Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ballymore Senior GAA
Ballymore cruise past favourites in semi-final
Ballymore 0-12 Johnstownbridge 0-5

Ballymore faced the Championship favourites Johnstownbridge in Newbridge. Ballymore opened well and Eoin Kavanagh started the scoring with the first shot of the game. William O’ Donoghue then found himself through on goal only to be denied by a brilliant save from the JTB goalkeeper, Ballymore goalie Kevin McNally converting the resultant 45. Ballymore were to point 4 more times in the half with James (2) and Shane Kavanagh and William O’ Donoghue all raising the white flag to leave the score at half time 0-6 to 0-3.
JTB opened the scoring in the second half but 2 points from Tommy Archibald stopped the revival with JTB only managing one more score in the half. James Kavanagh pointed three frees and Tommy Archibald pointed the final score of the game to leave the result 0-12 t0 0-5. Best for Ballymore Jamie Balfe, The Kavanaghs and Tadhg Grace stood out on the day.

“Don’t Blame The Donkey” by Julia Reynolds (nee Nugent)

A crisp breeze blew in from the east as Danny and Mike were about to face it on their three mile journey as they did every Friday morning.

It was a big day for the batchelor brothers – pension day! Every Thursday night, great preparations began with the black iron kettle boiling on the open fire.
At the corner of the kitchen beside the back door, the white aluminium basin sat neatly in the wash handstand, waiting to be filled for their shave. Danny took extra pride in his appearance, in hope to get an extra glance from the Widow Fox, he stood 5’ 11” in his well polished brogues. Mike was always known to be a dandy little man, just 5’ 6” and still a good head of hair.

Every Friday of the month was market day in the village. Duffy’s big red lorry arrived at the market square, weighing in the pigs and giving a good price for the fattest pig. With little transport at that time, the pigs were brought to the village in very unusual forms of transport. Some brought them by donkey and cart and it had been know in the village for some to transport them by wheelbarrow or by rope. Farmers sold their potatoes and vegetables, it was a great day.

Danny and Mike both made a promise as they cycled along the country road, that they were not getting into any ‘unusual company’ and were sticking only to their two bottles each.

The crowds surrounded the market square as they entered the village, their first port of call was the Post Office for their pension; with money left over after paying the bills and buying the weekly messages, their last visit was to the local pub.

Two shorts were ordered, first to warm themselves up, followed by soup and sandwiches and then four bottles of porter, each brother drinking at a steady pace, leaving them comfortable for their return journey. The boys enjoyed the extra soup and sandwiches that were on offer as a treat in celebration of the fair. Meeting old friends, they enjoyed the craic and lost track of time, staying longer than they had intended and consumed a lot more porter than usual.

After a most enjoyable day, it was time to make their journey home, they left the pub and proceeded to their bicycles parked nearby. Danny steadied himself up, blew his nose aloud and wiped the porter stains each side of his chin with his white handkerchief. He secured the messages to the carrier of his bike with a piece of old rope.

The two began to freewheel down the hill. Mike went on ahead, cycling steadily and taking the bend with great caution. Danny freewheeled slowly behind, holding his hand slightly on the right hand brake, trying to find his balance.

Suddenly, he felt a rolling movement in the pit of his stomach, rising his posterior slighty from his cushioned saddle, he released the pressure lightly, then realized more was to come and more pressure required. A thunderous bang echoed from behind. Bewildered and astonished and unable to sit back on the saddle, he wobbled from side to side, missing the sharp right turn; he then began to freewheel straight ahead, picking up speed and roaring aloud.

At the bottom of the hill, the Widow Fox’s donkey was grazing peacefully after his long day at the Pig Fair. Startled by the commotion, he kicked and gave a rapid jump into the mid air, taking his cart and Danny with him, leaving a nasty pile in the ditch. Meanwhile, the Widow was inside, treating her nephew on vacation form the States to a tasty dinner of bacon and cabbage. Both were startled by the loud bang, they rushed out to investigate, the Widow running to Danny’s assistance and finding him with no recognition of his whereabouts. Pulling him out of the ditch and brushing him down at the same time, getting a peculiar smell and knowing full well what it was. Her nephew drew closer to Danny and inhaled the uprising smell, shouting aloud:

“Gee, Aunt Mollie, there’s a bad pong off your ass.”
Looking astonished, the Widow replied:
“Oh God, no! Don’t blame the donkey; its not my ass – its Danny’s!”
Matt’s Memories

The name is Purcell - Matt Purcell. On April 13th I had a stroke. I was in hospital for four and a half months – Naas, Beaumont, Naas and Dun Laoghaire. I got home to Braemor Avenue on Friday August 31st.

Returning home, I discovered my old handball partner Robin Winder had died suddenly. According to my calculations, Robin would have been aged sixty-seven or at most sixty- eight. In 1958, Robin and I were surprise two straight winners over Dublin’s Tony Buckley and his partner Fitzsimons – I cannot remember his first name. Subsequently, we lost the All-Ireland final by an ace but won it on an objection thanks to the hard work of the late Matt Kelly (Curragh), Bobbie Gratten (Ballymore) and the late Dermot Bourke (Carbury).

Shortly before I had my stroke, I met Tony Buckley at the Spawell Restaurant where we were both dining. Tony seemed to have difficulty recognising me but we got chatting anyhow. I was surprised when Tony visited me in Naas Hospital. Tony apparently had a stroke about three years ago and had made good progress since and was anxious to provide me with the maximum support. Tony again visited me in Dun Laoghaire and expects to meet up with me again.

In 1967, Robin teamed up with Greg Lawlor to win the All-Ireland Junior Hardball Doubles title. For many years Robin lived with his late mother following a serious illness. Subsequently, he lived on his own and could be regularly seen visiting the village. His brothers the late Paddy, Cecil and Pious were all good handball players while Jim (Bumps) and Willie (Winkie) both took a keen interest in handball.

Another stalwart to die in my absence was John Wilson. John lived most of the time on Braemor Avenue. He was a keen Fianna Fail man and served on many important committees. For a time he was Tanaiste. He was in failing health for a good while before he died and his death came as no surprise. In the seventies, a daughter of his worked for the then convenience store owners, John and Maura Mellon, and as a result I got to know her quite well.

More Sad Passings
Anne Langan was a brave woman who faced her serious illness with her usual braveness. I was surprised to discover she had died during my illness. Over the years, Anne had given herself to many worthwhile causes usually involving her children. In the nineties, Anne was Editor of the Ballymore Bugle for two years and it was during that time that I began submitting items to the Bugle and Anne was most appreciative of my efforts. Recently Mary Campbell and myself had a good old chat with Anne. If memory serves me correctly, Anne was returning from giving her dog a walk on that occasion.

Frances Higgins (nee Murphy) was one of the youngest of the Murphy Clan. Many years ago, Frances married Paddy Higgins also from Ballymore and the pair of them lived in Newbridge where they had a Pub that they operated up to recently when they sold it. Paddy survives his late brother Mick who ran a Pub in what is now the Ballymore Inn, the late Dan who died some years ago and his sister Mary Hayden (nee Higgins) who happily is still with us. Frances died during my illness. I last met Frances and Paddy on a beautiful July 2006 day when they both attended Mick Deering’s funeral.

Another young person to die during my illness was Marian Murphy. I believe Marian was ill for only a short time prior to her death. Over the years I lost track of Marian but in the early days she had a Boutique in Newbridge that regularly advertised itself in the Leinster Leader. I understand her sister Aine took over the Boutique and operated it up to recently. Only recently, I discovered that I regularly met and talked to her sister Jane out walking her dogs, Molly and Ruby, in Tymon Park. Nowadays, I have got to know Jane who greatly misses her sister who also lived here in Dublin. For many years, Marian’s late father Johnny sang solo at the Christmas and Easter ceremonies in the local Catholic Church. His singing was the highlight of the year for us. In recent years, an angelic voice could be heard in the body of the Church that turned out to be that of Aine before she joined the choir.

Mr. Andreucetti was a Taxi Man or perhaps a Hackney Man – I’m not sure which. He lived near me in Dublin and on one occasion he was good enough to bring one of my elderly neighbours and me into town from a local bus stop. Unlike many of my Dublin neighbours, he was probably only a little older than myself. It occurred to me he might be able to bring me to Mass in Churchtown that was about a mile away or else bring me to the local shops to do my messages. It was a great surprise to me to meet his wife and discover he had died while I was recuperating.

Matt Purcell, October 2007


Ballymore Eustace
Community Development Association Ltd


Notice to all Vintners,
Readers, Parents, Clubs and Youth


Then get your ass into gear and come on board!
We need ‘bodies’, ‘thinking heads’, ‘organisers’ and new blood to get a festival up-and-running!
Please email your name and contact number
to any of the following:

or drop your contact details into THE BUGLE postbox in
Elizabeth’s Hair Salon, Fogarty’s Post Office or The Postbox at the Resource Centre (beside Playgroup entrance).

The Festival for 2008 will only go ahead if a new committee is formed and ready to kick into action in the New Year.
Youth imput would be most welcome!

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