Be Prepared!

Be Prepared!

Do not get caught out next weekend. On Saturday night we will see the end of Winter time and clocks will go forward one hour – sleep on Saturday night will be shorter. We look forward to an exciting, enjoyable and healthy summer time and the brightness of the day will also brighten our days and spirits from the foreseeable future.

Whist Drive

This coming Friday, 29th March will see the Lanesboro Social Services Whist Drive taking place instead of the following Friday night. The change of date is due to parish activities taking place on the following Friday night. It is very important that all card players not only pass the word amongst each other but that everyone attends on this Friday night and make it a bumper night for the committee who work so hard.

Easter Penance Service

A Penance Service for Easter will be celebrated in the Church of the Holy Rosary, Ballyleague on Tuesday, 31st March at 8pm and the following evening Wednesday, 1st April the Penance Service will take place in St. Mary’s, Lanesboro at 7.30pm.


A number of years ago a man, his wife and family came to Lanesboro to run as their new business what we all commonly knew as Ryan’s shop. Little did we know at that time the impact this new family would have on our community? Denis Devereaux, his wife Joan and sons David and Hugh quickly made themselves at home in Lanesboro and soon became very popular figures in the town. They ran a thriving business on Main Street until they sold the business and moved up the Rathcline Road where another business evolved. Denis and Joan had their own minibus service which brought students to schools here, there and yonder. Denis interest in our area was total and proof was that he was a founder member of Lanesboro Historical Society and Brush Strokes art group. He was not only a driver of a bus but had the incredible energy to drive everything he was involved in. The Brush Strokes Art Calendar for a few years was a wonderful success with local groups benefiting from the sale of the calendars. Denis was always fast to identify projects and the need to remember historic events in the area such as the table and seat beside the duck pond that remembers the historical drowning of people on their way to the Lanesboro Fair. The sound of Joan’s bus coming to the corner almost every evening was always a pleasure as it meant Denis would invariably ramble into the shop for a chat as he was going for a pint to Joe and Martha’s. No more will it happen for me, no more will it happen for the young and old that enjoyed his company so much. We have a lot to be thankful for and knowing Denis was one of them. Denis was taken from us on Saturday, 14th March, his obsequies was both large and represented. His remains reposed at his residence on Sunday and on Monday his remains were removed to St. Mary’s Church for his Funeral Mass and following Mass his burial took place to Clonbonny cemetery. To his wife Joan, sons David and Hugh, brothers, John and Tom, relatives and many friends we extend our sincere sympathy.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

The morning began hazy as if the beginning of a summer’s day but as the morning grew older to clouds started to draw in and the fear that the good morning was going to be spoiled by a cloudy and misty day. Thankfully, the clouds broke up and the sun briefly shone and the day became a grand day for what is the biggest occasions in the Ballyleague and Lanesboro area on a yearly basis. As usual the only activity during the early part of the day was the organisers putting everything into place for the parade that was about to snake its way from St. Faithleach’s club grounds right up to Lanesboro Community College. The day’s events began with Fr. Reilly celebrating St. Patrick’s Day Mass at 11.30. Music was provided by the Parish Choir who were joined by local traditional musicians and dancers from the Ann Clancy School of Dancing. Prior to the commencement local traditional musicians provided music on the street creating a great atmosphere. This year, for some inexplicable reason, the numbers were down from the previous year. 2014 was a record breaking year in terms of floats and it was hoped that this year would at least equal the number. Alas, it was not to be but for those that participated it was a great parade and the numbers lining the street was most definitely greater than any year with thousands lining the street. It was especially disappointing when some regulars from previous years were absent but we hope that next year they will be back bigger and better than ever. An amazing of the parade and indeed any event in the area is the number of people that make themselves available to steward the event. It is a credit to each and every one of them for without them the parade would not be able to take place. Each year Shannonside’s Eugene Murphy, acts as MC for the parade and each year he is better than the last and this year was no different and he warmly greeted each and every float as they passed the viewing stand. A feature of this year’s parade was the presence of two firemen Butch Garrity and Max LaCasse from Lanesborough Massachusetts USA who walked the parade with the local twinning committee and members of our local fire brigade. St. Faithleach’s GAA and Lanesboro Community College must be complimented for the use of their property at the start and finish of the parade – the availability of both grounds really make the parade possible and makes the logistics of running the parade so much easier.

The chairperson Teresa Costello would like to sincerely thank those who sponsored the parade, everyone the bought and sold tickets, Joe and Martina O’Brien, the invited dignitaries for accepting their invitations and to her supporting committee for their excellent help and support. The winners of each category were: Best Junior Float – St. Mary’s N.S. Newtowncashel, Best Business Float – Lanesboro Ballyleague Credit Union, Best Vintage Float – Tom Morris, Best Original Float – Ballyleague Tidy Town’s, Best Club – shared between Rathcline GAA and the Men’s Shed, Best Overall Float – Ballyboro Scouts and Best Window display – Costello’s Nursing Home. The result and winners in the draw were 1st €300 – Emma and Saoirse Feeney, 2nd €200 – Megan Maher, 3rd €100 - Rosaleen Egan, 4th €100 – Onan Bater, 5th €100 – Aidan Carley, 6th €100 Tom Nolan, 7th €50 Celine Hester and 8th €50 – Patsy Donlon.

Memories continue roll in

The memories of the businesses in the parish continue to draw more and more comment and this week Kathleen Donlon (nee Farrell, Bullockstown), Moher drew my attention to the fact that I had not included the Longford Road and here we go PJ and Joan Donnellan’s Engine Spares, Dolan’s Foods, Vinnie Mc Gowan’s, Eddie Shea’s, Mark Shields MJS, Louis Skelly Building contractor, Mickie Flynn’s garage, Harte’s Filling Station and the owners since were Jimmy Murray, Peter and Maura McLoughlin, and now in the ownership of the Cullen family. Kathleen remembered Mary Murphy, Barnacor as a dressmaker, Jimmy ’the cowboy’ Casey as he like to be known sold vegetables to the town and parish and Jimmy Martin, brother of Tommy, Corrigeen, who as a cobbler also in Corrigeen we now have Kevin Hanley, plumber. We also remember Philip Mc Garry’s business on the Longford Road in Barnacor and that business changed hands to Pat and Barney Carberry and it is now occupied by Clarke’s Machinery. She also remembered Jimmy Murray, Blacksmith, who worked from Ger Farrell’s on the Rathcline Road and then from his house in Knock, not forgetting his neighbour in no 9 Knock Mrs. Balfe who was a dressmaker and Pat Rooney, Rathcline who was a blacksmith. Chris Cullen Building contractor, Rathcline Road. In Barnacor we have Brendan Keane, car repairs, Michael Mahon, painter, Tom and Denis Crinigan, plumbers and further in the road Penny pottery. Kathleen also remembers Chris Rollins travelling shop that travelled throughout the parish.

Mickie Connaughton remembers M. Mc Nally and sons on Main Street who were wholesale bottlers and they ran the bar at the Roscommon Races that took place during July and August. Mickie also remembered Winnie and Johnny Connors packing their own tea and Kieran O’Dowd joined the conversation remembering Ger Farrell also packing tea with his own label on the bags of tea. Kathleen Hough, Tipperary, (nee Kirwan, The Green), also reminded me of the following” Mam ran a very successful dressmaking business. Not only was she a dressmaker but was also a designer. She never used a pattern, cut everything out from her head! Many a bridesmaids’ and bride dress was produced in 43 the green. Mrs. Balfe in Knock was also a dressmaker. David Johnston ran a milk delivery service as did Jimmy Mullooly. Fabian Walsh reminded us that he bought the bakery in 1961 from Paddy Casey and he sold the bakery to a company called Armstrong and Lawlor, from Ballinasloe. I hope anyone with photographs are dropping them into Stella, in the Library, either by hand or emailing them to her. Her idea for pictorial history of the Main Street is fabulous and it is incumbent for everyone that has a photograph to get them to her. I would like to thank everyone that has contributed, to me, their memories of the businesses in the town and parish. It is proving to be a fascinating trip through the parish and I hope it has brought back as many memories for you as it has for me. It has added new names and shops that I never knew existed. If there are any other memories please email me or call into the shop and have a chat and I can add them to the already extensive list.

Centenary Celebrations

A few weeks ago Philomena and TJ Walsh, Rathcline had every reason for celebrations as Philomena’s mother, Sarah Agnes Lennon, Williamstown celebrated her 100th birthday. It is a remarkable feat for anyone to reach that milestone but to be in as good health is a wonderful bonus for Sarah Agnes and her family. We wish her much more good health and happiness.


On Monday night last 16th March the weekly Rathcline 50/50 draw took place in the Clarke’s Bar. The winning envelope was owned by young Luke Dowd, Thureen and Luke was the lucky winner of €405. The club appreciates your support for the 50/50 and for only €2 you too can be a winner.

Community Alert

A community alert meeting for the Ballagh, Ballyleague and Curraghroe will be held in St. Faithleach’s clubhouse on this Wednesday, 25th March at 9pm. The aim of this meeting is to set up a Community Alert system for the area. Membership of the scheme will allow monitoring systems/pendants and local text alerts for the entire area. It is essential that all townlands in the area are represented. This is a wonderful system as can be seen by all the communities adjoining Kilgefin parish and the importance of these systems cannot be stressed enough. It gives people greater security within themselves and it becomes a community looking after itself. Do not miss this meeting and make sure that community alert is up and fully functional in Kilgefin immediately.

Pike Angling Club

Lanesboro Pike Angling Club will host the Michael Casey Perpetual Trophy competition on Lough Ree on Sunday 19th April. This is the first fishing competition held by the club this season and they look forward to all members coming out and making it a great day out. Membership can be bought from any club executive, Chairman Packie Reilly or from the Yacht Bar. Please ensure you have bought your membership prior to the 19th. Further details will be announced in the next week.

Bridge Club

The results of the competition held on Wednesday, 18th March are: N/S 1st Cyril Hussey and Phil Chalmers, 2nd Mona O’Flaherty and Bernadette Gillen and 3rd Frank and Frances Brennan. E/W 1st Katharine Harrison and Philomena Walsh, 2nd Mike Flynn and Brendan Dowling and 3rd Eileen Kelly and Una Clarke.

Strictly DVD selling very fast

The show of 2014 Strictly Come Dancing Over the Bridge DVD is now on sale and it is a selling very fast so much so that extra copies have had to be made. This is your opportunity to relive the memories of that wonderful night in Athlone. It was a historic night as it was the first time that both clubs came together across the bridge to put on Strictly and it show what a wonderful community we have. Copies can be bought in O’Brien’s for €15 and it will be tremendous watching and hours of totally unbridled entertainment.

Old Clothes

If you have old clothes you want to dispose of you can do so by contacting Mike 086 4046174 and he will arrange delivery or collection. Your donation will go towards supporting the Rathcline Ladies GAA club.

Table Quiz

Ballyleague Village Renewal & Tidy Towns have rescheduled their Community Table Quiz for Saturday next, 28th March in St Faithleach’s clubhouse Ballyleague at 9pm. Go along and have a good night’s craic’ and support Tidy Towns at the same time. Teams of 4 for €40. Great prizes on the night.

Card Night

For a number of years the traditional Good Friday card game has taken place in St. Mary’s hall. This has proven to be an extremely popular night for card playing and big numbers have turned up to enjoy the night. This year will be no exception as the Rathcline club will once again host the Good Friday 25 Card Drive on Friday week 3rd April at 9pm. Tickets are on sale locally and you are encouraged to buy tickets even if you are not a card player as there will be prizes for non-playing ticket holders. Tickets are priced at €5 and your support will be greatly appreciated. Refreshment will be served and there will be numerous prizes on the night.

Connaught Medals to the area

On Saturday week Roscommon CBS travelled to Carrick on Shannon for the Connaught Senior A Final against Summerhill, Sligo. The game was both tense and exciting throughout with very little between the teams. Roscommon emerged victors by a narrow margin and the victory brought great celebrations to the parish of Kilgefin where two of their sons, namely, Daniel Foley and Steven Walsh were the recipients of Connaught medals and they now look forward to an All-Ireland semi-final in a few weeks. We wish the lads and their team mates the very best of luck in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Events at Library

The following are the events at Lanesboro Library and you are encouraged to take part in what event suits you.

Daffodil Day is on Friday 27th March. Daffodils are on sale in the library in aid of Irish Cancer Society for €3. Please support this very deserving cause.

Basic Computer Course at Lanesboro Library: The library is now taking names for a further afternoon and evening course to be run after Easter. If you are interested please call Stella on 043 332 1291 or email

Seeking Triple Crown Title

A number of months ago 100 debating teams from the Universities of Ireland set out on a journey that would ultimately lead them to an All-Ireland Final for four of the 100. The debating competitions were fierce in their intensity as all the teams debated gallantly for their place in the final four. The debates took place involving all the leading universities in Ireland and last Saturday night the final four teams came together to vie for the title of All-Ireland champions for the year 2015 and the opportunity to represent Ireland against England, Scotland and Wales next month. Our interest was in the Trinity College Dublin team who had on it a native son. Gavin Tucker, son of Martin and Sarah Tucker, Mountcashel, a fourth year medical student in Trinity College and his debating partner Liam Hunt- a Dublin native. The pair of lads did themselves and their college proud by winning the event and becoming All-Ireland champions. They will now go forward to represent Ireland against the champions of the other four nations. It will be a wonderful achievement if the pair of lads go on to win what would be similar to a Triple Crown victory and it would also complete a unique treble following the victories of both ladies and men’s rugby teams over the weekend.

Gavin is a past pupil of Cloontuskert National School and Lanesboro Community College. I would like to extend the congratulations of the entire community a Gavin on his wonderful success and wish himself and Liam the very best of luck in April.

Mens Shed

The Ballyleague & Lanesborough area Men’s shed group is presently raffling one of the four fantastic fishing lake boats they made over a 14 week period since last November. The proceeds raised will go to buying varnish and paint and other supplies for the boats and equipping the Men’s shed new workshop in Cloontuskert with hand tools and equipment. You can buy a raffle ticket for just €5 from any of the lads who did the boat building and in the shops and pubs on St Patrick’s weekend. The wooden boat is now worth in excess of €5000 - such is the quality of the workmanship so it is a great raffle prize. You may have seen the raffle prize and the other 3 boats in the St Patrick’s Day parade in Lanesborough this year and can judge for yourself about the quality of the work the lads and their tutors did.

Tennis Club

Lough Ree Bay Tennis club wish to confirm that Junior club membership is now closed for 2015. Over 30 children have now paid their membership, are fully insured to play and will be moving out of the hall in Ballyleague to train on the two tennis courts in the Waterways Ireland marina on Saturday April 11th at 6pm where we look forward to a long hot sunny summer of tennis with our Tennis Coach Ireland Richard Turner. There will be no tennis coaching on Saturday March 28th or Saturday April 4th. Thank You for your co-operation. Adult Tennis Coaching: The weekly sessions will resume on Sunday April 12th at 9.30am at the tennis courts in the Waterways Ireland marina in Ballyleague. Only 5 places remain in this session. For more information and to register contact Chairman Mark Kerrigan on 353 (85) 152 5301 as soon as possible. The club will be staging tennis competitions and coaching all summer long so now is the time to register your membership and be ready for a long hot summer of tennis hopefully!!!

Heritage Plan

Ballyleague Village Renewal wish to thank everyone who came along to the launch of our new heritage plan recently in the Lifebelt bar. We had a full house and the plans will now be put up on the Roscommon county council heritage website:

Your feedback would be very welcome. Please e mail: keepballyleaguetidy@gmail.comm with your comments and suggestions.

Riverbank Opening

Work is now commencing on the final stage of Phase 2 of the new riverbank, quayside wall and promenade in Ballyleague. During the next 8 weeks construction work will commence on a new traditional stonework plinth at the entrance on the bridge side of the site just - starting immediately after St Patrick’s Day. Work will also be carried out to relocate parts of the existing stone walls and install a new water mains pipe to the south of the site - providing a number of taps for anglers and pedestrians use. The next part of the work will include the installation of a new two metre wide tarmac footpath linking the Waterways Ireland marina and the southern end of our cobble lock promenade. This will facilitate disabled anglers and able bodied pedestrians with access to the new promenade.