By Tom Aherne

The death has occurred of Kieran Bennett, Rathkeale, Carrigkerry, and formerly of  Farran, Ardagh, on Thursday, November 26. The family Funeral Mass was held in Saint Mary’s Church, Carrigkerry on Tuesday, December 1, at 11.30am, followed by burial afterwards in Ardagh Cemetery. We extend our sympathy to his wife Colleen, son Kieran (jnr), daughters Mary and Becky, sisters, relatives and friends. May He rest in Peace.

Michael Collins, the Mayor of Limerick, posted the following concerning the long awaited Playground in Carrigkerry. Today as Chairman of the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), I was delighted to sign off on the contract for funding for Carrigkerry Playground. This has been a very slow and frustrating process for the Committee and Community, but today’s signing was the final hurdle. I want to wish the Committee well in the months ahead in getting the new playground installed.

Saint Kieran’s Heritage Association have published a local trade directory which is available free of charge in the following outlets, Greaney’s Shop, Ardagh, Ailish Hairdressers, Ardagh,  Hanley’s Shop, Creeves and Moloney’s Shop, Carrigkerry. The 36 page directory compiled by Secretary Mary Kury contains an A to W list of services, clubs, societies,  voluntary groups, emergency numbers, help lines and places of interest to visit, in the four  local villages and surrounding areas. It is a very handy reference booklet with space at the back for people to include their own personal contact details.

Marietta Sheahan, Granagh and a native of Glensharrold, Carrigkerry, recently completed a 100km walk in aid of Saint Joseph’s Foundation, Charleville. Well done to Marietta who raised €2,000, which will benefit greatly the wonderful service they provide.

Joe Dowling, Ballinabearna, commenced his 200 mile charity walk for the Council of the Blind in the Demesne Newcastle West on Tuesday December 1. He 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. A 100% of the funding will go to the NCBI which is a well deserving charity and as stated  very close to Joe’s heart.

The 5th and 6th class children of Saint Molua’s National School participated in an online  Seamus Heaney poetry workshop. His poem “Postscript” was the focus of their attention, and it inspired them to write their own poetry about their local area. Their efforts were published in last week’s Weekly Observer, and well done to all and to their teachers. It is encouraging to see children getting interested in and writing about their own home places again.

Antique and Collectors Centre is the name of a new shop that opened in Main Street, Ardagh, over last weekend. The opening hours will be from 11am to 5pm each Saturday and Sunday or by appointment  Tel: 087-2040520. We extend good wishes to all involved in the new venture.

Jonathan Dunne from Ballyine, Old Mill recently published his seventh book. He is currently living in Toledo, Spain and all his novels could be described as comic fiction, with a leaning towards dark comedy. His new book “Finding Jesus”  is a dark comedy involving religion, the pandemic, and time to start cleaning up our act. The book can be ordered at https://amzn.to35pySSQ in both electronic and paperback formats.

The past nine months has been very difficult for our local pubs who remain closed following the latest Government guidelines. Those who do not serve food have received the label wet pubs which is unfair and derogatory. They deserve to be allowed open and if they misbehave individually then close them down. In most villages in rural areas, they may be the only place people can meet up for a chat and a drink. Many may never again open as a result, and it will be felt most in rural communities who have lost most services as a result of government leaning towards having everything in Dublin. Happy  42nd Anniversary to Neary’s Bar, Ardagh, who have served the community so well over the years.

The 8th and 9th of December double Limerick GAA Club draws will be held on Saturday, December 12. The first prize is €10,000, 2nd prize €3,000, 3rd prize €2,000, and 28 additional prizes of €500, €250 and €100. For the 8th draw the exclusive star prizes are €100 voucher for Timmy Macs Bistro Adare, €100 voucher for Limerick Greyhound Stadium, €100 voucher for Scanlan’s Menswear Newcastle West, €100 voucher for Marie Keating Photographer Raheenagh, and complimentary membership for two people to 2021 club Limerick draw.

For the 9th draw the exclusive star prizes are, €100 voucher Elverys Limerick, €100 voucher Off the Bone Gastro Pub, €100 Kennelly Jewellery Store, €100 voucher Irish County Hotels, and  complimentary membership for two people to 2021 club Limerick draw. The final draw will be held in January. To join contact the local St Kieran’s club members in person, or online.

Le Chéile is a new musical treat for Christmas CD in aid of Friends of Saint Ita’s Newcastle West, and the Butterfly Club Rathkeale. It   is on sale at present costing €10 at Saint Ita’s and Tony Hayes, Newcastle West,  Rathkeale Post Office and Sullivan’s Chemist, Rathkeale. The CD includes the following artists, Coolcappa choir members, Michael Nash, Ann Phelan, Jean O’Brien, Charlie Reynolds, Fr Tim Curtin, Canon Tony Mullins, Fr Liam Enright, Michael Enright, Theresa Doyle McMahon, Enda Walsh, Michael Doyle, Siobhan Doody and the Newcastle West Choir. It is produced by Theresa Doyle McMahon and Kevin Daly, and it would bring enjoyment to a friend this Christmas.

The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery draw took place on Monday, November 30 in the Community Centre Ardagh. The numbers drawn were 5,14,17,21 , and there was no winner of the €3,500 Jackpot.  Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received €40 each: Bridie Noonan c/o Josie, Margaret Daughton c/o Nora, Jack Ahern c/o Greaney’s, John Loughnane c/o Padge, and Michelle Molyneaux c/o Josie. Next week’s Jackpot will  be €3,600. 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 tenth split the pot fundraiser draw at Hanley’s Foodstore, Creeves, on Monday, November 30. Congratulations to Alex and Mia O’Sullivan who won €136 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 Hanley’s Foodstore, Creeves, Thatch Bar and Restaurant, Newbridge and from committee members. 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 Gerry Scanlan, Boherbui, Newcastle West who won €250 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw held on Friday, December 4. Tickets cost €2 and they are available from volunteers, in local shops, (including Moloney’s Carrigkerry) or from the radio station. Tickets costing €5 are also on sale now for the annual Christmas draw which will be held on Monday, December 21. 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.