Support the rally!

The decision to close the Cuisle Centre is highly questionable. The manner in which it is being done is appalling.

  There is a major rally in Roscommon Town this Saturday (starting at 1 pm). We need to attend, in huge numbers.

  Time is ticking here. I am totally unconvinced by the utterly conflicting reasons put forward by the IWA for the closure. As for Minister Finian McGrath, his has been an utterly hapless contribution, in keeping with much of his Inspector Clouseau-esque period as minister! Far from offering any hope for the service-users and staff, he has hidden behind a wall of waffle.

  Let’s make our views known this Saturday – and then intensify the fight over the coming days. 

The great Niall Toibin

Another legend is gone. The word is shamefully overused these days…but not when it is used to describe Brendan Grace, Gay Byrne and now…Niall Toibin.

  Niall Toibin was a supremely talented man…a great comedian and a very versatile actor with a fantastic body of work to his name.

  I saw him live in stand-up in Cavan maybe thirty years ago…and he was brilliant.

  If Brendan Grace, Gaybo and Niall are together in Heaven now, it’s some fun…

Pitch perfect in Creggs

Like anybody who has seen them, I’ve marvelled at the magnificent facilities which have been developed at Creggs Rugby Club.

  I was in Creggs last week (chatting to Joe Dolan about his new pub venture in the village) and the superb sporting facility truly stands out as a monument to vision, hard work and community support.

  Current President Aidan Farrell, his predecessor Padraic Deane – and everyone involved at committee level, behind the scenes and elsewhere – all deserve great credit. They also deserve to enjoy this weekend’s celebrations.

  There are a number of matches in Creggs on Saturday (see our sports section) and the official opening of the new facilities at 4.30 pm (before the firsts’ play Buccaneers). That night, guests will gather in the Abbey Hotel for the club’s Dinner Dance. Well done to all concerned.

Denis steps in…

“Who’s been sitting in MY chair?” Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice might well have asked – on two occasions recently – when the Tonight Show with Ivan and Matt came on.

  It was Denis Naughten (both times)…a surge by the former minister!

  We thought Michael Fitz was the undisputed King of the Virgin Media studio. What’s going on? (And when will Eugene Murphy get the call? To be continued).

Banking made easy?

If you are retired and have lots of spare time, here’s a hobby which I would like to recommend: you could spend half a day every day trying to contact your local bank.

  It’s fun, it’s relatively cheap…and you might hear some so-so music along the way.

  When I tried to call a local bank earlier this week, the ‘computer’ asked me to press more buttons than Deputy Niall Collins does on an average Thursday. 

  Finally, as is the norm these days, a fairly disinterested person in Dublin answered…and, after poking about in my business, eventually connected me with the bank, which is of course only a minute or two up the street from where I was ringing.

  Yeah, I know, should have walked…

Free advice…

This week’s ‘Free advice to TDs’ corner: If you’re the TD sitting beside an opposition leader during one of those very important (and not at all superficial) Dáil exchanges, there is one thing – above all else – that you must remember.

  Always maintain a serious (furrowed brow) expression when your leader is speaking. He/she is invariably incredulous at the Government’s latest action or inaction…and is making a sober point.

  So if you’re the TD silently sitting next to your leader, always maintain that straight face. This is (a) to give extra gravitas to your leader’s contribution; (b) to ensure no complacency on the other side; (c) because of the TV cameras.

  If your leader cracks a dry joke, you are free to laugh, but not to the extent that it lightens the mood too much, or undermines the seriousness and solemnity of what he/she is saying.

  If your leader cracks a hilarious and original one-liner, please report this extraordinary development immediately!

Lightbulb moment (Part 2)

My item last week on the broken street light in Abbey Street proved to be a ‘guiding light’ for another reader.

  This reader writes: “Regarding your ‘Lightbulb moment?’ piece in your column last week, it’s great to see you highlighting such issues, issues which the Council seems to ignore!”

  The reader continues: “I wish residents, business people or someone from the local schools would follow the lead of the reader who contacted you and highlight the lack of lights at the pedestrian (Zebra) crossing at the junction of Convent Road and roundabout leading onto Abbey Street, Galway Road & Circular Road.

  “At night – and in poor weather conditions any time of day – I have seen drivers simply drive past this dangerous place when people are waiting to cross – and in some case even when pedestrians are crossing.

  “All these lights have been out since at least the summer. This is not the first time this situation has prevailed. I hope the Council will address it”.

Pothole poser

Hot on the heels of the ‘lights brigade’ comes the ‘pothole protestors’…a reader has been in touch to highlight a section of a much-used road in the county town, the condition of which is driving him ‘potty’.

  This ‘concerned Roscommon citizen’ is referring to the road into the Centre Point Retail Park in Roscommon Town, which (as our photograph shows) is sporting a very large pothole.

  “This hole has been there for over a year now” the reader says. “When will the Council sort it out? The town would like an answer!”

  To paraphrase the old joke, we hope the Council will ‘look into’ it…