By Tom Aherne

The 150th anniversary of the Fenian Rising and the attack on the RIC Barracks in Ardagh was commemorated in a dignified manner in Ardagh village on Sunday March 5. Ardagh was one of a small number of places in Ireland where the Fenians, took up arms and struck a blow for Irish freedom. The day was windy and showery and it curtailed the programme of events planned for the street entertainment. Plan B was operated and the events and stalls were moved into the former Devon Wood building on Main Street.

The weekend proceedings commenced with an Irish theme to the Mass concelebrated by Fr Michael Noonan, Fr Tim Curtin, and Canon James Ambrose, in Saint Molua’s Church on Saturday evening. The choir and musician Michael Collins, enhanced the ceremony with their singing and playing. Ardagh/Carrigkerry Comhaltas branch followed with a very enjoyable Rambling House in the Community Centre. There was wonderful talent on stage, with young and old performing. The art competition entries were on display and the quality of the 379 entries was of a high standard and the presentation of prizes took place.

The walk commenced on Sunday at 12.15 from the Community Centre, with 25 armed men with muskets, and pikes, led by flag bearers, musicians, and bodhran players. It was lovely to see Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon, and fellow politicians walk the 45 minute route in step with the people. Political differences were cast aside and they showed a happy united front for the celebration.It was a most colourful and impressive sight to see as it made its way around the Ardagh countryside loop by the dark road and Stables, and back into the village.

The re-enactment attack on the RIC Barrack was impressive, and a large crowd was present to view the proceedings.  The pike attack and the musket firing was a sight many would not have witnessed before. John Hough gave a very interesting and detailed talk outlining the events of the Fenian movement and the attack and its aftermath for the people of Ardagh.  This was followed by the unveiling of a plaque on the wall of the former barracks by descendants Julie Ann Acremanne, Patrick Ambrose, John Upton, and Bridget Guerin. Paul Moriarty sang the Bold Fenian Men which was written by Castlemahon poet Michael Scanlan.

The crowd moved down to the Church and Mary Kury read out the names of the people involved in the attack, and the National Anthem was played. Chairperson of Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association John P O’Sullivan gave the concluding speech, which was rousing and enthusiastic to wrap up the formalities.  In the graveyard a minutes silence was observed for all who lie within be they Fenians, RIC and all Irishmen and women. The crowd moved through the graveyard to the Community Centre, where The Kelly School of dancing gave an exhibition of dancing which was enjoyed by all present.

The stalls located in the Devon Wood provided lovely food and items of interest to entertain the crowd. The weaver came all the way from Offaly, and John Keane’s Decorative Ironworks were well viewed. Mike Ruttle’s pet farm and Sam Brennan’s horse shoe demonstration, also attracted a lot of interest, and the rousing rebel songs played over the loudspeakers, added to the entertainment.  The sweet shop from the 1950s in its original form was a curiosity for many people to view. The day will go down in history as Ardagh was one of the few places where the 150 anniversary of the Fenian Rising was re-enacted and marked on the exact day.

The death has taken place of David J Meehan, The Height, Knockaderry, peacefully at Lir Nursing Home, Tournafulla, husband of the late Mary and father of the late Josie Conroy. He lay in repose at Reidy’s Funeral Home on Thursday March 9, from 5pm until 8pm, followed by removal to Knockaderry Church. His Requiem Mass was celebrated at 12 noon on Friday with burial afterwards in Kilcolman East cemetery. We extend our sympathy to his daughters Margaret and Eileen (Tournafulla), Majella, Duggan (Ardagh) and Lily (Ballinagran), sons John (Milford), David (Coolcappagh), Michael (Cork), nephew and nieces, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The death has taken place of Peter Mc Mahon, Killahora, Glounthaune, Cork and Ardagh, on March 7 peacefully after a long illness, in the presence of his loving family and in the tender loving care of the nurses and staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Mount Desert. Peter (late of C&C), dearly beloved husband of Ita and much loved father of Aoife and Fergal. Removal at 6.00pm on (Friday) March 10 from Barry Bros. Funeral Home, Hazelwood Glanmire to The Sacred Heart Church, Glounthaune. His Requiem Mass was celebrated at 11.00am on Saturday, with burial afterwards in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Little Island. We extend our sympathy to his wife Ita, daughter Aoife, son Fergal, sisters Bernie, Monica and Mary, brother Joe, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, relatives, neighbours and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The following are the Lottery results from Peadar’s Bar Ardagh on Monday March 6. The numbers drawn were 4,16,17,24, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each;  Michelle Brouder, c/o Ballintemple Inn, Oisin O’Connor, c/o Thatch, C and A c/o Hair Craft, Nora Dineen, Ardagh, and Jack Mulqueen, c/o Curleys.   Next week’s Jackpot will be € 13,600, and the draw will be held in The Thatch Bar, Newbridge.

Carrig Celtic FC who are twenty years old this year held their club draw recently and the following are the results. First Prize € 1,000 Connor Kelly Shanagolden, and promoter Timmy King. Second Prize € 250 Carmel Shanahan, Barnigue, promoter Pat King. The following won € 50 each; Patrick O’Connor, Castletroy Limerick, promoter Micky O’Grady, Helen O’Sullivan Carrigkerry Promoter Helen O’Sullivan, and Brendan Hedderman, Fedamore, promoter Francis Moore.

West Limerick 102fm community radio held a very enjoyable variety concert at Rathkeale House Hotel on Wednesday March 8. The line-up of artists included Emily Clarke, Ann Marie O’Riordan, Paddy Quilligan, Michael Collins, and group, storyteller Paddy McAuliffe,  Ann Marie, and the Bourke family and members of the Glenside ceilí band. It was a throwback to the 1950s when John Mullins, Thomas Mullins, Mike Murphy, Tom O’Donoghue, and Tom Mullins came on stage, and struck up the familiar traditional dance tunes, that their followers of that era were familiar with. Tom Mullins treated the enthusiastic audience to a fine version of Where the Mulcair River Flows. All the entertainers are to be complimented for providing over 3 hours of top class entertainment for free in support of their community radio.

Johnny McCarthy, Darragh Treacy, and Sean Mc Sweeney from the Saint Kieran’s club were members of the Limerick team that defeated London by 1-13 to 0-12 in round 4 of Division 4 of the National Football League, at UL grounds on Saturday March 4.

Saint Kieran’s held the inaugural Tim Crowley Memorial Football Tournament at Mick Neville Park on Saturday March 4. In the first semi-final they defeated Saint Senan’s, by 2-10 to 0-7 and Rathkeale defeated Father Caseys, by 1-14 to 0-5 in the second match. Rathkeale won the final by 0-9 to 0-6, and Maura Crowley presented the cup to captain Darren Jones.

The Con and Annie Kirby Memorial Stake commenced at Limerick Greyhound Track on Saturday March 11. All Limerick GAA Clubs have been allocated a greyhound and there will be prizes for the final six who will contest the final later in the month.

Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association held their 16th meeting on Wednesday March 8 in Ardagh Community Centre. Chairperson JP O’Sullivan welcomed everybody and thanked them for providing a wonderful weekend. Secretary Mary Kury who did Trojan work in the run up to the event, read the minutes, and matters arising were dealt with. The Army personnel who were expected were directed to Ardagh in Longford but Lieutenant Dermot Considine from west Limerick was present. The meeting was mainly a look back at the positive and negatives from the previous weekend activities. The weather was a spoilsport and denied all the street entertainment that was lined up. The organisers were complimented for providing what was probably the most successful event to commemorate the anniversary of the Fenian Rising. The association will be represented at the Newcastle West Saint Patrick’s Day Parade.

The association would like to thank everybody who were involved in any way in making the weekend such a success. Some people went above and beyond the call of duty and they know who they are. A video of it will be available in the coming weeks. In the mean while a lot of the action can be viewed on you tube by searching under the association’s name. Mary Kury’s book and the Fenian pin are available from members and Curley’s shop Greaney Butchers and the Book Store in Newcastle West. Please look up and LIKE the St Kieran’s Heritage Association Facebook page for more links and photos. The next meeting will be held in the Creche Kilcolman on Wednesday April 5 at 8pm, and all are welcome.

A Sean Nós dancing class for beginners is held in the Community Centre in Carrigkerry each Wednesday night at 9pm.

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be administered for Coolcappa/Kilcolman children in Saint Colman’s Church Kilcolman on Thursday March 16 at 1.30pm.

Father Pat Hogan is holding a coffee morning in Foynes Flying Boat Museum restaurant on Friday March 17 from 10am to 12.30pm. Calcutta charitable activities will benefit from the money raised at the event.

Benny Thade McCarthy of West Limerick 102fm is holding a fundraising dance in aid of St Ita’s at the Railway Bar Abbeyfeale on St Patrick’s Night March 17. The music will be supplied by The Premier Blue Boys from 10pm and admission is € 10. The special guests on the night will be Noreen Ashe from Annascaul, Marian Kirby, Caherconlish, and Michael McCarthy, Duagh Finger food and light refreshments will be served and a raffle for nice prizes will be held. All proceeds will go towards the cost of the recently purchased new mini bus which cost € 62,000. This bus is used to ferry patients to and from the hospital and will also be used for social activities. All support for the fundraiser will be appreciated and a great night is promised.