2012 was an exciting year in Lanesboro/Ballyleague - what with the efforts by the local community to enhance and develop the locality and the many success on the national stage by people from the area, 2012 will certainly stay with many people for some time to come. It was also a year tinged with sadness in the area following the deaths of two local stalwarts, Joe Farrell and John Fayne.
Early in 2012, the Class of 1982 at the Convent of Mercy, Lanesboro held its 30th class reunion at St Faithleach’s clubhouse in the picturesque Shannonside town. It was a fantastic night where old friendships were rekindled and numerous, nostalgic trips down memory lane were undertaken.
June: There was absolute shock in the area after a fire caused havoc at the Lough Ree Sub Aqua Search & Rescue Clubhouse in Lanesboro. Thousands of Euros have since been raised by the communities in and around Lanesboro and Ballyleague to help rebuild the much loved facility.
July: The marriage took place at the Church of the Irish Martyrs, Ballycane, Naas, Co Kildare of Donal Casey, son of Theresa and the late Michael Casey and Elizabeth Quinn, daughter of Tommy and Joan Quinn, Woodlands, Naas, Co Kildare. Bestman was Ivan Colleran, cousin of the groom. Chief bridesmaid was Siobhan Quinn sister of the bride. Page boy was Thomas Quinn nephew of the bride and Flower girl was Maggie Quinn niece of the bride. The marriage ceremony was celebrated by Fr Jimmy Doyle, Naas assisted by Fr Mickey Reilly, Lanesboro and the wedding reception was held in Killashee House, Naas, Co Kildare.
Also in July, senior gardaí along the Longford and Roscommon border launched an investigation into an elaborate scam by a gang masquerading as collectors for Olympic silver medallist boxer, John Joe Nevin. The Leader understood that thousands of Euro may have been gathered in a bogus fundraising collection which duped numerous home-owners in Lanesboro and Ballyleague.
August: The people of Lanesboro and Ballyleague gathered together to raise some much needed funds for Cancer research. As part of the concerted effort, a convoy of over 100 Honda 50 motorbikes arrived in town to boost the fundraiser. Motorbike enthusiasts from all over the country took part in event which proved a huge success and provided locals with a unique opportunity to showcase all the very best that Lanesboro and Ballyleague has to offer.
September: Lanesboro and Ballyleague will be part of the festival that will welcome home family, friends, long lost and newly found relations and indeed anybody that wants to be part of a wonderful initiative – The Gathering Ireland 2013. Plans are in place to hold a year of great craic agus ceoil in the area next year.
Also in September, local artist Sarah McWeeney and her band ‘Red Sail’ took to the stage at Electric Picnic to much acclaim. The band boasts an alternative folk sound and has gone from strength to strength since its inception, just a couple of years ago.
There was great sadness in the Lanesboro/Ballyleague area in the latter half of the year when news emerged of the passing of one of local agriculture’s most loved personalities, Joe Farrell, Lisnacusha, Lanesboro, Co Longford.
Joe, who was fondly known as ‘Ned’s Joe’ passed away peacefully at Innis Ree, Nursing Home on September 6, 2012. He was survived by his wife of 59 years Patsy; daughter Jacinta (McCormack); sons, Ron, Paul and Joe Joe; sisters Bridie and Phil; son-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and many friends. RIP.
October: There was a deep shock in the area when it emerged that John Fayne passed away suddenly on October 31. John is survived by his wife Mary, son, daughters, sisters, relatives and many, many friends. May he Rest in Peace.
November: There was great excitement in Lanesboro with the official opening of the newly refurbished St Mary’s Church – and ahead of schedule. There was also much acclaim for Fr Mickie and the contractors with regard to the standard of work done during the renovations. It has become the centre of the community and Mass goers are asked to note that Friday evening Mass now takes place at 7pm and there will be no 10am Mass on Saturdays.