OLD LIMERICK JOURNAL 1916 SPECIAL:
This week we meet four more contributors to that excellent publication, the 1916 Special Edition of ‘The Old Limerick Journal.’ The duo, Annette and Des Long wrote an article entitled, ‘Limerick Remembers the Golden Jubilee of the Easter Rising 1916.’ Barbara McEvoy contributed an article entitled ‘Good Friday 1916.’ Angus Mitchell wrote an article entitled, ‘Roger casement – the Limerick Connections.’ Dr. Brian Murphy, OSB penned an article entitled, ‘Bishop O’Dwyer of Limerick.’
ANNETTE, BARBARA, ANGUS AND BRIAN:
The following is a brief biography of this week’s writers as they appeared in the journal.
ANNETTE LONG: Is a life-long Republican. She has served as General Secretary of Cumann na mBan, Treasurer of the Republican Graves Committee and Vice-President of the Limerick Federation of the Irish Countrywomen’s Association. Des Long is also a life-long Republican and Chairman of the Republican Graves Committee.
BARBARA McEVOY: Is a Barrister and grand-niece of Tommy McInerney.
ANGUS MITCHELL: Has published extensively on the human rights work of Roger Casement in Africa and South America. His three edited volumes: ‘The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (1997) ‘Sir Roger Casement’s Heart of Darkness,’ (2003), and ‘One Bold Deed of Open Treason,’ (2016) has helped to restore Casement back into the narrative of revolutionary Ireland. He wrote a biography of Casement for the O’Brien Press 16 lives series. His writings on Casement are available at https/limerick.academia.edu/AngusMitchell.
DR. BRIAN P. MURPHY OSB: Is a member of the Benedictine Community at Glenstal Abbey. He has published several books and many articles; including ‘Patrick Pearse and the lost Republican Ideal (1991) ‘John Chartres: Mystery Man of the Treaty’ (1995) ‘The Origins and Organisation of British Propaganda in Ireland 1920 (2006); and ‘Glenstal Abbey Gardens c 1650 to the Present,’ (2014).
SOOTHING SUNDAY SERENADING:
The heavenly voice of soprano, Nicole Robinson permeated the vast enclosure of St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday afternoon last, where she was accompanied by the delightful piano playing of Lewis Dillon. The well-chosen repertoire was so accessible that it would have delighted even non-music buffs. No less than thirteen musicals was represented. We heard ‘Moon River’ from ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ and from ‘Les Misarables’ we heard ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ ‘’On My Own,’ and ‘Bring Him Home.’ From ‘Evita,’ we heard the magnificent, ‘Don’t Cry for me Argentina,’ and the evergreen ‘’Edelweiss,’ and so many more well-known and well-loved songs.
I’ve rarely come across a singer who could extend the final note to the degree that Nicole did. And I’d wager if she were to enter the Guinness Book of Records for holding a note, she would be a definite contender if indeed perhaps, a possible winner.
During a short break during part one and part two, the most appreciative audience was treated to the expert violin playing from two very young girls, both I would judge to be under twelve years of age. They were, Lucia Murphy and Hannah O’Shea. Well done to all concerned, including Peter Barley, the MC on the day, and also the pianist in part.
BUFF AND WAX YOUR CAR:
I noticed a sign outside a crash-repair yard at the extension of Exchange Street and before you meet the Island Road, where one can avail of a Machine Buff and Wax for their car. Jeeps are also catered for by Eugene Forde.
FROM PALACE TO CHURCH:
“The Cathedral was founded in the 12th century on a hill in King’s island which is the oldest part of Limerick. The Cathedral was built where the Palace of the late King of Munster, Donal Mór O’Brien, who was fifth generation in decent from Brian Boru once stood. He donated the same site for the building of a church. Long before this, on the same island, the Vikings had pushed their beaked long-ships ashore and probably built their meeting place, or ‘Thingmote’ their most western European stronghold.”
THE CONSISTORIAL COURT:
“The area in front of you, which includes the shop, was once known as the Consistorial Court. The area was laid out as a medieval Great Hall. The Bishop may have entered here, and also carried out his Diocesan business. If you examine the layout of the three stained-glass windows of this hall, one will notice that the one nearest the Chapel of St. James & Mary Magdalene id the largest: the next one smaller and the one above the entrance door even smaller still. The hierarchical grading of the windows had to do with the fact that the Bishop sat near St, James Chapel. Thus the windows emphasized the importance of the Bishop.” (Taken from the Cathedral Guide)
FR. KENYON’S LANDS IN THOMONDGATE:
“Fr. Kenyon, who became parish priest of Templederry (near Nenagh), was a close and respected friend of John Mitchel, who planned a Young Ireland Rising in 1848 against the British. Mitchel was arrested and served penal servitude in Van Dieman’s Land, Australia. Fr. Kenyon, after John Mitchel’s arrest and exile, was voted by the Young Ireland chiefs to lead the Rising. Dr. Kennedy, the Bishop of Killaloe, ordered Fr. Kenyon to resign from the Young Irelanders – and certainly not to dream of accepting military leadership of the intended Rising. Although he complied with the Bishop’s wishes, Fr. Kenyon maintained contact with the Young Ireland leaders: in fact, if they started a Rising, he was ready to take part in it. When Mitchel was released from Van Dieman’s Land, some years later, Fr. Kenyon visited him three times in Paris.”
POSTMAN PADDY GALVIN:
“John Mitchel was a Unitarian in religion, but his daughter became a Catholic and it was Fr. Kenyon who baptized her. Later, she and his other daughter became nuns of the Sacred Heart Order. Two of Fr. Kenyon’s sisters became Presentation nuns. They served at the Presentation Convent and School, Sexton Street, Limerick. Mr. Paddy Galvin, retired postman and ex-World War Two Irish Army 7th Brigade soldier, and Treaty Sarsfields Gaelic Athletic Association GAA) veteran, showed me where Kenyon’s lands were. From the summit of the Pauper’s Graveyard, Paddy pointed to some fields just across the Limerick-Ennis railway line above Hartigan’s Hill. The fields around the large farmhouse are known as ‘Paddy Kenyon’s Fields’, an informative Thomondgate folklorist, told me.” (Taken from ‘Last Word by the Listener,’ a book compiled by Dr. Eoin Devereux, of UL, and nephew of the late and great natural historian, Séamus Ó’Cinnéide. Next week we visit the tomb of the famous doctor and historian, Sylvester O’Halloran, who is buried in Kileely churchyard. My thanks to Eoin for permission to republish snatches from this most valuable compilation)
KATE’S LITERARY GEMS:
“She was sitting upright now in preparation for Confession, for the sermon had started. The Rector of the Jesuits was preaching. He had a quiet, holy voice, and after the swinging tide of prayer its unbroken flow was tranquillising. Agnes did not bother to take in the words, which seemed to be such as she had heard a hundred times, but she let herself assent contentedly to their tone of steady faith. Thus she might legitimately postpone the real business of preparation for Confession. There was plenty of time yet before she need ring the bell and ask for a priest. Really, she might rest and listen to these blessed platitudes about the Queen of Saints.” (From ‘The Ante-Room’ by Kate O’Brien)
FANCY DRESS BALL AT THE RINK:
On Friday, February 9th, 1877, a Fancy Dress Ball was held at the Rink. Resulting from that jolly event, a guest decided to write a poem lauding our then First Citizen, Mayor James Spaight. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how far back one delves into the old newspapers, it never fails to cough up a poem of one kind or another. It was indeed a spirited gesture on behalf of that Guest, whose name was not supplied. I hope my readers like it.
“Long live the Mayor is echoed ‘round the Rink,
His health and happiness the toast we drink,
The civic chair well filled with kindly grace,
The massive chain sets off his handsome face.
His guests are spellbound at the fairy scene,
And fear his wand a conjurers had been,
With magic touch he summons at command,
A wondrous prototype of every land.
He stirs up Limerick – puts her to the test,
Behold! Her sons and daughters at their best,
Their old prestige for beauty has not past,
Our Mayor protests it will forever last.
And thus he gathers all that’s fair tonight,
And leaves the sequel to the ‘Kings’ who write,
Our anxious hostess leaving naught untried,
To make this ball a triumph far and wide.”
Just wonder was the guest’s name King by any chance?