By Tom Aherne

JOHN JOE KENNELLY: Christmas day 2019 will be remembered sadly around the locality as the day that John Joe Kennelly, The Cross, Ardagh,  passed away peacefully at home. John who was aged 77 years was predeceased by his son Gerard and will be sadly missed by family members and many friends. He was a gentleman of the highest order whose life revolved around his family, his faith and his community. He had high values and was humble, kind and understanding of people’s needs.

John Joe will be always remembered for setting up the Ardagh/Carrigkerry Tuesday Social Club 23 years ago, and the members formed a guard of honour as his coffin passed through on the way to his burial. This club brought both sides of the parish together socially each week to join in entertainment in Ardagh Parish Hall. It created a strong bond amongst the members and nobody felt isolated around the rural areas. His unseen work with St Vincent de Paul was often talked about and much appreciated I am sure  by many households over the years. He also organised a yearly trip to Knock which was booked out.

He was a native of Coolcappa parish and driving vehicles his main occupation, with busses in England, lorries for McCormack’s Joinery, Ardagh, and Cranes in Aughinish. I first got to know John Joe when I commenced working at McCormack’s in 1971 (48 years ago) and he was kind and helpful to all new apprentices. He was a big man in stature, who delivered a load of joinery daily to all parts of Ireland often having to unload windows, doors and stairs on his own. I had the pleasure of accompanying him in the lorry  on a few occasions fitting furniture and he was great company imparting his knowledge of the people and places we visited. John Joe was a wood turner in his spare time and his work on the lathe can be seen in many houses. He also manufactured sugán chairs and taught a class in Carrigkerry Community Centre, which was well attended.

Reposing took place at St. Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Friday evening from 4-30-7-30pm. His Requiem Mass was concelebrated by Fr Michael Noonan and ten other priests at 11.30am on Saturday, December 28.  Before Mass commenced the following symbols associated with John Joe’s life were taken to the altar; A family photo showing his great love for his nearest and dearest, A timber replica of the Ardagh Chalice that John Joe crafted  back in 1993 for the 125th Anniversary of the finding of the Ardagh Chalice, within walking distance from his home of 50 years and his prayer book and rosary beads which he used to great effect.

The readings were very appropriate and Fr Michael paid a fond tribute to John Joe who was a great help to him (as he was to all former priests) when he came to the parish  three years ago. He took him around the parish to visit people on the First Friday and was a former sacristan in Ardagh Church and involved in the money count each week. The choir were in top voice paying tribute with well chosen hymns. Ann’s reflection My First Christmas in Heaven was touching, and Nora, his wife of 52 years, recalled some humorous incidents in a fond tribute. John Joe was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery on a dry, breezy afternoon and musician Tom O’Donoghue from the Social Club, played Horses and Plough in a final tribute. A delicious meal was served in a packed Ardagh Hall, with people recalling their own special memories. The crowds that attended both days showed the esteem the family were held within the community and beyond.

We extend our sympathy to his wife Nora, son Michael, daughters Moira and Noreen, brother Bernard, sisters Jo, Theresa, grandchildren Olivia, Jamie, Evan, Ellie Mai,  sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, nephews, nieces, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, kind neighbours, relatives and friends. John Joe left a great legacy of involvement in his community and caring for people in need. We thank him for his parish involvement,  friendship, understanding, and helpful advice and we will cherish the memories he created. May he rest in Peace.

The following lines are taken from My First Christmas in Heaven.

I send you each a special gift
From my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory
Of my undying love.

So have a Merry Christmas and
Wipe away that tear.
Remember I’m spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year!  

By Wanda Bencke

NELL LENIHAN: The death has taken place of Nell (Ellen) Lenihan (née Egan) The Cross, Ardagh,  and formerly Ballinena,  Old Mill, Newcastle West, on Friday, December 27, peacefully at Killeline Nursing Home, Newcastle West. Predeceased by her husband Frank she was a retired employee of St Ita’s Hospital, Newcastle West. Frank, who was from Tournafulla, and Nell were married in 1963 and lived in Templeglantine for six years. In 1969 they moved to a new house at Ardagh Cross, where they raised their six children. Nell’s life revolved around her family and her faith, and she led a simple life being quiet and shy. She went on many pilgrimages to Knock, Lourdes, Fatima, and other holy places. She liked her sport and her family involvement and followed the progress of Newcastle West footballers.

Reposing at Riedy’s Funeral Home on Sunday, December 29, from 4pm with removal at 6pm to St Molua’s Church, Ardagh. The Requiem Mass was concelebrated by Fr Michael Noonan and Fr Larry Madden on Monday at 11-30am. Before Mass commenced the following symbols associated with Nell’s  life were taken to the altar; Her  prayer book and rosary beads, showing her great faith in prayer. A  photo with her late husband Frank, showing her love of family, and a newspaper, as she was very interested in reading. Micheál, on behalf of the family, thanked all for their services and support in recent days. He paid a lovely tribute to his mother on behalf of the family.

Fr Michael also paid his own tribute, and family members participated in the readings, prayers of the faithful, offertory gifts, and my first Christmas in Heaven reflection. Nell was laid to rest afterwards in the local cemetery. We extend our sympathy to her sons, David, Brian and Micheál, daughters, Peggy, Majella and Catherine, brother, daughters in law, 13, grandchildren, great grandchild, nephews, nieces, neighbours and wide circle of friends. May she Rest in Peace.

The death also took place of Hannah Guina, daughter of the late Dan and Ita Guina, Ballydoorty, Castlemahon, late of Lisnagry and Carriglea Dungarvan, at Milford Care Centre on Friday, December 27. She was a former pupil of Ballyloughane National School and a Special Olympic medal winner. She was buried in Castlemahon Cemetery on Sunday, December 29. May she rest in Peace.

JOHN WALL: The death has taken place of John Wall, Clashganniff, Shanagolden, peacefully at his home on Wednesday, January 1 2020 in the loving tender care of his family. He was born on Saint Stephen’s Day,  December 26, 1934, and Clashganniff remained his home up to the first day of a new year and a new decade. He was a man of multiple  interests, who touched the lives of many through his work as a farmer, agriculture contractor,  gardener, Wheelchair Society member, card player, Pioneer, etc.

Large crowds attended his reposing at Ferris’ Funeral Home, Shanagolden, on Thursday, Jan 2, from 6pm to 8pm. His funeral cortege arrived  at Saint Senan’s Church, Shanagolden on Friday for Requiem Mass at 12 noon which was concelebrated by Canon Tony O’Keeffe and Fr John Keating. It was a celebration of his 85 long years, with family involvement, music and hymns. The symbols of his life included the keys of his tractor, which was a major part of his life.  A spud and cabbage from his garden which he enjoyed sharing with family and friends, A Deck of cards which he played with friends seven nights a week at different venues around West Limerick and beyond, and a  family photo album, to show his love and devotion for all.

Canon Tony paid him a lovely tribute, as did  granddaughter Claire during the Eulogy. Burial  took place afterwards in Kilbradern Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to his wife Mai, daughters Mary, Bridget, Margaret, (Ardagh)  son Sean, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, adored grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives, friends and kind neighbours. May he rest in Peace.

MAURA SHEAHAN: The death has taken place of Maura Sheahan nee Hayes, Ballinena, Old Mill, Newcastle West and  formerly of Lisduff Tulla Co. Clare and predeceased by her beloved husband Liam. Reposing at her home in Ballinena, Old Mill on Saturday, January 4 from 4-7pm.
arriving at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Newcastle West on Sunday for Requiem Mass at 12 noon. Burial  took place afterwards in Calvary Cemetery Newcastle West.  We extend our sympathy to  her loving children Stephanie, Rachel and Morgan, parents Denis and Ena Hayes sisters Brid, Siobhan, Denise and Aine, brother Sean, father and mother in law Gerry and Ann Sheahan, brothers in law, sisters in law, nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. May she rest in Peace
CARD PLAYING: Congratulations to Moss O’Connor and Joan Fitzgibbon, who were prize winners at the card game held in Shanagolden Hall on Friday, December 27. Congratulations to John Mulvihill and Mike Robinson, who were prize winners at the card game held in Monagea Hall on Wednesday December 18.

COOLCAPPA HALL DRAW: Congratulations to the following prize winners of the draw held at the Coolcappa Christmas Fayre: First Prize Jimmy Lodge, Second Prize Elaine Moran, Third Prize Declan Kennedy, Fourth Prize Ciara O’Donnell, Fifth Prize Hodgson family, Sixth Prize  Denis Sheehy, Seventh Prize Elaine Moran. The hall committee would like to thank all who supported them on the day as the event was a great success. The funds raised will be used to upgrade the community hall.

CHRISTMAS DRAW: Saint Kieran’s GAA Club held their Christmas draw in Ardagh Hall on Sunday, December 22.  First Prize €300, Mary Breen Shanagolden, Second Prize €150, Sarah Greaney Kilcolman, Third Prize Christmas Hamper Bryan Sheehan Kilcolman, Fourth Prize €100 worth of Driving Lessons Billy Mann Ardagh, Fifth Prize Meat Voucher Pat Carroll Newcastle West,   Congratulations to all the thirty prize winners. The club would like to thank everybody involved sponsors, ticket sellers, and the general public for their support.

LOTTERY JACKPOT: The following are the Lottery results from  Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday, December 23. The numbers drawn were 1,12,18,and 28 and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the five lucky dip winners who won €40 each: David Mc Donnell online, Bridget Flynn c/o Moloney’s, Paddy O’Brien c/o Ed Lynch, Mike and Ita c/o Moira, and Mike Sheehy c/o Neary’s.  Until the jackpot is won two additional prizes of €50 will be awarded each week. Congratulations to this week’s winners: Tom Harnett Ardagh, and Maire Madigan Ardagh.

Christmas lucky dips of €40 were won by Mattie Woods c/o Moloney’s, Tom Corrigan Askeaton, Patrick Molyneaux Askeaton, Maig and Karen Carrigkerry, Noreen Kiely Knockfinisk, and Patsy Griffin c/o Sean Downey.  Next week’s Jackpot will be €20,000 and the draw will be held in Neary’s Bar, Ardagh on Monday, January 13.The Lottery can now be done online by logging onto, go to “find my club”-St Kieran’s and just click on play lottery and play by card.

MASS TIME CHANGES: The changeover of Masses in Coolcappa/ Kilcolman parish took place last weekend. The new arrangements are: Coolcappa on Saturday at 7.30pm, and Kilcolman on Sunday at 10am.

SET DANCING: The set dance classes will resume in Monagea Parish Hall on Thursday, January 9, at 8.30pm and all are welcome. The January set Céilí in Halla Tadhg Gaelach  Tournafulla will take place on Friday, January 10, with music by Uí Bhrians. Teas will be served, and all are welcome.

OLD MILL NEWS: The Old Mill ladies football club will hold their AGM on Friday, January 10 in their Dressing Rooms at 7.30pm,  and all are welcome.

IRELAND LIGHT UP: The hugely popular Ireland Light Up walking initiative returns next week, in partnership with the GAA, Operation Transformation, and get Ireland walking. St Kieran’s GAA invites you all to get moving and active this new year. The club will organise  a 4km walk for you, your family and friends, every Wednesday and Friday at 7pm for 8 weeks starting on Friday, January 10. Participants are asked to meet and sign the registrar at the Astro Turf Carpark from 6.45pm. People are asked to wear suitable footwear a Hi-Viz jacket and bring a torch. We want everyone to come and join for Ireland Light Up 2020, and all are welcome to this event.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: The Coolcappa/Kilcolman senior citizen’s party will be held in the Desmond Complex Newcastle West on Sunday, January 12,  at 1pm. People attending are asked to forward their names to Joan Hayes on 069-60307, or Mary O’Connor on 087-6110396.

MENTAL HEALTH: The West Limerick branch of the Mental Health Association of Ireland  will resume its monthly  meeting after the Christmas break on Tuesday January 14, at Maple Lodge Gortboy Newcastle West  at 8pm, sharp. A full attendance is required as there are important items to be discussed.