The Abhainn Ri festival wound to a close on Sunday and can yet again be crowned as an outstanding success. As always it was a festival of inclusiveness and from its infancy three years ago it has gradually grown to be a week that many people look forward too with great anticipation. Inclusiveness is what sets this festival apart from others that makes it different from your normal run of the mill festivals. Some people can’t buy into it or just don’t understand its theme. But then that’s their problem. The festival committee which works for all and is not an exclusive club strive to bring new options each year and this year they certainly did. All week children gathered at the Co-Op for art workshops and the fruits of their work were launched on the Kings river on Sunday night in a spectacular light show which brought the festival to a close. The Kings River theme was ‘Incantations of Lugh’. In the spirit of Luhasnasa, cattle are driven into the river to cleanse and protect them from those of the other world. The children then chanted from the river bank and the Big Bridge incantations to invoke the rivers spirits. Blessings, secrets and wishes in the form of lanterns when then offered on the burning rafts. But the week had so much more, Monday night at the ‘Big Wheel’ Pub turned out to be such a memorable one with the Castlecomer Minstrels putting on a wonderful performance and after conclusion continued with a great sing song. On Tuesday night at Keoghs Bar one of Callan’s famed, returned to recite some of his short story work. Joe Kearney is well known today for his contributions to RTE Radio 1’ Sunday Miscellany’. Many of his stories are about his childhood in Callan and a lot are about great Kilkenny hurling games and especially his memories of Kilkenny and Tipperary games and no doubt he may have a tail to tell before the All-Ireland semi-final. He read his stories in front of a large gathering and later people reminisced about times past in Callan. One of the highlights of the week was a play performed at the Friary Complex called ‘Phantasm’. Written by John Kennedy whose dad Tim Kennedy was a teacher in Collaiste Eamon Ris for many years. This young guy has a different slant on things and this play certainly was a must see. It reflected lives of two young people who fantasised about life by smoking cannabis. It showed how just normal young people could get into the slippery slope of addiction. Saying that it was also very funny, but it was a play that parents and youngsters alike would have got a message from it. Sadly apart from a few locals very few of the audience were from Callan. Hopefully you will take up the opportunity to see it during Kilkenny Arts Festival. Another play that has already received rave reviews in the national press was ‘Fight Night’ it was staged at the Co-Op with one of the old stores transformed into an Amphitheatre. Again the Abhainn Ri Festival committee have to be commended for transforming the old C-Op stores and utilising the space which otherwise would have fallen into disrepair. ‘Fight Night’ was a one man show performed by Aonghus’ Og’ McAnally son of the famous Aonghus. This was a stunning performance, it was full of energy and most telling it was nonstop dialogue for the full hour. The energy of the guy had to be seen to believed, it told the story of a 28 year old father of one who decided to go back to the boxing ring and try and put his ghosts to rest and also prove to his cynical father that he wasn’t afraid to box. Throughout the play the actor trained as if he was a real boxer, his skipping, shadow boxing and all round acting was superb. Callan Boxing Guru Jimmy Walsh was in the audience to see the play and was highly impressed by all his training and even down to the detail of putting on protective bandages. This was a brilliant display of acting by McAnally who is certainly taking after his famous grandfather Ray McAnally. It was well attended but sadly again Callan people were short on the ground. The Nicole and Martin shows staged at the Old Work House drew full houses for the three different shows from Thursday to Saturday. Those who attended were enthralled by the shows and are hoping they will return again in the future. Over all a wonderful week and already the Festival committee are planning for next year.
ROCK THE BOAT - Well we all ’Rocked the Boat’ but sadly we didn’t break any records as the numbers didn’t stack up when the counting of bodies was completed. But boy we had fun and even though no records were recorded the near six hundred who ‘Got down and dirty’ on the wet ground can say, ‘Yes I was there on the 5th August when we Rocked the boat’. Take a bow all of you, Callan people turned out in big numbers despite the poor weather and ground conditions. It was all in a good cause, with all the gate proceeds going to Crumlin Children’s Hospital. There were vintage tractors, cake and tea sales, wheel of fortune, burger bar and loads of games making it an enjoyable day for all and plenty of money raised for a deserving cause. Of course there were a few moaners who didn’t want to pay the €5 to enter the Field Day. Well hopefully none of those people will ever have to use the facilities of Crumlin Hospital. But those moaners are in the minority in our community and best ignored.
HURLING TOURNAMENT - The Flags were flying and the band was tuning up and young hurlers were waiting nervously at the Fair Green around 11am last Sunday for the big parade through the town. The annual Bank Holiday hurling tournament run by the John Lockes was about to get underway and this year it had a new venue. Because of the redevelopment at John Locke Park the venue for the tournament was switched to the Collaiste Eamon Ris sports grounds. The John Lockes have been using the grounds for the past six months and are very grateful to the College for allowing them to use the facility. The parade brought large numbers on to the streets to applaud the young hurlers. The proudly marched behind their club banners in their hurling gear and were biting at the bit to go into battle. The U-9 tournament brought clubs from John Lockes, St James of Wexford, Thomastown, Ballycallan , Windgap , Graiguenamnagh, Danesfort, Tullaroan and Dunnamaggin, while the U-12 tournament entertained teams from St Lachtain’s, O Loughlin Gaels , Thomastown, Danesfort, James Stephens , John Lockes, Erins Owen Castlecomer and Conahy Shamrocks. In the new format there are no winners and loosers, its purely about hurling and at the end everyone receives a prize. But even though there are no cups and trophies anymore the hurling was still hugely competitive and at times there were a few choice words passed between some of the mentors. But that is what makes our games so great, it’s the passion and the love of that club jersey. Everyone was a winner on Sunday and as always the Lockes presented beautiful tee shirts to every player. They were emblazoned with the John Lockes crest as well as Callan Credit Union crest who have been the tournaments generous sponsors for many years. A big thank you to the Credit Union for their help over the years it certainly makes the efforts of the Juvenile so much easier to finance. There was loads of wonderful help over the two days and one of the unsung heroes is Kieran Lanigan. Kieran has been a John Lockes man all his life, he loves the Lockes and loves hurling in general. He has dedicated much of the past thirty years to the juvenile club and on Saturday he spent the entire day lining pitches in readiness for the big day. Other’s who give so much of their time are Rose and Mick Corcoran who have been helping at the tournament from year one. Rose is the best Ticket seller any club would love to have and Mick has given so much to the Lockes over the years. A big thanks also to Harry Bryan who works tirelessly on selling so many Lotto tickets each week and gave so much to the juvenile club over the years, in fact he was one of the leading lights many years ago in rejuvenating the juvenile club. Also on hand on Sunday was Brother Damien Brennan who spent most of the day working in the busy shop and in doing so brought in a tidy profit. There were so many more who worked that day and a big thanks to the young hurlers who stewarded the games and also referred the U-9 games. To the ladies who helped out in the shop and a big thanks and to the mentors and parents who transported the players from all over the county and a special thanks to our new friends St. James GAA club from Ramsgrange Wexford. All the clubs were delighted and very complementary of how the tournament was run, well the John Lockes have been at it a long time now and have it down to a fine art.
DROICHEAD CENTRE - Better Energy Warmer Homes (BEWH): Do you fit the following criteria? If so, you may be entitled to gain funds to cover insulation costs to improve your home to make it more comfortable, healthier and more energy efficient? Are you owner occupied? Constructed before 2002? The owner must be in receipt of: Fuel allowance OR Job seekers Allowance for over 6 months and with children under the age of 7 years OR Family Income Support. For further information, please contact KLP on 056 77 52 111
Droichead Childcare - Enrolment is on-going for the Autumn term in Droichead Childcare, Callan. Free pre-school places are still available. Is your child aged between (3 yrs 3months) and (4 yrs 10 months)? If so, you are entitled to 5 free mornings / afternoons free Childcare under the ECCE scheme. Are you planning on returning to education in September 2012? Are you aware you may be entitled to substantially reduced childcare fees under the Childcare Education Training Scheme (CETS). Are you receiving any social welfare payments? Have you got a medical card? If so you may be entitled to reduced childcare fees under the Subvention scheme. If you would like further information on the various schemes outlined above or to view our state of the art facility contact Maggie on 056 7755519 Ext 2. Limited places are available.
MOUNT CARMEL CHARITY DRAW - The Mount Carmel Committee would like to thank all the promoters of the annual draw for all the hard work during the past two months, as they travelled all over Callan and the surrounding areas collecting for the Home. The promoters would also like to thank all the people who subscribed, who welcomed them at the door with a smile and many a cup of tea. The draws for May, June and July were held in Mount Carmel last Wednesday night where the numbers were drawn by many of the residents and visitors. The results for May are. €200 Mary Munnelly Callan, €100 Eileen Walker Kyle, €100 Joan Downey Windgap, €30 Philomena Butler Ballycallan, Noel Smith Windgap, Stacks Pharmacy, Mary O’Neill Kilkenny, Eileen Vaughan Callan, Stella O Shea Slieverue, Mick Neary, Yvonne Young, Helen Vaughan and Tom & Statia Walsh all Callan. JUNE €200 Marian Butler Newtown, €100 Beth & Fay Maguire Friary Walk, €100 Margaret O’Dwyer Tinnamona, €30 Emma Fitzgerald Ballycloven, Renee Doyle Ballykeeffe, Elaine Bryan, Finola Somers Callan, Kathleen Cody Knockulty, Pierce Barry Dunnamaggan, Ettie & Catherine Power Prologue, Gerry Dunne Kilmanagh, Simon O’Brien Callan and Edward Dunne, Kilmanagh. JULY €200 Mary Dillon Greatoak,€100 Harry & David Bryan West St, €100 Eileen Egan Canada, €30 Larry Murphy Windgap, Maureen Comerford Callan, Helen & Kevin Bryan Skeaugh, Joan Brennan Tinnamona, Declan Kennedy Coolagh, Paddy Donovan Mellows Park, Billy Neary Dareen, Kathleen Gleeson Farmley, Sally Brett Mount Carmel and Callan Active Retirement. The draws will continue on the last Wednesday of every month in Mount Carmel at 8oc, and if you still wish to join you may do so by contacting Mount Carmel or Elaine Bryan PO.
TALENT SHOW - The ‘Olde Charter House’ will hold a massive Talent Show on August 18th. Open to all types of talent, so ifs a dancing dog, a talking horse, a comedy act, bands, singers etc, get along to the Charter House for a night of fun. There are terrific prizes on offer. 1st prize €500, 2nd prize €150, 3rd prize€ 50. We know a few singers around the town who will be heading there and one known ‘crooner’ will no doubt give the ‘Rose of Mooncoin’ a lash the night before the Kilkenny/Tipperary All-Ireland Semi-Final.
BREAK IN’S GROWING - The area has been hit by a spate of break in’s and attempted burglaries over the past week and we have to highlight again for people to be diligent with keeping their properties safe. One tip would be to ensure the back door is also locked especially if there is only one person in the house. People have been caught out during the recent burglaries, the thieves call at the front door, distract the householder while their partners in crime enter through the back door or windows. It is worrying but again we appeal there are enough of neighbourhood watch signs dotted around the area reminding to ‘Stamp out Crime’, so no report strange cars and vans. Last week it was a red Toyota Highace van, next week it could be another colour or make. So try and keep your property safe.
SUBMISSIONS TO CALLAN NOTES - The Callan Notes welcomes submissions for publication from all organisations and individuals, so to ensure you get your message in to the notes the following Wednesday I would appreciate if you can get your details to me by 8pm on Sunday nights as I need to have my notes into the newspaper early Monday morning. I am sorry but in future I am unable to accept submissions after the 8pm Sunday night deadline. As always email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for keeping the news in the Callan notes.