Tuesday 27 September 2016

7 Wonders for the weekend

Peter Sweeney

Published 21/08/2015 | 02:30

Meath Rose Elysha Brennan during the launch of the RTE Rose of Tralee, at RTE
Meath Rose Elysha Brennan during the launch of the RTE Rose of Tralee, at RTE
Noel McGrath, Tipperary
15 February 2014; Aaron Devlin, Ballinderry. AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, St Vincent's, Dublin v Ballinderry, Derry. Páirc Esler, Newry, Co. Down. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

1 Mayo's Conor O'Shea proves he's a fun guy with YouTube Rose of Tralee spoof

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Mayo panellist Conor O'Shea, younger brother of man mountains Aidan and Seamus, posted a very funny self-made video on YouTube earlier this week taking the mickey out of no less of an Irish institution than the Rose of Tralee. It turns out the lad is a top-class mimic and he does fantastic impressions of host Daithi Ó Sé and several of the roses themselves. He also does a good version of the judgemental viewers at home. We're sure, though, that by the time he establishes himself as an inter-county regular, that sort of willingness to reveal his personality will have long been 'bet out of him'.

2 Royals for the Rose, Dublin for Sam - or so banners will say next summer

Speaking of the Rose of Tralee, wasn't it nice to see Meath winning something after all these years (no, we don't recognise the 2010 Leinster title 'victory' here). Royal Rose Elysha Brennan  took the crown on Tuesday night having been the bookies' favourite from the outset at the annual festival. Expect to see the odd 'Meath for the Rose, Dublin for Sam' style banner around Croke Park next summer. One social media wag noted that this was the turning point that Meath needed to revive their fortunes, though it's likely to take a little bit more than a sash and a funky silver tiara to kick-start a Royal revival in the Dubs-dominated Leinster Championship.

3 'Are those my feet?' A question often heard at big county board meetings

The much-maligned Cork County Board took a few more raps during the week. Following on from Dónal óg Cusack's none-too-flattering deconstruction of their recent achievements on 'The Sunday Game', several delegates laid into their 'Fr Ted' inclinations (their words, not ours). This put Seven Wonders in mind of the many farcical late night county board meetings attended over the years, plenty of them in Cork. There were endless 'are those my feet' moments. The best, of course, were the ones where the media were locked out, but being kept up to date by the plenty of willing moles texting from inside.

4 Ode to Noel McGrath reminds us all of what's important in life and sport

Yellow Belly got a nod here earlier this summer when they released their Give Him a Ball And a Yard of Grass poster to commemorate their beloved Wexford's cracking team goal against Offaly in the Leinster U-21 Championship. Well, they're at it again, this time drawing and writing an ode to Tipperary's fit-again Noel McGrath, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in April and played in last Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final loss to Galway. 'Everyone… At some point in their lives… Is going to lose… A battle/You are going to fight… And you are going to lose… But some battles you will win!"

5 It's the All-Ireland semi-finals - time to start flying the #Mayo4Sam flag

It's that time of year again so inevitably, the Mayo for Sam signs are starting to pop up everywhere and anywhere (and not just within the county bounds - that would just be boring). So far on social media Mayo for Sam has been spotted as far afield as Mount Teide on Tenerife (the highest point in Spain, don't you know), while a flock of green and red daubed sheep were photographed on a hillside in Kerry. Outgoing (sure aren't they all outgoing, what!) Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh even nailed her colours to the mast again during the week before handing over the silverware to the Meath Rose.

6 Ballinderry retire Number 10 jersey in honour of the late Aaron Devlin

Poignantly Ballinderry Shamrocks chose not to fill the Number 10 jersey when they took on Ballinascreen in their first Senior Football Championship game since the tragic death of 23-year-old Derry player Aaron Devlin recently. Devlin   was a key player for the former All-Ireland champions and he played wing-forward for his beloved club, so they took the decision not to use his regular number. Ballinderry went on to lose the game by four points, 3-8 to 0-13. An impeccable minute's silence was observed before what Shamrocks manager Stephen McGeehan called 'an emotional evening'.

7 Hurling as modern art - taken quite literally by a talented Cork painter

Hurling as an art form? Sure we've known that all along. You just have to listen to the analysis on 'The Sunday Game' to work that out. All we hear are poems honouring the game's unending savage beauty. Never a dirty stroke pulled and not a cynical play to be seen - not like that filthy auld football. Well, artist John Flynn in Cork is taking this literally - by creating pieces of art from actual hurleys. He takes camáns and paints beautiful, intricate Celtic-style scenes on them. You can get a look at what he describes as 'legendary hurleys' in his Twitter bio on tonight's episode of the excellent 'Thank GAA It's Friday' on RTE2 at 8.30 (repeated before the live game on Sunday).

 

 

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