Maybe the Best Bus Driver Ever: In what could be called the end of era, local or should we say Boeshill man, Noel McGovern retired from bus driving after forty-two years. Noel, well known for a great sense of humour and witty ripostes, started his career just a year before the song by the group Dawn made a mighty hit with “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”. It was about a man returning home from doing time in prison by bus as the first line goes, “I’m coming home, I’ve done my time”. Of course in Noel’s early years of employment, the pupils of national schools and indeed their second level counterparts saw the return trip as conveyance to and from prisons in the dreadful days of corporal punishment in schools before the Government finally relented under pressure. As the old folk used to say, “You could set your clock” to the punctual driver who passed your house at almost the same second every morning and God help he who would try to “pull a fast one” on him by leaving his schoolbag on the roadside in front of the house in the hope that he could “buy time” by suggesting that he would be aboard the bus in less than 30 seconds. No, Noel didn’t fall for that one, driving on instead so as to have the freight already on board and those to come, in good time for their first lesson. A natural driver, we were forced to mention in our local notes many moons ago about how he negotiated a bus load of pupils up the steep hill from the railway bridge at Corromahon to the summit on 250 yards of ice-covered road which included rounding a blind bend. On that particular morning, many with front wheel drive cars (as against the back-wheel drive CIE vehicle) famous for their ability to scale frozen hills, had to turn back in “slow reverse” before heading for home with “tails” of the unexpected planted rigidly between their legs. We all wish Noel the intrepid coach driver a long and happy retirement.
Craic Le Cheile Cois Na h-Abhainn: Craic Cois na h-Abhainn will take place over the weekend of July 19th and 21st on Aughawillan GFC grounds with a host of events inspiring fun/culture and sports. For the communities of Corraleehan and Aughawillan, it’s an opportunity for long lost friends and parishioners to be re-united with a programme of events that will entertain both young and old. Friends, neighbours and families from Dublin, London, Birmingham, the USA, Australia and even the Middle East have been asked to return for this great event. The weekend starts with a teenage disco on Friday at 9pm. Then on Saturday, the Wild Orchid and Windflower Walk through the countryside as expressed by the late great author, John McGahern will start on Saturday morning at 11am or for a tour that will be softer on your soles and heels, a bus will be available for the above tour. On Saturday night there will be a Yankee style “American Tea Party”. On Sunday there will be a Family Sports Day with tug o’war, egg and spoon race and three-legged races. As the Latin hymn goes, “adeste fidelis” or in the local vernacular, Oh come all ye faithful and become joyful and triumphant, as the same hymn goes, on the weekend of 19th to the 21st.
What’s New Pussycat?: When we last sent local notes to the Leitrim Observer, there was the rude awakening ensuing from the revelation of the contents of those tape recordings of the sometimes filthy conversations between banker and fellow bank-robber who let the Irish public see them as “men of consequence” at the time with their briefcases, pin stripe suits and all that jazz. Oh my God, how our parents who put their likes on a pedestal long ago must have turned in their graves at the thought of how they might have taken off their caps or hats to vermin and vampires like these in the days when they sweated and had nightmares about overdrawn accounts in the 1950s and 60s. But sure, were not the playboys these simple rustics revered, the cause of all the scandals with resulting tribunals which “skint the people” as one man said and only came to light in our times. Since the sudden onset of the June 2013 revelations, there have been many drastic recommendations made on how to deal these pieces of human waste. These range from “kneecapping” to burning them alive in barrels of boiling tar, African style of old and the stoning to death of the era of our Good Lord, God Rest Him. Just imagine how one of these leeches is actually getting the proverbial arm and a leg to advise Americans on how to invest their money? The bare-faced arrogance of him as in the country in which he obtains yet another fat cat salary there is any of God’s amount of Irish youth (maybe illegal emigrants) who fled poverty to work for low wages under unscrupulous building contractors, many Irish like the above-mentioned piece of s---t due to his role in destroying Mother Ireland financially. Could these ex-pats combine and devise a way to “settle a score” which is now five years old, having had its beginnings in the unforgettable August 2008. But sure as one man said to yours truly a few years ago, “the Irish are just sheep” and mind you, we have exported flocks of such sheep abroad in the interim. Back here in Ireland, it is obvious that the antics of a few has led to disdain for the entire banking fraternity. The ordinary pogue mahone views bank staff as being grossly overpaid with one man remarking to the local corr, “For the lock of hours, they ‘spind’ behind them counters”. His and so many other grievances has even led to desperate borrowers insulting ordinary bank staff like managers, tellers and clerks. There is the old saying, “Don’t shoot the messenger”. But sure the messengers are in so many cases too far out of range to even be aimed at, let alone to pull the trigger on, ala