December 2016: Bollards Bar Rose Inn St was the venue for our Christmas night out on December 10th. Chairman Alan Cooper welcomed and complimented all with some well chosen words, wishing everyone a happy Christmas and prosperous new year. The festive season is a joyous time and a period of celebration with thoughts of family, friends and classmates and of course presents from old St Nick. Nineteen attended and after a delightful meal, craic and jovial banter, lubricated by the odd pint or two, we departed in high spirits with a promise to return again in 2017. A great night out
November 11th 2016: Jackie Tyrrell announced his retirement from inter-county hurling. Jackie has had a fantastic inter-county career over 14 years. He made his championship debut against Offaly in the Leinster Championship in 2005 and ended his career with 9 All Ireland Medals, 11 Leinster Senior Medals, 6 National Hurling League Medals and four All Stars.
November 5th 2016: A few classmates visited Conahy GAA Club (The Polo Grounds) to support and celebrate Larry Butler’s 70th birthday. Larry, a popular member and worker in the Club, was in the bosom of his family along with some notable greats from past and present on the hurling pitch. It was a lively and joyous event and Larry himself wasn’t shy about showing off his own talents on stage. A great night out.
October 30th 2016: In front of a large crowd of supporters at Nowlan Park, O'Loughlin Gaels became deserving winners of the Walsh Cup, by beating Ballyhale Shamrocks in the St Canice’s Credit Union Senior Hurling Final. An early T J Reid goal gave Shamrocks the perfect start and they were two points to the good at the break. Midway through the second half, there was still nothing between the sides but after a strong final quarter, they outscored their rivals by seven points to two. O'Loughlins were deserving winners at the finish. Final score O’Loughlin Gaels 0-19 to 1-12 Ballyhale Shamrocks.
October 21st 2016: Twenty two of us met at the entrance to James Stephens Barracks Kilkenny under the command of Richie Hogan. “Fall in” he shouted, and we marched our way to meet our tour guide and Military Historian Sue from Galmoy. James Stephens Barracks has a history dating back to 1801. Sixty British Regiments were garrisoned in the Barracks from 1803 to its handover by the Devonshire Regiment to IRA Brigadier General George O’Dwyer on the 7th February 1922. The Barracks houses a small Museum with arms and all sorts of Military equipment/uniforms etc. One notable gem is a Kilkenny Militia Standard hanging from the ceiling and dating back to circa 1890. It’s also worth noting that of all the Victoria Crosses (VC) handed out for bravery, six were presented to Militia from Kilkenny. On the 29th December 1922, a John Murphy and John Phelan, two local anti-treaty volunteers were executed. They were found with arms on their possession and sentenced to death by firing squad. Lunch was organised for us in the mess hall and afterwards Alan Cooper presented a golfing jacket and group photo to Niall Morrissey, as a memento of his visit home from Australia. Before our tour ended we were treated to a display of weaponry by members of the 3rd Infantry Battalion. Our next stop was JB Burkes Bar where our resident entertainer Johnny Hillman, with guitar in hand and joined by some talented classmates, kept the atmosphere, warm, lively and enjoyable. We extend a big thank you to Michael Grogan, Alan Cooper and Richie Hogan for organising this event, one of our best.
October 12th 2016: Our visit to Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin was a huge success. Sixteen classmates turned up and were met by our tour guide Paddy Gleeson. Paddy gave us a history lesson as we walked among the graves of famous names, Presidents, Poets, Politicians, Writers, Actors and our national heroes from our troubled past, all interred in this sacred ground. Far from being a dull and dreary graveyard, this place is very tranquil. It houses a visitor centre, cafeteria and is now a major tourist attraction with over one and a half million souls interred and it is the largest mass graveyard between the islands of Ireland and Britain. After lunch and photographs we made our way back to Heuston Station for our journey back to Kilkenny, but not before visiting our regular hostilery in Parkgate Street for a chat and some refreshments.
Paddy Gleeson Tour Guide
Congratulations to Alan Cooper on the birth of his latest grandchild, Heidi, born September 21st to Jenny and Ollie. All are doing well.
To Hell or Barbados, written by Sean O'Callaghan who has written many books mainly of an investigative nature on the slave trade in Africa. This book tells the story of the Irish transported to Barbados as slaves in the 17th Century. (The ethnic cleansing of Ireland)
Tom Gilmartin, is a fascinating tale of corruption in Irish politics at the highest level. The man who brought down a Taoiseach and exposed greed at the heart of Irish politics. You might recall Padraig Flynn on the Late Late Show in 1999 making reference to Tom Gilmartin. There was also the matter of the controversial donation of £50,000 to the Fianna Fail party which was mislaid. His comments came back to haunt him, he was later found corrupt by the Mahon Tribunal in 2012.