Shocking, selfish behaviour that put Poppy (14) in peril

Our man Frank on the threat posed by nut allergies; Last weekend’s GAA action…and the loneliness of the two-footed footballer!

It’s Sunday morning, and – after a long break – I’ve decided to resume my baking career. As I am mixing the ingredients for my delicious, world famous cupcakes, I find myself thinking of nuts and allergies and the terrifying effects that inadvertently eating certain nuts can have.

A member of our extended family lives with such an allergy and a couple of years ago we witnessed at first-hand how frightening it can be when he ate something that must have had a forbidden substance in it. As a result, he blacked out and was rushed to hospital where the staff thankfully managed to resuscitate him. Apparently there is a lifesaving medication called EpiPen for people who suffer severe allergy reactions, and a shot or two usually sorts out the problem.

All of this came to mind when I read of a horrific incident on board a flight from Antigua to London when 14-year-old Poppy Jones, who also suffers from a nut allergy, almost lost her life, allegedly due to the actions of a fellow passenger who refused to stop eating from his bag of nuts. The cabin crew twice advised the man that he was putting the girl’s life at risk, but he kept on eating the nuts.

At 30,000 feet the girl collapsed, and had to get oxygen and two shots of EpiPen before being rushed off to hospital on arrival at Gatwick. The situation was so critical that at one stage the pilot considered an emergency landing but thankfully a nurse on board managed to stabilise the girl’s condition and avoided such a course of action having to be taken.

The girl’s mother, Joanna, told of her terrible fear that her daughter would die, spoke of the fact that most of us don’t take the problem as seriously as we should, and also bemoaned the fact that all the cabin crew could do was ask the man to stop eating the nuts – but when he refused to do so they were powerless to make him stop.

What sort of a man would keep on doing something that he knew was putting a young girl’s life at risk is open to question, but any description of him I can think of would not be fit for a family newspaper like the Roscommon People.

Joanna has said she can never ask Poppy to fly again, not until nuts are banned from all flights. Surely that should happen sooner rather than later. Thankfully young Poppy is home and safe and well after her unnecessary ordeal.

I hope the horrible passenger enjoyed his nuts and is feeling suitably proud of himself (obviously I’m being sarcastic). Even in a world full of selfishness and bad deeds it’s hard to believe anyone could behave like that.


Football ‘fuels’ debate…and Rossies bow out

It’s Friday night in Mikeen’s and a few of us are discussing the big football matches that are taking place in Croke Park the following day. We are trying to guess what sort of attendance there will be.

Unusually, we are all in agreement that the turnout will be small and that the two matches should have been scheduled for somewhere like Tullamore.

The cost of petrol and diesel, the outrageous price of accommodation in Dublin, the fact that the Mayo game would end too late for people to get a train back home, all pointed to a small attendance. From what I could see, that is exactly what happened when Saturday came. I cannot get the official attendance figure but even the legendary Mayo and Roscommon support seemed to be well down and for the most part the atmosphere was fairly muted. That was unfair, because we had two really competitive games and I believe there would have been a great crowd if the games were in Tullamore.

Anyway, I’m sure Seamus and Paul will try to make sense of what happened in the last few minutes of the match, but all I can say is it is hard to figure out how the Rossies lost. The truth is that for nearly all the second half they were vastly superior to Clare and seemed to be home and hosed.

Over the last few weeks I have seen a good deal of inter-county Gaelic football and I cannot get over the fuss that is made about county players just because they can kick with both feet. I would have thought that every county player should be able to use both feet and as players are part of development squads from a very young age it baffles me that so many of them are completely one-footed even when they get to the highest point of inter-county competition.

In my opinion with all the specialist coaching that goes on there is no excuse for not getting lads to be at least adequate with the weaker foot. When we see the likes of Shane Walsh being so proficient with both, it shows it can be done.

Anyway, hard luck to Roscommon. It will take a long time to figure out how they are not in the quarter-finals.


And finally…

After years of having Lisa McHugh as my number One female singer I have now passed the mantle on to Donna Taggart (nothing to do with Lisa’s recent wedding).

All I can say is look Donna up and you will encounter a lady with an absolutely fabulous voice. I hope Lisa doesn’t mind. Sometimes we all have to move on.