Monday, October 31, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 28, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 24, 2005

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

Telephone 087 – 1300602.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shannonbridge Fishing Report Dated 24th October 2005.

Nick and his friend trolled for pike on a lake boat while based in Ely House Shannonbridge. They used trolling lures and fished the River Shannon between Shannonbridge and Banagher.

On October 6th they caught six pikes up to 8 Lb.

On October 7th they caught seven pike up to 11.75 Lbs.

On October 8th they caught three pike up to 8 Lbs and lost three pike.

Liam Moran from Kildare fished the River Shannon on October 23rd using dead bait and had a pike weighing 14.5 Lbs which was returned alive.

Marvin Weber from Poltum Germany fished the River Shannon on October 23rd in the wind and used a blinker to catch two pike that measured 56 Cm and 54 Cm.

Local angler Peter went fishing for a short time yesterday and caught a 1.5 Lb pike using dead bait. Peter reckons that the recent heavy showers have caused a change in the water temperature and have put the pike off the feed.

Heard that a pike club from Tullamore or Edenderry had a match outing on the River Suck recently but did not hear any information on catches.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Yesterday Doc and Dick rang from Oughterard to let us know that they were coming to Shannonbridge today and intended going to see the play “Da” by Hugh Leonard which is running in Birr at present. So five tickets were booked and Pat Mick and myself joined them to see a most enjoyable production. It was made even more enjoyable by the brilliant performance of Michael Donegan our ex-teacher in Shannonbridge. They announced that tomorrow night is booked out like it was tonight but there are some seats available for Sunday night. Visit their website

In the afternoon Doc Dick and I visited the Old Quarries at Clerhane which looked magnificent.Doc brought along her camera to capture some of the views and no doubt will be putting them to use in creating a painting or two in her own style real soon.

Today Richard Berger and his wife Ruth Ann Killeen from Centreville, Virginia arrived in Shannonbridge. Richard and Ruth are celebrating forty years of marriage by visiting Ireland on a ten day trip made up of golfing and sightseeing. Ruth spotted a mention for Killeen’s Bar in her guide book so they detoured off the Galway to Dublin road and called in for a visit. We persuaded them to visit Clonmacnois and then continue on to rejoin the road to Dublin.

The river level this morning was 2.46 Metres according to Brian from The Barge. It rained a fair amount last night and it may rise some but it is at a very low level at present.

The weather is mild but has been a fair bit overcast in recent days. Temperature 55F.

The Ireland versus Australia annual football international played the first of two matches today in Perth, Australia under agreed rules. Australia scored 100 Points which was about 40 points more than Ireland. Better say a prayer for Ireland for next Friday.

Good news on the wild mink. Aidan Kelly has shot another one. Well done Aidan.

Eugene Carty and his son have returned to Boston after attending the funeral of his Aunt.

On Sunday about five hundred Active Retirees from four Leinster counties turned up in Mullingar for three hours at The Greville Arms Hotel. Shannonbridge was represented by a group of ten. There were two men playing guitars and singing and providing music for dancing. Tea was served and we all went home at 8pm. I was mistaken in thinking that Brendan Shine was providing the music but he was playing in the hotel later on.

On Monday night I was part of a group of five that went to hear Al Martino singing in the Concert Hall in Dublin. The concert started at 8pm and an orchestra of 16 members trooped onto the stage to take up their positions. The music started and a singer sang a song. Then he introduced a comedian who told us jokes for thirty minutes. After he was finished they announced that there would be a break before Al came on. At 8.56pm the band came back on and Al sang 17 songs which were enjoyable. He told about a man that went to the library looking for a book on suicides. The Librarian told him that all the suicide books were filed under S over in the corner. He searched and failed to find any so he went back to the Librarian. She said that they were having a problem with Suicide Books as nobody seemed to return them.

Browsing through Eamon de Buitlear’s “A Life in The Wild” recently I came across a story of two friends having a drink in a pub. Over in the corner sat a Spoon Player busy at his play. Both John and Tom detested Spoon Players, so when John was ordering a round of drinks he asked the barman to fill a Guinness for Tom, a Smithwicks for himself and a bowl of soup for your man in the corner.

Heard a very interesting item on the radio last evening about Irish Statistics comparing a number of factors over the years. It is all on a website under

Bridge lessons have commenced in Ferbane on Wednesday night and if you want to join in at this stage you should contact the tutor Ultan Mc Cabe Tel. 09064- 54331.

First of the seasonal table quizzes in Killeens was held on Wednesday last and was in aid of the earthquake disaster in India and Pakistan. About 245 Euros was raised on the night and there were other donations. The quiz on next Wednesday night will be help in aid of flowers for the church fund.

Attended the funeral of Father Kevin Ryle on Thursday evening. Father Ryle was stationed in Killeen Church which is a part of Tynagh Parish. My memories of Father Ryle go back to Garbally College where he was renowned for his involvement in Athletic coaching and in Drama Production. He was a Kerryman and was a brother of the actress the played the part of Sive when it was first produced.

Another funeral this week was that of Mrs John Guinan Shannonharbour.

May they rest in peace.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Well of course the Irish Soccer Team bowed out of the World Cup last Wednesday night with a scoreless draw against Switzerland in Dublin and the news media have gone gunning for the manager Brian Kerr since the final whistle.

Yesterday in the Offaly Hurling Final , Birr defeated Coolderry by 0 – 20 to 0 – 5.

Yesterday morning young Sarah Byrnes competed in a Dancing Feis in Moate and won three medals and a plaque for her efforts. The plaque was awarded to the winner of the Jig Competition for less than nine years.

It was good to see Eleanor and Peter and Stephen in Shannonbridge yesterday while Ciaran had to attend a stag weekend in England.

The death has taken place of Mary Ellen Kelly nee Colgan who was a sister of the late Mrs Paddy Carty, Leharrow. Gene Carty had flown in from America to visit her but she died some hours before he arrived. Brendan Carty, a son of Gene, came over for the funeral on Saturday. Mary Ellen was 90 years.

There are a number of stray dogs in the locality at present. Two gundogs have made their home with John and Joan Carty, Cloneish. A white Jack Russell type dog has been roaming around Shannonbridge during the week.

Ten of the Active Retirees travelled to Mullingar yesterday to link up with a few hundred others from four counties for three hours in the Greville Arms Hotel for music and a cup of tea.

The river level remains low at 2.3 Metres at the village bridge. Some light showers of rain have fallen, mostly at night, but there have been some beautiful days in the past week with temperatures near 60F. Some light frost some nights.

The Bungalow Guesthouse in the centre of the village remains on the market. See under

Cogavin and Staunton Tel 090-9642258 have their board hung on the new two bedroom apartments alongside Nugents Butcher.

There is a semi-detached Number 14 New Houses, opposite the church in the cul- de- sac for sale.Remax carries this sale.

The four bedroom self- catering house beside the Health Center known as Creggs has a For Sale banner attached.

Good to see Nicola Hines over from England to visit one of our local anglers Peter. Hope he gets a few fishing hours in this week.

This evening we are going to celebrate the brother’s Mick and Jim’ birthdays by attending an Al Martino in Concert in Dublin.

Conor Killeen reports

Gaels Storm Back to Level Proceeding's

Under 21 Football Championship

Shannongaels 1-11

St Manchans 1-11

Shannongaels went head to head with St Manchans in an
entertaining game played in Pullough on Sunday morning

Shannonbridge/ St Rynaghs combination looked like
letting the game slip in the first half as St Manchans
powered ahead with Rory Guinan dominating for the
Ballycumber/ Tubber outfit, by scoring a brace of very
good points in the First half to leave the gaels
trailing by 0-5 points at the interval.

The half time talk from Bainisteoir Sean Kelly must have
rallied the Shannongaels Men and a number of
positional switches saw them come back into the game.

The restart saw a massive improvement from the Gaels
and just after seven minutes into the second half saw
a good run from Kieran Flannery who passed to Paul
Deeley who finished the ball to the back of the Net.

From this point St Manchans lost control in Midfield
and there were good points from Shane Kelly and Donal
Flatherty and the Shannongaels took the lead for the
first time in the game.

The Gaels momentum was gaining until St Manchans
fought their way back into the game and the sides drew
level again. Again the teams exchanged points in the
last few minutes to pave way for a replay.

Best for the Gaels in Defence was Darren Finn and
Stephen Clancy, while up front Shane Kelly, Donnie
Flatherty and Paul Deeley did well.

If the Gaels can do a bit of fine tunning during the
week they may well overcome St Manchans in the replay.

Team M Hough, W Kenna, K Norton, K Flannery, D Finn, J
Rafferty, S Clancy, P Egan, E Kelly, D Corbett,J
Kelly, K Butler, P Deeley(1-5), S Kelly(0-3), D
Flatherty(0-2), Sub Rory O' Connor

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report… 17th October 2005-10-17

River level remained at a low summer level for the week and the power plant remained on overhaul. Hopefully the Hot Water will be flowing again by next weekend.

Roslaw Kurzak again fished the River Shannon using a rubber fish and he caught that measured 85 Cm which fought bravely and was returned alive.

Frank Ellis, Dave Miller and Geoff Wybourne from Hertfordshire were pike fishing from a parked cruiser using dead bait. Frank had a 12 Lb pike downstream from the weir in Athlone. Dave had a 14 Lb pike in the same area.

Geoff had a 16 Lb pike at Clonmacnois. The three fish were in good health and fought a good fight before being returned alive and well.

Our two local anglers went fishing on the River Suck on the 9th October.

Mark used dead bait to catch five pike of which two were double figures or over 10 Lbs.

Peter fished alongside Mark and used worms to catch 30 Lb of skimmer bream and one roach. The skimmers were all in the pound range.

All of the above catches were caught in windy conditions.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Was talking to visitors Debra Arrett from Arizona and her friend Pat Lobosky on Saturday. When I suggested that they visit Clonmacnois Debra said that she and her family had been on a cruiser holiday in 1993 and they stopped off to visit Clonmacnois. They were put on a conducted tour along with a group of women from Dublin who was on a pilgrimage to Clonmacnois. After the High Cross and the Cathedral and Whispering Arch they made their way to Saint Ciaran’s Church. The guide stopped at a hollow round stone in the ground known as The Bullaun Stone. The guide explained that the medical people in the monastery used this stone to grind herbs etc for use in their medicines. Traditionally there has been a cure from this stone. Now Debra’s son Michael was suffering from warts on the sole of his foot known as Gym Warts and she suggested to him that he should dip his foot in the trough which held water. Michael removed his shoe and sock and bathed his foot in the water. Some days after his holiday he had an appointment with his Podiatrist Foot Doctor who had been burning off the warts with acid on a regular basis. The doctor examined his foot and said there were no warts on the foot.

When I mentioned this to Bridie Carry she told me that she had some warts cured there as well. Gussie Claffey assures me that this is a common occurrence at The Bullaun Stone in Clonmacnois.

Debra Arrett said that she had some skin complaint herself and was going to try the Stone. Hope that it works for her.

On Saturday also an American couple from Iowa called in. Their faces looked familiar and they said that they had been directed to Shannonbridge some years ago by an accordion player from Omaha named Peter and his friend Kay Kelly.

Ireland’s soccer team just managed to beat Cyprus on Saturday night in a crucial game by a single goal and thanks to a great display in goal by Shay Given stopping a penalty and many other close shots. Damien Duff got injured and now joins Roy Keane on the injury list for the must win game against Switzerland in Landsdowne Road on Wednesday night if they are to proceed any further in The World Cup next year.

Shannonbridge’s own Daithi Rua, singer and songwriter is home in Shannonbridge from Belgium for a short visit. Daithi is the Irish for David and Rua is the Irish for Red. He is based in Belgium and along with his companion Aidan they play some gigs in Norway. Some Norway company who heard them play in Oslo recently were holding a company conference in Dublin and asked Daithi and Aidan to provide the entertainment at the conference. So the two boys came over to Dublin and also took a break for a few days to play in The Bog Oak Shannonbridge and in Hineys in Ferbane and in Dempseys in Tullamore. See Daithi under

As you can see on the fishing report Dave Myatt from Halifax has returned for another week’s fishing staying with John and Vera Carty in Ashbrook House. The power plant is on overhaul for last week and this week at least.

Mr and Mrs Michael O Sullivan were in Shannonbridge last week. Michael worked around the area many years ago and has kept up a long lasting friendship with the Green Family in Blackwater. The O’Sullivans have been in England for many years but recently they retired from England and now live in Boyle. Louis Darcy tells us that Michael once played hurling for the Belmont Club.

The Ballinasloe Country Fair finished on Saturday with the Country Fair Day. Heard a man tell how he was going to the fair intending to buy an ass foal. He explained that when he was young he often drove an ass and cart and felt he had been cruel to the donkeys that he used. He was hoping to buy a young donkey and make amends for beating the donkeys of his youth by more or less spoiling this new young donkey.

Good to see Father Paddy Conlon doing duty for the next few Sundays in Shannonbridge.

Father Paddy is from Glasson and has retired after a life working in England.

John, one of the four Polish welders working with Bridgway Engineering here in Shannonbridge was looking at some wooden mice traps on display yesterday which had two cats stamped on them. John told us that the Polish word for Cat is Kot, Mouse is Mysz and Dog is Pies.

There was a 30th Birthday Party for David and Kerrill Thornhill on Saturday night and a great number of their family and friends gathered in Shannonbridge to celebrate the event. The timing was spot on as five of their friends from the village Declan, Mel, Dara, John D and Ken attended the party before setting out in the early hours to catch a plane to spend a week in Las Vegas.

Congratulations to Mrs Joan Carty, Cloneish who donated her 80th pint of blood voluntarily last week in Ballinasloe. The Blood Board people had a cake on hand to celebrate the occasion.

After some showers recently the river level has dropped back to 2.28 Metres under the bridge at Shannonbridge. The re has been a fair amount of wind in recent days and the forecast is for wind and rain most days this week. Temperatures are near enough to 60F or 16C.

Aidan Kelly was telling us that he shot a massive wild mink in Clonburren recently.

He said it was as big as a badger.

There are many more wild mink out there doing huge damage to fish and wildlife.

Good to see Aidan’s brother Jason home.

I see that the For Sale sign is on display on Creggs Self Catering house beside the health center in the village. The For Sale sign is on the new apartments recently built next to Nugents Butcher shop.

No sign of The Shannonbridge Diner re-opening yet.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report Dated 9th October 2005

Juergen Herrmann from Germany fishing with a gold wobbler on the 3rd October, downstream from the bridge at Shannonbridge caught a pike measuring one metre.

Andy Clarke from Gainsborough fished at the water intake to the Power Plant on the 4th October in fine weather, using plugs and spinners from a moored boat and caught seven pike including a 12 Lb and one of 15 Lb.

Next day Andy fished a swim just upstream from the Cut and used a feeder with maggot and corn to catch 20 Lb of roach all in good condition. Better bites later in the evening.

Our two local anglers went fishing on the 2nd October using a moored boat on the River Shannon and with coarse and pike rods. Mark used a cocktail of maggot worm and crystal’s to catch 50 roach which were all over one pound. He also landed a pike over 16 Lbs for an enjoyable day. His companion Peter used maggot and worm to catch 30 good roach. He used dead bait to catch two pike weighing 11 Lb and 13 Lb in good condition. All returned alive. Two days later Peter was fishing alone for pike on the River Suck and used dead bait to catch a pike weighing 12 Lb.

Elza Karl Heinz from Hinsdorf, Germany used dead bait while fishing the River Shannon to catch a pike measuring 1.04 Metres which is approximately 29 Lbs.

On the 6th October Ned Maher from Mooncoin while fishing on the River Suck using dead bait landed a pike that weighed 29 Lbs. Photo on his mobile phone. Returned alive.

Mick Wykes from Bury fished the past three days on the River Brosna, Shannon and Suck in windy weather and recorded an average of 12 Lb of roach and perch while using maggot / caster and float and feeder. Mick found the river level low and clear. The very windy conditions resulted in it being difficult to present the bait properly. Coloured maggot best.

His two friends Phil Ashton from Oldham and Daz Victory from Bury fished alongside Mick and they had average bags of 12 to 15 Lb.

Cliff Mynard from Halifax completed two weeks fishing in Shannonbridge about ten days ago and it was a surprise when he arrived back for another week fishing alas without his wife. Cliff fished on the River Brosna today using his favoured bait of caster and feeder and caught 8 Lb of roach and a jack pike that weighed 5 Lb.

The Shannonbridge Power Plant is on overhaul last week and this week resulting in no hot water at the outlet.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

John Hardiman arrived home from London at the weekend with a professional gardener friend. John has just completed building a new home for himself and Mike Crotty, who was born in Carlow but immigrated to London many years ago, has come over with John to offer his advice on the layout for the gardens at the new house.

On Sunday Patrick Kenny came along to meet the Professional Gardener as Mike is now known and Patrick was at his very best telling his stories. There were three medical stories that caught my ear.

A man had to go to hospital to have his leg removed. The operation was carried out and the next morning the surgeon called to see him in his ward.

The surgeon tells him that he has some bad news and some good news.

Tell me, what is the bad news, says the patient.

There was a mistake made, says the surgeon, and the wrong leg was cut off.

And tell me what is the good news, says the patient.

The good news is that the other leg is getting better.

Another man goes to the doctor and comes home to his wife crying.

The wife asks why he is crying.

The doctor says I have to take one of these tablets for the rest of my life.

And what’s wrong with that, sure lots of people have to take tablets every day for life.

Ah yes, but the doctor only gave me four.

Yet another man had a telephone call from his doctor, who said that he had bad news for him and worse news.

What is the bad news asked the patient.

You have only 24 hours to live said the doctor.

And what is the worse news, asked the man.

I was trying to get you on the phone, all last evening.

Went for a walk with Moby last evening to The Cut downstream from the bridge to visit an angling friend Andy, who is holidaying on a cruiser for a few weeks and was fishing his favourite swim, which was christened Andy’s Hole many years ago. I watched him catch several very healthy roach while Moby watched the cattle in the adjoining field that had come for a closer look. Moby is known to lead forward on walks, but as we went to go home, he had to be dragged into the field with the cattle. Then when the lead was released Moby made a run for safety through the next fence. There are three electric wires crossing the river at the old jetty and there was a great display of over 200 swallows perched in line and I suppose ready for migration any day now. Remember some weeks back that Brian of the Barge was telling us about the family of wild mink on the island at The Cut. Andy was saying that when they arose yesterday morning there was a big mink sitting in the dingy attached to his cruiser.

There are three Hogarty houses now built in Cloonshask on the lands belonging to the late Bill Coughlan. In recent weeks one of the Hogarty boys has decided to return to Australia and the house was put on the market with a guide price. The first couple that viewed the house bought it for the guide price.

After a lot of wind and rain last week there was a change on Saturday to dry and mild with temperatures around 59 F.

Ballinasloe Horse Fair on Sunday had record crowds attending. Prices of horses were reported to be high and there were a number of articles in the papers about cruelty to animals. The local guest houses were all full with most of their guests coming from England and Wales. Four regulars told that they have been attending the Fair regularly for over twenty years. The first couple of years they stayed with Eamon and Marie in Laurel Lodge but one year there was no room and they were directed to Nancy O Hara in The Old Rectory where they have stopped ever since. Already they plan to attend the World Ploughing Championships which are to be held in Carlow next year during the week before Ballinasloe Horse Fair and next year they intend taking in the horse fair in Cavan Town which is usually on the Tuesday of Ballinasloe Fair Week.

Met two Laois men yesterday and asked them if they had been at the horse fair. One of them said he never had anything to do with horses. He believed that the only people with a horse interest were either Gentry or Knackers and he also believed that there was a very thin dividing line between the two.

Was talking to four of the fourteen ladies taking part in an eight week personal development course being held in Shannonbridge Hall on Tuesday night and they are full of praise for the course so far with excellent lecturers and presentations.

Padraig Turley is on holiday in Shannonbridge last week and this week. Yesterday he was telling that while in London a few years ago he called into The Victoria and Albert Museum to see the portrait of the Bridge in Shannonbridge at Sunset painted by John Hartmann. He said it was not on view but they picked it out of a stack of paintings in a storeroom. Some years ago Noel Finneran Moore / Limerick was telling us about having discovered a copy in a book and he made a wonderful copy from the book which is on display in Killeens Bar. There was a suggestion that when the Bridge was being built the people in charge in London sent out people to sketch progress on work being carried out. The bridge was built in 1700 but the Fortifications C 1800 are clear in the Hartmann portrait. However the Swing Bridge was added to allow sailing ships passage in C1840 so that may have been the reason for the painting. Anyhow it is a most beautiful piece of stonework.

Next weekend the Thornhill Twins David and Kerrill celebrate their 30th birthday and hope they have an enjoyable celebration. Doesn’t time fly?

Good to see that Shannonbridge Post Office is back in business and it was lovely to see that a daughter of Madge Higgins - Mary from Ferbane has come along to train the staff in Moran’s Post Office. Mary is a niece of Kieran Kenny from Garrymore.

Last evening I was asking Redmond Kerins if he had any old photographs and he said he had including a photograph of Dan Le’strange and another one of an old tractor being ferried across the River Shannon to Reesk Callow.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Shannonbridge Fishing Report….. Dated 3rd October 2005

Two members of the St.Marie Pike Association, Belgium Nanwelaers and De Meulder Frans were pike fishing on the River Shannon and River Suck using Shannonbridge as a base while trolling down to Victoria Lock, up above Clonmacnois and as far as the Lock gates on the River Suck near Ballinasloe. Fishing with dead baits and plug baits they caught 99 pike up to 15 Lb in six days. All the fish were returned alive and well.

Tony Williams from Somerset and Tony Allen have fished from 16th September until the 28th of September and have fished a number of their favourite places. They started on the Hot Water stretch and used feeder and maggot in the rain to catch hybrid and roach.

Next day was fine and they fished Finnamore Lake using the waggler for a good return of carp, roach and bream.

They fished the River Suck at Culliagh and Correen for four days in different swims. The weather was windy mostly and they used feeder and red maggot and also stick float and were disappointed with a total catch of 150 Lb for the four days.

They fished the mouth of the River Suck in wind and rain and used feeder and maggot to catch roach and hybrid.

On the 26th September they again fished the Hot Water at Shannonbridge and caught roach, tench and some big perch up to 1 Lb 5 Oz.

For the final two days they fished the River Brosna and used the stick – waggler float with maggot to catch 237 good roach that weighed 75 Lb which they described as brilliant roach fishing.

Our two local anglers Mark and Peter went pike fishing on 25th September using dead bait. Mark had a pike of 14.5 Lb and Peter’s best was 13.5 Lb.

Bernd Rohlinger from ELM / Saarlaus fished Long Island in wind and rain on 28th September and used rubber fish bait to catch a pike of 80 Cm.

Holger Dillenseger and Stephen Naas from Schwalbach / Germany fished at Long Island and Clonmacnois and used rubber fish and double spinner. Holger had a pike of 85 Cm and Stephen had a 70 Cm pike.

Jaroslaw Kurzak also fished the River Shannon at Clonmacnois in the rain on 29th September using a rubber fish to catch a 70 Cm pike.

Frank and Linda Thompson from Norwich prefer canal fishing and found their best catches on the pegged stretch on the Grand Canal between Cloghan and Ferbane.

Linda had a 30 Lb of roach and bream on 29th September using sweetcorn on a rainy day.

The next day was also rainy and Frank used caster and float to catch 30 Lb of bream on the canal. Seems the stocking of fish in recent years has improved this stretch no end as I can remember using this stretch some twenty years ago as a warm up match for the Ballinasloe Gala and Brian Lakey beating one hundred anglers there with 11.5 Lbs.

Frank Seal from Sheffield has been here for a week and he fished the River Suck on 28th September using maggot and feeder to catch 35 Lbs of roach, hybrid and skimmer in wind and rain.

Finally yesterday another local angler Gerry Casey and two friends from Tipperary went fishing and had a 9 Lb pike as well as roach hybrid and skimmers on a fine day.