Castlecomer - Official opening of the New Red Cross Unit in Castlecomer

NEW RED CROSS UNIT OPENS-A large crowd made its way to the Ballyragget Road on Saturday night for the official opening of the New Red Cross Unit and Branch in the town. The busy bees of the local Red Cross Branch have completely transformed the Old Fire Station into a progressive social dividend for the community. This was the culmination of numerous hours of hard toil and made possible courtesy of a long term lease from Kilkenny County Council. The new unit got off to the perfect start with an ecumenical blessing performed by Msgr Michael Ryan, Rector Patrick Burke and Fr. Joe Campion. Ms. Ingrid Brennan, Area Director of Unites, Irish Red Cross was an articulate MC. “I am delighted that we have finally come to see the opening of the new Red Cross Unit and Branch in Castlecomer. It has been a lot of hard work but made possible by the sheer determination and dedication of a group of individuals who I’m delighted to note are all here with us tonight. I thank in particular Martin Brennan, Eileen Clancy, Christopher Prendergast, Martin Thompson, Richenda Brennan, also the volunteers who helped with the painting of the premises Shannon Clancy and PJ Love. To Eurospar for donating food and Dick Dooley , Local Butcher, Marian Fitzpatrick Rocamaer Flowers and the Blinds Factory.

NEW RED CROSS UNIT OPENS-A large crowd made its way to the Ballyragget Road on Saturday night for the official opening of the New Red Cross Unit and Branch in the town. The busy bees of the local Red Cross Branch have completely transformed the Old Fire Station into a progressive social dividend for the community. This was the culmination of numerous hours of hard toil and made possible courtesy of a long term lease from Kilkenny County Council. The new unit got off to the perfect start with an ecumenical blessing performed by Msgr Michael Ryan, Rector Patrick Burke and Fr. Joe Campion. Ms. Ingrid Brennan, Area Director of Unites, Irish Red Cross was an articulate MC. “I am delighted that we have finally come to see the opening of the new Red Cross Unit and Branch in Castlecomer. It has been a lot of hard work but made possible by the sheer determination and dedication of a group of individuals who I’m delighted to note are all here with us tonight. I thank in particular Martin Brennan, Eileen Clancy, Christopher Prendergast, Martin Thompson, Richenda Brennan, also the volunteers who helped with the painting of the premises Shannon Clancy and PJ Love. To Eurospar for donating food and Dick Dooley , Local Butcher, Marian Fitzpatrick Rocamaer Flowers and the Blinds Factory.

A special word of thanks to To Ray Regan and John Mulholland, Kilkenny Co. Council and Cllr. Maurice Shortall, without their assistance, we would not be here tonight.

A sincere thank you to Msrg. Ryan for the wonderful mass tonight for all our Past and present members for which we are very grateful. It is a happy event tonight for the members of the Red Cross but also a sad one because there are a number of Red Cross members who sadly have passed away who were also members of our own community.

Two local men were very actively involved for many years ,Tom Gleeson and Jack Kavanagh were both very dedicated to the Red Cross in Castlecomer , who provided training on a weekly basis to members of the public and indeed to their community. Their legacy will live on in the Unit in Castlecomer. The Cadet unit have their own notice board which they have named the Tom and Jack Corner..

We also remember tonight a local lady, Claire Ryan , who was actively involved in the Kilkenny Branch and dedicated to training 21 Cadets in Castlecomer .

It is a proud night for me as Area Director or Units to see this event , the dedication of my fellow members is second to none, your work in Society has been outstanding. You are all the backbone of the Castlecomer Unit, to all the officers , members and Cadets, I commend you. We will continue to strive to serve the people of Castlecomer and surrounding areas.”

Next to the podium was Mr. Gerry O’Sullivan, Regional Director of Units who praised all concerned for what will be a fabulous asset in the area in the years ahead.

The last word was left to local Cllr. Maurice Shortall who performed the official opening with the youngest cadet Ms. Claire Brennan. “I am honoured to be associated with this project which will see the building which was once home to the Fire Services now return to community use. This building is a historic landmark for Comer and has served the public well and a number of Fire Chiefs spring to mind including John Joe Byrne (RIP), Jack Keating (RIP), Ollie Gleeson and Tom Keating. Sadly too a trio of wonderful stalwarts who will always be revered on Deenside for their dedication to the Red Cross Movement have also gone to their eternal reward. Tonight we salute the contributions of Jack Kavanagh (RIP), Tom Gleeson (RIP) and Claire Ryan (RIP). Its appropriate to see Claire’s mother Margaret and grandmother Peg here in attendance tonight. Comer people never forget their roots and how fitting that we also have present Christine Harte, Graiguecullen granddaughter of Jack Kavanagh (RIP). Finally I want to say a big thank you to the husband and wife team of Ingrid and Martin Brennan whose vision has culminated into this wonderful community asset and I am delighted to have been able to facilitate the lease from Kilkenny County Council who are represented tonight by Mr. David Smyth. My hope now is that the present committee would continue in the same efficient and dedicated manner as their illustrious predecessors” After the speeches all were treated to refreshments and an insight into how the organization works. Well done to all, perhaps this could be a regeneration start in the town.

SAY NO TO ILLEGAL DRUGS !-When one picks up a receipt from a shop or store the immediate focus is quite rightly on the charge and more importantly the change. However it was brought to my attention that O’Rourkes Quickpick also has a very important message printed on all receipts “Say No To Illegal Drugs”. If every receipt in the town, county and country carried that simple line it would send out a strong message of community condemnation to all involved in that illegal activity.

TDA TIDINGS-The monthly meeting of Castlecomer Development Association was chaired by Martin Carroll. Progress was reported on the recent economic exchanges between Sean McKeown, Advisor to Minister Phil Hogan and executive members of both the Business and Development Associations. Members have agreed to focus future agendas exclusively on employment opportunities and new business creation. Next meeting is Tuesday June 5th at 7 p.m. in the Community Hall. All are welcome.

ATHLETICS-Castlecomer Community School Minor and Junior athletes competed in the South East Leinster Colleges Athletics Championships in Scanlon Park this week. A group of fifteen from first and second year represented the school. It was a benign day when involvement was made all the more enjoyable with seasonal sunshine and temperatures. The performances of Patrick Darcy (Junior Shot-Putt - 10.03metres) and Adam O’Grady (Minor High Jump 1.50metres) earned them both bronze medals and a place in the Leinster Championships.

Others to compete were Lucy O’Neill, Tara Ryan, Siobhan Buggy, Grace Rossiter, Sinead Brennan, Leah Dowling, Amy Nolan, Pierce Nash, Matthew Cullen, Keith Dunne, Cian Byrne, Sean Buggy, Tommy Quirke and Adam Kelly The Intermediate and Senior athletes compete on Thursday May 10th.

CLUB ATHLETICS-Castlecomer Athletic Club was represented by a group of 51 athletes at the Kilkenny A Championships in Scanlon Park on Sunday. For some this was their first time competing at this event and venue - these novice competitors displayed great enthusiasm as they embraced the challenge of track competition for the first time.

Individual Medallists were as follows-Gold : Molly O’Dornan 80m U-8, Kerri Moore Ball Throw U-10, Katie Tynan Ball Throw U-13, Sean O’Dornan 80 U-8, Conor Clarke 500m U-12, Lauren Dermody 800m U-16.

Bronze: Eimear Rice U-17 Long Jump and 300m hurdles, Grace Deevy U-17 Javelin, Anita McMahon U-19 Javelin, Long-jump and 300m hurdles.

The U-17 girls relay team (Lauren Dermody, Orla Brennan, Eimear Rice, and Grace Deevy) were also bronze medal winners.

Others who competed were

Boys: U-9 Eoghan McSweeney, John Kenny and James Kenny - James qualified for the final of the 80m.

U-10 David Allen, Luca Downey, Ciarain Meagher, Liam Doyle, Tommy Coogan, William Fox and Cathal O’Reilly - Cathal also qualified for the 80m final.

U-11 John Kevin Malone

U-12 Nicky Connolly, Killian Hogan, Sean Moore, Kevin Conry

U-13 James Buggy, Adam Jacob

U-14 Ross Connolly, Thomas Dwyer, Conor Normoyle

Girls: U-8 Leah Brennan and Amy Slattery

U-9 Lucy Coogan, Ella Nolan, Ella Buggy and Ciara Brennan U-10 Katie Clarke, Nessa Morrissey.

U-11 Molly Coogan, Emma Ring, Ava Coogan, Sinead Morrissey and Shannon Conry

U-12 Ellen Buggy, Muireann McSweeney, Aoife Cahalan, Emer Stone, Sarah Dwyer, Emma Dwyer

U-13 Roisin Allen and Niamh Morrissey

Relay teams-U-13 Boys - James Buggy, Adam Jacob, Conor Clarke and Sean Moore (4th); Kevin Conry, Nicky Connolly, Sean O’Dornan and John Kevin Malone (6th); Girls : U-11 Molly Coogan, Katie Clarke, Kerri Moore and Shannon Conry (6th); U-13 Ellen Buggy, Aoife Cahalan, Eimear Stone and Emma Dwyer (5th).

MRS. M. TOWNSHEND-The death has occurred in Southampton, England of Maureen Townshend (Nee Moran) formerly of Kilkenny Street.

MRS. B. HOWRATH-The death has taken place in the U.S.A. of Bridie Howrath (Nee Ryan) formerly of Donaguile.

LIBRARY LATEST-A beautiful Name” is the title of an interesting exhibition of cards and scrolls depicting a persons name. It comes from Maria Watkins and Gillian Kelly Campden. Both ladies work in the area of Alternative Therapies specialising in Colour Therapy. These cards/scrolls would make great birthday, christening and special occasion gifts. The display continues until May 26th.

Interested in a free class to learn all about the social network Facebook? Ring 4440561 for availability next Friday May 11th.

Kids! The closing date for our titanic Art Competition is now May 12th.

Thanks to our Nattering Knitters, 5th class pupils from The Presentation Convent will learn how to knit during the Bealtaine Festival this month.

There are 2 places available for our Storytelling Session with Susie Minto on Wed May 16th at 2-4pm. Free to all adults, ring 4440561.

CHILDS PLAY-New Parent & Toddler Group in Moneenroe Hall meet every Wednesday 10 –12 am, €2 per family Tea/ Coffee, Juice & Snack for kids. Come for a chat and meet new people in your community while your child plays and interacts with other children.

CLOGH ICA-The Annual “Easter Chics” fundraiser which is organized by Clogh ICA Ladies generated €567 which was kindly donated to the Carlow-Kilkenny Home Care Team. The progressive group also have an “Introductory Session in Digital Photography” scheduled for Clogh Parish Centre on Monday May 14th at 8.30 p.m. The course is being co-ordinated by Linda Nolan, Photography, Loon and all are welcome including teenagers to come along.

WHISTING THE NIGHT AWAY-Big winners in the weekly Whist Drive were: Top Score: Tom Kealy, 1st Lady: Nano Brennan, Maureen Cody, 1st Gent: Danny Hilton. Raffle: 1st Owen Salmon, 2nd Anna-Mai Mullins, 3rd Danny Hilton, 4th Owen Salmon, Seamus Hennessy. Whist continues every Friday at 8.30 pm in the Community Hall, Castlecomer. All are welcome.

MEDUGORJE PRAYER GROUP-The monthly mass of peace and rosary is on Monday May 14th at 7.30 p.m. in the Oratory, Castlecomer Community School. All are welcome. BOLLARDS ON TOUR-The members of Bollards Golf Society next outing is to Rathdowney on May 19th. The time sheet is available in Bollards Lounge. New members and non-members are most welcome.

ERIN’S OWN GAA CLUB IN FOCUS-TARA RYAN TOURNAMENT. Erin’s Own hosted their annual U-14 Tara Ryan tournament in Ballycomey on Saturday. St Patrick’s Ballyragget, Dicksboro & John Lockes Callan providing the opposition, The locals were drawn against Dicksboro in one semi with the Callan boys facing St Patrick’s in the other.

The Comer boys started brightly opening up an early lead, which they maintained to progress to meet neighbours St Patrick’s in the final. Another fine performance from the panel of Richard Brennan, Joseph Phelan, Declan Buggy, Sean Coogan, James Rothwell, Eoin O’Rourke, Ian Holohan, Sean Buggy, Cathal Holland, Conor McMahon, Ross Connolly, John Dowd, Adam Brennen, James Brennan, Eoin Brennan, Thomas Dwyer, Desmond Booth, James Brennan, Conor Normoyle, Brian Meally, Liam Holland, Jamie O’Shea, Joe Hickson, ensured a win for the hosts.

CLUB LOTTO-The club lotto is now up to €12,950.00. Be in to win. Get your tickets from any committee members or from local shops. You can also sign up to a direct debit scheme whereby you are entered every week in the Local lotto so you don’t have to worry about getting your ticket. Contact Helen at 087 6645022 or any committee member if you would like to take up this way to play the local lotto. Remember all the money raised goes back into your community. From May 14 there will be an opportunity for all Lotto purchasers to win a couple of Piltown Tickets for free, this special will run for four weeks.

PILTOWN DRAW TICKETS-The annual Piltown draw tickets are now for sale in the club. The can be purchased from any club committee members and there are six draws with a car to be won in each draw. Please support this draw if you can at all.

JUVENILE HURLING-The under 10’s commenced their years hurling with the County Board “Go Games” blitz on Saturday morning last against James Stephens in Ballycomey. The local boys played extremely well for their first game of the season and will have many good days this summer. In a game full of skill and endeavor the locals came up a little short. The boys will have games in this competition for the next five Saturdays.

UNDER 12’s. The under 12’s played Conahy in the first round of the Callan Tournament on Friday last in Jenkinstown. With seven games to come in this tournament the Comer boys got off to a great start with a comprehensive victory. Next up is a match against Callan in the second round next week. Team. J.Maher, L.Holland, D.Buggy, K.Ring C.Kruff, D.Coogan, B.ONeill, C.Clarke,C.McMahon, J.Buggy,C.Holland, K.Holland, L.Holden, J.Brennan,K.Brennan, N.Connolly, K.Hogan, James Buggy.

Adult Hurling-Best of luck to our Senior hurlers who play their second round of the Senior League this Saturday evening in Nowlan Park at 5.30pm against Carrickshock.

After a great victory in the first round all in the club wish the lads well for this important match.

The Juniors had a fine victory on Friday night last in the All County League when they entertained Mooncoin in Ballycomey. With the team mostly made up of Under 21’s this was a fine win for the boys in blue on a scoreline of 2-14 to 2-12. The Junior B squad entertained Blacks and whites on Saturday afternoon in Ballycomey and after a fierce struggle came out the wrong side by two points on a scoreline of 2-8 to 2-10.

Congrats to Conor Fogarty from all in Erin’s Own on winning his first Senior National League medal on Sunday last with Kilkenny against Cork in Semple Stadium. Also well done to Robert Moran who was centre forward on the Kilkenny Minor team who beat Laois in the first round of the Leinster Minor Championship last Saturday night.

KELLOGS GAA CUL CAMPS-The National Kellogs GAA Cul Camps will take place again this year in Castlecomer. You can book your child in on these camps by going onto the GAA website (www.gaa.ie) or by picking up an entry form on Kellogs boxes.

MEMBERSHIP-Erin’s Own membership for all players including Juvenile up to Adult players and general membership are now being taken up . Contact any committee member.

TAKING STOCK.-Deen Celtic hold their AGM on Friday 18th May at 8 p.m. in the Clubhouse.

2012 SOCCER CAMP-The dates for the Deen Celtic AFC Academy have been set and it will begin on Monday the 9th of July and run until Friday the 13th of July. Each day will begin at 10am and finish at 3pm. The Academy is set up to cater for both boys and girls from 6 to 14 years of age. Each day will consist of simple coaching sessions in the morning and fun games in the afternoon.

We have kept costs to a minimum and are able to provide the Academy at an excellent price of €60 per participant. Places are limited to 120. Enrollment for the 2012 soccer camp is now open Please contact Mr. Shane Renwick on 087-9459261

LADIES MINI MARATHON-“The Friends of Castlecomer District Hospital” are busy recruiting volunteers to participate in the Ladies Mini Marathon. Sponsorship Cards are available from Julie Meally, Director of Nursing on 4441246 or Christina Murphy on 087- 9886646. Transport will be provided and a bus departs from the Lime Tree at 10 a.m. on June 4th.

STARCAMP 2012?-STARCAMP 2012 is back - Ireland’s singing, dancing, acting and all-round fun summer camp is what all 4-13 year old boys and girls are waiting for. This rollercoaster week of performing, laughter and games successfully deals with self esteem and confidence and will run daily from 9.30am to 2.30pm. STARCAMP Summer camp is delighted to be coming to Castlecomer this year – we will be in Castlecomer Community School from July 16th – 20th.

Qualified music teachers, choreographers and drama coaches are amongst the instructors who will be creating the fun-filled environment that your child will love to be part of. Starcamp t-shirts will be provided, and comfortable tracksuit pants / leggings and soft shoes / runners are recommended for comfort and dance. Children are required to bring a packed lunch and drink and we will provide the smiles. €90 for 1 child, €150 for 2 siblings and €220 for 3!

Book online today at www.starcamp.ie or download your application form from here. You can also call 021-4377900 to book directly or to receive one. To find the Starcamp Summer camp nearest to you see www.starcamp.ie Tel: 021-4377900. Email