On the 14th December we once again enjoyed the hospitality of the Club House Hotel for our Christmas dinner, another great success. Proprietor Jim Brennan was on hand to ensure that all classmates enjoyed the warmth and kindness of this fine old establishment. After our meal, Chairman Alan Cooper wished all classmates a very happy Christmas and thanked everyone for their attendance and further complimented committee members for their ongoing commitment to our Society in 2018. As a mark of respect we toasted absent friends and deceased members. To mark the year end Secretary Michael Grogan handed all classmates in attendance a photographic Calendar for 2019.
The day after our Christmas dinner, December 15th a group of us went on a trip to the Aviva Stadium Landsdown Rd organized by Michael Power, to see Leinster trounce Bath 42 - 15. Despite the very inclement weather, the trip was a roaring success. Members who went included Alan, Michael G, Michael P, Richie, Ber, Eamonn M, Paddy D and Peter Hogan. We met our Dublin member Martin Stapleton at the Beggars Bush pub. We hope to attend more Rugby matches in the future.
Check our latest blog post which gives account of Adi Roche’s Chernobyl Children International’. Jim Kavanagh along with local volunteer’s including classmate Eamon Morrissey, made the long journey to Belarus earlier this year.
If you’re looking for a good book this Christmas I recommend the Maurice McCabe story by Mick Clifford. A Force For Justice reveals the story in great detail of Sergeant McCabe’s journey from a rural outpost, into the heart of the Irish political and legal system as seen recently on RTE.
Congratulations to Ballyhale Shamrocks on winning the County final on October 28th. This was a cracking contest against Bennettsbridge, with Shamrocks coming out on top. Bennetsbridge took a long time to settle and Shamrocks capitalised by scoring one goal and six, before the ‘Bridge finally got their name on the score sheet. Despite their best efforts, the ‘Bridge trailed throughout the game and was unable to close the gap before the final whistle. Captain Michael Fennelly, upon lifting the Tom Walsh cup, referred to their deceased team member Owen Doyle and dedicated this win and cup to their friend, who sadly passed away last year. Final score - Ballyhale Shamrocks 2-20, Bennettsbridge 2-17.
Surviving hurling members of the Village GAA club and 1969 County Final winners were honoured at half time, including classmates Niall Morrissey, Sean Brennan and Eamon Morrissey.
Richie and Nuala Hogan were again on their travels. On October 25th they both set off on the Camino walk from Sarria to Santiago in northern Spain. This trip took six days and they walked twenty kilometres every day totalling one hundred and twenty kilometres in all. On their walk they met up with numerous nationalities. They stayed in hotels along the way and after a good meal they retired early most evenings. Richie tells me this venture was no ‘walk in the park’, the weather was inclement, raining most of the time and to their surprise and shock, they even woke up to snow one morning. Would they do it again? Yes agreed Richie, they would. They both felt it was a great experience and another one ticked off the bucket list. Well done Richie and Nuala.
Santiago De Costello Cathedral
Nuala Hogan enjoying the warmth after a day's walk on the Camino
On October 1st eighteen souls travelled to La Zenia in Spain to play golf. The trip was organised by members of the Callan Golf Club including our classmate Eamon Holohan and was a repeat of last year’s golfing holiday. La Zenia is just north of Cabo Roig and about forty minutes drive from Murcia airport. La Zenia was also the name of our Hotel. We played four golf courses, namely Saurines, Ell Valle, La Finca and Lo Romero, all of which were excellent and thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. Our favourite watering hole was a local Irish bar named Paddy’s Point. The Randy Leprechaun with it’s connections in Ballycallan was among other bars we visited and you would be blind not to see a large mural of the great Eddie Brennan painted on the wall. Mid week we met up with a group of golfers from James Stephens’ GAA Club including classmates Eamon Morrissey and Richie Hogan. A truly great week, let’s hope we can do it all again next year.
View from La Zenia Hotel
Alan Cooper and his son Brian travelled to London on October 6th to watch their team Aston Villa play Millwall at their home ground. Aston Villa just about survived this encounter and escaped with a result after being mauled by the Lions (in the Den). Alan and Brian are now planning their trip to Villa Park on November 25th when they meet Birmingham.
Our trip to Derry did not go ahead as planned in October. This outing was cancelled by Chairman Alan Cooper as a number of classmates were unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. As of writing no future date has been set to re-schedule.
In September Alan Cooper was on his travels once more, this time it was northern Spain. Alan and his wife Mary visited Bilbao, a magnificent city and one of the great treasures of the Basque country. Their next stop was the small town of Bakio then on to Mundaka, Guernica city and the beautiful coastal city of San Sebastian which ranks very highly in quality Spanish destinations. They enjoyed visiting such sights including the world famous Guggenheim Museum, home of modern art and Athletic Bilbao football Club, dining at one of Bilbao’s most famous Restaurants, the Victor Montes. In Bakio they visited San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (a must see they said) and climbed the steep steps to it's little church at the top, where the views are fantastic and where part of the series 'Game of Thrones' was filmed.
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
View from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao Spain
Congratulations to Niall Morrissey in Australia, who celebrated his 71st Birthday recently. Happy Birthday Niall!
Richie Hogan sampled the summer sunshine in Alvor (Portugal) during August for a week of leisure and good food, surrounded by family. What better way to spend a glorious holiday. Richie tells me that keeping up with the grandchildren can be tough going, especially using the water slide and other activities at their Hotel.
It keeps you young Richie!
The CBS awards were held on the 19th June. Sean Brennan and Ber Butler represented the Class of ‘59 and were warmly welcomed by School Principal Donal McCarthy. Donal complimented our continued involvement in these awards since 2006 and made reference to Ber Butler who as a young lad of ten, cycled some eight miles to and from school every day from Danesfort. He also commented on Ber’s skills and exploits on the hurling field some fifty odd years ago.
The overall award winner was presented with the CBS Class of ‘59 Trophy and a €50 voucher. Medals and attendance certificates were also presented to deserving students.
Our recent trip to the Botanic Gardens in Dublin was another great success. Getting there was seamless, two hours from Kilkenny to our venue, sitting down to tea coffee and scones by 10.30am. In glorious weather these gardens are a sight to behold. The National Botanic Gardens are noted for their fine plant collections, holding more than 15,000 plant species and cultivars from around the world. The gardens are famous for their exquisitely restored and planted glasshouses. We enjoyed such features as the herbaceous borders, the rose garden, the alpine yard, pond area and rock garden. Conservation plays a huge part in the life of the Botanic Gardens and is home to more than 300 endangered plant species from around the globe, including six species that are already extinct. Walking around in warm weather takes its toll on our ageing bodies and Richie Hogan was dispatched to source some libation and sustenance to refresh our aching limbs. Kavanaghs the Gravediggers is one of Dublin’s best pubs and has it all - good food and the best pints of the black stuff in Glasnevin. This old pub takes you back in time with its flagstone floors and old wall panelling. The late chef and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain named it as one of the best five watering holes in the world. After a chat, some food and a couple of you know what we were totally refreshed for our train journey home. A big thank you to Alan and Michael for organising this excellent trip.
Alan Cooper and his son Brian were on their travels again, May 15th and May 26th. Their first trip was to Birmingham to watch Aston Villa play Middlesbrough. Although this game ended in a draw, the result allowed their team to qualify and play Fulham in Wembley stadium. Unfortunately their team lost, but their spirits were far from dampened, as they enjoyed their visit to Wembley’s new arena and sampled some of the sights of London.
Brian & Alan Cooper in Wembley
Michael Power and his good wife Ann travelled to Las Vegas Nevada to celebrate Michael’s 70th birthday on the 6th April last. The city known as the gaming capital of the world, boasts famous Casinos such as Caesars Palace and the Bellagio along with top class restaurants, shopping centres, art galleries and live entertainment including the famous zip line tours and light show in downtown's Fremont Street. A week to remember in Vegas for Michael and Ann, with top class shows, fine dining, a flutter or two and the hospitality of the luxurious Venetian Hotel. Well done Michael and Happy birthday.
Pierce Lennon travelled to New York City along with his son Edward to visit his other son Cainnach (Canice) who resides in the forest area of Queens with his good wife and has lived there for the last five years. Cainnach works as an Art Handler which is a highly skilled profession involving all aspects of art forms from portraits to sculptures, in some of New York’s finest Art Galleries. Part of his profession involves installations in apartments and houses for wealthy clients in such exclusive areas as the Hamptons. The logistics for some of these installations can be quite complex given the delicate nature and value of art work in all its forms. Pierce travelled with Norwegian Air and I’m reliably informed, at a very reasonable cost. After visiting the highlights of New York, their next stop was Washington, where Pierce and Edward visited some magical and enchanting sights, including the George Washington Memorial and Capital Buildings.
Edward & Pierce Lennon
Central Park New York
Our visit to the Natural History Museum on April 12th was a great success. As we made our way through the natural world of the animals (sometimes nicknamed the ‘Dead Zoo’), we viewed exhibits including insects, birds, monkeys and fossils. Thirteen of us who are now in our seventies, relived our visit there some sixty years ago. The Natural History Museum in Merrion Street was opened to the public for the first time in 1857 and this Museum encompasses outstanding examples of wildlife from all over Ireland and the far corners of the globe, some to be seen today and others long extinct.
After our visit we made our way to O’Donoghue’s in Merrion Row at the top end of Baggot St. A bar famed throughout the world for it’s traditional music and ballad groups including musicians like Luke Kelly, the Fureys, Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore and the Dubliners amongst it’s patrons. The Pub dates back to 1789.
After our lunch and Dublin’s best pints of Guinness, our Chairman Alan Cooper said a few kind words and briefly mentioned our trip to Derry in October and urged all to obtain the necessary forms from the Social Welfare Office re bus passes for our proposed trip.
On Easter Sunday April 1st 2018 the Irish Pilgrimage Trust set off for Lourdes on their annual trip. Ten children including both boys and girls aged from eleven to eighteen (with special needs) travelled with a number of carers including a nurse, to ensure a successful visit on the oldest and most important Christian feast, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Lourdes is a spiritual place and is visited by millions every year to bathe in the healing waters of the holy spring discovered by Bernadette. There have been numerous reports of miracles of our Lady of Lourdes and they are all thoroughly examined. Evidence indicates that there are many cases of verifiable healings at the grotto. We commend and congratulate our CBS classmate Richie Hogan who has been involved as a carer for the past eleven years and who along with Fr Dan Carroll team leader, make this unselfish trip every year. Twenty four in total travelled including two transition year students and it is worth noting that all carers fund their own costs which can amount to €700 each. Fund raising is undertaken by carers on a yearly basis, but as we all know it is difficult to raise enough money to cover all finances. Perhaps as a society we could assist with a donation for future trips?
Eddie Kelly and his good wife Greta travelled to Sydney Australia to celebrate the wedding of Eddie’s nephew John Doherty to Kathy Grattan Smith on the 24th February last. The ceremony was held in the town of Gerringong New south Wales and through family connections, our classmate Niall Morrissey and his wife Lorraine who have lived in Australia for a number of years now, met up with Eddie in a local hostelry on the night before this family wedding. Stories of home were exchanged followed by music and craic, a fantastic night on the eve of this wedding ceremony. Eddie and Greta made full use of their trip down under by visiting some of the magical wonders of New South Wales and Hobart the capital of Tasmania. One interesting tour was a trip to the penal colony and the famous red brick convict trail of history that runs down both sides of the main street in Cambell town. It was a trip of a lifetime and Eddie informs me that another visit is in the pipeline.
Eddie & Greta Kelly in Sydney
Eddie Kelly recently returned from his visit to Australia, we look forward to hearing of his exploits and viewing some photos in our next web update.
Check out our new Blog page and our first article “The true story of our very own Robin Hood”.
March 21st 2018:
Our AGM took place in J B Burke’s Bar John St after bowling at McDonagh Junction. A number of classmates attended and our Chairman Alan Cooper, Secretary Michael Grogan and Treasurer Richie Hogan, were once again re-elected. Alan, Michael and Richie all gave a full report for 2017 and thanked everyone for their attendance at this AGM. Secretary’s expenses were agreed, membership subscriptions were collected and all accounts were signed off. Note: if you require a detailed summary of accounts, please contact Richie Hogan or any committee member.
On the night, two teams contested our bowling competition with Richie Hogan captain of the A team and Alan Cooper captain of the B team, It was a close contest throughout, but the A team were declared winners! Top scorers were Richie with numerous strikes in Team A, and Eamon in Team B.
Secretary, Class of 59' Society
E Morrissey: Determination & concentration with a thirteen pounder
Congratulations and happy birthday goes to both Michael Power and Bobby Culleton. Michael who celebrated his 70th on February the 26th will travel with his good wife to Las Vegas for his celebrations. We wish him best wishes and a safe trip. On March the 7th Bobby Culleton and his good wife Frances joined family and friends in the Village Inn Patrick St, for an evening of banter and craic to celebrate this milestone in Bobby’s life.
MM Power B Culleton
Congratulations to legendry hurler Eddie Keher who recently received the Freedom of our City. ‘Steady Eddie’ has a long list of hurling honours with a scoring total of 35 goals and 336 points as he donned the black and amber jersey over the many years of his playing career, retiring in 1977. Eddie was regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. His scoring tally was a record which was only surpassed by the great Henry Shefflin in 2010. Past recipients of this prestigious award include hurling legend and current hurling manager Brian Cody and in my opinion it’s only a matter of time before (King) Henry, will receive this prestigious award.
Alan Cooper has been flying high recently, travelling to Birmingham with his son Brian to watch their team Aston Villa make history - seven wins in a row - by winning 2/nil. Alan and his good wife Mary also travelled to the eternal city of Rome recently and described their visit as “fantastic, expensive, but well worth their trip.
Film buffs might be interested in Mell Gibson’s latest film, Hacksaw ridge – recommended!
You might be interested to know that Arthur Conan Doyle, who was born on 22nd May 1859 in Edinburgh into a prosperous Irish family, has Kilkenny connections. His grandmother Mary Foley and his mother also Mary, were both from Kilkenny city and lived in James’ Street. Conan trained as a Doctor, gaining his degree from Edinburgh University and working as a surgeon on a whaling boat travelling between Liverpool and West Africa. He later settled in Portsmouth where he divided his time between medicine and writing. Conan Doyle is probably most famous as the inventor of Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes made his first appearance in 'A Study of Scarlet', published in 1887. The novel’s success encouraged Conan to write more stories involving this character but in 1893, Conan killed off Sherlock Holmes, hoping to concentrate on more serious writing. A public outcry later made him resurrect him. In addition, Conan Doyle wrote a number of other novels including 'The Lost World' and various non-fictional works. These included a pamphlet justifying Britain's involvement in the Boer War, for which he was knighted and histories of the Boer War and World War One, in which his son, brother and two of his nephews were killed. Conan Doyle also twice ran unsuccessfully for parliament. He died of a heart attack on 7th July 1930.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Our Christmas party night out in the Club House Hotel on December 16th was another great success. Proprietor Jim Brennan and his staff made every effort to ensure all classmates enjoyed the hospitality of Kilkenny’s oldest hostelry. After our meal, Chairman Alan Cooper wished all classmates a very happy Christmas and as we were getting older, reminded us all to be mindful and pay more attention to our general health. Alan thanked everyone for their attendance and as a mark of respect, called for a one minute silence for the untimely passing of our good friend Larry Dowling and for all deceased members. Glasses were raised in a toast to our absent friends. Alan further complimented various members of our committee and had a special word of thanks for Secretary Michael Grogan for his ongoing commitment to our Society in 2017.