Posts Tagged ‘monaghan’




MICHAEL FISHER is a former reporter with RTÉ News in Dublin and Belfast. He is a leading member of the National Union of Journalists, which has campaigned in support of local newspapers in Ireland and Britain……
When a group including local businessman John Harden started a campaign thirty years ago to save Monaghan general hospital I reported on the issue for RTÉ News. The Northern Standard through its columnns kept me informed of their activities and played an important role in mobilising support for the group. In June 1983 the headline on the front page read” “Hospital for Sale”. Since then, the Standard has carried hundreds of articles informing people about the issue and taking the politicians to task in its leading articles. Much attention focused on the actions of the health officials who decided that a general or county hospital did not fit the requirements of the 21st Century. The downgrading of local health services continues to make headlines in 2012. This story is just one example of the importance of having a strong local newspaper, prepared to challenge the politicians when necessary and to defend local interests. The archives of the Standard will also be important for any historians wanting to study the saga of the hospital campaign. Who said what and who has ultimately been proven correct. My interest in the story was because my grandfather as the new County Registrar (solicitor) had helped to establish the county hospital. His appointment in 1937 was in the news pages of the Northern Standard. In one of his diaries he recorded how he sent £1 3d to the Northern Standard to ensure he had copies of the weekly paper in 1964. He would post the paper to my uncle Fr Reggie Smyth when he was a missionary priest in Nigeria. Nowadays people at home and abroad have web sites and the internet to keep in touch. But many thankfully still reach for the hard copy of the Standard once it appears in the shops on a Thursday as they want to find out what happened in the county during the week. An important sections in any local newspaper is the one containing news from the villages and the Standard is lucky to have a network of correspondents to fill the relevant columns. This is where the reader will get a sense of what goes on in ordinary life and the slot provides a useful guide to the activities of different groups such as the ICA or the ramblers. Followers of sport whether GAA, rugby or soccer will also find extensive coverage of their teams in the local newspaper. Or if you want to know how to spend your weekend, look at the entertainment pages. The Northern Standard is one of the few Irish newspapers that remains a broadsheet and also in the ownership of a local family, who have always been dedicated to the cause of Monaghan in whatever sector. Let us hope it will continue to provide a valuable service as a paper reflecting events in the county and prepared to take up a cause when necessary in the service of local democracy.



Faith Matters page 28 Irish News Thursday 13th September 2012.

Six Siblings Achieved More Than 350 Years Service to the Catholic Church

AS THE Poor Clare Order marks its 800th anniversary, a Co Monaghan family has celebrated its own milestone of service to the Catholic Church, writes Michael Fisher. It’s a record of service to the Church in Ireland that must be unique — three priests and three nuns from the same Inniskeen family who between them have achieved more than 350 years in the religious life. Two of the McCluskey family — a priest, Fr Peter, and a nun, Sr Ethna — held their diamond (60) and platinum (70) jubilees respectively earlier this summer at the St Louis Convent in Dundalk. Mass was concelebrated by Fr Peter and their youngest brother, Canon Brian, a priest for 52 years who served in Roslea, Co.Fermanagh and other parishes in the diocese of Clogher.
Sr Ethna is a former superior of the St Louis convent in Kilkeel, Co.Down. Patrick Kavanagh was a near neighbour of the McCluskey family at Inniskeen and Canon Brian recalls how the poet used to borrow books from his mother’s private library at the local national school where she taught. Six of the McCluskeys gathered at the convent in Dundalk for the Mass. Fr Peter now lives at Inchicore in Dublin and Sr Ethna at the St Louis Convent in Dundalk. Canon Brian now lives in Belfast with his sister Maire — who used to work for the Northern Ireland orthopaedic service — and celebrated his golden jubilee two years ago. He still says Mass at St Brigid’s Parish in Belfast. They were joined by two other sisters — Una McMahon, a retired nurse living in Belfast, and Sr Nuala, a St Louis nun for 57 years and now retired and living at the convent in Dundalk.
Two members of the family, both with 59 years in religious life, were unable to be present. Fr Gerry McCluskey is a Kiltegan priest in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Sr Aileen is a Mercy nun who is in Dublin and, like her brother Fr Gerry, is just one year short of her diamond jubilee. The contribution of the McCluskey family to religious life so far is 357 years — Sr Ethna SSL (70 years); Fr Peter OMI (60); Sr Nuala SSL (57); Fr Gerard SPS (59); Sr Aileen RSM (59); and Canon Brian (52).

Faith Matters column





Tydavnet & Geel

For the past 20 years, Tydavnet in Co.Monaghan has been twinned with the town of Geel in the Antwerpen province of Flanders in Belgium. The connection is through the story of St Dympna (Tigh Damhnait in Irish means Dympna’s house). Some groups have gone over for the five-yearly St-Dimpna Ommegang or procession in May. More recently Monaghan delegations have participated in the Geel Euro Festival in August every five years. I was there in 2007 and went back for this year’s events, reporting for the website. I have put my diary pieces over the six days into one article to give you an idea of how the group of 22 (including the Mayor of Monaghan and three Councillors) spent their time with the host families who provided free accommodation for them.


Leaving Tydavnet

A group of eighteen people from the parish of Tydavnet  has headed off (Wednesday morning 15th August 9am) for the town of Geel in Belgium, with which we have been twinned for the past twenty years. Some of those on the trip have visited Geel before and for others it will be their first trip to see Flanders. The group will be accompanied by the Mayor of Monaghan Cllr Hugh McElvaney from Corcaghan, along with Councillors David Maxwell, Seamus Treanor and Pat Treanor. They will receive a welcome from the Mayor of Geel and the local council. Thursday is the day for “It’s a Knockout” games or “Spel zonder Grenzen” involving all twelve participating European countries. Sounds like we are in for a dunking as we have been advised by Sheila to bring our swimsuits! Friday is the day for a conference on active ageing. Saturday is the day for cultural trips and a big show. On Sunday the day begins with a church service and there is usually a procession afterwards. The event is usually held every five years. Each person or couple is given hospitality by local residents, some of whom have visited Tydavnet since the link was established. For more about the St Dympna connection see the section under “History of Tydavnet”. Hopefully we can keep you informed of progress on this news page. Translate “geel” from Flemish into English and you get “yellow” so here is the news about EUROFEESTEN 2012 from Geel aka Yellow!


Hosts Mia & André

All arrived safely in Geel and were met by the host families. André and Mia are hosts once again for Evelyn and myself; Donagh is staying nearby and tonight Hermann and Annie gave us dinner. Regards from all to Harry & Deirdre. Plenty of good Belgian beer when we arrived. I led a sing song  briefly in the festival tent before we went our separate ways. Plenty of excitement tomorrow in the “It’s a knockout” games involving twelve European countries. Good night all until Thursday.




Sheila our star!

Killylough won the gold in another European tug-of-war competition led by Paddy Sherry. The Tydavnet team representing Ireland finished eighth out of ten, ahead of Portugal and France (wooden spoon). Poland were the champions in the Spel zonder Grenzen (It’s a Knockout), represented by Czestochowa. Martin McKenna led our team and Sheila put on a swimsuit for some water-based game. I ended the final game dressed in a wig and yellow/red trousers as a symbol of Geel. All great fun. Cllr David Maxwell led the quiz and jigsaw team. He was also interviewed by local TV (as was Martin after the tug-of-war victory). David was left confused in a game where the Irish currency produced was a copy of an old Allied Irish Bank £20 sterling note with a picture of Queen Elizabeth!

New Irish currency

Maybe these Belgians with their good connections in Brussels have some inside knowledge of the future of the Irish economy……..!!! This evening I led a sing-song of Irish favourites and Flemish melodies at Ten Aard parish centre, close to where we are staying. Plenty of rabble-rousing songs including “A Nation Once Again” led by the Mayor Hugh McElvaney who has to be up early am for a conference on active ageing. Eugene & Mary Sherry have just arrived (staying next door) but took a wrong connection on a train so their arrival was delayed a bit. They will join us tomorrow Friday for a trip to a museum in Antwerpen. Oiche mhaith.


Tydavnet at Eurofeesten

Owing to a technical glitch, this report is coming to you from Geel slightly later than the previous ones…….well that’s my excuse anyway. In reality, my kind host André produced a glass or two of Powers and we did not get to bed until late after solving the problems of the world (especially Belgian politics!!). So starting backwards, we returned home to the peaceful suburb of Ten Aard at 2am, having said farewell to the Mayor of Geel Frans Peters and his wife, who were catching up with old friends. They spotted us sitting outside the Irish pub in the Grote Markt (town square) and came over to speak to Martin McKenna and Sheila. She left us temporarily to be introduced to a Cork man in the building industry here in Geel. He told us there were a few Monaghan people working with him, so if you happen to know any, send them along to the square tonight (Saturday) and you will find us there. Earlier the group joined representatives of nine other European countries at the official opening of the EUROFEESTEN. A great spectacle, very lively and colourful. Ireland was mentioned at the start of the presentation…..20 years of twinning Tydavnet:Geel. But we were the last country to be introduced and welcomed from the stage, and as Amhran na bhfiann was played, Sheila McKenna in true Katie Taylor style (much better in fact than the Olympian!) waved the tricolour…..

Cllr Seamus Treanor & Mayor Hugh McElvaney

while the Mayor of Monaghan Hugh McElvaney wearing his chain of office sat in the front row with Cllr Seamus Treanor. Instead of staying for the concert we went for a lovely meal at the museum restaurant where I sampled a local speciality of a pot of mussels in white wine and chips. As for the mixed grill which some of the others had, the plate was huge and the food generally has been excellent. Heading off for a trip soon to Vaals so no time to tell you how we got on with the window shopping (with a slight difference) in Antwerpen. Those in our small group of eleven will know exactly what happened as we left St Paul’s (Dominican) church having heard the story of Mary Magdalene and then headed for the River Schelde and the old port area……….



Hotel Kasteel Bloemendal

This was the day when guests are usually taken away for a trip by their host family and it has been the warmest so far, up to 35C. Tydavnet parish where the show was being held is close to the three county hollow on Sliabh Beagh. Today André drove us to the “Drielandenpunt” where the three countries meet. We travelled from Belgium into the Netherlands and came within a short distance of Germany. From the Wilhelmina observation tower we got a wonderful view, looking across to Aachen and beyond. We also stopped in the nearby village of Vaals to visit a posh hotel for coffee and cake. The reason we went to the Hotel Castle Bloemendal is because it used to be a finishing school for girls, run by the Sacred Heart nuns. My mother left Castleblayney as a 16 year-old having been a boarder at the Sacred Heart convent in Armagh and was sent to Vaals a year or two before the outbreak of the second world war. She learned to speak German. So it was fascinating to see around the hotel and grounds, where a wedding was being held. Another coincidence is that a neighbour of ours in Dublin got married there a few years ago. Time afterwards to return to Flanders via a French-speaking province in Wallonia where the signs said “Police” rather than “Politie”.

Bocholt-Herentals Kanaal

Had a short walk alongside a lock on the wide Bocholt-Herentals canal and had a nice meal in Geel before returning to André and Mia’s. There will be an international Mass in town in the morning. There is a European market in the centre and also Ria’s photographic exhibition to visit, then a Eurovision song contest….no sorry that should read a European sing-song when we will be singing (appropriately perhaps) The Wild Rover. Time for some sleep now so oiche mhaith from Geel.



The visit to Geel by a group of 22 from Tydavnet ended tonight in great style with a European sing-song in the newly refurbished market square. This was also the hottest day so far, up to 38C and even tonigh the reading coming home to Ten Aard in André’s car was 25C at 1:30am! So this must have been one of the hottest places in Europe. It was certainly one of the most exciting. The day began with the Irish representatives inluding the Mayor of Monaghan assembling for 11am Mass at St Amand’s church in the town centre. Designed to make the service as inclusive as possible for ten nations, the Mass was celebrated in the three main languages of Belgium: Flemish, French and English; some of the music was in Latin; at the Our Father the priest encouraged us to join in in our own language so I prayed in Irish. In his introductory remarks the celebrant (vicar of several parishes in the greater Geel area) spoke in diverse tongues including Spanish, Portugese and Romanian; he apologised for not being able to master Polish! The Mass ended with Beethoven’s ode to joy, the European anthem, again a multi-lingual experience and I have rarely experienced such an uplifting end to a Mass. The group has enjoyed the stay in Geel with a number of first-timers already talking about returning. There will be one change later this year. Frans Peeters who I met in the main square this evening will no longer be Mayor as he is retiring from politics before the October election. All in Tydavnet wish him well for the work he has done to make 20 years of twinning with Tydavnet/Monaghan a success.


The wild rovers have returned and I hope by this stage all are settled back in their homes in Tydavnet and Monaghan (and Granard). I am writing this from Dublin and already my mother is awaiting with interest the news of my visit to Bloemendal/Vaals where she went to finishing school in 1936 for a year,  having set off on her own from her parents’ home at Conabury, Castleblayney, aged 16. So I filled in a bit of family history on Saturday, as did Cllr David Maxwell’s wife Jill. Their host family in Geel brought them to the first world war battlefields near Ypres in Flanders (a trip I had made five years ago with our Belgian hosts). There they found the grave of her great grandfather from Louth (village), who was a soldier in the Irish Guards and died in 1917. Some visited the second world war cemetery in Geel this morning where a number of Irishmen are buried,  from the Irish Guards and other British Army regiments. At 1pm it was time to say farewell to our hosts who waved us goodbye as the coach left for Brussels airport. Among those on our flight was a man from Clones who immediately recognised Cllr Pat Treanor. I also spotted the Conservative unionist MEP and Agriculture Committee member Jim Nicholson from Armagh. He might well have been interested to see some of the large dairy farms around Geel which some of our group were taken to see. Owen McNally took time to check out the quality of the potatoes and the maize, which was planted alongside the roads without any of the hedges we are used to. A big thank you once again to all our hosts in Geel for the wonderful six days we spent with them. They have been invited to send a group or representatives over for the Gathering in 2013 and hopefully Tydavnet will be ready to welcome them. Photos of the visit and other memorabilia will be collected over the next few weeks so that we can show them sometime at the community centre. I also hope to expand on this diary at some stage. I hope you have enjoyed the reports and your comments (subject to approval!) are welcome at the end of the individual articles. Now to get back to watching the Rose of Tralee….!!! Michael Fisher Monday 20th August


Tug-of-War: photo

The It’s a Knockout/Games without Frontiers involving ten European countries in Geel last week was covered by a television crew from the local news channel. You can see how the men from Killylough including Paddy Sherry and the women led by Sheila McKenna took the twelve points by finishing first in the tug-of-war (the second game). Martin McKenna was interviewed as team captain. However the joker was reserved for another game (the quiz) and had we played it on the tug-of-war we could have improved our overall place by doubling the points awarded. The main thing is that it was fun participating. No bales of straw to be shifted in wheelbarrows this time! You can watch the video here.



Maire McCluskey, Sr Nuala SSL, Fr Peter OMI, Sr Ethna SSL, Canon Brian McCluskey & Una McMahon

A County Monaghan family has marked  a significant milestone in the Catholic church in Ireland, with over 350 years between them in religious life. There was double cause for celebration at the St Louis Convent in Dundalk as two of the McCluskeys from Inniskeen, a priest, Fr Peter, and a nun, Sr Ethna, held their diamond (60) and platinum (70) jubilees respectively. Mass was concelebrated by their youngest brother, Canon Brian, a priest for 52 years.

Sr Ethna McCluskey entered the Louis convent in Monaghan in 1942, 100 years after the order was founded in France. Her brother Peter who studied at St Macartan’s seminary in Monaghan entered the Oblate fathers (O.M.I.) in 1945 and was ordained on June 22nd 1952. Sr Ethna trained as a national teacher at Our Lady of Mercy College, Carysfort in Dublin and went on to teach at the St Louis Convent in Rathmines. For many years she was Principal of the Girls’ National School in Clones before taking up a similar position in Dundalk. Her final appointment was as superior of the St Louis Convent in Kilkeel, Co.Down. Since her retirement in 2004 she has been residing at the Convent on the Castleblayney Road in Dundalk, a few kilometres from her family home at Blackstaff in Inniskeen. The poet Patrick Kavanagh was a near neighbour. Canon Brian recalls how he used to borrow books from his mother’s private library at the local national school where she taught. Fr Peter’s first posting as a missionary priest sixty years ago was to South Africa. His journey by cargo boat to Cape Town took three weeks. He worked in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg from 1952 until his return to Ireland in 2007. He witnessed the end of the apartheid regime in 1994 and the election of Nelson Mandela as President.

Sr Ethna McCluskey

Sr Ethna is the eldest of the family of eight. Six of them gathered at the convent in Dundalk for the Mass celebrated by Fr Peter, who since 2007 has been living at the Oblate house at Inchicore in Dublin. Joining him at the altar was his younger brother Canon Brian McCluskey, a retired priest of the diocese of Clogher, who served as a curate in his home parish of Inniskeen and was a parish priest in Threemilehouse and later Roslea. He now lives in Belfast with his sister Maire, who worked for the Northern Ireland orthopaedic service. Canon McCluskey studied at the Irish College in Rome and celebrated his golden jubilee two years ago along with his classmate, Monsignor Ambrose Macaulay. He still says Sunday Mass at St Brigid’s parish. They were joined by two other sisters Una McMahon, a retired nurse living in Belfast and Sr Nuala, a St Louis nun now retired and living at the Convent in Dundalk with her older sister Ethna. She worked on the missions in Nigeria for many years and in 1985 was appointed to take charge of the Louis House nursing home in Monaghan. She has been a nun for 57 years. Following the Mass, members of the family and friends gathered for a meal at a local restaurant.

Fr Peter McCluskey OMI concelebrates with Fr Brian

Two members of the family, both with 59 years in religious life, were unable to be present. Fr Gerry McCluskey is a Kiltegan priest who has been based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, since 1961. Previously he served as a missionary in Kenya. He is also a former pupil of St Macartan’s seminary in Monaghan, like his two brothers. Sr Aileen is a Mercy nun who is in Dublin and like her brother Fr Gerry is just one year short of her diamond jubilee. The five sisters were all boarders at the St Louis convent in Monaghan. So the total contribution of the McCluskey family to religious life reads as follows: Sr Ethna SSL 70 years, Fr Peter OMI 60, Sr Nuala SSL 57, Fr Gerard SPS 59, Sr Aileen RSM 59 and Canon Brian 52 years, giving a combined total of 357 years’ service to the Catholic church.  Ad multos annos.


Copyright: Michael Fisher @fishbelfast 2012 This story has appeared in the Northern Standard (front page), the Irish Catholic, the Dundalk Democrat and the Monaghan Democrat edition, as well as the Dundalk Argus.

Fr Peter &  Sr Ethna

Fr Peter & Sr Ethna

Sr Ethna & 3 sisters

Northern Standard

Dundalk/Monaghan Democrat


Sr Nuala & Fr Peter

St Louis nun & Sr Ethna

The Argus, Dundalk

Irish Catholic


Down v Monaghan in Ulster senior championship semi-final

MONAGHAN 1-13 DOWN 1-14. A last minute victory for Down by a single point against Monaghan. Benny Coulter came on as a sub in the closing stages and scored a vital point. But Tommy Freeman scored a great opportunist goal for Monaghan in the second half after a pass by Conor McManus from a quickly-taken free. Monaghan dominated the first 35 minutes in all departments until they gave away a penalty in added time just before the break. Aidan Carr scored from the spot to make it at half time Monaghan 0-11 Down 1-02. At one stage Monaghan were rampant and led by nine points. But it was a different story in the second half and Down manager James McCartan must have given his team a spirited talk in the dressing room at the break. Down: A Carr 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), D O’Hare 0-5 (5f), C Laverty 0-2, K Duffin, L Doyle (f), B Coulter, D O’Hagan, A Rogers (f) 0-1 each. Monaghan: T Freeman 1-0, C McManus (3f) 0-5, P Finlay (3f) 0-5, D Hughes 0-2 (1f, 1 ’45), D Clerkin 0-1.

Monaghan huddle

Workout by Monaghan

Pre-match parade

All over



Kevin McCarron

Ready for the vintage run

Monaghan vintage tractor and car run on Sunday. The procession of vehicles left Kevin McCarron’s field in Tydavnet going through the village into Monaghan and then Threemilehouse where refreshments were provided before returning to Tydvanet via Scotstown. The event was organised in aid of Monaghan branch MS and Drumkill day centre Threemilehouse (Alzheimer Society). Thanks to all who participated or gave donations. It’s understood a sum of over €6000 has already been collected.

Tydavnet tractor run


Tydavnet tractor run

One of the local tractors taking part in the “tractorcade” and vintage car run driven by Willie Harry.

Tydavnet tractor run





Emyvale CC

One of the top cycling events in Ireland is being held for the first time in North Monaghan later this month (June 23rd-26th). Expect to see busy roads and many visitors around the villages of Emyvale, Tydavnet, Knockatallon, Scotstown and Ballinode as over 250 riders including some well-known names compete in this year’s Irish National Cycling championships. The event is being hosted by Emyvale Cycling Club on behalf of Cycling Ireland. Town of Monaghan Co-op which has supported the club’s activities for over twenty years will be the main sponsor.

ON SUNDAY JUNE 26th around  120 riders are expected to take part in the national senior road race championships for men. The winning elite rider wears the national champion’s jersey for all road races in the following 12 months. The first of the men under-23 in this race receives a separate award for the espoir category. With the 2012 Olympics fast approaching it’s certain thecompetitors will be out to impress the selectors of Ireland’s Olympic team. County Monaghan will have two riders taking part, Conor Murphy from Clara near Emyvale who has just finished the 8 day FBD Milk Rás. Another local competitor is Monaghan town’s Ryan Sherlock, current national hill climb champion. These riders along with all the Irish elite competitors will make this one of the top sporting events in the county this year.

Last year’s winner, Matt Brammeier, a Liverpudlian with an Irish passport, wears the national champion’s jersey. As a result of his victory he signed a professional contract with HTC-Highroad. The silver medallist is better known, Nicholas Roche, son of former champion Stephen Roche. He has already won this race twice and rides as a professional with a French team, Ag2r-La Mondiale. Roche has won a total of five professional races, finishing 15th in last year’s Tour de France and 7th in the Tour of Spain, raising him to 32nd position in the world rankings. Roche’s cousin, Daniel Martin, is the 2010 bronze medallist and is a professional with the Garmin-Cervelo team, currently ranking 49th internationally. Fresh from his exploits at the recent Giro D’Italia, Letterkenny’s Philip Deignan of Team RadioShack could well lead the Ulster challenge to win the race.

Spectators are invited to come and watch all the competitions particularly the men’s and women’s races starting on the main street of Scotstown at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. Admission to all events is FREE so the organisers are hoping many people will turn up to cheer on the local riders in particular. The race distance for the elite men’s event on Sunday is around 175km. featuring seven laps of a 25k circuit. Beginning in Scotstown the cyclists head for Knockatallon Cross, past the Sliabh Beagh Hotel, onto the Clogher Road heading past Killylough to Tydavnet, then continuing along the Monaghan road to Lemacaulla Cross and Connolly’s Bridge, branching off to Ballinode and then back to Scotstown. Medal presentations will take place immediately after the finish of the race around 4pm.

The four-day event begins on Thursday evening (June 23rd) with a time trial in Emyvale village for the elite women’s and paracycling champions awards. The first competitor sets off at 7pm and riders will follow at one minute intervals on the N2 main Derry to Dublin road. Their route will take them southwards to the Coolshannagh roundabout near Town of Monaghan Co-op, then heading northwards on the N54/A3 across the border to Middletown. The riders then head for Caledon and Aughnacloy, with a finish back on the N2 at the border at Moybridge, covering a distance  of 40km.

On Friday (June 24th) it’s the turn of the senior men’s time trial championships, with the first rider due off at 6pm. The 40km route is the same as that cycled by the women. The time trial is not expected to cause too much traffic disruption on the main roads but drivers are advised to proceed with caution and to allow extra time for their journeys. AA roadwatch traffic information can be obtained at

On Saturday morning (June 25th)  the national elite women’s road race championship takes place with about fifty competitors. Scotstown GAA complex will serve as the race headquarters and parking at Urbleshanny will be available for spectators. The race starts on the main street of the village at 11am over a 12.8km circuit. Competitors will be heading for Knockatallon Cross, turning right towards the Sliabh Beagh Hotel and then right again onto Carrahor Road onto the Scotstown Road back to the village, continuing this right hand circuit for seven laps. It finishes outside the Sliabh Beagh hotel after completing a total distance of almost 100km. Current champion Olivia Dillon from Co. Mayo will have to travel from San Francisco in the USA to defend both the women’s time trial and road race titles she won last year. The Ulster challenge in the women’s events is likely to come from 2009 road race champion, Heather Wilson from Lisburn.

On Saturday afternoon (June 25th) the national veterans’ road race championships will be held. The race begins at 3pm on the main street of Scotstown, cycling over the same course as the women’s event to cover eight laps, making a total distance of around 110km and again finishing at the Sliabh Beagh venue. On Saturday evening at 7pm, all leisure cyclists are invited to take part in a charity ride covering one lap (25km) of the elite road race course. Those wishing to participate should sign on at the Scotstown GAA complex from 6pm. Voluntary donations will go towards the Co. Monaghan branch of  Special Olympics Ireland.

Speaking at the launch, race organiser Patsy Brady said: “This is a big honour for Emyvale Cycling Club to be staging the national championships for the first time. Although the club hosted the B Championships three years ago, this is a much bigger event and we are grateful to Town of Monaghan Co-Op for their sponsorship. There has been massive interest in the national championships this year with Irish cyclists based in the UK, continental Europe, and the USA making enquiries. We look forward to welcoming them all to Monaghan at the end of June.”

2011 Irish National Championships Programme

Thu 23rd  Elite Women’s/Paracycling Time Trial @ 7pm Emyvale

Fri 24th   Senior Men’s Time Trial Championship @ 6pm Emyvale

Sat 25th  Women’s Road Race Championsip @ 11am Scotstown

Sat 25th    Veterans’ Road Race Championship @ 3pm Scotstown

Sun 26th   Senior Men’s Road Race Championship @ 11am Scotstown

Full details about entries and routes can be found at Cycling Ireland




Trade unions building links between migrant workers and local communities

Trade unions in County Monaghan are playing an important role in a new initiative to build links between migrant workers and the local community and to stop racism. The secretary of Monaghan Trades Council, Peter McAleer from Clones, joined an audience of over seventy people in Newry for the launch of the “Racism is Wrong” campaign. Chaired by TV presenter Pamela Ballantine, the event featured a panel discussion including the North’s Transport Minister and Newry and Armagh MP, Conor Murphy (Sinn Féin), Jane Morrice of the Equality Commission in Belfast and Kasia Garbal, Migrant Worker Coordinator with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Conor Murphy MP & Peter McAleer, Secretary Monaghan Trades Council

Racism is Wrong has used local people from black and ethnic minority communities as the “faces” for an advertising campaign. Their profiles will be seen over the next five months throughout Monaghan and Louth as well as the areas of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, and Newry and Mourne. The campaign has received European funding through the PEACE III Programme. It aims to raise awareness of racism and includes newspaper and radio advertising, billboards and a website at (new window) It is supported by the Equality Commission in the North and the Unite Against Hate group.

Michael Fisher, Jane Morrice (Equality Commission) & broadcaster Pamela Ballantine

Among the priorities for this cross-border partnership is to change the perceptions and stereotypes that exist in relation to ethnic minority communities. It aims to develop, promote and facilitate the integration of migrant workers and local communities. It hopes the campaign will help to improve understanding and support between local communities and migrant workers or ethnic minorities.