The lifting of the latch

A VILLAGE without a character is like a song without a singer or a play without a cast.
They are the thespians of life, carrying out impromptu performances on the public thoroughfare. It’s street theatre in the purest form. They provide an aside from the humdrum and the norm. They chose the nuances of a life less ordinary. They are masters of their own destiny while the rest of us willingly sacrifice ourselves as hostages to progress.
The village of Shrule has been well served in this regard.
Pitched as it is on the banks of The Black River, merging Mayo into Galway, it had a wider net to trawl from. Wonderful eccentrics like Batty, Laddie, Aiden (the cuz) and Mairtín Jim crossed the bridge regularly to ply their trade and entertain in the hostelries of the village and wherever two or three were gathered.
Shrule was the better for their visits but, in fairness, no other village was as tolerant or appreciated the presence of the unconventional. If truth be told it serves as a kind of mecca to the peculiar and the enigmatic. But life went on as life does and slowly, but surely, they slipped away quietly into that good night.
For close on three decades Raphael was the principal of the village cast in Shrule.
A gifted plaster in his day he could enhance the ceiling on the Sistine. Shrule had a reputation of drinking the wool before the sheep were shorn but Raphael had few equals when it came to the actual shearing. He’d have given the best sheep shearer in New South Wales a run for his money.
But like us all he too had his demons and Raphael opted for the road less taken and away from the millwheel. Unlike our ogres, who we try to keep securely locked in the cupboard of our lives, Raphael’s skeletons were a tad more outgoing. They tended to amble along with him.
To his eternal credit he never allowed them offend or harm anyone. A more gentle soul never came over the R334 to the village. Daily he took his place in a crouched position at the wall near the phone box or some suitable vantage point. And regardless of the inclemency of the weather, Raphael went toe to toe with the elements. He was an ever-present with an exemplary attendance record.
His needs were simple; Assumpta and the girls provided the odd haircut when needed, someone else the bit of sustenance, and others the lift home with the bale of briquettes as night nodded towards another day.
And long before the EU/IMF came to our shores, Raphael could orchestrate his own bit of a bailout if necessary. Another first for Shrule.
His demands were minimal. He always applied the pretence it was for some other purchase. The required tender was normally equivalent to the price of a pint. A tariff enough to gain entry and no more was his ask. It was for the lifting of the latch. After that he fended for himself.
When he was a bit flush his generous nature came to the fore and many a garsún enjoyed a bar of chocolate from Raphael. There was a child within.
Everyone has their own Raphael yarn to share and those little anecdotes will be recycled for years to come at the counters of Shrule.
But Shrule must unfold without Raphael now and it will be the poorer for it. Someone up there rang the golden bells to summon him from his earthly dominion. He leaves a void in Shrule that will not be filled for a long time to come.
He’d have been dead chuffed also to hear the well-spoken lady announcing his funeral notice on MWR pronounce his name as “Raf Aye Elle.” He got the traditional send-off that is synonymous with Shrule funerals. He’ll be missed in passing.
We’ll leave it at that.

Tribute to Raphael Madden , from the Mayo News Jan 13, 2012 , written by and with the permission of
Willie McHugh
williemchughshrule @ gmail.com

Categories: News items.

Shrule Market 22 April

A market was held in Shrule , Co Mayo on the 22 April 2006 . Under the Casual Trading Act 1995 , market rights unused in the 10 year period up to 1 May 2006 could be automatically extinguished .

Shrule Market 22 April 2006 - G.Mullen buys vegetables from M.Murphy.

G.Mullen buys vegetables from M.Murphy.

Luckily Shrule will not lose the right due to the vigilance of some local marketeers! Market Rights exist for most towns in Ireland and were granted to Town Councils or Individuals over a four hundred-year period by the English Crown. The granting of Market Rights often reflects the bitter power struggles that especially characterised the 17th and 18th centuries. Absolute power was granted to Individuals or Corporations in England’s bid to colonise Ireland and one of these powers was the control and financial rewards of market trading.

They were granted “Market Rights” by the English Crown in the form of complex and legally binding “charters” or “letters patent” that encompass special rights under English Law. Ireland’s legal system is based on English Law and so recognises and accepts the primacy of Market Rights. Market Rights that were granted four hundred years ago are still as valid now as they were then and in Ireland have constitutional protection.

A “Market Right” is also the publics right to trade in a certain area, at a certain time. In Ireland and England complex laws have evolved in relation to Market Rights and on the whole reflect the general public’s need for the use of a market place .The right exists as much for the customer as it does for the seller.

Categories: News items.

Shrule Fair – Easter Monday

Under the Casual Trading Act 1995 , market rights unused in the 10 year period up to 1 May 2006 could be automatically extinguished . Luckily Shrule will not lose the right due to the vigilance of some local marketeers!

Sale agreed! Sean McGath sells a lamb to John Muldoon

Sale agreed! Sean McGath sells a lamb to John Muldoon

Market Rights exist for most towns in Ireland and were granted to Town Councils or Individuals over a four hundred-year period by the English Crown.

The granting of Market Rights often reflects the bitter power struggles that especially characterised the 17th and 18th centuries. Absolute power was granted to Individuals or Corporations in England’s bid to colonise Ireland and one of these powers was the control and financial rewards of market trading.

They were granted “Market Rights” by the English Crown in the form of complex and legally binding “charters” or “letters patent” that encompass special rights under English Law. Ireland’s legal system is based on English Law and so recognises and accepts the primacy of Market Rights.

Market Rights that were granted four hundred years ago are still as valid now as they were then and in Ireland have constitutional protection. A “Market Right” is also the publics right to trade in a certain area, at a certain time. In Ireland and England complex laws have evolved in relation to Market Rights and on the whole reflect the general public’s need for the use of a market place .

The right exists as much for the customer as it does for the seller.

Categories: News items.

Shrule-Glencorrib v Crossmolina (2005)

AS Peadar Gardiner stood on the presentation platform in McHale Park, the Moclair Cup sitting before him, he attempted an acceptance speech. His efforts were, however, bedevilled by feedback from an erratic microphone, and the hundreds of Crossmolina supporters splashed in maroon across the pitch had to go home with the familiar feeling of being Mayo?s best team to console themselves. It was not the first time last Sunday that northern royalty were harassed by a persistent opponent.

Shrule-Glencorrib 2005

Shrule-Glencorrib 2005

The victors were the better side in this county final, but the margin of their triumph gives every due credit to a stubborn and often superb Shrule/Glencorrib challenge. They began the game at a frenzy, led by five points, were a score to the good at half-time, and did not allow Crossmolina to raise a flag for an astonishing 23 minutes of the second half, which included over seven minutes of time added on.

What they lacked, though, was the poise of their opponent, a team whose experience has been tempered at the very highest levels of the game. Cross? were able to harry, to fill space, to press the life out of budding attacks by the border team. But there is no shame in this loss for Shrule/Glencorrib: they have made progress over the past half decade that is admirable, and when the sting of such a loss diminishes, there should remain a team with aspirations to this level in coming seasons.

There were the guts of 5,000 people poured into the county ground come 3.45pm, the majority streaming from the south of the county. By the time Peter Geraghty tossed in the ball – the official had a mixed afternoon on a day when both sets of players behaved impeccably – the atmosphere was cranked up, and it seemed to spill over the sideline and affect the players, as we waited nine minutes for the game?s first score.

This was preceded by much chopping and changing, with the grapevine getting it right when Jimmy Nallen strode in to pick up Conor Mortimer, and James Lohan returning from a hamstring injury to take his place at midfield for Shrule/Glencorrib. Both of these deviations from the named line-ups proved significant, with Nallen?s experience, while not snuffing out Mortimer?s threat, certainly quelling it, as Lohan worked through a mountain of ball and was a stand-out performer.

Both sides had the umpires waving for wides, before Mark Ronaldson almost goaled. A quick free by Trevor Mortimer caught the Crossmolina defence out, and Ronaldson moved onto the bouncing ball, flicking it towards goal. Barry Heffernan had to get down smartly to push it out for a 45. A long, probing pass from Trevor was the conduit for their first score, Conor dashing out ahead of Nallen and arcing over a point. Three minutes later, he was first on to a breaking ball and snapped over tidily from almost 50 metres out.

The underdog were snarling at this stage, with Cross? looking decidedly uncomfortable. This might have given way to the first whispers of panic after 13 minutes, when Ronaldson diverted another long ball into space, ran on and pierced a shot beyond Heffernan. He was giving a torrid time to Jonathan O?Boyle.

But this is when the years of winning county, Connacht and national titles stands to a team like Crossmolina. They responded to Shrule/Glencorrib?s vibrant start with a goal that was wonderfully well-worked. Michael Moyles collected McDonald?s pass, and flicked the ball back to Noel Convey.

The corner-forward then pitched a delightful pass into space for Moyles to attack, and the ball ended up high and hard beyond Derek Walsh. Two Ciar?n McDonald points, one a free and the other a great score struck while he was off-balance and under defensive pressure, had the teams level by the 24th minute, and there followed a rush of scores before the break.

Peadar Gardiner barrelled through the defence of Declan Ronaldson?s team, a trick he was to repeat to telling effect throughout the game, and his run was not tracked. He played a one-two with Paul McGuinness and smacked over, an effort that was followed less than 60 seconds later by the point of the match from McDonald, who nailed a thundering effort from the left-hand sideline.

By this stage, he was being picked up by Dermot Geraghty, who enjoyed patchy success on him, and Trevor Mortimer had moved inside to full-forward. After a neat Mark Ronaldson score, Darren Murphy pulled out his own contender for the match?s best point, punting long, hard and sweetly accurately over the bar with his left boot.

The half?s last action saw Shrule/Glencorrib enter the dressing-rooms with a one-point lead, Mark Ronaldson, their most threatening player on the day, slapping over after sloppy Cross? defending.

Hardly had the din of half-time chat from the stands stilled when Crossmolina goaled. Thirty-three seconds died between the restart, and a green flag heralding a fine Brian Benson score. Once again, Gardiner galloped through the centre of the Shrule/Glencorrib defence with far too much ease, and fed Brian Benson, who cleverly placed his shot beyond the frame of Walsh.

The brothers Mortimer, Trevor and Conor, posted a point apiece by the fourth minute to level the teams, but Crossmolina then hoarded five points in seven minutes, the last their final score of the game, but it was a push potent enough to claim the title.

Benson gave just reward to good McDonald work to land a point, before yet another Gardiner gear-change through the defence yielded a point. Michael Moyles bent over a sweet score from the left, and Paul McGuinness and Moyles again completed the spurt.

They faltered by five points, but Shrule/Glencorrib did not panic. David Geraghty, a fine performer for the club all year, bustled up from the half-back line to add a score, while Conor Mortimer flicked over a 14 yard free, after a baffling foul was awarded against Gabriel Walsh. Conor found the range with another free by the 56th minute, there were two points separating the sides, and the south Mayo side sensed not all hope had whistled away.

Conor failed with another dead ball kick, while Ciar?n McDonald effected a crucial block around the middle to hamstring one of the waves of attacks washing over Crossmolina. James Lohan lashed a ball across the Cross goal that was gathered and pointed by Conor Mortimer, but by then over seven minutes of added time had been played, and it was a challenge too far for Shrule/Glencorrib.

Crossmolina were revelling in that old familiar feeling so beloved of winners.

Original Mayo News – Wednesday October 5, 2005
Submitted by report by Shane McGrath
Mayo News
Web site http://www.mayonews.ie/current/sport.tmpl$showpage?value1=3337420387240951

Categories: GAA, News items.

Golden Wedding

John & Bridie Mellett,Mochorra celebrated their Golden Wedding on 4/11/2003 they were married Cong on 4/11/1953.

Mellotts

Mellotts

Front L to R; Gabriel, Peter John , Bridie Michael, Francis. Back Kieran, Tommy, Declan, Sean.

Categories: News items.

7.32 lbs trout caught in Shrule river

Caught in the Black River (Shrule).

7.32 pounds

John Joe Langan (Shrule) caught the biggest trout in living memory in the Black River last Monday 2 June 2003. The brown trout was landed with the assistance of another Shrule man , Bert Cawley .

The trout weighing 7.32 pounds – caught by John Joe Langan (Right) in the Black River on Monday evening – assisted by companion Bert Cawley (Left) Largest trout in living memory from the river it seems ?

Categories: News items.

Mayo girls cross the border at Shrule

The Mayo ladies team were warmly welcomed home when they crossed the bridge in Shrule yesterday (evening) with the Brendan Martin Cup.

The difference between victory and defeat was there for all to see. Last year?s narrow loss to Laois made this year?s win all the more special and, in many ways, led the team to a far greater appreciation of their achievement.

Mayo ladies team members from Shrule

October 02, 2002

There were big welcomes for all the local girls including Helena Lohan, Mary Teresa Garvey, Emma Mullin, Christina and Marcella Heffernan, Denise Horan, Edel Biggins, Edel Reilly, Jackie Moran, Patricia Moran and Maeve Ann O?Reilly. The Shrule-Glencorrib, Kilmaine and The Neale GAA Clubs have all joined in the good wishes to the team and especially to all the girls from this region.

Original Western People – Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Submitted by Western People

Categories: GAA, Local Sport.

Old Dalgan Revisited

Old Dalgan Revisited.

Invited by the Shrule ParishCommunity, eleven Columbans returned to the site of the Old Dalgan for what turned out to be an historic and memorable occasion on Sunday September 15. 2002. Nothing remains of the main building, but the memory and spirit of the local people was as obviously genuinely true as it was tangible.

Dalgan locals and visitorsThe eleven Columbans were warmly welcomed back to where we had started in 1918 and departed in 1941. After a light lunch we were brought to the site of the Old Dalgan, where a temporary notice board contained maps and photographs of the Old Dalgan, and a printed list of all the Columbans who were ordained there. Thoughfully three golf buggies were an hand to transport those who needed a lift to the still surviving ball alleys, the old tomb and on down to the Black river.

The Davins and Sheridan families who occupy the well kept two surviving buildings, in the area known as Bobbio where formerly the ordained 4th divines lived extended an obviously heartfelt welcome, interspersed with tears, emotions sandwiches tea, and brandy. to the visiting Columbans , in particular to the four of our group who had studied in the Old Dalgan: Tommy Comerford, Michael Donoghue, Oliver Whyte and Paddy Connelly.

Paddy Sheridan had built a beautiful grotto of Our Lady which the Columbans were requested to bless.We invited the Sheridan clan to join us in blessing the grotto with holy water.

Dalgan 2002Back under the famous ‘Monkey tree’, directly behind the now non-existent main Old Dalgan Building, we celebrated Mass with a crowd of a few hundred people, who had gathered for, what was clearly for them, an emotional and historic occasion.Some of the participants were people who had worked in the Old Dalgan . I met three people who, in 1941,had moved up to work in the new Dalgan in Meath for a few years to help in the transition. Many of the participants were the children or relatives of those who worked in the Old Dalgan, and who were proud to be associated with their ancestors involvement in the Columbian project.

Some had returned from England for the event. There was a particuarly poignant moment when it was observed that Mrs, Teresa Blowick a sister-in-law of John Blowick was present, sitting quietly in the congregation in the middle of an open and normally deserted field , invited by the local parish priest, Fr: Michael Crosby. His brother Ned Crosby, worked as an associate priest with us in Peru.All were invited back for an evening meal in the parish hall.

Many of us Columbans felt overcome and embarrassed at the amazing welcome extended to us by this local community who had never forgotten us but who may have been forgotten by us Columbans in the new Dalgan.

Old Dalgan revisited.

2002 , Columbans revisit Dalgan Park
Back row Fr.Eddie McColgan , Fr.P.Connelly , Fr. G.Coneely ,
Fr.Martin Murphy , Fr. Donal Bennett , Fr. Tom Murphy.
Front row Fr.Tom King , Fr.Mick Donoghue , Fr.Tommy Comerford
, Fr. Oliver White .
Invited by the Shrule Parish Community, eleven Columbans returned to the site of the Old Dalgan for what turned out to be an historic and memorable occasion on Sunday September 15. 2002 in particular to the four of the group who had studied in the Old Dalgan: Tommy Comerford, Michael Donoghue, Oliver Whyte and Paddy Connelly. Nothing remains of the main building, but the memory and spirit of the local people was as obviously genuinely true as it was tangible.

Categories: Church, News items.

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