Steam rally memorial

Steam rally memorial

Fine Gael Chairman and Dail Deputy for Laois/Offaly, Charles Flanagan TD officially unveiled a plaque at Market Square, Stradbally on 27 December last, to commemorate the first ever rally held in Stradbally on the 27 December 1965. Minister Tom Hayes TD, who was to complete the unveiling, was unable to attend due to bad weather. Local Councillor James Deegan, who is Chairman of the Market Square restoration project, initiated the project, secured funding for the plaque from Laois County Council and acted as MC at the proceedings in Dick Dunnes bar following the unveiling. Attendees on the day included Ken Graham, President of the Irish Steam Preservation Society and Ron Bramley, founding members of the society, Dick Dunne, Rally Chairman, county council Cathaoirleach Cllr Mary Sweeney, and Ann Marie Delaney from Director of Services, Sean Fleming TD, Cllr Deegan, Fr Jim O’Connell PP, Declan Dunne representing the local Gardai, Cllr James Daly and the 2013 Steam Queen, Mairead Carroll. The 50th National Steam Rally will be held in Stradbally, Laois on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th August 2014. The first Rally held in Stradbally was on a very cold December in 1965 when five Laois steam enthusiasts were on their way home from a rally in England when they decided that it was about time an event like this was held in Ireland. These five men were: Ben Farrelly, Harold Condell, Stan Mason, Ron Bramley and Colonel Kidd. Five engines supported by 1 Fordson tractor and cars gathered at the Market House, Stradbally. A reported 3,000 or so spectators turned up for the occasion which was judged to be a huge success. It was decided to repeat the rally on the following August bank holiday in the grounds of Stradbally (Cosby) Hall. It has been an annual event there ever since with an increasing number of attendees (approximately 20,000 attend now every year – it is hoped to increase this to 30,000 in 2014). See page 36.

Guide Dogs

The Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind Laois church gate collection on the weekend of January 11 & 12. Give generously.

Top student

Maria Heffernan was invited back to receive an Outstanding Leaving Cert Award from Mr John McCormack, Principal of Árdscoil na Tríonóide, Athy. Maria is studying in UCD but started school at St Coleman’s National School, Stradbally before joining Árdscoil na Tríonóide in 2007. Maria is also an accomplished traditional musician and member of Rathineska Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. She plays a variety of traditional musical instruments and holds a number of national awards. She brought her music and playing to accompany many events in Árdscoil na Tríonóide. She is wished every success and happiness in her studies.


The death occurred suddenly at her home on Sunday, December 29 of Margaret Kearney (nee Moore), Irishtown, Mountmellick and formerly of the Court Square, Stradbally. Her remains were reposing in her home until removal to St Josephs Church, Mountmellick on Wednesday morning for requiem mass at 12 noon and her remains were interred in Oakvale Cemetery, Stradbally. To her husband and extended family we tender our deepest sympathy.


The death occurred peacefully on January 1 at the Regional Hospital, Portlaoise of Elizabeth Hayden, Rathmore Road, Stradbally. Beloved sister of Paddy, John, and Theresa (Goodwin) and the late Mary Hayden, Sadly missed by her sister, brother, extended family, neighbours and friends, Her remains were reposing at the Chapel of Rest, Stradbally and following requiem mass in the Church of the Sacred Heart, Stradbally on Friday interment took place in Oakvale Cemetery.


Would members of Potlaoise Credit Union who use the Stradbally office please note as and from January 2014 the Stradbally office will be open from 2pm to 4pm on Fridays instead of Thusdays with the usual Saturday opening from 10am to 1pm.


Preparation January 17 commencing at 7.30pm in St Colmans School.