From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Local Papers Commentary
Connaught Telegraph - 9 July 2003
By The Jaundiced Eye
14, Jul 2003 - 22:40

Mayo Double Fault

The Backdoor beckons according to John Melvin whose verdict is that Galway remain the dominant force in Connaught Football with a total of 42 and 35 titles won by senior and minor teams respectively. As expected, John M says in the Connaught sports supplement, Mayo’s lack of cut up front was very much their undoing, while they struggled at times at midfield, but they found some comfort from their collective defensive performance especially with Maughan having to rearrange their defence given the injuries to both Costello and Gary Mullins, two players who were showing up particularly well, Mullins having one of his finest games at wing back.

Ah well! My uncle an almost-octogenarian Mayo Man from the metropolis of Louisburgh and long time Mayo fan perhaps said it all. He told me he was going to watch the golf on the other channel instead of putting his bypass under even more pressure. Still and all I’m not sure that he did not sneak a peek at the red and green as opposed to watching the white on the green every now and then!

Penalty Points

A total of 651 Mayo drivers now have points on their licences – 33,000 drivers nationwide have won points on their licence so far. In Mayo most still only have 2 points – 631 drivers. There are 20 with 4 points and none have reached six yet according to the Connaught.

So are we safe drivers here in Mayo? Judging by the number of times driving-related issues come up on the bulletin board I’m not so sure. While we do have some of the smallest roundabouts in the country (ESB) and two-lane to one-lane switcheroos at Cathal Duffy and Moneen seem to cause confusion to non-Mayo drivers (turn left if you're in the left lane idots!@#). Slow tractors at Ballindine and cap-wearing Morris Minor drivers also seem to feature and liable to cause reckless overtaking or road rage. With fewer cars on the road per mile of road though, we probably get away with more than would be possible in the Monte-Carlo style race tracks of Dublin and Galway. An ill-considered foray across the white line like the one performed by the grey ford I saw coming towards me on Spencer Street today would be instantly punished by a head-on in Dublin but luckily we both escaped perhaps because we are a bit more laid back here in Mayo. 

The scary thing about the report in the Connaught though was that, nationally, we have already eaten up the huge gains or, should I say reduction, in road deaths. In January I seem to remember the road safety people saying that there were 30 or so people walking around alive who would normally be dead by now – due to the points system introduced a couple of months before that, but this has all but vanished now - all the care and consideration - and fear - is gone again. And now, six months further into the points, instead of increasing further, the gap has been reduced to just 13 fewer deaths than this time last year. An actual increase of 18 fatalities in the month of May was recorded in comparison with May of last year. It looks like we have well and truly gotten used to the points system. At the end of July new penalty points are to be introduced for those who chose not to wear seat belts. Perhaps the new commissioner will place a higher priority on traffic offences?


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