It is amazing how quick life can change, Last week everything was normal and then a faithful moment happened at around 6.40pm last Wednesday when the lives of my family changed forever. My dear mother suffered a catastrophic brain injury which she never recovered from and peacefully passed away 3 days later surrounded by her loving family.

What the last 8 days have proved is how fragile life is,  nobody knows when there time will come and how quickly the smallest of things can be forgotten about. All mistakes and family issues are set aside and everybody rallies around in a time of crisis. This was defiantly the case as from early last Thursday people began to arrive and offer help in any way they possibly could.

My Mom was a very strong willed person with a temper but also a heart of gold, she lost the three members of her immediate family by the age of 26. These body blows shaped the way my Mam looked at life and how she approached her work life also.

She spent all of her working life in Listowel and made many friends while working in the town. She was known as Anne in Tarbert and to family but in Listowel she was known one way and one way only “Anne Marie”.

She spent 11 years in Neodata and then 17 years with O Connor’s where friendships were cemented for the future. All her friends have recounted countless stories where her liking for a good time and laughter have brought comfort at a time when we as a family don’t know which way is up.

The same woman wouldn’t want anybody crying at her passing, she would want laughter and also  for people to get on with it. Many times I was told to just “dust myself off and get on with it no messing”.

She loved a good time, Irish music and also the many friends she had. There was always a warm welcome for each person. The one big thing I will take from the past week is that Life is so short and nothing lasts forever so if there one thing I’d like to say to people is if you are squabbling with somebody in your family at school or at work, fix it because you just never know what might happen.

My Mam taught me many things and I seem to have inherited her ability to talk and keep many conversations going. It’s a good thing because I am talking and writing for a living so hopefully this skill will keep me going long into the future.

Lastly I’d like to thank each person who has helped us through the last few days and also offered to help us through the next few months. I may have lost my Mam last weekend but she can rest assured that there have been plenty of offers to look after us and me in particular because my domestic skills leave a lot to be desired…..

I’ll have to sharpen up with the Iron and also learn not to just look at the cooker but actually take that faithful step and turn it on. She always wanted me to learn these things and now she has her wish, So in the coming weeks, I’ll be doing crash course in all things cooking, washing and cleaning….

Thank you Mam for everything over the past 26 years, you fought hard for me from minute one and never stopped. I will always be eternally grateful to you for your love and guidance in that time and I promise to keep your memory alive and not to let you down. Thank You for everything Mam until we met again, Sleep Well and God Bless.


Cian Mc Gibney


Ireland Vs Serbia

Ireland Vs Serbia

Ireland faced Serbia in their opening World Cup qualifier in Belgrade with question marks over the game until an hour before kick-off due to heavy rain throughout the day. Thankfully the game got the go ahead and Ireland had the perfect start to the post Robbie Keane era with a deflected Jeff Hendrick effort putting Ireland 1 up on 3 minutes.

Ireland started out with Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick teaming up in central midfield with James Mc Clean and John Walters picked in the wide positions to support Shane Long. After Ireland went a goal up they seemed to again stop playing and reverted back to the long ball game with Darren Randolph trying to find the head of Shane Long this tactic was never going to work and so it proved last night with Ireland under real pressure every time Serbia won possession they looked to get the ball wide and put balls into the box.

This caused Ireland all sorts of issues with the back four under real pressure. John O Shea and Richard Keogh were partnered together and they looked uncomfortable on occasion. The theory that a good Euros should mean you should be bang in form for the following campaign went out the window last night.

Why Ireland revert to type and play the long ball game is mind numbing and frustrating to watch , Yes Serbia are a good side and have some good players but so have Ireland , They showed at the Euros when they kept the ball which isn’t against the rules of football by the way they can create chances.

I am not calling for any major changes but we really do need to learn how to keep the ball, I don’t buy into this argument because we are Irish we have to play one way and one way only !! Time for change I think, we need to learn to use the ball when we have it and not to give it away as cheaply as happened last night in Belgrade.

Serbia showed how open this group will be becuase bar one or two moments didn’t look a million miles better than Ireland, they were incrediably fortunate to win a penalty after levelling the game at 1 all.

Typical of Ireland they started to keep the ball and bite into tackles when they went 2-1 down , it was like watching somebody flick a switch and Ireland kicked into gear and managed to rescue a point with a first goal at International level for Newcastle United front man Daryl Murphy.

This World Cup Qualifying campaign promised so much after the performances at the Euros , Here’s hoping that the hard fought point won in Belgrade can lead Ireland to a place in Russia in 2018….


Cian Mc Gibney