Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sunset over Dungarvan after an incredibly mild day, should ha... on Twitpic

Sunset over Dungarvan after an incredibly mild day, should ha... on Twitpic

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Rainy Colligan Wood

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dungarvan Born Blogger Eats Her Words - Wins Award!

This week the UK newspaper The Observer held it's prestigious 2011 Food Monthly Magazine awards and amongst the winners was Niamh Shields with her blog, which can be found at, sweeping the Best Blogger Category following on from 2010 when she was amongst only two that made the Highly Commended class.

Niamh, born and raised here in Dungarvan, is gaining plenty of recognition whilst travelling and experiencing culinary delights, finding plenty of inspiration for new recipes to share with her multitude of readers whilst somehow still being able to find the time and energy to complete her first book "Comfort And Spice".

With Paul Flynn's (Tannery Restaurant) recent T.V series "Irish Food" so well received and the Dungarvan Brewing Company's acquisition of a Gold Medal at Blas na hEireann for their range of locally produced beer, ale and stout the town's "foodie" reputation is rising fast, along with my appetite........Congratulations!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dungarvan Officials Vist Erie -

A delegation of Dungarvan representatives has been visiting our sister city Erie in Pennsylvania, USA over the past week to strengthen and highlight the links between the two, and has been my resource for following their progress with great coverage of their stay.

Many may question the viability of such ventures in the current financial climate though I look forward to hearing the reports from our team on any new initiatives that may have been garnered from the time spent with their Erie counterparts.

We are one of three Erie sister cities and Dungarvan has enjoyed strong links with it's Mercyhurst College who have regularly sent students to continue their studies in our town, and has established the annual Global Intelligence Forum which this year took place in The Park Hotel, attracting visitors from worldwide.

Here are three interviews with Dungarvan Officials from earlier in the week, thanks to, and don't forget to answer the poll on the right, (closed 13/10).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

HSE "Targeting the weak" says Tom Higgins on Dungarvan Hospital Cuts

Cuts, cutbacks, cost saving measures, phrases that we are becoming all to used to hearing and reading in these grey days of recession though whatever word is used to describe an action taken by any government agency or private corporation (i.eTalk Talk/GSK) can only end up in the inevitable creation of a few more victims of this fiscal crisis.

Today we learn that fifteen beds and a number of agency staff are envisaged to be lost from our local Dungarvan Community Hospital due to measures by the HSE to aid in the recovery of a local 3 million euro budget overspend.

Without figures at hand the amount of people affected by this is hard to judge, the beds are said to be "short term" beds.  Is that a couple of days, a week, two months, and which patients do they serve? Though it is obviously going to affect not only those  requiring these beds but also their families, friends and carers who I imagine will be having to make a decision on whether to care for the loved one at home or seek alternative respite/rehab care elsewhere, meaning higher costs and longer journeys for any visits. Though where these beds can be found is any one's guess.

3 million is quite an overspend you'll agree and Waterford Community Services should provide details of just how this came about, we are all balancing the books at the moment but the importance of our health care facilities should really mean that they should be the last resort when it comes to making cuts. After all the most important factor is that this is a "Community Hospital" that, after undergoing a 32 bedroom extension costing 10 million euro, (opened ironically by The Chair of the HSE almost to this day only 1 year ago) is now going to house 15 less beds, though those that survive will undoubtedly comprise of better conditions/facilities, they will serve fewer people and therefore a smaller percentage of Our Community.

In a recession and times of financial hardship the term "less is more" is often wise advice, but not in this case, keep these beds and jobs in Dungarvan Community Hospital!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Meteor and The Whale

Well what a beginning and end the last weekend gave our small town on the South East Coast of Ireland. It goes to show you never know and just about anything is possible!  On Friday I was a little late to learn of the unfortunate stranding of the large Sperm Whale that had caused a large furore over on the Cunnigar as hundreds swooped to witness for themselves as the magnificent but tragic creature's demise approached. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group were quick on the scene and you can only feel for these people who give so much to the study, preservation, and protection of some of our more incredible and beautiful visitor's to our coastline.  Ironically Sunday past was the Whale Watch day at Ardmore, an event I can gladly say I attended in a previous year and was able to discuss and learn so much about the species, I highly recommend anyone to do this in the future especially to bring the children along and awaken their interest in the natural world around them, not seeing a whale/dolphin is irrelevant (great if you do) but becoming a little more knowledgeable far outweighs that and I guarantee the kids will happily watch for hours, if the weathers good bring a picnic and once you know a little more you can always have your own whale watch day whenever you like. And it's for free, hooray!

This was the 68th such stranding of a whale on the Irish coastline and we can only hope that what this rare but unfortunate close encounter brings is a greater awareness and appreciation to many of us.

Our second event occurred late Monday night early Tuesday morning at approximately 00:10 and whereas the previous extraordinary occurence was of the sea, this one was very much of the sky. Upon looking out towards the majestic Comeragh Mountains I saw a spectacular (albeit short) display that took a moment to comprehend.  The eye only sees what the mind knows and the relationship between the two became strained for an instant as an extremely bright and large green light streaked nonchalantly across the dark night sky. Now this only lasted for around 1.5 seconds (maybe due to cloud?) but it certainly wasn't forgettable, questionable perhaps had my eyes deceived me? 

After putting out a manic tweet in the hope of contacting other witnesses I found that there were other Tweeters from Dundalk and as far as South West Scotland were doing the same thing.

"@AstronomyIrl saw a massive flash of light near Dundalk Co.Louth last night about 12:15, thought I was seeing things. #Fireball??"

From @NotHereFurlong

"Anyone in SW Scotland see the massive freball at 00:10 BST. It lit the sky around us and the side of the cottage"

From @GallowayAstro

Thank God I wasn't imagining things and thanks to Dungarvan Brewing Company's Cormac O Dwyer who responded locally having also seen the phenomena

"@DungarvanDiary Just after midnight two nights ago? Saw that too."

From @CormacO'Dwyer
Early Tuesday morning Astronomy Ireland  confirmed that a fragment of a comet had entered the earths atmosphere above Ireland, and how lucky it was to witness it.  I have filed a report with them and encourage any other witnesses to do so.

Closest likeness I could find in video though didn't breakup

Now at 300 euro a gram, if only I could find a piece of the darned thing!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

One Of Our Ambulances Is Missing?........or will be!

Last weekend over 1000 residents of nearby Youghal (our neighbours down the road) took to the streets in what was thankfully a peaceful protest amidst a week full of disturbing images of public disorder and violence in England where lack of public services were in evidence as the dwindling police force fought against ridiculous odds whilst buildings and businesses burnt to the ground with fire crews powerless.

The emergency services are integral in the safety and security of every community and it is somewhat comforting to know they are there should, God forbid, any bad fortune befall us or anyone close.

The people of Youghal know that, as do we here in Dungarvan, and that is why they marched against proposals to replace their town ambulance service with a first responder paramedic vehicle. "A first what" you ask? Well a first responder vehicle is firstly not an ambulance and according to what I found is little more than a car with a first aid kit on board, hardly fitting for use in any medical emergency for a town of around 7,000 people. The person in charge of this vehicle, whilst obviously doing their best would be;

A certified first responder is a person who has completed a course and received certification in providing pre-hospital care for medical emergencies. They have more skill than someone who is trained in basic first aid but they are not a substitute for advanced medical care - Wiki

which is hardly inspiring for anyone in need of urgent attention.

But how does this affect Dungarvan?

Well quite simply it is envisaged that any need of an ambulance equipped with paramedics for a call out to Youghal would primarily be drawn from one of four areas, and yes you guessed it Dungarvan is one of those concerned.

Quoting The Irish Times article by Orla Kelleher where I learnt of this on Monday last

"Protesters said that if a medical emergency happens from next month, the patient will have to wait at least 20 minutes before an ambulance from Midleton, Dungarvan, Fermoy or even Cork city arrives to take them to hospital."

So statistically at least (whilst I am sure every effort would be made to avoid any shortage) one in four ambulance call outs to Youghal would be from Dungarvan. Including mileage, treatment times and possible hospital transfers this equates to a considerable time away from home base. And then it rolls on......if we fall short where do we have to depend on for back up? And can you or I afford to?

Talks are continuing between the Save Youghal Ambulance Group and the HSE and I think we should all be keeping a close eye on this one as Dungarvan's health may depend on it. 

Slainte Mhath

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sean Kelly Tour 2011 - Just Around the Corner

Well the time is nearly upon us all again when cyclists (and meself) take to the saddle for the 2011 Sean Kelly Tour an event now pulling over 5,000 competitors from all over Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Starting here in the heart of Dungarvan and taking in in three routes of varying difficulty (namely 50k - 90k - and the 150k) this years date is Sunday August 28 2011 so not long left for turning those pedals like ninety in the final preparations.

Having taken part in the past two events I can vouch for how well organised an event this is and the words received from other entrants will truly back this up, from start to finish and along the beautifully scenic route you are looked after superbly with refreshments abundantly supplied by sponsors and locals alike and by the back up vehicles that can provide you with a new tyre in the unfortunate event of a blowout. Yes hand up, twas I the baldy tyre guy, who ventured out around 10k with a threatening bulge (in the tyre thread!) before it literally all blew up in my face. Thanks again to the spritely elderly lady who sped past my forlorn location passing on the supportive words "You having a rest already?"

That was on the 50k, and this year I may step it up and try to conquer the Kelly Coast 90k, hoping that both my legs and aged mountain bike are up to the challenge, though the spare tube is already in place if i'm in for a repeat, and a pillow for my sore behind will be placed in the fridge. Below is the route; (click to enlarge)

God Help Us.

So only four weeks training left to get in and be in reasonable shape for the challenge. And Mrs "having a rest", I'll be looking out for you, lol!

The Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford

A 10k Family Cycle is being held the previous day Saturday 27 August around Dungarvan, Abbeyside, Clonea and the Gold Coast so get the whole crew out for a spin you won't regret it!

The Kelly Ten - 10k Family Cycle

Video from VisitWaterford.

And last but certainly not least, a simple word to all the volunteers involved in this event......Thanks!

Slainte Mhaith

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Can't Hit the Beach.....? Hit the Past!!

Kilgreany Cave :: Prehistoric Waterford

The summer weather has, as yet, decided to delay it's arrival around the Dungarvan coastline so if the beach is not offering it's usual temptations, visitors and locals alike may look to other pastimes to occupy themselves.

The Prehistoric Waterford website I stumbled upon offers a fascinating insight into the County's past and details a number of historical monuments and landmarks that can be added to any "to do" list especially for when the weather may be a little inclement, and of course the bonus is that they are all free.

As stated in the report a human skeleton found here was dated older than 9,000 B.C which would make it from the Stone Ages (or Keith Richards), when Clubs did not have flashing lights and copious amounts of body hair were a pre-requisite. I would imagine the rent on the place was fairly reasonable as well.

So as we keep the bucket and spade on standby why not take in some of the more unusual sights around us, it's educational, cheap and the cave would provide shelter from any of the wet stuff.

This particular site is practically part of farmland so it is advised you ask the landowners for permission before you venture into this prime real estate of our past. Many other monuments with maps, photos and directions are available on the site just click the link above or here.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dungarvan - "An Ungrateful Town" - An Ungraceful Politician - A Baffling Article

Outgoing TD Labels Dungarvan as "Ungrateful Town"

Whilst I wipe the tears away from my eyes after reading the above Irish Times article about an outgoing local TD (assumed as who it is never quite spelt out for us ;o ) I feel the need to suspend any sarcasm or cheap shots at what is possibly the easiest of targets, the losing team. Which is what it is, not an individual cast aside by his followers, (sounds like some Twitter accounts) and someone easily forgotten by the march of progress or social revolution! Ok the sarcasm is back a little.

The article puts across well the difficulties that transition can place on a person, and in whatever line of life, hopefully a tight social and family environment will be able to support them through these challenges.  However I can't really find the angle here, a cousin of X who states that the meeting between the two was hardly welcomed then proceeds to spill the beans of the Election meltdown and emotional earthquake of heavy defeat upon our candidate to the national press, who willingly oblige. Transition is something the Nation and everybody within it is experiencing right now and the only fact that I garnered from this piece is the rank stench of bitterness towards those that had provided X with a position of public authority within Dungarvan's midst "an ungrateful town....." which he wouldn't be visiting "anytime soon".  Jeysus, we are told there was a bridge near the pub where this discussion took place and it seems someone needs to build one himself fairly quick and get over it! For my part I was amazed X polled at 7,515 first preferences in the first place due to the nature of the political and financial environment, but his cousin steps in to remind him "to go from 23,025 first preferences in 2007 to 7,515 first preferences in 2011 is "some feat of electoral incompetence" with friends like these eh? Maybe he is now a somewhat "removed" cousin!

The Ungrateful (Celtic?) Tiger from Raymond Grady on Vimeo.

I began to think that this wasn't the Irish Times but a satirical piece for The Phoenix when Mrs X put forward her idea of taking 2% out of every workers paypack and re-establishing the double payment at Christmas to encourage spending, the more I think of it it's hilarious and Phoenix would do well to better this, though the drink and emotions that were now flowing may be partly to thank for these pearls of political wisdom.

X may be right when he says the next three years will be hell and that his outgoing party are best out of it, and Mrs X correct when she prompts him to be supportive of the incoming government, as I hope all the people of Dungarvan are and by doing so push some positivity back into the country, but this article from Thomas McCarthy ultimately left me feeling in agreement with X's parting shot,

"We're Better Off!"

Not Vincent Browne

Slainte Mhath

Updated after Link to Article changed to the Irish Times subscription page. Now corrected.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Famous Irish Victory At The Clash Of The.............Willow?

15th Match, Group B: England v Ireland at Bangalore, Mar 2, 2011 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo

Above is the link for the final scorecard from the historic Cricket World Cup win by the boys in green with willow not ash in their hands.

It's not a sport followed en masse here in Waterford though I am aware of a few hardcore supporters for who this result will stay implanted in their memory forever. There is also a Lismore Cricket Club for any one who may be interested in having a bash.

For following the event if you wish to keep up to date as a newly converted fan then ESPNCRICINFO is really quite hard to beat with hard working staff updating you by text on each and every ball. It's where I will be on Sunday (Ireland v India) and is now my safest bet for any involvement in the game having fractured my skull whilst aspiring to be a player such as Kevin O'Brien many moons ago. A great day for many Irish sports followers with Celtic winning their cup game against Rangers in a really "friendly" atmosphere, a few helmets wouldn't go amiss in future fixtures between these two methinks!!

Slainte Mhath

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ballymacarbry Cycling Event Launched By Sean Kelly!

And talking of launches, (see below, sorry lads terrible link) I last night attended the Ballymacarbry Community Centre where Sean Kelly, no less, made an appearance to support the Ballymac Cycle in aid of supporting the Irish Team at the 2011 Athens Special Olympics and the volunteers that are so crucial to making it all run smoothly. Local man Martin Moore is hoping to be amongst that number so cyclists from all over the region are urged to show their support for this worthy cause.

Sean agreed to endorse the ride as part of his ever successful Sean Kelly Series of events and being a cyclist of the highest stature, who has ridden so many times through this area it means a great deal to the event organisers. Well done that man!

The date is Sunday 29 May 2011 starting at 10:00 a.m and details of the route can be found here Ballymacarbry Cycle 96.52km, and if chosen the ever demanding Seskin Hill can be added for those that relish a test. The event would be a great way to kick off your Summer in the saddle!

Registration will be in the form of a 25 euro donation and can be paid here at the Special Olympics fundraising page, (anyone not entering can volunteer a donation from as little as 1 euro!) and of course for all you Social Networkers out there you can find out more on their FACEBOOK page.

Now spread the word and start spinning them wheels.

Helmets, for your safety, will be compulsory for this ride.

(Thanks to the catering team, much appreciated!)

NASA Not NAMA Raw Video: Shuttle Discovery's Final Launch

Any reports that Gadafi, Moubarak and Fianna Fail members were seen fighting for the last of the astronaut outfits at the launch sight were wildly exaggerated!

Great Nasa video though, from Associated Press.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Irish Election Posters

"All your stupid ideals
Got your head in the clouds
You should see how it feels 
With your feet on the ground."
Useless by Depeche Mode.

I was walking last week when the discussion turned to the posters absolutely plastered all over Dungarvan (and the whole country no doubt), and was asked "What purpose do they serve?, it's not like it will affect my vote!" 

I had to agree, but said I was sure that they must work on some subliminal level that only becomes apparent when we enter the polling booth. The Fine Gael posters for example feature candidates in front of a brutally computer enhanced "holiday brochure" sky that in this rather inclement period of Ireland's history reminds me of watching The Holiday Programme with Judith Chalmers, you'd feel great for half an hour as if you were there on the beach, but when the reality set in the blues returned and that unaffordable vacation returned to your dreams. I can only hope that the FG candidates are not as false as the "little fluffy clouds" behind them and that really they are informing us that they are in fact some ethereal race of angels or an army of valkyrie (valkyrjur) descending from the skies to save our ailing nation.

I am sure that their marketing company is hoping for just that effect, as they count the cash, if any of you are reading let me know what the pitch was. 

And as for the Fine Fail Posters..............

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Irish Windsurfing - GPS Records Fall in Dungarvan!


Video of Irish Speedsailing Champion Oisín van Gelderen breaking all Irish records while sailing in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Feb 2011.

Speeds achieved:
Irish GPS Speed Record for 10 sec run: 45.02 knots

500m: 43.96 knots
5 x 10 second average: 44.26knots
Peak Speed: 46.34knots

These are the fastest speeds every achieved by any Irish sailor on Irish waters, though Oisín's highest ever peak speed is 47.17knots on a speed course in the UK.

The Diary congratulates Oisin on his achievements and a great video too. Dungarvan is becoming world known for the speed strip and hopefully with record breaking speeds like this the sport will only continue to grow locally. Another sport I have never tried but did witness an event a couple of years ago when after we had great winds for weeks, the weather decided to change dramatically and not even a breeze was available to competitors.

Hopefully we can post up more details of any upcoming events this year and make more people aware of another positive for Dungarvan.

Want to know more?  Read Oisin's Blog Here

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Searching For The Perfect Fit!

Felt real slouchy today just didn't want to move, which for a large percentage of hours is exactly what I did.  In fact I'm doing the very same right now.

I started searching the interweb for a new pair of runners, for the better half, in the early hours of this morning (it seems she is taking to this fitness challenge a little quicker than I) and now, happily, the pay now button has been pressed and we eagerly await their arrival, like a dog approaching a lamp post.  It's a flaming jungle the on line shopping world, predators at every turn palming off dodgy goods to extract you of your cash. So much information has been garnered during this search I now hold a HDIP in running shoe technology, am I a better person for it, no, somehow knowing whether a persons foot is likely to make them likely to be underpronated or supinated (look up the meanings yourself, had it up to my neck!)  is not going to going to change my world but the test to find out foot shape could be appearing in party situations in the future.

But seriously, it's important to purchase the right shoe for you and seeking the advice of someone who knows is always a good idea before buying.  It could save you from shin splints or any amount of feet, ankle and leg pain, I know, having read thousands of testimonials today.

During today's search however a break did occur when "persuaded" to take in a run on the foggy beach and albeit short it provided much needed fresh air, and it looks like I am going to be up against it when the new runners finally arrive!

Watch the "Wet Test" Video From Runners World Here

NB; There's many types of soles out there people, choose wisely (especially on the 25th).

Normal (medium) Arch
Wet TestIf you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator. Contrary to popular belief, pronation is a good thing. When the arch collapses inward, this "pronation" absorbs shock. As a normal pronator, you can wear just about any shoe, but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability). Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support, or even a performance-training shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel.

Flat (low) Arch

Wet TestIf you see almost your entire footprint, you have a flat foot, which means you're probably an overpronator. That is, a micro-second after footstrike, your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries. You need either stability shoes, which employ devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive "posts" to reduce pronation and are best for mild to moderate overpronators, or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices and are best for severe overpronators, as well as tall, heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners.

High Arch

Wet TestIf you see just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot, you have a high arch, the least common foot type. This means you're likely an underpronator, or supinator, which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn't collapse enough to absorb it. Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned shoes because they need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. It's vital that an underpronator's shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation, the way a stability or motion-control shoe would.

Slainte Mhiath.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Duathlon and Logistical Parking

I accidentally came across a Duathlon taking place last Sunday over in Clonea that started and finished in front of the Clonea Strand Hotel.  The Diarist was out for a stroll/jog along the old railway tracks and then descended to the beach, all this before 9.a.m very impressed with myself I must say.  It was a grand morning blue skies and shining sun but the swell of the ocean was enough to have encouraged two lads to don the wetsuits and take out the surfboards, that's another "yet to experience" added to the list.  It really is a beautiful area and sitting at home in front of the t.v or p.c just helps you forget how lucky us resident in this area really are with the abundance of natural resources for recreation.

Some of course are fully aware of this fact and I'd say there would have to have been over 100 competitors in the duathlon, and around 20 supporters, cheering them on as they completed the first 5k run and clambered into the seats of their bicycle as fast as their ever tiring legs could get them and the pedals taking their first rotation on the 20k cycle, before throwing down the bike and repeating the run, or if it was too much just ordering a taxi.

I noticed that the hotel gym was also busy that morning, maybe a quick workout or swim before mass, but not because I looked in there but because of the number of cars parked along side the side entrance to the leisure centre on double yellow lines.  Now I'm only starting out but isn't the point of an expensive gym membership to get one fit.  And let alone driving probably less than a mile to workout, they then totally ignore the numerous empty spaces in front of the hotel, cause a traffic hazard and look like prize numpties in the process and all because they can't be arsed to walk an extra 30 yards. Unbelievable!  Maybe some kind of "Lazy Fecker" sticker could be introduced, clamp the car and make them walk 5 miles to get it released, no charge, and the exercise they get from that means they can cancel their membership saving money into the bargain, everyone's a winner!  Either that or the hotel should consider providing members with a small outboard motor before they embark on their swim to lessen the effort.

There's a couple of pics of the duathlon in the photo's section, shame I didn't get video for the new Diary You Tube Page but was not prepared, won't be long though.  I have moved the Weekend Bet and treble to it's own page also as it really shouldn't be part of The Diary, business and pleasure and all!

Talking betting, the Cheltenham Festival Preview night is on this Sunday in the Park Hotel, starting at 7:30 p.m.  It was great crack last year and the information given by those present was excellent.  Again jockeys Davey Russell and Andrew Tinkler will be in attendance and tickets are 10 euro (including a 5 euro free bet) available from Paddy Powers, Dungarvan.  Funds raised go to a local GAA club so come along and get the inside track on the greatest race meeting of them all.

Off to do a little weights, but then again their in the room next door! Anyone give me a lift?

Slainte Mhath.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fit As a Flea - Albeit a Slightly Overweight One

Well I come back to the keyboard today after having completed a good walk around Ballinacourty  a beautiful part of Dungarvan (edit; Abbeyside), very enjoyable too, even when a friendly dog latched on for the trip, always a heartwarming moment that, until 200 yards on you realise that he may have no intention of returning home at all and that you may then have to feed, walk and house the blighter till he decides another adventure beckons.

The legs felt it and a little perspiring took place, think that's what it's called, at least it was the last time it happened, though that was pre 21st Century.  Tomorrow heading out again and hope to jog a bit of it. Bit being the optimal word, though feeling good about the undertaking (probably not the right expression!)

A proper walker in every sense is Kate Veale who is now making her mark both locally, winning the Pat Noctor Trophy for a third consecutive year, and internationally with the World Junior Racewalker record over 3,000m at only seventeen. Often out training in all weathers here's hoping that she advances further on the international stage in the near future and garners more success.

All weathers is exactly what we are getting at the moment, one moment like spring blue skies, little cloud and then an upsurge in the wind and the rain begins to fall, but it does not deter people.  Passing Colligan yesterday I surely saw 10 walkers, and 4 runners out though the rain was coming down hard.  Fair play to them.  And again in town a number of cyclists were on the beat squinting their eyes to avoid them a lashing.  Could I rebrand swimming goggles for cyclists? MMMmmmm?

Talking of rebranding, I am having a think of the structure of the blog, it's feeling a tad haphazard at the moment, and I may have a daily posting structure, Event Review Sunday, Monday Club Of The Week,  Local Sports Event Preview Wednesday, etc, along with my own progress in getting in a bit of shape. Like a bet? I think I will try to throw in my views on a sporting event over each weekend on a Friday as well keeping the running total of winners and losers updated for the year.

Whatever's decided I'll update things here a.s.a.p.

Dungaran Diary You Tube Channel now ready for launch (well, as soon as I do a video and upload it obviously).

Slainte Mhaith.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trapped in the Square

"Could you spare a moment of your time?"

Blimey O'Reilly, I awoke this morning from a night horror I will not want to revisit any time soon, it's mid afternoon and the hands still quake at the thought of it.

What happened was I was in the square in Dungarvan visiting the Farmer's Market for a bit of this and that, when I realised that at each corner of said square was a different group of individuals who I just knew would pounce if you passed within fifty yards of them, even desperately trying not to establish eye contact would be a forlorn tactic. I was trapped holding nothing but a pound of carrots and a mackerel as my weapons. I suddenly realised that overpriced cappuccino I passed on could have come in handy. 

On the Mary Street exit were the "Concernites" busily waving their clip boards and looking hungry for commission, had they already marked me for an approach, rapidly hatching a plan to extract my bank account details by any means necessary, like an angry dentist? I therefore looked to Main Street where a dubious pair of buskers combined to produce what can only be described as a calamity of noise as a mechanical monkey in a box gyrated in the manner of a non too sober fella as he tries to stand up straight when looking for another brew. No good, a surreal, ear deafining exit.

So I turned to O'Connell Street, a calmer scene, "Free Bible Lessons Here", suspicious! A respectable looking lady sat alone in a chair, or was she, a couple of similar types hovered around her quietly every now and again passing a comment or nodding, snakes in the grass, I thought, lying in wait pouncing suddenly giving you no chance of escape. Bridge street? Oh Mother of Devine, THE POLITICIANS, aaaarrrrghh, this was a like a round up, and I was in this moment, the cattle. Images of attacks on wagon trains from the wild west appeared in my mind, and the candidates began to do a rain dance in my direction, this is a dream remember, though saying that a rain dance could be a nice analogy of what the TD's of this country have been doing recently. The Dail full of Little Big Men doing things arseways back to front.

I felt claustrophobic, the square was closing in, leaving by the exit to to the shopping centre would embroil me in impulse buying, a weakness of mine, and I made a conscious decision to avoid (impressive whilst asleep) so my only option was Crossbridge Street where the Army were guarding the van distributing our spondoolies to the "noble" banks of the town. The monkey was at my back as it were, and I ran, frantically throwing the carrots behind me.

"Drop the mackerel!" came the cry from the Colonel as an itchy fingered newbie took his aim.

I obeyed the order and successfully made it passed the "blockade" and took a deep breath......... strolled into Paddy Powers and lost a fortune! Nightmare!

Choices are many and we can all too often have them pushed on us, hurrying us into the wrong decision. It's nearly getting to the stage that the fictional trolls that who, if you paid, would grant you free passage over their bridge could make a come back at busy junctions. 50 cents and no one will bother you, sounds like a deal to me! Or could it be just another tax to come?

Monday, February 7, 2011


The horses continued their way around, jockeys bypassing the fence where one of their own, young Jack Tyner lay being attended to by the medical staff at the course and those closest to him.  Unfortunately he passed away this morning in Cork, all too young at 19.

I had attended the Point To Point last Tuesday in the company of a few friends and with a view to writing a review for The Diary, but after leaving that day it just didn't seem to sit right when not knowing how young Jack's condition was.

After falling at the fence directly in front of the stands the race continuing was not unusual, but felt cold with an air of guilt about it, as children's eyes were averted by anxious parents and the crowd volume dropped, the occasional heckles and calls of the bookmakers rang through the frosty air.

Horse Racing along with many sports has plenty of dangers, and they rear their ugly head all too often, but the love of the game is a powerful drug to those involved and the day when we turn up to have a bet or cheer them on shows only a tiny percentage of what trainers, stable staff and of course the brave jockeys put themselves through repeatedly prior to the horse even making it to the track.

The race goes on albeit a jockey (and son) light, and we should never forget just how much is at stake.

R.I.P Jack Tyner

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl XLV - Some Out Of Game Statistics

The Dungarvan Diarist today came across some outrageous and staggering stats relating to tonight's Superbowl XLV and thought i'd present them to you in the form of a conversation between a Superbowl Advertising executive and a business potentially wanting to place a half time advert

"Hi, I'm Gloria your Super Bowl Ad Space Content Advisor, last year we had 106,500,000 viewers in the US who are dying to hear about your product, how can I help?"

"Wow Gloria, that's real impressive, tell me just how many bucks do I need to hand over for a half time ad?"

"A half time Super Bowl Special Placement Advertising Supercast would cost you just $3,000,000."

"Wow sounds impressive, do I get fries with that? Only kidding, how much airtime we talking?"

"For the duration of 30 seconds"

"Cough, OK maybe that's a non runner Gloria, that's almost 6.3 million sales of my product just to pay the ad costs, it's a beard mouse by the way, namely Brett's Pet, you know Brett Keisel defensive end of Pittsburgh his beard is 18cm long, grown it since June"

"Hope he doesn't lose it tonight against the Packer's 1560lb offensive line."

"Hey Gloria could we perhaps do something with the cheerleaders, involve the mice in the set?"

"I'm afraid Super Bowl XLV has no cheerleaders, The Packers and Steelers being two of six NFL Teams not to employ them."

"Ah jeez, I'm just gonna have to get into that game and throw around some pamphlets, any tickets left?"

"The entire ticket allocation has sold out, though our cheapest tickets were originally priced at $600 the average resale price is now $5,000 if you can find one."

"Thanks Gloria, i'm going get down there pretty late any parking nearby?"

"Yes of course, may I recommend a very practical lot that has it's own restrooms and is available for just $990."

"Cough. Yes you can Gloria but I ain't buying it, I wanna park in it."

Our poor business associate never makes it to the game, and drowns his sorrows with a few beers that together with all 325,000,000 gallons that will be drunk across the States tonight is enough to fill no less than 500 Olympic swimming pools.

For my part I'll be sitting in my living room here in Dungarvan County Waterford, maybe drinking enough beer to fill my goldfish's bowl, and ensuring the TV doesn't meander too far from the toilet.

Go Packers, Kuhn for MVP!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

(Lack of) Progress Update

Separating the task of writing the blog and actually achieving the aim of participating in the activities needed to improve my flagging fitness is so far proving too much.  At least my fingers have got plenty of exercise battering the keyboard to produce the words you read today.  It's a start (defends self vigourously) but the fact that I have begun to see the plethora of clubs and events on in the area has been enjoyable and inspiring.

Inspiring not just to myself I add but to those closest to me.  As I sit here in front of the monitor The Diarist's partner is doing some weights and climbing the stairs with aplomb after having restarted a walking programme in the week, the irony of it, but great that something positive is afoot in the household in these times of recession.

I think it was attending the Dungarvan 10 Mile race last weekend that sparked this change of heart seeing all the efforts of over 1100 people around the local streets I suppose could do nothing else, and we both look forward to attending more of the same possibly a Dungarvan Rugby Club match next and I am aware of a Boxing event in March taking place in Dungarvan Sports centre where Katie Taylor (an Irish World Champion) and the local lads of Dungarvan Boxing Club take on a Chinese team preparing for next years Olympic Games. This would be my first boxing event and of course I will write up a preview in the near future hopefully visiting the Club as part of the experience.

Thanks to my first follower on Twitter (you know who you are) and as I take another drag on a cigarette and keep up to date with my Fantasy Football Team, it becomes all to apparent that the challenge of getting in shape is very much a reality that no amount of typing is going to achieve.

Calories burnt on this post - 5 and a half.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dungarvan Hillwalking Club - Mangerton

"Move any mountain" a much used pep talk quote and dodgy 90's number one by The Shamen could also be a motto applied to the brave and hardy souls of the Dungarvan Hillwalking Club who this weekend I see are planning to head to County Kerry to tackle An Mhangarta (Mangerton) known as The Long Haired Mountain on Sunday morning.

Formed in 1995 the club now has an impressive 150 masochists members locally and seem to have an endless range of peaks to conquer. Mangerton is the 25th highest of Ireland's mountains at 839m above sea level and can be seen from Killarney's High Street where the shoppers and early season tourists will be blissfully unaware of the distant specks of bright rainjackets ascending the summit to be welcomed by stunning views of the lakes.

The Diarist has experienced these views before, but generally from binoculars and warm, air conditioned passenger seat of a car, surrounded by a throng of tourist buses and traffic, somehow I think it does not compare, let alone the environmental impact.

Good Luck to all travelling and hope the weather treats you well and The Diarist eagerly anticipates to participate in an event later this year.

Further details of Sundays exertion excursion 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Torres to Chelsea - A Load of Bull!

"Fernando who?" could be heard muttered amongst the broad Scouse accents around Anfield after a victory that was more about relief than anything else. A proud team with a distinctive history would once of expected a comfortable win against the team from the potteries Stoke City, but last night's performance was a statement that the history would not just be a thing of the past and future glories could be gained after a traumatic period for the Red's.

Luis Suarez's first goal on his debut for the club after being introduced as a substitute ensured the points and provided breathing space, allowing the volume from the Kop to finally vent their passion, and a new belief in the new era under "King Kenny" a beloved son of the club recently reinstated as manager after the unfortunate tenure of Roy Hodgson.

Of course, another (adopted) son of Liverpool had just left by the back door, a nice fat cheque being delivered to Anfield in compensation. And maybe most surprisingly it was quickly spent as a young and currently injured Andy Carroll joined Suarez to bolster a long stuttering attack.  N'gog and winger Kuyt were never the men required to fill The Kid's often crocked boots and I for one can only see this as a good piece of business, however obscene the fees involved.  The Uruguayan is up there with Torres in most areas of his game except in the air and Carroll will help him out there.

Chelsea's purchase however stinks of another money monger flexing his muscle in an already exaggerated market, a misfiring team who had mysteriously dropped off the pace since Ray Wilkin's obscure departure.  Every player seems off the pace and bringing in Torres, who can't make the Spanish national starting team remember, is often injured for long periods and can be seen to sulk when things aren't going well may not be the answer. Anelka, Drogba, Torres when they were good they were very good and when they were bad etc. At 50 million plus an extortionate wage package it will be an expensive but entertaining journey to see how it pan's out.

Ironically Torres may turn out against his former employers this Sunday at Stamford Bridge and after Dean Sturridge also scoring on his debut for Bolton last night after having been used all to sparingly for Chelsea, the pressure is on Fernando already before he's taken to the pitch. He may feel He Walks Alone for a while to come, well him and his paycheck!

Bowling Course for Over 55's

If you were to hear the word "Strike" you could be forgiven in these difficult times of recession and political uncertainty for thinking it relates to yet another set of workers taking action to protect their rights, but thankfully for now at least, this word relates to bowling.

Found this on the excellent Waterford Sports Partnerships site and the poster can be found here.  In Dungarvan Sports Centre each Monday for five weeks from 31 January 2011 between 11 and 12:00 a.m for the grand total of a fiver, that's really a recession buster. I realise it started Monday past but only found this myself so have put it out there for any others unaware it is taking place.

I take it that this is an indoor version of crown green bowling not of the "tenpin" version (let me know if you do) and is a relaxing and very sociable sport without requiring a lot of physical exertion. Get a couple of friends down there with you or sign up and make some new ones.

Think this is a great initiative by the WSP and hope there will be many more to follow.

Further Information - Peter Jones on 058 21191

Monday, January 31, 2011

Quantum Life Dungarvan 10 (A Supporter's Review)

After the disappointment of the second abandonment of the Point to Point on Saturday all attention turned to the Dungarvan 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday afternoon where the hosts West Waterford Athletic Club  staged a fantastic event that saw 1,050 cross the finishing line anxiously checking the clock above their heads for the confirmation of a new P.B (or not!).

Venturing out to witness the race for the first time and offer some support to the competitors I lodged myself and flask of tea (a little luxury) just up from the 9 mile marker which was just cresting the final climb that led to the finishing straight where the knowledge of hitting home would inspire even the most aching limbs towards one last big effort, whether the inspiration could be converted into energy is a dilemma that The Diarist will leave to the Sports Scientists.

Arriving just in time for the Steward to begin his pre - race entertainment program, starting with Trex  and Children of The Revolution we eagerly awaited the first of the runners to take the turn off the Youghal Road and into the country after 2.5 miles and we didn't have to wait long as the three main protagonists appeared at 1:09p.m and some way ahead of the rest of the field. Tactics had been finalised and as current record holder Sandis Bralitis had decided to be the hare setting a furious pace but two stuck with him on either shoulder. The race was on and so was Marc Bolan again as the CD got stuck.

Seeing the swarm of competitors was a great sight to behold, and I could feel an entry to next years race being on the agenda, but that's next year so I poured myself a cuppa.

The variety of running styles on show was incredible, arms up or arms down still or flailing around wildly endangering fellow competitors, shuffling feet, high knees and even a couple of Radcliffe-esque head rollers all passed by with a gritty determination in their eyes as if challenging the very tarmac they trod.

In what seemed like no time at all the remainder of the field had taken the turn on their way to miles 3 -10 and we awaited the leaders on their return and wondered who would appear first, had someone burst clear or were they still packed waiting for the moment to apply a kick?  I should say at this stage that around 15 - 20 supporters were at this point and I couldn't help but think a few more could have made it out for the afternoon to cheer the event on.

A figure appeared at the beginning of the long drag up towards us, alone, the sun blinding us from seeing the colours clearly a second figure around 150 yds behind him. The tea was put down and a glove removed as I readied the camera and click Mareks Floroseks filled the frame of the viewfinder. Travelling well and seemingly in command from this point he ran the last mile in 4:47 his fastest of the race no less and broke the tape in 49:26:42 a full 42 seconds of the previous record which was also beaten by the second place Sergiu Ciobanu ahead of Sandis.

The camera at this point chose to flash its battery warning and pack in so apologies as I could only get the first four in the race pictured especially hard luck to Phillip Harty whose return to form in 5th was not captured by The Diarist's lens. The pictures are now up in the Photos section, so be sure to take a look later.

Congratulations to the triumphant Lady Siobhan O'Doherty (new record by 0:59 secs), all category winners and competitors and I hope my cheers, hand clapping and words of support were not to off putting, though one lady almost lost it as I shouted an encouraging "DIG IN!" in her direction..................

I hid behind the flask.

Well done to all the organisers, stewards and those providing refreshments, see you next year.

An excellent and all together more serious review is here at West Waterford Athletics Club

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Tale of Two Tyres

Winter generally makes The Diarist a very sedentary animal, almost a hibernation you might call it when my body somehow averts itself too the stresses and strains of exercise, but it must be said that starting this diary has inspired an awakening, and an approach to the garage was made this morning to reignite an old relationship.........with my bicycle.

Not usually seen outside of temperatures above 20 degrees this was a touching reunion and the prospects of a glorious year of improved fitness and a record breaking Sean Kelly Tour performance were bright, that is until I saw the front wheel where a blister that had been forming over some length of time had taken it upon itself, in some kind of rebellion, to expand dramatically and explode leaving a crater size hole in the rubber. It was like a spurned lover gaining revenge "Oh yeah you need me now don't you!" I could hear it mock, "Well all this time you paid me no attention so f..k you!" I kind of felt I deserved it.

The repairs won't be happening today as attending Dungarvan Point To Point and unfortunately the only spare tyre I have is heavily weighted to my midriff and will remain there for the time being.  But it was close to being the start of the mission and I will inform you when the first pedals are pushed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Quantum Life Dungarvan 10 Mile

A stunning entry list of 1260 competitors will this Sunday descend upon Dungarvan for the 20th running of the Dungarvan 10 Mile Road Race.  Just the sort of event that the Diarist should be aiming to compete in although maybe a little soon yet as the Xmas pounds have yet to fall away!

A nationwide field (including many of our own West Waterford A.C), all with differing levels of expectations, will bound around the town's parameters in the  hope of beating Personal Best's, Course Records or simply to complete on the road to greater targets. The Diarist will be in attendance to witness the event and cheer on the athletes who depart from the Youghal Road at 13:00 and encourages readers (if not entered) to do the same.

The "carrot on the stick" for the elite of the field will be to claim 1st place and and a place in the history book of the event, oh....and the 400 euro for winning either Men's or Ladies Categories, decreasing amounts are offered for all in the Men's Top Ten and Ladies Top 6, a little differential there and The Diarist can quash any late rumours suggesting that Richard Keys and Andy Gray will be commentating on the race...Smashing! Team prizes, age categories, juniors and wheelchair competitors also have prize classification making it a highly competitive day all round.

Current Dungarvan 10 Record Holders -

Men's........................ Sandis Bralitis (West Waterford AC) ........50.08
Ladies...................... Rosemary Ryan (Bilboa AC) ......................57:27

List Of Entrants

The Diarist wishes the best of luck to all those competing and of course the efforts of everyone involved in arranging and marshalling the event, hopefully next year I'll be a contender!! Be sure to call back next week for a review of the event.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Empty Pages To Fill

A new diary always begins with empty pages and so the pen (or keyboard in this case) is preparing to apply it's first ink to the virgin first page of this Dungarvan Diary under the guidance of a first time Diarist. A delicate procedure!!


It should perhaps be pointed out that this small corner of the blogosphere refers to Dungarvan, County Waterford, Ireland, the apple of the Deise's eye. Though of course all are welcome to enjoy (or not) the musings of someone with too much time on their hands and access to a computer.

I will venture to keep you reading (and me writing), and hope to discover more about what's happening in and around "town" for myself in the process. Along the way there will be laughs, tears, ridiculously long and unexplained gaps between posts and general musings on the world and all the variety within.

Looking forward to the Dungarvan Point to Point after it has been provisionally rescheduled for this Saturday 29 January 2011 after last Sunday's postponement due to the state of the ground. Have always enjoyed the event on the occasions that I have attended whether wet or dry (that's in reference to the weather by the way). Be prepared for both if you are attending first time and dust down the wellies, don the hat and gloves and go pick a winner. Hope for this to be my first event that the Diary will report back on and please do feel free to suggest any events coming up in the future for the Diarist to savour.

This is a journey into Blog..................Alllllllll Aboarrrrrdd!