Callan - A brilliant week for two Tonys

TWO TONYS- He is a towering gentle giant with a word for everyone and loved by the children whom he ferries to and from school each day. The big Laois man Tony Whelan turned seventy last week and got a huge surprise when friends and family sprung a surprise party on him at the Steppes Bar on Saturday night. His daughter Aoife and son Shane along with his sister Pat and brother Dinn sprung the big surprise on him and of course Eddie & Alice Kelly kept the secret well away from Tony who is a customer of the ‘Steppes Bar’. Tony came with his family to Callan over twenty years ago and has become an integral part of the community. He worked for Chris Carey meat wholesalers for a number of years but he is now better known as a Bus driver for the popular Eamon Maher Bus Company. Like his employer, Tony is one of the most obliging individuals and just loves taking trips with Kilkenny supporters as well as tours. For many years he travelled all over the Island of Ireland with coach tours. He has a great knowledge of the country and was able to pass on those little antidotes to tourists whereas bigger tour companies wouldn’t have that real local knowledge. Recently he brought a group of Kilkenny Supporters to Ennis for the Clare and Kilkenny game. They stayed overnight and all who were on the trip were so grateful to Tony for his brilliant service. Tony also loves the game of cards and often plays in the poker classic at the Steppes on Monday nights. He also loves ‘The Sport of Kings’ and likes to have his little off shoot bets where more often than not turn into a profit for the big man. Tony originates from Ballycarroll The Heath County Laois. He is a proud Laois man and at every opportunity he wears his Laois jersey even though he does take a fair bit of ‘slagging’ in ‘this neck of the woods’ when comparisons are made between Laois and Kilkenny hurling, but no better man to pipe back and ask what have Kilkenny achieved in Football. He has had some great days with Laois footballers but last Sundays result is one he won’t want to be reminded about. Tony will continue to drive the Buses for Eamon Maher but having reached the big Seventieth birthday Tony has now retired from the school. He will miss collecting the children both in the morning and afternoon and the children will certainly miss Tony. When you see Tony this week around Callan, wish him a happy Birthday and let us hope he has many more birthdays to celebrate.

TWO TONYS- He is a towering gentle giant with a word for everyone and loved by the children whom he ferries to and from school each day. The big Laois man Tony Whelan turned seventy last week and got a huge surprise when friends and family sprung a surprise party on him at the Steppes Bar on Saturday night. His daughter Aoife and son Shane along with his sister Pat and brother Dinn sprung the big surprise on him and of course Eddie & Alice Kelly kept the secret well away from Tony who is a customer of the ‘Steppes Bar’. Tony came with his family to Callan over twenty years ago and has become an integral part of the community. He worked for Chris Carey meat wholesalers for a number of years but he is now better known as a Bus driver for the popular Eamon Maher Bus Company. Like his employer, Tony is one of the most obliging individuals and just loves taking trips with Kilkenny supporters as well as tours. For many years he travelled all over the Island of Ireland with coach tours. He has a great knowledge of the country and was able to pass on those little antidotes to tourists whereas bigger tour companies wouldn’t have that real local knowledge. Recently he brought a group of Kilkenny Supporters to Ennis for the Clare and Kilkenny game. They stayed overnight and all who were on the trip were so grateful to Tony for his brilliant service. Tony also loves the game of cards and often plays in the poker classic at the Steppes on Monday nights. He also loves ‘The Sport of Kings’ and likes to have his little off shoot bets where more often than not turn into a profit for the big man. Tony originates from Ballycarroll The Heath County Laois. He is a proud Laois man and at every opportunity he wears his Laois jersey even though he does take a fair bit of ‘slagging’ in ‘this neck of the woods’ when comparisons are made between Laois and Kilkenny hurling, but no better man to pipe back and ask what have Kilkenny achieved in Football. He has had some great days with Laois footballers but last Sundays result is one he won’t want to be reminded about. Tony will continue to drive the Buses for Eamon Maher but having reached the big Seventieth birthday Tony has now retired from the school. He will miss collecting the children both in the morning and afternoon and the children will certainly miss Tony. When you see Tony this week around Callan, wish him a happy Birthday and let us hope he has many more birthdays to celebrate.

In last week’s Callan Notes we wrote about a young Callan man who was on the verge of sporting history, well this week we are delighted to write again about that young man and tell you that Tony Delaney a little piece of sporting history last Sunday when he won back to back McCalmont cup medals with two different clubs. Last year Tony was an inspirational substitute with Callan United when they won the cup for the first time in forty years by beating Newpark ‘A’ in a penalty shootout. Fast forward to Derdimus Park on Sunday last the 26th May 2013, Tony Delaney is in the McCalmont Cup final but with a different club and ironically with Newpark ‘A’. Their opponents were Brookeville from Ballyragget and after a tough game Newpark were crowned McCalmont Cup winners for the first time. It’s been a brilliant season for Tony Delaney having also picked up a Division one League title and will now play in the Premiership next season. It is now hoped Tony will turn his attention to hurling with the John Lockes and no doubt will be into the swing of things come the heat of Championship time.

GRADUATIONS AT COLLAISTE EAMON RIS- The Class of 2013 at Collaiste Eamon Ris held their graduation ceremony at the Blessed Edmund Rice Centre at Westcourt last Friday. Family friends and teachers gathered to honour what was described as brilliant group of boys who have been exemplary throughout the six years they have studied at the college. As a past pupil of the College or the old CBS as we like to call it this writer would be naturally proud of the school and its achievements. It’s not a big school but what it lacks in size it makes up for in brilliant teachers and a principal with foresight. Principal Frank McKenna has been a teacher at the college for over 30 years and came to Callan as a young graduate from University. He learned his trade the hard way but when he was appointed principal in 2007 he set about moulding the College to the way it is today a progressive place with the aim that all students form their own unique identities and in doing so sets in place a solid foundation for the students to go out in to the world outside of secondary school. Frank has a brilliant group of teachers as his team, but above all Frank has a great way of communicating with the students. He puts himself in their shoes and in that way can relate to the way the boys are thinking, something other principals could learn from. I these present times a principal has to be able to communicate on a one to one basis with the students and Frank has that quality. The days of ‘them and us’ is well gone, it’s all about communicating and creating the feel good atmosphere amongst teachers and pupils alike. But he is no soft touch and that quality sets him apart, students know when not to cross the line with him but also they know he is a guy you can talk to. Frank over the years has experienced a lot of sadness in the school and has been a great friend to students and their families.

mass-Parish priest Father Willie Dalton celebrated a special mass at Edmond Rice Church for the Leaving Certificate class which was intermingled with prayer and song. In other years the presentation ceremony would take place in the Brother Rice Centre but with larger numbers this year’s presentations took place after the mass in the church and certainly proved a wise choice for all. Mister McKenna spoke of the class of 2013 and how near exemplary the boys have been throughout their years at the college. He told the gathering that they had the lowest disciplinary record ever for any class which is testament to the boys and the teachers who worked with them. Frank wished them all well in their forthcoming exams and told that the remaining days were very important. He said that all the work is done and be mindful of managing their time in the next week. Frank welcomed back former vice principal Pat Ryan who retired last year and also mentioned former vice principal Pat Brennan. Pat was a teacher for many years having come to the school from his native Galway in the 1960’s until 1998. Sadly Pat passed away in the past couple of weeks and was buried in Freshford. Frank passed on his condolences to his wife Mary and family. Of course the graduation mass and day is about celebration and for many of the lads it was a joyful day. Brother Damien Brennan presented a commemoration photograph of the class to each of the boys which for many will be a sence of laughter when looking back on in years to come. I still have the class of 1976 and no thanks to the same Frank McKenna its posted on the Colleges website. It’s strange to see the long hair on most lads and yes I once had blonde long hair, imagine that. Darrah Egan was the winner of the Sports Award and Mrs Carthering Rice-Kelly presented the award to Darragh. Mrs. Eimear Hickey presented the LCVP award to Alex Mounsey while the Student of the year award when to Michael Wall and this was presented by Vice Principal Brother Damien Brennan. Doctor Marian Rabbit has coordinated the Gaisce Awards for many years in the College and each year she has brought the results to a new hight. This year eight students were awarded Bronze medals while one student won a silver award. The Silver award went to Ian O’Brien from Canafahy Callan. His older brother P.J. also won the same award when he was a student at the college so well done Ian. The eight bronze awards went to, Conor Bogue, Robbie Hennessy, Michael King, Patrick Power, Owen Kennedy, Ruairi Kennedy, Michael Wall and Diarmuid Walsh. A special award was given to Michael King who has never missed a day at school in all of the six years. Well done Michael, well known Bridge Street Shopkeeper Raymond Hackett also holds that award for never missing a day both in primary and secondary school. At the end of the ceremony a slide show of photographs showing images of the boys from the time they were very young to present day was shown. It brought much hilarity and laughter from everyone and it brought a wonderful ceremony to a fitting end. At the end of the ceremony the boys set off a balloon each at the Brother Rice House to depict the future and where life may take them. It was all upwards and onwards. Afterwards parents, family and friends were entertained at the Rice Conference Centre by the Colleges Parents under the directorship of the hardworking Marie Maher.

Well done to all and best of luck in the exams and the future.

CALLAN UNITED- Callan set off to Castlecomer last Saturday for the semi-final of the Brendan Lonergan cup in the hope of getting to a cup final. Callan was on top right from the start but after about 20 minutes were delivered a sucker punch when Dean Celtic broke down the wing and scored. Callan pressed on and was awarded a goal right before half-time. A lovely corner from Dylan Dunphy and Brion Kirwan headed home to make it one goal. Callan had to show their spirit now as it was needed badly. It finished one all at full time though Dean Celtic did come close a couple of times. With 3 minutes left in extra time, a ball over the top was spilled by the keeper and Lee Doheny clipped the post. It went down to penalties and having scored four goals each from five it went to sudden death. Dylan Roche made an excellent save and up stepped Lee Doheny to send the Callan boys in to the cup final. Unbelievable stuff and the future looks bright for Callan United soccer. Everyone should get out to support Callans lads in the final now. It would be greatly appreciated.

Callan United’s U16’s also played last Thursday against Evergreen B in hope of winning back to back titles, and they did just that. Brion Kirwan got an early goal which set the tempo for the match. They carved open Evergreen time and time again with a final score of 11-0 claiming back to back titles. Congratulations to the boys and there manager Derek Roche and to their Assistant managers Eoin Wall and Johnny ThorntonCallan Under 14 team lost 4-2 to Freebooters B on Saturday last. Callan had a bad start and was 2 nil down at half-time. Lee Thornton made a good few saves and John Burns got two goals for Callan. Callan U-13’s won 3-2 last Saturday against Evergreen B away. They had a good start and were 2 nil up at half time. Scorers were Evan Doyle, Chris McDonald and Luke Walsh. Well done lads.

BIG FIELD DAY- The John Lockes Club will hold its second annual field day on Bank Holiday Sunday next 2nd June in John Locke Park. It promises to be a great days entertainment with the usual selection of slides and bouncing castle for the small children, games of skill for the older children and also a number of tests similar to those as seen on TV ‘THE CUBE’ to test the skill of the most determined players. A dog show, a sports day for the different age groups, a raffle for trailer loads of timber, a barbeque, tea tent, a ladies football exhibition match and loads of ice cream on what hopefully will be a weekend worthy of the name Summer. Of course there will be an opportunity for all to view the new club room at John Lockes Park where there will be club members on hand to show people the new building. Admission will be free for children while adult admission will be €3. The weather looks promising so come along to the new John Locke Park.

CALLAN GUN CLUB RAFFLE- Callan Gun Club are presently holding a raffle to raise funds. 1st prize 2 tickets for Bruce Springsteen in Nowlan Park and various other prizes. A cabaret will be held in the Steppes bar on Saturday 1st June. Tickets for raffle can be purchased from any club member or Michael Maher Great Gas or Ray Hackett Bridge Street. Tickets are €2 each or €5 for 3. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

BUS TO BIG GAME- It is less than three weeks away before Kilkenny commence their Leinster championship and in turn attempt to win back the Bob O’Keeffe cup and of course the McCarthy Cup. Kilkenny face Offaly in the Leinster Quarter Final on Sunday 9th June in Tullamore. A bus will leave from the Parish Church on the morning of the game at 10.30am. Bosco Bryan is presently taking bookings for the bus and its first come first served by Bosco, so give him a shout.

JOHN LOCKES- It was not the best of weeks for the John Lockes adult teams with both losing their respective games. The junior team played Blacks & Whites in the Junior Championship at Callan and were deservedly beaten by a much fitter Blacks & Whites Team. The Lockes have five weeks preparation before they face Barrow Rangers, this is a very important game for the Lockes and a win is very important but the Paulstown men will be looking for revenge having lost out to the Lockes in the 2010 Junior County Final.

The Special Junior Team also suffered defeat on Saturday evening. Again the game was at home but came unstuck to a spirited Piltown team. The Lockes had already qualified for the semi-final but Piltown needed a win to qualify. The Lockes were the better team in the first half and should have been further ahead, The second half was a equally as competitive and with the Lockes going into a five point lead it looked as if they were going to win but the Piltown lads upped their game and the Lockes were caught near the end losing by two points. The Lockes now play Slieverue tomorrow night (Thursday) in Slieverue at 7.30pm. This is the League Semi-final and the lads would appreciate your support at the game. Many are travelling long distances so as to play so support from locals would be appreciated.

DROICHEAD CENTRE - The new phone number for Droichead Family Resource Centre is 056 77 55 660.

FILM ACTORS & EXTRAS- Actors, sound assistants, Film extras WANTED- Are you interested in getting involved with an upcoming film that will be shot in the Callan area?? Would you like to know how to make a film or would you like a chance to be in front of the big screen?? If so then we want to meet you. This project will run for about 4 weeks from June 24th until July 22nd. The group will meet at least once a week. It is for Youth aged 15-18years. If you are interested please contact Pamela on 086 3383951

VOLUNTEERS WANTED IN CALLAN AREA- Do you have an hour or two to spare each week???We are looking for someone who will help people to re-establish networks of support and create new links in their community. We are actively encouraging people of all ages and who have interests in many areas to volunteer. If you would like to get involved in making someone’s life a more full and enjoyable one then please contact Pamela on 0863383951.