Saturday, October 31, 2009

Brian O Carroll from Ely Guesthouse was telling me that the actor in
'Three Men in a Boat'that bought the pipes was Gryff Rees Jones.The
other two funny men are Rory Mc Grath and Daire O Broin.
Gryff Rees Jones starred in the series 'Not The Nine O Clock News'
some years ago. Run a Google search for more information.
See the piece below starting with 'The Paul O Grady Show

Friday, October 30, 2009

Good to see The Dalys when they visited Ireland recently.
Linda and Frank - the late Dr 'Foss Daly's children were travelling
with Brian and Dermot and two of Linda's children.

Remember Easter Sunday 2010 falls on 4th April.

The Paul O Grady TV show on Wednesday had an interview with one of the
principles from the Three Men in a Boat series.He was in Shannonbridge
recently and was one of the two men that I served with whiskey, tomato
ketchup, dead-bait and lures, Harp Lager and three Kapp and Peterson
pipes. I did not know his name and was waiting for Paul O Grady to
mention it. But alas there was a funeral from Glebe that evening and
I never did find out.

After temperatures of 19C the forecast is for 15C 13C and 11C for the
next three days. The weatherman that draws the blue lines is busy.
Some reviews for Tales of Ballycumber the play by Sebastian Barry
currently having its world premier at The Abbey Theatre Dublin
include >
"A lyrical work of compelling beauty" (Irish Independent)
"A deeply felt and beautifully staged drama that packs
a strong emotional punch" (Sunday Business Post)

The Offaly Independent tells us that
>a new 50 million Tullamore Shopping Centre gets green light.
It will be built on the old Texas site and it is planned to open
by Christmas 2011.
> Tullamore has a new by pass.A 14Km takes off 6Km south of the town
from the N52 and rejoins the N52 some 3Km north of the town.
It crosses the Grand Canal and the railway and required seven bridges,
six under and one over.

Padraig Turley stopped by last Friday and had two friends along -
Wanda Piontek from Wentworth and Richard Timoney. Wentworth has a
famous golf course and Wanda was telling us that two friends were
debating whether to renew their membership fee of £48,000.

Good to see light in Clononey Castle.The lady owner has been working
on the ground floor and has now commenced work on the second floor.

A snapshot of Dromineer was the winner of "Holiday Snaps"a competition
promoted by Shannon Developments. See a range of short listed photos
and the winning photo at

Central Fishery Report this week has a number of pike caught by Jean
Firmin from Scotland caught during her fishing visit to Shannonbridge

Three young fishermen arrived in Shannonbridge last evening. One of
them told us that his grandfather owned a pub in Ballycumber called
Healys,which is currently closed. I asked him if he knew his grand-
mother's name but he could'nt remember. When I asked him if the name
was Kathleen he remembered. He also agreed that Monaghan was her
surname.By co-incidence Kathleen Monaghan worked in Killeens before
she was married.
The Trio attempted the 'T' puzzle for some time without success.
Then one of them used his mobile facility to Google for T puzzle
and the solution was there in a flash.

Last Sunday there was a Memorial Mass for the late Martin and Mary
Burke.Dermot and Michael were over for a few days for the event.
Chris and Jennie travelled up from Arklow to be with the family and
to visit the graves.

Recently Paddy and Betty O Doherty from Tralee travelled up to here
in search of The Rigney Family who once lived across the street from
Killeens Pub.They had found some information posted on this webpage
when The O'Donoghue Family came visiting.They had been to Clonmacnois
and had failed to find the gravestone.
Betty told us that her Grandfather was a Patrick Rigney from Ferbane
and his wife was named Agnes.Patrick Rigney had a sister Mary, who
lived with a Mary Larkin. Mary Larkin died in 1954. Mary had reared
Agnes in Main Street Banagher in a guesthouse.
Another sister of Patrick Rigney - Agnes also lived in Banagher,and
then worked in Dublin and died a spinster.
Back to Shannonbridge.Mr Rigney was a builder/carpenter.He worked with
Owen Larkin in relocating Creagh Church from Custume Barracks Athlone
to Creagh. Mrs Rigney was a Casey from Ballymahon.
Their children were Father Michael, Matt, Thomas, Josie, Julia a nun,
Bridget who married Charlie O Donoghue and lived in America.There was
a girl who died aged about 16 years.
On a trip to Clonmacnois last week I stopped off at Gus Claffey for
help.Gus told me the location of the headstone.The priest at that time
Father Frank O'Donoghue urged people to use a cross on the tombstone.
The late Martin Flannery,Aughnacabe created the Rigney Headstone.
As I told Betty the best way to find it when going in from the old
cemetery is to walk along with the trees to the left. Look out for
the Damien Kenny Memorial on your LHS.Just down the hill a few yards
is a Peter Kelly grave stone. In front of the Kelly tombstone is the
Rigney grave. A stone with a small cross.
Three of the Rigneys are buried here.
Thomas who died in 1957 aged 65
Matt who died in 1959 aged 65
Josie who died in 1973 aged 82.

Betty Rigney now Betty O Doherty is seeking more information on the
Rigney Family and can be contacted at

Cool Lines - Clearwater have plans to launch their second HBA book
at the Naas Boat Rally on Monday. A companion book for Cool Metal.
This book deals with wooden boats, barges and tenders.
There is photos and an article on each boat. Book costs 12Euros.
Heritage Boat Association contact

Monday, October 26, 2009

Shannonbridge Fishing Report dated 26th October 2009.
>Mrs Jean Firmin,Scotland,fished on River Suck on 21st October using
dead bait in very windy conditions and caught a 9lbs pike.
>Next day Jean Firmin fished the Shannon in sunshine and landed a dream fish,
a pike that weighed 20.5lbs which was a personal best.
>Andy Henry from England fished the Suck on 23rd October using a lure
in overcast conditions to catch a 6lbs pike.
>Peter Henry fished the Suck with Andy also using a lure to catch a
7lbs pike.Both pike returned alive.
>Brian Collins,Ballinasloe fished on Lough Ree on 10th October, using
a lure to catch a 10lbs pike which he returned alive.
A regular group of visiting German anglers using Athlone Cruiser told
that the pike they were catching were too small to eat.
>The river level remains like a good summer level.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 25th Oct 2009 - 30th Sun B
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge - Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12noon Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough - Sunday, 10.30am
Masses: Thurs-Sat @ 10am; Mon-Wed, Eucharistic Prayer Service
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €452. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Price, C.Curley, P.Anderson
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for next Weekend: Group 1, D.Finnerty, P.Corbett
Altar Servers for this week: Caitríona, Siobhán, Sarah.
Mass on next Sat eve for the late Christina Turley & family
'Months Mind' Mass on next Sun for Marian Daly
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €302. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kilduff, E.Kilduff
Readers for next Sunday: H.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group D Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: A.Rohan
Mass on next Sun for the late Bridgie McEvoy

We celebrate the Feast of All Saints on next Sunday.

The priests of the Diocese will be in Knock for 2 days this week for some reflection and input.
Station Masses @ 8pm
Thurs next, at the home of P& M. Srahan, Creevagh
Fri next, at the home of E. & A. Molloy, Glebe
Stroke Support Group
Meeting on 28th Oct in the Health Centre Ballinasloe @ 7pm.
Talk on 'Portion size and healthy eating'.
Questions people askQ. Often at Mass we are told that we are celebrating the feast of some virgin. Were there any married saints?A. Top of the list place Mary and Joseph. Peter was certainly married and probably the other apostles too. Others that come to mind are Mary’s parents, Joachim and Ann, Elizabeth the cousin of Mary, the saintly Queens Elizabeth of Hungary and of Portugal, Margaret of Scotland, the saintly Kings, Louis of France and Edward of England, Monica, the mother of Augustine, Elizabeth Ann Seaton of USA, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of the Little Flower, Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice, the martyrs Margaret Clitheroe and Thomas More, and many of the martyrs in Ireland, Japan, Uganda etc. (Fr O’Flynn – Intercom)
Letter sent by College student to his Dad : Dear Dad, $chool i$ really great. I am making lot$ of friend$ and $tudying very hard. With all my $tuff, I $imply can't think of anything I need, $o if you would like, you can ju$t $end me a card, a$ I would love to hear from you. Love - Your $on. Father's Reply: Dear son,
I kNOw that astroNOmy, ecoNOmics and oceaNOgrahy are eNOugh to keep even an hoNOur student busy. Do NOt forget that the pursuit of kNOwledge is a NOble task, and you can never study eNOugh. Love ---- Dad

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shannonbridge Fishing Report Dated 21st October 2009.
Beal King from Switzerland fished here on 28th September, overcast day,
with wobbler catching 5 pike.Best was 75cm. All released.
>Eddie Eeman from Amsterdam fished on River Suck on 3oth September and
used a Rapala to catch a pike 87cm.
>Steve Samseij from Houierighstr also fished the Suck with a Rapala
on the same day and landed a 75cm pike.Peaceful.
>Tony Murray from Ballinasloe fished the Hot Water on 28th Sept on a
sunny day using worms catching 26lbs of roach rudd and hybrids in sun.
>Ray Bates Merseyside caught two pike on the Shannon on 9th October
fishing dead 30lbs(1.25cm)and one 22lbs from a cruiser.
Great fighters,great condition and both returned alive.
>Swiss angler Wicli caught a pike 70cm on 12th October using a spinner
and had it for dinner.
>Tom Kearney from Rathnew fished for pike on 17th October and caught
a 27.5lbs beauty on the Suck which was returned alive and well.
>Scottish pike anglers Pip and Jean Firmin are here for two weeks.They
use a lake boat for access to Shannon Suck and backrivers.
Pip recorded pike of 7,7,5 and 12.5lbs while using dead bait.
Jean Firminhad a 9lb pike on a silver spoon and a 9lb pike with dead
bait. Yesterday Jean caught her lifetime best when she hooked and
landed a 19lbs beauty while using dead bait.All fish were returned.
Photos available of the 19 pounder later.
The river level remains at good summer level with all banks fishable.
The Dublin Pike Anglers ? held a match here locally last weekend but
I heard no results.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Congratulations to Yvonne Keena and Michael Garvey on their engagement.
Yvonne is a daughter of Noel and Ann Keena Shannonbridge and
Michael is a son of John and Angela Garvey Portnick, Ballinasloe

Somebody told me today that a friend of theirs built a large shed
some few years ago towards the end of The Celtic Tiger.
Then the cement blocks cost 1.60 Euro each.
Today the blocks can be had for 60 cents.

Some rain yesterday after a remarkable spell of fine weather.
The forecast is for rain for the next three days and then more sunshine.

Ireland Soccer Team have drawn France for their play off matches in their
bid to get to South Africa
Daithi Rua the Irish Singer and Songwriter was home from Belgium for
a week to help celebrate his Dad's birthday.Daithi is a son of Martin
and Dolores Donegan and Martin celebrated a special birthday with a
family meal in The Fort Restaurant. Daithi got together with his
family and musician friends in Killeens on Thursday night before he
returned to Belgium.He is currently working on his new album and he
expects that it will be available in mid-December.It may be called
Black Fox and will be recorded on The Wild Boar Label,which is based
in Belgium.
Check him out at for his tour dates and news.
You can even listen to some of his recordings. Daithi has the same
information under the webpage. Or you can e-mail
Daithi using

The Bridies are off to Las Vegas this week to entertain.
Catch Maura playing in Casino New York New York in The Nine Fine
Irishmen suite.
Ailish is playing in The Mansion,called M
Maura and Ailish are daughters of Jim and Mai Egan from Cloghan.
Ailish told us that Ma and Da are also going out to Las Vegas with
their girls. Jim of course is a fine box player in his own right.

Best of luck to Eamon Haughey on his retirement from the ESB last week.

Al Byrne, a brother of Gay Byrne died last Friday and will be buried
on Thursday. May he rest in peace.

On Friday evening I noticed a load of large bales of golden straw go
past the window. Soon after the driver called in for tea and a sandwich
He told us that he was from Glann Road Oughterard and he knew Dick and
Doc Gilbert and Donal and Connie Connolly.

Read David Quinn's blog on

A white goose has joined up with some swans near the village bridge.
Aidan Kelly has observed lots of trout rising to the fly while shooting
at Mc Ginness'es Scoriff last week. Aidan also shot a wild mink which
is good news as they are causing havoc to wildlife such as fish and
birds. The spelling of Scoriff is a guess. It is a low place near the river.
On Sunday 11th in the Offaly County Football Final Clara 2 - 7 defeated
Rhode 1 - 9.
Yesterday in the Offaly Hurling Final Tullamore defeated Kilcormac/
Killoughey by seven points E.
Last Monday it was surprising to see some people on the river looking
for sun protection and then taking two bottles of Factor 30 even on
October 12th. It turned out that they were part of a film crew who are
filming what I think are edisodes of Three Men In A Boat.
Last week on the Irish Times there was a write up about
the filming under Irishman's Diary.
They had been to Athlone and Clonmacnois and arrived in Shannonbridge
in brilliant sunshine - hence the Factor 30. I noticed Daire O Brian
the comedian was with them.
After lunch two of the men said that they would like to do some
shopping and film it. Mick of course went off to sort bottles while I
served them Ketchup,Bottle of whiskey,fishing lures and bait and three
Kapp and Peterson tobacco pipes.

There was a rumour during last week that Friends of The Earth had plans
to return to Shannonbridge today. No sign of them so far.
It may be as a precaution but Bord na Mona have erected a gate on what
is known as The Old Road. This road was used by the Bianconi carriages
and there was a changing point for the horses on that Old Road.

Good to hear that my sister Doc and her hubby Dick met up with some
old friends during their visit to Lincoln and Omaha last week
including Don and Laurie Killeen. Doc and me met Don and Laurie about
ten years ago when we found their names in the local phonebook.
At that time there were some 19 Killeens listed in the Omaha book.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 18th Oct 2009 - 29B
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge: Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12 noon, Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough – Sunday, 10.30am

Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €561. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.McManus, C.Slattery, A.Corbett
Eucharistic ministers: Group 1
Readers for next Weekend: Group 6, E.Casey, D.O'Carroll
Altar Servers for this week: Aoife, Athene, Saul, Jack
Mass on next Sun for the late Mary & Martin Burke

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €262. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: B.Kenny, M.Lantry
Readers for next Sunday: H.Coughlan
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group C
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: K.Kelly
'Months Mind' Mass on next Sun for Andy Rocke

Meeting for parents / guardians of children preparing for First Confession & Communion on this Mon @ 7.30pm in School.

Meeting of Parish P. C. in Shannonbridge on Tue @ 8pm
Co Offaly Childminding Initiative will host a number of networking events in the coming weeks, including a coffee morning, childminder outing, etc. For more info call Fiona on 057-9370631.
Ballinasloe Carers Support Group
Meetings: 19th Oct, 16th Nov, 14th Dec @ 8pm in Gullanes Hotel.
New carers are very welcome. For more info call 086-2123949.
Bowling Fundraiser Night at Athlone Leisure World organised by Gallen Community School Parent's Association will be held on Fri 23rd Oct. Team of 4 costs €60. All welcome. For more details please contact the school at 090-6454548
West & South Offaly Homefix
Minor house repair service for the elderly. 'We can help with small repairs & maintenance jobs in and around your home for a nominal charge.’ For more info call Tadhg (Crank House) on 057-9151622.
FAS have various training courses available in Birr. For more info call FAS in Birr on 057-9123940. Check the website:
Students from Athlone Community College will present a stage performance of ‘High School Musical’ in the Dean Crowe Hall Athlone, 20th to 23rd Oct @ 8pm.
Questions people askQ. Is there any particular reason why Saint Paul placed the name Christ before Jesus whereas we always say Jesus Christ?A. Jesus was the personal name of the Saviour while Christ, meaning the Anointed One or Messiah, was the title later bestowed on him when people accepted him as the promised Messiah. When Paul began writing, some 25 years after the life of Jesus, the messianic title, Christ, was popularly used as his name. Coming to accept Jesus as the Christ was a major factor in the conversion of Paul. This may explain why he frequently placed Christ before Jesus. For the record, his letters refer to Christ Jesus about 89 times and to Jesus Christ about 80 times. (Fr O’Flynn-Intercom)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ballinasloe Annual Horse Fair last weekend was blessed with fine
weather and the forecast for the next week has sunshine every day.
Billy Barton,Tipshell,Derby was over at the fair and stayed in
Shannonbridge. Mary Craughwell from Athlone who visits here told
Billy that her daughter Lynn is married in England and lives in
Tipshell. It is a small town with three pubs Billy told Mary.
Garry O Neill from Tyrone was interested in a black and white foal
mare on offer at 11,000 Euros.
A Bl and wh mare was on sale for 43,000 and sold for 30,000 with
2000 luck money one person told us.
A 4 year old Cob B+W was sold for 1500 Sterling by Brian Murray,
Kildangan and he was disappointed with the price.
Brian had a Black Cob 14.1 hands and did not get an enquiry.
Someone told that he saw 2 Cobs sold on Saturday for 70,000
The owner bought them at a recent fair in Borris at 60,000
Alan Kenny Tel 087 6463400 had a 4 year old red and white pony
for sale at 2,000. He was offered 1,000.
The man that bought the snuff for the horse told us that horses,
donkies etc must have a passport with a marking sheet indicating
Markings,(whirls and white stripe). They must have a microchip
inserted in their neck with an individual number.
A Hand is 4 inches.A Cob is a heavier horse of 14 Hands.
A Pony is 14.2 Hands and downwards.
A Jennet has a Frog in his hoof.
A Donkey does not have a Frog in it's hoof.
Good news that President Obama has been awarded the Nobel Prize
as his ancestors hailed from Offaly.
Papers here this week claim that Mrs Obama's ancestors also came from
Ballysheil near Belmont and some eight miles from Shannonbridge.

Missed seeing the film 'Flight of The Doves which was shown on TV last
weekend which has Shannonbridge connections as they were filming for
a few days here when it was made.

Gay Byrne has commenced a series of two hour radio programmes going
out on Sunday from 2 until 4pm. Its on Lyric FM 97.8 - 99.4MHZ
You can e-mail Gay at

The Irish Catholic has an article and photo
on Skellig this week.Page 7.On Wednesday Jimmy Cole from Canada and
San Francisco celebrated his birthday.
Yesterday Danny Farrelly Jun celebrated his 50th birthday.
Martin Donegan celebrated his 60th birthday.A double cause for
celebrations in Shannonbridge.

On Wednesday 7th October Darcy's callow upstream of the bridge was
cut and bailed. The persistent rain during the summer was the reason
for the late harvest.

Met Gary Schultz from Lexington Nebraska this week Gary is a Ford
car dealer and he is in Ireland for 3 weeks with his wife who was a
Harney.Their daughter is married to Patrick Duffy and they live in
Johnstown near Athlone. GTary likes to cycle and he was doing the
circuit coming out from Athlone via Shannonbridge and returning via
Clonmacnois. He is interested in history and plans to cycle to
Clonfert to visit St.Brendan's Church,Emmanuelle House, Our Lady of
Clofert church and 12th century statue,on to Meelick Church 1414 and
around via Banagher Shannonharbour Clononey Castle.

Rashina Tractor Road Run in aid of Resource Centre, Killina
Presentation Secondary School and Rashina National School takes place
on Sunday 18th October 2009 leaving Doon at 11am. Vintage cars are
welcome.For more information contact 087-7947025

ESB power plants at Lanesboro and Shannonbridge were in the news this
week. Both plants may be closed for 3 to 4 months for pipe replacement,
one next year and the other in 2011.

Moore Community Council are organising a Harvest Ball on Friday 16th
October in Moore Hall.A 'Harvest Queen on the Night'will be chosen.
Dancing to Country Comfort from 9pm to 1.00am. Admission 10 Euros.

Offaly Senior hurling semi-finals last weekend results
Tullamore 1 - 17 Birr 2 - 12
Kilcormac/Killoughey 5 - 16 Coolderry 3 - 16

The Dublin Botanic Gardens might be of interest. Have a look at
Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 11th Oct 2009 -28 B
Tel (090) 9674125 Fax (090) 9674267
Mass times: Shannonbridge: Weekend, 8pm (Sat), & 12 noon, Sun;
Weekdays, 10am. Clonfanlough – Sunday, 10.30am
Masses: Each day @ 10am
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €517. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Kelly, M.Killeen, A.Keena
Eucharistic ministers: Group 4
Readers for next Weekend: Group 5, C.Mannion, C.Doolan
Altar Servers for this week: Oisin, Michaela

Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €238. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: J.Egan, B.Dolan
Readers for next Sunday: A. & L.Devery
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group B
Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: P.Darcy
Mass on next Sun for the late Tim Devery

‘Beannacht leat, a Mhuire, beannacht leat, a Chríost.
Go gcumhdaí sibh ár nanam go dtige sinn aris.’

Questions people askQ. Jesus told the Samaritan woman that true worship is ‘in spirit and in truth’, that is, in the sincerity of a person’s own heart and mind, rather than temples or churches. So, why do Catholics insist on going to church to worship?A. Your interpretation of ‘in spirit and in truth’ is misguided. The apostles and others who knew Jesus firsthand did not consider worship to be a purely personal affair but they continued to go to the temple and to meet in their houses for the ceremony of breaking the bread in memory of Jesus. The Eucharist is worship of the Father, through the Son (who is the Truth), in the sanctifying power of the Spirit. (Fr Silvester O’Flynn) ¨¨¨¨
Night Prayer Vigil, Clonmacnois Prayer Centre Fri 16th Oct starting with Mass @ 10pm; then Adoration until 3.10 am. Mass every Wed @ 7.30pm. All welcome.
Bowling Fundraiser Night at Athlone Leisure World organised by Gallen Community School Parent's Association will be held on Fri 23rd Oct. Team of 4 costs €60. All welcome. For more details please contact the school at 090-6454548

‘The Committee of the Clonmacnois Action Group on 15th Sept met with An Taoiseach Brian Cowen in Clonmacnois NS. This meeting was at his request. The committee conveyed the reasons why the Local Community had rejected the proposed nomination bid for World Heritage Status for Clonmacnois. An Taoiseach confirmed that the bid had been seriously flawed and that it was now stopped. He also agreed that no WH application would be made by the government without the agreement of the local community. The committee requested that he follow up this in writing. An Taoiseach proposed to arrange for a liaison person from the DEHLG to be assigned to the local community. Minutes of the meeting should now be available at local shops.’

Ballinasloe Flower & Garden Club will host a talk on ‘House Plants’ by Catherine Minnnock in Gullanes hotel on Wed 14th Oct @ 8pm

FAS have various training courses available in Birr. For more info call FAS in Birr on 057-9123940. Check the website:

Students from Athlone Community College will present a stage performance of ‘High School Musical’ in the Dean Crowe Hall Athlone, 20th to 23rd Oct @ 8pm.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Clonmacnois Action Group: WHS meeting minutes

The minutes from the meeting in September about the WHS for clonmacnoice have been sent to me by Derry and are pasted below.

Clonmacnois Action Group
Minutes of Meeting No3 Held at St Ciaran’s School, Clonmacnois
Tuesday 15th September 2009

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen, Noel Higgins, Councillo Sinéad Moylan-Ryan, Andy Costello, Alo Kenny, Patricia Anderson, Noel Hynes, Joe Byrne, Ambrose Cuddy, John Dolan (Chairman), Neil Darcy, Gus Claffey (Treasurer), Tom Fahy, Seán Ascough (Secretary)

Vivienne Holmes, Rev Graham Doyle

1. Meeting chaired by John Dolan who thanked An Taoiseach for coming to Clonmacnois to hear the views of the
Clonmacnois Action Group that was formed from a public meeting in Clonfanlough hall in objection to the current
proposal to have Clonmacnois inscribed as a World Heritage Site. John listed some of the reasons why the local
people have rejected the WH bid proposal. He said it was not a “caveman no” but that there were genuine reasons.
This non exhaustive list included: Farming, planning, graveyard (incl access and extension), living Christian Faith
Heritage (in particular that the Youth 2000 festival could continue), school, roads, quarry, gun club, turf cutting etc.
2. An Taoiseach welcomed the forming of the action group to represent the local peoples’ concerns in a structured
way and said that he could understand fully why the local people had rejected the proposal.
3. An Taoiseach said that he has been following developments and acknowledged that the “so called consultation
process” had been “inadequate” and “not meaningful”. Proof of this he said was in the nature of the unacceptable
proposal that had been brought forward by the Department of the Environment and local Government (DoEHLG),
including how unnecessarily “extensive” it had been. He acknowledged the level of admission in the official system
that the process had been “poorly designed” and that it had ended up with “polarised opposing” views between
people. He said that we are not at an application stage yet but that the “concept put before the people was very
big” and this has now resulted in a serious realisation by the DoEHLG.
4. An Taoiseach said that it needs to be ascertained from UNESCO as to what exactly are the min requirements re
buffer zones/ areas. He said that those zones currently proposed may be appropriate for remote uninhabitated
areas in the middle of a desert but not where people are living. (Later Sean Ascough pointed out that any proposal
based on UNESCO criteria 4 and 5, rather than possibly say criteria 1 and 6 that relate to the “genus loci”, would
lead to lines being drawn on maps that affect people’s livelihoods negatively and would certainly not be acceptable
to the Local Community. He also said that choice of criteria was a political one to be made by the applicant
government, and that the wrong choice had been made here).
5. An Taoiseach said that the overriding issue is what process should be pursued: Is it possible to find a process that is
reasonable and not “totally off-beam”. He said that Clonmacnois is a site of World Importance and it deserves the
honour of World Heritage Status. In the beginning the proposal had seemed like a good idea but as the nature/
limitations of it became apparent it is less attractive now. He said that we need to ask “what is a sensible
proposal?– what passes the test of reasonableness? - can we find one? - and if not then just leave it”. He requested
the local people to have an open mind.
6. John Dolan responded by saying that the people are very angry and that there would be a very big mending job to
7. An Taoiseach said that he would not be happy with any proposal that did not have the support of the local people
and that it would not be forced on the people against their wishes. (Later John Dolan requested this in writing to
the Committee from An Taoiseach). In any event An Taoiseach said it would be a long road and there is no rush.
8. Joe Byrne said that his big concern was what could happen 10 years down the line if the plan were adopted
especially since the management plan can be changed at will. An Taoiseach agreed that this would be a concern of
his also saying that it is hard to “undesignate” a place once it has been designated, though we are “not near that
point” at present.
9. Gus Claffey noted that the Clonmacnois area is already “half sterilised”, e.g. permits needed for ploughing or
sowing early potatoes. He said the graveyard, which is already a feature in the guided tour e.g. the grave of Rory O
Connor the last high king of Ireland, and indeed is the only feature of the World Heritage site in Newgrange, will be
discontinued by not allowing ongoing burials. Noel Hynes recalled to An Taoiseach that there has been a graveyard
committee in place for a long time and a guarantee is needed that the graveyard will be extended. Patricia
Anderson and Noel Higgins concurred and said that there is a half acre across from the existing graveyard that the
owner is prepared to sell. This would serve for 100 years but a cost of €4.5 to 6 million per acre had been quoted by
the Department for archaeological clearance. The graveyard committee has been trying for years but with no
success. Noel Higgins reiterated that since St Ciaran’s time Clonmacnois has been a place of pilgrimage and a burial
ground and he requested that the Christian Heritage element be respected.
10. Sinead Moylan Ryan emphasised to An Taoiseach that the graveyard problem lies with DoEHLG since it is DoEHLG
that are dictating to Offaly County Council that the graveyard cannot be extended. Sinead said that there are no
plots available now for any local person who has not managed to buy one yet. Noel Higgins said that there already
had been two instances where elderly parishioners had died and their expressed wishes to be buried in
Clonmacnois had not been carried out because there were no plots available.
11. Seán Ascough mentioned how well received and assisted the Youth 2000 festival had been by the Local Community
and what a positive experience it had been for all involved. He also noted as an aside regarding how good this
“pilgrimage” had been for the local economy e.g. all accommodation in the area from Athlone to Shannonbridge
was fully booked for the 4 days. Ambrose Cuddy concurred saying that this was a proper use for Clonmacnois.
12. Ambrose Cuddy said that there needs to be a “local nexus” between the DoEHLG and the Local Community. An
Taoiseach agreed this was necessary and proposed to arrange for a dedicated liaison person to be appointed.
13. Gus Claffey noted that the Draft Management Plan had a lot in it regarding road signage but nothing in it regarding
improvement of the local road itself which is as narrow as 12 feet in some places. Noel Higgins concurred saying
that access to the monastic site is a concern of the Local Community’s. He said that suggestions of a shuttle bus
service / bussing people in and out/ access restrictions etc would be a concern: It appeared that the Local
Community would be paying “all the costs and receiving none of the benefits”.
14. An Taoiseach reiterated that the whole proposal as it stands is “on the wrong wavelength and is a non-runner”.
Patricia Anderson observed that early evidence of the poor handling was how Maptec had continually referred to
their previous WH bid for a coalmine in Wales and that they were treating Clonmacnois like a coalmine. Patricia
noted that the committee now understand that the proposal that was put to the Local Community is now
completely dead.
15. Sinead Moylan Ryan impressed upon An Taoiseach that he has a “vital role to play” on behalf of the Local
Community to set up the liaison between the DoEHLG and the Local Community.
16. Sinead Moylan Ryan also said that the Youth 2000 festival has to be allowed to proceed annually. Sean Ascough
mentioned how the National Monuments Service in DoEHLG had attempted to stop the festival on archaeological
grounds and had linked their reasons to the World Heritage bid and DoEHLG policy. An Taoiseach mentioned that
Bishop Colm O Reilly had also written to him expressing concerns regarding the Christian Faith Heritage aspects. An
Taoiseach said that he shared these local concerns too and that all of this was “pushing against an open door” as
far as he was concerned.
17. John Dolan thanked An Taoiseach again for taking the time out from his very demanding schedule to come and talk
to the committee. John said that the committee does not have the mandate from the Local Community to enter
into negotiations and that the committee would be reporting back to the Local Community and seeking their
Actions Arising:
• An Taoiseach to issue a confirmation in writing to the Clonmacnois Action Group to confirm that the current
proposal is now dead and that no World Heritage application will be made to UNESCO without Local Community
agreement along the lines of the signature petition that had been lodged by the Local Community earlier.
• An Taoiseach to arrange for liaison person to be nominated to the Local Community from the DoEHLG regarding
any future correspondence.
• Clonmacnois Action Group to issue minutes of today’s meeting to An Taoiseach.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 4th Oct 2009 - 27th Sun 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: €446. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: G.Brennan, D.Deeley, V.Hynes
Eucharistic ministers: Group 3
Readers for next Weekend: Group 4, S.Grennan, P.Duffy
Altar Servers for this week: Siobhan, Caitríona
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €257. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: K.Kenny, A.Kearns
Readers for next Sunday: D.Norton
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group A Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: N.Egan

St Ciaran's Youth Club will reopen on Fri 9th Oct from 7.30-9.30pm in Clonfanlough Hall for Registration. All members must register.
New members welcome.
Station Masses
This is the time of year when we celebrate the “Station Masses”, a long-standing tradition in Ireland and an unbroken link with the faith and practice of our ancestors. We are looking for volunteers to host the Station Mass, even if it is not your 'turn', or/and having it for the first time; or you may simply wish to have Mass in your home. We would encourage people to keep the occasion as simple as possible. We do not want this to be a burden on anybody.
Questions people askQ. How can I overcome the habit of personal sin? I hate myself for doing it but yet I cannot stop. A. Many people are burdened with fear of a punishing God combined with an exaggerated notion of sexual sinfulness. This combination of fear and guilt causes the mind to focus on the problem to the extent that it becomes an obsession. An obsession is very hard to control. Be gentle on yourself. Let go of exaggerated guilt, accepting sexual thoughts and desires as so normal that the only time to worry about them is when you no longer experience them! If you praised God for human sexuality, maybe the devil would cease using it as a temptation. (Fr Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap ) ¨¨¨¨
West Offaly Education Project will have night classes as follows:
Clonfanlough Hall: Set Dancing, from Mon 5th Oct, 8.30-10.30pm.
Shannonbridge NS: Hairstyling course from Tues 6th Oct, 7.30-9.30pm. Advanced Excel course from Wed 7th Oct, 7.30-10pm.
Other courses will be available at the following centres:
Cloghan, Ferbane, Pullough, Belmont, Kilcormac.
For more information, or to enrol, call Michelle on 057-9349422
Bowling Fundraiser Night at Athlone Leisure World organised by Gallen Community School Parent's Association will be held on Fri 23rd Oct. Team of 4 costs €60. All welcome. For more details please contact the school at 090-6454548.
Co Offaly Childcare Committee will host a seminar for parents entitled ‘Creating Confident Children’ with Dr Tony Humphreys on Sat 10th Oct in Tullamore Court Hotel from 10am – 4pm. Cost is €20 which includes lunch. For pre-booking (essential) call 057-9135878.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Interview with Sean Lowry.

Came across a major and very interesting interview with former Offaly football star Sean Lowry - check it out here -

Friday, October 02, 2009

Please find below the pope's homily during his visit to Clonmacnois.
Many thanks to Karen Downey from the free paper Offaly Independent .The paper this week has two pages commemorating
the visit of Pope John Paul to Clonmacnois 30 years ago. Karen forwarded a copy of the Papal address at Clonmacnois.
You can read the paper at
“Dear brothers and sisters, this visit to Clonmacnois gives me the opportunity to render homage to the traditions of faith and Christian living in Ireland. In particular, I wish to recall and honour the great monastic contribution to Ireland that was made here on this revered spot for 1,000 years and whose influence was carried all over Europe by missionary monks and by students of this monastic school of Clonmacnois.
When we look at the works of faith we must give thanks to God. Thanks to God for the origins of this apostolic faith in Ireland. Thanks to God for saints and apostles and all who were the instruments for implanting and keeping alive this faith and who have done God’s work throughout the ages.
Thanks to God for the continuity of the message of the apostles handed down intact to this day. Never forget the wonderful boasts and commitment made by St Columban to Bonafice IV in Rome: 'We Irish ... are disciples of Saints Peter and Paul ... we hold unbroken that Catholic faith which we first received from you.’
Clonmacnois was long the centre of a renowned school of sacred art. The Shrine of St Manchan standing on the altar today is one outstanding example of its work.
This is, therefore, a fitting place for me to express my gratitude for the work of Irish sacred art, several pieces of which have been presented to me on the occasion of my visit.
Irish art embodies in many instances the deep faith and devotion of the Irish people as expressed in the personal sensitivity of its artistes. Every piece of art, be it religious or secular, be it a painting, a sculpture, a poem or any form of handicraft, made by loving skill, is a sign and a symbol of the inscrutable secret of human nature, of man’s origin and destiny, of the meaning of his life and work. It speaks to us of the meaning of the birth and death, of the greatness of the man. Praised be Christ.”
Today a Francis Jensen from Geraardsbergen in Belgium stopped by with
his friend. They had travelled using Ryan Air to Shannon for 50 Euros
return (booked 2 months ago).They hired a car and travelled through
Clare Galway Connemara Sligo Donegal Derry and across to Antrim
and down to Roscommon and Shannonbridge since Sunday.
They have three friends in their home town called Max, Freddy and
Clarke and this trio asked them to call to Shannonbridge and say hello
Their town is called after the Saint Geraard and Bergen means hills
or small mountain.
Anyhow I opened an old phot album and there was Max on Page 2.
Mick remembers that Max was in Shannonbridge with his pals many
years ago and they bought a sheep from Louie Darcy. Max was a
butcher and he killed the sheep out on Lamb Island immediately
upstream from the bridge at Shannonbridge.
Francis told us that nowadays Max is in the antique business
and he also sells paving stones for around patios.
Francis has been in Ireland many times and once imported antique
looking cast metal fireplaces that were made in Athy and he sold them
in many countries.
Francis and his pal will surely need another holiday after the travel.
When they get home he is looking forward to going to Italy in
November with Ryan Air. This time his tickets will cost 5 Euros return.
Anyhow greetings to Max and friends and keep well.
Friday was vote Yes or No day for the Lisbon Treaty.
This morning Frank Keenan telephoned. Frank worked with Electricity
Power Board for over forty years mainly on the construction of new
power plants. He is now retired and living at Retreat Heights in
Athlone. Frank told that Retreat Heights got its name from the 1690's
when Ginkel and his army were approaching Athlone to fight Sarsfield
and the Irish. When Ginkel saw what was arrayed before him he
withdrew his army to a nearby hill now known as Retreat Heights.
Frank has a great knowledge of how some words came about.
I liked the posh word. Steamships sailing to America years ago
from Cobh offered First Class at £53 return and Posh Class at £153
return. The northern seas meant that it was nearly impossible to open
the cabin windows facing north.So they offered cabins Port Outbound -
Starboard Homebound.
Frank has started bridge lessons and promised to visit Shannonbridge
real soon.

The brother in America has great praise for the book 'The Minstrel Boy'
by Hubert Dunne that tells the story of Frances Ledwith the poet and
about the happenings in Ireland around the Rising in 1916.

A puzzle.Place nine dots in 3 rows each directly above one another.
Space the dots one inch apart and each row one inch apart.
You should have a square with nine dots spaced one inch from each
Now draw four straight lines without taking the pen off the page
and connect all the dots.

Another puzzle.
Three people are on Death Row. They are given one chance to escape.
Five stickers - 3 White stickers and 2 Black stickers are produced.
One sticker is put on each prisoner's forehead and the othet two
stickers are burned.
The three prisoners are gagged and placed in one room.
If any one prisoner can say what colour sticker he /she is wearing
they will be released by The Govener.
Clonmacnois Parish Newsletter
Sunday 27th Sept 2009 - 26 Sun 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: €465. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: M.Murphy, M.McManus
Eucharistic ministers: Group 2
Readers for next Weekend: Group 3, M.Killeen, O.Costello
Altar Servers for this week: Andrea, Athene
Last Sunday's Offertory collection: €249. Many Thanks
Church Cleaners: E.Egan, A.McEvoy
Readers for next Sunday: A.Kelly
Altar Servers for next Sunday: Group E Eucharistic minister for next Sunday: D.McEvoy
Mass on next Sun for the late Ciaran & Margaret Egan

Congratulations & best wishes to Paul Dolan and Roseanne Curtin who were married recently in St Kieran's Church Doorus, Kinvara.

Questions people askQ. My son says he is an agnostic. Is this the same as an atheist?A. An atheist holds that there is no God, no divine being. An agnostic accepts the existence of God but holds that God cannot be properly known by the human mind and that we cannot have any true relationship with the divine being. It has been said, rather unfairly I feel, that an agnostic is someone who hasn’t the commitment to be a believer, nor the courage to be an atheist. (Fr Silvester O’Flynn OFM Cap)

Dóchas Nasumu funds an orphanage for children with Aids in a small village in Kenya. ‘We are running a used clothing appeal of ladies, gents & children’s clothes, footwear, household linens, blankets etc for the orphans & their extended families.
Collection will take place at Shannonbridge Hall Car park on Mon 28th Sept between 9am & 12noon. For more info call 086-8689377.
Co Offaly Childcare Committee will host a seminar for parents entitled ‘Creating Confident Children’ with Dr Tony Humphreys on Sat 10th Oct in Tullamore Court Hotel from 10am – 4pm. Cost is €20 which includes lunch. For pre-booking (essential) call 057-9135878.
Stroke Support Group: Meeting on 30th Sept @ 7pm in the Health Centre Ballinasloe. Theme of talk is ‘Entitlements & Benefits’.
Offaly Co. Council/Local Cleanup
Offaly Co. Council are organising a “cleanup Offaly” day in all areas of the county and Shannonbridge’s cleanup or “Give it a Swirl” as its called, will be on Wed next 30th September. Rubbish bags will be given to each household and people are asked to put any rubbish thry may find in ditches or areas around their gardens into these bags and leave them outside front doors and they will be collected on Wednesday evening. An all village “Litter pickup” will also go ahead on the same evening starting @ 5:30pm. Assembly at the church, all parents and children as asked to help in this cleanup. Gloves, bags etc will be provided. PLEASE SUPPORT
Special Thanks
Many thanks to all those who contributed to the recent Coffee morning. €300 was raised.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A man from Scariff County Clare attending the removal of Marie Daly's
remains last evening had the -

Recipe for a Happy Marriage.

The Two of us go out twice a week.
The Missus goes out on Tuesday night
And I go out on Saturday night.
Simple but it works.