Sunday, December 30, 2007

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 30th Dec 2007 - Holy Family Sun A
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Masses: Mon & Wed – Sat @ 10am; Tuesday – New Year’s Day @ 12 noon; Adoration all day on First Fri until 6pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €497. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Ryan, L.Turley, M.Mitchell
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: Group 1, D.Finnerty, P.Corbett
Altar Servers for this week: Ailbhe, Aoife
Mass for New Year’s Day on Tues @ 10.30am
Mass for first Friday @ 7pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €221. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Noble, D.Fitzgerald
Readers for next Sunday: D.Boland
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group as arranged
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: N.Egan
Mass on Tues for the late Catherine Corrigan,
Mass on next Sun for the Devery family deceased

Some Quotations

 Home is where the heart is. (Pliny the Elder)
 What a father says to his children is not heard by the world, but will be heard by posterity. (Jean Paul Eixhter)
 The family, grounded on marriage freely contracted, monogamous and indissoluble, is and must be considered the first and essential cell of humanity. (Pope John 23rd)

Some Proverbs

 There are no praises and no blessings for those who are ashamed of their families. (Jewish Proverb)
 Nobody’s family can hang out the sign ‘Nothing the matter here.’
(Chinese Proverb)


 The one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents.
(John Plump)
 Children are adept at comprehending modern statistics. When they say, ’Everyone else is allowed to,’ it is usually based on a survey of one. (Paul Sweeney)
 As I understand it, heredity is what a man believes in until his son begins to act like a delinquent. (Presbyterian Life)

Most people have forgotten nowadays what a home can mean, though some of us have come to realise it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a haven of refuge amid the turmoil of our age. It is not founded on the shifting sands of private and public life, but has its peace in God. For it is God who gave it its special meaning and dignity, its destiny & worth. (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Sacred Heart Messenger monthly magazine is alive and well. It is normally distributed through volunteer agents like Mary Killeen in Shannonbridge Friends around or abroad that may be interested in having a copy should visit for details.

The January copy reminds us of and there is an article on Fr.James Cullen S.J. who started the Messenger in 1887.

The cover of the monthly always has a good splattering of red colour on its cover and many a lass has used this to colour her lips and bring a warm colour to her cheeks.

Try it for yourself.

Christmas Day started with mid-day Mass. Mick and Mick Doherty were expecting a number of people to go on a river trip and they planned to use two boats to be sure.

But nobody showed up and M+M headed on up the Shannon above Clonmacnois. Later we visited the cemetery at Clonmacnois and found the burial ground very well presented like an Arnold Palmer designed course. There was a fair old wind blowing and then a shower of rain fell .The Claffey Plot had hundreds of bulbs with their shoots about 2” over the ground. Pat told us that she heard Kieran Egan tell that the phrase ‘Who departed this life’ was used on headstones instead of ‘died’.

The river level on 26th was 3.86 metres but there have been lots of showers since and the river has crept up a few inches.

Home for the dinner and sometime afterwards Colin and Louise and Aine and Kim and Mick started playing some sing-along music with some help from Mike T and Niall P.

After midnight I listened to Lilian Smith play old Christmas songs on the radio and so to bed. Never saw one minute of television.

Brian was telling some friends of his in Dublin about the new bookmakers opening in Shannonbridge. They work in a courier company in Dublin. Last week a number of screens arrived for Fay Bookmaker, Shannon, County Offaly. There is no Shannon, County Offaly and the parcels were about to be returned until Pat, Brian’s friend remembered about the bookmakers and sent them to Shannonbridge. They arrived and the betting office is up and running.

On St. Stephen’s Day three familiar Dutchmen paid a visit. They had a house in Dingle for Christmas and on 26th it was raining hard and they drove to Shannonbridge to say hello. One man told us that they will be back as usual on a cruiser on the Shannon in May and this will be his 30th year on the river. Think he likes it.

Later on Stephen’s Day three youngsters arrived in Hunting The Wren. They had their act shortened to “Give us some money to bury the wren”. Mick gave them 40c and they refused to take it. Burials are getting dearer. They were not local kids and their father drove a Hi-ace van.

Ballinasloe is our nearest town and thanks to their Urban Council one can have a live look at what is going on there via cameras that are mounted at the junction of Dunlo Street, Main Street, Society Street and a bit of the town square as well. See what is going on at

Sally Kenny nee Anderson, Athlone Road Ferbane has died. Only last September Sally and her husband Paddy celebrated 50 years of marriage retracing the steps with Mass in Shannonbridge and a reception in Birr. Eddie Brown will be interested to know that Sally was a daughter of Jim Flannery ( pet-named Kates Jim ) and her mother was Margaret Coughlan, a sister of Mrs Treacy and Mrs Gunning and a brother of Johnny Coughlan, Clonascragh, the fiddle player May she rest in peace.

Oliver Craughwell, Athlone has died. Shannonbridge folk know his mother Maeve and his brother Seamus. He was a relation of the late Frank and Jimmy Rock from Cappaleitra and of Mrs Tommie Coleman Shannonbridge. May he rest in peace.

Well known entertainer and singer Joe Dolan of The Drifters Showband died in Dublin on Christmas Day and his funeral takes place tomorrow in his hometown Mullingar.

Aged 68 years he brought great joy to many many people. May he rest in peace..

Monday, December 24, 2007

On Saturday night the Red Admiral was alive and well in the storeroom.

Must have been all that Dun Carrig still water that nourished him.

Jane Mooney called in with an old bird book and Kieran Guinan was on the

ball. The bird is a Kestrel, 14 inches, the commonest hawk. It remains suspended

in the air, rigid, except for the quivering wing tips. It eats mice and insects

and occasionally small birds. Short cry repeated Kee, Kee, Kee or Kew, Kew.

Anyhow it looks great and looking forward to seeing it in preserved state.

Eddie Brown phoned on Saturday and said he was delighted that Seamus Gunning

his cousin, got in touch with him. Eddie had a question –

“What do you call a man in Spain who has lost his car?

CARLOS of course.

Belated birthday greetings to Cahal Rodgers and Ciara Macklin who both celebrated

their birthdays yesterday with a shared party.

Website that might interest you is

Last night the Crib in the Church was erected as usual by the Kenny Family.

This year Stevie and Colum got welcome help from family members that arrived home

From Australia on Saturday. Paddy and Louise Kenny and Marie and Sean helped.

Also there was Finny Kenny from Sydney. Mary Kelly arranged the flowers.

The front page of today’s Irish Times has a coloured picture of a restored Nativity window at St Brigid’s Church, Dangan, Kilmore, Co Roscommon. Photograph by James Connolly/PicSet

The same paper tells us that 440 people have been killed on our roads so far this year.

Our spell corrector got it wrong again. Sorry to Christie Hogarty in Australia and thank you for bringing it to our attention so smartly. Enjoy your Christmas.

For many years Cliff Richards has recorded a Christmas hit tune. This year he decided to give the youngsters a chance. So we have to make-do with last year’s number. It was called Mistletoe and Wine.

The Pogues song Fairytales of New York has been allowed airplay on BBC unaltered. Up to this the word Faggot had been brushed out. What’s the world coming to?

The river level continues to drop to under 4 metres today. Well 3.96 Brian says. The callows are showing more clear area and grasses. Yesterday morning in the sunlight about 100 seagulls took off from the flooded area and it was a real picture.

Newgrange is 5,000 year old for your information and Professor Michael J Kelly discovered the opening to the passageway and burial chamber 40 years ago.

Today was a lovely mild dry fine day in Shannonbridge for Christmas Eve.

Mrs Mai Darcy, Ard Mhuire, Ballinasloe has died and her funeral took place yesterday.

For many years she was radiologist in Portiuncula Hospital and her daughter Maeve, who is married to Sean Connolly now works in that department. May she rest in peace.

Pay Tiernan, also from Ard Mhuire has died. He worked with Tagasc services. May he rest in peace.

Mary O Grady nee Murray died in her home in Tullamore. Her funeral took place today.

Mary was a sister of Tony Murray, Ballydangan. May she rest in peace.

The Independent News & Media has agreed to buy The Sligo Champion for a sum in excess of 20.Million Euro.

Lotto news. The national lotto jackpot of over 13 Million was won by a ticket bought in Loughrea. The Shannonbridge / Doon Jackpot of 4,800 Euro was won last night by Ronnie Naughton, Clara. I will not tell you who won the 13 million until I see him first.

Martin Donegan works for a courier service in Athlone. He told us that when sending an item by post to Shannonbridge the correct address is Shannonbridge, Athlone, Ireland.

Sending an item by courier services one should use Shannonbridge, County Offaly, Ireland.

This is the e-mail from John Wilson last week which he has allowed me to post on this page.


Where to start? You are probably wondering who this is? John Wilson is a pretty common English name. I came across your Shannonbrigdge blogspot a few months ago and later stumbled across your e-mail address as I followed some links.

We first met in 1980 when I arrived in Shannonbridge with my Grandparents, driving an Austin Allegro with a broken windscreen. You sorted out a temporary repair for us at a garage in Ballinasloe.

We visited Shannonbridge for the next 6 years I think - staying in Grouse Lodge mostly and in the Bungalow once. On that first visit you were kind enough to show me around the best swims in your old blue VW beetle.

I remember the 1981 trip. My grandparents were invited to the tavern to watch the royal wedding. I went fishing.
I think that 1982 was the year that I put a motor onto the row-boat and fished up at Devenish Island and beyond. The engine broke down and I had to row all the way back - my grandparents were having kittens as it was dark by the time I got home.

1983 was an eventful year. I was fishing on the island while the contractors were removing the old baillie bridge. The crane dropped the bridge into the river and the local news reporter appeared. She rowed over to the island to speak to me about what I had seen and ended up doing an article on me teaching some of the local children to fish. There were quite a few with me at the time: Shane, Connor, Louise and their friends Michael and Aileen Thornhill, if I recall correctly.

We enjoyed many nights in the Tavern with good beer and great company. I remember a couple of old boys from Scotland often provided the music, but I can't remember their names.

It is difficult to believe that it is over 20 years since I was last in Shannonbridge. Of all the places in the world I have since visited, nowhere frequents my thoughts as much or as often. Of the old crew, I am alone now. Grandad George died in 1996 and Grandma Jenny joined him at the end of 2001. Many of my fondest memories of them include the times we spent in Shannonbridge.

I finally got married myself a few years ago, to Sharon, and inherited 4 step children. I now have 10 step grandchildren to spoil. I have not been a fisherman these last 20 years, instead taking up more active sports for a while and then more recently having taken to walking and watching the birds.

I hope that this finds you and yours well and I wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year. I have, as ever, put a card in the post and I think that I included my latest address.

I really must put some holiday aside for a visit to your part of the world.

Best Regards………..


Happy Christmas to Everyone.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 23rd Dec 2007 - 4th Sun Advent A
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Tues next 25th Dec is the Feast of the Birth of Jesus
Masses: Mon @ 10am; Mon night @ 9pm, Tues @ 12 noon
St Stephen’s Day: 12 noon;
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €659. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for Christmas: Group 4, S.Grennan, P.Duffy
Readers for next weekend: Group 5, C.Mannion, C.Doolan
Altar Servers for this week: All those available

Christmas Masses: Mon night @ 7pm; Tues @ 10.30am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €298. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: C.Healy, T.Milner
Readers for Christmas night: A. & L. Devery;
For Christmas day, D.Norton; for next Sun, H.Coughlan
Altar Servers for the coming feasts: Groups as arranged
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: D.McEvoy
Mass for the late Michael Kelly (Lakefield) on Tues am.

Beannachtaí na Nollag agus Síocháin san Ath Bhliain do gach duine

A special word of thanks to all who contribute to the various collections during the year, and to all who help out in any way in the Church and community. It is much appreciated.
One of God’s Children . . . . . .(Sower’s Seeds That Nurture Family Values)
One winter day, a little boy was standing on a grate next to a bakery trying to keep his shoeless feet warm. A woman passing by saw the frosty-toed child and her heart ached. He had on only a lightweight jacket and no shoes, and the air was chilly, the wind sharp.

"Where are your shoes, young man?" she asked. The boy reluctantly admitted he didn’t have any. "Why don’t you come with me and we’ll see what we can do about that?" the woman said. Taking his hand, she led him into a nearby department store and bought him a new pair of shoes and a warm jacket.

When they came back out onto the street, the little boy was so excited that he immediately started to run off to show his family his gifts. Suddenly he halted, turned around and ran back to the woman. He thanked her and then hesitated, "Ma’am, could I ask you a question? Ma’am, are you God’s wife?"
The woman smiled and said, "Oh, no, I’m not God’s wife, just one of God’s children."

The little boy grinned and nodded enthusiastically, "I knew it! I just knew you were related!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Surprised on Saturday night when Seamus Gunning told us that he was surprised to read about the people that Eddie Browne was looking for information about, as one of them Helen White R.I.P. was his Grandmother. Seamus is to contact Eddie Brown as they are related. Seamus was telling us that he is also related to the late Father Tommie Daly who was based in Christchurch New Zealand. Father Tommie was always telling funny stories. One that Seamus remembers was about the man that went to the doctor as he thought he had something in his throat. The doctor examined his throat with all kinds of gadgets and concluded that there was nothing there. Our friend told the doctor that there must be something in it as two farms had passed over it.

The six Bridgway welders from Poland – Thomas, John, Rafael, Tom, Mark and Jurek have just gone home to Poland for Christmas and will spend about a month with their families. Hope that they have a very Happy Christmas.

Edward Hogarty was telling us that his sister Fiona Canning and her husband Frank and two sons Sean and Eoin are spending Christmas in Melbourne with John and Christine Hogarty and their children Jorja and Max. Hope that they have a great time and they too are going to stay for a month.

Congratulations to Shannonbridge Football Club member Damien Brazil who has been selected as Offaly Referee in Gaelic Football for 2007 by a panel of about six sportswriters in the county. They did not mention his loyal team of four umpires, but they are also part of a great service to football in the county.

Paul Fay Bookmakers opened their doors for business in Shannonbridge this week. The new office is located where Ritchie Brown had the post office and shop, formerly Fitzpatricks. Wishing them well on their venture.

On Sunday’s Gay Byrne FM radio show on Sunday afternoon a listener texed Gay at 51554jazz to remind us that on 16th December 1944 Glenn Miller died. For next weeks show Gay is inviting listeners to text in something that evokes a memory of Christmas.

He asks you to keep it short.

A request today on the radio for Mr and Mrs Blehein, Ballymacward, who celebrated

71 years of marriage today from their friends in Shannonbridge. Maureen Thornhill Shannonbridge is one of their family. Congratulations on your achievement.

The river level was at its highest for this year on last Friday at 4.8 metres. On Sunday it was 4.44 metres and on Monday it was 4.4 metres. It continues to ease back but Brian tells us that lots of rain is forecast at the weekend.

Next meeting of the Shannonbridge Development Plan has been rescheduled to Wednesday 16th January at 8 pm sharp.

Tragic fatal accident to 30 year old Michael Hughes, Banagher at the weekend in Dublin.

After attending a party he tried to make his way to a flat in Harold’s Cross. There was a security coded lock on the main door. He got through this all right but before he got into the flat a man attacked him with a garden shears and stabbed him some 80 times.

The suspect had sought physiatrist help three times the previous week in two hospitals.

Say a prayer for Michael and the Hughes Family and Friends. May he rest in peace.

The European Parliament has lambasted the Irish Government for neglecting to protect about seven species of wild birds including the kingfisher, corncrake and the sandwich tern.

Weather was good today and another two strings of Christmas lights were erected in the

village. The normal lights in St. Ciaran’s Park and the green area opposite the church are also working. Countrywide Christmas lights are accounting for some 2 % of electricity generated and there is an appeal to use more friendly bulbs as some bulbs use five times of electricity than the friendly ones.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

GAA News from Jason Mahon

Shannonbridge Gaa AGM 2007

Shannonbridge Gaa annual general meeting was held in the dressing rooms on 30th November last.

New officers were voted into place for 2008:
Chairman – Tom Moore
Vice-Chairman – Frank Guinan
Secretary – Roger Ryan
Vice Secretary – Jason Mahon
Treasurer - Olive Costello
Vice-treasurer – Kieran Rohan
P.R.O- Jason Mahon
County Board delegate – Jim Killeen.
Registrar – Declan McEvoy
Senior & Junior team secretary – Jason Mahon

Shannonbridge Gaa thanked out-going long-serving secretary Jim Killeen for his outstanding service given to the club and hopes that Jim will indeed remain at some capacity within the club for years to come.

Frank Guinan was also praised for his outstanding work throughout the years for the club, Maintaining the football field/dressing rooms and facilities and selling countless number of Lotto tickets weekly and to mirror the words of Tom Moore, without Frank Guinan, Shannonbridge Gaa would not be functioning.

Team managements came in for a lot of praise also, in particular the senior management team of Noel O’Brien as trainer and Tony Rohan and Mick Flanagan as selectors. It would be seen as a relatively successful year for our senior team having again retained our senior status for yet another year. Coming through yet another relegation battle, where St. Rynaghs were defeated by ten points and a heroic draw against St. Brigid’s in Tullamore when we were 7 points down at one stage in the 2nd half. Also in reaching the Division 1 football league final, where we were beaten by Rhode just a few weeks ago in Geashill. Most memorably we overcame county Champions Tullamore in the semi-final along the way. We have a relatively young team and there is every bit of optimism within the club that when we have our full compliment of players we can be more than a match for any team in the county. Our Junior footballers had a less successful year, failing to sustain our status in the Junior ‘A’ football championship, and we will be competing in the ‘B’ championship for 2008.

We wish to thank all who attended the AGM, unfortunately numbers were down on previous years. We are a relatively small club in population terms and for a club our size to function on a par wit our peers we need to get more people involved and interested throughout the club.

Club membership
Club membership is due for the forthcoming year. €20 for singles and €30 for family membership. This can be paid to club registrar Declan McEvoy or Niall Price.
It must be noted that it is very important to pay for membership - Especially for players. Membership covers insurance etc. and members are given priority for tickets for Offaly Football & Hurling matches.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 16th Dec 2007 - 3rd Sun Advent A
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €506. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: Group 3, M.Killeen, O.Costello
Altar Servers for this week: Megan, Michaela

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €350. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Maleney, H.Hynes
Readers for next Sunday: A.Kelly
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group E
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan
Mass on next Sun for the late Jimmy Egan

Christmas Visitation
The sick & housebound will be attended on Thurs next

"A Mhuire Mhátair Íosa, go raibh Íosa agamsa,
Agus mise ag Íosa, ceangal grá go raibh eadrainn."
Shannonbridge Clonfanlough
Tuesday 18th December @ 8pm Tuesday 18th Dec @7:30pm
Carol Singing and Penitential Service Penitential Service
24th December 24th December
Christmas Eve night mass @ 9pm Christmas Eve night mass @7pm

Tuesday 25th December Tuesday 25th December
Mass for Christmas Day @ 12 Noon Mass for Christmas @ 10.30am

Tues 1st Jan 2008- New Years Day Tues 1st Jan 2008
Feast of Mary Mother of God Feast of Mary Mother of God
Mass for peace @ 12 Noon Mass for peace @ 10:30 am

The Parish Pastoral Council would like to thank all those who supported the recent Fair Trade weekend.
Shannonbridge Community Village Development Group
Will hold a Meeting in the Health Centre on Tues, 18th Dec @ 8pm.
All welcome.
Youth 2000 will have a Christmas Prayer Vigil from 11pm to 4am on 21st/22nd Dec in the Prayer Centre, Clonmacnois, starting with Mass. All welcome to pray for the renewal of faith & evangelisation of Ireland. For more information contact Helen on 086-1678027.
Words of Wisdom (St Francis of Assisi)
One day Francis was speaking with a member of Assisi’s nobility. The count was bewailing the chaos and scandals that were spreading throughout the region. "Your lordship need not grieve for these things," replied the saint, "for there is a remedy for these problems."
The count quizzically asked, "What remedy can there be for such evils?"
Francis said, "It’s actually simple. You and I must first be what we ought to be, then we shall have cured what concerns we have. Let each individual do the same and the reform will be effectual. The worst is that everyone talks of reforming others, without trying to correct one’s own area of chaos and scandal. In this way evil remains as disorder everywhere."

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On Wednesday night at the Active Retirement party in The Old Fort Pam Mc Dermott was telling me that her sons David and Dermot are based in London and are working in the construction industry with their firm named Kilnbridge. It was a great party with a wonderful dinner and music afterwards provided by Shamrock. Noticed two cameras in operation. Bridie Carry told us that she took 43 pictures and Mike Doherty was making use of his phone camera.

The Midland Tribune published two colour photographs taken by their cameraman at the Senior Citizens Party on 7th Dec. One shows the nine volunteer ladies that organized the party and waited on table The other shows Louie Darcy, Julia Dillon, Clonmacnois and Brigid Ryan Mullaghature enjoying their meal.

The Tribune has a photograph of Michael and Maura Smith, Cloghan, cutting the cake at the Cloghan Senior Citizens Party..

The Shannonbridge GAA held their AGM recently. Hopefully they will place their notes and reports on this website for your perusal.

Funding for Terryglass Arts Festival for 13000 and Shannonbridge Festival for 6000 has been announced by the Arts Council for 2008.

The Birr Review Magazine for 2007 has been launched. It costs 10 Euros and he Editor is Michael Donegan. Bet it’s good.

Tanaiste Brian Cowen announced funding of 1.2 Million Euro for the regeneration of Shannonharbour. The views of Offaly County Council, Shannon Development and Waterways Ireland were put together in a plan prepared by West Offaly Partnership.

As you know West Offaly Partnership have been holding a series of fortnightly meetings preparing a plan for Shannonbridge.Next meeting is on Thursday night 20th Dec.

On Thursday last three Sisters of the Lamb of God from the town of Famjeaux, France stopped in Shannonbridge. They had thumbed from Knock and were going to Clonmacnois. Later Sisters Lucie, Benedict and Alma planned to attend a Christmas Retreat in Dublin. Louise offered them a lift to Clonmacnois and she told us that they sang hymns on the journey to Clonmacnois.

Archbishop Diarmaid Martin was a guest on last nights Late Late Show and I thought he came through very good. The show is repeated on Monday I think Try and watch it.

He grew up in Ballyfermot and worked for some time in Rome before being appointed to Dublin.

Some websites that may be of interest. Shannon Region Tourism website has changed from Their new website is part of the family of Discover Ireland websites. The address is

Other websites are which covers the lakelands and inland waterways. Try

Newgrange is to go global. The famous winter solstice on Dec 21/22 will be on the website.

John Price suggests that the sign near his house with two little children walking to school

should be updated with words. Something like -

Little Mary “Hurry up Tommy, we will be late for school “

Little Tommy “What’s the hurry Mary, sure there’s no F.N. school”

The Athlone Advertiser is a free paper and the front page this week tells of a 28-bed surgical and gynaecology unit at Portiuncula Hospital known as Saint Clare’s Ward is to close on Dec 23rd. The reason given is due to staff shortage in other parts of the hospital.

Staff in St.Clares will be used to fill the want.

Had a phone call yesterday from Eddie Brown, the one tracing the Coughlan Family tree. Eddie wishes everyone a very happy Christmas. He is waiting to hear from Stephen Mc Neill, Athlone for help on the Coughlan’s. Eddie told me that he was able to get a read of the history of Ferbane Parish by Brendan Ryan from his local library. The history is called A Land by the River of God. We call the river The Brosna.



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday 11th Dec and the old river level is now reading 4.4 metres at the bridge.

Weather is that little bit colder today but not bad for near mid December. Thinking that in about ten days time the old winter sunrise will hopefully be lighting up the passage and chamber at Newgrange. If you have not visited Newgrange then try and include it on your do list for next year.

Christy Hennessy the singer songwriter from Kerry has passed away. Now that he is dead everyone knows more about him. Some 35 years ago he worked with asbestos and it is slow to develop the cancer that goes with it but it did. People on the radio told us that Christy composed over 200 songs including “Don’t forget your shovel if you want to go to work” Hennessy was not able to read or write but he got by. Say a prayer for his soul.

News of the death of Kathleen Brennan, Cornafulla, the woman behind the Apple Tart factory that has been so successful. May she rest in peace.

There is a Christmas Craft Fair taking place in The Mill at Belmont on Sat / Sun 15 / 16th Dec. It runs until 6.00 pm each evening and call 086-6078925 for further information.

Somebody dropped me in a parcel of items that I had left in Ferbane Power Station. Included were a tin whistle that was never mastered and a number of old photographs.

Some of the photographs were taken by Dave Feeley the fisherman from England showing fish catches of himself and also Philip and Gerard Casey at the Hot Water outlet.

Old black and whites showing the brother Jim as a young boy and sister Pat. Nice photo of a donkey and cart in our yard with my mother and a Mary Foley the cousin.

The river level on Monday morning has risen to 4.2 metres.

The local Active Retirement group are having their annual dinner in The Fort on Wednesday 12th Dec at 8 pm with full dinner and music by Shamrock or The Two Johnny’s from Loughrea.

The Connacht Tribune has news of the closure of the Abbott Vascular factory with a loss of 498 jobs. Ironically the company mantra runs “A Promise for Life “.

The paper tells of the discovery of two 18th century 1.5 meter French Cannon and a timber shipwreck at Inisbofin Harbour during maintenance. None of the timber used in the boat’s manufacture are native Irish or North European.

A request for permission to build 96 residential units at Monksland has been turned down by Roscommon County Council.

The death has occurred of Kieran Murray, Mountbellew and formerly of Cranberry.He was a brother of the late Tom Murray Drumalga and his sister is Eileen Egan Athlone. His funeral took place in Mountbellew. May he rest in peace.

Heard from America that Tony Kenny of the one time Sands Showband headed a great concert in Saint Mary’s Hall Cherry Hill on 8th Dec. Some twelve people made up the group.

Meanwhile Patrick Kenny from nearby America was telling about the Three Paddys that went on a sponsored charity walk across The Sahara Desert.

Paddy the Englishman said that he was taking an umbrella along in case it rained.

Paddy the Scotsman said he was taking an overcoat in case it got cold.

Paddy the Irishman produced an old door from an Anglia car and said he was taking it along in case it got too warm and he would be able to let down the window.

May the frost never afflict your spuds

May the outside leaves of your cabbage

Always be free from worms

May the crows never pick your haystack

And may your donkey always be in foal.

Heres a health to your enemies’ enemies !

May the roof above us never fall in

And may we friends gathered below

Never fall out.

May you have warm words on a cold night,

A full moon on a dark night

And a smooth road all the way to your door.

The Tom Mathews cartoon in yesterday’s Sunday Independent shows a large turkey cock reading a notice board that proclaims “15 Chopping Days Till Christmas “

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The river level on Sunday at Shannonbridge reads 4.2 metres and a lot of land is flooded.

News today that the other young man in Waterford John Grey has also died. Seems that they were chewing wet cocaine at a party. May he rest in peace and may his death be a warning to others,

Heard on the radio that Dana was in Easons in Ballinasloe yesterday signing copies of her autobiography called “All Kinds of Everything “. Almost wrote singing copies but in Shannonbridge we remember her for the film which was filmed in part around Shannonbridge called “The Flight of The Doves” way way back.

Paul Durkan has launched his new book titled The Laughter of Mothers.

Today’s paper has a large advertisement with a photo of Cloghan Castle for sale.

You can see it under search for Banagher. To me it looks a lot like what Clononey Castle probably looked like.

This afternoon there was the annual Ecumenical Carol Service in Clonmacnois.

Some seventy people gathered in Temple Connor and sang hymns and listened to readings from Genesis and Isaiah X 2 and one each from Matthew and Luke.

A welcome hot drink and refreshments were provided by Tom Moore and the staff of the Visitor Center afterwards.

I noticed somebody with a brochure of The Irish High Cross Exhibition Guide. This was an exhibition of copies of many High Crosses from around Ireland which was on display in Dublin recently. You may find more information and possibly pictures at

Flann O Riain has a weekly bit in The Irish Times where he discusses the origin of Irish words. When I saw a recent column headed Where’s That? Derry naturally I was curious. Here goes –

Similar words for “wood” are coil and doire, the latter having the more detailed meaning – “an oak grove, a thicket; a thicket on a steep incline”. This in turn derives from dair, meaning “an oak, oak timber. Universally Doire has been anglicised Derry, with a further 1,300 qualifying elements. It appears that the location of Doire an Chairn is no longer known, nor its anglicised form, but the haunting lines of Binn sin, a luin Doire an Chairn / ni chualas I naird do mbith ceol / ba bhinne na do ghuth / agus tu fa bhun do nid – a poem of the Fenian cycle from Laoithe na Feinne.

And figure this one out for yourself says O Riain – Derry, informs the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, is “ A meaningless word used in refrains of songs; hence a set of verses.

Just thought like me you would want to know.

Declan Ryan is hoping to add the odd bit or more hopefully to this website as soon as he gets a connection. So say a prayer he gets connected.

Declan attended a car rally recently which was started in Stormont Castle and had much of its trials in Donegal and Sligo. One of the more fancied drivers ran out of road in the Yeats Country and of course this has been put to verse or worse. Here goes –

The Stolen Stage

Where the wandering water gushes

From the hills above his car,

The fans among the bushes

Can’t believe they’ve lost their star

Where dips the rocky highland

To the stage around the lake

You’ll find a fucked-up Focus

And a Finnish Irish Wake

Where the wall is slightly dented

They’ll come from far & wide

To see the spot in Sligo

Where Gronholm’s hopes just died

Come away, O Marcus child!

To the waters and the wild

With a faery, hand in hand,

For the WRC’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Another small poet described it thus –


There was a young Finn man called Marcus

Who liked to drive fast in a Focus

He flew round the bend

But the bend did not end

Now his elbow is near where his arse was!

Think that WRC stands for World Rally Competition or equivalent.

The third poem goes like this. Is there a lost yeat behind the gate ?

The Lake Bend of WRC

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small sound-proof cabin build there, of hay and tyres made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

And live alone there in a glade that’s WRC – free

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes feckin slow,

Droppimg from the Veil of Mourning to where the Frenchman sings;

There, Citroen’s all a glimmer, and Loeb a purple glow,

And evening full of the Focus wings. ( & bits of wheels … & things )

Ah Fuck it !...

I will arise and go now, to the Rally in GB

And a small Frenchman kill there, with a torque wrench or a blade

Nineteen stages will I win there, and the title WRC

And retire in peace & happiness in a car that Henry made.

I’ll no longer hear lake water lapping,

with low sounds by the shore

or listen for Sebastian’s car

passing with a roar.

So I’m off home to Finland

A land that’s full of lakes,

But no stone walls around them

No need for F;%*in brakes.

Cast a cold eye on Life & Rallying

Frenchman, Pass by

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 9th Dec 2007 - 2nd Sun Adv. A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €555. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Kelly, M.Killeen, A.Keena
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: Group 2, N.Duffy, E.Quinn
Altar Servers for this week: Ciara, Dylan
Mass on next Thurs for the late Denis Lyons
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Damien Kenny
Mass on next Sun for the late Elizabeth McManus

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €185. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: N.Egan, A.Rohan
Readers for next Sunday: I.McEvoy
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group D
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan
Mass on next Sat @ 12 noon for the late Petie & Earl Kelly
Mass on next Sun for the late Kieran & Anne Pillion

Ecumenical Carol Service in Clonmacnois
On this Sun 9th Dec @ 4pm. Refreshments afterwards.
All welcome.
Shannonbridge A.R.A. Will hold their Christmas Social on Wed 12th Dec @ the 'Old Fort', starting @ 7.30pm. For more info call 9674117 or 9674169.
Ard Chiaráin
Prayer for Advent: each Monday eve from 5.30 - 6pm. All welcome.
Community Employment
Anyone interested in joining a Community Employment Scheme in the Shannonbridge area please contact 086-2501475.
West Offaly Partnership
Will hold an information evening on progression to Enterprise & Employment Options on 17th Dec in Kinnity Community Centre, from 7.30 - 9.30pm. The keynote speaker will be Con Hurley, journalist & life coach. All welcome.
Launch of Fr Declan Kelly's new book
"From Garbally Park to the Fair Green", in the Shearwater Hotel, Ballinasloe on Wed 12th Dec @ 8pm.
Christmas Parties
A big 'Thank You' to all those who organised the recent Parties both in Clonfanlough & Shannonbridge Halls. They involved much time and effort, and all the beneficiaries appreciate everything that was done to make for an enjoyable evening.
Point in preaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Newton "The grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one."
A Legacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Theodore Roosevelt "What we do for our ourselves dies with us.
What we do for our community lives long after we are gone."

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Congratulations to Dave Brubeck in California on his 87th birthday. John Creedon on RTE’s Late Date radio tonight told us that the composer of Take Five willed the royalties to the Red Cross when he died. Of course John played the tune and added to the Red Cross Fund.

Congratulations to Michael and Nanny Anderson who celebrated 50 years of marriage this week. They enjoyed the Senior Party organised by Liz Duffy and her team.

Those attending gathered for Mass at 6.00 and then went to the Village Hall where a three course hot meal was served with Turkey and Ham, a choice of deserts and tea or coffee with Christmas Cake. During the dinner everyone was presented with a Christmas gift, After the meal the band Guess Who played music for dancing and singing. A great night was had by all.

Tom Carty had an interesting Black & White photograph taken outside Fitzpatricks Shop with the old forge and the shed alongside clearly shown. Three men in the photograph are Johnny Flynn, Oliver Darcy and Shem Fitzpatrick. Hopefully we can put it on this site soon.

On Thursday night the annual Mass for ESB deceased staff was celebrated in Shannonbridge Church. The list of those dead was read out and a few new names have been added since last year. May they all rest in peace.

The river level on Friday morning was 3.85 metres. On Friday a couple of birdwatchers from Clonakilty visited Clonmacnois and called in to Shannonbridge. I offered to show them the small birds that are usually around our bird feeders in the back yard. When we got to the kitchen some twenty crows and jackdaws and such had landed on the roof and there was not a small bird to be seen. Lucky enough the man said that they were one of his favourite birds. His wife was amazed at the sight of the callow in bright sunshine with a sweep of floodwater surrounded by golden coloured grass.

Sorry to hear of the death in Alaska of Dennis Heatley. Dennis and his brother Michael were regular coarse fishing visitors to Shannonbridge for many years.

May he rest in peace.

Dave Petz, golf’s foremost authority on the short game and putting will be opening his new school at Killeen Castle in June 2008. See

Not sure if it is Petz or Pelz. Try it out for yourself.

Best of luck to BWIL – (Black & White Interiors Ltd) who are planning to open for business soon in Main Street, Shannonbridge, They hope to rent the former space occupied by Mags the hairdresser in the days before Supermac.

Sam Ikhimioya is a Design Consultant and their slogan reads – Alternative Living Homes for the Future

Consult them about Furniture, Art & Craft, Architecture, Manufacture, Interior Design

And Timber Frame Housing.

Kieran Fallon and the other jockeys who have been on trial in England accused of fixing races had their case thrown out of court on Friday. Fallon is top jockey to Aidan O Brien.

He will now be allowed to ride in England as a ban had been in force.

Greetings to Martin Grenham Birmingham who looks at this page now and again according to his brother Michael and his sister in law Madge. Keep on looking.

Drugs really hit Ireland in the past week.

About two weeks ago after a party in Waterford two men went into a coma.

One of the men Kevin Doyle has died and was buried on Thursday. Another man John Grey remains in a critical condition.

Last Sunday model Katy French collapsed in a house in Meath. She died Thursday.

May they rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

On Sunday the river level had risen to 3.2 metres. Two of our local pike anglers went out pike fishing in a boat and they told that the river had risen noticeably in the time that they were fishing. They caught three pike in one of the backwaters off the main flow.

Some other group of pike anglers held their own private match also on Sunday. This group do not want to advertise their catches as they have found in the past that other anglers swarm to the successful fishing locations like flies.

The funeral of Mary Burke took place on this Monday after Mass in Shannonbridge to Clonmacnois Cemetery. Brigie Cassidy was telling us at her wake on Saturday night that Mary her sister had been working in Killeens in Shannonbridge for 22 years. Some great old friends turned up at the funeral and Shannonbridge Choir gave her a right good send off. There was a well put together few words of thanks from her son Michael and he ended up by asking Mary’s grandniece Emma to sing two of his mothers favourite songs.

One was The Fields of Barley and you know the other one.

After the funeral Patrick Kenny from America was in prime form with stories puzzles and yarns. I liked the one about the man that went to see the doctor. When he had examined him and taken some samples the doctor told the man that he would contact him when he got back the results.

About a week later the phone rang and the doctor asked if that was Tom. The man said it was. The doctor told Tom that he had some bad news and some worse news.

The man asked what the bad news was. The doctor said that the results of his tests were back and that Tom had only 24 hours to live.

And what is the worse news asked Tom.

Oh said the doctor I was trying to phone you all yesterday evening but there was no answer.

Bridie Kineavy from Rosmuc was in Shannonbridge on Sunday and told us that she is a native Irish speaker.

I asked her for a saying in Irish and she gave me this one for your delight –

‘Is minic a bhris beal duine a shron.’

This translates as ‘’ it’s often that somebody’s mouth broke their nose ‘’

Paul Donnelly from Rahara and Athlone died just like that while playing cards in The Shack pub in Athlone. His remains were removed to St Mary’s in Athlone on Monday evening. Burial in Coosan on Tuesday. The priest in St Mary’s told us that Paul retired from the ESB some ten years ago. He was born in Rahara Roscommon. When he was aged six his mother died. When he was aged ten his father died.

Paul was married with one grown up son who is married.

Paul was well known on building sites for the ESB and worked in Shannonbridge, Ferbane and Lanesboro at various stages. Paul was A Gentleman. May he rest in peace.

A daring robbery took place in Dublin last week when somebody drove their truck / tractor into the Guinness Brewery and hitched onto a trailer load of barrels of Guinness and Carlsberg and drove off. The truck / tractor were located the following day but the barrels are still at large.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 2nd Dec 2007 - 1st Sun Adv. A
Tel (090) 9674125
Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am
Masses: Daily @ 10am except Mon, Thurs & Sat; Mass on the First Fri @ 10am with Adoration until 5pm
Sat, 8th Dec, Feast of the Immaculate Conception - a Holy Day:
Vigil Mass on Fri @ 6pm; Mass on Sat @ 12noon
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €480. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: G.Brennan, D.Deeley, V.Hynes
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: Group1, D.Finnerty, P.Corbett
Altar Servers for this week: Ailbhe, Aoife
Mass on next Sat eve for Ciaran, MaryAnn, & Brian Flannery decd.
Mass on next Sun for James Francis & Leo Coakley decd.
Mass for the 'Immaculate Conception' on Sat @ 10.30am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €265. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A.Walshe, R.Gunning
Readers for next Sunday: S.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group C
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly
Mass on next Sun for the late Mary & Ciaran Daly

Annual ESB Mass
Mass for deceased members of the ESB & their families will be said on next Thurs eve, 6th Dec @ 8pm
Shannonbridge Christmas Party
Fri 7th Dec; as this day is the eve of the Immaculate Conception, a Holy Day of Obligation, we will start with Mass in the Church @ 6pm, which is for everyone.
If you are coming to the Party please call 087-2410587
Ecumenical Carol Service in Clonmacnois
On next Sun 9th Dec @ 4pm. Refreshments afterwards.
All welcome.
Shannonbridge A.R.A. Will hold their Christmas Social on Wed 12th Dec @ the 'Old Fort', starting @ 7.30pm. For more info call 9674117 or 9674169.
Youth Services in the Parish
There will be a meeting to discuss the needs of young people in the Parish Hall on Mon 3rd Dec @ 8pm. Eileen Kelly, of the Midland Regional Youth Service, will facilitate the meeting. The meeting will focus on identifying the needs of young people in the Parish, and how to meet these needs. All young people & adults, interested in the welfare of our youth, are invited to attend.
Irish Blood Transfusion Service - Ballinasloe
Will be very happy to receive your blood donation in the Shearwater Plaza Hotel on next Tues Wed & Thurs from 4.30pm - 8.30pm.
'Help us to help others'.
Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
"We can recycle your used mobile phones to support our work for AIDS orphans in Africa. Phones without the charger can be posted to: Mobile Phone Recycling, MSC Mission Support Centre,
P.O. Box 23, Western Rd, Cork."
Ballinasloe Flower & Garden Club
Demo by Amanda Ellwood, in Haydens Hotel on Wed 12th Dec @ 8pm
Taughmaconnell C. Care Group present Brendan Shine in the Shearwater Plaza Hotel on Thurs 6th Dec @ 10pm.
There will be a meeting in the hall this Wednesday 5th December at 8pm regarding the future development of Shannonbridge.
If you have an interest in, or an opinion on what the future should hold for Shannonbridge, please come along.

Friday, November 30, 2007

On Wednesday evening at Vimy Mc Quinn’s removal to the church in Tullow the family told us that she celebrated her 90th birthday last May.

Back home in Shannonbridge the news awaited of the death of Mary Burke Shannonbridge some fourteen months after the death of her husband Martin. Mary had worked for many years in Killeens Bar and shop. Her funeral is this weekend with removal on Sunday and burial on Monday. May she rest in peace.

The river level has risen to 2.63 metres on Thursday. Lots of rain forecast for tomorrow and some very high tides along the west coast. Up to 45 feet is forecast.

Five stupid anglers in a white van visited Raghrabeg at the weekend and brazenly tried to drive down a field to the River Suck. You guessed it - the van sunk,

The Ballinasloe Credit Union has a website where you might find the 2008 calendar. Sorry the photographs are not black and white but almost so as Liam Jordan has a special touch with colour.

Easons have opened a two storey outlet on Society Street Ballinasloe which Bob found very good. He ordered a book and they had it for him in three days.

Sorry to hear of the death of Mons John Conneely from near New York and Tuam.

Funeral leaving funeral parlour in Tuam tomorrow. He was a classmate of the brothers.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Some recent local deaths include –

- Betty Tom Perry, Belmont aged 94 years, widow of the late Tom Perry has died and her funeral Mass takes place in High Street Church this morning. Burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery. May she rest in peace.

- Paul Dooley, Ballinasloe, Aged 97 years, was buried last Sunday in Creagh after Mass in Saint Michaels. Paul once owned the Dooley Pub in Ballinasloe across from Haydens Hotel. May he rest in peace.

- Mary Bridget Mc Intyre, Cloghan was born in May 1911 and worked in Lynches Shop in Cloghan. After the Lynch family Baby ran a popular accommodation base for visitors.

Her funeral takes place today after Mass in Cloghan. May she rest in peace.

- Vimy Mc Quinn, nee Luker, Tullow and Shannonbridge has died in Beaumont Hospital. Removal of her remains to Tullow this evening with funeral after Mass tomorrow in Tullow. Vimy was a sister of the late Eric Luker. May she rest in peace.

- Two brothers from Tyrrellspass, Daniel (39) and Anthony (41) Dowdall, were drowned in the River Shannon at Athlone on Friday last. The search was called off after one body was recovered on Saturday. On Sunday morning a group of sub-aquavists were training in the Shannon and found the second body. May they rest in peace.

Ballinasloe Credit Union Calendar for 2008 looks like a local winner. It features some fifteen black and white creations from the lenses of Liam Jordan. Clonmacnois has two entries and a good shot of Shannonbridge bridge taken from the west bank downstream caught my eye as well as a spider web in the early morning mist. Join the Credit Union in Ballinasloe. The calendar is worth the effort.

Congratulations to Irelands new Cardinal Sean Brady from Armagh. Already he is having a word in the Popes ear inviting him to Ireland. Cardinal Brady invited all his classmates to Rome for the ceremony and friend Benny was one of those who went to Rome.

Enjoyed a supplement on Shakespeare in the Irish Independent last week with samples of Sonnets, Great Speeches, his women, the soaps, Macbeth, The Globe Theater, and getting to grips with blank verse. Shakespeare used De Dum De Dum De Dum De Dum De Dum

Quite a bit and it worked for him. Try it yourself.

Sunshine today and we were promised rain.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No fish catches entered in the fish catch book since last report. A neighbouring town fished one of their pike competitions at Shannonbridge recently, and sorry that they did not record their catches.

Rumour that one angler caught a pike that weighed 26 lbs. All fish were returned alive.

Yesterday two French pike anglers told that they had caught 92 lbs of pike in one day recently and one big bream. Again they did not record their catches.

The river level remains at about 2.5 metres and the weir at Athlone has four gates open.

Likewise at Meelick. So there is a good steady flow of water.

John Carty from Banagher who worked on Bord na Mona has died aged 85 years and was buried on Saturday November 18th. May he rest in peace.

The electrical supply to the floating jetty at Shannonbridge still remains unconnected.

This winter Waterways Ireland at Scariff have decided not to leave the two customary rubbish bins at the quayside at Shannonbridge. A phone call to 061-922033 promised that the engineer in charge Niall Moore would return my call. Still waiting a reply for over a week.

Noticed buttercups in bloom in Darcys Callow on 6th November.

Young birds are busy feeding on the peanuts but there is still no sign of a goldfinch.

Someone told us that while there is natural food available they will not bother with bird feeders. We have a crow with a sore leg that has been using the back shed roof where the bird feeders are located. Funny enough the smaller birds seem to have accepted this crow.

Normally they scatter when crows swoop down.

Most popular pub names in England are 1. The Crown. 2. The Red Lion. 3. Royal Oak.

4. Swan. 5. White Hart.

Suggestion for a sign –

If We See You Smoking At The Bar

We Will Assume You Are On Fire

And Will Take The Appropriate Action.

The Revenue Commissioners tell us that there are almost 450 fewer pub licences in Ireland issued or removed last year compared to 2005.

Dick Warner who produced some brilliant series of film on the Shannon and Grand Canal and other waters stopped off in Shannonbridge last Monday.

On 20th November Philip Treacy from Ahascragh, the hat designer, was awarded with an O.B.E. for his work by Queen Elizabeth of England.

Visiting Ireland for four days recently were Lada Dobrkouska and Pavel Novotny from Czeckislovakia. They stopped off at Clonmacnois and Shannonbridge and they were planning to visit Galway and The Cliffs of Moher. They spoke excellent English.

Pavel was the man and Lada was the lady.

Met three Americans visiting Ireland last week. Chris Saxton from Idaho and his wife Christine Doering from Frankfurt and their friend Terence Russ from Wayne New Jersey

The three were all interested in foreign coins and they were over two hours looking at a large bag of coins. They have great interest in castles, coins and Newgrange.

Some years ago somebody asked a parent how his son was getting on.

The reply went something like this –

“ He is getting on great now. He is paying for three cars, and he is walking”.

A solution recommended for descaling kettles is an equal amount of vinegar and water boiled together and used it soak the scale in the kettle for one hour after the two have been brought to the boil and introduced to the kettle.

Gemma Henry Clonellan, Ballydangan died on November 19th. Gemma had spent 14 years in Portiuncula Hospital after passing out at Crazy Prices in Ballinasloe.

May she rest in peace.

Some 13 members of Shannonbridge Active Retirement group had an enjoyable three nights stay at Galway Bay Hotel recently.

The week before eight members qualified for Certificates after completing a computer course in Crank House in Banagher.

The newly built Athlone Town Shopping Center was opened some ten days ago. It is built on the site of the old Royal Hotel and grounds and extends into the ESB yard further back.

Ireland still awaits a new manager for the Irish Soccer Team.