The Menlough Carnival
"The Carnival" as it was known as throughout the parish ran from the very early 1960's until second half of the 1970's.
The following Advert appeared on page 14 of The Irish Independent and The Irish Press newspapers on Saturday, January 15th. 1955
Wanted for Menlough Carnival, 29th May-12th June, inclusive Terms, size, etc.
Reply to Dick Madden. Menlough, Ballinasloe, Co. Galway
JANUARY 1st Silverstar Band, Cavan
JANUARY 3rd Jimmy Rabbitt and his Band
JANUARY 7th Brose Walsh’s Band
JANUARY 10th The Sarlight Dance Band, Enniskillen
ADMISSION ON ALL NIGHTS 5/-
AUGUST 6th—24th, 1965
Dancing—Spacious Marquee. Lending Bands Engaged
Friday, August 6ih—GRAND VICTORY CE1L1DHE.
Meet the All-Ireland and World Football Champions!
Admire ihc magnificent trophies!
Music by GALLOWGLASS CEILIDHE BAND. Adm. 5/-.
Sunday, August 8th—COUNTRYMEN SHOWBAND
Tuesday, August 10th—CRACKAWAYS SHOWBAND
Thursday, August 12th—THE REGAL SHOWBAND
Friday, August 13th—THE LEITRIM CEILI BAND
Sunday, August 15th—THE CLASSIC SHOWBAND. Admission 6/-.
Tuesday, August 17- THE DONNIE COLLINS SHOWBAND
Thursday, August 19th—THE KINGS SHOWBAND ¦ ‘: –
Friday, August 20th—KILTORMER CEILI BAND .
Admission 5/-. ..
Sunday, August 22nd—THE ORIOLE SHOWBAND
Tuesday, August 24th—JOHNNY FLYNN SHOWBAND
C.I.E. Buses leave Eyre Square, Galway, via Turloughmore,
Annagh, Athenry Station, Monivea at 8.30 p.m. each night of
Dancing. All-in ticket from Galway 12/-, from Athenry 10/-.
Season Ticket £2.
Spot Prizes and Carnival Novelties Galore
Catering by Menlough Guild of I.C.A.
Cead Mile Failthe Roimh Cach
Rising showband outfits, Frankie and the Black Dots play at their home venue on Friday night (15th) when they take the stage at Menlough Carnival. The band has gone from strength to strength since their formation three years ago and command a large following wherever they play. The seven-strong combination rely, on stage appearance, presentation and a wide repertoire of numbers but also possess, the musical ability required for the tough grind of the showband circuit.
Founder member; Michael O’Hara fronts the group that also contains a former member of the Drifters, Frank Meally (organ). Frankie Flaherty is lead vocalist and specialises in Country and Western (currently the “in” sound) while rhythm guitarist Hubert Morgan is the heartthrob of the band and is also an excellent vocalist.
Drummer Tony Flaherty lays down the beat and has already refused several lucrative offers to join big name outfits, while Sean Fox is an accomplished sax and clarinet virtuoso. Completing the line-up is lead guitarist Peter Reynolds,. who plays in his mother’s lounge in Rooskey on his nights off and numbers farming among his hobbies.
The band are heavily booked for the next few .months; and dates are by no means ‘confined to the West. They should prove a splendid attraction at Menlough Carnival and manager John J. Mitchell is hoping for a regal reception for his local proteges.
Miss Bernadette Carew, Lawville, Ahascragh, was selected as Carnival Queen at Menlough Carnival which closed on Friday night after a very successful run. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vincent Carew, she is a past pupil of Presentation Convent, Oranmore and hopes to be a bank clerk.
Saturday, August 15th, a great holiday in the countryside, will be gala day for the boys and girls of the newly firmed Macra na Feirme club in Menlough, who will hold their first Field Day. Many items are included in the varied programme, and the official opening will be performed by T.V. personality, Jim Figgerty of figrolls fame. Club secretary Bridie Costello, who is in charge of arrangements, says they will have a spectacular turn-out, with a parade led by the Moylough school band directed by Mr. M. Concagh, N.T. An open air exhibition of Irish dancing is only one of the many attractions listed. The Macra club thank Menlough Carnival committee who are sponsoring the prizes for various events.
Objection To Menlough Carnival Marquee Site
When Menlough Carnival Committee applied for a public dancing licence for their annual marquee event in court last week, they found three Menlough residents there who lodged an official objection to the location of the carnival. The Carnival committee sought a licence for 13 dates from 8-29 August, to cover the hours 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night. Mrs. Margaret Madden, Mr. Gus Melia and Mr. Vincent McElwain, all of Menlough, objected not to the carnival itself, but to its location. Now the carnival committee has until July 17 to find another site for their marquee. And if they can’t, Justice Wm. O’Connell warned, “I will be inclined to restrict the hours of this application stringently, if I grant the licence at all”. Justice O’Connell also wants County Fire Services officials present at Ballinasloe court on the 17th to explain the fire regulations for the carnival. Menlough Carnival has been held annually since 1961, and last year was the first time that an official objection was lodged. At Athlone Court, Justice B. Spelman granted the dancing licence because of the financial commitments to dance bands, etc. but the dances had to stop at 1.30 a.m. Menlough Carnival committee Secretary, Mr. John Joe Mitchell told Mountbellew court last week that there was another site for the marquee at the other end of town, but when the committee tried to get it they were refused. The current site was obtained from Mr. Michael Craughwell. Mr. Mitchell said he managed one of the bands hired to play at this years carnival. Mr. Richard Emerson, solicitor for the objectors, said that two years ago the Parish Priest of Menlough had criticised the conduct of the carnival from the altar and last year the P.P. had withdrawn from the carnival committee. There was a terrible noise at last year’s carnival until 3 a.m. in the morning and the shouting and roaring kept people awake. Mr. Emerson said he had to object to Galway Co. Council last year about the conditions of the latrines at the carnival. The proceeds of the carnival” go to Menlough Development Association, Macra na- Feirme and the G.A.A. Mrs. Margaret Madden told the court she had her 78 year old aunt living with her in her house which is adjacent to the marquee site. Her aunt has a heart condition and arthritis, and she (Mrs. Madden) has blood pressure. For 5 years the carnival was held in another6 field, but in 1973 it moved closer to her shop and petrol pumps. “The cars were parked in front of my home, and they made a public toilet out of the front of my shop, and they were in my back garden at 1 a.m. I did not see any of the stewards around”, said Mrs. Madden. There is an alternative site at-the back of the hall in Menlough, she said, adding “My late husband only went on the carnival committee to stand at the door and take money when he was asked by Fr. Kenny and Fr. Gibbons but not by the other crowd. All you need here today is a human heart which you have not got. Most of them are cousins, are they not? ” They are trying to bulldoze their way against a lone woman. If they are so popular and so wonderful, why is it that they can’t get a field in the village? The man who gave them the field last year took hay out of it and over £1,000 worth of it rotted”. Mrs. Madden said she had nothing against any member of the committee and denied sticking her tongue out in court at James Madden, when questioned by Mr. Cormac Glynn, solicitor for the carnival committee. She said she closed her petrol pumps at 10 p.m. each night and opened at 8.30 in the morning. Mr. Vincent McElwain told the court, “It’s a proper nuisance. There are two publicans who have perfect sites within the village. They reap the profits from carnivals, and if they don’t give the sites then something is wrong”. He said his wife was ill in hospital in Galway with a heart complaint, and he was afraid for her condition when she returned. He left for work each day in Galway at 7.45 p.m. Mr, Gus Melia said the carnival interfered with his nights sleep. Cross examined he said “I might not have objected if I was younger”. Mr. Cormac Glynn said the committee could meet objections about car parking, but the objections of Mrs. Madden about sanitary conditions were a matter for the health authority of Galway Co. Council. He complained that health inspectors do not arrive to inspect sites usually until the day before a carnival starts. Mr. Richard Emerson complained that he had written to Galway Co. Council on 23 August 1973 about health conditions at the carnival but he had received no reply or correspondence of any kind. Superintendent Dan Grady told the court that at last year’s carnival Sergeant Concannon had been abused when he tried to clear traffic from the road. “The stewarding was not as good as it should be”. Justice William O’Connell in his summing up, said “The number of objectors would appear to be small, but even if there is only one, the rights of privacy will be” respected as much as the entire locality. I take a very serious view of the aspect of the sergeant being abused. I realise that a lot of voluntary work has gone into the carnival and nobody wants to impede or restrict the enjoyments of others”. Justice O Connell adjourned the application to Ballinasloe court on July 7th.
Licence For Menlough Carnival
Menlough Carnival Committee were granted a dance licence to 2 a.m. at Ballinasloe Court on Wednesday for their annual carnival from August 8 to 29. J Justice W. O’Connell offered the Committee the option of restricted hours for the original carnival site Craughwell’s Field or a licence to 2 a.m. at Pat Flynn’s 12 acre field. The Committee opted for the latter.
FRIDAY, 29th AUGUST
Big Tom And The Travellers
SUNDAY, AUGUST 31sV
Gerry Black And The Seasons
Bus from Eyre Square on Friday night at 10.15.