Paul Healy’s Week



The Euros are progressing nicely, thoughtfully filling that dreaded gap between the end of one English League season and the beginning of the next.

Seeing the Scottish and English fans enjoying themselves in Germany is sobering – if I may use that word – for Irish supporters, as we didn’t qualify. No Green Army this time. Instead, this is a Christmas Day feast in a majestic banqueting hall, and we are the uninvited paupers peering in the windows (or something like that).

In tournaments such as this, the English football ‘circus’ never fails to entertain. Gareth Southgate might feel aggrieved with the negative narrative, as England are top of their group and unbeaten after tonight’s 1-1 draw with Denmark. But it was a poor performance, and the court of public opinion is not in a generous mood.

On social media, Southgate and his players are getting a pasting. In the BBC studio, Rio Ferdinand, Micah Richards and Gary Lineker were exasperated by the English manager’s conservative tactics, and highly critical of star forward Harry Kane.

On co-commentary in Germany, Alan Shearer – normally about as outspoken as Daniel O’Donnell – was unusually animated as he castigated the team’s performance.

England were flat, but the reaction has arguably been over the top. EastEnders and Coronation Street might have some serious opposition in the ‘soap opera stakes’ over the coming weeks.



Power game…

I didn’t get to today’s AGM of Roscommon County Council. However, I had a glance at the live webcast (a great service) just as Larry Brennan was receiving a ceremonial chain. I quickly realised that first-time councillor Larry hadn’t swooped in and taken the ‘first citizen’ role on day one, but had just been elected as Leas-Cathaoirleach (a notable milestone in itself).

The new Cathaoirleach is in fact Cllr Paschal Fitzmaurice, now beginning a second stint in the hot seat. The Castlerea man is one of the most experienced and astute public representatives in the county.

Outgoing Cathaoirleach Cllr John Keogh can look back on his term in office with pride, having conducted his duties in an exemplary manner.

Today’s first meeting of the new Council was a special occasion for six new councillors. First-time Council members Larry Brennan, Leah Cull, Micheál Frain, Sean Moylan and Gareth Scahill were joined by former councillor turned comeback king Domnick Connolly, Fuerty’s own Frank Sinatra!



Rossies & Ronaldo

This evening on Twitter/X, Roscommon was listed amongst the topics/people trending… just below Ronaldo.

Our footballers’ excellent win against Tyrone was the subject of much positive commentary on Twitter/X, Facebook and various websites. One feels a warm glow in one’s heart at times like this. A big Roscommon win really does lift the county – and our supporters all over the world too.

Ronaldo was trending because of his friendly interaction with a young ‘pitch invader’ who approached the superstar during Portugal’s win over Turkey to ask for a selfie. Ronaldo was all smiles, posing for the selfie, mid-match.

Diarmuid Murtagh, be prepared!



Party’s over for Scots

I was sorry to see Scotland being eliminated from the Euros tonight, after a dramatic 1-0 defeat to Hungary (the Scots had very strong appeals for a penalty turned down when the score was 0-0).

Remarkably, up to 200,000 Scottish supporters travelled to the Euros. Judging by videos posted on social media (not that we needed any evidence) they had a wonderful, marathon party.

Reminiscent of a certain Green Army, the ‘Tartan Army’ were widely lauded for their good behaviour, and great sense of fun.

For some of the Scots engaged in street parties, there was a home-grown ‘sobering up’ innovation too. Entering the spirit of it all amongst his fellow Scots in Germany was Tony Blair’s former strategist, Alastair Campbell, who turned up on several occasions to play the bagpipes… ad nauseam. Definitely a sobering intervention!



More on ‘To do’ lists!

So yes, I’ve been thinking of leaving the ‘I must get that done at some stage’ Club and joining the ‘Do it now’ Club

Never do today what you can do tomorrow” a certain Aaron Burr once said. He was Vice-President of the United States, and presumably President of his local procrastinators’ club.

Actually, when it comes to trying to get things done when they really should be done, I have improved over the years. But I am prone to writing lists, the aim of which is… to get things done. I’ll write out a list of things that need to be done, sometimes even breaking that list into categories… before inevitably realising a few days’ later that more time has been spent on recording items on the list than on actually doing some of the stuff referred to.

I might jot down ‘Get (and send) Mass cards’ instead of… getting and sending Mass cards. My aim now – six months in advance of the New Year’s resolutions’ codology – is to move from the ‘I must get that done at some stage’ Club and sneak into the ‘Do it now’ Club.

And no, I haven’t written that goal down on my latest ‘To do’ list…

*Are you prone to procrastination? Let’s agree here and now to share our experiences/chat about it at some stage…



Loss of two greats

It is a sad day for Irish broadcasting/journalism… for the country indeed. Earlier today, the death was announced of legendary Gaelic games commentator, Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh (aged 93).

A modest and unfailingly courteous gentleman, Mícheál was an extraordinarily unique commentator who held the listening multitudes in the palm of his hand. A poet of the airwaves, he was the unmistakable sound of our summers.

Later today came the very sad news of the untimely passing of former RTE journalist Tommie Gorman, aged just 68. At the Roscommon People, we had a few dealings with the Sligo native over the years, and he was always very supportive. Tommie was an outstanding journalist who conducted his work with notable compassion.

I will write further on their legacies next week/online. We have lost two broadcasting giants. May they rest in peace.