Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ballybrown Parish Journal

Josephine Feehily with sister Brigid and niece Martina McGregor

Ballybrown Parish Journal

In June 2001 Willie Ryan of Tervoe, Clarina, travelled to Lourdes with the Limerick Diocesan Pilgrimage. On the return flight home Willie was seated beside Denis Carmody from Fedamore. Willie told Denis about the Ballybrown Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (P.T.A.A.) and of the need to raise funds to help finance the Association’s activities. Denis told Willie about their annual parish journal “The Fedamore News”. Willie saw an opportunity both to raise funds and record the happenings in Ballybrown on an annual basis. On his return Willie put the idea to the next meeting of the Ballybrown P.T.A.A. and he was given unanimous approval. He then went about recruiting people he knew would be interested and committed. He first approached Tom Donovan who had previous experience in editing journals. It was in August 2001 when Willie asked Tom if it would be possible to have a journal published in time for the Christmas market. Tom did not at first realise that Willie meant Christmas 2001. However the first ever edition of the Ballybrown Parish Journal was launched successfully on November 29th, 2001.

Since that initial venture into the world of publishing, the Ballybrown P.T.A.A. and the editorial team of the journal, comprising Tom Donovan, Des Fitzgerald, Martin Hayes, Michael McNamara and Willie Ryan, have ensured that the journal is launched on time each year for Christmas. The P.T.A.A. are responsible for arranging advertising in the journal and the editorial team collect material such as local births, deaths and marriages. The team also collates contributions from local groups such as the GAA, Boy Scouts, Ladybirds, Girl Guides, Harriers, ICA and many other community associations and bodies. Articles bearing an historical interest together with photographs, old and new, add to the wide variety of material collected each year. The journal is a wholly charitable publication as all profits generated go towards funding pilgrimages to Lourdes by less fortunate local people who might otherwise be unable to do so.

Michael McNamara, Willie Ryan, Tom Donovan, Josephine Feehily, Des Fitzgerald, Martin Hayes, Jim O Farrell

The journal is unique amongst publications of its type as every year to date it has featured a reproduction of a specially commissioned painting on its front cover. The paintings which are by a local artist, Jim O’Farrell, enhance the overall appearance of the journal.

The journal is warmly welcomed each year and is especially sought after by Ballybrown people who are no longer living in the parish. Nobody can overstate the value of this link to local people and places for those who live far from their native home.

Fr. Muiris O Connor, Rosaleen Donovan, Josephine Feehily Tom Donovan

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