Ballymore Eustace

Coming up rosy for our Megan

Coming up rosy for our Megan

We knew it was bound to happen, that sooner or later our talented Megan O’Neill would hit the spotlight and last weekend, she did just that by claiming the title Kildare Rose at Killashee House Hotel. Competing against ten other girls, Megan performed Eva Cassidy’s haunting “Fields of Gold” and wowed the judges and the audience who gave her rapturous applause. With brother Aaron home from the UK for the event, parents Aine and Hughie, along with grandmother Maura Murphy went along to support Megan and were ecstatic when she was named the winner.

No one was more pleased than Auntie Gail who is Megan’s official sponsor for the competition. Proprietor of Jenny Vander, an antique clothing and costume jewellery boutique in Drury Street, is already planning Megan’s wardrobe for the regional finals to be held at the Heritage Hotel over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Only 32 Roses can go forward to the final in Tralee in September so fingers crossed, our Megan will be amongst the final line up of international and national competitors.

This week, Megan performed ‘Allelluia’ live on KFM, accompanied by former primary teacher Liam Lawler. Currently completing her BA hons degree in Psychology at UCD, Megan will be appearing at Punchestown in an official capacity and no doubt, the community of Ballymore Eustace will find a few duties for her to perform too! Delighted for her and very proud of her.

Vintage Day

Well Hilary Pallister went dotty, Bridie Loughlin got out the pinafore and pearls whilst Frances Greene opted for the chic look at Naas Country Market’s Vintage Day. Other local ladies included Charlotte Pitt from Eadestown-Rathmore, Trudy Barrett from Coughlanstown, Rhoda Fitzpatrick of Brannockstown, Eleanor Robinson from Poulaphouca and Cathy Fisher, Elverstown, all regular contributors to Naas Country Market which is currently celebrating 60 years. Hilary Gilheaney of Blessington donned a marvelous 1950’s outfit, having made the tweed skirt especially for the occasion with Treasurer Anna Sage (Ballyshannon) definitely sporting the best polka dots on the day!

Sarah Cowley and Frances McGuinness opted for a funky ‘50s dungaree look with singer Karen Plewman sporting a rather stylish French ensemble, complete with beret.

Naas writer and poet Mae Leonard read a selection of poetry in praise of the market’s community service over the years. Young Shea Loughlin attended Michael Darcy’s elegant vintage car outside the Town Hall with teas and confectionery served throughout the morning to say ‘thank you’ to the market’s regular customers. Holding the male side up, was Martin McCallum who donned a suit and Al Capone style hat.

Alzheimers Tea Morning

Alzheimers Tea Morning and Cake Sale will be held on Sunday, 29 April after 10am mass. Please remember those who cannot.

St Vincent’s Auction

The eleventh Annual Charity Auction for St Vincent’s of Athy will take place in Athy GAA Centre on Sunday, April 29. “Your support is, as always, greatly appreciated” says Matron Helen Dreelan who hails from Coughlanstown, Ballymore Eustace. For further information, contact Helen on 087 121 8263.

Yoga classes in Ballymore

A brand new class will be starting in Ballymore Eustace next week. Cost is €70 for a block of six classes, drop-in class is €12.  Yoga instructor, Nuala Keegan, already has a dedicated following of students from Ballymore Eustace so now they can attend at a local venue. Starting 8pm at The Ballymore Inn on Weds, April 25 - contact Nuala at 087  909 0895 or see  

Spring Workshop

A morning workshop - ‘Spring into Summer’ will be held in The Annex, Main Street, Blessington  on Saturday, May 26th - an uplifting  session with core work and spring cleaning the mind.

Positive Parenting Workshops

Punchestown AMI School will host several parenting sessions this month including:

‘How To Communicate Effectively with Children, Birth To Teenage Years’. This will take place on Wednesday ,18 April at 8pm, cost €20. On May 24 at 8pm, proprietor Gaye Mullen will host ‘How To Help Your Child To Read And Write’ at the venue in Baltreacy, near Punchestown, also €20 pp. For further information, call Gaye at 045-874 175, see www.Punchestownmontessori.Org

National First for GFC

A National First For Ballymore GFC. Ballymore Eustace GAA are the first GAA club in Ireland to launch a new venture, an outdoor exercise area specifically designated for senior citizens. In association with BME Senior Citizens Association and Punchestown / MCD / Oxegen Community Donations, they are proud to present this outdoor exercise area, with grateful thanks also to Hudson’s, for discounted cost of concrete supplies.

This is the first such installation at a GAA grounds in the country and the club hopes to have an open day soon to promote the use of the outdoor exercise area and other facilities. BME GFC boasts a tennis and basketball court and a walking track, along with core GAA activities including underage boys and girls football, hurling, mens and ladies football. The club is now introducing “Mothers and Others GAA” following on from the very successful Mammy Mayhem match last year!

“The club operates an ‘open gate’ policy whereby patrons can use the GAA facilities any time during the day and for a few hours at night with lighting provided. It costs money to maintain the facilities so we ask that users of the grounds become club members” said Natasha Graham Halpin, Club PRO. “This will afford everyone concerned the appropriate insurance”.

Volunteers for Raceweek

The club is purchasing a further 4.5 acres to facilitate the growing number of teams and is now looking for stewards to volunteer at Punchestown during raceweek (as a substitute for the loss of Oxegen). This will entail stewarding at a gate or door during racing - a job for which the club gets reimbursed and monies go into the pitch purchase fund. The fund now stands at €30,000 but this is only a small part of the overall amount required. Please contact any committee member to help – your support will be most appreciated!.

Baby News

Congratulations to Megan O’Keefe and Stephen on the birth of their baby boy, who weighed in a chubby 9lb 2 oz. So it’s all go at O’Keefe’s Garden Centre this week as the garden centre re-opened.

Welcome Home

Welcome home to Daragh Meade, Hillcrest, and his girlfriend Joyce who were home from Australia recently to see family and friends.

Ballymore Bugle

The April edition will be on sale from Friday night, 20 April with full coverage of raceweek, fashion, etc. Lots of photographic coverage of recent events and local news and notes

Social Media Skills

Tomas Vircik will give a free presentation on Social Media in the library from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, 21 April. Tomas will advise on how best to utilise social media as a business and marketing tool. See or phone 085 100 4297.

Ballymore Gigs

Mick Murphy’s is the venue, 9pm start for Ballymore Gigs’ April line-up. Monday, April 23 sees Pat Coldrick, Irish virtuoso classical guitarist perform. Pat is accomplished in his playing, having studied classical guitar and plays a varied repertoire of original pieces, interpretations of well known songs and classical standards, admission €12.

Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart (USA) take centre stage on Monday, April 30. Both former ‘Dukes’ (Steve Earle & The Dukes), this husband and wife duo are as Americana as it gets, playing a blend of blues, folk, roots, country, rock in smooth vocal harmonies, admission tbc.

Ballyknockan Band Fest

Ballyknockan, on the banks of Blessington lakes, will host an unique music event over the May Bank Holiday weekend.  The ‘Band Fest’ will consist solely of musicians and bands formed by musicians who originate in the area, from the parish of Valleymount and surrounds. There will be around fourteen bands, some of whom are starting out with up to six or seven well established band such as Glyder and After Dark, who are known the length and breadth of Ireland. Rock bands, heavy metal, middle of the road bands and traditional musicians all included.

The weekend is being run in conjunction with The Hillbilly Tractor Run organisers who, this year will be raising funds for Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin and some local causes. They will be selecting their Hillbilly Festival Queen on the Sunday night and she will preside over the preparations for the Hillbilly Festival which takes place on the last Sunday of the month, June 24. This is the first time that efforts have been made to gather the vast wealth of musical talent in the area and local publican Liz Cullen and her brother John are very excited about launching this new aspect to the festival.

Les Mis on stage

Kilcullen Drama Group are presenting Les Miserables, the play, by Victor Hugo, from 13 - 21 April.  Directed by Mischa Fekete with a cast of 30 members, nightly performances are at 8 pm sharp.  Tickets 045 481 497 - book early to avoid disappointment