Thursday, February 26, 2004

Go to the photo gallery for a new photo. That's quite a big fish!
George Brent and Lucille Ball star in Lover Come Back on Sky Cinema 2 tomorrow at
12.55pm with a repeat later in the day. Runtime 105 minutes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Ollie Daly was telling us about a series of religious discussions called ALFA which commence in the Girls School Ferbane on Monday next March 1st from 8 to 10pm and will continue every Monday night for a number of weeks.
Rumours abound that a building contractor is planning to build about 15 houses about a mile from the village on the Ballinasloe road.
Good news from the meeting yesterday morning when over twenty people attended a coffee morning and once again Liz Duffy and Catriona Slattery had the Community Hall heated and tea coffee and prelental goodies prepared. Nick Devery from Midland Health Board attended and it was decided to elect a chairperson (Kieran Kelly) and secretary ( Kaye Fitzpatrick).
After the meeting Nick Devery went along with Pat Keoghan to have a look at the Library as he very kindly arranged the room for the library when it was started last year and was pleased with the progress.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Things change around the village and the old BP pumps and base were removed last week and the tanks made safe.
Right about now the Active Retirement Group are having a coffee get together after Mass in the Community Hall and hope more people come along.
Good to see Pat Killeen up and around and feeling well after her five weeks in Harolds Cross.
Somebody saw Violet Brennan in the shopping center in Tullamore last week and hope she keeps in touch with Shannonbridge.
For Lent why not read a few books.Come along to the Library in the health center every Thursday night between 7n9pm.
Have you ever attended a concert or musical show and felt that the cast deserved a standing ovation. Well that's how I felt last night in the Town Hall Ballinasloe when West Side Story was ending. But like hundreds more in the audience I just sat on my bum and clapped. If you attend the show this week and have the same feeling then be brave enough to get to your feet and thank the group. Noticed an imbalance in the numbers of The Jets and The Sharks the two rival gangs involved on stage and found out afterwards that at the opening matinee on Sunday two of the cast got injured in the gang battle and ended up in hospital. Have an enjoyable night out.
Better book in the Credit Union to be sure of getting in.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Susanne Brent snds greetings to her relations and friends in the area and hopes that herself and her brother Barry will be able to make a trip from California this autumn. They are the children of George Brent.
Good to hear that Brendan Killeen is back at the computer game again. After a bit of practise he might be interested in working on this website. Remember the offer is there for others nearer to home to add your comments. Hopefully we will have the problem page and bird news on stream very soon.
Joe Vaughan was laid to rest yesterday morning and his ten children were present. After the funeral a friend took about twenty family members for a trip on the Shannon from Banagher to Shannonbridge and they stayed in Shannonbridge for a couple of hours remembering different aspects of Joe's life. The one I liked was when Joe's wife and a neighbour were wheeling their babies out in Birr and two men at the corner saw them. One asked the other who were the babies. His pal replied that one was ready made but the other was tailor man.
Yesterday afternoon about fifteen people answered the call to talk about the idea of having an Active Retirement Group in the village. Among the items suggested were bowls, outings, dancing, walking, boat trips, coffee mornings, talks, local history, helping other groups and meeting people and having a chat. The Youth Group prepared a very welcoming fire in the old vestry and Catriona Slattery and Liz Duffy had tea and dainties waiting when the meeting was over. And there's more. The group decided to have a coffee morning next week after Mass and publish the details on the Parish Bulletin this Sunday.
Peggy Byrnes just celebrated her birthday and one of the highlights of the day was to see the arrival of the Barbara Hill Florist delivery van and see it park outside Patricia Casey's house. Then to see Patricia having to direct the girl with the magnificent bouquet of Lilies to Peggy;s door. Johnny was getting a bit suspicious to see the garland of Peggy's favourite flowers arriving so he checked the greeting card and found they were from Shauna and Sinead Coleman in Sydney the two girls who visited here last year. Its the thought that counts.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Wednesday night table quiz is getting better with two tables getting 74 out of 80 last night and another group right on their tails. It took two tie breakers to sort them out. The local tourist office funds got 187 Euro after the night.
Sticking your foot in it seems to come easy to me. Last evening I answered the phone and an English voice enquired about vacant datesin the self catering. While getting the folder I asked if he was doing any fishing. Paddy told me he does not fish as he has only one arm. He takes photographs and you may remember him from last year.Look out for him at the end of July.
Good to see Steve and Liz Nell over from Sheffield for a few weeks. Steve arrived yesterday and linked up with Tony Ellis for a go at the fishing in the bay where the new jetty is located. Using dead roach Tony caught a 14 pound pike in prime condition which was released alive and well.
Steve was telling us that he has sold his business in Sheffield and we can expect to see even more of the Nells in the future. When looking for a ferry ticket for this trip he was quoted at £280 sterling. The next day he saw special prices advertised by the same ferry company at £80 so he bought three tickets for different trips. Dave and Paulien Kemp called in to see them on their way back from visiting their son Michael in Leicester.
Regular California visitors to Shannonbridge Ken and Betty Smith tell us that they are just back from a 25 day visit to New Zealand.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Shannonbridge GAA notes

by Conor Killeen

League begins
Shannonbridge Junior and senior Footballers will open there league campaigns this coming weekend when the Juniors will take on Erin rovers in Shannonbridge on Saturday.

While the seniors will take on neighbours Ferbane in an away tie on Sunday. Ferbane will be in Shannonbridge's Championship group for the coming year and this will be a good test for the bridge men.

Both games have a 3.30 throw in. Come out and support your local team.

Well done
Shannonbridge GAA club congratulate all the players from the Club who were involved with the Offaly vocational Schools team who beat Kildare last weekend.

Tribute to Jim Rogers
Talking to Micheal O Murihurtaigh the famous GAA commentator recently he paid a great tribute to the retired Garda of the Village Jim Rogers. Micheal described Jim as a great footballer of his time

"I remember his many fine displays he gave for Wicklow and the great performances he gave in the Railway cup Championship when he played for Leinster." said the legendary GAA broadcaster.
Big news for the area yesterday was the immediate closure of two of the Boiler / Turbine units at the old power plant and the remaining unit to shut down by the end of the month. This was a change in plan from a final shutdown in June. It was like a wake last evening as Unit 1 stopped after 40 years service. The new West Offaly power plant is scheduled to come on load before the end of the year.
Joe Vaughan was a well known Tailor in Birr and a Gentleman all his life.Joe has just passed away in his early eighties.May he rest in peace.
The Irish Catholic this week has an interesting article on Psalms with the catchy title - "Pray it again Psalm".
Saw on the weekend supplement that Sky have a couple of George Brent films scheduled for this week with the first today at 4.00pm on Sky Cinema 1. Reckoment a look at Secret Sights at 7.00pm on RTE1 this evening judging by some photos of places visited as shown on The Irish Times. Includes The Nun's Chapel at Clonmacnois etc.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Got two lovely photographs from Tom Coulson today showing him in his favourite position- sitting by the river unhooking a fish and then showing the camera a fine perch.All that was missing was the pipe and his Valentine girl Vicky.
Reminder for you about the Active Retirement Group meeting on Thursday 19th February at 2:30pm in Shannonbridge Community Hall and bring someone with you.
Margaret Carty was telling us that she went to visit Pat yesterday before she came to Shannonbridge and she was not in her room or in the smoke room or in the chapel where a Mass was in progress so she reckoned that someone had taken her out. And she was right as Louise had picked her up and taken her for a drive.
Margaret had her grandson Tomas Cartaig with her who is eight years old and has a bundle of jokes which the country people do'nt understand. Tomas lives in Phibsboro and attends third class in Colaiste Mhuire in Parnell Square. He has two sisters Elaine and Laura who Tomas says is the best looking one. His favourite teacher is Brian O Toole and he has two Grannies.
He has no favourite Granny as he says he does not like either of them. Eugene Carty his uncle in Boston escaped with a no comment. Tomas was unable to explain that he was playing soccer in an Irish speaking school.Told us that a man had an accident and the Garda asked him what gear he was in. The man answered truthfully that he was in blue jeans with a leather jacket and a red polo necked shirt. Watch out Brendan Grace.
Many people from the area attended the removal and burial of Brian Wynne at Arigna last weekend. Brian was a brother of Eileen Keena from Aughnacabe and was a regular visitor to these parts while visiting his sister over the years.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul and may he rest in peace.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Good to see that some work is planned for Clononey Castle and the development is taking account that it is an historic building
The table quiz in Killeens on Wednesday night will be in aid of funds for the tourist office in Shannonbridge.
Good reports from the Ferbane School production of Godspell running this week in Ferbane Town Hall.
Fishing service from Central Fisheries for this area will be provided by the Roscommon based group led by Karen Griffin with lots of help from John Killelea and P.J. Karen and John visited the area today and will prepare a development plan. They intend to also check out old stiles and footbridges.
Contact number for Karen is 087-2266735.
The big bird news today is that The Falcons are back and using the special boxes erected for them on the east side of the present power station.Expect the first of a series of short reports on how smaller birds are behaving around the area and in particular Dec and Rose's back garden.Comments from others are always welcome.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Good to see that Joseph Kenny is making plans to build a new house at Cloniff while over in Raghera Beg Aidan Carry has a great clean up job carried out on the site and hedges and road where he is going to build a new house on the site of The O'Brien homestead methinks.
Some snowdrops this year have developed extra long shanks and look more robust than normal. Noticed about twelve daffodils that were gathered raw a few days ago are developing fast and almost ready to bloom.
Water levels have eased back but there is still a flood. Temperature of the Shannon went up almost 3C in a week to 6.8 C. Lots of free weather info under The Irish Times website at
Expect some bird notes here very soon.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Last night Theresa Breslin was telling us that Ferbane Bridge Club host their 30th Open Bridge competition in the Grand Hotel Moate next Sunday 15th February.
Theresa has a fantastic memory and told us that for the first event held in the Shamrock Lodge there was an entry of 84 pairs or 42 tables. Cost of entry for the two sessions was £1 and the ESB and Irish Life were sponsors. Marie Gleeson from Athlone was Tournament Director and there was such an entry that a Mr.Jackson from Dublin was brought along to run the event. The winners got a carved crystal bowl each and there were numerous other prizes.
Shannonbridge's Robert Kenny has started an Apprenticeship with Bord na Mona last week and will be based in Blackwater with various study periods in Cork and Dublin. Robert is a son of Joe and Patricia Kenny Saint Kierans Park and sister of Lorraine. Wishing him well in his chosen career.
Another local man Gerry Casey, who se speciality is preparation, planning and maintenance of gardens lawns hedges and shrubs is just about to blossom forth offering his services to one and all.Look out for the little white van and the distinctive workwear.
This week Lotto numbers were 7, 9, 14, 28. A dozen people had three numbers correct, six from Doon and six from Shannonbridge. Next week the draw takes place in The Bog Oak for a Jackpot of 9,200 Euro.
Shannonbridge GAA hosted their first match under lights last night when the Offaly under 21s played Athlone I.T. That's Institute of Technology in short.
Local boy Jason Kelly is on the Offaly under 21 panel and Shannonbridge were pleased when his team won by five points.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Some facilities on this site remain out when you select them. When setting up the web it was a decision to make a charge to make business sites come alive. A number of these have promised to come live. Is it worthwhile ?
Why not let the sites know if you found them here in the first instant and let us know as well. Do you have something to let people know about ?
We may be in for a summer of Spanish music by the time Mick and his friend Ben get back from six days in Barcelona where the weather is a pleasant 57F and the city is beautiful. Moby is missing his regular walker and got his revenge by dragging me around the village last night.
Buffalo arrived in Shannonbridge last night recognizable by the bearded face.
This was a two legged variety from Boston Buffalo William Connolly or Buff to his friends such as Michael Green. He was travelling with a regular visitor John Murphy and seemed to be on a pilgrimage of old monasteries having come from Glencolmcille in Donegal yesterday and are hitting Clonmacnois today.
Fast follow up to the birds comment yesterday from Lorraine in Pottstown who says the birds are most likely putting forth their song because Spring is not too, too far off. Many birds,even though they form into flocks during the winter,will start to stake out their territories for the nesting season. They do this by singing as a warning to others of their species to "stay away,this place belongs to me". Talked to someone last night who promised to report on bird behavior in their back yard plus regularly.
While visiting Pat on Sunday the lady sharing the ward ,Lily,told us about telling it to the bees. There is a custom in Ireland that when the death of a dear one occurs it is recommended to tell it to the bees. Lily lives in Sandycove and has some land. When her husband died they had bees on their property but then they disappeared.Some friend told her that she should have told the bees about the death.

Monday, February 09, 2004

See on this weeks Parish Newsletter that the Shannonbridge-Clonmacnois Women's Group are holding a meeting tomorrow night in Clonfinlough Hall @8.30pm to discuss the setting up and running of a one act play.
There is also a special community meeting regarding the setting up of an Active Retirement Group or similar organisation in Shannonbridge.This meeting is on Thursday the 19th February in Shannonbridge Community Hall commencing at 2.30pm. The newsletter is hoping for a representative from every household.
Yesterday Jim Mooney and his son Vincent went to Leopardstown Races and I availed of a lift to Dublin to see Pat who is in good form and hopes to be home for next weekend. As I walked out the road to meet the Mooneys there was a full orchestra of birds singing in chorus.Thought it would be great if someone who knows their birds would share some of what is happening in the bird kingdom on an ongoing basis. Will keep asking.
The wedding took place on Friday in Glenamaddy district of Gabriel Mitchell and Catherine Cummins with the reception in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel where a great evening was had by all. Gabriel is son of Tommy and Maureen Mitchell who live beside the Bog Rail Tour and Catherine is from Glenamaddy. They will live at Tanvey on Gabriel's late grandfather Ta Mitchell s homestead. Wishing them all the best in the future.
Friday was Birthday time for John Deeley, Saint Kieran's Park. John celebrated his 21st on Friday night in the Bog Oak. He is a son of John and Dolly Deeley. Congratulations John.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Reminder that the Library is open on Thursday night 7 to 9. Do drop in soon.
Found an interesting book on Wartzburg there last night with photographs of Saint Killin's Cathedral and one of a statue dedicated to him in the city. Killeen - or in Irish Cillin went from Clonmacnois to Germany around the 9th century after being consecrated a Bishop by the Pope and settled in Wartzburg. Remember P.C. Molloys lecture mentioned on Jan 14th.
Owen O Neill a worker on the building of the new power plant at Shannonbridge was killed instantly on Tuesday evening when a piece of equipment used for carrying fell into a large opening. Owen was the driver of the machine and after parking it had gone down into the opening to help unload the piece of equipment he had just delivered.
Owen (37) was from North Gate Street in Athlone and was unmarried. His funeral takes place today.May he rest in peace.
Today is First Friday and as usual there is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in Shannonbridge Church until evening Mass. Father Chrity O Connor invites everyone to stop off for a visit to the church sometime today.
Yesterday was Catherina Slattery's birthday and her friends turned out to help celebrate the occasion with Colin Mark and Ciora providing the easy sounds.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Glad to see that The Fort Restaurant are open again after their Christmas break. Thinking about using the Fort on Valentines Night ?. Best check their page under Restaurants.
Yesterday was birthday time for Bridie Carry who opted to celebrate it with Peggy Byrnes and Kathleen Price at the Wednesday table quiz. She blew out the candles and everyone sang Happy Birthday. Mick Mary and self were trying to get her to come along to the Phil Coulter Show in Athlone but she chose the quiz.
She missed a great night but we were back in time for the blow. Nancy Ward was at the show and also celebrating her birthday so Coulter got everyone to sing for her.
Rang Pat a couple of times on the mobile and got that Eircom message "The party you are calling is aware etc. Has Margaret Carty set it up ?
River has a pretty high flood and Brendan Mundy a new man from the Shannon Fisheries came along today and on his first visit needed all his imagination working to figure out the path of the river. Contactable at Birr 0509 - 21756

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Good to hear that Gerry Casey is making his services available to help solve any problems in your gardens and lawns and shrubbery. Look out for the little white van and give Gerry a shout.
Shannonbridge Youth Club appear to be getting good turnouts at their meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Community Centre starting at 7.30 pm.
Lotto results for the past two weeks for you.
On January 26th the winning numbers in the Shannonbridge/Doon Lotto were 4, 5, 7, 27. Seven people had three winning numbers but the Jackpot survived.
Last night 2nd February the numbers drawn were 3, 13, 26, 28.

nobody had four numbers and the Jackpot next week is 9000 Euro.
Consolation prizes for three numbers were awarded to Teresa Hanson Athlone and Rosie Hanniffy, Sean Egan and Mary Ballisty from Doon.
The milkman told us this morning about Belmont Post Office having a break in on Friday night last and an angle grinder being used on the safe. Feel sorry for Betty Kelly the Postmistress.

Monday, February 02, 2004

When forwaring the money from the table quiz to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart P.O. Box 23 Cork we asked them to let us know where the money was going to be used. Father Michael O Connell wrote back to say the 246 plus Euros will be used to support projects in South Africa for families affected by the AIDS epedemic. Some shocking facts on an attachment. One that struck home was when a group of children were asked by a teacher to draw on paper where they saw themselves in 20 years time. Over 90% of them drew a tombstone.... they expected to be dead from AIDS.
20 EURO will care for an orphan for one month. Have you a group that can organize a benefit night for them soon ???
Good to see Dot Bailey dancing to the music last night and leading a group of Polish workers from the power plant in a merry dance.
Peggy Byrne's twin sister Maura and her husband Eoin Argue and their daughter Fiona arrived at the weekend on their way to an Irish Dancing Feis in Ennis. Eoin and Maura own The Nithsdale Hotel in Sanquhar Scotland near Dumfries and never heard of Ayton the homeplace of Frater and Gunn.
Contact them if you are in Scotland at 01659-50506 and enjoy.
Table Quiz this Wednesday is for Tidy Towns funds starting to assemle around 9.30 in Killeens.Form a table or just sit and listen.
Yesterday after Mass Patrick Kenny was in and Pat Killeen was telling him that she was half expecticg Doc and Dick and the new dog to call in on their way back from celebrating two birthdays - Robert Cunney and Donal Flanagan.
Patrick was recalling years ago when Robert and Frank Kelly and Maurice and about three other medical students including a girl were spending a weekend in Shannonbridge around their final exams and staying in Pat's Bungalow.
Patrick had a good pair of wellingtons on and he limped over to the group asking if they might ease his pain. He told them he had a terrible sore foot and he thought it was caused by an ingrown toenail. They asked to see the toe but Patrick said he had not changed his socks for months and refused to take off the boot. All he wanted he pleaded was for one of them to write out a prescription to get something to ease the pain. They explained that they were not yet qualified and were not able to write out a prescription.
"Am'nt I waisting me time so"said Patrick and hobbled back across the street
Tom and Violet Brennan were a quite couple who retired from working in England some years ago and bought a house once owned by Ned and Brigie Cassidy. They did not have a car and the lack of public transport got to them.
Recently they sold the house to Martin Donegan and on Saturday started the return trip to England stopping off for a few weeks with a daughter in Portarlington. Wishing them the very best and sorry Shannonbridge was not a suitable choice.
Pat Killeen was home for the weekend and returned to the clinic in Dublin this morning.
Expect to see a photo of John Gleeson's monster pike in the photo gallery soon. Weighing over 28 lbs the pike was caught and released on 23rd December. Oliver Darcy was viewing the recent photograph of himself and the Gander and Goose on a printout and said he was the prettiest of the three.
Rose Glennon and her friend Joan Carty were at Bingo in Athlone last night and Rose won the Jackpot of 500 Euro. As usual they called into Shannonbridge and celebrated. Rose told us that she ran out of Moore Lotto tickets which might be a reflection on her sponsoring a round of drinks.