Bennettsbridge Notes - Unveiling of a special stone marking the site of St Bennett’s Hall

SPECIAL CEREMONY- Many towns may have had an unveiling of a plaque to mark their connection with the Titanic, but Bennettsbridge had it’s own ceremony on Sunday morning when a special stone marking the site of St Bennett’s Hall was unveiled and blessed by Canon Patrick Duggan, P.P. The inscription on the stone reads,

SPECIAL CEREMONY- Many towns may have had an unveiling of a plaque to mark their connection with the Titanic, but Bennettsbridge had it’s own ceremony on Sunday morning when a special stone marking the site of St Bennett’s Hall was unveiled and blessed by Canon Patrick Duggan, P.P. The inscription on the stone reads,

“ Homes for the Elderly, erected in 1999

on the site of St Bennett’s Hall, 1968 -1998.

Dedicated to the parishioners of the time.”

The stone brings to mind the special role the hall played in the parish for thirty years. The building of the hall was coordinated by parishioners, led by Rev James Murphy, P.P. and the local Legion of Mary played a major part in it’s completion. Funds were collected through various ways, cement was purchased and blocks were made by the local people. The hall became the centre of all parish activities and was particularly associated with The Bennettsbridge Festival which ran for over sixteen years.

Although the marquee was the venue for the dances, the hall housed the Talent Contests. Set-dancing competitions, and concerts featuring well known artists. The kitchen in the hall, manned by the ladies catering committee was always a hive of activity as all the artists had to be fed. The village was renowned for the hospitality extended to everyone during that time.

In 1981, Bennettsbridge had the honour of hosting the Kilkenny County G.A.A. convention and the hall was decorated in Black and Amber for the occasion, the focal point being a giant All-Ireland Medal forming the back-drop on the stage. Bishop Peter Birch was a distinguished guest and Paddy Grace, County Secretary and other officials were at the top table.

Clubs in the village used the hall for all their activities and some of the organisations included, Ladies Club, Fishing Club, Card Games, Dramatic Society, Youth Club and Foroige, Girl Guides, Brownies, Credit Union and Penny Bank.

A Community Playgroup was in existence run on a voluntary basis for many years and it was a service that the young mothers appreciated. Primary school children were accommodated in a room on a temporary basis for a time. When the hall was demolished in 1998, activities moved to the old school which became available due to the new National School coming on stream. The Community Centre now fills the requirements of the parishioners and plans are in the pipeline for a refurbishment programme under the newly launched Community Development Group. Eight houses for the Elderly were built on the site of the old hall and they are a marvellous amenity to have in the parish.

DEVELOPMENT GROUP-The River Walk and Buffet Lunch hosted by the Development Group last Sunday was voted a great success. It attracted a large number of participants and the promise of “the tastiest lunch around” was well fulfilled when the walkers returned to the Community Hall.

The food was delicious and full marks to all concerned, the catering expertise was excellent. It would seem that the hospitality for which the Bennettsbridge Ladies were renowned down through the years is in good hands.

Winners -of Bennettsbridge Tidy Towns Chewing Gum Slogan/Poster Competition

Senior Infant’s/1st Class

1st – Conor Molloy “Bin It To Win It!”

2nd – Aisling Dwan “Don’t Gum Our Village”

3rd – Tara Coyne “Don’t Throw Dirt On The Ground”

1st Class/2nd Class

1st – Emma Moriarty “Keep Our Village Tidy & Neat, No More Chewing Gum Stuck To Our Feet”

2nd – Caoimhe Hughes “Don’t Be A Bum, Bin Your Gum”

3rd – Oran Lavery “Dump Your Gum When Your Done”

2nd Class/3rd Class

1st – Daniel Murphy “Gum on The Street, Ain’t so Neat!”

2nd – Emma Keogh “Gum On The Street Means Yucky Sticky Feet, Don’t Spit It,Bin It”

3rd – Gearóid Kent “Don’t Be A Bum, Pick Up Your Gum”

3rd Class/4th Class

1st – Aodhán Kent “Be Neat Keep Your Gum Off The Street”

2nd – Emily Hughes “Buy It, Chew It, Bin It”

3rd – Jade Lavery “Gum On The Ground Equals A Frown”

4th Class/5th Class/6th Class

1st – Laura Hayes “Don’t Be A Sinner, Be A Gum Binner”

2nd – Gabriel Joyce “Don’t Be Dumb, Bin Your Gum”

3rd – Dáire Cassin “When Your Finished Your Gum, At The End Of The Day, Throw It In The Bin And Walk Away”

Over all winning Slogan

Gabriel Joyce “Don’t Be Dumb, Bin Your Gum”

AGM-The Annual General Meeting of the Community Development Group will take place on Wednesday, 18th April in the Community Hall at 8pm. All are invited to attend and anyone wishing to get involved in the group’s activities would be welcomed.

SYMPATHY-Sympathy is extended to Christy Forde, Bohergaddy on the tragic death of his nephew, Cathal Forde, which occurred in London last week. Cathal was a talented hurler from Gort, Co. Galway and he had been training with his club, Kilburn Gaels, Highgate when he collapsed on the pitch. The 28 year old was taken to the nearby Whittington Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His younger brother Niall was training with him when the tragedy happened.

The remains were brought back to his home in Castletown, Gort. Requiem Mass was celebrated in St Colman’s Church, Gort and burial took place in Kiltartan cemetery.

TIDY TOWNS-Community Clean Up is being held on the, 21st April @ 10am – 1.00pm. Please assemble at the Credit Union. We need to paint, plant & clean up as we get ready to submit our application for the Tidy Town’s Competition in May. We had a great turn out for our clean up on 3rd of March, hope to see everyone again on the 21st of April. Please bring own paint brush or wire brush or gardening tools.

EAST END SCHOOLBOYS-East End Utd: Schoolboys Results: U17 Cup: East End 2 (Kelvyn Skehan, pen, Kevin Blanchfield), Freshford Town 4 U13 Cup: East End 4 (Cillian Power 2, Ciaran Brennan, Jamie Harkin), Southend 2. They now meet Thomastown in the semi final. Schoolboy Fixture: U11 Cup: Semi Final Freebooters B v East End, Buckley Park 2pm U13 Cup: Paulstown 06 v East End 2pm

EAST END SOCCER NEWS-Advance notice of 40th Anniversary celebrations. Saturday, May 12th Schoolboys Soccer Blitz and BBQ. Schoolboys teams from U8 to U13 plus U10 girls match Times and details nearer the time. Sunday, 20th May Special Mass for East End F.C.

Friday, 25th May Gala Dinner Dance Hotel Kilkenny Live Music and DJ Tickets E35.00( admission ticket only) Contact Wayne: 086 3226874 or Lorraine 087 7475421. Tickets also available from Centra, Lalor’s and O’Donnell’s.

Saturday 26th May Adult Team’s Soccer Tournament 20s v 30s

Ladies Match Sean Keogh Memorial Cup(over 40’s) Live Music and Medal Presentation in the Corner House Saturday Night.

GAA NEWS-representatives of Bennettsbridge g.a.a club will be calling to houses in the parish during the next few weeks to seek support for the annual piltown draw. this draw is one of the main sources of finance for the club and your help would be very much appreciated.

LOTTO-No winner last week. Numbers chosen, 16, 18, 19, 23. Jackpot now stands at E7000.00

Consolation Prizes

Dolores Comerford, Gowran Road

Maeve Thornton, The Ring

Alice Conlon, Legan, Thomastown

Michelle & Lisa M, c/o Lalor’s

Seamus Keaney, The Long Man

COLLECTION-A Church gate collection in aid of the Irish Epilepsy Association will take place in Tullaherin and Bennettsbridge on Saturday and Sunday, 5th & 6th May.

ART GROUP-Bennettsbridge Art Group resumes classes this Saturday in the Community Centre at 12noon.

LOCALLY DELICOUS-Reminder of the Locally Delicious Food demonstration to be held in Newpark Hotel, on Thursday 26th April, at 7pm. Anne Neary, Ryland Cookery School, together with friend and fellow chef, Edward Hayden will host an evening of Delicous Food, Fun and Entertainment. They will demonstrate a variety of food menus, including vegetarian and will give advice and tips on home and occasional dining.

Local Food Producers will have their products on display. A complimentary glass of wine will add to the enjoyment. Opportunity to win a fabulous hamper.

CARD GAME-The Bennettsbridge Card Game continues to attract loyal supporters each Tuesday night. The game is held in The Community Centre and refreshments add to the social aspect of the event. Winners last Tuesday, 1st Prize, Peter Dooley and Maeve Drennan, (10games). 2nd Prize, Joe Doyle and Lar Gibbons, (9games) Table Prize, Pat Downey and Tom Walsh.

LADIES CLUB-Final chance to put your name in for the Ladies Club Weekend away to Cork in June. Contact, Kathleen at 056 7727152 or Joan at 056 7727416

BORD NA NOG-Grand National Draw : Congratulations to Sean Morrissey who won 1st prize in the Bord nÓg Grand National Draw when his horse Neptune Collonges got home by a nose .

Full results : 1st place €200 (Neptune Collonges ) Sean Morrissey, Rathcusack, 2nd place €100 (Sunnyhillboy) Paudie Lannon, The Ring , 3rd place €50 (Seabass) Mary Gaffney c/o John Byrne , 4th place €40  (Cappa Bleu)  Marian Lennon, Pigeon Park. Last place €30 (Midnight Haze) Kathleen Conway.

The Bord na nÓg would like to sincerely thank those who supported our annual fundraiser and also a special thanks to all those who made such a great effort to sell lines.   

On the Pitch-The hurling season has kicked off in earnest with all groups now back for training or matches . It is great to see the pitch busy with so many young boys and girls down in the field getting great enjoyment learning and playing our games. We in Bennettsbridge Bord na nÓg would like to see even more children in the parish participating in the club so we would like to invite you and your children to come and join us in the local Juvenile GAA club. In Bord na nÓg , we cater for children under 6 through to Minor and the emphasis is on learning the skills of the games of hurling and football in a fun environment at a pace suitable to each child. Our primary focus is not on winning (although winning is fun) but on participation and developing the children’s skills over time so that they enjoy playing Gaelic Games  and continue to do so through to adulthood. We have over 25 coaches involved in juvenile coaching and place great emphasis on coaches training and development. Joining your local GAA club is also a great way to get involved in your local community and again we would like to invite you and your family to come and join us. If you have any question/queries please do not hesitate to contact me Paul Brennan  (Bord na nÓg Chairman & Childrens Officer) on 087 2720156

Coaches Wanted-Are you interested in helping out with the coaching of our young players in hurling / football this year ? Bord na nÓg are currently looking for coaches particularly for the 5,6,7,8 yr old boys and girls in our Club. Note that you do not need any experience (just enthusiasm !) , as the Club will provide coaching training within the Club and via the County Board .If you are interested please contact one of the following Shane Doyle (U6 Coach) 087 2287168 , Ger Kelly (U8 Coach)     087 6795273 or Paul Brennan (Chairman)  087 2720156

Results/Fixtures-The Minors bounced back well from a narrow defeat the previous week to James Stephens when they recorded a great win over the Shamrocks  on a scoreline of 2-17 to 1-7 in the Minor A League last Friday week. They next take on Emeralds at home on Mon 23rd which is going to be a huge challenge. The U16’s also had a very good win last week when they defeated Galmoy/Windgap 3-19 to 0-4 in the B league. They next face Tullaroan away on Thurs 19th which is sure to be a much stiffer test. The Schools team play Mooncoin away today   in the 3rd round of the league.   The U10’s and U12’s also recently kicked off their season with challenge matches and both groups are showing great promise.

EMAIL-Items for inclusion in the Bennettsbridge Notes should be e-mailed to on or before Sunday at 6pm. Alternatively, contact Joan at 056 7727416 or 086 8271379.