BECAUSE of the All-Ireland semi-final between Kilkenny and Wexford the annual John Lockes Juvenile tournament will be staged at John Locke Park on Monday.
This will be the 12th year of the tournament and once again will be sponsored by Callan Credit Union. This year thirteen clubs and twenty teams will compete for titles at U-12 and U-9 level. John Locke Park and the Fair Green, Callan will come alive with the clash of the ash on six specially prepared pitches. As always the day will begin with the parade of all clubs, complete with full kit and banners from Colaiste Eamann Ris to John Locke Park at 1:15 pm.
The tournament this year is under new management. Bosco Bryan has been synonymous with the running of the famous tournament but has decided to take a step back and hand it on to others. Former Locke's player and committee member Paddy Scriven has stepped forward to take up the baton this year. He certainly has warmed to the task and didn't let the office chair cold for too long. He was quick to bring together a working committee and all teams were contacted and confirmed. It's a costly exercise to stage the event but as usual the generosity of local businesses and community ensures its future. There will also be a raffle leading up to and during the tournament and the money raised will also help to finance the clubs participation in the Community Games which take place on August 25 and 26. The U-11 team have reached the All-Ireland final and the team and mentors will have a two night stay in Co Meath. They have already taken the Leinster crown and hopefully will also lift the All-Ireland trophy.
Six teams, James Stephens, O'Loughlin, Graigue Ballycallan, Erin's Own (Castlecomer), Dicksboro and Danesfort will compete for the division 1 title and the Colm Nolan Cup at U-12 level.
In division 2 another six teams, John Lockes, Tullaroan, Windgap, Dunnamaggan, Carrickshock and Ballingarry from Co. Tipperary vie for the John Locke Cup.
The under 9 tournament is a ground hurling competition played under the Camaint rules where the defending champions John Lockes, James Stephens, O'Loughlin Gaels, Mullinahone, (Co Tipperary), Graigue Ballycallan Tullaroan, Danesfort, Erin's Own (Castlecomer), will all be hoping to lift the Eamon Teehan Cup.
This tournament has gone from strength to strength over the years and clubs look forward to the August weekend each year. Callan Credit Union has come on board and again this year as the major sponsor in a further seal of approval for the competition.
Because the tournament is being staged on Monday and the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday the committee has decided not to erect a marquee at John Locke Park this year as it would not be feasible to leave unattended over the weekend. Instead refreshments will be served at the parish hall.
Referees for the tournament will be Richie Buckley, Denis O'Sullivan, Willie Kearney, Podge Butler, Paschal Connolly and Br. Damien Brennan. All matches will commence at 2pm.
STORYTELLING - Children's Storyteller Catherine Aran Callan Parish Hall as part of the Kilkenny Arts Festival.
From the wind beaten mountains of Snowdonia comes Catherine Aran, a Teller of Tales from Wales. She will take you on a journey to meet giants and fairies,and characters ofmyth and magic, through stories told in her unique and colourful style. Once the Official Storyteller of Wales, Catherine isthe author of five books for children published in her mother tongue.
Audiences may remember that Catherine was to perform at last year's festival, but was unable to travel because she broke her leg. She was determined to make up for this and Kilkenny Arts Festival is delighted to welcome Catherine this year. Come along and experience this fantastic and funny storyteller!
For children aged 3-5 yrs (45 mins) and 6-8 yrs (60mins). The event will take place on August 14 at the Callan Parish Hall from noon to 12.45pm (3-5 yrs) and from 2.30pm – 3.30pm for (6-8 yrs). Admission is E8.
MUSICAL WORKSHOPS - There will be musical workshops for the very young at Callan Parish Hall. Music games, imaginative sound play, unusual instruments and gentle energy is what you'll find at these musical workshops for children and their parents/guardians. There will be original and familiar songs and an opportunity for all to play, regardless of musical experience. Workshop facilitators are Nico Brown and Martin Brunsden.
Multi-instrumentalist and composerNico Brown was musician-in-residence at The Ark, a Cultural Centre for Children,from its opening in 1995 to 2000. He now regularly runs workshops for parents and children at The National Concert Hall, Dublin.
Martin Brunsden (double bass)often performs with Kla and has performed in many shows for children at The Ark and elsewhere. He currently tours with Pauline Scanlon, he has dueted with Julia Roberts and nobody else can play a saw, or indeed a stepladder, as melodiously. On August 15 there will be three workshops taking place. The first is from 11am to noon and is aimed at children from 0-3yrs, workshop 2 is from 2pm to 3pm and is aimed at children from 3-5 years and workshop 3 will take place from 4pm-5pm and is aimed at 3-5yrs. Admission is E10
VISUAL ART - There are lots of visual art exhibitions to see in Callan during Kilkenny Arts Festival The Friary Re-visited by KCAT artists at The Friary, Callan.
A Union – Tony & Jane O'Malley exhibition, organised by Callan 800 in association with KCAT Art and Study Centre and the Butler Gallery will take place at the Endangered Open Studios at The Workhouse, Callan. Admission is free to visual art exhibitions
MILITARY PARADE - Sunshine colour armoured cars marching armies and gun fire. Yes I said sunshine. Having experienced the worst weather on record over the past few months the sun finally came out on Sunday and with it brought a good sized crown onto the streets to view the parading of the 'Wild Geese' Living History military parade through Callan. It may not have been on the scale of the KCAT/MACNAS parade which was staged in the town last year but it certainly was colourful and above it gave us younger generation some insight into times past and especially during the trouble times from 1920 to 1922.
With all military events it started dead on time at 2pm from the schools at the Kilkenny Road and made its way through the streets where it halted at the reviewing stand on Green Street. Philip Lynch of Callan Heritage society and who has to be complimented for bringing the Living History to Callan along with Chairman Kilkenny County Council Tommy Maher presented Kevin McCormack who is an ex- Irish army soldier and main organiser of the Wild Geese with a specially commissioned flag which commemorates Callan men and women who served in Armies around the World. The Flag was then paraded to the Fair Green led by a colour party drawn from the local reserve force. The Irish army also had on display tanks and armoured personnel carriers and certainly were of huge interest to the younger people.
At the Fair Green a re-enactment of the Trouble times took place. This was very realistic with blank gun powder and fire arms been used.
Despite the good-sized crown it was a pity there wasn't more present to witness part of our history been re-enacted before our eyes. Perhaps a little more advertising and use of the media would have helped and it is certainly a lesson for all those involved in Callan 800 for the forthcoming celebration weekend which will take place from August 24 - 26. If advertised countywide and even further people will attend, but they won't if they are not informed.
TESCO - In recent weeks the proposed Tesco development at Prologue was finally given the Green Light by the County Council. All those who voted in favour were jumping over hoops to congratulate one another with the result while those who voted against attempted to justify their reasons for doing so. Despite the media coverage of the decision it appears none of the media made any effort to talk to Joe or Joan Bloggs on the streets of Callan to get their reaction to the decision. Callan has a strong sense of history and in general the people of the town are loyal to local shops and businesses, but having the addition of Tesco has been widely welcomed as long as the smaller grocery and newsagent businesses do not suffer.
Traditionally Callan people have always travelled to Kilkenny and Clonmel to do their larger weekly shopping. In the mid 1980's when Super Valu was opened on Green Street it brought a much needed facility to the town and it in fact complimented the other groceries like Hackett's in Bridge Street and Pat Burke's on Green Street. When it first started to sell papers there was a lot of concern that it would close the other smaller newsagents. From it Kerwicks have continued to thrive on Green Street and other's like Johnny Butler, Statoil, Top Shop and Hackett's now sell papers, magazines and stationary. Yes some businesses have closed, Tessy and Con Sullivan on Bridge Street retired some years ago, while Walls closed their doors, this was mostly due to poor access and poor parking on Bridge Street.
But the town has changed so dramatically in the past ten years, the town's perimeter has stretched out both north and south of the Kings River. Lots of new people have moved to the area and they want all the facilities on their door steps. Tesco's will certainly help to keep those people shopping in Callan and that can only be good for the other businesses. Lots of new businesses have opened in the town and a new ladies boutique is about to open where Margaret Lennon's pub was situated.
Representatives from Dunnes Stores have visited a number of potential sites around the town and rumour has it that they have ear marked one site which maybe suitable for the building of a supermarket. It's hard to believe that Tesco are going to build here, but with Dunnes Stores also showing interest it can only bring more businesses to Callan which will create more jobs and increase prosperity. Perhaps we should start believing that old saying, " Kells was, Kilkenny is and Callan will be the greatest of all…" Perhaps, Perhaps!!
CALLAN 800 ITINERARY - August 5 - The John Lockes Juvenile Hurling Tournament for under 9's and under 12's will take place on the green from 1.30pm. Arts week will take place from August 10-19 when local artists will display in venues throughout the town.
And we are delighted to announce that Jane O'Mally will display both her and Tony's works in KCAT studio – details to be announced later. A photographic display of Callan throughout the years, will take place in The Old Friary Exhibition by "Endangered" studio's in Callan Workhouse. Exhibition by Ray Osborn in Coolagh Hall
Callan 800 will take place on August 24. Book Launch. A cheese and wine reception will take place at 7.30pm in the Old Friary, followed by the launch of the Callan 800 book by Cannon Adrian Emphy. August 25 at 7.30pm. Callan 800 commemoration mass in the Parish Church. 8.15pm Launch of The Abbey Meadow Park with wheelchair accessible pathways (in conjunction with BNS, Friary trust, Kilkenny County Council. At 8pm a choral concert will take place in the ruins of the Old Abbey. On August 26 a field day will take place at 1.30pm. A football match (under old rules) between Mullinahone and Callan will take place at 2pm on the fair green with old style games, home produce sale and vintage vehicles. There will also be a boxing exhibition and a a dog show. (open to all breeds – selection of categories will be judged)
On August 26 a parade will leave the Fair Green and finish at the Abbey Meadow car park (floats, giant puppets etc)
After parade there will be a barbecue and comedy entertainment, followed by an open air viewing of Breakfast on Pluto.
On August 28 at 7pm there will be a tour of Callan's cultural trail. On August 29 there will be an unveiling of plaque to mark the birthplace of Tony O'Malley. On August 30 at 6pm there will be a tour of Callan workhouse and at 8pm - Stories that bones can tell – Part 11.
There will also be a tour of Callan's cultural trail on August 31 at 7pm. Heritage lectures will take place throughout the week – to be announced. Mass will be held in the famine graveyard at Cherryfield and a date has yet to be announced. From September 20 - 22 Jesus Christ Super Star will be preformed by the Starlight Stage School at the Old Friary Church.
Other events that will take place throughout the summer (dates to be confirmed) include a youth concert, a vintage car rally and a group of transition year students will be taking part in a project where they will take a photographic record of Callan in 2007.
CALLAN COMMUNITY NETWORK - Art in Callan: Jane O'Malley will be displaying both her own and Tony's work in KCAT Arts Centre, Mill Lane, Callan for the duration of Kilkenny Arts Festival. This will be a unique opportunity for Callan people to witness the wonderful work of this most remarkable couple and a great opportunity to visit the wonderful art centre of KCAT Callan
KCAT will be exhibiting in the Old Friary, Mill Street, Callan, Co. Kilkenny. Works by local artists will be on display in theParish Hall, Callan.
VIDEO/DVD - Who will ever forget that wonderful night in Langton's Kilkenny in October 2004 when the people of Callan celebrated the wonderful achievements of Callan and Kilkenny great John Power. Over 300 people packed into Langton's that night to honour the 'Red Lad' as he is affectionately known. People travelled from many different counties to meet John who had announced his retirement from inter county hurling a short time before that.
Well Barrie Henriques has recently received delivery of the first DVD of that night and the John Lockes club have decided to produce a number of DVD's for sale. They will have a limited amount of them for sale at the Golf Classic and will also be taking orders from people. Orders can also be left at the Post Office in Callan and will cost E15. It certainly a DVD worth having and wouldn't it make a terrific gift for Christmas to Gaels and admirers of John Power across the world.