News Bits 2003
St. Louis Community School

Congratulations to the U-15 girls Pioneer team from St Louis Community School who won the 5-a-side All-Ireland Soccer competition in Longford on Saturday September 13th. The team members were Sinead Hanahoe, Grace Doyle, Michelle McNicholas, Hazel Jordan, Sinead Flatly, Katie Carroll and Michelle Jordan.
Congratulations are also extended to the U-15 Pioneer team who were runners-up in the 5-a-side All-Ireland Gaelic Football competition held in Longford last Saturday. The team members here were Sinead Hanahoe, Grace Doyle, Sabrina Jordan, Hazel Jordan, Sinead Flatley. Katie Carroll and Michelle Jordan.
"Western People", Sept. 24th '03

St. Colman’s students receive Young Pioneer certificates
Several students from St. Colman’s College were presented with pioneer certificates at a special P.T.A.A. ceremony in the school. Fr. Micheal MacGreil from Westport celebrated the Mass and lauded the young people for their decision to become involved with the Pioneers.
Sean Coll, President of the P.T.A.A., joined in the words of praise for the young people and he presided at the presentation of the Young Pioneers certificates and badges.
The organising committee of the ceremony extended thanks to Martin Casey (Principal), Fr. John O’Boyle (President), members of the teaching staff, parents and local pioneers who attended the Mass and ceremony. A special word of thanks to Theresa Mulkeen and the girls in Mount St. Michael who worked so hard to provide a choir on the night.
The recipients of the Young Pioneer certificates were Paul Beirne, Eoghan Brennan, Anthony Broderick, Jonathan Burke, Liam Canavan, Keith Cawley, Michael Clesham, Tommy Commins, Shane Connolly, David Cosgrove, David Donnellan, Gareth Duggan, Donal Feeley, Andrew Finn, Donal Finn, Martin Finn, Jonathan Foudy, Ciaran Gallagher, Gerard Gibbons, Jack Grimes, Padraig Griffin, Liam Griffith, Simon Heffernan, Ross Henry, Liam Higgins, Jonathan Hyland, Daniel Kelly, Alan King, Stephen King, Shane Macken, Brian McDermott, Tommy Mitchell, Oliver Mobasser, Darren Mulligan, John Parsons, Kyle Prendergast, Sean Prendergast, Kevin Reilly, Jason Roche, Mark Sullivan, Sean Sweeney, Mark Tierney, Michael Waldron, Shane Walsh, Conor Whittle and Edward McLoughlin.
"Western People", Sept. 24th '03
Connaught Youth Committee Meeting

A meeting of the Connaught Youth Committee will take place on Sunday August 31st in Claremorris at 2pm. Main items on the agenda are the Connaught and All-Ireland Pioneer Sports Finals and the Senior Seminar which is scheduled to be hosted by the Connaught Youth Committee in Knock from November 7th to 9th this year.

For those of you who are not familiar with the usual meeting place - it is the building on the left of the Catholic Church as you enter the Church grounds from the Main Street in Claremorris. Just walk on in through the glass sliding doors!

It is very important that all members of the committee attend. All other young pioneers are also welcome to attend, especially those who attended the AGM but who for whatever reason did not secure a postion on the Committee. Please remember that elected members are there to represent you but that they need your continued support to carry out their work. If you are in need of transport to Claremorris then please ask one of your parents or local senior pioneers to bring you ... they are more than welcome to attend the meeting also. Looking forward to seeing YOU there.

Happy 21st!


A big "Happy Birthday" to Chris Clarke from Duleek, Co. Meath who celebrates his 21st birthday on Saturday August 30th. Chris is a well know Young Pioneer and a member of the National Youth Committee. He will be known as the man with the cowboy hat to many young pioneers throughout the country who attend the various pioneer events over the years. Enjoy the party Chris!

Connaught Pioneer Sports Finals

The dates and venues for the Connaught Finals have finally been confirmed. They will follow a similar pattern of organisation as last year and are as follows -

Gaelic Football & Basketball: Saturday 30th August at 12 noon in Fr. O'Hara Memorial Park, Charlestown, Co. Mayo;

Soccer: Saturday 6th September at 12 noon in Ballyglass Soccer Pitch, Co. Mayo.

Badminton: Sunday September 7th at 3pm in An Sportlainn, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.

Entry forms should be forwarded to either Anne Mulkeen, Faughill, Kiltimagh or Caroline Walshe, Ballyglass, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo, as soon as possible.

Lackagh P.T.A.A.

Lackagh Branch of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association hold their monthly meeting on the first Friday of each month at 8 p.m. in the new chapel. New members are always welcome.

Knock P.T.A.A. Centre Report at Claremorris Regional Meeting - June 27th 2003

Five young pioneers from Knock Centre took part in the All-Ireland Sports, held in Killarney last June, winning 14 gold All-Ireland medals between them.

Michael Rattigan elected Regional President.

A large number of Juvenile and Junior Pioneers from Knock took part in the Readoiri Regional Finals held in Bekan.

There were two recipients of the Fr. Cullen medal this year.  Fr. Christopher Twohig and Eddie Joe Cunnane R.I.P.  They were presented with their medals and certificates at a special function held in Knock.

A special Mass, celebrated by Fr. Hughie Loftus, was held in Knock N.S. on Fr. Cullen Day – 6th December.  24 new Juvenile pioneers received their pins and certificates and 24 children, who were Juveniles, received their Junior pins and certificates.

An Art competition was held in the school just before Christmas for 4th, 5th & 6th Class pioneers.  There were three trophies per class plus runners-up medals in each section.

Matthew Mulkeen was elected Vice-Chairperson of the National Youth Committee at their AGM in January. 

Theresa Mulkeen appeared on a TG4 programme called ‘An Tua Nua’ with three of her students from Mt. St. Michael and Fr. McGreil to discuss the Pioneer Association.  Theresa continues to be Secretary of Connaught P.T.A.A. Committee and is also on the Spirituality Committee at National level.

Knock received their 4th Gradam and 8 Knock members travelled to Dublin for the Mass and Presentation in St. Francis Xavier Church on 22nd March last.

Denis Mulkeen and Michael Rattigan were Chairperson and Secretary of Activities this year and organised a very successful Connaught Readoiri Final with the help of other pioneers from the Region & Connaught in the Town Hall, Claremorris.  Denis and Michael also played a major part in the All-Ireland Readoiri Finals which took place in Castlebar.

Two teams from Knock were 1st & 2nd in the Regional Quiz Final held in Mt. St. Michael in the Juvenile Section.  They, along with a Senior team from Knock, represented the Region at the Connaught Final.

In the Regional Essay competition Donal Rochford came 1st and Declan Murphy 2nd in the Juvenile section of this competition.  Both boys are pupils of Knock N.S.

Four Knock pioneers travelled to Clonakilty for the National Ball held earlier this year.

Anne Mulkeen was invited by R.T.E. to attend the Late Late Show and took part in a discussion on the effects of alcohol on young women.  Anne is a delegate to National Youth and was recently elected President of the Connaught Youth Committee.

Eddie Joe Cunnane, one of the founder members of Knock Centre, died a few months ago.  Knock pioneers together with others from the Region formed a Guard of Honour at the funeral.  This was greatly appreciated by Eddie Joe’s family.
26th June, 2003

The Knock Centre sells around 30 "Pioneer" Magazines per month.

Newport Centre
Congratulations to the 22 young boys and girls from Newport and Cuilmore Primary Schools who committed themselves to becoming Young Pioneers (until 18 years), last Tuesday, - Maria Burke, Corragaun, Nicola Costello, Derrintaggert, Sinead Davitt, Comploonbeg, Andrew Dever, Bay View Drive, Jenny Gibbons, Kilbride, Aisling Hughes, Derradda, Sinead Hughes, Kiltarnet, Jane Kearns, Quay Road, Kerry Leneghan, Sea View park, Yvonne Lenighan, Towneyougane, Claire Moran, Gortfahy, Grainne Moran, Collabrack, Ciaran McCormack, Carrowbawn, Shane McDermott, Corragaun, Ian McLoughlin, Rockfleet, Kate A McManamon, Shramore, Shauna McManamon, Knockmoyle, Lisa M O’Malley, Ardagh, Leanne M Rogan, Bay View Drive, Norma Keane, Lecarrow, Sarah McManamon, Teevemore, Darren Moran, Oak Park.

North-East Galway Pioneer Region

Later on this year the North-East Galway Pioneer Region will be celebrating twenty five years of activity with a function in the Castlegate Hotel Athenry on Friday October 17th. On this night a Souvenir Calendar for 2004 will be launched. If you have any photographs which you would like to see printed on the calendar you are asked to contact Billy Glynn before July 10th. We are also seeking financial help to reduce publication costs. Can you assist us in this way?

News: The June meeting of Galway North-East Region of the Pioneer Association was held in the Parish Hall, Williamstown on Thursday last. There was a very large attendance, consisting of representatives from the various Centres around the region as well as local members of the Association. During the meeting a gold pin was presented to Mary Roche of Polredmond, marking her 50 years as a Pioneer, by president of the Region, Richard Broderick, who mentioned that Mary’s husband, Tom, was presented with a similar award a few months ago.

Belclare P.T.A.A. Tour

The annual Pioneer tour took place on Sunday June 22nd. The venue this year was Blarney, Co. Cork with the bus leaving Belclare church car park at 7.30 a.m. The first stop was at the Heritage Centre in Adare for morning tea/coffee at 9.30 a.m. Then it was straight to Blarney for lunch at 12.30 p.m. followed by a trip to Blarney Castle and Woollen Mills, etc. On the way home there was a stop at the Auburn Lodge Hotel in Ennis for evening tea at 7.15 p.m. approx. with the bus due back in Belclare around 10 p.m. It was hoped that those travelling would have an enjoyable day in true Pioneer sprit and a safe journey.

Killererin Centre

Congratulations to the U-15 boys football team who defeated Belclare and Mountbellew and now go forward to the County final at the end of August. Stephen Treacy, Colin Forde, Dermot Forde, Darren Fahy, David Raftery, Kevin Treacy, Gerard Raftery. Thanks to manager, Ollie Forde.


Congratulations to Mary Fahey, Ballinacarrow and Johnnie Kane, Ropefield who were presented with their Gold Pioneer pins during the week.

Spreading the Pioneer Ideals to Mayo Youth

Three Young Pioneers - Anne Mulkeen, Chairperson of Connaught Youth Committee, Donna Walsh, Kilmaine Young Pioneers and Matthew Mulkeen, Vice-Chairperson of National Youth Committee, visited Ballyhaunis N.S. on June 16th and Cong N.S. & Neale N.S. on June 17th. They were invited to speak to students from 4th to 6th class about the Pioneer Association and present them with the oppurtunity to ask questions and find out about the P.T.A.A.
They were well received in all three schools and left in the knowledge that their days work would be followed up by local Pioneers Patsy Huddy of the Cong/Neale/Cross Centre and Patsy Flanagan and Frank Leonard of the Ballyhaunis Centre.
It was very encouraging to see teachers in all three schools so interested and supportive of the visitors.

Pioneers Visit
The abuse of alcohol among all sectors of our population has been a source of concern for many years with parents, teachers and governments failing to make any significant in roads into solving the problem. The Pioneers Total Abstinence Association are currently engaging in some school visitations in order to make students more aware of the dangers of alcohol abuse. Anne Mulkeen, Matthew Mulkeen and Donna Walsh last week visited both Cong and The Neale schools where they shared with the pupils their experiences of the pioneer movements, the activities organised by the association and the benefits association with an alcohol free lifestyle. They were accompanied by the local secretary of the pioneers Patsy Huddy and an enrolment Mass and ceremony for all interested in joining will be held during the first term.

Cong/Cross/Neale News - "Western People"

Talk On Pioneers
Anne Mulkeen and Matthew Mulkeen, Knock, spoke to the senior pupils of Scoil Iosa about the Pioneers on Monday, 16th June. The Mulkeens were accompanied by Frank Leonard and Patsy Flanagan, members of Ballyhaunis Pioneer Total Abstinence Association (PTAA). During their talk they pointed out that the message of the Pioneers is not the abolition of drink but moderation in its use. While one must be sixteen years old to be admitted to full membership of the Pioneers, there are two other categories for younger people: the Juvenile Pioneers for ages eight to eleven, and the Young Pioneers, which caters for ages twelve and upwards.
The Pioneer Youth Committee was set up in 1997 to organize activities for young Pioneers all over Ireland. These activities include sports, seminars, quizzes, the readoiri competitions, discos, tours, essays, computer and art competitions. The visitors presented each pupil with an information booklet on the Pioneers. The staff of Scoil Iosa wish to thank Anne and Matthew Mulkeen, Patsy Flanagan and Frank Leonard for their important and enlightening talk.

Ballyhaunis News - "Western People"

Skreen Centre
Dinner dance:
A large crowd attended the regional pioneers dinner dance which took place on Saturday night last in the Castlearms Hotel, Enniscrone. Music by Brose Walsh entertained the crowd who enjoyed the night. The organizing committee would like to thank everyone who helped to make the night a success.

Competition: A post card competition is taking place in national schools in the parish at present aimed to highlight the dangers of drugs and drink.
Pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th classes are taking part.

AGM: The pioneers annual general meeting took place on Thursday 27th February preceded by celebration of Mass. Any one who was eligible for silver or gold pins were to contact Geraldine Kielty @ 071/66053 for further information.

Beltra/Dromard - Pioneer AGM

The Pioneer Annual Mass and AGM was held in the Community Centre on Thursday, February 27. Gold and silver pins were presented. Anyone due silver or gold pins were to contact Geraldine on 66053.

Pioneer art poster competition: A competition to design a poster on the dangers of drink and drugs for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th class national school pupils in the Parish took place recently. Prizes were presented to the winners of the Art / Poster Competition. Winners of 3rd and 4th class were Clare James, Ballinleg NS, Enda Connoly, Highpark N.S. Winners of 5th and 6th class are Emer Kelly, Nallinleg N.S., Donal Nrady, Highpark N.S.

Lourdes bound Connuaght Pioneers

The Connaught P.T.A.A. Pilgrimage to Lourdes will depart from Knock Airport on the 16th July. The group will stay at the Hotel Mediterranee and the cost for the five nights full board accomodation and flight is E 565 per person. The spiritual director is Fr. Joe Delaney. Full details in relation to the Pilgrimage can be had from Fr. Delaney at 091-521984, Mary McGovern at 092-40037 or Anne Hyland at 093-33380.
Fun Quiz

A very successful Fun Table Quiz was held in the recently refurbished Kilmaine Community Centre on Friday 8th June 2003 for National school children in the Ballinrobe Region.

Twenty-three teams competed and Gortjordon N.S. emerged the 1st and 2nd place winners.
There were numerous spot prizes and a raffle held on the night.

The organisers, Kilmaine Pioneer Youth Group, wish to thank their many sponsors who donated spot and raffle prizes.
To the participants in the Quiz, thank you for supporting it. To all who helped in the preparation and on the night a big thank you also. Funds raised on the night go towards equiping a Youth Room in Kilmaine Community Centre.

Ballaghadereen - St. Nathy’s win quiz

Inver College Carrickmacross was the location for yet another marvellous success story for St. Nathys College, when the young pioneers captured the All Ireland title of the PTAA Intermediate Quiz section. On duty for St. Nathys were Aoife O’Callaghan, John Higgins, Avril Rushe and James O’Kelly. St. Nathys had a three point head going into the last round and despite some fierce opposition emerged victorious over their nearest rivals, Ballyhaunis Community School and CBS Ferbane, Co. Offaly.

Manorhamilton Centre

Junior Pioneers: The Junior Pioneer teams from the North Leitrim and West Cavan PTAA Region enjoyed remarkable success in the recently held Kilmore Diocesan table quiz finals. The team from Tarmon National School won the competition outright while St. Mary’s National School, Leckaun, Newtownmanor were runners up and Drumlease National School, Dromahaire finished third.
All three north Leitrim Schools will now represent the Kilmore Diocese in the Ulster Pioneer Total Abstinence Association table quiz finals that are scheduled to take place in the near future. It was a great achievement for the table quiz teams from each of the three schools to pull off such an amazing result when claiming a clean sweep of the awards in the Kilmore Diocesan finals.

Kilcommon P.T.A.A.

Kilcommon P.T.A.A. are having a tour on Saturday June 21st visiting the Folk Museum at Riverstown, also Glencar Waterfall, Shopping in Sligo Town, and an evening meal in Jordan's Ballina on the way home. Overall price is E30. Pioneers and non-pioneers are welcome. Names to be given to members of the council or Kathleen Monaghan 097-88977 or Paddy McGrath 097-88915 not later than June 19th.

Cong/Cross/Neale Centre Presentations

Pictured at the Cong Centre of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association Pin and Medal Presentations at Cong recently.
Left to right: Front: John McGrath (Fr. Cullen Medal), Michael Waldron (accepting Silver Pin for Mary Waldron), Sharon Murphy (Young Pioneer), James Jennings (Young Pioneer), Patsy Huddy (Secretary), Kitty Murphy (Fr. Cullen Medal).
2nd Row: Mary McHugh (accepting Fr. Cullen Medal for Kitty Haire), Willie Wall (Council member), Tommy Kelly (Fr. Cullen Medal), James Jennings (Fr. Cullen Medal), May O'Brien (Silver Pin), Teresa Mullahy (Silver Pin), Bridget Moran (Fr. Cullen Medal), Catherine Morrin (accepting Fr. Cullen Medas for M.J. Morrin). 3rd Row: John Hopkins (P.R.O.), Elizabeth Glynn (accepting Fr. Cullen Medal for Mary Glynn), Delia Lydon (Fr. Cullen Medal), Peadar Campbell (Fr. Cullen Medal), Walter Moran (Fr. Cullen Medal), Fr. McGreal (National Council Chairman), Kathleen Shaughnessy (Ballinrobe Region President).
Back: Fr. John O'Gorman (Tuam Diocese Spiritual Director), Fr. Colm Kilcoyne (Cong P.P.), Fr. Joseph Delaney (Connaught Activities/Council Spiritual Director), Anne Hyland (Connaught Activities/Council President), Paddy Gannon (Fr. Cullen Medal), Paddy Lydon (Fr. Cullen Medal and 71 yrs service to the Pioneer).
Missing were: Margaret Burke (Fr. Cullen Medal), Teresa O'Connor (Fr. Cullen Medal), Mattie O'Brien (Fr. Cullen Medal), Eileen Murphy (Fr. Cullen Medal), Mick Murphy (Fr. Cullen Medal), Gerry Murphy (accepting Fr. Cullen Medal for Josie Gibbons), Timothy McGreal (Silver Pin), Josie Vahey (Silver), Jennifer Biggin (Young Pioneer).    

Pic: Trish Forde.

Glinsk girls achieve triple in PTAA essay competition

In the recent essay competition organised by the Pioneer Association for post-primary schools in the Roscommon-Athlone PTAA region three members of the Glinsk branch achieved a unique double.

Claire Ward was presented with the top regional award at a function in Gleeson’s Restaurant recently. Second place in the same essay competition went to a second Glinsk member, Tara Mc Keague.

Both girls are students at Glenamaddy Community School and are past pupils of Glinsk NS.

Meanwhile in the competition for primary schools Christina Mannion, sixth class pupil at Glinsk NS won second prize for the Roscommon-Athlone Region.

Christine Mannion, second prize winner in the Roscommon-Athlone Region of the PTAA essay competition and first place in Glinsk NS pictured with Mr. James Shevlin, class teacher, parents Martin & Anne Mannion and Beatrice Cuddy, Secretary of the Glinsk PTAA branch.

Picture shows Claire Ward, regional essay award winner; Caroline Dervan, PTAA and Tara McKeague, second place essay award winner.

Lackagh P.T.A.A.

Lackagh Pioneer Total Abstinence Association’s seventy fifth anniversary booklet is now available in local shops. The booklet costs just €3 and makes an ideal souvenir to mark the seventy fifth anniversary of the Association in the parish. Photographs taken at the seventy fifth anniversary celebrations of the Lackagh Branch of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association are now available from Patsy Conway, Corofin, Telephone: 093-41447.

North-East Galway Region P.T.A.A.

Regional Meeting

Regional meeting took place in Williamstown Parish Hall on Thursday June 12th commencing at 9 p.m. This was the last meeting before the AGM so it was hoped that all centres would be represented.


Congratulations to Shane Kitson, Ballyjamesduff and Marian Murphy, Kilmaine who were married recently. Shane is well known to all in the North East Galway Region having visited many of the schools in the area during his term as Chairman of the National Youth Committee PTAA. Shane and Marian will reside in Claremorris so we welcome him to the west and to Connacht.

Sports Results

The Regional Finals of the PTAA sports competitions have taken place. The following are the results:

Basketball 9-12 Boys, Belclare represented by Ronan Steede, Evan Bodkin, Michael Canney, Ciaran Canney, Conor Keady, Sean Kearns & Shane Higgins; 9-12 Girls, Belclare represented by Clodagh Clancy, Aoife Bodkin, Linda Higins, Michelle Martyn, Jacqueline Ryan, Michelle Furey & Lorraine Ryder; 12-15 Boys, Killererin represented by Stephen Treacy, Kevin Treacy, Dermot Forde, Colin Forde, David Raftery, Andrew Moore & David Hansberry; 12-15 Girls, Belclare represented by Stacey Martyn, Mary Teresa Carroll, Sinead Higgins, Una Canney, Niamh Mulhall, Denise Treacy & Fiona McHugh; 

Badminton 9-12 Boys, Mountbellew - William Hannon & Colm Neary; 9-12 Girls, Ballinlough - Roisin Fitzmaurice & Nessa Doherty; 9-12 Mixed, Kilkerrin - Michael Coleman & Lisa Kilheaney; 12-15 Boys, Mountbellew - David Neary & Sean Sweeney; 12-15 Girls, Kilkerrin - Niamh Divilly & Amanda Kilheaney; 12-15 Mixed, Kilkerrin - Stephen Ward & Catriona Kilkelly; Over 15 Girls, Belclare - Ina Curran & Ann Kelly; Over 15 Mixed, Belclare - Tom Keane & Ina Curran; 

Gaelic Football Boys 9-12, Mountbellew - Garry Sweeney, Anthony Donnellan, Colm Neary, Enda Horan, William Hannon, Padraic Carty & Robert Kelly; Girls 9-12, Mountbellew - Fiona Brehony, Karen Somers, Tina O’Keefe, Una Bergin, Joanne Collevy & Kathy McDonagh; Boys 12-15, Killererin - Colin Forde, Dermot Forde, Gerard Raftery, David Raftery, Stephen Treacy, Kevin Treacy & Darren Fahy; Girls 12-15, Mountbellew - Michelle Donnellan, Amy Monaghan, Ciara Finnegan, Sinead Sweeney, Elaine Donnellan, Orla Conneely, Katie Collevy; Girls Over 15, Mountbellew - Elaine O’Sullivan, Theola Moore, Catherine Donnellan, Emma Gilmore, Marian Reynolds, Niamh Brehony & Ailish Brehony; 

Soccer Boys 12-15, Mountbellew - David Geraghty, Anthony McCormack, Thomas Wall, Peter Donnellan, Stephen Daly & Matthew Lenihan; 12-15 Girls, Mountbellew - Amy Monaghan, Michelle Donnellan, Aisling Fallon, Sinead Sweeney, Elaine Donnellan, Nicola Hearty & Aoife Fallon; Over 15 Girls, Mountbellew - Emma Gilmore, Elaine O’Sullivan, Theola Moore, Marian Reynolds, Niamh Brehony, Ailish Brehony & Catherine Donnellan.
All of the winners above have qualified for the Connacht Finals in their respective competitions. Congratulations. Venues and dates for Connacht finals have yet to be finalised.

Belclare Centre

Our Centre was actively involved in the regional sports competitions over the week-end. On Friday night our ladies’ badminton team of Ina Curran and Ann Kelly defeated Kilkerrin and Ballinlough to win the regional final in Ballinlough Sports Centre. Ina Curran and Tom Keane put on a good performance in the mixed competition defeating a young Mountbellew team. We were also involved in the soccer and football competitions in the Tuam Stars pitch on Saturday. The soccer team finished on level terms with Mountbellew at the end of ordinary time but were defeated on extra time. We came up against a very good team from Killererin in Gaelic football who went on to win the final. The panel of players for soccer and football consisted of Derek Ryder, Damien O’Grady, Nicky Brady, Ronan Steede, Walter Keady and Evan Bodkin. Our men’s badminton team of Timmy Monaghan and Tom Keane will take part in the regional final in Mountbellew Community Centre.

Cortoon & Lavally

Branch meeting on Friday June 13th after Mass in Cortoon church.

Kilkerrin & Clonberne

Congratulations to the following players who have qualified for the Connacht badminton finals following their success in the Regional Competitions last weekend:- 9-12 category (mixed) Michael Coleman and Lisa Kilheaney; 12-15 category (girls) Niamh Divilly and Amanda Kilheaney; 12-15 category (mixed) Catriona Kelly and Stephen Ward. Unfortunately for Sean Collins and Damien McMahon, Colm Dillon and Eoghan Divilly and Marjorie Clifford and Laoise Kelly, their luck did not hold out as they just failed in close contests.

Corrandulla Pioneer Centre

A meeting will take place this Wednesday June 11th in Corrandulla Church to make arrangements for a Special Mass and presentation of pins on Friday 18th July. Anyone wishing to receive a Silver (25 years) or Gold (50 years) or who wishes to join PTTA should submit names and pay for the pins at the meeting. Contact Margaret Hanley, Francis Goaley or Michael Erwin.

Balla, Co. Mayo

Enrolement for Juvenile and Young Pioneers to take place on Sunday 22nd June after Mass in the Parish Church.



Congratulations to Shane Kitson and Marion Murphy who married recently in Kilmaine, Co. Mayo. Shane is a former Chairperson of the National Youth Committee and for a number of years traveled to schools the length and breath of the country talking to youngsters about the Pioneer Movement and indeed giving many of them the chance to become a Pioneer.

C.E.O. of the P.T.A.A.Padraig Naughton  ......

An extract of the speech of Padraig Naughton at the Mountmellick Centre A.G.M.:

The Chief Executive of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, Padraig Naughton told members that theirs was an example to any branch on how to run affairs. Addressing members at their well attended AGM he said the organisation was needed more than ever nowadays to give support and example.

Mr Naughton said the Association’s head office was getting more and more calls from parents of young people looking for assistance about drugs and alcohol abuse in young people. “Young people are calling out for something in their lives” he said adding that young people need the Pioneer movement more than ever nowadays. Pioneers were there to lead by example he said and as he said just by “being there”.

Parents needed to lead by example, Mr Naughton said. The ever pervasive pub culture was to the detriment of young children. He told about one child he met who told him she had made her First Communion in the pub. That was all the child could remember about her Communion day.

He told members sporting organisations needed to look at their links with alcohol and sponsorship by drink companies. Closer co-operation with the No-Name Clubs was another thing under consideration he said.

Chief Executive Mr Naughton only took over the post in September last. He was a school principal in Co Dublin for 15 years. He described his role as Chief Executive as meeting and giving support to the ordinary members. He said up to this, parents’ attitude towards alcohol abuse where their children were concerned was “it is only alcohol, he or she is not on drugs”. But this is changing fast as parents find their child, maybe only 14 or 15, or even younger is abusing both.

He said “since the recent Primetime story on alcohol abuse on RTE, parents are very alarmed”. He says there is now huge concern at the apparent widespread abuse of alcohol-indeed the culture of abuse now seemingly apparent. “We now have the Minister for Health saying he may introduce charges for people treated at casualty departments for alcohol related injuries”,he said.

He stated that “parents can themselves be a problem”. It is not even the pub culture, children nowadays see parents bringing home drink from the off-licence or supermarket and drinking at home ,he added. It is bad example not to mention easy availability of drink for the teenagers themselves at times too, he said. “What if a boy or girl is abusing drink at 12, as some are? What will their mental state be by the time they are 20 or so?” he asked.

Mr Naughton agreed that the Pioneers have a certain age profile. The Association certainly needs younger members but Mr Naughton says the Association is addressing this. In some areas of the country he said there are branches made up of entirely young people. The Association has to work more to attract younger people, he agreed.

Some members voiced their thoughts about parents and bad example given by them to their children. One member said his club deliberately organised and held a prizewinning ceremony for an under-age team in the local hall. They wanted to keep it away from the pub and the notion of celebrating the win in a pub.

Note from Ulster

Just a quick note to advise you all of the new Ulster Activities Committee
as elected last Sunday in Omagh. The Provincial Activities Committees are a
new entity within the organisational structure of the association.

This committee replaces the outgoing Ulster Leisure Committee, and will take
on more responsibilities, as outlined in our new constitution. The main
functions of this committee will include all the functions of the outgoing
committee, but include youth, spirituality, communications & training, etc.
The chairperson is also a member of the board of managment, a relationship
that has been needed for many years!

So, your new committee is.....

John Mcenroe
Vice Chair.
Sonny McDermot
Mary Livingstone
Assistant Sec.
Gary O'Callaghan
Gerard Coyle
Assistant Treas.
Patsy Friel
Readiori Officer
Larry McGinn
Quiz Officer
Hugh P. McElroy
Gary O'Callaghan
Spiritual Dir
Fr. Tom McConville
Youth Officer
Su-Zann Scott

National Leisure Delegates: Larry McGinn, Gerard Coyle & Sonny McDermott
National Leisure Substitutes: Hugh P. McElroy, Norbert Harte & Thomas Smith

A list of contact addresses and telephone numbers is availiable on the
Ulster Youth Website (

May 2003

Kilmaine P.T.A.A.

The Ballinrobe Region P.T.A.A. wish to congratulate Kilmaine juvenile pioneers on their success at the Connacht Pioneer Quiz at Kilbride Community Centre, Fourmilehouse, Roscommon on Saturday. The members of the team were Sarah Martyn, Aisling Mullahy, Noelle Doherty, Breda Fitzgerald and Joan Fitzgerald. They now go forward to the All-Ireland which will be held in Carrickmacross on Saturday 26th April at 1 p.m.

Standun's Station

Self control needed in the use of alcohol

By Fr. P Standun

MUCH has been written and spoken about alcohol and its abuse since the RTÉ Prine Time special on the subject some weeks ago.

Some of the scenes, particularly of young women ‘out of their heads' with drink in accident and emergency wards, and of young men fighting viciously and taking park in unprovoked assaults on the streets of our cities and towns, were particularly shocking.

I think this programme should be shown in every school ion the country, with the permission of parents and Boards of managements, of course, or even better, with their participation.

It would not solve the drinking problem, but it would lead to open discussion, and to some people at least deciding that they never want to end up lying unconscious or dead in their own vomit.

I write this as someone who enjoys a few pints, and who remarked jokingly in a recent article about ‘drinking for Ireland' on a trip abroad.

I also draw attention fairly regularly to the fact that Jesus Christ did not leave his friends to drink water at the wedding at Cana, or to St. Paul's remark that ‘a little wine is good for the stomach'. In other words I write as someone who is not ‘agin the drink'.

I hope I am not fooling myself when I class myself among the social drinkers throughout the country who can take a few drinks without allowing this to affect their lives or their work, or without knowing when we have enough.

This is very different from getting ‘blotto' or ‘langers', having blackouts, or not being able to function the following day.

I admire the courage and the restraint of members of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, and know that the drink culture in this country would be much worse without them.

I also admire those who abstain for Lent or Advent, or for the Holy Souls in November, and all who show regularly that alcohol is something that they can take or leave. It is abuse of alcohol rather than the drink itself that is the problem.

My personal interest would be in moderate, enjoyable and relaxed drinking, but even this can give the wrong impression to young people who look on and say: " If adults can drink, why can't we?" Some at least of the danger at the present time comes from not knowing the alcohol strength of what is available in socalled alchopops.

One point I have not heard raised is whether some of these drinks actually contain a higher level of alcohol that is stated on the label.

I think there should be immediate spotchecks throughout the country, with companies who exceed the ‘proof' stated on the can or bottle being heavily fined and forced to withdraw their products.

I think self control is the only control that really works in any area of life, including the use of alcohol.

It requires a long slow educational process as well as good parental examples of moderation rather than any kneejerk zero tolerance type reaction.

"Connaught Telegraph" - Dec 13th 2002

TG4 documentary on the Pioneer Association

TG4 aired a documentary 'An Tuath Nua' on the Pioneer Association on the 9th January 2003. Fr. Michael McGreil and Ms. Anne Hyland were interviewed along with Theresa Mulkeen and students Patricia Gallagher, Mary Louise Coleman and Claire Nally from Mount St. Michael's secondary school in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. Hope you watched it - and perhaps even recorded it!!!!

Anne Hyland - Mayo Person of the Year - 2002

Congratulations to Mrs. Anne Hyland, Secretary of the National Leisure Committee of the Pioneer Association and a member of its Board of Management, on receiving her award as Mayo person of the Year in Castlebar on Friday 29th November 2002. Her immense contribution to the community and in particular, the Pioneer Association, was duly rewarded on receiving this wonderful honour. Congratulations to Anne and her family. Will it be another Pioneer winner next year???

Pioneer Association exhibit at the biggest event of the year

The Pioneer Association put up a stand at this year's National Ploughing Championships in Ballacolla, Co. Laois from the 24-26th September 2002. This event typically attracts 150,000 visitors each year. This exhibition provided an opportunity of meeting the Pioneers in the farming community of which there are many. They were assisted greatly by Paddy Lawlor and his team, from the mid Leinster region, who kindly offered to help out in any way they could.

Report on National Ploughing Championships - Over 160,000 people attended the National Ploughing Championships which were held recently in Ballacolla, Co. Laois. The weather was fantastic - a real indian summer - a factor which helped to break all previous attendance records. The Pioneer stand was visited by both Pioneers and non-pioneers alike. We met pioneers from all over Ireland who were delighted to see a Pioneer presence at the Ploughing Championships. An interesting observation was that 1 in 5 Pioneers who visited the stand, wore the pin!! New members were recruited including a former alcoholic who wished to take the pledge for the benefit of other addicts. It was a great success and will now become a permanent fixture on the pioneer calendar. A quick thank you to all those who helped out - you know who you are.

News Flashback:
"Mayo News" 22/12/1998
Pioneers plan Centenary Rally in Croke Park

The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association has launched the Centenary of the Association by announcing details of its Centenary programme of events. The planned highlight of the year is a massive Centenary Rally in Croke Park on Sunday, 30th May, 1999, with Westport-born Fr. Micheal McGreil as the principal organiser. The Pioneer Centenary programme has two aims, namely, the celebration of the past one hundred years promoting temperance and the Associations commitment to strengthen its work for sobriety in the next Century. Speaking at the launch, the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Fr. Micheal MacGreil, said "the Pioneer Association is not an anti-drink movement. It is rather a pro-sobriety organisation, although, we recommend that young people defer drinking until they are eighteen years of age and that they abstain from drugs for life." The programme for 1999 is divided into three separate categories, namely local Parish/Centre events (January/April), National and International celebrations (May/August) and Regional and Diocesan events (September/December). Major national/international events include an International Conference in Maynooth (5-7th June 1999), the Matt Talbot Pilgrimage to Knock (18th July 1999), the Centenary Pilgrimage to Paray-le-Monial, Paris (20-27th July 1999) and the Centenary Concert in the National Concert Hall (16th October 1999). The National Centenary Ball will be held in the Carrigaline Court Hotel on the 27th March 1999. Overseas celebrations in England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and elsewhere are also being planned. The Centenary Year Programme will commence with a Centenary Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by the Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. Desmond Connell in St. Francis Xaviers Church, Dublin on the 28th December next at 3.00 p.m. This is the Church where the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association was founded exactly one hundred years ago to the day. The current membership of the Pioneers is about, 500,000, roughly divided between lreland (213,000, Africa (200,000 plus) and the rest of the world (80,000). Bernard J. McGuckian, S.J., Central Director of the Pioneers says that the big growth area of the Association is the African evangelised by Irish Missionaries like Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania etc. A Centenary film to be released after the Croke Park Rally will have a strong African dimension. But according to Micheal Mac Greil, S.J., the principle public celebration will be the Croke Park Rally on the 30th May 1999. Cumannn Luthchleas Gael (the G.A.A.) also generously made Croke Park available for the Golden Jubilee (1949) and Diamond (1959) Pioneer Rallies. The day will begin with a parade of the Pioneer Centres from the different Dioceses and abroad fom Parnell Square to Croke Park for a concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving at which His Eminence Francis Cardinal Aririze (from Nigeria) will preach the Centenary sermon.

A word from Fenit, Co. Kerry ....

Saturday April 27th 2002 was a historic day for the members of the PTAA in the parish. A large group set off at 7am on the long trip to Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath for the All-Ireland final of the Pioneer Quiz. For the first time ever, we had 5 teams representing the parish in the finals, 2 teams at U-13 level and one at U-16, U-25 & Senior grades. This was the strongest representation from any centre in Ireland & was possibly a record from any one area.

Our teams performed exceptionally well against stiff opposition, with all teams coming in the top 8 and the U-25 team winning the All-Ireland title. It was a marvellous achievement for a small centre and all competitors represented the area proudly.

Our younger members were encouraged to see so many "other Pioneers" of their own age group and to find out about various activities for young Pioneers around the country, i.e. sports, seminars, youth weekends, etc. and to see that it is possible to enjoy themselves withoug the use of alcohol.

We give speacial thanks to Mark O'Brien and Jimmy Turner for giving their time to coach our young members and also to family members and supporters for their encouragement. We appreciate the efforts of all those who helped us out at the fund-raising quiz in the Oyster Tavern.

(Eilis Murphy)

Moygownnagh P.T.A.A. Centre

Best of Luck to Jennifer Kelly, Brendan Birrane, Michael Birrane, Shane Gallagher and Seamus Taheny from Glenmore N.S. in the Connaught P.T.A.A. quiz on 5th. April next in Four Roads, Roscommon.

Meeting of all members of the Moygownagh PTAA branch after 11am.Mass on Sunday next.

Connaught P.T.A.A. - Annual afternoon of prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Knock on Palm Sunday from 3-6 pm. Details in Church Porch.

Lourdes - Pilgrimage to Lourdes on 16th. July. next. Details in Church Porch.

Cooneal/Ballysakeary - Mid-Killala P.T.A.A.

At a meeting in crossmolina on 8/10/02 the following officers were elected for the Mid Killala Region:

President: Liam Hendry;
Vice Pres: Martin Birrnae;
Secretary: Maeve Tierney;
Ass Secretary: Kathleen Walshe; Treasurer: Mary Butler;
Ass Treasurer: Maureen Egan; Spiritual Director: Fr James Corcoran;
Connacht Council Representatives: Martin and Una Birrane, Padraic Murphy;
Connacht Activities: Tom Roche, Padraic Murphy and Seamus Killeen.

The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 12th November at 9pm in Ardagh.

The Mid Killala ReadoirÌ Finals will be held in Crossmolina Town Hall on Saturday 16th November at 7pm
The closing date for receipt of entries for ReadoirÌ competitions is November 12th. Please forward entries to Maeve Tierney


The annual dinner and dance organised by the Claremorris Regional Council of the P.T.A.A. will be held in the Belmont Hotel in Knock on Friday 7th February. Music will be provided by Frank Chambers and his Ballroom of Romance Band. Tickets for this event are now on sale from Michael Rattigan, John Foley and Frances Mulkeen or from other Centre officers and cost 25 euros. The meal will be served at 9 p.m.
* The Connacht Finals of the Readoiri competitions will be held in Claremorris Town Hall on Sunday 25th January starting at 1 p.m.


Congratulations to the following children who were successful in this year’s Colouring Competition organised by Knock P.T.A.A. Centre:
4th Class: 1st - Orla Walshe, 2nd - Rachel Murphy, 3rd - Aoife Rattigan. Runners-Up - Lisa Rowley, Siobhan Maloney and Sinead Morley.
5th Class: 1st - Conor Prendergast, 2nd - Fiona Cunniffe, 3rd - Melissa Dolan. Runners-Up - Michelle Byrne, Emer Walsh and Alison Egan
6th Class: 1st - Valerie Morley, 2nd - Aoife Coyne, 3rd - Lorna Burke. Runners-Up - Kevin Keenan, Lisa Donnellan and Donal Rochford.


The monthly meeting of the Knock P.T.A.A. Centre will be held in St. John’s Rest and Care Centre on Wednesday 9th April at 8 p.m. New members are always welcome.
* The Connacht P.T.A.A. annual afternoon of prayer will be held in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on Palm Sunday, 13th April from 3 to 6 p.m.

Castlebar PTAA
Thomas Cuffe, Belcarra was presented with the "Father James Cullen Memorial Medal" for 65 years membership at the Castlebar Pioneer Social in the Failte Suite, Welcome Inn Hotel Castlebar by Fr Gerry Needham, Regional Spiritual Director PTAA. Photo Michael Donnelly