By Tom Aherne

St Kieran’s Heritage Association held a meeting  in Carrigkerry Community Centre on Thursday, June 13, and 13 people were present, John P O’Sullivan, Mary Kury, Essie Murphy, Mary O’Kelly, Catriona O’Kelly, Fr Tim Curtin, Ger Greaney, John Hough, David Dillane, Jim Ahern, Robert Kelly, Patrick Sheahan and Tom Aherne, with apologies from many more members. Chairman John P O’Sullivan welcomed all and the main item up for discussion was the Ballyloughane School Re-union which will be held in Carrigkerry on Saturday June 29, and Sunday June 30.

The event is being held to mark the closure of Ballyloughane National School on Monday June 30th, 1969. The two-teacher rural school was in the townland of Ballyine, and it catered for pupils from there, Ashgrove,  Old Mill, Ballinena, Ballinabearna, Dunganville, Rooskagh and Ballyloughane etc. It opened its doors on May 11th, 1863, and it served the area well producing pupils of great learning who went on to make their mark on all walks of life. Helen Aherne was the last girl enrolled and John Hurley was the last pupil enrolled in 1969. A total of 68 pupils were on the roll book on the day it closed, and sadly seven have been called to Heaven. They are remembered with fondness in our thoughts and prayers. May they rest in Peace.

The following teachers that we know of taught at the school.

PRINCIPALS: Tom McEnery, John Condon 1902-1939, Sean Danaher 1939-40, Bob Bourke 1940-1955, Sean Seaghdha 1955-1969.

ASSISTANTS: Mrs O’Meara, Miss Susan Grogan 1921-1924, Mrs Susan Ambrose 1924-1928, Miss Eilis Nash 1928-1934, Miss Una Adams 1934-1939, Miss Toomey 1940-1950s, Miss Maurita Kennedy 1950s-1953, Miss Mary Kennedy 1953-1957, Miss Julia O’Donnell 1957-1964, Mrs Julia Mc Enery 1964-1967, Miss Mairead O’Connor 1967-1969.

SUB TEACHERS: Nora T Cuneen 1932, Donal Ahern 1934, Mary O’Sheannachain 1966, Mrs Brid Crystal 1968.

Mr Sean O’Sé, was the last Principal at Ballyloughane and Miss Mairead O’Connor was the last assistant. On the 1st of July 1969 both transferred to Ardagh NS and taught for many more years until they retired.

It was closed because of a Government directive to close all small schools around the country and move the pupils into large locations. On the following day July 1, the pupils attended their new schools in Ardagh and Carrigkerry. The majority went to Ardagh NS, and a few who were living within walking distance to Carrigkerry NS. A bus was provided to bring the pupils to begin a new adventure to Ardagh school. Mike Flynn from Churchtown, Newcastle West was the driver and it was one of the Yellow painted buses, that we associate with the start of the free education scheme introduced by the late Limerick Minister Donagh O’Malley a few years previous.

The Re-union will commence with Mass with a Ballyloughane School theme  in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry at 6.30pm. A gathering will be held following Mass in the local community centre, where it is hoped to have a small display of items associated with Ballyloughane School. The evening will continue with refreshments, music, storytelling, and chat. People who might like to contribute baking etc for the tea, can drop them into the Community Centre that Saturday morning from 11am  to 1pm.

An open invitation is issued to all the pupils who attended Ballyloughane School during that school year 1968/69, and all other pupils who had the honour of attending there beforehand.  Pupils who attended Ardagh and Carrigkerry  that year, plus members of the general public are also most welcome. Teachers who taught there or members of their families are also welcomed to share their stories. It promises to be a very nostalgic and enjoyable evening for people who may have not met up for the past fifty years.

On the following morning at 11am people will assemble at Carrigkerry Community Centre for a walk to recall the days when the pupils walked from Ballyloughane School to Carrigkerry Church once a year to receive Confessions for First Holy Communion. The walk will proceed to Rooskagh crossroads and down to the school. The people from the Old Mill area are asked to walk from The Old Mill Bridge to join up with the others at app 11.45 to mark the 50th anniversary of its closure. People are welcome to join in at any stage of the route, and all will then proceed to walk back to Carrigkerry as they did in times past for light refreshments.

The school was converted to a private house and is now owned by the Nugent family. If people have any old photographs of the outside of Ballyloughane School, class photographs, communion, or confirmation groups could they contact any member of the Heritage Association. The get together in Ardagh Community Centre to mark the  Summer Solstice on Friday, June 21st  has been deferred. The next meeting will be held in Ardagh Community Centre on Thursday July 4, at 8.30pm.

Congratulations and best wishes in the future to Peg Flynn, Carrigkerry who celebrated her 80th birthday, with family and friends at a party in Carrigkerry Community Centre on Saturday June 15. 

A Requiem Mass for Kevin Brouder was celebrated in Saint Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Thursday, June 6. He was son of Peggy Brouder, late of Reerasta Ardagh. May he rest in Peace.

The following are the Lottery results from Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday, June 10. The numbers drawn were 14, 27, 28, and 30, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each:  Teresa Downey, Lisgordan, Hannah Dowling,

 c/o D Greaney, Mossie Langan c/o Moore’s, Katy and Kerryann Finucane, c/o Moloney’s, and  D Grandkids c/o Ailish. Next week’s Jackpot will be €18,200 and the draw will be held in The Thatch Bar Newbridge.

The Butterfly Club Rathkeale would like to thank all who contributed to their church gate collection which was held in Coolcappa/Kilcolman on June 1/2. Thanks also to the collectors, and the total collected was €553-75.

Coolcappa/Kilcolman Facebook has been set up in recent weeks. It will contain details of upcoming events, and items of interest.

Saint Kieran’s defeated Adare by 0-18 to 2-6 in Round 1 of the West Limerick Junior A Hurling Championship at Knockaderry on Friday June 7. They led by 0-9 to 0-4 at half time and were 0-15 to 0-6 ahead entering the closing stages. It was an encouraging display and a step up from last year,  and offers hope for the future, with other players becoming available. Edward Fitzgerald exams, Ian Mackessy injured,  Darragh Treacy, Sean Mc Sweeney, Ray Cahill, and Seamus Mangan, were unavailable. TEAM John Greaney, Diarmuid Mulcahy, Paudie McCarthy, Killian Enright, Jack Ben Harnett, Brendan McCarthy, Mike Flynn, John Buckley 0-3, Maurice Shine, Danny Collum 0-1, Johnny McCarthy 0-4, Cillian Ambrose 0-1, Donie Nolan 0-7 Anthony Molyneaux 0-1, Anthony Mullins 0-1. SUBS Michael Windle, Eoin Mc Enery, John O’Connor, Mike Breen, Billy Breen, and Padraig Trant. Management Chris Madigan, Aidan O’Rahilly, and Noel Hennessy.

Newcastle West defeated St Kieran’s at home by 2-10 to 0-11 in Round 5 of Division 1 of the All County Football League on Tuesday June 11. This was the team’s first defeat after winning their first four matches, against Na Piarsaigh, Rathkeale, Drom/Broadford, and Monaleen. They are second on the table behind Newcastle West who have 10 points. They play Ballysteen, and Father Casey’s in their last two matches.

Creeves Celtic lost 2-1 (Tom Shanahan) at home to St Ita’s in Division 2 of the Desmond League on Sunday June 9. They need one win from their last two matches to win the Division and gain promotion.

Congratulations to Nuala O’Connell, Peter Culhane, Moss O’Connor, and Johnny Flaherty, who were prize winners at the card game held in Monagea Hall on Wednesday, June 5.

Kilcolman N.S. are holding two fundraisers this week  to cover the increasing costs of the school. Items for the clothes collection can be dropped to the school shelter before the school holidays on Friday, June 21. They are holding a jumble/cake (bring and buy) sale in the school prefab from 9.30 to 4pm. Cakes and items that would sell would be gratefully accepted.

A family 5km sponsored walk in aid of Carrigkerry N.S. Parents Association, will be held on Sunday June 23 at 11am. It will commence from the Community Centre, and all are welcome to participate.

Congratulations to Siobhan Burke Alley Cuts Newcastle West, who won € 287 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday June 14. Tickets cost € 2 and they are available from volunteers, in local shops, or from the radio station. All support is very much appreciated. New volunteers to get involved in all aspects of the station are needed at present. The roles available include research and studio work, fundraising and lots more. Contact the station if interested.