Direct from Durrow

Direct from Durrow

Ventures: Our Venture section will travel to Portlaoise this weekend for an overnight activity following an invitation from Portlaoise – thank you for the invitation! Our Reps travelled to Carne, Co. Wexford last weekend though none of our Reps were running for election, but job well done to last year’s Rep Lorna Campion. The Slievebloom County did very well with all who were running for positions getting elected – well done to all.

Durrow Scout group on the march

Laois Scouting News

AGM: The Annual General Meeting of Third Laois Durrow scouts took place on 19th November last in The Den, with each section recalling the good times had through the year and the plans for the next year.
Awards: Some of our leaders got awards for their service to our group and we are so grateful to have them. Our group started in 1981 and since then both Angela Drennan and Mary Walsh have been actively involved. They both received their Golden Merit Award for 35 years of service. Maureen Walsh received a Silver Merit Award for 25 years and Teresa Townsend a 5 year Chief Scout Commendation. More awards were also delivered by County Commissioner Paddy Lynch.
Join Us! We are always looking for leaders and if you’d like to join us, please contact Delphine Lawlor on (086) 3655178 – don’t be afraid, they say it is only an hour a week…
The newly formed “Vocem Daru Choir” made their first public appearance on Sunday at the Downtown Festival in Portlaoise. Singing a mixture of Christmas favourites and some popular songs the choir received a tremendous reception from all who heard them sing. Only formed seven week ago the choir sounded beautiful and great credit is due their leader and choir master Ann Moylan and to all the singers who gave of their best. Well done and we look forward to you singing at a venue in Durrow soon.
Exhibition Launch and Talk – What better way to mark the start of the festive season than learning of a real-life fairytale? Exactly 250 years ago this year, William Flower, The Second Viscount Ashbrook and Third Baron Castle Durrow married Betty Ridge – the daughter of a humble Thames fisherman. Their story is one of class tensions and political unrest moving from the banks of the Thames to Castle Durrow and even Blenheim Palace.



To celebrate this remarkable story, Laois County Libraries will launch an exhibition curated    especially for Durrow by the Oxford historian and author Julie Ann Godson. Based on her own research, Julie has published a book called “The Water Gypsy” which traces the story of the Ridge and Flower families and she will be present on the night to give an illustrated talk on this extraordinary couple.
The event will begin at 7.30pm on this Tuesday the 6th of December in Durrow Library. Light refreshments will be served after the talk and all are most welcome to attend. Laois County   Libraries would like to acknowledge the support of Castle Durrow and Sheppard’s Auction House for this event.
Readers Rota: Saturday Evenings: December 3rd: Ann Vaugh; December 10th and 17th: Noreen Joyce. Sunday Mornings: December 4th: Kevin Kelly; December 11th and 18th: Michael Conroy.
Church Cleaning Rota – December 2016: Maeve Thornton, Eileen Keenan, Brigid Traynor and Angela Drennan.
Eucharist Ministers Rota – December 2016: Saturdays – Mai Bowe and Pius Hennessy; Sundays – Ann Palmer and Edmund Kenny.
The results of the Killermogh Parishes November Whist Drive are as follows: Top Score – Mary McGettinghan; First Lady – Kathleen Kavanagh; Second Lady – Mary Quigley; First Gent – Tom Gowing; Second Gent – Des Finnamore; Quarters – Mary Gowing, Margaret      Moynan, Kathleen Kennedy and Eileen Phelan; Juvenile – Rory O’Shea; Low Score – Ann     Pearson. The winners of the raffle were – Louise Kavanagh, Pauric Dowling, Kathleen Kavanagh, Kathleen Kennedy, Margaret Neil, Patricia Dowling and Bridie Metcalfe. The next Whist Drive will be held on Thursday December 15th at 8.30pm in the Parochial Hall, Cork Road, Durrow.

Presentation of a cheque to chosen charity from Laois ICA held at 2014 Laois Federation AGM Photo courtesy of

Presentation of a cheque to chosen charity from Laois ICA held at 2014 Laois Federation AGM Photo courtesy of

The next meeting will be held in Cullohill Community Centre on this Tuesday December 6th at 2pm in the afternoon.
Durrow Community Council will hold a Church Gate Collection this weekend, December 3rd and 4th with all proceeds going towards the costs of providing the Annual Christmas Tree on the green. Please support this very worthy cause.
Durrow Bridge Club continue their Bridge Club meetings every Wednesday night at 7.45pm in the Presentation Centre, Durrow. Please note that this event was incorrectly advertised as taking place on Sunday nights in previous issues.
The winners from November 16th were as follows: First – Joan and Dickie Dempsey; Second – Gay Doyle and Mary Shortall; Third – Rose Talbot and Sadie Phelan. Well done to all.
The Annual Durrow Die Cast and Model Toy Show will be held in The Manor Hotel, Abbeyleix on Saturday December 10th and Sunday December 11th. The show will open at 12 noon on Saturday and on Sunday from 10am until 5pm. For more details please contact Austin on (086) 8860598.
Enrolment is now open for Our Lady’s Meadow Primary School, Durrow for the new year commencing September 2017. If you have not received an enrolment form from us and want to enrol your child with us please contact the school at (057) 8736329 or email as soon as possible. The closing date for return of completed enrolment forms is 9th January 2017.

Our Lady's Meadow News

News from Our Lady’s Meadow School and around Durrow

Supervised Study continues every Saturday in the Presentation Centre, Durrow inside Church gates on left. From 9am to 1pm. Places cost only €20 for month of      December. Study skills and tuition. Limited availability. Contact Sinead on (087) 9510587.
ST VINCENT de PAUL: Anyone looking for help can contact us on (087) 3476012.
The draw on December 12th will take place in Dec’s Bar and will feature the Annual Christmas Raffle – lots of prizes to be won!
Monday 21st November 2016: There was no jackpot winner of €10,550. The Numbers drawn were: 12, 17, 20 and 21. The small draw winners were: €30: A&M, c/o Lawlors Garden Centre, Durrow; €25: Jerry Walsh, c/o Lawlors Garden Centre, Durrow; €20: Geraldine O’Neill, c/o K. Dunne, Castle Arms.

Durrow Lotto

Durrow Parish Lotto

Monday 28th November 2016: There was no jackpot winner of €10,700. The Numbers drawn were: 03, 06, 11 and 19. The small draw winners were: €30: Caroline Dunne, c/o K. Dunne, Castle Arms; €25: Ann Gilligan, Erkindale Drive, Durrow, Laois; €20: Brian Thornton, Tinweir, Durrow, Co. Laois.
The Annual HSE Christmas Dinner will be held in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise on Tuesday 13th of December at 2pm. All grades are welcome along. For more details and/or to book a place contact C. Griffin on (087) 2068974 or B. Coaley on (086) 8812228 before Tuesday 6th December to assist in finalising numbers for the event.
The committee wish to thank everyone who supported the Clothes Collection recently. Our next collection date will be in early January. More details in a later issue.
Come on down to the Castle Arms Hotel on Monday evenings from 8.30pm until 10pm for Set Dancing Classes. Beginners and advanced levels are all welcome. For more information please contact Declan on (087) 2768680.

Durrow's developing all the time.

Castle Arms Hotel for Christmas entertainment

The Durrow Youth Choir continues on Tuesdays throughout November and  December from 4.15pm until 5pm in the FÁS office (building to the right of the Church). Any boys and girls from First class up to the age of 18 are welcome. The choir will be learning      different types of song, songs  from the musicals, pop songs, carols, gospel etc… The fee is €10 per child until the Christmas break. If you are interested in this please contact Vicky Murphy on (086) 1000230 as places are limited.
Social Dance Lessons will be soon starting on Thursday nights in Abbeyleix Golf Club. For more details call Geraldine (087) 9550646 or P.J. at the Golf Club. All welcome.
Cullohill Community Council would like to extend their most sincere thanks to everyone who attended and helped in the organisation, of what was a fantastic cookery demonstration hosted by the superbly talented Rory O’Connell in the Cullohill Community Centre recently. The event was attended by 250 people and the feedback was exceptional. Cullohill Community Council are delighted with the success of the event and also the manner in which it showcased the Community Centre facilities as a fantastic event venue. There is a long list of thanks all of which are most necessary.
Firstly our most sincere thanks to the management and staff of Laois County Council, in particular Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services and Ann-Marie Kelly, Environmental Awareness  Officer, who entrusted the Community Council with the organisation and running of the event and assisted in so many ways. The event would not have been possible without the funding of the LAPN (Local Authority Prevention Network) and the EPA for which we are very grateful. The Committee were delighted to welcome Laois County Council’s Chief Executive John Mulholland and the Cathaoirleach Tom Mulhall to the event and very much appreciate their attendance and kind words.

Rory pictured here on the far left at Ballymaloe's 50th Anniversary Photo credit

Rory pictured here on the far left at Ballymaloe’s 50th Anniversary Photo credit

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters who provided raffle prizes, equipment etc… Clayton Hotels, Portlaoise Heritage Hotel, Barringtons Hospital, Joe Dooley Electrical, Rosemount       Catering (Shealagh Maher), Laois Hire, St. Fergals, Rathdowney, Dalton’s of Cullohill and The Sportman. Thank you also to the Garda Siochana for their assistance with traffic calming through the village to ensure pedestrian safety. Special thanks to our traffic / parking stewards John Dollard, Joe Dollard, Sean Cahill, Seamus Brophy and Willie Dunphy. Thank you also to Mary Walsh for her much admired floral display.
Thanks to our first aiders Pat Barnaville and Seamus Clancy, our photographer Annie Holland and to Gearoid Ryan from Durrow Fire Service who greatly assisted with the ensuring the floor plan for the event was in compliance with fire regulations. Thank you also to Tommy Ferns for his expertise and co-operation. Special thanks goes the Community Centre Committee who worked so hard to ensure the centre looked its best for the event, and for all their support.   Sincere thanks to everyone who supported the Community Council raffle on the night. The proceeds from which will be used to fund the compilation of a ‘Community Development Plan’ for the next 5 years.

Clean Up Laois Week Photo courtsy of

News from Cullohill Photo of Cullohill courtesy of Bernard Kilbride

Finally, a huge thank you to Rory O’Connell and his very talented sous chef Tracie Daly. The Community Council were thrilled when Rory agreed to come back to Cullohill and do the     demonstration. Rory is undoubtedly the ‘chef of the moment’ and we were honoured to have him back home for the night, just as he was delighted to be home.
Sunday 11th December from 1pm to 4pm – The Parents Council of Scoil Tighearnach Naofa, Cullohill are delighted to host the ‘Christmas Family Fun Day’ in the Cullohill Community Centre on Sunday 11th December from 1pm to 4pm. There is a fantastic afternoon of festive fun and entertainment planned, including a Christmas Jumper Competition, Nerf Shooting Gallery, Face Painting, Nail Art, Christmas Wish Tree, Cake Sale and Christmas Crafts.
Most importantly the very lovely Mrs. Clause will be in attendance to take letters from the    children back to Santa and also to tell a Christmas Tale or two! So children, don’t forget to wear your Christmas jumpers and bring your letters for Santa!!! This event is a fundraiser for the Parents Council and your support would be very much appreciated. Donations of cakes etc for the cake sale would as always be very welcome. Admission is €5 per adult and children are free.
Progressive 25 Card games are held in the hall every Sunday night at 8.30pm sharp followed by tea and sandwiches. Please support!
The next clinic in Durrow will be held on the last Saturday in January (28th) from 12 noon until 12.45pm in The Presentation Centre. The office in Portlaoise is open every day at 5, Church Street and can also be contacted by phone on (057) 8662581 or by email or visit online.

Brian Stanley TD clinic

Brian Stanley TD clinic

Interested in Kayaking: As is standard and due to the shorter evenings, paddling will now be on at the weekends only. If you are interested in taking up paddling, please have a look at the event dates on Facebook and on our website for details online.
Midland Cakes by Rita along with Kyle Farm Potatoes AND Fresh Veg are both at the Saturday Market every Saturday morning from 8.30am to 12 noon in the CAIT Centre, beside the Catholic Church in Durrow. Rita makes celebration cakes for all occasions, cupcakes, cookies, scones, breads and standard cakes and these will be available each Saturday. For more information, please phone Rita on (085) 8423201 or Marie on (087) 7742506. Do drop in on Saturdays!
After another successful year for the club the following members received their awards as follows: U16 Heaviest Trout – Daniel O’Regan; U18 Heaviest Trout – Patrick O’Regan; Senior Heaviest Trout – Pat Dunphy; Senior Heaviest Pike – Seamus Coffey; U16 Angler of the Year – Daniel O’Regan; U18 Angler of the Year – Patrick O’Regan; Grantstown Lake Angler of the Year – Patrick O’Regan, Derrywood. Rivers Nore and Erkina Angler of the Year – David Walsh.

Durrow and Cullahill anglers reeling in new season

All your Laois fishing news here

Thanks to all the landowners on the river for the use of their land throughout the 2016 season. Thanks also to our Parish Lotto supporters and ticket-sellers. Thanks is extended to South Side Angling, Dublin for their sponsorship of all our competitions on Grantstown Lake, to Mountrath Angling Shop for all their help and support over the year. Tight lines to all for 2017 ahead!
Third Time Lucky Lotto: Congratulations to Mary Townsend who was the second winner of the Third Time Lucky Lotto following on November 19th last. Mary’s number 40 was the bonus ball in the National Lotto Draw on the night landing her €500. Mary’s win follows Tommy Moore’s win in October when his number 17 netted him the inaugural prize. Well done to both and best of luck to all our supporters in the December draw which takes place one week before Christmas Eve on December 17th!
Wrenboys Hurling Tournament: Plans are underway for an adult hurling tournament to be held on St. Stephen’s Day with four teams picked from within the club’s membership. It all throws-in at 11am with Tucker’s 65ers playing Murphy’s Gaels in the first semi-final followed by Brophy’s Blockers playing Richie’s Army in the second semi-final at 11.45am.

Harps GAA: Standing tall on and off the field

Harps GAA: Standing tall on and off the field

The two losing sides will meet at 12.30pm for the shield final followed by the Cup Final at 1.15pm. All games will be played at The Harps GAA pitch in Durrow. Do come along and enjoy the craic and bring the family. Admission is free. Detailed posters will shortly be displayed in shops and pubs across the parish detailing the team selections – but beware, there could be a couple of special appearances/cameos on the day!!!
Tickets are currently on sale for the 43rd Lions FC Annual Christmas Draw. Tickets cost just €2 each or three for €5. Please support.
Is your laptop running slow?, full of pop-up ads? and generally frustrating to use? Call Laois Computer Services on (087) 4103520 – Phone 6pm-10pm and 10am-6pm weekends.
Good quality eating potatoes for sale in 10kg or 20kg bags. Can be delivered. Contact (057) 8737197.
Knitters Needed – We are hoping to form a Durrow Knitting Circle based here in the Library. It could just be to meet for a knit and a natter, alternatively if anyone is interested in trying to form a knitting circle for the Knitted Knockers Breast Cancer Organisation we would be happy to facilitate you. Interested parties can get in touch with Lori at (083) 4274714, (057) 8736090 (during Library hours) or to by email.
Storytelling – We are looking for volunteers to read stories to children on Saturdays. If anyone is interested please contact the library.

Durrow needs you!

All the news from Durrow

Christmas Party Night – 10th December – Four Course meal + Entertainment! Contact Reception for more information on (057) 8736117.
Visit online for the latest weather data live from Durrow.
A book with 200 pages of Photographs spanning almost 100 years of Durrow and Cullohill memories including ICA, Hurling, Camogie, Soccer, School to mention but a few. Books for sale €25 each or two for €40. Please text or call Tom on (087) 2936531 or Kathleen on (086) 8263368 for further information.
Durrow Tidy Towns is in much need of volunteers for the coming season, if you feel that you would like to get involved in the community, improve your living environment, have your speak on how you would like your town to improve, how you would like your town to shine and how you would like your town to excel, please keep it in mind as we will be looking for volunteers over the coming months, every little bit helps and every new idea lights a spark in a community that will enhance and improve your own living community and your own living environment, Don’t be shy, have your say and get involved! We will issue further notices in the coming weeks.

laois tidy towns

Shouldn’t all of Laois be spotlessly clean?

The next newsletter will be on sale this weekend December 17th & 18th. All adverts must be booked with Angela Drennan (087) 1928522 or Mary Walsh (086) 3055157. Advertisements cost €2 per issue of Durrow Parish Newsletter and must be paid for in advance.