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“Carols By Candlelight”, St. Kieran’s Church, Johnstown

Thurles Town to join again this year, with the rural nearby villages of Johnstown, Crosspatrick and Galmoy, for ‘Carols by Candlelight’.

The traditional ecumenical service of Christmas Carols, entitled “Carols by Candlelight”, will be hosted in St. Kieran’s Church, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny on tomorrow night, Saturday 15th December, beginning at 8.00pm sharp; the venue and programme both being facilitated through the kindness of Fr. Frank Maher P.P. and Johnstown local parishioners.

In the ambience of candlelight only, this ecumenical service is being hosted by the Johnstown, Crosspatrick and Galmoy Community First Responders team.

Community First Responders (CFR) are volunteers who are trained to attend certain types of emergency calls, in the area where they live or work. Their aim is to reach a potential life-threatening emergency in the first vital minutes, before any ambulance crew from outer areas arrives.

This voluntary group are linked to the National Ambulance Service and aside from this, they also provide training on CPR, Defibrillator Use, Stroke Awareness and information on how to combat Choking (Heimlich Manoeuvre), to members of the public. They further ensure that all publicly accessible defibrillators are well maintained.

Performing the vocals at this seasonal seated event will be “Cephas,” (Featuring Noreen Cullinane (Ryan), brothers Edward (Ned) and John J. Cullinane), joined by the band “Sweet Freedom”, together with Meadhbh Ryan, Maria Cullinane (Johnstown) and Rachel and Shane Willoughby (Thurles); all under the superb musical direction of Leanne O’Grady (Violin), Michael O’Grady (Violin), and Killian Cullinane (Keyboards).

Included in the programme will be, “Little Drummer Boy”, “Silent Night”, “O Holy Night”, “Immanuel”, “In a Silent Town” and “Christmas Hallelujah”, all which will be amongst the many other beautiful and much loved Christmas Carols performed on tomorrow  night.

Christmas scripture readings and poetry, foretelling the birth of Christ, will feature the voices of Marie Wilson, Breda Campion, Nancy Fogarty, Mary Anne Browne, Jerry Drennan and George Willoughby.  Local primary school children, will also be participating in this most joyous of seasonal events.

While the tomorrow evenings event itself is completely free to attend, Ms Cathy Dermody [latter Chairperson Johnstown, Crosspatrick & Galmoy Community First Responders, (CFR)], confirms that any / all voluntary donations, will go in full to assist in the funding and provision of a much needed ‘Defibrillator’, for this local area.

Defibrillation, as most people are aware, is a life saving treatment for life-threatening, non-perfusing cardiac dysrhythmias. Defibrillation consists of delivering a therapeutic dose of electric current (often called a counter shock) to the heart using this device, by trained individuals. This depolarizes a critical mass of the heart muscle and allows normal sinus rhythm to be re-established, thus so often saving life.

Carols By Candlelight
As many of our readers will be aware, the original idea of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ first began in south-eastern Australia, sometime in the 19th century and was popularised in Melbourne in 1937. The tradition has since spread around the world and involves people gathering to sing carols by candlelight only, accompanied usually by a band. Indeed, one of the earliest forms of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ began when Cornish Miners in Moonta, South Australia, gathered on Christmas Eve to sing carols, lit by candles which were stuck to the brims of their safety helmets.

All persons, both adults and children, regardless of their religious persuasion, are most welcome to attend this truly most enjoyable of Christmas events, under the Direction of Mr Edward Cullinane.

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