Tuesday 23 June 2015

Jimmy Doyle R.I.P.

It was with shock and sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Jimmy Doyle R.I.P. In my youth Jimmy was looked on as the boy-wonder of hurling. From a young age, through hurling skill and artistry, he could outwit much more senior opponents. He had the natural hurling instinct of being able to protect himself from the 'hatchet' types of his era, thereby never receiving a bad injury.

One of my earliest memories of Jimmy was at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, in 1957 for the Munster senior and minor hurling semi-finals between Cork and Tipperary. Jimmy was selected on both Tipperary teams. He didn't line out from the start in the minor game, but when things were looking bad for Tipperary he was sent on in the last quarter and in a short space of time he turned the game in Tipperary's favour and victory was attained. Things didn't work out so well for Tipperary in the senior game, where, even though they had more of the play than Cork, serious goal-keeping errors proved their down-fall.

I have other memories from that game: Fr. Ray Reidy, who sadly passed away two weeks ago today, was then a clerical student and was chosen as one of the mid-fielders on the Tipperary team. Due to doubts concerning his legality — he was born in Co. Meath before his father, a member of the Garda Siochána, moved residence to Thurles — was with-drawn from the team and replaced by Phil Shanahan, then very much in the twilight of his career. Phil passed away two years ago.

Fairly early in the second-half of the game, Cork maestro, Christy Ring, had his collar bone broken in a bodily clash with powerfully built Tipperary full back, Michael Maher. Christy had to leave the field and walked from the side line on the North side of the pitch around behind the city goal where the umpire with the green flag was none other than Limerick and Ahane legend, the great Mick Mackey. They exchanged "pleasantries" and were captured on film by Clonmel photographer, Willie Boland, and appeared in the Clonmel Nationalist on the following week. It has appeared in many a place since, including a well-known tavern in Clonmel.

Jimmy Doyle went on to have a glittering career with the Tipperary senior hurling team during their golden era of the sixties, winning six senior All-Ireland medals, nine Munster senior, and numerous other awards.

He remained an unassuming, gentle, man. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday 16 June 2015

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid the face amid a crowd of stars.

— William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Sacred Relics at Kilcash

The following is a piece from Romantic Slievenamon by James Maher, who was also editor of the book:
I visited Kilcash for the third time last week — out of reverence for that hallowed spot — Canon (William) Carrigan 

The Kilcash Prayer Book  
In the 14th volume of the Gaelic Journal, our late friend, Canon (Patrick) Power, lists a 96-page MS prayer-book from the library of St. John's College, Waterford. One does not associate romance with a prayer book, but Canon Power gives this most interesting note on the scribe, Tomás Ó Conchubhair: 
On a winter's evening, seventy years since (i.e. about 1820), a poor scholar in search of a night's shelter, called at the house of a farmer named Tobin at Ballypatrick near Kilcash. The hospitality sought for was freely given and, as a heavy fall of snow occurred during the night, the wanderer was invited to stay until the harsh weather had passed. In gratitude for the kindness shown to him, the guest requested pen and paper and transcribed his volume of prayers, which he presented to his host whose son in turn gave it to its present possessors. The MS, which is excellent, has been used in preparation of the Gaelic prayer-book of the Catholic Truth Society.

Monday 1 June 2015

Huge Tipperary Wins

Munster Football Championship

Senior: Tipperary 1-24; Waterford 0-5
Junior: Tipperary 1-12; Waterford 1-09

In yesterday's senior football, Tipperary recorded their biggest win ever in championship football when they inflicted a 22 points defeat on Waterford.

I feel sorry for the true football people of Waterford. Waterford have always had a high standard of club competition within the county — their performances in the Munster club championships are an indication of this. They always possess fine individual players. A dearth of confidence seems to be the big bugbear, and a loss of some of their better players to a hurling-only policy at county level.

While the structures, and the running of the club championships, in Tipperary still leave a lot to be desired, they have made progress in other areas; a lot of people are putting in great efforts to improve football at under-age level. Most of the county are involved in this effort, whereas previously the promotion of football in the county was very lop-sided. Success has been achieved at minor and under twenty one levels. This success gives great confidence to players when they make the step up to the senior team. This confidence has to be carefully nurtured, and managed, at adult level if the Corks and Kerrys of this world are to be seriously challenged consistently. I will say to the true football people of Tipperary: congratulations on your achievements so far and the best of luck for the future.