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By Gabriel Filan - The Harp

The Harp - NOVEMBER 20141
ISSN 2053-5420
By Gabriel Filan
Legendary Irish dance show
Lord of the Dance is set for
a triumphant Birmingham return in spring 2015,
though its creator Michael
Flatley will not be taking to
the stage when the production comes to Symphony
The US dancer, who first
shot to fame in Riverdance,
is directing an all-new
production of the show
called �Lord of the Dance:
Dangerous Games’, and although he is making some
stage appearances during
a 200-date world tour Birmingham will not be one of
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The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
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The Harp - NOVEMBER 20143
Troubled children’s
services department
loses Manager
“It’s important to remind ourselves
that our most serious staffing challenge is to get the right number of
social workers doing great social
work with the best team management
around them.”
By Gabriel Filan
Lord of The
Dance returns
with new lead
...from page 1
Instead Flatley said the spotlight
would be on a new generation of
dancers as part of a show that has
been reworked from the ground
“Now I bring young stars, and stars
they are,” he said. “My happiness
now is to watch them dance.
“It is now an honour to bring new
young people, young stars to the
stage. They have unbelievable talent and the world needs to see it.”
The tour kicked-off in London in
September, with a run at the London Palladium in the West End.
The tour opening did see Flatley
appear on stage, along with singer
Nadine Coyle, but the dancer said
that would be the last time he did
“It’s my last performance and what
a great place here for me,” he said.
“I have always loved the West End
since I was a little boy and I have
had a place in London since 1996.”
The new show stars James Keegan,
Morgan Comer and Mathew Smith
as the �Lords of the Dance’ and is
choreographed and directed by
FlatleyВ Speaking about the show, Flatley
said: “I’m blown away by the remarkable talent and abilities of the
great cast we’ve gathered.
“The show has changed quite
dramatically since the beginning.
There are probably four numbers
that are the same. Those are relatively unchanged. The rest of the
show is completely new.”
Lord of the Dance: Dangerous
Games features new staging, new
costumes and choreography and a
cast of around 40.
It also features new music by composer Gerard Fahy.
The recent London shows were the
start of a tour that will take in more
than 200 dates across 15 countries
over the next 18 months.
A Symphony Hall spokesman said:
“For more than a decade, Michael
Flatley’s Lord of the Dance has
thrilled audiences around the
world. “This is a chance to experience the
magical adventure of sight and
sound, as this spectacular new production storms the Symphony Hall
“Starring 40 of the world’s most
outstanding young performers,
this latest iteration combines allnew features with the best of tradition.”
However, making it clear that Flatley would not be performing when
the show comes to Birmingham,
the spokesman added: “Please
note that although Michael Flatley
and Nadine Coyle will perform on
some tour dates, they will not be
appearing in the performances at
Symphony Hall.”
The Symphony Hall shows run
from May 22-26 2015 and tickets
cost from ВЈ33 to ВЈ43.50, with a ВЈ3
transaction fee. To book visit www. or telephone the Box
Office on 0121 345 0600.
Bernie McNally, the latest expert
brought in to run Birmingham’s troubled children’s services department,
has quit before even officially starting
in the role.
Ms McNally, who was social services
executive director at Belfast Health
and Social Care Trust, had been due
to take up the post at the beginning of
November after a month’s introductory period.
However it has been decided by “mutual consent” she will not continue in
the role.
Ms McNally was to be the latest in
a long line of officials charged with
turning around children’s social care
in Birmingham since 2009.
There have been four strategic directors - Tony Howell, Eleanor Brazil,
Peter Duxbury and, since last summer,
Peter Hay - overseeing the service in
that time. Mr Duxbury left after 15
months in the role.
Lord Norman Warner was appointed
by the Government in March this year
The authority added that the welfare
of children in its care was the priority
for the council.
Bernie McNally
as a commissioner to help the council
turn around the troubled department.
Birmingham City Council said the
news of Ms McNally’s withdrawal was
“disappointing” as it thought it had appointed “an excellent candidate from a
group of first class people who had applied for the post”.
A council statement said: “During the
introductory period in October Bernie
decided that she was no longer interested in taking up the role, and by mutual agreement will not be proceeding
with the appointment.
“Our priority however is to ensure that
children are made safe through what
we are doing and this is a big collective
It said: “The council remains very clear
about the priority of having stable and
long term leadership for children’s social care.
“Throughout Bernie’s induction period the interim leadership previously
in place over the summer will continue until a permanent appointment is
Eleni Ioannides, a former social services boss from Bury Council, has now
been recruited on an interim basis to
head the department.
Birmingham’s children’s services have
been rated inadequate since 2008.
Serious case reviews followed the
deaths of youngsters including Khyra
Ishaq in 2008 and Keanu Williams in
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
All aboard: passengers
on the Cello BAE 146 that
carried the Queen on a state
visit to Ireland in 2011
First flight success
for Cello Aviation
By Gabriel Filan
A group of aviation enthusiasts have come back down to
earth after flying in style with
Birmingham-based VIP charter
carrier Cello Aviation.
The enthusiasts, who were
mainly from Ireland, were treated like royalty when they took
the short hop from Birmingham
to Dublin.
The special flight, a first for
Cello, was a joint initiative between the VIP charter operator
and aviation entrepreneur and
aircraft enthusiast Aidan Nolan
from Airliner Experience.
It gave those who love and appreciate aircraft the chance to
get the full treatment on-board
the Cello Aviation BAE 146 that
has a luxury 46-seat configuration and flies top sports professionals, musicians and business
travellers to destinations all
over Europe.
The BAE 146 is also the aircraft
that took the Queen and her
party on the historic state visit
to Ireland in 2011.
A treat was in store for the enthusiasts who had the opportunity to inspect the aircraft on
Shay Thormy and Joe Phelan board the flight from
Birmingham to Dublin
the ground and talk to the crew
before take-off.
“It went far beyond anything I
had imagined.” said Mr Nolan.
“Each staff member was incredibly nice and so down to earth
with a real passion for what they
do. On board, Captain Morris
was an absolute gent and went
down a storm with the group, a
man who takes great pride in his
“We enjoyed conversations with
cabin crew who were all so lovely and made the trip extremely
“It came across very clearly from
the crew that their occupation
and career is much more than
a job, it is a dedication to a way
of life and one that they are incredibly proud of.
“I have had nothing but positive comments from the group
of enthusiast’s and all are on a
complete high with the tour. I
know, this visit will be discussed
with their families, friends, colleagues, even with strangers
over the coming weeks.”
Vince Essex, head of commercial with Cello Aviation, said:
“If we gave them the chance to
have their heads in the clouds
even for a short time that is
The Harp - NOVEMBER 20145
centre visited
by Shadow
Chuka Umunna MP, Shadow Business Secretary
and Frances O’Grady General Secretary of the TUC
with Khalid Mahmood MP and EEF’s technical training
director, Peter Winebloom, at EEF’s apprentice training
centre on the Holford Business park
By Gabriel Filan
Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka
Umunna, visited EEF’s apprentice
training centre in Aston to see how
some of the engineers of tomorrow
are shaping up.
A c c o m p a n ie d
O’Grady, General Secretary
of the TUC,
and Perry Barr
Mahmood, Mr
Umunna was given a tour of the
state-of-the-art centre which was
opened in April earlier this year.
Mr Umunna said that, by becoming an apprentice, young people are
making themselves highly employable and are setting themselves up
for a rewarding, long-term career.
He said: “It was fantastic to visit
EEF’s new Technology Training
Centre in Birmingham
meet the young
benefitting from the outstanding opportunities which it
we need to see even
more world-class
facilities like this
across the country
Mr Umunna met training staff and
young apprentices, hearing firsthand about the skills they are learning and their future ambitions.
He also heard from EEF’s technical
training director, Peter Winebloom,
about the skills shortage facing the
manufacturing and engineering
sector and how training centres
like Aston are vital for giving young
people these sought-after and valuable skills. “At a time when we need to grow
the number of high-skilled, better
paid jobs, we need to see even more
world-class facilities like this across
the country, bringing together cutting-edge technology and expertise
to give the next generation the skills
they need to succeed and powering
the industries of the future.”
For more information on EEF apprentices, visit www.apprentices. or EEF’s dedicated Apprentice
and Skills YouTube channel, www.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Supporters and families
turned out to join the John
Taylor Hospice Birthday Walk
Families Step out to
Celebrate Hospice Birthday
Families from
Birmingham put
their best foot
forward to take
part in the John
Taylor Hospice
Birthday Walk.
The number of people
walking has grown
each year, so much so,
that next year’s Birthday Walk is booked
The event, now in its fourth
year, celebrates three years
since the Hospice was granted
independence from the NHS to
become a social enteprise.
And the event is now a firm fixture on the calendars of hundreds of supporters of the Hospice.
Chris Smart of Sutton Coldfield
has been to the event every year
since the Hospice left the NHS.
“We like to come along with everyone as a way to give back for
everything that John Taylor did
for my dad,” he said.
Myrtle Anglin of Erdington attended the walk for the first
time this year along with her
daughter Paulette Morrison.
“I could work until I’m grey and
will never be able to feel that I
have paid back the brilliant care
my husband received at the
Hospice. I cannot put it into
words, the comfort that having
the nurses around gave and that
is why we are here,”’ Myrtle says.
Paulette added: “I am glad to be
here with my mum to support
the Hospice as
the compassion and care
received was
in the fun was
Allan Kenning of Yardley who
said: “We have come along to
support this event to help make
sure that the care that all our
family received is available for
other people too as it is so important.”
The walk covers a 3.5 mile route
starting and finishing at the Ramada Hotel in Penns Lane, Sutton Coldfield, passing through
Pype Hayes Park and along
Grange Road, in front of the
the Hospice and in the community. Every day more than 600
people across Birmingham and
their families will receive the
care they need from Hospice
staff and volunteers. Hospice
CEO Kate Phipps said: “The
John Taylor Hospice Birthday
Walk is held in great affection
by our supporters and it is so
lovely to see so many familiar
faces and new people too.
“The Birthday Walk is a really
good opportunity for families to
meet each other and take part
in an event which supports our
work. It is also a chance for us to
say thank you.
“The number of people walking
has grown each year, so much
Families also had the chance
so, that next year’s Birthday
to enjoy activities including
Walk is booked,
art projects,
on Sunday Oca
The Birthday Walk is
baltober 4, and
loons and face
people are ala really good opporpainting.
tunity for families to ready telling us
that they will be
And this year
added attractions including a Spot the Duck It costs ВЈ14,000 to run all of the
competition and a Duck Race Hospice services each day and
which saw families vying for top the Birthday Walk is only one of
spot on the feathery finishing the ways people can support the
Hospice. For more information
John Taylor Hospice provides see the www.johntaylorhospice.
palliative and end of life care at website.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 20147
Charity Calls On
Santas To Come To Town
take part in a 5km Santa Run or palliative care 24 hours a day, 7
a 2km Santa Stroll for those who days a week. The fundraising and
want to take things a bit slower.
sponsorship raised from events
like this one are absolutely vital to
Acorns offers a network of care for provide the support our children
children and support to their fam- need, which can cost up to ВЈ750
ilies across the West Midlands and per day per child.”
relies on sponsorship from events
such as this for the majority of its Entry is ВЈ10 for adults and ВЈ5 for
under 16s which includes a Santa
Last year’s Santa Run at Brindleyplace
Acorns Children’s Hospice is kickstarting the festive season by calling on local people to suit-up as
Father Christmas for its annual
Santa Run.
urday 6th December where hundreds of Santas will bring festive
cheer and help support the charity
in its work providing care for lifethreatened and life-limited children and young people.
suit and a medal. Under 6s are
free and although they will not be
given a Santa suit due to size restrictions, they are encouraged to
attend in their own festive fancy
All routes are accessible for wheelchairs and pushchairs so the whole
family can take part in this exciting
The event is generously supported
by Western Power Distribution
and Bloc Hotels which means all
monies raised will go directly towards funding the ВЈ8 million plus
a year it costs to run Acorns three
For more information and to register please visit
uk/santa call 01564 82 5000 or
email [email protected]
Shujea Khatun, major events officer at Acorns, said: “The Christmas countdown is now on, so
what better way to get into the festive spirit than suiting up for the
Acorns Santa Run!
“Last year’s event was a really funfilled festive day and this year we
hope it’ll be even bigger and better. We want to encourage lots
more Santas to come along, run,
jog or stroll supporting Acorns in
its work.
“The children and young people
Entries are now open for the event
taking place at Brindleyplace in All those entering will be given we look after are unlikely to reach
Birmingham City Centre on Sat- their very own Santa suit and can adulthood and require specialist
Last year’s Santa Run at Brindleyplace
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Pupils pay tribute to their
retiring Headteacher
By Deputy Headteacher Daniel
On 18th July 2014 the school community wished Mrs Martin a fond
farewell as she retired as Headteacher
of Our Lady of Fatima School in Harborne, Birmingham. Mrs Martin enjoyed many celebrations throughout
her final week in school to mark her
The week began with a Thanksgiving Mass on the afternoon of Monday
14th July. Our Parish Priest, Father
Seamus concelebrated Mass with
Father Michael, Mrs Martin’s Parish Priest from Holy Trinity Church,
Sutton Coldfield. The Mass was an
uplifting celebration of Mrs Martin’s
career in education. Mrs Martin welcomed her family, friends, past and
present colleagues and of course the
whole school community.
Following the Mass, Mrs Clare van
Vliet, former Deputy Headteacher
and current Headteacher of our
school spoke very highly of Mrs Martin on behalf of the staff, parents, pupils and whole school Community.
When asked, the children described
Mrs Martin perfectly as committed,
courageous, generous in nature and
with her time, a good listener, but
most of all they felt valued and loved.
Mr John Peeney, Chair of Governors,
paid tribute to the impact of Mrs
Martin’s successful headship in lead-
ing the school to being declared outstanding by OFSTED in July 2011. Mrs
Martin was then presented with gifts
of gratitude from the staff, pupils and
parents of the school, the PTA and
the Governing Body.
Mrs Martin has been at the forefront
of Catholic education for many years
and so it was most fitting that Father
Michael presented her and her husband Steve, with a Papal Blessing in
recognition of her service, dedication
and commitment to Catholic education.
At the end of the Mass, Mrs Martin
spoke fondly of her love of teaching,
her love for the school and her immense pride in each and everyone
one of the whole school community.
The afternoon of celebrations concluded with a buffet for Mrs Martin’s
family, colleagues and friends.
The week of celebrations continued
with a final Thanksgiving Assembly
dedicated to Mrs Martin. Each class
sang a �Goodbye Song’ to Mrs Martin
and presented her with a class memory book.
Mrs Martin said she felt completely
overwhelmed by the cards, gifts and
sentiments from the whole school
“I will always look back at my time at
Our Lady of Fatima School with great
pride and fondness. It has been such a
joy and a privilege to have worked in
such a special school.”
Mrs Martin
We wish Mrs Martin a long, happy
and restful retirement and thank
her for all that she has achieved during her career, but especially for the
school community at Our Lady of
Fatima School.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 20149
Dominic O’Reilly
with Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham Trust
head of fundraising
Justine Day outside
Fisher House
By Gabriel Filan
EZE Group’s charitable arm has become an official supporter of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham
The EZE Group Foundation will help raise money for the
QE through a variety of activities and initiatives.
EZE Group CEO Dominic O’Reilly said: “We’re really
looking forward to working with the QEHBT’s fundraising officer Laura Power, and the rest of the team there.
“Improving health care through better facilities, research
and welfare is something ordinary people relate to, and
we’ll be working with the charity to help leverage support through our involvement with Birmingham City
FC, and other initiatives.”
EZE group is a Birmingham City FC diamond partner,
and has already raised money for QEHBT through a
ground collection at Blues’ recent home game against
QEHBT head of fundraising Justine Day said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have EZE Group Foundation join us
as an official supporter.
“Thanks to the generous support of donors like the EZE
Group Foundation, we’re able to provide a level of patient care beyond what NHS funding alone can deliver.”
The charity team at QEHBT is dedicated to improving
the experience of patients, their families, and hospital
staff. В In recent months, the charity has launched a partnership
with Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer, which aims to raise
ВЈ1 million to bring screening and treatment services together.
And in the summer, supporters welcomed the Prince of
Wales as he opened Fisher House, a �home from home’
for the loved ones of military patients.В The 18-bedroom facility offers comfort and emotional
support to the families of injured and sick servicemen
and women.
The charity also aims to raise ВЈ3 million to support four
other projects it has planned.
EZE Group supports
Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham Trust
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Neild /Phillips
WeddingJuly 2014
The Bride with her parents Stephen and Ruth Phillips and the
Groom with his parents Janice and Gareth Neild
Images by Dean Jung
Aimee Rebekah Phillips married Simon James Neild on the 27th of July
in St Nicolas Church in Kings Norton,
The newlyweds enjoyed their reception in an Elizabethan Manor House;
Grafton Manor in Bromsgrove with
a String Orchestra, Wedding Breakfast of roast beef, Laser Clay Pigeon
Shooting and a photo booth to entertain guests.
The Wedding Party consisted of Best
Man Brian Currier, Ushers Lawrence
Hession-Kent and Andy Piddington.
Bridesmaids were Katie Hanson,
Stephanie Phillips, Sally Phillips and
Natalie Piddington. Their couple’s
good friends Nicola Hession-Kent designed and made Bridesmaids jewellery and Lesley Piddington made their
special cake.
Bride Aimee said, “St Nicolas lies in
the heart of Kings Norton Green and
provides a warm welcome to all who
visit. It’s such a lovely church to attend services and to get married in.
The Wedding Party - Inset:
Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting
was a talking point at the
“Grafton Manor was built in 1567 by
the Earl of Shrewsbury and it has
absolutely stunning grounds.” The
Groom Simon added, “The day was
perfect, everything we hoped it would
be, both St Nicolas and Grafton Manor did us proud!”
Aimee continued: The weather was
fabulous, sun was shining and wine
was flowing!
The happy couple enjoyed a twoweek honeymoon in Orlando, Florida. They said: “We had an amazing
adventure filled with fun and excitement, as well as a few relaxing days to
keep us going!
“We absolutely loved Universal studios and spent a lot of our time there
but nothing really topped Discovery
Cove where we went snorkeling in
a coral reef with stingrays, fish and
sharks plus swimming with dolphins!”
Reflecting upon the whole occasion
Aimee said, “I married my best friend.
Our journey is just beginning and our
wedding day was the perfect start to
our life together. It meant so much to
us to have all of our loved ones there.”
Society members
meet new Minister
Sandwell Irish Society was pleased
to receive an invitation to attend a
reception hosted by Ambassador
Mr. Daniel Mulhall at the Embassy of Ireland in London recently
and meet the Minister for the Diaspora, Mr. Jimmy Deenihan TD
on his first official visit to Britain.
The event, which was attended
by Mrs. Siobhan Gorman, Manager of the Society and volunteer
Mrs. Theresa Perkins, was to announce details of grants awarded
to Irish community organisations
in the UK through the Irish government’s Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme.
Mr. Deenihan paid tribute to the
vast amount of work done and
services delivered every day by
Irish organisations to support
members of the Irish community
in a variety of ways. He also spoke
of the current review of the Government’s Diaspora policy being
undertaken by his Department, to
L to R Theresa Perkins, Jimmy
Deenihan TD and Siobhan Gorman
see what other things they could
be doing to better engage with the
Irish community abroad and how
established programmes can be
delivered in a better way.
this country. He then took the
opportunity to meet and chat to
many people and pose for a photograph with Siobhan and Theresa.
Mr. Deenihan thanked representatives from Irish community organisations who were present and
acknowledged that their work
makes a profound difference to
the quality of life experienced by
thousands of Irish emigrants in
For further details about the work
of the Society, please contact
Siobhan on 0121 553 4402 or email
her at: [email protected] – she will be pleased to
hear from you.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201411
Young singer wins
Scholarship Concert
Student Jeni Galvin with
The Sixth Form College,
Solihull’s assistant principal
Elizabeth Baker
By Gabriel Filan
A talented young singer has
claimed the top prize in a scholarship contest in memory of two
highly respected Solihull music
A total of 13 talented musicians
auditioned to win a scholarship
fund at the Heartfield-Wharam
Scholarship Concert held at The
Sixth Form College, Solihull.
The college’s first concert of the
academic year saw solo performances ranging from vocal pieces
to instrumental pieces on the piano, cello, flute, clarinet and trumpet, with music staff judging the
Jeni Galvin, aged 17, from Solihull,
emerged triumphant for her performance of �Good Morning Bal-
timore’ from the musical �Hairspray’. Her performance even included
costume and hairspray as a prop,
as she delivered a whole-hearted
rendition of the song from the hit
Jeni will receive a bursary to spend
on music tuition from an eminent
performer of her choice.В The bursary was set up in memory of two great musicians who
strongly supported music in Solihull and at the college.В Roy Heartfield was the original
head of music at the college, who
died in post in 1992, while Margaret Wharam was the former head
of music at Malvern Hall School
and head organist at Solihull
Methodist Church.В The first winner of this prize was
in 1994 and for the last 20 years
the scholarship fund has continued.
Music teacher Chris Phelps said:
“I must commend all 13 students
who auditioned at the concert. “Performing in front of an audience is daunting enough without
the added pressure of competition.  “Choosing a winner from such
impressive and diverse performances was very difficult but in
the end we were unanimous in
selecting Jeni’s vocal performance
as the most convincing and complete.”
The next music concert at the
college is its Christmas Concert,
which takes place on December
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Solihull MP visits Total
Training head office
By Gabriel Filan
Total Training welcomed Lorely
Burt to its head office in Olton.
The Solihull MP is assisting Total
Training with its drive to source
Government funding for the provision of pre- employment training for people who are eager to
join the construction industry.
Total Training has been providing training solutions to the construction industry for more than
five years.
The firm has called for more
funding to provide health and
safety in the workplace training
and accreditation as well as plant
training and testing.
Total Training proprietor and
managing director John Smith
said: “Total Training are approached daily with requests
from both individuals looking
to upskill and employers seeking
employees with basic skills and
plant competency.
“Unfortunately, due to funding
not being fed through to frontline
training providers, these needs
are not currently being met. Lo-
rely Burt has agreed to pursue
all avenues available in order to
facilitate the access of funding to
training providers such as us.”
The company also won praise
from Mrs Burt for its inclusiveness, particularly the number of
women it employs.
“Lorely Burt is a well-known advocate for Women in Construc-
Jess Thorpe, Vicki Lambert, Lorely Burt, Nuala
O’hagan, Victoria McMahon
tion and was pleased to see Total Training not only endorsed
her views but actively promoted
women in all aspects of its business,” Mr Smith added.
Mrs Burt also took to Twitter to
praise the firm, saying in the wake
of her visit: “So you think there’s
no women in construction, huh?
Total Training – totally inclusive!”
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201413
Edgbaston MP
visits Catholic
girls school
Gisela Stewart pictured with Dr Casserly, and Head Girl Team and pink wearing pupils and the award winning National PiXL Trophy, which St Paul’s were awarded for outstanding 2014 GCSE results
By Miss Roche
The St Paul’s School for Girls was
extremely honoured to welcome
Gisela Stewart, MP for Edgbaston,
on Friday 24th October to meet
their first A level Government and
Politics students.
Ms. Steward first met the girls
when she visited the school five
years ago, when they were in
Year8 and it is thought that maybe
she inspired some of them to become interested in politics! As
an MP, Ms Steward is delighted
this subject is on the curriculum.
She commented, “I am so pleased
the girls have the opportunity to
study politics and Government at
St Paul’s.”
Ms. Stewart was welcomed by the
Head Girl Team and Dr Casserly
presented her with some specially
made pink Cup-cakes to mark
Breast Awareness day. The whole
school went pink to raise money
for Breast Awareness Day with
both staff and pupils wearing pink
to raise money for the charity.
Dr. Dawn Casserly presenting Gisela Stewart with homemade
cupcakes specially made for her for Breast Cancer awareness day
44 Pages in Full Colour with news
sport, entertainment and your
community pictures every month
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
KFC responds to
Sheldon’s growing
appetite for chicken
Lord Mayor of Birmingham with
staff at the new restaurant in Sheldon, Birmingham
Lord Mayor cuts the ribbon to
new and improved KFC in Sheldon creating 43 new career opportunities in the town.
KFC is delighted to announce
that its Sheldon store has relocated in order to provide more
services, more career opportunities and more chicken to its supportive local residents. The new
Coventry Road store was officially
opened by Lord Mayor Shafique
Shah last month.
Sheldon chicken fans can now
look forward to the convenience
of an added drive-thru and a
51-space car park when they visit
the store. The new restaurant
boasts two large order bays on the
outside of the building, while diners in-store will benefit from
KFC’s latest �Fusion’ design, making the speed of service much
quicker. The new site will be a
positive upgrade in the local community and has already created
43 new career opportunities, replacing a vacant four-story office
only through the 40 or so jobs
created, but also because it will
increase footfall for other businesses nearby. It’s a fantastic addition to the local community”. On the 5th October, there was
a family and friends open day,
where a lucky few were able to
dine in the new restaurant before the official opening. Now all
Sheldon residents can join in the
fun as the 230 square meter restaurant is officially open to the
“I’m delighted to be manager at
the new and improved restaurant
in Sheldon. KFC has definitely got
a lot to offer young people in the
local area who are interested in
having the chance to work and develop their skills—I have worked
at KFC since I was 16 so I know
how you can build a great career
here. The drive-thru in Woeley
Castle has been really popular so
we look forward to bringing fresh
tasty chicken back to our patient
Shafique Shah, Lord Mayor of Birmingham, said:
“The opening of the new KFC
in Sheldon will bring a welcome
economic boost to the area, not
Abbas Ghulam, KFC Restaurant
Manager, said:
Sandwell Irish Society Christmas Meal
Sandwell Irish Society is pleased
to announce that this year’s
Christmas Meals at Sandwell
Valley Park Farm will take place
on Tuesday, 9th December and
Wednesday, 17th December from
12noon onwards.
The Christmas get-togethers
were so popular last year that
many people asked us to arrange
the same thing this year! The cost
for the 4-course meal is ВЈ19.95, including a glass of wine, and will be
served in the friendly surroundings of the ever-popular CafГ© by
Sue and her team of dedicated
staff, who many of you will know
from our regular Irish Health
Walks in Sandwell Valley.
Please contact Sandwell Irish
Society Manager, Mrs. Siobhan
Gorman on 0121 553 4402, on her
mobile 0777/391 7073 or by email:
[email protected] if you would like to reserve
your place/s or for more information. A deposit of ВЈ5.00 per person
is required and you are advised to
book as soon as possible to avoid
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201415
Good Money –
A Currency
for Handsworth
Birmingham Museums is inviting people who live and work
near Soho House (former home
to industrialist and entrepreneur
Matthew Boulton); to design their
own coins celebrating people of
Soho House, part of Birmingham
Museum Trust, is a new partner
joining the national New Expressions programme, an Arts Council
England-funded scheme unlocking the creative potential of museums.
Local artists Chris Poolman and
Elizabeth Rowe are launching an
initiative entitled �Good Money
– A Currency Competition for
Inspired by the innovations and
technical breakthroughs in coinage at Boulton’s Soho Mint in
the 18th century, the artists are
running a competition to design
coins which will be minted and
distributed into the local community. Through a series of free creative workshops and events in autumn 2014, Handsworth residents
can design their own currency,
and nominate local Handsworth
�visionaries’ who will have their
profiles cast on the coins. To promote the project, the artists have
produced and distributed their
own newspaper in Handsworth.
The selected coins will be minted
and the project will �go live’, with
an exhibition and series of celebratory events from May 2015.
The coins will be given to local
as a limited edition artwork, as a
celebration of local heroes.
Oliver Buckley, Property Manager
of Soho House said: “Handsworth
is an amazing place, full of energetic and dedicated individuals
who are improving the area and
making a difference to people
in their communities. This is a
chance to give something back
and nominate your own local heroes. And what better way to celebrate local achievement than by
following in the footsteps of Matthew Boulton, the great innovator
who revolutionised coin-making
at his Mint near Soho House.”
People can get involved in the
project by nominating an inspirational person who lives or works
in Handsworth to be immortalised on a coin. Or get creative
and send their artistic designs
(drawn in a circle) for the �Tails’
side of the coins. Entries (including contact details) should be
sent to [email protected]
with �Currency Competition’ as
the subject. Also, entries can be
posted to �Currency Competition’,
Soho House, Soho Avenue, Handsworth, Birmingham, B18 5LB.
There will be a range of prizes for
the winners, and the chance to
feature in an exhibition at Soho
House in the Spring of 2015. Local
schools are also invited to participate.
For more details
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Gathering Your Stories
Through The Harp
What do you think Irishness means
to people in the West Midlands? Tell
us your story in The Harp.
By Pete Millington
area. Irish genealogy is well
known for being difficult for a
number of reasons, so the oral
history approach which involves
recording stories and looking at
old photographs and documents
such as Mass Cards is therefore
very important.
In August this year my wife and
I and our three teenaged children travelled to Ireland to visit
her mother, Catherine Dwyer
(aka Kitty), in a rural area near
Moate on the border of counties
Offaly and Westmeath. We then
travelled north, accompanied by Where Ireland has gaps when
Granny to a holiday cottage at it comes to census records and
the like, the Irish people generMoville in Donegal.
ally make up for in terms of the
As a keen researcher of the fam- rich oral history tradition. Evily tree, whenever we visit Ire- eryone has a story to tell given
land I take every opportunity to some gentle encouragement
update information from Kitty and an appreciative audience. I
about her family roots in the once wrote to a parish priest in
County Laois, researching my
mother’s ancestors and asked
the slightly unusual question
(based on a family myth I might
add), “are there any tales of Ireland’s tallest woman once living in your parish?” To which he
responded in his return letter,
“I haven’t come across that particular one, though most of my
parishioners should be able to
tell you a tall story”.
ran and told our mother that
Father Flanagan was on his way
along the lane so she was able to
quickly clean around the house
and get out the best china cups.
Father Flanagan was a very tall
man and I remember his laceup boots were extremely well
polished. He stayed for tea with
my mother and I remember him
blessing us all and blessing our
home before he left”.
One evening this summer, as
Kitty and I sat quite literally
rummaging through her archive
of chocolate boxes and biscuit
tins containing old photographs
and assorted memorabilia, we
came across the Mass Card of a
priest named Lawrence D. Flanagan whom, Kitty recalled, was
a cousin of her mother from
Moate. The Mass Card indicated
that the Very Reverend Lawrence
D Flanagan was born on 19 June
1882, he professed on 17 October
1901, was ordained on 17 March
1907 and died on 3 April 1966.
His order was Carmelite.
The most intriguing piece of
information which Kitty told
me was a snippet of a story relating to the Irish War for Independence. She told me that one
night Father Flanagan received a
knock on his priory door in New
York to discover it was a fugitive
seeking shelter, none-other than
the infamous insurrectionist
Eamon De Valera, the leader at
that time of Ireland’s struggle for
independence from Britain who
had escaped from Lincoln prison
in February 1919 and travelled
secretly to the United States.
Kitty recalled various facts and
anecdotes about Lawrence Flanagan such as that his family
owned a saw mill in Moate and
that Lawrence went to New York
as a young priest and worked in
America for most of his life. She
recalled Father Flanagan once
visiting her family on their farm
at Lurgan near Moate, probably
in 1939. Kitty was a child and her
fleeting memory has movie-like
imagery to it and instantly conjures up a picture of this intriguing man striding through the
Irish countryside towards Lurgan:
“I remember him coming to visit
us one day in about 1939. He was
walking along the Balycumber
Road from Moate and then he
turned along the Bog Road and
through the fields to our house
at Lurgan. I remember that we
Within a few days we drove up to
our holiday cottage at Moville, a
long car journey which took us
through Northern Ireland, driving through towns and places
which in my mind are sadly associated with �the troubles’, Enniskillen, Omagh, Sion Mills,
Strabane and finally through the
city of Derry before driving back
into the Republic and out along
the coastal road that runs along
Lough Foyle. As a family we had
never visited �the north’ before
and our teenaged Brummieborn children were struck by
the oddness of passing through
areas of Ireland where bright
and pristine Union Jacks and red
hand of Ulster flags hang from
every lamp post. Foreboding
rather than welcoming.
My own mind came back constantly to the story of De Valera knocking on the door of the
Carmelite priory in Manhattan
in 1919, seeking refuge in America at a time when Ireland was on
the verge of its ultimate push for
independence. An event in family history linked in some small
way to the greater narrative of
Irish history.
It would have been both amiss
and totally out-of-character for
me not to have dived straight
into some devoted online research into the background to
this event on my return home to
Birmingham. What I discovered
was that De Valera’s midnight
knock was not a random act of
desperation, on the run in a foreign city, but that his personal
link with Lawrence Flanagan
went back to their school days at
Blackrock College in Dublin in
the late 1890s. I also discovered
much more about the full extent
of the support of the New York
Carmelites for Ireland’s struggle
for independence between 1916
and 1922 – a story not widely
known on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Don’t miss the next instalment
of the story of Father Larry and
the New York Carmelites in the
next edition of The Harp.
Visit the blog at
Join our Facebook group at
Please send your stories and photos to Pete Millington at
[email protected]
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201417
GPs switch
on electronic
GPs in Birmingham are making the
switch to the NHS Electronic Prescription Service – making it easier
and quicker for local patients to get
their medication.
Seven GP practices in Birmingham
have gone live with the timesaving electronic service and can now
digitally send
direct to pharmacies, without the need
for the traditional paper
slip.В It is designed to speed up the
process and gives patients access to
new services.
aware of keeping on top of a condition such as diabetes. It’s a very efficient service, and the staff are very
Pharmacist, Dr Julian Harrison,
Director at Pharmacy2U, says convenience is a key consideration for
patients. He said: “The move to
makes the process
quicker and easier
and is giving patients a lot more
choice – such as
a pharmacy closer
to where they work or an online and
mail-order service like ours.
The move to e-prescriptions makes the process
quicker and easier
One of the new options is the NHS
Repeat Prescription Service from
Pharmacy2U, which allows people
to order by phone, online or using
a mobile app, and then have their
medication delivered for free to
their home or workplace.
And local patients like pensioners
David and Joyce Bullock, of Erdington, and their family are already
reaping the benefits of the service.В The couple and their daughter, who
are all diabetic, order their prescriptions online. “Our NHS repeat prescription
service can be a useful option for
those who don’t find a traditional
high street pharmacy a convenient
choice. It’s popular with people who
work long hours, the elderly and
housebound, and busy commuters
who want to save time.”
To use electronic prescriptions,
patients can speak to their chosen
pharmacy to set their �nomination’,
which is where their prescription
will be digitally sent.
Mrs Bullock, 71, said: “Pharmacy2U
either phone or email us, which is
very convenient. It’s a great service – the medicines are delivered
very quickly. Now we don’t have
to worry about running out of our
The NHS Electronic Prescription
Service will eventually be rolled out
throughout England. Despite this,
research conducted by YouGov on
behalf of Pharmacy2U revealed that
nearly three quarters of people in
the West Midlands area (74 per cent)
were not aware that paper prescriptions are being replaced.
Mrs Bullock also believes the service
has a positive effect on the family’s
health. She explained: “The free
reminder service makes you more
Find out which Birmingham GPs are
live with electronic prescriptions,
David and Joyce Bullock, of
Erdington, have been using
Pharmacy2U’s free electronic
repeat prescription service for
around four years.В 18
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Pat O’Neill and Beverley
Hart, who completed The
�Great Brum Run’ to raise
money for SIFA Fireside
Centre, Birmingham
Limerick Association
Treasurer completes The
�Great Brum Run’ for charity
On 19th October 2014 Pat O’Neill took
part in the Birmingham �Great Brum Run’
a half marathon around the centre of Birmingham; Pat ran in aid of SIFA Fireside
Centre in Birmingham.
Well done you might say, but what if you
learnt that the man himself not only being 73 years of age and a grandfather of
eight, was also only partially sighted having tunnel vision only in one eye! Now
that is some achievement. His �eyes’ for
the marathon were provided by Beverley
Hart, who became his guide for the event
and Pat is very grateful to Beverley for her
Pat is also a member of the West Limerick
Athletic club and runs with them whenever is at home in Adare County Limerick.
Pat lost his sight completely over 40 years
ago after being struck down with Eales
Disease and went on to learn Braille and
telephony at the Queen Alexander College
in Birmingham. He landed a job at Allied
Irish Bank in Sparkhill as a blind telephonist; he retired 28 years later as a business
development manager.
During that time Pat had some pioneering
operations on his eyes and gained tunnel
vision only in one eye. Pat said when he
opened his eye and was able to see, limited
though it was, he felt he had been given his
life back.
Pat has worked tirelessly for charity over
the years; he is a governor at South and
City College Birmingham, Chairman of
Small Heath Boxing Club and has been
treasurer of the Limerick Association for
over 25 years.
Pat took part in the marathon to raise
money for the SIFA Fire Side Centre in
Digbeth Birmingham, a charity which the
Limerick Association is supporting this
year. All profit made from the many functions they are running will be presented to
the charity in January.
The Associations next event will be a dance
at St Patrick’s Club on Rotton Park Road,
Edgbaston on 15th November 2014, come
along and support us, you will be very welcome; the cost is ВЈ5 which will include a
light supper.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201419
ithappenedin by Liam Smith
November 6th
It was on this day in 1920 that the
following notice appeared on the
streets of Athlone, ….�Shopkeepers
of Athlone are hereby ordered to
close their premises on Armistice
Day, November 11th, in honour
of the fallen heroes of the Great
War and the police murdered in
Ireland. This notice applies to
all business houses and factories.
Any failure to comply with this order renders the destruction of said
premises inevitable’.
(Signed) Black and Tans.
November 15th
On this day in 1881, William J
Pearse, younger brother of Pa-
draig Pearse, was born in Dublin. A sculptor by trade, William
Pearse is acknowledged for some
of the finest works of religious
sculptor to be seen in Ireland. In
1908, William Pearse joined his
brother Padraig in the running of
St. Enda’s College, Rathfarnham,
an establishment founded by his
brother. His enthusiasm for the
arts and theatre at St.Enda’s gave
him valuable acting skills which
eventually led to his appearance
in many Abbey Theatre productions. Shortly after the formation
of the Irish Volunteers, he joined
his brother in the movement, and
fought alongside him in the G.P.O.
during Easter week. Although a
minor participant during the insurrection, it was his involvement
with his brother that led to his
execution in Kilmainham Jail on On this day in 1920, Michael Hogan
May 4th 1916.
of Grangemockler, Co.Tipperary,
a member of the Tipperary Gaelic
football team, was shot dead during an attack on Croke Park by
Born in Dublin on this day in 1939 the Black and Tans. The incident
was folk singer and musician, Luke which left twelve dead and sixty
Kelly. For twenty-two years until wounded was regarded as an act of
his death in 1984, Luke Kelly was retaliation for the deaths of fouran ever present member of The teen British intelligence officers in
Dubliners, one of the most suc- Dublin that morning, carried out
cessful folk groups ever to emerge by an assassination squad under
from Ireland. Throughout his long the command of Michael Collins.
association with the group, Luke a master of the five-string banjo
– made many memorable recordings; such as, �Dirty Old Town’,
Born on this day in 1910, in Dur...’The Town I Loved So Well’,…
ban, South Africa, was actor Cyrand ’Raglan Road’.
il Cusack. In 1932, after an
education at Newbridge College,
Co.Kildare, Cyril Cusack joined
November 16th
November 26th
November 21st
the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and
performed in over sixty productions between the years 1932-45.
Two years later in 1947, Cusack
formed his own company, staging
productions throughout Europe
and New York. In a career stretching nearly fifty years, Cyril Cusack
played many memorable roles in
films such as; �Nineteen EightyFour’; �Danny the Champion of
the World’; and �Far and Away’.
His role as Father Giffley in the
1980 RTE production of �Strumpet
City’ received much acclaim, and
firmly established him as one of
Ireland’s finest actors. His daughters Sinead, Sorcha, and Niamh,
are also accomplished actresses.
In October, 1993, Cyril Cusack
died in Hounslow, Middlesex, at
the age of eighty-two.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
The Irish of the
West Midlands
by Carl Chinn
Our Mom: A Proud
Aston Wench
Our Mom, Sylvie Chinn nee Perry, was always singing. Whatever she was
doing she’d sing, but the times I remember best were when she sang on a
Sunday along with �Two Way Family Favourites’ on the Light Programme.
membered one particular night of
fear when Our Nan and Granddad,
Arthur Perry, grabbed her in her
night-clothes, held her in their arms
and with everyone else in their yard
rushed down the middle of Whitehouse Street to the big underground
shelter of Powell and Hamner’s.
Winnie and Alfie meant everything to
our Mom and she swore she’d marry
him when she was old enough. And
it is a song from those days that still
has especial meaning for our family
and which from an early age made us
realise the power of singing in helping
people through adversities.
On another occasion they were in the
big shelter in their yard and looking
through its doorway, Our Mom started to blart because it seemed that all
the houses in their terrace were alight.
Thankfully they weren’t as the flames
that Mom saw in the windows were
the reflections from the fire which
was raging nearby at Rippingilles,
the stove manufacturer on the Aston
Road North that was next to Dobson
and Crowther’s. But to a young child
it seemed that her whole world had
become a dreadful bonfire.
When Alfie was seventeen, he joined
the Royal Navy and was sent away.
Just seven years of age, Our Mom
couldn’t cope without him around.
She wouldn’t eat and was pining so
badly that Nan and Granddad wrote
to the Navy and Our Alfie was sent
back on compassionate leave.
When me and Our Kid, Darryl, were
youngsters and we listened to such
stories we found it hard to believe
that there could be any happiness or
fun during such terrible times. Yet
there was. Our Aunt Win was one of
Nan’s younger sisters and she was very
close with Our Mom. Winnie used titter about sending Mom to fetch her
sand from the bomb pecks so that she
could wet it and rub it on her legs.
Then she’d get a black pencil and
put a line down the back of each of
her calves. That way when she went
dancing she looked like she had
stockings on. There was a problem,
though: when she jitterbugged the
chaps would throw her around, her
frock would go up and you could
see the whites of her legs above her
Our Mom is the sixth from the left of the second row in this photograph taken when she was at St
Mary’s School. She loved her time there and remembered with affection young Mr Lewis and Old Mr
Lewis, a Welsh teacher who taught his classes how to sing descant.
Mom would be in the kitchen getting the roast ready for dinner and
we’d hear her beautiful voice joining
in with Sarah Vaughan, her great favourite, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole,
Billy Eckstein and others.
Songs played a big part in her life. One
of her earliest memories was of sitting
in the big shelter in her yard in Whitehouse Street, Aston with her mom
and dad and neighbours, and joining
in the sing-songs that kept up their
spirits as the bombs pounded down
on working-class Birmingham. Born
in April 1936, Our Mom was only four
when the bombing started but she
said that everyone in the shelter had
a song and hers was the chorus of �We
are poor little lambs who have lost our
Like most Brummie children, she had
been evacuated at the start of the war.
As she was under school age, she was
sent to Cheltenham with Our Nan, Lil
Perry, and other mothers and youngsters. Mom had only vague recollections of that time, but as with so many
others she was fetched back home
during this Phoney War.
And then in the late summer of
1940, the Blitz began. Our Mom re-
Mom spent a lot of time with Our
Winnie because when Our Nan married, she and Granddad got a house in
the same street as her Mom, Granny
Wood. Granny had twelve children
and it was very difficult finding space
for them all to sleep in a small, twobedroomed back-to-back which
downstairs only had one room and
a tiny scullery. So with Nan having a
spare bedroom just across the street at
7 back of 6, she took in Winnie who
used to sleep in the double bed in the
attic with Mom.
Often of a Saturday night when Winnie went out dancing, she’d tell Mom
to go to the back of the Lion Hall just
along the Aston Road North by Holland Road. Then she’d go with her
mates such as Renee Carter and open
the exit at the back so that Mom could
creep in and be with them, young as
she was, in a magical place of song,
music and dance.
Our Nan also took in took in one
of her younger brothers, Our Alfie,
who slept on the settee in their one
room downstairs. He used to sleep
so deeply that during one raid they
couldn’t wake him up and had to run
to the shelter without him. Mom was
breaking her heart thinking that he’d
be killed. Happily he wasn’t, but when
the bombing stopped and they went
back they found him still well away
and beneath one of the wooden shutters from inside the window which
had been blown off by the blast from
a bomb.
As he got off the tram before Aston
Cross, one of his mates pulled him
into �The Albion’ on the corner for a
quick pint. Before he could drink it,
word quickly went round that he was
home. Someone ran down the entry,
up Our Mom’s yard and into Our
Nan’s house, blurting out the news.
Our Mom made a swift recovery and
raced inside the pub. Our Alfie swept
her up, stood her on the bar and said
�sing for me babby’. And she did. With
her eyes only on him, she sang Alice
Faye’s hit, �You’ll never know just how
much I love you’.
Mom always emphasised to us that
she was fortunate to grow up knowing
that she had the love of her Mom and
Dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles and
cousins and to live in a street filled
with love. At the heart of that love was
her beloved and inspirational Granny
Wood. Born in Ireland, her father was
a British soldier and her mother an
Irish colleen. Granny grew up mostly
in Worcester but never forgot her
Irish childhood and passed on the old
Irish songs to her daughters.
Granny married my great grandfather, William Wood, a boatman from
Tewkesbury, in 1912. Three years later
and during the Great War, he was sent
to work on the canals in Birmingham
as he was in a reserved occupation.
They settled in Whitehouse Street,
which was close to the cut and where
Granddad Wood had relatives.
Granny married my great grandfather, William Wood, a boatman from
Tewkesbury, in 1912. Three years later
and during the Great War, he was sent
to work on the canals in Birmingham
as he was in a reserved occupation.
They settled in Whitehouse Street,
which was close to the cut and where
Granddad Wood had relatives.
Like Our Nan, most of Granny’s children lived in the same street after
marriage. There was also Uncle Bill
and Aunt Nance with their six children; Auntie May and Uncle Freddie Hodson with their son; and Aunt
Nance and Uncle Billy Cotterill with
their fourteen children. There was
also Uncle Bobby who stayed a bachelor and lived at home along with
Aunt Doreen who was almost Mom’s
age; whilst Uncle George, Auntie Rose
and Aunt Gladys were never far from
the street.
Granny’s house was the focal point for
this rumbustious extended family –
and more on that next month.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201421
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Irish Cycle
Appeal 2014
a lasting memory of great satisfaction and
achievement, enjoyed with a team of likeSaturday the 11th October saw the some- minded friends. These are thoughts and
what reduced BICA Team head for Bir- memories that will live with us forever, and
mingham Airport after a lot of bag and bike bring a smile to our faces every time they
are revisited.
By Michelle Argue
The back up team consisted of Peter and
Maureen Mohan (our roving reporters) myself, Ciaran Cunningham and Ann McElroy, and the team consisted of Joe Argue,
Caroline Argue, Seamus Cassidy, Conor
McGreevy, Paul Owens, Pat O’Donnell,
Con Cunningham and Paul Barratt. Phil
Cunnngham joined us later in the week to
give the back-up team much needed support. Sadly two of our newest recruits were
unable to travel with us at the last moment
and were greatly missed.
One of the things that make this so special
is knowing that we are making a difference.
This years’ project is the VIP APPEAL at the
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston. The
money raised this year will contribute towards refurbishing two consulting rooms
for the Children’s Radiotherapy Dept.
Each year hundreds of children with cancer come to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Birmingham for their radiotherapy. The
treatmentВ is a scary experience for anybody,
but it is especially frightening for children
who are more used to the bright interiors of
As many of you know we were in Cyprus in children’s hospitals. That’s why the QEHB
2012, but since then we have revisited the CharityВ has launched the VIP Treatment
route and made a few changes, just to make Appeal.
things a little more challenging.
Birmingham Irish Cycle Appeal hope to
To give you some idea in cycling terms of raise ВЈ20,000 towards the ВЈ250,000 needed
the degree of difficulty this route involves I to make coming to the QE as pleasant an exhave shown below the degrees of difficulty perience as possible for our young patients.
the team faced on each day, and the climbs With your help we would like toВ create a
child-orientated area inВ the Radiotherapy
department. This will be a light, bright, wel(Hors Category (HC) the hardest climbs of coming space with toys and games to take
1500m and above (4900ft))
their minds off theВ treatment ahead.
1st category – climbs of 1100 -1500m (3600ft What’s more, we would like to give every
– 4900ft)
child who receives radiotherapy a toy.
2nd Category – climbs of 600-1100m (1970 Head of fundraising Justine Davy said:
– 3600 ft)
“The children that come here are incredibly
brave. From talking to them and their fami3rd category – climbs of 300 – 600, (985 – lies, we know that receiving treatment at a
big, adult hospital like the QE can be very
daunting – especially if they are more used
4th category – lowest category climbs of to visiting children’s hospitals.
100 – 300m(328 – 985ft)
“That’s why we have launched the VIP
You may wonder why so many people enjoy Treatment Appeal. With the generosity and
this sort of trip, they pay their own expens- enthusiasm of our fundraisers and donors
es and spend a great deal of time preparing we can cheer up these courageous young
and training for the event. I can only say patients and show them how much we
that for those who have experienced it, it is care.”
On behalf of the gang, may I take this opportunity of thanking you all for being so
supportive of us. There were sponsorship
cheques waiting for us on our return and
many of you have visited us on justgiving.
Please remember our Presentation Dinner Dance is on Saturday 6th December,
and will be held this year at the Irish
Centre, Digbeth. Tickets are ВЈ30. We
have Kevin McGrath at the Full ShaBang playing and it will be a night to remember. For details contact Michelle on
07974 807568 or Joe on 07977 465950.
Day 1: Monday 13th October: 50 miles
A lo
A lovely hot day, with all the team flying
along, followed by a great night in Limassol
with Cypriot Dancing and sampling the local cuisine. Many of us had a dip in the sea
to try and ease the wounds.
Day 2: Tuesday 14th October 62 miles – Li-
A n
of A
Paphos to Limassol. 36ЛљC, climbed 2952 ft .
3 x category 4’s.
massol to Nicosia. 30ЛљC+, climbed 2789ft. 3
x category 4’s
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201423
ong day finishing in the city with no one
ting lost! Another great night sampling
local food and a walk around the city
lls and checkpoints and experiencing the
tural divides.
y 3: Wednesday 15th Oct, 51 miles – Nic-
a to Troodos. 25˚C cooling to 11˚C – with
under, Lightening, Hail and Rain. 6900ft
mbed, 28 mile pull – 6 x category 4, 3 x
egory 3, 1 x category 1 and 1 x HC.
is is the day they had been waiting for.
nice gentle meander out to the village
Akaki where we were met by our good
end Peter Fanaris and his wife Nicki, in
home village. A fabulous lunch was laid
Birmingham Irish Cycle Appeal
Presentation Dinner Dance Tickets are ВЈ30.
Saturday 6th December at the Irish Centre, Digbeth.
Dancing to Kevin McGrath and The Full ShaBang.
For details contact Michelle on 07974 807568 or Joe
on 07977 465950
on for us and was much appreciated particularly in view of what was to come. The
rest of the day was one that will always be
remembered… As we approached the final
28-mile climb up to the top of the Troodos it became apparent that the weather
was not on our side. Torrential rain, hail,
thick cloud with intermittent thunder and
lightening all threatened to bring our ride
to a halt. Undaunted the whole team pulled
themselves up to the top and were very glad
to have open fires and centrally heated bedrooms waiting for us at the hotel. All the cyclists made it to the top!
Day 4:
Thursday 16th October 55 miles
– Troodos to Kato Pyrgos. 25˚C – 2812ft
climbed, 8000 ft descent. 8 x category 4’s.
This particular day is meant to be a massive descent. You may wonder then, why so
many climbs? Many of our cyclists asked the
same question. Joking aside, this is a dangerous day, with the danger of overheating
wheel rims and speed a cause for concern.
An overnight stay at a beachside local establishment with home cooked food, put us
back on good form again.
Day 5: Friday 17th October, 65 miles. 28ЛљC
2861ft climbed. 1 x category 4 and 1 x category 2.
Not a day to underestimate-a long dry day
in heat, with some serious climbs. At this
point, they are all as fit as they can be, and
the charity cycle tops are starting to fit a bit
A wonderful finish at the Capital Coast Hotel, and a night to remember at the Nessi
Restaurant and Kato Paphos just about put
the whole ride together. A great finishing
night, where everyone has a chance to talk
about their week, and their thoughts on the
whole experience. Some were speechless.
Finally, we had a rest day and then returned
to our families on Sunday the 19th from
Larnaca on the southern coast of Cyprus.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Donkey Sanctuary providing
care to 1,270 furry friends
Cork Rose and All Ireland Camogie Star Anna Geary pictured with the O’ Duffy Cup while
cutting the tape at the Open Weekend in the Donkey Sanctuary, Liscarroll, with Head of Operations Noel Carton, and Fundraising Manager Breda Clancy
By Sheila Fitzgerald
While many of us �talk the talk’
and are enthusiastic supporters of
Animal Welfare across the board,
staff at the Donkey Sanctuary in
Liscarroll, Co. Cork, are among
the best in the entire country for
�walking the walk’ and really step-
ping up to the plate for the 1,270
donkeys currently in their care.
During the recent open weekend at the Sanctuary, the public
got the opportunity to see at first
hand the all year round work involved in caring for this large population of these affectionate furry
individuals who range in age from
just three weeks old to the grand
old age of 50.
Master Farrier Eamonn Harrington making a horse shoe
at the rear of his mobile smithy during the Open Weekend
at the Donkey Sanctuary, Liscarroll
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201425
the public, generally of neglect
and cruelty of some kind, we then
indentify the owner and try to impress on them the importance of
looking after the animal”. With in
excess of 450 complaints received
last year, it is no wonder the team
is kept constantly busy.
abused and badly treated can be cy told us that staff were delighted
assured of tender loving care here. with the turn out over the weekend, and look forward to greeting
However, as the Sanctuary re- old friends and new visitors to the
lies heavily on donations from Sanctuary going forward.
the public, readers can step up to
the plate by visiting the Centre, Opening hours at Liscarroll Donorganising a fundraising event, key Sanctuary are: Monday-Friadopting a Donkey for just €20 day, 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. SaturThe Donkey Sanctuary has proven annually, or indeed giving a good days, Sundays and Bank Holidays,
to be a safe haven for it’s current home to a pair of Donkeys.
10.00 am to 5.00 pm
population of 1,270, and any Donkey in the country who has been Fundraising Manger Breeda Clan- Tel: 00353 22 48398
Sheila Fitzgerald with Anna Geary during
the Open Weekend at the Donkey Sanctuary
Open Weekend in Liscarroll, Co. Cork
Visitors from all over Munster enjoyed cuddling the donkeys while
enjoying the Indian Summer sunshine. Cork Rose from the Rose of
Tralee Festival and Camogie Star
Anna Geary brought along the All
Ireland Camogie Cup to the event.
She then cut the tape to mark the
Open Weekend and later posed
for photographs and signed autographs for a host of fans.
Master Farrier Eamonn Harrington demonstrated the art of
making horse shoes while Farrier Eugene Butler was on hand
to pare the donkey’s hooves and
keep them in tip top condition.
Equine Dental Technician Mick
Dillion carried out inspections on
the Donkeys and told the audience how diet and nutrition is key
to keeping their teeth strong and
Donkey Sanctuary Welfare Manager Bernard O Neill talked about
the teams ongoing work throughout the country. “We have an
Office here and we also have a
team of Donke advisers working
throughout the country and in
Northern Ireland,” Bernard said,
“We respond to complaints from
Farrier Eugene Butler paring hooves during the Open
Weekend at the Donkey Sanctuary, Liscarroll
Michael O Connor, Maintenance Manager, Bernard
O Neill, Welfare Manager,
and Breda Clancy, Fundraising Manager, pictured with
some of the senior donkeys
during the Open Weekend
at the Donkey Sanctuary,
Liscarroll, Co. Cork
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
For more information on
St Paul’s School for Girls,
please see school website
New ВЈ6million
pound classrooms
Friendships are encouraged and
every assistance is given in helping the girls to be of real service in
family life, the local community, the
Church and society generally, and
to be gracious and open in receiving
support in return.
St Paul’s firmly believes in the importance of education outside the
classroom and there are a large
number of trips planned for 2014-15,
including a ski trip, a visit to the Belgian Battlefields and planned visits
to Lourdes and Knock Shrine in
2015. In fact last month there were
over 70 girls who travelled to New
York for a five-day visit.
If you are a lover of sport and winning trophies then St Paul’s is the
place to be! These are some of the
trophies they carried back to SPG in
Y7 Aston Schools Netball Champions.
An overview of the only catholic
girls school in Birmingham
care and spiritual and moral guidance of the girls. Hence, St Paul’s is
not merely regarded as a school by
our pupils but as a family of faith
and happiness in which to achieve
academic and personal excellence.
The front entrance of St
Paul’s School For Girls
Having achieved the best GCSE results in 16 years with 89% 5 A*- C
and 81% 5 A*- C including English
and Maths on first entry, award
winning St Paul’s School for Girls,
Edgbaston are also proud to report
100% A/AS level pass rate with 91%
achieving one or more A*/A Level
and 21 girls achieving all A*/A.
Girls make excellent progress at St
Paul’s and enjoy their education.
The school is immensely proud of
its girls and celebrates their personal
successes, as well as their academic
attainment in the many fields in
which they have excelled. St Paul’s is
a unique school. It was founded in
1908 by the Sisters of Charity of St
Paul the Apostle and 106 years later
still retains the same sense of community and excellence built on faith
and tradition.
Our conscientious, determined and
hardworking staff are still highly
committed to the words of Mother
Genevieve Dupuis: �Do your very
best for the children.’
In their vocation as teachers they
do their very best for the children,
fostering high standards of teaching and learning, nurturing pastoral
St Paul’s girls are encouraged to develop a sense of service to each other
and the community, participating in
a range of community and fund raising ventures. As well as supporting
this year’s chosen charity - National
Autistic Society, girls also support
and help organise many fundraising activities, including the OAPs
Christmas Party, Cafod World Day,
and supporting Cancer Awareness
by dressing down and wearing pink
with all donations going to the designated charity.
Every step of the way, girls are encouraged to take responsibility for
themselves and others. The Guardian Angel position in the school is
of great importance. These are girls,
who are a positive role model to all
members of the school community,
especially new Y7 girls, who have
made a big transition from primary
to secondary School.
Girls from Year 10 have been selected to become �Guardian Angels’ and
they wear an Angel pin badge on
their jumper so they can be identified easily. Each Guardian Angel is
linked to a tutor group in Year 7, 8 &
9 and supports the students by visiting their form rooms at break/lunch
to advise them with friendship issues, academic issues and anything
else that they might need help with.
The diversity and richness of contribution from all members of the
school community in promoting
and upholding all-round high standards are highly valued. Great emphasis is placed on graceful growth
in self-discipline and the right use
of freedom. Each girl is expected to
treat others with a spirit of respect,
and care.
Y8, 9 & 11 Birmingham Schools Basketball Champions
Y7, 8, 9 & 10 Aston Schools Athletics
Y7 Birmingham schools Athletics
Birmingham Catholic Partnership
Sports and Basketball Champions.
As the only all girls’ Catholic school
in Birmingham, St Paul’s offer a distinctive educational experience for
Catholic girls. Pupils travel from
every part of the city and many also
travel from Worcestershire, Solihull, Dudley and Sandwell, such is
the demand for what the school has
to offer.
St Paul’s is going from strength to
strength, with the help of dedicated
staff and under the headship of Dr.
Dawn Casserly, a past pupil herself
who has lived and breathed all that
is St Paul’s and embodies the very
essence of respect, spiritual and
moral guidance towards all the girls
in her care. It is assured then that
St Paul’s will continue the tradition
that started over 106 years ago. It is
in very safe hands.
Sports day, in our own sports field
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201427
To heel or not to heel?
No longer a question for smaller feet
Walking tall: despite wearing a size 2 shoe, Angela Brennan can
now find heels that fit and wear them elegantly at any occasion Image by Loretta Askill-
been a bug-bear passed down the generations from his shoe-making grandAn elderly couple sitting on the bench father.
giggled as I teetered past them. It had Martin, who used to teach people to
been the third wedding I’d attended in
a matter of months, but I’d far from walk with artificial limbs, said: “In the
mastered walking in my oversized, first instance it’s important to wear
shoes which fit properly and offer suppadded heels.
port. Ideally, you want to hold the foot
At a size two, I struggled to find a pair in the shoe, such as with a strap.”
of shoes to fit me or the occasion. I
walked the high streets (in my train- I thought the need to wear shoes
ers) and in one shop alone I tried on which fitted would put an end to our
ten pairs. But nothing. I tried order- challenge, based on previous experiing off the Internet then had to return ence.
the beautiful, but loose-fitting heels
But Martin put me in touch with Tom
which were delivered.
Reader, who has set up Pretty Small
In the end, I settled for a pair of plain Shoes to offer fashionable footwear
black sling backs, with both toe and starting from size 13.
heel stoppers. Their simple style suitTom’s partner, Jiyeon Yeom, 41, has
ed each outfit I wore.
only a size 2 shoeВ and knows firstWhereas I may have looked the part, hand the difficulties of buying stylish
I certainly didn’t walk it. My gait was small shoes. She has been the inspiration behind the business.
not that dissimilar to John Wayne.
By Angela Brennan
And on my own wedding day I was Tom said: “The shoes sizes in the gennot so much walked up the aisle, as eral population have been getting
larger over the last 30 to 40 years.
supported along the way.
Despite hovering around the 5ft mark,
I had resigned myself to a life in flat
shoes, with heels only making a very
brief outing only at weddings – before
changing into comfy shoes as soon as
“The percentage of women with small
size feet, which are below size three, is
therefore now very low and at around
just two to three per cent of adults.
“Mainstream manufacturers do not
find it economically viable to make
But then I met clinical orthotist Mar- shoes in those sizes and those who
do still use styles which have hardly
tin Bell who said help was at hand.
changed since the 1990s.
He has worked with Olympians and
Paralympians to help overcome recur- “We worked to build a range of styles
ring injuries and improve their perfor- that were contemporary and found
mance. And he also trains women in instant success due to demand and
the almost athletic art of walking in the desire to wear fashionable, wellfitting shoes.”
Based on Martin’s recommendations,
I chose a range of styles, including
those with straps, platforms and general support. One pair, called �super
high,’ even had a whopping five and a
It turned out that watching women half inch heel. I’d previously struggled
hobble because of their footwear had with just over one inch.
He has introduced a �Perfectly Poised’
class to improve posture and help prevent permanent damage caused by
wearing heels.
Martin, of Clifton, Bristol, filmed me This time I was spurred on by vanwalking in the heels and used the ity and the desire to wear such pretty
shoes, which to my mind not only
footage to analyse my gait.
gave me the appearance of being tallOnly at the end of our sessions did er, but also slimmer.
Martin show me it. I’d been deluded One of Martin’s �workouts’ included
when I compared myself to John the �dog poo shuffle,’ which involved
Wayne – he had style.
rubbing my foot on the floor with
force as if cleaning mess off it.
I had clumped across the room with a
wide-legged walk, nearly falling over a My bemused husband also looked on
as I walked past him on my tiptoes –
couple of times.
But Martin worked with me to im- I slowly developed the �tightrope walk’
prove my posture, balance and grace. and moved more elegantly as a result.
Each session was surprisingly hard
work, leaving me red-faced and wore Following my final session, Martin
played the before and after video
and I was amazed by the difference. I
Martin also gave me exercises to do at walked much more gracefully and alhome to strengthen my leg and bot- most looked comfortable in heels.
tom muscles.
I tried out my �catwalk’ for friends and
family, who were shocked by the difHe said: “The art of walking in heels ference. My mum kept saying I looked
relies on effective use of the buttock slender; I didn’t ask how I looked
muscles. It’s similar to the way ath- without the heels.
letes will improve muscle control to
Martin said: “At the end of the sesenhance their performance.”
sions women are thrilled by the drachange to the way they walk.
I’d been given exercises by a physio- matic
They feel much more confident and
therapist in the past to treat runner’s balanced.”
knee. Back then I preferred to cut
short my running days rather than
carry them out.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Hello, my name is Rosie; I am an advice and information worker at the Irish in
Birmingham Centre at St Anne’s in Birmingham. My background includes Citizens
Advice Bureau, NHS Direct and housing support work and debt advice. My current
employers, IWIC provide support and advice on a wide range of issues including
welfare benefits, Irish pensions, homecare, housing, debt, alcohol and drug misuse,
consumer problems, returning to Ireland etc. What I don’t know, I will research on
your behalf and I will do my best to keep you informed and empowered.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, please write to
Rosie, c/o The Harp News, 17 Glenavon Road, Birmingham, B14 5DD or
email: [email protected] - I am looking forward to hearing from you.
dear rosie
Is it true that that people getting benefits will now get a
home visit to check their claim
is correct?
Pauline, Tysley
Do you have any questions or issues that
require answers or advice?
It is said that a problem shared is a problem halved and I aim to help with some valuable advice and information. Your confidentiality is respected and all material will be
presented in a way that does not compromise your privacy.
Dear Pauline,
Jobseeker’s Allowance
Measurement review officer by:
time isn’t convenient for you
You may get a home visit from
a Department for Work and
Pensions (DWP) officer to
check that your benefit payments are correct if you get:
Pension Credit.
asking to see their photo identity
card, and
you can insist on having the interview at a DWP office instead
of in your home.
Employment and Support
Housing Benefit
Income support
The DWP calls this visit a �Performance Measurement review’.
Your name is selected at random
to be visited, but only a tiny proportion of claimants are visited.
You don’t usually get a letter or
phone call in advance to warn
you about the visit.
The DWP says that, if you get
one of these visits, you can check
the identity of the Performance
calling the DWP Business Support Team on 0191 216 8050 and
giving the officer’s name.
However, it may also help you to
know that:
you don’t have to let them in
you can ask for the visit to be rearranged with prior notice if the
West Heath
Dear Robert,
From 1 October, you won’t have to
display your paper tax disc on your
You can remove your disc even if
you’ve got some time still left on it to
run. You’ll still need to ensure your
vehicle is taxed, but you don’t have to
display the disc and you won’t get a
new one when you renew your road
From 1 October, road tax won’t trans-
New technology, such as number
plates recognition, now allows the
authorities to check whether a vehicle is taxed without the disc having
to be displayed.
1 October and you notify DVLA, the
Dear Ray,
From 1 October, changes to the
intestacy rules will mean spouses
(married and civil partners will re-
ceive more if their partner dies without a will. The rules changes won’t
affect people who die with less than
ВЈ250,000 in assets.
The main changes are:
If a spouse or civil partner dies intestate and there are no surviving
children, the remaining partner will
inherit the whole estate
If a spouse or civil partner dies intestate and there are surviving children,
the remaining partner will inherit
ВЈ250,000, all the personal property
Book your companies
advertising with us
To enquire phone Barbara at The Harp on:
07794 059888
a vehicle, you’ll need to ensure you
get it taxed before you use it.
Equally, when you sell a vehicle after
tax won’t be transferrable. You’ll automatically get a refund for any time
you’ve got left to run.
and half of the rest of the estate. The
children then get the remaining half
share on trust until they reach the
age of 18.
If your estate (home, savings, investments) is worth less than ВЈ2500,000,
and you die without making a will,
your spouse (married or civil partner)
will inherit everything. Any children
will have no right to anything from
the estate. Unmarried partners have
no legal right to to inherit if there is
no will.
dear rosie
My cousin has asked me to
join an investment scheme.
If I give her ВЈ1000, and
then recruit five people to
do the same, I get ВЈ5000
back from my investment.
I have been told that this
is Pyramid selling, and is
fer to the new owners. When you buy
dear rosie
My wife refuses to make
a will. How this affect
me if she passes away
before me.
You can read more about what
to expect at a home visit on the
GOV.UK website at
dear rosie
What is happening to
the way we display our
tax discs on our cars?
Doing so won’t affect your benefits, although refusing to take
part in an interview at all may
leave you open to a fraud investigation.
Dear Mary,
This is most definitely Pyramid selling,
and should be avoided at all costs. Pyramid selling is when you’re invited to join a
scheme, for a fee and promised financial
rewards purely for introducing new members. You are not asked to sell a product or
a service. New members also pay money
to the organisers when they join. . The
theory is that as more and more people
join, existing members move up towards
the top of the pyramid, and you’re promised a payout when you reach the top. The
scheme is often aimed at women as an op-
portunity to work from home. In keeping
with this, the person at the payout position is sometimes called the �bride’, and
those below �bridesmaids’. The collapse of
the Pyramid is inevitable.
When this happens, the people at the bottom always lose money, and the people
at the top disappear to the Costa Brava.
Organising or promoting such a scheme
is illegal and you could go to prison for it.
Do not join this scheme.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201429
by Sheila Fitzgerald
Lisa Stanely
Gifted singer and co-presenter of the
Phil Mack International Country Show
For lovers of Country Music, one of the
most recognisable faces on TV at the moment has to be that of the lovely Lisa Stanley who co-presents the hugely popular
Phil Mack Show International Country
ShowВ on Sky Channel 192 and Free Sat
Channel 403.
In addition, Lisa is kept constantly busy
performing with her own band and also
touring with Nathan Carter in Ireland and
the UK. Lisa’s success is undoubtedly due
to a number of factors - her professionalism, and her friendly unaffected personality which comes across so well onscreen.
Although Lisa now lives in Wolverhampton, she was born in Sligo Town and many
readers will be familiar with the names of
her famous parents - Maisie McDaniel and
Fintan Stanley. Maisie was one of the first
female superstars of the Irish entertainment industry who at the pinnacle of her
career hosted a regular show on Irish TV
and had a string of hit records. Lisa has
certainly inherited her parents musical
talent and her gifted vocal delivery on her
many Albums and Singles are a testament
to this.
whittled down, Lisa was thrilled to find
herself one of the final eight who got to
perform live on RTE with her own song,
“On the back of that exposure, I did several festivals in Europe, it was more pop
orientated at the time, but ultimately I decided to go down the country music route,
after all I knew that best from my Mom”.
A few years later, promoter Willie Carthy
approached Lisa about putting a Band on
the road, and she subsequently became
lead vocalist with the Fender Band - many
readers will recall the name of Maisie’s
Band was the Fendermen.
A devastating blow occurred in Lisa’s life
in 2008 when her beloved Mum passed
away unexpectedly. The following year,
she decided to record a tribute Album of
Maisie’s Songs, and was joined in the recording studio by several legends of the
Irish Music industry such as Philomena
Begley, Sandy Kelly, and her Dad Fintan
The album was very well received and Lisa
was contacted by Phil Mack who is based
in London. Phil was interested in adding
�I got into music quite late really,’ Lisa re- Lisa’s album to his substantial collection of
marked, �although I always knew I wanted Irish artists featured on his website.
to get involved, I was 19 before I started
with a local Band in Sligo called the Tree- Following a meeting with Phil and his wife
tops, their singer left and so I joined up to during a visit to their Irish base in Ballina,
Phil invited Lisa to co-host a new TV Show
take her place.’
that he was planning to air.
The Band gigged mainly around the North
West catering for the busy wedding and “I said I’d definitely like to have a go,” Lisa
said, “And it’s been four and a half years
corporate markets.
now and still going strong. After a while,
Lisa spent six great years with the Tree- we branched out into doing the live Shows
tops, all the while building her knowledge during the Weekends, and next year we’re
and honing her unique singing style.
heading to Nashville and a Cruise is also
on the cards”.
Meanwhile, the creative well had sprung,
and she began writing her own songs, one To say that this busy lady has several
of which she submitted to the National strings to her bow is an understatement Song Contest in 2000. As the entries were along with co-presenting one of the most
On the back of that exposure, I did
several festivals in Europe, it was
more pop orientated at the time
Sligo’s Lisa Stanely, gifted singer
and co-presenter of the Phil Mack
International Country Show
popular shows on TV, she also performs
with her own Band as well as joining Irelands musical prodigy Nathan Carter on
the Concert Stage during the past few
years on the UK and Irish Circuit.
“It was a great experience and I made a
load of new friends and acquired some
new fans,” she said.
As Lisa is based in Wolverhampton and
her talented band of musicians hail from
Birmingham, the Lisa Stanley Band is
ideally placed to play gigs the length and
breadth of the UK.
Readers and venue owners who would like
to host this truly unique singer with the
winning personality can call 01902 270227
or 075 90557063.
Information on Lisa’s music and career can
be found at
and the Website for the Phil Mack International Country ShowВ is:
I was 19
before I
with a
Band in
the Treetops
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Shane Lynch- The Drifter
like the Autosport Show where
fans can have a look at the skill of
drift racing which has its early origins in Japan. Drivers show their
skills by hanging the cars out in
the corners, intentionally oversteering and then countering that
but turning the other way using
opposite lock or counter steering.
By Julian Hamilton
Here’s the scenario. You’ve been
part of one of the most successful
Irish pop bands of all time. You’ve
sold 25 million records worldwide
won Brit Awards and performed
live in front of countless more on
a world stage. Add to that a smattering of appearances on some of
the best-loved reality TV shows
on UK TV and to top it off, Louis
Walsh on speed dial.
You’d forgive Shane Lynch, a north
Dublin native for wanting to put
his feet up and take it a little easy
after some busy years in the spotlight. Far from it. I had done my
research and heard on the grapevine that Lynch was drifting. A
bit of a sideways career move I
thought to myself, but pretty apt
paying homage to the American
R&B group from the 50’s and 60’s.
Talking to Shane earlier this year
at the Autosport Awards Show at
the NEC in Birmingham and everything became clearer. He spoke
of his involvement with the British Jap Speed Team, how fun drift
racing really is and how his career
actually began on two wheels.
Julian Hamilton with Shane Lynch at the
Autosport Awards Show
7’s. I was in the briefing with Allan
McNish, John Cleland and Alister
McRae, all guys at the top of their
game and I’m thinking what the
hell am I doing here!
“I started at the back of the grid,
the mechanics said leave it in second and go for it. I was doing a bit
of street drifting at the time so I
knew how to go sideways. I ended
up third in the race and as I got out
of the car I signed for Ford Motorsport!”
“As a kid I was always interested
in competing. BMX was the first
thing I really got into and I actually
won the Portuguese BMX championship when I was fourteen. It was
a bit difficult because Ireland never showed BMX on TV, I was just Shane then began a successful
happy to be doing my own thing. motorsport career in which he
raced Porsche GT’s in both the
“My dad was a mechanic and he al- UK and Germany. He also turned
ways raced stock cars when I was a out for Eclipse Motorsport where
kid so there was always a race car he raced TVR’s Mosler’s and Maron my drive that I wanted to play cos cars and came within a hairs
breath of winning the 2003 British
GT Championship in the last race
“In 1998 towards the end of my at Brands Hatch.
music career (after the success of
Boyzone), I did a celebrity race “We were actually ready to take
and we were driving Caterham home the championship,” Shane
recalls. “There was a big accident, with I think, Marcus Mantus down by the Dingle corner at
Brands Hatch. I stopped racing
for a while after that it shook me.
I took a break and then someone
said to me have you heard of this
drifting thing. I went down to
Silverstone to sit in with a dude
called Mark Johnson (who was
also won a programme called So
You Want to Be an F1 Driver.) “He
was the first drifter that I ever sat
alongside and it was raining, this
kid’s car control really blew my
mind. I said to myself now this is
what I want to do.”
The BDC British Drift Championship takes place across six rounds
at circuits such as Knockhill, Silverstone and Anglesey in Wales.
With the season now at its conclusion it is at demonstration events
“I’m really honoured to have been
asked back for our fifth appearance here with the Japspeed team.
I think events like this are really
important as they bring together
many different genres under one
roof. You also bump into some
of your rivals that you’ve raced
against over the years more often
than you would like.”
lion dollar question: Who is the
fastest Boyzone driver? “Oh ha,
well Keith’s been out in my car he
was good but Ronan and Mike also
love their cars. You see we don’t
have football teams so we are all
passionate about cars.”
Whilst not having any cast iron
motorsport idols, Shane is keen
to express admiration for two big
names that he admires. “Travis
Pastrana (supercross and motocross champion) was the first guy
to push extreme motorsport. He
was the first dude I looked at and
thought this guy is pushing it to
a whole new level. I’m not a massive F1 fan but I do follow Lewis
Hamilton, he’s got a good character and I like what he’s done. He’s
more than capable of winning the
championship this season, but
as we know there are more than
2000 bolts on a racing car ready to
go wrong.”
Shane comments on the parallels
between the two fast paced worlds
of music and motorsport. “They
are different worlds. “I mean when
it comes to adrenaline excitement
and dreams they are both certainly
on a par. When you come off stage In amongst the screeching tyres
after playing in front of 80,000 and smoke a fan recognises Shane
in the pit area where we are standpeople that high from that
ing and asks him if he would like
is quite a big thing to reto buy one of the cars that he
place. “Luckily I found a
is competing in. “Hey, driftthing that makes me tick
ers haven’t got any monin motorsport.”
ey!” Shane replies, “We
Then the
spend too much of it
milon tyres!”
At least he’s got
the day job to
fall back
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201431
Full of news, sport,
entertainment and your community
pictures every month
Chicken and
Vegetable Filo Pie
This delicious no-nonsense dish can be made for
any season. 45 minutes to prepare and cook.
Serves 4
1. Preheat oven to Gas 5, 190В°C, 375В°F.
2. Mix the chicken and vegetables together and
place into a shallow 1.2 litre (2 pint) dish.
3. Cut the filo pastry into squares approximately
15cm square (6”) and scrunch up into rosette
shapes, use to top the chicken mixture.
• 2 x 418g cans chicken in white sauce
• 340g can sweetcorn and peppers, drained
4. Brush with oil or butter and bake for 25 minutes
until golden and the filling is heated through.
• 270g packet frozen filo pastry, defrosted
5. Serve either hot or cold with canned new potatoes and a selection of salad leaves.
• 198g can red kidney beans, drained
Nutritional information
Calories: 603 | Protein: 45.9g | Carbohydrate: 68.8g | Fat: 18.3g | Saturated fat: 6.2g | Fibre: 5.4g
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
bookreviews by Pam Norfolk
Title: Les DawsonКјs
Joke Book
By: Compiled by Tracy
and Charlotte Dawson
Price: ВЈ7.99
Publisher: Michael
O’Mara Books
kling humour in a joke book lovingly compiled by his widow Tracy and the couple’s
20-year-old daughter Charlotte.
From his working class roots in the Collyhurst area of Manchester to an entertainer
beloved by millions, Les was a man for all
comedy seasons and this is the first book
to collect together the best of his standups and comic routines.
The jokes reproduced here represent the
highlights of his 26-year career across radio and television, from his early days on
Opportunity Knocks to his �Cissie and Ada’
drag double act with Preston-born comic
actor Roy Barraclough.
Every classic joke gets a re-telling from the
irreverent �take my mother-in-law’ gags to
cheeky limericks, sketches and his famous
�I said to the wife’ and �I wouldn’t say’ oneliners.
There are old favourites that can still make
us roar with laughter. �The mother-in-law
took the father-in-law to a psychiatrist.
She said, �There’s something wrong with
him, he never hears a word I say.’ The psychiatrist said, �That’s not an affliction – it’s
a bl**dy gift.’
And self-effacing gems like �When I was a
child I had wax in my ears. Dad didn’t take
me to the doctor, he used me as a night
He was a comic genius ... Les Dawson, the
knave who stole our hearts and became
the king of jokers in a prize pack of Lancashire comedians.
It might over 21 years since he died but
funny man Les lives on in our memories
and now we can laugh again at his spar-
Writing, reveals Tracy in her introduction,
was one of the great joys of Les’s life. �He
would spend hours in his study composing new gags, honing old ones and putting
together new material for all his shows,’
she says.
In fact, Les, who lived with Tracy in St
Annes in the years before his death aged
Travelling from Camp Bastion to West Wittering via a sunlit Greek island, Matthew’s
compendium embraces comedy, tragedy, personalities and egos great and small.
62 in 1993, once made her promise to
make sure that people knew he was a
writer as well as a comedian. A lover of
language, he was a secret poet and was
fond of high culture, often undercutting
his own admiration of the art forms for
comic effect.
Meet Hieronymus, the television-addicted
pug with ambitions to be a sheepdog, enjoy
exuberant, rear-fixated puppies and Hollywood fashion accessory pets, mingle with
world-weary but dignified strays, neglected
latch-key dogs, war heroes and fall for a psychotic Great Dane called Cher BГ©bГ© and a
spaniel of distinguished theatrical lineage
suffering from Uggie-envy.
And the evidence is here for all to see
...exclusive hand-written extracts from
his personal journals which provide a
touching insight into the hard work,
dedication and passion that went into
his performances.
Full of warmth, fun and laughter, just
like the man himself, this book is a musthave for any fan of Les Dawson and the
perfect gift for joke lovers young and old.
Title: Dog Treats
By: Christopher Matthew
Price: ВЈ12.99
Publisher: Little,
Christopher Matthew, the comic genius
behind the Now We Are Sixty and The Man
Who Dropped the Le Creuset on His Toe,
knows all about the bond between a man
and his dog.
A lifelong dog devotee and one-time owner
of an adorable Kerry Blue terrier which a
friend believed was �really a human being
wearing a dog outfit,’ he has been performing a labour of love to bring us this warm
Ask any dog lover and they’ll tell you that and wonderful collection of pooch poems.
their adored pet is poetry in motion…
From Ozymandias, the Steve McQueen of
So what better way to express your affec- Springer spaniels whose acrobatic sex life
tion for man’s best friend than a book of rivals Errol Flynn’s to terrier Ted whose
Falstaffian appetites and over-indulgence
fun, funny, versatile verse that celebrates
following the loyal toast lead to a shameful
a very special relationship and the char- bender followed by a spell in rehab, dogs
ismatic canine world in all its rich and come in many guises… and not all of them
life-affirming diversity?
And then of course, there is man, with his
cowardice, his commitment issues, his short
attention span and his propensity for very
silly names... because the really big question
Matthew asks in this outlandish outing with
dogs, dupes and divas is not so much who is
the master in this time-honoured animal-human relationship, as who is the mutt.
Tony Ross provides the brilliantly expressive
and quirky illustrations for Matthew’s acutely
-observed, wickedly funny verses which paint
memorable word portraits of thirty-six assorted denizens of the canine community,
and take a sardonic sideways glance at some
of their owners.
Dog Treats is a real doggie delight, a gloriously affectionate and entertaining tribute
to a friendship that has had a special place in
men’s hearts since the dawn of time. As Josh
Billings, pen name of 19th-century American
humourist Henry Wheeler Shaw, observed: �A
dog is the only thing on earth that loves you
more than he loves himself.’
atthemovies by Siobhan Lynch
Title: Penguins of Madagascar
Running time: TBA
Director: Eric Darnell,
Simon J. Smith
Cast: Tom McGrath,
Chris Miller, Christopher
Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch
Rating: PG
Title: Foxcatcher
Running time: 134 mins
Director: Bennett Miller
Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo
Rating: TBC
This CGI animation is a spin-off from
the Madagascar movies and as the title
suggests, follows four penguins: Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, and Private.
They are called to the service of North
Wind, an undercover task force that
help animals that can’t help themselves
and prevent Dr. Octavius Brine from
taking over the world.
Although an animation movie that will
most certainly entertain younger viewers and fans of the Madagascar movies,
this will be a treat for all audiences who
looking for a feel-good light hearted
watch, with some funny one-liners to
suit the hardest of critics.
The Foxcatcher is a psychological
drama based on the true story of
Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum),
who finds a way out of the shadows
of his wrestling brother Dave (Mark
From a life of poverty Schultz is thrust
into a whole new world when summoned by eccentric multi-millionaire
John du Pont to move onto his estate
and train for the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Life for Mark spirals out of control
under his new coach, who is a paranoid schizophrenic and with both of
them desperate for glory, it all ends in
A compelling watch that hits hard,
especially as viewers know the plot
was once a reality and leaves audiences questioning, exactly how far will
someone go to satisfy their needs?
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201433
Naughton/Cleary Wedding
August 2014
Maria Cleary married Patrick Naughton
in St Patrick’s Church in Ballyhaunis Co.
Mayo on 7th August.
The Bride’s parents, Tom and Anne, hail
from Ballyhaunis, Mayo and Williamstown,
Galway and Maria, a schoolteacher at St
Brigids in Northfield, married Patrick in
her father’s Parish Church.
Maria with her wi
th bridesmaids
Rachel O’Connor
and Jean McCa
The Groom who is the owner of Cleary’
Bar in Digbeth, hails from the Gaeltacht
Connemara, Co. Galway and the ceremony
was partly said in Gaeltacht to be in keeping with his first language.
The happy couple were married by Cannon
Sean Grady,
PP of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Birmingham with fellow celebrants who were
the Groom’s childhood teacher Fr Joe Feeney, and Fr Keane from Connemara Co.
Canon Sean Grady also presented a Papal
blessing to the Bride’s parents Tom and
Anne Cleary, who were celebrating forty
years of marriage and Tom’s 65th birthday.
Patrick and Maria were supported by
Bestman Paul Naughton, Groomsman
Peter Naughton and Bridesmaids Rachel
O’Connor and Jean McCarthy on their special day.
e Bride,
Father of th ing
Mother and
nne Cle
Tom and A
to celebrate
their papal
f marriage
40 years o
The be
her pare utiful Bride M
aria Cle
nts Tom
ary with
and An
ne and
n and T
er friends
ria and h
Bride Ma
The Bri
nephew es niece and
ClearyВ f mma and Jam
with co m Birmingha
usins fr
om Kild
and So
rcha Gre ,
k and friends
The Groom: Patric
other M
an and
nd his b
and A
Suzanna ul Naughton
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
By Ian Reid
Well the nights are drawing in, the
central heating is well and truly on
and the last remnants of a suntan
have faded to nothing.В Autumn is
here with vengeance.В But the crisp
night air and the russet, red, gold and
amber trees never fail to make me feel
uplifted.В So why not take yourself to a
warm, cosy pub and let yourself be entertained by some of the amazing talent there is to be found in and around
the Midlands?
I’ve got to say I am really looking forward to Birmingham Tradfest (27th 30th November) this year. The venues
include: Irish Centre Birmingham,
Molloy’s Ceol Castle, The OoBleck
(Custard Factory), Old Crown & The
Bulls Head.В There is a plethora of
outstanding musicians performing
including: Frankie Gavin & DeDannan and the Brian Finnegan Trio to
name but a few but I am relishing the
thought of seeing The Long Acre reunion set featuring Kevin Crawford,
Mick Conneely, Joe Molloy (the previous owner of my tenor banjo), Brendan Boyle, Bernadette Davis and Ivan
Miletitch.В Plus there is also the added
bonus of being thoroughly regaled by
our very own local lads Lampa.
I was recently browsing Facebook
when I came across a black-and-white
photograph of Birmingham’s favourite – Drowsy Maggie. The photo was
taken in 1974 in Cannon Hill Park (I
think for a poster or an album cover)
Teds talk
and the hair-length and dress sense
were – well – befitting of the era!
On closer inspection I noticed that
one of the band members was only
partially in the picture – the rest
of him had been �cropped’ out. It
didn’t take me long to realise that it
was Clive Powers – the bass player. �Typical,’ I thought. As a bass player
myself I know it’s very easy for us to
be ignored as we rarely take the lime-
If you want to find out more about the band to make a booking, or if you’re just a bit nosey then
you can contact us in a few ways: You can keep up to date with our entire goings-on if you check out
our website: or make friends with us on facebook. You can get in touch
with us by phoning/texting 07931504405 or e-mailing [email protected] and you can
even follow us on twitter (@thefatherteds)
light but, just like a house with no
foundations, you would miss us if we
weren’t there!
I was having a chat with Clive a few
weeks ago at a charity event at The
Bell pub in Harborne.В The day had
been organised by Pete Bispham (also
of Drowsy Maggie) and a lot of money
was raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.В We found out we had more in
common than �just’ playing the bass
and taking a backseat – we also happened to mix the sound and ferry the
PA system to and from gigs.В I wonder
if that’s the case for any other bass
players; I would love to find out.
Hopefully we’ll get to see you at some
of our forthcoming gigs.В We are playing a new venue on Friday October
31st – St Patrick’s club in Leamington
Spa. I’m sure it will be a great night
and we are looking forward to making
some new friends.В You can also see
us at The Irish Centre in Birmingham
in the Connaught Bar on Saturday 1st
November, Saturday 13th December
and also on New Year’s Eve – which is
always a great night.В Come along and
have the craic why don’t you?  See you soon
Gerry Carney Releases �I Can See
The Future In Your Eyes’ CoWritten with Margo & Joe McShane
whole generation of Irish diaspora,
and the experiences and hardships they faced. The song proved
successful in Irish communities
throughout the world.
Mayo based troubadour Gerry Carney has just released his long awaited single �I Can See The Future In
Your Eyes’, co-written with Irish
legend Margo O Donnell and Chicago based singer-songwriter Joe
Gerry, who comes from Co. Mayo,
Ireland, wrote �I Can See The Future In Your Eyes’ in tribute to
his late brother Paul Carney, who
passed away in August 2014. Gerry
recalls coming up with the concept
for the song during the final days
of his brother’s life but at the time
was not in a position to write the
song, so sent the idea to Joe McShane and Margo, who he had previously met and written with whilst
on tour in Chicago. After several
email exchanges, the song was finally born and Gerry recorded the
song recently at the Croft Studios,
Athenry, Co.Galway.
Gerry, who is now established as
one of Irelands finest singer-songwriters, after releasing his debut album �The Flame’ in 1995. He would
go onto perform on RTE, joined
by Irish Eurovision representative Niamh Kavanagh, and share
the stage with artists as diverse as
Alison Krauss, Van Morrison and
Brian Kennedy. He subsequently
found success as a songwriter, dealing with the theme of emigration,
after writing �Cottage By The Sea’
which was covered by a plethora of
Gerry’s biggest success to date
would come over a decade later,
again dealing with the theme of
emigration, when he recorded
�Paddy’. The song was a tribute to
Gerry’s late uncle PJ Kelly, but in a
wider sense it became a voice for a
Gerry hopes that the new song, �I
Can See The Future In Your Eyes’
will be embraced by his already
faithful fans, but also introduce
his music to new audiences who
can relate to the universal themes
of life, love and loss. He intends
to take the song, and his brother’s
memory, around the world during
his tour dates in the year to come,
where he will take in cities including New York, Chicago, Florida,
New Jersey, Leeds, London, Birmingham, as well as many dates
around Ireland.
 Gerry said: “This song is an attempt to describe the unspoken
message in the eyes of a loved one
soon to depart to his eternal life.”
�I Can See The Future In Your Eyes’
is released exclusively through
Long Road Music, and will be available to purchase through
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201435
musicreviews by Charles Patrick
For further information on these artists call 07896 575307
Artist: Lisa McHugh
Title: A Life That’s Good
Artist website:
Finnian McGurk
Collective Works
Artist website:
Finnian was born in Hong Kong to
an Irish father and a Scottish mother. He has been in the music business
for almost twenty-five years and has
one the most distinctive voices on
the folk/rock or Celtic rock scene. To
add to his unique character he lives
on a boat.
This pack contains three of his previous cds.
I first heard him playing with his
band at the time in 1997 and was instantly drawn to his voice. In fact, I
credit him for kindling my interest
smooth singer? But no, we were in
Celtic rock music.
for a rude awakening- it was a Celtic
Apart from being a very talented rock band going by the name of Pigsinger, his is a multi-instrumentalist swill led by the charismatic Mr Mcand plays guitar, fiddle, banjo, man- Gurk.
dolin and whistle. However it is his
gift of being able to interact with an He soon had the crowd on the dance
audience, using his wonderful sense floor and those who were still seated
of humour that makes him such a were clapping hands and tapping
feet. What I didn’t realise until regreat entertainer.
cently was that on that afternoon
The occasion was the grand opening before the ceremony took place,
of the Isle of Arran Distillery Visitors Finnian and the band had performed
Centre on Lochranza. Her Majesty a more informal set for the dignitarThe Queen performed the ceremony ies including the Queen, who I am
after sailing up the Clyde in the royal assured enjoyed herself. If that is not
yacht Britannia, as you can imagine a claim to fame then what is?
there were many dignitaries there;
gentlemen in their tails and some The most recent CD in the pack
even in kilts and ladies in their cock- Contemporary Antiques, is described by him as �a Napoleonic
tail dresses and ball gowns.
set of tunes’ given a contemporary
After the opening ceremony, fol- treatment. There are songs such as
lowed by a wonderful four- course Santiano, which is given a wondermeal, we all went to a marquee in the ful calypso type feel. He does a great
grounds for the evening’s entertain- version of Raggle-Taggle Gypsy and a
ment. On this very grand occasion haunting version of Spanish Ladies.
my thoughts turned to wondering Maddie Groves and Bonnie Ship The
what the entertainment would be… Diamond are also stand out tracks
a jazz band? A swing band? Some for me.
There are eleven tracks in total but
some of them, I found, dragged on.
It is definitely an acquired taste and
probably some second or third listens are needed to get into the mood.
Collective Works volume 1&2 contain some of his most popular tunes.
Volume 1: This CD contains some excellent tracks such as, Every Mirror,
Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road and
a great version of Gallipoli. There
is also: Dark Of The Sun, an earlier
version of Raggle Taggle Gypsy and
True Love Knows No Season among
its ten tracks.
Volume 2 also has ten tracks including my favourite, Montreal, and a super version of Ride On. Other good
tracks include the Hills Of Donegal,
Van Diemen’s Land, Time Fly’s and
The CDs can be bought as a pack
or individually. For more information or to purchase: visit www., where you can
also view videos and listen to some
of the tracks.
This is the third album form the
Glasgow girl who has become the darling of the Irish and country dance
scene. She has also moved to Enniskillen in Northern Ireland to be closer
to the heart of the her chosen music
The CD has fifteen great country
tracks plus a bonus track- most of
them are very catchy up-tempo sings
and will go down well with the county
and dance fraternity.
She has a wonderful voice which is well
suited to the songs on offer and she has
some very talented backing musicians,
thus making this a very enjoyable listening experience.
Number3. Is Ireland- which is one of
my favourites; a very catchy up-tempo
Track 4 is an excellent version of Home
to Donegal and track five is the Shania
Twane song - Any Man Of Mine.
Track 6 is Feels Like Love and 7: My
House are both catchy mid-tempo
Track 8 Left To Love is a nice ballad. 9
is Hey I’m A Woman and track 10- Stay
Say Stay are both lively numbers.
Track 11 is a Taylor Swift song- A life
That’s Good, and 12: What You Get Is
What you See- is a great dance number.
13: Night Train To Memphis has a honky-tonk feel to it. Track 14- All Of Me is
Apart from singing, she has also writ- a romantic ballad and 15 Hillbilly girl is
ten two of the tracks- Left To Love and another favourite of mine. The bonus
Hey I’m A Woman, which she co-wrote track is the Willy Nelson song On The
Road Again.
with Limerick man, Don Meskall.
I am sure this CD will do well for Lisa
Track 1; is a Dolly Parton Song- Apple and help establish her place as one of
Jack. Track 2: She’s In Love With The the most popular ladies on the Irish
country scene.
very popular duo that receive a The DVD is ideal for country muwarm reception from audiences sic lovers, with good songs well
Artist: Ally Harran and Marian Curry
wherever they play.
performed and some lovely scenTitle: DVD: Most Requested
ery. My only slight misgiving, if
Artist website:
As the title of this DVD suggests
I had to nitpick is that much as
it contains fourteen of their most
I like Ally’s voice, I would have
popular songs and is filmed in
Ally grew up listening to the with his stage partner Marian and some lovely local locations. There liked to hear a few more songs
greats of American Country mu- together, so far they have record- are four duets including Solid from Marian.
sic such as, Merle Hagard, Hank ed two CDs.
As A Rock, An Old Love Turned
They are going to be appearing at
Memory and We Must Have Been
Williams and Buck Owens. From
a few local venues in the near fuan early age he knew he wanted Her background was a bit dif- Out Of Our Minds.
ture, if you get a chance go along
to be a country singer like his he- ferent to Ally’s, she was part of a
and enjoy some good entertainMarian
roes. With his rich country voice family with a traditional music
Evand an ability to yodel, he was a background and she graduated
ery Time I Leave Ireland and Love
natural talent and soon he had
7th Nov. - College Arms , Hall
Is All Over Me.
also learned to play lead guitar. bands. Her solo career took off
He went on then be a member when she had some success with Ally sings seven numbers includof some reasonably successful the Dobie Gray song Drift Away. ing; The One I Am Holding Now, 15th Nov.Notts Club,
showbands until he eventually This led to her performing more Love Sick Blues (where Ally shows Leicester(Cancer charity night )
decided on a career as a solo per- country material and then some his yodeling skills) I Bet You My
former. He released a couple of Irish songs. She then met up with Heart, Walking In The Sun and 5th Dec. - St. Thomas Club, Erdsolo albums before meeting up Ally and together they formed a Winter Winds.
ington, B’ham
reader’s letters
outstanding, its a long time
since I enjoyed lunch as much,
we both opted for a dish of Beef
Stew and Potato Pancake, I must
say this was something I have
never tried before, it was the
tastiest meal I can remember
Dear Editor.
My family always read your
newspaper on line each month
and I thought I would let you
know about a recent visit to
Birmingham my husband and I
My only regret is that Cleary’s
pub is not in Dublin, we would
beВ regular visitors, again thank
you Birmingham for a great visit,
we will not leave it so long again
before we are back, and of course
for more of your great food
It’s many years since we visited
and how things have changed,
the places but not the people!
People around the city are just
as warm and welcoming as we
remembered from our last visit.
We decided to take a nostalgic
walk round Digbeth, this being
an area we remembered from
our days of coming to the St.
Patrick’s Day celebrations years
B. Kelly.
Via email.В Feeling a bit peckish, we stopped
someone and asked where we
could get something to eat, we
was pointed in the direction of
an Irish pub called Cleary’s, how
glad am I that we was.
The welcome and the food was
Dear Editor,
I would be grateful if you could
please let your readers know
about two exciting craft sessions
coming up in November/December at Kenrick Park Community Centre, Glover Street,
Provided by Jim Stokes
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
Just for fun!
West Bromwich B70 6D, our new
You can have a go at making
your own Christmas cards with
greetings in Irish or, if you feel
even more creative, why not
make a unique bracelet or pendant using beads and wire?
The fun sessions will be led by
experienced, friendly people
and will include refreshments
and plenty of craic. You are
guaranteed to leave with either
a lovely card or a beautiful piece
of jewellery hand made by YOU
in a couple of hours, something
that you can be really proud of!
And, if you don’t wish to be creative, why not join us anyway for
refreshments and some fun and
laughter among friends?
Please ring me on 0121 553 4402
or email [email protected] for more details – I
look forward to hearing from
Siobhan Gorman,
Manager - Sandwell Irish Society
1. Heard dog turned up in historic Louth town on the Boyne where Cromwell massacred over 2000 in 1649. (8)
5. Led back to the French wine in Westmeath village with a ruined castle of the
Nugents. (6)
9. Ever retreating but O.K. inside to cancel permission to return through Beleek
overnight. (6)
10. Seen to increase in size in Lough Derg rowing boat. (4)
11. Neil comes back with a legal right to the property. (4)
12. “Always be first into a wood, but last into a ---.” Irish Proverb
13. Piping god joins the Spanish list of names to make a selection from. (5)
14. Loire meanders, as seen from the upper story window in Liscannor, I elicit. (5)
15. E.g. old Brown returns to give a sly push with the elbow. (5)
17. Still yearning after losing a ring. (3)
18. Nips back to go around the centre. (4)
20. Dress fabric has stain over. (5)
22. Ugly ould wan seen in Drumsha garden. (3)
23. Cuts down the crop to spare confusion. (5)
25. Record the scene on the way back through Drumliffin. (4)
26. Hand over the money to see puppy make a noise on the way back. (3)
29. Keels over in a smooth way. (5)
32. State in a state in a sense! (5)
33. “The ugly are often ----- and the handsome unfortunate.” Irish Proverb. (5)
34. Get a wee drop in Belfast otherwise. (3)
35. The number of acres in Kilrea real estate. (4)
36. Find the religious leader going through Leitrim amiably. (4)
37. Rang with apparent ease in order to raise the dander. (6)
39. The “Floozey in the Jacuzzi” in O’Connell Street is dedicated to the spirit of
this Dublin flower! (6)
40. Long ache to come up to Kerry village on an inlet of Brandon Bay under Mount
Brandon. (8)
The Midlands
Quiz with the
Irish Spin!
1) Peaky Blinder Tommy Shelby is a Brummie, but where was the actor
Cillian Murphy born?
2) Which two teams competed in the 2014 All Ireland Football Final?
3) In which Irish county is the Giant’s Causeway?
4) Waterford born Allen Hogan runs a
Warwickshire business brewing what
much-loved alcoholic drink?
5) Which Irish band have had hits with The
Man Who Can’t Be Moved and Superheroes?
1. Cork
2. Donegal and Kerry
3. Antrim
4. Cider
5. The Script
Word Search
This month’s word search celebrates the new series of Peaky Blinders on television. Can you find the 14
hidden words associated with the Birmingham based television series? Remember that the words can be
vertical, horizontal or diagonal and run in any direction. As usual ...good luck with your search everyone.
Quiz and Word search by Pete Millington
Editor of the Spaghetti Gazetti website. For more trivia and local news on
heritage and culture visit my website at:
1. No score, Bud; come back to the town of the hurdle ford. (6)
2. Give cause for feeling hurt, that’s just not on, finally. (6)
3. Possessive female in Drumlish error. (3)
4. H id seven lads in obscurity on spot in Lough Erne with fine
ecclesiastical remains. (8,6)
6. Via external surroundings I grin up at small Cavan town on
Lough Ramor, a fine coarse fishing lake. (8)
7. B lew sins away in quiet Monaghan village near Clones in a
beautiful hilly setting. (8)
8. L ikes chill game (anag.) Island off the Kerry coast with a
famous group of monastic beehive cells. (7,7)
10. Blood and guts included in Sligo rendering. (4)
12. “And its heroes were made, In the lost ---hood of Judas Christ
was betrayed.” AE. (3)
13. Spanish labourer makes a quiet start for a very long time. (4)
16. Irish lass loses no clan from Clounanna. (3)
19. Give this friend an ace and he’ll make a royal house. (3)
20. L ast to come over the rise into Galway seaside suburb with a
fine promenade. (8)
21. Old official makes Pat stiff. (8)
23. S o comes up in the little railway showing a healthy glow to
the cheeks. (4)
24. Is this for whom the buck stops? (3)
27. Moat meanders in a small way. (4)
28. Still waiting to happen in Tipperary etc. (3)
30. Are art letters mistakes? (6)
31. � E a duke? (anag.) Roscommon village where Turlough
O’Carolan lived; he is buried nearby in Kilronan. (6)
38. “You never got a tame --- from a wild goose.” Irish Proverb. (3)
The Harp
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201437
Kiely,В В В В В Maimie (nee
15th Anniversary, died 25th
October 1999
John �Sean’
Late of Fox Hollies Rd,
Birmingham and formerly
of Ballybunnion, Co Kerry.
4th Anniversary
Your name is often mentioned,
Our thoughts are with you still.
You haven’t been forgotten,
What’s more you never will.
Although we will always miss
We know you’re not alone.
For you are watching over us,
From a place you now call home.
In loving memory of John
�Sean’ Lynch of Great Barr,
Birmingham and formerly
of Glenagore, Athea, Co
Died 8th November 2010
Your name is often mentioned, our
thoughts are with you still,
You haven’t been forgotten, what’s
more you never will.
Although we will always miss you,
we know that you’re not alone,
For you are watching over us, from
a place you now call home.
Loved always and never forgotten, Children Michael, Kathy,
Marion & Lorraine.
Also Caroline, John, Michael &
Joseph with grandchildren Kate,
Jacqueline, Anna, Michael, Josephine, Catherine, Liam, Connor
& Lauren
Always loved and remembered by
your loving wife Mary,
children, Jimmy, Margaret, John,
Marie, Joan and Michael.
Also Andrew, Geraldine, John, Tony
and Sue with grandchildren, Anna,
Claire, Michelle, Angela, James,
Maria, Simon, Anthony and Conor.
To a wonderful mother and
It’s your birthday time again,
So put up your feet and relax for
a while, And let us pour you a
flute of champagne!
Wishing you a fabulous birthday
this November,
We hope you have a ball!
Lots of love, Joanne, Siobhan, Michelle, James and Evie xxxxx
A loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and
niece, died suddenly after a short illness.
Dedicated and supportive Chairperson of
Sandwell Irish Society for a number of years,
Nora will be sadly missed by her family, friends
and many colleagues.
Enter the text you wish printed below:
Tel No. ........................................................................................................................
Photograph + up to 50 words of text costs ВЈ10.00
Photograph + up to 100 words of text costs £15.00”
Cheques payable to The Harp (Midlands) & forwarded (with completed form + photo) to 17 Glenavon Road, Kings
Heath Birmingham B14 5DD
family announcements
If you would like to have your family announcement featured in the
Harp, please fill in the form below and
return it along with a photograph and
payment to: The Harp, 17 Glenavon
Road, Kings Heath B15 5DD, alternatively you can email your details to
[email protected]
If you would like your photos returned
please include a stamped, addressed
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
fancyfootwork with Leanne Nelson
Ceim Oir
Feis 2014
On 11th and 12th October Hilary Joyce Owens, and her team of
teachers, dancers and parents welcomed competitors from all over
England and Ireland for the annual Ceim Oir Feis, which returned
to the Gumley House Secondary
School; a perfect venue located in
the Southern Region.
With the Great Britain Championships and the All Ireland Championships in quick succession the
Ceim Oir Feis served as the perfect
event for the last minute stage practise before the major championships commenced.
The two-day event held grade, preliminary and open championships
saw an unprecedented number of
dancers compete for the coveted
prizes. An esteemed panel of Adjudicators from Ireland, England and
Canada made up the team along
with the most sought after musicians from Ireland and England.
Alliyah O’Hare- Scanlon Under 11 Champion
Aoife Hopson Donna Griffin Under
7 Champion
Callum O’Neill- Carey
Under 12 Champion
Ella Owens, Ceim Oir
Under 10 Champion
Irish Champions from
Lauren Morrissey Under 16 Champion
Lily Taylor - McGahan
Lees Champion
Nadine Martin
- Doherty Senior
Shannon Morrissey
- Ceim Oir Under 17
Not only were the solo competitions inundated with entries, the
Ceili and Figure Championships
were also extremely busy, with
many local schools entering multiple teams which were adjudicated
by a panel of three judges.
Following the final presentations
of the Senior Championships and
the Ceili competition, Hilary Joyce
Owens took to the stage to thank
all of those who attended for their
patience and their support, she
said she was overwhelmed by the
support not only from those who
attended but also from her team
which included Marie Duffy Pask,
Karen and Kerry Nutley, along with
her team of parents, friends and the
dancers who all rallied to make the
Ceim Oir Feis the best year yet.
Ceim Oir Friends
Under 7 Championship Line Up
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201439
The unbeaten Brummie Antonio
Counihan continues quest
Birmingham’s Antonio Counihan
continued his quest without a British license on Saturday 25th October with a third-round stoppage
over Hungarian puncher Janos
The unbeaten Brummie stretched
his impressive record to 4-0 (3) in
front of a large vocal Birmingham
contingent who had travelled to
the York Hall in Bethnal Green to
watch their man perform. Originally down to box Simas Volosinas, it
was going to provide a good marker
for Counihan having travelled to
these shores before to test several
other of our prospects, even shocking unbeaten prospect Paul Holt
last time out. However, Volosinas
pulled out to challenge Luke Paddock for the International Silver
Masters belt the day before leaving
Counihan searching for another
Dave Murphy, who promotes via
a Maltese license managed to
find Vass who of his six wins had
knocked out five of his opponents
– but he was put onto the back-foot
early by Counihan who was quick
to start letting his hands go in twofisted blitzes. For such a fast boxer,
Counihan is very patient and would
always wait and faint his way in before attacking. Vass’ legs appeared
to be letting him down as he clumsily waked backwards and out of
harms way – but danger was never
far behind him as the Brummie was
proactive in cutting the ring off. It
soon became apparent that even
though Vass had a punchers record,
he was going to prove little threat
to Counihan on this night as every
time he was hit cleanly he seemed
to buckle. The inevitable end came
in the third when the referee intervened after 1 minute 50 seconds
with Vass once again being continually wobbled. Counihan dedicated
the victory to his Nan, and there
was a classy moment from Robin
Deakin who was sat ringside as he
got a t-shirt from one of Counihan’s
fans and passed it up to Antonio for
him to wear in the ring. Deakin was
Counihan’s debut opponent.
It will be an interesting progression
for Counihan from this point, himself boxing under a Maltese license.
He only has limited options in Britain as he cannot box on any shows
sanctioned by the British Boxing
Board of Control and therefore
cannot box for any of the titles that
they offer. With the BBBC keen to
penalise any license holders who
also box on these shows, it limits
Counihan to his opposition – and
is likely to keep facing foreign imports for the foreseeable future.
His team may have to look abroad
to further Counihan’s progression
before long.
Midland Select v Ireland Boxing Review
Birmingham’s Second City ABC
hosted a Midland Select v Ireland
on the 3rd October at the Aston Villa Football Ground, and the crowd
in attendance were treated to a
night of high quality as the Midlands trumped their rivals 7-5 over
twelve bouts.
The main event was a mouthwatering matchup between Eastside’s Tion Gibbs and Ireland’s
Ray Moylette. Between the pair of
them, there is barely a trophy they
have not collected – domestically or
internationally with Moylette even
picking up a gold at the Youth world
Championships back in 2008.
From the start, younger Gibbs set a
fast pace and was picking his work
effectively and working tirelessly
in combinations whereas Moylette
was calmer and more relaxed, picking singular shots and making every one count. The Irishman had
a big round in the second when he
upped his work-rate and his heavyhanded attacks pushed Gibbs onto
the back-foot and looked rattled
several times under pressure.
Gibbs recovered well though and
came back to enjoy his own successes in the third although it was
not enough as the judged handed
Moylette a split decision victory.
Eastside cadet Ibraheem “Spider”
Suliman opened the show with a
points victory over Ireland’s James
McStravic. Suliman is raved about
in the gym and showed promise
herein front of the knowledgeable
crowd in attendance.
Michael “Bulla” Pardoe (Droitwich ABC) was given his first ever
standing-eight count in over 150
bouts when his right leg (which
was already bandaged) seemed to
give way against Danny Coughlin.
Pardoe’s balance was clearly affected throughout, though he put up
a typically spirited display to lose
what must have been a tight split
Kim Shannon (2nd City ABC) flew
the flag for women’s boxing with
a dominant display over Ireland’s
plucky Michelle Chambers in a 4 x
2’s. Chambers survived a standing
count in the second and third but
was halted in the last after a left
hook got through.
Midland team captain Ryan Hatton
(Tamworth ABC) showed promise
in his bout with James Daley (Ireland) when the Irishman was forced
to retire at the end of the second
with a badly injured shoulder. Hatton had looked the boss throughout as Daley attacked and his neater
boxing should have had him ahead
at the bouts conclusion.
In one of the best bouts of the
night, Second City’s heavily supported Dean Bond came through a
bloody battle against Ireland’s Dennis Ahern. Bond always seemed a
foot ahead throughout the contest
which heated up in the last after a
head-clash left both men leaking
claret. Bond bit down on his gumshield to pound away ferociously
and ultimately gain a split-decision.
Second City’s Paddy Farrell and St
Anne’s Martin Brennan have got
their heads together since and the
Irish will be hosting a rematch on
December 4th.
Ibraheem Suliman (Eastside ABC) beat James
McStravic (Ireland) Unanimous
Lewis Coley (2nd City ABC) beat Martin
Salmon (Ireland) split- decision
Billy Revel (Burton Park ABC) beat Owen
McDonagh (Ireland) split-decision
Jerry Mongan (Priory Park ABC) lost to
Ryan Hegaty (Ireland) split-decision
Ammar Khan (Hall Green ABC) lost to James
Brennan (Ireland) unanimous
Kim Shannon (2nd City ABC) stopped
Michelle Chambers (Ireland) 4th round
Tommy Collins (Hall Green ABC) lost to
Martin Collins (Ireland) split-decision
Ryan Hatton (Tamworth ABC) won rtd James
Daley (Ireland) injury end of 2nd round
Jordan Thompson (Jewellery Quarter ABC)
beat Donal O’Meaghair (Ireland) unanimous
Michael Pardoe (Droitwich ABC) lost to
Danny Coughlin (Ireland) split-decision
Dean Bond (2nd City ABC) beat Dennis Ahern
(Ireland) split-decision
Tion Gibbs (Eastside ABC) lost to Ray
Moylette (Ireland) split-decision
Birmingham prepares
for the Clash of the
Irish boxer Steve Collins is ready
to take on Redditch’s Vikings Club
member Lar O’Connor in a charity event in Birmingham later this
Viking Boxing Promotions promise the Clash of the Warriors will
be a night of superb boxing and
entertainment for fans and all in
aid of a good cause: Brain Tumour
Nicknamed the Viking Warrior,
the former ABA Champion Lar will
touch gloves with the Celtic Warrior, Steve Collins before the battle
commences for the status of the
winning Warrior.
The Clash of the Warriors is taking
place on Friday 28th of November,
at the Irish Centre, Birmingham.
Tickets cost ВЈ30, VIP packages are
available as well as photo opportunities with Steve Collins.
To book tickets call: 0845 689
Middleweight star
in WBC eliminator
in Dublin
Matthew Macklin will face Jorge
Sebastian Heiland for the WBC International Middleweight title in
an official World title eliminator at
The 3 Arena in Dublin on November 15, live on Sky Sports.
Macklin and Heiland were set
to meet in August but the show
was cancelled following an injury
to Macklin’s then-trainer Jamie
Moore. Macklin dusted off the
cobwebs in Germany a fortnight
ago with his first action since December and can take a huge step
towards facing the Puerto Rican
legend and WBC champion Miguel
Cotto if he can see off Heiland, the
27 year old who is ranked at number four with the WBC and won
the WBC International title in November with a fifth round KO of
Billi Godoy in his native Argentina.
There’s a great supporting cast
on a packed bill in Dublin, as bitter Middleweight rivals Spike
O’Sullivan and Anthony Fitzgerald finally get their hands on each
other, Commonwealth Super Flyweight champion Kal Yafai defends
his title against Luke Wilton and
Michael Sweeney and Ian Tims
meet again for the Irish Cruiserweight title.
Dubliners Luke Keeler, Patrick Hyland and Declan Geraghty are all
in action along with Stourbridge’s
Sam Eggington, and promoter
Eddie Hearn will announce the
full card at a press conference at
midday at the Three Arena next
Tuesday. • •
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201441
Ireland target Scotland
after great result in Germany
By Aidan Begley
When Ireland headed to Cologne to face
Germany in October 2013, they were a team
in disarray. Former Head Coach Giovanni
Trapattoni had been shown the door after it
was confirmed that the boys in green would
not be heading to the 2014 World Cup and
the confidence of the team was at a low.
Noel King was the Caretaker Manager and
for most fans, it was a case of damage limitation and hoping to keep the score down to
a respectable level. And they did when they
were beaten 3-0.
One year on and heading to Gelsenkirchen
to face Germany in their guise as world
champions, again, if was like going into the
lions’ den. But this was a different Ireland
team and thanks to a last minute goal from
John O’Shea on his 100th appearance for
Ireland, Martin O’Neill’s men claimed a fully
deserved 1-1 draw, keeping their hopes of automatic qualification for the 2016 Euro finals
very much alive.
The confidence of the team would have been
boosted by a 7-0 victory over group whipping boys Gibraltar, with captain Robbie
Keane bagging himself a hat-trick, taking his
international goals tally up to 65, leaving him
in joint 11th place (with Didier Drogba) on
the all-time international goal scorers list.
Keano wasn’t able to get on the score sheet
against the Germans, but John O’Shea did,
turning in a ball across the box from Jeff
Hendrick four minutes stoppage time to
snatch the draw, after Toni Kroos put Germany ahead on 71 minutes.В The goal sent the Ireland fans in the ground
into raptures and also sees them in second
place in Group D, level on points with leaders Poland, who drew 2-2 with Scotland
and have a goal difference one better than
Ireland. On seven points, Poland and the
Republic are three points ahead of Scotland
and Germany.
defeat. But that makes it a bit more special we got something from the game.
Speaking after the game, O’Neill said: “It was
a terrific game for us. To the very end we
kept going and our spirit carried us through.
You couldn’t have written that script for
John. He gets the goal and I’m absolutely delighted for him.
The focus now turns towards this month’s
vital qualifier against Scotland at Celtic Park
on Friday 14th November (kick off: 7.45pm).
“We were backs to the wall in the first half.
We had formulated a plan that we would try
and thwart them as much as we can while
at the same time, when we had the ball ourselves, try and manoeuvre it.
“We were unable to do that for periods in the
first half, we seemed to be under pressure.
We got through that time but it was a wee bit
of a similar pattern in the second half when
they scored. That changed the mindset of us
to go and search for the equaliser. Even if we
concede two, three, four, I don’t care, as long
as we try and get something from the game.”
Centurion John O’Shea, who hit the back of
the net for only the third goal of his international career, said that goal will live long in
his memory, especially as Ireland got a result
from the game.
He said: “That goal just takes over those other two. It was a very special moment because
the group has a fantastic spirit and we didn’t
want to come off this pitch with just a 1-0
“I think we might have to find a frame for it
[my shirt]. I’m not one for hanging stuff or
putting stuff up on any mantelpieces but I
think this one could be heading for the mantelpiece at my mam and dad’s house.”
A positive result against Gordon Strachan’s
men will see Ireland in a strong position in
the group with six games remaining. Despite
a row between the FAI and SFA regarding
ticket allocations, there’s sure to be a sizable
travelling green army making their way to
Glasgow for the game.
Four days afterwards, Ireland return to Dublin to play a friendly game against the USA,
who impressed so much in the World Cup
under the guidance of Jurgen Klinsmann.
The game against the Americans will prove
to be a tough and worthwhile challenge for
the Irish after recent friendly fixture against
Commenting on these fixtures when announcing his provisional 36-man squad,
O’Neill said: “I am looking forward to assembling the squad for the last time this year in
preparation for our final games of 2014.
“I am absolutely delighted with the courage
and determination we showed in our last
two qualifiers, and hope we can continue
this run next month against Scotland and
the USA.”
Republic of Ireland
provisional squad:
David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren
Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph
(Birmingham City), Rob Elliot (Newcastle United)
Richard Keogh (Derby County), Marc Wilson (Stoke
City), Seamus Coleman (Everton), John O’Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Brian Lenihan (Hull
City), Stephen Kelly (Reading), Paul McShane (Hull
City), Damien Delaney (Crystal Palace), Shane Duffy
(Blackburn Rovers)
James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby
County), Ciaran Clark (Aston Villa), Stephen Ward
(Burnley), Glenn Whelan (Stoke City), Darron Gibson
(Everton), Paul Green (Rotherham United), Aiden
McGeady (Everton), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City),
James McClean (Wigan Athletic), Robbie Brady (Hull
City), Stephen Quinn (Hull City), David Meyler (Hull
Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton),
Daryl Murphy (Ipswich Town), Jon Walters (Stoke City),
Kevin Doyle (Crystal Palace), Anthony Stokes (Celtic),
Simon Cox (Reading), Conor Sammon (Ipswich Town)
Guinness Autumn Internat
Henshaw could win the race to fill BOD’s boots!
Ireland will take on South Africa,
Australia and a Georgia at the Aviva
Stadium during the Guinness Series
this month.В South Africa, number 2 in the IRB
world rankings, who provided the
opposition for the opening fixture
of the 2012 Guinness Series and will
again be Ireland’s first opponents in
the autumn of 2014 as the two sides
square off at the Aviva Stadium this
Saturday 8th November.В Ireland will
be looking to record their fifth victory over the Springboks since the two
countries first met at the Balmoral
Showgrounds in 1906.
A week later on Sunday 16th November, Ireland will take on a leading European Tier 2 nation Georgia at the
Aviva Stadium.   Ewen McKenzie’s Australia will return to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday 22nd November. Australia are the
third ranked nation in world rugby
following a successful autumn tour
which saw them record wins over Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy while
losing narrowly to England.
Life after BOD
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt looks set
to hand Robbie Henshaw the first
chance to claim the outside centre
position since Brian O’Driscoll’s retirement against South Africa this
Saturday 8 November.
The 21-year-old Athlone native ran in
the No13 channel at the open training
session at the Aviva Stadium during
the squad’s recent training sessions
and seems to the odds on favourite
to win his fourth cap in daunting circumstances against the Springboks.
The rising Connacht star shadowed
Brian O’Driscoll through last season and has had to be patient since
winning his third cap off the bench
against Australia last November.
However, when asked if Henshaw
was ready for the challenge, Schmidt
said: “We might know that this Saturday.”
“But I don’t think you’re ever going
to know,” he continued. There could
be better introductions, more gradual
introductions. It’s a massive ask, we
know Jean de Villiers a little bit, Jan
Serfontein is a player we know a bit
less about but he’s a good reader of
the game.”
“There’s a good challenge for him,
whether he’s ready for it we’ll find
out.” But although Ulster’s recently
qualified Jared Payne is also a serious
option for the No. 13 shirt it looks like
Robbie Henshaw is about the biggest
chance to date in his career this Saturday.
But prop Mike Ross took a very limited part in training at Lansdowne
Road, but his lack of game time remains a concern as the New Zealander contemplates a front-row injury
“Absolutely, it’s a concern,” he said.
“Mike has been working very hard in
his defence, but there’s nothing like
game conditioning and awareness.
“If it was a perfect world, things might
be different and it’s still an incredibly
exciting challenge to play one of the
form teams in the world, the players
will be motivated for that; we’re not
just sure what players they will be.”
Schmidt resisted temptation to pull
any of his other front-rows out of
provincial action this weekend.
“It’s a catch 22, Rodney Ah You,
because Nathan White has been
starting, needed game time, Tadhg
Furlong needed games, Declan Fitzpatrick has been massively underplayed because of injury and Stephen
Archer has not had a lot of games,”
he said.
“We’re just going to hold our breath,
hope those guys came through.”
Ireland therefore have a crisis at prop,
now that Nathan White is the latest
to miss out through injury, after the
withdrawal of Mike Ross and Marty
Moore. It also appears, by way of contrast, that a solid tighthead prop is
no longer as indispensable as he once
But with a World Cup and Six Nations
to prepare for in 2015 these Autumn
Series International have never been
more significant. But discovering
who is likely to fill Brian O’Driscoll’s
extraordinary big boots must be one
of Joe Schmidt’s top priorities.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
from 1976 to 1981, O’Shea won a
similar haul from 1980 to �85 while
O Se won five in succession from
1981 to 1985.
Flynn’s achievement to win four in
a row is special as he is the first to
do it since the introduction of the
�back-door’ Championship, the
addition of four rounds of qualifiers and All-Ireland quarter-finals
opening up greater windows of
opportunity for other counties.
Paul Flynn was a regular all season
for Dublin as they swept to league
and Leinster titles and was, with
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin’s most
effective player during their AllIreland semi-final loss to Donegal, scoring four superb first-half
Donaghy’s inclusion may not
please everyone given the limited window that he operated in
but his impact on the season was
once again seismic as he turned
the drawn All-Ireland semi-final
replay Kerry’s way and then dominated the All-Ireland semi-final
and final.
In defence, Paul Murphy’s selection at right corner-back may
provoke debate while the force of
Peter Crowley’s performances in
Kerry’s last three games earned
him recognition.
Aidan O’Mahony is overlooked
despite his performance against
Donegal captain Michael Murphy
in the All-Ireland final. Murphy is
selected at centre-forward on the
But Flynn was also hugely influen- team as he picks up his second
tial in the All-Ireland quarter-final award.
Footballer of the Year
James O’Donoghue
d Hurling Al
2014 GAA/GPA Football an
Kerry dominate football
selection but Tipperary hurlers
outnumber champions
against Monaghan. Ironically,
there are only four counties represented on this year’s team, mirrorThe annual All Stars presenta- ing the 2012 selection when only
tion in football and hurling took players from the four provincial
place in the National Conference winners were chosen.
Centre in Dublin on Friday 24 October. Three members of the War- In all, there are six newcomers,
wickshire hurlers namely Dwayne Kerry defensive pair Paul Murphy
Sheedy, Cormac Behan from the and Peter Crowley and midfielder
John Mitchell’s club and Conor David Moran, Connolly and James
Robins from the St. Barnabas club McCarthy and Mayo’s Cillian
in Nottingham were among the O’Connor. McCarthy’s selection
Lory Meagher Champion 15 to will strike a chord with Dublin
also receive their accolades on the supporters, given that his father
same evening.
John was the only regular starter
of the Dublin team of the 1970s
not to win an award.
It will
also come as a surprise that this
All-Ireland champions Kerry is Connolly’s first time to be hondominate the 2014 All Star foot- oured, given the waves of admiraball team but Dublin’s Paul Flynn’s tion he has been creating lately.
fourth successive award has el- Connolly’s form for Dublin in
evated him into the company of a 2013 was his most consistent in a
select group of Kerry legends. Fly- season yet however and that is renn, who is rated by many observ- flected in his selection. All-Ireland
ers as the best �pound for pound’ champions Kerry lead the way
footballer in the game, has won with five awards equally spread
all four awards since 2011 in the between attack and defence with
same position, right half-forward. one midfielder.
He becomes only the sixth Dublin footballer to win four All Star
awards, joining Tommy Drumm,
Paddy Cullen and Robbie Kelleher.
Only goalkeepers John O’Leary
and Stephen Cluxton, who both Not
have five each, have more. Jack O’Donoghue wins his second sucO’Shea, Pat Spillane and Paidi cessive award after a stellar camO’Se are the only footballers who paign that lead to him being honcan claim to even longer unbroken oured as Footballer of the Year.
All Star sequences.
Beside him, Kieran Donaghy is
also included for what is his third
award, having made the 2006 and
Spillane won six awards in a row 2008 teams.
James O’Donoghue Footballer of the Year
Connolly’s first All Star
Murphy spent much of the season
operating in a deeper role and his
inclusion at half-forward comes
at a cost to his colleague Ryan
McHugh or Kerry’s Donnchadh
Mayo win three awards with Keith
Higgins and Colm Boyle filling
the left flank of defence. Higgins
is winning his third successive
award after another polished season at left corner-back, his memorable battle over two All-Ireland
semi-finals with O’Donoghue one
of the most vivid memories of the
Boyle, who was on last year’s team,
joins Higgins with O’Connor
finally graduating after successive seasons when he was named
Young Footballer of the Year.
O’Connor was the championship’s
top scorer with a tally of 5-36, all
five of his goals coming from penalties.
There was never a doubt about
Neil McGee at full-back as he
won his third in four years, while
Neil Gallagher was an automatic
choice at midfield, picking up his
second award after being honoured in 2012.
Ryan McHugh deservedly claimed
the Young Footballer of the Year
The Harp - NOVEMBER 201443
Warwickshire Champion 15 players: Pictured with their awards are Dwayne, Sheedy,
Conor, Robins and Cormac Behan.
Young players of the Year: Ryan McHugh (Football) and Cathal Barrett (Hurling) with their awards.
2014 GAA/GPA Fo
Premier County top
Kilkenny who still
set all-time record
Only three counties are represented in this year’s GAA/GPA hurling
All Stars. That fact alone has therefore created history by being drawn
from the lowest number of counties in the 43-year history of the
Tipperary (7), Kilkenny (6) and Limerick (2) are the only counties represented on a team which features
eight first-timers.
For the second time in three seasons, All-Ireland champions Kilkenny have received fewer awards than
the runners-up. Just as Galway
outnumbered Kilkenny 6-5 in 2012,
Tipperary edge 7-6 ahead in this
year’s line-up, with the remaining
two places deservedly going to Limerick’s Seamus Hickey and Shane
Tipperary are represented by goalkeeper Darren Gleeson in his debut year, half-backs, Brendan Maher and Padraic Maher, midfielder
Shane McGrath and forwards John
�Bubbles’ O’Dwyer, Patrick �Bonner’
Maher and Seamus Callanan. But
Tipperary’s �find’ of the year - corner back Cathal Barrett was deservedly also named Young Hurler of
the Year.
Munster champions
ignored again!
Paul Murphy, JJ Delaney, Cillian
Buckley, Richie Hogan, TJ Reid and
Colin Fennelly are the Kilkenny
men who made the cut. Richie Hogan deservedly claimed the Hurler
of the Year accolade.
There’s no place on the team for
Munster champions Cork, but
that’s not a first since Tipperary
suffered a similar fate in 2012 after
a similar All-Ireland semi-final collapse.
Gleeson, O’Dwyer, �Bonner’ Maher,
Callanan, Buckley, Fennelly, Hickey
and Dowling are all first-time winners.
But having only three counties represented is sure to be a big talking
point, especially at a time when it
takes several more games to complete the All-Ireland Championship
than used to be the case before the
introduction of the �back door’ in
1997, followed by several amendments in subsequent years.
the All-Ireland final went to a replay
offered theses two counties further
exposure in the last action of the
However, it raises the question of
whether too much emphasis is now
placed on the final few games of the
Kilkenny half dozen set
record all-time total of
Only four counties were represented on six occasions in the past, but
it has now dipped to three, with 13
of the team coming from the AllIreland finalists.
Kilkenny will be surprised to lose
out to Tipperary numerically after beating them three times and
drawing once in four League and
Championship clashes. In particular, they will be feel that goalkeeper
Eoin Murphy is unlucky to lose out
to Gleeson.
But because Kilkenny and Tipperary also contested the Allianz
League final and also the fact that
However, Murphy missed some
Championship games, which probably came against him.
Cork will be disappointed that their
first Munster title win since 2006
didn’t earn any recognition.
However, a dreadful performance
against Tipperary in the All-Ireland
semi-final weakened their case,
although Alan Cadogan’s earlier
heroics would have been enough
to earn inclusion in some other
seasons but he missed out to Colin
It’s the first time since 2007 that
Limerick have got more than one
player on the team.
None of last year’s All Stars were
honoured this year, underlining the
degree to which the landscape has
Kilkenny’s six-strong haul takes
their overall All Star yield to 173,
making them the clear leaders in either code. It also extends their lead
over Cork, who have a combined
total of 170 (106 hurling, 64 football) awards.
The Harp - NOVEMBER 2014
ISBN 977-2-05354-200-4
9 772053 542004
Macklin’s Dublin
Date with Destiny
By Larry Cooney
Birmingham Irish middleweight
Matthew Macklin believes he could
challenge WBC Middleweight
champion Miguel Cotto next if he
can see off Jorge Sebastian Heiland
at The 3Arena in Dublin on Saturday November 15. Macklin meets
WBC International champion Heiland in an eliminator for Cotto’s
crown as big time boxing returns
to Ireland’s capital, with the winner
gunning for Perto Rican Cotto who
ripped the title from Sergio Martinez. Macklin has already met Martinez in a memorable St. Patrick’s
Day clash in 2012.
But for now Macklin is firmly focused on the dangerous Argentine
he faces in Dublin, but admits that
the serious possibility of challenging Cotto has him dreaming of a
return to the Big Apple or even an
outdoor spectacular in Dublin.
“Cotto is such a big draw in New
York City at Madison Square Garden, but if you can do 60,000 people
at Croke Park then the economics
of the fight change,” said Macklin.
“If the fight captures the imagination and sells out a stadium, you
can bring anyone, anywhere. That’s
the dream.
self and also as it sets up a potential
fight for us.”
“Challenging Cotto in New York would
be an incredible experience – to face
someone of his stature there. But that’s
a lot of wins to put together first.”
Macklin tops a great bill in the
Irish capital with a pair of grudge
matches between Michael Sweeney and Ian Tims at Cruiserweight
and Gary O’Sullivan and Anthony
Fitzgerald at Middleweight, Featherweight contenders Patrick Hyland and John Simpson target British, European and Commonwealth
champion Josh Warrington after
their clash, there’s a first hometown
fight for former Irish Olympic amateur stars John Joe Nevin and Jason
Quigley, while unbeaten Dubliners
Declan Geraghty and Luke Keeler
both fight in their seventh fights
and exciting Stourbridge welterweight Sam Eggington is also on
one of the most exciting nights
in Irish boxing in recent years. It
is also five years since Matthew
Macklin fought Uruguayan Pintos
in a similar title eliminator and is
looking forward to being part of big
time Irish professional boxing once
Lee and Macklin can also
happen in 2015
But if Macklin can see off Heiland
then his interest in Irish rival Andy
Lee’s clash with Matt Korobov for
the vacant WBO belt in December
is also sure to heighten. Lee travels
to Las Vegas to tackle the unbeaten
Russian and Macklin believes the
Limerick man can be a real match
for the holder.
“I think Andy has got a good
chance,” said Macklin. “Styles make
fights and Korobov is a technical
counter-punching southpaw, he’ll
give Andy room and time and Andy
performs better if he’s allowed that,
he’s a class act. If he can win that
then me and Andy fighting for the
World title is massive. It’s a huge
fight anyway but a World title is
that key element. I’ll be rooting for
him for selfish reasons but also because he’s flying the flag for Irish
boxing too and he’s a good lad, so
I hope he does the business for him
Tickets for the blockbuster night
are on sale now priced at €30,
€50 and €80 from The 3Arena at and on 0818 719
300 (R.O.I) and 0844 8472 455 (UK
and NI). VIP tickets priced €150 are
exclusively available from Matchroom Boxing at and on 01277 359900.
Dublin December 2009: Matthew
Macklin will be hoping to have his
hand raised again on November 15
in order to set up another possible
world title challenge in 2015.
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