by Tom Aherne

The death has taken place of Patsy Foley Knocknagun,  Carrigkerry  suddenly at his residence on Thursday April 23. He was predeceased by his brother Michael and sister Nora. Patsy was a retired member of the farming community and in his mid-eighties. His funeral Mass was Celebrated by Fr Tom Mangan (Glensharrold native) Donaghmore-Knockea parish  in Saint Mary’s Church Carrigkerry on Thursday April 30. Burial took place in Ardagh graveyard. A Memorial Mass will take place later. We extend our sympathy to his brother John, sisters Mary and Ann, nephews, nieces, grand-nieces grandnephews, relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

The death has taken place of James (Jim) Egan on Saturday April 25, in Watford, England.
Jim was formerly of the Old Mill. May he rest in peace.

Saint Kieran’s GAA Club whose catchment area includes Ardagh/Carrigkerry and Coolcappa/ Kilcolman parishes, was formed in May 1972, following Carrigkerry’s County Junior Football Championship win. Before this since the GAA was founded  football and hurling teams from the area played under all the different parish names. The time has now arrived to include all the material that is available from the four areas and beyond together in book form in a complete club history.

A small group of people have come together to oversee the project during the current lockdown of all club activities. This is a window of opportunity  to put the wheels in motion, as the time frame is just two years. Many club members may use this time to recall their association with the club, over the years. The history will include a  memories section , recalling the successes, and disappointments,  the personalities involved, and companionships  formed within the club over the years.
All are welcome to share their recollections  be they passed players, club officers, or loyal supporters, with a special appeal to the elder generation. The West and County winning Captains are invited to share their thoughts and  memories of their big days. The role of the dual player, and players that came from other clubs, or went and joined other clubs, would make interesting reading. The carnival matches and tournament games were legendary with many incidents worth recalling. The many dinner dances, club functions, and Scór successes were all part of the club’s story and are worth recalling.

This work can commence now and be  submitted to the club in the coming weeks. The club would appreciate 600 words or thereabouts, and  ideally your contribution by email, but a written memory can be transcribed afterwards. People may be spring cleaning at present, and they may come across old newspaper match reports, cuttings, match programmes and other memorabilia of interest. These can be stored in a safe place until required and photographs would also be most welcome in time and can be scanned and returned.

This is a major club project to record for posterity the dedication, and contribution of men and women in most households within the parishes, and all help will be greatly appreciated. Since last week’s notes appeared  a few people have been fast off the mark and submitted some  lovely reminiscences.  It is planned to have the club history ready in time to launch it to mark  the jubilee of Saint Kieran’s in two years’ time.

The great dry spell of warm weather since Saint Patrick’s Day dried up the land and bogs around the locality. The turf machines came out in force around Easter weekend and to date a lot of the turf banks have been cut. A few people still cut their winter supply of turf by hand using the old-fashioned tools of hayknife, spade shovel  slean, and pike. This is a better way for the bog to recover, which is left with a fine sward and only the bog hole that the turf has been taken from.  The draw backs are lack of help and it takes a lot longer to cut and afterwards to dry. May is the best month for drying turf with sun and  wind and long days. The bog on a fine day is great for getting a good colour, and an increased appetite.

On the eve of May Day in olden times in many districts the father of the house would light a candle and bless the threshold, the hearth and the four corners of the house with Easter water. He also blessed his wife and the children in the order of their age. The farmer then would visit the stable and bless the animals, and one field  to cover the whole farm. The sprinkling of holy water on the growing crops, and pasture fields was very general. The purpose of sprinkling the holy water was to preserve the luck of the household for the coming year. The practise is still observed by some people, mainly in rural areas  up to the present day.

This week we continue to look back at the Ardagh/Carrigkerry parish notes in the Limerick Leader from April 1990, as notes are scarce due to the Covid-19. The death has occurred of Mai Magner Coolanoran, and deepest sympathy to her husband and family. There were many winners too numerous to mention in the final Saint Kieran’s GAA draw, which took place at Moran’s Country Club Carrigkerry. A large crowd attended the dance and the draw.

The weekly Irish nights at Windle’s Bar Carrigkerry will be held every Tuesday night from now until the end of summer. They commence at 9.30pm, and a great night’s entertainment is assured, and all are welcome. With the advent of the spring /summer season the Saturday night mass times in the parish have been changed. Mass is now held in Carrigkerry at 7.30pm, and in Ardagh at 8.30pm.