Callan: A legend during his own lifetime

JIMMY Walsh Callan’s Mr Boxing is a legend, now that’s not just this writer saying it, that was the general consensus amongst the large attendance at the People of the Year awards at the Newpark Hotel on Friday night last.

JIMMY Walsh Callan’s Mr Boxing is a legend, now that’s not just this writer saying it, that was the general consensus amongst the large attendance at the People of the Year awards at the Newpark Hotel on Friday night last.

Apart from being the legend he is, Jimmy was a total tonic to all in attendance. He regaled us with his exploits both in the boxing ring and on the hurling field as well as his major achievements on the dance floor with his beloved wife Stella who sadly passed away some time ago. Jimmy told stand in Master of Ceremonies George Chandler about his love of boxing and the thrill it brings to him. Boxing is Jimmy’s life and has been for more than sixty years and to be honoured with the ‘Hall of Fame’ award is something he would never have dreamed of.

He told of his boxing exploits with his great friend Johnny Donovan who he rated as one of the best ever boxers he saw, but the biggest pride is for the young dynamo from Tullahaught Clare Grace who sat proudly at the table with Jimmy and her parents Eileen and Michael. Jimmy mixed his interests with boxing and hurling and as he told George “ sometimes I would get confused with the whistle and the bell, I would have boxed on Saturday night and go hurl with the Lockes on Sunday and sometimes when the ref blew the whistle I would throw down the Hurley and box the lad beside me”. Well he brought the house down with thundering laughter. Jimmy was also a postman in Callan for 23 years and was known far and wide by everyone.

He said he got to know so many wonderful people and enjoyed every day of it for the most part. To lighten the conversation George mentioned the Jack Nicholson movie from 1981 ‘The Postman always rings twice’, Jimmy retorted with a quick one “Aw well I always knocked four times”. A brilliant parting line for the 2010 Hall of Fame recipient Callan man Jimmy Walsh. Well done Jimmy.

The award night was wonderful and inspiring and none more inspiring than Lisdowney lady Ayeisha Grogan. She received the award for courage and there was no doubt in any one’s mind who would be awarded the Person of the Year title. An inspiring brace young woman and you will read more about her in some other part of this paper today.

BIG OPEN DAY SUCCESS: Mount Carmel was certainly the centre of the social calendar last week as Brian Cody came to visit the residents at the beautiful centre along with the Liam McCarthy Cup. Brian was joined by players Tommy Walsh and Eoin Larkin who also brought along his proud grandmother Lucy Donovan and Uncle Michael ‘Perch’ Donovan.

The residents of Mount Carmel were entertained throughout the afternoon with music and song and as always Jim Maher kept them laughing throughout the afternoon. The recently appointed Nurse/Manager Ann Walpole has done a huge amount of work since she took over the position.

The place has been transformed into a bright, comfortable place with a friendly atmosphere. The home always had a good reputation for care and that now has gone to new heights with the intervention of Anne and her wonderful staff.

Friday last was a day for all to show off the place for what it is and it was brilliant to see so many young people mixing and chatting with the elderly residents. It’s a place where this scribe loves to drop in, firstly to visit my mother Patty who has lived in Mount Carmel since 2010 and also to chat with residents and the staff. Brian Cody, Tommy and Eoin knocked a great kick out of the day and certainly Tommy and Brian enjoyed sitting down with Mary Nolan who was so thrilled to hold the McCarthy Cup and sit between ‘two fine men’ as she said herself.

Tommy also posed with the oldest resident of Callan who celebrated her 100th birthday earlier this year. Tommy appeared to be over whelmed to have met a lady who looks marvellous and is one hundred years of age. Her late Brother Ned Power hurled for Kilkenny in the 1930’s and she has great memories of that time. Of course Mount Carmel is a ‘multidenominational’ with regards to hurling with a lot of the staff from across the border in Tipperary, so it was really nice to bring the cup to let them see what they are missing and hopefully will be missing for a long time yet.

Sally Scott from Mullinahone was certainly taking a lot of stick from her Kilkenny counterparts but no better woman to stick up for her own. The staff certainly pulled out all the stops on Friday and must be congratulated for the wonderful spread of food they laid on for both residents and visitors. By the end of the evening there was little left.

Of course Mount Carmel doesn’t run by itself and it takes a lot of dedication from the committee and directors to keep everything afloat and no doubt the raffle brought in a fair few bob. A big thanks has to go to the business people of the town who gave generously to the raffle and without them Mount Carmel would be the poorer. The three Harley Davidson Bikes with their immaculately shining chrome were also a huge attraction for everyone and even some of the residents threw a leg over the saddle to sit up on the bikes Well done to all, a brilliant afternoon, a most memorable event and roll on next year where hopefully Liam McCarthy will still be in residents down here by the Nore and he will be able to pay a visit again to Callan.

OPEN INVITATION: You are cordially invited to attend the Callan Co-op / Macra Mass for deceased members on Monday at 7.30pm in Brother Ignatius Rice Chapel, Westcourt, Callan and will be celebrated by Fr. Richard Scriven. Please note that all farmers/customers plus their partners, families and friends are invited to attend. Light refreshments will be served afterwards.

ONE WAY STREET: The lane as we know as Factory lane beside Keoghs Bakery is a one way street, but some young motorists seem to think they can ride up and down it in their cars by exiting and entering onto Bridge Street. Twice in the past week this writer has encountered cars coming in the opposite direction towards Bridge Street. Last week during the midterm break I entered the lane from Bridge Street and was confronted by a car driven by a young guy coming towards me.

Of course I was in the right so forced him to reverse, which I have to say he would need more practice at. The second incident was at lunch hour on Monday last when a car exited onto Bridge Street and turned right towards Lower Bridge Street. This car had five young adults in the car who were no doubt on their lunch break. Observe the one way streets please before causing an avoidable accident.

ALMIGHTY RACKET: The residents on Lower Bridge Street certainly had a sleepless Friday night Saturday morning with the almighty racket that carried on the street until the early hours. Several residents reported doors been banged bins been kicked and even one resident reported that their window was smashed by someone’s head leaving a trail of DNA evidence. There had been a double party earlier in the night and it appears this rowdyism stemmed from this event. People have no problem with parties and people enjoying themselves but don’t visit your acts of stupidity on innocent residents who are only trying to get a nights sleep.

BADMINTON: Callan Badminton Club meets on Monday and Thursday nights at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall on Green Street, Callan. All over 16 are welcome to join – a mixed club. Good value at €50 for the annual membership which covers your insurance with “Badminton Ireland” and subs to the local club. New committee appointed: Liz Cashin, Callan (Chairperson); Breda McCarthy, Stoneyford (Secretary); Helen Tobin, Coolagh (Treasurer); Aoife Broe (student PRO) Join up before end of November. Any queries call Liz 0872264834

ST VINCENT DE PAUL: The Callan branch of Saint Vincent De Paul are holding a table quiz on the 12th of November at the Steppes Bar in Callan at 9’O clock pm. A table of 4 is 20 euro’s. There are lots of spot prizes and surprises on the night and during these tough times the local branch like many charities are struggling to raise enough money to help many local families in need. Go along to the Steppes on the night and help in some small way.

TIMBER FOR SALE: A hardy bunch of John Lockes club men have been working hard over the past few weeks drawing in timber which has been generously donated by many farmers and land owners around the parish. The response from the public yet again has been so heartening and especially the farming community.

Everyone knows it is tough going at present trying to raise money to keep things afloat. Its not easy trying to keep the books in order for the club but all the fundraisers help to keep things balanced and also will help towards the development at John Locke Park. Already a large amount of timber is ready for sale so if you want to purchase timber, members of the club can deliver.

A small car trailer load will cost €80 and a large double wheeled car trailer costs €150. This will be delivered and unloaded at your house, farm or business. For orders please contact Sean Hogan on 0861731877 or John Walker on 0872564066 or any club member for orders of the best of timber.

HERITAGE SOCIETY: Callan Heritage Society holds its Annual General Meeting in the Friary, Mill St. on this coming Monday at 8pm. We welcome new members for the coming year, and send out a special invitation for young people to get involved. Membership of Callan Heritage Society gives every member free access to Rothe House in Kilkenny and it’s wonderful library.

Any student or indeed any person involved in history projects will find this resource invaluable for research purposes. Also each member gets a free copy of the annual Kilkenny Archaeological Society Journal the “Old Kilkenny Review”. This journal is a mine of information about the county and its wonderful heritage and history

COOLAGH CARDS: The Festive Season is fast approaching and the Coolagh Committee are working hard in preperation for the Christmas card games and the Christmas Draw. The Games commence Thurs Nov. 24th for hams and hampers.

Chairman of Coolagh Committee, Billy Maher said all card players are welcome to Coolagh Hall on every Thursday right up to Christmas for the popular game of “25”s. In conjunction with the card games the Christmas Draw takes place for prizes totalling €900.

This Christmas Raffle commenced for Christmas 1980 at £5 per ticket and 31 years later the cost is a mere €5. Tickets available from any Coolagh Committee Members

BRIDGE: Turkey competition on Thursday 10th. Nov. at 7.20pm.--choose partners.