For as long as I can remember, Monday has always been regarded as the most depressing day of the week, and as I sit at the kitchen table on this cold, wet, miserable June morning, I have to admit that this Monday certainly lives up to that reputation.
For all of us who have the maroon and white blood of Galway flowing through our veins, this weekend was as demoralising and disappointing as any in living memory, with the hurlers bowing out of the Leinster Championship on Saturday night – after going down to the Dubs – to be followed by a pathetic footballing performance when losing to the Rossies in Salthill on Sunday.
In fairness to the hurlers they owe us nothing, and apparently they went down, as they say, with their boots on in a super game of hurling, but sadly the footballers seemed to totally lose their way when a really strong Roscommon team put them under pressure.
Now it goes without saying that all players go out to do their best, and sometimes when things start to go wrong it can be very hard to rectify matters, but I make no apology for saying that for a long time now I have had no faith in the football philosophy of the management team.
‘Negative’ and ‘defensive’ would be the two adjectives that I would use to describe the Galway set-up. Why they continually slow everything down and go backwards when in attack beats me, and on Sunday, even when down by two or three points towards the end, they still played to their so-called system, going sideways and back instead of going bald-headed for the scores they needed.
The long ball which the Rossies used to great effect – although they too got loads of men behind the ball – could easily have yielded some dividends, although there can be no doubt that the better team won, and well done to Anthony Cunningham and his very committed men. I believe they will be very hard to beat in the Super 8s, and nobody will look forward to meeting them.
As for Galway, they have a shot at redemption through the qualifiers, and I sincerely hope the management let them off the leash and encourage them to have a go. They have some decent footballers, although physically the wearers of the primrose and blue seemed to be much stronger and better built, and, maybe (although unlikely) they could still make it to the Super 8s.
It is somewhat ironic also that the managers of the Dublin hurlers and Roscommon footballers are both highly regarded Galway men, but each of them has a job to do, and fair play to both of them for a job well done.
However, with all that being said, the real reason I’m depressed this morning is that I told everyone who would listen to me last week that Kilkenny and Wexford would draw, that Dublin would beat Galway and the Rossies would do the same – but I never put one cent on those results with the bookies.
I am not a gambler as such, with a very occasional flutter only, but for some reason I never even thought of wagering a few bob and as a result I am thoroughly deflated this morning. It’s not often that I could beat the bookies, but this was a lost opportunity. The good (or bad) news is that I’m off to Kilbeggan Races later today, so maybe I’ll make up for missing out. I doubt it, but hope springs eternal.
On my tourism bucket list…
At the moment we are slap-bang in the middle of concert season, and acts like Elton John, Bon Jovi, Michael Buble, Metallica, and the Spice Girls, amongst others, have all performed in Ireland recently. One of our premier concert venues is Malahide Castle, where there are 270 acres of beautiful parkland, along of course with one of the oldest and most historic castles in the country.
A week or so ago I paid a visit to the castle, and just as with our own Forest Park, it really is a spectacular location, and a wonderful amenity to have in the area. The day I was there was one of the lovely summer days we had recently, and the park was packed with tourists…families having picnics, children, dogs, walkers, runners and cyclists, and the atmosphere was just so lovely and relaxing.
The gardens are vast, and full of all kinds of exotic plants and flowers, and while I would be fairly lukewarm about such stuff, my wife Carol was totally immersed in all things horticultural, and I nearly had to call security to get her out of the gardens.
The area where the concerts are held is really just a big open field with loads of room, and I’m told George Ezra is performing to a sold out crowd there on Friday night. Sadly I won’t be there, but I’m sure it will be a fantastic night in what is a fantastic venue. It’s funny how we can know so little about places. I was totally unaware that Malahide has an amazing beach, which sadly is not safe for swimmers, but great for walking or sun bathing, and that it’s a village full of interesting pubs and restaurants, as well as having the renowned Grand Hotel, where, while the pint of Guinness was €5.60, the opulent surroundings made it worth it. Anyway, it made me realise that it’s no wonder this island gets so many tourists, as there are so many wonderful areas to visit, and so much beauty to see. In truth, even though we live here, a lot of us have never got to see most of our famous attractions.
For me, the Giant’s Causeway remains on my bucket list, while closer to home I have never got to Clonmacnoise, The Hill of Tara, the Arigna Mine experience, or even Athlone Castle. Better get on my bike or time will pass me by, and I’ll leave this world with a lot still to see.
Finally for this week, I have to admit that I have no interest whatsoever in the TV show Love Island, and have never watched it and never will. But I can’t avoid the major impact Longford girl Maura Higgins has made in her short time on the show.
All the papers are reporting on complaints that the programme has received about her amorous advances towards Tommy, the brother of heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury, with hundreds of viewers unhappy with her allegedly predatory behaviour.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what this show -– and other such reality shows – are all about? Hasn’t this programme the express aim of, as they say, finding love – and if there’s a bit of how’s your father thrown in that’s all the better (and certainly better for the ratings). I also seem to remember that our Longford lady laid her cards clearly on the table when she joined the show, by saying that she would do whatever it took to get her man, so it seems to me she is simply doing what she said she would. So what’s all the fuss about?
However, I can tell you that no matter what comes down the line, I will not be tuning in. Give me Blue Bloods and Magnum P.I. any time.
Till next week, Bye for now!