Eily’s Report – November 23rd

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

It was a very exciting week in Millstreet with the ceremony of  turning on of the Christmas Lights stealing the show over everything else. The hard work that went into the  preparations paid off and thanks to the mild weather of late, even the hanging baskets on the poles looked fresh and colourful. Due to another engagement I missed the speeches and the actual turning on but it was justly rewarding for me to arrive into town and find the place bustling with a carnival atmosphere. Whole families came to town. Tiny tots were dressed up and balloons were popping.  The place was like is used to be in not too distant past. To have world champ Steve Collins to do the necessary and give his speech only reminded us of how fast the past 25 years have flown since he became world champion here in 1995. His friendly demeanor and openness endeared him to all and the youngsters who got his autograph will treasure it all their lives. In his own inimitable style Noel Buckley chairman of our Community Council spoke for us all in fitting words that only he could put together and Margaret Bourke, treasurer of the Community Council made a presentation to Mr Collins on behalf of the people of Millstreet. The Members of our Garda Siochana mingled with the crowd, their friendly presence adding that protective aura which is always so much appreciated. Capabu shop were serving hot chocolate and other goodies while warming crepes with the flavours of your choice were also available on site. All in all it was an occasion to be remembered for all the right reasons and well done to all those who were associated with it. It only goes to show that when Millstreet is asked to do something, they can do it well. A fuller account plus photographs are available on our website.                  While still with the website, it was great to see our own Sean Radley back in action again  for this historic occasion  following his recent foot surgery.

The busy weekend didn’t prevent our Commemoration Committee from mounting a Commemoration ceremony at the Mill Lane on Sunday for Paddy McCarthy who lost his life there in 1920.

By complete contrast, this (Monday) is a rather sad day in Millstreet with the burial of our dear friend Julia Mary O’Sullivan.   The O’Sullivan part seems almost superfluous, because Julia Mary was how she was known by all who knew her. Her funeral today in Millstreet surpassed any seen here in a very long time. Never before were parking places so fully occupied and I was about to leave town and come home to watch her Requiem on screen when I spotted one tiny space and had to walk a long way to the church. Julia Mary was one of us always up for to put her name down for any of the organised events by the Active Retired Group, be it a fundraiser, or a challenging exercise class or a few days away, she played her part. The lovely way she dressed, her gorgeouss hair, her winning smile, she lit up the scene. She kept her illness private, so we will always see her as she was. I have sympathy for the family who has lost her, I know that we her community will treasure her memory  always and thank God to have known Julia Mary. RIP.  A very dedicated guard of honour comprising of the members of our Active Retired Group and many friends, flanked both sides of the church yard as her remains were shouldered to the waiting hearse, which took her to her last resting place at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Forgive me if I continue in a rather sombre note. At our 11.30 Mass on Sunday Canon John told us of the death of a Polish  man who passed away and whose son was in the Congregation. It being the Feast of Christ the King the attendance was bigger than usual with a marked increase in the number of Polish people there.  On leaving the church many people made the effort to meet this man and offer their sympathy in person. In my own way I want to offer my own condolence on behalf of us all at this sad time for this young man who had to leave his own home and country  to seek a living here in Ireland. This week also we offer our sympathy to Noreen Tarrant, Liscreagh on the death of her brother, Thade Corcoran, Boherbue RIP

Black Friday, the adds go on and on, but went a bit too far for one fellow, because when his wife put his steak dinner in front of him last week he declined saying, woman don’t you know ‘tis Black Friday’, but not that kind she replied.

Jack Frost has arrived and I wonder how long is he going to stay. There was no mistaking it on the ground this morning, with the thick grey icy  coat to prove it. My last rose of summer took a fast dive when the morning sun hit it  in the head . Creatures of the wild will be the first to feel the pinch. Early this morning the little robin was outside looking for food so I threw out some crumbs, but before he came back the crow spotted them and made his move, then from nowhere came the wily fox scenting and smelling, searching all the usual places but there was nothing until his expert nose led him to right under my window where he licked the last crumb before hopping through the hedge to try next door. To see a real fox at such close range  is a real novelty, time to take a nice picture and study his beautiful red/brown coat and fluffy tail made my morning.  I counted my blessings at the glory of it all. But not all the furry creatures of the wild are so welcome, especially at this time of year when it’s cold  and food is getting scarce. The last thing we want to move in with us would be a mouse or worse, a rat, so keep doors closed at all times. Not an easy thing to do, there is nothing I like better than open the door and leave it that way. It gives an air of openness and sort of freedom and a fast exit for a scrap for a watchful bird. I will never forget driving past a house one day and seeing a rat going in an open door a lesson well learned.

There’s a new book out. It’s called President’s Letters, An unexpected History of Ireland by Flor McCarthy. I haven’t seen it yet but by all accounts it contains lots of letters written to  President Mary Robinson, ,complimenting her on her high position and one of those chosen is by my grand daughter Elaine (O’Connor) written when she was in National School. The book is on sale at many outlets at €20.

Covid still bites and it’s sad to say that some fixtures and becoming victim of its dangerous bug. A note from Mary Collins to say that the Coffee Morning arranged by the Dromtarriffe Ladies LGFA has been deferred until after Christmas. However the clothes collection will go ahead. Please support it well. In the run up to Christmas every care will have to be taken to try and curb the spread of Covid19. Wearing masks a must, for your information, I’m glad to say that the members of my family who got Covid recently in spite of being fully vaccinated are fully recovered. So there is hope, buíochas le Dia.

Here are the results of this week’s Lotto draw which was held on Sunday night, Numbers drawn were, 1,8,23,26, and the Jackpot was not won, €100 went to Mary Burns, Adrahan, the Seller was Tony O’Brien Butchers and he got €50 sellers Prize, €50 went to Guerin’s Shop, Ballydaly, €20 each to Anita Browne c/o Colemans, Breda Sheehan, c/o Tom Carroll, Caroline Cooney c/o Colemans, Mick Walsh, Carriganima, Mrs. Mannix, Clara Rd. Norma Doody, c/o Tony O’Brien, Butchers,   Michael O’Mahony c/o Lehane, and  Medulla Oblomgata c/o The MalPasso. Jackpot for next week €17,600 the draw on Sunday night.

Cullen band are looking for new members, drummers and those interested in learning the bagpipes welcome. Children as young as ten may join, give Connie a ring at 0872347651.for full details.

 Last Sunday was Presentation Day and in spite of dropping numbers it’s nice to see Presentation Day still being celebrated, Pictures on our Website show a wreath laying ceremony taking place at the Nuns Cemetery attended by Canon John and Sr. Eileen and a group of friends. It’s a far cry from the days of old when we had a large number of Sisters in our beautiful Convent. They taught us well and some of the lessons and principles that they gave us are still with us today. The 250 year old Presentation Convent in Killarney closed it doors very recently, when there was just one nun left. The memories of my visits to those Holy places, ever since my own sister joined in 1950 will always be with me. So beautifully maintained, so correctly run in every detail, But over the years it was  plain to see that change was about to happen bit by bit, vocations fell away, rooms became vacant and the work of the lovely Holy Sisters was done. But we mustn’t be sad, because we will always have good people who will keep and spread the word of God.

There are countless numbers of fundraising events being held now far too many for me to mention, but please be generous and help those who work so hard to help those in need.

The 45 Drive is held every Tuesday, night at the Canon O’Donovan centre starting at 8.30 sharp with some fine prize money to be won. Admission €10 and its more of the same in Ballydaly every Sunday night at again with an 8.30 start Admission €5. Please come and support this homely game.

Both venues are fully heated and masks are compulsory. The Men’s Shed is also open for those who like to go there.

Watching’ I’m a celebrity Get me out of here’ last night resembled in no small way of  an experience of my own last week. I was invited to be part of a program for TV4 which was being filmed in an ancient great house dating  back to 1604 ,with a great story following the Battle of Kinsale . I have no idea of when the program will be screened perhaps next autumn. Needless to say, at my age  it was a thrill for me to be asked to feature in it where I made lots of new friends and saw lots of new things. Life can be full of surprises.

Agus sin a bhfuil, a chairde, Slan agus beannacht.

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