Wednesday, May 31, 2006

At the Tuesday morning meeting of the Shannonbridge Active Retirement Group, Sister Marie had a letter and photographs and a poster from Kitui in Kenya. The poster said – To the Active Retirement Group Shannonbridge

Asanteni Sana

Thank You Very Much

15 /5 /2006

A letter of thanks was from an Ursuline Sister in Kitui to the Shannonbridge ARG as for some time a voluntary collection has been taken up at their weekly meetings and the monies collected has been forwarded by our two Ursuline Sisters in Ard Chiarain to their Ursuline Sisters in Kitui to help pay for children in school and their health. Some 1200 Euros has been forwarded to date. Others groups might consider following this road.

The people who put on the lagging at the power plant are back in town and they reckon that their work will take well over a week - so no hot water just yet.

The short story writer Pat Watson was in the village recently and when he heard about the litter sign in the Japanese Gardens – Beauty dies, where litter lies - he had a verse on the same litter –

With no education

And wearing good clothes

It’s like a gold ring

In a barrow pig’s nose.

The Rachra Syndicate race horse Running Wild ran in the 8.00 pm race in Ballinrobe on Tuesday evening and finished third.

The decision on the result of the Offaly / Kildare football match played last Sunday will be decided by Central Council at the weekend. Although Offaly won the match there is a question of the number of substitutes used to be ruled on. Offaly used a blood sub but let him play on.

On Tuesday I met Deirdre Gunning the new owner of John Hogarty’s house in Cloonshask. Deirdre is originally from Mullingar. Wishing her and her partner the best of luck in their new home. Later that day I got a message for John Hogarty. John Griffin and his greyhounds and the baby rothweiler send greetings.

Tuesday was another dry day with sunshine and good drying winds with temperature of 15 C. An ideal day for Colin to take Moby for a walk. Sorry Moby that should be wash.

The river level was 3.7 Metres on Tuesday morning and was just off the old quay.

George Stokes must have kept singing The Fields of Athenry as he fished at the mouth of the Back River in front of Macklin’s as several roach went for his bait.

Eddie Stones attracted a huge crowd to Clonfert Church on Tuesday evening for his sermon at Mass. The month long daily devotions in Our Lady of Clonfert Church finishes on Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

One of the workers who are repairing the Power Plant at Shannonbridge told us that his work will be completed on Tuesday and he expects the plant to be running shortly after.

Best of luck to Kathleen Egan and family who have moved into the house once occupied by the late Michael John Colman. The house has had extensive renovations.

Sorry that Mick and myself missed meeting Pat (Kieran) Devery and his brother Sean when they stopped off in Shannonbridge on Friday last. Both once lived in Leharrow and they were on their way to Pat Devery’s house in Castlerea. They promised to call back again.

The bad news on the papers last Friday was the announcement that the radio programme ‘Late Date@ with Val Joyce, 4 nights, and Lilian Smith 3 nights is to have a new presenter in the autumn. For what it was worth I wrote a letter of protest to Director of Programmes, RTE, Dublin 4.

On that Same Friday Mick and I took the train to Dublin to visit Pat who is recovering from an operation to improve circulation in her leg. Doing well. On the train we met Ray Collins the singer from Athlone. Ray told us that he was singing at a Requiem Mass in Saint Peter’s Church, Athlone recently and after the Mass a woman from Clonown came up to talk to him. Ray was expecting the lady to praise his singing but was taken aback when she said “Ray Collins, you’re like a wet cowshite on a road, you are all over the place”.

Best wishes to Bridie Carry who is over visiting her mother and family members for a month. She has started on the e-mail road so look out.

In the Where’s That section in the Irish Times 29th May Slieve Bloom Flann O Riain has a number of interesting items on our local mountain. It has one of the oldest surviving Irish placenames, it was the place where Fionn Mac Cumhall was reared and fostered. In 1287 a fine of 100 cows was imposed on the Irish of Slieve Bloom for their lawlessness and since they showed no sign of paying, the cows had to be taken by force and driven to Kilkenny where they fetched £14/3s/4d informs John Feehan in his book The Landscape of Slieve Bloom (1979).

Two boats ran aground on Monday. One at Devenish was rescued by Brian and his Barge. Another cruiser went well up into the flood in Kenny’s Callow, Raghrabeg but has got back on the river.

A slight drop in the river level on Monday morning to 3.79 Metres and a good drying wind and some sunshine will hopefully continue the trend.

On Sunday one of the English papers carried a photograph of David Mc Dermott, Clondelara and London, joint managing director of Kilnbridge Construction Services who won the Fire Protection Specialist of the Year in the UK. Congratulations David and well done.

Some recent deaths. Dr. Kevin O Flanagan, aged 86, who played international soccer and rugby for Ireland has died.

Laurence Green, aged 42, Kinnity, son of Aloious Green, Garrymore and England died on Friday and leaves a wife and three children.

Mary Joe Leonard, aged 95, nee Flynn from Taughmaconnell, died in her home in Ahascragh. She had 11 children and all are alive. Six of the children at the funeral were drawing the old age pension. She was a sister of the late Father Hugh Flynn. She went to Ahascragh in 1931 as a young bride but always claimed to be a Roscommon woman.

May they rest in peace.

Heard that 13 different Scottish Stag Parties travelled to Poland last weekend for their parties and no doubt they must have been a wee bit disappointed to find that all the pubs in Poland were closed on account of the Papal Visit.

Is this a coincident? On Wednesday a touring bus stopped of for a break. The driver told me he was from Cavan Town. I know two people in Cavan town Hugh Gough and Brendan Coulter. I asked about Hugh Gough and he said he looks well as he walks to the paper shop with his hands behind his back as is his style. I told him about his failing eye sight and how he told me that he would like to visit Killykeen Lake. The driver told me that when he was next back home he would look him up and take him out to the lake. Today I telephoned Hugh to expect the driver to visit and take him to Killykeen.

Hugh said that on Sunday Brendan Coulter had called in and taken him out for a drive to KILLYKEEN LAKE. Howzabout that. He is in good form apart from the failing eyesight and a recent tumour operation. Hugh was largely responsible for drawing the CFB fishery maps for rivers lakes and duck ponds all over Ireland and writing the notes. The maps are still available on the website or is that net or com.

The Irish Times on Monday tell us that the Ordnance Survey Ireland has produced a digital archive of its early map series – much of which pre-dates the Great Famine. Using 40,000 maps from its archive the series. Search the article Maps show emigration patterns before Famine. A pre-release of the digital series is available on the web at Eugene and Michael might note that the series will be officially launched at a national genealogy conference in Boston from August 30th to September 3rd. Find out where my grand-uncles and grand-aunts went If you have the time.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishing Report … Dated 29th May 2006.

The heavy rains of last Sunday have caused the river level to rise. Readings taken on a metric scale at the village bridge were 3.72 Metres on Tuesday, 3.8 Metres on Wednesday and Thursday and 3.85 Metres on Saturday of last week. Yesterday Sunday 28th May the level was 3.87 Metres.

Repair work on the Power Plant at Shannonbridge is expected to be complete towards the end of this week.

An angler reported seeing 17 Cormorants immediately upstream of Shannonbridge on Wednesday last.

The few visiting anglers have been seeking higher banks on the Brosna and using boats on the Shannon to take them to higher ground and they are also using anchored boats with an angler fishing from the front and rear to effect. The Grand Canal and the Boora bog lakes are proving to be a great standby. Waders have been used very effectively by Mike Quinlan from Norwich who fished the Back River just upstream from the bridge. On May 23rd Mike got nearer the river bank by wearing waders and fished in fair weather using red maggots on a stick float and size 10 hook, feeding loose casters and hemp as he fished. He was plagued by pike as he caught 50 good roach that weighed 37 lbs. One large pike was so concentrating on stealing a large roach that Mike had hooked that it beached itself as Mike netted his catch. Mike had to give it some help in returning to the river.

Haur Wiesnor from Germany fished from a cruiser in sunshine on May 22nd using blinker / lures to catch three pike all about 70 Cm.

Lehnerer Deinhod, his friend also used blinkers to catch two pike of 50 Cm. each.

Their friend Krisch Norbet also used a blinker to catch a lovely 85 Cm. pike.

Dieter Steinhaiper from Germany caught one pike measuring 80 Cm. fishing from a cruiser on 22nd May on the River Shannon in windy conditions while using a blinker.

Ev Everdinger from Holland fished the River Shannon from a moored boat on May 22nd on a sunny windy day and used maggots to catch a 60 Cm. pike.

Alan Taylor from Chester fished on the Grand Canal on May 28th in fair weather and used float and caster with 1 lb main line and hook size 20 – 22. Alan caught 5.5 lbs of small roach.

Alan’s friend Phil Lloyd from Chester used red maggot and casters to catch 11 lbs of roach and rudd. They found the water temperature was cold.

George Stokes from Birmingham has three fishing companions with him this week and they started their fishing on the Grand Canal. Good for Tracey Beaumont as she used red maggot and a whip to have the best catch of the group, catching roach perch and an eel.

Friday, May 26, 2006

That song 'It Was A Very Good Year'. that I thought Lilian Smith on her Late Date radio show credited Bono and The Edge with the writing was not true. Rose Ryan used a search engine that credited Ervin Drake an American songwriter as having composed the song in 1961. Frank Sinatra recorded the song and Lou Rawls did a cover version in 1968 and the Simpson’s version in 1993 was “It was a very good beer” recalling Homer purchasing his first beer with a fake I.D. So there.

Ken and Betty Smith are holidaying in Shannonbridge at present and on Wednesday night Ken pointed out Jupiter which is very plain to be seen in the south east. The reason it is so clear, Ken says, is that Jupiter is turned fully towards the sun at present and is not in its more common half moon position. Have a look for yourselves.

On Tuesday about 27 people from the Shannonbridge Active Retirement group went on a day outing to visit The Japanese Gardens and The National Stud which are alongside each other in County Kildare. We spent about three hours looking around and the weather was kind enough to us, with a little light rain. A notice inside the Japanese Gardens read “Beauty dies, where litter lies” and it seemed to be very effective as dam the bit of rubbish was to be seen. I met two Australian visitors who both lived near Melbourne and both were interested in horses. One told me that many stallions from Ireland are taken to Australia for about three months every year. Both of them had an interest in trotters and one gave a tip to the other for a trotter named Angel that is running next week in Australia. Afterwards we went to the Newbridge Shopping Center for a couple of hours and then on to The Montague Hotel for a dinner. Joe from D’Boys and his wife and guitar came along for the day so that after the meal there was a good sing song and a bit of dancing for a few hours before heading home. All in all it was a very good day.

The river has continued to rise but appears to have levelled off hopefully. On Tuesday 23rd May the level at the bridge was 3.72M, on Wednesday and Thursday it was 3.8 Metres. Water is covering the old jetty in front of the toilets and the stile down near The Cut is flooded, in case you were going down to see The Kingfishers or hear The Corncrake on Moran’s Island. The temperature is about 14 / 15 C. at present.

Banagher telephone numbers have a new code. The prefix is 05791 instead of 0509.

Brendan Mc Williams in his Weather Eye column in the Irish Times on Monday reminds us that in May 1993 we had 250 per cent of normal rainfall which was the wettest since records began in 1837. He wondered if we are going to have a record breaking May. Then about two days later I heard that in Kerry over 200 per cent of normal May rain had fallen.

During the week a Tommy Fahey from Menlough called in to enquire if an Aunt of his named Julie Lyons had every worked in Killeens. It turns out that she worked in Killeen’s of Togher. Tommy told us that later Julie had a shop in Castlefrench and she died in 1991. May she rest in peace.

An article in this month’s Irish Messenger is titled ‘Rhododendrons’. It begs the question why more rhododendrons are not to be seen in this area.

This week Ron and Tina Linder and Russ and Gloria Peckers from Phoenix Arizona Stopped in to Shannonbridge while on a cruising holiday on the River Shannon. When I asked why they chose to cruise in Ireland Ron told that he had used the internet to search for ‘canal boats’ and he was impressed by what Emerald Starline and Blue Crown had to offer. Both of them were using the same agent so he got further details. His party are cruising from Portumna to Carrick-on-Shannon. They will leave their boat there and be transported back to Shannon Airport where they will collect a self drive car and they intend driving around Ireland for a week.

The people in the Corncrake office in Banagher Tel 05791-51676 told us this week that 14 male corncrakes have been identified on the meadows between Athlone and Banagher. At Banagher bridge – 3, at Bishop’s Island and Clonfert – 2, at Moran’s Island -1, at Clonburren – 3, at Clonmacnois and Drumlosh – 3, one on The Meadows at Athlone and one at Clonown.

Finally a big welcome home to Kate Thornhill.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Shannonbridge Festival, June 16th

Monday, May 22, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishing Report … Dated 22nd May 2006.

Heavy rains on Sunday 14th May and again on the following weekend have caused the river level to rise considerably. From a level of 2.7metres on Sat 13th, the river level has risen to 3.15M on Thurs 18th, 3.25M on Fri 19th, 3.48M on Sat 20th and 3.50 metres on Sunday 21st. The Peter Howes party of 16 Anglers started fishing a backwater on Sat 13th May sitting on their baskets on the bankside. On Friday 19th their last day fishing they fished the same swims and the water was up to their knees. Boat traffic on the River Suck from Shannonbridge to Ballinasloe is having problems. One is on account of the low railway bridge on route and the other problem is inadequate markings of the river when the level rises. Who cares?

John Phillips from Wales finished his two weeks holiday by fishing on the River Suck on 15th May and using feeder and maggot in wet and windy conditions he had a bag weighing 17.5 Lbs of hybrids to 2 lb and roach o 1.5lb.Many fish were busy spawning. On his final day 16th May John fished at Correen on a very windy day and again used maggot and feeder to catch a large mixed bag of bream and roach for a good finish. His companion Simon Preece fished alongside and also had a good mixed bag including a 2lb hybrid.

Roy Williams from The Isle of Man fished the Grand Canal on 13th May on a fine day and used the pole and maggot to catch 20lb of bream, rudd and one tench which he described as excellent afternoon fishing. His companion John Millington fished alongside and had over 20lb of pike eel and roach using pole and maggot.

The next day they fished at Abbeyshrule in bad weather and again used pole and maggot. Roy Williams caught 64lbs of tench which he described as brilliant fishing. John Millington alongside caught 15 tench that averaged 4.5lbs.

Harlmoun Mujust from Germany holidaying on a cruiser recorded that while pike fishing on Lough Ree he caught two pike each measuring over one metre fishing in the rain using a blinker / lure. One fish was so badly hooked it had to be killed while the second pike was returned alive.

Charles Kellett fished at Devenish Island on 15th May in the wind and used red maggot and feeder to catch 25lbs of roach and hybrids. Best fish 2lbs.

On the 18th May Charles fished the Brosna mouth in the rain and used caster and feeder to catch roach skimmers and hybrids that weighed over 42lbs with some fish weighing 3lbs.

Lloyd from Birmingham fished the River Blackwater, a local tributary of the River Shannon, at the bridge and used a stick float on the trot to catch some beautiful roach.

He commented “not a carp to be seen – real fishing”

Only some of the Peter Howes party recorded their results but Peter promised a copy of his holiday article in the North Hampshire Gazette which hopefully I can share with you.

Edward Rawlings, Basingstoke, fished their favoured backwater on 13th May in fair weather and used pole and caster to catch 19 tench that weighed 102lbs.Peter Howes used feeder, worm and caster to catch 125lbs of bream. On their last day young Edward Rawlings stood in water over his knees and used pole worm and caster to catch 28 tench that weighed over 140 Lbs. Some of the tench weighed over seven pounds.

On the 15th May Trevor Tneraut from Basingstoke fished Devenish Island on a sunny day and used a feeder and maggots to catch 37 lbs of hybrids and roach.

On May 17th Graham Shadwell from Basingstoke fished the Cappaleitra backwater and used a feeder and worms to catch 38.5 lbs of bream and hybrids.

Craig Wright from Morehampton fished the Grand Canal at Belmont Bridge on 20th May in sunshine and used red maggot to catch ten pounds of fish for a good day’s mixed bag.

The Peter Howes party were enquiring if there will be access to Bullock Island as there is a For Sale sign and fence on the way to this backwater.

Finally a boater was telling about a discharge on the River Suck near Ballinasloe last week and he described what he saw to a fishery official on the phone.


Thursday, May 18, 2006


Shannonbridge 1-6

Balllycumber 0-7

Shannonbridge overcame Ballycumber on Friday evening last in a home game for the Bridge that was played in what can only be described as atrocious conditions.

Shannonbridge got off to a good start with points from Karol Kelly and Paul Deeley. Then up stepped Harry Kearns to blast a left footed effort to the top corner of the Ballycumber goal to leave the Bridge leading by 1-3 to 0-4 at the interval.

As the rain continued to pour down on a very humid evening Ballycumber thundered back with a couple of points in the second half.

However Shannonbridge rung in the changes and substitutes Anthony Kelly, Rory O'Connor and Conor Killeen all made an impact when introduced and helped the Shannonsiders to pull away from Ballycumber in the final ten minutes.

The Bridge have a number of Key Players out from injury and the Club wish all the Lads a speedy recovery

Team, Declan Kelly, Alan Gunning, Trevor Mahon,Colm Kenny,Kieran Flannery,Darren Finn, Niall Price,Jason Kelly, Jim Killeen(0-1),Shane Flannery, Richie Browne,Karol Kelly(0-1),Fregal McEvoy(0-2), Harry Kearns(1-0), Paul Deeley(0-1). subs Anthony Kelly(0-1),Mel Darcy, Roger Ryan, Conor Killeen,Rory O'Connor(0-1)

Field Committee
Shannonbridge GAA club wish to thank all who helped in the Grounds on Saturday morning last. The work is much appreciated.


After the weekend rain the level of the River Shannon rose from 2.78 metres on Saturday to 3.0 metres on Monday as read on the scale alongside the village bridge. On Monday and today the level was 3.1 metres. Brian from the barge told us that the level rose by ten inches from Sunday afternoon until Monday morning. There are about thirty visiting anglers in the area this week and where they fished on a dry bank on Saturday they are now sitting in a few inches of water. The power station is closed down for repair for a few weeks so it was good to hear that some tench were caught in their favoured hot water outlet breeding ground.

Roscommon played New York in the football championship on Sunday. The game was played in New York and some 2,500 Roscommon fans travelled over for the game. Included in this was the nephew Shane Killeen (Sinead is from Roscommon town) and today Bernard who owns Mikeen Kenny’s house in Cappaleitra told us that the local Roscommon engineer Paddy Kenny also travelled over for the game. Paddy Kenny is due to retire next month and wishing him all the best in his retirement.

The local Active Retirement Group are planning a days outing next Tuesday 23rd May. The bus will depart after 9.00am Mass that morning and visit the Japanese Gardens and the National Stud with a bit of shopping in Newbridge and an evening meal in the evening. Joe is coming along to provide music for the journey and for a sing song after the meal.

There is a notice in the local papers this week that Offaly County Council are preparing a development plan for four villages and Shannonbridge is one of them. Some people will be on hand in the Health Center to meet groups or individuals that might wish to put forward ideas.

On Monday night Lilian Smith on the Late Date radio programme reminded us that Frank Sinatra was eight years dead on May 16th and she played a number of his songs. I am almost sure that Lilian said that the song “That was a very good year” was written by Bono and The Edge for Frank Sinatra .Nice one Bo and Ed.

The corncrake at The Cut is still calling out to any females in the area. Brian also told us that there is a pair of Kingfishers living at The Cut again this year and they seem to use the trees on the bankside as a food source.

An article on today’s paper mentions that a Kathleen O Toole from Boston is to become head of inspectorate of An Garda Siochana. Someone mentioned this to me at cards a few weeks ago and said that someone in Boston who knows her says she has been to Shannonbridge. Wishing her well on her appointment.

Sorry to have missed the Tullamore Gospel Choir performing in Ferbane Church last night. Instead I joined the A.R.A. for their weekly one hour exercise routine from 7 til 8.

Ken and Betty Smith from California are spending two weeks based in Shannonbridge. I thought that they had flown direct from Santa Barbara but they touched down for a week in Germany on their way.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishery Report dated 15th May 2006-05-15

On Sunday May 7th Adam Tomaszewski from Michigan fished in the rain on the Shannon and used a Rapala lure to catch two pike.

John Phillips and Simon Preece from Wales fished Correen Ford on the River Suck on Monday 8th May. Using dead bait John caught a pike weighing 14.5 Lbs that gave an excellent fight. Simon caught four pike, best weighed 9 Lbs.

The next day they fished on the River Shannon in hot sunny conditions and Simon caught five fish – four pike of 3Lb, 5Lb, 6Lb, 13.5Lb and a brown trout that weighed 6.33 Lbs that evening after being gutted. Specimen weight is 5Lb. The trout took a five ounce dead roach and gave Simon a shock and a surprise and a specimen. John was content to catch a 15.5Lb pike and a 3Lb bream.

On 11th May they again fished Correen in hot and humid weather and John caught an 18” pike and some bits. Simon had six pike to 15b using dead bait.

Next day they fished the backwater at Devenish in warm sunshine. John used a feeder and caught 10 bream for 10.5Lbs in the early morning. Then it died. Simon fishing alongside caught eight bream for 8Lbs also in the early morning.

On May 13th John and Simon fished Devenish on a day that was warm and cloudy and later became cold. John used some trout dead bait and maggot to catch pike weighing 10.5Lbs and 3Lb and a 2Lb bream. Simon used some of Patti Corbett’s brown soda bread, buttered to stay on the hook and caught a large bag of fish with one bream weighing 3.75Lbs.

On 10th May Jurgen Jichterz from Germany fished from a cruiser on the River Shannon and in sunny weather he used dead bait to catch six pike that measured 101M, 86, 84, 80, 91 and 90cm. All were returned alive.

Aoli Frauendienst from Austria recorded on May 11th that during his week holiday on a cruiser he fished for pike using blinker and caught 16 pike with the biggest measuring one meter. Four from Kent – Dale Lee, Jim Sims, Ernie Nolan and Pierre Howard fished River Suck, Brosna, Lough Derg and Ballinderry and used pole, feeder, stick float and red maggot that produced satisfying bags of roach that varied between 20 and 50 Lbs. They recommend the use of plenty of groundbait. The weather and fishing were both good.

Stephan Redman from Coventry fished at Correen Ford on 10th May on a hot sunny day and caught three pike to four pounds on a dead trout. The next day he fished on the Shannon at Portumna and had a 12.5Lbs pike on a dead roach.

George Holden, Derek Hutchings, Paddy Sheehan and Robbie Corrigan were fishing from a cruiser and each of them caught double figure pike using dead bait. George had the best pike which weighed 12.5Lbs.

Norman Davies, Mick Grainger and Bernie Boland from Coventry finished their week fishing holiday on Saturday and enjoyed good weather while fishing on the River Suck, Grand Canal and River Inny. They used red maggot to catch an average of 20Lbs of roach per person per day weighing 10ounces to 2Lb. The best bag was 38Lbs in four hours. Their comment “who said the fishing in Ireland was finished. See you later in the year”.

Alan Brace from Ware in Herts. Fished at Correen Ford on Saturday 13th May in fine weather and used red maggot on the stick float to catch 70Lbs of roach with some hybrids and perch which he describes as “Good Fishing”.

Some rain on Saturday and heavy rain yesterday reversed the drop in the river and in the last day it has risen by ten inches.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

This morning in different centres around Ireland groups gathered to wait for The Dawn Chorus. Birr Castle grounds was the local site chosen and they were asked to come along at 4.00am. Derek Mooney had a special Mooney Goes Wild programme on radio.

Last Tuesday Mick Luker was telling how he opened the back door of Mc Donagh’s house where he is staying and was greeted by a swan on the doorstep who began hissing at him and flapping its wings. He closed the door and contacted Rose and Declan Ryan who came along and with the aid of a sheet directed the swan back to the river.

That night Ray Walsh was telling about a street near the Spanish Arch in Galway where every morning a Heron flies down the street and lands. It then goes over to the hall door of a house and pecks on the door. The door is opened and three or four sausages are handed out to the heron. It eats them and flies away.

When Brian from the Barge heard this he came out with a verse that went –

Faith is the bird

Who feels the light

And sings while the dawn

Is bright.

I went to hear The Three Tenors in a concert in Saint Michael’s Church in Ballinasloe last week. Their names were John Scott, David Martin and P.J.Hurley and they also had Collette Byrne singing with them. Aisling Shaw was on piano and Roisin X was on the violin. During the interval a fifty member school choir from Garbally and the convent sang a lovely selection. It was all in aid of the rebuilding funds to pay for the fire in the church some years ago. A most enjoyable night wWhile waiting for the concert to start the lady beside me pointed out that the marble steps and floor of the altar had been replaced by limestone. I was glad to see that the altar table remained intact. The brass light stands around the church have been removed. Alongside the altar was a simple but impressive empty tomb. Bishop Kirby in thanking everyone for their attendance noted that it was good to see so many full seats near the altar.

Before the concert there was a month mind Mass for the late Terry Birch in Clonfad Church.

Golfers will be glad to know that Oliver Hilliard’s annual diary “The Irish golfer’s guide to open fixtures” has hit the fairways last week and will be on sale in most golf clubs around. If you plan to play some golf in Ireland this diary tells you in calendar layout which golf courses have open fixtures and of course green fees are very much reduced.

Patrick Kenny asks the question “how did the Offaly man become a millionaire”? And the answer is that he saved up for an All Ireland ticket.

His brother in law asked Patrick today “what was the first thing that Mandela said when he got out of jail”?

The answer “did Roscommon get out of Connacht yet”.

Glad to see Kerrill Thornhill last night after arriving home from Sydney. Also glad to see his brother Michael who created this website and will use the 190 Euro from the recent table quiz to buy extra space. He reckons that the web can be bettered if more money became available such as a series of picture sections covering scenery, people, sport etc.

Pat Watson’s book has a lot to answer for. Recently Una Lyons got a copy of the book. Now Una often bakes a rhubarb tart for her son Joseph and his family. When Joseph called last week to collect the tart Una was immersed in Watson’s book and there was no tart baked.

Met a fifty member parish outing from Germany last Thursday who were planning on celebrating Mass in Clonmacnois. They had cleared permission with the OPW in Clonmacnois but they were in search of a chalice and stole and communion bread which Father O Hanlon supplied. I was wondering if they were from Wartzburg with the Clonmacnois / Saint Killeen connection but their priest told us that they were from a small town near where Saint Matthew is buried.

An attractive poster advertising a service to provide wall art cartoons for children’s bedrooms has a contact number 0509 51450.

Good to meet Harry and Mary Pearson from England who are on a visit to Ballinasloe. Mary was a Murphy from Jubilee Street and Harry first came to Ballinasloe as her boyfriend 48 years ago.

On Saturday 6th May an Evening of Prayer on the eve of vocations Sunday was held in Clonmacnois. Martin Lyons gave me a lift to Clonmacnois where about 60 religious had a ceremony of prayer and a walkabout that involved a blessing and cleansing with water and stops at the Mass shelter, the Cross of the Scriptures and Saint Kieran’s Church with a number of hymns.

Some recent deaths in the area –

Kathleen Stallwood nee Kenny, a sister of Jimmy and Frank Clonfad has died in England.

Peg Hayes, nee Quinn relic of Jim Hayes and daughter of Michael John Quinn died in Banagher.

Kieran Ryan, Derrylahan who once worked in Bord na Mona and in more recent years provided a taxi service has died.

Babs Drumm, nee Egan from Clerhane and Longford has died and was buried in Longford. Babs was a sister to Jimmy, John and Martin Egan.

Peter Kenny, Cappaghleitra has died. He was a brother of the late Johnny Kenny.

Mrs Olive O’Neill, nee Johnson, Clonever, relic of the late Tom O’Neill and sister of Harold Johnson died and was buried today.

John Egan, Ferbane who ran a bicycle shop and TV dealer has died.

May they rest in peace.

The daily devotions to Our Lady of Clonfert continue each evening for the month of May.

Brian tells us that the river level on Saturday was 2.7 Metres. The weather was very good all the week with sunshine. Some thunder showers on Friday brought some heavy rain. There was rain today which was a bit of a spoil sport for Confirmation ceremony which took place in Shannonbridge.

On Saturday Mick took Pat, Phyllis Macklin and I on a pleasant boat trip in the sunshine

About five miles up the River Suck. Everywhere looked lovely and fresh with a variety of greens on the Callows, fields and trees. New rushes were about a foot over the water. Around Correen Ford there was a flock of swans numbering about twenty five. We saw several pairs of swans but no sign of a nest. Lovely to see the swallows swooping and feeding as they moved along.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishery Report dated 8th May 2006.

On the 4th May Max Hofmann from Cologne fished on the River Shannon for pike using a blinker and was very happy to catch six pike. The largest measured 88 Cm.

Trevor Griffith and Steve Griffith fished Peter Howes’ favourite backwater on the 2nd 3rd and 4th May in windy conditions and used red maggot on size 14 hooks with a waggler. They also fished with a pole. Trevor had two bream weighing 3.5 Lbs each and 20 Lbs of skimmers on the first day. Next day he caught 40 Lbs of skimmers. On the third day he caught 65 Lbs of tench to 5 Lb and skimmers. No pike attacked over the three days.

On Steve’s first day he caught he caught 100 Lbs of tench to 5 Lb and bream to 4.5 Lbs. The next day Steve caught 50 Lbs of tench and skimmers and on the third day he caught 30 Lbs of tench and skimmers. They found the best fishing was in the afternoon and were surprised to have no pike attacks.

John Phillips and Simon Preece from Wales are here for two weeks mixed fishing. Last year they caught 64 pike during their holiday. This year they fished Correen Ford on 5th May in very windy conditions and caught roach, bream and hybrids and also had many pike attacks. They set up pike rods and caught six pike to 9 Lbs. Yesterday they fished Devenish Island for pike using dead bait. Simon had two pike that weighed 6 Lb and 7 Lb each while John Phillips had a good fight with a pike that weighed 17.5 Lbs and measured 94 Cm. The pike won the battle as it bit John on the hand. The weather was windy but fine.

A trio from York – Stuart Barr, Terry Elsey and Tony Ross fished from 29th April to the 6th May on the Rivers Shannon, Suck and Brosna. They used red maggot and sweetcorn with stick float, pole and ledger to catch a total weight of 800 Lbs. Their best bag weighed 38 Lbs and they caught roach to 2.5 Lb, bream to 3 Lb and Hybrids to 1.5 Lbs.

They endured gale force winds and heavy rain showers and they plan to return again.

Paul Airem from Ahascragh fished on the River Suck on the 1st May and caught three pike each over 15 Lbs weight while using dead bait. He also caught some bream on the feeder and had roach while pole fishing. Not a bad day’s work

Sven Fah from Germany is on a cruising holiday. Yesterday while fishing with a lure he caught a pike that measured 90 Cm which he returned alive.

The river level has risen slightly after some heavy rain last week but has been steady at 2.8 Metres on the scale at Shannonbridge. Winds have eased today with some light showers. Forecast is good until next Sunday. Temperature 133 C / 55F.

Anglers visiting the area are requested to record their catch and fishing methods and comments in the Anglers Log Book held in Killeens Bar so as to help compile this report.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 7th May 2006 - 4th Sun Easter B
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €407. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: G.Brennan, D.Deeley, C.Quinn
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: E.Quinn, P.Corbett
Altar Servers: Dean, Michael, Shannen, Nicola, Kayleigh
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Dessie & Sonny Keena
We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in Shannonbridge Church on Sun 14th May at the 12 noon Mass.
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €243. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Higgins, D.Guinan
Readers for next Sunday: D.Boland, C.Higgins
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 4
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan
Mass on next Sat for the late Rose Daly @ 12noon
Mass on next Sun for Paddy, Francie Kelly & family deceased
Station Mass on Fri @ the home of B.& J.Dolan, Clonlyon, 9pm

We welcome to the table of the Lord the children who will receive Jesus, the Bread of life, in their First Holy Communion this weekend
Dylan Quinn, Elle McEvoy, Aoife Corbett, Michaela Anderson
Ronan Hynes, Oisín Daly, Neassa Kennedy, Eimear Kenny,
Holly Gilson, Ciara Rigney, Conor Mannion, Ronan Butler,
Róisín Egan, Emmet Molloy, Caitríona Dillon
Clonmacnois N.S. enrolment
Wed, 17th May @ 7.30pm. Parents who wish to send their children to the school in Sept 2006 are invited to an information evening on that date, when they will have the opportunity to visit the school and talk to the teachers. If you are unable to attend, please contact the school during that week.
AWARE - helping to defeat depression
Public Lecture on 'Mental Well-being', on Wed 10th May in the Bridge House Tullamore @ 8pm. Adm is free.
Speaker will be John Masterson, psychologist.
Light refreshments will be served. Helpline is 1890-303302
Summer Social in Clonfanlough Hall
Fri 19th May, beginning with Mass @ 7pm.
Music is by the Midnight Melodies, and all who enjoy music and dancing are welcome.
New Christians
We welcome into the Christian Community Charlie Gilson, son of Alan & Vivienne, and Darragh Mannion, son of Noel & Aileen, who were baptised @ Easter.

Friday, May 05, 2006

On Sunday the vintage car and tractor rally that started in Ballinasloe attracted a large entry. The route chosen went by Shannonbridge, Cloghan, Banagher, Eyrecourt, and Kiltormer and back to Ballinasloe. Afterwards somebody mentioned that it was a charity venture and they were disappointed with what Shannonbridge subscribed. To be honest I never saw anybody collecting so it is the old ask and you shall bit. I thought that Sean Fitzsimons was part of the rally but a friend brought him for a visit to Shannonbridge for the day. He has lost some weight and looks the better for it.

Patrick Kenny from nearby America called in during the rally and told us that as he was coming out from Athlone on Saturday evening he noticed three hooligans beating up a youngster. They had him knocked to the ground and were kicking him. At first Patrick was going to keep going, but what he saw touched him and he turned his car and returned. He carefully parked his car, got out and between the four of them they taught the youngster a lesson he will not forget. Well done Patrick.

Glad to hear from Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown and looking forward to meeting Jim and herself when they return to Shannonbridge in the first two weeks in October.

The weather has been broken on many days this week and the resultant rain has affected the river levels. Wednesday – 2.58 M, Thursday – 2.7 M, Friday – 2.75 Metres. Brian from the Barge who takes the levels tells that the corncrake is still calling from Moran’s Island and on Wednesday he heard the cuckoo calling from over in Garryduff a little bit up the River Suck.

On Tuesday Mick and I went to the viewing of Kate Beglin in Ballinalea. Kate was a sister of Father Pete Beglin. At the viewing we met Father Corkery, a step brother of Father John Corkery. He was stationed in Ferbane many years ago at the same time that Father John was in Cloghan. I was curious about a book on Clonmacnois that Father John wrote and he told me that when the late Pope John Paul asked to visit Clonmacnois, the then Bishop Daly asked Father Corkery to write a book on Clonmacnois which was presented to the Pope.

It was sad to see the Hogarty family depart for Australia this week. John and Chris and their daughter Max had just built a beautiful bungalow on the Coughlan lands at Cloneish. They plan to return for a visit in March.

Yesterday the wedding bells rang for Kieran Fallon Shannonbridge and Mary Gavin from Moore. The wedding ceremony took place in Moore Church and the reception was held in The Tullamore Court Hotel. Kieran is a son of Willie and Dympna Fallon. Wishing Mary and Kieran all the best in their married life.

In this months EM paper which is printed by the ESB there is a fine photograph of the beach in Muscat Oman which was taken by Roger Morrissey. Roger of course lived in Shannonbridge at one time.

Athlone is twined with a town in France called Chateaubriant and groups of people from these towns visit each other. This year about sixty five people from the French town are visiting Athlone. Today they came on a visit to Clonmacnois via Shannonbridge on one of Padraic Egan’s buses, Alain Minguet, a retired accountant told us that the translation for Chateau is shiny castle and the Briant part is the family name. When I told him about my visit to Nantes last October he seemed to know a lot about Nantes and its connection with Ireland. At one time sails for ships were imported from Ireland because of their good quality and also because of a favoured blue colour which they liked. Also when there was a religious persecution in Ireland many students went to Nantes to prepare for the priesthood in a seminary there. Alain remarked that both Athlone and Chateaubriant had populations of about 15,000 people when they first became twin towns but now Athlone has got much bigger. Two of the Athlone organisers were John Daly and Tom O Connor. John Daly is a teacher in Athlone whom I have known for a long time at the card table. I was surprised when Tom O Connor admitted to be a regular visitor to this web page. It turned out that he works in Tullamore with Marion Mc Manus, Lecarrow who keeps an eye on us. Greetings to Tom and Marion.

Tonight in Saint Michael’s church in Ballinasloe the Three Tenors are giving a concert with the proceeds going to pay the debt caused by the fire in the church about two years ago. I am looking forward to hearing them and even more so to hearing Emily Walsh singing with them. Emily is a daughter of Alfie and Jacquie Walsh and lived for many years in Shannonbridge.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishery Report…dated 3rd May 2006.

Peter Bucher from Hull fished Meelick on 23 rd April in sunshine trolling dead bait and caught and released nine pike in double figures. The best one weighed 21.9 Lb.

Sean Burke from York on 24th April fished at Shannonharbour in sunshine and used a size 14 hook loaded with red maggot to catch a 45 Lb bag of roach.

Jon Barnes from York also used red maggot on a stick float when fishing the mouth of the River Brosna to catch 28 Lbs of roach and hybrids.

Uwe Bergmann from Frankfurt used a blinker on the River Shannon to catch a pike of 3.5 Kg that measured 75 Cm.Comment was good fish and soup.

Pat (Doody) Dunne from Balldon fished the River Brosna on 25th April and on a fine day he used red maggot on a size 16 hook to catch 19 Lb of roach and perch. The next day he fished the same swim and caught 16 Lb of roach, perch and bream on a size 18 hook.

Roy Bolton from Yeadon fished the Brosna on the 26th April and used maggot and caster to catch 15 Lbs of roach and perch.

Dave Kemp from Bradford fished the River Suck on the 27th April in fine weather and used maggot, corn and worm with a feeder to catch 28 Lb of skimmers, hybrids and roach. The next day he set up a pike rod and had two pike that each weighed eleven pounds. He also had 17 Lb of roach and skimmers.

Steve Nell from Sheffield fished alongside Dave on April 28th and used a feeder with maggot and corn to catch 12 Lb of hybrid and roach.

Daz Victory from Bury fished the Brosna in sunshine on April 29th and used red maggot to catch a 20 Lb mixed bag of fish. On April 30th he fished the Shannon using maggot and caster on a 16 hook to catch 16 Lb of roach. Daz noted that pike were showing.

Cliff Mynard from Halifax is back in Shannonbridge. On 29th April he fished the Brosna in sunshine and used red maggot and feeder to land 25 Lb of roach and hybrid. On April 30th Cliff fished the River Suck on a rainy day and used red maggot and feeder to catch 15 Lbs of roach. The next day he again fished the Brosna but only caught 8 Lbs of roach using a feeder.

Phil Ashton from Oldham fished the Brosna on 29th April and caught an 18 Lbs mixed bag using caster. The next two days Phil tried fishing on the Shannon. He fished with a pole to catch mixed bags weighing 8 Lbs and 11 Lbs. He commented that he was plagued with pike.

Steve Griffith fished the River Suck on the 28th April on a fine and windy day and used feeder, maggot and sweetcorn to catch 30 Lbs of good roach, the best weighing 2 Lbs. Steve also caught three pike that weighed 10 Lbs each. Tacun Griffiths fished alongside Steve and used the same methods to catch a net of 25 Lbs that included roach to a pound and one bream.

John Baylis from Banbury fished the Brosna on April 29th in sunshine and used maggot and ledger to catch 35 Lbs of roach. The next day John fished the Suck on an overcast windy day and used float waggler and ledger with red maggot and corn to catch 12 Lbs of roach and bream. The bream were caught when using corn. He was plagued with pike attacks. His brother Michael also fished the Suck on 1st May and caught 16 Lbs of roach and skimmers.

Mick Wykes from Bury fished the Shannon in the wind on April 30th and used maggot and caster to catch 18 Lbs of roach. The next day he again fished Devenish and had 20 Lbs of fish, mainly roach. Mick also complained of too many pike attacks.

The river level settled down and is 2.58 Metres today. The Suck and Shannon are flowing slower than a week ago. Some heavy rain fell in the past few days and the level is up slightly today.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 30th April 2006 - 3rd Sun Easter B
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Adoration after Mass on First Fri until 6pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €466. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: S.Grennan, S.Quinn
Altar Servers: Darragh, Graham, Megan, Ciara, Amy
Mass on First Fri @ 7pm
First Communion Mass on Sat @ 12noon
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €228. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: Parents of First Communion children
Readers for next Sunday: H.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 3
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan

Ard Chiaráin
Rosary prayed during May, Mon - Fri @ 7pm. All welcome.

Bishop's Pastoral Visit
Bishop C.O'Reilly plans to visit the parish next Fri, and will start the day by joining us for the celebration of Mass @ 10am.
Afterwards, he will visit the two schools, & attend to other matters.
In the evening he will meet with the Parish Pastoral Council @ 8pm in Clonfanlough Hall
Celebration of Confirmation
We celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation in Shannonbridge Church on Sun 14th May at the 12 noon Mass.
The Ceremony of Light (Family Preparation) will take place in Clonfanlough Church on Wed 3rd May @ 8pm.
Special Choir Practice on Mon eve,1st May @ 8pm in Clonfanlough
Trócaire Lenten Appeal
Many thanks for your very generous contributions, which came to €3,810.00. This amount has been sent to Trócaire.
Clonmacnois N.S. enrolment
Wed, 17th May @ 7.30pm. Parents who wish to send their children to the school in Sept 2006 are invited to an information evening on that date, when they will have the opportunity to visit the school and talk to the teachers. If you are unable to attend, please contact the school during that week.
AWARE - helping to defeat depression
Public Lecture on 'Mental Well-being', on Wed 10th May in the Bridge House Tullamore @ 8pm. Adm is free.
Speaker will be John Masterson, psychologist.
Light refreshments will be served. Helpline is 1890-303302
Summer Social in Clonfanlough Hall
Fri 19th May, beginning with Mass @ 7pm.
Music is by the Midnight Melodies, and all who enjoy music and dancing are welcome.
Evening of Prayer for Vocations
Sat 6th May from 7-8.30pm, at Clonmacnois. Join us to pray for the future of Religious Life, while drawing inspiration from the past.