Delighted to meet Derek Ryan after his great show at the Hillgrove Hotel Monaghan in aid of Tydavnet National School. There are not many performers who can pack in a crowd of around 900 aged from 5/6 year-olds right up to 70+. I was also glad to renew a Carlow connection with Monaghan. Derek told me his mother used to work for the Nationalist & Leinster Times in Tullow Street, where my father started work in 1945 and went on to become Managing Director after his retirement from RTÉ. He met my mother (born in Castleblayney, the country music capital of Ireland) when she was working in a local bank in Carlow!