Local Achievers (If you know of someone who has achieved some distinction in any capacity please let us know for inclusion here – preferably with a photo )

Aine Holden


aine-holdenA Ballon girl will have the distinction of carrying the Olympic Torch when it comes to Ireland next month. Aine Holden was selected through Community Games via a long process of elimination to be one of the bearers of the flame when it arrives in Croke Park in June. She will be rubbing shoulders with the cream of Irish sporting stars and it’s certain to be a great occasion for the 13 year-old and one she will cherish for years to come. Aine is daughter of Padraig and Annette Holden, The Oaks. She has been a member of the Ballon/ Rathoe Community Games since she was five and has competed in art, soccer, athletics and choir. She has a silver county medal for the under-6 relay and this year won a gold medal for choir and as a result will compete at the finals in Athlone on26 May. She is also a member of the Burren Rangers camogie and girls football team.


Link to the subsequent event




Holly Barrett

holly-barrettBurren Rangers wishes to congratulate one of their young members Holly Barrett, The Oaks, Ballon on been selected by Cumann na mBunscoil, Carlow to represent the county on a mini seven team in Croke Park on either All Ireland Hurling Semi Final or Final Day. Holly was the camogie representative from Ballon National School who competed at a Mini Sevens Blitz in McGrath Park on Tuesday, March 27th. This is a great achievement for Holly, her family, school and club. Holly is coached by Nuala Quirke and Ms Marion Doyle in Ballon National School and by Barbara Jordan and Maurice Buckley in Burren Rangers.




Local musician and singer Billy Kirwan, Bendenstown, Rathoe has become something of an overnight success after more than forty years in the business. Billy got his break two weeks ago when he appeared on Sky’s 201 ‘The Hot Country’, a Country and Irish Music programme which goes out on Monday nights and is repeated on Sunday evenings.
Billy was invited to record three songs for the programme which was recorded in Templemore over a year ago but had almost given up hope that his slot would ever be aired. However on Monday night, 16 January Billy made his television debut singing ‘Two Little Girls in Blue’ an old song he learned from his late mother. Billy gave a stunning performance, so much so that the recording has now become an instant hit on YouTube.
Now Billy hopes that the other two songs recorded in Templemore, ‘Muirsheeen Durkin’ and a medley of Scottish songs will feature on future programmes in the series.
Billy was first introduced to music by his late mother, Mrs Emily Kirwan, herself an accomplished musician who bought him his first accordion when he was only seven years old. He has entertained on the local and South Leinster circuit for four decades and his greatest memory, until now, was sharing the stage with the legendary Dermot O’Brien in Abbeyleix.
Billy has, in more recent years, recorded three CDs, ‘Billy Kirwan and Sons’, ‘My World Today’ and ‘Try It, You’ll Like It’ all of which were recorded at his son Nigel’s studios in Ballon. And of course all Billy’s sons are in the music business with the well-known bands ‘Fiesta’ and ‘Firestar’.

Billy Kirwin – watch on Youtube

Connor Keppel M.Sc.

Connor Keppel, of Rathrush,  recently  graduated with a M.Sc in Strategic Management from Aungier St.College
The conferring took place in St. Patricks Cathedral Dublin.

Connor is currently employed as Marketing Manager with the IFA






New Web Guy

Eleven year old David Lalor from Ballykealey, Ballon has created a web site for Burrin Celtic.

David Lalor

David is a multi-talented young man passionate about soccer, squash, photography. He has added web site design to his achievements and produced a comprehensive and detailed account of aspects of the  club. So if its match results, match reports, action pictures and a host of other details this is the site to go to.

David’s Site


bridget-huttonBridget Hutton, Kilnock, is Ballon’s latest All-Ireland sporting champion. The 22 year-old, who is currently teaching in Ballon NS, won the National Ladies Autograss championship, classes 1 to 6, at Lismore, County Waterford on Sunday 11 September. The competition is based on a league system over three competitions and Bridget went into Sunday’s final leg in the lead following good performances in two competitions, both held in Maghaberry, County Down earlier in the year.
However it was not a smooth run through the championship as the engine in her rear wheel drive 1.4 Vauxhall Powered Cinquento blew in one of the heats in Maghaberry  but her sister, Emma, came to the rescue offering her front wheel drive Micra for the remainder of the competition.
As it turned out it was a good omen as the extremely mucky conditions in Lismore on Sunday greatly favoured a front wheel drive and Bridget took full advantage to land herself the national title.
Winning National Titles is nothing new to the Hutton household as father, Noel won the men’s Class 3 in 2007; brother, Brian finished fourth in the Class 5 championship the same year and sister, Emma won a bronze medal in 2009 and in doing so ironically relegated Bridget to fourth position.

mary-floodMary Flood, Laragh did herself, her family, parish and county proud when she won the silver medal in the ladies under-16 discus event at the National Community Games finals in Athlone on Sunday, 21 August. Already the holder of county and provincial medals in this event, Mary tasted national success for the first time last weekend.

Ballon/Rathoe has got seven new young heroes in the shape of the under-12 chess team who exceeded all expectations and won the silver medals at the National Community Games Finals which were held in Athlone IT on Saturday and Sunday, 28/29 May.






Our new heroes are the playing quintet of John O’Neill, Rathrush (captain), John Kinsella, Sandbrook, Joe O’Neill, Rathrush, Sarah Bermingham, Ballintrane and Marie O’Neill Rathrush and substitutes Seamus Connolly, Ballymogue and Cormac Kinsella, Sandbrook.

On Saturday they claimed their place in the national final by defeating the Clare and Munster champions, Shannon, by 3-2 in a very exciting contest but on the following day the Mayo and Connaught champions, Castlebar, proved too strong and took the All Ireland title on a score line of 4-1.En route to the final the team had victories over Piercetown/Murrinstown, County Wexford and Enniskerry, County Wicklow before accounting for Ashbourne, County Meath in the Leinster final

The team was coached by Seamus Hogan, Rathrush and John Kinsella, Rathrush and heartiest congratulations are extended to the team, their coaches and all connected with their success.

Sean O'Brien

Sean O’Brien

The entire parish is engulfed with pride and joy as the career of Sean O’Brien goes from strength to strength. While Sean has had many special days, winning Man of the Match Awards with Ireland and Leinster, they have all been surpassed by his achievements of the past week.

ERC European Player of the year

Firstly, the popular Ardristan man collected his second Heineken Cup medal as Leinster defeated Northampton 33-22 on Saturday, 22 May and on Tuesday, 24 May he received the ultimate accolade when he was selected the ERC European Player of the Year. Sean beat off competition from the cream of Europe’s Rugby players  to win his award. Well done, Sean and continued success.

Orla Kenny

ORLA IS TOP YOUNG HISTORIAN Orla Kenny, Graiguenaspidogue took the top honours in the Carlow Historical Society’s annual competition for historical essay/projects relating to County Carlow, the results of which were announced in The Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow on Wednesday night, 23 March. Orla’s winning entry was on the Old National School in Graiguenaspidogue and from a short list of three finalists get the judge’s verdict over the other two qualifiers which included Ciara Brennan from Laragh, whose project on Carlow footballer, Brendan Hayden, secured her third place. Orla is daughter of Paul and Linda Kenny while Ciara is daughter of David and Dolores Brennan.  Ms. Michelle Townsend teaches both girls at Ballon National School. Joe with GAA President Christie Cooney.



JOE DONOHOE – The President’s Award.

Joe with Christy CooneyOn the 16th March 2011 Joe was presented with the President’s award at a gala function in Croke Park.. Joe was selected because of his support and enthusiasm for Rounders Nationally and for his development of the successful local Cúchúlainn Rounders Club. Joe has devoted 25 years to Rounders including 15 years on Ard.Choraile and 6 years as National President.

Joe with Seamus Howlin and Kay

Joe with Seamus Howlin, Liason Officer for Rounders, and wife Kay.


Sean Whelan receives John Paul 11 Award.

Sean WhelanThe Pope John Paul II Award started in the diocese just over a year ago and to participate in the award young people volunteered to get actively involved in their local Church and community. Local volunteer Sean Whelan of Ballon received this award in Carlow Cathedral. “Most of my work revolved around music in the parish and the local primary school choir. Every year for the past 3 years my mother and I would help the primary school choir get ready for first holy communions, confessions, Christmas, School masses and every other occasion involving the Church and the choir. Music is a huge part of my life and to know its of help in my community is a great feeling also.” Posted 9/3/11






Tom and Eileen KealyOn Friday 11 February,2011, Tom and Eileen Kealy, Castlegrace Kilbride celebrated 50 years of marriage with a meal, music, dance and craic at Killerig Hotel Resort. They were joined by four generations of their family including the most recent addition, six month old great-grand-daughter Megan Vincent. Castlegrace native Tom met Eileen (nee Fitzpatrick) from Callan, County Kilkenny in England and they were married by Fr. J. Molloy in the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Salford in 1961. The bestman was Georgie Anderson (RIP) from Laois and the bridesmaid was Mary Sheehy from Limerick. Following the ceremony the couple held a reception in The Broughton Hotel, Salford. Also at the Golden Jubilee celebrations in Killerig, along with extended family, friends and neighbours, were members of Carlow County Council, The Tullow Active Retirement Group and The Carlow Wren Boys.



John Smyth, Connaberry. BA Hons. Law

John SmythJohn took a career break a few years ago and enroled in Carlow IT to study law. In November 2010 he was conferred with a BA in Law with a very high mark. John now inends to undertake a Masters in Law.









Tadhg Downey – a champ in the making.

Tadgh DowneyTadhg only started playing tennis last summer and has so far notched up 2nd place in the Leinster Metropolitan competition and 3rd in the Leinster close .




Tadgh Downey with coach Ray Cleare

Tadhg with coach Ray Cleare

Tadgh now eats, drinks and sleeps tennis and he will be competing next week in the Connaught open. Posted 17/2/11 Tadhg has since competed and won the U 10 plate. Posted 2/3/11

Eddie Nolan – Handball

EEddie Nolanddie Nolan, Ashfield, Ballon is currently enjoying success in the world of handball. The weekend before last the 19-year-old won an All-Ireland ‘C’ medal in the 40 X 20 singles at the annual ICHA inter-varsities tournament held in Kingscourt, County Cavan. This follows his success in the 60 X 30 singles which he won in Kilkenny at the tail end of last year. Eddie and his playing partner, Michael Mullins, are the current Carlow under-21 doubles champion. Eddie







Suzanne Cole

Suzanne Cole who recently graduated with a Masters in Information Systems Management from Trinity College Dublin.Suzanne is the daughter of Edward and Theresa Cole, Rathrush, Rathoe.


Tena Sheil achieves first place

At a recent ceremony held in Dublin Castle, Tena Sheil of Garryhasten, Clonegal was presented with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Excellence Award for achieving first place in the 2010 Honours Degree in Business Studies.

Tena Sheil with Dr. Attracta Halpin

The award was hotly contested by students from all over the country. Tena studied for her degree at the Institute of Public Administration which is recognised by the NUI.

In 2008 she was among the top ten in the Institute of Accounting Technicians Ireland national exams and has also studied with Tax Ireland and the ACCA. Tena is daughter of Tom and Eileen Kealy, Castlegrace.

Posted 18/1/11

miriam-smythMiriam makes the Grade with 600 pointsMiriam Smyth of Connaberry, Ballon achieved the ultimate 600 points in her Leaving Certificate. She said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she discovered she had obtained six A1’s and one A2 followed closely by an offer to study medicine. Miriam gave special thanks to the teachers and principal Caitlin Mhic Carthaigh of Gaelcholaiste in Carlow for their support and encouragement. Her sister Suzanne achieved the same result five years earlier and will qualify next spring with her medical studies. Her other sister Sarah Jane works for the European Union in Brussels. Their mother, Margaret, is a primary school teacher in Tullow and dad John just completed a law degree as a mature student planning to follow through with a Masters. (posted 24/9/10 – results obtained in August)















Brother Gerard (Tom) Cummins C.S.Sp., formerly of Ballintrane, recently celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his religious profession. Brother Gerard was professed in April 1960 in Ard Bracken, County Meath and is one of only five Christian Brothers still serving in the Irish Province of the Holy Ghost Order. Brother Gerard subsequently trained in architecture and engineering and in 1964 was sent to Nigeria as a missionary to supervise the building of churches but due to the war in Biafra was forced to return to Ireland in the summer of 1967. Following a short spell in Kimmage, spent recovering from malaria, he was assigned to Rockwell College, Cashel, County Tipperary (1968) where he has remained for 42 years. Initially he was part of the academic staff of the boarding school but in later years has taught machinery and engineering to students at Rockwell Agricultural College. On Saturday 1 May a special mass and celebrations were held at Rockwell where Brother Gerard was joined by members of his family – sisters Mary (London), Patricia (Ballon), Theresa (Ballintrane) and Rosalean (Rathvilly), brothers Seamus (Ballon) and Joe (Kilnock), brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Another sister, Jane (England) was unable to attend. Also present at the celebrations were many members of the Holy Ghost Community led by the Superior, Fr. Knight as well as other personal friends. Many tributes were paid to Brother Gerard by his Community and the academic staff of the college regarding his very kind, obliging nature and dedication to his faith. Brother Gerard, who is son of the late Jim and Rose Cummins, remains a frequent visitor to his native Ballintrane and he is wished many more years of health and happiness by the entireBallon/Rathoe Community


Sarah Nolan, The School House, Ballon beat off all competition to emerge winner of the Carlow Historical Society’s annual competition for historical essay/project relating to County Carlow. Sarah’s essay on the late Jim Morris, one of Carlow’s greatest ever footballers and a Leinster medal winner in 1944, was selected as the winner from 147 entries from 16 schools. Incidentally, Sarah is the granddaughter of the late Jim Morris and is a sixth class pupil in Ballon National School. The result of the competition was announced on Wednesday 24 March at a function held in Carlow Rugby Club and Sarah received her prize of €100 from Dan Carbery, President of the Historical Society and Jim Shannon, who organised the competition. Sarah is daughter of Pat and DeirdreNolan.(posted 29/3/10 by Michael Dawson)



lianne-cortFACE OF IRELAND’ CONTEST Twenty-one year old Lianne Cort from Ballon has been selected to compete in the semi-finals of ‘The Face of Ireland’ contest which will be held in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey, County Donegal on Saturday 27 March. Forty girls were selected for the semi-finals from 25,000 applications. The Face of Ireland Competition is an All-Ireland beauty contest to find the new Face of Ireland and is organised by Brian Cunningham, Managing Director of Face of Ireland. The winner of the competition receives a host of prizes, including a trip to New York and a one year modelling contract with Compton’s Modelling Agency in Dublin as well as a fabulous piece of jewellery to the value of €3,000 courtesy of Voltaire Diamonds. Each contestant must get sponsored for the gala ball which and they must sell ten tickets before 6 March. On the night they will be on stage for approximately six minutes where they will be interviewed and required to perform a party piece. Only one candidate will go forward to the National finals. We wish Lianne every success and we will be coming back to this story nearer the event.



 Alan Kelly

The announcemalan-kellyent by Carlow GAA County Board of Alan Kelly as the County Intermediate Footballer of the Year came as little surprise. Ballon’s scorer in chief was hot favourite to win the award following an outstanding year in the red and white jersey. Alan is a top all-round sportsman and is a previous winner of the Soccer category in the Eire Og Sports Stars Awards.







Web Master Michael – Carlow Person of the Year

The Carlow Perscarlow-personon of the year awards 2009 were held in Mount Wolseley on Friday 27th November. Local man Michael Martin was awarded Carlow Person for the Communications Award (mainly for the success of this Web site). His sponsor was Philip Meaney M.D of Stone Developments. The MC was Ronan Collins of RTÉ who happens to be Michael’s favourite presenter with his 12 am radio show. All of this is to raise awareness and generate funds for Carlow Rehab Care and now in its 11th year. As a social event it ranks about the highest in the County and highlights the considerable amount of good works carried out by individuals. There’s far more ‘ good ‘ in the world than ‘ bad ‘ and this event covers the good. More pictures here


John and Breeda McDonald celebrate 40 years of marriage.

TheJohn and Breedare was one hell of a knees-up in Leinster Hills Golf Club at The Fighting Cocks on Saturday night 19th September as John and Breeda McDonald, Graiguealug celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary at a surprise bash organised by their family.. Present were the couple’s four children with spouses and 10 grandchildren along with plenty of friends and neighbours. Music was by Pat Bermingham and Billy Kirwan and the night was long…. They celebrated the next day at Mass by renewing their marriage vows and exchanging gifts. (Extracted from B/R notes by Michael Dawson) Picture with thanks to Pat Bermingham – one of the best compositions this amateur cameraman has seen.





MaMary O'Toolery O’Toole from Boggan, Kilbride has been awarded the Carlow FBD Young Farmer of the Year Award for 2009. Mary, only daughter of Paddy and Angela O’Toole, represented County Carlow at the national final which were held in the Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar last week and although the top award eluded her she is nevertheless one of the top 26 young farmers in the country and as the only female to contest the final is the undisputed top young farmerette. Mary is a member of the Tullow Macra na Feirme Branch and also serves on the County Executive. She works in Kilkenny in equine supplies but at home she runs the family beef and sheep farm in partnership with her parents.The aim of this Macra na Feirme/ IFA competition is to recognise and reward the top young farmers in Ireland.





The BalCllr. John Murphylon area has its first local representative in nearly 35 years after John Murphy’s victory in the Local Elections held on the 5th June, 2009. John, from Boggan, Kilbride took a seat for Fine Gael on the fourth count in the Borris Electoral Area and will be the first Ballon voice in the County Chambers since Donie Nolan, Ballykealey contested two elections successfully for Fianna Fail in 1967 and 1972. Prior to that the late Bill Nolan had held a seat for Fine Gael. John, a Ballymurphy native and manager of Tullow Livestock Sales received 815 first preference votes.His victory is notable in that the parish is unfairly divided among three electoral areas making it very difficult to capture votes.




Sean O’Brien born 14th February, 1987 schooled in Rathoe NS.

FromSean O'Brien Ardristan in Co Carlow, through Tullow Community School, Tullow RFC and then the Irish Youths, the young flanker has landed a Academy contract at Leinster Rugby. The glory being that Leinster lifted the Heineken Cup with a thrilling 19-16 victory over the Leicester Tigers at Murrayfield on Saturday 23/5/09.






Carlow Volunteer Awards 2009

Seamus CumSeamus Cumminsmins was selected for an Award representing Burrin Celtic on Friday 22nd May in McGrath Hall, Bagenalstown. Seamus was selected for his many years of work in funding and producing the finest soccer pitches in the county.


Seamus with Olivier

Seen here with Olivia O’Leary

Carlow Volunteer Awards 2009

Michael MartinMichael Martin was selected for an Environmental Award representing Ballon Improvement Group Friday 22nd May in McGrath Hall, Bagenalstown.

Michael with Olivier

Seen here with Olivia O’Leary


JulieJulie Dowling Dowling, Ballon Hill competed at the Irish National Dance Awards 2009 in Longford on Friday 17 April with great success. Competing in three categories in the 16 to19 years age group, Julie won 1st prize for her modern piece, came 2nd in the classical ballet section and won 3rd prize for her Contemporary solo dance. As well as all that she was also awarded the INDA Senior Perpetual Cup for 2009. Julie previously studied at the Aedeen O’Hagan School of Ballet in Tinryland and is currently studying dance full time at Inchicore College of Further Education in Dublin. Daughter of Seamus and Anita Dowling, Ballon Hill, she has had many previous successes in competitions but victory at the National championships is her biggest achievement to date. (Posted 28/4/09)




Toomas Ilves is Coach of the Year

Toomas IlvesBallon Basketball club’s exciting and unexpected fete in winning the All-Ireland Senior Men’s Div. 1 title last weekend caused great excitement in the area although none of the team are local. The club was founded by Estonian, Toomas Ilves who came to Ballon nearly ten years ago and caters for the many Eastern Europeans who live and work in the area as well as the locals. It was victory at the first time of asking at this high level for the Ballon club which has previously operated in the Midlands League. In winning the National Senior title the Club defeated Galway Titans in the final having already accounted for Tolka Rovers (the holders) en route to the decider. As a result of this great achievement Toomas Ilves has been selected the Basketball Ireland senior coach of the year. Toomas’ story of life in the Russian Army during the cold war has been documented in ‘The Chronicle’. Well done to all concerned.(Posted 5/4/09)


Jordan McDonell

JordaJordan McDonnelln from Birchwood Lodge, Kilbride could well be our next top young actor if his performances in the Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group’s production of Tom Murphy’s ‘The Wake’ are anything to go by. The 10-year-old, who is a fourth class pupil in Ballon National School, has been catching the eye of the adjudicators as the Group performs at various Drama Festivals the length and breadth of Ireland. Jordan had his ‘special moment’ at the Newtownstewart, County Tyrone Festival recently when he was selected as the winner of the Edward McNamee Award as well as being nominated for the best Young Actor Award. The Bunclody/Kilmyshall Group, which has won five of the eight festivals they entered, has qualified for the All Ireland Open Drama Festival which will be held in Athlone from May 1 – 9. (Posted 28/3/09)




John Murphy

JJohn Murphyohn Murphy of Laragh, Ballon has just completed his basic training in the Irish Army and seen here at his passing out parade in the Curragh recently. John now continues with the Three Star course and joins the force of 8,500 men and women dedicated to serving the State in defence and peace keeping roles. posted 7/1/09








Jennie Cummins

Jenny Jenny CumminsCummins, Chapel Lane, Ballon is awarded the Bene Merenti medal by Most Rev. Dr. James Moriarty D.D, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin on Sunday 23/11/08 in Ballon Church. Jenny served as Sacristan for thirteen years taking the keys of the church in 1988 when the original Bull Tree was chopped down. Jenny, aged 74, joined the church choir when she was just ten years old and remained a stalwart supporter up to three years ago.







Tess Blanche

TeTess Blanchess Blanche, Ballinadrum, Ballon is awarded the Bene Merenti medal by Most Rev. Dr. James Moriarty D.D, Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin on Sunday 23/11/08 in Ballon Church. Tess, aged 85, has been very active in church matters and joined the choir when she was just seven years old and gave a record breaking service of 76 years. Tess was an early member of the Apostolic Work Society and still continues with this good work and fundraising. She was also a founder member of The Evergreens, now the Senior Citizens









Mick & Marie McGrathMick and Marie McGrath, Maple Lawn pictured at their 40th Wedding anniversary celebrations in the Dolmen Hotel, Carlow on Saturday night, November 15. The couple were married in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow on November 16, 1968 by Rev. Tom Brophy, Adm.






Douglas Keppel, Rathrush, Ballon

Douglas Keppel on top

A photo of Douglas Keppel on top of Kilimanjaro on Mon. 8th Sept. at 7.00am. They climbed during the night and arrived at 7.00am with a little altitude sickness but nevertheless elated and “elevated” having achieved a lifelong ambition. (With thanks to Des Keppel)


Eileen Croke

Eileen Croke from Tullow celebrated her 100th birthday on the 1/9/08 at Tullow Day Care Centre, a place of support and friendship for the area.

Eileen Croke and the candles

Eileen assisted by Lila Rogers – volunteer

See loads of pictures on the Day Care Web Site.


Tadgh Downey – Forge Meadow

Tadgh Downey

Tadhg won the county Carlow competition run by Londis and took the family to Bewleys in Leopardstown for an overnight stay and attended the preview of the film in Dundrum meeting Po the panda himself. July 2008


Alan Kelly – Player of the Year

AAlan Kellylan Kelly of Burrin Celtic was the popular choice for the Player of the Year Award and he received his trophy from David Blood, President of the FAI. Alan was also the winner of the Premier Division’s Golden Boot Award having finished as top scorer in the division. Burrin teams also finished runners-up in both The Dooley Motors Cup and the Youths Shield. What a marvellous year it’s been for Burrin Celtic AFC! Firstly they won the Carlow Premier League just a year after being promoted from Division 1 and now they have been chosen as the winners of The Carlow Club of the Year Award. The result of the latter was announced at the League’s Awards Night held in The Seven Oaks Hotel, Carlow on Friday of last week where club captain, Armour McFarland was presented with the award by John Delaney, CEO of the FAI. (Posted with thanks to Michael Dawson – June 2008) 



Congratulations to Ann Butler


Anne ButAnn Butlerler of Forge Meadow pictured at her graduation in Belfast on 17th May, 2008. She was conferred with a B.Sc.(Open) Degree from The Open University. And is now studying for a B.Sc.Psychology (Hons.) Degree. Learning keeps you young. (Posted June






VeFr. Whelanry Rev. Edward Whelan PP, Ballon/Rathoe will celebrate the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on Sunday, June 22. Fr. Whelan, a native of Hacketstown Parish, was ordained in Maynooth on June 22, 1958 and spent the first year of his priesthood in Liverpool. He then ministered in the parishes of Rathvilly (1959-1968), Daingean, Co. Offaly (1969-1982) and Nurney, Co. Kildare (1982-1987) before being appointed to succeed the Very Rev. John Flood as Parish Priest of Ballon/Rathoe in 1987. He also holds the position of Chaplain to the Apostolate of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration since 2007.Fr. Whelan, who is a deeply religious man is particularly known for his kindness to the sick of his parish and is a regular visitor to those in hospital and those who are housebound. During his twenty-one years as Parish Priest, Fr. Whelan has had major renovations and redecorations carried out to both Ballon and Rathoe Churches and built a new Parochial House in Ballon. Plans to mark Fr. Whelan’s jubilee locally have been put on hold as he is currently unavailable through illness. He is wished a speedy recovery and joyous day on Sunday (Posted with thanks to Michael Dawson 18/6/08)





Customer Service Award – Professional, Private & Public Sector At the Carlow Chamber 2008 Business Awards on Friday the 7th March 2008, this award was presented to McHugh O’Leary Insurances. This award was open to all organizations offering a service, which is committed to offering the highest level of customer satisfaction to each and every customer.

McHugh O'Leary

Customer Service Award – Professional, Private & Public Sector

At the Carlow Chamber 2008 Business Awards on Friday the 7th March 2008, this award was presented to McHugh O’Leary Insurances. This award was open to all organizations offering a service, which is committed to offering the highest level of customer satisfaction to each and every customer.


Marian O'Toole


Marian not only passed with flying colours but selected as the best in the country among participating colleges.