Friday, October 31, 2003

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Going on holiday a few weeks ago naturally I checked my passport to satisfy Mary on the Saturday night.It was out of date since May and we were flying to Rome on Monday.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

Thursday, October 30, 2003

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

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

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

Thursday, October 23, 2003

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

Friday, October 17, 2003

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

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

Monday, October 13, 2003

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

Friday, October 10, 2003

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

Thursday, October 09, 2003

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

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

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

Monday, October 06, 2003

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

Friday, October 03, 2003

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

Thursday, October 02, 2003

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

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

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