Thursday, May 5, 2016

Update 6th May

‘Pleasure Grounds’ Returns to Boyle Saturday May 14th
‘Pleasure Grounds’, a play written by Boyle’s own Jarlath Tivnan, was first performed in Galway Town Hall Theatre last summer. It did a short national tour subsequently and was very well received. It came to Boyle last December and got a near full attendance. It generated a lot of interest and comment in Boyle and the company has been encouraged to return for a second performance. This will take place on Saturday May 14th in St. Joseph’s Hall. This gives people an opportunity to revisit the play and to those who missed the first opportunity to see for themselves what so engaged those who saw it first time around.
   The play is produced by Fregoli Theatre company Galway who have been at Boyle Art’s Festival a number of times and is directed by Jarlath’s cousin Maria Tivnan.  
   The story of the play centres around, ‘a group of friends who’ve gone their separate ways who meet back at their teenage haunt, the town park and playground, known as the Pleasure Ground. The town is in limbo, the Pleasure Ground’s glory has faded, and life hasn’t quite matched up to youthful expectations. Over their night together, buried secrets become unearthed, past grievances boil over, and scores are settled’.
   The play's performers: Kate Murray, Peter Shine, Eilish McCarthy & Jarlath Tivnan
The company have just ended a very successful national tour with the play from Belfast to Cork. After its showing in the ‘Smock Alley Theatre’ in Dublin the Irish Times critic had this to say in his review; “Tivnan’s play, directed with an engagingly light touch, is finally more optimistic than you might expect (or, in places, accept), but it sketches the damages and potential within this generation with unshowy, vivid insights. These are characters struggling to put away childish things, but still yearning to play, and on some level it knows that life beyond the Pleasure Ground may not be so different: it’s all swings and roundabouts”.
   Other Reviews remarked on it being;
“bog gothic… reminiscent of Patrick McCabe”
“a marriage of brutality and tenderness” Irish Theatre

Thank You!
I see on television that the census organisers are saying; ‘Thanks!’ to the general public for their participation and cooperation with the process. I presume the public have generally cooperated with it. I am not aware of any diary or account of the trials of a census enumerator! I imagine there is material for one. Anyway my few lines on this, focus on the word THANKS. Some time ago I overheard a radio programme on the topic of differences in the nuances of interaction between people in this country and in, as it happened on the occasion, England. A lady who had returned to Ireland was outlining some of the positives in this country. She used a very simple example of getting off a Dublin bus and a male passenger saying ‘thank you’ to the bus driver. She suggested that it would be a very rare occurrence In London. There are all kinds of situations when common courtesy and basic good manners can be practised or abused. The simple phrase ‘thank you’ enunciated clearly has an endearing ring to it.

Flying the Flag
A neighbour of ours in Forest View  regularly flies the national flag. This is done for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and for special occasions when appropriate. This person has even gone to the trouble and expense of having a decent flag pole. It demonstrates a high regard for the flag’s symbolism  and in this year there are many occasions when the flag can be flown. On the road to Roscommon at Fourmilehouse one sees a group of flags ‘of the day’ flying regularly. This is a tradition initiated by Roscommon barber and GAA enthusiast Paddy Joe Burke. 
 At the launch of Barry Feely’s book recently his relation Frank Feighan in outlying the family connection- James Feely being Frank’s grandfather-  to what it all meant referred to ‘the flag’. He mentioned that there was a time, in the not too distant past, when flying the flag had certain extreme connotations but that in this Centenary year it could now be taken back by the general public and be flown proudly by all without fear or favour. So in recent times especially one sees the flag being flown a good deal more, not in the aggressive assertive manner of say Northern Ireland both Union Jack and Tricolour. People in many countries hold their flag in high regard notably the United States and France. Perhaps we in Ireland can adopt our flag with more respect and mindfulness from here.

Robert Troy F.F. T.D. for Longford /Westmeath on Mental Health 
It is recognised that mental health and suicide rates are a huge issue in this country. I imagine that these issues have no boundaries and even the most ‘unlikely’ people are affected by them. Recently Robert Troy T.D. had the courage to speak publicly on his personal experience of this issue in the Dail during a cut to the mental heaIth budget.  I imagine that even amongst his immediate Dail listeners there were a number quietly and privately hearing elements of their own mental health dilemma being enunciated. 
   I post just the opening lines from Robert’s speech and if you wish you can of course access  the full account further. “Like many over the past few weeks I was getting totally frustrated by the length of time it was taking for the government to be formed.
   The talks seemed to be focusing exclusively on Irish Water to the detriment of many other important issues, such as mental health.
   This week after announcing €12m cuts in mental health service, the Government made time available (for me) to make (a)statement on Mental Health in the Dáil. Having considered speaking on the issue I decided to share some real life experience. I was scared, nervous, and anxious about the prospect of speaking out in front of my peers knowing that they would all know my weaknesses and sufferings.”  He stated.

Olivia O’Leary Speaks on Her Dark Time 
On Wednesday am Olivia O’Leary spoke to Sean O’Rourke  of a time in her young life when ‘depression’ nearly overcame her. With her it was linked to alcohol abuse as it often is. She used an example of how deep it went in that, on one occasion on a train journey she was unable to get off at her stop. She was young, hugely busy as a 24 year old reporter, making a name for herself, making sure she was ‘one of the boys’ in terms of drinking and the journalistic culture that prevailed but was privately in turmoil. Eventually she sought help and got to grips with her ‘mental health issues’ and established a healthier lifestyle regime but was quick to point out “I know it could happen again”.  
I imagine there are many who continue to struggle on in silence thinking that their condition is somewhat irrational and up to themselves to resolve.

A Government … Hallelujah
‘Oh Joy’ as Basil Fawlty exclaimed in the episode ‘The Kipper and the Corpse’. 
   How many days since the last government ended? Now we seem to be reaching the end game as Fine Gael engage with a number of independents. The arrangement between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail is said to cover 3 budgets, about up to late 2018. That is being optimistic and it is going to a be one roller coaster of a ride. Fasten your (Dail) seat belts.
   I was once on the fringes of a car discussion as I know zero technically about them. The talk referred to a process, if I remember correctly, called ‘cut and shut’. Apparently this involves the welding together of two halves of different cars and the possibility in a severe crash of it splitting along those lines. This current political arrangement sounds to me somewhat a bit like that ‘cut and shut’ car. 
   The ‘Water Question’ still bubbles. I hear from Fianna Fail T.D. Jim O’Callaghan, of the party’s negotiating team, that Water Bills are still being issued and will be until the end of June and his expectation that  they will be paid! Now that is a man of faith. 
   Of course Fianna Fail were, not too long ago advocates of water charges up to €500 it is said. Fianna Fail now go forward as both supporting (in) government and also being the opposition. So members will be issued with the dual county jersey! A cliché phrase returns ‘I used to be indecisive but now I’m not so sure’.
   I will not attempt any analysis of the possibilities at this stage, but, as the psychiatrist character in Fawlty Towers suggested; “There's enough material there for an entire conference.”

Roscommon Near Disaster in New York
The Roscommon GAA Project nearly took a huge hit in New York on Sunday last. What I mean by the Roscommon GAA project is that of having a very good team, the redevelopment of Hyde Park and the development of the ‘centre of excellence’ in Oran and the massive work that has been done at clubs and at county level in recent years in terms of coaching young players. The optimism of the spring league campaign has taken a severe hit.
   While the Kerry defeat was a reality check the New York result sounds like a serious reversal of fortunes. Much goodwill in terms of necessary support for the various projects now in train in the county are predicated on decent results by the senior team. This was seen to be expanding through the spring but it a case of a number of steps of forward and then it backwards again.
   I feel that the team has a number of serious deficits and most GAA people are aware of those. The regular attempts at improvisation have failed to rectify these deficits.
   Fergal O’Donnell in his immediate post-match interview with Willie Hegarty was very forthright in his view of the game and Kevin Mc Stay looked a bit shocked as he too was very honest in his assessment. Tides turn of course and in a few weeks it will be Leitrim in Carrick that is the challenge. Hopefully the rehabilitation will start there!

Boyle GAA Notes
Next Sunday Boyle play Castlerea in the first round of the 2016 senior championship at Boyle at 2. This is a big game for Boyle of course and they have prepared well. The real problem is that they have a number of key players injured including such as Enda Smith, Sean Purcell and Evan McGrath.    The return of Donie Smith will be a big addition and some players such as Roch Hanmore are on the way back also. The epidemic of injuries in Gaelic and Rugby is very serious and it is impossible to see where it is going. So Sunday will tell us where the Boyle senior team are at and if they can start with a win on Sunday that would be a very positive thing. Hopefully there will be a good crowd of local support present.
   Boyle Juniors had a good run against St. Ronan’s on Saturday evening last . Ronan’s led by 8 points to 6 at half time and winners by 4 points. St. Ronan's 0.16 Boyle 012. It was a good competitive game. I have a soft spot for the junior or second team as they seem to represent the original ethos of the game as sporting recreation rather than sporting work. The Boyle Junior team was; T. McGarty, who did very well in goals, C. Horan, C. Beirne, C. O’Donoghue , C. Tivnan, M. Goldrick (0.1), C. Lavin, T. Halligan (0.1), S. Tonra, M. O’Connor, C. Conboy (0.6 2 frs.), L. Casey (0.1), K. Kelly, P. Lavin, C. Flanagan (0.3) with S. Mullens and R. Finneran.

To Tadgh Egan in Canada….Megan& Co.+ Niall Nangle in the Middle East /Damien Dooley, Frankie Flaherty, Austin Beisty in New York, Marcus Kennedy further on/ Seamie Gallagher, Ciaran Conlon, Conor Nangle, Paraic Sweeney and Co. in Oz/Aishling in N.Z. big family day looming/Paddy Conlon and the London gang ….London is just over the road nowadays/ Liam and Rory in Edinburgh . 

(New York 1968 episode 2 next week?)

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