By Tom Aherne

A very successful concert organised by Coolcappa Music Group was held at Rathkeale House Hotel on Saturday, February 6th. This feeder event was one of many in aid of the main Joanne McMahon thanksgiving fund and a large crowd was in attendance. The fund commenced in December and covers 131 days. This was the exact number of days that Joanne spent in St James’ Hospital in Dublin. The fundraising will continue up to the walk/run/cycle finale in Castlemahon on April 17th. From 7pm the atmosphere began to build as the crowds began to pour in similar to the outside pouring rain weather. It was all hands on deck for the organisers who were very efficient getting people in and seated.

Paddy Quilligan was on stage to warm up the crowd as the acts were lined up to perform. Joe Carrig and Francis Kennedy were joint presenters and they played starring roles in the proceedings. Their engagement with one another and with the audience had everybody in stitches. Francis was hilarious and her jokes bordered on the verge at times but were most enjoyable.

The concert commenced at 8.15 with Coolcappa Music Group displaying their talents. This group have made rapid progress since they came together in recent years. They began learning instruments and playing sessions in each others houses  and they have developed their musical and performance levels in the intervening years. The performers on stage included All Ireland champions and the best in their chosen fields. It was a quality list of musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers whose performance levels matched the expressions of joy on their faces.

A highlight of the night was the sister act from two of the more senior performers, Nora Kennedy and Kitty O’Donoghue, nee Carrig. Their version of ‘I wish I had someone to love me’ and ‘Brown Bread’ had the audience singing joyously along with them. Brown Bread was written by Kitty and the song is about growing up in their native place around Creeves Cross.

The organisers were inundated with spot prizes and despite bulking them together it took 40 minutes to conduct the raffle. Sean Carrig got the second half of the night off to a rocking start with Wagon Wheel and the high standard continued into the early hours of Sunday morning. The artists who performed on the night are too numerous to mention but they are to be complimented for sharing their talents before a very appreciative audience.

This was the most high profile event to date and it was wonderful to see Joanne and family present and enjoying the talent on stage. It was a night of thanksgiving and community spirit that oozed generosity from all present. We must say a big thank you to the hardworking committee who made it all possible and all others who gave of their time for free. A sizeable amount of money was raised which will go to the Burns Unit of St James’ Hospital in Dublin.

The Coolcappa Music Group would like to thank all who participated and who supported the event and Rathkeale House Hotel for providing the venue. Thanks to Declan McEnery and Sean Carrig for providing the sound system and presenters Joe Carrig and Frances Kennedy. Thanks to all the sponsors who supplied spot prizes and to all the musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers. Thanks to Jim Liston who sponsored the event by kindly donating his time to record a DVD of the concert which will be on sale from the members of the Coolcappa Music Group.

The fundraising continues with a lot of diverse events lined up in the coming weeks. Liam Woulfe, on behalf of the main fundraising committee, spoke about Joanne and the fundraisers on the night. People who have ideas or wish to hold a fundraiser in their area should contact Liam on 087-2410606

The members of the Old Mill Foxhounds would like to thank all the landowners for their generosity to hunt over their property on Sunday, February 14th. The proceeds from the day will go towards the Joanne McMahon thanksgiving fund.

The death has taken place of Mary Brouder (nee Brouder) Knocknaclugga, Athea and late of Ballinabearna. Mary was the wife of the late Patrick and mother of the late Gerard and was in her early eighties. The esteem in which she was held was shown in the large crowds that attended her funeral on both days. Mary was out and about and her passing was unexpected and she will be sadly missed by all. She was a great listener to West Limerick 102 Community Radio and she got many requests played for people over the years. She lay in repose at Kelleher’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West on Thursday from 6pm followed by removal to St Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated on Friday at 11am followed by burial afterwards in Templeathea Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to her sons John and Patrick, daughters Bridget Ahern and Mary Geraldine, brother JJ, sisters Joan, Nancy and Teresa, sons in law, daughters in law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces, neighbours and friends. May she rest in Peace.

The following are the Lottery results from Foley’s Bar Reens, Ardagh, on Monday February 13th. The numbers drawn were 1,11,13,17, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners €60 Noreen Flaherty, Carrigkerry. €60 Theresa Downey, Ardagh. €60 Margaret Bridgeman, Ardagh. €30 Ella, Robyn and Lucy Madigan, Ardagh.   €30 Majella O’Connor, Ballyhahill. €30 Tom Brosnan, c/o Josie.  Next week’s Jackpot will be €10,600 and the draw will be held in Neary’s Bar, Ardagh.

Alva Neary from the Old Mill club was a member of the Limerick team that defeated Louth by 2-18 to 0-1 in Round 2 of the Ladies National Football League Division 4, at Martinstown on Sunday February 14th.

Granagh/Ballingarry defeated St Kieran’s by 1-22 to 0-7 in Round 1 of the County U-21 13-A-Side Hurling Championship at Mick Neville Park Rathkeale on Sunday February 14th.

Carrig Celtic B lost 5-4 at home to Askeaton B in Round 1 of the Desmond Cup on Sunday February 14th. Mike Dore, 2 Diarmuid McSweeney and Kenneth Daly were the goal scorers. The other local clubs had no fixtures. In the Desmond Ladies League Division 1 Carrig Celtic drew 1-1 away to Broadford Utd

Congratulations to John Mulvihill and Vinnie Wrenn who were prize-winners at the card game held in Shanagolden Hall on Friday, February 12th.

A reminder to people to pick up their Lenten Trocaire Boxes which are available in all the local churches. The times may be tough in Ireland at present but they are nothing compared to what the people are experiencing in the countries that Trocaire help.

Krakow will be the venue for World Youth Day, the Catholic youth festival which is held at three year intervals. It will be held from Monday 25th July to Monday 1st August. Participants must be aged 18 and over at the time of travel. If interested please contact Fr Tim Curtin, 086-3697735 or the parish office 069-76678

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for the Sundays of Lent will be held in St Molua’s Church, Ardagh from 2.30pm to 4.30pm. 

The Stations of the Cross will be held in Calvary Cemetery each Sunday during Lent at 2.30pm. All people who have relatives buried in the cemetery are invited to come along and participate in the Stations and pray for the souls of their departed.

People are reminded to exercise their vote in the General Election on this Friday 26th February. It has been a low key build up in rural areas to date with towns and villages being targeted by candidates looking for support.

The annual Lollipop fundraiser will be held on this Friday and Saturday, February 26th and 27th. Funds are badly needed in the fight against oesophageal cancer, with almost 400 new cases reported in Ireland each year.

A concert will be held in St Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Friday 26th February at 7.45pm in aid of the Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fund. The joint hosts on the night will be Fr Tony Mullins and Seamus Hennessy and an impressive line-up of entertainers will be performing. They include The Limerick Tenor Michael Nash, who has local connections. The well-known musician Charlie Reynolds, Jean O’Brien accompanist, and Sinead O’Brien soprano. Michael Collins and family and Seamus Hunt, the Newcastle West piper. The talented Ardagh Choir will be on home ground and will also perform. The tickets cost €12 and are available from any member of the organising committee or at the door on the night. Tickets can be booked by contacting the following: Noelle 087-4384112, Mary 087-6115111, David 086-2205572, Richard 088-6679822, Michael 085-1742904, Theresa 086-8123855, Liam 087-2410606 or Kay 087-6748868. All support will be greatly appreciated.

The annual walk in aid of the Respite Centre, Dromcollogher will be held on Sunday 28th  February. The five mile walk will depart from the Respite Centre at 12 noon. Parking is available in front of the GAA Grounds and refreshments will be served afterwards. Sponsorship cards are available by contacting 087-9354090.

Máiread Ambrose and friends are holding A Coffee Morning in aid of The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Burns Unit in Ardagh Community Centre on Saturday 12th March from 11am to 1pm. All support will be greatly appreciated.