Friday, October 29, 2004

News of more floods in Clonmel where houses were evacuated and there was a crowd waiting at the new bridge in Enniscorty today waiting for the water to rise and cover it. Heard about a person in one of the seaside towns in County Cork who built a new house on a street that was liable to flood and he decided to raise the floor level by three blocks (about 30"). When the planning authority people saw it they ordered him to knock it down as it was not in keeping with the surrounding street. Some local floods last evening between Belmont and Cloghan. Colin took a photograph of the flood in the callows north of the village near sunset and there was a remarkable golden colour on the grass of a field that has not been used this year. Hope it comes out.
Saw on the papers yesterday that a young Doctor O'Brien from Rosemount has just been awarded 1.2 million euros to research osteoporosis. Initially he qualified as an engineer.
Conor has got a job with a GAA magazine and starts work next week. The old weekly gaa notes for this site are paying off.
Longford and Westmeath are to be rejoined as a four seater constituency for the next election.
Copies of JohnJoe Grenham's book on Moore are now available in the Library. There are some remarkable articles and photographs in the book and there is a fine colour photograph on the front cover of Lamb Island and the homeplace of Michael Mc Cann who wrote O Donnell Abu.
There are books on West Clare Railway and another on Irish Landscapes by Frank Mitchell
now available in the Library and a Book of Quotations that caught my eye as they are all based on the old Brehon Laws.
Finally plenty of rain last evening but today has turned outdry. Martin Burke tells us that the Goldfinches are back in their garden again but he has not started to feed them as yet.
Christmas is coming and the Library will have this years final night on 16th December and will re-open on 13th January. Visit it soon.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Well the count down is on and I only have 3 days left in the school. They have erected a big tent like thing from eucalyptus logs and tarpaulin at the side of the school for the party on Sunday. I'm dreading it as there are a load of parents, local councilors, villagers and friends coming and I’ll probably be crying in front of the whole lot of them.
I have started giving away a lot of my things before I go - when you give a gift to a Ugandan they kneel down in appreciation which is a bit hard to get used to.
I will miss my classes where anything can happen. I’ve often had to chase chickens out of the room or had to avoid lizards that fell into the room from the galvanized roof!
I can't believe I have been here for 5 and a half months, the time went by too fast. For the whole 5 1/2 months I got the same oil soaked dinner twice a day every day. Taking away holidays and weekends that makes for about 300 of the same oily dinners, which makes for a fat Kate! I’ll have to walk the Clonmacnoise road every day when I get home!
I was in the hairdressers again this week to get plaits as they are handy for traveling, it took 5 hours and my head is twice its normal size. Women over here are always grooming themselves and are very interested in their appearance. They think nothing of sitting for 8 or 9 hours in a hairdressers. They always have their nails painted and have the maddest hairstyles! Its only 35cents to get a manicure and pedicure! Getting hair extensions is only 5 euros! They also dress very well and you see a lot of them going around in what look like grad dresses! The older women wear a traditional dress called a Gomez. I got a present of one this week from one of the teachers. It’s a long dress with a square neck and big pointy shoulders; they wear this with a very wide belt. The men’s traditional dress is a cassock, which is like a white habit with a design on the chest.
Laura the medical student was telling about one of her patients this week, a man came in with a massive cut on his head; his nephew had hit him with a machete. Laura said the cut was almost down to the bone from the top of his ear to his neck, the nurses were going to send him down to be stitched, but the man required immediate surgery. He didn’t come to the hospital for a day and a half after it happened, he’s 86 and somehow he survived the whole thing. Its amazing how some of them survive over here. She also met a 104 year old man up there!
Saw some sad and some interesting things on the way to Kampala last week. In one village I saw a beggar woman drinking water from a dirty puddle! Then there is one certain stretch of road where fellas wave huge fish and chickens in front of the car. Lots of people stop to buy them, but instead of putting them into the car they tie them to the front grill. So lots of buses, car and trucks have fish hanging from either the front grill or the wing mirrors – its very strange sight when driving around!
The main fish over here are Tilapia and Nile perch,both are delicious, the only problem is when you order them they come with the head on and the two beady little eyes looking up at you!
I eventually found and purchased two black stones today. I’m told Oliver Darcy wants one for Oliver Hillards brain!
Had an enquiry from Dorothy Guinan in Boston as to how she can purchase a copy of John Joe Grenham's book on Moore, The Customes & Traditons of a Rural Community. Well if you live in America you can order your copy from Mrs Blake, Drumalga Park, Oldtown, Athlone, Ireland at a cost of $25 which includes postage. Shannonbridge people will have the opportunity of buying a copy in the Library in Shannonbridge any Thursday night from 7 to 9 pm. Cost 20 Euros.
Dorothy Guinan tells us that her Grandparents Guinan and Downey were married in Moore Church with Kenny and Naughton as witnesses. Her son has mastered the bagpipes and has promised to play a few tunes on their next visit.
Norman and Mary Smith and their two daughters were regular visitors to Shannonbridge for many years when Norman was coarse fishing. Mary tells us that her daughter Naryse has had a baby girl that was born one day early and weighed 9 Lbs. 13 Ozs. Congratulations to all.
The Wednesday Table Quiz last night in Killeens was in aid of Christmas Lights for the village and about 125 Euros were raised.
The strong winds and rain yesterday hit the south of the country causing flooding and electricity blackouts. Winds reached 80 MPH and about 80 mm of rain fell in parts of the south. Cork City Center was under four feet of water at 6 pm last night. Shannonbridge got off light with more rain and light winds. The river level has risen further with almost all of Darcy's callow upstream from the village now under water. Had three anglers from Sheffield based in Portumna call in to enquire about fishing. They are limited to the floating jetties at Shannonbridge and Clonmacnois, an anchored boat, the canal or lakes such as at Boora.
Report out yesterday says that Ireland's population has increased by one million in thirty years.
The most popular names for babies in 2003 were Sean and Emma and 30 % of last years babies were born to single mothers.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

The newspapers tell that there are 90,000 new customers signing up for new electricity connections this year which gives an idea of the amount of new homes and apartments being created.
The weather forecast for today and into tomorrow is for strong winds from the south reaching up to 80 MPH and bringing flooding and rain. This forecast caused George and Mary Hogarty from the USA , who had been holidaying in the West of Ireland, to change their plans and head straight back to Dublin rather than stop off in Shannonbridge.
The series of Wednesday night Table Quizzes for the winter starts in Killeens tonight with proceeds going to some organization or charity or whatever.
The Ferbane Bridge Club members have organized a special Mass on next Tuesday night 2nd November in Ferbane Church at 7.00 pm in rememberance of the late Jimmy Mooney.
Found a leaflet in the Church on Sunday with what I think is Saint Patrick's Breastplate prayer.
Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me.

Christ beneath and Christ above,
Christ on my right hand,
Christ on my left.
Christ with me waking,
walking and sleeping.

Christ in every heart thinking of me,
Christ in every tongue speaking to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Met a group of eight people spending the weekend on a cruiser and wearing blue jumpers with Crew 2004 Ireland stamped on. They told that two years ago they took part in a scenic trip in Australia as individuals - 2 Swiss, 1 Canadian and 5 Irish. Last weekend they had come together and hired a Silverline cruiser in Banagher and came upstream to Shannonbridge for Saturday night and went to visit Clonmacnois and almost Athlone on Sunday before returning to Shannonbridge on Sunday night. And Sean, Yvonne, Steve, Vicky, Ritchie, Adrian, Niall and Georgina, who nearly crashed the boat, are honest as they came back on Sunday night to pay for sandwiches that they had eaten the night before.
Book Launch of the late John Joe Grenham's work on Moore took place on Sunday evening and a good crowd turned up to enjoy the speeches food music and readings. Copies are available at 20Euro and it tells the customs and traditions of a rural community over many years.
The Goldcrest last week arrived safely home to Joe Burke's house in Ardnagug and Joe introduced it to his feeders which it was glad to use.
Two more gifts of books presented to the Library. One by Mary Duffy of Aughnacabe and Dublin has some lovely hardbacks such as Gone With The Wind. The other books belonged to the late Father Paddy Malone from Clare and were given in by his sister Theresa Breslin. Saw in one of this collection a book on the Famine and an account of a man that had the flesh eaten from his legs and by the expression on his face the people that found him knew that he was alive while the pigs ate his flesh. Read it for yourself. Thursday evening 7 to 9 pm.
This week the Irish Catholic has a review on Listowel and its Vicinity since 1973 by Father Tony Gaughan. The photo featured in the review shows the Pope presenting a gift to Colm O Brien who was Director of the Listowel Singers in Rome in 1989.
Weekend papers told of the death in Listowel of Philomena Beary, nee English from Tullamore, who at one time lived in The Bungalow which later became Grennan's Guesthouse. May she rest in peace.
Donal Kenny from Clonboniff and Rachel Keenaghan from Moate were married in Tubber on Friday and with a group of their friends visited Shannonbridge on Saturday. Rachel should make a great wife as she did a bit of shopping picking up a pan , saucepan, a rat-trap, a plunger for the toilet, washing powder and a packet of currants as a surprize for Donal.
Many natives home for the weekend including Niall Price from Wales who promised he will keep us updated on life in Wales.
River has swollen with a foot rise in 24 Hours over the weekend. The old jetty is flooded and there is a broad band of water out on Darcy's Callow upstream. Brian who lives on the canal barge tells us that each day he records the river level, temperature, wind direction.
Many of Kate's Kids in Uganda have written some very good Thank You letters to people that helped improve their school and orphanage in Uganda and Cary and Kerrill Thornhill have displayed a number of these in Church, shops and pubs around the village and hopefully will be able to slot them in under Kate's corner on the Shannonbridge website. Katongole Joseph and Lwandago Florence wrote the two letters that I saw and both decorated their letters with a selection of drawings.
Jimmy Lawlor and Rose have moved into Shannonbridge from their home in Clondelara and now live at the end of the Cul de Sac across from the Church. Wonder will somebody purchase their old home and renew it ?
Mary Coughlan was telling us yesterday that she is having her home re-thatched at present. Pat and herself were remembering the time when Pat and my mother used to call into Coughlans when they went collecting plums. Where is Annaghmore ? They tell me than when you branch for Belmont at Mullaghature you take the first by road to the left for Annaghamore. Pat remembers families of Robinson, Delaney, Bob Johnson and Coughlans living there then.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

This week I’ve been more like a social worker than a teacher. I spent half the day Tuesday taking photographs and details from 35 kids who need sponsorship. I went out visiting the sick on Wednesday then on Thursday I had to console one kid whose mother beat him. They are really bad for beating kids here; I suppose Ireland was the same fifty years ago. I also took an 18 month old to the hospital as she had ringworm and a bad cough. It was hilarious, everyone was looking and wondering if she was my daughter - a few were brave enough to come up and ask me. Hospital treatment is very cheap over here, it only costs about 1.50 to take a kid to hospital and get whatever medication they need. I also got some malaria tablets for myself which only cost 45cents a pack. They are around 30 euros a pack at home!
I got a load of new toys for the kids last week so for the first time the yard looks like a play ground. Some of the teachers were as excited as the kids about the toys! They had never seen badminton racquets, frisbees or tennis racquets before! I am plagued now every evening with them looking to play.
On Wednesday I went to a place called Mokondo where more Irish nuns live. They run a school and health clinic out there. There are only 3 elderly nuns running it. They provide requirements (uniforms, copies, pens etc.) for 600 children! One of the nuns was telling me about a case where a headmaster of a private school took two of his female p7 students home one weekend. He got both of them pregnant. He was arrested but bribed both the police and the girl’s families. He paid the families 1 million for each of the girls, they are both missing now. He also bribed the police and is now back as headmaster of his school! Sr Josephine is going to try to get a lawyer and get the man to court.
The vegetarians in my family will be disgusted with me as I bought and killed a load of chickens this week so the kids could eat meat. The boarders never get to eat meat, they have posho (like semolina) and beans twice a day every day for the whole term. We had a big feast on Saturday which was very nice. Killing the chickens was gross though. They were telling me how to do it but there is no way I'd touch them. They started running around with no heads on! I can’t believe I haven’t turned vegetarian myself after witnessing the whole thing.
More snake stories - a baby snake was found in one of the lads shoes this week, so they killed it - they have found 3 of them this term, I just hope the mammy dosen't make an appearance.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Looked up the Goldcrest bird last night in the Library and found it to be the smallest bird in Ireland and England. The female has a bright yellow/gold crest on top of its head like our friend of yesterday. The male has an orange crest.They may build a hammock like nest near the ground -say a yard- with plenty of feathers or they may build it high up of the ground. Sometimes it becomes very friendly and other times it becomes quiet distant. Cold weather has a big effect on their survival and many die. They like conifers.
On birds Lorraine from Pottstown tells us that she hangs out suet cakes (fat) with seeds and food in the make up and she has a woeful time keeping the raccoons from getting at the suet.
This is a Bank Holiday weekend and the local ESB / BNM golf society had one of their outings in Ballinasloe golf club yesterday. Sean Kelly won the day with 39 Points.
After more rain the Shannon level has crept up again and there is water bursting the drains in Darcy's callow near the new jetty and Darcy's field behind the Church has a bit of flooding.
Temperatures today were improved and the forecast was for 13 to 15 C or a high of 59F.
See where Kates Walk raised 5900 Euro. Her blog spots to this site are great and hopefully when she leaves there on November 2nd that she will continue to describe other parts of Africa on her way home.
Brian Cahill gave me a lift home from Ferbane last night and I found out that Hiney's corner is now one-way and you have to travel up town past the post office to join the new link road.
Doc and Dick are due home from Cyprus tomorrow and they are enjoying the holiday.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

The past few nights have seen a drop in temperature and the birds are feeling the pinch. This morning Paul Dowling found a small bird lying on the ground at his workplace. Judging by its size it looked to be a young bird but a phonecall to Kieran Guinan described the bird as a Gold Crest. He said they are a small bird with two distintive markings. This one had a stripe of yellow/ gold on top of his head. Kieran recommended keeping it in a warm place for about an hour and it would be all right. Joe Burke found out they are not migratorary and is giving it a new home with bird feeders and shelter in Ardnaglug.Must remember to hang out some fat for the birds today.
Shannonbridge barracks is having a facelift carried out at present and hopefully the village will have a new Garda living here soon.
Ollie Daly was telling that Bord Na Mona have commenced drawing ash from the new power plant which is part of their contract. To satisfy environmental regulations a special area of bog out from Templedew has been prepared and made ready for the ash. Special tipping trailers will carry the ash to the pit.
Good to see Tom Daly of Blackwater and Portlaoise and his family in the village last evening. Tom was naming various families that lived on the road opposite Gerry Greene's house in Blackwater and two families of Dalys lived there and are now buried in Clonmacnois in front of the Cathedral. Tom was in Clonmacnois and as usual trimmed the grass from around the marker stone that replaced the tombstone when Clonmacnois was declared a national monument years ago.
Friend going to New York next week and intending to return on December 20th was told that the only available seats using Aer Lingus would cost 1300 Euros. So he will now fly Aer Lingus to Heathrow and with Virgin to New York and returning the same way in December at a cost of 436 Euros.
An old photograph in front of me shows a donkey and cart driven by the late Tom Coleman passing Janey O'Mearas house which was later knocked and was where Mick Murray built his home.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A sister of Mags the Hairdresser a Joe Kelly has died and the body was removed last evening from his parents home in Saint Cannock's Terrace Ferbane across the road to the church and burial took place today after Mass. Joe was survived by his parents five brothers three sisters and a number of nephews and nieces. May he rest in peace.
The radio this morning told that last night was the coldest October night for eleven years with temperatures reaching minus three Celcius.
Stopped off at Clonmacnois last evening and the approach to the carpark is beautiful with a variety of orange and red berries in large amounts and an array of autumn leaves. They say it is the sign of a harsh winter when berries are plentiful.
Conor Killeen has arrived home from London and was just in time to rescue his brother Colin whose car broke down near Tulsk on his way back from surfing in Sligo.
Seems that a jeep used in a robbery in Galway has remained parked in Shannonbridge for some days.
A patient in the hospital in Tullamore last week gave me a simple recipe for relieving pain in the neck. She said to make up a mixture of equal amounts of Poitin and Virgin Olive Oil and shake them well together. Rub from base of skull with both hands in an outward position down to the shoulder blade. Avoid the vertebrae and collar bone.
Interesting box of books from a Ragherabeg reader was presented to the Library recently and will be added to the collection for Thursday evening opening 7 to 9 pm.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

More bizarre things happening this week. On Monday night I was woken at 3am by a strange noise in the room which I knew wasn't the rat, lizard or cockroaches. Reached for my torch, which I leave beside the bed for occasions like these, and shone it over the floor to find around 30 unidentified things crawling around. Hadn't a clue what they were but they looked like bees. I had to get up and sit on the side of the bed with a flip flop in one hand and a can of doom spray in the other for around half an hour killing the little feckers. I decided I'd sweep them up in the morning and crawled back into bed. When I woke in the morning they were all gone! The other little ants had eaten them! I went outside to find the kids all excited, rummaging around outside my window. Turns out the beelike things were white ants and the love to eat them - alive or fried! They are attracted to my room as there is a security light outside, so they were coming in the ventilator and under the door. Anyone else in the school would be delighted to have them in their room; it would be like malteesers rolling around the floor!
I'm told that once the white ants come, the grasshoppers follow. I just hope I am out of here before that - I don’t fancy waking up to a load of them hopping round the room; my flip flop wouldn’t do any good then!
The soft boards have been put up in the class rooms so we are now able to put charts and poems up. They used to stick pages to the walls with porridge - surprisingly good - way better than glue!
Last night one of the boys (Alex) was bitten by a snake. He was trying to drag our little acrobat back from the town when he stepped into the bush and the snake bit him. He had to walk half a mile back to the school, one of the teachers wanted him to drink his own urine - it's supposed to slow the poison down! Luckily the hospital is just up the road so instead of drinking his own piss we took him up there. All the teachers were telling me mad local remedies for different things. If you get a fish bone stuck in your throat you are supposed to put a saucepan on your head and the bone comes flying out! If you pour paraffin on a snake it breaks in pieces. They also said if you have a black stone and put it on a snake bite, the stone sucks all the poison out of your blood and then falls off the wound. You have to put it in milk to get the poison out of it so it can be used again. I was taking all these stories with a pinch of salt, but when the nurses took Alex to the ward they took out a tub with "the black stone" written on it. So they left that on the bite and he started to feel better. I'm getting myself one of these stone before I leave, they are supposed to be good for all snake and insect bites. Alex was let out of hospital at lunch time today and is fine.
Will mail later in the week.
A book launch of 'Moore, the Customs and Traditions of a Rueal Community'by the late John Joe Grenham will be held in Moore Hall on Sunday 24th October from 6.00 to 8.00 pm with music and refreshments and all are welcome.
Good news last evening with the arrival home of Pat Killeen after a stay in Tullamore hospital.
The radio news this morning told us that in Ireland north and south one third of all teenage deaths are suicide. The Irish Catholic tells us that in the United States there are 4,000 abortions every day. How do we compare with about 6,000 travelling to England each year for abortion.
The Sacred Heart Messenger magazine may be ordered for the year at a cost of 10.80 Euro. Contact Mary Killeen to place your order for this area.
Met the Metz Family from Germany last evening with Mam and Dad and five in family. They flew from Frankfurt (cost 980 Euro ) and hired an Emerald Starline cruiser from Carrick on Shannon and will leave the boat at Portumna. Reckon if they had surfed and booked their flights back in August they would have saved 560 Euro.
Feature on the Independent on Sunday tells us that Patrick Kavanagh the poet was born 100 years ago this Thursday. Kavanagh writes in The Great Hunger -
Men build their dreams
as they build their circles
Of friends. God is in the bits
and pieces of Everyday.
A kiss here and a laugh again,
and sometimes tears
A pearl necklace around the
neck of poverty.
Kavanagh is in the Library on Thursday night from 7 to 9 pm at least in printform.
Good to hear Ciara back on track. Still awaiting news from our girl in Japan.

Monday, October 18, 2004

The two English couples who have used Ely House as their basecamp for over a week while discovering the sights in the area and making friends set off home today with a definite promise of returning. If you would like to see Ely House, formerly Glenderham see them under Guesthouses on this site where they have placed information in the past few days. Do mention that you found them here as it is good to know if anybody is using the facility.
Met a sister of the late John Dowling of GAA fame in the Tullamore Hospital. Ester Wallace told me that her Grandmother was Annie Cummins and was married to the Lockkeeper in Shannonharbour about 1890. One night her Grandfather went to the pub for a billycan of porter
which cost 6d and on his way home he slipped off the the boardway on the lock and fell into the Grand Canal and was drowned leaving Annie a widow with seven young children. Sometime after the funeral the Canal Company loaded Annie and the seven kids along with their furniture and cow and calf and sow and bonhams and hens chickens ducks and turf onto a Canal Boat and transferred Annie to Ballycowan Lock near Tullamore. The morning after they arrived Annie went out to milk the cow and found it had been stabbed to death. It was assumed that it was done by a person that had applied for the Lockkeeper's psition and had failed to get it.
The Canal Boatmen at the time took up a collection and bought a new cow for Annie.
Ester tells us that Cummins at the time was called Kemmy and that they were cousins of Nevins who lived on an island. A sister of Annie Cummins married a Jimmy New who was a great concertina player. She also told us that her niece Yolanda Dowling aged 49 was one of the first victims of the 9 / 11 disaster at the Twin Towers as the first plane hit the building right where she was working.
Weather has been remarkably good for October with sunshine most days and rain confined to showers. River level has eased back quite a bit last week and temperatures are in mid 50 ties.
Last night Rusty Razor finished off their Tavern gig last night with a Happy Birthday to Mick Killeen who shares his birthday with Jim Killeen in Chicago and our late mother all on October 17
Met a group of the Kenny women grom Clondelara last night - Maureen, Agnes, Ita, Francie who were gathered to celebrate their sister's birthday today. So Happy Birthday to Sister Mel.
On the way to Tullamore last evening Mick and I noticed about 80 Crows perched on the telephone wires near Kelly's Pub at Mucklagh. It was a strange sight and on our way home we noticed many hundreds of crows feeding in a field in the same area. Louis Maher tells us that they belong to a Rookery in Charleville Castle a few miles up the road from Mucklagh.
Met a Lorna Quillinan from Brisbane who is here on holiday.Lorna told us that her Grandmother was a Killeen from Belmont. Told her about the late Rose who had the Post Office in Belmont.
Martin Burke tells us that his son Michael in Swindon looks into this site now and again. If Michael feels like sharing the Swindon life with the rest of us he should contact
JohnMcManus had an old 1930's puzzle for us yesterday morning. John hired some boys to pick stones and there were 10 or more boys and 20 or less and he paid each the same amount. In all John paid out thirty shillings and one penny. Remember there were no pocket calculators at the time so work out how many boys were employed and how much each was paid. Sounds easy.
Then Mike Robinson threw in another problem.
One hundred Euro is divided equally between a certain number of people.
How many people ? How much did each get ? Explain your answer. No more clues. That's it.
See on the Parish Newsletter that Sister Mary Mc Hugh sends thanks for the special collection taken up at Masses in the parish recently in aid of the Medical Missionaries of Mary with Shannonbridge Church Euro 554.59 and Clonfinlough Church Euro 314.01
On another Sunday the Mentally Handicapped Association of Offaly had a church gate collection that realized 172.08 in Shannonbridge and 110.10 Euro in Clonfinlough.
Confirmation next year will be held in Ferbane on 21st April 2005.

greetings people!

well as orla informed - all is well here in sydney. work is going great though a few weeks back i had to take a week off and keep my arm in a sling as i was suffering from supraspinatus tendonitis - painful stuff!! boredom did set in, i didn't like being off work, but i did find a few things to keep me busy.
one of the days i went down to the botanical gardens, down at the harbour. the gardens are absolutely massive and so beautiful and i was lucky to get a sunny day for it. probably what amazed me most about the gardens was the section where there are hundreds of fruit bats up in the trees. i was so amazed to see them all flying around over me while the sun was shining. it was so weird to be able to stand and watch the actions of these creatures and see them fighting with each other in the trees. it was crazy. they were pretty smelly though. no doubt, if it had been dark i would probably have run a mile!
another day we went to the sydney aquarium. it's really good value - it's so big and they've got some amazing tanks in there. the best part was probably the barrier reef section because it was there that i got to see nemo and his friends!
our housemates hannah and mandy who were supposed to leave sydney a while ago have decided to stay longer than planned which is good and another irish friend morgan has moved in with us, his sister martha will be moving in at the end of the week, so it's a full house.
we've spent a few days down at the centennial park too, it's so big and there's a lovely lake down there which is really beautiful.
last week a workmate invited me to a dinnerparty (or barbecue as they call it) that she was having. there were about 12 of us there from work it was great craic, really australian. it was a lovely warm evening so it was nice for us all to be outside. she did a vegetarian meal for me. we have yet to find an australian vegetarian over here. we're beginning to think that they really don't exist - they don't seem to believe in vegetarianism over here - they really love their meat. another two workmates have planned to take me to the koala sanctuary. i can't wait to do that. but i refuse to leave australia until i hold one!!
we are definitely enjoying the summer here but the weather is so unpredictable. last week we had three lovely days of sunshine which we spend sunning in the park. the hottest day being 38degrees. it was fabulous - though we're still pretty white! then we had a few cold days, it rained all lastnight and it's just been pouring rain all day.
well apart from that there's not much more i can remember at the moment. so until next time - take care!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

This week at school we have put in a new kitchen for our cook Molly, she cooks for 280 people everyday. She used to cook in a shed with no floor. She is over 6 foot and spends all day bent over stirring things in massive saucepans on the ground. We have built 3 ovens for her which should make things easier.
Good to hear there is an Irish contingent coming out in October - I hope they come to Uganda first as I'm leaving on November 2nd and will miss them if they go to Malawi first. I Found out there are more Irish nuns about an hour from Masaka. One of them had to stay in Masaka last week as there were armed robbers on the road to Mokondo where they stay so they can't travel at night!
One of the sisters in Masaka works in the prison here, she was telling me it was built to accommodate 200 people but there are now 800 men and 32 women there!
On our weekly trips Sr. Helen has been filling me full of information on local trees, fruits and birds. She was pointing out weaver birds last week. These birds are extremely noisy. The male bird makes the nest for the female; the nest hangs by one small thread. The female comes to inspect what he has built and if she doesn’t like it she snaps the thread and the man has to start building all over again!
When we were coming home from the village we gave a lift to an old Ugandan woman. We asked her to put on her seat belt, the poor woman didn’t know what to do and tried to tie the two back belts together - most of them have never even been in a car and don’t know what to do - I’m surprised they don’t try to climb in the window.
I got a westlife tape for the girls during the week and have regretted it ever since as it's all I hear. They are massive over here and are always on the radio. Celine Dion is another popular singer here; I certainly won't be buying her tape!
I went out to visit the school Regina was in this week. While she was there she came across a woman who lived in a makeshift tent, made from branches and banana fibers. The woman stayed here with her 6 children and the chickens. Regina raised 400 and built her a new house - you should see the difference - it's like a mansion to them even though it only has two rooms.
Some more mad news in the paper this week. Read that some female boarders found a boy in their dorm after 10pm - they killed him!
Thats all the craic for now.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Val Joyce was reminding listeners last night that Cliff Richards was born in India on 15th Oct 1940 which might be of interest to Ken and Betty and others.
Library last evening was busy with lots of users and ably managed by Pat Rose and Emmett.
Give a look in next Thursday 7 to 9 pm.
Sign of winter maybe but the Ferbane bridge session last night had eight tables of four which is the best so far this year.
Saw on the Offaly Independent that a new statue in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary has been erected in the grounds of Clonfad Church. The statue was presented in memory of the Kinsella Family of Clonburren. Three members of the Kinsella family travelled from Boston an d Tom , Bob and Tom Junior were present for the blessing ceremony performed by Father Keane.
Weather is sunny again today with temperatures around 55F. Again rain that was promised has kept away so far.
A Kathleen O Donohue contacted this website seeking help in contacting a girl from Shannonbridge that she shared accommodation with in London in 1959 and the information is being sent on to her.Mark and Colin were joined by two English visitors last night in a very enjoyable jam session. The English men and their wives are using Shannonbridge as a base for touring around and enjoyed a great day in Galway and another in Clonmacnois. A regular Bradford fisherman and his wife called in last evening who are also sightseeing and based locally.
Orla tells us that Ciara and Sarah are enjoying summer in Sydney. Whats it like girls ?

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Was expecting a downpour last evening judging by a very strong rainbow behind Oliver Darcy's house but it never came. Adain Kelly was saying that it lashed rain in Belmont seven miles up the road. More rain forecast for today but so far it is sunny and fine around54F.
Good to hear from Kate as always. The Medical Missionaries are the same as the Irish house and they know Doctor Maura Lynch. Was speaking to one of the nuns here and she promised to read Kates epistles. She also told that on Sat 23 Oct sixty volunteer ladies are travelling to Malawi and Ugandi to work voluntarily for a month. Many are nurses and they will be distributing all types of clothing, shoes, towels , bed linen etc that has been collected here.
Tonight is Library night from 7 to 9 pm in the Health Center if you can do come along and take a friend.
Tom Shea was telling me last evening that they had hatched out 13 chickens and had them in an incubator. Twelve of them were taken and one left. They were sitting having tea when they heard the chick call and found the cat with its paw through the bars of the enclosure. Interesting Tom says that wild fowl kill their young if a human handles it.
Aine is home for a few days and tells us that Mike and herself are taking Russian lessons. Must be something to do with a new family member moving into Ardnacrusha hopefully before Christmas.
Colin is home from hiking the mountains in France and his mother will be delighted with him when she sees the beard. Suppose he will be looking for sponsorship to have it shaved off.
I’ll make this short as I’m wrecked after being up half the night listening to the torrential rain pounding off the galvanize roof!
Gifty, the little boy who went missing in Kampala last week was found. He was taken from a shop but they found him 8 hours later. They think he was taken to be used for sacrificing but they let him go because his ear was pierced. Sacrificing kids is common here. They often cut off their tongue, genitals or head. Sometimes the children are eaten and sometimes slaughtered and put in the foundations for a house! Those who take the children want perfect children with no cuts or piercings, so a lot of kids here have their ears pierced at a young age to prevent being taken.
Part of the school was painted this week and it looks great. I got soft boards for the class rooms today. While doing so a woman called her child to come see the muzungu and even asked if the kid could touch me! Coming into town is great as a lot of people know me now. I can’t walk down the street without someone saying “hello sister”, “how are you my friend” or “how is Kitovu?” I’ll miss the place a lot as the people are really friendly.
I was just reading Derrys post on Sister Mary McHugh and am wondering if she know the sisters out here. The hospital in Kitovu is run by the Medical Missionarys of Mary and the nun I go out with every week is also part of the order. They are amazing women and have faced all kinds of danger to help people out here.
I am leaving here in 2 weeks and I won't have time to put all the money raised into the building so I have decided to give 1000 to Dr Maura Lynch, a nun who has worked in the hospital for 16 years. This money will help pay for a generator for the emergency room. At the moment when the power goes they have to go around looking at the patients with parafin lamps!
I am also going to donate another 1000 to Sr Helen who travels out to the small villages every day giving out clothes, mattresses, blankets, food and seeds. We called to a mans house yesterday who she was sure would be dead as he was very sick from TB when she saw him last. We found him out in his garden cultivating and building a new mud house! If it wasn't for her help lots of people like this would be dead by now. This man lives with his mother who had 11 children, 10 died!
Will post more news on Saturday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last evening one of the first Stations was held with a Mass in Seamus and Celine Grennans with about thirty neighbours and friends attending. The priest asked people, that have plans to have a Station Mass in their homes, to let him know so that a suitable time and date can be arranged.
Read about cheap travel. Well last night I met Heinz and Ute Steinmann and Roland and Petra Kraft from Frankfurt who are on a cruiser for one week. Enquiring what their airfare cost they said that they had booked flights with Ryan Air last August. The flight from Brussels to Dublin cost 0.99 cents plus taxes of 24 Euro each. Return flights cost 9.99 Euro each with airport taxes again 24 Euro. They were collected at Dublin Airport by Emerald Starline and are cruising from Carrick on Shannon to Portumna where they leave the boat and will be taken to the airport. They visited Clonmacnois yesterday and caught a pike measuring one metre which was nice.
Mary Burke is going to spend an evening reading all of Kates letters one of these days. Kate would have been interested in a programme on TV last night presented by Marian Finucane where she visited an orphanage in Africa. 'Fraid I missed it.
On Monday at the beginning of the Hot Water outlet culvert from the power plant three dead salmon were found on the bank. Apparently they went off course on their way upstream and when they met the surge of water at the outlet they naturally tried to jump it and landed up on the bankside where they died. Fisheries were called in and they believe that they may have been members of a travelling shoal and the Fisheries task is to reroute the other salmon. At least it is good to hear tell of salmon in Shannonbridge as nobody seems to have seen one for years.
Weather yesterday was great and it is good here today but those forecast people tell us that rain is spreading across the country. Read on yesterdays Irish Times that the feature Weather Eye reached the magic 5000 articles yesterday which is some going.
Sunday morning Sister Mary McHugh of the Medical Missionaries of Mary spoke at Mass about their missionary work and a special collection was taken up for her. After Mass I met Mrs Jimmy Green Clonfad whose husband had died on Friday and whose funeral was held over until Monday on account of the Country Fair. It worked out fine with a viewing on Sunday in Grenhams Funeral Parlour for three hours and a wake at home on Sunday night. Monday morning the remains were taken to Clonfad church for Mass with burial afterwards in Kilbegley cemetery. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.
Sunday afternoon a Fursey from Longwood called in to tell that he had come down to buy a pony but the fair was over. He was anxious to meet Fursey White on Monday as he said he had not met any other Fursey in his life. I mentioned Fursey Hanley who was a son of Garda Hanley that once served in Shannonbridge and he said he had heard of him but never met him.
The five Belgian pike anglers finished their week s fishing holiday catching 86 pike in total which was down on recent years because of the high water level. They measure their catch in Centimeters and their top ten measured 111, 104, 98, 97, 95, 95, 95, 93, 92 and 90 Cm.
Good to see Paddy Murphy from Enniscorthy around for the past few days. Paddy is a dab hand at trimming trees and says he will shape up the trees at the Health Center and at the steps when he is here again in November. Paddy was working freelance but has now joined a nursery near Enniscorthy which he tells me employs fifty people.
Looks like our mountain climbing team are home from France. Mike our webmaster told that he had an enquiry to this site looking for a website or e-mail address for Shannonbridge Pottery.
He has also added a useful link to Ed Butler's site where photographs of The Fort taken before the renovations are to be found. See links.
Last evening Doc and Brigie Kitt and myself went to visit Pat in Tullamore hospital. Brigie was telling us an interesting story about the statue of Our Lady of Clonert. Apparently her grandfather and two other men were working on the farm when the tree that had sheltered the statue was cut down and they took it to the priest. In the hospital we met Kieran Darcy Clonfinlough, Mrs Mooney from the Doon and Martin Pat Coleman who was in visiting.
Paddy Murphy was anxious to purchase a copy of the Clonmacnois Parish book that was published for the Millenium. Father O Hanlon had a copy and says there is only about a dozen copies remaining.

Friday evening the bold Father Benny Flanagan celebrated forty years in the priesthood with a concelebrated Mass in one of the two churches that he services in his parish outside Loughrea. Mick and myself were priviliged to be invited to the celebration and to a supper afterwards in the Meadowcourt hotel where there was a great array of people that had known Benny down the years. The night went very well and unfortunately we had to leave early as Mick and Mary were scheduled to catch a bus for the airport at 3.00 am in Ballinasloe to catch a flight to Italy for a week. It did not end there as Doc and Dick and myself joined about thirty others in Banagher on Saturday morning for a trip to Meelick on the River Queen. There was a strong flow on the river and James Scully was along to tell us lots of interesting pieces of information about the bridge, fortifications, farming and river life. Everybody on the trip was given a special handout on Banagher. At Meelick George the pilot docked the boat near the lock gate and we had a good look at a working lock used by about 10,000 boats each year. Afterwards we walked across the Weir Wall which has two rows of safety barriers. On the west bank we walked for a few hundred yards to reach our boat. There was an amazing display of blackberries , haws, sloes and the orange pods of the wild rose along the walk. Meelick Church was to be seen across the fields and we had a good view of the Martello Fortification on the return trip. For those not interested in the river Benny had golf or a walk in Coole Park arranged as an alternative. After the boat trip the group had lunch in Flynns Bar and went to visit Hough's Piano Bar.
Of course this was Saturday and was Country Fair Day in Ballinasloe where a large crowd were gathered for the wind up of the fair.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

I'm glad to report that my favourite little acrobat has returned safe and sound. We were about to put an announcement on the local radio to find him, but on Thursday a very dirty Sebukenya turned up with pockets full of rubbish - including, two pairs of glasses, bottle tops, wires, old batteries, bulbs, a thermometer, some old containers and spray cans! All the kids were delighted to see him and he did a few tricks for us which I videoed and will get Mick to put up on the web.
Unfortunately we just got one back when another went missing. One of the teachers went to Kampala last night with his son - I got a call from him this morning in a very distressed state saying he had lost Gifty (his son)! They were in a shop, he put him sitting on a bench with another child and when he went back Gifty was gone! Kidnapping children in Kampala is very common so everybody is fairly worried. The kid is only three years old.
And if that’s not enough drama - on Monday one of the kids was bitten by a snake! Her parents tried to treat her with local medicine but when her leg continued to swell they took her to the hospital. She's fine now. I just hope I don’t bump into any of the snakes in the area.
Another girl in school was admitted to hospital with severe malaria - she was discharged yesterday and will be fine.
David sent me photos of the beard shave and the sponsored walk. I printed them out and stuck them up in the school. They love looking at the "bazungu", they thought Maureen was me, they thought Colin was Chinese and thought Mick was my father! They think we all look the same and find it hard to tell our ages. I also had to explain to them that we are not all millionaires. They seem to think we have servants and fly everywhere in private planes. They were surprised to learn that we do all our own cooking, washing etc.
I was out with sister Helen again this week visiting aids patients. She always tells them to eat lots of eggs and drink lots of water to build up their strength so they can go on ARV's. We came across one woman who refused to eat eggs. In this particular area once girls reach puberty they have to give up chicken, eggs and milk and leave it for the men! We also came across a 32 year old who is a grandmother!
Some new Mzungus have come to Kitovu. There are 3 lads from England and a girl from Edinburgh. They are doing their medical placements in the hospital and will be here until November. It's great to have some new company and we are planning a trip to Murchinson Falls national park next weekend. I'll let ye know how it goes.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Met a couple from Copenhagen last evening who are on their fifth visit to Ireland. They were here two years ago holidaying on the river and this time they hired a canal narrow boat and travelled down the canal to Shannonharbour. They are permitted to travel on the Shannon between Athlone and Portumna but not onto the lakes. Today they plan to revisit Clonmacnois which they feel is a special place.
Last night the meeting for building Healthy Communities was held in Shannonbridge and a number of items were discussed including - Water supply unsafe, no resident Garda, Community Alert, Walkways, Hall, Field with Tennis court, Tidy Towns, Children, Library, Active Retirement Group, Public Transport, Village Population breakdown.
The people attending were all co-opted onto the Shannonbridge Healthy Community Group.
One of our Belgian pike anglers was saying that with reduced airfares they are able to fly to Dublin, hire a car, have Bed + Breakfast and main meal in evening, use of fishing boats for a week and all at a cost of about 550 Euros each. No wonder they are planning already to return for a week in April. Also the fishing is great with an average of eighteen pike being caught and released each day.
The weather has more or less settled with sunshine and temperatures in the mid fifties. Noticed that the water on Darcy;s field behind the Church has eased back but the Belgians say that the river is flowing fast. Tomorrow is Country Fair Day in Ballinasloe.
Heard that Ted Clifford in the Midland Camera Shop will process e-mailed photographs sent to him and that Spectra have a service in Athlone Shopping Center that allows digital camera users to feed in their chip and select and edit their photographs and print off copies in various sizes.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Wondered why the birds were not using the bird feeders and on checking it turned out that they were out of nuts. All is well again and maybe you might consider feeding the birds if you have not started already.
The get together of Active Age Groups in the Arts and Heritage Centre Ferbane is on Thursday morning commencing at 10.30am and ending at 1.00pm. Bus will pick up passengers at 10.00am outside the church in Shannonbridge and provide a door to door pick up service for passengers in rural areas. Phone 09064-54956 to book a seat. Bus will return from Ferbane at 1.00pm.
Good to hear from Father Peter Kenny who is based in California .Just recently he had to visit New York and as it happened Jim and Maureen Killeen from Chicago were visiting family in New Jersey . So they linked up and traveled by car back to Chicago.
Met some American Kinsella people last evening who had traced their family tree back to the Kinsella family from Clonburren. They live in Massetutes and it is their first time in Ireland.
Mick and Mary Killeen are off on a pilgrimage to Northern Italy next week. Hear that a number of people are away this week in France on a Shrines of France trip. And next Saturday Ireland play France in their next qualifying soccer match in the European Cup.
See that Padraig Harrington and Paul Mc ginley will represent Ireland in the World golf match in November.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Went into Ballinasloe last evening and visited Ciaran Flannery who was in great form and recalling many items from the past. Afterwards I walked from Portiuncula to Main Street and noticed that most of the stall owners were taking down their frames and displays. The fairgreen was like a ploughed field and had a pool of water after the heavy rain on Sunday. At 6.30 there was still about three hundred horses on show. Not many people about and many shops were closed. One shop owner told me that they do not open for the Fair but use the time preparing items for a Sale next week.
Mark Donegan is flying to Brussels today to join a big Irish get together of musicians and Irish living in Ghent. Wonder will he take his musical instrument of a clothes hanger and a set of spanners through Customs ?.
Ken and Betty Smith have arrived safely home to Santa Barbara and send greetings to all the friends they met. They wondered was Bridie Carry all right as they missed her for a few days. Bridie tells us that her Canadian friend Mary Marnier and herself were touring around and visiting different places. They visited Athlone and were disappointed with the atmosphere of the Raddisson Hotel. In Roscommon they enjoyed an excellent meal at The Royal Hotel. Another day they visited Keadue Carrick on Shannon Rooskey and Lough Key Forest Park. They were disappointed with Lough Key saying it has really dis-improved. In Rooskey they found the food to be delicious. A trip around the Slieve Bloom Mountains was enjoyable and they stopped off for a five star meal in Kinnity Castle where they found the staff very friendly. They also enjoyed sumptious food at The Bistro at The Five Alley on another occassion which is owned by The Guinan Family.
Our Belgian pike angling visitors were fishing again yesterday and once again caught 18 pike which were returned alive and in good condition. Today they are planning to fish the River Suck.
Dave and Paulien Kemp have returned to Idle after their holiday. Paulien is planning to visit California next month so watch out California.
Bridie Carry has good news from her mother Mary Brennan who has been in hospital for a short time. Mary is feeling well and has returned home. Bridie is proud that her grand-daughters Siobhan and Sinead played their parts on the Under 14 Ballinasloe camogie team that defeated Gort by one point in the Galway County Final.
Steve Fletcher and Family send word that they enjoyed their recent holiday in Shannonbridge and pass on good wishes to everyone. Weather fine yesterday with some showers. Today is sunny and a little breezy and temperature around 53F.
Spotted in a safari park -- ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CARS.
Saying on The Marian Finucane radio show today goes " I wish I did'nt know now, what I did'nt know then".

Monday, October 04, 2004

Shannon Gaels Under 21 Football team defeated Ferbane in the quarter -final and now play Rhode in their next outing.
Met a Belton man from Louth who was down for the Ballinasloe Fair. He was related to the late Jimmy Belton and the late Mrs Jack Price. He went to visit Prices and Moby took the two Green girls and myself for a walk to the bridge and I never found out his name or the relationships.
Recent heavy rain has caused the river level to rise and there is some flooding in Darcy's field behind the church.
Ballinasloe October Fair started with a wet Sunday and plenty of horses and people. Noticed once again that many cross channel visitors have returned for the fair. Many of them combine their visit with the Ploughing Championship last week and the fair this week. No sign of Michael and Aubrey Scott so far this year and thought they might have showed up this week.
Some Friends of Saint Lukes held a fund raising night in Killeens Bar on Sunday night comprising a bucket collection and a raffle and the venture realized 630 Euro.
The canal bridge at Clononey seems to have become a favourite crash location as about six crashes have occured there in the past three weeks.
Parish Bulletin reminds us that Sister Mary Mc Hugh will visit the Parish next weekend to speak about their missionary work. She will also be seeking financial support.
West Offaly Partnership has joined forces with Offaly Co Council, Midland Health Board, and Offaly VEC to initiate a pilot project in west and south Offaly. The steering group has provisionally chosen Kinnity and Shannonbridge as the communities to pilot this project.
The steering committee will hold a public meeting in Shannonbridge Hall on Thursday 7th Oct ' 8.30 pm . to explore the different projects that may be implemented and / or enhanced under a programme - from school and youth group activities to eldercare and social services, from environmental enhancement to adult education, from programmes for women to projects involving smallholders. All those interested should come along.
Sorry but this blog failed to publish yesterday.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Well Uganda feels just like home this week as it's been pissing rain! The rain gets so heavy that it breaks large plants and some trees. Its hard to go anywhere as the dust turns to muck so walking or getting a boda boda anywhere could result in falling on your arse.
I am on my own once again as Michelle, the irish girl who was here on holidays left on Wednesday. She got a bus to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania which takes 26 hours, rather her than me!
There was drama again in the school this week. One of the kids in P1 was knocked down by a taxi driver. The driver ran off to the nearby woods after knocking her. The P7 (6th class) boys and 3 of the teachers chased him. They found him hiding behind a tree and brought him back to the scene of the crime! The litte girl is in hospital with a large cut on her head and a few broken ribs, but she'll be fine. She is a twin and lives with her mother as her father left them and has had no contact for two years. He must have got word about the accident because he turned up on the school doorstep on Thursday asking about compensation from the taxi driver. The teachers told him to get lost, that the compensation will go to his wife. She'll probably let him back into the home until he spends all her money. The women here are right eejits when it comes to men. Alot of them live with their co-wives. There was a case in the paper last week where one co-wife killed another co-wife's 1 year only child!
While on a bus in Kampala last week Michelle saw a man being very badly beaten. He was surrounded by about 8 people who were punching, kicking and stripping him of his clothes. One of the teachers was with her and explained that the man was a thief. In Kampala the police don't deal with thieves as they will just be freed again in a couple of days, they leave them in the hands of the public. It is common practice to strip and beat them, then pour paraffin on them and set them alight!
Got more bad news in the school when I was told one of my favourite kids has left. The kid is 9 and an orphan. He used to go to the nearest town everyday to do acrobatics to earn some money but he always came back for supper. The kids told me that he now has a job carrying crates of empty bottles on his head for a few schillings a day. He is supposed to be sleeping on the streets. I am going to go looking for him tomorrow and try to get him back to the school.
As for the building, the school is changing every day. There are now 12 builders who are finishing the washroom, the plastering and the pathway outside the classrooms. All the rain has slowed the everything down. The carpenter is building shelves in the dorms, the electrician is coming back to put in a cut out (whatever that is), security lights and more sockets, while the painter will also be back to paint the outside of the building. We are also going to put a hedge at the front of the school to stop the kids running onto the road. At the moment there's barbed wire there which is just lying on the ground. Alot of the kids are in bare feet so its not very safe. Todays I'm in town shopping for curtains for the dorms which is not really my favourite thing to do -i'd rather be buying cement!

Friday, October 01, 2004

See under the Entertainment section that Daithi Rua is working on a new album and our own Louise tells us that her song "Starstruck " has made it to the grand final of the Clonmel National Song Contest to be held on November 4th in White Memorial Theatre in Clonmel.
Louise's band are among a group of mainly Shannonbridge folk who have traveled to France to do some mountain climbing in the French Alps.
It looks like Ken and Betty Smith have flied away from Shannonbridge back to Santa Barbara
so as to avoid the October Fair in Ballinasloe which starts at the weekend. They said many a prayer no doubt for the group of anglers that used the s.c. accomodation before they flied in. (no need for spell check).
The new power plant at Shannonbridge called West Offaly Power produced its first electricity today.
News today that Mary Mc Aleese has been declared President of Ireland for a second term of seven years. Hope she continues the good work she has been doing.
Posted away an assload of photographs yesterday from this area of various items such as river, bridge, jetty, houses, Clonmacnois, Clonfert, fish catches etc etc to Noirin Halligan, Center for Independent Living, Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7. Hopefully some of them will be used on under County Offaly / Roscommon /or Galway
If you have some pictures of the village or area please send them to the above Noirin. If you wish them returned add this request on the back of the photograph and include the name of the place, name of monument or whatever and the name of the photographer if known.
Noirin is at if you require more information.
Weather is sunny and a bit windy at present with the forecast for windy heavy rain, and temp 13 - 16 C