OPERATION TRANSFORMATION IN WINDGAP HALL- : In the past ten days parishioners from Cambridge, Waterford and Dublin cities the English Shires and the Nire Valley along with a similar sized group from the locality have transformed the local parish hall. Having given a hotel decor feel to the entrance hall, one now enters the interior to a colour theme of white and various hues of linen.
After painting the walls doors radiators and skirting boards during the week the daunting task of the ceiling was planned to be tackled on Saturday. Never before in its history of almost forty years as a Parish Hall can it be recalled as being visited and upgraded. A dust, dirt and damp mottled shades of pink, it displayed its age as sections sagged and individual grooved planks were to be seen hanging down. On Saturday morning at eight thirty saw the first arrivals sweep into action as mobile scaffolding towers were erected, to get closer, to examine the ailing subject. At the same time the power washers arrived as Gerard Doyle and Nicky Hawe removed the loose paint, dirt, grime and slime from the front of the building. As the day progressed Ann Crowley gave the final radiators and the ceiling was repaired and resecured to the joices by local carpenter Pat Walsh. In addition the major cracks and openings were all sealed off. With the gutters cleared of grime and debris during the week by Simon Brophy, more light arrived into the hall as the cleaners tackled the large windows on both sides. After a break the cleaning of the ceiling was carried out and the painting task commenced. For the hours that followed the mobile scaffolding towers appeared to waltz slowly around the floor like the dancers that flocked to the same O’Sheas Hall in the fifties. Once a Mecca of dancing for the region, romances bloomed as the hours were whiled away to the big band sounds that included the Riverside Jazz Band, Dermot O’Brien, Maurice Mulcahy, Donal Ring and both Mick Delahunty senior and junior dance bands. Up above the now vacant floor the ceiling construction looked like a chessboard, made out in interlocked veed strips in sections each separated by moulded architraves. Four panels and almost thirty-foot wide, in the eighty feet long hall, the progress was like a game of chess as the towers with their painters on board moved in various fashions on top of the links that now linked the floor to the ceiling. With the painters on top of the first tower in operation having changed the colour from pink to the new bleached linen they then moved across over the front of the stage and down one flank of the Hall. Continuing the local connection they used paint supplied by Clonmel shopkeeper and Windgap born resident, regular visitor and former hurler John Aylward. Elsewhere the zig zag format of the progress other towers and painters was akin to the more modern “moving and shaking” dance styles from the Marthy Whelan, Maxi and the late Gerry Ryan’s packed disco nights in the hall. As the radio coverage from the Shamrocks game in Wexford Park to the premiership results dried up with the evenings passing Bruce Springsteen was to be heard echoing around the empty walls. Passing the hours tall tales, plans and reminiscences were exchanged as the proposed finishing time of six o’clock approached. As all the activity was nearing the main door the half completed job was now heading for two-thirds completion. Fed and fortified by a good red rich strong beverage and the return of fellow workers and the support of visitors the show continued as an undecided feeling swept over all in the Hall around as seven thirty arrived “to go for it” and finish it out. By nine the hall was again closed and silent for the night with renewed hopes that its new internal coat and appearance would re attract more activity and gaiety back inside its doors. Over the week the team of volunteer painters led by professional painter Dave Kelly and the artist Tess Cross who spent her weekend exhibiting and selling her black and white landscape creations in Dublin was led and cajoled by the transformation coordinator Kate Moloney. It also included a list of Crowley’s, Walsh’s, Doyle’s, Brophy’s, Hawe’s along with Dave Cross and the two generations of the Carolan and Ward families that included the mothers and daughter team of Imelda and Melanie. Over the period each volunteer brought his or her own individual skills and wide range of equipment to the mammoth task. Scheduled to be completed with the cooperation of the local badminton club who rescheduled their activities, the replacement of the missing fluorescent tubes and broken panes over the front door remain outstanding. By Sunday next visitors to the parish bazaar will see a first ever sight of an external Christmas tree that will bedeck the entrance porch, that will add a welcome greeting to the days visitors. Inside they can enjoy the results of the “can do” work ethic of the volunteers who deserve a “bualadh bos” and a couple of days off for their activities, preparations and cleaning for the community and the annual visitors.
BOHEMIAN VISITOR - On Sunday a rare Irish sighting was made in Tullahought when Monica and Frank Long visiting their parents Joseph and Sarah in the Crowley household saw and identified a Bohemian Waxwing with its Jedward like comb from faraway Scandinavia and Russia. Caught on Camera in the garden the colourful thrush sized bird joins the photo of a white blackbird that was seen feeding amongst the berried hedge some years ago. Like many other local households they are delighted with the return of the pheasants to local farmyards and gardens in search of food supplies following the pinch in the weather.
GAA AGM - An open invitation is extended to all players, parents and members to Windgap GAA Clubs AGM takes place on Friday evening at 8pm in the Clubrooms. At it, the year’s activities on the playing fields and the reports on the clubs finances and at Development level will be reviewed. Following the election of officer’s plans will be made for the New Year with the fall out from the ongoing emigration and unemployment levels being high along the list. In recent weeks nomination papers have been circulated to all members.
IN THE PIPELINE - The Hall painting project is one of a series from the new Parish “Planning for the Future Group” that are planned before the New Year. It includes a “Cup of Tea” in the parochial house after Christmas morning mass, the widening of the entrance to the church Car Park and the launching of a Parish Website. Work is ongoing on the various sub committees in preparation for the next meeting on January 15th.
TIDY TOWNS - Sunday saw the meet of the Kilmoganny Harriers switched at short notice from their planned Windgap venue to Tullahought. In wet sticky conditions a large crowd attended and hunted till dusk. The short notice saw a lack of communications with the local Bronze Medal award winning Tidy Towns committee and with some landowners in the area. The committees ongoing work on maintaining the roadside margins was only saved as the result of a mile of temporary fencing that was erected in conjunction with a dairy farmer the previous day. Its aim was to protect the wide margins as a herd of around eighty cows was being moved through the village. In the process of being taken down early on a wet Sunday morning the very early arrival of the first of the horse boxes well before midday saw committee members having to go reverse their plans and go through the act of putting it all up again. The final result saw the margins protected from incursion and damage by the increased levels of traffic that included the hunts followers and the lorries, tractors and large vehicles that transported the various sized and type of hunting horses and ponies into the area. The provision of off road parking by a local farmer also helped immensely in assisting the attempt to retain the bronze Medal in 2013.
WATER SCHEME - The AGM of the Group Water Scheme for members of all households takes place in the Parish hall on Wednesday at 7.30 pm.
DEFRIBILATOR LOCATIONS - The first of the defibrillator installations has commenced. In the meantime they are available in the residences of Richard, Joanne Walsh, Tullahought, Richard (087-9963355) and Joanne (087-6826680. John, Katrina, Cian Ryan, Windgap. John (087-6576045), Katrina (087-9289718) and Cian (087-2969573). John, Miriam Barron, Butlerswood 051-648949 and Miriam (087-7773233).
Bazaar - THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS BAZAAR will be held in Windgap Community Centre on Sunday 9th December at 2.00 p.m. All usual events will take place. As in previous years Christmas Cakes are a speciality at Windgap Bazaar so the usual appeal is being made for cakes for icing. Raffle tickets will be distributed to all houses over the next few weeks.
CLUB NEWS - The Mice Race night takes place on January 12th. The next progressive twenty five card game takes place in Guinans on Friday December 14th at 8.45pm. This Weeks Winning Numbers, 10, 22, 23, 25 Bonus 14 €8,800
PHOTO WALK - Carrick Camera Club members will be on a Photo-Walk in Carrick-on-Suir on Saturday, 8th of December at 1 o’clock. They will be photographing different areas of interest such as the Main Street and Carrick Castle. The club organises regular outings for its members but have organized this local outing to raise awareness of the club and to capture photographs of our town. They look forward to meeting members of the public who have an interest in photography. New members are always welcome at the club. Also the ‘Women in Focus’ photography exhibition by a group of women members of the club is currently on display in Carrick Library. This exhibition showcases talent within the club and is well worth a visit.