Eily’s Report – 3rd November

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

November never lost it. It had the name ever of coming in cold and blustery, the yellow flood and gale warnings of the past week helped it to live up to it’s old name.  When fairs were held in towns years ago the November Fair was always the one that few people looked forward to. Fair fields were open places and unprotected from wind and weather and the grassy surface was no match for galloping hooves and hobnailed boots.  So when stock owners had to remain beside their animals for long periods in the hope of making a sale there was nothing for it but stand your ground and put up with it. November Fair in Knocknagree stands out as the one most talked about and still is for all the wrong reasons. The Fairfield  is high and open and facing north  bordered at the back by the houses of the village. Sleety showers  in November drove cold into the hearts and souls of all  who traded there, the likes of which they never forgot. We don’t get many icy showers now but November still has the power to send us scuttling for last years warm woollies.

  This Monday is All Souls Day November 2nd, the day when we make time to remember our dear deceased  family members and friends. We had Masses today, both morning and evening. In normal circumstances our graveyards would be blessed but failing that, many people chose to set up little alters at home where the lighted candles ignited a feeling of closeness and reverence towards those who are gone. A large notice board in the church displays the list of our people who passed away during the year, a special ceremony marks that occasion every year, but not this time, le cúnamh Dé, it will again next year. Meanwhile we must continue to play safeand pray with all our hearts that this virus will slip into history in the not too distant future.

                                                                                                                      ‘Without prayer I can’t succeed. With Prayer I cannot fail’.          Abraham Lincoln said that.

November dues can be paid into the Parish Office. The office is also available for Mass Cards plus any inquiries that people may have. Phone number 02970043.

Full marks to the ladies who are forging ahead to light up our town for Christmas, against all the odds. They have decided not to ask their usual sponsors to contribute this time because of all the challenges that they face at the moment. Instead they are asking for voluntary contributions from anybody who would like to support them. I think they deserve our full support for taking on this great work which will brighten our days and nights in the run up to the Feast of the Lord. Contributions can be handed in at Noreen’s Boutique, Catherine Pomeroy’s Office and Niamh at Wordsworth.  There is also an account at our Credit Union.   Please contribute fairly soon so that the organisers can make plans.                                            Our Community Council are bringing out a Millstreet Calendar for 2021 which always proves very popular and the proceeds are used to help some needy cause in the town every time. Without the help of their monthly meetings much of the material will have to be accessed by word of mouth, so they are asking people to please submit any items, photographs etc. which may be of use in the making of the calendar. It is only to be expected that things will be different with fewer matches and games or organised programs of any ilk. But having said that our calendar for 2021 may be different and better than ever. So please search down deep in the happenings of the past number of months and submit your findings to <email> before November6th.

Our town gets better all the time,and even the approach roads are getting some attention. The Miller’s Bridge on the Macroom Road is getting some  work done on it’s foundations at the moment. The surface also getting a face lift with recent power hosing  of the parapet revealing the beautiful stone work that went into it when it was built many many years ago.

 At the moment what used to be ,the historic drapery business popularly known as Barrett’s  is going through vast refurbishment which will enhance that part of town like never before.  It’s a building which always held a sort of commanding air over the rest of town, a corner stone as it were.  People met at Barrett’s corner, people waited for each other there, surveyed the town from the telephone pole outside it. When country town shops were in their heyday, big wooden crates were rolled out on fine days and stock from the shop displayed on them.  Good stuff was bought at Barrett’s, men’s suits. Women’s coats and hats of the finest and even though the business is closed for a long time now, we still have one or two items that we bought there. They sold children’s clothes also away back. I can always remember the story, which was related over and over in our house down through the years of my brother Mickie, who was born in about 1927 and when he was getting his first Holy Communion his outfit was bought at Barrett’s  and he was fully decked out for a pound. Fifteen shillings for the suit, a shilling each for the shirt and tie and the rest for shoes and  socks.                            Aah ‘them’were the days.

 The Credit Union building across the street from Barrett’s did wonders for that side some years ago and  when both sides are done up in the new it will give Millstreet a whole new appearance.  Work on what used to be our Spar super store on the main street is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing  what used to be our beloved Spar food store,  which served us well for many years, by William and Mary O’Leary  being swung into action now by their son William and his wife Claire with their Munster Fire & Safety business.  Many other projects are in the pipeline so we have a lot to look forward DV.

Halloween came and went, needless to say there was a lot of  contemplating as to how it would turn out. Little children look forward every time to the dressing up and going out for their annual “Trick or Treat”  tour of all the friends and relations. Sadly this year for reasons that we all know, house visiting and hugging or any kind of interaction was taboo. However children being children will always fine a way and it was great to see them applying plan B while they played games on line with their friends and still made the visits to friends and relations where they collected the goodies that were left out for them,at a safe distance. They still shouted their greetings to one another so all in all it wasn’t such a bad Halloween after all.

I saw on the web that the National Dairy Show was streamed this year. This prestigious event of global acclaim, was held at the Green Glens for many years and will again I hope.  What a wonderful show it was. How I loved to go there, especially on the previous night, to be there to see the way the animals were prepared for the judging ring next day. Specialists in the craft were flown in from many parts of Europe and beyond to ply their trade of making every rib of hair on a beast go the proper way . To watch them doing the tail was a classic. The shampooing, the blow drying, the teasing out of every detail and then to fit on an extension which reached the exact distance. These extras he carried with him from show to show and on leaving the judges ring they were carefully removed and put back in their box, with the same care and love in handling as any devoted fiddle player would put away his prize music piece.   One time there was a touch of irony in that for me because the little cow who won first in her section for a couple of years had no tail at all, she lost it in an accident.

Two weeks into our lockdown , it’s not as severe as the one in the Spring or maybe we’re getting more used to it. Getting better at it doesn’t mean we’re getting to like it. We will never get to like wearing a mask of course. That’s common to all of us I’d say. So far we feel safe enough, we hope to go to the shop, complete with mask for a quick grab of the necissities of life or go for our walk in the park or visit a member of family. But Holy God, there are things that we miss. I miss going for a cuppa in any of our cafe’s. Before this I never bothered to check as to how long it was since I had something to eat or just had a coffee before setting off, it didn’t matter. I can have it in town, perhaps meet a friend and enjoy a chat, get the local news, enjoy the banter with fellow diners.  I loved it. But not at the moment. But the wheel is always turning ,and one day we’ll have all these lovely things back again. le cúnamh Dé

Here are the results of our weekly Lotto Draw. Numbers drawn were,13,14,21,3 .and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Anna,Nana,Dan &Maggie Twomey, Station Rd. The seller was Denis and he got €50 sellers prize, €50 went to Kate Dennehy, Dromagh, €20 each to Sophie O’Leary, Keale, K.S.M.M c/o Colemans, Mary McSweeney, Killarney Rd, Donie Ring c/o PJ Creedon, Jack O’Riordan, Old Coach Ave, Billy O’Neill, Knocknagree, John Angland, Macroom and Stephen Forde, Cullen. Jackpot for next week €10,800.

There’s a new book with a local flavour on it’s way to our shops.  The author Noel Bourke has relations in Murphy’s Terrace and in Kippagh. He covers the middle of the last century, it promises to be a beautiful read. When we lived in the ’50s and ’60s of last century were never thought that we’d crave an account of them in 2020 but we do. Priced at about €15 it will be a wonderful gift idea, as well as a wonderful  keepsake.

The wonderful Meals on wheels service continues at our Canon O’Donovan Center for five days every week. Please give them a ring at 029 70926 if you are in need of their wondeful services. Sean Radley continues to entertain us on Cork Music Station every Tuesday night from 9.30 and his broadcasting of the Our Masses is appreciated more than we can say.  Each time he adds a musical interlude which never fails to brighten up our day. Photographs of the changing seasons etc are always a joy to behold on the web and everybody is welcome to send in any  novel feature which caught their eye.                                                                                                                                    November being the Month of the Holy Souls only emphasise the sadness of recent  bereavements and our fondest sympathy is extended to all of those who are grieving at the moment. Our Prayers also go to those who are concerned about their health or going for treatment just now.

But never forget that when you’re smiling ,the whole world smiles with you. Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir.

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