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19 Aug 2022

Much loved Birr Review celebrates significant milestone

Much loved Birr Review celebrates significant milestone

Pictured is Ken Enright, President of Birr Lions club with his dad, Tom at the launch of the Birr Review 2019

This year Birr Review magazine celebrates its twentieth birthday, a remarkable and heartening milestone.
The magazine is no longer a new idea, or an experiment; instead it has established itself as the social chronicle of the life of Birr, capturing all of those aspects of our town and people which would otherwise, inevitably, fade into the forgotten past.
The magazine manages, at once, to be many things, and between its pages there is something for everyone.
We reflect on the events of the previous year, we present the remarkable and inspiring stories of our townspeople, we delve into fascinating aspects of our local history and we highlight the achievements of our many clubs and societies.
We have no doubt that you, the reader, will find something in this years magazine which will inspire you, whether it is a resolve triggered by the accounts of some far-flung adventure, or it may be that the activities of one of the multitude of clubs and societies will give you the impetus to set aside your reserve, and become involved.
From the first edition in 2001 Birr Review group and the Lions Club have worked together to produce the magazine and this long-standing association has undoubtedly been the key factor in our success. This collaboration allows the Lions Club to assist those in need in our community and allows the review group to focus their energies on producing a magazine to the highest standard, one which has become a valued and treasured resource for the people of Birr.
Ken Enright, President Birr Lions Club, spoke to the 'Tribune' this week about the importance of the Birr Review. “The Birr Review is the single most important source of funds for Birr Lions Club. All the work the Lions Club does, all its support for local charities, clubs, events and causes is underpinned by the fact that the Club has been able to rely, for the last twenty years, on the money raised by this superbly produced and immensely popular book,” he explained.
“We know from the various shops and newsagents that the book is selling really well and the feedback from our readers is exceptional,” he said.
This year’s book contains some really interesting articles. The pandemic obviously affected everything in 2020 but Birr’s various clubs and voluntary organisations, including the Lions Club, rose to the task of dealing with things as best they could in the presence of the virus. The pieces sent in by the different groups about what they did in 2020 – and how they managed to keep going at all this year – make interesting reading.
Articles like these, as well as having a contemporary relevance, will make The Birr Review a valuable source for local “pandemic historians” in years to come. In this regard, the piece by prominent local historian, Margaret Hogan, shows remarkable parallels between the local response to 1918 flu pandemic and the ways in which we have adapted to protect ourselves from the latest unwelcome viral visitor.
“For my own part, it was a great honour to be able to present some local perspectives on Covid-19 and it was pleasure to interview photographer Rose Mannion and her husband Liam and hear about how Rose overcame a dreadful few months after contracting Covid-19 back in March,” he outlined.
Both the Birr Review Committee and the business people of Birr deserve enormous credit for their respective contributions to the book, the former for putting in a tremendous amount of hard work to bring out such an impressive publication, the latter for helping to finance the project by paying for the advertising. “We know that it was tough ask this year, given all that has happened, but the shops and pubs and businesses of Birr are always eager to be associated with the book and they have contributed generously,” the Club president added.
The Birr Review 2020 is available for sale at Super Valu, Horan's Daybreak, Loughane's Centra, Corrib Oil, Banagher Road, Hassett's Crinkill, Spar, Railway Road, Apple Green, Mulrooney's Garage, and the Village Shop, Crinkill.
Meanwhile, this year's Birr Review will be officially launched on Friday, December 4 at 8pm.  Due to current restrictions, this will be a virtual event, streaming on the Birr Review Facebook page 'Birr Review'. Organisers hope that you will join them to celebrate the 20th anniversary recording of the activities of the people of Birr.

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