Monday, April 25, 2005

Leona and David Leach from Battlecreek Michigan arrived in Shannonbridge today after a trip from Dublin Airport through Kilkenny, Kerry, The Rock of Cashel,Doolin , Galway. They took time off to take Moby for a walk before heading for Clonmacnois on their way back to Dublin. A friend of Leona had been in Castledaly Manor last year and marked off some places to visit.

Met a family of four from Utah on Saturday who are holidaying on a cruiser on the River Shannon and are really enjoying themselves. I recommended a visit to Clonmacnois and told them about the Bog Rail Trip. Met them again this morning after they had failed to walk to the train and they were telling that they were from Holland originally but immigrated to America about twenty years ago,

The Meade Family from Creagh, Ballinasloe had a get together recently and on Saturday about twenty of them arrived in Shannonbridge by boat. Sean and Mary Meade, who once lived in Shannonbridge was unable to join them for the boat trip.

The death occurred on Saturday of Theresa Robinson, Belmont relic of the late George Robinson. George and Theresa had retired some years ago and moved into The Gallen Nursing Home in Ferbane. May she rest in peace.

Our friend Nancy Doherty tells us that she is enjoying her new job of looking after people in their homes and it was good to hear that Colman and Nancy Hernon are two of the people in her good care.

Pleasant surprise on Saturday night to meet Monica Mc Gann and her husband who are living in Cork. They are fond of Motorbikes and were on the return journey of a trip from Cork to Tyrone. Monica is a daughter of Maureen and the late Brendan Mc Gann and is married to a Banagher man.

Good to see the Kelford Family home for a visit from England.. Roy is married to a classmate of mine Francie Kenny from Clondelara and they were accompanied by their daughter Valerie and her husband Mark and their children Tommy and Lilly.

Saturday night everyone was watching Pat Hendrick take part in the Winning Streak television program. Pat qualified by buying a scratch card and getting three stars which he posted in for the draw and he was successful in being chosen. Twenty two of his family and friends went along to give him support in the audience and he ended up winning 18,500 Euros on the night. Well done Pat.

Slept it out for Mass yesterday morning and was glad to hitch a lift to Clonfad Mass at 7 PM last evening with Nancy Hickey from Ballylin Ferbane and now living in Galway. Nancy is thinking of coming nearer home and was looking at Apartments in Athlone. I pointed out the four that have reached first floor level in Shannonbridge and the two very attractive houses nearing completion on the Ballinasloe road at Ragherabeg but I think Athlone is her choice.

At Clonfad Mass Father Keane was saying that the radio network for the sick was now working and that they can hear Mass on 102.4 FM.

Louise called in on Saturday on her way to Galway with a box of her CD’s and she will have information about how you can get a copy on her website when the webmaster gets back from the Breslin Wedding.

Glorious fine sunny day here today

There was a bit of worry last week when the river level rose and the drain in Darcy’s callow overflowed. Thankfully some good weather for the past few days have turned the picture around and Brian from the barge who takes a reading of the level every morning has reported levels of 3.4M, 3.3M, 3.25M, and 3.2Metres for the past four days which means that the water has disappeared from the callow and all is right again. On Saturday Peter Hines was telling that he has to use top boots to get to his boat on the River Suck.Peter reported hearing two cuckoos near his residence in Correen. His friend Bob Galligan told us about a noisy bunch of Terns that fly up from Turley’s Callow upstream as far as the Bord Na Mona bridge over the River Suck and return quietly to repeat their noisy upstream trip.

Joe Grenham was telling us that a group of Canadian geese have touched down on the River Suck near where Bobby Finn’s new Restaurant is taking shape behind The Pines.

While waiting to meet the sister Doc at Sean Hogarty's Carpets on Saturday I caught sight of about 30 Starlings flying towards me in a squadron circular formation.. They made several elbow type turns before disappearing behind a bunch of trees.

Four groups of coarse anglers from England arrived in Shannonbridge on Saturday which hopefully is the start of the season.

On Saturday there was a buzz of weddings around as Rose Mary Whyte, Clonburren, daughter of Dennis and Mary Whyte married Patrick Mc Donald from Belmullet in Moore Church with the reception in The Hodson Bay Hotel afterwards. Colin and Michael Thornhill headed off to Edinburgh for the wedding of Shannonbridge groom Mark Breslin. Mark’s parents Liam and Theresa now live in Ferbane.

Confirmation took place in Ferbane on last Friday and eight children from Clonmacnois Parish were among the 29 Confirmed. Congratulations to Katie Keena, Owen Finn, Daragh Fitzgerald, Daragh Higgins, Tom Gale, Elaine Guinan and Colm Kelly

Junior A Football Championship

Shannonbridge 0-14
Killeigh 1-7

Shannonbridge got their Junior A Championship campaign
of to a winning start when they recorded a very
impressive win over Killeigh in Cloghan on Saturday
evening last.

Shannonbridge led by 0-4 to 0-1 after ten minutes. The
Bridge continued to hold a lead of four points after
playing with a strong breeze in the first half. The game
then took a turn early in the second half with Killeigh
taking control, scoring a goal and three points to put them
into a two point lead and with a strong wind in their backs.

Shannonbridge looked dead and buried when Killeigh won a
penalty with little more fifteen minutes remaining in the game.
The Shannonbridge keeper made a fine
save and the bridge never looked back, taking control of the
game to run out comfortable four point winners against a strong
and determined Killeigh team.

This game saw some very well worked scores
and great passages of play.

On the day Roger Ryan was very solid in the back line
while up front Anthony Kelly showed that he is still
very cacapable of producing the goods. Also Richie
Browne had a big influence on the game when he came
into midfield.


D Corbett, E McCoy,T Mahon,K Norton, M Maloney,R Ryan,
P Maloney,D Finn(0-1), P Egan, R Browne(0-1), A
Kelly(0-7), C Duffy(0-3), S Kelly, J Turley,R o
Connor(0-1), Subs C Kenny, PJ Kelly, A Gunning,K Coughlan

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 24th April 2005 - 5th Sun Easter A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €511. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: D.Finnerty, G.Hoysted
Altar Servers for this week: Shannen, Nicola, Brian, Kayleigh
Mass next Sun for the late Mae Rocke, Nancy & Michael Kelly
Mass next Sat eve for the late Kieran Joe Mannion

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €206. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: T.Rohan, A.Rohan
Readers for next Sunday: C.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 1
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan
Mass on next Sun for the late Pat Rigney & family

Congratulations & every blessing to the young people, who received the Sacrament of Confirmation last Thursday
'Nuntio vobis gaudium magnum, habemus Papom.'
The First words of Pope Benedict XVI:
"Dear brothers and sisters,
After the Great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me, a simple, humble worker in the Lord's vineyard.
I am comforted by the fact that the Lord knows how to work and act even with insufficient instruments. And above all, I entrust myself to your prayers.
With the joy of the risen Lord and confidence in his constant help, we will go forward. The Lord will help us and Mary his most holy mother will be alongside us. Thank you."

Lord, guide Pope Benedict with the continuing presence of your Spirit in the days ahead. Let him be the 'simple, humble worker in your vineyard.'
First Holy Communion
In Shannonbridge on Sun 8th May @ 12 noon Parish Mass;
In Clonfanlough on Sat 14th May @12 noon.
Stroke Care Support Group
Ms Mary Gormley, Social Worker Older Persons Services, will speak on 'Benefits & Entitlements post Stroke' in the Health Centre Ballinasloe on 27th April, 7-8pm
Parenting Course - in Shannonbridge Hall, starting on Tues 26th April @ 7pm. This course is free of charge. To book a place on this course contact Liz @ 087-2410587
Summer Social in Clonfanlough Hall
On Fri 6th May, beginning with Mass @ 7pm.
Tea and light refreshments and Music will follow this.
The Social Group will meet in the Hall on Tues 3rd May @ 8.30pm
Ard Chiaráin Prayer Centre: Fr John Cullen will give a talk on Tues 26th April @ 8pm. All welcome.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

It was good to see Sean Fitzsimons visiting Shannonbridge yesterday in his own automatic car. Sean was accompanied by his friend Jim and Sean was telling us that he sold The Iron Lung barge to his nephew Andy and still has a boat of his own which is on the one level and suits him fine.

Michael Green from Peterborough and son of Aloysius from Clondelara arrived home today for a five day visit and is in great form.

Two French pike anglers arrived in the village today wondering where they might catch some of the big pike that have been caught and released in recent weeks by fishermen on the River Suck and River Shannon. Got the impression that they wanted to catch one and have it mounted as a trophy fish. Hope they have no success.

The first angling visitor from England in search of Tench arrived today and is staying in Ely House.

Some other English visitors staying at Ely House are on a family tree search. The leader is looking for a Daly family who originated in Stonestown near Cloghan.

She had also taken on the task for some friends of finding information on Carroll and Connaughton families.

Confirmation for a number of surrounding parishes is scheduled to take place in Ferbane this Thursday and will include our parish of Clonmacnois. Was wondering if Pope Benedict XV1 has a direct connection with Clonmacnois through Saint Killen of Wartburg who converted part of Germany after the Dark Ages, similar to other Clonmacnois Missionaries converting Poland for the connection with the late Pope John Paul 11. Went for a walk to the Bridge just now and stopped to see the work progressing on the new apartments beside Nugents. The builder laid a reinforced bed of concrete for a base and has started to build. Already some of the walls are six feet high and the workers told me that there will be four X two-bedroom apartments. Two up and two down with a common front door access.

Met Tommie Corbett at the Bridge looking into the river and no doubt reliving the many happy hours that he spent salmon and pike fishing and shooting over the years. While we were talking a small cruiser approached and berthed on the old jetty. They told us that they were from Ballina and had bought the little cruiser from Carrick Craft in Banagher.They were making their way up river and sensibly enough they were staying in B+B each night on their way to Carrick on Shannon where they plan to keep the boat.

Brian was telling us that the First Aid kit and Fire Extinguisher have been replaced in their housing on the new jetty. Hopefully this time they will be untouched. The stone missing from the peer under the bridge has not been replaced as yet.

Noticed that the river level has risen and there is water to be seen on part of the callow downstream on the west bank, as well as an overflow from the drain on the callow at the new jetty.

One of the seats outside the Tourist Office has a number of timbers missing.

The Bluebells at Reid’s cottage are in full bloom just now. Have not got to Ragherabeg to check out the Primroses but Pat and Colin had a drive in there a few days ago and said that the blooms were scarce as yet.

Temperature today is 10C / 50F with a steady Northerly breeze blowing.

Monday, April 18, 2005

On Saturday night the presenter of the “Winning Streak” television program announced the five lucky contestants to take part in next week’s programme and everyone was delighted when Pat Hendrick was called out. Pat is from Shannonbridge and lives in Clonburren and the show organiser contacted Pat yesterday to confirm that he had been chosen and asked if he would attend the Studio in Dublin on Friday when the show will be recorded. Pat agreed and he will be allowed to bring along 22 family and friends for support. Already the whole area is thrilled that he was selected and hope he will be lucky on the night.

The group of five men from Sydney who were based in Shannonbridge for two weeks have departed. They attended many hurling and football games and rugby matches during their visit and one of them, a Mister Darcy was delighted to see Mel and Vinnie Darcy playing for Shannonbridge against Edenderry in the first game of this year’s championship.. Mister Spain wore a beard and told us that he has visited Ireland five times so far. Twice with the group of friends and three times with his family. Shannonbridge appears to be well centred as this group seemed to reach the four corners of Ireland during their visit.

Mister and Missus John Ford from Montana visited the area recently and stayed at Ely House. They told us that they winter in Mexico every year and haul their mobile home from Montana right down into Mexico, John was telling us about the Rodeos. One competition consists of two cowboys on horseback and one wild steer. The steer and one cowboy enter the arena together and this cowboy concentrates on lassoing the horns of the steer. The horse is specially trained to keep the steer in position when lassoed. The second cowboy enters the arena and he aims to lasso the steer by the hind legs. His horse is trained to keep the steer in position. The time it takes to carry out this exercise is just over Six Seconds,

Met a Swiss couple on a cruiser during the week who are spending a week in a cottage in the West of Ireland this week. They found they had to concentrate a bit too much when manoeuvring the boat and seemed to be looking forward to this week on dry land. They had a set of bicycles aboard and while they were in Shannonbridge they used them to visit Clonmacnois and the local Bog Rail Tour.

Philip Treacy is from Ahascragh and London and is a noted hat maker. He received an amount of publicity recently as he was commissioned to create many of the hats worn by Camellia and many of the guests at the recent Royal Wedding in England.

Another Ahascragh resident Tony Ellis was in Shannonbridge last week and I was delighted to join him on a visit to the Bog Lakes at Boora. We pulled in to see the fly fishing trout lake and saw that five fishermen were in action. There was an amount of fish rising but we only saw one fish being caught. The charge for fishing this lake is ten Euro per day for non members of the local club and five Euro per day for members. Permits and information and rules are available at Daly’s supermarket in Cloghan.

Afterwards we went to visit the two lakes at Boora driving past the pub and workshop.

One lake has wheelchair access and is stocked with tench and rudd, and for competitions farm trout are added. The other lake has tench.

We then visited the Finnamore Lakes with a sign posted access to the right about two miles past the Boora turn. The upper lake near the road has carp and tench . Finnamore Lower Lake is about a mile further in and has a finger of land in the middle with walkway access and is stocked with some decent bream. There is a map and information leaflet available. Some years ago some sculptors created a number of works which are on open display. I liked the ghost train which you can see hanging across the skyline when you visit Finnamore.

Redmond Kerins mentioned a book on the Kenny Family called Marathon Marriage which tells the history of the Kenny family from Banagher and is written by Michael Kenny. Must check with Shannonbridge Library on Thursday 7 to 9 pm to see if they have a copy.

Fishing on the Shannon at Shannonbridge on 14th April Gunter Nanwelaers and Frans de Meulder from Belgium fished for pike using dead eel as bait and caught two fine pike weighing 20 Lbs and 22 Lbs which they described as two nice fish and which they released alive and well.

Yesterday 17th April Horst and Elga Nagl went pike fishing on their cruiser at Shannonbridge and caught six pike in two hours. Fishing from 4.00 to 6.00 pm Horst had one pike measuring 80 cm and Elga his wife had five pike measuring 1 Metre, 90 cm, 80 cm, 60 cm and 50 cm. All fish were in fine condition and were weighed and returned alive. Horst first came on holiday on the River Shannon in 1970 with his parents and has returned every year since. This time he has a cruiser from Waveline. When he got the boat the Waveline people were telling him about a pike weighing over 34 Lbs which had been caught near Shannonbridge.

Somebody mentioned a website named which may be a help in learning Irish words and phrases. Here are a few that appeared.

Is fearr lan doirn de cheird na lan mala d’or.

Better a handful of skill than a bagful of gold.

Conas ata tu ? How are you ?

It was good to have Michael Green home from Boston on a short visit. He returns today.

There was a good turnout in Clonmacnois last evening for a Service of Remembrance & Thanksgiving & Prayer in memory of the late Pope John Paul 11. After a wet and windy day the weather turned good and we even had some sunshine for the short service which consisted of prayers and singing and words spoken by the late Pope when he visited Ireland. At his funeral in Rome they chanted out the Saints names and a part of the ceremony was the chanting of the Irish Saints. Bishop Cahal Daly was in attendance and gave a short homily of which he kindly gave me a copy afterwards and which hopefully will be added to this site and titled Homily.

One of the priests in attendance was distributing a mortuary memorial card which has a photograph of Pope John Paul 11 1920 – 2005 leaning on his crosier on the front while on the back is featured a picture of the Pope taken in 1987.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 17th April 2005 - 4th Sun Easter A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €443. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for next Weekend: M.Killeen, P.Duffy
Altar Servers for this week: Katie, Mary-Anne, Tara
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Margaret & Edward Cogavin
Mass on next Sun for the late Mary Kate Henry
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €222. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Halligan, M.Kelly
Readers for next Sunday: Cliodhna Norton
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 4
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan

Celebration of Confirmation
We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in Ferbane Church on Thurs 21st April @ 12noon. All welcome
In memory of the late Pope John Paul - requiescat in pace!
Many tributes have been paid worldwide to the man who guided the Church for over 26 years, and won the admiration of the great and the humble. Clonmacnois has a very special reason to remember him with gratitude because of his visit here in 1979.
For this reason a Service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving & Prayer will be held this Sun 17th April @ 6pm in Clonmacnois.
Mass will not be celebrated. Bishop Colm O'Reilly will preside, and other priests in the Deanery will attend. All are welcome.
Alzheimer Society of Ireland – National Tea Day, Thurs 5th May
Could you host a Tea Break with your friends, at home or in the office? And give your support to the 22,000 Carers?
There are30, 000 people in Ireland with Alzheimer’s Disease or related dementia. If you would like to hold a tea break, contact our national office on 1850-931931 on how you can get your free tea pack, or e mail:
Offaly Co Childcare Committee
Will hold a Parent's Conference for parents of children aged 0-14, on next Sat 9.30 - 4.30pm. The conference is open to all parents in the County, & will take place in the Tullamore Court Hotel. The theme is Care & Lifelong Learning in the Family. (0509-35878)
Lough Derg - One-day Retreats begin on 30th April & continue on selected days. Cost: €25. Three-day Pilgrimages begin on 1st June to 13th August. For more info call 071-9861518.
Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes - 27th May - 1st June; some seats still available; contact Joe Walsh Tours at 01-2410810 / 2410800. ????
Farm Radio Initiative!! Topic 4 Old Age Pensions will be discussed on the farming programme (Radio 3) on Thurs 21st April @ 7.30pm.
For more info contact Kieran Kelly @ 0509-51622.
Parenting Course - in Shannonbridge Hall, starting on Tues 26th April @ 7pm. This course is free of charge. To book a place on this course contact Liz @ 087-2410587.

Shannonbridge Library - open Thursday evenings, 7-9pm.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The following is a copy of the minutes of the community group meeting held on 05-04-05, as recorded by Emmett Scully from the County Council. Anyone interested in getting involved in improving the community is asked to attend the next meeting (due next week), details of which will be posted as soon as they are known.


Venue - Old hall

Present: Roisín Lennon (West Offaly Partnership), Emmet Scully (Offaly Sports Partnership) Daragh Moran, Declan Price, Caitriona Slattery, Colette Quinn, Kerrill Thornhill, Olive Costello, Céline Grennan, Greg Nugent, Fr. O’Hanlon

Apologies: Padraig Boland (West Offaly Partnership), Tony Dalton (VEC), Amanda Pedlow (Offaly Co. Co.)

1. Tidy Towns

It was identified that existing voluntary tidy town efforts should be built. In particular Mary Kelly was identified as someone who needed to be included because of her efforts with tidy towns over the years.

A number of priority areas for the tidy towns were identified. These will be discussed and further developed at a meeting with Amanda Pedlow from Offaly Co Co:

- Enhance the appearance at either side of the bridge –
- Existing shrubbery has become overgrown. Low maintenance planting was suggested as most appropriate
- Repair to existing seating and put in place further seating.
- Repair railing at the side of the bridge.

- Enhance the appearance of the area across from the Church –
- Once again, it was suggested that low maintenance planting would be best

- Clean up the wall on the way in from the Balinasloe road –
- It had been cleaned before and as part of a student scheme
- Bushes and briars cover the wall and protrude onto the path

- Other areas that were identified were –
- Increase the number of bins and make existing ones bigger
- Signs erected e.g. “Keep Shannonbridge Tidy”
- Involve the young people through the youth clubs and the school

Names were then sought to be part of the tidy towns group. The following are a list of interested people:
- Daragh Moran
- Declan Price
- Caitriona Slattery
- Colette Quinn
- Olive Costello
- Greg Nugent

It was recognised that others may be interested in the Tidy Towns but were not present at the meeting. Anyone interested was invited to attend the meeting with Amanda Pedlow from Offaly Co. Co.

A number of dates were agreed as possible meeting dates with Amanda Pedlow. Monday nights at 8.30pm were identified as the best nights – Monday April 11th, Monday April 18th, and Monday April 25th.

2. Meeting with Local Representatives

Speeding/traffic, water quality, emptying of recycling bins, development of a walkway and investigating enterprise development at the power station offices had been identified as issues for discussion with the local representatives. Two further issues were identified: the Post Office has remained closed for 6-8 weeks, and the investigation of getting a group broadband scheme in place.

Volunteers were then sought to research each one of the areas –

- Speeding/Traffic Colette Quinn and Caitriona Slattery

- Water Quality Daragh Moran

- Recycling Bins Declan Price and Greg Nugent – A skip that is used by people on the boats was added for investigation.

- Walkways Derry Kileen’s name was put forward although he was not there. Céline Grennan pointed that there was no transport system and that the were not many amenities for people in Shannonbridge.

- Enterprise/Broadband Kerrill Thornhill – Kerrill noted that in relation to use of old ESB offices there was an issue with overhead power lines. He also noted that there would need to be a demand for use the offices)

- Post Office Céline Grennan – West Offaly Partnership agreed to try and get
some information on the matter)

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Good news today that eleven Irish Rugby players have been selected as part of the Lions team to tour South Africa later in the year . Brian O’Driscoll has been named as captain.
Sad news today of the death of the Galway footballer Mattie Mc Donagh, who was a star for his county back in the sixties. May he rest in peace.
Mr and Mrs John Ford from Montana arrived safely in Shannonbridge today and are staying with Brian and Dympna O Carroll in Ely House. They were telling us that they usually take their camper deep into Mexico during the winter and enjoy the heat. Both are fluent Spanish speakers. John worked as a saddle-maker and was explaining the competition where two cowboys on horseback take a steer in control. One cowboy rides out with the steer and lassoes the horns of the steer. The other rider lassoes the hind legs of the steer. Both horses are trained to put pressure on the ropes by backing away. Found it hard to believe but John said that it normally takes about six seconds.
The English Grand National on Saturday was won by Hedgehunter trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh. He started favourite at 7 / 1.
Shannonbridge played their first game in this years football championships on Saturday evening playing Edenderry and the game ended in a draw. Yesterday Clara and Doon had their first match, which was played on the Shannonbridge pitch and this also ended in a draw.
The nephew - Mike Cunney had his Stag Night down in Clare on Saturday night, so he must be serious about getting married in May.
Good to see in this week’s Parish Newsletter that there is a ceremony to remember the late Pope in Clonmacnois on next Sunday evening.
Mary Egan many years ago worked during her summer holidays in Killeens. Mary is now married and she arrived in this evening looking for information on the Bridge and Fortifications as her son is attending Engineering at University and has a project to complete on the bridge and fort. He is bringing his relation Patrick Kenny along tomorrow evening to explain everything which should be worth hearing.
Weather has been mostly fine today with a westerly wind and temperatures around13 C / 55 F

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 10th April 2005 - 3rd Sun Easter A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Mon-Thurs & Sat @ 10am
Mass on Fri eve @ 8pm - for the late Mary Martin
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €460. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Killeen, A.Keena
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: C.Mannion, K.Coakley
Altar Servers for this week: Darragh, Ruaidhrí, Michael, Graham
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Mary-Anne Flannery

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €150. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Noble, D.Fitzgerald
Readers for next Sunday: A.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 3
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly

We welcome into the Christian Community Matthew Darcy, son of Vincent & Gerardine, who was baptised recently in Shannonbridge.

In memory of the late Pope John Paul - requiescat in pace!
Many tributes have been paid world-wide to the man who guided the Church for over 26 years, and won the admiration of the great and the humble. Clonmacnois has a very special reason to remember him with gratitude because of his visit here in 1979.
For this reason a Service of Remembrance, Thanksgiving & Prayer will be held on Sun 17th April @ 6pm in Clonmacnois.
Bishop Colm O'Reilly will preside, and other priests in the Deanery will attend. All are welcome.
Let us call to mind the words he spoke about Clonmacnois after his return to Rome in St Peter's Square:
"I will never forget that place, in which we stopped for a short time, in the early morning hours on Sun 30th Sept: Clonmacnois. The ruins of the Monastery & the Churches speak of the life that once pulsated there……….It is difficult to look on those ruins merely as a monument of the past; whole generations of Europe owe to them the light of the Gospel and the structural framework of their culture. Those ruins are still charged with a great mission. They still constitute a challenge……Here is Ireland: at the heart of the perennial mission of the Church, which St Patrick started."
Celebration of Confirmation
We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in Ferbane Church on Thurs 21st April @ 12noon. All welcome.
The Ceremony of Light (Family Preparation) will take place in Clonfanlough Church on Thurs next @ 8pm. There will be light refreshments in the Hall afterwards, and all participants are invited.
Athlone M.E. Support Group
First meeting in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Wed 13th April @ 8pm. All welcome!
Ballinasloe Flower & Garden Club
Presents A Floral Demonstration by Samantha Foran in Haydens hotel on Wed 13th April @ 8pm
Members' competition: 'Blossom Time'. Adm for non-members: €5.

Many thanks for your generous contributions to the Trócaire Lenten Campaign. As a result we have sent €3,300 to Trócaire.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Met three ladies from Philadelphia who are on a fast five day tour of Ireland. Suggested that they visit Clonmacnois and they never heard of it. They had heard of Pottstown but did not know Lorraine Mc Kenna.

Big news of the week in the village was the knocking of the two houses adjacent to Nugent’s Butcher Shop. The owner has plans to build four apartments on the site.

The house next to Nugents was once home to Manus O’Donnell, the teacher,

Sergeant Joe Flood and his wife Minnie, the Cunningham family who moved to Ragherabeg, Jim and Rose Coakley and family, Frank and Mrs O’Shea, who moved to Clonfinlough, and Tom and Mrs O’Shea who now live in Clonburren.

Some of the people that lived in the adjoining house were the Denny Hayes family,

Now in Kilkenny, Jim Higgins, teacher who moved to Killiegh and died a few years ago,

And the late Bill and 'Babs Gleeson.

Perhaps other people know of other families that lived there and which we can record.

Weather has turned a little colder with wind and rain in recent days which caused the river level to rise four inches in one day. Temperature 8C / 46F to 10C / 50F on one d

Bit more warmer and sunnier at present but the wind remains.

Colin and Niamh took the boat out for a week on the river and were mostly on Lough Ree and on the river downstream to Meelick so far.

Tonight at 8 pm there will be a special Mass in Shannonbridge for the late Pope John Paul 11. Still no news on any plans to commemorate his visit to Clonmacnois in 1979.

The Dockerys in Ferbane had a popular drapery shop in Ferbane for many years .John Dockery died many years ago and the death notices in to-day’s Irish Times tell us that his relic “Babs” Dockery has died in Dublin aged 97 years and will be buried in High Street graveyard tomorrow after Mass in Dublin. Remains expected to arrive for 2.30 pm Saturday.

The English Grand National will run a little bit late tomorrow to cater for the wedding of Camelia and the Prince. This morning the TV’s were tuned to the funeral of the Pope.

Shannonbridge Potteries are busily turning out mementoes of the wedding and of the late

PopeJohn Paul 11.

The table quiz in Killeens on next Wednesday night is in aid of flowers for the Church funds and starts at 9.45 pm.

Try and come to the Library on next Thursday night 7 to 9 pm.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2005 18:45:10 EST
Subject: Tsunamis

Hello Der. While we were visiting home we were surprised at the number of people that told us they had never heard the word tsunami until the Boxing day event. I went to the web site that I once sent you and looked up some of the previous events that caused tsunamis in the past 50 years or so and posted a couple below. There were 13 earthquakes of 8.5 or greater since 1900 most of which generated tsunamis. I guess it is because of television and Internet that people worldwide are becoming aware of them. One of the sad things is that it is poverty that cause people in places such as Indonesia to build on or near the water. In the Philippines we saw thousands of homes (shacks) on stilts built in the mud flats. They wouldn't stand a chance without hours and hours of warning. The latest quake that happened while we were visiting makes 14. You can find them listed at the following web address:

I thought this might be of interest to you. ---------Ken

Was delighted to receive a CD in the post this morning on Cruising in Ireland. The eight minute program gives an introduction of what is available for those that choose a cruising holiday using a self drive cruiser with all the mod cons. The Shannonbridge / Clonmacnois area is well featured with Arial and close up views of Clonmacnois, and views of the bridge in Shannonbridge and anglers fishing downstream of the bridge.

They show many attractions such as golf courses, restaurants, walking, cycling, jetties, lockgates, and birds and fauna of the river. It was a surprise when they mentioned pub entertainment and the camera walked in to Killeen’s Bar to the sound of Irish music and after panning the customers they show Paudge Bennett playing his guitar and joined by Lorraine Kenny, Lorraine Devery and Colin Killeen. There is a choice of languages English, Francais, Deutsch, Nederlands. Failte Eireann commissioned the CD to be made and they have a website

Tell them we sent you if you want a copy.

The Malone / McIntyre family covering three generations stayed in Kajon House on Monday night and we had a good chat. They are based in Boston and upper New York State. It was their second visit to the area and last time they stayed at The Gables guesthouse in Cloghan. Seems that in the past a Malone married a McIntyre and both families were from the Banagher, Cloghan and The Bottoms area. On their first visit they had met up with the late Liam McIntyre from Cloghan and Mr Malone Snr. was telling us that he recorded what Liam told them. I was wondering was there anyone else that they might contact for help and information and I phoned my cruiser hire friend at Silverline Cruisers in Banagher. Brendan Smith said to leave it with him until he enquired around and sure enough he rang back in five minutes to say that Willie McIntyre Banagher had heaps of information on the McIntyre family. Seems that they were a Northern Ireland clan that came down south in the 1600 to fight in a battle and settled afterwards in Offaly.

TheMalones had a useful website for tracing family trees which is simply Tigs stands for The Irish Genealogy Society.

Weather got a little cooler this week and brought rain showers in the past few days’Temperature remains around 13C / 55F.

Mass in Shannonbridge on Friday will be at 8 pm and will be offered for the late Pope. The funeral of the Pope John Paul 11 will be on television on Friday morning. No word on a possible memorial service in Clonmacnois as yet.
The winner of the Easter Egg raffle for The Medical Missionaries of Mary -Pat Fox got his mother to pick up his prize this week.

News of the death last evening of John Dunican, Ballinasloe and a native of Clonfad.

May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Doc was telling us about a Dawn Mass celebrated in Oughterard on Easter Sunday. About 600 people gathered at the shore of Lough Corrib and the celebrant was Father Jimmy Walsh C.C. After the Mass they had breakfast of a tradional Irish fry with rashers and sausages sponsored by the butchers of Oughterard .Everyone was delighted with the way everything went so well.

The river levels seemed to be creeping up during the week and on Friday and Saturday the drain alongside Darcy’s Callow had started to overflow, but I notice that it has eased back again today.

There was a two page feature on the paper about the filming carried out in Banagher and area including Shannonbridge during the winter. Codenamed Pure Mule, filming for now has finished and the result will be screened on TV as a series in a few months time. Good photograph of Michael Hough and a customer sitting outside of Hough’s Pub in Banagher.

Good to see Brid Cassidy in Shannonbridge on Saturday. Brid had been out to visit Clonmacnois and she told us that her late husband ‘Ned and herself got married on Saint Patrick’s Day many years ago.

The death has occurred of James Nolan, Banagher who was a van driver with Bord na Mona for many years. He survived for over four score years and ten and is survived by well known entertainer Peter. Among the congregation at his funeral yesterday was Barney Mc Kenna of The Dubliners.

Five men from Sydney Australia are making a return trip to Shannonbridge for two weeks. They first came in 2000 and arrived at lunchtime on Saturday to say that they had tickets for the rugby game in Landsdowne Road where Leinster were beaten in the Heineken Cup. So they went to the match and were back in time for the music on Saturday night. They were wondering if they would need tickets for yesterday’s match between Dublin and Offaly footballers in Tullamore. They went and Dublin won.

Paul James Byrne died in Leighlinstown, Carlow and his obituary notice on the Irish Times on Saturday posted all the details of his funeral and ended up with the line –

“Dad, you finally made it to the back page of The Irish Times”

Lots of news and photographs and remembrances of the late Pope John Paul 11 and this morning one of the local radios had an interview with Tom Moore, curator at Clonmacnois, asking him to recall the Papal visit to Clonmacnois some 25 years ago.

Thought that they might have mentioned that the Pope was doing a kind of Religious

Tree as monks from Clonmacnois had converted Poland in about the ninth century’

Our four Polish friends who live in the village and work for a local engineering firm were sadder than the rest of the village with the news of the Pope’s death. Thomas. One of them was telling us that he saw him in Poland.

In the “Where’s That” section of today’s Irish Times they are looking at the origin of the word Hagfield. I liked the first sentence which goes – That which might come to mind on hearing the Irish word ‘cailleach’ is the fine bouncy Connamara song Cailleach an Airgid ( the witch of the money), the chorus of which is “Si do Maimeo” (she is your grandmother)

Some work has commenced on the two houses adjoining Nugent’s Butchers, with slates and chimneys being removed.

The Shannonbridge fishing for the start of the season has been focused mostly on Pike.

Local angler Andy Colledgz had two double figure pike in February and March’ a 10LB

and a 17LB while fishing at Correen Ford using dead roach as bait. Mick Walsh from Durrow’ Laois fished with his son David over two weekends in March. They revisited the stretch where David caught a 21 LB plus pike in 2003 and this time David’s dad, Mick legered a full eel on the bottom of the River Suck near Shannonbridge and after an hour waiting he got a bite and landed a lovely pike just over 20 LB. The following week the Walshs took along their friend Ray Fogarty to fish the Suck and he used a dead herring legered on the bottom to catch a pike weighing 21 LB. Mick Walsh had to make do with a 12 LB best. Steve Nell from Sheffield and Creggan has caught three fine pike, a 15 LB, a 13.5 LB, and a whopper of almost 25 LB using dead roach on the leger.

Mick Priest from Woodford Lodge made a brief visit and caught four pike weighing 4LB each and 10LB of roach. Brian and Anthony Cogan fished for pike around Shannonbridge while holidaying on a cruiser at Easter and hooked five pike, the best weighing 7 LB.

Simon Scott from Moylough fished Correen Ford on the River Suck and had five bream averaging 3.5 LB and some 5 LB of small roach. The bream were in great condition.

Dave Kemp has just finished a two week holiday and was happy catching skimmers and hybrid.

The river level has risen slightly in recent days but is very fishable.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Senior Football Championship
Shannonbridge will take on Edenderry this Saturday
evening in Balinamere The bridge will be hoping for a
good support from its loyal supporters.

Check fixtures for starting time.

Senior Challenges
Shannonbridge had two good wins at the weekend beating
St Aidans of Roscommonn Friday night and Kileraran the
Galway champions on Sunday morning last.

Golf Classic
Shannonbridge GAA club held their annual Classic on
Easter Monday last and the outing was a great success.

The Club wish to thank all officials who put so much
work into organising the event. We also wish to thank
all our generous sponsors and Moate Golf Club for
hosting the Classic.

PRO - Conor Killeen

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 3rd April 2005 - 2nd Sun Easter A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €628. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Gunning, M.Kelly
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: S.Grennan, O.Costello
Altar Servers for this week: Shannen, Nicola, Brian, Kayleigh
Mass on nest Sat morning for the late Tom Kitt & family.
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Paddy Duffy
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €386. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: C.Healy, T.Milner
Readers for next Sunday: I.Maleney
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 2
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: P.Darcy

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday, ‘the day the gates of Heaven are open’. For more info visit
Shannonbridge Healthy Community Project
Meeting in Shannonbridge Hall on Tues 5th April @ 9pm.
Amanda Pedlow from Offaly Co Council will attend.
Athlone M.E. Support Group
First meeting in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Wed 13th April @ 8pm. All welcome!
"I'm a perfectly healthy man - and yet every time there a lingering fear that this might be the big one. This maybe is the one that will never go away. That fear really grips you. People say snap out of it. But you don't. You pull yourself down into it. Security resides in the feeling of sadness. It is a weird thing. It is a pit and you pull yourself into the pit. There is no sense that you want to fight it."
Film producer, David Puttnam, describing in the Guardian, the dark grip of ME in his life.
Offaly Co Childcare Committee
Will hold a Parent's Conference for parents of children aged 0-14, on Sat 23rd April from 9.30 - 4.30pm. The conference is open to all parents in the County, & will take place in the Tullamore Court Hotel
The theme is Care & Lifelong Learning in the Family
For more info call 0509-35878.
Helpful Website:
The No Name Club is a club for young people, organised by young people with the help of adults. There are about 30 such clubs in Ireland, providing young people with an opportunity to make friends and enjoy social activities in a friendly & healthy atmosphere without the use of drugs or alcohol. Contact information is available for anyone wishing to discover more.
Pilgrimage to Rome & Bobbio from the Kilmore area
Also visiting Florence; August 4 - 11.
For more info call Kieran or Laura Troy on 0506-55050
'Education without religion, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a person a more clever devil.' C.S.Lewis
Shannonbridge Birdwatch - First Swallows Arrive.

The first swallows of the season have arrived in Shannonbridge. The swallow is a summer visitor from Africa, arriving in late March or early April. They nest in single pairs, returning to their previous nesting site year after year. The open nest consists mostly of mud pellets, attached to rafters in sheds or under bridges.
The swallow is easily identified, with its characteristic long forked tail, much longer than the similar house martin. It has beautiful colouring; glossy bluish head, dark red forehead and throat patch and creamy white flanks and under tail. The upperparts and rump are dark glossy blue.
It feeds on a wide variety of insects, which are skilfully caught on the wing. It drinks on the wing also, by swooping low over water and dipping its bill.
It is said that when swallows fly low over land, it is a sign of rain and that when they are high in the sky the weather will be fine.
These beautiful birds can be seen at the bridge in Shannonbridge, especially before sunset.