Paul Healy’s Week


Proud of minors

Shortly after the final whistle in tonight’s thrilling Connacht MFC semi-final in Castlebar, Roscommon manager James Duignan told the local media: “We are very disappointed to lose but very proud of the group (of players)”.

Apt words from James, as pride sums up how supporters felt about Roscommon’s excellent performance. I followed the game on Twitter, while Seamus Duke and photographer Bernie O’Farrell were there in the flesh for the Roscommon People (see our sports section). Roscommon minors lost in heartbreaking fashion, foiled by Tom Lydon’s sharpshooting, Mayo winning 2-13 to 2-12.


Fast fun…

I didn’t make it to Roscommon Gaels’ big boxing fundraiser in the Hyde Centre (but the Roscommon People was happy to provide sponsorship support). By all accounts the night was a huge success (see page 8).

A trip to the Omniplex Cinema in Roscommon today gave me a first experience of the amenity since a relatively recent revamp there. It was already impressive; now it’s magnificent, state-of-the-art, a fabulous entertainment venue.

As many people had reported, the new luxury seating in the cinema is so comfortable you could have a snooze during a movie. As I was officially minding three children, I thought better of availing of that option. Besides, it would have been difficult to snooze during the noisy, frantic Fast X, a ludicrous but thoroughly entertaining street-racing action thriller.



Website woes…

See you all in Croker on Saturday, then. Huh? Saturday?

Browsing the news websites today, I did a double take on seeing the GAA fixtures section on the RTE website. There, it stated that the big Dublin-Roscommon game is down for Croke Park next Saturday, May 27th, at 4 pm.

My eyes strained as I double-checked, then treble-checked. Surely the game is on Sunday, I thought. Has it been switched overnight?

It crossed my mind to call over to Marty Morrissey to check if I was losing my mind, but the security at Chez Marty is probably even more intensive than at Buckingham Palace or The Vatican (for obvious reasons).

Composing myself, I cross-referenced the very unambiguous fixture details (Dublin v Roscommon, Saturday, 27 May) on the RTE website with other websites, all of which indicated that the game is actually fixed for this Sunday (28th).

Anyone can make a mistake, but the sloppiness of RTE in not correcting it is perplexing. I contacted a leading sports reporter in Roscommon for confirmation that I hadn’t lost the plot. “They’ve made a hash of it” I ventured, hoping I wasn’t making some silly mistake. My sophisticated analysis met with his agreement. “A hash”. I slept restlessly.



Does anyone care?

The GAA fixtures on the RTE website remain unchanged today. There is still no correction of the erroneous post indicating that Roscommon are playing Dublin in Croke Park this Saturday. Any Roscommon people who check out the fixtures there would be forgiven for thinking they are featuring in an episode of the old tv classic ‘The Twilight Zone’.

I contacted Roscommon County Board, where my friend (with apparent resignation) noted that the misinformation on the RTE website was actually there for “quite a while”.

So it appears that the RTE website has had this incorrect fixture information online for a number of days. We’re off to Croke Park on Sunday, but RTE is insisting we will meet our round robin round one fate on Saturday. And they’re sticking to it.

At this rate, I’m expecting The Sunday Game to be scheduled for Saturday night, The Today Show to air live tonight, The Late Late Show to start early, and God knows what will happen to Telly Bingo.


Michael cuts his lawn…

I haven’t yet become a regular viewer of Upfront with Katie Hannon, which is no reflection on Katie, a top class journalist who has been known to call into our office in Roscommon when on General Election duties.

After enjoying Newcastle United’s celebrations on reaching the Champions League (Sky Sports tonight), I switched to the RTE current affairs show, where there was a lively debate underway on the implications for farming arising from climate change targets.

Roscommon-Galway TD Michael Fitzmaurice was arguing against EU rewetting targets, and painting a picture of the death knell of rural Ireland. MEP Clare Daly, seemingly baffled by the fears of the farming community, advised that west of Ireland farmers should diversify into “blueberries and water buffalos”.

At the end of the debate, Katie went for the ‘light-hearted question’ finale much loved by such shows. Were the panel members adhering to the ‘No Mow May’ campaign and ignoring their lawnmower for the month?

Michael Fitz, possibly pondering how he could make the case for an influx of water buffalos to Glinsk, seemed almost at the end of his tether by this point. No fan of the ‘light-hearted question finale’ Michael wearily played along, ‘admitting’ he had indeed mowed his lawn during May, whereupon Katie asked if he felt that should be considered socially unacceptable. Our local TD could barely contain his frustration, but he summoned the energy for one final, despairing response.

“If you have a small lawn in the front of your house… and people calling into you, they like to see a bit of tidiness in the place…if that’s what’s going to save the planet, then we may give up”.



No strings attached

According to top auction company Julien’s Auctions, a guitar which the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain smashed on stage – meaning it can no longer be played – has been sold for nearly $600,000. I’m no expert, but imagine what it could have fetched if he had treated it properly and kept it in one piece…



RTE accepts inevitable!

On the verge of ringing new RTE director-general Kevin Bakhurst, I make one last check on the RTE website… joy of joys, the GAA fixture error has been fixed. It’s Dublin v Roscommon on SUNDAY, May 28th. But hold on… now they’re saying Leeds United are set to be relegated. Surely that can’t be true?