Castleisland’s €4,000 Christmas Cracker Drive-in-Bingo Session on December 20th

Mother and daughter, Jackie and Jennifer O’Connor marking their books in search of the Drive-In-Bingo jackpot at the Castleisland session on Sunday. ©Photograph: John Reidy

That the Castleisland Drive-in-Bingo is a victim of its own success was proven beyond doubt last Sunday with the noticeable fall in attendance on the mart yard.

It is also a victim of copy-catism as other clubs and organisations in neighbouring areas like Abbeyfeale, Milltown and Tralee taking their portions and, for the latter two, clawing away at its ‘only Drive-in-Bingo in Kerry’ tag – but c’est la vie – I suppose.

There was still a good crowd in Castleisland on Sunday and the organisers suspected that because of the rival attraction elsewhere they wouldn’t have their customary full house.

Generousity Of Deed And Heart

Even so, generosity of deed and heart were at the core of Sunday’s session here as two hefty cheques of €3,020 each were presented to: St. Mary of the Angels, Beaufort and Comfort for Chemo

They were received with expressions of genuine gratitude by local representatives, Kit Murphy and Cora Walsh respectively.

€1,000 Day Care Cheque

There was also a cheque for €1,000 presented to Castleisland Day Care Centre and accepted, equally thankfully, by the centre’s chairperson, Martina O’Donoghue.

However, in as much as clubs and committees and people can plan anything these days, the Castleisland gang members are sprinkling the festive season cheer already.

Christmas Cracker Drive-in-Bingo Session

They’re organising, by kind permission of the membership of Castleisland Co-Op Mart committee, ‘A Christmas Cracker Drive-in-Bingo Session for Sunday, December 20th an hour earlier than usual at 1:30pm.

The gates to the Castleisland Co-Op Mart yard will open at 11:30am to facilitate the expected crowds – and early arrival is advised.

€4,000 Fund and €1,000 Jackpot Game

This session will carry a €4,000 prize-fund including a €1,000 jackpot game and the afternoon will be imbued with all the magic of Christmas including a visit by the unflappable, unshakable, unstoppable, Santa Claus himself.

Because of the times we’re living in there is a handful of ground rules like: remaining in your car, except for toilet breaks, for as long as you’re on the event grounds; mask wearing / hand sanitising and obeying social distancing rules and other acts of thoughtfulness and social responsibility.

Remembering Past Volunteers

All the proceeds of the Christmas Cracker will also go to local charities and the event will be held in memory of the friends of the committee who volunteered and worked on many such occasions down through the years.

The contributions of effort and time from the likes of: the late Catherine Reidy, Jim Lordan, Timmy Murphy and Tony Fagan will be remembered on the day.

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