Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ruby! Didn’t he have a phenomenal festival? Seven winners and not just on money on shots. He is surely worth half a stone on any horse. I can’t wait for Punchestown. The Gaeltacht Gang’s “Raise your heart “had a run out without success, And what about poor oul’ Olly Brady’s Ebidiyan. Something spooked the flying grey when he was in with a great shout. And what about Forpaddydeplasterer. Great win Charlie and co.
Speaking of Paddydeplasterer, our own PaddydeBuilder celebrated a big one recently. Birthday that is. The baby of that sixth class containing Mick Fisher, Andy Cowley, Eugene McDermott, Pat Murphy, Johnny Gordon (and one or two others) Pat Barrett has hit the fifty mark. Now we can officially say he is an oul’ shite.
The “shop local” campaign that we started last month has hit a bit of a flat spot. As I say elsewhere it may take a joint initiative between the CDA and the local traders to boost it. Given that there will be no Punchestown Festival this year I think our shops, pubs and other businesses are going to come under severe pressure during the rest of the year. I don’t think that people can replace the supermarket shop locally but certainly if you get your daily bread and other things in the village it would help keep the fabric of business life in the village intact.
I am one of these very wealthy public servants that you hear about all the time. I have a secure job with a voluntary organisation funded by the HSE. (A big oxymoron, that is) Since the start of 2009 my colleagues and I have seen our salaries gradually eroded by various levies and stealth taxes. I don’t think any job in the voluntary sector is cast iron and I for one am sick of hearing about how good we have it.
The Bugle is placing a hold on all new ads. We are at saturation point with advertising. Don’t get me wrong that’s not all bad. So unless we have committed to you for future issues or you advertised with us in the past, sorry but we won’t be able to accommodate you for a while.

St. Paddy's Day Greetings from Perth - The Kavanagh family (Peter,Julie, Aoife, Eoin and Ciara) were on an extended holiday to 'the ould sod' from their new abode down under around Christmas time. They spent quite a bit of their time between Naas and Wexford with Peter & Julie's parents but they managed to spend a fair bit of 'quality time' with all their old friends in Ballymore. Peter and Julie have contacted the Bugle and have asked that a big thank you be conveyed to all who offered them such great hospitality during their visit. Peter & Julie would also like to thank all the parents of the children’s friends who arranged various parties and sleepovers during their holiday. They are all settled back now in 'Oz' but have great memories of their trip. Hopefully, we will not have to wait until one of the girls is a contestant in the Rose of Tralee before their next big trip home!
Photo taken by Simon Pallister entitled "Early Nesting" - believe it or not, but this was one of three vehicles involved in accidents at the Brook of Donode over a weekend recently.
The Suzuki jeep here ended up literally 'sitting' on the ditch; another car hit Hamilton's wall and the third crashed into the bridge wall which has now collapsed completely. There is a definite need for the re-introduction of danger signs here to incite the reduction of speed, maybe even a speed ramp either side of the brook? We use the photograph not to embarrass the driver who thankfully was not injured but to remind Readers how dangerous this bend has become - and to indicate what an ace photographer Simon is. Best of luck with the exhibition, Simon, in Naas Library from Monday 23rdMarch to Saturday inclusive at Naas Library
Ballymore Community Games

Open Evening
An “open evening” was held recently in the Resource Centre to which various local club representatives were invited. Jarlath Gilroy, chairperson, showcased events in which Ballymore had competed last year - namely athletics, football, hurling, swimming and art and highlighted those in which the village hoped to compete in 2009 which included badminton, chess, athletics, art, gymnastics, swimming, football and hurling. Indeed, a huge field of events is encompassed by the community games, e.g. talent contest, solo singing, table quiz, draughts and Irish dancing to name but a few and the committee will facilitate entrance into any area in which a child may wish to compete to the best of its ability.

Jarlath thanked the local club representatives for looking after various events last year and stressed the importance of continued support in ensuring that the local children get every chance to compete in their chosen field.

A special thanks goes to Janet Deegan for supplying the mouth watering cakes and biccies enjoyed over a cuppa at the meeting.

Scoil Mhuire kindly hosted the local Community Games art competition after school on Wednesday, 25th February. An abundance of 5 to 12 year old boys and girls enthusiastically sketched and painted a wide variety of Community Games themed pictures - from swimming to gymnastics, archery, football and athletics. The standard was truly excellent across the board and local artist, Grainne Glancy, had the unenviable task of choosing three from each age category to go forward to the County finals. A special thanks to Grainne for volunteering her expertise and to Celine Carthy, Rachel Murphy, Gail Kinsella, Sylvia Foster, Eithne Carter and Mary Maguire who kindly supervised the event, to Jacinta O’ Rourke for presenting the certificates and to Mairead O’ Flynn for allowing the school to be used.

Results as follows:-

Boys Girls
U8 U8
1. Oisin Breslin 1. Laura Gallagher
2. Jonathon Browne 2. Katy Lipsett
3. Roisin Murphy

U10 U10
1. Finn Breslin 1. Sally Kinsella
2. Aaron Deegan 2. Orla Murphy
3. Cian Clarke 3. Rachel O’ Reilly

U12 U12
1. Zak Kinsella 1. Rachel Fanning
2. Tom Carter 2. Ellen Carter
3. Conor Lipsett 3. Evie Carter

U14 U14
1. Patrick Murphy 1. Cody Behan
2. Tony Og Sheridan

The County Finals took place in St Conleth’s Primary School, Newbridge recently with a flurry of eager children vying for places in the Leinster final. Whilst there were no qualifiers from Ballymore this year, everyone who took part is a winner and can be very proud of themselves.

Cross Country
The local finals were run at the football pitch recently and following great efforts from all participants, results were as follows:-

Boys Girls
500m - U-11 U-11
1. Mark Barrett 1. Oonagh Deegan
2. Aaron Deegan 2. Katie Gilroy
3. Luke Maguire 3. Zoe Fanning

800m - U-13 U-13
1. Shane Barrett 1. Amy Mahon
2. Daragh Kelleher 2. Natasha Murphy
3. Cian Clarke 3. Lucy Field

1200m - U-15
1. Conor Davis
2. Tom Murphy
3. Michael Stewart-Byrne

A special thanks to everyone who helped out on the evening and to the ever present and untiring Jarlath Gilroy, who has also been busy with athletics training at the football pitch on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6.30-7.30pm) in preparation for the County finals and any children wishing to improve their general fitness are very welcome to come along!

Up-coming Events
Football and hurling competitions will be played shortly through the local clubs. Swimming is also scheduled for the near future so can anyone interested please contact either Jarlath Gilroy, 087 6786127 or Ann Murphy, 087 1388568 for further details.

The Church gate collection week ending 21 and 22 March is in aid of the local Community Games. Funds are needed for new singlets and equipment, etc so all support is greatly appreciated.

The next committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, 18th March at 8pm in Scoil Mhuire with the usual open invitation extended.

Here’s to a sporting 2009! A Peacocke

Matt’s Memories
Where is Munich? Cyberknife - what is that? Munich is in Germany. Back in 1979 when I toured the continent by bus I would have left Munich to my right when I visited the Black Forest in Southern Germany.
Before my stroke, I never heard of Cyberknife. It is a form of Radiosurgery apparently not yet available in Ireland. Because it is not invasive, it was the ideal treatment for me.

On February 9, James and I headed for Munich. It was quite foggy at Dublin Airport but nevertheless we were able to fly. This was my first flight since I returned from Australia in November 2000.

On February 10 I had an MRI Scan, consultation with one of my German Neurosurgeons and a CT Scan. On February 11 I had a “free” day so we went into city centre by train using their underpass. Unfortunately, it was snowing most of the time so we did not see much of Munich but we did get dinner there.

On February 12 I had my Cyberknife treatment lasting an hour and a half. Happily, everything seems to have gone well. That night, we returned home. At Munich Airport it was snowing, so for the first time I saw a fluid being put on the wings of our plane and the ice being cleared.

Before departure, I had to undergo a blood test that Billy in Naas kindly did for me.

Shot at Dawn
Before my stroke I heard the TV programme “Shot at Dawn” being advertised and intended watching it when it was shown. As luck would have it, I saw the programme by accident and was glad I did. This programme relates to soldiers who were shot at dawn for cowardice for desertion from the English army and were recently reprieved. A higher than normal number of those shot was either from Ireland or New Zealand.
Fergal Toomey did an invaluable article on those from Ballymore Eustace who lost their lives in the First World War for the Millennium 2000 Chronicle.
Joe Purcell.
Congratulations and best wishes to my nephew, Joe Purcell, who began work as a doctor at Tara Court, Dublin Road, Naas shortly after Christmas, continuing the Purcell family tradition in practising medicine.

Eoghan Corry
Eoghan Corry can be regularly heard on the Pat Kenny Radio Show as a travel expert. In times past, Eoghan was a regular GAA contributor and, in fact, he wrote a History on the Kildare GAA in the late seventies and early eighties, which is where I came across him first in relation to my handball experiences. As it turned out, I had a double link with Eoghan who was related to one of my former work colleagues.

Rita O’Rourke
Happily Rita O’Rourke, after a stint in Naas Hospital and the Craddockstown Nursing Home, is now home. The night before Rita got ill; she gave me an Evening Mail photo of Tommy Leahy being presented with an All-Ireland medal. Best wishes to her daughter Kay whom I understand was taken ill recently but is home now and recovering well.

Liam Marron and Sean Clerkin
Recently while shopping in Dublin I met Liam Marron who I often used to meet out walking before I had my stroke. I gather from Liam that Sean Clerkin has problems with arthritis in his knees. Both Liam and Sean were very much involved in Dublin Handball and, in fact, like me were on the Committee which built the 60 by 30 Alley for the 1970 World Handball Championships.

Congratulations to Tara Mullally who was awarded the Ingram Scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. Tara is the youngest daughter of Rob formerly Assumpta Terrace. Naturally, Rob is delighted with Tara’s achievement. Tara’s brother Ryan is at Marshall School Of Business, USC.
Congratulations to Tommy Dwyer on winning the 2009 Ballymore Eustace Person of the Year Award against strong opposition. I recall Tommy playing juvenile football. More recently, he was one of my Dublin neighbours when he worked in Dundrum. His wife Bernie also worked in Dundrum in times past. Nowadays, Tommy is involved in the running of the successful Senior Citizens Party.

On Thursday February 26 James and myself bid farewell to Michael Coleman from Sligo who we had worked alongside in the County Council for many years. It was a great night and one of those present was our own Máire Ní Domhnaill otherwise Máire De Labra whom I had not seen for a good while.

Kathy Mahon of St. Bridget's Park, Ballymore, Eustace died on February 22 R.I.P. Her brother Kevin, daughters Marie and Anne, sons Pat and Denis, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews and relatives survive Kathy. Kathy is interred in St. Mary's Cemetery and is the third member of her family to have died over the last number of months. I only learnt of Kathy’s death from a former work colleague who was at Kathy’s funeral.
© Matt Purcell (March 2009)

Ballymore Manager Jarleth Gilroy with Captain Tadhg Grace

Race Night
The Club would like to thank the following for their sponsorship of the race night which raised much needed funds for the club - Russborough House, Pat Barrett & Masonbrook Holdings, Paddy Murphy’s Bar and Lounge, Paddy Gallagher, Jim Clarke, Eddie and Nuala Hubbard on behalf of the women’s football, Construction Spares, CLG Developments, Fogarthy’s Quick-stop and Langan Butchers.

Club Members
All persons wishing to vote in the AGM must have their membership of €40 in by the end of March.

Monster Auction
See details of the forthcoming auction in this edition of the bugle.

Murphy Cup
‘The Murphy Cup’ is scheduled for Friday the 24th of April up in the pitch and will feature Wicklow against Roscommon.

Golf Classic
This year the golf classic takes place in Baltinglass on the 29th of May from 12-5pm. Full details will be in next months bugle.

Summer Camp
The annual kid’s summer camp is taking place this year from the 6th-10th of July.

Keogh Cup

Johnstownbridge 5-08 Ballymore 1-04

Ballymore got off to a poor start in the Keogh cup with a defeat to JTB. It was Ballymore’s first game of the year and players were being tried out in new positions which gave a settled looking JTB the advantage. Ballymore gave away four goals in the first half which killed off any hope of victory but they improved significantly in the second half. A goal on the stroke of half time from Keith Conway and points from Gareth Clarke, Mark McCarville and Eoin Kavanagh gave the scoreboard better reading!

Ballymore 3-09 Grange 0-9

Ballymore got back to winning ways against a determined Grange side in round 2 of the Keogh Cup. Ballymore enjoyed the breeze in the first half but it was Grange who struck first with a free. Ballymore then settled and points from Mark McCarville, Kevin Murphy, Shane Kavanagh and a goal from Gareth Clarke gave Ballymore some breathing space. Grange answered back with three points but a fortuitous goal from Paul Browne and frees from Gareth Clarke and William O’ Donoghue, followed by a point from Shane Kavanagh gave Ballymore a comfortable half-time lead. Grange came out fighting in the second half and scored three on the trot reducing the deficit to four points. Ballymore responded with points from Shane Kavanagh (2) and brother Eoin to put some daylight between the teams once more. Mid-way through the half Grange lost Mark Brennan to two yellows, followed by Kevin Murphy of Ballymore for the same offence but this did not deter the Ballymore side and Tadhg Grace was rewarded for his hard work with a goal in the closing minutes. Grange finished with two points but it was the three goals scored for Ballymore that did the damage with Jamie Balfe and Tadhg Grace being most notable players on the day..

Ballymore 2-12 Ballykelly 0-9

Ballymore recorded a second victory in the Keogh Cup against a spirited Ballykelly side. Eoin Kavanagh opened with two points in the first five minutes as Ballymore used the breeze to full advantage kicking good ball into their full forward line. Ballykelly scored on eight minutes but Ballymore responded with a free from Gareth Clarke and a point from Eoin Kavanagh. A lovely move on fifteen minutes resulted in Eoin Kavanagh raising the green flag after good work from Christy Browne and Mark McCarville. Tadhg Grace then scored a fisted point before Kavanagh pointed to stretch the lead. Tommie “Star” Archibald pointed on the half hour mark, followed quickly by a point from full forward Mark McCarville after good work from Jamie Balfe in defence. Ballykelly pointed before half time, leaving a scorline of 1-08 to 02 favouring Bme.
On the resumption of play, it was the home side who struck first with a free from Gareth Clarke and a goal from full-forward Mark McCarville after some lovely inter-changes between Eoin Kavanagh and Tommie Archibald. Ballykelly never gave up and responded with two points. Midway through the half, Christy Browne pointed after great play from substitute Shane Kavanagh to ensure there was daylight kept between the sides. Ballykelly then scored three in a row before Keith Conway scored a great point on the run. Ballykelly pointed before Conway grabbed his second after being played in by Steven Dwyer. The last score of the game went to Ballykelly leaving the final score Ballymore 2-12 Ballykelly 0-09. In a well spirited game, Keith Conway, Colm Browne, Eoin Kavanagh, Colin Clarke and Tommie Archibald stood out for the winners.

Training is going very well at the moment with good numbers. The first round of the league is fixed for the 28th March, no fixtures yet.

St. Oliver Plunkett’s

The Plunkett’s minors have made a great start in Division 2 and are unbeaten following wins against Kill and Round Towers. Ballymore players involved are Mark Nolan, Michael Tutty, Brian Murphy, Cian Murphy and Eddie Davis.
Ballymore Ladies GFC

Awards night
The Ladies GAA held their annual awards night in the Thatch on March 7th. The Ladies had a lot to celebrate at this year’s awards night, the team having won the Junior D Championship last year and each individual was presented with their medal.

A number of individuals in the club also helped put Ballymore Ladies on the map this year. Congratulations to Cleo Hubbard and Theresa Gorman who won a number of titles in 2008 including U16 Division 2 and the Minor B championship with Eadestown. Sheena Hubbard lined out for Kildare minors and Lesley Tutty is currently on the county panel.

Club Person of the Year: Caroline Swords
Player of the Year: Fran Burke
Junior Player of the Year: Cleo Hubbard
Most Improved Player: Marilena Norton

Thanks to the fundraising committee and The Thatch for organising a great night. Many thanks also to Hazelwood Architecture (Seamus & Caroline Tutty) who sponsored the helium balloons for the awards. There was a large turn out and the style on the night was up to its usual high standards and the cancellation of the following morning’s match contributed to a livelier than anticipated night!

Division 4 League Fixtures
Rheban were the winners of this league last year and have moved up to Division 4 with Round Towers coming down from Division 3.
Three new teams have entered the Kildare Senior Leagues – Athy and Kill who have had strong juvenile set-ups for a number of years and Maynooth now fielding a second team.

And of course there are the old rivalries, with Ballymore travelling to Balyna’s home ground once again. We’ll be hoping to reproduce the Championship final performance on that occasion!

The first round was due to start on Sunday 8th March but was postponed. Lesley is on county duty on the 15th and Ballymore have a bye on the 22nd March.
Ballymore Ladies will have their first taste of league action for 2009 at home against Kill on Sunday 29th March at 11 o’clock. Please come and support the girls!

2009 League Fixtures (first named team at home)
Sunday 29th March Ballymore vs Kill
Sunday 5th April Ballymore vs Moorefield
Tuesday 7th April Milltown vs Ballymore
Sunday 12th April Ballymore vs Nurney\Kildangan
Sunday 19th April Round Towers vs Ballymore
Saturday 25th April Ballymore vs Athy
Tuesday 28th April Maynooth II vs Ballymore
TBC Balyna II vs Ballymore

Training is in full swing every Monday and Wednesday at 7.30. Welcome back to all players (new and old – and I mean ‘old’ as in experienced!)
Anyone interested in joining the team should call up to any of the training sessions.
Thanks to the Band Hall for allowing us to use their facilities for circuit training.

Challenge Match
Ballymore played Castlemitchell in their first challenge match of the season on a cold February evening. Ballymore did well against strong opposition but Castlemitchell were the better team on the night.
Aisling Hubbard, Dawn Murray, Louise Burke and Sheena Hubbard all contributed to the score. We wish a speedy recovery to Tracey Clohessy who fractured her hand during the match.

Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to manager Simon Murphy who’s 50 and off to Paris
The Ladies would also like to wish Joe Piggott a very Happy Birthday

Ballymore Ladies “Last Man Standing” Premiership Competition
207 started and now there’s just 50 left competing for the €500 prize money!
Some competition trivia -Ladies goalkeeper Aoife O Toole was the first victim in week one of the competition to lose everyone on her sheet.
Simon Murphy is still out in front with 15 survivors heading for week 3.
Vice Captain Fran is just hanging in there with 1 left.
Aisling Rigney was the big casualty of week 2 with her sheet being wiped out too.
We lost two of the younger contestants in week two with Oonagh and Aaron Deegan being knocked out, but in fairness they lasted longer than Steve and Janet!

Lesley Tutty’s Progress with the Kildare Panel
The Kildare panel played St Pats College in Johnstownbridge on January 21st in very wet conditions. The game took the usual form of 4x20mins segments, with Lesley playing 30 minutes. Players were expected to train while they were off the pitch in order to keep warm in the teeming rain. (Kildare won)
The Panel was split in 2 for the games on Jan 24th. Due to recent weather conditions and many pitches being unplayable, these games were played on the astro turf pitch in Thomas Davis GAA club Tallaght. The first game was against her ‘native’ Wicklow at 5pm, where Kildare ran out the winners (8-5 to 2-12). Lesley played 70 out of the 80 mins in this game. The 2nd game saw Kildare take on Armagh at 6.30pm with Armagh getting the better of Kildare.
Sunday Jan 31st saw one team take on all Ireland champions Cork in the national league while the other team played Carlow in Tinryland. Cork beat Kildare well in the end. Lesley played against Carlow and they won 2-12 to 3 points.

The first round of the Aisling McGing cup (County championship for Lesley) starts on Sunday 15th March in Galway. Ballymore Ladies would like to wish Lesley and the Lilywhites the best of luck.

Kildare Ladies County Draw
County Delegate Jackie Smith is selling tickets on behalf of the County Board. Thanks to everyone who has already bought a ticket.
The tickets are €10 each – this entitles you to a ‘Kildare Ladies 2009 member’ sticker and entry into a draw for €700. The draw is due to take place at the county board meeting on the 26th March.
Please contact any of the Ladies team if you are interested in purchasing a ticket.

Thank You
Thanks to EBS Citywest for refilling the medical bag for 2009 and thanks to Brendan Coady (Kilkenny) for the donation of new water bottles. All support is greatly appreciated. Dublin Zoo would like to thank Ballymore Ladies Secretary Caroline for clogging their answering machine!
And thanks to Lesley Tutty for providing us with so much info over the last few months.

Deirdre & Sharon
Ballymore Ladies GFC PROs
Ballymore Eustace Proud Handball Record – Part 10

Tony Daly shared Paddy Winder's junior hard doubles success in 1959 and two of his unsuccessful senior hard doubles finals. Tony had two good hands and was very nimble on his feet. All in all, he was a very stylish player with great determination. Tony's career was also cut short when he immigrated.

The Deegans of Chapel Street - Mick, Ned, Harry and the late John all started handball with the sponge ball and were expert in its usage. In the fifties, the sponge ball was the alternative to the hardball in Ballymore Eustace and was widely used. In time, Ned and John turned to the official softball and were quite successful both winning many County titles with Ned being our top softballer for a period. Ned's most significant achievement was in the Gael-Linn Cup when he became the first Ballymore Eustace player to reach the last eight of that popular competition in which the best players in the country took part. Ned and John also helped out with the Club's administration.

Jim Clarke, like Myles Lawlor and Jack Byrne, was a member of Ballymore Eustace's successful 1953 senior Gaelic football team and it is his proud boast that he won a handball medal in a school's competition. Over the years, Jim has been a strong supporter of both football and handball and played on the Kildare team which won the 1956 Leinster football title. From the fifties onwards Jim was the handball delegate on the GAA County Board and could be relied on to put handball's case to that Board at every possible opportunity. He was also known to plug the handball cause in his role as Kildare delegate to the Leinster GAA Council.

Whenever Ballymore Eustace men reached an All-Ireland handball final, if at all possible, Jim would be in attendance. Jim's involvement in handball increased when he became a member of the Development Committee and was one of its top fund-raisers. He has served for a couple of years as Chairman of the County Handball Committee. There is no doubt but that Jim's enthusiasm and total commitment to any project he takes on board serves as an inspiration to his fellow committee members. Jim's contribution to the handball cause was officially recognised on November 25, 1988 when he received the 1988 Kildare Handball All-Star Award.

John Browne who won a minor hard doubles medal in 1961 added a junior hard­ doubles medal in 1969. All the matches involved in these successes were nail-biting affairs with dramatic turnabouts in the course of two of them. Like good wine, John appears to have improved with age as he won no less than four All-Ireland singles titles in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992. John brought his total of All-Ireland medals to seven when he and Eamonn Deegan won the 40 by 20 Emerald Masters Doubles in 2000. It is John's proud boast that he has won All-Ireland singles medals in all three forms of handball.

Senior All-Ireland honours in hard doubles eluded John in 1985 when he partnered Tom O'Rourke against Tom and John Quish (who won the World doubles title the previous year) in a thrilling final where all four players gave of their best but unfortunately our men were just narrowly beaten. When I spoke to Tom O'Rourke he praised John Browne's performance on that occasion and having been in attendance, I can vouch for the performances of both our players. In fact that was one of the best games of doubles hardball I ever witnessed.

Like many of our handballers, John was an all round sportsman who was particularly interested in football and athletics. John was a great supporter of all the clubs with which he was associated. He was the organiser-in­-chief of the successful pub tournament which was at the height of its fame in the seventies. Others who played a key role in that promotion were Eddie Gordon and Liam Burke while my father was the official marker for the games. This competition brought the spectators back to the alley in numbers that reminded you of the old days.

John's father, the late Jim, was I understand a useful handballer in his younger days. John
(Junior) and his brother, Christy, are both good football players and above average handball players as well. In Centenary year, Christy was the youngest player in Kildare to receive a Centenary medal in handball.

© Matt Purcell (March, 2009).
Ballymore Eustace Trout and Salmon Anglers’ Association

Annual General Meeting

Held in Phil Murphy’s Lounge on Wednesday 11th February

COMMITTEE FOR 2008 (Outgoing)


Messrs. M. Byrne, D. Cowley, J. Deegan, P. Dunworth, S. Goulding, S. Gunshenan, E. Kelly, F. Smith, T. Winder.


The year 2008 was another very successful and active year for our Association. Angling on our water of the Liffey was excellent, with the fish in Gold Falls Lake however proving somewhat trickier. After a season’s water flow the work undertaken on the Ballymore stretches to facilitate salmon spayning has settled in and assumed a more natural look. The salmon count for this year might not have been what was hoped for, but in the first couple of weeks in December, it was pleasing to stand on the bridge and watch the salmon moving. In an effort to further improve our stocks, angling for salmon is again prohibited on the River Liffey for the upcoming season and the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board (ERFB) upholds its bye-law whereby downstream of Golden Falls Dam Anglers can only fish using single barbless hooks, whether spinning or flyfishing. Bait fishing too, is gone.

The Association had a total membership of 397 for the year 2008. The breakdown is as follows: 232 Adults, 94 Juniors, 39 O.A.P, 27 new members and 5 honorary members. It is vital that all members are easily recognizable on Association waters by the wearing of the Association badges. This makes the task of our Water Keepers easier and allows Riparian Owners and members to easily distinguish non-members and trespassers.

Again, it will be necessary for all existing members to renew their membership before 31st March, 2009. Any member who has not renewed membership by that date will be considered to have resigned from the Association and a new applicant will be accepted to fill the vacancy.

A special thanks to our Membership Secretary Fintan Smith, for the huge amount of time and effort involved in the issuing of membership cards and badges for 2008 and to Phil Murphy, Janet Deegan and Staff (Daybreak) and Grainne Clancy and Staff (Costcutters) for selling day permits.

The Association enjoys the fishing rights of Golden Falls Lake, by permission of the E.S.B. and both banks of the River Liffey from Driver’s Ford, Golden Falls, to the upper reaches of Beaumount Estate, Harristown, Kilcullen. We also have an agreement with the E.S.B. whereby members of the Association can purchase both game and coarse angling permits on Poulaphuca Reservoir for the price of one permit. Since 2005, members of the Association have also enjoyed fishing rights on the Liffey at Lucan Demense. A number of members fished this water in 2008 and report some fine trout landed.
May I take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to our Reparian owners for allowing us access to, and the pleasure of fishing these waters. Once again, may I emphasize that our gratitude can best be expressed by respecting their property, by using stiles where they are provided, by not damaging stock, crops or fences, by not leaving gates open and when departing the river or lake, by taking home our litter. May I also take this opportunity to say a sincere thanks to our Water Keepers to taking on the onerous and thankless task of protecting our fishery.

A total of 11 committee meetings were held since last year’s A.G.M., usually on the last Wednesday of each month. Thanks to all the committee members for continuing to put in the effort to attend these meetings. Here i’ll echo Mr. T. Deegan, the previous Hon. Secretary by making an urgent appeal to our younger members to take on active interest in the Association and become involved at committee level. Those who are interested in joining the committee should give their name to any of the existing committee members before the A.G.M. I wish to thank Phil Murphy for facilitating our meetings every month, free of charge, in the comfort of her lounge and for her help and hospitality during the year.

Golden Falls Lake was restocked twice during the 2008 season. On Thursday 8th May, 1,000 brown trout were introduced and on Tuesday 29th July, a further 1,000 brown trout, some up to 2lbs in weight, were added to the lake. All fish were supplied and delivered free of charge by E.S.B. and on behalf of the Association, I wish to thank them for their generosity. A special thanks to E.S.B.’s man on the lake, Mr. Peadar Moran, E.S.B. Amenity Officer, Liffey Stations for his help and advice during restocking operations on Golden Galls. Thanks to Golden Falls Water Ski Club for the use of their facilities and thanks also to al the members who helped with the restocking.
Salmon stocking also took place on two occasions during the 2008 season. On Friday 28th March, 12,000 unfed salmon fry, Liffey Strain from Islandbridge were introduced to the Donode stream at the Coughlanstown entrance while a further 18,000 were introduced to the little river at Ardenode. Thanks to Mr. Pat O’Molloy for supplying the fry. The whole operation was undertaken by the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board as a result of the salmon count of the previous season.

The work carried out by the Association to improve salmon spawning grounds on our stretches of the Liffey was highly praised by the E.R.F.B. at their River Liffey workshop held at Carton House on 4th September 2008, so the committee was delighted to learn that further improvements are proposed for the Liffey, amongst other waters, by the Eastern River Basin District. A draft River Basin Management Plan was launched on Monday 22nd December 2008. This is to be followed by a six month public consultation process until 22nd June 2009 and the final River Basin Management Plan will be unveiled on the 22nd October 2009. Because of dams at Poulaphuca, Golden Falls, Leixlip and flood defences in Dublin, the Liffey is designated a Heavily Modified Water Body. Heavily Modified Waters must achieve “good ecological potential” by 2015. A programme of measures recommends that all existing Irish and European legislation with regards to water quality, habitats and areas of conservation etc. are implemented.
The draft River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures can be viewed on the Eastern River Basin District Website

Angling on our waters was one of the best years yet and our competition results were excellent.
Pat Dunworth represented the Association at the National on L. Conn on Saturday 26th April 2008.
Tom Nugent, Trevor Winder, Pat Dunworth and Ed Goulding fished the Corcoran Cup on our behalf on L. Owel on 8th June. Trevor Winder, Pat Dunworth and Eamonn Kelly represented us at the Leinster Qualifier for the 2009 National of L. Ennell on Saturday 27th September 2008.
Results were varied and with our weather this year, suntans were not to be had but of course it’s the taking part that counts.
Closer to home, the winner of the Angler of the Year Award 2008, decided on a points system allocated for club angling competitions, was Martin Keogh. The Junior Angler of the Year Award 2008 goes to Troy Francis.
The heaviest trout landed during a club competition weighed in at 1.68kg (3lbs 11.2 oz) and was caught by Mick Mooney who receives the Heaviest Trout of the Year Award 2008.
Patrick Langan landed the heaviest trout in junior competitions at 531g (1lb 2.7oz) and he receives the Junior Heaviest Trout of the Year Award 2008.


Adult Junior
Competion Date Winner R-Up Winner R-Up
Jimmy Evans Cup 16/3/08 M. Keogh S. Goulding - -
J. & K, Murray Cup 06/4/08 L. Cox P. McGlynn - -
Punchestown Fest. Trophy 20/4/08 S. Goulding T. Winder P. Langan -
Tony McKnight Perpetual Trophy 11/5/08 M. Francis T. Winder T. Francis -
Committee Perpetual Cup 23/5/08 G. Bolger M. Keogh S. Ellis E.Lyons
Mick Murphy Perpetual Shield 06/6/08 D. Tyrell M. Keogh T. Francis E.Lyons
Sonny Cowley Perpetual Shield 20/6/08 O. Keogh S. Goulding T. Francis -
Local Perpetual Shield 11/7/08 P. McGlynn L. Stenson T. Francis -
Ed. Gordon Trophy 08/8/08 J. Winder M. Keogh C. Walsh -
Guinness Trophy 31/8/08 M. McCaffrey T. Nugent - -
Anvil Bar Shield 28/9/08 M. Mooney M. Francis - -
Pike Competition 7/12/08 F. Byrne - - -

For many years now, Eamonn Kelly has been purchasing all the prizes that are won and presented at our various angling competitions and on behalf of the Association I wish to thank Eamonn. We are also very grateful to all the people and business’s who sponsor prizes and to the E.S.B. Turlough Hill who facilitate us with low water on the Liffey for our competitions.

Nominations were invited from the attendance and outgoing committees members were re-elected; members Jim Deegan and Sean Gunshenan resigned with Fergus Byrne and David Butler elected in their place.

This month’s featured author is British novelist Kate Atkinson. She won the Whitbread Prize for her very first novel “Behind the scenes at the Museum” (Doubleday: Paperback: 10.50) which I absolutely loved. Set in York, it tells the story of a slightly mad and mixed up family, from the viewpoint of one of the young children. Atkinson writes with great humour, but there is inevitably often sadness and quite a bit of darkness under this veneer.

I missed her next two books “Human Croquet” and “Totally Weird”, but I was reliably informed that they did not live up to the original promise of her excellent first book. Atkinson has definitely come back to form however in her last three offerings, which form a trilogy and would be perfect for taking on a break, or if you just felt like getting your teeth into an interesting character. Jackson Brodie, sometime policeman, now private eye is the hero of the first book in the series “Case Histories”, (Doubleday:Paperback: 12.50) in which a kaleidoscope of different characters and crimes come together and provide a fast paced plot and a gripping mystery. The story is set in Cambridge, which Atkinson depicts in a similar way to York, with accuracy and atmosphere.

The second book to feature the hapless erstwhile policeman was my favourite in the trio- “One good turn”, ( Doubleday: Paperback: 12.00) this time featuring Edinburgh as a character in its own right. Set in the midst of the Edinburgh festival the book left me breathless with its clever plot twists and intricacies. Yet Atkinson is not just a stylistically clever writer, her novels have real substance and depth- and she writes from the heart. Again underneath the funny, frivolous festival lurks a darker Edinburgh, populated by corrupt businessmen and their henchmen, together with a host of enigmatic Russian gangsters. It is a really excellent read.

The last book (so far) in the story of Jackson Brodie is “When will there be good News?”( Doubleday: Paperback: 12.50) I did enjoy this novel, as it had rather deeper characterisations and fewer in the cast than the preceding book, but I was not as gripped as I had been with the other stories. Perhaps it was simply that I often find reading more than one book by a particular author can become formulaic, and I found myself seeing too many repetitions and recurring themes, as I got further into this one. Undoubtedly this writer is a superb storyteller, but ultimately her preoccupation with loss and death started to wear on me- perhaps its also because I am not generally a fan of crime fiction- to anyone who is, this trilogy would probably really appeal.

So, Kate Atkinson is highly recommended and for me her outstanding contribution will always be the wry, quirky and heartbreakingly sad “Behind the scenes at the Museum” – if you haven’t come across this do give it a try….


on passing by- again

With all the talk about the Government finally getting off their posteriors and actually grasping the nettle, finally showing some sort of leadership, finally taking on vested interests and putting the national good to the fore, could I make one small suggestion which might enable a better outcome?
Get rid of the Tanaiste, Mary Coughlan. Her recent statement that the public finances were in order shows just how far out of touch she is with reality. The Tanaiste occupies second place in Government and yet appears less knowledgeable than the proverbial dogs on the street. She is continually shown up in the Dail as someone who neither does her homework nor understands her brief. Recently accused by Joan Burton of not being au fait with latest tax figures she gave a typical reply, “ the deputy should watch it”. This is not good enough for any T.D., never mind a Tanaiste and Minister.
In a recent, totally lacklustre, speech at the Fianna Fail Ard Fheis she appeared to be reading the words without any conviction. Her frequent references to reports she had commissioned, or was about to commission, did absolutely nothing to inspire confidence either in her or her Governments ability to start solving problems. Have we not spent enough on reports over the last few years, all of which seemed to be a way for a Minister to pass the buck if anything went wrong. At one point in her speech she said that she was a firm believer that public bodies must quickly respond to the changing and diverse needs of individuals, families and communities. How?. By commissioning reports?. She would have used her time more profitably asking the Minister for Social Welfare why some people who have lost their jobs are waiting up to ten weeks for unemployment and welfare benefits. She could also ask Martin Cullen, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism why he sees nothing wrong with spending tens of thousands of taxpayers money being helicoptered all over the country, leaving his hundred grand Mercedes lying idle. Then again I have long lost the small amount of confidence I had in Minister Cullen. In the midst of possibly the worst global recession in living memory the following is an excerpt from the Ministers own website, today, March the 13th.
“Thanks to the hard and productive work of the Irish people, responding to the policies of this Government, our economy is now one of the strongest in the world. Fianna Fáil is committed to protecting this economic success and using it to build an even stronger Ireland in order to create an improved quality of life for everyone. In the modern very competitive global economy, Ireland must keep driving forward. Fianna Fáil, led by An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen TD, believes in representing the whole community and working for the benefit of everyone in our society.”
This self serving drivel, after months of banking turmoil, months of rising unemployment, months of scandalous revelations, shows the kind of attention the Minister gives to his brief.
While Taoiseach Cowen gets daily closer in the Dail to giving a slap to someone on the Opposition benches his Minister for Finance finally seems to have lost the rabbit in the headlights look. He may finally have decided to look at the figures without the unions on his shoulder. For far too long these unappointed “advisors “have had too much input into Government matters. Much of this was because Bertie Ahern tried to avoid conflict by giving in to their demands, which over the years became more audacious and costly. This was deemed politically expedient but this same expediency is one of the reasons we are now in such dire straits.
Mr. Lenihan is now facing into possibly the most important budget in recent times. For all our sakes he has to avoid the fiasco of last October. There is an acceptance among most people that strong measures are needed. This acceptance is allied to an extreme annoyance at the way the money from the good times was squandered, wasted on pet projects with no oversight. There is an annoyance that no one ever seems to be responsible when things go wrong. There is a seething undercurrent of anger that the people perceived to have gotten us into this mess are being let off scot free, usually with large golden handshakes and pensions so large that they are beyond the comprehension of the ordinary working man. If Mr. Lenihan is to receive strong backing the budget must be seen to be fair. It must target specifics instead of the previous blunderbuss approach. Yet it must also be a budget which does not drag us further into the financial mire. Consumer confidence is one of the things which will help us improve. This confidence is currently at a very low ebb, so the budget should not lower it any further. People accept the need for tax increases but the increases must not be seen just as revenue raising, but must be looked at for all their effects.
Massive increases in fuel duty will certainly raise money but may also make it uneconomical for people to drive to jobs where they have already taken wage cuts. Result? More people drawing benefits. Increases in alcohol duties will initially bring rewards but could end up closing licensed premises. Result? Exactly.
There is some talk of putting two euro on cigarettes. As a smoker I obviously would not be mad about that but as a smoker I would be more than likely to pay the extra. The problem is for people who cannot afford the increase, and who would probably buy on the black market, thus effectively depriving the Government of revenue.
Myriad other schemes have been mentioned but some have been derided because they will only save a couple of million but so what. If we have lots of little ideas the money will soon add up. And that is the logic behind the budget, isn’t it?
Just before I go I would like to offer my condolences to the families of the two soldiers and the policeman so callously murdered in Northern Ireland. Thankfully the reaction from all sections of the community has been one of horror and revulsion. We spent long enough trying to get rid of these psychopaths and no one with any sense of decency wants to see their return.

All for now. Mike Edmonds. March 09.
Ballymore Eustace Drama Society tackled Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit” ( and won!) It is quite a difficult play, very technical in the aspects that are needed to carry it off.
Ruth Condomime ( Sandra Butler) is the second wife of Charles (Robert Farrelly), an author, of sorts, living in Kent. The man of the house is interested in experiencing the “other side” and has arranged for Madame Arcati ( Geraldine O’ Rourke) to conduct a séance. Unwitting participants in the evening are Dr. Bradman ( Jimmy Pearse) and his wife (Grania Glancy).
Things don’t go according to plan however, and the presence of Charles first wife Elvira (Valery Howell) is brought back to life. The whole exercise is not helped by a frantic maid, Edith ( Jenny Sheridan).
The unfortunate thing is that only charles can see his (not so) dearly departed which gives some great comic moments during Acts 1 & 2. not so angelic Elvira is following her own agenda which begins to unravel during the course of the next week or so.
Robert is the Brian O’Driscoll of BEDS, rock solid and always guaranteeing a good performance. Himself and Sandra have the weightiest parts of the play and the interaction between them is good, typical of a couple who have been married too long and with the spectre of a first wife, who exited before her time, looming large. Sandra grew into the part on the night, her character getting wilder during the last two acts. Jenny had a lovely little cameo, think of Mrs. Doyle on speed and she milked it for all it was worth. Jimmy & Grania had to be skeptical and serious at the same time and they carried it off well. Jimmy in particular is proving very versatile, and has become a mainstay in most productions. Valery owned the stage, by far the most at ease and the part suited her demeanour and accent to a tee. And the play was a tour de force for Geraldine, in her role as the slightly scatty psychic, she had a laugh in every line. Excellent.
As I said the play was very technical, the lighting by Jim McDonald and the sound and special effects by Dave Butler were superb. The ending was a lovely, over the top, technical blast. Well done to director Bernadette Kearns for having the gumption to tackle such a demanding undertaking. It was great entertainment and continues BEDS commitment to performing different styles of plays whilst improving the standard of acting and production.
Any number of the cast would be deserving of the oscar, indeed there could be an argument for sharing the honours, but, you know me, I hate prevarication so the oscar goes to……………………..Geraldine O’Rourke.
If you are out walking in the Tipperkevin area and you meet a lady traveling at speed on her bicycle, eating cucumber sandwiches and talking to herself, it could be Madame Arcati communing with nature and the dark side. Or it could be Geraldine………………….

Economics of the Mustard Seed
The excess use of mustard scooped by its own tiny spoon and left unused on the side of dinner plates after a meal, made Coleman’s firm a very rich company. Mustard seed, one of the least grains, has in it ‘a property and spirit to hastily get up and spread’. But will the mustard leaf replace the sacred shamrock as an emblem of Ireland?

Recent high prices paid for land made poor men very rich, quickly. Subsequent revaluations of the same land made newly rich men very poor again, driving bankers up the wall and economists scratching their heads in confusion. For it seems indeed that the whole world’s been doing the same thing as Irish farmers and developers, but none with greater sophistication, which points to the matter of education, where the farmer and developer with little formal economic training could run absolute rings around greedy bankers and stuffy economists, whose limited abilities were bound to their own limited academic circles; and whereas the countryman will listen and learn both his mathematics and social mores ‘on the job’ so to speak, and will dine wholesomely at a ‘chipper’ with salt and a dash o’ vinegar to taste; which social networking tends to give him a nearly complete understanding of the complexities of everyday financial dealings ‘at the coalface’; and with a nose for impending doom (being part of the cause), he can sense a disaster on the horizon before the dawn of day. While politicians, economists and bankers still box each other’s ears about the rights and wrongs of the latest economic downturns and solutions thereto, others are already out and about plotting tomorrow’s world today.
Sean O’Casey provided the catch-cry in Juno and The Paycock – The whole worl’s in a state o’ chassis - and is so succinctly worded that it should merit him a posthumous Masters degree in economics. To this day, no economist of this era has come anywhere close to stating that reality of our affairs because Matters of Right Valuation were concealed.

Bearing the aforesaid in mind, a singular lesson is to be learned from an observation some 400 years ago. It is an extract from an essay on the fair and honest management in the affairs of State, written in 1625 by Sir Francis Bacon. As a young man he was a knave, once having urged his friend Lord Essex to go on a fool’s errand to sort out Ireland. Essex came to Ballymore Eustace in 1599, but his visit was unsuccessful. On his return to England, he unwisely turned his head on the Queen, was accused of treason, convicted by Bacon, and beheaded in 1601. In his old age, Bacon wrote a further series of essays on morals, anachronisms really, of his own former conduct.
Nevertheless, the lessons of the 17th century essay are stark reminders to our 21st century ‘managers’ about their own morals, ethics and precepts. The essay….

Of the True Greatnesse of Kingdomes and Estates. The Speech of Themistocles the Athenian, which was Haughtie and Arrogant, in taking so much to Himself, had been a Grave and Wise observation and Censure, applied at large to others. Desired at a Feast to touch a Lute, he said: He could not fiddle, but yet he could make a small Towne, a great Citty. These Words (helped a little with a Metaphore) may express two differing Abilities, in those that deale in Businesse of Estate. For if a true survey be taken, of Counsellours and Statesmen, there may be found (though rarely) those, which can make a Small State Great, and yet cannot fiddle: As on the other side, there will be found a great many, that can fiddle very cunningly, but yet are so farre from being able, to make a Small State Great, as their Gift lieth the other way; To bring a Great and Flourishing Estate to Ruine and Decay. And certainly, those Degenerate Arts and Shifts, whereby many Counsellours and Governours, gaine both Favour with their Masters, and Estimation with the Vulgar, deserve no better Name then Fidling; Being Things, rather pleasing for the time, and gracefull to themselves onely, then tending to the Weale and Advancement of the State, which they serve. There are also (no doubt) Counsellours and Governours, which may be held sufficient, (Negotije pares) Able to mannage Afairs, and to keep them from Precipices, and manifest inconveniences; which nevertheless, are farre from the Abilitie, to raise and Amplifie an Estate, in Power, Means, and Fortune. But be the worke-men what they may be, let us speake of the Worke; That is; The true Greatnesse of Kingdomes and Estates; and the Meanes thereof. An Argument, fit for Great and Mightie Princes, to have in their hand; To the end, that neither by Over-measuring their forces, they leese themselves in vaine Enterprises; Nor on the other side, by undervaluing them, they descend to Fearfull and Pusillanimous Counsells.The Greatnesse of an Estate in Bulke and Territorie, doth fall under Measure; And the Greatnesse of Finances and Revenew doth fall under Computation. The Population may appeare by Musters; And the Number and Greatnesse of Cities and Townes, by Cards and maps. But yet there is not any Thing amongst Civill Affairs, more subject to Errour, then the right valuation, and true judgement, concerning the Power and Forces of an Estate. The Kingdome of Heaven is compared, not to any great Kernel or Nut, but to a Graine of Mustard–seed; which is one of the least Graines, but hath in it a Propertie and Spirit, hastily to get up and spread. So are there States, great in Terrirorie, and yet not apt to enlarge, or Command; And some, that have but a small Dimension of Stemme, and yet apt to be the Foundations of Great Monarchies.’ Michael Ward.
Wilful Waste Makes Woeful Want.

Many, many years ago I attended a boarding school ruled by a head master with an iron fist. It was the month of June and the last week of term. Sports day was coming up and a bunch of us boarders were preparing the sports field for the big event, marking out the track for the 100yds, the 220, the 440,and the 880yds. Plenty of hard physical work was considered by the Head to be complementary to building our mental capacities!
I can’t remember the exact size of the sports field but it was big enough to contain two rugby pitches, a cricket pitch, and a building called the Pavilion, with plenty of space left over. On this particular day a local farmer was in with a mower and a pair of horses to mow the perimeter. He would get the hay off it for services rendered. Just in from the entrance to the field was a large mound, which he would not be able to mow, so when the free labour had the tracks marked out we were put to tidying the long grasses off it. Work on the mound came to an abrupt halt when someone of us stuck a slash hook into a wasp’s nest. The disturbed insects rose up in a swarm and we went running. We now had a problem on our hands; the job was only half completed. After much contemplation it was decided to set fire to the nest but who had a match? More consultation; then it was noticed that the farmer doing the mowing was smoking a pipe. It takes one to know one, so I, being a farmer’s son was dispatched to explain our predicament and to enquire if he’d give us the necessary. He handed over a box without a murmur. Back at the mound it was fairly obvious as to who would do the deed. With a light summer breeze at my back I struck a match and touched it to the tall dried grasses. Wooff; the whole mound was ablaze in a second and suddenly we were engaged in a fire drill exercise, stamping an beating to try and get the blaze under control which was determined to reach the boundary hedge where more dried grasses awaited. The other side of the boundary hedge was belonging to a market gardener where row after row of fresh vegetables grew. Black clouds of smoke drifted across the landscape and on towards the city of Dublin as we fought manfully to get the blaze under control. To add to our woes the Head master appeared. A Stewarts enquire followed, and when it was established as to how the blaze started a culprit was sought. Eyes were turned heavenward and towards the ground and some in my direction! I fell on my sword and was immediately ordered to the Head’s study where there I got a long lecture on responsible behaviour. Who would be responsible for damage to the market gardeners veggies or to the boundary hedge? The normal punishment for any misdemeanour was usually six of the best, but this time I was ordered to write out one hundred times the ‘Duty towards my Neighbour’ as contained in the Church of Ireland prayer book. For the benefit of any reader who is not of the Church of Ireland persuasion the ‘Duty towards my Neighbour’ contains 164 words, multiply that by 100 and you’ll get 16,400! That’s a lot of words and I can solemnly promise that should anyone care to have a go they will be indelibly imprinted on your mind for all time!!
Enough said about the past, what about the present? Well nothing has changed much since I last wrote but it mightn’t be a bad idea if our beloved Leaders adopted as their motto ‘wilful waste makes woeful want’. They are still grasping at straws or anyone or anything that might get them out of the hole they have being digging for themselves over their years in office. They are now inviting opposition parties to give them a dig-out. One would be inclined to say ‘let them stew in the juice’ of their own making, but for the benefit of the country as a whole it mightn’t be such a bad idea. I’ve said before and I say again they continue to shy away from taking real cost cutting measures that might make a difference to getting our affairs under control. Incidentally one doesn’t talk about ‘cost cutting ‘ anymore; the in word is ‘reconfiguration’. What about doing something about public expenditure that has increased by 50% over the past couple of years. Some weeding out could be done in that department. Minister Cullen taking helicopter jaunts and then having the brass neck with blustering verbosity to try and justify the trip doesn’t wash with the hard pressed working man/woman.
Our banking system is also having trouble coming to terms with present day realties. Flustering and flapping with over priced assets, commercial property and development lands, they are between a rock and a hard place. Looking for a measure that might get them out of their particular hole they are considering introducing ‘quantitative easing’. Get it? No, I didn’t either, but apparently it’s a fancy term for printing money. If only it were that easy sure wouldn’t we all be at it!
What this country needs at the moment is a Headmaster with an iron fist whose motto is ‘wilful waste makes woeful want’. Yrs Jeffers.


Last year the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival extended to five days with the introduction of the Ballymore sponsored Family Day. As the inaugural extension to five days, it was difficult to predict how successful this initiative would be. Ballymore resident and Punchestown supporter, Sean Mulryan had specified the emphasis of this day should be on the local community and particularly on the children of the surrounding parishes. Hence, the BALLYMORE Family day was launched.

The success of the project exceeded all expectations as 20,000 people flocked to the racecourse, 4,500 of which were children. Let’s face it, the day was a resounding success with colourful kiddies in fancy dress, faces gaily painted. Better still, with the distribution of tickets to children in local primary schools, non race-goers went to the racecourse, many of them experiencing the unique atmosphere of National Hunt Racing at Punchestown for the first time.

With the downturn in the building industry here and Sean Mulryan’s sponsorship of lighting at the Olympic Stadium in London in 2012, I thought BALLYMORE might not continue their generous sponsorship. Well halleluia, that didn’t happen and this year’s proceedings are well underway and look set to further build on the popularity of last year’s family day – to hell with the economy, the doom and the gloom - it’s Spring, it’s Punchestown and it’s time to shrug off the Winter Blues and celebrate the tradition of national hunt raceweek on our doorstep!

School Art Competition
The Ballymore art competition has been launched with 19 local schools and over 4,000 children involved. Each class should submit a winner and runner up prize and with the overall winner and runner up being chosen by an impartial judging panel. The winning students and their respective schools will receive an excellent prize and the finalists artwork will be displayed throughout the racecourse. All children who enter will receive two admission tickets compliments of Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore.

The creativity and imagination’s of local children will be further required for the excellent fancy dress competition on Saturday 2nd May. All entrants must register on arrival and will then be the stars of the show as they model their costumes in the parade ring for judging before the first race. Excellent prizes will be on offer for this competition.

As always entertainment is a massive part of the itinerary for Punchestown patrons and the children’s entertainment package is no exception with pony rides, live music, face painting, bouncing castles and much more planned on the day.

Nineteen schools are taking part in the art competition including Scoil Mhuire and St Kevins plus schools throughout Kildare and West Wicklow. Bualadh bos to Sean Mulryan and BALLYMORE for this generous touch.

THE NEWBRIDGE SILVERWARE BEST DRESSED COMPETITIONPerfectos, Fashionistas, Divas male or female, get out the guna and get cracking on your out fit for Punchestown 2009 because Newbridge Silverware are offering €5,000 of prizes per day from Tuesday to Thursday of raceweek with two more finalists to be selected on Ladies Day, Friday 1st when the Overall Winner will be announced with €30,000 worth of Newbridge Silverware to be won.
And if you’re having problems putting an outfit together, then please contact my personal shopper, Sheila Nevin of Evita; I swear to God that woman could dress Nell McCafferty and make her look good…..everytime I pop into Evita’s, I swear I am buying diddley squat and then I ask Sheila “Is there anything you think I’d like……..” She never lets me down………..
Another shop worth visiting is Savannah and Sienna, sister boutiques on Cutlery Road, Newbridge – middle of the road prices but fab colours and co-ordinates and one of the shops focuses on ladies with ‘fuller figures’…….
Don’t forget Elizabeth Deegan if you need a matching head piece or accessory – just bring part of your outfit into Liz for colour co-ordination and she will create a new piece for you or re-dress an existing piece. Remember too, Ladies to make your hair appointment now for raceweek, book a manicure with Audrey, beauty treatment or tan with Monica Mc or Lesley in Adonia’s. Support your local business women!

Who is organising this year’s Perfecto’s Outing to Punchestown – ‘Cinta? Jackie? Sheila? Well, don’t go without me girls! The good news this year is that Punchestown have organised Party Specials to combat the credit crunch – for bookings of 10 or more, you can avail of admission tickets at €29 including Admission, Racecard, Drink Voucher and a €5 Betting Voucher. Now that’s a safe bet ……..
Have to go, diet starts today…….. 5k walk now………..Rose
Usual header

Get Well Wishes to Mona Nugent and JJ Cullen; to Kay Kelly of Donard, Kitty Shannon of Burgage, Maura Allen of Dunlavin, Bugle readers all. Welcome home to Rita O’Rourke who looks like she had a stint on “The Swan”…..

Happy Birthday to Paddy Fisher of Elverstown and to sister Jenny who celebrates a special birthday; to Shauna O Neill on celebrating her sweet 16th birthday….

Trading birthdays this month is our coiffure artist and hat maker extraordinaire, Elizabeth Deegan – that’s the hairdresser Liz I am referring to……..and to Ciaran Langan…..

Best of Luck to Denise Kelly and Janet Carthy who went off to South Africa with the Niall Mellon Iniative on 19th March and return on the 29th March. In a similar venture Derek Gorman joins another group of builders from within the construction industry who are heading out to Kenya this year to build an orphanage. Well done to all participants and we’d be happy to cover your experience on your return.

IN boxed advert: Annual Lourdes Outing with graphic as before
This year’s annual trip to Lourdes will take place from June 10th to 17th inclusive. €775.00 per person sharing - single supplement of €35. Insurance, airport taxes, day flights, Hotel Alba, transportation to and from airports plus all meals covered. Enquiries please to John Curry at 045 864180

In a small boxed advert:

To be held in April
Super prizes to be won including
4 pairs of tickets for National Hunt Raceweek,
Framed picture from Gallery & Gifts,
Drawing by Bill Delaney, painting by Mary Deegan
Gift Vouchers from local traders,
Jewellery, Cosmetics and much more

Please support!! Tickets €1.50
Book of 4 for €5


In a small boxed advert, please:
Elizabeth’s Hair Salon
Chapel Street

Hair by Appointment
During Raceweek
Book now

Don’t forget
Hats and Fascinators
By Elizabeth


IN Boxed Advert

Urgently required

Juvenile Badminton Club

Phone Laura


Photographic Exhibition

“Captured in Time”
Simon Pallister

From Monday 23rd March
To Saturday 28th inclusive

At Naas Library
All Welcome


One photo please - Punch 027

Aoise and Chris Dowling photographed with son Sean
at last year’s Walking Sunday sponsored by
Sherry Fitzgerald O’Reilly of Naas (in fact, daughter Holly is probably in the picture too, just not quite so visible…)

In Reverse print please:

The Late Kathy Mahon
We extend our condolences to the family of the late Kathy Mahon, St Bridget’s Park. Having enjoyed good health up to two years ago, Kathy resided at Larchfield Nursing Home at the tine of her death. She is pre-deceased by her husband Patrick and son Seamus and survived by her daughers Maria and Anne, sons Pat and Denis, brother Kevin, grandchildren, sons in law and extended family.

Prior to her health deteriorating, Kathy was a lively person who took an active interest in the happenings of the community and enjoyed socialising locally; she had many good friends and neighbours and will no doubt be sadly missed. May she rest in peace, amen.

The Late Tessie Wilson
Sympathy is extended to the Darker and Gleeson families on the death of Tessie Wilson, late of Dublin and Dunlavin. Aged 94, Tessie passed away in Naas Hospital having lived briefly in Willowbrook Nursing Home. Originally from Dunlavin, Tessie nee Gleeson is prepdeceased by her husband Mick who died in 1970, her brothers Jim and Steve and sister Elizabeth. She is survived by her sister Mary and niece Mary Darker with whom she was very close; nieces and nephews plus the extended family and also, her close friends in The Fallon family of Manor Kilbride with whom she formed a close relationship spanning several decades. Tessie was laid to rest in Mount Jerome Cemetary in Dublin alongside her late husband – may she rest in peace, amen.

The Late Bridie Madigan
We extend our sympathy to Pauline McCarville and her family on the death of her mother, Bridie Madigan, late of Kilrush, Co Clare. Aged 90, Bridie is predeceased by husband, Joseph 25 years ago and is survived by her six daughters and one son, grandchildren plus the extended members of the family. Its great to have a parent live so long but it makes it just as hard to let go when the time comes…. to Pauline and members of the McCarville and Madigan families, we offer our condolences. The late Bridie Madigan, may she rest in peace, amen.

The Late Joe Nugent
We extend our sympathy to the family of the late Joe Nugent, formerly of Broadleas and Liffey Heights. Joe died after a brief illness in Naas Hospital; he is survived by his wife Rita, sons Marcus and Cormac, sister Madge (Tyrell), grandchildren, cousins and extended family. May he rest in peace, amen.


As always, management at Punchestown know what the local racing punter appreciates – and their recent announcement of a dedicated race in memory of the late Fr Sean Breen will find favour with his many friends in Ballymore, Naas and Eadestown parishes and across the wider spectrum of the racing industry. Not only have the racecourse decided to honour Ireland’s “racing priest” but it is the opening race of the 2009 Irish National Hunt Festival that has been selected to mark the event. Lovely touch that and, despite Ballymore not having a festival, it is ironic that we should have such a strong local connection on opening and closing day with Sean Mulryan’s continued sponsored of Family Day on Saturday.

The Fr. Sean Breen Memorial Cross Country Steeplechase will get festivities underway as the opening race on Tuesday 28th April in what promises to be another five days of top class racing, high fashion and festival fun.

Dick O Sullivan, General Manager of Punchestown racecourse said “The significant absence of our great friend Fr. Sean Breen will be honored at this year’s Festival in the most fitting way possible. The Fr. Sean Breen Memorial Cross Country Steeplechase is a commemoration of a marvelous supporter who believed fully in the importance of the Irish National hunt festival and always encouraged us in our efforts. Fr. Breen was an ambassador of the game and we at Punchestown are delighted to honour him in this way. Furthermore I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Kildare Hunt Club who generously offered to sponsor the race.”

Fr. Breen’s love of racing brought him to every corner of the globe with visits to Dubai and the U.S.A. where he flew the flag of the Irish racing industry but for us here in Ballymore and for his friends in Eadestown Parish and Naas, we will miss the tips from the alter, his caustic wit and the man who mixed as easily with Paddy The Punter as he did with media giants and tv celebrities.

Fr Sean, if you have any influence ‘up there’, send a bit of sunshine and heat – you can bet that you will be remembered and spoken about more so than if you were there in person. Punchestown Racecourse, we applaud you for the thoughtfulness and courtesy of remembering Fr Breen. I’d say the local gang just back from Cheltenham toasted you at every opportunity and despite “Raise your Heart” not featuring in the honours, you were there in spirit……………..

Whilst there was no joy for the late Fr Sean’s mount at Cheltenham, Eamon McElwee and the Banjo Syndicate had plenty to cheer about with “Golden Sunbird” romping home ahead of Henderson’s fancied “Kentucky Sky” and hot favourite “Kerada in the European Breeder’s Fund Doncaster Bloodstock Sales final. Despite only being the mare’s second outing, Tony McCoy was impressed enough to take the ride and see her home ahead of the field, winners all in this Class 1 listed race, Mare’s Standard Open National Hunt Flat Final. (That’s a mouthful!)
Eamon and the five other members of the Banjo Syndicate were treated “like royalty” at Sandown Park; the group have enjoyed previous success with “Accordian Etoile”, twice a winner in Cheltenham with a total of 8 wins and four places before retiring due to wind problems.

Eamon is unsure yet as to whether “Golden Sunbird” will race at Punchestown – watch this space…………

NB at the time of going to press, full details of The Fr Breen Memorial Steeplechase have not been released – full details in next month’s Bugle.

Punchestown Festival 2009 Schedule
The Irish National Hunt Festival 2009 is due to run from 28 April through to 2 May 2009. Each of the five days will see eight races, with a total of eleven Grade 1 races run over the course of the festival. Hightlights of the week will be:

· Kerrygold Champion Chase on Tuesday
Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup on Wednesdy
Champion Stayers’ Hurdle on Thursday
ACC Bank Champion Hurdle on Friday
Ballymore Family Day on Saturday
Punchestown Racecourse is the home of Irish National Hunt Racing in Ireland and hosts a total of 18 race meetings throughout the year. The 2008 Festival was the most successful festival to date attracting a record breaking 106,000 racegoers over the five days while offering €2.5 million in prize money. I can’t wait…………

What about Denman? The big horse looked to have lost all his appetite for the game this month. Hope that Paul Nicholls can get him back on song before the middle of March. Cheltenham is just around the corner now. I think that we have good chances is any number of horses, Cousin Vinny, Pandorama, maybe Hurricane Fly, and I have a sneaky fancy for Muirhead if the ground is good enough for him to go on. Let’s hope that the Irish horses can see a jump in form that the conditions have masked over the last few weeks. Not so the Irish rugby side who relished the meeting with France. Set up nicely for the Six Nations campaign, one can only hope for a continuation of the form showed on the night. We were in Croker a few nights later to see Georgia really put it up to Ireland in the first couple of minutes. They hit us harder and quicker than that fella did Bernard Dunne, early on. Happily Robbie K and the boys were able to turn it around in the second half and send us all home singing

Two different men came up and told me how proud they were of me recently. It is a humbling experience when someone tells you that. I appreciate it and thank them both. It was a great honour to speak on behalf of the parish at Fr. Sean’s funeral. I met so many people who spoke so highly of him. Trainer Jim Bolger asked to be remembered to all his friends here from the time he lived in Liam Lawler’s house. Gary O’Brien told me that Sean had officiated at his parent’s wedding. John Moloney, the manager of Galway Races told a story of a suitcase full of new clothes that the breener had bought in Anthony Ryans that got mislaid, but, due to the honesty of Galway folk had been handed in for him when he returned the following year. Niall Quinn signed the Sunderland and Ireland jerseys that he had brought for the Offertory and donated them for parish fundraising activities. Great tribute must go to all the people who were involved in the funeral service especially those who worked quietly behind the scenes, the catering crew, car park men and lots of others. Garda Eamonn Whelan played a blinder, he was always available to me no matter what hour of the day or night and is a real pleasure to work with. It was a fitting send off for a great character.

As you can imagine the parish is struggling a bit at the moment. I will bring you up to date with the changes as they become more definite. Bishop Eamonn Walsh has appointed Fr. Prenderville as administrator of the parish until further notice. Fr. Prenderville has taken the decision to close the gallery. The former Parish Board of Management, now the Parish Pastoral Council is due to meet the Hollywood Pastoral Council this week in an effort to explore how the two groups can work together. New members will be appointed to the Parish working group with Kilcullen, Dunlavin etc. They are the main developments. Finally Gerry O’Connor from Golden Falls has taken stewardship of The Bell parish newsletter.
Please take note that Gerry can be contacted on 045 863471 or email I would ask you to give him your full co-operation and help. It is a great local resource and Gerry will see it develop to it’s full potential. Thank you for your help to me over the last three and a half years especially to Kathleen Lawlor who was my feed during this time.

Rose writes elsewhere about the People of the Year awards. She was able to keep stum about someone who sent in a nomination for ME. Thank you very much. It was a great surprise. I have to say that I have coveted one of those “bridges” that Fiona Barrett produces, for ages. It really was a great night and a special congrats to Tommy Dwyer from “Hotlips.”

I was very impressed with the services of Kildare County Council during our recent spell of bad weather. We tend to complain about Council services, but on this occasion they were in top form, gritting the roads to keep the village moving. It is a pity that we couldn’t have found some way to clear the pavements, either ourselves or in conjunction with the council as they remained very dangerous for a long time after the snow.
Matt’s Memories
Dun Laoghaire Dominican Convent
In the middle decades of the last century, the late Jack Doyle managed to put all six of his daughters through the residential Dominican College at Dun Laoghaire. This was a remarkable achievement for Jack at a time when things were very difficult here in Ireland. I was aware that Gay and Ann were in Dun Laoghaire as my sister Margaret joined them there for her last two years at College. Previous to Gay and Ann, Kathleen, Joan and Claire had been in Dun Laoghaire while the late Trish was there most recently.
Going racing was something I often did before I had my stroke. While I’m still interested in racing, I don’t go as often as I did. At Christmas, I went to Leopardstown with my brother James on the last day. Having done my betting before I came, having dinner there seemed like a good idea. While looking for a table, I met Ann Mahon formerly of St Brigid’s Park who I had not encountered in about twenty years. Nowadays, Ann lives at Brannockstown and her husband, like myself, likes the horses. Ann has a daughter and two sons who were with her. Her mother, Kathy Mahon (nee Clarke), has been in the Larchfield Nursing Home for sometime now. Shortly before I left South Dublin County Council in April 2003 Ann’s sister, Marie, joined us there.
Santa Claus - Parade to the Old Band Hall
The Ballymore Eustace Historical Society’s Video deals with one of Santa Claus’s visits to the Old Band Hall, my late brother Paddy and myself appear outside the old bandhall with our trusty bikes. A very young looking Christy Dennison also appears in the passageway to the hall.
Regarding the party in the New School, I saw the late Margaret Whelan (who once more gave us one of her most beautiful smiles), the late Tot Lawlor, the late Maura Smith and the late Pauline Daly (nee Whelan) all helping with the meal. My next-door neighbour, Tommy Deegan, and his friend, Peter Conway formerly of Dowdenstown, appear seated at the back of the class.
Others I recognised were Bren Hennessy, Mena Sheridan (Assumpta Terrace), Anne Tipper (nee Deegan) and the late Maria Chamney (nee Keenan). I recognised a good few more, including the late Master Michael Conway, but I wont go into that now.
Shake Hands with the Devil
The making of “Shake Hands with the Devil” appears on the Video too. The following can be seen on it: Tim Clarke now about a hour outside Sydney in Australia (as far as I know); Michael Marshall now living in England; Will Hennessy; the late Mr Angley – formerly of the Half Acre House; the late George Sullivan – formerly of Barrack Street; and, a young looking Kevin Keenan (Senior).
Band Members
The Ballymore Eustace Historical Society’s Video shots of the Band include: the late Mr Twaithes; the late Tom Malone (Senior); the late John Headon; Michael Kelly; Michael Grace; the late Jack Byrne; Johnny Davis; Jim Kelly and Peter Kavanagh.
A Journey Through Celtic Myths and Places
Eithne Massey wrote a book called “A Journey Through Celtic Myths and Places”, which was reviewed in the Bugle of November 2003. Bill Massey, Eithne’s father, died on December 16, 2004. Eithne and the family contributed a lovely Appreciation to their late father Bill who lived opposite the Catholic Church where the late Frank Driver used to live. This Appreciation appeared in the Bugle of January 2005. Patricia Donnelly is another of Bill’s daughters.
As I was passing the late Bill and Sarah Doran’s house in the village a voice called out to me! It was Ollie Deegan who is now living there and hopes some of Billy Doran’s handballing abilities will rub off on him. Billy, his parents and siblings used to live there. The late Jennie MacDougald and the Lipsetts also lived there.
Recent Bereavements
Seán (Bán) David Flynn of Thorncliffe Park, Churchtown died on Christmas Day, 2008 R.I.P. Sean was a brother of my Braemor Avenue neighbour Brian Flynn. I understand there was a very large attendance at the funeral of Mark Johns who died on January 1. Mark was only 24 and was the nephew of our Churchtown Sacristan, Ray Johns. On December 30, John Mckiernan of Greystones died while his sister, Mary (Molly) Smyth (nee McKiernan) also of Greystones died on January 6. Both were siblings of James’s father-in-law Brian McKiernan. Have just learnt of the death of my Braemor Avenue neighbour, Tommy Connell, on January 29.
© Matt Purcell (January, 2009)

© Matt Purcell (January, 2009).


Many thanks to Naas Credit Union on their recent sponsorship. Chairman Tim Gorman received the cheque from Séan Murray of Naas Credit Union.

Celebrations for Eddie

Congratulations to Eddie “Ned” Hubbard on his nomination for Ballymore Person of the Year 2009. Eddie was nominated for his outstanding work throughout the years at Juvenile and Senior level. He has been a dedicated and instrumental committee member serving at various levels within the club and is currently County Board delegate for the club. His outstanding contribution to Tug O’ War was also mentioned which has a CV I doubt anyone else in the sport would have. Eddie, congrats - you truly deserved your nomination. Also congrats to Eddie’s wife and sidekick Nuala who too, can take credit for the nomination as she has been a rock of support to Eddie and serves on the GAA committee herself; sure where would Becks be without Posh!!

Congratulations to the Ladies team for their nomination following last year’s impressive championship victory. Let’s hope the Girls are equally successful this year.


Condolences to the McCarville family on the loss of Pauline’s mother Bridie Maddigan, may she rest in peace. Also deepest sympathy’s to the family of Jim Browne who passed away recently. It was great to see a large turnout at the funeral to offer sympathy and support to the family.


Membership fees are still due, €40 for adults and €50 for insurance for those wishing to play. The club wish those wanting to become members or play for the senior teams pay these fees as soon as possible.

Upcoming Events

The following events are coming up over the next few months and club appreciate all support!

Race Night- The race night is on in Paddy Murphy’s on the 27th Feb, starting at 9 o clock. A good night is guaranteed!!!

Auction- The club are holding a monster auction on the 19th of April in the National School. Details will be forthcoming so feel free to start looking through the attics and garages for anything that is not needed and in good condition; it’s all appreciated.

Murphy Cup- ‘The Murphy Cup’ is scheduled for Friday the 24th of April up in the pitch and will feature Wicklow against Roscommon

Golf Classic- This year the golf classic takes place in Baltinglass on the 29th of May from 12-5pm, dinner is included.

GAA Fixtures

Keogh Cup
Sat 21st Feb VS Johnstownbridge @ 2pm in Johnstownbridge
Sat 28th Feb VS Grange (In BME)
Sat 7th March VS Ballykelly (In BME)


A quick reminder to the walkers to feel free to drop a few euros into the box just off the track beside the dressing room, its signposted……. Thank you!!!


Happy birthday Pat Murphy and Jacinta O’ Rourke who recently celebrated “special birthdays”. Pat is maturing along nicely while ‘Cinta is looking better every year!

Player Profile

This month we turn to the youthful side of the senior team and who better to interview than Shane Kavanagh.

Fav Position: Full forward
Best Match ever played in: Connacht final with St. Jarleths
Best BME player ever: Jarleth Gilroy
Favourite Manager: Paul Carroll or Mick Hyland
One player you would like on BME team: Séan Cavanagh (Tyrone)
Fav Meal before a match: Chicken and pesto pasta
If you couldn’t play GAA you would play: Pitch and Putt
Vinny Out of 10 as a manager and why: 8, I deducted 2 because he gives out to much….
Fav Film: The Lion King
Best player on the women’s team: Women play football??
Rate the Kavanagh’s in order: Me, James, Eoin, Murt
If you could be anyone for a day: David Beckham
If you could go on a date with anyone: Martha from Home and Away
What would you like to see in your lifetime: Professional GAA
Laziest trainer on the team: Brian Moore
Who spends the most getting ready after training: Steven Dwyer, fixing his hair
What really annoys you: Hospital passes
Pre-match ritual: Listen to Redemption by Arcade Fire
Biggest Fear: Fear itself
Biggest moaner on the pitch: Steven Dwyer or Eoin Kavanagh

The Final Tragedy of The House of Atreus
(continued from last month)

Was this the face that launched a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Illium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss. (The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe).

By promising his soul to Mephistopheles (Satan) in return for wealth, fame and glory, Faustus demanded the presence and favours of Helen, renowned as the most beautiful woman who had ever lived. He never got that kiss.
It was likewise with Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, who, by favouring the Goddess Aphrodite, was granted Helen, at that time wife of Menelaus. That act was the first cause of the ten year long Trojan War, related in poem by Homer, and was to be the first scene of the final act in the curse of the House of Atreus.
The allied forces of King Agamemnon and Menelaus, along with the other city states gathered at Aulis on the island of Euboea on the east coast of Greece awaiting a fair wind to sail north for Troy and release Helen from her supposed captivity. No winds rose to fill the sails, nor would any, a soothsayer told Agamemnon, until he sacrificed his first-born, Iphigenia, to the gods.
Under the pretence that she was to marry Achilles, the shy, gentle, happy girl came to Aulis to learn her true fate. Her mother, Clythemnestra, protested vehemently to her vagrant husband Agamemnon, but in vain; and Iphigenia responded: ‘Unto me, almighty Hellas looks; I only can bestow boone upon her sailing galleys (for) Phyrigia’s overthrow (and) safety for her daughters from Barbarians…and…when the penalty is paid for Paris’ outrage and Helen’s shame, my name shall be blessing-crowned.’ She then moved of her own accord to the sacrificial altar. That day the ships sailed and the long siege of Troy got under way.
In the intervening years, Aegisthus was ever mindful of the atrocity committed by Atreus (father of Agamemnon), when he served the boiled body of Aegisthus’ brother to their father, Thyestes, a crime that remained unavenged.
Clytemnestra, distressed at Iphigenia’s terrible death, found common cause in grief with Aegisthus against Agamemnon, and becoming lovers, they began to plot the downfall of the king. To keep their affair hidden and their intentions safe from interference, Clytemnestra, in an utterly selfish act, sent her daughter Electra to the care of a peasant farmer, a eunuch and exiled her son Orestes as a shepherd to far away Phocis and awaited news of her husband’s return or his death at war.
After a long wind-swept journey, Agamemnon sailed home, glorious in victory. He was greeted by the people as hero of the Achaen army, and was deceitfully embraced by Clytemnestra as her long-loved, but lost husband. Seamlessly, she drew him to her, and in preparation for a celebratory banquet, inveigled him to bathe and wash away the stains of war, and after, they would be truly united. She robed him in garments which so constrained him that he had little chance of defence as she stabbed him to death, aided by Aegisthus. That was the 13th day of Gamelion (January), a full Moon, in later Roman times, the Ides.
It was close on seven years since her father’s death, and in the loneliness of her cabin, Electra bewailed the vacuous state of her life, and in that solitude, the absence of her brother, Orestes. Her mind was in constant turmoil, a tempest in full fury; haunted too in her loneliness and broken-hearted by the sheer cruelty of her sister Iphigenia’s sacrificial death. Beyond that horror and from the deepest recess of her mind, the shade of Clytemnestra continually lurked in murky darkness, and behind her, the black shadow of Aegisthus. She feared for her sanity, and on the brink of madness she resolved to visit her father’s tomb, that some consolation might come to her through his spirit, and with it, bring news of Orestes. After many hours travel, she arrived at the tomb, and agitated beyond human emotion, she commanded Agamemnon’s spirit to release her from the intolerable agonies that besieged her mind. She cried aloud for Orestes to save her from her bondage, and in that agony, she fell to the ground.
An old man was standing over her as she stirred back to consciousness, and with soft voice told her that her suffering would cease and comfort would soon be with her. He accompanied her for some distance, when they saw two men half hidden from sight. He beckoned the two strangers to come forward, and looking at the taller of the two, told him he was not unknown to the young woman. Electra denied any knowledge of him, explaining the reasons for her journey. The old man asked Electra to brush aside the hair on the stranger’s forehead and seek a scar on the left side. Tracing her fingers across his brow, she felt the source of an old wound. Looking to the depth of his eyes, she pondered for a moment, then falteringly, the name quivered on her lips… “Orestes? Orestes!”
The old man told them Aegisthus was close by, offering sacrifice to the gods. He spurred Orestes to strike with opportunity and ‘….Orestes flashed the sword down upon his neck and cleft the cord of brain and spine. Shuddering, the body stood one instant in an agony of blood.’ Electra exclaimed in relief ‘…now mine eyes are raised to see, and all the doorways of my soul flung free. Aegisthus is dead.’

And so loomed at last, the imposing figure and presence of Clytemnestra standing defiantly in justification of her actions. She was facing her destiny by the wrath of her two children, one adamant for immediate retribution, the other fearful of the dreadful sin he was urged to commit upon his mother. ‘Twas she that bore my body into life. She gave me suck. How can I strike her? It is sin;’ and answered Clytemnestra ‘he (Agamemnon) slew my daughter….and from the war, brought that harlot (Cassandra) with the flame of God about her, mad and knowing all, and set her in my room – two Queens ! - and shall not the wife break her prison too, to win another friend?’
Tormented by the confusions between right and wrong, the complexities of love, hate and guilt tumbling through his mind, of his duty in vengeance to his dead father, of Electra’s hysterical arguments for recrimination against Clytemnestra, of the cruel sacrifice of his sister Iphigenia and the killing of Aegisthus - all clashing as if in cosmic disarray – he lost his sanity and in that vacuum of time, he drove his sword into his mother’s body. ‘I lifted over mine eyes/my mantle: Blinded I smote/As one smitted a sacrifice;/And the sword found her body…’

The Trial
Even though Orestes was the king’s son and Electra his daughter, the aftermath of the matricide brought fearful and unexpected consequences; for ranged against them were Tyndareus, King of Lacedaemon, father of Clytemnestra and Helen; and Menalaus, King of Sparta, Helen’s husband and their daughter Hermione. A Council of Argos was convened at which they had only some support, and Tyndareus kept prompting arguments for others to demand the death penalty by stoning; and even though Orestes himself put forward eloquent and persuasive argument, his pleadings did not succeed – except for this – that rather than suffer the ignomy of death by public stoning, he and Electra were permitted to die by their own swords.
Pylades, Orestes’ only firm friend in life who had been with him all during his exile in Phocis, expressed outrage at the injustices and suggested an alternative solution to ignoble suicide. Seriously ill though he was with fever from his fit of madness, Orestes immediately took to the plan. Executing it was simple, but required modification, a subtle arrangement to guarantee success beyond their hopes, put forward by the wily mind of womanhood.
Helen, Pylades remarked, was within the same palace as they, strongly guarded by Phrygian troops who could easily be overcome. By capturing Helen, Menelaus would be persuaded to urge the Council of Argos to change its decision. But, countered Electra, he was a coward and might let her die, and so we suffer double murder. On the other hand, if we snared their daughter Hermione in order to snare Helen, he would be trapped and exposed publicly for what he truly was. In the same manner, Tyndareus would not have the blood of his daughter and granddaughter on his conscience. On that basis they proceeded with the plan.
Menelaus had been warned that something serious was amiss in Argos, and told that his wife had been murdered, he advanced on the palace, supreme in arrogance, and threatened to break the doors to rescue his child, Hermione, to recover the body of Helen and to kill Orestes. But the plot to draw him in face-to-face confrontation had succeeded. Helen was missing, not dead, and as his eyes scanned the palace battlements he was horrified to see lighted torches ready to fire the buildings and the figure of Hermione held at bay with a sword held to her throat. Menelaus demanded her release, but Orestes was uncompromising, demanding that he return to the Council, entreating it to set him free along with Electra and his friend Pylades. He furthermore demanded to be confirmed King of Argos. The protracted delay of Menelaus’ response was taken as a refusal of support, even at the expense of Hermione’s life, confirming his own self-aggrandizement and ultimate cowardice. Orestes commanded Electra and Pylades to set fire to the castle.

During this ugly and unseemly scene occurred the divine appearance in the enfolding clouds above, of Apollo, benevolent, yet commanding, and beside him was Helen, whom he had saved from the sword of Orestes. He ordered calmness, telling them that Helen had been granted the robes of Immortality to take her place with her two brothers, Castor and Pollux, in the bosom of the sky, a saviour of mariners in their Empire o’er the sea
He ordained that Orestes was to go into exile for a year and to return to Athens for his trial at Ares Field for his mother’s murder, and would win the case; likewise he should return to marry Hermione and rule over Argos. He was to bestow his sister’s hand on Pylades and a life of bliss awaited them. Menelaus was to leave Argos and reign in Sparta. Apollo and Helen would return to the mansions of the star-lit firmament where she would be honoured as a goddess, with drink offerings from men, forever more.
Michael Ward.
N.B. To 5th c. (B.C.) Greeks, history came in the form of legends. This article is based on The Orestes and The Electra, plays by Euripides, from the 1906 translations by E.P. Coleridge and Gilbert Murray. The graves of Clytemnestra and Thyestes actually existed.

The Family of The House of Atreus.
Tantalus, King of Phyrigia (Turkey), was the progenitor.
His son Pelops had two sons, Atreus and Thyestes.
Atreus: had two sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus.
Thyestes: had one son, Aegisthus.

The Family of Helen of Troy.
King Tyndareus of Sparta married Leda who bore him a daughter Clytemnestra, and a son, Castor.
Jealous Zeus in the form of a Swan, nested with Leda by whom she bore Helen and Pollux.
Clythemnestra and Helen were sisters.
Castor and Pollux are known to us as The Twins in the constellation, Gemini.

The Final Tragedy
Agamemnon, King of Achaea, married Clytemnestra. His brother Menelaus, King of Sparta, married Helen.
Agamemnon had a son Orestes, and two daughters, Iphigenia and Electra, by Clytemnestra.
Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, became lovers in league, plotting to exact double revenge on Agamemnon. His childrern Orestes and Electra then kill Aegisthus and so commit the first matricide by also killing Clytemnestra.
Orestes is sent for trial.