We welcome two new babies this week. Firstly baby Adam was born to Anita and Kieran Carroll of Templeathea last week. His two little sisters Courtney and Ciara are very excited with their new brother. Congratulations to the proud parents not forgetting the grandparents Anne and Ned Carroll also of Templeathea.

Aisling McAuliffe and Sean Leahy, who reside in Templeaglantine at present, were blessed with their first baby, a little boy who is being named Sean Óg. We also congratulate the new parents along with first time proud grandparents Denise and John McAuliffe of Lower Athea. Good wishes all around.

The very best of luck to all our students who are starting out on another step of their life. Some heading off to Secondary Schools, others heading out into the world and into college life, having to fend for themselves. We wish them all the very best. A difficult time for parents no doubt – but it’s worth it in the end, we hope!

Just have one eye and ear on the TV as I write these few lines and a very sad programme called “The Forgotten Irish” on TV 3. It’s all about the Irish who immigrated to England in past years, some who never got to come home again to Ireland, having memories of green fields, thatched houses, great neighbours and friends and much more. Some ended up living rough, others got into bad company, more into the throes of drink etc. The Irish Communities in England in the 60’s and 70’s and even 80’s were huge, Céilís were a-plenty and Irish ballrooms like ‘The Galtymore’ in Cricklewood in London were a landmark and a huge gathering place for the Irish. Alas many are now closed down and Irish communities have been taken over by many other nationalities. In years gone by pubs were given to Irish landlords who made names for themselves in the trade attracting all the Irish. Now however most of these establishments are closed down or boarded up. Many of the ‘Forgotten Irish’ use the soup kitchens and the like for their daily meals especially those living alone who have no one else to go to. They still hope one day to return to their native shores even in a ‘box’ they say. In some jobs it’s been written on the gates “no Irish need apply” – someone has added the lines “whoever wrote this – the same is written on the gates of hell”.