Summer Festival 2018

Summer Festival 2018

This past weekend saw the 2018 Tarbert Summer Festival take place in association with the Tarbert Development Association. The weekend kicked off on Friday evening where the patrons of the Swanky Bar were treated to a Johnny Cash Tribute Act.

This weekend has brought many people home who are living away from Tarbert where there summer holidays are booked to coincide with the Festivities.

On Saturday you had the Open Day down at the Lighthouse that took place between 11am and 4pm and that drew a large crowd as it did last year and the year before. You also had the Fancy Dress Parade that took place at 7pm.

This particular event is beginning to get back to where it had been in years past.  Many people took the time out to put their kids forward and you also had the over 13s in the group’s category where the overall winning entry was “Love Island” via Chapel Street…..

The fancy dress began as it has done for the last few years over at the Forge Park and made its way down to viewing area across from the Bridewell where the judging duo of Dave and Rosemary Smith made the tough decisions and awarded out the different prizes in the categories.

Sunday saw the now annual Family Fun Day down the Island where people could try out paddle boarding, sailing, different food outlets, kayaking and also there was a face painting stand where you could get some very novel pieces painted on your face. There was also a Yacht race along with a Dinghy race.

Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue also made an appearance and spent a few hours teaching people about water safety and they also played a few games with the children who made their way over to the stand to chat to all the volunteers.

The Summer Festival has really grown legs over the last few years and you can be sure that the hard work of the Tarbert Development Association will continue over the next few years and that they will continue to make each year better than before.

Huge congratulations to all who were involved over the last few days in any small capacity, whether it was setting up each event or co coordinating the visit to the Lighthouse. Well done again for running another successful Festival and we can now look forward to the Summer Festival of 2019….


Cian Mc Gibney


Sam Warburton – Captain Marvel

Sam Warburton – Captain Marvel

Sam Warburton has admitted defeat in his ongoing battle with a series of persistent injuries that has seen him call time on his playing career at the young age of 29. He was captain of Wales since 2011 and captained the British and Irish Lions on two tours in 2013 when they beat Australia 2-1 to win a first series since 1997 against South Africa and against in 2017 against New Zealand and that series was drawn after a 15 all draw in the third Test.

He was capped 79 times by Wales, he captained them a record 49 times in those 79 caps. He played his club rugby with Cardiff Blues for the entirety of his professional career. He appeared at two World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and made 11 appearances at those two Tournaments.

He was captain when Wales were beaten by France in the 2011 World Cup Semi Final where he was sent off by Irish referee Alain Rolland. He is only the 2nd man to captain two different British and Irish Lions Tours after Martin Johnson.

Sam Warburton has made a big decision to end his playing career after trying extremely hard to get back playing after being ruled out of the entire 2017/2018 season with injury. He gave himself the time off to try and get back to full fitness and had begun the Pre Season work with Cardiff Blues in preparation for the upcoming 2018/2019 season.

His retirement again shows the lengths players will go to try and continue there playing careers. His body just said enough was enough and this prompted his announcement today to retire from professional rugby.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Sam all the very best in his retirement. You can be sure he will give his all in whatever he does into the future…….


Cian Mc Gibney


World Cup 2018

Sporting Rivalry

Over the past week I have been surprised by the animosity toward the England football team, moving from the usual banter to the more spiteful. Every few years this continuing talk of what sport is the best on the Planet bring everyone out of the woodwork. Everybody has an opinion about what sport is the best.

England had no real pressure on them in this tournament and although you can be sure there was internal pressure from within the squad. Most pundits were surprised by how far England managed to get by getting to a first Semi Final since 1990. This squad didn’t have as much collective talent as the squads since 1990.

We have seen many people across social media channels giving there opinions on the England performance , many people saying that they wouldn’t follow England because they are Irish  , although if you took a poll , most of those “ Fans “ would follow an English club side. I myself am an Arsenal supporter. It was good to see England finally throw off the shackles and get as far as they did, although they were beaten by a terrific Croatian team that will give France plenty to think about in Moscow.

Back to sporting rivalry, we in this country have no issue playing up to the gallery saying we have the greatest fans in the world in any sport be that Football followers , rugby supporters and any other followers of the numerous sports we participate in.

It is very easy to sit back and scoff at the achievements of England in the 2018 World Cup but we in this country should use it as a motivational tool to see can we put in the same type of performances in try to qualify for Euro 2020 which will of course be held across many cities including Dublin.

It is time we stopped all  the one up man ship and get behind every team that is involved in competition. It seems to be very easy for people to have a pop at certain sports. Rugby is the prime example and although some pundits claim that rugby is now the sport of the people in Ireland which isn’t true at all and never will be the case given that the GAA and Football still hold sway over other minority sports.

Rugby is played in only a small number of countries whereas, Football is played all over the world. Rugby has done plenty of work through the shortened version of the game in 7s, it still will need time to get places. It will never have the same appeal as Football has in a worldwide context.

Let’s hope that the achievements of the past few weeks by the England team will not be lost and from the FA’s position they will give Gareth Southgate more time to continue his work trying to change the way his squad do things.

A World Cup Semi Final was achieved with no expectations , now the challenge will be to try and better that achievement starting with Nations League starting this September in place of Friendlies and hopefully culminating in a place at the 2020 European Championships….


Cian Mc Gibney


England – World Cup 2018

England – Is Football Truly About To Come Home ??

England face Croatia this evening in Moscow in the 2nd World Cup Semi Final for the right to take on France this Sunday. France defeated Belgium 1-0 in the opening Semi Final last night. Since this World Cup has started we have heard that this England team is different under the stewardship of Gareth Southgate who took over from Sam Allardyce in late 2016.

Southgate to his credit has set his stall out and sent out England play a certain way with the ability to change on the field of play. They will set out this evening in a 3-5-2 set up with Harry Kane leading the line with Jesse Lingard and Raheem Sterling in support. This team has used their strength at the set piece to great credit with John Stones, Harry  Maguire and Harry Kane making the most of the chances that have been created and getting in on the act scoring vital goals no more than the opener last weekend against Sweden where Harry Maguire popped up to open the scoring.

Over the last 28 years , arguably better England squads have gone to major Championships and come home sooner than expected but this group to their eternal credit have surpassed even their own expectations and are one step away from a World Cup Final , a first for England since the win on home soil in 1966.

So much has been made of the fact that England are now one step from sporting immortality as this group could join only one other group of English footballers by winning the World Cup. But first they have the small matter of beating a Croatian side looking to create their own history. Not since the Semi Final at France 98 has a Croatian team been this far at a World Cup.

The midfield trio of Luka Modric , Ivan Rakitic and Anton Rebic will have a huge say and the England trio will need to be a full tilt to take on this much vaunted midfield. Two of the three have Champions League winner’s medals in recent years with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Luka Modric to his great credit has turned himself into one of the finest midfielders of recent times.

With a win over England this evening he will give himself a shot at taking on a new kid on the block in Kylian Mbappe in a World Cup Final. If that is to come to pass his team mates will need to put in a huge shift to help get past a teak tough England side that has seemingly washed away every tag associated with English football since that win in 1966.

Winning a penalty shoot out at this World Cup was a huge monkey off the back of every player, when Eric Dier stepped up and fired his penalty past Columbian keeper David Ospina this World Cup adventure has gone into overdrive.

To me though all the usual talk that surrounds an England World Cup campaign has been overshadowed by some outstanding displays on the field of play. Maybe just maybe 2018 could finally be the year when England really does get to say “ Football Truly Has Come Home “ Before then they face Croatia over 90 minutes at the very least for a place in Sunday’s World Cup Final in Moscow…


Cian Mc Gibney