Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tims Diary.

Sport first and what about Kauto Star’s fall in November. One cannot help to wonder if one Ruby Walsh was in the saddle things might have been different. The same happening again on Big Bucks the following week meant that Sam was sidestepped and replaced by AP for Master Minded at Sandown. Rough Justice.
Kildare County bit the dust with very little style against Mervue United at Galway and Station Road last month, a sad end ? to a very promising outfit. And John Gill had to see his job advertised by Dundalk while still trying to win the First Division. Giller will be back, don’t doubt it, you can’t keep a good man down.
My sporting experience this month was getting chinned by Bernard Dunne at The Keith Duffy Masquerade Ball. All I did was ask for one of his Hunky Dory’s. The highlight was a live intimate performance by Boyzone, in the chapel of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham.
Our Photographer extrodinaire, Chris asks me to mention the Kildare County Council’s Photo Competition “Autumn in Kildare” details and entry forms from the Environmnet section 045 980200 or email

Blessington Union of Parishes
21st December Carol Service & Morning Prayer 10 am. Ballymore
24th December Christmas Eve. United Service of Holy Communion Ballymore 11 pm.
25th December Christmas Day. Holy Communion in Blessington at 11.15 & Cloughlea at 10.
28th December United Service of carols in Blessington at 11.15 am. (No other services this Sunday)
On behalf of the Rector and the parishioners we would like to thank all who have supported us throughout the year. We wish you all a Happy and a Holy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.

Church of the Immaculate Conception
Ballymore Eustace
Christmas Ceremonies 2008.

Monday Dec. 22nd
Penitential Service in Preparation for Christmas 8 pm.

Wednesday Dec. 24th
Vigil Mass for the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ 9 pm.

Thursday December 25th
Masses for the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ
10 and 11.30

Confessions. Wednesday Dec.24th. Christmas Eve
10 - 12. 3 – 4. 6.30 – 8.30

Fr. Sean wishes everyone a Happy and Holy Christmas

We have come to the end of what has been a very tough year for Ireland and the world in terms of finance. It was one of the most ill thought out budgets that saw an unprecedented backlash against the current Fianna Fail led government. It didn’t get any better for them with the recent pork crisis. Interestingly though, even though beef was also found to be contaminated there was no withdrawal in the same measure as the pig meat. I think I will be joined by more and more in the vegetarian ranks, not because of the crisis but because of all the news footage of those cut little spotty bonamhs that featured on every bulletin.

Elsewhere you will see a presentation from Angie on behalf of the Bugle to the Senior Citizen’s committee. This was made possible by all the advertisers and readers throughout the year. Thank you all.

It was Ten Years ago this Christmas..
Had a farewell to gentleman vintner Joe Headon, Rose got a pocket tape recorder from the CDA/Tidy Towns…A youthful Wozzy O’Donogue was presented by an equally youthful Glenn Rayn.. a 1kg would have cost you 3.59 pounds in Mace,,,Steve Deegan had a peculiar poetic ode to his Uncle..Rose had a go at me..Why?... I contributed an epic updated Judgement of Ballymore…Margaret Murphy got married to Bernard Dunne ( not the fella on page 43).. someone had a bombproof pony for sale… Bi=ut back to Steve’s poem it’s worth a re-run, who do we send the royalties to?

Oh how I love thee Uncle dear,
Although thine eyes like frogs appear,
They body is so fat and round,
They heavy footsteps shake the ground,
Thy temper is so sweet and mild,
Twould frighted e’en the smallest child.
And when thou speak people say,
“Now did we hear a donkey bray/”
Oh how I love thee Uncle dear.
From The Ballymore Echo 1982. And he never lost it…….
Matt’s Memories
Ballymore Eustace Historical Society
Talking to C.J. Darby lately, I gather he has received a large amount of written material and photos for the book the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society intend publishing. C.J. has put this material on his computer. Having seen some of the material he has, I look forward to the book when it comes out.
Ollie’s DVD
Going back to Ollie’s DVD (produced by West Wicklow Films Production), it had shots of my sister Margaret, my late brother Dan and my brother Billy. Regarding Dan, it showed him throwing himself at the line in a photo finish and falling in the process.
Field Day in Quinn’s Field, Coughlanstown
These shots were taken around 1957 and include: late John Headon; Tom Cahill; Joe Quinn; Mary Murphy (Dowdenstown); Patsy Conway; Claire Doyle; late Mrs Igoe; late Maureen Doyle (Sillagh); late Martin Murphy (Dowdenstown); late Maurice Barker; late (and smiling as usual) Ned O’Rourke; late Pat Nugent – caring for his donkeys; Phyllis Marshall falling in a three-legged race (not sure who was with her but I suspect I know - and if I’m right - she is now a Granny); late Pauline Whelan; Nuala Sullivan; Seamie Clarke – waiting for another race to run in; late Frank Tutty; Christy Nolan; Jack Fitzharris; late Tony Boylan; John Kelly; Will Hennessy; Paddy Conway (Dowdenstown) mounting a donkey; Tom Fennan holding Paddy’s donkey; late Jim Dolan; late Don Ryan and the Murphy sisters (Coughlanstown) – Margaret and Judy.
Performers on the DVD
While I enjoyed all the performers on Ollie’s DVD, I became hooked on the singing of Margaret Eustace. Margaret sang two songs on the DVD along with Ann Devlin and Patsy McEvoy. Patsy was another singer I particularly enjoyed his version of The Wicklow Mountains High. Shay Eustace did a lovely recitation about Ann Devlin. Mick Brady referred to a song he based on a letter written by his cousin’s mother when his cousin’s father died. I gather Mike Brady is a regular performer in Pat Murphy’s lounge. His cousin’s name was Peter Keogh. We had a Peter Keogh who I once knew from Coughlanstown and who lived in the house where the late Charlie Farrell lived most recently. Our Peter was into athletics before he immigrated to England many years ago.
The film acknowledges the contributions of the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society, Fr P. Dowling, Michael Kelly and Crena McGee.
Ballymore Eustace Historical Society Video
Seeing the West Wicklow DVD prompted me to have another look at the Ballymore Eustace Historical Society’s Video on which it was based. This Video was twenty-seven minutes long and consisted of six parts. The earliest part being of a Corpus Christi Procession taken about 1952. Others were all taken in 1957 by Fr Paddy Dowling: Sports in Quinn’s Field; Erecting Statue at the New School; Santa Claus parade to Old Band Hall; Party in the New School; and, Shake Hands with the Devil. The later was about the making of the film. The lower part of the village was transformed while the film was ongoing.
Corpus Christi Procession
The film of the 1952 Corpus Christi Procession had many Ballymore Eustace stalwarts in it including my brother James and Kevin Burke. The Video contains extra shots of the Field day not included in the DVD. These included shots of myself recovering after falling, face first, in the pit in the long jump. My sister Margaret and brother Dan were nearby at the time and are included in the film. Meanwhile, in the Video Dan is shown winning a race I had forgotten about. The late Jack Doyle, Sean Doyle (Seasons) and the late Mattie Kelly also appear in it.
I recently learned of the death of my former work colleague, John Jennings of Templeogue, Dublin on March 23, 2008 at Tallaght Hospital R.I.P. John was a Principal Officer with Dublin County Council’s Finance Department.
Handball fans will be sorry to learn Wexford’s Seamus Dempsey died in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on Saturday September 20 R.I.P. He was 69 years of age. His wife Eithne, children - Alan, Gavin, Padraig, Noel and Alison, brother Paddy, sisters - May, Betty, Anna and Kitty, grandchildren, son-inlaw, daughters-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law nephews, nieces and relatives survive Seamus.
Sorry to see from the last Bugle that Kathleen Cowley (nee Jackson - wife of the late Andy) of Bishopland passed away. Kathleen died on November 7 R.I.P. Her daughter Margaret, sons Andrew, Noel, Hubert and Declan, son-in-law Eddie, daughters-in-law Liz and Virginia, grandchildren, sisters-in-law and relatives survive Kathleen. Kathleen is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery. Coming so soon after the death of her sister, May Dennison, this must have been a great shock to Kathleen’s family.
Mícheal (Michael) Murphy of Whiteleas died on November 22 R.I.P. His wife Eileen, sons - Gerard, Michael and Alan, daughters - Mary, Angela, Colette, Therese and Lisa, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, nephews, nieces grandchildren and relatives survive Mícheal. Mícheal is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery.
I wish all our readers - and those home for the festival - a very happy Christmas. Additionally, I would like to thank all those who assisted me in any way with my Bugle contributions during the past year.
© Matt Purcell (November 26, 2008)
Ballymore Ladies GFC

Ballymore Ladies held their AGM in The Thatch on Tuesday December 9th. The meeting was attended by committee members, team members, management and Michael Horan on behalf of the juvenile section.

Junior D Champions
Chairperson Jacinta O’Rourke opened the meeting by congratulating the team and management on the hard work put in throughout the year culminating in a league semi-final and the championship win. The championship final was a particularly sweet win over one of our great rivals!

County Trials
The Kildare clubs have been divided into 4 regional teams who play each other every week, giving the new Ladies management team an opportunity to see the best the county has to offer. Best of luck to Lesley Tutty, Dawn Murray, Fran Burke and Teresa Gorman representing Ballymore.

Election of Officers
Only two of last year’s committee decided not to stand again this year. Thanks to Louise Tutty and Jackie Smith for all their work as the club’s PROs in 2008.

The 2009 committee is as follows
Chairperson Jacinta O’Rourke
Asst. Chairperson Aisling Rigney
Secretary Caroline Deegan
Treasurer Bid Meade
PROs\Registrars Deirdre Hackett\Sharon O’Donoghue
Children’s Officer Sinead Gorman
County Board Delegate Jackie Smith

After the success of 2008 the club is delighted that the same team will be training and mentoring them next season. They refused to say a few words at the AGM but we’ve been promised a speech from the manager at the awards night!
Simon Murphy
Joe Piggott
John Hubbard

For the first time a separate committee has been put together to plan and carry out the fundraising duties for Ballymore Ladies.
Sarah Malone
Ashling Hubbard
Anne-Marie Gorman
Lesley Tutty
Stacey Balfe

Bag Packing Day in aid of Juvenile section
A bag packing day has been organised to raise money for the underage girls’ registration fees. The junior girls will be packing bags under the supervision of some of the senior ladies.
If you are in Dunnes Blessington on Sunday 21st December please support the girls!

Awards Night
An Awards night is being organised for Saturday March 7th in The Thatch. The night is a celebration of the championship win and will include the annual presentation of the club awards.
It was also proposed at the meeting that the Welly Match be held on the same day.
Keep an eye out in next year’s bugle for confirmation of all events.

Juvenile Section
Michael Horan spoke about the great work being done for the girls at underage level. They now have teams playing from March through November in a number of girls leagues and are also hoping to enter a team in Cumann na mBunscoil in 2009.
The senior ladies have agreed to help out with training and with the after school matches where possible.

It is hoped that training will start on the first Monday in February
(confirmation in next month’s bugle). We are always looking to recruit new players so if you are interested please come along.
T shirts
BALLYMORE LADIES v neck t shirts on sale in Daybreak ( Janets)
for only €10

Thank you
Finally we would like to wish all our sponsors and supporters a very Happy Christmas and hope that we can add to our Championship success in 2009!

Sharon & Deirdre


The clubs A.G.M was held on the 15th of December. A report will follow in next’s months Bugle. All support is welcome in the coming year, no matter how small.ANNUAL AWARDS
The Young Player of the Year Award went to Keith Fennell; Senior Player of the Year Award went to Tommy Archibold whilst Clubman of the Year is awarded to: Eoghan Barrett. Congratulations to all on a great year!A big thanks to all our sponsors during the year, Ballymore Oils, Kieren Langan, Pat Murphy’s Bar and Naas Insurance Ltd. Without their help, it would not have been possible to run the club. Also the committee would like to thank the many people who took part in the various events and who donated their time and money. Without this help, we would not be able to run the club. Best wishes to all for a Peaceful Christmas and Happy New Year.

We extend our sympathy to the family of the late Micheal Murphy, member of the legendary ’53 “Three in a Row” team, may he rest in peace, amen.
Ballymore-Eustace’s Proud Handball Record – Part 7

Paddy Monaghan (featured in an article in the September 1999 Bugle) occupies a unique position in the club. His playing career of over sixty years extends way beyond that of any other player of my acquaintance. Sadly, Paddy died on May 31 of this year. Originally, Paddy was over shadowed by such as Bobbie Grattan, Jim Bolger, Bill Lawlor and Liam Evans. In 1953, Paddy partnered Bill Lawlor to success in the All-Ireland junior hard doubles championship. Due to an objection, Paddy and Bill had to win that particular title twice over.

In his early days, Paddy was not involved on the official side of things. Paddy became a club official in 1964 and since then he has occupied various posi­tions both at Club and County Board levels. He has the distinction of being the only Kildare man to hold the position of Chairman of the Leinster Handball Council. Over the years Paddy has traveled the length and breadth of Ireland with our players and also accompanied Tom O'Rourke to San Francisco in 1978 when Tom won the Atlas Travel under 22 trials.

There is no doubt that much of the credit for the very successful run the Club has enjoyed over the years must go to Paddy. Paddy's special interest has been in juvenile handball and for his efforts in this area he has received special recognition in 1974 from Central Handball Council. To prove he was not a spent force on the playing front Paddy made history in 1981 by becoming the first Kildare man to win the Leinster 40 by 20 golden masters singles title.

Tom, Billy and Judy Doran were all members of the Club. Tom played the game for recreation purposes before he immigrated to England while Judy, who was married to Paddy Carthy - himself a good racquetball player, was mainly interested in racquetball at which she was one of our top lady players before her untimely death. Billy was a stylish, two handed player who while awaiting employment in the middle fifties got lots of handball practice. It all came good for him in 1957 when he reached three All-Ireland finals winning two of them. Unfortunately handball successes are no substitute for steady employment and shortly after his successes Billy went to England in search of work. Some nine years later he returned home and won a senior hard doubles medal in partnership with Greg Lawler in 1969.

Billy was a natural athlete who never tired of playing and I gather still plays the occasional game. He was good at all forms of the game and also adept at racquetball. In the simpler days of the fifties when we had to make our own entertainment Billy was, to use an expression associated with a later decade, the leader of our pack keeping us entertained with handball, athletics and swimming not to mention the occasional bar of a song. Do you remember Billy your straw hat that "sorta" floated over the Liffey Bridge (with a little help from your friends) while you were giving us a rendering of the "Banana Boat Song"? In the words of Phil Coulter's most famous song "Those were happy days" not least because we were all young and had yet to experience the trials and tribulations of life that come with advancing years

Seamie Curran was Billy's partner in both softball and hardball and together they were a formidable duo. Like his partner, Seamie was equally good at hardball and softball. Like Billy, Seamie also immigrated after his successes. Unlike Billy, Seamie has remained in England and married Mary Tipper of Lackan and they have settled down in that Ballymore enclave known as Reading. Seamie and Mary have a family of five children. Before immigrating, Seamie had been Club Secretary and carried out his duties with diligence.


To Eamonn Deegan on winning the Kildare Handball Award for 2008. This was announced at the Kildare G.A.A. Sports Stars night in the Hotel Keadeen on November 22. Eamonn received this award for his contribution towards handball over a long period of time. In 2000, Eamonn won this award in conjunction with John Browne in recognition of their win in the All-Ireland Emerald Masters “A” 40 by 20 Doubles.

© Matt Purcell (December 10, 2008)

The table quiz in the Ballymore Inn Halloween night raised E1200.00 towards an anesthetic machine for a hospital in Belarus. Thanks to Barry and Georgina O Sullivan, Tom O Rourke and Liam O Toole and all who contributed on the night.

In a small box please:
A resource pack for teachers (folder)
On Thursday, 11th December,
Truce Road area.

KTK Community Levies
Readers, Mike gave you an update on KTK Levies in last month’s Bugle; no major news since then except to say that monthly meetings are now being held and hopefully, progress should be evident in The New Year. Several projects submitted have been approved in theory by the committee but updated invoices and project analysis have since been requested. The submission by Ballymore Eustace Historical and Heritage Society has been ‘given the nod’ by the committee and should be put before the Naas Area Meeting at the end of January. If approved by Kildare County Councillors, the society should receive a substantial donation in Spring 2008. I am being deliberately vague about this as my experience to date on approved projects has been mind-boggling – such has been the time lapse between meetings plus changes of council personnel on the committee that approved submissions have had to be reviewed and basically, start from scratch again. Hence, my repeated usage of ‘should’ in this brief. The Bandhall proposal to tarmacadam the car park has also in theory been approved but, through no fault of the Bandhall Committee, will be reviewed at the end of January (submissions got mysteriously lost in Council cyber space…) Fingers crossed, Readers and remember, turtles eventually get where they are headed…….eventually. zzzzzzzzz Rose

Wolfe Tone Cumann DrawMany thanks to all who supported the annual raffle in aid of Wolfe Tone Fianna Fail Cumann. 1st Prize €150 - John Nolan, Naas; 2nd Prize €100 voucher Ballymore Inn - Shannon Slevin Doyle, Blessington; 3rd Prize €50 - Mary Campbell, Ballymore Eustace; 4th Prize Kevin Keenan, Jr; 5th Prize June Keenan, Kevin’s mum; 6th Prize Ned Deegan; 7th prize John Kennedy; 8th prize John Kennedy; 9th prize Gerry Morgan; 10th Prize Mark Power.
A happy Christmas to cumann members and to all who sold tickets, donated prizes or bought tickets. Special thanks also to Sean Power TD & Minister of State, Cllrs Mark Dalton and Martin Miley Jnr who attended the draw but biggest thanks to Des Kennedy who, once again, sold more tickets than anyone else – 90 books in total!

Niall Mellon Raffle
Membership Naas Health & Fitness Gym (3 months)
Mary O Connell, Brannockstown
Champagne & Wine Hamper
Martin Horan
c/o Sheryl Horan
€100 Voucher "The Ballymore Inn" & Cuddly Toy
Robin McDermott
Beautiful Jewellery Set & Bottle of Wine donated by Melissa Fisher
Killian Brennan, Kilmeague
5th /6th
M&S Watch
M & S Watch
Dylan Water and Celine O’Neill

Thanks to all who supported the raffle in aid of Niall Mellon Blitz 2009; local women Janet Deegan and Denise Kelly will be joining the crew heading out to South Africa next year to build permanent homes in poverty stricken areas. Thanks to all who sold or bought tickets and to all who donated prizes. A happy Christmas to you.


Being a long time customer of An Tearmann, the lovely café in Kilcullen, I had always had a general awareness of the Kildare Steiner School- their emphasis on creativity and beauty found in nature. I also recall hearing Rekka Patel praising the school and its teachers, but I guess I had never really stopped to consider it properly. It wasn’t until one day last summer someone said “Have you though of Steiner education” when I was grappling with the issue of our son’s failure to thrive as a dyslexic child in the state school system. Despite all the best efforts of teachers and the Principal, we felt matters were spiralling down- it was a tough year.

Afterwards we all reflected that the mention of the Steiner system was “like a lightbulb going on”. From the first “googling” of the Kildare Steiner School’s website, to the conversation on the phone and then the meetings with the teachers it was like a gradual process of enlightenment. A family member recently remarked “It was a real leap of faith” to change our son’s school after third class and maybe it was…The school is situated in Gormanstown, just beyond Brannockstown and the site is lovely, even if it does need some further work- there are lots of exciting projects in progress like the newly erected polytunnel, for all weather plant growing and a clay oven in the parent and child garden.

There is a small, but beautifully formed purpose built school building, and the classes are small- a pupil teacher ration of 1:13 in our son’s class. The classrooms are bright and welcoming and the teachers are very special, warm , kind, intuitive and calm. The whole of the national curriculum is covered, including Irish, but it is taught in quite a rounded and holistic way. For example in geography the older classes have been making amazing, hand drawn maps of Ireland , complete with all the detail. All the necessary facts seem to be fully absorbed, but the process is one that seems to appeal to all our human facets, reflecting the message “Schooling the head , hands and heart”.

As Steiner schools in Ireland are not currently recognised under the state system (although they are inspected regularly by the Department of Education), there is a fee payable by parents and then regular fundraising to make up the inevitable shortfall. In the relatively short time I have been involved with the school however I have been struck by the energy and enthusiasm of parents to engage with this. It’s certainly not the kind of school where you simply drop off your kids and drive away, the school actively encourages parental involvement and communication at all levels.

In my dealings with the Kildare Steiner School during the last six months I have been deeply impressed by the extent to which everyone involved with it seems to live out the philosophy of the founder of this type of alternative education- Rudolph Steiner, who said:

“Receive the child with reverence, educate the child with love, send the child forth in freedom”

The difference in our own child’s self confidence and academic achievement has been incredible so far and we all look forward to the continued illumination and growth that began in June, when the light bulb came on in our darkness.

Angie Thompson

To Contact the Kildare Steiner School please ring : 045 401919- if the teachers are in class please leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as possible.
In Memory of Maureen Doyle
Sadly, Maureen passed away on the 6th of November ’08 after a long battle with cancer.

Maureen was a woman of great character. Her positive outlook was inspirational. She attracted many people into her life simply by being friendly and sincere. Maureen spoke of her illness in a dismissive way and was always far more interested in everyone else around her. Family and friends were her main priorities in life.

Maureen was a great advocate of our traditional Cead Mile Failte; tea, treats, and storytelling were very much the norm in her home. Being a Tipperary woman, she was a great fan of inter-county hurling. She enjoyed the banter, particularly on anything to do with sport. Around here, we love our football, so living borderline – Wicklow, Kildare – made for many an argument!! I do believe she was neutral though, or was she being diplomatic?!

Maureen was truly the outdoor type. Some of her many interests included gardening, golf, and from early childhood, breeding Connemara ponies – she loved horses and animals generally!

Maureen began her ‘golf career’ with Ballymore GS and as soon as she mastered it, she joined Boystown Golf Club and Poulaphuca GS as well! She was a founder member of Boystown Ladies club and was Captain in 1998 and 1999. She has been Lady President there for the past few years, a role of which she was very proud, and rightly so.

In BME GS, Maureen served on the committee as Secretary from 2003 to 2006. There was no better person to take up the reins from Dora, she was incredibly organised and committed to the task. She really enjoyed her golf and particularly the social side of it!

Her brother Tim happened to mention another side to Maureen – she was very stubborn. In her last weeks, getting her to eat was difficult enough for Marky. He offered her jelly, plain and simple. He presented it with pride, because finally there was something she wanted to eat! Her response was “It’s red, I don’t eat anything red”. Everyone had a laugh, including Maureen.

That same stubbornness stood her proud. She lived longer than her doctors expected, she maintained her independence and she died at home, as she had wanted, with great dignity. Her family were there for her every step of the way. Maureen lived every day of her short life to the full, in a spirit of goodwill, right to the end.

Results - Baltinglass Outing

1st 38 pts Tommy Deegan 2nd 37 pts Tim Duggan

Yellow ball 36pts Brendan Daly
John Murphy
Tim Duggan

Rumble 77 pts Ciaran Curley
Eoghan Barrett
T Deegan Post

Mystery Team 1st 105 pts
Tommy Deegan
Eoghan Barrett
John Field
2nd 99 pts
Simon Murphy
Michael Horan
Tim Duggan

Ballymore Eustace GAA Club
Juvenile Football & Hurling
An Báile Mór
The News:
Well Christmas is just upon us and I'm sure all the juvenile's have sent Santa their letters and Christmas lists are
made out. With all in hibernation from GAA at the moment I was looking back over the year at the teams that
took part in both football and hurling.
It was fantastic in particular to see the number of different teams that took part in leagues, blitz's, Go-Games,
Community Games, Scoil Mhuire football and hurling teams, Leinster Feile and Co. Championships. U8, U10,
U11 & U12 in hurling, U7, U8, U9, U10, U11, U12, U13 in football and not forgetting St. Oliver Plunketts with
U14, U15, U16, U18, & U21.
Add to that the Summer Camp, the Duck Race,The Family Fun Day, Christmas Disco and the Girls team trip to
Croke Park and what you have here is a lot of families involved in sport.
Of course its very important that kids get out and are involved in sport for many reasons but that really can only
happen because of the commitment of their parents. So to all parents on behalf of the Juvenile committee thank
you for your support, enjoy the break from GAA and have a great Christmas and all the best for 2009. We would
also like to take this opportunity to wish Tim a “Big Happy Birthday” this month.
The Girls in Croke Park
St. Oliver Plunketts U14 in the Leinster Feile Parade
Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year to All
on passing by- again

Last month I wrote about the death of an innocent young man in Limerick. Government Ministers queued up to tell us that this was an isolated incident and not an attack on an already under siege populace. We were told that this marked a turning point, that things were going to change, that they we not going to put up with it anymore. All the usual pious sentiments filled the airwaves and yet only weeks later we have a fifty year old man murdered by a teenage thug with a pistol. I suppose we will now be told that this is a turning point, a change etc. The usual do-gooders were on to tell us that the gunmen was as much a victim as the dead man and we should force officialdom to ensure that he and his ilk are given all the help they need to become decent caring members of society. Well excuse me if this offends anyone but in my considered opinion that is drivel. Maybe if we hang the killer he will be as much a victim as the dead man. Until then they are just scum who should be rounded up and given the punishment relative to their crimes. When are the rest of us, the so called silent majority, going to be allowed to live our lives as decent caring members of society. Definitely not while these people are allowed control our streets and our fears.

As time goes on I am becoming more and more convinced that among Bertie Ahern’s attributes the most important must surely be his psychic powers. Is it not now obvious that the Tribunal was just an excuse to enable him to make his move to the back benches before the fan was inundated with the you know what. His prescience is absolutely astounding. If only Brian Cowen had his former mentors gift we could be in a totally different situation now. The Government, and us, could have been spared the last few months stumbling from crisis to crisis. I predicted after Berties abdication that Cowen would soon come to know the full horrors of the poisoned chalice he had so gratefully accepted but even I have been taken aback at just how full the chalice actually was.
Has anything gone right for Mr Cowen and his Government since he took over as Taoiseach?
We have seen the scandal of the cancer misdiagnosis rear its ugly head yet again as more women were found to have been given the all clear even though they had cancer.
We have seen what was arguably the worst budget ever brought forward by an Irish Finance Minister, presumably overseen by his boss, a previous Finance Minister. It was riddled with inconsistencies and showed an almost childlike understanding of the problems facing the country, combined with a flawed perspective of the likely outcomes. Did Mr Lenihan really not expect medical card holders to react. Did he think that people on the minimum wage really wouldn’t mind paying tax on an already meagre income. Did he really expect people to back a u-turn on class sizes. We now have a situation where the medical card and tax proposals have effectively been shelved. The Education row rumbles on with constant bad publicity for the Government. It now appears to be official Government policy that anyone shopping in Northern Ireland, despite the savings for people already under pressure, is committing treason. Imagine if Gordon Brown told U.K. citizens not to buy goods manufactured here. There would be justifiable uproar.
Lenihan called his budget “ a call to patriotic action”. Sorry Minister but it was actually more chaotic than patriotic. Perhaps the Minister should be reminded of Samuel Johnsons saying.
“ Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”.

Cowens sorry tale of woe continued with the Fas scandal. An organisation with an annual budget of over one billion, during a time of record lows in unemployment, was under two separate Garda investigations following allegations of fraud and misuse of public funds. These investigations were fairly low key and excited very little public interested. The amount involved was only in the low millions and, as Minister Dempsey told us in the good times, sure why waste your time worrying about Mickey Mouse money. Then the real information started to flow.
Thousands of euro’s on first class flights for Fas staff and Government officials . Rounds of golf for nine hundred dollars. Nearly nine thousand euro’s for a meal for six in the Shelbourne, including a nine hundred euro tip. Beauty treatments in America. Eighty seven percent of a budget meant to be spent solely on students actually spent on publicity and officials expenses.
Fas Director, Rody Molloy, used the Pat Kenny show to inflict a public hanging on himself. His arrogance was plain to hear as he talked about his “entitlements”. What about the rights and entitlements of the rest of us. At least he had the gumption to resign when the writing on the wall became ominously clear. When was the last time a Minister did that?.
Mr Cowens Health Minister, Mary Harney, continued to pile pressure on the Government when she announced a suspension of the proposed immunisation program for young girls which would have helped to stem a rise in cervical cancer in women. This possibly life saving program was, according to Government figures, to cost in excess of ten million euro and yet the vaccine suppliers said it would only cost sixty per cent of this figure. To compound the lack of joined up Government thinking Silly O’Dea, Minister for Defence, announced at the same time that one of the Government jets was to be upgraded at a cost of nearly eight million euro. Talk about only opening your mouth to change feet.
We are now less than three weeks to Christmas and we can’t find a rasher or sausage on the shelves. Our much vaunted food safety system has decided that shutting the door after the horse has gone is not enough. They have decided to demolish the whole barn! After being promised a quick return of supplies the processors are refusing to slaughter unless the Government indemnifies them for their losses. Going on past experience the Government will probably agree and show the world yet again that the Irish taxpayer is just a giant insurance company.

Finally a very Happy Christmas to all our readers, to my fellow contributors, all our advertisers and Tim and Rose I sincerely hope that the New Year will treat us more kindly than the outgoing one.
All for now. Mike Edmonds.
The late Jim Gaffney
The People’s Photographer
To many readers of The Bugle, the late Jim Gaffney will always be remembered as “The Leinster Leader photographer”, the man in the anorak, quietly taking photographs at a festival parade here in Ballymore or at Punchestown on Walking Sunday. Jim had a varied career before he ‘accidentally’ fell into photography – having submitted a wedding photograph in 1957 to The Leinster Leader, he gradually grew into the role of photographer and was the main supplier of photographs to the newspaper over fifty years, having captured the changing streetscapes of Naas and ‘people pictures’ over the decades. What made Jim different was his total lack of greed or need for acclamation – ie, any local publication, school project or indeed, requests from The Ballymore Bugle – Jim supplied the photographs for publication free of charge and no insistence that he be acknowledged for same.
Jim had a special fondness for Ballymore, his mother, Margaret having been one of the Fisher family from Bishophill. When the Leader requested Jim to take a photograph in Ballymore Eustace, it was likely that only one or two photos would be used – perhaps a GAA awards night, a cheque presentation or festival queen night, Jim arrived on time and waited patiently before the actual shot was taken. We are talking here about a Saturday or Sunday night, with remuneration only from the paper for the couple of prints used. I was embarrassed sometimes having asked him myself to take a picture at an agreed time but several hours later, with speeches and awards running over, Jim was happy to have a glass of stout and sit quietly in the background. “Ah sure, it’s me mother’s country here – I don’t mind waitin’ around, I know plenty…”.

The many memorable scenes he captured on camera of Naas saw him recognised as the recipient of the 2007 Naas Town Council Hall of Fame Award – “A person, I would say who been here at Naas Town Chamber on more occasions than any other citizen of this town.” said Naas Town Councillor, Paddy Behan, also of Naas Local History Group.
“Jim was one of a family of fourteen children born to Margaret and Tom Gaffney; he grew up in the Back Lane immediately behind the Town Hall, at a time when the lane and the streets in the heart of the town, were densely populated with large families, who lived in rows of simple cottages with half doors where everybody knew everybody else in the Naas of the 1930s and ‘40s.
He went to the Moat School and for some time came to school here in The Town Hall when it was used as an overflow classroom for the Moat School. When he finished school, Jim joined the ranks of Kildare Co Council road workers, based mainly in Caragh and throughout the war years, helped surface the roads of West Kildare with the occasional diversion to turf cutting schemes during the emergency era.
Like most young men of the time he enlisted with the LDF (Local Defence Force) and quickly gained repute as a marksman, becoming a member of the North Kildare Battalion’s shooting team. In 1950, he joined the army proper at the Curragh. However, army life in the 1950s was not very exciting and the pay was poor.

So like so many young people of his time, he took the boat to England and joined other family members in Manchester, where he worked on the buses and had vivid memories of the smog there when he often had to walk in front of the bus with a lamp to guide it through the gloom!

From there he moved to Lincolnshire to work in a locomotive building plant and as such, became a member of an engineering team for Britain’s first diesel electric engines. It was here that he made yet another contact with Naas Town Hall when he married his late wife, Kay Doyle from the Town Hall - an occasion which led to his returning to Naas for the wedding of Kay’s brother Tom. It was at this ceremony that Jim was asked to take some photos and, having completed a correspondence course in Manchester, he was happy that his prints were of publishing quality. He duly sent the wedding picture to The Leinster Leader in June 1957 and from there his photographic career began.

When he returned to live in Ireland in 1957, Jim joined the Naas Fire Brigade then based in the Town Hall. Jim remembered a very basic service consisting of a Thames Truck on which a 300 gallon tank was mounted, crew members answering the call of the Klaxon siren on the roof of the Town Hall and heading off to whatever emergency awaited them until his retirement in 1984.

But Jim had many talents - he was a keen angler and a talented player of the mouth organ and played regularly in the Town House Hotel, Naas.

In an interview with Liam Kenny of the Leinster Leader, Jim recalled his early work with the paper was mainly of the social scene around Kildare and West Wicklow: “The main events were the farmers’ dances in Lawlors of Naas and the factory socials such as the Kingswear night in the Downshire Hotel” said Jim.

“Amongst the Leader reporters that Jim worked with were Chris “Scoop” Glennon, politicial correspondent with the Irish Independent for years; Tom Brady, security correspondent also with The Indpendent; the late Nial Hanly, Micahel O’Toole who went on the Evening Press, John Lynch, Liam Kenny and of couse in latter years, with Leader correspondents Joan Walsh, Sylvia Pownall and retired editor, Michael Sheeran.

Despite working with many high profile journalists and meeting heads of state, celebrities, sports stars, Jim remained the same, un-assuming man behind the camera. He has photographed every major event for over fifty years from election counts, awards nights, angry demonstrations to a visiting president or Walking Sunday at Punchestown……….and that’s what was different about Jim Gaffney – he gave as much time to taking a shot of the council lads at work as he did taking the Mayor on duty in the Council Chambers. He would pay the same attention to senior citizens at their annual party as he would to the fashionistas on Ladies Day. For children participating in Ballymore Festival Parade who shouted “Take me, take me!” he duly obliged, knowing full well, he would only get paid for what went to press.

Before our own Chris took up the camera, Jim happily supplied us with photographs in The Bugle of local events but is for his work as a photographer with The Leinster Leader that he is best remembered. In latter years, his handwriting was a tad shaky and when I would ask Jim if it was Kate, Kitty or Kay on the caption, he would look bemused and say “What do you think yourself?”

As Paddy Behan said in presenting Jim with his 2007 Naas Town Council Hall of Fame Award; “A modest man whose pictures of people, places and things have graced the walls and mantelpieces of our homes and the pages of our local paper for the past 50 years”.

Had Jim charged or claimed copyright of his work over the years, he would indeed have been a wealthy man but that was not his style. He enjoyed his work, as much meeting the people as he did making a study of them on camera.

We extend our sympathy to his son Ger and members of the Gaffney and Fisher family. May he rest in peace, amen.

Rose B O Donoghue

Our thanks to Paddy Behan, Stan Hickey, Liam Kenny of Naas Local History Group and Maggie Fisher for assistance with this tribute.
The Immortal Francesca da Rimini

The da Polenta and the da Rimini were two warring families with substantial lands on the Adriatic coast of Italy, and on the cessation of further unnecessary violence between them, it was agreed that a marriage would take place between Francesca, the very beautiful daughter of Guido da Polenta of Ravenna, and Gianciotto Malatesta (the lame), son of the ruler of Rimini. Along with her dowry, the union would both greatly increase and further protect the territory already controlled by the Malatestas.
Gianciotta, as well as being lame, was markedly ugly, and rather than expose himself to outright rejection in pursuit of his bethrothred, he sent his more presentable and handsome brother Paolo to Ravenna to complete the final arrangements by proxy, so confusing matters, and to return with her to Rimini as her escort. But Francesca had fallen instantly in love with Paolo. The die was now cast, a mark of eternal love, close to the Rubicon, the river crossed by Caesar on his way to seize Rome declaring, “Iacta alea est”.
On the morning after her arrival at Rimini, Francesca awoke, horrified to find Gianciotto beside her, and fled for safety within the castle. Time passed, and while the two lovers could only meet infrequently, these assignations, while tender and intimate, were restrained only for want of circumstance. Some time later, when Francesca and Paolo were together reading the dreamy tales of The Knights of The Round Table, the precious moment came. Those stories of courtly love, new to the world, written so skillfully by Chrietienne de Troyes for Marie De Champagne, told of chivalry, of acts of gallantry and especially of the affair between Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot. Enchanted by a relationship so affined to their own, heightened by infatuation and ignited to ecstasy, Francesca and Paolo’s eyes met, spellbound, and in swirling emotions, she surrendered to a kiss. ** Photo ‘The Kiss’ and caption to go here**
Unknown to them, they were seen by one of Gianciotto’s servants who relayed the drama to his master. Without delay Gianciotto came upon them, and with sword drawn lunged at Paolo with mortal intent. Francesca came between the two brothers attempting to calm the terrible scene just as Gianciotto swung his sword, fatally wounding her, and in that same madness he thrust it forward, killing Paolo.
In canto five of Il Inferno, Dante met with Francesca and Paolo, still embraced together but ever tossed about by the black winds of Hell. Dante enquired; “…Francesca, your afflictions/move me to tears of sorrow and of pity……in what way did love allow you/To recognize your still uncertain longings.”
Francesca replied; “…..time and time again that reading led/our eyes to meet, and made our faces pale,/and yet one point alone defeated us.
“When we had read how the desired smile/was kissed by one who was so true a lover,/this one, this one who never shall be parted from me,/while all his body trembled, kissed my mouth…..that day we read no more”

Dante was a friend of Francesca’s uncle, Guido Novello (the younger) of Ravenna, with whom he stayed as a guest in the latter years, until his death in 1321 Why then, should he consign Francesca to Hell, even if to a more temperate region, when he found it so convenient to allow others known to him to be very vile persons indeed, to reside in Purgatory? Even if Francesca was guilty of sin, it was surely more venial than mortal, since theirs was an actual demonstration of truth in reality, a mutual love, shared equally, bearing truth which is in itself passion, not merely lust, and since by her nature and past life she would have been penitent, but that death was so suddenly visited upon her. It was harsh judgement, and perhaps is why painters emphasize his inquisitive nose while exonerating Francesca.
The story of this dramatic scene by one of the six greatest figures in world literature, raised Francesco da Rimini to immortality, celebrated in symphony by Tchaikovsky, commemorated in two operas by Rachmaninoff and Zandonai, magnificiently memorialized in marble by Rodin, in painting and drawing by Sandro Botticelli, Dore, Blake, Watts, Scheffer, Ingres and a host of others including poets (Seamus Heaney) and playwrights, each and every one of them an act in defence of her reputation, sullied by a cruel hoax. Francesca died aged 30, in 1285. At that time, Dante was 20 years old.

Dante’s Hell: (Il Inferno) is a most doleful place from where no escape is possible, ever. Imprisoned here are those who die without repenting before death. It is divided into nine concentric circles of absolute doom, where punishments successively outdo one another in depravities. To simplify matters, Hell has four regions;
Upper Hell: where those who commit Sins of The Leopard are kept, and include ones guilty of
Incontinence (lack of self restraint), Lust, Gluttony, Waste Hoarders, The Wrathful.
Nether Hell 1: Sins of the Lion, include Violence and Heresy.
Nether Hell 11: Sins of The Wolf – Fraudsters of every sort and may include for instance, some
of those before the Mahon Tribunal
Nether Hell 111: Giants, and Traitors, all…to kith, kin and country; and the Emperor of Hell,
Satan, waist deep in ice so cold that no Hell fire can melt even a tear drop.

Dante’s Purgatory: is based on the seven deadly sins and is more benign in that it is a state of purification, which although fierce, is never as bad as Hell itself. The worst suffering is the length of time spent there, so depriving them of the presence of God. It is the residence of souls who while on earth repented their sins before death. Cantos 28-33 bring the soul ethereally from (if one might consider the thought imaginatively) the wonderfully scenic Glen of Imaal to the cleansing waters of the Liffey at Ballymore Eustace, the Earthly Paradise, known to us from The Book of Genesis as the Garden of Eden! Those six cantos are among the most beautiful passages of literature ever written, and from which Botticelli captured a pattern for La Primevera.

In 1965, the Italian Cultural Institute sponsored an exhibition in Dublin, celebrating the 700th anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri by inviting members of the Royal Hibernian Academy to participate and submit three artistic impressions, drawn from each of the three books of The Divine Comedy – Il Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Twenty two artists including six ladies took part, submitting a total of forty two works. Interestingly, of the 42 works, 34 were based on the Sins of The Lion in Nether Hell 1, including four female works. On the other hand, seven participants used Purgatory as their theme, including one male (envy), and six female (one for envy, one for gluttony, with the four others happy, between cantos 28-33, resting in the Garden of Earthly Paradise. Hallelujah!
It was really a pity that Jack Yeats was unavailable (in Paradise at the time, died 1957), for he would have added powerful influence and much imaginative thought to the project. Nevertheless, it was a very interesting exercise, and revealed as much about the artists as it did about the subject matters chosen.

In similar mode, Jackie O’Neill, who teaches art classes in Ballymore for beginners, and is joined by other experienced artists of like mind, held an exhibition of members and non-members works at The Ballymore Inn, during November of last year. Few people realized that so many accomplished artists were within our midst, and it proved to be a hugely impressive show of local talent – the variations of theme brought a montage of scenery, of images and impressionisms with some brilliant colour co-ordination. The structural layout of the compositions was very impressive, along with the all-important detail which gives life and expression, and one could not but be aware of the potential that exists here. Thankfully that is already being fostered.
Mention of this is no idle thought, for it gives cause and reason to wonder if at Jackie’s next exhibition here, such a project as that proposed and sponsored by the Italian Institute (or by an alternative sponsor), could be considered suitable as a special theme within the broader programme. If for no other reason than that it would tend to concentrate on a specific subject and having seen the capabilities already displayed, utilizing Dante should not pose insurmountable challenges; for although many of the Dantean scenes are clouded in darkness or are of ghostly visage (shades), imagination can lift veils from those shadows and produce a more enlightening form of imagery than that offered in 1965. It could prove to be a well-suited intellectual adventure into the infinities of the nether world and interpretive art with a grand objective. However, the cost may be prohibitive, but if anyone could arrange it, she could. Just a thought!

Is Hell Exothermic or Endothermic?
That question arose in the Irish Times recently under The Magpie column and seems related in a certain fashion to canto V, above. It asks if hell is over-heating or about to freeze altogether.
A professor at an American university posed the question to a class of chemical engineering students, asking that they support their answer with proof. Most of them quoted Boyle’s Law to resolve the question, but one very smart student responded with an unusual, if personable theory.
‘First we need to know how the mass of hell is changing with time, and at what rate souls are moving into or out of hell,’ but allowed that there was no escape, ever, so to find out the rate of new entrants, it was necessary to look at different religions.
Most religions agree that if you are not one of their members, you go to hell. ‘Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially. Now, if we look at the rate of change of the volume in hell, because Boyle’s Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in hell to stay the same, the volume of hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added. This gives two possibilities: A. If hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter hell, then the temperature and pressure in hell will increase until all hell breaks loose. B. If hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until hell freezes over.
‘So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my freshman year that, ‘It will be a cold day in hell before I sleep with you,’ and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.
‘ The corollary of this theory is that since hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct….leaving only heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting, ‘Oh my God!’.’
Happy Christmas. Michael Ward .
Village Green Garden Club

The topic for the November garden club meeting was ‘Hedgerows and Woodlands’, with Eoin Donnelly as guest speaker. Eoin is a fourth generation forester, reared in the Chiltern Hills in England but living in Ireland for the past 16 years. He spoke of the changing landscape in Ireland and the fact that intensive farming has changed many of the hedgerows. He stressed the importance of using native hedging such as thorn, crab apple, spindle, hazel, holly, gorse, elm, privet, as these will provide a habitat for our native birds, animals and insects. Hedging should be dense enough to give protection to wildlife, and should not be cut between the end of February to the 1st of September, as this is the nesting season. It is a good idea to select some upright growth from hedging to grow as trees interspersed in the hedge, as this allows birds to shelter and nest and gives them a perch to look out for predators.
Eoin showed us slides of different styles of hedge laying in England and Ireland and of his work with students in managing forests and woodland. He showed the coppicing of Hazel wood, which allows it to re-grow from the base and the use of the hazel wood to make rustic furniture, pig houses, garden implements and small wooden toys. It was a fascinating talk by Eoin, a man steeped in knowledge of trees, hedgerows and woodland.

Following a highly successful series of indoor music events , outdoor theatre and candlelight tours in Russborough during 2008 there are already plans being made for the 2009 season.
On Wednesday 11th February , Russborough is hosting its first traditional music evening with ‘The Tradition Club’ featuring Kevin Conneff of The Chieftans on vocals and bodhran , Dubliner Paul McGrattan on flute , Dundalk maestro Gerry O’Connor on fiddle and Breton guitar virtuoso Gilles le Bigot on guitar and tambura. Wine reception at 7.30pm for concert commencing at 8.00 pm
On Saturday 14th February , to celebrate Valentine’s Day, there is an evening of Valentine’s Love Music featuring Karin Leitner playing Flute and Cormac de Barra playing Harp. Vehicles can be parked in front of Russborough House before the wine reception in the Front Hall at Russborough and the Valentine’s concert itself which will be in the Candlelit surroundings of the elegant Saloon at Russborough.
On both evenings a pre-concert evening meal is available from Russborough’s resident Head Chefs , Dawn and Kevin Farley, in the casually elegant candlelit surroundings of the Kitchen Garden Restaurant . Their menu offers a selection of freshly prepared wholesome food as well as an excellent range of wines to accompany the meal. It sounds like just the way to start your Valentine’s evening !
For information on both events see or contact Marian on 045 865239 or by e-mail to
A Christmas Poem
He didn’t have a ’telly’ with the news being spread about,
But instead He had an angel, who proclaimed the news, from God.
The news that His beloved Son, the glorious Prince of Peace,
Had come to dwell among mankind to bring God within our reach.
A choir of angels sang God’s praise to some gentle shepherd men,
Not in a great cathedral, but o’er the hills of Bethlehem.

We often think of Jesus as being deprived at birth,
Of being poor and needy when He came from Heaven to Earth.
A prince would have had flash bulbs, - but Jesus had His star,
Which shone on many countries and brought wise men from afar.
Three wealthy, wise stargazers, who found in it a sign,
That somewhere a geat King was born to fit with God’s design.
We dance and sing and drink our wine, and have Christmas parties,
And it’s right to celebrate just why it all got started.
We tell the story, set up the crib, and bells peal out and ring,
And we sing our lovely carols, to bring praises to our King.
And by our gifts and greetings and cards sent with all our love,
We try to copy, in some small way, God’s goodness from above.
So let’s make sure He’s not left out, among all our glee and din.
As it happened on that fateful night, when there was no room at the Inn.

Happy Christmas to all,
Sincerely Trudy Jeffers.

Well it’s the time of year for making someone happy with a good book- and a visit to the Blessington Bookstore will suit any budget- recession or not. Janet’s shop has something for everyone, especially lots of small novelty reads which make great, thoughtful gifts, so check it out.

Starting with literature for her ( naturally…) I recommend “The Almost Moon” by Alice Sebold (Paperback: 8.99) I read “The Lovely Bones” by the same author a few years ago, and like this it was very odd, but a fantastic novel. The Almost Moon tells the story of a mother and daughter’s relationship clouded by the difficult taboo of mental illness. It is taut, gripping and beautifully written- you really won’t want to put it down, so it would be a great one for over the holidays- it’s a little gruesome in places, so not for the faint hearted.

For the men I would have to revert to my read from earlier this year which I feel is a real man’s book- “Netherland” by Joseph O’Neill (Paperback:13.99). As male readers often enjoy non-fiction a couple of good reads around this Christmas are Conor O’Cleary’s “May you live in interesting times” (Paperback :16.99) and very topically Mark Little’s “The New America” (Paperback 14.95) I haven’t read all of both of these as I am not really a fan of non-fiction, but both look excellent on skimming.

I was recently given a marvellous book of poetry for my birthday, and would highly recommend it for any poetry buffs out there: “Answering Back” edited by Carol, Ann Duffy (Hardback: 11.75). Its an excellent collection of classic poems like Kipling’s “If “ and Dylan Thomas’ “In my craft or sullen art” with replies written by modern poets. I found it quirky, amusing and erudite- very satisfying.

As usual Janet has a great stock of cookery books, including all the big names, but the one that really caught my eye was small but beautifully formed: “Our Grannies Recipes” edited by Eoin Purcell (Hardback: 14.99) Its not glitzy or packed with photos, but it does exactly what it says on the tin….a perfect present for the food lovers in your life.

In the biography line I hear that Julie Walter’s “That’s another story” (Paperback: 15.99) is a good read and apparently male readers have enjoyed both this and a book that was featured on BBC Radio 4 this year: “Cold cream- My early life and other mistakes “ by Ferdinand Mount (Hardback: 26.30).

The plethora of children’s’ books on offer is as usual, mesmerising, but if I was choosing something for a very small child I would b have to go for the box set of “Bright baby touch and feel”, which at only 6.99 is terrific value and will give endless pleasure to little fingers and minds. There is also a lovely book about telling your child you love them called “Before you go to sleep” by Benji Bennett (Paperback:9.99) . For older children the Alfie Green books are a lovely buy, averaging around 6.95 and for non-fiction readers the child’s version of Bill Bryson’s “A really short history of nearly everything” (Hardback 16.99) might make a nice change from the all-time favourite of the Guinness Book of Records, as it’s crammed with fascinating facts (very boy friendly…)

For much older children and adolescents I would have to recommend the Northern Lights trilogy by Philip Pullman- they were definitely the best books I read this year. They are marketed as children’s books, but I feel they are probably most appropriate for early teens as they are quite complex in places. You can get the whole trilogy in a box set for 29.00 euro.

Lastly…there were a couple of lovely picture books that might make excellent presents…one was “Doorways of Ireland” (Hardback:15.99) and on a local note “Beneath the Poulaphouca Reservoir”, edited by Christian Corlett (Hardback:35.00)- this is a big book and a lovely archive, so actually represents good value.

Hopefully there is something for everyone here, but this is just a taster of what the bookshop has in store- it’s a lovely place to shop and you can lose yourself in browsing after a hectic day at work!

Enjoy all your Christmas and New Year reading, make the most of having extra book time- I know I will!

Angie Thompson


It was a happy day for me the day my son William graduated; I was driving to Waterford to see him accept his degree, all decked out in his finery, proud as punch of him, I was and looking forward to seeing his college friends, all stone mad and ‘rearin’ to see the world. Its good to be around young people, happy young people, up for the craic and game for a laugh. Only one tinge of sadness hung over me that day – the death of Ena Keenan. When I was a child and finally allowed to cross the road from Byrne’s corner, I spent my years from age 8 – 12 in and out of Keenan’s house at The Square.
“Mzzz Keenan, is P’tricia there?” “Can I use the toilet?” (We didn’t call it a bathroom then).
“Mzzz Keenan, where’s Bernadette?”
We played hopscotch on the pavement outside the front door and in good weather, legged it up and down the steps out the back, only waiting on the fruit in Ena’s garden to mature. If you stood on the flat roof at the back, you could see into neighbouring garden of Marslands and right across the road to Byrne’s, another house we went through like we had automatic access to their back garden.
In and out of Keenan’s like yo-yos, Ena busy baking or cleaning, always on the go, out to the clothes line or setting up the ironing board….. No tumble dryers, no fancy house cleaning gadgets, just elbow grease and effort. “Close the door after you!” she would shout and if one of her own spread muddy shoes across her clean floor, she’d give them a warning swipe of her tea-towel…

Hopscotch, apple tarts, hairy gooseberries, Jackie posters all over the older girls’ bedroom, mostly of George Best and Patricia and I practising the accordion and harmonica in the front room (she had talent, I had wind). That’s what I remember about Ena; when she went over to Kilcullen to visit Sheila or Granny Keenan’s in Cannycourt on Sundays, I went too – Sunday drives were always good, you were sure of sweets or an ice-cream…….. When I was married with young children and my own Mam had passed away, Ena collected me and brought me into Naas Swimming Pool; by then my children had been through playschool and co-incidentally, Theresa’s children Claire and Patrick during the same years as my Gillian and William. We exchanged funny stories about the kids and usually we stopped at Anne’s on the way home for a cuppa.

I have one very vivid memory of Ena; Patricia had been hospitalised for several weeks after a lung collapsed – she was to be kept free from infection as much as possible, minded and cosseted under her strength had fully recovered. Patricia - ‘minded’? It would be like asking a dog with fleas not to scratch…. Every opportunity she got, the bold Patricia snook out and up to Barrett’s unheated, E-coli friendly, stream-water filled pool – and this would be in the evenings! We saw Ena coming from the kitchen window and we knew the speed of her walk and the set of her chin meant trouble! Where did Patricia, still clad in a soaking wet swimsuit, hide? In the henhouse, next to the boiler room – the kindest way to describe the henhouse is ‘a sauna reeking of ammonia’ and there was the ‘fragile’ Patricia, supposedly recuperating, hiding from a very angry Ena that night, possible the only time I ever saw Ena in a foul mood.

I didn’t make Ena’s wake as I was in Waterford on the day but I have asked myself since how could it be that I hadn’t visited her over the past few years just to say hello and catch up with family news. Shame on me. It’s too late to acknowledge the hospitality and patience of Nanny McGarr and Maura Byrne whose gardens were paradise to children with imagination and Mrs Brosnan – I loved going into Mrs Brosnan’s shop, I think it was her Kerry accent....

It’s not to late to say thank you to Kathleen Edgeworth, my first port of escape as a child; nor to thank Alice Cullen – you were always assured of a big pot of mash in Cullen’s and a hiss from that wicked feline, ‘Pierre’. Or Barbara Bolger or Maggie Dowling or Rita Lawlor’s – they all baked apple tarts and scones and their houses were safe playgrounds to us. As I got older, we listened to records in Murphy’s front sitting room, ousted only when Dr Purcell called for a quiet drink…… I’d say children from the bottom half of the village wandered in and out of Murphy’s and Gordon’s, oblivious to the fact that these were businesses. Betty Cremins and Marie Doherty gave me sympathy and babysitting money as a teenager and of course, Rita O’Rourke, mother of all mothers who has been an adopted auntie to the Barretts.

I lost my mother twenty four years ago and I still miss her, never more so than at Christmas. To all you mammies who remember young Rosina Barrett running in and out of your homes, eating your apple tarts and anything else that was on offer – God Bless you and yours this Christmas. And to the family of the late Ena Keenan, I enjoyed those hairy gooseberries best of all.

If you have your mother with you this Christmas, spoil her, talk to her and listen to her because you won’t have her forever.

A Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year to all Bugle Readers and special thoughts are with those of you have lost family members over the past few years.

God Bless – Rose

“St. Oliver Plunketts win first Under 21 Title”

On May 29th 1988, St. Oliver Plunketts (Ballymore/Eadestown/Two Mile House) won the Co. Kildare Under 21 Championship for the first time in the Club’s history. This achievement was extremely important as the Club had come close so often in the previous few years and had suffered one point defeats on two occasions and so it seemed that eventually the hoodoo sign had been overcome at last. The Club was originally founded in 1977 as the parent clubs found it difficult to field full teams at underage level and it was hoped that by playing in the higher divisions against strong opposition, the prospects of the three clubs at senior level would also be greatly improved. There is much evidence to suggest that the exercise proved fruitful. Ballymore won a Junior A and B double in 85, an Intermediate title in 86 and a further Intermediate A & B double in 94. Eadestown had similar successes in both the 80’s and 90’s. Plunketts, with a team that included Larry Tompkins, were actually beaten in the minor final in 79 by Newbridge. The names of the Clubs first Officers and Committee were Chairman, Eddie Hubbard, Secretary, Jack Harold, Treasurer, Ned Byrne, Registrar, Danny Boland, John Murphy, Jim Sargent, Pat Coyle, Jim Loughman, Noel Garvey, Charlie Clarke, Mrs. Mary McLoughlin and Mrs. Bridie Horan. Punchestown Racecourse provided the Club with a “neutral” playing pitch.

There was no representative from the Two Mile House Club on the team in 88 but they did provide many fine players in other years, such as the Coyles and Andrews’ particularly on previous sides beaten in the under 21 finals. Of the 24 players on the panel, 14 were from Ballymore and the other 10 were were from Eadestown and it was their combined efforts that led to ultimate success. Sarsfields were the opposition on the day who had also narrowly beaten Plunketts in the 1987 decider.

It was always known that this particular group of players had the pedigree to achieve top honours as in 1982, the club beat the best opposition in the County to earn the honour of representing Kildare in the Óg spórt u15 competition, a 32 County affair with the finals being held in Gormanstown College, Co. Meath. Plunketts played brilliantly throughout the series but due to several injuries to key players in the closing stages of the competition were beaten in the All Ireland final by a strong Fethard team representing Tipperary. This competition was to act as the springboard for further success and an u16 league and championship double was achieved in 83, u17 leagues in 83 and 84 and in 1985 the Club won the Minor title having accounted for Clane who selected from St. Kevins, Rathcoffey and Clane. In 1988, nine of the panel that had represented the County in 1982 were part of the successful Under 21 Panel that finally raised the Squires Gannon Cup for this part of the County. Go on the men in maroon!

As previously mentioned, during the eighties, the club contested several u21 finals only to be beaten at the final hurdle. But in 87 a remarkable achievement for the club was to prove the catalyst to change matters. No less than 5 Plunketts players, Jarlath Gilroy, Brendan Conway, Gary Bolger, Andrew Dooley and Henry Murphy all from Ballymore were selected to represent Kildare and won a Leinster Minor Title. They were beaten in the All- Ireland Semi Final by Down, the eventual winners of the competition. A Kildare player was sent off in the early stages of the match and it is quite likely the lads would have won All- Ireland medals but for that unfortunate incident. Plunketts were beaten in the 87 u 21 decider by Sarsfields, 0-9 to 1-4, but in 88, with the nucleus of the ’85 Minor team playing in their last year at this grade and the experience gained by the afore mentioned players, the u21 title was eventually added to the collection.

Tony Keogh was the team manager and he had been involved for several years as Plunketts sought to win the ‘elusive’ u21 title. His motivational style added the extra impetus needed to achieve victory. Plunketts won on a scoreline of 1-11 to 0-3, all Sarsfields points coming from placed balls. Sarsfields were very strong and fielded a virtual County team but Plunketts were “in the zone”. Liam McLoughlin was the Captain and he told all the players before we took the field that in no uncertain terms were we leaving Newbridge that day without the Cup! It was “last chance saloon” and the final time we all played together as a team and it was arguably the best display of football we had played in our 9 years together. Before the match started, there was a torrential downpour and the Sarsfields men all ran for cover. We knew then that they were not fully focused on the job in hand if they were more concerned about the rain than on us. There were some brilliant performances from certain players on the day. The mid-field partnership of Jarlath Gilroy and Henry Murphy ensured that we never lost grip throughout the match in this vital area and Willie Dowling’s ‘handling’ of Brian ‘Spike’ Nolan would certainly stand out for most people who remember the match. In fact to a man, nobody put a foot wrong and it was a fitting way to end those halcyon days. Even the forwards who often seem to really try and wind us backs up by not putting teams away earlier were in flying form and did the business.- scorers Jarlath Gilroy, Brendan Conway, Paul Murphy, David Magee 0-1 each, Martin Kelly 0-4 and Liam McLoughlin, 1-3. There is a debate over one of these points as to who got it but for the sake of this article, I’ve given to Liam because, ah well, just because! If we can unearth some video evidence, then we can finally put the record straight on this issue. The backs were all superb as usual, well no scores from play surely says it all on that front ! Near the end of the game some of the lads began to relax in order to savour the occasion and our Goalkeeper Sean went absolutely ballistic. Sean had made several fine saves during the match and was determined our Archrivals were not to be allowed score a goal. Indeed, I think he would have even climbed up on the posts to prevent them getting a point from open play!

Those years brought much joy, happiness and camaraderie to the players, the mentors, our families and supporters. Sadly many who contributed to those happy times are no longer with us today. Ronan O’ Dowd who was our goalkeeper for many years died tragically young some years ago, as did our mentors Billy Dowling, Tony Keogh and Frank Gorman who had always given us such encouragement throughout those years. Many other supporters who followed this particular team’s fortunes have also passed on to their reward, eternal rest to them all.

On a happier note the Club, which was disbanded in the 90’s has been reformed and in the last few years some of these players have went from strength to strength. In 2008 they fielded U14, U15, U16, U18 & U21 teams thus giving players from Two Mile House, Eadestown & Ballymore Eustace the opportunity to play football against opposition which they would not otherwise have been given. The U18 team won the Minor B Co. Championship while the U14 team reached the Feile B final, Feile Laighean 2008(Division 3) Leinster Final, U14 league semi final and Division 1 championship shield semi final. Hopefully, it will not be too long before further victories are achieved. I would like to wish the club every success in the future and hopefully, the maroon jersey will be worn with pride for many years to come.

As this year is the 20th anniversary of the under 21 victory, a reunion of the 88 Championship winning side is being held on 3rd January 2009. In 2005, the Minor championship winners played the 2005 Minor team and lets just say the ‘Ould Lads’ gave them a lesson that they surely will never forget (reminder 5-9 to 1-9). Apparently, these chaps have recently being looking for a rematch but alas when we were playing we tended to only give other teams one bite at the cherry. Sorry about that lads but I believe some of the ‘Legends’ are willing to sign autographs for you and give you some tips if you would like to join us on Saturday 3 January in Paddy’s. Indeed anyone who remembers those great days is invited to come along to share the memories.

Frank Murphy
BABY news!
Congratulations to LyndseyAnn and Darryl Litton, Golden Falls on the birth of their beautiful baby daughter, Lola, sister to Fia and Charlie.

Congrats to Katherine and Reverend Kesh Govan on the arrival of baby number 4, Madeline Rose, lovely Christmas news. Put him sleeping in the stable, K! Hello to all the young Govans – Amelia, Bethany and Joshua.

To Chris and Isa Dowling on the birth of Holly Mary a little sister for Sean.

Birthdays greetings
Happy Birthday to Paddy Cooke on reaching his 70th birthday recently and was happily joined by family to celebrate the occasion. Methinks an interview with our Rectors Church Warden in 2009 would make an interesting article……

well done
Well done to Cllr Billy Hillis on his recent contribution to a KFM programme dealing with cancer relative to men. Billy gave an excellent insight into what he has been through and the medical services which aided his recovery. Whilst I am of a different ‘political persuasion’ to Billy, I admire his participation in the programme as it must be encouraging to other men coping with the illness to hear how well Billy is doing. I also want to pay a compliment to Josie and Billy with regard to the REHAB Co Kildare People of the Year Awards; they have been the most consistent FG supporters of the event over the past few years – haven’t noted too many other FG councillors there every year - and they attended in support of neighbour Anne Sully this year. Continued good health to you, Billy in 2009.

CONGRATULATIONS to Ian Furlong, Chapel Street on winning 1st Prize in the Irish Independent recently – a Digital Camera and printer coming Ian’s way….

The Bugle team are sorry to hear that Aggie Curry has recently been take ill – Aggie has been the main organiser of Ballymore’s annual trip to Lourdes for years so we hope that her fellow
Travellers will say a special prayer for Aggie’s well being.
To the Breener, who is laid low at present. Get well soon Sean, Leopardstown and other places are calling…

Not a patch on the gilroys, but…
Colette Hempenstall & Tim Ryan who celebrate twenty years of wedded bliss this month. Well done Colette from the (Junior) editor, don’t know how you have put up with me for so long….

Best Wishes to young Timmy Gorman who recently travelled to Australia, no doubt to join up with buddies, Thomas O’Rourke and Darragh Meade. Lads, hope the beachball game and cool beers on Christmas Day won’t be too much for ye……..a far cry from the icy, foggy, weather conditions we are enduring here! Greetings also to Johnny Sammon, Claire Moylan – yer mammy’s back in The Panto – Brid Wilson and Willie Clarke, cousins Amanda Conway and Edel Byrne and many more young people from Ballymore Eustace .

Christmas greetings also to Jason, Naomi and Cormac McDonald and Harry White in Sydney, Oz from all your family and friends in Ballymore.

And to our many Bugle friends abroad – Finn and Gayle; Liam Evans and family; Brigid & Des Byrne, Liam Daly, Bill Ryan & co., Betty Morris, Eddie & Mai Whelan,The Govan family – a safe and happy Christmas to you all. Some of our foreign friends have even moved a bit nearer, to Steve & Debbie Stone, now residents of Cape Clear Island, now there’s posh.


Juvenile Badminton Club
The organizers or the recent cake sale/ tea morning in aid of the local Juvenile Badminton Club wish to express their thanks to all who supported the event and raffle which raised €760 for the club. We wish all our members and their families a very Happy Christmas.

In a small box please with a seasonal graphic:
St Vincent de Paul Shop
Staff from St.Vincent de Paul shop on Church Street, Ballymore Eustace would like to thank all their customers throughout the year for their support and wish you a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

In Reverse please:
The Late Micheal Murphy
A huge attendance turned out for the funeral service of the late Micheal Murphy of Whiteleas, a man held in high regard within farming, football and racing circles. A member of the famous ’53 Team – a Ballymore side who broke into GAA history when they won the Co Kildare Junior, Intermediate and Senior Championship titles in three consecutive years – Micheal later trained teams both for Hollywood and Ballymore Eustace GAA clubs.

The Murphy family’s contribution to GAA in Ballymore Eustace is incalculable with Micheal’s sons, daughters, nephews and grandchildren being major participants, as players, sponsors and club officials. Kevin Burke, one of the surviving members of the 1953 side made a poignant speech acclaiming Meahall and his fellow team members for the camaraderie and dedication they displayed.

As a member of the Cheviot Sheep Breeders’ Association, Micheal and his family have enjoyed major success winning several categories at agricultural shows down through the years with a prized trophy and rosette being presented as Offertery Gifts during his farewell service. Following Micheal’s own success in sheep breeding, he was invited to act as judge at agricultural shows held in Roundwood, Baltinglass/Aughrim, Borris, Blessington and Tullow.

An annual trip to Listowel Races was the highlight of the racing calendar for Micheal, who also attended Gowran, Punchestown and Naas Races.

Eileen and Micheal celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2006 joined by their children Gerard, Mary and Angela, Michael, Colette, Therese, Lisa and Alan along with grandchildren and the extended members of the Murphy family. Coming from a large family himself, Micheal is predeceased by several brothers and sisters; he is survived by sisters Teresa, Rita, Kitty and Maureen and brothers, John and Joe. Family member Aine O’Neill accompanied by Liam Lawlor sang at the funeral mass and as always, gave a beautiful performance.

There was a strong attendance from local members of the Fine Gael party with Bernard Durkan TD, Cllrs Billy Timmons and Billy Hillis present and also Sean Power, TD & Minister of State.

Micheal is a man who will be remembered for his passion in farming, GAA and racing, his hospitality to all who called to Whiteleas but most importantly, his pride in his family. We could not pay tribute to Meahall without recalling one other personality trait – his sense of humour and no better man to enjoy ‘a good slaggin’! I remember telling Micheal he was alright ‘for a Blue Shirt’ a few years back and he reciprocated with “Ah, you’re all right yourself for a Fianna Fail’r; shame about the rest of them…”

Having spent a short time in Beamount and St Luke’s Hospital, Micheal recuperated in Naas Hosptial for several weeks before returning home where he died peacefully surrounded by family and friends.

To his wife, Eileen and family, we extend our deepest sympathy – the late Micheal Murphy, may he rest in peace, amen


Listening to a wildlife speaker on the radio the other day prompts me to relate a tale about our Squeaks and how for a short period became part of the family. The man was speaking about hedgehogs; their life styles and habitat. Squeaks came into our family as a deserted waif and took up residence as to the manor born.
Going down to the yard early one morning when all was quiet I became aware of a persistent squeak. Searching the various barns and outhouses I eventually tracked down the owner. A month or so earlier I had purchased at auction a second hand domestic bath with the idea of using it for an animal drinking trough. Like a lot of farm jobs it had become a ‘things to do some day job’ and was lying in the hayshed awaiting its final resting place. Approaching the hayshed the squeak became more focused and seemed to be coming from the bath. There he was going round and round the bottom of the bath unable to climb out and squeaking piteously, a baby hedgehog not more than three inches long. How he got in there and where mother was I shall never know, but I picked him up and headed for the house.
In typical hedgehog protective mode he curled up into a ball in my hand no bigger than a medium size apple. Placed on the kitchen table the family gathered round to admire and discus. After a moment or two he uncurled and started to yodel again; all agreed it was a hunger problem. A five cc syringe was filled with milk and introduced and he swept the lot in a blink. The five cc was traded up for a ten cc and that to got short shift. With tummy full he curled up in the middle of the table and went to sleep.
When a new pet arrives in a family it is usually a puppy or kitten and the logistics for such an arrival is a well known formula, but a hedgehog! I might add that at this stage there was no question of returning him to the wild in the hope that mother might turn up. The kids had taken a vote and it was a unanimous decision that he stay. To put a name on him was a piece of cake, what else could it be but Squeaks. He settled in like an ol’ timer and the sunroom became his temporary residence until plans were laid to arrange outdoor accommodation. His diet consisted of cat food with pieces of bread mixed in: he ate heartily. Two other in house animals, a cat and Jack Russell treated him with utter distain; those quills had a purpose! When not sleeping he would do a circle of the sunroom and if he bumped into someone’s foot he would hold up his head as if asking for a scratch. The only place you can scratch or pet a hedgehog is along his nose or between his ears.
The plan for outdoor accommodation was simple enough. A fireguard, originally designed for a grain drying furnace fitted the bill. It was 6x4 in area and a foot in depth. His sleeping quarters was a biscuit tin with some straw inside. His very first day in his new quarters was spent reorganising his sleeping arrangements by adding grass and leaves to the straw. When this was to his satisfaction he crawled inside, curled up, and completely disappeared in a bundle of grass, straw, and leaves.
That same summer we had a Japanese student with us called Yutaka. He was on a student exchange scheme and he and others were placed on farms and residences in the area. A bus picked him up every morning and returned him to us at ‘round 5pm. His routine was school in the mornings and the bus then took them sight seeing in the afternoons. On getting off the bus every afternoon his first question was; “Is Squeaks fed”? He was very disappointed if the answer was in the affirmative. I suppose coming from the heart of Tokyo even the domestic animals were a new experience for him, and to have a real live wild animal, albeit non dangerous, in his charge was something to tell the folks at home about! He saw to it that Squeaks was never short on grub.
The summer moved into autumn and it was time to release Squeaks. I placed two bricks under the cage at one end and we awaited results. He moved out right away, nevertheless his food dish was always emptied. Then one day the food remained untouched. Squeaks had chosen his natural environment. He had gone from us and all were a bit saddened by his departure. We had two more sightings of him. One night late I opened the back door and there he was in the middle of one of the dogs food dishes cleaning up the leftovers. He put up his head and I scratched between his ears and along his nose then he was gone. Some time later the Missus was heading to the clothes line and saw him crossing the lawn. She called out Squeaks, and he stopped immediately putting up his head for a scratch. We never saw him again.
The irony of this story is that at Christmas someone gave us a present of a book called “How to manage your Hedgehog” or like title. Any one of us could have written it!
A Very Happy Xmas and Bright New Year to All Readers. Yrs Jeffers.
The Garden Clubs guest speaker in October was Kay Hartigan. Kay, a local lady originally from Harristown started her night discussing some of the projects that she has undertaken in her horticultural career to date from King Arthur to Bloom. She spoke to the club about all aspect of planning and designs. Members brought pictures of "that area we all have in the garden that needs the makeover". We all benefited from the workshop and came away with lots of information and ideas. This month's guest speaker is Eoin Donnelly. Eoin expertise is our native hedgerows. His topic for the night is hedgerows and woodland management to include hedge conservation for wildlife and native/formal planting.

Many thanks to everyone who supported the Coffee Weekend at Harvest Thanksgiving time in the Church recently. We raised a magnificent 1100 euro towards new robes for the altar servers. To everyone who donated prizes and everyone who helped in any way, thanks again.
Mary Campbell.

The results of the Raffle were as follows.

1st . Hamper: Kay Kavanagh.
2nd. Cognac. Tony Campbell.
3rd. Gift Set. Julie Molloy.
4th. Wine/Chocolates Laura Katelyn Gallagher.
5th Wine/Glasses Tony Campbell.
6th. Drinks Hamper. Johnny Murphy. Coughlanstown.
7th. Gift Set. Audrey Fagan.
8th. Wine. T.Holloway.
9th. Glassware Set. Jane Counihan.
10th. Wine. Mick Horan.
11th Wine/goodies. Pat Browne.
12th. Wine. Dora O’Brien.
13th. Bacardi Martin Horan.
14th. Red Door Gift Set. Conor Murphy Coughlanstown.
It was ten years ago this month

The houses were reduced from 507 to 416. The first man of the year awards were launched. F Troop retired. Siobhan Murphy from Coughlanstown won a hamper in the Drama Society Raffle. The society were very active preparing for “Sharon’s Grave,” and “Sharks in the custard,” Rose did a great profile of the late great Pauline Daly. The David family who lived in the Factory House were profiled. Elizabeth deegan taught us all how to bake festive treats.

Tim’s Diary

Well the path on Barrack Street is finally completed, I say completed rather than finished as the finish is so poor outside ours and our neighbours Paul & Anne’s that it would be a misnomer. The remainder of the broken slabs to the walls of the house were left cracked and broken, small pieces of concreting left undone, the down pipes not returned to their original state, even the blocks left unswept following laying of infill sand, forcing us to complete things as best we could ourselves. One would think that it was a six day job rather than a six month one,

It is a joy to pass Gallery & Gifts, my wife NEVER does, and to see their window display. It is a cornucopia of delights. Glad to see the last of the big clocks though John.
The CDA will probably be disappointed at the size of the turn out for their recent AGM. Sometimes quality is better than quantity,
Poor oul’ Brian Cowen, what a poisoned chalice that was. Mary and Rose I know you are going to the Taoiseach’s Dinner in December, it could just be a one off.

Margaret, & Nicole Buinno with Bernie Bracken nee Hempenstall, recent visitors to Ballymore. The Irish/American/Italian connection came for a great three part Hempenstall clebration. Clontarf Castle, Avon Ri and finally the Ballymore Inn.
The little pice of Ballymore on the World Wide Web grows day by day, now with over 1600 photos, we turned 20,000 hits last month. Thanks Chris. Another few good links while I’m at it are and
Church Matters
As you will be aware the gallery has been closed for some weeks now. We are in the process of getting quotations for the provision of a hardwood staircase, the construction of the necessary supports and the provision of a fire retardant casing for this. We expect this work together with the balance of the work already undertaken to cost in the region of 30,000 euro,
Elsewhere in this issue you will see a notice about our first fundraising event. Please support us in any way you can,
A fetive service of Carols and Raeadings will take place in the Church on Friday December 19th at 8 pm. You are all very welcome.

The Parish Board of Management.

Off the Cutting Edge by Pastor Robert Dunlop
Those who organized the sequence of the months that make up the year inserted Christmas in the calendar at a fitting time. It is post-November. Even when the summer is fine and the Autumn mild the short days and long nights of November present a challenge to the most resilient. Hit with a wet Summer and a tough Budget there is more than a little cause for gloom this
Loneliness frequently occurs when the days are short and the nights are long. In the midst of all the activity of modern life it is not always easy to look out for the lonely in our communities. Assumptions are made that someone else will take care of their needs, especially family or friends. Fear of intrusion, which may be a genuine reason for standing back but it can easily degenerate into distancing oneself from real need. Discreet enquiry will often yield an accurate picture of how things are. Loneliness is not restricted to those who live alone – it has often been said that it is possible to be lonely in a crowd.
If we are to tackle the problem of local loneliness several considerations need to be kept in place.
Natural assembly points such as community organizations, churches, schools and other public places often provide an antidote to loneliness. Some of the most effective work is done through neighbourly friendship – no strings attached.
There is no instant cure for loneliness but appropriate companionship lifts the downcast spirit.
Spiritually, the negative equity of feeling all alone is balanced by the double certainty of the Book of Hebrews, where God says “I will never, never leave you; I will never, never, forsake you”.
The expectation of Christmas curing November blues isn’t exactly straightforward. It is not uncommon to hear someone say that Christmas is a lonely season – bringing memories of losses and reverses. This needs to be matched by the spirit of goodwill which surfaces during the season of Advent. The agency which God uses to lift up the spirits of the lonely is human, especially those who have received consolation themselves in trying times. All that is necessary is that they make themselves available.
Comforting the lonely has an attractive, pacific quality about it –
it is not driven by the desire to impress but rather is the outflow of a calmed and calming spirit.
“If you are wise you will show yourself as a reservoir rather than a canal, a canal spreads abroad the water it receives, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing and thus shares without loss to itself its superabundance of water”
Elizabeth of Schonau (12th century)

Matt’s Memories

The O’Loughlins lived in the first two-storey house on the left after passing the Liffey Bridge as you come up the village towards the Catholic Church. Mike spent a lot of his life working in Detroit City for the Ford Motor Company. After he retired, he returned to Ballymore Eustace to live with his two unmarried sisters Kate and Nellie. Mike was always well groomed and attired and frequently went for walks around the area. In the hard winter that was 1963, Mike died on Sunday January 27. Kate and Nellie survived Mike.
Headons of the Square
The Headon family consisted of Joe and Hilda and daughters Kay and Lynda. Hilda was a member of the well-known Naas family of Gorrys who had a pharmacy in the town centre. Hilda was the first of the Headons to die. Joe was a big figure in the Ballymore Eustace of my younger days. He ran both a successful butcher’s shop and public house in the village. Joe began business on St Patrick’s Day, 1946. A feature by Joe - talking to his daughter Kay - appeared in the October 1996 edition of the Bugle. From it, it is clear that Joe enjoyed his role even though it involved a lot of hard work. He also gave a lot of much needed employment in the area. The December 1998 edition of the Bugle contained an appreciation of Joe by Rose O’Donoghue. Joe died on December 1, 1998. For a period, Kay was editor of our newsletter and I often saw Lynda walking her dog before I had my stroke.

Drivers of the Stage Inn
A long time ago, Mr and Mrs Paddy Driver owned and ran the Stage Inn. I’m not sure if it was called that at the time. Paddy also drove a lorry while his wife ran the public house. Paddy died while he was still quite young. His wife continued running the business before selling it to Mick and Phil Murphy. Paddy was a brother of Frank who lived opposite the Catholic Church. Frank was a Republican all his life and, like myself, was a regular visitor to Lawler’s Kitchen. Over the years, Frank had many a verbal battle with Fanny Nugent of Bishophill who was a staunch Fianna Fail supporter. When Frank died on November 4, 1981 aged 74 there was a big security presence at his funeral. He was buried by the far wall at St John’s Cemetery. His headstone commemorates Frank and his parents, Monica and Thomas Driver.

South Dublin Retired Staff Dinner
On September 25 I attended the South Dublin Retired Staff Dinner in the canteen at Tallaght. My brother James kindly brought me there. As I have come to expect, the fare provided was excellent. In addition, I got re-acquainted with several of my former work friends.

DVD - Sunrise over the Wicklow Hills
Recently, Ollie Deegan sent me an email after he watched the DVD - Sunrise over the Wicklow Hills. Seemingly, during the second song on it, there was great footage of a Ballymore Eustace Field Day many years ago. There were super shots of my late father and mother on it. Ollie also spotted Jack Lawler selling minerals, Ger Mahon (Senior) beating Paddy Murphy in the married man’s race, Christy Hartigan in the Donkey derby as well as pictures of the Brass and Reed band.

Barrack St
The Whelans formerly of Barrack Street consisted of Edward, his wife Pauline, and daughters Margaret, Bridget and Pauline. Edward died suddenly aged 67 on June 13, 1961. His wife Pauline died on August 24, 1982 aged 85. Their daughter Margaret Brady (nee Whelan) died on December 8, 2007. Margaret suffered from arthritis for the last eight years of her life. Daughter Pauline was married to Charlie Daly but they had no family. Charlie pre-deceased Pauline who sadly died on Christmas Eve 1999. Both Charlie and Pauline featured in a television programme on Ballymore Eustace called Discovery and narrated by RTE’s John Sheehan. Bridget married local man Des Byrne and both of them have celebrated their eightieth birthdays. Des is a son of the man Jack Lawler would have called the Master Byrne who lived at Tinnycross in the house where Laura Barrett now lives. Like my grandmother Purcell, the Master Byrne died in 1947. Question is – was it Margaret or Bridget that gave me my one and only Irish dancing class, in the fifties, in the old National School (now Country Kitchens)?

I note from the last Bugle that James (Jim) Gaffney died R.I.P. Jim lived at Sarto Park, Naas, Co. Kildare and died on September 24, 2008. His son Ger, daughter-in-law Ciara, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Jim. His wife Kay pre-deceased him. He is interred in St. Corban's Cemetery, Naas. Over a long number of years, Jim attended all the major functions of the Handball Club as the Leinster Leader photographer. I only recently realised that his mother was a Fisher of Bishophill.
Philomena (Ena) Keenan (nee Murray) of Bishopland, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare died on October 22, 2008, at Naas General Hospital R.I.P. Her husband Kevin, children - Tom, Ann (Mooney), Theresa (Nugent), Kevin, Patricia (Doyle) and Bernadette (Keenan), daughters-in-law Áine and June, sons-in-law Mervyn, Ger and Paul, sisters Breda, Bernie and Angela, brothers Joe and Noel, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Ena. She is buried in St. Kevin's Cemetery, Hollywood. Ena was pre-deceased by her daughter Maria Chamney and her son-in-law Tom Nugent. Reading of Ena’s death, came as a surprise to me as I was unaware she was unwell.
Alice Doyle (nee Fleming) of Broadleas died suddenly at home on October 25, 2008 R.I.P. Her husband Sean, sister Sheila, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and relatives survive Alice. Alice is buried in St. Nicholas of Myra Cemetery, Dunlavin. I did not know Alice but Sean was an enthusiastic and good athlete in times past.
Maureen Doyle (nee Ryan - formerly of Coole, Newport, Co. Tipperary) of Alliganstown died at home on November 6, 2008 R.I.P. Her husband Mark, sons - Mark, Emmet and Shane, grandchildren, sister, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Maureen. Maureen is buried at St. Kevin's Church Cemetery, Hollywood. I visited Mark’s home on a number of occasions and chatted about the game of hardball. Sean and Mark are brothers and like Sean, Mark was a good athlete.

© Matt Purcell (October 25, 2008)