Ballymore Eustace

Ballymore Goes Racing

Ballymore Goes Racing

The Heavens opened, it was cold and windy and oh, so wet – but the Ballymore connection to Punchestown runs deep in our veins and despite the lack of a street festival or even a bar extension, locals made it to the races. Megan O’Neill, this year’s Kildare Rose was invited by Dick O’Sullivan to sing “Ámhráin na bhFiann” and officially open this year’s festival on Tuesday 24th. Accompanied by her mum Áine and little sister Ella, the radiant Rose enjoyed the fuss and was back later in the week for further duties.

On Wednesday 25th, GAA veteran, Kevin Burke read a poem “The Races at Punchestown”. When many feared braving the elements, the spritely 85 year old, accompanied by his daughter Mary Dwyer of Leixlip, was invited by soccer supreme Niall Quinn to join him and guests in their QSAT suite as the Quinn and Burke families have connections going years back.

As for the feisty Perfectos, a Ballymore gang of mature ‘fashionistas’ who head racing every year, the style was somewhat different last week - the stilettos and high heels were swapped for wellies; instead of fascinators and hats, the ladies opted for scarves and shawls!

But the mission to enjoy raceweek was not dampened by the heavy rainfall and birthday girl, Jackie O’Neill led the possé, donning animal print wellies – hardly surprising when she runs a boutique named ‘Boa Boa’! On returning to Paddy’s that evening, she was greeted with a birthday cake, comprising of fifty tea cakes, topped with pink daisy icing, made by confectioner Sandra Butler.

Missing from action this year was Tom Nugent and his twin Der was lost without him; best wishes to Tom who will be home shortly and back on Punchestown turf as soon as he can!

Juvenile Badminton Tournament

Ballymore Eustace Junior Badminton Club will host their annual club tournament at Ryston, Newbridge on Sunday, 13 May from 11am to 4pm. Junior awards will take place at 1pm, senior awards at 3.30pm approximately. Sixty nine members (split into 6 groups) from 5 to 17 years old will compete against each other in fun games and matches over three courts. Parents and all members of the public are invited to come at any time on the day with free tea, coffee and snacks served and lots of laughs guaranteed. Enquiries please to Laura at 087 821 8566.

Trumpets sound for Tom

It was double celebrations for Tom O’Rourke last week as he and wife Rita celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Monday, 23 April. Tom celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, 1 May and was treated to a personal performance by the Ballymore Eustace Wolfe Tone Brass & Reed Band! Now residing at St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Athy, Tom was surprised by the visiting band who decided to honour their former member and lifetime supporter. Joined by Rita and many of their children plus the extended family and visiting band members, Tom had quite a day on Sunday. Congratulations and best wishes to Tom and Rita.

Players needed urgently

Ballymore Eustace Brass & Reed Band currently recruiting new members - some experience preferable, contact us for further details Flute players needed urgently.

Sheep Shearing and Jedward

Yes, Readers, Jedward will appear at the All Ireland & International Sheep Shearing weekend to be held at Punchestown Racecourse over the June bank holiday weekend. The pop twins will appear on Sunday, June 2 from 11am, not for a performance but simply to meet some of their rural fans! The weekend promises a feast of family entertainment amidst a busy schedule of serious farming business, i.e. sheep shearing and wool handling competition at international level. There will also be sheep dog trials, trade and craft stands, pet’s corner, dog show plus Leinster Tug of War championships.

For the kiddies, there’s bouncy castles, funfair, Hamster Zorbing, RSA Simulater and for the more adventurous, a Bungee Trampoline. Live musical performers include The Willoughbys and Crystal Swing. That’s all happening on June 2 and 3 – check out

FAO Farmers and Agri Sector

The International Sheep Shearing festival is now in its 60th year and is one of Ireland’s premier agricultural, country and family festivals. This year’s event is hosted by Hollywood GAA and Hollywood national school’s Parent’s Association. The committee is still accepting exhibitors at excellent rates, check out the website or contact any of the followings: Lucy Mooney 087 684 6439 or Tom Coyne on 087 250 5651.

Indoor exhibitors will be housed in the Punchestown Event Centre or Punchestown Pavilion with several options available.

Pedestrian Safety at Scoil Mhuire

Cllr Mark Wall has welcomed the announcement that €75,000 has being allocated to improve pedestrian safety in the vicinity of Ballymore Eustace primary school. The allocation will allow for a design to be completed around the school to include a possible pedestrian crossing, footpath upgrade and road markings. The money was allocated by the Minister for State at the Department of Transport.

The late Noel Cullen,RIP

Sadly, Noel Cullen of Bishophill, Ballymore Eustace died last week. Somewhat of a character, Noel recently celebrated his 80th birthday with family and friends. He will be missed by siblings Pearl, Ettie and Tom, sister in law, nieces and nephews and the extended family circle. Son of the late Michael and Esther and brother of the late Mary, Noel died peacefully at Naas Hospital. The late Noel Cullen, may he rest in peace, amen.

The late Jack Hinch, RIP

The death occurred of John (Jack) Hinch, father of Maria Murphy. A native of Slade, Saggart, Jack died peacefully, at home and is predeceased by his late wife Nancy who died during the past year. The local GFC would like to offer sincere condolences to Maria and her sisters Bríd, Patricia and brother Liam. Also to sisters Bertha and Connie, daughter and sons-in-law, grandchildren, brother-in-law, extended family and friends. The late Jack Hinch, may he rest in peace, amen.

Girls Juvenile GFC

Congratulations to BME girls U14 team who beat Moorefield 3 06 to 3 04 last month and also, Nás na Rí 7 03 to 1 03 on April 19. The local side gave a very good display in both games and the team is now in the semi-final, opponents and venue yet to be confirmed.

Hurling Heroes

Congratulations also to four lads from Ballymore Eustace who reached the U14 Féile hurling final against Leixlip last Saturday in St Conleth’s Park, Newbridge. The Ballymore hurlers were: Aaron Deegan, Mark Barrett, Caolan Halpin Graham and Robbie Noone, who amalgamated with Éire Óg as neither club had sufficient numbers to field a full squad (results next week).

Longstone Pet Farm

Longstone Pet Farm are hosting a bring and buy sale on Sunday, May 13 from 10am – 1pm. Now a selling point of lay hens, no dogs, cats or hooved animals may be sold on the day.

Stonebrook Pet Farm

Stonebrook Pet Farm at Coughlanstown West will re-open on 5 May, between 2-5pm every weekend until the end of August. Weekday group tours and private parties can be arranged by appointment. Children and adults can visit their favourite furry and feathered friends in the beautiful setting of Stonebrook Farm. There’s Elf and Snowy the ponies, Podge and Rodge the Kune Kune pigs, Albert and Chopin the Alpacas and the latest attraction, Rumpole the Pot Bellied pig with goslings and chicks to hold, and children can collect eggs from the hen house.

They can feed this year’s spring lambs, and meet John and Edward the pygmy goats, the calves and the Soay sheep. There’s a spacious play area and refreshments available from the kitchen café. Cost for a fun-filled visit is €8 per child, €4 for adults. Prices for weekday tours and parties available on request. The farm will host themed fun days throughout the summer – see details on Facebook or www For information or bookings, call Jackie on 086-266 1720.

Alzheimers at the Library

Blessington Library staff is busy brewing up an Alzheimer’s Tea Party on Thursday, May 3 from 10 am to 1pm. You may sample home made goodies, listen to creative writers reading their work, and view our knitter’s beautifully crafted Tea Cozies.  Come along and enjoy the Café Style atmosphere while seeing what your library has to offer.

Free Wi-Fi – At the Library

We are delighted to announce that we now provide a free Wi-Fi service to library customers.  Blessington Library now offers free wireless access (Wi-Fi) at all times when the libraries are open.  Getting online is quick and easy, and best of all there are no session time limits or restrictions.  All you need is a wireless-enabled device, such as a laptop, iPad or SmartPhone. 

The Library gets theatrical!

As part of the Bealtaine Festival (celebrating creativity in older age), Blessington Library is delighted to play host to Carnation Theatre on Wednesday, 30 May at 2.15pm. The latest sing-along offering is an hilarious murder mystery entitled “Death on the Tiles”.  The audience will be transported to exotic Egypt under the shadows of the Pyramids. Visual and other sensual delights will tickle the imagination; attendees will feel the warm Sahara breeze on their skin, smell the aroma of spices from far-away lands and interact with a host of farcical characters who find themselves in this location. Someone is a murderer and someone will be murdered. Find out whodunit, whytheydunit and howtheydunit. Let Audience decide!

Ballymore Bugle

The April edition is now on sale with full coverage of local news, regular columnists and sports. Lots of photographic coverage of recent sporting events . Copy deadline for May edition is Wednesday, May 16. Email copy to or; earliest submission secures inclusion.

Yoga classes

A brand new class will be starting in Ballymore Eustace next week. Cost €70 for 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

Cardiac Screening

BME GFC is trying to organise a heart screening programme for members aged 14yrs - 35yrs for Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. The cost is €45 per person. Anyone interested should contact Michelle Waters on 087 797 3454 to book a place. A minimum of 35 people is required for screening to take place.

Ballymore Eustace Golf Society

Ballymore Eustace Golf Society ‘s next outing will be in Coollattin on May 19 and then the Smurfit Course at the K-Club on June 21 to celebrate the society’s 21st anniversary. Cost: €50 for fully paid up members, €60 for visitors including breakfast followed by an evening of celebration in Paddy’s.

Two Bingo Jackpots

Bingo is held at The Resource Centre every Wednesday at 8pm with two jackpots, currently valued at €4,100 and €750 respectively. All proceeds in aid of the Resource Centre.

Car Boot Sale

Car boot sale will be held on May 13th at St Kevin’s Community Hall, Blessington, from 8am - 4pm. Cars €12, vans €17, proceeds in aid of Blessington & District Day Care Centre.

Parenting Courses

Parenting courses will be held at Punchestown AMI School at Baltreac near Punchestown. ‘How To Communicate Effectively With Children Birth to Teenage Years’ will be held on Wednesday, 16 May at 8pm and ‘How To Help Your Child To Read And Write’, cost €20, will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 8pm. Pre book now, call Gaye Mullen at 045-874 175 or gma