Sympathies to the Vaughan family in Dirreen on the death of Séamus this week. He was an enterprising man who always believed in working for himself. When I was young and still living in Glasha I remember him in the bog with his lorry taking away loads of turf. May he rest in peace now that his work is done.

Well Clounleharde and Knockdown are still on a high after a very successful gathering of the Clounleharde pupils. The committee members were busy all weekend setting up tables and chairs and making sure that everything was in order. In the afternoon the sun dipped in and out and it made the perfect evening, not too hot, not too cold and just a very few midges. Even that had been catered for with blowers rented to create a breeze to keep the midges at bay.From 6pm onwards people were gathering and introducing themselves to classmates they had not met since the mid 1960’s. They came from the USA, various parts of England, north Wales, Malta and Ireland to be together for one night. People were reacquainted and old friendships were renewed. Hairs which once were black or red were now silver or grey. Friends who hadn’t met in years were re-united and memories, long dormant, were reawakened. It was just great. Fr Mikey’s Mass was to use somebody else’s words “really beautiful, words do not do it justice… it was an experience, it was one of those precious moments where the gifted Fr Mikey brought “the past and the present” into one place… this can only be done by one who carries the footprint of Clounleharde in their heart.” Many past pupils took part in the Mass by reading or taking up gifts or playing music or being Ministers of the Eucharist. As many families as possible were given a role to play. At one point of the Mass Fr Mikey invited the huge crowd to bring to mind anybody who made an impression on them during their school days. Many people volunteered names and it felt like the congregation was getting larger with each name, til hardly anybody was left out. Fr Gerard O’Leary PP Ballyhahill concelebrated.

After the Mass a buffet for over 170 people was laid on in a marquee which was specially erected for the occasion. All the tables were decorated with tea lights in hand painted glass holders, all decoratively done by past pupil and local artist Carol Noonan. Clusters of balloons added even more colour. A display of photographs had been organized by the committee and a little booklet had been printed and presented to each family. Chairman of the committee Michael Dillane, in his speech after the meal, said it was a dream come true for him to be present at such a “wonderful night of nostalgia, reminiscing and meeting old and new friends.” He and fellow classmate Mary Collins, both octogenarians, had been hoping that this event would happen before it was too late for them. He welcomed two past teachers Mari Collins and Maria Adams. He also welcomed Mary Stack and Una Mangan, the two daughters of Martin and Katherine Barry. Mr and Mrs Barry RIP each gave over 40 years of their lives teaching in Clounleharde from the 1920’s to the 1960’s.  He thanked everybody who helped out in any way.

Present at the celebration was the newly elected Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council, John Sheahan. John said he was delighted that his 1st official function was to attend at this school reunion.

Many photos were taken on the night ensuring that we do not lose the memories. You will see them on Bridie Murphy Photography facebook page. After the Mass and the meal everybody continued the celebrations in the Knockdown Arms til the small hours of the next morning and was most grateful to the committee for organizing it. I have to agree that it was a most successful event.

Even George Langan, who never attended Clounleharde, got caught up in the excitement of it all and made a DVD called Lovely Clounleharde. He converted the poem Lovely Clounleharde, written by Paddy Faley many years ago, into song and used many images of the people and places around Knockdown to make a lovely 10 minute DVD. It also contains “The Praises of Clounleharde” written by M. Ó Longáin and recited by Buddy Feury. If anybody would like a copy of this DVD send €5 to Geroge Langan, 252 Ardmore Dr., Dublin 5 and he will post it on to you. Alternatively he will do CD for only €2.

Sure you won’t get a better bargain anywhere else.

Killeaney Lotto results of Sunday June 30 in Knockdown Arms

Numbers drawn: 5,11,21,26. No winner.

€80: Mark Collins, Coole

€30: Michael Dillane, Listowel

€20: Thomas O’Connor/Cathal Cummane

€20: Joan Collins, Park

€20: Thomas Reidy

House Draw; Betty Kilkenny, Ballyguiltenane

5 free tickets: Mike Walsh

5 free tickets: Paddy Quinn

Promoter’s prize: Donie McGrath

New jackpot: €9500 in Conway’s next Sunday night.