Callan Notes Kilkenny

Local Notes From Callan

Damien Hogan


Damien Hogan



Joe O'Meara and family at his swearing in ceremony as an Australian citize.

Patrick Norris hit the big 60 last weekend and he along with family and friends celebrated in style. Now straight away you will wonder who is Patrick Norris, well we all know him as Podge the man that’s always full of chat. Born on the 11th May 1957 Podge has spent all his live in Callan and is a Callan man to his finger tips and really he deserves the accolade of Mister Callan. Podge loves people and loves the social scene around the town and especially where ever the local band the ‘Highway Men’ are playing Podge is always there, in fact he officially holds the title of Road Manager. But Podge does venture outside of time a number of times per week to the SOS workshops on the Callan Road Kilkenny and he is certainly not a man to rest on his ‘Laurels’ as he also works at the L’Arche Cafe on Green Street a couple of times per week. Podge is very much part of the lovely cafe and is always busy up and down the stairs chatting with everyone, in fact we can go as far as to say Podge probably does more chatting than working, but that’s what makes him one of the great characters and there not too many of those left. Of course being surrounded by females is when Podge is in his element and with loving sisters and friends he is one lucky fellow. Last Saturday night Podge celebrated in style at the Cosy Inn and to say he cut a dash is an understatement. He ‘swanned’ into the’ Cosy Inn’ kitted out in Black tie and evening suit. He was ready for action. Of course no party or occasion in honour of Podge would be any good without the ‘Highway Men’ and Podge took the night off as Manager and left it to Billy Barry and Johnnie Hennessy to manage things for the night. They said Podge had been their manager for 22 years and it had been a pleasure all the way. Podge knew there was a party being organised for him in the Cosy Inn but he was to get a huge shock when eleven of his relatives from Birmingham England appeared unannounced. He was particularly chuffed to see his Billy and Aunt Betty there. To say half the town turned out for the special occasion is probably an over statement but boy the Cosy Inn was heaving with people all there to join in the special occasion for a really special guy. Friends from L’Arche, SOS and Chairman of the County Council Matt Doran also came to wish him well. So happy birthday Mister Callan it was well deserved. As a footnote I asked his sister Bernie if his name was Patrick how he got the name Podge, well she let the Cat out of the Bag on Podge because she told me his late Uncle Paddy called him Podge because he was a ‘Pudgy’ little fellow as a baby. Now we know and it took 60 years to find out.
Last week I spotted a nice posting from a lovely Australian woman telling how our Irish husband had just become an Australian citizen and in doing so finally nailed his colours to the Aussie mast. We all remember Addy O’Meara the wild but lovely Australian who loved her motor bikes and ye mad hair colours. She was a woman who had lived here for many years but had the strongest Aussie accent all through her school years and until they finally left these shores some years ago with her family and most especially her born and bred Callan husband Joe O’Meara. To say Joe was a late ‘departer’ is certainly true because he was in his late 50’s when he took the plunge to emigrate from these shores and especially Callan. But Addy never had a fear of the laid back Joe because he has adapted to Australian life in a big way and in the past two weeks he has declared himself to the Australian way of life by becoming a citizen of that wonderful place down under. During his life in Callan Joe first worked with his near neighbour the late Gerry Walsh and then moved into town to work with Noel Morrissey on West Street, where he served the community delivering coal and gas each week. After moving from Noel he went to work with John Carroll at Skeaugh Callan which again was close to his home. When Addy moved to Callan with her family in the early 1980’s Joe set his eyes on the lovely wild bright eyed Aussie and they married in 1988. They lived at Skeaugh for 28 years where they raised their two children PJ and Leeah. Joe was known for his love of animals and especially his pet fox Bingo and was featured on local and national media with the fox. He was often seen walking with his Jack Russell dog ‘Max’ and ‘Bingo’ locally. Joe was a long time member of the Callan Variety show and appeared in many over the years and even though he was not a man of many words but he always had a funny side to him and that came out in those shows. He was also a member of the Cross Bar Golf Society and loved also to throw darts at the Cosy Inn and Keoghs. Joe had worked hard all his life and when the recession hit Ireland he looked at it being an opportunity to start a new life in Australia. Their son PJ moved to Australia in 2014 so the decision was taken to sell up everything and move to Australia with daughter Leeah.
They have all settled in well in Leongatha in the state is Victoria which is 135 kilometres south of Melbourne. Above all the O’Mearas are enjoying the lifestyle and of course the weather. Joe still keeps in contact with Ireland by listening to KCLR so he is well tuned into all the goings on. Joe works on the pipelines now and loves it and his easy way makes him a popular fellow down under.. After 3 years living there Joe applied for citizenship and 5 months later after lots of questionnaires they accepted him as one of their own. It is wonderful to move to a new country at a young age but to totally adapt to a new way of life at age 62 years tells so much about Joe, he is just a nice easy going guy and the move has sat with him well. Hopefully the new Aussie will make a visit to Callan at some time and we can all say G’day Mate.
The KCAT Arts centre, Callan invites you to a fashion show with a difference on Saturday next 20th May at 8 pm. Saturio Alonso and his Art Students have created fashion from surprising materials. The work shows, ingenuity and imagination combined with an awareness of the environmental damage caused by materials which are discarded and wasted. Instead of making their way to landfill the materials have been transformed into Art pieces. The project has been supported by the Kilkenny Environmental Office, Kilkenny County Council, tickets are €10 and are available from KCAT, phone 0567755115. This will certainly be a novel occasion and those with an interest in fashion and even if you don’t well why not go and support.
The John Lockes Ladies Football adult team are in immediate need of new players from the age of fifteen years and upwards. The season begins in earnest now and the team are short on numbers with some players who began with the club four years ago now moving on or finished playing for different reasons and with no underage teams yet at u-16 or minor level these girls have'nt been replaced. The club currently has teams at u-8,u-10 , u-12 and u-14 grades so the long term future is secure but it is vital that the adult section is kept going to blend in the younger players when they make the step up later on. The club appeals to any one who would like to try their hand at football (no experience necessary) to come along to John Locke Park on Saturday evening next 20th May at 6.30pm and see if this might be the game for you. Enquiries can be made to Club Secretary Majella Phelan at 086-3243579 or Club Chairman Bosco Bryan 086-2894827 or just come along on Saturday evening and join in you will be made most welcome.
On Thursday last the John Lockes minor hurlers travelled to Jenkinstown to take on Cloneen/Railyard in the final of the Special Minor Hurling Championship. The match for the first half was a tense affair with Cloneen/Railyard playing with the breeze running up a four point lead before Callan registered a score with a point from TJ Tierney. It continued in that vein with Cloneen/Railyard scoring three more points before the Lockes scored a very well taken goal by Michael Power who combined very well with Darragh Bergin.There was a lot of soul searching at half time in relation to the poor performance by the Lockes. Everyone vowed to roll up their sleeves and turn the game around for the second half and did we get a display. It was kicked off by a terrific long range point from Evan Doyle followed by a rocket of a goal from TJ Tierney. Another goal soon followed from Connor Murphy after great work on the wing by Michael Power and Jack Canavan. The backs at this point in time had strengthened their grip with John Prendergast and Brian Kearney driving forward and a terrific goal bound shot intercepted by Colm Nolan and cleared down the field. After a bout of Cloneen/Railyard pressure a long ball was launched up field by Luke Walsh which was struck in the air by Michael Power and the ball ended up in the back of the net, this was followed by a great long range free by Josh Doheny. Two more goals followed by Michael Power and TJ Tierney after a couple of great clearances by John and Kevin Burns. The second half epitomised the work rate that is needed to win matches and was best underlined by Mickey Prendergast who worked tirelessly from start to finish. Team: Jack Doyle, John Prendergast, John Burns (Captain), Colm Nolan, Kevin Burns, Josh Doheny (0-1), Brian Kearney, Evan Doyle (0-1), Luke Walsh (0-1), Mickey Prendergast, TJ Tierney (2-1), Jack Canavan, Darragh Bergin, Michael Power (3-3), Conor Murphy (1-2), Robert Murphy (for Darragh Bergin), Eric Roberts (for Jack Canavan), Daniel Fitzgerald, Cormac Burns, Cathal Doyle, Jack Fitzpatrick, Kyle Bergin and Liam Hennessy.
Congratulations to the Callan Macra Toughest Club team Aoife Power, Brendan Phelan and PJ O’Keeffe on their great win in Roscrea last week. They did their club proud on the day and the win was well deserved after all their hard work and training. This year, Callan Macra is celebrating their 70th birthday. To celebrate this milestone, they will be organising a number of events and competitions throughout the year, such as Farm Skills, Debating, a Quiz and are hoping to invite past members of Callan Macra na Feirme to participate in their celebrations. They will end these celebrations with a dinner dance on August 26th. Once again Callan Macra has entered a team into the Tag Rugby Tournament in the Rugby Club which kicked off last week. It takes place every Thursday in the rugby club; if anyone wants to take part please contact PRO Maria Power. Callan Club Secretary Christine O’Neill is hosting a walk from Bennettsbridge to Kilkenny on May 21st at 11am to raise money for her trip to India with UCD Volunteers Overseas with tea in the hall after wards. It would be great if she could get support from Callan Macra members on the day. The Macra County Final of Indoor Soccer will take place on the 26th May in O’Loughlin’s Hall. The Macra County Round of Tag Rugby will take place on the 28th of May in Bennettsbridge and Callan Macra is hoping to enter a team on the day. The rewards night will take place that night also.Tag Rugby Practice continues every week on the green in Callan; all are welcome to take part.
CEART wishes to say a big big thank you to the extraordinary Callan Firemen from the Kilkenny Fire and Rescue Service for giving voluntarily of their time and expertise all day long on Saturday 6th May to run a CAR WASH FUNDRAISER for the Callan based CEART Rehabilitation Service. Many thanks also to the people who arrived with their cars to be washed, it seemed that almost all cars in Callan were washed on the day. A total sum of €1,331 was raised, lastly thanks to the volunteer bucket collectors who collected the money on the day. On behalf of CEART Rehabilitation once again, thank you gentlemen for all your hard work.
Last week’s lucky winners from the Callan Handball and Racquetball Split the Pot were 1st Eileen Vaughan €178.00. 2nd Kathleen Comerford €52.00 and 3rd Anne Wall €26.00. This weeks draw takes place at the Steppes Bar.