No tricolour in the garden – but I’m in debt to heroes of 1916

I am a proud son of Eire and forever in the debt of the 1916 heroes.The sun is shining on this Monday afternoon and, as it is the Easter Monday, I am on a day off from work and so I find myself on my almost daily walk up Lenamarla and, to my surprise, I come across the first primroses of the spring.

            I love this time of year, when the daffodils and the primroses are in bloom and when the lambs are playing in the fields and of course with the clocks going forward yesterday (Sunday) we have a great stretch in the evenings. When you throw in the tranquility and beauty of the Lenamarla countryside, you would be forgiven for thinking that all was well in my little world. However there was something nagging me (not Carol) and I think it stemmed from a phone call I got from my son, Mark, who was back in Dublin after being at home for the weekend. He told me that, just as on Easter Sunday, the city was packed with thousands of people celebrating and commemorating the Centenary of the Easter Rising.

  So what was, or is, wrong with me that I didn’t go anywhere, not even to the parade in Roscommon, to honour the heroes of 1916 – and why didn’t I feel the need to go to our Capital city to see all the stuff at the GPO, which, in fairness, was a credit to the country (I saw it on the telly), like people I saw on The News who had travelled from all corners of Ireland?

  I am almost ashamed that I did nothing to celebrate the weekend – not even having the tricolour flying in the garden – and yet I like to think I am as Irish as the next man. I remember very well my late father teaching us all about those brave Irishmen who laid down their lives so that my generation and future ones could have a country of our own.

  The names of Pearse and Connolly, and the rest of the heroes, were sewn into my brain, and many years later I could still rhyme them off as if I heard about them yesterday, so, even if I didn’t go to Dublin, now that I’ve thought about it, I am happy enough to acknowledge that I am a proud son of Eire and forever in the debt of the 1916 heroes.

 The West’s Awake…


On Easter Sunday I took the easy way out, by parking myself in front of the telly, instead of going to Hyde Park to watch the big match between Roscommon and Mayo. I imagine there is plenty in the paper elsewhere about it, but all I want to say is that the conditions ruined it and I don’t believe, despite what they might say, that either management team learned much new information about their respective teams.

  The horrible state of the pitch suited the bigger, more physical Mayo men, but if and when they meet again, hopefully on a dry summer’s day, the Rossies will feel they are more than a match for the five-in-a-row Connacht champions.

  I watched the Dubs against the ultra-defensive Donegal men on Saturday night and I am pretty certain that they will retain their All-Ireland title or at least that whoever beats them will win Sam. Returning to Connacht, although this time to the rugby team, I missed out on their wonderful win over the Leinster lads in the Pro 12 because I was watching our local footballers in action against Castlerea in the Tansey Cup, also on Saturday evening. It’s hard to believe that it’s only a few years since the rugby people of the province had to march to stop the big-wigs up in Dublin from disbanding them. As the men from the west (and lots of other places) sit proudly on top of the Pro 12 League table on this March Monday evening, I wonder how do the same big-wigs (nearly wrote earwigs!) feel about their unsuccessful efforts to close down the Western province. It may still prove a bit beyond them to actually win the league outright, but whatever happens, they have been a revelation this season and there’s no doubt, like in the words of the song, The West’s Awake!

Work this one out…


A survey by office supplies firm, Viking, has found that more than half of all workers will suffer increased fatigue or disturbed sleep caused by the clocks going forward by an hour on Saturday night last. Maybe I’m a bit of a cynic but I’d say they might be tired because it was Easter Saturday night and they were socialising ‘till the early hours!

  Even a pillar of society, like myself, was out that night and, if the truth be told, I was like a wet rag all day Sunday and only came back to myself on Monday morning. Sadly I repeated the dose last night (Easter Monday) and the wet rag is back again this morning. So if you are tired, irritable and lacking concentration, in my opinion it has nothing at all to do with the time change, but more to do with whatever social activities you undertook at the weekend.         


And finally

Finally for this week, I want to remind you of a Table Quiz taking place in Mikeen’s on Friday night, April 1st (also Adrian Leddy’s birthday – happy birthday Adrian), in aid of Anthony Rowan’s Volunteer trip to Morogoro, Tanzania in June/July with the UCD Volunteers overseas. Table of 4 cost €20 and the quiz starts at 10 pm. All are welcome to attend and your support would be greatly appreciated.