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__________December Donadea News__________


Santa will visit Ballagh House on Saturday 16th. of December at 3p.m. The great man expects to see a large number of children when he arrives at Ballagh.

Best of luck to the Mackey family who have recently opened the shop at Donadea Cross. This shop is a valuable service to our area and deserves our full support.

We extend our thanks to James McAndrew for weeding the “island” at Donadea Cross and also to Josh Rose for his assistance.

Tir Na Mona “The Wren Boys Concert ” St Stephens Day, Donadea

The little wren was supposed to have betrayed the presence of St.Stephen who was caught and executed: in fact St.Stephen was stoned to death in a hollow where corn was ground. My grandfather who had a corngrinder would not work it on St.Stephens Day, as it was customary that no corn was ground on that day in honour of the Saint’s feast day.
I remember as a child over 40 years ago seeing the “Wren Boys” arrive at our door on a frosty St.Stephens Day. They were dressed up in colourful clothes and had soot and paint on their faces. They played mouth organs, accordions and tin whistles.
Everyone in the household came out to see them perform, they usually chanted the song :
“The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,
St. Stephens Day he was caught in the furze,
And though he is little his family is great,
So rise up landlady and give us a treat,
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
and give us some money to bury the wran……”

When they had finished their song, food and drink and money was given to the group and off they went to another house to repeat the performance, and get some more gifts. This old tradition died out around these parts over the last 30 years or so. I suppose television and better economic circumstances accounted for its decline.
A few of us in 1997 decided that it would be nice to revive the custom locally. Donadea Forest Park was used as the venue and with the exception of 1998 (due to a storm) the event has been held there ever since.
A number of people have added some new dimensions to it each year, straw costumes were made 2 years ago and prove very popular with the children. A Small child is dressed up as, a wren and the Wren Boys try to catch him, but the straw boys protect the wren and shield him from the Wren Boys. The significance of the Straw boys protecting the Wren, is a message to all of us to protect our wild life and our environment, with the great victory in Kilcock, earlier this year in stopping the building of the proposed toxic incinerator, this gives the environmental protection theme even more meaning this year.
The proceeds from this year’s concert (“The Millennium Wren Boy’s Concert”) will go to The Day Care Centre in Newtown, and we hope we will get big support from the wider public and hope plenty of musicians and performers will dress up and come along to make this day a fine community event.
If the weather is not kind to us we will stage all the event in St.Kevins G.A.A. club rooms. The event will “kick off” in Donadea Forest Park at 1.30pm – until late! So come along and bring a donation to support the Newtown Day Care Centre.

Cappagh Gaa Notes

Congratulations to Sean Gorman our PRO who won the award of club pro for Kildare for 2000. Sean will be presented with his prize on Dec. 2nd in Newbridge. Our club AGM is on Sunday 3rd December at 6.30p.m. in Newtown Hall. All are welcome especially new members.
Congratulations to our under 18 camogie team who won their 3rd successive championship this year. Our under 21’s are still in with a chance of achieving success when they resume after the winter break. We wish all our club members, sponsors and supporters a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

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