By Tom Aherne

2020 has been a terrible year all round for everyone, but spare a thought for the numerous charities around the country who depend so much on the generosity of the general public to just stay in existence and carry on their invaluable everyday work. This of course has a domino effect on the people less fortunate than ourselves, who depend so much on these services and which has made their everyday lives even more difficult than they had been before. One of these charities is the National Council for The Blind (NCBI) which is close to one  local man’s heart. Joe Dowling, living in Ballinabearna, between Carrigkerry and the Old Mill, was taking on the mammoth task of walking 320 kilometres (200 Miles) as a fundraiser for them last April in The Camino in Spain. Unfortunately, Joe had to cancel all the well laid out plans not to mention the amount of training and planning to take on this charity event when Covid – 19 struck.

It would be very easy to admit defeat, but Joe has decided to complete the walk only in a different guise, as he feels it has made him even more determined to complete the task because the NCBI’s need for funding is even greater now because of the pandemic.  So, starting on Tuesday, December 1, Joe will start his charity walk in the local surrounds of the scenic Demesne in Newcastle West, and aims to complete the walk by mid December. Joe is  asking anyone that can afford some type of donation large or small, to contact Councillor Francis Foley in Tadgh O’Connor’s in Newcastle West, Dooley’s Pharmacy in The Square, Newcastle West,  Pat Geaney, Knockaderry or Moloney’s Shop in Carrigkerry where you can put your name on a Sponsorship card. 100% of the funding will go to the NCBI which is a well deserving charity and as stated  very close to Joe’s heart. Joe is a brother of Michael J Dowling CEO  of Northwell Health New York, who was recently announced as  a winner of a Presidential  Distinguished  Service Award.

Saint Kieran’s GAA Club are holding their annual general meeting online on this Friday, November 20. Those interested in attending are asked to contact Ivan by text at 087-6577541 with your email address which will be used to register you for the meeting.

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. Previous to this since the GAA was founded  football and hurling teams from the area played under all the different parish names. The club are currently researching  material that is available from the four areas and beyond with the intention of publishing a  complete club history.

A small group of people  came together to oversee the project earlier this year, commencing with a memory section, recalling the successes, and disappointments,  the personalities involved and companionships  formed within the club over the years. A call went out to people to respond and to date we have received ten lovely reminiscences and recalls from the mists of time, which will make enjoyable reading.

All are still welcome to share their recollections be they past 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.

The club would appreciate 600 words or thereabouts, and  ideally your contribution by email, but a written memory can be transcribed afterwards. People during Covid-19 cleaning 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.  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.

Congratulations to Shauna Scanlon, Ardagh who has been chosen along with Tara Dolan, Askeaton as recipients of the Cois Sionna Desmond Credit Union Third Level Bursary Award. The bursary awards each recipient €1,500 per annum, for a maximum of four years.

The Government has announced a further €2.5 million for further upgrades on the Great Southern Greenway from Rathkeale to Listowel via Ardagh, Newcastle West, Templeglantine and  Abbeyfeale. This will add to the work in progress at present which is putting in place a three metre wide tar surface. This news is to be welcomed greatly by all Greenway users.

The annual Hayes Christmas Lights display was switched on at their house in Shanagolden last Saturday, November 14. All donations this year will go towards Milford Hospice, and the Children’s Ark Unit in Limerick University Hospital.

Sophie Liston who has roots in Carrigkerry was a member of the Cork City team that defeated Treaty United 2-0 in the FAI Senior Cup semi final played at Bishoptown Stadium Cork on Sunday, November 8. They will play Peamount United in the final  on Saturday, December 12, at Tallaght Stadium Dublin. The match will be televised on RTE 2, and best wishes to Sophie, whose father Stephen comes from Carrigkerry.

Congratulations to Nancy Barrett Glenastar who won €147 in the Ballyhahill Development Split the Bucket draw held at Moloney’s Shop Carrigkerry. Tickets can be got at Moloney’s, Mullane’s Knockdown, and O’Rourke’s Ballyhahill.

Congratulations to Finola Dillane Ballinabearna, Old Mill who recently won one of the Weekly Observer/Dooley Super Value Christmas hampers, valued at €100. Two winning vouchers are placed within the pages of the paper each week, during lockdown. If a voucher is found the owner can contact the paper to claim their prize.

Congratulations to Shirley O’Regan, Presenter with West Limerick 102 radio, who has won two Craol Achievement Awards.  She won a silver award for her weekly Irish programme “Gaeilge Bhriste” , which she has broadcast weekly for an unbroken 52 weeks. She won a gold award for one of her very popular local history documentaries, which she broadcasts regularly. The awards are well deserved as Shirley puts a lot of thought and feeling into her programmes.  She captures the real importance of local voices, local places and local history  which is what local radio should be all about.

The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery draw took place on Monday, November 9, in the Community Centre, Ardagh. The numbers drawn were 7,9,18,20 ,and there was no winner of the €3,200 Jackpot.  Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received €40 each: Christina Mackessy, Eamon Dillane (online) Den Joe Doran c/o Josie, Marion O’Connor, Lisbane and Maura D c/o Moloney’s. Next week’s jackpot will  be €3,300. People can play online using club force on the club’s Facebook page, with 6pm on Monday evening the deadline. The tickets are also on sale at the usual outlets, and all support will be appreciated.

Creeves Celtic held their seventh split the pot fundraiser draw at Hanley’s Food store  Creeves, on Monday, November 9. Congratulations to Mike Hayes who won €152.The entry fee is €2, with €1 going to the club and the other €1 to be paid out in prize money each week. The envelopes to place your two Euro in plus details, are available at the Thatch Bar, Neary’s Bar, and Hanley’s Foodstore Creeves. Participants can also sign up to a standing order made payable to the club, contributing €9 per month. The forms are available from committee members, and the  draws will be held on Monday nights, and all support will be appreciated.

Congratulations to Caroline O’Mahony, Feohanagh, who won €185 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday, November 13. Tickets cost €2 and they are available from volunteers, in local shops, (including Moloney’s Carrigkerry) or from the radio station. All support is very much appreciated. New volunteers to get involved in all aspects of the station are needed at present. The roles available include research and studio work, fundraising, creating new talk shows, documentaries and lots more. Contact the station at 069-66200 if interested.