Lanesboro Ballyleague Notes Monday 1st June 2015

   Lanesboro Ballyleague Notes


The Green – a living memory

On Tuesday last a former resident of the Green wandered into the shop to me and we had a long and lengthy chat about his time here in Lanesboro. Pat Caldwell 45, now a resident of Navan, was in town and it was fitting that he arrived on the day of the opening of the Ballyleague Riverside Park. While we waited for the official opening he recounted his memories of the many happy summer days down at the banks of the Shannon and in the small swimming pool – which is no longer there, playing in the quarries and down the woods. He had great memories of all his neighbours and the youngsters on the Green. Pat told me that the family lived in a Bord na Mona house in Ballyglass for a short time before moving to the Green where they lived from 1957 to 1961. He enjoyed his day meeting and chatting with locals and we look forward to seeing him in town again soon.

Fabian Walsh of the Midlands Bakery always tells me of the great debt he owes to the men of the Green. As the baking of bread would start in the very early morning, invariably when a machine would break down it would do so at a time when no electrician or fitter would be on hand. He would have to knock up a fitter or electrician from the Green to help him in his hour of need. He remarked how each person he called at all those unearthly hours of the morning came to his assistance without as much as a whimper considering that when they finished helping him it was more than likely time for them to go straight to their own job on Bord na Mona.

There was an absolutely incredible response to Bernie O’Neill’s 9, letter on the O’Neill family. The letter evoked so many memories for members of the families that moved to The Green back in the 50’s, it also aroused the memories of so many local Rathcline/Lanesboro people who remembered what the influx of so many new people meant to them. One such letter I received was from Rose Farrell, nee Mullooly, Killinure and it read as follows:

I just have to write to you after reading your notes this week – The Story of the Green with The O Neill Family Story, as told by Bernadette. It was such a touching story especially knowing the family, and I’m sure there’s a version of that story that can be told by every one of those first families to the Green.

I started in the old school beside the Church in September 1954 and Patsy O’Neill was in my class. Also in Mrs. O’Dowd’s Infants class that year, from the Green, were Ann Reynolds, Mary Judge, P J Donoghue, Owen Harte, Jaqueline Gearty, Phyllis Connaughton, Kathleen Donoghue, Ann Gilmore, Anne Dalton, and from the town – Elizabeth Bannon, Vivian Glennon , with Phil Feeney and Philip Ginty, Knock and Tessie Curran and Martha Donlon, my neighbors, from

Killinure and Tullyvrane.

I think I’ve got everybody right, but if not, the distance back of 60 years is a good excuse.

From Mrs. O’Dowd’s room, that class of ’54 moved across the road to Mrs. Farrell’s class in the Fire Station where we completed 1st and 2nd class. We then crossed the road again to Mrs. Cahill’s 3rd class in the old school. Our biggest move came next–into 4th class in the brand new Girls school down at the Power Station, run by the Sisters of Mercy (1960). We lost the boys then, as they separated from us and went into their own new Boys school up at the back of the Green.

I know we tend to look back with rose-tinted glasses Joe, but although money was scarce and luxuries were very few in the Lanesboro of the 50s, it was a good time to live there and the arrival of BNM and all these new families to the Green brought a progressive, dare-I-say, exciting atmosphere to the place which was absent in much of the rest of rural Ireland at the time.

Monster Auction –you can help?

Rathcline GAA club is hosting a Monster Auction on Saturday 27th June at 1pm in Clonbonny. The club is asking the community for donations of goods and services which we can use in the auction and they are hoping that over the next few weeks you can assess what you can donate towards the auction. The club is actively asking people to donate goods for auction e.g. gym equipment, household goods, furniture, antiques, toys, building materials, fuels, vouchers, tickets etc. Services can also be donated e.g. tradesman services, gardening, painting, physiotherapy, hairdressing, beauty treatments etc. Lifestyle donations such as holiday breaks, gym memberships and activities of all sorts. Donations can be left into Farrell’s Agri Supplies or contact Gerald Farrell on (086) 8745180. The club has huge undertakings to make repayments on the club grounds, run the club for the year and at the same time try and put some funds together to help further develop the club grounds at Clonbonny. If you can help please do not hesitate to contact Gerald.

The present executive, as with all previous executives, are only minders and developers of the club providing football for boys and girls, ladies and men and ensuring that the future will be bright for the future generations. I am sure some of you reading this will be some of the executives in the coming years and I am sure you will want to receive the reins of the club in an excellent state. Please be supportive and encourage where you can others to donate towards the Auction and help progress your own club and parish.

Cloontuskert NS awarded Green Flag Tuesday, 26th May was a great day for Cloontuskert NS as we were awarded a Green Flag for Biodiversity. Pupils and teachers have been busy working on our Biodiversity Project for the past two years and we now have an extensive school garden, as well as a bug hotel, a frog plaza and 3 wormeries. Mrs. Behan and Mrs. Gallagher along with three of the school committee members attended the awards ceremony and proudly returned to the school with the new green flag and certificate. The teachers and students now look forward to our flag raising day which will take place in June. (See attachment for photograph)


An Irish Language Summer Course (SIAMSA!) will take place from Monday 6th July to Friday 10th July in Gaelscoil Longfoirt.  The course will take place from 9.30am to 3.00pm each day and will cater for students from Second Class to First Year.  Further information and applications forms available from Yvonne Ní Mhurchú 087-2642665.

Benefit Night – please support

A benefit night remembering William Elliott will take place in the Longford Arms Hotel on Tuesday night 16th June featuring some of Ireland’s leading artists. The late William Elliott has family relatives in the area and we hope that a huge number form the area will travel for this great ‘Night with the Stars’. Appearing on the night will be Robert Mizzell, Mick Flavin, Matt Leavy, Simon Casey, the Sheerin family, Noel Cassidy, Bernie Heaney and many more top acts. Dancing will take place from 8pm to 12am. Tickets are priced €10 and are available in O’Brien’s shop or from Maurice and Kathleen Donlon, Church View.

Introduction to Wild Food Foraging

On Saturday the 6th June there will be an introduction to Wild Food Foraging in Newtowncashel. The introduction will be facilitated by Deborah Evers from the Burren Kitchen. Deborah has been a grower and artisan food producer of Burren Kitchen Garden range of preserves at Clareville House Kitchen Garden in Ballyvaughan, County Clare since 2000. The hedges, woodlands and grassland around us contain plenty of edible plants that can be a great addition to our kitchen. If you ever wondered about what you could forage for while you are out for a walk then this is a workshop you should come along to! The workshop is free for participants but places are limited and booking is essential! Contact Tilla: 089 4400736.

Harvest Festival 2015

The Harvest Festival of 2015 will take place on Sunday 23rd August and the events leading up to it are about kick off. The first of these is the Tractor Run on Sunday 14th June. Tractors will assemble at Gav’s Bar in Kenagh prior to the 12 noon start. The ‘Run’ will go to Newtowncashel and back to Gav’s Bar. The price of participation is €20 and the proceeds of the event will go to St. Christopher’s Longford. To enter of for more information call Paddy Finnegan 087-2705014 or Rachael Thompson 087-6772454.

A follow up fundraiser will take place in Kenagh on Sunday 26th July –details will follow at a later date.

A Longford Harvest Festival meeting will take place in ‘The Local’ Newtowncashel on Friday 2th June. New members will be made very welcome.


On Thursday, 28th May, last a dark cloud over the entire area when the news broke of the untimely and unexpected death of Sean Cahill, Tarmombarry. Sean was predeceased by his late wife Olive and lived on both sides of the bridge in Lanesboro and Ballyleague.

Sean was a gentleman in every sense and he made a wonderful contribution to the area until he moved to Tarmombarry a few years back. Sean and his late wife Olive were both teachers in the parish and both are remembered with great affection. Sean taught in Fermoyle where he was school principal

Sean had so many appealing qualities and he was a man if great integrity who loved the old traditions in life but also embraced all the new modern concepts. His affable nature endeared him to everyone that had the pleasure to know him. His passing will leave many sad hearts in all corners of the county and indeed further afield.

He was devoted family man and packed a lot into his family during his 84 years on this life. Sean’s faith played a major part in his life and he played a major role within his Roman Catholic Church.

Sean’s remains reposed at his daughters Bríd’s home in Newtownforbes on Saturday. His remains were removed to St. Mary’s Church Lanesboro on Sunday for the Mass of the Resurrection and following mass burial took place in Rathcline Cemetery.

We extend our deepest sympathy to his daughters Mairéad, Eileen, Bríd and Maura, sons John and Aiden, his sister Ann, relatives and many friends.

Minister opens Riverside Park

The area was basking in sunshine all day Tuesday and it could not be a more fitting and contriving day for the area to receive a ministerial visit. The occasion was the opening of the new and fabulous promenade at Ballyleague Riverside Park replacing the entire area shoreline bank from the ‘slip’ right around to the new marina. It is a fantastic addition to the area and it adds greatly to the Ballyleague side. It has replaced the dilapidated old fence and rocky river front. There is no doubt that the Minister Michael Ring was more than impressed with the quality of the work done.

A large crowd attended the official opening and a large number of dignitaries and invited guests basked in the sunshine. Fr. John Mc Manus, Ballyleague, performed the official blessing of the new promenade and park. The stroll from the entrance right around to the marina is a thing of beauty and it will be marvelous to see the river bank and promenade well populated during the summer months. Take a stroll down and enjoy the scenery and view as you stroll around. The park is totally wheelchair accessible

With the official opening taken place on Tuesday the events of the weekend commenced on Thursday with the ‘Swim pat the Prom’. It was a marvelous sight to see so many take part in the first event. The local triathlon club really got the swimmers out and they must take great credit. The First night of the Prom featuring the Roscommon Solstice Choir was a sell out with a huge crowd filling the marquee. It was a powerful night and the huge crowd was enthralled with the repertoire of the choir.

After the marvelous weather condition at the official opening on Tuesday the weather tried its best to conspire against the organisers but the weather did not hamper the large turnout for all the events. The turnouts for all the events was due reward for the organisers Ballyleague Village Renewal who put a huge amount of effort in their organisation and they must be highly commended.

On Friday Heartlands – an exhibition celebrating the heritage of Bord na Mona in the region for over the past 6 decades. This exhibition was a wonderful archival history of Bord na Mona and had some photographs of workers from the Green, Cloontuskert and Derryhaun. Many people in attendance over the weekend were transported back in time as the memories flooded back to the early and later times in Bord na Mona both in their estates and works.

Friday evening the band of the Defence Forces of the Eastern Brigade, Custume Barracks, Athlone entertained the attendance with a Big Band recital. The band was excellent as was their music and a great thrill for a captivated audience.


The 50/50 draw took place in Adie’s on Monday night 25th May and the lucky winner was Deirdre Farrell, The Yacht Bar. Deirdre was the recipient of €341. The club thanks everyone for their support and encourages everyone to support their weekly draw. For just €2 you too can be a winner.


We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Mamie and Mickie Connaughton and family, Knock, on the death last week of Mamie’s brother Thomas Donachie, Lucan, Co. Dublin

The value of a game of cards

While we all enjoyed the past weekend for all the entertainment and happiness that was bestowed on the area but we must also remember those that the Lanesboro Social Services support and are struggling within our community. The monthly Whist Drive is an absolutely vital source of income to Lanesboro Social Services committee. Next Friday 5th June is the first Friday of the month and the date for the monthly Whist Drive. Your support is absolutely crucial and I hope that a great number will go along. The game will commence at 8.30pm and as usual refreshments will be served.

Place of Beauty

Having been present at the opening of the new riverside Park in Ballyleague on Tuesday last I can only enthuse upon the beauty of both Ballyleague and Lanesboro. We have a most spectacular area. The fabulous work that continues on both sides of the bridge, year on year, has to be seen to be believed. Both tidy towns committees have done spectacular work and it is a common thread with strangers as they call into the shop- and they are only seeing the streetscape. When they are told of the walk in the wood, the promenade and other walks and facilities they are taken aback with the hidden jewel that is Lanesboro and Ballyleague.

For anyone that went down to the Shannon banks on Saturday and Sunday last it evoked memories of days of yore when the fishing banks would be filled to capacity with fishermen mainly from England fishing in Lanesboro. Unfortunately, it was the only similarity to the past as there were very few fish being caught at the weekend. Going forward it is something that has to be rectified and allowed place us in the main fishing areas once again.

Presently there is a huge amount of unseen work and proposals on the table with many bodies and agencies and with the help of all the wonderful workers and committees some of them will without doubt come to fruition. Then we can them move from being the hidden jewel to the Tanzanite – the world’s most beautiful gem that everyone will want to visit. We have it here of that there is no doubt it is only a matter of making ourselves the finished article. That will happen with everyone’s help and support.

We can only be proud of all the work is being done in making the area and we hope that all the work being undertaken in our name is successful. Lanesboro and Ballyleague has the majestic Shannon flowing through it and credit to both communities for over the past number of years they have embraced the river banks made it a very special area in our community.

To help us succeed in our drive forward is the urgent need for a much better broadband service. I continue to say that we have the environment for huge development all we ask is that when we seek support that all agencies back us to ensure we grow back into a centre for business and industry.

Lanesboro Bridge Club

The results of the recent competitions held by the Lanesboro Bridge club: North/South 1st Phil Chalmers and Cyril Hussey, 2nd Mary Mc Gushin and Kathleen Kelly, 3rd Una Clarke & Eileen Kelly. East/West 1st Frances and Frank Brennan, 2nd Brid McDermott and Una Lawlor, 3rd Brendan Dowling and Mike Flynn tied with Mae Casey and Noreen Dunne

Results for Wednesday 27th May North/South 1st Bernadette Gillen and Mona O’Flaherty, 2nd Gemma Douglas and Elisa Gray and 3rd Renee Walsh and Mary Jamieson. East/West 1st Frances and Frank Brennan, 2nd Maureen Hynes and Katherine Harrison, 3rd Brid McDermott and Una Lawlor.

Lanesboro Library Events

Art Class:  There will be another six week Art Class starting on Wednesday 10th June.  Cost €10 per night.  To register call into the library, call Stella on 043 332 1291 or email

Lasraí Writers Group: Next meeting is on Monday June 8th 7 – 9pm. New members welcome.

Knitting & Crochet Group meetings every Monday 2 – 4pm. All welcome.

Active Age Group meetings every Tuesday 3 – 4pm.  New members welcome.

ESOL classes (English for speakers of other languages) continues each Tuesday evening 7 – 9pm.

Tickets on sale in the library for Fast Track Stroke Service for The Mater Foundation.  €3 each or 2 for €5.  Please support this very worthy cause.

Foreign Currency Appeal Reminder The library is still collecting unwanted foreign currency and old coins/notes in aid of ISPCC. The smallest donation can make a huge difference.

Used stamps also being collected at the library for ISPCC.

The Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk

Pat Falvey led the first ever Irish expedition to reach the South Pole on January 2008. Falvey had previously been involved in numerous endurance treks including climbing the highest peak on every continent.

Pat Spillane is a winner of 2 All-Ireland U21 medals, 8 All-Ireland senior All-Irelands, and 9 All Star awards and presently a TV pundit with the Sunday Game.

Both men joined forces to launch the Breakthrough Research, Kerry Way Cancer Research Walk which will take place in Kerry in July.

The sponsored walk will feature the usual three day walk from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th July. This walk on part of the world renowned Kerry Way will be over the distance of 70k. This year the walk is celebrating its 10th Anniversary and for the very first time there will be a new nine-day team event over the full 200km distance of the Kerry Way. The Kerry Way walk will combine impressive mountain views, dramatic peaks and glens, wild moorlands, wooded paths and lakes. It is one of the most impressive walks in Ireland if not the world. If you are interested in the 3-day or the 9-day team event you should log onto or email phone 1890 998 998.

Shannon Gaels

Shannon Gaels Minor Club would like to take this opportunity in wishing all Leaving and Junior Cert students the best of luck in their upcoming exams.

U10’s have an away Blitz in Forgney on Wednesday 3rd June at 7pm.

Shannon Gaels U12’s commence Longford/Leitrim League next week on Tuesday 9th June away to Carrigallen at 7.30pm.


The usual monthly bingo will take place in Newtownforbes on this coming Sunday 7th June at 3pm. There will be total of €2500 in prize money to be won on the day.

St. Faithleach’s GAA

Senior Men: Hodson Bay Hotel SFC, Our Senior Team drew against Western Gaels on Sunday. Result: St. Faithleach’s 2-05 Western Gaels 0-11. Team: S. O’ Connor, D. Harrison, D. Murray, B. Scally, K. Brennan, H. Kenny, J. Walsh, J. Quigley, C. Gunn, D. Hussey (1-01), C. Murtagh (0-03), D. Rooney, A. Dooney, D. Murtagh (1-01), E. Kenny. Subs: J. Hussey, A. Manning, J. Sweeney, S. Phillips, P. Brennan, B. Hussey, J. Kelly. The next game in the championship is set for Saturday 27th June. Mothers & Others: First game of Mothers & Others took place last Thursday in Clan na Gael with a score line of St. Faithleach’s 2-05 Clann na Gael 3-05. Team; M. Rohan, E. Cox, A. Mc Loughlin, V. Farrell, E. Hannon, U. Kenny, E. Dillon, C. Connaughton, C. Farrell, M. Donlon, C. Feeney, L. Cullen, P. Kenny, S. Brady, S. Curran. The next game is on this Wednesday 3rd June against Oran Ballyleague at 7:30pm. U10 Blitz: St Faithleach’s was the host club for the Group 2 U10 Blitz and we would like to thank all those who took part and helped out.

Paddy Bolger Memorial Cup: The Minor club is holding their annual U14 Boys 7-a-side tournament in Ballyleague on Saturday 20th June. This tournament is one of the longest established tournaments in the county and has been held every year since 1983.  We look forward to a great day with 16 teams participating. Club Trip to Lanzarote: The club is running a trip to Lanzarote on the 28th January 2016. Contact Brian Scally (087)9702921 or Stephen O’Connor (087) 7750017. All are welcome. Congratulations: Congratulations to Padraig Wallace who won the Club €1,500 with his winning entry in a recent ESB competition. Tickets: Tickets are on sale for the Supporters Club Draw from local retail outlets, club officers and in the club house. Your support as always is appreciated. Rathcline GAA

Monster Auction – Rathcline GAA are hosting a Monster Auction on Sunday 28th June at 1pm in Clonbonny. We are asking the community for donations of goods and services which we can use in the auction so get thinking over the next few weeks of what you can donate. We are looking for people to donate goods for auction e.g. gym equipment, household goods, furniture, antiques, toys, building materials, fuels, vouchers, tickets etc. Services can also be donated e.g. tradesman services, gardening, painting, physiotherapy, hairdressing, beauty treatments etc. Donations can be left into Farrell’s Agri Supplies or contact Gerald Farrell on (086) 8745180. Thank you in advance from all at Rathcline GFC.

50/50 Draw – Congratulations to Deirdre Farrell, Main Street, Lanesborough who was last week’s winners of €341 in our 50/50 draw. The draw takes place every Monday night at 9pm and envelopes are available in all local businesses.

Longford seniors – Commiserations to the Longford senior footballers as they had to settle for second best against the might of Dublin in the Leinster Senior Championship in Croke Park yesterday.

ACFL Division 2 – Our next league game is provisionally scheduled to take place Friday June 05th (subject to change) where we take on Ballymahon in Ballymahon at 8pm.

Lough Ree AC

The death of Sean Cahill was a shock to us all. Sean was involved in many activities, most are well documented. Not alone was a founder member of Lough Ree Athletic Club but he was the driving force behind the all-weather track that exist behind the Community College –one of a few of its kind that existed in Ireland at the time. Sean was the instigator between the V.E.C., the college, the Gill family and the late Gerry Boland R.I.P. for its construction. He was also the editor of the Lough Ree magazine which the club produced in 1998 to commemorate 25 years in existence and a fine publication it was.

The club extends is sympathy to Mairéad, Eileen, Bríd, John, Aiden and Maura, his sister Ann, relatives and friends.




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