Galway and Roscommon for Croke Park double bill

Our columnist Frank Brandon on Roscommon and Galway’s prospects in this weekend’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals; The phenomenon of false insurance claims; And a nostalgia-inducing upcoming fundraising night in Rockford’s Nightclub…

It’s Monday morning as I write, and Morning Ireland has just hosted the draw for the All-Ireland football quarter-finals.

The Rossies, after their fantastic win at the weekend over Tyrone, must now have realistic hopes of beating Armagh and making it to the semi-final (at least).

There is no doubt that Galway should have beaten Armagh by five or six points in their final important group game, so as Roscommon will feel they are every bit as good as the Tribesmen – or even better – they will (rightfully in my opinion) feel they can beat Kieran McGeeney’s men.

I don’t like making predictions but, much as I like Galway, I can’t see them beating the Dubs in Croke Park, especially if Damian Comer and Shane Walsh are carrying injuries.

Donegal should beat Louth and, despite already having lost three championship games, Derry might just get the better of the men from Kerry.

Now I know the rules are the rules, but I still think championship games should be knockout and I think back fondly to the old days when you got one shot at getting through to the next round, and if you got beaten you knew you were out.

Last weekend, because the winners took all and the losers were gone, we had real championship action with a proper cut and thrust. Like it or not, they were the first right football championship games of the summer.

As I write this, I don’t know when the games will take place, but I would imagine the GAA will have Galway and Roscommon both in Croke Park on Sunday, but as that would seem to make sense to me it probably won’t happen (Editor: It won’t; the games are fixed for Saturday).

Anyway, wearing my Connacht hat, wouldn’t it be great if both western counties made it through to the semi-finals? Fingers crossed.


The claims con…


One of the things most of us learn as we go through life, is that there is no such thing as ‘easy money’. Usually, no matter how easy it seems to be, there is nearly always a catch.

A few years ago here in Ireland, we seemed to discover that motor insurance companies were legitimate targets, and I suppose because these companies were making millions every year, we weren’t too bothered when some of them got stung.

However, as we learnt about more and more false claims, including several staged crashes involving the same families, we began to realise that there was now a massive compensation culture out there, which – along with costing big insurance companies loads of money – was also costing all of us, as premiums kept rising to meet the substantial pay-outs.

At some stage the emphasis shifted and we began to see and hear about scurrilous claims being brought against businesses of every sort, some brought by customers and others by workers of said companies.

Supermac’s had a very high profile case in Galway  where a fellow threw water on the floor of a toilet, before practising a number of falls until he was injured enough to call for help. Sadly for him there was a hidden camera in the roof which captured his every move, and which of course rendered his claim obsolete, resulting in a  court appearance for the claimant.

At one stage a few years ago Pat McDonagh, the founder and owner of Supermac’s, said he had 73 outstanding claims against the group for personal damages, and he vowed to defend them all.

In 2019, he asked that people who make false claims should be prosecuted and legally punished – that might make claimants think twice about taking their fictitious cases to court.

Among the dubious cases that have been thrown out by the courts against Supermac’s was one taken by a woman who claimed she bit on a thumb tack while eating a bag of chips, and was so traumatised she could never eat in a restaurant again. Her case went to court but she withdrew her claim after the defence provided footage of her dining in a local hotel some months after the supposedly life-changing incident.

A small business owner told of the huge costs their business incurred in fighting another false claim, and said even though they won the case, the costs almost closed them.

Despite all the precautions being taken, people are still trying their luck. Only last week, a woman called Ewa Ledzinska had her claim for €300,000 against Lidl thrown out because the back injuries she supposedly suffered at work weren’t quite as severe as she had claimed.

She had told the judge she was only able to do gentle Pilates, but a video taken by private investigators showed her doing vigorous exercises at a gym – running on the spot, swinging a kettlebell, lifting weights, and stretching. In the end she withdrew her case, and has to make a contribution to Lidl’s costs.


Big fundraiser

coming up in



I am looking at a ticket on the kitchen table, and it’s bringing back memories of the good old days when Miss Ellie’s was the number one place in local entertainment.

For those of you too young to remember, Ellie’s was the beginning of the nightclub scene in Roscommon, when the legends that were Jack and Madge O’Gara brought US-style entertainment to Roscommon. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s, Miss Ellie’s was the place to go to.

In our fledgling days in Creggs Rugby Club, we held several fundraising Chicken in the Rough buffet nights there, and every single one of them was a roaring success.

For all of you still too young to remember, back in those days to get an late-night extension in a place you had to serve every patron with a ‘substantial’ meal. As a result, the phenomenon that was Chicken in the Rough was born.

Anyway, that was then and this is now, and next Saturday week (6th of July) Creggs GAA Club are taking over Rockford’s Nightclub and having a fundraising night. For €10 you get entry to the club, and your ticket also gets you entered into a draw for two bar tabs worth €50.

Saturday the 6th coincides with the last day of the various local club football leagues, and everyone is invited to celebrate the end of the league season and to have a night out before the championship season begins.

I will admit it’s been a while since I have featured in Rockford’s, but if Jack the Higher and Jack the Lower are up for it, and if Larry has a special handy way in for the over-70s, you might just see one of my renowned dance moves on the dance floor. I wonder will the DJ play any Mick Flavin?

Anyway, make a date in your diary for the Rockford’s Takeover, when Creggs GAA Club comes to town!


And finally…


You probably won’t remember that I told you a few weeks ago (I barely remember it myself) about 60,000 bees that invaded a three-year-old girl’s bedroom over in North Carolina, and how her parents didn’t believe her when she told them there were ‘monsters’ in her closet. Anyway, she was right about there being something there, as her parents eventually found out, but not before the bees ended up causing $20,000 worth of damage to the house’s electrics.

However, that wasn’t the first time bees invaded a house; Ireland’s Own tells us that on the 23rd of June 1934, Mr M Meany of Goresbridge in Co Kilkenny  awoke to find a hive’s-worth of bees in his bedroom, who had swarmed into the room through an open skylight as he slept. This story actually made the Irish Press, which titled the piece ‘Strange Bedfellows’.

Whether AOK pest control were around in 1934 I am not sure, and as Mr Meany has since passed on I have no idea how he got rid of his unwanted guests, but it shows once again that no matter what they can do in America, over here in Ireland we would have done it first!