28 Sept 2022

Callan Notes Kilkenny

Local Notes

KCAT centre Callan

Windgap Primary School students, teachers and Rachel Murray of KCAT pictured at the KCAT centre Callan.

It certainly a time of real change in the town of Callan with the retail business world in rocked recently with the closing of Hackett’s on Lower Bridge Street and in 2016 when Kerwicks closed. Last week further news filtered out after members of Callan Credit Union voted at their Annual General Meeting to amalgamate under the one banner of Saint Canices Credit Union Kilkenny. Callan Credit Union has been in existence since the early 1960’s when it started operations in small premises on Mill Street which belonged to the Hogan Family. In its time back then it rapidly became a very busy place attracting people from the parish and beyond. The policy of the Credit Union is to serve the community and provide an opportunity to be able borrow small amounts and reasonable rates and that is what Callan Credit Union has done for well over fifty years. But times are a changing and new legislation and stricter Banking policies have made Credit Unions like Callan look to the future. Amalgamation of smaller Credit Unions has happened at a rapid pace in recent years and already Credit Unions in Durrow, Graignamanagh, Mountrath, Ballyraggett, Rathdowney, Dunnamaggin and the two branches at High Street and McDonagh Junction are part of the Saint Canices family with Callan about to join at the end of February as will their Branch at Ballingarry which was established in the mid 1960’s. To facilitate the change over Callan Credit Union will open on Tuesday 21st February from 9.30am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 4pm and will then be closed from Wednesday 22nd and will reopen under the new Saint Canices banner on Tuesday 28th February. This will give members of Callan access to a much larger borrowing pot and will also allow for an even larger amount of services. Everything will stay the same other than that. Its called progress and the change will be significant. We wish everyone the very best as the progress train moves forward.
As mentioned above business closures are a hot topic and in last weeks Notes I listed a large number of businesses that have disappeared over the past forty five years, but this columnist had his wings clipped by a former business owner who listed additional businesses that had closed. The most significant was the closure of Pilworths Store the Dooleys and later better known as Noel Morrisseys on West Street. This was once a huge bustling business and especially during the Corn cutting season when streams of tractor and trailers used to deposit their harvest. Another business was a glaring omission on my part and it was one of Callans most famous and that was Powers Drapery on Upper Bridge Street. Powers was known by everyone far and wide and often featured on National radio, TV and Newspaper reports. Roll back over thirty years plus and those of you who are too young to remember just envisage the amount of traffic on the Bypass today on the N76, well that is how heavy the traffic was on Upper and Lower Bridge Street back in the 1970’s, 80’ And early 1990’s before the Bypass was constructed and opened in 1996. Arctic trucks would become wedged together outside Powers and on more than one occasion a few mean minded truckers helped themselves to some of the cloths that hung outside on the front of Powers Shop. Powers was a typical traditional drapery shop and continued the tradition of hanging cloths outside their shop. It was owned by the late Seamus and Della Power. Seamus passed away many years ago but Mrs. Power only passed away in 2016 at Strathmore Lodge where she was one of the longest residents. In recent weeks two others businesses that have been long established in Callan are on the move, thankfully they are not closing but expansion, logistics and progress are forcing them to move. KHS engineering which has been on Lower Bridge Street for nearly Forty years are moving to a new Unit at the Westcourt Industrial Estate. KHS have experienced the ups and downs of business like most other businesses and even during the downturn were nearly forced to close but thankfully things are on the up again so they will settle into their new home in Westcourt and we wish them well. IFAC Accounts near the Primary School is also moving most of its services to Cillin Hill but the original owner of the business Eugene O’Donovan will remain with his financial services business.
Windgap National School recently paid a visit to the wonderfully creative KCAT art & Study Centre in Callan. There were children aged from 4 to 12 years all of whom were hugely impressed with the display of work and classes being taught in the centre. It was really inspiring to see their reactions to some of the pieces and the studio artists at work. Some of the classes they observed were, Open Studio Art class, Ceramics class, acting with KCATS Equinox Theatre Group and a visit to the resident artists in the Studio. Pupils were full of curiosity and questions regarding the Art and the various techniques used by the artists. I have no doubt that the visit inspired some budding artists from Windgap National School whose last question was “When can we come again”. It really is so lovely to see this wonderful art centre being discovered by our local children, even from pupils as young as four it was evident that they had an appreciation of the art & creativity that is in abundance in KCAT. Rachel Murray is one of life’s beautiful people who oozes passion and love and boy does she love her job at KCAT and would like to welcome as many schools to the centre. I was there on Wednesday morning last and witnessed the enthusiasm of the children. KCAT welcomes all visitors and should anyone wish to come along and visit the centre or enquire about classes please give Alice or Rachel a call on 056 7755115.
As part of this year's Parade Callan are putting forward a float for the Kilkenny Parade. It will be representative of all the schools, clubs and organisations. This will be the first time for many years that Callan had an entry in the Parade and who knows this could grow so much that we could hold our own parade in Callan in the future, well when Urlingford, Graignamanagh and Kilkenny can do one why not Callan. If anyone else is interested in taking part please give Rachel a call on 086 3616056 before Fri 17th February.
Callan Boxing Club had a great weekend for wins having entered eight boxers into the county championships and gaining a clean sweep with impressive shows. The next outing for the boxers will be the Leinster Championships. Boxing is alive and well and even though Jimmy Walsh has stepped back he still keeps a close eye on everything. The boxers who did their club and themselves proud included Luke Doyle, Brittney Stokes, Roisin Mahony, Tony Reilly, James Reilly, Curtis Darcy, Paul Darcy and Fiachra Knox.
Congratulations to the Callan Macra debating team Josephine O’Neill, Claire Bambrick, Paul Murphy and Jim Power who made it to the debating quarter finals last weekend in Enniscorthy. The debating team performed very well on the night but was unlucky not to progress to the next round. The county round of Basketball takes place in O’Loughlins this Sunday at 2:30pm, Callan Macra are hoping to have a boys team and a girls team on the day. Basketball and volleyball continues every Friday at 9pm in O’Loughlin’s, all are welcome to attend.
The Callan Rose festival kicked off last weekend with a big launch at the Droichead Centre West Street this year. The festival offers the younger generation of Callan and surrounding areas a festival experience along with bringing the community of Callan and businesses together. We have 15 beautiful girls taking part this year been sponsored by clubs and businesses around Callan. There will be a number of events over the coming weeks with the two big nights being hosted at the Charter House on March 11th and culminating in the finale on March 18th at the Cosy Inn.
Results :- 1st. Gretta Griffin and Joan Cody. Best Gross. Elizabeth Lanigan and Mary Croke. 2nd. Gracie Landy and Stella Tennyson. 3rd. Nellie Tobin and Nellie Lahart. A charity night in aid of Cuan Mhuire will be held on Thursday next at Visitors are welcome
The annual membership fee for the John Lockes Club is now due and has not changed for 2017. Individual non players is €50, couples are €75, Family Membership is €100. There will be a dedicated Registration night announced in the next week but if desired Membership can be paid to new Club Registrar Bosco Bryan. On payment of your membership you will receive a unique G.A.A. Member number which you can then use to register on a new initiative called the GRMA (go raibh maith agat) where you will be able to avail of certain discount offers by the G.A.A. In order to avail of this Programme all members will have to be paid up and registered before the 31st of March.
Last weeks winners 1st Helen Kearney €200. 2nd Joe and Mick Maher €57.00. 3rd Bobby Lynch €28.00. Next weeks draw at Joe Lyons West Street.
Registration night takes place on Friday night next at the John Lockes centre beginning at 8pm.

This year we Relay on July 15th and 16th at Kilkenny Rugby Club.Relay is a fantastic family orientated event which raises funds for the Irish Cancer Society. We Celebrate Life and Survivorship, we Remember our nearest and dearest at the beautiful Candle of Hope ceremony and we Fight Back through community education and giving HOPE to those who may get a cancer diagnosis in the future.We would love to see you and a team of 15 to 20 friends , colleagues or family join us and other people from around Kilkenny at the Rugby Club for 24 hours of Fun filled joy and community spirit. If you have any questions or are interested in submitting a team please contact Or message via our Facebook page at Relay for life Kilkenny

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