by Tom Aherne

 I would like to wish the editors, 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. Thanks to all the local individuals’ groups and organisations, who enhanced the lives of so many during  2021, by their unselfish and voluntarily  efforts, it was  much appreciated. Christmas came and went without any major incidents in the locality, and it was quiet again due to the Covid-19  government restrictions, which saw little events taking place.

Carrigkerry Wren Group  performed  outdoors at various locations on St Stephen’s Day. The weather over Christmas was mild and mixed  but good for travelling if necessary.  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 most churches. The old tradition of visiting the graveyards around the locality was very well observed with lots of people attending to their own plots

A long and distinguished working  career came to an end for Jim Woulfe CEO of Dairygold this December. He was employed there for over 43 years and spent the last 12 years as head of the company. A native of Dunganville, Ardagh he joined Ballyclough Co-op in Mallow in 1979 and  he has been living in the rebel county since the 1980s. Jim served in diverse management roles  before the neighbouring Mitchelstown and Ballyclough Co-ops merged in 1990 to establish Dairygold.

He held a number of  senior management roles in Dairygold, including Milk Supplies, Head of Human Resources and Head of Agri- Business, prior to being appointed Dairygold CEO in July 2009. Jim served Dairygold and its members and staff with outstanding vision  with Revenues  growing from € 555 million in 2009 to €1.02 billion by the end of 2020, along with the Net Asset Value of the Society growing from € 206 million  to € 388million  by the end of 2020, an increase of over 88% under his leadership. Jim  is wished a happy retirement in whatever he chooses to do in the future. Conor Galvin replaced Jim from January 1.

DONIE WALSH: The death has occurred of Donie Walsh, (entertainer) Farran, Ardagh and formerly of Station Road, Askeaton, peacefully on Saturday December 18,  at Milford Hospice Limerick. Reposing took place at Riedy’s Funeral Home, Newcastle West, on Sunday from 6pm until 7pm. The remains arrived at St Mary’s Church, Askeaton on Monday December 20, for 12 noon Requiem Mass with burial following afterwards in Relig Mhuire Cemetery, Askeaton.  Sympathy is extended to his wife Julia, daughters Marie and Sarah, sons Edward, Michael and Ray, sons in law Jack and Greg, daughters in law Aine and Sharon, grandchildren, great-grandson, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. May he rest in Peace.

Almost 155 years after it first opened, Limerick City and County Council has completed extensive restoration works on the historic Ardagh Station House. The Station House was part of a larger site which had lain derelict for years before it was purchased by Limerick City and County Council in 2020 as part of the Council’s ambitious plans for the Limerick Greenway.

The Ardagh Station House opened on  January 1, 1867, as part of the Limerick to Tralee rail line and was used for both passengers and goods trains. Almost a century later the station closed for passenger trains on February 4,1963. In addition to restoration works on the station house and adjoining goods shed, the works carried out by the Council have also included clearing and landscaping the site and the provision of a new car park for greenway users.

Ben Noonan, Senior Executive Engineer, Limerick City and County Council and Project Manager for the Limerick Greenway said: “The works carried out on the buildings including a new roof and repairing and re pointing all the stonework has secured the fabric and integrity of the buildings. “The buildings are protected structures and great care and craftsmanship has gone into their conservation by our building contractors, Thomas Nolan and Sons Building Contractors Ltd. “These works are phase 1 and we will be exploring options to complete internal works and bring these buildings back into use in the near future.”

Gordon Daly, Director of Community, Tourism and Culture at Limerick City and County Council said: “I want to thank the councillors in the Newcastle West Municipal District who provided GMA funding towards the Ardagh Station House project which enabled the Council leverage other funding to complete the works to a high standard.” “We are also grateful to the community in Ardagh for their support for the project and their patience while these works were being carried out. The aim is that this project, along with the wider development of the Limerick Greenway, can help drive the rejuvenation of Ardagh village. The above was posted on December 16 on Facebook.

Congratulations to the following local winners in the Monagea GAA Club draw which took place in Strand Bar on Friday December 19, € 500 Davy Nolan Kilcolman, € 200 Pa and Anne Leahy Creeves, € 100 Claire Leahy Creeves. Congratulations also to Katie Woulfe Ardagh who won € 100  in the Rathkeale GAA Club draw held on Saturday December 18.

Congratulations to Seamus O’Donnell Creeves who has been appointed the new Limerick Under 20 football manager for 2022. Joining him will be coach/selector Pa Ranahan Ballysteen, John Chawke Kildimo/Pallaskenry and John O’Grady Oola. Seamus will continue as a selector with the senior football team under manager Billy Lee.

The Saint Kieran’s  GAA Club 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. Game one is on Friday January 14, and € 10 entry fee, with  € 500 first prize. You can participate by contacting club members.

The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery   draw took place on Monday December 20  and there was  no  winner of the € 5,800 Jackpot.  Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received  € 40 each: Conor Woulfe (Online), Denis and Marie Dineen Ardagh,  Fiona Heffernan (Online), Jack Flaherty c/o Moore’s Bar, Brendan Madigan Ardagh. Extra Christmas lucky dips of €40 were won by  Lorraine O Connor (Online), John O’ Mahony Kerrikyle, Deirdre Ambrose (Online), Francie Kenny Askeaton, Catherine Madigan Ardagh. The  next  draw  will be held on Monday January 20, for a jackpot of €5,900.