Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Monday evening Pat Mick and I went to Galway where we linked up with Bennie and Doc and Dick in Club Cuba. On Monday night some twenty musicians, mostly brass and drums and keyboard player and three singers enjoy themselves playing music in the bar.

That night their lady vocalist was not there but Garreth Philips sang a range of Sinatra type songs and Keith Mc Donnell from Athlone and now living in Galway sang a few numbers. A very enjoyable performance if you like big band music. You just walk in.

Recommend that you get there before 9 pm and there is a bar and refreshments available.

Heard that Irish death notices are available on

Tuesday evening I called down to see how Ned Hendrick was getting on with the bird nesting boxes as Mick Doherty gave me some roofing felt for the roofs. Ned had made three copies of the old nest box that I gave him last week. Exact copies down to the door hole and stick of wood at the entrance.

Ned showed me where he had drilled two holes 1.25 inches in a cavity block wall beside his work shed and birds use it for a nesting place. He feeds about 50 birds on the ground beside his workbench.

To repeat a robin nest is 26mm high, 12.7mm wide and 14.6mm in depth. The entrance hole is 32 mm. Do a Google search on bird houses. Rose Ryan has a very useful book on birds with dimensions for bird nest boxes etc.

Recent deaths include John Mc Neill, undertaker, Athlone who was buried last week

And Liam Ralph, ESB Dublin, Ferbane and Tipperary whose funeral takes place in Thurles today. May they rest in peace.

Tonight on television programme Highways and Byways our own Kevin Duffy from Clondelara will be featured.

On next Tuesday on Midland 103 radio there will be an interview with Pat Killeen broadcast between 7.00 and 8.00 pm. It can be heard on 103.5 Long-wave and 92.5

On the medium wave-band.

Conor Higgins has been named on the 24 man Irish Under-20 Squad for the upcoming 6-Nations rugby series. All three home matches will be played in Duggan Park, Athlone.

First game is this Friday against Italy. Then on February Ireland play Scotland and on March 7th Ireland play Wales. All these Under-20 games kick-off at 7.30 pm.

River level on Saturday and Sunday was 4.76 metres. On Monday the level was 4.72 metres. Tuesday it was 4.68 metres. I forgot to ask our reader Brian what the level was this morning.

Forecast is for strong winds in the west and rain. What’s new ?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GAA News from Club PRO: Jason Mahon

Meeting of Players & Management
There will be a gathering for all players past and present and Senior football manager Noel O'Brien in 'The Old Fort' restaurant in Shannonbridge, this Friday coming, 1st February at 8.15pm sharp. Food and drinks will be served and Noel O'Brien and his management team will outline their plans for the forthcoming season. We would appreciate a full turn-out from all players.

Club Membership
A reminder that membership for 2008 is now due. Any players or past members that have not paid up yet, can do so now. The cost is Eur20 for singles & Eur30 for families. This can be paid to club registrar Declan McEvoy and Niall Price.

Sincere sympathy.
Shannonbridge GAA wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the Higgins family, Clondalara, Shannonbridge following the tragic death of James. This is a huge shock to everybody in the area. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday and the level of the Shannon has risen to 4.72 metres. Brian tells us that there is water around the old crane at the quayside. Looking for bird nesting boxes in the garden yesterday I noticed a little flood water on the left hand side and a wetting on the right side. Boxes were in bad shape and Ned has taken one of the better ones and will use it as a model to make a handful. Pat arrived home last night with a baby crocus ready to bloom. Within an hour of the warmer air it broke forth into a golden beauty.

The Irish Times today has a free poster of Irish Scientists. Of course the Parson Telescope man from Birr is featured along with Beaufort of the wind speed table and about ten others. Buy the paper and get your own poster.

In the Irish Independent today there is an account of the tragic death of young James Higgins who started school in Shannonbridge but transferred to High Street school this September when Shannonbridge lost its school. Tributes from teachers, pupils and Father Murray, Ferbane. One teacher recalled that when school finished on Friday James said “ See you on Monday Miss”. Say a prayer for the Higgins Family at this time.

Today on JK’s Ensemble on Lyric FM radio with John Kelly our host John remarked

“I went off the air for about 10 seconds, but I can assure you, you missed nothing”

News of the death of Rene O Driscoll who worked in Portiuncula hospital and lived in Correen Castle before moving to a house near Moate. Death notice will be in the papers tomorrow. May she rest in peace?

The river level on Sunday was 4.66 metres but did not deter John Gleeson and Gerard Casey from doing a spot of pike fishing. Trolling from their lake boat they avoided their favoured locations and fished the bends on the river. Nothing big but two pike of 5 lbs and 6 lbs satisfied the pair.

This week’s Connacht Tribune has a photo of their April 1933 edition. At that time the paper featured adverts on their front page. Alex Moon of Galway takes up a quarter spread across the top of the front page.

On Saturday evening news of the tragic death of young James Higgins, Clondelara, son of Padraig and Joan was heard. Six year old James went to visit his Grandfather Jimmy next door and got drowned in a pool of water James is brother of Anthony, Colm and Darrell. His funeral takes place after Mass on Wednesday. May he rest in peace.

Francis L. Shelley, 94, Athlone and Dublin has died and will be buried after Mass in Sutton on Tuesday. May he rest in peace.

May Greene, nee Burke, Earls Park has died and her funeral takes place on Tuesday.

May she rest in peace.

Mary (May) Kilduff, nee Kilduff, Main Street, Ballinasloe, wife of the late Bernard, and mother of Mary, Brendan, Padraic and Tommy, and sister of Rory Kilduff, has died and

Her funeral was today. May she rest in peace.

May they rest in peace..

Thursday, January 17, 2008

John Roche gave us a loan of a Connacht Tribune newspaper August 1950.

Cost threepence. £1 – 240 pennies. Contained ten pages of news adverts etc.

Noticed large adverts for Mac Beer (Mc Ardles), Rinso, Parker 51, Germolene, Ponds,

Thomas Mc Donagh, Kilpest, Tylers Shoes, Aspro, Lucas, Lamb’s Jelly, Rudge Bicycles,

Moon’s – The Shopping Center in the West, Naughton’s of Galway, Esso, Ovaltine, Maltevina, Thames Fordson Trucks supplied by Higgins Garage, Main Ford Dealer,

Milk of Magnesia, D.E.Williams Lime Juice, the makers of Tullamore Dew whiskey.

Dancing in Seapoint Ballroom every night except Saturday with the Des Fretwell Orchestra. Admission varied from 2 / 6, to 3 / 9 to 5 / - including taxes.

There was a Show Dance in Oughterard on August 22nd dancing 9 - 3

Jack Ruane and 8-Piece Orchestra

Athleague Carnival August 20th - 3 September bands that included Kaye Martins Band, Stephen Garvey and Frank Reids Band. Dancing 10 - 3 and 10 - 4.

Admission from 3 / -, 4 / -, 5 / - . 6 / -.

Galway Town Hall Theatre had the film After Midnight starring Alan Ladd running for the week.

Small advert for The Best and Cheapest,

Irish and English,

Weekly Racing Service

Programme Selection, Form, Reports,

Breeding, Statistics, etc

- The Irish Field on Saturdays. Cost 3 Pence.

The Banagher Notes mentioned that Monsignor Thomas Temple and Rev Dr. Patrick Temple arrived home from America to spend a holiday with their brother and sisters in Shannonharbour. Before returning to the Mission Fields they will travel to Rome on a Holy Year Pilgrimage.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The river level on last Wednesday was 4.33 metres at Shannonbridge and today Monday it was 4.52 metres. In the past week some towns in the South had some heavy rainfall and the papers showed aerial pictures of a flooded racecourse at Mallow?

Lots of frost and cold around and the birds were hungry. Last Tuesday Mary did a head count of birds using the nut feeders and food on the shed roof in the backyard.

- 15 Goldfinches

- 4 Greenfinches

- 10 Chaffinches

- 6 Sparrows

- 2 Blue-tits

- 2 Great-tits

- 1 Robin

- 1 Dunnock

- 10 Starlings

Plus an assortment of crows and rooks and jackdaws that swoop in regularly.

I noticed that the flock of Seagulls that had been on the flooded callow lands have gone away. I read on the papers that a tremor in England had sent a lot of birds scurrying for a safe place. Did the seagulls notice the warning?.

On Saturday 5th Jan the christening ceremony of Daragh Fox, son of Louie and Valerie Fox took place in Kilcock. The God-parents were Cara Fox and Wayne Clarke.

Sad news on Friday of the death of a sister of Margaret Clarke, a sister of Valerie Farrelly who was buried in Arklow.

May she rest in peace.

Someone was telling us that there are some 360 students attending Creagh National School, which is beside Creagh Church and the point where the Shannonbridge road links up with the Athlone- Ballinasloe road.

Congratulations to Packie Joe Mc Manus and Maura Dolan who got engaged over the Christmas period.

Had a game of bridge with Joe Melia last Thursday. Joe told us that he had not played bridge for 13 years. His last partner was the late Tom Gleeson. Joe is very involved in the plumbing and gas maintenance business and you might have seen his van in the area last week with his trade-name The Gas Man. He still plays a mean hand of cards.

Padraic Turley tells us that Mary De La Torre died in Los Angeles on 8th December last. She was a niece of Mary Bermingham and the daughter of Eileen Fabian (nee Duffy)

She is also related to the Claffey Family, Crevagh. Mary is survived by her husband Roger and two sons Ryan and Jesse.

May she rest in peace.

The Athlone branch of Inland Waterways has a website titled

While looking for an address last week, I came across the e-mail address for Jim and Lorraine Mc Kenna from Pottstown, Philadelphia who came on holiday to Shannonbridge for a number of years so I tried to send them a New Years greeting. Not sure if it travelled.

By pure co-incidence on Saturday night Bridie Carry asked me out of the blue if I ever hear from the family from Philadelphia. Bridie has mastered the art of the computer and no doubt will be contacting the Mc Kenna’s.

Today the Evans family stopped off in Shannonbridge .The parents live outside Sydney and are over on a holiday to visit their son in Newcastle. The three of them flew into Dublin with Ryan-air, hired a car and were making their way to Galway and district for a few days. This was their first time in Ireland and they were enquiring about where they might find a good fish-restaurant and music in Galway. I mentioned Mc Donagh’s and told them to try the area on the Quayside for music. Hope they enjoy their visit and get to see Connemara and The Ceide Fields.

Good to see Dermot and Michael Burke home for a few days. They were here for the months mind Mass for their late mother Mary.

Monday, January 07, 2008

GAA News from Jason Mahon

Happy new year
Shannonbridge Gaa would like to wish everybody a happy new year to all members & supporters
alike. Let's hope that 2008 is a prosperous one for all.
Lotto Winner
Congratulations to Ronnie Naughton from Clonmacnoise, who won the Shannonbridge/Doon GAA lotto
on Christmas week. The Eur4800 prize no doubt was a nice early Christmas present to get.
The winning ticket was sold by Liam Kelly from Doon.
Club Membership
A reminder that club membership is due for the coming year. This membership costs 20Euro for singles & 30Euro for families. This can be paid to club registrar Declan McEvoy or Niall price.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 6th Jan 2008 - Epiphany 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, except Fri @ 8pm
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: € Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Moran, M.Murphy, M.McManus
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: Group 2, N.Duffy, E.Quinn
Altar Servers for this week: Ciara, Dylan
'Months Mind' Mass for Mary Burke on Fri @ 8pm
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Michael Brennan
Mass on next Sun for the late Kieran Kelly
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €150. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Halligan, M.Kelly
Readers for next Sunday: I.Maleney
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group E
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: P.Darcy
Mass on next Sun for the late Mick Rocke.
I will visit the sick & housebound on next Friday
The Year to come – some central Feasts in 2008
The centre of the whole liturgical year is the Paschal Triduum of the Lord, crucified, buried and risen, which will culminate in the solemn Vigil of Easter, during the holy night that will end with the dawn of the 23rd March – Easter Sunday.
After Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, 6th February; the Ascension of the Lord, 4th May; Pentecost, 11th May;
First Sunday of Advent, 30th November.
The Sacrament of Confirmation: the Bishop hopes to celebrate Confirmation in Clonfanlough Church on Wed 14th May 2008.
First Holy Communion: 26th April 2008.
Questions people ask
Q. Who were the three wise men from the east?
A. They are called Magi, suggesting that they were into magic and secret knowledge. They looked out for secrets in the world of nature, especially in the movement of the stars. They acknowledged their need of the divine revelation that the Jews had.
After receiving this they journeyed forward, entered the house and worshipped the Lord. It is a story that represents the Gentile people who were entering the Church when Matthew was writing, while very few Jews came forward. Offering gold, frankincense and myrrh may indicate giving up their utensils of magic and worship of idols. Fr O’Flynn
Prayer Centre in Clonmacnois
Mass will be said every Wed @7.30pm, starting on next Wed 9thJan
Youth Services in Shannonbridge A follow-up Meeting to discuss the above will take place in the Hall on Tues next @ 8pm. A representative from the Midland Regional Youth Services will also attend.
Congratulations & best wishes to Paul Fitzgerald & Catherine O'Connor who were married recently in Kinnitty Church.

We welcome into the Christian Community Teagan Daly, daughter of Cathal & Noelle who was baptised last weekend in Clonfanlough.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Friday was the day that Kenny’s Post and Shop at Clonfad closed their doors. Many friends and neighbours came along and there was a party to celebrate the service rendered to many people down the years. Patrick Kenny from America was one of those attending and he has not been seen since.

Wishing Jimmy and Mrs Kenny all the best on their retirement after many years of service to the area

The river level at Shannonbridge varied from 4.2 metres on Saturday to 4.4 on Monday, 4.42 on Wednesday, 4.4 metres on Thursday and 3.93 metres this Friday morning. Last evening and night got cold as forecast with temperatures of – 4 Degrees. Some areas got snow last evening and Shannonbridge had a light covering this morning. Then came rain and it dried up later.

Got a letter from a long time fishing visitor to Shannonbridge today with a £100 cheque attached to buy a drink for friends here that he meets on holiday in Shannonbridge. Barry says to say hello to everyone for him even that old dog Paddy Kenny. Barry will be over to Shannonbridge in June.

The same Paddy Kenny had a great tip for a horse last week named ‘Cakeiteasy’. It ran well and finished 7th.

Congratulations to Mrs Mary Egan, Woodbank, widow of the late John Joe, who celebrated her 90th birthday on 29th December in Woodbank.

The Irish Blood Transfusion Service is looking for blood supplies. Keep an eye out for their visiting clinics or check their website

During the year past some free collectors edition postcards were given free from Independent Newspapers. They were selected from the National Library of Ireland national photographic archives.

Two were of Michael Collins and W.B.Yeats. See if interested.

Somebody that Ciaran Mac Mathuna interviewed for his radio programme commented to Ciaran

“I can’t play until I have a drink,

And then I can’t play at all”

On Wednesday ten people from near Ashley, Manchester called to Shannonbridge after spending the New Year at Renvyle House Hotel in Clifden. The three children told us that Scout their adopted dog was not with them. During last summer they had been on a cruising holiday on the Shannon and on the Wednesday night of their holiday they had stopped off in Shannonbridge and heard Paudge Bennett and friends playing and singing. Being Wednesday they called to check if Paudge was playing as they had booked into the Hodson Bay hotel. They were unlucky and when we checked by phone with Paudge where he was playing that night, he told us that he was not playing anywhere that night. They wore some tea-shirts with the logo “Fast Dog On Tour Group” as they drink in The Greyhound Bar in Ashley.

Next summer the company that took over Emerald Starline cruisers have sold them a cruising holiday in France.

There was a world darts championships held in England at the end of the year. Some 3,000 people were in the audience seated at long tables. Ladbrokes the bookmakers sponsored the event and the games were televised on Sky Television. Lots of cardboard and markers were on the tables and in the semi-final match the camera caught reactions from Mr Shepherd whose son, a rookie won through to the final.

I noticed a placard held up behind Mr Shepherd that said “C’mon Offaly”. John Part from Canada won the event for the third time.

We have a Robin on our roof almost every day. It is unable to use the nut feeders but it does OK thank you and Mary. It got me thinking about a bird nest for the robin. Our robins are much smaller than the American robin. Google found the information. Height 26 mm., Width 12.7 mm, Depth 14.6 mm. The door hole is 32 mm but it does not say where it should be situated. Neither does it tell me how to make one or two. Just thought you would like to know.

Speaking of birds, one Johnny Mc Gonnigle I think called in early in the New Year. Johnny was a regular visitor to Shannonbridge with The Iron Lung and other barges and boats. One time he bought a shotgun and took a lot of slack from his boat pals as he never seemed to shoot anything. Then one evening one September Johnny decided to go shooting while the pals headed for the pub. About an hour after Johnny hauled the two birds he had shot down the middle of the street and opening the pub door he threw the birds on the floor for all to see saying” Now who can’t shoot”? Unfortunately it was two swans that he had shot instead of wild geese that he went a hunting.

Over the Christmas young Ciara Greene from Moore, a grand-daughter of the late Jimmy Greene, came looking for star shapes to make cookies. I put a spake in and sure enough on Christmas Eve a little brown bag was handed in for me with one cookie enclosed. Not star shaped but it tasted right good.