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Westmeath Topic - 15 February 2018

20 TOPIC •

20 TOPIC • 15 February, 2018 NEWS The Original WESTMEATH PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T EXPERIENCE THE FAMINE... The year 1847 was a horrifying year for those directly affected by the Famine - and particularly all the landless and poorer people in rural Ireland, including Westmeath, but it appears that members of the Westmeath Horticultural Society - most of whom came from, the “big houses” in Westmeath at the time, were not very conscious of the deaths and food shortages, or so the following extract from the Westmeath Guardian and Longford Newslettr of 1 July, 1847 suggests: “The second exhibition of this society this year took place a their Rooms, Murrays Hotel, Mullingar last Saturday. The specimens sent in maintained their character and excellence..... J. Somers Esq maintained his character for being the best cultivator of pansies in the county. The vegetables in every class were as usual, very fine, but three specimensof potatoes of full growth and excellent quality attracted most attention. They came from the gardens of Ballynagall, Donore and Newcastle (Ballymahon). The Band of the 41st Regiment was in attendance in the Ballroom, to which the company retired after an inspection of the specimens on view and finished the evening in the mazy dance, or quiet promenade, and did not break up until 6 o’clock.” When Edenderry needed a Pied Piper.... The Edenderry Town Commission meetings in the 1970s produced some very entertaining interludes, thanks to several colourful personalities then in public office. The following is a sample: “People at Blundell Wood, Edenderry, can’t leave their back doors open, because the estate is rat infested” Mrs. Eileen O’Connor told the Town Commissioners meeting last week. She described the rats as “real pets” and “very tame.” Mrs. Earley - There’s plenty of rats in Gilroy Avenue. Thomas O’Connell - There’s rats everywhere you look.” Mrs. O’Connor - We should write to the Health Board. Jim Flanagan - We’ve enough to do without worrying about rats. It’s a job for the Sanitary Inspector, he might be able to do more with them than us.” (From Topic, 27 November, 1975) Civil War raids in Killucan “On Sunday night or early Monday morning, the large drapery and hardware establishment known as Moore’s, Killucan was entered by raiders, who, it is reported, smashed the front plate glass window and took away a large amount of property, including a large variety of goods. It will be remembered that this house, which is being managed by Mr. Maunsell, had been raided about a month ago and they also visited a residence at Belfield, about five miles from Mulloingar, and it is alleged, took away a large amount of property.” (From Westmeath Nationalist and Midland Reporter, 13 July, 1922) Mullingar Lifeguard rescued teenager from Canal “What could well have been another tragic drawning in the Royal Canal was averted in Mullingar earlier this week, through the quick thinking of one of the Mullingar Swimming Pool lifeguards. Around 11.15 on Sunday night, two young boys passing the Green Bridge saw a teenage girl struggling in the water, and they called Paddy Farrell, who was nearby. Mr. Farrell jumped fully clothed into the Canal and brought the drowning girl to the bank, and applied artificial resuscitation for fifteen minutes. The girl was taken the County Hospital, Mullingar, where a spokesman said she was lucky to be alive, and congratulated Mr. Farrell on his courageous actions.” (From Topic 13 November, 1975) In the 1979 Beehive Lodge Celebrity Golf Tournament at Mullingar Golf Club, our photo shows the presentations to the winners, Tom Briody, Jim Whelehan, Brendan Timlin and Noel O’Dwyer. Photo shows from left, Michael Tolan, Tom Briody, Martin Regan, Jim Whelehan, Christy Sleator, Brendan Timlin, Austin Witter and Noel Dwyer. HARTES GARAGE MEMORY; Half a century ago, and more the Harte brothers living in Patrick Street, Mullingar were well known, and as is obvious from the above advertisement, which appeared on a Westmeath GAA promotion in 1934, Harte Brothers Garage in Patrick Street was very well known more than eight decades ago, and their involvement with car hire and a taxi service continued thereafter. (Right) ANOTHER KILLARE GROUP: In late October, 1979, shortly after the visit to Ireland by Pope John Paul II, people from the Killare area planted a special oak tree beside the famous St. Brigid’s Well, Killare, and our photo shows a group of local ladies and children who attended the planting, beside the famous early Christian well, which reputedly has three small streams as sources. (Above) A photo taken at the Cereal Growing Seminar run by Westmeath Committee of Agriculture in October, 1979 showing (from left), James Daly, Rattin, Milltownpass; Denis O’Brien, Prospect, Mullingar; Eddie King, Pearse Street, Mullingar and Fergus Mulcahy (Instructor with Agricultural Committee). The Capuchins in Mullingar at Springfield The name of Friars Mill Road, Mullingar, where TEG Cusack Park is located, is today the only link remaining with the Franciscan Friary which was once located there. The following extract, from a local historical records, conveys its history in brief, with the friary built in Mullingar in a very difficult period - and clearly, it was not allowed to remain very long.... “In 1636, a Capuchin Friary was established in Mullingar by Fr. Francis Nugent, a native of Walshestown, Mullingar, who had set up monasteries in many European countries and had established four foundations in Ireland (including Mullingar) in very difficult times.He had the support of Dr. Thomas Dease, the Bishop of Meath in doing so. The Friary was situated along the River Brosna, near the present day Springfield Tunnel, in Mullingar. The Capuchin Friary does not seem to have survived the Cromwellian persecutions.” Ed’s Footnote: According to the History of the Diocese of Meath, the Mullingar friary was established three years earlier, in 1633 , with Dr. Dease’s help. He had been consecrated a bishop in Paris in 1622, and came back to Westmeath incognito and began to reorganise and reform the diocese, which had been without a bishop for sixty years. Much of his time went on resolving disputes between the secular clergy and the religious orders. WHEN THE GIRLS ASKED OUT THE BOYS.... “In Mullingar’s County Hall on Thursday night last, when Mullingar Town Band held a social, they called it a “Dutch” social, where the girls had the privilege of bringing the boys, and asking them out to dance. As a result, the girls asked out who they liked, when they liked as the boys stood around and waited. Remarkably enough, there were no “wallflowers” at he social, prhaps because the girls know just how it feels tob e left standing. Nor were there any “refusals” because the boys probably know how it feels to be “refused”. Many of the young people described it as an enjoyable arrangement, and are looking forward to another “Dutch” social soon.... (From Topic 31 July, 1975)

TOPIC • 15 February, 2018 Mark Murray celebrates 40th birthday NEWS Postman Mark Murray of Ardilaun Green celebrated his 40h birthday recently in the Annebrook House Hotel. On the night, Mark was joined by many friends, family members, and colleagues from An Post. We hope our pictures get the seal of approval from the Murray Clan. If you have a special party night planned and would like our Out & About photographer to drop in, call 087-2797270 and if at all possible he will make it. 21 Jamie Cox, Chloe McNamee, and Amy Murphy pictured with Mark on his big night. Mark and wife Paula pictured on his 40th birthday party in the Annebrook House Hotel. Mark Murray and Jimmy McEntee pictured at the Annebrook for a great night of celebrations. Mark pictured in the Annebrook House Hotel with parents Geraldine, Matthew, and brother Darren (left). Mark Murray with mates from Mullingar Post Office at his birthday party in the Annebrook: Gerry Purcell, David Tyrrell, Martin Little, Joe Quinlin, Damian Duncan, and Jimmy Gilhooley. Wedding Open Day at Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar The Wedding Team at the Award Winning Four Star Bloomfield House Hotel, Mull - ingar, invites you to join them for their Wedding Open Day on Sunday, 18 February. Bloomfield House was recently awarded Best Wedding Venue in Westmeath by venue finder website, for the fourth year in a row. These awards are based purely on reviews and testimonials from couples so are very valued by prospective brides and grooms as they have the opportunity to get a real insight into how venues perform on the all-important wedding day by reading the experience of other couples who have had their wedding there. Come view this stunning wedding venue, enjoy a glass of bubbly and canapés, take a stroll around the magnificent lakeside gardens and through the hotel's interiors to experience the wow factor as it would be on your wedding day! On the day, the hotel will showcase their three beautifully appointed banqueting suites, the Bridal Suite and the fine facilities available at this superb lakeside wedding venue. The experienced Wedding Team will discuss their amazing wedding packages and offer tips on planning the perfect day. With over 38 years’ experience, they will offer invaluable advice and support to make your wedding day the most memorable and enjoyable of your life. They can promise you their utmost personal and professional attention in the planning and preparation of your special celebration. This stunningly situated spacious hotel, full of history and romance, is renowned for excellent service, terrific atmosphere and strong emphasis on customer care. The elegant and tastefully decorated wedding suites are easily accessed and located on the ground floor. Chair covers, a choice of sash colour, flowers and centre pieces complete that opulent look for your special day. Mood lighting, audio visual equipment, fairy light backdrops and air conditioning are also available to help in creating the perfect ambiance. Perched on the shores of Lough Ennell, this charming hotel offers a spectacular backdrop for a lakeside civil ceremony. Say “I Do” on the shores of Lough Ennell and host your ceremony and celebrations within one spectacular venue. Whether it’s in spring, summer, autumn or winter; a traditional, lavish wedding or a quiet intimate affair; your wedding day at Bloomfield House is something to be eagerly anticipated, enthralled by and most of all cherished by you and your guests for the rest of your life. The team place great emphasis on ensuring that you and your wedding guests are truly impressed and enjoy a unique experience with the spectacular backdrop of Lough Ennell. The beautiful lake setting and picturesque gardens matched with superb facilities and sumptuous food make the Four Star Bloomfield House Hotel a truly romantic venue, perfect for any wedding. Discover how Bloomfield House Hotel can make all your wedding dreams come true at the hotel’s Wedding Open Day on Sunday, 18 February from 2pm to 6pm. For more information on Weddings at Bloomfield House Hotel, please telephone 044 9340894, email weddings, or visit

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