Monday 30 November 2015

Stupendous Win for Commercials

Munster Club SFC Final:

Clonmel Commercials 1-7; Nemo Rangers 0-9

The victory for Clonmel Commercials in yesterday's Munster Club Senior Football Final, played at Mallow GAA grounds, was a stupendous achievement on a number of grounds: the Gaelic Football environment in Cork is at far higher level of positivity than in Tipperary; the structures and the playing process of club competitions in Tipperary still leave a lot to be desired; Nemo Rangers are renowned specialists in this competition having won it on 14 occasions.

The young Commercials players have had their confidence levels boosted by contributing to Tipperary's football success over the past few years including the Munster U-21 victory in 2009, All-Ireland Minor win in 2011 and the unlucky defeat in this years All-Ireland U-21 final. Participation at these levels allowed their innate skills to flourish on a rainy and wind-swept day at Mallow GAA grounds to produce a fine win with a "Darby-Like"goal that should make any true Tipperary supporter very proud.

Saturday 21 November 2015

Great Win for St. Mary's

County Tipperary Minor A Hurling Final:

St. Mary's (Clonmel); 2-11 Kildangan 0-13

Today's county minor hurling victory for St. Mary's hurling club, Clonmel — whose sister football club is Clonmel Commercials — gives a great boost to hurling in Clonmel and South Tipperary. Their near neighbours, Moyle Rovers — a traditional football club — also won county hurling titles in Minor A and Under-21 B grades last year which is evidence that Clonmel is establishing a strong base for Hurling as well as Gaelic Football.

St. Mary's was established in 1929 to promote hurling in Clonmel — the Gaelic football club in the town at the time was Clonmel Shamrocks. St. Mary's have won a surfeit of South Tipperary titles over the years but prior to today, the only county title came in 1975 when they beat Clonmore in the Junior A final which was then the next grade to Senior. They have supplied a number of All-Ireland winning players to Tipperary minor and under twenty one teams. Notable players in the early years of the club were Tony Neylon from Clare and Bob McGann of Tipperary football and Galway hurling fame. In the forties, Theo English, who went on to win five senior and one junior All-Ireland hurling medals with Tipperary, played at under age level with St. Mary's. Ditto Mick Kennedy who, having played minor hurling and all grades of football with Tipperary, went on to play senior hurling with Dublin and Leinster with whom he won a Railway Cup medal in 1962. Another former servant of St. Mary's, Matt Ruth, went on to win two senior All-Ireland medals with his native Kilkenny.

Today's final was played at the Drom-Inch GAA grounds at The Ragg.

Sunday 15 November 2015

William T. Cosgrave

William T. Cosgrave (1880—1965) was President of Cumann na nGaedheal and the first President of the Irish Free State. He became leader of a country devastated by the struggle for Independence followed by an insane Civil War when primeval instincts decided that violence was the only answer to political differences. Nevertheless, great progress was achieved by Cosgrave's government during this turbulent period.

Minister for Agriculture, Patrick Hogan, introduced the 1923 Land Act (and its amended form in 1925) which completed the transfer of land from landlords to tenants while empowering the Land Commission to acquire untenanted land both inside and outside the 'Congested Districts' for the relief of distress in these areas of the South and West. Hogan also pushed through a vigorous series of acts between 1924 and 1930 aimed at improving the marketing and breeding of livestock, insisting on improved standards of cleanliness, packing, marking and an honest description of the quality of meat produce. The most radical innovation in Agriculture was the decision to make loans available to farmers on reasonable terms and to this end the Agricultural Credit Corporation (ACC) was set up by the government in 1927.

The first sugar factory was established in Carlow by the Cosgrave Government and it was easily the best and most efficient as time was to prove. The most spectacular achievement was the Shannon Scheme begun in 1925 and the establishment of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) in 1927 even though conventional business opinion of the time told him it was mad to attempt such ventures. The Shannon Scheme has been described as 'a gigantic undertaking for an impoverished country'.

William T. Cosgrave died on 16th November 1965, fifty years ago tomorrow. He was born on June 6th 1880. A man who believed in neighbourliness, he went out of his way to appoint Protestants to the Senate at a time when they might have felt very unwelcome in the new State. He did his best to normalise relations with Britain when he could have won cheap votes by stocking up anti-British sentiments as self-styled "republicans" were apt to do. The same mentality prevails at present from the relics of terrorism and their boot-lickers when favourable comment towards Unionists is dubbed as traitorous. I have no doubt that if the attitude of Cosgrave and his colleagues had prevailed in this regard, we would have achieved a unified country decades ago in which terrorists and anarchists would have been sidelined.

Certainly we have nothing to be proud of in the way we have treated the memory of William T. Cosgrave. A stranger could well ask if we have no sense of national pride. Do we turn our backs on our real heroes, preferring instead the easy versifier or failed revolutionary? Although he came from the opposite side of the political divide, Sean Lemass was eloquent in his admiration for the lasting achievements of W.T. Cosgrave. In many ways Lemass and Cosgrave were the same sort of men.

We have had few enough great men without ignoring those who are most deserving of this accolade.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

News Extracts: November 1945

The following are extracts from the Sunday Independent on November 11,1945:
  • There seems to be confusion in regard to the way in which motorists may pass out trams. The rule is that when a tram stops to take up or set down passengers, motorists must stop until the tram moves off again. It is a rule which is broken more often than it is obeyed. A vehicle may pass a tram in motion on either side.
  • An AP dispatch from Garmisch, Partenkirken, states that according to her sister, Frau Margaret Fegelein, Evan Braun wrote a farewell letter dated April 23, in which she said that she and Hitler had decided that neither would be captured alive. Frau Fegelein said she doubted their last-minute marriage, saying Eva never even discussed the possibility.
  • Jerome Kern, famous composer of light music, died in New York after a heart attack. Kern, who was 60, composed such famous songs as Old Man River, Smoke gets in your Eyes, The Last Time I Saw Paris and other popular numbers.

Friday 6 November 2015

Paul O'Connell

I was delighted to read of the granting of an honorary doctorate to Paul O'Connell by Limerick Institute of Technology. He has now become a Doctor of Science. It would be hard to find a more worthy recipient. He has achieved legendary status as a rugby player during his career with Young Munster, Munster and Ireland as well as the British and Irish Lions. He would be very familiar with LIT having been a student in the college where he received a Degree in Computer Management. He has availed of the facilities in the college for rugby training for many years. His exemplary conduct, both on and off the field, make him an outstanding role model for all young people, whether active participants in sport or otherwise.