Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Killeens have a live page on this website just like Corbetts guesthouse and The Fort.
Maybe other facilities in the village might follow. Mention it to them if you agree.
See where Bob Monkhouse the comedian has passed away. Yesterday the Irish Times carried an obituary and gave a few samples of his humour.
- The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time.
- Personally I don't think there's intelligent live on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one.
- I remember when safe sex was a padded headboard.
- I want to die like my father, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and terrified, like his passengers.
- Silence is not only golden, it is seldom misquoted.
- I can still enjoy sex at 74 - I lve at 75, so it's no distance.
- They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now.
- A tomcat hijacked a plane, stuck a pistol into the pilot's ribs and demanded : "Take me to the canaries".
Say a prayer for his soul.
Some five years ago Coleen Lucachick from Minnesota was reading an article in The Catholic Digest (USA) when she saw a photograph of a young Irish girl that was a dead ringer for her daughter Christine. She kept the magazine and took it along when she visited Ireland in 2000. Enquiring in the Visitor Center in Clonmacnois she was told that the Irish girl was Marion Corcoran daughter of Adain and Etna . They met up with the Corcorans and have kept in contact ever since.
For Christmas this year the Lucachick family are revisiting Ireland for ten days and naturally have met up with the Corcoran family once again. The daughter Christine is now thirteen and her sisters Hilary and Laurie, brother Glenn and parents Gary and Coleen have all come along for the trip. Great to see them back in Shannonbridge.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Remember Oliver Hilliard's Dublin Toast Recipe ?
Met Frank Henry at Christmas who cooks for himself and asked him what his favourite recipe was. Without hesitating he said Irish Stew.
When I asked him how he prepared his stew he told me he simply he got a can of Denny Irish Stew, emptyied it into a saucepan , added an onion and heated.
Pour onto a plate and eat. NEAT.
Parish Newsletter this week contains -

1. If you sleep on it - make it up.

2. If you wear it - hang it up.

3. If you drop it - pick it up.

4. If you eat out of it - put it in the sink.

5. If you step on it - wipe it off.

6. If you open it - close it.

7. If you empty it - fill it up.

8. If it rings - answer it.

9. If it howls - feed it.

10. If it cries - love it.

Selected by Father Frank from The Flight by J.White.
Congratulations to Catherine and Michael Devine on the birth of a baby boy on Saturday 27th Dec the Feast of Saint John. Heard he will be named John.
Terry Collins from London made a nostalgic visit to Shannonbridge over the Christmas to see had the place changed much. About twenty years ago Terry was one of a group of four that stayed in Grouse Lodge for a fishing holiday.
Missing from its usual stand this year was the outdoor enclosed Christmas Crib from the green area opposite the church. The Christmas lighting in this area are a welcome feature but it is a pity the Crib was not on display. Perhaps next year. ?
Wren boys were a scarce commodity again this Christmas around Shannonbridge. Most of the children have opted for Trick or Treat at Halloween and the excellent adult groups of some years back were not to be seen.
Home for Christmas is Mark Breslin Edinburgh late of Shannonbridge and Ferbane. Mark tells us that his sister Helen and himself shared the turkey with Liam and Theresa.
Fran Moran was telling Mark that he is studying in Belfast and is engaged on a year long project based on Birr as a Georgian Town which Fran says is the best example in Ireland. He promised he will tell us more later.
Also home are Sheila and Siobhan daughters of Declan and Rose Ryan.
Good to see Brian Keohane home. Brian has resumed work in Boston Scientific and has made a marvellous recovery from a nasty motorbike accident.
Course our Webmaster Mike Thornhill was home for Christmas and got in some practise sessions with Louise and Colin in preparation for their trip to New York for a recording session. Mike also did an update on Louise Killeens website which is located at
Gerry Casey made the big splash on the Tuesday before Christmas when he went pike fishing along with his friends John Gleeson and John Coleman. Using dead bait they caught five pike weighing 4 lbs, 11 lbs, 16 lbs, 18 lbs and John had a whopper that weighed four ounches short of 29 lbs. Naturally as is their practise all the fish were returned alive and well.
Good to see Michael Priest and three friends making a short fishing visit to Shannonbridge this week. Locals will remember Michael when he used to come on holiday with his late wife June. Hope he remembers where the fish hide.
On the usual visit to Clonmacnois graveyard on Christmas Day when crossing the Old graveyard near Saint Ciaran's Church a fresh growing flower bouquet resting on a flattened headstone caught my eye. The memorial belonged to a Thomas Galvin Castledaly aged 47 years who departed this life on May 16th 1869. Pat was telling me that the late Kieran Egan the stonecutter told her that they always used "Departed This Life" rather than died as death was final whereas the Departed this Life indicated there was a next life. What do you want written. ?
The hourglass man paid three visits to the parish in the past week.
Michael "Mickie" Kelly from Lakelands Clonfinlough died in his daughter Bernies home in Ferbane as he and his wife Kathleen were about to enjoy Christmas dinner.He had been looking through Roy Keane's book just before that. Mickie worked with Bord na Mona and in the Power Station and carried on some farming since his retirement about 18 years ago. He was buried in Clonmacnois on Sunday.
On Monday morning came the news of the death of Jim Egan Clonfinlough and formerly Clonlyon.Jim leaves Anne and five children.
At lunchtime came the sad news that Lil Connor Clonmacnois had been found dead in the paddock at the back of the house. Lil had spent Christmas Day with her nephew Padraig and her friend and neighbour Mai Duffy rang her to enquire if she wanted to go to the shop. There was no reply
May they rest in peace.
Likewise Archbishop Michael Corteney who was murdered in Burundi Africa yesterday. Born in Nenagh he was ordained a priest for Clonfert Diocese.He worked in Tynagh and Woodford and studied in the Vatican.
True Christmas Spirit was displayed in Shannonbridge on Christmas Day. Most of the Polish and Turkish workers on the new power plant site returned home for Christmas leaving a few to look after the workplace. One of those Nagdi the van driver was invited to share Christmas Day with a family in the village. He arrived at 2.00 PM and when I dropped in around 9.00 that night he was busy on his hands and knees playing a card game with one of the youngsters. Nagdi tells us that the group that remained over for Christmas will be getting a break when their mates return. He had a wonderful Christmas Day in Shannonbridge. Well done to the family concerned.
John and Joan Carty tell us that Steward Hession Cloneish is attached to the Artillery Unit of the peace keeping force serving in Liberia and he will also be keeping an eye on while he is there. We wish Steward and his companions a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Happy Christmas

All the staff here at would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the site over the last year, it wouldn't be the same without you.
Click here to have a look at photos hot off the presses from this mornings bridge jump. Congratulations to all the jumpers and collectors. Same time next year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Check out new music available at Louises website

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Shannonbridge GAA notes

by Conor Killeen

Jump Jump
Jump will be the call this Christmas day at 1pm- when the dare devils of Shannonbridge, will jump from the bridge into the icy cold Shannon waters to raise Money for the Concern Charity group. Come out and support a good cause.

Lotto results
There was no Winner of last week's jackpot of €7,600. The numbers were 7,14,17 and 27. Congratulations to our seven match three winners.

Shannonbridge GAA Magazine
Shannonbridge GAA club are publishing a Magazine to celebrate 30 years to be bought out next March. If you have any article relating to Shannonbridge GAA or pictures you feel are of importance, please send it onto Conor Killen (P.R.O) or e-mail
The Parish newsletter has an Irish Christmas greeting this week which reads -
Beannachtai na Nollag agus Siochain san Ath Bhliain go gach duine.
There is A Christmas Prayer written by Robert Louis Stevenson also -
Give us,Lord Jesus, the eyes of children
To see your birth with Christmas wonder.
Help us to share in the song of the angels,
The gladness of the shepherds,
And the worship of the Wise Men.
Close the door on hate,
And open the door of love, all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift,
And blessing with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing Christ brings,
And teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May Christmas morning
Make us happy to be your children,
And Christmas evening
Bring us to rest with grateful thought,
Forgiving and forgiven. Amen
There was no winner of last nights Lotto Jackpot. Winning numbers were 7, 14, 17, 27.
Seven people had three numbers correct - four from Shannonbridge and three from Doon. Next week the draw is in Doon with the Jackpot going to 7800 Euro.
Good to see Noreen Kitt home for Christmas from America. Noreen stopped off in London to visit her cousin on the way.
Martin and Mary Burke are heading off to England today to spend the Christmas with their two sons Michael and Dermot and we hope they have a wonderful time together.
Before their departure Pauric Henry sang a selection of ballads and Christmas Carols for Martin for the journey. Better than Beef or Salmon on St.Stephens Day.
Great that Dorothy Devine has taken up work in Portiuncula Hospital and will be living nearby.
Bina Nugent was an early arrival for Christmas and Greg arrived yesterday.
Fran Moran has arrived home with a black beard. The timing is perfect but the colour is rong.
Karen Donegan has arrivedhome as have Louise Killeen. In Shannonbridge for the Christmas are Mike Aine and Neil Robertson. Neil must be feeling lucky as he was a winner in two local Lottos this week.
Fergal Eilis and Leah are in Shannonbridge for Christmas and Doc and Dick are coming.
Shane will be heading for Roscommon but will be around over the break.
Bridie and Charlie will be joining Charles and Valerie for the holiday.
Noticed on the back page of The Irish Catholic three quarter page adverts for CDs.
The first one was SALVE recorded by The Monks of Roscrea which sells for 20 Euros plus post say one Euro.
The Poor Clares from Graiguecullen, Carlow call their CD A Time To Pray and this is selling at 15 Euro plus 80c postage. More details on their website which is
Third offering comes from The Benedictine Monks, Rostrevor, County Donegal and their CD is called Peace Upon You. This sells at 20 Euro which includes P+P.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Saturday evening after Mass the Carol Singers were waiting for the people to come out from the church. This year they were again unfortunate with the weather and failed to hold the crowd in the chilly conditions. They plan to give it another airing this year so you can yet hear them.
Up the road in the heatedCommunity Hall the Children from Shannonbridge with their music teacher were waiting and for those that attended they provided a lovely seasonal collection of tunes on piano, recorder and clarinet.
Performers were Celine Byrne, Ciara Casey, Eoghan Casey, Darragh Corbett,
Tara Hynes, Corina Slattery and Shannon Slattery helped along by their teacher
Nicola Murray. Johnny Slattery was up in the gallery with his video camera and Ger Corbett got some good near shots of performers and audience.
Eamon Cregg tells us that his daughter is planning to do a school project with Shannonbridge as the subject. She is currently collecting information and data if you can help her. We look forward to the finished product and what she has to say about us.
Anthony Cronin had a new poem published on the Sunday Independent yesterday.

Safe From Harm

In Richmond Park as darkness falls
The deer lie down to rest,
The stags, as every night, apart
To north and south and west.

Males who in grave and adult pride
Will keep the herd from harm,
Raising their heavy antlered heads
At any slight alarm.

A notice on the roadside gate
Warns of a cull at dawn.
With rifles men will come to kill,
Workmanlike, doe and fawn.

The stags will look on helplessly
For all their strength and pride'
While coolly and uncaringly
Their care is brushed aside.
Kuno our Swiss friend has returned to his newspaper and Colin took him for a trip on the Shannon. Kuno is also into making films and was casting an eye along the river.
He has a website at
Some years ago he was in Shannonbridge when they were building a new 100 metre chimney for the power plant and he took some very interesting photographs showing the Fortification, Bridge, village and shots of the River Shannon and River Suck and callows and bogland in counties Galway Roscommon and Offaly.
Boating and fishermen and even local houses look different from on high.
Joe Burke tells me that when the new Dalton Center is opened near the power plant in 2005 they are planning to use that same chimney as a viewing point with a see through lift bringing visitors to a viewing platform on top. Make sure and bring your camera.
Saw on the TV where down in Wexford back in 1653 a Father Meyler was murdered by Cromwellian forces on Christmas Day. This year a Memorial Mass will be celebrated using the same chalice as was used by Father Meyler when he was murdered.
Christmas Greetings from Michael Claire and Courtney Greene and their dog Molly in Boston who seem to have a pile of snow.
Dottie and Patrick Guinan from Boston also send greetings and wish they were in Florida like so many other neighbours.
From England Mary Smith from Leicester sends greeting and says that herself and her sister Fran are planning on coming over in the new year.
Agnes Keogh who once lived in Shannonbridge and is now working in Wexford is planning on spending Christmas in England with her brother but good news is that she plans to visit Shannonbridge on her way back to England.
For all those and for all you fans Frank Sinatra sang our wish for you on Late Date last night when he sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,

Friday, December 19, 2003

Phonecall last evening from Barry Brill Athlone enquiring about fishing in Shannonbridge. Barry and Joan are regular weekender visitors during the summer when Barry fishes for coarse fish but in the winter he concentrates on pike. Last weekend he fished Shannonharbour and had a lovely 17 pounder at the point where the River Brosna joins the canal. Recommended that he try along the first half mile at the River Suck mouth as Dublin Pike Anglers caught three pike over 20 pounds there two years ago just after Christmas. Gerry Casey has plans to go fishing with his Tipperary friend John. The good thing isthat all fish are returned alive to the water.
Saw a remark about keepnet use recently where they recommend using a keepnet to allow fish to calm down for an hour after being captured. I see some sense in this but none in the general custom of keeping fish in a keepnet for up to ten hours and then weighing them and taking a photograph and releasing them into the water. During the spawning time this is even a more horrible habit.
See where Shannon Fishery Board are planning an advertising campaign in Britait and if you want to be included you should contact them now.
Good to hear that Eamon Mc Manus attented their meeting and voiced the fact that the area around Shannonbridge has been more or less ignored as regards facilities and access for anglers. Anyone who has used the stiles and footpaths erectd years ago will agree and sometime if you are in Banagher or Portumna have a look at the bankside access and facilities.
Good to see Kuno the owner of Grouse Lodge over on a visit from Switzerland. This time a gentleman is travelling with him. Kuno tells us he is still Editor of a daily paper in Switzerland and it is going well with circulation and staff increased.
Some years ago Kuno bought Grouse Lodge and transformed it into a little palace.
Unfortunately the Boyos heard about it and broke in three times stealing a range, some classey kitchenware and again some furniture. Makes one sick.
Rehersals are in full swing for Carols on the Outside which will be performed outside the church after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Feel free to join in with the famous voices and this year at least wear some warm clothing and stand and listen to them.
Sad to hear of the tragic death of Madge Models founder Madge Flanagan in Athlone yesterday when she died after getting hit by a truck. Madge Keaveney married Tom Flanagan and was very helpful to Shannonbridge when she provided the clothing for a number of fund raising Fashin Shows using local girls and ladies as models.
May the Lord have mercy on her soul.
The Committee elected at the public meeting on 9th December held a meeting on last Wednesday night. Seems that the local radio Radio 3 have interviewed Noel Higgins and Councillor Connie Hanniffy about the issue both before and on the morning after the meeting. The Committee are preparing to meet the Offaly County Council as soon as they are available to stress that the graveyard extension be attached to Clonmacnois making use of the present roadways,parking and facilities. This was the message that came out loud and clear from the public meeting and if you wish to support their efforts come along to their next meeting or support their fundraising if required.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Last Monday Lotto draw in Doon winning numbers were 11, 16, 19, 26.
Seven supporters had three numbers each. So next Monday night the Jackpot will be 7600 Euros and the draw will be in Killeens.
Five Christmas Bonus prizes of 50 Euro each were drawn for and winners included Frank Guinan, Louise Killeen and Cam Finnerty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Fiddle player required according to Jane Mooney last evening as their undertaker business has got a request for some fiddling during a scattering of ashes ceremony this week in Clonmacnois. Perhaps one of the Egan girls from Cloghan who are currently on a break from Riverdance and Lord of The Dance might provide the airs.
While writing some Christmas cards last evening in the shop I was just writing an address for Karen Sanders Roe from San Jose California when Sarah Price came in.
Showing the name to Sarah she immediately recognized Karen as one the the distant cousins. Back in 1998 Karen and her husband Chuck came to Shannonbridge on a family tree trail.Her grandfather was Frank Belton from the Navigation Office who emigrated to America ending up in California and dying there.Frank brought many happy memories of his youth in Shannonbridge with him and wrote a lovely poem called Memories of Shannonbridge which can be found under Famous People on this website. Anyhow Sarah Price's grandmother was a Belton and a sister of Frank, Paddy and Jimmy. Karen Noe met the Price family and Sarah tells us that she went to visit them in California a couple of years ago. Karen will be glad to know that Sarah is doing fine in her studies and recently passed her driving test.
The Memories of Frank might need some adjustment as The Strand just upstream from the quay wall has been incorporated into the carpark for the new floating jetty.

Monday, December 15, 2003


by Conor Killeen



Shannongaels fairytale run in this years Championship came to an end when they were defeated by St Michael’s (Rhode and St Bridgets) in the County final played in Geashill on Sunday last.

Shannongaels started the game well by winning lots of possession and creating lots of scoring chances. However, the unconverted scoring chances mounted up and so too did the wides.

The second half saw St Michael’s take far more control especially around the centre of the field and showed great fielding skills in this area.

Gaels Manager Colm Kenny said afterwards “ we did not lose this game, we were beaten.” The Shannonsiders can have no complaints as the east Offaly Men were simply just too strong.

The Gaels can take great heart from this campaign. They played eight games in a row and had thrilling games with Clara and gave great entertainment to their supporters during the year.

The lads wish to thank the management team of Colm Kenny, Christy Slevin, Roger Ryan, Fergal McEvoy and Enda Mulhare. Over the past three years Shannongaels have played 15 Championship games and have only been beaten twice, both times by Rhode. Impressive record by any standard!

Team Michael Hough, Ciaran Norton, Tomas Flatherty, Adrian Clancy, James Rafferty,Eamon Kelly, Kieran Flannery, Ger Rafferty, Jason Kelly (0-1) Martin Grogan (0-1), Pat McEntyre, Darren Finn, Donal Flatherty, Cathal Horan (1-0) Shane Kelly (0-1) Subs Paul Deeley and David Corbett.

The Shannongaels Club wish to thank all their sponsors who gave so generously during the past week.

Sincere Sympathy
The Shannonbridge GAA club wish to extend their sincere sympathy to the Murray and Duffy Families who both suffered bereavements during the past week.

There was no winner of last week’s lotto jackpot, which was €7,200. The numbers were 2,10,12 and 16. Congratulations to all our ten match three winners.

Happy Christmas
Shannonbridge GAA club wishes all Players, mentors, Officials, Supporters and Sponsors a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We wish to thank all who helped out over the year and we hope we have to have the same support in 2004.
Good news that work on lighting and pathways for the road leading to the power station are about to commence making it safer and more friendly for pedestrian and vehicle use. No word yet on the old road which tees off the road to the power plant and would make a lovely walkway and an access route to The Dalton Center from the village. The Dalton Center will have a wide variety of items connected with the electricity business in Ireland and is expected to open soon after the new power plant is built.
Steve and Liz Nell are a well known couple in the area having come on holiday for many years and then buying a cottage beside The Suck river at Creggane.Since they have a holiday home they often come over for visits from Steve's workplace in Sheffield. They are just about to finish their present visit and tell us that they will have more time to visit when they sell their business back in Sheffield in the next few weeks.
Steve loves to coarse fish and was very pleased with his catches on the jetties at Ballinasloe and Shannonbridge catching roach and hyrid and pike which are returned alive. On Saturday he mentioned that he always sees a kingfisher bird when he is out fishing and reckons there must be a lot of them around. The bird is featured on the Irish ten cent stamp and has a range of reds and blues coating with a fairly long beak.
The wife Liz is a dog lover and offers a safe home to abondoned dogs that are dropped off usually a few weeks after Christmas. At one time she had four dogs which were dropped off in Shannonbridge over a period. So the dropped off dogs group will be glad to hear that Steve and Liz will be over here more often in the future.
The Parish Newsletter mentios a useful website a support agency for people with depression.
The local Music Group under the tuition of Nicola Murray will give a recital after Mass on Saturday evening 20th Dec after Mass in the Parish Hall.
Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Got a calendar from the Holy Ghost Fathers, Kimmage Manor, Dublin 12. Maybe you might be interested in getting some friends involved and getting someone to sponsor a month, week or day for their worthy cause. Or stick the price of a drink or an item of food in their charity boxes.This way your money gets 100 % return to their cause.
Yesterday was the Annual Carol Service in Clonmacnois held at 4pm in the only church with a roof. It also has comfortable benches and heating which was appreciated by those attending. The Dean from Athlone and Father O Hanlon led us through a series of prayers and well known hymns such as Adeste, Long time ago, Away in a manger, The first Noel, Silent night, Come, come, come to the manger, Angels we have heard on high, Joy to the world,
Afterwards Tom Moore and his staff were our kind hosts in the Visitor Center where everybody was welcomed with hot punch, Irish Coffee, tea coffee and dainties and allowed to meet old and new friends. As we walked up from the church in the near dark I heard two ladies discussing the rip off in Christmas Cards being sold for various charities with the charity getting as little as 2 % of the takings. Its an old story
After Billy Duffy's funeral last evening we called in to see Michael John Coleman who has been in Portiuncula for a few weeks but is now in Tuohys Nursing Home about a mile down the Taughmaconnell road on the left at the brow of a hill. He looks great and is delighted that the Donegan family sent him in a wheelchair which allows him to get around the home and visit the smoking room.
The Friday night party got a damper with the news of the death of Billy Duffy of Clondelara on Friday evening.Billy had been sick in Portiuncula Hospital for the past few weeks with a heart complaint.His removal to Shannonbridge Church took place last evening with the burial in Clonmacnois today after Mass at noon. May he rest in peace.
Another funeral with local connections was that of Mrs Cox of Clononey whose remains went to High Street church last evening and the burial was in Banagher today after Mass at noon. Mrs Ned Hendricks and Mrs Seamus Taylor were daughters of the lady.
The Lord have mercy on her soul.
Friday night was party night for senior citizens which was a very well organized event by the Youth Club. It started at 6.30 in the old church with Mass celebrated by Father O Hanlon with everybody sitting at table something like the Last Supper. After Mass Tom and his staff from The Bog Oak served up a tradional turkey and ham dinner with dessert tea or coffee and special Christmas cake prepared by Maureen Thornhill.
After dinner theyouth who are learning various wind instruments put the icing on the cake with an assortment of well prepared tunes and carols.
Tables were removed and the room made ready for dancing with music provided by a member of The Indians which people remembered playing at the Shannonbridge Carnival in the late Seventies when 2,500 people filled the marquee.
The music continued to nearly midnight with songs from Rose Ryan Pat Keohane Mick Killeen and Chrissie Reynolds. Pauric Henry stole the show with his rendition of "Is this the way to Amerillo" Tom and Lena Turley were wondering if Tom and Margaret Carty would make the trip but alas they did'nt. If you had a chance to attend and did not come along well you missed out.A great night and well done to all concerned in the organizing.
The Shannonbridge Library will be on holiday until 8th January 03. Many thanks to Carmel Moore Ferbane for two boxes of books and to Oliver Hilliard for some books on fishing and Charlie Haugheys millions.
The annual Penitential Services with a Carol Service takes place Friday 19th December in Clonfinlough at 7pm and in Shannonbridge at 8pm.
St Michaels beat our Shannon Gaels yesterday by five points.More later.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Just to let you all know that the under 21 Football Championship Final is on tomorrow, Sunday 14th December in Geashill. Its Shannon Gaels (us and St Rynaghs) against St Michaels (Rhode and Croghan). Come along, bring some friends and your best shouting voice. Come on the Gaels.

Friday, December 12, 2003

There is a Daycare Center near the Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe where each day people are brought in for the day and in pleasant surroundings enjoy a chat, play games, are fed and can avail of a bath and have hair, nails and a clatter of other items attended to. Sister alocoque runs the show with a lot of help from volunteers and workers. So yesterday Louise and Colin Killeen and Ciara Finn went along for a few hours to entertain the Thursday group with their music and singing and they were delighted with the welcome and response they received with many of those attending dancing and singing along.A grand few hours.
The local paper The Offaly Independent this week has a story of two swans having fatal accidents at the bridge in Athlone last week.Seems the swans flew into cables on the bridge. On Tuesday night a swan was on the middle of the street in Shannonbridge and Rose and Declan Ryan checked it out and found it to be all right.
The Midland Tribune the local paper based in Birr carries a notice this week that it is to be taken over by a group that have a number of local papers under their wing. Lets hope this is not a swan song for The Tribune.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

One of the Polish workers at the new Power Plant was telling us last evening that he collects matchboxes.There were a few Maguire and Patterson boxes showing Irish scenic views of castles, crosses etc which he was delighted with. When we gave him a Village Tavern matchbox he examined it and pointed out the "Made in Poland" printed on the label.
Shannonbridge is in the news this week on account of a large 180 tonnes Generator being transported by road from Dublin to Shannonbridge.It will take five days to cover the 93 miles and last night it reached Rochfordbridge. The load moves at ten to fifteen miles per hour and is causing tailbacks. Every four miles it stops to relieve the traffic and care is needed passing overhead cables as the load is high and sometimes the cables require lifting. It is expected to arrive in Shannonbridge tomorrow Thursday.
The Parish Bulletin this week tells us "Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have ". It also has The Way of the World which goes -
Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone,
For the brave old earth must borrow its mirth -
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing and the hills will answer,
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes rebound to a joyful sound
And shrink from voicing care.
------Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Tomorrow Thursday is the day for the annual ESB Christmas Dinner which will be prepared by The Bog Oak Restaurant and served in the Power Station Canteen.
Friday night is the Christmas Party presented by the Youth Club for the Senior Citizens.
This will take place in the Shannonbridge Community Centre and once again Tom from The Bog Oak will be producing more of his magical food.
The meeting concerning a new Graveyard for Clonmacnois Parish took place in Shannonbridge Community Hall last night and 28 people attended including Councillors Connie Hanniffy and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy. The Councillors had attended a meeting with Offaly Council and Archeologists from Dept of Local Government.
Interesting figures given that there are about six funerals from the parish each year out of a total of about 24 funerals. A committee was formed.
Michael Greene tells us that in Boston where he is based they had 18 to 24 inches of snow recently and he forwarded a picture of a JCB clearing snow from a driveway.
Some cousins John Toher and Deirdre Fahy were caught up in the snow last week when they went to visit the Flannerys and Monaghans their cousins in Boston and to do a bit of shopping. The JCB would be useful for getting around.
Monday Lotto numbers were 2, 10, 12, 16. Ten had three of the winning numbers
four from Shannonbridge area and six from Doon.
Next Monday the Jackpot will be 7400 Euro and will feature the first of the Christmas Giveaways. Twelve lucky contestants will get a bonus of 50 Euro each seperate from the draw.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Shannonbridge GAA Notes

Conor Killeen reports


Under 21 Football Championship

Shannongaels 2-6
St Manchans 1-4

After eight Championship games Shannongaels finally reached the County Final after defeating St Manchans (Ballycumber/ Tubber) in Pullaugh on Sunday last.
Shannongaels had too much scoring power for the B/T Men in a very entertaining Semi final.

With Cathal Horan turning in a Man of the Match performance at full forward,
Shannongaels were always in control of this game from start to finish.

Horan, who seems to be improving with every game, his ball winning skills provided for his goal and point. Horan was well assisted upfront by Donal Flatherty who also scored a crucial goal.

This was the best all round performance by the Gaels half forward line all of whom scored from play. Midfield was an area Jason Kelly and Ger Rafferty were always going to control.

Best of the back line was Thomas Flatherty and Kieran Flannery, while Michael (Chesty) Hough was very solid in goal.

The Gaels will be hoping to have a break of two weeks before facing St Michael’s of Rhode and St Bridgets in the County Final, but the lads could be called into action this weekend to decide the final.

Shannongaels will fight to the bitter end to take this title home for a second time in three years after coming through such a tough Championship Campaign.

The Gaels will put out a rallying call to their loyal supporters to get behind for this final. Check fixtures for further details.

Team Michael Hough, Kieran Norton, Adrian Clancy, Kieran Flannery, Eamon Kelly, James Rafferty, Jason Kelly (0-2), Ger Rafferty, Martin Grogan(0-1), Pat McEntyre(0-1), Darren Finn(0-1), Donie Flatherty(1-0), Cathal Horan (1-1), Shane Kelly. Subs Shane Flannery and Conor Martin.

Ferbane Community School Play Tullow in the Leinster Football semi final in Portlaoise this Friday. The Shannonbridge Club wishes the best of luck to Kieran Coucklan, Alan Gunning, Shane and Kieran Flannery, Rory O’ Connor, Paul Deeley and David Corbett.

Shannonbridge GAA golf society enjoyed a great day out on Saturday last. The scramble Winners was Shane Kelly, Trevor Mahon and Harry Kearns. Thanks to Jim Killeen for organising the event.

Lotto €7,200
Last weeks lotto numbers were 1, 5, 16 and 27. Congratulations to our two match three winners. All long term lotto ticket sellers are asked to have their tickets handed in by Friday.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Yesterday Shannon Gaels lined out for their third match against Saint Manchans or
Ballycumber and won by five points. This qualifies them to meet Rhode in the final.
A meeting will be held in the Community Hall, Shannonbridge
on Tuesday 9th December @ 8pm concerning a new Graveyard
for Clonmacnois Parish. All are welcome.
Background to this is that Offaly County Council in recent weeks
have been advertising looking for suitable land for a graveyard.
The location for this new graveyard is of concern to some people.
Hence the meeting tomorrow night. I am even missing a card night
to go to the meeting.
Oliver Hilliard shares his recipe for Dublin Toast.
Use thick slices of bread buttered on both sides.
Add black pepper on each side to taste.
Put under grill and watch it.
Then you can eat it when cooked to your liking.
The new Lotto Jackpot for 7000 Euro remained unwon last Monday night with only Pat Corbett and Geraldine Darcy ( Huberts) selecting three of the winning numbers which were 1, 5, 16, 27. Tonights jackpot is for 7200 Euro in Lukers.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Heard from Dottie Guinan from Boston who visited here last year tracing family roots.
Her great grandfather William Guinan along with his wife Catherine nee Downey left for Boston in 1882. They lived in Correen. During her visit with her son Patrick they met Tom Guinan near Guinan;s Bridge and its pretty likely they are related.Guinans Bridge is the turning off point for Athlone two miles from the Shannonbridge.
On her visit she saw the library and wonders if she can send some books over.Suggested to her that members of the Roscommon Club in Boston may be willing to transport some books when they are coming over.
Hope to see Dottie and her son Patrick back this way again.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

An interesting collection of national and provincial papers can be found under the website Headlines from the daily papers are given and also a number of interesting local papers such as Westmeath Offaly, Offaly Independent and Midland Tribune Roscommon Herald and Champion. Have a look.

Monday, December 01, 2003





Shannongaels got off to an explosive start when they rocked St Manchans, the Ballycumber/ Tubber outfit with three first half goals. The first goal came from a penalty, which Jason Kelly converted.

Then up stepped Cathal Horan and Donal Flatherty to score a goal each to leave the score 3 –4 to 0-5 at the break. Shannongaels completely dominated the first half with Michael Hough doing the business in goal.

In the back line Eamon Kelly and Thomas Flatherty were dominant. Jason Kelly was winning lots of possession in Midfield, while up front young Donal Flatherty was a Menace to the B/T defence.

The Second half saw Shannongaels lose grip around the half forward line and B/T capitalised on this and launched attack after attack and reduced the Hoops lead to just four points.

The 55th minute saw Rory Guinan of St Manchans go down after an accidental collision. It was later found that Rory had seriously damaged ligaments in his neck. The Ambulance was then called and the game was abandoned.

Guinan was later discharged from Hospital and is said to be doing fine. The Shannongaels Club wish him a speedy recovery. The replay will take place this weekend, come out and support your team, check fixture list for further details.

Team Michael Hough, Willie Kenna, Thomas Flatherty, Adrian Clancy, Kieran Flannery,Eamon Kelly, James Rafferty,Jason Kelly, Ger Rafferty, Martin Grogan, Pat McEntyre, Darren finn, Donal Flatherty,Cathal Horan and Shane Kelly, Reps Kieran Norton and Philip Egan.

The Doon/ Shannonbridge GAA lotto jackpot of 17,200 was won last week Congratulations to all our nine match four Winners. The Jackpot has started again at 7,000.

Eamon Mahon was confirmed as manager of the Shannonbridge Senior team for the coming Year. Eamon has a long association with the Club and was Manager in 1996 when Shannonbridge won their first Senior County title.

The Club and Players are looking forward to the coming year and will be hoping to build on the Junior Success of this Year.

Shannonbridge GAA Golf society hold their first outing of the year which will be held in Ballinasloe Golf Club this coming Saturday. There are limited Places available if you wish to take part please contact Jim Killeen @ 086 8181 729.

Membership Due
Membership is now due; anyone who wishes to become a Member of the Club must pay an annual fee of €15 to registrar Declan McEvoy. Membership entitles you to a say within the Club and also increases your Chance of getting a ticket for an All-Ireland Final.

Surfs Up
The Shannonbridge contingent of Michael Cunney, Colin Killeen and Michael Thornhill represented Offaly in the inter-County Surf Championship held in Donegal last Weekend.

The Faithful County Men were pipped at the post by the Coastal Veterans Donegal who took the national title.
The hard training on the Shannon as can be seen in our picture gallery paid off at the weekend as Mike Cunney, Mike Thornhill our web designer and Colin Killeen braved the Atlantic shores in Donegal to represent Offaly in the All Ireland Surf Championships to finish in seventh spot. Water was a bit more difficult to manage than the pull of the outboard motor on the Shannon but they have inproved position in the last three finals. It is only a matter of time until the right sponsor comes along and the All Ireland will we hope be held on the Shannon. Times are changing as Mike Cunney said.
The Shannongael football saga continued on Saturday in their replay against Ballycumber. With only a couple of minutes remaining and the Gaels leading by five points one of the Ballycumber players fell and became unconcious. An ambulance was called and the game was called off. Good news is the player was allowed home from the hospital after examination.
The parish newsletter yesterday had an appeal for replies to invitations sent out for the Christmas Party to help them organize the food.Tel 087 - 2410587.
The High Street / Belmont Womens Group hosted a very successful Gala Night of Entertainment in aid of the Offaly Hospice last night in High Street hall. Jimmy Mooney and me were travelling back from Mullingar and met a stream of cars between Ferbane and High Street.
The Annual Carol Service in Clonmacnois takes place on Sunday 14th Dec @ 4pm. All are welcome and hopefully will get a glass of punch to oil their throats.
Feastdays this week are Saint Francis Xavier on Wed 3rd and Siant John Damascene on Thursday 4th.
Mentioned on Thursday that a group in Moore were preparing John Joe Grenham's book on Moore for the printer. This morning the news of the death of John Joe Grenham arrived.Check the paper for funeral arrangements as it appears his remains will be removed from the house on the morning of the funeral for the funeral Mass with burial immediately afterwards.May the Lord have mercy on his soul.
Joe Burke tells us that there is a mission in Moore this week and the Mission Mass this morning at 7.00 a.m. had a full church attending.

Friday, November 28, 2003

Martin Heavey was telling about a man in Portarlington many years ago who owned a donkey and cart and was employed by the council to clean the streets. He had a man helping him of course and one day the donkey owner went into a shop and bought two apples. Naturally he ate one himself and gave one to the donkey.
Another story from Portarlington concerned a lady driver stopping her car and enquiring the road to Carlow. The man on the footpath told her to go to Portlaoise and turn left. "But isnt this Portlaoise" ? said the driver.
Well if it is said the man then I must be in the wrong town.
First Irish snow dropped on the Slieve Bloom Mountains during the week but the weather continues to be honky dorey. River level is like summer and the only wet patch is in Darcy / Reddy callow downstream across the bridge.
Annual Mass last evening for deceased members of the ESB power plant had a great attendace of retired staff and family representatives of deceased staff.Afterwards everyone was invited for a cup of tea to the Bog Oak.
Good news that my bridge partner has finished his five weeks of treatment and is coming home today just in time for the Regional Pairs event which takes place in Mullingar on Sunday and of course we are having a go.
Last Monday night GAA Lotto Jackpot of 17,200 Euro was shared by nine winners who had the winning numbers 3, 10, 17, 24. Unlucky for the organisers but in the block of 28 numbers on the entry sheet which are laid out in four rows of seven the winning numbers were in a direct line under each other and Frank Guinan the master seller was telling us that he knows if another regular buyer was home at the weekend there would be ten sharing. Only 23 people had three winning numbers and get 20 Euro.
Next week the new jackpot will start at 7000 Euro and as normal will increase by 200 Euro each week if not won.
Patient "Anything wrong with me Doctor" ?
Doctor - Well you have cancer and you have a week to live.
Patient " Anything else Doctor " ?
Doctor - Well yes you also have Alzeimers.
Patient " Suppose it might be worse if I had cancer "

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Shannonbridge GAA Notes

Conor Killeen Reports

Under 21 Football Championship



For the Second time in six days Jason Kelly defied the odds of scoring a fourteen yard free which he did against Clara. Kelly did the same, this time against Ballycumber/ Tubber on Saturday last in Pullough.

When Referee Noel Cooney indicated to Kelly it was the last kick of the game he had little option but to hit a sizzling shoot past the B/T men which was just too hot to handle.

This was a very exciting end to another wise poor game of football. B/T got off to a good start when Andrew Grennan ran through easily for two points. Shannongaels did respond in the first half with a fine goal from Pat Mac.

B/T were very dominant around the middle until Ger Rafferty was introduced. He made an immediate impact by winning ball and scoring a point.

Rafferty added great breeze to the Gaels attack at a time when the Gaels were getting muscled out of the game.

Shannongaels Manager Colm Crows said, “We are very lucky to be still in the Championship,” Crows added “we got out of Jail today”.

The Gaels Management will be concerned with the wasted possession and the lack of physical impute the Lads had on the day.

Team. M Hough, W Kenna, T Flatherty, A Clancy, K Flanaery, J rafferty, D Finn, E Kelly, P Egan, M Grogan, J Kelly,(1-4), P Mac (1-0), S Kelly, (0-1) C Horan, Pdeeley. Subs G Rafferty (0-1) and D Flatherty


Shannonbridge AGM on Sunday last and was reasonably well attended. Denis Loonam stepped down as Chairman after two years in the hot
Seat. Denis has done fantastic work for the Club throughout his time and the Club wishes to thank him for all his efforts.

In his time as Chairman the Club has updated their facilities and the club have built a Stand.

Officers for the coming year. Chairman Tom Moore, Secretary
Eamon Mahon, Treasurer Noel Roche, Vice Chairman Frank Guinan, Vice Secretary and P.R.O Conor Killeen, Vice Treasurer Kieran Coakley, Registrar Declan McEvoy.

The Club wishes to thank all committees for their work, the Club also plan to open the grounds in 2004

Lotto Results

There was no winner of last week’s lotto Jackpot that was €17,200. Congratulations to our match three Winners and good luck to all who take part.
Saint Martin magazine Question Box for December explains the meaning of The Twelve Days of Christmas.It was written in England during the period when Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith openly and it was intended as a catechism for young Catholics,to help them remember lessons in their faith. The "true love" refers to God; the "me" to every baptised person. The partridge refers to Jesus Christ. The meaning of the other symbols ;
Two turtle doves --- the Old and New Testaments.
Three French Hens ......Faith, Hope and Charity.
Four calling birds ...... the four gospels.
Five golden rings .... the first five books of the Old Testament.
Six geese ...... the six days of creation.
Seven swans ..... seven gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Eight maids ..... the eight beatitudes.
Nine ladies .... nine choirs of angels.
Ten lords .... the ten commandments;
Eleven pipers .... the eleven faithful Apostles.
Twelve drummers .... the twelve points of belief in the Apostles Creed.
Bridie Carry has one of the magazines and is learning the meanings in preparation for the weekly quiz on the Wednesday nights coming up to Christmas.
Saint Martin magazine ,42 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, have a email The December issue has on offer stained glass Christmas Candle Holder in three designs at 7.08 Euro each which includes p&p. Other items include Rosaries in eleven models.Priced 4.30 to 5.90 Euro plus p&p at 4.30Euro. A Bargain pack includes a prayer book, rosary, novena leaflet and a Saint Martin keyring at 12 Euro including p&p.
Art Calendar is 2 Euro including postage.

Monday, November 24, 2003

Would you believe that Shannon Gaels football team who took three draws and a win in the last kick of the ball in the last knockout round played Ballycumber on Saturday and were trailing by a goal when they were awarded a free in the last seconds. The referee told Jason Kelly who was to take the freekick that it was the last kick. Eleven Ballycumber players lined up across the goalline but to no avail. Jason like the previous week drove it straight and true and into the goal. Shannonbridge have eight players on this hybrid team.
Friday evening Mick and Mary were telling us that while in Chicago they took a trip to Wisconsin and found one of Rip Dwanny's hotels. Rip organizes week long trips to Ireland with a base in nearby Castledaly Manor.As it happened Rip was in Ireland but they met a man in the hotel who had just returned from an Ireland trip and had taken some photos in Shannonbridge. The first photograph Mary saw on his gigital camera was Price's Lane.
Later Friday evening John Price was in and we were telling him about it.
Then a couple from Livingston in Texas who were staying in Kajon House called in for sandwiches and a bowl of soup.While Colin was preparing the feast they told me they were Mike and Paula Price and Mike had been a chef for 38 years. They met John Price and were determined to take a photograph of Prices Lane the next morning. Mike Price gave us a couple of tongue twisters
Say fast three times-
Red Leather, Yellow Leather.
The other one was -
Im not a fig Plucker,
But a fig plucker's son,
But i'll pluck figs,
Till the fig plucker comes.
Noticed on their card which they presented that each had a seperate telephone number at the same address.
Remember Pat and Breda Boyle who passed this way following the route taken by Red Hugh O Donnell on his march from Donegal to Kinsale.? This morning on the morning show he talked to David Hanley from a pub in Dunmanway which is 30 miles from Kinsale. The walk is in aid of Children in Need and one of his comments this morning that on the entire walk they never saw a child playing outside. We noticed that on their way through Shannonbridge they never collected one farthing for the cause and they are coins.

Friday, November 21, 2003

Those northern lights were at it again last night and the sky had some remarkable shades of colour including green. Weather forecast for today is available on the website for the Irish Times and you can read this and the headlines free.
Mick and Mary arrived back from America into Dublin Airport and were met by Louise.That was the plan at least but they were not there when Lou arrived and she went back to bed.
Colin and David and a few pals are heading off to Scotland for the weekend courtesy of Ryan Air who on their latest giveaway give you free flight and a Euro as a bonusfor flying with them.
You pay the airport taxes. They might even see Frater and Gunn the Scottish pair of musicians that come over to Ireland and Shannonbridge regularly.
Shannonbridge Library opens on Thursday night from 7.00 to 9.00 p.m. and has a wide range of books waiting for you and your family if you live in the area.Rose and Pat have done a marvelous job in labeling and arranging the layout of the books in alphabetical order. What is needed is people to read the books and return them within a reasonable time.Visit the library soon and encourage more young people to discover the joy of reading. An AGM will be held shortly and you might consider helping to share the running of the library.Think about it ....two hours.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

The ongoing saga that is the under 21 championship continues this Saturday in Pollagh. Shannonbridge Gaels take on Tubber at 2:30 in what is sure to be an epic encounter. We would like to wish a speedy recovery to Ger Rafferty, Enda Corcoran and David Corbett who are all carrying injuries from previous fixtures. 'Iron Crow' medals for bravery are being arranged.
Next weeks quiz on Wednesday night in Killeens will be in aid of the homeless and is being organized by a Ballinasloe man who is preparing to climb Kilimanjaro for the cause.The Moore ladies quiz team will be short of Mrs Blke next week as she is away on holiday to North Georgia and South Carolina. Mrs Blake told us that typing and preparation work is going well for a reprint of the History of Moore book by John Joe Grenham which is being reprinted and is expected to be available after Christmas. This is welcome news indeed and will keep you updated on progress.
The winning Lotto numbers on Monday night for the Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto draw were 1, 7, 24, 25.
Congratulations to Sarah Price and Collette Quinn on passing their car driving test this week with flying colours. On Tuesday night I found out that our dog Moby loves to be taken for a drive if the two girls are interested.
Marie Mulholland reviews music for GCN Magazine in Dublin and in the November issue she has a review of Louise Killeen Starstruck CD.Marie heard Louise at a gig in Dublin and was impressed with what she heard. Louise will be putting a copy of the review on her website where the CD is for sale and you can have a samle listen in. Link on to

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Walkways.It would be nice to share walkways with each other and with our visitors.The idea was put forward at the meeting on the waterways corridor last week.
Will add to this another time.Have you a walk to share ?? Go on and share it.
Had a surprize packet of used stamps from Joan Grady from Harmony Pa USA. She saw the sign requesting stamps when visiting the pub.The idea at the time was to make up little packets of these stamps and sell them as souveniers to raise funds for the local Tourist Office.Everyone thought it a mad idea and I am awaiting certification.Stamps nowadays are a storybook of Ireland and her history.
Joan Grady may be interested to know that a Pat Grady once lived in Shannonbridge in the house beside Morans shop where Coakleys now live. Pat had a donkey and cart and did the odd jobs for Mrs Flannery who then owned Morans shop.He was a great IRA man and his house was a famous rambling house.Owner of an old comb containing just a few teeth on it that was always getting lost.Pat Grady always blamed the Fairies for taking his comb.Pat had a sister Nellie who was married and lived as Mrs Larkin where Stevie Kenny now lives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Here's the weeks GAA news thanks to Conor Killeen.

Shannonbridge GAA Notes 17th Nov

Under 21 Football Championship

Jayo’s Bullet sinks Clara

Shannongaels 2-7
Clara 1-9

When Jason Kelly took the ball into his hands on the fourteen yard line few would have believed he would put the ball past several Clara Men standing on the goal line.

This was the third replay between the two sides, surely one for the history books. The Sides met in Tubber on Sunday last for the final Showdown. Shannongaels got off to a good start when Cathal Horan opened the scoring for the Gaels with a Goal, followed shortly afterwards by points from Shane and Jason Kelly. Clara then responded with a Goal and two points to leave the Teams level at the Break.

The restart saw Paul Deeley, reopen the hoops account with a fine point following a long solo run. Clara always looked dangerous with John Reynolds doing most of the damage up front. After Five hours of football the teams still remained level which in turn pushed the game into extra time once again.

Clara always looked in control in extra time; the all Whites were two points up with seconds to go until Jason Kelly buried the Ball to the back of the net to win the game for the Gaels. The Gaels were best served in the backline with James Rafferty doing well. Midfield must improve on this performance in order to secure a County Final place.

Shannongaels hope the Supporters will rally behind them once again in the Semi Final when the Gaels face Ballycumber/ Tubber this weekend.

Shannonbridge AGM
Shannonbridge GAA Club holds their annual general meeting this Sunday the 23rd of November in the Club house at 3 pm. All Members are asked to attend, new Members are welcome. If you have anything you wish to suggest regarding the GAA next Sunday is the time to do it. Remember the GAA is a democratic organisation and any change can come from the bottom up.

Lotto Results (last Weeks Jackpot €17,000)
There was no Winner of last week’s jackpot. There were ten match three Winners. Good luck to all who take part.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Congratulations to Shannon Gaels on reaching the under twenty-one football county semi-final. After four matches against Clara and several periods of extra time Shannon Gaels won by a single point, thanks to a goal in the last minute of extra time by Jason Kelly. Shannon Gaels are a combination of the Shannonbridge and St. Rynaghs GAA Clubs. They play Ballycumber next Saturday in the semi-final. Rhode have already reached the final and await the winners.
Did you notice that almost 10,000 have linked on to the Shannonbridge website.It would make it more interesting if some of the local services listed were to come alive and maybe visitors might use them. Some more bits of Local News would be welcome if there are some volunteers out there contact the link for information.
Greetings to the Kelly J. O Grady quartet from Virginia who visited Clonmacnois recently and caught my eye with their Grace before Meals. Had a few words from them since they returned telling how they enjoyed Clonmacnois and Kajon House. They mention that not everyone in America no more than Ireland say Grace.
Good to see Patrick Kenny in fine form yesterday on a brief visit to Shannonbridge.
He is now off the cigarettes and on the patch and is getting along fine with the patch. True to form he caught out Paddy Kavanagh with his questions about the deafman, the blindman and the dumbman going shopping.
Good news for The Fort Restaurant with an excellent review in Georgina Campbell's Guide 2004 which is now in Easons and other bookstores. Fergal and Linda told us that somebody had suggested to Ms Campbell to have a look at The Fort. They paid a secret visit last August and have now put in print how pleased they were. Congratulations to everyone involved in getting this welcome review. Have a peep at what they said when you buy the book at Easons.
West Offaly Community Transport have a menu of seven different bus routes starting to bring people into Athlone Birr Tullamore and Ballycumber. The bus taking peole from our area goes from Belmont to Athlone via Shannonbridge.Booking is essential for all services a day in advance. Tel 09064 54956. Fare Adults 6euro return Students 3euro
Shannonbridge had seven or eight footballers playing yesterday in the fourth meeting of our Shannongaels playing Clara. This match also went to extra time and in the last minute Jason Kelly scored a goal from a free to win the game. Ballycumber are the next for a battle and that takes place next Sunday.
Did you notice the invitation from the Minister for the Environment to view the document on Clonmacnois, Co.Offaly Draft Management Plan and send on any comments on its contents to his Department.Copy of the Plan are available at the Clonmacnois Visitor Centre and there are a couple of copies in Shannonbridge Library on Thursday night 7 - 9.00 P.M.
Yesterdays bulletin would give the impression that things have started to move already with the notice of a new burial ground needed as Offaly County Council are seeking land in the Clonmacnois-Shannonbridge-Clonfinlough area for use as an additional burial ground.
Last Thursday evening there was a disappointing turnout for an invitation to discuss a ten year plan for the future of The Suck from Ballinasloe to Shannonbridge and The Shannon upstream to Lanesboro. Some items mentioned at previous meetings were circulated and mentioned water quality, increase in river traffic, access to Clonfert and Glasson from the river and problems with high speed craft effecting banksides, wildlife habitat, angling ,sailing. If you have any comments contact Lisa Grainger at 091-539805

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Eileen Henry was telling us about the great success of the Ballinahown Monster Auction held recently that raised about 7,000 Euros for their Development Association which has brought Ballinahown very much up the rankings in the Tidy Towns nationwide competition. The organisers were pleased with the help given in donations from the local community and the business community.
Lotto Jackpot last night escaped once again with 17 people having three of the four winning numbers which were 2, 9, 17, 20. Jackpot for next week has reached 17000 E.
The funeral takes place today of Father Eddie Kelly a native of Clonfad. Father Eddie worked most of his life in London where he was well known and helpful to emigrants. Some years ago he returned to stay in a retirement home in Kiltormer. He was a brother to the late Paddy Kelly and was related to the Kelly and Reid families in Shannonbridge.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul.
Tomorrow the funeral takes place of Edward (Tony ) Foley after Mass in St.Marks Church Tallagh.Tony was a regular visitor to Shannonbridge in recent years and it was good to get to know our first cousin that bit more. Tony's mother was Mary Killeen from Toher our late aunt. Remember Tony in your prayers.
Last evening about twenty areas from West Offaly attended a very enjoyable function attented a Celebration of Community Achievement hosted by West Offaly Partnership in the Teach Lea, Boora between Cloghan and Tullamore and near Boora church. There were displays around the wall and on freestanding display boards with photographs of a wide range of projects where West Offaly Partnership had helped. Shannonbridge had two items - The Library and The Tourist Office. Rose Ryan, Pat Keohane and Eamon Mc Manus were some Shannonbridge faces attending.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Here's the local GAA news, thanks to Conor Killeen.

Under 21 Football Championship

The Gaels Face a Fourth Storm

Shannongaels 2-13
Clara 1-16

Shannongaels must met Clara for a fourth time to decide this epic saga, after the sides finished level for the third time in four weeks. After Four hours of Football both these sides still remain in deadlock. This was a very entertaining game with plenty of good football from both sides played in Tubber on Saturday last.

Shannongaels started well with points from Jason Kelly and James Rafferty. The first goal came thirteen Minutes into the game when Ger Rafferty won the ball at close range to finish to the net. The scores came thick and fast, with Clara matching the Gaels score for a score.

However Shannongaels always lead on the score board throughout normal time until Clara scored a goal followed shortly after wards by a point to bring the game into extra time.

With Day light fading the Gaels started well by getting on top but could just not put away this Clara side. There were good performers in the backline from Eamon Kelly. The Gaels Midfield pairing of Ger Rafferty and Philip Egan broke even around the middle, while up front Jason and Shane Kelly and Cathal horan all did well.

The two will meet again this weekend,the Gaels did improve their Shooting last Saturday week, but must improve their Passing in order to ensure a semi final place. Please check fixtures for details of this weekendĂ‚’s replay. Come out and support your Team. Extra support would be a huge boost to the Gaels.

Team M Hough, W Kenna, T Flatherty, D Finn, K Flannery, E Kelly, J Rafferty(0-1)
,G Rafferty(1-0), P Egan, M Grogan(0-1), J Kelly(0-6) 1 Sideline, P Mac,
S Kelly(0-4), C Horan, C Duffy(0-1), Subs P Deeley (1-0) A Clancy, S Flannery

Speedy Recovery
The Shannonbridge GAA Club wish David Corbett a Speedy recovery after David seriously injured his ankle while training. David has shown great promise this year and no doubt he will bounce back from this injury for next season.

Ladies Football
Shannonbridge/ Doon 2-8
St Josephs 2-2
Congratulations to the Shannonbridge/ Doon Ladies who brought home the Junior C Ladies title When they beat ST Joseph's in Banagher on Sunday last. Top Scorer on the Day Miriam Kearns got S/D of to a winning start by scoring all in the first half.

The Second half saw St Joseph's launch attack after attack on the
S /D defence but the pressure was met with stiff ressistance from Ailbhe Ryan, Siobhan Kenny and Siobhan Quinn kept St Joseph's at bay. Player of the match Louise Rohan also turned in a fine performance in the middle by winning plenty of posession to ensure victory for the Ladies
Team Rachel kearns, Siobhan Quinn, Ailbhe Ryan,Siobhan Quinn, Maura Cocoran, Josephine Egan, Deirdre Norton, Michelle Claffey, Louise Rohan, Orla Maloney, Merium Kearns, Ciara Mannion, Aine Kearns, Christine Claffey, Siobhan Larkin.

Lottto Results
There was no Winner of Jackpot which was E16,600. There were 10 Match three Winners. The numbers were 7,13,21 and 26. Good luck to all who take part.
Surfing in Offaly is alive and well. The Offaly surf team (Colin Killeen, Michael Cunney and Michael Thornhill) advanced to the second round of the intercounty surfing championship at the weekend by defeating Westmeath in the preliminary heats. The event was staged in a new format with counties going head to head rather than individual scores being added up. Unfortunately the event had to be cancelled on Sunday (No waves). However this was Offaly's best result in the competition to date, advancing in to the top ten teams in the competition (previous best was 11th place). The winner of the event was Sligo as they posted the best scores in the first round.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Four people from Fredericksburg Virginia USA visited Clonmacnois on Wednesday and stayed B+B with Kay and John in Kajon House.They stopped off for soup and sandwich
and they told us they were impressed with Clonmacnois and the display indoors. Earlier they had visited Monisterboice. Tried to get them to visit the bridge, Clonfert, Meelick and Clontuskert but they had a schedule. Seemed to be an older couple and a younger couple and the younger man was a park historian called Kelly J. O'Grady.
When their food was served the four bowed their heads and in unison said -
"Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive,
through Christ Our Lord . Amen"
On Wednesday two walkers Pat and Breda Boyce from Donegal stopped off in Shannonbridge on a commeration walk remembering Red Hugh O'Donnell's march in 1607 when his army marched from Donegal town to Kinsale following the route of the original march passing through Bundoran,Sligo,Colloney,Ballymote,Ballinafad,Boyle,Roscommon,Taughmaconnell, Ballinasloe,Shannonbridge,Cloghan,Kinnitty,Roscrea to Clonmore where they stayed for one month awaiting the arrival of Owen Roe O Neill's army that came from Dungannon.
On then through the Slieve Bloom Mountains,Rearcross,Abbington,Croom,Newcastle West,Mill Street,Dunmanway,Bandon,to Innishannon where they met O Neill's army.
The total army camped at Belgooly about 15 miles from Kinsale and the battle took place at My Waterford where they were badly defeated.
After the battle Red Hugh O Donnell went to Spain while Eoghain Roe O Neill went back home to Dungannon where they completely destroyed the O Neill Castle stone from stone.
Pat Boyle told us that the battle marked the end of the Brehon Laws and the old Chieftain System in Ireland and led to the country being Anglacised and to The Plantation of Ulster.
The Boyces are walking about 15 miles a day and camping on the trail to help raise funds for the Children with Special Needs Charity and it is intended to use whatever money is raised locally in each county.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Sid Tolchin forwarde 36 slides of the fires in California and the ones of the smoke were most impressive.
Speaking of smoking Johnny Owens from Ferbane was telling me last night that he is 11 yearsretired and has been a heavy smoker all his life. Recently he noticed he was losing weight and went to his doctor who told him to give up the cigarettes.After three weeks he feels good and his appetite has improved.He even has got a taste for the Guinness. Johnny was a well known fitter in Ferbane Power Station and often came to help out in Shannonbridge.
This week the Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto attracted great interest and once more nobody was successful in picking the winning four numbers which were -
7, 13, 21, 26. About sixteen people had three numbers. Next week the Jackpot will be 16,800 Euro and the draw will be held in The Bog Oak on Monday night.It is still possible to join on a yearly or half yearly basis.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Good to see Siobhan Ryan home for a visit from Sligo. Enquired about Hubert Kearns and she told us that Hubert was staying on as County Manager for another period of nine years. Hubert was once a tireless worker for The National Coarse Fishing Federation when he served as a member for many years.
Ken and Betty Smith who holiday in Creggs self catering told us today that their daughter Laura and family had to flee their home near La Mesa in California recently as the fire came within a half a mile of their home. Sid Tolchien told us yesterday that about 750,000 acres of land were destroyed by the fires in California. Told Martin Burke about the fire and late last evening John Price and himself rescued his remaining turf from the bog.
Mick and Mary headed off for a couple of weeks to the USA last evening.They stay with Michael and Aine and Neal and fly out on Wednesday.Heard Mary asking him a few times if he had packed the white jacket so maybe he plans to give the trombone a blast or two in New Jersey and Chicago.
A sure sign of winter last evening when a number of badminton racquets appeared and got their first airing in the village hall. And of course tomorrow night sees the first of the Table Quizzes in Shannonbridge and that is serious stuff. Glad to hear that this year contestants will not be allowed to leave the premises to get an answer or two from friends in The Bog Oak or to use their mobiles to phone their children in London Paris or Rome.It kicks off at 9.30 PM.
About four years ago a four piece band from Koln in Germany holidayed in Ireland and played some music during their stopover in Shannonbridge. This year one of the group Helmut Laske returned with his wife Gisela and their talented son Alex. Lucky enough they took along a camcorder and went home with about seven hours of footage.
Yesterday the postman brought an edited version of their stop off in Shannonbridge which features Paudge Bennett, Alex on piano and singing with a group while the camera cathes lots of well known shots including Mickie Mac and some of our Polish dancers from the new power plant site.Mick is blowing into the trombone and Colin has a few close ups in the grocery.Bridie Carry is on film in her usual spot and is recorded on the track. The session finishes off with a track from Louise's new album Never About You which you can hear on
The No Name band have an internet site at

Monday, November 03, 2003

Here's a message on the matches in Australia last weekend from our roving reporter, Kerrill Thornhill

Greetings from Melbourne in Australia, Irish rugby
fever has taken over over here for the last few weeks,
with thousands of Irish people swamping Adelaide for
the Argentina match last weekend and then moving on to
Melbourne for the match against Australia, brilliant
craic in Adelaide and the fans were in great voice,
they also managed to drink a lot of the pubs in
Adelaide dry and we won a very close match so the
celebrations went on all week, with thousands making
the road trip over to Melbourne along the coast road
of this very big and beautiful country. Following the
famous great ocean road which was built by returning
Australian soldiers from the first world war.
Melbourne was buzzing ahead of the Ireland-Australia
game and nobody was disappointed as the game was
fantastic and the atmosphere was electric, the Irish
fans kept the noise levels high and sang for the whole
match without much opposition from the huskies,
however it wasn't enough and Ireland were very unlucky
not too win and went down by a single point. No one
was too devastated though as we now play France next
weekend in Melbourne and get to spend a further week
in the area. Melbourne is a very young and lively
city, a lot of the Irish team were out in the casino
mingling with the fans till the small hours, they got
a great reception and there were a lot of hoarse
throats and sore heads this morning.
Forgot to mention the compromise rules game on Friday
which was played in the Melbourne cricket ground, also
an epic encounter, the Irish won the match but were
very disappointed not to win the series against a
professional and very committed Australian team.
Ciaran McManus from Tubber had a very good game and
the team did Ireland proud and weren't intimidated by
the more physical Australians. Next up in Melbourne
is the famous Melbourne gold cup race meeting on
Tuesday which is likely to be a great day too. Bring
on the French next Sunday.
The annual Irish intercounties surfing competition is being held this weekend in Donegal.. Half of the Offaly team is made up of Shannonbridgers so if you are around Rossnowlagh or Bundoran this weekend stop by to join the party.

Friday, October 31, 2003

Some holiday memories. We were told on a tour of The Sistine Chapel that the Pope that built the chapel asked Michaelangelo to paint it for him. Mike was an engineer and sculptor but not a painter.The Pope pressed him so he got two skilled artists from Florence to teach him the painting and decorating game.Then he improved on their methods and created a masterpiece.
We were shown The Collesium which had a capacity to hold 80,000 spectators and was capable of being vacated in ten minutes. Thought about Bertie Ahern's arena.
There is also the ruins of Circus Maximus which held 400,000 people.
In Florence we saw the statue of David which is magnificent. Also some early creations of Michaelangelo which look unfinished but have the appearance of the subject escaping from the hunks of stone.
Sat beside a Sicilian on the plane to Rome and he gave me a few basic words such as Per Favore = Please. Grazie = Thanks. Buon Giorno = Good Day. Ciao = How are you.
Bonne Sera = Good Evening. Arrivederci = Goodbye. Si = Yes. Dove = where ?
Quanto = How much ? and the best one of all Bollire = boiling. If you want to get a decent cup of tea in Italy you will need Bollire water. All the hot water we got in Italy I was able to stick my finger in it and I'm no James Bond.
In Dublin Airport toilet there was a number of catchy adverts for Argus Car and Van Rental with the slogan Travel without the Hassle. Felt a bit homesick as the owners of Argus are Joe Turley from Raghrabeg and his family. See what they have to offer at
Going on holiday a few weeks ago naturally I checked my passport to satisfy Mary on the Saturday night.It was out of date since May and we were flying to Rome on Monday. Sunday Tesco machine supplied photos and we set out for the passport office at 6.30 A.M. on Monday morning with Conor driving and finding the place. The office opened at 9.30 and I was called at 9.40 and given a ticket with a large 007 printed on it. Told Miss Moneypenny my predicament and she told me to go upstairs where the passport was handed over at 10.30 A.M. James Bond really exists. Just overheard someone else to come back on Wednesday.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Last night we phoned Lee and Jean Blinmann who are living in La Mesa just outside of San Diego. Jean told us they were fine and were told to keep indoors and shut doors and windows. The fires have disrupted some phone lines. There is a big fire raging in an apple plantation just east of their timber house. This old couple got a knock on their door on Monday and a family of six were seeking refuge as their home had been destroyed with fire. What would you have said to them ?
The Blinmann household has increased from two to eight this week. Well done.
The Heritage Council, together with Waterways Ireland and five County Councils bordering the Shannon and Suck rivers from Ballinasloe to Lanesboro are inviting interested people to attend a public workshop at the Shannonbridge Community Hall on Thursday 13th November from 7-9.30 PM.
To discuss a "VISION" for the future of the waterways and its communities, to identify ways to manage the waterways corridor environment for the benefit of all and to discuss areas that may be suitable for future developments whilst retaining the distinctive elements that contribute to the sense of place.
If you know anyone interested in this study please ask them along.
Today I spoke with the lady organising this and told her it might be a good idea for interested people to have a little meeting beforehand. Any ideas or suggestions from readers ?
There was a glorious sunset on Sunday evening as Pat and I went with Mike Robinson to attend Gertie Dolan nee Murray's funeral. Gertie was a sister to the late Vera and Ina and enjoyed playing her violin. Gertie was a first cousin of my mother and it was a bit weird as we did not know her family.Lucky enough other cousins such as Jimmy Murray and his brother from Knockcroghery were there.
Last night it was time to look skywards at the aurora borealis lights which had green and pink hues in the fingers of light.Colin went to the bog last night to see the lights and take some photos. Last Sunday evening the sunset was captured by him from the hills around Clerhane and from the quarries. We await the results.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Michael Green sent an e-mail digital photograph of himself and Martin Burke and others having a drink while he was home on holidays recently.
Pat was telling me last week that once she was talking to Prionsias Mac Aonagaise and was regretting how little of the Irish Language she knew. Prionsias said that she should look around her and see how many items she was able to name in Irish.
He believed that if one knew as many words in Greek or Latin or French one would be considered somewhat of a scholar. Howsa about trying it out ?
The local Lotto draw was held last night and about eleven people had three winning numbers. The numbers drawn were 5, 21, 26, 28. Next weeks Jackpot 16,600 Euro.
You can attend the Holy Hour which has commenced on Thursday nights in Ard Chiarain starting at 8.00 P.M until 9.00 P.M. It might improve your luck at least.
Yesterday in Clonmacnois a Draft Management Plan for Clonmcnois covering the next five years was launched by Mr.Martin Cullen,T.D. the Minister for the Environment,Heritage and Local Government. Copies of the plan are available in the Library on Thursday 7.00 to 9.00 P.M. Comments and suggestions are welcome.
It was disappointing to hear the Minister say that it was his first time in Clonmacnoise and then present the Draft Plan. Looked to me that some real friends of Clonmacnois such as Heather King had put a lot of work into the plan and the Minister's speech.
Many local people were invited. Thought there would be other bodies but no.
On Monday a Chinese girl who is living in Newbridge called in and Colin mustered some lunch for her as she was hungry. Later he asked her to take Moby for a walk and she agreed. But Moby was not having a Chinese Takeaway and dug his heels in. Finally I had to walk to the bridge and new and old jetty with them. By the end of the walk relations were fine.
Lorraine and Jim Mc Kenna from Pottstown USA recently spent three weeks holidays in Shannonbridge and say they had a wonderful time and miss everybody and everything.They threaten that they will be back. Simple holiday with visits to Clonmacnois, Clonfert, Athlone and Ballinasloe. They failed to find Meelick Church.
After ten days traipsing around Italy there is a lot to be said for the Mc Kenna plan.
Three local death notices recently. Pat Gaffey of Clerhane and Geraldine Mc Manus from Lecarrow passed away recently and news of the death of Una Beirne a daughter of Maureen Egan from Woodbank and now living in Loughrea which happened at the weekend. Remember them and their families in your prayers if you will.
Got a phonecall last evening for a request for prayers for Frank Kelly who is being interviewed for a job in Limerick having spent a number of years in the USA. Throw in a prayer for his sake as we need him back in Ireland.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

Thanks to the hard work of Alo Moran and Kieran Kelly we now have names to go with our old school photo. They also tell us that the year was actually 1940. Click here to check it out.

Friday, October 17, 2003

Two new photos added to our collection from the County Junior B Final. Also the photo in the bottom right now has names to go with it. If you're in it but not mentioned, give us a shout and we'll fix it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Go to the photo gallery to see a photo of the class of 1936 in the local national school. We'd like to put names to all the faces, so answers on a 20 Euro note please.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

For anyone who is interested in hearing some of Louise's music, check out her website at

Monday, October 13, 2003

Yesterday saw Shannonbridge claim the County Junior Championship against Erin Rovers in Ferbane. Photos of the match (and the evening) can be seen here, or go through the photo gallery. We hope to have a match report for you soon.
Another Shannonbridge success story yesterday saw Louise Killeen, Colin Killeen and Michael Thornhill winning a music competition in Kiltimagh, County Mayo. Congratulations to all involved and have fun in New York.

Friday, October 10, 2003

If you are watching the Rugby World Cup from Australia do keep an eye out for Kerrill Thornhill who is there for the games and hopefully will drop a few lines to this website on and off for the next few weeks.
And the same Oliver Daly was telling us that he took a photograph of the 18 lbs pike for one of the Belgium anglers at the Hot Water the other day. The group of five anglers continued their luck when catching 48 pike yesterday and with one day left they have beaten last years catch with about 176 pike all returned alive.
Oliver Daly was telling me that Johnno Egan who often visited Bill Turley in Raghrabeg was featured on the Irish Independent on Monday for donating half his liver to his brother. The operations were carried out in New York and Johnno's operation took about ten hours and his brother's operation almost eleven hours. Well done to Johnno for his marvellous gift.
As Colin says Pat and myself will be eating Pasta for the next two weeks as we link up with a group froup from Cherry Hill which includes many friends as well as our brothers John and Jimmy and Jim's wife Maureen. Hopefully Colin will write in the Lotto and an odd bit about Oslo and local news for the next few weeks. Find us in Tuscany or Rome if we don't get lost.
Jim and Lorraine Mc Kenna who are on holiday from Pottstown Pennsylavia enjoyed a trip to Clomacnois on Wednesday and yesterday set off in search of the Clonfinlough Stone which is located on the hill behind Clonfinlough church but they failed to find it. They did find Balliahowen and were full of praise for the stained glass windows in the church there. They are planning on a visit to the Country Fair in Ballinasloe tomorrow. Their daughter in law Amy and husband Pat were here on holiday with them last year and sends greetings to The McKenna's and all the people she met last year.
Best wishes to Patrick Kenny America Moore after his operation in Portiuncula yesterday which we hear went well.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

If anyone happens to be in the Kiltimagh area on Sunday 12th October between 9pm and 12pm, come along to the N17 night club and support Shannonbridge local Louise Killeen in a battle of the bands competition with a first prize of a week in New Yorks biggest recording studio!!!
Five members of the St Marie Pike Association, Bornem, Belgium are presently in Shannonbridge for their annual pike fishing holiday staying with Eamon and Marie Mc Manus in Laurel Lodge guesthouse. They arrived on Saturday and using lake boats with outboard engines they caught and released 25 pike on Sunday, 42 pike on Monday, 17 pike on Tuesday and 44 pike yesterday totalling 128 fish to date. They still have two days fishing and they are hoping to beat last years total of 166 pike.
It is good to know that all the fish are being returned alive. Yesterday one of the pike caught was at the Hot Water Outlet area at the power plant and it weighed 18 lbs.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Mr and Mrs Hugh Mulligan from Correen lost a daughter recently and Mary's remains were buried in England. May the Lord have mercy on her soul.
The Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto winning numbers last night were 7, 11, 17, 26
Twenty one people had three correct numbers - nine from Shannonbridge and twelve from Doon. Nobody was successful in getting the four numbers required and next week the Jackpot will be 16,000 Euro.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Jim and Lorraine Mc Kenna arrived from Pottstown yesterday and ran smack bang into the Great October Fair in Ballinasloe.There was a sharpish wind with rain and they were diverted like many more around the town finally ending up in Cloghan.Anyhow they are here and welcome.
The death occured at the weekend of that grand old fiddle player Frank Reid from Athlone. May he rest in peace.
Louis Darcy and Mairead were among the guests at the 50 Years anniversary that remembered Offaly Junior Hurlers winning their Leinster Championship. The event took place in Dooley's Hotel in Birr and Louis tells us it was a great night with almost all the surviving members of the panel attending.
And on the Darcy trail last evening Johnny and his wife Joanne and children Antonia, Laurie and Ciara stopped off on their way home to Daingean after a day in Ballinasloe Fair. Johnny told us that he was a son of the late Jimmy Darcy who was a step brother to Louis. And who was sitting at the counter but Louis and Oliver Darcy and when Johnny found out who they were he went to collect his camera to get a photograph of the two brothers.Johnny's brother Brendan owns The Blackthorn Bar
in Daingean.There is a connection with the Green and Kenny families he tells us.
Margaret Carty was down from Dublin for the weekend and had a pleasant surprize waiting when Roisin Glennon presented her with 200 Euro on behalf of Moore Football Club. Margaret was the only one to have three correct numbers in their weekly Lotto and collected the full consolation prize.
The treshing in Doon was for enjoyment and also to help raise funds for Rashina school. Both targets were reached and we are told that some 15,000 Euros were collected for the school. Well done to all.

Friday, October 03, 2003

The local paper this week covered last weekend's Threshing and fun day at Doon and showed a photograph of our own John Egan from Woodbank as he repaired some farm equipment. John was the creator of the stonework for the thatched cottage which is such an eye catcher located at the turn off for Clonmacnois.
New houses are coming on well for Liam Fallon on a site near Galvin's house near Cloniffeen, for John Mooney on a site as one goes into the Bog Rail Tour, and for Pat Gaffey on the Clonmacnois road at Corrigeen. Keep an eye out for progress on Fergal and Linda Moran's site on top of the hill in Raghrabeg near Kenny's house. Will this give other people ideas for building ?
The local paper has a photograph of three of our young musicians with their teacher Nicola Murray after passing the 2nd grade examination for the Recorder. The three were Corina Slattery, Dara Corbett and Owen Casey and recently paid their own tribute to the late Mickie Mac by performing one of their pieces after Communion at his funeral Mass. Congratulations and well done to you all and may more join the band.
Owen Casey also passed his exam for the Clarinet.
More good news from the Peter Warwick group. Yesterday they fished another of their pre-baited swims and one of the group caught and released over 50 lbs of Rudd which are a beautiful golden coloured fish which have come under severe pressure from the faster moving Roach that were introduced into the Shannon waters back in the mid sixties. Today will be their last day fishing on what has been very successful.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Peter Warwick and five fishing friends are once again visiting Shannonbridge and other anglers might do better if they followed The Warwick Plan. When they arrived last Saturday they hired a boat and engine and using a fish finder they located three areas that held large quantities of fish. They then set about prebaiting these three areas and for their week's fishing they have planned to use 300 lbs of ground breadmeal,
12 Gallons of Maggots, 12 Gallons of Caster ( crystaline maggot form ) 3 Kilo of Worms and an assortment of goodies such as sweetcorn, hemp and special favourites,
On Sunday three of the party had about 30 lbs of roach rudd skimmers hybrids and some perch. Yesterday Peter caught almost 50 lbs for the best of the day and this included a couple of bream weighing five pounds each. Depth of the water was 30 feet.Hope that the good fishing continues for them as they fish the same locations. Have no fear the fish are cared for like babies and returned alive and well to the Shannon. Methinks they are spoiling our fish but a shoal of voices shout "No Way".
The Fishes holiday ends on Saturday.
Bridie Carry was high in her praise for everything after her week's holiday with husband Charlie and their Canadian friend Mary. They were based in a self catering near Killarney and used it as a base for sightseeing in Cork and Kerry. The weather was marvelous and they found the food in roadside houses very good with Molly Darcy's getting Five Stars in the BC ratings.
They really enjoyed Gouganne Barra in West Cork and Bridie tells us that Gouganne means hollow and Barra is connected with Saint Finbar.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Talking about the weather is high in the topics of conversation in Ireland and for those of you away from home that want to listen to what we are talking about Met Eireann provide a number of forecasts on their website at
Like mostly dry this afternoon and early evening with bright or sunny spells in all areas with temperatures of 14 to 18 Celsius.And there's more if you want to look.
Jimmy Mooney was telling us last night that Shannonbridge Junior Football team are in the County Offaly final this weekend.Players that have not played with the Senior panel are eligible to play and Mooney thinks they have a right good chance of winning.Probably better than our first game of bridge after the summer layoff.
Th e Lotto draw was held in The Bog Oak on Monday night and the winning numbers were 7, 12, 16, and 25. Twelve people had three winning numbers each.
Next week the Jackpot goes to 15,800 Euro with the draw in Martins of Doon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Talked to Hugh Gough last night. Hugh worked with the Fishery Board and part of his work was producing helpful fishing maps for almost every fishing water of note in Ireland as regards coarse fishing. When he retired some years ago he wrote a book entitled Coarse Fishing in Ireland.
Hugh spent a lot of time in the Shannonbridge area testing out the water and gathering information for the maps for this area which are still much in use.
He now lives in Cavan and for the past year has had eye trouble resulting in double vision which prevents him reading and driving the car. Recently he got a machine that enlarges newspapers so that last week he paid his first visit to his newsagent in eight months.
He paid a visit to his specialist in Dublin recently and was told to come back in January.
Sorry about the Ballinasloe Horse Fair website number yesterday.
This should have been
Martin Burke was telling yesterday evening that he had noticed a horse running in the 3.15 race at Hamilton named Partners in Jazz and he thought about the late Mickie Mac. He was going to ring Mick Killeen but did'nt. Anyhow the horse won at 8 / 1 odds.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Michael Breannach from the Oat Gallery Bookstore and Picture Framing was on the river yesterday and was telling that this year's October Horse Fair Week in Ballinasloe has a website to let you know what is happening. Have a look at www.ballinasloe-arts.
The grass on the Callow beside the new jetty where the spoil from the bottom of the river was spread is growing well and looks good.
Ken and Betty Smith have left Shannonbridge and are on their way back to Santa Barbara. Looks like they might stay for two weeks next time.
Lorraine and Jim Mc Kenna know better and they are arriving next weekend from Pottstown for a three week stay.
Just remembered that the author of The Valley of The Squinting Windows was Brindsley Mc Namara. Mentioned under Pleasant surprize on Friday Sep 26.
Mr and Mrs Kieran Merrigan from Dublin were in Shannonbridge and Clonmacnois yesterday paying a visit to the graves. Kieran is son of the late Paddy who once had a shop in Clonmacnois later operated by the Moore Family.
Yesterday the death was announced of Prionncias Mac Aonaghasa whose father was Chriostoir Mc Guinness from Cloniff. Both were fluent Irish speakers and Chroistoir lived with his friends The Green Family in Blackwater in his latter days and is buried in Clonmacnois. His son was a frequent contributer to Irish programmes on radio and television and it was lovely to see father and son sitting over a pint and talking away in the Irish Language. May God have mercy on their souls.
Yesterday's All Ireland football championship final was won by Tyrone beating Armagh.
The score was 0 - 12 to 0 - 9.
In the minor final Dublin and Laois drew.
Information like that is available on The Irish Times website at www.//

Friday, September 26, 2003

This sounds ridiculous but when Ryan Air offered 50,000 or a half million free seats recently Colin Killeen decided to go to Oslo and trace his roots if he can find any old Danes.He only had to pay for airport taxes and sure he will find some long lost cousin in the four day adventure. Maybe next week he will write a few lines on what happened.
Talking to Brigie Kitt last evening and she told me that in the house now replaced by Murrays beside The Shannonside Diner a family lived and one of the daughters was the Greatgrandmother of Cork's famous hurler Christy Ring. She was married to a soldier based in The Fort. She was a beautiful lady and a forefather of Oliver and Saran Daly (possibly a great grand father ) wrote a song about her.
Pleasant surprize last evening meeting Charlie Donoghue visiting from Hartford with his three daughters and two son in laws - Joe and Mary Logiudice, Joe and Catherine Fox and Jean Donoghue.Charlie is an only child of Charlie and Bridget nee Rigney.Rigneys lived in the house now belonging to Michael and Brid Fitzpatrick direcly across from Killeens Pub. Going back over 100 years the Mr Rigney was a builder and his wife (nee Casey from Kilbeggan ) was a teacher in Shannonbridge.They had six children. Matt was a teacher in High Street school. Michael was a priest in the Diocese. Julia was a nun. Josie was a teacher in England for years. Then in Delvin County Westmeath where she taught with the author of "The Valley of the Squinting Windows" a controversial book for its time and later she taught in High Street school.
Thomas followed the buiding trade and worked with Eoin Larkin building Creagh Church and putting a corridor upstairs in Killeens bar. Another sister died young.
Bridget married Charlie Donoghue from around Bloomhill in c 1929 and went to America. Many years later Charlie and Bridget returned to live with Josie in Shannonbridge and both are buried in Clonmacnois. Bridget was the only one of the Rigney family to follow the marriage route The gang from Hartford plan to visit Clonmacnois and the Bog Rail Tour today.