Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tim’s Christmas Diary
I came very close to meeting my Waterloo on Monday 22nd of October when my van was in collision with a truck on the back road at Brittas. During my recovery I received many good wishes. I am very grateful to those who visited me. Thankfully I am now almost fully recovered. I am driving again so if you see me coming, pull in.

Good to see bravery recognized recently when Supt. Enda Walshe was honoured for tackling a bank raider in Galway. Enda was stationed in Terenure for a while and is of course the brother of the more famous Claire O’ Kelly from Coughlanstown.

Staying with matters of the law, our own Colette passed out into the Garda Reserve last week. We hope to get permission from the Commissioner to interview her for the Bugle in the near future. The long Nails of the law.
P.S. Kevin Donohoe from the Garda Press Office has given us permission so more next month

Our sympathies to Brigid Byrne on the death of her sister Margaret (nee Whelan)

Robert Bracken and his two daughters Kyleigh and Brianne visited us in Ballymore in October and expressed their love for Ballymore as a “real country village” Roberts mother is orinally from Dublin, Bernie Hempenstall. If he keeps his promise to write his memoirs of growing up t will be a best seller. Thanks for all the laughs.

It’s the time of year when we are pleased to thank all the people associated with the Bugle during 2007. Firstly the CDA who continue to support and encourage us. To all our contributors who submit excellent articles month in, month out. Chris Dennison for his wonderful photographs. All the people who help with the folding of the Bugle every month. The shops who sell it in the village, Hollywood, Poulaphouca and Blessington. The people from Ireland and overseas who subscribe each year. And of course you, our loyal readers. Two people deserve a special thank you. Our printer Frances, an angel of patience and good humour and of course, our Rose. Really without Rose the Bugle would simply not be. She is the only thornless Rose I know. Thank you.

Now a serious bit. There has not been a price increase since 2002 on either the cover price or the advertising rates. Five years is a long time for something to stay the same price. Despite rising costs and increased sponsorship of local events, People of the Year, Carman etc. we intend to hold the price of both copies and advertisements for the next twelve months. Our ability to do so is entirely down to the prompt payment of our sales agents and our advertisers. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and we look forward to continuing refreshed in the New Year.

Brigid Eile. Thanks for your letter. We have asked the Welly organizers about the band. They did not organize the entertainment. Let us know who they are and we will gladly give them a name check.

The demise of some of the businesses in the town is upsetting. When the Thatch closed its doors recently I began to wonder was the village assuming ghost town proportions. It was hearting to see it re-open in short order. Not so the bookies. Tony Hanlon catered for the gambling needs of the town as well as providing a great social hub for people to meet and chat. I hope you enjoy the rest. Tony also sponsored the crossword each month. Tom O’Keefe of Naas Insurances has stepped in to continue the prize fund of what is one of our more popular items each month. Thanks Tom.
Ivy Cottage,
Ballymore Eustace,
27th November 2007.

Dear Editor,

I read Mr. Matt Purcell’s article regarding handball, thinking it was a joke. Jim Clarke was awarded a Hall of Fame award for Hanball! My belief is that the award is for greats of a discipline. How could a man who never played the game of handball, never represented his club or county, be awarded a Hall of Fame award?
I can remember the roof being placed on the alley in 1928, in my seventh year. It was roofed a short time and the first game was Tommy Leahy ( Ballymore) vs. J.J. Kelly (Dublin) best of fifteen games. I remember Christy Byrne and Peter O’Rourke coming up to where my father, Myles Lawlor, was making hay and asking him to go with Peter to help Tommy warm up for his big game. There were incredible celebrations when Tommy Leahy won, the band played him up the town!
We decided, in 1952, to upgrade the alley. Fr. Browne gave us the use of the reading room for a dance to raise funds. Myself & Jim Doyle, now in a religious order in Mexico, were delighted to engage the Gallowglass Ceili Band.. We knocked on the McGarr’s door, the man shouted out, “Who’s there?” Jim from Sillagh, said “Jim Doyle.” Turning to me saying “I should have said Seamus O’Duill.” The hall was packed to capacity, there wasn’t room to dance!
Johnny Murray from Coughlanstown loaned us a machine to make blocks. When the lads left Headons they would go to work on the Alley. I was there until four o’clock in the morning.
I wish to ask Jim Clarke how he could award which is only given to the greats of the game?
I will now give you my contribution. I won the Heavyweight Junior Boxing Championship of Kildare in 1947. I won the All-Ireland Junior Singles and doubles, (the first man to achieve this.) Paddy Monaghan was my doubles partner. Phil Leahy used to say to Matt the Thresher, “come on now, Matt, for the honour and glory of the little village.” That was my motto.
I would ask Jim Clarke to cast his mind back to a day in Punchestown in 1955. a row broke out when one of the three card men burst the face of a man with a knuckle duster. Matty Kelly, Jim Burke Myles Lawlor and myself gave the them their commuppance.
I started to train greyhounds with Harry Deegan, having considerable success on the coursing fields of Ireland and top tracks, including Shelbourne Park. I went down to Thurles to race a dog in the Irish Greyhound Grand National. I called into Hayes Hotel and saw the room where the G.A.A. was founded in 1884.
I am now living in happy retirement at eighty seven years of age. Harry Deegan looks after me. Harry, in my mind, should be Person of the Year in Ballymore. I have some lovely neighbors, Philip & Tara Black, Elaine & David Keenan, Pter & Brian McGrath and Audrey & Kevin McNally. My Grandfather bought Ivy Cottage, where I live, in 1907.
I will now close with the words made famous by Margaret Mitchell in the classic film, “Gone with the Wind,” which I read at eighteen years of age.
“What will I do now? Frankly, my dear I do not give a damn”
The proudest moment of my life was when the lady doctor in Beaumont Hospital said to me, “William, you are a gentleman.”

Yours Sincerely

Bill Lawlor.

Post script.

I enclose twenty euro as a competition prize. Ten Euro to each of the correct answers

Question One: Michael Hogan, for whom the stand in Croke Park was named, was shot on Bloody Sunday November 21st 1920. Who administered the Last Rites?

Question Two: Where is Tobar na Gras?

In reply to Bill’s letter-
Jim Clarke was actually named Handball Person of the Year at the Co Kildare GAA Awards for his consistent and continued support of the game as opposed to the GAA Hall of Fame Award.
Eamon Deegan, Chairperson of Ballymore Eustace Handball Association is delighted Jim was recognised at the county awards.
“Jim is down in at the Ballymore Handball centre every week, doing odd jobs and keeping the place in proper order – it was Jim who put up the new fence sponsored by KTK. When it comes to our annual flag day, Jim is first out and always manages to collect more than anyone else! He may not have been a handballer in his day but he is dedicated to GAA sports. I think its great to see a man who has put so much effort in - without ever having gotten acclaim as a player – being acknowledged for his contribution. It’s well deserved as far as we are concerned in Ballymore; our heartiest congratulations and thanks to the bold Jim.”

Matt - Some New Memories

Senior Citizens Party

A few years ago I was invited to the Senior Citizens Party (by Kathleen Lawler I think) but did not go on that occasion. I intended going to this year’s party but kept forgetting to make the necessary call. Eventually I called Sean Fogarty and everything was arranged – I was added to the list. Happily Sean’s mother is now progressing well after being in Naas Hospital at the same time as myself.

Old Days
Years and years ago I recall visiting the grounds of the Poulaphouca House Hotel but I cannot recall who my companions were or how I got there. I definitely had companions and I probably arrived there by bicycle. That said I was never inside the hotel before. My brother James kindly gave me a lift to the hotel and John Queally invited him to join us. This time James did not join us.

Mystery Waitress
Seeing the waitresses I realised I knew one of them of old but from where? Used she work in the Ballymore Inn or the Thatch or the Ball alley? In due course the waitress came to our table with vegetables. Being the cheeky type I asked the direct question and learned she was a Swords and had worked in Janet’s that I often visited. Later I learnt she was Caroline Swords. Some years ago, Neil Diamond had a popular song called Sweet Caroline.

As always, Betty Giltrap gave me the warmest of welcomes. Betty as usual was most encouraging in regard to my Bugle Column and was delighted to see it back.

Table Companion
Meanwhile, Eileen Conway who was in the seat opposite me helped keep me in chat. I mentioned seeing Eileen walking towards Blessington on many occasions. Due to the increased volume of traffic Eileen can no longer make this trip but now does her walking at the football field. Another regular football field walker I understand is Liz Deegan (nee O’Connor formerly of Valleymount). Nowadays I understand Seamus and Mary Hayden and their dog do their walking at Punchestown.

Those present were delighted to see me and were not shy in telling me. They also told me how they enjoyed my column being back in the Bugle. The volunteers who made it all possible did a great job and kept us all happy. The meal provided by the Poulaphouca House Hotel was excellent.

The Musicians

I spoke to both Mick Farrington and Brendan Hennessy before they began their music. Both they and I were pleased to talk to each other after lengthy breaks.

Hello! I’m Tommy Cash!
Johnny Cash’s youngest brother Tommy was here on a tribute show to his brother Johnny. Having heard Tommy sing I was amazed at how alike he was to Johnny. When I saw he was to play four shows here in Ireland I was anxious to go to his Dublin show in the Olympia if possible. He was also playing in Cork beforehand so I told my sister who went to his show and enjoyed it. Very kindly my niece Ann-Marie brought me to the show that I thoroughly enjoyed. This was the first show I went to in a long, long time.

Good Shepherd Echo
The Good Shepherd Echo is a free newsletter that the Churchtown Parish brings out every fortnight. Having read the leading article on the Parishes’ Golden Jubilee I discovered the page and a half A5 article was written by Jim Boland – a former Ballymore resident. Jim is a member of the Churchtown Pastoral Council. In the article, Jim dealt with how the Parish was, what it became and he thanked those who made it so. He also paid special tribute to Donal Murray who painted the new centrepiece for alter – a painting of the Good Shepherd.

I was sorry to see from the last edition of the Bugle that Gus Toomey had died. In recent years I used to see this man walking back and forth to the village. I did not know who he was but subsequently learnt it was Gus. From his obituary in the Bugle Gus was obviously an active and most interesting man. Gus was pre-deceased by his brothers Jim (Blessington) and Pat (Ballymore-Eustace). I would have known his brothers Dinny and Gerry better than I knew Gus himself. For several years Dinny worked in Joe Headon’s butcher shop. He also worked for several years in the Downshire House Hotel. More recently Dinny worked in Wilsons butcher shop in Rathfarnham. Gerry was an expert at his job. Officially I think he was a plasterer or may be a bricklayer. In his younger days Gerry was a regular handball player.

I have just learnt that Margaret Brady (nee Whelan) died recently – December 8 I believe. Margaret was one of three sisters Brigid, Pauline and herself. Her father and mother lived in Barrack Street. Her father died suddenly, in his sixties I think, while her mother lived to a good age and was a daily mass-goer. Her daughter Pauline brought her to Mass by car. Margaret suffered from arthritis I think it was for the last about eight years.
In their younger days the Whelan sisters took part in Drama Society functions and I recall the three of them singing “Three Lovely Lassies from Bunion” at one of Fr Browne’s shows.

© Matt Purcell (December 2007)
Matt’s Memories

Happy Christmas!
With the festive Christmas season upon us I would like to wish all our readers a very happy Christmas and New Year.

That Man Again
A regular visitor to me in Naas Hospital was Jim Clarke who was always welcome and brightened things up for me. His wife Nancy recently spent time in Larchfield Nursing Home but happily is now back home again. Despite his personal difficulties, Jim seems to be able to make time for his friends. While Nancy was in Larchfield, Jim also visited Paddy Monaghan on a number of occasions.

During one occasion, Jim arrived in to me in the company of Tom Ryan and John Gray both of South Dublin County Council’s Retirement Association. This Association was recently formed and Tom is its first chairman while John is one of its most prominent members. John’s wife Joan died on August 3, 2004. Joan and John lived at Saggart. John knew my late uncle, Larry Keegan (90), who also lived in Saggart and died on March 18, 1998. John worked in the Council’s Stores and he and I often chatted as he went about his business of supplying my needs when we both worked with the Council.

I subsequently discovered Jim was meeting Tom and John for the first time but he was so familiar with them that I thought he knew them all his life!

Editor Of Ballymore Bugle
Tim Ryan paid me a visit in Naas Hospital. He also supplied me with copies of the Bugle that were most welcome even though I have some difficulty reading. With Rose Barrett O’Donoghue on a sabbatical in Spain, I guess Tim was our fully-fledged Editor of the Bugle for a while at least. I believe Tim recently had an accident and I would like to wish him a speedy recovery.

Oldtown Abu!
Tony Buckley and I go back a long. Our paths first crossed forty-nine years ago when Robin Winders and myself beat Tony and his partner in hardball doubles. Tony of Oldtown visited me in Naas Hospital and again in Dun Laoghaire Rehab. Over the years Tony has continued to play handball. More recently Tony has played 40 by 20 handball.

Former Work Colleagues
Michael Weldon and Brendan Holohan were work colleagues of mine when we all worked with Dublin County Council. In more recent times both Brendan and myself have taken early retirement and have had no regrets for doing so. Michael enquired regularly for me from my brother following my stroke and passed on the latest news on me to Brendan.

Noel and Bridget
Noel and Bridget Headon were good enough to visit me in Naas Hospital. They also brought me a big bag of goodies that were much appreciated. In years gone by when my father, the local GP, was visiting Mr Carroll and his brother my mother and us young ones would visit and chat to Mrs Carroll. It is a lifetime ago and the main people involved are long since deceased. Was Mr Carroll’s name Jim? Was his brother’s name Eddie? I’m not sure anymore.

Nurse’s Promise
Nuala Lawler is a nurse and a friend of my sister-in-law Carmel. When my sister-in-law was on holidays, she got Nuala to promise to bring me for occasional gallops – I mean walks. As promised, Nuala brought me for a walk and called on me again but found me asleep. In the circumstances, Nuala did not disturb me. I did not see Nuala before I went to Dun Laoghaire but perhaps I’ll meet her again at the races sometime.

A Man Of Distinction
Br Columbanus died recently. He was in his early eighties and got to know my brother Billy and his wife Carmel many years ago. Billy often swam with him at the Guillamene, Tramore and passed him on the way out there as Br Columbanus cycled. Br Columbanus was a fitness fan and had no spare flesh. I got to know Br Columbanus more recently when I used usually meet him at my brother’s home in Naas. For several years Br Columbanus was based in Waterford. Br Columbanus was a late vocation and had previously served in the army as a motorcycle courier. Whenever there was a discussion on TV or Radio about the Second World War Br Columbanus was usually a contributor. He was originally from Dublin and as far as I can remember his surname was Deegan.

The Walkers
Met Eric Firth and Mary Firth (nee Edgeworth) for the first time since my stroke. On Saturday November 10 they were out walking their dogs on the road near Mountcashel. I had mistakenly thought Mary had come home from America and so I made an American out of Eric. Eric and Mary had in fact come home from Chelmsford in Essex where Mary was a nurse and Eric was from the West Country. My sister Margaret had worked in a hospital in Chelmsford as a radiologist sometime before Mary. According to my sister there were two hospitals in Chelmsford. I discovered that it was Dolores Edgeworth who lives in America.

I see from The Voice (Naas) of October 19 that Joe Boland (Ballymore-Eustace) is to become Director of Services for Water and Environment Services, Kildare County Council while Peter Minnock (formerly Dublin County Council) is to become Head of Housing and Architectural Services and Town Manager for Leixlip. Kildare County Council also made a number of other appointments.

Sad Farewell
In a flash everything had changed for Pat and Ella Fitzpatrick. They had been enjoying a foreign holiday. The news from home was bad – the worst possible. Their twenty-two year old son Tom, who was a passenger, was killed in a car accident at Fournaughts, Naas. Tom liked golf - I am aware of one golfer at least who paid his respects at Tom’s funeral.
The Late Dr Tom
The brother read my November Column and told me Dr Tom Dooley was a Vietnam rather than a Korean veteran. On reflection, I agree with him.

Stephen and Jane
Stephen O’Connor died on August 31, 1983 having been unwell for sometime prior to that. For many years Stephen had worked at the Filter Beds. Just over three months later Jane died on December 7, 1983. Jane was my mother’s oldest sister. Her nieces, Jean and Helen, lived with Stephen and Jane for sometime after their mother died in the early fifties. Helen’s husband, Tony Byrne, died on February 21, 2002. Coincidently I met her again on Thursday November 15, 2007 when my brother was helping me to do some shopping at Nutgrove Shopping Centre. We had a good old catch up chat in which I learnt that her four children were now married and she now has nine grandchildren. Also I learnt that her older sister Jean who she meets regularly had two major operations while he brother Derek is now retired. Stephen lived in the house now owned by Paddy Monaghan and Padraig Brosnan previously owned it.

Shane’s Best
In the background Shane McGowan of the Pogues is playing. For the umpteenth time I’m listening to and enjoying his disc “The Very Best Of”. The late Kirsty McColl sings one of his tunes while Ronnie Drew sings another. I guess I’m an addict! The last tune on the disc is called “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. This took on a new meaning for me when I visited Sydney and discovered the Circular Quay referred to in the song.

© Matt Purcell December 2007.
Fishing Club Launch Book
The Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers' Association History 1974 - 2007 compiled by Tommy Deegan was launched on Friday last to a packed hall. Cllr Billy Hillis was in attendance along with Martin Kelly from the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board (E.R.F.B.), Mr Tom Kinirons and Mr Tony Mahon of Dublin City Council, along with local anglers and well-wishers. Tommy Deegan, secretary of Ballymore Eustace T.S.A.A. acknowledged former minister and T.D., Paddy Power; John Dardis as a journalist, county councilor and senator; the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board (E.R.F.B.), the E.S.B. and Paddy Byrne, former secretary of the Federation of Liffey Angling Clubs (F.L.A.C.). Special thanks were made to Phil Murphy and family (Mick's has always been the home of the fishing club) , Cllr Billy Hillis, past and present committee members, family and friends who have supported the association down through the years or assisted Tommy in compiling the history from 1974 to date. Now on sale in MACE The Village Store on Chapel Street @ €15, the book contains one hundred and seventy pages on the local fishing club’s history. The book is as much a history of Ballymore Eustace itself, what with the club having always been to the fore in protecting the village, often representing local concerns regarding possible pollution of the river Liffey, abstraction of water or fighting inappropriate development proposed for Ballymore Eustace.
The book describes in detail the relationship over the years with Dublin City Council and the "Corpo's Water Treatment Plant"; several battles with Kildare County Council over the pollution from the Sewerage Facility and the fight with Wicklow County Council over the discharge of sewage into Golden Falls. It recalls the huge gas pipeline crossing over the river and the trout farm at Whiteleas (almost forgotten now).
Another interesting feature of the book are the many photos and newspaper articles going right back to the seventies, meticulously filed by Tommy Deegan plus references and photographs of previous committees, members and competitions over the past thirty three years.
It would make an ideal Christmas gift for anyone living abroad with a fondness for Ballymore Eustace and every household in the village should have a copy as a reference book or collector’s item. You can contact Tommy directly on 045 864477 to order copies or buy direct from Janet’s Mace on Chapel Street. Well done, Tommy and the members of the local T.S.A.A.!
- Rose

by Amanda Evans

“Dear Daddy,
It seems strange to write to you after all these years, I often wonder if
you can hear my words. Nearly 15 years have now passed since that
dreadful day when my life was changed forever. A carefree girl of
only 13, I was left with my life shattered. I guess you never thought
about the consequences of your actions……….

This letter that I now write is my way of finally letting you go, I never
did get the chance to say goodbye, so Daddy this is it – “Goodbye”.
I hope that you have found peace. After all these years it is now time
for me to find my peace.

If feels very strange to type the word “DADDY”, it is a word that has
long been erased from my vocabulary. A word I have missed saying
but a word I have learned to live without” Amanda.

Amanda Evans was thirteen when her Dad, Jimmy took his own life.
Before that night, you’d have described Jimmy as ‘sound’, ‘likeable’,
‘easygoing’ – a darts player, enjoyed fishing and hunting, had a wife,
lovely home and four young children – all distinctively fair haired. He
was a decent, uncomplicated man with a dry wit and kind nature – not
unlike his father, Albert ‘Boney’ Evans.

His death rocked the village – how had his many friends missed the signs?
And that, sadly, is the dreadful sense of guilt that drags down families after
losing a loved one through suicide.

Sudden death, be it accidental or through illness, is horrendous for a family to bear.
Death by suicide distorts the normal grieving process; instead of intense pain and sense of loss, survivors are left with a mishmash cocktail of shock, “why, why, why?”; “did I not love enough?”; “was I not loved enough?”; “what did I do wrong?”; “what did I miss?”…….self torment is endless and is interrupted by lengthy bouts of anger and frustration directed at the one person who could – but can’t – give you the answers………followed in time by self-doubt, self recrimination and a vicious circle of wavering emotions.

It it painful and sometimes intrusive to talk to grieving relatives about their emotions but for those left after a suicide, even the polite chain of conversation is altered. “Suicide is not something that you talk about that often: it is not a cosy topic. I think my mother didn’t talk about it in case it upset us and we didn’t talk about it in case it upset her.” said Amanda.

For six years after her father’s death, Amanda ‘blocked’ out the tragedy, ignored it as though it had never happened but emotions have a nasty way of catching up and when reality struck, it hit Amanda hard. Writing eased her pain; whilst she could not talk openly about her father, she could take pen and paper and write for hours.

“The power to suppress
The pain and the loss
The tears and the sadness
The grief inside
Lying there
Sleep please, oh sleep
The memories suppressed
No power to deal
With the pain that you caused
The gap no one can fill…”

Symbolically, a teenage Amanda wrote about a young girl who never grew up, about a girl who never moved on…… Years later, Amanda decided to amass her essays and poetry to her Dad, to give herself ‘closure’ on a part of her life that she will never fully understand nor ever stop wondering “what if….”

“I wanted to attack the stigma attached to suicide which affects so many Irish families.
Why should people left behind carry the stigma but we do; sometimes I told people my father died in a car accident or of cancer – because I didn’t want to experience the usual embarrassment and the “em, oh, ok” reaction. I dreaded the question ‘what does your father do……”

For Amanda, the trauma affected other relationships too; she was fearful and panicky about normal occurrences – when her partner Joe is home late, she wonders if he has been killed in a car accident instead of thinking “he is gone to the pub or stuck in traffic!”

Writing helped Amanda erase years of suppressed grief; her book is beautiful, laced with poignant thoughts and ‘conversations’ with her Dad.

“As a teenager I used to dream of you coming back. My dreams were
always so real and vivid but when I would wake, reality struck
and once again I knew that you were gone forever.”

Amanda recalled the smell of tobacco that followed her father; her sister Christine writes of the children scrambling to get onto her father’s knee, fighting for attention, each one seeking prime location on their father’s knee, normal sibling rivalry. Good memories of her father have never left her despite the clouded haze that remains over the days following his death.

“I know that you were with me when I gave birth to my daughter
Emma, I know most people will say that it was the gas and
that I was imagining it but I know you were there. I felt your presence
and a great calmness came over me. She is beautiful, Emma and I feel
sad that she will never get to know you. I wonder what you would
have been like with your grandchildren - Mom says that you probably
would have spoiled them rotten. She says that you were great with all
of us when we were small, always playing games and singing songs…”

For Amanda, writing the book gave her closure; in a strange way, it gave her permission to move on, without the guilt; it allowed Amanda to find Amanda, to live and love without self recrimination and more importantly, to forgive her Dad and let him move on too. It contains lovely pieces from her mother, Yvonne and sister, Christine – raw, untarnished emotions and unless you are made of stone, you couldn’t fail to be moved.

“Life went on without you, as life so often does. Here I am 15 years
later, aged 27 with a wonderful partner and a beautiful daughter, but I
guess you know all this because it is my belief that you are always
here watching over us. Death is not the end and I firmly believe that
one day we will meet again.” – Amanda

This book was written initially by Amanda with additions by Christine and Yvonne to deal with their own tragedy and suffering; it may help other families coping with the aftermath of suicide – copies available from It was not intended to offend or revive painful memories for those close to the late Jimmy Evans, rather to let those who loved him say a final, fond farewell.

In a display box, please:

Suicide Statistics -
Suicide trends over the last 10 years show:
• 9% decrease in the United Kingdom overall
• 9% decrease in England and Wales
• 27% increase in Northern Ireland
• 13% increase in Scotland
• 26% increase in the Republic of Ireland
The male suicide rate is higher than the rate for females in all UK
countries and in the Republic of Ireland.
Ballymore A.F.C. Reunion.

Cajoled by John Browne, 9 as only he can), but ably assisted by others , too important to mention, ( Simon Murphy, Tony & Shay Mahon…) players and management of the League winning sides of 1972/73 and 1980/81 met in reunion in Pat Murphy’s on the 23rd of November.
Michael Kelly’s wonderful, and very unique for the time, video of the 1981 playoff against Tolka Rovers was shown to general acclaim and not a little comment. Practically every move was analysed as if it had just happened moments before and as is changes could be made at any time. Wisely, manager Cremins offered little comment! The video illustrated perfectly what made the team the force it was; commitment and dedication combined with a generous quota of truly talented players.
Great matches, personalities and incidents, both serious and funny were recalled. Most of all outstanding characteristics of team-mates were well remembered and spoken about. Tony Campbell’s commanding bark after another good save, Simon Murphy winning the ball without fail in the air, Jer Mahon’s all round ability and class, Willie Marshall’s lightening feet, Johnny Cremins’ guts and guile, Tony Mahon’s unbelievable goal scoring feats, Brian Clarke’s deftness of touch, Martin O’Mahony’s imitation of the Great Wall of China- impenetrable and superb, Shay Mahon’s footballing intelligence and cleverness, WillHennessy’s great athleticism were but a few of those mentioned. Space is not limitless so Schwer, Farrell, two Graces, three Dooleys, Dwyer, two Burkes, Sheridan White, Glancy, Phelan, Mangan, Coogan, Hilliard and many others must await the War & Peace edition for the 35th anniversary of 72/73, next year! The reminiscences could have gone on forever.
Matt Hilliard, Tom Marshall and Jer Mahon, all gone to a better life, was especially remembered. The enthusiasm, commitment and skills they brought to the Club remains bright in our memories. The tolerance, and even enthusiasm of loved ones, Mary Campbell and Moira Grace prominent, was acknowledged by all.
John Browne, Simon Murphy, Tony & Shay Mahon were thanked for organising the event in, mercifully, short speeches by Johnny Cremins, Manager, and Mick Grace, Club Secretary, of the 1980/81 season
Ballymore Youth Club Update

Since returning in September, the youth club has been running very well with approximately 50 members registering. We have 13 youth leaders and 4 new leaders who recently completed there “leadership training” – Jacinta O’ Rourke, Paul Murphy, John O’ Brien and Martine Rigney – Well Done!

The club finishes Friday 14th December for members and returns on Friday 18th January. At this moment in time we won’t be taking new members due to the volume of members we already have. We will review this in the new year.

Next year we hope to run events for the members and get the kids involved in fundraising to help maintain the club and become actively involved in the community. New year disco will be held in January – date and venue to be confirmed.

The AGM for the youth club will be held on Tuesday 15th January at 8.00pm with venue to be confirmed also.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our members and leaders!

Thank you Fiona!

As 2007 draws to a close we at Early Years Parent and Toddler Group want to say a big thank you for all that Fiona Breslin has done during her time as chairperson of the group. Fiona is sadly moving on as her youngest Leisa is now at playschool.

For 3 years she has been a dynamic presence in the day to day running of the group. Not only this, she has also been the organiser of fund raising events, outings for the little ones, and nights out for the mammies. All in all she has helped to make the early years group a haven for the mums as well as for the kids and has been a great unifying force.

Fiona has welcomed many new mums including myself to the group and the community of Ballymore as a whole. I am not alone in feeling gratitude to her for her outgoing and friendly personality, not to mention her organisational skills! As one member said, “every village needs a Fiona!”

We just want to say a big thank you to you Fiona for all your energy and commitment!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year,

The Committee
EarlyYears Parent and Toddler Group

Good News for Ballymore Eustace

The Sewerage Treatment Plant for Ballymore Eustace moved a step closed this week with the announcement by Kildare County Council that the project will go out on part display in the next two months. When this process is completed it will be advertised for tenders in the 4 Quarter of 2008 and it is envisaged that it will be completed and in operation by the spring of 2010.
I will keep you up dated on the progress of this scheme

Following representations I received from residents in the Kilmalum area I contacted Kildare County Council requesting that work be carried out on the road.
I am pleased to inform you that the Engineer has inspected the road and has agreed to proceed with the road repairs in the coming weeks.
I have requested the engineer to make funds available next year to carry out drainage works and resurface the road when the drainage works are completed.

KTK Levies
Having had numerous phone calls regarding The KTK Community Levy scheme, I am happy to confirm that I’ve spoken to George Perry from Kildare County Council and I’m happy to report that two applicants, Tidy Towns Association and Liffey Heights Residents Association will each receive a cheque for €1,000 and I’m confident this payment will be made this week. It is, at least, a step in the right direction and I will be following up the matter for the New Year

Kind regards – Cllr Willie Callaghan

Village Green Garden Club

It was a dreary November day but it turned out to be a wonderful November evening thanks to Séamus O’Brien the head gardener from Kilmacurragh Aboretum in County Wicklow. He brought us all over the world with his amazing slides. We were in Himalayan bog gardens and them in the next breath we were in the scented wild flower meadows of Tibet, Nepal or China, you name it. His plant knowledge was astounding.

Having studied in the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin he worked in County Cork and in Spain. He followed this by becoming head gardener in Glanleam on Valentia Island. He then became head gardener in Beech Park Gardens in Clonsilla Co. Dublin. Seamus’s brief was to restore the garden and the late David Shakeltons world famous collection of rare perennials, including the wonderful celmisia’s and the delightful auricula collection.

Meanwhile he was making a name for himself as a plant collector following in the footsteps of great plant hunters such as Augustine Henry, Joseph Hooker, Ernest Wilson and many others. He walked through acres of primula alpicola not to mention all the other rare plants he encountered. Thank you Séamus for sharing your adventures with us, a super evening.

All you gardeners do not forget to join us on Thursday, 20th Dec for our Christmas night. Our guest speaker will be Anne Coe demonstrating Christmas arrangements. We hope to party afterwards in the Ballymore Inn. Another super evening is promised. Pencil it in your diary.
To Editors, Ballymore Bugle
The following letter was received by a Ballymore Eustace resident some months ago regarding lending policy of Naas Credit Union (incorporating sub-office in Ballymore Eustace)

“Having recently applied for a loan and subsequently been refused based on their new lending policy, I feel others may find themselves in the same position.
Under the new lending policy, unless one can produce 3 wage slips and 3 banks statements, one cannot borrow more than €1,000, based on being a member with an excellent borrowing history. The only option for non wage earners is to use the financial details of your spouse.
I am sure it is obvious to the member of Naas Credit Union that the people most affected by this new policy will be women in the home who are unable to provide the necessary paperwork for themselves and who are unable and/or unwilling to involve their husbands in what is a small area of independence for them.
Many of these women are in a position to repay a loan of more than €1,000 and have previously done so; however, this is no longer good enough for Naas Credit Union.
Where are all these women to turn to now? Are we sending them back into the hands of moneylenders? What is the point of being a member with shares if you cannot borrow yourself? Where is the ethos of the Credit Union Movement in all of this?
I understand this policy is particular to Naas Credit Union and is in no way enforced by the League of Credit Unions.
My husband and I have closed our accounts in Naas Credit Union in protest and have sent a letter of complaint to the Board of Directors.”
The writer (name and address with Editors) goes on to encourage other members who are unhappy with implementation of new policy to similarly put it in writing to the Board of Directors and not just moan about it to the girls at the till who have no say in C.U. policy. The author re-iterates her frustration that member s with clean records as ‘good payers’ should be treated thus.
Editors in reply:
We understand the authors vexation and frustration; the Credit Union Movement is admirably known as the ‘peoples’ bank’ and not as stringent or dictatorial as main banking/financial institutions so it would be a shame if the C.U. moved away from that concept.
Each application is treated individually; we did contact a manager of another busy Co Kildare and A N Other employee of a Credit Union office. Both said, that whilst their own respective branch have not yet implemented the policy set in place by Naas C.U., the latter are only following the actual guidelines set down by the Irish League of Credit Unions lending criteria.
The manager of another Credit Union admitted they still worked on a member’s record of borrowing and repayments and, to a large extent, references given by other members. However, he felt it was only a matter of time before these regulations would be commonplace within the movement. The Regulator has wide ranging powers in regulating credit unions; in the case of defaulted loans, he will come down hard any Credit Union not adhering to the guidelines and protecting all of its members interests. - Editors

And the following is Naas Credit Unions formal statement with regards to the matter.
“Naas Credit Union is not in a position to comment on individual cases; however, the credit unions commitment is to deal with all members in an equitable and confidential manner. As a community based organization, we welcome and would encourage feedback from all our members. We are happy to listen and address any matters raised by our members on an individual basis. “
Election of Officers for 2008

Patron: Fr. Breen
Presidents: Jim Clarke and Eddie Hubbard
Vice Presidents: Monsignor Conway, Jimmy McLoughlin, Eithne Daly, Sean Farrington, Eugene Gilroy and Tom Quinn
Chairman: Tim Gorman
Vice Chairman: Pat Browne (snr)
Secretary – as yet, the position has not been filled; volunteers welcome, don’t all rush together…….
Treasurer: Paddy Nolan and Ann Marie Gorman
P.R.O: Tommy Daly and Mark McCarville
County Board Delegates: Eddie Hubbard
Committee Members: Owen Barrett, Noel Thompson, Ciaran Conway and Tom Quinn
Senior Selectors: Paul Carroll, Pat Murphy and Jim McLoughlin
Junior Selectors: Pat Browne (snr) and Brian Fisher

Membership is now due: Players €50:: Non Players €30

A happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year
to all who supported the club in 2007

The News: The juvenile club is taking a break at the moment ,except for the juvenile girls that have had a couple of indoor coaching sessions in the handball alley. There is ample interest in a girls only team so it is planned to enter a team in a girls only league next year. Coaching sessions are at 5:00pm every friday in the handball alley until further notice and will move outdoors in the Spring.
2007: The first coaching session was held on 24th of March and we had over 100 boys and girls from the ages of 6 – 12 training on a weekly basis. Apart from the large number of children training and hopefully enjoying themselves we also made progress on the playing side. Our U10 team were runners-up in their league, the U11 team lost narrowly in their league semi-final and the U12 team lost in the final of their league. We also played a number of U8, U9 & U10 blitzes during the year. It is great to see the improvement made by all the players over the year and great credit is due to the boys and girls for the effort and determination they are showing in improving their skills. It is also very encouraging to see the effort that parents are putting in by bringing the boys and girls to the practice sessions and matches.We would especially like to thank all of the parents who have helped us at the practice sessions, who have assisted with teams, driven players to matches, helped to set up / take down pitches, supported our teams and washed the jerseys. A special thank you to the parents who helped out at the summer camp. Given the large number of boys and girls involved we would not be able to continue without this help, remember that many hands make light work. We are always looking for additional help and we expect our number to grow again next year when we will introduce girls teams. If you are interested in helping in any way please let us know, no previous experience is required and we will arrange for coaching courses for anybody that is interested.
The Girls team in the handball alley on 16/11/2007
Back Row - Natasha Murphy, ?Ellen Carter, Grace Kerr, Margaret Headon, Lucy Field, Hazel Stewart Byrne, Heather Sammon, Aoife Murphy, Shannon Winders, Siobhan MurphyFront Row - Oonagh Deegan, Mayah Sammon, Evie Carter, Amy Horan, Beth Doyle, Cory Waters

Also there is an U12 (primary school) disco organised in the resource centre on Friday 14th December from 5.30pm to 8.00pm

U8 football
Merry x-mas and a happy New Year to all from the juvenile club
U11 football

U12 football Ballymore Eustace GAA Club Juvenile Football & Hurling
Coaching motto: Children first, winning second

I had only come across Anne Enright’s work relatively recently when the Independent were promoting The Pleasure of Eliza Lynch as part of the women’s writer series. I have to admit I could ‘t really get on with it and eventually gave up. So, when a friend gave me “The Gathering” (Hardback: Jonathan Cape: 18 euro), for my birthday, I was unsure as to whether I would enjoy it, particularly give my reactions to the last Irish writer who won the Booker Prize- John Banville. To my surprise I was gripped from the first few page and I found it to be a riveting novel. It tell the story of a large family coming together for the funeral of Liam, its black sheep son, and is narrated by his sister Veronica.

Veronica’s depiction of the family spans several generation as she fantasises on the meeting of her grandparents and goes on, with lucid poignancy to describe the summer that she and some of her siblings spend at her grandparent’s house. Her narrative weaves between scenes from the past and from the unsettled present where Liam’s death has left her slightly unhinged and grappling with the general unhappiness of her own family home. Anne Enright portrays some fascinating perspectives on motherhood, which although sombre do not make the book depressing. I had heard it was very “dark”, but I did not find it dispiriting in the way that Banville’s and more recently Patrick McCabe’s work made me feel. The author shows a wry and very wise sense of humour in her family observations, which I am sure, will touch a chord with many readers. Also, and very interestingly, she is not judgemental in her depiction of events in her childhood; she merely lays them out for us to see in as clear a light as possible. I though this was a deeply moving and brilliantly conceived novel- highly recommended.

Festive Gems
Now to some more frivolous Christmas present ideas………I had a chat to Janet in the Blessington bookstore and she came up with some great recommendations for presents for bookworms….Helen Mirren’s autobiography, “In the Frame”
(Hardback:Orion: 31 euro) is a great retrospective on the actress’s life crammed with lots of good photos- a great book to dip in and out of. For any friends or family who love their cooking, this year’s must buy is “The Butler’s Pantry” Eileen Bergin (Hardback: O’Brien Press: 24.99) from the chain of shops of the same name. The recipes sound delicious and the illustrations are sumptuous- I have a copy for a couple of my foodie friends (if you read this you know who you are, so do not buy it!) Janet recommended a good one called “The funniest thing you ever said”, Rosemary Jarski (Paperback: Ebury press: 11.80), which is jammed with hilarious witticisms. For nature lovers I also spotted a cracking read: “BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year” (Hardback: BBC Books: 37.00) The photographs are absolutely spectacular and guaranteed to please all readers, but for those who love the outdoors, it’s a must.

Children’s Books
In terms of children’s books the Blessington Bookstore has a fantastic selection. Predictably the Harry Potter collection is now out in a boxed hardback set. At 167.25, it’s very pricey, but it is a lovely collection for a family who haven’t read any of the novels yet, and it will last forever. One of the big hits at the cinema at the moment is “Beowulf”, the Middle-English epic. Michael Morpurgo (the children’s laureate in the UK and author of such classics as Kensuke’s Kingdom) has adapted the tale for a modern audience, whilst retaining the linguistic richness of the original
(Hardback: Walker Books: 15.99). The illustrations by Michael Foreman are vivid and original and will give any child from about 8 onwards quite a scare! Although there are lots of different versions of the book around this Christmas I found “The Dangerous Book for Boys” (Hardback: 30.30 euro) to be great fun last year. It’s a really old fashioned compendium of fun stuff to do like making tree houses and kids love it.

A final lovely children’s book for this time of year is one that a friend recommended last year, as he read it to his son every December- it is “The Christmas Mystery” by Jostein Gaardner (paperback: Phoenix: 10.50). It follows the story of a little boy’s advent calendar and there is a chapter for each day of December, and it is quite enchanting. There are so many wonderful children’s books around it is difficult to single any others out- go and have a look whenever you get time – books make lovely and often unusual presents for children.

Enjoy your reading time over the Christmas season!


on passing by- again

Councillor Billy Hillis was more than scathing at the CDA AGM in relation to the KTK levy and the Community Liaison Committee. From what I understand Billy is of the opinion that the committee is not currently properly constituted and all decisions to date are null and void. This despite numerous reports on the councils own website detailing all the meetings that discussed and passed the set up of the committee. If it now transpires that there was an error surely the councillors, including our local councillor Mr Hillis, have been extremely remiss and have not acted in our best interests.
That is if that is actually the case. Despite Billy’s comments other councillors appear to be of the opinion that the committee as it currently stands is perfectly legal. How do we know this? Quite simply because two of the projects approved at our only proper meeting have now received their cheques, and councillor Willie Callaghan has said that Kildare County Council will re advertise the scheme in the new year. What is even more intriguing, or maybe more worrying, is that the cheques appeared to have been processed by council employee and member of the committee George Perry.
Can this be the same George Perry , council employee and member of the committee, that Billy gave us to believe was unable to handle applications or paperwork due to time constraints. Curious.
Then again, if the committee is illegal/void why would Mr Perry be working on applications at all. More curious.
Having previously asked Billy questions on this page and received no reply I am obviously not going to hold out for a proper reply to the current questions. Why is Billy telling us one thing and other councillors telling us something else.? Why is Billy telling us George Perry cannot attend to us and yet George does appear to attending to us. When did Billy find out we were null and void and when was he going to tell the rest of us.?
In my opinion there is another agenda at work here and it is not for the enrichment of the people of Ballymore Eustace. Perhaps it is time that we stopped asking questions of local councillors and started asking them at a higher level. The KTK levy was established for the good of the local community and if it means appealing to higher authorities to ensure that his happens then lets start now.

Well as Father Jack used to say, “feck, feck feck”. I had the whole column nearly finished and Bertie goes and ruins it all.
I was finding it really strange that despite all the bombast and bluster the Minister for Finance, Mr Brian Cowen, is as likely as any T.D. to be economical with the truth. Defending the proposed pay rises for members of the Dail Mr Cowen repeatedly insisted in paper, radio and television interviews that the rises were nothing to be getting aerated about and sure wasn’t it seven years since their last increase. The current salary for the Taoiseach is around 272,000 euro and for the Tanaiste 233,000, yet the governments own website shows that in 2005 the respective figures were 238,000 and 205,000. How can this be if the lads have not had a rise since 2000?.
Once again we have Ministers engaging in sophistry. What Mr Cowen actually meant to say was that they have not had a rise under The Review Body on Higher Remuneration for seven years, but sure I suppose it is a simple mistake to make, and one which Mr Cowen will correct if someone brings it to his attention. Perhaps they could also bring to his attention the speech he gave in April of this year and which he said that we “ should not award ourselves pay increases that the country clearly cannot afford”. Ah but sure I forgot they didn’t award it to themselves, someone else suggested it , and it would be insulting in the extreme not to partake of even more largesse at the trough.
So then what happens?. Bertie in his infinite wisdom decides that in the present financial circumstances it might be better to defer the payments for a year. Defer?. Contrast this with the now infamous “smokes and daggers” speech on November 5th when Bertie stridently asserted that there was absolutely no reason to defer the increase. “its goin to be paid and its better to be up front on it”. He then had the brass neck to opine that “ the rule the trade union movement fought for in 1913 and has stood by since is that when an independent body makes a decision on an increase the government of the day should pay it”. You can almost hear Jim Larkin spinning in the grave.
Then came the u turn, although as they are going to get it anyway its hardly even a u turn, just another attempt to treat the electorate as fools. And Bertie confidently announces that deferring the cash is “ a good example of our goodwill”. As Father Jack would say, arse.
The evening news then treated us to the embarrassing site of an obviously uncomfortable Minister Hanafin giving two minute answers to questions she hadn’t even been asked and trotting out almost the same drivel in each answer.
Just to compound the total idiocy of the situation we then have Fine Gael issuing a statement to say that future rises should be performance related. That’s a handy one to subscribe to when you are in opposition but how are they going to measure it?. Is there really such a huge difference between incompetent, more incompetent and most incompetent?.

I suppose that by now most people are aware that Tony Hanlon is no longer operating the bookmakers. Tony has very kindly sponsored the crossword for the past eighteen months. Myself and Tony will continue to set the crossword and have gratefully accepted an offer from Tom O’Keeffe of Naas Insurance and Mortgage Brokers to sponsor it into the future.

Just have to say I thought Dick’s article last month was probably one of the best items that has ever graced the Bugle. If we could read this type of succinct insight in our national papers I would forecast a massive rise in their sales. Keep it up, its sorely needed.

I would just like to finish by offering Tim, Rose, my fellow contributors and all our readers a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
All for now. Mike Edmonds.

Community Development Association A.G.M.
A large number of people turned up the C.D.A. annual general meeting last month, with local security, the lack of progress on the K.T.K. Levy Funds, new sewerage treatment plant and the local area plan being uppermost on the agenda. Sergeant Philip Farrell of Blessington Garda Station attended and reassured the audience that a dangerous gang who carried out several burglaries in the area recently had been caught; one suspect is already serving time and another awaiting trial pending test results. Several people voiced their concerns about the lack of a serious Garda presence in the village but Sgt. Farrell said the new area divisions whereby Ballymore would no longer be in the Carlow-Kildare division would mean we could be within the remit of Naas Garda Station in the near future and that he was unable to make comment on a full time Garda being appointed to Ballymore as yet.
Basically, we will just have to wait until the new area divisions are set in place and see how that works………Sgt. Farrell made a note of anti-social behaviour being a concern of many at the meeting and would investigate ways of addressing that.

If people were anxious to hear the K.T.K. Community Levy Committee had made any advancement with regard to funds being allocated and dispersed to the clubs who applied in April, they were in for a disappointment. As the CDA representative on the liaison committee, I voiced my annoyance at the lack of communication – and basic manners - from Kildare County Council regarding the scheme since July last. The last communications were relating to May’s meeting being deferred to June and an acknowledgement thereafter that the next meeting would be held the first week in September.

All correspondences I made since then have been ignored; Cllr Billy Hillis then delivered the bad news that, as no secretary had been properly appointed by the Council to record the minutes and thereafter continue correspondence, file applications etc, the committee and their work to date, was effectively null and void! Jeez, I thought I was in the middle of Hall’s Pictorial Weekly for a minute…….We – meaning the CDA – didn’t set up the terms and formation of this committee, Kildare County Council did; Kevin Keenan representing KTK didn’t dictate terms either, he merely insisted the funds be directed to the local community here (unlike Kilcullen where K.T.K. distribute the levy funds directly to the community without this bureaucratic bull).. I find the lack of correspondence from KCC staff relating to this project for over five months an indication perhaps that the lack of an appointed secretary must surely have been raised within Council Chambers or the halls of administration in KCC before now?

*Cllr Hillis promised to raise the matter that week (AGM held on November 27th) and I asked specifically for confirmation and update in writing for this edition of The Bugle. To clarify, Cllr Hillis pointed out that neither Council staff members appointed to the committee were in a position to carry out the necessary paperwork due to time constraints and heavy workload. The majority of spectators at the meeting though, felt the management and commitment of Kildare County Council to this scheme was pathetic – and I, for one, think that’s putting it mildly.

The access to information and services provided at Aras Chill Dara (KCC) is excellent; the offices and staff within provide a fantastic facility in relation to planning, motor taxation, grants, adult education etc. Let’s not tar all the Council with the same black brush. We have availed of many grants over the past few years, the monies put to good effect in Ballymore Eustace; the road around the school and out the Naas Road has now been properly surfaced and much safer to drive on (despite some idiot parents incapable of parking legally); the finished footpaths around the town are attractive and cleaner looking and when the foot path around Headon’s is eventually finished, that will be another positive job carried out by KCC. Speed ramps, traffic signs, repaired bridges are other beneficial works carried out by KCC in the locality.

Amongst the various presentations made that night was a brief from Steve Deegan on the C.D.A. sub committee which consists of CDA representatives, Concerned Residents Association, A.B.C.D. and 2 other representatives from the community. This combined group offers the first planning group to represent diverse opinions on the future development of our village and that is a positive step – the broader opinions expressed within this forum will lead to greater common ground and compromise. Well, another shock was in store when the local area plan was discussed; Cllr Billy Hillis said that, due to a legal ‘glitch’ in the wording of the County Development Plan, Ballymore Eustace would not be listed amongst the next towns or villages to have their local area plan addressed.

*Cllr Hillis said it was now a legal matter and currently being looked into and that he would pursue the matters with Kildare County Council. It will likely be 2011 (or later) before a local area plan for Ballymore Eustace would be formulated. No comment necessary here; but last year, when I enquired about Ballymore’s Local Area Plan, I was told that two junior planners were currently amassing the information in preparation for a Ballymore Plan – and the year before that and the year before that, ditto - we were “always next up” and now, we’re not because there’s a ‘legal glitch’. Pity it was only noticed at this stage. I do hope this can be sorted sooner rather than later - whatever your opinion on development in Ballymore Eustace, total stagnation is not healthy for anyone.

Billy further spoke of the new sewerage treatment plant to be located at Kimmeens which required Part 8 and would probably take a year or so for the scheme to be finalised.

*Regarding the above issues, I have received a brief from Billy but the information is insufficient so this will have to hold over until next month’s edition.

We are aware that George Perry, KCC has forwarded cheques to the value of €2,000 each to Liffey Heights Association and Tidy Towns Committee from the KTK Levy Fund so that, at least, is a step in the right direction. (George being the person I thought unable to act as secretary due to work overload?).

C.D.A. Projects
After the CDA Secretary’s and Treasurer’s Reports given by Kay Nolan and Margaret McDonald, Fiona Breslin made an excellent presentation on the ‘Library Project’, plans for a parish office, information centre combined with Tidy Towns Storage Unit have been submitted to KCC and are currently on file for further information – one objection was received with 11 signatures from neighbouring residents. Eric Firth paid tribute to the Tidy Towns Association whose small committee do Trojan work and increased their overall points by 18 in this year’s national competition; Percy Donnelly spoke on the Community Alert Scheme with smoke alarms and security alarms being installed by the committee but Percy stressed the real key to the security of your home is vigilance and communication amongst neighbours; Tim Hempenstall Ryan spoke on the success of the Ballymore Bugle whose sales and advertising are flying – Tim thanked all regulator columnists and our ‘folding’ friends! Other speakers on Meals on Wheels, Bingo, The Friendship Club and The Resource Centre gave brief updates on their respective committees.

It is a shame, Readers to be focusing so much in this article on planning/ KCC related matters and not on the excellent, largely unrecognised work by all the sub committees of the C.D.A. As outgoing chairperson of the Community Development Association, I would like to wholeheartedly pay tribute to CDA ‘Lifers’, Kay and Margaret; dependable thorough Eric; Fiona, a powder keg of energy and network; Patricia and Mary who contribute and support everything and Maurice who has been instrumental in getting the planning sub-group up and running – you are a great bunch of people and it has been my pleasure to serve with you over the past three years.

A new chairperson will be selected at the CDA’s committee meeting in January. Many thanks to all who attended the A.G.M – great to see such a good turnout.

Rose B O Donohgue, Outgoing Chairperson of the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association.
Riot in the Ballymore Inn.

There was a riot in the back Bar of the Ballymore Inn last Thursday. A riot of artistic talent and colour. The local Art Group held their second exhibition. Their numbers up from eleven to sixteen on last year. It was an event not to be missed. If you did then it was your loss. It is impossible to convey the lines, hues and tones of the pictures in words. Every exhibiting artist is hugely talented.
Some favourites;
Katja Browne’s “My Little Lamb was exquisite; I also liked Ann Daly’s “Blathanna.” Catherine Fisher showed a “Girl with Black hair and Julie Galloway’s “Sitting Pretty” caught the eye. My favourite artist Grania Glancy, see our sitting room, had six pieces, selling out quickly. “Chestnut Spirit” was my pick, next time the legs Grania. Sisters Gail Kinsella, “Tunnel Vision” and Aine O’Neill “Field of Gold” showed just what talent is in the Murphy genes. Three more ladies made it a Murphy tour de force Aileen, the find of the group showed “White Dog” Ann ,“Happy Daze” and Lisa, “Mind Him”.
Anne O'Regan displayed “Suigh Sios” while mentor and well renowned artist Clodagh Gale had two pieces depicting a view of Blessington and a work featuring the James Joyce Martello Tower, On a night when the news came through of the death of Katy French, Jacqui O’Neill’s “Chilled was poignant .
Jacqui told me that she has the makings of a small group on Thursday nights in the Resource Centre at 8 p.m. More men please, Jacqui, you are awful, but we like you! She also told me that the secret of the success of the exhibition was Ann Murphy who put in Trojan work on every aspect. Onwards and upwards ladies, just be careful crossing the road, as you know what happens to the value of a n artists work………

Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association History 1974-2007

That is the full title of the book written and compiled by Thomas Deegan, published this month, and launched in the Ballymore Eustace Community Hall, attended by members of the local and neighboring fishing clubs, County Council members, and members of the local community.allHallHaH It is a worthy Christmas present, even for the uninitiated, and is available from local shops.

This is not just a good book, it is a scholarly and extremely important document on social history, and not simply of the fishing club, for it transcends far more than the river, its ecology and habitat, its stock or its members, fearlessly grasping with spreading tentacles, officialdom and governance at their highest levels, and putting manners on bullies. It is extraordinarily well written and presented, and it would not surprise me at all if it became obligatory reading for trainee City and County Managers, students of ecology and of administration. The closest I can come to such an interesting detailed history (apart from the Toynbee), is Harold Nicolson’s acclaimed, Congress of Vienna.

In his introductory note to the book, the author refers to a ‘David & Goliath’ struggle against Dublin Corporation, and so it was. It was as much a battle between the ‘minnows’ of Ballymore fishing club against a powerful elite, commanding forces far superior to anything the club could muster, for they also had to contend with the might of both Kildare and Wicklow County Councils. Even though the club was only a small group of like-minded people, they knew their subject thoroughly, and when push came to shove, they showed they had the teeth and tenacity of Piranhas. Piranhas don’t let go of what they care for.

This is an account of the past thirty four frustrating years of what at times amounted to incompetence and carelessness of others, and experienced by the fishing club in their desperate efforts to keep the river Liffey free from the scourge of terrible and deadly pollution from the filter beds, courtesy of Dublin Corporation; from the noxious and poisonous effluent from the sewage leakages directly into the Liffey a few yards from the bridge in Ballymore, courtesy of Kildare County Council; and of the dumping of effluent from the waste treatment plant in Blessington to the Golden Falls Lake by Wicklow County Council.

Due to the particular layout of the chapters, and given that it is a subject on history, reading it becomes quite an exciting experience. Each chapter deals with a different issue, but all are inseparably linked to a common theme, pollution. In this way or by this device, the saga of this 34 year tussle becomes a very readable and interesting story, especially for those who live around Ballymore or fish its waters.

For instance, the second chapter, Pollution of the River Liffey by Dublin Corporation, introduces you to scenes of destructive pollution, causing major difficulties for water quality of the river and very great contention between the parties, some of whom you will meet again in chapter twelve, but under different circumstances, when the almighty Dublin Corporation planned (1983) to abstract 125million gallons of water per day from Poulaphouca Reservoir, Thomas Deegan of Ballymore fishing club proved mathematically it was impossible to do so, and still generate electricity. Consternation ruled at Dublin Corporation.
It is also in chapter twelve that the troublesome Liffey Reservoir Act (1936) comes under scrutiny, an act which is as difficult to interpret as the famous Dating of Easter controversy during the synod of Whitby in 652AD. Despite the difficulties, the Ballymore fishing club was to the fore in fighting against of the full extent of that extraction.

When Wicklow County Council drew up plans (1984) to deposit effluent from its sewage plant in Blessington to Golden Falls Lake (chapter eleven), it spawned great debate. At a public meeting held in Ballymore, Council officials failed to convince a very concerned and highly sceptical thronged parish hall that all would be well, and anyway, the plan was approved and nothing could stop it. But there were amusing moments when a voice from the audience cried out, ‘The IRA will stop it’, which caused a response from a hidden figure at the back of the hall, ‘We will not’, he shouted. He seemed annoyed.

Shortly after I began reading through this history, thoughts of Ratty and Mole from Wind in the Willows came to mind, of the joy they experienced, of Ratty’s reply to Mole’s enquiry about what he was up to - “messing around in boats, just messing” in the river, and of the idyllic clear, clean healthy water around their habitats. It was just as things should have been at the river Liffey here at Ballymore Eustace, and all along the five mile course stretching as far as Harristown, under the guardianship of the fishing club. But others had been messing at the river Liffey, really messing, a matter descriptively portrayed in this book. Thomas Deegan draws a picture for us of a river once pure, but periodically seemed to resemble the river Acheron, bordering Hell, choked every now and then with horrific traffic, the corporal sins of mankind before they are shunted into the abyss below.

What has been achieved by the Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association, small as it may well be in comparison to state departments, corporations and councils, was an absolutely tremendous feat when we consider the multitude and magnitude of forces which were dammed up against them. Clearly, the waters of the river Liffey ripple and glisten once more.
Michael Ward.

Bits ‘n bobs with Rose
May I wish you all a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year – and remember, shop local!
Our local traders have a feast of seasonal stock, cards, chocs, selection boxes, giftware, wrapping paper, decorations and wines; Paddy Murphy’s has an excellent choice of fine wines and beers for your party needs; Gallery and Gifts for an amazing array of gifts, crafts and novelties; don’t forget the TSAA book on sale in Janet’s for family abroad or living away from Ballymore; Grainne and Larry for wreaths; local artists such as Fiona Barrett for Ballymore Eustace prints and cards, jewellery etc; Julie Molloy for wonderful leather goods; Julie Anne Byrne for centre pieces and floristry; Monica McNamara for Gift Vouchers and Cosmetic Gift Boxes; Elizabeth’s for your hair needs – upstyles, sets, colours, a bit of craic and a cup of tea; Langan’s Butchers for fine fresh meats, all Irish sourced and served with a smile and Blake’s Pharmacy – Gerry has a wonderful range of fragrances and cosmetics in stock including lots of make-up novelties ideal for stocking fillers.

And finally, The Ballymore Inn, The Thatch, Poulaphouca House and the Ardenode Hotel all serve delicious food, Paddy’s, Mick Murphy’s and The Thatch will be buzzing over the Christmas season so stay local! If you are on the razz, phone one of local taxis to take you home.

Carthy Cousins Doing the Biz!! With photo
The next generation of the Carthy family looks like they’ve been taking vitamins and are brimming with energy and gusto!
Our photo here shows Aaron Deegan, son of Janet and Steve (the pair of them have enough energy to fuel a nuclear station); Aaron recently won the Killashee Duathlon in aide of Paws Animal Shelter. The course consisted of a 110m swim and 500m run in a total of 4 minutes and 6 seconds – the Bionic Ballymore Kid! Along with his sister Oonagh, the pair raised €114 for the charity and won a bicycle in the process – well done!

Golf for Cliona – with photo
Cousin Cliona Carthy, (Paddy’s daughter) from Lakeview, Blessington took the All Ireland Girls U12 Cross Country Championship at The Curragh last Sunday week, November 25.
It was a magnificent achievement by Cliona as there were no fewer than one hundred and fifty girls competing in the event which is over 1,000 metres in distance. Representing her athletic club, Phoenix Park Dublin, Cliona had a huge following of family and friends who gave her a great cheer when she crossed the finishing line. So its caps off to young Cliona who has won everything in her age group up till now – looks like she could have a future in the world of athletics.
Congratulations again to Cliona and Aaron.


Our Current Season will finish on Thursday 20th December.
With over 70 members, it’s a very busy four and a half hours every week!

4-7pm U13s
“Practise, Practise, Practise!” That’s what all the little ones at the club have hearing. They really have been doing ‘just that’. They have all shown progress in their serves and also in their ‘return’ of the shuttlecock. The other dids at the club (many more since the start) are really now showing their true skills. Long rallies are enjoyed by all every week and the matches have been very competitive and played in great spirit.

7-8.30pm Over 13s
Our very best season as we welcome Mary Campbell to our ‘Seniors’ of the club. With so much to offer, Mary instantly gained the respect of both members and supervisors. The progress has been noted and enjoyed by all. With an A team now in pklace (Under 17s), we all look forward to friendly matches with local clubs next season.
*All members will be informed of matches and support is very welcome!
Happy Christmas to all our members and helpers – enjoy the break. L.B.

Come Bowling!
Next bowling date at The Bandhall will be Tuesday 8th January at 8pm.
All welcome, do be sure to come along and join in the fun. Short Mat Indoor Bowling will be facilitated by Phyllis Burke, Development Officer for the Kildare-West Wicklow Bowling Association and it is hoped to launch a new club for the people of Ballymore Eustace and surrounding areas.


Wolfe Tone Annual Draw
The winners of last month’s Wolfe Tone Annual Draw are: 1st Mary Healy Dooley; 2nd Charlie McCreevey, EU Commissioner (again!); 3rd Sean Horan; 4th Jo Kennedy; 5th Brendan Moran; 6th Johnny McCarthy and 7th Johnny Fitzgerald. Many thanks to all who supported. A happy Christmas to all our Cumann members and families.


Birthday wishes to Marie Barrett, who celebrated her 18th birthday around the same time as brother Gerard celebrated his 21st!

Congratulations to Siobhan Brady, Boleybeg and Karl Rice, Portlaoise who were married recently and to Tara Gale, Tipperkevin and Jason Lynam, Blessington on their marriage

Baby news – welcome to “Ali”, baby daughter of Sinead (McLoughlin) and Kenny Conroy who weighed in at 4lb 7ozs but is said to be thriving and no doubt will be ruling the roost by the time she makes 5lbs!
Congats also to Jackie Cremins and Robbie Allen on the birth of a baby daughter – sorry, don’t have name at time of going to press, Baby Allen only arrived a few hours ago!

IN boxed advert Mother & Toddler Group with graphic:
We meet from 10.30am to 12 noon every Tuesday at The Resource Centre excludingthe first Tuesday of the month when we go to The Playbarn in Blessington for 10am.Arrive at any time, leave at any time and come as often or as seldom as you like. New Members always welcome! Contact Fiona at 087 995 6085________________________________________________________________________Table Quiz raised €3,300
€3,300 was raised at a table quiz in Paddy’s last month in aid of Oblates Lourdes Fund, a group of nursing and medical staff at Naas Hospital who take 130 people with physical disability to Lourdes every year. Finola O’Brien – and not Lorraine as I wrote last month - was delighted with the generous response. Special thanks to Grainne, Pat and staff who hosted the event; MC Tom O’Rourke who, like a vintage wine, gets better with age; to all who donated auction items and spot prizes and to all who turned out on the night to support. Well done, Finola and friends, great night, great cause, good work!
The Late Alice Flood
Alice Flood, aged 92, passed away several months age at Naas Hospital after a brief illness. Alice was predeceased by her brother Peter who died at a young age of eighteen in 1926 and her two sisters, Kathy and Mary who returned to Ballymore in 1985 and both died soon afterwards. The remaining girls, Nan and Alice worked the family farm at Donode, cycled everywhere and were both in excellent health until Nan’s death in 1991. Alice stayed on at Donode where she loved Coronation Street and the weekly TV soaps. Indeed Alice kept up to date with current affairs, the world of politics and yet loved to read the gossip of the celebrity world in glossy magazines!. She loved her annual outing to Punchestown Races and even the occasional trip to The Curragh. Neighbours say the Flood sisters were extremely kind and generous; others recall working at the Flood farm as seasonal labourers and say it was the best house to get a feed served up and decent pay. The late Alice Flood, ‘a decent skin’, the last of the Flood sisters of Donode, may she rest in peace, amen.
I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus . . .

It was a cold winter’s night, chestnut’s roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at your nose, and there I was standing in my living room, dressed up in my Santa costume.
I had decided that this year I was going to deliver my Christmas Sermon dressed as Santa Claus – if Santa wasn’t confusing enough for children to understand, I was about to confuse them even more by appearing as a brown-faced Santa! So there I was stood in front of the open fire dressed in my Santa’s outfit and Catherine (my wife) leant over and kissed me. Unbeknown to us both, our eldest child, Joshua, at that very moment, had popped his head round the living room door to see his mummy snogging (did I say snogging? I meant kissing – uhhmm!) Santa Claus!
The next evening as I was putting Joshua to bed and just after I had finished reading a story to him, he said, “Dad is it alright for Mummies to kiss other people?” Where was this leading, I thought – had he seen Catherine kissing another man??? “Sometimes, I said, it depends who it is. Why are you asking?” “Well, last night I couldn’t sleep so I came downstairs to get a glass of water and as I peeped round the living room door I saw Mummy kissing Father Christmas in front of the fire and she kissed him like she kisses you, Daddy!” Phew! I told him, ‘it was okay to kiss Santa because he’s very special’ and then looked up to heaven and thanked God that that was all that Joshua had seen – because had he continued to stare he would have been shocked at what he would have seen next – Yes! You guessed it! I put on my Elf costume and not what your naughty minds were thinking!!!
When I first came to Rocester, where I now live and work, I met a young woman down the Main Street who asked me, ‘Was I new in the village’. “Yes, I replied.” “Do you work at the Curry House? She said. Being the person I am, I replied, “Yes, I do! But I’m also your new Vicar. So I can christen your child or perform your wedding and cook you a lovely curry buffet as well. The girl not seeing the joke replied, “Oh, how lovely – I love curry Vicar!”
Thinking about these two stories made me think about mistaken identities. When God sent his son Jesus into our world the people mistook him for someone else. Some wanted a King to rule over them so they wanted Jesus to behave like a great King. Some wanted a mighty warrior to fight for them to make Israel great again and so they wanted Jesus to take up the sword. But God sent his son as a baby, as a King born not in some fancy palace but born into the hearts and souls of mankind. He sent his son Jesus as a mighty warrior not to kill his people but to stand-up and fight against evil in the world.
Well gotta go – Catherine’s just got home – the fire’s lit and it’s time to put that Santa costume on again!!!

Catherine, Joshua, Amelia, & Bethany join me in wishing all our friends in Ballymore Eustace a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With love, Kesh x x

And indeed our best Christmas wishes go to Kesh, Catherine, Joshua, Amelia and Bethany. Nollag shona duit.

Christmas Recollections.

In this consumerist and secular age that we now live in, a trip to New York is a must; some people are asking the question, ‘have we lost the run of ourselves’. Spend till you drop is the new mantra. Church leaders of all persuasions are asking, ‘have we lost the real meaning of Christmas? But ordinary folk, especially those in the vintage class who remember when times were tough, are also querying this mad rush to spend, spend, spend. Is money going out of date? Go against the flow and you’ll earn the name Scrooge.
Way back in1993 Gay Brabazon, who was and is involved with St Brigid’s Cathedral Restoration Fund wrote to twenty people living in Co Kildare asking for their recollections of Christmas either in prose or poetry. I was one of the twenty. The concept was simple. A Carol service was held in the Cathedral, which usually consists of a carol sung, followed by a lesson from the bible. The format was changed and instead of a lesson either a piece of prose or a poem was read out alternatively by two actors, the late Donal McCann and Julie Byrne. The Cathedral was packed and the evening was considered a great success.
The following poem, some would call it ballad, some would call it doggerel, was contributed by yours truly, and the two events mentioned are indelibly printed on my memory for all time.

Christmas, --- I’ve seen more of ‘em than I’d care to mention,
But ther’s one or two that come to mind, and I’ll bring ‘em to your attention.
They’ve nothing to do with turkey and ham, bright lights, store music, an’ the usual scam.
No, but they’ve left fond memories of the human race,
When love an’ kindness, set the pace.

It’s Christmas week, an’ 20º below, the Canadian woods lay deep in snow.
I’m skiddin’ logs an no great plan, - when my partner Joe, an Indian man
Says, “Hey, you doin antin for Christmas? - You come with me,
Ma’ll fix us sumptin, - you wait an see”.
A tin of beans was our Christmas fare, warmed up upon a heater,
Beat turkey dinner all t’hell, - an’ the washin’ up was neater!
For ‘twas Joe’s Ma, a big fat squaw, who opened up that tin,
An’ opened up her big warm heart, an’ welcomed me, -- right in.

The years roll on, - I’m a married man,
With a blond haired daughter, - my greatest fan.
It’s the school Christmas party; an’ I’m Santa Claus
Giving our presents mid great applause.
The scene is wild, the kids full of glee
An’ when her turn comes, she climbs up on my knee.
The moment is magic, - one I’ll always recall
Then full of excitement she runs down the hall …
Saying, “Mum oh Mum! I’m really so glad,
I’ve been talkin’ to Santa, -- and he’s just like - my Dad”

An so dear folk, as we approach the Festive Season, -
Be it Christian, Pagan, or for any other reason, -
Age, Creed, or Race, riches or squalor, ain’t nothin’ to do
With what we have to offer!

May I wish all readers a very Happy Christmas and luck in the New Year. Jeffers.
Ballymore Ladies GFC

Division 4 League – No Silverware for the Ladies
Ballymore Ladies had finished top of the league and following a semi-final walkover travelled to the Curragh on the morning of 20th October. It was a final against old rivals Castledermot who had finished third but had well beaten Balyna II the previous week.
It was a nervous start to the game by Ballymore and Castledermot used it to their advantage. A goal at the end of the first half, left Ballymore trailing at half-time.
Ballymore came out all guns blazing in the 2nd half but Castledermot got 2 more goals in the first 10 minutes. The Ladies regained their form, dominating the rest of the match and piling pressure on the Castledermot goal.
The girls notched up points but the goals just didn’t happen. Stephanie Harney created numerous shots on target but their goalkeeper stood firm and Dawn Murray’s quickly-taken free was disallowed.
With no extra time and having played some great football, Ballymore had lost their first final by a goal.
There were 2 players who deserved Woman of the Match in this first ever Division 4 final. Sheena Hubbard dominated in the middle of the park and Stephanie Harney was a constant thorn in the side of the Castledermot defence.

Scorers for Ballymore
Dawn Murray 5 points
Stephanie Harney 2 points
Fran Burke 1 point
Megan O’Neill 1 point

Castledermot 3-3 Ballymore Eustace 0-9

To everyone who came to support the Ladies for the final on a chilly morning in Athgarvan. The county secretary noted the large contingent that had arrived from Ballymore during his presentation speech.
To Rose Barrett O’Donoghue for the post-match sandwiches
To Rita and staff for the lovely dinner in Poulaphouca House that evening

A signed jersey was presented to Brian and Martine Rigney in the Ballymore Inn the evening after our final. This was in recognition of being the first ever sponsors of the Ballymore Ladies football team…they had faith in the ladies before anyone else did! A big thank you to both of them from all the girls.

Handball News
Simply the Best
Ballymore handball supporters will be delighted to learn that Jim Clarke is to receive the 2007 Kildare Handball All Star Award. He will receive his award in the Keadeen Hotel on Saturday November 17, 2007. This is a fitting reward for a man who has given many years to the cause of handball at county and club levels. Jim is a particularly good man to have on your side when it comes to fund raising. Nor is Jim shy when it comes to rolling up his sleeves and working for the handball cause. This was Jim’s second occasion to win this award that was instituted in 1972 when Cecil Winder was our illustrious winner of this award then known as a Phillips Award.

Eamonn Deegan tells me he visited Paddy Monaghan in Naas Hospital where Paddy was recovering following a setback. Eamonn found Paddy in good form notwithstanding his setback. Hopefully Paddy will be well enough to return to the Larchfield Nursing Home in the near future.

Like Grandson, Like Grandfather
In Ballymore Eustace on October 26, 2007 Glen Browne retained the Leinster U-17 B Singles 60x30 Softball Championship Title. In making his mark in handball Glen was following in the footsteps of his grandfather, John Browne, who in his time won several All-Ireland titles – I even have the photos to prove one of these successes. In 2006, Gareth Clarke was our successful player.

Joe was delighted to see me. Told me we last met about February. He was very shocked to hear I was unwell when he visited Ballymore a while ago. I’m talking about Joe Quinn who now lives in Rathfarnham and meets me occasionally shopping at Supervalu, Churchtown. Joe was a good handball player but his first love was Gaelic football so he rarely played handball competitively. Years ago when Joe was starting out on a carpentry course he worked on our new house in Ballymore (1950 it was).

Tommy Archibald Memorial Tournament
The Tommy Archibald Memorial Tournament took place on Sunday September 9 and again was really well supported. Christy Browne and PJ McGrath won it, beating Mick O'Donnell (Leixlip) and Jody Devine (Donard) in the final by 3 aces. There were 16 players representing Dublin, Wicklow and Kildare from the following clubs Dunlavin/Moone, Ballymore-Eustace, Clondalkin, Donard and Coolboy.
PJ and Christy were very popular winners.

Patience is a Virtue
Associated with the local club for many years, Gerry McGrath won his first All-Ireland in the 60x30 Golden Masters B Doubles when he partnered Paddy Kelly to success. Gerry also got to the singles final but unfortunately he was beaten in it.

© Matt Purcell 2007.

Matt’s Memories
As I’ve said before, I had a stroke on April 13. Thereafter I have no recollections for several weeks. I have no memories of my first stay in Naas Hospital nor have I any memories of my stay in Beaumont Hospital. In Beaumont Hospital I understand I underwent a brain operation.

Following my illness my powers of recollection are limited. If I forget something, I hope my readers will make due allowance for me. From my sister Margaret in Cobh I discovered that Mrs Elliott had died sometime ago. Margaret had worked with Mrs Elliott’s son Cyril for about twenty years in a Cork Hospital. Recently Margaret had met Cyril. Some years ago Kathleen Elliott had taught one of my nieces in Templeogue College. More recently I got to know Phil Elliott quite well as I used to meet her in Ballymore as I got my daily paper. Both Kathleen and Phil played a lot of badminton with Ballymore in days gone by.

Seamie (O’) Brien was one of the first to visit me in the Naas Hopital. Seamie and I are long time friends. When Seamie was at the height of his powers as an athlete he regularly trained with my late brother Paddy. In more recent times he has done well in graded handball competitions. Since coming home Seamie has been in touch with me by phone.

Another early visitor to me in Naas was John (Johnny) Murphy. Long ago Johnny operated a butcher shop for several years in the premises where Jerry Blake now has his chemist shop. After that Johnny went to England where he stayed for several years before returning to Ballymore. Johnny was a good football player who was on the winning 1953 Ballymore team. I used often-meet Johnny at the races. He is a regular at the senior citizen meetings on a Tuesday. I used to go to these meetings but unfortunately they did not suit me.

Michael (Meahall) Murphy was also an early visitor to me in Naas Hospital. Meahall played on the winning 1953 Ballymore team and was very much to the forefront on that team. I used regularly meet Meehaul at the races at which Meehaul was a good man at picking Jackpot winners. Meahall’s son Michael, daughter-in-law Eilish and granddaughter are also regular race goers.

Eamonn Deegan was another early visitor to me at Naas Hospital. Nowadays Eamonn is a prominent official at club and county levels and has served handball well over a long number of years. Eamonn has also a keen interest in the brass and reed band. I have not seen Eamonn since I left hospital but no doubt I will.

Tom O’Rourke visited me one evening in Naas while I was doing some of my exercises and then disappeared. Afterwards he reappeared again having gone home for a meal that was the sensible thing to do. In the Bugle I see where Tom and Jacinta celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary recently. It is hard to imagine 25 years have gone by since Tom and Jacinta got married on September 25, 1982. People I remember being there then were the late Paddy and the late Ivy Barrett and Dick Lyng and his wife. Many others were present but I particularly remember that foursome.

Mary Deegan, my next-door neighbour in Ballymore, was also an early visitor to me in Naas Hospital. Mary in fact visited me a couple of times. She and Tommy were very good to me the day I took ill in Ballymore. Mary came in with me in the ambulance and spent several hours with me in the hospital while Tommy looked after my brother.

To my surprise, Fr Breen visited me several times while I was in Naas Hospital. I believe he also visited me while I was in Intensive Care in Naas but I have no recollection of that. Prior to that he and I occasionally talked horses while we waited for a meal in the Ballymore Inn.

Monsignor Seamus Conway visited me several times while I was in Naas Hospital. He also surprised me by visiting me just before I left Dun Laoghaire Rehab Centre. On that occasion he spent a lot of time trying to find me but eventually he did. I was in the Reading Room on Ground Zero.

Were there other visitors? The answer is yes. Family members were particularly good to me during this difficult period in my life. In the fullness of time hopefully I’ll get around to dealing with those people.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

This is an extract from one of the late Dr Tom Dooley’s favourite poems by Robert Frost. As far as I recall, Dr Dooley served with the American forces in Korea.

Matt Purcell 2007

A great turn out for the Fund Raising Coffee and Raffles at the Harvest Thanksgiving festival for the Church of the Immaculate Conception. Fr. Breen would like to thank all who attended on each day and of course, the organisers of the event. Over 1400 euro was raised over the weekend.
The Raffle winners were as follows;
Grania Glancy.
Kathleen Lawlor.
Buster Murray from Coughlanstown.
Amy Horan.
Larry Glancy.
Mick Horan.
Laura Campbell.
Nicholas Daly from Mullacash.
Marie Murphy from Barrack Street.
Niamh Nolan from Slate Quarries.
Sean Dowling (another Glancy connection.)
Chantelle Murray.
Brigid Headon.
Joan Gilroy.
Colette Hempenstall.
Julie Anne Byrne.
Aidan Kinsella, Taekwon-do King!
Congratulations to Aiden Kinsella of Mouncashel who finished 2nd in the I.T.F. International Taekwon-do Tournament 2007. The competition was held in Tramore on Sunday 14th October with Aidan competing in the Under 4th Degree Black Belt Category. (haven’t a clue what that means but it sounds impressive!).
Aidan was beaten by reigning European and World champion – not bad for an ‘oul’ fella’ of 37….
Welly Men beat the Ladies
By some miracle, it didn’t rain on the October Bank Holiday Sunday after 3 o’clock and the annual fundraiser between Ballymore Ladies and the ‘Dream Team’ from Paddy’s went ahead.
Whatever idea we may have had about the boys going easy on us after our heartbreaking final the week before was quickly shattered. The Welly Men were proudly led out by captain Mikey Reid and accompanied by a banjo player. The abuse started before the throw-in and the girls tried to concentrate on what they do best – play football.
Jack Doyle was once again the referee and had his hands full, eventually sending off a number of the boys in the 2nd half. It was a close physical game and the sides were tied for long periods. However 2 jammy goals (which probably shouldn’t have been allowed anyway!) gave the Dream Team the advantage. The girls tried to get back at them but this year Brendan actually showed he does have some goalkeeping skill!! After a 45 minute 2nd half the Welly Men won the match by 4 points.

Over 3 years and 3 games, that’s 2-1 to the boys. We won’t be losing next year - we’ll be enforcing all rules, including wearing of wellies by all players on the Dream Team!!

Michael Lawlor got into the fundraising spirit, organising a €500 bet for the match.
Betting in support of a win for the ladies were Willie Clarke, Paul Fagan, Paul O’Donoghue, Shay Conway and Mick Gill from Liffey Transport.
Thanks to everyone involved.

All who supported the event up at the field and in Paddy’s afterwards
All of the local business who gave raffle prizes and the people that provided the jerseys for auction
The Dream Team for being so ‘competitive’!
Martin Byrne and Christy Dennison for taking photos
Stephen Byrne for recording the game
Caoimhe and Cian for providing refreshments at the game
Pa Fisher for the Barbeque
DJ Murt for keeping us moving back in the pub
Pat Murphy for allowing us to hold the event in Paddy Murphy’s
John Hubbard – our auctioneer

Underage Football with Eadestown
Teresa Gorman and Cleo Hubbard competed at U-15 level with Eadestown over the autumn. They were also playing with Ballymore Ladies during this time..god bless their energy!
The 2 Ballymore girls are joined by Sheena Hubbard and Marilena Norton in the Minor B Championship. They had their first game on Sunday 4th November, losing to Ballykelly. They have remaining games against Naas, St Laurences and Kilcullen in a tough championship group.

Ballymore Eustace GAA Club Juvenile Football & Hurling

The News: This years coaching sessions has finished for both hurling and football. A hurling blitz for U8 & U10's took place in BME on Sat. 27th Oct. with teams from Blessington, Stratford, Naas and Ballymore taken part. The finals of the Village Football Leagues were held on Sun. 4th Nov. There was an U12's (40 players) and an U8's league (48 players) broken into 4 teams in each.
The Hurling Blitz
The U8 teams played two games while the U10's played three games each. The final scores in all the matches were close and all the players taken part really enjoyed themselves. Steve Deegan made sure there was plenty of drinks and treats for the players afterwards while a welcome cup of tea or coffee was available for the adults. Tom Daly had the grass cut nice and short for the day which is very important for hurling. The blitz was organised by Michael Neary (Hurling Development Officer for West Wicklow & North Wexford) and Martin Kelleher. A special thanks must go to M. Neary for including Ballymore in these blitz's as they were the main source of games for the teams this summer.
Stratford U10
Stratford U8
Well done to Steve Carter who has just completed a hurling coaching course in Naas. Steve along with Martin Kelleher, Johnny Murphy, Noel Thompson, Steve Deegan, Eoghan Barrett, James Noone, Alan Gilroy etc. will welcome the winter break. The reward for all the hard work done in the field by the players and mentors is clear to be seen from the skill level demonstrated by all the players in the blitz matches.
Naas U8
Blessington U8
Spot the BME lads
Ballymore Eustace U10 Blessington U10

Coaching motto: Children first, winning second
Ballymore Eustace GAA Club Juvenile Football & Hurling

The Village League Finals Attention Girls only.
Age 8 to 11 interested in playing GAA. Training in the Handball Alley at 6:30pm 22nd & 29th Nov. If nos. are sufficient a girls only football team will be set up in springtime. Bring Runners
The Village League
After 6 weeks of matches with semi-finals and finals on the last day; Sligo, managed by Paul Murphy, and Waterford, managed by Michael Horan, emerged as the winners. There was also a very exciting exhibition match played by the U-6 players which was organised by Alan Gilroy and Sean Murphy. This was a very enjoyable day for all those who took part and was a fitting end
to what has been a very successful year for the Juvenile Club.

Coaching motto: Children first, winning second


Congratulations to our 3 ALL-STARS:

Clubman of the Year: Eugene Gilroy
Eugene has done tremendous work with the club this year – totally involved and dedicated to the local club. One of our most committed members, we would like to wish Eugene the best of luck in his retirement from CLG.

Senior Player of The Year: Kevin McNally
Ace goalkeeper saved some cracking shots in this year’s Intermediate campaign and led by example with his hard work and commitment to the club all year round.

Young Player of The Year: Kevin Murphy
Kevin was the most improved young player during the year and showed a lot of dedication, turning up at every training and every match including Senior, Junior and U21.

The Club wish to express our deepest sympathy to Ella and Pat Fitzpatrick and family on the death of their son, Thomas. You are in our thoughts and prayers.