St. Mary’s GAA: The eagerly awaited launch of St. Mary’s GAA History Book takes place in the Clubhouse Higginstown Granard on this Friday 15 March at 7.00pm. 
This book chronicles 125 years of Granard GAA since it’s formation in 1888 to the present day and in fact was the first GAA Club to be established in Co. Longford. Everyone welcome to attend.

St. Mary’s GAA: The eagerly awaited launch of St. Mary’s GAA History Book takes place in the Clubhouse Higginstown Granard on this Friday 15 March at 7.00pm. 
This book chronicles 125 years of Granard GAA since it’s formation in 1888 to the present day and in fact was the first GAA Club to be established in Co. Longford. Everyone welcome to attend.

Lunchtime Prayer: Come and Pray a lunchtime prayer around the cross each Friday during Lent in St Mary’s Church Granard from 1.00pm to 1.30pm. Place your prayer, needs and worries at the foot of the Cross during this special time.

Parish Mission: The mission commences on Sunday 17 March at 8.00pm for one week concluding on Saturday 23 at the Vigil Mass at 8.30-pm. Morning Masses Monday to Friday 7.00am and 9.30pm. Evening Mission at 8.00pm daily. Sacrament of Reconciliation Wednesday 20 March at 8.00pm. Sacrament / Anointing of the Sick on Saturday 23 March at 11.30am. This is a time of great renewal and Blessings for the Parish and everyone is encouraged to partake.

Rath Mhuire: As we are all aware these are very difficult times for Community & Voluntary Groups and we at Rath Mhuire are hugely encouraged and extremely grateful for the community support we receive, both in terms of volunteers as well as the support for all our local fundraising initiatives, which are so vital to the work we do. Our work is with older people in our communities and we work directly with over 100 people providing supports in respect of social networks, transport, meals, as well as many other projects at Rath Mhuire Centre and the Dolmen Centre. Currently we are looking for volunteers to participate in the upcoming Women’s Mini Marathon which takes place in June. If you are making a choice to contribute to a local charity (we are a registered charity) or making a legacy we would be delighted if you would consider our organisation. For any further details or information, you can contact Jackie or Lucy at Rath Mhuire Centre or at 043-6686309.

Writers’ Group: The next meeting will take place on Monday 25 March. Noel Monahan will be attending re our upcoming publication. We will meet at 11.00am and lunch will be provided. More details nearer the date.

Longford Harriers: A Hunt will take place in Ballinalee on Saturday 16 March at 12 noon starting at the Creamery. The event is to help raise funds for the Ballinalee Connemara Pony Show. Suitable for all levels and everybody is welcome. Come along and see the Horses and Hounds. Refreshments afterwards in Farrell’s Lounge.

First Year Maths!: Granard Adult Learning is running a short course on first year maths to prepare parents / guardians to be able to help with maths homework. Starting: Friday 15 March 2013. Time:10.00am -12.00 noon. Venue: Granard Adult Learning Centre. We are also offering an Introduction to Computers including word processing; key board skills; email/Skype using the Internet etc. Starting: 15 March. Time:10.00am -12.00pm. Venue: Granard Adult Learning Centre. For more information or to book a place please contact Therese Smyth at 043 6686211 Adult Learning Centre, Main St. Granard, Co. Longford.

Cycle To Croagh Patrick: The 3rd Annual Cycle and Climb to Croagh Patrick for the Parish of Granard Lourdes Invalid Fund will take place on Saturday 1st June 2013.  Last year was a very successful and enjoyable day as over 40 cyclists completed the event, while many more people participated in the climb.  We hope this year will be equally successful and there is plenty of time for any aspiring cyclist to fit in the training.   A special event to launch this year’s cycle will take place on Saturday 4 May, from 9 on Saturday morning a Static Cycle “1500km from Granard to Lourdes” will take place, followed by a Fancy Dress Party in John V. Donohoe’s on Saturday night.  A great weekend of entertainment is guaranteed.  Your help and Support would be greatly appreciated for both events.  Any enquiries contact Jimmy Brady 0878875227.

Pilgrimage to Lourdes: The Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from Tuesday 27 May to Saturday 1st June. Cost €699. Full details from JWT 012410811 or 01 2410812. Any person with an illness who would like to go on this Pilgrimage please contact your local parish priest.

Novena of Rosaries: The Nine Day Novena of Rosaries beginning Friday 15 March and ending with a Rosary vigil outside Dail Eireann Saturday 23 March at 3pm. The special intention is to ask GOD through the Holy Rosary to protect Ireland from abortion. Bus leaving the cathedral square at 12miday on Saturday the 23 to book a seat contact Marie at 086 1900640 or Kitty at 086 0405621.

I.C.A.: Longford Federation are happy to sponsor an entrant in the 2013 Rose of Tralee competition. The criteria for the successful applicant is as follows: 1.Applicant must be from Longford. 2. Must have a connection in ICA i.e. mother, granny, aunt, sister, great granny, godmother etc. 3.Aged between 18 yrs on 1 January and 27 yrs on 31 August. Application letter in writing or email to be in by 3 April ’13 with Secretary Margo Ward, Legan Rock, Legan, Longford or email . Alternatively an application can also be lodged with May Campbell, Doonameran, Kenagh, Longford

Easter Bonnet Ladies Night: On Friday 22 March in the Boomerang Lounge Bar Granard a novel fundraising night will take place. Dust down those hats and feathers ladies and don you Sunday best. Join us for the evening and enjoy a glass of wine some nibbles and lots of great prizes. We will be joined by Amy Leslie from Head Strong Millinery Designs who will be showing some of her beautiful handcrafted Hats; Fascinators and Head Pieces. A night not to be missed. All proceed will go towards Granard Easter Festival. Admission €10.

Easter Festival: Plans are now at an advanced stage for the Easter Festival on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March. The festival kicks off on Saturday afternoon at 3pm with a gruelling 5K Run which starts at Kiernan Milling! Entry is €10 per adult and €5 for U16 participants. Prizes are as follows 1st €200, 2nd €100 and 3rd €50. There will be a special prize of €50 for the first U16 competitor across the finish line. If you wish to participate call Patrick on 043 6687935. Later in the evening, the Novelty Tug-O-War will take place on Main Street. All businesses in the area are invited to enter a team of 7 people. The cost is €20 per team. If your business or organisation would like to enter a team please contact Barry on 087 7625698. On Sunday from 1pm onwards there will be lots of fabulous entertainment for children and adults including fire eating, stilt walking and unicyclist from Corvenieos Entertainment. The crowd are in for a very special treat with the appearance of the “Trialstar Team” - the very best of mototcycle arena trials specialists performing amazing feats of bravery. The parade is expected to pass through Main St. at 2pm. Many floats have entered, but there is still time to join up if you wish to do so call Patrick on 043 6687935. There will be an Artisan Food & Craft Fare boasting an array of home baking including cheese, meats, boxty, jams, apple pies, crepes and confectionary so all palettes will be catered for. After the parade Shindig – formerly known as the Merchant Archers, will take to the stage followed by popular local group Paper Planes! As it is Easter Sunday there’ll be lots of Easter Eggs to give away!! Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the fun! With such a variety of live entertainment there is something for everyone at the Easter Festival in Granard!

SVP: St. Vincent De Paul Granard are delighted to announce the opening of their Charity Shop New-2-U in Market St. Granard (near Library) on this Saturday 16 March at 12 noon. Our branch caters for the needs of people in the Granard Abbeylara and Mullinalaghta areas. We would greatly appreciate clothing, bric a brac, etc. for the shop. A Bucket Collection will take place on the Street on that day. Please give generously to this worthy cause. The shop will be run on a voluntary basis and all proceeds will be used to assist those in need in the greater Granard Abbeylara and Mullinalaghta areas. We need second hand goods for he shop e.g. clothes; brick-a brac etc. Goods may be handed into Sacred Heart N.S any weekday before 3.00pm. Financial Donations may also be made to Vincent de Paul/St. Patrick’s in Bank of Ireland Granard. For further information contact number: 0851503985.

Recent Wedding: Congratulations to Fiona Blessingto, Rathcronan, Granard and Owen Smith, Aughaloora, Killnaleck who were married in St. Mary’s Church, Granard on Saturday 2 March. A reception for family and friends followed in the Errigal Hotel, Cootehill, Co. Cavan. We wish them every blessing for the future.

G.A.A. Race Day: The annual Race Day organised by Longford G.A.A. at Punchestown Races was launched last week in Aras Ui Bhrian Longford. The date is set for Wednesday 24 April – Gold Cup Day. Sponsors again this year are RSM Farrell Grant Sparks. This is the 11th year of the event which has become one of the largest corporate events at Punchestown.

Country Markets: Granard Country Market is open from 8-30am to 11-00am every Friday morning in the Market House Granard. Watch out for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter goodies over the coming weeks. Your continued support of this longstanding market is appreciated.

Bingo: Takes place each Wednesday night at 8.45pm in the Community Centre Granard. Proceeds go to St. Mary’s Granard and Abbeylara GAA Clubs. Your continued support is much appreciated.

Slimming World: Slimming World Group continues in Edgeworthstown every Thursday evening at 5.30pm and 7.30pm at the Mostrim Arms Hotel. Everybody is welcome.

Set Dancing: Continues every Monday evening 7:30pm – 9:00pm. at Lus na Greine Family Resource Centre Main Street Granard. All welcome.

Handball: The All-Ireland Senior Singles Finals will take place on Saturday 16 March in Abbeylara Handball /Sports Complex at 3.00pm Your support would be appreciated.

Whist: The following are the results from the Community Centre Granard on Sunday 10 March. First Lady: Anne Egginton. Second Lady: Breege Cauldwell. Third Lady: Olive O’Reilly. First Gent: Edward McGivney. Second Gent: James Reilly. Third Gent: Sean Flood. Half Game Lady: Ina McCormack. Half Game Gent: Jimmy Cahill. Raffle: Olive O’Reilly, Anne Egginton and Ina McCormack.