Eva may not have won BGT, but she won our hearts and admiration

Our man Frank on inspirational stand-up Eva Abley; A hurling classic; Sporting facilities in Creggs…and his admiration for the Queen!

It’s the morning of the Bank Holiday Monday as I write, which doesn’t make a lot of difference to me anymore as every day is sort of a Bank Holiday for me now. But as I greet this lovely June morning, I am thinking back to last night’s Britain’s Got Talent final – more specifically the performance of a 14-year-old girl called Eva Abley.

Now I am the first to admit that I am not a big fan of the show, and only happen on it occasionally – usually if there’s nothing else on. I also have yet to figure out how anything can have five semi-finals, as I always believed that every competition should only have two!

But regardless of all of that, even though she didn’t win the first prize of £250,000, the young stand-up comedienne from England’s Black Country (wherever that is) was, in my opinion, the undoubted star of the show.

Being a stand-up has to be the toughest gig of all, but to be one at 14, all while suffering from cerebral palsy, showcases an altogether different type of courage. The home-schooled girl joked about her condition and the benefits she gets because of it, including receiving free Botox. As Eva charmed her way into the final, it very much showed everyone that she will not let her disability define her in any way.

Where her career goes from here is anybody’s guess – as showbusiness is a notoriously treacherous and difficult industry – but whether Eva continues as a stand-up or goes down a totally different life path, she definitely has what it takes to be a success. Eva Abley was my undoubted winner of BGT’s most inspiring person award.

As it happened, it was another comedian, Axel Blake, who won the show. Along with the money, he gets to appear in front of the Queen on the Royal Variety Show. I’m sure he was a worthy winner and will have a hugely successful future, but on the bigger picture, Eva Abley showed, as so many brave people have done before her, that disability can be overcome and does not have to limit your capabilities.

Well done Eva, you were the star of a weekend that was full of so many different types of stars!


A Munster final that’ll be talked about for years

I could not let this week pass without acknowledging the amazing, extraordinary, and compelling hurling match that was the Munster hurling final between Limerick and Clare. If ever a game deserves to be talked about for years to come, this was it.

After the terribly disappointing Leinster final on Saturday evening, when Kilkenny beat a very poor Galway side in a horribly dull game, the Munster final delivered to such an extent that words are barely adequate to describe the incredible action. As they always do nowadays, Limerick found just enough to take their fourth title in a row, but if the counties were to meet again later in the year, can you just imagine the feast of hurling that would be?

Whether that happens or not is anyone’s guess, but either way, Sunday’s battle had everything that a game could have: ferocious intensity, unbelievably physical contests, outrageous skills, and – for the most part –  great sportsmanship.

We often say that hurling is the best field game of all, and when it is played like that it is hard to argue. All I can say is that all of us who were lucky enough to see it will remember the 2022 Munster final for many years to come.


Pitch perfect!

We often talk about people and places punching above their weight, and even though I probably shouldn’t say it, out here in Creggs there is no doubt that when it comes to playing facilities we are punching every bit as hard as Tyson Fury.

Everyone knows about the wonderful facilities (arguably the best in Connacht) that the local rugby club has, but on Saturday evening last, after more than three years, our totally revamped GAA grounds hosted its very first game – and the new playing pitch has to be seen to be believed.

As large as Croke Park is, it will test the fitness of any lad or girl that gets the chance to play on it. All I can say is thank God I was long retired before this pitch arrived or I would surely have blown my head gasket. For all our young up and coming footballers, male and female, it is a fantastic development. The completed job will compare with any set-up anywhere in the county.

I have said it before, but if any alien spaceship ever lands in Creggs, they will be amazed at the quality of the playing pitches – five in all, and eventually six – that can be found within a couple of hundred yards of each other in a little rural village of less than a hundred people.

As it happened, we won our first game back on our own patch, getting the better of St Barry’s. But in case you missed out on that one, our lads are back in action this Friday night when we host Ballinameen in the next round of the Tansey Cup. Come along to support the lads and take in the brilliant reborn grounds.

After almost three years since our last home game, it’s great to be back. The many local volunteers and workers that made it possible should be rightfully proud. As for me, I am particularly pleased that there is a brand new footpath on the far side of the pitch, as I watch all the games from that side!

The Queen…a real trooper!

Whatever you think about the monarchy, or indeed the monarch, is your own business – even over in England the population is pretty much divided – but over the weekend, as the United Kingdom celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s amazing achievement of ruling her kingdom for seventy years, I think the people agreed that whether you like the notion of having a queen or not, she is a real trooper.

Nobody does a party quite like the English, and they certainly gave it a lash, with events going on all over the place. But for me, the sketch she secretly performed with Paddington Bear was the highlight, showing that even at 96 years of age, Queen Elizabeth is still up for a laugh.

I doubt she gets the Roscommon People, so she might not read this, but on a personal basis I wish her well, and hope she enjoys a few more years as Queen of England. The future after her may be less secure, but for the moment, congrats Lizzie and very well done!


And finally…

One of the things that I do quite a lot is pocket dialling. I am continually contacting people accidentally and consequently getting numerous calls wondering what it was that I wanted. As such, I am always being told to turn off my phone, but it usually falls on deaf ears.

However, over in Texas, two-year-old Barrett Golden went one better when he recently got hold of his mother’s phone and ordered thirty-one cheeseburgers from his local McDonald’s – even leaving a $16 tip! The bill for the burgers came to $91, and his mother Kelsey distributed them amongst the lucky neighbours.

I occasionally ring our very good local takeaway, Hot & Tasty in Creggs, for an odd treat, but if I ever order thirty or so burgers, maybe Hazim should give me a buzz just in case I have pocket-dialled again! Even for me, thirty quarter pounders would be a bit much.