I hope none of you were put out in any major way by the recent storm Ali. I think the ferocity of that storm left many of us quite surprised. We had been warned it would be major, but not very, very major, so that when the sustained high winds began it left a lot of us nonplussed. Then we had Storm Bronagh which never came, was talked about but seems to have passed us by. So we don’t know what the weather for the future is likely to be.
I note with delight that coming to the end of this week we are supposed to be back to high temperatures again, so that will make a very pleasant ending to the month of September. I know they call autumn the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”, but for me I don’t like much of the oncoming autumn. It means drawing the curtains early at night in the living room, around 7.30, just as I had got used to the lovely long summer evenings. But of course there are the attractions, the warmth of the heating and the general feeling that the nights are drawing in and that Christmas is on the horizon.
I heard the first Christmas ads for the Gaiety Panto during the week on the radio and I thought, now it is really arriving. But it seems wrong somehow to have the panto ad so early, and it seems to signify that we can say goodbye to the summer.
I don’t usually comment on golf matters because I am not a golf player, nor am I an enthusiast for watching golf on TV. But somehow the re-emergence of Tiger Woods after five years was such a heartwarming story that I took delight in it. He has had severe back trouble and over the last number of years has had to cope with that and with the decline in his prowess as a golfer. But lo and behold over last weekend he emerged victorious again. I admired the way he did that, the way he overcame obstacles to emerge on the other side, in seemingly good humour and good health. Good luck to you Tiger in the future.
Did many of the Advertiser readers look at the Orla Tinsley film entitled Orla Tinsley: Warrior? It was recently on RTÉ1. I watched it very carefully. Some years ago I met Orla in Dublin at some function or other, and I thought her then a very steadfast young person. Having viewed the documentary I have really revised my opinion upwards. She’s a powerful person who went through endless disappointments of donors who had come forward, until on the seventh occasion Orla got the word that this donor was suitable for a double lung transplant. What joy for her, for her mother and father, and for the legions of friends she must have. She pursued the matter with such tenacity and courage that one couldn’t fail to be totally in admiration of it. I’m sure Orla Tinsley will be a young person we will hear more and more of as she regains her full health, continues her studies in Columbia University in the US, and hopefully returns home to Ireland.
I watched the rugby PRO14 games over last weekend. It is good that they are on TG4. I turn it on and it doesn’t matter if I don’t understand every word as Gaeilge in the commentary; after all I’m looking at the game and I can follow it all that way. Connacht had a terrific win over Scarlets, and I must mention Jack Carty of Athlone who plays on the Connacht team at out-half. He had an absolutely tremendous game last Saturday. I’m sure that Joe Schmidt is keeping an eye on the progress of these provincial games each weekend as he ponders who to enlist onto his national team, and I hope he takes a good hard look at the hugely improving form and play of Jack Carty. I know Bundee Aki got the Man of the Match, but to me Jack Carty is the player for Connacht at the moment, and I would like to see him emerge onto the national scene.
It is great to pay tribute to JP McManus who has given €100,000 to every GAA county board in the country, to be distributed in an equal fashion among the clubs. Imagine the club secretaries last week all over Ireland opening their post to find the cheque, they must have thought Christmas had come early. But no, it was the generosity of JP McManus, the Limerick man who was so pleased with Limerick winning the All-Ireland hurling that he felt this was the best way he could express it.
I believe he has done a great job in restoring Adare Manor to its full glory and I hope if I am going south sometime soon that I will call in and see it. In the meantime the GAA stands to benefit from his largesse.
My granddaughter Sarah O’Rourke plays in the St Brigid’s GAA under 14 team. Last Sunday they had their county final against Roscommon Gaels and they won the match. She’s a terrific young girl, as are all her colleagues. St Brigid’ and south Roscommon put on a wonderful homecoming for the team as they travelled back to St Brigid’s in Kiltoom from their win in Roscommon. As they came into mid and south Roscommon, around every corner there were bonfires burning, flags up, and admiring people out waving as the horns tooted passing them by. It was a great experience for Sarah and her teammates and I admire so much the fervent enthusiasm of the south Roscommon GAA people who, recognising that the future for Roscommon lies in these young people, were determined to put out the red carpet and fly the bunting. Then they all went off to St Brigid’s club that night for a barbecue and for more hooting and hollering. I’m sure it is a triumphant evening that Sarah and her teammates will never forget.
There is so much else I want to share with all the readers, but space will not allow it.
This is my lot for now. Until I speak with you again, go safely.
Slán go fóill.