Saturday 24 March 2018

Community news: Mallow

History was the central theme of the recent meeting of Speakeasy Toastmasters Club - be it momentous events, unusual characters or the sad history of Jerry O'Callaghan's left knee.

It all began in August 2016, when the hapless Jerry experienced a severe pain in the aforementioned joint. Immediately, he was transformed into Long John Silver as he hobbled about with a crutch and soon became 'Hop Along Cassidy'. The Witch Doctors advised that 'poitin almost definitely might work'. It would have been better if he drank it while the hot poultice left him with a burnt sore knee.

The consultant in Tralee General removed a large lump - from his wallet! And then, knee replacement became inevitable.

In a scene reminiscent of Game of Thrones, Jerry recalled how his knee was "cut with a hacksaw and hammered with a sledge". But all was well until the morphine wore off! Thankfully, Jerry has made a full recovery and his speech was the essence of "Humour" - moments of chaos recalled in tranquility.

Philip O'Brien of the Bandon Club brought history to life with "73 Seconds - Disaster in the Sky". He recalled the dark day in January 1986 when the Space Shuttle, The Challenger exploded on its launch. Philip provided fascinating information around this tragic event which claimed the lives of seven astronauts.

The Shuttle Programme cost 210 billion dollars in total, with each launch costing 150 million dollars. And yet it was something as simple as a faulty rubber seal which lead to the fatal explosion.

It was a case of 'from the tragic to the surreal' as Michael Cronin recalled the story of "Barnum's Bounty". Michael's told the almost unbelievable tale of James F. O'Connell who became the star attraction at PT Barnum's 1842 freak show - American Museum. He was the tattooed man. He claimed to have been shipwrecked on Caroline Island in the Pacific and saved himself from immersion in the cooking pot by impressing the Ponepean Tribe by dancing Irish jigs. For his reward, he was tattooed from head to toe by a bunch of "voluptuous virgins", one of which was the Chief's daughter, who he was forced to marry.

Eventually, he escaped the Island by boarding a passing ship and found his way to New York and celebrity.

Finally, Debbie Looney of Killarney Toastmasters presented a talk on the New Toastmasters educational programme called Pathways. This programme focuses on the key aspects of Toastmasters - communication, leadership and mentoring members to achieve their potential. A key ingredient of each meeting is the Speech Evaluation.

Ray Ryan, Sean Corcoran and Bobby Buckley provided positive, detailed and motivational feedback to all the speakers which should prove beneficial in future presentations. The genial host of the meeting was Noel O'Connor, who conducted proceedings with ease and relaxed his audience.

In his role as Topicsmaster, Tim Aherne led an impromptu discussion on subjects such as the coming of spring, age friendly parking, the tax inspector, the Brexit and Trump elections and the French habit of kissing on both cheeks. The Topics Session helps to sharpen the skills of interpersonal communication which we require on a daily basis.

At the Meeting's conclusion, awards were presented to Jerry O'Callaghan - Best Speaker, Sean Corcoran - Best Evaluation, and Michael Donegan - Best Topic.

Speakeasy will host a 25th Anniversary Celebration in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow on Friday 2nd March. Tickets available from Club Members or at the door on the Night.

Meanwhile, the next Club Meeting takes place on Thursday, February 8 at 8pm in the Hibernian Hotel. For more information, please check out the website, or on Facebook. Alternatively, please contact President, Helsa Giles - 0838858848.

St Mary’s girls bid for place in Build A Bank national final

Saint Mary's Secondary School, Mallow Transition Year students Mairead O'Sullivan, Katelyn McCarthy, Queensly Erhabor, Anna Bohan, Rachel O'Hannon and Laura Horgan attended the regional finals of the AIB Build a Bank competition at the Clayton Hotel Cork on Monday, February 5.

Accompanied by their teacher Donna Crowley at the event, the students are competing in the AIB Build a Bank competition with their school bank called the 'Miss Piggy Bank'. The girls hope to be selected as finalists for the AIB National finals this March following the regional finals this week. The winning teams will be announced on Monday, February 12. We wish them the very best of luck.

Trader Corrie proud to be St Patrick’s Day Parade 2018 grand marshall

With just five weeks to go to St Patrick's Day the Mallow Parade Committee officially launched their plans on Monday morning.

This is Mallow's 32nd parade and over the years Mallow has been in festive mood on Saint Patrick's Day when the annual parade proceeds down Davis Street with much colour and spectacle. As a result of much campaigning on the local media against the lack of a Patrick's Day Parade in Mallow, Mrs Hanna Sheehan, Mary O'Brien and the late Tommy Conroy took up the challenge to organise a parade and formed the first parade committee in Mallow in 1986.

This year's Mallow Saint Patrick's Parade Grand Marshal is Corrie O'Flynn. Corrie is a well known business woman in Mallow, being the owner and proprietor of O'Flynn's Footwear Ltd. trading on Davis Street in the centre of the town.

The O'Flynn Family have been in business for a long number of years in Mallow. Corrie's mother, Celeste, and father, Con, traded in Mallow Town in hardware merchandise. Corrie' brothers Con and Billy and sister Jeanne also involved themselves in business. Her brother Con has a thriving furniture business in Mallow.

All in all, Mallow is deeply indebted to the O'Flynn family for all the employment they gave to the people of Mallow down through the years and, of course, to Corrie who continues to provide such wonderful work opportunities for Mallow people in her footwear shop.

Speaking at the Parade Launch, Corrie said she was absolutely delighted to have been chosen to lead this year's parade. "I am really looking forward to turning the corner of the Town Park and to face down Thomas Davis Street at 2.30pm on the big day," she said.

"I was really stunned when the secretary of the Mallow Parade, Maire Ui Bhriain, contacted me with the good news of the request by the committee that I act as Grand Marshal for 2018. I replied that I would be delighted to do so, especially as I believe my late father and mother would be delighted to think that the memory of their life's work was being celebrated by me leading the Mallow Saint Patrick's Day Parade.

"I see that I am following on from a long list of Grand Marshalls, including Rosemary O'Neill (daughter of Tip O'Neill, USA politician) Michael O'Neill (Rosemay's Mallow cousin and direct descendent of Senator Tip O'Neill), Hanna Sheehan ( founding member of the Mallow Parade), Guy Arnoud (Treguier, Brittanny) and Randy Tietz (Tinley Park, Illinois)," added Corrie. "I am pleased that previous Grand Marshalls Liam Sheehan and Eugene Cosgrove have indicated that they will give me some tips about doing this great job."

Continuing, Corrie said: "This honour that has been bestowed on me is a recognition of my carrying on the tradition of a family business on the Main Street ... and it is indeed regrettable that so many family names have disappeared off the Main Street (Davis Street) over the years. The employment given in Mallow did make a positive difference in peoples lives.

"In particular, I will be thinking of my mother, Celeste, as I pass by my shop on March 17. My mother passed away just last year.

"I can sense, from all the good wishes I have received from Mallow, when it was learned that I will be the Grand Marshal, that the day is going to be a memorable for me and I look forward to greeting one and all, at the Parade and being a part of the free family fun day in Mallow."

Also on hand at the parade launch was Michael O'Donovan. Michael has acted as MC for the parade for well over 22 years now. "March 17 each year is always a memorable one for me," said Michael. "The committee do their best to keep me informed of which group is coming next but inevitably there is much impromptu remarks to be made and I think those lining the streets of Mallow enjoy my humorous comments.

"What I really enjoy is watching the very young children dancing on the streets of the town - displaying their talents to the people of Mallow.

"In particular, it is lovely to see the community taking pride in their town and in the community activities that Mallow people are involved in.

"Once the parade has passed and the results have been announced I get the job of singing the National Anthem. This singing of Amhran na bhFiann is a magic moment for me and all the good things about our town and our country come into mind.

"I am grateful to Maire Ui Brian Secretary and Rose Kelleher who supply me with information on the groups and to Hannah Sheahan for having me year after year. They have reminded me to ask groups which intend to participate, and have not registered, should do so as soon as possible. Looking forward to seeing all your readers," added MC Michael.

The theme of this year's parade is 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'. It is fitting that this is the theme for this year as the Mallow people continue locally to develop a strong community spirit while at the same time making strides to provide a happier town for all families to live and play in.

The parade assembles at Mallow Town Park between 1pm and 2pm and the starting time of the parade is 2pm. Please note that the starting time of the Parade has been moved back a half an hour (to 2pm rather than 2.30pm as in previous years) to avoid clashes with sporting events on the day.

Cuisle Avondhu will provide pre-parade entertainment on the reviewing platform on Davis Street/Main Street from 1pm onwards until the commencement of the parade.

An integral part of the parade is the competition between the groups participating. There are a number of categories under which these groups compete, including Schools Groups, Light Entertainment Groups and Industrial and Business Groups.

This year the Parade Committee have enlisted the services of three well qualified judges for the parade competition, namely John O'Connor, presenter of the c103fm Dairygold Agricultural Programme, and Aideen Mc Donnell and Mags O'Riordan of Centre Stage Drama School in Mallow.

Intending participants in this year's parade in Mallow should make contact with either Mairie Ui Bhriain in the naonaire in Mallow GAA Complex, or with Noel O'Connor at 087 2738222.

High drama and mixed fortunes for Mallow Utd in National Cup

There was high drama and mixed fortunes for the two Mallow United teams that were involved in National Cup action last weekend with both games ending with a 3-2 score-line and being decided by last minute winners.

Mallow United U/13s visited Tralee on Sunday to face St Brendan's Park and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with two late goals.

Mallow found themselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes but just before half-time Mallow got the break they deserved when the St Brendan's keeper found Billy O'Keeffe's free kick too hot to handle and the ball found its way to the back of the net.

Despite applying sustained pressure throughout the second half time was running out for Mallow when an exchange of passes between Donnchadh Barrett and Cormac O'Sullivan allowed O'Sullivan to swing in a great cross with Louis Hanover connecting to slot home the equaliser.

With normal time elapsed Mallow continued to press and three minutes into injury time Mallow won a free kick in the corner. A perfect delivery from Barrett was met with a sublime header from Alan O'Connell making it 3-2 to Mallow at the death.

As with their U/14 club mates the week previously, victory for Mallow comes with the reward of a place among the last 16 teams in the country battling it out for the National Cup. The Mallow U/13s will travel to Mayo to face Kiltimagh Knock United in two weeks time.

In the U/15 National Cup last 32, Mallow traveled to take on Charleville on Saturday last. Shane Brown put Mallow 1-0 up ten minutes in after the keeper parried from a Sam Cronin effort.

Mallow created several great opportunities in the first half with the Charleville keeper playing a pivotal role in keeping Mallows advantage to a single goal at half-time.

The game took a turn in the second half as a wind assisted Charleville applied sustained pressure on the Mallow goal with Osinski and Henigan being called into action for Mallow to stem the Charleville attack on more than one occasion. Despite the spirited Mallow effort in defence Charleville got a well-deserved equaliser after five minutes and took the lead mid-way through the second half.

After going ahead Charleville began to sit back, allowing Mallow back into the game and when Dylan McGrath was played through on the 25-minute mark he made no mistake slotting home to the far left.

With the teams tied at 2-2 at full time, extra time was required.

With little to separate the sides in the extra time period it looked like penalties were on the cards. However, in the last minute a well delivered Charleville corner benefited from the strong wind and found the back of the net to give Charleville the win.