Railway Line Conflict

Many years ago the famous bard of Glenbawn, late Paddy Faley, composed a humorous duet with the title “Railway Line to Ardagh”. It was about an argument between a train driver who accidently killed a female goat who had strayed on to the railway track leading to Ardagh. The lady owner of her milking goat blamed the train driver for the accident. And so the recitation continues with a heated exchange of insults between the owner of the goat and the train drive.

It was a highly amusing recitation creating many a good laugh whenever it was performed. Paddy himself together with Daisy Kearney recited it countless times on stage, in videos and on radio in various venues around the country and also with Joe Harrington’s Rambling House group when they went on tours of England. Paddy also performed it with Chrissie Roche on many other occasions and in more recent years Chrissie and myself recited it numerous times at Ceol Luimnigh concerts, Irish nights, at Rambling Houses and other sessions. We have also heard it being performed a few months ago with Daisy Kearney accompanied by Donie Lyons. It was certainly a duet that was always a great piece of fun and audiences enjoyed it no matter how often they listened to it. While the “Railway Line to Ardagh” was a well composed and amusing yarn it was of course completely fictitious, but nonetheless something that could have happened.

On Saturday of last week however it was all a different story when a real-life confrontation at the border crossing between Limerick and Kerry occurred on “The Railway Line to Kilmorna”. According to media reports a group of up to 30 farmers presumably from the Kerry side of the border erected wooden barriers at the Kerry side of  Abbeyfeale to precent 150 walkers on the Great Southern Trail from crossing into Kerry as part of an organised walk. The walkers were met with placards stating “no trespassing” and “private property”. While by all accounts there was, thankfully, no violence or attempted violence, apparently there was a lot of comment, confusion and frustration among the walkers.

The close encounter which seems to have been rather unexpected created some tension, but the fact that there was a Garda presence at the scene of the stand-off, probably prevented any possibility of a flare-up. Until this matter is sorted out  one way or another there will most likely be further repercussions following the barricades of February 2nd.

At the present time people would be reluctant to decide who might be right or otherwise, considering that up to now there was no hassle of any account on the Limerick side of the border about the development of the Great Southern Trail. Many people who travelled on the Tralee to Limerick train in the old days will have many memories of those far-off times of their youth. My own first time travelling on this line was from Abbeyfeale to Limerick on my way up to a college in Warrenpoint, Co. Down at the age of 15. This journey was often repeated again and again in later times coming home from Dublin, England and elsewhere. No doubt many more people from Kerry and Limerick have memories of sad partings as well as joyful homecomings at the railway stations between Limerick and Tralee. There were also a couple of sad deaths outside a railway crossing  near Kilmorna where two brothers from the locality were killed on different occasions by a passing train.

When we were growing up in Lyreacrompane on the other side of Duagh we often heard stories of happenings around Kilmorna Station during the war against the Black and Tans. It now seems sad that in this part of our native parish with its historic background has become a contentious issue between some local farmers and those who want to develop the old railway track as a walking and cycling line. That it will be decided eventually there is little doubt but if the issue gets to the stage where either or both parties will resort to litigation then it could all become a costly and prolonged dispute. It is hoped however that the matter will be decided through meditation and discussion before it reaches that point and that common sense will prevail.

Recent Death

The death of Nora Walsh (nee McMahon) of Upper Dirreen occurred recently and was widely regretted throughout the locality where the deceased and her family are held in high esteem. Nora was predeceased by her late husband Joe some years ago and she will be very much missed by her immediate family members, other relatives, friends and neighbours by whom she was well liked. Many people from far and near attended the removal from Lyons’ Funeral Home, Derry, Listowel to pay their respects and later in the evening attended St. Bartholomew’s Church, Athea after the removal from Derry. The Requiem Mass on the following day and the funeral afterwards to Holy Cross cemetery were also well attended.Sympathy is extended to her family and her other relatives. May her soul rest in peace.

Late Nellie Hannon

The death occurred peacefully at her home in Kingsland on Thursday February 7th of Nellie Hannon (nee McCarthy) in her 94th year. Up to fairly recently Nellie was still getting around and was always cheerful and good humoured and had a smile and a friendly word for people whom she would meet. She was predeceased by her husband Jack some years ago and is survived by loving daughters, sons-in-law, sister, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

There was a big gathering at Harnett’s Funeral Home, Abbeyfeale on Sunday evening when people came from far and near to pay their respects and offer their sympathy to the family before the removal to the Church of the Assumption, Abbeyfeale. There was also a large congregation at the Requiem Mass on Monday and at the funeral in the afternoon to Reilig Ide Naofa cemetery, Abbeyfeale. Sympathy is extended to her family, her extended family and other relatives. May her soul rest in peace.

Members of the Hannon family are well-known around West Limerick area and beyond for their input into Irish cultural activities. Noreen de Barra had been rúnaí of Athea  CCE for several years. Josephine O’Connor was one of the founder members of West Limerick Set Dancing Club and another sister Ann Curtin formed the West Limerick Singing Club.

Well Done Gerard

Congratulations to Gerard Barrett, Carrueragh, Knockanure, who last Saturday night won the Irish Film Television Award which was staged at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Gerard’s film which he scripted, directed and screened with the title “Pilgrim Hill” a couple of years ago had previously been awarded the Best Film at last year’s Galway Film Festival. Gerard is son of Joe and Peggy (nee O’Sullivan) Carrueragh, Knockanure. Joe is originally form Knockdown and Peggy is a native of Knocknagorna.




yl�s-�� (F� font-family:Calibri;mso-currency-font-family: Calibri’>Johnny McCarthy and Darragh Treacy (sub) were members of the Limerick senior football team that defeated Leitrim by 0-11 to 0-9 in Round 1 of the National Football Division 4 League tie played in the Gaelic Grounds Limerick on Sunday 3rd February.


Saint Kieran’s club is holding a victory dinner dance at Rathkeale House Hotel on Saturday 23rd February. Music by Different Sounds and tickets cost € 25 and can be got from club members.

Alva Neary and Mai Kennelly were members of Limerick lady footballers who defeated Carlow by 8-26 to 0-1 in Division 4 of the Ladies National Football League at Dr Cullen Park Carlow on Sunday 3rd February.

Congratulations to Kilcolman N.S. who finished joint second in the annual Desmond Credit Union School’s Quiz 2013 held at the Courtenay Lodge Hotel Newcastle West on Friday 1sy February. The quizmaster was Noreen Mulcahy former teacher in Ardagh School and sixteen teams participated. The members were Aoife Kinehan, Domhnall O’Connor, Darragh McMahon, and Shay Greaney.

The news that West Limerick Resources, who operate from their office in Newcastle West, is under threat of closure after 20 years serving  the West Limerick area came as a big surprise to all. Their track record to date is excellent and all parishes within their catchment area have benefitted from funding for training and support for new projects. They are the only group who have provided funding for individuals and groups in that time, unlike successive governments who have failed the people badly. No new factories or new industry has been set up in that time, and now Phil Hogan and company want to dismantle this organization that has provided communities with much needed services and support systems. West Limerick Resources has provided funding for The Great Southern Trail and West Limerick Rural Bus which has provided people from our locality with two wonderful amenities. Ardagh and Coolcappa Community Centers and a number of other businesses have received funding to upgrade their facilities in recent years.  Carrigkerry Playground Committee at present is seeking funding for a project that will provide hours of enjoyment for the children of the locality. If West Limerick Resources are wound up close on forty jobs will be lost and a new 15 person group chosen by the Limerick Council Council manager will be put in charge of administrating the Leader funding. This will see another quango being set up when there is no need to do so, and as we have 51 Leader groups at present many more quangos will be needed throughout the country. West Limerick Resources is a victim of their own success and the various other bodies must be looking at them and the funding they have available to be distributed with envy. This is another attack on communities in rural Ireland and if successful will be the final nail in the coffin. We must retain the ideals of local people making the decisions to suit local communities as they know best what is needed in each one. The people know and trust the staff and the voluntary board members of West Limerick Resources which is an independent not-for profit company. Can we say the same about another group that will be associated with the government? I rest my case.

The next meeting of the Carrigkerry Playground Committee will be held on Thursday 14th February at 8.30pm in Carrigkerry Community Centre. A bag packing fundraiser will be held in Newcastle West on Friday 22nd February and the committee is seeking volunteers to help out. New members are most welcome to the meeting which is open to the public.

The Friends of Saint Vincent’s  Lisnagry Limerick are holding their annual Church gate Collection in Ardagh/Carrigkerry on Saturday/Sunday 16th / 17th February. All donations will be much appreciated.

West Limerick 102 Community Radio is holding a Car boot sale and indoor market on Sunday 17thFebruary from 8am to 2pm in the Community Centre Newcastle West. Gates open at 7.30am and the entrance fee is € 2 with children under 16 admitted free   with an adult. Stalls can be booked by contacting 069-66200/0876866450.

Saint Kieran’s G.A.A. Club is seeking members for the Limerick G.A.A. Club Draw which commences on Friday 1st March. It consists of 10 monthly draws and costs 10 per draw, or 100 for the 10 draws. The top prize each month is 15,000 plus lots of other valuable prizes. The money raised from the draw goes to promote and develop Gaelic games within the county. The promoting club will also benefit from the draw, as they can retain half of the membership collected.  People who wish to join up are asked to contact club members for more details.

West Limerick 102 Community Radio is holding their sixth annual Awards Night at the Devon Inn Hotel in Templeglantine on Monday 11th March. A top class line-up has been announced to perform on the night and more details later.

The County Limerick Senior Scór Finals will be held in Askeaton Community Hall on Friday 22nd March. All clubs within the County are asked to participate on the night.