Stars shine bright in Ballymahon

Ballymahon, nestled in the heartland of south county Longford, can reflect on 2012 as a year when many of its community members came to the fore in their respective fields. These successes can be seen from the outstanding success of local jockey, Darren Egan (20), who accrued over 21 wins in this year alone, to 11-year-old Emily Farrell, a hip hop dancer and sixth class student at St. Matthew’s National School (NS). Emily came to the fore when she secured second place in the Irish Hip Hop Masters in Killarney, County Kerry.

Ballymahon, nestled in the heartland of south county Longford, can reflect on 2012 as a year when many of its community members came to the fore in their respective fields. These successes can be seen from the outstanding success of local jockey, Darren Egan (20), who accrued over 21 wins in this year alone, to 11-year-old Emily Farrell, a hip hop dancer and sixth class student at St. Matthew’s National School (NS). Emily came to the fore when she secured second place in the Irish Hip Hop Masters in Killarney, County Kerry.

Earlier in the year six-year-old Kelsey Freeman was the creator of ‘Crock of Gold’, an artistic work that went forward to the latter stages of Google For Doodle. Keeping with the international limelight, local lady Grainne Kavanagh came to prominence when she played the drums at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games 2012. In doing so, Grainne played to an estimated audience of over four billion people.

David Murray, a third year student at Ballymahon Vocational School, was shortlisted from thousands of entries in the Brainfood.ie Fantasy Writing Competition. Meanwhile in June, Laura Healy of Ballymahon Mercy Secondary School, was awarded first place in the TYP category of the National Career Skills Competition 2012. Her award came on foot of her excellent understanding of the career of physiotherapy.

Another award winner was Shauna Gilbride (11) who took first place in her category at the ‘Easy Food Home-Cooking Awards’ in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin. Shauna, a fifth class pupil in Forgney National School (NS), secured her spot after impressing the judges with her recipe for ‘Peanut Choc Pops’.

Among the many highlights of the year within the Ballymahon community is the celebration of Helen Egan’s 30th year working at Hanly’s Newsagents. The Main Street business presented Ms Egan with flowers and a cake in appreciation of her many years of dedication.

There’s nothing quite like teamwork and it was with great pride that the Ballymahon community learned of the success of a local equestrian team. The team, from Ballymahon Vocational School, became the first group to represent County Longford, at the prestigious All England Interschools Championship in Hickstead.

Outdoor Discovery is the name of the Ballymahon business which this year won the Longford County Enterprise Board 2012 award. The outdoor adventure centre is owned by Alex Stanley.

Looking forward to 2013, there is excitement afoot as the local Mercy Secondary School’s plans to introduce iPads.