Bruce, Brazilian weddings and Croke Park…


I never passed much heed on him on ‘Strictly’, wasn’t particularly excited by ‘Play Your Cards Right’,  could barely stand  ‘The Price is Right’, and am absolutely prepared to accept that nostalgia almost certainly distorts our memories of ‘The Generation Game’.

  But Bruce was still great, and a giant of showbiz as long ago as when we were growing up. Really, it was all about The Generation Game. Long before Ant & Dec were born, in the days prior to Noel Edmonds storming the set with his House Party, and of course BC – before Cowell – Saturday nights on the telly were all about Brucie. 

  In the 1970s, Bruce was unmissable on the simple but superb Generation Game, a BBC game show that was required viewing in the UK and Ireland. It (and later, Play Your Cards Right) gave birth to numerous classic Bruce Forsyth catchphrases. 

  He had a wonderful, long career at the top, and while critics very reasonably noted that he wasn’t the ultimate master of any single area of entertainment – dancing, singing, acting, stand-up – as an all-rounder, he was probably without equal. 

  The simple ‘Bruce measurement’ was this: he won our hearts. He will be missed by millions. 


On Saturday, we had a great afternoon and evening at the wedding of our Brazilian friends Francielly and Junior. After a beautiful and touching ceremony in the Sacred Heart Church, we got a taste of how the Brazilian community do wedding receptions.

  It was a very enjoyable evening in Jackson’s Restaurant, with good food, drinks, music, dancing and, for the native Irish present, some insights into Brazilian culture.

  It was a reminder too of how brilliantly the great Brazilian community in Roscommon has integrated here over the past 15/20 years. A great night amongst our Brazilian hosts in the splendour of our shared Roscommon. Best wishes for a long, healthy and joyous life together to the happy couple (and their son, Joao Vitor). 


It was, of course, a ludicrously early start…the very idea of knocking around Jones’ Road at 11 am on a Sunday morning. But, so be it; it was great to have good reason to be back at Croke Park so soon. 

  The Roscommon colours were prominent as football folk weaved along the pavements leading towards the Holy Grail. The drab early morning rain in Roscommon, which had turned downright miserable by the time we got to Athlone, had now given way to very pleasant conditions.  

  “A grand day for the match.”

  A section of the Hogan Stand was dominated/occupied by Rossies. The first ever All-Ireland U-17 Football Final began at 11.45 am. Roscommon started promisingly, but soon a Tyrone tsunami rocked the Rossies. A truly spellbinding flurry of scores (nine points in twelve  minutes) by Tyrone effectively ended the game as a contest, although Roscommon would rally heroically in the second half. At 0-10 to 0-2 behind – and to a rampant Tyrone –there were fears that Roscommon would be crushed. But Liam Tully’s team were much more settled and composed after the break and they played some lovely football, controlling much of the half, actually reducing the deficit to four points. 

  When the last whistle had sounded in the first U-17 final, no-one could argue with Tyrone’s triumph. They had finished clinically to win by nine and were deserved and impressive winners. A fast, expressive team, their sprint into the record books could not be halted. They had met the noblest of opponents. The Roscommon fans proudly cheered their team as the dejected youngsters departed the stage they had graced. 

 A little later on Sunday 

At half-time in the senior game, the queue for the ‘gents’ was, initially at least, long. There wasn’t a lot to talk about. We had all been mesmerised by the brilliance of Dublin, yet there was a collective dismay at the anti-climax we were witnessing.

  Maybe we should have felt privileged, but in a way we felt cheated. Tyrone’s tactics were depressing. We were cheered by one fan’s confident assertion that we were witnesses to the death of the blanket defence. Anyways, all kudos to the superb Dubs; what a wonderful team. And yet…yet, Mayo, believe!


Latest random odd sighting on a roundabout in Roscommon: At 11.37 am, a motorist drives his car on to ‘McNeill’s roundabout’, from the direction of Circular Road.

  The car boot is wide open. There’s a big dog inside the boot, well, two legs in, two legs perched over the edge, above the towbar.

  The male motorist drives on as a female pedestrian stares at the boot, open-mouthed.

  As the car proceeds on its way, pedestrians –  eyes follow it – the boot is ‘up in the air’ and the entire body of the dog is visible, well, two legs in, two legs perched over the edge, above the towbar. 

  This can’t be safe, can it? (And no, it (the dog or the car) wasn’t a Rover).