Europe is moving towards a position like the US is with Mexico but on a much larger scale. Will the result be, as Churchill said in a very different context; ‘An Iron Curtain has come down again across central Europe’. Of course one of the real resolutions is in solving of the conflicts in Syria and elsewhere that force such huge numbers to flee. And ‘the West’, in being party to having Humpty Dumpty’ crumble will find it next to impossible to put it together again. This is the legacy of Blair and Bush. Now they might be thinking that Sadam Hussein and Col. Gadhafi were serving the west well and that their war adventures were pretty foolhardy after all, not having the post war famous ‘roadmap’ in place.
Of course Ireland has a moral dilemma in how they deal with this since during and after the Famine times huge numbers of Irish people left here and were accommodated in various countries like Britain, the US, Australia and Canada. At the moment Ireland is struggling to deal with this on a small scale with the number of homeless people who presently exist here in what they call ‘direct provision’ and also the position of refugees who have been here for years and have not been processed appropriately. It’s not going to be easy.

The Genius of George Boole

There was a Boyle connection in the RTE 1 programme on Tuesday night which was a biographical tribute to a person I had not heard of before, George Boole. This brilliant mathematician and philosopher born in England became the first Professor of mathematics in 1849 in Queens University Cork later U.C.C. and now NUIC. A retired maths professor at UCC, Des McHale, spoke eloquently of his antecedent in the post. When I heard the name Des McHale a bell rung for me and after a little research I confirmed that he was a Castlebar man and is a brother of Michael McHale who lives in Boyle.

Des McHale apart from being a professor of maths has written numerous books in the genre of ‘Joke Books’ and I remember Bridie giving me one, some time ago now. Anyway Des, as I have said, spoke engagingly about George Boole and his legacy which, apparently, is hugely significant in the computer and mathematics world of today. He then showed a beautiful stained glass window in the college in which George Boole was surrounded by the geniuses’ of his subject. I have the programme taped so I will give my fuller attention in due course.
An earlier programme ‘Recruits’ had Boyle’s Jim Suffin in the group who were training to become members of the Irish army. Fair play to Jim for surviving a really tough training regime. No wonder he is so fit playing for Boyle.

The Banking Enquiry

The Banking enquiry has recommenced today Wednesday with one of its star subjects Michael Fingleton. Michael’s Irish  Nationwide was proportionately perhaps the biggest and most costly failure of the Banking Collapse. Its business model was hugely questionable with Mr. Fingleton the main man at the tiller. He ‘retired’ with a pension pot of over €25 million and near the end got a ‘bonus’ of €1million which he promised to pay back. Today he was unapologetic and stood his ground. And so they come in,  strut their stuff, denying culpability and retire to their villas cosseted by entitlement.

What is it with Enda?

Enda, the Taoiseach, made a rare appearance with a TV inquisitor on Tuesday’s evening news. His own account of his attitude and handling of the termination of the tenure of the Garda Commissioner whenever that was, sounded very hollow and incredible to me.  The fog of spin which surrounds the essentials of truth is wearisome.    

Boyle River Valley

This title has a ring to it naturally pinging on the well know Boyne River Valley. The Boyle version arose in John Mulligan’s column in the Roscommon Herald this week where he suggested a tourism product based on the Boyle River catchment area from Ballaghaderreen to the Shannon at Carrick on Shannon.

When one considers the success of ‘The Wild Atlantic Way’ which was created, as far as I can see, with signage and promotion the idea has merit. It is compact enough and has a wide variety of tourism products of note to offer.

John also referred to ‘the Stables’ in Lough Key Forest Park and their possibilities. This has been referred to before in terms of a Hostel but this notable structure continues to decline and its potential is ignored. It is also sad to see the roofless church alongside the ‘Stable’. One would have thought that it too could have been restored to provide some service or opportunity.                  

This Week End A Hot Blanket of Sport

Dublin  v Mayo A Chance for Redemption

The coming week-end is a sport’s nerd’s Eden. Mayo and Dublin return to a packed Croke Park for the All-Ireland Football Semi-Final. It was pretty amazing that all the tickets were snapped up in a matter of hours like a top concert might be. The Dubs being in situ have an advantage there. I really hope that the nastiness, lack of sportsmanship, and much that was unacceptable will not be repeated on Saturday evening. I doubt one can be confident of that but it is an early opportunity to do the right thing.  

I fancied that Mayo had a few extra pieces in place this year but I am revising my opinion on that and feel that Dublin will prevail even without Connolly on Saturday. And that is not saying that Dublin are the real deal that we might have thought. They have a good squad of players but apart from Connolly and perhaps a couple more they are not star players. The person most satisfied leaving Croke Park on Sunday last had to be Eamon Fitzmaurice the Kerry manager. Kerry look much too good for whoever wins on Saturday evening.

The referee on Sunday last had an impossible task. He gets little assistance from his officials of which there are four umpires and two linesmen. Why the umpires cannot be more engaged is puzzling. Perhaps an idea, which a friend of mine mentioned to me this week, might be a help. He suggested that referees be used as umpires or at least one of the two umpires be a referee. Something has to be done as the structure of the play and the conduct of the games is bringing the game into disrepute and the loyalty of the regular supporter is being tested. I have read a very critical Facebook critique of Gaelic football (by the friend of a friend) as represented by a number of games this summer. I was going to add it here as an appendix but I decided to leave it and see if there is any redemption next Saturday.    

Sunday’s hurling All-Ireland Hurling Final looks like a much more appetising prospect. While Kilkenny are the name team Galway have a good few games and wins over top teams and they look like an emerging top side. The phrase is ‘which Galway will turn up ?’ but this year I think Galway are in with a real chance as Kilkenny are not the team of recent years. Once again it is just a person’s fancy rather that exact science that says who will win. I usually go for Kilkenny but that is going with the stats.

Rugby and Soccer

On Friday evening Ireland play Gibraltar in Faro in Portugal in the European Soccer C’Ships and on Monday they play Georgia in Dublin. The two remaining games are v Germany and Poland in October.
On Saturday Ireland play England in a rugby World Cup preparation match at Twickenham starting at 2.30. The first Irish game of the Rugby World Cup is v Canada on Saturday 19th in Cardiff @ 2.30 !

Boyle Qualify for Senior Football Quarter Finals

(This is in-essence-what I posted on Boyle GAA’s Facebook page on Sunday after Boyle’s qualification).

‘Huge congratulations to Boyle Senior team on their win over Strokestown this evening at Elphin. Boyle 1.11 Str. 1.7. At half time it was B. 0.6 Str.0.2. The early spring training obviously told as all the B. players ran their socks off and Str. could not stay with the pace. The sight of Purcell and McKenna powering forward down the middle leaving the opposition in their wake was a joy. The mobility, tenacity, tackling and skill and especially leadership of and within the team was just great and a credit to all the players and those involved in their preparation led by Manager Ml. Jordan. I was delighted to see Colin Goldrick slot over that late point. Cian McKeon had a fine intro. to senior football. Perhaps B. could have won easier had they gone for points instead of goals but that is for the days ahead. Enda, great goal and great influence in the latter stages, a real presence. Roch Hanmore showed grim determination in a drive along the ground near the stand side. Killian Cox immense. Conor McGowan a huge asset to the side. Ml. Hanmore got through a power of work and if a pedometer was attached it was a marathon or mini mar. Best wishes to those injured this evening. This talented Str. side just were not up to Boyle this evening but they are a side for the coming years. So now Pearse's or Clann. Just a great team/squad/management performance’

P.S. By securing second place in the group they will play in Group ‘A’ next year 2016, This ensures Boyle having senior football for the next two years as in a worst case scenario all that could happen next year is that they drop down to Group ‘B’ again.

      *Boyle have their last group League game on this Saturday evening in Boyle at 6.30 versus St. Faithleach’s. A win here would mean Boyle would play the second or third team to play St. Brigid’s in the O’Rourke Cup Final. So it is the business end of both top Roscommon competitions for the team this year.
     *On Friday evening Boyle U 16 team play Western Gaels in the Division 4 Semi-Final @ Boyle @ 6.30.

And if some of that is not for you, there is always Electric Picnic.

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