By Peg Prendeville

Congratulations to Shauna Long, Knockdown who graduated last week from the Limerick School of Art and Design with a BA in Design and Visual Communications. Shauna, who always had a talent for art, has secured work in Kilkenny and we wish her well in the future.

Heartiest congratulations to Jim O’Brien and family, The Hill, Ballyhahill on receiving the top award for his aged cheddar cheese on Saturday, presented to him during a ceremony at Listowel Food Fair. The family is the only farm in Limerick producing cheese using their own milk and Jim admitted the new venture was inspired by his father, who was also a dairy farmer. The Ballyhahill man was thrilled to be come out on top of the high calibre contenders in the National Kerrygold Cheese Competition this weekend. Well done to all the family, Jim and Marie and his sons John and James. No doubt the daughters Gemma and Sarah lend a hand also. I admire Jim as he always succeeds in what he does as he puts his whole energy and passion into his projects. We wish him well in the future as we wait to see what he will be up to next.

Best of luck to Gerald Griffin’s Junior Footballers who meet Glencar/Glenbeigh next Saturday in Ballyhahill for the Munster semi-final. Ballyhahill is making headlines all round this week.

Ballyhahill/Loughill ICA members had the November meeting recently with a full turnout of members. It was nice to see secretary Pauline back in action again informing us of upcoming events and competitions. It looks like the guild will be busy after Christmas writing and singing. The competition for a “Small and beautiful piece of pottery” proved to be a bit contentious with some members disputing the difference between pottery and china! However, Daisy won the prize. The most enjoyable part of the guild meetings is the chat and camaraderie that goes with the tea. Pauline told us of her recent visit to Norwich which she enjoyed very much while Peggie told us of her few days in the Leinster area visiting Dublin, Carlow and Kilkenny. The guild congratulated Daisy on her award from the West Limerick singing Club for her contribution to the art of storytelling through the years. Some members intend attending the next Limerick Federation meeting on November 29th .

Unless you have been hibernating for the last week you will have heard that the great poet/songwriter/singer Leonard Cohen has died. And just to show how quick on the ball we are here in Knockdown we had a “wake” for him in the Knockdown Arms on Sunday night when Paul O’Brien from Glin sang many of Cohen’s songs to a small group of dedicated fans. Paul, a native of Dublin, enjoyed telling us of his passion for Cohen and how much his music and song influenced him through his life. Thanks to Ta for hosting this event.

Now that Trump has been voted in we wait and see what is in store for the world. I learned a lovely little prayer some years ago which I often repeat to myself. It was written by a Jewish lady on the day of 9/11. It is “Let harmony descend upon the earth and peace and love prevail.” May it come to pass, I pray.