Read A4 NEWSLETTER MAY 06.indd text version



Issue 2 Christmas 2006

Season's Greetings

Wishing all CaherlistraneKilcoona people at home and abroad a happy and peaceful Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year!

Caherlistrane-Kilcoona Community Council

The Caherlistrane Kilcoona Community Council has progressed really well since it was formed last April. A sincere Thank You to everyone who has supported us during the year, especially the Church Gate Collection, the Ceili Mor and Senior Citizens' Party and thanks also to the ladies who always do an excellent job with the catering. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of people who have passed away this year. God grant them eternal rest. Below is a full list of the Caherlistrane/ Kilcoona Council officers and members.

Officers: Chairman: Brendan Gannon, (Raheen) (093) 55421, Vice-Chairman: JJ Higgins (Cahernaheena) (093) 35924, Secretary: Con McCole (The Lodge) (086) 8869191, Assistant Secretary: Teresa McHugh (Beaghmore) (093) 26455, Treasurer: Kate O'Dwyer (Ballycasey) (093) 36649, PRO: Michael McNally (Mausrevagh) (091) 791111. Members: Fr. Pat O'Brien (The Presbytery), Vincent Judge (Carrowconlaun), Imelda Tierney (Kilgarriff ), Ronnie Mangan (Caherlistrane), Padraic Reaney, Kieran Reaney (Mossfort), Colm O'Dwyer (Ballycasey), Matt Cunningham (Mausrevagh), Joe Flanagan (Cave), Michael Maher (Cloonascragh), Gabriel Burke (Kilcoona), Michelle Hennelly (Ballybane), Michael Conneely (Manusflynn), Paul Creaven (Beaghmore), Martin Molloy, Maura Molloy (Kilroe), Brian Holden (Mausrevagh), Michael Greaney (Lisdonagh), Brendan Flaherty (Mausrevagh), Billy Connelly (Beaghmore), James O'Grady (Mausrevagh), Joe Gallagher (New Line), Sadie Langan (Caherlistrane), John Brown (New Line) New members always welcome!

Rita and Sarah Keane after being presented with an ornamental lamp by Community Council Chairman Brendan Gannon in recognition of their TG4 award. Also in the picture are Con McCole and Fr. Pat O'Brien

Rita and Sarah Keane win TG4 Lifetime Achievement Award

Over 65,000 TV viewers recently watched Caherlistrane singing sisters Rita and Sarah Keane give the performance of their lives when the octogenarians were presented with the Gradam Saoil (Lifetime Achievement Award) for traditional song at this year's TG4 Awards.

The award ceremony and concert was held in the Opera House in Cork and Rita and Sarah sang Once I Loved which they first recorded for Claddagh Records in 1968. The Keane sisters have graced many international stages too, and in recent years they have performed on occasions with their famous niece Dolores and nephew Sean in mainland Europe and Scandinavia. Messages of congratulations have been coming in since the Keane sisters won this latest award which is another highlight in their long and distinguished careers in traditional music. Singing since their schooldays in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Rita and Sarah later gained much acclaim as musicians and singers with other family members in Keane's Ceili Band which was very popular and wellknown up until the 1970s. Today three generations of the Keane family carry on a proud music tradition with the recordings of Dolores and Sean popular both in Ireland and abroad. In recent years four nephews of Rita and Sarah, Sean, Matt, Noel and Pat recorded a successful album Citizens Keane and toured together while Matt, who now performs as part of a duo with Kevin Coyle from Maam, is also putting the finishing touches to a new album. Noel is also a member of local band Top Form with Ronnie Mangan from the Community Council and Johnnie Regan from Australia and they play the length and breadth of the county and further afield. Apart from their tremendous talents as singers and musicians, Rita and Sarah Keane are also noted for the friendliness and hospitality they extend to all who visit their cosy and pleasant home in Caherlistrane.

Senior Citizens Party survives Winds and Floods!

Presentation to Keane Sisters is highlight of Senior Citizens Party. The weather for the Annual Senior Citizens Party in Kilcoona could hardly have been worse. But in spite of the gale force winds and floods, everyone who managed to get to the party enjoyed themselves. We had top class entertainment and dancing provided by our own Ronnie Mangan and Matt Cunningham. The food was excellent and there was even a bit of something liquid to keep the cold out! The highlight of the day, however, was when Rita and Sarah Keane sang together. You could have heard a pin drop. A presentation of an ornamental lamp was made to Rita and Sarah by Caherlistrane Kilcoona Council Chairman Brendan Gannon on behalf of the parish in recognition of their tremendous contribution to music and song in the parish for many years. A long overdue gesture!

When Hollywood came to Caherlistrane

The year was 1968 when MetroGoldwyn-Mayer, the big Hollywood Film Company and director Clive Donner came to Caherlistrane to make the film Alfred the Great on Knockma Hill.

The film was set in the 9th century and was of the historical genre. While England was being ranscaked by roving Danes, Alfred, played by David Hemmings, was planning to join the priesthood. However, instead of continuing with his studies, Alfred and his army defeated the Danes and he went on to become one of England's most famous rulers. Other well-known actors such as Michael York and Ian McKellan also starred in the film, as did Prunella Ransome and Irish actress Sinead Cusack, on her film debut. Sinead and Prunella were seen enjoying themselves at the local sports. A number of Caherlistrane people were extras in the film. The director of the film, Clive Donner got married the year the film was made. His wife Jocelyn passed away last year. They were married for thirty-seven years. Clive who is now eighty years of age still has vivid and fond memories of the time he spent in Caherlistrane 38 years ago.

Kilcoona NS "Buy a Block" Fundraiser

Buy a block and help finish the extension to St. Cuana's National School . . . This unique fundraising event involves purchasing a "block" or a number of blocks by individuals, groups, companies or organisations. Everyone who purchases a block will be given a certificate acknowledging their contribution to the school and will be entered into a bound register which will be kept in the school for posterity. They will also be entered into a draw for a number of prizes at the end of the fundraising event. Blocks cost 20 for silver, 50 for gold and 100 for platinum. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

Townland Namestones Update

Progress is continuing on the Townland Namestones Project . . . Since our last issue, three more townland stones have been erected. These are now to be seen in Bunnasillagh, Oltoir and Carragh. Six further stones are in the process of being finalised and it is hoped they will be erected in the new year. Other areas have also expressed interest in having a stone erected in their townlands and plans for these are also in train. If you would like to see a stone erected in your own area, contact any member of the community council. We will be more than happy to get the project started.

Kilcoona Golf Society

At Kilcoona golf society's recent AGM the following Officers were elected for 2007: President: Seamus Hughes, Captain: JJ Higgins, Vice Captain: Sean Mulryan, Secretary: Monica O'Connor, Treasurer: PJ McHugh, PRO: Noel Henderson. Outings will be held to Claremorris, Ballyconneely, Oughterard, Tuam, Ballinrobe and Westport. Weekends away will be decided in the new year. For further information, contact any officer. NEW MEMBERS MORE THAN WELCOME! TEL. JJ HIGGINS ON 087 252 7840

Cemetery Maintenance

Contributions towards the upkeep of the three cemetries in the parish, Donaghpatrick, Kilcoona and Abbeytown can be made to A/C no. 28975627 Bank of Ireland, Headford.

New driveway and parking facilities at Knockma

Knockma Hill

CAHERLISTRANE'S most prominent landmark, Knockma is the highest hill (552 feet) in the plains of North Galway and South Mayo (the ancient Maigh sheola). It is the legendary burial place of Queen Maeve, and in folklore Knockma was the seat of Finnvara, king of Connacht fairies. The many ancient remains, including cairns, underground passages and forts, are evidence of a major place of settlement stretching back to pre-Christian times. In fact this area is estimated to have been inhabited as far back as 7,000 years ago and has been a place of myth, magic and mystery ever since. In the last few months Coillte have constructed a high quality tarmacadam drive and parking facilities at the entrance to Knockma. This makes access to the wonderful walks and scenic beauty of Knockma much easier for everyone.

Every Tuesday at 8.30 pm in Caherlistrane Community Centre



H & R Construction

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John Higgins New Line, Caherlistrane Mob: 087-2857507 Tel./Fax: 093-31167



Kilcoona Active Retirement Group

THE KILCOONA Active Retirement Group was set up in July and holds meetings every Wednesday in Kilcoona Community Centre from 12.30 to 2 pm. At our first meeting we had members from San Chairde in Headford as well as people from our own parish. We chatted had tea and refreshments and later had dancing with Matt Cunningham. The aim of the Active Retirement Group is to get poeple out of their homes, to meet other people, chat and have fun. Meetings will include talks about entitlements, health and beauty, arts and crafts, entertainment workshops and other items that the group itself will decide. All are welcome to our meetings which will re-commence in the new year. Just turn up on a Wednesday, we will be delighted to see you! For information, contact Kathleen Burke on 086 3782640, Michelle Hennelly on 086 1730188 or Noel Henderson on 087 6876029.

Lough Hackett ­ One of Our Local Treasures

LOUGH HACKETT is one our most beautiful and historic amenities, situated near Donaghpatrick, it is an ideal venue for summertime picnics and is well stocked with coarse fish. Like Castlehackett, Lough Hackett takes its name from an Anglo-Norman family who came to possess land in the area in the thirteenth century. (This land, as in the rest of the parish, belonged to the O'Flahertys until they were driven to Connemara by the O'Connors in the 12th century.) The crannog in the centre of Lough Hacket takes us back a thousand years or more, and Sir William Wilde (father of Oscar), the antiquarian, described the crannog (a man-made island) as the best example of one in the whole Lough Corrib area. The former name of the lake ­ Loch Cime ­ suggests that the crannog may have been a place of imprisonment as well as a refuge. An underwater zig-zag path is said to have connected it to the mainland.

Christmas and other times at Carragh

by Dolores Keane SINCE I moved to Carragh when I was very young I've never missed Christmas. No matter where in the world I was, I would always head for home. How could I not? With Sarah's roast goose cooking over the big open fire and the magic, I think, is in the stuffing ­ potatoes, spices, herbs, onion (and maybe a little something else ­ but Sarah's not telling). Christmas can be such a merry time but there can be such an air of sadness, thinking of the years gone by when you couldn't get another chair at the parlour table. God rest them all. One Christmas a few years ago, I asked Rita and Sarah what they would like to do for the New Year. I got a bit of a shock when Rita said she would love to go to America. Sarah said, "Rita, you must be mad!" I said that would be a great idea (obviously, the wine had taken over). The laugh in this tale was that Sarah's only reservation was "If anything happened to one of us, taking account of our ages, would the Captain wait going or would he turn back?" That was the first of several visits that Rita, Sarah and my mother Bridie made to America. All three made such an impression I couldn't leave them at home. They met musicians they'd heard on the radio, they sang songs, played and danced and made friends for life. Bridie met friends she had not seen in years, including Jarlath McDonagh and his wife, which was a great surprise for her. Carragh was always a home to music and musicians of all nationalities, creeds and colours. Many films and documentaries have been made in Carragh including Phillip King's "Bringing It All Back Home" but none of these can compare with the personal memories of Rita and Sarah and their unfailing kindness. Often I made them laugh but sometimes I

Joe Flanagan, Patrick Stephens and Ollie Furey at the National Ploughing Championships

Ploughmen Well-Drilled!

JOE FLANAGAN is a well-known figure on the ploughing scene at local and national level. Joe made his ploughing debut as a teenager in 1963 and his first success came a few years later in the County U-21 ploughing championship. Down through the years he has competed in all grades, the highlight being victory along with Ollie Furey in the Junior Tractor Class in the 1983 All-Ireland championships in Waterford. Joe is currently on the panel of judges for the national ploughing championships and has made many friendships on the ploughing circuit. Other familiar ploughmen from the parish include Micheal Kennedy and the Costellos from Mossfort. The ploughing column will be a regular feature for the next few editions of this Newsletter.

made them cry and I apologise openly for the latter. I was always forgiven. One can dwell on the past but, thank God, we have a great future ahead, enriched by the memories of Christmases and other times gone by and the people who inhabit those memories. A very happy, safe and contented Christmas and New Year to you all, our friends and neighbours.

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Christmas Reflections

by Fr. Pat O'Brien

THE word most of us associate with Christmas is "gift" or "present".

The parcels left under the Christmas Tree or by the bed or in stockings by Santa Claus; the last minute rush for gifts for parents and friends; the unexpected letter that arrives with something unusual or perfect. Beyond these are other senses of gift and present which are always connected to Christmas also: the gracious presence of those we love; the gathering of the family around the laden table; the visiting of friends and relations. And there are hard years when loved ones have died and the empty chairs are redolent of loss and absence. The first gift of Christmas is the child of Bethlehem. He is gift beyond gift. The mystery of his beginning hidden in the mother's freedom and the generosity of Joseph's care. In this child God is present with us. "The Word became flesh." Everything about the first Christmas is important. The child is born in poor circumstances. There is no room for him in the commercial world. The great powers of the time want to see him destroyed. He will shortly become an exile and a refugee on the lonely roads of the world. Perhaps only children kneeling by the crib know the meaning of Christmas. That our God is a child at heart. That he is one with all the children in the world. That more than gifts he wants the love of parents and the nearness of friends. That more than gold, frankincense and myrrh he wants daily bread for all who hunger and thirst. To welcome Jesus is to welcome the stranger, because he is at once the strangest visitor to the shores of the world and is yet the most precious one to arrive. To welcome Jesus is to recognize him in the exile and the refugee for that is what he is also. Jesus is as every child is: in need of shelter and care, wanting warmth and welcome. There is a dream in the heart of every parent for a newborn child: to grown in freedom and hope and love; to use every gift fully; to reach new levels of achievement; to find love in the world. To believe in the newborn child of Bethlehem is to be committed to a world in which all children will have the chance to attain their dreams. Christmas is a time of gifts. Therefore it must be a time of thanksgiving for the gifts given to us. Let us all find time this Christmas to be thankful for the first gift of Jesus Christ. To be present in spirit and mind to the presence amongst us of the Son of the living God. The greatest gift we can offer is the gift promised in the song of the angels over the Stable of peace on earth to men and women of good will. May we offer the gift of peace to the One who is our peace.

Caherlistrane, winners of U-12 Blitz Tournament at the O'Donovan Rossa club in Belfast last August Management (at rear): David Nally, Sean Meenaghan, Steve Faulkner. Back Row: L-R Liam Creaven, Caroline Fahy, Michelle Fahy, Cora Creaven, Eoghan Mulvanny, Stephen Lawless, John Cosgrove, Jason Hamilton, Trevor Hamilton, Brendan Darcy, Christopher Greaney, Eoin Greaney, Cathal Donnellan, David Salmon, Paul Keady. Front Row: L-R Kevin Nally, Christopher Morris, Conor Casserley, Colin Keane, Conor Faulkner, Colin O'Neill, Sean Kyne, Shane O'Connor, Shane Nally, Rory Conlon.

More Success for Caherlistrane GAA

IT HAS BEEN an enjoyable and eventful year for Caherlistrane GAA Club

The senior team are currently taking a welldeserved break after a hectic schedule over the past few seasons. After winning the Intermediate County and Connacht finals last year, this team also won the North Board and County League finals this year. They also had a good run in the Senior Championship, beating Claregalway twice and Carraroe, before eventually losing out to Corofin in the semi-final. The junior team are eagerly awaiting the Junior A North League semi-final against Glinsk. In the quarter-final Caherlistrane were impressive against Mountbellew-Moylough, winning by six points. In the U-21 Championship, Caherlistrane totally outclassed Killererin before losing narrowly to Annaghdown in the semi-final. On the last Sunday in October, Caherlistrane U-16 footballers won the Division One Shield Final against Tuam Stars on a scoreline of 3-15 to 1-8. In a game played in Headford, Caherlistrane were always on top and Tuam Stars had no answer to the flair of the Caherlistrane lads. In August the Caherlistrane U-12s had a successful weekend away at the O'Donovan Rossa club in Belfast. Caherlistrane beat O'Donovan Rossa in the final of a Blitz Tournament. An enjoyable weekend was had by all. In the annual Stella Mangan Memorial Blitz, Caherlistrane Ladies beat Annaghdown in the final after having won all of their games. Sarah Murphy won Player of the Tournament. The ladies intermediate team took part in the AllIreland Club seven-a-side blitz in Dublin on October 1st. Caherlistrane's Pat Costello was a selector recently for the Irish ladies team for the test matches against Australia in the first ever Ladies International Rules. Pat is also manager of the Galway senior and minor ladies football teams. Finally, on the 50th anniversary of the great Galway team of 1956, who beat Cork in the AllIreland senior final, a special mention to Caherlistrane's Tom McHugh, who played on this team in the forward line alongside Sean Purcell and Frank Stockwell.

Caherlistrane GAA Community Centre Refurbishment

CAHERLISTRANE GAA club have plans to refurbish the hall and community centre in the new year. An application for a sports capital grant from the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism is in for consideration. The total cost of Phase 1 of the development is 150,000.



PRODUCTION TEAM Padraic Reaney, Kieran Reaney, Colm O'Dwyer, Vincent Judge, Mary Judge, Brendan Gannon, Fr Pat O'Brien, Dolores Keane, Michelle Hennelly, JJ Higgins, Con McCole and Joe Flanagan. Photos by Noel Tel. 087 6876029



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