Sunday, March 25, 2007

So Bertie is about to drop the flag. By the summertime we will have a new government, or maybe not. Even without the declaration of all the candidates in our own constituency I am calling it a no change. The only doubt I have would be Mr. Power’s running mate getting elected. Of course it would be a headline writers dream if JJ ran for the Aontas Glas and was successful along with the brother. I hope that Mary Glennon runs, with her family connections, one brother to call the odds and another to resole tired campaign shoes, she would make a lot of inroads. Staying with the predictions I got a small bit of help from one of the most politically astute men from the north of the metropolis. So at least three months in advance here goes
FF 67
FG 45
LAB 22
SF 8
PD 4
With the Ceann Comhairle that, I think, makes 166.
If I was a betting man, which I sometimes am, I would put a decent few quid on the FG getting 45. All the better if you can get odds on plus or minus one.
With thanks for the political analysis and soothsaying to an oul blueshirt from Dublin North. I can’t tell the people but you know who you are.

Or rose writes about bits N Bobs every month. The lads in work were saying what other word do you seldom see on it’s own. Like Bangers and Mash, Nooks and Crannies, Flotsam and Jetsam. A bottle of Teachers, now how appropriate is that to the best suggestion. Answers to the usual. Now all you Bugle scribes don’t enter cause they won’t count.

Which shy and RETIRING local lady has gotten a late vocation……..for the Garda. is the new web address where we will be sending our thoughts to the world. Look in from time to time and tell your friends. will also get some views of Christy’s photos, which we will be sharing, on the WWW over the coming months.

Mr. Ballymore, Sean Mulryan, is well placed to have a winner or two in Cheltenham. Strong handed with Forget the Past, In Compliance, Two Strong Men and more. Also keep an eye out for Mr. Top Notch, my brother – in –law big John Cronin has connections. He’s a useful sort, the horse that is, not John, and will do well whatever he is put at.

We had visitors recently from Australia. Colette’s nephew John and his beautiful girlfriend Alanna Wiles stayed for a few days. John emigrated in 1988 with his parents Robert and Mary and his older brother Rob. They enjoyed their visit with one of the highlights being the Dublin Bus Ghost Trip.
John heard about the exploits of one of his ancestors, one Edward Hempenstall, who was a hangman. He was notorious in his activities. I’ll be sleeping with one eye open for a while.
To Rose, Tim and Michael of the Ballymore Bugle
and to members of the CDA,
Many thanks for the invitation to your awards night;
It’s always a very enjoyable night – my congratulations to
Mary Campbell and to all the persons nominated
– Grania, Eamonn, Breda and Gerry.
You should be proud of yourselves because
Ballymore Eustace obviously is.
- Sean

Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children

Fianna Fail South Kildare Election Candidate 2007

Monthly Clinics: The Ballymore Inn at 6pm, First Thursday of every month
Sean Power Office, Main Street, Newbridge, Co Kildare
Small boxed advert

to be held on
Monday 26th February
The Ballymore Inn

All members welcome

Letters to The Editor
Councillor Willie Callaghan,
Esmondale, Naas
22 January, 2007

Fao The Editor, Ballymore Bugle

Over the last few months I have been making representations on behalf of theresidents who are affected by the collapse of the bridge at Alliganstown.I am please to inform you and your readers that the work on thereconstruction of the bridge will start in the coming weeks.
- Willie

30 January 2007
Regarding the matter of the KTK community levies, a recent area meeting confirmed the format of the committee to handle same; my understanding was that the CDA and the ABCD would each be written to by KCC regarding same.

- Willie

Delicious Dining
I recently ate in Poulaphouca House – Uncle Gerry and I ordered beef dinners in the bar and I have to say the food was delicious, tender beef cooked to perfection with fresh, not overcooked vegetables and real roast potatoes. I’ll be back…

Had a Beef Chilli Special in the back bar of the Ballymore Inn last week – WOW. I don’t know what ingredients Georgina mixes to get the tastes she achieves but whatever they are, it works!
The salad bowls and dressing are great too, if you don’t want a heavy meal or pizza.

Spoilt for choice we are…

The Tidy Little Town
By Billy Evans

Now to all the locals, when the tourist come around,
They always love to stop and see the Tidy Little Town.
No litter thrown upon the streets, no writing on the walls,
No moss upon the cottage roofs, no chimneys going to fall.
But everything there neat and clean, no papers blowing around,
And everyone will love to see the Tidy Little Town.

Ballymore looks bright and well, it is an ancient town,
With the finest Irish history of any place around,
With Weaver’s Row inhabited and none of it pulled down,
I think that it’s a credit to the Town.
From St. John’s Church to the Market Square
and six arched Liffey Bridge,
And the old Naas Road and old Village Forge
where the anvil used to ring.

It is still there, bright and well and walls are very sound,
It is indeed a landmark for the Tidy Little Town.
When your place is neat and clean and you think there is no more,
Always try and give a hand to your neighbour there next door.
And everyone will work hand in hand as we often did before,
Some day we’ll get the highest mark for our town of Ballymore.

In the Centre please
Entries for our
Michael Ward
Short Story
Has now closed

The judges will read the stories
Submitted. Winners to be announced
in our March Edition of the Bugle

‘Cross-roads’ – a poem by Free Fitz G
One scent from a city bedroom and
those other nights remembered,
assembled to a tale that
had no beginning, has an ending.
dark nights, drenched dresses
and us hitch-hikers fearing not
people, but the dark, far-off trees.

Waiting to get to town halls,
ballroom colours, the
flour coloured faces of girls waiting
for the chance to get to cities and
the dancing, laughing, dancing going on.

Thrilling, dancing figures,
sticky cloak-room tickets, torn shoes.
Fearing, hoping that going home
will happen soon, with whatever
urgent whisper that we please.

Then the fading of the scent that brings friends further
from corn, cottages and ghosts in hay.
Ballymore Eustace GAA
Race night
A successful race night was held in Paddy Murphy’s on the 9th February. This was the first fundraiser of the year and the club would like to thank Pat Murphy for the use of the premises and everyone who supported the night.

Poker classic
Poker classic will be held in Paddy Murphy’s on Friday 2nd March at 9 pm
Training has commenced on Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm for the Intermediate and Junior teams, any new players are welcome.
The first match of the year is in the Keogh Cup, which takes place on Saturday 10th February at 2-30pm against Suncroft in Suncroft.
(Full match report in the next issue)
Welcome to new players Hugh Keogh and Chris Dowling.

Members Draw
The Members draw was held on Thursday 25th January. The following winners were:

€ 200 Mick Swan
€ 50 Tadhg Grace
€ 50 John Brown Snr.
€ 50 Brian Fisher

Dinner Dance
The club awards will be made at the Ladies dinner dance, which will be held on Saturday 3rd March in Poulaphouca House

Club person of the year Tim Gorman
Player of the year Tadhg Grace
Young Player of the year Danny Gorman
Special award Gus Kavanagh

The grounds committee have made repairs to the all weather track.
A steel moneybox has been put on the shed next to the dressing rooms for walkers to donate € 1 to cover the cost of the lights

Good news
Basketball Rings and Tennis Nets should be in place by the end of March, so get out the basketballs and tennis rackets.

Former Ballymore great Willie Clarke, who has retired from playing through injury, has taken on the role as Team Manager of Ballymore Ladies. Willie has had an immediate effect on the players with 23 players turning out for training every night. Best of luck to the Ladies and Willie in the coming year

Kildare county footballers are off to a flying start with a good win over the Ulster Champions Armagh.
Best of luck to Moorefield in the All-Ireland Club Champchip.
Wicklow had a good win in the first round of the league under former Kildare manager Mick O Dwyer

Club membership due:
Players: € 50, Non Players: €30, Students € 20, Juveniles: €10

John Hubbard
Ballymore Ladies GFC

Ballymore Ladies AGM took place on Friday, 19th January in the Ballymore Inn. Following a quick review of the year and brief reports from secretary Gemma Swords and treasurer Bid Meade, the new committee was elected. Most of the 2006 officers agreed to stay on for another year with the exception of Eira Gorman who stepped down as vice-chair. We’d like to thank Eira for her involvement with the club. Aisling Rigney will take up this position for 2007 with Sinead Gorman elected into the new role of Children’s Officer.

Team Manager Noel Winders was then called on to speak. Noel handed around a report of the year, noting the numbers that attended each of the games over the 2006 season. Last year training began in March and with 49 training sessions and 20 matches, numbers only dropped coming up to exam times. In the report, he highlighted the fact that Nicola Rigney and Stacey Balfe started straight back with the team following their year in Australia. Aisling Rigney, captain, was commended for leading by example having never missed a league or championship match last season.

Noel has been manager of Ballymore Ladies since the club began and has put in huge time and effort to keep the club going over the last 3 years. Following his report, he told the meeting it was time for him to step down as manager. He felt he couldn’t give a full commitment for the year and it was time for some new ideas. I don’t think any of us can really put into words the amount of work that Noel has done for the team. Most men find it hard to put up with one woman; it takes a lot of patience and dedication to manage 15+! From all the members of Ballymore Ladies, we greatly appreciate what you’ve done for the club…thanks Noel.

The committee for 2007 is as follows:
Chairperson – Jacinta O’Rourke
Vice-Chairperson – Aisling Rigney
Secretary – Gemma Swords
Treasurer - Bridget Meade
PRO – Sharon O’Donoghue
Children’s Officer – Sinead Gorman

New Management Team
There was a further meeting to the AGM to organise a new management team. Willie Clarke (Jnr) has taken over the reins from Noel and will be the manager of Ballymore Ladies for 2007. There are also 3 selectors – Noel Winders, John Hubbard and Paul Fagan.

League Changes
A County Board meeting was held on Thursday 25th January to review the league divisions and fixtures for the year.

Ballymore Ladies will compete in Division 4 this year with the league commencing the weekend of the 24th March.

Division 4
Ballymore Eustace
Grange II
Balyna II

Training started back on Monday 29th January with a strong attendance of 20+ girls. Training is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7.30-8.30 with an additional session or match at the weekends. New players are always welcome.

Thank you
With football training starting once again, the circuit sessions will no longer take place. The team would like to thank Benny from Naas Health and Fitness who put us through our paces. We’d also like to say thank you to Tommy Dwyer for organising the use of the bandhall and sponsoring a number of our training nights.

Hard luck to Marilena Norton, Megan O’Neill, Teresa Gorman and Eadestown’s Minor team who were beaten by Maynooth in the Minor B Championship final.
The Latest News from Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns Group.

More Help Required!!!
Following our appeal in the January edition of the Bugle, we have received welcome offers of additional help and support for the Tidy Towns activities in Ballymore. Laura Barrett, Gary Deegan, and John White have volunteered their services. They join our small existing group of Maeve Cummins, Anne Langan, Jimmy Pearse, Mary & Eric Firth. However, WE NEED YET MORE HELP, and the Chairman’s position is still vacant! If the help is not forthcoming the work and success of the group will be severely curtailed or cease altogether – to the detriment of the village.

More Trees for National Tree Week
Ballymore Tidy Towns group have applied to KCC for more trees for planting around the village during National Tree Week, which runs from 4th to 11th March. Martin Deegan and his team have already planted many trees around the village, both on the approach roads and by the River Walk, and the more the merrier!

Approach to Kildare County Council on Matters of Concern.
On the instigation of Tony Maher of Celbridge Tidy Towns, a number of Tidy Towns associations in County Kildare, including Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns group, have joined together to approach Kildare County Council (KCC) – including public representatives and Local Authority managers and administrators - to resolve issues that were of concern to their organisations.

We identified four major areas of concern:
The necessity for a separate and dedicated section of the Local Authority administration with responsibility for the resolution of problems caused by litter and despoiling of the environment.
The necessity for the Local Authority to enforce anti‑litter laws comprehensively and fully.
The lack of adequate provision of bins in public and social areas and the need for more frequent collection of bins, particularly in areas of greater social usage such as those adjacent to fast food outlets.
The necessity to develop a policy that will make planning permissions for building development, particularly in relation to derelict or potentially derelict sites in urban locations, contingent on the developer maintaining such a site in a manner that does not degrade the surrounding environment.

The initiative culminated in a meeting between the Tidy Towns groups and representatives of KCC at the end of January. Resulting from this meeting, KCC undertook the following actions:
Des Page (Director of Environment and Corporate Affairs, KCC) will present to the county councillors a feasibility analysis on the provision of a separate and dedicated section of the Local Authority administration with responsibility for the resolution of problems caused by litter and despoiling of the environment by the end of March 2007.
The council needs to identify location of extant bins and identify where there is demand for more.
A policy of naming and shaming individuals who litter has already been introduced and will be actively continued.
A mobile camera for monitoring illegal dumping would soon come online.
Joe Boland (Director of Transport, KCC) suggested a meeting between Tidy Town groups and the area engineers to share practical local knowledge and discuss solutions to specific problems.
KCC is performing a review of all the derelict sites in the county.

The problems with litter, dumping, and derelict buildings are of particular concern to Ballymore Eustace. Let us hope that KCC stand by their proposed actions and they bear fruit.

Mary Foley Moves On.
Over the past few years Mary Foley, who works for KCC, has been a shining beacon for Tidy Towns groups throughout Kildare. She has worked tirelessly for us and given us strong support and encouragement. Sadly, for us - but well‑deserved for her - she has been promoted and will be involved in forward planning in the county. She will be a tough act to follow.

Eric Firth (ex‑Chairman, Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns)


Under the guidance of Fiona Breslin and the professional skills of Des Kennedy jnr, a model and plans of proposed developed for the Library will be on display at Elizabeth’s Hair Salon from Saturday 17th February for one week. Please be sure to take a look at this community facility which we feel will be of great benefit to the village (if we ever get our hands on the KTK levies).

As we urgently need funding for all the CDA sub committees – Tidy Towns, Community Alert, Meals on Wheels, The Resource Centre, Weekly Bingo, River Walk, Friendship Club, please support our Easter Raffle; tickets on sale early March, winners to be drawn Easter weekend. Tickets €1.50 each or book of 4 for €5. WE URGENTLY NEED FUNDING SO PLEASE SUPPORT.

Percy Donnelly, John Hubbard, Ian Coonan and Jim Nolan have already met and organised meeting with Naas Gardai to discuss further a proper Neighbourhood Watch/Community Alert Programme.
A non-interview with Liam Evans…..

“Rose, its Maureen Evans here; Tony’s brother, Liam is home from England and he would love to meet you for a chat……” Having worked late three weeks in a row, my brain was addled – “Liam Evans, who the hell is Liam Evans” I was thinking. My late father had spoken of him – was it handball, football – I couldn’t remember but my parents had great time for Liam’s uncle, Albert “Boney” Evans of Briencan and his sister, Maisie Browne. Tony and Liam’s mother, Mollie is remembered fondly in Ballymore and Billy Evans – well, Billy Evans wrote for The Echo for years, he was Tim’s predecessor in the poetry stakes. On top of that, Maureen was so kind to my late grand-aunt Kate, if she had asked me to climb Everest, I would have felt obliged to say yes.
Readers, I was as grumpy as ten bears that week but the following evening I popped up to Bishopsland to meet Liam and his eldest son Joe. To be honest, I thought I’d have a cup of tea and politely excuse myself after a half hour. Two chances…. Liam could out talk me – I’d say he could out talk Ian Paisley had he a mind to. As we exchanged pleasantries, it became clear that Liam was expecting an interview, pen and paper was shoved in front of me and the ‘casual chat cum interview’ began!

I share my conversation with Liam here as I recall it; one minute we were talking handball from decades ago, the next we were speaking of Mollie and Billy, of Punchestown, GAA, Liam’s friendship with my father, Liam’s children, poems missing from Billy’s collection, Maria Woulfe…… Liam, like his parents, has a lively mind and proved an animated storyteller.

Those of you who knew Mollie and Billy will enjoy my chat with Liam; those of you who didn’t and are about to turn over the page, DON’T – their enduring relationship and the obstacles they faced together is both endearing and inspiring. Bear with me and read on.

Billy the Poet
Billy Evans poems were one of the notable features in the early editions of The Echo, lovely simple images of a frosty Christmas morning in Ballymore Eustace or the excitement of raceweek at Punchestown captured beautifully by our local poet. In works such as The Millionaire and The Batchelors of Ballymore, Billy showed a keen sense of humour.

Billy Evans couldn’t read or write when he first created his poetry; early poems and narratives were recorded and written down by Maria Woulfe. I was flabbergasted.

Even more incredible, Billy Evans was the ‘ganger’ at The Filter Beds station, his work involved daily recording of the men’s hours, supplies bought and the ledgers to be kept accurate to a ha’penny. So how did he manage that? Simple, with his sharp memory, he went home to Mollie, verbally rattled off the hours and monies spent; Mollie wrote it out and Billy copied the figures and letters into the ledgers on his return to work. That’s amazing. What character – he didn’t balk under the responsibility or his lack of education; and Mollie recognised his intelligence rather than his lack of learning. As the children were growing up, she taught Billy to read and write and Liam recalled fondly that his father was never without a book in latter years, having developed an insatiable need to read.

Mollie The Women’s Libber
But then, Mollie was as exceptional as Billy was; an early women’s libber, Mollie always worked – even if it was only part-time in the office at The Filter Beds, Mollie Evans drew her own wage every week of her adult life and then her pension during her retirement. They were Labour activists, both of them. Mollie believed avidly in the rights of the worker and the equality of men and women.

In the midst of our chatting, Tony produced Mollie’s ‘bibles’, her most treasured possessions – a copy of The Debate on the Treaty between Great Britain and Ireland as recorded in the Dail in 1921. Oh, I wouldn’t mind delving into that book – direct quotes from De Valera, Brugha, Corish, Collins, O’ Higgins, Griffiths, Childers, Cosgrave, O’Byrne, Aylward, Fahy, MacEntee not forgetting the great lady of Irish Republicanism, Countess Marckeivitz. The Speaker was Dr Eoin Mac Neill. All the great names and political families so prevalent in the history of our state.

Her second prized possession was the Report of the Two Committees on the Constitution, 1967. “Whenever there was an amendment to the Constitution” said Maureen, Tony’s wife “Mollie would get out her 1967 report and study it. But she was always consistent – having studied the proposed amendment and the original guidelines, she’d vote against the changes!”

As we dwelt on the strong bond of Liam’s parents, we drifted in and out of passages of his memories of his youth. Handball featured strongly – Liam played with Bill Lawlor and they were beaten in an All-Ireland Championship. Liam then went working in Dublin and the following year Bill Lawlor and Paddy Monaghan played together and won the All Ireland Championship. Liam won several Intermediate and Junior handball medals and one Senior medal. He went on to play softball with Dr. Des Dillon and together they won the Dublin Senior Championship. Des was one of the best hurlers and competed for both Clare and Munster. Liam also played with Jim Bolger, Bobbie Grattan, Paddy Monaghan, Willie and Paddy Grace, Dan Murphy, Ned Winders, Tommy Nugent and last but not least, the king of the sponge ball, Barney McNight.

“Your father took me down one year, you know to a final in Kilkenny, in a little blue A35 van, brought me into the Imperial Hotel and persuaded me to have a shower and eat. Himself and Johnny Hobin, who was also from Galway, were plastering then for Tom O’Rourke.”

Billy played football with Two Mile House and one of his team mates had a son named Paddy Buckley who went on to win the 1963 English Grand National on a horse named “Ayala” -it came in at 66/1!

Billy also played soccer with the Ballymore team, Liffey Rangers, in the Dublin League. Liffey Rangers played their home games in Mullaboden Field, in front of the houses in Briencan. Other members of the team at that time include Jack Byrne, Paddy and Fred Hennesey “Warhawk”, Paddy Martin, Eddie and Willie Grace.

“I remember being at one match between Ballymore and Naas once and a Naas supporter stuck a hat-pin into Paddy Winders! No holes barred there…”

From football, Liam leapt over to greyhounds and had us in stitches talking about “Sillagh Grove” whom Bill Lawlor trained. “We had no cars then so we used to cadge a lift for the dog over to Newbridge racetrack – usually the breadman would oblige and we would cycle after them. Mrs Higgins of the pub had a relation of the same dog – I think hers was named “Sillagh Gorse”…

Naturally racing and Punchestown came into the conversation. Liam loves racing to this day and attends Worchester, Ludlow, Warwick, Bangor and Stratford. Liam’s brother Joe, who lives in Cheltenham, is also an avid follower of racing.

Another important part of his youth was music, having played with his Uncle Josie, Tommy Keenan and Ned Dunne, together they formed a popular band who played in Hollywood.

“We had great neighbours at the Filter Beds – Charlie Geoghegan, Frank Murphy, Jimmy Carroll, Tom Graham and Tom Malone. The houses here were one of the first to have flush toilets and electricity so we thought we were shockin’ posh! Times were tough but my parents had deep faith; my mother always carried her Padre Pio relic and her rosary beads and my father never got into bed once at night without going down on his knees and praying first. He was an optimist ‘Son, no matter what tragedy befalls you, stand where you are, look around you – there’s always somebody worse off than you!’ That was an attitude that got him through life - no regrets, thankful to God for what he had.”

And Liam himself is pretty proud of his own family – having emigrated to Birmingham in 1954, he returned home regularly, indeed as often as every three weeks when Mollie was getting on in years; Liam reared six children himself - daughters Bridget and Mary who both teach and are Heads of Departments at Holy Trinity Catholic Media Arts College in Birmingham; sons Joe, Kevin and Liam – all three working with the Police Force; and the youngest Sean, who works in the electronics industry. Obviously Mollie Evans is still influencing her grand daughters – none of them wasting ‘a good education’! Liam has sixteen grandchildren all of whom he adores. Liam’s wife, Bridie Evans (nee O’Connor), was born and brought up in Pallaskenry, County Limerick; a loving wife and a great mother, she sadly passed away in 1998.

Indeed it was a coincidence last October that Mary Evans of Bishopsland (Maureen and Tony’s daughter) was married to Jonathan Lynch from Kiltoon at the Hodson Bay Hotel, outside Athlone for this is where Catherine Kelly, Mollie’s mother hailed from before she travelled East with her husband Joe Lee of Broadleas.

I’d say Liam could have given me enough to fill a full edition of The Bugle with his memories and I have absolutely no doubt the next time he is home, he will! For now, I am satisfied with the notion of a young Mollie and Billy, totally dedicated to each other and family; supporting one another through life’s ups and downs; he coming home from work entrusting his memory and his job to her; she coaching him over the years to read and write and develop his skills.

Nowadays, we have an over educated population, an over qualified work force who haven’t the faintest idea how to cope with an emergency inside or outside the job ‘if its not in the manual’…. I think I preferred the Evans’ ethos – “Get on with on it, live and learn – and remember, there’s always somebody worse off than you”

Rose B O Donoghue January 2007

Regarding the poetry of the late Billy Evans, Liam and his daughter Mary are hoping to amass a collection of Billy’s works. I will be running a poem by Billy over the coming months but if you any of you have original copies of the Echo or any other publications which featured Billy’s poems, will you contact Maureen or Tony Evans at Bishopsland.
on passing by- again
Isn’t Brian Cowen only brilliant. One hundred and eighty four billion euro about to be spent on us all. Novel plans to bring us screaming into the twenty first century and a shining example to all our European economic allies on how to get the job done. Well, kind of. Unfortunately some of the grandiose plans seem very familiar. The Minister tells us breathtakingly that almost twenty per cent of the money is to be spent on transport infrastructure. But sure he told us all about that back in September 2005. Then we have the 2.4 billion for hospital development, except that 500 million of that has already been announced and earmarked for the National Childrens Hospital. We are also told about funding for a National Cancer Strategy. Was that not announced last June?. Hundreds of millions announced for sport except that a large proportion of it has already been promised for Lansdowne road and Abbotstown. Yet another return to the lies, damn lies and statistics.

But even if we were to fall for this deception does the Government really expect us to believe that all of this is going to happen on time and on budget?. Much publicity has been gleaned for the likes of Martin Cullen over recent months as some road projects have come in on time and budget. Martin is less voluble about all the things in the last plan which did not meet the criteria, or for some things which are still not finished. Maybe he could tell us why the Luas budget went from 279 million to over 750 million, and even at that was four years late. Or why the Port Tunnel went from 222 million to just under 1000 million and was also late. Maybe it was because the builders wanted extra money because they struck rock. God what a novelty, drilling eighty feet under ground and hitting rock. Sure how could you foresee anything like that. The last plan told us that 5.6 billion was to be spent on developing five major inter routes. Cost now expected? 16 billion. And they are still less than half way through the work. What about the PPARS computer Martin?. Estimate: less than nine million. Cost when stopped in 2005? over 180 million. And just to add insult to injury the person who stopped it, HSE supreme Professor Brendan Drumm, has just announced that he is ordering staff to work to “realise the benefits” of the system and is considering if more money is needed to get it right. Or maybe he doesn’t want to scrap it just before an election. Clever.
One thing that I am at a loss to understand is how in a rare time of plenty we should need thirteen billion of the total to come from public/private partnerships. Surely the Minister for Finance is capable of raising the full amount from the taxes he is raking in and thus ensuring that whatever we get is ours and not a licence for some private operator to print money at our expense, a la the Westlink bridge. If one was to apply a cynical eye to the process one could surmise that this is nothing more than another excuse for Fianna Fail’s builder supporters to enjoy yet another visit to the trough , as has become their custom.
Then again if you regularly splash out the entrance fee to the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway Races sure wouldn’t you expect a little something back, and no need to be worryin about brown envelopes. Sure its just an exercise in mutual back scratching, only with our money instead of their own.

What to make of Junior Minister Tony Killeen? Personally I have always had a problem with the title “Junior Minister”. Have we not got enough proper Ministers without letting them have assistants. Maybe it’s a good way to keep aspiring talent away from your own job while throwing them a few extra bob.
So just what was the Junior Minister up to. First we find out that he made representations to the Minister for Justice on behalf of a convicted paedophile, and not just once. When brought to task over this Mr Killeen said that he had never seen the letters, never signed the letters and assumed that a member of his office staff had sent them. So his office staff had carte blanche to send out any kind of representation for anyone that asked.
Next we find out that another member of his staff has made multiple representations on behalf of a convicted murderer, a man guilty of a particularly foul assault with a knife which left an innocent young man dead. Again Mr Killeen knows nothing about the letters. In mitigation he tells us that in fourteen years his office has sent out over two hundred thousand letters( thank God for the free postage) and he cant be expected to know what’s in all of them. Why the hell not?. He then goes on to tell us that just because a letter from his office has his name on it this wouldn’t necessarily mean it had anything to do with him. Why the hell not?.
Instead of coming out and making a clean breast of it he tries to brazen his way out by blaming office staff , asserts he knew nothing of the ten letters sent and that he is too busy concentrating on legislation and policy to keep his office the way it should be kept.
What is as troubling about all of this is the almost total silence from the opposition benches. Fine Gael had no official comment to make, the Labour party felt it was up to the Taoiseach to deal with it and the Greens were looking for “further clarification”.
Why the silence? Is it possible that other TDs, of all parties, have similar letters lurking on their files ? Given their reticence to indulge in point scoring I’d say that’s more of a certainty than a possibility.

In the last few months we had been treated to the unseemly row between the Minister for Justice and the Judiciary over the way the courts hand down sentences to people convicted of criminal offences. Mr Mc Dowell was particularly incensed that despite a mandatory ten year sentence for certain drugs offences the full sentence was being given in less than twenty per cent of cases. The Judges got huffy and replied that it was nothing to do with the Minister and that they were not going to listen to him. While technically correct because of the separation of powers they did look as if they were in kindergarten. I have long believed that judges inhabit some sort of ivory tower where the outside world never impinges, and unfortunately this type of action just reinforces my belief.

All for now. M.E.
Bits N Bobs with Rose
As there was no response whatsoever to our request last month for volunteers to come forward to help organise the Annual Festival Week in conjunction with National Hunt Racing at Punchestown, we are not in a position to go ahead with this year’s festival. With only March and a few weeks to go to raceweek, it would not be feasible for two or three people on the festival committee to ‘run the whole show’.
Shame, no Festival Queen, No Parade, No Talent Night, No Fancy Dress, No Band in the Square….. Hopefully, events like The Fishing Competition sponsored by Mick Murphys will go ahead – if any businesses or local clubs are going ahead with fundraisers or events during raceweek, please contact THE BUGLE – we are happy to promote.
The Festival Committee, sub committee of the CDA
After 33 years as a member of the Garda Suiochana, Detective John McCarville is retiring from the force shortly. Twenty seven years of his career have been spent in Blessington and John is certainly a man who can claim to have established a good working relationship with the community he served, having supported GAA, Senior Citizens Association, Scoil Mhuire, The Church of The Immaculate Conception and many more local groups. (John was previously chosen as Ballymore Eustace Person of The Year Awards).
John has always been a great neighbour – despite his busy work schedule, he was always on hand for school and sport runs, had time for visiting neighbours and always there to give a ‘dig out’. Bear in mind, I only mention his community work in Ballymore Eustace; he is highly thought of in Blessington and surrounding areas for similarly being a decent citizen and an active, effective member of the Gardai.
We wish him all the best in his retirement – whilst he is retiring from the force, I expect he will still be as busy in his community endeavours.
TV3 ‘Woeful Weatherman’
Martin whats-his-face, with the wink and ‘click-click’ drives me bananas. Actually, I used to like him but he was recently nominated for TV Personality of the Year Award and by God, was I sick of his half-edjit stunts churned out every few minutes on TV3 for the past few weeks.
I listen to the channel early mornings, 7.30-9am. Martin appeared in gombeen rugby kit urging viewers to vote for him; then we had different snippets of him as your favourite weather man (whose favourite weather man?) but worst of all, was Woeful Woeman Martin dressed in graduate cape and cap, teaching children in a mock classroom scene how to text on a mobile and of course, how to vote for Martin…..
“Vote” for your TV Personality of the Year? What a joke, TV3 practically bought votes for their nominee by constantly pumping his name across the screen. Last year, we had a similar tactic for Mark Cagney but nothing as tacky as this year’s stunts.
Can you imagine if our nominees for the Person of The Year Award resorted to this?
Grania Glancy giving out free apple tarts to secure votes or Gerry Bell offering 10% discount on next year’s Christmas trees……….
I found the whole thing vulgarly staged and uninteresting. Thankfully, Martin did not win TV Personality of The Year Award at the recent Irish Television and Film Awards. Those awards should be judged on the nominees presentation/communication skills and not the channel who promotes its candidate morning, noon and night.
Stick to the weather, Martin, the little pictures of fluffy clouds and yellow suns won’t test your talents.

La le Bhride
I was sitting in Alice’s Restaurant, Moat Mall, Naas recently when I noticed a woman beavering away making St Bridget crosses with great speed and skill. Being the nosey cow I am, I got talking to her and she gave me a large cross to take back to the Leader office. I am ashamed to say I’ve forgotten her name and as Alice’s has no telephone number listed, I couldn’t source the name for this piece. She was even featured on RTE the Sunday before St Bridgets Day…. How nice it was to see this little coffee shop maintaining an Irish tradition and it was wonderful to watch her in action – honestly, it took her mere minutes to transform a bunch of reeds into the recognisable Celtic cross, so immediately identifiable.

Well done to Audrey McNally who recently hosted a Women’s Event in aid of the local Desperate Housewife’s Syndicate. The purpose of the event was to relieve the stresses of strains of busy home and career women, an opportunity to criss-cross experiences of the modern home maker, single career women and the challenges of the modern female.
The Woman Voted Entrpeneur on the Night was The Fortune Teller.
The food wasn’t bad either, Audrey…..

Paddy The Irishman was the most intelligent man in Ireland. He was the president of the Irish branch of Mensa, had won a million pounds on Who wants to be a Millionaire, and was Professor of Astro-physics at the Paddy Institute of Technology. One day he was in the pub (as Irishmen do) and his mates were telling him that he should appear on Mastermind, the quiz where the most intelligent men on the planet, show their superior brain power. So he filled in the forms and sure enough was called up, and over to London he went to appear on the show. The moment came when he was called up to the chair, to be questioned."Paddy, what is your specialist subject?""Irish History""Paddy your minute starts now. Who was the leader of the Irish Revolution?""Pass""In what year was the revolution?""Pass""How many men died during the Easter Revolution?""Pass""What was the name of the British informer who helped the rebels?""Pass"All of a sudden, his friend stood up in the audience and roared "Good man Paddy, tell the English nothing"

Please note, this joke is not intended to offend any other Nationality and pokes fun at the roots of our history. It is a joke, not an incitement to be violent to our neighbours. I repeat, it is a joke- Rose
Gallery of The Immortals at Russborough House
Continuing a survey of the twin colonnade of statuary at Russborough House – The Gallery of The Immortals - from the January edition of The Bugle.
On the left side of the dual display at the Gallery of The Immortals, we already met with The Belvedere Antinous, Ceres, Hercules, Bacchus, Callipygian Venus and Saturn. We are now to meet The Goddess Diana, a Dancing Faun, Farnese Flora, the Muse of Comedy, and the gods Mercury and Apollino.
When you next visit Russborough, park your limousine by the front entrance gate, and as you amble along the 400m tree-lined avenue, you will in short distance be at one with the softness of the place, and in the comparative silence, begin to realise that it is as proper a way of introduction as though by choice you were about to meet a much admired lady of great beauty (should one be with you, stay some paces behind her!). On each side of the avenue, tall trees, hosts to impish Fauns, stand in salute, and from their leafy heads, birds frolic and sing.
During the 1930’s, the avenue, some say locally, was once adorned on either side by scantily attired or nude statues, representations of ancient Greek and Roman life, carved from marble by sculptors, exposing in dreamy wonderment the pleasant climate of 2000 years ago but with different gods, different morals; of what was, but could no longer be, and so they were shattered by steel hammers and cast to a pond, not because Irish weather was too cold for those ancient stones, but from prudery – for it was the time of censorship - of The Tailor and Ansty, The Plough and the Stars, The Playboy of The Western World even of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, who, like Prometheus, was eventually unbound - in the early 1960’s.
Lead on kindly light, that we might expose the glory of Russborough, where mystery and myth abound. As before, while the Latin form of name is given, we pay respects to their Greek progenitors, proceeding from the left colonnade to the right, where we meet the rest of…..

The Immortals
Diana: The Greek Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister, daughter of Zeus and Leto. She was Goddess of the Hunt, the countryside, and of wild things – a ‘tomboy’ goddess. She was also goddess of Fertility and Motherhood. She was a chaste lady, not so fond of men and was no help to the ‘Greeks’ during the Trojan War. Because they had killed a hare and her young, she made Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia, so ensuring their ships would reach Troy safely. Poor dear. Although Artemis had little time for men, when her friend Orion was laid low by the Scorpion, she attacked it but misfired, killing Orion with her arrow. In sorrow, she placed him in the stars forever chased by the Scorpion. Source of original statue unknown.

Dancing Faun: A country or woodland demi-deity, the Greek Faun or Roman Satyr, like Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream, or Pan, full of mischief and fond of joining every celebration-party possible, sometimes causing utter mayhem. Every family has one! These little imps are sometimes depicted as half human, half goat (see Mercury), but if they are treated decently, they will look after field crops and woods. Fauns had an important presence in the Carmen festival, celebrated by Horace in his Carmen saeculare (Sapphics) verse. Source: signed Bartolomeo Solari. Carrara. Original statue at Uffizi, Florence.

Farnese Flora: Roman Goddess of flowering plants who was wont to throw great adult-only parties for flowers on her birthday, ‘The Floralia’, attended by Marigold, Shady Lady, Deadly Nightshade, Hemlock, Mandrake, Iris, Ladie’s Mantle, Betony, blushing Tulips, and a ‘Host of Golden Daffodils’. She is said to be the female Mercury (Hermes), and is distinguished by the Floral Crown (in her left hand). Her temple was on the Aventine Hill, in Rome.
The Farnese(s) were a rich and noble (?) Italian family during the 1500’s with a fabulous palace in Rome. They also governed Naples. Source: signed B.S. Original statue in Museo Nazionale, Naples.

Muse of Comedy: Thalia (Goddess of Comic Drama and Idyllic Poetry), one of the nine Muses or mountain goddesses, whose voices were beyond compare. Thalia was also one of the Three Graces, and by Apollo bore the Corybantes or crested dancers who were so elegant at the Winter Solstice.
The Muses were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosne (Memory), and were companions of Apollo, God of Music. They were minor deities, care-free spirits whose hearts, always untroubled, were set mainly for happiness, music and song. The other eight Muses were: Caliope (Epic Poetry), their leader, was also mother of Orpheus; Clio (History); Terpsichore (Choral Dance and Song); Urania (Astronomy); Melpropene (Tragedy); Erato (Love Poetry and mimicry); Terpsichore (Choral Dance and Song); Polyhymnia (Songs to Gods) and Euterpe (Lyric Poetry accompanied by the flute). They were too, inspirational in art, learning and poetry. (It is noted that the mask held here by Thalia may represent the visage of Joseph Leeson, 1st Earl of Milltown.) Source of statue unknown.

Mercury: Hermes of Greek fame, complete with his hat of invisibility, but the wings of his sandals have been clipped to keep him here. He was chief Messenger of the Gods, a Bugler, the God of Commerce and Gain, of Travellers and Wayfarers, of Weights and Measures and curiously, of Perjurers and Embezzlers! Overall he was a very interesting, if cunning chap.
He caused jealousy to Aphrodite, but after a pleasant assignation, she bore what would be identified today as an un-Irish, un-hyphenated, Hermaphrodite, who, like the common worm, may freely enjoy its own company. C’est la vie!
Supposedly, Hermes was born out of stone, upstanding, a monument, unveiled by Aphrodite herself, three of which are to be discovered close to us in Ballymore to this day. He was also father of Pan by the nymph, Dryope (note the goat’s head on the tree stump). A remarkable fellow indeed!
Having been instructed in the ways of divination of Oak twigs and old bones, the original alphabet shapes, it was he who gave the letters sound, or pronunciation. Source: Statue signed B.S. Original at Uffizi, Florence.

Apollino: In Egypt there was a city called Apollinopolis, (-polis = city) later Edfu, south of Luxor, where a temple was erected to the god Horus, who is identified with Apollo.
Apollo, Greek Sun God, twin brother to Artemis (Diana), was a dashing ladies man (the fabulists say he fathered Miletus, the Irishman, by Aria) but when his earthly protégé, Hector, was killed by Achilles at the battle of Troy, Apollo was disgracefully found wanting; and it was he who killed Hyacinth, which is why Hyacinth was not at Flora’s party. Source: original statue at Uffizi Gallery, Florence. Michael Ward.

Best Panto in Years – fast, sharp, snappy script
Definitely the best pantomime the Bandhall Players have produced in the last few years; “Babes in the Wood” delivered a comic script – snappy one-liners, classic panto gags – A1 across the board for comedy, acting, song and dance routines. The Two Seans delivered as always – Sean Murphy a sight to behold wearing lycra tights (he wore three pairs, he wasn’t taking any chances) and Sean Bradshaw playing the baddie as always, masterful in the role of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. These pair never fail to deliver, never but what made this play different was the sterling performances from ALL THE CAST, right down to the chorus line and children on stage.

Owen Clarke with his singing ability is usually a safe bet for the ‘safe’ role of the leading man, traditionally an all too sweet prince seeking true love. This year, the Poulaphouca lad took on the role of Dangerous Dave aka Ditzy, Dozey, Dizzy, Dopey Dave and his poncing around the stage in a Mungo Jerry outfit (Jackson family wig, bellbottoms and 70s popstar shirt) was a sight to behold. He cracked the role and the audience cracked up laughing.

As for Bernie Dwyer playing Nurse Molly Coddle, she was pure dynamite! Yes, she had the better lines to deliver, particularly the clock routine “The second hand is the minute hand and the third hand is the second hand….” Abbott and Costello couldn’t have done it better. Throughout the play, she carried the role, never forgetting lines or dropping the accent.

Other actors who shone was Ronan Stephens in the role of roly-poly Friar Tuck and his panto routine with Sean Murphy on the balancing bench was brilliant. Robin’s merry men Maria, Shauna and Dan threw themselves into their parts with energy – this is another reason this presentation was a success, even actors playing minor characters played their roles with distinction. Elizabeth Brady as the forgetful fairy was a delight with long recitations to remember, I just loved her interpretation and Liz Haritgan (McDonald) shone in a lesser role as the less than vigilant guard.

Block ‘n Tackle
More classic gags from Alice Higgins and Orlagh Denver kept the panto going at a lively pace – good work, you two! I couldn’t help but remember producer Gerry Stephens and Carmel Moylan in a similar role in a previous panto. Even young Sadhbh Sheridan and Aoife Horan as Pip and Penny showed no sign of stage fright and gave confident, convincing performances.

Was it the sharp script that made this presentation a winner? The song and dance routines? It was a combination of both – not too much music, just enough.
The backing dancers were wonderful – Cara, Emma, Melissa, Cassie, Laura, Gemma, Lana and Larry Burke Hayes who deserves an Oscar for his delivery of the line “I’m the only gay in the village……” Oh no, you weren’t, Larry – Gaye Stephens was flying around organising Gerry’s 60th Birthday Cake. “Gerry is 60” I hear you ask. Yes, 60 going on 17 and lovin’ every minute of it!
(I thought Laura Reddy looked mega fit and doubly supple in the chorus line).
Emily, Fiona, Lucy, Heather, Mairead, Rebecca, Helen, Sofia and Alex gave wonderful performances – I just loved the pyjama scene, sweet young voices all. A real “Awww” number.

Who would I give my “Oscars” to? Well Sean Bradshaw was mighty as the miserable Sheriff of Nottingham – so miserable that he couldn’t buy poor Maid Marion (Laura Dunleavy) a new dress for her wedding day (she wore the same dress throughout the entire performance) but Owen Clarke just pips him for the Oscar for his interpretation of Dangerous ‘Ditzy’ Dave.

Funny and all as Sean Murphy was – and he always is, even without trying – Bernie Dwyer gets my second Oscar because she shone throughout the night as Nurse Molly Coddle.

Director and Choreographer Aoibheann Waldron and producer Gerry Stephens should have taken a curtain call because they did terrific work with a small cast, the end result being a sharp, fast-moving panto with the perfect mix of song and dance.

The Backstage crew – Paul, Ciaran, Tommy (Logistics manager – what the hell is that? Tommy Dwyer “Logistics”stated the programme - must be a type of Bird Flu) and Carmel, take a bow for yourselves along with Gerry Bell who supplied Christmas trees, Fiona and her young helpers for set design and Eimear for hair/ make-up. Well Done to one and all – best panto since Cinder Eile!

Apologies if I’ve omitted someone’s name, was too busy laughing on the night……..

Rose B O Donoghue
A Window in The Church - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
More information has come to light regarding the article in The Bugle last October. The stained glass window (1872) on the left hand side over the vacated side altar is dedicated to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.
She was born in 1647 at Verosvres, Autun, in France and entered the convent of the Visitation Order at Paray-le-Monial aged 23, having been cured of paralysis by, she believed, the Blessed Virgin. During here life there and amid severe austerities, she witnessed the apparition of Our Lord to her on three occasions, ‘revealing His heart burning with love for mankind’, bidding her to establish a Holy Hour in churches universally, Communion on the First Friday of every month, and to observe the feast of the Sacred Heart. Spreading this devotion, it was quickly accepted throughout Christendom. She died on October 17th 1690 and was beatified in 1864. She was canonised by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. Pius X1 extended her feast on June 28th 1929. For many years, a perpetual lamp, donated by Betty Silke, Chapel St., shone in front of it, in honour of the Sacred Heart.
The altar on the right hand side (since removed) was donated by Dr. Dunne of Broadleas, and was dedicated to the memory of his son John, a medical student.
During 1918-19, the deadly ‘Spanish Flu’ spread throughout Ireland, decimating the population, and in Ballymore many died from the resulting pneumonia. Dr. Dunne was vanguard in the battle to save his patients here, assisted by his son, but eventually young John also became a victim of the terrible epidemic. More people in Europe died from that disease than were killed fighting during the entire period of World War 1. The Dunnes were relations by marriage of Mrs. Barbara O’Neill, Pipers Stones.
The high (main) altar, was a magnificently designed marble structure, and was built and erected by the Pearse Brothers, of Pearse St. Dublin, brothers of Padraigh Pearse.
Thanks to John Headon, Claire Doyle and Cathleen Lawlor for the enlightenment. Michael Ward.
The flowers were there, courtesy of Eirflowers Wholesalers; four local landmarks sketched by Bill Delaney on show; hand scripted scrolls by Fiona Barrett and of course, the Gift Vouchers for the nominees….. Members of The CDA – Kay, Patricia, Margaret and Mary set up the teas and biscuits…. Fiona on hand with the proposed plan for the Library Project whilst Eric organised the seating and tables….. Tim, Rose and Michael of The Bugle discussing the running order…..
There was an air of excitement in the hall – please God, let there be a full house.
And there was, as friends and supporters of the Nominees arrived in cheerful mode. Sean Power TD and Minister of State for the Dept of Children and Health, Cllrs Billy Hillis and JJ Power arrived before our ‘centre stage’ stars – Breda and Gerry, Grania, Mary and Eamonn.

For the first time ever at a function in Ballymore Eustace, we were ready to start at 8pm, definitely a first in my experience! You know, it was a thoroughly enjoyable night and shame on those of you who missed it. Normally, people are shuffling or politely snoozing through speeches at awards ceremonies but I think our local awards night has managed to cast off the cloak of formality.

We kicked into action with a welcome to all and an acknowledgement to Sean, Billy and JJ that we appreciated their attendance. (Apologies received from Jack Wall TD, Cllr Willie Callaghan, Rev Kesh Govan, last year’s winner Ann Langan and nominee, Ann McLoughlin). Tim and I were joined at the top table by Michael Ward, former editor of The Bugle who introduced the awards as an opportunity to pay tribute to the real ‘beavers’ within our community, the people who rarely take ‘front of house’ curtain calls but do all the hard work backstage.

Gerry & Breda Bell
Well, it was easy for me to say a few words on this pair; warm accolades had been passed on to me during the weeks leading up to the awards night – ‘great neighbours, good people, great parents…’ No arguments from anyone on those scores. Gerry was recognised for his outstanding work with the Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Society at the Kildare Person of the Year Awards; a founder member of the Kildare Branch, Gerry takes members on holiday, day trips and shopping outings and the more the merrier, doesn’t take a feather out of him.
But Breda and Gerry were nominated locally ‘as a package’, for their support and generosity to everything their children are involved in, ‘all for one and one for all’ so to speak. Every sports or musical event, community games, panto, art competitions, wherever one of the family are competing, the Bells are out in force. I gave a bit of slagging to the pair but if you weren’t there on the night, well you should have been…

“Them scones, them scones….”
Next Tim gave a wonderful citation for Mary Campbell who was positively ‘cringing’ in the corner, with a grip on the radiator as if her life depended on it. I’m not going to repeat Tim’s tribute – but by God, this woman is busy!
And yet still she finds time to bake scones…..(I think personally she buys them from Grania and flaunts them as her own – plagiarist!) Tim also referred to the fact that despite between over 35? years married, Mary’s nomination for the Person of the Year Award was the first time during their marriage that Anthony knew something before Mary! Classic. And you know were we ended up after 2am the following morning – in Campbells eating the scones…

GRANIA, our ‘Muse of Comedy’
Michael then paid tribute to Grania for her community endeavours but it wasn’t mortal scones he sought inspiration from but instead looked to the Gods, quoting a passage from Helen of Troy to praise Grania’s pleasant demeanour and to The Muse of Comedy for her theatrical skills. High accolades indeed! Grania’s commitment to St John’s Church is extraordinary – I hope Nellie was looking down, Grania, she’d be so pleased for you. Grania is also a founder member of the local art group who gave a magnificent exhibition last year.

Michael extolled Grania’s good humour and welcoming smile; adding to that, I spoke of her calm running of the Brownies years ago (I forgot to mention the Playgroup) and how patient she has been over the years with youngsters working in the supermarket, ringing in sick (après nightclub malaise). There are so many other things to praise Grania for – her time visiting the elderly in nursing homes, her open house to students at Newbridge College who lived too far away to travel home at weekends, the Grania Shelter for Stray Animals - tonnes more good things to be said about our Grania.

Now Eamonn Deegan was nominated for his lifetime commitment to the sport of handball and the Wolfe Tone Brass and Reed Band/ The Bandhall. It is important to note here that the Deegan family in general are dedicated community activists – Martin, Margaret, Mary, Ollie, Tommy and Eamonn. As current President of the Handball Club, Eamonn has been a lifelong supporter of the sport, from the early days when he played himself, to the building of the glass alley and community centre. The alley has always been a huge social benefit to Ballymore – as a sport centre inc. racquetball and handball; it also provided a meeting place, shop and pool table.

Similarly, Eamonn played and marched with The Wolfe Tone Brass and Reed Band, accompanying them to the States and to events all around Ireland. Now the Bandhall facilitates drama, musicals, bowling, badminton, meetings and still continues to give weekly musical lessons. Billy Gobbett praised Eamonn for his handball skills but said he would never make the mistake of playing golf with him again ‘cos he is too damned good! Eamonn was formerly a member of The Sputnik Five (the Westlife of Kildare) and then F Troop (Boyzone in midlife). Sputnik Five were real serious X Factor contenders in their day. Tim had a few notes sent over from fellow member, Willie Ryan who reminded the audience that Christy Moore once played support to the band and there was a ‘vague’ reference to skinnydipping in Ardenode, “Clane lassies and Prosperous lads…” mmh, methinks there is a whole other story here……

Right Hand Page
It must be stressed here that all four nominees, Mary, Gerry and Breda, Grania and Eamonn are all deemed Ballymore Eustace People of the Year. Each one received gifts of equal value – for the ladies, a flower bouquet and for Eamonn, a bottle of wine; each received a framed sketch by local artist, Bill Delaney and a framed citation hand written by Fiona Barrett plus a gift voucher for a local restaurant. They are equal in our eyes, dedicated committed community activists who have served our village admirably.

Alas, when it came to picking a winner, we were tearing our hair out. But in the end, an overall winner had to be picked – we may not have a FESTIVAL QUEEN this year, but for these awards, the Coughlanstown Queen, Mary Campbell took top honours, much to her embarrassment. The joy and pride of Anthony and Laura was obvious, as was the delight of Nan Quinn and neighbours, the Dreelan sisters.

But Gerry and Breda were recognised too for their work, with a Special “Good Citizens Award” – good friends, Mary and John Hartigan, the neighbours from Broadleas, Pete Shinners and his wife were all thrilled to bits and of course, the family. Double baby celebrations for the family this month with Linda and Vera giving birth to baby boys!

Finally, let me say, it was great craic going to Paddy’s afterwards with the Campbells, listening to Olive and Pat Hilliard recall the days of the ‘old badminton regime’ …. Visits to Campbell’s in the early hours of the morning when Mary and Anthony lived in a caravan with a pot bellied stove that was better than a sauna… Olive, Pat, Liam Daly,Catherine Farrell all in the caravan, feasting on scones, ‘them scones, them scones’…..

So Far, So Good! with Jeffers

Well the New Year has started off good for me and I hope it continues in that direction. I had an embarrassing success with my book launch the week before Xmas; it was a sell out! That’s the good news, but part of that success was a glitch on my part. Being a greenhorn in the publishing business I hadn’t a bulls notion of how many copies to order. This has now been rectified, so if there’s anyone out there wishing to read pearls of wisdom about an Ireland that has practically vanished now’s your chance! Copies are available in Barker & Jones, Naas, Farrells Newbridge, John Joe’s and the Leinster Marts Kilcullen, Fogeraty’s, Costcutters, and Janet’s Ballymore Eustace, also the Bookstore and Tourist office in Blessington, and failing all that, a phone call to yours truly will see that you get a copy. That’s the ‘hard sell’ bit accomplished, so on to other matters.
The other day a fella asked me to give him the definition of hypocrisy. My answer was that off hand I couldn’t, but I could sure give him plenty of examples. To improve my knowledge I looked up the word hypocrite in the dictionary and here’s what it says: Hypocrite, - one who practices deception to gain one’s own ends! Now read on!
World news tells us the George W Bush is organising a final ‘surge’, (his words, not mine), in Iraq. Is this man for real? I remember when he invaded Iraq writing and saying that another Vietnam was the inevitable result. This was no great wisdom on my part; the dogs in the street were saying so. Now, he has got himself into a no win situation; this final ‘surge’ will only create more death and destruction for the peoples of Iraq and more body bags heading home to the U.S.of A. George and his cronies haven’t got over 9/11. The audacity of person or persons to bomb the homeland was and is incomprehensible to them so a scapegoat had to be found. With arrogance and ignorance and a tissue of lies they picked on Iraq. What George needs most at the moment is a large dose of humility, but unfortunately people of his arrogant calibre, don’t recognise or understand the meaning of the word. In layman’s terms we call them bullies.
So how are things on the home front? Well the hot topic at time of writing is the new Children’s Hospital and where it will eventually sit. Another government ‘stroke’ that is coming apart at the seams. I heard someone say t’other day that the shadow of our Bertie is lurking somewhere in the shadows. Don’t know if it’s true or false but you know the old saying ‘there’s no smoke without fire’ and it just happens that the Mater site lies in his constituency! The Mater site was chosen we’re told, by an expert group who undertook the task without any political interference. Ummm. Be that as it may, but listening and reading about the subject I can’t help thinking that most of the talk is about the great benefits this new hospital will be for children. No one will, or would, dispute that, but when suitability vis-à-vis ease of access and parking is mentioned, the expert or experts being questioned will veer off with arrogant waffle about how the Luas and the sometime in the future Metro will be so convenient. This begs the question; is this hospital being built for the children of Dublin or the whole country? The Luas doesn’t yet run to Kerry or Donegal! Did this ‘expert group’ do a few dry runs from places such as Dingle or Ballydehob and then try find parking when reaching base, taking note of time and effort to achieve this task, bearing in mind that an imaginary sick child is travelling with them. Any expert answers to this query will be appreciated!
Another question. Was any other location considered? Say a green site in Athlone, smack bang in the middle of Ireland and more or less equidistance no matter from where one starts. This would surely be living up to our constitution, treating all of our children equally. This simple suggestion will no doubt bring lots of negative objections from our ‘experts’ both inside and outside the medical field, for simplicity usually gets lost in a morass of convoluted thinking that today passes for planning. Mary of the Trolleys is also having a head to head with the Consultants; careful Mary there’s an election coming up and your latest tam ratings are zilch.
Liz O’Donnell PD’s gave us a spoof t’other day in one of our dailies about how well off we were, top of the league stuff and no mistake! The very same paper, different page, gave us a story about the A&E unit in Limerick’s main hospital running out of trolleys. They had to borrow trolleys from the ambulances that were delivering patients to the hospital. What would have happened if one of the ambulances got an emergency call out? Dump the last patient in, on the floor? This is all happening in a country that ‘never had it so good’ according to Liz!
Our Taoiseach gives us a good example of hypocrisy. He urges the Shinners to cosy up to the DUP and get on with forming a government, but tells us he won’t go into coalition with them should it be necessary to form the next government down here! Is there some difference between Green Shinners and Orange Shinners? The same Shinners have had a field day at their Ard Fheis, urging those pesky DUP crowd to get with it and join up to forming a government of sorts. It has taken the Shinners near enough thirty years to come to that conclusion. A classic case of the kettle calling the pot black and as good an example of hypocrisy as one can find.
And then we have those two stalwarts, Minister Cullen and the Rev Dick Roche from out Wicklow Way at either end of the spectrum shouting out the good news for all to hear. One going to spend billions on motorways crisscrossing the country spewing out tons of carbon emissions into the atmosphere; the other one solving global warming in a word. His Reverence has the easy end of the stick; just sell the problem on, as I mentioned in my last article. Mind you railways did get a mention in Minister Cullen’s spiel, but they were at the bottom of the heap.
Some years ago I stood at a famous viewing spot in the Canadian Rockies; the Kicking Horse Pass, where one could view CPR trains disappearing into a tunnel, coming out the far end, then disappearing again into another tunnel, and out again only this time facing back the way they had come, then back into another tunnel and out again, this time heading in the direction it was meant to be going. Sounds convoluted I know, but the tracks had been laid in a figure of eight to overcome the steep grade. It was a clever piece of engineering done way back in the 1880’s. When tourists gather at the viewing spot the hope is that a train might pass along, then cameras are out, going click click! I was lucky; when we got out of the car we could here her coming up the line, puff, puff. She was a long one and going slow. Three locomotives; one at the front, one in the middle and a ‘pusher’ one at the rear was needed to propel the long line of wagons. I counted over a hundred boxcars each loaded with fifty tons of wheat heading for the grain terminals at Vancouver docks. A simple calculation will tell you that this one train, albeit with three engines, was doing the work of two hundred trucks or thereabouts. That’s two hundred less trucks on the highway! Do you get my drift? Minster Cullen should reverse his priorities and spend the bulk of these billions on giving the country a decent rail and bus service.
Before I close I’ll pass on a piece of advice I was given years ago, “Believe only half of what you see, and none of what you read”. Dick Jeffers.
The Rector writes . . .

Potty Power . . .

Will she? Won’t she? Come on! You can do it! Catherine and I waited with bated breath. Come on ... come on... come on …Yes! The eagle has landed. Our third child has had her first go on the potty. We scream in excitement, as only parents with young children will understand – holding one another as we dance around the living room in celebration as our two year old looks on considering adoption as a possible future option.
Still excited, we phone the grandparents, “We have some great news!” The grandparents wait and wonder, “Have you bought a new car? ... Have you won the lotto? ... Have you been made Bishop?” they ask? “No, something far more important – Bethany has used the potty for the first time,” I reply. The phone went quiet, as they no doubt wondered whether to call the social services or whether we had finally lost it.
Meanwhile, back at the Govan household, the two year old steps off her throne and claims her rightful prize – a pair of Fifi and the Flowertots knickers.
All this excitement took me back to a time when one of our older children, who will remain anonymous, was also feeling proud about their new found toilet skills. We were happily browsing around B. & Q. D.I.Y. store, one afternoon, deliberating whether to buy a pine or oak finish wardrobe when we realised that one of the children was missing. We traced our steps backwards and found him on the toilet of one of their display bathrooms ... proudly relieving himself on the week’s special offer! He was so proud of what he had done but couldn't understand why we had to leave the shop so quickly!
Potty training is one of many all-important milestones in our children’s development, like taking their first steps and speaking their first words. They are all part of a child’s steps to gaining independence and the first steps towards adulthood.
As a Father, I look at my children often and feel a sense of pride in all that they do. The love I feel for my children is unconditional and I feel great joy in even their smallest achievements and there is nothing I wouldn’t do to look after them and make them happy.
As I pondered on these things, it made me think about our Father God in heaven and how much he too must delight in his children and how he showed this love in Jesus, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him would not die but have eternal life.’

Oh, well, gotta go, the two year old is ready for number two’s!

With love, Kesh x

From the Pulpit . . .

A church committee went to hear a prospective Rector preach. The best thing they liked about his sermon is that it was only 10 minutes long. They immediately invited him to be their new Rector. His first week in the new church he preached a 30 minute sermon. The next week his sermon was almost 2 hours.
The Deacons met with him and asked him to explain. His response was, that the first time the committee heard him preach, he had a new set of dentures in his mouth that hurt him terribly so he could barely preach 10 minutes and had to stop talking because of the pain. The second time he preached, he said that his dentures felt fine so he preached a normal 30-minute sermon.
They said that explains those 2 sermons, but please explain to us this last sermon that was 2 hours long. He said that's easy, I got up that particular morning and accidentally put My Wife's Dentures in my mouth, and when I started talking I couldn't shut up!

A Rector was planning a wedding at the close of the Sunday morning service. After the benediction he had planned to call the couple down to be married for a brief ceremony before the congregation. For the life of him, he couldn't think of the names of those who were to be married.
"Will those wanting to get married please come to the front?" he requested. Immediately, nine single ladies, three widows, four widowers, and six single men stepped to the front.

One beautiful Sunday morning, a Rector announced to his congregation:

"My good people, I have here in my hands three sermons...a 1000 euro sermon that lasts five minutes, a 500 euro sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a 100 euro sermon that lasts a full hour.

"Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver.
ST STEPHEN’S DAY SOCCER NETS €1,800 for charity
Fair play to the lads from Kingstown soccer club, Naas and Ballymore ‘Celtic’ who turned out for a soccer challenge on Stephen’s Day. Not the easiest day to play sport, what with the overeating and drinking the day before but turn out they did and raised €1800 towards Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Neil Morrissey of Briencan trained Kingstown for 12 years during which time the team were league winners and finalists in the Lumdsden Cup. Five years ago, he introduced the charity challenge and to date they have raised €18,000 overall.

Ballymore was captained by Stephen Dwyer, the youngest and possibly the best player on the pitch whilst Rory O Connor led the Naas side. Notable performances were displayed by John Doyle and Hugh Keogh representing the BME side whilst captain Rory and Alan Marshall (actually from Ballymore!) played best for Naas. Gary Bolger, Gerry Fennall, Paul Browne, Darren ‘Digsy’ Gorman and John O’Neill ‘failed the fitness test’ according to Neil……mmh, enough said! (I don’t believe Gary is finally succumbing to age so what else could it have been?).

I did have a match report written by Dara, a friend of William’s from college but seeing as he only knew about seven players on the field, the entire match report referred only to “Woddy”, “Doyler”, Daragh, Timmy, “Mooner”, Stephen and Eamonn, we will have to run without it. Dara, I hope you are studying well in your chosen course in Waterford I.T. ‘cos you definitely don’t have a future as a sports journalist…..

Rather than fill sponsorship cards, this year, the lads had raffle tickets to sell; Neil wishes to acknowledge all who supported the event, particularly those who sponsored the prizes. Many thanks to Kevin Cumiskey of LIFE Health & Fitness Gym at the Osprey who sponsored first prize was won by Margaret Doyle, Dunlavin.

2nd Prize Cathal Ryan, Naas; 3rd Prize Pat Curley, Ballymore; 4th Prize Father Tim, Blessington; 5th Prize Niamh O Rourke, Ballymore; 6th Prize Alan Fitzgerald, Naas; 7th Prize Mark Curtis; 8th Prize Tommy Evans, Ballymore.

Judging by how badly the BME lads played on the day, Neil reckons he is definitely taking the right course at NTC in Dublin – currently studying Muscular Therapy which focuses on Sports Massage and Sports Injuries, Neil might be in demand as much before a match as after it with this lot!

Again, Neil wishes to thank all the lads who played on the day, all who supported the raffle and to Naas Manager Thomas Deane and Trainer, Alan Marshall.
€18,000 for a St Stephens Day event in five years ain’t bad going.

-Rose B O Donoghue

The Ballymore Eustace GAA club annual general meeting was held on 8th December 2006 in the community resource centre.
This meeting was both vibrant and emotional in light of the recent DRA meeting and the consensus decision reached by both the county board and the club.
Many headlines could have been written about this meeting.( Brown steps down after 3 years) (Gorman returns as chairman) (Joint Presidents)
Pat Brown stepped down as chairman after a successful 3-year term. He was thanked for his hard work and commitment to the club and showed his true commitment by taking on the role of Vice Chairman for the coming year.
Tim Gorman was returned as chairman a position he held previously for 13 years. TJ Gilroy was elected as club secretary and Paddy Nolan remains as treasure. The club is in good hands with a mix of young and experienced officers and committee members.
What a shambles: We must ask the question what is the Kildare County Board doing to promote GAA in Kildare. Is it fair that Ballymore or any club should play the first round of the championship in April and the next round in August. Should amateur players have to play 5 weeks in a row? The answer is NO.
The Leinster Council found in favour of Ballymore on the basis that Kildare County board did not notify Ballymore and did not give sufficient notice of the venue time and date for the match. Kildare s argument was that they had sent an e-mail. This was never received. The Kildare county board could not show to whom or when the e-mail was sent.
The Result
A consensus decision was reached between Kildare County Board and Ballymore Eustace G.A.A. club. Ballymore agreed to stand down from playing in the 2006 Intermediate Championship, in return Kildare County Board would not seek to have Ballymore relegated automatically to junior and both parties agreed to pay their own legal expenses

Eddie Hubbard club secretary spoke very emotionally in his report about the loss of our club President Mr Tom Hanlon during the year. Tom was one of Ballymore s great Gaels, he had not only served as President but also served as chairman of the club for a long number of years and he was a life long member of the club. When Tom moved to Limerick to work he travelled back to Ballymore to train and play with his team, Eddie also stated that Tom was a good friend and he had know from his school days when they had both went to school in Tipperkevin. Not only was Tom a very fine footballer he was a very accomplished athlete and boxer. He was known to his friends as having the sweetest fists in Ballymore. May he rest in peace.

Michael Byrne gave a comprehensive report on the work of the juvenile committee in both hurling and football. Keep up the good work.

The meeting welcomed club Treasurer, Paddy Nolan and Tom Quinn to the meeting and wished them good health in the future following their illness.

The officers elected are:

Patron: Fr Sean Breen P.P.
Joint Presidents: Jim Clarke, Eddie Hubbard.

Vice Presidents: Mon Conway, Jimmy McLaughlin, Ethne Daly, Sean Farrington, Tom Quinn, Eugene Gilroy.

Chairman: Tim Gorman
Vice Chairman: Pat Brown
Secretary: T.J. Gilroy
Treasurer: Paddy Nolan
Co Board Delegate: Eddie Hubbard
Registrar: T.J. Gilroy
P.R.O. John Hubbard

Ciaran Conway, Tadhg Grace, Tm Quinn, Pat Brown, (jun) Michael Byrne.

Grounds committee:
Jim Clarke, Eugene Gilroy, Seamus Brown, Ciaran Doyle, John Doyle, Jimmy McLaughlin.

Intermediate Selectors:
Mick Hyland, (trainer) Pat Murphy, Tim Gorman.
Junior Selectors:
Pat Browne, Eugene Gilroy.
Congratulations to our near neighbours Eadestown on winning the Ladies All Ireland club title and also Moorfield on winning the Leinster title.

€50 for players, €30 for non-playing members. Students €20 and Juvenile €10.

Members Club Draw:
This draw was set up to service a long-term loan taken out by the club. Everybody will agree that the facilities are second to none. In order to maintain the high standard of amenities we have for players, juveniles, supporters and people who use the field we need your help. This draw is not fully subscribed; anyone interested in joining should contact any member of the committee. The Draw is 20 a month will take place on the last Thursday of every month.
The winner of last months draw was Donal Hubbard €300. The draw has been changed for the coming year. First Prize is 200 and 3 prizes of 50 each and in the summer both All Ireland hurling and football ticket will be part of the prizes.

Race Night in Paddy Murphy Friday 9th February at 9 pm. Horses are 20 each from any committee member so why not come along for a night of fun at the races.

Training will commence Tuesday 16th January at 8pm and every Tuesday and Thursday.

S.O.S. Is anyone out there interested in sponsoring Tennis Court Nets and Basketball rings. You can contact any member of the committee.
John Hubbard PRO
The News
The U10 & U12 hurling teams will puck 2007 off to an early start with the juveniles taking part in hurling blitz’s in Athy on an all weather pitch. The U10’s first outing is on Sun. 14th Jan. with the U12’s in action on Sun. 21st Jan. Fixtures as follows:

U-10 Hurling FixturesSun 14-Jan, South Board Hurling Blitz, Athy Starting @ 10:30Fri 19-Jan, Indoor hurling Kilcullen @ 7:00Sun 28-Jan South Board Hurling Blitz, Athy Starting @ 10:30Fri 2-Feb, Indoor hurling Kilcullen @ 7:00
U-12 Hurling FixturesSun 21-Jan, South Board Hurling Blitz, Athy Starting @ 10:30Fri 26-Jan, Indoor hurling Kilcullen @ 7:00Sun 4-Feb, South Board Hurling Blitz, Athy Starting @ 10:30
Brief look back on 2006
The juvenile’s had a busy year, football and hurling coaching every week running from mid March to mid Oct. combined with league’s, challenges, Blitz’s, Go-Games, Street leagues and the very popular Summer Camp. There were many magic moments during the year whether it was the great block, catch, goal, point, save, wide, photo, BME jersey or ‘the comment’ and the BME juveniles unlike myself are not short of things to say. The highlight of the year for me was the number of players that got involved at every level and although sourcing matches at times was a challenge the overall participation in games during the year was good.

The following teams were registered:
· Football U8, U10, U11, U12, U13 (U14, U15 & U16 Oliver Plunketts)
· Hurling: U8, U11

Summary of Activities:
· U8 & U10 indoor hurling league in BME Feb. to April
· Juvenile coaching started for both hurling and football mid March
· U11 football leagues April to June
· U8 & U11 hurling challenge v Naas April
· Punchestown Festival Parade April
· U14 & U16 football leagues May to June
· U8 & U10 Go Games Hurling Blitz in Hollywood June 17th
· U10 & U12 football leagues June to August
· U8 & U11 hurling challenge v Kill June
· Annual GAA Summer Camp July
· U8 Go Games Football July to August
· U11 hurling challenge v Naas July
· U10 Hurling Blitz in BME July 22nd
· The Duck Race August 7th
· U13 football league Sept to Oct.
· U15 Oliver Plunkett Division 3 League (Winners) Sept. to Nov.
· U8 & U11 hurling in Eire Og Oct.
· U10 Naas Street League Oct.
· U9 Hurling Blitz in BME Oct.
· Scoil Mhuire U11 hurling team in Cuman Na mBunscoile league Sept. to Oct.
· Juvenile coaching finished for both football & Hurling Oct.
· U8 & U10 Go Games Hurling Blitz in Hollywood Oct. 14th
· U9 hurling team in North League indoor Nov. to Dec.

What’s coming up in 2007
2007 promises to be even more exciting for the Juvenile Club with more fixtures by-way of blitz’s and the anticipated roll out of Quick Touch Football and Hurling. 2006 saw the start of First Touch Football for the U8’s, this year the plan is to have a new batch of U8’s again taking part in First Touch while last years players will move up a notch to take part in Quick Touch.
(See the GAA web site for all info. regarding Go Games for football and hurling at
Ballymore Ladies GFC

Thank You
Ballymore Ladies would like to thank everyone who helped the team during 2006.

There were a number of businesses that contributed to the success of the ‘Welly Match’ during the summer.

Paddy Murphy’s
Kieran Langan’s Butchers
The Ballymore Inn
The Anvil
Gallery & Gifts
The Chemist
The Thatch
Poulaphouca House
Darren O’ Reilly
Liz Deegan’s Hair Salon

If I’ve left anyone out, I do apologise. We are very grateful for your support.

The ladies have already started back with circuit training on a Wednesday evening. The league usually begins in March so football training should re-commence next month.

3 members of our senior team, Marilena Norton, Megan O’Neill and Teresa Gorman have been playing championship football with Eadestown’s Minor team. By the time this is printed, they will have taken on Maynooth in the Minor B Championship final on Sunday 14th January (weather permitting). Well done girls!

Our AGM takes place on Friday, 19th January
…see next month’s bugle for details!
At least third – half page display ad with dancing or suitable graphics??

Ballymore Ladies GFC and Ballymore GFC

GAA Awards Night 2007
Poulaphouca House
Saturday 3rd March
at 8pm

Buffet Dinner and Music by Epic

Price: €30

Admission by Ticket Only

Tickets available from players in early February
The Village Green Club

November’s club night was what one might call a virtual horticultural medical tour. Alan Wallace was our guest speaker. Alan is a specialist on daffodils. He regaled us with the many medical crises that might befall the humble daffodil. Beware of that dreaded daffodil eelworm, as this little guy can destroy your Daffodils and rumour has it that Janet is looking for him in the Big Black Bag.
For the club night on the 21st Dec the Members, under the guidance of Adrienne Murphy decorated the Church of the Immaculate Conception for the Christmas Festival. After the hard work, the Club members retired to the Ballymore Inn for their Christmas Social. On behalf of the Club we wish to thank Adrienne for her wonderful input into the night, the sponsors of the flowers, Tom O Keefe of Naas Insurance and Kevin Keenan of KTK, and to the Staff of the Ballymore Inn for putting the finishing touches to our night.
A reminder to members especially our new members, there will be no Club night in January as the Committee take a rest. Our guest speaker for Feb is Sally McCaffrey who is going to talk to us on her 10 favourite trees for the large garden and for the small garden.
Some people are born lucky; others get places through hard work and endurance. Joanne Mooney qualifies in both categories – born with brains, good looks and a bubbly personality, the petite tv presenter is hopping and bopping across continents in the time most of us take to read the Sunday papers. From Bulgaria to Tenerife; Torreveija to Cape Verde, she takes it all in her stride. Along with co-presenter, Andrew Fowler, the pair review new holiday destinations, investment potential, property resales, best mortgage advice etc for TV3’s The Overseas Property Show.

Globe Trottin’
Is it all glamorous? Five star hotels? Celebrity treatment? Designers falling over her to wear their outrageously priced flip-flops? “Good Lord, no” she laughs. “We source all our material ourselves, check out new investment destinations – the pros and cons of site location, rental potential – we are a small operation, a tight-knit team who work well together.”
And there was me thinking Joanne had a wardrobe assistant and make-up artist following her around on her travels….

“As I work full-time, generally speaking, we fly out at weekends and review the selected destination, edit the script, film and back on a plane the following day for work on Monday.”
Its a case of packing the suitcase, hopping on a plane, sometimes with only 3-4 hours sleep.”

From Finance to Festivals
But Joanne is not complaining – she loves the job, the travel and the general buzz of putting the programme together. Bubbly she may be but Joanne Mooney certainly can’t be mistaken for an air-head; currently the Marketing & PR Manager for the HSE Community Games, Joanne has extensive experience in the media and financial sector, having qualified with a degree in Economics in 1995 from UCD. She then went on to study Corporate Finance in the UK where she worked as a Financial Analyst before getting her licence in Bond Trading.

For several years, she was part of the team on “Stream” (The Den TV) scouting sports, fashions, teenage trends along with a 30 minute programme “Stuff” again focusing on youth related matters. On Nationwide, she covered festival celebrations around the country and was anchor presenter for ESB Community Games Sports Programmes plus she worked with the news team on 2FM Radio. Joanne also writes a weekly column with the Irish Mail on Sunday.

Investment Advice
So when Joanne gives advice on overseas investment, pay attention, she knows what she is talking about! Asked about her own favourite spots on her travels, Joanne enthused about the following:

“Tavira in Portugal was just lovely; as investment potential, I would recommend areas in Bulgaria where you can buy apartments from €60,000 – some very impressive developments, close to the sea and airports, definitely worth the money.
Gold City Resort in Turkey is unbelievable, absolutely palatial comfort with 1 beds from €94,000 and 2 beds from €135,000.
We were in Dubai late last year - its like a floating development site, a skyscraper city not unlike Hong Kong but the wealthy lifestyle is incredible.
A new holiday location off South Africa is San Vincente, Cape Verdi; this is deemed to be “The New Canaries” with direct flights starting soon from Dublin Airport and it would be a good investment.”

Overseas Property Show have reviewed holiday destinations in Spain’s sunny Torrevieja and Marbella to colder climates such as ski resorts in France and Switzerland.

Thursdays on TV3
You can catch Joanne and Andrew in action on Thursday nights on TV3 at 8.30 with repeat programme on Saturday at 3pm. If you want to check out destinations they have reviewed, then log onto their website: where you will find everything from a country cottage in Chevela, inland Spain for €28,000 to a ‘WOW’ development in Alanya, Turkey – a luxurious, no expense spared 5 bed mansion with 4 bathrooms, a balcony for each bedroom, own swimming pool, underfloor heating, opulence itself……. A mere €245,000. (Irish based Costello Developments).
In the same area, a 1400 sq ft 3 bed apt, fully furnished, impeccable style and finish, ocean views, communal pool – from €190,000.
Looking to Bulgaria, the new European investment country, a studio apartment in Sunset Resort located 15 mins from airport starts from €45,000 up to 2/3 bed apts from €90,000; Atlantis Apts in Saraforo offer 2 bed apts from €73,000 – the Overseas Property Show recommends these for rentals as they have splendid seaviews and are located close to the beach and only 5-10 mins from Burges Airport.”

Multi-talented family
You have to hand it to Joan and Michael Mooney but they reared a multi-talented crew; Laura also works in the Finance Sector with ACC, is married to Brian and recently produced Joan and Michael’s first grandchild, Ava; Keira work in the legal sector with Matheson Ormsby Prentice, soon to qualify as a solicitor and late and last year was one of the successful Irish team who won the ITU Inaugural Corportate Team Title at the World Championships in Mexico (each of three team members ran 500m swim, 13.5k cycle and 3.5k run).

Brother Sean is an editor with RTE in Cork and undoubtably takes after his dad, quieter, ‘more sedate’ whilst the girls, I think, take after Joan, bubbly, chatty, more energy than a truckload of Lucozade and of course, all georgous looking – not that you aren’t beautiful too, Sean……

TV3 on Thursday nights – The Overseas Property Show at 7.30pm with repeat show on Saturday @ 3pm co-hosted by our own Joanne Mooney and Andrew Fowler.

Rose B O Donoghue
on passing by- again
Holy God but where did last year go to? One minute it was summer time and the next thing we were stuck in the mad, last minute dash for Christmas pressies. I suppose we got so used to the mild autumn weather that it seemed like the year was in some sort of hiatus with no winter at all to worry about. One thing that definitely helped time fly was the absence of toy advertisements until December, unlike previous years when they seemed to start at the end of August. Anyway we are in a new one now and I hope it turns out to be a good one for you all.

In what could turn out to be a very short few months Kildare County Council will unveil its ideas for the village in its draft development plan. What eventually goes into the plan will affect us all for a large number of years so it is in everybody’s interest that we ensure as far as possible that the plan is what the residents of the village want and not what the council think we want. Various organisations and groups in the village are formulating submissions to make sure that the council is left in no doubt as to what the way forward for Ballymore Eustace should be , but is everyone’s right to make a personal submission if they want to. These do not have to be grandiose leather bound documents but just your own thoughts on things that you think affect life in the village, such as street lighting or the abominable state of our local roads.
Its no use deciding after the plan so if there is anything you want to submit start getting your ideas together now.

Following the recent horrific death of a five year old girl in England after an attack by a pit bull type dog, and the serious injuries sustained by her grandmother, I wondered exactly what measures we had here to combat this type of thing. Following a spate of similar attacks here in the late eighties and early nineties the Dept of the Environment in 1992 amended legislation then in force, the Control of Dogs Act 1986, to ensure that certain types of dog could not be taken out in public unless they were muzzled, were kept on a short lead, had a collar with full details of their owner and were under the supervision of someone who was able to control the animal.
This list included pit bulls, other type of bulldogs, and german shepherds. I am sure I am not he only one who has seen some of these dogs roaming around under no supervision, unmuzzled and uncollared and yet their owners don’t seem to be unnecessarily worried about their actions.
Checking further I found that a nationwide coterie of dog wardens, under the auspices of the Department of the Environment, have the prime responsibility for enforcing the legislation. As the law is being so flagrantly ignored one would imagine that the sixty five wardens would be having a field day doling out fines but yet in the last year for which figures are available the total number of prosecutions, or attempted prosecutions was less than two hundred, or less than three per warden.
Unfortunately this seems to fall under the remit of our old friend Dick Roche and according to newspaper reports he appears to think that the current situation is acceptable. I am quite sure that the wardens have other duties to contend with but this level of enforcement is not going to frighten too many people into controlling their dogs.
Do we really have to wait for a tragedy to occur before the Minister decides it is time to act?

I notice the road contractors are back this week to refill the meandering crater that was left after the pipe laying. While this effort will undoubtedly improve the part of the roads concerned what about the rest?. If we are to follow the usual custom then the council should shortly start to carry out it own road repairs, as it normally does when an election looms so surely some tie up could have been arranged between the contractor and the council to get the whole job done at the one time. We have had a week of disruption and diversions and now the council will probably come along and dig up what has been done this week to carry out its own road laying. I know the country is supposed to be awash with cash but surely this kind of waste should not be tolerated.

For the past number of months Tony Hanlon and myself have devised the Bugle Crossword. While quite a few people say they enjoy doing it very few of them actually enter it for the prize every month. Some people have recently intimated that it is not as easy to complete as it might be so from next month we are going to try and make it a bit more manageable. We would appreciate your feedback, or even a few more entries.

Part time work available, work as many or as little hours as you want. Would suit teacher or professional person. Salary circa eighty thousand euro, plus expenses up to sixty thousand euro, plus excellent tax allowances. Subsidised restaurant, bar, postage and office help. Magnificent holiday scheme. Chance of fully paid foreign holidays. Opportunities for advancement and company car with driver. Brilliant pension scheme. All applications to Dail Eireann before June.