By Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of John Joe Meade (Ex N.T.) (Rathreigh, Ardagh, on Wednesday August 16, peacefully at St. John’s Hospital, and father of the late Joe. He was 82 years old and a very intelligent kind and helpful person who will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. I enjoyed our meetings over the years and he was always complimentary of my efforts on paper. John Joe had a great mind and was a wizard at quizzes, and in  1975 with Jerry McMahon and Paddy O’Sullivan, representing Saint Kieran’s they won West, County, Munster and All Ireland honours in Question Time in the Senior Scór Competition organised by the GAA.

He lay in repose at Riedy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West on Friday from 6pm followed by removal to Saint Kyran’s Church, Coolcappa. Fr Tim Curtin, Fr Denis Mullane and Fr Martin Madigan concelebrated his funeral Mass on Saturday at 11am. Before the Mass commenced family members brought gifts which had a special meaning for John Joe to the altar. They included a Dictionary as he had a love of languages, and learning, a Manchester United soccer emblem as he was a loyal supporter, he was also a supporter of Limerick hurlers, who were not as successful, a CD to show his love for music and singing, which he was fond of doing, The Irish Times newspaper which he got daily and he always conquered their crossword, A sliotar to show his passion for hurling and his playing days with Rathkeale.

Family members participated in the readings, prayers of the faithful and offertory gifts, and lovely music, hymns and songs were performed by Donie and Anita. Fr Tim paid a lovely tribute to John Joe during his homily which summed him up to a tee. He was born on October 15 1935 and he attended the local school from 1939 to 1948. Saint Ita’s Newcastle West was his next seat of learning, completing his Leaving Cert in 1953. He did his teaching training in Saint Patrick’s Dromcondra and Clash School in Athea for ten years was his first teaching post. He cycled the 12 miles to and from Clash in all types of weather. John Joe was Principal in Coolcappa up to his retirement in 1987.

John Joe met his wife Nora Mai Barrett from Athea at a Céilí in Shanagolden Hall. Fr Martin Madigan married them in Athea Church on March 28 1967 and earlier this year they celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary. Fr Tim was a regular caller to the home bringing Holy Communion and he enjoyed their chats, and when John Joe placed his arms on the gate he knew it was going to be a long one. He was a very open and trusting person who helped lots of people to solve problems by giving sound advice. He helped to set up the Water Group Scheme in Coolcappa, and was involved in the Community Games as well.  He recalled his quiz exploits and his friendly rivalry with Michael Harnett the poet who he admired.  He finished with a few lines from The Village Schoolmaster.

And still they gaz’d and still the wonder grew,
That one small head could carry all he knew.

His daughter Rosie, on behalf of the family, also paid a loving tribute to her father who answered to many names, John Joe, JJ, and even Sean. He was a great role model who liked the Irish Language and was always singing. He was appalled by the closure of small rural Post Offices and was in favour of the square in Newcastle West being named after Michael Hartnett. She recited one of Michael’s poems The Wounded Otter in English and Irish. Coolcappa school children and Board of Management members formed a guard of honour as his coffin passed from the church. John Joe was laid to rest beside his son Joe, in Coolcappa graveyard on Saturday August 19. We extend our sympathy to his wife Nora Mai, sons J.B., Adrian and Ben, daughter Rosie, granddaughter Hannah, brother Mick, daughter-in-law Patricia, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins, neighbours and a wide circle of friends. May he rest in Peace.

The death has also taken place of Catherine (Kit) Conroy (Nee Hartigan) Riddlestown, Rathkeale, on August 21,  peacefully, at Milford Care Centre, aged 75 years and wife of the late Bill. She lay in repose at Saint  Kyran’s Church, Coolcappa on Tuesday from 5.30pm to 8pm. In the background the sound of traditional music which she liked was audible. Her Funeral  Mass was concelebrated by Fr Tim Curtin, and Fr Eugene Boyce on Wednesday August 22 at 11am. Family members participated in the Readings, Prayers of the faithful and Offertory procession. Fr Tim paid tribute to her values in life during his homily and the traditional music and hymns were very appropriate.

Kit was a native of Knocknagun, Carrigkerry and an only child of Dan and Mary. She attended Carrigkerry National School and worked afterwards in Newcastle West. She married Bill Conroy, a native of Galway, who was working at McCormack’s Joinery Works. After a time spent in America they returned and settled in Riddlestown and raised their big family. This helped greatly along with her neighbours large families to keep up the numbers in Coolcappa National School.

Kit had a great devotion to Our Lady of Knock, and visited there many times, and  she passed away on her feast day Monday August 21. Kit  liked her garden and kept it in fine style and flowers from it were used to decorate the altar for her funeral mass. She liked Bingo and won many prizes over the years and her cigarettes, with her cup of tea. I enjoyed our meetings over the years and visits to the house where Bill created a craft person’s  delight. Kit’s remains were taken afterwards for cremation at Shannon Crematorium. We extend our sympathy to  Bill, Mary, Cathy, Daniel, Teresa, Pat, Sheila, Michael, Liz, 11 grandchildren, son-in-law, daughters-in-law, extended family, relatives, friends and neighbours. May she rest in Peace.

Congratulations to James O’Connor, Kilcolman who won the senior Bodhrán competition at the recent All Ireland Fleadh Cheoil held in Ennis. Congratulations also to all the other local competitors who participated and won prizes.

Congratulations to all the local winners at the recent Newcastle West Flower and Craft Show held in the Community Centre in Newcastle West.

The Irish Cancer Society would like to thank all who contributed to their recent church gate collection taken up in Coolcappa/Kilcolman. The amount collected was €745.

The following are the Lottery results from Peadar’s Bar Ardagh on Monday August 20.The numbers drawn were 3,7,8,and 24 and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each, John O’Connor, Glensharrold, Margaret Daughton, Ardagh, Denis Collins, Ardagh, Pat and Siobhan, c/o Peadar’s Ardagh, and Tom Neary, Ardagh. Next week’s Jackpot will be €6,400 and the draw will be held in the Old Mill Bar.

The Limerick GAA club draw for August was held on the Limerick Live 95 sports show on Saturday August 26. Congratulations to Carrig Development Draw who won 4th prize of €1,000, who were joined with Saint Kieran’s GAA club.

Saint Kieran’s were defeated by Newcastle West 1-11 to 0-6 in Round 5 of the County Senior Football Championship at rain lashed Sean Finn Park Rathkeale on Sunday August 20. It was their most disappointing display of the season and as a result they finished fourth in group 2 with five points, and bowed out of the championship. They trailed by 0-5 to 0-4 at half time. TEAM: Dan Madden, Mossy  Shine, John Doyle, Brendan McCarthy, Jack Ben Harnett, Anthony Molyneaux, Kevin Meade, Darragh Treacy, 0-2 Johnny McCarthy, 0-1Niall O’Shea, Donal Nolan, Noel Callanan, Paudie McCarthy, Sean McSweeney, 0-3 Seamus Mangan. Subs Brian Crowley, Anthony Mullins, Mike Windle, John O’Connor, Killian Enright, Ray Noonan, Shane Lynch, Diarmuid Crowley.

West Limerick Vintage Club will hold their annual vintage show and family fun day  at the Thatch Bar Newbridge Askeaton on Sunday September 3.

Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association next meeting will be held in Neary’s Bar Ardagh on Thursday September 7 at 8.30pm, and all members are asked to attend and new members will be most welcome. A beautiful exhibition containing material celebrating the Fenian uprising in 1867 is currently on display in Newcastle West Library. Mary Kury set it up and the primary school’s art work is included.

West Limerick 102 community Radio are holding a 50/50 draw at present. The tickets cost €2 and are available in local shops, and from the Station. This will be a weekly fundraiser for the Radio, and the draw will be held live on air each Friday at 12.45pm. The winning ticket holder receives half of the money collected that week and the Radio Station receives the other half. The latest winner was  Pat Roche from Newcastle West and he won  €492. All support weekly to keep the station on air will be greatly appreciated.