Windgap: Something to be proud of

“SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF” - Spoken by one of the parish’s oldest citizens on Saturday evening the words summed up one of those special weeks in the parish. In it a World Silver medal winning member of the Handball Club Eamon Purcell was introduced to the crowd on Senior Hurling Final day in Nowlan Park as another member of the Camogie, Badminton and Callan boxing club Clare Grace received a National Boxing award in Dublin.

“SOMETHING TO BE PROUD OF” - Spoken by one of the parish’s oldest citizens on Saturday evening the words summed up one of those special weeks in the parish. In it a World Silver medal winning member of the Handball Club Eamon Purcell was introduced to the crowd on Senior Hurling Final day in Nowlan Park as another member of the Camogie, Badminton and Callan boxing club Clare Grace received a National Boxing award in Dublin.

Elsewhere the camogie side battled to the final whistle in their bid to retain their first ever under twenty one “A” camogie title. On other fronts, many of the areas volunteers gave their service to the community as defibrillator operators whilst others worked away quietly to create a five year plan for the parish. However the words spoken were not only for the excellent achievements of the individuals and groups but for the entire community after the news was related that Tullahought village had made the National Honours list when it had been presented with its first ever national Tidy Towns Bronze medal. The achievement for the rural village located in scenic rolling pastureland had come after twenty-two years participation in the competition and the care and attention of many generations before Tidy Towns was invented. Accessible by five roads all with completely different aspects, it has been reborn over time from the dereliction of recession and emigration after its main supporting industry in the nearby Slatequarries closed in the nineteen thirties. Approaching it on the road from Windgap one could arrive suddenly at the cross in the village after apparently passing through a stone building and whitewashed lined farmyard or arrive via a rolling drive facing directly into Slievenamon and the Comeragh Mountains from the Kilmoganny side. Even more appealing is the un-foreseen vista that suddenly appears over the brow of a hill from the Owning side where a panorama of South Tipperary and Kilkenny stretches to the horizon through the Waterford Mountains into Cork and north Tipperary. Leaving the village on another access road known locally as the “Avenue” the quiet narrow road slips down by the last mill and only waterfall in the area. It then leads towards an area rich and diverse in the History and the Heritage of the Slate Quarries, Ahenny, the High Crosses and the Coshel. Back in the village its main thoroughfare formerly paved and known as the “Long Pavement” is an unusual feature in the Irish Countryside. Straight as an arrow and tree lined, it stretches for an “English mile” from the “Three Trees” located at the top of the spectacular rise of Skough Hill and then drops and rises again to the village through exceptionally wide and well manicured grass margins. Located between the intersections of all the roads the village has a unique history, fine buildings and rural charm. With a moat signifying it as a centre of population for unknown generations, the standing stones of the ancient burial site on the locally known Kilmacoliver, Baunfree or Coonan’s hill overlook it for almost five thousand years

Born on one side of the “Long Pavement” within a puck of a ball from the village and now living a couple of hundred yards further away beyond Crokes Well on the other side of it Tommy Walsh the former keeper of the ornamental hedges around the village church was as proud as one could possibly be of the areas achievements. Recalling the builders of the Church and the ornamental stone walls and the amount of businesses and tradesmen that were once based there he recalled a very active community that had many sporting and social organisations. No longer with a school and its many shops and businesses it has adjusted to a modern lifestyle whilst retaining its old charm character.

The presentation of the historic award to the local representatives took place at the SouthEastern Regional awards ceremony in Emily on Wednesday evening. At the event Emer Whittle of Fáilte Ireland, South Tipperary County Council Chairman John Cross, Minister Fergus O’Dowd and Ray Kelly the marketing director of Super Valu and the home town Tidy towns committee were hosts at the South Eastern Regional Tidy Towns Awards in the Golden Thatch. On the night forty awards were presented over a range of categories to some of the over one hundred and twenty entrants in the region. With all the speakers focussing on the increasing community spirit in the current climate there was words of congratulations for the hundreds of volunteers, supporters, sponsors, County councils and the various support agencies. Amongst the local winners were Kilkenny City Gold Medal and Tourism, Inistioge Silver Medal, Tullahought Commended Award and Bronze Medal and Thomastown the Endeavor Award. Other neighbouring villages making their mark in the adjoining counties were Mullinahone Endeavour Award and Kilsheelin who were fellow Bronze medal winners. The timeline of the award follows the initial entry of the village in the competition by Fr. Robert Raftice PP. A native of Mullinavat and a former missionary priest and a community worker in Clogh and Cloneen he extended the parishes participation when he added Tullahought to the participation of the Mai Phelan and her fellow community workers led Windgap Tidy Towns group. Initially promoted by the Card Drive committee in the village it has long since broadened its scope to include the efforts of the residents within a two mile radius. In the interim it has boomed and blossomed through many plans and projects to reach its current Bronze Medal winning position that is surely something for everyone in the area to be proud of.

CAMOGIE FINAL - In bright and dry Bennettsbridge on Sunday the under twenty-one camogie side faced old juvenile rivals Thomastown in the “A” Camogie County Final. The game was scheduled for a ten thirty throw in to facilitate the rival’s trip to support their hurlers in Lusmagh. After opening the scoring through a Niamh Phelan point an exchange of goals saw Windgap go behind and then back in front again thanks to a Catherine Foley goal. With the sides tied at the quarter way stage a Deniese Gaule hand passed goal had the side briefly ahead by three points. Two quick replies from Thomastown frees were negatived by similar Windgap scores from Denise before a finishing blitz to the half with a gaol and a point saw Thomastown retire 2-4 to 2-3 ahead at the break. On the restart the Thomastown continued the initiative to lead by four points 2-8 to 2-4 at the three-quarter-way stage. Stung by the play when the Noresiders created numerous gaol chances only to be thwarted by Laura Walker in goal and some fine defending Windgap sprung into action. For the final quarter it was end to end stuff as Denise Gaule from frees drew the sides together at Windgap 3-5 to Thomastown’s 2-8 with eight minutes to go. An exchange of points saw the sides still tied with five minutes to go 3-6 to 2-9. In the final period of frenetic and well contested play that included five minutes additional time a pointed free gave Thomastown the title by a single point on a 2-10 to 3-6 scoreline. For the locals Laura Walker in goal, Mikealla Keneally, Laura Moore, Suzie Dunphy, Ciara Molloy and scorer in chief Denise Gaule had excellent games as the side missed the experience and contribution of the injured Alison Walsh.

NATIONAL BOXING AWARD - In the Green Isle Hotel on Friday evening week Clare Grace was presented with a National Achievement award at the Irish Amateur Boxing Association annual awards ceremony. Accompanied by her Club trainer Jimmy Walsh and her parents Michael and Eileen she was one of the ten recipients that included the Irish men’s Olympic boxing squad, and the four Irish senior ladies champions that included Olympic Gold medal winner Katie Taylor. The awards were presented by boxing commentator Jimmy McGee, John Treacy of the Sports Council and Tommy Murphy the President of the IABA.

NEW HOODIES - Windgap Hurling and Camogie clubs have come together to order a new batch pf O’Neill’s Hoodies. The garments are specifically designed for both clubs with a Camogie Crest on the ladies and a Hurling Crest on the gents. The price shows no change from the regular club stock that are sold at €30 for size 5-11, €35 for size 13-14 and €40 for all adult sizes Should you wish to order a Camogie one call or text Elaine Purcell on 086 1024897 or Jimmy Walsh for a Hurling one on 085 1740675 with Name, Size and Type before Friday 15th of November. The items ordered on that date are scheduled to be delivered in early December.

DEFRIBILATOR NEWS - The second training course for defribilator users took place on Wednesday evening inTullahought Community Centre. Joining the list of newly trained volunteers are Kate Moloney, Henry Culleton, John Ryan, Valerie Doyle, Breda Horgan, Marie Power, Noel Smith, Phillip Lonergan, PJ Barron, Imelda Power, Michelle O’Brien, Mary Guinan. If you are interested in a place on the third and final course please give your name to any member of the committee or contact Joan O’Gorman on 086-1024892 as soon as possible.

COMPUTER COURSE - The Computer Class for beginners continued in the GAA clubrooms on Monday evening. For information on additional courses contact Helen Walsh on 086 8400344.

CLUB NEWS - A committee meeting was held to organise the forthcoming Race night on December 1st. The novel event involving mice promises to be an event with a difference. Further details to follow. This Weeks Winning Numbers were 2, 4, 7, 20, and bonus number 27. Next Weeks Prize fund is €7,750

PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE - A full meeting of the Planning for the Future committee takes place in the GAA Club at8pm on Tuesday next the 20th of November when all the reports and the ongoing work and interaction of the subcommittees on their designated areas will be presented and discussed.

COOLAGH CARDS - The Christmas Games of “25”s commence this Thursday at 8pm in Coolagh Hall. Prizes of hams and hampers. All welcome. Tickets are available now for the Christmas Raffle, from all Coolagh Committee members. The card games continue every Thursday until Christmas.

HURLERS HOLIDAY - Sincere thanks is extended to all ticket sellers and supporters who showed their appreciation and supported the successful Kilkenny Senior hurlers training and holiday fund draw that took place in Nowlan Park on Sunday week.

BRING AND BUY - The Windgap School Parents association “Bring and buy” held in the parish hall on Saturday afternoon week was a tremendous success where great bargains were had with large volumes of toys, books the obligatory cakes and buns, not to mention hot-dogs.  Well done to all involved especially the kids who displayed some wonderful sales skills. Note compliments of the Parish Blog.

SHIELD FINAL - Galmoy Windgap play St. Fiacre’s in the under twenty one hurling shield final on Saturday next at two o’clock in Thomastown.

COOOKING DEMO - A cooking demonstration with JJ Healy took place in Tullahought Community Centre on Friday 16th of November. Admission was a €10 with the raffle in aid of the Kilkenny Home Care Team.

CARD RESULTS - Winners at the first Hurling Club Card Drive of the season that was held in Guinans in Windgap on Friday night week were sharing first prize Tom and Mary O’Connor and Laurence Foley and Eddie Hawe. The table prize went to Jan Kennedy and Michael Saunders. Other prizes went to Jason Casey, Phillip Lonergan, Mathew Enright and Laurence Foley. The next game takes place at 9pm on Friday 14th of December

SET DANCERS - Droichead Family Resource Centre (The Friary), Callan are looking for volunteer musicians and setdancers to start an afternoon Tea dance in the Centre for the older folk around Callan. If interested call 056 7755519

BABY CLINIC - A Well baby clinic has started in Callan medical centre every Thursday from 10am to 11.30am, run by Callan and Kells public health nurses.  For further details contact Teresa Brown, Kells Public health nurse.0761082156