Friday, December 31, 2004

White Christmas:
As every child in the parish was hoping, a white Christmas greeted us in Shannonbridge last Saturday morning, right on queue. About an inch of snow fell which added greatly to the festive atmosphere. Temperatures on Christmas day averaged about 3 or 4 C.

Christmas Shannon Plunge:
The traditional Christmas morning plunge off the Bridge into the Shannon did not take place this year. Colin Killeen blames the CIA - Cold, Injuries and Age! New hardy recruits required for next year please.

S.E. Asia Disaster:
This week's news has been dominated by the awful tsunami disaster in South East Asia, where in excess of 125,000 lives have been lost to date. The worldwide travels of the younger generation from Shannonbridge have certainly given us a heightened awareness of such places abroad. Obviously it will take the affected peoples years to recover. Meanwhile we can help by keeping the victims in our minds and prayers and by donating to one of the many fundraising efforts now getting under way.

Table Quiz for Tsunami Fund:
The proceeds of the table quiz in Killeens, next Wednesday night 5th January, will go towards the Disaster Relief Fund. Starting time 9.45 pm.

Late Jim Farrell:
The death has taken place of Jim Farrell, Rohanstown, Ballinahown. Jim was well known in Shannonbridge, having been a popular member of the staff of the ESB Power Station, for many years. His funeral took place to Clonmacnoise today. May he rest in peace.

Bird Watch:The bird count goes on - the first Goldfinches of the winter arrived on our bird-table this week.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sat/Sun 25th /26th Dec 2004 - Christmas/ Holy Family A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Mon @ 12 noon; Tues-Fri @ 10am
New Year's Day, next Sat, day of prayer for peace, @ 12 noon
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €448. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Gunning, M.Kelly
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for next Weekend:
Altar Servers for this week: Katie, Mary-Anne, Tara

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €160. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Boland, A.Kenny
Readers for next Sunday: Alan Kelly
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 4
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: D.McEvoy
New Year 's Day - day of prayer for peace; Mass @ 10.30am
Mass on next Sun for the late Catherine & Edward Corrigan

Table Quiz in Clonfanlough Hall
Tues next, 28th Dec @ 8pm in aid of Christmas Party, which is planned for Sun 9th Jan. Please support.
Gifts Without Cost
Some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value:
* Mend a quarrel, dismiss suspicion, tell someone, "I love you."
* Give something away-anonymously.
* Forgive someone who has treated you wrong.
* Turn away wrath with a soft answer.
* Visit someone in a nursing home.
* Apologize if you were wrong.
* Be especially kind to someone with whom you work.
* Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy. (C. Swindoll, Growing Strong, pp. 400-1)
Ten Commandments of Home Rule
1. If you sleep on it - make it up.
2. If you wear it - hang it up.
3. If you drop it - pick it up.
4. If you eat out of it - put it in the sink.
5. If you step on it - wipe it off.
6. If you open it - close it.
7. If you empty it - fill it up.
8. If it rings - answer it.
9. If it howls - feed it.
10. If it cries - love it. (The Fight, J. White, IVP, pp. 121ff)
Beannachtaí na Nollag agus Síocháin san Ath Bhliain do gach duine

A special word of thanks to all who contribute to the various collections during the year, and to all who help out in any way in the Church and community. It is much appreciated.

Congratulations & best wishes to Fidelma McManus and Oisín Seale, who were married recently in Shannonbridge Church.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

For the winter solstice on the 21st. of December the weather man obliged with a gloriously sunny morning. Those lucky enough to be at Newgrange were greeted by a spectacular sunrise and the light penetration of the tomb was at its most brilliant. Great pictures in the papers. We are now past the shortest day.
Speaking of the weather man, a really cold snap is coming over Ireland in the next two days, 3 degrees Celsius on Christmas Day - so the prospect of a white christmas looms for the first time in years. We'll keep you posted.

A Poem For Christmas (composed by a local woman - name not known?)

As Christmas falls upon us,
We gather and we pray,
To thank the Lord God above,
For giving us this special day.

Waiting for presents under the tree,
Children are happy and full of glee,
The excitement keeps them up all night,
As the east star shines its light.

Christmas comes just once a year,
Its a time for us to rejoice and cheer,
Our hearts are really full with joy,
As we celebrate the birth of Mary's Boy.

He guides us on the path of life,
Each and every day,
Loving all his people,
Each in the very same way.

Peace on earth to all mankind,
Open your hearts and you shall find,
That Jesus is with us in every way,
Since He was born on that special day.

Kate Thornhill has arrived home for a well earned break after her great work in Africa during the year.

The Shannonbridge library is closd now for Christmas, reopening on 12th January.

Sad news of the death of Damien Kenny, son of Ger and Mary, Lecarrow, Shannonbridge, which occurred in New York last weekend. He was laid to rest in Clonmacnoise yesterday.

Also the death has occurred of Delia Naughton, Ballymacward, mother of Teresa Flannery, Creevagh, Shannonbridge. Funeral is tomorrow Friday 24th.

May hey rest in peace.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown sends Christmas greetings to all her friends in Shannonbridge and speaks for many as she welcomes Kate home on Sunday 19th and thanks her for bringing life in Uganda onto our screens. Hopefully Kate will continue to write here.
Lorraine wonders why more business people in Shannonbridge have not come alive on this website and let others know what is to offer in the area. Can you help sell the idea. ?
Yesterday saw the final Christmas Dinner in Shannonbridge Power Plant Canteen. Tom from The Bog Oak organised the food and prepared a top class meal for a great mix of workers and retired staff that attended.
Today is bright and sunny with a wind that is forecast to keep temperatures to 10 C or 50 F.
Jack Quinn wrote some lines on

Frosty Morning

Bare Trees
Fingered by a ghostly hand
Weird cobwebs
Lace the hedges
Crystal sounds
In startling nearness
Cheeks are roughed
By air like wine
And breath takes shape
Like an emerging spirit.

Shannonbridge Library closed last night for a Christmas break
and will reopen on Thursday 13th January at 7 to 9 pm.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Big news in Shannonbridge yesterday was the start of a new layer of tarmac stretching from Darcy's Corner to a line opposite Price's Lane for a start. Looks like a couple of inches of new surface is being added.
Death has occured in Ferbane of Mrs Devery, of Saint Cannock's Terrace and late of the Mill Yard. Mrs Devery was in her ninetees and was mother to Eamon, Padraig, Kieran and Maura. May she rest in peace.
Christmas lights and decorations seem to get bigger and brighter every year and somebody remarked yesterday that two of the brightest lit houses in his area were owned by people that never darken the door of a church.
See where Kerrill has added three local golf clubs as links under the golf section. Hopefully more will be added which may be a help for people holidaying in Shannonbridge and intending to play golf.
Todays weather forecast is for rain in the south east soon clearing and most areas like Shannonbridge will have a dry bright day with temperatures of 10 C or 50 F.
Under Weather Eye in the Irish Times recently Brendan Mc Williams mentioned that the date for D-Day was changed on account of a weather forecast provided by a family from Belmullet in Mayo. They forecast unsuitable weather for the 5th of May and so the invasion was put back to May 6th which worked out suitable as predicted by the Belmullet family.
First photographs of the new baby Aimee Robertson arrived in Shannonbridge yesterday and she is a very alert looking lassie. Colin has promised to scan one on to the Killen Bar section found under entertainment.
It looks like there will be a big gathering for the annual Christmas Dinner hosted by the ESB for the last time tomorrow in Shannonbridge Power Plant as this plant is scheduled for demolition in 2005

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I made it to South Africa in one piece after an 18 hour journey from Windhoek in Namibia where I did some sandboarding in the desert. It was a bit like going down the water tower hill on turf bags in the snow - only it was sand and I was lying on a piece of chip board and it was a whole lot faster (80kph!).
Cape Town is a beautiful city with lots to do, I took a walk up table mountain which is over 1000m high and the views from the top are lovely. I also went down to the waterfront which has a real holiday athmosphere. There are alot of jazz musicians here so Mick and the rest of the jazz crew would love it. I hired a car with some aussies and went to cape point and the cape of good hope for a day. We stopped off in a place called Fish Hoek on the way back for a swim in the ocean. Only later did we find out that a 77 year old woman had been eaten by a shark there last month!
I travelled down the coast to Jeffreys bay, a famous surfing spot. Unfortunately there were no waves but the weather was beautiful and the people were great craic. At the moment I'm in a place called Outshoorn which is famous for its ostrich farms and Cango caves. It's so hot here you could fry an egg on the sand. It was 43 degrees here yesterday. Three ostriches died from the heat and I wasn't too far behind them myself. Today isnt too bad at 36 degrees. I got a tour of an ostrich farm and had a spin on an ostrich which is pretty funny. I have a lift back to Cape Town tomorrow with 2 Germans and then I prepare myself for the journey home. So see you all on Sunday night for a few pints.
See that Roscommon County Council have erected a number of signs on the Ballinasloe approach road to the village and I hear that they are going to erect lighting from Gunning's Hill to the village. Over the years they have laid down a footpath on this stretch and the lighting will be very welcome.
Remember that the Library closes for Christmas on this Thursday 16th December until January 12th, so if you need a top up in your reading material come along on Thursday from 7 to 9 pm.
The Pure Mule film series used every bit of daylight yesterday to get shots of the power plant, a wedding in the church, a cemetery scene with a cemetery erected on Darcy's field beside the old water towrer and some scenes in the Park using Oliver Hilliards house and Martin Duffy's front garden with the power plant in the background. Cousin Vincent Flanagan was around all day as they were using his car for the wedding scene. Many extras from Banagher and Shannonharbour were about. The initial series will be for six episodes and a continuation based on reaction.
P.J.Sheeran from Clonulty Ballydangan has died andwill be buried in Moore cemetery today. Survived by his wife Kathleen and family. May he rest in peace.
Heard a nice story about the late Paud Dunican who was buried yesterday. Seems he undertook a fund raising campaign for Cancer Research and was due to present 50,000 Euro to the fund this week.
News today tells that the Northern Ireland Bank and Northern Bank have been taken over by a group from the north. A Scandanavian bank group in fact.
The south west gales did develop on all coasts. Today will be generally wet and windy with persistent and sometimes heavy rain over Ulster and Connacht that will spread. Some dry intervals with temperatures 10 to 12 C or 50 to 54 F.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Some recent deaths. Last week Tom Fahey, Clonburren passed away and was buried in Clonburren graveyard.
A sister of Tim Devery the accoreon player from Glebe died in Ferbane at the weekend and will be buried in Clonmacnois today after Mass in Clonfinlough.
Paud Dunican late of Pollagh and Ferbane and an ex worker in Ferbane power plant has died in Ferbane and will be buried today after Mass in Ferbane.
Mick Russell, Athlone a brother of Phil Murphy, has died at the weekend. Arrangements later.
A Miss Kelso in Ballinasloe died at the weekend.
Tom Flanagan, relic of Madge and brother of Father Benny has died in Portiuncula.
May the Lord have mercy on their souls.
Good news is that Kate Thornhill is expected home on Sunday 19th December. Kate has been in Uganda since last May apart from a few weeks sightseeing on the way home.
Weather today has a few brigh spells, but overall it will be largely cloudy, with pockets of mist at first. Mostly dry apart from some light rain and drizzle in the far West and North West this afternoon. Highest temperatures 8 to 11 C or 46 to 52 F. with southerly winds gradually freshening.
South West Gales will develop tonight and extend to all coasts and the Irish Sea overnight.
Sports and Padraig Harrington finished second to Tiger Woods in golf. In rugby there were good wins for Leinster and Munster at the weekend.
Lorraine Mc Kenna plans to come back to Shannonbridge soon.
Jack Quinn's -

The Tax Collector

Reckoning day
And Nemesis
With piercing eye
And fixed smile
In mocked fellowship
There's no escape
And net is fast
The fish is caught
The one way out
Is through the pocket.
It was announced last week that the John Player cigarette factory in Dublin will be closing down
In February 2005 with a loss of 90 employees. Manufacturing for the Irish market will be carried out in the parent factory in Nottingham.
Friday was the wedding day of Fidelma Mc Manus, daughter of Eamon and Marie from Laurel Lodge ,
And Oisin Seale from Ballinasloe. The wedding took place in Shannonbridge Church and the reception
Was held in Kinnity Castle. Congratulations to Oisin and Fidelma and hope they enjoy their honeymoon in South Africa and other places.
Last night the Active Retirement Group had their Christmas Dinner and Social in the Bog Oak with a
Large turn out that enjoyed a fine meal and some lively music afterwards.
Yesterday afternoon there was a packed Church in Clonmacnois for the annual ecumenical Carol Singing which was up to its usual high standards and was very enjoyable..
Noticed lights on in the Old Church this morning and was surprized to find a bus reversed into the door
Later and a crowd of cars and vans gathered near the Church with a film set up being prepared. There were some brightly lit boards erected outside the Church and a bunch of ribbons fluttering from over the entrance. Rose Ryan tells us that they are filming a series called "Pure Mule" which is based in an industrial town - Banagher - but using the Shannonbridge Power Plant for the industrial bit. The power plant looked fine this morning with a fine plume of smoke in the morning sun. Seems it is a summer scene they were filming as they asked Thornhills to turn off their Christmas lights. They plan to film a wedding scene at the Church and are moving to Saint Ciaran's Park where they plan to use Oliver Hilliard's house and Martin Duffy's front garden for some scenes that will use the power plant background.
Notice that the river levels have dropped well back making most banksides accessable.
The bird census continues and Starlings and Crows dominated the view this morning when the curtain was drawn. They flew away and some of the Tits and Willy Wags and other birds appeared to feed on the bird feeders. Still on the lookout for the Goldfinch which has not yet made an appearance..

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Local History.
Dont forget to tune in to Midlands 103 on Friday night next from 10.00 to 12.00pm. Local history from around the county will be featured.

Monday, December 06, 2004

On Friday night in the village hall a very enjoyable Christmas Party was held for the Senior folk with a hot meal and a present for everyone and some good music for the night. Well done to everybody for all the work and organization and fundraising.
Few new babies arrived last week. Clare Kennedy had a baby girl Alex in Ballinasloe on Wednesday and returned home on Saturday. Claire is a daughter of Joe and the late Sally Kennedy.
Mike Aine and Neal Robertson collected Aimee in Saint Peterbourg and arrived home to Limerick at the weekend where she has settled in already. Congratulations to both mothers.
There were a couple of local deaths at the weekend including Eileen Cahill, a sister of Brian Cahill's Belmont and Elizabeth Wynne mother of Donal Wynne who is employed with BNM. May the Lord have Mercy on their Souls.
Missed yesterday's Parish Bulletin but I know that there is prayer / meditation in Ard Chiarain on Thursday night at 8 pm. There is an ecumenical carol singing arranged for Clonmacnois on next Sunday.
Padraig Harrington added another second medal to his collection in Hong Kong yesterday.
Weather today - breezy at first with outbreaks of rain extending eastwards across the country. Clearance following from the west, with winds moderating. Highest temperatures 10 to 13 C or 50 to 55 F. but turning cooler later. Tonight will be dry and cold in most areas with frost and fog and a risk of icy patches. Cloud and rain may linger with temperatures +2 to -2 C.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Good to hear that Kate is on her way home. Had a Christmas card from Ciara in Sydney and hope she writes here soon. Anybody else feel like making a fool of themselves contact
Big news for Shannon Airport is Ryanair plans a major expansion there and will put 200 Million into a facility that will have 14 new routes to Britain and Europe flying 1.3 Million passengers in 2005 and two million within five years. See that they are already offering low low giveaways. Will have to get a ball and chain for Colin.
Midland Health Board has allotted 3,500 Euro to Shannonbridge Active Retirement group and 700 Euro to the local Community Services Group.
Noticed a new Catholic newspaper around called The Voice selling at 70 C and looks like a cross breed from The Irish Catholic and The Athlone weekly freebee.
Ritchie Brown got great support last night for the table quiz he organized in aid of Bothar. Some 25 tables took part and Ritchie had about 17 prizes for the raffle ending up with a lunch voucher for four in Brownes in Moate. Moate gave great support and a busload travelled over. Bothar have a website and they send animals to Africa such as a cow at 1800 Euro, a sow at 250, a goat at 300, three hives of bees at 125 and a share in a flock of chickens at 50 Euro. They told us afterwards that they were continuing to send out animals and many farmers were raising a heifer for there cause. Last night over 600 Euro was collected.
The weather - cold and frosty this morning with icy stretches on the road. Fog will slowly lift but may linger in a few places until later. Generally dry with some bright spells. However outbreaks of rain and drizzle will develop in the north. Temperature 4 to 8 C. Some frost tonight. No wonder we talk so much about the weather. Tonight is Library night 7 to 9 pm.
Still no sign of Nancy Magee from San Diego hitting Shannonbridge. Bridie Carry was saying that the Christmas lights in Ballinahowen were beautiful.
The Budget yesterday is described in the papers as calculated and crafty with Election 2007 in mind. Usual hits like petrol, drink and cigarettes were not effected.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Since my last post I've been to see Victoria Falls, it was roasting there, about 37 degrees! The journey to the falls from zanzibar took ages and involved an overnight trip on a ferry, 2 days on a train and a day on the bus. It was all worth it though as the falls are amazing. They are 1700m wide and 108mtrs high. I got a great view of them by taking a microlite flight which lastet 15 minutes. There's not a lot of water going over at the moment but it still looks spectacular. I was lucky enough to meet some local people who took me swimming at the top of the falls. I was swimming in one place called the devils pools where there is just one big rock stopping you from falling 108 metress over the edge. These locals also took me to their village where I sampled their local beer which comes in a 1 litre carton. Its made from millet flour and sorghum, its white in colour and is like drinking watery porridge, disgusting! I stayed a bit too long in the pub here and ended up having to spend the night in a mud hut in the village.
While in Livingstone I stayed in a dorm with an english man who is blind and only has 20% of his hearing but this hasn't stopped him from travelling the world for the last 11 months. I also eventually bumped into a group of Irish people, the first i've met on the trip.
I'm in the Namibian desert at the moment after a 30 hour journey, I had to spend 3 hours sitting on a bench in the back of a truck like Liam Keenas. The rest was in a normal bus which had to go at 80kmph as elephants sometimes come onto the road!
Namibia is way more westernised than anywhere else i've been, its not like being in Africa at all.
Tomorrow I am going out to the sand dunes to do some sandboarding, next stop South Africa, then Ireland!
The table quiz tonight in Killeens at 9.30 is for Bothar , a group that raise money to buy animals such as cows, goats, pigs and fowl that are sent to poor people in Africa.
Today is Budget day in Ireland and it seems that Brian Cowen the Finance Minister has a good few shekels to spread around.
Noticed that this website has had 2272 visitors during the month of November which works out at about 76 each day. If you have a business in the area help the site become moreinteresting by making your site come alive.
The Birdwatch birdcount in gardens has started this week and will continue for thirteen weeks. Martin Burke, Gerry Casey, Mary Killeen and Tony Ellis have taken to the task of recording the numbers of the various birds in their garden. Interested in a record sheet then contact D.Killeen.
Weather forecast today is for fog widespread at first and cloudy and damp misty conditions with temperatures from 6 to 8 C or 43 to 46 F.
Val Joyce played some of the late Frank Ifield's songs last night in tribute including the hit ---"I'll Remember You". Cliff Richards has an unusual song out at the moment. He will find it hard to reach Number One for Christmas.
Finally a poem from Jack Quinn -
The Robin

In Winter's face
A beady eye
On naked bush
In pierced armour
of puffed feathers
With sturdy patience
Awaits uncertain Spring

Surprised to get a letter and photographs from Elisabeth Bock from Vienna. The Bocks were on holiday on the Shannon a couple of months back and took some photographs of Mick and self trying to get the cruiser Zephyr untied and go for a trip to Banagher. Later that night Elizabeth took a great headshot of Louis Darcy and Martin Burke at the grocery counter. She wants us all to visit Vienna. Mentioned the letter to two Austrians working at the power plant and they said that they lived 200 Kilometres from her.
Good to hear that Aine Mike Neal and Colin arrived safely in Russia and have settled into an apartment while they await collection of baby Aimee which will probably take a week.
Arthur Hailey is dead but many of his books are available in the Library on Thursday from 7 to 9pm. This week another box of books were presented by Harry and Anne and included two by Arthur Hailey which the library did not have before.
Have a look at two advertisers on this site. The Fort Restaurant has added some photographs and more menus and information to their site and Ely House guesthouse is a welcome live addition to add to Rachra House and Ashbrook Farm in the B&B accomodation. Anybody else that wants to become alive on this site should contact Kerrill Thornhill.
Maureen Kaylor Killeen has forwarded two old photographs and wonders if there is any family resemblance. Think one of them is like my Uncle Eddie.
Bridie Carry tells us thatcigarette ash will remove hair dye from skin.