Thursday, January 26, 2017

Update 26th January

Boyle GAA Picture Gallery 
Since the opening of the new GAA complex at the Abbey Park in 2010 it has been anticipated that Boyle GAA Club would display its past long history with a permanent exhibition of pictures spanning the decades. Thankfully there is a good selection of pictures to choose from and it is proposed that groups of these will be framed covering various themes. The complex is ideal for this display project with generous and accessible wall space and which I know was in the mind of architect Chris O’Dowd from his initial design stage. If people have ideas regarding the themes that might be considered, they are very welcome to get in touch with us at We also hope to avoid having to draw on strained Club funds to finance this enterprise and we would appreciate expressions of interest in terms of people sponsoring an individual frame where the sponsor would be credited. It is expected that at least ten frames will form the initial exhibition with an incremental growth from there.       

The Election of the Snows February 3rd 1917.
Next week sees the 100th Anniversary of the election of George Nobel Count Plunkett in the North Roscommon by-election which took place on February 3rd 1917. Count Plunkett -a Papal Count- the father of Joseph Mary Plunkett one of the executed 1916 Easter Rising leaders was the 'nationalist' candidate to fill the seat which resulted from the death of long time M.P. James J. O’Kelly. In the election Plunkett was supported by a number of nationalist figures including Arthur Griffith founder of Sinn Fein and Michael Collins during his campaign. His most significant promoter however was Father Michael O’Flanagan then curate of Crossna. The opposition candidates were T.J. Devine from St. Patrick Street, Boyle who was a member of Roscommon County Council and the United Irish League the bedrock supporting organisation of the Parliamentary Irish Party then led by John Redmond. The third candidate was Jasper Tully proprietor of The Roscommon Herald and a former M.P. The election took place in a period of severe weather dominated by snow and so was labelled ‘The Election of the Snows’, Mister Devine a highly regarded gentleman was a clear favourite. However the tide of opinion was changing in Ireland and the legacy of the Easter Rising was to bring major change in electoral terms. Count Plunkett symbolised that change. The momentum generated by Father O’Flanagan and the ‘advanced’ nationalist supporters of the Plunkett candidacy led to a major victory for their candidate. After the election Plunkett declared that he would not go to Westminster as an M.P. and would represent his constituents in Dublin assuming the establishment of an Irish National Parliament there. The following year in December 1918, at a General Election, Sinn Fein, who had adopted the Plunkett election victory, and now being the party of the nationalist movement, swept the old Irish Parliamentary Party aside and met in the Mansion House as The First Dáil on January 21st 1919 as the first salvoes of the War of Independence echoed in Tipperary. 
So the 1917 election win for Count Plunkett, in which Boyle was the fulcrum, plotted a new course which was set in motion by the electorate of North Roscommon. (This is a summary paragraph of a more detailed exploration of the event which will be published in The Roscommon Herald of next week Tuesday January 31st). 

Three Irish Tragedies With Multiple Deaths and No Convictions

The Dublin/Monaghan Bombings 1974
Four bombs, three in Dublin and one in Monaghan, exploded on May 17th 1974. 34 people died, 27 in Dublin 7 in Monaghan and up to 300 injured. It was a coordinated attack by the U.V.F. and it is strongly suggested that the attack was facilitated by British security services. This was the biggest death toll of all the many tragic atrocities in Northern Ireland during those dark decades. No one has been convicted.      

The Stardust Tragedy 1981
I see there are moves afoot to have another review to see if any progress can be made into the cause and consequences of the Stardust Nightclub Fire in Artane, Dublin in the early hours of St. Valentine’s Day of February 14th 1981. 48 people died and 214 people were injured. The tragedy has become entwined in controversy because no real answers have emerged as to the cause of the fire and no one has been held responsible.

Omagh 1998
On August 15th 1998 29 people died and up to 300 were injured in a bomb atrocity in the town of Omagh in Tyrone, Northern Ireland. This tragedy became immersed again in controversy as to some prior knowledge by intelligence services not being acted on and other elements. Though a member of the Real I.R.A. was charged no one was convicted and held responsible. 

Former Garda Tim Griffin R.I.P.
The funeral of former Garda Tim Griffin took place yesterday Tuesday with his burial in Assylinn cemetery. Tim was predeceased by his wife Colette and is sadly missed by his son Tadhg his brother Brendan and sister Noreen and extended family. Tim came from Ardfert which lies between Tralee and Banna Strand in County Kerry. Indeed he never forgot his native county which is probably stronger with Kerry people than in many counties, I feel. He followed the fortunes of the Kerry team in ‘The Kerryman’ newspaper which he acquired regularly. He is also in a Boyle GAA team photograph from March 1959. He went about his official duties with a quiet diligence and he is retired now for around 30 years. He served in Tullamore and Ballyshannon where he met his wife Colette. The family lived in Marian Road and Deerpark and in recent years in St. Joseph’s Avenue. I seem to remember both he and Colette as badminton players in the 80s’ and also Tim with the scouts on a memorable trip to Mount Melleray in County Waterford in the mid-nineties. Tadgh contributes here to and is a most popular young man with a close circle of good friends. We sympathise particularly with Tadhg at this time.
We sympathise also with the Costello family on the death of another gentle man Dennis whose son Brian and brother Donal have long been active in GAA activities.                         



‘Back to the 80s’
A great number of people are eagerly looking forward to Abbey Community College’s musical presentation ‘Back to the 80s’ which takes place in St. Joseph’s Hall for the three nights of Thursday the 2nd Friday and Saturday. Immediate booking is advised as I am aware that it is going to be a sell-out show. It is great to see a College production again as one of its great previous shows, Oliver in the late sixties, is part of Boyle Musical folklore. 

Saturday Night at the Dock
Singer / Songwriter and Broadcaster, Charlie McGettigan, who won the Eurovision for Ireland in 1994 with Paul Harrington singing ‘Rock and Roll Kids’ joins Boyle’s Singer / Songwriter Donie O’ Connor and Drumshanbo’s  Eamon and Orla Daly for a night of “in the round” of music and song at the Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday next the 29th. I do not know if there are tickets remaining but it is sure to be an entertaining event. 

‘The Pillowman’ at the Gaiety
Decadent Theatre Group present Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Pillowman’, in which Boyle’s Jarlath Tivnan has a cameo role, continues at the Gaiety for 2 weeks having begun on Wednesday January the 24th . 

The Weather
Perhaps there are very few countries where the weather is such a subject of conversation as in Ireland. It is suggested that there have been less than 20 days ‘real’ rain since last September and it must be the lowest rainfall for the three winter months of November December and January on record. Still one can get an angle on this as a man I met a few days ago remarked, ‘ wouldn’t it be great if we got this weather in the summer you would get an awful lot done’  

Bolt Minus One
Usain Bolt has been stripped of one of his gold medals after a team member, Nesta Carter of the Jamaica 4x100m relay team at Beijing Olympics 2008 was proved positive for drugs. So Bolt’s ‘triple triple’ has been diluted a little. 

Interesting  Fintan O’Toole; ‘Brexit resurrects the English Cult of heroic failure’ in last Tuesday’s Irish Times. In fairness to our neighbours he omits their heroic successes.

Roscommon v Galway in F.B.D . Final Sunday 29th at Kiltoom.
Next Sunday Roscommon play Galway for the fourth consecutive year in the preliminary Connacht League Final at Kiltoom. This league provides the testing ground for the National League team which opens with a testing game v Tyrone on February 5th in Tyrone.
Last Sunday Roscommon crashed in the final minutes after being in a ‘game won’ position against Mayo in Kiltoom. Roscommon led by 8 points with just 9 minutes to go when Mayo introduced substitute Andy Moran. Mayo ended with 3 goals two from substitute Andy Moran and this was disappointing and that is a euphemism! 
Hopefully this shock to the system will not be too costly and the simple adage that a game is never over until the final whistle will be firmly endorsed by this experience.  

Well done to Enda and Donie Smith both of whom had great games on Sunday last. While Enda has been a regular contributor it is great to see Donie playing as well as we in Boyle know he can. We have seen it down the years from a young age.    

Sunday’s team is as follows:

1. Darren O’Malley       (Michael Glavey's)

2.  Sean McDermott       (Western Gaels)
3.  Tom Featherston       (Oran)
4.  Niall McInerney     (St Brigids)

5. Ronan Stack     (St Brigid’s)
6. Sean Mullooly    (Strokestown)
7.  John McManus    (Roscommon Gaels)

8.  Tom Corcoran       (Strokestown)
9.  Tadgh O’Rourke      (Tulsk)

10  Fintan Cregg      (Elphin)
11. Ciaráin Murtagh (Captain)       (St Faithleach’s)
12.  Shane Killoran       (Elphin)

13.  Cian Connolly        (Roscommon Gaels)
14.  Ultan Harney         (Clann na nGael)
15.   Donie Smith          (Boyle)

16. Colm Lavin       (Éire Óg)
17. Kevin Higgins   (Western Gaels)
18. Enda Smith       (Boyle)
19. Niall Kilroy       (Fuerty)
20. Niall Daly          (Padraig Pearse’s)
21. Gary Patterson   (Michael Glavey's)
22. David Murray     (Padraig Pearse's)
23. Conor Devaney   (Kilbride)

Kellyanne Conway Spake
President Trump aid Kellyanne Conway has contributed a minor Donald Rumsfeld ‘Known unknowns…..’ when giving a different view in the slightly absurd debate last weekend on the number of people at Mister Trump’s inauguration by referring to take on the numbers as ‘alternative facts’. So now we can have a menu of facts on the one incident and you can choose which fact is indeed your fact. As the Irish gangster, played by Robert Shaw, used to say in the film The Sting ‘Doya followa’.

Sin e for now. 

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