Surviving the Sports Shutdown

Brian Flannery Reports

Well that was a complete shutdown of a sporting weekend. Not a single game in either GAA code or any other sport for that matter as we endured a second ‘Code Red’ weather event in six months. The guys in Met Éireann us a severe weather event and they weren’t wrong.
The majority of the city and Tramore was carpeted with the first snow fall by Wednesday morning and it got worse from there on.
It really is amazing how accruate weather forecasts have become in recent years. Almost to the hour, as forecasted, it began snowing and didn’t stop for some time.
By Thursday last, I for one was snowed in with two feet of snow everywhere and more in drifts. What could you do.

The Winter Olympics, Deise-style! Alison O'Brien pictured with her son Tommy in Kilbarry during last week's snows. 							| Photo: Noel Browne

The Winter Olympics, Deise-style! Alison O'Brien pictured with her son Tommy in Kilbarry during last week's snows. | Photo: Noel Browne

A trip to the shop became a Shackelton-like expedition. That wolly hat, scarf and gloves set you got five Christmas’s ago from your Mother suddenly had a use. The cúl camp nap sack was thrown over the shoulder and off I set. The sense of a National Emergency unfolding certainly brings a community closer together. Strangers that normally would never salut you were stopping to say hello and exchanging pleasanteries.
On the other hand the blonde woman in the BMW which I single handedly pushed up a snow crested hill (you’re welcome by the way!) obviously missed An Taoiseach delivering his call to arms address to the ntion requesting that only emergency travel be undertaken.
Now maybe this ‘Lady’ was a public service worker on her way to deliver some vital national service, or myabe she just had run out of Prosecco. Yes I know you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover but really how many nurses do you know who drive BMW’s and wear fur coats?
Anyway more often than not such conditions bring the best out in people. Neighbour helping neighbour.

There was many heroes on show and those working through the weather like those in the HSE, An Gárda Síochána, The Army, Civil Defense and the local Council workers among others deserve our gratitude. So too our local and national broadcasters who really come into their own on such occasions.
If RTE need to justify their licence fee in the future perhaps they should run adds showing the likes of Damien Tiernan, Teresa Mannion and Pascal Sheehy togged out head to toe in their best storm gear bringing vital live updates to our living rooms. Now that’s public sector broadcasting worth paying for.
Mind you the story was’t all bread and cookies. The opportunistic ‘thieves’ who robbed a Lidl shop in Dublin with a JCB really are the minority that lets a whole community down.

I remember as a kid watching an old black and white file called ‘Boys Town’. It left a lasting impression on me.
The star of the film was Spencer Tracy who played the part of a local Priest, Fr. Flanagan and Mickey Rooney was the kid from the wrond side of the tracks who eventually ended up on death row. Fr Flanagan’s matra was that there was no such thing as a bad boy, just kids in the wrong environment.
Now I’m sure when these malcontents eventually appear before a judge there will inevitably be some pleading on their behalf decrying difficult circumstances and social disadvantage. This may or may not be true and will be for othere’s to decide.

The fact that these crimes was committed during a national emergency when the states forces was engaged in helping it’s citzens deal with real life dangers and complictions adds further injury and aggrevation. Now they weren’t thieving bread and milk either.
I agree that one’s evironment does shape and mould a person but it doesn’t excuse such behaviour, it’s not a free pass. The concept of right and wrong is as much a human instinct and social norm as it is a religious one.
I do believe there is no such thing as a bad boy. Unfortunatly some of them do grow up to become bad people, that’s for sure.

For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
subscribe to our Electronic edition.

Leave a Comment