‘Leitrim Treasure’ launch: “My grandfather left Drumkeerin, Co Leitrim, over 100 years ago. He came to Edinburgh via Brooklyn and, in the emigrant tradition, his children spent their teenage summers ‘back home’. In my own turn, I began to visit Drumkeerin and formed an attachment to the small town and its people. It’s difficult to avoid sentimentality or caricature when you write of returning to your roots, but all I know is that I feel comfortable in Drumkeerin, and in particular in the fields around the town-land of Drumnafaughnan where my family were tenant farmers. On the slopes of Corry Mountain, overlooking Lough Allan and Slieve-an-Iarainn, the land is boggy and rough but, to my eyes anyway, possesses a grandeur. Standing in those fields I can gather some understanding of the attachment to land.” Read this full moving story in ‘Leitrim Treasure’ which will be launched in the Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon, on Wednesday Aug. 7th at 8.30 pm following a talk by Mickey Harte on “The Value of Community”. Admission free. Refreshments served. Everyone welcome.
Margaret O’Rourke: On Saturday afternoon July 13th our community was shocked, stunned and greatly troubled as the news spread that Margaret O’Rourke, Cloonmore had suddenly been struck down by a most serious illness as she was arranging flowers on the altar in St. Brigid’s Church, Drumkeerin. As her husband, Tommy and family, her brother and extended families kept vigil by her bedside in Sligo General Hospital on Saturday afternoon and night into Sunday and through Sunday into Monday, our community kept vigil in our hearts, wishing and praying that Margaret would recover. Alas, it was not to be and so at dawn on Monday, God called to Margaret himself, requiring that golden singing voice to join his choir of angels in Heaven. Truly for our community such a great loss. But how much so does that loss pale in significance to that inestimable tragic loss to her husband Tommy, daughters Arlene and Treasa, brother Petey and extended families for they had lost a treasure, a most loving and devoted wife and mother and sister. She lived her life for them. She was the heart of the home. Seldom you saw Tommy without Margaret by his side, their daughters Arlene and Treasa were so special to them. Throughout the length and breadth of Ireland, Margaret will be remembered for that golden singing voice that entertained so many on the dance floors as she sang with the Hi-Lows Showband. It was evident while listening to her sing and watching her that she enjoyed her singing so much, her outstanding, warm and sincere personality radiating from her and through her songs. How enchantingly she sang such songs as “Shanagolden”, “My Old Leitrim Home”, “Rose of Mooncoin”, “Mocking Bird Hill”. The list goes on and on. The national and local radio stations brought that golden voice and songs into so many homes, brightening their days and lives. Margaret was always so generous with that talent in the church choir and singing at concerts, charity functions and funerals. Tragically, Margaret lost that wonderful singing voice at a relatively young age. We can now only speculate what more splendid recordings she would have made and how many more she would enthralled with her singing. A lesser personality would have cried, “Why me?”. But not Margaret. Gifted in so many other ways, she threw herself into so many community activities. Already involved in community activities, especially Drumkeerin ICA, Margaret brought her many talents into good use into Corry Development, Drumkeerin Community Council, Leitrim VEC, Board of Management N.S, Pastoral Council Eucharistic Minister and Drumkeerin Drama Group. Margaret had such stage presence. She was a natural actor. Over the last five years, she was outstanding, playing many parts and roles in the plays, “Widow’s Paradise”, “Cash on Delivery”, “Try Anything Twice”, “Lovely Leitrim” and “Say Cheese”. At the end of 2012, Margaret took over chairperson duties of the Drumkeerin Drama Group. So with her death, Drumkeerin Drama Group has lost a rare acting talent and leader. Margaret was passionate in everything she did or got involved in yet she was always so full of fun, so lighthearted. Doing things came easy to her. She was gifted in so many ways and always ready to use and share. As well as being such a talented singer, Margaret was an artist at baking, floral arrangement design and sewing. For her role in her last play, Margaret designed and crafted the wedding dress she needed for the port. She loved flowers. Perhaps, God in his infinite wisdom thought it a reward for Margaret should arrange the flowers for her own funeral. Despite being so involved with family and community activities, Margaret was always on hand to help the neighbour and lend her support to those troubled. Having bravely fought and overcome cancer about a dozen years ago, Margaret was always conscious and aware of the trauma those afflicted by cancer were going through so soon, she was with them comforting them, assuring them and encouraging them that they too could overcome it. Our thoughts and prayers are with Tommy, Arlene, Treasa, Petey and the extended families. They have lost a great treasure- an inconsolable loss. One could imagine Margaret counselling and comforting in the words of Ruth Westheimer, “Our way is not soft grass. It’s a mountain path with lots of rocks. But it goes upwards, forward, toward the sun”. Ar dheis de go raibh a hAnam Uasal.
Short Order Cooking FETAC Level 4: This course in The Food Hub, Drumshambo will run for 16 weeks from September to December. This 3-hour course will take on Friday evening or Saturday morning depending on demand. Further details call David at 086-3846254. Open night to be advertised later.
Blessing of Graves: Blessing of Graves in Aughaloughey Cemetery will take place on Sunday July 28th at 11 o’clock. Holy Mass in St. Brigid’s Church, Drumkeerin. Blessing of Graves in Drumkeerin Cemetery on Sunday August 4th after 11 o’clock Holy Mass.
Mary O’Connor (nee Flynn): There was much sadness and sorrow in Drumkeerin on Sunday July 14th as the sad news reached Drumkeerin that mary O’Connor (nee Flynn), Dublin and formerly from Sheena, Drumkeerin had died at Tallagh Hospital. Mary had fought her illness with great courage, optimism and cheerfulness. Our community had hoped that Mary would once again overcome her illness. Alas that was not to be. God’s will is not ours. So peacefully, she parted with her loving husband and young family early on Sunday morning. We recall with fondness the young Mary growing up in Sheena, a quiet, cheerful and pleasant young girl going to the National School and later the Vocational School before going on to study Nursing in 1973.Evidently Mary was an excellent student and young nurse for by 1979 she was a Junior Sistery in the old Meath Hospital. When the new Tallaght Hospital was opened, Mary was promoted to Director in A and E, recognizing her great talents as an organiser planner and her wonderful way with other staff. Reflecting on Mary’s life as a wife, mother, colleague and friend, a number of colleagues and friends spoke with wonderful feeling and appreciation about Mary the wife, mother and family person, the nurse and friend. The very large crowds at the removal and funeral Mass reflect the esteem of Mary and family with the large numbers travelling up from Drumkeerin to be present at the ceremonies. Our community extends sympathy to her husband Sean, daughter Aine, sons Seamus, Colm and Tadhg, brothers Gerry and Joseph and extended families and relatives.
Drumkeerin Schools Reunion: As part of the Gathering 2013, Drumkeerin Festival Committee are having a Schools Reunion during Festival Week, August 20th being the date for the function. The Reunion is for those who attended National Schools and Vocational Schools in the 1970s. Anyone who attended schools in the parish in the 1970s and who has not received notification, please accept this as your invitation. For those who wish to make contact with the committee, an email address has been set up and is email@example.com or visit us on Facebook at Drumkeerin Community Festival.
Congratulations Emma and Adrian: Congratulations to Emma McKenna, Sheena, Drumkeerin and Adrian Smith, Mullafadda, Tarmon who were married in Sicily on Friday, 19th July. We wish Emma and Adrian every happiness .