Photo of Jack Charlton provided by Virgin Media Television for its documentary, ‘Finding Jack Charlton’.

SOS – Save Our Summer

By Jonathan Acton - jonathan.acton@homeinstead.ie

Have you ever smoked Covid? Some people who have smoked it did not intend to. Sounds like a crazy question but it was explained recently that Covid travelling through the air, especially indoors, should be considered very similar to cigarette smoke by the way it lingers.

To consider this, it’s hard to criticise the Dept of Health and government for making recommendations that aim to keep people from congregating indoors, where the spread of infection is a far higher risk because of how the infection lingers in the atmosphere.

All we can do to help the situation is to continue to follow public health advice and look forward to better times ahead, when Covid case numbers reduce.

Can I appeal to everyone reading this article to continue to follow public health guidelines and avoid socialising this Easter bank holiday weekend.

We now know how infectious the new Covid variant can be (from our experience after Christmas), so please just stay at home and celebrate Easter in a safe and responsible way.

Thinking ahead to the summer and staycation season, please act responsibly over the coming week to give us all a fighting chance at getting a holiday break in Ireland outside our own county.

On Sunday night last, virgin media aired a fantastic documentary analysing the life of Jack Charlton and his contribution to world football and especially what he achieved for the Republic of Ireland.

It was a programme full of nostalgia and lovely happy memories, but it also touched on the point which linked dementia to repeated use of the head in soccer.

The programme also raised awareness for the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, and you can go to their website if you wish to donate to support a much needed resource.

For Jack, at times he struggled to remember himself in last television interviews as he watched footage on a laptop with his family. He did recognise himself, just not the occasion.

One thing that always strikes me is the power of music in relation to connecting and remembering for people living with dementia.

Being a diehard Newcastle fan, I was touched to see Jack remembering the words of the Geordie faithful song, The Blaydon Races. This song is played at St James’s park before every game and you can see all the fans singing their hearts out to this anthem.

On Sunday, you could see Jack punch the air with both fists when the song got to a certain point, as his smile grew bigger as the song went on. What a man, what a legend!

The memories this show brought flooding back to me in particular were Italia 90, when we watched the Romanian game in the old stand (I was eight old) with my family and the Walshes and any other kids let run wild to soak up the carnival atmosphere.

The order of the day was Tayto and red lemonade and keep them coming!

However, sadly, as I watched the TV programme and remembered the good old days, the sad news broke that Eddie Walsh, landlord of that iconic Mullingar landmark, had passed away, leaving behind his loving family. Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dilis.

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