A question and answer session with the candidates contesting the upcoming local Elections in the Newcastle West area on May 23rd was held in Carrigkerry Community Centre, on Monday 3rd February. It was a follow up meeting to address the numerous issues raised at a community meeting held on Thursday 23rd January. A good crowd was in attendance to get the views of the sitting councillors and the declared candidates, on their past performances, and their intentions if elected for the future. Pat King supervisor of the Community Employment Scheme in Carrigkerry/Old Mill acted as Chairman, and a good number of the attendance contributed to various issues discussed during the meeting. In the attendance were 9 of the 12 candidates, Michael Collins, Seamus Ahern, Francis Foley, and John Leahy, from Fianna Fail, Liam Galvin, Damien Reidy, and John Sheahan, from Fine Gael, Stephen Goulding, Labour, and Christy Kelly Independent.  Patrick O’Donovan, Fine Gael, and Niall Collins Fianna Fáil, were also present, as was Doctor Kieran Murphy from Athea. Over the two hour session a lot of issues raised at the previous meeting were discussed again and additional information was given with clarification needed on some issues. It was a unique format and very interesting   to view their performances under pressure from the questions aimed at them.

The meeting heard that Jan O’Sullivan the Minister in charge of Housing and the cleanup of Ghost Estates visited the Village on Saturday 1st February to see the problems and she met with the people living there. This meeting was arranged by Stephen Goulding, and was seen as a positive development. A fund of 10 Million has been put in place nationwide to oversee the cleanup of these. A liquidator has been appointed to the Ardmoyle Estate in Carrigkerry and it was hoped that it would be included in the scheme. The Fianna Fail representatives and the residents met with Limerick County Council staff on Friday 31st January and their message was that matching funds were needed to qualify for the scheme, so clarification was needed. The deadline to qualify was Friday 28th February and a plan of the Estate was needed to be with The Council as soon as possible.

The health and safety issue from the sewerage flowing along the main road and into the river was a big concern with all the recent rainfall making the problem far worse. Councilor Michael Collins had acted on this since the last meeting and Limerick County Council were now emptying the existing septic tank (in place since Stack’s ownership) once a week. This is only a short term solution and is expensive and it does not prevent the overflow of the contents of the septic tank in heavy rain. A petition was circulated   with the following aims 1. To get the Estate sewerage connected to the village sewerage. 2 Provide funding to tidy the site as per the community’s proposed drawing. 3 The site has been derelict for 4 years and should be taken over by the Council under the derelict sites act 1990. 4 To get the site handed over to the existing owners of the houses   who will then have control over the future of their estate. This petition was signed by all including the politicians who pledged their support for the above aims.

Doctor Murphy outlined the facts behind the threatened closure of the Clinic which has operated in the village since 1984. He spoke on the costs involved in dispensing medicine and cuts to medical cards and his hopes to continue the service. He thanked the people for their support and the politicians for the work they do which often goes unnoticed by the members of the public. Patrick O’Donovan TD informed the meeting that this matter was still under review at national level. It was suggested that medicine could be dispensed before the clinic commenced which was a good idea. The politicians were made aware of the importance of retaining the dispensing rights as they were up to the end of 2013 as Carrigkerry is more than 6 miles away from the nearest Chemist.

The other issues raised and discussed included Street lights, car parking and the boulders west of the Church which restricted additional parking.  The figure of a swan put in place by L.C.C. without consultation with the community. The local Property Tax and the Playground funding put on hold. The quality of the water in the area, which Niall Collins TD will follow up. The proposed closure of Gortnadroma Dump which will still retain a service to take in rubbish. Post Codes, roads and hedge cutting and other items of interest. John Sheahan on behalf of Limerick County Council issued an invitation to members of the Carrigkerry community to attend an area meeting of the Council to put their issues on record which was accepted. It was well worth having the meeting to raise the issues that have been ignored for far too long and it also gave people a chance to make their mind up on how they cast their valuable vote on Friday 23rd May.

The following are the Lottery results from Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry on Monday 3rd February. The numbers drawn were 5,18,22,26, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip Winners €60 Joan Bridgeman c/o Curley’s. €60 Bridget King c/o Nora Dineen. €60 Billy Broderick c/o Madigan’s €30 Marion O’Connor Lisbane. €30 Maurice Hartnett Ardagh. €30 Peter Buston c/o Curley’s. Next Week’s Jackpot will be €10,000 and the draw will be held in Neary’s Bar Ardagh.

Congratulations to John and Peg Mulvihill who were prize winners at the card game held in Rathkeale Community Centre on Wednesday 29th January.

Congratulations to John Mulvihill and Vinny Wrenn who were prize winners at the card game held in Ballingarry Hall on Saturday 1st February.

Johnny McCarthy and Darragh Treacy were members of the Limerick Senior football team that lost to Sligo by 0-15 to 0-13 in Division 3 of the National Football League at Markievicz Park on Sunday 2nd February.

Alva Neary was a member of the Limerick Ladies Intermediate football team that defeated Louth by 2-11 to 1-5 in the National Football League Division 4 opening match at Tournafulla Gaelic Grounds on Sunday 2nd February.

Jason Mullins from the Saint Kieran’s club was the referee for the Cork versus Mayo Ladies National Football League Division 1 match played in Mallow on Sunday 2nd February.

The entire Desmond League soccer fixture list was called off on Sunday 3rd February due to the wet and windy weather, which left the fields unplayable.

The Desmond Cup 1st Round Draw was held on Monday 3rd February with the five local sides involved in two local derbies which should arouse a lot of interest. Carrig Celtic B are at home to Old Mill, Creeves Celtic are at home to Carrig Celtic, and Creeves Celtic B are away to Rathkeale B. The competition is due to commence on Sunday 16th February.

Parents wishing to enrol children in Kilcolman N.S.for the new term in September 2014 should contact the Principal at 069-60005 for an application form at their earliest convenience.

The Tuesday Social Club resumed after the Christmas break on Tuesday 11th February. The members meet each Tuesday from 1.30pm to play bingo exercise, dance sing and play music, The usual Bus service operates, and new members are most welcome.

Saint Vincent’s Lisnagry Limerick is holding their annual Church gate Collection in Ardagh/Carrigkerry on this coming Saturday/Sunday 15th /16th February. The proceeds will go towards the refurbishment of a community house to enable four service users to move from the Saint Vincent’s Centre to community living. This is an important step in the lives of the people concerned as they move to independent living. We ask people to be as generous as they can to help raise the funds needed.

We extend sympathy to Joan and Jack Ahern, O’Connor Park Ardagh, on the death of Joan’s sister Lil Doherty (Nee Burke) Main Street Ballingarry who was laid to rest in Rathkeale Old Cemetery on Tuesday 4th February. Sympathy also to son Liam, daughter in law Ailish (Enright Ardagh) grandchildren Maedbh, Conor and Eoghan, sisters Mary and Eily and extended family members.

The death has also taken place of Patsy Stack, Clounleharde, Ballyhahill, and late of Moyvane. He was laid to rest in Ahavoher Cemetery Moyvane on Tuesday 4th February. We extend sympathy to his sons, (PJ Carrigkerry) daughters, grandchildren and extended family members. May they both rest in Peace.