PJ and Mary Jean get married

WEDDING BELLS- The marriage was solemnised in Kilkishen, Co. Clare, between, P.J. Conway, Kilfane, son of Paddy and the late, Teresa Conway, Kilfane and MaryJean Shanahan, daughter of Gerry and Ann Shanahan, Clare. The ceremony was conducted by Rev Oliver Maher, P.P. Urlingford, assisted by Rev Donal O’Dwyer, Clare. The bride wore a full length white lace gown and she was attended by her sisters, Stephanie, Tina and Rebecca who chose turquoise gowns. Best man was Michael and groomsmen were, Johnny and Peter, all brothers of the groom. The wedding party included six flower girls and four page boys, nieces and nephews of the bride and groom. The lessons were read by, Judy(sister of groom) and Pat(brother of bride). Members and friends of the families recited Prayers of the Faithful. The Offertory Gifts were presented by, Ann ( mother of bride) and Claire (sister of groom). Music throughout the ceremony was by soloist, Emer Dunne and organist, Gerry Gorman. A reception for guests was held in The Strand Hotel, Limerick and the honeymoon is being spent in L.A.

WEDDING BELLS- The marriage was solemnised in Kilkishen, Co. Clare, between, P.J. Conway, Kilfane, son of Paddy and the late, Teresa Conway, Kilfane and MaryJean Shanahan, daughter of Gerry and Ann Shanahan, Clare. The ceremony was conducted by Rev Oliver Maher, P.P. Urlingford, assisted by Rev Donal O’Dwyer, Clare. The bride wore a full length white lace gown and she was attended by her sisters, Stephanie, Tina and Rebecca who chose turquoise gowns. Best man was Michael and groomsmen were, Johnny and Peter, all brothers of the groom. The wedding party included six flower girls and four page boys, nieces and nephews of the bride and groom. The lessons were read by, Judy(sister of groom) and Pat(brother of bride). Members and friends of the families recited Prayers of the Faithful. The Offertory Gifts were presented by, Ann ( mother of bride) and Claire (sister of groom). Music throughout the ceremony was by soloist, Emer Dunne and organist, Gerry Gorman. A reception for guests was held in The Strand Hotel, Limerick and the honeymoon is being spent in L.A.

WRITERS GROUP - The next meeting of the Bennettsbridge Writers Group takes place on Wednesday, 27th June in Ann Buckley’s house at 2pm.

SYMPATHY - Sympathy is extended to the family of the Very Reverend Cecil Weekes, Danesfort Road, Bennettsbridge, whose death occurred unexpectedly last week.

JESTERS AT THE WATERGATE – THE BENNETTSBRIDGE CONNECTION - On Thursday night, the Jesters Stage Academy presented the first night of a magnificent show in the Watergate Theatre. This was a brilliant night’s entertainment with excellent performances from all age groups. The show, aptly named, “Miscellaneous Miscellany” produced a very varied programme and the audience showed their appreciation. Months of preparation were well justified as the youngsters gave of their best. The cast included several children from the parish and proud parents and grandparents were there to support their budding artists.

LOTTO - No winner last week. Numbers chosen, 2, 3, 13,21. Jackpot now stands at E8350.00. Consolation Prizes to Billy Crowe, Gowran Road; Dean Denieffe, Kilbline; Amanda Greer, Rathcusack; Dick McEvoy, Gowran Road and Caoimhe Moran, Woodlawn.

CHURCHGATE COLLECTION - Reminder to parishioners of the Churchgate Collection in aid of the Irish Wheelchair Association this weekend before all masses.

FIELD DAY - All hands are needed on deck for the Field day this weekend. The Development Group and the G.A.A. Club have been working hard to ensure that all the events run smoothly. A meeting was held on Wednesday last to check on the various activities and to monitor the progress of those nominated to man each stall. Ticket sales are going well for the raffle being run in conjunction with the Field Day and door to door sales are in progress.There is much interest in the Hurling Simulator and also in the Blitz for Hurling and camogie. Athletics will be a popular activity as will soccer penalty shoot-out and wheel of fortune. Tea and refreshments will be available during the afternoon and the cake stall promises to be a very successful venture. Some ways in which you can help - Spare bags are needed for the bric-a-brac stall, also some boxes to display some new items which have been donated. As with all field days the weather is most important and the committee are keeping their fingers crossed in the hope that the weather will prove favourable. Volunteers will be needed in all areas and if you can help please contact any member of the Development Group or the G.A.A. Club.

BUILDING CULTURAL COMMUNITIES - Two parishioners took part in a course earlier this year, entitled “Building Cultural Communities”. The course was held over twenty weeks and was sponsored by the VEC. The venue was the Ormonde Hotel and the tutor was Conor O’Leary, Artlinks. The course was a Fetac 5 level certification and the participants received their results this week. Taking part were, Imelda Gillespie, Rathcusack, Bennettsbridge and Joan Cleere, Woodlawn, Bennettsbridge. Both women were delighted to hear that they had been successful in their endeavours. Joan was awarded a Distinction, Level 5, for her project in Event Management, while Imelda also received a Distinction, Level 5 for her submission. The course proved to be very enjoyable and informative and the encouragement of Martha Bolger, Kilkenny V.E.C. was very much appreciated.

SCHOOL TRIP - Pupils of Bennettsbridge Mixed School went on their Annual School Trip last week. They travelled to New Ross for a visit to The Dunbrody Famine Ship. However due to the very wet day, their planned trip to Woodstock Gardens had to be abandoned and the children returned to the school early for alternative indoor fun activitities.

BORD NA NAG - Well done to the U14 hurlers who beat Gowran on Monday night in Gowran. Good luck to all our U16s and Minors in their Junior and Leaving Cert. Exams. Hard luck to Bennettsbridge National School Hurlers who were unlucky against Castlecomer N.S. last week in the semi final of Roinn B Schools. Well done to Shane Hanley who participated in the Kennedy Cup Soccer Tournament in Limerick recently. Best of luck to Enda Morrissey and Cormac Wafer on Saturday with the Kilkenny minors in Portlaoise. Operation Transformation is into its second month with participants showing continued determination in losing weight. Come on all you mammies and daddies and walk along with the group giving them your support.  It’s good fun, plenty of chat and you can walk along at your own pace.  Meet us at the hurling field at 7.30 pm. just check with John Byrne or Mary Blanchfield to find out the nights the walking is happening. Hurling Simulator – come and test your skills - Ireland’s First Hurling Simulator (as seen at Croke Park) is coming to Bennettsbridge’s Community Development Field Day on Sunday next. A big thank you to the parents and players who were available and helped out last Saturday at the bag packing in Dunne’s stores. Bord na nOg Coaches - please give your team reports and results to PRO of Bord na nOg (Trish Walsh) at cpwalsh62@eircom.net or Tel. 0876347197.

GAA - Players who have not paid their membership fee are now urged to do so without delay as insurance claims will only apply to paid up members.

SCHOOL HURLING - In the quarter final of the Country Cup, Bennettsbridge was drawn away to Roinn”A” outfit, Ballyhale NS. This was always going to be a big test as Ballyhale were competing well in Roinn “A” this year and also BB were without the injured Ciaran Brennan. Almost from the throw-in BB conceded a free to Ballyhale which was converted to a point. This was followed by a goal in the third minute and things were looking bleak. However, BB settled down and began to create some chances. A nice move between David Blanchfield and Padraic Mullen resulted in the opening point for Bennettsbridge in the fourth minute. Ballyhale replied with a point. Following some tight, tough hurling, David Blanchfield was again the provider for the strong running Conor Murphy to grab a goal. Ballyhale were increasing the pressure and logged up 1-2 in the next few minutes. The next BB score came after some strong defending, Rory Cleere having dug out a lost ball released to Tim Corkery who in turn sent a lovely low ball down the wing to P.Mullen, having gathered it at pace he drew two defenders before releasing the ball to Sean O’Connell to pick off his point. Ballyhale came storming back and picked off another couple of scores. BB finished the half with a pointed free from David Blanchfield. H.T score, BB, 1-3, Ballyhale, 3-5. Although behind, spirits were high and Bennettsbridge were confident. For the first few minutes of the second half both teams defended strongly. The BB half back line of, Tim Corkery, Danny Coyne and Kyran O’Sullivan with good back up from centre field pairing of Conor Murphy and Rory Cleere were under tremendous pressure. But it was BB who had the first chance but the goal bound shot from Padraic Mullen was saved by the Ballyhale keeper. This gave a great boost to the opposition and they rattled in a couple of goals to draw further ahead. Points from D. Blanchfield , Danny Coyne, and Conor Murphy kept BB in touch but the tide had turned and Ballyhale were taking full advantage. D. Blanchfield and Danny Coyne completed the scoring for BB to leave the final score BB 1-8 to Ballyhale’s 4-10. Another fine display from BB who did very well against the Roinn A team. Next outing was the League Quarter Final against neighbours, Gowran NS, played in Danesfort. The teams had met in a pre-season challenge with Gowran coming out on top by two points, so BB were expecting a tough encounter. The game started in an open fashion with both teams creating chances but not converting. Sean O’Connell who was even in the early stages proving to be a thorn in the Gowran side was fouled and the free resulted in a point by David Blanchfield in the 5th minute. Gowran opened their account in the 8th minute with a point. BB seemed to move up a gear after conceding that point and a flowing move, starting with Jamie Harkin releasing a pinpoint hurley pass to Tom Bolger, who hand-passed to Padraic Mullen resulted in a smashing goal. Padraic Mullen followed this up shortly afterwards with another goal and Sean O’Connell put his name on the scoreboard with a nice point. Although Gowran were on the backfoot, they replied with a couple of points but try as they might they were unable to find the net, due to a strong full back line of Barry Lennon, Samuel O’Dwyer, Mikey Lewis and goalie, Kyran O’Sullivan. Bennettsbridge finished out the half with points from David Blanchfield and Padraic Mullen. H T score, BB 3-3, Gowran, 0-4. The second half continued in a similar vein with a David Blanchfield free and a point from Sean O’Connell putting them further ahead. However Gowran staged a comeback and in a short space of time had grabbed two goals to leave the score BB3-5, Gowran, 2-4 and plenty of time left on the clock. BB responded when Jack O’Donnell laid on a pass for Sean O’Connell to point. Two points followed in quick succession from Padraic Mullen. A pass from Danny Coyne to Tim Corkery to Rory Cleere who picked of a nice long range point and BB were in the driving seat again. But Gowran stormed back with two further goals, BB, 4-8, Gowran, 4-4, with ten minutes remaining. Three more quick points from P.Mullen, Conor Murphy and Danny Coyne steadied the ship and then P. Mullen picked up the ball on the half way line and went on a run, releasing the ball to Conor Murphy on the wing and continued his run, Conor Murphy burst through two defenders and returned the ball to Padraic Mullen who smashed it into the net. This seemed to knock the heart out of Gowran and the final score went to the ‘Bridge via a good pass from Troy Walsh to P. Mullen who again found the net. Final score, BB, 6-11, Gowran, 4-5.Bennettsbridge will now face the winners of Mooncoin V Castlecomer in the Roinn B semi-final. The panel and management wish Ciaran Brennan a speedy recovery following his injury in the Galmoy match.

SCHOOLS HURLING LEAGUE- The semi-final of the Allianz Schools Hurling League pitted Bennettsbridge against Castlecomer in Jenkinstown last Wednesday. The opening minutes of this game produced tight, tough hurling and a display of hooking and blocking that had to be seen to be believed.As the game settled down ‘Comer were first to score(a pointed ’65. In the 6th minute, Tim Corkery for BB tried his luck with a long range effort that went inches wide. David Blanchfield then opened the Comer defence with a pass to Conor Murphy who pointed in the 9th minute to get BB off the mark. Comer replied with a hard fought goal and a point. BB didn’t panic and kept up the tempo, picking up some nice points from Danny Coyne(free), Padraic Mullen and Troy Walsh. Not to be outdone, Comer were also picking off their points and also added another goal after some great saves by Kyran O’Sullivan. With 5 minutes of normal time remaining in the first half, BB trailed by 0-4 to 2-5. This was not a true reflection of the game and Bennettsbridge did not deserve to be losing by so much, but sticking to the game plan and playing as a team, passing, supporting each other, they worked some wonderful balls to Padraic Mullen who broke through the Castlecomer defence to score 2 goals(one from a free). The half finished on a high when David Blanchfield pointed from a free. HT Score, BB 2-5 and Comer, 2-5. The second half started with ‘Comer favoured by a light wind dropping balls into the BB full back line but Barry Lennon, Samuel O’Dwyer and Mikey Lewis were continuing as they had done in the first half in outstanding fashion. In like form, the BB forwards of Tom Bolger, Jack O’Donnell, Sean O’Connell, Conor Murphy, Rory Cleere and Troy Walsh were defending from the front keeping ‘Comer under pressure. Five minutes in, ‘Comer conceded a “65” which Danny Coyne pointed. This was quickly followed by a pointed free from David Blanchfield. BB had edged in front. ‘Comer then got on bit of a roll and scoring three points to regain the lead by one point, 2-8 to 2-7 with twelve minutes remaining. The BB half back line of Tim Corkery, Danny Coyne and Jamie Harkin who were superb throughout, continued in their efforts to work the ball towards the ‘Come goal. The centre field trio of Rory Cleere, who fought tooth and nail, Padraic Mullen who never stopped running and was top scorer, David Blanchfield,m who was pulling all the right strings and was creator in chief were rewarde when Padraic Mullen goaled again. Bennettsbridge ahead by 2 points with 8 minutes remaining. Castlecomer cut the lead to one point with a “65”, 6 minutes to go. A David Blanchfield point brought the lead back to 2 points, 5 minutes remaining. From the puck out, ‘Comer launched a ball into the BB goalmouth and following a scramble the ball ended up in the net. With 3 minutes plus injury time to go ‘Comer were up a point. Two minutes later a high ball across the BB goalmouth was met by a forest of hurleys-took a deflection- wrong footed Kyran o’Sullivan, another goal for ‘Comer. With the game about to go into injury time, BB showed why this team is special. For the remainder of the match, BB had the ball in the ‘Comer half – Ciaran Mullen nearly worked a goal, Conor Murphy went close and Sean O’Connell who had worked magic during the game but could not conjure up a goal. The last score came from a Danny Coyne free to leave the final score, Castlecomer 4-9, Bennettsbridge 3-9. Beaten by the puck of the ball. Nevertheless, this team can look back on a very successful season. Their school and their parents can be very proud of them for their achievements and sportsmanship. A big thank you from the mentors to all 4th, 5th and 6th class players for their effort from last September and thanks to all parents and supporters for their support and attendance at matches. Finally, a special word of thanks to the school, particularly, Marie Cormican, for their help and cooperation. Panel of players used throughout the season, 4th Class, Ciaran Brennan, Billy Brown, Darragh Cassin, Jamie Harkin, Hannah and Rachel Kelly, Ben King, Mikey Lewis, Laurence Mahon, Patrick Minogue, Ciaran Mullen. 5th Class, David Blanchfield, Tom Bolger, Tim Corkery, Danny Coyne, Barry Lennon, Conor Murphy, Sean O’Connell, Tom O’Donnell, Aaron Varley, Troy Walsh, Jonathan Waugh. 6th Class, Rory Cleere, Leon Cullen, David Graham, John Hoyne, Padraic Mullen, Jack O’Donnell, Samuel O’Dwyer, Kyran O’Sullivan. Many thanks to Vincent Shiel for his very comprehensive reports on school matches.

CONGRESS ATTENDANCE- The parish was represented at the Eucharistic Congress for the Ossory Day on Tuesday last. Many travelled on a special bus which was organised between the local parishes and it was great to be a part of the celebrations. Fortunately, the weather remained favourable for the duration of the day and there was time to look around the many stalls and to visit some of the workshops. Highlight of the day was the mass and there was a great atmosphere in the main arena, the singing of the choir added to the enjoyment and many of the congregation joined in.

EMAIL - Items for inclusion in the Bennettsbridge Notes should be sent to joancleere@gmail.com on or before Sunday at 6pm. Alternatively, contact Joan at 086 8271379 or o56 7727416.

CARDS - 1 Paddy, Annie Lehane; 2 Jeff Doyle/Danny McDonald; Willie O’Keeffe/Jim Fitzgerald; Pat Doheny/Tom Walsh

Table prize: Toddy Skehan/Martin Hanlon

A LOVING GRANDad - The following poem was read out at the funeral mass of the late Billy Dowling, Marian Place, Bennettsbridge. It was writtenby Billy’s granddaugher Sharon.

tribute to a beloved grandad

GRANDAD

Grandad was a happy man, kind to everyone he’d meet,

He was cheerful all the time, he was loving and so sweet.

He had a glow about him, this kindness in his eyes,

So much love for his family that could not be disguised.

He would walk around the house always whistling a tune,

With a smile on his face he could light up any room.

He loved all his grandchildren and at times that was hard,

With the boys asking for cigarettes or a loan of his car.

We would run around the house making noise, making a mess,

Coming and going all day long, putting his patience to the test.

But he never even minded or had a bad word to say,

In fact he said we were always welcome any time, any day.

He has left us with great memories, there are just so many

And the best memories we have were with both him and Granny.

They would start bickering over something silly,

We would be laughing as Gran would say “Whist up Willy”.

But after all those years there was still so much love,

So much warmth and happiness, that’s what they were made of.

Grandad, we will miss your sense of humour, we will miss you every day,

We will love you forever and think of you always.

We are sure you’ve found your way to Granny and now you are back together,

And you will never be apart because heaven is forever.