By Tom Aherne

The Ballyloughane School Re-union was held in Carrigkerry over last weekend. The event was held to mark the closure of Ballyloughane National School fifty years ago on Monday, June 30, 1969. The Re-union commenced with Mass with a Ballyloughane School theme  in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry at 6.30pm.  The celebrant was Fr Michael Noonan who welcomed all and Ann-Marie and choir members enhanced the occasion with music and hymns. Symbols connected with the school were brought to the altar, before Mass commenced and Prayers of the Faithful recited by members associated with the school. Thanks to Fr Michael and all who participated in the lovely ceremony in front of a large attendance.

This was followed at 7.30 by a gathering in the Community Centre, which was well decorated (with school photos and Folklore stories on display) for the occasion. The MC was John Hough and Chairperson of St Kieran’s Heritage Association John P. O’Sullivan welcomed all and gave a brief talk about the school which he attended and invited all to get involved with them. Tea and refreshments were served by the catering members who excelled in looking after all needs. Thanks to Peg for supplying a colourful and delicious 50th birthday cake which was enjoyed by all. It was four ladies associated with the school who had the honour of cutting the cake, Peg Geoghegan, Kathleen Nugent, Essie Murphy and Ellen Collins. Ballyloughane Commemorative Plaques were presented to the ex-pupils who were in attendance.

Entertainment was supplied by the Robert Kelly dancers and the Coolcappa Music Group, with songs from Edel O’Sullivan, Nora Kennelly, Julie-Ann Greaney and Paul O’Connor. Photographs from the area were shown on the big screen which attracted lots of interest. The evening concluded with lots of chat recalling school days and reminiscing on past incidents. A 56-page  booklet on the history of the school  was available with lots of interesting articles, and photographs. It will be on sale in Moloneys Carrigkerry, Greaney’s Ardagh, and O’Connor’s Churchtown. St Kieran’s Heritage Association would like to thank everybody who attended, and people  involved in the running of the weekend reunion. Thanks to all who brought food and refreshments and helped. Next meeting in Ardagh Hall on Thursday, July 4 at 8.30pm, and new members are welcome.

Congratulations and best wishes in the future to Jack O’Connor, Kilcolman who celebrated his 21st birthday with his family and friends at the Longcourt House Hotel on Saturday, June 22.

Declan Culhane and Aine O’Sullivan, are the new couple running Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry after taking over from Pa Quaid and family. Good luck and best wishes to them as they look after the needs of the local community.

The parishes of  Coolcappa/Kilcolman, Loughill/Ballyhahill, Glin and St Senan’s have been joined up since the Diocesan Synod changes, to  form their own cluster Unit 13 within the Diocese. A new pastoral council unit has been set up within to look after church ceremonies  in the cluster. The following are the members representing all four parishes: Coolcappa/Kilcolman Mary O’Kelly, Anne Dore,  Mary Liston and Fr Tim Curtin, Loughill/Ballyhahill Gerard Reidy, Maura O’Connor, Cathy Noonan, and Fr Austin McNamara, Glin Tommy McNamara, Margaret Hogan, John Culhane,  and Fr Tom Crawford, St Senan’s Siobhan McDaid, Chris Dundon, Sally Pengelly and Canon Tony O’Keeffe.

The Friends of St Ita’s Community Hospital, Newcastle West wish to thank the collectors and everyone who contributed  so generously to their recent church gate collection in Coolcappa/Kilcolman. The amount collected was €292.70 which will go towards ongoing improvements for the patients in St Ita’s.

There was great news for people who use the Great Southern Trail Greenway in recent weeks, with the granting of €3.5 million for a 10.5km extension from the Limerick Kerry border  to Listowel, plus a further €3 for the 10km Tralee to Fenit Greenway. The extension will mean more greenway to explore and enjoy for all walkers, runners and cyclists.

The following are the Lottery results from Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday, June 24. The numbers drawn were 1,12,14, and 18, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each: Kate Keane, Ardagh, Willie Treacy, Ardagh, Catherine O’Donnell, c/o Neary’s, Pat Liston, Ardagh and Jimmy O’Donoghue, Askeaton. Next week’s Jackpot will be €18,600 and the draw will be held in Moore’s Bar, Carrigkerry.

Darragh Treacy and Sean McSweeney from the Saint Kieran’s club were members of the Limerick team that lost by 2-13 to 1-10 to Westmeath in Round 2 of the All Ireland Football Qualifiers, in Mullingar on Saturday, June 22. St Kieran’s defeated Father Casey’s by 4-8 to 1-9 in Round 6 of the All County Division 1 Football League at sunny Coolcappa on Thursday evening last. The club had no winner in the Limerick GAA Club draw for June which was held during the Sports Show on Limerick Live 95fm on Saturday, last June 29.

Carrig Celtic drew 1-1 at home to Glin Rovers in the Premier Division of the Desmond League on Friday June 21. Creeves Celtic lost 3-1 away to Pallaskenry AFC in Division 2. The League season is ending for most clubs, with a few cup competitions to be concluded.

The passing of Patrick Sheahan,  Beechwood Avenue, Newcastle West,  in recent weeks is regretted by all who were lucky to make his acquaintance. He was a native of Rathcahill Monagea and spent many years working in Northampton, England before returning to live in Newcastle West. I first got to know him when he had a shop near the Church in Newcastle West in the 1990s. I would get the Sunday papers there before attending the 8am Mass. Later I heard him singing at different events, and he had a powerful voice, and was a fine singer. He sang with several choirs and performed  at Rambling Houses and on local Radio. We were guests with the Feohanagh/ Castlemahon group on the Jimmy Reidy Show on Cork’s County Sound several years ago. May he rest in Peace.

The West Limerick Singing Club will hold their next session at The Ramble Inn, Convent Street  Abbeyfeale on Friday, July 5 at 9pm and all are welcome.

Mass times in Coolcappa/Kilcolman parish will change over on the weekend of July 6/7. Mass will be celebrated in St Colman’s Church, Kilcolman on Saturday evenings  at 7.30pm, and in St Kyran’s Church, Coolcappa on Sunday mornings at 10am. The annual cemetery mass will be held in Kilcolman on Saturday, July 6 at 7.30pm.

The annual Rathfredagh Garden Fete will be held there on Sunday July 7, and they are looking for volunteers to help beforehand and on the day. Please contact Rathfredagh Cheshire Home on 069-83100 if you can be of assistance. Goods for the various stalls can be dropped off at the centre on the run up to the day. The Garden Fete gets underway at 12 noon, and entry is €5, and children go free.

Application forms for to secure grant assistance towards maintenance of burial grounds are now available. Limerick Council provides limited funding to grant-aid this work. The forms can be obtained by contacting the Urban and Rural Community Development by Tel: 061-557015 or by emailing Cemeteries@limerick.ie. The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Friday July 12.

Pat Mc Loughlin from Newcastle West launched his second book of short stories at the Longcourt House Hotel, Newcastle West on Friday, June 28, in front of a good attendance. Minister Patrick O’Donovan performed the launch, and Sheila O’Regan was MC. Other speakers included Dominic Taylor, Limerick Writers, and Paddy Fullam. His first collection last year To Weave with Words was very successful  and From Head to Tale continues in the same vein. The book is available in Newcastle West, Abbeyfeale and Rathkeale and any profits will go to the Friends of St Ita’s in Newcastle West.

Congratulations to  Margaret O’Keeffe Castlemahon, who won €303 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday, June 28. 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.