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Pictured at the presentation of funds raised at the charity golf competition in aid of Blessington & District Senior Citizens Care Association were (from left) Diarmuid McCarthy, Club Captain, Blessington Lakes GC; Mairead Hackett, Lady Captain; Catherine Behan, competition organiser and from Senior Citizens Care group are Kit Duffy, chairperson, Marie Brophy & Ann Flynn.

Pictured at the presentation of funds raised at the charity golf competition in aid of Blessington & District Senior Citizens Care Association were (from left) Diarmuid McCarthy, Club Captain, Blessington Lakes GC; Mairead Hackett, Lady Captain; Catherine Behan, competition organiser and from Senior Citizens Care group are Kit Duffy, chairperson, Marie Brophy & Ann Flynn.

Darren and Baily Casey enjoying a walk on the Blessington Greenway.

Darren and Baily Casey enjoying a walk on the Blessington Greenway.

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Pictured at the presentation of funds raised at the charity golf competition in aid of Blessington & District Senior Citizens Care Association were (from left) Diarmuid McCarthy, Club Captain, Blessington Lakes GC; Mairead Hackett, Lady Captain; Catherine Behan, competition organiser and from Senior Citizens Care group are Kit Duffy, chairperson, Marie Brophy & Ann Flynn.

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Charity golf fundraiser

A fundraiser in aid of Blessington & District Senior Citizens Care Association took place over the October Bank Holiday weekend. Blessington Lakes Golf Club held a charity golf competition in aid of Blessington & District Senior Citizens Care Association. The club raised the sum of €960.00 for the worthy local charity. Well done to all who took part in the event.

Positive news for Blessington

A new year boost for Blessington with the announcement that the application for Regional Funding by Wicklow County Council for the Town has been successful. 1.3 million euros has been received in Development Funding. Good news from Irish Water as well. Works have started on the Waste Water Treatment Plant at Burgage which when completed in twelve months will cater for a population growth of around 4,000.

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All of the above is good news for Blessington and is a great start to 2022. The hope from locals is that the proper infrastructure will be put in place when all these new houses will be built in the next few years. The town could do with a variety of things especially in the area of sports. We await developments.

All Ireland champions

Congratulations to Wilsons Butchers who are the National Supreme Sausage and Pudding Champions. The Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland deemed Conor Wilson from Blessington to be the overall winner in the traditional sausage category for 2021. Along with top prize in the annual competition Wilsons also won the national Spice Beef Championship, received Gold in the Speciality Sausage, picked up a Gold for their White Pudding and a Silver was bestowed on their pork and leek sausage.

Wilsons Butchers was established many years ago in 1969 by a well -known local family and they have shops in both Tallaght and Rathfarnham. They also opened a Factory in Blessington which employed a lot of local people over the years. A second generation is now working in the Butchers and the awards are the Oscars of sausage and pudding makers and Wilsons won it previously way back in 1982. Winning the above awards is a great boost for Wilsons and well deserved in these very strange times.

Post Office

Blessington Post Office was forced to close last Tuesday January 4 due to Covid. There was a shortage of staff. The good news is that it was able to open again the following day and has been open every day since. Last Tuesday the day it closed would usually be a very busy day for the Post Office as it was Children’s Allowance Day and those needing the money had to go to Naas Post Office to collect it or wait until Blessington Post Office reopened.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve in Blessington was one of the quietest I have ever witnessed. Because of the Coved virus all our pubs had to close at 8pm so there was no bringing in the new year like in olden days. A lot of local drinkers could not understand why the pubs had to close at 8pm but our Off Licences were allowed to open until 10pm.

Even when it got to midnight there was very little fireworks being set off throughout the town. Usually when it gets to midnight the town is buzzing with lots of people out on the street but that was not the case this year. I suppose the inclement weather did not help as there was quite a lot of rain after tea and especially around midnight. So as we said goodbye to another dreadful year with lots of Coved cases throughout Blessington and the surrounding area. There is plenty of hope among locals that 2022 will be a much better and healthier new year. Let’s hope so. During 2021 we lost a lot of residents and in most cases we were not able to attend their funerals due to Coved restrictions which was so sad.

Parish lotto

The Parish Lotto Draw which raises much needed funds for both St. Mary’s National School’s and also Blessington Parish takes place every Thursday and for only the second time since the Lotto Draw began there was a Jackpot winner in one of the recent draws. The winning numbers drawn in the latest draw were 11, 14,20,29. This means there will be a brand new jackpot when the next draw takes place. It will be standing at €725. Last week’s draw took place on Thursday January 6. There is a weekly prizewinner who wins €25. Remember if you are not in you cannot win.

All support of the Lotto Draw will be much appreciated in these very difficult times that we are living in. I am sure that the jackpot would come in very handy. So why not give it a go. The next Parish Lotto Draw will take place on Thursday January 13. By the way people can still take part in the Lotto Draw. You can contact the Parish Office Monday to Friday tel. 865327 for the relevant details or log onto the Parish Website and click the link. Why not make it a new year resolution.

Deaths

There were a number of recent deaths in the Blessington and surrounding area.

Shane O’Neill, Ballyknockan passed away. His remains were removed to Valleymount Church last Monday morning January 3 for a funeral mass and his burial took place afterwards in Burgage Cemetery.

The death also took place of Noel Tisdell, Manor Kilbride. His remains were removed to St. Brigid’s Church Manor Kilbride for a funeral mass and his burial took place afterwards in the adjoining cemetery in Manor Kilbride on Friday December 31.

The death also took place in Skibereen Co. Cork of Brian Lawson who lived and ran a business in Blessington for a number of years. His funeral took place in Cork last Thursday January 6.

All of the above will be sadly missed by all who knew them.

Senior Citizens

For the second year in a row Blessington and District Senior Citizens were unable to have their Christmas dinner in Tulfarris Hotel due to Coved restrictions which was a great disappointment to all the local senior citizens who usually went to it. It was always a very enjoyable event with great food and plenty of music and songs. It was also a great day to meet old friends and have a friendly chat.

However the Senior Citizens Committee instead gave all our local senior citizens a voucher which was a wonderful thing and well received with Christmas just around the corner. Thank you to you all.

Scam calls

I am afraid the scam telephone calls have returned. The latest ones claim to be calling from the Technical Dept. of Eircom. They will inform you that there is a problem with your Broadband. More than likely the call will be to your landline. There was none of these telephone calls over the Christmas which was great.

The current calls look like they are coming from an Irish Mobile so you are inclined to answer it. How to recognize these calls is quite easy. Irish mobiles usually have ten numbers. These scam calls have either six or eleven numbers. Just be careful out there and do not engage in a conversation with them. More than likely they will ask to log onto a strange Website and if you do this they will have control over your computer and it will cost you plenty of euros to get it back working again.

Snow

Residents of the Blessington and surrounding area awoke last Friday morning January 7 to snow on the ground and on their motor vehicles. However the good news is that the snow melted fairly quickly although there were a number of snow showers throughout the morning. The bad news for those of us who hate snow is that Met Eireann during the day forecast that there could be some more snow over the weekend or early in the week ahead so it could still be a very long winter. Let’s hope that the forecast was wrong.

Banks

Just before Christmas Allied Bank Blessington closed its doors to regular customers. The bank will no longer offer over the counter transactions such as cash, cheques, coin, foreign exchange and bank drafts. However their Website still advertises its opening hours from Monday–Friday inclusive which is a bit strange.

As the Ulster Bank just across the street from the AIB is due to close later this year locals wishing to change to another bank have had to go outside the town with the nearest banks being in Naas and Tallaght. Some months ago the Ulster Bank Blessington stopped opening new accounts.

Those customers of AIB Blessington can now do business with the bank through the local Post Office. Now would be a great time for a new bank to open its doors in Blessington. Let’s wait and see.


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