What happened to my best-laid plans…


The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry – a saying that came to mind this morning as I reflected on the happenings of last weekend and my trip to Sligo that never actually took place.

  All week I was looking forward to the visit to Markievicz Park and the big match between Galway and Donegal, but all depended on my getting away by 5 pm. As I brought the garden furniture into the shop just before the clock struck five, all was looking good and I could see myself fed, watered and parked up in plenty of time for the seven o’clock throw-in.

  However, as I made my way back in to get my keys, four people appeared in the front door and somehow I realised that the match might have to take place without me. One couple were obviously tourists and just passing a few short minutes, but the others looked as if they were potential customers – and indeed they were.

  They were on the lookout for some small items but because their car was already full and they needed the pieces that night, there was nothing for it except for me to offer to deliver. It was only a couple of miles out the road (the wrong one for me of course), but it’s amazing how long even a small delivery can take. You have to have the chat, be friendly, and as they are the customers who keep you in a job, be as nice as you can, and so as the minutes flew past I soon realised I might as well forget about Sligo and try to get home in time to see the throw-in. 

  As it happened, extra-time in the Cork-Mayo match meant the start in Sligo was delayed and I was well settled before the ref threw in the ball. What happened afterwards was quite amazing as the Galway team, who had been hammered by the Rossies only 13 days earlier, found a bit of form and annihilated a Donegal side that was as bad as any I have ever seen from the land of Daniel O’Donnell and Margo.

  I was critical of the tribesmen and their management after the Connacht final, and while Saturday was an improvement, the full-back line is still an accident waiting to happen. A Donegal side with only Paddy McBrearty playing well should have scored at least two goals. I shudder to think what the Kerry full-forward line of Geaney, O’Donoghue and a revitalised Kieran Donaghy will do to us on Sunday if we still haven’t taken remedial action. Good and all as last Saturday was, it won’t be anywhere near good enough against the might of the Kingdom.

  Anyway, we had the hoped-for win, and my next plan was to hit for Dalton’s for the big Crumlin fundraiser. However, during the week my old ticker had gone a little bit off kilter so instead I found myself heading off to Galway University Hospital. I took my place in a wedged waiting room that had at least sixty to eighty other unwell people all hoping to be called in to see the triage nurse. Five hours later (which was a very reasonable time) I had all my bits and pieces checked out and after a visit to Supermac’s across from the hospital (which I didn’t tell my heart consultant about), we were on our way home and in the scratcher about 3 am. 

  That opening line came from Scottish poet Robbie Burns, and as all Connacht (or at least three-fifths of it) gets ready to go to Croke Park on Sunday, I might or might not head to the Capital for what promises to be one of the greatest invasions ever by western fans. To give you my predictions, I think the Rossies and Mayo will go to the wire with Roscommon edging it by a point or two, but I cannot see any way Galway can beat Kerry. I hope I’m wrong, but it’s the Kingdom by five points.

Fantastic line-up for Open Day at Donamon Castle

Once again Sean Beirne (who is recovering from a major knee operation, so we wish him well –wonder will it slow him down? Doubt it) has asked me to remind ye all about the biggest and the best free day’s entertainment anywhere, taking place once again on the beautiful grounds of Donamon Castle on the bank holiday Sunday, 6th of August, where the musical line-up is just fantastic. 

  The Castlerea Brass & Reed Band, Patsy McCaul, David Keenan, Crazy Corner, Bill Haugh, the Duggan School of Dancing and Jake Carter, young brother of Nathan, and his band will all be on stage.

  The best thing is to make a day of it and see them all! There will be train rides, pony rides, face-painting, bouncy castles, book and DVD stalls, fun4u entertainment and the usual array of lovely sangers and snacks and, I hope, gorgeous buns along with teas and coffee and all other types of goodies. I love the buns, so keep a couple of the nice currant-y ones for me.

  At 2 pm there will be a presentation to Fr. Norman Davitt, who will be seventy years a priest on the 15th of August this year, which is a fantastic achievement, so well done Fr. Norm. For a good few years now he has been a familiar figure on the local roads, riding his bicycle or driving his jeep, and he is a credit to the priesthood!

  To round off the evening, the huge draw (€1,500 first prize, with loads more prizes) is at 6.30 pm. There’s lots more too – I just haven’t room to mention all, but make sure you keep the 6th of August free. It all kicks off with Mass at 12.30 pm sharp. I’ll see you then!

Till next week, Bye for now!