By Peg Prendeville

Congratulations to Glin who got the 1st prize of €10,000 in the Limerick Going for Gold campaign. There were jubilant celebrations at The Strand Hotel on  last Tuesday evening when it was announced by JP McManus that the coastal village in West Limerick had won the top prize of €10,000. Over 140 applications were received for this year’s competition, which was funded by the JP McManus Charitable Foundation and run by Limerick City and County Council. It was great to see Athea getting some of the pie too.

Approximately 350 Diocesan Synod delegates met in the Strand Hotel last week to view the draft Pastoral plan and make amends where necessary. This plan was put together based on the results of the voting on different topics last April. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – I wish I could convey the sense of enthusiasm and upbeat energy which is felt at these gatherings. It is nice to be part of a group which is so positive and hopeful and bodes well for the future. Many actions have already taken place at Diocesan level. Training is being provided to some individuals who, in turn, will provide training and resources at local level. It is hard to believe that two years of work has been done already but it is only now that work will begin at parish level. Bishop Leahy thanked everybody who was involved and who will continue to be involved.

The 8th annual Garry McMahon traditional singing festival takes place this weekend in Abbeyfeale. The festival will be officially opened on Friday at 8pm  by the one and only Mick O’Connell from Valentia.  Saturday will begin with free workshops at 10.30am in Leens hotel where we will have 2 tutors teaching songs and composing new songs. This will be followed at 3pm by the very popular newly composed ballad competition in the Ramble Inn bar. Singing sessions will continue into the night in both the Ramble Inn and Leen’s hotel. Sunday will commence at 12 noon with Aifreann na Riocht in Abbeyfeale church as composed by Garry McMahon RIP and performed by the Abbeyfeale choir. At 3pm there will be a very special presentation in Fr Caseys GAA club which will include traditional music, singing and storytelling. This years tribute goes to our own Daisy Kearney.  This will be followed by the final singing session in the Ramble Inn bar. All events during the weekend are free and everyone is welcome.

Congratulations to Tracey Fitzgerald from Loughill and Don O’Connor from Ballyhahill who got married last weekend.

I understand that Ballyhahill Development is organising a Halloween Adventure through the village on Sunday October 30th. This is a family and fun occasion and all are invited to take part on that Sunday afternoon. More details next week.

The Mass in Ballyhahill next Saturday night at 6 pm is being offered for Paddy and Nell Faley whose anniversaries occur around this time.