Weekly County Limerick bingo marks 40th anniversary

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

Eighteen is the lucky number: Cappamore Bingo Committee, back, Mary and John Favier, Tom Hogan, Paddy McCormack, Tommy Ryan, Ollie Dillon, Marie O'Donnell, Seamus and Una Ryan, Pat Fogarty, Noel Gleeson, Eddie Murphy, seated, Siobhan and Kathleen Moore, Josephine O'Donoghue, Jerry Duggan, Nuala Walsh and Mary Murphy. Picture: Josephine Blackwell
THE BINGO lingo for 40 is life begins at...

THE BINGO lingo for 40 is life begins at...

And after a very successful first 40 years Cappamore Development Association are looking forward to their numbers holding strong for many years to come.

This Sunday, October 20 at 3pm in the community cent Go on, go on, go on... to Father Ted night re they are holding a special event to mark their fortieth anniversary. €4,000 must be won - an increase on the weekly €2,750 - and a bumper crowd is expected. There is also be a monster raffle and lotto. Two members of the committee who were there at the very start - Eddie Murphy and Pat Fogarty - remain involved.

Tommy Ryan says the proceeds from the bingo night - started under the chairmanship of the late Conal O’Neill - has done untold good in the community.

The money raised has helped build the day-care centre, sports complex, playground, library and many other improvements carried out locally.

As well as that it has been a meeting place for old and young over four decades.

“We get over 300 every Thursday night. They come from Cork, Clare, Tipperary and all over County Limerick,” said Mr Ryan. Members of the development association even patrol the car-park in rain or cold to ensure that patrons’ cars aren’t damaged or broken into so they don’t have to worry.

“It is part of the community and part of Cappamore,” said Tommy, who praised the hard-working committee that numbers upto 20.

As well as the proceeds spent locally players have taken home prize money that has added up to well over a million over the years. In 2012 alone over €150,000 was won by the lucky ones whose “numbers came up”.

Charities also benefit and every year they run a night for Milford Hospice that raises thousands.

“We had a meeting recently to organise the 40th celebrations and our bingo manager, Eddie Murphy, recalled that we ran a night for the victims of the Dublin and Monaghan bombings in 1974. We gave them cheque for a lot of money at the time,” said Tommy.

As well as reflecting on the past the committee are also looking forward to future projects.

The two that Mr Ryan mentions are getting the planned social housing in the old creamery off the ground and the new fire brigade station.

Mr Ryan says they are seeing more and more younger people playing bingo and invites those who have never tried it before to come along on Sunday.

“You never know you could be lucky!” said Tommy.