Colin Heads To Shelbourne Park To Shout On The Missile
Saturday, 15 September 2018
It's been a surreal week for the connections of Newhall Missile with TV cameras and newspapers descending on the Browne household in Ballyea to get an insight into this unique greyhound who's lit a light in so many peoples lives and particularly his co owner Colin Barry. While all this has been going on around him The Missile isn't taking a blind bit of notice and he hasn't been fazed in the slightest except perhaps for getting a few extra pats on the head this week. No surprise there I suppose as he's walked every evening by John's son Jack who is probably the coolest guy on the Clare senior hurling team and doesn't do excitement. Sometimes I wonder has he any nerves at all and even this week when he was overlooked for an All Star hurling nomination ( wrongly in many peoples eyes ), Jack just laughed it off as no big deal while others got excited. Co owner Noel Coote has had to take a back seat at his business NC Paints on Clonroadmore to do interviews and take good luck calls but as he says hopefully it will last for another week.
Today is just like any of the previous four Saturdays in the Browne household except now Newhall Missile is not going under the rader as he prepares for tonight's Boylesports Derby Semi final in Shelbourne Park. The journey to Dublin starts at 3pm when John, Jack and The Missile will leave for the capital, stopping along the way to stretch the legs for man and dog. Dogs have to be weighed in an kenneled by 6.50 and luckily The Missile is an excellent traveller. Tonight he'll have huge support in attendance from The Banner County and also his most ardent supporter Colin. This was always Colin dream to see The Missile run in Shelbourne Park and having been in hospital until yesterday afternoon he'll travel to Dublin today with Enable Ireland and his family to cheer on his hero. His Dad Gerry has said that he's looked forward to this all week, it's kept him going and he's very thankful to Shelbourne Park management who have been very attentive in looking after Colin's needs.
Also hoping to attend is Noel Coote's father Paddy who at 87 belies his years and can regale greyhounds he ran and coursed seventy years ago. Paddy recalls dogs like old gaels recall Mick Mackey and Christy Ring in their heydays and now he's another one to add to that repertoire. At 20.57 tonight they'll go to traps for the first semi final in which Newhall Missile will be in Trap 4, not our ideal preference. However if he breaks like he has been and can get to the bend trouble free then you'll hear The Banner Roar shouting him home. All we need is a top three finish and he's in the Derby final. If that were to happen then it would quite simply be beyond our wildest expectations but to be competing in a televised Derby semi final and have Colin with us cheering on The Missile is a dream in itself. HON THE MISSILE
The Story Of Colin And His Dog Newhall Missile
Sunday, 09 September 2018
Whether it's hurling, football or greyhound racing one aspires to reach the pinnacle of the sport but for the majority of us that's just a pipe dream. However it's the expectations each year that drives us on, that we'll get a run in the Championship or win a few races on the track. One must start at the beginning to get the full picture of this extraordinary story of a greyhound called Newhall Missile who has given a new lease of life to young Colin Barry and everyone connected with the dog. You see Colin who has Spina Bifida celebrated his 21st birthday at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, the bug bit and he wanted a greyhound of his own. When Colin asked his dad Gerry could they buy a greyhound he nearly had a coronary but this is where he enlisted the help of his great friend Noel Coote who is steeped in greyhounds all his life. Gerry is originally from Cahercalla Road, Ennis and was an outstanding hurler with Clare, Eire Og and St Flannan's while Noel's dad Paddy had greyhounds all his life along with running the well known bakery at Kilrush Road Cross so they were friends from childhood.
Noel then contacted his good friend and greyhound trainer John Browne in Ballyea and told him of his predicament. The Browne name is synonymous throughout the country in the greyhound world as John's late father Michael ran all his dogs under the prefix Burnpark and enjoyed many successes on the track and field. John told Noel to take the pup he had recently reared for both of them and put Colin name down as the owner along with his own and he'd train the dog for them. He was unnamed at this stage and Colin quickly came up with the name Newhall Missile. As one can imagine this evoked some laughter when we heard the name and our aspirations at that stage were to win a race or two and enjoy some nights out at the track with Colin and his family.
Over the next few weeks Colin paid a number of visits to the Browne kennels to see his new acquisition but was getting anxious to see him run. It was decided to enter him in the Members Stake at the Ennis/Clarecastle Coursing meeting with little or no expectation as this was seen as a learning curve for The Missile. However against all expectations he sailed through the stake and Colin along with his dad Gerry and mother Noelette were on hand to accept the Haulie Daly & Mickey McNamara Memorial Cup. To see the smile on Colin's face that day would melt your heart and everyone was over the moon for him. After the celebrations in The Halfway Bar it was decided that his first track race would be in Galway Greyhound Stadium on 1st December last year. A great crowd travelled to The Sportsground in Galway and the Missile duly obliged flying home at odds of 5/2. The following week he completed a second win but the bookies were wised up at this stage with his at odds returned at 4/5. However it was never about money for all involved but suddenly we realised that The Missile might be above average.
In the next few months Missile ran in Limerick where he won two races and was in the frame in three others. With the coursing season over and more time on his hands trainer John Browne decide to enter him in a 12 dog sweep at the mecca of Irish Greyhound Racing at Shelbourne Park. He qualified in third place for the final and in the final on 23rd June this year he wasn't given a chance being quoted at odds of 8/1. As John Browne always says the dog knows nothing about odds and he blasted out of Trap 2 with Noel giving commentary to Colin who was in The Regional hospital over the phone. Rounding the third bend the hot favourite challenged Missile but like a good corner back aka John's son Jack the gap was closed on the inside bend and Missile sailed home. All Colin could hear was Noel and I roaring down the phone but according to his dad Gerry it was the last time he needed oxygen in hospital. Come to think of it Noel and I could have done with a bit such was our excitement which was helped greatly by reliving the bookies of some cash.
After a few weeks rest it was decided to enter him in the Irish Greyhound Boylesports Derby at Shelbourne Park starting on 18th August with 138 dogs going into the draw. His odds quoted by the sponsors were 150/1 and many observers were wondering why he was entered such was the quality of the dogs in the competition. However John Browne is one of the shrewdest doggie men around and his mantra was that we may never again have a dog good enough to at least go to post in a Derby and Noel and Colin were fully behind his decision. Now following four rounds of the Derby and his superb win on Saturday night the Missile will contest the Derby semi finals next weekend. To put this achievement in context it's like a small trainer with one or two horses taking on the Aidan O Briens and Jim Bolgers of this world and matching them stride for stride. In all his four rounds of the Derby to date The Missile has been rank outsider but he continues to confound the experts and even ourselves.
What Newhall Missile has done for Colin is beyond belief and now every nurse and doctor in the Regional Hospital not to mind all Clare are behind this one in a life time greyhound. It certainly is a dream and we are all living it together. No matter what happens next Saturday night in the semi finals Newhall Missile will compete on finals night in a fortnight's time ( be it in the Derby Final or Consolation Final) and will go down as the fairy-tale dog of the season. And who's to say the dream is not over yet for John, Noel and Colin. HON THE MISSILE
New Look Chimneys For Moroney's Bar
Friday, 17 August 2018
If you were passing down the Lower Market in Ennis last month you could not but wonder what the scaffolding was doing in front of Moroney's Bar. Many of the locals characters had their own spin on things but the fact was that the two chimney stacks which are over 200 years old along with their six pots needed to be restored to their former glory. Indeed there was a privet hedge growing out of one of them which when inspected was found to have roots going down 8-10 feet through the bricks. Now while this might look fetching from the ground it was causing extensive damage and in time would have burst out the chimney. The chimney to the left facing up to Summerhill was not quite as bad but was leaking water and one of the pots had to be replaced. One must remember that each of these stacks was 12 feet in length and eighteen inches wide but they don't look that big when you are on the ground. Being a three story building in one of the busiest areas of Ennis and the chimneys being listed this was not going to be a straight forward project. Added to the fact that everything had to be taken up by hand as no machinery could be used to hoist up materials due to the main road this made it extremely difficult to plan. None of the chimneys were any longer in use which was a help and the only ones to be discommoded by blocking them up was our local crow population.
In the twelve months before starting the project I found myself looking up at chimneys all over the town and to my surprise there are many building without them as they were removed when the buildings were renovated down the years and those that are still there are not in use or need repairs themselves. My first call was to Larry Brennan founder of the Clare Roots Society and one of the most knowledgeable men on the history of the town. It quickly became apparent that I couldn't take the chimneys down due to them being listed so Larry took on the role of Project Leader and liaised with Dick Cronin, Architectural Conservation Officer with Clare County Council to see exactly what was permitted. After we got the go ahead the main contractor TJ Scanlan came on board and along with his uncle Eamon Kenny, John Browne and Bernard O Sullivan took on the huge task of restoring the chimneys. Fergus Curtin of Sean Curtin Scaffolding and his team put up the five story scaffolding frame and they were a pleasure to deal with as with the footfall in The Market area it was not an easy task putting it in place. It goes without saying that without the expertise and skill of those involved this project would not have been completed within the two week time frame permitted as the Munster Fleadh was due to start and the council required the scaffolding removed.
Early morning starts ( 5am -6am) were the order of the day and thankfully the weather was fantastic which helped enormously. As they say many hands make light work and my brother James and his son Shane were called on and they stepped up to the plate. While the scaffolding was in place Eddie Hayes took the opportunity to paint the front of the building and this was a complete surprise as I'd meant to ask Eddie previously but thankfully he could read my mind and did a super job. To each and everyone who help to see this project to fruition Mile Buiochas and I would also like to thank our neighbour and fellow publican John Quinn for his help. In the Photo Gallery there are 36 photo under the heading Moroney's Chimney Project 2018 so take a look and enjoy.
Gutted But So Proud Of Our Superb Hurlers and Management
Monday, 06 August 2018
Our eighth game of the All Ireland Hurling Championship finished in devastation for the Clare hurlers and their management at Thurles yesterday afternoon but what a summer these unbelievable guys have given each and every Clare hurling supporter both at home and abroad. These amateur players have given up the best years of their life to don the saffron and blue and while us supporters are down today we are eternally grateful to these men for lighting up our lives and giving us some marvelous days out this summer and over the last few years.
We salute each and every member of the panel, the team management and all the background staff for your tremendous dedication and efforts on behalf of the Clare hurlers and just to say us supporters are eternally grateful and proud of your efforts. You lifted the county over the summer and the passion and never say die attitude you have shown makes one so proud to be from Clare. As the songs says Clare My Heart My Home. Hon The Banner from all in Moroney's.
Wedding Bells For Mick and Caroline
Tuesday, 31 July 2018
Saturday afternoon next is a momentous day for Ennislusc Club Secretary Mike Jones when he walks down the aisle with the love of his life Caroline Flannery at the picturesque setting of St Joseph's Church in Miltown Malbay at 1.30pm. Since the foundation of Ennislusc Mike and his Dad Liam have been stalwarts of the club and have been on numerous club trips to Elland Road. Mike in his capacity as secretary set up a What's App group for Ennislusc members and this has been a tremendous success in keeping everyone updated. While Leeds United is close to Mick's heart so is the red and black colours of Whitegate which has been donned by the famous Naoise Jordan, All Star wing back Brendan Bugler and indeed Mick himself has togged with An Geata Ban.
The wedding reception is being held in The Falls Hotel, Ennistymon and for those who can't made the reception Mick and Caroline would like as many of their friends to join them in Moroney's Bar, Market St., Ennis on Sunday afternoon at 1.30 pm. They will be watching the reply of Clare vs Galway All Ireland Hurling S/f, followed by the first game of the season for Mick's beloved Leeds United vs Stoke in the Championship and then on to Patrick's Bar in the Upper Market for a night of music and dancing. All Mike's and Caroline's friends at Ennislusc and Moroney's Bar would like to wish them long life and happiness as they embark on married life. Marching On Together
Disastrous Ticket Allocation For All Ireland Hurling Replay
Monday, 30 July 2018
After an unbelievable weekend of hurling where the Clare hurlers came back from a nine point deficit after 17 minutes to draw with Galway after extra time in a pulsating All Ireland Hurling Semi Final in Croke Park it's off to Thurles next Sunday for a replay at 2pm. Unfortunately for many loyal Clare fans they won't get the chance to shout on their favourites at the home of hurling due to the ticket debacle. The GAA hierarchy decided that no tickets would be circulated to clubs but patrons would have to buy them on line or at Centra supermarkets and to compound matters didn't say when they would go on sale. Thus it was through word of mouth,phone calls etc that people found they were on sale yesterday morning. This of course didn't take account of people at work or old people who haven't access to computers or had a Centra on their doorstep.
When Clare played Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in the round robin of the Munster Championship the figures given for Clare supporters in attendance was around 3,000 so as one can see the band wagon has taken off but many of those who traveled to Leeside are now ticket less. There is a week to the game and paid up GAA club members should have first call on tickets but alas this mess of ticket allocation has left the GAA with egg on it's face. The Clare management has called on supporters to allow the players concentrate on the game and not besiege them with ticket requests. For those who can't get to the game it will be shown live in Moroney's on their five screens and hopefully The Banner Roar will ring around The Market at 4pm following a Clare win. Hon The Banner
Recording Sessions At Moroney's
Monday, 30 April 2018
Last Wednesday evening during the weekly trad session a recording took place of well know singer Peter Casey singing some of his own witty compositions which will be posted on U Tube in the coming weeks. Peter who is Games Development Administrator with Clare GAA is a true entertainer and his song on the dangers of EPO which he sung in JP O Connors Bar in Charleville on his way home from Pairc Ui Chaoimh last year went viral on U Tube. As always Anne Marie McCormack, Marcus Moloney and Kieran Kissane belted out the tunes and a great night was had by all. All at Moroney's wish Peter continued success and look forward to hearing more of his hilarious songs.
Allofthelights Chases Oaks Glory
Friday, 09 February 2018
All roads leads to Powerstown Park, Clonmel this weekend where the Derby and Oaks will be run for the 93rd year. Not since 1950 when Cahercalla Rebellion won the Oaks for Paddy Quinn from Market Street has Ennis had a winner at the meeting but this year there will be four runners with Ennis connections going to slips in the Oaks and Derby events. Allofthelights will represent the Four Thirds Syndicate in the Oaks which is made up of Sean Heeney, his sons Conor and Niall along with Tony(Camo) Quinn who is a nephew of the late Paddy. Ironically Cahercalla Rebellion was reared by his father Michael at their home in Cahercalla as was Allofthelights by Tony. Many will know Tony from walking the bypass with his greyhounds and lately there has been a pep in his step as the big day approaches.
Another Ennis runner which takes his place this time in the Derby is Clareabbey Flyer owned by the Halfway House Syndicate which is made up of John Keane, Frank White, Paul Keating and Jimmy McEnery and trained in Ennistymon by Tom Flanagan. This is a tremendous achievement for them to have a runner in Clonmel as this has been their dream for years and now it's happened for them. Michael Eustace who played on the famous Kilrush Shamrock's five in a row winning teams ( 1975-79) and is involved in the Western Heard Brewery company based in Kilmaley along with McHugh's Bar in Parnell Street is involved in syndicates that own two of the top fancies in the Derby and Oaks. Mad Decision is owned by the Windfarm Syndicate and is a leading fancy for the Oaks while Roquefort Teddy also owned by the syndicate runs in the Derby where he too is at the top of the market in the betting.
There will be a big contingent from Moroney's heading to Clonmel to cheer on Sean, Camo and the lads with Allofthelights and we would like to take this opportunity to wish all the Clare runners best wishes over the weekend and hopefully hear the Banner Roar reverberating around the stands on Monday afternoon.
Remembering Carmody's Hotel Tragedy on the 60th Anniversary
Monday, 15 January 2018
Wednesday 15th January 1958 will be forever etched in the history of our great town as it signaled the biggest tragedy in our history when eight people lost their lives when the first floor of Carmody's Hotel on Abbey Street collapsed during an auction. The auction was part of a three day auction to sell off the contents of the hotel which had closed and was being carried out by Limerick Auctioneer Louis De Courcy. The room was crowded to such an extent that Mr De Courcy had asked for the doors to be closed which in hindsight probably saved many more lives. The floor collapsed in the middle some time in the afternoon as the auctioneer was auctioning linen which was piled on tables in the center of the room.
In journalist Gerry Quinn's excellent radio documentary As If Night Fell which was broadcast on Clare FM last night and was previously broadcast for the 40th Anniversary he gives an excellent account of what happened from relations of the victims, survivors and townspeople of Ennis. Gerry was inspired to do the documentary as his grandmother Mrs Nora Considine from Corofin was one of the fatalities. One of those to perish in the tragedy was Earnest De Regge who was the choir master and organist at Ennis Cathedral. Yesterday Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral for the victims with his composition The Mass Of Blessed Oiver Plunkett being sung by the Enniscorthy Choral Society under the leadership of Ennis man Donagh Wylde from Clonroad who's father Dennis was the photographer for The Clare Champion for many years.
The eight victims of the disaster were Mrs Bridie Byrne (38) Kilrush, James Fitzgibbon (65) Marian Avenue, Ennis, Mrs Michael Coffey (41) Killoo, Clarecastle, Thomas Donnellan (13) Bindon Street, Ennis, Ernest De Regge (57) Bindon Street, Ennis, Mrs Josephine Carmody (50) Barefield, Mrs Ellen McNamara (73) Crusheen and Mrs Norah Considine (60) Corofin. On the same day Miss Lena McNamara (45) a dressmaker from Francis Street Ennis collapsed and died on her way to the doctor and initially she was thought as being a victim of the disaster in the first newspaper reports. And the death toll didn't end there as a plane crashed in to the Shannon Estuary near Waller Island after taking off from Shannon Airport with photos for the following day's Daily Express of the disaster. The plane was piloted by Captain Arthur C Morgan who in a hurry to deliver the photos forgot to close one of the cock pit doors thus forcing the aircraft to crash.
Carmody Hotel which opened in 1804 comprised of two buildings and although the main part was demolished after the disaster the other is now part of Yolo's Bar and Restaurant. There is a plaque on the side of Yolo's which was unveiled on the 40th Anniversary remembering those who lost their lives. The Clare Roots Society launched a excellent book for the 60th Anniversary written by John Bradley who himself was a witness on that fateful day and documents the events in tremendous detail.
Today we pause for a few minutes to think of all those who lost their lives on a devastating day for Ennis, May They Rest In Peace.
New Greyhound Folk Photo Album Launched
Tuesday, 02 January 2018
Many people take photos at different events which never see the light of day again and I was in danger of doing the same until I had a conversation with greyhound enthusiast Frank White of The Halfway Bar. He asked what had happened to all the photos I'd taken over the years and hence the idea to launch a Greyhound Folk album was born. There are ninety photos in the album which is in the photo gallery on moroneysbar.com under the heading Greyhound Folk so take a peek and enjoy.
You can find Moroney's Bar at 9 Lower Market Street, Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland. Take a look at the map below!