Thursday, July 31, 2003

Yesterday was Galway Plate day at the Galway Races and trainer Mullins produced a great winner called "Its a Moose " which was ridden by a son of Captain Con Power of horse jumping fame winning easily at a price of 25 to 1. Last night a man arrived in for a bottle of whiskey and paid for it with a 500 Euro note.Of course I asked him if he had backed the winner and was surprized when he said he had. He told me it was fancied to win and he was one of the lucky ones that knew. Trainer Mullins is nearly 80 years old and this win was a follow up to one of his horses winning the Oaks last week.
For football and hurling fans the G.A.A. have an amount of information on their website under
On the radio this morning they mentioned a website called
It was good to see Ciaran Pat Devery and his wife Ann call in last evening.Pat was born in Lecarrow about two miles from Shannonbridge and was one of the first travelling salesvan operators for Lyons Tea.He spent some years in America and in London where he managed a pub.They are now retired in London and have a holiday home near Castlerea. He was often wondering what Burns house now looked like as he had many fond memories so last evening he called in and Ger and Mary Kenny gave him a tour of the house.The big open fire and big wooden beams in the kitchen are gone or covered over but he was delighted to see the neighbours house.
As it happened brother Jim had arrived home for his last evening and cousin John came out from Ballinasloe to meet Ciaran Pat.The three had not met for 50 years so the talk was of that era and the wonderful characters they knew.
Ciaran told of the late Forties when Roscommon were doing well in football and the neighbours were gathered in Burns house listening to the match as Burns had a radio. Ma Burns was cooking a cake and checking on it to rise.After a time she realized that the cake needed soda and would not rise so she took it and opened the back door and kicked it out into the yard saying "Another goal for Roscommon ".

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

The Shannonbridge / Doon weekly lottery was held last night in Doon and six people had three of the winning numbers which were 10, 11, 20, 24. Doon were playing Edenderry in football on Monday night in the last of their group matches. It was a drawn game which means that Ferbane find themselves eliminated
At Galway Races yesterday Kevin Prendergast was the trainer in form having three winners including the feature race.Today J.P.McManus owns four of the runners in the Galway Plate having bought one of the fancied horses on Monday.
The sun is shining brightly this morning and looks good for racing.
Paudge Bennett blew out 50 candles last night on a belated birthday cake.He must be getting soft as he did not play music on Saturday or Sunday but took the good wife off to Wexford for the weekend. Happy to report he is now back to normal. He still has some tapes for sale but is out of CD's.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

People are talking about the Galway Races and the great start they had last evening with the sun shining and the course looking immaculate.Martin Burke was telling us that he got a tip for a horse in the Bumper and noticed that the trainer had three horses running all at long prices.Martin had a flutter and was disappointed when one of the stable mates won at 14 to one and the other stable mate was third.
His namesake Joe Burke was telling a true story about a neighbour who traded in cattle and about this time of the year he was returning home in his lorry from Smithfield Market in Dublin when he gave a lift to a young man. There was a checkpoint near Athlone and the Garda found his lorry without tax,poor brakes, wipers
indicator light and dirty mudguards. As he drove the neighbour was feeling very sad and when he reached Naughtons Garage to told the hitch hiker that he was turning off at that point.
The hitch hiker asked if he was worried about being checked by the Garda.When the driver said that naturally he was the hitch hiker told him not to worry and gave him the Garda's notebook. A good pickpocketer for once.
The luck in the weather seems to be keeping in for the races as the sun is shining.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Yesterday a young American called in to enquire if we knew the name of a young girl that worked in The Tavern two years ago. We mentioned a number of names without success. Anyhow he told us that the girl had shown him the sights of Shannonbridge and back home he has a photograph of the girl he would like to contact two years later. When he gets home he will forward a copy of the photograph to our website and we will pass on the contact address to the girl.What more can we do.
Lorraine tells us it is back up to 90 degrees in Pottstown and hot.Our radio was telling us today that it was spilling rain in Galway this morning and of course this evening starts the first of seven days racing in Ballybrit. Over 200,000 people are expected in total.
Shannonbridge has broken weather with rain and sun.
Well known local dog breeder John Mc Manus tells us that he he sold a brown collie bitch named Sally to a farmer near Cloghan and she has gone missing. If you see Sally give John a call at 0905 - 74197.
In fishing last week Aiden and The Two Keiths from Stoke on Trent fished the River Suck at Culliagh and at Turleys Field, The Hot Water and Meelick and caught 310 pounds of bream, tench, and hybrids. Best bags were 45, 50, and 75 pounds at the hot water using maggot and caster on a feeder.
Gerry Casey and his Tipperary pals are spending this week fishing in the area.So look out.
Open air Mass planned for next Sunday evening at 7.00 p.m. in Clonmacnois for the yearly blessing of the graves.
In football Rhode beat Shannonbidge by one pint on Saturday evening which is curtains for Shannonbridge.Tipperary beat Offaly 2 - 16 to 2 - 11 in hurling and Wexford beat Antrim by 2 - 15 to 2 - 11. Semi final line up is Cork v Wexford and Kilkenny v Tipperary.
Johnny Flannery tells us that in hurling match yesterday the three best for Offaly were Brian Mullins in goal, Brian Whelehan and Colm Cassidy.. Ollie Daly tells us that Colm Cassidy's grandfather was Mick Coughlan from Clonfert Callows just across the river.
The Phot Gallery has two old postcards of Clonmacnois taken before it was made ready for visitors about 50 years ago. The postcards were given to my brother Jim by Ciaran Flannery when he called to visit him in his pub in Athone last week.
Scottish visitor Ray Cadman called to visit yesterday and told us that Sean Fitzsimons is gone to Dun Laoghaire to have an artificial leg fitted.Ray went to visit Margaret Kelly as when he first visited he became friends with Michael and Margaret.
Home at present from London is Bina Nugent looking a million punts which is even better than a million dollars.
Last year Derek Davis and Aonghus Mc Anally produced a four part serial on the River Shannon covering four places.Aonghus enjoyed the work so much that he hired a cruiser and took the family and inlaws on a river holiday.Last evening they stopped off in Shannonbridge and he was telling us that the series is getting a rerun starting in about a weeks time. Pat Corbett and Ray Walsh recognised him as once playing a guitar on the group called Mushroom.Aonghus told us that a CD of Mushroom is worth 5000 Euro which Ray and Pat took with a grain of Heineken.
Local musician Kieran Rock is taking a weeks break in Costa Del Sol from yesterday.
See that The Flight of The Doves is to be shown next Saturday morning at 2.10 on RTE 1.
Hope Lorraine can pick that one up.
Sean Claffey late of Shannonbridge and now living in Clara called in yesterday hoping to meet brother Jim.Claffeys once lived in a house down behind Prices and Mike Claffey decided to move his family to Lemonaghan about 60 years ago when Sean was nine.Mike was married to a Mary Rosney and his sister was married to Tommy Holleran and lived where Henry Gallagher now lives.Talking of Mike Claffey the story was told that a once young clerical student Phonsie Mc Gowan once bet Mike a pint that he would not swallow 30 raw eggs.Mike took up the bet and swallowed eggs and pint.
Sean spent his working life in Chicago and is now retired in Clara. Told me he was taught by the famous Con Lehane brother of our late Father O Lehane.
Lorraine from Pottstown suggests using the bell tower of the church for the mobile mast.In America they erect tall white crosses on the church property with hidden antenna.Then she says that once when living a mile away fromTV antennas she was able to hear the audio of one of the channels coming out of her clothes washer. ( The first time she thought she was going nutty ).

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Last Saturday's Offaly Independent tells us that O2 have applied for permission to erect a 24m monopole mobile phone mast in "a secure compound at Shannonbridge". Wonder where that is?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Just added a new photo to the gallery of Ger and Tommy Corbett with a rather impressive pike. Click here to check it out.
Andy Meehan from Blanchardstown is visiting the area for a few days. Andy worked for Dublin Erection as a steelfixer on the building of the first power plant.He refuses to go and have a look at the meccano type of erection used on the new plant.
Mary Smith and her sister from Leicester are paying a short visit to Ireland and arranged to meet up with their Clonmel based cousin last night. Mary was a regular visitor once with her husband Norman who was so good at coarse fishing he went looking for other species. Remember one day he caught and released just over 700 pounds of bream rudd etc and was home for his tea at 7.00p.m.
Government deciding today whether to purchase Lisadell House in Sligo for the nation.The house is associated with Countess Markevich and has about 400 acres attached.
One time Dancers in the National Ballroom in Parnell Square might like to know that the ballroom is being knocked down and incorporated into The Hugh Lane art gallery next door.You will still be able to recognize it as the outside facade is being preserved.
Dance On.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Paudge Bennett was telling us last night that he is not playing music Saturday and Sunday of this coming weekend.Seems our songster is going all nostalgic and is even thinking of taking Sarah Anne to Croke Park on Sunday for the Offaly game as well as his present wife of course.May have something to do with a 50 which comes up for Paudge at the weekend. Hope he enjoys the break and Happy Birthday Paudge.
The Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto Jackpot survived once more with ten people selecting three of the winning numbers drawn which were 1, 3, 17, and 24.
Next Monday night the draw will be for 13,800 Euro.
Took Jim and Maureen on a nostalgic walk up the Old Dublin Road which runs at the back of the power plant and the new very wide tarmacadam surface has pushed back the edges and ditches and a lot of the attractive flowers.The road from the power plant road to this new stretch needs to be finished and turned into a safe walkway. Lighting ?
We visited the graveyard at Teampail which was once a holy place and later used for burial of stillborn and young children.This area is fenced off with an electric fence so the cattle are not able to eat the grass and weeds. Not an easy area to maintain as there are quite a number of grave stone markers in the ground. With road developed it is an attractive three mile walk.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Billy Duffy has a story about a family visiting the Holy Land and the mother-in -law goes with them and as luck would have it she dies.The undertaker explains that to bring the remains home to Ireland will cost $5000 whereas to bury her in Jerusalem will cost $60.
The man says they will take her home.
The undertaker asks why spend all this money ?
The man replies that he heard of a burial in The Holy Land about 2000 years ago and they rose after three days.
Sounds better from Billy.
This weeks Parish newsletterreminds us of The Pattern on Sunday 21st September at 3pm. A parents guide and fact sheet about alcohol can be downloaded from
Helpful websites include
and where you select your language and open the Thematic Catalogue.
Good to see a Polish priest who is in study in Limerick come to Shannonbridge yesterday and have Mass for about 30 Polish workers based in Shannonbridge on the new power plant construction. Tomas and John who are also Polish and work on a local factory heard about it too late but will be there next week if repeated.
Saw on the paper that The Great Tit living in the cities and bigger town are singing louder and longer to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Dont you be trying this as its for the birds.
The Irish Government are planning on borrowing a Billion if you have any money to spare.
This week in Castledaly Manor hotel there are seven members of the Rowe family from Rio Wisconsin on a discover Irelad with their partners and of course Paddy Kavanagh.
Novel idea for Don, Dan, Dave, Ralph, Rita, Joanne and Barbara and for good measure Aunt Vera Dowdell came along as well. Ralph's wife Pat was telling me that there are seven children in her family and next year they are planning to repeat the adventure for their family.
Saturday night a number of athletes from Donegal and Banbridge County Down stayed in some of the local B&B guesthouses to rest before cometing in an All Ireland athletic event held in Tullamore yesterday.Shannonbridge was the nearest accomodation available.
Yesterday was a crunch day for our football team as they played Tullamore in Doon pith. Tullamore won 1--6 to 0--6 points. That unlucky goal once more.
Doon played Ferbane on the Shannonbridge pitch last evening and ran out impressive winners scoring 16 points to 6 points.
National football games saw Laois beat Kildare and Tyrone beat Down.
Roscommon play Kildare this coming Saturday in Portlaoise.
In hurling on next Sunday there is a double header in Croke Park with Offaly playing Tipperary and Antrim playing Wexford.
Carmel Kenny represented the family at the graduation of Paulien Kenny held in Canterbury Cathedral on July 9th when Paulien was awarded a BA in Law.
She will now spend one year in practice before qualifying as a solicitor.
Congratulations Paulien and well done.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Shannonbridge Tourist Information office in the Lockhouse at the bridge is going well under guidance of Stacey Kerins and Brian Keohane who is deputising for his brother Emmet for a while. Say hello to them from Monday to Friday until 5.00 p.m. at 0905 - 74344.
Good to see Dave Feeley and his fishing companion pay a brief one night stay in Shannonbridge and sample the waters and ?.This year he fished Lough Derg but says he is returning to Shannonbridge next year. Dave is one of five regular groups that changed fishing location this year mostly on account of high water levels last year effecting access to their favoured fishing locations.
Our sole angler in the area this week is John Feeley and he made a wise decision to fish the same swim.He arrived exausted on Saturday night and began feeding a swim on the Suck.On Monday he had over 50 lbs of roach,rudd, hybrids and a couple of bream.Yesterday in the same swim and fishing from 5.30 a.m. he had 19 bream up to 6 lbs and about twenty pounds of rudd. At eleven o clock the fish went off the feed. Delighted to hear he had about twenty pounds of decent rudd also. On Monday the only bait that worked was worm while yesterday it had to be red maggot or caster. Hope he keeps fishing the same swim for the week.
Margaret Hilliard is delighted to be one of the five lucky competitors in this Saturday nights TV show Winning Streak.She tells us that the show is recorded on Friday afternoon and each contestant is allowed to bring along twenty supporters.One of her family is coming over from Germany for the occasion.Margaret tells us that each contestant is guaranteed 10,000 Euro
and hopefully she can add another nought or two.Best of luck Margaret.
This weeks Doon / Shannonbridge weekly Lotto Draw on Monday night winning numbers were 7, 12, 19, 20 and there was no winner. About nine people had three numbers and next weeks Jackpot will be 13,600 Euro with the draw in the Bog Oak.Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown has forwarded money and will be included in twenty draws at 2 Euro per draw.
Good news for Offaly hurling is that the three Whelehan brothers have rejoined the Offaly panel and will be available for the crunch match against Limerick on tomorrow evening.
Shannonbridge senior footballers have two live or die matches next week against Tullamore and Rhode. Will Fergal Mc Evoy come back from his honeymoon to play for the 'Bridge ?

Monday, July 14, 2003

Fergal Mc Evoy and Eilis Killeen were married in Clonmacnois on Friday last and their Reception took place in Haydens Hotel.Long distance visitors such as Carmel Bhai,Australia, Brendan Killeen and Conor Killeen from the U.S.A. that were over for the wedding have left again. Jim and Maureen from Chicago and John from New Jersey are still around and searching for Corncrakes with Micky Mac and Doc.
Everything went well apart from the consistent breeze which Saint Ciaran provided to keep everyone awake and alert. Fergal and Eilis set out on their honeymoon today and we wish them well .
Welcome visitors to the village at the weekend were Margaret Egan from Athlone who travelled out with her daughter Aisling and her two grandsons.
Les Good and his wife returned to England at the weekend after spending three weeks with his sister in law and her husband having stayed with Eamon and Marie Mc Manus in their guesthouse.There was a nice divide in their time between fishing and days sightseeing and they promised to come back again to walk Moby.
Margaret Hilliard's name was one of the lucky ones to be selected to appear on next Saturday night's Winning Streak TV show and everyone wishes her the very best of luck.
Mick Mac is delighted with his jazz CD from Lorraine in Pottstown.
He finds it jams at Blueberry Hill and is not sure if it is his machin or the tape.Mac is checking out his gadget.
Christopher Bookless aged 11 years from Falty was telling us he found an abandoned kitten left in a bootbox in Athlone .The kitten who will be named "Lucky" is in safe hands with a combination of a milk and catfood awaiting.
The Parish Bulletin tells of plans to have Mass and blessing of the graves in Clonmacnois on Sunday 3rd August @ 7 p.m.
and in Mullinakill , Glebe on Mon 4th August @ 7.30 p.m.
The Papal Nuncio will represent Pope John Paul at the Pattern Day in Clonmacnois on Sun 21st September at 3.00 p.m. This marks the
25th Anniversary of his election to the Papacy.
Roisin Mannion ,daughter of Noel and Aileen was baptised last Sunday week
and is welcomed into the Christian Community.
GAA results at the weekend saw in football Kerry beating Limerick in the Munster Final.In Ulster Down and Tyrone drew.
In hurling Tipperary beat Galway. In Offaly it was announced that the Whelehan Brothers have withdrawn from the Offaly panel prior to their game against Limerick this coming week.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

True story. A tourist visiting Galway recently visited the Tourist Office and asked one of the assistants what the hooters at the traffic lights were for.
When told they were for the blind she was amazed and asked
"And do the blind actually drive in Ireland"?

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

An old school pal Sean Balfe from Mayo called in recently to tell us that he has been working as an engineer in Ethiopia for a number of years on a number of projects.In Ethiopia the Chinese seem to be the ones that get most of the construction work.Sean comes home fairly regularly and often takes a boat on The Shannon.He finds The Irish Times website wonderful in helping him keep in touch with what is happening back home and great value for around 75 dollars.You can look at it yourself under
The Parish Newsletter reminds us that it is hoped to have Mass with the blessing of graves in the 'New Cemetery' Clonmacnois on Sun 3rd August@7PM.It also includes 10 Steps for Handling Life's Hurts.
1. Recognise a problem exists.
2. Acknowledge the pain you feel - or caused.
3. Ask for help, guidance, another opinion.
4. Do one small,concrete thing to create change.
5. Make amends if appropriate.
6. Remember you always have choices.
7. Pray for strength, courage, healing.
8. Share what you've learned with others.
9. Don't give up hope or extinguish it in others.
10. Forgive yourself, forgive others.
The Doon / Shannonbridge Lotto Jackpot survived again last night with six people selecting three of the four winning numbers which were 6,17,20,23.
winners were Carmel Bhai nee Mc Namara Brisbane,Mick Finn Shannonbridge and Mary martin, Niall Martin, Willie Harney and Peg Byrne from Doon.
The Irish Government plan to introduce a law that will prohibit young children visiting pubs.The Minister responsible for the Bill Michael Mc Dowell is holidaying this week with his family on an Emerald Starline cruiser and moored in Shannonbridge last evening.Colin was surprised to see the Minister and his young son in the bar and was wondering if it was a test case.
Last evening Carmel Bhai and Moby took me for a walk and I led them down to The Cut to show her the mouth of The Suck. We headed for the road to the power plant admiring the dozens of wild flowers in bloom in The Borrana Callows.There is no access onto this roadway and Moby had a hard job finding a way for us to reach Borrana Lane.
More faces in town include Brendan Scanlon originally from Moore Middle and now England.He was telling John the brother that he last saw him in 1956.Brendan came over to meet Jim my other Chicago brother who arrived into Shannon this morning.Joe Murray from Cherry Hill near John breezed in on Sunday and is staying in the Murray Apartments as he did before.
I don't believe it but two regular English anglers called in last evening to say that they were staying in Portumna as they were not able to find accommodation in Shannonbridge.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown was on holiday in Creggs self catering for three weeks last August and seems to have fallen in love with her holiday memories.A parcel arrived on Friday with some CD's,a special jazz collection for Mickie Mac.A book on Birds of America was included for one Kieran Guinan who Lorraine never met but she calls him the Birdman.This woman intends to win the Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto Jackpot and included some dollars for the next twenty weeks draws. Her numbers are 3, 6, 7, and 10.
Wishing her the luck to win and hopefully a chance to return.
Yesterday morning an Austria angler Herbert Gangl was fishing under the bridge at Shannonbridge with a dead perch for bait when a whoppin pike measuring 1.04 metres came along and took the bait.The fish weighing over 20 pounds was returned alive.He promised to send a digital photo to when he gets back home next week.
Noticed that the new jetty seems to be more popular than the berthage downstream of the bridge.
Regular Saturday night visitor to Shannonbridge Mai Craughwell missed last Saturday night as she went to Dublin to buy clothes for her grand-daughter's wedding on Friday.Earlier in the week she shared a 500 Euro jackpot in her weekly Bingo outing.Talk about timing.
Tomorrow is the feastday of Saint Cillin who ended up as a Bishop in Wortsburg Germany.He moved around in the monastery circuit in Ireland before heading for Germany.One of the churches located where the present Mass shelter is built in Clonmacnois is named after him and some years ago a busload from Cillin's diocese led by their Bishop arrived on pilgrimage but were not allowed to have Mass in Clonmacnois.
Yesterday we were talking about another Cillin a Don Killeen from Omaha who I found in the local phone book a few years ago when in Omaha.Don and Lauri his wife visited Ireland last year and offered their holiday home in The Rockies to Eleanor and Ciaran Doyle and their two boys Peter and Stephen.Saturday morning they are off to take up the offer.If you are near drop in to see them.They called to Shannonbridge yesterday to say hello especially to Brendan Killeen who has arrived for Fergal Mc Evoy and Eilis Killeen's wedding on this coming Friday.
Danny Farrelly Junior is married to Mary and on Saturday morning Mary's sister husband and family had a dreadful experience when their home in Sligo caught fire and two of the girls Lisa 11years and Laura 6years both lost their lives.Remember the family in your prayers.
Peggy Byrnes and her two daughters Celine and Sarah have just returned from a holiday in The Canary Islands and had a great weeks holiday with plenty of sunshine and lots of things for the girls to do each day.Of course Peggy got a fright when a maid arrived into their apartment and told them that they were due to leave that morning.They were and missed the flight but our Peggy sorted it out fine.
Saturday saw the start of basic English lessons for 24 Turkisk workers who are working at the building of the new power plant.The group live locally and the classes are held in the Community Center which was once the old church.
Recently about 30 Polish welders have arrived to work on the plant so between tourists and workers the place is getting international like.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

The Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto Jackpot survived this weeks punters.Only Bernie Duffy,Phil Spollen and P.Egan from Doon selected three of the four winning numbers which were 5, 20, 21 and 28.Over 300 people from the Shannonbridge area have season tickets paid for and their numbers are entered each week.
Rosie Curley Crevagh is Gus Claffeys Aunt and Gus was telling us that recently he enquired from this sprightly 88 year old on her recollection of Michael and Brigid Flannery that we wrote on recently.She told Gus that Michael Flannery was killed on May 17th 1918 when cutting a tree at Moystown and that his wife Brigid, who came from Bloomhill and had a material and thread shop in Shannonbridge died on April 10th 1948.
Congatulations to Mr and Mrs Bill Dolan Creggan House who celebrates sixty years of married bliss this week.
Readers in Galway area might find time to visit Pat Gaffey in the Regional Hospital.
Tomorrow is a big day for Theresa Leary Cloughal Mor daughter of recently deceased Teesy Leary and Michael Mc Loughlin Clonfert who are getting married in Boora Church with reception in Kinnity Castle.
Tomorrow night in Boora Hall there is a meeting on Anti Incinerator.
There is a need to change our ways as a recent article tells us that in Denmark 90 % of waste products are recycled while in France 10 % is recycled. In France incineration always causes enormous problems.
The Parish Newsletter tells us of a website devoted to Saint Brendan the Navigator who is buried across the river in Clonfert.Have a squint at
The same newsletter tells us that according to Confucius Wisdom is Learned by three methods;
Reflection, which is the noblest;
Imitation, which is the easiest;
Experience, which is the bitterest.
And Althea Gibson says "no matter what accomplishments you achieve, somebody helps you.