Leitrim Connection June 08

Gerry Bohan

Leitrim Invades New York
An estimated 2600 Leitrim people traveled to New York for the New York versus Leitrim Championship clash in mid May. It was the first time in five years that the Leitrim team played in 'the big apple'. Most of the traveling supporters, having gotten an excellent exchange rate on the dollar, had a hectic week of socializing and shopping in 'the city that never sleeps'. While some fans, with a few non-fans thrown in for good measure, stayed with relatives and friends in various parts of the city, many stayed in the hotels, such as the Milford Plaza, among the skyscrapers of Manhattan.

Just like the last visit in 2003, Leitrimites thronged to the bars of McLean Avenue in Yonkers, such as McKeons, Fagans and Ned Devines. Both Clarkes and Rory Dolans hosted official functions during the week, while downtown in-Manhattan bars, such as The Playwright, Rosie O'Gradys and The Mean Fiddler, became regular haunts for people from various parts of County Leitrim. Smiths Bar and Restaurant did a roaring trade in traditional Irish breakfasts.

On the Friday evening before the big game, a traveling team from Aughnasheelin played local side Astoria Gaels in a challenge match in Gaelic Park in the Bronx. After the game, both teams enjoyed a social get-together in the Gaelic Park Community Center with Bornacoola man, Fergal McGill, supplying the musical entertainment. Yes, that is the very same Fergal McGill who is also a top officer with the G.A.A. as well as being Bornacoola goalkeeper.

Among the traveling contingent from Mohill, which included yours truly, was Martin 'Terry' McDermott, who enjoyed his stag party on the trip, while a number of Mohillians enjoyed a visit or two to the Slainte Bar in Manhattan, and the hospitality of its hosts, Mohill natives Patrick and Garrett Rogers.

The match itself, in Gaelic Park in the Bronx, saw Leitrim score a comfortable enough 0-17 to 0-6 victory over the hosts, with Emlyn Mulligan who scored 0-11 out of his team's total, getting his hands on the Man of the Match Award. The game also saw brother take on brother as Leitrim's Michael Foley faced his brother Alan, who was part of the New York side. Other Leitrim natives on the New York side were Johnny Goldrick and Sean Munnelly.

Leitrim Welcomes the President of Ireland
The President of Ireland, Mary McAleese received a warm welcome from the people of lovely Leitrim when she visited the county during the month of May to perform two official duties. The President's first port of call was Mohill where she officially opened the new Leitrim Association for People with Disabilities Centre on Station Road in the town. After being welcomed by the chairman of the association, Tommy Murphy, the President unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion. Her next stop was at Carrick-On-Shannon Golf Club where she opened the club's new course.

O'Carolan Trail Launched
In glorious sunshine, county council chairperson, Damien Brennan of Cloone, launched the newly sign posted O'Carolan Trail in Mohill recently. The trail highlights various locations in Counties Leitrim and Roscommon associated with the famous harpist and composer, Turlough O'Carolan. The event was part of the second Annual O'Carolan Weekend Festival in Mohill.

Kilargue Soldiers Remembered
A memorial will be officially unveiled in Kilargue this summer to remember the local men who lost their lives fighting in World War I and World War II.

Carrick Singer Launches Debut EP
Carrick lad Daire Taylor launched his debut EP (Extended Play) titled 'Hidden Maps' in his hometown during May at the 'Basement'. Daire's American idols are Bob Dylan, Bruce Springstein and Neil Young and, indeed, he has recently played in subway stations in 'the city that never sleeps', New York.

Hopes High for Rinn (Rynn) River Project
Hopes are high for the Rinn River Project to go ahead shortly. The aim of the project is to traffic boats from the Shannon to the Rinn River and thus boost tourism in the Mohill Area.

Sex and The City Local Premier Sells Out in Record Time
Tickets for the Carrick Cineplex premier of 'Sex and the City', the movie, were sold out in double quick time. Those lucky enough to secure tickets were treated to pink champagne on arrival, and goodie bags were handed out as well. The demand for tickets was mostly from the women of the county and was unprecedented. Tickets were actually sold out before the premier date was finalized.

King of Clubs
Dutch anglers descended on County Leitrim during the month of May for the 'King of Clubs' fishing tournament which was held over a four day period in five different lakes in the county. This is the fourth year that the competition has taken place. The event is run by the Dutch Media Angling Outlet Beet Magazine. First prize was a Diahatsue car worth 20,000 euros. The biggest overall weight caught in one day was a massive 21.4kg which was caught in Lough Rynn by the winner, J.W. Plekkenpol.

Mooney for Europe

Drumshanbo man and former Fainna Fail Senator, Paschal Mooney, has expressed an interest in competing in this year's European elections.

4Home Superstore Opening
4Home Superstore in Carrick-On-Shannon celebrated its official opening with a four day party extravaganza over the May bank holiday weekend.

St. George's Visitor and Heritage Centre Opens
The St. George's Visitor and Heritage Centre in Carrick-On-Shannon opened its doors to the public over the June bank holiday weekend. This new project includes a very modern visitor center that houses state of the art audio-visual facilities. Beside the visitor center, the recently renovated St. George's Church contains a display of artifacts. The church was built in 1827 and has been restored into a multi-purpose facility serving the needs of the community.

Freak Storm at Lough Errill

A very localized and freak storm hit the Lough Errill area just a few miles from Mohill town on the evening of Sunday, May 17th. The storm saw massive hail stones cause some damage in the area with roofs and a boat being damaged. Torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightning also caused flooding in the area.

G.A.A. Connacht Senior Championship
Leitrim 0 - 17 New York 0 - 6

Leitrim Senior Footballers and many of their supporters made the long trek to New York for a first round Connacht Senior Football game with New York and came home victorious courtesy of a fairly comfortable 0-17 to 0-6 victory over the host side. On this occasion, the New York side was made up exclusively of Irish emigrants. The game took place at the host team's headquarters Gaelic Park, which is situated in the Bronx area of the city. Leitrim's Emlyn Mulligan, who scored a whopping 0-11 points of his side's final total, received the Man of the Match Award after the contest.

Connacht Junior Final
Roscommon 2-10 Leitrim 0-3

Leitrim's Junior Footballers lost out to fierce local rivals Roscommon in the recent Connacht Junior Final on a 2-10 to 0-13 score following a closely fought encounter that went to extra time.

Connacht Post Primary Schools First Year Final
Glenmaddy 4-14 Ballinamore 5-6

Ballinamore P.P.S. lost out to their Glenmaddy, Co. Galway, counterparts in the Connacht school's first year final, which was played in glorious sunshine at Orchard Park in Elphin recently, following a high scoring encounter, 4-14 to 5-6. The Leitrim school included Michael Doonan and Niall Mulvanerty who had but just arrived back from New York a couple of hours before the game. Jet lag did not appear a problem as Doonan bagged 1-4 of his side's total and young Mulvanerty weighed in with 1-1.

Leitrim Observer Sports Star Awards
The inaugural Leitrim Observer Sports Star Awards ceremony took place at the Landmark Hotel in Carrick-On-Shannon recently. Overall winner was Colm Griffin from Ballinamore, a top class athlete who is Beijing bound for the Olympics. Other award winners were: January - Adrian Croal - Gaelic Football; February - Vernon Gilmore - Soccer; March - Colin Griffin; April - Claire Plunkett - Ladies Football; May - Fergal Ellis - Athletics; June - Noel Plunkett - Gaelic Football; July - Shane Flanagan - Gaelic Football; August - Ryan O'Rourke - Gaelic Football; September - Ann Marie Cox - Ladies Gaelic Football; October - Michelle Beirne - Race Walking; November - Laura O'Dowd - Athletics; December - Thomas McDonald - Soccer.

Soccer McSharry-Foley Cup Final
Cartron United 3 - Carrick Town 1

Leitrim side, Carrick Town, lost out to Sligo side, Cartron United, on a 3 - 1 score in the McSharry-Foley Cup Final played in Sligo recently. Ian McGreevy was the Carrick's side goal scorer.

Sligo-Leitrim Under-16 Final
Manor Rangers 2 - Merville United 1

Leitrim's Manor Rangers from Manorhamilton challenged the Sligo Team's Merville United in the Sligo-Leitrim Under-16 decider, which took place in the show grounds in Sligo recently. A goal five minutes from the end of extra time from P.P. O'Hara proved decisive.

Carrigallen Vocational School Under-14 team captured a Connacht Badminton title recently when they challenged Mayo's Westport in the final. The victorious team, which is coached by Nicola Moran, consists of Niamh O'Malley, Pamela Graham, Blaithin O'Donoghue and Lucy Ann McDermott.

Carrick's rowing club Squad Scull women's novice team continued their unbeaten run when they were winners of their event at the Portora Regalia in Enniskillen. The squad consists of Shana Patterson, Edel McWeeney, Adrianne Bolton, Louise Murray and Conor Cunniffer.

Young Mohill Soccer Star
Keith Beirne was recently awarded the Longford District Schoolboy-Girl Under-10 Player of the Year accolade. Keith plays soccer with Mohill United and also plays Gaelic football for Mohill at Under-12 and Under-14.

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