ST. PATRICK’S DAY TRADITION: The modern day celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day in the local villages and towns had lots of colour this year and novelty displays. But, it was also nice to observe the more ancient approach to traditions in country places being kept up, which included St. Patrick’s Day Mass in parish church, and a visit in the afternoon to the Holy Well, St. Patrick’s Well.
The recognition of many St. Patrick’s Wells in Granagh/Ballingarry is a tradition going back many generations.
Playing Gaelic games and traditional music also helped our enjoyment and our appreciation of our heritage/culture celebrations.
Limerick Senior hurlers win over Dublin in the National League was a festival surprise and all involved in this lucky victory must have prayed not alone to St. Patrick, but to St. Jude and every Saint in Heaven.
GAELIC FOR GIRLS: Granagh/Ballingarry Ladies Football Club has been chosen for county promotion (G4G) in a 12 week coaching programme to encourage girls to take up Gaelic Games in the 9 to 13 age group.
The club held their annual general meeting last week in the Clubhouse, Ballingarry, and the following were re-elected: Chairperson Fiona Hickey. Vice Chairperson Mike Condron. Secretary Orla Keating. Assistant Catherine Dalton. Treasurer Anne Higgins. Assistant Yvonne Condron. Registrar Olivia O’Keeffe. PRO Ellen O’Sullivan, Child Protection Anne Higgins.
Local girls interested in joining their respective panels and age groups should look out for training sessions starting in the next couple of weeks in Ballingarry.
A STORY AND A SONG: Pat O’Donovan’s Saturday afternoon programme on West Limerick Community Radio has never failed to surprise me in relation to his “special guests” each week on his Story and a Song Programme. Imagine my surprise this week when I and my music partner from Patrickswell John Hayes were featured singing some of our favourite ballads and performing a few duets accordion/harmonica on some Irish dance music.
John Hayes’ selection included, Jackson’s Morning Brush, West Limerick Polkas, Paddy’s Return, The Crecora Jig, while John O’Riordan’s choice had The Snowy Breasted Peril, Down by the Barnakyle, Back to Ballyhoe, The Juice of the Barley and his successful Munster Fleadh Cheoil song Mary on the Banks of Lee.
It would be most interesting if more new singers/musicians etc came forward to West Limerick local radio, as it would continue the lovely surprise aspect of hearing your next door neighbour on local radio some Saturday afternoon.
COMMUNITY GAMES: Granagh/Ballingarry Community Games members were very actively engaged in the weeks coming up to the Cross Country Programme i.e. training sessions in camogie/G.A.A. club fields, etc.
Last Sunday’s competitions in Rathkeale included, Nicole McNamara, Laura McNamara, Laura McMahon, Mia Griffin, Jane O’Connell, Eoin Lynch, Cian McGoey, Paddy Frawley, Nial Sheehan, Molly Cagney, Ciara Sheehy, Sinead Griffin, Adam Long, Sean Murphy, Ashling Irwin, Molly O’Connell, Eileen McMahon, Brian Sheehy, T.J. Tierney, Michael Russell, Darragh Casey, David Bennett, Padraig Murphy, Eoin Herlihy, Michael Sheahan, Ellen Murphy, Olivia Bennett, Anna Griffin, Orla Lenihan, Eoin Sheahan, Luke Flynn, Jeremy O’Connor, Sean O’Connor, Aoife McInerney.
Registration for u/10 Gaelic football and u/12 girls Gaelic football closes on March 27. The branch would like to hear from Gaelic Games/camogie coaches and other various sports trainers etc. Any locals interested please contact Anne Higgins 087-9274241.
GET WELL WISHES: A speedy recovery to all our parishioners and all who are ill at the moment in the locality at home, in hospital, or in nursing homes.
A special word this week to Donal O’Grady for his speedy recovery from his shoulder injury unfortunately received in the National Hurling League against Carlow last Sunday on his second day of captaining the Limerick Senior Hurling team.
SOCCER CLUB LOTTERY: A lottery jackpot of €13,850 is the prize this week offered by Granagh United Soccer Cub as no winner emerged last week to take the big cash prize. Tickets €2 each or €50 for an annual contribution are available from the soccer club promoters and at all outlets in the area including O’Gorman’s Food Store/Petrol Station, Chawke’s Cross, The Rock Bar, Granagh, Hickey’s Bar, Croom, Bennis’ Bar, Ballyagran.
RACING SUCCESSES CLOUDED BY JOCKEY INJURY: The most successful Irish Horse racing visit to Cheltenham was unfortunately sadly clouded by the serious neck injuries to Croom’s top jockey John-Thomas McNamara and renowned West Limerick Rider Davy Russell. We join with all their friends in racing, owners, trainers and fellow jockeys to wish them both a full and speedy recovery.
From an Irish point of view the successful combination of trainer Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh was a dream come true, coupled with quite a few other world class performances for Ireland which brings to mind the most savouring memory of local trainer Charlie Byrnes’ winning charge “Solwit” taking the world hurdle at 8/1 was the work of a genius and an expert horseman at our doorstep.