Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tim’s Diary….

The culmination of weeks of work and years of the present government comes to and end next weekend. A lot of us complain about politicians, they are unpopular 85% of the time. I hold an unpopular view that they are a brave bunch. The thoughts of me asking my peers, let alone the general public, to sanction my salary for the next few years would terrify me. So, if you want to complain about them get out and vote. Good luck to ALL the candidates especially the ones from our own backyard.

Brigid & Des Byrne stopped over for a brief visit last week. Travelling with their son, Conor, they had been to Donegal and Galway. Whilst in the West they visited Des’s twin brother, who unfortunately is not enjoying the best of health. The Byrnes are fighting fit and Brigid got a great kick out of the recent piece about her eightieth in the last edition.
Speaking of ex-pats, I’m sure that you will join with me in sending greetings to the Kavanaghs, Peter & co., who have recently joined the ranks of our many readers in far off lands.

There was a good response to the “Famous Five’s” competition. I was wrong; we did have lots of entries. First correct entry pulled from “The Bugle” postbox was from Brid Murphy of Whitleas. The drinks are on you, Brid.

For those of you who frequent the Interweb, here are some interesting links:
Tim’s Punchestown Diary….

Walking Sunday is a great tradition and this year it received a huge boost with extensive sponsorship from Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly. Free Health checks, pedometers, fruit and a brilliant little booklet on the history of the event, written by Seamie Moore. Apart from the children, and dogs, in fancy dress, who were fundraising fro Rathmore National School, they were few locals in evidence. Naas Athletic Club ran the Millbrook Cup, an event contested since 1924, but conditions were not conducive to walking, let alone running. The Wolfe Tone Brass and Reed band were notable absentees.

The village looked bereft of colour and atmosphere without the buntings, flags and hurdles. I hope that the break in the Festival is short lived.

Micheal Murphy walked into the races with me on Tuesday. He goes to every race meeting in Punchestown and has been attending the festival for umpteen years and was looking forward to four great days racing. The opening race on day one was sponsored by local man Paul Newman, who also had some of his classic car collection on display. The race stayed local with the Kinirons family taking the spoils. Another family successful on the day were the Heffernans, the big grocers who own Clopf. Clopf® as you know is a blend of three different polypropylene fibres used on tracks and gallops. The best dressed lady was christened “The Dominatrix” by Alan Hughes, and was yet another Newman, Jane Newman. It is an interesting sideshow in Punchestown with a winner’s prize of €30,000. Certainly Brendan McArdle was enjoying it !! I met with Margaret Pearse and Marie Murphy, the latter threatening to demob and go back to €1 patents in Tony Hanlon’s. Speaking of patents, a shoe shop would clean up over the four days as a lot of the ladies were reporting lame at the end of each day. They have everything else; Punchestown is now a very slick organization, with the William Hill blimp. Musical fanfares for the winners, loads of helicopters and even a man on the course to direct jockeys to the start. The unluckiest man on Tuesday, apart from myself, had to be Graham Lee, his mount Four Aces, had the “Ellier” at his mercy when jumping onto the last fence. Happily both man and beast were unharmed in the tumble.
On Wednesday, Chris Dennison, fresh from a sojourn in the Fianna Fail tent on Tuesday was busy snapping away. Fr. Sean Breen was in great form giving winners to anyone who cared to listen. The big race on Wednesday, the Guinness Gold Cup went across the pond when Ruby guided Neptune Collenges to victory. The grey is owned by John Hales, a great supporter of the game, he is also the man behind, Noddy, Thomas the tank engine and Shaun the sheep. Cheeverstown colleague Frances McHugh was one of the finalists in the Best Dressed Lady contest on Wednesday. Frances is always immaculately turned out and always has lovely “Jimmy Choos” After racing I met Margaret McDonald and her sister Anne Tipper. Anne was living up to her name having backed FIVE winners on the day. That night we went down to sample the (lack of) atmosphere in Ballymore. The quiet village, it was.

On Thursday Colette got all dolled up and brother Mick joined us for a day out. We spent more time sitting and shopping and chatting than racing. The highlight of the Thursday for me is always the La Touche. This year it was sponsored by Jimmy Stanley’s Avon Ri resort. Royston, brother of Cyprian, former protégée of Bertie, now there’s a pedigree, was on hand to present the trophy to…..
Enda Bolger of course. Winning the banks race ten times on the trot. We can all remember Sean Connery' Risk of Thunder, who dominated this race from 1995 to 2002 winning seven on the bounce, a feat only surpassed by Leaping Plum who has won the Grasmick Handicap on eight occasions. On Thursday local interest in the BDL competition centered on Marianne Kavanagh from Bishophill.

We had a group from work as well as family together for the last day of the festival on Friday. It was Peter & Patricia’s first time racing and I think that they are converted. I would have to say that I was disappointed in some of the things that I saw on the day. A large proportion of the 32,000 who attended were teenage boys and girls. The drinking and other activities that most of them engaged in have little place at a race meeting. I realize that it is hard to police by the Punchestown management are going to have to take some action in advance of 2008 if they are to keep things right. The multitude of empty naggin vodka bottles would suggest that a lot of planning had gone into the day. Nonetheless the sparkling weather, excellent racing and a curtain call in the last which went the right way for old “Moscow” made it a brilliant experience. I was back out at the track at 9 p.m. and the craic was still going strong. The Coonan’s were represented in this race which was really nice. Micheal Murphy was still standing as I left and already talking about next year.

We ate in the Ballymore Inn that evening. You know that I don’t hold with restaurant reviews, but the atmosphere was enhanced by the company, the wine and a 3-2 victory for the black cats over Burnley.

On Saturday normal service resumed at Punchestown, the meeting closing with two divisions of …………….The Ballymore Festival Bumper.
The State We Are In.

In early April, Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) submitted a report – entitled The State We Are In - to Kildare County Council (KCC), our local County Councillors, and our local TD’s. The report, along with a covering letter, was addressed to the following people:

Mr. J. Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – KCC)

Mr. William Purcell (Area Engineer - KCC)

Willie Callaghan

Mary Glennon

Billy Hillis

Paddy MacNamara

JJ Power

Mr. Sean O’Fearghail TD

Mr. Sean Power TD

Mr. Jack Wall TD

The report was written in response to the numerous complaints that Ballymore Eustace (BME) Community Development Association (CDA) has received, from inhabitants and visitors to BME, concerning the poor state of the roads, bridges, walkways and environs in and around the village. In the covering letter, we also pointed out that our attempts to improve our score in the annual Tidy Towns competition had been thwarted by many of the problems described in the report, many of which are outside our responsibilities and control. The report highlighted the main problems and described some particular – but not exhaustive - examples in words and pictures. BME CDA requested a meeting to discuss and prioritise the issues identified in the report.

To date – early May - we have received responses from the following people as a result of our submission:

1 Sean Power TD has made representations to Joe Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – Kildare County Council) and has promised to monitor developments closely.

2 As a result of Sean Power’s and the CDA’s submissions to KCC, Mr. Pat Whelan (Senior Executive Officer – KCC) has written to both Sean Power and the CDA. His letter advises us that the Area Engineer of KCC is examining the issues raised in the CDA’s report and Pat Whelan has arranged a meeting with him, on 27 April 2007, to discuss the outcome of his assessment. Mr. Whelan will then report to the CDA on the result of this meeting.

3 Jack Wall TD has contacted Joe Boland (Director Transportation/Health and Public Safety – Kildare County Council) on the CDA’s behalf stressing the importance of the issues raised in our report (The State We Are In). He has also contacted Councillor Paddy Mac Namara asking him to arrange for a deputation from the CDA to attend the next KCC Local Area Committee Meeting to present our case.

4 Councillor Paddy Mac Namara has also contacted us direct to advise that he will raise the matters contained within our report and ask the Area engineer to respond.

We encourage the residents of Ballymore Eustace to raise the issues on the doorstep with canvassers in the lead up to general election.

Eric Firth (Committee Member Ballymore Eustace CDA)
1.5.2007 JB/RO’N

Mr. Eric Firth,
Ballymore Eustace C.D.A.
Truce Road,
Ballymore Eustace,

Re: Roads and related issues in Ballymore Eustace.

A Chara,

I refer to your recent submission forwarded by Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association in
the above regard. At the outset might I compliment the local community regarding a range of initiatives which they have undertaken in recent years. Certainly, for its part, the Council are more than anxious to work with the C.D.A. in order to ensure the betterment of Ballymore Eustace and its hinterlands.

In the above regard, I am pleased to advise that the Council propose to allocate an additional sum of €125,000 in 2007, over and above existing maintenance expenditure, in order to address some of the issues highlighted by the C.D.A. In this regard, I am further to advise that the Area Engineer, Mr. Willie Purcell has examined the issues raised on a preliminary basis. It is proposed, at the outset, to prioritize the following aspects.

(a) Truce Road – to examine and address the underlying flooding issue as well as to carry out surface repairs.
(b) Bishophill Road – to carry out further maintenance works.
(c) Barrack Street – to carry out further reinstatements to pavement.
(d) Naas Road – you may be aware that substantial expenditure was incurred in 2006 in order to carry out strengthening improvements to the verges. It is proposed to carry out additional reinstatement works throughout the length of this scheme, the costs to be borne as part of the Water Services contract

I am pleased to advise that the following additional allocations will be made available.

1. Alliganstown Bridge

Reconstruction works are due to commence in a fortnight or so for completion probably in late August/ early September. The total cost of these works will be in the region of €250,000 and this funding has been provided as part of the Council’s capital programme.

2. Dowdenstown Road

In addition to the foregoing a sum of €25,000 will be made available in order to carry out improvements to the Dowdenstown Road.

I am further to confirm that the Area Engineer will examine the Brook of Donode Bridge, as requested. In addition, I have requested the Council’s specialist bridge engineer, Mr. Aidan Farrell, Senior Executive Engineer, to examine the issues raised regarding Ballymore Bridge. Again, I will communicate with you further in this regard.

In relation to other items raised I am to advise as follows:-

· The Council’s Environment Section will examine in detail the issues raised regarding the derelict sites. As you are aware the council does have the statutory remit to take action, where appropriate, in this regard. I do assure you that this particular issue will receive every consideration.

· The position regarding full- time street cleaners in various towns and villages throughout the county is currently being considered. However, realistically, there are unlikely to be any changes in current arrangements in the short term. The matter is, however, due to be reviewed in the context of the 2008 budget which will be considered in September next. Again, I will keep you appraised of any developments in this regard.

· I am further to confirm that the Road Design team have been requested to prepare a traffic calming scheme and to review safety issues generally at the school. I am to advise that detailed plans and proposals should be available in this regard shortly and it may, indeed be possible to progress this as a scheme in 2008. It will, however, be necessary to up- grade the surface of the road at this location in the first instance. I will arrange to forward a copy of these drawings to the Community development association in due course in order that its comments and observations can be fully considered as part of the design process. Traffic calming arrangements, including pedestrian controlled lights and special 30 km/h speed limits (during school hours) are currently being prioritized for a number of schools, particularly in rural areas, throughout the county. The provision of such a facility for Ballymore Eustace will be actively considered in this regard. Regrettably, however, it is unlikely that such a facility can be provided in Chapel Street in the short term.

· Realistically, given the costs involved there is little likelihood of under#grounding the overhead street wires either in the short or medium term. Regrettably, the nature of this work is inherently expensive and, as you will glean from your own submission, there are many other priorities.

· I have requested the area office to liaise with the Gardai regarding the enforcement of the one- way system on Plunkett Road.

· I have also requested the Road Design team to re-examine the designation of parking areas and will correspond further with you in this regard. You will be aware that markings were recently provided at Chapel Street to include a facility for disabled persons. In addition, a double yellow line was provided, as requested, at the entrance to St.Brigid’s Park. I would be pleased to get the feed back of the C.D.A. in this regard that I can, again, be fully taken into account in the design process.

· Regarding footpaths, the Council is anxious to complete a section on Barrack Street (Garda Station side). However, this will be subject to funding being identified. No doubt, its completion will complement other footpath improvement completed in recent years at Chapel Street, Plunkett Road and Main Street. It may well be possible to advance this as a scheme in 2008. It is, however, unlikely to be feasible to carry out improvements on the other side in the short term although the Area Engineer should be in a position to carry out some repair work.

I trust that the foregoing, though perhaps not to the full satisfaction of the C.D.A., at least clarifies most of the issues involved and sets out a programme of work for 2007. This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis as issues arise and, hopefully, it will be possible to continue this programme in future years.

Yours faithfully,


One of the very few authors that I can own to having read all their work is Ian McEwan- I have been a fan of his since he first published short stories in the early 1980’s. When he brought out “Saturday”, a couple of years ago I found it was the first of his novels that I didn’t enjoy. I know a lot of people really liked his account of a day in the life of a heart surgeon, which interlaced themes of the Iraq war, family relationships and the intricacies of cardiology. I am afraid it left me cold however, so I was curious as to how I would get on with his latest offering: “On Chesil Beach” (Hardback: Jonathan Cape: 17 euro)

This is a short novel, very much in keeping stylistically with some of his earlier work such as “The Cement Garden” and “First love, last rites”. It is set in the early 1960’s and tells the story of a newly married couple who experience fear and extremes of awkwardness on their wedding night. I have read a number of reviews of this in recent weeks, (including an interesting commentary by Mary Kenny in the Indo….) where the subject matter seems to have dominated the integrity of the novel itself. Mean does tackle a subject which has been somewhat taboo- a discussion and analysis of sexual inhibitions and inadequacies, but I think he does it in a sensitive and masterful way. He depicts the two characters Edward and Florence in some detail, so that the reader gets a genuine feel for both them as individuals and their mutual attraction. I also felt the book had a lovely feel of the period, of being on the cusp of a wave of social and political change, and that this gave it depth.

I thoroughly enjoyed this short novel and found McEwan to be right back on top form. It was a tender, believable and sad description of the human condition, as only he seems to have the words to define it.

The other book I read was contrastingly quite light and humorous and would probably be a good summer read. Bella Pollen’s “Hunting Unicorns” ( Paperback: Pan: 11 euro) portrays the intriguing world of the remaining British aristocracy, as many of them struggle to maintain their large and dwindling estates. It contrasts the worlds Daniel and Rory, two sons of the aristocracy, with Maggie, a sharp and streetwise journalist who is filming a documentary on the Brits. Bella Pollen has a confident and engaging narrative style and her characters are well drawn. The story is emotional without being overly sentimental and the plot kept me going throughout. The only thing that I didn’t like about this novel was that the writer does use humour well, but she also introduced several “funny” stories ( such as the one about the dog digging up the dead rabbit), as real plot devices, which cheapened the story somewhat and were totally superfluous.

As usual, the books are available from Janet Hawkins and her team in the Blessington bookstore- they will be delighted to help you choose your holiday reads if you are overwhelmed with the choice on offer!


Hi Folks,

Just a note on the Youth Club and how things are progressing. Since moving the club to the handball alley on Friday nights due to it been more convenient for storage, the club has been running very well, we have a steady flow of members each week & all amenities are getting plenty of use!

We had a disco in April and it proved very successful and we will have more in the near future. We are planning a handball exhibition and a beauty night which will take place before the end of term. Also, we are at present planning a day trip for all the members of the Youth Club, details will be confirmed by the end of May. We hope to organise an end of summer BBQ in August before school returns.

The committee would like to thank the volunteers that have given their time & efforts in getting the Youth Club up & going. Without your help it would not be possible to run the youth club, so thank you. We have also enlisted more volunteers, their leadership training will begin in September, which when completed will total approx 20 volunteers. Thank you also to the Handball Alley Committee for allowing us the use the alley.
The Youth Club will finish Friday 1st June for the summer months. Details of the events above will be in the ball alley over the summer , so keep an eye out!
Ballymore Ladies

Division 4 League
Vs. Balyna II
On Sunday 15th April, Balyna’s 2nd team travelled to Ballymore. Balyna were the only other team in the league to have won all of their games. They certainly gave Ballymore a game with a good spell in the 2nd half but Ballymore always looked like they would win it. The forwards were particularly strong on this day with Stephanie Harney and Woman of the Match Louise Burke putting in great performances.
Scorers for Ballymore:
Dawn Murray 3-6
Stephanie Harney 1-4
Louise Burke 1-1
Fran Burke 0-1

Ballymore 5-12 Balyna II 2-9

Vs. Rheban
Having beaten their closest rivals in the league on Sunday, the ladies then made the trip to Athy to face new entrants Rheban on Tuesday 17th. Ballymore never really got going in the first half, and it was probably Rheban’s enthusiasm off-the-ball that left the ladies finishing the first half up by 7 points.
A good talking to at half-time (John Hubbard seems so mild-mannered but he can be quite scary!) and the ladies ran out a different team. Everyone linked well from the goalkeeper up to the forwards and Rheban were extremely frustrated, the brunt of which was felt by Gemma Swords who had to be taken off winded. This only served to make Ballymore more determined that the opposition wouldn’t score and the ladies ran out easy winners in the end.
Woman of the Match went to Sheena Hubbard.
Scorers for Ballymore:
Dawn Murray 0-11
Stephanie Harney 1-4
Sheena Hubbard 0-3
Cleo Hubbard 1-0
Valerie Byrne 0-1
Sharon O’Donoghue 0-1

Rheban 0-0 Ballymore 2-20
(This was actually reported to the county board as 4-22 but we only counted 2-20!)

League – ladies undefeated after first round of the league
The ladies have now finished the league, beating all of the other teams and achieving the maximum 18 pts. The plan had been to split the league into two and have separate playoffs for the two groups. With Grangenolvan II’s withdrawal, there are only 6 teams left and the County Board have decided to have a full 2nd round of reverse fixtures so Ballymore Ladies have it all to do again starting in July!

Summer Cup Competition
Ballymore Ladies have decided to take part in the County Summer Cup Competition. This competition involves clubs from all of the divisions and is to be played without senior county players.
Every club involved is guaranteed 2 games. The Winners of Round 1 games will then comprise Pool 1 for the second round draw. The other teams will be Pool 2.

There’s nothing like a good competitive game and for Round 1, Ballymore will be hosting Division 1 league leaders Balyna!

U-16 League Final
Eadestown beat Na Fianna in the Div. 2 League Final on Tuesday, 1st May.
Held in Rathcoffey, the team included a number of Ballymore girls including Orla Hanlon at full-forward.
From the Ballymore Ladies club, Teresa Gorman played at centre-half forward and Cleo Hubbard came into the half-forward line helping Eadestown to a 4 point victory. Well done girls!

Almost 20 girls from the team will take part in the mini-marathon on Monday, 4th June. All monies will go to the Hospice and PAWS so please support generously.

Good luck to all of the girls doing school and college exams over the next few months. Louise Burke is the only team member doing her Leaving Cert with Danielle Parker completing her Junior Cert.

Tug of War
Ballymore GAA held a sports day on the May Bank Holiday Sunday. Apart from the underage football and hurling games, there was also a Leinster tug of war competition.
13 members of Ballymore Ladies decided to partake in the ‘rope-pulling’ although all refused to weigh-in! There were 2 teams with the younger team members taking on their older rivals. Personally I think we were robbed, with Karen Balfe falling over laughing when heckled by the crowd!
Anyway, the ‘young ones’ took the cup which is now residing in Paddy’s with our welly match trophy. Thanks to Ballymore GAA for organising the match and providing the lovely cup.
The winning ‘Young Ones’ team:
Nicola Rigney
Amanda Conway
Sheena Hubbard
Stacey Balfe
Susan Foley
Stephanie Harney
Teresa Gorman
Jeffers. Priorities.
Things haven’t changed all that much since I last wrote. The date for the election has been picked but one can hardly describe that as a change; more of a chance really, and by the time you read this maybe we’ll know who’s going to lead us by the nose for the next five years. But the nurses and consultants squabble still drags on as I write, and for all of us who may be sick or ailing, or have a loved one or friend in that situation, it’s a lot more pertinent to us than listening to political spoof.
The Minister for Trolleys got some stick on Questions and Answers t’other night (April 30th) but fair dues to her she fought her corner well. Like all politicians she’s well able to dish out loads of statistics and figures and amounts of monies spent, which are meaningless to the average listener, and skilfully side step awkward questions. Admittedly, when questioned by a nurse in the audience with twenty years nursing experience behind her, and on a salary of forty two thousand euro per year, what her salary was, she quickly gave us in convoluted manner a sum that added up to something over two hundred thousand euro per year and then pleaded the sob story about the possibility of being out on her ear after the 24th and becoming redundant. Dear dear, is there no cushy state board jobs left, and what about the Senate where you can sit, either on the way up or down? Neither was there any mention of a ministerial pension to help keep the wolf from the door! I don’t know what the pension amount is, but it’s a safe bet that it tops what that nurse from the audience will get.
The debacle with the consultants drags on. Bear with me while I tell you a true story. Two consultants are having morning coffee in the canteen of a well known hospital. Consultant No 1 with feigned surprised says, “What are you doing here, I thought you’d be hard at it down in theatre”. Consultant No 2: “I should be, but my patients have been cancelled because there’s no beds for them”. Wouldn’t you just love to be one of his patients, especially if you were near deaths door? If the present compliment of consultants are idling away their time in the canteen through no fault of their making, what will these extra consultants that the Minister for Trolleys is about to employ put in their time at? A footnote to the advertisement should read, -- “Top priority will be given to those who can bring a bed or two along.”
Isn’t it amazing how an election can concentrate the mind, certainly the minds of those holding power? Take for example the proposed new motorway up at Tara. A wrangle has been going on between concerned residents, archaeologists, and government since it was first mooted. Alternative routes were suggested and proposed, but the government held fast; this highway had to go right on, through probably the most important historical site in the country. To hell with history progress can’t be stopped was the attitude taken; then all of a sudden an election looms up over the horizon. Wha-da-ya-know it is now possible to put a bend in this modern work of art, so’s that the dead can rest easy; but more important, can a bunch of jittery politicians who’ll jig and jive and promise what ever you’re havin’ you’re self hold onto power? Stamp duty couldn’t be tinkered with, huffed and puffed Minister Cowen when delivering his budget six months ago; why the whole economy seemed to hinge on stamp duty. Tinker with it and the whole country would descend into rack and ruin. Just like Maggie Thatcher some years ago ‘ the man was not for turning’. Then other parties, interested in gaining power promised to tinker with it if elected, and all of a sudden the present shower decide to have a look see and just maybe, a bit of tinkering could be feasible! Then out of the blue comes a news flash. --- ‘Stamp duty to Go’. It would be ‘prudent and affordable’ to do so, says the man at the top. When is a U-turn not a U-turn? Like the change of direction on the N3 at Tara could it be described as a ‘Bend’? Where do we go from here, whom do we believe? Is your confidence in politicians shaken somewhat?
And what about the ‘On again, Off again, On again,’ party. The following few lines should sum it up.
McDowell he was a lawyer man with the facts he couldn’t quibble
So he called his team around him to cut out all the drivel
To be or not to be said he, that really is the question
So they all went home to think it out, and we got indigestion.
I suppose the things that matter at election time will eventually be talked about before the big day, but as I write I for one am heartily sick of hearing who got what sums of money and where they went or how they were spent. We’ve heard it all before; if it wasn’t politicians on the make it was big business, or banks, and very few heads rolled. The higher up the political or corporate ladder you climb, your chances of getting kicked out reduce in proportion to your position, so lets be hearing from all parties as to how they might manage the next five years. Our Celtic Tiger’s gallop will settle into a canter and the jockey in charge will want to know how to pace him. Constantly hearing that we’re the richest nation in Europe or the fastest growing economy in Europe is heady stuff and if a few millions go astray on a tunnel or highway what the hell, there’s more where that came from is dangerous thinking. Squander mania needs to be checked up on; the deplorable condition of our roads and some of our schools, the chronic health situation, no provision for essential amenities in new housing estates, crime, the list is endless.
Before you cast your vote ask yourselves where your priorities lie; the essentials in life, or pie in the sky living, and what you seek for in leadership; evasiveness or integrity, bearing in mind that like the newly appointed priest or rector to a parish, non of them like ourselves are perfect!
Yrs Jeffers.
Bits n Bobs with Rose
Desperate Housewives no more
“Formerly known as “The Desperate Housewives/De Desperados”, we hereby give notice that our elite group will henceforth be known as “The Venus Perfectos” (or, if you find that difficult under certain influences, “De Perfectos will suffice).”
That, Readers is what I was told on our annual trip to Punchestown this year – Venus Perfectos, let that sink in now gently.
And the Venus Perfectos were all out in style this year but seeing as we legged it into the enclosure, our fashion efforts were not viewed by the judges – shame, we could have been in the prize-winners but the priority on arrival was to find:
A) Seating
B) Proximity to nearest bar
C) Proximity to nearest restaurant
D) Proximity to nearest toilet facility
E) Proximity to nearest Tote
F) Proximity to nearest TV for viewing

Readers, there is a dedication within this group that the United Nations would be proud of; within minutes, The Venus Perfectos had scanned the room, totally focused, not to be distracted – prime location secured and held for the afternoon with all the above criteria met in full. Seats were held with the ferocity of the Al Quieda.

Of course, we hit The Thatch first for breakfast and the place was buzzing – just as well, we had some food fuel ‘cos the bus broke down, twice before we passed the school! Pat Murphy offered the use of a horse box for ‘any loose fillies that needed collecting’ – thanks Pat, we will remember that. Eamonn Deering rescued us, Thank God and finally, we got to the races.

Some of Eliza’s millinery creations were donned with Elizabeth selling 8 hair pieces this year. Audrey went up, Cinta and Sheila went down; Jackie, Rose and Anna were out (in front) but Caroline from down the country was a mile ahead of the rest of us… Lorraine and Mary D (for a change) opted for a modest look. Louise took a tumble but with the courage of Venus herself, got up, re applied the lipstick and carried on regardless. Anne and Trish opted for classic black & white and the Curran Sisters (and Brother?) looked mighty. Young Linda, as always, turned heads (she’d look good in a paper bag – got the looks from Mother Mary who is a founder member of the group) but Mary Horan abandoned us this year, chose the husband above the Venus Perfectos and went racing on Friday instead, resplendent in a lime green ensemble. Mary is now on probation….. little apples, Mary, little apples……
(All of the above refers to the style the ladies sported on the day and only De Perfectos will understand).

What’s the next outing, Ladies? Carman Fair? Do we need to celebrate the arrival of Summer? The kids being off school? Kids going back to school? Let me know, Ladies – wouldn’t miss it……

See here, Readers, a project De Perfectos are currently working on – the Ideal Ladies Wine Glass. This is only a draft template and is subject to a year’s drinking study before it is perfected….after all, perfection is always our aim.
Mick Fennan – A Legend of Life

“Why can’t a fellow hear the fair things said
About a fellow, when a fellow’s dead.” O.W. Holmes.

News of the passing of Michael (Mick) Fennan from this life, caused a pall of great sadness to descend over his multitude of friends. Through his inventiveness, his brilliance, his impishness, his sheer hard work and persistence, his continuous good humour, he became a hugely popular person, and as time went on he inevitably became a figure of legend. And the word echoed from place to place from time past into time present and on to the future…. “He’s a legend”.
His funeral in Blessington, the greatest gathering of people the town has ever known, bore testimony to the respect in which he was held. People from every walk of life were there to say their goodbyes to this very warm-hearted and generous man who exuded so much, the joys of life. He was the epitome of ‘Being’, of living every moment, capturing and utilising each one of those seconds that constitute a minute for sixty one years; and even as the last minutes approached, when time itself was fast waning, those precious moments were not allowed to slip by unattended. His was a life lived and filled to capacity.
He was above all else, a paragon of Hope. He had a dogged persistence, initially battling against what seemed were the unreasonable vicissitudes of commercial life rising against him in his early business years, thrown up to forestall progress. When, as anyone who lived through the economic terror of the mid 1970’s and again mid 1980’s will testify, that in acute circumstances as dark economic cycles push people through seemingly un-endurable stress, in desperate solitude – an indescribable loneliness where failure looms and not even the comforts of deep and caring love are sufficient consolation. To persist through such times and succeed is a sure sign of greatness. But he was made of stern stuff and in his perennial optimism he stood four-square against the tides of un-charted circumstance. Indeed, during those times he showed what he was made of by inventing new and alternative ways to survive!

Mick, born at Broadleas, Ballymore Eustace on the 5th of June 1945, came from a family steeped in country life, imbued in the lore of the land; and of breeding, he inherited the good humour and polite, refined mannerisms of his parents, Barney, a great naturalist, and his wife Nell.
Reared with his brothers, Tom and Brian and his sister Mary in the then wide open countryside around Ballymore when hunting and fishing were more a source of food than a sport. It was an idyllic life, but he was never idle. Mrs. Barbara O’Neill recalled fondly of how as a youth this budding entrepreneur built a four-wheeled wooden cart from which he sold vegetables around the Commons. He had a delightful impishness which was to be a hallmark of his character throughout his life.
Clay Pigeon shooting was a favourite sport for him, and partnered with his good friend Arthur McMahon, he never returned from any competition without a trophy. Despite many requests, he declined to compete for Ireland at international level.
Although not trained as an architect, Mick’s ability to observe and absorb detail was remarkable. He demonstrated a complete understanding of the techniques of both architect and artisan in the rigorous detail of design, construction and refurbishment of 18th and 19th country houses, by which attributes he became consultant to prominent architects, and because this specialist knowledge which he had acquired over many years, would not have been included in the normal third level curriculum.
Like all great innovators, Mick Fennan was imaginative, artistic and inventive to the extent that notwithstanding the particular strictures and perfections of the older order, when imperfections were discovered, his enlightened application towards rectification and improvement enhanced his reputation. That he was a perfectionist is evidenced in his work as a private builder.

Testimony of his art is to be seen at Seán & Bernardine Mulryan’s, Ardenode House, where the front façade was reformed, and along with the granite portico, it took on a Majesterial status.
Similarly, though of different design, the refurbishment of Mullaboden Lodge for Kevin and June Keenan was another example of Mick Fennan’s brilliant workmanship and knowledge, as was the work carried out on Jim Mansfield’s, Saggart House.
During the mid to late 1970’s, Mick was commissioned by Bill Meeks to refurbish his house at Red Lane, Blessington, which was a major undertaking, and was the first real opportunity to show his skills to their best advantage. It was to be a reputation builder, for not long after, he was engaged by Dr. Karl Mullen to re-instate Tulfarris House, a tremendous undertaking which was both demanding and exacting. It was at that period when the owner was establishing open-air Sculpture exhibitions on the front lawns, and incorporating a select country-house restaurant. Most of the exterior stone used in these constructions was granite, a material he loved to work with, and even though it was of coarse material, properly chosen and well fashioned, it added grace, state and style to a building.
One of Mick’s earliest constructions were the two semi-detached houses in Chapel St. in Ballymore, built 1973-74 where this writer lives, and when Kildare County engineer, Barry Coffey came to inspect the buildings he remarked to me that ‘it was the best block-work he had ever seen.’
He was an ambitious fellow, though not in a self-serving way, rather that he could provide well for his family, and taking such pride in perfecting his work that it reflected his own personality. These achievements were hard won during difficult times, and as the economic tide rose, so too rose his fortunes, and in the end, he had gained the success he had fought so hard to attain.
His purchase of some sixteen acres at Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, for which he designed to his own specification and built to his own exacting standards, twelve detached luxury houses, gave him immense satisfaction, allowing for a relatively more relaxing future than could have been expected in earlier years.

He always had a penchant for luxury cars – E Type Jaguars, Mercedes, - more recently a Ferrari and lately had ordered a luxurious new six litre Bentley Continental GTS, a twin-turbo drop-head coupé which he cancelled when his illness had been first diagnosed. As mentioned previously, Mick was an eternal optimist, and in the forty years I had known him he never lacked courage, even against the most formidable odds. Then, shortly before he went into hospital he re-ordered the Bentley, and still with confidence of the future drove it home, continuing to attend to business matters, quelling any possible fears of time constraints. It was an act of supreme positiveness, and typical of his nature. His car, the Bentley, would require a separate article to understand its characteristics and its meaning to the owner, for like him, it is unique.
Mick did not suffer from any serious illness during life and it came as a deep shock to his family when he was medically diagnosed with advanced cancer, and had only a short time left to share with them, as his condition quickly deteriorated.
Forewarned that God might call soon, Mick, like Pope John XX111, was ready, waiting, with his (bags packed in the boot) Bentley – for that was ever his style – “if ever you are to attend an important meeting, always, always be well presented” – and given his own inimitable humour, was perhaps imaginatively daring enough to offer God a ‘lift back to His place’ in the luxury of the Bentley!

In her very moving eulogy at the funeral Mass on Monday 19th February, his daughter Jenny spoke lovingly of him as she bade farewell from the family with words so touching that they are given here verbatim: “On behalf of our family I would like to say a sincere thank you to everyone for all the love, support and kindness you have shown us during these past difficult weeks. A special thanks to Fr. Tim for all his prayers and support. Also the staff of Tallaght Hospital, especially the ICU staff who took care of both daddy and us this past week. To the Eustace family and John and Bernie Nolan and all our friends, too many to mention, thank you,
“It would be very difficult to find any one story that would describe my Dad. He’s probably looking down from Heaven and shaking right now wondering what stories I am going to tell. Over these past few days I have heard so many stories from everyone who knew and loved him. We know you will always remember him in your own special way with those memories.
“It was not surprising but still overwhelming to see the range of people who knew him and cared about him. From people who knew him as a child to the children of his friends. He had some very close friends whom he loved and respected greatly and you know you are.
“As difficult and sad as it is to lose Dad we have consolation in knowing he lived his life to the full. In his sixty one years he truly lived the life of ten men. He was the life and soul of every party and was rarely seen without a smile on his face.
“When he was diagnosed with cancer back in January 5th and we were all devastated, he told me that he knew he had made some mistakes along the way for which he was sorry, but overall he had a great life and few regrets. He still wanted to fight his illness and he did until the very end, but sadly this was a fight he couldn’t win.
“If Roddy Doyle was to write the story of my father’s life I have no doubt it would be a best-seller, and I could imagine people saying ‘Roddy, you really let your imagination run away with you this time!’ when they would read the stories. If they made his story into a movie the casting director would have a hard job finding someone to play the part of Mick Fennan.
“Last night Fr. Tim said he could imagine Dad arriving through the gates of Heaven, and that on seeing a line of the most fantastic, shiny latest model cars parked over to the left, started to immediately walk in that direction. But then St. Peter called him back and told him he needed to go to the right where the lovable rogues belonged. Well, I have no doubt that Dad has sweet-talked St. Peter into letting him back over to those fancy cars. So every time you see a sky full of stars remember the twinkle in his eyes, and when you see a shooting star you’ll know that’s our Dad, your friend Mick, speeding through Heaven in his Bentley.”

At the graveside, Billy movingly intoned the soft lyrical verse of Go Lassie, Go “…When Summer times are coming/And the leaves are sweetly blooming/ And the wild mountain times/’Rose around the blooming heather….” They were both fitting tributes to one who loved nature and lived life so much and so well.
To his wife Colette, his daughter Jenny, his sons, Billy, Michael, and Paul, his sister Mary (Gill), and to his brothers Tom and Brian, we all offer our deepest sympathy. Michael Ward.
on passing by- again

How absolutely brilliant to see some real forward momentum in Northern Ireland. After so many decades of total mayhem by terrorists on all sides it really looks as if we can consign all the savagery to the past.
I have never been a particular fan of Ian Paisley, mainly because of his constant outbursts of naked bigoted sectarianism. No matter what solution was put forward he was always able to spot a fly in the ointment. To what extent this was pandering to his electoral base we will probably never know but his conduct over the last number of months has been a real eye opener. To be quite honest I am unable to think of another politician in the North who could have delivered the peace we now appear to have. Paisleys long view ensured that whatever agreement was ultimately achieved was one which would have the greatest chance of success. Having seen the backsliding and infighting among unionist parties over the years, when their only aim seemed to be the prolongation of the status quo, it was exceptional to see Paisley quell the dissent in his own party and move forward. His insistence that Sinn Fein come to the table without their panoply of terrorist baggage was perhaps the log that broke the jam.
Praise must also go to others who have spent long years endeavouring to bring about the circumstances where such an agreement was possible. People like John Hume, Albert Reynolds, John Major and David Trimble. We must also thank Gerry Adams, our own Bertie and Tony Blair. Without the constant efforts by both the British and Irish governments, pulling when pulling was needed and pushing when pulling wasn’t enough I don’t think we would be looking forward to the future we all wanted to see.
I don’t expect everything to go without a hitch and I am sure we will see some right old ding dongs but at least this time the slings and arrows will only be verbal.

As someone who has to pass through the Red Cow roundabout every weekday I am slowly coming to the conclusion that there is absolutely no joined up thinking in the National Roads Authority. What class of cretin could decree that on a Monday morning traffic on the M50 had to come up the off ramp, through a Luas car park, go across the Naas Road and then go back down the other ramp to continue their journey. As if this operation of idiocy was not enough, they decided that one lane of traffic would be sufficient to enable the traffic to flow. At one point the tailback from the Red Cow was all the way back to Rathcoole on our side, and all the way back to Christ Church in Dublin. What makes it all the more galling is that this situation was allowed to occur just months after Martin Cullen, the minister for imbecility, assured us that traffic hold ups were a thing of the past. Well I am sorry minister but I think its about time you came back down and joined the rest of us in the real world.

Whilst on the subject of ministers I was astounded at the speed at which Dick Roches posters appeared after Berties breakfast rush to Aras an Uachtarain. It was almost as if Dick somehow had prior knowledge of the event, but of course we know that couldn’t be true. Whatever about knowledge Dick does seem to have the biggest budget for posters. Not for him the squalid little yokes up on lamp posts, but the large solid ones displaying his noble visage. There can hardly be a crossroads or junction in Wicklow which has not been accosted by his publicity machine.
Whilst there has always been talk of ministers favouring their own back yards before the national interest I think this is the first time I have seen a minister admit to it so blatantly. Dick Roche, working for Wicklow, he proudly proclaims. Or should it be Dick Roche, working for Dick Roche?.
So as not to appear biased, there are some other ministers who could do with a spoonful of reality. Some weeks ago Seamus Brennan informed us that auction politics was a sure fire way to stir inflation and damage the remarkable progress Fianna Fail has enabled us all to enjoy, and that Fianna Fail was not going to be drawn into that kind of behaviour. What happens?. A few weeks later, following bad poll results, Bertie announces dozens of goody packages at the Ard Fheis. Surely that’s a u turn Seamus.
For weeks we were treated to Brian Cowen, on radio television and in any newspaper that was interested, telling us ad nauseam that Fianna Fail was going to do absolutely nothing about stamp duty. If any changes were to be made they would be done only when his party was back in government, and they would be done quickly and without notice. To do otherwise, he sternly informed us, would be a serious blow to the building sector upon which so much of our present good fortune appears to rest.
What happens?. After Bertie decides the other parties are stealing a march with their stamp duty plans Minister Cowen has a damascene conversion and proudly tells us that Fianna Fail does after all intend to make stamp duty fairer. Then again, the minister probably has another word for u turn.

Whilst I have the greatest of sympathy for the predicament the country’s nurses now find themselves in I wonder if they are perhaps looking for just a little bit too much. Considering the trojan work they undertake day in and day out I am absolutely sure that no one would begrudge them a fair reward for their efforts but their present campaign would see them gain a huge amount, way and above what other sections of the workforce can only dream about.
Their claim for a thirty five hour week would seem somewhat reasonable in light of the hours worked by other health service personnel. You will have to make allowances for the following arithmetic, off the back of an envelope, but this reduction in hours, for the same pay, would in itself equate to an eleven per cent pay rise. A further pay rise of ten per cent would give an overall rise in wages of almost twenty two per cent. If as seems likely, the same nurses will have to work overtime to make up for the reduction to thirty five hours then for working the thirty nine hours they currently work they will have gained an increase of almost thirty per cent. Even with all the billions being thrown at the health services this level of an increase does seem just a little bit extravagant.
All for now. Mike Edmonds.
Village Green Gardening Club.

A tour of the gardens of Chanticleer near Philadelphia was presented to the club by our good friend Jimi Blake. Jimi worked at Chanticleer for several months last year.
The May meeting of the club is on May 31st. Our A.G.M. will take place at 7.30 sharp just before our guest speaker. This promises to be a very special and interesting night and the committee advises no member should miss it if at all possible as there will be a special surprise on the night!!!. The annual club tour takes place on Saturday June 9th to Mount Usher and Kilmacurragh Gardens in Wicklow. The cost of the tour is €28.00 per member and there are still a few places available.
The bus will leave from the Resource Centre at 9.30 a.m. SHARP. Members are asked to pay for the tour at the next club night and then the committee will not have to deal with monies on the day.
For the first time I can remember, rain stayed away during four glorious days of national hunt racing at Punchestown. No doubt the good weather had some bearing on the increase in attendances with a total of almost 91,000 recorded for this year’s festival (7% up on last year’s figures). Friday drew the largest crowds with a record attendance of 32,883. I will leave the racing review to Tim because truly, it’s the socialising and style that brings me to Punchestown.

Despite sunny weather, there’s always a sharp breeze at the racecourse and yet still, the fashion fillies brave all in dangerously high stilettos and flimsy summer wear – and by God, there were some short hemlines this year! I saw tribes of ‘young ones’ in dresses no bigger than t-shirts and they spent the day trying to ‘stretch’ the front and back of same to a modest place on their thigh. God love one girl in a cream ‘dress’; sporting vivid green high heels and accessories, her attempt to climb the steps up to the stand looked like Quasimodo with blisters. I’d say she pulled a few muscles along with the wolf whistles…..

But isn’t that what makes Punchestown?? The feathers, the hats: the hawkers, the hustlers: “Race cards, get yer race cards!”; then there’s the socialising – I missed meeting Margaret Murphy this year and Kay Shannon; similarly, I didn’t bump into Tim or Colette which was a first. I travelled with the ‘Venus Perfectos’ on the Wednesday – see brief article elsewhere in this edition to explain – and went with Eithne and sisters on the Friday.

Fashion to die for…..
Whilst I may have slagged the young fashionistas for their daring style, let me tell you they weren’t a patch on Eithne’s sister, Anne who was going to fit into that designer suit, do or die and she was going to wear the new high-heels if they killed her (and they nearly did!). There was no way she was letting sister number 3, Kathleen wear an anorak either. Who says you get sense as you get older….common sense she hasn’t but you won’t beat Anne and ‘the sisters’ when it comes to a keen sense of fun, that’s for sure.

I bumped into our Bugle Cameraman, Christy and members of the various Murphy families and thankfully, Marion Hanlon and cousin Donal Lynch. (wouldn’t be right if I didn’t bump into Marion). Of course, there were politicians galore there with Michael Fitzpatrick’s get-together on Tuesday and Fine Gael’s corporate tent on Wednesday. I met Jane Mullins, Sean Power and Sean O Fearghail on Friday but didn’t manage to spot Jack Wall. (I bet Tim Dooley partied in both FF and FG tents, that fella gets into all the best hooleys).

Rave Reviews
The enclosure had loads to offer and only the Friday was uncomfortable to get served anywhere except in the corporate/owners suites. In the main bar, the queues to get served were horrendous with the queues to the Ladies even worse. David Ashforth of the Racing Post gave the racecourse rave reviews claiming it was better than Cheltenham for comfort, entrance fees, catering services and toilet facilities – obviously this was based over four days because Friday was congested. I ate in the restaurant each day and the quality of food and service excellent (Beef in Guinness with veg. and potatoes €9.95).

Fashion Winner
Of course, the judging of Ladies Day Competition was eagerly watched on Friday and young Karen Murphy of Kinsale won the coveted overall title with €30,000 worth of Newbridge Silverware in a sleeveless ‘cha-cha’ style dress made by her mother in the ‘60s. A black and red number with tiered lace frills, this vintage piece was I thought, a tad skimpy for Punchestown and more suited to a lively night-club even with the hat and net ensemble.
However I thought the other four finalists had very classy and appropriate outfits but take note, none of the five finalists hailed from County Kildare.

Festival was missed?
The street festival was sorely missed this year – at least that’s what everyone else told me – I didn’t miss it because it meant I could yap to all in sundry and not have to leave the racecourse early. Hopefully, next year we will have a festival and all those who claimed to miss it, will come on board and do a bit of organising.

Wasn’t it great to see The Thatch serving breakfast again? The place was buzzing…. Alas, the lap dancing in Paddy’s didn’t happen and neither did the comedian appear due to a family bereavement. We had a few drinks in Mick Murphy’s Friday night, good crowd and great atmosphere – couldn’t help but remember the craic there with the late Mick Fennan last year….. Paddy’s was jammed packed on Friday with the late Robin Winders flying around clearing glasses and enjoying the craic.

Youth Worry
Shocking amount of young people hanging around on the Friday night – I think next year, the Festival Committee (if there is one) and the vintners should get together and issue stern warnings on radio and in the local press that underage drinkers will not be served and should not be on the streets after 10pm. I noticed several buses from the Tullow, Baltinglass area dropping off ‘kids’ – where the hell do their parents think they are?
A combined leaflet drop to all of the schools in the area plus press releases on KFM, East Coast Radio, Carlow FM and all the surrounding regional newspapers might just make some parents take note. (I am aware there was local youth also).

Let’s not end this article on a cross note – see some of Christy’s photos here and more throughout The Bugle of happy punters at Punchestown. Until next year………

Rose B O Donoghue
Congratulations to Rita and Tom O’Rourke who recently celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary with all the family in attendance – Eamon, Kay, Olive, Jim and Pete, Tom, Gerard, Anthony, Kevin and Margaret and their respective families. What a remarkable achievement – 60 years together. Staff of St Vincent’s in Athy helped the family organise a party in the nursing home, once again showing what a wonderful caring staff Matron Helen Dreelan oversees.

Bon Voyage to Darragh Meade and Paul Browne on their trip to Australia and keep in touch, Lads!

welcome home to Fran and Pat Treacy of the Naas Road who have returned home from their oversees stint – Tipsy’s loss is our gain!

A special Get Well Wish to our own columnist Matt Purcell who is making good progress in Beaumont Hospital. Matt, we wish you a speedy recovery and hope our sales will not be adversely affected by the absence of your column! You are missed, Matt.

lovely little Ella Louise, born on March 26th to Grainne and Jack Doyle.

Also to Jeanette & Ellis who have a bouncing baby boy.

The Late Marion Murphy McGovern
Daughter of Maura and the late Johnny Murphy of Mountcashel, Marion’s tragic passing saw one of the largest funeral attendances ever in the village. Aged only 49, Marion’s illness – a rare thyroid cancer - was diagnosed briefly before her death and must have been devastating for her partner Gerry and family to accept. For those of you who don’t remember Marion, the older sister of Jane, Aine, Gary and Gail, she was a petite girl with a full mop of curly ‘Afro’ style hair who ran her own boutique “Abigail’s” for years in Newbridge before selling to Aine. She was a bubbly, energetic person whose career spanned secondary school teaching, fashion and cosmetics before she moved into the I.T. sector. Another talented singer in the Murphy clan, Marion was an active member of Newbridge Musical Society before she moved to Dublin in the early ‘90s. Indeed, one of the family’s treasured memories will be a night when all the siblings got together and went to see the late Mick Murphy with singing and chatting galore.

Marion retained close friendships with former schoolmates, in particular Margaret (Horan) Burke and seemed to be in great form at the latter’s 50th Birthday Party before Christmas. She had a full - albeit all too short - life and married Gerry, her partner of thirteen years before she died, the ceremony carried out by close family friend, Monsignor Seamus Conway.

‘Life’ is a terrible contradiction – you think you have all the time in the world to do all the things you want to – and then, like the shrieking whistle of a referee announcing full-time - it’s gone, finished, ‘time over’. No time for regrets, only time for memories.
To Gerry, we offer our sincerest sympathy and to Maura, her mother, her sisters, brother and all the family, we extend our condolences at the loss of this lovely, vibrant young woman. May she rest in peace, amen.


Fond Farewell for Robin
What a lovely turn-out there was for the late Robin Winders – a packed church and one of the nicest homilies I’ve ever heard delivered by our own Fr. Breen.
“Robin was one of the few men I knew who could work and drink at the same time!” said Fr. who refused to give ‘cheap advertising’ to a ‘well-known establishment’ nearby to which the deceased was a fond visitor. Over twenty five years ago, Robin was diagnosed with a life threatening illness; whilst sixty six seems terribly young by today’s standards, Robin overcame his illness and led a full, happy life to the end. Only the week before, he was flying around the ‘un-named establishment’, clearing up glasses and emptying ashtrays during the busy nights after Punchestown.

A talented boxer in his day, Robin once reputedly knocked out an army champion and of course, he was a well-known handball player with many doubles’ titles to his credit and enjoyed fishing and shooting. The Winders family is possibly one of the oldest families in the village with Peg and Billy Winders raising their brood of lads Robin, Cecil, Jim ‘Bumps’, Winkie, Paddy (sadly also deceased) and Pius at Broadleas where Robin resided until his death. Robin loved the craic and banter in the ‘un-named establishment’ and his many friends will toast a drink to him in years to come as Robin gazes down from the photo gallery therein. He will be remembered fondly as a man who enjoyed a bit of craic, had a keen sense of humour without being offensive and if his death was somewhat premature, it was blessedly quick and painless. God Bless to Robin on the next journey – the staff and punters of PMs will miss you. We extend our sympathy to his brothers and their families. May he rest in peace, amen.

George Devoy (94) late of St Vincent’s, Athy and formerly Tipperkevin and Red Bog, passed away recently. George was a great raconteur and had a good knowledge of local history. He spent his life working in the equestrian and farming business, having worked with Mick Nolan of Tipperkevin for many years and was a familiar sight on his motor bike around the area. We offer our sympathy to his family, may he rest in peace, amen.