by Pat Brosnan

Welcome to our weekly look at events making the news around the Carrigkerry area on this sunny Sunday evening. The upturn in the weather is to be welcomed in recent days and work has resumed in the bogs around western areas. The bad month has cast a heavy tole on the quality. The turf needs to be moved now by turning or footing if it is to improve to harvest it. The silage work has commenced again and the growth has improved as a result of the warmer temperatures.
It looks like more changes are on the way for hard pressed households from next year. A form of taxation by stealth and they will add up to €3,000 for the average household. We have the Universal Social Charge, new Insurance charge following the Quinn Insurance collapse, money from the pensions to fund the jobs initiative, a household charge, water charge and property tax to follow in the near future. Where will it end people are asking?
Sad to report the passing of Peter Murphy of RTE fame at the age of 88 years. He was associated with Cross Country Quiz for many years and he published a number of quiz books also.
A good win for the Irish soccer team in Macedonia to remain in contention for a place in the Euro finals in 2012. Robbie Keane continues to score vital goals for Ireland despite a record for his club.
Congratulations to Linda Murphy and Philip Clifford, Glenastar, Ardagh,  Granagh, who were married in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry on Saturday, May 28th. The reception took place in the Charleville Park Hotel.
Best wishes to the happy couple who will reside in their new home in Glenastar.
Congratulations to Raymond Brouder, son of Christina and Neily, Glensharrold, Carrigkerry who celebrated his 21st birthday attended by family and friends at a party held in The Gables, Athea on Friday 3rd June.
The following are the lottery results from Moore’s Bar in Carrigkerry on Monday 30th May. The numbers drawn were 11, 14, 15, 20 and there was no jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners as follows:
€60 Liam O’Sullivan, Old Mill
€60 Pat Hartnett, Old Mill
€60 Bridget and Charlie, Askeaton
€30 Mary O’Grady, Carrigkerry
€30 Seamus Behan c/o Neary’s Ardagh
€30 Paula Ruane, Barrigone
Next week’s draw takes place in Neary’s Bar, Ardagh and the Jackpot will be €7,800.
Congratulations to Sean Danaher, Con Enright, Bill Downes, Mike Kiely and Peter Fitzsimons, who were prize winners at The Flag Floor card game held on Wednesday 25th May. This was the final game of the season and thanks to all who supported over the winter.
Bridie Kiely from Glensharrold, Carrigkerry was Willie O’ Regan’s guest on his programme on West Limerick 102 Community Radio on Sunday 29th May. Bridie is 88 years old and in good health and also in good voice as she sang two songs during the very interesting 1 hour show.
She gave Willie a rundown on how life was like in her young days and how it evolved up to the present day. All her life was spent in her native place and in the farming industry. Times were hard but very happy and people looked out for each other and helped each other in times of need. We wish Bridie continued good health and keep on singing.
A good number of people from the locality attended the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-finals in Limerick on Saturday evening. They were very disappointed in the Limerick display which saw them lose heavily in both senior and junior matches. Saint Kieran’s pair Johnny McCarthy and Jim Donovan scored a point apiece in the 11 point defeat in the senior match.
National Sunflower Days takes place on Friday the 10th and Saturday 11th June 2011. Funds raised from this event are in aid of Milford Hospice. The income received from such fundraising events help to expand and continue to provide the highest quality of care for patients and families throughout the Midwest Region. If you would like to help out on Sunflower Days, please contact the Fundraising Department on 061-485860.
The total proceeds from the Micheál Kiely Memorial Tournament run by Carrig Celtic F.C. amounted to €2,020. The Irish Neurological Association has been nominated by the Kiely family to benefit from this fundraising event. Many thanks to everyone who contributed or supported this event in honour of Micheál.
Carrig Celtic F.C. will hold a fundraising raffle in aid of the schoolboys/girls with lines currently on sale at €2 each. A fantastic monster hamper for this raffle is on display at Stevo’s Daybreak. These lines may be bought from any committee member or at Stevo’s Daybreak, Carrigkerry. All support appreciated.
The next car boot sale and indoor market in aid of our local community radio station West Limerick 102FM will take place in Newcastle West Community Centre on Sunday 12th June from 9am to 3pm. Gates will open at 7.30am and anyone wishing to participate can contact Marian on 087-6866450.
Best wishes to all the local students who are currently doing their exams.
Nice to report on the opening of a new business in Newcastle West with parish connections.
Bill and Kits Cafe opened in the Market Yard where the book shop was located in recent weeks. Derek and Liz Lawlor are the proprietors and it is open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and it offers a wide selection of food to satisfy all tastes. Liz’s mother is Kit Hartigan, a native of Knocknagun, Carrigkerry and her father the late Bill Conroy, who was a foreman for many years at Patrick Mc Cormacks Joinery Works, Ardagh. Bill was a master craftsman and some of his work can be seen in the lovely interior of the Cafe. Kit is a regular on the Bingo circuit and lives in Riddlestown, Rathkeale and enjoys good health. Best wishes to Derek and Liz and all involved in the business and it is well worth a visit while shopping in Newcastle West.

Best wishes and a happy retirement to Richard (Dick) and Marie Purcell, Kilcolman Village, who ceased running their Food Store and Post Office on Wednesday 25th May. They gave wonderful service to the community for many years and they were kind and courteous to all their customers. They were open from 9am to 9pm each day and the closure is a sad loss to the locality. The first Post Office opened in Kilcolman in 1879 and was run by Michael Kenrick. It closed in 1969 and the Reidy family took over the service and incorporated it in their shop. Marie was the Post Mistress, and Dick looked after the Shop and both have earned their retirement.
I will conclude with our thought
“Gratitude is the memory of the heart”

Jail for Small Fines

According to recent media reports 550 people were jailed last year for failing to pay fines for such trivial offences as parking, television or dog licence fines. There can be no doubt that this is an absolutely disgraceful situation considering the chronic overcrowding of prison accommodation in this State. What most of the ordinary people of the country cannot understand is that there is no financial sense whatsoever in this pointless practice. It takes a sum of almost €100,000 to keep a person in prison for a year which would far outweigh the fine which had been imposed on a defendant in the first place and after all jail is, or at least ought to be, for criminals and not for ordinary people who may welsh on a trifling fine for whatever reason. This is one of the crazy examples of how the authorities and some of their agents are so far removed from public thinking and the realities of everyday life in this country. Surely some better way could be found for dealing with the non-payment of fines rather than sending otherwise law-abiding people to jail. By all accounts the Irish Penal Reform Trust has stated that jailing people for not paying fines as a “redundant exercise” and “extremely costly and wasteful in terms of courts, Gardaí and prison resources”. It is surely time that this costly practice was ended.

Civil Defence Outing

Members of Athea Retired Civil Defence along with Association members from other areas of the county took part in recent outings. On Monday May 23rd they attended the Regional Table Quiz Competition which was held in the Monaleen GAA Club Hall. Athea and Pallaskenry ARA Associations made up the team that took part. On Wednesday May 25th, the County Civil Defence Active Retired organised a train trip from Colbert Station, Limerick, to Galway and even though the weather on that occasion was not ideal they nevertheless enjoyed the experience.

This is no Joke

A prominent member of the Ceol Luimnigh Traditional Group contacted me during the week to inform me that one of their mare ponies presented the family with a beautiful roan and grey coloured foal on the night of May 23rd. They have named the foal ‘Obama’ and are hoping that he will turn out to be a prize winning pony.

Fleadh Ceoil Qualifiers

Several competitors from Athea took part in various events at Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh which was held in Hospital over the weekend. Many of those qualified for Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan which this year takes place in Ballincollig, Co. Cork from July 11th – 17th. We are hoping to have names of all the local qualifiers in this column next week.

Recent Local Deaths

Sympathy is extended to the families and relatives of the following local people who died recently – Mary Flavin, Glenagragra, Peggy Scanlon, Glenagragra, and Martin Shiels, Glensharrold. ‘May all their souls rest in peace’

Aer Lingus Troubles

At the time of writing the Aer Lingus dispute with the company’s pilots appears set to continue in spite of prolonged settlement negotiations which unfortunately broke down over the weekend. Now while we all know and must agree that an Aircraft pilot’s occupation is a risky, hazardous and responsible one, nevertheless compared to other jobs it is very financially rewarding and of a high status. The Aer Lingus Company which with a great deal of justification and pride in its achievements in carrying its many passengers with a high degree of safety, efficiency, courtesy and service which it celebrated recently after 75 years in the air, which those of us who have often travelled by this national airline know and appreciate very well, and we would surely consider it a pity that Aer Lingus has been involved in so many troubles and disputes in more recent times. It is awfully disappointing for passengers who have booked flights to realise that an aircraft company has left them down, often at the eleventh hour or others who have been left stranded in a foreign airport because of a dispute.

Last year it was bad enough when hundreds of passengers were held up or delayed long distances from home because of flight cancellations due to the Icelandic volcanic dust, but this was something else that was nobody’s fault and which most people can understand the reason. Industrial disputes are an entirely different matter, for which there is little excuse and these can do a whole lot of damage to the tourist industry and when a national airline such as Aer Lingus is involved, can create a bad image for the country. So it is hoped that the present dispute will be settled before it will escalate further and cause a lot of damage, not alone to Aer Lingus but to the economy of the country as well.

After the Ball

In the aftermath of the visits of the Queen and President Obama most of us will expect to see some worthwhile dividend coming our way after all the millions that has been spent to accommodate our distinguished visitors. First of all we would hope to see a vast increase in the influx of both British and American tourists into the country. We would also expect to see that President Obama and his Cabinet would make sure that the non-registered Irish emigrants in the United States are given their working visas, not just for short term, but for an indefinite period so they can come and go as they please. If these concessions will not be forthcoming, all the blarney and all the hype about the President’s visit here would have to be mainly considered a rather futile exercise as far as our own people are concerned and a waste of scarce financial resources. Instead many people would consider it more or less as a back door stunt to come by the Irish vote in the United States in next year’s Presidential election. But in all fair play, we should not pre-judge the President’s motives or intentions in coming here until we see what he can deliver by way of bringing American visitors to this country and playing fair and generously to our exiles in America. That will be his test to see if his trip here justified the cost to ourselves. On the other hand, if the Queen’s visit to Croke Park helps to promote world-wide recognition of the GAA as a major sporting organisation, then it has been worthwhile.


Editor’s Note

It is great to have Pat back hale and hearty with us again and we congratulate him on winning his 22nd County title in the Newly Composed Ballad section at Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh in Hospital, Co. Limerick at the weekend. He now goes forward to the Munster final in Ballincollig, Co. Cork in July.