Down in Waterford the wonderful performance put in by their U-21 hurlers on Saturday afternoon, when they demolished the challenge of a gallant but completely overrun Galway side, would normally be the only story in town. However the behaviour of Independent TD John Halligan has ensured that the southern county is in every newspaper in the country and the chances are that by the time you read this, Mr. Halligan will no longer be a member of the Government. (Editor’s note: He’s still hanging in there, Frank!).
In case you have been under the bed covers for a week, or even better, away on your holidays, Halligan, who is also Junior Minister for Training and Skills, claims he received assurances from Fine Gael that a second coronary care facility would be delivered to Waterford University Hospital, and despite a review conducted by Dr. Niall Herity, which found there was no need for such a facility, the Junior Minister is holding tough and accusing Fine Gael of “dirty politics” and of stitching him up.
In a controversial interview with the Sunday Independent, Halligan also calls his colleague in the Independent Alliance, Athlone’s Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, “an idiot” for suggesting he should have accepted a compromise. I don’t know a lot about the workings of the Dáil, but even to an uneducated eye the foundations seem to be getting weaker and weaker and according to a lot of reports recently we may be heading for another General Election sooner rather than later.
I’m not sure what profession John Halligan comes from, but normally when an eminent doctor in an independent review finds there is no need for the facility he is on about, that should be good enough. But obviously not for the Waterford man and in sticking in his heels he may just bring the whole house of cards down. I’m told that if he leaves or is sacked, the balance of power will be in the hands of Michael Lowry, and should that happen, Tipperary people will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of a political and financial windfall. It will all make for an interesting few days!
The cool criminal
The Sunday World had pictures of a track-suited gunman jumping out of a red car, pistol at the ready all set to murder Johnny Hutch in broad daylight outside his home in Drumalee Park on Dublin’s northside. Now we all know about the Kinahan-Hutch feud that is terrorising parts of Dublin and Spain, but it is chilling to think that despite a huge Garda presence in the area it made no difference whatsoever to the gunman who was to carry out the murder, and only for Hutch managing to close some big reinforced steel gates he too would have become another statistic in the drugs war.
Every week there seems to be some new atrocity and it is frightening to realise that the Government and the Gardai apparently are powerless to stop it.
On the lighter side of crime, if there us such a thing, down in Royal Oak near Richie Kavanagh’s Bagenalstown, Matty’s Pub has become famous after the publican Matt Bryne released CCTV footage of a burglar who, having broken in and stolen numerous items, then took time out to have a few pints and a bag of crisps. The thief, who took five crates of Bulmers, brandy, whiskey and a picture, along with a 50-inch TV, also took a charity box containing €100, and that was the theft that annoyed the publican the most.
He made a few comments about the burglar that are probably unprintable in this family paper, but you would have to say he (the burglar) was a cool character, in that he could pull himself two pints, a number of glasses, eat a bag of crisps, all of which took more than 90 minutes, and then sit down at the counter and relax! I have never been a burglar, but if I were, I’d imagine I’d get out as quick as I could and get away as far as possible, while your man took his time and ate and drank his fill! The publican hopes the man is caught and gets to go to jail for a while, which is supposed to be comfortable enough, but will hardly have a porter or crisps on the menu!
Uninspiring ‘Late Late’ leaves me pining for Norton!
One of the worst aspects of living in Ireland in my opinion is the speed at which the evenings close in. As soon as the end of August arrives, before we know it, it’s dark at 8 o’clock and for a lot of us that’s where the television and our dependence on it comes in. For our entire lives, Friday nights were looked after by the Late Late Show and so last Friday night I parked myself in front of the telly and settled down to enjoy the show – and I have to admit that poor old Ryan Tubridy is fighting an uphill battle.
I am not a fan of Mario Rosenstock, Marty Morrissey was good enough old craic and there were a couple of young actors that I had never heard of, but who seemed like nice enough lads. Thomas Barr, the Waterford Olympian (this piece is all about Waterford!) was likeable as well and some lad who manages Conor McGregor completed the line-up. I suppose that sums it all up really!
Once upon a time McGregor himself would be there, not his manager, who no matter what he does will never be as interesting as the great man himself! Tubridy has to make do with second-rate guests (sorry Marty) and as long as that is the case the Late Late will struggle. Even though I had planned to write about it, l still had to google it to remind me as to who was on it, which says a fair bit about the enjoyment level, or maybe about my memory, but all I can say is hurry up Graham Norton and get back on our screens.
Back to the start of this column with the performance of the Waterford U-21 hurlers that will surely ignite more hopes in the county that they can soon make the big step up and win the senior All-Ireland; they certainly appear to have the talent, but many a county before them has found that underage success does not guarantee success at senior level. We will watch with interest however and I don’t think anyone would begrudge the Deise men if they were to make the big breakthrough and finally win that elusive Liam McCarthy Cup.
Finally for this week, we are up and running and getting around the parish with our tickets for the Cancer Care West and Lourdes Invalid Fund dance in Dowd’s, Glinsk on Saturday, 1st of October and as always the response has been fantastic. We still have a fair bit to cover so hopefully we will get to you all in the next week or two. Even if we miss you, you can still come to the dance and give a few bob on the door.
It is for two great causes. I sometimes think we don’t appreciate how good we have it. There are many out there who are a lot worse off. Anyway, put that date in your diary, put on your dancing shoes and Jimmy Kearney and The Lancers will keep you on the floor for the night.
Till next week, bye for now