Lanesboro Ballyleague notes Monday 10th January 2022

Lanesboro Ballyleague notes

Only a few days to go

There are only a couple of days left until the Rathcline Annual Draw taking place on Saturday night next 15th January in Adie’s bar. If you have not got your ticket yet make sure you go into the local businesses or to the club executive to get your tickets.

Tickets are selling very well and you should not miss the opportunity to be in with your winning chance of the first prize of €3,000. Perhaps as many do you may have your eyes on the third prize of two tickets for the eagerly awaited concert by world superstar Ed Sheeran in Croke Park on Sunday 4th April. Second prize is €1,000 with fourth and fifth prizes are €250 each. Tickets are priced at €20 each.

Tickets Sellers: In an effort to cut the delay on Saturday night you are asked to drop your sold tickets into the ‘ticket drop’ on Wednesday evening in Adie’s Meeting Room between 7pm and 8pm. Alternatively, if you cannot do the drop on Wednesday evening drop them into Connerton’s house on the Longford Road or O’Brien’s shop any day.

For anyone that would like to buy a ticket online they can contact me ( and the ticket can be purchased via PayPal.


The New Year opened with great sadness as we learned on 3rd January of the death following a very short illness of Gerry McGrath. Gerry was son of the late Tom and Delia McGrath, The Green. He has spent many years in England and since the early eighties right up to his death he was the landlord of several pubs right up to his death where he was landlord of The Plough in Stony Stratford. Growing up with Gerry or as we knew him locally ‘Hopper’ (after the legendary Wexford hurler) was always an adventure. There was nowhere he dared to go in search of fun. He was a talented footballer and hurler and an academically a very smart student. All that knew Gerry will have great and fond memories and stories to tell. Gerry was big in stature as he was big in heart, he was one that was always noted for his kindness especially to those less fortunate than himself.

Gerry is survived by his wife Geraldine, sons Dermot and Oliver, daughter Grainne, his brother Pat and his family, relatives and a huge array of friends on both sides of the Irish sea to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.

His funeral will take place on Friday 28th January at 12.15pm at Crownhill Crematorium MK8 0AH Oak Chapel. This will be followed by his wake at the Milton Keynes Irish Centre, Manor Field, Watling Street, Fenny Stratford MK2 2HX.  

When you go down on the Walk today

With the cessation of Bord na Mona work on the bog at the bottom end of Clonbonny bog in Kilnacarrow it is amazing how quickly nature is returning. Not only is nature returning but it is amazing at how fast wildlife is returning to this area.

The latest bird spotted in the area is the Great Spotted Woodpecker and it is creating a great excitement with those that have spotted it so far. This is a small bird of similar size to the thrush. The face, throat and underparts are white, while the back, rump and tail are black. Also has a large white patch at the base of the wings, while the vent is pale red. In flight, the wings are mainly black, with obvious rows of spotting on the primaries and secondaries. Adult male Great Spotted Woodpeckers are identifiable by a small red patch on the back of the head. Adult females have a black nape and crown. The Great Spotted Woodpecker is on the increase in Ireland and it is especially great when it has appeared in our new developing Wetland area.

The woodpecker makes a click sound and when feels under pressure this clicking becomes continuous in bursts over two seconds.

Keep your eyes and ears out for this fabulous bird and see if you can spot any new wildlife or birdlife in the locality. (See attachment)


Many congratulations to Michelle Hurson, daughter of John and the late Mary Hurson and Adrian Guinan, Shannonbridge, Co. Offaly who announced their engagement last week.

One year on

As I write this piece it is exactly one year since the ESB closed the Lough Ree Power Station bringing to an end over 60 years of the creation of electricity in Lanesboro. There is no doubt, but the closure was hasty in the extreme. We have spent the past few months hearing about the possibility of power cuts through the winter months which makes you wonder why close while putting nothing in place to maintain the power supply to the country. For this to happen beggars belief that a Government Department would be so ill prepared for the consequences and to leave homes and businesses facing the threat of power outages.

In the meantime, the station still stands, lying idle and getting more dilapidated as each week passes. ESB recently announced that they were applying for planning permission for the dismantling of the station. Their planning will include seeking permission for the demolition and propose the development of a synchronous condenser (Sync Con) and a battery energy storage system (BESS) at Lough Ree Power Station, Lanesborough, Co. Longford.

We are led to believe that ESB will be creating a very large number and that the future for us will be bright. However, when you scrape away the PR twist on this we can look forward, when the work is completed, to a maximum of 2 to 3 jobs.

We all remember the political promises when the station was closing that our community, our counties and the wider region will not be forgotten. Judging by the silence since we are definitely long forgotten.

We have been funded with money galore from the Just Transition for Feasibility Studies. There are many wonderful predictions from these studies about how suitable we are for developments in tourism and in the creation of green energy projects. Both Longford and Roscommon County Councils have also commissioned studies for the Lanesboro and Ballyleague communities that also makes exciting reading. 

We seem to appear to be sitting on a goldmine and you wonder what is wrong with me seeing that everything is so bright. The reticence of ESB, who own the site and their bosses, Minister Eamon Ryan and the Department of Energy to engage with and embrace the work that the studies have proven will work and attract business/industry is amazing. The tourism studies show tremendous potential and Lanesboro and Ballyleague and engagement from Minister Catherine Martin and her Department of Tourism is extremely vital.

Both are essential for our community and wider area if we are to retain our young people and give them an option of working in their own community when they complete college. We must stop the brain drain from our area or we will be left with an old community and no future for our midland area.

On a positive note, I have to say that through the Just Transition Fund, the Access for All Boat is employing 3 people and the Lough Ree Distillery and the Premier Food Hub is currently awaiting funding from the Just Transition Fund.

One of the reasons I write this piece as I do is that the people that are on the local Lanesboro Ballyleague Collaboration Group are people that have their own jobs – some work 6 and 7 days a week. Both councils do as much as they can, but they can only do so much in developing our proposals.

What we need, as I am sure our fellow sufferers in Shannonbridge do need is for the Government to position a qualified person with the ear of the Ministers and the Government, for at least a three-year contract, to take on all what is viable in those projects and bring them to fruition. This appointed person must work from their base in Lanesboro/Ballyleague and have full access to the ESB site and selected sites for developments

Perhaps I am asking too much but I distinctly remember the words of the politicians we met on the campaign trail during the last election.

ICA Meet Again

The local Lanesboro Guild of the ICA is now back in action for the New Year.

They will meet this Wednesday night 12th January in St. Mary’s Parish Hall at 8pm.

There will be an invited speaker on the night. Covid regulations – distance, Marks etc. will be observed.

The guild looks forward to welcoming everyone back and would love to see new people signing up as members of this very proactive group.

We Appeal Once Again

The old chestnut of dogs soiling walkways has once again raised its ugly head on the local footpaths and walkways again in recent times. We implore all dog walkers to bring bags with them to clean up the soiling and make it a comfortable walk for those pushing buggies and children. Please be conscious of others when you walk your dog.

Connaught Final on Saturday

On Saturday next 15th January the Connaught Intermediate Club Final between St. Faithleach’s and Cumann Peile Naomh Anna, Leitir Móir will take place. The final will take place in Pearse Stadium Galway where it will have a 1.30pm throw in time. Tickets will be put up online during the week on the Connacht GAA website. You must log in to order your ticket. Your support for the management and panel is greatly encouraged.

Rathcline 50/50

The Rathcline club’s 50/50 draw took place on Tuesday night 3rd January in Adie’s Bar. Winning the 50/50 draw was Aoibhe Gettings, Clonbonny who won the princely sum of €160. The draw on Monday night 10th January is taking place in Clarke’s Bar. The club would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

Tickets are available online     or in any of the local shops and the club would encourage your support.

Christian on the Move

Local Cloontuskert youngster Christian Donlon Goncalves has been setting the soccer world alight in this area and in Mayo. Such is his ability that he was selected for the Irish Under 15 team for a recent tournament against Montenegro despite being only 13 years old. The opinion of those that know their schoolboy soccer is that Christian has the ability to make the big time overseas if his progression continues. Christian is a student at Lanesboro Community College and like us all they were delighted to learn in recent weeks Christian became a member of the legendary League of Ireland champions Shamrock Rovers. We wish Christian the very best for the future.

Join our Fire Service

As we enter a New Year there are three glorious opportunities for suitable candidates to join Lanesboro Fire Service who are presently actively seeking three people male or female to join the local team.

A person interested in such a post should be in a position to operate in a roster that guarantees their availability when on call and they should live and work within a 5-minute response time of the Fire Station. The position is open to all people within or community, Killashee or Cashel that can meet all the requirements.

Joining Lanesboro Fire Service as part of Longford Fire Service as a Retained Firefighter, applicants must be aged 18 years and over, meet the required health and physical fitness standards, have a good standard of vision and colour perception and preferably have a category B, full, clean driving license.

Applications should be made to The Chief Fire Officer, Longford Fire Station, Templemichael, Longford N39 FW96 or email

Tidy Towns calls on your support

Since the demise of the council workers in the town the workers of the Local Tourism Co-Op/Tidy Towns committee have taken on the task of keeping our town in the pristine condition we always find it. Their workers do a wonderful job and as you can see the work continues unabated. We are told winter and summer about our town’s beauty how proud we must be of our community by everyone that visits.

The main source of income for the committee is the Tidy Towns lottery brown envelope. Due to the Covid pandemic and less people out and about this lottery is suffering greatly and consequently hindering the future developments that the committee has in the pipeline to further enhance the town.

You are asked when shopping in the local shops, having your hair done in the local hairdressers or having a drink or meal in the local pubs to remember to buy the lottery brown envelope. Pay €2 for 1 or even put in €5 for 3 envelopes.

Let’s support those within our community that are working so hard to enhance the beauty and develop our town.

On Tuesday 4th January the jackpot stood at €6,300 and if it was not won it will rise to €6,400 for the 11th of January draw. The winner of the €50 prize was Antoinette Skelly, Newtowncashel, and the three €20 winners were Leah Flynn c/o XLNTEE, Joan Donnellan c/o Mags and Eddie Shea c/o Mags. Play and give yourself a great chance to win the jackpot.

Christmas Lights Support

Both the Lanesboro and Ballyleague Christmas Lighting committees would like to say a very big thank you to all that contributed so generously to the Lights Appeal throughout Christmas and the New Year. In these trying times your generosity was great and generous. 

Business Closing

Donny the proprietor of the Village Inn has announced that his business would close on Sunday 9th January after 10 years of business. Donny was a very popular owner of the business over the years, and he is very grateful to everyone that supported him so well over the years. Donny would like to thank everyone for their kindness over the years as he moves onto new ventures.

It is with great sadness that we see Donny go and another business closing on the Main Street. We wish Donny well with what the future holds.

Ballyboro FC

The under 17s were the first team in action after the Christmas break when they played Monksland United on Saturday last. While Ballyboro lost 7-3 they put in a solid team performance. Two down at half time the second half was more eventful with goals flying in at both ends. For Ballyboro Eoin Cox scored a super goal followed by an equally impressive goal from distance by Jack Walsh. Kieran O’Dowd scored a fantastic third goal following a great passing movement involving multiple players. Considering that the team were short a few regulars they performed well on the day. Team: Sammy Adey, Conor Lyons, Cormac O’Dowd, John Banahan, Gabriel Klava, Jack McGloin, Jack Walsh, Kieran O’Dowd, Eoin Cox, Jack Phelan. Subs: Oisin Tiernan, Bobby, Noah Comher.                                

Next weekend should see a full round of fixtures following the seasonal break.

The club wishes Christian Donlon Goncalves every success with his new club Shamrock Rovers.

Applications close on Friday

All applications to the First Year Group in Lanesboro Community College are now being accepted with the closing date next week. please visit the school website and home page for relevant links. Please do not hesitate to contact the college for any further information or if you wish to make an appointment 

Enrolment for first year students for the 2022/23 school year is now open and will close on 14th January 2022.

Application forms and further information can be got by contacting the school secretary at by phoning 043 33 21139.

Lanesboro Primary Enrolment

Enrolment of children for Lanesboro Primary School is now being accepted for September 2022. You are asked to email the school at for an enrolment form. Alternatively, you can ring the school Principal Claire Murphy at 043 33 21545.

Lanesboro Library

Tel: 0433321291 Email:  
Poetry & Music Circle

Next meeting of the Poetry & Music circle takes place on Thursday next 13th January 3-4.30pm.

All welcome.

Knitting & Crochet Group

Knitting & Crochet Group continues on this Tuesday 11th January 2-4pm. All welcome.

Recycle Your Christmas Cards

For the month of January, you can recycle your Christmas cards at Lanesboro Library.


Foreign Currency & Used Stamps

The library is still collecting unwanted foreign currency and old coins/notes in aid of Koins for Kids.  The smallest donation can make a huge difference. 

The library also collects used stamps in aid of ISPCC.  Thank you.

All the Online Services can be accessed on our website by selecting ‘Your Online Library’.

Use your library card number & pin to log in to your account.

St. Mary’s Church

Mass attendances

The numbers that can attend Mass in St. Mary’s Church is now set at 120. Feel free to return to a mass of your choice. Please avail of the sanitising stations in and around the church and please ensure you wear your mask.

Eucharistic Adoration on Tuesdays in the church from 10.30am until 8pm. It is very important that there will be at least two people in the church for each hour of the Adoration.

Mass intentions will continue to be booked for weekdays for the present. People wishing to book masses can do so by contacting Fr Sergiy before or after mass during the week in the Sacristy. All that have booked masses are asked to rebook them for weekdays for the foreseeable future.

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament has resumed on Friday evenings, starting this Friday evening and it will take place between 6pm and 6.45pm. Exposition will be followed Mass at 7pm. It is also an opportunity to avail of the opportunity for Confession.

Soul Booster Programme

During his homily at Mass last week Fr. Sergiy was offering a soul booster programme for all those that wanted to avail of it in the Church. The booster he was offering was one for your soul when he said that confession was his booster to anyone that wanted to avail of a soul booster between 6 and 6.45pm.

Parish contacts

Fr. Sergiy can be contacted at the presbytery or by phoning 3321166 or 0833892362. For added support and assistance, you can also contact Fr. Merlyn Kenny, Newtowncashel 0860603433 and Fr. Turlough Baxter, Killashee 0879972259 who as you know are assisting in our parish.

ICA picture

See attachment. Here is a picture that will revive many memories of members of the local ICA from many years ago. The picture was sent to me by Geraldine Gilhooley, nee Kirwan. The older generation will fondly remember everyone in this photo

Those in the photograph are Left to right.
Mrs Shields snr, Mrs Moran, Mrs Murray, Knock, Mrs Kathleen Greene, 
Mrs Mc Dermott, Ethna Ryan, Mai Gray, Tess Kirwan, Mrs Johnston Sr.
Front row:
Mrs Reynolds, Molly Finn, Lil Kirwan, Sis Martin, Reenie Walsh
On hunkers: Mary Walsh formerly The Green. 

St. Faithleach’s GAA

Connacht Club Final Date Change

The very best of luck to the intermediate team and management in the Connacht Final on Saturday January 15th when we play Leitir Moir Naomh Anna from Galway in Pearse Stadium. COVID permitting we are asking all St. Faithleach’s people from near and far to descend on Salthill to cheer on the team on January 15th with throw in at 13:30pm. Please show your support by donning the red and white colours of the club for what we hope will be a magnificent occasion. Keep the flags flying for the lads around the parish. Keep an eye on our social media platforms for ticketing information.


Jackpot stands at €12000. Tickets on sale in usual local outlets. Thank you for your continued support

Irish Life Step Count Challenge

The step count challenge is back. Please download the Irish Life app, register and then follow the instructions. The club could win some O’Neill’s vouchers. Thank you for your help. Lets get moving people!

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