By Peg Prendeville

Congratulations to Mary Reidy, Knockdown on the birth of another grandson recently. Harry Devine, a brother to Bobby and Jack, was born to Elaine and Philip. We wish them all the best.

Congratulations to my own little granddaughter, Lily Hutchinson from Abbeyleix, who has gone through to the National finals representing Portlaoise Gymnastics Club in the U7 category. In our young days the only gymnastics we knew about was jumping out of the way in the bog for fear you’d get hit by a sod of turf!

There was a great buzz of excitement in Ballyhahill on Sunday with the  Food and Craft Fair which was held in the Parish Hall. About twenty tables were laid out with all kinds of temptations for Christmas shopping; there were home-produced products like baking, puddings, sausages, cheese, jams and chutneys, Christmas wreaths, candles, elaborate homemade decorations, homemade Christmas cribs, jewellery, knitwear and crochet, paintings and many other gifts suitable for any occasion. It was great to walk around and appreciate all the hard work and talent that is around us all the time but more noticeable when it is gathered together in one space. What I find marvellous too is the energy and creativity of the newly formed Parish hall committee members who have not spent an idle moment since they took on the job. Well done to everybody.

Nice to hear that there is an Athea Craft Group set up and keeping busy designing and making all kinds of art and crafts which we look forward to seeing very soon. As I keep saying, we are surrounded by talent.

Christmas shopping is in full swing now with just 25 days to Santa Claus. Children are getting excited and adults getting flustered with the preparations. But it is a nice time and a time for gatherings and celebrations. Let us hope it will not be marred by an election which is threatening as I write these lines.