by Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of John O’Connor, 3 The Cross, Ardagh,
suddenly at his residence on Wednesday 7th March. A native of the parish he was aged 78 years old and was a well known figure in the area. He was a painter and decorator by trade, who also worked for a
time in the building trade, in Ardagh Creamery and Aughinish Alumina. He was best known as John ‘’Popeen’’ to distinguish the O’Connor family from others in the locality. He was a born entertainer and a friend to young and old and it will be strange to pass through the
village without seeing his familiar figure. He was a tall man, with a straight back, when walking and he usually had a paper under his arm and a greeting for one and all. He was a fine singer who sang with The Glenside Ceili Band for a number of years, raising the roof of many a hall. John would dress up to sing some songs, such as “Mick McGilligan’s daughter Mary Ann” He would dress as Mary Ann make up and all to sing it which went down very well with audiences. He was a
lifelong wrenboy with his own group and many others over the years. He was a member of the West Limerick Charity Group who raised a lot of money for local groups in recent years. He sang with Ardagh Wrenboys in the sixties, when they won competitions around the Munster area, including the Munster Cup in Freemount three years in a row. He was shown on camera with his brother Charlie, and Johnny Aherne, on the
opening shots of Come West along the Road on RTE in recent years. His
favourite songs included “The lonely woods of Upton” “My old Fenian Gun” “The old Rustic Bridge by the Mill” “The Northern Lights of old Aberdeen” to name a few. He hurled with Ardagh in his young days and he was a good supporter of parish teams, especially
Villa Rovers soccer team over the years. John enjoyed a good social life and was most popular with all, seeing the best in all individuals. He liked to bet on the horses, and his presence will be missed this year by the bookies when the big meetings are on. His remains were removed from Reidy’s Funeral Home Newcastle West, to Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh, on Friday 9th March. Father Madden P.P. assisted by Fr John Walsh Concelebrated his Funeral Mass on Saturday morning. It was a lovely ceremony made special by the involvement of his grandchildren, (who he was very close to) in the readings,
symbols, gifts, poem and prayers of the faithful. Fr Maddens homily and Seamus Hennessy’s tribute, gave all a great insight into the personality of the late “Popeen”.  A large crowd was in attendance and Donie and Maura provided appropriate music and song.  He was laid to rest in Saint Molua’s Cemetery as the sun shone, and the birds sang on Saturday afternoon 10th March, a few days short of the Cheltenham Racing Festival. His friends presented a mini concert at the grave
side to send him on his way to meet so many more entertainers who have departed in recent times. John Mullins, Mike Murphy,  John O’Donnell (former members with the  Glenside Ceili Band), Tom O’Donoghue, Donie Clancy Michael Collins, Paul Moriarty, John L
O’Sullivan played the music and Paul and Tom Mullins sang  “Never grow Old”, “The Mulcair River” and “The Boys from Bárna Straide who hunted for the Wren”.  His health was good and his passing shocked and surprised us and he will be sadly missed by all who will retain their own special memories of a character much admired for his talents.
Sympathy to his sons Aidan and  Barry, daughters Carmel, Olive, Audrey, and Iris, brother Charlie, sisters, partners, grandchildren, extended family members, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.
The death has also taken place of Brenda Keating, School Road, Ardagh. She was a native of Rathnasare, Rathkeale, and was a retired seamstress in advancing years. She came to Ardagh to live with her sister Mrs Kenrick a number of years ago, and was living on her own in
recent years.  She kept in touch with events around the village, with her circle of friends. She looked forward to receiving Holy Communion, in her own home, and used the Radio Mass Link to keep in touch with Church Ceremonies. She moved to Killeline Nursing Home over the winter months, leading up to her passing. Her remains were removed from
Reidy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West to Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh, on Saturday 10th. Her Funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr Madden, Fr Daly, Fr Bluett, Fr Russell, and Fr Cullinane. Her relations assisted in the ceremony and Maura sang appropriate hymns. Burial took place in Saint Mary’s Cemetery Rathkeale, on Sunday 11th March. Sympathy to her brother JJ in America, and her sister Mary in Australia, (who were unable to be present at her funeral) nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. May she rest in Peace.

The death has also taken place of Michael Kiely, Rooskagh East,
Carrigkerry, Athea, at Limerick Regional Hospital on Sunday 11th March. He was quiet and retiring and a very intelligent person, who had simple, tastes in life. He suffered ill health for many years, but
was well cared for by his relatives, home help neighbours, and friends. Michael came from a family of three, Brother John, and sister Vera, He attended Ballinloughane N.S. and Saint Ita’s Secondary School Newcastle West. He worked in the Civil Service, in many different towns around Ireland including Killarney Avoca, Claremorris, Limerick.
He also worked in banking in England for a while. He returned home to mind his brother John, who passed away in 1996, and lived on his own ever since. He was very involved in Gaelic games in his youth as a player and an officer of the local club, in the Rooskagh area. He was
Secretary of the Carrigkerry Football Club in 1952 and 1953 and he
represented the club at many West Board Meetings. He also played many fine games at under age level during these years.  He wrote a  column on Gaelic Games for the Limerick Weekly Echo, in 1953 reviewing the clubs of West Limerick including Ardagh and Carrigkerry,  under the Pen name, Old Gael. Michael loved listening to Country and Western Music on the Radio, and was known to all the Stations. He was always ringing in requesting songs, by his brother -in-law George Langan. He
listened in to The Radio Mass Link, to hear Mass, and Services, in Ardagh, and Newcastle West Churches,on a regular basis and had his own space for religion.
His remains were removed from Reidy’s
Funeral Home, Newcastle West, to Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh, on Tuesday 13th March. His Funeral Mass was concelebrated by Fr Larry Madden Ardagh/Carrigkerry, Fr Paddy Bowen Athea, and Fr Richard Keane
Newcastle West. His relations assisted in the ceremony and the lovely hymns that were sung  added to the occasion. George Langan paid Michael a nice tribute, after the Funeral Mass had concluded. He
thanked all who helped Michael over the years, and played him a musical tribute “The foot of Rooskagh Hill” one of Michael’s favourite songs. Burial took place in Churchtown Cemetery Newcastle West with his native Rooskagh in the distance on Wednesday
14thMarch. Sympathy to his Sister Vera Langan and brother-in-law George, cousins, relatives, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.
Congratulations to Cormac Long from Rooskagh, who won an All Ireland
boxing medal in the National Stadium Dublin on Saturday 10th March. He
defeated Gearóid Mc Allister in the 80KG Boy 4 final by a first round
knock out to win his fourth All Ireland medal in a row. He is a member of the Rathkeale Boxing Club who has enjoyed great success in recent years due to their dedication, expertise and hard work.

The following are the lottery results from Peadar’s Bar Ardagh, on Monday 12th March.  Congratulations to the lucky dip winners as follows.
€60 Kay Ryan,  Ardagh.
€60 Joan Copse,  Glensharrold.
€60 Nikita+Dean Quaid, Carrigkerry.
€30 M+W, c/o Denis Greaney Ardagh.
€30 Patricia McCarthy, Askeaton.
€30 Paul Ahern, Riddlestown, Rathkeale.
Next week’s draw takes place in Foley’s Bar Reens Ardagh and the Jackpot will be € 15,600.
Congratulations to Peg Murphy + Joan Madigan, and Peter Fitzsimons+ Bill Downes, who were prize winners at the Flag Floor card game on Wednesday 7th March. Congratulations to John Mulvihill and Vinnie Wrenn, who were first prize winners at the Shanagolden card game on Friday 9th March.
In the Desmond League on Sunday 11th March, Carrig Celtic defeated Saint Ita’s 4-0 at home in Division 1, with goals from Francis Moore 2, Sean Mc Sweeney and Mark Collins. Old Mill lost 2-0 at home to Rockhill Rovers. In Division 2 Kilcolman Rovers drew 1-1 away to Rathkeale B. In the Division 3 League Cup Carrig Celtic B defeated Ballingarry B 2-0 away and 3-2 on aggregate, to advance to the semi final.
Saint Kieran’s Club had no winner in the first draw, in the Limerick G.A.A Club Draw held in Na Piarsaigh G.A.A Clubhouse Limerick on Friday 9th March. The next Draw will be held in the Villager Bar Castlemahon on Friday 13th April.
Limerick lost to Clare by 3 points in Round 1 of the Munster U-21 Football championship in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick on Wednesday 14th March. Darragh Treacy was centre field and Mike Flynn on the panel.
Saint Kieran’s lost to Granagh/Ballingarry by 1-11 to 0-9 in Round 2 of the West U-21 B Hurling Championship at Adare on Saturday 10th March.
The Airtricity Fund Awards were held in Con Colbert Community Centre, Athea on Wednesday 7th March. A number of Carrigkerry people were present to accept awards for different groups, on the night as follows.  Catherine Hayes and Pat King on behalf of Carrigkerry Community Centre. Stephen Goulding on behalf of Newcastle West A.F.C. Margaret O’Connor on behalf of Glengurt N.S. School, Tournafulla.
Carrigkerry Wrenboy Group held a presentation evening at The Flag Floor Glensharrold on Saturday 10th March. They presented cheques to the value of €3,000, to the following groups. Friend’s of Saint Ita’s Palliative Care Newcastle West. The Irish Neurological Centre Regional Hospital Limerick. Console. Dromcollogher Respite Centre. Rathfredragh Cheshire Home, and Chernobyl West Limerick Outreach Group.  Each group received €500, and the Wrenboys are to be complimented for their generosity.
Enrolments are now taking place in Coolcappa National School for next September. Parents who wish to enroll their children can contact the Principal Nora Madden at 069-76493.
Parents who wish to enroll their children in Kilcolman N.S. Should contact the principal Mary Liston on 069-60005.
Daffodil Day in aid of the Irish Cancer Society will take place in Newcastle West and other local places on Friday 23rd March. People can volunteer their services, or hold an event in their locality. They can also buy a Daffodil or other merchandise, at the local outlets. All support will be much appreciated.  All enquiries to Kate Buckingham, Glenastar Ardagh, on 069-76148.
Sunday afternoon tea dancing will take place in Carrigkerry Community Centre, on Sunday 25th March from 2.30 pm to 5.30pm. Music by Barry O’Halloran, and tea and refreshments will be served and admission €5. All the proceeds will go to the upkeep and maintenance of the centre, and all are welcome.
Round the Fireside presented by Jimmie Reidy on C103 FM, on Monday 26th March, will feature the first of two 70 minute programmes, of local interest from 9,50pm to 11.00pm. A special to pay tribute to the musical contribution over the past 50 years, of The Glenside Céile Band in Ardagh, and Tom O’Donoghue, from Castlemahon. Taking part will be a total of 11 musicians, numerous well known singers, and talkers
recalling with fondness all the people associated with both. The second programme will go out on air on Monday 2nd April at the same time.
The AGM of Ardagh Voluntary Housing Association will take place in the day centre, Reerasta Court on Monday 2nd April at and all are welcome.