It was a Tuesday with a difference.
The last Tuesday of the month.
But no ordinary Tuesday.
It was a day the sun shone from early ’til late.
A day of much anticipation as we awaited word of potential easing of lockdown.
Unusually, being the last rather than the first Tuesday of the month, the March meeting of Kildare Co. Board was penciled in.
On zoom of course.
It was also the evening when the Ireland soccer team were seeking a change of fortune as Stephen Kenny's boys were looking to break a nine, or was it ten, even eleven, match sequence without a win.
Before the sun began to fade An Taoiseach descended the steps of Leinster House.
The fact we knew most of what he was about to say was somewhat irrelevant.
By the time he was finished we at least had the makings of a road map, albeit depending on you- know-what.
Sport is on the way back.
But on the way.
The kids will soon be able to resume activities. Inter-county training will return in a couple of weeks. Hopefully to be followed by some real action.
Golf and tennis get the green light, albeit in 30 days time and with more T&Cs than if you were taking out a mortgage.
The right moves?
Most probably say yes, just.
Except of course if one is a supporter of a political party, group or individual that is not part of the present government.
They, surprise, surprise, are not happy.
Then again, politics is politics, is politics.
Meanwhile the Ireland team has been announced with a handful of the older boys back in favour.
Niall Quinn is waxing lyrical on Virgin about the starting XI, although his ‘match of the day’ — as Philip Greene used to say many moons ago — is Portugal v Luxembourg.
Do you remember them?
Luxembourg that is.
Up to last week I though they were still a pirate radio station from back in the day.
Meanwhile over on RTÉ 2, something similar, maybe not quiet as positive as The Quinner, but still hopeful.
Fifteen minutes before throw-in, sorry tip-off, we go GAA zooming.
Up pops Christine, settling into her role as Co. Secretary like she was at it for years.
Chairman Mick appears.
The purse man, Alan, in situ. His counting money days have certainly dried up — for now.
Various other officers make know their presence.
Blanked-out pics of club delegates are identified by initials.
It's one of the advantages of zoom meetings, you can enjoy a cuppa, or whatever, keep an eye on the box while listening to one contributor after another telling you noting of any consequence.
Off we go and while the proposed resumption of inter-county training is mentioned for a couple of weeks time, the chairman reminds one and all as “leaders in the community” all GAA folk must await until the official green light is switched on, and not before that, to resume activities.
Little did he know what was around the corner
The Hon Sec expects word from Croker, within days, concerning league action in both codes.
Bursar Alan reminds one and all that as there are no games he has no money to count and while he went through various other figures basically he, like everyone else, is awaiting activities to resume.
Alan did remind everyone the hugely successful Club Draw is going ahead and hopefully that it is as good this year for both clubs and county as it was in 2020.
Meanwhile the friendly challenge match on the box has just tipped off with Ireland going immediately on the attack.
Back on zoom and Pat Ryan (Leixlip) brings up the change in the players' insurance, something that is, and has the potential, to cause big problems down the road, as loss of wages through injury is seemingly cut by the authorities.
Fixture man, Mick Mullen, confirms the management committee are committed to finishing the 2020 competitions (why?) and tells us once they know exactly how, and when, dates come on stream, he, and his people, will put a plan together.
In the meantime Ireland have just taken the lead against Qatar and the smile on Stephen Kenny's feasóg tells it all; goal scorer, Derry's James McClean kisses and caresses his shirt, akin to one Joe Brolly finding the Croke Park net.
Cormac Kirwan tells delegates that more meetings have been held on the St Conleth's Park redevelopment; the Department had looked for more detailed info and that was given immediately and will bring the project on to the next phase (whatever that is).
News from the ‘beautiful game’ game is Ireland are well on top and while not adding to that early goal, they are, could be, maybe, hopefully, might be, heading for their first win under Mr Kenny.
But keep the champers on ice, there's just 30 minutes gone.
Colm Farrell expects the gym at Hawkfield to resume construction in a few weeks time and with just six weeks or so work left to completion, that (gym) will be up and running during the summer.
The ’Bridge man, putting on his Club Kildare hat says “things are going very steady” and the fact we have lost no one from the Direct Debit cohort of members “is great.”
Various other officers give their brief contributions, Colm Nolan congratulates the minor and U20 hurlers on their ‘run’ last week; while Shane Power informed one and all that a total of 61 Cúl Camps are planned for July and August.
Ireland are still leading 1-0 on the box but a major shock in the World Cup Qualifiers is on the cards with Luxembourg boys going one up v Portugal, a goal that nearly had The Quinner falling off his couch in the Virgin studio.
Back to the GAA and Mick Gorman thanked Ross Glavin for his contribution to Kildare, due to family reasons resigned from his role as coach/ selector and his successor, former Offaly manager, yes you read it right, Emmet McDonnell was sworn in; while new managements for the U20 and U17 hurlers also got the go ahead.
SPC (Special Purpose Vehicle) — a legal company, formed to meet short-term investment objectives in this case Kildare GAA — will be made up of 20 members with 8 directors (I don't understand it either).
Meanwhile on a very positive note Chairman Mick announced that Kildare were looking for (and received) permission to purchase five acres of land at Hawkfield, which he said was vital for the future of the Centre of Excellence, just as normality is restored and Portugal are back on level terms with the pirate radio boys.
The meeting comes to an end after some 55 minutes or so just as the ‘beautiful game’ games reach the break and time for the oranges.
Last GAA meeting on zoom?
Doubtful, but we live in hope.
Later in the World Cup clash Portugal put an end to Luxembourg losing the run of themselves with a 3-1 win.
While the Republic are still looking for that first win in the Kenny regime, Qatar leveled on the resumption and shared the points.
Points that were never on offer in the first place!