By Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of Margaret (Peggy) Woulfe, Milltown, Dublin and late of Dunganville, Ardagh  at Clonskeagh  Community Nursing Home on Wednesday April 8. She was a sister of the late Dick and Noreen Woulfe, and  had been working in AIB in Grafton St, Dublin and living there for many years. Margaret returned many times every year to Dunganville and the Commons when she was in good health. Her health had been failing for the past 5 to 6 years. Due to current Covid- 19 restrictions, a private family ceremony has taken place and her funeral Mass and burial will take place in Ardagh in due course. We extend our sympathy to her sister Kathleen (Kenny) and her brother Liam, both of whom are Dublin based. Her  sister -in-law Mary Rose, nieces, nephews,  extended family members, friends and former colleagues. May she rest in Peace.

Easter has come and gone, and I hope all readers enjoyed  it as best they could under the necessary government stay at home guidelines. It was a strange experience having no Limerick clean up on Good Friday after the great success of recent years.  Having to watch and listen to the church services, instead of attending and participating in them. No sporting or entertainment events to go to and instead staying at home and placing a light on the window at 9pm on Easter Saturday night as part of a national tribute to those who have died or have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and to frontline workers responding to the outbreak. Ballyine Shrine was lit up as were all the churches around the community.

Our local shops Moloney’s Carrigkerry and Greaney’s Ardagh remain open and provide a great service to all their customers. They are essential to the community with travel restrictions in place, and people confined to their homes. Dairygold Store are operating a ring and collect service at their store in Ardagh.

The two local community employment schemes in Carrigkerry/Old Mill, and Ardagh have been suspended over the past few weeks due to the Covid-19 virus. They do great work in the community and hopefully they will be back in action shortly.

All the Saint Kieran’s club activities have ceased and their grounds in Coolcappa, and the Astro Turf in Ardagh remain closed. In line with Croke Park guidelines they remain in place up to Tuesday May 5. Old Mill ladies football grounds, and Carrig Celtic soccer grounds are also closed under the government regulations.

The Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association activities are curtailed at present due to the corona virus. Some members are involved with the local community response group assisting people with shopping etc. Wishing all members good health during this national shut down, and  activities will resume when given the all clear to do so. Stay safe and follow all the HSE guidelines.

The Deel Ramblers walking group have suspended their weekly  walks due to the corona virus. These social outings  have given great enjoyment to their regular walkers, and others who join them at various locations around the county and beyond. At the end of the walk they usually meet up for refreshments and a chat. The organisers  wish all the members good health at this difficult time and look forward to resuming activities when it is safe to do so.

The West Wind Programme on Clare FM on Monday April 6, was a special tribute to the memory of the late Pat Costello their well-known presenter. It was presented by Joan Hanrahan and it featured his music and song with reminiscences from his colleagues and people he was involved with. Jacki Geoghegan Mangan from Rathgoonan Ardagh featured with a tribute piece and a song Ned of the Hills. A member of Clare FM’s traditional music team for the past twenty-five years, the local radio station announced his death during their lunchtime bulletin on Wednesday April 1. From Moycarkey in Co Tipperary, Pat lived in Shannon for the past forty years. Best known as a member of Shaskeen, he was the band’s singer and played guitar, bouzouki, banjo and mandolin. An experienced recording engineer, Pat recorded and producer four albums with Shaskeen and did likewise for many other bands and individuals. On the airwaves, Pat was heavily involved in several traditional music shows with Clare FM over the past quarter of a century. His most recent show was fronting Gentle Folk on Sunday evenings while he was also part of the team behind The West Wind and was to the fore during the station’s award-winning coverage of Fleadh Cheoil Na h Éireann during 2016 and 2017. Tom Cussen is the band leader of Shaskeen and plays tenor banjo and mandolin. From a musical family he is originally from Broadford in Limerick but is now a long-time resident of Galway. Tom is the maker of the renowned Clareen banjos. Tragically, Pat Costello is the second member of Shaskeen to have died in recent days, as  Loughrea native, Pat Broderick passed away the previous Friday.

Please note that due to Covid-19, face to face service in all North Munster Citizens Information Service offices are suspended until further notice. The phone and email service will continue to operate as normal and the contacts for their Limerick office are phone 0761 07 5780 email limerick@citinfo.ie.

The All Ireland “Hop to It” frog survey was launched in 1997 by the Irish Peatland Conservation Council (IPCC). The survey was a huge success with records obtained  from all over Ireland. To date, over 5,400 frog records have been data based  by the IPCC  for researchers and conservationists to use. The common frog (Rana temporaria) is the only  species of frog found on the island  of Ireland and is listed as an internationally  important  species.  Frogs are protected  under the European  Union  Habitats Directive and by the Irish Wildlife Act. For this reason,  that is why IPCC continue to monitor this animal  throughout Ireland. Paula Farrell  their Campaign Officer  Paula Farrell says, “Frogs act as indicators  conveying  the health of a habitat, they breathe through their skin  in the water  and therefore, are sensitive to pollution. Their absence from an area  where numbers were high in the past is very concerning.” IPCC are asking Limerick People  to Hop to It in 1920 and become a citizen scientist helping to protect  and monitor  this important  wetland Amphibian in your community. Fears have been raised  that frogs  are disappearing  from Limerick  with just 17 sightings recorded in the countyover the last 10 years. Anyone who has seen  or found frog spawn,  tadpoles, leggy tadpoles, froglets or adult frogs are being encouraged  to take part  in the survey. Visit the website www.ipcc.ie and submit a record online.

This week we commence to look back at the parish notes in the Limerick Leader from April 1990, as notes are scarce due to the Covid-19. The death has occurred of Edward (Ned ) Shine Ballyine Old Mill at the Regional Hospital Limerick. Sympathy to his family. The Leaving Certificate students in the area are breathing a sigh of relief now that the oral Irish examination is over them. The following were winners in the  Saint Kieran’s GAA draw, Owen Hayes Ardagh, Jim O’Brien c/o Paddy Molyneaux, Margaret Hannon c/o Lees Bar, Joe F Heffernan Old Mill, Pat Murphy c/o Sonny Crowley.  In round 4 of the County senior football league Saint Kieran’s and Ballybrown drew 1-8 each and the short report said, Paul O’Connor gave a brilliant display all through for Saint Kieran’s.

Illegal dumping was also making the news as follows, with the summer season fast approaching the litter problem is all round us. It is very rarely that one can walk along a road without  seeing bottles or cans thrown by the roadside and bags of rubbish thrown into ditches. Open spaces are turned into public dumping grounds, and the result is not very pleasant especially seen through the eyes of a tourist. If we want to maintain Ireland’s reputation as a top-class tourist attraction it is time, we cleaned up our act and fast.