Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The statistics for drink driving arrests continue to amaze all of us. The figure of 422 arrested over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is astounding. The superintendent arrested in Galway did not help the Garda’s cause much either.
We are like a second rate nation when it comes to this problem. A zero alcohol limit may help what is already a bad situation.

Easter next year will be the earliest possible date. Falling on the 23rd March. So it’s the Palm on the Sunday and the Shamrock on the Monday.

When the green jacket for the U.S. Masters is presented to the winner, the ceremony takes place in Butler’s Cabin. Now if that wasn’t a tip in itself, so there was no huge surprise to see J.P.’s horse of the same name romp in at Fairyhouse the day after the Masters. Full credit to the training team as given this horse’s difficulties, it was a good performance all round.

Nice to see the Greg Lawler bred, Fourty Acers back to winning ways at Exeter recently. Small field, small price but a win is a win and he will only improve.

Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly are putting a big push behind this weekends Walking Sunday in Punchestown. Fair play. It’s great to see someone trying to revive what is a great tradition. If you are down listening to the Breener on the morning say a little prayer for kind weather for the week.

Christy Dennison’s photos from the Bugle and beyond are attracting great interest on the Interweb. To date we have over 300 photos up on
With almost 500 views this is a valuable archive of events in the village.
It’s free. Use it. Tell you friends, especially your overseas contacts.

http://ballymore.blogspot.com is growing at slower pace. We put up the Bugle articles a month in arrears. Again your support is appreciated.

Some of my colleagues are in dispute with the government to progress their claim for a 10% pay increase and a thirty five hour week. The latter is to ensure that they have the same working conditions as the rest of the health service employees. It’s a bigger fairytale than Cinderella to say that we only work thirty five hours a week. Paid for thirty five hours sure, but only work that amount, I don’t think so.

Listening to all the green debates raging at the moment about global warming, water quality and recycling surely some simple solutions could be applied. The combination of driving kids to school combined with the problem of weight in children could be partially solved by walking to school in summer. If KCC and other local authorities would collect the recycling bins on a more regular basis then that would help the recycling issue. And finally given the water quality problems in Galway a friend of mine says that a simple solution would be to boil the lake.

David Quinn’s agency carried out a survey on religious knowledge recently.
Some of the results are interesting
Less than half of people in the 65+ brackets knew the first book of the Bible.
Only one in four know the First Commandment.
Only 10% know what the Immaculate Conception means.
Surveys fascinate me. Have you ever, or do you know anyone whose has ever been, surveyed. I just think that they are asking the wrong people.

Staying with Quinn’s,
Big Niall is top of the pile.
That has a nice poetic ring to it. The Irish sponsor was a surprise though, with Dundalk firm Boylesports on the shirts. From bottom of the Championship to the top in a very short space of time.

My brother Mick is a great man for the crosswords and quizzes. A story of a night out in the Penny Black gave me this idea.
You will have heard some of them before, some not. It’s based around famous fives. We’ll give 5 tenners, €50, to the nearest correct. If you are interested POST to Ballymore Bugle Barrack Street Ballymore Eustace.

Name Enid Blyton’s Famous Five
Five racecourse names in Ireland and the U.K. containing all the letters R A C E
And five that don’t contain any of these letters
Five Irish counties ending in H.
Five Ballymore townlands ending in town.
Five Dublin Placenames ending in O
Five Dublin placenames that contain a musical instrument.
Five English league teams whose name contains a building.
The last five Irish Ministers for Finance.
The Five colours in snooker that must be potted in order between the reds and the black.

Good Luck.
Matt’s Column

A Visit to Our Next Door Neighbours
I intended going to the St Patrick’s Day Vigil Mass in Ballymore and I presumed that the time for it would be the same as for the Sunday Vigil Mass. Arriving at the Church shortly before 7 p.m., I soon discovered I presumed wrongly – only consolation was I had company!! Chatting with my companions, I learnt there was a Vigil Mass in Blessington at 8 p.m. so I headed for Blessington.

In Blessington, I learnt that Fr. Kevin Lyon is due to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of his ordination on May 25th. The Blessington Parish are considering proposals in relation to the number of Sunday Masses if the number of priests in the Parish is reduced. Two scenarios were considered (1) the position if they have two priests and (2) the position if they have only one priest. They are also considering the need for additional resources in the Parish and the possibility of selling parish lands in Crosschapel. Finally, they are considering the formation of a Representative Group from Crosschapel.

Churchtown Golden Jubilee
Churchtown Parish had major celebrations on the week-end of March 24th and 25th to mark the Golden Jubilee of the opening of the Church of the Good Shepherd. On the Saturday, they had a con-celebrated Mass celebrated by most of the Priests who had served in the Parish during the last 50 years. Retired octogenarian Parish Priest, Canon Paddy Fitzsimons – a Kildare man, who has not been too well of late, was present in a wheel chair. The Parishioners gave him the kind of welcome usually accorded celebrities. On the Sunday, Bishop Eamonn Walsh was the Chief Celebrant at the Golden Jubilee Mass.

EU Golden Jubilee
Another Golden Jubilee was also being celebrated. This time it was the EU that was doing the celebrating. Way back in the beginning of the EU, there were only six countries in the EU.

This year’s Racing Festival was not as successful for our Irish trained horses as was the case in 2006. With 10 winners in 2006, Ireland had a record number of winners including the 3 top championship races. This year Ireland could only manage 5 winners including the champion hurdle. It was a good year for the Carberry family with Philip riding 2 winners and his sister Nina having 1 winner. It was also a good year for Ruby Walsh who rode 4 winners including the Gold Cup winner. From a local perspective the Bumper winner, Cork All Star, was a welcome success being owned and bred by Cathal Ryan at Swordlestown. J.P. McManus had a great festival when 4 of the horses owned by him won.

As I write the Fairyhouse Festival is in full swing with one day to go. The results so far have not added to my financial well being!! Hopefully Punchestown winners will not be so hard to find. This time last year I wrote an article, based on a video tape given to me by Christopher Dennison, on the Punchestown King, the late Johnny McLoughlin. Subsequently, the Nugent/McLoughlin family sponsored a plaque which the CDA placed on a Holm Oak Tree to commemorate Johnny and his long-time association with Punchestown.

It is great to see that Kildare have qualified for the semi-final of the National Football League when they drew with Laois in a thrilling game at Newbridge on Easter Sunday. For good measure, Kildare hurdlers qualified for the semi-final of Division 2 of the National Hurling League when they defeated Derry in Clones.

Ballymore Websites
I checked out the two websites mentioned in Tim’s February Diary and was suitably impressed by both of them. The website http://ballymore.blogspot.com contains items from the Bugle and will surely be appreciated by people who have left Ballymore in search of employment overseas. The website http://www.flickr.com/photos/ballymorebugle contains a wonderful collection of Christopher Dennison’s photos.

Art Lives (Part 2)
As I write, Martin Gale is featuring in an arts TV programme with the above title. Martin’s landscape pictures that I am seeing are beautiful. While I know Martin to see I would be more familiar with Martin’s late father Johnny who was a top jockey in the fifties.

The Late John Murphy, Bawnogues
I see from the March 1 edition of the Leinster Leader that the 10th anniversary of the death of John Murphy of Bawnogues occurred on March 5. John was a dedicated supporter of our local GAA Club and served it well for many years both as a player and official. When John died I was unable to attend his funeral as I was on holidays in New Zealand and Australia at the time. I also see that the 33rd anniversary of the death of John’s father William occurred on March 6.

Best wishes to John McCarville on his recent retirement from the Garda Siochana after 33 years of service 27 of which were spent in Blessington. Unfortunately, I was unable to make it to his tribute night in the Ardenode Hotel. John will certainly be missed. Any references to John that I ever heard were always couched in laudatory terms. John’s great contribution to our community was recognised when he was awarded the Ballymore Eustace Person of the Year for 2004. May John have many years of good health to enjoy his well earned retirement.

Sean Fogarty recently launched his new website relating to his shop and post office. The site gives extensive details of what is available at Fogartys. The address of his website is:


Sean’s site is still under construction.

I see from the Leinster Leader that Clodagh Cole from Ballymore Eustace won the adult category of the photographic competition organised over St. Patrick’s weekend by Blessington Pharmacy.

James Macken of Howth, Dublin and formerly of Limerick died on March 13 R.I.P. James was a Senior Counsel who occasional represented my former employers, South Dublin County Council. His wife Maeve, son Eoin, daughters Freya and Niamh, sisters - Marion, Sheila, Nuala and Eleanor, brother Frank and extended family survive James.

James (Jimmy) Farrelly of Barrattstown and formerly of Co. Meath died on March 16 R.I.P. Jimmy worked for many years at Barrattstown Castle. His wife Nancy and son Robert survive Jimmy.

Donal McEvoy of Baltyboys died on March 21 R.I.P. Donal was predeceased by his wife Maureen. His son Donal, sister Theresa, daughter-in-law Betty, granddaughter Lynda, brother-in-law Seamus and extended family survive Donal.

© Matt Purcell (April 10, 2007).
Dear Editors.

I think it was T P Barnum who made that profound statement “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”, and I couldn’t agree more for it proves two things, one, it means that in this case my writings are being read, and two, democracy is at work when a different opinion to mine is being expressed publicly, if a little guardedly! T’would be a dull old world if we all thought alike.
May I remind your complainant that not all that long ago myself and Alan Dukes carried on a ding dong battle of words in the Bugle until he lost his seat and went off to better things in Europe, and I can’t recall he being a member of the present government! Surely your complainant is not suggesting that I be selective? Should I “slate” George Bush but not Bertie? Sorry, I don’t operate that way.
When I see bumbling bureaucracy, social injustices, squander mania, crass arrogance, and selective lies, where ever there coming from, being trotted out to the public on the airwaves and in our dailies I’ll write about them, and then it’s a case of “if the cap fits”!
Finally Editors, may I conclude by saying that in no way do I think that what I say is the last word, but I’m prepared to stand over what I write, and to sign my name at the end of each article.
Yrs D. Jeffers.
Village Green Gardening Club.

Stealing from the Garden was a magical tour of gardens all over Europe from Versailles in Paris to the lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, and back to The Bay Garden in Camolin Co Wexford. The tour guide was Frances MacDonald a qualified horticulturalist who has developed and nurtured the Bay Garden and the occasion was the March meeting of the Village Green Garden Club in the Resource Cenree.
Frances MacDonal was a marvelous and knowledgeable speaker who showed how you can take ideas developed by other gardens and use them to greater or lesser degree in your own garden.
With the use of slides and a wonderful talk she had the gathering enraptured and we all went home feeling that we had been lucky to received a fund of knowledge and expertise.
The April meetingis on April 19, one week earlier than usual because of Punchestown. Jimi Blake will talk a bout plants and gardens of America with particular reference to Chanticleer Gardens near Philadelphia. Talk starts at 7.30 and those who are interested in the annual outing in June can sign up on the 19th.
Go west, young man.

Some of you will know Viktor who works in Fogarty’s and Maria who works in Costcutters. At Easter time, their celebrations are somewhat different to our own, Starting with Green Thursday, Good Friday, White Saturday, Easter Sunday and culminating in the big one Velka Noc ( big night) where tradition had it that the men threw water over the females in the village and then giving them a few belts with wicker sticks. Why? Supposedly to purify them, body and soul. The boys were then rewarded with painted eggs and a ribbon attached to their whips. They would then receive presents of money and maybe a shot of slivovitz. A far cry from our ballrooms of romance and poitin.
It’s a long way from Slovakia to Ballymore, or from Lithuania or even Hungary. All along Viktor has been at me. “Mr Bugle Man I want to tell you my story.” So the next time you see him tell him that you read it. In the Bugle. Now the night we met up with him we were ambushed by himself and three other workers who have come to live in Ballymore so the story will not be exclusively about Mr. Mishe.

Anyway Viktor was born and grew up in Bratislava in Slovakia, on the shores of the Danube. Forgoing his ambition to own a chain of sports stores, somewhat like Champion in Ireland, he decided to have a tilt at an Irish windmill and lo and behold he ended up in Ballymore. Now how he got here and why remains a bit of a mystery. It involves the payment of a fee to a Slovak agency, getting a set of directions for Fogarty's Quikpick, getting a plane and Hey presto here he is. And isn’t he a great asset to the village? Now I’m going to let you in on secret, early on like, Viktor is a morning person. He likes nothing better than to be cerebrally challenged early in the morning. The earlier the better he says. Top of the game from 6 a.m. onwards. Don’t say I told you. Right?
He is the middle child, the older brother in the U.S. and the younger lad still studying back in Slovakia. As Slovakia is now a full member of the E.U. he can work freely, well maybe not too freely, in most countries in Europe. Spending some of his summers working in the U.K he was curious to learn proper English, and was delighted to hear, from me, the best English in the world, she is spoken in Co. Kildare. He spent his childhood summers in countryside on his grandmother’s farm and much preferred it to the hustle and bustle of city life. He is well at home in Ballymore and loves the pace of life, the sense of community and generally the craic that can be had here. He loves the black humour as he calls it. Personally now, I’ve never been a fan, but I must try a bit harder.
Differences between Irish and Slovakia ways of life? Not huge. Good lifestyle since the passing of the Communist regimes. Property prices much the same. Better wages. Etc. I was delighted to hear that he has never experienced racism of any sort. That’s a good sign for us. He is saving like mad. Hopes to do a deal with Paul Newman for one of the older DB’s, then he’ll knock around on his days off and see a bit of the country. A stark comment that it is easy to get to Belfast by public transport than to Naas. Yup, never thought of it like that but he’s right. He sends greetings through the Bugle to his many local Irish friends.

Like Viktor, Maria Bugalova is also from Slovakia. That’s about the only similarity. She is much better looking. From Bytca, a town of about 11, 506 now (11,505), in north-western Slovakia. Those of you who have travelled in Eastern Europe or who plan to. Around the early part of September 2007 should be lively, should be familiar with its water castle and Wedding Museum. Interesting concept that, keeping weddings in a museum. Maria practised as an accountant in Slovakia, but is worried that her English might not be good enough for work here. NOW COME ON. Have you ever heard any accountant speak English? Maria is only here about five months and having overcome a lot of homesickness is now settling in and starting to enjoy the way of life here. With Russian, German and English as languages taken I think she is well ahead of most of us. Again the middle child with and older brother working for a U.S. multinational back in Slovakia, her younger sister is a student of French and Portuguese, currently domiciled in Brazil. Maria is undecided about the length of her stay in Ireland as a proposal, you know the kind I mean, may shorten her sojourn.

Meilute Ziceviciute is from the port of Klaipeda, Lithuania’s only seaport, situated at the mouth of the Curonian Lagoon where it flows into the Baltic Sea. Meilute was a primary school teacher back in her native city. But, in a period from 1992 to 2005 where the population of the city decreased by 10% to just over 180,000, she had to take employment in a private school. Not willing to suffer a 50% cut in salary she too joined the Eastern European exodus to Ireland. (Sounds better that landing up in Ballymore.) Both her brothers are coming to end of an extended time in the Police force in Lithuania and are about to embark on retraining in the Physical education and sports disciplines. Again Meilute likes the pace of life here, the odd pint, listening to traditional music, but not the damp cold of our autumns and early winters. Part of a tightly knit group and house sharing with Viktor & co. means lively nights involving Hungarian cuisine, a skill she has developed in the Ballymore Inn.

And finally to Hari Peter, the man with two first names. He is the tall good looking one, behind the counter in Quikpick. Peter hails from Szeged, the City of Sunshine, in Hungary. Situated on the southern border, the city was almost entirely wiped out in the great flood of 1879. When the river Tisza overflowed leaving only 265 of over 5000 houses standing. The famous Open Air Plays of Szeged, held annually since 1931 commemorate the rebuilding of the city. Peter has promised a more detailed article for one of our summer numbers. Coming from a family of teachers, peter proved d the black sheep of the family. Before coming to Ireland he worked as a desktop publisher for a firm specialising in chess magazines and books. His move, sorry but it is an obvious one, to Ireland is only in its early stages. He hopes to save loads of forints and start his own business when he gets back to Hungary. Like a lot of his compatriots his brother works for a U.S. multinational, IBM.

They all miss the snow, the skiing, their national dishes, the spices, their friends, families.The killing of the pigs in winter. The crowns,forints and litas. As none of their home countries are in the Euro zone yet. The cheap cigarettes and booze. The efficient public transport.
They all like the pace of life, the sense of community, the feeling of safety in Ballymore. They like working for decent money, they like the friendliness, the black humour, the black porter, the culture, the scenery, our openness.

Look, now you know a little bit about them. That’s what this was all about.

Oh and next Easter Monday if you see Viktor filling buckets of water, you know what it’s for.

Tim Ryan
The News:
Juvenile football and hurling coaching returned to the field on Fri. 30th March and Sun. 1st April. The number of new members joining is up considerably this year with a large number of junior and senior infants attending. The number of new coaches/mentors attending is also up considerably with magnificent support from the ladies GAA Club, all of which suggests a bright future for BME GAA.

First Aid:
20 Juvenile coaches/mentors/parents attended a First Aid Course recently. The course was specifically structured to equip attendees with the basic skills required in the use of a First Aid Kit and general guidelines to follow in the event of a sports injury. (Thanks to Pascal Walsh from the Red Cross and Michael Hogan for co-ordinating this important course.)

Dates to remember:
A Parish field day is to take place on the 6th May this year in the BME GAA Grounds. During the day and as part of the many activities being planed there will be juvenile football and hurling matches. (Look out for more details for this one)

The date for the BME Annual GAA Summer Camp is fixed for the week the 3rd – 7th of July. The GAA Summer Camp is one of the highlights of the Juvenile Year and with the number of new members rising all the time this year promises to be very successful. (More details to follow.)

Football & Hurling Go-Games:
Go-Games for U9 football/hurling is to be rolled out this year by the Kildare South Board. At a recent workshop held in Moorefield over 50 coaches/mentors attended. With U8’s up and running from last year this will mean that Go-Games will provide games for U7, U8, and U9 for the coming year. With the experience from last year under most South Kildare Clubs belts the bottom line with regard to Go-Games is

that it is all about given children the opportunity to take part in small sided games. Clubs with equal numbers of players of equal age will be matched and all the children get to play and get lots of touches on the ball in different positions through out the game.

Last call for the Annual Juvenile Membership of €25 for the first child or maximum €40 for 2 or more children.
Also please don’t forget the €1 bucket at the Friday evening and Sunday morning sessions as this kitty money is used to purchase new balls, cones, Goal Posts, hurleys etc. for the coaching sessions.

The U11 football league gets up and running on Wed. 25th April. Paul Murphy along with Henry, Dermot, Jarlet and Joe are putting the panel through their paces in preparation for this very exciting league. (Full list of fixtures to follow)

U16 Boys
A depleted Oliver Plunkett's met a resurgent Na Fianna in difficult and wintry conditions at Eadestown on 18th March.Plunkett's played with a strong and gusty wind in the first half. Na Fianna started well and went 2 points up before Plunkett's went ahead for the first and only time in the match with a well taken penalty by Cian Bolton. Na Fianna continued to dominate the first half clocking up a goal and 7 points by half time. Plunkett's only other score in the first half came a point from Cian Bolton. Na Fianna started the 2nd half they way they concluded the first, scoring 3 goals and 4 points in the second half with Plunkett's battling well with good individual scores from Paudie Ryan and Luke Smith and an excellent 2nd half goal from Cian Bolton, following a 40 yard run. Na Fianna were deserving winners and have set a very high standard for other clubs to aspire to.
The final score was Na Fianna 4-12 to Plunkett's 2-3.
Best for Plunkett's were Luke Smith, Ethan Harney, Cian Bolton, Paudie Ryan, goalie Mark Murphy who had a couple of spectacular saves, Willie Burke, and Aron McCabe.

Plunkett's got back to winning ways again in a closely contested game away to Clane on Saturday 24th March. Clane started strongly and went 4 points up before Michael Mullan pointed for Plunketts. A goal from Mullan and a 2nd by Aron McCabe kept Plunketts in touch with a half time score of Clane 0-9 to Plunketts 2-1. Clane continued to pick off successive points in the second half, while Plunketts continued to keep in touch with goals from Aron McCabe, Cian Bolton and Paudie Ryan. Plunketts were fotunate to run out winners by 2 points with a final score of 5-2 to 0-15. Goalie Mark Murphy pulled off some excellent saves once again.
Best for Plunketts were Tutty, Burke, Healy,Bolton, Mullan, McCabe and goalie Mark Murphy.

Oliver Plunkett's travelled to Johnstown Bridge to play Balyna in their 4th game in the U16 league. Balyna started strongly and went a point up to open the scoring and to take a lead that they never lost. Paudi Ryan pointed from a difficult sideline angle. Balyna replied with 5 points before Plunketts got on the scoreboard with a fisted point from Michael Mullan. An excellent goal from Cian Bolton left the half time score 1-2 to Balyna's 0-12. Plunketts battled well in the second half against a stronger and more physical Balyna side with a goal from Tagdh Beirne, 2 points from Cian Bolton and 1 from Brian Murphy. Balyna were the better and stronger side on the day and ran out winners on a score line of 2-5 to 0-18. Mark Murphy kept another clean sheet and pulled off a number of good saves.Best on the day for Plunketts were Michael Tutty, Conor Healy, Brian Murphy and Tadgh Beirne.
Next up are Kill. (Plunkett match reports by Pat Mullen).
Ballymore Eustace GFC

The Lotto has been relaunched with the first draw taking place on Tuesday 10th April at 9-30 pm in the Club House and every Tuesday night at the same venue.
A Guaranteed Jackpot of €800 increasing by €100 each week it is not won.
If there is no winner a draw for five prizes of €30 will take place.

Club Membership Due:
Players €50, Non Players €30, Students €20:

Ballymore GFC awards night. Well done to the Ladies committee for organising a Fantastic night which was enjoyed by all.
Thank you to Richie Hopkins of Hopkins Construction who made a presentation of a set of jerseys to the club at the awards night.

Training is on Tuesday and Thursday at 8pm for Intermediate and junior players, any new players are welcome.

Welcome back to Ivan Grace and Mark McCarville.

A Big Welcome to Mark Murphy who has transferred to Ballymore from St

Ballymore’s Intermediate team is competing in the Leinster Leader Senior League Division 1 Group A.
Ballymore have got off to a poor start in Division 1 of the league by losing the first four matches. The home team have been unlucky not to have won a couple of tight matches and they now face an uphill battle to reach the play offs. They must now win the remaining three matches to have any chance of qualifying.

19th March: Celbridge 2-6 Ballymore 2-4 away

24th March: Confey 0-12 Ballymore 0-10 away

31st March: Kilcullen 1-10 Ballymore 1-8 away

9th April: Ballymore 2-5 Allenwood 3-7 home

The upcoming fixtures are as follows:

21st April: Ballymore v Athy home

28th April: Ballymore v Rathangan home

Ballymore Junior team will compete in the Tom Cross Senior League Division 5.

23rd April
Ballymore v Kill at 7-30pm home

30th April: Rheban v Ballymore at 7-30pm away

9th May: Ballymore v Kilcullen at 7-30pm home

14th May: Maynoth v Ballymore at 7-30pm away

21st May: Ballymore v Carbury at 7-30pm home

28th May: Castledermot v Ballymore at 7-30pm away

6th June: Ballymore v Moorefield at 7-30 home

11th June: Kildangan v Ballymore at 7-30 away

18th June: Ballymore v Eadestown at 7-30 home

25th June: Caragh v Ballymore at 7-30 away

2nd July: Ballymore v Ellistown at 7-30 home

16th July Monastersvin v Ballymore at 7-30 away

Congratulations to Kildare on reaching the league semi final and the two Ballymore men Tommy Archibold and in particular James Kavanagh who has been a revelation since he has become a regular on the team.
Best of lucky lads on Sunday against Donegal in Croke Park.

Members Draw: February
€200 Tony Mahon
€50 Will Hennessey
€50 Paddy Nolan
€50 Gus Kavanagh

Members Draw: March
€200 Eira Gorman
€50 Frank Murphy
€50 Tony Mahon
€50 Pat Brown jr

Field Day
The Field Day will take place on Sunday 6th May:
The Leinster TUG-OF-WAR Championships will be held at the Field Day
Senior: 600 kg
Senior: 680 kg
Under 19: 600 kg
Under 23: 640 kg

There will also be Women’s Tug-of- War
A new gate is being erected on the right hand side of the main entrance to the grounds. This gate will be left open for walkers and people using the grounds.

On behalf of the club we send our condolences to Jim Brown on the loss of his wife Joan who passed away recently and our deepest sympathy to her family.
Ballymore Ladies GFC

League – 3 wins out of 3 for the Ladies
Vs Nurney\Kildangan
Nurney couldn’t provide a football pitch for this Sunday morning game and Ballymore Ladies were delighted with the unexpected home advantage for their first league game. They are a newly formed club and this was their first competitive match. Ballymore’s experience meant it was all one-way traffic and our backs had a well deserved rest!
Nurney 0-1 Ballymore 8-19

Vs Castledermot
Castledermot also had problems getting the game on their pitch so Ballymore Ladies travelled to Grangefort GFC in Carlow for their 2nd league fixture. The two teams have always had close games with Ballymore winning two out of the previous three. Although Castledermot had some good players, the Ballymore girls linked well as a team and should have had a few more scores on the board.
Castledermot 1-2 Ballymore 5-4

Vs Milltown
Ballymore Ladies knew that Milltown would be a real challenge. Ballymore dominated the first half with some good passing right through from the backline but Milltown came back in the 2nd half scoring 3 goals in quick succession. Ballymore made some positional changes and substitutions and got a hold back on the game, adding a third league victory to their season.
Ballymore 6-8 Milltown 5-2

Remaining games
Ballymore have two league games remaining which will have been played by the time the Bugle is printed. Balyna II come to Ballymore on Sunday 15th April and the girls then travel to Rheban on Tuesday 17th April. Both teams have had good runs so far and these will be two challenging games for the ladies.
Grange II have decided not to compete and with three wins under their belt, Ballymore are looking good for a place in the play-offs for promotion to Division 3.

Challenge Matches
Vs Eadestown II
Eadestown II had a very successful league and championship run last year and had hammered the girls in previous games. The ladies were beaten again but certainly provided more of a challenge on this occasion with new player Amanda Conway getting the first point of the game.
Ballymore 2-2 Eadestown II 4-10

Vs Donard/Glen
This was perhaps the closest and most physical game that Ballymore Ladies have ever played. The game took place on Easter Saturday in the old pitch in Dunlavin and it was end-to-end stuff. Both sides showed great enthusiasm throughout, with Ballymore using all of the players on their panel. In the end a draw was probably the fairest result. Well done to Susan Foley who played in goals for the first time.
Ballymore 3-15 Donard 4-12

New Jerseys
Ballymore Ladies were not just looking forward to their first league game for the football, it was also the first outing of their new kit! The girls would like to thank Pat Murphy for his sponsorship.

New Hats
The weather may have improved in the last few weeks but the ladies have had a couple of months training in cold weather. Thanks to Clark’s Garage for the woolly hats that kept our ears warm!

Big Win
The Kildare Ladies County Board held a members draw at their monthly meeting at the end of March. Ballymore Ladies had bought a number of tickets for the draw and won the first prize of €1000.

Calling the Young Ladies of Ballymore
Ballymore Ladies are helping the Juvenile club with their training on Friday evenings from 6.30 to 7.30 up at the pitch. We would encourage all girls between the ages of 6 and 12 to attend.

Ballymore Ladies’ Rose
Well done to Orla Bradshaw who competed in the Kildare Rose. On the big night, Orla performed a song accompanied by Aoife Doyle on the fiddle. Although she didn’t win, Orla thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the team are hugely proud of her. Ballymore Ladies look forward to having her back at training!

- S O’Donoghue
Ballymore’s Purple ‘Patch’

It’s almost inconceivable that in these days of mobile phones, helicopters, agents, Sunday racing, internet betting, two full racing channels on television etc. that a Ballymore man would be ranked as top jockey for six full seasons during the sixties and seventies. At this time competition was fierce, travel was difficult, there were no means of instant communication, and race meetings were not as numerous or as lucrative. So as we leave Cheltenham and Fairyhouse behind for another year and look forward to Punchestown and further on, to Galway, it seems fitting that we take some time to remember the great Bobby Coonan.

Robert ‘ Patch' Coonan was born in Dowdenstown in 1939. ‘Patch’ came from Pacelli, the surname of Pope Pius XII, who acceded to the top job in the Vatican, in the same year. In that year most of Europe was preoccupied with a different struggle but young Bob had no such worries and was riding almost as soon as he could walk.

In racing lore they say that a double cross of St. Simon is the best outcome for a racehorse. St. Simon of course, was the most successful sire in the history of the thoroughbred. Bob’s brother Ian reckons that his younger brother was blessed with the gift, as both Robert Sen. from Rathcoffey, and his Mam, an O’Neill from Ballymore, had horsey blood running through their veins. Mrs. Coonan started off by showing horses to British Army officers garrisoned in Ireland. While Robert senior attended to the more mundane business of the law, Mrs. Coonan had quite a deal of success with Klaxton. Indeed the Coonan family was dominant in both Punchestown races, The Bishopscourt Cup, five times and the Tickell Cup on three occasions. Coonan Sen. was also successful in the Drogheda Plate in 1947 with Auntie Anna. A picture dating from 1945 shows Mrs. Coonan with Claxton having won the May Plate at Naas with a purse of 360 sovereigns.

At six years of age young Bob was riding ponies at events in counties Kildare, Carlow and Wicklow. Long time friend and schoolmate Monsignor Seamus Conway, Parish priest of Booterstown, recalls interrupted trips to school where Bobby would gaze longingly at Joe Osborne’s team riding out at Craddockstown.
Indeed all the family were encouraged nay coerced into involvement in matters equine. All the Coonan siblings, Charlie, Ann, Bobby, Ian, Consuelo and Stuart, attended to the horses. They were the primary focus of activity on the Coonan farmstead with some attention paid to the other livestock. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Bobby would have a career in racing. The first step to attaining his goal was to be an indenture to the Staff Ingham yard in Epsom arranged by family friend Fred Hunter. Bob was candid about this time, describing in variously as being like a strict boarding school, penal servitude, or even a concentration camp. It was nothing to Ingham to encourage his protégées to watch their weight whilst tucking into a large dinner! Ingham though put a lot of promising jockeys through his hands, Geoff Lewis being one of the best known. The combination of this with the thoughts of compulsory service in the British Army was enough to convince young Bobby to pack his bags and head home to Dowdenstown.

In 1957 Michael Molloy provided Bobby with a single winner on the flat in Clonmel, Fair Dawn. This was to be a somewhat lonely statistic as weight and experienced dictated a move to the more exciting code in 1958. He gained valuable experience with Dan Moore Senior in Meath. Claiming jockey in the yard that had Willie Robinson as the main man was not exciting enough for Bob and his ambition dictated that he move along. He has always remembered the kindness shown to him by Mrs. Moore and spoke of her with great affection at every stage during his lifetime.

With an attachment to Georgie Wells, Bobby was able to avail of regular rides on decent horses, and even better have his pick of rides. The prospect of riding winners regularly now seemed to be within his grasp. Full circle was turned as he became the main retainer for the Joe Osborne yard. With a veritable arsenal of rides it was to enable twenty four year old Bobby to make history as part of a four way tie for the Irish NH Jockeys championship. Tony Redmond, Francis Shortt and Pat Taaffe. Success at the Guinness Chase in Punchestown that same year aboard the little mare Height O Fashion meant that the local hero was top of his game.

The partnership with Paddy Sleator meant that horses sent out from the Grangecon yard would ensure that Bobby would win the jockeys title every year between 1967 and 1972. A dispute over the running of bumpers meant that Sleator switched a lot of his charges to Warwickshire to premises maintained by Arthur Thomas. This brought cross channel success to the young Coonan but when the issue was resolved Bob was back home and riding winners in all parts of Ireland. The foot and mouth outbreak in 1967/68 meant the suspension of all activity in both Ireland and England. Sleator sent a string to Cagnes Sur Mer in the south of France. It was there that Bobby first met Shelagh, who he was later to marry. Back to business with Sleator with all issues resolved saw three Galway Plate successes. 1969 saw an Irish Grand National win with the aforementioned Height O Fashion and the following year Bobby was in the Cotswold’s to partner Ballywilliam Boy to the post in the Gloucester. Later success on Glencarraig Lady in the SGB at Ascot was to make up for ill luck on two occasions at Cheltenham.

Pat Taaffe never forgot the style of his former rival and was to open a new chapter in Patch’s career with Captain Christy. A King George at Kempton 1n ’74 was followed quickly by a win in the PZ in Thurles, The big chase, the Powers Gold Cup at his home track, Punchestown and a Prix de Velay were also secured by the partnership.

The life of a jump jockey is one of ups and downs and the major down came at Killarney in 1978. A serious fall not only put paid to his riding career but could have killed him. Sister in law Patricia says without a combination of the care of the medical team in St. Vincent’s in Elm Park and Bob’s fighting sprit that it could have been a premature end to his racing career. Taking over from Paddy Sleator left his old master free to adjudicate on various disputes. A lot of you will have heard the story of the Bishopcourt Cup but it loses little in the retelling. The Bishopcourt race is as old as Methuselah. The rules say that it is confined to certified hunters, owned by farmers farming land in the Kildare Hunt District. Sleator, asked to adjudicate, on a dispute involving the race was asked for a definition of a Kildare farmer. “He’s a man,” he offered, “who eats his dinner at lunchtime.” Subsequent doubts were subsequently answered by a visit from the entry committee to a prospects kitchen during the middle of the day! The same economic standards meant that Bobby’s training career, though successful, was short. He moved back to Briencan to a purpose built establishment to continue his interest in all forms of the horse. To him, it was a source of great satisfaction that the improvements in racing and prize money in Ireland, together with the strong economy, meant that a lot of good horses now stay at home.

The double cross of St. Simon is not easy to shrug off and Peadar Flanagan says that during his time in St. Brigid’s in the Curragh that they considered fitting turnstiles the number of his visitors. The hoof prints in the hallway were ever present as Bobby found a new, and renewed, audience for his yarns among his family, his racing friends and fans and the people of Ballymore.

Fred Daly tells a good yarn of a trip to Kilbeggan with Bob’s great friend and racing buddy, Johnny Clarke from Mullacash. Clarke was AWOL and passing through Kilcock had to duck down while Daly steered past the project. A good day was had by all and the whole party adjourned to Higgins’s bar in Ballymore.
Johnny was backwards astride a chair at the end of the night showing how ‘Patch’ came from behind to pip his rival and lift the spoils. Doubtless Johnny would have been carrying a pound or two overweight than Bobby.

So a brilliant career for the Ballymore man ended peacefully on March 3rd 2007.
In these days every jockey has an agent, a sponsored vehicle and a mobile phone. With the increase in prize money there are more Irish bred horses staying at home, giving more opportunities for Irish jockeys. The Race Academy in Kildare Town produces top class, well trained boys and girls for the equine industry who have a solid education to fall back on at the end of their racing days. The At the Races and Racing UK dedicated television racing channels. All these factors have led to a huge renewal of interest in racing in Ireland. No better monument to Bobby Coonan and his peers that that the game that they loved has continued and flourished in our cosmopolitan country.

A lot of punters follow particular jockeys, Piggott and Kinane on the flat, McCoy, Timmy Murphy from Two Mile House and Ruby Walsh from Kill spring readily to mind. For my Da and many others like him it would have been Bobby Coonan. Great cheers and a winner, different story when not successful. But as my There's some that ride the Robbo style, and bump at every stride; Da always said “Coonan is a good each way jockey.”

Nowadays when a horse wins a big race it, its trainer and jockey are feted on the streets of their home place. Sean Mulryan continues this tradition locally when he has a winner. Anyone near him gets a pint. Acclaim for Bobby locally would not have been vast. However he was one of the people acknowledged at the Ballymore Punchestown Festival celebrations in , held to celebrate 150 years of racing in Punchestown. The Punchestown Kid. Johnny McLough, Tom Hanlon and a few others were acclaimed. Following his presentation, Bobby was asked to say a few words. Standing before all his friends and admirers in Ballymore he read a poem written by A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson. Paterson, an Australian writer from the turn of the century wrote may great poems, “Fr. Reilly’s Mare, “Only a Jockey,” “The amateur Rider,” “the man from snowy river,” the magnificent “Old Pardon, the son of Reprieve.” But probably my favourite, and the most appropriate is “The Riders in the Stand.”
My thanks to all who contributed in the making of this piece, particularly Ian and Patricia Coonan. On Walking Sunday April 22nd Bobby will be uppermost in a lot of people’s minds. I’m sure that in the near future our local racecourse will honour his memory with a race named for him.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

There's some that ride the Robbo style, and bump at every stride;
While others sit a long way back, to get a longer ride.
There's some that ride as sailors do, with legs, and arms, and teeth;
And some that ride the horse's neck, and some ride underneath.

But all the finest horsemen out -- the men to Beat the Band --
You'll find amongst the crowd that ride their races in the Stand.
They'll say "He had the race in hand, and lost it in the straight."
They'll know how Godby came too soon, and Barden came too late

They'll say Chevalley lost his nerve, and Regan lost his head;
They'll tell how one was "livened up" and something else was "dead"
-- In fact, the race was never run on sea, or sky, or land,
But what you'd get it better done by riders in the Stand.

The rule holds good in everything in life's uncertain fight;
You'll find the winner can't go wrong, the loser can't go right.
You ride a slashing race, and lose -- by one and all you're banned!
Ride like a bag of flour, and win -- they'll cheer you in the Stand

Tim Ryan
News ‘N Views with Rose

New Candidate declares for Kildare South
A surprise name has been added to the pool of candidates contesting the general election
for the South Kildare area. Jane Mullins, journalist formerly with The Kildare Nationalist and the Leinster Leader, and more recently the editor of the new tabloid freesheet, the Kildare Post, will stand for the Progressive Democrats against sitting TDs, Sean Power (FF); Sean O Fearghail (FF) and Jack Wall (Lab) with JJ Power of the Green Party, Alan Gillis and Richard Daly (FG) and Theresa Bennett (SF) already declared to contest the seat.

Using her married name, Jane O’Brien, she was a founding member of Positive Action, the group who highlighted the case of women infected with Hepatitis C through the blood produce Anti-D Immunoglobulin. As chairperson from 1994-1999, Jane and her colleagues proved a thorn in the side of Michael Noonan, then Minister of Health and fought to have the scandal investigated and compensation recognised. As a result of their lobbying, the Finlay Tribunal was established and compensation thereafter decided.

In 1997, Jane was awarded a national person of the year award for her work with Positive Action and was duly appointed to an Expert Group in the Department of Health by then Minister for Health, Brian Cowen and later appointed to the Board of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service Board, a position she still retains.

On a local basis, Jane is certainly well known in the Newbridge area, her credibility as a journalist is unquestionable and she was the ‘voice of Newbridge’ during her fifteen year career with local newspapers. As Chairperson of the Newbridge Community Development Association, Jane should poll extremely well in her home town and environs and will do damage to all candidates, especially Sean Power. She has served on the Parents Association of Newbridge College and is currently chairperson of Goodwill Housing Co-Operative Association for Newbridge Town.

Having known Jane through the Leinster Leader, I must own she is one of the finest journalists I’ve ever worked with, totally ‘on the ball’, no bull, no airs and graces, straight as a dye – she will give the competition a run for their money, that’s for sure.
I can also say that it is acknowledged within the media that the success of the Kildare Post to date is due to the huge imput (12 hour day) which Jane has given the project since its launch twelve months ago. Having resigned from her role as editor this week, the Kildare Post will certainly be losing a competent pilot.

Rose B O Donoghue


Photograph here please

A little gem here from Candid Camera man, Simon Pallister:
See above army sentry duty station with port-a-loo cabin – picture taken at the Glen of Imaal.

A bemused Simon marvelled at the singular facility which services the massive commons in the Glen….. Wonder how 1 loo per 1,000 acres meets with Health & Safety Standards!
Wouldn’t want to be a hiker in a hurry…….

If you are running in the Women’s Mini Marathon please consider helping:

Tallaght Breast Care Unit.
Details from Edel on 087 6856356.
Cheeverstown Bulgarian Project.
Details from Colette on 086 2758693.

All the proceeds from The Ballymore Belly Dancing Club, €776.74 have been donated to the
Breast unit Appeal at the Adelaide and Meath Hospital. Thank you to all the members for their generosity.

Start the race week at Naas races on Saturday April 21st
First Race 2.30
Featuring the Woodlands Stakes (Listed) of €50,000.

Alliganstown Update
Many thanks to the Kildare County Official who answered a query I made over the Easter Weekend regarding Alliganstown Bridge. The collapse of the bridge has caused huge inconvenience and expense to residents particularly those in the agricultural business. This official kindly rang to confirm the time frame of bridge repairs and reconstruction.
To clarify, monies were allocated earlier this year for said repairs; tenders were invited and closing date for same was Easter. Tenders have since been reviewed and chosen contractor will soon be selected. Bearing in mind that residents must be notified of works interruption and permission sought from neighbouring landowners, work is expected to begin realistically in May which was always the time frame for the Alliganstown Project.
My thanks to the official for the courtesy of his phone call.

I read a strange variety of books for this review. The one I started with I (very unusually for me) did not finish. I got “Winterwood” by Patrick McCabe
(Hardback: Bloomsbury: 19.40) for Christmas and having enjoyed “Breakfast on Pluto” so much last year, I was really looking forward to starting it. It tells the story of Redmond Hatch a provincial journalist, who on a trip to his midlands hometown encounters an odd and enigmatic fiddler known as Pappie Strange. The story of Redmond’s life flits between past and present and is a little difficult to follow, but I was determined to stick with it until the tale took several really grotesque turns. Although “Pluto” was quite a dark story in many senses it was lifted by McCabe’s savage and brilliant humour. I found this to be missing in “Winterwood” and the narrative, with the evil figure of Pappie Strange flitting in and out became so sinister and disturbing that ultimately I had to abandon it! There is no doubt that McCabe is a brilliant writer, but I am afraid the soul-less nature of this book left me cold, in every sense of the word.

In a similarly wintry vein I next turned to “Ethan Frome” by Edith Wharton
(Paperback: Penguin: 10.00). First published in 1911, it is an acknowledged classic that I hadn’t had chance to read before. The eponymous hero is a New England farmer who has battled with the savage winter landscape of his upland farm for many years. The narrator, a visiting engineer comes to know Frome in his later years and is beguiled by the story of his youth and how Frome has come to be the hobbled and bent figure that we see at the outset of the story.

This is a tiny book, more of a novella, but it is beautifully written and extremely moving. It evokes both the harshness and the glaring beauty of the winter landscape and the depiction of Frome, his wife and the young woman that he falls in love with, are mesmerising. I couldn’t put it down once I had started it and I won’t say anymore about the plot as to do so would spoil the nature of a truly tragic love story.

My next read was, to all intents and purposes a children’s book. I saw “Lord of the Flies”, by William Golding ( Paperback: Faber and Faber: 9.00) lying around the house as it is on the Junior Cert syllabus for this year and I decided to read it again, as it was probably around thirty years since I last picked it up! I was not disappointed. It is a famous story, but for anyone not at all familiar with it, the novel tells the tale of a group of British public school boys shipwrecked on a remote Pacific island in the aftermath of World War II. Golding portrays how the boys’ initial experiences of the tearaway idyll of the island quickly deteriorate into anxiety and nightmares. Their new existence without “grown-ups” soon emulates the warring world they have left, with tribes emerging and the plot leading to some quite shocking scenes of brutality.

There are numerous brilliantly drawn characters in this novel; Ralph, the naturally emerging leader, “Piggy”, the boy destined to be bullied everywhere he goes, and the fascinating and charismatic Simon, who in places brings a Christ-like quality to the God-less world the boys come to inhabit. Golding had written an essay about his novel at the end of this copy and I really enjoyed reading his own analysis of the power of fables in our modern world. If you haven’t come across this book before, or like me, read it donkey’s years ago then it’s definitely worth a visit.

My last read was also a children’s book which I enjoyed tremendously. There’s been quite a bit of hype about it already, so I won’t say too much about “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne ( Paperback: Random House: 10.00). It is delicate, emotional, charming and highly original – guaranteed you won’t be able to put it down once you have started it. It is a great way for older children and young adults to enter into a debate about the injustice and human tragedy of the holocaust, and for adults it comes at the subject from a unique perspective. Highly recommended.

As usual all books are available from Janet Hawkins and her team in the Blessington Book Store- it’s a great place for a browse, so pay them a visit sometime!


Well…. The panel of judges have finally finished their difficult deliberations over the Michael Ward Prize for creative writing. We were pleased to receive a number of entries and are now delighted to announce the results as follows:

Joint first place: “ Hatchlings “ by Emma Smith of Hollywood
“ Breathings of a Broken Heart” by Robert Dunlop of

Runner-up: “ Don’t blame the donkey” by Julia Reynolds of Naas

The judges (Michael, Rose and Angie), would like to thank all the entrants who were courageous enough to submit their work – creative writing is a very personal thing and we know there are lots of budding writers out there who may be encouraged by this and perhaps enter the competition next year. Our writers listed above should be an inspiration to them!

The stories all shared a theme of rural life, but were quite different. Julia’s
story told the tale of two elderly brothers and their trip into town on market day. The story had a light touch and lots of humour. Robert’s offering depicted the thoughts and feelings of a priest’s housekeeper, and her reaction on the priest’s death. It is beautifully written and touches on an unusual, almost hidden subject. Emma’s short story also depicts a woman living on her own, beset by the kind of fears and isolation a lot of older people could experience these days. Again, she has a lovely style and a deceptively simple way of describing her main character. There was quite a bit of debate about who the winner should be, as both stories are excellent in different ways, so in the end we agreed the fairest thing would be a tie for first place. We will shortly be meeting the winning entrants to award the shared prize money of 500 euro.

We think you will enjoy all these stories and we will be printing them in the next few editions of the Bugle….so look out for them. And remember, if you or any of your friends or family are budding writers, don’t hide your talent away and think seriously about entering the competition the next time around! Thanks again Julia, Michael and Emma and ………..CONGRATULATIONS!

The Rector writes . . .

New Life . . .

Well, here we are, Lent is finally over – our 40 days of self-denial and abstinence have come to an end. Err, well, actually, I think I’d better make a bit of a confession – I didn’t actually give anything up.
All those around me were abstaining from wine, chocolates, biscuits, sweets, cakes, etc., but I still didn’t feel any major need to join them. However, it took the words of our seven year old to put me to shame and prick my rock-hard conscience, when he said to me, “What did you give up Dad?” Err, well, Son,” I replied, “I, err, actually, erm, prefer to approach Lent from a more positive viewpoint and would rather take something on, thereby contributing to a better society.” The look said it all, “Yeah right!” He wasn’t swallowing any of it. He in return had given up his Playstation – 40 days without ‘Lego Star Wars 2’. In that one action from my own child, I felt total humiliation and vowed to prove to him that next year I would join him in his Lent abstinence.
Now that the house is buzzing to the sounds of the Playstation it is also groaning under the strain of the huge quantity of chocolate it now contains. Too much, in fact, for three young children – so as hard as it is, Catherine and I have offered to help them out – only to save their delicate little teeth!!!
Easter is a wonderful time of year. It can make us feel positive and brighter. Summer is on its way with the promise of (hopefully!) better weather and holidays. The clocks have gone forward and the light evenings stretch out before us. New life is all around us, with the wonderful sight of baby lambs skipping in the fields. New life has also finally appeared in our family too with the safe arrival of baby Imogen to my brother-in-law Chris and his partner Wendy. This much anticipated child is already bringing joy to us all and reminds us yet again of the miracle of a newborn baby.

However, it can be all too easy to over simplify Easter as a time only of daffodils and hot cross buns. We think only of the celebration of Easter Sunday. It is easier to skip over the events of Good Friday, to not dwell on the pain and the suffering of Jesus.
For some of us our life feels only like Good Friday, we are broken and weary. Our life feels dark and lonely, like Jesus himself, lying broken and battered. But at some point our Easter will come, when we rise up and out of the darkness to feel the sun on our faces again - the first buds of new life and the promise of better things to come.
Spring is here so lets take the opportunity to do the best Spring clean ever – not just the windows and the grubby bit down the side of the bath – but a little reflection of our own life and things in it that we need to clear out.
Ah, well, better go, I think I can hear the chocolate Easter bunnies calling!!!

Catherine, Joshua, Amelia, and Bethany join me in hoping you all had a wonderful Easter.

With love, Kesh x

Saving the Easter bunny . . .

A man was blissfully driving along the highway, when he saw the Easter Bunny hopping across the middle of the road. He swerved to avoid hitting the Bunny, but unfortunately the rabbit jumped in front of his car and was hit. The basket of eggs went flying all over the place.
The driver, being a sensitive man as well as an animal lover, pulled over to the side of the road, and got out to see what had become of the Bunny carrying the basket. Much to his dismay, the colourful Bunny was dead. The driver felt guilty and began to cry.
A woman driving down the same highway saw the man crying on the side of the road and pulled over. She stepped out of her car and asked the man what was wrong.

"I feel terrible," he explained, "I accidentally hit the Easter Bunny and killed it. There may not be an Easter because of me. What should I do?"
The woman told the man not to worry. She knew exactly what to do. She went to her car trunk, and pulled out a spray can. She walked over to the limp, dead Bunny, and sprayed the entire contents of the can onto the little furry animal.
Miraculously the Easter Bunny came to back life, jumped up, picked up the spilled eggs and candy, waved its paw at the two humans and hopped on down the road. 50 yards away the Easter Bunny stopped, turned around, waved and hopped on down the road another 50 yards, turned, waved, hopped another 50 yards and waved again!
The man was astonished. He said to the woman, "What in heaven's name is in your spray can? What was it that you sprayed on the Easter Bunny?" The woman turned the can around so that the man could read the label. It said: "Hair spray. Restores life to dead hair. Adds permanent wave."

A man wanted an Easter pet for his daughter. He looked at a baby chick and a baby duck. They were both very cute, but he decided to buy the baby chick. Do you know why? The baby chick was a little cheeper!
Bits N Bobs with Rose

Roman holiday for Bridgid -

Congratulations to Bridget Byrne (nee Whelan) who celebrated her 80th birthday earlier this year. Two years ago, her husband Des came ‘home’ for his 80th and was re-united with many friends and former colleagues from the Wolfe Tone Brass and Reed Band.
I’m told Bridget said she didn’t want a fuss – oh, Readers, beware the woman that says “You needn’t go to any bother, I don’t expect a big present…” Many is the romance that faltered on that belief.

Well, Bridgid’s family did have a little get together, champagne and cake, cuddles and craic. And the cake carried a very personal message; “Jesus, Mary and Joseph!” – apparently, a commonly used phrase of the birthday girl.
Apart from the ‘big cake/small party”, Bridgid and Des were whisked off to Rome for a holiday with son Conor doing the honours as tour guide.

Clever Bridgid. That woman is crafty… I’d wave a ‘big party’ and settle for champagne, a ‘small party’ and a Roman Holiday anytime. My offspring, take note.
In the meantime, welcome home to Bridget and Des and members of the Whelan family who are coming home in April or May?


Yes Readers, it has started again – yawn – the vandalism at the River Walk and sporadic incidences around the village. Of course, when it doesn’t hit you directly, you don’t get too excited about it, someone else’s problem… WRONG. The only positive way to counteract mindless vandalism which affects everyone at some stage is to keep a vigilant lookout and communicate ‘suspicous’ happenings to neighbours and local gardai.
(I know, we don’t really have a local guard at the moment). Recently, the seating at the River Walk has been smashed, totally decimated with young trees disturbed and branches cut.
Ballymore Eustace does not have a population of aggressive youth above the national average – every other village or community faces the same challenges we do…..Youth of a certain age get bored, hang out, do what youth have always done, sneak a forbidden fag, can of beer, smoke a joint (if you think that’s not an issue in Ballymore at the moment, then put your head under the blanket and go back to ga-ga land). But why do they spray- paint signage, smash outdoor furniture, break trees, uproot plants etc. (You would do something daft too if you had smoked a few joints and had a few beers…)
Pity that energy can’t be used to chop logs or do some maintenance upkeep for an elderly person who needs a hand.
We have become far too blasé about mindless vandalism; recently, a commercial vehicle parked in a local housing estate was ruined – the expensive artwork and advertising details painted over. As a result, that local resident now has to drive the van back to a base depot every day and use his own vehicle to get to and from work, requiring extra travel time and the company are furious at the huge expense this “bit of idle craic” has cost them.

Parents, take note – if your little darling’s designer clothes has paint on it, don’t accept
“We were painting a chair in Religious Studies, Mammy”… Little darlings of a certain age shouldn’t be wandering the streets late at night. What the hell for, what is there to entertain them in the dark?
They should be at home driving their parents mad, not someone else. If you know a gang of youth are up to no good, residents should keep one another informed and parents should be told if their children are causing a nuisance or damaging someone else’s property. No one is saying these kids are bad news long-term and no-one can say their own children are angels above approach.
There’s far too much ‘turn a blind eye and say nothing’ in today’s society – until it comes to your own door and then you will feel very differently.


perform in Dunlavin Festival

The Milltown Singers featuring our own Sean Murphy and other local voices will perform ‘The Mikado Operetta’ over the Dunlavin Festival Weekend, 15, 16 and 17 June.
The concert takes place at Milltown Farm (Barry and Mary Deering’s) – contact Hilary at 045 483765 for tickets/bookings.


PLEASE, please pop into the Resource Centre on Sunday next, 22nd April about 12.15 if you haven’t already bought your tickets for the CDA Raceweek Raffle. There are super prizes to give away – monster hamper with champagne, port, whiskey, wines, chocs, candles and other goodies; tickets to Punchestown with Reserved Enclosure passes; tickets to Naas Racecourse; Superb Waterford Crystal Decanter Set; Cosmetic Gift Sets, Gift Vouchers, plus load so runner-up prizes

Tickets on sale in local shops and from any of the committee members – Rose, Mary Deegan, Eric Firth, Fiona Breslin, Trish Donnelly, Maurice Mason and Kay Nolan.
Book of 4 for €5 only or €1.50 each.
on passing by- again

So, what to write about this month. I suppose after my slap on the wrist in last months edition it might be a sensible idea to steer well clear of anything of a political nature, or at least anything of a political nature to do with either of the present government parties. But then again I think a reply is in order.
As Tim pointed out the Bugle is a community magazine. Even a short perusal every month will show that we are blessed with a large number of excellent contributors who deal extensively and sensitively with local and community issues. In light of this I felt that I should write about issues on the wider scale, to perhaps inform local opinion. Does our complainant expect the Bugle to be a totally insular publication dealing only with local issues? I hope not. This would be akin to asking newspapers with “Irish” in their title to report only on Irish issues.
Last months unnamed government supporting complainant raised a number of points in their letter and if I may I will address them in the order they were presented.

Myself and Dick consistently slate the government.
I can’t answer for Dick but for my own part I don’t regard any of my comments as “slating” the government. I have consistently highlighted areas of government where I think parties or persons have not been true to their position or to the people. I have very rarely, if at all, mentioned the parties by name for “slating” and would be as annoyed at these antics regardless of which parties were in power. From the tone of the letter I would take it that the unnamed complainant is a supporter of either Fianna Fail or the Progressive Democrats, as I am myself. However, this support should never be allowed to act as a blindfold to legitimate criticism.

This slating has been the main source, indeed the only source of my material over the past year.
This one is a little bit easier to rebut, and suggests the unnamed complainant has been reading only the pieces of the columns which suit their purposes. Yes, over the last year I have consistently commented on the government but a quick look at back issues will show that I have also commented on a host of other subjects. Has our complainant forgotten about my references to the KTK levy or my recent comments on Ian Paisley? Perhaps my questions concerning the state of the R411 slipped past, along with items on road safety, or the Aer Lingus flotation debacle, or even a full half page on our relationship with the Muslim community in Ireland. What about the references to death threats to the Pope? Surely they couldn’t have missed the bits about the Freedom of Information Act, or whales, or the National Wage Agreements, or Garda brutality, or taxi drivers strikes, or the new breath testing legislation, or Saddam Hussein, or Halloween fireworks, or the Kildare draft development plan, or animal rights legislation, or dog wardens. Was it really that easy to skip the bits on the circus that is our local roadwork’s, or Fine Gaels election promises, or the

cost of all the tribunals?. Perhaps it’s a case of the old adage, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

The Bugle is a family read paper and not politically linked to any party.
I am unaware that anything I have ever written in the Bugle could be construed as anti family or that could not be read by any member of a family so this comment is slightly perplexing. As I have already said I comment on the government of the day regardless of party.

Contributions are totally one sided and prejudiced.
As we are in possession of only one government then obviously any comments on their performance or antics are going to be one sided. I understand prejudice as an opinion or dislike which is unreasoning. I do not personally dislike the government. My opinions, however, are obviously going to be influenced by the governments conduct but I am unaware of any which are unreasoning.

One of the basic requirements of a true democracy is a free press and the inalienable right to ones opinion, except in circumstances where this goes against the common good. Am I to take it that as a government supporter our complainant has never passed comment on the opposition parties in the Dail? I doubt it.
As the make up of any proper parliament will show, there are sound reasons for opposition to the government of the day. These reasons extend to the general populace as a right. So important are these rights that they are enshrined in the constitution, which guarantees that citizens can express freely their convictions and opinions, even against the government of the day. Voltaire is attributed as having remarked that he may disagree with someone’s views but he would defend to the death their right to voice them. I expect the same rights, whether in the Bugle or anywhere else.
I will continue to comment on government where I feel it necessary, regardless of party. If I hear a minister spend twenty minutes of an interview refusing to answer a straight question I will comment on it. If I hear a minister attempt to garner plaudits for something a previous minister put in train, or otherwise demean their office, I will comment on it. If I hear a minister belittle an opposition member to deflect legitimate criticism I will comment on it. If I hear a minister attempt to defend something which is obviously indefensible then I will comment on it. If I feel a government politician is attempting to self aggrandise, is blustering or bluffing, or is being economical with the truth then obviously I will comment on it. This will apply regardless of party or affiliation. If our unnamed complainant can refer to any items I have written which were erroneous or untrue I am more than willing to correct the view and apologise.
If , on the other hand the Bugle is not comfortable with this type of comment, it might be time to move on. A monthly page on community orientated and family friendly local flora and fauna just doesn’t do it for me.

All for now. Mike Edmonds.
The Millionaire

Being the Punchestown edition of our magazine, it is better that levity reign rather than a planned article on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, winners and losers.
Originally published in the Chronicle of an Historic Parish (Ballymore Eustace) in 1953, this poem was recited by Mr. Peter Keeley of Punchestown to Fr. Browne P.P., whose amusing introductory comments are here included in edited form: “Sometime in 1914 a news item in the Leinster Leader stated that a Mr. Moore, of Tully, Co. Kildare, had inherited a fortune of £250,000 from his uncle, John Moore, who owned goldfields in Kalgoorlie, Australia. A postscript mentioned that relatives of the deceased lived in Ballymore Eustace and would be contacted shortly.
“In due time there arrived a tall, swarthy typical colonial with broad brimmed hat, gold-filled teeth and a nasal drawl. He was dubbed ‘The Millionaire’ and the town was thrown open to him as citizens vied for his attention. Family trees were traced from the parish registry and solicitors hit pay-dirt drawing up titles for the mythical millions.
“The Millionaire, whose favourite tipple was Champagne laced with brandy was munificent, assuring favourable ladies of future fortunes and all debts due by him were to be entered against the day of final reckoning. One evening towards nightfall, he left to visit a nearby friend. He was never seen again.”

There came to Ballymore last week a seedy sort of swell
But who was he or whence he came I’m sure there’s none can tell.
The publicans around the town free drinks with him did share
And all agreed of one accord, he was a Millionaire.

The best accommodation the village could provide
Was quickly at his service, too, down by the Liffey side;
In cosy rooms without a draught, within an easy chair,
With slippers on the fender, sat our new—found Millionaire.

The Butcher and the Baker his highness sought to please
With mutton chops and sirloin steak, with Bovril and with cheese,
With Hovis bread and biscuits, choice wines of vintage rare,
And all to tempt the palate of our splendid Millionaire.

Our Jarveys, too, a knowing lot as to be found you bet,
Came tipping round with whips erect, his patronage to get;
His presence so impressed them that they never asked their fare,
For they thought it quite an honour to drive the Millionaire.

To describe his boundless riches is more than I can do;
He had oil wells in Kansas and rubber in Peru,
Diamond mines in Kimberley and gems of beauty rare,
And gold fields in Klondyke, brought wealth to our Millionaire.

To guard against mishap or death, he made his will in Naas,
And left some splendid fortunes to young ladies round the place.
Two thousand and his motor car he left one maiden fair,
But that was just a trifle to a multi-Millionaire.

Suspicion travels very fast when once it gets abroad,
And Mosey Brien declared at once, this fellow was a fraud.
Besides we never saw his cash for he had none to spare:
He never meant to pay his debts, the skulking Millionaire.

One balmy night when stars were bright and the moon shone in the sky
He took French-leave of all his friends and never said goodbye.
And if you ask him where he’s gone they’ll only blush and stare
And won’t admit they were codded by a swindling Millionaire.
Michael Ward.
Detective John McCarville retires (with 4-5 photos)
Residents from the communities of Ballymore Eustace, Blessington, Manor Kilbride and Hollywood turned out in force to pay tribute to retiring Dectective John McCarville at The Ardenode House Hotel recently. Throughout his 33 year career with the Gardai, John had worked with the Carlow, Baltinglass, Naas divisions and in latter years, was based at Blessington Station. There were more ‘supers’ in attendance than all of the Superman films and series put together!

Presentations and tributes were made to John from Chief Superintendent Michael Burns (Naas); Superintendent Tom Mulligan (Baltinglass); Superintendent Tom Neville (Naas); Superintendent Gerry Redmond (Carlow) with Inspector Patsy Glennon (Naas) and colleagues from Blessington also in attendance. Martin Walker, Area Administrator, Blessington and Garda Brendan Costelloe paid warm tributes to John, not only for his professional input but as the person colleagues chose to confide in and seek advice from.

“Just looking at the attendance here tonight,” said retired Chief Superintendent Sean Feeley. “There’s sheepmen, sand & gravel men, concrete men, community workers – from all parishes around. John epitomises ‘good policing’; it’s not all about pulling people at check points or getting cases into court. John more than any one has integrated with the community, advising families in difficult times and kept many a person on the straight and narrow.”

Tributes from further Garda representatives voiced not only huge respect for John in his role of policing and investigative work, but for his compassion both to members of the public and to his team-mates whom he appears to have been somewhat of a confidante and general ‘counsellor’. His wit and humour too referred to and you could feel the genuine affection and esteem he is held in throughout the Garda Force.

Community Awards
As the tributes flowed, this sentiment was repeated throughout the night with community awards also presented by Eddie Hubbard from Ballymore Eustace GFC; Eoghan Barrett of BME Juvenile GFC; Mairead O Flynn, principal of Scoil Mhuire and Tim Grace of The Ballymore Eustace Senior Citizen’s Association who described his good friend as a “pure gentleman” and Kathleen Jordan presenting Pauline with a floral bouquet.

“Everybody knows him!”
In a humorous mode, Mairead O Flynn praised John as ‘the voice of reason’ on the Scoil Mhuire Board of Management and thanked him for his incredible input into the running of the school. Presenting John with a framed collage of school children’s finger prints - which she hoped would not yield results in future crime investigations - Mairead added: “ We recently asked the children to talk about famous people they admired; of course, we got the usual results – Posh and Becks, popstars, Anthony Rainbow – but one little girl put up her hand and said “John McCarville, Miss! He has a farm near my granny – I don’t know what he is famous for, Miss but everybody knows him!”

“John - the epitome of good policing” – Sean Feeley (4-5 photos)

“Don’t become a Consultant, John!”
Fr Frank McDonald and Fr Sean Breen attended the tribute night and the latter was called upon to make a few words. One thing you can say about our padre – he is predictably interesting in his speeches because you really can’t predict what he is going to say! “Let me tell you about this family, John, who were driven mad by this amorous tom cat of theirs. Every night, the lively chap kept them awake until finally, they decided to ‘have the job done’, if you know what I mean. All was well for a few nights but then they found their yard full of cats again, about 20 of them sitting around listing to yer man in the middle. Now that he couldn’t do the deed himself, he was telling the other cats how to go about it – that’s what consultants do, do you see. For God’s sake, John, don’t become a consultant…”

Joking aside, Fr Breen paid warm compliments to John for his strong faith, noting that John and his family were regular churchgoers, “not like some of ye here who only come now and again and yez stick out like a sore thumb ‘cos ye stand up when ye are supposed to sit down…” You won’t fall asleep listening to our padre, that’s for sure!

Garda Ann Marie Molloy made a presentation to Pauline, John’s wife and John in turn, thanked Pauline for her quiet support over his 33 years in the force and acknowledged that her privacy and family life was often intruded upon by the nature of his job. In an emotive speech, he praised his children Aine, Darren and Mark of whom he is “extremely proud of your achievements and your outlook on life”, his colleagues past and present and in particular staff of Blessington Garda Station and Tim Grace who organised the farewell function.

John acknowledged friends from Roscommon who had travelled for the occasion and the many gardai he had worked with previously. He further thanked all the local clubs who made presentations to him, his neighbours in the Donode and Naas Road and his many good ‘farm advisors’ in Tipperkevin plus the Church of Ireland in Blessington for their kind tribute during the week before.

“I will miss the camaraderie and the many good friends I’ve made over the years in the force” added John “but I will not miss having to call to a family to tell them we’ve found their son’s body in the Dublin mountains with a bullet in the back of their head or to another family to inform them their child has been killed in a car accident. That is something you never get used to.”

John takes on the role of Liaison Officer in the housing department with Naas Town Council this month despite Fr Sean Breen’s plea. I was so pleased to attend his tribute night, to acknowledge a man who was a terrific neighbour to all on the Naas Road, to a man who was given The Ballymore Eustace Person of the Year Award for his community work and who clearly will be remembered for the compassion he showed during his 33 year career in the Garda Siochana.

Good luck and good health to you always, John.

Rose B O Donoghue
Environmental Community Projects for Ballymore Eustace

In June 2004, planning permission was granted to KTK Sand & Gravel Limited for the restoration of its sand and gravel pits at Naas Road, Ballymore Eustace. It was a condition of the planning permission that KTK should contribute 7 cent per ton of material accepted at the pit to facilitate community environmental projects.

The planning permission also provided that the identification of these projects should be decided on by a community liaison committee based on equal representation of personnel from the county council, KTK, local residents and elected members of Kildare County Council.

The membership of the committee, which was established by the county council, consists of the following:

Councillors Billy Hillis and Mary Glennon; Mike Edmonds and Rose Barrett-O’Donoghue on behalf of the local community; Kevin Keenan and Mervyn Ross representing the developer; and George Perry and Simon Wallace county council personnel.

The committee held its first meeting in Ballymore Eustace on the 22 March, and elected Councillor Billy Hillis as its chairman. The committee agreed to invite submissions from the local community for suitable environmental projects and proposals in this regard should be submitted by 14 May to George Perry, Kildare County Council, Áras Chill Dara, Devoy Park, Naas*. Any proposals submitted by that date will be considered by the committee at its next meeting which will be held on the 22 May.

Projects may require co-funding, i.e. some contribution from the proposer. However, this requirement will not apply to projects with value below €400. Spending on projects will require accounting procedures which are necessary for audit purposes. The following page includes an application form which should be completed by groups seeking funding.

In the event of any project being identified, it will require to be approved at a public meeting of the county council. Arrangements will then be made for implementation of the project.
Elections and other Matters Yrs Jeffers

There’s election fever in the air and as I write this article no one knows what way the cat will jump. By the time you read this we could have a result! Listening to the various parties give their spake it seems like a Dutch auction is in progress; each party determined to underbid the opposition. It’s all rather boring and reminds me of that song from the musical ‘Annie get your Gun’, “anything you can do I can do better”. Though mind you, one fellow said, when laying out his stall, that if he doesn’t or can’t fulfil his objectives should he be elected, he will resign. That’s got to be a first.

Just think of all the unfilled promises made down through the years; the promises are long gone and mostly forgotten, but the guys who made them are still there and some went on to higher things. Why, even those who got, shall we say ‘moved sideways’ out of their respected party for some indiscretion or other are back in their own little bailiwick gaining popularity by the new time. “Sure he/she done no rale harm”, is our Irish attitude to such matters, and “sure maybe he/she will do some rale good for me” should the occasion arise. Take your pick and place your vote, remembering, that we get the government we deserve!

I recently read an article by an economist who seems to think that this election could be a good one to lose. He was referring to the halt in the Celtic Tigers gallop. No one knows for certain if the gallop will slow to a trot or come to a full stop, but the signs are there, and regardless of who gets elected the laizzes-faire attitude as to how we spend our surplus millions will have to change. Remember at the last budget our Minster for Finance missed out on a million or two, or was it billions? In short what the man was saying was that ‘squander mania’ will have to stop. I would suggest that who ever gets Finance in the next government should do a course in addition and subtraction before he gets the job. If per chance we do come to a slow down in the economy we will want to be able to account for every penny never mind millions.

Having all our eggs in one basket, the construction industry, to the detriment of other industries is not the brightest of ideas. House building has slowed, what do we fall back on? Yes, I know that our hi-tech industries are still pulling their weight but one or two have decided to move some of their operations to other countries where production costs are cheaper. Let’s hope that this doesn’t become a mad exodus.

Another bone of contention that’s going on as I write is the nurse’s demands for more pay and less hours. What’s new? I have to declare an interest here for I married a nurse so you can easily guess whose side I’m on! Generally speaking they have the sympathy of the public, but some of the daily newspapers have questioned their demands, doing comparisons with other public service workers pay rates. Comparisons are odious, and it’s easy pick figures out of the sky to suit your point of view. I pick one at random, ‘nurses pay has risen 100% since 1997’. That’s a pointless statistic that reads well on paper, but is completely useless unless one knows what the base rate was in 1997. Trolley Mary had her own statistic. “The average annual salary of a nurse in 2005 was 56,000 euro,” she informed the Dail, not saying what grade or category that figure applied to. Another meaningless statistic. She could have given us an odious comparison with a block layers or a ministerial salary!

Put another way, just supposing you’re at deaths door in a hospital bed and you open your eyes. Who do you want leaning over you and checking on your chances, a block layer, Trolley Mary, or a qualified nurse? Financially speaking, and we’re talking money here, I for one know who I’d put my money on!

Speaking about my recovery chances I wouldn’t change my mind. Staying with finances can somebody tell me the logic of this; it is possible, I’m told, that a nurse can leave her job in a hospital, join an agency, and come back next day to the same hospital and get more money. Riddle me that. And here’s a statistic that will give you a laugh. In the long long ago, I dare not mention the exact time or I’ll face divorce proceedings, a nurse starting her training paid fifty pounds for the privilege of becoming a nurse, in her first year, and then rose to the princely sum of five pounds (sterling) a month when qualified, and the run of her mouth. Boys’ o boys.

Finally a word about the ‘Historic Occasion’. Could this be the very last one? What will Tommy O’Gorman our Northern correspondent, and all other media buffs do without an ‘Historic Occasion’ to talk about. What a sight to behold, Bertie and Ian glad-handing and backslapping out Farmleigh way. Could we make this a truly ‘Historic Occasion’ by holding a commemorative service once a year in memory of all the innocents and their bereaved relatives and friends who were murdered and maimed by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, in a mindless and murderess campaign for thirty years or more, when a bit of glad handing and backslapping was all that was needed.

Yrs D.Jeffers.
Direct Bugle email -
For acknowledgements, births, anniversaries, wedding photos, birthdays etc, send them to:
ballymorebugle@eircom.net or drop them into Notes Box at Fogarty’s Post Office or Elizabeth’s Hair Salon; please drop Crossword entries into Hanlon’s Betting Shop directly.

Big Birthdays
Happy Birthday to Kevin Myers who celebrated a milestone birthday this month.
Happy First Birthday to Nick Deegan on the 3rd of May. Lots of love from Mammy and Daddy.

Congratulations to Denise and Pat Nolan on the birth of Baby Ella Kate – please note, Ella’s grandma, Mary nee Doonan also hails from Ballymore

And another little Nolan arrival, Baby Jack Daniel, born to Linda and Danny – begod, Bridgie is busy knitting this weather…. ( That’s a place on future GAA teams guaranteed too if Paddy has anything to do with it! With Gerry and Breda Bell as the other grandparents, these children will be spoilt for choice.


To Grainne & Jack Doyle on the birth of a bouncing baby girl.
Town Hall, Naas every Friday 10am-12pm

Delightful confectionery and tasty goodies on offer every week
Dietary restrictions catered for – Coeliacs, Vegetarians, etc

Also Crafts and Giftware; Plants, fresh flowers and dried floral arrangement
Fresh Produce, free range eggs

Text or phone orders to 085 7712600
New members welcome, contact 045 879536
Pre-orders must be collected before 11am

A relaunch of Community Alert
Will take place in the Community Hall on Thursday 3rd of May at 8.30 p.m.

Speakers to include:

Sgt, Mary Corcoran from Naas Garda Station.
Noel McCarthy of Muintir na Tire.

The new committee will also be introduced.

All are welcome. Community Alert concerns everyone.