Forget work…I’m applying to join Love Island!




It’s another Monday morning and even though I don’t watch it and have no interest in it, I am well aware that tonight is the last night of Love Island, and that Ballymahon girl, Maura Higgins, is still there and in line for the first prize of £50,000.

  The amazing thing is that some people are predicting that the prize-money would only have been the tip of the iceberg for Maura, and that she has untold riches waiting around the corner as a result of her Love Island adventure.

  In fairness to her, I really hope all the good things that we are told are coming her way do so. It seems, however, that reality TV is the key to unlocking doors, with many former reality stars now multi-millionaires and celebrities in their own right. Love Island has made me realise how fortunes can even be made without having to actually work at all!

  In all the papers this week we can read about Maura and her romantic interest, dancer Curtis Pritchard, but there is also a fair bit of coverage for a 15-year-old lad called Jaden Ashman, a teenager from Essex in England, who scooped €1,000,000 by finishing second in an online ‘Fortnite’ gaming competition, where the first prize, a mindboggling €3,000,000, was won by 16-year-old American Kyle Giersdorf.

  Sadly, I don’t have a clue how to play this game as Super Mario is the only game I ever saw close up, but apparently 40 million people worldwide took part in the 10 weeks while the competition was on, and in total there was a prize fund of $30,000,000!

  At one time, young Jaden’s mother threw out his Xbox and even broke his headset, because she was so anxious that the young lad would do some homework. However, earlier this week she admitted that even though she thought he was “wasting his life”, she now realised there was some point to spending so much time glued to his computer!

  Anyhow, as someone who has worked all my life but never figured out how to make money, maybe there’s hope for me yet – I don’t  think I’ll ever figure out how to play online games, so I’d better get the application form for Love Island! I’m told all the men have six packs so I’m off to the off-license and I’ll post off my form in the next few days. If my application is successful I’ll keep you posted!


A great day out in Donamon


Finally for this week, I made it to the 25th Annual Open Day in Donamon Castle last Sunday, and even though I couldn’t stay for the full day, I was there long enough to enjoy some great music and a lovely bun and cup of tea. I met lots of happy people who were thoroughly enjoying themselves and managed to see plenty of the attractions on offer including having my picture taken with the most beautiful bird – the fact that it was an owl was only incidental – and she, or he, was really a sight to behold!

  It was later that evening when I heard that Fr. Pat Hogan is taking leave of Donamon, as his nine-year appointment is up, and I can only say I was very sorry to hear the news.

  Fr. Pat is a true gentleman, a lovely priest, and a great supporter of this area, and, while I wish him well in all he does in the future, we will miss him greatly, and hope that some day he may find himself back amongst us. We wait in hope!


Summer Cabaret Show next Wednesday

My good friend Annette Griffin tells me that the renowned Summer Cabaret Show, in association with Western Care, returns for one night only to the McWilliam Park Hotel, Claremorris, on Wednesday, August 7th, with doors opening at 8 pm and the wonderful show starting at 9 pm sharp.

  This year’s unmissable show is produced by Annette and John Staunton, and features some of Ireland’s top talent including Gerry Guthrie, Brendan Shine, comedian Shaun Connors, fiddler Billy Condon, the Turley Duggan dancers, the beautiful voice of Annette Griffin herself, along with the McWilliam Park House Band. Tickets are only €25, and they are available from the hotel itself, from Western Care, and from Crann Mór Centre Ballinrobe. I highly recommend it.

  Sticking with entertainment and Julie Healy tells me she is organising a Big Tom tribute night in The Oaklands Hotel, Glenamaddy, on Friday, September 27th, featuring a huge line-up of Irish musical talent, topped off with special guest, John Rex Reeves, nephew of the late great American singer, Jim.

  I will tell you more as the time approaches but now you have two great nights to look forward to, so keep both dates free!


Tag fundraiser scores with the locals!


Now that I have finally figured out how to secure my financial future, I can reflect on the weekend just past, which saw two unbelievable senior hurling All-Ireland semi-finals, but which also saw a very enjoyable tag rugby event, which took place in Creggs Rugby Club on Friday evening. The proceeds of the event (€1,500) went to the Sunshine Room in Creggs National School.

  Sometimes it is easy to take for granted the amazing developments that have taken place at our local school which have turned it into one of the most talked about schools in the west of Ireland. Creggs now has something we are all so proud of complete with a hydro pool, an AstroTurf pitch, and the Sunshine Room, which caters for students with special needs from as far away as Ballaghaderreen and Athlone.

  It was great to see so many enthusiasts turn up on Friday evening, helped in no small way by the beautiful weather. After a terrific tournament the winning team was Brian Diffley’s ‘Pink Ladies’, who collected fabulous trophies, sponsored by our new Club President, Aidan Farrell.

  My lad, Paul, had cobbled a team together and they acquitted themselves well considering most of them had little experience of tag or indeed any rugby, weren’t too fit, and one or two of them were coming to the end of whatever you come to if you hadn’t had a rugby career! But whatever they may have lacked in skill, they more than made up for in commitment and effort.

  I have to say it was terrific fun and everyone really enjoyed it, so well done to Ger Dowd and his organising committee. The overwhelming reaction was that everyone would love to see it repeated, and maybe even become a regular feature during the summer. Like my probable appearance on Love Island, if there are any developments I will keep you informed, but for now it was great craic and a very worthwhile fundraiser for a very worthy cause.