August 22nd 2001
Chronicles of William II
Speaking from the altar in Clar last Saturday evening, Fr. Peoples informed the congregation that, because of difficulty in finding a replacement to facilitate his expected move to town, he would, for the foreseeable future, be covering both churches, St. Patricks and St. Agathas. There is, at the moment, something of a shortage of Reverends in the parish. Fr. McShane is gone, Canon Trimble retires next week, the Rev. Watson (left) is leaving, and now Fr. Peoples is not being replaced. This certainly will stretch the capacity of the remaining ecclesiastics to cover sick calls, births, marriages, deaths and all the other services these good people provide.
Splits started to appear in hitherto bonded ranks when Minister Coughlan delivered herself of a lecture to the MacGill Summer School in Glenties. Mary declared the Irish a nation of drunkards who, when under the influence, regularly fight, beat up their spouses, crash cars, miss work and, worst of all, fall down.
However this description of the populace did not please Cllr Peter Kennedy who was wheeled on to the Tommy Marren Show to answer these serious charges. He declared the Minister greviously out of order and said she was wrongly tarring everyone with the one brush. Kennedy added that Ms Coughlan was part of a government that had extended pub opening hours - a fact that had contributed to the big increase in young drinking.
When you see the usually rock solid Fianna Fail hierarchy breaking ranks to criticise each other, you start to suspect that the old one-voice party is starting to splinter in Donegal South. All this follows the revelations by Cross-Bencher in our last issue that Cllr Sean McEniff did not support constituency colleague Kennedy in his bid to get elected on to the North Western Health Board. With a general election looming in the Spring there are interesting times ahead.
When Eamon Duffy took the old sock from the top of his wood out at Murvagh last Sunday, the rest of his foursome, Liam Kelly, Donal Boyle and Dan McKeever, paid little attention. But when the Main Street restaurateur unleashed a mighty drive 250 yards straight down the fairway, alarm bells started to ring. What had transformed this usually erratic tee-man into a budding Tiger Woods? Was it his stance, was it his swing, was it the way he addressed the ball, was it a feed of cod and chips the night before?
Using all the detecting powers gathered from a life time in the force, ex-garda Sergeant Kelly found the answer at the next hole. As Eamon once more uncovered his driver, Liam spotted an unfamiliar logo glinting in the sun and the game was up. Without the courtesy of informing his partners, Mr. Duffy had purchased a new high-tech set of clubs which he was attempting to camouflage by using the old covers. This has left his golfing partners with a painful and potentially expensive problem. Having themselves only recently invested in new hardware to catch up with Eamons previous purchase, they will now to fork out again or remain at a disadvantage while the Annagry man struts around the course flashing his prestigious Hawk Eyes.
Ran into Big Eamon Monaghan a few weeks ago - down to host his annual social night for the people of the Mountcharles area. He told me that the benefit night for Butch Moore had been a great success with the magnificent sum of £62,000 collected.
Was also speaking to another of the old showband stars, Frankie McEnhill, home on holidays with wife Pam (left). Said he couldnt agree with our own J.R. as regards the quality and value of meals in the area. Frankie told that he and Pam had dined out regularly since arriving and found the standard of the meals very high and the cost reasonable. He commended in particular Williams in the Central and the Village Tavern in Mountcharles.
I believe the same Frankie, performing under his Prince Vince hat, was a big hit at the Eamon Monaghan Do mentioned above. Another guest star on the night was the inimitable Paddy Cole. Could you beat that for an array of talent!
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO....
Did any of you notice during some of the G.A.A. Championship matches a sign held by a fan behind one goal that simply said John 3:17. Curiosity getting the better of me. I contacted Canon Harry Trimble. This is the text: For God did not send his son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The Rev. Trimble said this man with his message appears at many a high profile sporting occasions when the cameras are present. Well maybe it works. It made me look it up!
SHIFTING THE lbs
Our Walker of the Year Michael Kelly Snr. shouldnt have to look too far if he needs advice on the physical activity front. In a recent edition of the Democrat, daughter, Deborah Lacey, wrote half a page on The Importance of Exercise. Having just spent a fortnight enjoying the exotic culinary delights of Florida, the Malin man could do worse that study and absorb his off-springs sound advice.
Over the years, if someone mentioned Terence in conversation you never had to ask Which Terence? or Terence Who? There was only one Terence - a larger than life personality known far beyond the precincts of his native Donegal.
Though a relative latecomer to the area, Terence OCallaghan was one of the towns more distinctive characters. Good humoured, kind hearted, cantakerous, cultivated, infuriating, good company - choose whichever - the one thing that can certainly be said - he was never boring. As Im sure many of his bridge partners would confirm, he was a man known to speak his mind. Not a person to do things by halves, Terence lived life to the full, even, I suspect, towards the end when he knew his health was not good. Terence knew only one way to go - forward - full steam.
The strange thing - Terence always seemed to have been around - even when he wasnt - if you know what I mean. For at least half of my life he would have been a resident of Letterkenny - yet I seem to have always known him. Even in those early days when he was working as a medical rep there was something different that made you notice. But it was when he came to take over Biddys on the death of his Aunt Rose that Terence really became part of the locality.
But the publicans life was not for him. Having run Biddys for some years, Terence once again changed direction. Having always enjoyed a gamble - in a poacher turned game-keeper type shunt - Terence became a bookie.
And this was his final move. He bought his house at Mountcharles, played bridge, held forth in various hosteleries and preached the testament according to Terence. In an era in which personalities are few and far between, Terence was one who will be sadly missed in this locality and beyond.
August and September this year are months in which there is a three week gap between the fourth Wednesday of one and the second Wednesday of the other. This means you will have a longer wait than usual for your next Donegal Times. We here at the paper are going to avail of the opportunity to take holidays. So from Wednesday 22nd August at 2pm. till Monday 3rd September the Times Office will be closed. If you wish to drop in anything do so to Forget-Me-Not, The Craft Shop downstairs. Fax: 22937 or email: email@example.com. The next issue of the paper will be on sale Tuesday 12th September.
The poor holiday makers, whatever did they do this dreadful summer? Can you imagine the average family, staying B & B, looking out of the window of a morning to see, once again, incessant rain streaming down. What are their options in a town with no indoor facilities - no cinema, no bowling alley, no karting, no swimming pool, no theatre, no museum, no playground - with maybe one restaurant open after 9.30pm. and hardly any functioning on a Sunday.
Not taking away from the admirable Waterbus, Castle and Railway Centre - but how much time can these hold kids attention - a good morning could wipe out all three. The only hope is that the new developments mooted for Revlin and Drumlonagher will contain some of the above elements - but when will these projects begin?
Among the deaths since our last issue was that of Harry Harvey. One night (morning) after a cabaret in the ballroom, a whole crowd, as usual, repaired to the Olde Bar for a session. Among these was Brendan Grace who had headlined the night and the group that supported him, The Brannigans. Anyway, as often happened on those occasions, a sing-song started with most, including the professionals, doing their party piece. When it came to Harrys turn he stood up and sang Bridge Over Troubled Water. For a split second after he finished there was silence - then tumultuous applause. I remember Brendan Grace going over and telling him he had never heard anything like it. Geraldine Brannigan, who later married Phil Coulter, told Harry he should be in show business - she was convinced he could make a name for himself. An immense talent, undiscovered except by those of us lucky enough to hear and see him in plays, choir or shows. And not just a good singer, but an excellent actor whose presence greatly enhanced the local dramatic scene. His death at such an early age has deprived the community of a talented, kind and obliging presence, one that will be sadly missed by his family and many friends.
THANKS TO JOEL AND ROISIN
Met Johnny Murphy the other day and he asked that he be allowed space to say how much he had enjoyed meeting Joel Meehan and wife Roisin when they called to his home while back on holidays last month. Johnny also wishes to express his appreciation to Joel for his kind gift. I too must thank Joel and Roisin for their good wishes and the bottle left in the Times Office. Joel, it has been well sampled and very much enjoyed.
JUST A FEW MILES OUT!
Leaving on Sunday next to sail with the Asgard from Cobh to Mullaghmore is local businessman Maurice Timony. I just hope he is not the navigator. A few years ago the same Maurice with a switched-on local crew decided to voyage to the north-west of France. Off they went from Mullinasole and after a few stormy days landed on the other side. But when the sailors tried to parlez-vous with the natives they were surprised to find that many did not seem to understand. The reason for this soon became clear - our intrepid boys had docked in Cornwall, England instead of Brest!
We at Donegal Times were very disappointed that Fine Gael stalwarts Jackie McMullin, Phonsie Nolan, Jimmy McGroary et al didnt deign to bring their party leader over to meet the hard working staff of the countys most influential newspaper, when he visited town last Friday afternoon. For over an hour Mr. Michael Noonan swanned about the Diamond, chased by the above mentioned busy trying to entice members of the public to shake the great mans hand. But, despite being at times no more than 20 yards from this office - no visit. Well have to hold over the questions we had prepared to whenever Bertie comes back. He wont miss the publicity opportunity.
Foreground: Jim White, Dinny McGinley, Michael Noonan, Phonsie Nolan. Background: Jimmy McGroary and Colm Gallagher
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