Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dear Sir or Madam,

After reading the Punchestown Article on page 3 of the last issue, concerning the youth on the streets of the village, as local teenagers we felt we had to respond. As there was absolutely no entertainment arranged for any age group during our usual festival week, I'm so sorry if we were such an inconvenience to regular drinkers down in the town on the one night of the year where we like to celebrate the Punchestown festival. Perhaps you'd be happier if we were vandalising cars and generally causing trouble like the youth of other areas? Gathering in the village, one night a year, to have fun is hardly a crime especially since there was nothing arranged by the more "responsible" drinkers for young people during the week. We know that underage drinking can be a problem and there were some drunk people in Ballymore that night but these were all over 18. There was no trouble or no rows when we were present and there were squad cars driving by and the gardai didn't seem too concerned about our behaviour. Perhaps they were waiting to see if any legal drinkers were going to drive home?
As for the parents, I'm sure most of the local parents were in the pub and knew exactly where their kids were - outside having a laugh. Punchestown festival is not all about the "perfecto ladies". It's to be enjoyed by every age group and if the adults don't organise anything for the 15-17 age group what do they expect? To watch the clock and make sure we're in by 10 so we don't get in the way of older drinkers? It's worth remembering that we won't always be teenagers - we are the adults and voters of the future!

If as much effort was put into organising a festival as what seems to be the plan to keep teenagers off the streets next year, "10pm curfew", "leaflet drop offs to all the schools", "PRESS RELEASES on KFM, East Coast Radio and Carlow FM not to mention all the surrounding regional newspapers" I'm sure all ages can look forward to a great festival next year.

After you had "a few drinks" you must remember alcohol can cause double vision so maybe you didn't see as many buses as you thought you did.

from Responsible Local Youths
The Late Anne Langan
the little person with the big heart…

The communities of Kilcullen and Ballymore Eustace were deeply saddened at the recent passing of Anne Langan (nee Kenny). For all who knew her could not help but be infected by the energy and good-humour of this pint-sized family woman and community activist extraordinaire. Married to Kieran, the Langan family home quickly became a parish office as Anne assumed community roles such as treasurer to the Community Playschool, editor of the Ballymore Bugle, treasurer of the Tidy Towns Committee.
Amazingly, Anne carried out the work as Bugle editor without the aid of a computer or laptop, painstakingly re-writing every note submitted and compiling pagination on the kitchen table when her children were infants.

As the children joined various groups, Anne threw in her support for the Ladybirds and Girl Guides, Scoil Mhuire activities and the Langans were avid Gaa and sport supporters.

“Ann Langan was a special friend of all in Scoil Mhuire as she was involved in absolutely everything regarding school; she made a supreme effort to be sure to be in attendance at our recent production of "Oliver" in March to see Ciara performing her solo despite her failing health. Anne's sunny disposition and infectious good humour, combined with her determination to fight her illness to the end, endeared her to all who knew her.” said Mairead O Flynn, principal Scoil Mhuire.
Last year, Anne was nominated for Person of the Year Award by her son Patrick and was declared overall winner by retiring editor Michael Ward, who was thrilled to present his neighbour and ‘fellow Bugler’ with the award. Fittingly, young Patrick presented his mam’s award as one of the Offertory Gifts whilst sister Ciara presented a family photo taken at Disneyworld last year - a surprise treat organized by Anne herself - and Mary Kate presented a piece of her mum’s jewellery. Fr Sean Breen gave a touching homily to Ann, citing her “strong faith, open heart and sense of community” as incredible despite her ongoing battle with cancer. (Fr P McGowan, former parish priest, was also in attendance).

Little Mary Kate and family friend, Elizabeth Deegan read Prayers of the Faithful as did family members, Tom Langan, Caroline and Helen Kenny with brothers Fran and Myles reading the gospels and both families formed an impressive choir for the service. Guards of honour were formed by Scoil Mhuire, editors of the Ballymore Bugle, Blessington AFC and the Community Playgroup.

Whilst battling terminal illness, Anne, along with fellow friends Edel Boland and Anne Conway raised over €20,000 in aid of BreastCheck, national breast screening services and she continued to raise awareness of the service and associative events in local media.

During her final months, Anne spent as much time as possible at the family home on Chapel Street, constantly popping in and out to say hello to friends and customers at the family business premises and spending time with children Andrea, Patrick, Ciara and Mary Kate. Anne’s death at forty two is a dreadful blow to husband Kieran and the family, to her father Frank, sister Angela, brothers Kevin, Fran and Myles (pre-deceased by mother Kathleen). To the community of Ballymore Eustace, Anne Langan will be remembered fondly as the ‘little woman with the big heart’ and will be sorely missed by the many close friends she made during her time in the village.

The Late Anne Langan, Ballymore Eustace Person of the Year 2006, may she rest in peace, amen.

Rose B O Donoghue

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