by Tom Aherne

Welcome to our weekly look at events making the news around the Carrigkerry locality on this dull and overcast Sunday afternoon. We bid farewell to the month of May which was very cold, wet and broken and unkind to outdoor and seasonal work. We look forward to a new Moon, better weather and the month of June.

The country continues to struggle from one problem to another with no solutions in sight. The new Government have yet to get to grips with the situation as things get worse on a daily basis. They need to get people back working if we are to have any chance of getting out of the mess we are in and cut the wages of those that are overpaid and not the low paid who are being crucified on all fronts.

The death has taken place of Martin Shiels, Glensharrold, Carrigkerry at Milford Hospice Limerick on Tuesday 24th May. He had been in poor health in recent years, but his passing after a brief stay in Hospital caught all by surprise. He was 68 years old and a member of the farming community and resided on his own.  He was educated in Carrigkerry N.S. and his life was spent in his native place where he was at his happiest. He grew up and participated in the rural pursuits of the time. Hurling and playing football in Kennelly’s Glen on Sunday afternoons. Attending the local dances in The Old Mill, Ballyguiltenane,  Carrigkerry and the carnival and festival dances around the area.  He was a member of the Glensharrold Wrenboys since the early days playing the Accordion as they hunted the Wren around the locality. He attended the Wren Nights and with the approach of dawn would come to prominence and take to the floor for an old time waltz. He would treat all present to his party piece which was the song ” Peter Crowley”. It tells the story of a brave Fenian who fought and died for Ireland in Kilclooney Wood. Martin was outgoing and liked a pint with his friends in the local pubs, Moore’s, Stacks, and Windles.

He looked after his cattle on his small farm and was regarded as a very obliging neighbour, willing to assist in any way he could. He was easy going and worked at his own pace and had time to engage with his neighbours and friends and still completed his chores. He had great strength which was a great asset in the meadow in the days of the wynds of hay and the filling up of the haybarns. Martin witnessed major changes in farming and the change from the olden way of life when he took the milk to Old Mill Creamery with a donkey and cart. He saw the introduction of the tractor and the machinery associated with it. The Milking Machine and Cooler, that made life so much easier for all. He also witnessed the decline in the rural way of life with tighter E.E.C. regulations, form filling and numerous quotas. Life will be much sadder now for all around Casey’s Cross, the flowing stream and the bend in the road as we bid farewell to Martin who never wronged anybody in life and brought sunshine to others with his kind deeds. He will be remembered as an honest man who smoked his pipe in a relaxed manner, helpful and obliging and was happy with his lot.

His remains were removed from Kelly’s Funeral Home, Athea to Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry on Thursday 26th May. Father Madden celebrated his Funeral Mass on Friday last with family members assisting in The Readings, Prayers of the Faithful, Offertory gifts, Reflection.  Maura and Donie supplied the music and song and it was a service Martin would have been proud of. Burial took place in the family plot in wind swept Kilcolman on Friday 27th May. The Wrenboys, gave him a rousing send off at the graveside with a selection of music and bodhrán playing as the horses in the field nearby galloped in time. It was a fitting scene to bid farewell to one of natures farmers and friend to all.

Sympathy to his sisters Mary Hayes, Athea and Peg Sheehy, Manchester, step mother Mary Sheils, step sisters Eileen, Breda, Maryann, Kathleen, Elizabeth, step brothers Danny, Tom, Noel, Joe, nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The following are the lottery results from Peadar’s Bar, Ardagh, on Monday 23rd May. The numbers drawn were 7,10,17,20, and there was no Jackpot winner.

Congratulations to the lucky dip winners as follows.

€60 Ita Kirk Reens, Ardagh. Ben and Ellen Hanley, Creeves. Marian Yamac, Shanagolden.

€30 Patsy, Moira, Jim, Tom and Noel.

Doreen Cahill, Ardagh, John and Conor Keane, Old Mill.

Next week’s draw takes place in Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry and the Jackpot will be €7,600.

Congratulations to Joan Madigan and Peg Murphy and Mick McQuinn and Bill Downes who were prize winners at the Flag Floor Card game held on Wednesday 18th May.

Congratulations to Aer Lingus workers Conor McCarthy, Feenagh, and Mike Fitzsimons, Barnigue, Carrigkerry who were part of a team of Aircraft engineers who fabricated a giant mosaic from 12,613 rivets in five hours and thirty two minutes. In the process they broke a ninety year old world record which was established in 1918 and stood at 11,200 rivets. They hope the new record will be included in next year’s Guinness Book of Records.

The County Fleadh Cheoil will be held in Hospital over the June Bank Holiday week-end from Friday 3rd June to Monday 6th June. Best wishes to all the local competitors who are participating in the various events.

The Foynes Irish Coffee Festival takes place over the June Bank Holiday week-end, Friday 3rd to Monday 6th of June. A full programme of events are planned with something for all age groups to enjoy.

The Circuit of Munster Car Rally takes place in West Limerick over the June Bank Holiday week-end. The action takes place over Saturday and Sunday around the Tournafulla, Strand, Ashford area.

West Limerick community radio are holding a Summer hooley at The Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine on Monday 6th June. Dancing from 9.30 pm to 1am to Noel Glynn and Glen Flynn. Admission €10 and a raffle will be held.

Newcastle West and area arts group committee present a very interesting concert at the Church of The Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West on Saturday 11th June at 8pm.

It will feature soprano Mairead Buicke, and pianist Anthony Byrne and the programme will be suitable for all tastes. Mairead has many relatives in the parish and has made a big impact in singing circles.

West Limerick Community Radio are holding a car boot sale and indoor market at Newcastle West Community Centre on Sunday 12th June, from 9am to 3pm.

Our Lady’s pastoral area which includes Ardagh-Carrigkerry are organising a pilgrimage to Knock Shrine for Sunday 12th June. Tickets are available from Kathleen Hayes 069-76391, or Evelyn Mullins Ardagh 069-76946.

The annual Kilcolman-Coolcappa Parish outing takes place on Sunday 19th June.

People interested in travelling are asked to contact Mary O’Connor 069-60149 or Joan Hayes 069-60307.

Father Tom Mangan will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on 7th June  2011. A native of Glensharrold, Carrigkerry he was ordained at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles, County Tipperary on 7th June 1986. He comes from a family steeped in religious calling with three of his aunts giving years of dedicated service as nuns in England and the USA. The late Sr. Bonaventure and Sr. Hilda served in Texas and Sr. Rosaleen is in her late eighties and retired and lives in Birmingham. Father Tom is the eldest son of Peg (nee O’Connor) a native of Clash, Athea and the late Joe Mangan from Glensharrold.  Joe was a renowned violin player with The Glenside Ceili Band, who sadly passed away in March 1984 two years before Father Tom’s ordination.

Fr Tom has spent his 25 years in Limerick City, firstly in the parishes of Mungret-Crecora-Raheen and following that in Saint Mary’s, Athlunkard Street. Both of these parishes have left Fr Tom with many happy memories and many more true friendships. At present he is Administrator of Saint Joseph’s Parish, O’Connell Avenue, following in the footsteps of a long line of clergy in it’s 107 year history.

The restoration work done over the past two years, has restored the beautiful landmark Church to it’s former and rightful glory. This work is to the great credit of Fr Tom, the parishioners of Saint Joseph’s and all who have supported this enormous project so very generously.

He is a regular visitor to his home in Glensharrold  to see his beloved mother Peg and brother Willie and other relations, and friends. His sister Breda, her husband Eamon Stackpoole and their three children, Sean, Cathal and Siobhan live in Rathkeale. Eileen, her husband Mike Nolan and their two children, Ashleigh and Mark live in Askeaton. Ann, her husband Tommy Cronin and their daughter, Mary are living in Dublin but regularly return to the home place.

Father Tom will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination with Mass in Saint Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Avenue, Limerick at on Saturday 11th June. He will celebrate Mass with a chalice gifted to him in the memory of his dad which he used to celebrate his very first Mass. In doing so he will remember his dad in a very special and poignant way. He is anxious that all who have touched his life so positively and who cannot be with him on the night will be remembered and they all will be with him in spirit.

Mass will be followed by an informal reception -food, drinks, music and a get together  at Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road. Father Tom issues an open invitation to his family, neighbours, friends and parishioners, past and present to attend. He very much looks forward to meeting as many as possible on the night to celebrate this happy occasion. We congratulate Fr. Tom and wish him many years of good health to continue with his work and ministry, always carried out with such care and kindness.

Sympathy to the relatives of the late Patrick Harnett, late of Ballinacally Ardagh who has died in Wolverhampton, England.

Sympathy to Danny Scanlon and family and Eileen McSweeney and family, Carrigkerry, following the death of their mother Margaret Scanlon, Glenagragra, who was laid to rest in Kilfergus Cemetery  on Monday 30th May.  May they rest in Peace.

Silverware at last for the Munster rugby team defeating Leinster by 19-9 to win the Magners League title at Thomond Park on Saturday evening last. It was close and intense all through but Munster deserved their win.

Barcelona were convincing winners of the Champions League final at Wembley on Saturday night defeating Manchester United by 3-1. They are a team of all the talents and could win many more in the coming years.

Limerick footballers face an uphill battle against Kerry in the Munster football championship semi-final in Limerick this coming Saturday evening. John Galvin is a major loss, but it is up to the others to up their performances and test the champions.

I will conclude with our thought:


“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves”