Is nowhere safe for Irish holiday-makers?

It’s a typical Irish August Monday morning; cloudy, but dry so far, with occasionally a little burst of sunshine breaking through. After a day of incessant rain yesterday we are thankful that at least we can walk around without raincoats, hats or brollies, and I suppose we’ve got so used to it that we simply put up with whatever weather comes our way.

  I am giving a lift to a friend of ours who is going to Majorca for a few days and who is taking the bus to Dublin Airport. We talk about the fabulous weather – 31 degrees they are having out there – and how she is really looking forward to the break. She talks about Dublin man, Trevor O’Neill, who had been shot in Majorca last week – an innocent victim of the Hutch-Kinahan feud – and I thought to myself how sad it is, that between ISIS and the Dublin gangland war, there is really nowhere safe for Irish people to go at all.

  Now obviously ISIS is a worldwide terror threat that our little nation can do nothing about, but I am amazed that even though everyone knows who is involved in our murderous feud, there seems to be no way to put an end to it. I heard Dublin councillor Mannix Flynn suggest that it’s time for the Government to bring in internment, whereby people suspected of being involved in the activities of either gang could literally be lifted off the streets and put in jail. Now I don’t know if that would work, but between the Gardaí and the Government it’s time something was done to stop the never-ending cycle of murder. Ten people have already lost their lives and worst of all, two of those were shot in cases of mistaken identity – 24-year-old Martin O’Rourke was also gunned down by mistake in April.

  Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald tells us this morning that no effort is being spared by the Gardaí to investigate all these murders and that it was “dreadful to see the events in Spain, but I (Frances Fitzgerald) want to assure the public that everything that can be done is being done”. Somehow all the people who are living in terror in Dublin’s inner city don’t take much comfort from her words and, according to the Sunday papers, a number of the Kinahan gang have set up base in Majorca, and while I’m sure they will lie low, at the same time it would be more acceptable if they weren’t there at all. I know those on their holidays will just carry on and enjoy themselves and not even think of ISIS or anything else – and they are right – but it would be a lot better if there was no threat at all.

Keeping up appearances at the Olympics

For the last couple of weeks the Olympics have featured quite a lot on our television screens and we have listened to and looked at a large number of presenters and expert analysts.

  As someone whose hairstyle or lack of it can drive my immediate family mad, I was amused to read a letter to one of the national newspapers by a viewer who was appalled at the appearance of two of the athletic analysts – Sonia O’Sullivan and Jerry Kiernan.

  He described Sonia as looking as if she had just walked through a ditch full of briars and hadn’t had time to fix her hair and he felt Jerry’s hair looked like he had received a massive electric shock just before he took his TV seat. When I read the letter I hadn’t seen either of the two analysts and I have to say that when I saw them, I felt he wasn’t far wrong.

  In this time of make-up artists, and with hair stylists – who can apparently work wonders – available to everyone who appears on our screens, it was extraordinary to see such unkempt hairstyles – similar to my own – on our national TV network. I must send them my CV, who knows I might make the next Six Nations rugby panel!

  Before I leave the Olympics, I have to say that Irish people will not fondly remember these Rio Games in any way. Granted, there were some excellent performances, in particular the O’Donovan brothers, Annalise Murphy, Thomas Barr and, even in defeat, Michael Conlon, but the overall aftertaste will not be sweet, tainted as we were by the Michael O’Reilly drugs scandal and moreso by the ever-growing story of the tickets scandal.

  The almost unbelievable failure of our boxers to bring home any medal will also have many repercussions, possibly even as far as starting a ‘bring back Billy Walsh’ movement, and as the dust settles on these games, I would think they will go down in Irish history for nearly all the wrong reasons.

  Let’s hope by the time Tokyo rolls round four years from now, the Olympic Council of Ireland will have cleaned up their act and the next games will be remembered for the performances of our athletes and not for the alleged activities of our administrators. 

Gaelic for Mayo and mothers!

I met a woman last week who told me she reads my piece as long as I don’t write about sport, so apologies to her, but sometimes there is so much sport that it can’t be ignored.

  Last weekend the Mayo footballers more or less sneaked into an All-Ireland final – no fuss or fanfare like other years – and while they will certainly be huge underdogs, it’s the best possible way for them to go into the final.

  I am a huge admirer of this Mayo team and I will not be surprised if in four weeks’ time they confound all the experts and get that 1951 monkey off their back. I was born in that year, so as I close in on the free travel, it’s high time to sort that one out.

  Sticking with Gaelic football, the last time I heard from the lovely ladies in the Oran Gaelic for Mothers and Others club, they were getting ready to strut their stuff at an ‘80s themed fundraising disco in Cuisle, Donamon, on the June Bank Holiday weekend, an event that was an outstanding success – and which I’m reliably informed brought some never before seen moves to the dance floor.

  Anyway, the proceeds were used to buy new specially designed Oran jerseys, which were launched at a football blitz hosted by the G4M&O club in conjunction with Oran Healthy Clubs Project in Rockfield on August 20th. Teams from St. Ciaran’s, St. Faithleach’s and Tulsk took part along with the Oran ladies and the large crowd was treated to an exhibition of all that’s good in Gaelic football.

  As usual that great Galway man and well-known photographer, Gerry O’Loughlin, landed the plum job of photographing all the ladies and has some wonderful shots of the Oran crew in their new jerseys. Well done to all involved, it’s a club that’s going from strength to strength and all new members are very welcome. 

Please give generously!

We have taken possession of the tickets and posters for the Annual Dance with The Lancers in Dowd’s, Glinsk, on Saturday, 1st of October, and hopefully we’ll get out over the next few weeks and get you all to come dancing on that night.

  The proceeds go to two exceptional charities – Cancer Care West and the Lourdes Invalid Fund – and all I can say is when you see the work that these charities do and the people that they help, we should be very grateful for being in a position to make even a slight difference. So let us give whatever contribution we can. It will in some small way help to make life a bit easier for someone who needs a bit of help.

  You have always been most generous in your support for these charities and I hope you will once again prove that. When it comes to generosity, the people of Glinsk, Creggs and surrounding areas are out on their own. Looking forward to seeing you all over the next few weeks and thanking you all in advance! 

Till next week, bye for now