There was great sadness when it was learned of the death on Sunday last 18th May at Costello’s Nursing Home of Tommy Rattigan, Kilnacarrow. Tommy was in failing health over the past few years but despite his ill health he fought a strong and determined battle. On a regular basis he travelled from his Nursing Home to oversee work at his farm. He was a wonderful character, a man steeped in the family history of our parish. If there was any date or event that needed to be recalled within the parish then Tommy was you man with all the information. In regard to farming Tommy was of the ‘auld stock’ and used all the tried and tested means of old to maintain his stock and farm his land. He was a man in whose company many hours could be spent and really enjoyed. He will be missed by everyone that had the pleasure to know him. His remains reposed at Farrell’s Funeral Home on Monday last before being removed to St. Mary’s church. On Tuesday following his Requiem Mass he was laid to rest in Lanesboro cemetery. To his relatives and many friends, we would like to extend our deepest sympathy.


The marriage took place at St. Mary’s Church, Lanesboro on Saturday last, 17th May of Anne Hynes, daughter of Terry and Maureen Hynes, Rathcline and Mark Mimnagh, son of John and Eileen Mimnagh, The Green. Matron of honour was Helena Hynes-Craig, sister of the bride and the bridesmaids were Kiara Ryan, cousin of the bride and Julie Le Blanc, friend of the bride. Bestman was Sean Mimnagh, brother of the groom; groomsmen were Daryl Gilmore, friend of the groom and Niall Murray, friend of the groom. Pageboy was Liam Rhatigan, nephew of the groom and Flower girl was Emily Craig, niece of the bride. The marriage ceremony was celebrated by Fr. Michael Reilly. The wedding reception took place at the Glasson Golf and Country Club. We wish the happy couple many years of wedded happiness.

Councillors on the double

On Friday last, 23rd May the entire people of our community went to Lanesboro Primary School to vote in the Longford county council elections. This was the first time that people came together to vote in the one location in the parish, previously we had two polling stations, Lanesboro Primary school and Fermoyle National school. The result for the parish was really fantastic and without doubt one that was not expected. Not in living memory have we had the privilege of two sitting councillors representing us. The percentage turnout in Lanesboro was approximately 72 % and this proved vital in the election of both, sitting councillor, Mark Casey and Gerard Farrell. It was fitting that on the first time we voted and came together as one, in the one polling station, that we created the history of electing our two candidates.

The tallies on Saturday created a great excitement in the parish when they told us that there was a strong possibility that both Mark and Gerard would be elected. On the completion of the first count Gerard received 845 votes and Mark got 826 and the dream was about to come true. In the fourth count and following the distribution of votes, Mark was second elected having exceeded the quota with a final figure of 1036. Following the sixth count Gerard was next and third elected having exceeded the quota with a final figure of 1066 votes. This was a fantastic result for both lads and also for our community, we congratulate both of them on their magnificent performances and we wish them every success for the coming five years on Longford County Council.

Night at the Dogs

Cloontuskert National School is holding a fund raising ‘Night at the Dogs’ this coming Friday night 30th May at Longford Greyhound Stadium. The first race is timed for 8pm. Admission tickets are on sale from all parents or from the school. A night at the dogs is always a wonderful night out for all the family. It is a night not to be missed especially when there will be so many locals will be in attendance. The atmosphere will be electric especially when the dummy hare sets off for the first and subsequent races. Go along and enjoy a night of fun and support one of our local schools.


The entire community was saddened to learn of the death at Innis Ree Nursing Home on Sunday, 18th May of Julia Sorohan, Ballyleague, Cloonfore and formerly of the Lifebelt Bar, Ballyleague. Julia, a native of north Longford, was predeceased last August by her late husband Charlie. Along with her husband Charlie they bought the Lifebelt Bar many years ago and ran a thriving business until their retirement, which she enjoyed immensely until illness struck her. She fought her illness with great strength. She was a woman with a great work ethic and along with rearing five sons she also found time to play a big role in their bar. She was a warm and very sociable lady and who had a word for and with everyone. Her welcoming smile will be always remembered by the multitude that came to know Julia. She had a heart of gold and was always ready to assist anyone in their time of need. Her remains reposed at her residence in Cloonfore on Tuesday last until the removal of her remains to St. Mary’s Church Lanesboro on Wednesday. Following her Funeral Mass she was laid to rest alongside her husband Charlie. To her sons Charlie, Seamus, John, Kevin and Michael, sister Bridie, relatives and a host of friends we extend our sincere sympathy.


The marriage took place at St. Mary’s Church, Ballagh on Friday, 16th May of Noel Martin, son of James and Anne Martin, Mount Cashel, Kilrooskey and Alicia Turner, daughter of Mrs Amber Turner, Perth, Australia. Bestman was Donal Martin, brother of the groom and groomsman was John Martin, brother of the groom. Chief Bridesmaid, Kellie Clifford, friend of the bride and bridesmaid was Michelle Rose, a friend of the bride. Pageboy was Ronan Cox, nephew of the groom and flower girl was Clodagh Martin, niece of the groom. The marriage ceremony was celebrated by Fr. John Mc Manus. The wedding reception took place at Kilronan Castle. We wish the happy couple many years of wedded bliss.

Mini Marathon

The ladies Mini Marathon will take place on Monday, 2nd June in Dublin. There is a bus booked to go the mini marathon. At present there are just a few seats remaining. If you want to avail of a bus ride to and from Dublin you should contact Pam Farrell after 6pm by phoning her at 087-4146987.

The bus will commence its pick up at 8.40am in Killashee, 8.50am in Derryhaun, 9.15am in Ballymahon and 9.40am in Longford before hitting off for Dublin.

Have you signed up yet?

Tax reclaim forms are still available in the porch of St. Mary’s church. With your support in filling out and returning the forms offers the parish the opportunity to recouping this money and use it towards the repaying of the outstanding debt on our now magnificently refurbished church. This is money that you have already paid in tax and it is a great opportunity for your parish to avail of that money. This is applicable to PAYE workers and I urge everyone to get a form in the church porch and return it as soon as possible.

Grandparents Mass

Mass for grandparents of students of Lanesboro Primary school will take place in St. Mary’s Lanesboro on Friday next, 30th May at 7pm.

Pike Angling Club

On Sunday, 8th June, Lanesboro Pike Angling club will be holding the annual Michael Casey perpetual trophy boat pike fishing competition on Lough Ree. Fishing will be from 11.00am to 4.00pm. The entry fee will be taken from 10.30am at Lanesboro harbour down past the car park. The entry fee is €30 per boat with a maximum of 2 rods per person and 4 rods per boat. All money taken in entry fees will be given out in prize money. This is a members only competition. Membership may be taken out on the day, adults €10 juniors and O.A.P`S €5. Following the weigh-in, the presentation will take place in the Yacht Bar. There will also be a draw for non-fishing members for a 40” television and other cash prizes. Membership cards for non-fishing members can be purchased at the Yacht Bar or contact Eithne at 086 1584686.


The annual Church Gate collection in aid of St. Christopher’s Longford will take place at all masses nest weekend. You support in the past has been extremely generous and it is hoped that your generosity will once again be forthcoming for St. Christopher’s.

First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion took place in the parish of Rathcline on Saturday last, 24th May. A total of 16 young boys and girls from both Lanesboro and Fermoyle Primary schools were beautifully prepared for this big day in their young lives. Those that made their First Communion from both schools were Jasmine Breslin, Nicole Kinsella, twins Polly and Josie Myhill, Aileen Gorden, Lachlan Beirne, Aoife Kennelly, Kieran O’Dowd, Marcelka Kavanagh, Matthew Heneghan, Zoe Malkowski, Luke Dowd, Louise O’Reilly, Conor Lyons, Sinead Connerton and Sam Murphy. We congratulate all the young people.

Social for our Boys

A fundraising social will take place in Frank’s Lounge, Ballybeg, on Sunday evening 1st June. The music will be provided by the very popular Padraig Farrell from 7 to 9pm. There will be a raffle for lots of prizes on the evening and spot prizes. There will be refreshments served and also Irish dancing by the Cauneen sisters. Your support will be greatly appreciated. Admission is optional.

Owen Harte RIP

On Tuesday last, 20th May, one of those text messages that you dread seeing arrived to my phone. The message was simple “Owen Harte passed away”. Owen passed away peacefully at his home in Castlebar following a battle with cancer. He was predeceased by his parents, John and Lollie, brothers Farnan and Joe. The name, Owen Harte, is synonymous with my growing up in the town of Lanesboro. It was a name that was always up there in lights and a model, in all he did in life, to be impersonated. Memories flood back of all the great memories and support that he gave so many people. In all social media messages the one word that was repeated over and over was gentleman and how true it was. His early childhood in Killeenduff, Easkey Co. Sligo was disrupted in the early fifties when his late father, John and mother Lollie, uprooted their family to come to live amongst us in the Green and work with Bord na Mona. Their arrival was a wonderful thing for our parish as the Harte family left a lasting impression in our parish that will never be forgotten or replicated. My first memory of Owen on the football pitch was in 1966 when on that historic day Shannon Gaels won both the U14 and minor championship for the first time in the clubs history. Having being part of the U14 panel and basking in the glory of our victory the sight of Owen bulging the back of the Mostrim net as the minors romped to victory was never to be forgotten. Owen continued to play a leading role in the Rathcline club and 10 years later he got his due reward when he was played a leading role at centre half back in Rathcline winning the senior championship for the one and only time. This time, it was an honour to be playing alongside him on that historic occasion – if it was not for his late point in the semi-final, we may never have made it to the final. Getting to know Owen was very easy as he was a most personable man and always wanted the best for everyone and for everyone to obtain the maximum of their abilities in all walks of life. He was as solid a man as you are ever likely to meet. Having played most of my club time at midfield, I was always aware of Owen in the centre back position. Once you had Owen backing you up, you never worried about what went by me and, can I say, I overworked him a lot of the time. If we ever needed any advice, Owen was always there to give both sound advice and encouragement. Owen along with his wife took over the running of the filling station (now Cullen’s) that his parents opened on the Longford Road along with him working for the Department of Agriculture. His work within the Department took him to Castlebar which was a great loss for our community. In Castlebar, Owen left his mark with his work in the community. Both himself and Mary raised three sons; Farnan, Paul and Colm. The respect for him could clearly be seen at the reposing of his remains at his residence in Castlebar where a huge number from the parish could be seen. The same can be said at his Funeral Mass on Thursday where again there was a large Rathcline attendance. Owen was laid to rest in Castlebar new cemetery. To his wife Mary, sons Farnan, Paul and Colm, brothers Jack, George and Matt, sisters Carrie, Loretta and Miriam, relatives and many many friends, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathy.

Schools successes

On Friday and Saturday last the primary schools teams of Fermoyle and Lanesboro started the celebrations that were to continue through the weekend. That began what will always be a week to remember in the parish of Rathcline. On Friday, Fermoyle had a great win over Melview in their final. It was a great performance all round and their victory was well deserved. A day later, Saturday, Lanesboro Primary school travelled to Longford’s Pearse Park to take on serial championship winners Abbeylara. It was a fantastic achievement to overcome Abbeylara and to complete a wonderful double for the schools of the parish last weekend.

Tidy Towns

Lanesborough is preparing for judging, due in the first/second week June. If you can paint a front wall or gate, pick some litter, sweep a footpath, put up a hanging basket or window box, it will help the town to continue its progress in the National Tidy Towns competition. Many projects are nearing completion over the next two weeks including bilingual signage at the woods walk, playground and recycling area, planting of a butterfly garden at the library, the planting of the boat and planter boxes, putting up of the hanging baskets and banners, a town heritage trail with information panels erected at ten heritage locations throughout the town, landscaping of the river bank and the installation on the Longford road of a sculpted rock with our town’s name in irish. Clean up of our town takes place on Thursdays from 8 to 9pm. If you can come along it will make a huge difference and thanks very much to all those who come out on the Thursdays. If there is a small project on your road like weeding a stone planter box, mowing grass or painting a fence, please encourage your neighbours to come along and it will make a huge difference to the area and our performance in the competition.

Sisters of Mercy

Back in 1952, the people of Lanesboro sought the introduction of a Convent to Lanesboro following the arrival of so many families to work with the fledgling Bord na Mona and ESB, names that were to become synonymous with Lanesboro right to the present day. The Sisters of Mercy, already in Ballymahon, founded their first convent on the Longford Road in a rented house that was situated on the site where Louis and Geraldine Skelly now live. The first nuns that were to come to Lanesboro were Srs Michael Fluery, Brigid Grehan and Evangelist Doherty. In January of 1956, moved to a renovated school, what was one McCrann’s at the bottom of the Main Street. During 1956 some of the sisters moved out to Rathcline House, where this writer spent many summer days with the late Deckie Connaughton, piking the hay with the farm manager, the late Paddy Killian. The Sisters of Mercy ran a thriving secondary school which included a boarding school until boarding finished in the seventies. In the mid-eighties, due to falling numbers, the Convent Secondary School merged with Lanesboro Vocational School creating the present Lanesboro Community College in 1989. As I said before the entire area was both shocked and saddened at the recent news that the Sisters of Mercy nuns were to leave Lanesboro in June. Their contribution to our community for the past 60 years has been remarkable and their presence will leave a great emptiness in our community. I would like to mention the nuns that served us so well down through the years and thank each and every one of them for their input into the locality over the 60 years: Sr. Michael Fluery RIP, Sr. Evangelist RIP, Sr. Brigid Grehan, Sr. Clement Lalor RIP, Sr. Alphonsus Brady, Sr. Ita Healy RIP, Sr. Patrick Mulvey RIP, Sr. Raphael McArdle RIP, Sr. Oliver Cullen RIP, Sr. Immaculata McGoldrick RIP, Sr. Joseph Regan, Sr. Sheila Heeran RIP, Sr. Aquinas Gallagher RIP, Sr. Kathleen Owens, Sr. Ita Daly RIP, Sr. Gerard Gormley, Sr. Rosarii Beirne, Sr. Evelyn Moran, Sr. Rose Moran, Sr. Consuella Newman, Sr. Vincent Keena, Sr. Judith Kirwan, Sr. Margaret Casey, Sr. Nancy Clarke, Sr. Dympna Cassells, Sr. Maura Conlon, Sr. Philippa O’Connor RIP, Sr. Imelda Hennessy RIP, Sr. Margaret Jordan and Sr. Felicitas Geraghty. The present community is Sr. Brigid Grehan, only survivor of the founding convent, Sr. Felicitas Geraghty, Sr. Margaret Jordan, Sr. Rosarii Beirne, Sr. Dympna Cassells, Sr. Maura Conlon and Sr. Consuella Newman. Following her time in Lanesboro, Sr. Margaret Casey became Provincial leader in Western Province from 2001 to 2007 and is presently Congregational Leader 2012 -2018. We will be the poorer by their absence from the town and we wish the Sisters of Mercy the very best with their new communities.

Rathcline Lottery

The numbers drawn on Saturday night last, 24th May were 2, 11, 21, 27, 30 and 41. There was nobody with four of the numbers drawn and the jackpot of €300 was not won. The four winners of the €25 prizes were Aidan McWeeney, Curraghroe; George and Jean McDermott, Killashee; Alan Skelly, Aughamore, Lanesboro and Michael Murray, Barnacor. The jackpot for Saturday night next will now stand at €400.

Lough Ree AC

On Saturday last, Roscommon AC staged an open sportsday for the younger generation, a great idea! The timing was wrong. The event which was well organised, with lovely prizes etc. clashed with “First Communion Day” in Roscommon town, and curtailed the attendance. The fact that it was to clash, also, “First Communion Day” in Lanesboro as well, did not help from our club’s point of view and not forgetting the 1Direction concert in Croke Park. However, that did not stop some youngsters from travelling to the Roscommon venue. Indeed, Victoria Jedrych, Cian Walton, Rakesh and Lokesh Setish were very pleased with their trophies for their evening’s work.

Congratulations to Amanda Hanley on her marriage to Kevin Egan on Friday last. Amanda was not the first athlete from the club to get married and hopefully, not the last! However, she is the first to take up a ¼ page of the Irish independent when photographed after the wedding ceremony voting in the election at Roxboro School. Indeed, maybe it is Kevin we should be congratulating on getting such a wife! Apart from Amanda’s good looks, she was a talented athlete, winning provincial and national medals for distance running. She represented Ireland at the World Mountain running championship in Borneo (sth East Asia) and finished by getting an athlete scholarship to an American University. Without mentioning her other virtues, we wish the couple every happiness. Finally, a reminder that the Connaught U9-U12 takes place on Saturday 9th June in Sligo. This is a two person competition for those who qualified. Do not let your partner down! We are aware that the County Roscommon Community Games are fixed for the same day. Finally, well done to Ryan Murray, Roscommon CBS, who qualified for the All-Ireland school final in the discus from the Connaught colleges and to Mark for his help.