Free concert in Limerick parish captures festive atmosphere

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

OVER 400 packed into Kilteely Church for a celebration of sacred music, song and their community.

OVER 400 packed into Kilteely Church for a celebration of sacred music, song and their community.

And they have plenty to celebrate in 2012.

They held the county’s first soapbox derby in the summer. The hard work of the Tidy Towns committee was rewarded when named overall winner of the 2012 Limerick in Bloom competition in October.

And just last week John McCarthy won a personality award at the Mid-West Tidy Towns awards in Ennis for his work in Kilteely Tidy Towns committee.

So everyone in St Patrick’s and St Bridget’s Church, Kilteely was in fine voice at the charity concert.

Chairman of the organising committee, Fr Conor Hayes, said it was a night of celebration.

“It is for the community, of the community and a return to the community for their loyalty and faithfulness to put on something for them,” said Fr Hayes.

Despite the cold and wet night the large church was packed to capacity.

“It was a terrible night, yet people came out for it and filled the church. Everyone I spoke to enjoyed it immensely,” said Fr Hayes.

This is the third year in a row the parish of Kilteely/Dromkeen has put on a free concert in early December to celebrate music and song, and to get into the spirit of Christmas.

It started as a way of showcasing all the talent that there is locally, and letting people hear and see them.

It grew from there, says one of the organisers, Mike Gleeson.

“It is the perfect time of year as it kicks off the Christmas season,” said Mike.

Now it has turned in to a fixture in the local calendar and it helps lift spirits in the recession.

Valerie Greene, PRO, said the beautiful floral and candle arrangements by Margaret O’Neill added to the festive atmosphere.

“It commenced with children from Kilteely and Cloverfield National Schools uniting to sing four beautiful songs.

“They were followed by the CJ Kickham Brass and Reed Band who played some lively tunes. Special guests were pipers, John and Sean Moloney, and Paddy Crowe.

“The main act of the night was Derek Ryan, accompanied by Pat Marnane. Derek sang his heart out and received a standing ovation, he was absolutely fantastic.

“Finally our parish choir raised the roof! These concerts would not be possible without the enthusiasm and energy of Fr Hayes, who sings in the choir, and Gerry O’Carroll who came up with the idea, and has produced and directed all the concerts,” said Valerie.

On behalf of the committee, she thanked all who assisted in organising the event, attended on the night and supported the occasion so generously.

Already thoughts are turning to their fourth annual concert!

Celebrations aren’t over in the parish either as John McCarthy, Kilteely Tidy Towns, invites one and all to Ahern’s on Saturday night, December 15 to celebrate a great year in the parish.