Callan: The hidden talents of Michael Bradley

A POEM FOR CHRISTMAS - We all love to hear of people who have a talent for something or other, whether it is painting, crafts, sculpture or writing. As we all know since the mobile phone, email and social networking has taken over our lives, a lot of us have forgotten the art of how to write a letter a story or a poem. Recently a writing course has been in progress at the wonderful Droichead centre, which is helping people to develop their writing skills. One man who has taken to writing in a big way is local man Michael Bradley. He has by his own admission discovered an art for writing he probably really never knew was there and in particular for writing poems. When speaking to him recently he gave me a three page printed poem called Callan Town. Now I don’t ever remember anyone specifically writing about our old town but Michael’s discretion certainly allows the reader to just imagine taking that walk along with the writer. I felt that the best time to publish it was around the Christmas period when a lot of our expatriates are home for the holiday period with their families. Michael told me has other poems he has written and more in his head just to put to paper and with some encouragement perhaps Michael may publish a book of his poems at some stage.

A POEM FOR CHRISTMAS - We all love to hear of people who have a talent for something or other, whether it is painting, crafts, sculpture or writing. As we all know since the mobile phone, email and social networking has taken over our lives, a lot of us have forgotten the art of how to write a letter a story or a poem. Recently a writing course has been in progress at the wonderful Droichead centre, which is helping people to develop their writing skills. One man who has taken to writing in a big way is local man Michael Bradley. He has by his own admission discovered an art for writing he probably really never knew was there and in particular for writing poems. When speaking to him recently he gave me a three page printed poem called Callan Town. Now I don’t ever remember anyone specifically writing about our old town but Michael’s discretion certainly allows the reader to just imagine taking that walk along with the writer. I felt that the best time to publish it was around the Christmas period when a lot of our expatriates are home for the holiday period with their families. Michael told me has other poems he has written and more in his head just to put to paper and with some encouragement perhaps Michael may publish a book of his poems at some stage.

CALLAN TOWN

As the winterous cold approaches

And the leaves start trickling down

You know the dark is on its way

Amongst the streets of Callan Town

A nip is slowly felt by all

As the coats and scarves appear

A simple sign of what’s to come

In the months to end the year

A workhouse of historic tale

Many times became of mention

To assist and cater for less well off

Who required both needs and attention

The local green was there for all

With games to play or just to stroll

And the local parish church appeared

And the sound of such a gentle toll

With further steps towards the cross

The town hall had just arrived

Which gave help to poor and needy folk

And those most more deprived

The farmers store was there no more

As it changed to the creamery site

And on passing local pubs and shops

Came St Mary’s on the night

A historical structure with tales to tell

Of peoples lives and deaths within

Surrounding tombs and graves revealed

The secrets when these tales began

On further descent the main cross arrives

With a choice of route to take

Take right, the Mill, take left, the west

Or find the bridge by just going straight

Then came the bridge with peaceful view

The Kings river flowed from left to right

And as each mornings mist arose

More historic features came to sight

The Grand Abbey stood upon its hearth

And much overpowered its meadow

And further down a trickling sound

Came rising from the well below

The lessons learnt in local schools

Taught students here to better others

Bold standards kept within St Brigids

And a harsher challenge from Christian Brothers

Founder Edmond Ignatius Rice

Was from Westcourt just outside the town

His view and endeavour soon travelled far

And his special ways became widely known

A statue erect within the town

Beared respect and recognition

A powerful throne he stood upon

Bore a strong but gentle vision

On travelling towards Kilkennys path

Certain thoughts may raise a rested frown

These thoughts with us will return again

As we recall our passage through Callan Town

COLLAISTE EAMONN RIS - The LCVP class at Collaiste Eamonn Ris Callan along with teachers Tommy Butler and Martin Walsh recently did a sponsored climb of Slievenamon in aid of Cois Noir Cancer charity. They also held a cake sale for the same charity and raised in excess of €700 between both events.The Transition Year group have also been active on the fundraising scene. As part of the launch of their Build -a- Bank initiative in association with Ms Anita Cullen of Callan branch of AIB they invited past pupil Noel Hickey to officially open their branch. On the day they provided games and amusements, held a cake sale and had local group Acousticats perform for their fellow students. They raised in excess of €350 for the local conference of St Vincent de Paul. The School’s annual collection will raise another €300 at least for the same cause. The TY class, along with their coordinator Mister Brennan, cut and bagged several hundred bags of kindling and then distributed them to local homes in the Callan area.

FAMILY 5K WALK - Don’t forget the first annual Family fun walk which has been organized by the John Lockes GAA club today St. Stephens Day beginning at 11.30am at the Parish Hall. Registration begins at 11am and an optional €5.00 family registration gives you entry to a draw for some wonderful family prizes. On completion refreshments will be served in the Parish Hall for everyone. Some get out of that bed and get walking.

BEREAVEMENTS - This time of the year is a period when we all reflect on those loved ones who have passed away either a long time ago or in recent times. In the past two months there has been a good number of bereavements in relation to Callan and surrounds and remembering them here may give some solos to the families that they are being remembered. In late October one of Callan’s well know ladies passed away after a long illness. Chrissie Morrissey of Collins Park was a great family lady and loved to have all her children and grandchildren around her. She bore her illness with great strength . On the 9th of November two of our parishioners passed away. Brigid Mulhall from Ballywalters and Rory O’ Gorman formerly of Newtown and in recent times the Auld House Killamery. Brigid had lived at Strathmore Lodge where she was in the care of the wonderful staff. She was interred at Ballingarry. Rory O’Gorman farmed at Newtown for most of his life until he decided to purchase the well known pub at Killamery. His personality was ideal for the pub and he always had a word for everyone. He loved to enjoy a pint in either the Steppes Bar or Keoghs Bar in Callan when he had a little time to himself. Even though he wasn’t actually from Callan Paddy Fiacre Tierney was well known in the town and worked at Heron Joinery for some time. He was a great character and a terrific family man. His sudden death came as a great shock to many both in his own parish of Danesfort and in Callan. Bernedette Lynch was also a very well known person in Callan. She was wife of the Late Martin ‘Boxer’ Lynch who was great Kilkenny supporter. Bernedette ran the pub in Mullinahone which she loved while Martin would have the banter with the Tipperary lads. Both went on many of the Kilkenny hurling trips in the early years. Bernie loved making several trips to Kilkenny every week and loved her shopping and a memory for most was the hair was always well made up. In the past couple of weeks the town has lost two more people who were well known and respected. Both Tom Ryan of Knockreagh and Con O’Sullivan of the Meadows and formerly upper Bridge Street passed away on the 8th December. Both were great GAA supporters and ironically both were prayed for at the John Lockes AGM the previous night. Tom was one of the John Lockes presidents and was very proud of that title. He was a wonderful supporter of the Lockes since coming to Callan as a young boy but when it came to county allegiance well there was no shifting him from the Blue and Gold of Tipperary. Con again was a great supporter of the John Lockes and would also attend Graigue Ballycallan games as his farm is in the parish of Kilmanagh. A man of few words Con but a great family man. To all mentioned and to all who have lost loved ones in the past year condolences to you. Christmas is always a time for reflection and its always a time to look back on the happy times because they always out weight the sad periods