By Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of Elizabeth (Liz) Collins, Rathreigh, Ardagh, peacefully at University Hospital Limerick, on Saturday July 18. She lay in repose at her home on Monday, July 20 from 4.00pm to 7.00pm. Her remains arrived for her Requiem Mass, which was celebrated by Fr Tim Curtin, on Tuesday July 21 at 12 noon, in Saint Kyran’s, Church Coolcappa. Family members and friends participated in the readings, prayers of the faithful and the offertory gifts, and the hymns were uplifting.

Symbols that were important to Liz during her long life were taken to the altar before the Mass commenced. They included a Bus ticket, from her time working as a Bus Conductor in London. Miniature figures of a cat and a dog to show her love for all animals. A secateurs, to highlight her work in the garden and a cookery book, to show her artistry in the kitchen. Fr Tim paid a nice tribute to Liz during his homily, describing her as a woman who loved her family, home, garden and her faith. She always had a great welcome for him when he called to her with Communion during his First Friday Rounds.

Mary, her daughter, thanked everyone ho helped out over the past month and all the people who attended the funeral. She paid her own personal tribute and finished by reciting the gardener’s prayer. Liz was laid to rest afterwards in Ardagh Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to her daughter, Mary McCormack, son-in-law Joe, grandchildren Laura, Philip, Joanne and John O’Connor, relatives, neighbours and friends. May she rest in Peace.

Congratulations and best wishes to Margaret O’Connor, daughter of Maura and Paddy, Ballyloughane, Carrigkerry, and George Sparling, Curraghchase, who were married in Saint Mary’s Church Carrigkerry, on Thursday July 16. They held their reception in the Devon Inn Hotel, Templeglantine.

Congratulations to Harry Moore, c/o Ned Lynch, Bar, Newcastle West, who won the Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA Club Draw Jackpot of €13,400, at the Thatch Bar, Newbridge, on Monday July 20. Harry is a brother of Frank, who lives in Carrigkerry. The numbers drawn were 8,16,21,24. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners, €60 Brendan Ryan, c/o Bus Eireann. €60 Pat Fleming, c/o Moloney’s. €60 Peter O’Connor, Ardagh. €30 Nora Ambrose, Ardagh. €30 Mary Bennett, Ardagh. €30 Ann and Sue Mullins, Ardagh. Next week’s Jackpot will be €5,000 and the draw will be held in Neary’s Bar, Ardagh.

Congratulations to Kathleen Buckley, Ardagh, who won €10,000, in the National Lottery Easter Eggstra Draw, held in the RTE Studios in Dublin, on Saturday July 18. The winning scratch card was bought in Meaney’s Centra Foodstore in Dromcollogher.

Congratulations to Kathleen Cussen, Ardagh, who won the Glamorous Granny award at the Newcastle West Show on Sunday July 19. Congratulations to James Keane, Grouse Lodge, Ardagh, who won first prize in the sheep young handler section.  Congratulations to Rose Kennedy, Ardagh, who won first prize in the 0-12 months Bonny Baby Competition.

Congratulations to Noel Callanan, Ballyine, Old Mill, who recently won the Limerick FC U-16 Player of the Year Award at the clubs Fun Day in Bruff.

Congratulations to Michael Shanahan, Ardagh and St Mary’s Athletic Club, who won a bronze medal in the U-15 Shot Putt event, at the National Juvenile Championships held in Tullamore.

Congratulations to all the local participants and award winners at the recent Munster Fleadh Cheoil Competition held in Nenagh.

Saint Kieran’s lost away to Pallasgreen by 3-18 to 3-11 in Division 3 of the All County Hurling League, on Saturday July 18. The team meet Feenagh/Kilmeedy in the County Intermediate Hurling Championship on this Wednesday July 29.

Damien Patterson, from Newcastle West, was a recent guest on A Story and A Song on West Limerick 102FM Community Radio. A native of Limerick City he came to live and work in West Limerick in 1974. He was employed as an architect/draughtsman, at Patrick McCormack’s Joinery Works, in Ardagh for a number of years. He went into partnership with Tony McCarthy, and they set up business in the Square and later at Fullers Folly in Newcastle West. Damien was a member of the well-known Farran Folk group who were a big attraction over the years. Damien sang and played and I recall him competing for Newcastle West in the Ballad group competition in Scór. The group meet up and perform from time to time and they held a reunion night in Limerick a couple of years ago.

Fr Richard Keane from the Newcastle West parish is departing the country to pursue further studies in Canon Law in Ottawa Canada. Fr Richard has been one of the priests who has filled in for Fr Larry Madden, who is on sick leave, since the start of the year.  He impressed and was popular with the people as he celebrated Mass and other ceremonies, over the past six months. I join with other church attendees in thanking him and wishing him well in the future Thanks also to the other priests who have helped out including the visiting priest from Australia. Continued good wishes to Fr Larry who continues to recuperate.

Care Bright, a not for profit social economy business, are currently recruiting for Care Assistants. If you are interested in a rewarding career as a Care Assistant and you live in the following areas: Mungret, Clarina, Kildimo, Askeaton, Shanagolden, Foynes, Croagh, Newcastle West and Adare, please apply immediately. Applicants must have experience in a Community/Clinical background and have FETAC Level 5 qualifications. You must be available to work weekdays, evenings and weekends. Own transport is essential to this role. Please e-mail your C.V. to: [email protected]

The Men’s Shed movement has grown in popularity in Ireland in recent years and one has recently opened in Newcastle West to cater for this growth. They were set up in Australia in the mid-1990s to help improve the overall health of its male population.  There are 7,000 members and 230 sheds in Ireland according to the recent figures. All people need their own space from time to time to disconnect and to be alone with their thoughts. When people are working and have a busy lifestyle it is fine to take time out. Men don’t talk face to face like women do but they can work and chat side by side.  By becoming a member of the men’s shed movement they can support each other shoulder to shoulder.

The downturn in the economy and the lack of work opportunities affected the male population badly. It left a big void in their daily lives and too much time on their hands to think about the situation.  Middle-aged men used to working all their lives were cast aside like non swimmers without a life jacket. Too much isolation can knock the confidence and lead to depression and further problems.

Ireland has lost so many valuable social outlets over the years where men could meet regularly and discuss the topics close to their hearts. The closure of creameries, forges, Post Offices, Shops and Pubs has put an end to this interaction. This vacuum can now be filled by becoming a member and attending the shed meetings. The Men’s Shed movement offers men an escape from this isolation and a reconnection with others in the same situation. The sheds offer a space for men to join together to share ideas, learn new skills, and to engage with the local community through work projects. The members of Newcastle West Shed meet each Monday at Newcastle West Community Centre from 8pm to 9.30pm for a chat and a cuppa and new members are made very welcome.

The annual graveyard mass will be celebrated in Ardagh, on Monday August 3, at 7.30pm. The feast of Saint Molua, will be celebrated after with the Rosary and rounds to the blessed well and holy water can be collected.

A charity céilí in aid of the Irish Cancer Society will be held in the Resource Centre, Knockaderry on Friday August 7 at 9.30pm. The Striolán Céilí Band will provide the music, teas will be served and spot prizes on offer and all are welcome.