…and the OsKaR goes to…Fuerty!




Fuerty GAA Club staged ‘A Night at the OsKaRs’ in Athlone tonight, proceeds going to their Mulhern Park development project.  I was a ‘Judge’ on the night, along with local businessman Adrian Keegan and Minister Helen McEntee. It was a massive success and a very enjoyable night. 

  Here’s how it worked: over the past number of weeks, Fuerty locals, working with Kevin Rowe  Promotions, produced six films/television programmes, all shot in the local area, all shown for the first time on Good Friday night. The venue was the Radisson Blu Hotel, and there were about 600 people present in the audience. Each film was 10-12 minutes long. The productions were: The Snapper, Goodfellas, Rocky, The Hangover, Fr. Ted and The Field.

  It was a great night. The quality of all of the productions was excellent. The effort put in by the locals was tremendous, and some genuinely impressive acting talent was revealed! Kudos also to the professionals: the filming was slick, the use of props inspired, the editing – under what had to be pressing time constraints – impressive.

  We had the difficult task of selecting ‘OsKaR’ recipients. Thomas Clayton was superb as ‘Rocky’, so too was Padraic Cuddy, who played ‘The Bull McCabe’ in The Field. Padraic was a deserving winner of the OsKaR for ‘Best Actor’, after a memorable, powerful performance as the Bull. Best Actress went to Sara McGahon, a terrifically authentic and funny Mrs. Doyle in Fr. Ted. A very deserving recipient; I also think Jacinta Hanley deserves honourable mention for her performance as Kay (‘the mother’) in The Snapper. Best Supporting Actress was Sharon Conneely (great as Jackie in The Snapper) and Best Supporting Actor was an inspired Matty Ward (Micky in Rocky). There were many other excellent performances, e.g. John Connolly in Goodfellas…and others, too many to mention! Best film award went to The Field, a passionate, emotional production which brought the house down.

  Congrats to all cast members and all ‘behind the camera’. It was a great community effort, which created a great night and memories that will live on.  Well done, Fuerty; over now to our friends in Tulsk!


Paul Healy on Brendan O’Connor’s
cutting edge show; Kevin Sharkey’s doomed presidential bid;
the Roscommon Easter Parade and the Roscommon Easter rising in Croker;
a nice goal by a promising 33-year-old
…and Fuerty goes to the OsKaRs…


Of course I agree with the critics: Brendan O’Connor’s ‘Cutting Edge’ has an undoubted edge over all around it.

  Only once during this or the last series do I recall a lacklustre panel (no names – I’ll spare the guests); generally, the mix is excellent. Without wishing to undermine those guests, I think many of them could appear on other chat shows and not make a comparable impact; they are engrossing on ‘Cutting Edge’ (a) because of the format and (b) because O’Connor is a good listener and a compassionate, thoughtful interviewer. Now it’s fairly obvious that some of the show’s big moments – the emotional confession or testy exchange – are part-lined up in advance, the product of good research. But we’ll forgive all involved that bit of shrewd pre-planning. Truth is, this is excellent television, always delivering, easily overshadowing other long-established shows. It’s on RTE One on Wednesday nights at 9.30 pm and it’s well worth watching.


Saw five minutes (too much) of would-be Presidential candidate Kevin Sharkey on the Ray D’Arcy Show. Yawn. Tiresome. Yawn again. Self-publicist, obsessed with air-time, going nowhere. Pass the remote control! (Update: Mr. Sharkey was downright rude on the Tonight Show on Tuesday night; an exercise in ‘How not to win people over to your presidential ambitions’).


Just how cold was it in Croke Park on Sunday? The reports from the East were harrowing! The Roscommon fans who went to Croke Park came back with the Division Two cup, but also with terrifying tales of viciously cold weather.

  It wasn’t nearly as bad in Roscommon town, where duty called, meaning I couldn’t get to Croker.  The Roscommon Town Easter Parade was due to start at 1 o’clock, and in a distinctly un-Irish bombshell development, it started at 1 o’clock. I was caught on the hop, casting an eye over some of the floats in the CBS grounds when the familiar sounds of the Castlerea Brass & Reed Band signalled the start of the parade.

  ‘Down town’, a good crowd had gathered, and the weather really was quite pleasant. About forty floats took part in the parade. It was, as ever, a lovely occasion, particularly for children, who were wide-eyed in wonder at the giant cartoon characters, not to mention the flying sweets that mysteriously emerge from lorry windows. Although a bigger number of floats would always be desirable, the healthy entry once again showcased the variety of local businesses, sporting organisations, service providers and community/voluntary groups that oil the wheels of our community.

  And this year’s winners, to whom congratulations are extended, are – Best overall: Roscommon Show; Most Entertaining: RosFM; Best Community/Voluntary: Oran Mothers & Others; Best Commercial: SherryFitzgerald/P. Burke; Judges’ Special Award: Vincent Timothy/Vintage Cars.

  One of those vintage cars had ‘Donald Trump’ and ‘Kim Jong Un’ in the front. Trump, naturally, was in the driving seat.

  The punctual kick-off no doubt had much to do with a certain GAA game in Dublin. It turned out to be a right rollercoaster, eight goals shared between Roscommon and Cavan, plus, remarkably, 28 points. Roscommon were fully deserving winners (4-16 to 4-12) in this exciting, topsy-turvy Allianz Division Two football final. It was a game we had to win three or four times. Fluid and fun, terrifically entertaining. We were reassured once again about the quality of our attack, a group of free-spirited young men which so often looks like it is only a few performance percentage points away from destroying defences (which it more or less did on Sunday). Encouraging too is evidence of the strength in depth which we are amassing. True, we were hit for soft enough goals, but Roscommon were intent on playing with some abandon on Sunday, intent on letting loose. The summer is likely to bring a different, more balanced rhythm.

  Later, when we met a few of the returning fans, we were interested in their analysis of the game. But most of them just wanted to talk about one thing: the unbelievable cold in Croker!


Juventus and Real Madrid, epic names from our childhood, our present, the future. Exotic, evocative names, an antidote to any bleak reflections on ‘the beautiful game’. Romance from Real, something tougher but still admirable from ‘Juve’. They met in the Champions League on Tuesday.

  I didn’t get to see the whole game, but with more than a passing interest I checked in on Twitter. I wondered how that 33-year-old egotist, at one time derided by a doubting Dunphy and Giles, might fare. Twitter revealed that Ronaldo had scored on two minutes. Later, with 26 minutes to go, it’s still 1-0 and I’m checking in again, this time on television. How’s the old man doing? Then, a bit of a wonder goal! A beautifully executed overhead kick, a flamboyant score on a gigantic stage. And I’ve always forgiven Ronaldo his ego, his touch of arrogance. Admire instead his decency, his touching humility tonight when acknowledging the Juventus fans for their applause for his special goal. Fair is fair: Ronaldo is probably as modest as he can reasonably be expected to be!

  Last Sunday, randomly, our son asked a few of us: ‘Who’s the best, Ronaldo or Messi?’ I always thought it was Messi. Now, for the first time, I’m beginning to wonder.

P.S. Graeme Souness (on TV3 tonight) is a great tv analyst.