Saluting the selfless people who brighten up our world





The older I get (by the way I clocked up another birthday last Saturday but it’s okay if you didn’t send the card) the more I realise that so many bad things are happening in the world, from domestic violence to cyber bullying to appalling acts of war.

  And so many people live their lives in a permanent state of fear, be it someone in mortal fear of his, or her, partner, or children who dread every day they have to go to school knowing they face another day of unrelenting bullying, or all the citizens of war-torn regions, where every day is a challenge just to stay alive.

  Of course the media will publicise all the bad things that happen, no matter what form they take, and so it was a great pleasure for me to see the People of the Year Awards on television on Sunday night and realise that there are also so many good decent selfless and caring human beings in this country.

  Now I am not one of those who are blinded by Grainne Seoige’s good looks or charming smile, and as a presenter I can take or leave her, but I have to say that she is brilliant at these type of shows, and I thought she was an excellent host, along with Aidan Power (who I had never heard of before last night). It restored my faith in humanity to see and hear of so many acts of bravery, kindness, and just natural goodness.

  I know I shouldn’t pick any recipients above the others, but I thought the joint young Person of the Year Harry and Molly Flynn from Kilkenny were just amazing, and the award for Catherine Corless and her fearless work in exposing the truth about the Tuam babies was very well deserved.

  Also among the award winners were the people of Ballaghaderreen, being recognised for their kindness in welcoming the Syrian refugees into their town, Colette Byrne, who set up a website to help grieving people come to terms with the death of a partner, Ifrah Ahmed, who campaigns to stop female genital mutilation, rugby referee Joy Neville, the Irish Coastguard – and several others.

  Each and every one was a deserving winner, and all of them were there because they put others’ welfare before their own.

Local heroes expose multimillionaires!

On Saturday evening I made it to Rockfield to see Oran pip our lads by a point in a tough, hard-fought derby game in the Intermediate Championship.

  Even though we lost, I enjoyed the competitive edge in a game that while maybe not the highest in quality terms  was interesting all the way through and one which could have gone either way.

  The pitch was very heavy, and it was difficult to hop the ball, but each of the players gave their all and left nothing behind them on the field of play.

  Then on Sunday afternoon I watched the multimillionaires of Manchester United go through the motions against bottom of the table West Brom – and lose 1-0 at home –  and I doubt if they even cared that by losing that game they gave the title to their neighbours, Manchester City, and will have made life miserable for at least a week for one half of Manchester.

  On Saturday evening our lads went back to Mikeen’s, had a few pints and a bite to eat – and a good bit of craic. I wondered where would the United millionaires go  after their pathetic display against managerless West Brom. They could hardly show their faces in the city, so I suppose they had to slink home and console themselves that they had earned thousands upon thousands of pounds since last week, and know that no matter how poorly they play they will continue to draw their immoral wages, at least until their contract runs out…

  Give me Rockfield or Creggs, or any other local club ground, in any sport, any time, and at least we will see lads give all they have – no matter how little it is – for the honour and glory of their little village.

I shouldn’t say this, but…

If ever a man should keep his mouth shut  and say nothing about medical stuff, then I am that man, because without modern medicine and the breakthroughs that have occurred down through the years in many different areas, there is no doubt that I would be a long-time permanent resident in Kilbegnet graveyard, and I would now, as they say, be pushing up the daisies.

  However I am still above the ground, not too far mind you, and at the moment suffering from a bad cold – maybe not a flu, but close enough – and it has me wondering about the benefits of the flu jab.

  Now I am not in any way suggesting that the jab does not work, and there are thousands upon thousands of our elderly people, of whom I am one, who benefit each year from getting it. But for some unknown reason on the two years that I have got the jab recently, each time I have got a slightly watered down version of the flu virus.

  The funny thing is I haven’t bothered with it for about five or six years because of how sick I got the last time…but this year I said I’d get it again, and lo and behold, I also got the flu, or at least a bad cold. Again, in none of the years in between had I even the slightest cold, so I just wonder was I unlucky or is it possible that the flu jab is not all it’s cracked up to be.

  I am a great believer in hot lemons, and a spoon or two of honey poured in, but this time, after two weeks or more, I am still coughing and spluttering, and my nose is so runny it could solve the Dublin water crisis. So therefore, I’m wondering what’s going on! Whatever it is, I will not be taking up my offer of next year’s flu jab.

A warm welcome to Tom and Jenny

In Creggs we have recently been delighted to welcome our own celebrity couple, nutritionist Tom Coleman, who has worked with (amongst others) rugby international Jamie Heaslip and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor – and his wife, Venezuela-born Jeeny Maltese, who has a passion for food, health and beauty, and is called the ‘Latin Nigella Lawson’ by many.

  Recently Jeeny has become a television favourite with appearances on a number of prime time shows, and last Saturday night the duo hosted a very successful cookery demonstration in the School Hall, with all proceeds going to the renowned Sunshine Room. Sadly we were otherwise engaged in Rockfield, and couldn’t make it, but I am told there was a massive crowd and that everyone enjoyed it. Well done Tom and Jeeny, and a belated welcome to Creggs.

  I have always fancied myself as a bit of a chef (ask Kevin Gavin about my world-renowned peppered steak) so please God I’ll make the next one.

Fashion Show – for a great cause

Finally for this week, my good friend Sean Beirne has asked me to tell you all about a big Fashion Show which his sister, Anne Marie, is organising. In aid of the Roscommon/Mayo Hospice, it’s taking place in the Abbey Hotel on Thursday, 26th of April, starting at 7.30 pm.

  Mary Claire Grealy and Niall Canning are the comperes, it’s a great cause, tickets are only €10 and are available at local Bank of Ireland branches in Co. Roscommon. I’m sure you can also pay on the door.

  All I can do is tell you all to go and make it a night to remember. Anne Marie asked me to model the swimwear, but sadly for you, I have another engagement on the night, so you’re out of luck!


Till next week, Bye for now!