Tuesday, May 22, 2007

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).

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