KNOCKROE SOLSTICE: Twenty Five years on from the discovery of a Megalithic Passage Tomb at Knockroe the largest crowd in memory arrived on Monday 21st December to witness the evening Solstice. The Passage Tomb which is the only one in the country with chambers aligned to both the rising and setting sun of the Winter Solstice had fewer visitors for the wet and windy Solstice morning where there was little hope of witnessing the sunrise. However by mid-day a marked improvement in weather conditions meant that it was all stations go for the Caiseal Conservation Committee who worked with the Suir Valley Environmental Group to facilitate visitors to the site.
VOLUNTEERS HELP: Many thanks to the volunteers who managed the large volume of traffic and to the farmers who provided parking facilities thereby avoiding the traffic chaos of other years. the event was enhanced further by the provision of hot food and beverages outside the site entrance. As the crowd of over two hundred gathered on a beautiful sunny evening the rumor that Professor Muiris O'Sullivan would be in attendance was confirmed by a committee member.
HISTORIANS: Local historian Robert Duggan presented a very informative lecture on the history and folklore of the area before Professor O'Sullivan spoke at length on the archaeological digs carried out on the site in the past twenty five years. Professor O'Suillivan remembered especially the help received and friendships formed over those 25 years and spoke eloquently of departed friends without whom the significance of the Knockroe Passage Tomb would never have been realised. Another local historian John Joe Dunphy distributed a beautiful laminated information pamphlet highlighting the significance of Knockroe in the wider archaeology of the area.
BEAM OF LIGHT: With perfect timing Professor O'Sullivan ended his talk moments before the sun dropped onto the horizon to cast a beam of light into the western chamber briefly illuminating the carved stonework on the rear wall and finding a gap in the stones to cast a ray of light across the grass mound.
TIMES PAST, FUTURE: Could those who raised awareness in Knockroe 25 years ago have imagined the interest which would be generated in the site today? Indeed could those who constructed the Passage Tomb over 5000 years ago have imagined that we would look at their work in awe so many years later. As the visitors prepared to depart from Knockroe for another year they were advised of the threat posed to the Knockroe Passage Tomb in the shape of giant wind turbines which are proposed for the area. These turbines would protrude above the horizon in the area where the evening sunset casts its beam of light into the Western chamber. Indeed the developers of these turbines state that the development would have a significant negative visual impact on the Knockroe Passage Tomb. This raises the question, for how much longer will we be able to wonder at and enjoy this ancient monument?
GREAT SUPPORT: The Caiseal Conservation Committee fundraising raffle raised almost 600 euro towards protecting and developing Knockroe. The winner of the hamper was Margaret Bartley from Faugheen.
AWARD FOR DAN: Windgap Club Founder Dan Phelan was the recipient of a Maurice Davin Award in the Carraig Hotel Carrick on Suir on Sunday 27th of December. The event honoured personalities of the past, current senior inter county stars and players of the future from the three counties of Kilkenny, Tipperary and Waterford took place in front of a packed house. Further details to follow.
FORGE CRIB: The Forge Crib was blessed on Christmas Eve at 8.45pm just before the 9pm Vigil Mass. It drew a fine crowd of all ages for the event that had a carol service with John Ryan welcoming and thanking all involved.
CHRRISTMAS MASSES: Great Crowds from the locality and visitors from around the country and across the world attended the Christmas Masses on Christmas Eve in Tullahought and Windgap Churches. The Masses were celebrated by the PP Fr Fergal O'Farrell.
BRIDGE RESULTS: Winners at the Killamery Bridge Club game held in the Olde House recently were 1st. Maureen Cantwell, Peggy Vaughan. 2nd Noreen Kenneally, Annette Meagher. 3rd. Kitty Meagher and Noreen Kinsella. Best Gross Rita Houlihan, Kitty Meagher.
TRACTOR RUN: Windgap National School Parents Association recently presented cheques of €5,000 each to both Windgap National School and to the Kilkenny Homecare team from the John Smith Tractor Run Event held on 14th November. It involved a loop from Windgap to Coolagh with a pit stop in the Auld House in Killamery (where a successful auction took place) followed by return to Windgap. It was a wonderful community event in our parish with great support from all of the community and many neighbouring parishes. The Event was held in the memory of local contractor John Smyth who sadly passed away earlier this year, and the response was incredible - the group had 215 tractors on the day The success of the event reflected in the handing over of 5,000 cheques to Windgap National School and the Kilkenny Home Care team. The event was organized by the Windgap National School Parents Association (committee of Jan Kennedy, Carmel Smith, Tom Egan, Barbara Power, Matthew Enright and Liz Jackson) and they would like to sincerely thank all who supported the event in any way.
WALKS OPENING: The opening of the two new “National Trails accredited Loop walks will took place on St Stephens Day in Windgap. It attracted an amazing turnout of over one hundred walkers in with atrocious weather conditions. The events included the Historical Village nad the Bearna Breac walk with a film show for the younger children and hot food, wren boys and refreshments for all.
HEALTHY AND FIT 2016! 10 days to go before we start our first Men's Running Group! This program commences Mon 11th January & will run for 4 weeks & 5 Monday nights. meeting in Piltown GAA Complex. You will do two homework sessions within each week also. Our goal is to build up your running endurance to reach 5km! All fitness levels very welcome!. With only a few places left, we look forward to hearing from you & we do promise that there'll be no pink running tops involved! Please contact Emer on 0863743763.
CARD DRIVE: Winners of the Hurling Club Card Drive held in Guinans were: 1st. PJ Barron & Eamon Doyle (13 games). Runners Up: Pj Egan & John Cody, Jim Coyne & Tom Egan (11 games). 20th Game: Michael Cunnongham & Brian Hickey. Raffle Winners: Michael Cunningham, Jim Coyne, John Kenny, Patrick Foley, Mary Guinan.
THANKS AND BEST WISHES: Sincere thanks are extended to all who contribute snippets for the weekly notes. They are greatly appreciated in particular far away from home. All items submitted are included and additional ones to reflect the variety and activities in the area are always appreciated. Best wishes are extended to one an all for a great year ahead.
PARISH RAFFLE WINNERS: The winners of the raffle were: 1st prize, Terri Mackey, Rossnaneny; 2nd, Ruth Landy, Butlerswood; 3rd, Jo Jo Purcell, Lamogue; 4th, Catherine Phelan, Bawnreigh; 5th, Mary Butler, Inchnagloch; 6th, Sean Barron, Rossnaneny.
NUACHTLITIR: Information for the weekly Parish Bulletin at weekend Masses can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or dropped into the Parochial House by Thursday evening. Fr. Fergals Mobile number is (085) 8830756.
NOTES: Contributors and Clubs are invited to email items for publication with a name and contact number to email@example.com by Sunday evenings at 6pm. For all the local news and photos visit windgap.ie
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