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Callan: Ambitious project is coming

THE BIG LAUNCH APPROACHES - The John Lockes GAA club and its members have always been ambitious and forward thinking whe nproviding facilities for the young people of our parish, that ambition really came to the fore in the mid 1970’s when an idea by a little Catholic Curate from County Wicklow called Father Liam Dunne planted an idea at a club dinner dance about developing our own grounds and in turn ignited a spark amongst club officials and members alike. The idea set the wheels in motion. The eleven acre field known as Fennelly’s was bought for the princely sum of £44,000 old Punts.

THE BIG LAUNCH APPROACHES - The John Lockes GAA club and its members have always been ambitious and forward thinking whe nproviding facilities for the young people of our parish, that ambition really came to the fore in the mid 1970’s when an idea by a little Catholic Curate from County Wicklow called Father Liam Dunne planted an idea at a club dinner dance about developing our own grounds and in turn ignited a spark amongst club officials and members alike. The idea set the wheels in motion. The eleven acre field known as Fennelly’s was bought for the princely sum of £44,000 old Punts.

It may not sound like a lot today but 35 years ago that was a serious amount of money to a struggling junior club with little money. The parish priest at the time was Canon John Kennedy who was a wonderful man for raising money and had more or less single handily renovated the three churches in the parish through running dances and marquee festivals. As well as been a wonderful Parish Priest he was also a great Gael and he was very much behind the project the John Lockes were undertaking. Many meetings and discussions took place before final agreement was reached on what was to be developed at what was to be called John Locke Park. A high quality playing pitch and at the time state of the art dressing rooms were put to plans and so began the fundraising and building of John Locke Park until it was officially opened on the 5th June 1983 by Con Murphy former president of the GAA. At that time the club produced a commemorative book covering from the formation of the club up to 1983. John Locke Park was nominated shortly after as the second county grounds and went on to host inter county league games as well as the Oireachtais Hurling final in 1984 between Kilkenny and Cork. Probably one of the John Lockes greatest days was winning the County Minor ‘A ‘final at John Locke Park. That year Nowlan Park was out of commission so this final was played at Callan. The same team which consisted of County Minors that year John Power, Bosco Bryan and Liam Egan went on to also win the County league title, on both occasions defeating Erins Owen Castlecomer. But like all things and places time moves on and John Locke Park and its facilities were showing its age, so for the past number of years the club has been plotting and planning a new development at the Park. The plans include the building of a state of the art club rooms as well as a hurling alley with Astra turf surface. Building this also includes the moving of the pitch, installing new car park facilities as well as building a club shop and providing proper facilities for the public. All ready there is a lot of progress at the grounds and hopefully when completed John Locke Park will be in full use again towards the autumn of 2013. On Friday night 28th September the club will officially launch the new development at the Parish Hall Callan beginning at 8pm. The club have invited key note speakers to the event including former GAA president Nicky Brennan. The John Lockes have produced a wonderful commemorative booklet of the history of the club from 1983 to the present day. This will be on sale for a cost of €3.00 and has loads of terrific photographs of teams during that period as well as celebrating the clubs most historic year when they played in the All-Ireland club final in February 2011. This new development will help to serve the community of Callan for the next 50 years and as always, the emphasises is on the youngsters in our community. The facilities been created will hopefully bring much success to the club and in time to come will consolidate the club as a senior club in the County matching the facilities they are creating. Of course there is a huge cost involved in building these facilities and a lot of fundraising will have to be done to ensure the club meets all its borrowing costs. The club lotto which has been very successful over the past two years has generated a considerable amount of money and the profits from that are solely to pay for the development and repayments. That lotto can achieve more so the John Lockes will be upping the ante on selling more lotto tickets in the community and if everyone in the parish bought just one ticket per week at a cost of just €2.00 no other fundraising need be done because the Lotto would generate enough funds to cover all the costs for repayments. The club have been passed for National Lottery funding and have applied again for additional funding. The GAA have granted a low interest loan and the Bank of Ireland Callan have also come on board in helping with funding of the development. But the Lockes will continue with other fundraisers and will be asking the Community of Callan and parish to help in achieving their aims. Back in the 1970’s and 80’s the people of Callan Parish rowed in behind the Lockes when the Park was been developed and when it comes to the time of asking, the John Lockes club know that the good people of Callan will not be found wanting. So the John Lockes are moving ahead and have the community at heart in building a wonderful facility for everyone and especially the young people of the parish and in return perhaps just think of buying that Lotto ticket when you drop into your local pub or the local grocery shop or newsagents, It costs just €2.00 per week which is very little when you see what the John Lockes are developing for the future. The club send an open invitation all parishioners to come to the Parish Hall on Friday 28th September for what will be a very historic occasion.

TIMBER FOR SALE - The John Lockes club are on the timber trail again and this year they have started earlier so that people can get their stocks of timber in. Because the Lockes had to cancel their field day which was to happen on the 30th September they have already trailers full and ready for sale. So if you want to get your orders in now before the big timber auction which will happen in November please contact John Walker on 0872564066 or Sean Hogan on 0861731877.

NANCY WALSH - The death has taken place recently of certainly Callan’s oldest residents Ann “Nance” Walsh (nee Holden). Shepassed away in the loving care of the staff of the Acute Stroke Unit in St Luke Hospital Kilkenny in the presence of her niece Liz on 7th August 2012. She was in her 101st year as she would have been 101years on 27th November 2012.
Nance was a member of the Holden family of Great Oak, Callan. Her mother was Ann Brennan and her father William Holden. There were seven Holden children, Mary, Margaret(Peig) Joanna (Judy) and her brothers Edward, Nicholas and Ann (Nance) and Tommy the youngest. She left Callan at 18 years of age when she moved to Belgium for a year and a half working for Count de la Serna where she took care of his five sons. From there she moved to London to study nursing. At the age of 27 she moved home to her beloved Great Oak to look after her mother Ann as she suffered ill health. During the Second World War she moved back to UK to look after evacuees from London and Birmingham who had lost homes during the blitz. Not long after that she came back to Kilkenny where she married Danny Walsh, a farmer from Cuffesgrange. She lived happily with Danny for many years until his death. Now a widow, she moved again this time to Cannafahy, Callan where she lived happily until 2009 when she took up residence in the loving care of Sarah McGrath and the staff of Strathmore Lodge, Callan. Nance was an avid reader and read a new book every week and loved to listen to Pat Kenny on RTE Radio 1 in the mornings. Her funeral mass was on Thursday 23rd August at Cuffesgrange followed by cremation at Newlands Crematorium. She is sadly missed by her family, neighbours and many friends that she made during her long life.

RECENT BEREAVEMENTS - Condolences to the families of recently diseased living and connected with Callan. Peter (Percy)Vaughan of Mullinahone and father of Peter Vaughan Moonmore as well as Persy’s mother Anna Mary and brothers John and Christy Callan. Also to the Morrissey family of Collins Park on the death of wife mother and Grandmother Chrissie, Condolences especially to husband John who cared for her lovingly during her illness. To Tom Ryan of Dunnamaggin who also passed away last week. Tom was well known in GAA circles and to his family deepest sympathy.

HERITAGE SOCIETY - Callan Heritage Society have organised an illustrated talk in Rothe House, Parliament St., Kilkenny for Wednesday the 10th of October at 8.00 PM. It is called “The Comerford Families of County Kilkenny.” The speaker is the renowned historian Rev. Canon Patrick Comerford. Everyone welcome. The Society has organised a bus outing to Dublin for Saturday the 20th of October departing Callan at 7.45 AM. It is a guided walking tour of the areas in central Dublin where various events took place in the Easter Rising of 1916. It promises to be a most interesting outing. Those interested in travelling please contact Maisie Condon as soon as possible to confirm a place

NEW CALENDERS - Local photographer and design artists Justyna Mackowska has produced some wonderful calendars for 2013 and are now available locally and dare I mention that Christmas word but they would be ideal presents for the festival season. Two of the seven new 2013 calendars are now available at Callan Post Office. One is the new edition of the “Callan will be...” calendar with all new images of Callan and the second one is called “Hurling - It’s a Kilkenny Thing” with all things Black & Amber including two Callan images also. There’s been a great response from those who already bought them so hopefully more Callan people will find them interesting wall space filler for the coming year. As last year, 10% of profits will be donated to the local St. Vincent de Paul. There are also have five other calendars on offer: 1. “Kilkenny” , 2. “Somewhere in Ireland” (Callan photo on the December page) 3. “Vintage Tractors & Steam Engines” (at least one photo was taken in Callan), 4. “Classic Cars” , 5. “Golfing in Ireland” (a number of photos were taken at Callan Golf Club).As indicated earlier the above 5 are not in the Post Office but can be ordered at the counter or purchased online via as well as in Kilkenny at Stone House Books, Kilkenny Crafts, The Gift Horse and Hurley Depot.Justyna has recently created a new Callan postcard and it is also available from the post office

HAVE YOU TIME TO SPARE - S.O.S. is a Voluntary Organisation in Kilkenny for adults with a mild-moderate intellectual disability, providing day services, respite and residential care. They are looking for families or individuals (hosts) to provide short breaks (day/overnight/weekend) in their home for adults from our services. Each host is matched with one person from S.O.S. and an expense allowance is paid for each break provided. They are also looking for volunteers to support us in providing extra social and recreational activities for people attending S.O.S. in the evening time or weekends. If you would like to know more about volunteering or providing breaks please contact the social work department on 056 7764000 or email or visit our website on

HANDBALL - Callan Handball Club is holding a special EGM of the Club on Thursday 20th September 2012 at 8pm in the boys CBS secondary school for the purposes of ratifying the club’s constitution and trustees. We would like as many members as possible to attend.

SKY DIVE - Sharon Griffin and Marianne Acreman completed a skydive at Waterford Airport on Saturday 1st September in aid of Suicide Awareness Ireland. Sharon is secretary of Callan Boxing Club and both ladies currently work in MacDonagh Junction, Marianne in management and Sharon in security. Sharon and Marianne presented a cheque to their worthy cause shortly after taking part in the skydive. Both ladies raised a considerable amount of money and a check was presented recently to Suicide Awareness Ireland.

ART EXHIBITION - Well known local artist Jane O’Malley is currently exhibiting some of her art work in Galway City at present. The Exhibition is called ‘Memories of Home and Abroad’ featuring paintings from Lava Mountain-Silver Sea-Maguez, Lanarote. So if you are visiting the City why not drop into the gallery which is located beside the famous P.J. Flaherty’s pub in Lower Salthill Galway.

GALA CONCERT - A Gala concert in aid of ‘Save the African Slum Children Association’ will take place tomorrow night (Thursday 20th September) in the Springhill Court beginning at 8pm. The special guest is Liam Lawton as well as a number of local artists. Admission is €15 with OAP and Students €12. There will also be a raffle on the night.

SUBMISSIONS TO CALLAN NOTES - The Callan Notes welcomes submissions for publication from all organisations and individuals. We want news on weddings, funerals, birthday parties, clubs etc, so to ensure you get your message in to the notes the following Wednesday I would appreciate if you can get your details to me by 8pm on Sunday nights as I need to have my notes into the newspaper early Monday morning. As always email to Thanks again for keeping the news in the notes

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