Just in case you thought that I’d jumped ship ahead of the budget or something, you may rest assured that it was instead just a bit of R&R down in what proved to be a rather wet part of Clare over the last few days. It hardly let up at all while we were down there and now, back at work and with the chisellers packed off to school once more, there’s hardly a cloud in the sky.
Oh well, at least the kids did get to have an audience with Santie deep inside the bowels of Ailwee Caves yesterday evening (an outing I’d recommend highly, by the way) before we pointed the car back towards the east. And Christmas is coming (though not before this frigging budget that we’ve been gearing ourselves up for over the past six months or so).
So what’s there to talk about of the non-budget variety, then? Well, the Mayo News has its normal weekly glut of GAA stories and a few are worthy of mention. Top of the list is the one about the runners and riders who took part at a trial match in Castlebar last weekend (two such events, which can only involve players who weren’t part of the 2009 panel, can, apparently, be held during the GAA’s equivalent of Ramadan) where a grand total of 35 players togged out.
Here’s the list in full: Michael Schlingermann (Kiltimagh), Robert Hennelly (Breaffy), David Gavin (Breaffy), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Pat Mulchrone (Burrishoole), Liam Feeley (Claremorris), Jason Healy (Kiltane) Shane Nally (Garrymore), Alan Feeney (Castlebar), Kevin Keane (Westport), David Kilkenny (Aghamore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar), Lee Keegan (Westport), Eoin Hughes (The Neale), James McAndrew (Cill Chomáin), James Kilcullen (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Michael Gallagher (Achill), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Conor Keane (Ballinrobe), Chris Walsh (Ardnaree), Andrew Farrell (Killala), Damien Keane (Westport), Enda McManamon (Burrishoole), Jimmy Killeen (Garrymore), Kevin Walsh (Shrule/Glencorrib), Enda Varley (Garrymore), Paul Doherty (Kilmaine), Cormac Healy (Moy Davitts), Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Sean Morris (Charlestown), David Dolan (Garrymore), Caolan Crowe (Garrymore) and Alex Quinn (Killala).
That Mayo News report also states that a number of others would have been in action but for injury or other commitments and that this cohort includes Neil Douglas, Aidan Walsh and Ger McDonagh (Castlebar), James Burke (Ballymun Kickhams), Gerry Higgins (Knockmore), James Mulderrig (Moy Davitts), Marcus Hannick (Killala), Alan Egan (Bonniconlon) and Cathal Freeman (Aghamore).
A panel for the FBD League will be announced early in the New Year (it’d want to, as the FBD starts early in the New Year) and I guess that a good number of the above could well feature in that campaign (not forgetting, of course, the Tim Kelly Engineering Floodlit Cup).
Next up is Mike Finnerty’s interview with the back-at-home Aidan O’Shea, who is at pains to point out that no deal has yet been done for him to switch to Aussie Rules at the end of the coming season. Aidan says that he’ll be “playing for Mayo next year and not looking beyond that at the moment” and I suppose that’s all that the rest of us can do as well, regardless of what we think about what might happen longer term.
The annual County Convention was great crack entirely, by the sounds of Daniel Carey’s report. Sean Feeney had to eat humble pie for the pop he’d had in his report about the residents of McHale Road and James Waldron also took issue with him over his assessment of the manner of our defeat to Meath (I see that the Chairman and I are at one on that issue). And there was a walkout. And sure why not: if you’re not going to make your own entertainment at this time of the year, who’ll make it for you?
I know that we’ll have more than enough sober talk of figures when Brian Lenihan arises from his posterior later in the day but Mike Finnerty’s report on his examination of the County Board’s accounts is still worth looking at. As Mike points out, the McHale Park redevelopment has left the Board with ongoing debts of over €5 million to service and, not unlike NAMA, this one is a millstone we’ll be stuck with for quite a while, I fear.
On the day that’s in it, it would, I reckon, be a tad mean-spirited to end on such a downbeat note. Drama would be better, I think, and so here’s some drama of the natural variety in the shape of a video clip I took the other day of a whole bloody load of water coming cascading down the mighty falls at Ennistymon: