Lorrha Notes

Good Luck Ethan

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North Tipperary Ploughing committee wish to extend the best of luck to Ethan Harding, Borrisokane when he competes in the European Vintage Ploughing Championships on Sunday next the 20th. Ethan who will be representing Ireland in the Netherlands venue, qualified when he won out his category at the National Ploughing championships in Laois last year created a little bit of history for himself and for the N.T.P.A. when he qualified on his first attempt as no other person has achieved this. He will be driving a Ferguson tractor and ploughing with a two scrape Ransom TS59 N model vintage plough. We wish him well and hope he is successful in the event as well as enjoying the experience. Good luck Ethan.

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My Nana is 80 today.                Written by Laura Byrne about her grandmother.

She doesn’t know it’s her birthday because she has Alzheimer’s. She has not recognized us since the age of 72. She has not been able to speak since the age of 76.

She has not been able to feed herself since the age of 77, and she has not been able to walk since the age of 78. All of these things, she now forgets how to do.

Born in the year 1935, she had a tough life. She raised 6 children in a tough part of inner city Dublin, as well as running her own business. All the hardship aside, there wasn’t a person more positive or uplifting.

She took care of us when we were little. She took care of us when we were sick. She took care of us when our parents were sick. She taught me how to tie my shoelaces.

Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s is not just forgetting someone’s name, mixing up which grandchild is which, or forgetting your own age. It is much more than that, as we have experienced over the past 11 years.

Her husband passed away 6 years ago. Due to her condition, she could not even attend the funeral. We told her he was gone. She did not understand. She no longer knew his name, or who he was after 50 years of marriage.

It is heartbreaking to see her son embrace her, and to see nothing register on her face. She does not remember how to return a hug. She cannot say hello, and the man sitting beside her is now a stranger, no longer her child to her.

I cannot fathom how it must be to not be able to voice your thoughts or feelings. When you are ill, who is going to know? How long before anyone realizes?

No longer vibrant or active, my Nana is now confined to a padded wheelchair and sometimes a padded bed with railings. She no longer has the power to keep her own head upright, and stares at the floor or ceiling on a daily basis.

With Alzheimer’s patients, there is often an aggressive stage they go through. My Nana was no different.   On one visit, I was greeted with screams and shouts as she shook in her bed. She pushed me away, all the while cursing me. I had been rejected. I was 16. I left the room teary eyed and red faced. I am her granddaughter but she does not know that. I took a few moments outside her room to catch my breath and compose myself.

Then I returned to her bedside, kissed her on the cheek, stroked her hair and held her hand. This time, I was greeted with a small faraway smile. It was like I was a completely different person to a few minutes beforehand. Because, to her, I was.

Now in these past few years, she has become a lot more relaxed and subdued. But again, with time, comes rapid deterioration. On visits, we are lucky to receive any eye contact, let alone a smile. There are good days, when we get a few seconds of eye contact every so often. She may smile, and we may even get a little giggle out of her.

Those are the great days, and the days that make it worthwhile and balance the rest. Then there are the not so good days, when for an entire hour she will make no eye contact or reaction. It’s like you have become invisible and are not there.

I like to sing, and I like to think I got that from my nana. For as long as I can remember, she always sang; in church choirs, around the house, and she had a beautiful voice. I have fond memories of being sung to sleep by her, so sometimes when I sit with her now, I sing. Not too loud so as to startle her, but lightly. For some reason, this sometimes creates eye contact. She may look up and look around for the source, and when she finds me, she locks eyes.

Other times I sing, and nothing happens. I sing to what feels like an empty room, and my voice resonates off the walls back to me, a horrible tin echo. But it is worth it for the times she hears me. She does not recognize us, and we struggle to get any reaction out of her on every visit, but it is not her fault. She does not know what she is doing or what is going on around her.

Every single day, I try to remember her the way she was. I do not want Alzheimer’s to define her. She is a person separate from the disease, even if we do not see that person anymore. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease I wish there was a cure for, and I will never stop hoping that one is found.

Every family that goes through this, I feel deeply for. It is crushing to look at someone who cared for me when I was young and vulnerable, and see how vulnerable she has become. There is no stopping this disease. There isn’t even a way of slowing it down for her anymore. It is too advanced and has too much control.

When someone dies, we cope by grieving. It is a loss. What do you do when you’ve lost someone, not physically, but they are no longer really there?

Today is her birthday but she does not know.  I am her granddaughter but she does not know.

‘Music in the Courtyard’.

Music in the Courtyard will be taking place on September 19th in The Cottage Store, Brendan Street Portumna, as part of the Shorelines Arts Festival. Tickets are now on sale in store at €5 each. All proceeds will be going to the Western Alzheimer’s, a disease very close to our hearts. The event begins at 5pm and will last approximately  90 minutes. There will be an array of music from original, traditional, classical and contemporary. Singer-Songwriter Laura Byrne will be performing along with friends. We hope to see you there! Tickets are limited, so please contact Celine on 086-0665315 or call into the store to secure them. It is sure to entertain.

St. Ruadhan’s ARA.

We welcome all our members back after our summer break. We will have no talk this week. Our holiday is coming up and if you would like to join us please contact Nancy for more information (090) 9747922. We continue to meet every Wednesday in Lorrha Hall at 2pm. New members welcome. No meeting on 23rd September.


Sympathy is extended to Dan Kennedy and family Motefield and extended Kennedy family members on the death of his brother Willie Ardcroney which occurred on 3rd September. After funeral Mass in Ardcroney Church burial took place in Clough Prior cemetery. May he rest in peace. Sympathy is also extended to the family and relatives of John Wrafter, Galway and formerly Rathcabbin. After funeral Mass on Thursday September 10th in St. Augustine’s Church, burial took place in Bohermore new cemetery. May he rest in peace.

Open Day.

Lorrha Barminton Club are holding an open day on Sunday 20th Sept at 6pm in Lorrha GAA Complex. This will be a fun evening for anyone who is interested in playing badminton where beginners are welcome. Tea and light refreshments served on the evening. Why not come along and try it out. For further information please contact Elaine on (087) 1357080.

Lorrha Camogie We play our final group game of the championship this Sunday -20th Sept- against Kildangan in Puckane at 12 noon. All support at this match greatly appreciated.

Book Launch.

All are invited to celebrate the launch of Ann O’Riordan’s book ‘East Galway agrarian and the burning of Ballydugan House, 1922’ on Thursday 17th September in Loughrea Library at 8pm. Special guest to launch the book will be Prof. Terence Dooley NUI Maynooth. All are welcome.

Redwood N.S. CPR Training Reminder.

Redwood NS were recently given a defibrillator by the Mark Heffernan Trust and would like to sincerely thank them for their very kind donation. We wish to organise CPR and defibrillator training some evening in the school from 7 – 10pm. The defibrillator will be based in the school and available for use in the local community. Training will cost €10 per person with Birr First Responders. We would like to thank Darina kelly for passing on the contact. Anyone interested in taking part in training please contact the school at 090 9747186 or by email at redwoodns@live.ie. It is a wonderful life saving skill to have.

National Ploughing Championships.

The annual national ploughing championships will take place in the same venue as last year, Ratheniska, Co. Laois from Tuesday 22nd to Thursday 24th September.

Gurteen Badminton Club.

Gurteen Badminton Club which play in Gurteen Agriculture Collage has now commenced play for the new season. Juveniles play on Monday nights 7.00/8.30pm and adult members on Fridays from 8.00pm. New members welcome. For further information contact…Leslie 0876375554.


Lorrha Development Association / Tidy Towns will hold a meeting on Thursday night September 17th at 8pm in Lorrha Hall. All are invited to attend.

Autumn De-Clutter.

Thinking of clearing out the wardrobe to make room for the Autumn collection? Lorrha Development/ Tidy Towns continue with unused clothes collection throughout the Summer months. De-clutter your wardrobe, attack your attic, recycle all unwanted/unused items of clothing to make room for your Autumn collection. We will accept any kind of bag or in bags provided by the committee. We can collect your unwanted items. Just call or text  (086) 8647166, (086) 8493595 or (086) 8355405 with your name and details. Please note we cannot accept Duvets, bedding, household linen, Pillows and cushions, Carpets, rugs and mats (including bath, shower and toilet mats), Soiled or wet clothing. We appreciate your support. All money raised from all fundraising ventures is used for the ongoing work around Lorrha Village which helps to keep two adults employed.

Shorelines Arts Exhibition

Can you spare a few hours over the festival weekend (17th-20th Sept) to help with the supervision of the Art Exhibition in the Workhouse? If yes, then we’d love to hear from you – contact Aishling on 086-8389529 or email: info@shorelinesartsfestival.com.

Borrisokane Meet & Train

Meeting every Monday 7-8Pm in the Car Park in front of  Borrisokane Community College. New members welcome – € pay as you go! All abilities catered for.

GAA News.

Lotto: Our jackpot is now €6,300. Thank you for your continued support. You can play our lotto online at www.locallotto.ie where it is easy to play every week. Tickets are €2 each or three for €5.

Senior: Lorrha exited the County Championship on Sunday following a 2-18 to 2-14 defeat to Eire Og Annacarty in the preliminary quarter final. Despite a bright start Lorrha found themselves ten points down at the break but fought back valiantly to get within two points at one stage with goals from Eoin McIntyre and Willie Maher. The club would like to thank the players for their efforts this year as well the management team of Adrian Molloy, Stephen Hogan and Joe Errity.

Junior Football: The junior footballers play Ballina in the second round of the championship in Puckane on Wednesday, 16th September at 8pm. They also play Newport in round 3 in Ballingarry on Wednesday, 23rd September at 8pm.

Under 21 Hurling: Lorrha have been drawn against Templederry in the first round of the North ‘B’ Championship with this competition set to get underway in October.

Under 16: Lorrha/Shannon Rovers take on Borrisokane in the North U16 ‘B’ Hurling final on Saturday, 19th September in Toomevara at 2pm. Best of luck to the players and mentors; all support would be appreciated.

Juvenile Table Quiz: Saturday, 26th September at 9pm in Moatfield. Table of 4 – €40. Top prize €200. Raffle on night with the top prize of a hamper.

Race Night: The club will be hosting a fundraising Race Night in the GAA Centre on Saturday, 24th October. We will be selling horses over the coming weeks and your support would be appreciated.

Tipperary GAA Clubs Draw: We ask all promoters to bring their accounts up to date.

Tipperary: Best of luck to the Tipperary minor footballers in the All Ireland Final against Kerry this Sunday.

Social Dancing: continues on Friday night to the music of Walk the Line. Dancing 9.30pm to 12.30am. Practice every Monday night from 8.30-10.30pm.

Sympathy: Lorrha GAA Club would like to sympathise with the Kennedy family following the death of Willie Kennedy, Ardcroney. May he rest in peace.