The death has taken place of Martin O’Connor, 12 Court Villas, Rathkeale, and formerly of Main Street, Ardagh, following a long illness at Milford Hospice, Limerick on Sunday 12th January. He was only 60 years old and the second youngest of nine in family. He was educated in Ardagh N.S. and the Technical School Newcastle West. Martin served his apprenticeship in Patrick McCormack’s Joinery Works in Ardagh, where he qualified as a carpenter.  He moved on from there and spent about ten years working in England, before returning to Ireland. He secured employment in the Dell factory in Limerick where he stayed until the factory closed. His health declined in recent times, and he fought the good fight until the end. Martin was interested in all sports, especially soccer, golf, and racing. He played underage soccer with Newcastle West in goals and he had a mighty kick out. He also played with the first Ardagh soccer team in the Desmond League, in the early seventies. His team mates at the time included Mattie Griffin, Pa Crowley, John Keane, Sean Duggan, all from Ardagh, Mike Moran, Neily Cahill, Oliver McGrath, all from Athea, Joe, Noel, and Vinny White, from Rathkeale.

Martin played in defence for Mattie’s Big Five team in the Glensharrold 5-A-Side Soccer Tournament in 1976. The matches were played nightly in Bridge Quinn’s field during the months of July and August and large crowds attended. It was organized by four locals Tom Aherne, Mike Ahern, Mike Kiely, and Jack Mulvihill, and it turned out to be a novel attraction five years after the ban was lifted in the G.A.A.  It ran for four very successful years, and dances were held in Stack’s Lounge Bar, Carrigkerry to present the medals to the winning recipients each year.  A total of three Tournaments were held each Summer Mens, Ladies, and U-14 Boys, and awards were also presented to Tournament top scores, and penalty kick competition winners. Mattie’s Big 5 won the first Tournament defeating Glensharrold Rovers 4-2 in the final and Mike Sillery from Foynes was the referee. The team members were all from Ardagh Mattie Griffin, Captain, Martin O’Connor, Mike Curley, Mike O’Brien, Michael O’Connor, and Sean Duggan.  The medals were presented in Stack’s Lounge Bar on the seventh of September, which was packed for the historic occasion, and the Boys in Blue supplied the music. Martin and all the others who participated and attended Glensharrold and Carrigkerry enjoyed great times during these years, as rural Ireland was buzzing with lots of jobs and opportunities. We that were blessed to be involved at the time will retain great memories of Martin who was also a former colleague in McCormack’s Joinery which provided long term employment in the area.

He lay in repose at Reidy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West on Monday 13th January from 6.30pm, followed by removal to Saint Molua’s Church, Ardagh. Fr Larry Madden P.P. Ardagh/Carrigkerry, Fr Willie Russell C.C. Rathkeale, and Fr Oliver Plunkett Donoghmore/ Knockea, Concelebrated his Funeral Mass on Tuesday at 11.30am. Family members participated in the Readings, Offertory and Prayers of the faithful and Fr Larry gave details of Martin’s life span during his homily. Martin was buried in Ardagh Cemetery on Tuesday 14th January.  The family thanked all the people for their support and invited all for refreshments in the Community Centre. We extend our sympathy to his brothers, Mike, John, Ger, Patrick, Christy, sisters, Catherine, and Mary, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The following are the Lottery results from Neary’s Bar, Ardagh, on Monday 13th January. The numbers drawn were 1, 8, 18, 29, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners as follows. €60 Con Lawlor, Knocknagun, Carrigkerry. €60 Alan Rice, c/o Bus Eireann. €60 Joan O’Connor Grouse Lodge, Ardagh. €30 Peggy Conway c/o Curley’s. €30 Lorraine and Geraldine Madigan. €30 Jim Adams c/o Curley’s. Next week’s draw will be held at Foley’s Bar, Reens, Ardagh, and the Jackpot will be € 9,400.

Newcastle West Golf Club has two locals as their Captains for the 2014 season.  The Drive-In was held on Sunday 12thJanuary and it will be a first for the parish to have both in charge on the same year. We wish Captain Frank Moore, from Carrigkerry, and Lady Captain Peg Murphy from Grouse Lodge , Ardagh, a very successful and enjoyable year at the helm, in Rathgoonan, Ardagh where the club is based.

Darragh Treacy from Saint Kieran’s was a member of the  Cork IT football team that lost by 2-12 to 0-13   in the Mc Grath Cup  semi final played in the John Mitchell’s  G.A.A. Club Grounds Tralee  on Sunday 12th January. Darragh played half forward and midfield and he scored one point.

Donie Nolan from Saint Kieran’s was introduced as a second half substitute for IT Tralee in their Waterford Crystal Cup Preliminary Round defeat by Limerick. They lost by 10-17 to 0-9 in Mick Neville Park Rathkeale on Friday 10th January.

The Saint Kieran’s Bord na Nóg A.G.M will take place in Ardagh Community Centre on Monday 27th January at 8.30pm, and all are welcome.

Carrig Celtic defeated Glin Rovers by 4-2 away in the Premier Division of the Desmond League on Sunday 12th January. Ray Cahill, 2 Francis Moore, and Ray Brouder, scored the goals. They are in 4th place in the League table at present after 8 matches played.

Creeves Celtic drew 1-1 away to Adare United in Division 2 of the Desmond League. James Naughton scored the goal and they remain in 2nd place on the League table.

Carrig Celtic ladies lost 4-0 away to Breska Rovers in Division 1 of the Desmond League.

The annual Diocesan Collection in aid of the Limerick Social Service Centre took place over the weekend of 18th/ 19thJanuary. They provide the following services to people: 1. Counselling service, which offers free access to qualified counselors. 2. Support service to 18 Pre-Schools. 3. A parent/ teen mother support programme for mothers in the local community. 4. A Crèche at the Centre provides childcare for those parenting alone or on low incomes, enabling them to return to employment or to access education. 5. Pre-Natal and Post-Natal accommodation for those needing support in pregnancy. 6. A variety of services for the elderly.

Carrigkerry Community Council has decided to call an Emergency General meeting in the Community Centre Carrigkerry on this Thursday  23rd of January at 8.30. This meeting will attempt to address local issues that have been in existence for quite a while now and also issues that have arisen of late.  As this is the year of local elections, we as a community need to bring local issues to our legislators as we have been almost totally ignored over the last 5 years. These problems include: The loss of the local Social Welfare clinic every Wednesday in the Community Centre, the expected closure of the Doctor’s Surgery in the Community Centre every Tuesday, which is in existence since 1984, The safety aspects of the local “Ghost Estate” also known as the Ardmoyle estate, the expected withdrawal of funding for our local playground, and any other local issues that you may want to discuss and address.

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 Kilcolman/Coolcappa senior citizen’s party will take place in the Shannon House, Foynes, on Sunday 26th January at 1pm.The people who wish to attend are asked to forward their name to Joan Hayes at 069-60307 or Mary O’Connor at 069-60149 before Thursday 23rd January.

Afternoon Tea Dancing will be held in the Community Centre Carrigkerry on this Sunday 26th January from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. The music will be supplied by the Mike Condon Band and all are welcome.