TG4 recently screened a documentary about different Championship Cups – down through the decades and it featured the daughters of a very famous GAA star of our Town – “Inky Flaherty “.
Deirdre Timlin Inky Flaherty’s daughter starred on ‘Scéalta na gCorn’. Deirdre currently living in Salthill and her sister Geraldine residing in Corfin met up with Hannah the producer in Galway where she outlined the plan for the show and how they would manage the reflection interviews. The interviews were facilitated by the Ballinasloe GAA and Gerry Seale at their Brackernagh pitch in January 2022. The show is still available on the TG4 player.
Michael John (Inky) Flaherty was born at number 17 Bohermore (now 143), Galway on September 27th, 1917. His parents, John Flaherty and Mary Kelly were both from Monivea and had returned a few months previously from England and purchased their home. He was the third child in what was eventually a family of five.
Liam Mellows Hurling Club was formed in 1933 and Inky was involved with the club from the outset. Two years later they reached and won the County Final and at 17 he won his first County Senior Medal. Sixteen years later he won his second captaining his adopted town of Ballinasloe. The athlete started playing hurling with the county in 1936 and played for 17 years until 1953.
He was psychiatric nurse at St. Brigid’s Hospital for 35 years. His wife, Kathleen (Gunnigan) was a great support to him while she was able but unfortunately, she got ill with cancer and passed away, on her 44th birthday in 1966. He stepped back from some of his GAA commitments for a few years then as there were six children to look after, ranging in age from three to 15.
Inky had a trophy named after him, the ‘Inky Flaherty Cup’ was presented by the Connacht Council in 1995, when the Connacht Senior Hurling Championship was reinstated, having been suspended since 1923. It was contested again for five years until it was discontinued, after the Connacht Final in 1999, because of the dominance of Galway. Since the competition was abandoned, the cup has gone missing.
As well as being a talented hurler, he enjoyed boxing and won a Connacht Title in 1939 and was runner-up in the National Junior Middleweight Championships in 1940. He was Connacht Champion again in 1947 and 48 at Light-Heavy Weight. His refereeing career began at 20 and he did a lot of refereeing over the years including 13 County Hurling Finals. His greatest achievement as a referee was refereeing the 1949 All Ireland between Laois and Tipperary. He played on the Galway team that was beaten by Laois in the Semi-Final and was then nominated by the GAA to referee the final.
He was a coach, a manager, an administrator, and Chairman of the East Board for many years and was a selector with the county when Galway won the All-Ireland in 1980. He was a county delegate to the Connacht Council in his later years.
Michael was manager of many teams during his career some include the Ballinasloe hurlers in 1951 when they won the County Senior Hurling Final, the Mullagh team who won the County Intermediate Final in 1982 and Turloughmore to win the County S. H. Final in 1985. He trained Galway in the fifties and was Galway Trainer/Manager from 1973 to 1978 winning the League Final in 1975 and reaching a couple of All-Ireland Finals during that time.
Michael John passed away on May 20th, 1992, aged 74.
I love the advertisement with the pet lizard taking the robotic hoover to go on an escapade down the street for himself. On the journey he mops up a tasty morsel for a treat, then uses the shiny hub-cap of a motorcar to serve as a mirror and later delicately maneuverers his vehicle to do some roller-blading with the local teenagers. Jeff exudes joy and freedom as he enjoys the sights of the city and then returns home hoping he has not been missed.
Thanks to modern technology however, though the family are away on a trip themselves the youngest member is able to link up with and view the living room and spots Jeff as he parks the hoover at the spot where he pressed it into service. ‘Enjoy the freedom of a better connected world with ‘3’ is the message being conveyed.
We live in a connected universe and what happens in one part impacts directly on another. We see this with the effects of climate warming, with the displacement of peoples, and the ravages of war. On the other hand, the smallest gesture of kindness has a ripple effect that can have far reaching outcomes.
Christmas is a time to deepen our awareness of our connection with the created world, with one another and with God. Walk around sometimes in your bare feet and feel contact with the earth. Send a Christmas card or talk to somebody you have not been in touch with for a long time. Spend some time in silence before the mystery of the original ‘three’----Father, Son and Holy Spirit in whose relationship of love we all share.
I also love a song “You do not walk alone” set to music by Elaine Hagenberg and available below on Youtube.
Wishing you joy, freedom and peace at Christmas.
Congratulations to our Junior A footballers who beat St Ronans by 0-11 to 1-6.
Last year was the first time they reached the final of the competition since 2000, unfortunately, they were beaten on the day. The character shown by the players to recover and come back from the heartbreak last year is a testament to the coaches, players, and their families.
The management team always had the belief that the team could win this year. When starting out their aim was to have a good league campaign to put the team in the best position possible to get back to the final and go one better this time around. Winning promotion to Division Two in the campaign as well.
When asked about any matches that stuck out the management team of Eoin Curran, Aidan Colleran and Paul Kelly responded “The first championship game v St. Joseph's in Kilteevan, as we had played them last year in the group and in the semi-final, it was a tough physical battle, the game v Strokestown in the semi-final, we didn't start well but never panicked. We also referenced St. Michael's game in the quarter final, we struggled against them last year in the same game, but this year beat them 3-09 to 0-10.”
This result wasn’t an overnight success. The team had been getting to quarter finals and semi finals in recent years but were unable to make the next step. They had also been playing in division three for a number of years previous. The squad had made incremental improvements every year.
As a result of winning Padraig Pearses are unable to play in this competition next year, so they won’t be retaining the trophy. They will however have the chance to play in the Intermediate Championship, so they will be looking to have a good year in that competition.
The management team concluded by thanking “our families for allowing us the time to put into the work with the team, the players for their commitment for the year, the Adult Football Board, Club Executive and the supporters who came out in massive numbers for the finals.”
Front row left to right:
2022 has proven to be a very successful year for their Junior Boys and it also saw Aidan Grenham commence his EDGA journey.
“Well done to all involved, including parents who put in so much time and effort, our junior convenors and all volunteers,” states Club President Mattie Curley .
At this stage of the year, Ladies and Gents Club AGMs have been completed. PRO Barry O’Keefe states “we sincerely thank our outgoing officers for their outstanding contributions, specifically Mattie Curley (President), Peggy Wong (Lady Captain) and Mick O’Hehir (Mens Captain). We welcome the incoming officers for 2023, Angela Lyons (President), Rita Staunton (Lady Captain) and John Donnellan (Men's Captain).”
Congratulations were extended to the following who have also been selected to Connacht (West) Area Development panels – Caoimhe Flanagan (u12 girls), Joe Casey (u12 boys), Liam Tully (u16 boys). Continuing their recognition by Golf Ireland has seen Isaac Oliver (u16) selected for the high-performance panel, Niall Connelly (15) and Isaac Oliver (u15) have both been selected for the West Performance Development panel. Their respective selections are testament to their diligent work and commitment throughout the year.
President Curley concludes “given that this is the last publication for 2022, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all our valued members and their families a Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Hopefully you will get the opportunity to enjoy some golf with us over the festive period.”
In 2022, they were delighted to see so many new and returning members and we always look forward to welcoming many visitors to the club. Ballinasloe is becoming the hub of junior golf in Connacht.
Anyone interested in starting up their junior golfers please contact the club office, and they will point you in the right direction. If you are thinking of joining the golf club, please phone the office - (090) 964 2126 or email email@example.com to talk through options for beginners, improvers.
Local Creative - Lucy Kelly Desmond’s first book “The Horse, the Stars and the Road” is a beautifully written and illustrated children’s book with a ‘Traveller Centric’ theme.
Born in London to an Irish family, she moved back to Ireland at a young age. While her family isn’t from a travelling background, cultural identity has heavily influenced her artwork. For her graduate degree she focused on her own conflicting London-Irish identity and reflected on the positive impact that her friendship with travellers had on her childhood. Lucy credits her friendship with traveller twins for instilling a deep love of their culture and heritage.
“Being accepted and welcomed by them made me feel extremely determined to focus on work that could help traveller children see their rich and wonderful heritage reflected in literature. I learned from my traveller friends how to defend myself and my identity in a respectful and dignified way”, she states.
While working at a family resource centre in Athlone she worked on a ‘traveller centric’ project, where charcoal portraits based on photographs of traveller men and women were created.
Lucy exhibited these and other art pieces based on scenes from Ballinasloe Horse Fair as part of the Traveller Pride event in Roscommon in 2016.
After graduating in textile design, she decided to become an illustrator because she wanted to use her art as a form of storytelling. She particularly wanted to write a story that celebrated the dying art of tin smithing.
The author debuted her book at Ballinasloe Library’s Storytime on October 25th where she enthralled her young audience from Scoil an Chroí Naofa with her story about Sonny’s journey in a barrel top wagon with his tinsmith uncle, Jim. Sonny learns to love his rich cultural history and traditions of the Irish Travelling community.
The artist took part in the Great Dublin Castle Draw Along on the 12th of November, inviting children to listen to her story and draw motifs from the night-time scenes in her book, there is significant interest in the publishing rights over seas through her publishers – Little Island Books.
The Horse, The Stars and the Road is available for loan from Ballinasloe Library.
The band are busy practicing a selection of carols which they will play at the local nursing homes throughout the month of December, in preparation for them ringing in the New Year at St, Michaels Square from 11:30 pm to 00:30 am on Dec 31st.
A very well attended and enjoyable table quiz took place in Gullanes Hotel on Thursday 20th October as one of its fundraising ventures. Niall Clarke proved to be a very entertaining quizmaster as he delivered the challenging questions prepared by Kevin Duffy.
The band hosted a touring group of young and accomplished French harpists called ‘Harp in Bag’, who played an entertaining selection of tunes and songs. Local harp instructor Lizzie Alfoffer, a French native residing in Ballinasloe, joined the ensemble along with two of her own talented students, with the Town Band joining forces at the end of the concert to deliver a beautiful rendition of the Parting Glass in the Band Hall.
It was with a great degree of sadness that the band learnt of the passing of one of its senior and much-loved band members, John Flynn. John joined the band after he had retired from active practice as a consultant in Portiuncula Hospital when his wife kindly presented him with a trumpet. He was instrumental in driving the committee to purchase their own home. He loved to see the skill of the kids and marveled at the speed in which they picked up pieces. He will be missed by young and old alike and will hold a special place in the hearts of the trumpet section where he was happiest in the band. May his gentle soul Rest in Peace.
Don’t forget our Annual Christmas Craft & Food Fair in the Band Hall on Saturday 3rd December from 11 am to 4 pm. A large selection of Christmas gift ideas on sale by local artisans along with mouthwatering hot crepes, delicious baked goods, mulled wine and teas and coffees to wash it all down. Entertainment will be provided hourly by the Music Matters Quartet, Ballinasloe Active Retirement Association, and the Town Band. This is a major fundraising event to help the band meet its running costs and your support would be gratefully appreciated. Drop in to have a look and indulge in the selection of goods on display.
Follow the band on Facebook to find out more!
Pictured at the launch at Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre. L-R Kevin Broderick ( BACD) Denise Rocks ( West Regional Skills Forum) Senator Aisling Dolan, Eoghan Kenny (BACD) Marina Downey (BACD) Seadna Ryan (TUS) Denis Naughten TD, Liam Horan ( Connected Hubs) Seamus Duffy (BACD) Micheal Tobin (TUS) Cllr Evelyn Parsons, Aoife Kelly(TUS) Patricia Tierney (BTFE) Declan Doran (TUS) Noel Madden (BACD) Martina Flanagan (BACD) Lyn Donnelly (BACD) and Joe Lyons( BACD)
The Technological University of the Shannon has opened a 'TUS Learning Gate' at Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre.
After years of various Government reports and plans seeking to have better third level engagement and opportunity in the town this new innovate development builds on the linkages with other academic campuses on the island such as U.L. and University of Galway (Portciuncula Hospital), U.C.C National Paramedical College (Enterprise Centre).
The ‘TUS Learning Gate’, a concept introduced by Dr Michael Tobin, Dean of Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning, seeks to formally establish a location/space where TUS students and academic staff may meet and learn together, through the provision of one of the many online programmes provided by the Faculty of Continuing, Professional, Online and Distance Learning at TUS Athlone Campus.
The official launch took place on Tuesday 18th November with members of TUS, Ballinasloe Area Community development and public representatives in attendance.
Lyn Donnelly, manager of Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre said she was delighted to team up with TUS on this new concept as it offered locals from the area an alternative to traveling to Athlone and showcased the facilities available here on their doorstep. “It also strengthens the ties between the University and the locale, ensuring this service that is available in several towns and villages across the midlands is now available to the Ballinasloe community, which will be of huge benefit”, states Lyn.
Congratulations were extended to all involved in the Tidy Towns as they finished third in their category. In every department they were being judged on, the town either matched or improved on their score from last year. The committee currently has 20 members and an additional 30 volunteers.
The group works with a wide number of organisations, including everyone from the local Community Employment Project, walking groups, sports groups, residents’ associations, and the probation services, as well as government bodies and agencies.
The judges were really pleased with how the town is dealing with the problem of dereliction. There is also development work planned for the tennis club, the refurbishment of the service block at the marina, new footpaths, upgrade works in train for the leisure centre playground and a new cycle track.
The committee are working on low mow and no mow areas which will help protect pollinators and encourage bees. The rugby club also got a mention for work their doing in reducing clothes, going into landfills.
On the application form, it mentioned that Ballinasloe had a litter problem, but the judges report stated “you are to be applauded for the work you are doing in trying to tackle this head on, not an easy thing to do unfortunately, so well done on getting the walks and approach roads in Poolboy Bog virtually litter free, and best of luck with all you are doing in order to maintain it like this. It is great to hear that regular clean-ups have been organized by your local ‘Friends of the Environment Group’ in the unique bog area, and very impressive to read that over 300 bags of rubbish have been removed, and that Galway County Council are assisting with getting rid of larger items.”
The on line report concludes by mentioning “It was a pleasure to visit Ballinasloe, and despite some of the challenges that you are facing, you are doing a tremendous amount of work to overcome these, particularly in relation to litter control, well done, and best of luck with your work in the future.”
Tidy Towns Committee Chairman Tom Madden stated “The report acknowledges how well maintained the approach roads to town are but also notes the continuous challenge that the area has in tackling the instances of fly tipping and illegal dumping.”
The Chairman also acknowledged the ongoing financial support of Galway County Council and Pobal.
“We are now reflecting on the achievements to date and have identified three key category areas for improvement; Sustainability: doing more with less, Nature and Biodiversity, Tidiness Litter Control. These aspirations are on the agenda for a tidy towns annual general meeting to be held before year end”, concluded Tom.
Bunowen Bakery welcomed Minister of State Damien English at the opening of their new premises, now located in Derrymullen Industrial Park. They have worked with Galway Rural Development and successfully won funding of €120,000 to purchase new equipment and fit out a state of the art facility.
From humble beginnings in 2017, the bakery was founded by Andy Cavan and his father Danny and operated out of a small retail unit in the village of Ahascragh. The bakery still bakes its original artisan scratch recipes, which have been handed down through the family for generations.
Danny had worked as a Baker in Northern Ireland for over 40 years and these recipes combined with Andy’s knowledge led to Bunowen Bakery offering "40 YEARS OF TRADITIONAL AND ARTISAN RECIPES"
Their products are currently available in 13 counties across the country.
The company has one eye on the future and hope to distribute nationwide including Northern Ireland. They are working with government support to access more equipment, training and, delivery vans to reach their potential.
“The growth and expansion of Bunowen Bakery is a wonderful example of how businesses across the country can grow new markets and create new job opportunities from their local community. I am to meet with Andy Cavan and Seamus Concannon, two enterprising people who are part of our strong SME community who employ over one million people in Ireland.” Stated Minister Damien English .
“As a chef I love going to work each day and working with an excellent team here in Ahascragh and Derrymullen from bakers to drivers, everyone makes the business a success. I would like to thank my father Danny for the family tradition and passion for baking which he has passed onto me” stated Andy at the formal opening .
“We are so fortunate to have access to so many local providers of fresh and premium local produce and all the ingredients used in our baking are sourced locally from eggs to milk, to flour - to printing and packing and more. Our focus is on excellence in food and reliability, and we plan to scale up our business to meet demand and to build the brand across the country. “, explained Andy .
They have grown from a team of three to the current 12 staff and plan to have 20 people working by the end of 2023. They are currently recruiting staff so please do send on CVs for baker, finisher, and bakery assistant. Call 90 964 3798 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Back row - left to right: Rory Curley, Sean O'Rourke, Tom Madden, Sean O'Rourke, Fiona O'Connell, John McHugh, Ivan Colleran, Derick O'Brien Middle row - left to right Paddy Feehily, Gillian Murray, Sarah Whyte, Ornaigh Gavin, Maura Kelly, Mary Kelly, Peter Naughton, Padraic Kilduff Front row - left to right Kathleen O'Shea, Mary Kelly, Carmel Scott, Willie Naughton, Valerie Duffy, Kathleen Feehily, Chrissie Kelly
Moore Community Hall has just recently completed a massive €300,000 plus refurbishment project which was officially unveiled at a Gala evening last Month.
The project, spearheaded by Moore Community Council, has seen a full upgrade of the building, and the provision of a remote working hub and training facility in the South Roscommon Hall to support people from the area working remotely, or accessing training and education courses.
The IT development was made possible by the arrival of fibre broadband via the National Broadband Scheme and boosters are provided throughout the facility. They replaced the floors and the roof and added some new modern office space.
During the renovation they also added a new top of the range playground. The total cost was €325,000. Funding was secured through LEADER, The Just Transition Fund, GRETB, Roscommon County Council, CLÁR, Parish Finance Fund and donations from the local community
The work began in 2019 and it took place in stages. Unfortunately, there was delays in the work due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Hall was officially re-opened on the 23rd of September, by Archbishop Francis Duffy, with formal speeches, presentations, plaque unveiling and tea and sandwiches to follow some local music merriment to celebrate a milestone achievement for the Parish and Community.
Since the re-opening many new classes have taken place and they had a concert with Patrick Feeney which has been a huge success.
Members of the Council are really happy with how the refurbishment turned out. PRO Valerie Duffy stated “When we started out it was meant just to be a small project, but we’ve been successful with funding we applied for which allowed us to create a bigger project. So, we are really delighted with the final outcome and especially when we see so many members of the local community come out and they’ve been very supportive of the final result.”
Members of the community are also very happy with the work that the newly elected Community Council do. They facilitate many groups to use the new look hall for meetings , practices, classes , workshops and entertainment.
Committee Member Carmel Scott said “The re-opening was a wonderful occasion, especially after Covid and it’s wonderful to see everyone here and in particular to have young people here at the opening. It was a wonderful occasion for a small parish in rural Ireland.”
Chairperson Willie Naughton publicly thanked Carmel Scott and Valerie Duffy, who took on the task of applying for all of the grants, and without their “amazing work” the project would not have been completed.
He also praised Archbishop Francis Duffy, who blessed the building, and the speakers on the Gala night Anne Mannion from GRETB, Cllr John Naughten, Tomás Beades and Denise McDonnell from Roscommon Leader Partnership.
Anyone wishing to use the hall should direct their enquiries to 0909673538
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