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The age old custom of the appearance of St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band at the event which heralds the beginning of the New Year up at the corner of Dick Devane’s, is to be lauded and indeed, as far as I’m concerned, cannot be lauded enough. Stretching back to soon after their establishment in 1885, they are marked out for their consistency. Many people from within and outside the parish live for what is termed 'The Bells' every year. We must also commend the loyal campanologists of St. Mary's Cathedral, whom we never see. There would be little nostalgic atmosphere if they were not present, complete with their strong muscles to pull the ropes. Like our choirs and bands, they too must put in an amount of practice, in their case on Monday nights. (how could I ever forget?) I lived under that bell tower. Just as I write these notes I am very conscious of the fact that both the bells of St Mary’s Cathedral rang out and also St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band performed for a most memorable occasion, that of the unveiling of that excellent sculpture to the Bard of Thomond, Michael Hogan, which was sculpted by Limerick man, Jim Connolly back in November of 2005. As a matter of interest, a woman who sent me a short letter of commendation at that time, Aileen Madden (Gouldie), of the Canal Bank, passed away just two weeks ago. I came across that letter about a week prior to her passing. Strange how things often happen! Our Band had a practice in the grounds of Athlunkard Boat Club on Thursday evening last.


A nonagenarian of note, and a woman or whom I have good time, is the one and only, Polly Fitzpatrick, who resides in the environs of Thomondgate. A truly gifted poet, she has the craft of rhyming at her fingertips. She has one publication to her credit and her poems have also appeared in this newspaper, and has been a frequent visitor to local radio in years past. Her name often pops up on Len Dinnen's radio programme, Easy Listening, on Sunday evenings from 8 to 12 midnight and on Saturday nights from 10 -12 midnight on 95FM. The following is a tribute for Polly.
Our Polly’s a poet of note,
And many’s the ballad she wrote,
She’s happy and cheerful
And not one bit tearful,
As she steers Limerick’s Literary boat!

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