Friday, April 28, 2006

The weather has been fine this week with some warm sunshine on Thursday and Friday. Brian from the Barge heard the Corncrake calling at 1.30 am near The Cut downstream from the village bridge. When he reported this to Birdwatch Ireland in Crank House in Banagher today they told him that this was the third corncrake reported. Others have been heard in Clonown and on Bullock Island. Brian reckons that the one at The Cut is about a week earlier than last year.

Still on birds Joe Kenny heard the Cuckoo last weekend. Ryan Air must be flying them in.

It is hoped that the rubbish skip for the boating season will arrive in time for this bank holiday weekend as it was badly needed over the Easter weekend.

The river level is 2.65 Metres at Shannonbridge today.

The Active Retirement Group are considering going to Birr Castle and grounds for a day. They are also planning a day outing to visit The Japanese Gardens and The National Stud in about three weeks time. Their weekly meeting continues on Tuesday Morning after Mass at 10 am and their keep fit workout on a Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 pm.

Ard Chiarain is planning to have the Rosary on Monday to Friday evenings for the month of May. On Saturday 6th May which is the Eve of Vocation Sunday ceremonies will be held in Clonmacnois, Glendalough and Gouganne Beara from 7 to 8.30pm for vocations. Keep an eye on the church bulletin.

On 23rd May Ronan Collins on his radio programme played Waltzing Matilda as a request from M. Connolly in Western Australia.

Yesterday in Clonmacnois Rose Kenny was laid to rest alongside her late husband Charlie. Rose was from the Mill of Moore and married Charlie from Moystown who worked with Michael Kenny the building contractor in Ballinasloe. Rose’s sister Kathleen married Bern’ Kenny from Moystown and her other sister Lil married John Casey from Horseleap. Rose was scheduled to go on a cruise trip with the local Active Retirement group in Creagh but alas. Many people will remember the first carnival in Shannonbridge about fifty years ago which was held in a marquee behind the police station and the tragedy when David Kenny was accidentally drowned. David was a brother of Charlie.

After the funeral I met two priests named Egan from Tipperary that had travelled up to the funeral. One Father Egan worked in Ballinasloe on loan over twenty years ago. Very soon after arriving he called at a house in Portnick to enquire his way. Charlie and Rose Kenny gave him directions and told him that they were about to recite the Rosary and he was welcome to join them. This he did and as he was going Charlie told him that they said the Rosary every evening at 7 pm and he was welcome anytime to drop in. He took them up on their offer and they became good friends.

Today Joe Dolan was buried near Roscommon town. He was married to the late Gerty Murray a cousin of mine and they lived in Carramunia near the old Murray homestead.

May they rest in peace.

In Ferbane Bridge Club last evening the club President, Gay Claffey presented a cheque for 2260 Euros to a representative of the Friends of Saint Luke’s hospital in Dublin. This was the sum which was raised at the charity bridge drive on Sunday last for this worthy cause.

Tom Morley a well known fiddle player from Alabama and his wife Jean paid a return visit to Shannonbridge this weekend to visit their friends Harry and Ann Gunning Joe Hamm showed them the more intricate skills in handling a Bodhran.

A visitor from Oranmore who is a keen handballer was telling us yesterday that in County Galway every year a new ball alley is built. At present this costs about 160,000 Euros using direct labour.

The benefit table quiz on Wednesday for this website raised over 190 Euro. One of David Pickles fishing party took part in the quiz and won a disposable charcoal grill. David told us that he knew a bloke in England that bought a similar grill and brought it back to the store complaining that the food pictured on the wrapper was not enclosed.

Remember the Murray Family that once lived in the Gate-lodge near John and Vera Carty’s Ashbrook Guesthouse ?. Jim and Annie Murray lived there when Jim worked on the Lestrange farm. They had seven children named Mary (now living in Esker), Sean (living and working for John Sisk, the builder in Dublin), P.J. RIP, Pauline (now living in Manchester), Thomas (living in Dublin) Patsy (living in Lusmagh) and Theresa who lives in Clonfert.

Today Pauline and her husband, a Gavin from Westport called in to say hello and tell us where the family are.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Junior Football Championship

Shannonbridge 1-9
Kilcormac /Killoughey 3-9

Without the services of nine of last years Junior Team Shannonbridge were overcome by a far stronger Kilcormac Killoughey outfit in Cloghan on Sunday last when two goals from the K/K men in the final quarter saw of the challenge from the Bridge.

Shannonbridge started the game by dominating proceedings in Midfield and the half back line with the Darcy Brothers held strong in the first half. Edward Egan opened the scoring for the Bridge with two good points and a goal from Shane Kelly left the Bridge leading with 1-6 to 1-4 at the interval.

The second half however saw K/K power their way back into the game with good performances from Stephan Byrne and Damien Cassidy bring the Kilcormac Men back into the game.

Shannonbridge were not able to hold out under the pressure and conceded two goals in the final quarter to leave the Bridge without any points in this opening game of their group.

The Shannonsiders will now face Cappincur and Clara in the remaining games of the group.

Team M Deeley,E EcEoy,A Gunning, K Norton,M Maloney,V Darcy, M Darcy, P Egan,C Duffy(0-3),P Maloney,W Kenna, P Kelly,E Egan(0-2),D Kelly(0-2),S Kelly(1-2) Subs D Egan,H Darcy,J Turley,Patjo Kelly, G McEvoy.

From Club PRO Conor Killeen

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishing Report dated 24th April 2006

The river level continues to drop and the River Shannon at Shannonbridge is 2.8 Metres today. Weather at the weekend was warm and sunny but today is overcast with a colder temperature and the odd bit of light rain falling.

The past week some eight coarse angling visitors from England stayed and fished in the area. As is usual those that chose a swim and kept it fed caught fish and the others drove around expecting the fish to leap into their car.

Ian Ditchfield from Derby was pike fishing from a cruiser and using small rubber bait landed a 15 Lb pike which he released safely.

Our local angler went bank fishing for pike using dead bait on 17th April and on a fine day caught three pike with the best weighing 14 Lbs. This same Peter had a 25 Lb pike from the same area back the 27th January. Earlier in the month his friend Mark had a 27.5 Lb pike using dead bait. They know this pike personally as both Peter and Mark caught this fish previously.

Frank Seal from Sheffield fished on the Grand Canal at Shannonharbour in the rain on the 18th April and used red maggot and stick float to catch 35 Lbs of Roach etc.

On the 21st April Frank fished the same swim and again using red maggot and stick float he caught 60 Lbs of Roach etc.

On the 23rd April Frank fished the River Suck in fine sunny weather and used a feeder to land 20 Lbs of Roach.

Dave Kemp from Bradford is a seasoned visitor to Shannonbridge. On 16th April Dave fished the Grand Canal at Clononey and used red maggot on a fine day to catch 11 Lb of bream, tench and bits using a pole.

On Friday 21st April Dave fished the canal at Rahan and used red maggot on the pole to catch 25 Lbs of bream and roach

Yesterday Dave fished the River Suck in the sunshine and used corn, worm and maggot on a feeder to bag 27 Lbs of bream and hybrid.

Dave’s friend Steve Nell from Creggan / Sheffield fished alongside Dave yesterday and Steve also used corn, worm and maggot to catch 22 Lbs of bream and hybrid.

Pat (Doody) Dunne from Balldon fished on the River Brosna on 20th April and used red maggot to catch 17 Lb of roach etc which he found hard going. Weather was fine.

Three German visitors from Lederhosen were fishing from their cruiser yesterday and caught three pike while using dead bait. What a lovely day was their comment.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Two birthdays of note were celebrated over in England recently. Our own Helen Bantleman nee Carry celebrated her 40th Birthday in London when Lou and Helen had a group of forty people to a party in her home. Just up the road Queen Elizabeth for her 80th Birthday in Buckingham Palace last evening.

Tomorrow in Landsdowne Road Munster play Leinster in the semi final of the Heineken Cup in what promises to be a cracker of a match, and the winners will play the final in Cardiff.

Well done to the people responsible for giving the shrub-bed a trim and clean at the entrance to the New Houses opposite the church. It looks very well. Further in the road the heat has brought a carpet of daisies into bloom. Wonder why people then get out the lawn mower and give them the chop.

The Supermac premises have been painted in the company colours and it looks bright and warm.

Tomorrow in Ferbane at 3.00 pm the local bridge club are holding a fund raising bridge competition in aid of Saint Luke’s Hospital in Dublin known as the cancer hospital.

Pat Watson author of Original Irish Stories was here yesterday. He said he only spent the first term in Garbally and he remembered the Killeen brothers – Jim and John as he shared a table in the refectory with them. He can still remember the small potatoes as the dish was passed around the table in seniority and he was a chaw and got the remains. Pat had barely gone when Abi Noonan from Papamoa, New Zealand came in and bought two copies of the Watson book and a CD of Louise to boot. Louise also happened to drop in yesterday and she told me that she keeps her website updated regularly. She was on her way to a birthday party for Shane and Sinead’s daughter Aoibe who is three. The party was in Galway.

Yesterday was a glorious day and it seemed a good time to have a look at the new house being built by Joe and Patricia Kenny in what was a tillage field at the top of Cloniff Hill on the right hand side. Joe was busy placing floor insulation at the building is just at floor level. It has a wonderful view of the river and eskers and the Slieve Bloom Mountains. It has the makings of a lovely home and best of luck with it. Went for a visit to the Clerhane Quarries and everything is starting to come to life. Blackthorn bushes are a mass of white and there are primroses and cowslips and other flowers and plants a budding. The lilies under the water are showing signs of life and a few small fish were moving about.

On the way home I visited a display area on the bog where different sections of the bog are sign posted dating back over 5000 years. The area has a raised walkway through the heather and wild plants and there are notice boards to point out their names. A few revisits would be enjoyable as more life appears. Noticed a crowd of midge like flies on the water. Colin caught the first wasp of the year.

Some good fishing reported in the past few days with a 65 Lb bag of roach and hybrid topping the list. I will make out a report on Monday.Hopefully.

Val Joyce on his Late Date radio program last night mentioned that the first ever Steeplechase was run in Roscommon. Prize was twenty guineas and the course included 4 Foot high walls and 10 Foot drains.

The current edition of Alive, a free Irish newspaper printed in Mt. Argus has lots of interesting items including –

A report last year told how Pope John Paul 11’s body was lying in state with the bishop’s crozier in his hand. The New York Times said the pope had a “crow’s ear “ by his side.

And a man in Italy requested a court to allow him spend nine months in jail rather than under house arrest at home after he breached immigration rules. The Algerian, 24, begged to be jailed because he couldn’t take his wife’s nagging. You know the feeling.

Starting on Monday the 24th of April, Remzy will be conducting a seven week dance workshop in the Church Hall, Shannonbridge. Time 6pm – 7pm. The first class is free.

The six following classes cost ^0 Euro in total. As it says on the handout leaflet, join the new Hip-Hop, R&B, Funk, break dance and free styling team in town

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Passer-by's Opinion

"Look at the size of that erection".
Seven words that would tantalize the curiosity of any passer-by and that certainly grabbed the attention of this one. The context to this American tourist's voluble soliloquy was O'Connell Street, this country's primary thoroughfare, and the "erection" to which he referred was the Spire of Dublin, the hospital bed eating overspend that, for a while after it's completion, surpassed politics and even the weather as this country's most popular talking point. But as I walked by, the backpack-clad tourist’s words got me thinking. We’ve seen the photographs and we’ve certainly commented on it at some stage over the past few years but what do we really know about the newest addition to Dublin’s skyline?

Initiated by an international design competition, embroiled in a courtroom dispute,
subjected to mass criticism over it’s budget overrun and finally completed in 2003, the Spire of Dublin has certainly enjoyed an eventful start to it’s residency on O’Connell Street. It replaces another controversial installation, Nelson’s Pillar, which was eventually blown up by the IRA in 1966 and left O’Connell Street devoid of any vertical focal point. It was to become the new focal point for rejuvenating a neglected and slowly dilapidating area of Dublin but soon became synonymous with “wasting” public money. As is the norm in Ireland we complained about the spiraling costs whilst ignoring the end product. And as is the norm we questioned the costs in terms of new hospital beds and motorway miles. Now that the debate has finally ceased it’s important to evaluate what we eventually acquired - a stunningly beautiful piece of art, an engineering achievement of enormous magnitude and an aspiring symbol of modern Ireland.

The design for the Spire, by English architect Ian Richie, was inspired by Ireland’s rich collection of standing stones and round towers. Only 3 metres wide at the base and tapering to a width of just 15 centimetres, its slender profile more than satisfied the brief of providing a centre piece for the street without overpowering its surroundings. And at 396 feet in height it can be seen from most parts of the city, thus pinpointing the city centre from all around. The highly polished stainless steel structure is designed to reflect the Irish sky during the day, which as we know is in constant change, and reacts by varying to shades of steely blue, grey, yellow, hazy silver and many more in accordance with environmental conditions. At night it presumes a different character, the satin black form being gently lit from the base and lit through the 11,692 15mm holes of its perforated tip, distinguishing its position and providing a beacon in the night sky. The beauty of the Spire is in its apparent simplicity – its seemingly ever increasing height, its reflective polished surface, its unobtrusive bearing. Soaring skywards, it’s the tallest sculpture in the world.

The real beauty, however, is the engineering brilliance required to achieve its structural accuracy. To realize the height and slenderness the Spire has been constructed in eight sections, each section consisting of 44 smaller sections. That equates to approximately 2 miles of weld. The sections were then polished to obtain the finish we see today. In fact, the bottom section required polishing for a constant month to obtain its mirrored surface and was eventually shot peened with steel balls to achieve the swirling design that you only notice up close. Custom built machinery was used to undertake these tasks. To reduce the amount of swaying in the wind, which it does by 1.5 metres in any direction at the top, a two ton damper was installed and held in position by hydraulic pistons. There are lots more facts and figures that I could at this point regurgitate to underpin my next point, like the fact that it needed the largest crane ever erected in Europe to undertake the build, but in this writer’s opinion hindsight will prove the structure we see gracing O’Connell Street today, will be remembered as one of the greatest engineering achievements of this century.

So, why the furor? Well the fact of the matter is we like to complain at first before we can truly appreciate something. It brings to mind a similar venture undertaken by one Gustav Eiffel in 1889. His tower in the centre of Paris was built to showcase the talents of the French Republic. Like the Spire, the structure was dismissed by the city’s inhabitants. In fact, Emile Zola once wrote that he liked to eat in the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor because it was the only place he could sit without seeing the thing. Today that same structure has recently celebrated its 200,000,000th visitor and is now a symbol for France. And like the case of the Eiffel Tower, public opinion concerning our own phallic edifice is changing. A recent survey has revealed that the Spire is now considered by many Dubliners as being integral to the city’s image. In short, it is now considered just as important an image for Dublin as the portico of the GPO, Cleary’s clock, the Custom House and the Halfpenny Bridge and as such it has acquired, in true Dublin fashion, a dearth of nicknames including “The Spike”, “The Stiletto in the Ghetto”, “The Rod to God”, “The Stiffy by the Liffey” and “The Erection at the Intersection”.

That brings me back nicely to the out loud thoughts of the American tourist. The smile on his face conveyed to this passer-by that, unlike us, he appreciated what he saw immediately. He saw an elegant creation towering above the streetscape. He saw how a simple piece of planning can enhance a classic thoroughfare. But, more importantly, he saw a modern symbol in the heart of a historic city that represented the giant strides taken over the last decade in creating a modern Ireland - an amalgamation of old world ideals and new world spirit.

So, moving onto the next question, why would this passer-by feel obliged to share his feelings with the people reading this local news column? Well, firstly, it’s always good to know that the state of affairs of the creative genre in this country is quite healthy at the moment. And by reading this maybe it will entice you to take a long look at the Spire on your next visit to Dublin, whether it be for a shopping foray or a match, and evaluate it for yourself instead of regurgitating the editorial comments of the national papers. Maybe then we can rightly feel proud of our achievements and bury the critical attitude towards spending public money.

But, to tell the truth, I wrote it because I was bored.

The death has taken place of Father Joe Kennedy who once taught in Garbally College and who retired from parish work only late last year. He had two brothers’ priests and one is stationed in Omaha. Father Kennedy was a quiet type of man and in Garbally he featured in a verse that went like this –

In Saint Joseph’s

Father Higgins

Taught the French

To Junior ‘B

Then along came

Father Donal

With his French

Ave Marie

Started training

Burly juniors

On the good old


Took the post

From Father Logbook

Who just left it

With a smile.

{Father Logbook was the friendly nickname for Father Kennedy.

May he rest in peace)

Easter was very busy on the river and many Irish people enjoyed a few lovely days in their hire boats. Silverline Cruisers in Banagher had all their boats hired and many of the other operators were kept equally busy. Lucky enough the river level dropped off and this made their holiday the more enjoyable. On Sunday the level was 3.3 Metres, Monday 3.2 Metres, and today it is 3.1 Metres. Yesterday the weather was inclined to have a little light rain between the sunshine. Today it has been sunny with temperatures of 13C / 55F.

Yesterday the first groups of anglers arrived. Regular David Pickles has a group of five fishermen staying in Rachra House while another regular Roger and friends are staying with Nancy in The Old Rectory. I noticed a couple of plectrums in among David Pickles coins and he told me that two years ago he bought a banjo in Athlone. I thought that maybe he was going to use the banjo to attract fish to his swim but alas he left it at home.

Good news yesterday was the golf win by Rory Mc Ilroy from Hollywood, County Down. This sixteen year old successfully defended the West of Ireland amateur golf championship held at Rosses Point. Watch out Tiger.

The opening of Supermacs in Shannonbridge has been very successful over the past week. But there is a downside in the increase of careless litter around the village and on the roadsides out from Shannonbridge. Brian from the Barge put it nicely today when he quoted someone who said that the Irish are illiterate in two languages, They don’t understand LITTER and they don’t understand BRUSCAR..

Some bad news at the weekend when we discovered that the one baby robin that had hatched out in the WKD crate had died .She fared better last year when she nested in a Coke crate.

Got a welcome phone call yesterday from Norman and Mary Reeves from Bath to tell us that they are coming fishing in the area for two weeks with their friend Terry and will be here on 25th May. Norman has some photos of fish catches he would like to share with this website and I explained that the Table Quiz in Killeens on next Wednesday is to raise funds to buy more space for this web so that more photographs can be shared.

Meanwhile the Table Quiz tonight is in aid of the Library funds.

It is good to hear the sound of a baby voice around the house as baby Adam and his sister Leah have stopped off for a few days while their parents take a short break.

On Easter Sunday there was a Baptism in Shannonbridge when Dara Mannion, was in the spotlight. A new baby boy for Noel and Aileen Mannion and a new brother for Ciaran and Roisin. Congratulations

The death occurred last week of Mrs Kelly who lived between Clononey and Shannonharbour. May she rest in peace.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Did you know that Val Joyce on Late Date radio has been featuring the singer Jo Stafford this week and she really has an amazing voice?

The first draft of Amhran Na bhFiann ( The Soldier’s Song ) signed by its author Peader Kearney in 1907 was sold by public auction on Wednesday for 760,000 Euros to a telephone bidder. Later it was selected as our national anthem. It was a photo finish beating O Donnell Abu which was written by the Shannonbridge man Michael Mc Cann who resided on Lamb Island which is just upstream from the village bridge.

Walking Ritchie Brown’s dog across the bridge today we noticed that a second swan was feeding in front of that same Lamb Island so keep your fingers crossed. Ritchie’s dog has a great habit of picking up litter and today he picked up 72 pieces while walking to the bottom of Gunning’s Hill. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon and we saw and smelled a great carpet of primroses inside the wall and on an embankment in the field before you reach the entrance to Raghrabeg.

The dog wanted to go down to pick up some careless litter among the primroses but there was not enough room in the sack. Noticed some blackthorn in blossom. There was only one piece of litter from Supermac which has got off to a great start. Good to see that the manager Christy O Connor has employed three local Supermac Ladies.

Remember the robin that made its nest in the WKD carton? Today when leaving out some boiled egg for her use in the shed she flew from the nest and I noticed some feathers moving in the nest. There were three eggs but I do not know how many young robins are in the Wicked box.

Still on birds – yesterday Stephen Heery left in a report book on a vast range of birds seen in the Shannon midlands and Boora Parklands covering the period 2000 to 2003. An article on Jackdaws Nesting in Shannonbridge written by Declan Ryan caught my eye and it happened in 2003. A photograph of a range of metal pieces thrown down the chimney dates it as there is assorted wires bolts and a knife and spoon. Declan is preparing his thesis paper for his study course and he has decided to write about the Clerhane Quarries. If you have any information on the workers or happenings that happened there drop him a line to Shannonbridge Athlone.

Eyre Square in Galway City opened to the public yesterday evening. What started as a Millennium project in 1999 has had lots of problems since then. For the past 25 months the square has been closed off and traffic has been diverted. The official opening is set for May 27th.

Temperature today was 11C / 52F.

A group from Portumna visited Clonmacnois yesterday and stopped off in Shannonbridge .I noticed that Christy Cunniffe was with them. He told us that they were a group taking an eleven month course on computers and historic learning. Christy was looking after them on the local historical end and so their trip to Clonmacnois.

Today was Good Friday and Mick headed off on the boat with Tom and Margaret Carty as far as Meelick.

Shane and Sinead and Aoifa returned from a break in Lanzarotte today. Shane met a man wearing a Village Tavern t-shirt and of course he asked him where he was from. Now we know where the Germans are going. Aoifa has learned a heap of songs and her favourite seems to involve a pounding with the foot so it sounds and looks like Cabaret.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Clerhane Quarry

I am currently researching for a short history of the limestone quarries at Clerhane (Clorhane) Shannonbridge. If anybody has any information, however small, I would greatly appreciate if you could contact me. I am particularly looking for old photographs, dockets etc. which, if I get any, will be treated with care and promptly returned.

Declan Ryan,

Phone: 087 9700541.


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

There is a huge amount of work going on at the moment preparing Shannonbridge’s first Supermac housed in the premises of the Shannonbridge Diner. Passing by there today I noticed that there are six tables in place in two rows inside the main window and a new serving counter has been installed. The manager of the Ballinasloe Supermac has taken out his first franchise with this venture and hopefully everything works out well for him. He told us today that he will be running a breakfast menu throughout the day and will be offering sit down mixed grills etc.

Kinsella’s house opposite the gates to Correen is about to get a new tarmacadam drive and for the past few days loads of daffodils ,tulips and other flowers have been making a hasty move. Last evening about thirty bulbs moved to Shannonbridge and took root – hopefully – on the approach road from Ballinasloe. In crossing the bridge the cross of daffodils on the island caught my eye and a lone swan was eyeing up the water in front of the island where once they nested. A lone daffodil is in bloom on the eye of the bridge. It is the only survivor from four beds of bulbs sown there about twenty years ago.

The river level is dropping fast with the level this morning at 3.58 Metres.

Only heard yesterday that there is a repair garage in Clonburren. It is situated next to the Bord na Mona sandpit workshop and can be reached by turning right at the old Falty schoolhouse.

It is operated by Noel Whelan and his telephone number is 090 9673380.

Good to hear from Mick Peake from Kent a regular angling visitor to Shannonbridge and this year he plans to come on 19th August.

Also heard from Ben Oakley a member of Rambles in Eireann who visited Shannonbridge on Sunday 2nd April. He tried to e-mail this website but the post box was full. Here is what he said.

Why was Shannonbridge chosen as the main centre of resistance to Napoleon and how were those complicated fortifications supposed to work?

All was explained to the Ramblers on Sunday together with the historic and geographical significance of Shannonbridge with mention of local notable buildings and people – past and present.

Thank you Shannonbridge for your hospitality, especially tour guides – Christie Cunniffe, Derry Killeen, Declan Ryan and Rose Ryan for a fascinating and instructive three hours. We had a great time.

Also thanks to Fergal Moran (The Old Fort Restaurant) and the Macklin family for accesses and not forgetting Michael Killeen for the very welcome refreshments.

Ben Oakley.

Easter Revision Courses 2006 will run for Leaving/Junior Cert 2006 from Wednesday 19th April to Saturday 22nd April at the Midland Tutorial Centre, Moydrum, Athlone.

Telephone 090 6475320, 090 6478010.

Today it was good to meet again one of the ladies who were seeking some information on the Egan / Kelly family tree last November. This time she was accompanied by her brother in law from San Diego and two girls. The man was telling us that his sister is married in New Jersey and now attends St. Mary’s Church in Cherry Hill. As usual they had a tight schedule with a visit to the Cliffs of Moher on their way to Killarney.


Shannonbridge 0-12
Gracefield 1-7

Shannonbridge can count themselves lucky to record this victory over a visiting Gracefield team when the blue and gold managed to claw back the game in the dying minutes played in Shannonbridge on Sunday last.

The bridge welcomed back Fergal Mcevoy to their starting line up for the first time this season and he opened the scoring for with two fine points.

Gracefield then proceeded to cancel out McEvoys scores, the bridge then enjoyed a dominant spell in the centre and extended their lead with points from Paul Deeley and Anthony Kelly.

With Five minutes remaining in the first half Gracefield were reduced to Fourteen men and the Bridge went in to the break with 0-7 to 0-3 lead.

Gracefield despite been down a man fought back and brought the sides level when they converted a penalty to leave the sides level with only minutes remaining.

However Shannonbridge were not finished yet and when the pressure was on, Jason Kelly won some precious posseion and Fergal McEvoy slotted over an excellent point to put the bridge back in front and the comeback was finished off by Paul Deeley who Cooly slotted over a difficult free to secure the points for the Bridge.

Shannonbridge's victory was marred however by losing Donal Claffey through a serious knee injury. The club wish Donal a speedy recovery and hope he will return at some stage for Championship duty.

Team Donal Corbett, Willie Kenna, Trevor Mahon, Colm Kenny, Kieran Flannery, Roger Ryan, Darren Finn, Mark Carty, Jason Kelly, Richie Browne,Anthony Kelly(0-2),David Corbett, Donal Claffey, Fergal McEvoy(0-4),Paul Deeley(0-6),Subs Conor Killeen, Chris Duffy, Rory O' Connor,Philip Egan

Senior Championship

Shannonbridge will go head to head wit St Bridgets this Saturday at 6pm in the first round of the senior championship to be played in Ballinamere and will hope for a good support from their loyal followers.

Shannonbridge have lost a number of Players with Serious injury in recent weeks including Niall Price, Karol Kelly, Dermot Turley and Donal Claffey. The club wish all the lads a speedy recovery.

Management Teams confirmed
Micheal Mahon has been confirmed as Senior Manager for the coming year, meanwhile Declan Kelly has joined the Junior management team as a selector along with Frank Guinan and Tom Moore as the Manager.

The Club wish all the above the best of luck for the coming season.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Brendan Mc Williams writes a column on the Irish Times called Weather Eye and a few days ago he wrote his article on the Brindled cow hasn’t gone away you know. It is about the borrowed days between Old March and Old April and see if your search engine can locate it.

The river level has risen to 3.88 metres this past week and many callows are flooded.

Noticed a pair of swans on a nest upstream that will be and dry if the level drops.

Had a couple named Morrison from Boston visit here twice this week. They are looking for information on their ancestors who were named Kenny from Cappaleitra. They tried Patrick, Peter and Jack with little success. They intend to look up parish records before returning home next week.

Good to see Michael Green home on a visit from Boston. Also visiting the area this week is Ciaran Molloy, a grandson of P.C. Molloy who was a teacher in Clonmacnois and who willingly took people on tours of Clonmacnois during his time off. One of the Molloys has painted some pictures of Clonmacnois and hopefully some day they might share them with this website. Talking to our web master today and he told us that to put pictures etc on this web would require extra space which would cost about 150 Euros per year. Wonder if a table quiz might raise this amount?.

The Met office in Birr reported that the ground temperature on March 3rd was -16 C. This was the lowest temperature recorded since 1954.

The English Grand National at Aintree today was won by Number Six Valvence who just beat last years winner Hedgehunter on the run in. A local sweep was run by Louise and the winner was Kate Thornhill with Michael Devine second.

The John Mc Gahern book Memoir has found renewed interest since the author’s death last week and it is back in at Nunber 1 on the best seller list in Ireland.

Shannonbridge are about to hit Thurles for six later this evening. Louise has been booked to play a gig there and a gang of friends are going along including about six musicians and singers and one dancer.

Two of Ireland’s rugby internationals, David Humphreys and Reggie Corrigan announced this week that they are retiring from international duties. Both intend to give one more year to their clubs.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The first three days of April are known as the borrowed days and someone today said that they are known as Old Cows Days. Of course Patrick Kenny has another name for them and I cannot remember what he calls them. Anyhow the last day turned out to be bright and sunny and the papers were predicting 13 C. The river has risen quite a bit in the last week and the lower jetty has water overlapping.

Good news from our back yard. A robin has built a nest in the beer shed and this year she has chosen WKD or wicked as her sponsor as the nest is plonked right in the middle of a partly used box of this blue drink. So far there are three eggs and the nest is reasonably safe on a high shelf but cats have been known to leap. Two years ago the robin was obviously on Coke and she used their crate to house the nest in the mineral shed.

This evening five men arrived into the pub. They told us that they had been cruising upstream on a Silverline cruiser and had reached Carrick-on-Shannon and were now on their return journey. They were German but live on Borquit Island, which is off the coast of Germany. They live in a town with a population of 5,500 which will rise to 50,000 during the summer months. The five were taking a break before the holiday season began. They were playing a dice game and they said that they had a piano accordion on the boat which was collected. The player had a great selection of tunes including Irish, Scotch and everyday favourites. Soon he was joined by a friend of Mick Doherty on guitar, Joe Hamm on the bodhran and Mick on trombone. Pat played a few tunes on the piano. There were about twenty people around for what turned out to be an enjoyable couple of hours to end the Borrowed last day.

Colin and Mike joined up with Louise on Saturday night to play a gig in Dublin and it seems that on next Saturday they are playing in Thurles. Better check her website for details.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bridie Carry was telling us last night that two of her godchildren were celebrating their birthdays on this Sunday. So happy birthday to James Carry, son of Charles and Valerie on your fifth birthday. And Aidan Carry son of Aidan and Irene also celebrates his fifth birthday today.

Yesterday Tony Donegan and Joseph Mc Manus both celebrated their birthdays along with the famous Patrick Kenny from America in Moore.

For the record John Cooney the local teacher told us that Michael Mc Evoy was born on 8th December 1931, information that one of his nephews was looking for.

On a visit to the Gallen retirement home in Ferbane on Thursday with my cousin Father John Killeen we called to see Mrs Mary Egan, Woodbank and found her in great form. John and I were surprised when she told us that her mother and John’s mother, my Aunt Bridget were first cousins. We also called to see Paddy Daly from Rashina, a brother of the late Father Tommie Daly and found him in good form.

Kieran Brien originally from Raghrabeg was on a few days visit from Sheffield and was staying in Quinn’s guesthouse in Ballinasloe.

A program on RTE1 television on Tuesday night at 10.15 pm is devoted to the writer Flann O Brian or Brian Nolan or the Irish Times writer for the column ‘An Cruiskeen Lan’ or the full jug. There is a local link up with this writer as one of his first books was called At Swim Two Birds and was about a fable of two people who got themselves changed into two swans in order to escape from a wicked stepmother. They lived happily at Devenish Island, midway between Shannonbridge and Clonmacnois on the River Shannon, for some time until the stepmother found out and hired a hit man with a bow and arrow to punish the pair. The girl Maoisa was injured and swam downstream and the area known as Moystown is called after her. The boy Luain swam upstream and the Athlone. Or At Luain, the place of Luain is named after him. Have a look.

Today a group that call themselves Rambles in Eireann visited Shannonbridge. The group took their name from William Bulfin’s novel ‘Rambles in Eireann’ and one of the first to arrive was a Mrs Jane Bulfin. She said that William Bulfin lived from 1851 to 1910 and lived in Derrinlough House and in Argentina. Derrinlough is between Cloghan and Birr.

When William was back in Ireland he bought a Pierse bicycle and cycled around Ireland. What he saw he wrote about in a paper in Argentina called The Southern Cross and these articles were printed into a book form.

William’s only son Eamon raised up the flag in the GPO during the Irish Rising at Easter in Dublin 1916.

Eamon’s son Michael is a well known sculptor.Eamon’s eldest son was named Edward or Ned and he married Jane and they settled in Derrinlough House where they raised five boys and five girls. This Jane told that Derrinlough House was built in the 16th century and the more modern part was added on in 1794.

The remainder of the group arrived and were joined by a number of villagers for a walk around Shannonbridge led by Christy Cunniffe from Eyrecourt. The walk started at Saint Ciaran’s Park where the development of the bogs and the building of the power plant and the Park houses were linked. Sites for the carnival marquee dancing were pointed out. The rebuilt Fallon house at the corner was admired. The church was visited and Christy pointed out an interesting stone archway in the parochial yard with a head in the center stone. The old Protestant Church was next stop and then we crossed the bridge to look at the Fortifications. The group were allowed onto the roof of The Fort Restaurant and it gave a great view of the Rivers Suck and Shannon and the bridge and fieldworks on the island and in the field downstream from the old jetty. We saw the remains of the house on Lamb Island where Michael Mc Cann once lived and he wrote the war song O Donnell Abu. It was a surprise when Jeff Oakley started singing the song in Irish. You can find the English words for this song on this Shannonbridge web site but it would be nice to have the Irish version as well. On the return trip Christy took the group to see the old bridge and the remains of what was the gate on the lock gates below the bridge and to see the old cast metal bridge and the lock keepers house built by the canal engineer John Omer. The Bianconi horse drawn passenger service that passed through Shannonbridge back in the early 1800’s was mentioned and of course our movie star George Brent.

They took a look at Shannonbridge Library which is now in its fourth year and enjoyed a cup of tea before departure. Hopefully they will keep us updated on future trips.