The Pride of Place Competition 2007.

Drumsna was one of two entries by Leitrim County Council in the 2007 Pride of Place Competition. The other was Kiltyclogher in North Leitrim. The Competition covers all thirty Two Counties and is based on Community effort, integration, youth involvement and Pride in your place.

Drumsna is a picturesque village built on the banks of the River Shannon and has a good hardworking Development Association. The area is steeped in History with several famous people claiming it as their birthright. Based on this, the idea was formed that we would bring the history of the village to life on the day with many willing participants. The 4th of July started off for us at the community Centre with a wonderful power point presentation by local Councillor Sinead Guckian, this covered relevant details of our village and the work that has been accomplished over the past number of years. We then introduced the judges to people from other countries who reside happily in our midst and also representatives of all the various local bodies.

We then took to the road commencing at Duignan’s with Gabriel representing his Grandfather Thomas Duignan in 1881.HeGabriel Duignan told of the Duignan Family history over the past hundred years and their involvement in the community.

Jim Gannon and Liam TaylorLiam Taylor represented the Innkeeper at the Ivy Tree Inn in 1883.telling of the Bianconi Stage Coach Stop there and of the famous Author Anthony Trollope who stayed at the Inn.

Jim Gannon representing Mr Anthony Trollope 1883 then appeared and gave a potted history of his inspiration for his first novel ‘’The Macdermots of Ballycloran.

Maureen Quigley’s ‘’Windows of Memorabilia‘’ were of great interest to the judges in print and in pictures as each window depicted a different aspect of village history.

A history of Drumsna Bridge, one of the oldest on the river Shannon, the blind eye (arch) where prisoners were jailed and of the famous hand ball alley on the side where many a championship was held was then related. From there it was on to the Shannon-side walk where Imelda Gaffney’s rendition of ‘’The Sally Gardens‘’ soared out over the peaceful waters as the resident swans glided by in wonder.

The Reynolds Family

Shannon Lodge the former home of The Devonish Family was represented by Brendan and Myra Reynolds together with Sophie, Mathew and Eoin all dressed in period costume of the day with grain samples for which the Merchant Devonishes were famous in the eighteenth century.

 

 

Teasie McLoughlin

 

Teasie Mc Loughlin was a dead ringer for the errant Post Mistress Slacke 1861 complete with authentic documentation to prove her point.

 

Mickey Mc Nabola stood to attention as Patrick Gill Volunteer of The Irish Republican army who was shot dead by British Forces in September of 1920 on his way to a wake in Foxboro.

Jim Gannon changed back into his own persona, Woodcarver; Sculptor; vintage car collector, all among his many talents.

Pat Dennehy

The High Sheriff of Co. Leitrim Josias Campbell 1720 was ably portrayed by Pat Dennehy whose estate was eventually handed over to The Franciscan nuns.

The Franciscan nuns ….Poor Clares ……were domiciled at Mount Campbell from 1915 to1935. And were played by Bernie Gill, Carmel O Dowd and Kathleen Moran. Grateful thanks is due to Sister Mary Doherty, and the nuns in Drumshanbo for their assistance.

Tracey Hennessy

 

Tracey Hennessey composed and read her own poem about Drumsna for the judges.

Kitty Storey

Kitty Storey was waiting at the former gates of Belmount House with a picture of the house in its glory years when hey presto! The Mc Keon family suddenly came down the drive in a vintage car.

Tracey and Aileen RinnTarnie Mc Keon a noted Lawyer of the day aka Sonny Moran, his wife Maria, Aka Ella Gannon and theirElla Gannon and Sony Moran two daughters aka Tracey and Aileen Rinn. A gramophone miraculously appeared and Sonny and Ella give a veritable master performance of the waltz.

The Judges then transferred to the vintage car courtesy of Jim Gannon , passing the Peoples Orchard the Old school house and along to the village green where Carmel Glancy graciously presented them with a packed fruit basket.

 

Michael Dowd

 

The Church of The Immaculate Conception was the next stop where Father George Gearty {Micheal O Dowd} was waiting with the history of the Church and the famine years.
We then passed the basket ball court down to The Robert Strawbridge Monument where Drumsna born Strawbridge (1732) aka Barry Guckian tells of his varied preaching life in America.Barry Guckian

 

Kevin LudlowThomas Heazle Parke aka Kevin Ludlow 1857 then rises from the Grave to tell of his horrific expedition up the Nile and his subsequent death from the ravages of Malaria .

There are further Floral presentations to the judges by Geraldine at the award winning Drumsna garden Centre.

 

The Professor, First Principal of Drumsna National School 1871 is well represented by his greatPat Daly –Grandson Pat Daly. Patrick Daly the first received a query from the Department of Education about his supposed involvement in support of Parnell. A copy of his reply is recorded for posterity.

 

Derek Kellegher

 

Michael Davit of Land League fame (Derek Kellegher) attended a meeting at Garvey’s corner in 1879 before he was jailed together with Charles Stuart Parnell.

 

Drumsna Native Angela Mc Garry gave a brief history of her former home before reciting one of her many poems. This poem she dedicated to her village and is entitled Drumsna.Angela McGarry

 

Shauna CurranShauna Curran then introduced some Culture into the proceedings with a selection of Irish Airs on the Tin whistle.

 

 

Maggie Reilly

Mary Caslin gave a remarkable demonstration of Crochet while her father Pat Duignan (RIP) the oldest man in the village and Maggie Reilly the oldest lady respectively 93 and 91 together with the youngest resident 11 week old Kevin Faughnan then met the judges.

 

 

Alan Glancy, Shona Ward and TeamsAlan Glancy Captain of Annaduff School boys and Shona Ward Captain of the Annaduff Girls proudly introduced their team mates and trophies as both teams had just won their school leagues.

 

 

 

 

The judges then visited the habitat at the end of the harbour with its beautifully coloured signage of Irish birds by the children Annaduff School under Teacher Deirdre Mc Keon and the insects just as beautifully completed by the children of St Joseph’s Outreach School Drumshanbo under Sian Dole.

The youth club represented by Lisa Rinn and Paul Mc Nulty explained the names of the various flowers and shrubs in their special garden which is right beside the Stone village painted by the Golden Age Group as told by Maura Faughnan.

We are by this time back at the Community centre with two very exhausted Judges who are glad to sit down and watch the amazing talent of 11 year old Joanna Duignan as she performs the hard jig with poise and aplomb.

The finale or the piece de resistance as any one familiar with Drumsna will know is the butter making demonstration by Ella Gannon. Ella is superb both in the demonstration and in her wit as she works her magic. She was assisted on the day by Mary Mc Govery of Belmount House aka Regina Mc Nabola.

The day finished with judges and people alike partaking of Ella’s delicious home made bread and butter.

Drumsna was announced as National Pride of Place Award Winners at a Gala Ceremony in the Knockranny House Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo on 10 November 2007.

Pride of Place Award Cermony