*** Saturday Night Concert:
Donie O’Connor’s 60th Birthday ‘Bash’ takes place in St. Joseph’s Hall this Saturday Oct. 12th @ 8. Donations to Mayo/Roscommon Hospice and Tommie Simon Fund. Special Guests St. Josephs Choir.
This is sure to be a really cracking night and maybe even a long night. The Choir was one of the stand-out performers of the July Arts Week programme with their special music renditions and some popular songs. Director Anne Kielty has become a Boyle musical icon who seeks the highest standards and infuses everything she is involved in with great energy and vitality.
Donie O’Connor himself is a hugely talented singer/songwriter with a number of C.D.s incorporating collections of wonderful songs on various themes including the famous ‘Boyle Song’ which is a homage to Boyle town and its personalities in the seventies. There will be many more supporting artists as the music fraternity are always willing to support one of their own in ventures like this.
So we look forward to the Donie Bash and it will bring back memories of two Kieran Emmett inspired great nights one in the hall and the second in King House.
An EPIC trip to Dublin
The Epic Emigration Experience
On Friday October the 25th I took a trip to the capital. I often think that I would have liked to have spent a real wedge of time there to familiarise myself with what Dublin has to offer. That will hardly happen now so it will have to be explored as per usual in short visits. The most recent visit was motivated by two things in no particular order. One was the very positive reports emanating from friends who had visited the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum.
EPIC in Dublin's Docklands covers the history of the Irish diaspora and emigration to other countries. Its founder is Downpatrick born, South Africa raised Coca Cola supremo E. Neville Isdell and it was designed by the London-based design firm and was voted as "Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction" at the 2019 World Travel Awards. This is an outstanding achievement for a tourist destination in its very short existence having come on stream in 2016. It is now challenging for world recognition through a voting system.
It is located on Custom House Quay about 7/8 minutes from Connolly Station. It was formerly a bonded warehouse for wine and this evident by the vaulted ceilings of the succession of ‘bridge like’ caverns which house the broad range of emigration themes on display.
The varied themes celebrate the millions of Irish people who have emigrated to the various parts of the globe and how many of them and their descendants achieved great things and made enduring impacts on their adopted countries. I was not taking any notes during my three hour tour as I soon realised that I would need to revisit the EPIC Centre again to get a better evaluation of it. There are many connections with Roscommon noted such as Margaret Cousins of Boyle and her work in India also the painter Roderic O’Connor. It was in the traditional music area that Roscommon was best represented. First there was a stirring display of a music session in a pub in London, The Auld Triangle, and there playing were James Carty Jnr. and his uncle James. Minutes later in that same vault we heard more traditional musicians and were introduced to John Carty and Matt Molloy. Nearby were the McNulty family originally from Kilteevan who were prominent entertainers in New York up to the 1950s’. This area had a hugely impressive tribute to Riverdance and Roscommon was represented by Michael (?) Donnellan from Ennis the son of Michael from Ciaran’s Park in Roscommon town. There was also a fine representation of the GAA also with team pictures from clubs around the world. In the one for a Perth, Australia team was a friend of ours, Sean Casey, just visible in the background. Sean is married to Joan O’Gara of Boyle. I figured he might be visible in any GAA representation so Joan/Séan if you read this you are in there in the EPIC. As James Cagney’s character Coady Jarrett exclaims in the film ‘White Heat’…”Made it Ma! Top of the world”. I’m forcing that in there Sean!
Anyway as General McArthur said ‘I will return’ to the aptly named Epic anon. If anyone else visits it, who reads this, please let me know what they think. As part of my China watch I noticed in the queuing at the reception area A 4 sized laminated pages with the flag of China top left corner. I did not investigate it further after a guide told me they hadn’t noticed it before or knew anything of it. The guides are very helpful and would like a stamp of approval in the evaluation area at the end. There is also a process where you can nominate a person who you feel should be considered for the exhibition. I nominated Maureen O’Sullivan as an example. On a practical level thee are also lockers if you have already done some shopping etc. Also, also, there are numerous eating and coffee locations in the mall of which it is the basement part and you can also (again) exit from the Epic for refreshments and return to the Epic with your day pass. All this information is online of course and as those seasoned travellers will know to avoid mid- summer etc. etc.
I really recommend the EPIC Emigration Experience and of course I am not doing justice to it here just alerting you to it.
A Couple of Dublin Streets
The walk from Connolly along Talbot Street to O’Connell St. can be off-putting with a whiff of intimidation from druggies or drinkers arguing. O’Connell St. is a major vista with its ‘what’s that about spire?’ and the great Cleary’s shop swathed in bandages, fast food outlets and a real mix of the good and the not so good. I have to go to the GPO museum yet. Henry Street looks fine now as a pedestrian way but is blighted by the seeing of ‘down and outs’ in doorways at every 80 metres or so. Why an advanced society cannot provide for these unfortunate people rather than they resorting to this lifestyle is a mystery to me. (Perhaps we have a touch of it in Boyle as we see some individuals whose lives are consumed with just traversing the streets from early morning until night-time.) Down this street I located an in interesting Church now a restaurant and one I can recommend too.
Mossie’s C.D. Launch…Humours of Derrynacoosan
Later that night we were part of the second, third or fourth launch location of Maurice (Mossie) Martin’s traditional music C.D. titled ‘Humours of Derrynacoosan’ . Derrynacoosan is wee townland not far from Keadue but in Ardcarne Parish. That is the Martin home and where the CD was born and produced. Mossie is very well known in traditional music circles as they say. I have known him since he was a boy when he attended St. Mary’s College here in Boyle. It was as a fine student and as an equally fine footballer that I got to know him nearly 30 years ago. He played for St. Michaels, St. Mary’s College and Roscommon U 16 and minor teams. He was also a very good soccer player with Boyle Celtic. However all along his music developed and has reached a lifetime goal in the production of this impressive musical treat. Noted musician Michael Rooney referenced Mossie as ‘… one of the finest exponents of the music of North Connacht’. John Carty in the introductory notes to the CD speaks tellingly of Mossie’s love for the music and how evident this is when he plays or in this instance records the music as in ‘…every sinew of his being, he infectiously shares with his audience and with his fellow musicians.’ This Saturday Oct. 12th he will be performing at Strokestown Feile and on the 25th he will be back in Sitges near Barcelona at the festival there organised by Carline Wynne of Croghan. A number of Boyle people will also be there as in previous years.
Mossie is supported on the CD by his dad Tom, and family members Áine and Brendan and accompanied by John Blake on various instruments. John also recorded the CD. Supporting Mossie in The Cobblestone were his dad Tom, Dylan Carlos, from Tulsk and Enda McGreevy from Elphin.
The Dublin launch was in a noted traditional bar called the Cobblestone in Smithfield owned by the Mulligan family originally from Leitrim.
Roscommon People Shine
Mention of Dylan Carlos above reminds me of Roscommon people who have achieved in their various field recently. In no particular order starting with Dylan.
- Dylan became the first Roscommon man to win the All-Ireland Senior fiddle competition at the All-Ireland (All-World) Fleadh last summer in Drogheda.
- Enda Smith Captain of Roscommon Connacht Champions.
- Chris O’Dowd Emmy award winner.
- Eoin Kennedy son of Eugene of Elphin Street, Boyle who captured his 10th All-Ireland Senior handball championship.
- Jack Carty Rugby international with Ireland in the World (rugby) Cup.
- The wins by Aoifa and Lisa O’Rourke from Castlerea in boxing.
- Sinéad Flanagan (father from Elphin) Rose of Tralee 2019.
- Ml. Corrigan Boyle Celtic on Irish junior soccer team v Northern Ireland. (Sean Purcell actually captained an Irish U 16 team v England in Longford circa 22 years ago).
- Roscommon Golf Club members, Fed Daly All-Ireland tournament winners.
- All-Star nominations Niall Daly and Conor Cox. If I have missed some other notable achievements please let me know.
I hear that relevant negotiators have moved into a ‘tunnel’ in Brussels as I speak. It seems as if there is some kind of a breakthrough of sorts in Brexit negotiations. We can only wait (it won’t be long) to see how that turns out. Nothing is predictable in this ongoing drama. As the Taoiseach said after meeting with Boris Johnson some time ago this may only be the beginning of a huge cycle of negotiations which could last for a decade. As Churchill said after the battle of el Alamein
“This is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end, this is just perhaps the end of the beginning.”
Turkey/Syria @ the Kurds
The U.S. troops have withdrawn from the border area of Kurdish Syria and now the Turkish army are ‘clearing that area’ of what they see as terrorists with the unavoidable collateral damage to life and property of the innocent.
There has been the threat of sanctions by European countries and organisations. What is really interesting is the response of Turkish President Erdogan who has threatened to send millions of Syrian refugees to the west. He can facilitate this by opening the gates of the camps in Turkey where there are some 3 million Middle East refugees . Much of these camps are financed by the west but if they employ sanctions the refugee card could be played. That is a big trump card to hold!
Rugby in Japan
The rugby World Cup is encountering climate difficulties in Japan which could cause an almighty row if say Scotland get scotched from the tournament if they cannot play their last game.
The World Athletics Championships were held in Doha where temperatures meant the marathon had to start at midnight and even with this nearly half the competitors were unable to complete the course due to heat and humidity inducing illness. Eamon Sweeney in last Sunday’s Independent had a telling article on these games and the influence of drug cheats and their apologists and all that. I watched little of it from the sparsely occupied stadium. The next World Athletics C ’ships are possibly going to Eugene Oregon the home of NIKE Corporation. So corporations can get major events once the domain of countries. Was that the case with the Olympic Games on 1996 in Atlanta home of Coca Cola? The top man in Athletics is Lord Sebastian Coe of England. Next year the Olympics will take place in Tokyo where it had been previously in 1964. In 2020 it takes place from July 24 to August 9th .
The next soccer World Cup will be held in Qatar another hotspot during our winter and at the height of normal soccer leagues in Western Europe. The top man here used to be Sepp Blatter our rep. was (is ?) John Delaney.
Nobel Prize for Peace the President of Ethiopia
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2019 to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali for his or his involvement in peace initiatives in East Africa especially between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
It is encouraging that it is felt that a leader of substance has emerged in that part of troubled East Africa. He joins the small number of African recipients which include Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu.
Another candidate was the Swedish school girl Greta Thunberg for her advocacy on ‘global warming’ now being referred to as ‘climate change’…milder title!