GOING STRONG: Recent events and the great weather have displayed all that is positive and progressive in the local community and area. Over the past month a feature was the huge level of volunteerism and the goodwill it generated over successive weekends. Amongst the highlights were the Gathering weekend of activities, Garden Party, Féile, International Boxing and the One Wall Handball Championships. This excluded the ongoing matches and events and the tensions, anticipation and exhilaration of the ongoing All Ireland Senior Hurling campaign that has replaced the weather as the main topic of conversation.
HANDBALL: The finishing touches were added to the One-Wall Courts on Friday when the new railings were erected. The additions provide additional spectator viewing facilities, protect the surface from match traffic and help to make the parking safer for everyone at the GAA Grounds. On site carrying out the work were volunteers were Simon Brophy and the Walsh's Pat, Paraic and Niall. On Sunday in excellent weather conditions the 5th One-Wall County Championships were hosted with competitions from masters to juvenile levels with ladies participating for the first time. Adding to the event was the barbecue that was run by Kathleen Doyle and Breda O'Shea that kept culinary needs of the players and spectators looked after. Results to follow or visit windgap.handball.gaa.ie
GARDEN PARTY: A great crowd attended Helen and Nicky Hawes Garden Party in aid of the poor and impoverished in Calcutta. Guest for the event was Edward Hayden who is best known for his popular cookery slots on TV and who entertained the crowd whilst preparing a series of recipes. The event with a difference featured afternoon teas, cake and plant sales and ten raffles that featured minimum prizes of €100 and special prizes of weekends away. On the day a floral hat competition took place with well over twenty entries of all ages male and female. At the event Helen Hawe outline the twenty three-year history of the support group and their work with the underprivileged in Calcutta. Playing their part in the success of the event were parking stewards Dermot Holohan, Noel Ryan and George Watters along with caterers and the stall and ticket sellers. On the day the event held in a hidden gem of a split level garden with water features and an amazing array of beds and planting amount raised €6.700 for the Calcutta projects, with every cent guaranteed to go direct to the various causes. After the event the hosts Helen & Nicky Hawe extended their thanks and gratitude to all that attended and supported the event.
GATHERING: An amazing line had the community engrossed and spell bound during the recent Gathering Weekend. From the opening event by the Kilkenny Gospel Choir in the Slatequarries it was a merry go round of events. They included Poetry, a Seisúin, Street Stalls, Art Exhibition, Folklore and Photography Exhibitions, Camogie and Hurling Blitz's Treasure Hunt, Old time dance, Open air mass and Floating candles. Also included were a wide range of novelty events too numerous to mention. The events took place at the Grotto, Lake, Amenity area, The Caiseal, Old League House, Tennis Courts, Delaney's, Parochial House, Guinans, Windgap Community Hall, Slatequarries and the GAA Grounds. For the occasion visitors, former pupils and parishioners arrived back for a school reunion with many visitors staying over the weekend and returning for every event. For the occasion the village was transformed with wall renovations, novelty street signage and hanging baskets. The entire event culminated with the release of two hundred and fifty red and white helium balloons at the lake.
TREASURE HUNT: The results of the Treasure Hunt organised for the Gathering by Alison Walsh where over 100 entrants took part around the Amenity Area were Fastest time: Zak Kennedy and Blade O Gorman Windgap. Most number of words: Luka, Johannes and Giselinda Grcevic from Curragawn and Croatia. Longest word: Niamh and Kayleigh Hawe, New Zealand, Best young team: Laura Doyle, Curragh
OVER 40's: Two teams of over forties hurlers from Windgap played out a thrilling encounter in the GAA pitch resulting in a draw, at the Windgap Gathering Festival recently. Playing in the Windgap and Callan jerseys in front of a massive crowd, it was end to end stuff. With a live broadcast by Tony Doyle the old determination and will to win was as evident as in former times. Having lined out at all levels from Senior down old aquantences were remade and many families had fathers and sons playing together for the first time as younger substitutes were introduced in the final minutes. After the game the man of the match was announced as Christy Whelan the match referee who over saw the 3-6 draw. Afterwards the match video was a must see in the clubrooms and local establishments and now joins other recordings in the clubs history archives. Thanks were extended by one and all to Pat Foley for persuading so many former heroes to come out of retirement in an event that became one of the hits of the weekend. Amongst the attendance were more senior, former players who recalled their days as wearers of the red and who would have loved the opportunity to be back playing on the day if the upper age limit was raised.
MEMORIES: If you have any more pictures from the gathering, please email them on to Noel Smith and his IT team on email@example.com. It is planned that a CD reflecting the images of the weekend will be published over the winter months.
PLANNING: Following the recent meeting the timeline for the Planning For The Future Group in the Parish shows the next meeting will take place on Tuesday 27th August in the GAA Club Rooms. In the meantime work continues by the Playground and Hall Committees. Elsewhere the community is making plans on harnessing and building on the outstanding success of the recent Gathering. Also on the agenda plans and ideas are being sought for fundraising for them. In addition a PUBLIC MEETING is being called on Tuesday 8th October at which the proposed plans will be presented. Amongst them it is expected there will be an outline of the future plans for the unoccupied Parochial House. Currently it involves the ongoing costs of heating and maintenance and the substantial costs of the proposed renovations that surpass the parish surplus and will require additional collections.
TIDY TOWNS: Work continued in Tullahought during the week with maintenance of the various floral displays and grass margins in the area. It is hoped to have the plaque acknowledging the Bronze Medal in 2012 erected for a possible second judging that is scheduled to take place in the next week or so.
HURLERS DRAW: Dan Phelan was the most recent local winner in the Hurlers Co-Op Draw when he won €250 on Tuesday evening last.
FÉILE: Windgap had two teams in this year Feile na nGael competitions that were held in limerick. For the event the girls team of Margaret Purcell, Margaret Foley, Allanna Dunphy and Mya Travers travelled to Galbally whilst the boys team of Pat Grace, Aidan Culleton, Luke Ward and Shane Cullen travelled to Mallow for their various games.
POC FADA: Catherine Foley represented Kilkenny in this years ladies Poc Fada competition which took place in the Curragh. Locally Michael Power represented Windgap in the county competition that took place in Nowlan Park recently.
CLUB NEWS: The junior "B" side had a nice win over their neighbours from Piltown in the league championship in Windgap on Sunday evening. As a result they will play Mullinavat in the first round of the knockout stages. Also present giving the slide support was Seamus Hennessey one of the sides players who is recovering from a serious accident. See Barrie Henriques page for the match report. At the game a minutes silence was held as a mark of respect for Joe Grincell who was drowned on Saturday afternoon whilst swimming in one of the old water filled slate quarries near Maggie Russels bridge.
CEMETERY MASSES: The annual graveyard Masses will tae place at 7.30 p.m. Killamery Cemetery on Wed. 31st July; Tullahought Cemetery on Thursday 1st August and Windgap Cemetery on Friday 2nd August and in the Slate yard in the Slatequarries on Friday 9th August.
OUT AND ABOUT: The recent dry spell has seen a shortage of fresh growth and water for birds and wild animals. As a result two hares have been seen at a back door nibbling on fresh grass and clovers, foxes can be regularly seen closer to dwellings and a pheasant has nested in the dry clay surrounding a bed of onions in a household garden.
NOTES: Contributors and Clubs are invited to email items for publication with a name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday evenings at 6pm