Thursday 25 April 2019

Around the districts: Coolgreany-Johnstown and Rathdrum

Some of the participants running in the 5 Bounds Challenge in Annacurra
Some of the participants running in the 5 Bounds Challenge in Annacurra

Coolgreany-Johnstown - Drama news: Coolgreany Drama has qualified for the One Act all-Ireland Drama Finals, to be held in Kilmuckridge next month, with its production of 'Mr Foot', by Michael Frayn, a comedy drama directed by Sally Stevens and featuring Maggie Murphy and Niall Hunter.

The production has won numerous awards on the recent all-Ireland One Act Festival competition circuit, and has qualified for the open section of the One Act Finals in Kilmuckridge from December 7 to December 9. This is the sixth time that the Coolgreany group, which was only formed in 2009, has qualified for the one act finals, and they were all-Ireland Confined One Act winners last year. They have now qualified for the open section of the finals at their first attempt - a tremendous achievement.

Before they compete in Kilmuckridge, Coolgreany Drama will be performing Mr Foot as part of a great Wexford drama double bill in St Mogue's Hall Inch, on Tuesday, December 4. The other show is New Ross Drama Workshop's 'Specter' by Don Nigro, a psychological thriller directed by Peggy Hussey and starring Seona O'Connor and Edward Hayden. This production too has won many awards on the all-Ireland Drama Circuit and has qualified for the Kilmuckridge finals in the confined section. Tickets are €10 and the show starts at 8.30 p.m. (Doors open at 8.10).

Christmas Fun Day

Come along for the Christmas Family Fun Day at St Patrick's National School, Bearna Chlé on Sunday, December 2, from 11 a.m. There will be music, home baking, handmade crafts, wreaths, tea or coffee and mince pies, nail art, pottery making, games and fantastic prizes for our Christmas raffle.

45 Card Drive

A very successful 45 Card Drive is ongoing in the Coolgreany Inn on each Friday night at 8.30 p.m., everyone is very welcome to come along for a good night of craic at the cards, and some lovely finger food thrown in for good measure.

Kilnenor Heritage Group

A Talk on Liam Mellows will be presented by Fintan Fanning in the May Byrne House, Coolgreany on Thursday, November 29, at 8 p.m. Cost €3 for non-members.

Coolgreany Tidy Towns

Congratulations to the residents of Croghan View and Croghan Close, who picked up a prestigious award in the Talbot Hotel on last Friday night for having the whole estate looking so well, clean and litter-free. A few extra hands would make a huge difference, best wishes to all those involved.

Coolgreany Tidy Towns have a vacancy for a community worker in the village at present, working 19.5 hours per week. Call 087 2819882 during office hours. Birthdays. Birthday Greetings to Alex William Foster Monaglough, who celebrated his 12th birthday on last Thursday, November 22. Congratulations also to Evelyn Shannon Fortchester, who will celebrate her first birthday on Wednesday, November 28.

Community Alert

The local Community Group are reminding all members of our community to look out for all senior members of our community who may be living alone and might need someone to help with getting their everyday needs, or a small bit of company for a while during the day. A small little bit of concern for others goes a long way to help take away the stress and worries of many people who feel they are left alone in life. Please keep a look out for others and be vigilant at all times.

St David's Church Johnstown

It is with great joy that we welcome back Canon John Piert CC to celebrate Saturday evening Mass (6.30) in Johnstown Church, after his recent absence through illness.


Historical Lecture

Rathdrum Historical Society will host a talk by Chris Corlett on Monday, December 3, in the Brockagh Centre, Laragh at 8 p.m. Chris in his talk will take you on a tour of the majestic valley of Glendalough, exploring the monuments, legends and history that make this one of the best preserved early Christian church sites anywhere in the world.

An archaeologist with the National Monuments Service Chris has written, compiled and edited many books ranging from archaeology, history, folklore and early photography. His books include 'Wicklow's Traditional Farmhouses', 'Here Lyeth', 'The 18th Century Headstones of Wicklow' and his latest book 'Glendalough'.

The talk will be followed by tea or coffee and festive mince pies. Please note the change from the Society's usual Rathdrum venue. Everyone is welcome to what should be a most interesting and entertaining evening by a leading expert on Glendalough. Admission €3.

Parish Sale of Work

The Parish Sale of work took place in the RDA hall last Sunday, thanks to everyone for their support. The following are the winners of the raffle: First - €400 - Jamie McNabb, Greenane - More. Second - €200 - Jean Browne, The Woods. Third - Hamper - Murt Stedman, Coolboy. Fourth - Tesco Voucher Pattie Ryan, Parnell Park. Fifth - Turkey - Maura O'Brien, Clara Vale. Sixth - Sports Voucher - Amelia, Blake and Eyrn c/o the Coffin Shed. Seventh - Bottle of Whiskey - Annette Devane. Eighth - Bottle of Vodka - Ben Byrne. Ninth - Bottle of Wine - John Byrne, 28 Glenview Ave, Thomastown. Tenth - Tin of sweets - John Byrne, Cullentra. Christmas Cake - Ava Breen. Box of Chocolates - Marian O'Neill, Glenmalure. Bottle of Wine - Kathleen Roche.


Last Tuesdays 57th AGM was opened by chairman Jimmy Olohan. After the minutes of the 2017 AGM were read and adopted, the chairman outlined the events of the year since last AGM.

Of great significance the meeting focused on the recent announcement that Rathdrum has won the Pride of Place National Competition for towns of population 1000 to 2000. This was a huge achievement for the town. Rathdrum is the first town in Co Wicklow to win a first place award in the competition. Credit was given in particular to Cllr Pat Kennedy and Karen Kennedy and all others who got involved.

So many community groups worked together to achieve this award and the town showed a community spirit which impressed the judges. Karen brought the award and certificate to the meeting for all to see. Cllr Kennedy complimented all the community groups that made this award happen and said that it indicated a vote of confidence in the town, there is a climate of economic confidence that has been absent for some time. Pat also congratulated chairman Jimmy Olohan on the people of the Year award.

A significant outlay this year was the cost of the topping and felling of trees in the Parnell Memorial Park - a decision that was taken on safety grounds. Bingo in the past year was extremely successful, thanks to all patrons. The unfortunate demise of the Tourist Office was discussed also and at the moment there are no plans to set it up elsewhere in the town.


Jimmy Olohan thanked councillor Pat Kennedy for all the work he has done since elected. He also complimented Séamus O'Toole and the Lighting Committee for the festive cheer each Christmas, the Tidy Towns and Tús for keeping the town looking so well over the summer and Cartoon Festival Committee for the successful revival of the festival. Joe Haughton was thanked for helping with the Parnell Memorial Park during the year - Joe gives his time freely in keeping the park litter-free and took on the task of removing ivy off the high wall this year.

The officers elected for the next year were: chairman Jimmy Olohan, Vice-chairman Séamus O'Toole, Honorary secretary May Byrne, treasurer Bridget Kelly. The committee - Jimmy O'Shaughnessy, Jean Kearns, Ann Hanlon, Fionnuala Olohan, Maureen Kelly, Pat Kennedy, John Joe Mitchell, Liam Kinsella and Denis Carter.

Face of Rathdrum changing

At the RDA AGM the chairman remarked on how the face of Rathdrum is changing - the Market Square is taking shape with the Credit Union and Centra developments both advancing. The housing developments in the town were commented on and the hope that all the people who eventually occupy them are not all going north on the N11 every morning adding to the gridlock, it is hoped that employment opportunities might open up south of Rathdrum.

Public lighting on the Station Road has been talked about for years and thanks to Cllr Pat Kennedy the lights are finally being installed. Pat told the meeting that provisional markings have been done, and it is hoped to have the lights installed in January. Also of positive news is the fact that Zoetis factory is recruiting and about 40 people are employed and will increase.

Dominic Ryan remembered

At the RDA AGM Dominic Ryan was remembered as a stalwart of the RDA. He was a person who saw the best in everyone and the chairman told the attendees that people like him don't come around too often. The RDA will in time have a special memorial in his memory. Dominic was remembered at the meeting for his good work in the town, especially with the St Vincent de Paul. The book Dominic and John Joe Mitchell wrote for the 25th Anniversary of the RDA was spoken about for which Dominic conducted a huge amount of research.

Suspension Bridge

Cllr Pat Kennedy told the RDA Meeting that Minister Ring has announced funding of €392K for the Avonmore Way Link Bridge to connect the Avonmore Way with the Jubilee Way. This will no doubt bring more people to the town.

Christmas Lighting

To kick off the Christmas spirit in Rathdrum the official switch on of the town's Christmas lights will take place this Saturday, December 1, from 4 p.m. onwards in the Market Square. This year all brand new lights have been put up and the town will look amazing. They will be officially switched on by Jimmy Olohan. There will be music entertainment in the Square for everyone and even a visit by Santa Claus so bring all the kids big and small to the Square for some fun and maybe a bit of dancing. The winners of the colouring competition will be announced on the evening.

Please support the annual raffle - Committee members will be going door to door and cards are in the shops. There will be many great prizes.

The Christmas Festival Lighting Committee need help with stewarding of the event - anyone that can help please contact Séamus O'Toole at 086 3654788.


Bingo continues every Friday night at 8.30 p.m. in the RDA Hall with great prizes.

Parnell Athletic Club

Round four of the juvenile league took place recently in Bray - a great win by Emma Byrne in the under-nine race. Super running from Ellie Kileen, Ciara Winterbottom, Helen Winterbottom, Leah Barrett, Isobel Barrett, Ciara Colohan, Nathan Barrett, Jamie Winterbottom, Will Phelan, Harry Kileen and Edward Byrne.

Our Gold Medalist, Mick Byrne, surprised the local National Schools with a visit last Friday. There was great excitement and awe at both the Gold Medal and Team Bronze medal. Again well done Mick.

Our one mile race has been re-scheduled for Sunday, December 2, in Avondale - start time 10 a.m.

Wicklow People