Monday, March 31, 2003

Two deaths at the weekend.Danny Coughlan from Aughrim and late of Annamore died.
He was brother of the late Pat and Donal Coughlan. Danny did some taxidermy work
and some wet land at the back of his house he turned into a lake where there are lots
of wildfowl enjoying themselves.Predeceased by his wife he had two children.
Seamus Feeney who once operated the Lock gates at Shannonharbour died on Friday.
Mourned by his wife daughters grandchildren brothers and sister.
Remember the two nuns last week in Georgia and Sister Philomena Fogarty who was
decapitated.Saw on the paper that they were in Father Ronnie Madden's parish and of
course Father Ronnie comes from Ballinasloe.I have memories when I first went to San
Diego almost twenty years ago Father Ronnie was based there and Surgeon Murphy
gave me his phone number to give him a call.I rang and an answering machine answered
with Ronnie saying "I'm unable to come to the phone right now but if you leave your name
and number I will call you right back ".It was my first encounter with answering machines
so I left a message.After a few weeks I repeated the call and again after a couple of months
before I came home.Got no reply each time.In August Father Ronnie called to Shannonbridge
and explained that he was a Navy Chaplain and when I was there he was on a six months
Navy tour of Japan and Australia.Are'nt mobile phones great ?
Patrick Kenny from America near Shannnonbridge called in to the shop to complain that
he had been sold toilet paper which was out of date and had given him a rash on his bum.
We are having a look at it.Reminds me that tomorrow is April 1st and that the same Patrick
Kenny celebrates his birthday tomorrow.Happy Birthday Patrick.Don't believe your 75.
The Ballinasloe Mercy Sisters celebrated coming to Ballinasloe 150 years ago on Friday.
Concelebrated Mass with Bishop Kirby in Saint Michael was followed by a feast in Gullanes
and a variety of music.The handout booklet pictured their first house which is in Main Street
across from the Bank of Ireland.
Mention of banks and the Sunday Church Bulletin reminds everyone that monies in bank
accounts where no transaction has happened for at least 15 years will be transferred into
a Dormant Accounts Fund by the Dept of Finance.Be warned.
Just a note to say thanks to all who are contributing to shannonbridge.net through the local news section, anyone who wishes to contribute to local news please email me at michael.thornhill@propylon.com for information on how to contribute. Everyone's contributions are welcome.
As regards putting business information on the site (Derry's earlier query), David is at home in Shannonbridge and can be contacted on 0879903878. A brochure of your business (B+B, pub, whatever) is all he will need to get the required information and to put your business on the internet on shannonbridge.net.
The Gospel at Mass yesterday was John 316 and Fr.O Hanlon told that the designer of the
first space suits for the American Astronauts allowing them to walk in space called the
umbical type hose John 316 and the recepticle it fitted into was John 317. Now you know.
After Mass we had the England 42 - Ireland 6 rugby game. Lucky enough just after the
start David Walsh from Durrow arrived with news that he had caught a big pike on The Suck.
So off to weigh in a 9.8 Kilo beauty.Thats about 21 Lbs 10 Ounces.Caught on mackerel.
The Flannery twins Shane and Kieran and Paul Deeley, Alan Gunning and Adrian Kelly
from the parish feature on the Ferbane School Football team today in a Leinster Final
agaist Finglas School.Wish them well

Friday, March 28, 2003

Last years visitor Lorraine Mc Kenna found Liam and Kay Fitzpatrick very helpful in the Post
Office and asks will they be leaving town.Fear not girl. Liam and Kay have a beautiful house
on the edge of the village opposite Saint Ciaran's Park.Your birdman friend Kieran Guinan is
considering writing a few lines on the ongoing happenings in the bird world.
Went to the nursing home at Gallen Priory last evening and met a lot of people. Alo Moran
was looking forward ro coming home to Shannonbridge today and looks great after hip job.
Rosary was on while I visited Sam Robinson from Banagher.The rosary group included
Mrs Mary Egan from Woodbank who is in good form.Tim Devery the accordeon player has
a sister there and Tim goes uin there a few times a day.Bridget Ellen Daly nee Green was
also there.She had part of her leg removed above the knee and is in great form.
In their rooms were Mairead Connolly from Ferbane who is in good form.She reads about
three or four big novels a week and enjoys it when family and friends take her to the Hodson
Bay in Athlone and go for a walk around the lake. George and Theresa Robinson have retired
to The Priory and Theresa was enjoying a cigarette in the smoking room.George got sick and
is in Portiuncula Hospital.They are happy with their decision to sell their house and land and
retire into the Priory. Geraldine Mc Manus is in great form and as bright as a pin.Came across
her in the lounge and in her room. Finally found Joe Reid in another lounge room.Joe was a
keen card player before going into The Priory and that reminded me to set off for the card game
down the road.Consider dropping in to visit some of these great people soon.
Anybody considering learning Irish on www.gaeltalk get a bonus in that there are eight letters
less in the language than English.Slan.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Jim Fahy the Athlone Auctioneers this week have the Shannonbridge Post Office
premises on sale in their advert in the local paper.The post office franchise is open
to agreement with the Post Office authorities.There is a shop attached and it has
the franchise for The National Lottery. If interested call Fahy at 0902-72935.
The Special Olympics table quiz attracted 18 tables and raised over 540 Euro to
help sponsor an athlete.Target is around 1000 Euro.Another fundraiser will be held
in Clonfinlough Hall on Holy Thursday.
Many local walkers are delighted with the improvements carried out on The Old
Dublin Road by the people constructing the new power plant who are using it to
bring material onto the site.They are less happy with the approach part from the
village which has been uprooted in getting water supplies to canteens and by the
farm waste on the roadside.The contractors have been approached and will look
into it.This has the potential for a lovely circular walk of over two miles.
Weather continues very good today. Yesterday there was rain in Mayo and in
Galway.
Bridie Carry tells us that her daughter Patricia and family are now in Perth in
Australia.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Heard Bridie Carry congratulating Ciara Macklin last night and on enquiry found that Ciara
has passed her final examinations and is now a qualified Solicitor. Well done girl.Ciara is
the daughter of Phyllis Macklin and the late District Justice Oliver Macklin and lives in the
house across the bridge.
Some comfort for Peter Hines from Correen who lost a boat engine last week. Along with
Jean Spillane, Maureen Claffey, Seamus Murray, Ciaran Rohan and Leo Kelly he had three
numbers correct in the local Lotto.Numbers were 2, 9, 10, 28 and next weeks Jackpot will
be 10,400 Euros.
Someone was saying that there must be a connection between the good weather we are
enjoying and the war in Iraq but it's hard to believe.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The old Ferbane Power Plant is on it's last legs and it is planned to dynamite
the remaining steelwork next Saturday morning at 10.30. Stand clear
Ciara Finn tells us that her sister Orla and her Granny are having a great time on their
two months visit to New Zealand and are due back in the old sod on the 2nd April.
Two Merrigan sisters stopped off in the village last evening.Evelyn Stenson and
Patricia Merrigan live in the Courtfield Bar in London's Earlscourt and are over to
celebrate Patricia's birthday which was on March 17. They are daughters of Paddy
and Kathleen ( nee Norton ) who operated a shop in Clonmacnois back in 1950'.
They sold the shop and farm to Tom Moore's family and moved to Moydrum and
then to Mountmellick, London, Wicklow and Tullamore. Paddy had a pub in Kilbride
Street in Tullamore.There were seven children Oliver and Eamon who are deceased,
Jimmy, Judy, Evelyn and Patricia now in London and Kieran who lives in Dublin.
Paddy Merrigan died in 1992 and Kathleen died in 1999 and are buried in Tullamore.
When in Clonmacnois Paddy had one of the first hackney cars in the area.
He also had a greyhound called Pepper and Salt which won several coursing races.
Paddy found that the dog liked sausages so on the way to the dog races he often
bought a pound of sausages which the dog would eat.At the races people would ask
Paddy what chances Pepper and Salt had and Paddy always said that he expected
him to do well.The favourite generally went out in price as people backed P & S.
Paddy put an interest bet on the favourite.Many of Paddy;s grandchildren are now
in Australia.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Contacted Tom Moore today about photographs of Clonmacnoise available on websites
and is promised some information which will be passed on.You might try using one of
the search engines like Google.
Tom tells me there is a Clonmacnoise Studies Volume 2 about to be launched.
He mentioned that some people were looking at Saint Ciaran's Well today and mentioned
that one of the figures at the well has lost it's head and it has gone missing. It is a good time
to have it reunited with the body.Anybody know anything about the head.?
Went to Mass in Clofinlough yesterday and afterwards travelled to Belmont. On the way we
passed Clonlyon Castle about midway on LHS.The castle stands on Paddy Egan's land and
was once a stronghold for The Maw ? Coughlans. Ray Walsh tells us that The Maw was once
an Irish Chieftainess and Pat says she heard that The Maw Coughlan had 40 children. She was
assuming The Maw was a he and there were more than one Mrs Maws in production.
Lets hope there is some more concrete information in the new Study volume or else Heather King
or Conor Manning update us.Unfortunately only one wall remains but it looked good in the
sunshine yesterday morning.
The Hackett Famioly from Clonfinlough had a baby christened in Shannonbridge yesterday.
Alo Moran is nearly home after his hip replacement operation. He is currently in the Priory
Nursing Home in Ferbane. Expect to see him soon.Lots of people he will know there
including Mrs Egan Woodbank,George and Mrs Robinson, Joe Reid, Sam Robinson
etc etc.
Golfers be assured that The Irish Golfers Guide Book to Open Fixtures goes to the printer
this week and will be available in about two weeks. Green fees for Open fixtures run at
about half the normal fee. Open fixtures from over 300 Clubs are listed with approximately
7,000 entries in date and alphabetical order listed from April 2003 to March 2004.
Other features include The Golf Rules of Ireland in brief and a Forward Golf Planner.
The brains behind this marvellous idea is Oliver Hilliard, 8 Saint Ciaran's Park;
Shannonbridge.Tel 0905 - 74258 or if you are overseas and want a copy posted
to you then send him 10 Dollars or equivalent.
Rugby news is that Ireland beat Wales by 25 Pts to 24 Pts in the Six Nations Championship
and the final game against England next weekend will be a real cruncher.Both teams have
won all their games so far.Ray Walsh reckons that Corporate Boxes are impossible to get
and will cost about 1200 Euro.Ronan O Gara won the game on Saturday with a drop goal
scored in injury time.
Conor Killeen and five others are going to Chicago on April 23rd.They must want footballers
real bad as their fares will be paid and they will be fixed up with a job and play football for
the team that wants them.
Surprize win for the Offaly hurling team who beat Cork by 2 - 17 to 1 - 17.Nice job.
Four of our local girls featured on the Ferbane school basketball team last week when
they played Kanturk in the D Final down in Cork.
Josephine Egan, Lorraine Kenny, Ciara Mannion and Mary Quinn were involved.
Kanturk won by 24Points to 21 Points. Brave effort girls.
Fishing and Gerry Casey, John Coleman and John Gleeson braved the Shannon
sunshine yesterday to catch six pike weighing from 4 Lbs up to 12 Lbs.using
dead bait.Esa Kuivasniem a Finnish worker on the new power plant site also
went fishing and caught a 5 Lbs pike.
Bad news from Correen Ford. Peter Hines who has had a boat and engine on
the Suck which he uses for fishing and transport to Shannonbridge and to
Ballinasloe had his engine stolen from the boat last week.
Weekend weather was just beautiful and ideal for holidaymakers. Bus load of German
and American visitors in Clonmacnois yesterday. By the way the photos on the Heritage
website are disappointing of Clonmacnois.Will keep you briefed.Liam and Pat Keoghan
tells us they were down in Kerry for a few days and the place is full of Americans.
Michael and Michelle have a second baby boy and will be called Cormac Padraig.
Michelle's sister Dorothy Devine was home from Dublin for the weekend.Dorothy has been
studying midwifery in Holles Street and has just passed her final exams.Congratulations.
She has a permanent job in Holles Street and will be staying on.
Benny Pillion from Clonascragh was in the village over the weekend and tells us that he
is going to South Korea next week where he will be teaching English for the next two
years.Benny is son of Brendan and Loretta .We wish him well and hope to hear from him.

Friday, March 21, 2003

Came across one of those thumb sized descriptions of Saint Kieran or Ciaran recently.
Ciaran was the founder of the monastery at Clonmacnois.
Born in Connacht,Ireland, son of Beoit, a carpenter, he studied at Saint Finnian's school
at Clonard and taught the daughter of the King of Cuala, as he was considered the most
learned monk at Clonard.
Ciaran spent seven years at Inishmore on Aran with Saint Enda and then went to a
monastery in the centre of Ireland called Isel, Forced to leave by the monks because of
what they considered his "excessive charity", he spent some time on Inis Aingin ( Hare
Island ) and with eight companions migrated to a spot on the bank of The Shannon River
in Offaly, where he built a monastery that became the famous Clonmacnois, renowned
for centuries as the great centre of Irish learning,and was its Abbot.
Ciaran died about 556. Many miracles are told of Ciaran, who is one of the 12 Apostles
of Ireland. His feast is September 9.
Duchas are the people that look after historic sites like Clonmacnois and you can see
more information and pictures if you link on to www.heritageireland.ie
It is a great day for visiting it as the brilliant sunshine weather continues.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Check the photo gallery for a recent aerial view of Shannonbridge. Transport courtesy of the Ormond Flying Club in Birr.
Check the photo gallery to see how construction of the new chimney for the West Offaly Power Station has proceeded. The photos were taken on 7th March when it was just above ground level, the 12th March and finally 19th March when it was at it's full height of 80 metres.
The Moore Parish Newsletter this week tells us that their local
Drama Society is celebrating their 20th Anniversary with a production
of "SIVE" in Moore Hall on this Fri, Sat and Sunday nights. 8.30.
It also tells us that Saint Patrick was born in Britain, perhaps
in Wales, sometime after 385 A.D. Two of his writings survive;
" The Confession" - written in his old age - a celebration of God's
grace at work in him - and " The Letter to Coroticus" - an angry
letter to a pirate who had murdered some of Patrick's converts.
Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop in 432 A.D.
and never again left its shores.
Personal comment - He never took part in any Saint Patrick's
Day parades.
See how the new chimney has risen at the new power plant
in a few days.See Photo's.It is now complete.
Came across a cutting from The Midland Tribune dated June 20th -1959.
Unlighted Cyclist Tried "A Very Quick One "
At Ferbane Court on Thursday of last week, Garda Rogers described to District Justice
McGahon how a man whom he summoned for using a bicycle without front light or rear
reflector tried to" pull a very fast one" on him by meeting him further down the road
( on the night of the offence ) and pointing out to him that he had got a reflector ---
but, added the Garda, defendant met me with a different bicycle !.
Defendant in the case was George O' Neill, Blackwater,Shannonbridge.
Too Hard To Push
The Garda gave evidence of having found defendant using the bicycle at midnight
on the 26th April. He had a dynamo on the bicycle, but it was switched off --
he said it was too hard pushed.It was a bright night.
Joseph O'Neill said from the body of the court, that the defendant had put on a
new reflector since.
Garda Rogers to;ld the Justice that there had been a reflector on defendant's
bicycle before, and then went on to describe how defendant met him with a
second bicycle.
The Justice imposed fines totalling 15s. ( 7/6 in respect of the front light and
7/6 for not having a reflector.
Wednesday at 3.15 P.M a tall girl named Nicola Hazelwood holds music lessons in the
Health Center for Recorder and Clarinet. At present she has 14 pupils attending.
In the autumn she intends offering keyboard lessons.She would like to hear from adults
who wish to learn to play an instrument.Call her at 0905 - 73695 if interested.
The Library hours remain the same.Wednesday and Thursday from 7.00 to 9.00 P.M.
At last nights library opening Paulien Tumulty arrived in with her student daughter
to enquire if there were any Yeats books in the library and Rose Ryan and
Pat Keoghan produced two volumes Just Like That as Tommy Cooper says.
Last nights quiz was in aid of the Local Tourist Office and raised 245.20 Euro.
Thanks to sponsors of raffle prizes Nicky Nugent, The Bog Oak, Grenhams B'sloe,
and Killeens. Next weeks quiz is a fundraiser for the parish target of sponsoring
an Athlete in this years Special Olympics to be held in Ireland.
Traveler Mark Kelly has some of his memories ready to share with you so watch out.
Traveler Colin Killeen called to say he is in Australia and is well.Six second call.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

The local GAA football club held their weekly Lotto draw last night and the Jackpot was
10,000 Euros if you had 8, 10, 26, 27. Only Vincent Rock, Joe Molloy, Joe Duffy and
a Syndicate headed by Joe Mahon had three numbers correct.
The two parish connected weddings went very well on Saturday with everybody happy.
Thomas Kelly and his bride work in Cork and a big contingent of their friends were up
for the wedding.
Seamus Flannery and his wife will be living in a new house being built on the site
where his Grandparents lived and about a stone's throw from Saint Ciaran's Well.
Seamus's father Johnny tells us that he has given a right of way to the well over
to Duchas who look after historic items so lookout for changes.
Weather continues to be very good with fog at night and sunshine during day.
The new chimney at the power plant is complete and some Portugese people
that worked at the construction return home today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

From Saint Patrick's Breastplate
" I arise today through God's strength to pilot me:

God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,God's ear to hear me,

God's word to speak for me,God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,

God's host to save me from snares of devils,
From temptation of vices, from everyone who shall wish me ill:

Afar and near, alone and in a crowd"
Back home for a while is Mark Kelly who has been a few months wandering
around India and other exotic places.Told me he lost a couple of stone weight
and a doctor he met advised he go home and take a break.China is the next
hit.Mark promised to share some of his travels with us.
Colin we hear is in Australia but that is based on a phonecall some time ago.
The answers to the questions some days ago.
Irish women have 1.98 babies on average and they are the most fertile in the E.U.
The life expectancy of the Irish Male is 73 years.
The official name for the new Spire in Dublin is The Spire.
If you had £1 worth of old Irish pennies (240) you would have five pounds in weight.
The death occured of Tom Kinsella Clonburren yesterday.Tom was well known in the area
and often arrived into the village on his bicycle, Bill Dolan reckons he was about 80 years.
John and Vera Carty host the Station Mass for their neighbourhood on Friday @8pm.
Margaret Carty and Bridie Carry went to Millars Restaurant last evening and were very
pleased with yheir meal.
Patrick Kenny tells a Mike Merrigan story that is new and old.
At one time Meitheal's were very common when neighbours gathered to help cut turf
or save the haycrop.Tom Kelly from Moore was having a Meitheal and Mike Merrigan
was there.Another neighbour was complaining that he never slept a wink last night
coughing and with pains everywhere.
Jay says Mike sure Paddy Brennan was like that and sure he lasted three days.
Websites and yesterday Declan Ryan was telling me about a new website set up for people
who wish to learn to speak Irish.It is www.gaeltalk.net
Oliver and Margaret Hilliard had their daughter visiting them yesterday in Shannonbridge and
she is the person behind the web for County Offaly which is at www.offaly.ie
Mike Thornhill was home briefly over the weekend and of course he is the one that started
shannonbridge.net It would be good if some of the business premises B&Bs etc
became alive. Howza bout it ?
A young Dublin visitor was selecting some sweets in the shop when Jim Kelly asked him
if he had not given up sweets for Lent.
The child replied that he had given up jellies.
For GAA followers the club championships were played yesterday and Birr beat
Dunlog from Antrim in hurling while Nemo from Cork beart Crossmolina in the
football.Martin Burke said Crossmolina should have won but they did'nt.
Aer Lingus from the start always used The Shamrock as their symbol.
Then a few years back some geezer came up with a windblown out of focus
version of a Shamrock.At the weekend they announced that they were dropping
the Shamrock BUY only from four planes for a start to fit on their website
address aerlingus.com I#m sure Saint Patrick will be delighted.
The Irish Catholic had an interview with the Lassie in charge of organizing the
Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin and she assured them that the parade
had nothing to do with St.Patrick or religion.There are no religeous groups
taking part and they woul'd consider a religeous participation if it was funny.
HA HA.
The day after Patrick's Day is Niamh Freenan birthday so Happy Birthday Niamh.
Niamh is a friend ofLinda and Fergal Moran and helps out in The Fort Restaurant
whenever she is around which is most weeks.She is very welcome.
Saint Patrick's Day was birthday for Pat Killeen and she joins a group heading for
a Jazz Concert in Dublin later this evening. Guess who'se idea this was ?.
Andy Rock Clonfinlough was celebrating the Feartday and also that he is 20 years
retired.He looks mighty.
News from Alo Moran that yesterday he took his first steps since his hip replacement
operation.
Brid Fitzpatrick is well after spending a week in Portiuncula Hospital.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Greetings from up above.
For most of you who don't know who this is I'll tell you. This is the ghost of Shannonbridge present with all the news and views that filter their way to these foreign lands. I'm sitting here with St. Patrick, Oscar Wilde, Eamonn de Valera and a whole host of Irish ghosts who are all eager to share their immense knowledge and life experience with the unsuspecting folks reading this. This first correspondence is primarily a pilot to see if the Gods have allowed me to access Shannonbridge.net from afar.
First and foremost here are my answers to Dermot's quiz posted on the twelth of this month. I believe that Irish women have on average a healthy two and a half babies each. This is greatly reduced from the average of thirteen babies each around fifty years ago but still provides the basis for my theory that by 2089 we will be the most populous country in the world.
The life expectancy of an average Irish male is about seventy nine. I heard that from Billy Connolly on Comic Relief last night. Actually that was the life expectancy of an average British male. I suspect that we should all live till we're ninety nine. But think about this. If an Irish male emigrates to another country and becomes a citizen of that country does that mean that his life expectancy goes up or down in accordance with the average life expectancy of that country? And think about this. An average African child has a one in five chance of living past the age of five and even then their life expectancy will only be around forty nine. You can pledge money to Comic Relief to help the average African child overcome these statistics on line at the bbc website - www.bbc.co.uk
The glorious new monument in the middle of O' Connell street will go by two names. The official name will be the Spire of Dublin and the architects name for it is the monument light. The structure is a credit to the vision of the city planners who intend it to be a catylist for the regeneration of the street. They also plan to reduce the traffic flow and are planning a plaza in front of the GPO. The spire itself is built of seven stainless steel sections, the bottom one was polished by rollers for a month solid to provide a mirrored finish, and they were prefabricated in both France and Co. Wexford. The concept behind the spire is simple - to pin point the centre of Dublin and is based on our tradition of standing stones. The monument changes its appearence depending on the type of daylight, whether it's overcast or sunny, and when finished will be lit up from inside through over fifteen thousand little holes punctured in the stainless steel skin. So the next time you visit our nation's capital, rather than complaining about it's cost, have a look at it's sheer engineering brilliance and vertical beauty that once again provides a focus point on Dublin's most prominent thoroughfare.
Finally St. Patrick has reminded me to ask you to spare a though for people like me who on the seventeenth of March, while you are wetting your throat in celebration of our fine traditions and wallowing in national pride, will be sitting in front of a computer screen with not a bar or off licence in sight and will not be able to participate in the celebrations. Somebody send me some beer please.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Building of the new station chimney is progressing and is now above the station building level. Click here for photo. To see how much it has risen since five days previous, click here.
Note the increase in water level on the callows between the two photos. However the weather is beautiful this St. Patrick's Day weekend and the river level should fall again next week. Today boats have started to moor at the new jetty.
Found a matchbox on the pavement with an Irish saying on it.
"Ni buintear fuil as tornap" meaning one cannot draw blood from a turnip.
There were more than turnips at last night's table quiz for the Offaly
Chernoble Group which raised 480 Euros for this good cause.
Volunteers from the group depart shortly for Belarus to work on upgrading
facilities at orphanages and hospitals.
Hopefully no turnips turn up at next Wednesday night' quiz which is to
help raise funds for the local Tourist Office.
News from Sean Mc Manus is that he is doing well after having a muscle
from his shoulder inserted in his leg.Should be home in a week or so.
Sean Fitzsimons from Seans Bar in Athlone had circulation problems
as he is a diabetic and had to have part of his leg removed from below
the knee. Say a prayer for their speedy recovery.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

John Boland Moore tells us that Moore Dramatic Society are producing Sive
this year and go on stage in Moore from 21st to 23rd March.
Good news for Shannonbridge is they are considering a one night stand in
Shannonbridge Hall with proceeds to charity.
Sunday's paper had a quiz that included 1. Irish women are the most fertile
in the Eu,according to a survey.How many babies do they have on average?
2 What is the life expectancy of the average Irish male ?
3 After much deliberation what will be the official name for the Dublin Spire.
Michael Green from California sent a picture taken at Gene Carthy's
Daughters wedding.Thanks for the news.You act fast Michael.
Weather today more pleasant after wind rain thunder and lightning.
Floods has got higher and near winter levels on the callows.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Some other people on the Connie Hanniffy organized trip to Amsterdam were
Mick and Mary Egan, Theresa Ryan, Michael Wyse, Winifred Caulfield,
Ned and Kitty Galvin, John Gaffey and Willie and Mary Jo Dolan.
Peggy Burns tells us that her cousins in Sydney would like to meet up with
Trish Carry if she is back in their area again.Peggy has the contact number.
Finally after a lot of rain the old flood is well up and out on the callows.
Be warned if you are a corncrake and start praying.
Message from Michael Green in USA saying he enjoys reading the news.That's all.
How about some news from you ?
Kajon House Guesthouse near Clonmacnois was a stopover point for a group of
about ten of The O Callaghan Family from around Bellmore New York and some
from Hershey Philadelphia where the chocolates are made.They know Pottstown.
It is their first trip and they are enjoying driving around the country. Yesterday it
was Cavan and today they head for the burren. They think they have no relations
left in Ireland.That's what they think.The Chocolate tasted good.
Best Wishes to Alo Moran who went to the Blackrock Clinic for a hip replacement.
Also good wishes to Brid Fitzpatrick in Portiuncula Hospital for some days.
The local Lotto winning numbers last night were 4, 5, 15, 21.No outright winner.
George Quinn, Declan Rohan, Noel O Connor, Conor Galvin and Mary Daly
all picked three numbers.Jackpot next weekend is 10,000 Euros.
Old currency had a hen on the penny and a pound had twenty shillings.
Each shilling was worth twelve pennies.Weighing a bunch of Pennies
last night would you guess what weight in poundage was in £1 worth ?
Answer later in week.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Fish catch over the weekend was an nine pounder pike taken on a dead roach.
The mystery angler that caught the 23 Pounder a few weeks ago was Declan O Dowd
a friend of Gerry Casey from Thurles.Declan was fishing The Suck using a dead
sardine.
Cheltenham Horse Races are on this week and representing the locality is
Brian Cahill Belmont who travels today.
Lots of Goldfinch around at this time and local birdman Kieran Guinan has lots
of them around his aviary. Kieran says they are native and fly free.
The Irish Rugby Team had an exciting three points win over France on Saturday.
This is their third victory in The Six Nations Championship and the remaining
matches are against England and Wales.
Party of 13 skiers left yesterday for a week near Turin included Michael Kerrill and
Aileen Thornhill and Louise Killeen.
Home again after a visit to Amsterdam,Brussels, Rotterdam and Antwerp are Louie
and Mairead Darcy who were on Councillor Connie Hanniffy's group looking to see
how things are done over there.Also on the group were Peg Corrigan,Marie Staunton
Mary Wise-Graham, Mrs Rothwell and Peter and Jane Mooney from Doon.
They were in The EEC Parliament and in The Scottish House etc.
Louie noticed the flatness of the land and the amount of landunder sea level.
Roadways were very good with special nanes for bicycles and ones for walkers.
However we noticed that Jane Mooney fell on the pavement and got a black eye.
Prices of food and drink were expensive and doubled when service charge was
added.Louie was surprized to find a lady at a desk in the gents toilet who relieved
him of thirty cents after he had relieved himself.A glass of water cost 1.95 Euro.
Worse still the toilets all had glass doors for mamselle to keep an eye on you.
That story last week on the couple visiting Amsterdam should be updated to
200 Euro. One good thing was that Avril Doyle took them all out to lunch.
The parish will more or less be deserted next Saturday due to two local weddings.
Thomas Kelly, Leharrow marries Karen Maher from Ferbane in Ferbane
with reception in The Hodson Bay.They plan to live in Cork.
Seamus Flannery from Clonmacnois marries Patricia Lyons from Woodford in
Woodford Church with reception in Hayden's Hotel. They plan to live in a new
house under construction near Saint Ciaran's Well in Clonmacnois.
Wishing them all the very best.
The Mass yesterday told about Noah and the eight people in The Ark and of Gods promise
not to destroy the world by flood again.Comforting but the way the River Shannon has risen
even since Carey's photo on Saturday is little comfort for the Corncrake bird which visits
each summer and nests on the callows or meadowlands alongside the Shannon and Suck.
The summary report on the fate of the corncrake last year tells that only 20 singing male
Corncrakes were confirmed in 2002,a decrease of 63 % on 2001 figure of 54.
Last year there was a high flood and the figures for Baranagh Callow south of the bridge
(see Carey's photo) from 1993 to 2002 for singing male Corncrakes was
5, 3, 5, 4, 7, 5-6, 5, 3, 3, 0.
They winter near the Sahara and due to modern farming survive in the flooded callows
from Athlone to Portumna due to the late cutting of the haycrop.Last year they would
need an Ark to survive on the flooded callows.Hopo God remembers his promise
this year.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Construction of the new West Offaly Power Station is continuing. Click here for photo. The base of the new chimney can be seen at the bottom right, it will be eighty metres high in a few weeks.

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Anyone between twenty eight and thirty five years old who attended Shannonbridge National School should have a look at this photo from the "Shannonbridge Star" of 1980.
Click here
Going to Print soon. That's The Irish Golfers Diary compiled by Oliver Hilliard,who lives
in Saint Ciaran's Park Shannonbridge Athlone.This is a wonderful collection of news
for golfers especially the Open Days in each golf club around the country.This will save
golfers an assload of money as open days have reduced green fees.You can get a copy
posted to you by sending 8 Euro or equivalent to Oliver.Allow a few weeks delivery.
Jim and Maur Killeen went to Limerick on the last day of their holiday and brought
Mickie Mac Evoy along.Mick was in sparkling form and made for a great day.
Many teams were missing from the table quiz last night which was in aid of the library.
Hope they have not given up quizzes for Lent as next Wednesdays quiz is for the local
group that support holidays for the Chernoble children each year.The following week it
will be held to raise funds for the Tourist Information Office at the riverside.
Last nights quiz raised 109 Euro.
Good to see Kerrill Thornhill back again after his trip to India.He kept a diary and promises
to write pieces on his experiences.Hope he will include some of his wonderful curry recipes.
He will tell you himself about the latest skiing party from Shannonbridge.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Pat Killeen found an old Shannonbridge Star newspaper from the 1980 boom.
Hopefully some of the pages are scannable as there is a Shannonbridge
school photo, a feature on Danny Edwards and Problem Solver Fanny.
The paper cost 10P.That was when a £ was worth 240 pennies.
The local GAA football Lotto was not won and the Jackpot goes to 9800 Euros.
David Mahon,Karen Igoe, Marie Shine and Maureen Killeen each had three
numbers and get 50 Euro each.Maureen and Jim Killeen finish their three
week break tomorrow and return to Chicago but they plan to come back in
June / July for a class reunion and Fergal and Eilis's wedding.They had a great
week in Paris with a friend who brought them everywhere.
Everything we ever wanted to know about Brussels and The EEC and Common Market is
near at hand.Louie and Maread Darcy are on a five day fact finding trip to Brussels and
will be home for the weekend.
Sarah Price is home after her visit to Niamh Quinn in Bordeaux and not Paris as we thought.
She had a great time but it's not for your ears.
Brother John Price that John D Carthy works in Johnstown Castle.By the way Tom Carty's
gardening friend did a mighty trim job on the trees at the health center and near the steps.
Father Pete Kenny is based in Wagga-Wagga diocese only a few hours from Melbourne
and returns to Brisbane on 1st April which he reminds us is Paddy Kennys Birthday.
He is looking forward to getting nearer to God with Sid Tolchin when he moves to
California in a few months time.Sends his love to everyone.
Trish Carry and the gang are in Australia and had a great time in Sydney.They got their
Motorhome and were in Ulladulla last night.Bet she never stayed in Clontulla.
Its all scenic National Parks lots of big waves and warm water.
Beeches are beautiful and almost empty, campsites are friendly and clean with good
playgrounds.More like Buntulla.Contact her pcarry01@hotmail.com
They were on Bondi Beech last Sunday,saw the Opera House and David did the
bridge climb.

Monday, March 03, 2003

The other story is true and the farmer tells us that one evening while working on his farm
a beggarman came along looking for alms.The farmer needed help for a few hours so he
said to the beggar "will you help me for a few hours and I will pay you" ?
The beggarman replied "I was born a beggar and I intend to die a beggar --
good day to you sir" and walked away.
Two stories over lunch.
First concerns a couple who availed of a weekend offer in Amsterdam.
When they checked into their hotel the wife said she would rest for a
few hours so the husband took a walk down town.Soon he spotted one
of Amsterdams famous ladies and he enquired what her services cost.
"One Hundred Euros"was the reply. He enquired what one would get
for 30 Euro ? The lady replied that in Amsterdam you would not get
much for 30 Euro.
Later that evening himself and the wife went for a walk and when he was
passing by the Amsterdam Lady shouted at him
"Did'nt I tell you you would not get much for thirty Euro" ?
A simple card game in Killeens last night involved Martin Burke, Tom Carty, Oliver Darcy
Danny Farrelly and P.J.Kelly was notable in that it was the first time that Oliver Darcy
had played since local publican Eric Luker died over a year ago.
Mama Daly tells us that they had five inches of rain in San Diego in recent days.
They do things big over there.She also requests prayers for Steve Murphy who
is recovering after a serious operation. Do your best.
Holiday time for The Ray Walshe family in Austria was enjoyed skiing under cloudless sky
with temperatures of 1 degree centrigrade.Ray fell dozens of times and reckons you need
to be a bit fit for this type of holiday.
Meanwhile back at The Mushroom Ranch the cailins Patti,Jennie,Brigie, Valentina,Alla,
Jursis, Tatjina and of course Owen kept on picking.
Back home again after a three months working holiday in South Africa is Kieran Shea
looking fit and tanned and blonde.
Ita Kenny and Tom and Margaret Carty were in town for the weekend taking a break
from Dublin.Cartys gardening remoddeling is scheduled to start today.
Tom's nephew John D was also home from Wexford town for the break
Father O Hanlon is back after his Florida holiday.The priest at Mass was telling us
about Temperance and drink abuse.One thing I found of interest was that the word
Lent means Spring.
While waiting for Mick Kelly's remains to be brought from Willie's house a short
distance from Clonfinlough Church Father John and self went to see
The Clonfinlough Stone with shapes and inscriptions dating back over 5000 years.
See it in better light and the path is signposted to the right before the church
gate.
Hopefully John and Irene Mc Loughlin who live in the Old Schoolhouse in Clonfad
will give us a resume of their holiday in Cuba. Watch this space.
Johnny Duffy the caretaker at Clonmacnois was telling us last night that there were three
graves opened together over the weekend.
Mrs Devery nee Darcy lived in Endrim was a sister of Joe and Father Ned and mother
of Eamon Devery was buried in Clonmacnois yesterday.
Mick Kelly from Clonfinlough fondly known as Gangers Mick father of Willie Kelly and
Ann Keirins Belmont was taken to Clonfinlough Church last evening and will be buried
today.
Teessy Leary died over the weekend and her remains go to High Street Church this
evening and burial in Clonmacnois tomorrow after Mass. Teessy is an Aunt to Joe and
Dessie Leary and Maureen Mitchell. May God rest their souls.
February ended with a lot of rain on Friday and rain is in play since.The river level has gone up.
Some fish being caught.Phil Bodger from Wexford fished The Shannon on 22nd Feb using
dead bait of roach and herring and caught five pike weighing 14.5, 14, 13, 12, and 6.for a
total of almost 60 Lbs. All fish returned safely.
On last Friday Phil had two twelve pounders from The Suck on dead mackerel and herring.
Yesterday Gerry Casey had four pike from The Suck on deadbait.Best was 11Lbs.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

The Shannon level is quite low at present.
For picture check the Photo Gallery or click here