DEATH OF A YOUNG MAN: Pat McKeon, Smear, Aughnacliffe who died unexpectedly at his home when on holidays was a native of Cornadrung and a member of a highly respected old established Colmcille farming family who for many decades specialised in the horticultural sector of the industry. Pat received his early education at St Colmcille’s NS Cornadrung and from there he went to Warrenstown Agricultural College in Co Meath from where he graduated with first class honours. He was brought up in a family totally dedicated to the GAA and Pat like his brothers John Frank, Gerry Kieron and Enda represented their parish at underage junior and senior level. He was a prominent figure on the Colmcille junior championship winning team in 1979 defeating Ballymore in the final 0-8 to 1-4. Commenting on the final Leader correspondent Matty Fox in his well written Ballinalee notes said “To me these two sides at junior level have provided as much entertainment for spectators as the most accomplished senior side of the past decade. This was north Longford football at its best and was typical of what we saw 30 years ago.” Celebrations centred on Slevins of Bunlahy on the Sunday night and Ballymore shared in the rejoicing as Colmcille did two years later when Ballymore won the junior title. For some years Pat was employed with Coilte in the nurseries in Ballinalee before moving to construction in Dublin. Later he joined a firm which specialised in the erection of windmills for generating electricity both here and in the UK. It was when he was on a short break with his wife and family that tragedy struck. His funeral Mass was concelebrated in Colmcille Church on Saturday 7th May by Rev Fr Seamus McKeon PP , Rev Fr Brian Brennan PP Ballinalee, Rev Fr Eamon Corkery PP Dromard and Fr Colman Carrigy Killoe. Afterwards the prayers at the graveside were recited by Rev Fr McKeon and Rev Fr Sean Casey PP Killoe as he was been laid to rest. Both the removal and funeral were one of the largest ever in the parish with many travelling long distances to mourn this young man. Deepest sympathy is tendered to his heartbroken family wife Vera,daughter Amy, his mother Rose, brothers John Frank, Gerry Kieron and Enda, sisters Mrs Anna McCabe Cornadrung, Mrs Margaret Caherly USA Mrs Rosaleen McGee Smear and Mrs Bernie McCarthy Killoe together with a large circle of friends and relations. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
COLMCILLE WALK: The 12 kilometres walk which was scheduled to take place on 30th April will now take place on 9th July. More details in the coming weeks.
CROKE PARK CYCLE: Anyone interested in the upcoming cycle from Croke Park on 25th June (Sunday) please contact Joe Mulligan Smear Hill.
CEMETERY SUNDAY: The blessing of the graves takes place in Colmcille Cemetery at 3pm and in Purth at 4pm on Sunday 7th August.
FAMOUS LANDMARK: One of Co Longford’s most famous landmarks has been restored. Following representations made by Mr Patrick Lynch to Longford Co Council the broken wall was re-built and Mr Lynch painted the four walls white which was the original colour. Hence the four white walls , this famous landmark is situated on the road between Aughnacliffe and Loch Gowna. Close by where the counties of Longford and Cavan meet. Also the provinces of Ulster and Leinster, near at hand is the area known as the Docks where the iron ore from the mines at Cleenrath was transported by boats and then loaded onto wagons on the Mullingar Cavan railway from where the ore was taken for manufacture in Scotland. Over the decades many local men worked at the walls including James Prior, Cornadrung John Ward Sonnagh, John Jobe, Michael Curwin and James Murtagh all from Rathmore and Michael Gormley (Art) Pulladoey. In later years Paddy Mulligan Dunbeggan rebuilt one of the walls and got one gallon of paint to have the walls decorated. The workers in earlier times were provided with boiling water for tea making and accommodation if needed in inclement weather to eat their meals was provided by the Shauhgnessy household. During his tenure as a member of Longford Co Council Sean Lynch had a motion before the council to re do the walls under the direction of Eamon Bennet area engineer and his staff. Work was carried out and the resultant picture appeared in the Longford Leader. Mr Sean Lynch had many messages from emigrants who were interested in seeing the completed work . Here is one incident to show how well known the four walls were. A bus load of Colmcille GAA supporters who were travelling by bus to a football match in Roscommon many years ago. At Beechmount Cross road on the Lanesboro road three of four young lads were walking towards Roscommon. The late Colm Smith was seated in the front seat and he immediately recognised the lads and asked the driver to stop and give them a lift. They were members of the travellers who often camped in Dunbeggan. They used to come along most evenings when they were to play football with the locals in Pee Mulligans field along the new line. The boys were delighted to get the lift and were glad to be recognised. They would shout from time to time “up Drumbeggan and the Four white walls” ! Footnote – The 4 walls are now looking very well and it is hoped the Longford leader will publish a photo in the paper.
GAA DEVELOPMENT: The numbers drawn at the Lotto held on 6th June were 9, 14, 21 and 30 with the jackpot of 9100 euro remaining intact. The prizewinners were Paul Kennedy (senior) Cunnareen; Enda and Lisa McGahern Gaigue Ballinamuck; Philip Martin Clonback and Michael F McKeon Smear. This week the jackpot goes up to 9200 euro. Envelopes can be got at all the local shops.
DIED IN CO WATERFORD: The death took place in Stradbally Co Waterford on Tuesday 31st of James O’Neill at his residence. His funeral Mass was celebrated in exaltation Church of the Holy Cross Stradbally on Thursday 2nd June. Deepest sympathy is tendered to his daughter Mary Daly 6 the Dolmens Aughnaccliffe and all the other members of the family. May his soul rest in peace.
FAMILY HEADSTONE: It is proposed to erect a headstone to the memory of the Currivan family of Mollyglass Aughnacliffe. The memorial will be in line with the confessional on the left hand side of Colmcille Church. A notice has been placed on the plot. If anyone has any reason to object to the erection of the memorial please contact the parish priest Rev Fr Seamus McKeon.
PAROCHIAL DRAW: The prizewinners for the May draw were 200 euro Terry Blessington Aughakilmore, Ballinalee;70 euro each Esther Mulligan,Rossduff Aughnacliffe; Bernard and Eileen Brady Aughakine Do; Annie Reilly Aughakilmore Ballinalee; Joe Lynch, Ballinulty Upper, Dring; Anne Dennehy Molly Aughnacliffe; John P McNaboe Rossduff, Aughnacliffe ; Frank and Anne Heslin, Smear Aughnacliffe. The next draw will take place on Sunday 26th June immediately following the 10am Mass in Colmcille Church.
CROKE PARK TO COLMCILLE: The cycle from Croke Park to Aughnacliffe will take place on Saturday 25th June. It is expected the cyclist will arrive at Rathmore Cross between 5pm and 5.30pm. Please welcome them back.