The shortest day of the year is turning out to be one of the snowiest as well, at least in this part of the country. Until yesterday afternoon, it appeared that we might escape this icy blast of weather with just the cold but then it began chucking it down and it’s been snowing most of this morning too. The big lad is going to be spoilt for choice as regards where to land his sleigh on Friday night, by the looks of it.
So, with the fireside weather back and the Chrimbo all but upon us, TV and books are both moving up the agenda (well, up my agenda at any rate). In this regard, there are two things to bring to your attention, which I will do now without further delay.
The first is that TG4 will be showing a special documentary on Wednesday 29th December (throw-in 7.15 pm) about the extraordinary year that Ballintubber’s GAA club has put in. ‘Baile an Tobair – Bliain an Bhua’ will chart the club’s recent rise from the doldrums of junior football all the way to their current exalted position as senior county champions. Ballintubber Abbey’s centenary celebrations provide a neat backdrop to the story, one that mixes triumph with tragedy – the former captured by Cillian and Ruairí O’Connor bringing the Moclair Cup to Ballintubber National School for the first time while the latter is illustrated poignantly with county secretary Sean Feeney talking about the tragic drowning of his brother and club stalwart, Ger.
The programme will also feature interviews with Mayo senior football team manager James Horan (whose appointment occurred during the year and which also forms part of the story), as well as with Cillian O’Connor and club members Michael Duffy, Tony O’Connor, Art Ó Suilleabháin and Nora Conroy. Also included will be archive footage of Ballintubber native and double All-Ireland medallist Paddy Prendergast playing for Mayo in the early fifties.
It sounds like a cracking programme, definitely one to watch.
You might recall a few weeks back that I mentioned Parke GAA club (another club with plenty to celebrate in 2010) were bringing out a 40th anniversary book and DVD. Well, now they have and club Secretary Frank Cloherty has been in touch to let me know that “CLCG Fóchumann An Pháirc – Ceathaireacha Bliain ag Fás” or “Parke GAA Club – 40 Years Growing” is now on sale and that you can buy it either as a book or as a book and DVD set. As I mentioned the other week the publication is a pictorial rewind over the 40 years of the club’s existence and is full of insights into the origins of football in the area as far back as the 1930s and 1940s.
Copies of what sounds like a very impressive publication are now available from Turlough Stores, Lyons’ Late & Early on Davitt’s Terrace in Castlebar or by contacting Frank Cloherty on (087) 138 4822. The book on its own is priced at €15 while the book and DVD together will set you back just €20.