Welcome to our weekly look at events making the news around the Carrigkerry district on this damp and dull Sunday two weeks from Christmas. People are asking will it ever stop raining and we are getting sick of it at present. There is a lot to be said for a nice frosty dry day when people’s form is better and places look more appealing. We are still in the Euro, Enda’s speech revealed nothing, the Budget was harsh for the poor, and Glensharrold Bridge is still not fixed.

This Government continue on like the previous one hitting the same vulnerable sections of the community and leaving the well off alone. Creating jobs for the half a million out of work seems to be a dirty word in all Governments, over the past 4 years or so. It is forecast that 700 people will leave Ireland every week in 2012. It is good they have places to go but what will be left but the elderly and the children. Rural Ireland is nearly finished as it is and more closures and loss of services to come in the new year. O that a saviour could come similar to Our Lord  at Christmas, to guide Ireland on to the right path.

Last  Sunday’s Mass in Saint Mary’s was an Anniversary Mass for the late Joe Flynn, Carrigkerry. The church gate collection was in aid of the Ardagh/Carrigkerry Saint Vincent de Paul branch who do great work behind the scenes to help out the needy whose numbers increase on a daily basis.

A great day for Irish athletics with Fionnuala Britton winning a gold medal in the women’s European Cross Country Championships in Slovenia.

In Gaelic games Cappamore and Blackrock lost out in their Munster finals to Charleville and Brosna.

Munster won again in the Heineken Cup to move to the top of their group at the halfway stage.

The death has taken place of James (Jim) Doody,  Ballyloughane, Carrigkerry, suddenly at his residence, on Saturday 3rd December.  He was a retired member of Limerick County Council and in his mid eighties. He was a native of Ballyloughane, and from a family of six, four sisters and one brother. He attended the local school and worked around the area until his early thirties. He emigrated to America in 1959 and worked there until his return to live in the home house with his wife Mary in 1970. He secured work with Limerick County Council and worked in the refuse section along with his great friend the late Stephen O’Connor from  Glensharrold. Jim was very interested in gardening and DIY and the house was much admired for its appearance and floral displays. He was very interested in sports and Kerry football and watched videos of the matches. His religion meant a lot to him and he was a regular attender at Saint Mary’s Church up to about 3 years ago. Jim and Mary would sit in the same seats on the left hand side near the window. He also liked a cigarette and was a quiet and gentle person who will be sadly missed by family neighbours, former workmates and friends.                                                                                        His remains reposed at his residence on Sunday last, with large crowds of people attending to pay their respects. His remains arrived at Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry for 11.30am Mass on Monday. His Funeral Mass was celebrated by Fr Madden P.P. assisted by Fr Bowen P.P.  Family members assisted in the ceremony and Fr Madden paid Jim a nice tribute in his homily.  Gifts brought to the altar included videotape, cigarette packet, garden trowel, hammer+nails, and bread+wine. Donie and Maura supplied appropriate music and hymns. Jim was laid to rest in Ardagh Cemetery on Monday 5th December. We extend our sympathy to his wife Mary, brother John, sisters Mary and Kathleen and their families, extended family members, relatives, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The death has also taken place of Eileen Aherne, (nee Harnett) wife of the late Dan of Main Street, Ardagh, at her residence on Sunday 4th December. She was a retired nurse, businesswomen and a homemaker in her eighties. Eileen was the youngest in a family of six, and was a native of Coolacokera, Ardagh. She attended school locally and spent some time abroad before returning to take up a position as a nurse, in Saint Ita’s Hospital in Newcastle West. Following the death of her husband Dan she gave up her job to take care of her young family. This was combined with operating Petrol Pumps and over the years the family provided a fine service to the public. We were all very thankful for our supply when petrol was rationed during the oil crisis. Eileen’s was a life well lived true to the values gained in her young days. She liked to read in her spare time and always got the daily paper at nearby Curley’s Shop. In late years she attended the Social Club in Ardagh Hall and enjoyed the events and the company of the other attendees. Religion, the Church and prayer played a big part in her life as well and she left us on the week we celebrated the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Her health declined in the past two years and her final few weeks was spent in bed and cared for by family and nursing staff. Main Street will not be the same without Eileen as she was always to be seen coming or going about her business. 

Her remains were removed from her daughter Ann’s house on School Road, to Saint Molua’s Church, Ardagh, on Monday night with a large crowd in attendance to pay their respects. Father Larry Madden celebrated her Funeral Mass on Tuesday morning assisted by Canon Fitzmaurice, Fr Mullane, Fr Noonan, and former priests of the parish Fr O’Gorman, Fr Lane, and Fr Bowen. John Aherne took the opportunity to welcome everybody to the celebration and thanksgiving for the life of his mother. He thanked everybody who cared for her and all others for their kindness to the family. On behalf of the family he paid a loving and tender tribute to Eileen, who was a mother and father to John, Pauline, and Ann. Family members and neighbours and friends assisted in the lovely ceremony which did her credit. The multi talented and versatile choir members excelled themselves performing the well chosen hymns and how Eileen would have enjoyed their performance as the choir was always close to her heart. Fr Madden paid her a lovely tribute in his homily and Bernie’s communion reflection was very touching. We wondered when the mobile phone went off during the reciting of Our Lady’s Prayer, was it by any chance Eileen ringing to tell us to put more thought and feeling into it. A guard of honour awaited for Eileen as her coffin passed on its way to the nearby Cemetery for burial on Tuesday 6th December. We extend our sympathy to her son John, daughters Pauline and Ann and extended family members, the Harnett family and all other relatives, neighbours and friends. May she rest in Peace.

The death has also taken place of Mike Fitzgerald, Meadowlea, Ballyhahill, and formerly of Glensharrold suddenly at his residence on Monday 5th December. Husband of the late Bridie, he was retired and in his eighties. Mike was born in 1926 and a native of Glensharrold and from a farming background. He grew up with his brother J.J. and they attended Carrigkerry N.S. two miles away. They helped out on the family farm and enjoyed the wide open spaces and the fun and games of the time with their friends. Mike was very interested in sports and Gaelic games, and cycled to and attended many games around West Limerick. He was born the year Radio Éireann came on air and rarely missed the match commentaries, or Sean Óg O’Ceallacháin’s Sunday night Sports Results. He attended a number of All Ireland football Finals in Croke Park when Kerry were playing in the fifties, travelling with his neighbour the late Bernie O’Connell and recounted the events in great detail. He went dancing to the Old Mill Hall on Sunday nights, with his friends and neighbours, and also to the pictures in Newcastle West. He was a member of the old Glensharrold Wrenboy Group who were very prominent at the time and he also hunted the Wren with Knockfinisk Wrenboys. He went out in the wren for the final time in 1958 with the present Glensharrold Wrenboy Group before his departure to England. He was a very knowledgeable and interesting person who could recall people, events and dates with great clarity.  He was forced to immigrate to England in search of work in 1959 like so many of his friends at that time. He secured factory work in London and adjusted to city life so different from rural Ireland. He worked in Heinz and Jacobs’s factories during his 30 year stay in John Bull country. He had his own circle of friends among the Irish abroad including his neighbours, Mike Mc Mahon and the Geoghegan family. He visited home on a regular basis and also kept in touch with his neighbours by letter and Christmas Card. He met and married the love of his life Bridie Murphy from near Killarney, but their happy days were cut short as Bridie sadly passed away from cancer in her early forties. Mike retired and returned to live in Ireland 22 years ago and settled in Ballyhahill village. He integrated well into the community and had his own interests, and he kept up his ties with his relations and friends in Glensharrold. He enjoyed his trips to Newcastle West on the Rural Bus each Friday morning and the annual Senior Citizen’s parties and his trips back to his native Glensharrold. He liked a simple lifestyle and had little interest in material things and enjoyed good health up to the end.                                                                                                                                                                                                 His remains were removed from Madigan’s Funeral Home in Shanagolden to The Church of the Visitation Ballyhahill on Wednesday night last. Fr O’Leary celebrated his Funeral Mass on Thursday 8th December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Family members assisted in the Mass Readings, Offertory, Prayers of the Faithful and the Gifts. The singing and music provided by Jacqueline and Denis enhanced the Ceremony which Mike would have approved of. Burial took place in wet and windy Templeathea Cemetery where so many of his family and relations are laid to rest. We extend our sympathy to his nephew Tom Fitzgerald and family in Glensharrold, nieces Nuala O’Connell and family Ballyclough, Limerick and Ita Mullane and family in Knockdown . All other relatives, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.

We extend sympathy also to Mary Barrett and family Ballyine on the death of her brother Noel Liston, Killoughteen, Newcastle West. May he rest in peace.

Congratulations and best wishes to Patrick O’Connor, Carrigkerry and Karen Clifford, Ballymacelligott, Kerry, who were married in Monaleen Church on Saturday 3rd December.

Congratulations to Catherine Kiely and John Sheehy who were prizewinners at the Flag Floor card game held on Wednesday 30th November.

The final Limerick G.A.A. Development Draw for 2011 was held at Cú Chulainn Bar, Patrickswell on Friday 2nd December. Saint Kieran’s club had no winner on the night. The draw will resume next March.

In last week’s soccer action in Division 1 of the Desmond League Carrig Celtic defeated Newcastle West B 4-0 at home to increase their lead to 4 points at the top of the table. Francis Moore2, Pa O’Sullivan, and Ray Cahill  scored their goals. No other local team were in action.

In the ladies League Carrig Celtic defeated Glin 6-0 away in the First Division to remain in third place on the table.  Michelle Brouder 2, Bridget Liston, Anne Mc Sweeney, Margaret Flaherty, and Lisa Collins scored their goals.  Kilcolman Rovers had no game due to a waterlogged pitch.

Johnny Mc Carthy, Jim Donovan and Darragh Treacy from the Saint Kieran’s club are part of the Limerick senior football panel for 2012.

There was no winner of the Ardagh Dev Ass and Saint Kieran’s G.A.A. Club lottery.

Donie Nolan from Kilcolman was featured on Come West Along The Road on RTE on Friday 9th December, singing The Boys of Barna Sráide.

The Ardagh Calendar is on sale in local outlets and would make a lovely Christmas present for a friend.

The Cork Holly Bough, Old Moores Almanac, The Ballyguiltenane Rural Journal and Athea Parish Journal are on sale in local shops and they contain lots of lovely reading.

Carrigkerry National School will hold its annual Carol Singing on Friday 16th December. There will be singing and music in the school from 9.30am, until home time. All are welcome to join us for a cuppa, and to join in the singing.

The children of the school will present the Story of Christmas, in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry on Monday evening 19th December at 7.pm. This is a lovely start to Christmas week. The children have been busy preparing, and are now ready to tell this wonderful story in song and verse

Carrigkerry/Old Mil Community Employment Project are holding their annual Church gate Collection on this coming Saturday 17th in Ardagh, and on Sunday 18th in Carrigkerry and all support will be appreciated.

Carrigkerry/Old Mill Community Employment Project are holding their annual Church gate Collection on this coming Saturday 17th in Ardagh, and on Sunday 18th in Carrigkerry and all will be appreciated.

The Christmas 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 18th December from 9am to 3pm with admission €2. Gates will open at 7.30am and anyone wishing to participate can contact Marian  on 087-6866450.

I will conclude with our thought

‘Gratitude is the best attitude’