A good few years ago, a young girl came to the village of Creggs, all the way from Powers Cross (between Woodford and Portumna), to help out in her aunt’s pub. History will show that the young Sarah Hanbury met and married Mick O’Roarke, whose parents owned the business next door.
Fast-forward to 2017, and lining out for the Galway hurlers in their unforgettable All-Ireland hurling final victory over Waterford was one John Hanbury, the grand-nephew of the aforementioned Sarah, and he was to play an absolutely major part in bringing the MacCarthy Cup back to the very receptive arms of the Galway team and supporters.
In the years since Sarah’s first arrival to Creggs, her aunt’s pub had changed hands a couple of times, before closing its doors some years ago. However, O’Rourke’s pub and grocery is still in the family’s hands, and on Friday night we had a great occasion in Mikeen’s (the present O’Rourke proprietor) when a good number of the Hanbury family brought four national hurling trophies to the village.
The iconic MacCarthy Cup was there (and it is amazingly heavy), the Leinster Championship trophy, the National League cup and the All-Ireland minor cups were all on display, and they were joined by the Nestor Cup – the Connacht senior football trophy – which Kevin McStay and Ger Dowd brought out as well.
It’s doubtful if those five cups will ever be together again, and I have to say the huge crowd – from either side of the border – really enjoyed the night. Everyone had their pictures taken with all the silverware, and I’m sure if the late Sarah could look down on the whole proceedings, she would have been justifiably proud of her family legacy. Tommy Donlon and his son Calvin provided some wonderful musical entertainment, and, all told, it was one of those very special nights.
Anyway, it won’t be long until this year’s championships are up and running, and I’m sure the Galway hurlers and the Roscommon footballers are flat out getting ready for the challenges that are surely coming their way. All I can do is wish them all well.
A great sporting weekend
Sometimes I wonder what I would do without sport. The weekend just gone by had to be one of the most compelling weekends ever. We had the fantastic rugby match in the Aviva Stadium between Ireland and Wales, which we of course won, followed by the brilliant action from Scotland, where Eddie Jones’ England were put to the sword.
All is set now for a very interesting finish to the Championship. I am not going to mention the Grand Slam, because, at that level anything can happen, but for the moment we are the only ones who can dare to dream of one – here’s hoping.
On top of all that, out here in Creggs we had a very tough rugby league match on Sunday against an N.U.I.G. team who came with every intention of derailing our run to the league title. While we eventually won, the 17 points to 3 scoreline in no way reflects the intensity or closeness of the play.
At half-time the students led by 3 points to nil, and to be honest, the game was in the balance until the last few moments – our nerves were sorely tested, but we came through, and, providing the beast from the east doesn’t put paid to next week’s fixtures, we can win a long-awaited league title with a victory away to Corrib in Headford next Sunday. Please God we will do it, as I’d love to see the bonfires lit in the village yet again on a Sunday evening – it’s one of the greatest sights of all.
Fuerty goes to the OsKaRs
On to local matters, and over the road, our neighbouring GAA Club, Fuerty, are involved in a big fundraising drive to raise funds to develop their grounds and the clubhouse. They have a major five-year plan, which includes several big improvements, including building a stand and providing a fully floodlit playing pitch.
Fuerty have organised a night at the OsKaRs in the Radisson Hotel on Good Friday night, and three of our best-known local talents – in every way – Jacinta Hanley, Gerry Keegan and Bobby Jennings, have kindly agreed to do their bit to help raise the necessary funds.
Each one has to raise a minimum of €500 and to help them achieve their target, there is a big table quiz in Mikeen’s at 9.30 pm on next Saturday night, 3rd of March, with tables of four €40. Yours truly, which is me, is the quizmaster, and I really hope you turn out in large numbers to support the Mulhern Park development, but also to support our own three neighbours and friends.
The fundraiser itself takes place in the Radisson Athlone on Good Friday night, and I think the Creggs trio will win the OsKaR, but as Creggs rugby lads are playing that evening in the final of the Curley Cup, I will be otherwise engaged and won’t be able to be there to see their performance. But I wish them well of course.
In the meantime, get to Mikeen’s next Saturday night, and we’ll have our own bit of drama and craic, and help to get the necessary funds to send them off to the OsKaRs in good heart.
Donncha takes over!
A big question that’s been on my mind: Where has Donncha O’Callaghan suddenly come from?
Now we all know he has been a top class international rugby player, who played umpteen times for Ireland, did seventeen very successful years with the all-conquering Munster team, and is presently (at 38 years of age) still playing at the highest level with Worcester in the English Premiership.
However, all of a sudden he is omnipresent on all our television screens, and no matter where you look there he is smiling and winking back at you.
He was always regarded as good craic and a little bit mad, but whatever it is, it is now paying off, and it looks as if our Donncha is headed for a very lucrative TV career.
It must be a Cork thing, as Anna Geary, a Cork ladies camogie superstar, is also very much on the media horizon, and she too is very visible and high profile on our television screens. She is presently to be found on Dancing with the Stars, and she looks set for a successful media career.
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this these days, but she’s a good deal easier on the eye than the bould Donncha.
Staying with fundraising efforts…and Jimmy Kearney of The Lancers fame tells me that on next Monday night, 5th of March, the Roscommon Deanery are holding their annual dance in aid of the Lourdes Invalid Fund in the Abbey Hotel, with music by Frank Nelson, Top Level, The Lancers, and Patsy McCaul, all of whom represent the very best of local musical talent.
I’ve told you many times of the great work the Lourdes Invalid Fund does, in sending so many of our sick and infirm to the Marian Shrine every year, so leave Monday night free, keep a tenner handy, and get yourself down to the Abbey for a great night of music and dance. It all kicks off at nine o’clock. Please God I will see you all there.
Till next week, Bye for now!