Friday, July 30, 2004

Hi All,
In response to the great efforts that are being made on Kates behalf for raising money for the orphanage in Uganda, I've set up a few web pages to keep track of progress. You can see all the posts from Kate in Uganda, pictures she has sent back, and how the fund-raising is going at You can also click the link at the left hand side of this page, or on the home page. If anyone has any suggestions on what they would like to see or is interested in contributing to the website, email me. Thanks to Colin, David and Louise for their help with this.

Got an interesting website yesterday which shows a mountain on the South Pole named after one of the best doctors I have met Sid Tolchin from San Diego. The mountain was named for Sid Tolchin after he led the International Geophysical Year Expedition to the South Pole in 1958-59. They maintained the South Pole Station for 14 months. Have a look at the mountain under
And last night another San Diego resident stopped off in Shannonbridge returning from the Galway Races - Nicholas Clavin in a party of Clavins. Nick Clavin was one of the heroes of the Offaly All Ireland winning Football teams in the 1960's.
Four Lithuanians on a cruiser holiday were celebrating their soccer victory last evening over Longford Town 3 - 2. They are spending one week on the Shannon and the following week they are hiring a car to tour the South West.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

The sister Doc  was here yesterday after a holiday in France and was telling about a P20 sunfilter made by Riemann that she claims like Riemann  is a unique once a day sun protection that allows tanning without burning. Appears that after your shower in the morning you apply to any exposed skin and you are set up for the day. You can go swimming or whatever.
If you have a stand alone house you should have a look at what Bord na Mona have to offer in filter systems such as the Puraflow wastewater treatment system or the Platinium Mini system.
They have information on their website and you can download or see their brochures. Price for a typical system for a population equivalent to 6people is €3300 plus VAT for the Platinium Mini and is €3947.14 plus VAT (13.5 %). Includes delivery and installation.
Two brochures are available in the Library Thursday 7 to 9 pm  or phone 045-381136
Someone has suggested that in the longer Walk for Kate in Uganda the Clondelara /Bog Rail  group should take the Old Dublin Carriage Road to link up with the inlet to Clondelara and avoid the main road. Was reading lately that the Carriage Road went through Garrymore, Woodbank and crossed the Blackwater River nearer to the Shannon at Derryholmes and rejoined the present roadway past Mullaghature Cross.
Yesterday I was telling someone about tips for horses and told them about the time Jimmy Mooney went to the Thurles Races with my father and mother about 30 years ago. Jimmy was from The Horse & Jockey near Thurles and a horse from Eddie O Grady's stable was running in the next race. My mother knew that O Grady's stables were near the Horse & Jockey and persuaded Jimmy Mooney to ask Eddie O Grady if the horse had a chance. Jimmy did not know Eddie personally but as the horses left the parade ring he edged over near to where Eddie O Grady was standing and asked him if the horse had any chance. Eddie replied that he would have a better chance himself. He went and told my mother that O Grady's horse had no chance.
The race started and O Grady's horse took off and led by about twenty lengths from start to finish. Consternation.Some weeks later Jimmy Mooney was home and met one of the workers from O Grady's stable and asked him about the horse. He told Jimmy that every year the stable ran a couple of horses for the stablehands to bet on and this was one of those horses.
Coincidence that  yesterday at the Galway Races the same Eddie O Grady produced the winner of The Galway Plate at 10 / 1 and two other winners as well.
The Inland Waterways Association announced at their AGM that The Royal Canal will be reopened from Dublin to Ballymahon next year and all the way to the Shannon in just over two years time. Some low bridges at Ballymahon and Abbeyshrule have to removed hopefully by 2006.
The news this morning told of the death of Irish Olympic athlete Bob Tisdall in Australia aged 89 years. Ronnie Delaney recounted that he had a world record time for the Hurdles but it was not ratified as he knocked down one hurdle. Bob met Ronnie and the other Olymic team members in Rome and brought them out to a beach for a day where Ronnie says he competed with the best in running and jumping practice. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Mary met a lady from Berlin, New Jersey in the church last evening who told her that she knew John the brother. It appears that she is doing a retreat in Ard Chiarain for a few days. Mary was looking over a parish book about her native parish Killoughey by a Father Shaw last night and one of the interesting things she found was the account of the beheading of one of the priests there.
Vincent and Olive and Megan Costello are returning to Spain this year for their holidays and Vincent is bringing his golf clubs like before. He was telling us last night that last year on his first game they were at the sixth hole when a youngster approached them selling used golf balls. They declined his offer and then at the 16th hole they found they were out of balls and regretted not buying some.
Talked to a Rahan couple last night who were listening to Paudge Bennett. He drives a truck but using the mobile phone he got his partner to collect him and left the truck overnight. When they heard about Kate they decided to take part in the walk in the 15th August.
Reminder that the Library is open on Thursday evenings 7 to9 pm and your visit would be welcome.

Today is the third day of the Galway Race Festival week with the feature race being The Galway Plate and our weathermen promise temperatures of between 18 and 22 Celsius.
Thanks to Kathleen Egan and her sister Bridie for selling badges and keyrings raising €62.
ast night a further €78 were sold. There was some response to the Note for Kate where an assortment of old coins were being sold to help Kates work in Uganda with the buyer giving and writing a note for Kate.Jane Mooney Doon says to keep up the good work.Ann Marie Nevin -Good luck on your travels.Ann Brill, mother of three, -wishing you well, we have so much,they have so little. Bernard Smith, Cappaleitra for Kates cause. Also greetings from Joe Murray and Doreen Messitt. Funny that a number of people reacted by saying that they had a jar full of old coinage at home. The idea was to raise money for Kate and to start a coin collection for some child.
The intention is to use a menu of walks to suit the people taking part in the Sponsored Walk on Sunday August 15 and last night I was telling Kathleen Price and Bridie Carry that two of the walks will use Prices Lane and three walks will be on the Roscommon bank of the river- one to Raharabeg, and the other two will branch right at the bottom of Gunning's Hill past Ard Chiarain. The shorter one will take the Island Road as far as the river and rejoin the main road via the steps at The Fort. The Longer one goes down to the bog on the left and joins the Ballinasloe road about 600 yards past Ard Chiarain. For people that need a longer walk the loop road through Clondelara, Bog Rail and home via the Cloghan road is available. To take part get your sponsorship card in the shops and of course get sponsorship. Please do it early.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Ed Butler tells us that to find an amount of photographs and information about Shannonbridge movie star George Brent use the Google search engine and ask it to find George Brent.
Pleasant surprize last evening when Dave Gilbourne and Fiona Hayes stopped in on their return from a holiday in Donegal. Dave lives in Limerick and is a nephew of the late and famous Jack Gilbourne who worked in the power plant in Shannonbridge for many years and died on 28 Dec 1992 aged 48 years. Dave is trying to discover his dead uncle and would appreciate any photographs, sayings or stories of Jack. You can contact him at
Some twenty years ago three English fishermen were yearly visitors to Shannonbridge and were known as Len, Pete and Another. Last evening Len stopped off with his wife to show her his old fishing ground and he had a lovely album of photographs from that period.They chose two high stools and sat within ten feet of Paudge Bennett for well over two hours and Len said he was glad he called back. His wife Betty is a mobile hairdresser and has promised to return.
Good response for the sponsorship Walk for Kate in Uganda cards and if you feel like helping out pick up a card in the shops.
Some business people in the village are considering putting their premises live on our website and it would be good to have more join in.
Sunday night Joe Cleary the music man arrived with a gift of Pretty Polly Size 3 Monique Stockings wrapped in their original sleeve.Joe told that on the road from Borrisokane to Nenagh in the village of Ardcrony, a signpost says Carney, 2 Miles. Just a pub at a country crossroads. Beside the pub is a derelict house that was once the local RIC station.After 1922 it became private property. The last resident was Miss O'Dwyer who Joe reckons is dead about 40 years.  The house is deserted now and in other hands. The nylons must be about 40 years old Joe reckons and the trouble is that they dont fit me. Showing them to Margaret Carty who remembered the Pretty Polly brand and reckoned that they are a much younger product.
Margaret also knew the origin of the word Nylon being made up oy NY  and LON. A search in Google says that Nylons as in womens stockings started about 1940. The very first use for Nylon was in toothbrush nylon bristle, then stockings and then parachutes and ropes for use in the war. Must put Pretty Polly on the Buy and Sell.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Notice for Mass and the Blessing of the Graves on Parish Bulletin yesterday.
On Friday 6th August @ 7pm in the New Cemetery Clonmacnois.
On Monday 2nd August @ 7.30pm in Mullinakill Graveyard Glebe.
On Monday 9th August @ 7pm in Cloniffeen (Teamphall) @ 7pm.
Some years ago recognition was given to the still born and unbaptized babies buried in these places and the late Jimmy Mooney was one of a small group that have improved Cloniffeen by fencing around the burial area, erecting an altar for Mass and providing access from the fishermans road leading to the hotwater from the power plant.Access point on the eastern side of the railway line on the road to Cloghan.
Michael Viney on the Irish Times on Saturday tells a reader that the correct way to plant acorns
and horse chestnuts. Keep both acorns and horse chestnuts in a sand-box until February,then plant the acorns fat end down in moist compost to germinate indoors. The chestnuts will dtart germinating in the sand box. Spread grass cuttings thinly on the compost heap, or mix them in with other offerings.
Final countdown for Louis Farrelly who gets married on Thursday. Hear that Cahal Rodgers is bestman. Wish them all the best.
A luxury hotel boat operates on the Shannon that offers a package that includes two nights full board in a Dublin hote with sight seeing trips,air and land transport, one week on the river with meals and drink included and  with three excursions to Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Castle and I think Galway. They usually overnight in Shannonbridge and last week two men from the hotel boat came along looking for a five dollar fishing rod.
Hopefully we have two more correspondents to this website from Japan as Niamh Quinn and Cliona Ryan set off for Japan on Saturday to teach English for a couple of years I am told. They can connect with Michael the webmaster who will give them an access. Wishing you all the very best in your venture.
Some results from matches played over the weekend. In football Fermanagh beat Donegal, Derry beat Limerick and in the replay match Westmeath beat Laois by 12 Points to 10 Points to win their first Leinster Championship. Well done.
In hurling Cork beat Antrim easily and Kilkenny and Clare produced a great exhibition which ended in a draw. There will be a replay next weekend.
The Church of Ireland held their Annual Service in Clonmacnois yesterday and there was an open invitation to all Christians to be present as it marked the 50th Anniversary of this service. The Ballinasloe Brass and Reed Band provided entertainment afterwards.Providing entertainment in Lukers yesterday afternoon were The Last Four who were the last remaining four people in the selection for last years Eurovision.
Remember The Indians Showband. Some of them gave an open air performance in Ballinasloe yesterday and reports say they were very enjoyable.
Today is the start of The Galway Race week and the people of Kilconnell are having a one hour  march on the main road today to protest against a Dump planned for the area.
Met a lady at Jimmy Mooney's funeral on Friday who told me about the Temple Family in Shannonharbour and about Dolly Temple who owned a public house there. Someone once asked Dolly why she never got married and her reply went -
The Desirable was not obtainable,
And The Obtainable was not desirable.
More badge sales news. Wednesday 97 Euro. Thursday 102 Euro. Friday 50.65 Euro. An estimated 100 Euro due from outlying sales. Our friends at Badges Plus Steve Peake and friends are delighted that people have responded so generously and have offered to send more badges.
Big news over the weekend was the planned Sponsored Walk for Kates Uganda fund and already an amount of people have taken out sponsorship cards. Even Moby is walking and has a card with 111 Euros already marked in. The walk  will take place on August 15 at 1.00 pm after Mass and a variety of walks are being made available to suit the particular walker.
Fishing seems to be making a comeback as Louise set off to Cavan at the weekend to practise her skill with the roach and bream.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Hi, I'll make this short as i have been here for over 2 hours sending photos home and I am about to go crazy!
I'm amazed by all the support I am getting from home.  Thanks a million to Steve and Liz for donating the badges and to Derry for all the time and effort he is putting in to selling the badges - I never thought so much money would be raised. Thanks to all who are buying and donating money from near and far. I have told the people out here and they are very excited about the whole thing.  I will have enough to do the boys and girls dorms and there is lots of other stuff to do with any left over money. The school  is going well and will be finished next week.  All the floors have been cemented so we are having classes out under the trees at the moment!
We met a lovely Irish couple last week called Jo and Bridgeen Cosgrave. Bridgeen is nursing in the hospital here and Jo goes out with the mobile clinic. They have been here since October and have lots of interesting stories and advise for us. They went to a village last week and came across a family of 7 kids. The mother was suffering from depression and the father had elephantitis. The 15 month old, 3, 5 and 7 year olds could not walk and had very poor social skills. Jo taught the 7 year old to walk and how to shake hands. They had raised some money and decided to build a new house for this family. We spent a lovely night with them where we had a lovely Irish meal and a great chat. Unfortunately they are returning to Ireland next week. But fortunately for me they are giving me their solar powered shower. I have no idea what this looks like or how it works but it has to be better than a bucket!
Bridgeen gave us a tour of the childrens ward this week, most of the children have malaria. Alot of the babies die and the mothers pretend they are alive leaving the hospital as boda bodas charge more money for transporting a dead baby!
While in the hospital we also came across a girl of about 17, she married at 15 - got HIV from her husband who then ran off and left her. She now has aids and will probably die in the next few months.  There are many other sad stories such as this but thats enough depressing stuff for one day.
We got a new child in the school this week. He is from the border of Uganda and the Congo. He was a street kid who was taking drugs on the streets and smuggling goods from uganda to congo - and he's only 10 years old! His mother is hoping the teachers in this school will discipline him, it should be interesting to see how he gets on.
We got great news during the week - the director of our schools drafted up a document with his laywers stating that if any teacher in his schools canes a child they will be dismissed. Caning is still widespread in Uganda. This document will protect over 4000 children in the 5 schools. So I'll leave ye with that good news. Bye, Kate

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Lorraine Mc Kenna tells us that the squirrels around her house are Gray and she has not seen any red squirrels. She remembers seeing black squirrels years ago in another location. She says they are all from the rodent family.
Brother Jim lives right beside a lake near Chicago and has water in the back garden. He told me last night that he placed out about five boxes for Wood Duck and they have bred in them. Must have Irish blood in them as there were 14 babies in one family and eleven in another. Next year he will have to put TV's in the boxes to keep control. He tells me they eat acorns and as soon as they leave the nests they head into the woods.
Ed Butler who contacted this web recently will be glad to know that Pat Butler and his daughter Mary Butler were on the phone last night and Mary will contact you. She says that there is an amount of information to be found if you use a search engine and write roscommonleitrim she thinks its dot com

Kate in Uganda seems to be on peoples minds. Last evening a few of us were discussing ways of letting the community and her friends help organize some funding for her project to renew the dormitory of the Uganda Orphanage where she is a volunteer teacher. Eventually we thought a sponsored walk would be best for starters with a menued option of walks to suit all tastes.
Then this morning Eilis Killeen rang from Galway to say that a group of friends from Galway had met and wanted to do a ……..SPONSORED WALK.
So it looks like a sponsored walk coming up in a few weeks as soon as permission and sponsorship cards are sorted out. I am working on a meu of walks to suit young and old and for overseas friends they are welcome to join us by getting sponsorship and choosing a walk tailored to their needs.
The shortest walk will be less than a mile. More details when they become available.
Last night badge sales were €68.80 and some €25 worth were sold during the day. Our kind sponsor of the badges and pins Steve Peake from Badge World would Im sure have liked to have met one of the people that bought the badges last nigh.He is Leslie Mc Lysatht, Kill, County Kildare who told me that his hobby is collecting badges and he has several biscuit tins full of various badges including Desperate Dan and Dennis the Menace. Maybe next week when our stock has run out we will pay him a visit some night.

News this morning of the death of a great friend Jimmy Mooney from Clondelara. May he rest in peace.
Mark Donegan was interviewed live on the Dave Fanning radio show last evening about his Spanjo and how he constructed it and then he played Jingle Bells. Dave asked Mark was there any music in the family and he told him about his brother Daithi Rua whose webpage can be found here under Entertainment.Don’t know whether he mention his mother Dolores a fine Banjo player.
Still have not seen this famous £2000 James Taylor guitar that Mark won.
Home from Covina California is Gerry Lyons and his son Edmund who are staying with Danny and Joan Farrelly.Gerry grew up in Lyons pub in Kilcock but Shannonbridge claims a large part of him as he spent many a school holiday with his Granny Mrs Darcy. His son Edmund is definetly his son and has that special red hair that Gerry had and has.
Late Date host Val Joyce last night said it was too early to read out Saints of the Day and instead told us that on this day in 1940 the first Pop Charts based on sales in stores were started.The first number one was a song called "I'll never smile again" sung by Frank Sinatra singing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Coincidence that a horse called Frank Sonata ran a few days ago and finished nowhere.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Heard that Galway City Council had plans to use decorative stone arrangement around Eyre Square in the city and that stones from China were being considered. Latest news is that stones from Dannie Costelloe's land in Taughmaconnell are to be used and in fact are loaded on a trailer and heading for Eyre Square. Taughmaconnell is immediately north of Ballinasloe.
News this morning that Iris Lawlor had passed away. Remember her as 'Statia Nolan many years ago in Tolka Row which was one of the first Irish Soaps. Jim Bradley who played a teenager called Christey
Remembers that the programme was shown at 7.30pm on Fridays and many churches that had service at 8.00pm changed their start time so as their congregation would be able to see Tolka Row.
Jim also remembers that each instalment was recorded without stoppage so that if any mistake was made the whole shebang had to start from scratch again. May she rest in peace.
Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown enquires how the Library is going on Thursday evening at 7 to 9pm and wonders if it lends out videos.She has some Disney movies which she is prepared to take over next time if the Library is interested. She is looking for more bird news and tells of a squirrel that watches the birds going for the peanuts and when they drop one, he runs in and grabs it. Wonder are they red or grey squirrels as an article last week highlighted the fact that the Irish native red squirrel is in danger from the Grey Squirrel that escaped from pelt farms.
The same Lorraine and Jim and family were one of the first to sent a generous contribution to the Kate Uganda Fund. Somebody suggested that if a group are going out for a drink or a meal to take Kate along and stand her a night out by collecting the price of the imaginary drink or meal and forward it to Kate via the mother Maureen.
About £55 of Badge World products were sold last evening bringing the total sale of badges to date to£737.
Last evening at 6.oo pm Martin Burke was helping to find TE Fm radio program as Mark Donegan was scheduled to play his Spanjo on The Dave Fanning Show. Then I looked out the window and saw Mark. He said they were to give him a call on the mobile when they wanted him to perform live over the air. We waited but no Mark. It appears they forgot about him and will use him more than likely this evening. Wish that Dave Fanning would also ring us and tell us what time Mark is performing.
Correction - it appears that some time past I mentioned that Colin Killeen had gone to London. It should have read Conor Killeen. And we have no local GAA notes since he left.
Home from England with her two boys is Patricia Carry and her mother tells us that they may be joining her next week in Mayo in their holiday home.
No fishermen staying in the village this week so it was good to see two Belgian coarse fishermen arrive last evening looking for a fishing location. We showed them two recently fished swims on The Suck at Ragherbeg and was terrified as they have a continental drive van but we got there. They are staying in Shannonharbour but waited on to hear Paudge Bennett who last evening was joined by a brilliant Swiss pianist.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Heard yesterday that Catriona Chambers gave us a mention on Late Date over the weekend but I missed it as the programme runs for over two hours up to 2pm and it clashes in the first half.
Wonder did she give Kates Fund a mention. Colin tells us that Louise' CD is almost ready and will send Catriona a copy. Daithi Rua missed out on his brother's Mark win as he had to fly back to Amsterdam for a gig.
Mother of Daithi Rua and Mark --- Dolores has commenced opening the Shannonbridge Tourist Office for three days a week. Friday numbers were poor she said.
Mark Cstello and family celebrated their child's christening yesterday with a meal in The Fort.
Cousin Sean Connolly Ballinasloe is a supporter of Buccaneers Rugby Club and attended Kilbeggan Races on Friday where Buccaneers had a hospitality tent £150 tickets and a draw for a car which Sean won.Nice one Sean.
Speaking of cars the brother in New Jersey was telling they had about 14 inches of rain in one day with six inches in 30 minutes during which he got a sick call.He set off and after a time the wipers failed and although he knew the area well his car went down into a gully and in seconds there was water around his shoulders. Lucky enough he got out and will be able to tell you about it when he comes home next week.
On Saturday I met two ladies from Michigan who told me they had been on an 1,800 mile trip around Ireland and had just been on The Bog Rail Tour. When asked if they had visited Clonmacnois they never heard of it or Newgrange or Ceide Fields or Clonfert or Meelick Church.
Then yesterday four cousins arrived in from Chicago Kathleen and Patsy O'Connor, Susan Sherlock Pingitore and Betty Saul and they had looked at this website before they came and had just visited Clonmacnois and seen the video and got the tour.
Hopefully they had a look at the bridge and the Fortifications and they have promised to visit Clononey, Banagher, Meelick and Eyrecourt and Clontuskert Abbey. I might even take them to Cloburren graveyard to visit their Great grandathers grave with a tank of water and some Parazone and even visit Devenish Island and Ragherabeg and The Quarries if they do a good job on the headstone. Birr Castle and Kinnity Castle and Leap Castle they can discover for themselves.
Dave Fanning has a radio show on RTE Radio 2FM and recently held a competition with a prize of a James Taylor guitar valued at £2000 and four VIP tickets for the James Taylor Plus concert in Kilkenny yesterday. Well so what.
The winner had to create their own unique instrument and play and sing two tunes on it.
Well Mark Donegan, brother of Daithi Rua (see Entertainment section) got a clothes hanger and used the frame to support a set of spanners to make up a scale of chords to create a Spanjo and played Jingle Bells and another tune to win the prize. Mark took his brother Tony, his Aunt Olive and Music Music comrade Colin Killeen along to the concert in Kilkenny yesterday for the concert which was very enjoyable.
This evening on Dave Fanning show Mark has been invited to perform once again on the Spanjo so have a listen on 2FM between 6.00pm and 7.30pm.Overseas readers may find it under unison
Results of matches at weekend. In hurling Clare 3-16  Offaly  2 - 10
In football
Laois and Westmeath was a draw.
Kerry beat Limerick in the replay.
Mayo beat Roscommon.
Tyrone beat Galway.
Fermanagh beat Cork.
Derry beat Wexford.
Talked to Michael Creggs at weekend and got someinformation about cleaning headstones.
He says to soak the stone in water and then apply Parazone and leave it to work for 30 minutes.
Then scrub and when finished wash down the stone thoroughly. Good to see some regular holidaymakers returning to Creggs this week.
Steve Peake and Kate in Uganda will be delighted to hear there was great response to the sale of Badge Worlds kind gift of badges, pins and keyrings for Kates hopes of upgrading the Dormitory in the Orphanage.Thursday sales 37.85 Euros. Friday 197.60 Euro. Saturday 227 Euro and on yesterday 220.46 Euro. Total so far 682.91 and still some remaining and some outloaded.
Think that we should organize a function or two in the parish for the project and it needs to be done soon so that Kate can supervize the money collected. Another fisherman who visits Shannonbridge Terry Smith today asked for more information on the project. The best information seems to be in the series of letters from Kate found on this wem and in the photographs sent back.Maybe for handiness our webmaster might create a Kate file of letters and photos and progress on fundraising. If you decide to have a fundraiser for this work you can forward any money raised to Maureen Thornhill. Shannonbridge, Athlone, Ireland who will bank it in Kates account so she can draw it down and use it in Uganda.

Friday, July 16, 2004

 When replying to Ed Butler yesterday I mentioned that an aunt of mine Molly Murray was married to a Butler and lived in Lysterfield Curraghboy County Roscommon. Ed replied to say that all his ancestors came from Curraghboy and he is going to ask his father for more information. Howza bout that.
Heard a nice story about Kevin Leahy from Fuerty who operates a very good scrap dealer business for car parts. Kevin buys secondhand cars and removes parts that are likely to sell.
Recently a client approached him looking for a widscreen for a vintage Anglia 105E. Remember the ones that had a sloped back window? This man had searched the country searching for a windscreen without success. Kevin went over to a storage rack and took down the very windscreen the man required. When the man asked the cost Kevin told him £30.
The man offered £20. Kevin took an iron bar from nearby and hit the windscreen which broke into a million pieces and told our friend he could take it for nothing.
John and Irene Mc Loughlin from Clonfad Schoolhouse were telling us last night that they read these pages as they work in Dublin and wondered why Jimmy and Nancy Ward had their Wedding anniversary mentioned and that Jimmy and Betty Dolan from Clonfinlough who were in their company celebrating 32 years of Marriage got no mention. Belated congatulations to Jimmy and Betty who were married in Moate Church on 15th July 1972.
Took a late runaround with the badges and keyrings last night  for Kates Uganda Orphanage and was sorry for not starting earlier as sales realized 37.85 Euro. First badge sold was an anti-apartheid badge bought by a Polish worker from the new power plant.
siting in the Library last evening 7 to 9 it was very obvious that the people using the Library are getting great satisfaction from the books. It is a pity more people dont discover this enjoyment.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Welcome to Ed Butler originally from Athlone who found our site while looking for some information on The Fortifications. He found some very good photos on
which are worth looking at.
Ed also looked up George Brent in a film encyclopaedia a few years ago after having seen him on a film on TV and was surprized that he came from Shannonbridge.
Ed hopes to visit here sometime to have a good look at The Fort.
Meanwhile the day has turned dull with a light shower of rain earlier on.There was great demand for nuts from the bird feeder this morning and they were queeeing for their turn.
North to Alaska were playing last night and were slow to start as the keyboard electric kept on playing and would notstop.Eventually they borrowed another keyboard and played on.
Kate will be glad to hear that Kathleen Egan took about twenty badges and keyrings from the Badgeworld gift box last night and plans to sell them in The Shack in Athlone where she works. She also took the same amount for her sister Bridgie Egan who works in Rohans Shop and Postoffice in Ballinahowen. Heard a group of women agreeing that there should be a Bring and Buy sale organized for Kate in Uganda and someone else was talking about a coffee morning.Kate means the project that isbeing undertaken by Kate Thornhill to improve the dormitory at the orphanage where she works.
Best wishes to Fergal. Linda and young Katie Moran who have moved into their new home in Ragherabeg this week.
Wonder how Shannonbridge will fare out in this years Tidy Towns Competition.The last five years markings from a total of 300 marks were 210, 213, 216, 219, and 222 last year.
Catriona Chambers tells us that listeners can tune into Late Date on the internet by typing the following into the search (at the appointed time,then clicking on'what's on now')Late Date broadcasts 00.05am-2am Sat&Sun nights,11.40pm-2am Mon-Fri.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

From what I hear there's great fundraising going on back there. Thanks a million to steve and liz for sending on the badges, hopefully they'll prove popular and get some money in for the cause. Thanks to the lads in the pub too for their gambling winnings!
The school is coming along great, there are 4 classrooms plastered now and all rooms have doors and windows. The builders are starting on the cement floors next week so I wont be tripping across the floor anymore! After that we'll get an estimate for the dorms and hopefully get them done in the next few months. I tried to get a video of the nursery to send home but it was too dark and nothing came out! We are constantly being thanked here for the work we are doing, but we wouldnt be able to do it without the help from home, so as they say out here, Weebale nnyo!
We had to go to the bank in the city this weekend to get more building money. Met a fella from Dublin who was also there taking out money for building. He was a nurse in Temple St but packed in his job to come out here and build an orphanage. He is married to a ugandan woman and so spends half the year out here. The owner of the internet cafe here in Masaka is also building a new orphanage, so there is great work going on.
On our journeys to Kampala we cross the Equator. Uganda is one of only ten countries through which the equator passes. I havent stopped there yet but will do before I leave. There are funnels on either side of the equator where you can pour water and watch it going clockwise, then hop across the line and see it going anti-clockwise.
Went to a place called Jinja this weekend. It is the source of the river nile. The have a huge dam here which supplies all of Uganda with Electricity (that is if you're connected). We got from the bus to our hostel on big padded bicycle carriers, a lovely way to travel! We stayed at a beautiful place called Bujagali Falls. While there we did some white water rafting. Brilliant but terrifying. I fell out once when the boat flipped over and thought I was going to drown! We got off to a bad start when a south african woman broke her nose off an oar, and she was in the safety boat!
Went to our first Disco here where we played pool on an L-shaped pool table! We Stayed in a mad guest house in the city on our way home. We had to walk across a building site to get to the entrance. The house was actually built around the building site so when we left our room we were faced with scaffolding and builders! It was across the road from the biggest market in Uganda called Owino market - a mad place full of people who sit on the ground selling loads of stuff. There were lads running around with massive bags on their heads and women with baskets of bananas and babies on their backs. Its was a crazy crazy place and everything was dirt cheap. You can get jeans for 6 euros!
On our journey home to Masaka our bus broke down about 50 kms from home just as it was getting dark. So we all piled onto the side of the road. We ended up getting a lift in a matooke truck - a bit like a cattle lorry at home, Sure there's never a dull moment!!
The Star newspaper yesterday had a full page feature on golfer Padraig Harrington and one picture had him seated on a Harvey Davidson motorbike.Noticed that his webpage address was stamped on his helmet which is if you are interested.
Oliver Hilliard was the first to buy a badge for the Kate fund last night choosing a gold coloured pin with a heart and the logo The Fields of Athenry written on it.
Was trying to contact Maureen Thornhill yesterday and then someone said she was chasing Cary in the car. It appears that Cary decided to take a spin to Ballina on his bike to visit his sons Mike and David a trip of about 80 miles and Maureen took the easier way by car.
Notice every night on the RTE radio programme Late Date that they are broadcasting on AM, FM , and World Wide Web. Dont know how the last one works but it is working as Catriona Chambers tells us they have had requests from countries all over Europe and America and Australia.It is under unison but will let you know more when I find out.You can listen to live or recorded programmes that usually start at midnight and run for two hours.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Yesterday a box of assorted badges arrived from Steve Peak who owns Badgeworld that specialize in badges and nametags. These are a present from Steve and Liz to the fundraising for Kate Thornhill plans for improving the orphanage dormitory in the school in Uganda where she works.There are hundreds of badges and if you are willing to help sell them contact Maureen Thornhill or Colin Killeen.Many thanks to Steve and all in Badgeworld. There are a number of bags of coins available in exchange for a note for Kate (suggested $10)which make excellent starter kits for young coin collectors with about ten countries represented in each pack. Available in Killeens.
Good to see Joe Kennedy from Birr in Shannonbridge last evening with his son Michael and wife and child.Told us that he had an update carried out on the family plot in Clonmacnois and car sales are very good.
Martin Burke and Alo Moran went out trolling for pike on the Shannon again yesterday and caught a number of medium sized pike and one small pike that Martin reckoned was not much bigger than The Flying !C! that Alo was using.Course they lost the big one.
There was great talk last night about The Walk and The Golden Mile.It appears that a local radio had a feature on these two areas and Pat and John Hardiman and their wives filled us in on the location. The Walk is a mile of roadway stretching a mile south of Rooty schoolhouse accessed by turning right at Clonfad Church two miles from Shannonbridge.The Golden Mile is before you reach the Walk and has got the name from the amount of rubbish collected from the hedgerows by a group of dedicated people living in the Drumalga area such as Rose Bracken, Ag Craven, Martin Craven and Pakey Goode.The operation of collecting rubbish from the ditches yielded sixty sacks from the Golden Mile.Well done to everyone involved.
Michael Doyle from Melbourne Australia writes an invitation on behalf of Garryowen GAC Melbourne to hurlers and footballers heading for Melbourne on holiday or to settle.They have mens hurling and football teams and ladies football team and their season runs from February until mid September.Any players heading that way are asked to bring a few hurlies and a helmet with them.
You can contact Michael at and his mobile is 0438921067 in Melbourne.They are updating their website at present which is
hello from sydney!

well as derry pointed out, it's been quite a while since we updated. all is going well here. we had two very cold days and three or four days of heavy rain, but the sunshine has returned again. since my last update, sarah started work as a carer and i'm still making kebabs. the job are going well. we've gotten into a routine, settling into the jobs now and at the moment we aren't really doing the touristy things like we did in capetown. so there's nothing really to report. i've started jogging now in the mornings. it's amazing what a difference it makes when you quit smoking. i'm almost 4 months off the cigarettes now, and alrealy i can jog for longer than just a few seconds. i can really notice how i'm getting alot more use out of my lungs. think about it smokers!
that's all for now, until next time - bye!

Monday, July 12, 2004

See where Man United soccer team have games in Chicago, Philadelphia and New York from July 25 to 31.
Some inter county results from weekend F- football.H=hurling.
Wexford 2-14 Offaly 0-15 F
Cork beat Tipperary H
Dublin beat Longford F
Armagh beat Donegal F
Kilkenny beat Galway H
Limerick and Kerry drew in Football.
Was telling Jim Mooney about Michael and Audrey Scotney's horse MALLARD running in England on Saturday.He finished up favourite and was unplaced.
The Parish Newsletter yesterday had an African Proverb that goes -
"If you think you are to small to make a difference, try going to bed with a mosquito"
Focal Scoir :'Is goire cabhair De na an doras'
Finally weather is good today with pleasant sunshine.Fishermen are not pleased but you can't please everyone.
Ray and Angela Walshe returned yesterday after a holiday in Croatia with temperatures at 40C or 104F which Ray found a bit too hot. Hotels were air conditioned and had swimming pools which helped.The place was near Medjegoure and they took the time to visit there. Ray was saying that the temperature last year reached 50C. They found prices and things as cheap as Ireland.
Friends of Ray and Angela - Bruno and Maria Winkel from Darmstaad near Frankfurt are arriving today for a months stay at Ray's old home in Clonfinlough.
Saw a question on the paper yesterday asking where can you find the Turoe Stone, a carved granite boulder C 250 - 150BC.
The Late Date radio program last night had an e-mail request sent in by a listener in California.Contact Looking forward to hearing your names on radioNotice that our two girls in Sydney have not written any accounts for some time.Meanwhile money has started to be sent to Kate in Uganda from friends in Philadelphia and California. Read her account under Kate and if you wish to help her mother Maureen Thornhill, Shannonbridge, Athlone, Ireland will accept your offer and bank it to Kate's account so that she can draw it down in Uganda for her project in upgrading the orphanage hospice.
Surprize on Saturday with a visit from Foss Daly from Baltimore and originally from Rashina travelling with his daughter and her husband and two boys Adrian and Mark and Linda's brother in Law and Dermot Daly from near Dundalk and San Diego.They brought the sad news that Jean Daly wife of Noel Daly had died and was buried today Monday.Also that Linda's father in law had just been buried.
Foss Daly is trying to get more information on the Keena Family from Corrigeen and possibly Clonascra and wanted to contact Nuala Lowry who wrote an article in the parish millenium book on Clonmacnois.
Forgot to tell him about the recent celebrations in Tullamore for the Railway - 150 Years, the Distillery - 175 Years, and the Canal - 200 Years as the Daly family once owned The Distillery in Tullamore and the name is in wrought iron in the gateway - R.Daly and Sons.
Fibber Magees pub in Galway grabbed the headlines last week by allowing their customers to smoke but after talking to the Gardai and health officials they reverted to a no smoking pub once more.
Going out to Clondelara on Saturday to visit Jimmy Mooney I noticed some very large bales of hay in Duffys and Kennys fields.Was telling Jimmy about the Wild Woodbine tree at Kajon House and he took me out to the garden to see his pair of wild woodbine fully in bloom and with a wonderful perfume.He also has blackcurrant bushes laden with big ripe fruit but what really caught my eye was the gooseberry trees with the biggest gooseberries I had ever seen and all clean and unblemished.They were just starting to ripen and tasted marvellous. Jimmy told me that the best time to sow Wild Woodbine is in October from a slip.
Walking home afterwards Peader and Mary Allen stopped to give me a lift and there on the back seat was a huge bunch of freshly picked Woodbine.
The Shannonbridge Tourist Office will commence operations this week and will be open for three days with Dolores Donegan as host.No details of days or times available.Tel 090-9674344
Surprized to see a Ford Orion '89 car once owned by the late Martin Egan park on the street yesterday. But all was explained when his widow Margaret arrived in with daughter Aisling and her two sons Aedan and Jacob who are home for two months and the car is getting a new lease of life.
Yesterday it was announced that the Mass in Clonmacnois for the Blessing of The Graves will be celebrated on Friday 6th August.
Heard that Louis Farrelly wedding day is set for 29th July near Kilcock and two pals from Sydney Finian Kenny Shannonbridge and another are coming over from Sydney for the celebration.
Best wishes to Jason Kelly who is gone to work in New York for three months.Im sure some Gaelic football scout will find out that he can play football. Our GAA correspondent for this website and local papers Colin Killeen has gone to work in London.
See that Daithi Rua is taking a break in Shannonbridge for a few days and his friend Monika from Oslo who was here for the first time in February is paying a return visit.
Jim and Nancy Ward celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary with a meal in Haydens on Saturday night and a surprize party in the hotel's Regency Room afterwards with music by the Sean Crehan Band and food and drink and dancing and talk and chat.You missed it. Congratulations Jimmy and Nancy.

Friday, July 09, 2004

A group of Anglers / Golfers last evening were trying to decide where to go play golf today and bought a copy of the Irish Golfers Guide to Open Fixtures which is produced by Oliver Hilliard from Shannonbridge and costs £8. Loooking at todays choices they found about 25 courses had some type of open fixture including Moate. Just then Oliver Hilliard arrived and gave them some free advice and signed their guide.
Earlier the five had dined in the Fort and were full of praise for the service and meal presented.
They told us that their friend and oft times visitor to Shannonbridge Bill Baker has bought a fishery with six lakes in Wales and can be found with a search engine under nineoaks Aberaeron if you want a look.
Good to see Marion Donegan home from England and looking well as always.
Shinrone Nursing Home run regular Bingo sessions for their patients and use small items such as talcum powder, notebooks, nail polish, perfume, socks, scented candles, tissues,pens,hotwater bottle covers etc as prizes.They are always looking for more prizes so if you have any suitable unwanted items that you would like to contribute you can pass them on by leaving them in the Library any Thursday night 7 to 9pm. Rose Ryan has agreed to deliver your items to Shinrone.Think about it.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Wednesday evening at 8.00 PM every week a Mass is celebrated in Clonmacnois in the oratory at the head of the back road leading to the new cemetery.
Thursday night from 7 to 9 the library in Shannonbridge is open.
Do consider coming along and looking at the wide range of books on offer.
Shannonbridge minor footballers had an exciting win over Banagher last evening with just one point making the difference.
Bridie Carry tells us that her daughter Patricia is coming home on holiday in about ten days time and she is looking forward to it.
Expect to hear new sounds from Louise's backing group as Mike Thornhill and Colin Killeen set off today to attend The Willie Clancy School of Music in Clare. Truly dedicated to the cause.
Late night radioman Val Joyce reminds us of the Saints of the Day each night on his program.Last night I took a little more interest when he announced that today was the Feastday of Saint Killen. Saint Killian was born in Mullagh County Cavan and was based in Clonmacnois for a time before departing for Germany with eleven others in the seventh century where they settled around Warzburg. After a dispute with a king he was murdered in 688 AD.Killeen has a church dedicated to him in Clonmacnois and the Cathedral in Wartzburg is named Saint Killen.Howzabout that.
Yesterday turned out to be a glorious day and Alo Moran and Martin Burke went out in the boat fishing. They went a few miles downstream to Derryholmes and fished for a few hours using Flying C's which are a popular bait for salmon trout pike perch and muskie.They were hoping for a salmon and did not use steel traces as Martin claims that salmon can see them and traces are necessary to prevent pike biting through the line.Three pike went for the bait and they landed one measuring 31 inches that weighed 4 Kilo which was released back alive.
In the Fishing Gala competition on the River Suck yesterday's match was won by former world champion Kevin Ashurst with a catch of just over 26 Kilo.Everybody is catching fish and the competition is going well.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Well its been another exciting week here in Uganda.
Last saturday we went to a lake for the day. When we found out the lake was free from bilharzia two of us decided to go in for a quick dip, thinking we were safe as houses. We were getting out when we noticed a crowd of people standing at the shore. We thought they were just looking at muzungus in bikinis. Then we spotted this black thing in the water. It was a snake! nearly had a heart attack . We legged it out of the water. The kids started throwing stones at it and beating it with a stick. They eventually killed it and took it out for us to have a look at. Turned out it was a cobra!! A big black snake with yellow rings arond its neck. They told us a snake cant bite you in the water, but i'll be thinking twice before I get in for a swim again. Took the obligatory tourist shot so i'll send it on home. We also came across three monkeys while we were walking down the road! I'm waiting for a lion to jump out of the bushes one of these days!
The building has started on the school this week and they are making great progress. Most of the windows are in and one room has been plastered. It should be finished in two weeks time and then we can look at improving the dorms.
Met three Irish girls last week who are over as part of their medical course in Royal college of surgeons. It was great to meet other Irish people.
The weather here is starting to really heat up. I have to cover up going out into the sun as I am getting burnt alive. The kids are amazed at my red skin and are always touching my arms. They are also amazed with moles and freckles.
I saw a white black man the other day, never knew there was such thing! He was an albino - white as me with white afro hair. Another strange thing out here is the sight of grown men walking around holding hands like 8 year old school girls. Its common to see men in their 50's walking round with their arms linked!
We were helping some local kids carry water on sunday when we noticed one of them had very red and sore looking eyes. We called into her house to ask her mothers permission to bring her to the hospital. There are seven kids and 3 adults living in a tiny two bedroomed house. So we took Night and her sister Juliet off to the government hospital the next day. Medical care is free here in Uganda so we couldnt understand why her mother wouldnt bring her. One of the girls turned out to be blind in one eye after someone poked a stick in her eye in school a few years ago! She wanted us to buy her glasses cause she thought they would improve her eyesight! The other girl had an alergy so we got drops for her and showed her how to put them in. The governement hospital was in better condition than we expected but the system here is terrible. If you bribe the nurses you can skip the queue and nobody says anything. We starting giving out to people who were doing it and tried to form a proper queue but i'm sure the minute we left they were all over the place again. Emma was wandering round looking for the maternity ward in the hospital but ended up going into the TB ward! We are hoping we wont end up in the hospital ourselves next week.
Times up will mail later in the week
Chris and Sharon White from Sydney have been touring the south and west of Ireland and heading back to Dublin they stopped off for a couple of days in Shannonbridge staying with Jim and Noreen Reynolds in Glenderham House.Yesterday they visited Shannonbridge, Clonmacnois, Bog Rail Tour, Shannonharbour, Banagher and Birr. They were in great singing voice last night and linked up with Martha Mc Dermott and Pascal long after Charlie Mc Morrow had finished.
Today they are moving nearer to Dublin but plan to visit Mullingar, Newgrange and Dundalk on their way.Hope they enjoyed their stopover.
About twenty five years ago Steve and Liz Peak and their daughter Kim holidayed in Shannonbridge for a number of years. Last year Steve and Liz stopped off in the village while on holiday and a kind e-mail from Steve today tells that they have a badge factory and are offering a few hundred mixed badges to be used as fundraising for Kate's orphanage in Uganda.He has also offered to provide school badges for the Uganda school.
Thank you Steve Liz and Kim for the kind offer and if you forward the badges we will put them up for sale. Kate will reply whether she needs school badges.
Good to hear from regular Californian visitors to Shannonbridge Ken and Betty that a cheque is on its way to Maureen Thornhill Shannonbridge Athlone Ireland.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown wants to know should she forward money to Kate Thornhill or what. The best way to get money to Kate in Uganda to help her with her plan for improving the orphanage dormitory is to send a cheque to Maureen Thornhill, Shannonbridge, Athlone, Ireland. Maureen will lodge it to Kate's account and she can draw it down from the bank in Uganda. Use whatever currency you use. It costs a lot of money for bank drafts or whatever. A simple cheque is best.Sooner than later is best.
Had two photographs in the post yesterday morning from Mick Peake London. One shows Mick with a lovely catch of tench from a backwater taken a few weeks ago and the other one is of Killeen's Pub taken from the outside at 4.30 AM with a digital camera. Will try and have them scanned and added somewhere on this site.
The Hot Water stretch looked awful yesterday and the water levels are ideal for carrying out repairs and alterations so today I contacted Mattie Nolan Mullingar of Fisheries to ask him to come and have a look.He has a bad cold but promised to come over in a few days.
Plenty of sunshine today but it may not be settled.Heard tales of downpours in Tullamore and Portlaoise yesterday.
Cruiser traffic on the river appears to be down so maybe now is the time to grab a boat.
This week about fifty anglers are fishing a four day fishing festival on the River Suck organized by Leisure Angling, 33 Dovedale Road, Liverpool L18 5EP tel 0151 734 2344.
Yesterday Dave Houghton of L.A. came to Shannonbridge to look at the Shannonbridge area as regards fishing and accommodation for their clients. Took them to Ragherabeg where Dave Feeley and his daughter Kathleen had caught about 30 pounds of fish in the morning. Took some photographs and he visited some guesthouses that were new to him and gave him a map with the guesthouses and self catering houses listed with their telephone numbers. Took him to see the Hot Water stretch and told him of the plan to clean up and renovate the area by ESB and Fishery Board.Seems that Dave writes articles for fishing magazines and looked to me as if he was collecting material for an article next winter.
Shannonbridge GAA Notes

Conor Killeen reports

Minor Football Championship

Shannonbridge Minors will take on local rivals St Rynaghs in a home game on this Wednesday evening @ 7.30.

Shannonbridge reached the Minor final last year and still have a large number of last years team still underage.

On that day Shannonbridge were heavily defeated by St Broughans, who beat every other team by at least ten points and were obviously were far too strong for this grade as they have a combination of three clubs.

This is why I can not understand how they are in the B Championship again this year. Surely this is of no benefit for smaller clubs who wait to be hammered by these super Clubs and it will not improve St Broughans who will not be really tested.

Poor Support for our Hurlers
I was in Croke park last Sunday to watch Offaly take on Wexford in the Leinster final and I could not believe how much support Wexford brought with them and must have taken up approximately 70% of the attendance.

This must have been a huge psychological boost for the Yellow bellies. I was also in New Bridge to see Offaly beat Kildare in the football qualifiers and Offaly must have taken up a approximately 15% of the crowd that day.

As a proud sporting County we expect so much of our players but yet we have too many armchair supporters and not enough who are actually willing to come out and and give their team a lift when it really counts.

Surely if our support increased so too would our chances of winning.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Willie Walsh uncle of Alfie Walsh died suddenly in Ballinasloe at the weekend. Willie was well known in the area and in his younger days was a drummer with The Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band.
May the Lord have mercy on his soul.
Saturday night's Mass was celebrated as an anniversary Mass for the late Brian Flannery of Crevagh who died 14 years ago.
Yesterday the Mass was celebrated as a twelfth Anniversary for the late Hugh Kelly, Shannonbridge.
Nephews of Mickie Mac arrived by boat in Shannonbridge on Saturday night for the start of a holiday on the river.
Selections of old coins are on sale in Killeens as a fund raiser for Kate in Uganda to help her with her work on the dormitories.
Ideal for a starter for coin collectors.
Weather generally fresh and windy with showers and sunshine.
Wexford beat Offaly in the hurling yesterday and Offaly now play Clare on the back door system.
Tom Nugent and his mother Bina were home for the weekend and look great.
Welcome to George Pearson aged 88 years and his son Pat Pearson who are visiting the area for the first time on a fishing holiday as guests of John and Vera Carty at Ashbrook House.
A few old friends have returned to fish this week.Dave Feeley and his ten year old daughter Kathleen arrived on Saturday and caught fish straight away on the River Suck. Kathleen had three nice bream in her net.
Keicester angler Mick Wright had over 40 pounds on his first day on the River Suck yesterday catching bream to 3.5 pound and roach and hybrid.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Head on over to the Photo Gallery to see some photos of the room that Kate is doing up in Uganda.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Its great to hear so many people are interested in helping the people out here. I m getting an estimate on the dorm this week and am hoping to double it in size, put in a proper floor and get some presses for the kids to put their stuff in. Building on the school starts on Monday. Emma raised over 2000 and is doing up 6 classrooms - Some very generous people gave me money coming over, so I am putting that towards doing up another room which will become the nursery. At the moment over 50 kids are squashed into a tiny little dark room with 2 teachers. I have sent a photo on to dave so i'm sure he'll put it on the web.
Myself and Emma went into town on Tuesday with our African builder and carpenter to buy cement, lime, timber, hinges, and lots of other stuff like that. We spent the whole day haggling with hardware men and builders. I will put the estimate on the web later so ye can see how much things cost here. We are collecting the stuff today so have to sit on top of the load to bring it to the school - a bit like going to the bog i suppose!
As for day to day life it is still as bizzare as ever. Took a boda boda to town the other day. The driver just stopped on the road, told me to get off the bike, then he got off and turned the bike sideways on the road. He was trying to get the last of the petrol into the tank! When we pulled into a petrol station to fill up he only put 20cent worth in! Petrol is very expensive over here compared to everything else so they nerver fill the tank.
It rained very heavily again one of the days this week - I saw alot of the kids coming to school with big banana leaves for umbrellas. I was teaching one of the days it rained heavily and had to stop as the kids couldn't hear a thing with the rain pelting off the galvanize. They all have to move into the middle of the room to avoid getting a soaking.
I went up to the city last weekend. Three of us piled onto a minibus full of people with bags of rice and maize on the floor and a few chickens in the back. At every stop people surround the bus sticking chicken and pork kebabs in your face, or selling tea, fruit and bananas. On the way back we got a big bus which didn't leave the bus park for an hour and forty minutes, so we had to sit there in the swealtering heat. They dont go anywhere till the bus fills up which is a pain. You could do your weekly shopping on the bus. All these people get on selling stuff from watches, hats, shoes and glasses to Bread, buns and even dinner on a plate! We stayed in a hostel up there and spent the first hour walking round checking out the showers, toilets, lights and tv! It was great to have a bit of normailty but it was also very strange to be around so many white people again!
I received books in the post today which should help alot with the teaching, so thanks to Dylan for donating them. We got new desks for the classes today so the kids were very excited, it is alot easier to teach them now as they are not on the floor. Well have to go and jump on a load of cement. Bye
Mike Thornhill had the idea of setting up a special account for Kate Funds for her Uganda Orphanage Dormitory improvements but it seems Kate would not be able to draw down money from it. The best way of getting your money to Kate is to send or give it to Maureen Thornhill -Kate's mother at Shannonbridge, Athlone and she will lodge it into Kate's account.Then Kate can draw it down as required in Uganda. And if you have been reading her accounts so far it is required.
The Banks are Boyos. When Ken and Betty Smith in California asked their bank about sending 100 Euro for Kate's Uganda project they were told it would cost $25. We are looking into the best way and hopefully Mike Thornhill will have the answer here soon.
The Shannonbridge Active Retirements held an End of Year Party on Wednesday night in the Community Center after Mass at 8.00pm.
An open invitation was issued to other groups in Banagher, Boher,Pullagh and Ferbane and well over a hundred arrived in cars and in three buses. After food was served Joe Cleary's Band played and sang for a few hours making for a very enjoyable night which must be a satisfaction for all the voluntary work done in preparing for the night.
The donors of the Birds Nest Soup book to the library have contacted us to say they had searched many bookstores in England and America looking for the book and then someone told them to try Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto who had it in stock.The voice that answered the telephone welcomed them to the Gay and Lesbian bookshop and that was the reason they dealt anonomysly.
Last evening a Dutch couple Kees and Elly Leyenekker who are frequent visitors stopped overnight with two friends Evelyn and Michelle. When we met they enquired for Mara a jack russel dog we owned when they were last here some years ago.They met Mara a few times walking by the river. Back home they keep cats and there two latest cats are called Shannon and Mara. It is a bit ironic but the Mara dog was killed by a car as he tore across the street after a cat.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Birds Nest Soup by Hanna Greally arrived from Glad Day Bookshop Toronto. It tells the story of account of being locked up for twenty years in The Big House or Mental Hospital. The book is now in Shannonbridge Library. Thanks to the anonomous donor.
Our racing correspondent told us that Mallard was running in Lingfield yesterday. Mallard was quoted at 14 / 1 and finished second beaten by a short head at 11 / 1. The horse is owned by Michael and Aubrey Scotney from Peterborough who visit the area a few times a year.Michael for many years organized the Race Night at the Ballinasloe Fishing Gala in aid of local charities. Martin our R.C. reckons that they are due to visit again soon.
Brydon Peterson from Shetland is celebrating his 50th birthday this week cruising on the Shannon.Seems that Ida and Balfour Wylie from Orkney met up with their friends Brydon and Julia Peterson and Andrew Nicolson from the Shetland and whisked Brydon to the airport.They had to wait a day to get a cheap flight to Ireland (£25 return), but what the heck, and took a cruiser on the Shannon. They are surprized at the pace of life they have found along the river and are enjoying it and their holiday.