LAST WEEK’S SCOUT ARTICLE:
Referring back to the piece I quoted in my column last week on the history of the local scout movement, the following piece which appeared before the conclusion of the article was inadvertently omitted. I feel it is important that this needs to be rectified, as many of the people mentioned as being committee members have long since passed away. The following is the piece that was omitted. ‘Written in the ‘Golden Jubilee Book’ 1985: no author is credited’ As this piece was written just over 30 years ago we presume that the local Scouts began over 80 years ago, and wouldn’t it be great if the scouts are still going strong in 20 years time when they will celebrate their centenary.
‘HAPPY MOMENTS’ SOS
I wonder is there anyone out there who has a copy of my second publication about 1993, entitled, “Happy Moments.” If so, could you contact me, or leave it in the Library in Michael Street. In return I will give you a copy of my most recent publication which is very scarce, “Ten Lamb Chops for a Pound.” Somehow, of late there seems to be an avid interest in my former publications , and like many other local writers I’m sure, we wish we had held on to more of our precious books. Anyway, here’s hoping! If anyone happens to have any of my other books in fairly good condition, I would be very glad of them. We can negotiate somehow because I do not have any more of my last publication to spare, except for the one I have mentioned above.
SIMON THE SEAL
As life at the end of the Mill Road in Corbally goes, it is quiet and peaceful. Even back in 1991 I was so taken by this aspect of the said area that I recalled being abuzz with activity in my youth, that I penned a poem entitled, ‘The Long Road to Tranquillity,’ which was included in my second publication, ‘Happy Moments.’ Outside of conservationist, Pat Lysaght, going about his business of feeding the horses over on Thomas’s Island and generally keeping an eye on all things floating, the only other bit of activity one would see these days is the odd car driving down there with children and a bagful of bread for the perennial ducks: a bit of a panacea in this age of fitful activity.
However, things have changed of late weeks with the presence of Simon the Seal rearing his curious head. Having made a few failed attempts to spot the said lovable creature, I persevered and went down the few steps to that spot yet again on Sunday afternoon last. I became quite excited when I was certain I had him spotted and upon sighting Pat the local man of knowledge, I up and told him so, only to be instantly deflated! ‘No,’ said Pat, ‘that is a buoy you spotted, sure I know it well.’ ‘But it was moving,’ I persisted. ‘That may have been,’ he remarked, ‘But it is still a buoy.’ Pat then went on to expound in his own quiet way on the workings of that famous river. He knows it’s every move from early dawn to dusk, and if anything unusual occurs, then Pat is the one to spot it immediately. You could well say that he can read that river like a book. It seems that he and Simon are great pals by now: I only wish I could get a glimpse of him swimming around: I’ll continue to try. I can tell you there was quite a buzz down that way on last Sunday afternoon. Now for a little ‘limerick’ to honour Corbally’s newest aquatic acquisition.
All was quiet, all was peaceful down Corbally way,
Until Simon the Seal swam in there one day,
He caused a bit of a sensation,
Being viewed with elation,
And with friend, Pat, he won’t go far astray.
LIME TREE WONDER
A lime tree stump measuring in height up to twelve feet or more is the major attraction on the Corbally Road on a grassy patch in the grounds of Scoil Íde. Fear na Coillte, has undertook to carve out some magnificent specimens of animals and fish. At the top there is a spectacular figure of an owl. There is also a clearly identifiable heron, and also a magnificent depiction of a salmon: the latter well chosen as we normally associate the salmon with knowledge: we have often heard of the ‘Salmon of Knowledge,’ and with the seat of learning only a matter of feet away, this was most appropriate. Of course the owl itself is synonymous with wisdom. It seems that the forty year old tree suffered damage before Christmas due to the storms and it was deemed safer for it to be chopped down, leaving what might have been just an ugly stump. Then Fear na Coillte, Woodman or Chain-saw man, appeared on the scene to brighten up the situation. I understand from a local radio interview that in a matter of days or hours 10,000 people had viewed this unique specimen of wood on line and are continuing to view it on foot also. And with ‘Hook and Ladder’ only feet away, this area of Corbally has just received a new lease of life. Well done to all concerned!
BLACK PUDDINGS GOOD FOR YOU
Well I finally happened upon a food you can fry that is actually ‘good for you!’ So they said on TV and Radio, and believe me if they said so, then it is gospel, the very essence of truth. Sure they ousted lovely creamery butter many years ago only to revert to it again recently, after we breaking our hearts for ages jumping from one spread to the other in an effort to get the tastiest, yet ‘less calorie’ one. Now all is forgiven we are told we can go back again to good old creamery butter! And, of course the tastiest one is definitely Kerrygold. It’s a bit like what was deemed a sin decades ago is not so nowadays. Oh, but wouldn’t you want the patience of Job to keep up with it all.
Anyway, to return to the black pudding: the reason we now have been told that it is good for us is because of all the blood it contains, leading to an iron supplement or something like that. And so, I included this item in my Sunday morning fry last weekend. Normally, I would have opted for white pudding, but seeing Michael Sheehan’s (local) brand I said I’d give it a go, and sure enough just like his sausages, it was delicious, and not too spicy or salty as some other brands are. And just as I type this piece Dr. Ava (or Eva) has just been waging war on TV about sugar, yes the dangers of sugar, that I used to dip my buttered slice of bread into a bowl of when I was young, and talk about the icing on the cake, this was pure honest to God heaven. Oh, but she’d give anyone the fright of their lives: saying that by 2030 Ireland will be the fattest nation. Seriously though, the real message was that we don’t need to add sugar to anything, as sugar is in the food item already, and as far as I can glean the same goes for salt. Having said that, old habits die hard and many of our grand-parents lived to be almost ninety. Enough said
TRAGEDY AT DOOR OF CROSBIE ROW
“Gerald Griffin covered this tragic story as a young journalist for the Limerick newspaper for which he worked at the time. The crime and the events leading to the trial greatly influenced him and he was stirred some years later to write, ‘The Collegians,’ from which derived the opera, ‘The Lily of Killarney,’ by Julius Benedict and Boucicault’s ‘Colleen Bawn.’ The courthouse where Scanlan was sentenced later became a school run by the Christian Brothers, and was named in honour of the island’s most illustrious literary son, Gerald Griffin.
Tragedy came to the door of Crosbie Row itself some years later. Two young men and a thirteen-year old boy, while poaching on the River Maigue, were shot at by the bailiff, named Madigan, who gave no warning to the unarmed fishermen. Madigan put a bullet through the heart of one of the men and seriously wounded the other. As he was about to finish off the wounded man, whose cries for mercy Madigan jeered at, the young boy forced the gun from the bailiff’s hand, hit him with the oar and knocked him into the river.”
MADIGAN ESCAPED TO AUSTRALIA
“The boy rowed to the middle of the Shannon and with the aid of the tide which was on the make, rowed into the Abbey River to the slip at Barrington’s Hospital. On his arrival his two companions were dead. With the aid of an influential landlord, Madigan escaped to Australia. Crosbie Row mourned for many a day afterwards. Most of the older Crosbie Row men spent some time in His Majesty’s Service. In the evening they would saunter off to the band-room of St. Mary’s in Nicholas Street and practice their fife and drum playing. They were a peaceful and contented Band until 1889.” (Yet another extract from a piece written for ‘The Old Limerick Journal’ in 1982 by that most popular of Parish natives, Joe Malone, who, to the best of my knowledge, grew up in ‘Soda Cake’ land!) In next week’s piece we will see how that split came about in 1889.
OLD FAITHFUL JOE MALONE
I hadn’t laid eyes on the above writer, Joe Malone, since early last summer when almost every Sunday without fail, he would take the 11.30am bus to Kilkee. Then on Friday last as I was breezing quickly up O’Connell Street, who was walking towards me with his bike, only Joe himself and he looking the picture of health and good humoured as usual. He was accompanied by his sister, Rose, and we engaged in a great chat altogether, and full of nostalgia we were too. I informed him of his piece running these weeks in my local column, saying how the men couldn’t fight without their uniforms, as the said apparel had been pawned and the pawn-brokers had vacated to Castle Connell for a day out! He remembered the piece all too well and it behoved me to have my facts correct. This octogenarian is sharp as butcher’s cleaver or a surgeon’s whatever! As well as the article I am presently engaged in re-producing, Joe, has also written many more excellent articles in the “Old Limerick Journal,” including one on “The Island Field” and “How I was Nearly Sent to Glin.” Great to see Joe so hale and hearty, and to meet Rose, as joyful and fun-loving a person as her brother. I had not met Rose previously.
We wish to offer our deepest sympathy to the family of the late Noreen Buckley of Island Road, Limerick: to her daughters, Mary and Anna, her son, Brian, brothers, Kevin and Gary, her grand-children, great-grand-children, relatives and friends. Noreen will be sadly missed in the area of Assumpta Park and in the King’s Island area in general. Noreen was so proud of her very large garden and kept it in impeccable condition at all times, aided by her son, Brian. May she rest in peace.
MICHAEL MASON RIP
One of our much respected neighbours, Michael Mason, of St. Ita Street, St. Mary’s Park, has passed away following a brief illness. Many local people will miss his pleasant presence around the King’s Island area, as he always had a ready smile for one and all. Originally from St. Michael’s parish, and Seán Heuston Place, St. John’s parish, to which his remains were returned, Michael had the love of the horse at heart and spent much of his time in his later years tending to the needs of his equine keep. He went about his business quietly and unobtrusively. Appropriately his remains were transported to Mt. St. Oliver cemetery in a glass hearse which was drawn by four black-plumed horses: a rarity nowadays. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his brothers: Noel, Johnny, Fonnie, and Gerard: his sisters: Peggy, Bernie and Bridget, his nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends and his loyal close neighbours. May he find peace and lasting happiness as he is finally united with his late wife, Bridget.
We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the family of yet another much respected woman in our parish, Phyllis Reddan, 115 St. Munchin’s Street: to her seven daughters, four sons, her sister Rita, and her many relatives and friends. May she rest in peace.
ST MARY’S AID
The Annual Remembrance Tree in St Mary's Grotto raised €397 for Milford Hospice and we are delighted and so grateful for all of the support toward such a fantastic cause. The St Mary’s Park Summer Social Committee organised a trip to the Sleeping Beauty Panto in U.L. on the 3rd January: 50 people were in attendance and a great day was had by all.