Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Latest GAA news from Conor Killeen

Junior Football A relegation p/o

Shannonbridge 011

Ballycommon 1-3

Shannonbridge had no real trouble when the Blue and Gold over came the challenge of Ballycommon on Sunday last in Muchlagh.

Shannonbridge were always in control of this game from early on when Shane kelly opened the scoring account for the Bridge.

The Shannonsiders were missing a number of players from last year due to the extended season of the Senior team, where a large number of players would have been called upon at different stages.

After the restart the bridge powered ahead to extended their 0-5 to 0-2 point lead with scores from the recalled John Turley, Gordon McEvoy and Duffy brothers Chris and Michael.

Ballycommon were only able to manage 0-1 and a last minute penalty in the second half gave the east Offaly Men a late goal. The Bridge are still not out of the relegation Woods yet and still face further challenges to stay up in Junior A.

Team M Deeley, A Higgins,A Gunning, C Norton,P Maloney, K Coughlan,S Coughlan,P Egan, E Egan,C Duffy, S Kelly, P Kelly,M Duffy,J Turley,G McEvoy

Sincere Sympathy
Shannonbridge GAA Club wish to extend their sincere Sympathy to Mary Burke and her Family for the recent loss of Martin who passed away on Sunday night last.

Martin was a very passionate GAA Man who was a supporter Shannonbridge GAA although originally a Galway man. His real passion was always Hurling and his love for the game knew no bounds.

He was frequently seen at many Hurling games, standing directly behind the goal in Ballinasloe and Birr among other places where he would study the game in great depth. And after wards voice his opinions right or wrong to his friends.

The Eyrecourt Man always kept a keen eye on the Horses and had a great knowledge of the sport of Kings.

Martin lived with his wife Mary and Family in Leeds for many years before returning to Ireland to live in Shannonbridge and played Hurling for many years while he was in the Yorkshire City.

He was a great Character,a sportsman and friend to all and will be hugely missed by Mary and Children Ann -Marie, Michael and Dermot. May he rest in peace "The Skipper"

Monday, September 25, 2006

Father Paddy Conlon was on duty on Saturday and Sunday in our parish and after Mass on Saturday we were asking him if he makes use of Arch-bishop Joseph book ‘These Might Help’. He said he did and the story that he remembers best is when a young Father Cassidy was assigned to Portumna and he went exploring some of the outer fringes of the parish. He was on a little narrow road and lost when he saw a man approaching on a bicycle. The man dismounted and Father Cassidy let down the window and greeted him. After some conversation Father Cassidy asked the man if he was on the right road for Portumna. The man replied ‘’ you are on the right road all right but you are facing the wrong way’’.

Postcard this morning with greetings from Alfred and Daniela Koop from Bavaria who visited Shannonbridge recently on their bicycles.

Congratulations to Roscommon Minor Footballers on winning the replay match against Kerry on Saturday. This was their first win since 1951 and the score was 1 – 10 to 0 – 9 points.

Some deaths last week included Joe Reid from Rashina and Willie Ryan from Moore. The news this morning was of the death of Martin Burke, Shannonbridge. May they all rest in peace.

The weather has improved yesterday and today after much rain for the Ryder Cup golf match and us all.

Seems that Pat and myself are heading out to New Jersey in the morning so had better pack a bag, get a haircut and get going.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Shannonbridge Fishing Report …. Dated 25th September 2006

Weather has been mixed with rain in later part of the week. The river level rose from 2.1 Metres last weekend to 3.0 Metres on Sunday 24th.

The Dublin Pike Anglers visited Shannonbridge area on Sunday 24th September.

15 pike anglers took part in the 1st Leg of their Winter League. They fished for almost seven hours and were allowed to fish anywhere around Shannonbridge as long as they had an independent witness. 55 pike were caught in the competition in pleasant weather conditions.
Winner was Rory Mc Allorum with 8 pike that weighed 31 - 4 lbs. Best fish 8 - 1 lbs.
Second was Godfrey Donoghue with 9 pike that weighed 27 - 2 lbs.
Third was Colin Mc Allorum with 5 pike that weighed 18 - 12 lbs.

There were a number of Austrian and German pike anglers fishing from hire cruisers on the Shannon and Suck rivers.

Gruben Gunter and party of six caught eight pike while fishing on the Shannon on 17th September using dead fish as bait. Best fish was 94 Cm.

Gerti Nagl from Bayernhas been visiting the river for 28 years and on 21st September his party of four fished the Shannon in the rain and used blinkers to catch six pike. About eleven other anglers recorded catching pike on the Shannon and Suck rivers with various sizes between 51 Cm and 87 Cm.

Coarse angler Cliff Mynard from Halifax recorded catches from twelve days fishing on the Suck and Shannon where he fished for and caught roach and hybrid using caster and sweetcorn as bait. His catches in pounds were 8, 8, 7, 16, 10, 12, 7, 11, 7, 16, 22 and 7. On two days he caught pike that weighed 8 lbs and 4 lbs. Cliff enjoyed his fishing and a variety of weather.

First time visitors to Shannonbridge Jim and Thomas Bennett from Hemsworth chose to fish the same swims on the River Suck in search of roach and hybrid as advised. They used red maggot and caster and were rewarded with catches of 20 to 30 lbs of roach hybrid and small bream each every day. These guys were serious and were fishing most mornings at 5.00 AM.

Alan Taylor from Chester is staying in Laurel Lodge and has used a boat to get to his favourite Backwater. He had a warm up day on the Grand Canal on 21st September and on a fair day he used red maggot fine line and size 20 hooks to catch 40 lbs of roach.

On 22nd September in fair weather on the Backwater he fished 8’ depth with a waggler and caught 40 lbs of fish including some lovely rudd that weighed 2.5 lbs each

Next day in the same swim Alan fished with waggler corn and caster on a size 14 hook and caught 30 lbs of roach and bream to 2.5 lbs and hybrids. He cooked and landed a 7 lbs pike on sweetcorn.

On 24th September in good weather he used the same methods in the same swim to catch 65 lbs of bream, hybrids and rudd again weighing 2.5 lbs.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

At the 50th birthday for Clonfad Church recently Archbishop Cassidy mentioned that the Irish for Clonfad was Cluain Fada which translates into English as The Long Meadow.

Heard that a busload of the Ballinasloe Active Retirement group set off for the airport last Monday bound for a ten day break in Malta. Well good for them. The flight better get back on time as I am told that they are taking part in this year's October Fair Week Parade staging their version of The Rose of Ballinasloe with contestants from all the streets and localities around the town taking part.

Good to see Mary and George Hogarty from Houston back in Shannonbridge for a few days. They visited Dingle and Listowel Races before coming to stay with Pat and Patti Corbett in Rachra House. The Hogarty’s first came to Ireland a few years ago on a family tree search. George’s family were originally from South Roscommon and there were seven boys in the family. The six eldest went to America and the youngest stayed at home. George has a cousin living in Newtown.

Mary’s grandfather was Eddie Murray who had an undertaking business in Boston and who often visited these parts as he was a cousin of mothers. On their first search Mary took along some photographs that Eddie had taken maybe fifty years ago or more. When they showed them to the Hogarty connection they recognized my mother, auntie and Mrs Mike Murray from Currawinna.

Good news about our local golfers. In the competition for the President’s Prize in Ballinasloe recently Shane Kelly 20, son of Sean and Mary Kelly Shannonbridge playing of a handicap of four, took 64 shots to set up a new coarse record. For the round Shane had 9 birdies and 1 bogie and was on the green in regulation for seventeen of the eighteen holes. Congratulations and well done Shane. Jim Killeen and Tom Mc Tiernan were his playing partners on the day and some of it must have rubbed off as Jim finished second.

Some bad news tonight for Shannonbridge footballers who are involved in a play off for relegation with Edenderry and Doon Clubs. In their match against Doon on Pattern Sunday the result was even scores. Later Shannonbridge were deemed to have made two substitutes with three minutes to play but only one player was taken off. At a meeting on Wednesday 20th Sept Doon were awarded the match.

For the All Ireland Football Finals Karl Rock and a friend flew over from London to watch the game but were unable to get any match tickets and ended up watching the games in Barry’s Hotel in Dublin. The drawn minor game between Kerry and Roscommon is scheduled to be played in Ennis on this coming Saturday.

Plenty of rain and wind about with the tail of some hurricane due to pass by on Saturday. Talk is how the Ryder Cup will be effected if at all.

Pat Watson the writer was delivering some more of his books here today. He told us that he was asked to write a history of Summerhill Convent near Athlone. Pat had worked for some years on the farm with about fourteen and he thought that he would start gathering the thoughts of the other workers on the farm. When he started enquiring he was surprised to find that all the other workers were dead.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Joe and Mary Coleman from Leeds have been on holiday for the past two weeks using the attractive packages offered by the sister hotels The Galway Bay in Galway and The Hodson Bay in Athlone. They completed their break by spending the weekend in Shannonbridge.

In Shannonbridge for an overnight at the weekend were Harold Holding and his good lady. Harold was born in Cloniff and now lives near Mullingar where he helps his daughter Suzanne run her popular bar and roadhouse known as ‘The Roadhouse’ which is located on the Dublin Road , Mullingar.

On Saturday Colm and Anne O’Brien stopped off in Shannonbridge on their way from Cork to Clifden where Colm was presetting a piano concert yesterday. The concert was organised by Brendan Flynn Clifden / Taughmaconnell. They stayed in Shannonbridge overnight and Colm played the piano.

Congratulations to Josephine Egan from Woodbank who celebrated her 21st birthday on Saturday night.

Clonfad Church celebrated 50 years in service at the weekend and at Mass there last evening it looked that there was about five weddings taking place judging by all the beautiful arrangements of flowers on display.

At that Mass it was announced that the mother in law of Michael Kelly from Cloneish had died and that her funeral takes place today in Kilkenny. May she rest in peace.

Rudolf and Gertrude Steiger and Stefan and Ingrid Jagschitz from Vienna are visiting Ireland for the first time and are on a cruising holiday on the River Shannon using an Emerald Starline hire boat. They have a preference for single malt whiskey and do not fish – just cruise.

Weather this morning has turned to a light rain with some wind after a glorious week.

The All Ireland Football Finals were played yesterday in Croke Park. Our neighbours Roscommon and Kerry ended with 0 – 15 each in the Minor Final and face a replay. The Kerry Senior Team were much to good for Mayo, God help us, and scored 4 -15 to 3 – 5.

On Saturday evening I met a couple from Indiana who were on a family tree search .for an Egan from Seven Churches (Clonmacnois ). They go back to an Egan who sailed on a boat named Napoleon, from England to America in 1840. There was also a Coleman connection on the tree. They planned to meet Father O’Hanlon and Gus Claffey yesterday hoping to find some more information in the parish records or in the Clonmacnois grave allotment books.

By co-incidence Joe and Mary Coleman appeared later in the evening. Joe told me that the Coleman family came from North Roscommon and settled here because some landlord at the time was trying to get them to change their religion. Joe’s great grand father was in the British Army. Later he operated a Pub in Sheffield and he was murdered.

Mick and Mary are taking a break for a few days in Killarney to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Listowel Races take place this week and of course the Sam Maguire Cup will be reaching Killarney sometime later tonight.

Shannonbridge Fishing Report …Dated 18th September 2006

Weather was mostly dry and sunny last week and the river levels remain at a summer low, some coarse anglers did not record their catches.

Jan Stevens from The Netherlands fished on the River Shannon on 12th Sept on a cloudy day and used dead fish bait to catch three pike, 100, 85, 74 Cm. Very good piking.

Terry Archibald from Doncaster fished the River Suck on 14th Sept for three hours and used a feeder and maggot to catch 16 fish that weighed 10 lbs. Too hot.

The next day he fished the same swim and used the same methods to catch a 4 lbs tench, 3 lbs bream and 4 lbs of mixed fish in four hours. Again Terry reckoned it was too hot.

Haudum Gunter from Austria fished the Shannon on 16th Sept and used a gummifish to catch two pike that measured 100, 73 Cm. Returned alive in the sun.

Jan Kirsensten from the Netherlands was leader of a party of thirteen that fished the Shannon on 17th Sept and used blinkers in the sunshine to catch 12 pike with the best measuring 85 Cm. Satisfied.

Jan Sloen’s party also fished on the River Shannon on 17th Sept in sunshine and used Rapala lures to catch 13 pike. Good fishing.

Regular annual visitors known as The Leds from Amsterdam fished on the River Suck on 17th Sept in sunshine and were surprised and delighted to catch 40 pike using Rapala lures. The best fish measured 90 Cm.

Coarse angler Colin Wollaston from Willenhall completed a great week of fishing.

On 14th Sept Colin fished on the River Suck in good weather and used float and maggot to catch 35 lbs of roach and hybrid which he described as very good.

On 16th Sept he fished the River Suck on a cloudy day and used float and maggot to catch 54.5 lbs of roach which was brilliant. During the session he was being attacked by pike so he used a dead roach as bait and caught two pike that weighed 23 lbs and 8 lbs. An added bonus.

Dave Kemp from Bradford has been fishing a variety of waters during the week including the Shannon, Suck and Grand Canal and has been happy catching roach, hybrids, rudd and pike using feeder maggot and on the canal he used the pole and corn.

Dave commented ‘fine weather and a few fish thrown in, too’

Cliff Mynard from Halifax was fishing here this week and David Walsh, the angler that seeks out specimen pike was in the area on Saturday sussing out the waters.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

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Tidy Towns Competition 2006

Adjudication Report

Centre: Shannonbridge Ref: 850

County: Offaly Mark: 240

Category: B Date(s): 07/07/2006

Maximum Mark

Mark Awarded 2006

Overall Development Approach 50 31

The Built Environment 50 36

Landscaping 50 34

Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 21

Litter Control 50 32

Waste Minimisation 20 4

Tidiness 30 16

Residential Areas 40 27

Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 32

General Impression 10 7

TOTAL MARK 400 240

Overall Development Approach:

Thank you for the completed entry form and the map of the village and its surrounds.

It was noted that an update of last years plan was not included, which is more the pity as it would have

allowed the adudicator to benhmark work done since then.

There is a good practical working relationship between the committee and other relevant parties interested in

the welfare of Shannon Bridge,so long may it continue.

Do engage with the school to advise pupils of your particular role in the community and to get them interested.

The Built Environment:

There has been an excellent effort on the part of homeowners and business premises alike to present the

good side of the Village of Shannon Bridge.

It was noticeable on what was a good summer's day that most premises had been or were in the process of

being painted.

A few recently refurbished houses in the village are very much in keeping with the street scape although one

was slightly bemused at the style of PVC window installed in one house -unusual to say the least. The

renovated thatched house on the outskirts on the Cloghan road is an eye catcher.

The road surfaces have been improved over the last few years and this adds to the attraction of the large wide

main street.

The addition of the extended tar macadam foot path to the Power Station has practical benefits as well as

looking like a job well done

The Church and School were in acceptable condition painted in bright colours with side areas and boundary

walls well maintained.

It is noted from your application that you intend to approach owners of derelict or unoccupied premises to

encourage them to address the problems that are not contributing to the betterment of Shannonbridge.

The Bog Oak is on offer as a potential development property be vigilant and make sure anything that goes up

is in keeping with existing fabric of the village.

The Harbour has been tastefully developed over time and was pretty busy on the day.

And the old fort has become a commercial activity and an economic contributor to the village.


The proposed step to put in place a tree planting programme for the village is a very good idea.

Trees are the most important plants in any urban or village setting.

The planting arrangements in place at the moment are very appropriate and one arrangement as one exits to

Cloghan was much admired for its content and attractiveness. It is a pity that it faces on to a stark boundary

wall that could be upgraded.

A reminder to attend to the shrub bed on the same side as the aforementioned wall, it needs to freshened up

and thinned out as it is a little raggy at the moment.

The hanging baskets and trailing containers over Morans and Killeens were admired for colour but too much

clutter does not help both frontages.

The B&B down the street had nice simple window boxes and there was very attractive garden adjoining the

house next to the thatched establishment.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:

The idea of developing walkways is a good one,but in the interim an effort should be made prior to next year's

competition to put together a proposal for a mini wildlife project.

This would be a good way to involve local school children who then should be given guidance to make the

project their own.

The area has many local wildlife habitats that could be used a base for any such project and the small wild life

garden maybe the ideal location to start with.

Litter Control:

The litter control was good but one has to keep on top of it as some was evident inside that previously

mentioned boundary wall at the Cloghan end of the village.

Again children could be asked to become involved in clean ups on a regular basis.

Waste Minimisation:

Consider a project under this category, prior to next years competition,that will complement what you are

doing in the promotion of the recycling facilities at the marina jetty.

The publication that was included with the original application form will help you identify ideas that are keeping

with concept of better waste management.


The signage opposite the thatched cottage is very obtrusive and indeed not that helpful in identifying places


21 signs ranging from directional to a billboard for Louise Killeen Concert were counted on the day- far too

much and something that should be brought to the notice of Offaly County Council.

Was planning permission needed for all of these ?

The concrete fence opposite the Church needs to be repaired and re painted.

Overall the local people are doing their utmost to put the best side of Shannonbridge to the forefront.

Residential Areas:

The excellent standard of village premises was commented upon in an earlier section of this report. This was

matched in equal measure by St Kieran's Park which has a very well maintained green area supplemented by

nice shrub beds that were well tended to.

The name stone needs to sand blasted and maybe re sited to more visible position

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:

The road surfaces were good and there are nice views as one enters from different sides.

The Roscommon entrance over the bridge gives you a vista of the Shannon although the bridge itself could o

with a little adornment to match the lights.

The link road to the Power station was excellent and the road from Cloghan was very acceptable although it

had some weed growth at base of kerbside in places.

The Clonmacnoise Road too was fine and the verges, on what is a narrow road,were cut back.

General Impression:

The village is improving each year so it is important that you keep the commitment going.

Do the utmost to maintain the level of partnership you enjoy with both statutory and local organisations.

This partnership appraoch will lead to a continuation of the progress you have made to date.

Keep up the effort and the village will make further progress in the years ahead.

A group of four people from Belgian TV have been on a cruise from Carrick-on-Shannon to Banagher filming as they go. Today they reached Shannonbridge and filmed around the village today. They plan to have a meal in The Fort Restaurant this evening and to film some live music in Killeens pub later on. Afterwards their efforts will be edited and broadcast on television in Belgium at least.

The death has taken place of Fionnuala Creaven from Creagh. Wife of Eugene and mother of Ian and Rachel, Fionnuala was the daughter of Tommy and Breda Derrane. Her parents in law are Jack and Eileen Creaven. May she rest in peace.

Today a lady in the Department of the Environment promised to forward the adjudicator’s report for Shannonbridge on this years Tidy Town competition and hopefully it can be posted on this site.

Ferbane Bridge Club starts their new season on Tuesday 19th September 2006. As usual they will be playing on Tuesday and Thursday nights commencing at 8.00 PM sharp. Their premises are located about 100 yards out the Ballycumber Road from Ferbane RHS.

Notice that the forecast temperature for the next few days is 18 C which is down 3 degrees from last week.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The corncrake count was 17 males with no information on the ladies or chicks. The corncrake coordinator was very pleased with the amount of help and cooperation given by farmers owning callows by the River Shannon. Drumlosh callows only started cutting the grass on the 7th September and at that time Curraghnaboll callows were still untouched. Farmers were still ringing the corncrake office offering to put back their cutting until 15th September.

Eileen Henry from Clonfinlough and Chicago celebrated her birthday on the 9th September which is Saint Ciaran’s Day. She tells that she always celebrates her birthday by going to Mass in Clonmacnois on her birthday but surprisingly she never goes to the Pattern Sunday. Eileen has given up the cigarettes and uses liquorice sweets to overcome the longing for a cigarette.

Martina Kenny from Sydney and Moore celebrated her wedding on the 9th September. The daughter of Eddie Kenny and his wife Dympna (nee Kilduff) flew home from Sydney to marry Josh Hunt from Birmingham with the wedding taking place in Meelick Church (1414) and the reception was held in St. Clerans, one time home of John Huston the film director. The celebrant was Father Abe Kennedy from Portumna. Josh Hunt it seems is a nephew of Tim Hunt winner of a Nobel Prize for micro biology in 2002. They choose to honeymoon in France.

The Nestor Family from New Jersey were in the area yesterday tracing their relations. One of the things they found out was that their great grand father attended Rashina School in 1880. They said he was not buried in Clonmacnois but in a cemetery near Rashina. They had made contact with an Irish friend who helped with the search. This friend again reminded me that he has information on the Keena family which he will forward to this site.

There was a very good turnout for the first opening of Shannonbridge Library last Thursday evening at the usual hours 7 to 9. Hopefully more families will come along to the library this year.

Shannonbridge Active Retirement had their first get together since the summer on Tuesday after 10.00 AM Mass in Shannonbridge Hall.

Met a group of three couples from Oregon last evening that were staying overnight in the village One of them told me his name was McAllister and the names Kelly, Carey and Robert also occur in the family tree. They had visited Cashel and Clonmacnois and Pat was telling how a Professor McAllister and P.C.Molloy who taught in Clonmacnois, found the famous Clonmacnois Crozier which is now in the National Museum.

They were very interested in flies for fishing as a friend of theirs ties flies back home and they brought samples of some Irish flies back to him as a present. The ladies are planning to visit Paris for a few days while the men go golfing.

Some old friends from near Atlantic City Dan and Claire stayed overnight in Ely House B+B last night and they ventured on a boat trip up the River Suck as far as Ballinasloe. The plan was to stop off at Moycarn House on the river near Ballinasloe for lunch. We set out too late to get there for the lunchtime slot but Robbie Finn and his son had a word and offered us the lunch menu which was very welcome and tasted good. I noticed that going through the lock gate near Moycarn the river drops by almost six feet.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 10th Sept 2006 - 23rd Sun B
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €454. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M. McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend:
Altar Servers: Dean, Michael, Shannen, Nicola, Kayleigh
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Thomas, Rose & Billy Halloran

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €162. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Claffey, B.Coughlan
Readers for next Sunday: D.Norton
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group 2
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan

Shannonbridge Active Retirement Association
Will resume meetings on Tues 12th Sept @ 10.30am.
Mass in Ard ChiarĂ¡in on this Mon @7.30pm.
New members welcome.
Wedding Celebration
Congratulations & best wishes to Denise Loonam and James Camplisson, who were married last weekend in Clonfanlough Church. Ad multos annos!
Offaly Co Childcare Committee
Will begin with FETAC Level 5 training in Birr & Tullamore in Sept. -
Child Development & Early Education modules. Training will take place over 3 hours, 1 evening a week from Sept to Dec.
The cost is €85 per module. Contact 057-9135878 for more info.

Also OCCC in conjunction with Offaly Adult Learning Centre will deliver a Storysacks Programme in Kilcormac in late Sept. A storysack is a big cloth bag that contains children's books & lots of props and activities to bring reading to life.
The programme will run from 8 to 10 weeks for 2 hours 1 morning per week, depending on the needs of the group.
Storysacks are a fun way for children & adults to interact & make reading fun, while developing literary skills, and promoting all areas of development with original games & ideas.
No cost for this programme. For more info call 057-9135878.
Questions people ask
Q. I came across a novena prayer on a leaflet that said that this prayer was never known to fail. Is this claim true? It didn't work for me.
R. These sorts of claims are ridiculous. How can anybody know whether everybody who said that prayer got his or her answer.
These sorts of prayer, or chain prayers to be circulated to a specified number of people, betray a very shallow idea of God. The kindness of God is not determined by numbers of magical formula. One deep sigh from the heart is a more genuine prayer than any leaflet. (Fr O'Flynn - Intercom)
"We don't love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities."
"I hate the giving of the hand unless the whole person accompanies it." (Emerson)

Shannonbridge Fishing Report ….Dated 11th September 2006

Weather was fine and sunny last week with some wind. River levels remain low.

Mr. Gutmann from Germany fished on the River Suck on 4th Sept and used spinners to catch four pike and two perch. Comment ‘nice 6 lb pike’

Tony Williams from England fished for ten days from 22nd August and used a variety of waters and methods. On River Suck he had mixed bag of 5 lbs using stick float. Then on Brosna he had 12 lbs on stick and bomb. Next to Clonfert with waggler but did not weigh ‘crap fishing’. Then to Hot Water for 5 lbs on the whip. He used feeder and float at Bullock Island to catch roach rudd and perch in the forenoon. Next day he fished Devenish Island with feeder float for 10 lbs of a mixed bag from outlet near far bank.

The FIVE DAYS on River Suck downstream from Correen Ford. First day Tony used stick feeder and lead to catch 15 lbs from 30 yards cast.

Next day he fished ledger and caught 35 lbs mixed bag at a distance. The following day he quit because of weather. The next day he had 29 lbs from the same swim on the bomb from a distance. Next day he had 12 lbs and bream did not show. And so he moved nearer the ford at Correen and caught 6 lbs of roach and rudd in the afternoon on the waggler. The following day the waggler had 21 lbs of big roach and rudd from the same swim.

On the last day 4th September he tried the Brosna and caught 9 lbs on stick float.

Norman Gray from Nottingham fished the Hot Water stretch and had a good day using feeder and maggot to catch rudd perch and hybrid.

Martin Johnson from Southport fished for eight days and expected fish everywhere he went to be waiting for him at Meelick, Grand Canal, River Suck and four other choices.

John Wilson has his swim pre baited for five days before filming it is told.

Horst Tropschug from Bavaria fished the River Shannon on 6/9th and used a plastic fish type wobbler to catch a pike 80 Cm. Comment ‘good fight’.

Local anglers Peter and Mark and friend Kelvin fished the river on 5/9th in sunshine and used ledger and maggot for bags of 20 – 25 lbs of roach hybrid and bream each. Peter hooked a roach which was attacked by a pike which he played and landed successfully on a 2 lb line. Some Feat.

Tanja Rolf Gross from Cologne fished Lough Ree from their cruiser on 7/9th Sept and caught and released a beautiful 80 Cm pike on a one bladed spinner.

Garry Barnes from Crewe fished the Boathouse stretch on the River Suck on 10th Sept and enjoyed a fine catch of roach perch and rudd using maggot and feeder.

Adrian Faulkner from Cheshire also fished the River Suck on the 10th Sept and caught five different species. His catches over the week varied from 5 lbs to 15 lbs.

Derrick Sombocall fished the Marina at Shannonbridge from his parked cruiser on 10th Sept and used maggot and feeder to catch roach and hybrid at a fish a cast.

Sean Reynolds, Tullamore had a fine pike at Shannonbridge on 10th Sept while fishing with a spinner.

John Gleeson, Tipperary and our own Gerry Casey fished yesterday on the River Shannon and fished from a drifting boat using spinners and jerk baits to catch 25 pike ranging from good jacks up to 12 lbs, ten perch to 1.5 lbs and a foul hooked 4 lb bream. They lost many more fish on a fine overcast day.

Colin Wollaston from Willenhall fished with feeder and maggot on the River Shannon on the 8th Sept and caught 42 lbs of roach and hybrids. The next day from the same swim Colin caught 34 lbs of roach and hybrids.

Yesterday he fished on the River Suck using stick float and maggots for a catch of 36 lbs of roach and hybrids.

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At the Pattern Sunday Mass in Clonmacnois yesterday Bishop O'Reilly gave the following sermon and a Polish priest gave a similar type sermon for the many Polish visitors that attended.


10th. September 2006.

History is being made once again in Clonmacnois on this day. With the presence of people from countries other than Ireland on this day, something new is happening for this ancient place of pilgrimage. It is not that Clonmacnois has not witnessed many changes, of course. Since the boat of its Founder, St. Ciaran, was first moored here on a January day in the year 545 the monastery he founded has been affected by the high and the low, the good and the bad in Irish history. And that is not all. The history of Clonmacnois and European history are also been connected. From this place on the western edge of Europe the light of the Gospel was to be rekindled in places as far away as present day Poland.

Visitors to Clonmacnois want to know how all that happened here began. The story of its beginning is distant in time and it is difficult to separate facts from myths. But the core facts of the story are fairly certain. We do know that Ciaran was honoured as a holy man. We know that his spiritual life was remarkable for his love of Scripture and that he lived a life of voluntary penance and self denial.

The last words of the saint, said to have been spoken when his followers wanted to ease his suffering by adjusting his stone pillow were: “The man who perseveres to the end will be saved”. In our time when perseverance in the faith is not easy those words of St. Ciaran take on a new significance.

At the centre of what Clonmacnois stands for is the spirituality of St. Ciaran himself, particularly his love of Scripture. One of the best known stories about the man combines two aspects of his life, his love of Scripture and his generosity. When he was reading St. Matthew’s Gospel and had reached the place (Chapter 7, V.12) where it says that “whatever we would wish others to do for us we should do for them” another student arrived to borrow his book. Ciaran gave it to him. His companions made a joke of this calling him ‘Half-Matthew’ since he had stopped half way through his study of the Gospel. St. Finian, his teacher, who heard that his fellow students were teasing him in this way, made the prophecy that it would not be as ‘Half-Matthew’ he would be known but as ‘Half-Ireland’, “for half of Ireland shall be his”.

Ciaran would not himself live to see the day when the prophecy of Finian would be fulfilled. He lived a mere nine months after arriving in Clonmacnois, dying, it is said, on the 9th of September of the same year. In time what St Finian, his teacher, foretold would be fulfilled and surpassed. A day would come when the reputation of Clonmacnois would be so great that Emperor Charlemange would send the scholar Alcuin to Clonmacnois, a great tribute to the reputation of a seat of learning. Here indeed was a great school, “the greatest of our schools in the past”, as one scholar described it.

Maybe a greater tribute than that of its renown as a place of learning is to be seen engraved on the old grave slabs of Clonmacnois. Here the great and powerful as well as ordinary people would come asking for prayers. The letters OR DO (pray for) engraved on hundreds of stones are a sign that this was the place to come in search of intercession. Sinners came to stay here to do penance and those choosing to follow a higher call as followers of Christ as monks found here the peace they needed for contemplation in this quiet land by the river.

What remains of Ciaran’s monastery is a powerful reminder of the Christian faith for us who live in a new millennium. Pope John Paul II by his visit to Clonmacnois did much to reinforce that message and to ensure we would not forget the importance of this sacred place. It would surely be unthinkable that we would honour Clonmacnois merely as an interesting old ruin, little different from the many pre-Christian monuments in Ireland. This celebration of St. Ciaran’s day is now needed more than ever to ensure that we keep alive the memory of the faith lived in poverty and penance as well as kindness and hospitality by men and women here by the banks of the Shannon.

The presence of people from other countries this year is a welcome sign of how Clonmacnois can strengthen faith in a new period of history. Clonmacnois has a mission, a task, to accomplish in a new kind of Ireland. Here we have the place where maybe more than anywhere we should show that we welcome not just tourists but those who come to live in our midst for a long or short time. “These ruins are still charged with a great mission”, said Pope John Paul II. Here in this place where Mass is being celebrated he knelt and prayed. What the silent prayer of the Supreme Pastor of the Church on that day was we do not know. We can presume that his prayer included the future of the faith in this land. We have good reason to be sure that he prays with us and for us in the same way today.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The 9th of September is Saint Ciaran’s Day and I enjoyed reading the poem The Dead of Clonmacnois recently. Remember how it goes?

The Dead at Clonmacnois

In a quiet watered land, a land of roses,

Stands Saint Ciaran’s city fair,

And the warriors of Erin in their famous generations

Slumber there.

There beneath the dewy hillside sleep the noblest

Of the clan of Conn,

Each below his stone with name in branching Ogham

And the sacred knot thereon.

There they laid the seven kings of Tara,

There the sons of Cairbre sleep,

Battle-banners of the Gael that in Ciaran’s plain

Of crosses

Now their final hosting keep.

And at Clonmacnois they laid the men of Teffia,

And right many a lord of Breagh:

Deep the sod above Clan Creide and Clan Conaill

Kind in hall and fierce in fray.

Many and many a son of Conn the Hundred-fighter

In the red earth lies at rest:

Many a blue eye of Clan Colman the turf covers

Many a swan-white breast.

-Angus O’Gillan, translated by T.W.Rolleston

Regular angling visitor Colin Wollaston arrived fit and well in Shannonbridge on Thursday night and on Friday he fished on the Shannon and had a 40 lbs plus bag of roach and hybrids.

This week has been great weather-wise with temperatures of 21C /70F. Wish we had the heat for the winter as today it was announced that the electricity is to get a 19.7% rise in January. The gas price is being increased by 34 % at year end. Now I feel sorry about the two chaps who called in yesterday asking if we bought gas bottles. When I asked him how many he had he said he had a van load of them. It will cost him a fortune to refill them.

Oliver Darcy was reminding us this evening that in 1951 Mayo won the senior football All Ireland and Roscommon won the minor title. Both western counties appear in this years All Ireland football finals in a couple of weeks time. Tickets are like gold dust.

Oliver had a pocketful of freshly picked hazel nuts from Currahill which he kindly broke and ate.

Norman and Lily Gray from Nottingham have been on fishing reading and sightseeing trip for the past week and return home tomorrow. It is their first trip to this area and hopefully they will return again soon Wish we had Lily more local as she read four books in the week and would be very welcome in the local library.

Good news late on Friday evening with the birth of a baby girl to Shane and Sinead and a 9 lbs 9 oz baby sister for Eabah. Congratulations and enjoy. The name Ciara Mary is being considered as the baby was born on the feastday of Our Lady and less than two hours before Saint Ciaran's Feastday.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Wednesday Ag Craven was laid to rest in Moore cemetery after 11 o c Mass in Moore. It must have brought some comfort to hear the homily from Bishop Joseph Cassidy who started off by saying ‘I first met Agnes or Ag Craven with her late husband Martin in Hayden’s Hotel in the early sixties’. Martin will be 40 years dead in a couple of months from now.

In the evening I met a niece of Ag Craven who told me that in her early years she was more or less reared with Ag in Drumalga as her father was in the army and based in the Curragh. She said that the translation of Drumalga was ‘Back of the Church’. Drumalga is becoming more popular with church congregations.

The death has taken place of Stephen Lantry, Clonmacnois and his funeral will take place today Thursday after 12.00 Mass in Clonfinlough.

The death occurred on Wednesday morning of Monica Garvey Banagher who was the wife of retired Garda Sergeant Bill Garvey. A good friend and card player has left us.

May they all rest in peace.

It was great to meet an old classmate Sean Tully whose family were having a get together with the family of Noel and Kathleen Higgins from Liberty. Niall Tully and Laura Higgins will be married in Moore on Friday the 8th September and best wishes to them both.

Greetings to regular readers Sean and Jodie O Rourke, Clonulty and Sydney, who are moving from Sydney to Brisbane at the end of the month.

First results of the 2006 Tidy Town competition was announced on Tuesday and Shannonbridge was awarded 240 marks. The judge’s report will be available next week.

I hear that a son of Nora Mara from Oughterard has been awarded a Nobel Prize in science for discovering a cure for a tree disease. Nora is a close friend of my sister Doc in Oughterard. It is a marvellous achievement and congratulations to him.

John Egan who once lived in Shannonbridge and worked in the power plant is back working there for a few days this week. He looks right well and tells us that he now lives in Ashbourne, County Meath and is still taking part in motor cross racing.

The river level was 2’16 metres on Tuesday morning when I went searching for a group from Dundalk who were on a cruiser holiday and one of them left his wallet behind. Lucky enough I was not able to find them.

The couple from the Netherlands who called in on Sunday on their way to The Glebe Caravan Park, Marke and Peter, called in on Tuesday evening to show where they had been. On their digital camera they had a picture of Saint Brendan’s Cathedral Clonfert and The Clonfinlough Stone. They were very interested in what appears to be a footprint on the stone. Have a look at it yourself. It is located behind Clonfinlough Church.

Two Dutchmen who are staying in Kilkenny visited Shannonbridge on Tuesday. They told us that twenty years ago they had taken a holiday on the River Shannon and called to Shannonbridge. One of them reminded me that I had asked him to write out a notice in Dutch saying ‘Holiday home to rent’. He did and it hung on display for a few years with no mad Dutch rush.

Now they have a house near Kilkenny City. For the hurling final they told us that they were in Langtons Pub in Kilkenny and that there were two bouncers employed outside

the pub. Their job was to prevent anyone from smoking immediately outside Langtons.

Glad to hear from Dave Houghton, Leisure Angling who told me that he is writing a regular angling feature for a publication in England and he is hoping to use some of the recent catches from our area as part of his article.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Yesterday a great lady from Dromalga House in Moore one Ag Craven passed away. Ag was married to Martin raven who died c 1967 and sympathies to her sons Colm, Martin and Hal and to her daughter Bernadette and her sister Bridie Lennon from Four Roads and her extensive family and friends For years she was a stalwart part of the ladies quiz team from Moore and the other members of the team Mrs Scott, Mrs Kelly and Mrs Blake have lost a great friend and team mate. May she rest in peace..

It was a pleasant surprise yesterday when Mrs Murphy from Ard Mhuire and her daughter Helen and Helen's husband from Kinvara dropped by. Mrs Murphy was married to Surgeon Jack Murphy who was a weekly Friday visitor to his patients in Shannonbridge for many years. They had five daughters – Sheila in London, Mary in Galway, Anna Lise in Dublin, Joan in Paris and Helen in Kinvara.

Helen was surprised to hear that her father was a gifted piano player. Pat told her that at 16 years he had passed the highest grades in the Academy of the London School of Music and that he travelled to the Isle of Man to have lessons from Charlie Coomb’s a famous piano player. Helen had never heard her father play the piano.

Helen was telling us that Senator Toddy Byrne from Kinvara who recently died had just written a book about the GAA in Kinvara which our friend from Galway last week might be interested in.

Dick and Doc and their dog Molly stopped by yesterday on their return from Rosslare where they had a break for a few days. Molly looked very well Moby thought.

See on the weekly bulletin that a group are walking from Ballinahown to Clonmacnois for the Pattern Mass and celebrations on Sunday 10th. Anybody interested in walking from Shannonbridge?

Met an interesting couple from Holland yesterday who are on a three week camping holiday of Ireland. They have travelled all around the south and west coastlands and are now encamped in Glebe Caravan Park in Clonfinlough. Marke Willebrand and Peter Vrowut are very interested in monastic history and plan to use the new publication ‘Stories from a Sacred Landscape’ – from Croghan Hill to Clonmacnois – as a useful guide.

Looking forward to Barry Crawford’s return visit in mid October.

Kilkenny defeated Cork in the Senior Hurling Final yesterday while Tipperary beat Galway in the Minor Final. Ireland were beaten 1 – 0 by Germany in their first qualifying match for the 2008 European soccer championships.

Nearer home Shannonbridge defeated Edenderry yesterday in Gaelic football. There is a three team round robin competition to find out which team will remain senior next year. Doon is the other team involved and they will play Edenderry next Sunday 10th September. The following Sunday Doon play Shannonbridge.

For one of the few games Shannonbridge won this year Louie Darcy missed being there as the parish outing to Knock took place yesterday. His prayers were answered Thank God.

Shannonbridge Fishing Report … Dated 4th September 2006

Weather was mixed. Mostly fine days with some heavy rain during the night on Friday and Saturday at weekend. River levels remain low and all banksides are accessible for fishing.

Power plant at Shannonbridge is on overhaul for another six weeks approximately.

Greg Corcoran from Dublin fished upstream on 27th August with a Jaxon spoon bait and caught 17 pike. The best weighed 24 lbs and all were returned alive.

Mark Cummins from Dublin fished on the River Suck on August 16th in mixed weather and used a wobbling dead bait to catch 6 pike ( 4lb – 8lb).Mark told that some weeks before he caught a 30lb pike in one of the backwaters off the River Shannon. All his fish were returned alive.

Graferhard from Germany fished on the River Shannon on 3rd September in the rain and caught a pike 70cm using a wobbler which was returned alive.

Egust Thocke from Germany fished on the River Shannon on 3rd September and caught a pike 75cm while using a spinner.

Adrian Quoroll, Keith Holcroft and Keith Williamson from Stoke on Trent fished two swims, one on the Shannon and another on the Suck. They prebaited each evening and used maggot and caster with a feeder and size 16 hooks.

Adrian recorded – 28th Aug 15 lbs roach and hybrids in sunshine. River Suck.

On 29th Aug in sunshine on the Shannon Adrian caught 20 lbs of roach and skimmers.

On 30th Aug in sunshine on the Suck he caught 28 lbs of roach and hybrids.

On 31st Aug in overcast and showery conditions he caught 40 lbs of roach, hybrids and bream.

On 1st Sept in overcast and showers Adrian had 34 lbs of roach, hybrids and bream.

On 2nd Sept on the Shannon and showers he had 20 lbs of roach and hybrids.

Adrian recommends fishing the far bank and pre baiting is essential.

Kevin Holdcroft fished alongside Adrian and caught 10 lbs roach and hybrids on Day 1.

Next day he had 15 lbs of roach and bream.. Next day he landed 38 lbs of roach and bream. Keith changed location the next day and caught 15 lbs of roach and skimmers.

The last day he returned to his favoured swim and caught 30 lbs of roach and bream.

Keith commented that there was a definite improvement since last fished two years ago. Bream are beginning to show again and should be in excellent condition in 2-3 years time.

Keith Williamson recorded one catch for 31st August when he used a feeder and worm to catch 17 lbs of bream and roach with best bream weighing 4 lbs.

The trio had a digital camera and Adrian promised to forward a selection of photographs.

Tom Thacker from England fished the mouth of the Hot Water on 3rd September and float fished with maggot to catch 42 fish with the best weighing 1.5 lbs.

Manchester lady Sharon Norbury went fishing on the Shannon on 30th August and caught her first fish, a roach, which she described as fantastic.

Some local youngsters are discovering the joys of fishing and have recorded their catches.

Niall Tumulty from Moore caught a pike and two perch on the Suck using a spinner.

Another day Niall caught 4 pike and 2 perch with the best pike weighing 6 lbs.

Shane O Rourke from Moore was ledgering on the Suck and caught two gudgeon.

Yesterday Declan O Rourke from Correen caught 3 perch on a spinner. Nice fat ones.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Friday’s Weather Eye in the Irish Times tells us that the swallows have departed from his garden on their way to Africa for the winter. Friday was also the first day of the duck shooting and after Mass there was a chorus of Bang Bang Bang ringing out. Surely an area of conservation is required in the area.

Father Joe Flannery from Brisbane called today before he returns to Australia. This year he was home to celebrate his ordination in Mount Mellary fifty years ago. Father Joe is from Clonmel but his family were closely connected to many of the Flannery families in this area including Martin ‘The Dane’, John and Kieran from Aughnacabe. It would be nice to know if his family or his Aughnacabe cousins travelled with the stone quarries years ago.

Pat Mc Cambridge from Galway and a friend called in Shannonbridge on Friday. There had been at a demonstration of a wood chipping machine somewhere between Tullamore and Kinnity. Pat was in school with my brothers Jim and John and he was hoping that one of them might be home. It surprised me when he said that he had never been to visit Clonmacnois but he has a cruiser on Lough Corrib and plans to bring it onto the Shannon maybe next year. His friend was once editor of The Connacht Tribune and is currently writing a history of the GAA in the County Galway.

Saw a website advertised on television called

It was sad to hear Val Joyce broadcasting his last Late Date program on the radio this morning. For 19 years he hosted a Saturday ‘Airs and Races’ radio Eireann programme and then some god moved him to a 12 to 2 night slot called Late Date where he made many friends. Then some months ago a new goddess arrived and shuffled the programs and gave Val the heave ho. He finished his last night with the song he played for his first program; a song by Neil Sedaka called Our Last Song Together. Thank you Val for many enjoyable programs over the years. His manager is Cathal Mc Cabe.