Paul Healy’s Week – 9th December

‘I almost expected to hear Gaybo say we’re banjaxed…’

Wishing to (mostly) avoid motorways, I headed for Dublin today by taking the scenic route.

This brought me back into the past, venturing every so often into long-bypassed villages which were once the landmarks we encountered when driving from the country to the Capital.

As I drove into and through Enfield and Kilcock, I almost expected to hear Gay Byrne condemn Charlie or Garret on the radio and sadly lament (again) that “this country is banjaxed.”

It was a real drive down memory lane, passing through towns and villages that were a part of our lives many years ago.

Although bypassed, effectively removed from the lives of the travelling Western brigade – these famous towns and villages from our past are still surviving, looking quite busy indeed, dotted with bright and attractive small businesses, including more restaurants and cafes than any of us, including Gaybo, could ever have imagined opening in these places.

Passing a pub near Lucan, the type of place we never pass now since the arrival of the motorways, I am reminded of a day in 1997 when Fiona and I were travelling to Dublin.

It was ‘Grand National Day’ and we wanted to see the action from Aintree, so, as we passed through the various towns and villages, we kept an eye on the time, hoping to find a suitable venue a few minutes before the start of the race.

Relief then as we encountered this small pub on a corner, near Lucan, with a few minutes to go to Starter’s Orders.

We settled down to watch the great sporting spectacle. But the IRA had other ideas; a bomb threat led to the race being cancelled – and to long faces in Lucan.

It’s nice to revisit these landmark places from our past, nicer really than a soulless sojourn on the M4 (the truth is I have developed a nervousness around driving on motorways).

Nothing else to report from Thursday’s trip, except that I left my coat behind in a chipper in a small, bypassed town, which could be a good title for a new Irish Country song – ‘I left my coat behind in a chipper in a small, bypassed town.’

Well, maybe not…


Music is certainly in the air.

Tonight (Saturday) we attended the launch of Sr. Kathleen Glennon’s ‘Song of Kilteevan.’ The irrepressible Kathleen wrote the lyrics, while Miriam Hunt wrote the music.

Both ladies are to be commended on an excellent piece of work. Enya Reilly is the superb singer and Track 2 on the CD – The Groves of Kilteevan – is a digitised recording (from 2000) of Enya’s late grandfather, Paddy.

Both songs are captivating.

A large number of people were involved in producing the CD and they are all to be congratulated on doing a very professional job. The CD – well, if there are any left after the very successful and well attended launch – is on sale now, with proceeds to Kilteevan Community Development Group.

A purchase is recommended! As for Sr. Kathleen, her creative output continues. When it comes to her love for Kilteevan, she has always worn her heart on her sleeve.

Now you could say she is wearing her heart on her CD sleeve.


I couldn’t make it to Rooskey on Sunday night for the first of the Roscommon Solstice Choir’s Christmas concerts.

I did pass the Church at about 7.45 pm and the cars were gathering (I had to be somewhere else, but I plan to attend one of the concerts in the coming weeks).

I’m glad to hear that it was a successful kick-off to a busy festive season for the choir.

They too have been busy making a CD. Their ‘A Christmas Wish’ CD contains a host of festive favourites.

Make sure to buy a copy. You’ll love it, and you’ll be helping local charities.