Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recently Joe Molloy telephoned to say he was working on a project based on the Parish of Clontuskert. He was enquiring about a Lynch family that had some 400 acres in the Rachra area. This family dated back to about 1700 and also had land in Clontuskert. They had a flat bottomed ferry boat based at Correen Ford that was used to transport stock and fodder across the River Suck.

A map from about 1803 showing a proposed layout for the Martello Fortifications at Shannonbridge shows the rivers and fields west of the village. The name of the landowner is written in three places as Alex Lynch. The land concerned was later owned by the Reddy Family and presently is owned by the Darcy Family.

Making enquiries I was told that the Reddy Family came from Streete in County Westmeath and that John Reddy was an M.P. They originally lived in the house beside the last location for the Post Office when Fitzpatricks and Ritchie Brown were postmasters. Later the Reddy Family lived across the street in the house with the three stone steps since demolished. That house was originally an R.I.C. police barracks.

If you have any information on the Lynch Family Joe Molloy would like to know.

Last Sunday the evening Mass in Clonfad was celebrated as a memorial for the late Father Tom Ryan. Father Tom died on 30th January 2007. Members of his family travelled up from Tipperary to attend the Mass. May he rest in peace.

During the week a story in The Philadelphia Enquirer on Tracing Your Roots had a local interest for Offaly. A mother and daughter had visited Ireland last summer hoping to find some information on their Offaly forefathers. A Condron man immigrated to Hartford, Connecticut in 1890 and they were hoping to find where he came from. The mother is pictured on the Bog Train trip at the turf cutting stop. They also visited Clonmacnois and took a trip on the River Shannon.

The holiday relief priest in Shannonbridge last weekend and for the next couple of weekends is a Father Balfe. When Mick showed him a picture of a school class photograph taken in Garbally with his class mate Sean Balfe in the line up, Father Balfe said that he was a cousin of Sean Balfe but had never met him. Sean Balfe is working overseas at present and we have tried to e-mail him to tell him of his cousin.

Weather has been sunny this past few days with frost at night. The river level has risen again to a good flood level. Birds are hungry but they are singing away merrily.

The newspapers tell us that some 300,000 people in Ireland are now signing for unemployment.

Monday, January 19, 2009

There is a notice board erected on the pub beside Killeens announcing an exclusive new development of six luxury 3 bed-roomed town houses in prime location, (which is that site). Each two storey house will have a floor area of 1020 Square Feet approx. It looks like there will be three houses in a cluster at the front and three more in a cluster at the rear. The auctioneer is Pat Finn and there may be more information available at

Some websites that may be of interest include – which is the old Perry's Mill and the new Studios area which has been set up alongside. which is a remarkable collection of names of wild flowers with a photograph of the flower and its name in Irish and English all in neat alphabetical order. browse and buy photos from The Connacht Tribune newspaper group.

This site contains over 150,000 images of Galway. has the 2008 Irish Specimen Fish Report 2008. This shows a list of specimen size fish caught in river, lake and sea. is now a free newspaper. This week it tells us that 5,500 people are signing on in Offaly. There is an interesting article titled Seeking the lost castles of Offaly. From the twelfth century to the mid 1600’s, there were around 220 castles in Offaly. Now they are trying to find where a number of these castles were located. Read on.

Interested in a 1977 Honda ‘50’ which the owner claims is driving like new for 200 Euro.?

Phone 086-3927372

Last week Jim Killeen from Melbourne was back in Ireland and called to say hello. Jim had been over in Ireland last October and had visited Clonmacnois. Remember that he was telling us that he had organised a get- together of Seven Jim Killeens on one occasion. In October after visiting Clonmacnois I asked him if he had seen the St. Killeen Church in Clonmacnois. He had not heard of it. But this time he had done his homework and was able to find the remains of the Church without any help.

Last October Jim told us that he had visited Galway and Connemara after leaving Shannonbridge.

In Galway he heard and met a Canadian harpist, Moira Kelly, who is living in Galway. Since October Jim has kept in touch with Moira. The reason for his return was to ask Moira to marry him. The good news is that she agreed. So congratulations to Jim and Moira.

Jim might be interested in an article in the Irish Times titled President Salutes saint’s cementing of Irish-German ties

This tells of the visit of President Mary McAleese to the German city of Wurzburg, where she paid tribute to St. Killian, the Cavan-born monk martyred there in the seventh century. And there’s more.

Mark Lyons, son of Tony Lyons, Kilcock was married on January 2nd. Jerry Lyons was home from America for the wedding and a week ago he visited Shannonbridge with Eamon and Catherine Lyons. The fourth Lyons boy/man is Noel. The Lyons parents came from Shannonbridge. Denny Lyons was from Templedew House, behind Louis Darcy’s home. And Marie-anne Lyons was a Darcy from Shannonbridge.

Recently I saw a Doon / Shannonbridge programme of a football match about twenty years ago. There were some old photographs included and one of them was a picture of the 1936 Shannonbridge Team that won an Offaly Junior Title in 1936. The player’s names were listed.

Back L. to R. Kieran Kenny, Glebe, John Lyons, Templedew, Peter Guinan, Clonfinlough, Paddy Reid, Shannonbridge, Fr. John Bannon, Clonfinlough, Tom Johnson, Woodbank, Bill Dolan, Clonlyon, Gus Egan, Clondelara.

Front L. to R. James Devery, Clonlyon, Owen Egan, Clonlyon, Bill Burns, Leharrow, Michael Joe Reid, Shannonbridge, Frank Higgins Clonfinlough, Michael Shea, Clonfinlough.

Some 14 spectators were also named as Paddy Kenny, Raghrabeg, Team Manager, Mick Kelly, Team Trainer, Joe Mahon, Clonfinlough, Joe Redican, Clonfinlough, Pat Joe Mc Dermott, Clonfert, Kevin Coleman, Shannonbridge, Tom Kelly, Clonfinlough, Tommy Coleman, Shannonbridge, Kieran Egan, Clonlyon with hat, Kieran Turley, Clondelara, Michael Kenny, Ballinasloe, Tom Kelly, Leharrow, Bill Maher, Leharrow, and Jack Connaughton, Moystown.

Louis Darcy who showed me the programme told that Joe Redican was the only Offaly man ever to win a League Medal, when he played with New York against Cavan in 1950.

A photograph taken some 30 years ago shows four Shannonbridge youngsters on the footpath just up from Killeens. The kids are Jim Killeen, Dara Moran, Eilis Killeen and Colin Killeen. The background shows a good view of the Old Forge, where the Health Center now stands. My brother John told me that Peter Larkin was the Blacksmith in that forge followed by Jack Butler. Bill Kilroe was an assistant to both Peter and Jack and prepared the fire on the circle that was used to fit the iron rim to the cart wheels, and this was located near the drain on the road to the Power Plant.

There is a nasty old virus type cold/flu staying around. After Christmas I brought it to bed for four days but the bugger got fond of me. So I got up but it has stuck with me.

I reckon that the person in charge of controlling the level of the river also got the flu as there was a high flood when I went to bed and four days later the water was gone from the callows and the level was down to summer level. But today I see a pair of swans swimming in the flood behind the house.

Personally I think that there should be more photographs on the Shannonbridge web page allowing people to share all types of photographs relating to the area. Dream on.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Adult Education Courses, Shannonbridge - Reminder.

The Open Information Evening for the West Offaly Education project will take place in the school on next Tuesday night from 7.30 to 9.00 pm.

Appeal for Information - Castles in Offaly.

The Heritage Office of Offaly Co Council is trying to track the exact locations of 60 castles (out of a total of 220) in the county, which are now either demolished or partly demolished. A new book on castles in Offaly is being prepared and this is part of the collection of information. The castles in question are listed in this week's local press and include Raghra (Shannonbridge) and Clonlyon (Gerald). Any information to Amanda Pedlow, Offaly Heritage Officer, or 057 9346839.

Shannonbridge / Doon GAA Lotto.

A big congratulations to Rita Kenny (Shannonbridge) the winner of the local lotto last week - € 8,000.

Shannonbridge Taxi Service.

Good news for travellers! A recent addition to the services available from the village is Paddy's Minibus Hire, Shannonbridge. Run by Paddy Treacy, both 14 seater minibus and car hire are available. Paddy's phone number is 087 6453109 - best of luck with this new venture.

OByrne Cup / Shield.

No luck for Offaly v Carlow last weekend, when they lost on a scoreline of 2.11 to 0.13. Shannonbridge players Kieran Flannery and Jason Kelly played well for the full game. There are some good photos of the lads in action in the Midland Tribune this week.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 11th Jan 2009 - Baptism of Our Lord B
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: €588. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: A. Ryan, L.Turley, M.Mitchell
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: Group 2, C.Casey, E.Quinn
Altar Servers for this week: Oisín, Michaela
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Kieran Kelly
Anniversary Mass on next Sun for James Higgins

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €253. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Loonam, A.Egan
Readers for next Sunday: C.Norton
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group E Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: B.Coughlan
Mass on next Sun for John Loonam & family deceased

Parish P.C Meeting this Mon In Clonfanlough @ 8pm

Mass in Prayer Centre Clonmacnois, next Wed @ 7.30pm

Study Theology from Home
'Spend time learning more about the Faith, take up the study of theology through distance learning, either for its own sake or for a degree. The Priory Institute, under the care of the Dominicans, is offering a programme of theology especially for lay people, with a network of student support services all around the country.
For more information, write to:
The priory Institute, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24.
Tel 01-4048127 /4048124.'
Youth 2000 will have a Vigil Service from 11 to 4am on 16/17th Jan in the Prayer Centre, Clonmacnois, starting with Mass. All welcome to pray for the renewal of faith & evangelisation of Ireland. For more information contact Kay Looby on 085-7114205.
Questions people ask
Q. If Jesus was without sin, why did he come to John for baptism?
A. That very question was raised by the Baptist. Jesus replied that it was fitting that they should do all that righteousness demands.
Maybe righteousness suggests a holier-than-thou attitude. But to Jesus it meant being at rights with God and people. He did not wait on the riverbank until sinners were perfectly washed. He entered the muddy waters of human life. His beautiful name, Jesus, means saviour of the sinner. His desire to make people righteous drove him to join the repenting sinners in the river. Fr O’Flynn – Intercom
Lourdes Invalid Fund Collection
Will be taken up next weekend. If you wish to travel as an assisted sick pilgrim this year please contact Fr Scanlon, Cloghan.
Shannonbridge Library is open in Health Centre every Thursday eve from 7 to 9pm
Shannonbridge ARA will resume Meetings in the Hall on Tuesday 20th Jan after Mass.
CAO Information night for mature students, (as well as students with a disability), in Tullamore Court Hotel Thurs 15th Jan @ 7.30pm

Friday, January 09, 2009

New Folklore Book.
A new book entitled "Death Customs in Rural Ireland (Traditional Funerary Rites in the Irish Midlands) was launched just before Christmas. This book has quite a local flavour, being based on the collected folklore of James Delaney and covering mostly South Roscommon, Westmeath , East Galway and Offaly, with particular reference to Clonmacnoise. It details the traditional rituals for deaths, wakes, funerals and burials and features information collected from such as Jack Connaughton (Bemont) Bill Egan (Clonfanlough) and Thomas Horan (Ballyduff).
The author is Anne Ridge, the publishers are Arlen House and the book is available from local bookshops at €15.00.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Weather at present is running with frost at night and mainly dry with some sunshine during the day. The river level has dropped back well and two of our local anglers went pike fishing last weekend. They caught four pike all in the 10 lbs range but were hoping to meet some 20 pounders.

The cold weather means the birds are hungry and looking for food and drink. Somebody recently was enquiring what was the Irish for some common bird. Birdwatch Ireland are presently getting people to carry out a bird count and there is lots of information on their website

I found some old stamps and many of them featured a bird identified in Latin English and Irish. The following are some samples.

-Saxicola Torquata or Caislin Cloch or Stonechat

-Erithacus Rubecula or Spideog or Robin

Columba Palumbus or Colm Coillle or Woodpigeon

Motaculla or Glasog Shraide or Pied Wagtail

Panus Caeruleus or Meantan Gorm or Blue Tit

Tuntus Philomelos or Smolach or Song Thrush

Tundus Menula or Con Dubh or Blackbird

Regulus Regulus or Ciorbhui or Goldcrest

Vanelllus Vanellus or Pilibin or Lapwing

Accipter Nisus or Spiorog or Sparrow Hawk

Alcedo Atthis or Cruidin or Kimgfisher

Crex Crex or Traonach or Corncrake

Morus Bassanus or Gainead or Gannet

Charadrius Hiaticula or Feadog Chladaig or Ringed Plover

Anatidea or Biorearrach or Pintail.

Anser iformes or Ge Fhionn na Graonlanne or Greenland White Fronted Goose.

That’s all for now. Remember to feed and water the birds.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Latest GAA News from Conor Killeen

Wedding Bells
Shannonbridge GAA club wish to congratulate Colm Kenny and Deirdre Keenaghan who tied the knot on Saturday last in Ferbane Church. Colm has been a great servant of the blue and gold both as a Player and as a very successful Manager when he led our under 21 side, Shannongaels to their first county title in 2003.
The club would like to wish the newly weds all the very best in the future.
There was more good news on the Wedding front as club P.R.O Jason Mahon and Karen Kelly announced their engagement over Christmas.
Jason has been involved with the club as an official for the past two years. Best of luck to you both in the years ahead.
Happy new year
Shannonbridge GAA club would like to wish all players, Officials, Management, supporters and all involved with the club a happy and prosperous new year.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 4th Jan 2009 - 2nd Sun Christmas B
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Feast of the Ephinany, Tues 6th Jan, a Holy Day
Masses: Mon @ 10am; & Mon eve @ 8pm.
Tues @ 12 noon. For rest of week @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €464. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: Group 1, D.Finnerty, P.Corbett
Altar Servers for this week: Siobhán, Caitríona, Athene
Mass on next Sun for the late Michael Brennan
Mass for the Epiphany on Tues @ 10.30am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €178. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kilduff, E.Kilduff
Readers for next Sunday: A.& L.Devery
Altar Servers for Epiphany, Group C; next Sunday: Group D Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan
Mass on next Sun for the late Sonny Egan

The Year to come – some central Feasts in 2009
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 12th April – Easter Sunday.
Every Sunday, as a weekly Easter, holy Church makes present that great and saving deed by which Christ has forever conquered sin and death. From Easter there comes forth and are reckoned all the days we keep holy: Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, 25th Feb;
the Ascension of the Lord, 24th May; and Pentecost, 31st May;
First Sunday of Advent, 29th November.
Likewise, in the feasts of the Holy Mother of God, of the apostles and saints, and in the commemoration of all the faithful departed, the pilgrim Church on earth proclaims the resurrection of Christ the Lord.
Generous Donation
In recent years safety ramps & railings have been put in place at the Church entrance doors in Shannonbridge to the value of €6,500
Liam Fallon of Bridgeway Engineering Ltd completed this work, and has donated the project to the Parish. We are very grateful and appreciate this generous gesture.
Wedding Celebrations
Congratulations & felicitations to Colm Kenny & Deirdre Keeneghan who were married last weekend in Ferbane Church.
Also to Muireann Ryan & Lorcán Scally who were married last weekend in Shannonbridge Church.
Theology from Home
We are offering a 15-week programme of theology through distance learning, starting Feb 2009. We follow the method of the Open University – participants receive a ‘Pack’ with the full text, and are linked with one of our nine centres around the country.
For further information, please call
The Priory Institute, Tallaght Village, Dublin 24.
Tel 01-4048124, or 4048132

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 28th Dec 2008 - Nativity B
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am

Next Thurs is New Year’s Day – A day of Prayer for peace.
Mass on the day @ 12 noon; on the First Fri @ 10am, with Adoration all day until 5pm.
Masses: Tues, Wed, Fri, and Sat @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €656. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: Group 6, E.Casey, D.O'Carroll
Altar Servers for this week: Sarah, Siobhán

Mass for New Year’s Day @ 10.30am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €267. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kenny, M.Lantry
Readers for 1st Jan: D.Boland; for Sunday: A.Coughlan
Altar Servers for 1st Jan & next Sunday: As arranged Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly
Ten Commandments of Home Rule
1. If you sleep on it - make it up.
2. If you wear it - hang it up.
3. If you drop it - pick it up.
4. If you eat out of it - put it in the sink.
5. If you step on it - wipe it off.
6. If you open it - close it.
7. If you empty it - fill it up.
8. If it rings - answer it.
9. If it howls - feed it.
10. If it cries - love it.
(The Fight, J. White, IVP, pp. 121ff)

Missionaries of the Sacred Heart
'Are you discarding used mobile phones? We can recycle them to support our work in Third World countries. Phones with batteries (but not chargers) can be posted to: Mobile Phone Recycling, P.O. Box 23, Western Road, Cork.'
The Rev Graham Doyle sends Christmas & New Year greetings, and extends his gratitude to those who contributed to the collection for charity at the Carol Service. Amount collected was €330.00
Irish Wheelchair Association
Seeks volunteers to take part in their 23rd International Sponsored Walk from 8th to 17th April in Poland, visiting many places of interest.
If you have an interest contact Peadar Doogue on 087-2824556.
Annual Mummer’s Festival
In New Inn leisure centre on Sat Jan 3 @ 7.30pm for senior groups;
On Sun 4th Jan @ 2.30pm for junior groups.
I will visit the sick & housebound on Friday.
New Year.
The new year was ushered in with a fireworks display in Shannonbridge last night. Brilliant!.

O'Byrne Cup.
Offaly Senior footballers have their first outing of 2009, under the new management of Richie Connor, when they take on Dublin in Tullamore on Sunday next. Best of luck to Shannonbridge's Ciaran Flannery who will make his debut at right half back.

Late Michael John Kelly.
The death has occurred of Michael John Kelly, Taughmaconnell. He was the father of Sean Kelly, St Kieran's Park, Shannonbridge. His funeral took place last Sunday in Taughmaconnell. May he rest in peace.

Congrats to Colm Kenny and Deirdre Keenaghan, Ferbane, who were married in Ferbane last Saturday.