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The 51st edition of the Old Limerick Journal will be launched by Bishop John Fleming, who is a keen historian and has published books on Gille of Limerick and a history of his native Ardpatrick. He was appointed Bishop of Killala in 2002 and is still serving in that diocese. The launch will be held on the first floor of the Granary Library, at 6 p.m. on Friday November 4th. Refreshments will be served and everybody is welcome.


Our U13A team recorded another victory in the Premier League, this time in league action with a 5-0 score line against Geraldine’s at home on Saturday morning. Geraldine’s started the better side but our defensive lineup again kept another clean sheet led at the back by the impressive Gavin Carrig alongside the determined Jack Doran, attacking wing backs, Ben MacNamara, Conor O Dwyer and net minder Luke Carmody. As ever Cian Specht created lots of chances with his speed and touch and was rewarded with two goals during the game. One a powerful long range effort, the other rounding the keeper. The in-form Nathaniel Zabetakis scored again after a determined run and finish. Marcus Hogan hit another long range effort after avoiding a number of tackle attempts and Danny O Donovan scored again this week reacting first to David Fitzgeralds effort off the crossbar. Conor McCarthy put in another impressive performance and created a chance late on and Damian Cunningham was always passing and moving. It wasn’t Geraldine’s


“The first nuns to come to St. Mary’s parish were the Canonesses of St. Augustine in 1171, founded by King Donal O’Brien. The Canons Regular of St. Augustine were in a number of towns, having spread from their foundation in Armagh, where there were some communities of missionary priests. They had come to Ireland from the Continent, as most likely was the case also of theses Canonesses in Limerick. Very little is known about them, except they had a church dedicated to St. Peter, from which the area was called Peter’s Cell (cell coming from ‘cella’ or ‘room for each nun.’) The Convent stood at the end of Pump lane or Peter Street, and was close to the Walls of Limerick. Some accounts of the Convent in later centuries implies that there were Dominican nuns there, which would be likely because of the proximity to the Dominican. After the dissolution of the Monastery in 1537, the property was given to Lord Milton, and by 1798 the chapel was rented out to dissenters. After this, the Convent ruins seem to have disappeared, as we find a “Madame O’Dell building a handsome house on the site, with excellent gardens, the town wall giving shelter for the fruit trees, and in the garden was a spring well, which supplied the neighbourhood with water.” Peter’s Cell had become a favourite place for residences of professional men of the city. At this time the old name for the Exchange was Monks Lane.” (From “Light on the Past,” researched and compiled by our late Parish Priest, Canon Brendan Connellan)


AA meetings take place in the Town House situated behind our church on Tuesday and Thursday at 8.30 pm every week.

If you have ever had the pleasure of hearing a male castrato voice you will never have forgotten its unique sound. I happened to hear such a voice sing a few years ago at our Cathedral. The Lunchtime Concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Wednesday next will explore the intriguing musical world of the Italian male castrato, Velluti, beginning at 1.15pm and concluding at 2.00pm. During this Concert you will hear the voice of male soprano, Robert Crowe, with Simon Harden on piano. As always, admission is completely free, but a donation to the Retiring Collection would be greatly appreciated, as the proceeds of same will go to aid the Companions of St. Mary’s Cathedral Music.


What a lovely surprise on Sunday morning last to hear our very own St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir on Radio 1 Extra. On that morning the organ playing by resident organist, Peter Barley, was quite outstanding, and if it were. I have on occasion, heard this highly disciplined choir sing of a Sunday morning at the Cathedral following the mellifluous bout of bell-ringing from the Tower. On a crisp Autumn morning, such as last Sunday turned out to be, this is my idea of heaven on earth. How blest we are, musically, here in Limerick! Long may this superb choir continue to maintain the hallowed reputation they have inherited from centuries past.


 “So, watching the tears flow down her face and refusing to allow them that final luxurious surrender which would have been disfiguring, she decided to forgive her silly husband, and be gracious about his tantrums for this once.” “But now for him all that was changed. He had seen that the life they led was not a love life. And he had come to this by no more clever means than by falling in love elsewhere. A process which proves nothing and carries no conviction.”


Our parish writer and broadcaster, Mae Leonard, surfaced once again on ‘Sunday Miscellany’ last weekend. Her piece was about a black and white movie she had watched on television one night. It concerned the encounter of the star of the movie with a white rabbit, a monstrous white rabbit, so it was. However, on the said morning my attention was divided between Radio 1 and Tom O’Sullivan’s Arts programme on 95fm, who on that particular morning was issuing tickets for the opera ‘Aida’ as part of a competition and I was a bit frantic juggling between both radio stations, and not for the first time, may I add. I picked up towards the conclusion of the piece as Mae was recounting how the said ‘rabbit story’ was nothing like the stories her father was known to expound on in the old days. Always good to hear Mae’s dulcet tones, whatever the topic, rabbits white or black.


Well, hike him or like him, November is one of the two months in which I insist on paying tribute to the greatest Literary Light Limerick has ever seen. Michael Hogan was born out in New Road, Thomondgate in the earlier quarter of the 19th century, and has left his mark, writing as he did in those times, by Gas-light or Candle-light, and to think of the tome he produced throughout those years, a book with the tiniest print running to almost 500 pages: makes one really wonder, doesn’t it? And the biggest disappointment to this very fine poet was the fact that in his middle years his eye-sight began to deteriorate, a cruel sentence for any writer, but for a writer of the caliber of Michael Hogan, it was akin to signing his literary ‘death warrant.’


Michael Hogan was born in the month of November and because of that we remember him this month. In November, 2005, a statue was erected to this great poet’s memory and has since remained untouched by even a hint of vandalism. We must assume that the all-important ‘spy in the sky’ has played a huge part in preserving this fine monument. This momentous occasion was marked by the joyful ringing out of bells from the belfry of St Mary’s Cathedral and also the presence of St Mary’s Prize Band as they marched along Nicholas Street in full regalia. A massive gathering turned out in response to the Public Invitation which was placed in the ‘Limerick Leader,’ for at least eight days prior to the event. Having recently come upon, yet again, the pieces which were penned by a great local historian of his day, A. J. O'Halloran, I have decided to bring you a snatch from his account of the poet’s very interesting life. "Looking across the river from the Island Bank towards Thomondgate, one may see the pleasant tree-fringed garden that Michael Hogan, the Bard of Thomond, won from the Shannon foreshore. By almost incredible toil, and with his own hands, he carried and placed in position thousands of tons of stone and other materials to make the embankments. This work was spread over a period of seven years. At the head of the garden the Bard built a house which he called Thomond Cottage, and where he hoped to spend his days within sight of the scenes he loved, and from which he drew his inspiration. But - to use his own words - 'Domestic ingratitude and deceit, mercantile trickery, and legal treachery and fraud ' drove him from the home he had built, from the garden he had made, from the glorious mountain and river scenery in which he revelled, and sent him to spend his later years cooped up amidst uncongenial surroundings in the heart of the city." (Extract from, "The Glamour of Limerick," by A J O'Halloran 1926). Of course we all know of this cottage now as “Whelan’s Pub.” In Hogan’s time this area would have been considered the country, with possibly very few dwellings about at all, and certainly the Distillery houses as we now know them would have been a green area. More next week.


Yes, it surely did! Offering a ray of wisdom which translated into the freedom of our Bard from a Band of Leprechauns who had arrived down from the Meelick area to capture him, simply because he had spoken ill of their ‘Precious Pristine Clan!’ A poem entitled, “The Fairy Hurling Match” was the cause of all the trouble. Just a brief introduction to my latest publication bearing the above title. It is my 11th publication to date and is due to be launched before the end of the month. Comprising of a novella, a number of original new short stories, with a speckling of poems which had been ‘gathering dust,’ most of them previously unpublished. As with the last book, this publication will be richly enhanced by the presence of several sketches from the talented pen of local Artist, Patrick Collins. And a further piece of good news is the fact that I have decided to re-publish a limited number of my last literary offering entitled, “Ten Lamb Chops for a Pound,” a book which literally took wings and flew following its initial publication back in 2014. I cannot say when the launch will be, as I have not yet received the book, but for sure it will be before the end of November. Each of these books will be for sale for just €10 in all the local bookshops in the city and in the shopping centres on the outskirts of the city, also in County Clare, and eventually much further afield. You are apt to find both books also in various other local outlets that may not be essentially bookshops.


I’d like to build a bonfire And ask the human race, To bring along its clutter And pile it into place. We’d heap it with our misdeeds Our hatred and our fears, And all the petty grudges that We’ve clung to through the years. We’d fling on spite and malice And ugly gossip too, Then watch the flames rise bigger As they burned the rubbish through. And when at last the ashes Grew cool and blew away, How shining bright would be the world How glorious the day. Margaret Ingall

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