Thursday, April 24, 2003

Some rain came during the night after weeks and weeks of glorious weather.It may be
broken for a few days.Heard that a coachload of Austrians plan to visit Clonmacnois
on Friday and will have Mass in Shannonbridge Church like the French students recently.
Mary Waters from Trim is offering the Shannonbridge Community Library a selection of
her religeous book collection which includes a bible dictionary.
Home for a few days is a son of the late Ciaran Fallon from Glasgow along with his mother.
He was taking a few days visiting places like Clonmacnois Clonfert and Galway.
Tomasz Prytek of Shannonbridge and Poland has been joined by two friends Joe and Henry
to work in the local agricultural machinery factory near the village.Near the factory work has
begun erecting buildings for use of abouut 60 Polish Welders who will be employed in the
erection of the new power plant.Will the Pope come to visit Clonmacnois again?
Colin Killeen was due back in Dublin last night from New Jersey while his brother Colin
headed out to Chicago yesterday morning.
Brendan Casey has just arrived back from a trip to South America and brought a banknote
valued at 10 Reais or roughly ten Pints says he without blinking.For the ceiling collection.
Lorraine Mc Kenna tells us that she has 5 male Goldfinches with their bright yellow
feathers eating at her feeders in Pottstown Pennslyvania at present.
Meanwhile Pat was telling me that yesterday she was watching a young mother bird teaching
her brood of five to fly in the garden next door.See where two Dublin lads are planning to do
a round the world trip in their two seater plane for charity.My friend Sid might be interested.
Mike Priest of the Mike and June Priests paid a visit to Shannonbridge on Tuesday.
Mike has lost June for over a year and now has lost his finely cropped beard.Mike
lives near Ballyconnell and I feel sure that June will be delighted that somebody has
filled her vacancy.Promised to come back for a longer stay when he can get a break
from his guesthouse.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Easter greetings arrived from Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown for everybody in
Shannonbridge and she has many named.She looks forward to reading lines here
from one she calls the Birdman in Saint Ciarans Park and I have passed on her
request.Lorraine will be glad to hear that Lukers Bar came to life again over the
Easter with a beer garden to go along with the weather.Eric Luker's nephew Mick
was over from England for the event.
Good to see the Wisconsin week long visits are back on track with over forty people
staying in Castledaly Manor for the week with optional escorted coach trips each day
led by Paddy Kavanagh.
Easter Sunday 2003 was a very special one for Shane and Sinead Killeen with the arrival
at daybreak of Ava a 7lbs. 6 Oz bundle of joy in the hospital in Galway.Mary says they
will be let home today.Looking forward to seeing her in Shannonbridge.
Weekend visitors included Glenn and Anne Powell from Bradford who are doing a bit of
fishing as usual and took time out yesterday to visit Clonmacnois and place flowers on
our friend Lyndsey Hawksworth who was buried there.Remember Lyndsey was the one
who once worked in an Asbestos factory when he was 18 years old.Yesterday was his
50th birthday.Say a prayer for his soul.
For some time now Tomasz Prytex and Marius Malek from Poland had become part of
the village life.They were two qualified welders who came to work in one of the light farm
engireering plants in the locality.For Christmas the two went back to Poland for a month
holiday and when they had not returned by Saint Patrick's Day we began to think that we
had lost two of the community.Then last week Tomasz returned to tell us that he had
been in a 15 car pile up and injured his back.Marius has decided to choose to take his
wife and family and live in New York.But Tomasz is back and well and tells us that two
of his welder friends are coming to join him soon.Tomasz is the taller of the original pair.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Last evening a tall robust grey haired man wearing a back pack and carrying a long
handle as a walking aid came into the shop and asked for Pat.Pat was having a nap
in the garden so I asked him his name.When he said Brian Mooney many years
rolled back and I remembered a younger Jesuit student from Rahan College who was
part of a group of students that often visited Shannonbridge cycling the 20 miles.
They were friends of Ken Mc Cabe from Birr who was also in the seminary.
Anyhow Brian told us that he was trying to retrace the steps of Saint Cillin who came
from the Cavan area and spent time in Clonmacnois and Clare before going to Germany
about the tenth century and settling in Wartsburg where he became the patron saint
for southern Germany.
Brian had used the Esker way and visited a number of religeous places like Clonmacnois.
After a cup of tea he set out for Clonfert and onto Banagher .
Patrick Kenny was in the shop as he left and commented on seeing Brian with the long
handle that he should fit a brush head on it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Sean Fitzsimons owner of Sean's Bar in Athlone and a frequent visitor to Shannonbridge
aboard his famous canal barge The Iron Lung had a rough few monts recently when he
lost part of his leg. But on Friday afternoon Jimmy Redmond the well known retired
barman from Seans Bar brought Sean along in his Mercedes to have a look around the
village and see the progress on the new jetty.Sean looks great and has lost a lot of
excess weight. At present he is staying for two weeks in a convalesent home in Moate
before going to Dublin to have a replacement part fitted.That was Friday.
On Saturday Ray Cadman from Scotland who is a great friend of Sean Fitzsimons
called in on his way to Athlone.He only heard about Sean's problem the day before
and immediately came over to visit his friend.May he have a speedy recovery.
Tom Nagle the owner / chef in the Bog Oak suffered the loss of his father last week
and the funeral took place on Sunday and Monday in Nenagh.Pray for his soul.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Met five English golfers yesterday who are on a week long golf holiday in Ireland.
They have played a different course each day and are enjoying themselves no end.
Told them about The Irish Golfers Diary for Open Fixtures which is compiled and
published each year by Oliver Hilliard from Saint Ciaran's Park Shannonbridge.
They already knew about it and told me that it had saved them a hatful of money
as Oliver has listed the golf courses around the country each day that have
Open Days. Of course green fees are a fraction of normal on Open Days.
This years Diary is with the printers and is due out real soon.
Apologies to anybody who was disappointed with the non-staging of Sive last night.
The Moore Dramatic Group looked at the hall during the week and decided there
was too much work involved in building a stage and movement of lights.
Unfortunately I never got the message that they were not coming.
Think God knew as we had not decided on which charity to support with the cash.
Three or four groups of coarse anglers in the area for the week and they are fishing
here there and everywhere and catching sweet damn all.Will they ever learn to bait
up a swim and give the fish a chance to find it and settle.
Long time visitor Ralph Howard showed up yesterday and caught some roach at
the Boathose on the Suck but even Ralph is moving like a march hare.
Word from Colin the wanderer at the weekend.He is now with his cousin Brendan
in New Jersey and will be waiting on for the christening in two weeks time.
Speaking of christenings Fergal and Linda Moran had their daughter christened
yesterday afternoon by Father O Hanlon.
The weather people promised rain for the weekend and there was a welcome
amount of rain yesterday.The forecast is for more rain later today.
Glad the rain did not spoil the Masters Golf at Augusta for our boy Mick Weir.
Still dont know if he plays Gaelic Football but sure he must have.Certainly
has the makings of a fine hurler.
Lukers Bar by the bridge which has been closed for over a year reopened at the
weekend under new owner John Joe Ryan from Clonfad and originally from
Garrymore near Shannonbridge. Where Eric had a public bar and a lounge bar
served by the one counter the reopened building has amalgamated the two into
one.Everyone wishes John Joe all the best in his undertaking.
The Athlone Chernoble Aid Group plan to send 40 working volunteers to Chernoble
on Thursday where they will spend a week working on a hospital as part of a four
year plan. A truckload of material with almost 100,000 Euro of equipment has just
arrived there and awaits their arrival.This years work will be installing showers and
toilets and papering and decorating rooms and corridors.Our own Billy Duffy is once
again part of the group and we wish them well in this great work.
Friday evening the ten budding musicians being nurtured by Mrs. Nicola Murray
presented a varied programme of their talents playing clarinet, recorder and tin
whistle.Programme was made up of some popular Irish Aire's such as
Connemara cradle song,Rollicking Irishman and Minuet by Handel, Lebegue
and Purcell.They performed and played Theres a Hole in my Bucket before
finishing on Wobbly Bicycles and a hot cup of tea for everyone.
Looking forward to their Christmas treat for us all.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Two local deaths yesterday.Joe Shea Cloneish who has been in hospital for a number
of years died yesterday. A sister of Mary Kenny from Leharrow died in Cork yesterday.
She was Pauline Slevin from Cloghan. May they rest in peace.
Swiss artist Paddy Steiger who is presently on holidays in Raghrabeg was telling me
that he has an exhibition of 35 of his paintings on display in Switzerland at present and he
expects that about twenty of them will be sold while he is away.Good for him.
Qur local Ironwork artist Danny Edwards was in Shannonbridge last evening and visited
the library which impressed him. Danny is working on putting together information on
the old names for fields in the parish which were in Irish mostly.He has a map of the
parish with a lot of the fields identified.The finished product will be an eye-opener for us all.
Good news for walkers is that the Power Plant people plan to carry out repairs
to the Old Dublin Road to make it usable to link up with the approach road to
the Power Plant.Much of this roadway has been widened and surfaced and is
used to bring material onto the site for the new power plant which is known as
West Offaly Power.Walkers will then be able to do a circuit walk coming back
by the Cloghan road.

Monday, April 07, 2003

A Jumble sale in Clonfinlough Hall on Thursday 17th April to raise funds for the
Special Olympics will have raffles,cakes, books,videos,games etc.No clothes.
There is an appeal for more items which can be left with Father O Hanlon.
This Friday has a Musical Concert at 8.00 P.M. in Shannonbridge Hall and
on Sunday night at 8.00 P.M. Moore Dramatic Group present Sive for one
night only in Shannonbridge Hall. Come early to get a good seat.
Saturday and Jimmy Murray from Knockcroghery called in on his way to Clonmacnois
with his daughter Mary.Jimmy was the Captain of the famous Roscommon teams of
the 1943 / 44 era which of course featured Frank Kinlough and Monsignor Willie.
I joined them on the trip to Clonmacnois and they told me that Jimmy has produced
a 13 track CD and Tape of old Irish songs with the proceeds going to Lean ar Aghaid
Resource Centre for children with special needs.And he did as he gave me a copy.
At Clonmacnois we visited the graves of Frank and Willie Kinlough and Oliver Moran
and the Killeen plot as Jimmy is a cousin of mothers.Often wondered where I got
my football.Thought it was from Santa.We had a good look around in glorious sunshine
and then had to hurry back as Jimmy and Mary were eating the Early Bird at The Fort.
Anybody that wants a CD or Tape should send 20 dollars or equivalent to Jimmy.
Back home after her two months in New Zealand is Orla Finn looking great and the
envy of every young girl in the area with her hairstyle which I hope she will tell you
about herself as she taps in a report on the holiday.
Good few tourists enjoying the holiday weather and there were 10 boats at the Jetty
on Saturday night.
Welcome arrival at the weekend was Paddy Steiger the artist from Switzerland along with
his brother and a friend.Looking very well and a smile as norm.
Message from Colin from Auckland saying he is well and is preparing to leave there
tomorrow.His mother thought he was in America all this time.He says it won't be long
till he is back home.Has a longing to go to the bog.Strange what travel does to them.
Louise his sister was very pleased after performing some of her songs in Dublin last
night in some kind of concert for new song writers.Paddy Steiger bought one of her CDs.
The Connemara Marathon and Half-Marathon took place last Sunday and Shannonbridge
was represented in the run from Leenane to Maam Cross by Mike Thornhill time 1 - 50,
Kate Thornhill 2 - 10, Cary Thornhill 2 - 12 , Eilis Killeen 2 - 13. About 1000 runners
took part in the race and everyone paid 60 Euros to run and everyone got soup sandwich
medal and a tee shirt for their effort.Mike Thornhill was in a hurry to see the match.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

After Mass yesterday morning two busloads of French Students arrived into the church and
a number of priests with them con-celebrated Mass which was sung by the studends
using Latin Hymns.
Postcard from Paulien Kemp from Bradford crammed with news of her trip to Thailand
Australia and New Zealand.Talks of Albatross, Seals, sailing up fiords and revisiting
people and places in Adelaide where she worked in 1971.They were on their way to
Chile at time of writing.Paulien is well known in Shannonbridge and has been coming
here regularly with Dave for about thirty years.This was the pair that got married over
here and I have memories of arranging the wedding in Saint Johns Ballinasloe.Also
collecting the bride from Thornhills and driving her to the church.Noticed she had no
bouquet so we pulled up on the bog road and got some heather.Walked her up the
aisle where Dave and his friend Pete and the Minister were waiting.After the ceremony
there was signing for witnesses and I found myself signing under the bridesmaid column.
The wedding party set off for Haydens.Dave took Paulien and Pete came in the Beetle.
At the hotel Dave and Paulien arrived in jeans and I was the only one wearing a suit.
After the four of us had finished lunch guess who was presented with the cheque / bill ?
Ballinasloe Active Retirement Group were in Cork since Sunday and arrived into
Shannonbridge last evening on their way home to have dinner in the Fort.
Tennessee visitors Carl and Constance Royer called in with two friends.
They told me it was their seventh visit to Ireland.Constance maiden name was
Devine and they have traced roots to County Roscommon.Their friend plays the
piano and Carl tells me Constance is a fine singer but after hearing Nancy Ward
and Rose Glennon sing a few Irish songs she suddenly forgot the words.
Recommended they visit Clonmacnois today and hope they enjoy it.
Remember those fourteen or so music students learning to play recorders and clarinets.?
Well on Friday April 11th the Class invite you to a recital in the Shannonbridge Hall at
8.00 P.M. to hear the results of their efforts.You'll be surprized. has a sample of one of her own songs taken from her own recent CD.
Recognize Ciara Finn and Sarah Price doing the backings.?
Correction and Apologies. Around the 24th March I wrote that Dorothy Devine had
sat and passed her midwifery final exams.She has just taken her final exams and
expects the results sometime in May.My error was an embarresment to Dorothy
and the Devine Family and I apologize.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Lorraine Mc Kenna has two favourite websites namely sacredplace and this one.
Sorry Jesuits but she reads this one first.She awaits news from the birdman as she calls
Kieran Guinan and today he assured me he will look at the site and see what he can do.
In Pottstown Lorraine's goldfinches ( males ) are starting to get their yellow feathers which
they lost during the winter.The Male robins have returned from migration and some
snowbirds are hanging around before heading north soon.She sends greetings to all.
Many family and friends gathered to celebrate our famous April First birthday boy
PATRICK KENNY from AMERICA. Paddy was in top form and telling yarns to beat
the band. Some of the members of the cast of Sive were among the group and the
good news is they are bringing the play to Shannonbridge on Sunday 13th April
commencing at 8.00 P.M. in the village hall.Proceds to go to a charity.
The good weather has returned for the week.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

The Ferbane School won the Leinster Final yesterday beating Finglas
by 1 - 5 to 0 - 6. Thats eight points to six. Our local boys played well
with Paul Deeley getting the goal which is equivalent to three points.
Kieran Flannery scored a point.
Weather news last evening told us that March was the sunniest March
since 1929.Some rain and cold yesterday but good weather again at the