I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud/Daffodils
By William Wordsworth
While we are, in a calendar sense, well into spring the arrival of daffodils really endorses the spirit of the season. These beautiful flowers are particularly visible just now. They are the subject of what is regarded as the most accessible poem in the English language. The poem is usually referred to as ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth but also by its opening line, "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". It is a lyric poem and the most famous work of the great English poet. It was originally published in 1807. The poem was inspired by an event which took place on the 15th of April 1802, in which Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy came across a "long belt" of daffodils. The experience stayed with him and evolved into a poem of striking, beautiful and simple images which we can all experience at this time of year, if we take the time to dwell on this natural and beautiful phenomena.
‘Daffodils’ William Wordsworth.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Tidy Towns ‘That time of year..’
I see some references on realboyle to Tidy Towns and it is appropriate that with the introduction of summer time that the eternal ‘spring clean’ takes place. This in Boyle includes the collection of litter from roadsides. There are areas that particularly attract litter and I have mentioned recently the area between the two arches on the entrance to Lough Key Forest Park.
While Boyle has much to commend itself in terms of buildings and structure to claim itself as a ‘heritage town’ these are relegated because of the number of ‘blots’ on the landscape. As one drives through the country one sees many of the famous ‘tidy towns’ and why they regularly feature in those despatches. The primary pair in Roscommon county are Keadue and Castlecoote. I know the huge effort that goes into making those two villages look so well. The two large centres that feature regularly, that I know pretty well, are Westport and Kilkenny. They deserve all the accolades they receive. To reach their standards must engender huge pride and affirmation for people living in those places along with the obvious economic benefits. While reaching these levels would take enormous efforts and time the work of those involved in Boyle Tidy Towns are to be commended and supported.
I thought it was past time that I paid tribute to one of Boyle’s most distinguished sons and someone I knew well as a student in St. Mary’s college. Hilary has contributed so much to his adopted city of New York with his huge commitment to their annual flagship Irish event, the Saint Patrick’s Day parade.
Hilary Beirne is from Kilbryan Boyle and is the son of the late Johnny Beirne, Veterinary Surgeon, and the late Ethel (nee Regan) Beirne from Cootehall, Boyle.
Hilary attended the National School at Hollymount, Ardcarne and St Mary’s College, Boyle before entering University College Galway and subsequently University College Dublin where he obtained a Degree in Agricultural Science. Prior to emigrating from Ireland, Hilary worked as an Agricultural Advisor with Volac Feeds Ltd as Area Manager in the West of Ireland. While employed with Volac, he introduced a then new agricultural innovation into the West of Ireland “Wrapping of Baled Silage”, an innovation that can today be seen all over the west of Ireland.
In 1988 Hilary immigrated to New York and was employed by Monsignor Scanlon High School in the Bronx as a teacher before joining the staff at Eastchester High School in Westchester County in 2001.
Hilary Beirne is well known and respected within the Irish American Community for his work on behalf of the New York City St Patrick’s Day Parade for the past 25 years. In recent years he has become one of the public representatives of the Parade giving newspaper, radio and TV interviews in matters concerning the Parade and Irish affairs. Hilary is an elected officer of the Parade Committee, and currently serves as the Parade’s Executive and Corresponding Secretary. He is a driving force within the Parade’s organization and under his Chairman’s direction the Parade has been brought into the modern technology era. He is involved in all aspects of the Parade, ensuring the operations of the largest and oldest Parade in the world run smoothly every March 17th.
In 2006, Hilary initiated the Parade’s website as a way to improve communications between the Parade Committee and the public. As a result, the Parade web site is now one of the most visited website in the world on March 17th with in excess of 3 million hits annually. In 2006, Hilary arranged for the first Grand Marshal in the history of the Parade to ring the opening bell at the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and in 2009 successfully negotiated the transition of the bell ringing ceremony from the AMEX to the New York Stock Exchange, which is watched daily by 150 million, thereby raising the profile of the parade tremendously across the world.
In 2008 he worked with WNBC’s production teams at Rockefeller Centre to launch the live web streaming of the Parade from Fifth Avenue. The web casting of the Parade has been hugely successful and along with the TV coverage around the world the parade is also watched live from along Fifth Avenue by over two million people.
He is the chairman of the Grand Marshal and Aides Reception; the largest public event in the Parade calendar after the Parade itself and coordinates the press announcement of the Grand Marshall while producing many of the Parade’s publications and press releases.
In 2011 Hilary Beirne was honoured by the Federation of Irish Societies in the UK, when he gave a keynote address at the first ever “Irish in the UK” conference in London. In 2010 he was honoured by the County Roscommon Society of New York as their guest of honour at the society’s St Patrick’s Day dance. In 2009 Hilary joined other prominent New Yorkers when he was recognized by New York University (NYU) when he was included in the Archives of Irish America at NYU’s Division of Libraries. In 2008, he was also honoured by the County Leitrim Society of New York.
Hilary is a member of the County Roscommon Society of New York and the County Leitrim Society of New York amongst other organisations.
He is married to Marguerite Beirne a prominent official with Westchester County government. They have one son Connor and reside in Larchmont, New York.
I remember Hilary at St. Mary’s College with his twin brother Kenneth as determined and diligent students. They were also involved in whatever sports obtained as members of the GAA teams and participants in the annual school sports in the ‘top field’.
So I salute this former student from St. Mary’s, applaud his achievements on a major stage and wish him and his family well into the future.
Some TV Programmes I’ve watched Recently
I have watched a number of interesting programmes in recent times. As everyone is aware there are many commemorative programmes treating of various elements of 1916. On Monday night Nationwide on RTE 1 had an affecting account of the role of one of the lesser known leaders of a 1916 combat zone, Michael Mallin. He was leader of a group of rebels for a short time in St. Stephen’s Green with Countess Markievicz. Because of the vulnerability of the site they had to re-position to the College of Surgeons. On arrest after the surrender Mister Mallin tried to suggest that he was not a primary leader of his outpost. He had a young family with another child yet to be born. He realised that his death would leave his wife and young family in a very difficult position. However his pleas were ignored and he was one of the leaders of the Rebellion to be executed. The programme outlined the subsequent hardships of his wife and family to survive in the face of public misgivings. This they did despite a mean spirited attitude in a pension award. The primary witness in the story of Michael Mallin was his son, a priest, resident in Hong Kong aged 102 years.
While it is an impossible question I wonder occasionally, when the Easter Rising becomes a topic, how many of the participants who marched out on that fateful Easter Monday had little realisation of what they were actually involved in?
The Enemy Files
This was very interesting as it gave a singular view of The Rising from the perspective of the British authorities. It outlined the attitude of their establishment in the midst of a great war with reflection of the differing attitudes of the military and the loose control of the political class leading to significant mistakes which led to the resultant militant legacy of the Rising. It was presented by former British government minister Michael Portillo. I did not tune into this from the beginning so perhaps I might get a chance to see a repeat at some stage. It too was on RTE 1 on Monday night.
True North: Crossmaglen: Field of Dreams
The name of Crossmaglen town in South Armagh resonates through the country. For some people it is because of its reputation as a hotbed of Republicanism during the Northern Ireland Troubles. However it is generally through its reputation as a powerful GAA club which has dominated the game in Armagh for the last 20 to 25 years. Added to this is their success in Ulster extended to regular success at All-Ireland level. The two main subjects were Oisin McConville and John McEntee as managers of the team plus cameos from a number of players and also Oisin’s mother. The programme was set against the backdrop of a British army fortress encroaching on their grounds and the war that prevailed in the area for many years. The programme will rank as one of the best GAA club profiles recorded. Still while it is very good it falls short of being a great film which, considering its background, it might have been. Two things it did hammer home were, the necessary commitment of players to their club and team and the role of the club in the community.
Roscommon v Mayo
On Sunday next Roscommon senior footballers face another big test which is against Mayo. Roscommon are close to qualification for a league semi-final place while Mayo need points to stay in division one. So a real championship type game is assured on Sunday and it is certain to attract a big crowd. (Roscommon town also have an Easter parade on Sunday so the town is going to be a busy place then. I am told that Castlebar town postponed their St. Patrick’s Day parade until the following Sunday since a lot of people wanted to be in Croke Park for the All-Ireland club football final which they lost.) The game on Sunday will be on TG4 at some point.
Roscommon had a comfortable win over Sligo in the U 21 championship on Saturday in Sligo. While there was not the polish of their win over Galway they still have a good side with some of the lesser known players coming up trumps. They now face Mayo in the Connacht final on Saturday week April 2nd against Mayo prior to the Roscommon senior team’s last game against Dublin on the Sunday. A further big week-end for Roscommon GAA and Roscommon town.
Roscommon minors are doing well also with wins over Mayo and Sligo where it is great to see Boyle’s Cian McKeon making a big mark for himself.
Boyle had a disappointing loss to Elphin in the senior league in Elphin on Sunday last. While I feel that Elphin were deserving winners it was a somewhat missed opportunity for Boyle.
On Wednesday Boyle minors had a high scoring win over Michael Glavey’s in Boyle.
A big effort has been made with an important Boyle GAA club fundraiser i.e. the New York Draw 2016. The draw will take place in The Moylurg Bar on Sunday next march 27th.
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