Thursday, April 29, 2004

The Active Retirement Group are going on an outing to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park on Tuesday 11th May and 24 people are going so far. Still room for you but hurry and contact Kay Fitzpatrick at 090-9674256. The original trip to Birr and Kinnitty Castles has been canelled and Bunratty chosen instead.
Comment last night from two regular visitors to Shannonbridge.They said that Shannonbridge looked very well except the approach road from Ballinasloe requires a good looking at as the grass and shrubs and trees are badly in need of attention.
Whats new.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Two Belgian anglers were telling us last night that they were part of a group of five anglers that caught almost 200 pike last October and they were quite pleased to have caught 37 Pike yesterday on their own.The full group are returning in October. Naturally
they returned the fish alive.
Good to hear from Ciara and Sarah from Capetown. See below. Mary B is back.
Last night was the night to attend The Legends of Swing in the Dean Crowe Theatre in Athlone for a tribute concert devoted to Sinatra, Crosby and Judy Garland. Composed of three singers and a five piece backing group that gave us two hours of many well known hits. Enjoyable. During the intermission went to visit Sean Fitzsimons over in Seans Bar which is about 100 yards from the theatre. Small crowd that included Paddy Kavanagh and wife and Joe Byrne and wife. Joe Byrne plays trumpet and he was telling us that a German visitor that heard his group playing in Shannonbridge and subsequently hired them to come to Germany to play at a function for his employees, well Joe heard that this German died suddenly yesterday and Joe and Robbie Finn are planning to attend his funeral in two weeks time. Say a prayer for his soul.
The Periguine Falcons are producing the goods and have used one of the special boxes fixed on the outer east wall of the old power plant to lay five eggs. Sean Lowry was talking to an falcon expert who claims that the nesting boxes are the equivalent of a five star hotel as the falcons like to nest on a cliff side with an uninterupted view. The boxes are about 120 Foot above the ground and the menu is spread out in front with a choice of rabbit, crow, pigeon, a variety of wild duck, mice and rats included. There is one box empty and available.
Some Polish and Turkisk workers at the new power plant went away recently, some to work at a new power plant to be located at Tynagh and some Polish welders returned home. Somebody said today that there were 600 people still working on site with work going well and possible first smoke for testing in June.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Greetings from Capetown!!!

Well we arrived here safe and sound yesterday morning. I found the flight from london to here pretty awful, it was just far too long for me. I must have some sort of disorder, i couldn't handle having to sit for that long. Of course every so often we got up to stretch those muscles but my god, 11hrs 45mins is far too long on a plane, talk bout being claustrophobic! i really thought i was going to have a nervous breakdown. and of course myself and pricey were the only two on the plane who couldn't sleep for the whole flight. We drifted off for half and hour but it was just bad. now the complaining is out of the way - capetown is just magnificent!!
The scenery is just fantastic - the mountains are so breathtaking it's unreal. we've been staying in a hotel just for the first 3 days, on beach road in sea point. we'll be in a hostel thursday night. we haven't ventured to the beaches yet but i don't care, we will in time. When we walk accross the road from the hotel, we're met by the most magnificent view, the sea. The waves are so big, they come crashing in against the rocks, coly killeen would be in his element with a surfboard. I'm just so amazed by how beautiful it is here, It's only day 2 of our trip and i've nearly 5 films used up already.
The people here are so friendly, everybody is so polite and helpful - always telling you about how not to be ripped off, the places to go. it just goes on - the people are just incredible.
It's so cheap here which is a major bonus - the important stuff - bottles of beer are the equivalent of 1 Euro, pints 2 euro. sarah was delighted to learn that 20 fags are the equivalent of between 1 and 2 euro !! I'm still off them, 4 weeks today and i'm still soooooo proud of myself!!!!

Its a public holiday here today, Freedom Day, they're celebrating the 10th anniversary. I felt glad to be here today. It was quite fitting that we chose today to go to Robbens Island - for those who don't know, its the island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for years. It's about 20mins by boat from water point, quite a nice area, out to the island - then you're given a bus tour around the island. you're shown all the buildings of the time and the leper graveyards and everything, there's just too much to mention. The guides including the drivers are so passionate it's unreal. during the tour you stop for a break and it's from here that you have the most amazing view of capetown. (don't worry - i got a photo). After the bus tour you go for a guided tour of the political prisioners prison. The amazing thing about this is that our tour guide was actually a prisoner there himself for 6 years. All the guides for the prison were prisioners themselves. We got to see Nelson Mandelas cell (got a photo of that too). we got to see aswell the room where our guide shared with 60 others, sur it's as small. and only 3 showers! It's so sad to think how all those people were treated. but the guide said they bear no grudges, he's even friends now with some of the prison officers of that time. We were also quite surprised to find that people still live on the island. it's just wow! after the tour we went on a penguin boardwalk, saw loads of them, they were dead cute.

Because it's freedom day i need to say - Saoirse - somebody knows what i'm talking about!

so anyway the trip to Robben Island was just incredible. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who comes to stay here.
Sarah says a big hello to everybody back in the Bridge. We were quite annoyed to find that our phones don't work here, we cant send txt messages or make calls, however, we can recieve txt messages and calls, so don't be afraid to drop the odd txt.

At the moment we're in Long road, for something to eat and a few drinks. and of course the internet cafe obviously. it's in the city, bout 20 mins from the hotel. Theres quite a lot around here but we've to check it out properly yet. thats really all the news from capetown at the moment, i'll update again soon. So until i type again - bye!!
Few groups of anglers about and happy with their catches at Culliagh, Correen and the Brosna at Shannonharbour. A trio on a cruiser last evening were telling us that one of them hooked a pike about two pounds weight and as he reeled it in a pike of about 14 lbs grabbed hold and refused to let go .Finally he landed both and returned them to the Shannon.
Pays to look for a bargain. A regular English fisherman arrived yesterday and travelled with his car on the ferry. Cost £396 sterling less £66 worth of Shell petrol vouchers. He had bought the ticket well in advance and had also used some saving coupons collected when buying petrol. He was a bit sick when some days before he came he got a mobile phone text type message from the Senna Line ferry inviting him and his friends or family to visit Ireland.The cost Under £20 sterling each covering their car and passengers. Based on a five day return. Book by 5th May.
Brehon Laws was the name given by the English to the old Irish Laws. You can find outmore using a search engine. On Friday hopefully I will link up with Doc and Dick and two friends Betty and Nora to attend a weekend in Ballyvaughan in County Clare where Brehon Laws are on the menu. Instructions are to bring good walking shoes.
This time I have my mind made up not to go near caves as many years ago Doc and Dick
linked up with a few of us including the late Sally Kennedy in Doolin and we joined a cavalcade to view some caves. The guide had a jeep and set off at a ferocious pace up the hills on windy narrow roads and lost us. Maybe all for the good.
Anyhow looking forward to learning more about the Brehon Laws.
Sunday morning at Mass Father O Hanlon announced that Mary Kate Higgins from Clondelara had passed away. Mary Kate was the wife of Jimmy Higgins. Her remains were brought to the church last evening with burial today in Clonmacnois after Mass at 11pm. Condolences to her husband Jim, children Padraig, Detta, Renee,Noel and family.
Another Clondelara connection has passed on with the death of a daughter of Ignatious Greene in England.
May they rest in peace
Since Eric Luker died on 2nd February 2002 Shannonbridge has got to know two of Eric's nephews Florrie's sons Mick and John Austin and their families. At present John and his friend Debbie Spencer are visiting and we were glad to hear that after twenty years they have decided to get married and plan to tie the knot on June 19th at a ceremony in England. Wishing them all the best .
Sunday was a peach of a day weatherwise and cousin Kaye came along for a walk without Moby. We headed down Prices Lane which runs north of the village beside the Priest's house. There was a chorus of birds singing and the blackthorn blossom was in full bloom in the hedges. We passed a number of small paddocks and fields before we reached the entrance to Ryans callow. Flowers in bloom included some primroses, cowslips, daisies, dandelion and Blue Gentia which I used to call The Mayflower.
When we reached the river we headed back towards the new jetty at the bridge. There are four fences to cross all friendly with crossings near the river. Good views of the back of the village looking from the north. Circular walkway of about two miles that will improve with a little more drying.
Our next outing is south of the village to visit the old jetty, swingbridge, Magazine, Rachra Castle site, fieldworks, Sewerage outlet, The Cut and Borranagh Callow coming back by the Boranagh Lane beside the police station. Want to join us ?
Many local people were hoping that a horse called Eumundi having its first run at Sligo Races on Sunday would have a good run as the owner was Rachra Syndicate.
Alas the horse finished in fifth place so we will have to wait for another day.
Many local Irish Newspapers are available on the website
The Offaly Independent 24th April Page 10 has a History & Memories section that tells about murders in Clonmacnois that took place in December 1749 when three men, two women and a boy were apprehended on suspicion of robbing and murdering Bryan Kenny and of shooting Bryans wife in one of her thighs at the same time of which she has since, it is said, died.
The three men were condemned for robbing and murdering Bryan Kenny at Sevenchurches and executed on April 6th 1750 at that place. One of them to be hanged in chains. Two of their wives, accomplices, a boy, to be transported.
Story copied from old Dublin newspapers by the late Malachy Moran who was born near Moate and Malachy died in 1955
Many of their friends came along to wish Ciara Finn and Sarah Price Bon Voyage on their year of travelling. Orla tells us they were in contact from Capetown where they plan to stay for three weeks. No doubt they will fill us in on some of their goings on.
Meanwhile her Galway friends wished Kathleen Thornhill all the best as she plans to teach in Uganda for six months before doing some travelling. Kathleen leaves in the middle of May.
And another Shannonbridge girl Niamh Quinn is preparing to head off to Japan in July where she will be teaching English and French for a year. Our webmaster has a friend who speaks Japanese if Niamh wants to send us Deantairs from An Teapainn Tir.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Shannonbridge GAA Notes

by Conor Killeen

Bridge Pull through

Shannonbridge 1-10

Pullough 2-5

Shannonbridge survived a late scare when Pullaugh grabbed a late goal in Doon on Saturday last but the bridge held out for their first Championship win in two years.

In the first half Erin Rovers had some goal Chances with young Sonny Lynam doing alot of damage and creating goal chances one of which came crashing off the cross bar.

Shannonbridge then got a very lucky goal when John Ryan hit in a high ball on top of the goal and luckily for the Bridge it fell in across the line.

On the day Shannonbridge made a number of positional switches from the previous Saturday and Eamon Mahon was rewarded with a great performance from David Corbett. The young 18 year old won almost every ball played in to him.

Richie Browne and Jason Kelly were also very prominent on the forty between them knocking over some great scores.

Offaly tickets on Sale
Offaly GAA have issued tickets to all clubs in Offaly for the re-development of O'Connor park. There are a number of Cars as prizes on offer. Tickets are €100.

I would hope that the Co. board have made provisions to build a restaurant on the grounds that would provide hot food during half time or between games.

At the moment in O'Connor Park the only thing on offer is rip off price chocolate and cans of Coke.
This would be a very good source of regular income for the County board and if properly run should maybe there will have to no more raffles needed.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Shannonbridge is disappearing fast judging by the fact that four full skips of unwanted items have been taken away already in Clean Up Offaly Week 2004.
There was a good turnout for the Active Retirement Group meeting this week and they plan to have an outing soon to visit Birr Castle and Kinnitty Castle. Consider going along to their next meeting which will be notified in the Parish Bulletin.
Peter Hines uses his boat to travel to Shannonbridge on Thursdays from his home in Correen. Yesterday he heard The Cuckoo while making the journey.
The Corncrakes are expected to arrive very soon and the peopleof Bird Watch Ireland and Teagasc have produced an attractive leafletabout Corncrakes covering 1. What they need.2. Managing meadows for Corncrakes. 3. Early season cover. 4. Meadow grass. 5.Late mowing of meadow. 6. Late season cover.
Pick up a leaflet in the local shops.
Corncrake grants are available. Contact them at 0509 51676 to report a Corncrake or to talk about the Corncrake Grant.
Ann Hoysted paid her first visit to the Library last evening and was pleasantly surprized at the range of books available.She has promised to bring along a box of mostly historical books for use in the library. Do consider helping out in the Library during opening hours on Thursday 7 to 9.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Consider using Shannonbridge Library on Thursday evenings 7 to 9. Do try and encourage someone you know who might be interested. Lots of books for everyone.
Good news that Fas have started work on the fencing around Teampall graveyard in Cloniffeen. The plan is to make an entranceway linking onto the road leading to the Hot Water stretch. Martin Larkin and John Butler were involved and Stevie Kenny who donated the land is helping.
The work on the footpath and pedestrian crossing has commenced. Seems that the path will be on the left side from the Church as far as the branch road that connects to The Old Dublin Road behind the power plant which when developed should make for a pleasant walk. Pauline Kemp who is staying in self catering near Clonmacnois tells us that there is a beatiful walk using the road to the new cemetery and continuing down through Clonascra.
Lorraine Mc Kenna sends best wishes to Ciara and Sarah on their world trip. Lorraine in Pottstown and Ken and Betty in California are wondering if they can buy Esker Rocks by post. Rocks are a personal matter and it is better for the rock if it is selected personally.
The Irih Golfers Guide to Open Fixture publication is expected to be ready from the printers this week. Oliver Hilliard the creator of this word will be busy for the next few weeks delivering the guide to golf courses and other outlets.
This is Clean-up Week in Offaly and Shannonbridge are getting industrial skips on Thursday and Friday. Lucky enough two skips were left on Monday and both were packed very quickly with an assortment of junk. Notify Offaly County Council at 090-6454306 when skip is full.
Heard that the special Table Quiz held last night in Clonfinlough Hall was a great success with a four figure sum the outcome. Well done to the organisers.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Myself and sarah will be heading off on on our year long trip this sunday 25th, our first stop is Capetown, south africa where we'll be staying for three weeks. After which we'll be heading to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Los Angeles. I'll keep you all updated about the trip as we go along.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Received a special birthday request today for a world famous internet reporter called Dermot. Wonder who that could be?
The Living Word Register was launched at the weekend in Killeens.
The notice said that : Shannonbridge is built on an Esker dating back to the Ice Age.
Many of the stones in this collection have lived their lives in these hillsides.
Give a Shannonbridge Stone a new life. Simply chose your favourite and record
the Stone's name and your name in The Living Stone Register. Keep it in memory
of Shannonbridge Ireland and let it keep in touch when you connect to
You are asked to contribute one Euro per stone to the Missionaries of
The Sacred Heart charity box.
Parish Newsletter reminds us that there is a Gala Charity Concert in the Bridge House Tullamore this Monday night commencing at 9pm. Among the artists taking part are Wee Two of which Paudge Bennett holds a 50% stake.
Proceeds are in aid of services for Family Carers.
The flowers arrangement in Shannonbridge church for Easter was top drawer and the six lilies in front of the altar were like the wings of some spirit. Well done to those involved.
Good to see John and Pat Egan London who have just completed a two weeks holiday with their children Katie Ciara and Owen. Pat of course is the former Pat Rock from Saint Ciaran's Park. They tell us that they are planning on building a house in Kincora near Ferbane which is good news.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Reminder that Tidy Up Week is next week and skips will be provided for unwanted household items such as beds, wardrobes, fridges, cookers, TV sets etc. Skips will be in rotation and a list is available on the local paper or from Offaly County Council at 09 0906454306. Skip is not for household rubbish.
Good to see the grass margins neatly trimmed on the Cloghan approach road.
Work on a new footpath on the road to the power plant and a pedestrian crossing at the Church is to commence next week. Hopefully this will lead to a link up to The Old Road and cleanage is required in this area.
The Active Retirement Group meet again on Wednesday 21st April in Shannonbridge Hall.
The Shannonbridge Library reopened last night after the Easter break and Rose Ryan and Pat Keohane were delighted with the numbers attending and recorded two pages of books going out. Library times are from 7 to 9pm every Thursday. You are welcome to call in and join. The library is run on a voluntary basis and if you feel like helping the venture why not sit in and see what is involved. There is an easy system in place.
Local paper this week had phographs of Easter Ceremonies in Athlone and Coosan. One photograph showed a baptism of one of eight adults having water poured on his head. There were a number of pictures of The Stations of The Cross travelling between the two churches in Athlone. In Coosan on Easter Sunday about 200 people turned up for a dawn Mass celebrated on the shores of Lough Ree.
Congratulations to Brendan,Mary, Morgan and Barbara Smith and all at Silverline Cruisers at Banagher on winning the overall award recently presented by the Offaly Enterprise + Development Board for their efforts.
Good to see Daithi Rua back home for a visit and he is to feature in a concert in Tullamore soon. His website is attached to this site under Entertainment.
When have you last seen a live pig ? A brief note on the paper this week tells us that a Berlin web site dubbed 'Pig Brother' has attracted more than a million hits in two weeks - with 24-hour webcam coverage of a family of wild boars.
This week Colin Killeen started a course on photography and maybe there is a future in having a 24-hour webcam coverage on for example cigarette butts on a village pathway ?

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Hanna Greally wrote a book called Birds Nest Soup sometime around 1971.
Hanna found herself committed to a Psychiatric Hospital which was not uncommon then in Ireland and to get released she had to prove she was sane.
Hanna had an indirect Shannonbridge connection in that her Grandmother Mrs Dolan once owned the pub next to Killeens (now The Bog Oak ) and also what is now Morans Shop was used as a storespace by Mrs Dolan.
Use Google to search for Birds Nest Soup and if you have a copy to give away Shannonbridge Library have a space for it.
Was there a connection between this book and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest ?
Some more news on Tom Morley the fiddle player from Alabama.Before he left Shannonbridge he presented one of his CD's to Killeens and you can hear a sample of his music under
Harry Gunning has an invitation to visit him when next he visits America.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Richard Browne in the Post Office has got a new Golden Labrador puppy which may be of interest to Lorraine Ken and many more visitors who had made friends with Fitzpatricks terriers.
A rare bit of violin talent from Alabama linked up with Harry Gunning on guitar last night that brought memories of Angeline The Baker the New York musician who used to visit Shannonbridge regularly every year at one time. Angeline used to play the guitar but both Pauline Kemp and Pat remembered him when they heard the Alabama sound. Sorry I do not know his name.
Joe Burke, Ardnaglug and ESB went trout fishing on Lough Mask on Easter Sunday and had two trout while fly fishing (Lake Olives) that tipped the scales for three pounds total. Both fish were caught on barbless hooks and were returned alive.
Ray Walsh tells us that he heard that trout fishing is very good at present on Lough Coromona. Ray is seriously thinking of giving up smoking the pipe now that there is a ban on smoking in bars.
Talking to Cora Kelly last night about her own twins and her daughter Fiona's twins. Cora nee O'Brien originally from Cloghan tells us that her late brother Michael's daughter in Chicago Maureen Daly has two twin girls - Shannon and Mary. Her sister Nuala's daughter Fiona is married to Nick Kime in Lincolnshire and they have twin daughters - Holly and Emily.
Request from Patricia Carry for update photos on how the new power plant is progressing.
Jim and Maureen Killeen from Chicago are planning to hit Shannonbridge for a few weeks in early May.
Pauline Kemp from Bradford is the walking wife of Dave the fisherman and they are staying self catering about six miles out the Clonmacnois road with one car. Dave goes fishing most days and Paulien walks regularly to Shannonbridge and often walks another three miles to visit Liz Nell in Creggan. She is an expert on wild flowers and yesterday painted a Wild Rose she found in bloom. Thought it might be a good idea for people to plant an odd cutting or bulb or plant in our hedgerows. Am I mad ?
Summer must be on the way as Steve Ryder and Brian Caffrey called yesterday to let us know they will be working on this years Corncrake project and they ask for everyone to support them in their work by reporting to them at Crank House Banagher when one hears a Corncrake. Telephone 0509 - 51676. You can read the recorded sound of the Corncrake on this website.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Shannonbridge GAA notes

by Conor Killeen

Local Darby ends level

Senior Football League

Shannonbridge 0-12
Doon 1-9

Shannonbridge locked horns with local rivals Doon on Saturday evening last and after a late rally the Bridge finished level with their near neighbours.

Doon started the game well with James Couchlan showing some blistering pace to run in a ball on the the bridge goal and crashed a great goal to the back of the net.

It was not until the second half that the blue and gold men got to grips in sectors such as midfield and the half back line. With Jim Killeen using his experience to weather the Doon storm and was well assisted by Mel Darcy on the other wing.

Upfront Richie Browne and Shane Kelly were the pick of the pack with the two lads showing their best form all season.
The Bridge launched attack after attack from the half back line and got their just reward when the sides finished level on the final whistle.

Team H Kearns, W Kenna, T Mahon, D Turley, J Killeen, J Ryan, M Darcy, C Killeen, J Egan, J Kelly, A Kelly, R Browne, F MacEvoy, PJ Kelly, S Kelly. Sub E Kelly

Golf Classic
Shannonbridge GAA club held another successful Golf Classic in Moate on Monday last. The Club wish to thank all who participated and to all our generous sponsors. The
Club also wish to thank Kevin Rohan and all club Officials who oragnised the event so well.

The Shannonbridge GAA club wish to congratulate Packie Brazil and his Wife Trisha on the birth of their baby son. Packie is the regular goal keeper on the team and is currently recovering from an injury but hopes to be back soon.

Senior Championship
Shannonbridge take on St Bridget's in the first round of the Senior Championship to be played in Mucklagh on Saturday next.. The Club will call on its loyal supporters to get behind their local lads to help rally the cause.

These lads put in a lot of effort and make a number of sacrifices for parish pride and the club appreciate your support and hope to see you out next Saturday to Shout on the Blue and Gold.
Fishing has started and on Good Friday Gerry Casey and John Gleeson took a rowboat and moored it in one of the backwaters and had nine pike using deadbait and spinner.
Some Dublin coarse anglers arrived Sunday evening and groundbaited some swims on the Suck. They were very happy to catch some bream to 6 lbs and rudd weighing a pound and a half on their first attempt.
Kay and myself on Sunday when returning from Ard Chiarain met Cora Kelly and her daughter Linda Sheehy taking two babies for a walk. I was wondering if they were twins as Cora had a set of twins in Lisa and Mark. On enquiry it turns out that the babies are twins and called Jack and Nicole Sheehy.
Some people home for the Easter included Peter Hines' daughter Nicola, Dave and Paulien Kemp from Bradford, Steve and Liz Nell from Sheffield who brought Lizzie's sister Margaret along for her first visit, Tom and Margaret Carty and their family and grandchildren, Robert Cunney who stayed over Sunday night and joined Colin, Aine, and Shane killeen and Mike Thornhill in a late singalong. Also home are the owners of Coughlans House at the head of the Suck. Bridie Carry returned safe and sound from her three weeks tour of England where she was straightened out - hairwise and bodywise. Many many others were home for the long weekend.
The Golf Classic presented by Shannonbridge / Doon yesterday at Moate Golf Club attracted 43 Teams of Four and was a roaring success. As well as a game of golf each player enjoyed a top class meal in the Clubhouse afterwards. Frank Guinan missed out not going as there was a lost opportunity to sell a lotta Lotto tickets.
Talking to Paddy Kavanagh from Athlone yesterday who started a magical mystery tour service out of Athlone aimed at people on holiday or with a few hours to spare. The tour covered Ballinahowen, Doon, Clonmacnois, Shannonbridge, Bog Rail Tour, Shannonharbour, Banagher, Cloghan, Belmont and Ferbane. Paddy is in fine form and takes groups for days outings.
Easter Sunday and cousin Kay came to visit and take a walk to Raghrabeg to see the wonderful array of wild primroses and wild violets in bloom.The blackthorn trees are now arrayed with their white blossom and we crossed over the hill at Guinans to have a closer look at a Contemplative type garden in Ard Chiarain which has a dry pond in the center filled with different small rocks with a round decorated stone in the center. This pond area is surrounded by a maze of circular walks laid in a tight circle. A large notice tells you what it is all about. Well worth seeing.
Easter Saturday and one of the villagers had a frightening experience when his car went on fire while parked outside his house and despite using three hand fire extinguishers, a fire blanket and a hose, the car was burnt out.
Easter Sunday morning in Killeens some of the younger children dragged their parents out of bed to seek what the Easter Bunny had brought. Lucky enough as they discovered my sister's room door open and the room full of smoke caused by a nightlight. My sister was in the bathroom and the fire was put out with a couple of extinguishers and a fireblanket. No fire alarms went off as they are situated near the kitchens downstairs.
Time to have a look at your home as regards fire safety and how to deal with a fire should it occur.
Saturday evening went to Easter ceremonies in Moore Church with Bishop Joe Cassidy at the helm. Early on there was the lighting of the Easter Fire which was prepared in a flat dish and went into an instant flame. I kept wondering on the possible fire risk with the robed Bishop and altar servers gathered around but everything went off very well.
His words were short and he told us that recently he has been studying The Resurrection of Jesus Christ and after doing this study he is more convinced than ever that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Over the next few weeks he promised to share his conclusions about the Resurrection. That was it.
Afterwards Bishop Cassidy stood at the door and wished everyone a Happy Easter. He promised he would share his thoughts with this website so look out for a treat.
Have a look at your house as regards a small fire occuring. A number of events happened in a few days to highlight this.
It started with a fim crew producing a film clip about Pete Burns, a fire specialist who uses Killeens pub for a coffee and goes out the door with a cigarette in his mouth and gets into a well logoed van and drives down the street where his van goes on fire with the help of a computer wizard - later.
This clip took about ten hours for fifteen people to produce. When I told them I thought it was a lot of people compared to Dick Warner's Waterways series with a cameraman and a sound girl, I was told there were 500 people working on Arthur -- the film , not the Guinness.
Easter was a busy time in Shannonbridge with a lot of home owned cruisers moving on the river. Someone reckoned that on Saturday night there were well over forty boats moored. Glad to see that the people in charge in Portumna have again provided a large skip for use by people on boats.
The land area around the new jetty has been badly manicured and needs attention. Pity that electricity connection cards are not available for the boats on the new jetty. Access along this shore might be friendlier for fishermen and walkers.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Garda Gerry Dolan was well known in the area having served for about 25 years based in Ferbane and then Tullamore. When he decided to retire his comrades asked him what he would like to do to mark the occasion and Gerry chose a few drinks in Shannonbridge and a meal in The Fort Restaurant which happened last night. Wishing Gerry all the best in his retirement.
Yesterday the death of one of Ireland's best loved comediennes Maureen Potter was announced aged 79 years. May she rest in peace.
Paddy Powers the bookmakers had a tempting advert on yesterdays papers for those betting on the Masters Golf starting at Atlanta today. If an Irishman wins they will return all bets on other golfers. Should Padraig have won the Par 3 yesterday ?
The No Smoking in Pubs seems to have got on and smokers are going outside to smoke. Saw evidence of this this morning outside one pub where there were over fifty cigarette butts thrown on the ground. A container for cigarette ends was under a street light three yards away.
Shannonbridge publisher Oliver Hilliard has The Irish Golfers Guide to Open Fixtures 2004 / 2005 gone to press and expects it to be available very soon. Oliver has compiled a list for each day when the various golfclubs around Ireland have Open Days. Green fees are greatly reduced on those days and a golfer can save a small fortune. Oliver is prepared to post a copy to anybody overseas interested and reading this website. Cost £10. Send to Oliver Hilliard and mention this web. Address Saint Ciaran's Park, Shannonbidge, Athlone,Ireland.
Shannonbridge GAA football club stage their yearly Golf Classic at Moate golf club on Easter Monday and entry is limited to 50 teams of four. If interested give Kevin Rohan a buzz at 087-8344008.
Fishing is catching on again and last evening two Ballinasloe anglers were recording their catches of good quality perch and bream taken at Correen Ford. They remarked on a few televisions and such items having been dumped in that area.
A German angler recorded having caught a pike measuring 95 Cm and he was very good.
Ciara Finn and Sarah Price are off on their world trip in a few weeks time and they have promised to send us bulletins from their journey. They might even call to see you if you live in Australia or Los Angeles where they finish up in about a year.
Ciaran Guinan who drives the train for the Bog Rail Tour tells us that the tour has restarted for the year and quite a number of visitors have appeared.
The preparation for the fencing posts at Teampall graveyard started yesterday.
Best way to get to it is by taking the track to the right immediately past the rail track under the Shannonbridge / Cloghan road about a mile and a bit from Shannonbridge. After half a mile there is a gate and the graveyard is on the left as you go down the track. Parking space will be provided.
About twenty tables turned out to support the table quiz for Ballinasloe Social Services last night and over £600 was raised for the cause.
Mary Kelly and Ciaran Coakley will be calling the questions and correcting at a table quiz in Taughmaconnell Hall on Good Friday night as a fundraiser to pay for a new church organ.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

The table quiz tonight in Killeens is for Ballinasloe Social Services.This organization is directed by Sister Alocoque and her great troop operate a system where groups of older people are collected and taken into the center for a day where lots of useful services are provided such as baths, nail and hair care, nursing advise, heat, tea and chat and games and meals and ...
it goes on. Support the cause tonight in Killeens at the earlier start time of 9pm and a table of four costs ?20.
Clean up Offaly Week 19th - 24th April have plans for disposal of bulk household items such as fridges, cookers, washing machines, beds etc
by supplying a number of skips free that week. The landfill at Derryclure, Tullamore will accept bulk household items free of charge during clean-up week. The normal charges for general household waste will apply.
Details in church bulletin or right here.
Mark Breslin who once lived in Shannonbridge and now works in Scotland has met his match in Allie Findlason a lassie from Inverness and they are planning to get married on the 23rd of April 2005. That is next year.
Congratulations to you both. Colin reckons he should be available at that time ---- thats if he is asked.
Lorraine Mc Kenna has being used the search engines Google and Yahooo to look up Shannonbridge, Ireland and they throw up hundreds of items with a mention of Shannonbridge and some have photographs. I liked the fishing account from Maggotdrowning who found out I know nothing about fishing as I dont fish.
Lorraine fully agrees that more local facilities on theis website should become alive.
Jimmy Mooney tells us there is progress in the plan to fence off around the church and graveyard at Teamphail and may be done in the next couple of weeks. The entrance gate will be located off the track leading to the Hot Water outlet used by fishermen.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Last evening was time for Confession or Sacrament of Reconciliation and there was a marked drop off in the numbers attending. In contrast Maura Moran was telling us that over in Emmanuel House at Clonfert there are often ten priests on duty and there are queues. And that is often twice a week.
Greetings to Mike Hooley and family in Denver Colorado who plan to visit Ireland from May 31st until June 8th and are planning to stay some time in Shannonbridge. Mike also seeks information on guesthouses listed but not linked up on our website. For your information the cost of becoming alive is £100 and this gives you something similar to Ashbrook and Rachra House and The Fort and Killeens. These sites open up when clicked.
If you find any service on this site and use it please consider telling your hosts and also this website.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Rose Ryan has another new Birdwatch - Shannonbridge feature for you this week and I notice she mentions some pheasants. By chance there were a number of people commenting on the beauty of two stuffed cock pheasants yesterday of two different colourings. Both were dead.
Parish Newsletter tells us about the church ceremonies for Easter Week with Confessions this evening and after Good Friday ceremonies.
New Eucharistic Ministers are in training.
The Womens Group are having a meeting this evening at 8.30 pm to arrange forthcoming Table Quiz.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes 27th May -- 01 June departs from Knock and at £589 is fully inclusive and some seats are available from Joe Walsh Tours at 01-2410810
The wedding took place on Saturday last in Saint Ciaran's Church Shannonbridge of Charles Cawley and Bernadette Delaney.
Priscilla Delaney was bridesmaid and William Cawley was the Bestman.
Wishing them every Joy and Blessing in their marriage.
Steeplechasing Racing.
The first recorded steeplechase took place from Buttevant County Cork in 1752 using the steeple of the Anglican Church as the starting point of a race and ending at St. Leger Church near Doneraile 4.5 Miles / 7 Km away.
Martin Burke and Ciaran Connor were like two detectives yesterday as they argued out how long Johnny Coleman was in Australia and finally agreed that he went to Australia from Leeds in 1969.Anyhow both send greetings to Johnny on the 35th anniversary.
Peggy Byrnes tells us that Bridie Carry is on her final week in England and went to visit her daughter Helen and family yesterday. Seems that Peggy can text Bridie but Bridie's messages are not getting through. Is there a Sensor ?

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Birdwatch - Shannonbridge.

Birdsong in Rachrabeg just beautiful at the moment, pariicuraly in the evening. Birds heard include Robin, Wren, Goldfinch, Blackbird and Thrush,
Large flock of Swans on the River Suck. Three Cock Pheasants out picking in the fields.

First Swallows of the year spotted at the bridge on the 1st. of April.

At home, the Jackdaws have mastered the art of feeding on the peanut feeder.

Report in yesterdays Irish Times of the disappearance of Goldfinch in south Kildare, linked to the big increase in Magpie and other members of the Crow family.

Large Heronry in woodland in Clonfad seems to have disappeared.

A pair of Peregrine Falcons seen at the Power Station during the week, hope they nest in the boxes provided by the ESB this year. .

Friday, April 02, 2004

The Shannonbridge Library had their AGM last evening after the Library and Rose Ryan laid out the chairs to a T with every seat full bar one and there were two apologies. Rose the Hon Sec covered the main happenings with the library since it started in early 2002 and when it opened on 2nd July 2002. The new committee were elected.
President - Father Frank O Hanlon. Chairman - Dermot Killeen.
Secretary - Rose Ryan. Assistant Secretary - Ann Corbett.
Treasurer - Patricia Casey.
Committee - Kathleen Quinn,Catherine Quinn, P.J.Carroll, D O Riain, PatKeohane, Emmett Keohane,
Martin O Brien was born and reared in Raghrabeg and as a grown man emigrated to England leaving a locked up house. Recently his son Dermot was staying in Ballinasloe and 'phoned to enquire if the house was still standing. When he heard it was he walked the eight miles to see the O Brien homestead like his father used to walk cattle to the fairs in Ballinasloe.
He met Adain Carry who bought the old house and is presently preparing to build a house and holiday chalet on the site. Adain has a great sense of humour and told Dermot that he was about to knock the old house and gave Dermot Junior a slate and some brick and stone from the old house and offered to give him a free holiday in the chalet when it is completed. Before his departure he told him he was only joking and intended renovating the old building as a holiday home. Good for all concerned.
Charlie Bishop for many years was the best known American on the Shannon and Grand Canal as he lived on his own boat. This winter he was based in Shannonharbour and he was found dead on his boat a few days ago. His body was taken to Tullamore hospital for a post mortem examination and this evening there will be a funeral service at 7.30 pm in the morgue at Tullamore hospital. May he rest in peace.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Ballinasloe Social Services will hold a Table Quiz next Wednesday night 7th April in Killeens starting at 9pm as a large number of quiz folk are expected.
This is an annual event in support of Sister Alocoque's venture and a table of four will cost £20. It is renowned for the number of donated raffle prizes each year so give it a go.
Ken and Betty Smith are returning to Shannonbridge in September and staying for three weeks in Creggs Self Catering. Ken says they will be leaving before the October Fair starts.
The local paper has two photographs of groups of people assembled for the launch of Ballyboy website but they never gave the address which we think is This is a parish nestling near the Slieve Blooms about twenty miles from Shannonbridge. It has a number of local historians including Paddy Heaney and should be worth a visit.
The boat trip to Banagher with the ActiveRetirement Group yesterday had about a dozen taking the trip. They even went down as far as Meelick. Half the group travelled down and met the other half in Banagher and went off for tea and coffee where they were joined by some members of the Banagher branch who gave them a rundown on some of their activities.
The weather was good and it was an enjoyable day. For some people like Maura Moran it was their first time on the river. Not sure which Maura Moran as both the Maura from the shop and the Sister Maura were in the party.
Joe Burke tells us that the swallows have arrived and he saw six on Tuesday 30th March. Joe attended the AGM of the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland last Saturday.The group met for coffee in The Fort Restaurant and had their AGM. Afterwards they visited The Dalton Center at the power plant and had lunch at The Fort.
After lunch the party went out onto the rooftop to view the military aspects.
The bridge was built in 1757. There were two different form of lockgates and a lockkeeper's house(now tourist center) designed by Thomas Omer who designed the canal system.
the party were able to see the river dredging downstream of the bridge and the Cut at Borranagh Point. Also visible was the Earthworks to mask cannon on Lambs Island and in the field below the jetty where the Magazine Houses were. Pity they did not visit these houses as they are crying out for care. They are located about sifty metres from the ruins of Raghera Castle.
Good win for Irish soccer team last evening when Ireland beat Czechoslovakia scoring two goals to one. Ian Harte scored the opening goal from a free and later the Czechs scored a goal to be level at 90 minutes and it looked like they were keeping their record of 20games unbeaten record until Robbie Keane popped one in the net late into injury time. Atten 42,000.