1953 January to June.

1953.

 National Events.

27 people die when a BEA Viking aircraft crashes at Belfast Airport (Nutt’s Corner) on 5 January
Samuel Beckett’s En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot) is first performed at the Théâtre Babylone, Paris on 5 January
The ferry Princess Victoria capsizes off the coast of County Down: 133 people die (31 January)
Insured workers in the Republic become eligible for medical benefit
The library of Alfred Chester Beatty, containing his unique collection of oriental manuscripts, opens in Dublin (8 August)
The Health Act provides for a free mother-and-child healthcare scheme in the Republic (29 October)
Michael Scott’s acclaimed Busaras (central bus station) is built in Dublin
The last Blasket Islanders are resettled on the mainland
John Bernal is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize.

Births.

Raymond Deane (composer, pianist and novelist) on Achill Island, Co. Mayo
Theo Dorgan (poet) in Cork
Hugo Hamilton (fiction writer) in Berlin
Mary Harney (politician; leader of the Progressive Democrats and Tánaiste) in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway (11/3)
Garry Hynes (theatre director) in Roscommon (10/6)
Rita Kelly (poet) in Galway
Frank McGuinness (playwright) in Buncrana, Co. Donegal (?/7)
Liam Neeson (film actor) in Ballymena, Co. Antrim
Patricia O’Donovan (trade unionist) in Cork
John Rocha (fashion designer, based mainly in Dublin since 1978) in Hong Kong (23/8)
Ronan Sheehan (fiction writer) in Dublin

Deaths.

Sir Arnold Bax
Henry Dixon
Richard Downey
F.L. Green
Beatrice Grimshaw
James Hamilton (3rd Duke of Abercorn)
Grace Henry
Maud Gonne MacBride
Alice Milligan
Eugene O’Neill
Joseph O’Neill
T.F. O’Rahilly
Robert Lloyd Praeger
James Scullin

Local Events.

3-1-53 Blackbog Parochial Bazaar in St. Joseph’s Hall, Ederney 4th-11th January in aid of a new church.

3-1-53 During the past week the most severe frost remembered for 15 years has held the Pettigo district in its grip. Lakes and rivers in the area were frozen over. The accompanying cold was intense as a result of which many people were confined to bed with influenza.

3-1-53 Kinlough. On Christmas Eve the countryside was illuminated by the Christmas Candles which lit up every house. Churches were crowded for Midnight Mass at which large numbers of the faithful received Holy Communion.

3-1-53 Regret has been occasioned in the Devenish district by the death of Mrs E. J. Mc Guinness, Corramore.

3-1-53.The death is reported at a comparatively early age of Mrs D. Duffy, Fassagh, mother of John and Joseph Duffy.

3-1-53 The inaugural meeting of the Clogher Historical Society was held on December 28th in St. Macartan’s Seminary, Monaghan, with Bishop O’Callaghan presiding. It is to produce an annual journal recording the religious, social, economic and political history of the Diocese of Clogher.

3-1-53 Two gypsies, Martin Ward and Bernard Reilly, were found guilty of breaking open the poor boxes at the Graan, Enniskillen and stealing the contents. The two who were at a gipsy encampment at Rossory, Enniskillen were jailed for six months each.

10-1-53 Thirteen men, who attended Mass for 35 minutes on the morning of New Year’s Day, were dismissed from the Winter Relief Scheme by Enniskillen Borough Council.

17-1-53 Regret has been occasioned by the death of Mr. Bernard Flanagan, Devenish, a member of an old respected family.

17-1-53 Successful Devenish Play. An audience of over 600 people packed into St. Mary’s Hall, Devenish to see the wonderfully realistic Nativity play presented by the children of the parish. A high tribute is due to Rev. Victor Marron C.C. and the teachers for the careful and diligent training that they gave to the children which resulted in the presentation of such an awe inspiring spectacle.

24-1-53  Dublin Dance aids Pettigo Memorial. A very successful dance was held on January 6th, in St. Peter’s Hall, Phibsborough, Dublin, in aid of the Pettigo Memorial Fund. The monument which will be in the shape of an Irish Volunteer on the march is being executed by a famous Dublin sculptor. It is hoped it will be ready to be unveiled early in June of this year. The Dublin Committee intend to issue a booklet containing an account of “The Battle of Pettigo.” It will also contain an account of the efforts made by successive British Governments from 1912 onwards to ensure for Britain a permanent hold on Northern Ireland.

24-1-53 The Pettigo 1922 Memorial Committee received £200 from the Pettigo Men’s Committee in New York also over £100 from members of the Old IRA in Dublin.

24-1-53 Writing in the Eire Society Bulletin of Boston USA, Miss Mary Frances Fox, one of the founders of, “The American League for an Undivided Ireland,” recalls her last visit to Garrison last year. Her mother was a native of Devenish Parish. She believes that “Garrison” is a name best forgotten and a return to the name of Devenish West. She applauds the efforts made in this direction by Rev. Canon Coyle, “patriot priest in the great Irish tradition, jailed during the fight for freedom, and now in the 52nd year of his priesthood.”

31-1-53 A total of £170 in fines was imposed at Kesh Court on five Dromore women who were stopped in a taxi coming from Pettigo smuggling cigarettes and tobacco on 30th August 1952. Rose Mc Cann was fined £20, Mary Donnelly £30, Sarah Donnelly £40, Rose Mc Caffrey (with a previous conviction) £50 and Jenny Gallagher £30. They were given three months to pay.

31-1-53 Bid to save Cloy School near Lack and avoid the bussing of the 18 pupils to Lack Primary School. Mr. Cahir Healy M.P. believed in the retention of small rural schools as it was a hardship for children to travel long distances to school which involved early rising and waiting on the roadside under trees in wet weather waiting for buses.

31-1-53 Fermanagh Conference agrees on the idea of a new abattoir. The present Enniskillen abattoir is out of date and the lease almost ended. Mr. Harry West proposed the export of meat from the new abattoir via St. Angelo Airdrome. Enniskillen Rural District Council is to give £5,000 to the new project.

31-1-53 Fermanagh widow, Mrs. Sarah Jane Elliott of Lisbellaw and her five children are granted £1,500 for the loss of her husband in a car accident. She was also granted an additional £400 on account of her own personal injuries arising from the collision with, Gerald McGrath, Post Office worker and Union official of Station Rd., Randallstown. The accident occurred on October 25th, 1950.

7-2-53 Corporal Tom Harte, of the US Army, arrived home on Christmas Eve after serving two years in Korea, giving his parents of Raheelan, Kiltyclogher a wonderful Christmas surprise. He brought home with him some beautiful examples of Japanese and Korean art and craft. He has returned to America last Friday to resume work with the Edison Company with whom he had been employed before enlisting.

7-2-53 Heavy loss of life as motor-vessel founders. Larne-Stranraer boat sinks in a gale. The Princess Victoria sank in a raging sea five miles off the County Down coast on Saturday afternoon on the way from Stranraer to Larne. There were only 44 survivors, 128 people drowned and 65 are still missing.

7-2-53 More than 1,000 people are feared drowned in extensive floods in south-east England and the Low Countries in a weekend of sea-driven floods. One hundred people are drowned and 400 missing on Canvey Island in the Thames estuary when a 17th century sea wall was breached. Bodies have been found on the tops of houses with water lapping at their feet and others entangled in the branches of trees.

7-2-53 The death is announced of Mrs Kate Gallagher of Tullygravarth, Cashelnadrea, Devenish in the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen at the advanced age of 71.

7-2-53 Thomas O’Reilly of Coramore, Lisnaskea was sentenced at Lisnaskea Court to a month’s imprisonment with hard labour for stealing 9 hens valued at £6-15-0 from Miss Bridget Mc Brien, Drumlone, Newtownbutler.

14-2-53 Kesh Boy’s Sad Fate. James Joseph Douglas, aged 18 ½ of Gortnagullion, Kesh, had been missing since Christmas Day, and his body was discovered drowned in Lough Erne between Portinode Bridge and Hare Island on 5th February. His bicycle, overcoat and army cap had been found on Portinode Bridge on Christmas Day. At the inquest in Kesh on Monday held by Mr. George Warren, coroner, a verdict of suicide was returned.

19-2-53 Belleek Property Sale has Court Sequel. Decree of £25 made against an Enniskillen auctioneer re the sale of No. 7 Rathmore Terrace, Belleek. Mr. Edward Ellis of Main St. Belleek was plaintiff and the defendants were Dr. Rollins of Croydon, Surrey administrator of the estate of Charlotte Emily Rollins, and Walter Brown of East Bridge St., Enniskillen. The houses in the row had been sold for £800 or £80 each. Mr Ellis had bought No 7 for £300 but had not been able to obtain possession. The houses had been advertised as freehold and turned out to be only leasehold with only 18 years left on the leases.

21-2-53 From Bishop O’Callaghan’s Lenten Pastoral. Seminary for Enniskillen. We have to provide a minor seminary in the Six County portion of the diocese for those boys who wish to follow the Northern Ireland Grammar School Course. We have already secured a suitable site at Enniskillen and hope to have the building commenced as soon as the permit from the Northern Ireland Government is obtained. I appeal to all who are in a position to make bequests for religious or charitable purposes to remember the new seminary.

14-3-53 At the AGM of St. Mary’s GFC the secretary Mr. P. Keown, expressed the view that efforts should be made to reunite Cashelnadrea area to the club so that a strong Parish Club be formed. He paid tribute to the help from the Cashel boys during 1952.

14-3-53 Cavanacross travelled to Devenish on Sunday for their first Junior League game and emerged victors after a gruelling hours’ football. Played in brilliant sunshine on an ideal pitch the game was keenly contested right to the end. The closeness of the scores is indication of the eveness of these two teams both of which can be commended for the clean sporting manner in which the game was played. The scoring opened after about 10 minutes play when J. Cassidy had a point for Cavanacross followed about five minutes later by a point for Devenish leaving the score at half time at 1 point each. After the interval Cavanacross had a further two points leaving the final score 0-1 to 0-3 in favour of the visitors. Mr. J. P. Meehan was a strict and impartial referee.

14-3-53 The newly formed Cashelnarea Club wish to remain independent and not sink their individuality by playing for another team.

21-3-53 “The Quiet Man” led to trouble at the cinema. The manager of the Regal Cinema, Enniskillen was “warned and severely reprimanded” for alleged overcrowding and obstruction of the passageways at a showing of this popular film.

21-3-53 At Belleek Court on Tuesday James Mc Laughlin, Corrakeel, Belleek was fined 8 shillings with costs for being drunk in charge of a pedal cycle.

21-3-53  Garrison Farmer’s Union meeting ends in disorder after a meeting in McGovern’s Hall on March 3rd. Mr. White, General Organiser, presided at the election of officers after Mr. Grogan, J.P. declined re-election as Chairman. He welcomed the huge attendance and stressed the motto of the Farmer’s Union “Defence and not Defiance,” and stressed that the organisation was non-political and non-sectarian. Mr. Wesley Acheson, vice chairman was proposed as chairman and Mr. Francis Timoney was also proposed. Without a vote Mr. White went on to ask for proposals for a vice-chairman. When challenged by Mr. Benny Dolan, Mr. White said he was not going to be dictated to and that only members could vote. Mr Dolan said he was a member and had paid his fee of 10s and  held his membership card which he had got a month ago from Mr McGee, the secretary. After examination Mr White said the card was invalid as it had not been signed by the Group Secretary, Mr. Armstrong.

In a heated discussion Mr. Joe Elliott said that the Garrison branch was a private branch where everything was done behind closed doors and Mr. Dolan said that there never was a meeting except at Christmas, that the secretary had no list of members nor had he any minutes of the last meeting. A voice in the body of the hall observed that the Chairman has no land and Mr White said he was going ahead with the election of officers. He then asked Mr Dolan and Mr. Elliott how much land they had and they replied respectively 110 and 180 acres. Mr. White said he was going on with the meeting and that that they would obey him or leave the room to which Mr. Dolan replied that they would stay and he would leave. Loud cheering drowned out Mr. White as he tried to proceed and he threatened to fetch the police to which Mr. Elliott said that they were not afraid of the police to more cheers.

Mr White told the meeting that if they would not submit to him he would have to wipe Garrison off the map and said he had come from Belfast not knowing the difference between farmer and farmer and said he detested the spirit that had been revealed at the meeting. When he again called for a vice-chairman he was told from the audience he would get no vice-chairman and he said he regretted having to close the branch. He then left the hall.

28-3-53 An Eire Customs Patrol under Mr. M. Dawson, P.O. seized a lorry and 50 small pigs which were being taken from Eire to Northern Ireland. The seized bonhams were later sold in Pettigo and the vehicle removed to Custom’s Headquarters. The value of the pigs is about £350.

28-3-53 The death is announced of Mr. J. P. Dunne, P.T., Teemore, has robbed the GAA in Fermanagh of one of the best known and respected members of the Association. He was playing for the County team when he was sixteen and after gaining every honour a Fermanagh player could he went on to serve his county with the same ability and loyalty in the Council chamber. He became chairman of the Co., Board at a time when its very existence was threatened by financial troubles and internal distension. Thanks to his energetic efforts and his wide guidance a healthy organisation and a respectable credit balance in cash made the way easier for his successor in 1943 when he decided to retire from what had been a most tiring and exhausting office.

28-3-53 Enniskillen’s last thatched house in a blaze. The two story five room house of Mr. Thomas Maguire, The Orchard, Enniskillen was gutted by fire recently. It was the last thatched house in Enniskillen. Mr. Maguire, aged 83, is organist in St. Michael’s Church, Enniskillen.

4-4-53 Cashelnadrea V Cavanacross played in a gale force wind ended with a win for the Cavanacross visitors by 1-2 to 1-1. Packy and Richard Tracey scored a goal and a point respectively for Cashelnadrea.

4-4-53 Despite a gale force wind Belleek and Irvinestown produced many fine passages of football in a close game in Irvinestown which ended 1-3 each. Sean Mc Caffrey fisted to the net for Belleek and John Doogan levelled the scoring with the last kick of the game.

4-4-53 These people can see through you. X-Ray Mobile Unit for Enniskillen. Have you got T.B.? The chances are about 100 to 1 against but if you happened to be the unlucky one you would be foolish not to learn about it so that you may be cured in a short time. Anyone above the age of 13 is entitled to a free x-ray at the Minor Townhall, Enniskillen.

11-4-53  Enniskillen’s new bridge joining the town to the Cornagrade Estate is to be called The Johnston Bridge in recognition of the part played by the Mayor of Enniskillen Ald. W. E. Johnston in getting approval from the Government for its construction.

11-4-53  In the new English Sewing Cotton Company’s factory over 300 are to be employed in Lisnaskea.

18-4-53  At a challenge football match between Pettigo and Belleek on Sunday at the football grounds, Pettigo were winners.

18-4-53 At Belleek Court Henry Acheson, Kevin McSherry both of Gurteen, Garrison and Andrew Sweeny of Kilcoo, were summonsed for disorderly behaviour in the public house of George Mc Manus, Belleek on 17th of February. Sergeant T. Cordner gave evidence of separating the three men struggling in a passage which led to the kitchen. He put Acheson out but later found that he had returned and had the proprietor by the throat and put him out again. McSherry questioned the authority of the Sergeant and said “there would be no peace until the green, white and gold is flying here.”  He also said to the publican and his two daughters that they were fine neighbours for phoning the police to which they replied that if they had not they would have wrecked the place. Mc Sherry was fined £1, Sweeny £2 and bound to the peace for a year and Acheson fined £4. Only McSherry appeared at the court.

18-4-53  Judge Troy at Ederney. Great Welcome for American friend of Ireland. Judge Mathew Troy, chief of the Irish-American, “Minute Men,” accompanied by Senator J. G. Lennon, was met by St. Joseph’s Band, Ederney and escorted to the Hall where he addressed the crowd. Rev. Fr. Mc Kenna P.P. praised him for the great work he was doing in the United States for a united Ireland. About 30 police were on duty in the vicinity.

18-4-53  Mary O’Reilly, a tinker was sentenced to two months in prison for stealing money on two occasions from Mrs Ellen Treacy, Fossagh. She had arrived pedalling her wares and snatched the money from the table. She was caught on the second occasion. The sentence will not take effect if she leaves Northern Ireland immediately. Aged 17, she was married since she was 15.

18-4-53  The death is announced of Dr. Alice Milligan, noted Irish Nationalist, poetess, essayist and dramatist at Lislap, Omagh, where she was born 80 years ago.

18-4-53  Bundoran’s An Tostal Attraction. On next Sunday a record off-season crowd for the Dr. Mc Kenna Cup game Donegal V Armagh at the Gaelic Park, Bundoran. This fixture, which is billed as a Tostal event of importance is arousing considerable interest and special trains and busses will bring their complement to the seaside on that day. Everyone who witnessed last season’s National League game between the same counties at Ballybay and the replay at Clones, when Donegal qualified for the semi-final, and won their first Lagan Cup, will agree if the same fare is provided, we are assured of a close and exciting hour of football. Donegal, with a home venue, will field a strong fifteen, which included a few young and promising stars, but will have a hard nut to crack in this experienced and well-balanced Armagh team.

18-4-53  Fermanagh Health Committee is pleased that at long last the Northern Ireland X-Ray Unit has visited the county. It was officially welcomed by Enniskillen Major Ald. W. E. Johnston, J.P. Some 300 people were x-rayed at the first session.

18-4-53  The introduction of Summer Time always brings with it a certain amount of confusion with it regarding the time of games. Next Sunday all games will begin at 4.00 p.m.

25-4-53  Devenish. Almost £200 worth of sheep and lambs have been destroyed by a dog on Kilea Mountain. If the animal is not traced and destroyed the sheep will have to be brought to the lowlands for safety.

25-4-53 The sympathy of a wide circle of friends is extended to Miss Briget Keenan and Mr. P. F. Keenan on the regretted death of their mother Mrs. P. Keenan.

2-5-53 On April 20th, Pettigo GAA Club purchased a large field which they are converting into an Athletics Park, from Mr. William Porter of Kimmid at the sum of £500.

9-5-53 At a football match between Pettigo and Donegal teams at Rosefield Park, on Sunday, after a well-played and strenuous game, Pettigo was the winner by two points. The recently formed Pettigo youthful team is showing great promise and if the spirit continues they should be able to make a name for themselves in the football field.

16-5-53 Devenish. The death of Mr. Thomas Johnston, Devenish, which occurred suddenly while he was carting on his farm is deeply regretted.

16-5-53 First in the Cashelnadrea district to have turf saved is Mr. Thos. Treacy, Woodvale House, Kilcoo.

16-5-53 Obituary of Mr. F. Keogh of Drumadravey, Lisnarick, electrician at RAF Station, Castle Archdale. He was disconnecting low tension wires when he was electrocuted. He is survived by his wife Veronica and sons Brendan, Peter and Desmond. He played goals for St. Molaise, Football Club, Irvinestown, for several years.

16-5-53   Regret is felt in the Lettercran district at the death of Mr. J. Mc Kenna, Proughlish, near Drumquinn aged 79 years. He was well known in the Lettercran district and was husband of Brigid Mc Kenna, a native of Lettercrann. He was father of Mrs John Sweeny, The Rock, Ballyshannon and of Mrs J. White, East Port, Ballyshannon. Internment took place in Longfield Cemetery.

23-5-53 John Tracy, Corramore, Garrison, Co., Fermanagh was fined £5 with £5-18-1 costs and expenses at Belleek Court for falsely claiming a grant of £1-4-6 towards the cost of fertilizers purchased from Belleek Cooperative Agricultural and Dairy Society.

23-5-53  Mr Vincent Keown, Killybig, had a narrow escape when he fell into the Erne at Belleek where he is employed  on the Erne Development Drainage Scheme. The presence of mind of a fellow worker Mr. Cyril Gibson saved him from possible drowning. Using a piece of wood on which there was a bent nail, he succeeded in hooking the nail in Keown’s clothing and pulling him to safety.

23-5-53 On Sunday matches were played in Rosefield Park between Pettigo and Barnesmore Minors and Juniors. The games which were played under very unfavourable conditions owing to a strong south-westerly wind were keenly contested. Barnesmore won the minor game and the most promising players for Pettigo were, Vincent Egan, Vincent McCrea, Joseph Moss and Joe Mc Fadden. Pettigo were the winners in the Junior match and in this game Vincent Egan, B. Maloney, J. Moss and Tony Mc Grath were always in the right place at the right time. Another promising player is Josie Mc Fadden. Mr. F. Muldoon refereed.

23-5-53 St. Mary’s Pipe Band has been equipped with new instruments. An interesting visitor to Devenish on Sunday was Senator Lennon, who was the guest of Mr. Fogarty, Cardiff, at the Melvin Hotel.

23-5-53 Success of Devenish Sports held in St. Mary’s Gaelic Park on Sunday 10th inst were an outstanding success and a crowd of several hundreds were drawn from Fermanagh, Leitrim and Donegal. They were delighted by the fine demonstration of athletics given by the schoolchildren of the parish in conjunction with the exquisite music provided by St. Mary’s Pipe Band. The tastefully dressed members of the children’s Irish Class gave a figure drill display under the direction of Miss Gilbride, Rosinver, and also gave displays of Irish dancing the music for which was provided by two talented young accordion players, J. J. Carty and P. Feehily. The latter is the son of Mr. P. Fehily, the well-known traditional fiddler. We congratulate Re. Victor Marron C.C. who was chief organiser of the event and marvel at the success of his efforts to give the children of Devenish a real Irish Ireland outlook. Without compulsion these children are as enthusiastic to learn the Irish language as Fr. Marron is to teach it. Mr. O’Donoghue, Ballyshannon, teaches them Irish dancing and Irish music and there is in this outpost of occupied Ireland we find youth enthusiastically embracing the culture that was the treasured possession of our forefathers and which has entirely disappeared from many parishes in the Republic of Ireland. I only pray that God may give to other parts of Ireland prototypes of Fr. Marron so that the spirit of real sincerity may be infused into the real Irish Ireland Revival Movement. In the football match which was between Belleek and Ballaghameehan St. Aiden’s the latter lead the heavier Belleek team by a point but Belleek with the aid of the wind in the second half won by 2-6 to 0-5 with Fr. Marron C.C. as referee.

23-5-53 Religious Profession of former Devenish Playright. Some years ago the name of Alfred G. Mc Govern, Aghoo, Tullyrossmearn, Devenish was known from end to end of Ireland as the author of several popular and  successful plays including, “Smuggling on the Border,” which had a great run in the Midlands and South: “Paddy Reilly from Ballyjamesduff,” a play founded on the popular song “Come back Paddy Reilly,” and “I will repay,” a historical play representing the life and times of Fr. Sheehy which may well be regarded as the masterpiece of this gifted son of Fermanagh. Your correspondent had the honour to be present at the first productions of all these plays, and reviewed them in turn. Brother Peter is a brother of Messrs. Francis J. Mc Govern, monumental sculptor, Kiltyclogher and of Mr. Leo Mc Govern, postmaster, American House, Bundoran and cousin of Rev. Patrick Stewart, S.M.A., Nigeria, and of Mr. John Sweeny, prominent New York businessman, and Mr. P. Mc Govern, P.C., Curran House, Kiltyclogher, and Mr. J. Sweeny, Latoon. He was reared within a mile of Kiltyclogher. A former playing member of Cashelnadrea Gaelic Football team he was also a gifted musician and his violin selections of traditional dance tunes and airs were frequently heard on concert platforms and Feiseanna all over the North-West. Six years ago Mr. Mc Govern decided to leave the world behind and entered religion as a novice at the Cistercian Monastery, Roscrea, Co., Tipperary. On Wednesday of last week he made his final profession at an impressive ceremony in the Monastery, taking the name in religion of Brother Peter, son of the late Mr. and Mrs John Mc Govern, Aghoo, Cashelnadrea.

30-5-53 A verdict of suicide whilst of unsound mind was returned at an inquest in Ballyshannon on Monday on Edmond P. Condon (44) solicitor, who was found hanging in an out office of Mall House, Ballyshannon, his late mother’s residence, on Thursday evening. He was a former chairman of Ballyshannon Town Commissioners and had been missing since Sunday. Sergt. P. Flynn, who made the discovery, said that Condon seemed to be worried and had been unusually quiet recently.

30-5-53 Enniskillen Rural Council’s Victory over Lonely Spinster. Sheriff’s bailiffs Henry Coalter, Chanterhill, Enniskillen and Thomas Higgins, Enniskillen accompanied by Mr. A.W. Dinnen, Assistant Welfare Officer for Fermanagh, and two policemen, Sergeant Calderwood, Florencecourt and a constable evicted Margaret Nolan of Toneyloman, Belnaleck at 11 am on Tuesday. She was removed from the house built for her father the late John Nolan and had tried in vain to hold on to this family home in the 17 months since he died.

30-5-53 Only six months in existence the Ballyshannon Musical Society has taken a big step in arranging a concert at which the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra of 40 pieces will be guest artistes along with the eminent American mezzo-soprano, Patricia Thomas fresh from the New York Metropolitan Operatic Society, and Liam Arches, wizard of the accordion. This is the first time that the Radio Eireann Light Orchestra has come so far north, and the announcement of their visit has excited considerable interest all over the North-West. It will be the biggest musical event ever held in the North-West, a fact which is indicated by the steady demand for tickets.

30-5-53 Sunday’s memorable close to Irvinestown Carnival. Four thousand spectators thronged the streets for the fancy dress parade in which 100 children and 150 adults took part. In the children’s section the most original prize went to Edward, Stephen and Colum Mc Garrity as a Mau Mau Gang.

6-6-53 A continual downpour of rain which lasted practically all day marred Cashelnadrea’s annual sports which were held in St. Joseph’s Park. The rain partly nullified the efforts of Rev. Fr. Victor Marron, C.C. and his energetic helpers to make it a memorable success. St Mary’s Pipe Band woke the echoes amidst the mist obscured hills of historic Cashel and a number of events were run off including a juvenile match despite the sodden condition of the Park. A huge crowd of patrons danced at the sports ceilidhe to the music of Malachy Sweeny’s Ceilidhe Band, all the way from Armagh.

6-6-53  Belleek beat Irvinestown last Sunday by 2-4 to 0-7. Jim Diver, in goals for Irvinestown, was caught napping for Belleek’s simple first goal. Hughie Connors is the latest of our retired players to come out of retirement. The ex-Mulleek forward still knows where the posts are as he notched 1-2 against Irvinestown.

6-6-53  Cardinal D’Alton’s hope for Ireland during new British reign. In a statement he said, “I am sure that Irishmen of all shades of opinion, with their innate sense of chivalry, will join in good wishes to the young Queen who was called to the throne in circumstances of great personal sorrow. It is my earnest prayer that God may protect and guide her in her exalted office and that he reign may be the opening of a new era of prosperity for her people. All of us who love the old historic Ireland sincerely hope that during it we may see our country restored to its natural unity.

6-6-53 Everest has been conquered by 34 year old New Zealander E. P. Hilary and a Sherpa guide. The expedition was led by Colonel John Hunt.

6-6-53 Mr De Valera and his ministers refuse to attend the British Minister’s Garden Party on Coronation Day. No films of the Coronation will be shown in Dublin Cinemas as a result of threats from Sinn Fein.

6-6-53  Police are maintaining a 24 hour a day watch on the labourer’s cottage at Toneyloman, Belnaleck, from which the 47 year old spinster Margaret Nolan was evicted by bailiffs on a Court Order by Enniskillen Rural Council on Tuesday last. A Protestant tenant was selected for it 17 months ago has been given another house in the meantime although he lived in a better house when he made his first application than hundreds of Catholics today.

6-6-53 The world’s longest strike ended on Saturday. It lasted from March 6th, 1939 and for the first time since no pickets marched up and down past the 30ft frontage of Mr James Downey’s public house in Dun Laoghaire since James (78) is now dead. Fourteen years ago he sacked one of the barmen and the Irish National Union of Grocers, Vintners and Allied Trades Assistants demanded his reinstatement. The union withdrew the other barmen and James advertised for non-union men and got 400 replies. Down the years it is estimated that the pickets walked about 41,000 miles and it cost the union £8,500 in strike pay. Some of the original pickets died and others moved away or took other jobs but the union kept sending new pickets. Every night as James locked up he bade the union men good night as he went home and hired a sweeper whenever it snowed to make life easier for the pickets to walk. He was very particular about their punctuality and if there was no pickets present when he opened in the morning he rang the union to demand to know why they were not there and on each 6th of March he held an anniversary party, with drinks on the house to celebrate the strike. The faded “Strike on here” placards have been folded up as the pickets withdrew.

13-6-53  Looking forward to the League Final between Belleek and Lisnaskea there are several surprises in the Belleek line-up not the least being the choice of Brendan Faughnan as goalie. He was an outstanding centre forward until his retirement two seasons ago. Patsy Rooney at corner back is another surprise. He has not played a lot of late but he is such an accomplished player that he would be an automatic choice at centre half for most teams.

13-6-53 The death is announced of Mr. Mary A. Gallagher, Fassagh, Belleek, relict of Mr. John Gallagher.

13-6-53 Monster Sports Meeting to be held at St. Joseph’s Park, Cashel on June 21st. Football challenge for a set of medals, Ballyshannon V Belcoo/Cashel/Devenish selection. Admission 1/6, children 6 pence.

13-6-53   After extensive repairs the Erne Hospital, Enniskillen, was re-opened by Dame Dehra Parker, Minister of Health and Local Government in Northern Ireland. The work had changed the whole character and appearance of the hospital from the dull, gloomy character of the former Workhouse. The Hospitals Authority had wonderful plans for a new hospital which would mean sixth new beds in Fermanagh.

13-6-53 Bishop Eugene O’Callaghan, visits Black Bog Parish, Ederney, to decide, from four sites proposed, where Ederney’s new Church is to be built. He addressed several hundred parishioners in St. Joseph’s Hall, Ederney and introduced Mr. Padraic Gregory, Belfast, who will design the new church and supervise its erection. The present St. Joseph’s Church is 200 years old and is of the cruciform style typical of the post Penal Days with rows of seats in front and on both sides of the altar and with galleries above. It has stood the tests of two centuries and is a remarkable tribute to its builders. Very Rev. Felix Mc Kenna, Blackbog, began to build up a fund for its replacement four years ago and a substantial sum has already been collected. The Bishop remarked that it was a long time since a Church had been erected in Fermanagh. Mr. John Monaghan, R.D.C, expressed thanks, on behalf of the people, to His Lordship, Monsignor Gannon and Fr. Mc Kenna of Irvinestown, for having come to assist in this important selection.

13-6-53 Fermanagh Senior League Final was poor. Belleek defeated Lisnaskea by 1-9 to 1-2 in St. Molaise Park, Irvinestown in what must have been one of the poorest exhibitions of its class ever played in the county. J. P. Mc Cann at centre-field completely dominated the sector for the entire match. It was quarter way through the second half before Lisnaskea made their second serious attack of the game. Rooney starred for Belleek in a grand solid line at the back. Belleek last won this title in 1949.

13-6-53 John Magee, Derryrona, Leggs, Belleek was fined a total of 33 shillings plus costs at Belleek Court for being drunk in charge of a bicycle and £4-8-2 compensation for damaging Constable McCutcheon’s uniform. The constable was bringing him to the barrack when he began to resist and both fell on the ground damaging the constable’s waterproof coat, his trousers and lanyard. Two other constables assisted in taking the defendant to the barrack. He was fined 10s for being drunk in charge, 10s for assaulting the constable, 10s for damaging his clothes and 3s for having no lights or front brake.

13-6-53 Laurence Spratt, aged 19, of Bunaninver, Lisnarick, was charged before Mr. Justice Curran, with forging a £5 note and attempting to pass it to an Enniskillen shop assistant. He was said not to be leading a natural life for a boy as he spent most of his time at home reading and did not engage in sport as most other boys of his age did. A sample of his unusual reading material was a book on psychology in six easy lessons. As his parents were hardworking, honest people the judge imposed a suspended sentence of six months jail.

13-6-53 Senator O’Hare raised matters in connection with the Erne Scheme at Belleek which were annoying local farmers and others in the locality. As the dredging machinery operated day and night the waters of the Erne were constantly dirty and unsuitable for the farmers’ cattle to drink. Blasting was throwing large boulders into farmer’s fields which were an obstacle in making hay and this blasting also affected the livelihood of farmer/anglers who took guests out to fish on the Broad Lough.

13-6-53   “It is outrageous and ridiculous” said Mr. J. Coffey at Lisnaskea Rural Council on Saturday when the Council decided to accept by 11 votes to 5 the tender of John Mc Carron to act as caretaker of Derrylin urinal for £1 per week. He thought the urinal should be cleaned when necessary and added that the Lisnaskea caretaker was doing far more for far less.

20-6-53  Cardinal D’Alton blessed and opened the new £70,000 GAA stadium dedicated to Roger Casement in Andersonstown, a suburb of Belfast. He addressed 25,000 people inside the stadium and told them that he regarded the park as a sample of their patriotism and of the indestructible spirit of the Irish nation.

20-6-53 Michael Tate (32) of Bridgend, Ballyshannon, who had been in Crumlin Jail, Belfast, since 1st June for having had in his possession in Belleek one .45 bullet. He was fined £5 at Enniskillen Court. The defendant is believed to be originally from Co., Tipperary and resident in Ballyshannon for the past three or four years.

20-6-53 Mr. Robert Loane, of Rushindoo, Pettigo, has 100 ricks of hay saved.

20-6-53 Owners to blame for the Princess Victoria disaster. The Princess Victoria was unseaworthy when she sailed from Stranraer to Larne on the morning of January 31st to meet disaster in the Irish Sea. This was the verdict of the enquiry which investigated the loss of the ship with 133 lives.

20-6-53 Suspensions imposed at Fermanagh County Board include Seamus O’Connor, Belleek, one months and Sean Mc Caffrey, twelve months. Mc Caffrey’s case is to be appealed to the Ulster Council. Patsy Keown, formerly secretary of the Devenish Club, reported that the old Devenish Club had been disbanded and a new one formed. A minor team was being entered for competition in place of the Junior team. The SFL final between Belleek and Lisnaskea was fixed for 12th July at Irvinestown.

20-6-53 The death took place on Thursday of last week at Lettercran, Pettigo, of Mrs Catherine Haughey aged 88. In August of 1913 two of her children were accidentally drowned in a lake near her home. She was predeceased many years ago by her husband.

20-6-53 William Mc Mahon, Belleek was given the benefit of the Probation Act at Belleek Court for being drunk in charge of a bicycle.

20-6-53 A Garrison cattle dealer, Thomas Allingham, was fined £2 with costs for driving in such a manner as to prevent Henry Acheson, Gurteen, Garrison, from passing his cattle lorry.

27-6-53 In a Junior Football match Knocks defeated Kesh by 2-1 to 1-4. Kesh were best served by the goalie T. Maguire, full-back J. Montgomery, Clifford at centre field and Mc Mahon, left full forward. The referee was Mr. B. Mc Elroy.

27-6-53 In their first season in Senior Football, Derrygonnelly Harps oust the newly crowned Senior League Champions, Belleek, by 3-6 to 1-4. It was a hard tackling, fast encounter with keen marking and many bone-shaking clashes. On a slippery pitch with a greasy ball, Derrygonnelly lead by 3-3 to 0-3 at half time. Best for Belleek were M. Regan, J. P. Mc Cann, J. and M. Tunney and E. and P. Mc Caffrey. Mr. M. Cullen controlled the game admirably.

27-6-53 On Tuesday night heavy rainfall was experienced in the Pettigo area, continuing until mid-day on Wednesday. Not for 40 years did such flooding occur. Meadows of hay on the banks of the Termon River were swept away. Mr. Wm. Leonard, (cattle dealer), had almost 20 ricks of hay taken away by the flood.

27-6-53 The wedding took place recently in St. Mary’s Church, Devenish, between Mr. Michael H. Gilligan, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Gilligan, Cow Park, and Miss Elizabeth Dolan, second daughter of Mrs T. Dolan, Knockaraven. Mr. P. F. Gilligan, brother of the groom was best man. The bride was attended by her niece, Miss Marie Timoney. The honeymoon is being spent in the south of Ireland.

27-6-53 Two cases of infantile paralysis in Ballinamallard were reported to Fermanagh Health Committee.

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