The Green – a living memory

The Green – a living memory

The Green brings back a myriad of memories, the families, the different accents, the names of their children, never a locked door, in the front door and out the back, food in every house if you were there at meal times. School was on the Green and the playing pitch following school was on the Green. The woods and quarries started behind the bushes at the edge of the Green. Lifelong friendships, the finest of people and most of all the finest of friends. Characters galore and even though times were hard and money was not plentiful the Green was full of a spectacular richness brought to Lanesboro by Bord na Mona from the many counties of Ireland. Never will the people be forgotten, nor should they be, and it is my hope that together we can remember everyone that lived on the Green even for a short period of time and appreciate the culture they brought to Lanesboro. The mixture of cultures blended in so well and together with the warmth of welcome from the people of Lanesboro and the parish of Rathcline we have become a wonderful community together. From the records I have received, the answers to the questions I posed last week are: Who was the first boy born on the Green? Pat Maguire son of Eugene and Margaret 28. Who was the first girl born on the Green? Mary Wyse daughter of Pat and Mrs. Wyse who lived in 49. Who were the first young couple from the Green to get married? The first couple from the Green to marry each other were Michael Flynn son of Seamus and Mary Agnes 12 and Mary Jordan daughter of John and Dettie Jordan 34. Who was the first man to die from the Green? Tom Reynolds 2. Who was the first woman to die from the Green? Mary Ham from number 13. Who was the first man to marry from the Green? Mick O’Reilly from 27. Who was the first woman to marry from the Green? - here I have a divergence of opinion as to whether it was Bernie O’Neill number 9 who married Pat Troy from Kilcormack, Co. Offaly or Dodo O’Reilly 27 who married Mike Banahan, Creevy, Co. Roscommon. On the sporting field we had many heroes; an Olympian in Joe Casey 18 who represented Ireland in boxing. Danny Murray no.15 and later 48, present manager of Mount Dillon Bord na Mona works who represented Connaught in the Railway Cup and won two All Star awards in 1979 and 1980. Pat McGrath 22, without doubt one of the best goalkeepers ever, present day included, and he received his Railway Cup call up. In my time Tom Mc Grath 22, a native of Clare, and Frank Toner, 32 and later 13, a Tipperary native began hurling in the parish and it all started on the Green. When, Tipperary native, John Collins 53, arrived there was a need for the reintroduction of hurling and he managed to train, for many years, so many young lads and teams on the pitch opposite his house. The Rathcline club has had one county senior championship and the Green offered us Pat Mc Grath 22, Pat Maguire 28, Tommy O’Donoghue 11, Owen Harte 33 and Pat Masterson 4. There were many from the Green that were unlucky in championship but have an array of underage and county medals of all other grades. John Harte 33 was deeply involved in the club from the day he set foot on the Green and ’76 was a due reward for him. Many people from the Green gave their lifeblood for their adopted club and I am sure they will get a mention throughout our journey. When the Sisters of Mercy opened Lanesboro Girls National school in 1958 the following girls from the Green attended; Mary Connerton 29, Kate Wrafter 6, Síle Casey 18, Carol Connerton 29, Teresa Gilmore 62, Annette Brennan 23, Mary T Masterson 44, Bríd Wrafter 6, Philomena Wrafter 6, Angela Connerton 29, Kate Regan 12, Mary O’Donoghue 7, Mary Lynch 28, Kathleen O’Donoghue 11, Marie Judge 39, Ann Reynolds 2, Helen Murray 15, Ann Gilmore 62, Loretta Ward 59, Kathleen Judge 39, Nuala (Phyllis) Connerton 29, Ann Scally 35, Beryl Keaveney 25 and later 51, Mary O’Neill 9, Marie Finnegan 63, Mary O’Donoghue 11, Mary Quinn 24, Mary Tynan 5, Colette Gilmore 62, Geraldine Scally 35, Geraldine Linnane 20, Geraldine O’Donoghue 7, Mary Hennessey 34, Teresa Finnegan 63, Eileen O’Donoghue11, Mabel Murray, Caroline Gilmore 62, Eileen Geheran 25, Elizabeth Balfe 21, Mary Claire O’Reilly 58, Vera Connerton 29, Teresa Reynolds 2, Martina Gearty 49, Nora Regan 12, Bridie Hurson 64, Kathleen Finnegan 63, and a question as to whether Bridgie Regan 12 and Jacqueline Gearty 49 were also there on the first day. I also have the name Bríd Mulvihill, did she or her family live on the Green, what number and did she attend on the opening day of the school? Did a family of Kellet’s live on the Green? Was there a Michael Quinn in 31/32 or 33? Has anyone any recollection of a James Burke living on the Green?

There is no doubt that many questions will arise and some corrections may have to be made. As there is no detailed list I have to go on whatever documentation that I could find and for the rest I depend on your recollections. There will be gaps in some of the information and if you have any information photos, stories or contradictions please do not hesitate to forward them to me 043 3321107, or 0862460840.

Clothes Collection

The latest clothes collection will be collected on Friday next15th May. If you have old clothes to dispose of contact Mike or Madaleine 086 4046174 to arrange drop off or collection.


On bank Holiday Monday, 4th May the weekly 50/50 draw took place in the Yacht Bar. The winning jackpot stood at €490 and the lucky winner was Gaye Collins, Greenhall, Newtowncashel. The club thanks you for your continued support for the draw and they are aiming to have the 50/50 pay to be around €500 every week. It just takes the full support of the community with just €2 each week to make their wish becoming reality. Envelopes are available everywhere in the parish and your support will be appreciated.

Vintage Photo Exhibition

Lanesboro library will host a Vintage Car Photographic Exhibition by Michael Connaughton dedicated to the memory of his late son Murray will take place in the library from Friday next May 1st to Sat 16th May.

ICA Meeting

A meeting of the local Lanesboro ICA guild will take place this Wednesday night 13th May in the Parish Hall at 8pm. For the ladies of our community there is no better place to spend an evening than with the local ICA guild.

End of an Era

This year sees the end of an era for one particular lady. The Ann Clancy School of Dancing that has been run for the past 35 years by Ann Clancy, Barnacor, has come to an end. Ann gave so much of her time and energy to Irish dancing and over the past 35 years to thousands of young enthusiastic Irish dancers who were fortunate to have the expert guidance of Ann. The mention of the Ann Clancy School of Dancing will evoke so many memories for so many and for their parents. There will be many tales and happy stories to be chatted about when ex dancers and their parents meet. Ann will, most definitely, be sadly missed but all the wonderful memories will live on for a long time to come. We wish Ann a long, healthy and happy retirement and along with her husband Jimmy I am sure her time will be spent availing of all the fine weather as they caravan around the country.

Under 21s of ‘85

As this is the 30th anniversary of the Rathcline winning their first Under 21 title I was wondering if anyone can give me the full panel list or a panel photograph. Sorry for the typo last week, all of the panel were very upset at me aging them10 years.

Historic event

Last Tuesday night became a first for the Rathcline community and also for the Rathcline club. At the Ladies GAA meeting in Pearse Park Madaleine Murray was nominated to become the next county Ladies chairperson in county Longford. Madaleine duly accepted and the parish of Rathcline now has the unique distinction of having the chairperson of Longford County Ladies Board and the chairman of Longford County Board Brendan Gilmore in situ at the same time. It is a marvelous occasion for the parish and club but also for Madaleine and Brendan and their families. It could not have happened at a more opportune time as the Rathcline club is celebrating its 125th Anniversary during 2015. It is a marvelous accomplishment for both of them and one we can be rightly proud of their achievements.

Heads up Nepal Aid Operation

Conor O’Loughlin from Kilkenny is managing international aid distribution in Nepal following the earthquake that has created so much devastation there in recent times. Conor is the Humanitarian Co-coordinator with the relief agency Trócaire and he is managing the relief efforts for upwards of 75,000 people in an area west of Kathmandu. Conor is son of our local lady Breda Leavy, Main Street, who married Tom O’Loughlin many years ago and they now reside in Kilkenny.

Championship time

It is a busy weekend ahead for Longford in the Leinster Championship. On Friday evening in Pearse Park at 7.30pm Longford Minors take on Carlow for a place in the Leinster semi-final. We have a local representative Kevin Sorohan, son of John and Mary Sorohan, Killinure who played a leading role in the first round victory over Wicklow. On Saturday evening the journey is a bit further down the road when in the first round of the Leinster Senior Championship Longford take on Offaly in Tullamore. On the senior panel is Liam Connerton, son of Denis and Catriona, Gurteengar. Liam is just back from injury and I have no doubt if asked he will do a great job. I would like to wish both lads, and their team mates the very best of luck and hopefully it will be a double victory at the weekend. Please go along and support.

Last few DVD’s

The new batch of Strictly Come Dancing DVD’s are on sale and they are once again selling very fast. To ensure that you have your DVD make sure you don’t leave it too late as when they are gone this time there will not be a further batch ordered. Copies can be bought in O’Brien’s for €15 and it will be tremendous watching and hours of totally unbridled entertainment.

Lough Ree Resources seeks tender

Lough Ree Community Resources is seeking tenders for the painting of the front and side of the old Convent building in Lanesboro. Copy of insurance to be submitted with tender. Tenders to be submitted to the Secretary, Lough Ree Community Resources, Main Street, Lanesboro, Co Longford on or before Friday next15th May 2015. May at 11am. All welcome.

Emergency Medical/Defibrillator Assistance

If you need to contact the out of hours doctors service MIDOC you must ring 1850-302702. If there is a need for the use of the defibrillator or ambulance you must ring 999 or 112. Ask for the emergency service, give your name, address and location when help is needed. You are asked to be as precise as possible to save time. The lasting memory of the fun and enjoyment provided to thousands of children by an outdoor swimming pool on the banks of the Shannon has provided the inspiration for a new ceramic art project getting underway in Ballyleague and Lanesborough this week.


We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Mrs. Phil Chalmers and family, Longford Road and to the extended Fallon and Shea family on the sudden death last week of Phil’s nephew, John Fallon, Mullingar.

Support for Killashee

Our neighbours Killashee, St Brigid’s GAA football club is holding a fundraising night at Longford Greyhound Stadium on Friday, 12th June. Admission tickets are priced at €10 and they are available from all committee members, or contact Owen Johnston 087 7615501 or Kevin Connell 0877679967. Children will be allowed in free of charge. The ticket includes admission, race card and entry into a raffle for a prize to the value of €100. Committee members will be calling to houses in the next few weeks selling these tickets. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

Events at our Library

Bealtaine na nGael You are warmly invited to attend Bealtaine na nGael – an entertaining show by Futa Fata Publishing, Galway based on music and old traditions - A selection of lively material from the Irish tradition, including traditional songs and rhymes, cures and charms, seanfhocail, blessings, curses and weather lore, old Irish phrases and expressions. The venue is Lanesboro Library on Monday next 18th May at 11am

Contact Stella on 043 332 1291 for enquiries. Art Class no 5 continues on Wednesday 13th May at 8pm. Vintage Car Photographic Exhibition by Michael Connaughton dedicated to the memory of his late son Murry remains in the library until Friday May 15th. Book Club continues on Friday 29th May at 11am. All welcome. Knitting & Crochet Group meetings every Monday 2 – 4pm. Active Age Group meetings every Tuesday 3 – 4pm. New members welcome. ESOL classes (English for speakers of other languages) continues each Tuesday evening 7 – 9pm. Daffodils are on sale in the library in aid of Irish Cancer Society for €3. Please support this very deserving cause. The library is 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.

Woodland Volunteer Day

Would you like to lend a hand for a few hours with a developing native woodland? If so then come along on the 16th May to the Native Woodland Trust’s Woodland Reserve on the Longford/Leitrim border. On the day they will be fixing the tree guards on our youngest trees to ensure that they are getting maximum light. The Native Woodland Trust is an environmental charity dedicated to the protection of Ireland’s rare native and ancient woodland. The Trust achieves this by setting up woodland reserves around the country such as their reserve at Farnaght in County Leitrim. This reserves network allows the Trust to protect existing woodland as well as plant new native woodland for the future. Part of the work done involves running volunteer days for members and the public to encourage more people to get involved in their local woodlands. The Farnaght Reserve is the oldest woodland within the Trust oldest site and it provides a great opportunity to see how once almost-bare land is transforming into a woodland. There is a great volunteer participation with planting trees here over the years but it’s important to keep up the maintenance work out of planting season too. The Farnaght reserve is a lovely place to spend a few hours and get some fresh air and light exercise. For a map and further details please check the website or the events section of their Facebook page. The event will run from 12:00 pm until 1:30pm and all are welcome. For more details please contact Rebecca at or on 087 9619083. This event is weather dependent.

Bridge Club President’s Prize

The result of President Mary Mc Gushin’s Prize held on Wednesdays 22nd April and 29th April are: First: Cyril Hussey, Second: Mae Casey and third: Gemma Douglas. First session winner: Frank Brennan and second session winner was Eileen Kelly. The results for Wednesday 6th May: North/South 1st Phil Chalmers and Cyril Hussey, 2nd Una Clarke and Eileen Kelly, 3rd Mona O’Flaherty and Bernadette Gillen. East/West 1st Una Lawlor and Brid McDermott, 2nd Katherine Harrison and Maureen Hynes, 3rd Frances and Frank Brennan.

Festival Time

Festival: The Lough Ree Summer Prom Festival will take place from Thursday May 28th to Bank Holiday Monday June 1st to mark the official opening of the new riverside park and promenade in Ballyleague, Lanesborough. A comprehensive programme of music, heritage and water sports events has been organised. Over the next few weeks we will tell you more about some of the events here. The festival starts on the Thursday May 28th at 6.30pm with ‘Swim Past the Prom’ - Organised by the Lanesboro Triathlon Club. This swim will start downstream (north of the bridge) at the slip-way just beside the apartments en-route to Hanley’s Marina. Contact for organiser: Mark Kenny, Secretary, Lanesboro Triathlon Club E-mail: After the swim at 7.30pm -’The first night at the Prom’ will take place. It’s a gala concert with the Roscommon Solstice Choir in a large marquee at the marina in Ballyleague. This choir has 90 singers under the one roof so it will be a night to remember. All proceeds from this concert will go to St Christopher’s Services, Longford. Tickets will be available in shops throughout the town in the coming days. On Friday May 29th the Festival will continue at 5.30pm with the opening of Heartlands - an Exhibition celebrating the Heritage of Bord Na Mona over 60 years organised by Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub at St Mary’s Hall, Lanesborough. This exhibition will focus not only on the work on the bogs but the building of the three residential estates by Bord na Mona in Cloontuskert, The Green and Derryhaun in the 1950s. Exhibition will be on display throughout the weekend in the hall. On Friday night the highlight will be a ‘ Friday night big band on the Prom’ recital - organised by Ballyleague Village Renewal & Tidy Towns Committee. This will be a recital on the banks of the Shannon by the Defence Forces band of the Eastern Brigade (Custume Barracks, Athlone) in a marquee at the Waterways Ireland marina in Ballyleague. The festival will continue on Saturday 30th May with a two Day International Coarse Angling Competition – Organised by Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub

Organiser Contact: Philip Gordon – Secretary email: Registration 8am to 9am St. Mary’s Parish Hall Lanesborough Saturday 30th May. The draw for pegs at will take place at 9am. Fishing 11am to 4pm each day The Official Opening of competition will be performed by Inland Fisheries Minister of State Joe Mc Hugh TD at 11am on Saturday morning May 30th at the ESB hot water stretch. The presentation of prizes will take place on Sunday May 31st 6.30pm. The festival will continue on Saturday at 10am with a Bug Watch Biodiversity Event for Children Organised by Ballyleague Village Renewal & Tidy Towns committee with Nuala Maddigan of the Irish Peatland Council. This will be an introduction to what biodiversity means for children - 10 to 12noon - for 6-9 year olds and 12.10pm to 2.10pm - 10-14 year olds. Meeting Point: The Promenade, Ballyleague Riverside Park - beside the bridge. The festival will continue from 11am to 1pm on the Saturday with an event called ‘Who’s For Tennis?’ - Organised by Lough Ree Bay Tennis Club - Open day event. Come along the learn how to play on the tennis courts at Ballyleague marina. The club would welcome some new adult members and beginners. Contact: One of the highlights of the Saturday programme will be a Concert Recital - ‘Youth on the Prom’ by the county Roscommon Youth Orchestra & guests on the banks of the Shannon (the marquee at the marina) contact - Avril Carr email At 3pm on Saturday May 30th there will be a great treat for young people with a performance by the Irish Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Display team. It will take place in the Bay just inside the cut at 3pm with the professional assistance of the RNLI Coosan Point Station & Lough Ree Sub Aqua club. The festival will continue at 4pm with a Kip Carroll Photography Masterclass on the Prom -organised by Ballyleague Village Renewal & Tidy Towns. This is a workshop on photography with Sunday Independent Life magazine photographer. The meeting point is The Promenade, Ballyleague Riverside Park. Ticket only – Pre-booking essential - e mail: Finally for now news of a very special event. Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling hub is holding a children’s fishing competition on Monday June 1st at 12 noon. This competition is for children aged 13 years and younger. Entry fee will be €2 per child. Fishing will start at 12 noon at the hot water stretch in Lanesboro and the new fishing promenade in Ballyleague. The hub looks forward to seeing a large number of young fishermen and ladies there on the day enjoying a wonderful competition. There will be lots of prizes for all .For more information please contact Philip Gordon from the committee at More details on the festival here next week or at and

50/50 Draw

Congratulations to Gay Collins, Greenhall, Newtowncashel, who was last Monday’s winner of €490 in the 50/50 draw. The draw takes place every Monday night and envelopes only cost €2.