22 May 2022


The Green – a living memory

The Green – a living memory

Kathleen Hough (nee Kirwan 43) reminded me of another band that had its origins on the Green, they were the Dakotas whose lead singer was Mickie Fenelon 44, Mickey Walsh 56, played guitar and the band was made up of Peadar Collins on drums and Christy Mahon who played accordion and was also a vocalist. She also reminded me that the cross was a focal point for all the youngsters and a great meeting place. Mary O’Halloran (nee Masterson 44) told me of her memories of the carnival being held on the playing field area of the Green and she thought it was there for three years before moving down to the back lane. Mary also remembers the working quarry. When they would blast in the quarry, pebbles from the blast would land in the gardens and bounce off the roofs of the houses. Bernadette Troy (nee O’Neill 9) recounted in an email to me a brief synopsis of their life from Kenmare to the Green.

The Story of John O’Neill Family. The attached photograph shows the O’Neill family taking a break during their day on the bog.

The O’Neill family lived at 9 The Green. We were one of the first families to move there in Sept. 1953. I will never forget our trip from Kenmare, Co Kerry to Lanesboro. My father had already travelled to Lanesboro and secured a job. My mother got on the train in Killarney with 8 children aged from 12 years to one year, Gerald, Bernadette, June, Bobby, John Henry, Patricia, Maura and Joe. I look back now and wonder how she managed. The train was packed as it was the Saturday of the all-Ireland (Kerry were in the finals). When we arrived in Dublin we were put on a horse and carriage to take us from Heuston Station for our next train to Longford. I remember arriving in Longford late at night and my father was there with a big van to pick us up and take us to Lanesboro. When we arrived, we were met by the Brennan’s, who lived across the street. Marie Brennan helped us get settled in and make up the cot beds on loan from Bord na Mona until our furniture arrived. There was great excitement with all of us children running up and down the stairs, turning on and off the water taps and the light switches. We had never seen this before. It was pure magic. Our summers were spent on the bog footing turf and when my father finished his work driving the loco, he joined us. When it was tea time my mother would have Gerald or Bobby light a fire to boil a kettle of water for tea. All of us would make a seat for ourselves on the clamp of turf. Mother would have cheese and butter sandwiches or banana sandwiches for us to eat. We were so hungry every crumb got eaten up. It was back to footing for another couple of hours. The younger children, Patsy, Maura and Joe would play house on the clamp of turf. I look back now and think how hard a life we had to survive, but we were happy just the same. In 1959 I immigrated to Washington, DC USA. Gerald and June went to England in 1960 and eventually immigrated to the USA. They are now deceased. Bobby and John went to England in the late 60s. John is now deceased. Patricia and Maura immigrated in the late 60s to Washington, DC. The youngest, Joe came to Washington, DC in the mid 70s. My father passed away in 1986 and my mother in 1991. That was the end of 9 The Green for the O’Neill family.


Over the past fortnight there has been a number of robberies in the Ballyleague, Lanesboro and Killashee areas. Ballyleague seen a car stolen and two houses broken into. In Lanesboro a car was stolen in Cnoc na Gaoithe and also a break in. A series of robberies took place in Killashee. There has been success by the local Gardaí in the locating of the two stolen cars and there investigations are ongoing into the robberies. The Gardaí are hopeful of an early breakthrough in their investigations. If you have any information on anything suspicious happening in the locality please contact the local Gardaí. Many times, in the past, I have highlighted the issues of the lack of policing from Lanesboro Garda station. There are not enough Gardaí working this area. They are not notified as to any policing issues in the Ballyleague and the Kilgefin area. While those Gardaí stationed in Lanesboro are doing an excellent job there is only so much an understaffed force can do – there is a great need for extra personnel to be stationed in Lanesboro and for the station to include Ballyleague and the parish of Kilgefin. For the people of Ballyleague, Kilgefin, Lanesboro, Cashel, Kenagh and Killashee they deserve a full Garda force working in their area.

2016 Centenary Programme

Do we in Lanesboro have any interest in the 2016 Centenary? In 1966 the pageant of 1916 was produced and presented. Is there anyone interested in developing any ideas to celebrate the centenary of 1916? Longford County Council have a steering committee in place and are encouraging communities to be active in the celebrations of the centenary. Their next step is to encourage interested groups or individuals to take ownership of the ideas and to progress them for inclusion in the Longford 2016 programme which will be launched in October/November 2015. This will be a local project and there is some small funding available to help towards the costs. Application forms are available from O’Brien’s shop. All applications for funding this year must be completed on this form and submitted on or before the 28th May 2015 either by email or in writing to Mary Carleton Reynolds, Longford Coordinator, Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, Town Centre, Longford


We would like to extend our deep sympathy to the extended Ryder family, Ballinahinch, Newtowncashel on the sudden and untimely death in the USA of Joe Ryder. Joe’s remains reposed at his brother Victor’s residence on Friday last and following his funeral service at St. John’s church, Lanesboro on Saturday he was laid to rest in Cashel cemetery.


The Rathcline GAA 50/50 draw took place on Monday night last 18th May in the Peer Inn. The winning envelope was in the name of sisters Emma and Saoirse Feeney, daughters of Ciaran and Ciara Feeney, Tullyvrane. The lucky sisters received €425. For just €2 it could be your turn next to be the winner of the Rathcline 50/50. Envelopes are on sale locally and from club members or O’Brien’s shop.

First for Rathcline GAA

Rathcline GAA are hosting a Monster Auction on Sunday 28th June at 1pm in Clonbonny. The club is asking the community for donations of goods and services which we can use in the auction and they are hoping that over the next few weeks you can assess what you can donate towards the auction. The club is actively asking people to donate goods for auction e.g. gym equipment, household goods, furniture, antiques, toys, building materials, fuels, vouchers, tickets etc. Services can also be donated e.g. tradesman services, gardening, painting, physiotherapy, hairdressing, beauty treatments etc. Lifestyle donations such as holiday breaks, gym memberships and activities of all sorts. Donations can be left into Farrell’s Agri Supplies or contact Gerald Farrell on (086) 8745180. The club has huge undertakings to make repayments on the club grounds, run the club for the year and at the same time try and put some funds together to help further develop the club grounds at Clonbonny. If you can help please do not hesitate to contact Gerald. The present executive, as with all previous executives, are only minders and developers of the club providing football for boys and girls, ladies and men and ensuring that the future will be bright for the future generations. I am sure some of you reading this will be some of the executives in the coming years and I am sure you will want to receive the reins of the club in an excellent state. Please be supportive and encourage where you can others to donate towards the Auction and help progress your own club and parish.


We would like to extend our sympathy to Mick Fagan, Cashelbeg, on the death his brother John Fagan, Derrymacar, Newtowncashel last week.


The death occurred on Tuesday last 19th May following a short illness of Mary Hutchinson, Rathcline Road. Mary was born and raised on St. Mel’s Road, Longford town. She was extremely proud of the Longford she grew up in and right up to her death her pride never diluted in any way. Mary was a quiet and reserved lady who moved to the Rathcline Road with her husband Tony when he came to work locally in the Power Station. Mary was a very conscientious lady who worked hard to ensure that her son David could work towards and achieve the greater opportunities in life. She was a dedicate mother and wife and her passing leaves a void in the hearts and minds of those that come to know her. Mary’s remains reposed at Glennon’s Funeral Home on Friday last before being removed to St. Mel’s Cathedral. On Saturday the Mass of the Resurrection took place followed by Cremation in Mount Jerome Crematorium, Dublin. To his husband Tony, son David, grandchildren Patrick and Micheál, sister Finola, brothers George, Kenneth, Declan, Michael and Joe, relatives and friends we extend our since sympathy.

Rail Sale event

De clutter your wardrobe for Summer, Sheraton, Athlone, Sunday June 14th from noon to 4pm. The ultimate girls day out with rails of bargains in pre loved, vintage and brand new clothes shoes, bags and accessories. Simply round up your gal pals and come along and grab a bargain, ideal if you have an upcoming wedding, ladies day race meeting or special occasion. Free admission or come along and sell your own unwanted items for only €25 per rail. A Stylist and make-up artist will be there on the day to dispense tips and advice. Call 086 3276584 for more details or to register your place.

Championship on Sunday

Sunday evening next at 6pm in Hyde Park, Roscommon, the St. Faithleach’s senior team will take to the field in their second game championship when they take on Western Gaels in what should be a pulsating game. It is hoped that a huge crowd will turn out to support the team and the club. We wish the panel and team mentors the very best of good luck.

First Sunday in September

It is the dream of every young GAA player and there is nothing greater for those that can achieve it than to run out onto the green sod of Croke Park on All-Ireland day. This year a young man from Fermoyle National School will have that unique distinction when he will be part of the Cumann na mBunscol team that will not only greet the All-Ireland senior finalists onto the field but will also have the privilege of playing at half time of the final. The lucky young man is Mark Dowd, son of Stephen and Tina Dowd, Thureen and it is a wonderful honour for Mark himself, his parents and extended family and his Fermoyle National School.

Lough Ree Festival

The Waterways Ireland Lough Ree Summer Prom Festival in Ballyleague kicks off on Thursday week May 28th with a very special concert by the Roscommon Solstice Choir in a marquee at the Waterways Ireland marina. This renowned choir has over 90 singers and proceeds from this concert will go to St Christopher’s services in Longford. The festival in our Shannonside town has several top class music events. On Friday night May 29th the special guests will be the Army Band of the 2nd Brigade from Custume barracks in Athlone who will perform in the marquee in the marina at 6.30pm while there’s a great treat on Saturday May 30th when the 50 young members of the Roscommon Youth Orchestra play in the marina marquee at 3.30pm.

Saturday night’s highlight will be the performance of the ‘Rise the Dust’ Céilí Band in the marquee with the dancing and the craic starting at 9pm.

On Sunday afternoon May 31st the festival music continues with a great local line up of artists in the marquee. Included among the acts will be Sean Brennan, Frank Nelson, Gerry Keenan , Joe Duffy, Jimmy Hussey, Patricia Lane, Big Idea Band ,Noel Carberry, John Crilly plus a 4 piece backing group in an event organised by the Lough Ree Angling hub. For the full programme of an action-packed festival go to The family fun day on the banks of the Shannon on the Sunday afternoon 31st May should be a great highlight. There are many free elements to the weekend in Ballyleague that are organised by Lough Ree Angling Hub and are supported by Roscommon County Council, Fáilte Ireland and Irish Public Bodies Mutual Trust as part of the Community Diaspora Initiative.

Benefit Night

A benefit night remembering William Elliott will take place in the Longford Arms Hotel on Tuesday night 16th June featuring some of Ireland’s leading artists. The late William Elliott has family relatives in the area and we hope that a huge number form the area will travel for this great ‘Night with the Stars’. Appearing on the night will be Robert Mizzell, Mick Flavin, Matt Leavy, Simon Casey, The Sheerin family, Noel Cassidy, Bernie Heaney and many more top acts. Dancing will take place from 8pm to 12am. Tickets are priced €10 and are available in O’Brien’s shop.

Bridge Club

The President’s (Mrs. Kathleen Kelly) dinner and prizegiving took place in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon on Monday night 18th May. A large crowd attended and a great night was had by all. The meal was of the highest standard, as is usual and to be expected, from the excellent kitchen in the Abbey Hotel. Thanks to all concerned. Thanks, too, to all the hard working Committee who run the Club throughout the year and who organised the Dinner. I heard some” strays “went to the Races Dance afterwards, and danced the night away. The winners of all the Major competitions were presented with their prizes. No Blame: Mary Tucker Memorial 2015: 1st Eileen Kelly and Loretta Cooney, 2nd Joan Donlon and Kathleen Hanley and 3rd Joan Donnellan and Frank Conmy. Lough Ree Arms Trophy: 2015 1st Carol Hamill and Ann Hagan, 2nd Joan Donlon and Fergal McGuinness and 3rd Patricia Mc Gann and Joan Browne. Gross: Mai Casey and Margaret Gillen. E.J. Browne Trophy 2015: 1st Mai Casey and Margaret Gillen, 2nd Fiona Gillen and Joan Donnellan and 3rd Brendan Dowling and Goretti Kenny. Gross: Joan Donlon and Fergal McGuinness. Sliabh Ban Trophy 2015: 1st Nancy Dolan and Eileen Kelly, 2nd Tom Feeney and Goretti Kenny and 3rd Mary Fallon and Kathleen Hanley; Gross: Mai Casey and Margaret Gillen; Club Pairs 2015: 1st Kathleen Hanley and Mary Fallon, 2nd Una Clarke and Tom Feeney and 3rd Phil Chalmers and Fiona Gillen. Gross: Ann Donlon and Freda Kenny.

Bridie Deffew Memorial 2015: 1st Kathleen Hanley and Mary Fallon, 2nd Margaret Gillen and Mai Casey and 3rd Joan Donlon and Fergal McGuinness.

Gross: Mary Jameson and Patricia McGann. President’s (Mrs. Kathleen Kelly) Prize 2015: 1st Joan Donlon and Fergal McGuinness, 2nd Mai Casey and Margaret Gillen and 3rd Nancy Dolan and Eileen Kelly. Gross: Ann Hagan and Carol Hamill. Summer Bridge starts Monday week June 8th. All welcome.

Welcome to the Lough Ree 2000 new President, Mr. Brendan Dowling. We wish Brendan a great season ahead. The Club extends our deepest sympathy to Maura Hanley and her family on the recent death of Maura’s husband P., following an illness. May he rest in peace? Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. And finally, get well wishes to any members who are ill, and have been missing from the club. Hope to see all of you back in September.

Allison Smyth Tournament

The annual Allison Smyth senior ladies football tournament will take place on this coming Monday 1st June in Clonbonny at 3pm. Allison will be long remembered as a powerhouse in the Rathcline club and her passing is still deeply felt by all that knew her. Come along on Monday and be part of remembering Allison and the part she played in our club and parish.

Thank you

The Rathcline ladies club would like to extend their thanks to Bernard Keane and his Supervalu staff for allowing us do a bag pack as part of a club fundraiser. A very special thank you to everyone that contributed to the club.

Community Games

The Community Games finals in Ballymahon will take place on 14th June starting with the field events at 10am. Please look out for times on the Community Games notes in The Longford Leader. Entrants must be there 30 minutes before their event. Names of all entrants from Lanesboro are posted on O’Brien’s window.

Wild Food Foraging

On Saturday the 6th June there will be an introduction to Wild Food Foraging in Newtowncashel. The introduction will be facilitated by Deborah Evers from the Burren Kitchen. Deborah has been a grower and artisan food producer of Burren Kitchen Garden range of preserves at Clareville House Kitchen Garden in Ballyvaughan, County Clare since 2000. The hedges, woodlands and grassland around us contain plenty of edible plants that can be a great addition to our kitchen. If you ever wondered about what you could forage for while you are out for a walk then this is a workshop you should come along to!

The workshop is free for participants but places are limited and booking is essential! Contact Tilla: 089 4400736.

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