Eily’s Report – 25th February

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.

Shrove Tuesday and don’t we all love the pancakes. The custom is as old as the hill behind the house and is greeted with glee every time. Like everything else in the kitchen the job of making them gets easier all the time and the pancake today can be so varied. Gone are the days when you shook a bit of sugar on them and rolled them up. First of all, the mix. The old ritual of making the batter by beating  flour, eggs and milk is gone. The mix can now be bought in powder form, mix with milk and pour. Or they can even be bought made, stacks of them ready to be warmed and add your own flavouring, sweet or savory. Either way the humble crepe was always with us and is here to stay.

In a way I suppose it acts as the last laugh before we immerse ourselves in the penance of Lent. Tomorrow Ash Wednesday is one of the only two days of Fast and Abstinence that we have left in the Church Calendar year, the other is Good Friday. I have often wondered how having fish instead of meat could  be called a penance. I love fish  and  with the variety of it that is available today it’s a treat. In ways it has passed out meat, even in name. All the best places refer to it now as seafood, which elevates it to a very lofty status. It wasn’t like that long ago when the choice of fish for Lent was confined to salted hake or ling. It came to town heavily salted, dried and in the shape of the whole fish flattened out, like you’d see a sheepskin . Shops displayed it hanging outside the  door, regardless of wind or weather and cut it to the required amount for the customer.  Wednesday and Fridays were the fast days all through Lent so hake was in great demand  with some people buying the whole piece  rather than bit by bit. But even then  many people relished this fish, because it was cheap, portions were big and there was a great feeling of reiche (plenty) about it. It had to be steeped in water  overnight, sometimes changing the water a few times to get the extra salt removed.  Then into the pot and boiled. It was turned into a feast when dressed with oceans of creamy buttery white sauce with loads of onions, and flowery spuds to crown it.

All forms of entertainment were restricted during Lent. Dances were off limits, there were no marriages during Lent but the cinema and playhouses flourished. We were fortunate to have a fine cinema in our town and the crowds going there during Lent were immense.  Many travelling shows came round also during Lent. But all the while the strict fasting laws were upheld. And people took them seriously. Many giving up the drink or the fags, children giving up sweets  and each struggling with their own choice. Lent always coincided with Spring time and farmers working hard in the fields, often found it difficult to stick to the obligatory one meal and two coalitions but they did. And that was why Easter was so welcome when the whole world of the dance hall opened up again. The end of fasting  came,  marriages took place and it all came with a great feeling of having been cleansed of our sins by all those acts on mortification.

Today is Shrove Tuesday, pancake day, and tomorrow is Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent and a day of fast and abstinence. Blessed ashes will be distributed at the 10 am, and 7.30 pm. Masses  to remind us that we are but dust and into dust we shall return. The Stations of the Cross will be said on Friday evening at 7 and be followed by Mass at 7.30. Confessions every Saturday from 12.30 to 1.

Watch out for the new  speed restrictions, on some of our approach roads and don’t clock up any penalty points.

The special Community Council meeting which was held on Tuesday night was very well attended  and many plans for our St. Patrick’s Day parade were put in place. Please continue to make every place tidy and presentable in honour of our Patron Saint. Be there for our Tidy Towns Club as they prepare for another busy year ahead. Help them to achieve at least silver this time. It can be done if we all help.   Details for our St Patrick’s Day Parade are on our Millstreet website, please look them up.

According to the experts, Women hold up half the World  and on International Women’s Day which is Wednesday March 4th  our Active Retired Club along with the Transition year Students of our Community School are holding a get together at the Parish Centre from 10.30 am to 12 noon. Keep that date free.

There is a message  from the Light House, (Beside Aidan McCaul)to say that they invite any  needle work enthusiasts to join them  for all things needlework in a friendly and  relaxed setting.  For details ring Clare  0863795764, or Karen  0838421153.

The Bowls club, organised by the Men’s Shed and Our Active Retired Club is up and running at the Wallis Arms Hotel twice every week. On Tuesday nights from 7.30 to 9.30 and on Wednesday mornings from  10.30 to 12 noon. Includes a cup a tea and lots of chat. Please support it well.

A note from the Glen Theatre to say that the Banteer Drama Group will present their hilarious comedy  “The Maiden Aunt”  by Jimmy Keary  on this Thursday, Friday and Sunday February 28/29 and March 1st.   Booking advisable,  contact 02965239.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held at the Mal Paso Bar on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were,3,7,20,32,and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Mary Kelleher, Keim, the seller was McCarthys Bar and they got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Molly Mae Moynighan, Millstreet. €20 each to John Corbett, Gurrane, Ann Cowman, Drishane Rd, Mary O Riordan. Shanaknuck, Maggie Fitz,c/o Mama, Andrea and Grace Dennehy, Minor Row, Nuala O’Connor, Cloghoula, Patricia Carroll, c/o Tom, and Bridget Dinneen, Drishane Rd. Jackpot for next week €8,000 the draw at McCarthy’s Bar on Sunday night.

If you have not joined the Eucharistic Adoration yet, perhaps Lent would be a good time to start.  It’s in Millstreet  Church from morning to night, every Tuesday And Wednesday  and in Ballydaly on Saturday from 10.30 to 12.30.

Enable Ireland would like to say many thanks to all those who supported their recent church gate collection which amounted to    €1,140.

Only three nights left at the Weigh In in Cullen, Last night 35 attended and 25 pounds weight lost.

Saturday February 29th is  special, it only comes once in four and Sunday March 1st is March Fair Day.

Agus sinn a bhfuil a chairde, slán is beannacht Dé libh go léir.

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