By Tom Aherne

I would like to wish  all the readers at home and abroad a very happy New Year. Many thanks to everybody who supplied items for the notes over the past year it was much appreciated. The feedback from people who read them especially from those living away or abroad is always positive as it keeps them in contact with their native place. I can be contacted by phone 069-76143 evenings, or by email [email protected] and items should reach me by the previous Saturday for the following week’s publication.

Christmas came and went without any major incidents in the locality and the celebrations were a little low key compared to other years. A number of people returned to be re-united with family for the holidays, and we hope they all enjoyed their stay. The Christmas Trees lit up the local villages, once again, and a good number of houses were highly decorated as in previous years. The weather was misty and wet, most of the time, with strong winds and mild. It allowed people to move about to the many attractions that were on, but some dry days would have been welcome.

The Church attendances were on a par with the previous year and we compliment all the choirs on their performances and all people who participated in the ceremonies. The usual number of Wren Groups were out and about calling to the houses and entertaining the people with their own traditional brand of music, song and dance. Thankfully we had no major accidents or deaths around the locality. We send get well messages to everybody who was sick over the festive holiday and a return to good health for 2016. Congratulations also to a number of people who got engaged over the festive season.

Carrigkerry/Old Mill Development Association held their annual church gate collection in Ardagh/Carrigkerry on Saturday/Sunday December 19th/20th. The group is sponsors of the C.E. project which has been very successful over the years and through the good work of the participants has enhanced the appearance of both areas. They would like to thank everyone who supported it and the collectors who took up the collection. The money collected will go towards the running of the C.E. Scheme in both areas. The combined total collected was €550 which will be used to pay insurance, safety gear, audit, oil and petrol.

The Glensharrold Wren group were delighted to receive all the publicity in last week’s Limerick Leader.  Many thanks to photographer Marie Keating, and Alan English and his team for making it all possible.  In the article accompanying the photographs, the name of Noel McCarthy was inadvertently omitted and I apologise for my slip up. Noel from Limerick has been a loyal and committed member of the group as a musician since the mid 1980s with his late friend John Barry. He is a collector of rare tunes and also a great promoter of music at his place of work in UL. This coming Christmas 2016 please God Glensharrold will mark the 60th anniversary of their founding. It has been a labour of love for this dedicated group who have overcome many obstacles over the years to continue to uphold the proud tradition which has been handed down to them.

The death has taken place of James Oliver McGrath, better known as Bengie, Askeaton, and formerly of Ballycrean, Ring, Co Waterford. He lay in repose at Madigan’s Funeral Home Askeaton, on Wednesday December 23rd, from 6pm followed by removal to St Mary’s Church, Askeaton. The Requiem Mass was celebrated on Christmas Eve at 12 noon followed by burial in Reilig Mhuire Cemetery, Askeaton. We extend our sympathy to his wife Bridget Molyneaux, Ardagh, daughters Christina and Katie, grandsons, brothers Sean, Munchin and Tony, sisters Catherine, Helen, Pat, Bridget and Claire, nephews, nieces, father in law Paddy and mother-in-law Joan, other relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The death has taken place of John McCarthy, No 6 Markievicz Park, Athea and late of Rooska, Carrigkerry. He lay in repose at Finucane’s Funeral Home Athea on Wednesday December 23rd followed by removal to Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Athea. The Requiem Mass was celebrated on Christmas Eve at 11am followed by burial in Ardagh Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to his sisters Mary and Ann, brothers Jody and Jeremiah, nephews, nieces, other relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace. Amen.

Carrig Celtic held the first draw in their 300 Club Draw at Moore’s Bar, Carrigkerry before Christmas. The once off Moloney’s Shopping Voucher worth €200 for fully paid up members was won by Ellie Cooke from County Tyrone. 1st Prize €1,000 Jimmy Little, Coolanoran, Ardagh. 2nd Prize €150 Noreen Carr, Moyvane, County Kerry. The following won €50 each Haulie Finucane, Ballyhahill, Tara Doyle, Ballyloughane, Carrigkerry and Francis Moore, Carrigkerry. Congratulations to the lucky winners and people can still join by contacting club members.

The following are the Ardagh Development Association and St Kieran’s GAA Club Lottery results from Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday December 21st. The numbers drawn were 1, 13, 20, 24, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners €60 Peg Flynn, Carrigkerry. €60 Teresa Downey, Lisgordan, Ardagh. €60 Sean Ryan, Coolacokera, Ardagh. €30 Mike Byrnes, c/o Neary’s. €30 Joan Molyneaux, Ardagh. €30 James and Laura, c/o John Mullins. The next draw will be held on Monday 11th January at Peadar’s Bar Ardagh, for a Jackpot of €9,400.

The following are the winners of the Christmas draw which took place at Neary’s Bar, Ardagh also on Monday December 21st.  The following won €40 each: Thomas Daly c/o Neary’s Bar, Caroline Daly c/o Alish, Ita Kirk, Reens Bar, Mary Hartnett, Ardagh. John Mullins, (senior) Ardagh and Josie Byrnes, c/o Neary’s Bar. The following promoters won €40 each, Tom Neary, Alish O’Doherty and Ita Kirk.

The annual Máire McCoy memorial match was held on December 27th, in Newcastle West soccer grounds. Máire, from the Old Mill road who passed away aged 29, six years ago, is remembered each year and the proceeds go to Milford Care Centre. To date around €30,000 has been raised from the annual matches which honour and remember the club’s former secretary.

In the Limerick Diocesan Synod newspaper which was circulated in the Limerick Leader and churches over the Christmas, Cormac Behan from Carrigkerry has a nice article titled My Personal Synod Journey. The Ardagh/Carrigkerry delegates Noreen O’Callaghan, Kathleen Hayes, Pat Lawlor and Cormac have been very busy over the past year attending meetings and gathering information for the upcoming Synod next April.

St Kieran’s are holding their annual general meeting in Coolcappa Community Centre, on Friday 8th January at 8pm and all are welcome, especially new people who would like to get involved.

A Memorial Mass for Florrie Darcy nee Downes, Borehamwood, London and late of Ballyine, Carrigkerry will be celebrated in St Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Saturday 9th January at 10.20am. She died on Sunday November 29th and was laid to rest in London. May she rest in Peace.

The spectacular display of Christmas lights at Noonan’s house in Tullig North Templeglantine will remain on until this Sunday 10th January. The charities to benefit this year will include, The Brothers of Charity Newcastle West and Foynes, The Alzheimer’s Day Care Centre, Adare, Milford Care Centre, Limerick and the Acquired Brain Injury Centre in Castleisland. Be sure to make a visit before they are turned off this weekend.

Fr Brendan Clifford O.P. will give a talk on the Ministry of the Word to the church readers of the parishes of Our Lady’s Pastoral Area in the Desmond Complex, Newcastle West on Tuesday 12th January at 7.30 pm. All the readers are invited to attend.

A two hour course for amateur photographers will be held in the Desmond Complex, Newcastle West on Wednesday 13thJanuary from 7pm to 9pm. Marie Keating, professional photographer in association with West Limerick Mental Health Association, is running the course  which needs to be pre-booked. Text Photography along with your name and number to 085-7722475. All participants will need a camera with a manual function

Ardagh N.S. Parents Council will host the play The Two Lovers of Gabriel Foley by Ardagh Drama Group in Ardagh Community Centre on Friday January 16th. The proceeds from the night will go towards Ardagh National School and Ardagh/Carrigkerry Tuesday Social Club. All support will be greatly appreciated.