Taking heart from Tribesmen’s victory
It's Monday morning and I find myself heading off to NUIG Hospital in Galway, a place that has almost become a second home to me over the last few weeks. On my way, I tune into Galway Bay FM and thoroughly enjoy their fantastic coverage of the morning after the night before from the City West Hotel, where Galway hurling teams had celebrated their brilliant All-Ireland winning double success, with a banquet attended by 1,700 supporters.
I cannot explain what it was like to be a Galway man on this most wonderful of days. As I made my way to the ticker department it was just magic listening to great Galway hurling legend, Joe Connolly, along with a host of other well-known Galway men, talking about how much the All-Ireland victories meant to them – and if my heart didn't already have enough problems of its own, I think it could have burst with pride.
I realised, maybe for the first time, that the Galway hurling team is for all of Connacht and people from all the other counties, who would normally stick you over a football match, were all shouting for the Maroon and White and praying that the Liam McCarthy Cup would make its way, once again, across the Shannon.
In fact, on Sunday morning I got a text from a Roscommon woman, who when the footballers were playing each other a few weeks ago would probably have looked the other way if we met, wishing Galway all the best and hoping that they would win.
I know thousands of words will have been written about the match and the victory but three events mean that I will never forget the day as long as the old ticker holds out.
The first was the Keady factor and the obvious enormous regard that the late Tony was held in by everyone, not only in Galway, but also in the entire hurling world.
The second was the fact that Joe Canning finally got his All-Ireland medal on the day that his nephew Jack was named man of the match in the minor final.
Finally, the third was the superb speech given by the Galway captain, David Burke. I have always felt that there is no bigger opportunity for someone to either make a total ass of themselves or else cover themselves in glory than when making a victory speech after a major win, and David Burke did the latter. His words proved why he was such an inspirational leader and captain to a superb group of hurlers.
The party will go on long into the next weeks and months and, after twenty-nine years, why not!
A good Galway man, Michael Nolan from Ballygar, recently sent me a letter that would make you realise that we are very fortunate to live where we do.
Michael has been doing volunteer work in Haiti, where a massive earthquake in 2010 left quarter of a million people dead, 300,000 badly injured and one and a half million homeless. In truth, conditions there are still inhumane with half the population trying to survive on the equivalent of less than €2 a day.
Michael and his friends have organised a fundraising golf classic in Roscommon Golf Club on Friday, 8th and Saturday, 9th of September. All funds raised will go to ‘Our little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage, Haiti’, where there are 435 children, aged from 3 years to 18 years, all of whom told stories of starvation, isolation, and abandonment before they were rescued by the orphanage.
If you can, get to Roscommon Golf Club this Friday or Saturday. A team of 4 is only €100 and if you can’t make it you can sponsor a tee box for €50 and your kindness and generosity may make all the difference to some young, unfortunate and desperate human beings.
As I watched all the kids in Pearse Stadium this evening (Monday) enjoying the homecoming of their heroes, it was hard not to think of their counterparts in Haiti; children who haven’t seen anything except hardship, poverty and deprivation. Please help Michael and his friends in their fundraising efforts.
Finally for this week, two items of local interest; firstly, Mary Kelly tells me that there is an American Tea Party in Kilbegnet Hall on September 15th at 8 pm. All proceeds will go to towards funding the annual senior citizens' party.
The senior citizens' party is one of the great social occasions of the year with all food, drink and music supplied free of charge. However, it takes a lot to fund it and the organisers need all the financial support they can get.
We are also taking to the highways and byways this week with tickets for the dance in Dowd's on Saturday, September 30th – so we hope to see you soon.