Fair Day

Fair Day

I am led to believe that there are exciting prospects for Lanesboro Fair Day 2015 and that the date I published in the past couple of weeks may be changed to May Bank Holiday weekend and a two day event. A meeting during this coming week will finalise plans for the Lanesboro Fair 2015 and next week I hope to be able to furnish you with details.

Parking problems at the Church

The parking of cars on the old school Road – the road that leads down towards Church View – in recent times has not been great but the problem was compounded on Saturday week when a car was badly parked. It caused tremendous problems for motorists travelling up and down the road during the 7.30pm mass. From the bend of the road to the top of the road at the church, a length of about 100m, it is quite narrow and there should be no parking on both sides of the road. Parking should only take place on the church side of this stretch of road. If there was an emergency and either an ambulance or fire brigade had to use the road it would have been absolutely impossible for either of the services to get through. For the past two weeks there have been bollards put on one side of the road and all mass goers are asked to strictly adhere to the no parking policy along this stretch of road. Onto the Green - you are asked not to park on the grass and to ensure that the accesses to the estate are left completely clear with parking similar to the old School Road where parking should strictly be on one side of the road only.


On Monday, 4th May on Inchenagh Island 1914 Eileen Connaughton was born, on Thursday last 5th February 100 years and 276 days later we were saddened to learn of her passing from this life. Eileen in 1948 married Mike Joe Devaney. They made their life together and farmed their land on the hill of Rathcline. Eileen was a great family lady whose neighborliness was legendary. She was a woman with a wealth of knowledge and cared to share it with anyone that was in her company. She was a tall and gracious lady. She had a great warmth and friendliness and this writer will always remember her for her great warmth of welcome. Eileen had been in failing health for a while and she was greatly cared for, at home, by her daughters. She was a great hearted lady and the evidence of that was in how she fought her battle to live. Eileen will be sadly missed by everyone that came to know her but she left our hearts and minds in a great place. Her remains reposed at her home until her removal to St. Mary’s church on Friday. On Saturday her Funeral Mass took place and following mass she was laid to rest alongside her husband Mike Joe in Rathcline cemetery. To her daughters Maureen and Ann, sister Sr. Teresa, sons in law Terry Hynes and Kevin Ryan, relatives and many friends, we extend our sincere sympathy.

Stella has stared something special

Following Stella O’Sullivan’s appeal for old pictures of businesses on the Main Street, the interest has been magnificent. It has created a great interest and great debate. The most up –to-date list I have is listed below and hopefully there are pictures of all the business premises for Stella; If you have an old picture of any of the following businesses please do drop them into Stella where she will copy and scan them and return them to you.

Paddy Kenny’s garage, Nurse Donlon’s shop, Mc Getterick’s flats and Mc Getterick’s – where the Sisters of Mercy’s residence is and where the old bicycle shed was, Mc Crann’s shop and also McCrann’s hall on the rest of the site of the Convent. The Northern Bank and now Gareth Johnston’s Pharmacy, JP Leonard’s then Mark Shield’s Motorcycles, Danny and Paddy Mc Guinness followed by Carol Connerton’s hair salon, Tom Riozzi’s Take away and now Pizza store, Tom Mc Nally’s Garage, Mc Nally’s Lough Ree Arms followed by Margaret and Sean Kilroy, Frank Regan and then Michael O’Sullivan, next door Mrs. Mc Nally had her own shop which was followed as the Post Office and now Xlntee hairdressers and upstairs was Michelle Connerton’s Cloud Nine beauty salon. Bertie and Kitty Moore had their own unique store selling lots of everything but predominately drapery followed by Kathleen Kelly who open the Upper deck Restaurant, Aidan and Betty Glynn then ran a restaurant from here and now Frank Regan has an auctioneers business there. Michael Casey butchers followed by his son John and now Terry Mc Loughlin. Michael and Mrs. Ryan followed by his son Eamon and wife Eithne, Mick Cusack, his wife and family, Denis and Joan Devereaux, Mick and Patricia Wyse, German Helmut and Fucks and his English wife Rosemary, the Wash Doctors Dry Cleaners, The Ladybird shop and now Ben Hussey’s Barber shop. The bottom end of the shop became Connolly’s Bookmakers then Lena Duncan’s Flower shop and now Donal Casey Accountancy and Finance. We then had Ryan’s Garage and it was then rented by Jim O’Leary, Jim Murphy and then Frank Casey. Finally on this section of Main Street we had Casey’s bar which was then owned by Bill and Lucy Feeney, Kinsella’s. Willie Murphy and then Joe and Martha Farrell and now by Alan and Joan Farrell. Across the road to John and Mary Glennon’s drapery and they were followed into the business by Pauline Kinlan and then Claire Egan. We then had Babie Smyth’s dressmakers, next door Kiernan’s painting ran a thriving business, it is now Laura’s beauty salon and next door we had Pat Bannon’s carpenters and his wife Frances who was an excellent seamstress. Then we had Anthony and Mrs. Gaffney, followed by carol Connerton’s hair salon, Mary Devlin’s Hair salon, where now sits the library. Top of the town we had PJ and Mary O’Flaherty’s supermarket and hardware store. Across the road and down to the end of the Green to Liza Clyne’s corner where once was Martin Mellaney’s barber shop, two doors down John O’Sullivan’s tailors, next door Dr Niall Walsh, Harold’s cinema then Joe O’Brien’s chemist and next door Johnny and Mrs. Harold’s followed by Martina Irwin. Ger. and Ina Farrell’s now Adie’s shop and bar. On the Rathcline Road there was Tom Dollaghan cobblers and Eddie and Mary Murray’s Upholstery then Fitzpatrick’s shop and then the dispensary which is now occupied by Dr Colm Farrell. Across the road we had Eddie and Tess Kelly’s cinema which is now occupied by Dr. Ali. Jimmy and Bridgie O’Brien’s, now Joe and Martina O’Brien’s, Eddie and Tess Kelly’s chip shop followed by Tony and Mary Gilmore, Mary O’Neill, Sean Mimnagh. Dr O’Halloran’s was next door it is said he could cure you or bury you as he was not only the doctor but also the undertaker followed in the same building by John Mc Eveley chemist, Maura Fallon (nee O’Brien), Joe and Gretta O’Brien and now Orla O’Brien. Clarke’s Bar was next door which was run in my time by Mrs. Clarke and then Frank and later Peg Clarke and now by Steve Ormsby. Anthony and Mona O’Flaherty were the occupiers of the next building followed by a Farrell family then Aidan and Betty Glynn and then Samantha Lulham. Leavy’s headstone business was and still is next door and between their house and headstone show space there was a thatched house which housed Martin Mellaney (Martin the Barber) and the cobbler Dinny Malone. We then had Ton Scally’s shop and petrol pumps and next door Joe next Jimmy and then James Casey’s butchers - Padraig Keenan and then Seamus Killian, Dr Tom Donohoe and then Dr. Derek Condon were next door, that house now houses Bsnug restaurant. Winnie and Johnny Connors, followed by Noel Farrell, Peter Donnellan and now Bernard Keane’s supermarket. Beside that on the same sight there was the garage and it was occupied by Mickie Flynn. We then had Tom McNally’s garage showrooms and next door was the bakery which house Casey’s Bakery business before Fabian Walsh took over the bakery - in recent times Laura’s beauty salon was also there before moving up to the top of Main Street. Ellen Connaughton then had a shop and in recent years has been a Chinese takeaway. The curate’s house was next door and it now houses Margaret and Sharon’s hairdressers. Then we had the post office which was run by Mrs. Kelly and later by her son Joe. The back lane (where the car park is now) where every summer the Lanesboro Carnival took place, oh the memories, and finally the Pillar ballroom. We now have the memories; what Stella needs are the photograph’s for all those memories and she will have a most fascinating photo display and history of the businesses of our Main Street. You can contact Stella at the library or email her your photographs to

Pedal Powered Cinema

One of the most unique cinemas to hit the area in over 60 years will take place in Ballyleague Hall on this coming Sunday, 15th February. Cloontuskert NS has come up with a novel way of fundraising when they present Pedal Power Cinema in Ballyleague Hall on Sunday next commencing at 3pm.

It is a film powered by the power generated by a number of people using static bicycles and it is a very unique undertaking and it should draw a huge audience to Ballyleague hall. The film on show will be Rio 2 and tickets can be bought from the school, Trautt’s or Daybreak costing: adult and 1 child €10, Family of 2 adults and 2 children or 1 adult and 3 children €20, additional children €2.50.

Not the First

The pedal powered cinema in Ballyleague on Sunday is indeed unique but it is not the first pedal powered cinema in the area. The story goes that through the coupons scheme that was in packets of cigarette many years ago James Harold collected enough coupons, through the family shop, to get a projector from the coupon collection scheme. When he got the projector, along with his childhood and Main Street friend, Michael Casey – now international bog oak sculptor, Newtowncashel, they arranged to get clips from Longford cinema to show locally. Everything was going great until the motor ceased on the projector. The pair of lads were nothing if not ingenious when they came up with the idea of connecting the projector to the dynamo of a bike and to keep the wheel turning to see if this plan could work. They turned the bike upside down, connected the projector via a cable to the dynamo and with arm power the pedals were turned. Eureka, the concept worked and the lads were back in business and a thriving little business they had. Little wonder that both men went on to achieve a lot in their life as the ingenuity shown in their youth carried through to their adulthood and led both of them to be hugely successful in their chosen paths of life.


The Peer Inn was the venue for the Rathcline 50/50 on Monday night last. Peter Skelly drew the winning ticket and the lucky name on the envelope was Celine Hester, Knock. Celine was the lucky winner of €463. The draw will take place on Monday night next in Clarke’s Bar at 9pm.

Spring to bring new dawning

Over the past number of years the entire area was falling back further and further and it was becoming a topic of conversation by everyone as to how quiet the town has become. A lot of the traffic that gave the community an excellent passing trade has been all but eliminated and the fact that there has been no inward investment in the area over a long period has meant that there is no employment for the youth of our parish. Add in the fact that IDA has not visited Longford for the past number of years and you can see a community and county in decline. In recent times there has been an excitement of the possibility of a fight back from within with the creation of an angling hub to plan for the staging – if we are selected- of an international fishing competition on the lake. This competition draws contestants from around 23 countries and if selected the competition will take place in October 2016. Councillor Gerald Farrell has invited business people of the area to a meeting this Tuesday night to draw up plans to create a business forum in the community. This group would plot and plan and create a business environment to bring major business to the Lanesboro area. There is an excitement about a proposed plan for Sliabh Bawn that will bring people to the area and to link it to the Lanesboro area. The Tourism Co-Op is looking at a walkway/cycle way from Lanesboro to link up with the canal in Killashee. This is a very ambitious project and it will be a fascination walk/cycle for everyone. It will also bring our area on to then canal route which should be another wonderful opportunity for the area. The walkway/cycle way through the bog should be wonderful and bring a lot of the beautiful nature of the bogs into play. There is an art project being worked upon that will, on completion, hold a national interest and draw crème de la crème of the wider artistic world to Lanesboro for what will be a very unique event. It would be the first project of its kind in Ireland and it has only happened before in the USA where it was hugely successful. People are continuing to work in the development of ideas for the area and with the support of the wider community and also with the new ideas for the betterment of the area we can be a major force in the midlands and west. You are invited, when you hear of any of these meetings, to go along and be part of a revival for our community and hopefully jobs for our youth. Some work is currently being done behind the scenes on different projects that will benefit the area and hopefully they will come to fruition in the not too distant future. Work is happening, what we need is the goodwill of those in positions of power to acknowledge the work and to reward the community with worthwhile projects that will lead to the creation of jobs in the area. Despite all the rejections received over the years we are an active and vivacious community that will not stop until we have a community looking after its own with jobs and welcoming everyone to the area as we have done since the early ‘50s. All we ask is that those people in positions of power recognise and work with us to make our community a vibrant one once again.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

We are only six weeks away from the first major event in our community. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade has been growing and growing since its beginning a few year ago. This year the committee is looking forward to another record breaking year. All local clubs, associations businesses and interested parties are invited to enter floats. The committee would like you to be as inventive as you can be and to be entertaining for the thousands that line the street on St. Patrick’s Day.

Anthony Healy Card Game

The annual Anthony Healy Memorial Card Game will take place in Clarke’s bar on Friday 13th March starting at 9pm. Friday 13th is going to be a very lucky day for one very lucky person. Tickets are on sale for an absolutely wonderful prize and it is a draw that you should definitely have your ticket in. The first prize is a heater stove that will be supplied and fitted by Shane Healy Plumbing and Heating and Gordon Heating Supplies. To buy and have one installed would be pricey but to win it in the draw would be fantastic. Tickets are only €10 each and are on sale locally in almost all business premises.

We all remember Anthony with a great fondness and his memory never diminishes and it is very fitting that the proceeds from the card game and the draw will go to the Mayo Roscommon Hospice.


On Friday morning the news of the untimely death of Tommie Trimble, Cloonadra at Roscommon County Hospital stunned the entire community. Tommy was one of those people that was synonymous with our entire area. A wealth of knowledge in all things local. Tommie worked in the power station until his retirement as a technician and he was always held in high regard with all his workmates. Indeed, high regard extended outwards to the entire community and his company was always delightful. Tommie had a great hunger for knowledge in the workings of most things and in the early days of computers he was known to examine its inner parts in detail to understand the workings of the new computers. Tommy was a ham radio enthusiast and also had a great love of the CB radio. He was a wonderful friend and neighbour and his passing leaves a great void in our community but not in our hearts as we will always remember Tommie with a great fondness. Tommie’s remains reposed at Smyth’s Funeral Home on Saturday last before being removed to the Church of the Holy Rosary, Ballyleague. On Sunday last, following his Requiem Mass, Tommie was laid to rest in Cloontuskert cemetery alongside his son, David who predeceased him following an accident many years ago. To his wife Kathleen, daughters Teresa and Martina, sons Gerry, Paul and Ollie, sister Kathleen, brother Harry, relatives and many friends, we extend our deepest sympathy.

Saying farewell to a Hero

For everyone in the county of Longford and beyond the announcement by Paul Barden of his retirement from county football created a great disappointment. Paul Barden was revered no matter where he went inside or outside the county. He was a player with outstanding ability and was a player who always let his footballing talents do the talking. The Barden footballing family has been synonymous with the greatest days of Longford football and while Paul’s footballing career was not festooned with the medals of his Barden’s of ‘66 and ’68, his abilities put him right up there with the very best that this county and country ever had. Paul Barden has a connection our community and Moher, Ballyleague in particular. His mother is Lily Wallace, a sister of Sonny Wallace, Strokestown Road and also Eileen Mullen, Moher.

We wish Paul a very happy retirement.

Fermoyle Mixed NS Enrolment

Enrolment for the academic year 2015/2016 will take place in Fermoyle National School on Wednesday week 18th February between 2.00p.m. and 3.00p.m. Application forms and alternative arrangements are available on request during office hours which are Mon, Wed, Fri between 9.30am and 1.30pm you can email the school at

Lourdes Pilgrimage

The annual church gate collection in aid of the Lourdes Pilgrimage Fund will be taken at all Masses this coming weekend Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th February. You have been extremely generous in years gone by and we are again appealing to your generosity. Being generous means that the fund can cater for more people that feel the Lourdes Pilgrimage will help them find a peaceful and acceptance state of mind as they face into an uncertain future.


We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Adrian Fallon, Meadowbrook, Ballyleague on the recent death of his sister Mrs. Loretta Beasley in England.

An Caisleán Re-opens

On Thursday next, the local restaurant An Caisleán, Ballyleague will once again re-open its doors for business. As we go into, what we hope will be, an active time in our community it is great to see more and more businesses opening their door. An Caisleán will be open 7day a week from 10am to 5pm.

Ballyleague NS Enrolment

Parents of new entrants who wish to enrol their children for September 2015 are invited to visit the school on Tuesday February 17th from 2:15p.m. to 3p.m. If this date/time is unsuitable please contact the school on 043-3321906 to make alternative arrangements. Please bring along a copy of your child’s birth certificate. We look forward to meeting you on the day.


The monthly meeting of the Lanesboro Guild will take place this Wednesday 10th February at 8pm in the Parish Hall. New members welcome.


Lanesboro Library is hosting all of the following events and if you are interested in supporting any of the events below contact Stella at Foreign Currency Appeal Reminder: The library are still collecting unwanted foreign currency and old coins/notes in aid of ISPCC. The smallest donation can make a huge difference. Used stamps also being collected at the library for ISPCC. Book Club continues on Friday 27th February at 11am. Contact Stella if you have any queries on 043 332 1291. Knitting & Crochet Group meetings every Monday 2 – 4pm. Lasraí Writers Group meetings on the 2nd Monday of each month 7 – 9pm. ESOL classes (English for speakers of other languages) continue each Tuesday evening 7 – 9pm. Art Course is now full. We are now taking names for a further course to be run after Easter. Contact Stella at the library to book your place – 043 332 1291 or email Basic Computer Course at Lanesboro Library: An afternoon and evening computer course will start on Wednesday 25th Feb from 3-4pm and 6-7pm, numbers permitting. If you are interested please call Stella on 043 332 1291 or email Lanesboro Community College Student’s award winning projects are on display in the library until 15th February.

Croke Park on St. Valentine’s Night

I doubt during the hour of football on Saturday night next 14th February there will be any sign of a celebration of St. Valentine’s Day but hopefully when the hour is over the team from St. Croan’s, Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon will be crowned All Ireland Intermediate champions. Two Smyth brothers, Kevin and Shane have played major parts in their club reaching this All Ireland Final and we hope that their contributions on Saturday night will lead them up the steps of the Hogan Stand to receive the All Ireland title. The two Smyth brothers are grandnephews of Pat Connally, Gurteengar.


Many a time when we think of heroes we think of people achieving on sporting fields or beating personal challenges. Over the past few weeks we have had heroes of our own. I refer to the men that have been out early and late and sometimes in between gritting the roads so that we could all travel in relative safety each morning and evening. I would just like to acknowledge their great work for us and say a very big thank you to them for their tremendous work.

Community Games

Lanesboro Community Games is holding a model making competition in St. Mary’s hall on Saturday next, 14th February from 4to 6pm. This competition is open to all children in the Rathcline Parish in age ranges from U10 to U16. Competitors must make a model based on a Community Games theme (maximum size 60cm x 60cm x 60cm) using any materials. A small amount of modelling clay will be supplied. All other materials must be supplied by the competitor.

Bridge Club

The results of the competition held on Wednesday 4th February are; N/s 1st Frank and Frances Brennan, 2nd Loretto Cooney and Freda Kenny and 3rd Gemma Douglas and Philomena Walsh. E/W 1st Mae Casey and Noreen Dunne, 2nd Una Lawlor and Brid McDermott and 3rd Eileen Kelly and Una Clarke.

Ladies elect new committee

On Saturday night last, the Rathcline Ladies AGM held in Clonbonny. The following were elected to the committee for the coming year: Chairperson: Madaleine Murray, Vice Chairperson: Paula Kenny, Secretary: Michael Greene and assistant secretary: Shelly McCormack. Paddy Nolan was elected Treasurer and Patrice Nolan was elected as assistant Treasurer. The Childrens Officer elected was Marie Peters and the county board delegates will be Madaleine Murray and Paddy Nolan.

Bereavement Course

A course will commence in the Family Centre, at the back of St. Mel’s Cathedral, St. Mel’s Road on Wednesday week, 18th February at 8pm. The course will last for six weeks. If you are interested in taking part you are invited to phone 3346827 or 087 2843034.

Lough Ree Golfing Society

The first outing of 2015 was held in Strokestown Golf Club on Saturday last 7th February. The weather was perfect, the course was good and all members had a good opportunity to dust off the winter cobwebs in plenty of time for the Masters in April! A single stableford competition was held over 15 holes to allow time for the rugby match and the AGM. The winners were: 1st Sean Brennan, 34; 2nd Michael Brennan, 29; 3rd Liam Rosemond, 29; 4th Fiona Gillen, 29; 5th Frank Conmy, 27; 6th Jackie Mc Donnell, 27; and 6th Ronan Cullen, 27. The AGM was held immediately after the food was served: Michael Brennan was reelected captain for 2015, Frank Conmy Secretary, Fiona Gillen, Treasurer with Brendan Whitty and Colm Dardis committee members for 2015. The outings for 2015 are: Longford, 18th April; Castle Barna, 16th May; Loughrea, 20th June; Portumna, 25th July and Birr 19th September.

2000 Bridge

The results of the competition held on Monday night 2nd February. 1st Mae Casey and Margaret Gillen, 2nd a tie between Joan Browne and Patricia Mc Gann and Katharine Harrison and Loretta Cooney. E/Gross/Nett: 1st Carol Hamill and Ann Hagan, 2nd Kathleen Hanley and Mary Fallon and 3rd Brendan Dowling and Goretti Kenny.

Men’s Shed

Our local Men’s Shed group is presently involved in a truly uplifting community project - learning the traditional skills of boat building from local resident Tom Conlon - a vastly experienced man and a team of professionals while assembling four new wooden clinker style fishing boats - each of which is 18 foot long. At the end of the project in March the Men’s shed will be selling some of the boats to help equip a new workshop where the members will continue their boat building and carpentry. If you would like to buy one of the boats please contact Joe Cribbin at the Daybreak shop Top Oil Filling Station in Ballyleague. The men’s shed is open to all men, employed, unemployed, retired or otherwise. To join up - speak to Joe or Alan Horohoe or Tom Rumley (Ballymahon road) or Chris Forde, Secretary, Meadowbrook. E mail: for more details.

Ballyleague Village Renewal

Six months ago Ballyleague Village Renewal committee commissioned Sweeney Heritage Architects, Longford to carry out a heritage management plan for the North Shannon harbour area and produce a new vision for many parts of the village of Ballyleague. The project was funded by the Heritage Council of Ireland with grant aid of €7,000. Over the last six months Nick and Ursula Sweeney have worked hard to assess the areas of heritage importance in the village - bringing in experts such as a conservation expert and looking closely at the tower house behind Sorohan’s and an old malt kiln nearby but their management plan also took in many other aspects of the village of Ballyleague - such as public spaces, amenity buildings and street landscaping. The final plan has now been completed and will be launched at a very special event to take in the function room of the Lifebelt Bar in Ballyleague on Wednesday February 25th at 7.30pm. The village renewal committee would like to invite each and every resident of the village and the area to come along and see the impressive work that has been done, learn more about the history of the village and see the aspirational vision for the future. For more information please contact Chairman James Hudson or e mail:

Quiz Deferred

The Ballyleague Tidy Towns table quiz scheduled for last Friday night at St Faithlecah’s GAA clubhouse was deferred as a mark of respect to the Trimble family, Clonadra. A new date will be announced next week.

Junior Tidy Towns

A new initiative for tidy towns involving the children of the village and the pupils of Ballyleague National School is being launched this Thursday, February 12th - just in time for St Valentine’s Day. Entitled ‘We Love Where We Live’ the Junior Tidy Towns project will focus on young people playing their part in litter picks, clean-ups and lots of other environmental work in all residential areas in our village where the children and their families live. More details from next week.