ARD SCOIL RIS WIN IRISH CHESS TITLE: This year the Irish Junior Chess Championships, under the auspices of the Irish Chess Union (ICU) was held in (Munster) and hosted in Shannon, Co. Clare from Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 7. The venue was the splendid setting of the Oakwood Arms Hotel and the tournament organiser, was none other than Shannon man Mr. Stephen Danaher. Stephen, a keen chess player himself, is involved locally in the Shannon Chess Club and is also a member of the Limerick Chess Club, which is based in the Limerick Lawn Tennis Club on the Ennis Road.
Stephen spearheads all the local activities around the Shannon youth, where he encourages young people to get involved in this great social and much disciplined sporting activity. Most of Stephen’s family is involved in the chess circles, even to the extent that his grandson Billy was playing in the competition (under 8 section). Stephen’s wife Kay was ever present, ensuring the right support and organisational backup. This is the ingredient and sort of commitment that helps make a success of any challenge. Many other locals were also involved. The junior championships are a big family event. This was Stephen’s first time hosting such a prestigious competition, which attracts the best from all around Ireland and even some from abroad. This year was no exception, as it attracted 133 competitors. Age groups taking part included u8, u10, u12, u14, u16 and u19. The competition is played over 3 days (Friday to Sunday).
The competition was officially declared opened, by local Senator Mr. Tony Mulcahy on Friday at 7.30pm. The competition was a resounding success, for all who competed for the various titles. Parents in particular couldn’t lavish enough praise on the venue and the organisers. This was testament to all the hard work, that Stephen and his local team put into this competition. The controller for the competition was well known chess personality Mr. John Alfred, from Adare, Co. Limerick. Other team members who assisted in game monitoring, included Mr. John Cassidy (Ennis & Munster Delegate ICU), Mrs. Olive Weeks (Kilfinane), Mr. Thomas Dunne (Ballinasloe) and Mr. Noel Keating (Treasurer ICU). Finally, all good things must come to an end and after a gripping week end of tension and drama, the winners eventually emerged. All the prize winners were presented with their trophies by the Chairman of the ICU Mr. Jonathan O’Connor. Of local interest, Geoffrey Keating a Junior Cert pupil from Ardscoil Rís, won the under 16 Irish Title after a nerve wrecking two game blitz play off, which decided this particular competition. His brother Thomas a second year pupil, came joint 4th in the under 14 section.
VILLIERS SCHOOL NEWS: The new rugby season started well, with a strong performance on Welsh soil. The coaches and other staff involved, took the opportunity, to lay out objectives for the year, while on tour. A commitment was made by all involved, that this group would set an example for years to come, on how Villiers Rugby teams would go about their business. It was agreed that the team would train twice each week and also attend two conditioning sessions at 7.30, two mornings a week, before school. Attendance by all involved transpired to be excellent throughout the season. The good effort did not go unnoticed, with high levels of attendance by the Junior and U-14 Panels, who undoubtedly were reacting to the good example, set by their Senior peers.
A number of friendly matches were played at the beginning of the season, most of which the boys won, or at least put in very solid performances. The corridors of Villiers school were filled with talk of rugby, fitness sessions and upcoming matches. Rugby balls were to be seen everywhere one looked, from yard to classroom. Like all good teams, there was a great blend of personalities involved, which created great banter and fun between the lads, making the tough training sessions easier to face. The commitment to the task was unrelenting and all would agree, that these lads were self-motivated. There were many leaders amongst the squad and all deserve credit. However, the coaches and staff would like to extend a special word of thanks, to one individual. The boy in question is Cian Egan, who found himself in the misfortunate position of been slightly over age for Cup competition. Cian continued to train with the team for the rest of the season and was a great help and motivation, to all involved. All involved would simply like to acknowledge and thank Cian, for his efforts.
The goal from the outset, was to achieve provincial honours, namely to win the O’ Gorman Cup, which is a B and C School rugby competition, for u-19 boys in Munster. The draw for the cup did little to bring smiles to our faces, with some familiar adversaries appearing on our side of the draw. In truth, the coaches and staff were probably more concerned than the boys who had a resolute belief, that no team would stand in their way. The campaign started away to Rice College from Ennis, a team who had stopped our march for a few seasons at Junior level. However the boys dispatched their challenge with ease, with a 20 point victory. Next up a fellow B school, Tarbert Community College, familiar opposition and a school who never seem to produce a weak team, awaited us. A thrilling game ensued, where Villiers struggled to get their hands on the ball and were behind on the score board, with ten minutes remaining. However, a strong finish with tries from ace players Tobi Ademakin and captain Jack Kearney, left the Villiers boys ten points to spare, when the final whistle sounded, in a bitterly cold Coonagh Sports Field.
The reward was an eagerly awaited semi-final clash with arch rivals St. Clements, a team who had handed Villiers a heavy defeat, in a pre-season match. No one was in doubt, that this game could well define our season, but the mood was positive and the on-pitch effort was awesome. Villiers boys, were beginning to make a habit of going behind in matches and things were no different this day. However, with outstanding performances from Ian Gibson, Tobi Ademakin, Ben Coady, Gavin Hayes and man of the match Mark Armitage, victory was always on the cards, albeit a narrow three point difference in the end. Rugby was a topic of discussion everywhere one went in the school, as we all looking forward to the final and achieving the honours, which we had dreamt about since, the start of the journey.
The opposition was a Cork school, Colaiste Mhuire Crosshaven, a school with a proud rugby tradition. The final was to be played after the February mid-term break, with the mock exams completed. The tension was building and plans were afoot, to bring along as much support as possible. On the day, the boys were relaxed and great credit is due the coaches for keeping all involved, grounded and focused on the job in hand. The atmosphere in Clonmel Rugby Ground was electric, with a vocal and high spirited group of Villiers supporters, easily winning the pre match singing contest in the stand. With so much at stake, the first half was a tense affair and Villiers held a narrow half time lead of 8-5, through the boot of Ben Coady and the determination of Ian Gibson. Coady was now watching the match from the sideline, having picked up a heavy knock to the leg. His replacement Callum Wallace, playing his first match of the year, due to injury, was up for the challenge and fitted in seamlessly. His attendance at training throughout the season, had kept him in the frame and he understood the game plan, as well as any. The second halve was an expression of confidence and believe, that winning the cup truly was the destiny of this side. Tries from Gibson, Devon Staunton and the tireless Mark Armitage, ensured the cup would cross the Shannon once again, on that cold February evening. The boot of Wallace, ensured that there would be no doubt. At the final whistle, we had 15 points to spare and the dream was now a reality. I am assured that celebrations are finally abating.
Our junior boys in the interim, have now qualified for the final of the Giles Cup to be played after Easter. We wish them every success and acknowledge their hard work throughout the season. All involved in rugby in the school, believe that this senior team have truly redefined the culture of rugby in the school and for that, we thank you. We would also like to thank our director of rugby Tim Fennell, for his dedication in organising all that is rugby, in the school.
NA PIARSAIGH G.A.A. CLUB NEWS: The under 16 hurler’s had a good start to the championship on Monday night. Playing in Kilmallock on a bitterly cold evening, Na Piarsaigh were wind assisted, by a gale force wind in the first half. A substantial lead would be needed, to counteract the wind factor and the boys were not found wanting. Early attempts at goal were foiled by a persistent Kilmallock defence, but Conor Boylan provided the first and Peter Casey the second goal of the night and we began to find our range and the gaps opened up.
There were some excellent points too from Jason Callanan, Marcus McMenamy and Thomas Grimes. Conor Houlihan goaled from a free, late in the half and we went in at the break 3-9 to 0-0 ahead, which showed the bearing, the wind had on the game. While the forwards had the run of play in the first half, the backs had to stand tall in the second, as attack after attack came from the Kilmallock men. A second goal from Conor Boylan at the very start of this half, gave us a lead we needed to hang onto, but Kilmallock were to use wind the well in this half and point by point, they began whittling down the lead. Kevin Daly, Gearoid Synnott and Peadar Collins cleared their lines constantly, with Eoin Foley in goals marshalling his defences well, with David Broderick, Mark Considine and Evan Gilvarry standing up well to the pressure.
Peter Casey and Conor Houlihan fell back to help out the midfield area, with the wind not allowing the ball to travel any distance into Na Piarsaigh attacking territory. Kilmallock struck for a goal in the latter stages of the second half, but Na Piarsaigh had done enough in the first half, to run our comfortable enough winners, on a scoreline of 4-11 to 1-7.
Scorers: Conor Boylan 2-1, Conor Houlihan 1- 2 (all frees) , Peter Casey 1-1, Thomas Grimes 0-3, Jason Callanan 0-2 , Jerry McCabe, Marcus McManemy 0-1 each.
The under 10 hurlers opened their campaign, with the visit of Monaleen to Pairc Drumguil.
The lads have been training hard and were itching to get going. There were great performances all over the field, especially Adam Long and Thomas McAllister in defence, who hurled very well, while up front Patrick O Neill was our chief scorer. Bainisteoir Pat Conlon was very pleased with his team and he is looking forward to the next outing.
Team: Thomas McAllister, Stephen Mitchell, Adam Long, Marcus Hogan, Dylan Lynch, Cathal Hasssett, Patrick O Neill, JJ Carey, Dylan Skehan, John Fitzgerald, George Cussen, Harry McGoey, Charlie Hogan. Final Score was Na Piarsaigh 6-03 Monaleen 5-03.
Our under 12 hurlers were doubly engaged on Thursday against Mungret.
The A team were at home and proved much too strong for a gallant Mungret team. The management team of Pat Moloney and Brian Hourigan have this team well drilled and every player is showing great improvement.
Team: Damien Lee, Mark O Connor, Evan Sheehan, Matthew De Courcy, Cormac Frawley, Keith Dempsey, Dean O Donnell, John Moloney, Keith McInerney, Shane Harney, Harry O’Donnell, Robbie Ryan, David Hourigan, John O Connor, Ian Leonard. Subs:(all used), Sean Hartney, Dylan O Neill, Dean McGinn, Aidan Bourke, Justin Norden, Jack Barry.
The 12 B hurlers went to Mungret to take on the locals and played well in patches and showed great promise. Those who were prominent were Dylan Skehan, Kieran Richardson, Sam Mullane and goalkeeper Eoin Coughlan. The future looks bright for this very young team, who no doubt will improve, as the weeks go on.
Our minor hurlers travelled to Doon on Friday, in their opening game of the campaign.
Playing with a strong first half breeze, we matched our physically bigger opponents in every aspect. Doon opened up a gap mid-way through the half, when they scored the only goal of the game. However, not to be out done, we tacked on points from Kieran Daly, Dylan Cronin and two long range frees from Ronan Lynch, to leave us within one point at the break. Half time score was Na Piarsaigh 0-08 to Doon’s 1-06. The second half was nip and tuck and some great points from Conor Houlihan, Dylan Cronin, David Dempsey and Ronan Lynch kept us right in the game. However, in the end it was Doon, who prevailed by a single point, on a scoreline of Doon 1-13 Na Piarsaigh 0-15.
Team: Jack Ryan, Robbie Graham, Gordon Brown, David Broderick, Eoin Shannon, Michael Casey, Evan O Brien, Josh O Halloran, Thomas Grimes, Ronan Lynch(0-8), Conor Houlihan(0-3), Dylan Cronin(0-2), Peter Casey, Kieran Daly(0-1),David Dempsey(0-1).
The minor footballers opened their City Championship campaign, with a brilliant win over Mungret. We trailed by six points at the break, with our goal coming from a penalty, from Gordon Brown. Playing with the wind in the second half, we rallied well and goals from William Leonard and Nathan O Callaghan, put us in the driving seat. However, the drama was not over and a wonderful save from a penalty by Jamie Bromell in the dying moments, sealed victory for this hard working team. Final score: Na Piarsaigh 3-08 Mungret 1-11.
The lotto jackpot is still climbing, as we had no jackpot winner on Monday night. The numbers drawn were 25, 28, 30 and 31. The four lucky dip winners were Mairead O Sullivan, Mary Bourke, Kathleen O’Connor and Mary Quinlivan. Seller’s prize went to Bernie Buckley and house prize to Con Horan. Next week’s jackpot is €12,300.
CORPUS CHRISTI SCHOOL PERFORM IN MILLENNIUM THEATRE: Our school musical “Postcards From Abroad” is being held in the L.I.T. Millennium Theatre on Wednesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 2 commencing at 7.30pm.
This original musical, which was written by one of our teaching staff, the highly talented Ms. Fionnula Bromell, promises to provide you with a fantastic night’s entertainment.
Tickets for this not to be missed show, are now on sale in Corpus Christi Primary School. Tickets cost just €5 each. We have a special offer of €20, for a family of 5.
For further details, please telephone the school on 061 455 166 or 087 688 2050.
OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY SERVICES: Weekend Mass Times: Saturday Vigil Mass 6pm. Sunday 10am and 11.30am. Weekday Mass Times: 10am Daily. Also 5.45pm daily during November, Advent and Lent. Baptisms: Saturdays at 5pm and Sundays at 12.15pm. Marriages: Three months notice to Parish and Civil Registrar. Church Office: Telephone 061 325 288, from Sundays 9am to 12.30pm and Weekdays 9am to 9.45am.
SPRING LUNCHEON AT THE SAVOY HOTEL: When Enoch Powell famously said that ‘all political lives end in tears’, he did not know Mary O’Rourke, who graduated from a very successful political life, to an equally successful and happy retirement. She is a regular contributor to radio programmes, where her frank, shrewd and amusing comments, are appreciated by presenters and listeners alike. All the while, she was busy writing her amazingly honest and entertaining memoir, the publication of which has opened up a whole new life for her as a guest speaker.
The Friends of the Hunt Museum are glad to present Mary O’Rourke as the speaker, at their annual Spring luncheon to be held in the Savoy Hotel on Thursday, April 18. No doubt she will entertain her audience, with anecdotes about her political and private life in her inimitable style; open warm and insightful.
For further information, please telephone 061 312 960, or Email: email@example.com
THE GREAT LIMERICK RUN: The Great Limerick Run, in association with the Limerick Sports Partnerships and the HSE Health Promotion Unit, have announced details of Ireland’s largest single mass participation event for children, the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run Kids Run for Fun.
More than 1,500 children aged 4 to 12 years of age, are expected to participate in the event at the University of Limerick on Saturday, May 4, the day before the annual Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run. The Run will feature a 1Km Wheelchair Track (4-12 years), 1Km Grass track (4-7 years) and 2 miles Trail (8-12 years). Former Munster and Irish international rugby legend Jerry Flannery was on hand at the launch, by facilitating a training session for students of Milford National School in Castletroy. Along with staff from Limerick Sports Partnerships and Sports Coaching & Development students from Limerick Institute of Technology, Jerry will be participating in further training sessions at Limerick schools, during April.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Jerry said: “I want to pay tribute to the organisers of the Kids Run for Fun for encouraging young people to engage in physical activity. Running and other mass participation sporting events are becoming increasingly popular across the country and I am delighted to lend my support to the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run events, which are up there with the best in terms of their common appeal, organisation and participation levels.” Phelim Macken, coordinator of the County Limerick Local Sports Partnership commented: “By launching this event, we are aiming to get the whole family involved in the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run over the course of the May Bank Holiday Weekend and in doing so, encourage people to adopt a healthier lifestyle in a way that is fun for everyone involved.” “The training sessions that Jerry will be participating in at local primary schools, will give kids the advice and motivation needed, to encourage them to participate in the Kids Run for Fun. We also hope that the sessions and the event itself, will help promote physical activity on a wider level throughout the year,” Mr Macken added. According to Elaine O Connor, coordinator of the Limerick City Sports Partnership: “The three Kids Run for Fun races, are designed to encourage kids from all sections of society, to participate in sport and healthy activity. We are delighted to partner in hosting this event and in doing so complement Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run, in its successful portrayal of Limerick as a thriving and sporting city. We also hope the Kids Run for Fun will provide a much needed boost to the local economy.” Speaking on behalf of the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run, Marketing Director Joe Leddin stated that the addition of a Children’s event was an important step, in the ongoing development of the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run race series.
“The event team are particularly pleased to partner with both the HSE and local Sports Partnership Agencies, to ensure that every opportunity is afforded to young children to become physically active and experience the satisfaction of competing and enjoying the atmosphere, that surrounds a race day. We plan to grow the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run Kids Run in the years ahead, on the same partnership approach that has seen the adult event increase participant numbers year on year,” Mr. Leddin said.
Registrations for the not-for-profit Kids Run for Fun on Saturday, May 4 are now being invited on www.greatlimerickrun.com/about/kids. Each child will receive a GLR T-shirt, medal and goodie bag. The T-shirt and medal are the same as those provided to competitors in the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run 6-mile, half marathon and marathon. A registration fee of €10 applies to all participants. 30% from the registration fee will go towards school programmes in Limerick run by the Sports Partnerships. Information around training plans, are available on the event website.