Conversations in the Dark

Conversations in the Dark

Thursday, 5th March saw local writer, Valerie Master’s launch of “Conversations in the Dark” in Ballymahon Community Library. It was a full house with the people of Ballymahon coming out in force to show their support. Guests also arrived from England, Derry, Kildare, Dublin, Westmeath and the surroundings towns and villages of Longford. The night also showed the support of local Councillors, Pat O’Toole, Mick Cahill and Colm Murray. The event was hosted by Mary Carlton Reynolds, County Librarian and guest speakers were Lord Mayor Mark Casey and Lorne Patterson. Valerie’s book was officially launched by Longford Leader Editor Sheila Reilly. Reviews and good-will messages included ones from Charlie Byrne, Galway, who will be selling the book from Monday 9th , also Paul Perry, noted poet and Billy Keane, son of John B Keane. Valerie’s proud mum was there on the night and was presented with a beautiful cake made by Valerie’s sister Bernie and with help from her sister Gina. Hanley’s Newsagents in Ballymahon are selling the book at the moment. It will hit other shops nationwide in two weeks time. Valerie would like to thank everyone who came out on the night and to those who sent messages and called to wish her good luck. Well done to Valerie, we wish her every success with the book.

Parish news

For the foreseeable future, weekday Masses in St. Matthews Church will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at the usual time of 10a.m. No Masses on Mondays or Wednesdays. The 9am Mass on Sunday mornings has now been cancelled. Should anyone wish to contact a priest in St. Matthews Church please call: Fr. Tom Barden. Kenagh at 043 33 22127/ 087-9195354 or Fr. Charlie Healy, Carrickedmond at 044 93 57442/ 087 751 0042.

Trocaire boxes can be picked up in the back of the Church and returned at any of the Holy Week Ceremonies.

Irish Revision Course

An Honours Irish Leaving Cert Revision Course will take place in Longford town on Tuesday 31st March 10a.m. to 4p.m. An Bhealtriail (Oral Irish), Essays, Prose, Poetry and Grammar will be covered and notes provided. For more information and applications please contact Yvonne Ni Mhurchu at 087-2642665 or Trudy Ui Fhearghail at 087-6475071.

Find a Leprechaun!

A Craft Fair is being held at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre on March 14th from 1p.m. to 5p.m. You are invited to go along to the beautiful setting of Ardagh and browse the stalls. You might find a lovely Mother’s Day Present or something beautifully crafted for yourself. Tea and Coffee will be on sale on the day. In tandem with this event Creative Ardagh are hosting a Leprechaun and Fairy Hunt family event with arts and crafts and treasure hunt, 3pm to 5pm. €8 per child, booking advised.


Adel Coleman will be giving a lecture in the Longford Library on Thursday 5th March at 8pm on her findings regarding the dig from the 1960s at the back of the Hill, Ardagh. Everyone welcome.

Healthy Eating

A Healthy eating/weight loss course starts Tuesday, March 24th for four weeks 7p.m. to 8.15p.m. Call/text Caroline Ferry, Nutritional Therapist on 086-3994615 to secure your place.

School Open Day

Tashinney National School will host an Open Day for prospective parents and children on Wednesday, 18th March from 4-6p.m. This will be an opportunity for families who may be interested in enrolling their children in Tashinney School to visit the school, meet the teachers and view the facilities. Further details are available from the school 04493 57610. All are welcome. Enrolment application forms are also available from the school for September 2015 enrolment.

Defibrillator meeting

There will be a Defibrillator meeting in Leavy’s Pub, Foigha for the Red Bridge (Gurteen, Darogue, Terlicken) and Foigha (Kilcommock, Derryadd, Corlea) areas on Thursday 12th March at 8.30p.m. Everybody welcome. Main Agenda:- Training and maintenance of the units.

Bridge Club results

North/South – 1st Gross & nett – Sarah Frawley & Mark Tiernan. 2nd gross & nett – Una Flynn & Yvonne Dowler. 3rd gross & nett – Ita Mulvihill & Carmel Kelly. East/West - 1st gross & 2nd nett – Lily Mulvihill & Carole Nally. 2nd gross & 1st nett – Liam Flynn & Andrew Nally. 3rd gross – Orla McEntee & Tony Tiernan. 3rd nett – Elsie Maxwell & Rose Conlon. The Club warmly congratulate Orla & Mark, part of a team of four from the county who recently won the coveted O’Connor Trophy in Dublin, well done to you both.

French Twinning group

A meeting of the Landevant/Ballymahon Twinning committee was held on Tuesday 3rd March in Murrays, River Inn. At the meeting the upcoming visit of our friends from Landevant/Landaul was discussed. A group of twenty will arrive from France on May 2nd and spend a week in Ballymahon. Host families are needed. If you are interested contact Breege Murray or any member of the committee. It was decided to hold a Table Quiz as a Fundraiser on Friday, March 20th in Cooneys Hotel at 9p.m. Tables of 4 and the cost is €40 per table. All are welcome. The meeting concluded with a minutes silence for the late Fr. Padraig who was a friend of the Twinning Committee over the years. Sympathy is extended to the McGowan family on their sad loss. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam.

Club ’91

At the Club’s last meeting, sympathy was expressed on the death of Fr. Padraig McGowan and a minutes silence was observed. He will be sorely missed by the Club members. Sympathy was also extended to Rose Conlon, long term member, on the recent death of her brother, Charlie. Meetings continue every Wednesday from 8p.m. to 10p.m. in the old Dean Egan Library. New members always welcome, come on put a spring in your step and join the club, enjoy the company and craic.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Plans are now well in place for the Parade on St. Patricks Day. In order for the parade to be a success it is vital that it is supported by local businesses, community groups, schools and the people of the town. The Theme of this year’s Parade is the World Wide Web. This theme was chosen to coincide with the launch, on St. Patrick’s Day of Ballymahon’s Development Committee new web site - The Parade will start at 4.00p.m. and as usual will start down at the Creevaghbeg road. There are 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for Best Float and bearing in the mind the Theme is very broad, floats should be as colourful as possible. So come on everybody, let’s get 2015 off to a good start with a great parade on St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Remember it’s your town. So if you are in a position to support the parade, please do. You can do so by entering a Float, or simply volunteering to help out on the day.

School enrolment

Forgney National School Enrolment for 2015/2016 will take place at the school up to March 13th. Please call to the school or phone 09064 52659.

Welcome home

To Phillip Murrell, The Hill, who recently returned from his trip to Austria where he attended the Opera in Vienna. We hope Phillip enjoyed his trip.

Social Dancing

Continues every Saturday night from 9p.m. to 11p.m. in Cooneys Hotel. Everyone is welcome to attend. You don’t have to have a partner to go along, there will be lots of Dancers there. Admission is just €5. Please note that there will be no dancing on the following dates due to unforeseen circumstances - 14th March, 28th March and 4th April.

Pilgrimage to Lourdes

The annual Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes will take place from May 27th to June 1st 2015, departing from Knock Airport. Anyone wishing to travel should contact Joe Walsh Tours on 01-2410800 or e-mail for booking forms and further information.

Senior football

Well done to Longford senior football team who had a good win against Waterford in the Division 4 League played in Glennon Bros Pearse Park on Sunday afternoon last, also to local lad, Kevin Diffley who was on the team.


The organisers of the church gate collection in Ballymahon last weekend for the Longford Scuba Divers, Search and Rescue wish to thank everyone who contributed. Your generosity is much appreciated.


To Simon Keegan, son of Simon and Tess, Drynan who recently got engaged to Mechi from Argentina where the couple are presently living. We wish Simon and Mechi all the best for the future.

Welcome home

To John and Ann Kearney, Rath, Abbeyshrule who have returned from their trip to Australia where they were visiting their daughter, Sharon and her husband Dave O’Sullivan and their children Mollie and Hannah and also their son Derek and his wife Joan (nee Mitchell), who are now all living in Perth. We hope John and Ann enjoyed their holiday.

Reserve League

Hard luck to Ballymahon Reserve League team who were narrowly beaten by just 1 point when they played Killashee in Leo Casey Park on Saturday last. We wish the lads the best of luck in their remaining games.


We hope all the people from the area who are travelling to Cheltenham for the Races have a good few days and that they back lots of winners.

New Premises

We wish the best of luck to Jimmy O’Meara, Auctioneer, who has moved his business to a newly renovated premises situated between Cooney’s Hotel and The River Inn pub. We wish him well in his new premises.

U-21 football

Congratulations to the Longford U-21 football team who have reached the semi-final of the Leinster Championship, when they had a convincing win against Louth on Wednesday night last in Newtowncashel. They now go on to play Dublin in the semi-final, we the team and their mentors the best of luck.

Death of Kathleen Reid

It was with deep regret that we learnt of the sudden death on the 1st March of Mrs Kathleen Reid (nee Clyne), Ballinacliffey, Glasson and formerly from Ballymahon. Kathleen is pre-deceased by her husband John. She was a grand, quiet and good-natured lady who loved coming back to Ballymahon visiting her brothers Dan and Pat and chatting with the neighbours. A large number of people called to Thomond Lodge Nursing Home where Kathleen’s remains lay in repose to pay their respects to her brothers and her family and also attended her removal and Funeral Mass in The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair. Cathy, as she was affectionately known was laid to rest in Kilnaglenna Cemetery on Friday morning last. We extend our deepest sympathy to her brothers Dan and Pat, nieces-in-law Mary and Nora, nephews-in-law Billy and Nick and to all her relatives, neighbours and friends. May she rest in peace.

New post for Garda Brennan

We wish the best of luck to Garda Tony Brennan who has been working in Ballymahon for quite some time and has now been transferred to Roscommon town. Tony was very popular with everyone here, he was a very helpful and approachable member of the Garda forces and we hope that he will be happy in his new post.

70th Birthday

Our warm congratulations to Dessie Cooney, Dublin, formerly Ballymahon who celebrated his 70th Birthday with his wife Rose, their family Desmond, Kate, June, Laurence and Ciara in Cooney’s Hotel on Saturday night last. Dessie, a keen photographer, and Rose have been regular visitors to Ballymahon for a long number of years when they enjoyed meeting their family and lots of friends here. Also attending the party were Dessie’s brother Noel and his wife Mary who travelled down from Dublin, his sister Bea and her husband Larry from Carlow, brother Lar and his wife Bernie, brother Michael and his wife Josephine, sister Ann and her husband David and their extended family. They all enjoyed a lovely meal in the hotel and the fabulous Birthday cake was baked by local lady, Una Flynn and by all accounts the celebrations were enjoyed by everyone. Congratulations also to Dessie’s daughter June who recently announced her engagement to Neil, best wishes to them for the future. We wish Dessie and Rose good health and happiness in the years ahead.