The only people to blame are the people themselves
The only people to blame for the situation we now find ourselves in, are people themselves. As we look with optimism at what the future holds, we look back on the mistakes of the past few weeks when those same ‘people’ we referred to above, held parties and hugged and shook hands in restaurants, allowed numerous other families to visit their homes, facilitated and attended Christmas and New Year get togethers or parties and some drank in sheebeens around the country, including one or two not a million miles from Boyle. And now those same ‘people’ are blaming Government, Nphet and everyone else but themselves for the situation we find ourselves in.
And wait for the next back lash – when Lough Key Forest Park inevitably closes to the public (ie the car parks will close) – like the beaches and public parks did during the week in Sligo. Who will the ‘people’ blame then?
The reason the Sligo amenity area’s parking closed, and why probably the Park’s may close, is to stop people travelling outside their 5k in large numbers as has been evident in Rockingham – especially so last Sunday. It is reported that families from Roscommon town and Sligo were observed out walking in the Park – well outside their 5k exercise limit. (Authorities last night confirmed that the beaches and amenities in Sligo are only closed to those outside 5k of the facilities).
If we are to get out of this crisis, maybe the authorities should look at establishing 24 hour vaccination centres in every town and postcode in the country – making the vaccine available to everyone in order of priority. The public also need to ignore the rubbish being spun by the anti mask and anti vacc brigade and do as we are being advised to do – reduce our social contacts, wash our hands, observe cough etiquette, stay within our 5k for exercise, wear our mask and adhere to social distancing.
The Dinner Dance Scene in Boyle
The social scene in Boyle was a busy one in the months of January and February in the ’70’s/’80’s and ’90’s. During these months, the majority of Friday and Saturday nights were taken up attending local Dinner Dances. Held in either the Royal Hotel or the Forest Park Hotel, they were always enjoyable nights out. You had the Garda Dinner Dance, the Vintners Dinner Dance, Emmet Tyres Dinner Dance where J.T. (Gerry’s father) took to the stage to demonstrate his yodelling capabilities, the Town Commissioners Dinner Dance, the Chamber Dinner Dance, GAA and Soccer Dinner Dances and then nearly every business in Boyle had their own Dinner Dance – Nire, Candon’s, Feelys to name but a few. Looking back, the Garda and Vintners Dinner Dances were the among the most memorable for many. In the case of the Garda dance, businesses, especially those in the licensed trade, dropped bottles of spirits into the station in advance (for spotprizes of course). On dance night law abiding, and those not so law abiding, mixed with the legal profession and the men and women in blue in a night of celebration that continued into the small hours. In the case of the Vintners, the tables turned and the off duty Gardaí were out in force on the dance floor returning the compliment to the publicans of the town! The day after the Vintners dance was one of legend for many involved in the organistation of the event, as it provided a good excuse for some of the organising committee to have “the bills paid” and in reality, start the celebrations all over again! Some said the next day was better than the night before! All gone now, into distant but happy memories.
The rising cost of the printed word
In an age of free news and greater internet connectivity, one wonders what the traditional print media are thinking as they continue to price themselves out of the market. Nearly every newspaper – local or national – is suffering from falling circulation and lack of advertising due to Covid-19, and to counteract that decline, the powers that be in such establishments seem to believe that increasing the cover price of the publications will garner increased revenue! What they do not seem to understand is that an increased cover price will lead to a further decrease in circulation as consumers turn to free news, and the downward circulation spiral will continue with the inevitable outcome for the newspaper industry. Locally the Roscommon Herald was the most recent to increase its price. It took a massive 30c jump last week from €2.70 to €3! The Leitrim Observer currently costs €2.80, the Sligo Champion €2.70 while the Sligo Weekender is one of the cheapest regional papers locally at €2.30.
A situation that could have turned to tragedy
The past week, while bitterly cold, was absolutely beautiful with blue skies and plenty of sunshine – a far cry from the grey depressing days just after Christmas. The dry and bright weather enticed many outdoors including families to Lough Key Forest Park. But an incident noticed last week could have turned to tragedy for one particular family. While out walking, this family (and probably many others) saw that the canal under Drummans Bridge was frozen. The children, being children, proceeded to run over to the water edge and pick up rocks and stones to try and break the ice. But instead of trying to stop the children, what did the parents do? – they ran up onto the bridge with their phones in hand to encourage the young children so they could video/photograph them. The grass and water edge was white with frost, the canal was frozen and what could have happened sends a shiver up your back. So please keep away from the canal, river and lake edge during this cold spell of weather.
The redevelopment of Boyle’s ‘North Bank’
It is heartening to see a number of properties along the rear of Main Street (or the ‘North Bank’ as it is referred to in the Boyle 2040 plan) having been sold recently with plans for redevelopment. The purchasers are to be commended on their foresight for seeing the positive changes that will take place along the river in Boyle in the next year or two and for wanting to be part of the revival. It is reported that at least five properties have changed hands recently with discussions ongoing for a number of others. In the 2040 plan the ‘North Bank’ is envisaged as a “redeveloped riverside area that could become a focal point beyond daylight hours with a tailored lighting and public realm strategy for the enhancement of the area and through the introduction of smaller enclosed public spaces which could become a hub for the evening economy”.
Reeling in the years with a Boyle connection
A clip on the popular ‘Reeling in the Year’s’ on Monday evening last featured the year 1969. On segment on the TV programme recalled a ballot taken in UCD that year concerning changes in the college. One eagle eyed viewer contacted us to enquire if the person collecting the votes was a young Fergus Ahern. Knowing the late Fergus, it would seem like something he would have been in his element doing. Have a look, at 12 minutes in, here
A boy was going through his grandmother’s wallet one night and found her ID card.
“Grandma?” he asked, “How much do you weigh?”
His grandmother replied, “That’s not an appropriate question, Jimmy”
He then asked, “How old are you?”
She again replied, “That’s not appropriate, Jimmy.”
Finally he asked, “Grandma, why did grandpa leave you?”
Before she had time to answer, Jimmy looked at the card and said, “Oh I see, it’s because you got an ‘F’ in sex.”