Paul Healy’s Week


I was sorry that, due to a prior commitment, I missed out on a lovely local event today, i.e. the unveiling of a specially commissioned sculpture at Lilliput Way on the Cloonlarge Loop in Kilteevan (see report on page 20).

The Roscommon People was represented at the unveiling, which was a great success. This is another fantastic project in the locality, and a great credit to the local people driving the development of this amenity. I must say I am very impressed with the superb ‘Gulliver’ produced by the very talented local sculptor, Mark Feeley. Congratulations Mark on another magnificent piece of work!

Congratulations also to Eileen Fahey (chairperson) and everyone in Kilteevan Tidy Towns, and indeed to all who have been involved in and supported the many positive community initiatives in the area.

The recently enhanced and upgraded Cloonlarge Loop is a fantastic amenity. I highly recommend it to readers who aren’t yet familiar with this wonderful bog road loop, where the beauty of nature can be enjoyed at your leisure.



Watching Castlerea boxer Lisa O’Rourke compete for World Championship gold…which is a very nerve-wracking experience!

Although the commentator (and scoring pattern) suggested Lisa was on course to win as we entered the closing moments of a great fight, it was still very tense. Then came that incredibly emotional and proud moment when Lisa’s victory was confirmed. Castlerea’s world champion!

What joy and pride Lisa and her sister Aoife have brought to Roscommon. In this week’s Roscommon People, we have extensive coverage of this historic milestone achievement.



Striding the fairways with that distinctive aura of icons, three superstars of the sport are paired together for the first two rounds of the PGA Championships. Seeing Rory McIlloy, Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods together in a major, irrespective of how their career fortunes have ebbed and flowed over the years, is, for spectators and TV viewers, like some version of fantasy golf. When it comes to golf, these guys – to borrow a phrase from Eamon Dunphy – are Showbiz, Baby!

While McIllroy is frustratingly inconsistent, he is gifted, touched by genius, box office when he is at or near his best.

I find Spieth fascinating…a golfer with the Midas touch, magician on the greens, quietly charismatic, with his tendency to (literally) talk to his ball as it journeys towards its destination.

Woods? He is hypnotic, quite simply one of the most compelling sportsmen in history. There is a sense, watching him these past two days, that the light is fading…a 46-year-old chieftain with a battered, partly rebuilt body heroically fighting the march of time. He is a sporting colossus, whom it has been a privilege to watch. The sporting world will miss him when he’s gone.



My late father always loved a merc, and drove a number of them over the years.

Today, I read online about the world record price that has just been paid for a very unique merc – a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, one of only two prototypes manufactured by the company.

Described as “the most beautiful car in the world”, this rare Mercedes was er…snapped up…for €135m, making it the most expensive car in the world. Sotheby’s say the car was sold to a private collector.

It put me thinking about some of my youthful escapades with cars, none of which would have commanded anything like that €135m. This was back in the 1980s, for all that matters.

I was never a particularly fast driver, in the way that some young men are prone to be…my ‘car chaos’ related to my complete lack of knowledge of (or interest in) their workings. That, and my incompetence.

I have the distinction of having lost a wheel on two separate occasions (when driving) – and while that still left me at 75% wheel capacity, it’s really not recommended.

Maybe I’m being hard on myself. In fairness, who amongst us hasn’t set off on country roads in wintertime in the days before mobile phones and sat navs, in the knowledge that the wiper blades no longer worked – they had recently been detached and thrown on the floor beside the passenger seat – before, as darkness fell, formally getting lost, then realising the car is perilously low in fuel, and then reacting to a sudden fall of snow by lowering the (still working) window and operating a wiper blade with one hand, while steering – nowhere in particular – with the other?

Anyways, my car woes kind of came to a head when, back in the 1980s, Toyota recalled all Starlets in Ireland, a precautionary measure after a fault had been discovered (it was actually a great car).

The boss in Tom McNally Motors had a look at my Starlet, immediately wrote it off, and handed me a cheque for over two thousand pounds.

It was, he said, “the worst one” he’d seen. I was suitably honoured.



It’s just as well that our friends in Sky Sports are into the bit of ould hype…because today’s incredibly tense finale to the Premier League season probably merited the ‘massive’ coverage!

High drama as Wolves took the lead against a nervy Liverpool, before Aston Villa did likewise against an even more nervy Manchester City. When Pep’s boys went 2-0 behind, Liverpool could dare to dream. Only problem was, they were struggling to keep the Wolves from the door. In the end, this marvellous Liverpool team recovered to win their game, but – quite remarkably – City scored three late goals in a six-minute spell to seal the Premier League title.

Meanwhile, the respective supporters of Leeds (this writer included) and Burnley were going through their own torture, with the last relegation place still to be decided. It was monumentally nerve-wracking… watching Leeds go in front at Brentford, then the agony of conceding an equaliser, that and the fear of a Burnley fightback against Newcastle. In the end, the heartbreak fell to Burnley, and Leeds United made an unlikely escape. It was a fantastic afternoon’s viewing.



An image from a funeral in North Korea certainly provides evidence of the issue the BBC news team wanted to highlight. The funeral is of a top military official, with five or six men seen carrying the coffin.

Everyone ‘in shot’ is wearing a face mask, probably a wise decision, given that it’s a funeral, and North Korea is facing a new Covid outbreak. Everyone bar one person, that is. The man who isn’t wearing a face mask is North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

I’m not sure why media organisations bothered reporting this…I mean it’s not as if anyone is going to complain about it!



The horrific news that two teachers and 19 children have been shot dead at a school in Texas is beyond heartbreaking. Why is it that America continues with its appalling gun culture, to the bewilderment of most of the watching world?

Whenever the last ‘debate’ on this recurring horror took place – whether it was last month, last week or yesterday – these 19 innocent children and their two innocent teachers were all alive.

Shame on all apologists for this sickness at the heart of American society.