Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Update 12th December

It’s that time of year…. again.  Boyle GAA Quiz will take place on Wednesday Dec. 27th in St. Joseph’s Hall from 8 (sharp) to 10.15 not so sharp. There will also be some presentations to Snr., Jnr and U 20 Players of the Year and ‘Hall of Fame’.  Do whatever the ‘Whats Apping’ thing is re. spreading the word. 

Boyle Celtic: Connacht Cup….Sunday next at Boyle at 2 against Galway Hibs

The Big Freeze
The Met office personnel have become the new kids on the block and ‘celebs’ of the T.V. screen this winter. After their win with Storm Ophelia they are out front again with the freeze of the week-end. While it not possible to quantify they have in all probability saved lives. The warnings and recommendations are out there early now, loud and clear. So the Met. Service does just that with good direction for coming days. So no need to watch which the goat is facing. And if there are people who wish to ignore them- as at Salthill during Storm Ophelia- then there isn’t much more that can be done.

The Morning Car Challenge
Keeping the car ready for morning take-off is a challenge. Over time I have adopted a few practises that help. From the bottom up they would be; (c) instead of newspaper on the windscreen try a plastic turf/fertiliser bag. Lock it in place with upright windscreen wipers. That will give a visual windscreen but the rest will have to come with car heating (b) the windscreen foil cover which is available in many shops. This will give you a full as opposed to partially clear windscreen with the plastic bag. It can be locked on with the doors closing over the flaps. (a) the real deal is the full car cover which looks after all windows and gives full visibility when taken off. It may be a bit of a struggle for one person to place this over the car and secure on mudguard points but with two it is a breeze. The frost and snow will keep it in place but it is unlikely to stay on board with wind. But then there should be less need for it in those conditions. Sin e. Terms and conditions of course apply to any recommendation. 284

Trip to South Roscommon
Visiting the fine memorial remembering Roscommon’s great footballer and hurler Gerry O’Malley in Brideswell, South Roscommon.  Gerry died in early 2016 and is buried in the nearby cemetery of Cam. Left to right: Charlie Finneran, (Chairman of the Memorial Committee and proprietor of the very impressive Derryglad Museum); Michael Costello; Paddy Cummins (Roscommon GAA stalwart, Killina); Tony Conboy

In growing older in Fuerty/Athleague there were parts of Roscommon which were just not on our radar for social activities such as dances etc. My first time through Boyle was in FCA uniform on the way to Finner Camp between Bundoran and Ballyshannon in the mid-sixties. Later it was the Fleadhs which put Boyle on our map. While we in Boyle visit Roscommon town with regularity for matches, meetings, car tax in the past, courts(!), marts and so on it is rare enough to see a Roscommon town person on the streets of Boyle. Through GAA activity I have been to most corners of this county. ‘God’s County’ as Jimmy Murray used to refer to it.  
Anyway in October a committee in Brideswell unveiled a memorial to probably Roscommon’s greatest ever footballer, Gerry O’Malley and I attended of course. It was a crowded busy evening. A senior friend of mine Paddy was to come with me but to his great disappointment he was hospitalised for a number of days and was unable to be there on the occasion. I promised to take him up when all the stars were in line and that happened a couple of weeks ago. With another senior friend I collected Paddy en route and set off a little like the group in the lovely television series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’. I tried to take a short cut via Athleague-for exploratory and show-off purposes - but going against my pretty good directional instincts at a crossroads found myself out near Knockcroghery on a regular road.
On arrival in Curraghaboy we picked up Charlie Finneran, Chairman of the Gerry O’Malley Memorial Committee at his Derryglad Museum, more about which anon. Then we went to Gerry’s Memorial in Brideswell and a very fine one it is. There to meet us was Sean Kilbride of St. Brigid’s club out of respect for our effort in travelling from North Roscommon to the deep south. An appropriate record in pictures of our visit was easily facilitated in the quiet village where Gerry spent his childhood and never forgot. Then we called to see the famous little field -O’Malley’s Field- or The Stand as it is referred to where he first began to develop his skills as a footballer. Our last homage to Gerry was to call to Cam Graveyard, within sight of his original home, where he was laid to rest in 2016. The Gaelic warrior had returned, as he always said he would, to his native shore. We too, a little like the traveller in Walter de La Mare’s evocative poem ‘The Listeners’ had done our duty; 
“‘Tell them I came, and no one answered,   
   That I kept my word,’ he said.

Duty done we returned with Charlie Finneran to his labour of love, Derrglad Museum, and his generous welcome and hospitality. If any group wish to do a journey back in time and nostalgia many of the benchmarks of our youth are on display here. With over 6000 items on show it is a gem of an award winning museum. It includes dedicated ‘rooms’ such as a classroom of the fifties, an excellent Sports Section on Roscommon with Gerry O’Malley at the heart of it, a ‘Medical Hall’, Photography Room, a representation of a bar cum grocery, a broad collection of farm implements including a 1951 Ferguson T20 TVO. It is growing collection but the dedication and commitment that Charlie and his wife Bridie have put into it is hugely evident in its detailed presentation and depth. It is a location to visit and revisit and I highly recommend it. With the Gerry O’Malley Memorial it is sure to welcome many more Roscommon people and groups next year and beyond. 
E-mail: info@derrygladfolkmuseum.com 
 web site http://derrygladfolkmuseum.com

Television Review
Since I watch a good deal of T.V. I might as well get a return on it here. 

‘The Vietnam War’
I’ve already mentioned my top programme of the recent times as being ‘The Vietnam War’. It is a war that many in the United States are still trying to come to terms with. This is represented by the contributions of veterans. It is not all about the war but about the muddied politics surrounding it where the next election dominated and the attendant lies were an ongoing thread. For a history of the United States from the mid-fifties to mid-seventies this is a text book requirement. Like that of ‘Band of Brothers’ the fine World War 2 series the music soundtrack is haunting. The series is close to the greatest war series by Channel 4 in the seventies covering the Second World War titled ‘The World at War’ with the eloquent narration of Laurence Olivier.

David Brophy’s Choir of Ages
While I just tinkered initially in watching this series I got engaged with it. It had a number of positives including the presenter himself. It is about putting together a choir from groups of people from Leitrim and Dublin. There are two groups in each constituency one senior and one national school children. So it coalesces the senior and young people plus the rural and urban. A first outing in Leitrim looked as if this was fraught with the giddy youngsters irritating a serious senior lady. But all was resolved and it is a positive experience that those involved will remember long into the future. There are many stand-out characters but a wee girl who has come to Leitrim with her returning parents from Australia was a star. The series concludes on Thursday 14 at 10.15 on R.T.E. 1.

Prime Time: Carers in Crisis
This was a telling picture of a nearly underground movement of people who care for their loved ones in their homes. It was good that Miriam O’Callaghan choose to go to the frontline herself on this one. This she did in a sympathetic and empathetic way. It is just incredible in a wealthy country that it takes such a battle (not always successful) to get basic support in the home for those who care for relatives who need it. It is widely accepted that care in their own homes is what senior people and people with disability desire. It is also accepted that it is cost effective. Now there will be exceptions to the axiom of course. The Minister responsible Finnian McGrath -like Ministers dealing with homelessness- said all the right things about reports, strategies and financial allocations but little changes. The penny pinching in terms of care worker visits of 30 and 45 minutes and the restrictions on what they are actually allowed to do would make one pull ones hair out. I am a little aware of a senior connection of mine in England who manages to remain is in his own home with considerable issues because of the input from the NHS agencies there. So this is probably the number one issue of the frontline issues that deserve resolution.

The Chaotic Court Service
Last night (Monday) we saw the chaos in another very important area of Irish civil life provision i.e. the court service. It is too big a question to even touch on here but again it is a bad story of mismanagement and is just a mess. Again the politician Fergus O’Dowd, Chairman of some committee or other made all the right noises about looking into this and that but of course come back in say five years time and nothing will have changed.     

‘My Astonishing Self’ 
I just recorded this programme dealing with Ireland’s first of four Nobel Literature winners George Bernard Shaw. He is the only writer who has also received an Oscar.  George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925, and an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay (Pygmalion) in 1938. 
The only other ‘writer’ to do that was Bob Dylan who won the Nobel prize in Literature in 2016, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song (Things have Changed) in 2000. 
I have never tuned in to George Bernard who always struck me as an Irishman who would have qualified to play for England. 
This week’s television writer is James Joyce on Wednesday night on R.T.E. 1 at 9.35. 

Blues Sisters
This was a documentary form a short time ago on RTÉ called 'Blues Sisters' which followed the fortunes of the Dublin Ladies Football team on their way to All-Ireland glory this year. It is worth tracking down. The rise of Ladies Gaelic Football is really something with the final Dublin v Mayo being drawing the biggest crowd to a ladies sporting event forever perhaps. 

Say Yes to the Dress
If ‘Carers in Crisis’ was a major insightful programme which should awaken consciousness, who comes up with such a trite ‘series’ for 9.30 pm. viewing on RTE 2 titled ‘Say Yes to the Dress’? I presume it will be followed by a series on ‘The Suit’, ‘The Shoes’ the possibilities are all there!     

Irish interest in Golden Globes
Congratulations to a number of Irish nominations with their Golden globes nominations. First to Cartoon Saloon and its co-founder Paul Young whose production ‘The Breadwinner’ supported by Angelina Jolie is nominated in the best Animated Film category and carries on the tradition of ‘The Secret of Kells’ and ‘Song of the Sea. 
Carlow born Saoirse Ronan has received her third nomination for her role in ‘Lady Bird’ . Perhaps this is her year (2018) to get the top gong Oscar.
Daniel Day Lewis who is said to be retiring from film making is also nominated as is London Irish writer-director Martin McDonagh and a lady I am not familiar with Caitriona Balfe. 
So the Irish are performing at the top level in the toughest trade.

Last Sunday’s Independent
There were a number of sports articles in the Sunday Independent which engaged me. Eamon Sweeney came through with a gem (again) article on County final winners especially first time winners. There are several references in this collector’s item. Too many to mention here.  One of the most unlikely was that Liam Mellows from Renmore in Galway City winning the Galway hurling final for the first time since 1970. Hurling has not been a big thing in Galway but this should give it a real shot. One comic story involved St. John’s Antrim keeper getting a red card following an altercation with an opposing Lámh Dearg forward who kicked his tee away. They were brothers! The keepers manager was cool about the incident in a post-match interview as he was …the father of the duo!
The heroic sporting incident to look for on You Tube is that of Kerry jockey Kennedy staying aboard his horse with the result…..I’ll let you go there to find out. Magic. 
In the Sunday Indo if Eamonn was tops Brolly and O’Rourke were interesting also.      

The Premiership on Television  
I had nearly given up on watching premiership games on television a couple of months ago because I was getting to feel it was mundane. However in the last month or so it has blossomed. There have been classic games, performances and classic goals. As the Spanish dominance in the entertainment stakes has declined the English Premiership has taken centre stage. This now has Man City/Man Utd./ Spurs/ Liverpool and Chelsea in the final 16 of the Champions league and Arsenal in the hardly worth mentioning Europa league. There have been classic games like Arsenal v Manchester Utd. when David de Gea produced a performance of relentless brilliance in goal for Utd.  Liverpool’s 7 goal fest against CSKA Moscow. Wayne Rooney’s hat trick for Everton v West Ham with a sensational goal from his own half. There are many more goals in this past 6 weeks or so also. While the destination of the League title looks pretty much decided in Manchester City’s favour the role of English clubs in The Campions League will be intriguing. In the last 16 they line up as follows; Chelsea v Barcelona/ Liverpool v F.C. Porto/ Spurs v Juventus/ Manchester Utd. v Seville and Manchester City v Basel. Still the top game is Real Madrid v Paris P.S.G. Those should keep things boiling in early February.   

Boyle Celtic Struggle
I was amongst a dozen spectators at most who saw Boyle Celtic 0 go down to Shiven Rovers 2 on Sunday Dec. 3rd at a bleak Celtic Park.  It was a game that Boyle would have been expected to win but failed similar to some others they have lost this season. Conditions were poor with the pitch itself which is understandable because of the weather and the number of teams now playing on the single pitch available. In that way Celtic are a victim of its own success and expansion at under-age level. A questionable pitch means that games may have to be postponed which are not always allowed as seen with St. Peter’s. So in that case it can mean conceding home advantage. League winning possibilities, while still alive, are receding. So the one competition which they will certainly want a good run in is the Connacht Cup. This will get a good test on Sunday next at Boyle at 2 against Galway Hibs.
Boyle GAA Club are in a similar position regarding demands on limited space. In my opinion what is really needed is a Community area which both Boyle Celtic and Boyle GAA can develop  grounds with ‘regulatory alignment’ as the speak of the moment goes. It is said that there are considerable grants available for such ‘community’ developed facilities. This would be necessary as both clubs are challenged to meet current expenses. I hope the energy and personnel are there and willing to take on such a challenge. 

Patrick Kavanagh - the 50th Anniversary of his death.
In my last post here I missed referring to the 50th anniversary of the death of Patrick Kavanagh. Mea culpa, mea culpa.  So rather than some commentary I post one of his memorable poems. I don’t know of course if any former students remember but I tried to imbue in them respect and regard for that most significant lady in their lives. I wonder. Many senior people, if you have got this far in a too long blog, will identify with the Kavanagh’s imagery, sentiment and feelings in this collection of pictures from a bygone age.   

IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER. Patrick Kavanagh.

I do not think of you lying in the wet clay 
Of a Monaghan graveyard; I see 
You walking down a lane among the poplars 
On your way to the station, or happily 

Going to second Mass on a summer Sunday - 
You meet me and you say: 
'Don't forget to see about the cattle - ' 
Among your earthiest words the angels stray. 

And I think of you walking along a headland 
Of green oats in June, 
So full of repose, so rich with life - 
And I see us meeting at the end of a town 

On a fair day by accident, after 
The bargains are all made and we can walk 
Together through the shops and stalls and markets 
Free in the oriental streets of thought. 

O you are not lying in the wet clay, 
For it is a harvest evening now and we 
Are piling up the ricks against the moonlight 
And you smile up at us - eternally.

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