Sunday, August 23, 2009

Matt’s Memories

New House

Recently, I met Geraldine Lawler and was admiring her new home on Barrack Street. Geraldine lives there with her husband Liam who has retired from teaching. Some 20 years ago, Geraldine was Editor of our then newsletter, the Ballymore Echo, and I used to submit handball pieces to her for publishing. Back then; I had not spread my wings!

I gather from Kay Kavanagh that she is a regular user of emails to keep in touch with her family. She finds it great for that purpose and can view her family even though they are far away from her. In days gone by, her husband Gus served on the Handball Development Committee. Gus also went to Newbridge College. Years ago, their sons were involved in a band and I followed their progress through the Bugle.

On April 4th Christy Reardon, Jack Dooley, Hilda Headon and John Kearns were all prayed for to mark their anniversaries. Mary Deegan, the Dooley Family, Kay and Lynda Headon were all in attendance with their aunt, Joan (over 90) - the last of the Gorrys of Naas who was a sister of the late Hilda. The Kearns Family may also have been there but I don’t know them.

The Leinster Leader of April 2 carried an acknowledgment in regard to the late Ivy Barrett whose Anniversary Mass was held on Sunday April 5th. The last clear memory I have of Ivy was when she and the late Paddy attended the wedding of Jacinta and Tom O’Rourke in 1982.

Gorrys of Naas
The late Hilda Headon was a Gorry of Naas, a daughter of Joe and Minnie Gorry and there were 14 children in the family. The Gorrys were sports enthusiasts especially golf. Joe had a pharmacy in Naas and my late father who was a G.P. dealt with him for many years. After Joe’s time his son John took over the pharmacy. Paul Gorry of Baltinglass is a Genealogy expert and is related to Joe
A Good Samaritan
Recently while attending St Mary’s Cemetery I met Collette Cowley and her daughter Thelma (married name Roche). Thelma was carrying out maintenance work to her grandparents’ grave under Collette’s supervison as Collette was recovering from a hip operation. Kindly, Collette gave me a lift down to our house.


The Leinster Leader of April 2 carried a photo of School Principal Lillian Murphy (nee Hanlon) and Jack Boothman at the official opening of the Blessington No. 1 School. Jack was President of the GAA from 1994 – 1997. As luck would have it I also saw Lillian’s husband Harry driving in Ballymore Eustace. Another to appear in that week’s Leinster Leader was Julie Keenaghan who is Garret Keenaghan’s mother. Julie was supporting the St Mary’s School Show in Naas. Johnny Peters and his wife Mary also appeared in that week’s Leinster Leader. Johnny was due to perform in Paddy Murphy’s on the Wednesday of Punchestown week.

Another Visit

On the weekend of April 3, James gave me a lift down to Ballymore Eustace. It was also Grand National weekend so I had the job of trying to pick a winner. Sadly, I failed. I did however have a good place in the fourth race and thanks to Ned Deegan I had a winner at Newcastle too. Overall however I lost but live to fight again! I guess I was lucky to have a good place bet the day before.

Millbrook Cup

The Millbrook Cup is a six-mile athletic race run at Punchestown on Walking Sunday. Over the years it has yielded many good athletes. The first of these that I knew was Jackie Cummins of Killashee, a farrier who shod my late father’s horses. Jackie won the race at least once but was usually scratch man in this handicap race. Another winner was our own Eddie Hubbard. Amongst other local winners were Sean Garvey and the late John Murphy (Longhouse). My former school colleague, Tim Counihan, was a regular participant – did he win it? I can’t remember…….My cousin, Ted Keegan (Two-Mile-House), won the race on 5 different times. In the second part of the sixties the Leinster Leader brought out a Supplement that carried a photo of Ted in it. Ladies won the 2007 and 2008 races.

The Thatch

On Sunday April 19 I had dinner with my brother James at The Thatch and met Jimmy and Ann McLoughlin there. I also saw Betty Deegan with her nieces Margaret and Bridget Keogh (I’m afraid I don’t know their married names), Eddie and Nuala Hubbard, Mrs Sarah Tracey, Paddy and Breda Hudson.
Sunday Independent

I see from the Sunday Independent of April 12 that my former lecturer, Seamus Henchy, died aged 91. From 1972 to 1988, Seamus was a Supreme Court Judge. The Sunday Independent of April 19, carried news of the deaths of Clement Freud aged 84 and James Bowe aged 77. Clement was a regular on the Late, Late Show in days gone by while James was a horse trainer and father of Micheal who trained such horses as Limestone Lad, Solerina and Sweet Kiln.

More Horses

I see where Sean Mulryan’s Ambobo won a good race at Punchestown at 11/1. Sean’s Clarkey was just beaten in the North

© Matt Purcell (May 28, 2009).

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