I was away for a few days, hence the short notes last week so I will try and make up for it this week.

Congratulations to my neighbour Ciara O’Grady who captained the Glin Rover’s team which won the Division 1 league in Desmond Ladies league recently. Well done to all.

Congratulations too, to another Ballyhahill parishioner, Stephen Sheehan, Ballyhahill village on receiving the Engineering Technology Teacher’s National Award for the Leaving Cert Engineer of the Year 2013. Stephen came first out of 6000 and it is a first for Tarbert Comp also where Stephen did his Leaving Cert.

It gets better. The World Irish Dance Association (W.I.D.A.) is a young organisation set up to promote and develop Irish Dancing for today’s business arena. Based in mainland Europe, W.I.D.A. organises workshops, competitions and examinations to aid in the promotion of an interest and the development of a standard in Irish Dancing. Johnny Cronin School of Irish Dancing is Registered with W.I.D.A.  providing classes from Beginner to Championship level in Moyvane and Tarbert. Congratulations to Kayleigh Ambrose and Jessica Barry from Tenekilla and Rachel, Orla and Laoise McSweeney, from Ballyroe (all from the Ballyhahill parish) who were among a group of about 30 dancers from this Johnny Cronin School of Dancing who attended the World Irish Dancing Association European Feis in Dusseldorf in Germany last week. They arrived home with medals and cups including a 1st prize and several places. Well done to them all on such a great achievement. I hear they had a great time and are already planning for next year.

Finally I must tell you that Johnny Fealy formerly of Glenbawn, now living in Hitchin near London, is vice-chairman of the Irish Network Great Britain association. Johnny is married to the lovely Siobhan and both of them were guests at the Ceiliuradh in the Royal Albert Hall in London for the recent visit of President Higgins. I watched this concert on TV and enjoyed every minute of it but it must have been far more exciting to be there in that huge theatre among all those dignitaries.

This Thursday is the first day of May and officially the start of summer. May used to be known as the month of Mary since medieval times in Ireland, but most of the traditions associated with May and Mary have died down. However I still like to bless the land on May eve and ask for blessings for the coming year.  No harm in it.

It is nice to hear that Pat Brosnan’s daughter Sheila is continuing the tradition of writing the weekly notes since Pat went into retirement. I was talking to him in St Ita’s Hospital recently and it was great to see him happy and accepting of his situation.

And the best news of all is that the cuckoo is back and sounding as sweet as ever. Roll on summer!