FOOTBRIDGE FOLLY ACTION GROUP:
In last week’s issue of the weekend ’Limerick Leader’ as part of an article on our proposed and totally unnecessary new bridge, a picture of the oldest Boat Club, that of the Curraghgour Boat Club, established in 1877, appeared, exhibiting a simple sign which is large enough to read at a distance, stating, ‘NO BRIDGE HERE.’ Three distinct words sending out a direct message, we have no need: we simply don’t want it! It seems that a vibrant and intelligent number of people have formed under the title, Footbridge Folly Action Group. We wish this brave group all the very best in their effort to prevent what is being viewed as a bridge too far and I say possibly a bridge over troubled waters! Sure everybody knows that 18m could be well spent on many a needful charity or even to build very necessary housing, the lack of which is causing serious grief to many and that in the 21st century. Sure we were a lot better off in the 30s and the 40s. I certainly never recall having seen anyone ever ‘sleeping rough’ as the term goes nowadays. It simply would not have been tolerated, so it wouldn’t. And as everyone knows the amount quoted will not stop at that. In the meantime one of our oldest streets, if not the oldest, that of Nicholas Street, is being once again neglected. A move was made a few months ago to dress up the windows of some vacant properties, but in every sense of the word, this was just ‘window dressing,’ full stop! Nothing, or nil-all, transpired inside those vacant buildings. It will be most interesting to learn what emerges from this proposed meeting.
1916 COMMEMORATION MASS:
A most beautiful Commemorative Mass in memory of the victims of the 1916 Rising was televised on Sunday last beginning at 10.00am and concluding at 11.15am. I noticed that among the invited congregation to Arbor Hill was 88 year old limerick woman, Mairéad Dore, who was actually seated in the row just behind President Michael D Higgins, and looking well she was too. Mairéad, who lives with her 93 year old sister, Nora, in the North Circular Road. The Palestrina Choir sang the Mass and later Mairéad formed part of the large procession to the nearby cemetery where a wreath was laid by our President, Michael D Higgins, in honour of our proud heroes of the 1916 Rising, the fourteen executed Leaders. During that most reflective and rather sad ceremony, the Last Post was sounded and the Number 1 Army Band performed magnificently. Moist poignant of all and perhaps a little uplifting was the singing of ‘The Lark in the Clear Air’ by the Palestrina Choir. The clear voices of that combined choir seemed to raise with pure clarity in the morning air, as if dispelling our sad past and giving rise to a much brighter and enlightened future.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ÉAMON DORE:
As a matter of interest, if anyone wishes to catch up with the connection of Mairéad Dore, whose father, Éamon Dore, at age sixteen was one of the youngest members of the IRB, then all you have to do is access the 1916 ‘Limerick Leader’ supplement dated Saturday, April 2, 2016. There, you will find a most wonderful and informative article, charting among other matters, a brief account of Éamon Dore’s sojourn in prison, which resulted in leaving him with just one working lung.
CATHEDRAL LUNCHTIME CONCERT:
There will be a Lunchtime Concert at our local St. Mary’s Cathedral on this coming Wednesday, May 4th, beginning at 1.15pm and concluding at 2.00pm. This concert will feature Michele Sanzo on bassoon and Claire O’Donoghue on piano, with the music of Faure, Elgar, and Rachmaninov. These concerts have grown in popularity and often are an ideal source of balm in the midst of a trying day, either in the workplace or in the house. Everyone is welcome and admission is completely free. However, a donation to the Retiring Collection would be gratefully appreciated, as this will go to aid the Companions of St. Mary’s Cathedral Music.
We offer our sincere condolence to the family of the late Beryl Mary Pragnell, who passed away recently in Inverness: to her daughter, Sandra, Dean and Rector of St. Mary’s Cathedral, her daughter, Sonia and son, Ian, and her extended family and friends in their sad loss. May she rest in peace.
KILKEE FOR DIVING BEST IN EUROPE:
Jaques Cousteau (1910-1997) rated Kilkee Bay as the best diving location in Europe, and among the top five in the world. Kilkee officially gained the status of Town in 1901.
JANE EYRE MOVIE IN KILKEE:
As many Limerick people will be well aware, the great 19th century novelist, Charlotte Bronte, spent part of her honeymoon in the delightful seaside village (that was its status then) of Kilkee back in the year 1854. Unfortunately, she passed away less than two years into her marriage. In her memory, the film ‘Jane Eyre’ was shown at the Culturlann Sweeney Library on last Monday evening, and I was delighted to be in a position to attend, along with many more avid film-goers. Then on Thursday evening to honour National Poetry Day, there was a most wonderful event of poetry readings. And so, we all took a break from viewing those unique and delightful ‘Basking Sharks’ up by the Amphitheatre.’
‘RED ROCK’ LIMERICK STAR:
I was delighted to see a sizeable article given over to Caherconlish native, Patrick Ryan, in last week’s ‘Limerick Leader.’ I have been following his career in acting from a distance for many years now and always had great hopes that he would one day find his true destiny, which he thankfully, has done. Of course, like many more local theatre goers, I had seen him perform as a pupil in Mike Finn’s outstanding play, ‘Pigtown.’ More recently I had seen him in the ‘Colleen Bawn’ down at the Shannon Rowing club, where he gave a scintillating performance as a Judge. It was then, because of his local connection that I began watching ‘Red Rock’ and I haven’t missed one episode since its inception. The acting in general is excellent and the writing is superb, where the writer has need to see far into the future, with so many twists and turns. The only other ‘soap’ I watch is ‘Fair City’ but even this TV interest has paled somewhat by comparison with the thrill one experiences when viewing ‘Red Rock.’ Well done to Patrick, who actually plays the part of Garda Paudge, a rather easy-gong member of the force who likes the odd pizza at work and is often seen casually biting on an apple.
COUNTRY AIR FOR BARD’S MOTHER:
“This sort of imposition went on for two years without any of us taking the least suspicious notice as to what was really the matter with the aged patient. We truly believed that her infirmity would soon end in death and we carefully avoided giving her the slightest trouble and annoyance, but pleased and tended her as best we could. Still she was able to move about and often at her own request my wife used to send her on errands into the city. I sometimes saw her there, and ordered a side-car to bring her home. Every Monday during the fine summer weather, I engaged one of those vehicles to take her out into the country; myself and wife accompanying her, thinking the rural air would do her much good. And so the farce went on for two summers. During those seasons I was hard at work constructing the last and most difficult part of my garden pier. It extended out to the extremist low watermark in summer-time. In winter the depth of the tide at this point was eighteen feet. The down torrent was strong and rapid, so that my embankment must be of the most endurable strength and solidity to resist it.”
SCUAB PAMPHLETS SELL OUT:
“So intently and anxiously was all the power of my will and energy set on this enterprise that I was rarely seen in my house except at meal-times. From sunrise to sunset the pick-axe, shovel and wheel-barrow never left my hands, only when I was changing them. So excessive was the labour and so incessant was my sweat that my shirt became reddened on my back. And this desperate toil went on for years until I finally conquered the mighty Shannon and planted my summer bowers in the midst of the rushing tides. Of course I had to engage help; my whole outlay including house and all, was £430. Notwithstanding all this continuous toil I composed and introduced, “Shawn the Sixth,” in Limerick in July, 1874. There was an amazing demand for this number: fourteen hundred being sold in a fortnight at a shilling a copy. And at the finish of my Shannon enterprise I had, “Shawn the Seventh,” prepared for publication. The subscriptions for these numbers generally came through the post and I had always a surplus sum, often three times more than the printing cost. In the present instance I had fourteen pounds more than I wanted. This sum I counted before my wife and secured it in the drawer of a bureau in my bedroom. I told her to keep the door locked and allow no one into that room except herself, during the time I would be away in Cork.”
MOTHER AND WIFE STEAL BARD’S MONEY:
“After four days absence I returned to find the money gone. I asked my wife about it, assuring her that if she had possessed herself of it I’d consider it safe, and say no more, but she positively declared she had no knowledge of it. A rapid pre-sentiment of wrong and robbery flashed on my mind, and I immediately began an investigation, only to find that my wife had not one pound to show out of all the principal and profit of her shop for two years, including some large sums of cash (*2) that I had left in her care from time to time. I was thunderstruck. But what good was it for me to fly into a rage and commit violence. The bad neighbours would be glad of it, and in that very street very few good ones I had around me. As to my supreme old rogue of a mother, she pretended to look puzzled, and quite stupefied at the story. She said I was acting on false fancies, for my wife never had any money at all belonging to me; only what I took from her and squandered myself. Then i knew that this old hypocrite and fraud was truly the thief, and my faithless wife knew it, and at was not all, for on looking over documents of goods delivered and sold in my house, I found myself saddled with a debt of £140.
(*2) My mother made a private trustee of a neighbouring farmer placing into his hands a good sum of money which she had pilfered from my wife. The trustee died suddenly and the money was never recovered by her. It seemed as if a curse had followed her robbery. Another heavy purse was stolen from her by a woman with whom she lodged after I put her out of Thomond Cottage. Other sums were closed on by people to whom she lent them. An ill fate pursued all her thieving.
END OF BARD:
The above pieces were taken from the Bard’s Memoirs, which unfortunately never made it to print as a book, which is whathe would have desired. Perhaps, some day a generous soul will come forward with the necessary funds to do so. In the meantime, it’s so long to the Bard until November of this year, when we visit his most interesting life once again, that month being what we understand to be the month of his birth.
Anyone is welcome to submit a matter of local interest to this column and I would be delighted if you would do so. You can have your name published for doing so or not, it’s enti