Wednesday, January 2, 2008

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.


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