Sunday, April 22, 2007

Following my prediction of the General Election in last month’s Bugle there have been a number of phone calls to the house to see if I could name the date for polling. The smart money would seem to be on Friday May 18th. I wouldn’t be convinced, you see, the F.A. Cup final is due to take place on Saturday May 19th. This is due to be held at the newly refurbished Wembley Stadium. I would hold fire until early April to see if hopes of a treble for the Red Devils would take precedence over Honest Berts own hopes of a treble.

Sad to see the downturn in fortunes for Shelbourne Football Club. It is very reminiscent of the current situation at Leeds United. When a club over extends itself financially bases on aspiration it is hard to recover. I wish all concerned and their local fan base all the best and look forward to seeing a newly rejuvenated team at Station Road over the coming months.

As well as Minister brother Sean, J.J. Power was also a guest at the recent People of the Year awards. Many of you will remember his wife, Deirdre O’Brien who hailed originally from these parts. Deirdre has a great recall about the people in Ballymore and asked to be remembered to anyone who knows her.

The Posh and Becks of Dublin Road, Frank and Trish Murphy had a double birthday celebration last month. The golden couple, (isn’t it hard to believe Trish is two score), entertained family and friends on what was a great night. There was a large Tipp. Delegation and the Lilywhites had to give best in the singing stakes. But at dancing however, June, Pauline, Henry, Marie, Bernadette and Colette rivaled any group of dancing divas on the dance floor in Paddy’s.

I had occasion to spend some time in the children’s Accident & Emergency in the AMNCH in Tallaght recently. We checked in at 9 pm. We were seen within thirty minutes by triage but had to wait until 1.30 am to see a doctor. There were three house officers working at full tilt. It was after 3 am by the time we landed back in Ballymore. God help us all if they ever move to the Mater.

Fran Brennan, who plays hard man gangster Mick in Fair City, paid us a call recently. No stranger to Ballymore, Fran played a barman in a short film made in Mick Murphy’s some time ago. My brother Mick and himself are great mates and usually attend the BEDS productions when they can. Fran has the company of local thespian, Geraldine O’Rourke, in Montrose for the past few months.

The recent spate of break ins within our community has left many people feeling shocked and upset. Even those not directly affected by these crimes, have been left feeling vulnerable and even neglected by our statutory services. Fr.Breen prayed for those who had been affected and those who perpetrated these crimes. I had to swallow hard during the last bit.

Martin King, who does a lot of work for us in Cheeverstown, was very interested in Rose’s piece in the last issue. The last time I was talking to him, while he declined to comment, he did give me a long range weather forecast. He said it will be frosty and inclement in the Briencan area for the foreseeable future.

Pat O’Neill, from Annalecky, proud new grandfather to Ollie and Eileen’s new babby got another pleasant surprise recently. Working with Paddy Barrett & Masonbrook, he received a surprise presentation for forty years service. A trip to London for St. Patrick’s Day was part of the package.
Now I work with one of the Barrett’s on a part time basis for a few hours every month. It’s not easy. Sometimes skin, hair and blood fly. How Pat has worked with at least four of them down through the years I’ll never know. Well done Pat.

The week of intense emotions for all horse racing fans that is Cheltenham has come to an end.
I suppose the predominant emotion would have been disappointment. With a few weeks to go the paddies were confident of a big bounty of winners. As the festival approached the hopes were dashed time and again, I only came out with two winners of any sort of decency that maintained the form, Voy Por Estedes and Martin Pipes little filly Gaspara. The obvious highlight was Ruby on Kauto Star, I was one of the Thomas’s, but I was delighted to be proved wrong. The only upside of the whole thing is that it will see a lot our top horses competing in Punchestown. Roll on the 24th of April.

What about the Black cats. Second as I write this. First Sean M does it with Wicklow. Now, he turns his attention to the other code. RK has got them really moving and he doesn’t care whose toes he stands on. A true pupil of Old Alex.

A timely reminder of all things fine in racing came in the passing of Bobby Coonan. Bobby will be remembered fondly and (some) of his exploits will be retold in next month’s Punchestown Special.

I fancied going out for a meal last week. As well as being hungry I was anxious to tell you all about the experience etc. Realizing that Rose and Michael had covered all the bases we stayed at home instead. Colette had steak, bought in Langans, with potatoes and cabbage from Costcutter. A delicious sauce accompanied her meal which was purchased in Fogartys. I don’t know what Knorr put in their sauces but it is only smashing. I had a Linda McCartney Lasagna, I don’t know what… sorry. Dessert was a Vienetta from Janet’s. A Chilean Red from the David Dennison selection from pat Murphy’s Off Licence accompanied the repast. The atmosphere was convivial, the service was excellent and the electric log fire cast a magic glow which added greatly to the overall ambience. I will be back.

CDA updateLIBRARY PROJECTLibrary project going ahead whilst the comments from those most concerned will be taken on board.KTK Levies - First meeting scheduled for 8th March had to be abandoned due to lack of communication from KCC in notifying the interested parties. The meeting has now rescheduled for 27th March in the Resource Centre and hopefully there will be a satisfactory outcome.TIDY TOWNS. Eric Firth has devoted many hours compiling a very comprehensive document on various problems in the village, ie. the condition of the roads, walkways, drainage, parking etc. which will be presented to KCC in the very near future, and we hope for a positive response.The Tidy Towns Committee would like to acknowledge a very generous donation of E200 from Eddie & Bridget Whelan.RAFFLEOur raffle due to take place at Easter will now be held during Punchestown weekAnd we would ask you to be generous with your support.COMMUNITY ALERT - The committee hope to meet with Sgt. Mary Corcoran of Naas on 26th March in the Resource Centre.

Kay Nolan
CDA Secretary.
Matt’s Column

Person of the Year Awards

With the awards receiving full coverage in the last edition of the Bugle my take on the occasion will be brief. As we have come to expect, a lovely feel good atmosphere was evident. All the nominees were well supported by family and friends. Hearing the credentials of each of the nominees it was clear that anyone of the nominees would have been a worthy winner. Each of the nominees received a lovely hand scripted scroll by Fiona Barrett, a beautiful sketch of a local land mark by Bill Delaney, a Gift Voucher plus a flower bouquet in the case of the ladies and a bottle of wine in the case of Eamonn Deegan. Mary Campbell was the overall winner while Gerry and Breda Bell received a special “Good Citizens Award”. Speaking to Mary on the following Monday morning I was pleased to find that she was still very much on cloud nine. The Leinster Leader had considerable coverage of the occasion as had the Kildare Post. Additionally, the Leader carried a half page profile of Mary.

Liam, Rose and the late Billy and Molly

I read with great interest Rose’s article in the last edition of the Bugle arising from her chat with Liam Evans. One could not but admire the achievements of Liam’s late parents Billy and Molly in the face of adversities such as Billy’s illiteracy and how they overcame this handicap so that Billy could fulfil his role as “ganger” at The Filter Beds station. You would also have to admire how Billy subsequently overcame his illiteracy with Molly’s assistance. In the circumstances, it is amazing that Billy left behind a legacy of poetry relating to Ballymore and Hollywood.

One of my earliest memories of watching competitive handball was in 1952 when Liam played hardball doubles with Bill Lawlor in the All-Ireland Championship. Around about that time Liam gave me my first ever hardball and I immediately began practising hardball, which was the most popular form of handball in Ballymore then. At that time, Bobbie Grattan was the top Ballymore hardballer. His speciality was a ferocious serve. Needless to say as a youngster I practised hard to emulate Bobbie’s serving prowess. Subsequently, I won six All-Ireland medals for hardball so I guess you could say Liam’s gift of a hardball yielded rich dividends for me.

Liam recalled his father Billy playing football with Two-Mile-House and Paddy (or Pat as I would have called him) Buckley, the son of one of his team mates, winning the 1963 Grand National on “Ayala” at 66/1. As far as I am aware, Pat Buckley’s father was the next door neighbour of the late James Keegan, my maternal grandfather.

Following reading Rose’s article I went searching through my old Echos and Chronicles for Billy’s poems. In due course, I found two of them and headed up to Tony and Maureen Evan’s home with one of them. Meeting Tony I discovered he already had copies of the two I found. It was not a wasted effort however as Tony and I had a good old “catch up” chat.

If you read this Liam, Rose did pass on your regards to me.


As I write the Cheltenham Racing Festival is just a week away. Already, I’m a loser having had three ante-post bets in the Gold Cup on two horses that are now non-runners. Hopefully, my ante-post bets in the Champion Hurdle and Champion Chase namely Hardy Eustace and Newmill will at least run in these races. Usually, the going at Cheltenham is good but it looks like it could be different this year with all the rain we have had and more forecast. This could lead to long priced winners.

Historical/Heritage Society

Recently I met Margaret Pearse and C.J. Darby, who are both involved in the book being brought out the Society, on the same day. Talking to Margaret she confirmed that steady progress was being made but was reluctant to put a date on when it would be ready for publication. C.J. for his part was very pleased about a photo he received lately from a former Ballymore resident and I must say I look forward to seeing the photo in question when the book is published.

Fas Trio

I see our Fas Trio have made a flying start to 2007 and have already tidied St Mary’s and St John’s Cemeteries. They also tidied St Oliver Plunkett Road and were working outside the Thatch when I passed by there on March 6. More recently, they were busy repairing the gutters on the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

Break Ins

I understand a couple of homes in the area , Scoil Mhuire and the Credit Union Office have all recently been broken into and a couple of cars were also stolen.


Moorefield did well to draw with Dr Crokes when they first met in the All-Ireland Club Football Semi-Final. In the replay Dr Crokes came out on top.

Old Handball Friends

Dropping in to the 40 by 20 alley recently I discovered Paddy Reilly and Seamus Reade of Kilkenny had just beaten Pat Ryan and Marcus Henry of Dublin in the Leinster championship. In days gone by, Paddy Reilly had many a good game against our own Tom O’Rourke while I would have played against Seamus, Pat and Marcus with mixed results. Come to think of it, Eamonn Deegan and I scored a surprise win over Paddy Reilly and his partner in senior softball doubles on one occasion. More recently, while dining in the Spawell I met Tony Buckley from Oldtown. Tony, who played for Dublin, was one of the first players I ever played against when he and his partner played Robin Winder and I in minor hardball doubles in 1958. Tony retired from work two and a half years ago and suffered a stroke since then but has recovered quite well from it.

March Birthday Boys

The Clarke twins, Jim and Tom, and Paddy Monaghan all celebrated birthdays early in March and I extend my best wishes to each of them. Paid Paddy a quick visit and was delighted to find him in excellent spirits. As I arrived I heard a familiar voice coming from the Nursing Home’s Recreation Room singing “Danny Boy” - it was Paddy entertaining his fellow patients. Chatting to Paddy I found he was up to date with Ballymore news and was delighted with the news that Mary Campbell had received the 2007 Person of the Year Award. Paddy obviously has the highest admiration for Mary. Jim Clarke was another recipient of Paddy’s praise. I understand from Paddy that Jim’s wife Nancy has returned home after a spell in the Nursing Home. Another recipient of Paddy’s praise was Martin Deegan who Paddy described as a great worker.


Eamonn and Liz Deegan had a busy time in December when they had two conferring ceremonies to attend. Their daughter Orlaigh and son Eamonn both graduated
with Batchelor of Science degrees. Orlaigh is proceeding to do her Masters degree in Business and Entrepreneurship while Eamonn is pursuing Computer Engineering.

C J O’Reilly’s Sea Diva won the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Mares Beginners Chase over three miles at Thurles on February 15 beating Bryansford Belle by one and three quarter lengths. The winner was trained by Dessie Hughes and ridden by Roger Loughran. It was my good fortune to back Sea Diva which was returned at 5/1 but it was my misfortune to back it on the Tote which paid less than 2/1.

Billy Doran who celebrated his seventieth birthday last December showed his current well being by winning the 2007 Leinster Ruby Masters 40 by 20 Singles Championship. His opponent in the final was Christy Lynagh of Meath. Believe it or not, Billy achieved his first major handball successes in 1957 – that is 50 years before his present success! Guess what? Billy has won yet another Provincial title when he teamed up with Maynooth’s Declan Quigley to win the corresponding Leinster Doubles title.

Gareth Clarke has progressed to the second round of the Leinster 40 by 20 singles Championship when he had an easy success in the opening round.

Bernardine Mulryan’s Tahitien Fix was a 7 length winner from Boots Runner of the C.J. Sheeran Ltd Maiden Hurdle (Div 2) over 2 m at Thurles on March 8. The winner was 9/2, ridden by D.F. O’Regan and trained by A.L. Moore.


Philomena Conlon (nee Daniels) of Lacken, Blessington died on February 12 aged 54 R.I.P. Phil was a granddaughter of the late Billy and Mollie Evans who were featured in Rose’s lovely article on the Evans Family in the February edition of the Bugle and is survived by her husband Shay, sons Colin and Shane, daughters – Fiona, Orla and Adrina, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, nieces, nephews, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and extended family. Phil had many Ballymore relations including her sisters Geraldine Winder and Pauline Murray. To all of her family I offer my sincere sympathy.

Michael Fennan of Blessington and formerly of Broadleas died on February 16 aged 62 at Tallaght Hospital after a short illness R.I.P. I learned of Mick’s illness only a short time before his death. The attendance at the removal of his remains to the Church of Our Lady in Blessington was very large with a large contingent from Ballymore being present. Mick is survived by his wife Collette, sons – Paul, Billy and Michael, daughter Jenny, grandchildren, brothers Tom and Brian, sister Mary and extended family to all of whom I offer my sincere sympathy.

Edward J. (Eddie) Gilmartin (BA. BAI.) Blackrock, Co. Dublin died on February 28 aged 87 years at St. Vincent's University Hospital R.I.P. Eddie was a former work colleague of mine during my time with Dublin County Council. His wife Nancy, sons Michael and Edward, daughters Fiona and Sinéad, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family survive Eddie.

Robert (Bobby) Coonan of Ballymore Eustace and Monread, Naas, Co. Kildare died on March 2 in St Brigid's Hospice, The Curragh R.I.P. Bobby was one of our most outstanding sportsmen winning seven National Hunt jockey championships outright and sharing an eighth title. In the early seventies, Bobby’s achievements received local recognition when he was the recipient of the Hall Of Fame Award at the Annual All-Stars Dinner Dance. When Bobby was in his early teens I recall our family visiting the Coonan family and seeing Bobby busily attending to his pony. At the time, Bobby had only one thing in his head and that was to become a jockey – an ambition he realised to the fullest extent. At the removal of his remains to the Church a number of his racing associates were in attendance. These included former top jockey Toss Taaffe and trainers Paddy Prendergast and John Hayden. His racing friends were also well represented at his funeral Mass. I understand these included former jockey Christy Kinane and trainer Dessie Hughes. To his family - James, Anna and Shelagh, brothers - Charles, Ian and Stuart, sisters Ann and Consuelo, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, and extended family I offer my sincere sympathy.

John Gerald (Gerry) Smith died on March 4 in his 80th year at St Luke's Hospital R.I.P. Gerry was a neighbour of mine in Churchtown who came to my rescue during my working days when on a frosty morning my car refused to start. His wife Sylvia, daughters - Sandra, Wendy, Lynda and Dorothy, his sister Vi, niece Deirdre, grandchildren, sons-in-law and extended family survive Gerry.

Joan Browne (nee Ward) of Bolabeg died on March 7 aged 53 R.I.P. From the tributes paid to Joan at her funeral Mass she was clearly a loving mother who was totally committed to her family. The attendance at the Mass was very large and the Mass itself was a very moving experience. To her husband Jim, children -Angela, David, Paul, Deirdre, Stephen and James, mother, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family I offer my sincere sympathy.

Mary Burke (nee Heydon) of Weaver’s Row died in Naas Hospital on March 11 aged 83 R.I.P. Mary came to live in Ballymore in the early sixties and was predeceased by her husband Liam in 1982. From the tributes paid to Mary at her funeral Mass she obviously enjoyed life, a smoke and the horses. She remained young in her thinking through her interest in and contact with young people especially her extended family. Thanks to her trusty phone and the kindness of Evelyn McGrath, her neighbours - Jack and Marie Burke – and the local business community Mary was able to live out her life in her home. To her sister Eileen, brother Joe, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces and extended family I offer my sincere sympathy.

© Matt Purcell (March 14, 2007).
Dinner Dance
Our annual awards night was held on Saturday 3rd March in conjunction with Ballymore GFC.
The following awards were presented to girls in the club by Paul Fagan and Noel Winders:
Young Player of the Year Megan O’Neill
Megan made the centre-back position for Ballymore Ladies her own last season. Her strength and speed have seen her successfully mark a number of county players. Megan also played with Eadestown Minors this year and they made it to the final of the Minor ‘B Championship.

Senior Player of the Year Ann Marie Gorman
Ann Marie started out the year in the half-back line but her ability to read the game and carry the ball saw her move into midfield on a number of occasions. Her commitment to the team has never been in question and this is also one of the reasons her team-mates voted her Vice-captain for 2007.

Club Person of the Year Sharon O’Donoghue
What can I say about myself - I write things in the Bugle!

Captain of Ballymore Ladies, Aisling Rigney also made a special presentation on behalf of the team to Noel Winders who stepped down as manager this year. Noel has managed the team since the club started over 3 years ago and has stayed on as a selector for this year.

Alternative Awards!!!
I wouldn’t be my mother’s daughter if I didn’t come up with a few of these….
Ballymore’s Next Top Model
I’m giving this award to 2 girls
- Catherina Hudson, how high were those shoes?
- Denise Kelly, who knew Mick Hyland’s peach jumper could look so good.
Best Dressed
This was the closest call but in my opinion Valerie Byrne nee Hudson’s dress was absolutely stunning.
I thought Teresa Gorman and Karen Balfe also looked great on the night.
Oooooh Aaaaaaah
Stacey Balfe, who else!
Best Choreography
The Hubbard girls….I wonder was it really ‘football’ they were doing all those years in Valleymount?
Celebrity Couple
Stephen Byrne and Nicola Rigney – Stephen limps home early with an injury sustained in a match while Nicola parties the night away in Rose’s O’Donoghue’s apron……Posh and Becks eat your heart out!!

New Players
There are a number of new players we would like to welcome to the club this year:
Karen Balfe, Michelle Hubbard, Sheena Hubbard, Cleo Hubbard and Danielle Parker.

Bon Voyage
Safe travelling to Louise Tutty and Nell Byrne who have abandoned us to go travelling around SE Asia for 6 months.

Underage Football
Teresa Gorman and Cleo Hubbard are currently training and playing with Eadestown U’16’s. Their league has started slowly with 2 matches and 2 defeats so far.
Teresa will be adding to her busy season as the U.14 campaign also starts soon.

Challenge Matches
Our first game of the season saw us travel to Castlemitchell for a challenge match. It was also our first game under lights. There were a number of people tried out in different positions and it was also the first game for our new recruits. We had some good passages of play but couldn’t convert them into scores. The division 2 side got the better of Ballymore Ladies winning 2-9 to 0-2. Scorers for Ballymore were Louise Burke and Dawn Murray.

League Fixtures
Senior League Division 4
Sun 25th\Tues 27th March Nurney\Kildangan vs Ballymore
Sun 1st\Sun 8th April Castledermot vs Ballymore
Tues 3rd April Rheban vs Ballymore
Tues 10th April Ballymore vs Grangenolvan II
Sun 15th April Ballymore vs Balyna II
Tues 17th April Ballymore vs Milltown
Tues 24th BYE

*Provisional Dates
*First Named team at Home
The league table will then be split in 2 with top 4 teams and bottom 3 teams playing in 2 separate round robin competitions during July and August.

Cheltenham Preview Night
Pat Murphy and Pa Nolan held a very successful Cheltenham Preview Night in aid of Ballymore Ladies on Monday 5th March. Over €1200 was raised and the girls would like to thank everyone involved.
The News
Juvenile football coaching returns to the field on Fri. 30th March at 6:30 p.m. juvenile hurling coaching will move to the field on Sun. 1st April at 11:00 a.m. All children attending primary school are invited to attend the coaching session. Parents of children aged 8 or under must remain in the grounds during the sessions.

The annual Juvenile membership of €25 for the first child + €10 per additional child is now due. BME togs and socks will be provided to all paid up Juvenile members later in the year.

St. Oliver Plunketts are back in action on the playing field with U16 and Minor football league matches. The U16 league got off to a good start with a comprehensive win against Kilcock in Ballymore on 3rd March. Best for Plunketts were Cian Bolton (1-5), Michael Tutty, Paudie Ryan (1-2), and Brian Murphy (0-3). The final score was Plunketts 3-12, Kilcock 0-5.
The Minors recorded their first win of the season in a wet and wind swept Ballymore on 4th March in a difficult game against St. Kevin’s. Plunketts ran out winners by a single point 2-4 to Kevin’s 2-3. Peter Kelly (1-1), Johnny Nolan, John Gleeson, and Cian Bolton were best for Plunketts.

Due to the interest in and the success of the U8 & U12 hurling blitz’s on the Astro Turf in Athy the South Board decided to continue these for another four weeks. This time the venue was in Kilcullen’s Astro Turf facilities and the games finished up on Sun. 25th Feb. Teams from Athy, St. Laurence’s, Castledermot, Eire Og, Kilcullen, Naomh Brid, Nurney and Ballymore participated. Once again credit must go to the organisers Rosanna Curran and Mary Mahon.
At a recent South Board meeting BME’s Eoghan Barrett was elected to the Grading committee and Martin Kelleher to Hurling Games development.

The AGM was held on the 6th March and was well attended, thanks to all those who came. The following were elected/selected for the coming year: Chairperson Eoghan Barrett, Secretary Martin Kelleher, Treasurer John McCarvile, and P.R.O. Mick Byrne.
Committee: Henry Murphy, Frank Murphy, Noel Thompson, Johnny Murphy, Stephen Deegan, Mick Horan, Paul Murphy, Dermot Waters, Simon Murphy.
Football team mentors: U8: Simon Murphy, Stephen Deegan, Mick Horan, U10: Paul Murphy, Noel Thompson, Steve Carter, Mick Byrne, U12: Eoghan Barrett, Dermot Waters and Joe Boland.
Hurling team mentors: U10: Johnny Murphy, Noel Thompson, and Stephen Deegan, U12: Martin Kelleher, Eoghan Barrett, and Mick Byrne.
Any parent wishing to get involved in the coaching sessions are most welcome.

Tim Gorman stepped down as chairperson after nine years. Tim was elected as chairperson of the Senior Club earlier in the year and is a selector for the Intermediate Team. He is also co-ordinating BME players from U14 to minor with St. Oliver Plunketts. As a passionate BME GAA man Tim’s contrubitation to the local community (in particular the youth for the last nine years) is worthy of note.

Summary of Accounts
Below are some of the major outlays that were met by the Juvenile Club last year:
Team Registration €2,000
Oliver Plunketts €500
Purchase of Equipment €1,400
Hall Rental €400
Subsidised Replica Jerseys €1,000
Coaches for schools €1,000

We would like to thank our sponsors from last year,
Noel Thompson Builders
Janet’s MACE
Naas Credit Union

Sponsors Required
The main sources of income for the Juvenile club are the annual membership fee, the €1 contribution for each training session and a number of fundraising events (annual raffle and duck race last year). As a result of the increased number of teams being fielded this year we need to purchase 2 new sets of jerseys, it is also planned to provide all juvenile members with socks and shorts in the club colours and to subsidise the cost of hurling equipment (helmets and hurleys). Sponsorship plays a major role in financing the club, any person or organisation that would like to sponsor one of the juvenile teams please contact any member of the committee.
GAA Awards Night 2007 - room for dinner dance pics here
The 2nd Annual GAA dinner dance was held on Saturday 3rd March in Poulaphouca House. While last year’s event was all about players and victories past, I think this year’s will be remembered for its style and glamour. With 110 people in attendance, both gents and ladies dressed to impress!
The evening started with a buffet dinner in the newly refurbished function room in Poulaphouca House. The food was tasty and the service was quick, exactly as requested. A number of people also commented on how well the tables were laid out and decorated. Thanks to Rita and all of the staff involved. Also, thank you to Caroline Deegan for a great job on security!

Tom O’Rourke was our MC for the evening and having welcomed the crowd, Eddie Hubbard was called on to present the first set of awards.
The following awards were presented for Ballymore GFC:
Young Player of the Year Danny Gorman
Senior Player of the Year Tadhg Grace
Club Person of the Year Tim Gorman
There were also 2 special presentations made during the evening to Mick Hyland and Gus Kavanagh.

It was now the turn of the ladies with Paul Fagan and Noel Winders presenting the following awards for Ballymore Ladies GFC:
Young Player of the Year Megan O’Neill
Senior Player of the Year Ann Marie Gorman
Club Person of the Year Sharon O’Donoghue
Captain of Ballymore Ladies, Aisling Rigney, made a special presentation on behalf of the team to Noel Winders who stepped down as manager this year.

Eddie Hubbard made a speech highlighting that although there was no silverware on display this year, he felt there was a new spirit in Ballymore GAA. He also commended Tim Gorman on the amount of work and effort he puts into the club on a daily basis.

And so it was Epic’s turn to entertain and entertain they did. As is usual on these occasions, it can take the crowd a while to warm-up so Damien attempted to ‘OOOOOH AAAAAAH’ people onto the floor. It didn’t take too long for the ladies to take the initiative and they remained on the dance floor for the rest of the night. While the ladies were rocking the night away, the lads did a great job of propping up the bar….I’m not sure I’ve seen that many all girl pairings waltzing since my school musical!

Everyone was having so much fun, the raffle was forgotten about until the last minute. Thanks to all who donated prizes and bought raffle tickets on the night, the cost of an evening like this are rarely covered by the entrance tickets alone.
Thank you also to Tom O’Rourke who’s presenting and social skills would give Ryan Seacrest (American Idol) a run for his money and also to Christy Dennison who took the photos on the night.

For the players and mentors, the dresses and shirts will go back in the wardrobe for another year and the style will have to be shown on the pitch! It’s the people who turn up on the night that make these events a success and it was a great crowd this year. Thanks to everyone who attended and we hope to see you all again next year.
Village Green Gardening Club

The 2007 gardening year got off to a blooming great start in the Village Green Garden Club, with a talk on trees by Sally McCaffrey who runs a nursery in Calverstown.

Sally who is well known to those who frequent the Saturday Farmers market in Naas for her wonderful specimens of trees, shrubs and wonderful varieties of hard to get flowers, talked to the club about her ten top trees.
Sally's brief was to keep both the small and large garden in mind and this she did admirably with many wonderful suggestions for trees and how to cultivate them and prepare the ground. Most importantly she steered away from trees which would swamp a small garden or even undermine paths and house foundations.
It was a wonderful night and everyone went home with lots of fruit for thought.

The March meeting will feature Frances MacDonald talking about 'Stealing from the Garden'. Not it’s not an invitation to a life of crime but Frances has some great thoughts on how you can adapt other people's ideas to enhance your own garden. The Talk starts as usual at 7.30 sharp and will be followed by tea, coffee and edibles and a chance to talk with the guest speaker.

Mr. Patrick Dunne, late of Broadleas Commons was a Teacher and Head Master of Ballymore Eustace School for many years. His wife Catherine taught in Hollywood School for many years also. They had one son, Dr. Willie Dunne, who died on 30th July 1918, when the area was plagued by Spanish Flu. Both Mr & Mrs Dunne died on Good Friday 1922. They left their estate in Broadleas Commons to their niece Mrs. Eleanor Dunne, mother of the late Paddy O’Neill, Broadleas. Their house property in Ballymore Eustace was left to their other niece, Mrs. Cis Doherty. In 1918, when Dr. Willie Dunne died, his Mother and Father donated a beautiful marble altar and tabernacle dedicated to his memory, located on the left hand side of Ballymore Eustace church. The same tabernacle can be seen today in the church in Ballymore Eustace. It would be nice to know what happened to the donated altar. I don’t think marble is easy to burn… The Dunne Family are buried in Hollywood Cemetery.

Barbara O’Neill

POETRY CORNER if you would like to submit a poem, please email or drop it into the Notes Box in Elizabeth Hair Salon
or at the Resource Centre

Recently I went for a stroll in Ballymore, down Kellys lane
along by the stream to the banks of the river Liffey,
following the path through to Dorans Park, my favorite spot by the river.
I sat on the bank recalling with nostalgia the happy childhood days I spent there, during the summer holidays, with my friends.

We played in the river, splashing each other
laughing and shouting, we had such fun. We tried to swim and
believed we could, but none of us knew how,
A good thing the waters were shallow and none of us drowned.
We thought we were great sunbathing and swimming
with our sunburnt faces…it was our Riviera

I hope the children in the village these days
enjoy the river in the same carefree way.
I heard Dorans Park has been sold, could it come to pass
that one day I will go there and see a big sign

Fishing on the river was another great pleasure
many a late evening I spent there with my brother Dan and cousin Dan
watching them casting their lines and patiently awaiting a bite,
no talking, no noise, silent and still, not to frighten the fish,
what joy when they would reel in a big trout,
more often then not it was a little sprat.

I would sit on the river bank gazing across to Mount Cashel,
the sun setting behind the trees, casting a red hue across the sky
reflecting on the river, giving it a bright red glow.

- Teresa Murphy Tsouros

Achill, Israel, Eire,
Blots with their contours melting.
Marginless, timeless, season changing clay,
Mountains not risen in a day,
Picturesque, rugged, sober or serene,
Mystical, beautiful, barren or green,
Wet winds, rock splitting suns never setting,
Northern lights – a dichotomy of dawn.

But man has come to torture the earth.
He walks its fields and surveys for a post;
He rules nature’s rivers and draws men apart
And holds them to their loyal honour
That they’ll culture a greener envy,
Grow a stronger hate.
And the world is left with a stubble of love,
A stunted effort to overcome.
Man has hedged the tangled earth
But left the thistles tall.

- Free FitzG.

To all you noble sporting fans a story I will tell
About this Mullions family I am sure you all know well.
They own a stud at Ardenode and more across the sea
And won the Irish Derby here in 1963.

Paddy Prendergast the trainer and jockey was Bougoure
Who did their part to win this race as Mrs. Mullions told.
When they ran him up at Epsom, the horse he was not fit,
But down here at the Curragh, sure they knew that this was it.

It was the 29th June, a very misty day,
But over at the Curragh sure everyone was gay,
The stands and course were crowded, the best for many years
And with the horses on the sod up went those Derby cheers.

When the horses paraded to the start, there was a great delay.
Relko pulled a muscle is what the vet did say.
The jockey he dismounted and went down to the phone,
Michael O’Hehir said from the stands – “Relko is not going”.

The next time parading for the start, the first time they got off,
Up along that Derby course where the going it was soft.
It was Christmas Isle who took the lead and there he meant to stay,
Chased well by The Tiger who tried to make his play.

Down unto the hollow and up that little hill,
Where a horse was tried for fitness and a jockey for his skill,
When they came out on the straight out went Mhic Mo Chroi
Well watched by Jockey Garnet Bougoure, all the stand could see.

He kept his horse well outside where safe it was the going,
And put Ragusa to the front one furlong from home.
They all did try to chase him, especially Mhic Mo Chroi,
But Ragusa won the Derby in 1963.

- Bill Evans
Hubert Jackson was born in 1931 to Adam and Catherine Jackson (nee Conroy). He was the youngest of a family of five, having three sisters, Mary (May) Dennison, Margie Egan who died in 1994 and Kathleen Cowley. Hubert’s brother, Adam, a well know greyhound trainer at Clapton in England trained Patricia’s Hope to win the English, Scottish and Welsh Greyhound Derby in 1972 and the English Derby again in 1973. Adam died in 1989. Hubert was born and lived his early life on the Naas Road side of Tinnycross, Ballymore Eustace but for the past thirty-six years lived with his sister Kathleen and her family at Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace.
Hubert as a young boy suffered a blow to the back of his left leg during a playing accident, which resulted in an abscess forming on his leg. However, the surgery to remove the abscess went wrong resulting in Hubert having to spend time in Cappagh Hospital and having to wear a metal calliper splint to support his left leg for a period of time. He recovered but Hubert was left with a life long limp. This did not stop Hubert from participating in country pursuits such as fishing, shooting and hunting. He could scale a fence with anyone and was the last man to complain of tiredness when out through the countryside enjoying his love of nature. Nor did this stop him in his chosen career in one of the toughest industries, the building industry. Like most of his contempories in the trade, Hubert was a gifted all rounder who could turn his hands to all aspects of the building trade but he was particularly well known and sought after as a plasterer. Hubert and Joe McGrath carried out all the plastering work to the Church during major restoration work from 1987 – 1990 prior to the Church fire on the 26th September 1990.
Looking through some old Ballymore Eustace school records I found Hubert in 1st Class in 1940 with his life long friends Mick Murphy and Joe McGrath along with Thomas Clarke, Noel Fetherstone, Richard Hartigan, Thomas Quinn, William Maher, Dermot Stapleton, Joseph Murphy, Patrick Clarke, Patrick Kelly, Thomas McLoughlin, David Rodgers and William Fields. Although many of his classmates became part of the Irish Diaspora, Hubert spent his lifetime in Ballymore Eustace.
I’m not sure if Hubert could actually see the Liffey from his home during his childhood but as sand and gravel contractors removed the Kimeens Hill he was able to overlook the whole Liffey valley beneath his home from Hines Ford to the Skaw Banks, Inch na Cailin, the Ferny Inch and Ardenode. From early childhood Hubert developed a love for fly fishing, ‘the contemplative man’s sport’, and spent hours on the Liffey in pursuit of the spotted beauties, the trout. He knew every nook and cranny along the river and where every trout and salmon lay and loved to pass on his knowledge to his nephews David Dennison and Paddy Egan who often accompanied Hubert on the River. He was one of the founder members of the Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association in 1974 and remained on the Committee up to his untimely death.
Hubert, Jim Deegan and Richard Cowley made a little bit of history when they represented the Association to win the Liffey Shield competition fished on Kilcullen water of the Liffey on Saturday 7th July 1984. This was the first time that the Association was successfully represented at an inter-club team competition. The Liffey Shield competition is open to all clubs affiliated to the Federation of Liffey Angling Clubs and is based on the heaviest combined team bag weight of trout landed during the competition.
Hubert won many angling competitions run by the Fishing Club, landing a beautiful trout of 4 lbs 2 ozs. in the Mick Murphy Punchestown Trophy on Sunday 25th April 1999 but his biggest success came when he won the Charity Angling Competition on Poulaphouca Reservoir on Sunday 5th July 1998 in aid of the Children’s Hospital, Harcourt Street, Dublin. For his trouble Hubert rowed away in a beautiful Mayfly fishing boat. He loved fishing on Poulaphouca Reservoir in the Mayfly boat with his friends, the late Terry Morgan, Willie Ryan and Pat Dunworth, and when the fishing was over for the day, they all enjoyed the few pints, the grub and the GAA slagging and betting in Poulaphouca House.
In 2005 the Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association presented Hubert with an award to mark his lifelong contribution to the Club.
Hubert was also a keen gunman for most of his life and was a member of the St. Brigid's Gun Club in Ballymore Eustace. There is a lovely photograph in Phil Murphy’s pub of Hubert with Mick Murphy, Eddie Murphy and brothers Peter and Pat Lawler, grouse shooting in the Wicklow Mountains when they were all young men. The gun club reared pheasants in pens in various locations in the surrounding countryside and like many others, having been involved in the rearing of these beautiful birds, Hubert became attached to them and in later life could no longer bring himself to shoot them.
Hubert was a member of Eddie Gordon’s ‘Thatch’ Dart Team along with Toddy Brogan, John Browne, Mick Doonan, Mick Douglas, ‘Long’ Jim Doyle, Gerry Foster, Eddie Gordon, Harry Hawkins, Mattie Kelly, Mick Murphy, Tom Nugent and a large panel of players too numerous to mention. They were the first dart team from this side of the county to win the very competitive North Kildare & South County Dublin Dart League 1966-67 and they also beat the great Jack McKenna’s three in a row All Ireland winning dart team in a tournament final in Sean Corscadden’s of Kilcock. The team had a huge following; chief amongst them being wheelchair bound Tom Murray who attended all their matches. Because of the travelling distances involved in the Kildare Dart League they joined the West Wicklow Dart League and as Mick Murphy’s Dart Team, they along with new players such as Paddy Balfe, Bill Cullen, Jimmy Evans, Mick Hannon, Mick Humphries, Tony McKnight, Frank O’Brien, Pat O’Neill, Jimmy Pearse, Tom Quinn, won this league something like 16 or 17 times.
(John Browne informed me that Hubert, Gerry, Tom and himself learned and practiced dart throwing in Mrs. Mollie McKnight’s always open house in Briencan along with Mollie’s family, Barney, Dick and Tony and everybody else who happened to drop in. Peter was busy running and boxing.)
Although Hubert never married, his nephew Noel Cowley gave a very moving account of Hubert the family man at his Requiem Mass on Monday 22nd January 2007. All the various treats Hubert lavished on the Cowley children, the few bob for Punchestown races and the bag of fruit and chocolates after the races, the trips to the pictures in Kildare Town in Hubert’s ‘new’ car and all the other family events, the Communions, Confirmations, Weddings in the Cowley household in which Hubert played a major role were fondly and proudly recalled.
For the past few years Hubert suffered declining health problems but each time fought back and continued to fish with Pat and Willie and nephew Declan right up to the end of the 2006 angling season. For two years Hubert received dialysis treatment at his home in Bishopsland. Hubert’s nephew Andrew learned all about dialysis and how to operate the dialysis machine from the staff in Tallaght Hospital and each night carried out the dialysis procedure with Hubert and also arranged the large amount of medication that Hubert had to take. This love and care at home by his sister Kathleen and his nephew Andrew meant that Hubert only had to attend Tallaght Hospital on a monthly basis for a check up.
Hubert Jackson died suddenly after a two week stay at Tallaght Hospital on Friday 19th January 2007 and his family are still awaiting the result of the post mortem.
The Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association provided a Guard of Honour at Hubert’s Removal to the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballymore Eustace and again after the Requiem Mass on Monday 22nd January 2007, the cortege stopping for a minute silence on the Liffey Bridge as a mark of respect and appreciation for a departed friend and a dedicated angler. May he rest in peace.
To his sisters Kathleen and May, to his nieces, nephews, extended family and friends we offer our sincere sympathy.
(Tommy Deegan Hon. Sec. Ballymore Eustace T.S.A.A. with thanks to Kathleen, John Browne and Tom Nugent)

Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association
Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association will host the I.T.F.F.A Leinster River Fly Fishing Championship on Sunday 1st April 2007.
Jimmy Evans Perpetual Cup, Club Competition, 25th March 2007
The Youth National Qualifier will be held on Lough Lene on Saturday 14th April 2007.
The Corcoran Cup Leinster Championship 2007 will be held on Lough Ennel on Sunday 13th May 2007.
Pat Dunworth and Sean Gunshenan will represent the Association in the 2007 I.T.F.F.A. National Fly Fishing Championship on Lough Owel on Saturday 9th June 2007.
International River Fly Fishing Competition will be held on the River Liffey, Newbridge on the 6th July 2007
The Leinster Shield will be fished on Lough Derrvarragh on Sunday 19th August 2007.
The Leinster National Qualifier will be held on Lough Owel on Saturday 22nd September 2007.
Bill For Brightening Up Hell
Recently I received a number of boxes containing interesting old books and documents pertaining, for the most part, to various subjects on Ireland’s past history, but relating particularly to that twilight zone known to us as the Celtic Dawn, recognised initially by Sir Samuel Ferguson and exemplified in his poem Congal. That dawn was a subject later to be expanded on and embellished by Lady Gregory and to which W.B. Yeats with his curious visions quickly hitched his own bandwagon. Fortunately, this union later produced the Abbey Theatre.

Also among the cache of material was the following newspaper cutting from 1929. Now we all are aware of frustrated artists cutting off their ears, ripping up their canvasses or of the truthful artist, who not making a lady look as beautiful as her husband thinks she is, goes unpaid. However, our story has a different twist.

Under the heading, Renewing Heaven, with a sub-title ‘Bill for Brightening up Hell’, an English newspaper published at Montreux, the Swiss lakeside resort, told an amusing story of a Swiss artist’s humour which made all Switzerland laugh.
Apparently the authorities of a certain old church who employed an artist to renovate a large painting, demurred about paying his bill unless the details were specifically mentioned. Next day they received the detailed bill (French Francs):

For correcting the Ten Commandments,
embellishing Pontius Pilate and putting
new ribbons in his hat . .…… ……………...8
Putting tail on rooster of St. Peter and
mending his comb..…………………….. ……4
Repluming and gilding left wing of
Guardian Angel..………………………….. …6
Washing High Priest’s Servant………………5
Renewing Heaven, adjusting the stars
and cleaning up the Moon……………………7
Brightening up the flames of hell, putting
a new tail on the Devil, mending his hoof
and doing several odd jobs for the damned……………………………………….12
Touching up Purgatory, and restoring lost souls…… ……………………………………...7
Mending the shirt of the Prodigal Son………3

Here too is the eminent archaeologist Professor M.J. O’Kelly with an enlightening essay on his initial excavations of the main tumulus at Newgrange when part of the perimeter of the main structure was stripped, exposing for the first time in 5,000 years the original stonework of the entrance passage to Newgrange.
Among this earthy lot are books on painting and the struggling artist…..of the already well-established Jack Yeats and the emerging Louis Le Brocquy; but thinking back on many and various artists who in former years were very much dependent for income and existence on Church commissions during the last century (they were the only ones with money to pay), supporting for instance the now internationally famous artist Imogen Stuart, who had emigrated to Ireland from devastated Germany after World War 2, and whose wonderfully conceptual (if unkempt) Anna Livia adorns the Square in Ballymore Eustace; or that of the late artist Tommy Ryan (a visionary of the old school) from the woolen factory down by the bridge in Ballymore who supplied commissioned pictures as book-markers, small images of saints in all their glory, complete with halos. He was the complete artist - he once got a commission to paint The Crucifixation and needing some experience of the structural form the body takes under such trauma, and wearing only a loin cloth, he assumed the position at the back of the factory one day, which was why Fr. Brown accused him of holy mockery when he came upon the scene.
Nor must we forget the story doing the rounds of Albert Reynolds when he first entered politics - that inimitable showman, a budding and youthful entrepreneur, selling up-to-date pictures of St. Patrick outside Croke Park on All Ireland day before he made it big in the dog food business.
This hoard of material also contains comment on art of various forms including poetry and plays and in one essay, Michael Smith ponders the serious difficulty the new generation of writers had in escaping from the old Yeatsean form of Irish identity – the creation and construction of a modern idiom reflecting the new progressive Ireland where the hand of censorship gripped tightly; but it was females who initiated the coarse of action and lead the way - as skirts got shorter and shorter, verses of love rose in tempo!
Michael Ward.
on passing by- again
I’m sure you are all aware of the notion of a police state, much talked about in old Eastern European regimes. They have all but died out at this stage but a more pernicious development now seems to be appearing on the horizon.
The Peoples Socialist Republic of Ireland!.
Mock ye not!
The Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell seems to spend his waking hours thinking up new laws to give more powers to the Government, the Gardai and anyone else he thinks could benefit. Every single crisis seems to result in a move to either tighten up current legislation or introduce new legislation in an almost knee-jerk fashion. That the rush to bring in these new laws has already resulted in the need for emergency reworks seems not to bother the Minister at all.
And yet the more legislation he enacts the lower the detection rates drop. Surely before we continue the headlong rush for new laws we should try to properly enforce the ones we already have.
McDowell is currently pushing through new legislation which will include provision for electronically tagging people on bail. Is this the same tagging that the Minister so emphatically rejected as unworkable less than six months ago? The Minister is obviously aware of a recent quantum leap in technology, knowledge of which is being kept from the rest of us.
While all this is going on senior Gardai are being used in witch hunts against journalists who have published leaked material from tribunals. Recently Mick MacCaffrey was arrested and questioned for eight hours by Gardai from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. These people are part of the serious crime unit who are supposed to be getting rid of the crime and drug lords and yet we have them spending seven months investigating a leak from a tribunal. The leak was only marginally ahead of the official report and the journalist in question thought it was in the public interest to publish his story. And he gets arrested.
Contrast this with the Minister himself, Mr McDowell, who has somewhat of a chequered history when it comes to leaks. There were allegations in both 2005 and 2006 that the Minister had leaked files on businessman Phil Flynn, which led to him being investigated by the CAB. What was the result of the Garda investigation into this allegation?
Moving from allegation to fact what was the result of the Garda investigation after a Garda file on Frank Connolly was leaked to the media. Surely there could be no doubt as to who was responsible for the leak after McDowell admitted that he himself had leaked the file. He said he was able to do this under the Official Secrets Act and that he was acting in the interests of state security, and yet was unable to produce any evidence that would show that Connolly was any threat to the security of the state.
After the tens of millions spent on the beef tribunal the only person ever to be charged was a journalist, Susan O Keeffe, who refused to reveal her sources, even though it should have been obvious to the tribunal that this was a stance that would be taken by any journalist in a democratic country. And the outcome? Everyone’s interest diverted from the real scandal.
I think it is high time for the Government and certain Ministers in particular, to get their own houses in order before they start on the rest of us.

It seems the closer the election gets the more bananas are being strewn about to catch unwary Ministers. In a recent statement Micheal Martin has promised that the Government is to set aside more resources to help retrain workers who have been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs in the recent spate of redundancies. He went on to say that we can’t compete with Poland because we cannot expect Irish workers to work for one euro fifty per hour. Wouldn’t you think that as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mr Martin would know that to even offer such an amount would be illegal under current legislation enacted by his department.
And then there’s my poor old friend Dick Roche. In what could only be described as a delicious irony the latest report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency on Urban Waste Water Discharges notes that not only has Bray been putting waste water into the sea after only preliminary treatment but that the secondary treatment facilities which Bray should have had in action before December 2000 are still not in place. How such a situation could occur is baffling considering the Minister for the Environment lives in..…, Bray.
So Fine Gael have started setting out their stall for the General Election. To accuse the Government of election and auction politics and then come along and promise widened tax bands, lower tax rates and changes to stamp duty smacks slightly of hypocrisy but then again it’s hardly worth getting worked up over. I still remember the “promises” that Fianna Fail and the P.D.s made before the last election. As soon as they got back in it turned out that some of the promises were not actually promises at all but merely aspirations. Election promises from all parties should come with a “belief” warning i.e. believing this could damage your health, wealth, etc etc.
All for now. M.E.

We were delighted to welcome “An Taoiseach”, Mr. Bertie Ahern to officially cut the Purple Ribbon at the newly renovated Ardenode Country House Hotel yesterday, where he was presented with a wax jacket and hat along with a walking stick ‘to beat the opposition with’ as a gift from the Kildare Countryside.

The Hotel was bought by the Fitzers Catering group last July and they have just completed a €2million refurbishment programme, upgrading all areas of the Hotel turning it into the most wonderful “Country House Hotel”.

Set on 5 Acres of mature landscaped gardens, combining that with Fitzers reputation for food, style, service and attention to detail, has transformed the Hotel into a “bijoux type” of hotel.

Our contempory restaurant The Stud Bar and Grill is a stunning feature of the Hotel. It is steadily building a clientele who are talking about our exciting menu and excellent wine list in exquisite surroundings, offering good value for money.

The Taoiseach is no stranger to Fitzers Catering. He has been a recipient of their hospitality for many years, most recently last Sunday at the magnificent Croke Park Stadium where Fitzers Catering run the entire food and beverage operation.

Pictured at the Opening:
(dsc 1490)

Paula Fitzpatrick, co owner of the Ardenode Country House Hotel presenting An Taoiseach with a walking stick ‘to beat the opposition with’!

Although I have been a long time admirer of John McGahern’s work, I had never come across any of his short stories, so I was delighted to receive “Creatures of the Earth “ (Hardback: Faber & Faber: 21euro) for Christmas. This posthumously published collection of new and selected stories is an eclectic mix of tales that span McGahern’s long and distinguished career. There are some familiar themes here: awkward relationships between father and son, fractured love affairs and the healing nature of the rural landscape.

I really enjoyed my journey through this book. Although several of the stories have overlapping settings and subjects each story is its own unique vignette. The great thing about a collection like this is that you can pick it up with only a short amount of time available for reading and have a really fulfilling experience. This is particularly ideal if life is very busy and you are finding it difficult to maintain the momentum behind a novel you have started.

Some of my favourite stories included “Like all other men”, “Sierra Leone”, and “My love, my umbrella”, as they deal with the fragile nature of new relationships and depict what must have been the author’s own disappointment in love beautifully. I also especially liked the two brand new stories, “Creatures of the earth” and “Love of the world”. These unusual stories are redolent with McGahern’s wisdom and powers of observation. They both left me wondering a little too and this enigmatic quality probably characterises the writer’s status as a true master of his art. The collection is currently still in hardback; if it arrives in paperback by the summer, it would be a great book to take away and enjoy in snatches on holiday.

Another book which has give me great pleasure on these cold winter evenings is “Vanishing Ireland” by James Fennell and Turtle Bunbury (Hardback: Hodder Headline Ireland: 30 euro) It is comprised of photographs and short pieces of text on Ireland’s vanishing generation; older people from a wide range of different backgrounds ranging from farming to music to city based trades people. The mesmerising black and white photos tell their own stories, etched in the lines and the sparkling eyes of their subjects and the book gives a fascinating insight into their (extra) ordinary lives. Some friends lent me their copy of this book and it is a testament to its excellence that when I enquired at the book shop to find out about getting my own copy I was told it had completely sold out and was being reprinted!
(Rather like the success experienced by our own Dick Jeffers with “A Harvest of Memories”….) It’s now available again in local shops so get your copy. A fantastic read for all ages.

As usual all books are available from Janet Hawkins in the Blessington Bookstore.

PS Sorry about the double dose of “Kevin” last month….my fault for sending Rose a wrongly labelled file!


Please note, all correspondence relating to The Bugle received by the Editors will be published, provided a name and address is submitted and the content is not offensive.
When requested, the name of the contributor will be withheld but we WILL NOT print correspondence unless full name and address are enclosed – Rose & Tim

Dear Editor,
Having been a reader of the Bugle for many years, I am disappointed at the constant bad press given to the present Government by two of your monthly contributors, Mr. D. Jeffers and Mr. Edmonds.

These two gentlemen have consistently "slated the Government" - this having been the main source, indeed, the only source of their material over the past year. As the Bugle is a family read paper and not politically linked to any party, I feel their contributions are totally one-sided and prejudiced.

Yours sincerely, - name with editor

Rose and Tim in reply:
This point has been raised with us before verbally but not in writing; as you correctly say, the Bugle is a community, family-read publication so therefore, we are obliged to accept all opinions even if they are consistently anti-government.
On a positive note, we receive more correspondence from Fianna Fail councillors and representatives than from other parties which we acknowledge regularly within The Bugle and also receive a fair share of government bodies in their official capacity at local events and again, we print these without bias. (See this page to prove the point)
Perhaps Mike and Dick will take your comments on board!

Esmondale, Naas
Co Kildare


In relation to an enquiry raised by the Parish Office regarding possible grants for church lighting, I have thus far written, emailed and made several telephone phone calls to the relative department in Kildare County Council.

I have not forgotten about it – but believe me, your elected county councillors are given no preferential treatment when it comes to return communications from KCC!

Cllr Willie Callaghan

Reference K1981
26 February 2007

Dear Rose

Thank you for your correspondence in relation to traffic issues at Ballymore Eustace which I have taken up with Kildare County Council and Naas Garda Station.
I will keep you informed of progress.

Yours sincerely,
Sean Power, TD
Minister of State

Nib The matters raised with Sean at The People of The Year Awards were the poor re-instatement of roads around the village and the lack of pedestrian crossings at Chapel Street (near right of way from St Brigid’s Park, Medical Centre/shops and Main Street (safe crossing needed for school children along the stretch of road from Ballymore Inn and The Anvil)

Quiz Night

Grateful thanks for all who supported same for Tsunami Fund in Paddy Murphy’s. Quiz Master, Michael Lawlor was in fine form and charmed his way through the night. With donations also received, the night raised 690; Dr Mary Toomey expresses her gratitude. Many thanks to our kind hosts, Grainne and Pat Murphy.

- Ann McLoughlin 2/3/07

Ethna Lewis, a few pals from Dunlavin and myself headed off to Sunny Spain recently to glorious sunshine and relaxation time. Glorious weather, we had. Anyway, whilst we out there, we met up with Anne and Tom Daly of Donode. Indeed, this is the third time I’ve met up with the Daly’s in Spain over the past few years – its ironic seeing as we only live a half mile away from each other and unless I’m attending a table quiz in Paddy’s, I rarely bump into them!

Anne and Tom had just left us in Paddy’s Point pub when we set about securing a few high stools; one young fella from Sligo handed over the stool graciously, thought it was safer to give in than give out to us….”Where are ye from?” says he. “Ballymore Eustace?? Paddy Murphy’s? The Ardenode? Jeez, I know them – I was at a wedding there years ago – Yvonne Daly and John Sweeney’s…” Anyway, we had a good laugh with “Skins” as I think was the nickname he went by. According to “Skins”, Yvonne’s wedding was the best he was ever at and he had very fond – but hazy – memories of Paddy Murphy’s. What he did remember was the following day, his ‘friends’ put him on the return train to Sligo, half asleep and his feet in wellies filled with beer.
You really can’t manage without your friends, can you?

Yvonne is a daughter of Anne and Tom’s and soon, more of the company joined us – “Do you know Sean Feeley and the wife?” “Would you know anyone involved in Fianna Fail over there? Would you have Fiona O Loughlin's telephone number....”

Do you know what, there were more people in the pub over there who had connections or knew friends than I’d know in Paddy’s on a Saturday night………The world is getting smaller, that’s for sure. Think we may go to India next year.

- Rose

How many mussels does one get in a main course dish here in Ireland, would you say?
9? 10? Less, more? Well, on a recent visit to Brussels, we made a day trip out to Bruges, beautiful medieval town on water – “The Little Venice of Europe”. Stunning, it was with its narrow cobbled streets overlooking the canals.

Anyway, our tour stopped for an early lunch at a local restaurant; seeing as we’d eaten breakfast only 2 hours earlier, we decided to share a main course dish of mussels which every restaurant in Brussels and Bruges carried a bill board promoting same. Out came a skillet pot with mussels cooked in ‘herbs, white wine and butter’. Oh my God, these mussels were truly orgasmic. I have never tasted anything so delicious before. We thought the waiter had made a mistake and given a double portion – 69 mussels in total in the pot, no kidding! We could hardly walk, we were so full when the waiter returned with the bill, €19 only for the mussels, plus the cost of our beer and wine - and a complimentary chocolate mousse. I ask you – how the hell do European tourists manage over here? For under €25, we had a main course of the Ballymore Inn standard, drink and dessert.

After taking a boat trip on the canal and walking the feet off ourselves, we decided to try a local beverage – drinking chocolate with rum. Over here, that would mean a mug of chocolate and a thimble full of rum. Over there, it meant a large mug of rum flavoured with drinking chocolate.
I found the cobble stones a tad difficult to negotiate after that.

I did however notice the timeless beauty of the place, the architecture largely unchanged for centuries. Off the Belfry Square, was a shopping street with all the modern designer labels – Tommy Hilfiger, Zara, Benetton, Esprit, Dune, H & M, C & A etc. They well located on a side street with similar sized buildings, hundreds of years old. Apart from the bright shop windows and signs, the area looked untouched and the modern shop units seemed to fit well with the medieval architecture of the area. How come we can’t achieve that here???

Retain the quality or character of areas without having to knock en masse and replace with garish, impersonal, modern buildings?

On a humorous note, we enjoyed the talents of South American musicians who played the pan pipes. They were everywhere in Brussels, as they are in Spain but what amuses me is the fact they are usually from Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador etc – south Americans yet they wear the suede, fringed jackets, leather boots, feathered headdress of the North American Indians, as in Geronimo and friends? Maybe, I’ve watched too many ‘cowboys and Indian’ films, maybe it was the rum but when did the Incas or Aztec wear leather boots and suede jackets……… I know, I am losing the plot. (and I know they are from South America ‘cos I always ask. They were even outside Naas Insurances two years ago…….) Any avid historians or South Americans, please advise.

Like I said already, the world is getting smaller

- Rose
Bits ‘n Bobs with Rose

The White Flag is raised – and they’re off!
OOOPs, no, no, false start – we’ll try again…..
The White Flag is raised…..
A script writer couldn’t pen a farce as good as this; having finally agreed, almost two years later, the formation of a committee to delegate the spending of monies raised from KTK levies, Kildare County Council called a meeting for said committee.
The main parties involved are: 2 representatives from the local community, Mike Edmonds representing the ABCD and myself representing the CDA; 2 reps for KTK; 2 reps for Kildare County Council and 2 local councillors, Mary Glennon and Billy Hillis.

A meeting was scheduled for March 8th and all parties were notified. Simple, isn’t it? Well, you would think so – but Kildare County Council didn’t remember to notify KTK and they sent a letter to the CDA to Steve Deegan, former chairperson up to December 2005. The fact that they received correspondence from last year’s chairperson, Jimmy Pearse and from me more recently doesn’t even enter into it……….I was disappointed I would have to miss the first meeting as I was abroad. But Readers, they forgot to notify KTK so the meeting was abandoned and is rescheduled for Tuesday 27th March. Get out the Lucky Rabbit’s Foot, the rosary beads and anything else that might help get this committee up and running.

Kevin Keenan himself finds the whole thing a joke, an absolute disaster: “With Kilcullen community, we simply give the money directly to local groups and clubs for projects and facilities being upgraded. No messing about, none of this bull. Write the cheque and hand it over, that’s it – straight forward, done and dusted”

On the matter of correspondence, we, the CDA, have written to Willie Purcell regarding road and safety matters in Ballymore Eustace – email 29/1/07 and posted correspondence two weeks later – not even the courtesy of an acknowledgement. Eric Firth has submitted a comprehensive report on the appalling state of our roads, flooding, abuse of one-way system of Plunkett Road, poor parking, the need for pedestrian crossings plus other relative matters – if we don’t get a reply, then we shall certainly kick up a stink and start ‘naming names in local media’. The CDA is an elected body representing local opinion – if Kildare County Council don’t see fit to acknowledge our correspondence nor address the issues raised, then me may as well throw in the towel and leave it to the fairies.

IN boxed advert and highlighted please with horsey graphic
Community Development Association – Race week Raffle
Due to unforeseen circumstances, our Raffle has been postponed until Sunday April
Our Race week Raffle will include tickets to racing @Punchestown, Naas Racecourse, Moat Theatre, Naas, Waterford Crystal, Monster Hamper plus 15 follow up prizes.

Tickets will €1.50 each or book of 4 for €5. Tickets on sale early April – please, support generously. The CDA includes Tidy Towns Association, Meals on Wheels, The Resource Centre, River Walk, Weekly Bingo, The Friendship Club plus community issues as they arise.
We need funds urgently so please, lend your support!
Anyone wishing to donate prizes for the Raffle, your generosity will be appreciated.

Its dreadful disappointing that we have no festival week during race week but Readers, you are all collectively to blame. Only young student Maria Griffin came forward to volunteer help – thanks Maria.
But we have some good news – CARMAN FAIR is going ahead for this year and it’s scheduled for the kinder climate of July with all the historic, novelty and musical entertainment of last year. Three cheers for Morgan and Liam who are in the throes of organising at the moment. The CDA will endorse this festival – it gave an incredible insight into aspects of our heritage and traditions whilst giving entertainment to children and adults alike. We would encourage the business community and clubs to support the festival as it will bring large numbers of people into Ballymore. Roll on July!


Mary Jane Fashions and The Ballymore Eustace Community Playschool present a unique Fashion Show and Sale at the Ardenode Hotel on Wednesday 28th March next. Tickets €10 with proceeds going to the Community Playschool and Tallaght Breast Unit.

There’s a huge selection of styles and sizes on offer from casuals, jeans, knitwear, dresses, suits with sizes from 8-24 catered for.
Leather and Suede goods on offer, pure new wool coats and jackets plus much more.

You will find designer high street fashions and top range catalogue styles at a FRACTION of the Normal Price. Don’t miss out – The Ardenode Hotel on Wednesday next, 28th March @ 8pm.


Photo and caption of grandchild Quinlan to come…. Left it in work, sorry!

________________________________________________________________________ please put the following two pieces in boxed strips, side by side, across the bottom of page, thank you

To John McCarville

In recognition of John McCarville’s retirement from the Garda Siochana and
his incredible contribution to community life in Ballymore Eustace and Blessington,
A Tribute Night has been organised for Friday 30th March in The Ardenode Hotel

Dinner and Dancing €35pp
All welcome – please don’t miss this opportunity to pay tribute to John!
For tickets, please contact 045 865 202

Calling all:
Crafts People
Art Groups
Stall Holders

Carman Fair is back – on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July

To secure your stall, contact Reka @ 045 864665
Liam 087 786 2969 or Morgan 087 927 0390

Spreading the Gospel.

Well you’d swear I’d started the whole thing. In my last two Bugle articles I briefly mentioned ‘global warming’ and now you can hardly pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV or radio and there it is, making top headlines all over the place. I’d like to claim credit for the sudden interest but more learned men then I have been talking about it for years but not everyone paid heed. And now? Well blow me down, but politicians from all over, are to the fore, urging us ordinary mortals to sit up and take notice. Our own crowd are taking it very serious. So serious in fact that twenty nine of them are heading off for Patrick’s Day to various destinations all over the globe with a message. You’ll never guess it, so here it is: “To highlight the global threat of climate change and the urgency of acting together to meet the challenge”. There, you have it in a nutshell. They will try and squeeze this important message in between the usual atin’ an drinkin’s sessions, and general back slapping bonhomie. The effect of this entire great endeavour will be to add 182 tonnes of gas emissions into an already crowded atmosphere; the government jet being the biggest offender. Irony of ironies! Why only t’other day Bertie urged all departments to lead the way and cut down on travel. In fact the man parked the merc and took two trips on the Dart, finding it a most satisfactory (his words) way to travel. Leading by example you could say, now all he has to do is to sell the message to the junketeers. I’ll finish on the subject by asking three questions; first, what’s the cost, and who pays for all this gospel spreading, and secondly, are daily newspapers produced and read by peoples in the far-flung outer regions of our Irish empire, and thirdly, are we the only ones who know about ‘global warming’?
Speaking of gospel spreading but of a different kind altogether than the one mentioned above. We frequently hear and visibly see for ourselves the fall off in church attendance in the established churches; by established I mean the Roman Catholic Church and the Reformed Protestant churches. Some Catholic bishops will claim resurgence in church attendance; be that as it may, but a lot of young people today of any religion, take a different approach to religious beliefs than their fathers and mothers did when they were young. So why has this problem arisen one might well ask? There are a multitude of questions being asked and a multitude of answers given. Like most lay people I don’t have the answers but I humble suggest a reason or two as to why this problem has arisen. Power and apathy are but two that need to be addressed.
Down through the ages where the churches held sway their rule was unquestioned by the lower orders. Power and the trappings of power is a powerful aphrodisiac and those who found themselves in that situation used it to their advantage. They ruled with an iron fist breathing fear into the hearts of the ordinary mortal. Fear of Hell’s fire and damnation but also fear of them. They built magnificent cathedrals and palaces to the glory of God, but those who lived in the palaces were treated like little gods. Those days are long since gone and the cathedrals and palaces are as much a tourist attraction as anything else and the power has been subsumed into bureaucracy. Mind you it’s not all that long ago since power carried clout. As a young lad growing up in rural Ireland there were three classes of people who carried respect; the local priest/parson, the local school teacher and the local civic guard as they were called in those times. That day has also long gone; mores the pity some would say. So the question is: does power, now in the guise of bureaucracy still exercise too much control over the ordinary parishioner? Corruption and paedophilia hasn’t helped the cause of those seeking to ‘lead us not into temptation’!
Apathy is another downer, “I couldn’t care less”, “I’m too old”, “What’s the use”, “Where’s the youth”, these are just some of the remarks heard among parishioners. Leadership must have a part to play if apathy is to be overcome, but knocking priest or parson is not the sole answer to a deeper problem.
But we haven’t yet become a complete nation of philistines; just witness the number of Bible Study groups, and Parish Fellowship meetings, that are taking place all over, some held in community halls, some held in private homes, and most of them interdenominational. All of them have a warm and friendly atmosphere, everyone chips in, and no one person lays down the law. The structures of the established churches have remained static for ages apart from a bit of trimming round the edges; should they be taking a closer look at these Study and Fellowship groups and asking themselves ‘what makes them tick’? Are they humble enough to do so?
The Church of Ireland has set up “Ministry Matters” to look into all aspects of these pertinent matters and to find out where the Church stands today. Group facilitators have been appointed, green and white papers shuffled around; we await results.
In the meantime I’ll pass on a tip to all who wish to ‘pack ‘em in’. Metaphorically speaking I got it straight from the horse’s mouth. This being Cheltenham Week that wise old tipster, our very own Father Sean Breen from Ballymore was interviewed on Nationwide. The last question asked of him was, “at what stage in your service do you give out your tips?” Without hesitation and a twinkle in his eye he replied, “at the end, that way I hold on to them”. Put your ace of spades on that! Keep it up Father your one of our own. Now if only the Church of Ireland had a few ‘Bettin’ Bishops’! Yrs Jeffers.
The Rector writes . . .
The Pharaoh’s wife . . .

I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh. All through school I was the class clown. I even have a school report that reads, “Kesh, seems unable to resist trying to amuse the children around him.” My primary school teacher wrote that when I was five years old, so it’s no surprise that my 7-year-old son comes home with similar school reports now!
I loved to entertain. When I was 5, 6, 7, years old I used to enjoy putting on shows for the rest of the family. My sister and I would take white bed sheets and hang them up like stage curtains and at the right moment I would appear from behind them dressed up in a Gary Glitter Costume that we made out of empty cornflakes boxes and silver spray singing, “Do you wanna be in my gang?”. I’d do impressions of Frank Spencer and sing like Elvis, and then my brothers, sister and I would pretend to be Abba.
At the age of 11, I finally got my big break when I was chosen to play the part of Joseph in Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat. I borrowed my dad’s stripey bathrobe for the coat and my mum’s best tea towel for my head wear – there was no fancy dressmaker in those days like there are in schools now. All the family and neighbours were there on the opening night. All was going well until we got to the point where Pharaoh’s wife is luring Joseph into her arms. I should have said, “NO! I will not betray my master, the Pharaoh,” but you see, Julie Carroll was playing the role of Pharaoh’s wife – she was the first girl I really fancied and when she asked me to kiss her what could I do but oblige. . . she was not impressed and neither was Mrs. Harris the Play Coordinator. I quickly recovered my role by shouting, “I have sinned,” much to the amusement of all the audience – maybe this was my first calling to the priesthood???
Life wasn’t always one great laugh though. I remember the day when I found out that Father Christmas wasn’t all he was made out to be. It was bedtime on Christmas Eve. My mum helped me to get the treats ready for Santa and his reindeers. We always left a glass of sherry for Santa and some carrots for Rudolph on a tray on the living room table. Then I would run upstairs, get into my pyjamas, have a quick wash and get straight into bed – mum always said that if I was awake when Santa called he would think I was a naughty boy and he wouldn’t leave me any presents. I was taking no chances. I put my head on the pillow and fell asleep.
In the middle of the night I woke up to the sound of shouting from the street below. I got out of bed and went over to the window and looked down and saw my mum and dad dragging a black bin bag from the back of the car. As my dad pulled it out the bag ripped and presents fell out all over the street and then I saw, what was to change my life forever, the Buckaroo I had asked Santa for fall out of the bag. Devastated I climbed back into my duvet. How could they have lied to me all these years? I cried myself to sleep that night it was all too much for a boy of nineteen to take in!!!
Recently, I read about a couple (aherm!) who told their four year old that if she saw the red light flash on the alarm sensor in the corner of the room it meant Father Christmas was watching her and checking that she was being a good girl. That’s just cruel, like telling your children that when the Ice-cream Van plays a tune it means that it’s ran out of ice-cream!
Being a Christian can be fun. I now use my God-given ability in making people laugh in serving God. But even for those of us who laugh a lot there are times when we go through life when we find it hard to smile.
The Bible says, everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses. He sets the time to laugh, and the time to cry. He sets the time for sorrow and the time for joy; a time for building and a time for breaking down; the time for mourning and the time for dancing; the time for kissing and the time for not kissing!

Ah! Well! Must go, Josh’s Elvis suit needs ironing – I don’t know where he gets if from???

With love, Kesh x

The value of money . . .

The Value Of Money. It can buy a house, but not a home. It can buy a bed, but not sleep. It can buy a clock, but not Time It can buy you a Book, but not Knowledge. It can buy you a Position, but not Respect. It can buy you Medicine, but not Health. It can buy you Blood, but not Life

So you see money isn't everything and it often causes pain and suffering. I tell you this because I am your Friend, and as your Friend I want to take away your pain and suffering! So send me all your money and I will suffer for you! Cash only please!
Big Birthdays
Happy Birthday to Mary Healy Dooley who celebrated a ‘mature’ birthday recently. Now you have to start acting like a middle-aged Mammy, Mary……….two chances!
Fr.Sean Breen has got to three score and ten in the last few weeks. Well done. Keep the winners coming. Go n-eiri an bothar leat.

WELL DONE to Orlaith Deegan who was recently conferred with a Master Degree in Business and Entrepreneurship; congratulations also to her brother Eamonn who was conferred with his degree in Computer Engineering. Good month for the Deegans of Bishopsland with Daddy Eamonn being nominated for Person of the Year Award.

Congratulations to Kevin Daly, Donode and Jane Hehir, Dublin on their recent engagement – we wish them all the best for their big day in June.
To Jimmy & Margaret Pearse currently celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary.

Mother & Toddler Group – as last month
Tossing Pancakes for Tallaght!
Once again the young people of Ballymore Eustace came up trumps for the National pancake party in aid of the National children’s hospital in Tallaght. In total €250.50 was raised and a net figure of €225.50 is on its way to National children’s hospital after expenses of €25 were deducted. The expenses figure was as low as it could possibly be, with people donating their own dressings etc. Scoil Mhuire primary school, Ballymore Eustace community playschool and the Early years baby and toddler group all participated. The children of junior infants, senior infants and first class in Scoil Mhuire raised €142.20, the children at the playschool raised €52.80 and the children attending the baby and toddler group raised €45.50. Many thanks to the staff of Scoil Mhuire and the playschool for their cooperation and enthusiasm and of course, to the children who consumed.

IN Reverse please

What a dreadful 6 weeks we’ve had here in Ballymore Eustace with so many well known characters and families hit with bereavements.

The late Mick Fennan, a larger than life character, wit faster than the speed of light – only last year, he was in Mick Murphy’s during race week, slagging all in sundry…
You just couldn’t fail to like Mick, you could be having a serious debate with him on a local topic and he’d come back with an outrageous retort, you’d collapse into laughter…

Bobby Coonan, who achieved national recognition in his chosen career having won 8 National Hunt Championships; he was honoured locally with a Hall of Fame Award in the 70s. A very easy-going likeable man, his long illness must have been hard for his family to witness – please note, The April edition of The Bugle will carry a full tribute to Bobby in association with National Hunt Week at Punchestown.

Phil Conlon, nee Daniels – aged only 54, a non smoker and drinker, who’d have thought his handsome woman, would be plucked from life so prematurely; a granddaughter of Molly and Billy whom we featured in last month’s edition, Phil’s daughter Fiona is married to Mick Sammon and lives locally (her sister Geraldine lives in Liffey Heights).

Joan Browne – God, I was shocked at the quick demise of Joan; she is only a few years older than I and she was such a great mother, always worrying about the children getting the homework done and ‘getting on’; originally from Sligo, Joan had many good friends and relations who will miss her dearly.

Mary Burke of Weavers Row; aged 83, Mary was predeceased by Liam in 1982 yet she continued to life independently at her home with the assistance of kind neighbours and friends.

To our printers Frances and Noel Clare, we extend our condolences on the death of Mrs Jean Kelly, Frances’s mother

At the time of going to press, we have learned of the sad death of Jimmy Farrelly, Barretstown; one of our oldest citizens, we extend our deepest sympathy to his wife, Nancy and son, Robert.