Monday, 24 April 2017

Tipperary hurlers routed by Galway.

National Hurling League final: Galway 3-21; Tipperary 0-14.
In yesterday's National hurling league final,played at Pairc na nGaedal,Limerick,Galway inflicted inflicted a 16 points defeat on Tipperary-the latter's heaviest league final defeat ever.While Tipperary were favourites,shrewd observers of the game knew that victory could go either way;knowing that Tipperary have been put to the pin of their collars to beat Galway during the past 30 years or so.
       The fluid nature in the way hurling has been played over the past few decades can throw up very surprising results at times.Getting the ball in the hand is now more than nine points of the law in hurling;and being able to use it advantageously when secured.Galway,when their confidence level has been boosted,have the skill to use the ball well being good strikers.They monopolised the duels for possession yesterday,and when Tipperary gardened ball ,far too often it was given away through faulty passing-a fatal draw-back.This was the result of Galway's close-marking,and harassment.The day when the good ground,and air striker,was supreme has passed-which is a great pity,because it was the through art of the game.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Silverware for Tipperary senior Footballers.

National Football League (Division 3 ) final: Tipperary 3-19; Louth 0-19.
After a long League campaign,Tipperary S.F.,having lost two home league games,which they were expected to win,produced two superb efforts to beat Armagh last Sunday,in their own athletic grounds with a splendid last-minute goal by Michael Quinlivan,they went on to beat Louth in the group final played at Croke Park last evening.Louth had rested a number of their players in their game on the previous Sunday,they having already gained promotion and having qualified for the final.Yesterday evening they started very strongly,being fresher than Tipperary and led by 6 points to 3 after 15 minutes.Tipperary stayed in touch and in the last 15 minutes before half-time they scored 1-05 which laid the foundation for the win.
           Louth began the second half as they had done in the first and reduced their deficit to two points but a vital goal scored by Conor Sweeney in the 43rd.minute gave Tipperary the cushion to push on for victory.Louth kept battling to the end but two points in the 69th.and 70th.minutes and another goal by Conor Sweeney at the end of stopping time put a further gloss on the score.
          Tipperary football has a good foundation now to move forward and challenge for top honours but more needs to be done at Board level as regards the organising and completing of club competitions.Better grading is needed to make games more competitive and less games to be played to make them more intense.All club competitions should be completed far earlier in the year.Top coaches should be in place for all under-age players.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Bravo Michael Quinlivan!

National Football League Division 3,promotion game :Tipperary 3-08; Armagh 0-16.
National Hurling League quarter final ;Tipperary 4-28; Offaly 3-13.
Tipperary senior footballers made the long trip to the 'Wee North'to the Athletic Grounds,Armagh,where yesterday they took on the home county in the last game of group 3 of the National football League.This game would also decide which of the counties would be promoted to Division 2 for next year's competition,and,also,which of them would play in the final of the group against Louth,already promoted,next week-end.Tipperary came away with a famous win when Michael Quinlivan scored a sensational goal in the 74th.minute following a pass from Liam Casey.It was Michael's 3rd. goal,all scored in the second half; which proves the old saying "Cometh the hour cometh the man".Tipperary had lost two home games in the league,which they had been expected to win,especially against Louth on the previous Sunday when they led by two points at half-time,having played against the breeze in the first half.It was then a daunting task to take the long journey North to take on a team with such a great football pedigree,especially in the last 20 years,in their own back yard with so much at stake.Michael Quinlivan was the hero,but really the whole team fitted into that category.The forwards had been scoring points freely in previous games,but on this occasion they were hard to come-by,so the goals were vital.The backs upped their performance on this occasion,with the changes made having the desired effect.So,its hearty congratulations to players,management and last,but certainly not least,the loyal supporters wherein lies the true heart of Tipperary.
In the National Hurling League,quarter-final,Tipperary achieved the expected easy win over Offaly at Tullamore yesterday,and go on to play Wexford,surprise winners over Kilkenny,in the semi-final.Best of luck to both teams in their next engagements.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Vera Lynn at 100

Vera Lynn celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday. Whenever I think of this special lady my mind goes back to my childhood when I first heard her rich melodious voice on Radio Eireann and various gramophone records. The songs I heard at the time included Hello Patsy Fagan, Patsy McCann and Sitting on the Bridge below the Town.

The voice of Vera Lynn has always remained special to me. Another special person I often think about is my cousin, Nellie Shorthall of Fethard, Co. Tipperary who passed away in November 2015 shortly after reaching her 101 birthday. Nellie was a great lady who loved music and was a big fan of Vera Lynn; I am sure she is looking down on Vera to-day.

Vera Lynn's greatest hits were: Auf Wiederseh'n SweetheartThe White Cliffs of Dover, My Son My Son and We'll Meet Again. The other great female singers that followed were Rosemary Clooney, Teresa Brewer, Jo Stafford and, a little later, Connie Francis.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Great Win for Ireland

RBS Six Nations Championship:

Ireland 13; England 9

In Saturday's final game of the Six Nations series, played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, the Irish rugby team achieved a famous win over England. This may end up being the sporting highlight of the year — unless Tipperary win a football All-Ireland, or the hurlers achieve a consecutive national title, something they haven't achieved since 1964/65.

England came into Saturday's game with an impressive record of 18 consecutive wins against both northern and southern hemisphere teams, thus equalling the all-conquering All-Blacks' record. Ireland had an indifferent Six Nations, losing to both Scotland and Wales, while England had trashed Scotland by 61 points to 21 on the previous Saturday.

I knew Ireland would put on a vastly improved performance for this one — they always do when their backs are to-the-wall — but I didn't think it would be enough against an English team that has upped their game so much under New Zeland coach, Eddie Jones. With fierce determination, no little skill, a bit of necessary luck, Ireland achieved the impossible. Johnny Sexton put in a commanding performance at Number 10 while continuing to bear the brunt of late tackles.

The one thing that stands out about the Irish Rugby team is its united country dimension, drawing support from Ballycastle to Bere Island. Indeed, the Irish captain, Rory Best, hails from the Unionist heartland of North Armagh.

The game with the 'crooked ball' is indeed a funny one.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Eddie Dalton Honoured

Eddie Dalton of Golden, County Tipperary, is to be received into the Hall of Fame by the Tipperary Association in Dublin at the end of this month. It is a greatly deserved honour whose genesis lay in a tragic set of circumstances which occurred 76 years ago.

Here I will quote the opening lines from the book Murder at Marlhill written by Marcus Bourke in 1993:
At eight o'clock on the morning of 23 April, 1941, Harry Gleeson was hanged in Mountjoy Jail in Dublin for the murder of his neighbour, Mary McCarthy. Her body had been found in a remote spot on Gleeson's uncle's farm near New Inn, Co.Tipperary early on Thursday 21 November,1940...A six day preliminary hearing in Clonmel District Court on January 1941 was followed by a ten day jury trial in Green St. Court House, Dublin in February. A four-day hearing in the Court of Criminal Appeal a month later and a reprieve campaign both failed.
Harry Gleeson was born in Galbertstown, Holycross, County Tipperary, in 1902. Sixteen years before the tragic events, he moved to his uncle John Caesar's farm at Graigue, New Inn. Three years later, they moved to a 75 acre farm at Marlhill, New Inn. As the Caesars were childless, it was assumed that Harry would inherit the farm. A fellow worker on the farm was Harry's friend and cousin, Tommy Reid, who was in his early twenties at that time.

Marcus Bourke, the author of the book, was a barrister with Tipperary connections. He became convinced of Harry Gleeson's innocence after more than five years of painstaking research and interviews, prompted initially by a casual encounter with two people from the Cahir area. Sean McBride, who was a Junior Counsel at the time of the trial, was on the defence team and had a life-long belief in Harry Gleeson's innocence. Marcus Bourke spoke to McBride on many occasions, mostly on the telephone, but also at his home. In the book, Bourke quotes from an interview with McBride in 1974:
Gleeson not alone didn't commit the crime but couldn't have committed it as he was elsewhere at the time...two years earlier he had said "I was quite certain the man was innocent. I had no doubt about it...I did everything I could to prevent him being executed". 
Talking to Marcus Bourke in 1992, Tommy Reid recalled the fateful evening before Mary McCarthy's body was found. He and Harry Gleeson were cleaning themselves before entering Caesar's house for supper at about seven o'clock, When Reid heard two shots, he turned to Gleeson and said "By God, Harry, whoever fired those shots must have cats eyes". He said he didn't think Harry heard him as he was a bit deaf.

Mary McCarthy was a single mother with seven children which led to McBride writing in his papers: "Mary McCarthy was a victim of a perverted sense of morality bred by a civilisation which nominally based on Christianity lacks most of (its) essentials.

Although he was not yet born at the time of Harry Gleeson's execution, Eddie Dalton was inspired by his father, John, late of Cloughleigh, Golden, and others from the area around, who were convinced of Gleeson's innocence. Dalton worked arduously and painstakingly over many years to secure a Presidential Pardon for Gleeson. On January 2016, on the advice of the Attorney General, the Minister for Justice directed the President, under Article 13.6 of the Constitution, to grant a pardon to Harry Gleeson. This was justification for Eddie Dalton, and other good people involved in the campaign.

Monday, 20 February 2017

George Washington

Today is George Washington's birthday. He was born on 20 February, 1733 and died on 14 December, 1799. Washington was the first president of the USA having been American commander-in-chief during the War of Independence. Raised in Bridges Creek, Virginia, he was the son of a colonial planter whose family had emigrated from Northamptonshire in the 17th century. He gained a high reputation for leading a campaign against the French and defending against attacks by Indians. In 1775, he was given chief command at the outbreak of the War of Independence and, having been prevailed upon to accept the presidency, took the oath on 30 April, 1789. He was re-elected for a second term in 1793, but had to endure much violent criticism before retiring to Mount Vernon in 1797.