Monday, February 28, 2005

Big news of the weekend was Irelands rugby win against England at Landsdowne Road scoring 19 points to 13 points. They have already beaten Italy and Scotland and have yet to play France and Wales. Hear that the grounds at Landsdowne will start a major revamp after Irelands last home game and will not be available for soccer internationals until work is completed.
An unexpected visitor during the match was Frank Gavin the tradional fiddler who played a few tunes with Lorraine Devery accompanying him on the accordeon. It was a pleasant distraction and there was a choice of looking at the match or listening to the music.
Someone was mentioning that the last of the Kelso family that operated a garage in Ballinasloe died recently. For many years Johnny Murray from Moore has operated the garage.
The death occurred at the weekend of Doctor John Corry , Ballinasloe who was attached to Portiuncula Hospital for many years as a radiologist.
Death occurred of Pat Coakley, Toher, Doon Ballinahown at the weekend and funeral is today.
Mike Rohan, Ballinahown attended Pat Coakley's wake house and died suddenly when he returned home. Mike had a successful business in Ballinahown and was known as Rockers from his football days. May they rest in peace.
Saturday Mr and Mrs Brendan Flaherty celebrated forty years of marriage together.
Noticed that the new power plant have commenced adding some semi mature trees around the grounds. These were transferred from an area in the old power plant.
Good to see two English pike anglers staying at Ely House. They caught two pike on Saturday and Martin Burke did not expect them to catch very much as there was a north wind blowing which effects fishing.
Make note of the meeting in Shannonbridge Hall arranged for tonight. See details in Father Frank's Newsletter.
Paul Andrews S.J. writing in the Irish Messenger this month claims that the little red fronted booklet reaches the biggest reading population in Ireland. Father James Cullen founded the Messenger some eleven years before he founded The Pioneer total abstinence association.
Weather forecast is for cloudy with sunny spells and occasional rain in places. Winds West to NorthWest. Temperatures 6C /43F to 8C / 46F. Thankfully it is mild and sunny in Shannonbridge.
Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown writes -
Jack Quinn is pretty good ( "poked awake by the fresh fingers of spring......" but Ciara is good too - " mountains stretching high into the sky touching the clouds........." I said it before, I think, that her descriptive writing is wonderful. I'll sure miss hearing from her and Kate. It feels like Spring around here, the birds are singing and the sun is shining, but we're expecting another snow storm tomorrow. Happy not to be in Sunny California though. Take care. Lorraine

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 27th Feb 2005 - 3rd Sun Lent A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net


Shannonbridge
Masses: Each day @ 10am; Adoration on First Fri until 6pm.
Stations of the Cross on Tues @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €480. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: S.Grennan, K.Coakley
Altar Servers for this week: Darragh, Ruaidhrí, Michael, Graham
Mass on next Sun for the late James Joseph McManus
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Clonfanlough
Mass for Lent on Mon & First Fri @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €244. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Higgins, D.Guinan
Readers for next Sunday: A.Loonam, P.Guinan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 1
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly
Mass on next Sun for Michael & Mary Kelly & family deceased

Active Retirement Group will meet on Tues @ 10.30am
Liturgy Meeting in Ferbane on Thurs @ 8pm
Clonmacnois School is going to the Dogs!
Clonmacnois School will hold a Fundraising Night at Mullingar Greyhound Stadium on Sat 12 March. Tickets @ €10.00 are available from the school. For more info please call 090-9674150.
Your support is greatly appreciated.
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Ardagh & Clonmacnois Lourdes Pilgrimage Reunion Mass
In the Longford Arms Hotel on Sun 6th March @ 3pm sharp.
For more info contact 043-46465
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Shannonbridge Healthy Community Project
Meeting in Shannonbridge Hall on Mon 28th Feb @ 9pm.
The meeting will plan activities to advance the 3 areas of work chosen for Shannonbridge:
? Children's healthy community project - using art to enable children to articulate their views on both health & community
? An active research project with older people, (that may also include young people), comparing lifestyles today with those in the 50s & 60s - which is / was healthier?
? An environmental project that will enhance the health & wellbeing of the entire community.
The meeting will also explore any other activities that would enhance the health & wellbeing of Shannonbridge, its people and its environment.
Tony Dalton, Offaly VEC, and Ann Dillon, Offaly Co Council will address the meeting, with Padraig Boland as facilitator.
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Lenten Reflection – Christ within.
Christ longs to be born and developed into fullness in each of us. A blessing is anything that enters into the centre of our lives and expands our capacity to be filled with Christ’s love. Therefore, a blessing may not always be painless, but it will bring spiritual growth. Being blessed does not mean being perfect, but being completed. To be blessed is not to get out of life what we think we want. Rather it is the assurance that God’s purifying grace is active in us, so that our hidden self may grow strong and Christ many live in our hearts though faith. In this way, we will with all the saints be filled with the utter fullness of God.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Time for a poem on Spring taken from the Jack Quinn book of poems entitled
"THROUGH A SMALL WINDOW".

SPRING

SLEEPING EARTH
WEARY OF THE WINTER
POKED AWAKE
BY THE FRESH FINGER
OF SPRIGHTLY SPRING
CASCADE EMBARRASSED TREES
WITH SHOWERS OF GREEN
AND RANDOM SCATTER
A CONFETTI OF FLOWERS
TO MAKE A DANCING BOARD
FOR A SKITTISH SUN
BIRDS ARE BUSY
WITH FERRIED TWIGS
AND THE FARMER
YOKES THE HARVEST.
hello all!

well here we are, it's our last day in new zealand and we can't believe how quickly the past few weeks have passed by. we've enjoyed new zealand, though not as much as australia.
we rented a car for two weeks, drove south to get the ferry across, and drove all over the south islands, which was quite an adventure. it's very different to the north islands, amazing scenery, especially along the west coast. there are beautiful, snow capped mountains, that stretch high into the sky, touching the clouds. lakes so clear, they just reflect the mountains into the calm, unmoving waters. and aqua coloured rivers, that flow ever so smoothly across the stones beneath. the scenery was lovely, especially high up in the mountains, driving along the meandering roads, sometimes driving for hours before coming across towns with any form of life, apart from the other passing vehicles. we stayed in some lovely hostels, and of course some bad ones, one in particular was just awful, but i won't go into that now.
some places stood out more than others. rotorua - a town that can be spotted with it's eggwhite smoke rising from the springs in the ground. it has the most disgusting smell, like rotten eggs, which is really stomach churning. wanaka - a lovely little town, situated by a very serene lake, near to a mountain range. just outside this little town is puzzling world, a good spot to pass a few hours. they have an amazing outdoor maze, it's brilliant craic, and quite funny seeing couples fight about which way they are going. saw one of the couples fighting and the husband stood on one of the bridges, refusing to go any further. he started laughing, telling everyone he was having great fun watching his wife get nowhere. needless to say, she wasn't very impressed. no doubt, there would have been a bigger argument behind closed doors! they also had a distorted room, where the water seems to flow uphill, a room of 3d images, where the faces seem to follow you as you walk around. there's another room where you can sit down and try your patience wiht some great puzzles, one in particular caught my attention, it was none other than killeen's very famous "T" puzzle, and it was also the only one i could do! we had some good nights out, and met some very nice people. a little town called havelock, was definitely the most hospitable, with some very friendly locals. the two weeks flew and before we knew it we were back in auckland. unlike the weather back home, it's been great here.
we're leaving new zealand tomorrow, flying to fiji, which has been described to us as paradise. we'll be going on a cruise for a week. it will cover one set of islands, of which i can't remember the name. there will be four islands. so we'll be cruising during the day and staying on the islands at night. my aunt is going with us, we're all looking forward to it now.
and so we pack our bags, for one last time, as we enter the final stage of our trip. an experience that has turned out to be the most fantastic year of my life.
i've thoroughly enjoyed seeing so much, learning so much and meeting so many great people. i've been left with a priceless treasure chest of memories. i've also learnt alot about myself and i've definitely changed in some ways, but with no regrets - so i guess in some ways, this year doesn't end.
i'm so glad i had this opportunity to see the world and experience all that i have - i'm a very lucky person.
so for now it's goodbye from me, until i see ye all back home on the 9th! ~ take care everyone! x

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The WIZ musical is on stage in the Town Hall in Ballinasloe at present and reports are very good but if you want to see it you should contact the booking office which is located at The Credit Union office.
Telephone 090-9643179

Clonmacnois National School are having a Night At The Races in Mullingar Greyhound Stadium on Saturday 12th March. Admission 10 Euro and first race is at 7.50 p.m.

The Banagher Ladies are having a Fashion and Make-up night next Wednesday night in Banagher. I lost the ticket but contact Mary Killeen or Maura Moran for further information.
The ticket costs 5 Euro.

The final week of the 13 week garden birdwatch census was last week and the change in the weather meant a change in the numbers of birds counted by Mary Killeen. Here are the last three weeks for the species recorded - Pied Wagtail 3, 4, 2. Robin 1, 1, 1. Coal Tit 2, 2, 1. Blue Tit 4, 6, 4. Great Tit 6, 6, 6.
Magpie 1, 2, 2. Jackdaw 2, 2, 4. Rook 15, 15, 8. Starling 10, 12, 6. House Sparrow 15, 10, 6. Chaffinch 8, 7, 12. Greenfinch 1, 4, 6. Goldfinch 0, 4, 12. Willow Warbler 0, 1, 0.
If you would like to take a census in your garden in the future contact Rose Ryan.
Weather colder of late but our area escaped the snow that fell in England and in the east of Ireland.
hail, sleet and snow are promised in the east and to extend. Shannonbridge escaped with some frost and a sunny morning today. Temperatures 4C / 39F to 7C / 45F.
Ben Dunne of Dunne Stores fame was on the Late Late Show and was telling Pat Kenny that he gave presents of money to politicians including Charlie Haughey whom he admired and he gave money to Michael Lowry to help build an extension to his house in Tipperary but Ben said that it was built in such a way that even Stevie Wonder would see it.
Bridie Carry told us she enjoyed a short break holiday in Westport using tokens collected in Moran's Gala Store. Over the two days she visited Achill Island and the Gallagher Prayer House, Croagh Patrick and a bit of sightseeing. There was music in the hotel one night and a table quiz and bowling
The other night. With the vouchers the two nights B&B and one dinner cost 75 Euro.
Andy Collrogz is working at the building of the new power plant and staying in Ely House with Brian and Dympna O'Carroll. He went fishing at Correen Ford on Sunday and caught a 10 lb. pike.
Last Sunday Portlaoise won the All Ireland Club Football Championship when they defeated Crossmaglen in Parnell Park in Dublin. Shannonbridge had an interest in the game as two of the Portlaoise team Barry and Thomas Fitzgerald are Grandsons of Tom Daly from Blackwater.
Barry and Thomas and Tom live in Portlaoise and the two boys are sons of Seamus Finn from Ballyforan who now works and lives in Portlaoise. Congratulations to you all.
Was glad to meet the Dooley / Nevins from New Jersey recently who were over on a family tree search around Birr. Kathy Nevins was telling us that she was taken with the amount of lambs she had seen around. She worked last year on a farm that raised cattle sheep goats etc that were sent to the third world. She had often helped at delivering lambs and she told us that on that farm they had one Llama with the sheep that kept the foxes at bay. Anybody ever hear of this use of Llamas ?
A Riverman told us at the weekend that his daughter is working in Dubai teaching. She has started to teach her pupils to play the Tin Whistle. One of the students asked her Dad to buy her a tin whistle when he was in London and he said he would. In London he failed to find a tin whistle so he flew to Dublin and bought one there.
Reminds me of Kate Thornhill teaching the children in Uganda last year to play the tin whistle. The kids were in our minds last night as the table quiz was for them.
The table quiz next week will be held in aid of Saint Vincent De Paul Ballinasloe branch.
Down in Waterford the building of a motorway looks like it will be delayed as at Woodstown they have found what they believe to be one of the first Viking Sites in Ireland which is smack bang on the track of the new road. Archaeologists have found over 5000 artefacts and they reckon that it was a type of trading centre dating to the year 811 AD. By coincidence I was reading a short snippet written by Danny Edwards in the Clonmacnois Parish Millennium book that said that Sailing Ships were seen in the skies over Clonmacnois in the year 74 8 AD. Is there a link up ?
Came across a website for Clonaslee to be found under www.clonaslee.net
Ciaran Rock of Dickies Cabs Shannonbridge was telling us today that while taking tests for coach driving he met a Michael Foy from Walsh Island who remembered many of the Shannonbridge Football Team that played Walsh Island around 1940 about the time the Shannonbridge Team were all suspended.
Once again Thursday night is Library night from 7 to 9. Try and come along and bring a friend.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Senior Football League: Bridge of to a Winning Start
Shannonbridge 2-6
Gracefield 0-10
Shannonbridge got their competitive season of to a winning start when they traveled to a Gusty Gracfield on Sunday last to take on the local side.. Gracefield gained the upper hand early on by scoring three points. However Jason Kelly got the Bridge back on track with a very well taken goal following a solo run.
The Bridge then settled to gain control of the midfield area and further scores came from possession gathered in the centre. Midway through the second half Gracefield seemed to be
growing in confidence until Dave Corbett buried the Ball for a well taken goal to set the Bridge up for an away victory.
Shannonbridge will however be concerned about the amount of possession that was given away in the first half and the easy scoring opportunities that were missed. Shannonbridge will now take on Edenderry in the Senior League on Saturday next at 3 pm in Shannonbridge a good home support will be expected.
H Kearns,K Norton, V Darcy, T Mahon,D Finn, E Kelly, M Darcy, C killeen,J Egan, J Kelly (1-0), R Browne, P Deeley0-2), D Claffey0-1) F McEvoy-3), D Corbett (1-0), Subs C, Kennny,W Kenna, D Turley,A Kelly
Congratulations
The club wish to congradulate John Egan who was nominated Captain and Fergal McEvoy who was made Vice Captain. The Club wish the Lads the best of luck for the coming
season.
Well done
Shannonbridge GAAlub wish to congradulate all the Shannonbridge Children who recieved medals at under 8, 10 and 12 levels in both Hurling and Football with Ferbane/Belmont.
The presentation was held in High street hall recently, thanks to all concerned.

Fundraiser A race night in aid of Clonmacnoise national School in Mullingar greyhound Stadium on Saturday 12th of March. Shannonbridge GAAlub are proud to be a sponsor for the
event. Tickets are available from parents or from the School. First race is at 7.50 pm. Doors open from 6.45.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Irish Catholic has an article telling that birds start mating on Valentine's Day and this week is also the last week of the Birds in Gardens census. Here are the counts taken by Mary Killeen of the different species. Number for last week is shown in front of the species and the highest weekly number during the census is shown in brackets after the bird's name
3 Pied Wagtails (4). 1 Robin (2). 2 Coal Tits (4). 4 Blue Tits (6). 6 Great Tits (6). 1 Magpie (2).
2 Jackdaw (4). 15 Rook (20). 10 Starling (21). 15 House Sparrow (15). 8 Chaffinch (8)
1 Green finch (4). 0 Goldfinch (6). 0 Willow Warbler (1).
Other birds on the selected menu sheet that were not recorded in our backyard include the Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Redwing and Goldcrest.
More information available under www.birdwatchireland.ie or www.birdwatchireland.com
Rose Ryan organised the census for the Shannonbridge area this year.
The Trocaire Boxes for Lenten Alms have been distributed this week and also the Annual Financial Statement for Clonmacnois Parish which hopefully Father Frank will share with you.
Good news that Yahoo the web search engine company is to set up headquarters in Dublin and will employ some 400 people.
Weather - mostly cloudy today with a little drizzle and mist at times, but many places dry with a few bright or short sunny spells. Temperatures ranging from 7 C to 10 C or 45 F to 50 F.
The flood has dropped noticeably with the recent good drying weather.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Heritage Council, Kilkenny E-mail mail@heritagecouncil.com some time ago invited applications for a 2005 Local Heritage Grant scheme.They received around 300 applications and had 350,000 Euro available.They were in a position to allocate 89 grants. Our Reference: 14183
At the time I submitted an application to have The Magazine compound on the village side of the river get attention as ivy is having a harmful effect and the area requires a good overhaul. This is in the field immediately below the downstream jetty and shares the field where Rachra Castle once stood and one of the Fieldworks constructed around 1800 at the time of the building of the Martello Fortification.
The sewerage works age in this field and near the river is a small hill created with drainage of the river for navigation possibly about 1840.
Anyhow a letter yesterday arrived to inform us that the application was unsuccessful. Long live the Ivy?
Home from Japan for a short break is Niamh Quinn who travelled home with her friend Ciara Ryan last week to attend Shane Ryan's funeral. Hopefully when she returns she will share her thoughts of Japan with us all.
Notice that the Furze have started to bloom and the early colour has that fresh golden appearance.
Yesterday was Valentine Day in Ireland. Noticed the start of it on Saturday in Ballinasloe with a group of people queuing outside the florist shop. Then last night the romantic spirit broke out and the Fort Restaurant was full to capacity and all the guests were treated well with a red rose for the ladies and a complimentary drink. Was not present but Kieran and Mary gave us a great run down on the menu. The main course had a wide choice including Antelope and Wild Boar. Old Valentine added a hand by causing a power blackout from 8 to 9 in the village. And in the weekly Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto draw the first number drawn was 14 which is Valentine Day.
In the paper they report that 450 Deer are being culled in the Phoenix Park. The easiest way to reduce the number is to shoot them and they wanted to let the people know what was going on.
The Irish Times tells us that a carved replica of the Cross of The Scriptures in Clonmacnois is being created by sculptor Brendan Mc Gloin in Donegal Town using sandstone. The five-ton work has been commissioned by the Irish business community in Portland Oregon on the West Coast of the United States of America. The work commenced last November and will be completed in a year. The Cross will be taken by ship to New York and follow the old Oregon Trail to Portland where it will be erected in Mount Calvery Cemetery by Saint Patrick's Day 2006 as a Famine memorial. The original Cross was erected in Clonmacnois around 912 AD for King Flann. The woman depicted on the Cross is Mary Magdalene and there are about twenty panels to be carved. The work done so far is quite impressive.
Sad to hear of the unexpected death of Grace Josephine Dollery, Ferbane, seventeen year old eldest daughter of Philip and Imelda and granddaughter of Brian and Josephine Kenny from Clondelara, Shannonbridge. Viewing is at the house this evening with removal on Wednesday morning for Requiem Mass in Ferbane at 11 o/c and burial afterwards in Clonmacnois. May she rest in peace.
And the weather. After light frost last night, today has remained dry with the sun breaking through. Temperatures 6C to 9C or 43F to 48F. Frost again tonight with patchy rain in the West.
Keep in mind that a Healthy Communities Meeting planned for Shannonbridge Hall on tomorrow Wednesday night has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the late Josephine Dollery.
Table Quiz in aid of the Library at 9.45 pm in Killeens on Wednesday night.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Shannonbridge GAA News

Sincere Sympathy
Shannnonbridge GAA club wish to extend their sincere
sympathy to the Dollery and Kenny Families for the
tragic loss of Grace Dollery

Senior League action
Shannonbridge GAA will travel to Portarlington to take
on Gracefield on Sunday next at 2.30.

The Bridge will be bidding to get their competitive
season of to a winning start.

Presentation Night
Shannonbridge GAA CLub held their presentation night
on Friday last for the Division four league win and it
was a night enjoyed by all.

The Club wish to thank Sean Lowry for presenting the
medals and to the management team of Eamon Mahon Niall
O' Shea, Frank Guinan and Tom Moore for all their work
throughout last season, in landing this title.

Conor Killeen P.R.O
Saturday a Months Mind Mass was celebrated in Ahascragh for the late Father Sean Murphy of the Mill Hill Fathers with his brother Father Tony the principal celebrant. He returns to his mission in Africa this week. It was great to meet many cousins and friends and after the Mass I met Father Jack O Brien who is in the Mill Hill retirement home in Dartry who told me that Father Brian Clarke is also there and in good form. Father Jack spends a lot of time on the computer and has written many articles. He promised that he will look at this web and will write the odd snippet for it. So be on the look out
Also talked to Danny Costello about the two sisters in America who are trying to trace a family tree with a Killeen from Ardnaglug as one of the legs. Danny is to check it out with a Joe Dolan from Ardnaglug whose mother was Killeen and will let me know what he finds out for Peggy and Katie..
Irelands rugby team had a convincing win over Scotland on Saturday scoring 43 Points to 13 Points.
Yesterday France beat England by one point.
Kerry beat Offaly footballers by three points in their league game yesterday. 2 - 13 to 0 - 16
Our carpenter visited the Library and will add more shelves for books. Try and drop in some Thursday evening between 7 and 9 P.M.
Saturday Ag' Craven Drumalga celebrated her Big O birthday but she has a bigger O than Bridie Carry.
Saturday had horse racing in Newbury and a syndicated horse Essex won at 4 / 1. Some supporters travelled to the race meeting in England while others gambled at home. Many of the syndicate are based around the area and P.J.Kelly was telling last night that bookmakers in Ballinasloe yesterday had to defer payouts on many bets until the banks open today as a result of Essex winning. The horse won on his last outing and was carrying 22 pounds extra weight on Saturday.
The Times supplement on Saturday tells us that the famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in Midleton is
Taking bookings for a chicken rearing course costing 145 Euro for a one day course teaching you "how to keep a few chickens in the garden" www.ballymaloe-cookery-school.ie
Good to see Niall Price home on a midterm break from his school in Cardiff. Looks very fit and tells us that he plays indoor football and runs a bit.
It is remarkable the difference in the times that Daffodils bloom. Noticed some lovely clusters near Ely House and Saint Ciaran's Park in bloom yesterday while the late Mickie Mac's front garden has hundreds of Daffodils getting ready to burst into bloom. The Millenium Cross of Daffodils planted on Lamb Island just upstream from the bridge are well overground but nare a bloom - same as last year.
Weather. Had lots of soft rain on Friday evening. Yesterday was dry and sunny with a cold wind blowing. Today started cold this morning. Mostly dry today with bright spells and the odd shower.
Temperature 6 to 9 C or 43 to 48 F.
Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown writes -
Good grief! If they put a Tesco in S B what will happen to all the small shop-keepers? How about Nicky Nugent? and Morans and even the shop at the Village Tavern? It would be like here in the US . Giant Wal-mart comes in, with cheaper prices and a large assortment of goods and puts all the smaller stores out of business. They call it progress ! HAH!! it's an abomination! I'm horrified. Lorraine

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 13th Feb 2005 - 1st Sun Lent A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net
Shannonbridge
Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €430. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Gunning, M.Kelly
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: D.Finnerty, C.Doolan
Altar Servers for this week: Katie, Mary-Anne, Tara
Stations of the Cross on Tues @ 7pm
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Tom Nugent

????
Clonfanlough
Mass for Lent on Mon eve @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €243. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Claffey, B.Coughlan
Readers for next Sunday: S.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 3
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: N.Egan
Mass on next Sun for the late Sonny Egan
Meeting of Social Group in Clonfanlough Hall on Tues @ 8pm

Liturgy Meeting in Ferbane on Thurs next @ 8pm.
Trócaire Boxes together with the statistics and financial statement for the year 2004 should reach you during the coming days.
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Suggestions for Lent
? Attend daily Mass; Say the Rosary or part of it.
? Make time for prayer-the Angelus, Grace before or after meals
? Follow the Way of the Cross – The Stations.
? Remember others, who may be sick, lonely or bereaved
? Keep our Parish litter free.
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Ardagh & Clonmacnois Pilgrimage to Lourdes 2005
27th May - 1st June - 5 nights - fully inclusive Price €599.00.
Booking Forms available now for the pilgrim section from
Joe Walsh Tours 8/11 Lower Baggot St, Dublin 2.
Tel: 01-2410810 / 2410800.
Pilgrimage Director: Fr Connaughton, Longford @ 043-46465
Invalid Section: Fr Scanlon, Cloghan @ 090-6457122.
Flights departing from Knock - some places available ex Dublin.
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West Offaly Training - Adult Education
Introduction to Computers x 8 weeks Ongoing
Receptionist Skills x 1 morning 22nd Feb
Internet & Email class x 3 weeks, 23rd Feb - 9th March: 2-5pm
For people in receipt of social welfare, free training may be offered in 2005.
For more info contact Crank House Banagher, 0509-52003.
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AWARE - Helping to fight depression
Public Lecture: "Restoring Confidence & Building
Self-esteem after Depression"
In Bridge House Tullamore, Mon 21st Feb @ 8pm
Speaker: Catherine McGeachy. Adm is free & all welcome.
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Ballinasloe M.E. Support Group - Meeting in Gullane's Hotel
Wed 16th Feb @ 8pm. Talk on Bio-energy by Pat Glennon.
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Athlone Rugby Club host Connacht V Llanelli in their grounds on Fri 18th Feb @ 7.30pm. This is a Celtic League game.

Friday, February 11, 2005

The Irish Times on Tuesday had a supplement on Trees and on the front page is a half page colour photograph of the King Oak of Charleville Tullamore, which is reckoned to be 400 years old.
The National Tree Week this year is earmarked for March 6 - 12.
There is a strong rumour that Tesco have plans to open a branch in Shannonbridge that will employ about 19 people. Checked with Tesco today and the manager in the Ballinasloe branch described it as a Mini-Metro and will be built either later in the year or next year.
Surprising what a week has had on the Daffodils. Many of the flowers across from the church growing under the shrub bed are now in bloom. Heard somebody telling that the daffodils intended for this years Daffodil Day have developed too early on account of the mild weather for the past two weeks and may create a shortage on the day. Last Autumn my sister Doc gave me about twenty bulbs which I had planned to sow along some walkways but they got mislaid. Maybe this year you might do something similar - but don’t mislay them.
News of the death of Mary Connor, Rashina, Ballinahown in Tullamore Hospital. Mary was a Gaffey from Crevagh and was a sister of the late Pat and Joe Gaffey. Burial in Boher tomorrow.
Death took place of Joseph Kelly, Kiltormer, father of Etna Corcoran. Burial today.
May they rest in peace.
Met a friend of Michael Green last night. Lynsey Prendergast from Boston is here in Ireland teaching in Saint Patrick's College in Dublin. She is enjoying herself and teaching English to young children. She asks them to write there questions on a piece of paper and put them in a hat. Then a few questions are selected. Like - do you like it hear and what age are you. Michael's sister Patricia brought her down to Shannonbidge for a visit. Patricia herself has plans to visit Orlando ? in a few months time as her husband is working over there.
Rain to all areas today; becoming breezier but milder later on with temperatures 10 to 13 C or 50F to 55 F. Heavier rain tonight getting colder and milder with temperatures from 1C to 4C.
Mick and Brian Carroll from Ely House went on a boat trip to Clonmacnois yesterday and they said that there were thousands of birds to be seen including plover and widgeon and many swans.
The Fort Restaurant is back in business after their winter rest and is open Wednesday to Saturday nights and for lunch on Sundays. Evenings are getting longer and there is a good bit of light until 6 PM. And after.
Got some photographs from Tom and Fran Morley from Alabama taken at the New Year when Harry and Anne Gunning called to stay and play some music. Looks like they chose the right location as the sun is shining on them and it looks quite warm.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The benefit night for the Carmelite Lourdes Fund in Claffeys Grand Hotel in Moate on Tuesday night was a roaring success with hundreds of supporters failing to gain entry. Dickies Cabs brought about fifteen of the Shannonbridge Active Retirement Group to the event. Many local artists and groups attended and gave their services free including Louise Morrisey, Sharon Turley, John Hogan, TR Dallas, Robert De Vere and Lorraine Maher and Donna and Joe Mc Caul.
Great news from Margaret Egan, Athlone that her daughter Aisling has given birth to a baby girl yesterday that weighed in at 8.5 Lbs. Aisling's husband Adebe Hanna and their sons Jacob and Aidan are almost as delighted as Margaret who is over the moon. Margaret told us that she was speaking on the 'phone to the baby minutes after she was born. Congratulations and well done.
Sad news yesterday that Mrs Bill Dolan, Creggan had passed away at the age of 95 years..
May she rest in peace.
Ireland defeated Portugal in a soccer friendly played at Landstowne Road by one goal to nil.
Andy Reid scored the goal and over 40,000 attended. A busload of supporters travelled up from Ballinasloe to support the team.
Yesterday another busload of Active Retirement people from Ballinasloe went to Dublin for a days outing.
RTE have been carrying out a series of auditions in each county to find a county representative to go forward to a grand final of the Active Age Talent Showcase final to be held in the National Concert Hall. The Offaly adjudication took place recently and was won by Tony Kenny from Ferbane the well known white haired bearded fiddle player and singer. Tony was born in Banagher and hopefully he will do well in the final.
The London Offaly Association held their annual dinner dance in London recently and Michael and Ita Hynes from Shannonbridge travelled over for the occasion which they enjoyed very much.
Recently a brightly coloured motorbike pulled up outside Dalys Foodstore in Cloghan and before taking off he revved the motorbike several times creating a terrible noise. A customer in the shop asked what the noise was all about and when told it was a motorbike he remarked that if the rider was not careful he would end up like a cow's cleanings stuck to the wall.
In this years Offaly Football Championships there are three groups with Shannonbridge, Bracknagh, Erin Rovers, Edenderry and Ballycumber competing for two places in the quarter finals. "You’re A Star" contest is ongoing at the moment on television and started with twelve finalists. Each week based on a phone in ballot one contestant is eliminated. At present there are six remaining including Lorraine Maher from Fivealley, Birr and Donna and Joe Mc Caul from Athlone.
The eventual winner will go on to represent Ireland in this years Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Ukraine.
The Library will be opened as usual tonight from 7 to 9. Try and call in if you are able.
The Table Quiz on next Wednesday night in Killeens at 9.45 pm will be in aid of Library.
Next Wednesday night there is an important meeting in Shannonbridge Hall. See Parish Newsletter below.
Tonight there is Mass in Ard Chiarain which will be celebrated by Bishop Cassidy.
River levels continue to fall. However there was a fair dash of rain yesterday. Its gas but Oliver Darcy was telling us that the grounstaff at Landstowne Road were watering the pitch in Dublin yesterday while it rained in Shannonbridge.
Today is a fine sunny day and Mick and Brian O Carroll are taking a few hours out on the boat .

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 6th Feb 2005 - 5th Sun A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
E-mail. Parishnewsletter@eircom.net

Shannonbridge
Masses: Each day @ 10am; also on Ash Wed @ 8pm
Blessing & signing of Ashes @ both Masses on Ash Wed
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €440. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Kelly, A.Finnerty, T.Goldie
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: M.Killeen, S.Quinn
Altar Servers for this week: Darragh, Ruaidhri, Michael, Graham
Commitment Ceremony for Confirmandi on next Sun, & 12 Mass.
The Mass will be said for the late Gerry & Eddie Egan.
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Clonfanlough
Mass on Ash Wed @ 7pm with blessing & signing of Ashes
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €192. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Loonam, A.Egan
Readers for next Sunday: C.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 2
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: D.McEvoy
Mass on next Sun for the late Pádraic Devery.

Fri 11th Feb, feast of O. L. of Lourdes, is a day of prayer for the sick.
Ash Wednesday, is the first day of Lent, the 40 days that precedes Holy Week and Easter. In the Christian Scriptures the number 40 relates to the period spent in the Ark by Noah, the period spent by Israel seeking the Promised Land after the Exodus, and the amount of time Jesus was in the Wilderness after his baptism and prior to beginning his ministry. For us, the Season of Lent is an invitation to 40 days of renewal ("Lent" means "spring"), 40 days to prepare ourselves to take in the Good News of Easter through deeper disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Ashes are the traditional sign of sorrow and repentance and are also a sign of "mortality". Receiving the sacrament reminds us that God's love is triumphant over sin and death, and that God remains "in communion" with us, that in Christ, our mortality is overcome.
Rev Richard Fairchild
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Ard Chiaráin Prayer Centre
Mass for Lent on Thurs @ 8pm
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Shannonbridge Active Retirement Group will meet on Tues next @ 10.30am
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Irish Blood Transfusion Service
You are invited to give Blood in the Emerald Ballroom, Ballinasloe
Tues, Wed, Thurs, 8/9/10th Feb from 4.30 -- 8.30pm.
Help us to help others and save lives.
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West Offaly Training - Adult Education
Introduction to Computers x 8 weeks Ongoing
Receptionist Skills x 1 morning 22nd Feb
For people in receipt of social welfare, free training may be offered in 2005.
For more info contact Crank House Banagher, 0509-52003.
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Memo on the Use of Parish Property
According to guidelines given to us by the Insurance Co, Health and Safety Authority, and Diocesan regulations concerning Child Protection Policy, Best Practice, we are obliged to apply certain stringent rules concerning the use of Shannonbridge and Clonfanlough Halls. Copies of these are available on request.
In all of this we ask for your co-operation.



Tuesday, February 08, 2005

hi from new zealand!

i would just like to say a very big congratulations to my sister orla and her boyfriend john who got engaged last week. best of luck to you both. looking forward to the celebrations back home in a few weeks!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Came across an announcement from 24th April 1969 giving the results of a soccer match between ESB Shannonbridge and Top Quarry Ballinasloe with ESB winning the match 2 - 1. Scorers for Shannonbridge were Cary Thornhill and Jackie Rigley.
The next game is between Shannonbridge and Stauntons. Venue Mental Hospital ( very appropriate ! )
On 24th April 1969. Kick off 16.45 hours.
On Friday for me it was off to Clare to attend the Burren Spring Conference at Ballyvaughan. While waiting to catch the bus at Kellers shop in Ballinasloe I noticed a pre demolition poster for Kellers.Then Rosaline Dolan from Kilgarve came along and told me that she was a cousin of the Reddy family Shannonbridge and she talked of the late Babs and Francie and Michael Reddy.
On the bus to Oranmore I noticed a couple of neatly fenced cups inside the stone walls and am curious as to what they are. Looks as if they are going to rebuild the wall there for some reason.
Met Doc and Dick and Norah at Oranmore and headed off for Ballyvaughan where we checked in at an excellent B&B ( see www.cappabhaile.com) before heading for the opening lecture of the conference given by David Bellamy after an excellent introduction from the conference director Brendan Dunford.
On Saturday there were lectures on Exploring the Archeology, Restoring medieval buildings, creating a habitat map with the help of satellite pictures and on your knees experience, The EU LIFE nature fund- lessons for the Burren, The Burren Caves as a heritage and resource, Art and Vandalism - do it yourself dolmens .
Unfortunately we had decided to miss the Sunday lectures on Poulnabrone - managing an Icon, Managing special places for people and nature and Management of habitats of high natural and cultural value. They have a website under www.burrencollege.ie. Try www.burrenbeo.com
Missed out on Bridie Carry's birthday bash on Saturday night in Ballinasloe when her family took her and Charlie out for a very enjoyable meal in Karebas a resturant where Fallers Jeweller shop was. Afterwards they visited Joe Kellys pub to celebrate the big 0.
On Saturday near the school in Ballyvaughan we discovered a marvellous Italian eating place .
Doc was telling us about a lovely little town they discovered in France called Lough Ronan where Saint Ronan is buried. Taughmaconnell's Saint Ronan.
When in Dublin someone recommends a sight seeing tour of the city using Viking Splash Tours which takes about three hours travelling on a marine rescue boat fitted with wheels. The tour is on land for two hours and on the water for one hour. Think it starts near Saint Patricks Cathdral but check it out.
The weather did get a bit cold over the weekend and last night windscreens were frozen over.
Noticed that a nest of daffodils planted beside a large boulder at the school in Clare were in bloom while other daffodils in other nearby places were not. Lots of sunshine over the weekend and of course Offaly beat Westmeath in football yesterday.
The GAA World Loses a Star


Shannnonbridge GAA Club wish to extend their sincere
Sympathy to all the Ryan Family and Fiance Ann Marie
for the recent tragic loss of Shane.

Shane Ryan had a very distinguished sporting career.
He excelled not only on the GAA fields but also on the
Rugby field where he played with Ballinasloe and
Buccaneers for many years.

Shane had just been crowned intermediate Hurler of the
Year in Offaly a just reward for his outstanding
displays for Belmont in the centre back position
throughout the season.

I remember the day in the early 90's when he captained
Offaly Vocational schools in Croke park in the All-
Ireland Hurling Final. He was having an average game,
then he took of his Boots under the Hogan Stand and
then went back in barefooted to have a stormer. "Babs
Keating would have been proud of him"

Shane also played Minor, under 21 and senior Football
with Offaly and Won a Leinster under 21 Football
medal with the Faithful. The Belmont man also played
minor Hurling with Offaly.

Shane known to his Friends as "Johnny H" was the
regular full back for Ferbane senior footballers for
the past number of years and a hard Man to get passed
when on his game.

Not only an outstanding Player Shane guided Belmont
under 21 Hurlers to a county title win last year as
Manager.

Again Shannonbridge club extend our sympathy to all
the family, truly a great Sports Man and leader and
know that he will be hugely missed by all in the
Sporting circles of the midlands. May he rest in
peace.

Conor Killeen P.R.O

Junior league Presentation

Shannonbridge will be presented with their Division
four league medals this Friday night in the Callows
Bar. Tickets are €10 and are available from Players
and Club Officials.

Food will be served on the night and music is by the
Grafters. All are welcome.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Snowdrops are in bloom and many Daffodils are making a brave effort to form heads. Some miniature daffodils at the power plant have been in bloom for nearly two weeks helped by the shade and warmer air. First bunch of stems appeared in a bowl at home this morning and should open out by the weekend. The weekly table quiz tonight is for flowers for the Church.
Local paper this week tells of an increase in suicides in County Offaly with 11 males recorded in 2002 and none for the females.
Paddy Kelly was telling last night that 18 Hooper Swans and nine Juveniles visited Cappaleitra for two days and were very noisy during their stay. Paddy lives in America near Cappaleitra and reckons that the swans were on a journey from Scotland and made a pit stop on the way.
Mike and Aine down in Ardnacrusha were telling us last night that they are having great success with new feed they have been putting in their bird feeders and they say they have had 22 different species visit their garden. Hope there is no link up with the big drug search being carried out this morning in Limerick city.
Ferbane Bridge Club is holding their annual Open on Sunday 13th February 2005 in the Grand Hotel in Moate with two sessions of play commencing at 1.30 PM. Separate competitions for Inter B and Novice. Entries to Tim Kenny, Ferbane Telephone 090-6454116. Entry fees 10 Euro per person.
Kathie Mills and her sister Peggy in America are mad into family roots and have found out an amount of information on their Family Tree that has four Irish branches. Kathie would like to come to Ireland with Peggy to find out more but Peggy will not fly. Kathie wondered about the copper tubes under the arches of the bridge in Shannonbridge . It was a photo taken at sunset from downstream of the bridge on the west bank when the sun goes all funny and lightens the underside of the arches with a golden coppery light. Try it out yourself this summer.
Brian O Carroll from Ely House Guesthouse has produced a working model of a poster advert sign for Shannonbridge with a photograph of the bridge taken during the snow and naming some of the many attractions in the area. Noticed that Golf was omitted.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Heard that the apolloduck.com has a great range of boats listed for sale including one berthed at Shannonbridge. There is a notice on yesterday's paper saying that sunken or neglected boats on the Grand Canal will be removed from a number of locations including Shannonharbour.
Bill Dolan was telling us last night that Killeens came to the pub in Shannonbridge on 29th September 1929. He also mentioned that the late Tom Rock worked for Bill Dolan many years ago in Creggan before Tom went to work with Ned Goode the contractor.
The flood levels have eased back down a little and grasses and reeds are beginning to appear but its early days yet. Pat was saying that Swans are vegetarians and there are a number of them feeding on the flooded callows at present.
The Library are hoping to get ten more constant readers to come along so make a start on Thursday night from 7 to 9 pm.
This coming weekend is the annual Burren School which takes place from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. If it is half as enjoyable as last year it will be great. Booking in advance is advisable.
Looking at the Ard Rhi brochure last night and read where there were people in Clonmacnois 1500 BC
With Egyptian connections. The Center is based in the Molloy home near Clonmacnois Cemetery.
kia ora!
just a quick note - it was brought to my attention recently that there was some confusion as to what clothing i was wearing in the pub in ayers rock. when i said i was wearing thongs, i was talking about flip-flops, not underwear. so i thought i better clear that up, thanks!