Paul Healy’s Week

“I saw Charlie Carthy’s magnificent point online later on Saturday evening. That score was worth the price of a ladder alone”


The newspapers, in what is a rare outbreak of positivity these days, confirm an Indian summer is upon us. Everyone accepts the new arrival with gratitude. I hope for their sake that Native American Indians haven’t had to use the expression ‘Irish summer’ too much – pity for them if that’s their lot.

Apparently the expression can be traced to American Indians who coined it in response to warm weather being experienced on the American east coast in the October/November period.

The suspicion is that nobody in Oran or Knockcroghery is giving the matter much thought this morning. Their football clubs are preparing for today’s 2020 Roscommon Intermediate Football Final.

At the Roscommon People, we produced a widely-viewed video in advance of the match. We visited both areas to get a flavour of the pre-match atmosphere. It really was heart-warming to see rural Ireland’s traditional community spirit and the GAA’s unique bonding brilliance combine to make Covid at least a temporary outcast.

I’m not going to the game today, but will be following it via the worldwide Willie Hegarty. First, I must accept that there is no point in hiring a skip if you don’t transfer some of the ‘Sure we’ll never use that again’ stuff into it. In an impulsive move, I recently got a skip delivered, and now it must be filled. And so begins the decluttering of the shed (again). I wonder how the earliest Native American Indians managed without skips? Quite well, I’m sure!


Later on Saturday

Not unexpectedly, the match is a thriller. Naturally, Oran go through an emotional rollercoaster again. How else could it be? Oran’s championship dramas in recent years remind one of Jimmy White’s fateful world snooker journey, or of Mayo’s noble but as yet unfulfilled quest over recent decades to win another Sam Maguire.

I saw Charlie Carthy’s magnificent point online later on Saturday evening. That score was worth the price of a ladder alone. Oran were trailing by a point in injury-time – and facing another heartbreak. Oran have been within touching distance of this trophy a few times in recent years. Had they lost this one by a point – to a late penalty – it would have been utterly devastating. Back to Carthy: if I may borrow (and slightly alter) a phrase from George Hamilton, a parish held its breath. His superb kick, under extreme pressure, denied St. Dominic’s and propelled Oran into the safety net of extra-time.

Resurgent now, Oran made no mistake in extra-time, pulling away from a tiring St. Dominic’s, the Oran men finally – and gloriously – reaching a football ‘Promised Land’. It is a richly deserved success. Congratulations to Billy Donnellan (manager), his management colleagues, the superb players, and all associated with the club.

Commiserations to St. Dominic’s, who came so close to a great victory, and who conducted themselves with great dignity and class, led by manager Tomás Gilleran. They had a sparkling campaign and the future is bright for this team.

Indian summer or not, this was a very well deserved day in the sun for Oran footballers.



In the Sunday Independent, former Minister for Sport and Being A Touch Pompous – that’s Shane Ross – is writing with no apparent irony about the fall of one-time FAI kingpin John Delaney. Ross loftily tut-tuts at Delaney’s tattered reputation while basically overlooking the fact that when he was Minister for Sport, he (Ross) was cosying up to Delaney.

In the same newspaper, more laughs are provided as Labour Party leader Alan Kelly – who I quite like actually – declares that he is “very, very humble”.

Next week? ‘Marty Morrissey – I hate publicity!’



It was strange, driving through Roscommon town this week, to see the doors of local public houses (most, not all) open for business again. There are varying reports as to how business has been for them. Obviously it’s early days!

In any event, there is no doubt that publicans – many of them already struggling before the pandemic struck – were hit particularly hard in recent months. The fact that they all now have the option of reopening is very welcome.

That said, it will be a big challenge for our local pubs to survive, much less prosper. We wish them the very best of luck. It’s good to see them back in business!

* On this note, I would like to wish the very best to business partners Caitlin McConn and Brian Mugan. They ran the magnificent JJ’s in Roscommon town for many years. This superb premises has always been very professionally run. In her column on page 17 of this week’s issue, Catia Da Nova speaks for us all with her eloquent tribute to Caitlin and Brian and all who made JJ’s such a great venue over the years.