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Athlone student and Buccaneers club player, Fionn McDonnell, is the envy of many rugby supporters, as his fingerprints adorn ‘Ireland’s Ball’, which will be formally presented to the Irish senior rugby squad prior to their departure for the World Cup in Japan.
The Small Firms Association Smart Business Conference takes place on Thursday, May 2, 2019, in the Aviva Stadium Dublin 4.
I’m going to begin this column with really interesting creative and exciting news. Last Friday night I was invited to launch a book called Tales from the Heart – New Creative Writing from Athlone Institute of Technology. Now, this is a compilation by Mick Donnellan of nineteen writers who attended his creative writing course for the last number of months. The course is conducted under the aegis of the Department of Lifelong Learning in Athlone IT.
Emigration from Ireland is not a new tale. You would be hard pressed to find one person on the island who does not have one family member or friend who has left Ireland for pastures new. Many Irish abroad survive and thrive in their new surroundings while others return home, seeing the sojourn as an experience that did not work out or an adventure that had to come to an end due to the irrepressible pull of home. For Paul Mullen his experience is most definitely best categorised as the former.
Well I have to start with rugby. I think Joe Schmidt when he was interviewed after the match was fully correct when he said, “it’s a reality check for all of us,” and by that he meant the team and himself as head coach. How true that was. Somehow we, the public, and I expect the team also, felt that we were poised to defeat England. We didn’t at all take into account that England under Jones were bound for revenge, and they got it.
I hope you are wrapped up well and fit for the rigours of the late January cold spell which we are having. As I write this column, it appears that this Thursday and Friday will be the crunch days when there could well be accumulated snow. All we can do is prepare ourselves, expect the worst and be glad if it doesn’t turn out as severe as has been forecast.
As I am compiling this weekly column for the Advertiser, people in the US are voting in the mid-term elections for both the House of Representatives and the Senate. So by the time my column appears the results will be fully out. I hope that the polls which are forecasting Democratic wins in the House of Representatives are correct, but of course our belief in polls has run low. President Trump has put a huge effort into shoring up the Republican seats in both the Congress and the Senate, and he has campaigned tirelessly for the last 10 days hoping to consolidate the Republican vote. It seems that the US is viewing these mid-term elections as a referendum on President Trump and his handling of the US. So it will be very intriguing to see the results and to see whether the Democrats will come back in charge of the House of Representatives.
Galway United make the long journey to Ferrycarrig Park in Wexford on Saturday for a tricky Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup first round clash against North End United.