By Tom Aherne

The death took place of John Mullins 11 The Cross, Ardagh peacefully at his residence on Saturday, February 1 after a short illness. He was a man of many parts devoted to his family and community life in his native Ardagh. His working life saw him involved in driving a Hackney car, painting and decorating in London, and Wyeth’s Askeaton, where he ended up as a supervisor. His pastimes included  Gaelic games, later golf, and traditional music and committee member of Ardagh Development Association, and Ardagh Parish hall.

John was a member of the Glenside Céilí Band which played its first date on January 8, 1956 in the Deel Hall Rathkeale. The late Batt Daly from Kerrikyle taught him how to play the violin, and he always dressed to impress. He often used his car, a Ford Consul, to take the band members to venues around West Limerick. He left the band following his move to London in the late 1950s. He was part of the Glenside Reunion night in Ardagh Hall on Friday, March 10 1995, to pay tribute to founding member Mick Mullins, 40 years involvement.

Over the years John has been playing regularly at the Tuesday Club in Ardagh, local hospital/nursing homes, West Limerick 102 Community Radio concerts, and was a member of the West Limerick Charity Wren boys, who donated their Saint Stephen’s Day takings to various charities over the years.  John was also Chairman of the Alan to Peto Fund to help a local boy back in the early 1990s.

John was a founding member of the Ardagh Development Association (set up on January 6, 1993) and served as treasurer of the Association. In this role he  oversaw great changes, and improvements around the village, and especially to the Community Centre which was in a poor condition at the time. He was an ideal treasurer as he was always slow in paying out, which often infuriated other board members, including myself. John was also a member of Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association and played at some of their events over the past three years.

John played hurling with Ardagh before his move abroad and he was a member of the team that contested the 1956 West final. Ardagh defeated Banogue on the field of play but lost the game in the boardroom. He played with the St Mary’s club in London, and when he came home in the late 1970s, became involved again as a selector and chairman of Saint Kieran’s, hurling club. He was a member of that 1956 team honoured by the club in Ardagh Hall on Saturday, February 17 2018. John also played golf with his friends and enjoyed their yearly trips to Portugal.

John lay in repose at Reidy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West on Sunday from 6-8pm and large crowds attended to bid farewell and pay their respects to the family. The funeral cortege arrived for 2-30 pm, Mass in St Molua’s Church Ardagh on Monday February 3. Fr Tony Mullins concelebrated with Fr Michael Noonan, Fr Tom Mangan, Fr Tim Curtin and Fr Larry Madden. Before Mass commenced symbols associated with John’s life were taken up to the Altar with commentary from Paul Moriarty.  They included his Rosary beads as he was a regular church attendee. A family photo showing his devotion to family. His violin which he played for the enjoyment of others. A Golf club, as he was a member of Newcastle West Golf Club, and a regular player. A Hurley  to show his love for the game he played in his young days.

The ceremony was enriched by family participation and hymns and traditional music by Fiona and Michael Collins, Tom O’Donoghue and Mike Murphy. The traditional tunes included The Dawning of the Day, Minstrel Boy, Battering Ram, The Lark in the clear Air, and hymns Be not Afraid, and Close to You. Fr Tony gave us an insight into John’s life which had passed four score years as part of his homily. Paul recited The Parting Glass with background music, and son James, on behalf of the family spoke in tribute, and thanked all who helped the family during John’s illness. The St Kieran’s jersey draped his coffin, as it passed through a guard of honour, (made up of club members, and Ardagh/Carrigkerry Social Club members) on its way for burial in the new cemetery.

Following the burial prayers his grandson Robbie Moriarty sang “Forget me Not”, and the three musicians associated with the Glenside Céilí Band gave him a musical send off, as the grey clouds darkened for rain. The family provided a lovely meal in the Community Hall (which was dear to John’s heart) for all present, which was much appreciated on a cold St Blaise Feast Day. We extend our sympathy to his wife Ann, daughters Patsy, Jackie, Susan, son James, brother Tom, grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, extended family relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

St Kieran’s Heritage Association held their AGM  in Ardagh Hall on Thursday, January 30 and 21 people were present, (including several new people) with apologies from a few others. Chairperson John P. O’Sullivan welcomed all and Secretary Mary Kury read the minutes, and matters arising  were dealt with. The chairman delivered his address, covering a comprehensive year of activities, and aims for this year. Treasurer Richard McDonnell presented his report (showing the Association in a healthy state) over two pages which each person received. It was very informative showing all the financial transactions to date and thanks to Richard for same. Cheques will be presented to Ardagh/Carrigkerry Senior Citizens Association and the Brothers of Charity at the next meeting. This is as a result of the Christmas Fayre, which was a great success on November 24, last.

The following officers were elected Chairperson John P. O’Sullivan, Recording Secretary Mary Byrnes, Treasurer Richard McDonnell,  Ass Treasures Michael Ambrose and Pat Ambrose,  PRO Tom Aherne, Social Media Mary Kury, School Liaison Officer John Hough. The other three positions (Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Social Events Secretary) will be filled at the next meeting as several people were absent. Events coming up this year include a series of three talks per night over three nights to commence in March. These talk nights may be recorded for the archives if the speakers are agreeable and made available as podcasts on social media. A pub quiz at Reens Bar in February, and parades in March. The St Patrick day Parade on Tuesday, March 17  in Rathkeale will be at 12.30 and 3.00pm at Newcastle West. It is planned to hire a bus and to participate in both parades.

Members will be involved in the celebrations  to mark the 50th Anniversary of the opening of Saint Kyran’s Church Coolcappa on Sunday June 28. Letters from West Limerick Resources, West Limerick Tourism, West Limerick Food Trail were read and discussed and Ger Greaney’s popular Genealogy Course in the Desmond College will commence on Thursday February 20.A few fundraisers will be held during the year to raise finance including a pub quiz, Tesco Blue Chip Scheme, and a Church gate collection. Grants will be applied for as they become open for applications, and merchandise will be available to purchase later in the year. Membership for 2020 was taken up also and is essential for insurance purposes. The next meeting will be on Thursday, February 13, at 8pm in Ardagh Hall and new members are always welcome to get involved.

Carrigkerry Playground was discussed by “The Charities Service Unit of The Charities Regulator” on Friday, January 24. It will now revert to the Solicitor for the Limerick Diocese, and a notice will then have to be displayed in the local National School (as they are tenants of the site) for 21 days. Hopefully we will then be ready to start construction on the site!

Congratulations to Paddy D O’Connor and Mary Aherne O’Connor, who were prize winners at the Flag Floor card game held on Wednesday, January 29.

The Saint Kieran’s GAA Club membership is now due for 2020 and can be paid online or through the club promoters. They are also seeking members for the Limerick GAA Club draw which was launched on Monday February 10 at the Woodlands Hotel. The club have the following single/joint packages available:  Club Limerick Draw €100, Senior adult player €50, plus draw €140, Family membership €70, plus draw €160, Adult social non-playing €30, plus draw €120 U-21/Student €30, and Single juvenile €4 30. The U-21 hurlers received a walkover from Croom in Round 1 of Group 4  of the County U-21 B Championship on Sunday, February 2.

Sophie Hennessy, Roisín Ambrose, Mai Kennelly, and Iris Kennelly were members of the Limerick team that defeated Derry by 5-13 to 0-3 in Division 4 of the Ladies Football League at Martinstown on Sunday February 2

Carrig Celtic defeated Adare United 6-0 at home in the Premier Division of the Desmond League on Sunday February 2. Ray Cahill, Seanie King, Noel Callanan, Anthony Molyneaux, Killian Enright and Donie Nolan scored their goals. Creeves Celtic defeated Shannonside FC 4-1away in Division 1 with goals from Andrew White 2, Tom Shanahan, and James Bridgeman. Carrig Celtic B lost 5-4 at home to Askeaton AFC in Division 2. Peter Cregan 2, Killian Collins, and Luke Gleeson scored their goals. In Division 1 of the Desmond Ladies League Creeves Celtic lost 5-0 at home to Newcastle West Town, and Kilcolman Rovers had no match.

Athea Drama Group present the comic drama “Looking for Love” written by Westmeath playwright Jimmy Keary, in Con Colbert Memorial Hall on February ,13,15,16, at 8pm.

Milford Care Centre and Anam Cara, the organisation that supports bereaved parents, is holding a bereavement information evening on Thursday, February 13, at 6.45 pm  in Milford Care Centre Limerick. The meeting is open to all bereaved parents, and is free, and for more information call 085-288 888.

A set Céilí will be held in Halla Tadhg Gaelach  Tournafulla on Friday February 14, from 9-30pm. Music by Taylor’s cross Céilí Band, tea served, and all are welcome.

The Munster final of Ceol an Gheimhridh will be held at Hazelwood College Dromcollogher on Sunday February 16.

West Limerick 102fm community radio present a snooker exhibition between 2 legends of the game Steve Davis, and Denis Taylor in a repeat of the 1985 world championship final which Denis won on the black ball. It will be held  at the Longcourt House Hotel, Newcastle West on Tuesday, February 18. The event will also  include trick shots, Q and A session and a fun night with humour and stories. Standard tickets €25 (Doors 7.30 / Show 8pm) / VIP Tickets €50 (Doors 6.00pm / Reception at 7pm sharp). Admission by ticket only and tickets available from Longcourt Hotel 069 25300 or online at

Ger Greaney’s popular Genealogy Course “ Finding my Past” in the Desmond College  Newcastle West is back on Thursday February 20,as part of the Spring  Evening Education Programme. This course shows how to start chasing all those ancestors you thought you had forgotten and how to process and store the information. Warning, you might find relatives that you may want to forget again. The course starts on Thursday, February 20,at 7pm and runs for 8 weeks, 2 hours per night. Enrolment was on Monday February 10, and places may still be available, (Cost €90) and for any other queries, you can contact Sean Shields, Desmond College at 62205. Remember you’ll never know where you are going unless you find out where you came from. Ger lives in Ardagh and he is a member of Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association.

The annual Debra Ireland Kerry challenge takes place in Dingle, from May 22-24, and Mike Histon, Pat Toomey, Joe Carrig, and Eamon O’Keane from the Creeves/Shanagolden area are participating. They do this difficult challenge every year in aid of children who have this eye disease, EB or butterfly disease as it is more commonly known. They have raised €25,000 to date and they would appreciate support again this year.