”Up Close and Personal” with Andy Irvine!

The Pillar House Folk Club celebrated its first anniversary last month with a superb and thoroughly enjoyable performance by Mary Coughlan and as the Summer season continues The Folk Club in this intimate 80-seater venue welcomes the inimitable Andy Irivine on Friday, 17th July at 9pm.

Andy Irvine

Singer Andy Irvine

Andy Irvine has enjoyed a long and successful career as a traditional Irish musician. A founding member of Planxty with fellow musicians Christy Moore, Donal Lunny and Liam O’ Flynn, they went on to achieve huge success and legendary status, reigniting traditional music as a popular genre. While Planxty took a break in 1967, Andy took the time to record another piece of work with Paul Brady. The two recorded a classic album together, simply entitled “Andy Irvine & Paul Brady”. Planxty regrouped from 1979 – 1983. When the group permanently disbanded, Andy began his solo career. He recorded his first album “Rainy Sundays…. windy dreams” shortly after. His second album was “Parallel Lines” a duo album with the great Scots troubadour, Dick Gaughan.

Taking a break from working solo, Andy formed a band with Donal Lunny and some European friends called Mozaik. They completed one European summer tour before Andy returned to his solo and collaborative work.  These collaborations led to the formation of Irelands first traditional “super group” Patrick Street. The group consisted of Kevin Burke (Bothy Band), Jackie Daly (De Dannan) and guitar maestro Arty McGlynn. The group toured from 1987–1990, releasing three albums in the process. They would regroup in 1993 to release a further five albums, although in between Andy recorded two solo albums. One of these albums consisted of entirely Balkan music, which Andy had learned on his earlier travels.  In 2002, Andy finally formed his “dream band”, Mozaik, with Donal Lunny, Dutch guitarist Rens van der Zalm, Hungarian bagpiper Nikola Parov and American fiddler Bruce Molsky. The group have completed tours of Australia, Europe and America and have released two highly acclaimed albums

Andy continues to tour the world with Mozaik as well as Patrick Street. He has also completed a brief series of reunion concerts with Planxty and Paul Brady in the last few years. His constant touring is testament to the fact that he is still as passionate about his music as when he began. As a musician and a living icon, Andy Irvine will remain in the Irish music scene for a long time to come.

Tickets are €20 and are available from The Pillar House, Tel: 090 96 43939 / 087 9046140.

Please see www.thepillarhouse.ie for upcoming dates.

Galway Swimming Community Games Results!

Congratulations to all of the Ballinasloe swimmers who participated in the Galway Swimming Community Games which was held in Tuam on June 20th. 17 individual swimmers from Ballinasloe competed and came home with 14 individual medals; 4 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze. The U13 Girls relay team took the gold, winning their race almost 25m ahead of the competition, while the U13 Boys relay team won the bronze!


The Results:

Boys U/8 Freestyle

Evan McKeon

Girls U/8 Freestyle
3rd Sarah Dolan
4th Matilda Kelly

Boys U/10 Freestyle
2nd Charlie Mooney

Girls U/10 Freestyle
2nd Emma McGreal

Boys U/10 Backstroke
3rd Leon McKeon

Girls U/10 Backstroke
3rd Sheenagh Hanrahan

Girls U/12 Freestyle
1st Tara McKeon
6th Ailbhe Hanrahan

Girls U/12 Backstroke
1st Ruth Dolan
3rd Caoimhe Kennedy

Boys U/12 Breaststroke
1st James Mooney
4th Conor Hogan

Boys U/14 Freestyle
1st Rowan Harley

Boys U/14 Breaststroke
3rd Niall Costello

Girls U/14 Breaststroke
2nd Katie Naughton

Boys U/14 Butterfly
2nd Fionnan D’Arcy

Boys U/13 Squad
3rd Ballinasloe – James Mooney, Fionnan Darcy, Conor Hogan, Oscar Arru, Daithi Ward

Girls U/13 Squad
1st Ballinasloe – Tara McKeon, Ruth Dolan, Ava McKeon, Caoimhe Kennedy, Ailbhe Hanrahan


Best of luck to the following 4 individual swimmers who along with the U13 Girls Relay Team will now go on to represent Galway County in the National Community Games which will be held in Athlone on August 15/16.

Tara McKeon U12 Freestyle
Ruth Dolan U12 Backstroke
James Mooney U2 Freestyle
Rowan Harley U14 Freestyle

U13 Relay Team
Tara McKeon, Ruth Dolan, Ava McKeon, Caoimhe Kennedy, Ailbhe Hanrahan.

swimming4 swimming8 swimming9

The very best of luck from everyone at Life Magazine!

Latest Athletics News!

The Track & Field U-9 to U-12 Connacht Outdoor Championship was held in Claremorris on Saturday June 6. It was a paired event for the U-9 to U-11 (time based on the combined results of each pair of athletes) with the top three pairs qualifying for the Nationals. Prior to this, the top three pairs of runners in each event qualified out of the Galway County T&F Championship to make it into the Connacht Finals. The U-12 section is based on individual times.

In the 60m sprint, the U-10 girls; Kayla McKeon and Aoibheann Fitzpatrick won gold and qualified for the Nationals. The U-11 girls; Ava McKeon and Emma McGreal both had a great run, while in the U-12 Boys, Shane Fitzpatrick, Charlie Naughton, Conor Harley and Adam McGreal all qualified from their heats for the final.

Shane took silver and Charlie won bronze, which means both qualified for the Nationals.

In the mid-distant races, Aoibheann Fitzpatrick and Kayla McKeon took another gold in the U-10 girls 500m, to qualify for the Nationals.

Ava McKeon and Mya Kelly took bronze in the U-11 Girls 600m to qualify for the nationals; while in the U-12 Boys 600m, Shane Fitzpatrick also took bronze and claimed his spot in the Nationals.

Chess News!

Congrats to the Ballinasloe U-13 Chess team, who won the recently Galway final in the Community Games.

In round one, they defeated last year’s winners Knocknacarra 3.5 to 1.5, and won their semi-final against Clarinbridge and the final against Castlegar by the same scoreline. The team is Luke Feehily, Aoife Castle, Abdullah Shadid, Cormac Gillepsie, Eoin Coleman, Fionnan Darcy and Terry McGowan.

The U-16 side were runners-up in Galway, defeating Athenry 4-1 in the semi final, but losing to last year’s national champions, Claregalway, in the final. The team was; Conor Coleman, Odhran Dooley, Hugh Killeen, Jack Mitchell, Lorcan Darcy and Sarah Jane Ruane.

In the Junior club competitions, the Junior A competition was won by Luke Feehily, with Aoife Castle runner up. The Junior B was won by Fionn Lyons with Cian Madden runner up; and the Junior C was won by Liam Martin with Barry McGowan runner up.

In the Adult club, the last round of the leagues saw both Ballinasloe teams gaining promotion. The A team defeated Royal Lopez from Meath 5.5 – 0.5 to come in as runners-up and confirm their promotion to Division 2 for next season. The B team saw off Naomh Barrog from Killester 3 – 2 and are promoted to Division 4 next season.

The club senior competition has seen Kenneth Higgins defeat club number on Tommy Dunne in the final round for overall victory, Tommy coming in second and Shane Bleahene third with Benjamin Castle winning the grading prize.

In the Rapid play competition, Tommy Dunne won the cup with Kenneth Higgins second. The Shield was won by Seán Guinan from Johnny Dunne and the Plate was won by Aoife Castle from Abdullah Shadid.

One of Ireland’s premier events the Ennis Open took place recently with Johnny Dunne joint winner of the U-14 section.


Golfing Success for Ballinasloe Eagles

The Ballinasloe Eagles Special Olympics Golf team had a successful day at the Connacht Special Olympics competition played at Tuam Golf Club on Thursday June 11, winning two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

The competition format was foursomes with each athlete accompanied by a golfer, success was just reward for the effort made preparing the team. All the golfers are special members of Ballinasloe Golf Club who are supportive and delighted with their success. The team is coached by dedicated club members who give of their time preparing this talented group for competitions.

The Ballinasloe Eagles members were Thomas Dillon (gold), Derek Kelly (gold), John Loughnane (bronze) and Patrick McDermott (silver) and their playing partners were Willie Ward (who played with Patrick), Cora Kenny (John), Helen Carrigg (Thomas) and Áine Lyons (Derek).

Local Theatre Reading!

The members of Acorn Theatre Company will stage a rehearsed reading of a play in the making in Gullane’s Hotel this coming Monday, June 22.

The piece is inspired by the controversy which arose last year around the issue of burials of babies and infants in grounds adjacent to mother and  baby homes.

Scripted by local playwright and Theatre student, Eamonn O’ Donoghuem the play has been work-shopped by the company for a number of weeks and has now reached a point in its development where audience response is sought.

Admission is free on the night and the proceedings will commence at 7pm sharp. For more information contact Eamonn on 090 9643338.

A Night of Remembrance (1914-1918)

The World War 1 heritage group hosted a fantastic night of remembrance recently at Gullanes Hotel.

There were a number of projects, Military Memorabilia and Images from the era on display on the night of May 29th to mark the special occasion.


The WW1 Heritage Group Chairperson, Stephen Connell spoke on the night as well as Loughrea native Joe Loughnane, who has completed a Master’s Degree in Military History and Strategic Studies at NUI Maynooth.

A presentation of prizes for the Schools Projects took place on the night – the judges were Joe Loughnane, Kieran Shaughnessy and Colman Shaughnessy. Between them, the three judges of the schools Projects Competition have an in-depth knowledge of  WW1 and are greatly involved in the town – Joe Loughnane from Loughrea has a particular interest in the locals who fought in the war, while Kieran Shaughnessy is preparing with the staff at Ballinasloe Library for their move across the road to the newly refurbished and redesigned Convent building.  Colman Shaughnessy trained at Tivoli College, Cork and Riversdale College Liverpool as Marine Radio Officer and Radar Technician. Her served as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy and has been elected Vice – Chairman of The Radio Officer Association.


Ballinasloe WW1 Heritage Group was formed in 2014 to research, collect, restore and record information, artifacts and memorabilia pertaining to the 1914 – 1918 era in Ballinasloe and its Hinterlands. The Group started off with the restoration of a Roll of Honour, which first hung in the British Legion Hut before its demolition. The Roll of Honour has a history of its own, having had a few homes in Ballinasloe during its lifetime. The fully restored plaque will reach its final destination in the new library in Ballinasloe in the coming months. The group’s aim is to publish a book with all of the information gathered to date. the information is being collected at present and will continue for the foreseeable future until the group is satisfied that they have left no stone unturned.

If YOU have any information you would like to include in this project, please contact one of the following members:

Chairperson: Stephen Connell

Secretary: Douglas Rafter

Treasurer: Gerry Devlin

PRO’s: Dr. Brian Casey (archivist) and Evelyn Donnellan

The group envisage that the information collected will eventually be available to the public for the benefit of present and future generations.

Find them on Facebook – Ballinasloe World War One Heritage Group!

This project has been part – funded by Ballinasloe Town Council.

Video Production of 1914 – 1918 Remembrance night May 29th 2015!

Courtesy of Mike Riddell and Kevin Murray!

Some of the projects on display on the night!

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