December 2019:

This year we choose the Glendine Inn as our venue for our Christmas party on the 7th December.  We had a good turnout and were delighted that former classmates Joe Dowling and Frank Beale could join us.  After drinks we made our way to a reserved dining area where we enjoyed our Christmas fare. Chairman Alan Cooper welcomed all and thanked our committee for their ongoing and unselfish commitment to our society over the past year.  It was unfortunate that our Secretary Michel Grogan was unable to attend.  Michael and our Chairman were the main organisers of this year’s Christmas festivities.


Chairman Alan Cooper 

December 2019:

As we are nearing our year end may I wish you all for a very happy Christmas.   To our committee thank you for your unselfish and ongoing commitment over the past twelve months, including Martin Stapleton for his support. 

Thank you Martin.


See you all in the Glendine Inn on the 7th December.


Alan Cooper

Chairman CBS Class of '59 Society.

November 2019:
Alan Cooper and his Son Brian travelled to Birmingham on November 1st to see Aston Villa take on Liverpool.  Alan and Brian were disappointed with Villa's performance as Liverpool went on to win the game.  However they both enjoyed their weekend and their highlight was holding the FA & European cups.

October 2019:
Eamon Holohan travelled to the USA this month, a journey that is now becoming an annual visit to spend time with his daughter and Son in law in the state of Virginia.  During his holiday he was invited to Kentucky to play three games of golf. The photo shows Eamon with family and friends before teeing off at Hidden Creek Golf Club. 

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Alan & Brian Cooper with the FA & European cups

Ambrose, Ciaran, Eamonn,David at Hidden

Ambrose, Cieran,Eamonn,David at Hidden Creek Golf Club Indiana USA

October 2019:
In October I travelled once again to Spain (La Zenia) along with Eamon Holohan and eighteen other golfers. Towards the end of our week we again met up with a group of golfers from James Stephens (The Village Golfing Society) including classmates Eamonn Morrissey and Richie Hogan.  This annual event was once again excellently organised and we thoroughly enjoyed our week playing in top quality championship courses.

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Sultans Of Swing On Tour Spain October 2019

September 2019:

Our day out on September 26th  began with an organised tour of Smithwicks Brewery (The Smithwick’s Experience) for twenty three classmates.  After meeting the tour guide some photographs were taken and we were treated to a very in-depth and educational history of the beginnings of brewing in Kilkenny  to our present day.  Smithwick's Brewery was founded by John Smithwick in 1710. The brewery is on the site of a Franciscan abbey where monks brewed ale dating back to the 14th century, the ruins of the original abbey still remain on it's grounds to this day.  At the time of its closure in 2013, it was Ireland's oldest operating brewery. Smithwicks was taken over by Guinness’s in 1965 and by Diageo in 2013. At the end of the tour all classmates enjoyed a complimentary pint of Smithwicks Ale, the best pint in Kilkenny.


The Smithwick’s family are still involved in brewing today. Sullivan’s brewery was re-etablished in Kilkenny after an absence of over one hundred years in 2017 and it's chairman is Paul Smithwick.

Next we visited Mayor Martin Brett in City Hall (Tholsel). Built in 1761, the Tholsel was designed for the purposes of collecting taxes. The name Tholsel is derived from the old English words Toll-Hall. In Medieval times it served as court house and custom-house, today it is used as Kilkenny City Hall and also as a venue for art exhibitions etc.  Eamon Holohan did the informal introductions and Mayor Brett welcomed us all.  We listened intently as the Mayor complimented our unique group and said it was remarkable that we are still together after all these years. He referred to our families, our moral upbringing and the experience and knowledge that we can pass on to our current and future siblings. After some photographs and light refreshments we said our farewells and continued our tour to the Medieval Mile Museum.

The Medieval Mile Museum dates from around 1200 and displays some of Kilkenny's finest civic treasures. Highlights include the Ossory High Cross exhibition and the Royal Charters from the 1300s. The Museum also houses one of the country’s largest collections of Renaissance Tombs where many of Kilkenny’s rich and poor of past generations lay in rest and can be glimpsed through the glass floors.

After our day of cultural visits we made our way to JB Burke’s Bar John St for some welcome refreshment and an organised meal.  At 7pm talented musician Johnny Hillman and the gifted and artistic Jimmy Rhatigan turned up to entertain along with our own classmates.  Songs and craic were mighty until closing time - a truly great day out which will be long remembered. Note: We had a fantastic turn out for this event and it was well supported by our local and Dublin classmates.  We also welcomed Joe Hogan from the UK, Michael Moran from Scotland and Niall Morrissey from Australia.

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Paul Smithwick

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Mayor Martin Brett

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Mace & Sword


Alan Cooper & J B Burke

September 2019:
Michael Power on his travels again, this time to the Rugby world cup events in Tokyo. Michael who is an ardent Irish rugby fan, travelled to see his beloved country men try to achieve greatness in capturing the Web Ellis Trophy.  Unfortunately this time it was a bridge too far, losing to the All Blacks. South Africa were the overall tournament winners, taking the honours back to their homeland. Michael meets all the important people in Rugby circles. Lovely photograph with Warren Gatland after Wales win over Australia, well done Michael.

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September 2019:
I came across this old clipping of Mr Reginald Cooper, a well known employee and retired Gentleman (now deceased) who spent many a year as Director of Padmore & Barnes in Kilkenny.  Reg as he was fondly known, was beloved Dad of our Chairman Alan Cooper and had a long and distinguished career with  Padmore & Barnes since it first started production in 1934. Before retiring, Reg travelled all over Europe as a buyer.  At their peak production the company manufactured 25,000 pairs of shoes per week, exporting all over the world.  They had over 500 people employed at their Kilkenny plant with hundreds more employed on a part time basis, hand stitching shoes in their own homes.  A practice which continued the age old tradition of hand crafts in Ireland.

Warren Gatland & Michael Power

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Mr Reginald Cooper  & Mr Paddy Roberts

September 2019: 

Congratulations to Ballyhale Shamrocks (County Champions) on winning the Tom Walsh Cup.  Their opponents this year were James Stephen’s and the final score was Shamrocks 2.21 James Stephens 1.15. On receiving the Tom Walsh Cup, Michael Fennelly paid tribute and dedicated their success to Eugene Alward who was tragically killed recently. The village hurlers who are a mostly young team put up a courageous effort and had a brilliant start.  I have no doubt they will be the form team next year, but the skill and experience of Shamrocks won out in the end.

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Ballyhale Shamrocks

August/September 2019:

Without going in to any detail or recriminations re our campaign to win All Ireland honours this year.  It's fair to state we had great entertainment following our hurling heroes throughout their campaign, so commiserations to all contenders reaching this year's finals. 

It’s safe to say that we don’t like losing but we will be back!

Beware of an injured cat.

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Michael Grogan and Alan Cooper arranged a bowling night on 3rd July 2019 followed by a meeting in JB Burke’s Bar.

Ber Butler surprised everyone with strawberries & cream, home grown in Alan Cooper’s garden.  A big thank you goes to Ber and to JB, who prepared sandwiches for all attendees.

Alan welcomed all to our second meeting this year.  Among the items discussed was a trip to Cork by Bus from Kilkenny.  Some attendees expressed a wish to stay over and a trip to Spike Island was also discussed.  Eamon Holohan made reference to our proposed get together for the Class of 59 as this year is our sixtieth anniversary since 1959. No definite date has been agreed for these events.

June 2019:

The CBS attendance awards took place on Wednesday night June 26th 2019 at 7.30pm. Eamon Holohan and Richie Hogan represented the Class of 59 and were warmly welcomed by School Principle Niall Bergin.  Niall paid tribute to the Class of 59 and our continued involvement. 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.  Niall also made contact with our chairman Alan Cooper thanking him for organising this annual event.

Eamon and Richie CBS Attendance awards J

E Holohan R Hogan & overall winning student June 2019

May 2019:

On the 30th May, ten Classmates made their way to Dublin for a return visit to Collins Barracks. Our first was in 2015 and as this is a very large museum, we felt it necessary for a second visit as it’s too vast to see everything on one day.  Collins Barracks was built in 1702 and is located in the Arbour Hill area of Dublin city. The buildings now house the National Museum of Ireland having previously housed both the British Armed Forces and the Irish Army garrisons for up to three hundred years.  Of particular interest were the 1916 Rebellion and the Michael Collins story.  After our visit we made our way back to Hueston Station for some refreshments and our train journey home, another enjoyable and memorable day out for the Class of ‘59.


P Lennon & A Cooper Collins Brks

March 2019:

Our outing to Waterford was a good start to 2019, just half an hour by rail to the oldest city in Ireland, this train ride south was a first for me since the mid sixties. Nine of us made the short journey and our first stop was Waterford Crystal showrooms. Waterford Crystal is known the world over, from its earliest beginningd in 1783, producing cut glass chandeliers, decanters and a luxurious range of contemporary and traditional crystal stemware, china, vases, wedding gifts and much more. Next was a step across the road to the Bishop's Palace. This building contains a wealth of fascinating artefacts, period furniture, beautiful fireplaces and a collection of rare and important paintings.  It also holds the Penrose Decanter which is the oldest surviving piece of Waterford Crystal, dating back to 1789.  Our culture trip continued to the Medieval Museum in the Viking Triangle.  We enjoyed the company of a very knowledgeable tour guide and were treated to views of several historical artefacts including the unique Cloth of Gold vestments, which were lost for hundreds of years after they were hidden from Cromwell’s army. After a delightful carvery lunch we made our way back home and finished our day in JB’s Bar for a thirst quencher.


Alan Cooper and Ber Butler Waterford Crystal Mar 2019

March 2019:

Bowling was organised at McDonagh Junction on 6th March 2019 and a meeting took place afterwards in JB Burke’s Bar.  Our Chairman Alan Cooper welcomed all to our first meeting: of the year and made apologies for Secretary M Grogan who was unable to attend.  After some libation and sandwiches which were kindly supplied by the Proprietor JB, the business end of our meeting commenced.  A review of our activities for last year including our current finances was discussed and outlined by Alan and by Treasurer Richie Hogan.  Members contributions were collected and Secretary’s expenses agreed and cheques written.  If you require a detailed financial report or require any further information, please contact Richie or Alan.  In any other business, a short trip to Waterford on Thursday the 28th, as outlined in our news section was proposed and agreed (including a visit to Waterford Crystal and Museum).

March 2019:

The Kings of Club Hurling - Ballyhale Shamrocks - are celebrating and deservedly so, after their decisive win over St Thomas of Galway in a one sided clash in Croke park on St Patrick’s Day. Henry Shefflin’s team out hurled their opponents with a score line of Shamrocks 2.28 to St Thomas’ 2.11. Kilkenny Boss Brian Cody will no doubt be having a good look at some of the rising stars from Ballyhale as the county team ends their league campaign with a defeat to Cork on Saturday 16th in Nowlan Park.  Shamrocks’ Captain Michael Fennelly dedicated their win to former colleague Owen Doyle who sadly passed away last year.

March 2019: 
Congratulations to Jimmy Shortt who celebrated his birthday recently.  Jimmy is a brother to Frankie Shortt who had an illustrious career as a jockey and rode a number of times on the famous Aintree course.  He came third in the Grand National in 1970 on Miss Hunter.  The Aintree course was a lot tougher in the sixties and early seventies than it is today.  Frankie also won the Thyestes Chase on three occasions and a host of other important races.  But his success came at a price as he broke nearly bone in his body over the years before eventually retiring to safer pastures with his wife Breda to Kilcullen where he ran the local Post Office for a number of years.  He plays golf on occasions and watches his famous sport on TV.

Frankie Shortt riding Aussie over Beechers Brook in 1967

March 2019:

Congratulations to Michael Power who was recently awarded the National ‘Life Governor’ Life Saving Award for his unselfish contributions to Irish Water Safety over the years.  He was honoured by Mayor Peter Chap Cleere and other dignitaries including Phil Hogan at a civic reception in Kilkenny. The Award of Life Governor is presented to an individual who has demonstrated a particular dedication towards the humanitarian goal of saving life from drowning. 

Mayor Peter Chap Cleere and Michael Power

February 2019:

Alan Cooper’s daughter Mary Jane Enright, took part in the O’Reilly Butchers’ Four Mile Road Race in Kilmacthomas on Sunday February 17th, 2019.  She was delighted to come in first place in her category in a time of 27.06 minutes. Well done and congratulations to you Mary Jane from the class of fifty nine. 

January 2019: 

In January Chairman Alan Cooper and his wife Mary took a winter break to the Spanish island of Lanzarote.  The primary reason for the visit was to get away from the January blues and enjoy some good weather.   

Despite its image of being a commercial tourist destination, Lanzarote has a lot to offer it’s visitors and we managed to see a lot of the Island in the three weeks we spent there.  We stayed in Arrecife,  Puerto del Carmen and Costa Teguise.   One highlight for us was the Timanfaya National park and the Cesar Manrique Foundation and house. 

Mary Jane Enright


Mary and Alan Cooper