Thursday, June 30, 2005

Shannonbridge Links With Father Kieran Kilroe

The Midland Tribune of 13 / 7 / 1957 contains an article on Father Kilroe by E.I. that goes like this –

Living Tradition

Father Kieran Kilroe was Parish Priest of Saint Mary’s Athlone a century ago when the building of the magnificent Gothic Church was commenced. His birth at Shannonbridge, in the parish of Clonmacnois, dates back a hundred and fifty years, and when one sets out to trace his parentage and background one is in the 1950’s and 1760’s, the period of the Hearts of Steel in the North, the Whiteboys in Munster, and the disgracefully hanging of Father Sheehy of Clogheen in the neighbouring county of Tipperary.

But despite the passage of decades and centuries there is in West Offaly a living tradition that seems to bridge the wide gap without effort. Recollection of that faraway period is vivid and accurate and one can follow the footsteps of the little boy born in ancient Rachra to his first school nearby, to the more pretentious educational establishment at Clonfad across the Shannon, where a lay teacher of the old Hedge School tradition taught Latin, and finally to fuller scholarship and the more exalting rank of the Priesthood.

The surname Kilroe belongs to Connaught. It is found in the royal O’Connor family, close akin to the O’Clerys and the O’Shaughnessys. The Christian name was got from the patron saint of the parish where his people had settled, and was, in his time, spelled Kyrn or Kieran. The Gaelic rendering was Ciaran. So that in his personal name the future Athlone pastor represented both sides of the Shannon. It is a fact worth noting that his own experience of the lay primary and classical schools at Rachra and Clonfad led him later to introduce that same Hedge Schoolmaster type of education into St. Mary’s parish, Athlone, and it was, in fact, the presence of such educational facilities that enabled the future Dr. Kilduff, who became a great Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, to commence his studies there.

Home and Relatives

It is important that facts regarding Father Kilroe’s home and relatives should be placed on record. The home in which he was born does not now stand at Shannonbridge. It was situated in the area covered by the school grounds. A brother of his, William, lived to the age of 90 in the house where Mrs Hubbie Darcy now resides. A grand-nephew, Mr. Kieran Joe Kilroe, and a grand-niece, Miss Katie Kilroe, live just opposite the Church and Parochial House. But neither of these houses was the birthplace of Kieran, the future Rev. K..Kilroe , P.P. of St. Mary’s, Athlone. Miss McGrane of Cloghan is also a grand-niece. Great grand-nephews are Messrs, William, James and Patrick Byrne of Leharrow, and a great-grand-niece is Miss Kitty Byrne. This is not an exhaustive list of relatives, but it is sufficient; to show that the family of the good priest; who proved such a benefactor to Athlone, still holds an honourable place in the Shannon Valley.

It is obvious that there was a tradition of scholarships and culture among the Kilroes. The brother William, already referred to, was known by people still living as a recognised classical authority and as a kindly and respected old gentleman, in whom all the best of both Gaelic and Continental learning were happily united. A typical example of his studious and progressive habits may be quoted: when the musical arrangement known as Tonic Solfa was introduced he made a point of mastering its intricacies although he would have been considered well past the age for such an undertaking. Knowledge and self improvement, for their own were his high-minded objectives.

A Transport System

The Kilroe family were for generations associated with a transport system that was organised and perfected before most of those we read about began. They maintained what was known as a Carman’s Stage, and the fact that they owned a breed of horses built for speed would seem to indicate that as some period they ran a Posting Stage as well.

At that time goods were transported overland to and from the coast by horse-drawn cart, and, of course, some portions of the Shannon itself were used for water-transport. A genius for organisation was a requisite quality for a family with a part in such complex commercial undertakings. It is not to be wondered at that it was the son of such a progressive people who faced and carried out the gigantic task of erecting a great Church in a land that had been recently raked by famine and disease.

Now the least of the tributes paid to the character and qualities of Father Kieran Kilroe was that, although St. Mary’s, Athlone, was a Bishop’s parish with an Administrator, both before and after his time, yet from 1845 to his death, two successive bishops, Dr O’Higgins and Dr. Kilduff surrendered their claim there to him, and so he is remembered as the only Parish Priest to be appointed to the Parish of St. Mary. Shannonbridge and West Offaly salute his memory. End.

Note that Kieran Joe and Katie had a brother William or Bill who seems to have been omitted in the article .They had a sister Mai who was married to a Byrnes and lived in England. Rachel married a Keogh and lived in Dublin. One or possibly two other girls went to Australia and for a time Katie went to live with her niece in Sydney

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The glorious weather enjoyed for the 34th Shannon Harbour Canal Boat Rally continues today but the weathermen on the paper have a lot of \\\\\ for later today and the next three days with rain coming up from the south. Temperatures have been in the 70 F / 21 C and feel warmer at times. A group from Lowtown are paying their annual visit to Shannonbridge after the weekend in Shannon Harbour.They have a hired narrow boat from Lowtown and the crew includes 91 year old Murt Cronolly who is a third generation of bargemen or canal boat.Paddy Mc Grath also a bargeman and Nancy Lynch are part of the crew.

Frank Egan son of Sheila and the late Jimmy Egan of Aughnacabe and Athlone has died in Australia and will be buried there this week. He is survived by his wife Julie and children Aaron, Joel, Shane and Carol and brothers Michael and Padraig. May he rest in peace.

The annual Blessing of the Graves in Clonmacnois Cemetery will take place on the first Friday in August. More details on Bulletin later.

Heard today that the Tall Ships will visit Waterford from July 6 – 9th. Estimated that ships valued at over 300 Million Euros are included.

Last Friday, Saturday and Monday nights the group U2 played to sell out concerts in Croke Park with the GAA receiving over two million for the venue and U2 earning over twenty million. Found myself thinking at Mass on Sunday if U2 were on the altar would the first three seats on each row be empty. Is there a difference between U2 and You Know Who ?.

Congratulations to John and Margaret Carty who have retired from their retail business in Dublin and to mark the occasion Margaret won the Jackpot in last night’s Shannonbridge / Doon Lotto draw which was worth 2,200 Euro.

Met two American groups yesterday who are enjoying a cruiser on the River Shannon. One group was from Philadelphia and operate a wholesale beer business and the other party were from Boston.

On Sunday night on the radio program Late Date Lilian Smith played a track from Louise Killeen’s CD and sent greetings to Mick Killeen and all in Shannonbridge. See where she has her own website and has sold a number of copies of the CD through that channel.

Was glad to hear that Padraig Harrington sunk the long putt on Sunday to win the golf competition in America and put him back in the Ton Ten.

The Shannonbridge Active Retirement Group are having a social in Shannonbridge Hall on Friday night July 1st. They have invited members from some other Active Retirement Groups and plan to start proceedings with Mass in the Church at 8 pm and refreshments and entertainment and dancing and of course a super raffle in the Community Hall afterwards. There are talks of a day trip before September visiting local counties of Laois or Westmeath.

Looking forward to attending a celebration Mass in Athlone tomorrow marking fifty years in the Priesthood of Father Sean Cunney from Attymass and Scotland.

It is great weather for the bog and at this morning’s cup of tea after Mass some of the Active Retirement people were telling that there is now machinery available to turn the sods of turf and another to put it in rows when dried and yet another one to load it onto the trailer for transporting home. As one woman said “and after all that I have to get my bucket and carry it all into the kitchen “

My apologies in not replying to e-mails for three months as it was only last Saturday that I found the way to view them with a little help from a visiting angler.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report …27th June 2005.

The sunny conditions for the week were not welcomed by the handful of visiting anglers.

The river level has continued to drop and is 2.3 Metres on the measuring scale at the village bridge today. On Thursday a light wind ruffled the surface and more fish were caught.

Neil Davis who has retired to Spain fished Bullock Island on 20 /6 /05 for four hours and was very happy catching ten pounds of roach and rudd with floating maggots. He moved to the River Suck later and had five pounds of roach rudd and perch in three hours.

Dave Feeley from Biggleswade and his eleven year old daughter Kathleen have just completed their holiday. On the 19th June at Ragherabeg they caught 29 Lbs of roach, skimmer bream perch and hybrids using red maggot in sun with a slight breeze.

Kathleen had a tench weighing 3.5 Lbs from the Grand Canal on 21st June.The next two days on the Grand Canal using maggot and sweetcorn they had non stop fish for five hours and the harder the wind blew the more they caught. Catch included eel, roach, rudd, bream and hybrid and one roach weighed 2 Lb 1 Oz. .Russ Hinchcliffe and Matt Harris from Cheshire fished on the River Suck on 20th June and using maggot on the feeder they had a 60 Lbs mixed bag of bream , tench, hybrids, roach, perch, rudd and pike in warm conditions.

Bob Tilley and Kevin Boltz from Bristol have just arrived and on 24th June they fished the Grand Canal using red maggot on the pole and Bob had 27 Lbs of bream and hybrid.

Bream to 2.5 Lbs. Kevin had 15 Lbs of roach and small skimmers. They found that the fishing improved greatly after some boats had passed through and clouded the water.

Next day Kevin had 34 Lbs of bream and hybrids in the same swim and one tench that weighed 3 Lb. The heaviest bream also weighed 3 Lbs.

Brothers Rob and Mike Peake from Kent had a plan to night fish one of their favoured swims on Lough Ree. The first night Rob caught four hybrid and Mick caught three perch. The next night fished very poor and they changed to early morning fishing.

Rob had a best bag of 20 Lb of mixed fish from the River Brosna and Mick Peake had a best bag of 25 Lbs also from the Brosna. They used corn, worm and maggot on the feeder.

Richard Reeves from Calne finishes his holiday on Wednesday. On Saturday he fished the Hot Water outlet and used braid line and an eight pound bottom fishing for tench and was snapped off five times when hooked in a fish.

Local anglers Dara Moran and Declan Price went trolling in a boat yesterday for pike and were happy to catch five decent fish which were returned alive.

Just arrived is Geoffrey Motron from Boston Lincolnshire and fished the River Suck yesterday catching 20 Lb of bits. This year he is without his friend Terry Dawson. Some years ago they hired a cruiser and fished the River Suck on their first evening. Next day the moved upstream on the River Shannon above Devenish and they caught Hybrids that they did not believe existed. Geoffrey is returning to that swim today and has promised to let us know how he fares out.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The Shannonbridge Active Retirement Group had a day visit to Kilkenny City last week. The thirty seater bus was almost full and the group boarded after Mass which was celebrated at 9 pm that morning. Joe Cleary and his guitar joined us at Birr and soon everyone was singing as we journeyed towards Durrow where a stop for tea and scones had been arranged with the Durrow Arms. Back on the bus and Joe struck up the guitar and soon Kilkenny was in sight. The bus parked outside Kilkenny Castle which has the Kilkenny Design Center as its neighbour across the street. A novel double Decker bus with an open top was offering a see the sights trip for ten Euro and about ten of the group availed of this. It had a lady driver who also gave a commentary as the bus travelled around and she told us the history of Kilkenny and pointed out the castle, churches, Smithwicks Brewery , various bridges on The River Nore and the outline of the city walls. A number of important historical buildings were named.

After the tour many had a look around the Design Center and we were pleased to find a display of Shannonbridge Pottery on display. There was a very fine food outlet attached to the center. Some of us went our own way .To see the Kilkenny Castle one had to queue

And so BC and myself had a look around the fine well kept garden and at some extension areas of the Design Center where a number of trades were alive and active.

The group had arranged to meet in Langtons Hotel for dinner at 6pm and we went in search of Langtons early and found it. After a drink in the open air beer garden with smokers in mind we exited through the car park and caught sight of the Catholic Church with its peculiar short square shaped bell tower. The tour guide had pointed it out on the bus trip and told us that there were two tales as to why the pinnacle was not placed on the tower. First was that the foundation was not suitable and the second one was a shortage of funds. We visited the church which has some lovely marble and stone work and statues and a fine set of Stations of The Cross. Beside the entrance door inside is a chapel of perpetual adoration.

Kilkenny is home to Denny Hayes who lived in Shannonbridge while working for the Forestry Department many years ago. Mick and Mary walked out to his house to meet him but he was away in Cork for a few days. The weather was fine and sunny and nobody needed an overcoat or umbrella all day. After a fine meal in Langtons the whole party adjourned to a room where Joe Cleary played a vast range of songs until 10pm.

There was a great sing song and dancing and a number of tourists looked in and one group joined the party.

Back on the bus and more songs and this time it was a direct drive arriving home before the bewitching hour.

There is talk of another trip during the summer and if interested contact Pat Keoghane or Kieran Kelly.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Oliver Darcy was telling us that his sister Mary Anne Lyons from Kilcock celebrated her 95th birthday this week. Congratulations and may she celebrate many more of them.

Tony Ellis arrived yesterday with his Uncle and Aunt and their daughter and her husband from England who are visiting Ireland for the first time. Tony was taking them to Clonmacnois for a visit and Mick offered them a trip by river which they accepted. I volunteered for the trip and it was a lovely sunny day with a little breeze keeping a wave on the water and of course both combined to give a good suntan. Tony’s Uncle told us that he was one of the youngest of a family of ten and grew up in Derbyshire. At fourteen he went working in the coal mines and he retired at 55 years. He has a great interest in birds and plants and enjoyed all the information about the Callows on display at the Clonmacnois Visitor Center.

Some American friends of Jim Killeen in Chicago arrived last evening and stayed overnight to enjoy Frankie Mc Donald and his brother Johnny who provided the music in Killeens last night. Mick was all prepared to take the visitors for a trip on the river but they had to set out early for a Dublin appointment. They promised to stop off at Clonmacnois and take a guided tour on their way.

Had a warning phone call from Peter Jordan that he and his friend Peter will be visiting Shannonbridge for a weekend in three weeks time. You remember the two Peters don’t you?.

Was showing an Irish Times reader offer to John and Shannon that was offering a Ladybird Tower for 19.95 Euros and a starter pack of 25 Ladybirds for 29.95 Euros plus P&P. John said that in America they buy them by the quarter kilo. They are reputed to be great controllers of Green Fly.

Brian of the Barge has been keeping me updated on river levels daily and the level has dropped over a meter in the past couple of weeks. Noticed on the trip to Clonmacnois yesterday that many swans were sitting out on the grass and we only noticed one pair of swans with four youngsters.

Eileen Mc Manus from Clonburren was telling on Sunday morning that a few days before she went out the back of the house and found four of her full grown ducks dead. She believes a wild mink killed them. When I told Brian O Meara of the Barge about this on Monday he told that he saw a mink with her five babies swimming across The Cut and climbing onto a tree on Moran’s Island. These wild mink are causing a lot of harm to fish and bird life and if they kill mature duck what chance have Corncrake and wild duck etc have in their path.

The contact telephone number for Barney Finlay Auctioneers is 090-6475994 and Martins Pub auction date is 27th July.

Someone was telling us the other day that the late William or Sonnie Keena married Eileen Wynne on June 6th 1944 at 7.00 AM in Tullamore Church and had their breakfast in Bolger’s Hotel afterwards. Mrs Bolger asked Mrs Keena if she would like a drink as she was now entitled to have one as she was married. Sonnie, Lottie and Jimmy Flannery and the bridal party cycled nearly thirty miles to Tullamore that morning and when all was complete they cycled home a different way through Doon.

Jimmy Flannery was Best man and Lottie Darcy was Bridesmaid.

Mrs Keena was from Arigna and worked in Kelly’s Chip Shop in Tullamore.

How did they meet? Sonnie Keena was in Tullamore Hospital for a number of weeks and Mrs Kelly who was a sister of Jimmy and Pat Flannery from Crevagh knew Sonnie and several times a week used to send Eileen to the hospital with some decent food as hospital food left room for improvements. So it started and not to long after leaving hospital Sonnie and Jimmy and Lottie and friends were taking an early cycle trip to Tullamore.

Had an enjoyable chat with Padraic Turley and his wife at the weekend. Padraic is a nephew of the late Joe Claffey from Clerhane and has just retired from the Law game.

Hope to get to have more get togethers with them when they come to stay in the village for three weeks in August.

Some of the people away from Shannonbridge might like to know of some property that has come on the market recently in the area.

Seamus and Celine Grennan have put their famed Bed and Breakfast premises known as The Bungalow on the market. This house which was initially a bungalow has had a number of additions and changes made and enjoys a fine view of the bay upstream of the bridge in the village. Mc Cullagh Auctioneers Ballinasloe is handling the sale. Contact them at 090-9642474 .

A recent House Hunters television programme focused on the Ballinasloe / Shannonbridge area and showed the two new houses built on the Ballinasloe road near Gunning’s Hill Ragherabeg. One was a bungalow and the other one was a four bed roomed dormer bungalow with three bedrooms en-suite standing on a half acre site. This house is being offered for sale by Midland Properties Athlone. Guide price 320,000 Euros. Telephone 090-6493136 or

Also shown on the television programme was George O’Neills home at Blackwater bridge,

Henry Gills home at Templedew formerly Hallorans and the late George Hynes.

Rothwell Auctioneers Ballinasloe Tel 090-9642127 is the estate agent.

The four apartments under construction by Lawlor Brothers beside Nugents Butcher Shop are two storey and scaffolding has been erected presumably to fit the roof and for plastering.

I see that an old style cottage at Glasson near Athlone is being offered for sale by Dannie Costelloe Auctioneer Telephone 090-9683633

The famous Martins Pub at Doon is going up for public auction and the Auctioneer is Barney Finlay from Athlone.

Fans of Shannonbridge musician Louise Killeen can now buy her new CD online at her website

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Best wishes to Lisa Hendrick Shannonbridge and Alan Dolan from Aughrim who were married in Saint Ciaran’s Church Shannonbridge on Saturday 18th June with Father O’Hanlon assisted by Father Geraghty leading us through the ceremony and Mass.

The sun shone bright for Lisa and Alan and the photographer Padraig Kilduff used Clonmacnois as a background for the outdoor photographs. Afterwards the reception was held in Meadow Court Hotel near Loughrea. It was good to meet cousins of Ned Hendrick who travelled from Wexford and Cork for the wedding. The happy couple are having their honeymoon travelling around Ireland and intend to live in Aughrim..

While walking to the wedding a car pulled in and Tony Hughes and his wife got out. Tony was a well liked construction worker on the old power plant and they now live in Enniscorthy.

On Friday the niece Shannon and her husband John arrived over from Chicago and got to meet many people over the weekend. They have set off on a sightseeing trip around Ireland since Monday and intend to use the B+B’s for overnights as they wander. Shannon was called after the river Shannon and it has been 35 years since she was last in Ireland. We went for a boat trip up river to near Buntullagh Hill on Sunday and John and Shannon have taken Moby on a number of walks. Both are very interested in birds and in wildlife and helped to put a baby starling back into its nest which is in the signboard over Killeen’s Bar.

On Sunday evening Vinnie Fitzsimon and family arrived in Shannonbridge in their camper and told us that they had just attended a big motor cross event staged on Peter Mooney’s track in Doon. When asked for his verdict on the track facility he said it was absolutely fantastic. Well done Peter Mooney. About 169 bikes took part in the event. Vinnie and family are enjoying a few days in Shannonbridge and have great praise for the shower facility at the quayside cared for so very well by Des Finnerty.

Margaret Egan from Athlone phoned last evening with the sad news of the death of Michael Egan, son of the late Jimmy Egan and a brother of Padraic. May he rest in peace. Margaret is expecting a couple of American friends to call to her today and intends to take them to Clonmacnois and Shannonbridge. Looking forward to meeting her.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Shannonbridge GAA news from club PRO Conor Kileen

Shannonbridge GAA club had a mixed run of results last
week with the Senior team recording a very impressive
win over Clara on Monday night last, in a division one
clash played at home.

Meanwhile the Juniors had a very good result beating
Gracefield in a division 3 league game on a scoreline
of 2-13 to 2-4 also played in Shanonbridge on
Wednesday evening last.

Shannonbridge 1-6
Ballycumber 2-8

Ballycumber had just too much in the tank for
Shannonbridge when the sides met the Junior A
Championship in Doon on Sunday evening last.

Former Euro a Star runner up Simon Casey was the
difference between the sides when he turned in a fine
personal performance for Ballycumber

Shannnonbridge were best served up front by Anthony
Kelly who mustered up 1-1. Chris Duffy also tried
hard up front as did Hubert Darcy.

Colm Kenny was in fine form as the past great Senior
Player Preyed like a Crow on any loose ball that
spilled around the Box.

Team D Corbett, E McMcEoyK Norton, M MaMaloneyD Finn,
P MaMaloney Egan, PJPJelly, C Duffy,A Kelly, P Kelly,
S Kelly, H Darcy,E Egan, Subs M DeDevine Higgins, D
Kelly, J Duffy

Senior Football Championship
Shannonbridgeill again meet Ballycumber this time in
the Senior Championship in Doon this Saturday at
7.30pm. The Shannonsiders will be hoping to have a
good support on the evening for this crucial decider.

Injury hit Bridge
Shannonbridge gave a number of injury worries ahead of
upcoming Senior and Junior Championship games.

Roger Ryan, Harry Kearns,ConoriKilleen,John Turley and
Enda McCoy are all carrying hefty injuries. The Club
wish all the Lads a speedy recovery and hope to see
them all back playing soon.

Shannonbridge wish to cocongradulate our latest
Jackpot winner Harry Duffy from Doon on his win.

Shannonbridge Fishing Report dated 19th June 2005

The past week has brought fine weather and warmer days with some hot days

And others overcast. Some anglers had difficulty with the bright days and others

caught fish. The river level has dropped about twenty inches in a week and some think that this has had an effect on fish feeding. The temperature in still water off the flow rose from 14C at the beginning of the week to 20C on June 18th.

Regular visitors Tony Allen and Tony Williams from Stockbridge fished the area for two weeks and were disappointed with their fishing. They fished on the Rivers Suck, Shannon and Brosna and some backwaters and the Relief channel at Meelick. They recorded some mixed bags weighing 15 Lb from a number of swims and they caught four tench to 5.5 Lb at Clonfert with some roach and hybrid.

Steve Fletcher from North Wales fished the area from 11th to the 18th June and had 10 Lb of rudd, roach, and perch from Clonfert on is first day using maggot worm and caster. Steve and his pal Andy Bullock used a boat and engine and a fish finder from their guesthouse Rachra House. The next day they fished Shannonharbour and Steve caught 20 Lbs mixed bag while Andy caught a few pound more. Steve blanked on the Finnamore Lake on June 13th.He fished the bay at the tip of Long Island upstream from the village on June 14th and caught 40 Lbs of excellent roach and hybrid from an anchored boat. Next day Steve fished Clonfert and caught 35 Lb of rudd, roach and hybrid and had lots of pike snatches. They located a number of shoals of fish but found that many of them were not interested in feeding.

Newly wed Fred Flannery from Ballinasloe caught a 15.5 Lb pike while fishing on the River Suck using dead bait which he took a picture of and returned the pike alive.

Richard Reeves is a regular visitor from Cane and he has fished his first three days at Meelick and caught mainly small fish that weighed 20 Lb, 17 Lb and 5 Lb. Richard believes that the water is too clear and the sunshine is not helping matters.

Dave Kemp from Bradford and Frank Short from Sheffield have been fishing the River Suck and Shannon and had a number of bags of roach and hybrid weighing about twenty pounds each with best bags of 25 Lb and 22 Lb. using feeder and maggot.

Russell Hinchcliffe from Northwick has just arrived and on his first day 19th June he fished on the River Suck in warm conditions using red maggot and feeder and caught 20 Lb of a mixed bag. In the evening he fished the Hot Water Outlet and caught three tench that weighed 6 Lb, 5.5 Lb and 4 Lb.

Two regular visitors arrived on Saturday and they intend to do most of their fishing at night. I am looking forward to what they report next week..

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 19th June 2005 - 12th Sun A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Mon,Tues, Thurs - Sat @ 10am;
On Wed @ 8am - Bord Na Mona Mass
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €526. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.O'Duffy, M.Corbett, M.Moran
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend:
Altar Servers for this week: Katie, Mary-Anne, Tara, Ciara
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Stephen Daly;
On next Sun First Anniversary Mass for Jimmy McManus

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €201. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kenny, M.Lantry
Readers for next Sunday: D.Boland, C.Higgins
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 1
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: N.Egan
Important Meeting of Hall Committee on Mon @ 8pm, in Clonfanlough Hall. All members please attend, if possible.
Ardagh & Clonmacnois Youth Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick
Sat 25th June, starting from the Car park there @ 11.30am.
'At various stages along the climb we stop to pray, listen to Scripture, sing, confess our sins, and at the summit celebrate the Eucharist.'
'This activity is not for the very young. Adults must supervise and assist youth all the way.'
If you wish to join the pilgrimage climb phone 090-6473358.
Invitation from Drum Heritage Group:
There will be a Concelebrated Open-air Mass at Drum Monastic Site on Sun 19th June @ 3.45pm sharp. Immediately following the Mass priests and people will take part in a Rosary Procession from the Sanctuary area, carrying the Blessed Sacrament to St Brigid's Well, where Solemn Benediction will take place.
All are welcome, in this Year of the Eucharist to join in this special outdoor expression of faith.
The Carers' Association
Are currently recruiting staff (clerical & home respite staff) for their Community Employment Scheme. If you qualify under the regulations set by Fás for CE and are interested in any of the above positions, or would like further information please contact Fidelma Mealiffe, Fás Supervisor on 0506-22920.
Summer Youth Festival at Knock
This Prayer Festival for young people aged 15-35 takes place at Knock Shrine from 28th - 31st July. An opportunity not to be missed to experience the Catholic Faith! The Theme is "I want to lavish my love on you."
Contact Ann on 094 9388100 (office hours) for information and bookings.
No charge - donations only. Special buses available from some locations. See poster in Porch. Website:
Another interesting website:
It describes itself in this way: 'Since 1995, Refdesk is a free and family-friendly web site that indexes and reviews quality, credible, and current web-based resources.'

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Shannonbridge Birdwatch - Corncrake Evening.

Birdwatch Ireland are hosting their annual Corncrake Evening at Crank House, Banagher on Saturday next, June 18th at 9.30 pm.
A talk and slide show by Corncrake Project Officer, Brian Caffrey will be followed by a walk to Tower Callow to (hopefully) hear the Corncrake.
More Information from Birdwatch Ireland Tel. 0509 51676.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report dated 12th June 2005

The week was more or less without rain with mostly dry overcast conditions early in the week with sunshine on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. River levels dropped and in one day there was a drop of four inches.

Local angler Aidan Kelly went trolling for pike in his boat using a spinner and caught and released twelve small pike weighing between two pounds and six pounds.

Peter Price, Colin Teare, Chris Whitehouse fished Portumna on the 11th June and had a 48 Lb , and two 20 Lbs bags of hybrid from the match stretch using maggot and sweetcorn. Peter Price also fished Portumna on the 8th June and caught a 3 Lb brown trout while fishing with maggot.

Bert Peter from Wigan fished the Hot Water at Shannonbridge on the 9th June and had a best tench that weighed 6.5 Lbs and he describes his bait method as “ The Ball”.

Kevin Mc Laren from Wigan also fished the Hot Water on June 9th and caught 11 tench on red maggot that weighed over 50 Lbs.

John Potter from Wigan fished the Hot Water on June 10th and in four hours caught five tench that weighed 25 Lbs and he lost three other tench.

Steve Nichols from Wigan fished the Hot Water on the 10th June and caught three tech weighing 15 Lbs using red maggot and he also lost a big pike that burst his float.

Andy James and two companions from Huddersfield fished the River Suck at The Boathouse for three days solid last week and using worm and caster on a feeder and were disappointed with an average catch of 10 Lbs each per day .Their comment to the Shannon Fishery Board asks “where are the fish”.

Paul Airey from Ahascragh caught a pike over 20 Lbs on the River Suck at Ballyforan while fishing with smelt on a 15 Lb line on June 3rd. He used the same bait and tactics at Ballyforan on the River Suck to land a pike that weighed 33 Lbs in the net. Both were returned alive.

Dave Feeley and his ten year old daughter Kathleen have arrived for a fishing holiday and on the 12th June Kathleen used a sweetcorn cocktail while fishing on the River Suck to catch three eels to two pounds, two bream to 2.5 Lbs and some hybrids. Not bad for the first day she commented.

John Maloney from Navan and originally from Clonmacnois fished the River Loun in Kerry on the 11th June and used shrimp as bait to catch two salmon weighing 7 Lb and 9 Lb both of which he returned alive. John commented that salmon fishing around Navan has been the best for ten years this year helped no doubt by their policy of allowing only one fish per year to be taken by each angler.

Darren Ebron fished the Hot Water for pike on the 3rd June and had one weighing 13 Lbs and four small pike described as good fighters and all returned alive.

Graham Smith fished the Hot Water on the 12th June and used sweetcorn to catch six tench weighing between 3 – 4 Lbs. He also had a few skimmer bream that averaged about two pounds each. Starting to fish is his comment.

Frank Seal from Sheffield has returned with two companions and was happy to catch 25 Lbs of bream and hybrid on his first day on the Suck in sunny conditions.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 12th June 2005 - 11th Sun A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €414. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for next Weekend:
Altar Servers: Darragh, Ruaidhrí, Michael, Graham, Ailbhe
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Mary & Thomas Coleman.

Station Mass: Fri 17th June @ 8pm at the home of M. & T.Mitchell, Clondelara

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €295. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Egan, B.Dolan
Readers for next Sunday: H.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 4
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: D.McEvoy
Mass on next Sun for the deceased Egan family, Clonlyon
"I asked for Strength.........
And God gave me Difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom.........
And God gave me Problems to solve.
I asked for Prosperity.........
And God gave me Brain & Brawn to work.
I asked for Courage.........
And God gave me Danger to overcome.
I asked for Love.........
And God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for Favors.........
And God gave me Opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted;
I received everything I needed."

Ardagh & Clonmacnois Youth Pilgrimage to Croagh Patrick
Sat 25th June, starting from the Car park there @ 11.30am.
'At various stages along the climb we stop to pray, listen to Scripture, sing, confess our sins, and at the summit celebrate the Eucharist.'
'This activity is not for the very young. Adults must supervise and assist youth all the way.'
If you wish to join the pilgrimage climb phone 090-6473358.
Invitation from Drum Heritage Group:
There will be a Concelebrated Open-air Mass at Drum Monastic Site on Sun 19th June @ 3.45pm sharp. Immediately following the Mass priests and people will take part in a Rosary Procession from the Sanctuary area, carrying the Blessed Sacrament to St Brigid's Well, where Solemn Benediction will take place.
All are welcome, in this Year of the Eucharist to join in this special outdoor expression of faith.
An Introduction to Computers course starts in Crank House Banagher on Wed 15th June. For more info on this and on 'Computers for Kids' Summer Camp contact 0509-52003.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Senior Football Championship

Shannonbridge 0-8
Erin Rovers 0-8

Shannonbridge can count themselves lucky to have
salvaged a draw against old Rivals Pullough in
Ballycumber on Friday evening last.

It was Jason Kelly who kicked the equalising point
from a long range free to tie the game for the Bridge.

The standard of Football on the day was very poor in
this bruising encounter.

On the day there were good performances from Mel Darcy
and Richie Browne, Harry Kearns and Trevor Mahon.
Shannoonbridge must now win their last two remaining
games in order to have a chance to equalify from the

Shannonbridge 0-12
Cappincur 0-9

Shannonbridge recorded a very impressive win over
Cappincur on on Sunday morning last in Kilcormac in
the Junior A Championship.

The opening quarter of this game, Cappincur were very
much in control until the Bridge got stuck in and
fought their way back.

Anthony kelly who speare headed the attack at centre
forward shot over a number of very good frees and
Chris Duffy also Kicked over some good scores in the
first half.

This was a shannonbridge team with a mix of very young
and very experienced Players. One Man who bought this
experience to the front was Hubert Darcy who kicked
three points from Full forward.

On the day the credit must go the Blue and Gold
defence who held out in dramatic fashion from some
huge pressure in the final five minutes as cappincur
pressed and pressed to score a goal.

Team J Duffy, E McEoy,A Gunning,K Norton,P Maloney, C
Kenny, M Maloney, D Finn, P Egan, C Duffy, A Kelly, P
Kelly, S Kelly, H Darcy, E Egan, Subs PJ Kelly, M
Kilduff,D Corbett

Sincere Sympathy
Shannonbridge GAA Club wish to extent their sincere
Sympaythy to the Egan Family of Doon for the trajic
loss of Arron.

Arron was a fine young footballer who will be a huge
loss to Doon GAA and all his family and friends. May
he rest in peace.

News has been announced of the death of John Doherty who was once Minister for Justice. He had a brain haemorrhage while holidaying in Donegal some days ago. He will best be remembered for the famous phone tapping of reporter’s telephones many years ago. May he rest in peace.

The Doon / Shannonbridge Lotto Jackpot will reach 4000 Euros for the next draw on Monday night.

It was good to have Michael Burke and family over for a week holiday and there was a serious amount of fishing carried out. He was home to see Shannonbridge play in very windy conditions against Pullagh on Friday evening and earn another draw. Martin Burke told us that it took him 150 Minutes to get from Shannonbridge to the ferry port in New Ross and he was held up in a traffic jam for longer than that when he reached England.

Interesting letter on the paper recently from John O’Halloran from Tullamore who was horrified that Superquinn were advertising the fact that they had sold the first wild salmon caught on the River Nore. He continues by criticizing the Irish Government policy of allowing drift netting at the mouth of our rivers. The number of wild salmon caught by rod and line continues to drop off and why is the drift netting allowed to continue?. Get my drift.

Over the Bank Holiday weekend it seems somebody stole a car belonging to Tara Fox on Saturday night from outside Farrell’s house. On Sunday night two rods were stolen from the back of Killeen’s Bungalow belonging to a Hemming's party.

Next Tuesday the Shannonbridge Active Retirement group head for Kilkenny for a days outing with a stop at Stradbally on the way. A brother of Kay Fitzpatrick has agreed to come along and provide music and song for the journey. The group will host a stop over for about fifty Active Retirees from Tuam a week from Saturday.

Enjoyed a very pleasant fiftieth wedding anniversary Mass for cousin Andy Lawlor and his wife Mary from Four Roads about a week ago. Afterwards a reception was held in Athleague and it was good to see all his sisters and brother present and also the Bestman and Bridesmaid who were witnesses to the wedding 50 years ago.

A teenager from Moore called in at the weekend looking to buy a book and she took a book that was not required in the Library as it had duplicates. She sounded to be very interested in the Shannonbridge Library and promised to come along some Thursday night from 7 to 9 pm.

The Irish soccer team play the Faroe Islands tomorrow night after playing a 2 - 2 draw with Israel on last Saturday night.

Well there is better news for our visiting anglers. Last night Gerry Green remarked that the glass has risen and that we are in for a good spell of weather. Then this morning Brian O’Meara from the Barge in The Cut told us that the Corncrake is still singing and that the river level dropped two inches in 24 hours. The weather forecast for today and until Sunday is bright and sunny with the occasional shower. Temperature today 18C / 54F.

Hope it keeps fine for The Pilgrim Walk to Clonmacnois on this Saturday 11th June.

The walk will depart from Shannonbridge Church at 2.00 pm and hopefully will reach Clonmacnois at 3.30 pm. On the journey various places of interest will be pointed out such as the location of the Mass Rock and the resting stones used when funerals were carried to Clonmacnois. There will be a prayer stop at Saint Ciaran’s Well and a cup of tea. Return transport will be available. Seems like an ideal time for students sitting exams to join the walk. Contact - Sister Maura Moran at Ard Chiarain for more information. Do come along and bring the clothes in case the weatherman misbehaves.

Colin set off for Cork today to link up with Louise and Michael our webmaster for a concert in Cork tonight. Cork city is currently the European year of Culture so it is only fair to add their contribution. Then tomorrow night they will give a performance in Limerick City

The death has occurred of Kathleen Mc Cormack near Birr. Kathleen was better known in this area as Babby Mc Manus from Leitra. May she rest in peace.

Regular visiting angler Terry Archibald from Doncaster comes over fishing to Ireland four or more times a year and uses a dormer van as accommodation. When we asked him about ferry prices he told us that he books with Stenna Line in January and is paying £150 sterling return fare. This is for each trip including one in August. After the first booking he is allowed a discount of 10 % on each other booking.

Met Cora Kelly in the maternity wing of Portiuncula hospital on last Friday and she told me that her daughter Jean Spillane was in as a patient expecting twins. Thankfully they arrived safely over the weekend. Jean’s sister Linda is also the mother of twins and her mother Cora is also a twin. Congratulations and best wishes to the newborn Spillane’s Michael and Ella.

Shannonbridge Fishery Report. 6th June 2005.

The rains of some ten days ago affected the level of the lakes and rivers and water flowed over the Weir Wall at Athlone. The levels taken at the bridge in Shannonbridge have risen to over three metres. But the good news is for warmer and drier weather for the coming week. Some anglers used boats to get to their favourite swims.

Brothers Mike and Chris Compton from Cheltenham had best catches of 26 Lbs and 33 Lbs of bream using maggot and feeder on the River Suck which was disappointing for them.

Ev Everdinger and De Ruiter from Holland were on a pike and perch fishing holiday and caught many pike and perch during their ten days stay in Rachra House. They used worm and dead fish generally for their bait. For a change they went to visit a trout lake near Dun Shaughlin and caught ten good rainbow trout.

On June 1st two other Dutch anglers visited the area. Simons Setrers and Gerard Veekakel fished the Shannon and had two pike six perch and four tench in a three hour stint using maggot and caster.

Fred Davidson from Milton Keynes fished the Hot Water on 29th May and 31st May. Fishing with maggot and caster he caught four tench on his first visit using maggot and caster in three hours. On the next visit Fred used corn and caster and caught ten tench that weighed 44 Lbs. Reckons it feeds best from 4 to 7 pm. Fred mentioned that he had a pike that weighed 32 Lbs and promised to send a photo to the Shannon Fishery Board website.

Noel Hutchinson and Colin Malcolm from Milton Keynes also fished the Hot Water and used sweetcorn and a cocktail of maggot and worm in sunny and windy weather, with the river level rising, to catch 180 Lbs of tench.

Regular visitor Terry Archibald from Doncaster was here for a few days on a family visit but got two days fishing on the River Brosna at Shannonharbour. Fishing with maggot and feeder in windy conditions on 3rd June he caught 30 Lbs of Hybrid with an average weight of between two and three pounds. He returned the next day for some more but only caught 15 Lbs. Terry reckons that the wind had changed overnight into a Northerly direction and upset the fish feeding. Judging by the great number of line bites that he was getting, Terry reckons that the swim was chock a block with fish but they were not interested while the North wind blew.

Frank Roscoe and Gordon Ranks from Lancashire were guests of Ashbrook Farm guesthouse from May 19th until June 5th and fished the River Shannon at the Hot Water and at Devenish Island.. In mixed weather while using red maggot, caster and sweetcorn for bait they recorded catching 38 tench that weighed 115 Lbs and 12 roach that weighed 7 Lbs while fishing the Hot Water and a mixed bag from Devenish that weighed 120 Lbs.