Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Killeens have a live page on this website just like Corbetts guesthouse and The Fort.
Maybe other facilities in the village might follow. Mention it to them if you agree.
See where Bob Monkhouse the comedian has passed away. Yesterday the Irish Times carried an obituary and gave a few samples of his humour.
- The last time I was in Spain I got through six Jeffrey Archer novels. I must remember to take enough toilet paper next time.
- Personally I don't think there's intelligent live on other planets. Why should other planets be any different from this one.
- I remember when safe sex was a padded headboard.
- I want to die like my father, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and terrified, like his passengers.
- Silence is not only golden, it is seldom misquoted.
- I can still enjoy sex at 74 - I lve at 75, so it's no distance.
- They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. They're not laughing now.
- A tomcat hijacked a plane, stuck a pistol into the pilot's ribs and demanded : "Take me to the canaries".
Say a prayer for his soul.
Some five years ago Coleen Lucachick from Minnesota was reading an article in The Catholic Digest (USA) when she saw a photograph of a young Irish girl that was a dead ringer for her daughter Christine. She kept the magazine and took it along when she visited Ireland in 2000. Enquiring in the Visitor Center in Clonmacnois she was told that the Irish girl was Marion Corcoran daughter of Adain and Etna . They met up with the Corcorans and have kept in contact ever since.
For Christmas this year the Lucachick family are revisiting Ireland for ten days and naturally have met up with the Corcoran family once again. The daughter Christine is now thirteen and her sisters Hilary and Laurie, brother Glenn and parents Gary and Coleen have all come along for the trip. Great to see them back in Shannonbridge.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Remember Oliver Hilliard's Dublin Toast Recipe ?
Met Frank Henry at Christmas who cooks for himself and asked him what his favourite recipe was. Without hesitating he said Irish Stew.
When I asked him how he prepared his stew he told me he simply he got a can of Denny Irish Stew, emptyied it into a saucepan , added an onion and heated.
Pour onto a plate and eat. NEAT.
Parish Newsletter this week contains -

1. If you sleep on it - make it up.

2. If you wear it - hang it up.

3. If you drop it - pick it up.

4. If you eat out of it - put it in the sink.

5. If you step on it - wipe it off.

6. If you open it - close it.

7. If you empty it - fill it up.

8. If it rings - answer it.

9. If it howls - feed it.

10. If it cries - love it.

Selected by Father Frank from The Flight by J.White.
Congratulations to Catherine and Michael Devine on the birth of a baby boy on Saturday 27th Dec the Feast of Saint John. Heard he will be named John.
Terry Collins from London made a nostalgic visit to Shannonbridge over the Christmas to see had the place changed much. About twenty years ago Terry was one of a group of four that stayed in Grouse Lodge for a fishing holiday.
Missing from its usual stand this year was the outdoor enclosed Christmas Crib from the green area opposite the church. The Christmas lighting in this area are a welcome feature but it is a pity the Crib was not on display. Perhaps next year. ?
Wren boys were a scarce commodity again this Christmas around Shannonbridge. Most of the children have opted for Trick or Treat at Halloween and the excellent adult groups of some years back were not to be seen.
Home for Christmas is Mark Breslin Edinburgh late of Shannonbridge and Ferbane. Mark tells us that his sister Helen and himself shared the turkey with Liam and Theresa.
Fran Moran was telling Mark that he is studying in Belfast and is engaged on a year long project based on Birr as a Georgian Town which Fran says is the best example in Ireland. He promised he will tell us more later.
Also home are Sheila and Siobhan daughters of Declan and Rose Ryan.
Good to see Brian Keohane home. Brian has resumed work in Boston Scientific and has made a marvellous recovery from a nasty motorbike accident.
Course our Webmaster Mike Thornhill was home for Christmas and got in some practise sessions with Louise and Colin in preparation for their trip to New York for a recording session. Mike also did an update on Louise Killeens website which is located at
Gerry Casey made the big splash on the Tuesday before Christmas when he went pike fishing along with his friends John Gleeson and John Coleman. Using dead bait they caught five pike weighing 4 lbs, 11 lbs, 16 lbs, 18 lbs and John had a whopper that weighed four ounches short of 29 lbs. Naturally as is their practise all the fish were returned alive and well.
Good to see Michael Priest and three friends making a short fishing visit to Shannonbridge this week. Locals will remember Michael when he used to come on holiday with his late wife June. Hope he remembers where the fish hide.
On the usual visit to Clonmacnois graveyard on Christmas Day when crossing the Old graveyard near Saint Ciaran's Church a fresh growing flower bouquet resting on a flattened headstone caught my eye. The memorial belonged to a Thomas Galvin Castledaly aged 47 years who departed this life on May 16th 1869. Pat was telling me that the late Kieran Egan the stonecutter told her that they always used "Departed This Life" rather than died as death was final whereas the Departed this Life indicated there was a next life. What do you want written. ?
The hourglass man paid three visits to the parish in the past week.
Michael "Mickie" Kelly from Lakelands Clonfinlough died in his daughter Bernies home in Ferbane as he and his wife Kathleen were about to enjoy Christmas dinner.He had been looking through Roy Keane's book just before that. Mickie worked with Bord na Mona and in the Power Station and carried on some farming since his retirement about 18 years ago. He was buried in Clonmacnois on Sunday.
On Monday morning came the news of the death of Jim Egan Clonfinlough and formerly Clonlyon.Jim leaves Anne and five children.
At lunchtime came the sad news that Lil Connor Clonmacnois had been found dead in the paddock at the back of the house. Lil had spent Christmas Day with her nephew Padraig and her friend and neighbour Mai Duffy rang her to enquire if she wanted to go to the shop. There was no reply
May they rest in peace.
Likewise Archbishop Michael Corteney who was murdered in Burundi Africa yesterday. Born in Nenagh he was ordained a priest for Clonfert Diocese.He worked in Tynagh and Woodford and studied in the Vatican.
True Christmas Spirit was displayed in Shannonbridge on Christmas Day. Most of the Polish and Turkish workers on the new power plant site returned home for Christmas leaving a few to look after the workplace. One of those Nagdi the van driver was invited to share Christmas Day with a family in the village. He arrived at 2.00 PM and when I dropped in around 9.00 that night he was busy on his hands and knees playing a card game with one of the youngsters. Nagdi tells us that the group that remained over for Christmas will be getting a break when their mates return. He had a wonderful Christmas Day in Shannonbridge. Well done to the family concerned.
John and Joan Carty tell us that Steward Hession Cloneish is attached to the Artillery Unit of the peace keeping force serving in Liberia and he will also be keeping an eye on while he is there. We wish Steward and his companions a Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Happy Christmas

All the staff here at would like to wish our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year. We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to the site over the last year, it wouldn't be the same without you.
Click here to have a look at photos hot off the presses from this mornings bridge jump. Congratulations to all the jumpers and collectors. Same time next year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Check out new music available at Louises website

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Shannonbridge GAA notes

by Conor Killeen

Jump Jump
Jump will be the call this Christmas day at 1pm- when the dare devils of Shannonbridge, will jump from the bridge into the icy cold Shannon waters to raise Money for the Concern Charity group. Come out and support a good cause.

Lotto results
There was no Winner of last week's jackpot of €7,600. The numbers were 7,14,17 and 27. Congratulations to our seven match three winners.

Shannonbridge GAA Magazine
Shannonbridge GAA club are publishing a Magazine to celebrate 30 years to be bought out next March. If you have any article relating to Shannonbridge GAA or pictures you feel are of importance, please send it onto Conor Killen (P.R.O) or e-mail
The Parish newsletter has an Irish Christmas greeting this week which reads -
Beannachtai na Nollag agus Siochain san Ath Bhliain go gach duine.
There is A Christmas Prayer written by Robert Louis Stevenson also -
Give us,Lord Jesus, the eyes of children
To see your birth with Christmas wonder.
Help us to share in the song of the angels,
The gladness of the shepherds,
And the worship of the Wise Men.
Close the door on hate,
And open the door of love, all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift,
And blessing with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil, by the blessing Christ brings,
And teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May Christmas morning
Make us happy to be your children,
And Christmas evening
Bring us to rest with grateful thought,
Forgiving and forgiven. Amen
There was no winner of last nights Lotto Jackpot. Winning numbers were 7, 14, 17, 27.
Seven people had three numbers correct - four from Shannonbridge and three from Doon. Next week the draw is in Doon with the Jackpot going to 7800 Euro.
Good to see Noreen Kitt home for Christmas from America. Noreen stopped off in London to visit her cousin on the way.
Martin and Mary Burke are heading off to England today to spend the Christmas with their two sons Michael and Dermot and we hope they have a wonderful time together.
Before their departure Pauric Henry sang a selection of ballads and Christmas Carols for Martin for the journey. Better than Beef or Salmon on St.Stephens Day.
Great that Dorothy Devine has taken up work in Portiuncula Hospital and will be living nearby.
Bina Nugent was an early arrival for Christmas and Greg arrived yesterday.
Fran Moran has arrived home with a black beard. The timing is perfect but the colour is rong.
Karen Donegan has arrivedhome as have Louise Killeen. In Shannonbridge for the Christmas are Mike Aine and Neil Robertson. Neil must be feeling lucky as he was a winner in two local Lottos this week.
Fergal Eilis and Leah are in Shannonbridge for Christmas and Doc and Dick are coming.
Shane will be heading for Roscommon but will be around over the break.
Bridie and Charlie will be joining Charles and Valerie for the holiday.
Noticed on the back page of The Irish Catholic three quarter page adverts for CDs.
The first one was SALVE recorded by The Monks of Roscrea which sells for 20 Euros plus post say one Euro.
The Poor Clares from Graiguecullen, Carlow call their CD A Time To Pray and this is selling at 15 Euro plus 80c postage. More details on their website which is
Third offering comes from The Benedictine Monks, Rostrevor, County Donegal and their CD is called Peace Upon You. This sells at 20 Euro which includes P+P.

Monday, December 22, 2003

Saturday evening after Mass the Carol Singers were waiting for the people to come out from the church. This year they were again unfortunate with the weather and failed to hold the crowd in the chilly conditions. They plan to give it another airing this year so you can yet hear them.
Up the road in the heatedCommunity Hall the Children from Shannonbridge with their music teacher were waiting and for those that attended they provided a lovely seasonal collection of tunes on piano, recorder and clarinet.
Performers were Celine Byrne, Ciara Casey, Eoghan Casey, Darragh Corbett,
Tara Hynes, Corina Slattery and Shannon Slattery helped along by their teacher
Nicola Murray. Johnny Slattery was up in the gallery with his video camera and Ger Corbett got some good near shots of performers and audience.
Eamon Cregg tells us that his daughter is planning to do a school project with Shannonbridge as the subject. She is currently collecting information and data if you can help her. We look forward to the finished product and what she has to say about us.
Anthony Cronin had a new poem published on the Sunday Independent yesterday.

Safe From Harm

In Richmond Park as darkness falls
The deer lie down to rest,
The stags, as every night, apart
To north and south and west.

Males who in grave and adult pride
Will keep the herd from harm,
Raising their heavy antlered heads
At any slight alarm.

A notice on the roadside gate
Warns of a cull at dawn.
With rifles men will come to kill,
Workmanlike, doe and fawn.

The stags will look on helplessly
For all their strength and pride'
While coolly and uncaringly
Their care is brushed aside.
Kuno our Swiss friend has returned to his newspaper and Colin took him for a trip on the Shannon. Kuno is also into making films and was casting an eye along the river.
He has a website at
Some years ago he was in Shannonbridge when they were building a new 100 metre chimney for the power plant and he took some very interesting photographs showing the Fortification, Bridge, village and shots of the River Shannon and River Suck and callows and bogland in counties Galway Roscommon and Offaly.
Boating and fishermen and even local houses look different from on high.
Joe Burke tells me that when the new Dalton Center is opened near the power plant in 2005 they are planning to use that same chimney as a viewing point with a see through lift bringing visitors to a viewing platform on top. Make sure and bring your camera.
Saw on the TV where down in Wexford back in 1653 a Father Meyler was murdered by Cromwellian forces on Christmas Day. This year a Memorial Mass will be celebrated using the same chalice as was used by Father Meyler when he was murdered.
Christmas Greetings from Michael Claire and Courtney Greene and their dog Molly in Boston who seem to have a pile of snow.
Dottie and Patrick Guinan from Boston also send greetings and wish they were in Florida like so many other neighbours.
From England Mary Smith from Leicester sends greeting and says that herself and her sister Fran are planning on coming over in the new year.
Agnes Keogh who once lived in Shannonbridge and is now working in Wexford is planning on spending Christmas in England with her brother but good news is that she plans to visit Shannonbridge on her way back to England.
For all those and for all you fans Frank Sinatra sang our wish for you on Late Date last night when he sang Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,

Friday, December 19, 2003

Phonecall last evening from Barry Brill Athlone enquiring about fishing in Shannonbridge. Barry and Joan are regular weekender visitors during the summer when Barry fishes for coarse fish but in the winter he concentrates on pike. Last weekend he fished Shannonharbour and had a lovely 17 pounder at the point where the River Brosna joins the canal. Recommended that he try along the first half mile at the River Suck mouth as Dublin Pike Anglers caught three pike over 20 pounds there two years ago just after Christmas. Gerry Casey has plans to go fishing with his Tipperary friend John. The good thing isthat all fish are returned alive to the water.
Saw a remark about keepnet use recently where they recommend using a keepnet to allow fish to calm down for an hour after being captured. I see some sense in this but none in the general custom of keeping fish in a keepnet for up to ten hours and then weighing them and taking a photograph and releasing them into the water. During the spawning time this is even a more horrible habit.
See where Shannon Fishery Board are planning an advertising campaign in Britait and if you want to be included you should contact them now.
Good to hear that Eamon Mc Manus attented their meeting and voiced the fact that the area around Shannonbridge has been more or less ignored as regards facilities and access for anglers. Anyone who has used the stiles and footpaths erectd years ago will agree and sometime if you are in Banagher or Portumna have a look at the bankside access and facilities.
Good to see Kuno the owner of Grouse Lodge over on a visit from Switzerland. This time a gentleman is travelling with him. Kuno tells us he is still Editor of a daily paper in Switzerland and it is going well with circulation and staff increased.
Some years ago Kuno bought Grouse Lodge and transformed it into a little palace.
Unfortunately the Boyos heard about it and broke in three times stealing a range, some classey kitchenware and again some furniture. Makes one sick.
Rehersals are in full swing for Carols on the Outside which will be performed outside the church after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Feel free to join in with the famous voices and this year at least wear some warm clothing and stand and listen to them.
Sad to hear of the tragic death of Madge Models founder Madge Flanagan in Athlone yesterday when she died after getting hit by a truck. Madge Keaveney married Tom Flanagan and was very helpful to Shannonbridge when she provided the clothing for a number of fund raising Fashin Shows using local girls and ladies as models.
May the Lord have mercy on her soul.
The Committee elected at the public meeting on 9th December held a meeting on last Wednesday night. Seems that the local radio Radio 3 have interviewed Noel Higgins and Councillor Connie Hanniffy about the issue both before and on the morning after the meeting. The Committee are preparing to meet the Offaly County Council as soon as they are available to stress that the graveyard extension be attached to Clonmacnois making use of the present roadways,parking and facilities. This was the message that came out loud and clear from the public meeting and if you wish to support their efforts come along to their next meeting or support their fundraising if required.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Last Monday Lotto draw in Doon winning numbers were 11, 16, 19, 26.
Seven supporters had three numbers each. So next Monday night the Jackpot will be 7600 Euros and the draw will be in Killeens.
Five Christmas Bonus prizes of 50 Euro each were drawn for and winners included Frank Guinan, Louise Killeen and Cam Finnerty.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Fiddle player required according to Jane Mooney last evening as their undertaker business has got a request for some fiddling during a scattering of ashes ceremony this week in Clonmacnois. Perhaps one of the Egan girls from Cloghan who are currently on a break from Riverdance and Lord of The Dance might provide the airs.
While writing some Christmas cards last evening in the shop I was just writing an address for Karen Sanders Roe from San Jose California when Sarah Price came in.
Showing the name to Sarah she immediately recognized Karen as one the the distant cousins. Back in 1998 Karen and her husband Chuck came to Shannonbridge on a family tree trail.Her grandfather was Frank Belton from the Navigation Office who emigrated to America ending up in California and dying there.Frank brought many happy memories of his youth in Shannonbridge with him and wrote a lovely poem called Memories of Shannonbridge which can be found under Famous People on this website. Anyhow Sarah Price's grandmother was a Belton and a sister of Frank, Paddy and Jimmy. Karen Noe met the Price family and Sarah tells us that she went to visit them in California a couple of years ago. Karen will be glad to know that Sarah is doing fine in her studies and recently passed her driving test.
The Memories of Frank might need some adjustment as The Strand just upstream from the quay wall has been incorporated into the carpark for the new floating jetty.

Monday, December 15, 2003


by Conor Killeen



Shannongaels fairytale run in this years Championship came to an end when they were defeated by St Michael’s (Rhode and St Bridgets) in the County final played in Geashill on Sunday last.

Shannongaels started the game well by winning lots of possession and creating lots of scoring chances. However, the unconverted scoring chances mounted up and so too did the wides.

The second half saw St Michael’s take far more control especially around the centre of the field and showed great fielding skills in this area.

Gaels Manager Colm Kenny said afterwards “ we did not lose this game, we were beaten.” The Shannonsiders can have no complaints as the east Offaly Men were simply just too strong.

The Gaels can take great heart from this campaign. They played eight games in a row and had thrilling games with Clara and gave great entertainment to their supporters during the year.

The lads wish to thank the management team of Colm Kenny, Christy Slevin, Roger Ryan, Fergal McEvoy and Enda Mulhare. Over the past three years Shannongaels have played 15 Championship games and have only been beaten twice, both times by Rhode. Impressive record by any standard!

Team Michael Hough, Ciaran Norton, Tomas Flatherty, Adrian Clancy, James Rafferty,Eamon Kelly, Kieran Flannery, Ger Rafferty, Jason Kelly (0-1) Martin Grogan (0-1), Pat McEntyre, Darren Finn, Donal Flatherty, Cathal Horan (1-0) Shane Kelly (0-1) Subs Paul Deeley and David Corbett.

The Shannongaels Club wish to thank all their sponsors who gave so generously during the past week.

Sincere Sympathy
The Shannonbridge GAA club wish to extend their sincere sympathy to the Murray and Duffy Families who both suffered bereavements during the past week.

There was no winner of last week’s lotto jackpot, which was €7,200. The numbers were 2,10,12 and 16. Congratulations to all our ten match three winners.

Happy Christmas
Shannonbridge GAA club wishes all Players, mentors, Officials, Supporters and Sponsors a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We wish to thank all who helped out over the year and we hope we have to have the same support in 2004.
Good news that work on lighting and pathways for the road leading to the power station are about to commence making it safer and more friendly for pedestrian and vehicle use. No word yet on the old road which tees off the road to the power plant and would make a lovely walkway and an access route to The Dalton Center from the village. The Dalton Center will have a wide variety of items connected with the electricity business in Ireland and is expected to open soon after the new power plant is built.
Steve and Liz Nell are a well known couple in the area having come on holiday for many years and then buying a cottage beside The Suck river at Creggane.Since they have a holiday home they often come over for visits from Steve's workplace in Sheffield. They are just about to finish their present visit and tell us that they will have more time to visit when they sell their business back in Sheffield in the next few weeks.
Steve loves to coarse fish and was very pleased with his catches on the jetties at Ballinasloe and Shannonbridge catching roach and hyrid and pike which are returned alive. On Saturday he mentioned that he always sees a kingfisher bird when he is out fishing and reckons there must be a lot of them around. The bird is featured on the Irish ten cent stamp and has a range of reds and blues coating with a fairly long beak.
The wife Liz is a dog lover and offers a safe home to abondoned dogs that are dropped off usually a few weeks after Christmas. At one time she had four dogs which were dropped off in Shannonbridge over a period. So the dropped off dogs group will be glad to hear that Steve and Liz will be over here more often in the future.
The Parish Newsletter mentios a useful website a support agency for people with depression.
The local Music Group under the tuition of Nicola Murray will give a recital after Mass on Saturday evening 20th Dec after Mass in the Parish Hall.
Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Got a calendar from the Holy Ghost Fathers, Kimmage Manor, Dublin 12. Maybe you might be interested in getting some friends involved and getting someone to sponsor a month, week or day for their worthy cause. Or stick the price of a drink or an item of food in their charity boxes.This way your money gets 100 % return to their cause.
Yesterday was the Annual Carol Service in Clonmacnois held at 4pm in the only church with a roof. It also has comfortable benches and heating which was appreciated by those attending. The Dean from Athlone and Father O Hanlon led us through a series of prayers and well known hymns such as Adeste, Long time ago, Away in a manger, The first Noel, Silent night, Come, come, come to the manger, Angels we have heard on high, Joy to the world,
Afterwards Tom Moore and his staff were our kind hosts in the Visitor Center where everybody was welcomed with hot punch, Irish Coffee, tea coffee and dainties and allowed to meet old and new friends. As we walked up from the church in the near dark I heard two ladies discussing the rip off in Christmas Cards being sold for various charities with the charity getting as little as 2 % of the takings. Its an old story
After Billy Duffy's funeral last evening we called in to see Michael John Coleman who has been in Portiuncula for a few weeks but is now in Tuohys Nursing Home about a mile down the Taughmaconnell road on the left at the brow of a hill. He looks great and is delighted that the Donegan family sent him in a wheelchair which allows him to get around the home and visit the smoking room.
The Friday night party got a damper with the news of the death of Billy Duffy of Clondelara on Friday evening.Billy had been sick in Portiuncula Hospital for the past few weeks with a heart complaint.His removal to Shannonbridge Church took place last evening with the burial in Clonmacnois today after Mass at noon. May he rest in peace.
Another funeral with local connections was that of Mrs Cox of Clononey whose remains went to High Street church last evening and the burial was in Banagher today after Mass at noon. Mrs Ned Hendricks and Mrs Seamus Taylor were daughters of the lady.
The Lord have mercy on her soul.
Friday night was party night for senior citizens which was a very well organized event by the Youth Club. It started at 6.30 in the old church with Mass celebrated by Father O Hanlon with everybody sitting at table something like the Last Supper. After Mass Tom and his staff from The Bog Oak served up a tradional turkey and ham dinner with dessert tea or coffee and special Christmas cake prepared by Maureen Thornhill.
After dinner theyouth who are learning various wind instruments put the icing on the cake with an assortment of well prepared tunes and carols.
Tables were removed and the room made ready for dancing with music provided by a member of The Indians which people remembered playing at the Shannonbridge Carnival in the late Seventies when 2,500 people filled the marquee.
The music continued to nearly midnight with songs from Rose Ryan Pat Keohane Mick Killeen and Chrissie Reynolds. Pauric Henry stole the show with his rendition of "Is this the way to Amerillo" Tom and Lena Turley were wondering if Tom and Margaret Carty would make the trip but alas they did'nt. If you had a chance to attend and did not come along well you missed out.A great night and well done to all concerned in the organizing.
The Shannonbridge Library will be on holiday until 8th January 03. Many thanks to Carmel Moore Ferbane for two boxes of books and to Oliver Hilliard for some books on fishing and Charlie Haugheys millions.
The annual Penitential Services with a Carol Service takes place Friday 19th December in Clonfinlough at 7pm and in Shannonbridge at 8pm.
St Michaels beat our Shannon Gaels yesterday by five points.More later.

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Just to let you all know that the under 21 Football Championship Final is on tomorrow, Sunday 14th December in Geashill. Its Shannon Gaels (us and St Rynaghs) against St Michaels (Rhode and Croghan). Come along, bring some friends and your best shouting voice. Come on the Gaels.

Friday, December 12, 2003

There is a Daycare Center near the Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe where each day people are brought in for the day and in pleasant surroundings enjoy a chat, play games, are fed and can avail of a bath and have hair, nails and a clatter of other items attended to. Sister alocoque runs the show with a lot of help from volunteers and workers. So yesterday Louise and Colin Killeen and Ciara Finn went along for a few hours to entertain the Thursday group with their music and singing and they were delighted with the welcome and response they received with many of those attending dancing and singing along.A grand few hours.
The local paper The Offaly Independent this week has a story of two swans having fatal accidents at the bridge in Athlone last week.Seems the swans flew into cables on the bridge. On Tuesday night a swan was on the middle of the street in Shannonbridge and Rose and Declan Ryan checked it out and found it to be all right.
The Midland Tribune the local paper based in Birr carries a notice this week that it is to be taken over by a group that have a number of local papers under their wing. Lets hope this is not a swan song for The Tribune.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

One of the Polish workers at the new Power Plant was telling us last evening that he collects matchboxes.There were a few Maguire and Patterson boxes showing Irish scenic views of castles, crosses etc which he was delighted with. When we gave him a Village Tavern matchbox he examined it and pointed out the "Made in Poland" printed on the label.
Shannonbridge is in the news this week on account of a large 180 tonnes Generator being transported by road from Dublin to Shannonbridge.It will take five days to cover the 93 miles and last night it reached Rochfordbridge. The load moves at ten to fifteen miles per hour and is causing tailbacks. Every four miles it stops to relieve the traffic and care is needed passing overhead cables as the load is high and sometimes the cables require lifting. It is expected to arrive in Shannonbridge tomorrow Thursday.
The Parish Bulletin this week tells us "Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have ". It also has The Way of the World which goes -
Laugh, and the world laughs with you,
Weep, and you weep alone,
For the brave old earth must borrow its mirth -
But has trouble enough of its own.
Sing and the hills will answer,
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes rebound to a joyful sound
And shrink from voicing care.
------Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Tomorrow Thursday is the day for the annual ESB Christmas Dinner which will be prepared by The Bog Oak Restaurant and served in the Power Station Canteen.
Friday night is the Christmas Party presented by the Youth Club for the Senior Citizens.
This will take place in the Shannonbridge Community Centre and once again Tom from The Bog Oak will be producing more of his magical food.
The meeting concerning a new Graveyard for Clonmacnois Parish took place in Shannonbridge Community Hall last night and 28 people attended including Councillors Connie Hanniffy and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy. The Councillors had attended a meeting with Offaly Council and Archeologists from Dept of Local Government.
Interesting figures given that there are about six funerals from the parish each year out of a total of about 24 funerals. A committee was formed.
Michael Greene tells us that in Boston where he is based they had 18 to 24 inches of snow recently and he forwarded a picture of a JCB clearing snow from a driveway.
Some cousins John Toher and Deirdre Fahy were caught up in the snow last week when they went to visit the Flannerys and Monaghans their cousins in Boston and to do a bit of shopping. The JCB would be useful for getting around.
Monday Lotto numbers were 2, 10, 12, 16. Ten had three of the winning numbers
four from Shannonbridge area and six from Doon.
Next Monday the Jackpot will be 7400 Euro and will feature the first of the Christmas Giveaways. Twelve lucky contestants will get a bonus of 50 Euro each seperate from the draw.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Shannonbridge GAA Notes

Conor Killeen reports


Under 21 Football Championship

Shannongaels 2-6
St Manchans 1-4

After eight Championship games Shannongaels finally reached the County Final after defeating St Manchans (Ballycumber/ Tubber) in Pullaugh on Sunday last.
Shannongaels had too much scoring power for the B/T Men in a very entertaining Semi final.

With Cathal Horan turning in a Man of the Match performance at full forward,
Shannongaels were always in control of this game from start to finish.

Horan, who seems to be improving with every game, his ball winning skills provided for his goal and point. Horan was well assisted upfront by Donal Flatherty who also scored a crucial goal.

This was the best all round performance by the Gaels half forward line all of whom scored from play. Midfield was an area Jason Kelly and Ger Rafferty were always going to control.

Best of the back line was Thomas Flatherty and Kieran Flannery, while Michael (Chesty) Hough was very solid in goal.

The Gaels will be hoping to have a break of two weeks before facing St Michael’s of Rhode and St Bridgets in the County Final, but the lads could be called into action this weekend to decide the final.

Shannongaels will fight to the bitter end to take this title home for a second time in three years after coming through such a tough Championship Campaign.

The Gaels will put out a rallying call to their loyal supporters to get behind for this final. Check fixtures for further details.

Team Michael Hough, Kieran Norton, Adrian Clancy, Kieran Flannery, Eamon Kelly, James Rafferty, Jason Kelly (0-2), Ger Rafferty, Martin Grogan(0-1), Pat McEntyre(0-1), Darren Finn(0-1), Donie Flatherty(1-0), Cathal Horan (1-1), Shane Kelly. Subs Shane Flannery and Conor Martin.

Ferbane Community School Play Tullow in the Leinster Football semi final in Portlaoise this Friday. The Shannonbridge Club wishes the best of luck to Kieran Coucklan, Alan Gunning, Shane and Kieran Flannery, Rory O’ Connor, Paul Deeley and David Corbett.

Shannonbridge GAA golf society enjoyed a great day out on Saturday last. The scramble Winners was Shane Kelly, Trevor Mahon and Harry Kearns. Thanks to Jim Killeen for organising the event.

Lotto €7,200
Last weeks lotto numbers were 1, 5, 16 and 27. Congratulations to our two match three winners. All long term lotto ticket sellers are asked to have their tickets handed in by Friday.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Yesterday Shannon Gaels lined out for their third match against Saint Manchans or
Ballycumber and won by five points. This qualifies them to meet Rhode in the final.
A meeting will be held in the Community Hall, Shannonbridge
on Tuesday 9th December @ 8pm concerning a new Graveyard
for Clonmacnois Parish. All are welcome.
Background to this is that Offaly County Council in recent weeks
have been advertising looking for suitable land for a graveyard.
The location for this new graveyard is of concern to some people.
Hence the meeting tomorrow night. I am even missing a card night
to go to the meeting.
Oliver Hilliard shares his recipe for Dublin Toast.
Use thick slices of bread buttered on both sides.
Add black pepper on each side to taste.
Put under grill and watch it.
Then you can eat it when cooked to your liking.
The new Lotto Jackpot for 7000 Euro remained unwon last Monday night with only Pat Corbett and Geraldine Darcy ( Huberts) selecting three of the winning numbers which were 1, 5, 16, 27. Tonights jackpot is for 7200 Euro in Lukers.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

Heard from Dottie Guinan from Boston who visited here last year tracing family roots.
Her great grandfather William Guinan along with his wife Catherine nee Downey left for Boston in 1882. They lived in Correen. During her visit with her son Patrick they met Tom Guinan near Guinan;s Bridge and its pretty likely they are related.Guinans Bridge is the turning off point for Athlone two miles from the Shannonbridge.
On her visit she saw the library and wonders if she can send some books over.Suggested to her that members of the Roscommon Club in Boston may be willing to transport some books when they are coming over.
Hope to see Dottie and her son Patrick back this way again.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

An interesting collection of national and provincial papers can be found under the website Headlines from the daily papers are given and also a number of interesting local papers such as Westmeath Offaly, Offaly Independent and Midland Tribune Roscommon Herald and Champion. Have a look.

Monday, December 01, 2003





Shannongaels got off to an explosive start when they rocked St Manchans, the Ballycumber/ Tubber outfit with three first half goals. The first goal came from a penalty, which Jason Kelly converted.

Then up stepped Cathal Horan and Donal Flatherty to score a goal each to leave the score 3 –4 to 0-5 at the break. Shannongaels completely dominated the first half with Michael Hough doing the business in goal.

In the back line Eamon Kelly and Thomas Flatherty were dominant. Jason Kelly was winning lots of possession in Midfield, while up front young Donal Flatherty was a Menace to the B/T defence.

The Second half saw Shannongaels lose grip around the half forward line and B/T capitalised on this and launched attack after attack and reduced the Hoops lead to just four points.

The 55th minute saw Rory Guinan of St Manchans go down after an accidental collision. It was later found that Rory had seriously damaged ligaments in his neck. The Ambulance was then called and the game was abandoned.

Guinan was later discharged from Hospital and is said to be doing fine. The Shannongaels Club wish him a speedy recovery. The replay will take place this weekend, come out and support your team, check fixture list for further details.

Team Michael Hough, Willie Kenna, Thomas Flatherty, Adrian Clancy, Kieran Flannery,Eamon Kelly, James Rafferty,Jason Kelly, Ger Rafferty, Martin Grogan, Pat McEntyre, Darren finn, Donal Flatherty,Cathal Horan and Shane Kelly, Reps Kieran Norton and Philip Egan.

The Doon/ Shannonbridge GAA lotto jackpot of 17,200 was won last week Congratulations to all our nine match four Winners. The Jackpot has started again at 7,000.

Eamon Mahon was confirmed as manager of the Shannonbridge Senior team for the coming Year. Eamon has a long association with the Club and was Manager in 1996 when Shannonbridge won their first Senior County title.

The Club and Players are looking forward to the coming year and will be hoping to build on the Junior Success of this Year.

Shannonbridge GAA Golf society hold their first outing of the year which will be held in Ballinasloe Golf Club this coming Saturday. There are limited Places available if you wish to take part please contact Jim Killeen @ 086 8181 729.

Membership Due
Membership is now due; anyone who wishes to become a Member of the Club must pay an annual fee of €15 to registrar Declan McEvoy. Membership entitles you to a say within the Club and also increases your Chance of getting a ticket for an All-Ireland Final.

Surfs Up
The Shannonbridge contingent of Michael Cunney, Colin Killeen and Michael Thornhill represented Offaly in the inter-County Surf Championship held in Donegal last Weekend.

The Faithful County Men were pipped at the post by the Coastal Veterans Donegal who took the national title.
The hard training on the Shannon as can be seen in our picture gallery paid off at the weekend as Mike Cunney, Mike Thornhill our web designer and Colin Killeen braved the Atlantic shores in Donegal to represent Offaly in the All Ireland Surf Championships to finish in seventh spot. Water was a bit more difficult to manage than the pull of the outboard motor on the Shannon but they have inproved position in the last three finals. It is only a matter of time until the right sponsor comes along and the All Ireland will we hope be held on the Shannon. Times are changing as Mike Cunney said.
The Shannongael football saga continued on Saturday in their replay against Ballycumber. With only a couple of minutes remaining and the Gaels leading by five points one of the Ballycumber players fell and became unconcious. An ambulance was called and the game was called off. Good news is the player was allowed home from the hospital after examination.
The parish newsletter yesterday had an appeal for replies to invitations sent out for the Christmas Party to help them organize the food.Tel 087 - 2410587.
The High Street / Belmont Womens Group hosted a very successful Gala Night of Entertainment in aid of the Offaly Hospice last night in High Street hall. Jimmy Mooney and me were travelling back from Mullingar and met a stream of cars between Ferbane and High Street.
The Annual Carol Service in Clonmacnois takes place on Sunday 14th Dec @ 4pm. All are welcome and hopefully will get a glass of punch to oil their throats.
Feastdays this week are Saint Francis Xavier on Wed 3rd and Siant John Damascene on Thursday 4th.
Mentioned on Thursday that a group in Moore were preparing John Joe Grenham's book on Moore for the printer. This morning the news of the death of John Joe Grenham arrived.Check the paper for funeral arrangements as it appears his remains will be removed from the house on the morning of the funeral for the funeral Mass with burial immediately afterwards.May the Lord have mercy on his soul.
Joe Burke tells us that there is a mission in Moore this week and the Mission Mass this morning at 7.00 a.m. had a full church attending.