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Community News

Updated 21/01/2017



It is a breath of fresh air to see that the Parish Newsletter has been once again revived over the past few months after a lapse of over thirteen years. As far as I can ascertain every parish has retained this form of necessary contact with the parishioners who come out to attend Mass on a weekly or a daily basis and who contribute generously every Sunday to the collection. As everyone may not be in a position to purchase the newspaper or may not wish to do so, it is vital that the people of the parish are provided with a fresh batch of information on a weekly basis as this may often contain some vital contacts which include necessary telephone numbers. So, well done to Fr. Seán Harmon, a most sociable man, for seeing to it that the Newsletter has been re-instated. I will bring you a few snippets from last week’s Newsletter next week.


Shannon RFC was founded back in 1884 by five brave sportsmen in the Shamrock Bar out by the Old Corbally road possibly bordering on Park. Of late I have learned that the very spot that this momentous event transpired was the very house where now stands the two-storey house with the yellow door which can be seen from O’Dwyer Bridge. A brief account of that momentous event can be found in my publication entitled “Ten Lamb Chops for a Pound.” Well, just as a matter of interest and to enter into the ambience of what our city was like commercially way back then, I found the following interesting account in some old notebook of mine as I was actually looking for something else but then they say that the looking for one thing is the finding of another. 
We has 28 boot and shoe makers, 20 butter makers, 32 flour dealers, 11 flour merchants, 150 Spirit Dealers and grocers, 15 pawnbrokers, 2 rope and twine makers, 10 saddlers and harness makers, 1 sausage and skin manufacturer and 18 tobacconists. It is interesting to note that Cahill's on Wickam Street is the only one of the latter remaining. There was a hatter on Patrick Street by the name of Thomas Vaneesbeck and there were O'Farrells on the North Strand who were fishermen, boat builders and coach builders.

Appreciating our Senior Choir

Established back in the early 70s by Fr. John Condon, our Senior Choir who sing at the 11.00am Mass every Sunday, has lost none of its zest since that initial year when they first shone their musical light on the loyal congregation of our parish. And to show their appreciation this same loyal congregation remain in their seats until the last note of the final hymn (or song) is sung before issuing a rousing clap of appreciation. This, I can only assume, makes it all worthwhile for the choir members, a few of whom have been members since the choir’s very inception. We all know that belonging to any choir requires an amount of commitment, and this entails one night a week practice. So, it’s well done to the Choir Director, Jim Graham, the organist, Brendan Frawley and the faithful members of the choir itself. To the entire musical tapestry, we extend our sincere thanks!


This choir sings at the Vigil Mass every Saturday evening, beginning at 7.30pm. Directed by a lady of a glorious voice herself, Helen Flanagan, this is also a highly committed choir who perform for almost nine months of the year. They really give a proper bounce to the Christmas Carol Service annually, attractively attired all in black, with the ladies in particular looking quite alluring. But, more importantly, the sound they emit is most enjoyable. A firm favourite of mine which never fails to be part of their repertoire is, “The Little Drummer Boy.” We thank this choir for providing the Saturday evening congregation with such a listenable and soothing musical output.


“Music is higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” Beethoven
“If you learn music, you’ll learn most of all there is to know.”  Edgar Cayne
“Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” Beethoven
“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” Thomas Carlyle.
“Music is the vernacular of the human soul.” 
“Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don’t take it too seriously.” Henry Miller.   
“Music helps you find the truths you must bring into the rest of your life.”  Alanis         Morrisette


 There is a Chemist Shop adjacent to the King’s Island Primary Care Centre which is open six days a week. It closes at 2.00pm on Saturdays. Generally, this quite outstanding building is architecturally eye-catching, and it encompasses several care needs, including a Chiropodist, who is present on the First Friday of every month. This is a vital asset to many older people or those who may have diabetes and who should not cut their own toenails. And, of course, the best part is that the cost for medical card holders is about one third the cost one would pay elsewhere. From the few experiences I have had, I must admit that the service here is excellent. All in all, this well-laid out building has done wonders for the area. In addition to that, it has a medical staff that is fully committed to the care of the body of the young, middle aged and most important of all, the elderly. For all relevant information concerning the various divisions contact 061- 311811

 A Daily Service of Meals on Wheels, Monday to Friday, mornings and afternoons is currently provided by St Mary’s AID. Enquiries regarding this service should be made to St Mary’s AID. Telephone 061-318106.



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



 A keen gardener spotted his neighbour planting razor blades in his potato patch. Ever eager to learn something new he called over the hedge, “What are you expecting then, Bill?” “Chips!” came the quick reply. 
The new doctor was the only one available when Mr. Kelly’s wife was taken ill. So he was called to the Kelly home and he went upstairs to the sick room. He came down a few minutes later and asked, “Have you a good corkscrew?” He took the instrument and went upstairs but soon came down again. “A chisel and a mallet, quickly!” he demanded. The distraught husband could stand it no longer. “For goodness sake,” he pleaded, “What’s the matter with my wife?” “I don’t know yet,” the doctor replied, “I can’t get my bag open.”


 While leafing through that wonderful sport’s book on the late and great rugby player and renowned surgeon, Jack Kyle, I came upon many poetic gems, including the following lines:
‘It’s easy to be happy
 When life goes along with a song,
 But the man worthwhile
 Is the man who can smile
When everything goes wrong.’


We offer our heartfelt sympathy to the families of the following local people who have recently passed away: Kitty Buckley (nee Moore), St. Ita’s Street, St. Mary’s Park: Noel Mallard, Assumpta Park, Island Road: and Patrick O’Donnell, St. Munchin’s Street, St. Mary’s Park. May they rest in peace.


“After some silence he made some neighbourly comment on the fine weather and the summer’s prospects. His voice was refined, resonant, rhythmical. Conversation caught until, stretching forward, he asked me if I might be Desmond O’Grady. Surprised, I said I was, and straight away he joined me, saying that although we had not met till now he knew about me from mutual friends and introduced himself. While we sat there for an hour or so he told me more history about my family than I had ever heard at home.
For the rest of the day until late that night, we wandered together the streets of Old Limerick talking of poetry and poets, local history, local characters, the dreams that are born and die in small provincial places. He made music with every phrase, humour with every turn in a story. From that day we were inseparable companions and shared the innocent adventures of the provincial’s imagination that rarely get recorded.”(Desmond O’Grady)


We cross the bridge at Plassy Mill
When swans float down the days last beams
Below the singing waters;
Then through a channel of green boughs
Into a small lock garden -
The lock gates spurting showers
With courting linnets playing
In dance of light and shadows
Around a white-crowned guilder rose;
The scent of night flowers clinging
To the twilight’s loosened tresses;
And through the wide spaced willows
A haze of gold and amethyst
Mantles the brow of Keeper
And Jim and Kitty say
With mutual thought and mutual breath,
“What matters how the world goes?
  There’s here for memory’s keeping
  The prayer, the sights, the sounds.”
  Gerard Ryan
We can assume that the fifth line from the end refers to the late Jim Kemmy and Kitty Bredin, and wasn’t he a most intuitive poet who managed to marry beautifully chosen words so rhythmically?


Don’t forget that my latest publication entitled, “One Flew Over Thomond Bridge,” is on sale locally at Spratt’s and at the Post Office, as well as in the bookshops uptown, just €10!

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