Lanesboro Ballyleague notes Tuesday 26th December 2023

Lanesboro Ballyleague notes 

Continue your reading into the New Year

There is really nothing better than reading the works of local authors and this Christmas and New Year holiday time has a plethora of excellent books available written by local authors. Books by local authors will make great Christmas presents and you will also be showing your support for the great efforts made by all of our local authors. New books have arrived during the week, and we should all be supporting our local authors. All the books by the local authors are all available in O’Brien’s.

Jack Harte, novelist, short story writer and playwright has just added to his vast array of books with the most recent publication of his latest writing just in time for the Christmas market. It will make for wonderful reading over the Christmas period.

In the Foul Rag – and – Bone Shop Jack has once again come up with another excellent read.

When Stones Speak is a local history book documenting all of the headstones and graves in the cemeteries of Killashee, Ballinakill and Clondra. The book, written by Luke Baxter and Hugh Farrell, with Jimmy Lennon and Mike Mulvihill was launched on Tuesday last in Longford County Library.  Tremendous work went into the identification of every one of the headstones in the three graveyards from the very outset and that was no easy task.

The parishes of Rathcline and Kilgefin has many great links to the cemeteries and this book will be a tremendous source of historic records for all the families.

 More Quirky Tales is another new book published by the participants of the Midlands Children’s Book writers and illustration group. Include in the writers is local author Andrew Knowles who has a story included in this book. This is an excellent children’s story book, and it would be ideal for story reading. The illustrations include pictures from the local community.

That prolific writer, Paddy Egan, once again has a new publication out for Christmas. This year’s publication is his recollection of the Covid times where he recollects through poems the memories relating to the day-to-day events from 2020 to 2022. Another great publication from Paddy and another worthy read.

New to our list is the recent arrival of Rose Moran’s book of poetry ‘In the Slant of a New Light’. You will all remember Rose as Sr. Rose who was part of the Mery nuns when they were in Lanesboro. Jack Harte’s Uneasy bedfellows and his local bestseller In the Wake of the Bagger amongst others are available. Ciaran Mullooly’s recent launch of his third book ‘The Future is Now’ is selling very fast and new stock has just arrived while a restock of Margaret Nohilly’s book of poetry ‘The Overlap of Times’ has it back on the bookshelves.

New stock arrived this week of the hugely popular Sliabh Bán written by Henry Owens, Longford Republican History and the Burkes and the Pollocks.

County Chairman

Well done and the very best of luck to Albert Conney who was re-elected to position of County Chairman of Longford GAA for the coming year.

Fran and the 15,000

Last week the very popular 2 Johnnies brought their show to the 3Arena where 15,000 filled the arena to capacity. A local musician along with his band enhanced the show with their fine music. Fran Deffew along with his colleagues in the hugely popular group Rake the Ashes brought their very own distinctive folk sound to the enormous crowd.

Fran and the lads played their All-Ireland last week and hope that there will be many replications in the year and years ahead. Congratulation Fran.


Death at any time is tough but deaths at Christmas time is all the more poignant and this was the case when we learned of the death at Innis Ree Lodge, Ballyleague, of Oliver Fleming, Thornfield, Rathcline on Saturday 16th December. Olie as he was most commonly known was a native of Ballinlough, Co. Roscommon and came to Lanesboro after he met and married his late wife Elizabeth, nee Farrell, and they made their home in Rathcline. He was a teacher of note in Lanesboro Technical School later to become Lanesboro Community College. During his lifetime Olie achieved many distinguishing accomplishments, he was primarily an excellent teacher, closely followed by an adept farmer, an excellent judge in the equitation field, himself and Elizabeth set up Thornfield Riding School and he was an excellent dancer. He was also a judge of Connemara ponies. Olie was fun loving and a wonderful character – the glint in his eye always told that there was devilment on his mind. He was an excellent neighbour, friend and the most helpful of people where nobody in need was left unaided. He was a proud Roscommon man and a great supporter of the county’s fortunes on the sporting field.

Olie reposed at his home on Tuesday last and on Wednesday his remains were removed to St. Mary’s Church for the Mass of the Resurrection. Burial took place afterwards in Clonbonny Cemetery. To his daughters Michelle, Olivia, Tricia and Mary, brother Liam, sister Patricia, grandchildren Ernie, Florence, Issy and Ava, relatives and friends we extend our deepest sympathy.

Searching your Family Tree

Particularly since Covid time when people had a lot of time on their hands a big number of people both home and abroad have taken a great interest on their family tree and have begun to search for their roots. Speaking for personal experience and stories of others your own search can bring you so far and then your search become a blur, like searching in a maze.

The Killian Homeplace Family & Genealogy Centre in Fermoyle has become a lifeline for so many people seeking to trace or continue the search into their family roots.

The research team are excellent in researching where even the flimsiest family comment will lead the team to astonishing family tree connections.

If you are interested searching your family tree, then the Killian Homeplace should be your first point of contact.

If you want to trace your family tree and avail of their services, you should contact the centre on their website 


We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mike and Johnny Hanley, their sister Frances Kilcoyne, Lanesboro, Jimmy in Dublin, Kathy in Limerick and Paddy and Annie in England their families, and the extended Hanley families on the death of their sister Mary Fitzgerald in London on Friday last. Mary from a very popular and respected local family left Lanesboro in her youth and made a very successful life in England. While she went to England so many years ago her heart always remained in Lanesboro and Corrigeen in particular. She is fondly remembered by all that remembered Mary when growing up in our parish. She met and married Clare man Don Fitzgerald and they had 5 children to whom we also extend our deepest sympathy to Don, sons John and Christopher, daughters Claire, Eileen and Sharon and their extended families. 

Community Games for New Year

The Community Games in Lanesboro and Ballyleague Kilgefin has a long and successful history with many All-Ireland champions along with medallists galore in the All-Ireland’s, County and parish competitions.  

Community Games give any young person boy or girl the opportunity to display their skills and abilities in a huge array of almost 60 different disciplines. Community Games is primarily a parent driven local organisation with parents anxious to ensure that the Community Games is good for their youngsters and their equally talented friends. 

This is the time of the year that the AGM’s for both local Community Games groups takes place, and it is hugely important that all parents support their kids by getting involved in the formation of the committee for the coming year. It is very important to attend the AGM’s if only to show your support to the incoming committee. If you have recently arrived in our community the Community Games gives you that wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know locals through the involvement of their youngsters. 

Please keep an eye on the Lanesboro notes, either in the Longford Leader or online, so that you can attend the AGM meeting and involve yourself or turn up just to give your support and backing for the elected committee. 

Oskars USB

The recently successful Rathcline Night at the Oskars is now available on USB where those that did not get to the night or for the cast and family members who want to remember the magnificent night in the Longford Arms. The USB in a special presentation box is available in O’Brien’s costing just s costing just €20

St. Vincent de Paul

The Annual St Vincent de Paul Appeal takes place over the next few weeks. Envelopes for your donations are now available in the church porch or in O’Brien’s. You can leave your sealed envelope in with the Sunday offerings or drop it into the Presbytery. You can also use a plain envelope b                                                                                                                                                                                 ut mark it SVP. All donations received locally will be distributed locally. St Vincent de Paul offers direct support to families and individuals on a weekly basis and the assistance is non-judgemental and based on the need. Support can be either, food, fuel, clothing or education. Thank you for your generosity. SVP envelopes are also available in O’Brien’s Corner newsagents.


Deepest sympathy to Marc and Vanda Maher and their families on the death on Tuesday last 19th December of Vanda Maher, Cloontuskert, formerly of Birmingham, England and Crumlin, Dublin. Vanda reposed on Thursday in Maher’s Chapel of rest, Portarlington and Cremation Service took place in the Garden Chapel, Mount Jerome Crematorium, Dublin.

Yearly annual -Teathbha

The annual Historical Journal of the County Longford Historical Society is back on the bookshelves once again. Teathbha 2023 is edited by Martin Morris, County Longford Archivist. The journal is, as usual, laden down with many excellent stories and records and it should prove to be essential reading. The journal is priced at just €12, and it is on sale in O’Brien’s shop.

Tidy Town’s Lotto stands at €15,000  

The Lanesboro Tidy Towns Lottery for Tuesday 2nd January stands at a very exciting €15,000 and never would it be more welcome than on the weeks leading up to Christmas. This is a wonderful opportunity to win the €15,000 for just €2 or 3 envelopes for €5. 

The draw took place in O’Brien’s Shop and the numbers drawn on Tuesday 19th December for the jackpot of €15.000 were 9, 12, 17 and 21.  There was no winner of the jackpot. The winner of the €50 prize was Jack & Billy, c/o Maga, Yvonne Chalmers, Barnacor, Andrew Knowles, Waters edge, Ballyleague and Seamus Reilly, 12 Ballyleague

The next draw will take place on Tuesday morning 2nd January in O’Brien’s Shop. 

Without your continued generosity and support the excellent results in the Tidy Towns completion would not have been so good. Your tremendous is ensuring that Lanesboro continues to look beautiful even during the winter months. Thank you very much for all your support. 

St. Faithleach’s Christmas Draw 

The St. Faithleach’s GAA club is again holding a Christmas draw with the main prize €5,000. Other prizes include Professional LED Teeth Whitening Kit worth €250 sponsored by E. Keaveney, €200 cash, XLNTEE hair care voucher, €100 fuel voucher, €100 club lotto credit, €100 cinema voucher, chimney cleaning voucher and many more.

Tickets can be purchased online, from club members, the clubhouse or locally from the usual selling places. Tickets are priced at €10 each or 3 for €20. Your support will be appreciated.

Local notes inclusion 

Anybody that wants items included in the local notes is advised that they have their note with me on a Sunday night at the very latest. This is to ensure inclusion in the coming weeks notes. 

Roscommon Group of Parishes

The final Service of a busy December and Christmas for St. John’s and the Roscommon group of parishes for December is:

Sunday 31st December, St John’s, Lanesborough for Morning Prayer at 11:30am

Short Breaks Scheme 

Would you be interested in providing home from home short breaks for children and adults who have an intellectual disability? Brothers of Charity Services Ireland, Homeshare Roscommon are recruiting host carers. Training and support will be provided. There will be a tax-exempt allowance paid. For further information email or phone Catherine 09066 28500 or 087 2126607. 

Access for All boat 

The Access for All boat is for everybody. The boat can cater for three large wheelchairs, but you don’t have to be a wheelchair user to avail of the excellent trips. Guided fishing excursions can also be organised. Advanced booking is recommended. You can contact by email or phone 089 2625505 or 043 33 84175. 

Rathcline 50/50 tops €1,300

On Monday 18th December the Rathcline GAA 50/50 weekly draw took place in Adie’s Bar. The winning envelope drawn out was in the name of Eileen McGrath who is an online yearly pink ticket purchaser. Eileen was the winner of the largest jackpot to date winning an enormous €1,322. Well done Eileen on your brilliant win.  

As always, the winning cheques can always be collected in O’Brien’s.  

The Rathcline 50/50 draw will take place on this Wednesday 27th December in Clarke’s bar 8pm. Your continued generous support is greatly appreciated, and your support is highlighted by the largest ever pool last week. The 50% proceeds of the draw went to the Shannon Gaels Minor Club.

Co. Longford Citizens Advice Centre 

Co. Longford Citizens Information Service has recently been restructured and is currently under new management.  

They continue to provide free, impartial, and confidential information, advice, and advocacy services to the public on social services, rights, and entitlements. The range of areas covered by the citizens information centre are extremely wide including social welfare rights and entitlements and other social issues such as employment, health services, housing, education, family matters and consumer rights, all where people need access to information.    

The way people access the services changed during Covid and now they currently deal with a large number of queries over the telephone, however, they continue to provide our drop-in times and welcome people to their face-to-face service five mornings a week from the Longford office. The services are provided by experienced trained Information Officers who are there to help you.

The centre is located on level 1 within Longford Shopping Centre and direction can be obtained at the reception desk from Monday to Friday from 9.30am until 5.00pm. The office closes for lunch from 1pm until 2pm.   

The Employability Service 

 is an Employment and Recruitment Service to assist people with a disability or health issue to pursue and maintain employment in the open labour market. If you are over 18, have a disability or health issue and would consider working part-time then you should contact Employment Services Roscommon support to help find you a job in your area. This is a confidential and free individualised service funded by the Department of Social Protection.  

Are you managing mental health issues? There is the opportunity for Individual Placement and Support (IPS) that is funded by the HSE and offers a range of tailored personalised supports to people using mental health services who wish to work. For further information you should phone 090 66 28608 or call/text 087 3745307. They can also be contacted via email at 

Line Dancing 

Line Dancing classes take place every Friday morning 11am at the Quad Centre Roscommon Town. 

Line Dancing classes every Sunday at the Quad Centre Roscommon Town for beginners from 6pm to 7pm and Improvers from 7pm to 8pm 

Dance classes takes place in Kilbride, Four Mile House every Tuesday 7pm followed by: 

Jive & Waltz classes 8 45pm. 

Alcohol Anon Meetings 

Relatives and friends of those addicted to alcohol are welcome to attend meetings in the Family Centre at the back of St. Mel’s Cathedral. The meetings take place every Tuesday evening at 7pm. 

Ballyleague Bingo  

Ballyleague Bingo continues in Ballyleague Hall every Thursday night. The first numbers will be called at 8.30pm.  

The club is extremely grateful for your continued tremendous support.  


ALONE is a national organisation that enables older people to age at home. 

Our work is for all older people and aims to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. We have a national network of staff and volunteers who provide an integrated system of Support Coordination, Practical Supports, Befriending, a variety of Phone Services, Social Prescribing, Housing with Support and Assistive Technology. 

We use individualised support plans, to address health, financial benefits and supports, social care, housing, transport and other arising needs using technology and through harnessing other services. 

We work to empower the whole sector of community support for older people through our Community Impact Network that provides Training, IT support and resources to other organisations. 

Support line for older people 

ALONE manage a national support line and additional support for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to Covid-19. Professional staff is available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open seven days a week from 8am until 8pm. Text TALK to 50808 to begin. 

Alcohol Anon Meetings 

Relatives and friends of alcoholics are welcome to attend meetings in the Family Centre building at the back of St. Mel’s Cathedral on St. Mel’s Road, any Tuesday evening at 7pm. 

Local Health Service 

The health service is here for us all, from routine to urgent calls. HSELive is here 7 days a week to answer questions. The number to ring is Freephone 1800 700700.  

Roscommon University Hospital Injury Unit is available from 8am to 8pm seven days, a week and the contact number is 09066 32212.  

Emergency Department deals with serious injuries and life-threatening emergencies if you need urgent medical help. They are open 24 hours a day and can be contacted by phoning 999 or 112. 

Smart Recovery 

SMART recovery is an evidence-based addiction recovery support group where participants learn self-empowering techniques to aid their recovery by overcoming addictive behaviour. 

There is a meeting every Friday evening from 7pm to 8.30pm in Vita House, Roscommon. For information you should phone Conor 086 1702912 or  


Grow is a Community Mental Health Movement which meets every Monday at 11am in the Community Mental Health Centre, Dublin Rd., Longford. If you are feeling lonely, isolated or suffering from stress, please feel free to attend. You can call Assumpta for any further information on 086 8114135. 

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