By Eugene McGloin
SUNDAY TEATIME offered a choice between a match and Mass.
kick off meant you could have seen John Russell score Sligo Rovers
winning goal, get his first yellow card and still be early for Mass at 6.30pm, two miles away.
Yes, that sort of Sunday,
but for two months past we knew the annual St Annes Parish get together
at Tobernalt Holy Well was set in stone for this date this year.
permitting' is always the proviso. Untypically Irish and even more
untypically Holy Well memories for many, the weather 'held' last night, Sunday.
It was perfect walking weather, those few super miles out from Sligo town.
Everybody in town has probably done it at some stage; the scenery on a dry day is up there with the best anywhere in the world.
Only at Wards Hill are you ever aware there is an ''up,'' as you hear older models -- cars AND
people -- (noisily) switch gears.Tuesday
nights people go to ''The Well.'' They see the same scenery. They find serenity. They may pray. They may say nothing.
when Sligo Rovers were down to ten men last night -- in a game with ten
yellow cards -- the Extra Man was mumbling prayers at ''The Well'' to
halt The Hoops.
Anyway, final weekend every July, Sligo gathers for Garland Sunday ceremonies at this special place.
Our own parish (mini) pilgrimage is in its second decade, established by now Parish Priest Emeritus Fr Dominick Gilhooly.
A classmate all those decades ago of Albert Reynolds at Summerhill College he was there, again, last night.
pay homage, again, to all those who risked life and limb to walk along
paths untrodden to this (largely) unchanged place in the woods out in
In Penal Times people and
priests were executed by the soldiers of Henry The Eighth and his
successors when caught coming to this particular place in Sligo.
1st every year marks the anniversary of the hanging, disembowelling and
dismembering of (Saint) Oliver Plunkett. His 'crime' was much the same.
failure of the Spanish Armada invasion -- some of which foundered off
Streedagh in north Sligo -- stirred Penal ostracism against Catholics in
both Ireland and England.
background it is very difficult to listen to Education Minister Richard
Bruton talk negatively about those baptised a Catholic. Only one
religion singled out.
But Bruton knows full well -- or OUGHT to know -- that the core issue he faces is a shortage of school places.
Bruton needs to build more classrooms in the places that need them. The State needs to fund him.
That simpler solution has nothing in common with what would, in effect, be a sectarian head count by this State.
The narrative related by Minister Richard Bruton 100% ignores the core issue: He needs to build more class rooms!
time the Cabinet comes to Sligo maybe they should park their buses at
Sligo Racecourse and walk across the mountain to ''The Well.''
Then they might better understand why their crude Cabinet head count of Catholics (only) sounds so ugly.
A bit like poor Basil in Fawlty Towers, Bruton seems to think Catholics should get blamed, blamed, blamed.
Bruton needs to do the sums, seek the finance this summer and build, build, build those extra classrooms.