Christmas News 2012

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Vol 1 No. 17 Dec 2012

The Year of the Great London Olympics

Hello to one and all,

Its been another eventful year within the Tangney household and very busy.

Travel seems to have been the order of the year as almost all the family have moved. As you will see from Joe David is in Dubai since Feburary but was home for the summer. James headed off travelling after finishing his degree. He's presently working on a building site in Perth Australia and saving to continue his travelling. He is enjoying Christmas in a hostel out of Perth along with Sam his long suffering friend. Mary my cousin has looked after them well. Thank you Mary and Tim and Conor too !!

Ronan is back home repeating his 2nd year so has resubmitted that dreaded essay which he narrowly failed so hopefully third time lucky ! He is coping well so far with home and is learning to drive as we speak. He would like to go to camp America so is applying for that just now also. All going well he will be back in 3rd year in Sept. 2013

Ciaran headed off to Edinburgh Uni this September and so far so good. He is certainly enjoying it and also managed to fit in his exams and reports etc. I think the level of work came as a shock but its important to keep studying as I tell him regularly but partying he needs no encouragement with and that he has down to perfection.

Joseph has had an amazing year with the Paralympic torch up Ben Nevis and a wee slot on the 6pm news that evening. There was lots of media attention with Joseph basking in the attention. He has had a good year running coming 4th in the North of Scotland district 6 1/2 km cross country behind Callum who came 1st so they won the team event for the first time in 15 years . He also did well in his Standard grades however remains a typical Tangney teenager so mischief is never far away !!!

Aoife is now in 3rd year in High School and still won't wear a dress for me I think Iwill have to wait until she goes to graduation before that happens . She enjoys school I think and certainly likes skiing, shinty and swimming along with piano. She passed grade 3 this October very well.

I have been to Ireland 14 times this year as Dad had been struggling with severe heart failure. I would come home for a couple of days at a time and say hello then off again . He sadly passed away peacefully at home in August with 8 of his 9 children with him. Michael had not long returned back to San Francisco having been home on holidays. He had an amazing send off in glorious sunshine and huge thanks are due to so many friends and family and the local doctor's surgery. It's a bit strange going home to an empty house in Ballymary however.

Joe and I are well and were 25 years married this June feels like only yesterday. Joe says he still cannot believe that it is only 25 years and spends his day asking people if he was there that day in Millltown. He says time was supposed to go faster as one gets older but there is always an exception. I continue to work in the local hospital and Joe works hard in Glen Mor Surgery. We look forward forward to a less eventful year for 2013.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year.



Aoife and Ski France

Aoife says "I wanted to break the family tradition and be early for once "

On the 14 th to the 21 st January 2012 a group of 47 pupils and 6 staff went to Alpe d'Huez, a French ski resort. At 4:40am my mum was frantically packing and unpacking our bags even though we were expected to be at the high school at 5:00am! I wanted to break the family tradition and be early for once so we said our goodbyes and set off immediately. When we arrived at the high school all you could see were half-asleep teenagers and worried parents!
The Alps are looking good !
When we arrived at Edinburgh Airport the excitement was building. When we boarded the plane, there were a few first time flyers so I made it in my best interest to scare them as much I as possible e.g. telling them that there was a 50% chance that we were going to crash. When I got bored of watching their faces get paler and paler and their hands tightening on the arm rests I decided to go for a little snooze. At Lyon airport we had a big group photo before going on the bus to Alpe d'Huez when on the bus everyone was wide awake.

We survived the 21 hairpin bends and the ski slopes looked great! The bus stopped in front of this fantastic looking hotel, 4 stars at least! Everyone was looking up at it in awe. We got off the bus ready to walk up to the beautiful hotel until the teacher shouts, “turn to the left!” we all turn around and see in front of us this small worn down hotel with a few letters from the sign fallen off. It would be lucky if it was even a one star!

We trudged along in the snow and were given our rooms they were pretty small but they had bunk beds so I quickly claimed the top bunk and began unpacking. We made our way down to the dining hall where we were greeted by three other English school groups. Some became our friends many others became our enemies as we mimicked each other's accents and threw around a few local words that they were glad they couldn't understand! The food was not exactly high quality French cuisine but it did not matter because we stuffed our faces with crepes, pizza, chips, sweets etc.

That night we had our skis and boots fitted. Then we went to bed, breakfast the next morning was at 7:45am so I was about to see what my friends were really like in the morning and it wasn't a pretty sight! After a 15 minute struggle and getting called all kinds of names I eventually got Helen out of bed! We received our ski passes and were told specifically not to break or lose them because they were to last us the whole week. It must have been some sort of record because after just one day Maisie managed to snap it by sitting on it. There were 5 groups 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. I was in group 4 with many of my friends but Joseph was in group 5, much to my annoyance. Our ski lessons lasted 4 hours, 2 hours before lunch (which we had at the hotel) and two hours after lunch. We could ski most of the way down to the hotel or you could get the cage but mostly everyone skied because it was quicker.

After skiing we could go to the town or just stay in the hotel because they were couches, pool table and a foosball table. After dinner there were organised activities such as laser tag in the snow (which we won), Mr Curry's quiz, create a 3D snow scene (which we also won), Musingo (music bingo) and outdoor swimming which only me and 3 others were brave enough to do! The water was freezing! We were also meant to be going ice skating on the last night but it was snowing heavily so we had a snowball fight and got free crepes instead!! One of the nights we went down to the sports centre and did a sort of indoor high ropes course it was really fun. Playing on the net below was more fun than actually doing the course itself! There were ping pong tables there as well where the teacher's competitive nature was unleashed!!

Overall the trip was amazing! I had a wonderful time experiencing skiing in the French Alps it was millions of times better than Fort William! I hope to go back again sometime soon and improve my skiing even more (hint mum and dad!).

By Aoife Tangney
(Exaggeration may have been used a little.)

The hotel Aoife dreamed of staying in!!

Avalanche Warning

James makes a run for the Gap (year)!!

Shinty is James' big passion in life and he was captain of the Strathclyde University shinty team last year. His efforts were rewarded during the university sports awards night when he won the prestigious Half Blue Award. There was an awards ceremony which forced James to wear a suit which semed to have worked in attracting the ladies attention ....see photo below.

He also played for the Scottish International University team.

Saturday the 29th of January saw the annual fixture between the Scottish International University shinty teams and the British University Hurling/Camogie teams. The men's match which saw players from Strathclyde, Dundee, Glasgow, Heriot Watt, Napier and RGU, started at a frantic pace with chances being spurned at both ends of the field. The 2nd half saw the Scot's up the pace and begin to move the ball about using the full width of the pitch. This tactic tested the fitness of their Hurling counterparts who struggled to keep up the close tackling which contained the Scots in the 1st half. A final goal by David Fraser and a point by Calum Barton countered a late reply by the Hurlers of their goal and point resulting in the final score being 17-7 to the SUS Men's Team.

The Last Supper before the boys depart

April 27 ,James has handed in the two projects after a week of all nighters …..James says he is a” broken man “after the massive effort. 112,000 words and 40% of final year mark. He is now able make us all some Ibuprofen ie Neurofen !

In June James passed his exams and is now a B ENG (Hons) . However he did not graduate until Nov as he did't register in time for the July graduation. Highly organised our James was too busy celebrating after the exams.

No graduation photo as James set off on his world tour in Aug with friend Sam.

First off to Thailand for a month then Bali. Perth Australia in Oct and well looked after by Liz's first cousin Mary who collected the boys from the airport etc.They are now working on a building site 32C in the shade and saving up to go travelling around Australia for a few months. After that who knows and I safely assume that James will eventually make his way back home when the dosh runs out !!

James is ready for a year on the road !!

The girls get ready to throw James and Sam into the river Clyde !!
Why do the girls on the right holding Sam look happier than the girls holding James? Especially the blond girl holding James' leg



Ciaran passes his driving test

Thurs 31 May 2012 a special day in the Tangney family calendar as Ciaran passed his driving test and his parents will no longer have to collect the gang all hours of the day and night !! He is the first of the family to sit and get his test so well done Ciaran. The Tangney Taxi team is now expanding. Ciaran had his 18th birthday and celebrated in style by getting "all dressed up" as the photos show !! They all bought each other a ridiculous outfit from a charity shop in town and did a pub crawl which understandably attracted a lot of attention from the boys !!

The Girls just want to have fun !!

We had a graduation ceremony in June and it was a very enjoyable evening with all the students looking fantastic in their kilts and dresses.

It seems like a very quick 6 years since Ciaran started High School. During the presentation he listed his greatest achievement as

" Being the BEST Tangney yet "

much to the jeers of Joseph and Aoife !!

He is obviously looking for trouble making a statement like that.

Ciaran and Jordan are all dressed up

Ciaran gets great news in Aug as he got the exam results needed for his university course. He is going to study Environmental Geoscience in Edinburgh University.

Sat Sept 8 th car loaded yet again as another fledgling leaves the nest. Ciaran off to Edinburgh and looks totally dejected(not) to be leaving home !

The old fashioned halls of residence are great and a reasonable sized room with a view onto the meadows. Ciaran is sharing with 5 more students of international mix. He is enjoying the course so far .




Joe feels his age as nephew Joe Lyons gets married.



Back to school in Aug ,only two now !
Team Lyons , nephew Joe and Martina tie the knot


Joe finally catches up with Bruce

Reunited after 27 long years , yes memories of Slane in June 1985 came flooding back.

Bruce has unfortunately aged considerably since we last met but I did't like to mention this when we chatted !! He asked me if I still go to the gym every day."Of course, can't you tell?" I replied .

Bruce Springsteen on Wed July 18 in the RDS Dublin.

I was surprised by the strict entry criteria at concert gate.

No entry unless you had at least ONE of the following,

Please tick which of the following is applicable to you personally :
wear reading glasses , have regular dizzy spells, swollen ankles , bulging varicose veins ,a mature cataract, always get out of bed slowly, a recent hip or knee replacement, continence issues (please note no need for detail required), a limp due to old football injury , too proud to wear a hearing aid , never used a smartphone, text at 2 words per hour,up to the toilet twice a night , happy to speak or listen to total strangers who tell you about all their family whom you are never going to meet or will never ever want to meet after they have bored you to tears about their travels around the world for at least 4 hours or have a few (new) grey hairs. Fortunately the last criterion saved me and I raced through the crowd dragging Liz by the hand worried that she may get delayed ticking too many of the boxes.

Bruce Springsteen on Wed 18 in the RDS 35000 old foogies everywhere I felt like a child in a very large crèche or a massive new outdoor day care centre for the elderly , crinkled and fairly wrinkled faces everywhere, sparse little tufts of precious hair, not a fringe to be seen anywhere, copper wrist bracelets galore and lots of limping gaits all over the shop(those leg catheter bags are a devil to drag about if they are full)!! The queue for the coffee was longer than the queue for the beer !! Sad but true ,avoid the toilets as those boys take half an hour to get going them they can't stop! )Bruce gave out blankets and Horlicks at half time to warm up the elderly now frozen stiff audience , they took about 10 hours to empty the stadium after the concert as many were still at the toilets or stuck in their seats with a frozen gaze while regularly tapping their index finger to the now long gone home Bruce Springsteen ……Bruce was not sure if any or all of these people had nursing homes to return to so he played for 3 ½ hours to soothe them off to sleep !! .

Anyway we had a great night with "The Boss" and enjoyed the concert . We stayed with Anne and Mike whose hospitality knows no bounds and we caught up on all the news.



Scottish Flame created by Scouts at the top of Ben Nevis


Joseph takes part in Paralympic torch ceremony on top of Ben Nevis.It was on the TV news and Reporting Scotland etc.



At dawn on Wednesday 22 August, a group of Scouts and mountaineer, Kevin Shields, will climb Ben Nevis, United Kingdom's highest peak, to create the Scottish National Flame as part of the London 2012 Paralympic Torch Relay.

At the mountain peak, they will use a ferrocerium rod and strike it against a rough steel surface to create the sparks that will create the Flame. The Flame will then be placed in a miner's lantern and brought back down on foot. It will then be transferred to Edinburgh for a day of Paralympic celebration on Sunday 28 August.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: “The combination of teamwork and human endeavour being used to create the Scottish Flame is a very fitting start to the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations. This group of inspirational individuals will be lighting the way to a fantastic ten days of sport.”

Sports Minister Shona Robison said: “I am very proud of the group of individuals that will help fire up the nation behind this special moment and stir our athletes to go for gold at the Paralympic Games. It is an inspiration to everyone that the flame will have a little piece of Scotland at its heart.”
The climb is expected to take in the region of four hours and will be led by local mountain guides. The four Scouts selected to take part in the Flame creation are Jason Ridgley, 18 years old, Joseph Tangney, 16 years old, Christina Sheffield, 16 years old and Robyn Gunning, 15 years old. They were all chosen from communities local to Ben Nevis.

Joseph Tangney said I am in awe of the Paralympic Games and can't believe that I am going to be involved in this amazing adventure. To help create the Paralympic Flame is such a huge honour.”

The group will also include mountaineer Kevin Shields, from Fort William. Despite suffering from epilepsy and missing part of his left hand, Kevin is a passionate climber. He was the first disabled climber to enter the Ice World Cup and has successfully climbed some of the most challenging mountains in the United Kingdom.

Kevin Shields said “It is such an honour to be included in the Paralympic Flame creation. Ben Nevis is such a unique place of beauty and the perfect setting for this once in a lifetime moment”.

Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in Scotland and the United Kingdom at an altitude of 1,344 metres above sea level. Across the United Kingdom, three other National Flames are to be created on Slieve Donard (Northern Ireland), Snowdon (Wales) and Scafell Pike (England).

The four individual Flames will then be transferred to the nations' capital cities where they will each become the focus for a day of Paralympic celebrations. The Scottish Flame will light a ceremonial cauldron at The Mound on the morning of Sunday 28 August. Followed by various community visits and a Flame festival that evening at The Meadowbank.

From the Paralympic celebrations in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, the four National Flames will be taken to Stoke Mandeville, the spiritual home of the Paralympic movement, where they will be united during a special ceremony on Tuesday 28 August to create the London 2012 Paralympic Flame.

At the end of the ceremony, the 24-hour overnight relay route will see the Paralympic Flame carried 92 miles by 580 inspirational Torchbearers, working in teams of five, from Stoke Mandeville to the Olympic Stadium to officially open the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

The torch is safely down from the summit after a very wet and windy descent. Unfortunately it was a very wet day and the scouts were cold and wet but this did not detract from their great achievement and contribution to the Paralympic Games .

Joseph was in Edinburgh for the lighting of the Paralympic Cauldron . After the celebrations in the capital the flame was taken to the home of the Paralympic movement, Stoke Mandeville, before it joined with the others created around the UK and was carried in a 24-hour relay in London for the opening ceremony.


Dubai David the new Hurler

In Feb 2012 David heard of a job opportunity in Dubai. After some consideration he decided to go and headed off to the United Arab Emirates . He is working in an International School with about 800 pupils which teaches the English curriculum.So far he has really enjoyed the experience of working abroad. Their are many Irish and Scots ex pats there and he seems to taken to Dubai like a duck to water. David is now playing hurling and gaelic football and won the award for the most improved hurling player this year. There was an awards ceremony and a big night out. Of course David had never played hurling apart from the occasional hit out the back garden so he was starting from a low base point and could only improve !!

In Oct David was away to Kuala Lumpur for Asian games where they won the hurling competition.



17 of the 21 first cousins at Grandad's funeral




Looking Very Shiek John
First Cousins Ronan Elaine Miriam Emma
Joseph gets the Olympic Torch In Blair Atholl  
Remember the old days ?

Harry Potter catch up  
Nellie Hogan from New Zealand
Real Wigwams from Canada  
Rachel and Gary with John and Liz

TJ from Boston visits
Ronan goes all Irish

Only in moderation !!
Sonja and Jacob visit Loch Ness