By Tom Aherne

The Christmas Craft Fair held at Ardagh Community Centre on Sunday, November  24,was an outstanding success, with a large crowd in attendance. It was organised by Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association members. There were over 20 stalls displaying  Quilts, Picture Frames, Celtic Art, Galway Crystal, Pebble Art, Ironware, Honey, Celtic jewellery Paintings, Books, Christmas Dec’s, Crochet, Cakes, Bottle stall, Sweet shop, living history and refreshments by artists and crafters from West Limerick and beyond. The children were catered for with Zumba, and face painting. All present enjoyed the Nativity play and carols  by Martina’s Montessori class and the Irish music and dancing by Robert’s class, and traditional music and song by the Glenside Céilí band.

The raffle winners included  Josephine O’Connor, Colin McGrath, John Paul Barrett, Pat Casey, Marian Hough, Eamon O’Connor, Nuala O’Connell, Eoghan McGrath, Nora Crowley, Molly Rose Moriarty and Mary Byrnes. Guess the weight of the cake was won by Bernard Kennelly and the Elf was won by Amy Mullins. Thanks to the Hall Committee for its use, to all the stall holders, who displayed their wares, sponsors, donations, and to all who attended. The proceeds from the day after expenses will be donated to two local charities.

The following are the Lottery results from Neary’s Bar on Monday, November 25. The numbers drawn were 6,15,16, and 27, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each: Mossy Langan c/o Moore’s, Aine and Declan, c/o Moore’s, Johnny O’Sullivan c/o Lees, Ivan and Marie c/o Neary’s, and Marie Molyneaux Askeaton. Until the jackpot is won two additional prizes of €50 will be awarded each week. Congratulations to this week’s winners:  Ciara Mann c/o Greaney’s and Ann Madden c/o Tom Harnett. Next week’s Jackpot will be €20,000 and the draw will be held in the Thatch Bar Newbridge.

The burial ground awards were presented recently  at the Woodlands Hotel , and congratulations to Rathronan  Ardagh burial ground who received 2nd place in the Newcastle West Ancient category.

The Limerick GAA Club draw for November was held during the sports show on Limerick Live 95fm, on Saturday November 30. The Saint Kieran’s club had no winner.

Patrick Molyneaux, Askeaton, and late of Ardagh and Saint Kieran’s GAA club has announced his retirement as a referee linesman, and umpire, after four decades of service to Gaelic games. He was a dual player with the club in his playing days winning many honours, including a county double in senior football and junior hurling in 1985. He commenced refereeing at underage level before progressing to Ladies football which yielded many highlights. He described overseeing the All Ireland Junior Football Final between Tyrone and New York in 1999 as his greatest highlight. He also assisted many of the top referees in his role as linesman and umpire over the years. He also played soccer with Villa Rovers and is a top-class dart player. Best wishes to Pat in the future.

Saint Kieran’s GAA club held their annual general meeting in Ardagh Community Centre on Thursday November  28. before a good attendance.  Chairman David Woulfe welcomed all and the various reports and addresses were dealt with during a positive meeting. A good number of items were discussed at length including improved progress on the playing fields, participating in all adult grades without outside amalgamations, the success of the online club force under Deirdre, how useful the prefab building in Coolcappa has become for holding events, club finances to be addressed, the need to increase the Limerick Development Club membership, and future works to be done in the Coolcappa  grounds. Two lifelong Gaels who passed on during the year Joan Molyneaux, and Johnny Kennelly were remembered for their service and dedication, as were all members who suffered bereavements.

The following  officers were elected to run the club in 2020. Chairman, David Woulfe, Vice-Chairman, Patrick Windle, Secretary, Ivan Neary,  Ass-Secretary, Owen Hayes, Treasurer, Tom Harnett, Ass-Treasurer, Ian Mackessy, PRO, Owen Hayes, Children’s Officer, Deirdre Ambrose,  Irish Officer, John Hough, Health and Wellbeing Officer, Sean Windle. A club committee was put in place  and board delegates Owen Hayes(Senior) and Stephen Kennelly were appointed and part of the football and hurling management teams for 2019 were put in place.  

The Charity Road Hurling competition will be held on Friday, December 27 from 11am outside  Ardagh Church and follow the usual route by Skehanagh and Cahermoyle and back to the village. All funds raised on the day will be donated to two local charities Milford Hospice and the Night Daffodil Nurses, who do wonderful work in our communities. It is a very enjoyable event and all support will be greatly appreciated. All who assisted and supported the club during the year were thanked and a call went out for supporters to contribute to the Christmas draw, so that the proceeds will balance out the deficit between income and expenditure for 2019.

Carrig Celtic lost 2-0 away to Abbeyfeale United in the Premier Division of the Desmond League on Sunday November 24. Creeves Celtic defeated Mountcollins 3-1 away in Round 1 of the Riedy Cup, with goals from Seamus Mangan 2, and Richie Hayes. Carrig Celtic B lost 7-3 at home to Broadford United Reserves in Division 2 of the Desmond League. Congratulations to Carrig Celtic who won the U-14 Boys Div 3 League following a 4-2 playoff win over Askeaton at Ballingarry, also on Sunday November 24. Luke Mansfield, Adam Bennett, Cian Curtin, and Daire O’Connor scored the goals. Team Ben Cussen, Tadhg Heffernan, Aryan Foley, Sean Long, Luke Mansfield, Eoin Liston, Eoghan Collins, Cormac Murphy, Cian Curtin, Adam Bennett, Daire O’Connor, Jack Sullivan,  Jack Foley, Mickey Barrett, Christian Leahy, Mark Fitzgerald.

Congratulations to Tom Neary, Bill Downes, and Mike Young, who were prize winners at the Flag Floor card game held on Wednesday, November 20. Congratulations to Jim Dalton and Francis Woulfe who were prize winners at the card game held in Shanagolden Hall on Friday, November 22.

Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association members enjoyed a very successful night out at Rathkeale House Hotel on Friday night last. This concluded their activities after a very busy year. Many thanks to all who had an input into the events, it is very much appreciated by all members. The last Druid DVD which was launched at the Craft Fair is now on sale at Neary’s, Gerard O’Connor’s and  Hanley’s in Creeves. It contains scenes from  the Last Druid play, Vikings in the village, Irelands strongest man Pa O’Dwyer in action,  and John Hough’s walk to Ardagh Fort. It costs € 12 and it would make a lovely Christmas present. Wishing all a very enjoyable Christmas and a cheerful New Year. 

Newcastle West Film Club present Balloon at the Desmond Complex on Friday December 6, at 8pm. It is a true story about two families planning to escape from communist East Germany in a hot air balloon, with the authorities in hot pursuit. The admission is €7, and refreshments available, and the venue is ideal, and the committee would welcome your presence.

All musicians, singers , dancers and storytellers are invited to Jim’s Rambling House, Newbridge on Friday, December 6 at 8.30pm. It promises to be a great night of music song and dance, and all are welcome.

The Limerick County Scór na Nóg final, will be held on Sunday, December 8, in Askeaton Community Hall at 2-30pm. The Limerick Trath na gCeist final, will be held in Mungret Hall on Friday, Dec 13, at 8.30 pm. The latest date for entries is Saturday, November 30, and entry forms will be emailed to all clubs in the next few days.

West Limerick 102 community radio are holding a fundraising grand variety concert at the Longcourt House Hotel on Wednesday, December 11. It will feature the best of Limerick talent and all support will be greatly appreciated.

A Christmas party night hosted by Let’s Fight Cancer Midwest, will be held in the Ballintemple Inn, Newcastle West on Saturday, December 14, at 7pm. Complimentary wine followed by a two-course dinner with tea or coffee. Music by DJ Jeremiah Roche, and the tickets cost €45, and all enquiries to Joan O’Sullivan on 085-2529030. It is in aid of Milford Hospice, and the Midwestern Cancer Foundation, and all support will be greatly appreciated.

Bingo in aid of Ardagh Community Centre  will be held there on Wednesday, December 18, at 8-30pm sharp, and the prize money is €3,000. A raffle will be held for valuable prizes, and donations of spot prizes will be gratefully appreciated.

Congratulations to Kay Lordan, Dromcollogher who won €272 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday, November 29.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.