Antrim: Dentists to reach the heights in Scotland
Kathryn Robinson-Getty and Orla McGinnis, both dentists based in Ballymoney, are to climb Ben Nevis later in the year to raise money for the Ulster Cancer Foundation. The duo, who are members of the Causeway Dental team, have held a bag-packing event in the Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena in order to raise money for the charity, and they will also be holding a table quiz in the near future. Also part of the dental team is Robin Alexander who, as chairman of the Ballymena Runners Club, has been able to offer Kathryn and Orla plenty of advice for the ascent.
Armagh: Lurgan singer performs at Áras
Emma Reynolds from Lurgan was recently invited to Áras an Uachtaráin by President Mary McAleese to provide entertainment at a Tea Party attended by senior citizens from all over the country. The soprano was accompanied by Susan Hewitt, the composer of “Home Again”, the song with which Emma won the Sean McCarthy All-Ireland Classic Ballad competition three years ago. Emma, who took up music at the age of nine and became part of the local folk scene, also came fourth in the recent Eurosong contest.
Carlow: Unusual event staged by sub aqua club
The Carlow Graiguecullen sub aqua club is endeavouring to raise money for a new clubhouse to be built at Webster’s Lock in Graiguecullen and has come up with a novel idea. On Saturday they will be offering people the chance to undertake a scuba dive at the Liberty Tree fountain, with all gear supplied by them. Last weekend the club, which now has fifty members, held a trad session in Racey Byrne’s pub on Tullow Street in Carlow. The town council and county Development Partnership are funding the building, but money is also needed for equipment.
Cavan: Cavan Institute group reach African summit
A group of five people from Cavan Institute have completed the ascent of Kilimanjaro and in the process have raised money for local charities. The Pink and Gold fund was set up by Kevin Doherty and his sons in memory of his wife Attracta who died of cancer three years ago. The group comprised Shane McCabe from Crosserlough, Catherine McCollum from Cavan, Rachel Rudden and Rachel Brady, both from Laragh, and Philomena McCluskey from Shercock. The money raised is to be shared among Cavan/Monaghan Palliative & Home Care Services, Virginia & Bailieborough Cancer funds and the Oncology Unit of the Mater Hospital.
Clare: Special meeting to be held over iconic sign
Members of Clare County Council have agreed to hold a special meeting in relation to the removal of signs from the signpost in Ballyvaughan, removed by the National Roads Authority. A council spokesperson cited road safety considerations as a reason for the removal, though Councillor Brian Meaney asked for evidence that it had caused any accidents. The proposed meeting has the aim of seeing the sign, which has been used by Bord Fáilte in its international advertising, restored to its prominent position in the north Clare village.
Cork: Bantry schoolgirl starts her own business
Sahnya Shiels from Bantry may be only sixteen, but she has already started her own business training horses for eventing and competition. Sahnya, whose family runs a livery stable and riding school, began eventing herself when she was ten and has won numerous competitions. In addition to training horses and becoming a top student at her school in Ballingeary, Sahnya is also writing a fantasy novel which she hopes to have completed by Christmas. Her aim now is to make the Irish eventing team by the time she is twenty.
Derry: Limavady hall demolished
Following a fire just over a year ago the Bethany Hall in Limavady was left derelict and it has now been demolished. The building, which was one hundred and twenty-five years old, was formerly the site of the Termoncanice School and was renovated for use by the community thirty years ago. The renovation was the initiative of the Limavady Silver Thread club and it was used extensively by the town’s senior citizens. Clearance of the site is expected to be complete in two weeks and work will begin on a new parish centre in two to three years.
Donegal: Bobby and Bessie renew their vows
When Bobby and Bessie Tasker returned to St Joseph’s Church in Rathmullan fifty years after their wedding day, the ceremony was conducted by the priest who married them, Father Eddie Deeney, who was assisted by Father Willie McMenamin, who had also been present at the original service. Remarkably, the entire bridal party was also able to attend, including best man Anthony Toye from Letterkenny, bridesmaids Annie Toye and Mary Sheridan, and flower girls Daphne O’Connor and Marie Brett.
Down: Dragon puppet will launch book
A book to be launched during the family events in the Cultural Lodge in Castlewellan this weekend will be accompanied by a dragon puppet created by the author. Francis Morgan has been making dragons for parades for a number of years and decided to write a book for children on the subject. “Up Above Down Below” is, according to Francis, about dragons who live just beyond our field of vision. He is hoping that children who attend the family day will suggest a name for the dragon puppet.
Dublin: Fingal to be twinned with Chinese city
A delegation from Fingal County Council recently visited Chengdu in China and the two communities are due to be twinned later this year. Fingal now has plans to develop a Chinese-themed visitor attraction similar to the Chinatowns found in cities around the world. The local authority is also keen that Fingal becomes a European hub for the distribution of Chinese products in the areas of crafts, electronics and healthcare. One of the first indications of a special relationship between Fingal and Chengdu is the naming of a panda on a nature reserve in Chengdu after the Irish town.
Fermanagh: Cygnet returns to regatta
A yacht which has not been seen at the Lough Erne Yacht Club’s summer regatta for more than half a century made an appearance at this year’s event last weekend. The Fairy keelboat Cygnet has been rebuilt by Fred Ternan and won three of the six Fairy races at the Gublusk Bay event. The regatta is the country’s oldest yacht racing event and the bay is also the location from which two Catalina flying boats set out to challenge the Bismarck seventy years ago last month. A hundred sailors, in thirty boats, took part in the races this year.
Galway: Ironman event to have Salthill HQ
The Ironman event due to take place in Galway in September could be using the Salthill Tourist Office as its headquarters. The building, close to the Atlantaquarium, will not be opening this summer due to restrictions on recruiting to the public service and Fiona Monaghan, Head of Operations of Fáilte Ireland’s West Region, says she is ready to hold talks with the organisers of the competition. Councillor Niall McNelis is promoting the idea of using the office for the Ironman event which, he says, could bring as much as €5m to the local economy.
Kerry: Barrier on Ring of Kerry to be altered
A concrete barrier at Coomakista on the Ring of Kerry, which was erected as a safety measure, is to be subject to a review as it is seen as being unsightly and spoiling a magnificent view. The three-foot high barrier was put in place four years ago and it has been suggested that it would be improved by being faced with natural stone. An engineer is now to be appointed to look at alternatives and the National Roads Authority has allocated €200,000 for the work to be carried out.
Kildare: Swedish native flies Irish flag, at world games
At the 18th World Transplant Games held in Gothenburg in Sweden recently one local woman was seen to be waving the Irish rather than the Swedish flag. Liza Nikkinen moved to Ireland seven years ago and while working at the Naas Court Hotel she fell ill, leading to the need for a liver transplant. And so this year at the Transplant Games she represented her adopted country and won the gold medal in the three-kilometre walk. She later won a bronze medal while competing in the relay race with Angela Sherlock, Sinead McGowan and Megan Fahy.
Kilkenny: Callan to have festival at month’s end
The second Abhainn Rí Festival is due to take place in Callan later this month, with a ten-day programme of events. A Family Field Day including a vintage parade will take place in the Abbey Meadow and there will be dancing in the Friary, a juvenile hurling tournament and an architectural symposium, among the attractions on offer. The festival is one of a number to be held in the county between now and October under the auspices of the Kilkenny Community Festivals Network.
Laois: BBC role for Portlaoise actor
Robert Sheehan, an actor from Portlaoise, has won a role in “The Borrowers”, a feature length film which will be shown on BBC1 over Christmas. Robert, the youngest son of Joe and Maria Sheehan, had his first acting role in “Song for a Raggy Boy” although he had not had any previous experience, and he has also studied film-making in Galway. However he prefers to be in front of the camera rather than behind it and has appeared in two series of the Channel 4 programme “The Misfits”.
Leitrim: Water music in Carrick this weekend
This weekend sees the seventh Carrick-on-Shannon Water Music Festival, the aim of which is to make classical music and opera accessible to the Carrick area. And as last year, there will be a Gala Proms featuring conductor Fergus Shiel and a thirty-six piece orchestra, though the festival also features folk music, with this year the Folk the Recession tour, and jazz with the Guinness Jazz Band. At The Dock the Breffni Players will be staging David Trisham’s one-act play “The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish”.
Limerick: Dan lives the simple life on Shannon banks
When Dan O’Neill inherited his granduncle Christy Considine’s fisherman’s hut on the banks of the Shannon close to the University of Limerick, he decided it was where he wanted to live for the rest of his life. Without electricity but with driftwood to burn in his stove and salmon to be caught a few feet from his door, Dan says he’s never been happier. Originally from Kennedy Park in the city, he is now content to live in the only one of twelve fishermen’s cottages to be occupied.
Longford: Longford will have representative in Tralee
It has emerged that the county will have a representative at this year’s Rose of Tralee competition. James Duignan has been selected as one of the thirty-two escorts for the event, having attended the bootcamp final in Ballinasloe last week. One of the tasks, to foot turf, came easier to James than to those not from the midlands. A resident of Deanscurragh and a son of John and Assumpta Duignan, the twenty-two-year-old will now be undertaking fundraising for 1Life, an organisation providing support for those contemplating suicide.
Louth: Councillor calls for preservation of church
Councillor Frank Godfrey has proposed to Drogheda Borough Council that they purchase the Presbyterian Church in the town for its citizens. According to the councillor the church has been part of Drogheda for several hundred years and it could now be put to use as an amenity for the community. He believes the council has an obligation to save the building, which is subject to a preservation order, and he has formally written to both the Town Clerk and the members of the Borough Council on the matter.
Mayo: Seosamh MacGabhann Summer School takes place
The family of the late Joe Smyth, who established the Douglas Hyde Summer School, are behind the organisation of the coming weekend’s inaugural Seosamh MacGabhann Summer School in their father’s memory. Although a native of Straide Joe was an integral part of the life of Kilmovee. The festival in his honour will be based at the local community centre, with the administration work being carried out by the Family Resource Centre. Father Sherlock will celebrate an Irish Mass in the parish church and the School will be launched by the president of Comhaltas Ceoltóiri Éireann, Seamus McCormack.
Meath: Trim plays host to Satire Day
The town of Trim played host last weekend to Satire Day, a celebration of Jonathan Swift who ministered at Laracor, just outside the town. Among the events was a readathon held on Market Street when festival-goers paid a small fee to give a ten-minute reading from “Gulliver’s Travels” while seated, appropriately, in a Subaru Swift. The Gulliver’s Gulp Tavern was set up just outside the castle while among those who contributed were Gerry Stembridge of “Scrap Saturday”, Arthur Matthews, creator of the “Father Ted” series, and broadcaster George Hook.
Monaghan: The future is bright for Lisa
Lisa Quinn from Monaghan has not only graduated from Queen’s University with an honours degree in Food Quality, Safety and Nutrition, she has also landed a job with Sainsbury’s. And on top of that she has been offered a place on the company’s Taste The World scheme which will see her travelling over twelve months to four locations of her choice to work with Sainsbury’s suppliers and partners. Lisa was fortunate in gaining a work placement with Sainsbury’s from which the other opportunities have arisen. At her graduation last week she was accompanied by her parents Leslie and Gladys.
Offaly: New artwork for Edenderry
On Saturday each household in Killane Drive in Edenderry will plant a tree they have chosen and among the trees twenty-five ‘bird house’ sculptures are to be erected, stainless steel ‘houses’ on three-metre steel poles. The new artwork is being facilitated by artist Ceara Conway who has spent some months in discussions with local residents as to the form the artwork should take. It is envisaged that the installation will change over time as the trees grow. A number of billboards were erected on the green area, with parts left blank so that people could add their own ideas.
Roscommon: Roscommon actors work with professional director
Three Roscommon amateur actors are this weekend taking the stage at Backstage Theatre in Longford where they are under the professional direction of Padraic McIntyre of Livin’ Dred Theatre Company. Appearing in “The Carnival at Glenaduff” are Valerie Rabbitt and Caolinn Bruen, who are both involved with Castlerea Drama Group. The third member of the cast from the county is Andrew Reynolds from Roosky who is enjoying the ‘showband feel’ of the play, set in 1960s Ireland.
Sligo: Cas and Ross carry on boat building tradition
In the 1950s Casimer Carty’s grandfather, John ‘Ripper’ Carty, began building boats using the clinker method with overlapping pieces of timber. As a young man Casimer learnt the craft from his father Hubie and he has now been joined by his teenage son Ross in carrying on the family tradition of boat building. Living at Ard Cairn, Casimer says that the family also has a tradition of fishing as well as boat building and he has fished on Lough Gill for salmon and in the sea off Raughly.
Tipperary: Riverstown manuscript goes on display
The manuscript found by Edward Fogarty from Ballingarry five years ago in Fadden More Bog has now gone on display at the National Museum in Dublin. The Early Christian psalter dates from the ninth century, the same period as the Books of Kells and Durrow, and has been undergoing careful conservation work at the museum. In addition to the vellum pages and leather cover of the original psalter, the exhibition also features a replica of how the psalter would have looked.
Tyrone: Clogher school closes its doors
With only eleven pupils remaining it was inevitable that Clogher Regional Primary School would have to close, and this it did last week. The school, on the Augher Road in the village, has been located on its present site since 1939 but the old building beside the present school has a stone above the door bearing the inscription 1780. The pupils were given a tour of the village in a limousine before visiting Augher Central Primary School, to which most of them will be transferring.
Waterford: Tall Ships race not universally beneficial
Although it is generally agreed that the visit of the Tall Ships to Waterford was of great benefit to the city, some residents are less than happy with one legacy of the event. Walter Long is one of those who live in Gracedieu Villas and who was horrified by the way in which the trees lining the streets in the area were cut back on one side only. It was apparently done to ensure the safe passage of buses travelling along the route but Gracedieu residents believe it will give a very bad first impression to visitors.
Westmeath: Triplets arrive at Mullaghchloe
Martin Ryan, who farms at Mullaghchloe, found himself the topic of conversation in the locality after his Limousin cow gave birth to triplets, two heifer calves and a bull calf. Local men Liam Gilligan and Tommy McCormack were at the farm when the calves were born but only discovered when they returned to check on what they thought were twins that a third calf had arrived. Martin’s father, local councillor Michael Ryan, said that in almost eighty years of farming he had never seen triplet calves born. Their progress is now being closely monitored by Martin’s children, Siobhán, Eoin and Oisín.
Wexford: Hypothermia will not deter Enniscorthy swimmer
Despite the fact that he recently suffered from a bad bout of hypothermia following a swim without a wet suit, Pat Whitney from Enniscorthy will continue to swim. After giving up cycling, Pat has taken to swimming and last weekend he organised a charity swim at Curracloe, a preliminary event for a more adventurous swim later in the year. In September he will be part of a group from the county who plan to swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco, to raise funds for the Tracie Lawlor Trust for Cystic Fibrosis.
Wicklow: Centenary marked in Tinahely school
Parents, pupils, past pupils and neighbours turned out last week to celebrate the centenary of Tinahely National School, with the day starting with a party for the children. A 1960s classroom had been reconstructed, complete with open fire, double desks and old blackboards, while two models made by teacher Siobhán Mulhall were also on display. These showed the school in the old Fever Hospital, where the community hall is now located, and the school prior to the 1860s which was on the site now occupied by Ted Stedman’s saw mills.