By Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of Ann Buston, nee Wilmott, Shropshire, England and late of Ardlaman, Rathkeale. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated at 6pm in Saint Kyran’s Church Coolcappa, on Friday May 5, followed by burial in Lismakeera Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to her family relatives and friends. May she rest in Peace.

Congratulations to Paddy Donovan, Glenastar, Ardagh, who was awarded first place in the Fleadh by the Feale Bone Playing Competition, in Abbeyfeale on Monday May 1. Paddy is a member of the Carrigkerry Wren boys, and this was his ninth win in the competition.

Congratulations to all the pupils from Coolcappa, Carrigkerry and Kilcolman who received the sacrament of Holy Communion in recent weeks.

The following are the Lottery results from Peadar’s Bar Ardagh on Monday May 1. The numbers drawn were 14,22,27,and 30, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each Moira O’Donovan, Ardagh, Sean, Ellie, and Dylan, c/o Josie, Nancy Barrett, Glenastar, Anne Greed, Askeaton, and P.O’Sullivan, c/o Josie.  Next week’s Jackpot will be €15,200 and the draw will be held at Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry.

Congratulations to the following prize winners in the Carrig Celtic FC  300 club draw. First Prize: €1,000 Shane Guiltenane , Second Prize: €250 Martin Sheahan, Knockdown, and three prizes of €50 each:  Michael Bart O’Connor, Glenastar, Killian Enright, Ardagh and Pat Bourke, Newcastle West.

Saint Kieran’s players Michael Murphy, Eoin Burke, and Liam Kennedy were members of the Limerick team that lost to Cork by 5-18 to 1-6 in the Munster U-17 Football Championship semi final  in Pairc Úi Rinn on Tuesday May 2.

Saint Kieran’s and Newcastle West drew2-10 each in Round 1 of the County Intermediate Hurling Championship in Mick Neville Park Rathkeale on Saturday May 6. The close exchanges, warmed those present on a cold and breezy evening that saw the teams level five times, including at half time (1-4 each)  and at the final whistle. A number of debatable decisions from the whistler added to the proceedings for the small attendance. It was an encouraging display from the team who showed great heart and commitment, and were unlucky not to gain the win. TEAM John Greaney, James Windle, Paudie McCarthy, Billy Breen, Mossie Shine, Brendan McCarthy, Michael Windle, 0-1 Jack Ben Harnett, Darragh Treacy, Seamus Mangan, 1-1 Johnny McCarthy, Anthony Molyneaux, 0-3 Ian Mackessy, 0-3 Donie Nolan,0-2 Anthony Mullins, 1-0. Sub John O’Connor.

In the Desmond Division 3 League Cup Carrig Celtic B lost 1-0 away to Newcastle West B, and Creeve’s Celtic  lost 4-2 away to Feenagh B. Carrig Celtic  had no fixture.

Congratulations to Jim Dalton, and Francis Woulfe, and Jack Woulfe, and Mike Robinson, who were prize winners at the card game held in Shanagolden hall on Friday April 28.

Carrigkerry NS is now enrolling pupils for the new school term next September. Enrolment forms are available from the Principal Ann Horan. Call to the school or ring 069-76229.

A 4 week jive course commenced in the Parish Hall Newcastle West on Monday May 8 and it will conclude on Monday May 29. The cost is € 10 per person per night, and no partner is required. Participants will be shown the latest jive moves to the music of Derek Ryan, Michael English, and Nathan Carter. Social dancing is sweeping the country at present and Eileen, is a very enthusiastic teacher, and exciting nights are promised. For enquiries  contact 087-2966457 Facebook Eileen’s Dance Class Email: [email protected]. Up the jive and keep it country with Eileen.

The set dancing class continues in the Ballintemple Inn Newcastle West on Tuesday nights at the later time of 8.30pm. It continues for over two hours, and no partner is required. All are welcome beginners, occasional and regulars, and a fun night is promised. It is a great way to keep fit and to learn the steps of all the different sets.  Call Fiona on 086-3510774 for more information. The set dancing continues in Monagea Hall on Thursday nights from 8.30pm, and all are welcome. Call  Ita on 087-2593415 for additional information.

A fundraising dance for the Declan Lenihan benefit fund will be held on Friday May 12 at the Devon Inn Hotel Templeglantine. Michael Collins and his band will supply the music and all support will be greatly appreciated.

The annual Debra Ireland  Kerry Challenge takes place over the weekend of May 12 to 14. It is a 75km hike to help raise money to treat children who suffer from EB, or butterfly disease as it is commonly referred to. Joe Carrig, Mike Histon, Pat Toomey and Eamon O’Keane, from the locality will participate in the three day event, and all support for this annual fundraiser will be appreciated.

The annual parish clerk’s collection will be taken up in Ardagh/Carrigkerry parish on this coming weekend May 13/14. Please be generous with your donations in appreciation of the work being done by John Joe, and Mary and the service they provide to parishioners

The Coolcappa/Kilcolman student exam  mass will be held in Saint Kyran’s Church Coolcappa on Saturday May 20 at 7.30pm.

The First Holy Communion will be celebrated in Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh on Saturday May 20 at 11am. The parish Confirmation will be held in Saint Mary’s Church  Carrigkerry on Tuesday, May 23 at 1.30pm. 

Donie Lyons from Dromreask, Glin will launch his new CD The Lovely Banks of Blaine at Barrett’s Bar, Glin on Sunday May 14 at 3pm. Donie is an award winning All Ireland traditional singer, and a renowned musician, and he is admired and respected throughout the country and beyond. His talents have delighted so many be it live, or on local radio over the years. The CD will include mainly songs, with selections of his favourite tunes, also included. His numerous fans and supporters will be overjoyed at this news and no doubt the CD will fly off the shelves. Best wishes to Donie, who is a real gentleman, on his latest achievement.

Donie Lyons

 A Stylist Entertainer

DONIE LYONS is a master of music song and chat, and a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He is steeped in the rural traditions of dear old Ireland and in tune with present day activities. A very down to earth person who is very modest, about his many achievements down the years. Donie has spent a lifetime performing at various events and venues around his native place, and further afield. His contribution to the entertainment scene has been immense, and we owe him a big debt for preserving our great musical and singing heritage.

His music is styled on the West Limerick/North Kerry tradition, and Donie puts great feeling into it. He can coax music from the side flute that flows easy with a bounce, like a meandering stream, or a bubbling brook. This style can be heard to great effect, on an album he recorded with Gabriel Fitzmaurice, from Moyvane back in the 1990s, titled No Boundaries.

Donie is very proud of the style, and other regional styles, and hope that they will continue. The threat comes from musicians, travelling afield to Fleadhs and Comhaltas competitions, and playing with others, which eventually will bring a universal style. In olden times sessions were more localised and they kept the regional styles stronger.

Donie has been featured regularly on West Limerick 102 Community Radio, since it came on air ten years ago. I recall him playing with his fellow Glin musicians, in the early days, outside the Weigh House, in the Market Yard Newcastle West. It was the day that the late great Gerard Mc Donnell the mountain climber from Kilcornan, made a guest appearance.

Donie has displayed his talents on the Exchange programme, with presenter Sheila O’Regan, in the special entertainment shows that are held a few times during the year. His passion for the traditional music and song can light up a studio. He can join in with the other performers, at the drop of a hat and tell very interesting tales of his travels with Comhaltas, at home and abroad.

Jacki O’Connor who presents the Trad Scene each Saturday evening loves to feature Donie, playing the jigs, reels, slides, and slow airs. Every few weeks one of his songs feature, with “The Vales of New Dirreen” “The Rose of Newtownsands” and “Sweet King Williamstown”  three of the most requested numbers.

The late poet Paddy Faley composed an eight verse poem, eleven years ago in tribute to four members of the Glin Comhaltas branch who brought home All Ireland honours from the Fleadh Cheoil held in Letterkenny County Donegal. I include the two verses he wrote in tribute to Donie, who won the men’s traditional singing competition, singing “The Vales of New Dirreen” in 2005.

Donie Lyons has won the hearts of many so modest courteous and kind

With his charming voice and flute music he has captivated every mind

He never seeks to hit the limelight though he has rare qualities to unfold

All who know him were delighted to see him come home with the gold.


He is everybody’s favourite so lovable and serene

You’d stand in the frost to hear him sing “The Vales of New Dirreen”

His presence is very much requested at sessions everywhere

Where he delights the audience with his performances so rare.

It all began for Donie, who was reared in his grandfather’s house in Ballyguiltenane. Henry Sheahan played the flute, and the concertina, and Donie started to pick up the music by air, at a young age. He started playing the tin whistle, when he was seven, or eight years old and the flute when he was fourteen, or fifteen years old. He was an eager learner, and he travelled out and played with others, gaining experience, and he picked up tunes, along the way. A great interest in music, and plenty of practise, made it easier to learn new tunes.

Donie who went to Ballyguiltenane School has one brother Henry, and two sisters, Maureen Barrett, and Eileen Mulvihill who also live in Glin. Farming has been his main occupation, apart from a few years working in Aughinish Alumini. Music is his main hobby but he is also very interested in Gaelic games, and he pulled tug-o-war in his youth. Politics is another passion, and he is a member of the Fianna Fail party and he has canvassed for them in the past.

Donie has a few hundred different tunes, between the jigs and the reels, and playing slides is his favourite, but he also enjoys playing slow airs. He has played with the best known names, including two of Ireland’s greatest flute exponents Seamus Tansey and Matt Molloy, and enjoyed the experience. He also played with the great Irish American fiddle player Liz Carroll who has west Limerick connections.

Donie also recalled the flute playing of John Joe Hartnett, from Strand, and Patsy Lynch from Athea. Playing partners of his also included the late Glin, fiddle players, Martin Mulvihill, and Buddy Furey. Martin had his own school of music in New York, and a branch of Comhaltas was called –The Martin Mulvihill Branch. It was from here that emerged the magical playing of Eileen Ivers. Martin who died on July 23, 1987 got a special award from President Regan, for the wonderful work he had done in promoting the Irish music.

When Martin would come home on holidays, he would be joined by several musicians for sessions, and Donie would drive him around. His usual pub was Barrett’s, in Glin, but he would also play in the other pubs in the village, and would go to pubs in Moyvane, Collins in Athea, and Windles in Carrigkerry for sessions. Joining Martin and Donie would be fiddle players Buddy Furey,  Tommy O’Connor, Willie Clarke, Mick Mangan,  Jerry Long, Michael Meade, and Jimmy Dillane, and accordion players Pat Enright, Paddy Healy,  Jim McGrath,  Michael Dillane and David McInerney.

Donie is an award-winning traditional singer, as well as a musician. His grandfather who had a lot of songs, was the first singer, who influenced him. The late Jackie Normoyle from Dromreask, who had a lovely style, was also a big influence. Donie has a vast amount of old songs in his head but concedes it is harder to perfect a song than pick up a tune. He competed in Fleadh Cheoil competitions over the years, at County Munster and All Ireland level. He contested four All –Irelands and in 2005 he won the All-Ireland for senior traditional singing in Letterkenny.

He is a keeper of the songs, and he does not like people singing traditional songs in waltz time, as they are harming them. He likes to follow the story which is at the heart of the traditional song. It is easy to understand as it is mostly about people, places or events.

Donie has also adjudicated at Fleadhs, and other competitions, in Clare, Kerry and Cavan and he is highly regarded by all for his common sense, and down to earth approach to judging. Donie won the men’s and overall World Fleadh Singing competition in Ballybunion in 2006. Ella Marie O’Dwyer, from Freemount, in Cork won the ladies section. The cup he won holds pride of place, amongst his other trophies, and medals.

Donie has gone on three tours with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann, around Ireland Britain, Canada, and the USA, as part of a fifteen, or sixteen member group. His first Concert tour of Ireland was in 2005 and it was a wonderful experience, and he enjoyed every minute of it. He was joined on the week-long tour by the renowned singer Nora Butler from Tipperary and he sang two songs each night, and he also played a few tunes.

In recent years his contribution to preserving the rich musical and song heritage, around his locality has been recognised by Comhaltas, ( Medallion for winning an All-Ireland at their 60th Anniversary celebrations) and by the West Limerick Singing Club. The latter honoured him at Fr Casey’s Clubhouse, on Sunday October 18 2015. He has been a member of the club since their formation in 2002, and it was part of last year’s Gary Mc Mahon Singing Weekend.

Donie  was recognised for his tremendous service to traditional music, and singing over his lifetime.  A large crowd was in attendance for the presentation, which was well over due, for all he has done in promoting our traditional heritage over the years.  We thank him for his vast contribution, and look forward to hearing and listening to Donie, for many more years to come. The old traditions are safe in his possession, and long may Donie and his wife Betty continue to enjoy life.