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Review of Year 2016 January to June.

January 6th, 2017 by Margaret Cushen


Carlow Camogie Volunteer of Year 2015

Congratulations to Mick Lillis, 2 Fair Green, Muine Bheag, who has been chosen as the County Winner of the Camogie Association “Volunteer of the Year” for season 2015, by the Carlow Camogie County Board, Mick is supported by his wife, Claudia, and children Emma, John and Kyle who are very proud of his achievements. Mick is very deserving of this award and his dedication and commitment to the game has encouraged his young players to realise their full potential on the field.  In announcing the winner, Carlow Camogie County Board said that Mick is being recognised for the tremendous dedication that he has shown to camogie, both at club and county level, since the formation of his club in 2011. He works tirelessly for the good of his club through all aspects of the game from administration to coaching. .

The other nominees were Elaine Pollard, Ballinkillen, Maurice Buckley, Burren Rangers, John Joe Martin, Mount Leinster Rangers, Brian Lawler, Naomh Brid, Bridget Doyle, St. Mullins and Adrian Corcoran, Setanta. All nominees will be honoured by Carlow County Camogie Board in due course and Mick will be honoured as County Winner at a function in Croke Park in February


Ned Lyons, Old town, Nurney and St. Lazerian’s House, Bagenalstown; Eileen Martin (nee Birmingham) Tipperary and Ballytarsna and Don O’Rourke, Augha, Nurney.  .

Sponsored Swim/Walk

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Christmas Day Sponsored Swim/Walk in aid of Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care Team. This annual event was organised by the Bagenalstown Branch.   Nine people participated in the swim and over 50 people walked to Dunleckney Manor and back, led by Leon Power. grandson of the late Vera Power, in whose memory the Christmas Day events started 24 years ago.


Joe O’Brien, Fenagh, Declan Nolan, Eastwood. James Keegan Slyguff. The unexpected death of Margaret Condon (nee Farrell, Rhode, Offaly) on Sunday, Jan. 3 came as a great shock to her family, friends and community.    She was predeceased by her husband, Patrick.

Congratulations Molly Nolan

Molly, a 2nd year student at Presentation De La Salle College, Bagenalstown, impressed the judges at the recent BT Young Scientist & Technology Awards in the RDS in Dublin, where she was highly commended for her achievement in raising awareness of scoliosis in children through social media She is also campaigning for scoliosis screening to take place in schools. Molly is 13 years old and was diagnosed with scoliosis of her spine in 2013.  She entered the competition with her project “Scoliosis in Children Molly has set up a website and a Facebook page called “Scoliosis Awareness – Early Detection” to raise awareness about scoliosis to all young people.  This young girl is a credit to her parents, family, school and her community.  Well done, Molly.


Kathleen Murphy, Newtown Village, (formerly Kildrenagh) Bagenalstown, died peacefully in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on January 3, 2016, after a short illness.

Derek Goes to Nashville

Congratulations to Garryhill musician, Derek Ryan, on realising his ambition to record an album in Nashville with one of the industry’s star names.  Derek is now back home and will be performing at venues around the country.


Matt Carey: The death has taken place of Matt Carey, Old Leighlin, Co. Carlow, on January 9, 2016. Matt passed away peacefully at his home, surrounded by his family.

Sports Star of the Year

Congratulations to Ann Marie Meaney, Bagenal Court, Bagenalstown, who was honoured at the 26th GAA Sports Awards held in Mt.Wolseley Hotel on January 16 where she was presented with a Sport Star of the Year Award 2015, for her major contribution to Bagenalstown Rounders Club team’s successes. The very talented players of Bagenalstown Rounders Club are no strangers to awards. The Senior Ladies Team won the All Ireland Championship on August 31, 2015 for the second year in succession – 2014 and 2015.  This is the 5th All Ireland title the girls have won and they were runners up several times. The team has also won several All Star Awards and this year Ann Marie received the award for the third year.

Team members: Ann Marie Meaney, Grace and Clare Gardiner, Melissa Johnson, Angela O’Rourke, Sarah and Helen Foley, Edwina Byrne, Nicola and Elaine Clarke, and Louise Darcy.  The team is trained by Alice Clarke, Barrett Street and two years ago she was joined by Paddy Gardiner, Eastwood.  The club was formed over 20 years ago by Alice Clarke and Mary Curran and they are still very actively involved with the club. Twenty nine year old Ann Marie is a professional wedding singer and songwriter and she and her husband Adam have a four year old daughter, Lucy.


Recent deaths: John Curran (Snr), Curran’s Garage, Carlow Road, Leighlinbridge died peacefully on January 21 at his residence.  .

Ann Moore. Tomduff, Borris, (wife of the late Sonny) died on January 16.

Margaret Byrne,
Donore Lodge, Bagenalstown and Rathmines, Dublin, died on January 23, in the loving care of Eileen and her staff at Beechwood Nursing Home, Leighlinbridge. Margaret was sister of the late Frank Byrne, Donore Lodge and sister in law of Madge (sadly now deceased). Deeply regretted by her loving siser, Nuala, and family.

Sr. Lilian O’Neill

Sr. Lilian 0‘Neill, New Jersey and Coolnacuppogue, Bagenalstown, went to her eternal reward on January 22, at the age of 83, following a short illness, which she suffered with great dignity and courage.  Sr. Lilian was the daughter of the late Michael and Elizabeth O’Neill. Coolnacuppogue, She attended school locally and then travelled to the North of Ireland to prepare to join the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. She moved on to New Jersey where she was professed at St. Michael’s Novitiate in Engelwood, New Jersey in l961 and she lived out her religious life there. Sr.  Lilian trained as a teacher and taught in many of the Order’s schools and was appointed Principal before she retired.  Following her retirement she was appointed Spiritual Director of several of the Order’s nursing homes.  She leaves a legacy of an enthusiastic educator and a caring and compassionate spiritual director. She was laid to rest in New Jersey.

Presentation to Home Care Team

The Bagenalstown branch of Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care Team met in Doyle’s Railway House on Tues. Feb. 9 to present a cheque for €6,040 to the Home Care Team, the proceeds from the annual Christmas Day Swim/Walk and donations, organised by Mary Foster and the members of the local branch.  Committee member Pat Purcell (deputising for Marian Smyth, Chairperson),  welcomed Catherine Quinlan, Nurse/Manager of the Carlow/Kilkenny Home Care Team and said that he was very happy to fundraise for the Team, which he  has done for the past twenty years.  She accepted the cheque on behalf of Mr. Ian Wilson, Chairman of the Team and the nurses, presented to her by Bill Power, 31 St. Brigid’s Crescent, who lost his wife, Vera, to cancer and he has been involved with this fundraising event since it began.

Catherine thanked everyone for their support and said that the Homecare nurses are deeply appreciative of the enormous help they receive from the community in Bagenalstown. In excess of  €100,000 had been raised by the Bagenalstown branch over the years. She said the Home Care Team currently employs five nurses to provide this service on a 24 hour seven day week basis which allows cancer patients to remain at home for as long as possible. Committee :  Chairperson Marian Smyth; Treasurer Joan Jenkinson; Secretary Mary Foster; Committee Pauline Jordan, Geraldine Monahan, Ellie Devine, Maree Keenan, Teresa Kearney, Eileen Carton, Ann Darcy, Una Minchin, Kay Byrne, Pat Purcell, Mary Kearney and Phyllis Ashe.

Marie (Mary)Murphy, Wells, Bagenalstown. died peacefully at her home on February 3,surrounded by her loving family.

Eighty Years Young

Mrs. Elizabeth (Lil) Mahon, (nee Lillis) 5 Pairc Mhuire, Bagenalstown, celebrated her 80th birthday with her family, relatives and close friends in the Lord Bagenal Hotel recently. Lil grew up in No. 65 St. Brigid’s Crescent, with her parents, Michael and Gretta and her siblings – brother Ned Lillis, sisters Bridgie (Kelly) and Nancy (Lawn).  Sadly, Nancy, who lived in Skeoughvosteen, died some years ago. After attending school locally Lil worked as housekeeper in Whites of Eastwood Bagenalstown.  She met her beloved husband, Seamus Mahon, at a dance in the McGrath Hall and  after their marriage they lived with her parents in St. Brigid’s     Crescent until Pairc Mhuire housing estate was completed when they moved to No. 5. They lived happily there for the next 60 years until Seamus went to his eternal reward on August 14, 2014.  Lil and Seamus were blessed with one son, Eamonn, (who sadly died at the early age of 54 on November 8, 2008) and five daughters, Margaret Dalton (Mount Loftus); Elizabeth (Liz) Hickey, Pairc Mhuire; Angela Murphy, Green Road; Deirdre Lillis, St.Brigid’s Crecent and Sharon (Carlow). Lil has 23 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.  Her latest great grandchild was born to her grandson, Niall, in Australia three weeks ago   We wish her God’s blessings and many more years of good health and happiness.


Brigid (Bonnie) 0’Brien (nee Fitzgerald), Pairc Mhuire, Bagenalstown, went to her eternal reward on February 15 in the exceptional care of Bridget and staff at Gowran Abbey Nursing Home, surrounded by her loving family. She was predeceased by her husband, Billy, on March 2, 2015.


Coffee Morning for Feileacain.

A Coffee Morning for Feileacain   – In Memory of Baby Rory Brennan, was held on Saturday, March 12 in Iona Dara, Goresbidge, Co. Kilkenny.  Feileacain (The Stillborth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland) is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to offer support to anyone affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after. Bagenalstown Knitting Group (about 15 in number) form part of the Carlow branch of Feileacain. The ladies produce beautiful work; all garments are white with a lavender trim (for healing).and includes hand knitted blankets, tiny burial gowns, caps, bootees, shawls, teddy bears They are placed in a memory box which also includes a small box for a lock of the baby’s hair, a handmade card for hand and foot prints and a little candle to light in memory of their baby.  This allows parents to create precious memories of their baby and have provided comfort and support to so many parents at a time of intense loss and suffering.

The memory boxes are given free of charge by Feileacain to maternity staff in hospitals to present to parents following the tragic loss of their babies. The Association was founded over fifteen years ago by women who lost their babies and had to cope with devastating pain and sadness on their own at a time when parents who lost a baby were given no recognition or acknowledgment. It offers support to other parents and families who lost a baby by stillbirth, died around the time of birth or within the second trimester of pregnancy. Their work is very much appreciated by the grieving parents and their families.

Public Meeting re Closure of Muine Bheag Vocational School

The McGrath Hall was packed at the public meeting held on March 29 to discuss the announcement that Muine Bheag Vocational School is to close within the next few years. Ms. Cynthia Deane, Chief Executive, Kilkenny and Carlow Education and Training Board was invited to address the meeting. She acknowledged that the school is in danger of closing and understood the sense of shock and disbelief when the news broke.

She said the ETB wants to find a way of starting a conversation with the people of Bagenalstown about the school.  This course of action was proposed because the number of students enrolled in first year and in other courses had fallen sharply and it was clear that we would not be able to offer these students a positive educational experience for the next six years. She told the meeting that many efforts have been made over the past number of years by management and staff to increase the enrolments in the school without success and as of March 10, 2016 there were a possible 11 students who made application for enrolment for first years in September. 2016.

She said it is proposed that the ETB will set up a Task Force within the next week to include representatives of all local stakeholder groups to examine all aspects of the situation in Muine Bheag Vocational School and consider possible solutions for the future. .


Hannah Lawlor (nee Keogh), Market Square, Bagenalstown died on March 10 in the loving care of Eileen and her staff at Beechwood Nursing Home, Leighlinbridge.  Hannah was the wife of the late Paddy and mother of the late Joan.

Off to the All Ireland

Congratulations and well done to the third year business students at Presentation De La Salle College, Bagenalstown who took part in the regional CIMA Business Quiz in Waterford Institute of Technology recently, Presentation De La Salle was represented by three teams on the night. Eoghan Carpenter, Naoise Darcy, Patricia Dunne and Darren Hayden came out on top. These four students will go on to represent the south east region in the All Ireland in the University of Limerick in April 2016.


Edward (Ned) Nevin, 24 Dangan Terrace, Thomastown and formerly of 45 St. Brigid’s Crescent, Bagenalstown died on March 11 after an illness which he fought with great courage and dignity. Ned was a retired member of Thomastown Fire Service. He will be missed by all who knew him and his communities in Thomastown and Bagenalstown.  Lucy Treacy, Willesden, London and Glenaharry (sister of Tommy Quinlisk, Glenaharry); Joe O’Keeffe, Upper Kilree Street, Bagenalstown, who died recently.

Dawn Mass Cancelled this Year

It was with great sadness and disappointment that our Parish Priest, Fr. Declan Foley and Fr. Declan Thompson had to announce the cancellation of this year’s Dawn Mass on Mt. Leinster. In making the announcement Fr. Foley said  “ We have been blessed not to have had any accidents on the mountain since the beginning of the Dawn Mass. However, more and more people have had to withdraw from their marshalling roles and we feel that it would be unsafe and unfair to ask the few people left to take full responsibility for such a vast amount of people on the mountain again this year.  Hopefully this break will give us an opportunity to regroup and recruit more volunteers.


Ellen (Nellie) McEvoy, Barrett Street, Bagenalstown went to her eternal reward on March 22 after a short illness which she faced with great courage and faith in God.   Ellen was predeceased by her husband Jim and son Brendan.

Daffodil Day

A total of €7,310 was collected by the Bagenalstown Branch of Carlow/Kilkenny Homecare Team on Daffodil Day.


Backstairs Cycling Challenge

Congratulations to all the cyclists who took part in the Backstairs Cycling Challenge on Sun. April 19, which started and ended in Ballinkillen. This is the second year that local man, David Connors, has organised this event. Approx. €15,000 was raised and this will be divided between Ballinkillen N.S. the local GAA club and the Jack and Jill Foundation. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped at the event.  The day would not have been such a success without the commitment of all the volunteers working together to get all 400 cyclists out and back safely and, thankfully, all arrived back without as much as a scratch. The event was a fundraiser for Ballinkillen Primary School and Ballinkillen Juvenile Hurling and Camogie clubs.  The day was dedicated to the memory of Eoghan and Ruairi Chada who were students in Ballinkillen School and members of the Juvenile GAA Club.  They will both be always fondly remembered.


Elizabeth “Lil” Nolan, Kilcarrig whose husband, John, died in March. Thomas McDonnell, Rathellen, Leighlinbridge.

Junk Kouture Winners

Congratulations to the three students from Presentation De La Salle College, Bagenalstown, who were recently awarded the title of Southern Regional Winners at this year’s Junk Kouture Fashion Show in the 3 Arena, Dublin. The winning dress,  “You’re Not My Type” was decorated with 3,000 hand painted tabs and designed by Ciara Carew, with Paul Roche and Ellen McDonald with their Art Teacher, Conor O’Brien and aimed to highlight Type 1 Diabetes

Derek Goes to Nashville

Congratulations to Garryhill musician, Derek Ryan, on realising his ambition to record an album in Nashville with one of the industry’s star names.  Derek is now back home and will be performing at venues around the country.

Aero Racing reaches National Final

Aero Racing from Muine Bheag Vocational school, competed at the National Finals of the F1 in Schools competition on April 28 which was held in the RDS Dublin. The team members of Aero Racing are team manager Keith Hickey, design and graphic manager Zak Yongram, resource manager Conor O’Brien and P.R. and business manager Ellen Gill. The National Final consisted of 20 teams from all parts of the country who had qualified from the Regional Finals in February.  The team and model car performed very well on the day, achieving the second fastest time and reaching the semi-final of the knockout racing. The overall winners were Marist College from Athlone .
Credit Union Members’ Draw

Congratulations to Maura Curran, who won €10,000 in the December 2015 Members’ Draw.

Bagenalstown Native dies in Dublin

The Bagenalstown community was sorry to learn of the death of Eamon O’Brien, Clonsilla, Co. Dublin and late of Kilree Street, Bagenalstown, who died in the Mater Hospital on January 13, 2016,  He was 79 years old and had been in failing health since he suffered a stroke three years ago.  Eamon was born in Bagenalstown, went to school locally and lived in Kilree Street, during his youth.  He worked in Connolly’s Bakery before moving to Dublin where he took up employment in the Richmond Hospital before joining the airport police at Dublin Airport. Eamon  is mourned and sadly missed by his beloved wife, Evelyn; sons Jim and Alan, daughters Sandra and Karen;  grandchildren, Lauren, Adam, Liddy and Cian; brothers Tom (Fr. Cummins Park), Pat (Paulstown); sisters Carmel McNally (Upper Kilree Street), Kathleen Geoghegan (Conway Park), Teresa Kelly (Fr. Cummins Park), extended family and many good friends and neighbours.

Good News for Bagenalstown Fire Station

A new funding programme for the construction of 16 new fire stations and refurbishment of 10 fire stations around the country over the next five years was announced by Minister Alan Kelly, T.D., recently.  Muine Bheag Fire Station has been named as one of the ten to benefit from this and will be upgraded/refurbished as part of this programme.


Brigid (Bonnie) 0’Brien (nee Fitzgerald), Pairc Mhuire, Bagenalstown, went to her eternal reward on February 15 in the care of Bridget and staff at Gowran Abbey Nursing Home, surrounded by her loving family, Margaret, Triona, Kieran, Mandy, Oonagh, Rhona and Bill.   She was predeceased by her husband, Billy, on March 2, 2015.  Johnny 0’Neill, Kilgreaney, Paul Foley, Clowater, Peter Carton, Barrett Street.  Jimmy Byrne, Newtown, Elizabeth “Liz” Murphy, Myshall and Gerry Power, London and Kilgreaney.


Queen of the Universe N.S. Skydive

Cathal Cole, School Principal, Catriona Ozun and members of the Parents’ Council will be participating in a Skydive on June 3, in order to raise funds for the school. All donations will be gratefully received and as they say “ The Sky’s the Limit”. The school has an overcrowding problem which results in large class numbers. This, combined with the fact that their recreation hall (now being used as classrooms to facilitate numbers), means that both the children and teachers are prevented from using it for its original intended purposes like music, drama, sports, to name a few.

To help in rectifying the current situation, Catriona has made it her mission to raise as much money as possible to provide the resources and accommodation needed. The reduced class sizes will allow the children to reach their maximum potential individually and as a class. School Principal Mr. Cathal Cole will bravely jump with Catriona and it is their hope that they will raise €10,000 (€1 for every foot they fall. National School” Donations will be gratefully received.

Golden Jubilee

Fr. Pierce Murphy will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving in Ballinkillen Church, Bagenalstown, on Friday, June 24 at 7pm to mark the Golden Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood.

Building Works at St. Andrew’s Parish Church

Competent building contractors have been invited to submit tenders for the carrying out of work to front court yard, including the supply and laying of new paving in accordance with plans and specifications


Brian Cullen, Station Road and Hillview Nursing Home who was interred in Ballinkillen and Johnny Johnson, 60 Fr Cummins Park.

Ballinkillen Hurling Club

The club congratulates Carlow Intermediate Camogie Team on reaching the Leinster Final.  Ballinkillen has eight players on the panel – Niamh Canavan, Antoinette Dowling, Gillian English, Aine Kinsella, Kate Kinsella, Ava Murphy, Teresa Meaney and Eleanor Tracey.  .

Local Girl in Sydney Rose of Tralee Competition

Good luck to Justine Gallagher who was selected last week as one of the ten entrants in the Sydney Rose of Tralee Competition.  The Rose of Tralee international competition is celebrated by Irish communities around the world and is now in its 57th year.  Justine is a daughter of Monica Gallagher, Upper Kilree Street and lived in Bagenalstown before she emigrated to Australia.  Justine’s sister, Averil, also works and lives in Sydney.


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