By Tom Aherne

The hugely popular Ireland Light Up walking initiative returned to TV screens last week, as Operation Transformation got underway. St Kieran’s GAA invites you all to get moving and active this new year. They have organised a 4km walk for you, your family and friends, every Wednesday and Friday at exactly 7pm for 8 weeks. It commenced on Friday night January 10th in Ardagh and it was a huge success with over 158 people taking part. Participants are asked to meet  every Wednesday and Friday and sign the registrar at the Astro Turf Car park from 6.30pm. They are asked to wear suitable footwear a Hi-Viz jacket and bring a torch as the route will be along the Ardagh road Loop. People who do not wish to go on the road can still participate by doing circuits on the footpath around the Astro  turf, and it was good to see people avail of this facility last Friday night. The club want everyone to come and join for Ireland Light Up 2020, and all are welcome to this free event.

Saint Molua’s school recently erected a new sign outside their building which is very attractive looking. The current school is the fourth national school to have been built in Ardagh since the 1830s.  The school was built on lands donated by John T Langford who also provided the community playing field which is used by the school and other clubs at present. The first school, dating from the 1830s was at Ardvone, Ardagh, according to Griffith’s Valuation. A Garda barracks was later built on this site and was destroyed by fire in the 1960s. This school did not attract the full support of the Catholic population as it was seen as a recruiting base for  the Protestant faith.

The second school was situated  opposite Drew’s house near the current social housing complex. There is also mention that a school operated at this time at what is now known as the  Stables, on the Shanagolden road. This could have been a private operation. The third school was built in 1894 at Ministerland, Ardagh and since its closure as a school in 1964 it has become Ardagh’s Community Hall and Fitness Centre. The  present school when opened in 1964, had five classrooms, a staff room, an office and shelters for the boys and girls. In 1969 it amalgamated with Ballyloughane NS which required the building of three extra classrooms. Up to 1972, the school was divided into separate boys’ and girls’ schools, each with their own principal and assistants. It has been upgraded over the years to cater for the ever-changing curriculum.

Congratulations to St Kieran’s who recently hosted and won a U-11 hurling competition, involving Askeaton Drom-Broadford Knockaderry and St Kieran’s. It was played on the Astro turf pitch in Ardagh during November and December. Saint Kieran’s defeated Knockaderry in the final and were awarded the Ita Madigan Perpetual Cup donated by the Madigan family. Drom /Broadford defeated Askeaton and were awarded the Saint Kieran’s Shield.

To date a total of €2,840 has been raised following the Charity Road Hurling competition held on Friday December 27. People can still donate before the money will be presented to the chosen charities. The January Limerick Club draw will be held on Saturday January 25, during the sports programme from 10-11am on Limerick Live 95fm Radio. This will be the final draw for 2019, and the 2020 draw will commence in April. 

Congratulations to Ian Ryan teacher at Kilcolman NS and Aisling Flaherty who were married over the Christmas school holidays. Ian the former Limerick player is a coach and mentor with the school football teams.

Carrig Celtic lost 3-1 away to Granagh Utd in the Premier Division of the Desmond League on Sunday, January 5. The B team gave a walkover to Mountcollins in Division 2. In Round 2 of the Reidy Cup Creeves Celtic defeated Broadford Reserves 3-2 at home with goals from Richard Hayes 2, and Seamus Mangan. In Division 1 of the Desmond Ladies League Creeves Celtic defeated Askeaton 3-0 away with goals from Marion O’Sullivan, Shannon Ruttle, and Linda Kennelly. John Hayes from Carrig Celtic was a member of the Desmond League team that lost 2-1 to the Clare League in the Oscar Traynor  Trophy fixture at Clounreask Askeaton on Saturday January 4. Ger O’Connor from the Creeves Celtic club was the referee.

Kilcolman Rovers held a very successful 8km/4km fun run walk around Ardagh on Sunday, December 29. Trophies were presented to the top three finishers in each event, and over 200 participated.

There is Eucharistic Adoration in Saint Molua’s Church Ardagh  each Monday from 10am to 1pm, and from 5pm to 9pm, and all are welcome.

Bishop Brendan Leahy has been visiting the Ardagh/Carrigkerry Parish since Saturday, January 11. On this Thursday, January 16, he will attend St Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry for the 10am Mass with the school children, and he will visit Ardagh National School at 12 noon.

The set dance classes have resumed in the Ballintemple Inn  Newcastle West on Tuesday evenings and Monagea Parish Hall on Thursday evenings at 8.30pm and all are welcome. Set dance classes in Kilfinny Hall on Mondays, and Athea Hall on Tuesdays at 9pm and all are welcome. The January set Céilí in Milford Hall  will take place on Saturday, January 19, at 9.30pm,  with music by Mountain Road. Teas will be served, and all are welcome.

Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association  annual general meeting is fixed for Thursday, January 16, at 8pm in Ardagh Hall and all are welcome, with a special welcome for new members. On the same night in Newcastle West Library a film about the Phelan Family will be shown from 7pm.

The second anniversary Mass for Kathy Casey Byrne will be celebrated in St Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Saturday, January 18 at 12 noon. The Month’s Mind Mass for John Joe Kennelly, The Cross, Ardagh will be held in St Molua’s Church, Ardagh on Saturday, January 18, at 6.30pm.

The Showband Years Concert will be held at the University Concert Hall on Sunday January 19. It will feature Red Hurley, Linda Martin, Keith and Lorraine McDonald, Tommy and Jimmy Swarbrigg, The Conquerors,  and lots more. It  will be hosted by Ronan Collins who will sing Joe Dolan songs, and it should be a great night’s entertainment.

Rathkeale and District Heritage Society will host a local Talks Night on Friday, January 24, at 8.30pm, in the Community Arts Centre Aras Séan Finn, New Line Rathkeale. The three talks will be given by local historians  Ciss Breen (On Memories of Thomas Street Rathkeale), Peter Donovan (Remembering Miss O’Rourke), and Theresa Doyle Mc Mahon ( The History of Rathkeale Fire Station). Admission is free and all are welcome.

The Old Mill Ladies football club will hold their victory dance on Saturday, January 25, at 7-30pm in the Woodlands House Hotel. Tickets are on sale from John Liston at 087-2643470.

The annual Rathfredagh Cheshire Home walk will take place on Sunday, January 26, at 10am from the house. The walk will start from Rathfredagh Cheshire Home to Knockaderry village, down Ballyallinan, and return via the White forge . Refreshments will be provided  after the walk in the home. Further information and sponsorship cards are available from the Rathfredagh Reception on 069-83100, and all support will be appreciated.

The annual (eight year) Milford Hospice 10km run/walk will take place on Sunday, February 2, at the University of Limerick with a start time of 12 noon. The new starting location for the 10km route will be P9 car park at Kilmurry Village and will finish at the UL track. Early bird registration is now open with a fee of €20 so early registration is encouraged.  Contact the fundraising department on 061-485860, or on www. to register.