Eily’s Report – 22nd September

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

The Autumn sun shone bright and warm on Saturday for the First Holy Communion of 14 boys and 17 girls from the town schools. Like so many other things it was a ceremony with a difference which allowed parents only to accompany  them to the church. The little boys went first at 10 am and the little girls at 12.30. It was indeed a strange sight, so different from the large number of parents, siblings, grandparents, great grand parents and cousins who filled up the church in the rear in former years. But on returning home, to the wide open spaces, where social distancing wasn’t a problem, lots of pictures taken and they were able to enjoy a wonderful celebration, the memory of which will remain with them forever. Family photos were taken to record the great occasion and the story of their 2020 Holy Communion Day will be recalled in many the year to come, every time they look at them again. We wish them God’s Blessing for the future and say heartfelt thanks to Canon John, the teachers and all those who helped in any way to bring this very difficult situation to such meaningful and happy conclusion. Míle Buíochas

Fr Paddy O’Byrne following in the steps of his late sister Dola at his lovely shop in the West End, has a full supply of all the Holy objects, Rosary beads, books, candles and many more  items such as cards, statues.  The list goes on, suitable for any religious occasion. Dola’s shop was always worth a visit and still is.

History in the making again. Monday September 21st.2020 will surely go down in history, because of the reopening of the pubs after a six months lockdown.  Our publicans have suffered long and hard in their effort to stick to the rules, to try and  control the spread of Covid19. Their livelihoods ground to a halt in March. Be it a fair or unfair decision or rule that demanded it, it’s all over now and we can only wish our publicans every success as they open their doors again. The changes that they’ve made in the interest of safety, were expensive and laborious and will help them to  remain in business far into the future.   It was great to see the doors opened again and many people, both drinkers and non-drinkers dropped in to admire the new-look bars, welcome  the proprietors back to business and wish them every success for the future, and with the new closing time of eleven o’clock time will tell how all involved will adjust to this new rule.


I was delighted to hear on Sean Radley’s Show on CMS last Tuesday night a mention of Little Nellie of Holy God.  Her full name was Ellen Organ and her short life ran from 1903 to 1908. When I was a child in the ’30’s and ’40’s Little Nellie was a household name. The story of the little orphan child who died in a home in Cork, whom they said was always talking to God and offering up her terrible sufferings to him. Many people prayed to the Child Saint. She was born on Spike Island where her dad was in the army.  When her mother died she was sent to the  Good Sheppard Convent,  Sunday’s Well in the North side of Cork City.  In spite of her serious ill-health she was exceptionally religious and good humoured.   Because of that she got Holy Communion and Confirmation before she passed away in 1908 at the age of six. Her story always stayed with me through the years and I always planned to go to the Good Sheppard Convent one day. It wasn’t until I had six grand children of my own that I got the opportunity and time to go there. So accompanied by my six little ones I went off the try and find her resting place of this little saint. By that time vocations to the religious life were on the wane and nuns were scarce. I found the place on the hill and I gingerly knocked on the big  door on the high stone wall which surrounded the building and waited.  In time an elderly sister looked cautiously out at me and asked what I wanted.  I explained my reason for my visit.  After some hesitation she invited us inside. From then on, it was plain sailing. She told us all about Little Nellie and brought us up stairs to visit her little bedroom. Which by the way was a small museum, with many the momentoes of her short life. We took pictures beside her bed and downstairs we all said a prayer at the alter of the convent church where Little Nellie went to daily Mass. Out of doors in the burial ground we went to visit her grave which was very well kept and the headstone bore her name and details. Again we took pictures, pictures which we treasure to this day and always will. There are talks now about moving her grave as the place has been sold for development.  I sincerely hope that she will be re-interred at some place where everybody can go and pay homage to her and pray to her. Over the years many people have prayed to Little Nellie, very often someone with a sick child.

We have to admit that the recent surge in Covid19 cases all over the country is a worry and I think that people of my own vintage have our own part to play in keeping new cases down. We don’t have to go to work or go into congested places, while at the same time enjoy a good quality of life. Our world is wide, we can keep out of the crowds, drive out and admire the beauty of Nature, wear our masks when in the shops etc. Continue to sanitise and wash our hands.  Others have to take their children to schools to games and people going out to work have their own challenges. So by keeping ourselves free from the virus we will be leaving medical care or hospital beds free for others.

If you live forever ,you continue to learn something new. I’m on about the ants (PISSAMIRE) again. They have won. So I have adopted the idea, that if you can’t beat them, join them and they’re working like slaves for me. You know the spaces between the slabs in the patio, ‘ti’s hard to keep the weeds and grass at bay and I’m loathe to spray them. Now I’ve discovered that if I put an old rubber mat over the greenery the ants will get to work and mince it all up and mix it with the earth. So after about ten days I lift the mat and find the greenery gone and the earth all softened up like sifted flour. Then I move the mat to another unsightly patch, and put my slaves to work again. Isn’t it great to have the time to make a discovery like that. My spuds in the bucket are thriving and I have to add more compost  regularly to keep them earthed  up. Still can’t believe that I’ll have new spuds for Christmas. But it cost nothing to see. Leaves are beginning to fall,and the lovely Autumn colours will be on before we know it, having said that there are plenty of flowing shrubs and plants in vogue and the Virginian creeper never fails to light up the scene ,but that won’t be for a while yet. The stalks on my earlier crop are still fresh and green, so I’ll let them be for now.  September was always the month that found us out in the woods collecting hazel nuts. How we loved the crunchy sweet taste. The hard shells were no match for our strong teeth , and sitting on the bank of a busy flowing stream ,we’d munch away to our hearts content and still have bags of them for later. The sloes were still to come,but not until after a few nights of heavy frost to sweeten them.  Lovely Nature.

The Weekly Lotto draw was held at the Wallis Arms Hotel on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 19,22,23, 31 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Nigel and Tom. c/o the Wallis Arms Hotel.The seller was Tom Carroll and he got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Jonathan and Noreen Buckley, The Castle, Kilmeedy. €20 each went to Gillian, Sean, Saoirse McCarthy, Ahane,  Mary, Nana and Grandad, c/o Colemans, Mick O’Connell, Dernagree, Marguirite Kelleher, Minor Row, Maisie Barrett, Drishane Rd, May Kelleher, Garryduff, D .D. Sheehan, Station Rd. Peggy Tarrant,c/o Denis Cronin. Jackpot for next week, €9,600 .

The draw at the Wallis Arms Hotel.Please be reminded that tickets for the weekly Lotto draw are on sale in many outlets in the Town. Please continue to support it well.

It’s Tuesday and I’m off to the shop for my weekly copy of Ireland’s Own. The friendly publication which is in the market for well over a century. There is something in it for everyone and reading it is easy. The print is a good size, the paper soft and not glossy.  The centre pages are a pull-out, full of games and quizzes and stories for children.  There are stories of people and places, some funny some historic and four pages of songs, plus readers letters. The longest memory in my head as a small child is singing  songs like the Red River Valley or the Croppy Boy etc. with my siblings as they read out the words.   To think that at this time of my life I can still enjoy it’s pages.  In all of that time they never strayed from their original ethics or moral code and  can still maintain their vast readership. There is only one problem with Ireland’s Own, nobody wants to throw it away when they  have it read. Mountains of old copies have been found in old houses . Sometimes the occupants gone and the mountain of Ireland’s Owns still there. I thank God for Ireland’s Own and find it hard to part with it every time.

Tubrid Holy Well continues to draw the crowds. It always has but in these troubled time the steady flow of people is greater than ever before. It’s peaceful setting never fails to fill us with a sense of calm and hope and we are fortunate to have it on our doorstep.

Our town is getting lovelier all the time. The two canopies at either end the new wall mural and the many houses being refurbished are all helping to give an air of progress against all the odds.  We have a new scene on our street. The well known  man called Frank got Polio as a child and walked with great difficulty ever since,  who came as an asylum seeker to Drishane some years ago ,now drives in style along our streets on a state of the art wheelchair which has broadened his horizons considerably. Our town has been wheelchair friendly for many years since  our  Community Council advocated for it in aid of our own Joanne O’Riordan.

Still with our Community Council, be reminded that they have two Defibrillators for public use, in the town. One at the door of our Youth Complex and the other at the Door of our Garda Barracks.

Don’t forget to tune in at 9.30 tonight on Cork Music Station for Seán Radley’s lovely show. Check our Website it is updated every day and if you want an item included send it to contact @millstreet.ie

Have a good week .Slán.


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