Memories of the Brislagh Forest Fire
With an increase in bog and gorse fires at this time of year, thoughts go back to one infamous forest fire in the late seventies at Brislagh on the western side of the town of Boyle. A warm sunny Sunday afternoon in July 1975 saw the start of a fire that lasted well over a full week on the side of the Curlew Mountain. Brigades from Roscommon, Sligo and Leitrim fought the fire for a number of days eventually bringing it under control. Just when the exhausted fire fighters thought all was extinguished, the fire reignited and any trees, gorse or bog that remained, went up in flames. A call went out from the pulpit in St. Joseph’s Church for able bodied men to offer assistance, which many did. One memory that comes to mind from the fire was Sean J McQuaid’s Milk Tanker drawing water from the Boyle river to Brislagh every day to assist in extinguishing the blaze. Another was of the lines of Fire Brigades parked up on St. Patrick Street as fire fighters took their well earned break in Andy’s Tavern! The Brislagh Fire was one of the largest forest fires ever seen in Boyle and it’s hard to believe that it occurred close on 42 years ago this year.
The shortage of Taxis at weekends in Boyle
The weekly Boyletoday.com poll on the homepage of this website is a barometer of viewer feeling on topical subjects. A recent poll asked the question “Are there an adequate number of Taxis in Boyle at weekends?” 76% of respondents said no while 24% said yes. The question also leads to a suggestion that perhaps, a dedicated taxi rank is needed for the town. Presently hackneys operate in Boyle and to get the service of such a vehicle you have to make a phone call to the relevant driver. Not all visitors to the town have the hackney numbers and indeed at weekends, hackneys are like hens teeth – hard to find. Getting a taxi rank in town and having taxis as opposed to drivers with a public service vehicle licence involves a lot of work but many feel it would be justified, especially during the summer and at weekends all year around.
Showgrounds – here we come
All roads lead to The Showgrounds this Sunday for the much talked about and long awaited FAI junior Cup semi final between Boyle Celtic and Evergreen FC. While Boyle have home advantage, the requirements for dugouts, TV facilities etc made Celtic Park an unsuitable venue. The next best venue is The Showgrounds which is only a half hour from Boyle and fits all the criteria laid down by the FAI. Hype has been building all week ahead of the game and a large vocal crowd singing the Boyle Celtic song may just bring our lads to the final. Last person out on Sunday – turn off the lights and anyone who is left, get the town ready for some celebration if Boyle win the game!
The history of the Sisters of Mercy in Boyle
Last week’s piece on the Convent of Mercy led to requests from viewers for further information on the history of the Sister of Mercy in Boyle. The Sisters arrived in Boyle in January 1875 under the guidance of Mother de Sales O’Beirne. A gift of £100 from Reverend Mother, Convent of Mercy, Sligo helped finance the new foundation for the proposed convent. 27 years later, a new school was opened on the 19th March 1902 at a cost of £2000. In 1903 a hosiery was opened by the sisters where girls were trained in dressmaking and knitting and then in 1908, St. Vincent’s Laundry was formally opened by Lady Stafford King Harman of Rockingham. Thirty young local women were employed in the laundry which was a welcomed local employment base. Another noteworthy date was April 6th 1929 when the ceremony of dedication took place for the Convent Chapel. This year also seen the erection of the statue of Christ the King on a site where the County Club once stood. This statue, now moved, gave rise to the name of the famous junction close to the original site of the statue. The progressive order of nuns then opened Scoil na nAingeal Naofa on October 18th 1965 and in 1968 the Convent of Mercy Secondary school entered a system of common enrolment with St. Mary’s College and the Vocational School. There have been other notable dates in the 142 year association Boyle has had with the Sisters of Mercy which will hopefully be recognised in some ceremony in the not too distant future.
Broadband speed in Boyle
Broadband in Boyle is a sore subject for many. In recent months, this blog has detailed the difference in broadband speeds in Boyle. If you live near a cabinet or the Exchange in Green Street you can most likely access speeds of 100Mb but if you live in town, not near a cabinet then you will be lucky to have 4 or 5Mb of speed. Bearing this in mind, it was rather frustrating recently to see rural areas outside of Boyle, with no major industries get 1Gb or 1000Mb of ultra fast broadband. While the news is great for the like of Croghan, Ballyfarnon and Cootehall surely the likes of Boyle who are ready, set up and waiting to attract industry that needs such speeds, should be the first to receive 1gb broadband?
During a lull between speeches at the recent presidential swearing-in ceremony, Melania Trump leaned over to chat with the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
“You know, I bought Donald a parrot for Christmas. That bird is so smart, Donald has already taught him to pronounce over two hundred words !!”
“Wow, that’s pretty impressive,” said Tillerson, “but, you do realise that he just speaks the words – he doesn’t really understand what they mean.”
“Oh, I know,” Melania replied, “Neither does the parrot.”