By Tom Aherne

I would like to wish Domhnall and Lillian, fellow contributors, and all the readers at home and abroad a very happy New Year. Many thanks to everybody who supplied items for the notes over the past year it was much appreciated. Christmas came and went without any major incidents in the locality and it was the quietest in living memory due to the Covid-19  government restrictions, which saw all events off. The weather over Christmas was mixed  but good for travelling if necessary. Storm Bella passed through with strong winds on Saint Stephen’s Night, and the wren was cancelled and no pubs were open.

The Christmas Trees lit up the local villages,  and a good number of houses, were highly decorated as in previous years. Extra masses were put on to cater for the reduced space in Coolcappa/Kilcolman  churches , and tickets were needed to gain admittance in Ardagh/Carrigkerry churches. The old tradition of visiting the graveyards around the locality was very well observed with lots of people attending to their own plots. Thanks to all the individuals, groups and organisations, who enhanced the lives of so many during  2020, by their unselfish and voluntarily  efforts, it was  much appreciated.

The death has taken place of Breda Enright nee Downey, Duxtown, Rathkeale and late of Creeves, Shanagolden and Ardagh, unexpectedly, but peacefully at Killeline Nursing Home Newcastle West.  Wife of the late Con (Bett) Enright Publican Main Street Ardagh. Her Requiem Mass was celebrated on Wednesday December 30, in Saint Mary’s Church, Rathkeale, at 12 noon, followed by burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

We extend sympathy to daughters Tina Leahy (Athea) and Sheila Larkin (Killeedy), sons Con and Mike, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, brother John (N.Y.), sons-in-law John and Timmy, daughters-in-law Grainne and Cathy, brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, relatives and friends. May she rest in peace.

This Wednesday January 6th marks a very special occasion for the O’Sullivan family from Carrigkerry West, as Sister Bridie, celebrates her Diamond Anniversary (60 years) and Sister Margaret celebrates her Golden Anniversary (50 years) in Gods service. In January 1958 Bridie accompanied by twelve companions set sail for Sydney Harbour to join the Sisters of  Saint Joseph’s an Australian congregation. She taught in a number of remote schools, and also did  parish pastoral ministry. She returned to Ireland in 2002 to minister in the Respite Care Centre in Dromcollogher. In retirement she is now taking up a new appointment in Saint Ita’s Abbeyfeale.

Margaret entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in Australia in 1968. She taught and later became principal of a school that had 700 students. After 30 years in Australia she returned to Ireland to establish the Sisters of Saint Joseph here. She was appointed the first Parish Clerical Assistant in the Diocese in February 2003. She was involved in Parish ministry in Ardagh/Carrigkerry, and Ballingarry. At present she is in charge of the needs of  retired  nuns countrywide. Due to Covid-19 no ceremony will be held in Australia to mark the sisters achievements this year. Sister Bridie, and Sister Margaret along with six others will mark the occasion with a Zoom call on January 6, and hopefully will travel to Australia next year for a real ceremony. Congratulations to both on reaching these major milestones in their long and dedicated careers.

Joe Dowling Ballinabearna, Old Mill commenced his 200-mile charity walk for the Council of the Blind in the Demesne Newcastle West on Tuesday December 1. He completed the 320km virtual Camino walk on Saturday December 12. Over the 12 days Joe walked 128 circuits of the boundary of the Demesne. Congratulations to Joe on achieving his goal, and all sponsorship collected will benefit the NCBI. Joe collected €4,185 euro, which will be presented to the charity in full. Joe would like to thank everybody for their moral support during the walk, and for all the generous donations.

Marietta (Smith) 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 €2,625, which will benefit greatly the wonderful service they provide.

The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery draw took place on Monday, December 21, in the Community Centre Ardagh. The numbers drawn were 3,9, 18,and 20, and there was no winner of the €3,800 Jackpot.  Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received €40 each Sean Moriarty c/o Greaney’s, Liam Liston c/o Greaney’s, O’Donovan Family c/o Nora Dineen, Mike Liston c/o Greaney’s, and Tom Corrigan Askeaton.  Christmas bonus prizes of €40 each were won by Denis Greaney Ardagh, Tom Moroney Coolcappa, Mary O’Connor Glensharrold, Maggie O’Connor Glensharrold, Shelly and Josie, Glensharrold and Josie Molyneaux O’Connor Glensharrold. Next week’s Jackpot will  be €3,900. 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 thirteenth split the pot fundraiser Christmas draw and raffle at Hanley’s Food store  Creeves, on Monday, December 28. Congratulations to Richard Hayes  who won the Christmas Jackpot of €610. The other Raffle winners were; Hamper from Euro Spar Rathkeale, Mary Nash, Christmas Hamper Donie Hogan, Special occasion Cake voucher, Kevin O’ Connor, Estuary Fuel Voucher, Thomas Hanley, Old Stand Voucher, Kate Frawley, Hanley’s Foodstore Voucher, Emma Baker, Coal Voucher, Tom and Sheila Dillane, Prouve Perfume and Aftershave Set, Brian McNamara, Hanley’s Foodstore Voucher, Breda Hayes, Wine, chocolates and Yankee candles, Elizabeth McArdle, Wine, chocolates and Yankee Candles, Luke Kehoe. The weekly   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 Food store Creeves,  and from committee members.  The  draws will be held on Monday nights, and all support will be appreciated.

Saint Kieran’s club cancelled their road hurling competition on Sunday, December 27, because of the deteriorating Covid situation over Christmas. They still intend to try to raise some much needed funds for the three  charities. The go fund me page is up and running and anyone who would like to contribute can use this page or if anyone wants to give a cash donation, they can give it to any member of the club to pass it on. The club would like to thank all their members and supporters for all the support received in 2020. It was  a testing year but  with God’s help 2021 will be better. A very happy and safe  new year to all.

The Saint Kieran’s  senior footballers are running a Last Man Standing Fundraiser this January. Pick 10 winners in 10 Premiership games over 10 weeks to be in with a chance of winning. You can participate by contacting a member of the Senior Football Panel or sending a private message to the page.

On Tuesday, December 22, from the Irish Palatine Heritage Museum  in Rathkeale to Ardagh Station House reopened for local use, however further works will be required in the coming months to complete the Greenway upgrading programme. The following is the schedule of works, From  Ardagh Station House to Newcastle West will be closed until February 10,2021, Newcastle West to Barnagh, will be closed until March 5, Barnagh to Barnagh Tunnel will be closed until March 19, Barnagh Tunnel Section will be closed until March 19, and from Barnagh to Templeglantine will be closed until April 13.

The Limerick Colouring Book is a fundraiser for Kilcolman National School. It is full of fantastic facts on local history places, buildings, people, history plus lots of  pictures to be coloured in. It also includes a double page signed photo of the Limerick Hurling All Ireland champions.  The 2nd edition book costing €10 is available for sale in Moloney’s Carrigkerry, and Denis Greaney’s.

Congratulations to Mairead Roche on winning first prize of €500, in the West Limerick 102fm special 50/50 Christmas draw, held on Monday, December 21. Congratulations also to the other prize winners Mary Clancy, Broadford, John Kenny, Newcastle West, Tom Ryan,  Limerick, Mike O’ Connor, Knockaderry and Patricia and  Mairead Langan, Athea. West limerick 102fm would like to thank all of our volunteers and staff for their fantastic work and effort over the past year. We would also like to thank our Advertisers, Sponsors and local businesses throughout West Limerick and most of all the listeners who have supported us. We hope all had  a happy Christmas and best wishes in the New Year. We look forward to working with and seeing you all in the New Year.