For a change I have my little tablet (the one I write on, that is) out on Saturday morning, and I am thinking about the hugely successful table quiz that my near-neighbour, Mary Keane, organised last night (Friday, as I write) in Mikeen’s.
I am also thinking about the important part sport plays in the lives of our young children. In case you didn’t know it already, the quiz was to raise funds for the St. Ciaran’s local boys and girls GAA club, who are hosting a visiting team from Waterford (in Feile, I think) later on this year. The turnout was just amazing.
I don’t deny that, with Storm Hannah due to pay us a visit (even though it was meant to be a fleeting, and not too powerful one), I headed off to take up my duties as quizmaster thinking that there would not be very many people there – and was confident of a quiet night.
Nothing could be further from the truth, and the local support from both the Creggs and Fuerty areas was fantastic, and a credit to Mary and her team of volunteers, but especially to the parents of the children who came out in such numbers. And it all made me think of the huge number of unpaid local volunteers who give up so much of their time, especially at weekends, to coach, train and look after children – all over the country in a variety of sports – and of the role they play in framing the way the children turn out later in life.
And even though not everyone will stay on the straight and narrow, there can be no doubt that the discipline and respect for authority they learn on the sports fields from an early age will stand to them in the future, and help them to lead a more settled and fulfilling life. Parents will sometimes complain that they become unpaid taxi drivers for years, as they bring their offspring here, there and everywhere, but it’s all worth it when they see the enjoyment the children get from whatever activity they are partaking in.
Thank God, nowadays the competitive element is being taken out of really young kids’ games. However unlike the kids’ games, the table quiz was extremely competitive, with the lead, as in the English Premier League, changing hands several times. When the final results came in, the team led by John Hanley were declared the winners, and for the moment, they are the table quiz champions of Creggs. Let them be aware that those crowns usually don’t last long as they will be there to be taken down when the next table quiz comes around.
The questions on the night were presented by our own Bert Curley, who put together an excellent mix of sporting, political, geographical and topical questions, which were very well received by all the teams – even the ones which didn’t feature near the top of the leader board. All told, it was a special night and I’m sure a good few bob was raised for the very good cause.
Gangland violence must be faced down
One of the disturbing happenings of recent days is the gangland violence that is going on in Drogheda, where, apparently, a war over the lucrative drug trade is causing enormous stress, worry and fear to the people of the Co. Louth town.
Now it may be because I have a family member working up there that I am concerned – although thankfully she doesn’t live there – but nonetheless, when shootings, petrol bombings, stabbings, and assaults of every kind are now commonplace, it’s no wonder everyone in the town is petrified.
I know it’s said to be confined to a few specific areas, but footage of an attempted murder by a gunman showed a total disregard for the safety of passers-by.
Funny enough, all those elements were present in the North of Ireland back in the time of The Troubles, so for everyone’s sake let’s hope the Gardai get on top of the situation and restore law and order to the Drogheda estates and streets. Drugs and drugs’ proceeds have caused so much trouble and hardship all over the country, with the ‘big players’ having no regard whatsoever for human life, so please God this one will be nipped in the bud before it escalates into all-out murder and mayhem.
Finally for this week, out here in Creggs thoughts are turning to Saturday week, May 11th, because on that day we have not one, but two big sporting events taking place in our little village. Firstly at 2.30 pm the Connacht Junior rugby team, with a number of our own local players on the panel, take on Munster on the new fabulous 4G pitch, and later on that evening at 7 pm the big local football game between the Valley and the Mountain throws in at 7 pm.
This year the match is in memory of the late Paul Devaney, a man who gave a lot to the Creggs footballers in his playing days. All the proceeds will go to the Danny Browne Fund, and I will givae you all the details next week. One thing for sure is that you may have the Manchester, Liverpool, Madrid and Glasgow derbies amongst others – the results of which can affect supporters for months – but this Creggs derby is no different, and may even be the biggest derby in world sport today (maybe not) as whoever wins will have the bragging rights in the area for quite some time, and it’s possible the losers could sink into a depression from which they might never recover!
Some people have even taken to the drink after a local derby defeat, although others have taken the even bigger step of giving it up, (not too many) so a lot is riding on this massive local fixture. It’s all happening on Saturday, May 11th and next week I will fill you in on all the proceedings.
Till next week, Bye for now!