Bawnboy Community Festival: God, it only looks like yesterday since great Bawnboy Festival activist, Kevin Daly handed the local corr a copy of the 2012 Festival Brochure for publication in the Leitrim Observer. “Tempus fairly fugits” as the Latin phrase a sort of goes about the swift passage of time and that becomes more obvious by the year as you grow longer in the tooth as the older folk used to say. The festival kicks off on a new note with “Sumo and Angry Bird” in St. Aidan’s GFC Park on Thursday August 1st at 2:30pm. Another new touch is “Dress Shop Keepers Arms” at 5pm. Then it’s back to basics with car treasure hunt at 6pm and at 9pm will be Lord Mayor 2013 with Conan and Aisling followed by festival supper in the lounge with music by Kevin Louge. From 11am to 1pm on Friday August 2nd there will be a “Teddy Bear/Animal Making” workshop and at 7pm, a Pet Show will be held in the Park. At 9pm the Rocks of Bawn will host a table quiz where there will be no need to anticipate cardiac arrest due to a succession of questions for intellects only. This will be followed by music in the Keepers Arms. The highlights of Saturday will be the “Eighties Night Out Keepers Arms”. Best Dressed on the night with music by Damien Wrynne. On Sunday from 2pm to 5pm you could come across anything from “High Nellie” tractors to High Nellie bicycles, Morris Minor cars AKA “Morris Manure” in the days when owners of their larger cars like the Morris Oxford looked down on them like the penny halfpenny looking down on the penny as the past generation used to say. Cars of the 1920s will be in evidence courtesy of James McGovern with Ford Model Ts also known as “Tin Lizzies” and tractors dating back to the early 1940s, one of the two score and ten in dry dock in “Big Edward’s” McKiernan’s Harbour beside Ballyconnell. Hope to be exhibiting one of the elderly ladies on the day on St. Aidan’s Grounds. Le cuidiu De. With DJ Paul in the hot musical seat, you can reflect on the happenings of the day and previous days when so-called “clarity” via consumption of copious quantities of wine reminding one of the song, “From Clare to Here” in which the singer quotes such a line as “I’m always into drinkin’ and it levels out my thinking and it’s a long, long way from Clare to here” at the barbecue in the Keepers Arms Yard from midnight to whatever. Finally, on Monday, August 5th, there will be a clay pigeon shoot at Bawn Firearms followed by Boat trips to St. Mogues’s Island. Refreshments will be provided at the lakeside and as usual, the last boat will depart at 5pm. The money raised will go to the Friends of St. Luke’s Hospital and local charities. No doubt we will see the usual large turnout from Cavan’s fellow Breffni county, Leitrim during those annual and thoroughly enjoyable five days.
What’s New, Pussycat?: There were according to accounts huge crowds at the recent “Gathering” in the local GFC pitch. Since then, a number of parishioners remarked about how the local corr never put in an appearance at any of the events on the weekend in question. Well for starters, no-one told us there would be a marquee on site to accommodate the myriads. Yours truly reads a national every day which has the “wet-hair” forecast on page 2. Previous to that weekend, thundery showers were “promised” along with temperatures circa 30 degrees. At Christmas 2008, yours truly spent four days in Sligo General Hospital, having narrowly escaped being weighed on St. Peter’s Scales of Justice this side of the Pearly Gates due to double pneumonia and was advised by the medics to never get a wetting in future which would guarantee one last visit to the building. Being bronchial, exposure to 30 degrees on a long term basis could prove fatal and we envisioned packed spectator stands, a packed press box, leaving us with nowhere to hide from whichever extremity came from the canopy above. We discovered that the only alternative was to stay in the shade away from pollen, high humidity and hellish heat. On learning about how Templeport priest, Fr. Francis Duffy was ordained Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, we thought of the many coincidents between the now Bishop Francis and an Aughwillan-born future Kilmore bishop with the surname McKiernan. Both share the Christian name of the “poor man of Assisi”, St. Francis. Both did a stint as principals of St. Felim’s College in Ballinamore before moving onto greater things. Bishop Francis McKiernan was born on typical PUF dauby Leitrim drumlin terrain while his PFFT-born counterpart saw nothing but sandy soil in his youth environs. Bishop Francis Duffy had a hand in educating many sons of the PUF while Bishop Francis J. taught sons of the PFFT in St. Felim’s. As the politicians say, at the end of the day the PUF had a bishop to boast about long long, maybe 41 years before the PFFT laid claim to one. Yeeha! We wish Bishop Francis who is a great friend of local drama producer Frank Cadam and Percy French specialist Tish Dunleavy and the local corr many successful years in his new ministry.