Emigrant Newsletter for London Reunion 2002

The Ballycroy Parish Magazine was the main "newletter" distributed at the 29th annual Ballycroy London Reunion which was held in the Corrib Rest, Queen's Park, London NW6 on 9th November 2002. A small news sheet was also circulated. It contained a few items.


Hello once again from Ballycroy. I am approaching my third year as resource officer in Ballycroy and have enjoyed my term here working for the community. This newsletter is a mere nibble as you have the feast of the Ballycroy magazine with fact, fiction or simply perusal of many interesting photographs. Have a wonderful reunion. Talk to you next year! Geraldine C.


Greetings from Fr. Eddie! Congratulations to all who have organised this reunion and all the reunions in the past. It is a noteworthy achievement to have supported this reunion for the past twenty nine years. Well done! Please God, for the 30th reunion we will have a coach load from Ballycroy to celebrate the occasion. I hope you all have an excellent night.


This year's festival, along with a new title (heritage festival) brought with it a brand new festival committee. With a fresh committee came fresh new ideas. The festival opened with a parade which started at Margaret Gaughan's and ended at the Garda Station. Crowds came from all over Ballycroy to cheer on those participating in the parade, in particular all the children from the three national schools and the naionra (our irish speaking play school). The music and dancing of the children was lovely to behold on a nice summer evening. This was followed by a sea food buffet in the Community Centre. The next innovative event of the festival was an all day barbeque on a beautiful Sunday while an Bonny Baby and Glamorous Granny competition was held in the centre. An opportunity to see all our local celebrities in the Ballroom of Romance and an informative piece about the strawboys was given at the community centre. The evening of music and poetry was its usual resounding success. The music by Francis Tully and Niall Conway and the poetry by Ger Reidy and Geraldine Cummins provided entertainment and food for thought on the night. The launch of the Ballycroy Parish Annual took place at the Dinner Dance towards the end of the festival and was a huge success. Tim Quinn, Chairman of Mayo County COuncil, launched the magazine saying "as always it is a pleasure to be invited to Ballycroy. Congratulations to Geraldine Cummins and all the editing committee for a job well done." Many thanks to Orla Denneny of ERRIS LEADER for her tireless work in support of a grant for the magazine. We also express our enormous gratitude to all those who purchased advertising. This essential financial support made this magazine possible.


2002 saw a summer camp in Ballycroy for the first time. It was organised by Geraldine Cummins, with sponsorship from Muintearas. Eighteen of our local children enjoyed sport, nature trails, cooking, art, singing and lots of fun for two weeks in July. The art work of the children was displayed for part of the festival in Ballycroy. The students on the summer work scheme were an invaluable asset during the camp. The two weeks concluded with a barbeque for the children and their parents with presentation of certificates by Tim Quinn, chairman of Mayo County Council. Well done.


Thanks to the efforts of Councillor Frankie Leneghan funding has been allocated for the building of an extension to the community centre at Ballycroy. This structure will be thirty feet by thirty feet and it is hoped that it will comprise a kitchen, store room, and - joy or joys - a gym. The application for planning permission has been submitted and, pending approval, work will commence during 2003. With the Ballycroy "Happy Heart" fitness group and a new gym the people of Ballycroy will certainly be fitter, healthier and more brim full of energy. This new development will also allow us to finally start up the meals on wheels service for the more senior members of the community. With the much appreciate the work of Geraldine Cummins, resource officer, and the work of Breege Grealis and her team of community employment workers, Ballcroy is certainly moving into the future.



Congratulations to Sorcha Sweeney, baptised on 18th November 2001, daughter of Martin and Nicola Sweeney, Inishbiggle; to Erin Grealis, baptised on 1st December 2001, daughter of Frances and Michael Grealis, Ballyveeney; to Kate Marie Butler, baptized on 9th February 2002, daughter of Seamus and Helen Butler, Claggan; to Aoife Carmel Murphy, baptized on 9th March 2002, daughter of Monica and Gerard Murphy, Sligo; to John Paul Conway, baptized on 31st March 2002, son of Ann and Sean COnway, Shranamonragh; to Lana Marie Kissane, baptized on 18th May 2002, daughter of Mary and John Kissane, Dublin; to Marie Catherine Cafferkey, baptized on 18th May 2002, daughter of Nora and Anthony Cafferkey, Aughness. May all these young people of Ballycroy have long, healthy and happy lives as part of our community.


Congratulations and many happy years together to the following newly weds in Ballcyoy Church of the Holy Family: Amanda Corrigan (Doona)and Brian Nevin (Maynooth), who married on 8th March 2002; Caroline Cafferkey (Aughness) and Oliver Carney (Castlebar), who married on 9th June 2002; Martina Gallagher (Knockmoyleen) and Vincent Kearns (Leitrim), who married on 13th July 2002; John Keane (Knockmoyleen) and Marion Connor (Dublin), who married on 5th August 2002; Colm O'Briain (Shranamonragh) and Bernadette Kirby (Dublin), who married on 13th September 2002; Nora Sweeney (Dooriel) and David Ingham (Westport), who married on 14th September 2002.


There were quite a lot of deaths in the last year, unfortunately. We offer our sincere condolences to all the families and loved ones and pray for all the deceased. The following is a list of the dead: Maud (Tilly) Conway (Gortbrack), who died on 3rd November 2001, aged 83; Margaret Smith, Kildun, who died on 10th November 2001, aged 82; Mary Kate Cafferkey (Aughness), who died on 14th December 2001, aged 78; James Heston (Dooriel), who died on 20th January, 2002, aged 78; John James Cafferkey (Aughness and Bristol), who died on 5th February 2002, aged 54; Paddy McNeela, Lettra and Claremorris, who died on 6th February 2002, aged 59; Anthony Deane (Aughness and Drumgallagh), who died on 17th May 2002, aged 72; Michael John O'Malley (Inishbiggle), who died on 15th June 2002, aged 38; Mary McGuire (Dooriel), who died on 15th June 2002, aged 82; Cis McManamon (Knockmoyleen), who died on 10th July 2002, aged 79; Tony McGuire (Dooriel and London), who died on 14th July 2002, aged 49; Tony Leneghan, Doona and Castlebar, who died on 29th July 2002, aged 40; Nora Campbell (Doona), who died on 9th September 2002, aged 87; Martin Sweeney (Inishbiggle), who died on 9th September 2002, aged 45; Ellen Ginty (Dooriel), who died on 8th October 2002, aged 79; Bridget O'Donnell (Shranamonragh and Mulranny), who died on 10th October 2002, aged 80; Kevin Moran (Drumslide and Nottingham), who died on 20th October, aged 51: Fr. Joe Gibbons (Mulranny and Westminster), who died on 23rd October, aged 56.

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