Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy New Year to all. I am delighted to see the back of 2008 and I hope that the coming one will only be half as bad as George Lee says it will be. We hope that The Bugle will entertain, edify and maybe even educate you during 2009.

I had a long break over the Christmas / New Year period and therefore was able to visit friends and spend some time at home. We resisted the temptation to travel north in the weeks leading up to the feast. The thoughts of cheap goods well outweighed by the thoughts of spending a few hours stuck in the car on the hill down into Newry. I’m glad that we did spend our few quid as local as possible as the fiscal situation for all traders seems to have deteriorated so quickly as to be hard to believe. Most of the local people I spoke to were complementary of the publication, but commented that the best thing in it were the photos. Take a bow Chris. So, in response to public opinion I have commissioned another great lens man, sorry lens person and have appointed her as honorary photographer for Tim’s Diary. Mary Campbell will be snapping away, so if you see her, POSE.

Mary is of course, best known for her magnificent work for all the festivals in the church. Her talents were well displayed again this Christmas. It was a lovely setting for the Carol service held before Christmas The choir were in top form and looked very snazzy in their black and white. The pupils from Scoil Mhuire sang beautifully whilst the readers carried off the lessons and readings with great aplomb. The Breener was always anxious that we have a formal Carol Service and it would be very fitting to his memory that we carry this on in coming years. A lot of people put a lot of work into it so the attendance was disappointing, but now that we have the basics right, it should be packed on future occasions.

We were without photo’s to celebrate the opening of Ballymore’s first drive through food OUTLET last month. Mary rectifies this now showing the exclusively (re) designed interior of the premises beside Bernie Toomey’s.

Indeed it was one of two near misses in the last few weeks a trailer carrying sheep overturned at the school gates one Saturday morning. The situation, whilst somewhat alarming was quickly dealt with and the traffic flow was restored in a speedy manner.

My sympathy goes to June & Tim, Ivan & Tadhg on the death of Agnes (Nanny) Kelly. As the lads say aside from Noel and Brigid, she was the nearest they got to having a grandparent. A great woman, she lived avery full life yet a passing such as hers is always hard for those left behind. It was great to see such a large attendance from Ballymore on both days. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.

Rose covers the upcoming Ballymore Person of the Year Awards elsewhere.
Just a last reminder that Ballymore’s equivalent of the Golden Globes will take place in the Resource Centre on Saturday February 7th at 8 pm. We have a bumper crop of nominees this year and we hope to have as many local election candidates and political representatives as we can in attendance on the night, so please come along and support the people who have made a real difference in the village in the last twelve months.

Finally, as a member of the Parish Board of Management I would like to say how bereft we all feel following the death of Fr. Sean Breen. Colette and I have been taking part in a strategy group involving Kilcullen and Dunlavin, over the last few months. This was suspended before Christmas to add Hollywood and Donard to the mix. Our worst fears have been realized now. The Parish Board of Management will be working hard on your behalf over the coming months. We may have to take some decisions that will prove difficult and we ask for your support in our work of continuing to provide a level of service for our community.
What the weather

Last year has possibly given us the worst of weather in years. We returned from a lovely sun holiday to find a mini tornado had hit the garden centre, causing damage to trees and tunnels. The next morning we spent our first day back at work up to our elbows in muck and floods while sporting lovely tans. Last week our water pipes froze due to abnormal, low temperatures. More fun and games. It seems that we are very susceptible to weather. Plants however, soldier on through all and return every spring to bring us joy.

So now is the time to ready the garden for the coming growth:
1. Kill as many weeds as you can, it will greatly reduce labour later in the year.
2. Prune any roses you didn’t get around to yet.
3. Mulch your garden with well rotten manure. It looks great and feeds the garden for the season.
4. Plant bare root hedges, trees, fruit bushes, fruit trees, rhubarb and strawberries. Bare root is cheap, and beat the recession with your own fruit.
5. Prune climbers away from windows and gutters. Prune woody climbers that got out of control. Prune a wisteria by shortening all the whippy stems to pencil length.
6. Transplant any shrubs or small trees before the end of February.
7. Tidy up any herbaceous plants and herbs, cutting off their dead or strangly growth.
8. Start preparing for early sowings of peas, beans and indoor seeds. More on this in our next issue.
9. Keep feeding those beautiful wild birds, and remember to leave some fresh water out on frosty mornings.

Remember; a little work now will save loads later. Enjoy the outdoors when you can.
Catriona Taylor

Matt’s Memories
The Jacksons
I cannot say I knew Margie Jackson but I did know her parents, brothers and sisters. In 1972, when Adam trained Patricia’s Hope to win the English, Scottish and Welsh Greyhound Derbies we all rejoiced at his successes. Sadly, Adam was the first of the Jacksons, which I knew, to die. Adam had the same Christian name as his late father.
Following the deaths of my parents, Hubert did great work for me at my late parents’ home in Ballymore Eustace. Like Myles Lawlor, Hubert was a great fisherman. Hubert I believe was also a good man at darts. When May died recently, I recalled our visits to the Dennisons to see the Grand National on their TV. May ran a Bed and Breakfast at her home at Liffeyview beside the Liffey Bridge. Like my father, May was fond of her cigarettes.
The death of her sister, Kathleen Cowley, came as a surprise to me. When Kathleen, or Kay as she probable preferred to be called, died on November 7 she was the last of the Jackson family to die. I followed the activities of her and her late husband Andy through the pages of the Bugle and its predecessors. A nice photo of Andy and Kay appears in the October 2001 Bugle along with their son, Noel, his wife Virginia and children Joseph and Glynnis. In the Bugle of July 2003 Rose B. O’Donoghue paid tribute to the late Andy and the tribute had photos of both Andy and Kay.
Míchael Murphy
With the passing of Míchael Murphy of Whiteleas, Ballymore Eustace lost one of its most charismatic figures. The Church for Míchael’s funeral Mass was full to capacity as was the case the night before when Monsignor Conway was one of the celebrants. There was so many present at his funeral Mass that I had difficulty in recalling who was there. The main celebrant on both occasions was Fr Dempsey who was related to Eileen. Fr Prenderville of Hollywood was also present on both occasions
People I remember seeing were: - his brothers John Murphy and Joe Murphy; and, his sisters - Maureen Burke, Kitty Murray and Teresa Flood. The beautiful singing of hymns was by Míchael’s relation, Áine O’Neill, accompanied on guitar by retired teacher, Liam Lawler.
Míchael played on the successful Ballymore Eustace team of 1953 and the captain of that team, Kevin Burke, gave a lovely oration in honour of Míchael at the end of the funeral Mass.
Míchael’s racing friends that I saw included: Johnny Browne; Mick McGrath; his brother John; and, his son Michael. I suppose I would fall into that category too. Míchael was a shrewd backer of horses and he often got up the Jackpot with a small investment in it.
When my late father got his first VW in the early fifties, I recall him proudly demonstrating to the Murphy Clan at Liffeydale how his car with its new central heating could get rid of frost from the windscreen in a matter of minutes. In those days that was a major achievement. Míchael was present on that occasion. He was a young man then and fully appreciated the significance of the car’s central heating. A beautiful photo of Eileen and Míchael celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary appeared on the front page of the September 2006 Bugle. In the Bugle of December 2001 another photo of Míchael appears. In it, Míchael had his usual hat on and dark glasses. Rose B. O’Donoghue, Ann Lawlor and Kay Kavanagh also appeared in that photo.
My brother James also attended Míchael’s funeral Mass and gave me a lift to it.
On November 28 I came down to Ballymore Eustace by the 65 Bus. My brother James offered to bring me to Ballymore Eustace but I settled for a lift to Templeogue, which he kindly gave me. At Tallaght, Marian Harney got on and joined me. Marian was coming from a cookery course she is doing in the DIT in Tallaght. I gather her husband Anthony’s mother now lives at Hillside. In times past, I often visited the Harneys. Years ago, the late Míchael Murphy suggested Anthony might be able to help me with a particular problem I had then and Anthony did not disappoint me.
Buglers Get Together
On November 28 the Bugle had its first annual dinner at the Thatch. All our Bugle contributors were present and a number of others as well. The man next to me was Mike Byrne who is involved in promoting juvenile football. I gather Mike lives in Tipperkevin. During the night, Tim H. Ryan, on behalf of the Bugle, presented a cheque to Kathleen Lawlor on behalf of the Senior Citizens Fund. Patricia Donnelly was there but for a while I had difficulty placing her. Eventually, as the late Paddy Monaghan might say, the penny dropped!
Kildare Archaeological Society
On November 29 I had a lovely dinner at the Thatch with Michael (Jim) Mullally of Newbridge and formerly of Bolabeg and Assumpta Terrace. Afterwards Michael and I went to the AGM of the Kildare Archaeological Society held in the Conference Room of Kildare County Council in Naas. Michael was a member of that Society and also knew Eileen Connelly, the President of the Society.
Afterwards, Adrian Muldowney, who was in the Irish Army, showed some shots taken about the time of the Civil war and afterwards. I suspected I knew Adrian and I got talking to him. It turned out we had been in school together in Naas. I also knew Adrian’s wife Phyllis who was also there. In the course of the proceedings, I got acquainted with Mario Corrigan who works with the Kildare County Council and like me is interested in genealogy. Over the years, Mario has done, and continues to do, great work in regard to genealogy.
When the AGM was over, we had tea and buns. Michael gave me a lift back to Dublin.
© Matt Purcell (December 2008)

2008 was another successful year for Ballymore Eustace in the Tidy Towns competition:
· We achieved a massive nineteen-point increase over last year’s score - an even larger increase than last year.
· This great result, again, putting us second in our category in Kildare.

The adjudicator’s report, printed in full in this issue of the Bugle, was very complimentary about many aspects of the village, particularly the appearance and presentation of many dwellings and commercial premises. However, we need to “clean up our act” in some areas. Major items that caused us to be penalised involved:
· Derelict sites.
· Recent partially complete developments.
· Retail premises where goods and signage were cluttering the pathways and causing obstructions for pedestrians and the disabled.
· Unsightly poles and overhead lines.

Our activities in 2008 included:
· Compost bays constructed during February and July.
· Village clean-up session with Scoil Mhuire students in April.
· Clean up of 40 Acres in June (dumped material and bonfire remnants).
· River Walk seats painted in June.
· Clean‑up and repair of water feature in July.
· Clean up in St Bridget’s in July.
· Regular clean-ups on Monday evenings throughout Spring & Summer.
Other developments:
· Local recycling facilities and information sheet – published in February’s Bugle.
· Ballymore Eustace Ecological Assessment produced by Billy Flynn of Flynn, Furney Environmental Consultants under the support of Kildare County Council and KELT (KELT is the Rural Development Company for County Kildare).
· Ballymore Eustace street map. A copy of the map is on the Ballymore website (
· New street cleaning service introduced by KCC.
· The River Walk pathway is not in good condition. The extensive rain and the survey work for the Waste Water Treatment Plant, during the summer, and recent damage caused by horse‑riders have caused serious deterioration.

Following an appeal, by Mary Firth, to local businesses for donations to cover the cost of procuring bulbs and plants, BME Tidy Towns group has received contributions, to date, from:

· Kieran Langan Family Butcher
· Fogarty’s QuikPick Foodstore & Post Office
· The Gallery and Gift Shop
· Country Kitchens
· Blessington Lakes Garden Centre

Some of the money received has already been used to buy and plant daffodil, tulip, and hyacinth bulbs and potting compost. The bulbs have been planted at various locations in the village including the Naas Road at the School, the Poulaphouca Road on the green area between Bishophill Road and Hillcrest, the boat at the River Liffey Bridge, and at the Resource Centre. The generosity and support, from the local businesses above, is much appreciated and will help us maintain a colourful and attractive village with spring and summer flowers and plants.

The Ballymore Eustace Tidy Towns Group would like to thank everybody who has given time, money, moral support, and encouragement to us throughout 2008. Please continue to support us in 2009. Last year’s achievement will be a very hard act to follow, particularly given “the times that are in it”.

Tidy Towns Competition 2008
Adjudication Report

Centre: Ballymore Eustace Ref: 357
County: Kildare Mark: 262
Category: B Date(s): 07/07/2008
Maximum Mark
Mark Awarded 2008

Overall Development Approach 50 33
The Built Environment 50 35
Landscaping 50 38
Wildlife and Natural Amenities 50 34
Litter Control 50 32
Waste Minimisation 20 5
Tidiness 30 16
Residential Areas 40 30
Roads, Streets and Back Areas 50 31
General Impression 10 8
TOTAL MARK 400 262

Overall Development Approach:
NOTE : You were in Category C last year. You have applied for Category B this year. This is correct, as your population is within the B Category threshold as per Census 2006.

Go raibh maith agaibh go leir! Thank you to Ballymore Eustace TidyTowns and to the community you represent for having given selflessly of your time in working towards entering Ballymore Eustace in this 50th anniversary year of the TidyTowns Competition!
Ballymore Eustace is a small village with a good number of people involved on your committee. Your submission has been put together in a very professional format. It is most interesting, and informative, clear and extensive. You have drawn on the resources of many bodies, agencies and local businesses, including your local authority. You list these for us in your submission. Obviously they hold your group in high regard. You have an extensive media coverage organised. Thank you for letting us have copies of relevant media coverage. We hope that you communicate with all churches attended by any of your residents. Well done on your website. Thank you for submitting your five year plan. It is a pity that you did not detail the consultation process involved in drawing up your Plan. We assume that you held public meetings in this regard, but this is not clear from your submission, nor is it clear from the plan itself. We assume that you have launched your plan. We hope that it was well received. You appear to have listed specific projects for 2008 and 2009 only, with the rest included as "ongoing", presumably 2008-2013. Your school is a great resource for you. Thank you for enclosing the happy photograph of all your great helpers at Scoil Mhuire! We note your concern with the paperwork. We think that you have done "overtime” in this area! As you are starting out with a new plan, and as you are therefore engaging in a lot of paperwork now, the load should lessen. We hasten to say that it is appreciated and has helped us as adjudicators get to know the village well. The fact that it has all been submitted in A4 format has made it easier to use, and the fact that it is so well presented is also to your credit. So you can tell your members that it has been worth the effort! Your festivals are diverse, and you appear to have the edge on other places in Kildare when it comes to attracting in visitors with the festivals you can access. Thank you for submitting a clear map in your plan. However individual projects might be highlighted on a larger scaled map.

The Built Environment:
Ballymore Eustace is a truly lovely village with a very special character of its own. A lot of the character comes from its hillside setting and its lovely stepped rows of houses. It has an old village structure to it, not evident in villages of similar population which have expanded primarily as residential centres. It has public buildings and services in proportion to its population, and this is also partly due to its busy equine centred hinterland also. The built environment has, in the main, been conserved. This aspect of the village is worth looking after in perpetuity, as it is what most confers unique status on Ballymore Eustace. The Local Area Plan recognizes the main buildings of note in its plan, but there are other groups of buildings and individual buildings which also contribute to the totality of the village structure, such as the pleasant two storey house on the left hand side of the Blessington approach road n the area of the Church of Ireland. Your built heritage in the area is very interesting, and is a source of educational, amenity, and educational potential. This heritage is situated in its natural surrounds and has not been encroached upon. We know that you appreciate this aspect of your built heritage well. The Liffey bridge on the Southern approach is a lovely old arched stone bridge. The Church of Ireland is a landmark building on the Eastern approach with a good entrance area. There are good views across to the church and associated graveyard from BishopshilI Road. The Catholic church is a fine building in the centre of the village, and is presented well, having been worked on in the 1990s as you tell us. The church gates and railings, as well as the building look well. The grounds are a lovely setting and are well maintained. The Health Centre looks well with its stone walls and projecting stone wall. The Band Hall is clean, but it needs some planting to soften its outlines as seen in views from the approach road dose to the Church of Ireland.
Barrack Street has rows of lovely artisan cottages which are a delight in their maintenance and care. This care appears to extend to their rear curtileges also, as good views to lovely rear courtyards were observed. The Garda Barracks is a very attractive building on Barrack Street, has retained its fine sash windows: but they are in need of maintenance. Hopefully this can be encouraged. Almost opposite the Barracks is an old stone cottage, with a planning notice. This is also an uninhabited cottage which is being well presented in the interim, with black plywood inserts into the openings. Further along this street is a very charming old long cottage, also uninhabited with very clean off white walls. Lovely green plywood inserts have been placed here. Another row of artisan cottages were very much admired in Chapel Street stepping down towards the Liffey Bridge. Almost at the bridge on the same side as the gate, is a lovely cottage with its sash windows retained and paned windows are retained in the equally attractive cottage opposite.
The Forge doors need a little paint. Scoil Mhuire is very well presented, as befits a Green Flag school. The Ballymore Inn is attractive, as is the cottage uphill with its lovely planting and nice railings. Opposite, The Anvil premises needs painting and weeding, and a long off white two storey house with wooden gates in archway access to rear is also very good. Main Street looks well. At the bottom of Plunkett Road is an uninhabited house which Is well presented with its clean walls and black plyboard sheeting. Well done on taking advice on how to deal with such buildings. Also well done to your local engineer for the good signage maintenance through out the village, including one just in front of this house with its traditional black and white stripes. It is in a strategic location, and looks well. A stone building on Plunkett Road, (Southern side) looks well with its climbing roses. Two derelict sites uphill of this house did not look well. Again uphill of these derelict sites were two very good cottages. On Main St./The Square area, Gallery Gifts is a lovely and well cared for building retaining its sash windows. The property uphill of this was well presented, but unfortunately has PVC inserts. Reconstruction was taking place at the top of the Square at the same side (Corner Shop). Across the Main Street, Headon's business premises, with its tall brick chimneys, brick window surrounds, and creeper covered shed is well presented. Murphy's looked very fresh and clean; the only draw back again - from a built heritage point-of-view - being the PVC inserts. In front of Murphy's an ugly pole detracts from the frontage. This is a village wide problem. Wirescape and poles dominate the views of your lovely streets in many places. Undergrounding them is a very expensive project, but one we hope that you will achieve in time. Your excellent built environment deserves this, and you have recognised this in your plan. At the bottom of this "Square section" of Main Street, Murray's pub forms a "stop". It is also well presented, as is "The Thatch" across the road. A negative intrusion in this vista is the Quick Pick shop / petrol pumps. Outside were observed, several goods for sale cluttering the path. These included 2 litter bins, bales of compost on a stand, a coal bunker, and car oil etc. on a stand, briquettes, and other items for sale including flowers. There is a freestanding post-box close to the two petrol pumps. The signage is also excessive and includes advertising for garden goods (very large). There is also a large Bluegas sign on the gable facing downhill. There is also a canopy and a fabric screen attached to the shop front, and on the path. It is clear that the premises provides a much needed service to the village and surrounds. However, most people know what it sells, and do not need all these reminders. Perhaps you can come to some compromise with the owners/occupiers with regard to rationalisation. It is also makes the footpath at this area very unfriendly for people with mobility issues. And the clutter in a very small space jars with the overall clean lines of the Square. Further down the Square and just around the corner from the Pharmacy is a building under reconstruction. The materials, fenestration, and door type being provided are inappropriate to the vernacular design of all other buildings in the Square. This is a pity, as the site is strategic in visual terms.
The spotlights protruding from Costcutters look out of place in this vernacular village street. Could strip downlighting be recessed into shop front? Posters in shop windows can cause a cluttered look. The gates at the bottom of Chapel Street on the left hand approach to the bridge are good iron gates, and should be conserved. They need painting and some repair, and the pillar is cracked. At the outer edge of the village the property Country Kitchens was admired, both in its new use and in its maintenance and presentation. Be careful with the type of street and road signs proposed. It would be good if you could commission a purpose made sign appropriate to the area - perhaps in stone. And we are glad that they will be bilingual. You obviously have residents who have an interest in Irish. We hope that they will contribute to your moving forward in this area also. Some local authorities have Irish Officers. We do not know if your local authority has such. Throughout the village you are using black street furniture with a "heritage" theme. It is suggested that this style is more reminiscent of English towns and villages than of Irish heritage towns, so if you are considering further lights, bear this in mind. With regard to the colour, black is the most difficult colour for somebody with visual impairment to see, so we would suggest that you reconsider using a brighter colour. Perhaps Ballymore has a team colour you could adopt? The Millenium Garden is an interesting feature at the top of Main Street. You are very lucky to have such an eminent sculptor as Imogen Stewart to work amongst you. Well Done! The juxtaposition of water, stone, and greenery is very effective, and the local connotation of the head of the Liffey is a great example of how heritage, public art and renewal can work well together.
We are not particularly impressed with the chequered paving being applied to the footpaths. We consider that, in its fussiness, it detracts from your excellent building stock, and its classical simplicity. We have written a lot under this heading as we feel your greatest strength is in your built environment, which so few villages still hold intact. Do take care of it! We laud your ideas of "How to develop a village with intelligence" on your website.

Ballymore Eustace has a distinct natural advantage in the fact that it is a village located in unspoilt area in the East Kildare uplands on the river Liffey in its rural upland way. Despite its proximity to the more urbanized parts of the county, the village has really retained its rural ambience largely through the maintenance of its lovely landscaped approaches, stone walls and hedgerows, together with its waterside amenities, as well as through the maintenance of its village built fabric, curtilege size and old plantings The vegetation is native and unspoilt. The tree cover is of mainly native deciduous species. Maybe a Sli na Slainte route could be developed in the environs of Ballymore Eustace.
Your own landscaping of the village area, especially in the Square and in the area of the church grounds, is very appropriate to the village. We are particularly impressed that you are not overusing the more urban landscape forms of baskets and tubs. You do not need these in such a natural setting. An excellent and restrained example of hanging baskets was observed in a simple pair of hanging baskets near the Garda Barracks, on a very well maintained cottage already referred to under "Built Environment" The window boxes, simple and classical containing a splash of red were also very much admired in the cottage in a row near the bridge (again referred to above). Well Done! We are less sure about the baskets on the "heritage" lights, which tend to clutter the skyline.
The planting at the Millennium Garden is simple and appropriate, and breaks up visually a large expanse of road surface. All your planted spaces were well maintained on adjudication day. Thank you for telling us about your spring plantings, both at the Millennium Garden and elsewhere.
The trees in the vicinity of the Church of Ireland are a great asset to the visual amenities of the higher part of the village.
We note your plans to plant the Kilcullen Road.
The River Walk is a fantastic amenity, and we can see how difficult it would be for you to maintain any extension, but given your enthusiasm for work it is hard to see you saying "no". Do remember to include any new residents in "plantathons' or such like - even if they do not want to get involved as members.
Well done on the native tree planting undertaken this year, and on the bulb planting on the approach roads. What is nicer than a Spring daffodil welcome to a village or town!
The planting at the entry to the village in the stone bed, and in the river boat is very attractive. The approaches to the village all have either stone or natural hedging boundaries. These are excellent.

Wildlife and Natural Amenities:
You have achieved what you set out to do in 2007, and produced an excellent Ecological Assessment of your village. KELT (your local LEADER company) is to be congratulated for their assistance. The authors regretted not being able to access private lands. However, if you achieve the conservation of the ten sites in the foreseeable future, you will have achieved a lot. The adjudicator was sorry not to be able to take the pocket guides out and walk the sites in detail! As expected, the Church of Ireland churchyard was found to be one of the outstanding wildlife habitats. Your riverside location is a birdwatcher's Paradise. We are delighted to hear that you are planning a nature/biodiversity trail around the village. Take advice with regard to interpretation in its signage aspects, as it would be a shame to destroy the visual aspects through inappropriate signage. Do not rush this process, and perhaps you might be able to engage some talented local artists again to advise you in this area. Take advice also from your area engineer with regard to maintenance etc.
The river enhancement programme is a good example of how different agencies can work together towards a common good. We look forward to the bird and bat boxes in the future, and to the new wildflower areas.

Litter Control:
Litter control on adjudication day was excellent. We are delighted that you have your Green School and Junior G.A.A. to help you out in this. We note that you have approached your local authority for assistance in dealing with litter issues. They will be a source of help and advice. Perhaps you could organise a Litter Seminar with the Litter Warden of your local authority. We also note your plan to publicise your work in this area.
You have worked well towards litter control. Well done on providing recycling location advice. We hope that Autumn 2008 will provide you with your own facilities as you state.

Waste Minimisation:
You are promoting recycling where possible. Thank you for enclosing the data you published in the Ballymore Bugle re facilities. Do you know what per centages are recycled in the village? What arrangements are made for people who do not have transport? We hope that you will get your recycling area. Well done on the composting initiatives near the cemetery. We are glad you have home recycling bins. Well done to your local shop for helping to recycle clothes. Waste minimisation is about more than not having litter in your street or indeed recycling. It involves the prevention of litter accumulation in the first case. It is really what it says - to minimise on waste production before we, as a community, private or public create it in the first case. You might refer to the Race Against Waste booklet available from the TidyTowns Unit of the Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government. Consider organising or attending a Waste Minimisation Workshop with your local authority. In your local school there will be opportunities to involve the students in an effort to work towards this end.
Perhaps you might prepare a flyer/newsletter on this subject? As a local community you could look at some innovative and simple ideas such as organising a "Bring and Take Day". This would involve using a local hall /community centre for instance for a day - where everybody brings items they have no further use for, but which other people might want (and which under normal circumstances they might get rid of as waste) and put them on display. The corollary is that somebody else needs these items. No monies change hands. Website versions of this idea have been set up in places also. Another group collected all broken crockery, and made a mosaic in their local area. You can gain marks by doing some of these things for 2009.

In general the village and its surroundings were very tidy.
A large temporary sign at the Millennium Garden was not an addition. The rash of signs erected on the business premises already referred to are not adding to the beauty of the Square.
The road traffic signs are excellent and a credit to your local authority.
Footpaths and verges as well as stone walls and hedgerows were in general well cared for, and the public buildings - church and school were very good. The paving works and building works in the village took from the overall tidiness, but you are not penalised for these ongoing and necessary works, and as such they were kept in a tidy condition.
There was no graffiti in evidence in the centre of the village. This is good.
The river walk, particularly at the bridge area needs considerable tidying.
There was some broken fencing at the village end of the Naas Road
The remarks about untidiness in the built environment above are relevant here also. The paths and verges throughout the village were generally well weeded.

The old factory business building at the Blessington entrance is probably the worst example of untidiness in the village, and this at an important entrance. The windows have been poorly boarded, and the wall is dirty. The boundary fencing is broken in places, and the site itself is scrubby and weedy, as is the perimeter boundary area. The triangle in front has too many signs and looks disorderly. However due to roadworks this may in time be rationalised. Remarks re tidiness and untidiness in the Roads etc. Section are also to be considered here.

Residential Areas:
The residences of the village are very well maintained in general, both those in the streets, those on the approaches, and those in the few estates. We have already referred to some of the welt presented private dwellings throughout the village. Hillcrest was admired with its nice plantings to the front of the estate. The pump in this general area is well maintained. St. John's Park off, Chapel Street is beautifully landscaped, and there are lovely plants on the church wall facing the houses. A particular house (2nd house) with trees and a great garden was admired. Well done on your tree planting programme with Liffey Heights estate.

Roads, Streets and Back Areas:
The approach from Blessington is mixed with the wonderful church and the poor factory site as already described.
There are lovely views across to the church from the Bishophill Road. A farm gate here in the foreground of views could be improved. A good farm building forms a road edge along this road at one point closer to the village with good black railings and gate opposite.
There is a very good "Welcome to Ballymore Eustace” sign on this approach.
There is good planting at the cottage at the junction near Barrack Street entrance.
The Coughlanstown Road approach is a little untidy.
The Naas Road approach looks well, and the splayed planted access to KTK site is lovely. Pudding Lane has some lovely private garden embankments with shrubbery and well maintained grass banks. The village sign needs improvement at this entrance.
The Kilcullen approach is trimmed and tidy. The old joinery needs repainting and screening.
The bridge area is very attractive, and generally well cared for.
Whereas comment has been made re choice of colour/design for paving, you are probably glad to be now in a position to have new footpaths.

General Impression:
Ballymore Eustace has a great natural advantage of location and heritage. We know that you are aware of this richness. The Plan is your blueprint. However a lot of what is proposed is as yet aspirational, as the plan only starts in 2008. Good luck with all your ventures! You are approaching the tasks ahead in an organized manner. We also feel that there is a good community spirit to build upon, and a lot of what makes for success is on-the-ground work. You are shown by the current condition of the village to be hard workers, ever before you put your thoughts on paper! We would encourage you to continue to seek the excellent advice which is available to you from your local authority on many issues - be it Conservation, Heritage, Environmental issues and others. You will also have the new residents to help you and to bring new ideas and manpower to your ranks. We appreciate the problems you have to face for the common good especially with regard to water and sewerage works, but you are not complainers, and you work with gusto!
The final outing of the year was a scramble on the 27th Dec in Rathsallagh. Almost every year this outing is cancelled due to bad weather conditions, and 2008 is no exception! However, some members managed to scramble on at Dunmurry Springs, even though it was a very cold day, it was nice to get out there!

The AGM followed that evening in the Resourse Centre. John Field, as outgoing Captain, chaired the meeting. John summarised the year past, thanked the Committee, his family and many friends in BME GS for collectively making it a successful and enjoyable year. He then handed over to incoming Captain, Michael Horan. With great enthusiasm, Michael revealed the golf courses booked for next year and also the best kept secret of all, his choice of Vice Captain! He was introduced as “a bit of youth and energy to the society” – Gavin Daly! Yes, we have again a good team set up, and can look forward to another great year with BME GS.

Having lots to discuss, the meeting adjourned to Paddy’s for a few pints and a bit of craic!

This year’s weekend away is to Dundrum House, Co Tipp. We were there before in 1999 - No doubt, anyone who can remember it, will have no hesitation in doing the return!
Our annual fund raisers are the Quiz Night in Paddy’s on the 20th Feb and Long Johnny’s Golf Classic on the 14th and 15th March.– we urge all members to support these events as they are a significant source of much needed income for the year and are generally great social occasions!

Congratulations and best wishes to Sinead and Gavin Daly who ‘tied the Knot ‘ on New Year’s Eve.

We would like to thank the following for sponsoring prizes / events in 2008



14 -15-Mar-09
LJ's Golf and Country Club
Dunmurry Springs
Gowran Park
Dundrum House – W/END AWAY
Kilkee Castle - CAPTAINS PRIZE
Senior Citizens Party

Having enjoyed the 2007 Senior Citizens Party I again attended the 2008 renewal held in the Poulaphuca House Hotel on Sunday December 14. Seeing most of the people who shared a table with me last year I exchanged pleasantries with them. Here again was Eileen Conway, Mrs Fallon, Willie and Mary Garrigan.

The Two Joes

Seeing a vacant table on the right hand side of the room I headed for it and was joined by my brother James who brought me to the party. At the next table we saw Joe Hanlon of Tipperkevin and Joe Hayden of Glenmore and we got chatting to them.

Nellie and Friends

In due course we got chatting to Nellie Carroll. I also got chatting to Mona and Pat Nugent, Mona’s sister - Patty Lynch, and Chris Douglas. Eileen Gordon and Mrs Harney were all at the same table as Nellie Carroll. I’m not quite sure where Mrs Christy Griffin was but I remember seeing her at the party.


At our table we had Jack Kaine, Tommy Hearn, Paddy Hudson, Sean Tracey, Tom Fennan, James and myself. Paddy Hudson was the only one who was again at the same table as I was. As Jack Kaine and Tommy Hearn were at our end of the table most of our chat centred on them. Jack Kaine, like ourselves was a “horsey” man, so we had no problem chatting with him and re-living the old days. Tommy was the affable type so chatting came easy to him.


In due course, Anne Doyle came to the next table and we got speaking to her. Later on, Sean and Gay Doyle joined Anne. At the next table to the two Joes, we had Mary Kelly (nee Hanlon), Mary Hanlon (nee Cregg) and Bridget Lynch (nee Cregg). Amongst those ladies we had Tony Lynch. Nancy Boylan (nee Kelly) was also at that table. I gather Nancy’s husband Jack, who like myself had a stroke, is going on well at the moment.


Another that we met was Jimmy Valentine. Jimmy spoke of the generosity of the late Johnny Clarke. For years Johnny worked for Kildare County Council as a Supervisor for the Roads Section. In the early eighties, his children, Joan and Martin, regularly played Badminton with the Ballymore Eustace Club.


Mrs Evelyn Horan and Mrs Dessie Horan were both in attendance as was our star photographer, Christy Dennison. Billy and Marie Murphy were there too. Met Tommy Deegan and his sister Mary Riardon. In 1973, Eamonn Deegan, the late Paddy Monaghan and myself stayed with Vinny and Eithne Dougherty (Chris’s mother) at their apartment in New York. Sadly, Vinny is now deceased and his ashes were brought here to Ireland. Eithne happily is still with us and is now in her eighties. From time to time she visits Tommy.


Mrs Mary Foster and Fr Michael McGowan were both at the first table on the left and I got talking to both of them. I had my photo taken in the company of Margaret Dowling, Alice Cullen, Betty Giltrap and Bernie Toomey all of whom were enjoying the occasion.


Caroline Swords was again helping out with the meals and was conscious of my needs as a stroke victim. Mr Morrissey, Swordlestown, introduced himself to me. Like me, he has Tipperary roots. This time around musicians, Bren Hennessy, Mick Farrington, began their music before I got talking to them.

The Committee

Great credit must go to the committee who organised the event and as usual did a great job. Members of the committee that I am aware of include Kathleen Lawlor, Kathleen Jordan, Tommy Dwyer, John Queally, John McCarville and Tim Grace. Got talking to a daughter of John McCarville who recently started work as a Garda at Tallaght to keep up and extend a family tradition.


As luck would have it, I was the winner of a hamper in the draw that was held. This was on top of the lovely box of biscuits I received just for being there.

© Matt Purcell (December, 2008)
Bits n Bobs with Rose

Ann to make ‘Tsunami’ Orphanage visit – prioratise this piece, Frances

Ann McLoughlin and her good friend, Dr Mary Toomey will be heading out to visit an orphanage they helped set up
in Nilavli, Sri Lanki in the aftermath of the Tsunami three years ago. Could anyone forget the televised scenes of the resulting devastation? Whole communities swept away – houses, schools, business premises and tragically, the families who lived within. Thousands of children who survived were left orphaned and in many cases, with no adult family member alive to claim them.

You may remember Ann McLoughlin’s fundraising locally and the promotion of “Giant Waves”, a publication
containing prose and poetry written by children about the December 2004 disaster. Ann was nominated the following year for our local People of the Year Awards and she appears again this year as a nominee.
Hopefully, the political situation/Tamil Tiger fighters will remain stable and allow Ann and Dr Mary to visit the Nilavli Orphanage which provided sleeping quarters for eighty children, the building having been built by a Dutch company. Over three hundred and fifty children attend the school daily with breakfast supplied. Last year, chairs were purchased for the children and this year, socks and shoes provided for each child.
Like myself, most of you over indulged at Christmas; here are children, ecstatic to receive socks and shoes and a chair to sit on at school whilst we in Ireland are debating the cuts in Education (and I’m not disputing the negative effect of the cuts either).
Ann tells me the children are learning to milk water buffalo (cows), to raise hens and grow their own fruit and vegetables at the orphanage – annual trips to Funderland or the cinema are not on their Richter scale.

Please, please if you would like to make a donation, contact Ann at 087 643 9730 or 045 483 689; funds go directly to Sr Arul Mary in Nilavli, there’s no ‘middle-man’ administration cuts – your money will buy basic needs for children who have nothing. The stability and education the orphanage is providing is vital and already, some of the pupils have been awarded scholarships into mainstream schools.
Give them a chance, give them a donation.

Country Market Under Threat!
You’re familiar with Naas Country Market which hosts weekly markets in Naas Town Hall on Friday mornings. The weekly sale of fresh, home grown produce, arts and crafts provide a service – hand-made and home baked goods which, if they were to be sold in health shops or gift shops, would have a hell of a mark-up.

The market in Naas is also a good source for the supply of non-allergic foods and caters for customers with dietary restrictions such as diabetics, celiacs, vegetarians etc.
There are several women from the Ballymore Eustace area also in the Naas branch which has been running weekly markets in Naas for over sixteen years. Given the current economic downturn, you’d think Kildare County Council would have a policy to help supplement community enterprise but no, Naas Country Market have been recently informed that their weekly rent has been increased – DOUBLED – for 2009 with the weekly charge now set at €240!

That may not sound like a fortune to you but the market has a membership of thirty max with twenty plus members consistently attending and selling their goods on a weekly basis. Remember, they have to provide their own goods to first make/create their produce and they do not buy in bulk like major manufacturers; they also must label and pack all home produce………transport to and from the market – add another €20 expenses per member on top of that….
Country Market members are furious at the principle of KCC’s action – no prior discussion, no hearing, just “Pay Up” or …………..
Please support your local Country Market in Naas; they will be meeting shortly to form a committee and lobby the Council for leniency. It would be a pity to have to find another venue as they are an established feature at the Town Hall and an even greater pity if they have to close……….If you’d like to offer support to Naas CM, contact 097 650 7195.
Town Hall, Naas
Every Friday from 10-12am

Crafts – Giftware – Flowers – Plants – Fresh Produce
Home Baking - Savouries and Confectionery
(Dietary Restrictions catered for)

There’s a “Husse-y” in the Village……..with logo please on header
Your bad mind has just drifted completely off track and you are conjuring up ideas of a sordid nature….shame on you! Well, this “Husse” – minus the y – does home visits, gives free samples and could keep your chappy happy for only 70c a day………….
That’s got your attention, hasn’t it!!! Actually, it’s Husse pet foods I’m talking about, not whatever you were conjuring up. Kathleen Lucey lives in Ballymore Eustace and is an agent for this brand which offers 100% natural, dry and tinned food options for both dogs and cats. Husse is recommended by veterinarians and nutritionists, with an extensive range of recipes for specific pets’ needs, especially those with allergies or food sensitive issues.

For your very own four legged hussey, huskey or pussy, go on, give them a treat – try HUSSE pet food products!


Ballymore Ladies GFC

County News
Lesley Tutty was selected for the county panel last month and has been travelling around the county since late December for training in less than ideal weather conditions! Kildare’s first matches were against Louth (12pm) and Down (2pm) on Sunday 11th January where the girls were up against not only good opposition but also strong wind and rain with some hailstones thrown in for good measure.

Congratulations to Lesley who was selected to play in both games. The games consisted of 4 20 minute quarters. Lesley played the 1st and 3rd quarter against Louth where she scored the first goal and narrowly missed a point contributing to a win for Kildare. Lesley had to leave the Louth match early to travel to the second game where she played the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately Down were the stronger team on the day and won this match.

Kildare’s next match is against DCU in Johnstownbridge on Wednesday 14th January.
Sunday 18th January Kildare v Waterford
Kildare v Kilkenny
Wednesday 21st January Kildare v St. Patricks College

Good luck to Lesley and the Kildare panel in these games.

Bag Packing Day in aid of Juvenile section
The bag packing day organised to raise money for the underage girls’ registration fees was a success with the girls raising €972. Well done to all involved.
Thanks to the staff in Dunnes Blessington and to all those who helped out on the day - players, management and parents. Special thanks to all those mammies who gave bag packing tips to the girls. There wasn’t a squashed slice pan in sight!!

Awards Night
The fundraising committee are organising an awards night. Due to the current closure of The Thatch a new venue is needed. The committee are due to meet this week and an update will be included in next month’s bugle.

Training will resume on Monday the 2nd of February at the pitch and Wednesday the 4th in the Band Hall. Training as usual on Monday and Wednesday at 7.30. Don’t forget its on the pitch and ready to go at 7.30! We are always looking to recruit new players so if you are interested please come along.

Thank you
We are sorry to see that The Thatch has closed. We would like to thank Darren and all the staff for their support over the past year and best wishes for the future.

Sharon & Deirdre
Ballymore Eustace GAA

The Club held their annual AGM on the 15th December in the Resource Centre. In conclusion of the AGM, the late Michael Murphy was mentioned for his support and work for the club during his lifetime and sympathy extended to his wife and family.
The club urgently is in need of funding and more help in running the club. Despite a small turnout the following officers were appointed on the night: Chairman Tim Gorman; Vice Chairman Pat Browne; Secretary Mark McCarville; PRO William O'Donoghue and Treasurer Paddy Nolan. Everyone else that was at the meeting was elected to the committee and we hope to see as many of them as possible at our next monthly meeting on the last Thursday of each month after Senior training.

Club membership this year has been set at €40 and player insurance €50 for those looking to become members or being covered while playing. Anybody interested in joining the club as a player or member in whatever capacity should contact one of the following officers:
Tim Gorman (Chairman) – 086 3806978
Mark McCarville (Secretary) – 087 3289496
Eoin Barrett (Chairman Juvenile Club) – 087 7870016
William O’ Donoghue (PRO) - 087 6616545

Anyone using the walking facilities up at the pitch is urged to make a donation however small (€1 or €2) into the box up at the pitch. It is clearly signposted and urgently needed as the ESB bill for the use of the lights does not pay for itself!!

The club wishes to express their sympathy to June Grace and family on the loss of June’s mother, Mrs. Agnes Kelly. May she rest in peace.

New Management
This year the club has a new management team- Jarleth Gilroy was given the task of managing the team with Tim Gorman and Tom O’ Rourke selectors. Fingers crossed the lads can lead the team to some much needed success and the club wish them the best of luck. The club also wish to thank Paul Carroll (Manager), Paddy Murphy and Jim McLoughlin (selectors) for their effort last year with the team and wish Paul the best of luck in his new role with the Wicklow minors.

The Seniors have resumed training which is taking place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm for anyone interested in playing for the club.

Player Profile
Each month a player will be chosen to appear in The Bugle for some questions on Ballymore GAA, some serious, some not so serious. This month is the turn of the evergreen Pat Browne….
Favourite Player: Niall Buckley
Player you would most like to have on BME team: Conor Gormley (Tyrone)
Best Player ever played against: The late Alan Fanning
Career High: Leinster Junior 2004 (Managed by Jarleth!!!)
Career Low: Losing the Intermediate Final
Best advice ever given or received: “Always practice kicking with your bad foot”
The biggest influence on you as a player: The late Frank Gorman
The best BME player you played with: PJ McGrath
Best BME player ever: Kevin Burke, never saw him play but he captained a Senior championship winning team
Best manager ever played under: Mick Murtagh
Team hate playing against the most: Grange
Favourite meal before a match: Pasta
Worst dressed on the team: Colin Clarke
Laziest trainer on the team: Kieran Doyle
Who eats all the sugary buns after training: Tommy Archibald
Mary Browne’s cooking out of ten: 11, you can’t beat it
Who would you most like to go on a date with: Anyone of the Pussycat Dolls!!
If you could be anyone for a day: James Bond
Typical night out: Haydens and then The Court
What you would like to see in your lifetime: BME to win the Senior championship………..oh and world peace!!! (He has his priorities in order!!)
Favourite Drink: Tea although I do like a tipple of Guinness
Favourite Film: The Money Pit
Favourite song: Belfast Child Sings Again by Simple Minds

William O’ Donoghue

Ballymore Eustace-Eustace’s Proud Handball Record –Part 8

My parents, Doctor Willie and Brigid Purcell, came to live in Ballymore Eustace the day John McGrath, the owner of a successful Public House and Grocery Store (now Pat Murphy's premises), died. John died on December 22, 1950. As my father had played handball in his school days it was no great surprise that his children became interested in the game soon after our arrival in Ballymore Eustace. Dan, Billy, Paddy and myself played under the protective eye of the Doctor. Dan and myself had our first taste of handball success when we both won singles tournaments in Newbridge College in 1957. That year too, Dan partnered Pat Clarke in minor soft doubles when they were narrowly beaten by Joe Clery and Paddy Reilly of Wicklow. In the eighties, Dan was closely associated with handball in Ferns and was a driving force behind the building of a 40 by 20 alley there. On October 30, 1988 the Ferns alley was officially opened and John Browne and Sean O'Leary played Dan and myself in one of the games on the opening programme.

In 1958 Robin Winder and myself were awarded the All-Ireland minor hard doubles title after a re-fixture of the final was ordered following a successful objection by our County Board and our opponents did not turn up for the re-fixture. Two years later I had my most successful season when I qualified for four Leinster finals winning three and went on to qualify for three All-Ireland finals winning two. In partnership with John Browne, Paddy won the 1962 Leinster minor hard doubles title and they were narrowly beaten in the All-Ireland final. A month later Paddy became ill and died a short time later in February 1963. Billy and myself in 1964 were on the winning UCD team when UCD took the Intervarsity title beating UCG in the final. In 1959, James won the first under14 soft singles Club tournament which was run in many years narrowly beating Will Hennessy in the final. James was Secretary of the Club in 1967 when the Club had one of its most successful years.

Having won a number of provincial titles I graduated to the senior ranks in 1973 when I won All-Ireland junior hard singles and doubles medals. In 1981 I achieved my life's handball­ing ambition when I partnered Pius Winder to win the All-Ireland senior hard doubles title. For good measure I was part of Ballymore Eustace's successful Novice 40 by 20 All-Ireland winning team. In 1984 I partnered Pat Kirby of Clare to success in the World Masters 40 by 20 doubles championships.

Willie over the years was noted for marking handball matches played in Ballymore Eustace and in my early years provided me with transport to my games all around the country. Brigid, for her part, held the keys of the 60 by 30 alley and collected the light money for many years. Both of them supported me in all my most important matches and were present at all my most important wins. In addition to playing the game I was also involved in its administration holding key positions both at Club and County Board levels. In 1963, at the prompting of Joe Lynch, General Handball Secretary, I re-established the UCD Handball Club. I had the honour of serving on the Committee that built the 60 by 30 alley for the 1970 World Championships at Croke Park. Somewhere along the line I became the unofficial Club historian and at this point I can claim 50 years service in that role.

© Matt Purcell (December, 2008)

The first book of 2009 has probably ruined me for any others- it was so gripping. “Engleby” by Sebastian Faulks (Paperback: Vintage: 10.00) tells the story of the eponymous anti-hero, from his awkward teenage years on a scholarship to public school, through his experiences at an elite university and beyond , to middle age.
Michael Engleby is to all intents and purposes an archetypal working class boy, who appears to feel uncomfortable in his own skin largely for social reasons. The story is narrated from his own perspective, so the reader gains a unique insight into Engleby’s thoughts and judgements. There isn’t a lot about how he feels, although conversely as the reader I was deeply moved at regular intervals in the novel by his depictions of his own isolation. I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, as the book is a thriller and I am relieved I was able to read it over the holidays, as I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed Faulkks’ earlier novel, “Birdsong”, set in the first world war, and really admire his style as a writer, but this latest offering is in a league of its own. The enduring picture of Engleby is of a complex and quite a tortured mind, a character that repulses, but at the same time is sympathetic and fascinating. Highly recommended.

Prior to Engleby and it’s very British setting I was immersed in the turbulent world of 1960’s Nigeria and Biafra’s struggle for independence. “Half of a yellow sun” (Paperback : Harper perennial: 10.50) is Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s second novel. I thoroughly enjoyed “Purple Hibiscus”, but her style has matured even more in this offering, which won the Orange Prize for fiction on 2007. The title reflects the symbol that was on the flag of the newly formed Biafra and the novel gives a very accurate historical account of the harrowing conflict, seen through the eyes of several characters. Ugwu is a young country boy who comes to work in the home of an influential Nigerian academic and we witness his growing up against the background of the civil strife. His master’s partner, Olanna is a compelling character who experiences the ravages of the war and it’s privations first hand, as does her very different twin sister Kayenne. Finally we see the completely different perspective of Richard from England, who comes to love Nigeria and see himself as one of the new Biafrans. Understandably the book is disturbing and traumatic in places, but the writer is never gratuitous . Adiche’s kaleidoscopic narrative style provides a lens through which to view history, but more importantly tells a series of finely drawn love stories. She is an excellent writer and one to watch.

On Sunday evening 14th December Rev Mark Hamblen was inducted as minister of Brannockstown Baptist Church.
The Service was conducted by Pastor Robert Millar of Jamestown Rd. Baptist Church, Dublin who joined the church elders, Allen Brook and Jim Tutty in the Act of Induction with the laying on of hands. Pastor Robert Dunlop led the prayer of Commendation of Mark and Alisha to their new ministry.
Pastor Hamblen and his wife are natives of California and have lived in Athy for several years.
Morning Worship is held at Brannockstown every Sunday at 11:30 a.m. and visitors are welcomed.

For further information go to
Village Green Garden Club
We had a lovely end to the year at our December meeting when Beth Murphy introduced us to the beauty and many uses of willow. Members tried their hand at making willow wreaths and Christmas stars, so everyone left clutching something made by their own hands. Our thanks to Beth for a great evening. As there is no meeting in January, our next date is Thursday February 26th at 7.30 in the Resource Centre. New members always welcome, so do come and join us

Famous Families – The House of Atreus
At last sight (Bugle July 2006), the macabre Macbeth family in Scotland were still bickering after 600 years of turmoil. Lady Angelica, widow of Hugh, 6th Earl and 25th Thane had inherited the complete family estate on his death, to the eternal chagrin of her stepson Colin, 7th Earl, and his sister Liza, who refers to her stepmother as Lady Diabolika.
As famous as that family’s state of disunion is, it is mere kindergarten when compared to some of the really famous families in history. But one should bear in mind the customs of the times then in vogue, lest we compare modern social attitudes with the old. By the same token, when we read reports in some of our newspapers about crime today, it is to be wondered if anything at all has changed.
It is well to understand that legends, heroic or otherwise, can be true in essence but that over-imaginative detail can sometimes lead us astray. When Schlieman discovered Illium, the site of Troy, in the 1870’s, he did so by following unintended geographical pointers in Homer’s poem, The Illiad, a method dismissed as “unprofessional” by eminent professors of the time.

The story of The House of Atreus comes to us in part from mythology, is linked with Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey, and then, importantly, from the plays of Aeschuylus (525-456BC), telling how a curse followed the family for generations, culminating in the aftermath of the ten year long Trojan war, with the deepest tragedy imaginable in the complexities of human relationships – the first ever case of matricide - involving Electra, and her brother Orestes’ trial.
Tantalus was a favourite son of Zeus and was honoured by all of the Gods above all of Zeus’ mortal children. But Tantalus was himself contemptuous of the Gods, of their haughty mannerisms, even though he was the only mortal ever invited to sit at their table and share their divine food. He returned the favour with bitter relish when he invited the Gods to dine with him at a banquet at his palace, to which they condescended, offering every delicacy and the most delectable fare imaginable, the main course of which had superseded in taste anything the Gods had ever experienced before. They were euphoric in praise of Tantalus’ goodnesses, but when details of the menu were disclosed, they were horrified to learn that Tantalus had had his young son Pelops killed, boiled, sliced and served to them on golden plates. With ire and immediate anger they condemned Tantaslus to the everlasting terror of hunger and thirst in Hades, where sunk to his neck in water, he could never drink nor the food touch, for the water receded when he needed it most and overhead, trees whose branches were laden with fruit were blown away by the wind when hunger raged in his body. His wickedness would never be forgotten and succeeding generations would be torn apart by tragedy.
His son Pelops was restored to life by the Gods and although he was happily married to Princess Hippodameia (the east pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia tells this story), his sister Niome carried the arrogance of her father, a superiority gained from prosperity alone, demanding equal status with the Gods. It was enough for the gods to act against her. and her seven sons and seven daughters were struck down and she in utter anguish sank in grief with them gushing tears of sorrow but not repentance and she lies as a stone whose own tears are the stream that washes over her.
Pelops had two sons, Atreus and Thyestes, and their’s is known as the inheritance of evil. In brief, Thyestes had an affair with Atreus’ wife, Aerope, and Atreus in base vengeance killed his brother’s two young sons and at a grand feast, served them boiled to Thyestes, who on learning the fate of his sons bellowed vengeance and doom on the House of Atreus. But Atreus was king, and while that atrocity would never be truly avenged, the next generation would be witness to one of the greatest series tragedies affecting a family in ancient Greek times; for born to the new and its succeeding generation, were heroes of the Battle of Troy and their children, born only to be rent asunder by the sins of Tantalus and his successors, as foretold.
Atreus had two sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, married to Clythemnestra and Helen (of Troy) respectively. Agamemnon and Clythemnestra had three children, Orestes, Iphigenia and Electra. Included in this volatile mix of humanity was Aegisthus, son of Thyestes, who while Agamemnon was away at war in Troy, held ‘criminal conversation’ with the not unwilling Clythemnestra. Next month – murder most foul - the culmination of this particular family’s affairs. Michael Ward.
on passing by- again

A Happy New Year to you all, even if it does look as if it might not be the best of years. It has certainly started off badly with bad news following bad news. The sight of Beverly Flynn lecturing us on her entitlements was almost sickening. No stranger to controversy, and following in her fathers footsteps, she could see absolutely nothing wrong with accepting over forty thousand euro a year even though back in the Fianna Fail fold. In a rare, almost unprecedented, display of backbone Mr Cowen appears to have finally gotten through to Flynn that while she may have been technically and legally entitled to the tax free cash she was morally and ethically not entitled to it. It’s a real pity the same backbone could not be displayed more often.
I don’t know if anyone else noticed but it appears that the Governments promises to continue with infrastructural projects may turn out to be as aspirational as the previous election promises. After enduring years of hassle at the Mad Cow roundabout it finally looked as though you would be able to drive straight over the roundabout and then straight through Newlands Cross. Well sorry folks bit the Newland Cross bit is on the long finger for the foreseeable future. And I thought it was infrastructure.
The Government looks set to continue its plodding and stumbling as the Official Finances continue their downward spiral. We appear to have a troika at the helm of the good ship Ireland but I am afraid their seamanship skills leave a lot to be desired.
Captain Cowen, despite what many would regard as an overly long apprenticeship, has finally been given command of the L.E.Eire but has shown that he was not being very attentive in class. Despite all the years at Admiral Bertie’s side, years spent supposedly looking after the ships treasures, both his leadership and financial skills are now shown to be highly questionable.
As you all know a proportion of the crew is tasked with looking after the affairs of the rest of the crew. Over the last number of years this loyal and trustworthy band has come in for some special consideration. Unlike the rest of the crew they have been given wage increases beyond the ships means, and this and previous Captains have long told them that old age should carry no financial worries for them, as the ships coffers would not only finance their retirement but would also index link their payments for life.
Unfortunately the good ship has now spent some months in choppy seas, storms lashing its sides and denying it the trade it needs to keep it treasure chests full. To further compound the problems it looks as if the ship will now spend some long months in the doldrums, becalmed and windless, and apparently rudderless. Some members of the ordinary crew have suggested that one way to save the ships treasures, or at least slow down the their depletion, would be to get rid of some of the better off clique and to trim their remuneration a bit. This was suggested in the past, by the Administration Officer, Lieutenant McCreevy. He wanted to cut the crew by five thousand but Captain Cowen, before his promotion, had actually increased the upper echelon by nearly forty thousand. Perhaps this is why the Captain appears to think cutting back numbers is a bad idea. He has promised to look into it, but this is possibly in the hope that good winds and fair seas will return before he has to make a decision and thus save the special position of his favourites.
Some of the Captains decisions on promotions for the crew have also been a little bewildering. Midshipman Lenihan, from a position of almost no importance, has seen his star rise and now stands at the number three position on the Bridge. He has been put in charge of the ships treasure, despite having little if no experience of the position. While his Captain had spent the previous years looking after the goodies we must remember that because the coffers were filled to overflowing no one had really noticed all the jewels and baubles which had fallen through the cracks, or had questioned the profligacy with which he had extended his largesse to certain cohorts.
First Lieutenant Lenihan did however appear to see some of the storms on the horizon before his beloved Captain. One of his first decisions was to give the ship a good going over to see of he could cut down a bit on expenses and see if he could get the crew to contribute a bit more to the ships running costs.
Unfortunately he seems to have been unable to see the sea for the waves. His idea to cut back on some of the older crewmembers entitlements to articles from the medical chest was met with a certain degree of ferocity. The fact that he was somewhat taken aback by their reaction spoke volumes. Could they not see that it was for the ships good. How could the Captains favourites continue to enjoy their trappings if no one wanted to make sacrifices. The ungrateful wretches.
His decision to increase the ships taxes was likewise not the cleverest of ideas. Facing yet another backlash his solution was to spare the cabin boys from the increase. It was somehow disheartening to see such a senior officer order the ship into such a set of u-turns . We will watch his progress with interest but somehow I cant really see the lieutenant ever getting his backside into the bed in the captains cabin.
Second in command, Executive Officer Coughlan, has also been an unlikely candidate for promotion to this level. The fact that her attributes in vulgar below decks language mirror those of her Captain may have influenced his decision.
Her gut instinct when questions or events overtake her seems to be the same as her Captain’s. Bluster for a bit to take the pressure off and them promise the ships company that she will look into the problem and get back to them. She also seems very good at promising task forces and reports, even though previous reports litter the bridge and the captains cabin.
So what of the future of this once proud vessel?. Some time served sailors, spending their time ashore because they were not lucky enough to sail this time, have suggested that it might be time for the Captain and some of his crew to walk the plank. I am not really sure if this is a good or a bad idea. Yes, it might be time for a new Captain but I cannot see anyone in the junior ranks, or on the shore, who would be able to do a whole lot better. On the other hand can we continue to allow L.E.Eire to be sailed so badly?

All for now. Mike Edmonds.
Scoil Mhuire news:
Athbhliain faoi mhaise ó Scoil Mhuire. Last term was a busy one with many exciting projects. Book Week was the first week of December when pupils completed a corridor gallery of artwork depicting their favourite characters and stories from books. The Parents Association held a successful Book Night from which the school library stocks were increased. The library now boasts 12,566 books so it's no wonder it's everyone's favourite room! The highlight of the week was the the storytelling sessions with well-known storyteller Niall de Burca who enthralled pupils and staff alike with his amusing, lively presentations.
85 pupils from senior classes participated in the school musical "Joseph" which played to packed houses each night. Along with leading roles onstage the pupils were responsible themselves for art and design, stage management, lighting, programmes and posters. Lead roles of Joseph and the narrator were played by Joshua Burke-Hayes and Heather Sammon and parents Tracey O'Connor, Carol Burke-Hayes and Geraldine Lawler provided the wonderful costumes. Colm Lambe generously donated half of all his proceeds from the sale of the concert DVDs to the profits which will now be used to purchase an additional interactive whiteboard and laptop for a senior class.
The annual pupil talent show, organised this year by the pupil committee Tom Murphy, Ryan Wilson-Black, Amy Kelly, Niall O'Neill and Harry Murphy, along with parents donations raised €723 which was given to the two local groups raising funds for Niall Mellon project and the N.C.B.I. Scoil Mhuire would like to acknowledge receipt of a generous donation from Ragusa stud at Christmas. This donation is used annually to fund educational events for pupils. 2nd to 6th classes participated in the annual inter-schools carol service in Ballymore Church organised annually with great success by Gemma Hanlon and the school choir sang also in the Ballymore Parish carol service.
2009 got off to a busy start with the emphasis on environmental and health issues. The green school committee faces its examination on 12th January to see if we are to merit a second school green flag. Teacher Siobhan Barry and the committee have worked tirelessly on the theme of "energy" and we have our fingers crossed for them! 1st, 2nd and 3rd classes will have the opportunity to participate in a dance workshop, facilitated by Kildare Arts Council on January 15th in the school hall. A nutritionist has been engaged to work with all classes on Friday 16th January to launch our school's healthy eating policy and on 21st January the teachers will partake in a workshop facilitated free by the H.S.E., "Active for Life", which aims to upskill teachers and help them run enjoyable aerobic activity classes in the hall for pupils. Pupils from 5th and 6th are preparing for the annual schools credit union quiz in Naas.
On a more sombre note, we were saddened to hear of the death of our nearest neighbour, Agnes Curry, in December. We used to enjoy seeing Agnes off at the school gate on her annual trip to Lourdes where she regularly prayed at the grotto for children who are ill. She will be fondly remembered in our assembly prayers.
The Same only Different!

Browsing through articles I’ve written for the Bugle over the years I came across one written the 9th January ’03. I’d forgotten completely about events that had taken place in ’02 and I’ll hazard a guess that so have most people, so I’ll lift a piece of out of the article and give it to you straight. I’d been reading ‘what they say in the papers’; by various columnists and feature writers and here is what they all commented on, --- greed, chicanery in politics (lies and deceit), wanton wastefulness, despair, and poverty. The wanton wastefulness was referring to the erection of the Spike on 0’Connell St which cost millions, we never did hear the final figure, and at the same time a Capuchin priest was seeking a mere million to improve a day care centre for the poor and homeless close by. All this happened six years ago, six years of our Celtic Tiger on the rampage carrying us to the top of the heap when our homes became more of an equity than a home, but have we left despair and poverty and wanton wastefulness behind? I hardly think so. Today’s columnists and feature writers are writing about the year gone out and are writing much the same as they did six years ago, --- it’s the same only different, the difference being there’s more of it; more stabbings and murders and violent robberies. And what about the fiddling in banking circles? All proper and correct it seems only don’t tell the shareholders; they might ask awkward questions at the AGM. If your high enough up the corporate ladder in banking nobody bothers to question what you’re doing shuffling all those pieces of paper from Paddy to Jack and back again. They seem to use the formula so beloved by politicians, --- wink, nudge, and whatever you havin’ yourself. When do our financial controllers and regulators move into action stations one might ask? When it’s too late would seem to be the answer. Many years ago I well remember going into my bank manager to ask for an overdraft. £3000 was the sum required to buy cattle; £3000 would have bought a lot of cattle in those days. He put me through the hoops checking out my credit worthiness, then, suddenly said that he would like to see over the place. At this remove I can’t say if this was standard practice by bank managers; maybe he just wanted to get out of the office for a few hours but he arrived out at the appointed time with an agriculture advisor in tow. I gave them the ‘grand tour’ and all were satisfied that I wasn’t mentally incapacitated and that the ground they stood on was mine, all mine. The overdraft was granted. I tell this story wondering if the same criteria is applied today when some person or corporate group goes seeking billions to buy up development lands or property, or does that only apply to the ‘little people’! And speaking of finance I hear on the news that the government, (tax payer) has propped up the banks to the tune of 1.3 billion. That piece of news will be very gratifying to the man or woman who stood in the dole queue before Christmas and not in the queue for Santa.
So how have our beloved leaders behaved in the year gone out? The gaff of the year must go to our Taoiseach who urged us all to vote Yes to Lisbon and in the same breath telling us all he hadn’t bothered to read it. Sound man Biffo Boy, I didn’t read it either and voted Yes, but I’m not in the public eye and leader of the band. And what about the almighty blunder in the budget when it took a lot of spin doctoring and a U turn or two before it was half acceptable to the public at large especially the ones it hit most, the weak and vulnerable. We still have electronic voting machines hidden away somewhere in a cupboard costing a cool half million a year in rent. Why don’t we hang a ‘for sale’ sign on them? If 2009 is to be a ‘cost cutting exercise’ year that would be a start.
So here we are at the start of a new year and one should be up beat and give it half a chance, but it’s hard to be up beat when all around us, politicians included, keep telling us that we ‘ain’t seen nothing yet’ and that the recession facing us is worse than previous ones. Hum, that all depends on where you’re coming from and what vintage you are. If you’re middle aged or younger and have been living ‘high on the hog’ (two holidays a year plus all mod cons to your hand) then 2009 could look daunting, but if you’re my vintage you’ll be inclined to say ‘so what’ we’ll survive. From where I’m coming from Ireland was in a perpetual recession until we joined the EU. Put another way, we didn’t expect much co’s there wasn’t much to be had, so when we hit a bad patch the fall wasn’t great. Just maybe a bit of correction mightn’t do a bit of harm. Eamon de Valera better know as Dev once said, I quote, -- “that Ireland which we dream of would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis of right living, of a people who were satisfied with frugal comfort and devoted their leisure to things of the spirit”, unquote. Well now, put your ace of spades on that! Those were the days when we were ruled by Canon Law and not the Law of the Land. In this secular age who’d buy it? I remember Dev’s golden age and I for one wouldn’t be a bidder, but there is a grain of truth in his statement that might suit the times we face into.
For better or worse a new year is with us. Lets hope it’s not the same as last year and the difference will be better! If we ‘cut our cloth to our measure’, we’ll find it could be better than expected. Hope springs eternal, and a Happy New Year to all. Yrs Jeffers.

Christmas “Cheer”!
Christmas, one day in 365 and it probably brings more stress to us than moving house or getting a divorce. This year, I swore I was going to be organised – no last minute shopping, no panic, no Christmas cards going to England 2 days before the event………And don’t roll your eyes to the Heavens at that – there are plenty more like me. Well, I got off to a great start, text the sisters in law for advice on what the nieces and nephews wanted, went mad and bought wine and candles to beat the band – wasn’t going to lose sleep over selecting presents this year. That was the plan, Readers. I hadn’t bargained on forgetting I had already bought the blasted candle holders so every shop I visited in November and early December, I just kept on buying and buying………until I cleaned out the boot of the car and realised I had enough candles to keep the Church lit for a month!

I was having the family to my house for Christmas dinner, fifteen adults, three older children and three little ones. Plans to go shopping early were deferred as “My Don” and William went about putting up a satellite dish to receive the ‘free’ stations, courtesy of Lidl. “A couple of hours” says Don “We will have it done in no time”.
The straight forward process encountered a few hitches; holes were drilled through the interior walls, wires started appearing everywhere. And sure, if I was going to get the free stations in the kitchen, shouldn’t I also watch them in the sitting room, the bedroom, William’s room – until the roof started to look like a NASA signal station……….
Two Sundays later, no shopping done, Don and William smothering with colds, the O’Donoghues were multi-channelled (until recent high winds and frost interfered and the words “Weak Signal” keep appearing). In the meantime, Christmas was getting closer and still, the bulk of shopping is not done.
Neither was the grocery shop, the cards and panic was beginning to set in.
I’d wake up and think “Turkey bag! I’d better not forget the roasting bag..” or “Cream - Tin Foil - Gift Tags!”
Isn’t that sad, in the lead up to celebrating the birth of Our Lord and I’m sweatin’ over tin foil. The night before Christmas Eve, William had collected my boned and rolled turkey and ham from Langan’s. I’m talking to visitors, washed the ham and put it on to boil…….Ah yes, I am going to be better prepared this year…
Up early morning Christmas Eve and I’m preparing the turkey for roasting – only its not the turkey I’m looking at, it’s the ham and the ‘ham’ I boiled the night before has suspicious looking goose pimples and is peculiarly white…….
I’m standing there in my housecoat ie a very bobbly, ancient dressing gown I do housework in, wearing off white ankle socks and old slippers. A Festive Vision tying to come to terms with the fact that I have boiled the bloody turkey when Paul, my past husband arrives, full of Christmas cheer and laden down with Christmas gifts. (This is before 10am on Christmas Eve)
“Could you arrive just once when I look human instead of like Nora Batty from “Last of the Summer Wine”?” I asked. “Ah sure, when are you ever any other way.” says he in reply (rather bravely, I thought).
“And that’s the great thing about you, you don’t get stressed, doesn’t take a feather out of you…”
My children would disagree with him and they thought I was a friggin’ lunatic that day. Poor William made trips in and out to Naas for gifts, groceries, drinks and any ‘bits’ that were missed en route.
Then Ethna arrived, then Margaret……..and so the day continued with me still in my Nora Batty ensemble – I’m happy to say I dressed properly for church.
“My Don” was also going to call on Christmas Eve morning; those of you who know him well know he is a ‘poor time keeper’; Don arrived about 15 minutes before we legged it to Christmas Eve mass service, barely had time to exchange greetings and gifts: “Hello – Goodbye, see you after Christmas…”
The following morning arrived, the previously boiled turkey was decked with streaky rashers and given an hour in the oven and do you know what, it was only divine to taste, nicest turkey ever………We made Dora’s for breakfast, then visited the graves, up to O’Donoghue’s to see Nanny, nicked a baking tray from my sister in law and home again by 1o’clock with dinner to be served by 3!
Not bad going – d’you know what, it was a lovely day. Fiona brought a sherry-berry trifle to die for; Bernie prepared the vegetables and potatoes; Laura provided the napkins and Christmas crackers and Donna did sweet damn all, kept her trifle for herself on Stephen’s Day, she did! Guess who’s cooking dinner next year………
My children raced around before family arrived and the day went smoothly. The daddies and older children hogged the front room where they monopolised the “Wii” – can you imagine a very competitive Peter Barrett roaring instructions at his four year old son, Paddy “Press it now, Paddy! Ah Jeez, you missed…”
The mammies stayed in the kitchen, attacking the chocolate and wine. The children were great, the little ones climbed up on a life sized deer ornament but the big success of the day was a tiny water pistol which fell out of a cracker. About an inch and a half in length, the others got lunch boxes, put water in them and spent hours throwing water at one another!
It was midnight when Bernie finally called time and took Lyn, Clodagh and Cillian home as Amy and Hayley stayed on with my lot to finally win a million on “Who wants to be a millionaire?” (took about two hours, twenty text messages and Google checks but they did it and twelve year old Clodagh was the most accurate).
And I fell into bed, tired and happy and secure that Paddy and Ivy, wherever they are, would have enjoyed seeing the family in action. Uncle Gerry, bless him, bought me a new red dressing gown and I’m sitting in it right now as I type this.
Another Christmas over, its not the pre-Christmas panic I remember but the happy atmosphere in the house on the day, the Church on Christmas Eve, dressed in seasonal green, red and white, the choir……..breakfast in Dora’s and seeing Nanny on Christmas morning plus Margaret’s delicious pudding and pavlova – what would I do without you all?
God Bless for 2009, X – Rose
Congratulations to Michael Gilroy and his wife Sharon on the birth of their baby son, Odhran who was born in Limerick on the 20th November 2008. – see photo
Great joy in the Bell household as a bouncing baby boy is born to Linda Mooney.
Congrats to Sandra and Andrew Auld on the birth of their daughter, Aisling
And to Una and Mick Bagge of Hillcrest on the birth of their baby daughter
A belated happy birthday to Letty Farrington who celebrated her 70th birthday with family and friends before Christmas.
And to Sarah Treacy of Assumpta Terrace who claims she was ‘39’ last birthday………We believe you, Sarah – the lady in question is 93 years young and still going strong!
A very happy 1st birthday to Mary Ann Deegan! See photo

Kerry Reilly and Sean Ryan of Naas who got engaged recently, should I buy the hat yet……..
Best wishes to sister Lynsey who is heading off to Australia shortly leaving Mag with Der and the dog……
Congratulations to Linda Nolan and Frank Owens on their engagement recently.
Best wishes to Kathleen Redmond Shannon, photographed here before she walked the Dublin City Marathon in aid of the Helen Rowlinson Clinic, Essex, Uk where she was treated for breast cancer years ago. Well Done, Kathleen!

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In Reverse please:
The late Mrs Agnes Kelly
We extend our sympathy to June Grace and family on the death of her mum, Mrs Agnes Kelly, nee Harrison of Celbridge. Sadly, Agnes died on New Years Day and coincidentally, her late husband Billy died 39 years ago – on the 1st January. Originally from Mayo, Agnes lived in Ballymore during the early years of married life and worked in The Thatch at one stage; many of you would have met her with June over the years and she was a lovely, chatty and friendly person. Aged 90 , she is survived by her daughters June, Brigid and Alice, sons JJ, Dermot and Michael and sister Gretta, grandchildren, sons and daughters in laws and extended family. No doubt, Agnes is reunited with Billy - may she rest in peace, amen.

The Late Agnes CurryThe month’s mind occurred recently of the late Agnes “Aggie” Curry (nee Meehan) of Ballymore Eustace who died on December 19, 2008. Aggie was pre-deceased by her husband Paddy and survived by her son John and daughter-in-law Muriel; sisters, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.Agnes was at the pulse of the business community in Ballymore Eustace, having run a hair salon from her home for several decades. It was Agnes who co-ordinated and managed annual parish trips to Lourdes and in latter years, she joined the team at Russborough House where she worked as a tour guide. It's nice to see that John and Muriel are continuing to arrange the Lourdes trip. The late Agnes Curry, may she rest in peace, amen.The late Michael Brosnan
We extend our sympathy to the family of the late Michael Brosnan who died peacefully at Galway Hospice, Renmore after a short illness. He will be sadly missed by his sister, Sr. Maria Therése (O.C.S.O.); brothers Tom and Patrick; sister-in-law Monica, uncle John, aunt Sr. Lelia (F.C.J.), nieces and nephews, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace, amen.

The Late Mrs Aileen Callaghan
We extend our sympathy to Cllr Willie Callaghan and members of the Callaghan family of the death of their mother, Mrs Aileen Callaghan of Naas recently. May she rest in peace, amen.

The family of the late Micheal Murphy, who died 22nd November last wish to thank those who supported them throughout his illness. A big thank you to those who called, sent mass cards and attended the Funeral services; to the doctors, nurses and carers who looked after him in hospital and at home. Special thanks also to the Garda Suiochana and the groups who formed Guard of Honours at the funeral. Our extended gratitude to Fr Paul Dempsey. Micheal appreciated the love and support from family and friends and it gave him the courage to maintain his sense of humour throughout his illness. May he rest in peace, amen.
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When we had the final list of nominations for this year’s People of the Year Awards, I said “That’s it, I’m leaving the country…..”
Tommy Dwyer – his daughter, Gillian dates my son; The Doyle Sisters – known affectionately as “The Aunties” as their niece Fiona is married to my brother, David; Ann Kelly of Bishophill who grew up next door to where I now reside and the early part of my childhood I spent in and out of “Granny Clarke’s”; The Ladies GAA Team – my daughter Sharon having been an active member and Club Pro; Eddie ‘Ned’ Hubbard – he and Nuala taught me to play badminton and I remember him from GAA and field day activities forever and his grand daughter, Aisling and William were close pals for years and finally, Larry Burke Hayes who, thanks be to God, is not related nor has he ever dated anyone in my family! Whomever is named Person or People of the Year, blame Tim, Michael or anyone of the other community people we consult with……..

Believe it or not, Readers but we had other submissions which came in too late – if you want to nominate someone for next year, do it now, you don’t have to wait until 31st December, 2009!!

See here a brief on our six nominations; it really doesn’t matter who wins the overall award, they are all winners as far as Ballymore Eustace is concerned. The Award Night will be held in the Resource Centre on Saturday, 7th February after 7pm mass, doors open at 7.30pm so come early if you want a seat ‘cos its definitely going to be a full house!
Congratulations to all our nominees, well deserved and long overdue for many of you.

The Ladies GAA Team
‘D’ Championship Winners, 2008
It is the team who won the D Championship in 2008 that has been nominated but we must recognise the club’s former players, committee members and management teams during the past few years as having a share in the club’s success in 2008. You will know from previous articles in The Bugle that the Ballymore’s first ladies gaa team found it tough going during the early years; in-experience and young players were beaten by seasoned, tougher teams but this didn’t deter the girls, no way. Back they came, year after year, until they finally started notching up a few wins.
In the meantime, they had good support from committee members and through fundraising and approaching local businesses, they secured player’s kit. When it came to The Annual Festival Queen, they submitted an entrant – Megan O Neill was runner up in 2007 and Louise Tutty crowned the winner in 2008.
These girls are a great bunch of women, they throw themselves into training, partying and fundraising with the same gusto as if they defending a World Title! In 2008, under the management of Simon Murphy, John Hubbard and Joe Piggott, they got to a League Semi Final and won the D Championship having been runners up the League the previous year. We must acknowledge Noel Winders, William Clarke and Paul Fagan’s input here plus Club Chairperson Jacinta O’Rourke and committee members, Biddy Meade, Aisling Rigney and Caroline Deegan.
When the Ladies Club ‘helped’ the lads organise the annual dinner dance, they ran the show with style and superb organisation, best social in years. Everything they were involved in ran smoothly – Cheltenham Pre-Race night, The Welly Match and Barbeque, Ladies Mini Marathon…….no bother to ye!
Girls, you’ve kept going, stuck with the training and finally, reaped the rewards and hopefully, more to come in the years ahead. The Ballymore Eustace Ladies Gaa Team, Championship Winners 2008 – well done!

The Doyle Sisters
Whilst our nomination is for the “Doyle Sisters”, the submission received cited them as “The Doyle Girls” – there you are, Kathleen, Claire, Ann and Gay, you are still considered ‘young ones’. Kathleen, we’d like you to note that, apart from this nomination, you were nominated also for your work in the Church by a young person. It is sad that Fr Breen is not here to see you recognised for your parish work, your duties in the Church and your work on the Senior Citizen’s Committee over the years. Whilst Kathleen is totally committed to carrying our church duties, she is especially thoughtful and considerate when dealing with the children doing alter service, always having sandwiches and little treats organised for them if they are serving at funeral masses. As with Tommy Dwyer, Kathleen is one of the committee who fundraise and organise the annual senior citizens Christmas party and summer outing. Claire too is heavily involved with Church duties and parish work and always on hand to help with fundraisers such as the Baldonnell Singers Concert, the Christmas Fete and Sale of Work etc. Claire was an active member of the Badminton Club for years, the dramatic society and is currently a member of the Historical Society. No matter what its in aid of, you will always see Claire and at least one of the Doyle sisters at
a table quiz. Sister Ann has carried out tremendous work on behalf of third world countries; she was nominated for our local annual awards before for her support of Polio Vaccination for children in India and her continued support of the Nalavli Orphanage in Sri Lanka established after the Tsunami disaster in 2004. And you will find Ann present at all local fundraisers too.
Gay has had a busy life too, mother of five, grandmother of seven, has found time outside of assisting on the farm, working as a nurse and midwife, to help with Kare collections, Spina Bifida, Epilepsy Association and she previously worked with the missions in Nigeria and is currently a member of the historical society. Gaa fans will know Gay as she is married to former Ballymore all-star, husband Sean with her two sons Patrick and John also being players.
Basically, you will find the “Doyle Sisters” will support every community fundraiser or local gate collection – a family member said “If there’s a cake involved, the Doyle women will attend!”
Kathleen, Claire, Ann and Gay – Sisters or Girls, your award is richly deserved.

Anne Kelly of Bishophill
Anne Kelly has an exceptional record in Scoil Mhuire – 27 years of unbroken employment with the school. “She is the most committed, hard-working, loyal and pleasant member of staff that any organisation could hope to have. She has never been absent through illness in the 16 years that I have worked with her.” said principal, Mairead O’Flynn. “She has a thankless job, cleaning up all sorts of mess, sometime unpleasant work but she always does so with great cheer and constant good humour. She is always interested in absolutely everything to do with this school and supports every concert, fundraiser and event we host. The children know her really well and she even remembers to ask after and pray for people who are ill. She does more than her alloted work and helps keep a watch out on health and safety matters and security issues. Anne would spot an open window or a possible security hazard. If one cleaning solution won't work she'll try everything and will not be satisfied until everywhere is gleaming.
Visitors to our school always remark on the very high standard of cleanliness in the school and in fact, this was highlighted by the Department of Educations inspector when the last major school inspection report was carried out. There is a direct link between the standards in a school building and the learning conditions and in this, e can be assured that Anne has greatly added to the environment enjoyed by hundreds of Ballymore children. nne has 5 grandchildren in the school but looks after every child as if he or she were a grandchild also. Anne’sfamily are always heavily involved in all school activities and have been part of all recent school events over the years like fashion shows and golf classics. Seamus was instrumental in running the auction in the Noel Thompsons garage in 2004 which raised a huge amount to pay for school furninture for the school extension. “
All the classes in the school made submissions on Anne and her work and these will be on display at the Awards Ceremony.
We have to include this submission because it is just so sweet:
“I think Anne Kelly should be Person of the The Year because she keeps my school shiney clean. She is very kind and all the kids know her. She is also my granny and is brilliant at that too! We all love her very much” – Devon Waters
Anne Kelly of Bishophill – the children of Scoil Mhuire salute you!

Tommy Dwyer of Coughlanstown
We are surprised that this man has never been nominated before!! Here’s a man we identify with The Brass & Reed Band; The Bandhall; Senior Citizen’s Association; The Panto; Soccer; Irish Dancing – ha, you didn’t know that? Former Irish dancing champion – no wonder he went into the cobbler’s trade, he was always light on his feet……..Add to that his involvement with bowling, his support of the junior and senior dramatic society, his fundraising achievements and The Coughlanstown Brigade will vouch he is a great neighbour….the list re Mister Dwyer is endless….

Regarding The Bandhall, Tommy works tirelessly, seven days a week, fifty two weeks of the year. He was one of a
Committee who worked hard to fund the construction of the current building and since then, have managed to kit out the interior to superb standards with several dramatic and musical presentations being performed there every year.
Since then, the exterior has been painted, the car park levelled and gravelled and Tommy is now fighting to secure KCC KTK Levies to tarmacadam the yard. Tommy oversees the booking and weekly running of the hall which includes bowling, another club he is involved in. The Bandhall Players annual pantomime is another ‘baby’ of Tommy’s – he is involved back stage whilst his wife Bernie is onstage; he is PRO with daughter Gillian and son, Stephan having being roped in to perform years ago also!

Tommy’s dedication to The Brass & Reed Band is incredible; whilst he never marched with The Wolfe Tone Brass & Reed Band, he is hugely dedicated to the continuation of musical training to our youth, whether it is for pleasure, for education or future career purposes, Tommy believes the gift of music will stay with you throughout your life.
Several years ago, Tommy was one of the committee who brought young band members to Paris for St Patrick’s Day. He supports youth activities in the village yes, but he is also a member of the Senior Citizen’s committee who organise the annual Christmas party and summer outing – once again, Tommy helps fundraise and assist with these activities.
Tommy Dwyer of Coughlanstown, your nomination is overdue but worth waiting for!

Larry Burke Hayes of Hillcrest
Here’s a man who uses his talents to serve The Church and has graced the stage in The Bandhall to provide first class entertainment. Larry has a golden voice; a founder member of the Church Choir, he sings – well, he sings like an angel. A Special Minister of the Eucharist, he carries out his church duties with genuine devotion and was a founder member of the Parish Board of Management.
A deeply spiritual man, Larry is also a dedicated family man, husband to wife Carol and supports his children in all their activities – sporting, musical and dramatic etc.
Larry was a former member of Scoil Mhuire Parent’s Association and principal, Mairead O’Flynn said “He was a pleasure to work with and a great asset to that committee.”

But Larry enjoys a good laugh and is not afraid to shed the day uniform and don a dress should the occasion demand! You will have seen him in many a panto production with the Bandhall Players and he was both a vision and a star performer.

He has supported several other fundraisers and might very well have been mistaken as a transvestite but if it raises money, Larry has raised the hemline, applied the lipstick and says “Who cares, its in aid of a good cause!” You will see him lead the Children’s Choir in church and you might even see him appear at the Senior Citizens Party but definitely not in a frock!

A talented man with a God-given talent, Larry is dependable and committed to his church duties –
a true Christian, Larry Burke Hayes of Hillcrest.

Eddie “Ned” Hubbard
Think of Eddie Hubbard and you think of GAA. Think again – he has been involved with Badminton, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Tug O’War, The Field Day….you name it, Eddie has participated as a player, club member and a supporter.
As a young man, Eddie had great success on the playing fields. His athletic career began in Tipperkevin School and then later, joined Naas Athletic School where he won a lot of cross-country races, the Millbrook Cup at Punchestown amongst them in 1950, the race being one of Leinster’s most prestigious events.
Eddie was secretary of Ballymore Athletic Club for years and, prior to the parish guideline rule being enforced local children participated in competitive events in West Wicklow under BLE rules. As the community games grew in popularity, Eddie eventually went to Mosney as a Kildare Official and continued to support and encourage youth in Ballymore to participate in the Games’ track and field events.
As a youth, Eddie also won the Kildare Junior U18 Championship title in cycling; he boxed under Sike O’Neill and Garda O’Leary, his most notable achievement being runner up in the Leinster Championship.
Along with his wife, Nuala, Eddie was to the fore of the badminton club in the village; he was one of a committee that started the Kildare League which eventually had fifty two teams competing; he was honoured as Secretary of the Year from the Badminton Union of Ireland during that time and he was a player on the side which won a Kildare Junior League Title.
I’d need a book to list his involvement and work with local GAA clubs, at Juvenile, Senior and indeed, his son John and grand daughters are at the heart of the current ladies club! Eddie has attended all club AGMs since the late 1940s, having served as Treasurer for twenty five years, trained several underage teams from U11 to U16 years and, along with the Late Frank Gorman and Tom Hanlon were instrumental in setting up a committee with Two Mile House, Ballymore and Eadestown to form Oliver Plunkett’s Club. Eddie is also a club representative on the County Board.
His Tug O’War history is impressive: having served as Secretary, Vice President, Hon President and Chief Finance Officer for the Irish Tug of War Association. He is currently serving President/Chief Executive Officer but he also enjoyed enormous success ‘on the field’. With Two Mile House club, he was a ‘puller’ and a team coach; he won a World Club Championship as coach to Allenwood in Sweden in 1976 and was later awarded “Status of International Tug of War Judge” in 1978 by TWIF, became a National Irish Team Selector and Irish Team manager for European and World Championships in Scotland, Italy, Belguim, Switzerland, South Africa, USA and Japan and collected 15 gold medals for Irish teams at the highest levels…. and I thought he just organised the Field Day!
Eddie “Ned” Hubbard – a modest man with an amazing sporting history in Ballymore.

The Ballymore Eustace People of the Year Awards 2009 at the Resource Centre on Saturday 7th February. Doors open at 7pm – All Welcome
– Rose and Tim