Paul Healy’s Week


Tina Turner

It’s odd how strange coincidences manifest themselves from time to time…

Last night, we finished this week’s newspaper just before 10 pm, having taken a break earlier in the evening to attend the beautiful Graduation Mass for the Convent of Mercy Roscommon Leaving Cert class of 2023.

Ready to unwind for an hour or two back home, I began TV channel-hopping. Not keen on politics/current affairs after a busy day at work, I went nostalgic and settled on a BBC Four programme – ‘Tina Turner at the BBC’.

The interviews and clips of various performances over the years were a very enjoyable reminder of the superstar’s brilliance as a recording artist (and live), of her courage as a human being too.

I thought no more of this ‘Tina flashback’ until a ‘little’ after midnight, when our daughter returned home after some Graduation night socialising… and casually said that Tina Turner had died a few hours earlier. She had assumed I’d heard, but I hadn’t (and was shocked). It was one of those strange coincidence-type experiences we all have… as the show I’d just watched had long been scheduled, and had nothing to do with the star’s passing.

One of the greatest entertainment icons of all time, Tina Turner was ‘The Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Her life story was amazing, and one can only feel immense admiration for the strength and resilience she showed in overcoming an abusive marriage to go on and become a superstar who was loved all over the world.


Ryan’s exit

I didn’t see Ryan Tubridy’s last Late Late Show, preferring to sit alone and listen to sombre music in a dimly-lit room while pining for the golden era of the programme (not really). We did record it however, and might have a look at some stage.

Judging by social media, reaction to the big finale has been mixed, some people critical, many more complimentary. Anyways, having often criticised Ryan – but more so the outdated and ill-advised format of the show – I am happy to cease fire and wish the retiring host well. And it has struck me in recent weeks that we will probably miss Tubridy when he’s gone, because he had many fine qualities – and it can’t be easy to host a live show for over two hours every Friday night.

I gather that the presentation of a red Vespa (scooter/moped) and birthday greetings from the great Paul McCartney were amongst the highlights tonight. As for new host Patrick Kielty, I think it’s a good choice. Time will tell!


Remaining nameless!

The inaugural meeting of the ‘Rossies who are bad at remembering names’ club met at a secret location last night.

There was a small turnout, the chairperson wryly noting there would have been more present were it not for the fact that the executive couldn’t put names to faces very well, and accordingly had struggled when issuing invites.

The meeting began awkwardly. The chairperson started his brief address as follows: “Ladies and gentlemen, you are all very welcome to the inaugural meeting of the ‘Rossies who are bad at remembering names’ club. Before we begin, I’d like to introduce you to my colleagues at the top table… but, er, I’m a bit stuck for their first names… anyways, thank you to everyone for coming”.

The meeting had been called after some locals informally shared a common problem. Mick and Gerry were chatting in the pub one evening. “I can never put names on people” Mick complained, “it’s a pure curse”.

“Sure I’m the same” Gerry replied, “I can remember faces no problem, but do you think I can put a name to them?”

Shaking his head, Mick called out to the barman: “Eh…David (real name: Denis) you can start two pints”.

As the night went on, a few more locals admitted that their everyday lives are dogged by the problem. Hence the solemn agreement to set up a club for local people who are bad at remembering names.

At that first meeting, attendees shared their embarrassment. A neighbour of the chairperson put his hand up.

“Is it yourself?” said the chairperson, spluttering. “The man himself!”

Biting his lip, the audience member spoke. “Look, we’re all here for the one reason. We all struggle to put names to faces. It’s hard. A fella called to our door last night selling tickets for a draw. He knew my first name, but I couldn’t for the life of me think of his. I had to put on an act. I opened the door and exclaimed, in an exaggerated voice: ‘Well if it isn’t the uncrowned king  of the parish! I was just saying to the wife that I reckoned you’d be out selling tickets night after night, you’re a fundraiser without equal!’ Sure it turned out to be Martin Murphy, I know him as well as I know meself”.

Just then, the man sitting beside the speaker gave him an elbow and whispered “Martin is over there beside the door, he came in a few minutes ago”.

After an hour of discussion, the chairperson set a date for a new meeting. “Note all the minutes” he whispered to the secretary, who hadn’t a clue what names to put beside the contributions.

On the way out, everyone played safe and said a general ‘goodnight’. There were raised eyebrows when one fella, looking a touch confused and bashful, called everyone by their first name. It transpired he had a couple of drinks on him and had turned up at the wrong meeting by mistake.

To spare his embarrassment, he shall remain nameless.


A super performance

Today’s trip to Croke Park turned out to be more enjoyable than most of us were expecting! Roscommon played superbly against Dublin, this opening All-Ireland Senior Football Championship group game ending in a draw. You can read my take on it all on pages 38 and 39.


Tic Tac generation

Each to their own: On this glorious, warm day, three schoolboys cross the pedestrian crossing in front of me in descending order (relative to their height). The two bigger boys have huge ice cream cones, reflecting the scorching hot day. The third, smaller boy, happily follows… clasping one of those small ‘tic tac’ boxes of mints!