By Peg Prendeville

March came in like a lion and looks like it will go out that way too with very unpredictable wintry weather. However we are at the right side of winter and can look forward to a summer ahead.

It was disappointing that Laura Enright did not get further in The Voice programme but she has proved what a talented singer she is and we wish her well in the future and hope she goes from strength to strength.

I was pleased myself to get 3rd place nationally in a recent ICA Creative Writing competition. All ten short listed writers were treated to a night in An Grianán ICA college last Friday night, appreciating the good food and more than comfortable surroundings. The ten stories, which had to be no more than 2000 words under the title “Peace at Last”, were read by the authors on Saturday after breakfast and the winners announced after lunch. 1st place to Meath, 2nd to Wicklow and 3rd to myself in Limerick, namely Ballyhahill/Loughill guild. A piece of pottery by Colm de Rís was presented to the top three. ICA member Maureen Long accompanied me and we had a good time.  Anybody can avail of the facilities of An Grianan as one does not have to be a member of ICA. It is well worth the distance to get there; beautiful gardens, a garden centre, best of food, a golf course nearby, the beach is only five minutes walk so it has everything and one can do a course on art/craft/dancing/photography/ anything you like while there also.

Helen Martin, daughter of Paddy Faley, retired from the Civil Service last weekend. Helen had started out in the National Gallery in 1972 and ended up in the Examinations Branch, in Athlone in 2015, having taken some years out to rear her family. We wish her well in her retirement and hope to see her visiting her home place in Glenbawn more often.

There was a great lot of celebrating done in Knockdown this past weekend. Friday night saw a big crowd taking part in the Estuary Macra table quiz; Saturday night Shane Fitzgerald celebrated his 21st with family and friends and on Sunday a huge crowd of young and old attended the Knockdown Vintage Run and gathering which stopped at O’Brien’s Cheese and Crough creamery for a visit. Both modern and vintage cars and tractors took part. Food was distributed and celebrations took place on Sunday afternoon when many prizes were raffled with singing and dancing enjoyed by all. All proceeds go to the St Vincent de Paul. Well done to the committee who ensured that all went smoothly.

I must send Happy 21st Birthday wishes to my own youngest child, Sarah, who had her party recently but whose actual birthday is this Easter Sunday. Does that mean my work is done and I can sit back and relax for the rest of my life? No, think not!