Joe Duffy and his Liveline Radio Show
Like any radio or television show there are varied opinions on their role and quality. They are liked, disliked, disliked intensely or ignored. It is hard to ignore the Joe Duffy Radio Show on Radio One. On Monday last the 16th while driving on a fairly long journey I got most of the programme. It dealt with a number of interesting stories. Perhaps there is a ‘typical’ phone caller to the show but there was a range of topics on that day.
• No. 1. A topic which has been aired for a few days now is that of farm inheritance. I really had not heard much if anything on this story before. Farms are invariably passed on to the sons to the exclusion of daughters and the debate arose as to why this was so? In most cases it is that a son has dedicated his life to the farm and he is seen as the natural successor. Often there is desire to keep the family surname co-existing with the farm. Of course a daughter could retain her original name if married or double it with her husband to cope with that provision.
A lady with a very benign attitude to this dilemma talked of the men inheriting the farm ‘while the women inherited the china and the pearl necklace’. The duty of care to the senior farmer or spouse was touched on and the lady said that ‘daughters often show a greater duty of care to the parents than the inheriting son’. Then there was the example of signage in business 'Joe Bloggs and Sons' as opposed to 'Joe Bloggs and Daughters'. I am sketchy on its contents now but it raised a new topic as I said and perhaps it will inspire a few signs where Joe Bloggs is joined by the daughters rather than the sons.
• Item Number Two .. Job Disappears
The next caller, Aishling from Roscommon, relayed a story of applying for a job before Christmas and being in contact with the H.R. Dept. of a fairly big company and doing an interview on site. Later she was told over the phone that she had the job and to report for work on a particular date. She left her accommodation and got a new abode in the city –Kilkenny-where she had got the position. However when she turned up for work no one knew of her or her job. Apparently the H.R. person she was dealing with was not available and she could not could get a reasonable answer as to what happened. One could tell by Joe Duffy that he was pretty upset by Aishling being treated in this way and set about requesting the company come on radio and explain what happened or he would have someone call to them and perhaps name them. That would have come to air on Tuesday so since I was not listening then I don’t know how it panned out. The message here is, as the old film producer once uttered; ‘An oral contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on’
• No. 3. Hospital Trolley Story
Hospital trolley stories are a regular feature of the show and Monday was no different. Peggy Hogan aged 88 relayed how she spent 33 hours on a trolley in Limerick Regional Hospital with a pretty serious condition. She gave a graphic account of the trolleys lined up in the corridor to the extent that they ignored the ‘no trolleys past this point’ notice with staff negotiating their way around them, lights on, sleep almost impossible and so on. A lot of people who have experience of public hospitals will empathise with all this.
• Item no. 4. Legal Fees. Caitriona called in to tell Joe about the legal costs of her divorce. The bill she received was five and a half thousand while the quote she had got at the beginning was two and a half thousand. An appeal to the Law Society of Ireland brought a reduction of one thousand which was still much higher than the quote she had been given before the process started.
Dave got a legal bill of €34k for his divorce: when he appealed it, the amount was reduced to €6k. How that could happen is hardly credible.
U 2 Concert Tickets
Lots of people got in touch to complain that tickets for the U2 concert in Croke Park were almost impossible to get as they were snapped up in minutes from Ticketmaster. That is unless you were willing to pay way over the odds on Seatwave – the ticket ‘reseller’ company which is also owned by Ticketmaster. Johnny said he saw tickets for the U2 gig on Seatwave on Wednesday the 11th, even though they only went on general sale on Monday the 17th!
That got a good deal of coverage and comment in the print media subsequently. The U 2 concert programme is centred around the contents of one album and thus it is called ‘The Joshua Tree Tour’. The concert takes place in Croke Park on July 22nd.
• So if you are in bother with an issue the affordable court of appeal is in talking to Joe on Liveline. It is a national release valve for immediate opinion some of it a bit scatty but for many it comes up trumps. I wonder now how Aishling, whose job disappeared, got on?
Great British Railway Journeys
A popular if low key television documentary series of rail travel was broadcast on BBC through this week. It is presented by a former U.K. Minister for Defence Michael Portillo. On a trip earlier in the week Mister Portillo’s journey ended in Dublin so he introduced some of the sights of the city. One of these was the Ordnance Survey office in the Phoenix Park and he interviewed one of the top people there who was Andy McGill from between Boyle and Gurteen. The village turned up again this Thursday evening when its journey took it to Sligo with a diversion to various places of interest including the home of the famous Sligo traditional musician Michael Coleman at Killavil. Tomorrow evening’s journey ends in Westport. This is the eighth series with many different train journeys having been traversed in the previous episodes. The idea is based on a classic book on English train time-tables and journeys ‘Bradshaw’s Guide’ published originally in 1839. Programmes like these are a tourist promoter’s dream.
The deaths of two Connacht GAA greats ...
Willie Casey of Mayo
In early December one of the great Mayo players of the fifties Willie Casey was laid to rest in his native Ballina. Willie was a substitute the last Mayo won the All-Ireland in 1951. He won a league title with the county in the mid-fifties and was a regular on the great Connacht Railway Cup teams of that decade. I knew a little about his life once but it is submerged with me now.
In his mid-eighties, Willie won an All-Ireland junior medal in 1950 as an 18-year-old and was promoted to the senior panel the following year. With captain Sean Flanagan and John Forde occupying the corner back slots, the Ballina man didn't make his senior debut until 1952 when he lined out against Kerry in a National League game. From then until his retirement after the 1964 Connacht final defeat to Galway, he was a permanent fixture in the Mayo defence.
Along with Dr Mick Loftus (former GAA president) and Paddy Jordan, who were also unused subs in 1951, Willie had to wait until 2007 to receive his All-Ireland medal.
A winner of several Mayo SFC medals with Ballina Stephenites, Willie was laid to rest in Leigue Cemetery, Ballina in the first week of December.
Jim Killoran of Ballinafad Sligo
Jim Killoran of Cartron, Ballinafad and Sligo was laid to rest on Tuesday last the 17th in Ballinafad cemetery. He played for Sligo from 1956 to 1966. His home club was Keash but He played for a number of clubs during his time. In Dublin he played with Innisfree with Peter Burke and played with clubs in Liverpool and Manchester during his time there and became a great Liverpool soccer supporter. He is said to have played minor football for Roscommon around ’54 and he is pictured on a Boyle team of the fifties. For this reason, had I known in time, I would have attended his funeral in Ballinafad. I am told that as they laid Jim in his final resting place a small plane landed on Lough Arrow nearby. Some people might suggest that it was symbolic in some way. A tribute to Jim -written by P.J. McKeown- will hopefully feature in an upcoming edition of the Sligo Champion.
Boyle Celtic Advance in Thriller. (A very Boyle perspective)
Boyle Celtic 3 Ballina Town 3
(Boyle win 4 -1 on penalties a.e.t.)
Those in attendance at Ballina Town soccer complex got full value and more for their money on Sunday afternoon in an FAI Junior Cup thriller between Ballina town and Boyle Celtic before a decent crowd. Boyle had got to this stage a few years ago but went down to Tipperary side St. Michael’s in Boyle but this time they were determined to go a step further.
On a mild misty day on a perfect surface the quality of football was top class. Boyle opened strongly playing some intricate football as they dominated the first half hour. Young Danny Browne was pulling the strings in midfield but was also attracting more and more attention from the opposition. Boyle’s play finally had its reward with a Danny Browne cross finished to the net by Michael Corrigan. Ballina threatened after that with number 11 Cawley particularly, causing problems along the left wing and a run from him caused a mistake in the Boyle defence resulting in a penalty on 35 minutes which was converted; 1 all. Just on half-time a corner for Ballina crossed and following some confusion in the Boyle goals ended up in the net to send Ballina in with a 2 to 1 lead. The Boyle goalie felt that he had been impeded in that tussle. Half-time score Ballina Town 2 Boyle 1.
So it was up to Boyle to get their game back on track which they did eight minutes into the second half with Carlos winning a tackle in midfield and putting a good ball into the box and Calpin finished to the net. Teams level 2 all.
Kyle Suffin in the Boyle goals brought off a couple of top saves to keep Boyle level. Boyle manager Darren Hurd introduced Luka Roddy on 23 minutes of this second half, up front and in an even, competitive and free-flowing game Luka paid dividends with a lead goal on 33 minutes. Boyle might have gone more defensive at this stage but Ballina equalised again on 40 minutes with a strong header, 3-3, and Boyle were in grave danger of letting a winning position slip. Suffin made a save and Calpin cleared off the line as the ball ping-ponged around the Boyle goal. As the seconds ticked towards the close and extra time, however, a Ballina attacker was fouled and a penalty was awarded in the dying moments and it looked as if Ballina would pinch the game at the end but Kyle Suffin brought off another fine save to send the game into extra time.
The two periods of 10 minutes extra-time passed without any major incidents apart from a creeping number of yellow cards. And so after 1 hour and 50 minutes it was down to a penalty shoot-out to see who would get through to the last 16.
Impressive Penalty Shoot-Out
Boyle’s Danny Brown was first up, scoring with an impressive strike. Ballina’s star player was first up for them but alas for him he made a first mistake of the day as Suffin made an impressive save. Celtic now in the driving seat. Next up for Celtic was Niall Brennan and it was a repeat of Browne’s fine score. Ballina’s second effort was again saved by Suffin so it was 2 – 0 in the shoot-out to Boyle. When Ml. Corrigan added a third it looked very good for Boyle. Ballina’s third penalty-taker hit the bottom of the post and looked as if Boyle were through but the referee called it back for some goalie infringement. The player finally scored for Ballina so it was now 3-1 to Boyle. Fourth up with a chance to win it for Boyle was Gerard Mc Dermotroe who took it in his stride and confidently dispatched the ball to the net for Boyle’s fourth goal from four penalties and sending them into the last 16 of the Cup for the first time. Naturally enough the Boyle Celtic team celebrated the victory as did their small band of dedicated supporters who had made the journey.
It has to be said that all the Boyle Celtic team contributed to a fine performance and win, so mentioning ‘best for Boyle’ seems a tad unfair. Still Seanie Purcell was their best player with a consistent strong performance with Connolly and Mc Dermotroe also doing well at the back. Browne started very well, Calpin played himself to a standstill with Shane Battles being very impressive. Kyle Suffin compensated for his slight error around the penalty to make a number of top saves throughout. Dessie Carlos had a handful in matching the Ballina Town star player Cawley but he made a mighty effort in that regard. Corrigan, Brennan, Aaron Murren and Roddy contributed handsomely. The substitutes yesterday were Luka Roddy (played); Lochlainn Conboy/ Thomas Lavin, Geevagh/ Marcus Guckian, Carrick-on-Shannon/ Aaron Sharkey with Lee Mc Killeen and Sean McCormack, Tulsk both injured. (Manager Darren Hurd)
It was a historic win for the club and as a consequence of the draw will now meet VEC F.C. from Terenure, South Dublin City in the last 16. The V.E.C. stands for Vocational Education Committee as the club was formed in 1974 for employees of Dublin V.E.C. THE REAL PLUS OF THE DRAW IS THAT BOYLE CELTIC ARE AT HOME. The next rounds are on the 3rd/4th/5th of February.
**Highlights from the Ballina game will be shown on Sunday next January 22nd at 2 p.m. on Eir Sport, the old Setanta channel I’m told.