Saturday, December 27, 2008

Church Matters
As you will be aware the gallery has been closed for some weeks now. We are in the process of getting quotations for the provision of a hardwood staircase, the construction of the necessary supports and the provision of a fire retardant casing for this. We expect this work together with the balance of the work already undertaken to cost in the region of 30,000 euro,
Elsewhere in this issue you will see a notice about our first fundraising event. Please support us in any way you can,
A fetive service of Carols and Raeadings will take place in the Church on Friday December 19th at 8 pm. You are all very welcome.

The Parish Board of Management.

Off the Cutting Edge by Pastor Robert Dunlop
Those who organized the sequence of the months that make up the year inserted Christmas in the calendar at a fitting time. It is post-November. Even when the summer is fine and the Autumn mild the short days and long nights of November present a challenge to the most resilient. Hit with a wet Summer and a tough Budget there is more than a little cause for gloom this
Loneliness frequently occurs when the days are short and the nights are long. In the midst of all the activity of modern life it is not always easy to look out for the lonely in our communities. Assumptions are made that someone else will take care of their needs, especially family or friends. Fear of intrusion, which may be a genuine reason for standing back but it can easily degenerate into distancing oneself from real need. Discreet enquiry will often yield an accurate picture of how things are. Loneliness is not restricted to those who live alone – it has often been said that it is possible to be lonely in a crowd.
If we are to tackle the problem of local loneliness several considerations need to be kept in place.
Natural assembly points such as community organizations, churches, schools and other public places often provide an antidote to loneliness. Some of the most effective work is done through neighbourly friendship – no strings attached.
There is no instant cure for loneliness but appropriate companionship lifts the downcast spirit.
Spiritually, the negative equity of feeling all alone is balanced by the double certainty of the Book of Hebrews, where God says “I will never, never leave you; I will never, never, forsake you”.
The expectation of Christmas curing November blues isn’t exactly straightforward. It is not uncommon to hear someone say that Christmas is a lonely season – bringing memories of losses and reverses. This needs to be matched by the spirit of goodwill which surfaces during the season of Advent. The agency which God uses to lift up the spirits of the lonely is human, especially those who have received consolation themselves in trying times. All that is necessary is that they make themselves available.
Comforting the lonely has an attractive, pacific quality about it –
it is not driven by the desire to impress but rather is the outflow of a calmed and calming spirit.
“If you are wise you will show yourself as a reservoir rather than a canal, a canal spreads abroad the water it receives, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing and thus shares without loss to itself its superabundance of water”
Elizabeth of Schonau (12th century)

Matt’s Memories

The O’Loughlins lived in the first two-storey house on the left after passing the Liffey Bridge as you come up the village towards the Catholic Church. Mike spent a lot of his life working in Detroit City for the Ford Motor Company. After he retired, he returned to Ballymore Eustace to live with his two unmarried sisters Kate and Nellie. Mike was always well groomed and attired and frequently went for walks around the area. In the hard winter that was 1963, Mike died on Sunday January 27. Kate and Nellie survived Mike.
Headons of the Square
The Headon family consisted of Joe and Hilda and daughters Kay and Lynda. Hilda was a member of the well-known Naas family of Gorrys who had a pharmacy in the town centre. Hilda was the first of the Headons to die. Joe was a big figure in the Ballymore Eustace of my younger days. He ran both a successful butcher’s shop and public house in the village. Joe began business on St Patrick’s Day, 1946. A feature by Joe - talking to his daughter Kay - appeared in the October 1996 edition of the Bugle. From it, it is clear that Joe enjoyed his role even though it involved a lot of hard work. He also gave a lot of much needed employment in the area. The December 1998 edition of the Bugle contained an appreciation of Joe by Rose O’Donoghue. Joe died on December 1, 1998. For a period, Kay was editor of our newsletter and I often saw Lynda walking her dog before I had my stroke.

Drivers of the Stage Inn
A long time ago, Mr and Mrs Paddy Driver owned and ran the Stage Inn. I’m not sure if it was called that at the time. Paddy also drove a lorry while his wife ran the public house. Paddy died while he was still quite young. His wife continued running the business before selling it to Mick and Phil Murphy. Paddy was a brother of Frank who lived opposite the Catholic Church. Frank was a Republican all his life and, like myself, was a regular visitor to Lawler’s Kitchen. Over the years, Frank had many a verbal battle with Fanny Nugent of Bishophill who was a staunch Fianna Fail supporter. When Frank died on November 4, 1981 aged 74 there was a big security presence at his funeral. He was buried by the far wall at St John’s Cemetery. His headstone commemorates Frank and his parents, Monica and Thomas Driver.

South Dublin Retired Staff Dinner
On September 25 I attended the South Dublin Retired Staff Dinner in the canteen at Tallaght. My brother James kindly brought me there. As I have come to expect, the fare provided was excellent. In addition, I got re-acquainted with several of my former work friends.

DVD - Sunrise over the Wicklow Hills
Recently, Ollie Deegan sent me an email after he watched the DVD - Sunrise over the Wicklow Hills. Seemingly, during the second song on it, there was great footage of a Ballymore Eustace Field Day many years ago. There were super shots of my late father and mother on it. Ollie also spotted Jack Lawler selling minerals, Ger Mahon (Senior) beating Paddy Murphy in the married man’s race, Christy Hartigan in the Donkey derby as well as pictures of the Brass and Reed band.

Barrack St
The Whelans formerly of Barrack Street consisted of Edward, his wife Pauline, and daughters Margaret, Bridget and Pauline. Edward died suddenly aged 67 on June 13, 1961. His wife Pauline died on August 24, 1982 aged 85. Their daughter Margaret Brady (nee Whelan) died on December 8, 2007. Margaret suffered from arthritis for the last eight years of her life. Daughter Pauline was married to Charlie Daly but they had no family. Charlie pre-deceased Pauline who sadly died on Christmas Eve 1999. Both Charlie and Pauline featured in a television programme on Ballymore Eustace called Discovery and narrated by RTE’s John Sheehan. Bridget married local man Des Byrne and both of them have celebrated their eightieth birthdays. Des is a son of the man Jack Lawler would have called the Master Byrne who lived at Tinnycross in the house where Laura Barrett now lives. Like my grandmother Purcell, the Master Byrne died in 1947. Question is – was it Margaret or Bridget that gave me my one and only Irish dancing class, in the fifties, in the old National School (now Country Kitchens)?

I note from the last Bugle that James (Jim) Gaffney died R.I.P. Jim lived at Sarto Park, Naas, Co. Kildare and died on September 24, 2008. His son Ger, daughter-in-law Ciara, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Jim. His wife Kay pre-deceased him. He is interred in St. Corban's Cemetery, Naas. Over a long number of years, Jim attended all the major functions of the Handball Club as the Leinster Leader photographer. I only recently realised that his mother was a Fisher of Bishophill.
Philomena (Ena) Keenan (nee Murray) of Bishopland, Ballymore Eustace, Co. Kildare died on October 22, 2008, at Naas General Hospital R.I.P. Her husband Kevin, children - Tom, Ann (Mooney), Theresa (Nugent), Kevin, Patricia (Doyle) and Bernadette (Keenan), daughters-in-law Áine and June, sons-in-law Mervyn, Ger and Paul, sisters Breda, Bernie and Angela, brothers Joe and Noel, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Ena. She is buried in St. Kevin's Cemetery, Hollywood. Ena was pre-deceased by her daughter Maria Chamney and her son-in-law Tom Nugent. Reading of Ena’s death, came as a surprise to me as I was unaware she was unwell.
Alice Doyle (nee Fleming) of Broadleas died suddenly at home on October 25, 2008 R.I.P. Her husband Sean, sister Sheila, nieces, nephews, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and relatives survive Alice. Alice is buried in St. Nicholas of Myra Cemetery, Dunlavin. I did not know Alice but Sean was an enthusiastic and good athlete in times past.
Maureen Doyle (nee Ryan - formerly of Coole, Newport, Co. Tipperary) of Alliganstown died at home on November 6, 2008 R.I.P. Her husband Mark, sons - Mark, Emmet and Shane, grandchildren, sister, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Maureen. Maureen is buried at St. Kevin's Church Cemetery, Hollywood. I visited Mark’s home on a number of occasions and chatted about the game of hardball. Sean and Mark are brothers and like Sean, Mark was a good athlete.

© Matt Purcell (October 25, 2008)

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