By Tom Aherne

The Late Late Show on TV on Friday night held the national contest  final to select a song to represent Ireland in this Year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin in May. There were over 330 songs submitted and six  were picked for the final. The live show attracted a lot of local interest as Carrigkerry native Aidan O’Connor had co-written with Sandra Wikstrom and Jon Emil Ashes of Yesterday one of the six songs  to be performed. Aidan, son of Mary and Mike, was educated in Carrigkerry NS and is now a teacher in Dublin. He has been writing songs since 2007 aimed at Eurovision and alone and with others has featured in 30 songs entered in various European countries.

In 2016 his song I Stand was the Czech entry in the Eurovision. This year was his first time  to make it to the final stages in Ireland. The song Ashes of Yesterday was performed by Janet Grogan and after the national and international juries had cast its votes it was leading the contest on 18 points. The public vote brought the total up to 24 and joint first but That’s Rich sung by Brooke Scullion came late to take the title with 28 points. It was disappointing  but  a great achievement by Aidan and team to reach the final and finish joint second. Norma Prendiville  had a feature on Aidan last week, who is getting closer and closer to pen a winning entry.

Sympathy is extended to Julie Mackessy and family, Coolanoran, Ardagh on the death of her sister  Ellen (Nell) Barry (née Barry) Fairyhill, Kanturk, Cork/Kilbrin, Cork/Limerick. She passed away on Sunday, January 30, peacefully in the great care of the doctors, nurses and staff of the Mercy University Hospital, Cork. Ellen (Nell) formerly of Knockardfree, Liscarroll,  was pre-deceased by her husband William (Bill). Reposing took place at Grace’s Funeral Home, Kanturk on Tuesday, February 1, from 7pm with rosary at 8pm. Removal from her home on Wednesday to St. John the Baptist Church Kilbrin for Requiem Mass at 12.30pm. Burial took place afterwards to St. Patrick’s Cemetery Kanturk. Sympathy also to her daughter  Margaret and son Eugene, sister Dora, and brother Paddy, grandchildren Aisling, Orla and Liam, son-in-law Seán, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, extended family, neighbours and friends. May she rest in Peace.

The St Kieran’s GAA Club charity road hurling event held on Monday, December 27, was a great success. The attendance was the largest to date and the amount collected was by far the highest through this very popular event. The total raised was €5,240, which will be shared equally  between two charities, and presented to them shortly. The chosen charities this year are Milford Care Centre Limerick and St Gabriel’s Play Fund in Temple St. Dublin. Club member Orin Hough received great attention and care in the latter. The club in appreciation  would like to thank everybody involved in staging and participating in the event.

Darragh Treacy from the St Kieran’s club was a member of the Limerick football team who defeated Antrim by 2-9 to / 0-11 in  match two in Division 3 of the National Football League  played at Corrigan Park, Belfast on Saturday, February 5.

In Division 1 of the Desmond League Creeves Celtic lost 2-1 away to Shountrade on Sunday January 30. As a result, they lost their top position on the league table dropping to second place. Carrig Celtic seem to have made their exit from the Premier Division after early matches when they were unable to field full teams. Junior soccer in the locality has declined dramatically in recent years with only Creeves Celtic  now involved in the Desmond League. Kilcolman Rovers, Villa Rovers and the Old Mill have all made their exits. In Division 1 of the Desmond Ladies League Kilcolman Rovers defeated Feenagh 2-1 away with Erin Hennessy and Ciara Downes scoring their goals. Creeves Celtic had no fixture but remain joint top of the league table with Newcastle West Town and Kilcolman Rovers.

The Community Response Team was established in 2016 by Caitriona McMahon and Kayla Cooley. The charity operates from 5pm to 6am seven nights a week, responding to anyone in suicidal distress. They recently created  a Suicide Prevention Hub in Rathkeale Enterprise Centre. The Community Response team is now recruiting  responders  to join its out of hours suicide intervention team. The team physically covers Limerick city and county every night and responds nationwide  by phone to anyone  in suicidal distress. Applicants must have a valid driver’s licence and be over  21 years of age. Any interested applicants are asked to email  their CV to [email protected] .

Congratulations to Conor Nash who won €536 in the fifth Creeves Celtic FC Split the Pot monthly draw held on Monday, January 31. Tickets to enter the draw are available at Neary’s, Ardagh, Thatch, Newbridge and Hanley’s, Creeves.

The Ardagh Development Association and Saint Kieran’s GAA joint weekly lottery draw took place on Monday, January 31. The numbers drawn were 10, 18, 25 and 30 and there was  no  winner of the €6,200 Jackpot.  Congratulations  to the five lucky dip winners who received  €40 each: Stephen Kennelly, Shanagolden, Doreen Cahill, c/o Nora Dineen, Deirdre Sparling, (Online), Lorraine Flavin, (Online), Jack Dalton, c/o Mike Molyneaux. Next Monday night’s jackpot will  be €6,300. 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.

Congratulations to Donie Kiely, Lisgordan, Ardagh, who won €570 in the West Limerick 102fm 50/50 draw, held on Friday, February 4. The tickets cost €2 or 3 for €5 and they are available from volunteers, in local shops, (including Moloney’s Carrigkerry and Denis Greaney’s Shop Ardagh) or from the radio station. All support will be appreciated. The station can be contacted at 069-66200 if people have news of interest to the West Limerick area.

The annual Sacristan’s collection in Coolcappa/Kilcolman will be held on this coming weekend Saturday, February 12 in Saint Kyran’s Church, Coolcappa at 7.30pm and Sunday, February 13, in St Colman’s Church, Kilcolman at 10am. Thanks to Mary and Kathleen for all the work they do daily, and parishioners are asked to be as generous as possible.

Eucharistic Adoration is held in St Kyran’s Church on Thursdays from10- 11am and in St Colman’s Church on Fridays from 8-9pm. The weekly mass times are St Kyran’s Church Tuesday and Thursday at 9.30am and St Colman’s on Wednesday at 9.30am and Fridays at 7.30pm.

Kilcolman National School are holding a fundraising clothes collection on Wednesday, February 23. Bags of unwanted clothes, shoes, bags, belts, bed linen etc, may be dropped to the school shelter beforehand. No pillows or duvets accepted. The school would like to thank all for the ongoing support with this fundraiser. The school is now enrolling for September 22. Please contact the school office on 069 60005 or by email at [email protected] to register your interest.

It is encouraging to see live entertainment resuming again and the popular Pats Rambling House in Newbridge resume their activities on Friday, February 11 from 8.30pm. All musicians, singers, dancers and storytellers are most welcome to attend.

Athea Drama group, after a two-year absence, are back in action with Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel. The cast commence their first performance with a matinee on Sunday, February 13, at 3pm in Con Colbert Hall. Evening shows will be held on Thursday, February 17, Saturday, 19, Sunday, 20, Wednesday, 23, Thursday, 24, and Saturday, February 26. The doors open at 7pm with curtain up at 7.30pm each evening. Booking is necessary and no walk ins allowed. The tickets cost €10 and ring 087- 6926746 to book a seat.

Creeves Celtic are holding a sponsored fun walk of 5km on the Ardagh Greenway on Sunday, February 20, with a start time of 11am.The club state it is a fun event for all the family young and elderly to enjoy and invite all to participate.