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Athlunkard Boat Club’s ‘Learn to Row’ Summer Camp is back with two Camps running from June 27th to July 1st (5 to 8pm). The Camp is for boys and girls from ages 12 – 18. It costs €50 per person. There will be a BBQ held at the end of each week. Book in advance as spaces are limited. You can reserve a place by ringing 087-4122325, or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


“Well, so it was on this occasion. Snipe had entered the angling competition, being known to fish now and then, but not to be as staunch as 50% of the entrants of the competition. As the day wore on there were calls made as they were passing, with the staunchies not taking much heed to what was being caught unless it was anyway a decent size or who had caught it: themselves being entranced with the good of the day, and theirs being the line to hook the big prize. 
As seven o’clock approached, everyone that had been fishing could be seen coming in from all angles of the parish, heading towards the fete, bringing with them their catch of the day to be weighed at the weighing stand. The weighing of the catch was usually completed by half past seven or thereabouts, by quarter to eight all the fish had been weighed, ranging from a half a pound of trout to the biggest catch; a noble thirty-two pound of spring salmon. With all this happening there was no sign of Snipe. Some said they had seen him around the mouth of the Abbey, and others had seen him around the Long Shore, and more having no recall of him bringing a fish of any sort.
Well, it so happened that just moments before the presentation of the trophy, Snipe was sighted rowing his way towards the Baths. There was no surprise in seeing Snipe, but whether he’d have a catch or not was not yet to be known, yet with Snipe ‘twas the mystery and surprise of what’s to be!” (Part 2 of a story from “A Day in the Life,” produced by Fir an Oileáin, a collection of stories compiled by the residents of St. Mary’s Parish 1997. Final extract next week)


On Sunday we were once again treated to the dulcet tones of our native parish writer and broadcaster, Mae Leonard. Her topic had to do with studying for the Intermediate Cert and being kept in to do so despite her pleading to her mother to go out and enjoy the magnificent sunny weather. However, her father did manage to ‘rescue’ her from what seemed like
an impossible situation, taking her over to the ‘old haunt’ ABC Boat Club, where TV was a fairly new invention. While there, Mae saw a movie or a series, not certain, which lo and behold was the catalyst to her being in a position to answer a question or a topic that showed up on the Inter English paper. Strange but true.
The blond-haired lad with the chocolate (no less) brown eyes, was mentioned by Mae twice or three times in her piece. Just wondering who he was?


We offer our heartfelt sympathy to the family of the late Elizabeth Ahern (nee McMahon), Assumpta Park, and late of the Castle Barracks.


“Kilkee has changed in leaps and bounds since the days it officially became a town in 1901. Kilkee still maintains loyalty from its traditional holiday-makers from Limerick. In fact, it is a second home for many who own a home or a mobile home. Still, this ‘Queen of Irish Watering Places,’ continues to welcome faces from afar as well. Whether it is the beach (awarded the Blue Flag annually): diving, swimming, fishing, surfing, golf or pitch and put, horse riding, walking, the ultimate attraction that Kilkee will always provide remain unchanged –mild climate, pure healthy air, safe swimming, magnificent coastal scenery, and a place of peace.” (from ‘Kilkee’ compiled by Debbie Jacobs, formerly of Limerick Civic Trust.) 


Believe it or not, as part of the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ryan Tubridy radio programme was transmitted from Kilkee on Thursday last. The double decker blue bus arrived to grace the market area on the previous day, causing a mild degree of excitement; then later that evening as I took my usual walk to witness the magnificent sunset after 9.30pm, I spotted the same vehicle parked down at a caravan site below the Circular Road. So, tuning into the programme on Thursday morning, the experienced and lively host kicked off with great excitement relaying to the listeners his sheer delight upon viewing dolphins on Wednesday in nearby Carrigaholt, followed by a meal at Murphy-Black’s in Kilkee. 


Interviewing a man and a woman who were experts on dolphins, we learned that the said sea creatures tend to be synchronised swimmers, swimming around and around, then coming up all at once and together. We also learned that despite their luring smile, it is recommended that people do not swim anywhere near them as they could prove dangerous. Most interesting of all, the listeners learned that a human consciousness causes the said sea creature to know his own name; in other words dub them with a name and they will answer to it. A youngster’s grandma had knit a scarf in the famous Clare colours, saffron and blue, for the host. As one would have expected, local well-known Kilkee personality, Manual Di Lucia, featured and was quite loquacious in his summing up yet another well-known Limerick personality, the late great actor, Richard Harris, and his association with Kilkee where he beat Manual by just two points in a game of racquets back in 1970, a popular game that was played on the West End side of the beach. No doubt, this programme will have done much to accentuate even further the popularity that this delightful seaside town already enjoys, and has been doing so for almost two centuries.


RSCM (Royal School of Church Music) The 50:50 Campaign:  Come and listen to organ music by JS Bach, Buxtehude, Walton and Elgar. You are invited to come and listen on Sunday, June 19th 2016, at 5pm.  Admission is €5, and will be available at the door of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick. The Organist will be Peter Barley. Proceeds to The Companions of St Mary’s Cathedral Music and The Royal School of Church Music. 


 A Coffee morning and Bake Sale will take place at St. Michael’s Church Hall, Pery Square, on Saturday, June 18th from 11.00am to 4.00pm in aid of the Chernobyl Children’s Trust Fund.


The next Lunchtime Concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral will take place on Wednesday, June 11th beginning at 1.15 and concluding at 2.00pm. Taking part will be, Celia Donoghue (clarinet), Ethna Tinney (piano) - including music by Schumann, Reade and Poulenc. Admission is free but a donation to the Retiring Collection would be much appreciated as the proceeds from that collection will go to aid the Companions of St. Mary’s Cathedral Music.


C An added bonus at King's Island Primary Care Centre is the presence of an excellent Chiropodist on the first Friday of every month. You have to have your name down ahead of time and if you enquire about this at the Centre they will let you know. Then you will receive a date for every three months. 


C Recently, I came across what I consider to be a little nugget of literary nostalgia. Now, not alone did I not come across this valuable piece of information from the past in any ordinary edition of our precious local newspaper, but I happened upon it in the 1889 edition of the ‘Limerick Chronicle.’ That was the very year that its sister newspaper, the ‘Limerick Leader’ was first published; the former stretching back even further to 1768. UL have some years back acquired 96 editions of that newspaper which appeared on Mondays and Thursdays. It is of a parish significance that the editor for quite a number of years was one John Ferrar, a prominent bookseller, publisher and printer on Quay Lane. He it was who had the distinction of publishing the very first History of Limerick, which was published in three volumes. 


And so to that precious piece which appeared in the 1889 edition. “A Poem on Kilkee.” “Lovers of that fashionable watering place, Kilkee, endowed as it is with so much of the beauties of nature, will be glad to learn that a poem on “The Brighton of Ireland,” is now in the Press and will shortly be published by Messrs McKern & Sons. The author is the Rev Canon Wills, MA, Rathkeale, whose works need no introduction from us. His book is certain to be most interesting, and we feel sure it will be extensively patronised. It will be liberally illustrated and can be had for one shilling. See advertisement.” As a matter of interest this particular publication consisting of one lengthy poem only, consisting of well over 100 verses, can be seen in the Reference section of our city Library on Michael Street; at least it was available in that section many years ago when I first accessed it. Here is one verse from that marathon poem.
“Turn inland once again to that calm zone,
 Shut off from rude Duggerna’s sullen moans,
Where angry ocean, humbled to the core, 
Now breaks with sighs upon the sullen shore.
Here by the crescent sea the children play,
Or bask in sunshine on the sandy bay,
Search in the rocky pools for crabs or traces,
Of wondrous things in deep-sea weedy places.”
Canon Wills
And it is good to see that despite all the modern gadgets that have come on stream for children of our present generation, and the presumed sophistication some people take as the norm nowadays, children can still be seen searching for crabs and eel-fry etc. in the rocky pools in Kilkee. 


Next weekend marks the 27th anniversary of the passing of the late and great John ‘The Man’ Frawley, and I will be remembering this great radio man in this column with a snatch from a piece which I included in my last publication entitled, “Ten Lamb chops for a Pound.’ He left such an indelible mark on his native city and possessed the happy knack of making himself real to his listeners. 


As we are all aware our outstanding and highly intuitive writer, Kate O’Brien, referred to her native city as ‘Mellick’ in some of her books. The two novels that were set in Limerick were, “Without my Cloak” and “The Ante-Room.” Below, I will quote part of the opening page of the latter. And the pity is that she did not enjoy great riches from her writing while still alive, she has indeed left a wealth of literary enjoyment as the richest legacy ever.


“By eight o’clock the last day of October was about as well lighted as it would be. Tenuous sunshine, swathed in river mist, outlined the blocks and spires of Mellick, but broke into no high lights on the landscape or in the sky, it was to be a muted day. Roseholm, the white house where the Mulqueens lived stood amid trees and lawns on the west side of the river. Viewed from the town in fine weather, it could often seem to blaze like a small sun, but it lay this morning as blurred as its surroundings. It neither received nor wanted noise or light, for its preoccupation now was to keep these two subdued. And this morning that was easy; there was no wind about to rattle doors or tear through the dying leaves, but only an air that moved elegiacally and carried a shroud of mist. Agnes Mulqueen slept with her curtains open, so that at eight o’clock, though still almost asleep, she was aware of movement and light. She turned in her bed, and the weak sun fell upon her face though her eyelids still resisted it.”


“One by one the Mass bells ceased to ring in Mellick, and as their last noted dropped away the clock in the hall at Roseholm, always slow, boomed out its cautious strokes. Agnes stirred and sighed. Once, when every whisper in the house seemed to aggravate her mother’s suffering, she had suggested silencing that clock. But Theresa would not have it. ‘When I can’t hear it any more,’ she said, ‘I’ll know I’m at the Judgment Seat.’ Agnes opened her eyes and pulled herself into a sitting position. Bells and clock and thin autumnal light were calling her back to things she did not wish to face. They had done so every morning for a long time now.”

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