St Johnston and Carrigans Donegal

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Donegal Action for Cancer Care (DACC) wish to thank most sincerely all those who helped make their recent supper dance such a resounding success! The supper dance was held on Friday, April 4 in Biddy Friel’s, Drumoghill. To date there has been a profit of 2,075 Euro made and donations are still coming in. To all of you who helped and supported DACC, DACC says thanks a million. Should you wish to make a contribution or give some of your time to this very worthy cause please contact Alma at 91 40186. Or you can contact the DACC Office at 91 28400 which is based at 13 St Columba’s Terrace, Letterkenny. The office is open from Monday to Thursday 10.00 am to 1.30 pm. Susan, the office administrator, will be more than happy to help you. Copies of the book by DACC called “You are not alone” can be had from any member of DACC.

Photos Wanted
On Saturday December 15 2007, St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre staged a production of Stumpy’s Brae starring local talent. The centre is looking for copies of any photos you may have of the event. Regardless of whether the photo is a physical photo or digital, we would like to copy it and can give you back your original in seconds. If you would like to see your old photo from times gone by in the St Johnston and Carrigans area on the website please drop it into the centre and it will be copied. We appreciate any help you can give.

Congratulations to Shannon Doherty who came third in the Ulster Karate Championship on Saturday April 5. Also congratulations to Celene French the 2008 Ladies League Darts Champion. She was presented with the Maggie’s Tavern Dart Shield by Alice Lynch in Maggie’s Tavern, St Johnston. Congratulations also to Sean Coyle of Castletown who won Maggie’s Tavern Dart League 2008. Sean Ferry presented Sean with the cup.

Parent’s Forum
Are you worried or concerned about the health and wellbeing of young people in the St Johnston and Carrigans area? Are there issues such as drug taking and alcohol abuse and anti-social behaviour and lack of support for parents that you think need to be addressed? If you would like to discuss these or related issues with a view to forming a parents support group please call Mary Crossan on 074 91 49551.

St Vincent de Paul
Two representatives of St Baithin’s Conference of St Vincent de Paul, which is the local St Johnston and Carrigans branch, attended the St Vincent de Paul Society members’ day which was held in Jackson’s Hotel, Ballybofey, Sunday, May 11. It opened with tea at 9.30 am and there was training and information presentations for members. We had a lovely lunch and then we participated in a workshop. Mass by Father Rory Brady was celebrated at the end and St Baithin’s Conference would like to say they found the experience valuable, enjoyable and informative and to say thanks to all involved in making it happen.

St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre are offering four Badminton Taster Coaching sessions to young people who are over 12 years old. The sessions will take place in the Lecture Hall on Tuesday evenings starting on Tuesday, April 1 at 7.00 pm. Booking is essential as places are limited. To book please contact Mary/Amanda at (074) 9148551. This project is supported through Donegal Sports Partnership.

Information Evening
There will be an Information Evening and Questions and Answers Session, Thursday, April 3, at 8.00 pm, in the Resource Centre on Various Agriculture Schemes, Social Welfare entitlements, Housing Grant Schemes, Alternative Energy sources for Farm and Home (Wind, Hydro, Wood Energy and Energy Crops). The following Guest Speakers in will be in attendance: Garvan Connolly DLDC Rural Development Worker and Colm Crossan Environmental Consultant. For further information, please contact Garvan at (074) 9127056 or Mary Crossan of the Resource Centre at (074) 9148551.

Lunch Club
The fortnightly Lunch Club will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at the usual times. Everybody is welcome.

Contributions for the St Johnston and Carrigans Newsletter can be placed into a box that is in the Main Hall.

John Throne
Everybody enjoyed the meeting with John Throne that took place on March 4 in the Resource Centre. John is the author of The Donegal Woman. This book was naturally a major part of the discussion that evening. We were shocked to learn than less than 100 years ago, slavery still existed in rural parts of Ireland. Children as young as seven or eight were sold for fixed periods by their impoverished parents to farmers who made them work their fingers to the bone. They were treated like cattle. In many cases, they were subject to worse treatment having been beaten and verbally abused. The book, it was revealed, was about the author’s own grandmother who was hired out and raped by her master and forced to marry a much older man when she got pregnant. Her strength and instinct for survival are themes that run through this inspiring work.

Craft Fayre
The annual Craft Fayre will be held in the Lecture Hall, Church Lane, St Johnston, along with a Car Boot Sale in the St Johnston Presbyterian Church Car Park on Saturday, April 19. Proceeds are in support of the Oncology (Cancer) Unit, Letterkenny General Hospital. It was usually held on Easter Saturday but as Easter fell so early this year, the April date proved more suitable. Everybody is welcome and please keep an eye out for the posters for further information.

Donegal Action for Cancer Care (DACC), the group that campaigns for better care for cancer patients, is holding a Supper Dance in Biddy Friel’s, Drumoghill, on Friday April 4. There will be a bus leaving Carrigans at 9.30 pm going via St Johnston. If you would like further information please contact Alma O Donnell at the Carrig Inn, 91 40186. We encourage you to come along and have a good nights crack and also support this very worthy cause.

Meeting the President
The increased security, the gathering paparazzi and the growing excitement signalled the imminent arrival of the guest of honour, President Mary McAleese at Parkanaur Forest Park headquarters of the Speedwell Trust. Waiting by their environmental display, were the four children invited to represent Monreagh National School, Carrigans. The children were, Lucy McClintock, Melissa Tinney, Joshua Roulston and Reece Duncan accompanied by their teacher Mrs Buchanan. Also present were the children and teacher from their partner school, St Davog’s Primary School. President McAleese spoke warmly to them and expressed interest in their Wildlife and Waste Management programme and praised all involved. For the schools, it was a moment of history and for Joshua Roulston it was a moment of glory when he was selected to make a presentation to President McAleese on behalf of Speedwell.

Monreagh National School

In recognition of World Wetland Day, Monreagh schoolchildren recently travelled to Inch Lake to participate in an educational programme organised by Glenveagh Education Centre.
From the recently constructed lookout, the children viewed and identified the whooper swans, mute swans, grey heron and the coot through telescopes and binoculars. They caught and learned about water minibeasts. In the woodland at Inch Lake, the children took bark rubbings and identified the trees. Thanks to Andrew Speer and all educational officers for an interesting and enjoyable day.  Over recent weeks, the children have had the opportunity to continue highland dancing lessons with Bready Dancers. We thank James Kee for giving us permission to join in the class at Newbuildings.

Monreagh School will close for Easter on Friday March 14 and will reopen on Monday March 31. Swimming lessons begin on the first day back and we would remind children to bring their swimming gear with them. We wish everyone in the community a very happy and peaceful Easter.

Youth Activities
Youth Activities started in the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre in the first week in March. It will involve an After-School Club, a Photographic Art Project, Badminton Lessons, Hip-Hop Dancing, Youth Club and Drop-in Activities. The last day of the Youth Activities will be marked with a community coffee morning on March 28. Registration is required and was completed on 5th March. Information and timetables about the programme can be obtained in the current edition of the St Johnston and Carrigans Newsletter which is available locally.

Recently the St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre had a time of farewells and welcomes to old and new members of the Management Committee. The AGM took place recently and the current committee comprises, Chairperson – John Mc Crossan, Vice-Chairperson - Angela Doherty, Secretary – Stephen McNamee, Assistant Secretary – Leslie Matthews, Treasurer – Bernadette Moore, Assistant Treasurer – George Friel, Public Relations Officer – Roisin Doherty. The new committee members are Norman Moore, Elizabeth McKean, Susan Duffy, Rosaleen Lynch, Ann Matthewson, Ian McCracken, Alex Carlin, Nuala Crossan, Jeanette Curran and Olive Coyle. The outgoing committee members are Leona Friel, Evin Devenney, Marian Sheppard, Paul Peoples, Eileen McCrossan and Deirdre Brown.

Maureen McLaughlin of the County Childcare Committee was one of the founder members of the Playgroup. On Friday July 13 2007, at the 25th Anniversary, she said during an event in St Johnston and Carrigans Family Resource Centre to mark the occasion, “In the St Johnston, Trentaghmucklagh and Killea are, the catchment area for the Playgroup – there are 188 children under two years of age and that is a lot for this area. Stepping Stones provide the childcare for these children. We would be advocating that every pre-school child should have free access to pre-schooling. If you are talking to anyone with regard to funding tell them that you want free access. She added that in 1981, “the area was very polarised. There were the Catholics and Protestants, simple as that. Things have moved on but I must pay tribute to the late Master Shannon and Jim Roulstone for their help in the early days.” Playgroup Chariperson Emer Houston acted as MC for the celebration. She unveiled a plaque commemorating the Playgroup's quarter century of growing success.

Lunch Club Draw
The fortnightly lunch club for people fifty years young and over is a great success. Its purpose is to improve socialising in the area and many people have made new friends from the club. A free calendar of Lunch Club events and times is available and will cover you for January and February.

There was a draw held on Wednesday, November 28 2007 at the Lunch Club in the afternoon. The draw was for the Hand-Crochet Christening Shawl and Bonnet which had been on display for several weeks in the reception area of the Resource Centre. The winner was Linda Carlin from Raphoe. Congratulations Linda! The total amount raised was 244 Euro and all proceeds go to the Lunch Club Fund. A big thank you to everyone who bought tickets and who helped to sell them.

The Cross-Community Carol Service took place on Sunday evening, December 23, in St Johnston Presbyterian Church. The Church looked lovely for the occasion with the tree and the crib. There was a great Christmas ambience and community spirit. It was extremely well-attended and old favourites such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Away in a Manger were sung by the choir and the congregation. The choir was made up of the choirs of the local denominations. Afterwards many of us went for a cup of tea to the Lecture Hall in St Johnston. It is planned for the Service to be held in St Baithin’s Roman Catholic Church, St Johnston this year.

Stumpy’s Brae
A stage presentation of the well-known local legend of Stumpy’s Brae took place in the Resource Centre on December 15, 2007. We all know the story of the peddler man who was killed and mutilated by a greedy couple and who returned to haunt them. The play highlighted the talent of local children who were assisted by Resource Centre Staff. Stumpy was played by Niamh Crossan, James the old man who killed him was played by Dylan Kildea. Annie the old man’s wife was played by Aoife Curran. The narrator was Michelle Doherty. There was a campfire scene which comprised Lisa Wilson, Nikita Rodgers, Leanne Gibson, Aaron Devenney, Roisin Crossan and Jodie Curran. There were zombies who were played by Sarah Toland, Bernie Kildea, Alicia Howard, Amy Golden, Natasha Clarke, Taryn O Donnell, Tamera McDevitt, Rachel Curran, Natasha Kildea. The play was a tremendous success with an appreciative and responsive audience. Following the play there was seasonal singing by the Youth Group, Staff and Management of the Resource Centre. Nickita Rodgers performed a solo. Proceeds were donated towards the St Johnston and Carrigans Summer Playscheme.