Margaret McDowell


Margaret McDowell of Dublin and Ballyconneely died peacefully this morning in Dublin.

There will be a Memorial  Service at her church  in Dublin. Details to be announced later.

She has donated her body to science.

A wonderful lady of great faith and we wil miss her.

May She Rest in Peace.

October 24th 2016

Autumn Newsletter – Omey Group of Parishes

Christ Church, Clifden

The Arts Festival

The week started for Christ Church on the Saturday with a church full of children and parents registering for the ‘Fairy Trail’ round the town – brilliantly organised by the Fairy Queen, Sandra Shattock, as part of the Tidy Towns fund-raising   programme.

On the Tuesday Tim Thurston, writer, broadcaster and lecturer, gave a very informative talk on “Mighty Bach’. We would like to thank him for donating   the proceeds to the church (€645) and Brian Thornburgh for organising it.

The lots for sale in Friday’s Art Auction were on display in the church all week. The sale itself took place on the Friday and was a great success. Many thanks to our auctioneer, John Sweeney, and to Tricia and Jeremy Willder and their band of helpers, who manned the church all week. The sale itself grossed €9000 and having sold two paintings for St Mary’s Roundstone and after deductions for expenses and commissions to some of the artists, we made a net profit of nearly €7000.

Christ Church Spire Appeal Update

On Thursday 29th – A special moment. As part of the renovations at Christ Church, Raineys the conservation contractors have renovated the bell and supports.

Charlie Bourke, who has been People’s Warden for 21 years, rang the bell for the first time in approximately 70 years. The renovated weather vane has been installed and the pointing has been completed on the Spire. The baptistery roof, has been tiled and new cast iron downpipes and guttering installed.

Sky Dive Fundraiser

On Saturday 1st October Isobel Marinot-Wood and Charlie Bourke did a sky dive in Longford as a fund raiser for the Spire Appeal and Elm Tree in Clifden. The online donation site is still open for another week. This initiative is of great help to us insecuring the final funds for the spire completion.

We will be presenting Elm Tree with a cheque later in the month.

Congratulations to them both !

Graveyard Project Update

Our dear friends, Ed & Lynnae Ruttledge flew over from the States to share with a group of parishioners in the mapping and recording of the graves at Christ Church. All under the guidance of John Tierney of Community Heritage Engagement and the Galway County Council Heritage Officer. This has proved to be an exciting exercise which has been of great interest for so many. Grant funding of €1500 was received to cover this work from the Local Diaspora Engagement Fund 2016.

This was phase one of work in the timeframe for creating a Living Churchyard project at Christ Church. Funding has been received under the Local Agenda 21 scheme for the Planning and Design Consultation for a Wildlife and Biodiversity Consultation and Plan, Flora and Fauna Survey of the churchyard with all the professional advice on suitable planting and outdoor classroom location and the development of a Biodiversity Plan.

The Graveyard Sub-Group have become involved and Debbie Watkins has offered to take this forward and keep the Select Vestry informed of progress.

St Thomas’s, Ballinakill

Services were well attended during the summer months following the renovation of the windows. A great effort has been made in this respect and we await news of a further small grant from Heritage which will see Conservation Letterfrack being fully rewarded for their incredible work. The church desperately needs remedial work to the roof and it was agreed at the last Select Vestry that we launch an appeal for this work which is in the process of being costed by our conservation engineers. Please watch this space !!

Healing services

One of the possibilities being explored in conjunction with the Church of Ireland Ministry of Healing advisors, is to have regular services at St Thomas’s. The peace and tranquility of the whole site lends itself to sharing time of rest and quiet in our busy world. We will circulate information very shortly.

Harvest Festival Service

This year it was the turn of St Thomas’s to host the Harvest service. The church was full for the service on 2nd October with Canon Derick Swann as the guest preacher. Sister Karol from Kylemore played beautifully and the church came alive to the sound of the familiar harvest hymns. A wonderful COI tea was provided afterwards at the home of Lucy Fretwell which was well attended by parishioners from across the while group and much appreciated.


St Mary’s Roundstone

Rod Teck, Stewart Freemen and Nick Tinne have all been extremely busy in moving plans forward to further the various aspects of maintenance of St Mary’s under the supervision of Nicolas Prins,the conservation architect. Water penetration is still causing some problems but we are reassured that this will be remedied. The Vestry is about to receive attention with the stripping out of the ‘dry’ lining to allow the stonework to breath have the work assessed.

There is great excitement in Roundstone as we prepare for the wedding of Victoria Dockrell and Charlie Kennard on 12 November. Vicky is the grand-daughter of (the late) Rodney and Adrienne Dockrell of Ballyconneely. Both were great supporters of St Mary’s – so this was a natural choice for the wedding. We pray God’s for blessing upon them.


Samara Aid Appeal

Can we make a difference? Yes we can !! On Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th, we had the first of the packing days in the Town Hall. The support was unbelievable and the clothes poured in. The band of helpers was led by Rosemary Evans  and Michele Hehir. We are now well on our way to filling a container.  We shall continue to have packing days on Wednesdays  & Thursdays in the Clifden Mart Units 4 & 6. Clothes will be accepted throughout October – Contact Eily Joyce ( 087.2144909), Annette Fahey (087 6816081) or Michele Mullen (087 2934293). Our sincere thanks to all concerned. – but especially to Liam Keogh who has made the units available to us at the Mart free of charge. Also to Fr James and the committee of the Town Hall who accommodated us in the early days of the appeal until we out-grew the facilities. Clothing donations are being collected throughout the parish groups of the diocese and will be brought to the hub at the Mart by the end of October. The truck will then be engaged through the Logistics Manager for Samara Aid and a date announced for dispatch.

If you require further information on our efforts please do access our Diocesan website: Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry where you can read the report following the visit of Samara Levy to address the Diocesan Synod in September. It was an amazing experience.

Finally, an enormous thank you goes to Charles Wills of Wills of Foxford for his unbelievable efforts in keeping his transport on the road in bring goods to Clifden, and also to the FORUM team who have supported us so well with the transport, and stacking of loads. A sincere thank you goes to Johnny Coyne and his team.

 Prayers please

We hold John Villiers-Tuthill and Margaret McDowell in our thoughts and prayers at this time, together with their respective families. Both have been so appreciative to know that we are doing so.

Dates for the Diary

Saturday 12 November – Wedding of Vicky Dockrell and Charlie Kennard in St Mary’s Roundstone

Tuesday 15th November – Omey Union Select Vestry Meeting 6pm at The Rectory

Sunday 27th November – installation of Provost Stan to also be Canon in Killala Cathedral (4.00pm)

Sunday 18th December (4.00pm) – Nine Lessons and Carols in Christ Church – our annual ecumenical service.

Canon Stan Evans October 2016






























The Spire Appeal Update and Sky Dive


On Thursday 29th – A special moment. As part of the renovations at Christ Church, Raineys the conservation contractors have renovated the bell and supports.
Charlie Bourke, who has been People’s Warden for 21 years, rings the bell for the first time in approximately 70 years. Tom, of Raineys, is alongside him.

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Saturday 1st October, saw Isobel Marinot-Wood and Charlie Bourke do a sky dive in Longford as a fund raiser for the Spire Appeal and Elm Tree in Clifden, after it being put off the previous weekend because of bad weather. Yesterday clear skies and little wind made it possible. Congratulations to them both !



Samara's Appeal for Syria In the Town Hall


On Wedneday 28th and Thurday 29th, the Samera Appeal packing days took place in the town hall – the support was unbelievable and the clothes poured in. The band of helpers was led by Rosemary Evans and Michele Hehir. We are now well on our way to filling a container. We shall continue to have packing days on Wednesdays and clothes accepted throughout October – just ring Rosie on 095 21147. Our sincere thanks to all concerned.




 The week began with the church providing the start of The Fairy Trail. Thanks to The Fairy King (Jonathan Powell) and Queen (Sandra Shattock) for hosting the event.
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As in previous years, the church provided the venue for a number of concerts during Arts Week. A big thank you to all those who acted as hosts and those who cleaned up.



On Friday 23rd September the church hosted an Art Auction, which was a great success. Again thanks are due to our auctioneer, John Sweeney, to Tricia Willder for gathering the works of art, to the artists who generously provided a wide variety of paintings, etc., and finally to those who bid, successfully or not !