Old Fair Day 2019 – The Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival was another resounding success last week and great credit is due to Dave Brennan, Chairman, and his wonderful committee of volunteers who were planning the event since the days after the end of the 2018 Festival. Already the same committee are examining this year’s event to see how they can improve on it for next year. The Festival ran over 5 days, starting Saturday with the Teddy’s Bears Picnic, at the Forest Walk in Rathscanlon. This is a wonderful event for children, and has continued to expand each year over the last 4 years since its inception. Activities included the duck race on the Maiden River and the storey-telling event in the Oak Corridor, part of the Forest.
On Sunday, the Family Fun Day at Wolf Tone Square attracted hundreds of other people with various fun events to capture the imagination of young and old. Other events on Monday and Tuesday got all generations out enjoying themselves.
The big event on Wednesday was the Old Fair Day itself, where up to 10,000 people came to Tubbercurry to enjoy the fun and displays that were on offer. There was a good display of animals, including various breeds of sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys and even a Lama. There was also good sale for hens, ducks, geese and Francis Kilcoyne from Curry had various miniature ponies for sale. Francis has been at every Fair Day in Tubbercurry for nearly 60 years and always liked to stand at the bottom of Mountain Road. Pat Ward from Keash was selling hens, rabbits and unusual varieties of Pigeons.
Fr. Dan O’Mahony and his Cloonacool helpers raised money for Cloonacool Church repairs by selling lines to guess the weight of “Daisy” the cow. Traditional crafts were much in evidence. John White made hay ropes, and other unusual crafts and craftsmen working, included glass blowers, pottery, ironmongery, thatching, rush work, bread making, weaving, wood turning, farrier work etc.
Ocean FM broadcasted their early morning shows from Tubbercurry and various locals interviewed over the morning included, Jackie Coogan, Old Fair Day Founder, Roger McCarrick, President, Chamber of Commerce & Community Association, Tom Towey, Cloonacool and Martin Connolly, (MCC).
The Gardaí are to be thanked for their presence to ensure no anti-social behaviour took place, and this made patrons very comfortable.
Traders and Stall vendors as well as crafts people took up their pitches around Teeling Street, Wolf Tone Square, Mountain Road, and Humbert Street from 6am, and the town gradually took shape.
Visitors and Patrons started to trickle into town by 9am and by 11am large crowds had assembled and were sampling the magic atmosphere of sounds, colours, smells and people. Old friends met and new acquaintances made, school friends of 10 or maybe 70 years ago renewed family catch-up. Children and grand-children were introduced, and laughter filled the air.
Live music from the stage on The Square was one focal point, but the truth is there were so many focal points on little streets and corners, that it was hard to pick a favourite.
For many, the Tubbercurry Old Fair Day is the centre of holidays in South Sligo for so many of our diaspora spread around the world, and it is so important that this great tradition is kept alive. Volunteers are always needed and again we all say well done to the dozens of helpers, stewards, people who helped with the tidy up, etc. who make the whole event such a wonderful family occasion. We look forward already to the Old Fair Day, 2020.
Budgies Coffee Shop – A new coffee shop opened last week at the bottom of Humbert Street under the ownership and management of Vincent Leonard. Vincent is affectionately known as “The Budgie” since his youth and is a great host for those seeking a casual coffee and scone with friends.
The Budgie previously owned a pub on Wolf Tone Square, also known as “Budgies”, but retired from that some years ago. However, he missed the buzz of being self-employed, and the joy he got from the hospitality sector, so he decided to get back up on the wagon when the opportunity arose, and he purchased the derelict shop unit next door to where he lives. Best wishes are extended to Budgie on his great move, and it will be a welcome addition to the services of the town centre. A coffee with him will certainly be entertaining and he will welcome ideas on how and what his clientele requires.
The Tubbercurry Masters Golf Competition was played on Monday of last week in pleasant weather where about 100 of South Sligo’s finest golfers competed. The course was in excellent condition, and the winner was Michael Kelly, Former Manager of Bank of Ireland, Tubbercurry. Michael has a busy schedule between coaching under age football teams in Tubbercurry GAA club and working on his golf handicap. Watch out for him on the Professional Circuit in the years ahead!
The Annual Famine Graveyard Mass The Annual Famine Graveyard Mass takes place on Thursday 22nd August at 7pm in Graveyard up at back of Connolly Park. All welcome
Maureen Kerins, Bunninadden The recent death occurred of Maureen Kerins, (nee Durcan) late of Ballinaraw, Bunninadden. In her late 70’s Maureen was a native of Floughena, Doocastle and was daughter of the late Jim & Kate Durcan. Maureen moved to Bunninadden after her marriage to Chris and there she reared a wonderful family while holding down a teaching job at Benada Abbey Secondary School from the late 60’s to early 90’s, a job she took great pride in and carried out with great dedication & distinction. Many of her past pupils attended her funeral to pay their respects to a much loved & respected teacher. They all smiled and joked about her famous saying ‘Sauce for a goose, and sauce for a gander”. This was her logic for distribution of discipline if students mis-behaved, meaning that she treated all misdemeanours equally.
Maureen did not have an easy life, but never complained about the challenges life threw in her way. She was pre-deceased by her beloved husband Chris, their cherished son Oliver and her brother Michael. Her remains reposed at the Coen Funeral home with removal to the Church of the Sacred Heart, Bunninadden and burial took place after funeral Mass in Cloonmeehan Cemetary, Bunninadden. Large numbers of friends, colleagues & past pupils paid their respects to a fine lady. Maureen is survived by her children David, Mary, Cora & Paula, brother Seamus, sisters Una, Kathleen & Sheila, in-laws, grand-children, nieces, nephews, relatives, all to whom sympathy is extended. May she rest in peace.
Joanie McCormack Brennan, Tubbercurry – The recent peaceful death occurred of Joanie McCormack Brennan, late of Mountain View, Tubbercurry and originally of Teeling Street. Joanie was in her mid 60’s and was second daughter of the late Maisie & Martin McCormack. Joanie has suffered poor health over the last number of years but was a strong character who always kept an interest in all happenings in the Community. Growing up on Teeling Street with her much loved parents and her grandfather, the legendary Tom ‘Click Brennan’ Senior, the family home was always a rambling house where the door was always open and visitors always popped in and out to discuss the happenings of the week in the locality. This was in the days before Facebook, but just as much information was exchanged.
Growing up in a household like this, Joanie became an outgoing youth and teenager who everybody knew, and she developed an interest in all local happenings. As a teenager of the Swinging 60’s, she developed a great love of dancing and the pop scene of the day, and loved going off to the dances in Tubbercurry, Charlestown, Pontoon, Tooreen and Strandhill. This was the era of the Showband scene and one of her favourite showbands of that time were ‘The Swanbriggs’. Life moved on and the young Joanie worked and reared her family with great accomplishment. Joanie was a traditionalist at heart, and after her mother Maisie died, Joanie took over a job that was appreciated by many. That was the picking & distributing of the May Flower on May 1st each year. This involved collecting the wild May Flower or Buttercup and dropping a sprig of flowers at the door of each house in the locality. This was done quietly and without fuss. No matter how early you got to your door on May 1st, the flowers were there. Nobody asked her to do it but it was done by her, and was appreciated by all. Thank you again Joanie and thank you to your helpers of recent years as your health deteriorated.
Joanie’s remains reposed at the Coen funeral home and her funeral Mass took place in the Church of St. John Evangelist, Tubbercurry. The large numbers who attended her funeral was testimony to the esteem in which she was held. Joanie is survived by husband Pat, children Dtharria, Kim & Andrew, sister Margaret Burke, Brother Eunan, grand-children, nieces, nephews, cousins and a very close extended family at home & abroad, all to whom sympathy is extended. May she rest in Peace.
New Book – A new local history book ‘Kilmactigue Parish History & Memories ‘ was recently released and is a must read for all local historians and household of the South Sligo Region. Compiled by locals Padraig Maye, Daniel Jones & Marie Fleming, it is an excellent production of stories, photos and write ups on many places and characters. It concentrates mainly on areas around Aclare, Kilmactigue, Tourlestrane, Benada and Lough Talt and is available for sale at €20 in local shops. This is Volume 1, of what could and hopefully will be a series for years into the future.
Mid West Radio 30th Anniversary Celebrations Mid West Radio recently celebrated 30th years in business and Tubbercurry man Jackie Coogan stole the show amongst big singing stars Mike Denver, Nathan Carter etc. He sang Hucklebuck (Brendan Boyers), Proud Mary, Rock & Roll. He received a standing ovation from guests, patrons and fellow artists. Jackie has always been a proud Tubbercurry man and has contributed enormously over the last 50 years to community life in Tubbercurry and South Sligo. Well done Jackie.
North Connaught College – NEW DEVELOPMENTS Diploma in Laser and IPL Treatments commencing in September 2019. Become a qualified laser technician and bridge the gap from beauty to aesthetics. This is a part-time course, one day a week. A one year, full-time Course in Equine Studies and Horsemanship Level 6, commencing in September. Learners will be prepared to work in riding schools, studs, livery stables, dealing yards or to progress to further education. For information on all of our courses including part-time and evening courses why don’t you drop into our Open Evening on Monday 2nd September from 3pm – 6pm. All Welcome.
Active Retirement Due to great demand for a short Autumn Break, the local Active Retirement Association is now organising a 3-day trip to Kilkenny city from Monday, 7th to Wednesday 9th October. Venue will be the Spring Court Hotel,cost (inclusive of half board, all coach travel and entry fees to historical sites) is 220 euro. Single rooms are limited and the supplement is 20 per night. Book asap to 087 7720950 or 087 9042319 – Payment in full before September 7th.
LOUGH DERG A One-day pilgrimage to Lough Derg from Tubbercurry is being organised for Tuesday, September 10th. Cost is 60 euro which includes Coach and boat travel, Coffee and Light Lunch, plus Retreat Programme on the Island. Please ring 087 7436962 0r 087 7720950 for booking.
Tubbercurry Card Game Single Hand 25 card game takes place in St. Brigid’s Hall, Tubbercurry every Sunday night at 8.30pm. All are welcome.
Correspondent: Roger McCarrick – email@example.com