Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tim's Diary

After the disappointments of Cheltenham it was heartening to see Mr. Top Notch give Conor O’Dwyer a fairytale ending with Davy Fitzgerald’s big charge romping home in Fairyhouse. Hats off to Big John’s brother who owns him. Big man, big horse.
No less than Conor deserved for his swansong. A pity about his outing in Aintree where BJ came a cropper.

Staying with fairytales, what about Timmy Murphy in the Aintree national. Aside complete from the fact of having a few quid on him wasn’t it a marvelous outcome for TJ. Any student of the form book would have been amazed at the generous weight the horse was given. Timmy gave him a copybook ride, keeping him well out of trouble, he must have covered five miles during the race. Donn McLean and himself will have to sit down to add a few chapters to his book “Riding the Storm,” to cover this latest adventure. before you go on the hunt for the book don’t forget Michael Wards great piece on the Murphy dynasty in one of the Punchestown specials a few years ago.

As you will know the Breener had a spell in hospital recently. He is well on the mend and should be leading the pilgrimage to Punchestown soon. On a visit to him I met Fr. Paddy Dowling who was based here in the 60’s. He is retired for a couple of years but keeps an interest in Ballymore through the Bugle. He is currently involved in a project cataloguing all the notable artifacts in the churches of the diocese. He is in great form and sends greetings to anyone who remembers him in the village.

I have heard that it is a chipper, a wine bar, a coffee shop but whatever goes on the site of Balfes old drapery shop will be brand spanking new. The old building was taken down in double quick time and work on the new one is proceeding apace. The suspense is killing me.

Don’t forget to support your local outlets during the races. Ardenode Country House Hotel, The Ballymore Inn, Poulaphouca House and the Thatch all have extended opening hours, the last two open for hearty breakfasts. Costcutters, Deegan’s Daybreak and Fogarty’s Quikpick all have tasty food to go. Paddy Murphys and Mick Murphys both will lash out creamy pints during and after the racing. Look in on John & orene from Gallery & Gifts in the shopping village at Punchestown.

Orlagh Deegan & Caroline Darby are off to Sydney in July for World Youth Day where they will be representing Ballymore Parish. We are having a few fundraisers to help out with the dosh so come along to the Resource Centre this weekend Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th. Coffee, nice things and raffles. Please support as you always do.
Matt’s Memories

Doyles of the Dairy
The late Jack Doyle and his wife Mag Doyle were big figures of life in Ballymore-Eustace during the fifties and before. Jack and Mag lived in the two-storey house at the junction of The Square and Truce Road. Mag was a McGee of Bishophill. They had a family of one boy and six girls. Back then we all got our milk at Mag’s dairy.

Their son Jim headed to Canada and afterwards he travelled “down under”. At the time that was quite unusual and I guess we all felt a little bit jealous of him. In due course he returned to Ireland and eventually took up residence in the bungalow opposite the new school (1956) where he spent the rest of his days with his wife and family.

Apart from holidays, Kathleen spends her time at her bungalow on Truce Road. Over the years Kathleen has contributed to many worthwhile ventures, the most recent being her contributions to the Senior Citizens party. Some years ago, she also helped care for my late mother. Kathleen married Peter Lawler who was only sixty years of age when he died. Peter was a brother of Myles, Bill and a sister whose name I do not know. He was also a brother of the late “Tot”. In the fifties, Peter was a key figure in the local non-stop draw that funded many of the late Monsignor Browne’s plans for the Catholic Church, school and dispensary.

Joan’s married name is Steed; she and her family are regular visitors to Ballymore-Eustace, usually in the company of her sisters.

Like Kathleen, Claire has been involved in many worthwhile ventures. I usually associate her with selling items at sales of work and of course, badminton. For many years, Claire worked at Ardenode for the Mullions family. Claire likes reading and now lives at The Square in the house where Miss Headon the schoolteacher used to live.

Gay and Ann
Gay and Ann Doyle both went to Dun Laoghaire Dominican convent. In time, my sister Margaret joined them there for the last two years of her school life. Gay married her namesake Sean Doyle of The Seasons while Ann married Jimmy McLoughlin of Bolabeg. As we have come to expect from the Doyles, Ann has been to the forefront when it comes to good causes and was one of our nominees for person of the year in 2007.

As readers of the Bugle will know, Trish died recently after a short illness. Her son John, her grandchildren and her five sisters survive her. Her only brother Jim died four years ago.

Being organised
Some years ago, I found it helpful being organised. Over the years, I have accumulated a large volume of information that is very useful in regard to my Bugle writings. Sometimes I surprise myself with all the information I have. That said, since my stroke, I am sometimes unsure of myself.

Mona Nugent (nee McLoughlin)
At the recent Senior Citizens Party Mona Nugent was seated quite close to me. Usually Mona attends these events with her sister Patty (Mrs Jenning) but this time she was accompanied by her son Pat, her daughter Sheila Reynolds and Sheila’s husband. Mona gave me a warm welcome and we had a good chat. Some years ago I visited Hollywood Cemetery and one of the graves I came across was that of Mona’s late husband Paddy who was only sixty-nine when he died.

My First Stroll
The day was a lovely spring day so I took my first stroll along the Dodder. This was a trip I was used to making. Before Christmas I had often gone walking with my youngest brother in Tymon Park and on one occasion, I even went for a long walk there on my own.

With the weather staying good, I made the trip along the Dodder on several occasions. I guess the Dodder reminds me a bit of the Liffey.

Person of the Year 2008
I was pleased to see from the Bugle that our Fás team consisting of Frankie Burke, Tom Barker and Martin Deegan were successful in winning the 2008 award. Unfortunately, I was not present to endorse their success but I whole-heartedly concur with the adjudicators’ judgment in the matter.

Saw where C.J. O’Reilly’s ‘Sea Diva’ finished fourth in the Punchestown Grand National Trial over three and a half miles on February 3. He never threatened the first two trained by Noel Meade and was twenty-one lengths behind the third horse.

Saw where ‘Cork All Star’ (the Exors. of the late Cathal M. Ryan) was again placed over hurdles. The race was run at Leopardstown. Cork All Star has won five of his ten races including the big Bumper at Cheltenham in 2007. While Cork All Star has always run well over hurdles he has only won once over them to-date. At Cheltenham on March 11, he was seventh to another Irish horse, Captain Cee Bee, in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Supreme Novices' Hurdle over two miles and a furlong. Next year he may do better when he goes chasing.

Trainer D. McCain Junior’s Khachaturian did me a good turn when he won at 37/1 at Uttoxeter on March 15. I also had him backed for a place at about 7/1. As a result, I recovered all my Cheltenham loses with a bit to spare.

Mister Top Notch
Saw where ‘Mister Top Notch’ won at Fairyhouse on March 24, giving Conor O’Dwyer a winner for his last ride. For many years, Conor was one of our top jockeys over hurdles and fences and will be best remembered for his successful rides on ‘Hardy Eustace’ at Cheltenham. Mister Top Notch is a nine year old and to-date he has won seven of his twenty-seven races with Conor on board for four winning rides.

On February 23 as I was buying my copy of the Bugle at Janet’s, I met Jimmy Murphy for the first time since he was missing and I am happy to report he was obviously making good progress since his bad experience.

Mobile Phone
Before my illness, mobile phones were strictly for emergencies. As a result, I accumulated a good bit of credit on my phone. Thanks to one of my nephews and one of my nieces and the staff at Naas and Dun Laoghaire Hospitals, I learnt how to use my phone, especially for texting, and soon got rid of my credit!

Ipod Shuttle
Arriving home to Braemor Avenue I missed broadband on my PC and also the digital programmes, including At The Races, on my TV. In due course, these were installed for me and in recognition of this BT, sent me a present of an Ipod Shuttle. While I had heard of Ipods, I had no idea as to what they did. This time my youngest nephew came to my rescue and I now have all my favourite tunes (two hundred and thirty six of them!) on my Ipod.

I suppose I should be offering tips for Punchestown but the truth is I know nothing about this year’s from, as yet. It’s probably a bit optimistic of me to expect that this year I’ll get to go but who knows…..

My youngest nephew, Phil, brought me to Ballymore-Eustace several weeks ago. While there, Phil attended to a number of jobs while I took it easy at the front of the house. I heard a familiar voice enquiring as to how I was. It was my next-door neighbour Tommy Deegan who was very good to me when I was first ill.

We were about to turn off the “Late, Late Show” when Kris Kristofferson appeared on it. As my youngest brother and I were due to see Kris perform at the Olympia Theatre, we decided to watch his contribution. He clearly had a cold which we hoped would be better by the following Thursday; better or not, he turned up for his show at The Olympia, singing several of his best-known songs in the first-half but as time went by he became more relaxed and sang better. In the second half, he sang a lot of new material that sounded good to me. At the end, he sang three encores for us! Another Kris fan that night was Avril Mullins. James and I got talking to Avril who is second in command in South Dublin County Council Law Department

Anne and Ted
Nowadays, I don’t often meet my Two-Mile-House cousins, Anne and Ted Keegan. Occasionally, they come to evening mass in Ballymore on Saturday and that’s where I last saw them. At the time I was chatting to Eugene Gilroy, outside the Church, when I recognised them. Excusing myself (at least I hope I did), I went over to talk to them. In recent years Anne herself has had several medical complaints so hence, I had met her several times in Naas Hospital where they visited me or I bumped into them. In his younger days, Ted was a good athlete and won the Corban Cup at Punchestown on a number of times.

Extended Family
As already explained my family and extended family were very good to me when I was sick. In saying that, I’m thinking of William and his brother Matt from Naas. William on many occasions brought me (and my equipment) for long walks while I was in Naas Hospital. I appreciated this very much. Matt did much the same for me but in addition, he also visited me on several occasions when I was in Dun Laoghaire.

Ann-Marie and Philip from Dublin were also very helpful to me. Philip visited me both in Naas and Dun Laoghaire. For her part, Ann-Marie was my mainstay when I was in Dun Laoghaire, taking me for a drive or walk and treated me to lovely meals. My thanks to you all!

Walter Coote McClintock of Wellbank died on March 24 at Naas General Hospital. His wife Vida (nee Greene) sons, daughters, daughters-in-law and grandchildren survive Walter who was buried in the adjoining grounds to the Brannockstown Baptist Church.
Johnny Clarke of Broadleas died suddenly on March 26 R.I.P. His wife Margaret (nee Murphy), sons - Pat and John, daughters - Mary, Anne, Nuala and Oonagh, brother, sisters, daughters-in-law, sons-in-law, grandchildren, nieces and nephews survive Johnny who was buried in the adjoining cemetery to St. Kevin's Church, Hollywood.
Jason King of Broadleas died on March 27 following a long illness R.I.P. His parents Kathleen (nee Mahon) and Tom, his brothers - Stephen and David, his grandmother Kitty, grandfather Tom, aunts, uncles, grandaunts, granduncles, cousins and his great friends Finn and Doc survive Jason who was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Ballymore- Eustace.
© Matt Purcell (March 29, 2008)
FR KEVIN LYON - PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITIONRUSSBOROUGH HOUSE, BLESSINGTON, CO. WICKLOW10TH – 18TH MAY 2008An Exhibition of Fr Kevin Lyon’s photographs will be held in Russborough House, Blessington, Co. Wicklow from 10th – 18th May 2008. Fr Kevin Lyon, Archdeacon of Glendalough and based at Crosschapel in Blessington, is an award winning photographer whose work can be seen in card and calendar form as well as appearing in the recently published book ‘Ceiliuradh’. His photographs have been the subject of two guide books, Vale of Avoca (1967 – which ran to 12 editions) and Croghan Valley (1969). His artistic eye and his talent for spotting good composition won him The Pentax Prize in 1964 and The Slattery Prize in 1967.Fr. Lyon took up photography seriously in the latter part of the 1950’s, when he was posted to the parish of Coolock-Artane. He photographed the entire parish which was in his pastoral care. Today, this area is divided into five parishes. His photographs, which are mostly in slide form, are now in the care of the Marist Fathers in Coolock as an historical record of the entire area.When Fr Lyon moved to the parish of Avoca in 1963, his slide shows and accompanying commentary filled the local Avonmore Hall and Ballycoog Hall to capacity on Sunday nights. As a result of these shows, the guide books ‘Vale of Avoca’ and ‘Croghan Valley’ came into being. The slide show was called ‘Avoca Review’. Half a crown for adults, one shilling for children!Today, Fr Kevin Lyon is as busy as ever with his camera. He produces wonderful notelets and cards, suitable for every occasion, which are very much in demand in the Blessington area.The Exhibition at Russborough will be open between 11.00am and 3.00pm. each day.

Why meditate and what are the benefits?

The first principal of mediation is to be able and to learn to narrow attention to a manageable level. The aim is to free the consciousness from the over ridding control of the logical conscious mind, in other words to cease the consistent chatter of the mind, the talking to self which can dominate our waking lives.

Mindful Meditation, which will be taught on the six-week course, will be to focus on the breath. This may sound simple but as many of us know only too well, it can prove difficult to focus single mindedly on one mental target, our undisciplined habits of mind are hard to break. In the practice over the six weeks you will learn many techniques to achieve a still quiet mind.

Meditation tends to alter the way your existence is experienced. Meditation is one of the paths where we experience a sense of inner peace. Whichever usage you want to make of meditation, physical well-being or spiritual experience or both, it can bring positive and beneficial improvements to your present condition.

Mindful meditation is not linked to any religion and accepts all creeds.

My aim as your teacher of this profound practice is to assist you to empty the conscious mind and thereby clearing stressful and self-limiting thoughts. As we learn to be still and go within, you begin to transcend the everyday level of consciousness, the clutter of the here and now and move towards opening up pathways to the unconscious mind.

Benefits of Meditation:

It reduces high blood pressure
Reduces or eradicates dependency on addictive substances
Reduces Depression
Lowers Stress levels and anxiety and panic attacks
Helps with insomnia and sleep disturbances
Increases energy levels

Meditation is a soulful and meaningful discipline in our lives assisting us to appreciate the quiet, stillness and reverence within our heart selves and assist us to connect mind, body and spirit.

Who is your teacher?

Margaret Lawlor Dip RCc, Dip IICH qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Counsellor and Mindful Meditation Practitioner.

I have worked in the field of Health & Wellness for over 25 years and my deepest desire is to share my knowledge, experience and a way forward, which may assist in each and every one of ours ability to experience and cope with life in more harmony and peace.

“ To reach your inner most feelings, to touch the soul of who you are and know it, is a path that requires discipline, reverence and going within to the silence of the here and now”.

Where: Ballymore Eustace Village Parish Hall
When: Tues 8th April to May 6th
Time: 7pm to 9pm

Donation : For the Six Weeks Wages €130 Unwaged €80 All considered please chat to me

Saturday 19th of April
Punchestown Festival Queen, doors Open 7.30pm
Tuesday 22nd of April
Parade starts in Liffey Heights 7pm
Street disco by D.J. Murt from 8pm untill10pm
with prizes for best costume’s
Wednesday 23rd of April
Battle of the Bands from 7pm until 10pm
Thursday 24th of April
Guinness Jazz Festival Band starts 7pm
Bar Man or womens race 8pm
After the race the Guinness Band continues until 10pm
Friday 25th of April
Music from Funky Junction, playing from 7.30pm until 10pm
Saturday 26th of April
Music by Hollywoods Traditional Irish Music group ‘Ark’
7pm until 10pm
The Puchestown Festival Queen Competition takes place in Poulaphouca House on Saturday April 19th, doors open 7.30. The place will be jammed so get there early.
The Judges, Frances Ward Jones from Angel Eyes, Matt Browne, Kildare person of the Year supremo, and Laura Coates from the Leinster leader will have their work cut out.

The Michael Ward Prize
For creative writing

In recognition of the huge contribution made by Michael Ward to the Bugle
A competition for writers of prose of any age.
A piece of not more than 1500 words.
Closing date 30th June 2008.
Please submit your piece to the address or e-mail address below.
If you submit a hard copy please ensure that you also copy it to us electronically.
The winner will receive 250 euro.
Judging Panel headed by Michael Ward.

The Billy Evans Memorial Prize
For local poets

Billy Evans was a great exponent of poetry in Ballymore, this prize is in memory of him.
A competition for poets of all ages.
A poem of not more than 500 words.
Closing date 30th June 2008.
Please submit your piece to the address or e-mail address below.
If you submit a hard copy please ensure that you also copy it to us electronically.
The winner will receive 250 euro.
Judging Panel headed by Rose Barrett O’Donoghue

The Chris Dennison Prize
For local photographers

In recognition of the contribution made by Chris to the Bugle and village life in general.
A competition for photographers young and old.
Theme: Village life in Ballymore Eustace
Closing date 30th June 2008.
Please submit your photos to the address or e-mail address below.
We ask you to submit a print as well as an electronic copy.
The winner will receive 250 euro.
Judging Panel headed by Chris Dennison

Terms and Conditions:
The works submitted should be previously unpublished.
By entering the competition you agree that the submissions may be published in the Ballymore Bugle or any of the associated websites.
We regret that we cannot guarantee to return any submissions.
Please include you contact details especially a contact phone number.
The decision of the Judges is final.
The Ballymore Bugle, Barrack Street, Ballymore Eustace, Co.Kildare.

Well, every woman likes to be ‘swept off her feet’ but not if it literally means being carried out of her home by the fire brigade! That’s exactly what happened to Kathleen Edgeworth recently during another horrific ‘flash flood’ on the Truce Road. Sadly, Kathleen’s little terrier, Sam, was trapped in the garden shed and did not survive. But where on earth is the flow of water coming from??

In sixty years living at the foot of “The Season’s” wood, Edgeworth’s house was only flooded badly once (thirty eight years ago) until January of this year when the yard was engulfed in water but the house, at least, was not badly damaged. Less than three months later, heavy rain resulted in the worst ever flooding for Kathleen (86) and my sister Laura’s house was just as bad.

In January, Laura’s ground floor and yard was flooded, sofas destroyed, floors and skirting board ruined, storage and electrics in the garage all rendered useless by the excess water. Worse still, her courier van and car were water-logged. Proper insurance is vital but it’s a poor comfort when you have two months of ‘drying out’ the house, ripping up flooring, having new plaster board applied and then re-painting. No one can re-pay you for your time spent sourcing new electrical equipment, new furniture and curtains or worse still, those personal ‘non replaceable’ items, little family souvenirs or treasured gifts.

Mrs Daly at the crossroads suffered severe damage too, carpets and furniture utterly destroyed, never mind the mess.

Truce Road
On the 31st March, I called down to Laura’s to see the yard in muck and the house much the same; heavy potted containers were swept from the back of the house along with bags of peat moss to the front gate. The Truce Road looked like a broken sheet of pastry, with repaired patches of tarmacadam simply lifting up and disappearing with the water.

Betty Cremins and Fiona Rigney’s experienced flooding – how could they not as the waters travelled down the road like something you’d see in a flood warning in South Asia..…
How do we prevent this happening again?? And where is the excess water coming from?? The Truce Road has always had problems with surface water and God knows, Eric Firth and Jimmy Pearse of the Tidy Towns have pointed this out in written and photographic submissions over the years on numerous occasions. Oddly enough, although the building of Scoil Mhuire didn’t flood this time, one half of the yard was covered in mud and the front lawn was again water-logged. Yet, the stream in Smith’s Laneway didn’t seem to have been affected and certainly didn’t burst its banks as one might have expected.

So where has the water gone or more to the point, where is the excess flow of water coming from??? I am forty eight years old and I don’t ever recall Tinnycross House being flooded.

The Brook of Donode
Anne Geddes on the Naas Road has had years of trying to cull the flooding from the Brook of Donode, from physically clearing the stream from behind her own backyard, past the bridge and further upstream. “I ring Kildare County Council about five times a year to clear surface debris and growth that gathers in the stream and Shane Roche in KCC has been very helpful.” This time, Anne’s backyard was for the most part underwater again but happily her dogs are kept in ‘higher accommodation” – “Still, when I let the dogs out on Monday 31st March, they just floated past me…….” Despite having a little paddock to the side of her house, Anne says the constant flooding is too dangerous for her to keep small farm animals.
The bridge at The Brook of Donode finally crumbled under the water pressure – and I can’t say I’m sorry about that after the all the ‘Mickey Mouse’ repairs it has undergone in recent years. Maybe now, the issue of the bridge being dangerous will be addressed and a new structure built? Mag Reilly’s new offices took a drowning too….

Sign of the times, sign of our changing climates and damage to the OZONE layer?? I don’t know but if I had to see my home gutted twice in three months, I’d be gunning for someone or something! You can argue about underground piping, re-routing the natural water flow but I must remind you that never in my lifetime did Tinnycross go ‘under water’ and Mrs Edgeworth only recalls serious flooding once in sixty years prior to 2008. Something amiss somewhere…….

Rose B O Donoghue 31/3/08

Further flooding affected both the school and the Coughlanstown areas. The Coughlanstown road was closes for a time. The road resembling the Grand Canal, the wooden timber seen being the newel post from a wooden deck.

Ballymore Eustace GAA Club
Juvenile Football & Hurling
The News:
The Juveniles are back in full swing with football
coaching on Friday evenings and hurling on Monday
evenings (time 6:30).
Orders are been taken at the moment for club jerseys,
any one interested please contact Eoghan Barrett for
The U12 girls played their first match on Sat. 7th v
Milltown and the the team were really excited. Both
players and supporters had a great morning.
Scoil Mhuire Ballymore Eustace 5th & 6th class football
team played their first schools league match v
Clogherinkoe N.S. on Tue. 8th of April in Ballymore
St Oliver Plunketts:
The minor team completed their league having played
Round Towers, Moorefield and Sarsfields. The team is
looking towards the Championship (Starts in June)
with training and challenge games organised. Playing
their league matches in Division 1 was a big ask for a
combined team only after coming together and
hopefully for the championship the team will be slotted
into a more appropriate group. BME players are Glen
Brown, Oisin Daly, Keith Fennel, Brian Murphy, Mark
Murphy, Michael Tutty, Garrett Clarke and James
The U16 team played 4 games to date in their league v
Na Finna, Suncroft, Maynooth, & Sarsfields. BME
players as follows: Cian O'Neill, Eddie Davis, Garry
U12 Girls in Milltown
Mahon, Mark Nolan & Owen Lyons.
The U14 team have progressed to the final of the
Feile B after winning their group with victories over
Suncroft, St. Laurences, and Carbury. In the quarterfinal
against St Kevin's (5-5 to 3-2) and in the semifinal
Confey (2-7 to 1-3). The final is to be played in
the County Grounds on Sun. 13th April at 3:30
(Confirmation Day in Ballymore). Good luck to the
team on the day.
BME players as follows: Robbie Boland, Michael
Stewart Byrne, Conor Davis, Adam Keogh Patrick
Langan, David Murphy, Shane Murphy, Stephen
Murphy, Alex Reck, & Mark Slevin. On a personal
note I want to congratulate all the BME lads (8 no.
will be U14 again next year) for their dedication and
commitment to this team and getting to the final. The
U14 league will commence shortly and also a Kildare
Co. Feile will be held on the 31st May. A panel of 24
players will have to be selected for this.
U11 Fixtures:
16th -April Milltown Away
23rd -April Grangenovel Away
30th -April Athgarvan Home
7th -May Kildangan Away
14th -May Ballykelly Home
21st -May Ballyteague Home
Community Games
U10 Football will commence on the 20th April v
Front Row: Amy Horan, Eve Maguire,Oonagh Deegan, Evie Carter, Heather Sammon, Ciara Fennan, Mayah
Sammon, Natasah Murphy, Aoife Luccan, Jennifer Mahon, Grace Kerr, Frank Murphy.
Middle Row: Shannon Browne, Shannon Doyle, Ciara Langan, Amy Kelly, Siobhan Murphy, Aoife Murphy,
Amy Mahon, Magaret Hayden, Ellen Carter, Lucy Field, Hazel Stewart Byrne, Cody Behan.
Back Row: Steve Deegan ,Mick Horan.
Coaching motto: Children first, winning second
Pat, Ella, Brian and Mike Fitzpatrick would like to thank our wonderful neighbours, friends and the community of Ballymore Eustace for their tremendous support on the tragic death of our beloved son and brother Tom. For being with us at our home, at the removal and burial, for your flowers, mass cards, messages of sympathy and many acts of kindness thank you all. Your generosity and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Communion 24th May.. No news since last Bugle except we had 3 county winners in the Annual Handwriting awards. Each school holds its own contest and the best entries are forwarded to the county final where they compete against all the other schools in Kildare. Scoil Mhuire was delighted to win both Gold and Silver medals by Fiona Field and Helen O'Sullivan respectively in the 5th class category and bronze was won by Lee McMullan of 2nd class.

St Vincent de Paul
Extended Opening Hours
Newly extended opening hours of the St. Vincent de Paul Shop on Church Street, Ballymore Eustace, are as follows: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm:: Saturday 2pm to 4pm. Donations of good quality adult and children's clothing, shoes, bedlinen, bric-a-brac, books etc always welcome. Tel 045 864977

Bowl Away
Come join the fun at the Bandhall on Tuesdays for weekly bowling – all welcome, 8.30pm start. Craic guaranteed, all ages welcome.

Cross and Passion College, Kilcullen are hosting their annual Summer Fair on May 11th at 2pm in the College grounds. This event has become very popular with both young and old and this year a selection of new stalls have been added to the wide array of attractions already there.Come along and enjoy a spin on the wheel of fortune where your almost always guaranteed to come away with a prize.Browse through our fabulous book stall and pick up some delicious cakes. All monies raised on the day will go towards funding of a computer room.

Walkers in aid of Breast Care - We Need YOU!
Man Many thanks to all who supported various local fundraisers in aid of Breast Care Unit in Tallaght Hospital over the past two years years. Please, if you are interested in walking/running in this year s Mini Marathon in aid of the Breast Care Unit, we would really appreciate it! Contact Edel Boland or Mary O Neill

Village Green Gardening Club.

We had a lively meeting in March with a presentation from Denise Gill on “Spring Colour in the Garden.” She encouraged everyone to get busy in the garden, starting by dividing snowdrops, feeding and deadheading daffodils which will give back energy to the bulbs. She showed beautiful purple and pink Hellebores which bloom all winter and look beautiful planted near purple Hebe for effect. Also lovely bright stems of Berberis in full orange flower.
Now is the time to plant Raspberries and Black and Red Currant. Strawberries too, and if space is tight use hanging baskets which also helps protect them against slugs. Plant Rocket and mixed lettuce in pots for easy, cut and come again. Plant seeds for colourful Summer flowering such as Delphiniums and Cornflowers. Give flowerbeds a feed of leaf mould if you have it. Use your fallen leaves next autumn to make some, just bag and leave to rot. There is always plenty to do in the garden… so get going.
Club members please note, the April meeting is one week early because of Punchestown. See you on Thursday April 17th at 7.30 in the Resource Centre. Jimi Blake will be there so you should not miss it!

Memories Are Made of This.
This pleasant piece of nostalgia is from the Westmeath Examiner (15.3.2008), and was written by columnist Bernie Comaskey. It was passed on to The Bugle by a well known, clean-shaven Laoisman of unknown vintage but of unerring judgement. Its title is: “And just how old must this man be…..?” Read on....(M.W.).

I saw a man this morning that I am sure that, like me, you will find it almost incomprehensible to consider the changes this man has lived through in one lifetime. Born into a fairly large family, he grew up in a two bed-roomed house which did not have electricity and the running water was in the nearby stream. This man witnessed more changes than had taken place from the beginning of time until he was born.
He was there before a halt was placed on Hitler’s rampage and before Waterford had ever won her first Hurling All-Ireland crown. He remembers when Cavan was the only Ulster County with an All-Ireland and before Offaly had a Leinster in either hurling or football.
President JF Kennedy one day drove within a few feet of where he stood and no man had yet walked on the moon. In his younger days grass was something which was cut with a horse drawn mowing machine and not handed over in toilets and dark alleys. “Making out” was stretching the couple of pounds weekly wage packet until the next pay day and people got married first and then lived together. “A fix” came in a little tin box from Dunlop’s and was used to mend another puncture on the bulging bicycle wheel tube. Ridges of potatoes were all that got laid and the music at dances all had to be made there on the spot. It took three weeks to get tpo America and this guy watched steam engines take off long before jet engines.
There were no phones or faxes in the house but he vividly remembers ration books on account of the war. Songs came out of a wind-up gramophone and the old people wondered what was the world coming to at all. De Valera eye-balled Churchill and young Joe Dolan was not yet an apprentice printer with the Westmeath Examiner. There was hardly a family that wasn’t losing a loved one to the curse of TB and he remembers the great Dr. Noel Browne banishing the disease to the history books.
There were no biros. Laser beams or disposal nappies. Not only that, there were no clothes dryers or dishwashers and the clothes were hung out in the fresh air to dry. This man had never heard of a credit card during the first half of his life and always believed that if you could not afford it you could not have it.
The only air conditioner was controlled by the hand of God and every house had a Mammy and a Daddy. Neighbours ensured that nobody needed group therapy – only of course, there was no such thing as therapy. “Gay” meant being full of fun, so there was no need for a gay rights march at all, at all. This man will tell you that there was respect for gardai, teachers, clergy, people in authority and the elderly. Young and old were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgement and common sense. All were taught the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for their actions.
The gentleman we are talking about remembers the time when doing a turn for a neighbour, serving the community or playing sport for club or county was regarded as a privilege, without thought of reward and our National Anthem received total respect – or an offender would get a box in the ear. In his young days he thought fast food was how quickly the occasional apple tart would disappear and a “meaningful relationship” meant getting on with your cousins. There was no television, FM radio, tape-decks, CD’s or electronic games. Nobody even heard of yogurt, but our man remembers stuff like it being fed to the pigs.
There were no pizzas or McDonalds; “penny bars” cost a penny and a “bulls eye” would fill any mouth. The guy saw pints of Guinness sold for 1s-3d – I suppose about ten cent. The “grass” was mowed, “coke” was a nice soft drink he couldn’t afford often, “pot” was what mammy boiled the spuds in and “rock music” was granny humming while cradling the baby brother to sleep. “software” was a woolly cap and “hardware” was a shop. A “chip” was a splinter of wood you got in your ass from sliding down a plank and “aids” was the grant paid for building on a new bathroom.
He recalls Ronnie Delaney as a school boy and remembers Tony O’Reilly playing rugby; and eating rabbits free of myxomatosis. There was no satellite in space and global warming meant turning up the wick gradually on the paraffin lamp so as to avoid cracking the globe. To him, it only seems like yesterday that children walked to school, adults rode their bicycles to church, shops and dances and most families sadly were aware that the fare to England on the cattle boat, was two pounds.
The man I tell you about is truly happy for all the changes which have benefited mankind, but he reflects on how astonishing it is that all of these have come together in his lifetime. So, how old must this man be, I hear you wonder? Surely he must be an advanced centenarian? A curiosity parked up in some remote nursing home where life magazine features his photo from time to time? Or perhaps he could be passing his final days in a home for the bewildered, studied daily by eminent medical and psychiatric teams?
No, dear readers, you don’t have to go that far to find our man. Where did I see him, you all call out together and I shall tell you. When I was shaving this morning he looked me straight in the eye!!
Don’t forget….character grows is the soil of experience, with the fertilization of example, the moisture of desire and the sunshine of satisfaction.

on passing by- again
The King is Dead. Long live the King.!
At last a change at the top for the Soldiers of Destiny as Bertie has finally awoken to the fact that his continued fractious dealings with the lawyers in the Mahon Tribunal are taking politicians minds away from the real job of running the country. I presume he knows that Mahon is not going to go away just because Bertie has resigned and I am sure there will be a lot more information winkled out which will show Bertie in a none too favourable light. I am also quite interested in what certain Ministers and T.D.s will have to say for themselves if it turns out their unequivocal support was in fact incorrect and was offered less in loyalty than in spineless self preservation.
The loyal retainer, Brian Cowen, has ascended to the throne, but unfortunately it is hard not to think that some items in his new regalia may turn out to be poisoned chalices.
His ascension to the top of the Fianna Fail tree, and more than likely to the position of Taoiseach, is going to leave a lot of very unhappy courtiers in his official entourage. Certain Ministers, such as Mary Hanafin, may find that Minister Cowen has quite a long memory and will be in no mood to reward people who he feels have in the past hung some of Fianna Fail’s laundry out to dry in full view of the public.
What seemed like self serving asides to the media not too long ago may well come back a-haunting with a vengeance. Then again with Fianna Fail you never know what they could come up with.
Given that Mr Cowen is a shoe in for Taoiseach is it likely that he will continue as Minister for Finance in the current political climate or is the position up for grabs. With the number of Ministers who are quietly trying to restrict conversation about their singular lack of success in previous departments its hard to see who would be a safe pair of hands for the job.
Mr Lenihan is being touted as the best candidate for Tanaiste. Despite what many would see as a lack of experience at this level of government he is at least relatively “ clean “ in the past mistakes and scandals stakes. He is from a family which is steeped in Irish politics and appears to have a good relationship with both his fellow Fianna Fail colleagues and members of the opposition, which might prove very important as the country faces into at least a small downturn.
Unfortunately I can’t see much of a change for my old pals, Mr’s Roche and Cullen. They would probably be happy just to be left where they are. Then again with Mr Roche’s unenviable reputation for getting peoples backs up with his particular brand of condescension , now might be a good time to move him before he turns people against the Lisbon Treaty.
And what of the man himself? His past Ministries haven’t exactly been overwhelmingly successful. His time in Foreign Affairs was fairly lacklustre even with the opportunities presented by the Northern Ireland talks. As Minister for Health, which he famously likened to running Angola, his performance definitely wasn’t anything to write home about and in some instances exacerbated an already desperate situation.
His recent spell at Finance has shown a steady if uninnovative hand. He has failed miserably to tackle the gravy train which is the public service and as Minister has reneged on the tax cuts promised by Bertie Ahern in his pre budget undertakings.
He does seem to be genuinely popular with backbenchers and despite public pronouncements many of these have been getting uncomfortable questions from constituents regarding Berties private financial arrangements and the obviously far fetched excuses for same. What is really galling a lot of people is the barefaced way in which these explanations can be changed when it is pointed out that they do not match the facts. Perhaps the new leader can attempt to distance both himself and the party from Mr Ahern, albeit while still offering their full support etc. etc.
One area where Mr Cowen really will have to make changes is in his rottweiler approach to opponents in the Dail and in interviews. Being the attack dog had obvious benefits when he was under control of his master, Mr Ahern, but now that he himself is the master it will not go down as well. Continued sniping and growling at the likes of Mr Kenny and Mr Gilmore will not go down well with the wider public. Despite the years of scandal involving senior Fianna Fail politicians and party workers the public still expect a certain degree of decorum and statesmanship from the top brass. Whether we can expect this change is open to argument but I suspect Mr Cowen’s expensive advisors will waste no time putting him on the right path. Lets wait and see!

One of the more shocking photographs of recent weeks was the one of Bertie and other Fianna Fail ministers at the Dail as he announced his resignation. Who do we espy in the photo only the Green Party leader, Mr John Gormley, a man who spent years castigating Fianna Fail and any other party which went into coalition with them. Now he has become so close that he feels he should be the only non Fianna Fail person in the photo. Will the man stop at nothing?

All for now. Mike Edmonds.
The Times That Are In It. with Jeffers.

Well, Paddy’s Day has come and gone and we were left to our own devices and undefended for several days while our Government took off to various foreign parts leaving Willie O’Dea in charge. No problem there sez you, for we once saw a picture of Willie with gun in hand and a threatening look on his face that would deter any terrorist who might have had plans to invade. Personally, I had every confidence in Willie, but the thing that stuck in my craw was the shear effrontery of those, who, when asked if their journey was really necessary, replied that they were selling Ireland. Why couldn’t they be honest and say that they were on a junket. Selling Ireland and it’s products is done by men who catch the ‘red eye’ flight out of Dublin or Cork and if lucky get back on the same day. If they have to stay a day or two abroad they don’t stay in hotels that cost over a €1000 per night. We also have the Tourist Board doing a good job of selling Ireland so come clean lads and stop conning the public. We are not amused Bye the bye there was a threat of strike by Aer Lingus just before Paddy’s Day; it didn’t take place, but some wag wrote a letter to the press suggesting that they wait till after Paddy’s Day; that would ensure that our wandering politicians wouldn’t get back! He had a point.
I wonder, I really do wonder, what our ‘roving ambassadors’ talk about or how do they put in the time when being entertained by their hosts in foreign climes. When visiting dignitaries come to our shores we don’t spare the treatment. Wined and dined of the best and a place to rest their heads in that Pile in the Park that cost us millions. No expense spared. They certainly don’t visit busy A@ E departments on a Saturday night watching over stressed doctors and nurses trying to separate drunks from those who are seriously needing attention. Did George take Bertie on a flying visit to Guatanamo Bay to have a chat with the Lads behind the wire? The very least they’d expect would be for Bertie to put in a word for them when back at the Whitehouse! Incidentally I wonder what happens to the bowl of shamrock delivered with great fanfare. Does it go to the thrash can next day, or is it shipped off to Crawford, Texas, there to be planted and nurtured? Here I must let you in on a secret, over the years I’ve been on a junket or two myself, and can categorically state that when the wine and brandy flows over dinner, the after dinner talk, with no secretary at hand to take notes, is nothing more than a load of bullshit.
Did you hear the new word coined by no less a person than Hillary, of Hill an’ Bill fame. In her mad rush to get to the Whitehouse she lost the run of herself when making one of her many speeches and told of how she had to jump from a helicopter under fire and make a dash for safety somewheres in Bosnia. Turned out there was no fire at all and all she was doing was shaking hands with a bunch of kids sent to welcome her. She forgot that TV cameras were on hand to catch the moment and catch her out as well. When questioned about this recently she coined the new word. Yep, said she made a ‘misspoke’. To you and me I think she meant she had told a ‘lie’! Fair dues to her she made a clean breast of it when questioned about it. The Mahon Tribunal lawyers would be on the dole if they had clients like Hillary!
As I write the ASTI (Teachers Union) is having its annual conference. Lots of complaints about classes being too big, schools in need of repair etc. All was trotted out with their Minster for Education Mary Hanafin listening attentively. But when she got up to address the meeting did she refer to any of these complaints. Well she did in a backhanded sort of way, by referring to the amount of monies spent by her government on education, but failing to mention that most of it was spent in the greater Dublin area leaving the western seaboard out on a limb. In arrogant fashion and brazen as brass she blathered on and on about how her government was ‘about to’ roll out changes in the next couple of years, ‘strong government commitment’ was the words she used, conveniently forgetting that what she was saying was more or less a repeat of what was said prior to the election; a rehash of election promises, in short ‘live horse and you’ll get grass.’ It’s a time honoured way used by politicians to get someone, or persons, off their backs when they have nothing else to offer. 600 hundred million euro has been spent and still we have parents running fund raising events to help their schools. It’s an educated guess, but maybe its time we had a bit of common sense and a little less hot air, in the upper echelons of the Department of Education.
Well the penny has dropped, not only at home here but abroad as well. It’s the economy stupid; it’s slowing down. You won’t hear politicians or persons in high places talk about ‘bubble bursting’ but the odd one is talking about ‘re-adjustments to be made’. Here at home these re-adjustments will be painful for some; factory closures and worker lay offs we have already witnessed. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find others who will be equally affected. For example; the elderly who are having their homecare packages withdrawn. Subsidies for crèches and playgroups for children withdrawn. Parents of children with intellectual disabilities will have to pay for long-term residential care, and last, but by no means least, cuts in the HSE. All the above mentioned groups are easy options for any government who wish to curtail spending. But what about some cuts in the higher sections of the civil service: the quangos and consultancy groups that are hired at great expense to do the thinking for our ministers. Not a chance. And what about a reduction in the numbers in the civil service itself that seems to get more and more bloated as the years go by. A feeble effort was made some time ago to cut it down to size; what happened? Your guess is as good as mine.
Finally, now that our ‘roving ambassadors’ are home, (I hope they are), could they set down for us, the Plain People of Ireland, on a plain sheet of paper, a list of their achievements in their ‘Selling Ireland’ campaign! A list of their expenses wouldn’t go astray either. Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Ballymore Eustace G.F.C.

Ballymore 2 – 13. Robertstown 1 – 6.
Ballymore began their campaign in Division 2 of the league with victory over Robertstown. The scoreline might indicate that this was a comfortable victory, but scores can sometimes mislead. This was a good display by Ballymore and a major improvement will be needed if Ballymore are to challenge for honours of any sort this year.

Ballymore 1 – 5. Raheens 1 – 10.

Ballymore learned in this match that if you do not take your scoring chances you will not win games in this league. For three quarters of the game Ballymore were on top but missed chances gave Raheens every chance to win, which in the end they did.

Michael Lawler, Marie Shaw, John & Catherine Field, Tommy Deegan

Leo Kenny, Mary Horan, Liam Hinch, Brid Hinch, Michael Murphy, David, Peter, Mark & Michael Higgins, Amy Horan, Pascal Thompson, Aaron Deegan, Noel Thompson, Paul Clarke, Roy Clarke, Peter Lawler

Ber Barrett, Amy Horan
Bill Walsh, John & Catherine, Michael Lawler
Amy Horan, Fiona & Lucy Field, Alex & Zoe Walshe

We had our first golf outing of the year Paddy’s weekend in the picturesque LJ’s Farm, Coughlanstown! Thanks to Johnny & Mary Murphy for hosting the event and enabling us to continue what is now a great tradition for golfers in BallymoreTo some it would seem bizarre to convert a farm into a golf course over a couple of days not to mention collecting green fees from over 120 participants to boot! . It is a tremendous achievement for the organisers each year - indeed, not something to be taken for granted!

For some of us, it was the perfect opportunity to clear the cobwebs from our golf clubs, and for others an unmissable challenge! The kids had a great time, with some showing serious potential!!! So keen were they this year, Vice Captain Michael Horan is considering a separate competition for them next year.

A lot of work went into the preparation of the sixteen hole golf course – so to all you lads involved, well done! As always, the ladies provided very welcome refreshments - there is something special about a hotcup ‘n ham roll at LJ’s, not to mention the banter around the Caravan.

Congratulations to this years Captain, John Field, on this great start to the golfing year; and of course, behind every successful man, a great woman – Caps, thanks for all your hard work so far!! The competition, the atmosphere and the craic made it a great day out and well worth while!

Ita McCarron and family

Longest Drive Men Niall Carroll
Longest Drive Women Ann Daly
Nearest the Pin Malcom Hill

Runners Up (nett 51.9) Jay Curley
Pat Curley
Niall Carroll
Gavin Daly

Winners (nett 47.9) Johnny Murphy
Liam Hinch
Leo Kenny
Brid Darcy


Longest Drive Men Michael Lawlor
Longest Drive Women Catherine Field
Nearest the Pin Michael Lawlor

Runners Up (nett 53.6) Catherine Field
Michael Lawlor
Bill Walsh
John Field

Winners (nett 53.0) Sean Kelly
Jimmy Kelly
Mark Bolger
Mark McCarvel

Alan, Dick & Paul Shaw

Other notes!
Congratulations and best wishes to Brendan Daly on his year ahead as Captain of Tulfarris!
Set in the small village of Ballycolman where Mrs. Geoghan (Grania Glancy) is anxiously awaiting the return of the prodigal “Pride of the Geoghans,” son Denis.Denis is studying doctorin’ above in Dublin.His sisters Kete (Sandra Butler, the pride of the back road Butlers) Jane, (Fair City starlet Geraldine O’Rourke,) and Baby ( Bernadette Kearns, in a deliciously over the top performance, what else when you are directing yourself,) are somewhat underwhelmed by his imminent arrival. Janes beau Donough, (Steve Jones) Is a long suffering suitor.
George (Guing,) the patriarch of the family is fed up of his bothers failures at the medical exams and is on the verge of revolt. A “wire” arrives giving a cryptic message?? The maiden? Aunt, Ellen, (played with customary aplomb by the matriarch of the Guings, Bernie) is full of del boy get rich quick schemes of goats and co-operative shops. The arrival of the prodigal Denis ( Robert Farrelly who only apperars later in his pajamas, he must have a new clause…) with Girlfriend Delia ( Una Bagge, a calculating strumpet) in tow. But guess who plays the brother Peter, (Sean Horan, never thought I would see Sean on stage, big respect SH) Marie Murphy played a lovely little cameo as the overworked gossipy maid.
When it comes out that Denis has failed his exams again the family come up with a plan to despatch him off to Canada, but they reckon without the counter plan of Mr. John Duffy ( Jimmy Pearse who turns in a whale of a performance, think Jimmy, usual community role but with a hint of J.R , Ewing and Mullion, combined.)

BEDS staging of the play was accomplished and enjoyable. Newcomers, MEN, Steve and Sean are a revelation. The three sisters ( that rings a bell) are a brilliant comic turn. The scene where they are discussing the contents of Vogue before heading down to “Peg Turpins’ Drapery,(could have been Mary Balfe’s if they hadn’t knocked it down) is brilliant, pacy, well timed and very funny. Robert mixes, comedy, whitewash, and pathos and keeps his clothes on. Una is deliciously scheming and is a real cracker on stage. George has a hard part as the straight man but carries it off as perfectly as Bernie, the dippy aunt who like the, Mounities gets her man in the end. Jimmy rules the roost, steals the whole play ( and he only appears in TWO acts.) Look, when Fran Brennan, who plays hard man Mick in Fair City rings me and tells me he will break my legs if I don’t give Jimmy the Oscar, what could I do.
Bernadette Kearn’s direction ( is it auto-direction if you are are in the pay as well?) is great. Lighting, Jim McDonald,is mood perfect. Sound, Dave Butler, is crsip and clear, helping Baby’s singing no end. Jimmy’s dancing, by the way is surely the reason that the production manager lost her heart to him forty? years ago, Well done to all concerned.

If I had my way I would give them all Oscars. But I don’t and for the reasons written before my Oscar goes to ………… Grania Glancy. It’s no stretch of her acting skills to be kind, compassionate and motherly. However to put up with those three straps of daughters, STEAL MONEY, yes Grania steals money in character. I Know, it IS unbelievable. The real stretch of the imagination is of her playing an elderly mother. Well done Grania, it’s easy to see the twinkle that Dr. Denis fotheringale-whatshisname saw in her all those years ago. Buladh Bos Mor.


Continuing its association with high fashion and chic glamour, Newbridge Silverware launched its sponsorship of this year’s fashion stakes at Punchestown and as always, did so with style and good taste. Fine champagne – and it was the finest – was sipped amidst the “spot-the-celebrity” whispers of guests: “Is that the presenter of Expose?”; “Is that Lisa Fitzpatrick?” “There’s Alan Hughes!” Guests included Andrea Roche, Winner of VIP Style Award; Tony Reilly; Stylist, Lisa Fitzpatrick; TV3 presenters, Noel Cunninghan, Karen Koster, Aisling O`Loughlin, Sinead Desmond plus leading personalities from the world of racing such as Tom Taaffe, Mary and Arthur Moore, Conor O’Dwyer – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg!
Even before Celia Holman Lee hosted her collection themed “An Extravaganza of Racing Style”, guests like myelf enjoyed a ‘critical analysis’ of fashion on view; Nina Carberry looked refreshingly pretty in a lilac/pink chiffon dress – despite her continuing success as leading female jockey, Nina remains totally down to earth and oblivious to her newfound fame; Noel Cunningham, TV3’s social and gossip columnist, once again stole the show with his dapper top hat and tails ensemble – very naff, very Noel! (Go easy on the fake tan though, Noel) Phil Donnelly, PR of Newbridge Silverware wore a simple black and white dress with large button detail which could easily have fitted in with the Audrey Hepburn or Grace Kelly collection upstairs in the Museum of Style Icons.

Of the fashions displayed by the Holman Lee Model Agency, Makaba of Newbridge offered a range of stunning styles from classic lines to a lively “Retro” look – located at The Avenue, Whitewater Shopping Centre, this boutique is definitely worth a visit if you’re going to go all for fashion at Punchestown this year. Nip into Shanique then in the centre itself and check out their excellent style; Melie-b (of Roches Stores?) wowed the audience with their chic but ‘fun’ fashions as did Crave of Naas whose coffee and cream ensembles were reminiscent of the “Jackie O” era and Browne’s of Naas provided a sexy variety of formal and casual style for men. (The ladies at our table thought the model was sexy anyway!)

Leading Trainers and Jockeys
Special Presentations were made to the 6 winning trainers from Cheltenham 2008 including:
Eddie Harty, trainer of Captain Cee Bee; Enda Bolger - Garde Champetre ;Willie Mullins - trainer of Fivefourthree and Cousin Vinny; Tom Taaffe - Finger on the Pulse; Arthur Moore – Tiger Cry and Tom Hogan, trainer of Silver Jarro . We were fortunate to be seated at Tom Hogan’s table; he and his wife (who knows as much about horses as I do) traveled up from Tipperary for the event and were delighted with the festive atmosphere and entertainment laid on.

Watch out for Tom’s entry “Kanderon” who won at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday, to be ridden most likely by David Casey during National Hunt Raceweek and “Sounyandyou” in the 3m Tipperkevin Hurdle. Special tributes were also paid to retired Champion Jockey, Conor O`Dwyer and Cheltenham’s most successful lady jockey, Nina Carberry.

Liam O`Connor, one of Ireland’s greatest musicians, master of 20 different musical instruments, stunned the audience with his talents on the concertina and proved to all why he holds the record as the Worlds Fastest Concertina Player and thereby claiming to have the “fastest hands in the world”………. Joined by a pair of talented and beautiful hornpipe dancers, Dick O Sullivan was hijacked onto the stage to display his dancing skills; suffice to say, Michael Flatley need have no fear, his crown is secure………

Guests were then treated to a performance by top Irish Soprano Celine Byrne, winner of 2007 Maria Callas Award, a perfect finale to a fun evening – Newbridge Silverware definitely covered all bases with the launch this year – class entertainment, stylish fashion, fine foods and divine champagne.

Rose B O Donoghue

The Ballymore Connection…………….

Well, if you don’t know the ‘Ballymore’ connection by now, then God Help you……… Sean Mulryan may be a Roscommon man by birth but after 27 years or more living in Ballymore Eustace, I think we can safely call him “one of our own!” His success in the property market is renowned, both in residential and commercial sectors, at home and abroad. The Bugle doesn’t have enough space to even hint at the man’s business history. With his sponsorship of The ‘Ballymore’ Day at Punchestown, Sean Mulryan has identified himself with Kildare’s premier past-time and industry –

,It would be hard to describe the ‘buzz’ amongst the racing fraternity with the introduction of a fifth day during National Hunt Raceweek.

At the recent launch in conjunction with Newbridge Silverware, Dick O’Sullivan, Racecourse Manager, could not curtail his excitement: “We need not have worried about ticket sales for five days of racing this year; since we announced the additional day’s racing, ticket sales are already up on last year’s figures so we are guaranteed to exceed the 2007 attendance of over 90,000. Ballymore’s sponsorship of the “Most Glamorous Couple”, to be judged by Dallas Duo, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray, is causing a great stir. We changed the title from “Hottest Couple” to give ol’ fellas like me a chance!” Undoubtably, The Ballymore Day at Punchestown has given a tremendous boost to our premier Hunt Racecourse but also to the national equine industry.

We thought four days was ambitious a few years ago – but already racecourse management are confident they can sustain five. The village of Ballymore Eustace should get behind Mulryan’s venture 100%; since they became resident in Ballymore Eustace 27 years ago, Bernadine and Sean Mulryan have supported local activities especially our local festival and the GAA, quietly donated generously to other community activities without asking for recognition.

I have no doubt Ballymore Eustace will benefit greatly from corporate guests returning to the village after racing on Saturday 26th. If they do, give them a good welcome! Saturday 26th April – Ballymore Day at Punchestown, let’s make it one to remember!

The Ballymore 25th Anniversary Hurdle, the feature race of Day Five is worth €220,000 - making it the most valuable handicap hurdle ever run in Britain and Ireland. The race will be run over 2 miles 4 furlongs for horses rated 0 – 145. Ballymore’s sponsorship of Saturday’s racing adds another €600,000 to the prize money this year bringing the total festival prize fund to €3 million.

Ballymore & Punchestown Romance
1996: Sponsorship at the Punchestown Festival began with the Ballymore Properties People In Need EBF Handicap Hurdle of £35,000.
1998: Ballymore move to sponsor the Ballymore Properties Barrettstown Gang Camp Champion Stayers Hurdle worth £40,000
Ballymore Properties were involved annually thereafter in the sponsorship of eight Champion Stayers Hurdles (Grade 1) at Punches town.
2006: The prize fund of the Champion Stayers Hurdle rose gradually each year until 2006, under the guise of Whitewater, the race was worth €200,000.
2007: Ballymore sponsored the Ballymore Properties Champion Four Year Old Hurdle worth €110,000
Ballymore moves to take title sponsorship of the first ever fifth day’s racing at Punchestown by sponsoring the richest ever Handicap Hurdle run in Britain and Ireland .

More Connections!
Did you know that William Doyle of Newbridge Silverware will soon be moving his family into Cnoc Avon, formerly Monsignor Browne’s house and more recently that of auctioneer, Paul Newman.
And Janet Creighton of Punches town Racecourse is a niece of Dora O’Brien……..there’s more racing connections in Ballymore than a whole season of Sopranos on TV!

With photo Wedding couple.jpg

Friday 25th will traditionally be “Ladies Day” but there’s one lady heading to the races that day who is certain to turn heads – Mary Doody of Clane will be the first bride ever to host her wedding reception during raceweek! And there will be plenty of Ballymore faces at that party seeing as the groom, Michael MacNamara is a brother of Tony, he who is married to our local beauty therapist Monica from “The Baron’s” laneway.
I worked alongside Mary in the Leinster Leader before she left us to work with the Our House Show. Now the petite ‘go-getter’ is running her own PR company, “Athena” whilst Michael works with Intel.
And the main course at the wedding reception? Beef or Salmon……….what else!! What a great way to celebrate a wedding – guests will be whisked off from the church to the racecourse and afterwards, transported to Avon Ri in
Blessington for an evening barbeque and more entertainment! And the party doesn’t end there, because the Happy Duo and guests are going keep celebrating on Saturday and may even end up back at Punchestown again. Now that’s what I call a wedding – what’s the betting Mary won’t be fashionably late……….any takers?

A GOOD READ with Angie

Most of my reading this month was taken up with the book featured in last month’s Bugle: “DYSLEXIA AN EXPLANATION”, by Martin Murphy (Paperback: Flyleaf Press: 17.50 euro). The feeling of facing into a diagnosis of dyslexia is confusing and disorientating for most parents- what on earth must it be like for our children? Help is at hand with the book and associated DVD. The school has a copy of the DVD and is happy to loan it out to any parent who is concerned and prefers the medium of TV to reading the book.

The book itself is well set out and really comprehensive- it deals with every possible manifestation of dyslexia known to researchers who complied it, and emphasises very clearly that no two children are alike, either in the symptoms of dyslexia they may present with, or with the ways in which they can be helped.

The author has tried to avoid too much jargon and each chapter is in pretty plain English, with useful definitions of terms that you may hear quoted by Educational Psychologists, but are unsure of the exact meaning. I particularly liked the chapter towards the end which cited individuals from across history who are thought to have had dyslexia- for instance I never knew that John F Kennedy, Henry Ford and Walt Disney featured on the same list as more contemporary figures such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson!

As a parent I found the approach of the book and the consultation with a specialist invaluable in helping both myself and my child to deal with the implications of his dyslexia. It gave us hope that the problems we were experiencing could be overcome. There is a plethora of information out there for people wanting to find out about this condition, so to find it all so well summarized in this book was relief. Also, although there is good help generally available in the education system these days for a child with dyslexia, this book and the associated assessments empower parents to take a role in helping their child to realize their potential- it was a revelation to me.

A final point to note is that this process is not just for children- if you are an adult who has struggled to deal with dyslexia in many situations you could find that this approach works for you- so get hold of a copy of the book and check it out.

The book is available from Janet Hawkins in the Blessington Book Store and also from Barker and Jones in Naas.
€100,000 to be won in the Fashion Stakes!
There’s a fortune to be won at Punches town with the Newbridge Silverware Four Day Best Dressed Lady Competition from April 22nd – April 25th. Hollywood Legends of “Dallas” fame, LINDA GRAY (Sue-Ellen) and LARRY HAGMAN (JR) will judge the final of the Newbridge Silverware Best Dressed Competition.

On Saturday 26th April, ‘Ballymore’ sponsor the All New Ballymore Most Glamorous Couple Competition. Ballymore judges will scout the racecourse for the best dressed duo who will win an all expenses paid holiday to the magnificent and exquisite Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. Celebrity judges include some of Ireland’s own hottest couples, namely RTE’s Brian Ormond and model Pippa O Connor, former Miss World Rosanna Davison and Wes Quirke, TV3 Stylist Lisa Fitzpatrick and husband Paul to name but a few. Whilst the winners jet to Barbardos, the second prize includes a holiday in London and for third prize, €5,000 worth of Newbridge Silverware.

During the first three days of the festival, a Newbridge Silverware panel of judges will select a Best Dressed Lady Finalist, who, as well as receiving prizes worth €5,000, will go forward to the Grand Final on Ladies Day, Friday April 25th. Two finalists will be selected on Ladies Day bringing the total to five. The overall winner will receive a grand prize of €30k worth of Newbridge Silverware products.
Joining screen legends, Larry Hagman and Linda Gray will be fashionistas Celia Holman Lee and Annette Rocca, Andrea Roche and Glenda Gilson, Miss Ireland Blathnaid Mc Kenna and TV presenter Daithi O`Shea.
Get out the good guna, Girls and start accessorising!

When did Punchestowns run at Punchestown will be a pub quiz question in years to come. Beacause this year, all going well, Nicky Henderson’s charge will line up for the 2 ½ Mile Hurdle sponsored by Land Rover. He is just one of many overseas entries with probably the most notable being Franchoek.
So on day by day basis Tuesdays entries show a heap of overseas entries particularly in the Kerrygold where Ruby would have to quarter himself to partner all his previous winners, but it will probably come down to Takeroc or Twist Magic if they go. In the Ellier it is anyone’s pick with the Mullins family having six entries, but don’t forget Ballycullen Boy. On Wednesdays Guinness one of my favourites Mr Top Notch will come up against Forget The Past and the disappointing Fairyhouse runner Royal County Star.
One of the most poignant races The Cathal Ryan Memorial on Thursday, named for the late pilot and racing aficionado, where Oliver Brady’s charge Maralan will attempt to put another trophy on Ms. Rita Shah’s cabinet. In the Ladbroke on the same day again Willie Mullins looks to have a full book of entries. Great racing on Friday as well, too many entries for everything don’t forget Punchestowns.
The four year old hurdle on Saturday sees Paul Nicholls Pierrot Luniare come up against a heap of locals including Paco Jack. Keep an eye out for Jayo if he gets in to the Ballymore 25th Anniversary on the last day also. A very interesting side contest will be the race for the NH Jockeys title between DN and Ruby. Davy three ahead as I write. It will be decided by the 26th of April.



By Bill Evans

To all you noble sporting fans a story I will tell
About this Mullions family I am sure you all know well.
They own a stud at Ardenode and more across the sea
And won the Irish Derby here in 1963.

Paddy Prendergast the trainer and jockey was Bougoure
Who did their part to win this race as Mrs. Mullions told.
When they ran him up at Epsom, the horse he was not fit,
But down here at the Curragh, sure they knew that this was it.

It was the 29th June, a very misty day,
But over at the Curragh sure everyone was gay,
The stands and course were crowded, the best for many years
And with the horses on the sod up went those Derby cheers.

When the horses paraded to the start, there was a great delay.
Relko pulled a muscle is what the vet did say.
The jockey he dismounted and went down to the phone,
Michael O’Hehir said from the stands – “Relko is not going”.

The next time parading for the start, the first time they got off,
Up along that Derby course where the going it was soft.
It was Christmas Isle who took the lead and there he meant to stay,
Chased well by The Tiger who tried to make his play.

Down unto the hollow and up that little hill,
Where a horse was tried for fitness and a jockey for his skill,
When they came out on the straight out went Mhic Mo Chroi
Well watched by Jockey Garnet Bougoure, all the stand could see.

He kept his horse well outside where safe it was the going,
And put Ragusa to the front one furlong from home.
They all did try to chase him, especially Mhic Mo Chroi,
But Ragusa won the Derby in 1963.

(We are grateful to Mary Evans for letting us use this piece from Billy’s collection)
BABY news!
Congratulations to John McCann and Laura on the birth of their first child, a daughter Katie (Granny Deborah is only chuffed…).

Congratulations to Sheryl and Peter Horan on the birth of their son, Martin William, Great expectations for this chap, what with his great grand-uncle, Martin Deegan being one of our People of the Year winners.

And to Grainne and Gavin Grace on the arrival of their first-born, a son born on St Patrick’s Day, March 2008 – to be named as you’d expect………….. Aidan. May young Aidan have all the luck of the Irish!

Birthday wishes The Naas Road was busy with birthdays this month, what with Anne Clarke throwing a good bash in Toughers; well, Rita Garvey also celebrated the ‘Big 60’ and as everyone knows, Rita loves an excuse for a celebration – so she organised her own bash in Mick Reids of Blessing ton and had a ball, as did everyone else! Good neighbours, both the Clarke and Garvey families.

Happy Birthday to Hayley Barrett who recently celebrated her 18th Birthday.

Mother & Toddler Group
We meet from 10.30am to 12 noon every Tuesday at The Resource Centre excludingthe first Tuesday of the month when we go to The Playbarn in Blessington for 10am.Arrive or leave at any time and come as often or as seldom as you like. New Members always welcome! Contact Una Bagge at 085 7581600

Your Local CDA
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.
Any suggestions or comments welcome. Contact Fiona Breslin (Chairperson CDA), Honeysuckle House, Bishopsland, Ballymore Eustace. 087-9956085

Country Markets ad – as last month, just delete reference to Easter Market – Frances, this ad can be moved elsewhere to fill if necessary as the page looks a bit tight???

One of the saddest, most traumatic funerals we’ve seen in the village. Jason King, only eighteen years of age died on March 27th after a long illness. How his parents Kathleen and Tom, his brothers Stephen and David coped, we can only imagine. In fact, we can’t imagine or comprehend the pain they are feeling. Many of you will remember Jason as having worked in Costcutters and Ardenode, a young lad working maybe to buy his favourite CDs or a ticket to OXIGEN. Instead, his remaining teenage year was spent under medical supervision and treatment.

Last year, Jason, along with family and friends made a trip to New York with the MAKE A WISH foundation; he loved every minute of his five days there, embracing the atmosphere of the city and even went off on his own one evening for a few hours, off to Time Square to buy a watch (and nearly gave Kathleen palpitations). A normal teenager seeking normal independence………
We can only hope that Jason’s family, his grandmother Kitty, grandfather Tom and members of the extended family, can support one another through this nightmare; Jason, at least is not suffering any more pain and with God. Cold comfort to Kathleen and Tom right now.

Jason King, Broadleas – a life cut short, may he rest in peace, amen - Editors

We extend our deepest sympathy to the Murphy Family on the untimely death of Brendan. To Irene, and son Mark, his father Louie, his brothers and sister, relatives and friends.

We extend our sympathies also to the family of the late Kathleen Treacey, Blessington and to the family of Johnny Clarke, Broadleas who died recently.

Also to the Byrne family of Longstone Pet Farm & Ballymore Boarding Kennels; Lily’s sister Chrissie died suddenly (54) a few weeks ago. Chrissie was coincidentally married to a brother of pet farm proprietor, Paul Byrne – we extend our sympathy to Martin and family and indeed, to his niece Suzanne who is chairperson of this year’s festival committee.

May they rest in peace, amen

Turf Wars

Spring is moving on apace and any fancies-turned-to-thoughts-of-love, which haven’t borne results, should now be squarely shelved. Abandon that station underneath the balcony, where you’ve waited for a glimpse of the fair one, and instead apply yourself to more robust matters, such as TURF - the foremost topic discussed in Kildare and Wicklow during the month of April.

If your turbary rights haven’t been curtailed by the recent EU directive, consider polishing up your slean and hand-cart. If, for you, turf means less of the billy-can and more of the champagne flute, then reforge relations with your turf-accountant and begin studying the form for Punchestown. However, if you’re one of the remaining 90% who hears ‘Turf ‘and thinks ‘Lawn’, then stall the digger right there. April is considered the best possible time of the year to install a new lawn, and also to rejuvenate an older or problem one.

If you’re about to seed or turf an area, then remember that preparation is the key to success. Make sure the soil is well cultivated, fertilized, free of stones and weeds, and level - see details below of special deals on topsoil and compost currently available at the garden centre. Use good quality lawn seed, choosing one of the harder wearing types if your lawn is to be a playground or will be subject to a fair amount of traffic.
Once seeding or turfing has been done, irrigate during any dry spells.

If your lawn suffers from weed or moss infestation, you can kill a few birds with the one stone, by applying a 3in1, Feed, Weed & Mosskiller product - see details below of our special deal. Moss will blacken as it dies and will need to be raked out. Reseed any large bare patches. The ‘Feed’ aspect of the product will strengthen the grass and improve it’s appearance. It only remains to pray for a fine summer in order to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Ah, the smug feeling of gazing on the perfect sward from the back door, tall drink in hand, shed full of peat fuel for the oncoming winter and a nice healthy bank balance courtesy of your shrewd dealings at the National Hunt Festival…………
Mary Choiseul


Punchestown Tournament


Group’s 1 to3 play from 10am to 1pm
Group’s 4 to 6 matches from 1pm to 4pm

With 3 full courts to play on, this promise to be a very special and busy time for all 78 members. Split into 6 groups, each one will play to their very best as “all points count”! Every one at the club will very much welcome support at any time and from anyone on the day. A relaxed atmosphere, tea, coffee, refreshments and the best of entertainment all free.
Please come and go at any time! A full list of participants, winners and photos will feature in next months “Ballymore Bugle”.
(Awards on Tuesday 22nd – see below)

Tournament Awards

On: Tuesday the 22nd of April. At the square Ballymore Eustace
(Awards will follow after the parade at 7pm)

Every member in each group will receive a medal in recognition of their participation in another busy year. All winners and runners up will be well rewarded with a trophy presentation. To finish the awards our 2007 player of the year “Laura Cullen” will announce and hand over the cup to a new and well deserved “2008 player of the year”. Support very much needed and feel free to cheer!

Final Season

Our current season will finish on Thursday April 17th. A new season will begin on Thursday may 1st
(Please see note below for next year’s changes)

Beginners under 13’s over 13’s Adults
3 – 4pm 4 – 5pm 7 – 8pm 8.30 - Close
5 – 6pm
6 – 7pm

Pick your hour and (if possible) keep to the same time each Thursday a
Fee of €30 per member, per season
(New members add €8 insurance)

September 2008

In the best interest of all at the club as from September 2008, members can join on an annual basis only. Currently over 60 members have been a part of the club for more than 2 years. Each one playing and understanding the rules, the matches each week are not just competitive but so enjoyable for all. Anyone wishing to try badminton for the first time please use our final season (details above) for your chance.

Enquiries phone: 087/8218566 (Laura)
087/7557332 (Julie)
Tim’s Diary.
Brought to you this month by Work/ Life balance Day. What’s the difference?

Whatever genius had the idea to declare the 29th of February as “Work/Life Balance Day” for 2008 needs his head examined quickly. To designate a day trying to strike a work life balance on a day when we all worked for nothing is bizarre in the extreme.

A wonderful night with the Baldonnel Singers enhanced the coffers of both of the parishes in Ballymore last month. Leap Day had the rafters ringing in the church. No leap year proposals on the night. If you heard of any elsewhere let us know.

There was supposed to be two days of Cheltenham down as I write this. Y=the weather had the final say in this as Burns said “the best laid plans of mice and men,” Hopefully with two grueling days ahead the Paddies will out with a lot of winners.

Sad to see the (very) sudden demise of the Kildare Voice. It seemed to be turning the corner on both sales and content in the weeks preceding its closure.

The consultation process about the Parish forming an association with a nother parish or group of parishes is ongoing. If you want to return a ballot paper please do so as soon as possible

Holy Week Ceremonies.
The Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Holy Thursday 20th March Mass for Holy Thursday 8 p.m. with washing of the feet. Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration at the Altar of Repose until 10p.m
Good Friday 21st March
Celebration of the Passion of Our Lord 3p.m
Stations and veneration of the Cross 8p.m.
Holy Saturday 22nd March
Easter Vigil mass at 9p.m.
Easter Sunday 23rd March
Masses at 10 and 11.30a.m.
With renewal of Baptismal Vows and Blessing of Easter Water
11.30 is also the Children’s Mass.

Good Friday after 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. services
Holy Saturday 12 – 1; 3 -4; 7 -8 p.m.

Easter Ceremonies.
St. John’s

Maundy Thursday 20th March Cloughleagh 8 p.m.
Good Friday 21st March Blessington 2 p.m. Healing Service
Easter Sunday 23rd March Holy Communion
Ballymore 10 a.m.
Cloughleagh 10 a.m
Blessington 11.15 a.m.
Of Knights and Courtly Love.

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament.
I was twelve years old and imaginative when I first read that spiriting poem by Wm. Wordsworth. Recently it has been suggested that dear William lived his merry life in a ménage-a-trois, which included his wife and his dear sister. That information simply added luster to the above lines and drew smiles to my face; for if we attend to some poets contemporary to that time, and of similar bent, we meet Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, De Quincy et al., whose fertile imaginations were also seeded by intimate female susurrations to their ears, which is perhaps why we all have two to a head, and thankfully, only one tongue!
In a way, the scene was not dissimilar to that of the dreamy Land of Oc – Languedoc – at Provence in southwest France which was well favoured by nature in its climate, the soil rich in nutrient, and by attentive husbandry, the cities of Provence, each a distinct miniature republic with castle and court, rose to riches. They had their own language and literature and its people were learned and polite. They had abandoned the internecine warring habits of central Europe in favour of civilised peaceful co-existence. Languedoc became the land of the Troubadour, of song and of amatory poetry, of Ladies and of Knights, and of Chivalry…the story of dreams.
Much of the poetry was allegorical in style, but at the same time, the theme left little to search for in imagination, yet they held the reader spellbound.
One of the sweetest and earliest of Troubadour poems, Romance of The Rose, was written by Guillaume de Lorris (c.1230) and translated into middle English by Chaucer which makes it difficult to understand, but once understood, it is very beautiful. In a certain constructive way, it draws to mind Brian Merriman’s Midnight Court, although of a different genre, for the opening lines begin with a dream:
Within my twenty yere of age,
Whan that love taketh his corage
Of young folk, I went sone
To bed, as I was wont to done,
And fast asleep; and in sleeping,
Me mette such a swevening (a very rude word)
That lykede me wonders wel:
But in that sweven is never a del
That it nis afterward befelle….
The Rose (allegorically), represents a beautiful lady within the walled Garden of Amour where the visitor seeks her, and after many trials and tribulations meets her; but the Rose is enclosed and protected by many other thorny bushes.

In thilke mirrour saw I tho, (thilke/same)
Among a thousand things mo,
A roser charged full of rosis,
That with an hegge about enclose is.
Though I had sich lust and envye…

As with flowers, it is proper to cup ones hand around it without touching, allowing the heat to permeate, so causing a surprising reaction from the petals.
The Counts of Poitiers were patrons and leaders of the Troubadours, and of whom William 1X was the main progenitor and whose granddaughter, Eleanor of Aquitaine, inherited the title from her own father, William X in 1137. She became wife to King Louis V11 of France, and after their divorce she married Henry of Anjou, later to become Henry 2nd of England. During those times she wisely retained her title to Languedoc, and with it, her passionate support and love of its people and their independent way of life.
Such was the strength of the Languedoc economy, that surrounding states, including France desired to share in its success without having to work to attain it. Under the pretense of heretical practices, they caused Rome to become involved by way of the Dominicans. The Albigensian crusade began, and within a short space of time, the Albigensians were decimated, and with them, the people Langedoc, along with their fabulous culture. Michael Ward.

Matt’s Memories

Oldest and Best Market
I was watching Nationwide when I discovered they were featuring the Naas and Leopardstown Markets. The Naas Market at 56 years of age is one of the oldest and best in the country. In the background, I could see Mary Glennon, the Naas Independent Politician, moving back and forth. Mary was, and may still be, the Mayor of Kildare.

Group Photograph
Nationwide showed a 20 year-old group photograph of those involved in the Naas Market and unless I am mistaken one of those in the centre of the photo was our own Betty Cremins. Kathy Fisher was also featured. With 44 years to her credit, Kathy is one of the longest serving people in the Naas Market. Kathy I gather specialises in crochet, scones and jam making. Another featured on the programme was Hilary Pallister. I have often read about Hilary in the Bugle and of her involvement in the Brownies but I never met her before. Now thanks to TV, I was seeing her for the first time. Hilary specialises in plants and flowers for the last 16 years. The Ballymore Newsletter of September 9, 1989 has on its front-page a report on the Brownies signed by Rose O’Donoghue and Hilary Pallister.

Microlite Plane
For a long time we had been trying to persuade the Naas brother that he should fly and go to some of the more exotic places for holidays but he would not budge! One evening he was visiting the Pallisters and Simon invited him to join Simon in his microlite plane. The brother seemed to forget that he could say “No” so he said “Yes” and went up with Simon. Since then the brother has never looked back and has been here, there and everywhere by plane. So Simon “Thanks” - you succeeded where we failed.

Assumpta Terrace
Both the families of Michael Mullally and Jim Sheridan once lived at Assumpta Terrace. In the old days we used to call Michael Mullally Jim but now we call him Michael. Michael has a sister called Nora and a brother called Rob. They are the children of the late Bertie Mullally and his late wife. Nora and Michael and their spouses live in Newbridge while Rob moved from Jamaica to California a few years ago. Rob became an American Citizen on September 9, 2003.

Jim Sheridan
Jim Sheridan is a son of the late Guard Sheridan and his late wife. Jim has a sister called Mena and a brother called Michael. Both Michael Mullally and Jim worked with the Millennium Park in Naas where Michael was the headman there and both of them took early retirement at the same time a few years ago at which point I lost contact with Michael. (Prior to that I had visited both of them at Millennium Park).

Contact Re-established
When Michael heard from his brother Rob that I had been unwell, he and Jim re-established contact with me and treated me to a lovely dinner at the Glenside Pub where I was treated like royalty. The name Paddy Conway formerly of Dowdenstown came up as Paddy is a regular at lunchtime and I have often met and chatted to him there.

Paddy Geraghty
Recently Nora and her husband Paddy Geraghy had a holiday in California with Rob and his wife Marykay that they enjoyed very much. Paddy’s late father lived at the Crescent, Newbridge, next door to a first cousin of my late mother, Eileen O’Brien. Eileen has one older sister called Nancy Greene who lives at Castleknock in Dublin. These are the only relations at that level that I now have. On the way home, Paddy suffered a major heart attack and has been slowly recovering from it for the last six months.

Slide Show
Recently Rob sent me a lovely album and slide show of Paddy and Nora’s visit to him. Like myself, Michael Sheridan once worked with Dublin County Council. Michael is now retired and Mena who was a nurse at Clonsilla Hospital is also retired.

The Sullivans
As far as I am aware we have no Sullivan family of Barrack Street nowadays. Once upon a time it was otherwise. We had a family consisting of George Sullivan (or O’Sullivan), his wife - her Christian name was Rita I think, their two daughters Rita Salmon and Nuala Mackenzie and two sons Mel and Georgie.

Guard Sullivan
George was a guard and one of several guards in Ballymore-Eustace at the time including Guard Carroll of the Golden Falls, Guard Sheridan of Assumpta Terrace and Guard Glancy of Chapel Street. Sergeant Higgins was the Sergeant for the area until about 1954. Matt Fitzpatrick then took over as Sergeant. Guard Mick Noonan came to Ballymore-Eustace later on, then Guard Vincent Kavanagh. John McCarville was attached to Blessington.

The Races
Like myself, George was fond of the horses and I often chatted to him or saw him at the Naas and Punchestown races. I cannot remember when George died but I do know he died several years before his wife.

Rita married Naas solicitor, Martin Salmon. We were all shocked in 1963 when we learned Martin had died suddenly aged 38. His friends erected a wooden plaque in his honour at the Courthouse in Naas shortly after he died. When the Courthouse was being renovated this plaque was broken. Former Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave unveiled a replacement bronze plaque in Martin’s honour in 2004. The new bronze plaque by sculptor Mary Ferris now stands at the Courthouse.

Nuala is the youngest member of the family; she married Judge MacKenzie who sadly died on August 9, 2003. Nuala herself qualified as a solicitor and now has her own legal firm.


The late Mel was the eldest boy and in his younger days he was one of our top handball players. He went to America in the middle fifties and as far as I know he joined the American air force as a pilot.

Georgie was the youngest boy and was an electrician. In his younger days he went to England where he stayed for many years before returning to Ireland where he died on November 23, 2004.
The Gordons
The Gordon family had a pub and grocery shop where The Thatch now is. For many years Eddie Gordon and his wife Eileen ran the family business. Eddie was only 55 years old when he died on February 7, 1981. In due course, Eileen sold the pub and shop and went to live in a two-storey house in Hillcrest.

Three of their children went to Australia Margaret, Eileen and Johnny. Margaret was nursing and met her husband Steve Laming there. A couple of years ago Margaret returned to Ireland and the last I knew she and her husband were living at Coughlanstown. Eileen has her own business in Kalgoorlie near Perth. Patricia is married to a man named O’Brien while Eddie (Junior) lives at Liffey Heights.

Liam Burke
Liam Burke of Weaver’s Row died on the same date as Eddie Gordon but a year later. When the Handball Pub Tournament was in full swing Liam was very much to the fore in running it while Eddie Gordon was a keen supporter of the tournament. Liam’s wife Mary Burke (nee Heydon) died in Naas Hospital on March 11, 2007 aged 83. When she married Liam in the early sixties, Mary came to live in Ballymore-Eustace.

The Brownes
Jim (Senior), now eighty-six, usually drops in to the village each day and before I had my stroke I often saw him arriving. His wife, the late Maisie, was fond of the horses and in days gone by I used meet her on a Saturday at the betting office in Blessington.

Thanks to our common interest in handball John was the one I knew best. In 1961 he won an All-Ireland minor hard doubles with Jackie Byrne. 1969 saw him score a close win with Eamonn Deegan in the All-Ireland junior hard doubles. In 1962 himself and my late brother Paddy were narrowly beaten by Tipperary in the minor hard doubles final. In the mid-eighties, the good Limerick pair, the Quish Brothers, narrowly beat himself and Tommy O’Rourke in the senior hard doubles final.

Star Fundraiser
In 1988 I won the Leinster Masters 40 by 20 doubles title with John. That was the last major title that I won. Over the years John has served on handball committees on many occasions. John was also one of our top fundraisers especially when the 40 by 20 alley was being built.

From 1990 to 1992 John won four All-Ireland titles. In 1991 he scored a double All-Ireland success by winning both the All-Ireland Silver Masters “A” Soft Singles and 40 by 20 Singles titles. I have photos of one of these wins (against Paddy Walsh of Sligo) at which his mother Maisie and wife Pat were also in attendance.

John’s last hurrah came in the year 2000 when himself and Eamonn Deegan again teamed up to win the Emerald Masters “A” Soft Doubles title. That brought John’s grand total of All-Ireland titles to seven.

Jim (Junior)
Jim (Junior) also played handball but never bothered playing it competitively. He had a varied working career. I’m pretty sure he did a stint with my father in Naas. He also worked for a time in England before returning home.

John’s sister, Phil Loughlin, lives in Liffey Heights and has worked for the handball committee. Her late husband Billy’s 20th anniversary occurred on February 9. I believe John had five sisters in all.

Met Michael Molloghan of Braemor Avenue on February 1 and he told me he buried an older brother in December and he was going to Leitrim that day for the funeral of a first cousin of his.

Best Wishes
Best wishes to Liz Deegan (nee O’Connor) who recently received treatment in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin.

Reading the February Bugle I realised my article on the two families raised by Mr and Mrs Patsy Murphy at Liffeydale contained an important error. Mr and Mrs Patsy Murphy’s own family consisted of four girls namely Rita Lawler, Maureen Burke, the late Frances Higgins and Teresa Flood and four boys namely John, Meahall, the late Paddy and the late Martin. My article referred to a family of seven children as opposed to eight children.

Reading of the death of top jockey, Bobby Beasley (R.I.P.), on January 9 aged 72 reminded me of a visit he made, along with my late brother Dan, to my parents in Ballymore-Eustace in 1972. At the time Bobbie was a recovering alcoholic. Earlier he had retired from racing but, being off the drink for 5 years, he made a comeback. Second time around, Bobbie rode until 1975 winning the Gold Cup for the late Pat Taaffe on Captain Christy in 1974. First time around in 1961 he rode Nicholas Silver to win the Aintree Grand National. At 28/1 that was my first big win in the race.

The death occurred on January 25 of Dorrie Talbot (nee Kaine) R.I.P. Most recently Dorrie was at the Willowbrook Nursing Home. Dorrie is survived by her brother Jack Kaine and was pre-deceased by her sister Nellie Kaine who died on July 7, 2003. Both Dorrie and the late Nellie were major figures in the local Ballymore-Eustace Church of Ireland scene.

The death occurred on January 26 of Breda Cullen (nee Gill) of Naas and formerly of Galway and Tinahely R.I.P. Breda was ill for only a short time and was a friend of both my older brothers. Her husband George, son Michael, brother Tomás and sister-in-law Yvonne survive Breda.

The death occurred on February 7 of Mary (Babs) Sheridan (nee Sheridan) of Granard, County Longford R.I.P. Babs was an older sister of Esther McKiernan (my youngest brother’s mother-in-law) of Churchtown, County Dublin. Her family, brother, sisters and extended family survive Babs.

Dick Humphreys of Mount Merrion died on February 27, 2008, at St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, after a brief illness R.I.P. Dick was the father-in-law of my niece Liz (Naas). His wife Deirdre, sons - Richard, Mark, Frank and Joe, brothers - Jim, Michael and Niall, sister Mary, grandchildren - Carmel-Deirdre, Thomas, James, Jack, Isobel and Megan, daughters-in-law - Liz, Elizabeth, Andreja and Emer survive Dick. Dick was pre-deceased by his sister Eithne and brother David.

Tommy O’Brien of Kilkenny died on March 7, 2008, at Waterford Regional Hospital, after a brief illness R.I.P. Tommy was a very well known and committed handball official over a very long period of time. He was also a Teacher and Principal of the Kilkenny C.B.S. Highlight of Tommy’s career came in 1984 to 1987 when he was President of the Irish Handball Council. It was Tommy who presented Pat Kirby and myself with our trophies when we won the World Masters 40 by 20 title in 1984. For over thirty years Tommy was Secretary of the Leinster Handball Council and knew and influenced all the top handballers of the day including Duxie Walshe (Kilkenny) and our own Tom O’Rourke. His brothers - Donal, Liam Declan, Tadgh and Finbarr, sisters – Grainne O’Neill (Kilkenny) and Reidan Condon (Clonmel) and extended family survive Tommy. Tommy was pre-deceased by his brother Conor on November 6, 2006. Maureen O'Brien (nee Waldron) of Kilkenny, who was Tommy’s mother, died on July 22, 2002.
Happy Easter!

May I wish all our readers a very happy Easter on March 23 which is earlier than we have been used to of late.

© Matt Purcell (February 24, 2008).