IRFU must tackle rising ticket prices!

Our man Frank on the IRFU’s ticket prices, Creggs’ date with ‘Pride of Place’ destiny, the need for international support for wildfire-ravaged Hawaii, and running, walking or cycling for a very good cause…

You will know by now that I have a huge interest in all types of sport, and I am more than grateful for all the excitement and enjoyment that it has brought me down through the years. Having said that, I also feel that the big sporting organisations are more interested these days in making money than they are in looking after the welfare of supporters and members.

This time around, it’s not the GAA I have in my sights. Though I am still angry at their decision to take away the 50 per cent OAP discount for local championship matches. For a cash-strapped pensioner on a fixed income, it still amounts to quite a substantial penalty. For a wealthy organisation such as the GAA, surely the reinstatement of this discount is not too much to ask?

As it happens, I did send an email to Croke Park some time ago, perhaps now that the championship has finished for another year, they might get a chance to respond? I won’t hold my breath!

No, this time around my ire is directed at the IRFU (the rugby crowd), who seem to be charging the exact same prices for tickets for next Saturday’s World Cup warm-up game against England as they would for a Six Nations game!

One fellow I met the other day told me that he wanted to bring his 16-year-old son to the match but was appalled when he was quoted €120 each for their tickets. He said that by the time he travelled to Dublin, had a bit to eat, and watched the game, he would have little change left out of €400.

The IRFU describes Saturday’s game as being part of the ‘Summer Series’, but the truth is it is still just a warm-up game ahead of the World Cup. Of course any game against England will come with a bit more of an edge than any other ‘friendly warm-up’ but I still maintain that prices should be cut to reflect the nature of the match.

As it happens, tickets for last week’s Italian game were much cheaper and so too are the tickets for the upcoming Samoan game. Why not the England game? There are no World Cup Pool points or trophies up for grabs so €120 is a bit of a ‘high tackle’.

On the same note, last weekend saw the annual influx of ‘horsey’ people too Dublin for the International Horse Show at the RDS with huge crowds in attendance for the event.

My two-year-old granddaughter was there with family on the Friday and I have to say the €18 entrance fee for her seems a little excessive. God be with the days when, no matter what you were attending, young children were simply lifted up on their parents’ shoulders and carried in at no cost at all!

Anyway, I suppose all these organisations know that people will attend no matter what in many cases and so can charge what they like, But greed is never a good thing no matter where you come across it, and those three examples smack of greed to me.


Let the ‘Pride of Place’ judging commence!

The Pride of Place awards are running for over 21 years now, and this year the big winners will be feted at a big gala dinner at the Armagh City Hotel on Friday, November 10th.

The Pride of Place Awards is an All-Ireland competition that acknowledges and celebrates the work local communities are doing all over the island of Ireland.

Our own little village, Creggs, has been nominated by Galway County Council as the county’s entry in the Biodiversity and Climate Action section of the awards. The judges visited Creggs yesterday (Wednesday), where, among other things, they were shown a 20-minute presentation on all that is currently happening in the village before going walkabout and seeing the great work that is being done in terms of biodiversity and climate action.

Members of the public were also to go along to Creggs National School and give the judges an opportunity to meet the local people.

Now, having driven round the place over the last few days, I have come to the realisation that it really doesn’t matter whether we win or lose. What matters is the pride our community takes in Creggs. As I watched myriads of people, both young and old, cleaning and tidying the village in recent days, it also made me realise that the results won’t impact on the effort the community has put in in order to showcase the wonderful place Creggs is to live in.

Don’t get me wrong…it would be great if we were to win! It would also be a proper acknowledgment of the commitment of all the volunteers, and the fact that so many locals put their shoulders to the wheel. But I can honestly say that Creggs has never looked as splendid as it does now, and win or lose, all of those involved have shown to the world what ‘Pride of Place’ is all about.


Local concert for Heritage Week

It promises to be a busy week in Creggs, because as part of Heritage Week there will be a big concert in the school hall on Friday evening, August 18th, when local musician Colm Naughton will, accompanied by Orlaith Keane, take to the stage for a special musical performance.

Colm is a noted banjo player, and also plays several other instruments while Orlaith is a well-known singer from the famous Caherlistrane Keane family of entertainers and she has featured on a number of her father, Matt’s albums in recent years.

Tickets can be purchased in O’Rourke’s Spar, priced at €20, and doors open at 8 pm with the show kicking off at 8.30 pm. You are all asked to come along to a very special night’s entertainment in the village and to experience the very best of Ireland’s musical talent.


Apocalyptic scenes in beautiful Hawaii

One of the programmes that I watch regularly is the new Magnum PI series, and most weeks I would simply watch the action and pass no heed at all on things like the scenery and the surroundings.

However, the series is filmed in Hawaii, which, as we know, is now being ravaged by wildfires. So, when in this week’s episode, Higgins went off in TC’s helicopter to the island of Maui (both characters in the programme) my interest immediately picked up. Maui has been hardest hit by the fires, and the scenes we see on television are bordering on apocalyptical.

Meanwhile, everything in the town of Lahaina has been totally wiped out and as I looked at the gorgeous scenic pictures of the island on the television programme, it was hard to believe that anything could bring about so much devastation to such a beautiful area.

Sometimes it’s hard to take in some of the stuff we see on TV, like the appalling floods in China, the unnaturally high temperatures in Europe, the devastation of the wildfires in many areas, but especially Hawaii, and the damage earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis and hurricanes can bring.

The only conclusion I can come to is that we are so lucky to live here in Ireland. It would be better if the turf wasn’t still in the bog, of course, but at least it’s not under threat from wildfires.

Anyway, our hearts go out to those poor Hawaiian people who have literally lost everything. Hopefully they will get all the help they need from the international community.


And finally…

Don’t forget the big fundraising day taking place this Sunday for the Athleague/Tremane Defibrillator Group and I ask you all to try to join in the activities and help such a great cause. You can cycle, walk or swim or even stand on your head, but, whatever you do, give a donation to help with the wonderful work the group does!


‘Till next week, Bye for now!