Monday, March 17, 2008

Tim’s Diary
Brought to you this month by Specsavers…you should have gone there….

A wonderful turn-out at the Ballymore People of the Year Awards a week or so ago. Fitting tribute to Tommy, Frankie and Martin who for years have kept or village “special.” We are running out of Deegans to nominate so get cracking for next year. A wonderful turnout of local politicos saw Sean Power, Jack Wall, Billy Hillis and J.J. Power take a break from the four funerals and a wedding circuit.
Had a bit of skite to London last week, onward from there on the Eurostar to Paris under the sea. Paris was great but London has gotten so expensive. And No I didn’t get engaged.
The Bishop, Eamonn Walsh came down to talk to the parish Board of Management during February. He is a very personable man and you will read more about his plans in both the Bell and The Bugle in the near future.
What is the population of Ireland? I don’t know but Noel Thompson does..
Great racing Saturday gone by. Kicking King disappointing but Kauto does look the business. I think the Paddies will do well enough. Go down to Pat’s to see Chappers and The Breener at the preview. Two men who never blow about their losers but give out to you when they tip winners. I can’t wait. Wonderful news of the sponsorship by Ballymore of the Punchestown Saturday. I hope it brings out the punters,especially the local ones.
They'd choke a bullock!
God bless them.
With regard to potatoes, the threatening nature
of the above exclamation should be disregarded
and instead be viewed as the highest accolade a
boiled spud could receive. My Father-in-Law
has been growing Golden Wonder potatoes
since the 50's and, frankly, considers no other
variety worth his efforts. The flouriest variety
in existence, the Golden Wonder is a low
yielding, late maturing potato which keeps very
well and tastes wonderful steamed, roasted,
mashed, chipped. It is , however, difficult to
boil, breaking up in the process, which is why
steaming is best.
So if you're feeling motivated - we have our
usual wide range of early and main crop seed
potato varieties available. Start preparing the
ground as soon as conditions allow - dig over
and incorporate some well rotted farmyard
manure or some base fertilizer. Aim to have
your earlies planted by St Patricks Day and
your Main Crop by Punchestown Races –
nothing like partaking of the festivities with an
easy mind!
For low input vegetables grow Onions,
especially from 'sets', Scallions and the huge
range of salad leaves – lettuce, rocket, sorrell
etc. It's hard to beat the feeling of sitting down
to a plate which includes home-produced food
– don't forget to thump your chest and declare
the spuds 'Balls of Flour'.
Flower bulbs are also available now – plant into
pots or the open ground (protect from frost
however) they'll make a wonderful display later
– Begonia, Lily, Dahlia, Gladioli, Anemone. A
large pot full of 'Bishop of Llandaff' Dahlia is
quite a sight in late Summer.
As the old saying goes, 'If we survived the
Winter, the Divil wouldn't kill us in the
Summer' so lets look forward to a good Spring,
an even better Summer and a successful Veggie
growing year.
Matt’s Memories

From Those Death Left Behind
Seeing Rose’s appraisal of Amanda Evan’s book “From Those Death Left Behind” in the December Bugle prompted me to read her article. Reading is no longer easy for me but I was determined to read this particular article. Rose did not disappoint me. Her article was very perceptive.

I knew Jim well. In his younger days he worked part time for my late father. Jim died on October 29, 1990. Apart from his fish bate making talents, he was also a very good hardball maker. On a number of occasions I watched his talents with admiration. I see Amanda’s mother Yvonne and sister Christine also contributed to this book.

When Jim died I was busy looking after my mother who was in failing health. The phone rang as I was preparing dinner for her. I presume who ever rang had rung our number by mistake. My father had died on June 27, 1988 but he had the same name as my brother, Billy Purcell, also a G.P., who lived in Naas. Hopefully Amanda’s book will be a success and will help her recover from her great loss.

From the website www.lulu.com I see Amanda first published her book in 2005. More recently she has published a book called Ghostwriting Uncovered Manual - How I Quit My Day Job & You Can Too for 15.09 Euro and created a website called www.ghostwritinguncovered.com.


From Craddockstown to Rathfarnham
Recently I visited John and Brenda Hederman at their home in Rathfarnham and had a lovely meal there. Brenda, before she was married, was an Osborne of Craddockstown, Naas. My late father was a good friend of Brenda’s dad, John as they both were interested in horses. John died in 1948.

My father was a G.P. and cared for Mrs Osborne until she died - in 1968 I think it was. John’s father had a shop in Naas while his late brother Con had a coal business on the outskirts of Naas beside the railway line. In his later days Con was a regular handball player in Ballymore-Eustace. His youngest brother, the late Brendan, went to Naas National School and was in the same class as my brother Billy.

John loves fishing and I gather he has been a member of the Ballymore-Eustace Club for many years. His involvement in fishing has brought him to Belcarra, Mayo on many occasions. John kindly collected and returned me to Braemor Avenue to make my visit possible.

Brenda had two sisters and three brothers. Miriam, Jack and Billy all died some years ago. Three members of the family survive - Brenda herself, her older sister Marjorie (now in California with her family) and her youngest brother Tom. I am also friends with Marjorie and last met her at Brenda’s house. In her younger days Marjorie used to communicate with my late mother at Christmas time. Marjorie’s husband Christy was an airline pilot but he died several years ago.

On this visit, I met John and Brenda’s daughter Anne for the first time while her only brother John died a number of years ago.

Broadleas Commons
For me, the late Pat Kelly belonged to the fifties. In reality these were the final years of his life. Pat lived in a two-storey house on Broadleas Commons. As far as I can recall his son Nicholas, Nicholas’ wife and two daughters lived in a separate house beside Pat’s. Pat and his bicycle were inseparable. I recall Pat cutting one of my late father’s hedges and doing an excellent job on it. Pat himself was always well dressed whenever I saw him. For many years, his son Nicholas was one of Ballymore-Eustace’s postmen.

Liffeydale
Mr and Mrs Patsy Murphy raised two families at Liffeydale. Their own consisting of three girls namely Rita Lawler, the late Frances Higgins and Teresa Flood and four boys namely John, Meahall, the late Paddy and the late Martin. When their parents died while still young, Patsy and his wife also raised the late Sean, the late Mick and Brendan. Patsy and his wife celebrated the Golden Jubilee of their marriage before Mrs Murphy died in her mid-eighties. A photo of Patsy and his wife cutting their Golden Jubilee wedding cake appears in Fr Browne’s 1972 Chronicle. Patsy spent the last years of his life with his recently deceased daughter Frances and her husband Paddy Higgins in Newbridge. Patsy was in his nineties when he died and over the years, he won many prizes with his sheep – a tradition continued by his family members.

An Old Friend
It is hard to imagine Tommy Devoy was forty-nine years dead on January 1. Tommy was a bachelor who lived in the third one storey terraced house (beside the two storey house formerly owned by the O’Loughlins) from the Liffey Bridge on Dennisons' side of the road. On many occasions I dropped into Tommy for a chat. In his later days, Tommy often visited the ball alley to watch the action there.

The Family
As explained, my family were very helpful during my illness. These included my sister Margaret Perry of Cobh, my sister-in-law Joan of Ferns, my brother Billy and his wife Carmel of Naas and my brother James and his wife Marie of Templeogue. Some visited me when I could not remember they were there. Some visited me wherever I was. One fought my battles for me when I could not fight my own. One visited me a couple of times a day. One kept my lawns etc. cut and brought me to Mass several times and was on standby for me the rest of the time. Meanwhile one kept my financial affairs in order. All helped in one-way or another as did their families.

Eddie and Mai
Bannion rather than Bunion sounds right to me Eddie! My piece should have read: “Three lovely Lassies from Bannion” - I stand corrected. When Eddie and Mai were over here in recent times I paid them a number of very pleasant visits at their newly renovated house beside the Catholic Church. Eddie was of course a key figure in Ballymore-Eustace’s great run of successes in Gaelic football in the fifties as he was Secretary of the club at the time. I have the height of admiration for Eddie who after only twelve weeks of a major bowel operation was out and about again. A year on I guess Mai’s left footed bunion – now removed – is better. Thanks Eddie and Mai for your good wishes.

Jimmy
I was delighted to see from his sister Teresa’s letter in the Bugle that Jimmy Murphy was found after 48 hours and is making good progress in Naas Hospital. In his younger days, before he went to England, Jimmy was a good handball player. Was Jimmy a brother of the late Dan Murphy? I do not know. Dan was once a major figure in old Ballymore-Eustace who lived in the premises where Kay and Linda Headon now live. The records show that in 1945 a W. Grace and C. Murphy won the All-Ireland Junior Hardball doubles title for Kildare. The W. Grace was no doubt Willie Grace but I’m not sure about the C. Murphy – should this have read as I always thought it did, D. Murphy?

Horses
Saw where C.J. O’Reilly’s Sea Diva was an easy winner of a 3mile 5 furlongs chase at Fairyhouse on December 1. Sea Diva followed this up with a good fifth in the feature race at Leopardstown on December 27.
Sea Diva again ran a good race to be fifth in this year’s Leopardstown Chase. In 1948, some sixty years ago, my late father owned and trained Summer Star to win that year’s Leopardstown Chase that at the time was second in importance only to the Irish Grand National for chasers. For good measure Summer Star paid 195 shillings to 2 shillings on the Tote or 96½ to 1.
More Horses
Saw where Carmen’s Ford scored twice in December. Once on December 14 at Gowran Park over 2 mile 4 furlongs at 14/1 and the other time a week later at Downpatrick over 2 mile 7 furlongs at 7/2. Carmen’s Ford was bred by Greg Lawler and is owned by the Collar and Tie Syndicate.

Joe Brown
Saw where Joe Brown was running in England on January 10. Was going to back him but did not. He won at 7/1…..
Luck
Had some luck recently when I backed Motaraqeb by accident at Leopardstown on January 13 and he won for me at 35/1. I won’t talk about my losers!

Congratulations
Vic Bahr of Brisbane celebrated his 90th birthday on January 20. Vic was married to the late Kate Rodney who died in December 2005. Talking to Vic I gather he was tired after his celebrations. He also informed me that his 100-year-old sister-in-law Margaret Rodney is keeping well.

Departed
I was sorry to see Cathal Ryan in his late forties died on December 20 R.I.P. His passing coming so soon after his father’s death was particularly sad. Tony was his father and was closely involved with the Ryanair Company. Cathal was an expert pilot and was associated with the Swordlestown Stud.

Reading of the death of Trish Dujic in the New Year came as a shock to me. I always thought of Trish as Trish Doyle. Trish was the youngest child of the late Jack Doyle and the late Mag Doyle (nee McGee). Jack and Mag lived in the two-storey house at the junction of The Square and the Truce Road. We would have known them as Doyles' of the dairy. In her younger days, Trish took music lessons from Miss Hickson of Naas. At the time, Miss Hickson used to travel out from Naas by bicycle to Byrnes’ house beside the Catholic Church. From The Bugle, I see Trish had celebrated her 60th birthday, was retired and is survived by her son John, her grandchildren and her five sisters. Her only brother Jim died four years ago on February 24, 2003.

Eileen Howell (nee Purcell) died on January 15. Her husband Con died in 1986. Her three sisters Phil, Vera and Joan (Dan’s widow) and three brothers Oliver, Vincent and Brendan survive Eileen. Joan helped care for Eileen in her final days. Eileen is also survived by her daughter Eileen.
© Matt Purcell (January 20, 2008).
Ballymore Ladies GAA
Oh my god we’re back again!! Welcome to a new year of Ballymore Ladies football. After a great season in 2007, the ladies are preparing to return to a gruelling training regime (Eek!!)
AGM:
Our 4th AGM was held on 19th January and the committee for 2008 was formed. Some new changes included the posts of Secretary and PRO. The Chairperson, Vice-Chair and Children’s Officer have decided to stay on for another year. We are also delighted to announce newly appointed manager Simon Murphy.
The committee is as follows:
Chairperson - Jacinta O' Rourke
Vice-Chairperson - Aisling Rigney
Treasurer - Bid Meade
Secretary - Caroline Deegan
Children's Officer - Sinead Gorman
PRO - Jackie Smith & Louise Tutty
Competition:
After narrowly missing out on league promotion following a nail biting final last year, Ballymore Ladies will be competing again this season in division 4 of the Kildare junior league against Moorefield, Round Towers, Milltown, Rheban, Nurney & Kildangan and Ballina (2). Our first game of the league is on 23rd March this year. Simon has also arranged a couple of challenge matches to prepare us for battle! There will be a friendly against St. Lawrence’s in the first week in March away. The date has yet to be confirmed.
A big thank you:
On behalf of all the ladies we would like to say a huge thank you to William Clarke, John Hubbard and Paul Fagan for the huge amount of work and support they have given the girls over the past year. Newly appointed manager Simon Murphy has a lot to live up to! Hopefully we can persuade William to stick around for a while and show him the ropes before he jets off in May.




Upcoming Events:
Supper Dance: Saturday 1st March. Continuing on from the success of last year, Ballymore Ladies GFC in conjunction with the men are hosting their third annual supper dance in Poulaphouca House. A great night is promised with entertainment from Epic from 8 till late. Awards will be presented on the night. So get on your dancing shoes!! Tickets available from Mace and all players on the ladies team at the very reasonable price of €35. Dress to impress.
Preview for Cheltenham Night: Monday 3rd March. Fancy yourself as a bit of a gambler? Ballymore Ladies GFC in conjunction with Paddy Murphy are bringing you the second Preview for Cheltenham night. Get tips from “At the Races” pundit Matt Chapman, local sports correspondent Robert Catterson and of course our own Fr. Sean “The Racing Priest” Breen. The pundits will go through a day-by-day race analysis giving tips and betting advice. Have your pens and paper at the ready.
New Players: Training resumes on Monday 18th February from 7:30pm up in the pitch and we would be delighted to see some new faces togging out. Speaking of new faces, a big welcome to Lesley Tutty and Ashling Hubbard whose transfers from Valleymount have just been approved. We look forward to having you both as part of the team.
Don’t forget you can check out all of our antics online at: www.bebo.com/BME-LADIES.
Until next month… Jackie & Louise, joint club PROs


Ballymore Eustace GAA Supporters Club
The club fields Juvenile teams from U-8 to U-16 and Adult teams at Minor, U-21, Junior and Intermediate
level.
The club also provides the following facilities:
• Floodlit walking track
• Tennis Court
• Basketballs Courts
In order to run the club and maintain the facilities we need to raise €45,000 per annum.
To assist in reaching this goal we are setting up a supporters club.
The membership fee of €100 per person will give you
• Club Membership with voting rights at the AGM
• Free Entry to all Home League Games
• Reduced Juvenile membership for children of the member (€10 for 1 Child, €20 for more
than 1 child)
• Free entry into members draw:
31-Mar - €500
30-Apr - €500
31-May - €500
To join please contact any committee member. Club representatives will also be calling to houses in the
locality over the next few weeks


Ballymore Eustace GAA Club
Juvenile Football & Hurling
The News :
The U12 girls team is currently training every Fri.
evening 5:30 to 6:30 in Kilcullen Community Center
followed by the hurlers up to 9 year old 6:30 to 7:30
and 9 to 12 year old from 7:30 to 8:30. These indoor
sessions are very well supported and all taken part
are really having fun.
The U12 hurlers have just completed a session of
blitz's held in Athy on the all-weather pitchs.
Fixtures:
Hurling blitz's for the U10's will commence on the
Sun. 24th Feb., 2nd & 9th of March. All sessions are
from 10:00 to 12:00 am.
Other fixture dates currently available are :
U-11 League will start on Thursday 3rd April
U-9 Matches will commence on Sunday 6th April
U-12 Girls will start on 5th April
U12 Girls Division 3B
Date Home Away
05/04/2008 Ellistown v Castledermot
Carbury v Suncroft
Milltown v Ballymore
12/04/2008 Ballymore v Ellistown
Castledermot v Carbury
Suncroft v Milltown
19/04/2008 Carbury v Ballymore
Ellistown v Milltown
Castledermot v Suncroft
26/04/2008 Milltown v Carbury
Suncroft v Ellistown
Ballymore v Castledermot
02/05/2008 Suncroft v Ballymore
Milltown v Castledermot
Ellistown v Carbury
St Oliver Plunketts:
The minor team played their first league match on
Sun. 10th Feb. v Round Towers With Plunketts
finding themselves in the Division 1 this year they
rose to the challenge and put in a fine performance
scoring 2-8 to Round Towers 1-15.
BME players are Glen Brown, Oisin Daly, Keith
Fennel, Brian Murphy, Mark Murphy, Michael
Tutty, Garrett Clarke and James Brown.
The U-16 team will have their first league match
on Sat. 1st March
The U14 squad have started back training and their
first game will be on the 2nd March in the Feile.
Thanks:
We would like to thank the Ballymore Bugle for
the very enjoyable evening for the people of
the year awards. We would like to congratulate
the very deserving winners and the other
nominees. We now know where to go to get the
pitch cut and the money raised! We would also
like to thank those that nominated us.
Hurlers in Kilcullen
Back Row: Sean Murphy, Heather Sammon,
Rebecca Dooley, Amy Horan, Tom Carter, Cian
Duggan, Aaron Deegan.
Front Row: Malachy Sammon, Simon murphy,
Darragh Gilroy, Jack Murphy, Conor Gilroy.
Condolences: We would like to offer our
condolences to-
Steve Carter and family on the recent death of his
mother.
Mary Mescall and family on the recent death of her
father.
AGM:
The Juvenile football & Hurling annual
general meeting will take place on Tue.
the 26th Feb. in the Resource Center
starting at 9:00pm.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
Coaching motto: Children first, winning second
CDA Corner

Hi all,In an effort to communicate better the work of the Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association (CDA) and its subcommittees, we intend to have a feature slot 'CDA Corner' monthly in The Bugle. Hopefully this will inform people as to what our function is, the kind of work the CDA committee and all the sub committees of the CDA are involved in, who we are and how to get your comments, views and suggestions to us so that we can work better on your behalf. To begin, this month CDA committee member Rachel Edwards who is also a member of the Punchestown Festival Committee has written an article on the Punchestown festival committee 2008 and the activities it is planning for the week of Punchestown Festival 2008.

Thanks – Fiona Breslin, Chairperson, Ballymore Eustace CDA.
Punchestown Festival 2008The Punchestown Festival 2008 is running from Saturday 19th April to Friday 25th April 2008. The dedicated and hard working members of this years Festival Committee include Suzanne Byrne, Sally Pallister, Deirdre Hackett, Sinead Cronin, Aisling Cronin and Rachel Edwards. We have organised a fun filled and action packed week for everyone to participate in and enjoy.
FESTIVAL QUEEN
The week begins on the Saturday night with the Punchestown Festival Queen Pageant which will take place in Poulaphouca House. All local businesses need to put forward their nominees as soon as possible in order to make this a successful evening .
On Sunday afternoon, traditionally Walking Sunday, there will be a children's party with face painting and DJ playing all the latest tunes.
On Tuesday evening there will be a festival parade the streets of Ballymore and afterwards a disco for all to dance to their hearts content. The route of the parade will be displayed in the Bugle to avoid any confusion as to where the start and end points of the parade are to be located.
On Wednesday evening there is a children's fancy dress party with DJ and afterwards a Battle of the Bands Competition.
On Thursday evening the Guinness Jazz band will be entertaining us. For all the athletic people of Ballymore, there will be ‘Jockey Back Pub Race’, so teams of two are needed.
On Friday night Funky Junction are playing to end the week offestivities. We are all eagerly looking forward to the Festival and we hope you are too! More information will be displayed throughout the town and in The Bugle over coming editions.
We are delighted to note that Ballymore Properties are sponsoring a fifth day of racing at this year’s National Hunt Festival – so, Ballymore, let’s turn out in force for Saturday’s racing and make Punchestown our own! Rachel

TIDY TOWNS CONGRATULATES THE FAS TEAM
I would like Martin, Frankie, and Tommy and the people of Ballymore to hear what I have to say about our Fas Team, our three stalwarts – a first class team – who turn out willingly, in all weathers, at all hours, well beyond the call of duty with cheerful enthusiasm and boundless energy to tackle all the jobs that maintain and enhance the beauty of the village. Not only the large jobs but the continuous day to day jobs which preserve the status quo.

A few examples of Martin’s, Frankie’s, and Tommy’s duties are:
· Planting, sowing, and maintenance of flowerbeds, verges, River Liffey Walk, and other areas in the village.
· Preparation and installation of hanging baskets and window boxes for spring and summer display.
· Selection and planting of native species trees.
· Cleaning and weeding of pathways and walkways throughout the village.
· Maintenance, clearing and weeding of Church of Ireland and St. Mary’s Cemetery.
· Decoration, maintenance, and tidying of derelict buildings, street furniture, and walls in the village.

In addition, their expert knowledge and long experience of all things horticultural, structural and visual enhancements brings immense benefit to the village and helps to instil a ‘Pride of Place’. Their tireless efforts have contributed immeasurably to our success in the Tidy Towns competitions through the years. I think we should all recognise that, thanks to them, the village of Ballymore Eustace is a better place for villagers and visitors alike.

Congratulations to you again, Tommy, Martin and Frankie, our Fas Community Workers, your award is richly deserved and long overdue!

Eric Firth on behalf of the Tidy Towns committee and Ballymore Eustace CDA.




Community Games Art Competition

There was a great turn out for the Ballymore Community Games Art Competition at Scoil Mhuire on 7th February (1st – 6th classes). Eager young artists pushed their creative skills to the limit for an hour to produce some amazing posters (community games theme). Our heartfelt thanks to local artist, Clodagh Gale, who had the unenviable task of choosing three from each category. Many thanks also to Mairead O’ Flynn, Principal, for all her help with organisation and facilitation of the competition. Well done to everyone who participated – you’re all winners!

Results:-
Boys

U8: U10: U12:
1st: Finn Breslin 1st: Tom Carter 1st: Patrick Murphy
2nd: - 2nd: Aaran Deegan 2nd: Tony Og Sheridan
3rd: - 3rd: Sean Crowe 3rd: Marcus McGuire Daly

Girls:

U8: U10: U12:
1st: Serena Devereaux 1st: Sally Kinsella 1st: Ellen Carter
2nd: Abby Foster 2nd: Rachel Fanning 2nd: Natasha Murphy
3rd: Orla Murphy 3rd: Jemma Molloy 3rd: Coady Brennan

U14
1st: Joanna Burke-Hayes
2nd: Sophia O’ Sullivan
3rd: Fiona Fields

The Kildare County Art Finals will be held on Sunday, 9th March, at 10am in the Patrician Primary School, Newbridge (across from St Conleth’s Church) with all above named being eligible to participate.

Ballymore-Eustace G.F.C.
Our Senior team played in the Keogh Cup in Sallins against Sallins. Ballymore started very well in this game and led by 3 pts midway through the first half, however a Sallins goal brought them on level terms and they progressed from there on to win comfortably enough on a score line of 1-16 to 1-11. Ballymore should not be too despondent about this result as we are only 2 weeks back training while Sallins are training since Christmas. Ballymore's next game is at home against Ballykelly. The lineout against Sallins was as follows:-

K.McNally
T. Gorman Pat Browne C.Dowling
C. Clarke J. Doyle C.Conway
M.McCarville A.Rooney
G.Clarke J.Archibald W.Donoghue
S.Kavanagh K.Murphy E.Kavanagh

Subs: D.Gorman, J.Gilroy

The Ballymore Supporters Club was launched on Friday 8th Feb. in Paddy Murphys. The purpose of this Supporters Club is to raise money to assist in the running of our club. The cost of running the club per annum is 45,000. It costs 100 to join the supporters club which entitles each member to club membership, free entry to home league matches, reduced Juvenile membership for children of member and free entry into members draw. These draws will take place on 31st March, 30th April and 31st May. First prize in each draw is 500. Club members will be calling to all areas of the parish in the next 3 weeks seeking memberships of this supporters club.

All players are asked to pay their insurance as soon as possible.
TIDY TOWNS
The Tidy Towns Committee would like to thank all the people of Ballymore Eustace for their help and co-operation during 2007 which enabled the village to gain an increase of 15 points in the Tidy Towns Competition. The judges commended our partnership approach with the Local Authority, the School, Clubs, Businesses and Housing Associations. The GAA sport ground was commended particularly in relation to its roadside edge, which is always litter and weed free. The Riverside Walk, the School and its Grounds, the landscape entrance and drive into the KTK Inert Landfill and Headons were admired as were the single storey dwellings and commercial properties. Schoil Mhuire and the Girl Guides were appreciated for the participation in the National Spring Clean.
Some of our bad points were ”overhead service cables”, “Keep weed along curbs and at the base of walls to an absolute minimum”, “the Church itself is still a little weather stained”, “it was surprising to note a number of dated plastic beer signs in the village”, “the Fogarty premises has too many signs and its Dutch awnings should be either removed altogether or replaced with a more traditional type.” With a little co-operation again in 2008 perhaps we can eliminate most of our bad points.
We did badly as well in the Waste Minimisation Category and so we are now bringing waste minimization centers to all our attentions. An excellent facility on our doorstep is
KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL, SILLIOT HILL, KILCULLEN.
INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITY
Phone: (045) 482229 OPENING HOURS - Mon.-Sat 8 - 1 and 2 - 4
CHARGES
1. DOMESTIC RECYCLABLES: (FREE OF CHARGE)
All Domestic Electrical Goods (Battery or Plug in). Dry Cardboard, Magazines, Newspapers, Waste Paper, Plastics of Grade 1, 2 & 4, Glass Bottles, Metal Cans, Aluminium Cans, Tetra Paks, Clean Clothing. Small quantities of household batteries, light bulbs and aerosols.
2. DOMESTIC RECYCLABLES:
Waste Oil (max.1 gallon at a time). Car Batteries (small numbers). Scrap Metal
€92/Tonne or €1.84/20kg (No Landfill Levy)
3. COMMERCLAL RECYCLABLES:
Waste Oil (max.1 gallon at a time). Car Batteries (small numbers). Scrap Metal, Cardboard, Magazines, Newspapers, Waste Paper, Plastics of Grades 1, 2 & 4, Glass Bottles, Metal Cans, Aluminium Cans.
£92/Tonne or €1.84/20kg (No Landfill Levy)
4. WASTE for LANDFILL - COMMERCIAL & DOMESTIC:
Food waste, furniture, beds, bulky items, plastics of grades 3, 5 & 6
€198/Tonne or €3.96/20kg (Inclusive of Landfill Levy)
5. DOMESTIC WASTE for RECOVERY:
Green Waste, Household Hazardous. Flat Glass
€183 /Tonne or €3.66/20kg (No Landfill Levy)
6. COMMERCIAL WASTE for RECOVERY:
Green Waste, Household Hazardous, Flat Glass
€183 / Tonne or €3.66/20kg (No Landfill Levy)
7. MISCELLANEOUS
Commercial Electrical - €612/Tonne Confidential Shredding- €7.32/20kg
Hazardous Commercial - €3000/Tonne or €60/20kg Tyres - €350/Tonne or €7/20kg.
Please Note: A minimum charge applies to each chargeable category
8. COMPOST BINS AVAILABLE - 20 LITRE - €40
NOTE: VEHICLE SCRAPPAGE: AUTHORISED AGENT FOR COUNTY KILDARE
KILCOCK CAR DISMANTLERS, LARAGH, KILCOCK 01-6285671/01-6289160

FREEPHONE NO. FOR LITTER 1800 243 143

In our own village we have Vincent’s Shop (formally Freds Fashions) (045 864977) beside the Church which will gladly take all clean reusable clothing, toys, books and bric-a-brac. Opening hours are displayed on the door.
There are Bottle Banks for recycling in Naas at KCC Offices, Tesco and Fair Green (Super Spar).
In Blessington there are Bottle Banks at Super Value and the Parkview Service Station.
You can have your printer cartridge refilled in Naas at Cartridge World (045 898662) and The Computer Centre, Kilcullen Rd., (045 883888)
To find out how to reduce your energy consumption visit www.powerofone.ie

Congratulations to the FAS Workers, Martin, Tom and Frankie on being voted the Ballymore People of the Year.
The Committee looks forward to the help and support of everybody in keeping Ballymore looking well during 2008.
Signed: Tidy Towns Committee.
Busy At The River

This is an edited version of an article from the Bugle in April 2000. For this issue, I had intended writing an article on the theme of Courtly Love, and dear to my heart, the Troubadours of Provence, butI did not allow myself enough time, so it will have to wait for the next issue.
In the meantime, I dedicate this to that extraordinary group of people, the FAS workers, People of TheYear 2008, for their artistry, most especially for the absolutely wonderful state of the River Walk. It is a Paradise, a pure pleasure, to stroll along the banks of the river Liffey, reminding me of Purgatory, that scene from last month’s magazine where the pilgrims reach the highest point, Eden, the Earthly Paradise, before entering Heaven.

There is absolutely no place like it. Not even Ratty, nor his furry friend Mole in Wind in the Willows would dispute the thought, because here, there are no enemies. It is peace personified. No matter what direction one strolls, the power of silence surrounds. White clouds whisper across the heavens racing in elegant motion, thoroughbreds riding the blue skies above, while below, the river flows with majestic power taking and providing nourishment, its shouldering banks garlanded in lush greenery. Within, fine trout abound, and as the water sweeps on to looping coils at Inch a Caileen, courting White Swans glide the surface in graceful poise.
Soon, the Mayfly will come for their own Swan-Song-Day and activity at the river will spring alive at their funerals. Fish will jump in joy, trees sprout leaves, bushes blossom with flowers, adding colour and sustenance for the emerging insect life; colony upon colony, whose 100 metre territory is their country of domicile, teeming the undergrowth below and the orchard above. A whistling bird adds music and before long, nature’s orchestra is in full chorus. Presently packing their bags for the flight to Ballymore, the silver-blue flash of the Kingfisher will electrify the already busy resort.

A Black Swan
So beautiful is the scene we write of, that as recently as this April, a visitor never seen before in these parts, graced the river with its presence. A Black Swan, native we think to Australia and Tasmania, unsuccessfully attempted a ménage-a-trois with our two resident White Swans, and as Grainne Glancy observed, the interloper was given short shift by the feathered lovers, true monogamists it would seem. Yet, it could be a portent to an even more glorious future for the river scene.

Of Dream and Imagination
Here, there are mysteries, and all that one could dream of, of life in far-away places, all encapsulated. What needs you of dreams of bygone Babylon – look to the river’s edge at Mount Cashel for the hanging drapery of nature; of the Volga, look to the rushing waters as the river chases itself beneath the arched viaduct; of the Nile, see how the Pinkeen river tumbles uncontrollably, cascading over cataract after cataract, meeting the all-powerful Liffey in humbled submission at Kelly’s Corner; of the immortal Styx, we say nothing of the underworld, but think of the peaceful Seine and lastly of Verona on the river Adige. Here we draw the attention of our readers to the high Rocky slopes behind Fr. Breen’s house, imagining the impassioned cry of a distraught Juliette – Niall, Niall, wherefore art thou Niall – and Echo, from the West Wind replying, ruefully – Sweetie, he’s in the pub. So much for the fun side.

To imagine that a walk in this pleasure-ground erases fruitful thought from the intellect, or distracts the mind from important affairs of life is reason enough to grasp that imagination and engage your whole being in an existence where, as Spring and Summer approach, you surrender yourself to the power of its Sanctified Silence, and an unfamiliar world embraces you in its intimate charms.
Nature’s Alphabet.
Lately, where scrubland has been cleared, saplings have been planted along the pathway and in time, a fine avenue of noble trees will stand in proud salute to their gardeners. The variety includes Birch, Ash, Oak, Sycamore, Maple. Some of these species we take note of as being intrinsically Celtic, having been used in turn as Seasonal Dating System, Deification of Purpose, and later as an Alphabet, secret to the priesthood of Druidism.

In early times, the annual cycle composed of 13 x 28 day months (364 days). The ancient Irish Alphabet, like that used by the Celts of Gaul and referred to by Caesar, was signified by the letters BLN – Beth, Luis, Nuin, the first three letters,, Birch Rowan Ash, the full consisting of 12 consonants and five vowels in the following sequence: BLNFSHDTCMG,NG/GN,R, H being an aspirant. Each vowel representing a quarterly change with A+I (Birth and Death) (Fir/Palm and Yew) sharing the Winter Solstice.

We thank Hermes for the derived pronunciation. Of the trees, we attend to three, Birch, Ash and Oak.
Birch takes pride of place, representing a new season and the first month, December 24th, two days after the Winter Solstice, and being the letter B, first in order of the ancient alphabet, and equal in rank to the Greek Beta, and the Hebrew, Beth.

The Ash, N, Nuin, Greek Nu, and Hebrew Nun, third letter and month (February 18th) represented rain-making.
Oak, D, Dair, sacred to the Celts, an Oracle, 7th letter, June 10th, Greek Delta and Hebrew Daleth.

So, our gardeners landscape our imagination too, providing us with a continuum of ancient traditions, even oracular, well in keeping with the status of our old surroundings, reminding us of why we are classified “Special Village”, and not to dismiss the River Walk as another Idle Amble. To them, we offer our thanks.
Not to have visited the pleasure-grounds that are newly opened to us on the river-side by courtesy of the CDA and the Handywork of the FAS workers and Tidy Towns, will be akin to never having experienced indivisible pleasure.

To stroll there accompanied is to wish one was alone.
To wander there alone is to desire company.

Such is the paradox.

Michael Ward.
Rose and Tim:I enjoyed your December issue, though I thought Angie Thompson's preferencefor The Gathering over The Sea somewhat a departure from her usually soundjudgement. (Surely the quality of Banville's prose is superb, whereasEnright seems more impressive in her short stories?) Tastes, I grant,differ. I do, however, have a beef I suspect may be shared by others,especially other long-time "exiles" from Ballymore. Lots of good photos, asusual, but far too many UNIDENTIFIED ones! I thought you guys had remediedthis blemish...?Kind regards,Finn GallagherCanada
A Proud Day for the Edgeworths.



Congratulations to Anna Edgeworth, grand‑daughter of Kathleen Edgeworth and the late Matt Edgeworth (R.I.P.) of Ballymore Eustace and eldest daughter of Matt (jnr.) & Bernie Edgeworth, who received her Commission as an Officer with the Irish Defence Forces on 16 January this year. On the same day, Anna - who already holds a B.Eng. (Honours) Degree in mechatronics from DCU, was also awarded a Diploma in Command and Leadership, Management and Defence Studies.

Both the selection process and subsequent training, which Anna undertook with diligence and enthusiasm, are very demanding both physically and mentally. It is a great credit to her that she completed the course and achieved her commission with flying colours.

on passing by- again

Over the last number of years we have been exposed more and more to the cult of celebrity. You know the type: people who appear to be famous just for being famous. Vacuous airheads, small part actresses and self publicists. Add to this a plethora of “up and coming models” and you start to appreciate the kind of life led by recently deceased Katy French. This young girl apparently had it all and had even more in front of her and yet by her own admission frequently took illegal drugs. It is sad for any family to lose a loved one, especially in tragic circumstances such as these and yet it is hard not to subscribe to the view that this girls social position is having a huge influence on events after her death. Over two months after her demise a team of Gardai in the Louth-Meath division are still investigation the circumstances surrounding it. Whats more they are being assisted by detectives from the National Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Why is this?. Surely her death deserves no more investigation than that of an addict in Sheriff Street or Moyross. If it does deserve this level of investigation then why doesn’t theirs?. Two young men died shortly before French from similar substances and yet their memories have been effaced from the public arena, while hers continues to appear in the media.. What was that bit of the constitution about cherishing all our children equally?.

So the saga of the e voting machines rumbles itself into another year. All those responsible have now put as much daylight as possible between themselves and the troublesome boxes. And yet the cost continues to rise and rise. Storage costs for last year alone were over eight hundred and fifty thousand euro, including moving 4,700 machines into army stores. Total costs for the last four years was almost three million euro. And yet it still looks like the machines will never be used. So why not just scrap them?. Probably because it would mean all involved so far would have their incompetence rolled out yet again. The real problem is that even if we scrapped them now it would still cost us millions. Returning officers in individual constituencies were given the responsibility for renting space to store them and most have entered into multi year contracts. Obviously these contracts will have to be bought out so we will continue to pay through the nose. Some of the contracts run for up to ten years but what I find incredible is the contract entered into in the Cavan-Monaghon region. Here the returning officer saw fit to enter a twenty five year deal, even though the machines originally only had a twenty year life span. The Department of the Environment continues to sit on the fence regarding the machines with a statement from the present incumbent, Mr Gormley, continuing the gobbledygook from previous ministers.
“My department engaged consultants with valuation expertise in May 2007, following a competitive tendering process, to examine individual lease arrangements and to make recommendations as to termination of the leases, where appropriate. The consultants recommendations are currently under consideration in the department”.
Where they will no doubt gather dust like all the previous recommendations.


I thought it was bad enough having to go round all the time and watch what you said about immigrants for fear you would be labelled non pc or even racist, but when we start bending over backwards to facilitate new arrivals it really is time to call a halt.
Nowadays we have a situation where certain groups don’t mind coming here to live, to taking social welfare or other benefits to get themselves on their feet, but then want as little to do with mainstream Irish society as possible. If we don’t want ghettoes in the future this must be stopped. If people want to come here to live and work I don’t have a huge problem, as long as they behave properly and are subject to the same sanctions as the rest of us. These were the conditions which met Irish people who emigrated over the years and by and large they put up with them and got on with it. If you go to someone else’s country that’s the way it is, at least in a democracy.
I think this is quite a reasonable and rational outlook but yet we have people like Senator Donie Cassidy standing up in the Seanad and suggesting in all seriousness that maybe Irish drivers should all change to driving on the other side of the road, to facilitate immigrants. For Gods sake where will it all end.

I hope you have all made more than ample provision for care in your old age because if a new HSE scheme ever sees the light of day you’re going to need it.
A group of senior officials from various government departments ( yes, the ones with early retirement ages and index linked pensions ) was set up in 2003 to advise how best to finance long term care for older people.
They were tasked with finding ways to meet the costs of essential health and community services currently provided by the HSE free of charge. In my ignorance I thought the cost of these services were in fact being paid for from my and your tax dollars but there you go, simple mistake to make.
Anyway, after three years the group presented its report, where like many another over the years it started to gather dust. Unfortunately it now seems that someone asked for it under the Freedom of Information Act late last year so the government decided to publish it last month.
So what do the lads suggest?. Well basically, after what must have been very intense deliberations for three years they think it would be a good idea for the patients to actually pay up. You know, like, pay for all the space you’ve been taking up and all that ould medicine and stuff they had to give you. Yes, I know you’ve spent your life paying tax and prsi, and you thought you would get something back for all you put in, but it gets even worse. If by some unfortunate circumstance or mishap you pop your clogs before its all paid for don’t for a moment think that that will be the end of the story. No, these lads are much to clever to leave it at that. If there is anything left on the bill they want your remaining family to pay up. Priceless.
Still the lads at least had a robust sense of humour. Why else would they call the report the “ Fair Deal”

All for now. Mike Edmonds.
Bits ‘n Bobs with Rose

A Hard Life….
“Hello” to Thomas and Darren, currently ‘down under’ in Melbourne, having to cope with the heat and warm weather…. Thomas is earning a few bob along with Fionn from Kill as extras on a film set – a far cry from the hard labour the Irish immigrants and deportees had to endure years ago. Lads, enjoy every minute of it, its freezing here!

Bowl Away
Come join the fun at the Bandhall on Tuesdays for weekly bowling – all welcome, 8.30pm start. Craic guaranteed and Tommy Dwyer says you don’t have to be an athlete to compete, all ages welcome (and he should know)!

SCOIL MHUIRE ABU!
Having spoken to Mairead O Flynn before the local awards night, I learned that Scoil Mhuire children are regular little fundraisers.

“So far this school year the pupils through various committees have also raised almost €4,000 for Multiple Sclerosis through the MS Readathon organised with Ms. Brown through the school library and a further €631 for Barretstown through their Christmas Choir concert and Talent show (organised by pupils themselves). We recorded 2 original carols for the concert, one being the Barretstown Carol and these were entered in Lyric FM competition.

The five girls nominated for this year’s annual awards are members of the school choir; we have another new song for the Church Concert on Feb. 29th. Some of the girls are members of the Green school committee who will start into their great work in the Spring. I have no doubt but that these pupils will be active members of community committees in Ballymore in the near future or wherever their lives bring them!”

Hear, hear, Mairead – the future looks good for Ballymore Eustace and well done to all the pupils involved, you are an example to us all.


New Locum
Welcome to Dr Andrina O’Brien who has recently been appointed General Practitioner at the Medical Centre here in Ballymore Eustace. Dr Andrina is a daughter of Dr Brendan O’Brien and has practiced at her father’s busy clinic in Blessington for the past number of years. As a patient of hers, I welcome her wholeheartedly to our local clinic – she is an extremely professional, caring doctor and will be an asset to our community although I am disappointed to note that there are only three morning clinics and one afternoon clinic as yet designated for the local centre.

Dr Andrina will see patients at the health centre from 9.30am-12.30 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and on Wednesday from 2.30pm-5pm by appointment. Contact 045 863008/864145 and is available at Blessington Medical Centre for appointments also.

Panto Thanks
The organizers of the recent annual pantomime “Jack & the Beanstalk” wish to thank all who helped stage this year’s production – to all the backstage crew in lighting, sound, design, props etc; to the cast and backing troupe, to the director Aoibheann Waldron; to costume and make-up and finally, to all who attended and supported the Bandhall Players for yet another hilarious production.

WOLFE TONE CUMANN
AGM to be held on Monday 25th February at 9pm in the Ballymore Inn, all welcome.

These two at the bottom of the page, in reverse, please

Sudden death
The community was saddened to hear of the death of Ray “Rasher” Daniels last month; almost 29, he was a talented sportsman, having played both soccer and GAA and formerly played with Wicklow County Gaelic team as goalkeeper. The deceased grew up in Blessington with his mother Theresa, brothers Shane and Jonathan and is survived by his fiancĂ©e, Linda Carroll and infant son Ben, aged two.

Mr Daniels was held in high regard and affection within his home town and was thought to have made a full recovery after a recent illness, even having returned to his sporting activities. He is survived also by his father, Brendan and extended family in Blessington, Ballymore Eustace and Dunlavin. May he rest in peace, amen.

The Late Dorrie Talbot
Sad news last month to learn of the passing of Dorrie Talbot, nee Kaine. Formerly of Blessington and Ballymore Eustace, Dorrie (86) had resided at Willowbroook Nursing Home for the past four years until her recent illness. An active member of St John’s Community, Dorrie and her late sister, Nellie were involved in several joint fundraising ventures between St John’s and The Church of the The Immaculate Conception – the annual sale of work and field day stall amongst them.
She had a sharp memory and great recall and will be missed by her many friends and indeed, our own Grainne who was a regular visitor to Dorrie, whom Grainne considered “a Granny figure” to the Glancy family. Dorrie is survived by her brother Jack, niece Elizabeth and nephew James, extended family and friends. We offer our sincerest condolences, may she rest in peace, amen.

Dear All,

About eighteen months ago Denise wrote an open letter to the Bugle asking why Ballymore Eustace had no Youth Club? This prompted a group of thirteen interested people from the local community to undergo a 6-week course with Kildare Youth Services (KYS), to train as Youth Leaders. The group then went on to fundraise and apply to KYS and Kildare County Council for grants to establish the Club. We have now been up and running for over a year and held our fist AGM in January. We are lucky enough to have premises supplied by the Handball Club and four more Leaders trained up in December of last year. We had a visit from KYS in November and they were impressed with the range of our equipment and membership numbers. As you will have seen from various updates in the Bugle, we have had a series of discos and other activities which have been well supported in the main, up to recently.

Since last November however we have noticed a drop off in attendance at the Club and on Friday 25th January, only two members came down, (out of over 50 on the enrolment list) so we had to close the Club early.

We have recently purchased new music and a great three in one games table as well as planning a series of events for this year. These included a sponsored walk to raise funds, a trip to the Ice Rink in Dundalk (which the kids themselves had requested) and possibly a trip away in the summer.

No doubt you can appreciate the huge amount of voluntary time and effort that goes into all the above – notwithstanding the organisation of the regular weekly club nights. There would seem to be little point continuing with this unless the members are really interested in the Club and attend regularly. If the general view is that there is no longer a need for a Youth Club in Ballymore, or that what we are able to provide within our current resources is not appropriate, then we need to be clear about this and we would welcome feedback from both members and their parents.

Clearly we do not want to see the extensive energy and effort that has gone into the club so far go to waste, but continued poor attendance will mean that we will seriously review whether the Club will continue to operate after Easter.

We look forward to seeing the Youth Club continue to develop in future and welcome your comments or feedback.


THE YOUTH CLUB COMMITTEE

Denise Kelly 087 6893403
Angie Thompson 086 4005211
Jimmy Pearse 087 2341965
Claire McShane 086 6067811
FAS ‘LADS’ TAKE TOP AWARD!
Ballymore Eustace People of the Year Awards 2008

I’m sure Martin, Frankie and Tommy don’t mind one bit being referred to as the “Fas Lads” for this article. They may have been the eldest of the nominated groups but they sure scrubbed up well on the night. Martin, I’d have given you “The Best Tie” award and Frankie, my God, he’d have walked straight onto the set of “Men in Black 3”! Once again, our awards night was a really enjoyable night, a ‘feel-good’ event in a relaxed atmosphere with a full house.

Also in attendance were Sean Power TD & Minister of State; Jack Wall TD, Councillors Billy Hillis and JJ Power – Tim thanked our elected representatives for coming, knowing someone in the audience will give them flack before the night was over (an Mary Horan always gives Sean a roasting, its nearly an annual ritual now!). Tim then introduced Fiona Breslin, Chairperson of The CDA who formally welcomed everyone including the elected representatives, Anne O Sullivan, Fas Supervisor; Scoil Mhuire Principal, Mairead O Flynn; Tim Gorman, Chairperson of Ballymore Eustace Gaa and Mary Campbell, Person of The Year 2007 and finalist in Rehab Kildare Person of the Year 2007.

Fab Fashion Five
Lauryn Macnamara, Kiva Sammon, Fionnuala O'Connor, Mairead Byrne and Ciara Langan were praised by all for their innovative fundraiser in aid of Breast Cancer Research, having raised €2,500.

Had it been down to the best looking and best dressed competition, these girls would have beaten the lads hands down! For organising a fundraiser, entirely from start to finish, sourcing the clothes from the local St Vincent de Paul shop with the help of Tracey O Connor, organising sound and lighting, getting every Mammy, Granny and relation to bake cakes, advertising and planning the event with aid of friends and family, the girls should be very proud of themselves. This sentiment was further endorsed by school principal Mairead O'Flynn who also congratulated the Juvenile Gaa Club who work closely with Scoil Mhuire and the FAS workers who have worked with school children on litter/clean-up days. Mairead also praised the spirit of the girls’ friends and schoolmates who threw themselves behind the project and supported their fundraising initiative.

Coincidentally, Ciara Langan is a daughter of the late Anne Langan, former Ballymore Person of The Year; Martin Deegan is the third member of his family to be nominated – Mary, you may start bribing people for next year; Stephan Deegan of the Juvenile GAA, is a son of Tommy, who as chairperson of the CDA was the first group to win the award; John McCarville also of the Juvenile GAA committee is a former winner as is Tim Gorman of the GAA and Mairead O’Flynn is a former nominee..

The Juvenile Gaelic Football Committee
Tim then gave a comprehensive citation on the The Juvenile GAA Club, reminding people that the club caters for a huge number of children, boys and girls, football and hurling and of course, Ballymore also has an active handball association.
Tim noted the club's motto was "Children First, Winning Second" and the facility the local grounds provided with several underage teams, summer camps and friendly matches was superb. He also praised club PRO, Mick Byrne for the excellent and consistent submissions he makes to The Ballymore Bugle – always on time, every team photo, every child acknowledged.

It is important to note that local underage teams reached several county finals last year but again, the emphasis in Ballymore is focused on the child, building their confidence and character, Gaelic skills and team spirit.
We should never take this facility for granted – bored children get into mischief whereas those participating in sport are less likely to fall ‘foul of the law’.

The Fas Community Workers
Finally, the FAS Community Workers were praised for their years of dedicated work around the village. Technically, the workers are obliged to work only 19 hours a week but as everyone locally knows, stormy weather, vandalism or special events will see the lads out early in the morning, long before the children are heading to school. Eric Firth of the CDA and Tidy Towns committee praised the workers for their help in painting derelict buildings, tree planting, maintaining greens and communal areas and of course, the upkeep of the River Walk. Furthermore, the team look after St Mary's Cemetary, help the Festival Committee and other events such as The Emirates Race, FBD Milk Ras prepare the streets with bunting, sound, street stewarding and traffic control - all well outside the remit of their job description!

Fas worker Tommy Barker was joined by wife Judy and the extended family – the Dooley grandchildren were out in force for Grandad Tommy, make no mistake!

Decision Time
In making the final decision, my co-editor and I had a difficult decision:
should we opt for the younger nominees who epitomised all that is good in our youth or the Juvenile Gaa Committee who cater for such a large number of children?

In the end, it was the FAS workers we announced the Ballymore Eustace People of the Year 2008 because their work has gone un-noticed for years and rarely publicised. And thankfully, the audience and all nominated groups were delighted with the decision.
Kiva Sammon gave her thanks on behalf of the “Fab Fashion Five” and Mairead Byrne made a presentation to outgoing Person of the Year, Mary Campbell.

Tommy Barker on receiving the award gave an emotive brief speech thanking all involved, family and friends for their support and to FAS supervisor, Anne O Sullivan, heartily joined by Frankie and Martin, Ballymore Eustace People of the Year 2008.

Eoghan Barrett accepted the award on behalf of the Juvenile GFC and similarly was touched by the nomination and encouraged other parents to join the committee and continue the hard work.

It was such an enjoyable night - all groups nominated were applauded as local heroes and received the same value in prizes and framed scrolls. I have no doubt we will see these lovely young ladies up for future community awards in Ballymore and that members of the Juvenile GFC are pretty much signed up for life - well done to all of you!

Congratulations again to Martin Deegan, Frankie Burke and Tommy Barker, your award is richly deserved.

We extend particular thanks to Gallery & Gifts, the Square, Ballymore Eustace who did a superb job framing the presentations, free of charge – thanks a million John and Irene; to local artist, Fiona Barrett, whose painting of the Bridge was presented to the FAS winners, for handwriting all the scrolls and sourcing the girls’ gifts; to Lilywhite Printers and Naas Printing for gave their services free of charge.

Your support is much appreciated – Tim and Rose
A GOOD READ with Angie



This month’s books were about as different as you could find, apart from the context- both were set in the US. I decided to re-read “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Paperback: 10.10) after a gap of some 25 years. I dug out my old battered student copy and fondly recalled the book that launched me into reading everything Fitzgerald ever wrote. The passage of time is fascinating, as looking back at the sections I had asterisked in the early eighties, I would now highlight very different aspects of the story.

Set in the heady inter-war years of the twenties in booming East Coast America, Fitzgerald’s central character is a sort of anti-hero. We view Jay Gatsby from the perspective of his poorer neighbour Nick, who is the average middle class graduate trying to make his way in New York. This deceptively slim book is almost a novella, and Fitzgerald’s economy of style belies one of the most fascinating characterisations I have ever encountered. Gatsby is at once alluring and sinister, sophisticated and gauche, hedonist and aesthete. As the story unfolds and we learn of his past and the sources of his great wealth, the book is like a jigsaw puzzle that the reader simply wants more and more pieces of. The other characters are also well depicted by the author, but all become inevitable stars revolving around Gatsby’s planetary magnetism and we tend to read them all as they tell us more about him.

The novel is evocative of a beautiful and fascinating era in US history and in a sense typifies how “the American dream” has been viewed through the lens of material success. In this sense however it is a salutary tale of how wealth does not bring happiness and as someone I lent it to summed it up: “It’s really about loving someone who can’t love you back”. I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this old gem and would highly recommend it.

“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (Paperback: Picador: 10.00) is like the antithesis of Gatsby, being set in an almost empty, post-apocalyptic world where a father and son are struggling to survive against all the odds. The vividness of McCarthy’s imagery is haunting and his simple, stark style is perfectly suited to the reduced environment he is portraying. Although the context of the novel is one of unwonted desolation, this is not a moribund novel. Father and son progress ever onwards in a wreck of civilisation, and his descriptions of the absence of things, such as colour, animals, even the stars actually make you look at your own environment in a new and appreciative way.

I don’t think the author is being preachy or political in this sense, he merely envisages and articulates a world that lacks so many of the things that we all take for granted. In the midst of all this bleakness the one thing that has endured is the father’s deep, almost primeval love for his son and his determination that he should survive. The dialogue between the two is intense and moving and the structure of the story keeps you interested throughout. It is easy to see why it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction last year, as it is a novel which succeeds at lots of levels. I would quite happily have sat down and read it in one go had time permitted, that’s how gripping it was.

Enjoy your reading and remember if anyone has a book they want to tell the rest of us about e-mail your views into the Bugle- there are so many good reads out there and so little time to get to them all! As usual the books are available from Janet in the Blessington Book Store.

Angie Thompson
21st Birthdays
Congratulations to cousins Geoff Guing and Ken Dowling who recently celebrated a joint 21st birthday party in The Thatch….

Birthday wishes to Sheila Byrne, Michael McDonald and Michelle Waters who celebrated a very ‘important’ birthday recently - welcome to the Fab 40s Guys and Gals….
And to Val Murphy who, on reaching his 35th birthday, celebrated for a whole weekend in Ballyknockan – can’t wait to see what he does for his 40th!

Birthday wishes to Louise Foley who celebrated her 18th birthday recently.

Congratulations to Maureen and James Fisher on the arrival of “Abby”, a baby sister for their three chaps.

BABY NEWS FOR LIZ! Congratulations to our local hair designer, face-painter, milliner, tiara maker extraordinaire, Elizabeth and hubbie, Peter to whom son number three, Simon, has just arrived. (Now if Liz follows Maureen above, number four will be a daughter….I can imagine Liz’s retort).

Congratulations to Anne Tipper, nee Deegan, a first time Granny due to the arrival of baby Sean, born to Jonathan and Marie.

Leaping for Joy She may be four years on this earth but for Yasmin Brown, daughter of Katya and Christy, the 29th February next will see her celebrate her first official birthday – happy birthday, Yasmin.


The Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association Ltd (CDA) represents the residents of the village. The CDA is the umbrella organisation for Tidy Towns, Meals on Wheels, Punchestown Festival Committee, Friendship Club, Community Alert, Bingo , Ballymore Bugle and Hall Committee. It is the owner of the River Walk and Resource Centre. It also intends to provide another community resource in the near future on the site of the old council library.
The CDA works to ensure the village grows in a sustainable and attractive manner; we have made submissions on the County Development Plan and will take a primary role in the Local Area Plan.


Pantomime with Jeffers
By the time you read this the Xmas pantomime season will be over, but the main attraction is only warming up: those who hold center stage for the rest of the year. That’s not to say, that there hasn’t been rehearsals going on backstage. The principle actors going over their lines honing them to perfection, “Oh no I’m not”, “Oh yes you are”, with their supporting casts giving them back up. There’re all there, elves, gnomes, fairies, with the Ugly Sisters Enda and Eamon sniping away in the wings, the Wicked Baron Mahon, and Cinderella; she giving coy answers to his questions that start off in one direction then turn about and lead off into the wild blue yonder leaving the Wicked Baron and his henchmen bemused and none the wiser. It’s riveting stuff and packing them in.
But that’s not the only show in town. We have Greenacres led by Brother John; he leads his flock down green leafy pathways ignoring the fact that a big dirty incinerator is about to appear on the other side of the hedge and he in cahoots with that other crowd who brought this about! His is a sort of smoke and mirrors show, now you see it, now you don’t in reverse, but the mantra is the same, “Oh yes you did”, “Oh no I didn’t”. Brother Eamon, present Minster for Energy is also in a spot of bother. When in opposition he was all for underground cables as opposed to overhead pylons; now there’s high voltage interconnector pylons going to run from Co Tyrone to Co Meath and getting a lot of opposition from folk in Meath and Monahan but so far not a squeak of protest from Brother Eamon!
And just in case you’re not interested in the main show there are lots of sideshows to keep you amused. Take benchmarking for example. Set up in 2002 it was considered the real McCoy at the time. Meself, I took a jaundice view of the proceedings at the time, saying that it would only work when times were good. Nobody objects to throwing a few bob around when things are on the up and up, but come the day when a sniff of recession appears and the tune will change. It has taken a long time for my prediction to bear fruit and maybe I’m still at sea, but this year is the first time that a hiccup has appeared in the negotiations. In theory the thinking was good; wage increases in the public sector to more or less keep pace with the private sector, with productivity clauses attached. That last piece was a laugh. Apart from the nurses, guards, and that body of men who provide service the round of the clock in all weathers, the ESB, where is the productivity to come from? Pushing a pen in the civil service is hardly a productive occupation. Way back in 2002 when the first benchmarking report was issued average wage increases were just under 9%; the offer today is 0.3%, and Peter McLoone general secretary of Impact now asks how are thousands of public servants going to be protected from growing inflation? The very same question applies to the private sector employees who down through the years have had to make their own arrangements, and will continue to do so, but wish they had a State backed pension scheme enjoyed by public sector employees!
And here’s another laugh if you have the stomach for such a thing. In answer to a parliamentary question from Bernard Durkan it transpires that the Taoiseach and his Department engaged no less than ten separate consultants over the year gone out to help run the show. One lot were asked to conduct a review of ‘regulatory impact analysis’. I’m sure you’re all aware of what a ‘regulatory impact analysis’ is! No, well cheer up I don’t either. The 0ECD were asked, to the tune of €490,000 for a “comprehensive review of public service”. I’d like to have seen the answer to that one, and so would those in benchmarking negotiations. All of this extra help is in addition to an already expansive department of secretary general, able assisted by assistant secretaries, principle officers, executive officers, special advisors, press officers, and any other office you can think of. Oh, I nearly forgot, one other consulting group was engaged to provide expert support for the work of the ‘Organisational Review Team’. I’ll bet you didn’t know we had one of those working for us, or what exactly is their function. It beats Banagher I tell ye, and that’s only the Taoiseach’s Department, God only knows what goes on in other Departments and the rest of the civil service.
But shed a tear for Little Bo Peep who has lost nearly all her sheep. Herdsman MacKay one of the original Sheppard’s when the flock was first formed has suggested they segregate from the main flock of rag tag and bobble, and regroup in a pen of their own. Brother John from Greenacres take note! The departure of the Brothers Grimm, Michael and Tom for greener pastures was no help. By the bye do you remember the late J B Keane, I think it was on the Late Late Show, telling us all about the different kinds of Hoor we had in Ireland. There were Cavan ones, Cork ones, Kerry ones, Two Ends of one, and last, but not least, the Cute ones!
I should emphasise that Pantomime viewing is not confined to Ireland; it’s worldwide entertainment. As I write stock markets the world over are in free fall and head honchos from some of the worlds biggest financial institutions are getting the bum’s rush out of office for running the company almost into the ground. Proper order you say; but hold a minute, you haven’t heard the half of it. These guys are leaving office with golden handshakes worth millions. I can understand a golden handshake for a job well done, but can also remember the times that should you prove unsatisfactory or unsuitable for the job you got a weeks notice plus holiday pay. I’m out of date and out of touch I’ll admit and inflation enters into the equation big time, but will someone please explain to me the logic of giving someone a golden handshake for doing a bad job?
Enjoy the Pantomimes on offer. Why? Because as a taxpayer you’re worth it! Jeffers.



21st Birthdays
Congratulations to cousins Geoff Guing and Ken Dowling who recently celebrated a joint 21st birthday party in The Thatch….

Birthday wishes to Sheila Byrne, Michael McDonald and Michelle Waters who celebrated a very ‘important’ birthday recently - welcome to the Fab 40s Guys and Gals….
And to Val Murphy who, on reaching his 35th birthday, celebrated for a whole weekend in Ballyknockan – can’t wait to see what he does for his 40th!

Birthday wishes to Louise Foley who celebrated her 18th birthday recently.

Congratulations to Maureen and James Fisher on the arrival of “Abby”, a baby sister for their three chaps.

BABY NEWS FOR LIZ! Congratulations to our local hair designer, face-painter, milliner, tiara maker extraordinaire, Elizabeth and hubbie, Peter to whom son number three, Simon, has just arrived. (Now if Liz follows Maureen above, number four will be a daughter….I can imagine Liz’s retort).

Congratulations to Anne Tipper, nee Deegan, a first time Granny due to the arrival of baby Sean, born to Jonathan and Marie.

Leaping for Joy She may be four years on this earth but for Yasmin Brown, daughter of Katya and Christy, the 29th February next will see her celebrate her first official birthday – happy birthday, Yasmin.

The Ballymore Eustace Community Development Association Ltd (CDA) represents the residents of the village. The CDA is the umbrella organisation for Tidy Towns, Meals on Wheels, Punchestown Festival Committee, Friendship Club, Community Alert, Bingo , Ballymore Bugle and Hall Committee. It is the owner of the River Walk and Resource Centre. It also intends to provide another community resource in the near future on the site of the old council library.
The CDA works to ensure the village grows in a sustainable and attractive manner; we have made submissions on the County Development Plan and will take a primary role in the Local Area Plan.

Pantomime with Jeffers
By the time you read this the Xmas pantomime season will be over, but the main attraction is only warming up: those who hold center stage for the rest of the year. That’s not to say, that there hasn’t been rehearsals going on backstage. The principle actors going over their lines honing them to perfection, “Oh no I’m not”, “Oh yes you are”, with their supporting casts giving them back up. There’re all there, elves, gnomes, fairies, with the Ugly Sisters Enda and Eamon sniping away in the wings, the Wicked Baron Mahon, and Cinderella; she giving coy answers to his questions that start off in one direction then turn about and lead off into the wild blue yonder leaving the Wicked Baron and his henchmen bemused and none the wiser. It’s riveting stuff and packing them in.
But that’s not the only show in town. We have Greenacres led by Brother John; he leads his flock down green leafy pathways ignoring the fact that a big dirty incinerator is about to appear on the other side of the hedge and he in cahoots with that other crowd who brought this about! His is a sort of smoke and mirrors show, now you see it, now you don’t in reverse, but the mantra is the same, “Oh yes you did”, “Oh no I didn’t”. Brother Eamon, present Minster for Energy is also in a spot of bother. When in opposition he was all for underground cables as opposed to overhead pylons; now there’s high voltage interconnector pylons going to run from Co Tyrone to Co Meath and getting a lot of opposition from folk in Meath and Monahan but so far not a squeak of protest from Brother Eamon!
And just in case you’re not interested in the main show there are lots of sideshows to keep you amused. Take benchmarking for example. Set up in 2002 it was considered the real McCoy at the time. Meself, I took a jaundice view of the proceedings at the time, saying that it would only work when times were good. Nobody objects to throwing a few bob around when things are on the up and up, but come the day when a sniff of recession appears and the tune will change. It has taken a long time for my prediction to bear fruit and maybe I’m still at sea, but this year is the first time that a hiccup has appeared in the negotiations. In theory the thinking was good; wage increases in the public sector to more or less keep pace with the private sector, with productivity clauses attached. That last piece was a laugh. Apart from the nurses, guards, and that body of men who provide service the round of the clock in all weathers, the ESB, where is the productivity to come from? Pushing a pen in the civil service is hardly a productive occupation. Way back in 2002 when the first benchmarking report was issued average wage increases were just under 9%; the offer today is 0.3%, and Peter McLoone general secretary of Impact now asks how are thousands of public servants going to be protected from growing inflation? The very same question applies to the private sector employees who down through the years have had to make their own arrangements, and will continue to do so, but wish they had a State backed pension scheme enjoyed by public sector employees!
And here’s another laugh if you have the stomach for such a thing. In answer to a parliamentary question from Bernard Durkan it transpires that the Taoiseach and his Department engaged no less than ten separate consultants over the year gone out to help run the show. One lot were asked to conduct a review of ‘regulatory impact analysis’. I’m sure you’re all aware of what a ‘regulatory impact analysis’ is! No, well cheer up I don’t either. The 0ECD were asked, to the tune of €490,000 for a “comprehensive review of public service”. I’d like to have seen the answer to that one, and so would those in benchmarking negotiations. All of this extra help is in addition to an already expansive department of secretary general, able assisted by assistant secretaries, principle officers, executive officers, special advisors, press officers, and any other office you can think of. Oh, I nearly forgot, one other consulting group was engaged to provide expert support for the work of the ‘Organisational Review Team’. I’ll bet you didn’t know we had one of those working for us, or what exactly is their function. It beats Banagher I tell ye, and that’s only the Taoiseach’s Department, God only knows what goes on in other Departments and the rest of the civil service.
But shed a tear for Little Bo Peep who has lost nearly all her sheep. Herdsman MacKay one of the original Sheppard’s when the flock was first formed has suggested they segregate from the main flock of rag tag and bobble, and regroup in a pen of their own. Brother John from Greenacres take note! The departure of the Brothers Grimm, Michael and Tom for greener pastures was no help. By the bye do you remember the late J B Keane, I think it was on the Late Late Show, telling us all about the different kinds of Hoor we had in Ireland. There were Cavan ones, Cork ones, Kerry ones, Two Ends of one, and last, but not least, the Cute ones!
I should emphasise that Pantomime viewing is not confined to Ireland; it’s worldwide entertainment. As I write stock markets the world over are in free fall and head honchos from some of the worlds biggest financial institutions are getting the bum’s rush out of office for running the company almost into the ground. Proper order you say; but hold a minute, you haven’t heard the half of it. These guys are leaving office with golden handshakes worth millions. I can understand a golden handshake for a job well done, but can also remember the times that should you prove unsatisfactory or unsuitable for the job you got a weeks notice plus holiday pay. I’m out of date and out of touch I’ll admit and inflation enters into the equation big time, but will someone please explain to me the logic of giving someone a golden handshake for doing a bad job?
Enjoy the Pantomimes on offer. Why? Because as a taxpayer you’re worth it! Jeffers.
Tim’s Diary
Brand new for 2008 brought to you by the Champion of the Misunderstood.
I, for one, was delighted to see the back of 2007. There were much more lowlights than highlights for me in the year just gone. If I was to take anything much positive out of last year it was the kindness of a lot of people that I came across, both friend and stranger, who helped me in a lot of ways.
One of the highlights of course was Colette’s graduation in Templemore in December. Now as this piece does not have to be vetted by the Garda press office I can exclusively reveal, I had great crack. Never have I had so many Guards be nice to me. I resisted the temptation to say “move along there” to everyone I met and I enjoyed the experience of being able to kiss a Guard without getting arrested. Fair ball Colette. I can also exclusively reveal that no member of the reserve was smaller than Wille O’Dea, no his moustache is not stuck on and that he gives shorter semons than the Breener. If I was ten years younger and four stone lighter I would consider joining myself. Well, no I wouldn’t.

Santy Claus was very good to me this year. Among the many, many presents I got was an I Pod. Now my huge collection of CD’s is on a thing that measures about ten by three centimetres. Isn’t technology wonderful?
Of all the reading that I did over the holidays I’d have to say that this fella Jeffrey Deaver is the man. Don’t believe me? Try one of his murder mysteries.

In February last year we opened two websites one a blog, for past issues of the Bugle and another for photo’s . The photo’s one on Flickr has been a great success. With over eleven hundred photos, it has been viewed over seven thousand times. Great tribute is due to Chris Dennison for his wonderful snaps of which the quality is par excellence. Have a look. Tell us what you think. Tell your friends.

When I asked the great and the good about their New Year resolutions I got a lot of refusals. So what was to be an entire page was not to be. However one of the suggestions that I got was that the clubs and interest groups should get together to devise a fund raiser timetable for the year so that events do not overlap. Has this any merit?

Np takers for Bills Quiz. I still have the two tenners. If you are interested in entering we will hold it for this month.

Colette’s brother in law Big John has connections with mister Top Notch, a useful animal who romped home in Cork recently before coming up for the Pierce Chase up this side where he pounced in the mud at fourteens. Watch him in the Cotswolds or on Merseyside. I think he’s ready this year.

We spent nearly all the summer writing and talking about the weather last year. I hope that the current spate of inclement times is not a portent foe the year. Among the areas affected were the school, the grounds of which flooded badly, the Brook at Donode and Mrs. Eithne Daly’s house. Eithne has a great positive attitude and was in tip top form when she got he house back to rights.

Everyone is giving out about Bertie. I have one question. Does anyone know anyone who has handed back a pay rise?
Alice’s Big Birthday.

Our good friend and neighbour Alice Cullen celebrated a big birthday recently. Alice, one of the kindest and most genuine people I know, exactly like her late husband Bill was, had the X factor. A limousine collected here and her pals and brought them off to Citywest forlunch.

Matt’s Memories

Hard Worker
Billy Gobbet served on many handball committees over a long number of years – early eighties to the present time. Sometimes he was along side of me – sometimes he was not. For many years now he has been Treasurer of the Handball Development Committee that is an onerous job in itself. He succeeded Margaret Pearse who did many years of good work in that position. Billy was a key figure on the committee that built the 40 by 20 alley.

Billy visited me in Naas Hospital. When he called I was out on manoeuvres/walking. He suggested I make a low-profile handball comeback. I explained that at the time I was still a bit wobbly on my feet.

Bugle Editor
Despite taking a sabbatical in Spain and Portugal Rose B. O’Donoghue promised to visit me in hospital. On July 27 I left Naas Hospital for Dun Laoghaire Rehab. I did not have a number to contact Rose. I believe Rose visited Naas Hospital two days later - I was gone! Having spent many years working with the Leinster Leader Rose felt it was time to take a break and look at her life; after holidays in Spain and Portugal, Rose returned to Ireland and now works for the new paper “The Voice” (which has three editions The Naas Voice, The Kildare Voice and Liffey Voice).

The Wanderers
Rita O’Rourke and her daughter Olive Hilliard were out driving in Olive’s car. One said to the other “we’ll visit Matt”. Only problem was Matt was many miles away in the Dun Laoghaire Rehab. They visited Matt anyway and he was delighted to see them. They met him at Ground Zero of the Rehab and brought him up to date with Ballymore-Eustace happenings.

Angela
Angela Ennis, who was a former work colleague, lives in Cabinteely that is close to Dun Laoghaire. Despite that I did not expect her to visit me. Accordingly, when Angela did visit me I enjoyed her visit all the better.

Unexpected Arrival
There I was lying in my hospital bed when I looked up and saw a familiar figure. It was Bobbie Grattan visiting me in Dun Laoghaire Rehab. Seeing so many faces Bobbie was slightly disoriented so I had the advantage on him. I bid Bobbie the time of day and the pair of us had a good chat before Bobbie departed again.




Handballers Go Leor!
Another well-known handballer to visit me in Dun Laoghaire was Billy Doran. 1957 was a great year for Billy when he won the two All-Ireland Junior Hardball titles partnered by Seamie Curran in the Doubles. Billy and Seamie also contested the Junior Softball Doubles final against Limerick’s outstanding players Tom McGarry and Martin Mullins who won the Senior Doubles title for the next two years. Billy met my brother James and myself on Ground Zero at Dun Laoghaire.

Tallaght Town Centre
When the Tallaght Town Centre opened I did not visit it for at least two years. In 1994 Dublin County Council was split into three sections and I went to South Dublin County Council. In the process, I moved from the City Centre to Tallaght Town Centre. Thereafter I visited Tallaght Town Centre on a daily basis usually buying my clothes there. Tony Buckley promised to bring me to where ever I wanted to go so we went to the Tallaght Town Centre to do some shopping. While there we met Nuala Byrne (nee Cowley) who gave me a warm welcome. Nuala used to work in Janet’s where I often met her but more recently she has been helping with some of her grandchildren. On March 14 next her husband Tommy will be nine years dead.

The Commons
My Heaphy ancestors lived in The Commons, Co. Tipperary. Over the last number of years I have visited The Commons several times. In the process I have got to know Michael and Annie Heaphy and their daughter Eileen. The Heaphys play a prominent part in the life of The Commons. Eileen plays a key role in the production of the villages annual Journal which Eileen sends to me. As far as I know these are the only Heaphys now in The Commons. Are they relations of mine – I do not know. One elderly man, now deceased, thought all the Heaphys in the area were related.

Eileen tells me Tommy Kavanagh, her next-door neighbour and great friend, passed away on May 9th and that they are still heartbroken. To them Tommy was a family member and said that Eileen was like a sister to him. He was always there since Eileen was born and he was the best neighbour in the world. When my New Zealand relations, Val Wood (nee Heaphy) and her sons Simon and Nick, visited The Commons in 1989 Tommy’s mother was still alive but she too has died since. Val’s husband Colin was also with her on that trip.

One Hundred
My relation and friend on the Heaphy side, Margaret Rodney, celebrated her 100th birthday on May 13. At the time I was unaware of what was going on around me but, prior to my stroke, we had spoken of her birthday on a number of occasions. Her sister Kate Bahr died in December 2005 aged 93 having been an invalid for 10 years. Kate’s husband Vic lovingly looked after Kate during those 10 years and is still alive. Margaret’s brother Philip died in August 2003 aged 88 while her sister May Keane died in September 2001 aged 97.


Other visitors
Former Kildare Chief State Solicitor, Charlie Coonan, paid me a visit in Ballymore-Eustace on Saturday December 1, 2007. Apparently he tried to visit me in Intensive Care Naas but was not allowed to do so.

Michael Coleman paid me a visit in Naas Hospital on his way to a venue in the midlands. Since getting home Michael has emailed me. Michael’s visit was unique in that he worked on the administration side for South Dublin County Council but often joined me at our “elevens”.

Bill
I read with interest Bill Lawlor’s handball letter in the December issue of the Bugle. At 87 years of age, Bill is the doyen of our most successful players. In 1953 he made history when he became the first Ballymore-Eustace player to win the two All-Ireland Junior Hardball titles. At the time it was very difficult to win even one title. By winning the two titles, Bill won a third of all hardball titles then available to handballers. Paddy Monaghan partnered Bill in his Doubles success. Bill’s handball career came to an abrupt end when he suffered a broken leg. After his career in handball Bill made a success of dog racing both as a trainer and owner.

Big Foot
In the seventies I went to a film on the life of Johnny Cash. The film contained many songs by Johnny one of which kept going around my head. I learnt that the song was called “Big Foot” but I never heard it again until recently. I can thank my nephew Philip and the modern wonders of computers for this experience.

Departed
I was very sorry to see that Arthur O’Neill of Brannockstown had died on December 11 at St Vincent’s Hospital, Athy after a long illness. Arthur was pre-deceased by his wife the late Anna and is survived by his five sons and four daughters. His sister Sadie, daughter-in-law, sons-in-law and grandchildren also survive him. Arthur was a thorough gentleman who never failed to ask about my late father when he was unwell and Arthur and I met.

© Matt Purcell (January 2008)
La Primavera

Botticelli’s Painting of Dante’s Paradise
Dante Alighieri’s trilogy, known to us as The Divine Comedy, is comprised of his visitations, firstly to Hell, then to Purgatory and finally to Paradise (Heaven), recorded successively as the eternally horrific punishments in Hell for those who willfully do wrong, the appeasement of those who repent before death but who must be cleansed in Purgatory, before entering the presence of God in Paradise.

Dante is believed to have been much influenced by a poem called The Vision of Tundale, the trials of a wealthy Irishman of bad repute who one day was struck by an affliction, such that one side of his body went stone cold, the other side luke-warm, so that his burial became a matter of dispute between his friends and enemies. On the third day, to the consternation of both parties, he became alive again, revealing his vision of the aforementioned afterlife in the company of an Angel, telling of the horrors of Hell, of the tribulations in Purgatory, and of the eventual joy of Paradise. That ‘vision’ was later written and translated into Latin by the Irish Benedictine monk Marcus, from Cashel, newly resident at the Cistercian Abbey of St. James, Regensberg, in Germany, and dated 1149. Its seeming exactness of detail compared to other ‘visions’, gained it a great popularity as a comfort towards the ‘after-life’ of death, acting as a tether or anchor to a greater or lesser degree for all societies, pagan and otherwise, and a consolation against the darkness of an unknown future existence in that place ‘from whence no man has yet returned.’ But Purgatory itself created a distinct dilemma. Was it a place, and if so, what was its geography? If it was a ‘state’, what was its structure? These questions were clarified, but not until the Council of Trent in 1545. Dante’s poem was written between 1307 and 1321.
The translation of Tundale’s ‘Vision’ into Middle English is quite difficult to read, just like Chaucer’s translation of de Lorris’ (a troubadour) Romance of the Rose, yet raw as the syntax in both may be (against today’s), both Tundale and Dante draw a very beautiful picture of the ‘state’ of Purgatory itself, but only when souls eventually reach the seventh terrace, the area defined as Paradise on Earth, closest to Heaven. On his journey, Dante was accompanied by Virgil, another poet, author of the Aeneid, whose experiences of the underworld when Aeneas went to visit his father, proved beneficial.

If, as is claimed, Dante relied on Tundale for the general structure of the composition and the visions, Dante’s refining qualities transformed the scene of the Earthly Paradise in Purgatory to a gentle, delicate, even sensual picture in words, yet having been cleansed of all human desire, carnal sensuality was impossible, and the sublime could not exist. The picture is one of innocence, and Dante was also aware of the theological rules and doctrines concerning Purgatory. But still, Dante’s lady friend, Beatrice, who is ever present in his mind weights heavily on his consciousness, and as he first entered the garden of Earthly Paradise (Eden), he described the ecstatically beautiful Matilde (Beatrice), sweet and mellifluous, una donna soletta che si gia (‘a donna all alone who walked along’), and who (‘made a gift to me, she raised her eyes’) is to lead him to a procession where qui primavera sempre (where spring is eternal), and which imagery is later transposed to picture form for all the world to admire, by Sandro Botticelli, when at the behest of Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de Medici, he drew images for each of the one hundred cantos of the Divine Comedy.
Among them, is what is arguably the most beautiful painting the world has seen or ever will see, La Primavera (The Springtime), a celebration of the expectation of joy – and in that celebration at the crossroads of life and death, where sensual love in life becomes at once a heavenly love, devoid of human intimacy, and was of its time, Platonic Love, presented and drawn with much ambiguity by Botticelli from Dante’s perspective of his own crossroads, confused, for Dante had to return to his earthly abode.

For Botticelli however, his own needs and the desires of his patron too, had to be gratified, and when the veil of ambiguity is raised from the very same painting, exposing the erotic world of the younger Medici Princes in vita activa, as classical mythology merged with the new world, and so the scene is imaginatively re-drawn. Beatrice becomes Venus, Goddess of Love, as the centerpiece, and the appearance of The Three Graces, scented, dancing in romantic whirlwind, dressed sensuously in diaphanous gowns, add lyricism and movement, while on the right, Flora, in splendid sophistication, who was the beautiful Matilde when Dante first entered the garden, is now the Goddess of Spring, resplendent, gathering flowers – in vita voluptuosa.

(Picture of Primavera)























To her left, Adam seizes Eve, who, regretful of what once had been, seeks redemption and still wants to play around, but it is too late, the scene had changed. On the far left, Mercury casts away a threatening cloud. The background scene reveals a garden of wonder, vita contemplativa, endless in its bounty.

The painting is so rarified and detailed that each leaf of each tree has received the personal attention of the artist, and are meticulously drawn so that from the stalk, the spine proceeds, as left and right the veins spread out on either side, providing sustenance, ‘till at the very edge, tiny spikes protrude in protection. A botanist has estimated that such was the attention to detail in this composition, and to the satisfaction to his patron, Botticelli has included no less than forty different species of flower.

For close on five hundred years, the drawings commissioned by de Medici from Botticelli have been closeted in the Vatican or in private collections around Europe. During the 1800’s, a collection of eighty four of these was assembled by two German museums, the other eight remaining with the Vatican; and when in 1997 it was decided to put the full collection together for an international display, it was realised only then that the original drawing for La Primavera on sheepskin, had been in the German collection, hidden from the public for five centuries.
In essence, there is great beauty in both The Vision of Tundale and Dante’s Divine Comedy, for in the fullness of reality, they both teach temperance of people towards one another and which of course is, the gift of peace.
To have seen all of this in Botticelli’s painting at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, is to have lived happily in the presence of the painter and the two poets, Dante and Virgil, as much as it was to have had the pleasure of meeting their truly beautiful lady-friends. Michael Ward.

And then appeared to me - as things appear
that suddenly in wonder will deflect
the claims of every other thought we have –
a donna all alone who walked along,
singing and choosing flowers to pluck from flowers
that painted all the way she went upon.

e la m’aparve – si com’elli appare
subitamente cosa che disvia
per maraviglia tutto altro pensare –
una donna soletta che si gia
e cantando e scegliendo fior da fiore

ond’ era pinta tutta la sua via.



Ballymore Eustace GAA Club
Juvenile Football & Hurling
The News: It’s all quiet on the playing front for the
Juveniles at the moment but that gives us time to
plan for the new playing year.
The U-14, U-15 and U-16 teams will amalgamate
with Two-Mile-House and Eadestown and play as St
Oliver Plunketts again this year. It is also planned to
play a separate U-14 tournament as Ballymore
Eustace against both Two-Mile-House and
Eadestown. The U-14 team will commence training
in the first week of February, all players will be
contacted in advance. The AGM for St Oliver
Plunketts will be held in Eadestown on Tuesday 22-
Jan at 8:00, please support.
All other teams from U-13 down will continue to
play as Ballymore Eustace in the South Board
Leagues, Go-Games and blitz's. The Ballymore
Juvenile AGM will be held in the last week of
February, date will be advised later.
It is also hoped to enter a girls team into the county
league this year. This will also be discussed at the
AGM.
Hurling Tale: Wexford is one of the most famous
hurling counties in Ireland, the Wexford Co. Jersey
in terms of colour is one of the most striking. The
yellow band that is part of this (although not so
prominent in today's) jersey is linked back in history
to the early 1800's.
During the summer three BME Juvenile hurlers
while on a trip to Tintern Abbey were given a task
by the tour guide to answer the following question,
'How did Wexford people come to be known as 'The
Yellow Bellies'?
In the tower there is a display room with various
items relating to the Abbeys history. There is a
number of filing cabinets with old documents, also
as each cabinet drawer is opened an audio is played
detailing the information contained in it. The young
hurlers got busy trying to find the answer to the
question.
It was after the dissolution of the monasteries in
1536 by King Henry VIII Tintern Abbey and its
lands was granted to Anthony Colclough, an officer
in his army in 1541.
The Abbey remained in the Colclough family down
through the generations and in 1814 was inherited by
Ceaser Colclough.
Ceaser Colclough was friendly with King William
III and when they meet Ceaser talked a lot about
how good the Wexford hurlers were. King William
challenged Ceaser Colclough to bring a Wexford
team over to England to play a match against a
Cornish team. The Wexford men were given a
royal reception and prior to the game Sir Ceaser
gave his team a glass of whiskey and told them to
tie a yellow kerchief around their middles so that
they would be easily recognised on the field. The
Wexford men hurled their opponents off the field
that day (they had trained very hard). After the
game King William and his Queen were heard to
shout ''well done you Yellow Bellies''. This name
stuck and is a proud part of Wexford's history.
Also the name Bolger (a well known Wexford
surname) when translated back to Irish is !!!!!,
Tintern Abbey
BME Juvenile Supporters ( the weather was a bit
better here)
Coaching motto: Children first, winning second
Ballymore Eustace GAA Club
Juvenile Football & Hurling
Its all about having a bit of fun
Coaching motto: Children first, winning second