Friday, 07 January 2011 15:08
The Magnificent Seven Syndicate, which had a healthy profit showing up to its annual general meeting on December 28, has been threatened with liquidation following what the treasurer described as 'a disastrous day's racing', the word donkey coming up frequently during the day and the phrase 'what ass picked that' used all too frequently.
In line with the current recessionary times, the syndicate has applied for a bailout from bookmakers Paddy Powers who took most of their money but so far there has be no response from Mairead and the girls, while numerous attempts to ring Brian Lenihan failed because either the phone to his office was engaged, or, more plausibly, the line cut off at this stage for failure to pay the bill.
Following on the success of last year's meeting when the syndicate produced seven winners on the day they met for their post-Christmas drinkies and counselling session, those entrusted with picking horses this year failed spectacularly, not even one of the selections placed, many passing the post jockeyless, a few pulling up and one or two refusing. Yes, we had more than one horse outside!
Various reasons were being proffered for the syndicate's failure this time round to turn in a profit, the late arrival of the treasurer being suggested as the main reason for such a bad day at the office, although, and not unlike the horses that were picked, a few seemed to have difficulty staying the course, with one or two falling with a circuit still to go. Perhaps old age is finally catching up on a few of them who looked like they need reshodding
Despite turning in a loss, the syndicate still enjoyed a free day from their savings and despite protestations over the poor investment of the money, and the failure of the treasurer to pay out any dividend having spoiled the shareholders last year with a 300 per cent return on their investment, it is expected the syndicate will remain for another year at least, although it was pointed out in no uncertain terms that a few of the stragglers will need to buck up a good bit if they are to be retained.
At the end of the day it was all about camaraderie, meeting up and sharing life's experiences while swallowing as much as you could before the money ran out (no names mentioned here but one of the syndicate was drinking at the ratio of at least 2/1 to the other six), being tall an obvious advantage when it comes to taking liquid on board.
A surprise bonus this year, and one which certainly illuminated the party, was the unannounced arrival of special guest and local legend, Pat Gannon, who kept the group entertained with his tales from the past, some fact, plenty of fiction and most of it somewhere in between the two before Pat had to leave suddenly for another pressing engagement with the encouragement of Kevin Gormley.
The syndicate have agreed to meet again next year when hopefully they will all be on time. Happy New Year.
Love is in the air...
They seem to be in great demand these days. One of them has just announced his engagement while another played a major role in increasing the population of Ballinrobe by one with the birth of their first baby on their way to having a football team (seven-a-side I hasten to add).
I am, of course, referring to one of the much maligned and endangered species in the media jungle, the sports editors of your local papers.
One such man who has served the Western People loyally and fearlessly is Anthony Hennigan who finally got down on his knees and proposed to his stunning sweetheart of many years, Marieanne Knight.
A bit like myself, I'm glad to see Anthony went to east Mayo in search of only the finest stock and happened upon Marieanne playing camogie in the schoolyard in Aghamore, a sport she was to excel at in later years.
With Anthony still on bended knee, quite wisely Marieanne took a good few hours to think about it, and, after seeking legal advice, returned with a 20-page contract before accepting the proposal from her knight in shinning armour (oops, sorry for that silly pun).
While love no doubt brought them together, I have a feeling their mutual passion for music, Irish music in particular, as both are accomplished musicians, was the cement which finally sealed the engagement.
The good news does not stop there, and although I am a little late with the glad tidings, a beautiful baby girl was delivered to the Finnerty family (not by post as Mike thought at first) before the Christmas.
Mike is still wondering how the stork could have come and gone without him noticing it but when he gets a bit older his wife Celine will eventually tell him all about those birds and those bees we hear so much about.
And not to be left out of the romantic merry-go-round, another WP staffer, the hard grafting Marian Harrison, finally got the big sparkler from John Duggan.
Great to see that love is in the air and not even the cold heart of a recession and the mountains of snow can dampen the torch of romance which is burning brighter than ever.