Leitrim Connection Sept 08

Gerry Bohan
Leitrim Says No
Leitrim, in common with the rest of the country, voted 'No' to the proposals of 'The Lisbon Treaty' during June. This was a hard pill to swallow for the two major political parties, Fainna Fáil and Fainna Gáel, who both canvassed the voters for a 'Yes' vote. This was a great result for the Republican Party, Sinn Feín, who called for a 'No' vote. It would appear that a lot of people, both locally and nationally, were confused resulting in a 'No' vote.

Norah's Winning Streak
Cloone's Norah O'Connor was the lucky winner on R.T.E. television's game show 'Winning Streak' in May. Lucky Norah scooped 25,000 Euros which, as the locals say, will be handy for shopping.

Lovely Leitrim on the Double
Leitrim will certainly be well represented at this year's Miss Ireland competition. The county's official representative is Laura Julian but neighboring Miss Longford, Edwina Cahill, hails from Carrick-On-Shannon.

Rose of Tralee Competitor's Leitrim Connection

One of the participators in this years' famous Rose of Tralee contest has a very strong Leitrim, and more specifically, Mohill connection. Representing Rosscommon will be twenty year-old Cathrina O'Connor, daughter of Tom and Agnes O'Connor from Fourmilehouse. Her mother, Agnes, is formerly Agnes Mulligan from Hyde Street in Mohill. Cathrina's uncle, Tom, is a well know local councilor, while another uncle, Padraig, lives just outside of Mohill in the Parish of Gortleteragh.

Leitrim Man Selected as Rose of Tralee Escort

Leitrim man Derek Burns, who hails from Carrick-On-Shannagh, has been selected as an escort for this years' famous Rose of Tralee Festival. Sales representative Derek is one of the thirty-one lucky Irishmen to have the honor of escorting a Rose this year.

Young Musician of the Year

Lisa Ward from Aughnasheelin was recently chosen as the John McKenna Young Musician of the Year following the competition held at the Annual McKenna Traditional Music Weekend in Drumkeeran.

Multimillion Euro Drumcoura Development

The green light has been given to the development of a multimillion euro hotel and leisure complex at Drumcoura Lake. The new leisure center will replace the existing horse riding arena and will include a seventeen meter swimming pool, two handball courts, a gym, an indoor soccer pitch and parking for one hundred cars. The equestrians will have a new roofed horse riding arena and walker pen. This new venture is hoped to create about sixty new jobs, a much needed boost for the area.

Special Endeavor Award for Mohill Man

Mohill man, Tommy Murphy, was the overall winner at the Special Endeavor Awards night held at the Cloone Community Center recently. Wheelchair bound Tommy is chairman of the LAPWD, Leitrim Association of People With Disabilities, which recently opened in Mohill.

Film Crew Hits Mohill

It was very much a case of 'lights, camera, action' in the Mohill area recently as Mohill native, Catherine Lynch, and her film crew descended on the area to begin filming for Catherine's upcoming TV series. It was hot and steamy in Carrolls Pub one Saturday evening as mud wrestling scenes were shot between Catherine's new character, Liz Bean, and a fellow actress. Local actor, Padraig McLoughlin, was cast as emcee and referee for the event. The following day filming took place in the local G.A.A. park with the Mohill Ladies team taking center stage. Liz is cast as a trainer of a ladies G.A.A. team in the upcoming show. The comic also visited various business premises in her native town and was seen driving around Lough Rynn Hotel on an old Honda 50. The Mohill girl caused a storm earlier in the year with her first TV series 'Working Girls'. The new series is due to appear on our screens in the autumn.

Big Change on the Mohill Landscape

As I write, a big change is taking place on the Mohill landscape. The building formerly known as Booth's Garage and more recently, Heuston Station, is being demolished to make way for a new supermarket and car park. The building has, in recent years, housed a shop with adjacent petrol pumps. During the past number of years, the Baxter family have owned the premises and are behind this latest venture.

Windfall for Glencar Waterfall

The well know Glencar Waterfall is to receive significant funding for improvements under the Tourism Infrastructure Fund. A coach park will be installed, while restoration work will be carried out on the existing pathway. It is also proposed to develop a walk on the nearby 'Bog Road' leading to a viewing point above the waterfall.

Landmark Hotel Wins Award

Carrick's Landmark Hotel, which is owned by Mohill natives John and Ciaran Kelly, was one of thirteen tourism establishments honored at the recent Failte Ireland Awards (Irish Welcome Awards).

New Facilities at Local Libraries
New facilities to help the visually impaired have been installed in libraries in Mohill, Ballinamore, Drumshanbo and Manorhamilton. Material is placed on the scanning machine and translated word for word into speech.

Award for Drumshambo Business

Northwest Marketing of Drumshanbo recently picked up the overall prize for local enterprise within the county. The company will now go forward to represent Leitrim at the National Enterprise Awards.

Improvements for Carrick

The parking area at the 'man and boy' statue at Boathouse Bay in Carrick Town will be upgraded by the end of this year.

Dubliners for Wild Rose Festival

Legendary folk group, The Dubliners, will kick-start this years' Wild Rose Festival in Manorhamilton.

Drumshanbo Lady Celebrates 100th Birthday

Drumshanbo resident, Mary Ellen Cullen, celebrated her 100th birthday at the beginning of August. Balloons and banners were put up in the town to mark the occasion and a special Mass was held in Mary Ellen's home. Five generations of her family were present including her 12 children, 50 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

Slimming Award for Rooskey Man

Rooskey man Padraig Gilligan has lost an amazing 5 stone, 4-1/2 pounds (74-1/2 pounds) in just 26 weeks. Having won an award in Ireland for his gallant efforts, the Leitrim man will shortly be in the contest for the World Slimming Finals in Derbyshire, England.

New Music Star's Leitrim Connection

Seventeen year old Liam Geddes from Ballina, Co. Mayo, is currently making a name for himself on the music circuit. Liam's grandmother, Frances, was a native of Gortleteragh while his cousins, the McGuires, live in Gortfadda just on the outskirts of Mohill. The talented teenager has just released a single titled 'A Fool Pretending', written for him by former Westlife singer, Brian McFadden. Earlier this year Liam performed on Eurosong 2008. The famous Louis Walsh described him as the best new singer in Ireland, while the famed Phil Coulter said that he had a spectacular career in music ahead of him.

Mountain Roots

During the August bank holiday weekend, the various villages dotted around the slopes of the Sliabh An Iarainn mountains (Iron Mountains) held events to mark the launch of phase three of the 'Mountain Roots' series.

Mary Coughlan Officially Opens Lough Rynn Gardens

An Tánaiste Minister (Deputy Prime Minister of Ireland), Mary Coughlan, officially opened Lough Rynn's re-developed gardens on August 5th. The gardens, designed by Frank Cantwell, are the largest privately owned gardens in Ireland. The gardens are surrounded by the original stone walls and are linked together on three tiers overlooking the beautiful Lough Rynn. The gardens are made up with an array of flowers, shrubs, plants, fruit trees, herbs and vegetables. They also contain fountains, statues, a pond with a footbridge, plus the original glass house.

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