People Platform – August 18th


About those changes

Dear Editor,

In reference to our defeat by Mayo last week I have read most of the coverage by the sports reporters carried by our two local papers. Nowhere has anyone commented on the changes made since the drawn game. Seamus Duke did articulate the point ‘It was a big call by management’, however.

  Firstly, three backs were changed with McManus pulled from full-back and played at right half-back, Seanie (McDermott) was brought back to the corner and McInerney was put at full-back.  

  Now I saw McManus played on the wing in earlier games and thought him a bit weak there, but at full-back he was outstanding. He cleaned Comer (of Galway), who had run rampant against Mayo, and confined O’Connor (of Mayo) to a few scores in the drawn match.

  Any follower of the Rossies for the last ten years knows that Seanie Mac has problems with Andy Moran. Why, after playing well at half-back against Galway and Mayo, was he moved? McInerney contained Moran well in the drawn game. 

  Before leaving the comments on the backline one must question the position the sweeper took up. If using a sweeper, he should not leave space behind him where the opposition can drop ball to the full-forward line. He should position himself about the ‘D’ line and at about ‘ten past’ on the circle when the opposition play a two-man full-forward line and leave the space for the full-forward to run to.

  Remember, Moran, by his runs, dictates when and where the ball is fed to him so at ‘ten past’ the sweeper gets early warning by keeping an eye on the runs from in front of the square and hopefully beats him on the shorter run to the ball. For the blueprint on a sweeper role, watch Colm Kavanagh of Tyrone against Dublin.

  Our kick-out caused problems as everybody knew that Mayo would push up and stop us getting primary possession on the ‘21’. So let’s bring our midfield closer to our goal, pull their midfield in after their half-forwards and drive the kick-out over their heads down to the half-forwards. If we won primary possession here it’s a short run and over the bar. The place for Enda Smith is centre-forward and running through the middle. It is almost impossible to stop those Mayo half-backs when they come running at you with speed.

  I will not comment on the crazy decision to drop our two goalscorers from the drawn game for the replay. I would like to see Fitzmaurice again but not as a left-footed player attacking up the left wing.

  Lastly, nobody seems to have commented on the first three frees and scores that Mayo got. All three were rather soft frees as O’Shea came barging in from outfield. What were our backs to do? Step out of his way?! These soft frees left the Roscommon backs unable to go in hard to the tackle as Mayo outfield players came in waves and this had a major influence on the concession of the three goals.

  Maybe management should have then reverted to the team of the drawn game but there was little they could do with the fat in the fire. Even with the five changes from the drawn game these boys are well within striking distance of Mayo.

  We all hope Mayo and Galway now go all the way this time and bring the two cups across the Shannon.

Thanking you Editor for the space to air my views.

Yours sincerely,

Sean Neary

‘Let’s not diminish respect for human life’

Dear Editor,

Following on from the letter in last week’s Roscommon People – ‘Why we shouldn’t repeal the 8th’ – I can think of no good reason for dismantling the 8th Amendment, which protects mothers and their babies equally – so why change it?

  If the 8th were to be repealed, the protection for unborn children would be removed, and as we have seen in other countries, once abortion is introduced in certain circumstances, it is only a matter of time before the grounds are expanded to include more “hard cases”.

  Is it not preferable to focus on issues that unite our society rather than divide it? E.G. provide suitable sheltered accommodation for the alleged 20 homeless pregnant women living rough on the streets of our cities on any given night; likewise work together to provide prenatal palliative care facilities for families given a devastating diagnosis of a life-limiting condition in pregnancy and put more resources into research in organisations like the Le Jeune Foundation to enhance the lives of Down Syndrome children and improve their quality of life and outcomes.

  Each of us, regardless of age, gender, dependency, disability or circumstance, possess a profound value and dignity – let’s not diminish that respect for all human life, born and unborn.

Yours sincerely,

(Name and address with Editor, with-held on request)


Remembering ‘Ireland’s greatest gift to America’

Seminar on Fr Flanagan and Boys Town


“The great actor, Mickey Rooney, described Fr. Flanagan as Ireland’s greatest gift to America.”

  The pride in Tom Flanagan’s voice is evident as he speaks of the enormous influence and legacy of Ballymoe native Fr. Edward Flanagan, whose life and times will be the subject of a forthcoming seminar in Roscommon Town.

  Fr. Flanagan was the founder of and inspiration behind Boys Town, the world famous orphanage in the United States (Nebraska) which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.

  The late Hollywood star Mickey Rooney featured in the film ‘Boys Town’ in which Spencer Tracy played the Ballymoe native.

  Now Tom Flanagan from Roscommon town – in association with Roscommon County Council (Library Service) – has organised a seminar on ‘Father Flanagan & Boys Town.’ Tom called into the Roscommon People office this week to tell us about the event, which will be held in Roscommon County Library on Thursday, August 24th.

  Guest speakers on the day will include Bishop Kevin Doran, Professor Daire Keogh and well-known journalist John Waters.

  Speaking to the Roscommon People in advance of the seminar, Tom Flanagan said that it was important that people are made aware of the life, times and legacy of the remarkable Fr. Flanagan.

  “He was a Roscommon man with a global impact…Mickey Rooney described him as Ireland’s greatest gift to America. I would appeal to people to attend on Thursday, August 24th and indeed to continue to pray for Fr. Flanagan’s canonisation. We can be very proud of this man’s influence and legacy.”

* Edward Joseph Flanagan was born on the 13th of July, 1886 at Leabeg, Ballymoe, County Roscommon. He was the eighth of eleven children born to John and Nora Flanagan.

  He emigrated to America in 1904 and was ordained to the priesthood on 26th of July, 1912.

  In 1917, in Omaha, Nebraska, Fr. Flanagan founded Boys Town, an orphanage for boys. Then known as ‘The City of Little Men,’ the facility pioneered and developed new juvenile care methods in 20th century America. Boys Town has grown over the years, providing care to children and families across the country. Today, Boys Town provides direct and indirect care to 1.4 million youth and families annually.

The programme

The programme for the seminar on Fr. Flanagan & Boys Town (in County Library, Roscommon on Thursday, 24th of August) is as follows: Reception at 10.30, followed by Introduction at 11 am. 11.15: Address by Cllr. Orla Leyden, Cathaoirleach, Roscommon County Council; 11.30: Video on Boys Town, one hundred years on; 12 noon: Address by Bishop Kevin Doran (discussion at 12.30); after lunch (1-2 pm) – guest speakers – 2 pm: Professor Daire Keogh on ‘Returning Hero: Fr. Flanagan’s Irish Tour (1946)’; 3 pm: John Waters on ‘War on the Church: The Villainising of Virtue.’