Friday, May 30, 2003

Rose Ryan was telling me that the local library continues to go well with about 40 books
on average being borrowed each week.If there is still some people that you know about
that might make use of a great collection of books please encourage them to come along.
Summer opening hours are from 7.00 P.M. to 9.00 P.M. on Thursday evenings.
Cora Kelly was in the library and told us the correct weight of Ruth's baby was 8 pounds
and 2 ounces and not the 10 pounder we reported earlier.
Pat and Ruth McCarthy live in Drumcolleher in County Limerick and their first child will
be named Fionn.Congratulations to all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Kilbeggan Races got great support on Monday evening for their evening meet.
Mickie Mac persuaded Danny Farrelly to go so much that Danny was sure he
had a right good tip.When they got there the weather was a bitteen funny but
there was a large marquee erected in the grounds and local legendary musician
Andy Hennessy was supplying the music.The Shannonbridge supporters had
a very enjoyable evening - one backing a few horses and winning a few bob
and the other dancing the evening away in the big tent. Good job they did not
hear that Paudge Bennett was playing in a pub near the racetrack or they might
still be in Kilbeggan.
Good to see John and Pat Egan ( nee Rock ) home for a week on holiday with their three
children - Ciara and Katie the twins who made their First Communion in Middlesex on
May 17th and the man in the family Owen.Hope the weather forecast lives up to the
promise of a few good days starting tomorrow.
Peter Guinan's hackney service is called The Green Linnet and is contactable on
mobile phone numbers 086 - 1514346 and on 086 - 8491942. Make a note of it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Talking to two Engish couples last evening who are holidaying on a river cruiser and
found out that one of their hobbies is bird watching.Told them about the man made
lake which BNM have created beside the Bog Rail Tour with the special hide for
watching the collection of various waterbirds that have set up homes in this ideal
sanctuary.They plan to visit the bird hide and the bog tour on Thursday morning
and will use Peter Guinan's new mini-bus service for transport there and back.
Peter is based in Clonfinlough and agreed to collect them and gave them his mobile
phone numbers on a new business card which I will pass on to you later.

Monday, May 26, 2003

Overseas readers might like to know that Lissadell House in Sligo is being sold by the
Gore-Booth family and Sligo County Council under a good fisherman manager Hugh Kearns
are negotiating a possible state purchase in the region of 3 million Euros with its contents
for the Irish Nation. It was the family mansion of Countess Markievicz who was an 1916
heroine as Constance Gore Booth.It has 400 acres of parkland on the shores of Sligo Bay.
I have great faith in Hugh Kearns and hope things work out well in the negociations.
Tonight is the crunch night for the future of the Shannonbridge Tourist Office when the meeting
in The Lockhouse where the Office is located will discuss what is to be done now that there are
not the normal funding available from Government Agencies. Meeting is at 8. 30 P.M. if you are
interested do please come along.
Shannonbridge / Doon GAA Lotto has a jackpot of 12000 Euros on offer tonight for anyone
that picks the four numbers which are drawn out of numbers 1 to 28.Tickets cost 2 Euro.
If you would like to join send cash and your four selected numbers to Shannonbridge GAA
Shannonbridge Athlone and they will enter you each week.Frank Guinan will attend to it.
Yesterday three horses and riders arrived into Shannonbridge on a sunny afternoon.
I enquired what were the horses names and was told that the first horse was Gypsy
or Gypsy Gay O Lana an American paint horse ridden by Severi Luchinger.
The second horse was Indy or Indiana Arctic to give it the full name, a thoroughbred
from the Northern Dancer Family and ridden by Derek White.
The third horse? was Gigi or Gigi Maxi Soba a Quarter Horse which I am told are the
fastest horses in the world.Rider was Elke Christoph.
The horses and riders use the same address which is Cochise Stud, Moystown.
If you want to see them sometime when you are visiting or have visitors call them
Tel 0902 - 57939. Lessons are given and they train and breed horses.
Severi the rider has plans to start The Red Rose Ranch in Derryholmes starting
in September on land which was formerely O Rourkes estate.
Bridie Green told us that Martin Prendergast who is Michael Green's father in law in Boston
was 101 years young last Friday.He originally came from Galway county. Congratulations.
Ned Colligan was the man saved from drowning by Donie Connell and his daughter at
Shannonharbour a week ago.
Shannonbridge beat Clanna Gael in a challenge match played in Shannonbridg on
Saturday night.Yesterday Offaly were leading Laois by two points with about a minute
to go when Laois scored a goal (3points).From the kickout Offaly got the ball and
Slattery scored an equalising point.End of game.
Yesterday was First Communion Day for Kayleigh Goldie, Brian Dillon, Aoife Corcoran,
Alan Kelly and Graham Carroll. Their prayers were answered and the weather shone fair
on them and a wet and windy week.
It was First Communion also in Moore and Creagh and John Carty Oldtown was in
Haydens Hotel to celebrate children of his brother and sister's families.
Paulien Green tells us that two sons of Tommy and Joan Green made their Communion
in Mucklagh Church recently and had a celebration meal in the house afterwards.
Guest of honour was Josie Keenan.When we asked had he had famous cowboy hat on
Paulien said he took it off in the church.
Rose Coakley and her son Kieran moved out to their new home in Clondelara on Friday.
The house is very close to Charlie and Anne Hoystead ( nee Coakley ) on the road into
The Bog Rail Tour.Wish them well in their new home.
On Saturday Stephen Heery author of The Shannon Floodlands was in the village topping
up supplies of his bible on the river from all angles.We asked him to have a look at this
website and if possible now and then to tell us what is happening on and beside the river
from his viewpoint.Hope he takes up the offer and look out for him.Next time you are home
have a look at the book.

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Shannonbridge approach road from Ballinasloe verges and embankment are in bad
shape at present and it is regretted that the Moore Fas scheme were not able to
take it under their wing.There is a good side to it in the wild flowers and grasses
and flies and insects that have found a safe home for the present.
Every two years the ESB choose 8,000 voices from all over the country and bring
them together to form The Childrens Choir.The National Concert Hall will soon be
the venue for the concert.
This year one of those selected is Aphra Mooney from The Doon who proud parents
are Peter and Jane Mooney.Wishing her well in the experience.
Good news is that a very old friend of Shannonbridge Carmel Mc Namara from Brisbane
is coming back on holiday to Shannonbridge next month.
The approach to the new jetty has been landscaped and awaits surfacing.
Hopefully it will be open soon and relieve the pressure some nights on the
old moorings where some nights recently boats have been moored 5 deep.
Somebody remarked that you would have to be a retired sailor to be
expierenced enough to pull in at Shannonbridge.
The Shannonbridge Tourist Office remains closed so far this year.Funding from the
normal channels is not available.The Shannonbridge & Clonmacnois Development
Group that set up the venture some years back will hold a meeting to discuss
"The future of The Tourist Office" and AOB next Monday night 26th May at 8.30 PM
in The Lockhouse or tourist office.
Was told that the driver of the tracktor horsebox involved in the fatal crash with Ian Arnold
last Friday was Donie Connell from Park. Donie was accompanied by his daughter.
On Sunday Donie and his daughter were near the canal in Shannonharbour when they
heard a shout from someone who had fallen into the canal.Donie ran and jumped
into the canal and was jusyt in time to save a drowning.
Heard that the Glasson Golf and Country Club where Ian worked have offered lunch
to mourners attending Ian's funeral today in Clonmacnois with their compliments.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Good to see regular visitors from Cambridge Michael and Audrey Scotney visiting
the area once again.This time they brought along four friends to share their 7 seater
transporter - Derek & Delia Asplin and John & Carol Cover.They were lucky to meet
Patrick Kenny in his usual good form who showed them the story of The Three Bears,
the mystery of drinking a whiskey without John seeing him for a little bet.
Highlight was hypnotising Carol while he changed Guinness in one glass into water
in another glass.They are going to Roscommon horse races this evening and plan to
go on a viking trip on the Shannon from Athlone to Clonmacnois with Viking Cruisers.
Sadly a regular friend Eileen was not with them and Martin Burke is regretting they
did not come last week as their racehorse Mallard won last week in England.
Tragedy visited the locality on Friday evening when Ian Arnold from Clondelara was
killed when his car struck a tractor trailer as he drove out of the village going home
from work.He died in the ambulance and was taken to Portiuncula Hospital.The
funeral removal is this evening with burial in Clonmacnois tomorrow.Ian was the
husband of Rosie Duffy well known to shoppers in Morans.The Arnolds have
three young children.Your prayers are requested for his soul.

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Corncrake Hotline people at 0509 - 51676 checked out the Shannonbridge area
and found one male calling from Borrana Island ,known locally as "Moran's Island"
downstream from the village bridge where the River Suck joins the River Shannon.
Talking to four visiting anglers last night and they told me that they had heard one
and possibly two male corncrakes while fishing at Devenish Island upstream and
midway between Shannonbridge and Clonmacnois.Informed the "Hotline" today.
Good news that Padraig Harrington has started well in the German Golf Open.7 under.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Bridie Carry tells us that her daughter Helen and her husband Lou Bantlemann
have moved into their new home at Wimbleton last Friday.Give them a shout if
you are going over for the tennis.
Good to hear the young children coming along from their music lessons last
evening playing the tunes just learned at their weekly music lesson in the Health
Center.Surely music is good for your health.
Later in the evening Rose Ryan and Pat Keohane were busy adding more books
to a fine collection.As you know for the summer months they are only opening
on Thursday night from 7.00 to 9.00 P.M. Good benefactor to the library books
Mr and Mrs Norbert Colbert from Ballinasloe paid a welcome first visit to the library
and were pleased with the layout.
Over thirty visiting Anglers enjoying their yearly visit and after a settling down time
the reports are that good catches of bream tench roach and pike are being caught
and released.One party seem to be catching some big eels every day as well as
their more favourite variety.Weather was beautiful for angling or whatever you fancy.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Last year high floods meant a disaster year for visiting Corncrakes from the Sahara
planning to breed on our Callow land by the river.
Last weekend Peter Hines from Correen and Bob Galligan from Raghrabeg as usual
came by boat to the village and were telling that they had both heard the Corncrake.
Last evening I telephoned the Corncrake "Hotline" in Banagher 0509-51676 to ask
how many Corncrakes had been heard this year.The Corncrake man told me that
so far in the area from Athlone to Meelick only 8 birds had been heard.None had
been reported from our locality and when I told him about Peter and Bob hearing
them he was delighted and said he would try and come out this way last night to
have a listen.The male makes a Crek-crek sound to mark his territory and attract
the female.Egg laying begins in late May and there are two clutches with the first
hatching in mid-June and the second in late-July or later.
Corncrakes have 8 to 12 eggs per clutch,incubation lasts about 21 days, and are
led from the nest soon after hatching.They are fed by the mother for three to four
days and then feed themselves on insects,snails and seeds. The chicks become
independent of their mother after about two weeks but cannot fly until they are
five weeks old.
Listen to their sound under our Natural Environment dealing withFlora and Fauna
of The Shannon.Crek on Corncrake.
Help their survival by ringing the Hotline above if you hear the call.0509 -51676
or e-mail

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

A recent Family Tree searcher enquired about a Mrs Flannery who lived in
Shannonbridge over sixty years ago.
She had a sweet shop where Creggs Self Catering house now stands.
This was later operated by the late Delia Lyons.
She had the first 1P Lucky Bags and is remembered by sweetlovers for her
Bulls Eyes wrapped in newspaper.She also sold skirt cloth material.
Originally a Hunt she lost her husband after three weeks when he was killed
while felling a tree at Moystown.
She had the distinction of having the first radio in Shannonbridge.
She was a sister to Berny Hunt from Banagher and was an aunt to the Keenas of Corrigeen.
( See Shannonbridge Star archives Volume 1 Page 6 1982. )
When the Keena family lost their parents tragically within a month the uncles and aunts
divided the children among them.Mrs Flannery raised Brigie Keena ( now Sister Mel ).
Mrs Flannery was in the habit of having two duck eggs and black pudding for her tea.
In her later years a niece Mary Hanniffy came to live with her.
She died in Mrs. Larkin's house ( now Stevie Kennys ) and was laid out in the habit
of the Third Order of Saint Francis.
A Pat Flannery, possibly an uncle in law lived with Mrs Larkin ( nee Nellie O Grady )
at that time.
By coincidence both Mrs Flannery and her niece Mary Hanniffy had guitre.

Monday, May 12, 2003

Had a lovely message from an Angler Ron Kilsby from London who fished in Shannonbridge
about twenty years ago.He stayed with Seamus and Celine Grennan and had a young
daughter called Kerry with him.He tells me he was a florist and his wife died suddenly
so has not returned.He says his wife and himself learned many things about Ireland and
its people, but the one thing that is always with him is "Cead Mile Failte ". He says he
was given this greeting everywhere he went in Ireland, but never as much as by all the
people of Shannonbridge.Thanks.
The latest to join the Christian Community here is Cormac O'Shea, son of Alan and Anne,
who was baptised last Sunday.
There is a doubt about Bogey the donkey joining the Shannonbridge community as
we are told he might die from loneliness after being taken from his friends.
First Communion Mass for the parish is being held next Sunday at 12.00 Mass
in Clonfinlough Church. Mass in Shannonbridge will be at 10.30 that morning.
The Wisconsin party staying at Castleday Manor this week included Joseph Hughes
who is President of The Shamrock Club of Wisconsin -Milwaukee Chapter.They have
a membership of 1500 and their contact number is 77-IRISH. They were formed 1960.
Clonfinlough Hall was the venue last Friday night for the area dance for The Pioneers.
The Evergreens provided the music for dancing and they say the hall is in top shape
with new flooring and painting.
Martin Burke tells us that a Jackdaw was hustling a Blackbird in his garden when
a group of Blackbirds teamed up and chased the Jackdaw away.
Michael John Coleman reveals his plan for getting rid of Crows is to toast
a slice of bread and tie a piece of bright cloth to the toast. One crow will
take the toast and fly away hotly pursued by the other crows following
the flag.
Five of our Salmon anglers headed off to The Moy Fishery at the weekend.
Dara Moran, Colm Kenny, John Price, John D Carty and Donal Grennan
did there damnest but failed miserably at the first attempt of the year.
Ireland on Sunday had an article yesterday on Richard Harrisand mentioned that when in
The Savoy Hotel in London he took ill and was being stretchered out along the lobby
he sat up and yelled to the guests "It was the food...don't eat the food.

Friday, May 09, 2003

The new power plant under construction is progressing very well and the chimney and a large
amount of steelwork have been erected.See photo gallery for some bird eye views.
Good news is that local man Michael Kitt has joined the security company at the site.
English angler Colin Blake has just completed a week pike fishing in the and was
satisfied with his fishing and guesthouse.He was delighted to catch a 23 lb. pike
while fishing at Culliagh on the Suck. The fish as well as his total catch of 150 lb.
of pike for the week were all returned alive and well. Colin again chose Ashbrook
Farm for his accomodation with John and Vera Carty as his hosts.His companion
works for The Angling Times where a story and photograph will appear next week.
For some time power plant staff from Shannonbridge Station have begun moving
to work on the Districts which look after house supplies and the line network,
public lighting and more.Today Barry Quinn from Shannonbridge follows suit
and moves to new work in Ballinasloe.Everyone wishes him well.
Looks like the village is to get a new donkey with Bogey from Oughterard coming
along to replace the famous Peter who died some time ago.He has a hard act to
follow but give him time.
Shannonbridge Library plans to open on Thursday nights only for the summer months
commencing on May 22. Normal opening hours 7.00 to 9.00 P.M. This will allow the
volunteers running the library a well earned break.Hopefully more people will find two hours
to spare come the autumn.The library is going very well and is getting constant use.
New members are welcome.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Heard on the radio recently that due to the recent spell of fine weather some birds native
of Africa are coming into the country and of course the reporter was speculating whether
the killer bee might also come our way.
Joe Burke was telling me about The Whimbrel or Maybird who looks like a small curlew
and migrates from West Africa to Scotland or Norway at this time of year and makes a
continuous sound like Joe Burke.
Nice photgraph of Blackwater girl Breda Green in this weeks Midland Tribune who
has taken up duty in the tourist office in Birr.
Our own tourist office in Shannonbridge has
not opened yet and hopefully this will happen soon.
New arrival last week to Doc and Dick in Oughterard with a mare ass foal born on May 1st
and as the other three donkeys names all begin with B everyone thought they might use
the Irish word for May and called her Bealtaine. Alas for the old tongue but the lass of an
ass will be called Bonny May.
Shane and Sinead brought their new born baby to visit Shannonbridge last weekend.
She will have an Irish name Eabha pronounced Eva with a second name Marie.
Good to hear of two new houses starting construction.The Mooney family have started
laying foundations for a house in the field to the left as you drive to the Bog Rail Tour.
Liam Fallon has started work on a house on the right past the railway line and before
Flaherty's Gullet on the Cloghan Road.
Busload of Austians called in yesterday and one of them was telling Pat that every
year they went on a pilgrimage to either Siberia or Ireland.Next year Siberia.
Death seemed to visit the area recently and calling on Sean Flynn of Belmont the greyhound
trainer and ex publican.Bernard Kenny of Moystown also got the call as did Joe Henry's wife
Molly who got sick on a Monday and died the following Friday.Jacky Donoghue always said
he wished for a quick death and he got his wish when he was found dead in his bed in Clonony.
Well known visitor to Shannonbridge Ina Rodgers from Donard in Wicklow passed away
just before Easter.Our sympathy to all their families.