Congratulations and best wishes to Elizabeth Coughlan, Reerasta, Ardagh, and Pádraig Crowley, Grouse Lodge, Ardagh, who were married in Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh, on Saturday 4th January. They held their reception in the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine.

Congratulations and best wishes to Tom Fitzgerald, and Bernadette White, Corbally, Kilcolman, who were married in Saint Colman’s Church Kilcolman on Friday 3rd January. They held their reception in the Old Stand Shanagolden.

Congratulations to Paddy Molyneaux, The Cross, Ardagh, who won €250 in the Newcastle West Rugby Club Lottery Christmas draw held on Friday 20th December.

Carrig Celtic F.C. held the first of their 300 Club Draws at Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry on Sunday 22nd December. The first prize of €1,000 was won by Sean Dillon Knockaderry. (Promoter Veronica Dillon) 2nd Prize €250 John O’Connor (Snr) Glensharrold. (Promoter Denise O’Connor) 3rd Prize €50 Tom Harnett Coolacokera, Ardagh. (Promoter Denise O’Connor) 4th Prize Joe Dowling Old Mill. (Promoter Pat King) 5th Prize €50 Pat Bourke Newcastle West ( Promoter Anthony Liston) The special €200 Shopping Voucher at Moloney’s Shop for fully paid up members was won by Rachel Doyle, Carrigkerry. (Promoter John Doyle) The next draw will be held at the end of January.

Tom Nestor from Birr in Offaly and a native of Coolcappagh continues with his memories of his young days growing up there in the weekly Ireland’s Own Magazine.

Jason Mullins from the Saint Kieran’s club was the referee for the County Premier U-21 Football Championship Final between Drom-Broadford and Sean Finns played in Mick Neville Park Rathkeale on Tuesday 31st December.

Darragh Treacy from Saint Kieran’s was a member of the  Cork IT football team that defeated Mary Immaculate College Limerick by  5-17 to 2-6 in the Mc Grath Cup quarter final played in the CIT Stadium  on Sunday 5th January. Darragh played half forward and he scored 1-2.

Congratulations to Carol Ruttle, Coolanoran, Ardagh, who received awards from the Irish Pony Society 2013 National Awards Ceremony at Killashane House Hotel Naas, Co Kildare on Friday 3rd January. Carol won two national titles, in the 1st Year First Ridden section and 2nd in the U-10First Ridden section.

Noel Copse, Ardagh, on behalf of the Crinniú Music Group in UL, presented a cheque for €435 to the Friend’s of Saint Ita’s at their Christmas Get Together on Thursday 19th December. Noel and the group members ran a wrenboy fundraiser in UL in December.

We note the death of a number of sportsmen over the Christmas and New Year who gave so much enjoyment to so many in past years. Owen McCann was a former Gaelic games correspondent and author from Donegal, who also was the editor of Gaelic World Magazine. Eusabio the great Benfica, and Portugal soccer star, who was up there alongside Pele, Maradona and George Best as one of the World’s greats. Terry Biddlecome the English jockey and trainer, who enjoyed great success in racing circles. Joe O’Mahoney the legendary Limerick soccer defender, was a player we saw play in the Market’s Field in Limerick on a few occasions in the seventies. He won 2 F.A.I Cup medals and a League of Ireland Championship during a long career. In the entertainment world Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers, enjoyed a very successful career and Bye Bye Love was one of their top hits. He was a brother of Don and aged 74 years.

The majority of soccer matches in the Desmond League were called off over the Christmas due to the very stormy and wet weather. No local clubs saw action, and the ladies also had a good break.

Kathleen Mullane, the Athea correspondent for the Weekly Observer and the Kerryman newspapers, retired from the role at the end of 2013.  She gave a long and distinguished service promoting the events taking place around the banks of the Gale. We would like to wish her good health and happiness in the future, and look forward to reading her weekly column in the Athea and District News. We welcome the new correspondent Caroline O’Connell and wish her well in the role.

A new book has been published on the history of the diocese of Limerick, with each parish dealt with individually.  The Ardagh/Carrigkerry and Coolcappa/Kilcolman parishes have been allocated three pages each. It contains a hardback cover and it was edited by Liam Irwin, and it makes interesting reading. Part I deals with the history of the Diocese, and part 2 with the individual Parishes. The Parishes have been allocated copies and it will not be on sale in the shops. People who wish to buy a copy which costs € 20 are asked to call into the sacristy in Ardagh and Carrigkerry and to Fr Denis Mullane, in Coolcappa/Kilcolman. It would make a nice New Year gift for a special friend.

Saint Kieran’s GAA Club elected the following officers for 2014 at their A.G.M. held on Saturday 7th December. Chairman John Ryan. Vice-Chairman Patrick Windle. Secretary Ivan Neary. Ass-Secretary Padraig Trant. Treasurer Tom Harnett, Ass-Treasurer Sean Windle. Irish Officer John Ahern. Players Representative’s Paudie Mc Carthy and John Doyle. PRO Owen Hayes. Committee Tom O’Connor, Stephen Kennelly, Sean Hayes, Jason Mullins, Ian Mackessy, Sean O’Sullivan.

The County Limerick G.A.A. Board is offering their annual season tickets for the 2014 season at present. This pass will cover entry to all games under the jurisdiction of the Limerick County Board. They are available from any officer of the County Board for €100.

Croke Park are running and funding a national club draw to help clubs fundraising efforts at present. The tickets cost € 10 each and are printed in books of 10 and the draw will be held on Saint Patrick’s Day in Croke Park. Each club will be allocated 50 books at the start, and they can retain the proceeds from the tickets sold.  If they can sell the 500 tickets they get to keep the proceeds which amount to €5,000. Clubs can apply for more tickets to sell up to a maximum of 2,000 tickets which if sold would net the club €20,000. The tickets went on sale from Friday 10th January and clubs cannot buy the tickets themselves, and the draw is subject to terms and conditions. Participation in the draw is not compulsory for clubs. The ticket stubs and all unsold tickets for each club must be returned to Croke Park by Saturday 1st March together with a list of subscribers. Croke Park is funding 10 very valuable Prizes to the lucky winners of this draw, which will ease clubs fundraising efforts a little.

Boxercise classes for teenagers will commence on this Wednesday 15th January from 7pm to 8pm in the Community Centre Ardagh. For more information contact Nicola Brennan on 086-8140593.

Pilate classes for adults    will commence on this Wednesday 15th January from 8pm to 9pm in the Community Centre Ardagh. For more information contact Nicola Brennan on 086-8140593.

Shanid Comhaltas group resume its music classes on this Thursday 16th January from 7pm to 9pm in Shanagolden Hall. All musicians are welcome to attend and further details can be got from Christy on 086-3106503 or Joan on 086-1963487.

The annual walk in aid of Rathfredragh Cheshire Home will be held on Sunday 26th January. The starting point is the top of Barna, walking the railway line to Newcastle West, and on to Rathfredragh via Lacey’s Cross and the Bruff Line. Transport will be available from Newcastle West to Rathfredragh if anybody requires it. The walk will commence at 10am.

The West Limerick Set Dancing club’s workshop weekend will run from Friday 7th February to Sunday 9th February at the Devon Inn Templeglantine.