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Westmeath Topic - 15 February 2018

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4 TOPIC • 15 February, 2018 NEWS • Crime News €5,000 of drugs recovered Gardaí who were suspicious of a car in the Ballinalack area, stopped the car and recovered what they believe to be drugs, possibly cannabis herb and cocaine, worth in the region of €5,000. The car was stopped on Friday evening, 9th February. A man, who is believed to be from the Dublin area, was arrested at the scene and a file has been prepared for the DPP in relation to the matter. Large quantity of cash recovered from car Gardaí stopped a car that was travelling on the Longford Road, Mullingar, on Wednesday, 7 February and recovered a large quantity of cash. A file is being prepared and sent to the DPP in relation to the matter. Power tools stolen At least four power tools were stolen from the new site of Curraghmore School, on the Ardmore Road, Mullingar. The site was broken into over the weekend. This is at least the third theft by burglars from this site. Car damaged at Newbrook A car parked in Newbrook Grove, Mullingar, was maliciously damaged on Monday, 5th February around 12 noon. Public Order and cars seized Eleven people were arrested in the Mullingar area over the past week for public order offences. Seven vehicles were seized by Gardaí, as their owners did not have up to date car insurance, tax or NCT certificates, and one person was arrested for a suspected drink driving offence in the past week. Gardaí warn public to be vigilant in relation to bogus callers Gardaí in Mullingar are reminding the public to be extra vigilant in relation to ‘con men’ calling to houses offering to do jobs around the house for owners. Gardaí say that a number of men have called to houses in the Mullingar area posing as workmen and offering to clean the gutters of people’s houses. These men are charging very large prices and are not properly insured or qualified to do the job, and leave with the money without doing the job properly. The public should only deal with reputable and reliable workmen who have the correct ID and insurance to work on people’s houses. Westmeath Ploughing Association 2018 PLOUGHING MATCH The AGM of the Westmeath Ploughing Association took place in the Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar, on Thursday, 8 February. A good attendance was present. Principal item on the agenda was the 2018 Ploughing Match, which will be held in Kilbeggan on the lands of Sean and Mary Daly, Ballymachugh. From now on, the well experienced committee will be preparing the site for this event, which will take place on Sunday, 11th March. At the AGM last year’s committee was re-elected. Organising a ploughing match these days is a very difficult job and all the committee will be busy working on the jobs they have to do. Ploughing matches these days attract large crowds and the spectators will be very interested in the horse ploughing, loy digging and vintage machinery. St. Michael’s N.S. Water St. Castlepollard Will be accepting applications for enrolment for September 2018 from Monday, 12th Feb. to Wednesday, 14th Feb. Contact 044 – 9661865 for more details Mullingar Cultural Event on St. Patrick’s Day BY CLAIRE CORRIGAN It was confirmed that there will be no St. Patrick’s Day parade in Mullingar this year. However, a number of locals have come together to organise a cultural event to mark the day, it was announced last week. The committee was formed at a meeting facilitated by Angela Maher, Chairperson of Mullingar Town Team, last Wednesday night in the Greville Arms Hotel. The new committee members are Ruth Illingworth, Edel Boles, Aoife Cleary, Joe McDonnell, Olivia McCrum and Susan Nooney. However, four or five more people will be required to bring the organising group to an optimum level. Ms. Maher said that if the event goes ahead, support, sponsorship and assistance will be sought from local businesses and community groups, with a number of business owners already pledging their support. At the meeting, Ms Maher stressed that the former St. Patrick’s Day committee members had no The new committee members pictured last Wednesday-Ruth Illingworth. Edel Boles, Aoife Cleary, Joe McDonnell, Olivia McCrum and Susan Nooney. (Missing from photo, Lorraine Scally). choice but to pull back this year due to lack of support. “I think anyone who knows anything about organsing a parade knows why you all had to step down. You have done absolutely everything you could.” CULTURAL EVENT Ruth Illingworth, a longstanding St. Patrick’s Day committee member, said the event would incorporate elements of the annual parade. “We have music, usually centred on the Market Square, with local musicians who play for a couple of hours before and after the parade. For the cultural event, we would like to focus on Irish Trad music and Irish rock music and have various groups of dancers, the ukelele orchestra, people reciting poetry, singers and harp school. We were thinking of starting off at about 1pm and run through until 5pm. We would hope to get some kind of stage for musicians, a platform area on the stage for dancers and food stalls with an emphasis on traditional Irish food.” FUNDING Ms Maher revealed that there have been a number of donations towards the event already and Mullingar Credit Union manager, Tom Allen, who was in attendance, confirmed that they would be making a contribution. “The Council usually provide a couple of grand for the day, which doesn’t come in until about two weeks after the parade.” While there were suggestions that the event be held at Mullingar Town Park, Dominick Street and Columb Barracks, Ms Maher said that it was important to keep people in the town. “If we have it outside the town, it does tend to take people out of the town.” While numerous suggestions were made for the event, no plans can be implemented until the committee contact the local Garda Siochana and the appropriate personnel in Westmeath County Council, to ensure that it is feasible to go ahead with the celebrations. Week long Parish Mission in Killucan and Raharney churches starts this Saturday The Redemptorists are renowned for their annual Novenas in centres such as Galway, Limerick, Dundalk and Clonard, Belfast, and this weekend a week-long Parish Mission, led by a Mission team from the Redemptorists, will start in Killucan and Raharney. All are welcome to attend the Parish Mission, which will take place in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire, Killucan and St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney from this weekend until Sunday week, 25 February. AVAILABLE TO MEET The team for the Parish Mission are Redemptorist priest, Fr. Brendan Keane, a native of Galway city with great experience in the ministry of giving parish missions, and Helena Connolly, who has worked as a pastoral worker in the Diocese of Kerry and until recently was Director of Youth Ministry in the Diocese of Clogher. In addition to attending at the Parish Mission each day, they will also spend time during the week visiting the sick, the housebound, those in the local nursing homes and pupils in the parish school. They will also be available to have a chat with people in the churches or by appointment in the Parochial House, and they can also be invited to meet with people in their homes in the parish. DAILY MASSES In addition to the Masses on Saturday and Sunday, and the daily evening Mission sessions, there will be two morning Masses every day, from Monday to Friday, as follows:- 7am - Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire, Killucan. 9.30am - Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney. DAILY MISSION SCHED- ULE The following is the schedule of sessions during the Parish Mission from this Saturday, 17 February, to Sunday week, 25 Febru- ary:- Saturday, 17 February: 6pm - Opening of Parish Mission at Vigil Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney. Sunday, 18 February 10am - Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney. 11.30am - Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire, Killucan. 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - Believing in Jesus - Faith in the Word made Flesh. Monday, 19 February 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - Seeking healing - Binding up wounds. Tuesday, 20 February 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - Meeting Christ in daily life - Being Christian. Wednesday, 21 February 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - Saying Sorry - Forgiveness and reconciliation. Thursday, 22 February 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - The Joy of Love - My family. Friday, 23 February 7.30pm - Evening Session in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire - Our beloved dead - Remembering. Saturday, 24 February 10.30am - Mass in the St. Camillus Nursing Centre chapel, Killucan for the sick and their carers - anyone in the parish who is sick due to serious illness or old age is welcome to this Mass and the celebration of the Sacrament of Anointing. 12 noon - Question & Answer Sessions in Killucan Community and Sports Centre (GAA) - an opportunity to go along and discuss On Thursday, 22 February at 8:30pm, the third annual table quiz in aid of Diabetes Ireland will take place at the Annebrook House Hotel. A table of four costs €40 and the quizmaster on the night is the great Michael Duffy. The Westmeath Branch of Diabetes Ireland has been very active over the last number of months. Towards the end of the year, over €2,800 was raised through church gate collections in Westmeath. On Saturday, 3 February in Ballynacargy, all things faith, family and Church. 6pm - Vigil Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney - Teenagers and young adults lead the way. Sunday, 25 February 10am - Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Raharney. 11.30am - Mass in St. Joseph’s Church, Rathwire, Killucan. Handing on the Faith - Blessing of babies and close of Parish Mission. TABLE QUIZ FOR WESTMEATH BRANCH OF DIABETES IRELAND €525 was presented to the local branch by the team in the Wagon Wheel pub, following their successful darts tournament fundraiser in memory of their late friend, Kevin Rocke. This is the second year in a row that the community of Ballinacargy have fundraised for Westmeath Diabetes. If anyone would like further information on the activities of Westmeath Diabetes please phone Stephen Purcell on 089- 226-8735.

TOPIC • 15 February, 2018 Patricia celebrates launch of The Missing Ones in paperback as sales exceed 900,000 BY CLAIRE CORRIGAN Mullingar author, Patricia Gibney’s meteoric rise to success has been truly remarkable to observe. In just one year, her name has become synonymous with the crime thriller genre with thousands of fans raving about her three first literary offerings on Amazon. And this year is already proving to be another busy one for the talented lady who was described as an “Internet sensation” by the Irish Independent after the recently released paperback version of her first book The Missing Ones reached number five in the Irish Time’s Top Ten Best Sellers List, generating huge media interest in the author. Since then Patricia has made an impressive appearance on Today with Maura and Daithí, recorded a podcast for Inside Books, a podcast that features author interviews and book news, been interviewed for the Irish Examiner by Sue Leonard and joined Matt Cooper on The Last Word on TodayFM, “Appearing on live TV was nerve-racking. When I was actually ACCUSATIONS that there is no transparency in the allocation of the Festival and Events grants made by an elected member of Westmeath County Council were firmly denied by officials at Monday’s meeting of Mullingar Municipal District. The scheme for 2018 in total carries a €49,150 purse for the Mullingar Municipal area and recommendations for allocations for round one (January - June 2018) have now been made. These amount to €13,800, not including two further allocations for St. Patrick’s Day events in Mullingar and a summer festival also being planned. PUBLIC MONEY When brought before the monthly meeting, the allocations were welcomed but the recommendation system itself was questioned by Sinn Féin councillor Una D’Arcy. Cllr. D’Arcy criticised the manner of presentation and said that the listings do not indicate how selections or recommendations were made. “This is public money, Patricia Gibney is well on her way to selling 1 million copies of her books. on set and talking, I was fine but it was the lead up to it. I had to try and get it into my head that there wasn’t anybody watching and I told as few people as possible that I was going to be on so that I wouldn’t make a mess of it.” While a lot has changed for Patricia, it’s clear her down-to-earth nature has remained just the same, “Everybody has been so lovely and positive and congratulatory. It’s just been a bit of a whirlwind.” And the media buzz surrounding the writer is set to continue with The Missing Ones due for release in paper back in the UK this summer and Patricia’s fourth book out in March. “I’ll be very interested to see how it does over there. I’m working on my new book which is called No Safe Place and is available on preorder. I’m just doing the final edit on it at the moment. It carries on Lottie’s story from the third book which is The Lost Child. Her workplace has changed because there is a new superintendent. There is also a new journalist in town who is hounding her. There’s a murder at the beginning of the book and another girl goes missing and they think it might have something to do with a case from ten years earlier so it follows on the serial killer theme.” So what is it like seeing your book on the shelves of the biggest book shop in the country? “It’s different with the book coming out in paperback. I was in Dublin the other day and went into Eason’s and bought my own book which was strange. I was looking at it on the shelf and I buy loads of books and read all the time. I said to the girl behind the checkout ‘I wrote this book’ and she said she loved it and that she had given it to her mum to read so I felt kind of proud.” While Patricia was originally contracted to write four books, the runaway success of the series has meant the Mullingar woman being signed up to write a further three, “As long as they keep selling, I’ll end up doing the seven anyway.” Festival grant scheme criticised Bressie pictured at a recent Festival in Mullingar. every cent of it. There is zero transparency as to how this money is spent,” the councillor contested. Saying that committees and sub-committees are formed during the application process, Cllr. D’Arcy argued that the listings provided to elected members do not offer any information on what criteria were applied in deciding where funds are to be distributed. FULL OPENNESS ASSURED Her points were not accepted by Director of Services, Martin Murray, who said that there is “full openness on the applications and the criteria as presented.” Mr. Murray assured the meeting that the evaluation committee made decisions based on the criteria as set out for the scheme. Labour councillor, Michael Dollard, called for the inclusion of the Chairman of the Municipal District in Mullingar on the evaluation committee. He asked that this proposal be brought before the Corporate Policy Group for adoption. “We should recommend that the Athlone Municipal District seek this also but up here, we should get on with it and have the chairman on the evaluations committee.” MULLINGAR CHAIRMAN ON COMMITTEE His proposal will be brought to the CPG, it was agreed at the meeting. Each of the Municipal Districts have an allocation in the 2018 budget of €49,150 for festivals and events. The aim of the scheme, the meeting was told in a statement from David Hogan, Director of Services, is to “encourage and promote local events that involve significant voluntary input.” The letter to councillors stated that all applications were assessed by an evaluation committee based on the criteria set out for the scheme. FIRST ROUND The €13,800 approved in the first round is divided between 19 groups around Westmeath who are planning events in the coming months. They include The Kilbeggan Race Committee Ltd. (€3,500), Delvin St. Patrick’s Day parade committee, Streete Park Vintage, Westmeath Archaeological and Historical Society, North Westmeath St. Patrick’s Day parade and CCÉ an Mhuilinn gCearr (€1,000 each). Smaller allocations of €750, €500, €400 and €250 have been awarded to other events planned around the county. Mr. Murray said that if the €13,800 total seems like an under-spend, the listings do not include allocations for the Mullingar St. Patrick’s Day parade and the Summer festival for Mullingar as these applications are still being processed. When they are included, they will raise the total. Although the St. Patrick’s Day parade for Mullingar will not go ahead this year, the funding application is being processed and the money will be held in provision if an event does go ahead. NEWS 5 Confirmation ceremonies began last week - some 4,000 young people to be Confirmed Confirmation ceremonies began in the Diocese of Meath on Thursday of last week, 8 February, and between then and Sunday, 20 May, a total of some 4,000 young people will receive the sacrament in 60 ceremonies officiated by Bishop Michael Smith. For the young people, their parents, other family members, and teachers it will be a very special occasion and the culmination of long preparation. For Bishop Smith, too, and the Diocese of Meath it will also be a very special occasion as 4,000 young people are confirmed in their faith and in the values and principles they have learned over the years. 34 YEARS This year’s Confirmation ceremonies may be historic in that they may be the last Confirmation ceremonies officiated by Bishop Michael Smith. Two weeks ago, on Monday, 29 January, Bishop Smith marked the 34th anniversary of his episcopal ordination as a bishop, in 1984, and in three weeks time, on Friday, 9 March, he will mark the 55th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in 1963. Bishop Smith has never lost his enthusiasm for meeting young people at Confirmation ceremonies, and this is reflected in his delight at standing in to family and other photos with them and members of their families. FIRST TWO CEREMONIES This year the honour of hosting the first of the 60 Confirmation ceremonies was with the people of Tubberclair, Tubber and Rosemount areas, as well as with the people of Ballymore, Boher, Streamstown and Drumraney areas. Confirmation was in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Tubberclair at 11am last Thursday, 8 February, and in the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer, Ballymore that afternoon at 3pm. MULLINGAR Confirmation for young people in Mullingar will be at two ceremonies, at 11am and 3pm, on Saturday, 10 March, in the Cathedral of Christ the King. Mullingar Credit Union Social & Cultural Funding Mullingar Credit Union is making available a limited fund for local clubs and groups who work in a voluntary capacity. This fund is available to support social, cultural and charitable organisations throughout our common bond, providing much needed voluntary effort promoting development across our community. Application forms are available from our Mullingar, Kinnegad and Castlelost offices and also to download on our website – www.mullingarcu.ie. ONLY APPLICATIONS RECEIVED ON MULLINGAR CREDIT UNION'S APPLICATION FORM WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR FUNDING. The application forms should be forwarded to the Secretary, Social & Cultural Committee, Mullingar Credit Union Ltd, St. Colman’s House, Oliver Plunkett Street, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath – to reach the office no later than Saturday 10th March 2018.

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