Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Day turned out glorious with temperatures of 12C / 54F and Clonmacnois was well worth the visit. Noticed on the way there that the river level had eased back and Brian of The Barge tells us that it is 3.24 Metres this Tuesday. I noticed the Egan headstone was very clear and the Futcher family may be interested in the wording.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have mercy on the soul of

Kieran Egan, who died on November 27th 1896, aged 65 years.

And his wife Annie Egan nee Kelly, who died on March 4th 1912, aged 81 years.

Their son Martin Egan died December 7th 1905, aged 48 years.

Ellen Egan, nee Kelly died April 1926.

Glad to hear that the Futcher family in New Jersey have met up with my brother John.

John was on the phone over the Christmas and is happy that the work on the parish center has turned out very well and they used it for evening Mass on Christmas Eve. He reckons that about 85 % of parishioners attend church for Christmas Day.

Back home it was good to see so many people home for the holiday. Chris Price, Paddy Kenny from Sydney, John Hardiman from London, and Brendan Carty from London. Brendan was telling us that he flew over on Saint Stephen’s morning and got the bus to Ballinasloe. He flew Aer Lingus and the flight cost One Euro return with airport taxes costing 30 Euros.

Yesterday Michael Mc Cullagh and his son Damian stopped by after visiting Clonmacnois. Damian told us that he lives in Greece and has a website filled with information about Ballinasloe. It is under www.ballinasloe.org

The official Chamber of Commerce website for Ballinasloe is under www.ballinasloe.com Have a look at both of them.

Michael Mc Cullagh played a great selection of tunes on the piano for a bus load of Dublin people who were staying in The County Arms Hotel in Birr for the Christmas and had just paid a visit to Clonmacnois. I was amazed that for most of the group it was their first time to visit Clonmacnois.

The father of baby Joshua Connolly from Belmont told us yesterday that his daughter is undergoing her operation on January 17th. Say a prayer that it will be a success.

Joe Kennedy from Birr was visiting Shannonbridge today and stopped off in Shannonbridge to bring tidings. Joe is in great form and enjoying the garage business working with his son Michael. His daughter Clare contacted him on the mobile phone and she has promised to make the trip from Shinrone to Shannonbridge.

Today our papers tell us that Roy Keane played his first game for Glasgow Celtic yesterday and got a warm welcome. Former Liverpool player Michael Owen returned to Liverpool after a stint with Real Madrid to a mixed welcome.

George Best grave is still attracting 1000 visitors daily.

Wishing David Fitzpatrick and Dympna Quinn all the best for their wedding day on this Friday. January 30th.

Met Tees Coughlan in the church this morning and asked her if she had any more old sayings. She hit me with a bucket with this one.

“What did one ear say to the other ear”?

“Between you and me we need a haircut”

Point taken as people are startng to say that I look like Charles Laughton. Joe Keogh here I come.

Did I mention that Martha Mc Dermott , Banagher won The Golden Years Festival in Ard Ri Hotel Waterford in a singing competition and won a beautiful Crystal Vase.

Also that Nan Galvin, nee Mulvey died in London recently. Nan was married to the late Jimmy Galvin, Cloniffeen and was a daughter of the late Mr and Mrs Jack Mulvey , who lived across the river at Clonmacnois.`May she rest in peace.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Loren Killeen won 32,000 Euro and a holiday on the Spin the Wheel game show on Saturday night. She qualified for the show when she got three stars on the national scratch card and her name was drawn out. Well done Loren.

Saturday was the wedding day for Martina Ryan, Garrymore and Albert Leonard from The Bottoms. They had their wedding in Cloghan and the reception was held in The Fort Restaurant with celebrations afterwards in John Joe Ryan’s pub – Lukers.

Today Niall Murphy, son of Doctor Gay Murphy and Joan Murphy married his Christy from China in Pullagh Church, with photo session in Clonmacnois and they also held their reception in The Fort. Congratulations to both couples.

The Ballinasloe Trocaire charity group had a bucket collection for the poor recently and the Moore curate Father Ryan was telling us that Archbishop Joseph Cassidy joined the effort and collected 4000 Euro in a few hours. Well done indeed.

Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Seamus Mooney on the birth of another boy.

Janey Mac, me shirt is wet was my song yesterday as our electric clothes dryer had broken down. Brian from the barge had a look at it and located a thermostat that had burned out. After telephoning a number of repair people including the main agent, no replacement was available. Then the Golden Pages gave the name Domestic Appliances Service in Letterkenny, Donegal. They had the part and it arrived this morning by post.

I like Val Joyce on the radio at night and his program last night had a real cracker – Frank Sinatra singing "Whatever happened to Christmas" written by Jim Webb.

Our Shannonbridge Carol Singers have been putting in hours of practise under Mary Kelly’s direction and Simon Hines on guitar. They plan to start collecting money for The Offaly Hospice on this Friday night. It is a worthy cause so do your best.

Heard that Clare Kelly from Saint Ciaran’s Park has knitted a wonderful Christmas Crib. So far she has The Holy Family, Three Wise Men, Shepherds and sheep, Donkey, Mr and Mrs Santa Claus and Carol Singers with one that looks like the editor of The Irish Golfer Diary.

Hear everyone talking about the very enjoyable Shannonbridge School Christmas sketches and concert last night.

Had a welcome phone call from Joe Coleman in England who says that his knee is back to normal after an injury. Also had a call from Denny Hayes from Kilkenny, who once lived in Shannonbridge many years ago while working with the Forestry. He is in good form and says that he will not be sending Christmas Cards this year. I know the feeling.

This morning was the winter solstice and we associate it with the rising sun beaming into the chamber room of Newgrange for about ten minutes. Alas the people waiting this morning were disappointed as it was overcast and no sun shone through.

River level has eased back a little and today was mild after some rain during the night.

Must have a word with our editor at Christmas about the possibility of an odd Sudoko game on this site.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 18th Dec 2005 - 4th Sun
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €468. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Ryan, L.Turley, M.Mitchell
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: E.Quinn, P.Duffy
Altar Servers: Darragh, Graham, Megan, Ciara, Amy
Masses for Christmas: Sat eve @ 9pm; Sun @ 12noon

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €327. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Guinan, A.Guinan
Readers for next Sunday: C.Norton
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 3
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly
Masses for Christmas: Sat eve @ 7pm; Sun @ 10.30am
Mass on next Sun for the late Michael Kelly (Lakefield)

Sacrament of Reconciliation on Mon 19th Dec, in Clonfanlough @ 7,30pm; & Shannonbridge @ 8pm, preceded by a Carol Service.

I will visit the sick & housebound for Christmas next Friday
The Rev Graham Doyle, COI Rector, expresses his gratitude to those who took part in last Sunday's Ecumenical Carol Service in Clonmacnois. The Collection, which goes to a Third World Charity, amounted to €178. Together with his congregation he sends greetings for a happy Christmas & peaceful New Year.
Offaly Co Childcare Committee Ltd
Will hold a first aid course in Edenderry in Jan 2006. The course will be run over 2 Saturdays and the cost is €15. If you are interested, please contact the above for a booking form as soon as possible. Tel. 0509 - 35878. (Lisa Doyle)
South Offaly Special Olympics Club
A Special Olympics Club is being formed in the South Offaly area.
Volunteers are needed. If you are interested, please contact Veronica on 087-41723751, or Maria on 087-6980218
Pope's Message on 11th Dec
The pope encouraged the faithful to continue the custom of setting up the crib at home, as it "can be a simple but effective way of presenting the faith and transmitting it to one's children."
"The crib can help us, in fact, to understand the secret of the true Christmas, because it speaks of humility and the merciful goodness of Christ, who 'though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor,'" noted the pope.
Questions people ask
Q. Why purple vestments during Advent?
A. We use purple as the colour of penance. Royal purple is associated with kings & emperors. On ancient flags & ensigns it indicated the virtue of temperance. Advent should be a time for self-control and prayerfulness as we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord. Christmas is most deeply appreciated by people who know their need of a Saviour. (Fr O’Flynn-Intercom)
"Nothing is so strong as gentleness, & nothing is so gentle as real strength." (Ralph W. Sockman)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The “You’re A Star” television people contacted Louise Killeen today to tell her that her next appearance on the series will be on Sunday January 15th 2006 which is also her birthday. She has a website www.louisekilleen.com where I am sure she will keep you updated.

After a few overcast days today was sunnier. Temperatures are around 9C / 48F.

The river level on Wednesday was 3.67 Metres and on Thursday it was 3.6 Metres.

It has been holding steady since.

Peter Hines has a birthday cake for his 75th and Brian from the Barge saved some of his portion and put it in a tissue. On enquiry Brian told me that a robin comes into the smoking area beside the pub and the cake was for the robin.

The free monthly newspaper “Alive” is now available on the internet. www.alive.ie

Say a prayer that Roy Keane will get on all right at Glasgow Celtic where he signed in this week.

Everyone is waiting with baited breath to find out how Lorraine Killeen from Shannonbridge Diner fares out on the Spin the Wheel TV game show tonight.

Met an interesting couple from Killaloe early in the week. They had been visiting Clonmacnois with a Scottish friend and had taken lots of photographs of Ciaran’s City Fair in the fog. They were able to show some of them on one of their cameras and they looked great. They promised to forward a selection on a disk which hopefully our editor will make it possible for you to view. When I mentioned that on the previous night Gus Claffey and I had been talking about some of the more famous stones of Clonmacnois, the Scottish man got very interested as he has just completed a book about stones of Scotland. Gus had told me about the Herbal Stone near the tenth century Medical Center, where the monks ground out their herbs and is a cure for warts etc. Also about the Chair Stone which has the way of healing bad backs. There is also a Fertility Stone which was used by ladies having problems with becoming pregnant. Gus said there was always a polished look about this stone and generally it was visited at night time.

It was great to receive a Christmas card from Frater and Gunn. Watty Frater and Jimmy Gunn are two Scottish musicians that for many years came over to Ireland and played music from May to October. Watty and Jimmy were painters by profession and Watty painted for a hobby while Jimmy fished. They have not been over for the past two years.

Jimmy writes to say that Watty fell about four months ago and broke a leg and that they are in good form. Watty is 98 years old.

Tomorrow Peter Hines of Correen and London celebrates his 75th Birthday and in fact he started today. While Bob Galligan and Peter were coming down the River Suck this morning they told us that the water was alive with fish jumping all over the place which they believe were mostly roach. Peter was telling us a story about a lady that used 999 to contact the police to tell them that her house was being robbed. She was told that all of the squad cars were busy at present.

A minute later she rang 999 and told them not to bother coming as she had shot the burglar.

Almost immediately police cars started arriving from every direction. Finding no dead body the policeman asked “Did you not say that you had shot the robber”?

The lady replied “Did you not say that all your cars were busy”?

Speaking of policemen only yesterday a number of people from the area took part as extras in the three part series being filmed around Clonmacnois, Shannonbridge and Banagher. John Price, Tom Mc Evoy were cast as policemen and when they met Garda Aiden Corcoran, who was on duty on location in Banagher, they said that they were some of the Donegal Special Branch. We can give you a sneak preview of what Policeman John Price had to say on camera. “ Look out, Look out, there’s something coming”

The day filming in Shannonbridge has been deferred until a later date.

Good to see Oliver Daly out and about after having a nasty fall from a tractor.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Shannonbridge Community Library.
The Library will be open tonight - (Thursday 15th) and next Thursday (22nd Dec). It will be closed for the Christmas break on 29th Dec and 5th January.

Re-opening on Thursday 12th January. There's an excellent range of books available now, so why not make a New Year's resolution to call in and see for yourself.

A Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2006 to all our readers.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Congratulations to Rosaline Glennon who won about 7000 Euros in the Moore Soccer Club Lotto. Rose is a great promoter for this lotto and richly deserves her win.

Heard on the radio that Birdwatch Ireland has birds with sounds for sale. The birds are artificial but the songs have been recorded from the goldfinch, chaffinch or whatever. Best to check their website under www.birdwatchireland.com

Also congratulations to Lorraine Killeen whose name was selected to be a contestant on next week’s Winning Streak scratch card game show where the lowest prize is about 10,000 Euros. Lorraine will be well known from her years in The Shannonside Diner.

John Maloney from Clonfinlough and now living in Navan was telling that on one day recently 1100 salmon were counted as they went upstream on the River Boyne.

I see that Turleys of Raghrabeg and Dublin have a daily one line advert in the newspapers advertising their car-hire in Dublin Airport. You can contact them at www.arguscarhire.com

Brian O’Meara of the Barge tells us that the river level was 3.5 Metres on Friday and is 3.65 Metres this morning. I noticed the area where the swans used some weeks ago is getting larger and two swans were walking out on the floodwater near the floating jetty. Brian rescued an English angler, whose engine had failed on his lake boat. Brian tells us that there are lots of fish jumping around the floating jetty harbour and that one made a splash like a building block had been thrown in.

The Clonmacnois Carol Service took place yesterday in Temple Connor and the church was full of singers and readers. The Rev’d Graham Doyle from Athlone baptised two children before the carol service and Peter Connor was telling that one of the mothers had been married in Temple Connor. Father Frank read the Gospel and gave the final blessing.

Afterwards the congregation were invited back to the visitor center where hot drinks and refreshments were very welcome. Well done to all concerned.

Met a couple today from Abbeyleix who were visiting her mother’s grave in Clonmacnois. She told us that her mother was a Kenny and that either her mother or her grandmother lived for a time in Lysterfield House, Rahara, where my Aunt Mollie Butler lived. I told her about Michael Connaughton working on a family tree and perhaps he has some Kenny data written in.

Weather has been mild the past few days but it gets a little colder after sunset. Temperature around 48 F .

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 11th Dec 2005 - 3rd Sun B
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net

Masses: Each day @ 10am.
Mass on Tues for the late Denis Lyons
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €456. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: G.Brennan, D.Deeley, C.Quinn
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: C.Mannion, O.Costello
Altar Servers: Brian, Ruaidhrí, Ailbhe, Tara, Mary Anne.
Anniversary Mass for Damien Kenny on next Sat eve.
Mass on next Sun for the late Ned Cassidy

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €167. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Higgins, D.Guinan
Readers for next Sunday: A.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 2
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: P.Darcy
Mass on next Sun for the late Anne Pillion

Sacrament of Reconciliation on Mon 19th Dec, in Clonfanlough @ 7,30pm, & Shannonbridge @ 8pm, preceded by a Carol Service.
Carol Service: in Clonmacnois this Sun @ 4pm. All welcome.
Questions people ask
Q. Every year I lose the run of myself in Christmas shopping mania.
Have you any suggestions for me?
A. Set yourself a limit; don’t use a credit card, and make a sensible decision to do Christmas shopping on maybe two days and no more. Try to keep Sunday free of shopping. You owe it to yourself and to God to make one day in the week more prayerful and reflective. Most people on your gift list have already more than they need, so why not honour them with a donation in their name to a Third World Charity? (Fr O'Flynn-Intercom)
Offaly Co Childcare Committee Ltd
Will hold a first aid course in Edenderry in Jan 2006. The course will be run over 2 Saturdays and the cost is €15. If you are interested, please contact the above for a booking form as soon as possible. Tel. 0509 - 35878. (Lisa Doyle)
South Offaly Special Olympics Club
A Special Olympics Club is being formed in the South Offaly area.
Volunteers are needed. If you are interested, please contact Veronica on 087-41723751, or Maria on 087-6980218
Single Farm Payment Meeting
Important meeting for farmers to highlight Cross Compliance measures and avoid penalties in single payment. Key Speakers: Tony Mulhearne, dept of Agriculture, & Sean Fallon, Teagasc.
Venue: Highstreet Hall on Mon 12th Dec @ 8pm.
Table Quiz, Wed 14th Dec
In Killeens. The proceeds will go to the purchase of equipment for the Parish Hall in Shannonbridge
A special word of thanks & appreciation is due to the kind people who organised & facilitated the recent Christmas Parties in both Shannonbridge & Clonfanlough. It demanded much hard work by many people; but the enjoyment given and shared by the guests is its own reward!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Fishing. Peter one of our local anglers went fishing with his friend Mark a week Sunday. The river level had dropped which allowed them to fish one of their favourite stretches. Mark had a pike that was just under 28 Lbs. Peter was remarking that in a hundred yards of this stretch over the years Mark and himself have landed over 1,000 Lbs of pike.

And what do they do with all the fish. Simple, they put them back alive.

The river level has crept up slightly and there has been some rain in recent days and fog. George Stokes from Stoke is planning to come fishing for a week at the end of May. He has a new song to go with The Fields of Athenry so be warned.

Greetings to Helen and Lou and regret that my e mail is a screw.

Tommy Henshaw, one of The Two Tommies music makers from Athlone has died and was buried yesterday. Tommy wanted no tears to be shed over him but to play some music for him. And this they did as over thirty Henshaw family members and friends gathered in Coosan Church to sing the Mass and his favourite song Athlone Town. Tommy played the Banjo and harmonica and was a member of that same Henshaw Family that play the Midnight Mass in Coosan on Christmas Eve. Some years ago Billy was telling us that they had 27 musicians and singers in the group. Silent Night how are you? May he rest in peace.

Two Spanish visitors in Clonmacnois told that they had come to Ireland with Ryan Air for six days and the return fare was 100 Euros each. They had plans to visit Galway and then do the Ring of Kerry and into Cork before catching their plane in Dublin.

A catchy announcement on the Connacht Tribune tells us that over 50 % of Dioxin Emissions arise from backyard burning. It reminded me of the reply from John Maxwell, a supervisor in Lanesboro Station. One of his crew rushed up to him one Monday morning to tell him that they had unloaded 1032 wagons of peat on the Sunday, which was a new record. Maxwell looked at him and said “ Not good enough”

Good news that Paddy Kenny and family will be coming home from Sydney for Christmas.

More good news is the wedding of Martina Ryan and Albert Leonard sometime before Christmas.

A film which is currently being filmed is making its way west and will reach Shannonbridge around December 16th. They require some extras and if you are interested text Anne at 087 235 8642.

Our editor was telling us about a week ago that he was toying with the idea of having a photograph section on this site where photographs might be shared. Hope he toys a bit more on it. Mass today was for Jack Butler, the late village blacksmith. It would be great to be able to go to this photographic section and see what he looked like for those that never met him.

Also noticed on the Connacht Tribune that the famous Kenny Bookshop in High Street are holding a relocation sale of books and artwork worth 5 Million Euros starting yesterday. Their e-mail is queries@kennys.ie

Josephine Patricia or Tees Coughlan had an interesting rhyme on Tuesday morning that went like this –

A kiss, a smile, a fond goodbye

And he is gone.

A wink, a smile, another boy

So life rolls on.

No man you know

By outward show

Although he may attract

You never know,

What’s in the shell

Until the nut is cracked

Father Peter Kenny has an interesting message on his Christmas card this year.

Hopefully he will send it to info@shannonbridge.net and we can share it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Two local deaths in the locality last week. Michael Ledwith Coolderry, Creagh, Ballinasloe died on Monday and was buried in Creagh on Wednesday. Michael was husband of Liz and father of Michael.

John Daly of Clononey and Blackwater died on Thursday and was buried in High Street on Saturday. Brother of Tom Daly, Portlaoise and uncle of Oliver and Saran. The priest at Mass reminded us that it was the second death for the Daly Family in a short time as Tom’s daughter had died recently when she fell down a stairs.

May they rest in peace.

The Shannonbridge end of the parish held their Christmas Dinner Dance on Friday night.

The night started at 6.0 pm with Mass in what was the old church and is now the Community Hall.

There was a large turn out to enjoy a tasty seasonal dinner prepared by The Fort Restaurant and served by the Shannonbridge Ladies Group. Afterwards music for dancing and singing was provided by members of the Memphis Band, Some 80 people attended. At the function Tees Coughlan told us that her name is Josephine Patricia and she gave us a lovely four liner –

Hear and See

And say nothing

Eat and drink

And pay nothing.

This was appropriate for the night as the function was sponsored by the Midland Health Board, ESB and Bord na Mona and others.

On Saturday night Bord na Mona held their annual Dinner Dance in Hayden’s Hotel Ballinasloe and 300 guests were expected to attend what is usually a very enjoyable night.

Yesterday Clonfinlough Ladies Club hosted the annual party for senior citizens in Clonfinlough Hall. Again this function started with Mass at 3 pm. afterwards some three score of people enjoyed soup and a main course prepared by Hineys. Ferbane and desserts tea coffee and drinks provided by the Ladies Group. Music was by K.K.Kenny and his group and the crack was mighty right up to 8 pm.

On Saturday someone mentioned that it was the tenth anniversary of that great character Martin Egan, Athlone and Aughnacabe, and it revived many memories of him for many people. Oliver Darcy remembers the day well as he had attended a family wedding with Martin in Birr on the day before he died. Rest in peace dear Martin.

Brian from The Barge says that the river level is 3.42 metres today and has risen in recent days. Saturday the level was 3.25 metres. The weather has been good for the past few days with sunshine during the day and temperature at 10 C / 50 F with light frost at night.

Marie Daly told us that she has bought a pony from Padraig Scanlon.

Attended the annual regional bridge tournament in Mullingar yesterday and was delighted to see a new partnership of Joe Kerins, Birr and Connie Mc Gooey win the day.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shannonbridge Birdwatch
The annual Bird Watch Ireland survey of garden birds starts again this week and runs until 20th February. This is an enjoyable way to keep track of the various species of birds in your garden during the winter, as well as contributing to an important national survey. All thats involved is to record the bird numbers on a preprinted form, once a week. The completed survey is then sent to Bird Watch Ireland, after 20th Feb. It is then used to compile a census, which helps to track increases, or decline and decide if action needs to be taken.
Still time to get your forms - available from Derry Killeen.
As winter sets in please remember to feed the wildbirds.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


The Shannonbridge GAA annual general meeting was held on Sunday week last in the Club house to a medium sized attendance.

The Meeting was opened and Chaired by Tom Moore who thanked all involved for their participation in the running of the Club and there was also a minutes silence observed for all deceased of the Parish throughout the past year.

There was also a great tribute to the most important man in the club Frank Guinan for all his tireless work not just this year but for many years previous to this. The Chairman stated the Club could simply not function without him.

There were no major changes in the line up of Officers for the coming year. Chairman Tom Moore, Secretary Jim Killeen, Treasurer and assistant Secretary Olive Costello, Assistant Chairman Frank Guinan, Assistant treasurer Kieran Rohan, P.R.O Conor Killeen, Registrar Declan McEvoy, County delegate Conor Killeen one delegate position is yet to be filled.


Shannonbridge GAA Club recently received a new kit for the year from our Sponsors KPW. The Ballinasloe based printing firm have been very generous to the Club in the last number of years and we hope we will have their continued support in the future.

The club also wish to thank the ESB for their generosity in recent months and like Kelly's printing works have been very good to the club in the past decade.

Down Under
Shannonbridge GAA club would like to wish the best of luck to John Egan who departed recently on a trip to Australia for the coming year. Last years senior Captain will not be taking too much of a break from Gaelic games as John did travel with hurl in hand as he plans to play in Sydney in the Australian Championship

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Great excitement in Shannonbridge last evening when Louise Killeen qualified for the final of “You’re A Star” singing contest on television along with Ciara Mc Ginn from Oughterard. It was a phone in to select the winner and Ciara received 24 % of the votes and Louise got 17 %. For the next few weeks they will be airing those selected from the other places of audition. Sometime after Christmas Louise expects to be back on screen. Don’t worry we will let you know in time. She was lucky that I slept it out for Mass and had to go to that great stand by in Clonfad at 7.00 pm and I missed the performance. Kieran Feeney was showing me the phone number that he used to vote for her. Well done to Louise and you can visit her website www.louisekilleen.com and listen to her voice or send her a message.

Jane Mooney, nee Rothwell was telling us late last night that she was on her way back from an auction in Hynes’ Pub in Aughrim where lots of interesting items were up for grabs including cannon balls, pub signs and even a rat trap with a rat that used to hang from the ceiling.

Mags Doolan who was our hairdresser for many years until recently gave birth to a baby girl in Portiuncula Hospital today and both are fine but Bridie Carry tells us that Mags texed her today and said she was very tired. Mother and baby are in fine form and well done Mags.

Bridie Carry took a friend along to an Isla Grant concert in The Tullamore Court Hotel and they enjoyed the Scottish singer very much. She had just returned from a singing tour of Australia.

Heard a group of our Shannonbridge singers arranging to meet tomorrow Tuesday night in the Health Center to practise a Christmas programme like last year when the funds that they raised were donated to The Offaly Hospice.

When trying to get information last week on the Kelly / Egan families it was interesting to hear that Flynn’s Bar which was once operated by the Egans was granted its first official license in 1845 on the same court day as Lukers Bar.

Brian tells us that the river level on Monday is 3.15 Metres and the temperature is about 8 C / 48 F in the sunlight and 4 C or 49 F in the shade.

Had a welcome phone call today from a Michael Connaughton from Tuam who is doing research on the Connaughton Family. He used Google as a search engine and this site was thrown up a number of times. Jack Connaughton the runner was mentioned. Somewhere along the line my Connaughton tree branch was mentioned.

Michael was able to tell that my great grandfather was Thomas Connaughton who was married to Kate Morris and their daughter Kate Connaughton married John Murray and were my grand parents. He plans to come to Shannonbridge on this coming Wednesday and hopefully give us more information.

Finally proceeds from this weeks Table Quiz in Killeens on Wednesday at 9.30 pm

will go towards Library Funds. Library is open on Thursday night as usual from 7 'til 9 pm.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The great soccer player George Best died yesterday. Today on the paper there are many tributes to him including one from Pele who says George was the greatest. He will be buried next Friday and may he rest in peace.

A circular from Clare Film Productions Ltd tells Shannonbridge that a film is being made called “Running to Standstill” Filming will commence on Monday 28th November and will continue to mid-February 2006.It is a four part serial for RTE They are planning to film in Shannonbridge on Friday December 16th using Killeen’s Bar in the early morning with most of the action on or around the village bridge, the pier, and on the River Shannon until 9.00PM that evening.

It brings back memories of The Flight of The Doves which Michael Green said is now available on DVD and is on sale on the internet. Try Google and check that it is suitable for your player.

Good to hear from Ken and Betty who are planning to spend two weeks in Shannonbridge in May next year.

Heard Louise being interviewed on Tipperary Radio today and the interviewer was asking all about the "You’re a Star"singing competition in which she sings tomorrow evening at 6.30 PM on RTE ONE Television. She will be the first to sing in the series and if you would like to vote for her text Star A to 53600 when the lines are open. See the program for voting instructions and the public chose the winner.

Monday was a double funeral for Paddy and Nicola Kelly, Drum, who died in a road accident at Stradbally. The Funeral Mass took place in Saint Peter’s Church Athlone and afterwards they were laid to rest in Drum cemetery. One of the celebrants was an uncle of Nicola and she also has a brother a priest in Kenya Father Paddy Boran. Over a cup of tea afterwards in the Drum Community Center where Paddy spent many an hour running Bingo and other functions his son Gabriel told us that he had attended the last three years of National School in Shannonbridge and he remembered Michael Green and Olive Donegan. When Gabriel saw the plates of assorted sandwiches he said that his Dad would have a fit if he was there as the caterers had sprinkled the sandwiches with parsley and his Dad just hated parsley.

The weather grabbed the headlines in mid week with a heavy fog on Tuesday and a sand lorry went into the ditch before Clonfad Church. Nobody was hurt but it remained there until yesterday when one of Noel Mc Manus’s machines succeeded in dragging it out.

Thursday night we had some slushy snow but it did not remain. The river level held steady at 3.25 Metres for the past few days. Temperatures have dropped to 40 F and it gets cold after sunset.

On Thursday evening seven Americans arrived in search of their family tree. They were enquiring about the Kelly Family with an Egan connection and lucky enough Father Mike Egan included a lot of the family tree when he wrote an article in The Shannonbridge Star about twenty five years ago. As it happened they had booked into a hotel near Shannon Airport when they arrived and they returned there for the night. Next morning they arrived back and visited Clonmacnois where they saw the Egan headstone which has a Helen Egan nee Kelly on the list of deceased. Gus Claffey told us that in the old cemetery people of the same name were buried in the same location even if not related. In the New Cemetery there are 40 Egan plots. They visited P. Kelly who directed them to the old Kelly home in Clonfinlough and Mrs Dennis Loonham rattled off three generations of Kellys that had lived in the old house including two Peters and a Paddy. The two Kelly girls in the party seem to have married two Futcher husbands. Mary Futcher lives in Haddonfield New Jersey and is in the next parish to Saint Mary’s. So the brother will have Futcher visitors next week. The other girl Patricia Futcher and her family live in London and they are planning to come back in the spring. Last night they booked into Bunratty Castle and we thought that was the last we would see of them for 2006 but today after driving around for the day they stopped in briefly to buy a souvenir cap.

Good to see Michael Green over for a weeks break from Hartford and to visit his family. The Irish Lad is in the lawn cutting and tree maintenance and at this time of year he is occupied with clearing snow in a school which is one of his main customers.

This evening Kieran Pat Devery called in for a couple of hours. Kieran was from Lecarrow but he and his wife Anne now live in Creglahan., Castlerea, Roscommon..

Good news today was the start of preparations for the building of a new home for Vinnie Darcy in The Old Street which is on the road to the right past Ard Chiarain.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Tullamore Gospel Choir CD.
Following their recent successful charity concert, Tullamore Gospel Choir now have their debut CD on sale. This is a quality production, with 13 tracks and would make a lovely Christmas present. The CD is available at €15 by contacting Rose Ryan at 087 9696462.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 20th Nov 2005 - Christ the King Sun A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net
Masses: Each day @ 10am
Mass for deceased members of the ESB on Thurs eve @ 8pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €428. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Kelly, T.Goldie
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: E.Quinn, P.Duffy
Altar Servers: Brian, Ruaidhrí, Ailbhe, Tara, Mary Anne
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Richard Hynes
Enrolment Ceremony for Confirmandi on next Sun

Mass for the deceased on Mon eve @ 7pm
Enrolment Ceremony for Confirmandi on next Sun
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €275. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Loonam, A.Egan
Readers for next Sunday: Confirmandi
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 3
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan
Station Mass: on Fri eve @ 8, at the home of A. & L. Rohan, the Back Road, Clonfanlough
Questions people ask
Q. My understanding is that we will be judged on how we behave in this life. What is the point, then, in praying for the dead? It is too late to undo any wrongs they have done.
A. Purgatory is not so much a place of punishment as a process of growth in the journey of the soul to God. The residue of earthly imperfection impedes one’s reception of the beatific vision. It is purged away. As members of the Mystical Body of Christ, God accepts our prayers for the benefit of others.
Shannonbridge Christmas Party
By now, you should have received your invitation. Please let us know if you will attend by calling 087-2410587.
P.T.A.A. Social, High St Hall
Wed 23rd Nov, 10pm to 1am.
Music: the Evergreens. Adm: €10.00, which includes Supper
A Date to remember
Christmas Party in Clonfanlough Hall on Sun 4th Dec @ 3pm.
Beginners' Computer Classes
Offaly Leader will run a number of Classes for a minimum of 10 people from age 18 upwards, if there is sufficient interest, in Shannonbridge Hall. This Course will deal with the basics.
If you would like more info contact 087-2410587
Prayer for the week - (received on the Internet, by email)
"Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those I care deeply for, whom I remember right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask you to fulfil their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name."

Monday, November 21, 2005

Last evening there was an added interest in a television show billed “You’re a Star” from lots of family and friends. This turned out to be an insight of how three judges auditioned thousands of contestants from around the country displaying their musical talents and aiming to win a recording contract and 25,000 Euros for the winner. This introduction gave us a glimpse of many competitors and the judges’ reactions – “Get out” and girls and boys and groups waiting or dejected or joyous. It was good to see Louise Killeen in rapture at the Galway Audition. On next Sunday evening the Galway audition will be a feature of the hour long program from 6.30 pm on RTE television. It seems that the public will be invited to vote and the successful ones will be announced after the 9.00 pm News. Those chosen by the public go on to the next stage. Wishing Louise all the best on the night and hope she gets a few votes. Have a look in.

The river level has dropped to 3.5 metres today and after fairly heavy frost last night the sun is shining again today as it has for the past week. Temperatures are 9C / 48F.

The drop in the river level has removed the area of water that the two swans were using last week.

The priest announced at Mass yesterday that the church will be heated for an hour each evening between 6.30 and 7.30pm for those wishing to visit and pray.

The sad news was broken on Saturday of the death of Paddy and Nicola Kelly and Edward Bealin a cousin from New York who were killed when their car collided with a lorry at Stradbally. Paddy and Nicola and their son Gabriel once lived in Saint Ciaran’s Park Shannonbridge before moving to their new home at Summerhill near Athlone. Paddy worked in the old Shannonbridge Power Plant and was very proud of his Kilkenny roots.

The death occurred last week of John Maher from Kilrush / Rahan. John was a brother of Celine Grennan, Shannonbridge and his brother worked in Shannonbridge Power Plant.

The death occurred of Bernadette Doolan, Brackagh, mother of Paudge Frank and Agnes Doolan and Gabrielle Kelly Banagher.

May they all rest in peace.

Personally last week I went to Nantes in France from Tuesday to Saturday with an old friend and Ryan Air. We had star accommodation in the Admiral Hotel which is in the heart of the Old City. The hotel cost 120Euro for four nights, travel and airport charges 66.96 Euros, Airport car park 17.50 Euros, and travel insurance 8 Euros. Ear plugs were extra as one of the party snored a bit but I did not have to buy these. So 218.46 Euros total without food. We bought a three day public transport ticket for 32 Euros that covered bus, tram, river bus and access to a number of events.

The city is located on the mouth of the River Loire and at one time Nantes was the third largest port with about 300,000 slaves being shipped from there. The mouth of the river was in many parts like a delta? But later many of these were closed in and became roads and squares. It is a remarkable clean city with no litter or chewing gum on the paths as in Ireland. The inner city has a great range of shops and eating places. Shoes and leather goods, clothes and drapery, jewellers and opticians and quality souvenir shops abound.

Language is a problem especially with menus. I remember one evening we went to a fish restaurant that was recommended by a guide book. There were two ladies in the place having soup and they were the staff. I said I would try the soup and I was lucky that they had only one bowl left. For fish we went for salmon. This turned out to be slivers of smoked salmon in a lettuce salad with olive oil and HEATED. When they asked if we required dessert or coffee we said no, paid up and ran. The worst experience sticks.

We enjoyed the river and used the river bus a few times. There are pathways all along the river and in one open style house nearby there was a marvellous display of coarse fish in a range of tanks. One tank had what looked like dark bog oak and one branch was hollow with two openings about twenty inches apart. An eel tail stuck out of the bottom and an eel head rested on the top opening.

A friend asked me to buy a 50 ml bottle of Poem perfume. We priced it in a huge store for 61 Euro. On Friday we met a friend from Dublin who brought us to a smaller shop where his wife buys perfume. Their price 59 Euro. When I got off the bus in Ballinasloe the chemist shop there had it priced 56 Euro and had an offer of perfume and body cream for 58 Euro. When I got home and told her the prices she told me that a friend had got a bottle for her in Spain at just under 40 Euro.
Good to see Colin and Niamh back in the old sod. Judging from a postcard last week I thought that they were about halfway across Spain on a walk. They finished the walk and are home. Will they phone in a vote or text or whatever on Sunday evening. Louise got five tickets for guests and Mick and Mary, Fergal Louise and Leah have been chosen to carry the flag.
It is 2.30 pm and Pat Mick and myself are going for a trip on the river. We might even catch a glimpse of a solitary fisherman from Castlebar who arrived in the village this morning.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report…..14th November 2005

Andy Slone and Len Tophe from Halifax fished the River Shannon from 5th – 12th November in windy and wet conditions and used lures and dead bait and a lake boat to catch 30 pike up to 20 Lbs. They said it was difficult due to conditions but they got some nice pike anyway.

Matt Keogh from Salford fished the Shannon on November 11th in terrible weather and used dead bait to catch pike with 13 Lbs the best. Matt commented that it was difficult to fish with too much water coming in.

Russ Gauden from West Midlands fished the Shannon on 12th November in good weather.

Russ used a dead trout to catch a pike that weighed 10 Lbs. Comment water very high.

Water levels have continued to rise with the level at the village bridge reading 3.85 Metres today. There is flood water on much of the callow land and a pair of swans was content in a patch of flood ten yards from our garden. A moored boat is recommended for fishing and anglers might also consider using the floating jetties at Shannonbridge, Clonmacnois and Banagher. The harbour at Ballinasloe is worth a try.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 13thNov 2005 - 33rdSun A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €480. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Killeen, A.Keena
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: C.Mannion, O.Costello
Altar Servers: Dean, Michael, Shannen, Nicola, Kayleigh
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Jimmy Coleman
Mass for the deceased on Mon eve @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €250. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kilduff, B.Kilduff
Readers for next Sunday: D.Norton,
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 2
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan
Enrolment Ceremony for First Communicants on next Sunday

Many thanks for your very generous donations to the American Hurricane Disaster Appeal. As a result we have sent €1,120.00 to the Bishop's office to be forwarded to the diocese of Biloxi.
Ard Chiaráin, Rachrabeg
Mass for our deceased relatives, friends and benefactors will be said on next Fri eve @ 8pm. All welcome.
Parish Envelopes for the year beginning 27th Nov next.
These are in the process of being delivered to your homes.
A special word of gratitude is due to those who carry out this task.
A big ‘thank-you’ to all those who contribute to the various collections during the year! It is hoped that you will continue to do so in the year ahead. A very special appeal is made to those who have defaulted on these collections, or who may have simply forgotten to send in the envelope.
In the words of Scripture ‘Let us bear one another’s burdens’.
A Date to remember
Christmas Party in Clonfanlough Hall on Sun 4th Dec @ 3pm.
Beginners' Computer Classes
Offaly Leader will run a number of Classes for a minimum of 10 people from age 18 upwards, if there is sufficient interest, in Shannonbridge Hall. This Course will deal with the basics.
If you would like more info contact 087-2410587
Farm News: Looking for an increasing Income?
Consider the Farm Assist Scheme or avail of the new GP/Medical Card? Contact 0509-51622 or 086-8336873, at West Offaly's Smallholder Service.
Emmanuel House, Clonfert
There will be a special day of prayer with Eddie Stones for young people on next Sat from 11am onwards.
Why don't skeletons go out on the town?
Because they have no body to go out with...
Why do mummies have trouble keeping friends?
They're too wrapped up in themselves...
What do you call someone who puts poison in a person's Cornflakes?
A cereal killer...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Yesterday Billy Soden was in Shannonbridge with his friend Brian De Courcey from Ahascragh. They have been friends for many years as Brian was the Warrant Officer with the Gardai in Ballinasloe and Billy Soden’s taxi was used regularly for transporting offenders to prison in Dublin.

Billy Soden was born in Ballinasloe and in 1956 when the Galway Football Team went to New York they travelled on The Franconia ocean liner. The trip to America took the normal seven days on the boat. The Aughrim Slopes Ceili Band travelled with the team. Billy Soden was the Drummer, Pat Corbett played the Piccolo, Dan Tracey played Banjo, Johnny Hynes and Paddy Fahey played Fiddle, and Jennie Fahey played the Organ.

Jennie later married Frank Campbell who owned Kiltormer Hall.

The Aughrim Slopes played in Carnegie Hall to an audience of 8,000 and they also entertained the crowd during the half-time interval at the football game in Gaelic Park played between Galway and New York.

Billy Soden did not return to Ireland with the others but remained in America. In 1971 Billy came home to Ballinasloe and operated The Burma Grill for a number of years.

Later he sold it to the Supermacs Fast Food chain.

Then he set up a taxi service and provided a useful service to the town. He is now retired and living in Kilgorve Park. His friend Brian now operates The Spailpin Fanach pub in Ahascragh.

I was surprised that our own Tommy Corbett did not travel to America with the band but Tommy was a painter and he had to look after his business. Some other names mentioned in connection with The Aughrim Slopes include Joe Mills on Accordion, and Georgie Shanley, Frank Walsh and Tom Corbett who were all drummers

Shannonbridge has got a new window cleaning service called "Clean As A Whistle".

Contact 085-7346307 if interested. Cost for cleaning the outside windows on a normal house runs at about 15 Euro. Inside windows also cleaned if service needed..

River level continues to creep up. On Tuesday it reached 3.7 Metres and today it is 3.76 Metres. Last few days have been rather mild with an odd drop of rain. Some strong winds that were forecast did not materialise.

Met eight people from Austria on Tuesday who are enjoying a horse riding holiday in Ireland. One of them told us that the translation for House To Rent goes Haus zu Vermieten but I am not sure if it is Austrian or German.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Conor Killeen reports

Under 21 FC

Gaels Breeze to Semi Final

Shannongeals 0-13
St Michaels 1-3

Shannongaels stormed to victory when they overcame a
Edenderry/ Ballyfore combination on Sunday morning
last in Durrow.

This game turned out to be a physical encounter with
heavy hits flying in from both sides. Things got very
heated ten minutes into the match when Darren Finn was
left on the floor and St Michaels were reduced to
Fourteen men.

After this incident Shannongaels gained control
although St Michaels took the lead with the opening
point.The Shannonsiders soon got into their stride and
Jason Kelly rolled up his sleeves and dominated the
centre of the field.

Shane Kelly opened the Shannonbridge/St Rynaghs mens
account when he converted an excellent free. Soon
after Kieran Flannery made a blistering fifty yard run
to off load to Darren Finn who scored a great point.

The Reds did manage to fight back with a couple of
points but trailed by 0-7 to 0-3 at the interval.

The second period saw the Gaels power ahead and make
full use the wind and good service to the full forward
line gave Paul Deeley plenty of ammunition to fire a
total of six points. Deeley was well assisted up
front by Rory O Connor and Shane Kelly.

Edenderry did stage a comeback by scoring a goal
midway through the second half and try as they did for
a second or third, goalkeeper Michael "Chesty" Hough
was in fine form and denied St Michaels on a number of

Shannongaels now await the result of an open draw to
see who they play in the Semi Final. This is the one
title that has eluded Shannonbridge GAA club. I
wonder could this be the year they claim the title for
the first time.

M Hough, K Flannery(0-1), K NOrton, W Kenna, S
Clancy,J Rafferty,D Finn(0-1),J Kelly,E Kelly(0-1),R
O'Connor(0-2),S Kelly(0-1),P Deeley (0-6), D Corbett,
D Flatterty(0-1), subs M Reynolds, K Butler, P
Flatterty, D Flatterty.
Anyone, Germans or otherwise can buy Louises CD through the secure online payment system on her website www.louisekilleen.com

She is going to be appearing on the music competition Eurostar on RTE over the next couple of months too, so dont forget to support her.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Last week the children had the week off from school and some fourteen took up on the opportunity to take part in a course on film making for five days. They formed a great team and very early in the course the team set out to take some film of the river, jetty, bridge, fort and whatever caught their eye caught the camera. They were allocated their task for each day and it was lovely to hear them say “I am on sound”, I am on the mike”, I am on the camera” etc .When they visited the shop Mary Ann Keena was on camera and Sharon Slattery was the interviewer. They brought the camera along to have a look at the Library.
The kids are to be taken to Tullamore for a viewing of their weeks work. Hope the rest of us get to see it at a Christmas Party or a special showing.

On Thursday four girls from America paying a short visit to Shannonbridge told that they had taken part in the Dublin Marathon at the weekend. One of the girls was Moran and her ancestors came from Ballina County Mayo. They were running out of daylight but promised that they would visit Clonmacnois on their return route to Dublin.

On the 2nd November a family of Willing / Moran from Chicago, who are friends of The O’Sullivan Family called in. Their daughter is about to start attending University in Limerick so they came along to see the place and tour around the country for a few days. The girl promised to contact Mike and Aine sometime in Limerick.

Had a surprise letter from Inge Hoffmann, Bruckmuhl, Germany seeking a copy of Louise’s CD. It appears that some of her friends were on holiday on the River Shannon lately and they bought a CD. Now everyone in Germany wants one. Well at least Inge Hoffmann does.

Brian from the Barge takes the river levels every morning and as you can see on the Fish report the level rode 0, 1 Metres in a day which is four inches in ordinary language.

Good to see Ken and Betty Smith from California on a weeks visit for a break and to visit family and friends.

The death occurred last week of Michael Kilduff in Dublin. Michael was a brother of Lizzie Ledwith. Michael was buried in Dublin. May he rest in peace.

Heard about a sale of a small tract of land in Kildare that took place recently. The auction was held in a hotel and the highest bidder bid over one million Euro. He was a big rough dressed man and the Auctioneer asked him to step into the office for a moment where he explained to the bidder that he would be required to pay 10% deposit. Our Friend produced a shopping bag which was full of money and asked how much he had to pay. The Auctioneer told him and our friend said he would like to settle the deal there and then. As they finished counting out the million there remained a lot of money in the bag. The Auctioneer remarked that it was dangerous carrying around such an amount of money in a bag.

Our friend replied that he thought that it would be twice the price it reached.

Shannonbridge Fishing Report….Dated 7th November 2005

Local anglers Peter and Mark were the only people to record any catches this week. On 1st November fishing from a moored boat on the River Shannon and using dead roach as their bait, Peter caught two small pike. Mark fishing from the other end of the boat caught a dozen pike with top weights of 12 Lbs and 10 Lbs.

River level on Tuesday and Wednesday was 3.4 Metres, on Friday 3.5 M, on Friday and Saturday and Sunday 3.6 M. Today it is 3.65 Metres and traces of flood waters are to be seen on the callow land beside the river. The Callow upstream of Clonmacnois has a good inlet of flooding.
The Shannonbridge Power Plant has returned to service after overhaul and hot water is flowing once again.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 6th Nov 2005 - 32nd Sun
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €492. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Moran, M.Murphy, M.McManus
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: S.Grennan, C.Doolan
Altar Servers: Darragh, Graham, Megan, Ciara, Amy
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Martin & Josephine Burke
Mass on next Sun for the late Thomas Rocke.

Mass for the deceased on Thurs @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €276. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kenny, M.Lantry
Readers for next Sunday: A.Kelly
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 1
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly

Station Mass:
Fri eve @ 8pm at the home of M. & S. McManus, Lecarrow

A Date to remember
Christmas Party in Clonfanlough Hall on Sun 4th Dec @ 3pm.
Thanks to all who supported the recent Quiz night in the Hall.
Beginners' Computer Classes
Offaly Leader will run a number of Classes for a minimum of 10 people from age 18 upwards, if there is sufficient interest, in Shannonbridge Hall. This Course will deal with the basics.
If you would like more info contact 087-2410587
Table Quiz on next Wed @ 9.30pm sharp
Will be run in Killeens in aid of this year's Christmas Party, to be held in Shannonbridge Hall on Fri 2nd Dec. Please support.
M. E. Meeting
Wed 9th Nov in Gullanes Hotel @ 8pm. All welcome.
Ballinasloe Flower & Garden Club
A Talk by Alex Chisolm from Heritage Bulbs, Wed 9th Nov @ 8pm in Haydens Hotel. Adm: €5.00
Grower's Competition: Indoor Foliage Plant.
A Training Course for local actors/drama groups
Or anyone interested, in the Prince-of-Wales Hotel, Athlone,
Tues/Wed/Thurs, 15th 16th 17th Nov from 7pm - 11.30pm, each eve
Course director is Shane Munro. All enquiries to 074-9126994
Email: filmactorsworkshop@eircom.net
Monster Auction
Sun 6th Nov in the Community Centre Moate @ 2.30pm
Farm News: Looking for an increasing Income?
Consider the Farm Assist Scheme or avail of the new GP/Medical Card? Contact 0509-51622 or 086-8336873, at West Offaly's Smallholder Service.
"We should use things we have to enhance our friendships, and not use our friendships to enhance the number of things we have."

Monday, October 31, 2005

Rose Ryan has been practising singing with a Gospel Choir and they are having a Gospel Choir Concert in the Tullamore Court Hotel on Sunday 13th November at 8 pm.
Tickets cost 15 Euro and may be had by contacting Rose Ryan. Contact her soon.

Shannonbridge Fishing Report…Dated October 31st 2005-10-31

The rain was more persistent during the week and the result is reflected on the water levels in the past few days. On Saturday the level was 3.18 Metres, on Sunday it was 3.28 Mts. and today it is 3.35 Mts.

Alan Simkins, Joe Simkins and Corey Hampson from Ellesmere fished the River Suck on 23rd October in ever changing weather and used feeder and pole to catch an amount of fish, mostly small roach. Water in excellent condition. A little high but enjoyable.

Marc Schilling from Pottum, Germany fished the bay near the mouth of the River Suck on 27th October in windy conditions and used a blinker to catch a pike that measured 70 Cm. Marc caught seven pike in three days.

Peter our Local Angler went fishing alone on the 25th October in the wind on the River Suck and used a dead roach to catch a pike weighing 13 Lbs that was in fine condition and was returned alive.

On 28th October Peter and our other Local fisherman tried their luck on the River Shannon. Peter used dead roach to catch two pike that weighed 15 Lbs. and 23 Lbs and damn all else. He commented that this week last year he caught four twenties in this week. Mark was satisfied with a 10 Lbs. pike and some small.

The rain was more persistent during the week and the result is reflected on the water levels in the past few days. On Saturday the level was 3.18 Metres, on Sunday it was 3.28 Mts. and today it is 3.35 Mts. The Bank Holiday weekend had an amount of cruisers on the river and on Saturday night there were 25 boats moored in Shannonbridge. Friday night was the 21st Birthday Party for Darren Finn and his friends added a lot to the night by coming to his party in Fancy Dress.

Yesterday was the final round of the Volvo Masters and it was great to see Paul Mc Ginley win the big event. Heard on the news today that Eddie Jordan, one of his supporters had placed a five figure bet at odds of 33 to1 on Mc Ginley to win. Well done.

Was talking to Joan Carty who told me that Mrs Connaughton that was buried on Saturday was a sister of the late Pancake Ward from Ballinasloe. Pancake was a famous character who lived in Ballinasloe and among other things was known for a rare type of blood. Back in the early sixties the new Blood Transfusion Board always went looking for Pancake every time that they held a Donor Clinic in Ballinasloe. He was rewarded with a few bottles of Guinness. Joan also told me that she well remembers my Uncle Michael or Sonnie but was known to Joan and the other children as The Cowboy on account of the hat he wore and the bicycle that he used.

During the week Father Pascal Donoghue Clontuskert died. He had been unwell with Alzimer’s for a time. May he rest in peace.

Garbally College have decided to phase out the boarding facility in the school and will not be taking boarders in future.

Supermacs in Main Street Ballinasloe has won the Hotels and Restaurants group ‘National Hygiene and Food Safety Award for 2005. This Supermac is the original Supermacs established by Pat Mc Donagh 27 years ago. Congratulations to all.

On another news item it tells that Supermacs pre-tax profit was up 140 % last year.

A presentation was made recently at a function in Millars Bar to May Greene from Falty and Pat Kenny from Breagh. Both Pat and May were involved in the school transport scheme for many years and have now retired. Wishing them well in their retirement.

The local power plant West Offaly Power recently presented defibrillator units to Shannonbridge GAA and to the Moore Community Group. Defibrillators are essential in a first-response capacity to quickly treat a victim suffering from a sudden cardiac arrest before the arrival of an ambulance.

Friday, October 28, 2005

On Thursday a busload of Pilgrims arrived in Shannonbridge and the two priests in the company celebrated Mass in Shannonbridge Church before travelling on to Clonmacnois. They had planned to celebrate Mass in Clonmacnois but due to the wind and rain during the week they used the village church instead. One of the priests told Pat that he was in the same class as John’s Bishop so no doubt he will put in a good word for him.

Mick and Mary attended the wedding of Mary’s niece, Gerry and Mairead Cox's daughter Sinead to Robert Stone yesterday which took place on The Heath near Portlaoise.

Down south Michael and Aine were attending the wedding of John Robertson, a brother of Michael.

Some persistent rain during the week has caused the Shannon to rise to a height of 3.1 Metres this morning. The rivers look very full and that little patch in Darcy’s Callow looking south from past the Fort has a pool of water. This is always the first part of the callows to flood and of course it means that the surrounding land is well saturated.

Brian from the Barge was telling that there are a number of stray cats living around the bridge and Mary Allen provides them with food. Brian has observed that during the night the cats visit the Jetty and patrol each boat fully by going aboard and walking around the sides of the cruisers. God help any mouse that takes refuge there.

Today is Darren Finn’s 21st Birthday and the celebrations no doubt have already begun. Wishing him all the very best on the occasion.

The papers this week tell us that a Plaque is to be erected in Mountmellick to commemorate the late Oliver J. Flanagan T.D. The papers just remember Oliver J as the one who pronounced that there was no sex in Ireland. People around this area have their own memories of his work and efforts.

Heard this evening that Sara Ann Bennett, daughter of Paudge is teaming up with a singer named Aengus and the two of them are performing in Temple Bar in Dublin tonight.

See where Judy Garland’s daughter is giving three concerts in Athlone this week titled ‘Songs My Mother Taught Me’ and the word is out that it is a great show.

Down south The Cork Jazz Festival is in swing this weekend and James Scully told us that he is driving down to Cork in the morning for the weekend.

Mary told us at teatime that the Daffodils are up which gives you an idea of how mild the weather has been so far. Temperatures are around 19 C at times this week.

Despite the good weather the birds are certainly making use of the bird feeders and the feeders need to be topped up about twice a week. Wandering around during the week it was noticeable that there were not many berries in the ditches. Buy a couple of feeders and a bag of peanuts and enjoy the birds.

The number of young swans on the river is almost zilch and the Wild Mink seem to be having a devastating effect on wild life. We need more Aidan Kelly’s who will help eliminate these mink.

Good to hear from Rose Ryan that a number of young people are beginning to rediscover the Library in the Health Center on a Thursday night from 7 to 9pm.

Found Michael Scully carrying out a great examination around the pub this evening and on enquiry he told me that about twenty of his fellow teachers intend to visit the pub for their Christmas break up drink on 20th December and Michael is preparing a type of Detective / Investigator game where they will be given a list of hints and they will be expected to find the answers. Hopefully he will give us a list of the clues.

Yesterday Peggy Connaughton was buried in Creagh Cemetery. Peggy was relic of the late Vincent and mother of Brian who was fisheries officer in the area for many years. May she rest in peace.

Good to see that our Priest has returned from his vacation but we will miss the cousin John who has been supplying the past weeks.

Hear that Tommie Costelloe is moving into Mc Guire’s or Staunton’s Pub in Creagh very soon and wishing him well with the venture.

Thanks to the sister Doc who posted on a few special biros which can be used when trying to solve Sudoko. They rub out what you write but they do not offer any help or hints.

Regrets to anybody who has been trying to contact me by e mail as I am unable to connect with your messages presently.

Monday, October 24, 2005

On Saturday eleven Jehovah Witnesses stopped off in Shannonbridge for a cup of tea and a snack. I was wondering if they were going to conduct a door to door visit but they were on their way to Athlone. Some hours later one of the group came back looking for a purse that she had lost but failed to find it. She left a contact number if anybody finds it.

Telephone 087 – 1300602.

On Friday Mary Frances Flynn died in her home in Portlaoise. Molly as she was known worked for many years for Powers the Turf Accountants. Her neighbour told us that she was very active and played golf and bridge regularly. She was a sister of the late Jackie Flynn and Father Jimmy Flynn and she was buried in Moore Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. May she rest in peace.

The Mass on Saturday was an anniversary Mass for the late Geraldine Mc Manus and there was a big family gathering of the Mc Manus family for the occasion. It was good to see Simon Mc Manus there and he told us that he is living in Ballaghadreen.

The For Sale sign has been placed on Coakley’s house which is situated between Moran’s Shop and Cregg’s Self Catering. Auctioneer is Edward Enright from Birr.

The Sunday papers told of the death of Liam Lawlor in a crash in Moscow in which he and the driver were killed. Liam Lawlor was a T.D. who made the headlines in Ireland in the past few years and has been a principal in a Tribunal of Enquiry. May he rest in peace.

See on the paper today that the escaped wild mink from mink farms are causing an amount of damage to the Common Gull population on Lough Mask and Lough Corrib and the gull population has suffered an 80 to 90pc decline in recent years.

The man involved in Perry’s Mill in Belmont was telling us this evening that they have got the wheel turning again. He was fascinated with the paperwork and records of the mill when it was in operation. All letters and invoices etc were stored and the stamps on the envelopes are a history in themselves as the temporary stamps used in 1922 with overprints are on the envelopes. Some posters from elections were also found as the late Robert Perry was the Returning Officer and posters were included in the paperwork .Details of shipments of grain and their source and boat names are a plenty. A large quantity of this material has been handed over to the County Library in Tullamore.

Had some heavy rain at the weekend but it cleared up again today. River level has risen slightly but the fallen rain has not fully reached the rivers yet. Still a few fishermen around with an English Family and a party of eight German anglers arriving today.