Eily’s Report – 15th September

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

Animal lovers will be glad to hear that the little kitten that I mentioned last week, lived to be claimed back by it’s owner. His nine lives saw him through countless trips to the shops as well as long journeys out into the country, safely curled up in the engine of a family car.

The death of Dame Diana Rigg during the week, awoke some wonderful memories . It was a great boost for Millstreet back in the sleepy 70’s to have a Hollywood film made in Drishane. The excitement when they looked for extras, to fill in the background was electrifying. There was no internet or computers and very few phones, even house phones at the time. So news depended on word of mouth  and rumours were rampant. We were delighted of course that our daughter Geraldine got a place so we had first hand account of the daily happenings. The money was great, more than the normal wage of the day and the food beyond compare. But they saw for themselves the price that film stars have to pay for their beautiful figures  while they gorged on roast beef dinners and succulent desserts, Diana Rigg nibbled on a dry biscuit. Life long friends were made and the House of Brede faded into history and that’s why it was so great to see the memory resurrected again this week.

I’m sure that many people didn’t miss the popular “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” during the week. It was well advertised  and while we knew that Donald Fear was going to win, it was still a magic moment when he did and he held his cool, even though the usually cool Jeremy Clarkson lost his. He was ecstatic. I was listening to Donald Fear being interviewed by Holly and Phil on Morning Ireland on Monday. They asked him how on earth had he such an answering capacity and very simply he said that his dad had an interest in such things.  They had no TV or telephone or car  etc, so they were always doing competitions and quizzes and the like  and so built up their ability to retain information of all sorts. An idea worth thinking about.

I love the new canopies which were put up in the town recently. They give a lovely welcoming air to our streets. Just the place to sit and have a chat. On the whole the town is going through a phase of renewal with so many places being done up and renovated. Pubs are frantically getting ready for the big opening up and who can blame them, they’ve been kept waiting for so long, even having to hold off at times when the laws were changed at the eleventh hour. Like everything else we all have our part to play to help them to return to regular business.  We must keep the rules, listen to those who are handing them out and make it our business to adhere to them. Many places are making sweeping changes and we will have to wait until their grand openings to see how they have prepared their bars to cope with the challenges of Covid19. The historic Pub in Carriganima like the rest is all painted and done up and we can only wish them all a joyful and successful return to business, on September 21st.

First Holy Communions are in vogue at the moment. And even though families are very limited as to how many they can have for their child’s special day, there is an air of celebration around.

I want to congratulate the children of Cloghoula National School who got their First Holy Communion in Ballydaly last Saturday, September 12th. Next Saturday, September 19th it’s the turn of the town schools. The Boys at 10 am and the Girls at 12.30.  We wish them God’s love and Blessing as they follow the rules of Covid19. First Communion Children will attend the 11.30 Mass on Sunday and the public are asked to contact the Parish Office in order to access the number of those who can attend.

The weekly Lotto Draw was held at the Wallis Arms Hotel on Sunday night, under strict Covid 19 guidelines.

 Numbers drawn were 2,11,20,21 and the Jackpot was not won.  €100 went to Mary O’Sullivan,Station Rd, the seller was Coleman’s and they got €50 sellers prize.  €50 went to Jordan, Tia Kelly, Killarney Rd. €20  each went to Joan Moynihan, Killarney Rd, Paula,Danny and Daniel, c/o Colemans, Derry O’Leary, Cahirbarnagh. Maria Angela Kelleher, West End, Margaret Murphy, Cloghoula Beg. The Randal’s Gang, Minor Row, Breda Sheehan. Church St. Cloghoula National School. Seller Paula Healy. Jackpot for next week €9.400 . The Draw at the Wallis Arms Hotel. The Lotto Committee would like to thank the Proprietors of the Wallis Arms Hotel for accommodating the weekly lotto Draw. Please be reminded that tickets at €2 each can be purchased at many local outlets and businesses.  Supporters are invited to contribute for a given period, monthly, half-yearly or yearly. All support is appreciated.

Our Canon O’Donovan Center continues to provide fresh-cooked meals five days a week. They have a mouth watering ever changing menu for you to choose from. Give them a ring at 029 70926 for all the details.

We are  almost accustomed to wearing face masks by now. They are part of what we have to do  as well as washing our hands and continuing to social distance. But I saw a warning on today’s paper saying that we should cut the loop at the ends of our masks before discarding them as they have been known to kill small animals when they become ensnared in them .

Every good wish the those who have entries in for Culture day on September 18th as it gives clubs etc. around the country the chance to promote the best of what they had to offer by way of song or dance etc.

By all accounts we are in for a spell of lovely weather. And let us make the most of it by getting out into the open. The beautiful pictures on our website this week shows us the beauty of the country around us looking at the various scenes from the top of Clara Mountain gives us plenty to explore in detail from the comfort of our own car or better still for those who can to walk . The year is changing and the scene is changing  so there is always something new to explore.

 The 29th of the month we will have the Feast of Michaelmas. In olden days  as the turkey was to Christmas so  the Goose was to Michaelmas and the best one was chosen for the family dinner on that date. Geese were different from the other farmyard birds. They spent their days out grazing in the fields. They say that two geese can eat as much as one sheep, and eight geese can devour as much grass as a cow. They were usually brought into the yard for the night and come the dawn they were off  again to the open pastures  and when they had enough eaten  it was a beautiful sight to see them all stretched out on the warm lush grass  now and then they’d go for a swim in a nearby stream. The lanky gander proudly leading his gaggle  while keeping a watchful eye for any sneaky fox. Then there was the danger that he would lead them into the cornfield and destroy the beautiful golden oats if he wasn’t copped. However when harvest time was over,the geese got free reign on the stubble,where they picked every grain that was lost. Thus putting on extra weight for Michaelmas. They were a beautiful bird. Head erect, a cover of satin feathers cascading down the long neck and body. Wings of strong quills settled almost invisibly on the back until disturbed or threatened by something and then fanned out in a mighty sweep that would put fear of God into any enemy.  The geese belonged to the The Bean-Tighe. She was the one who looked after the hatching in the Spring and lovingly protected the young goslings from all the perils of the farmyard  until they were strong enough and wise enough to stick close to their parents.

Preparing the Bird for the table was  ritual in itself. Usually slaughtered by one of the men  it was then left to the women to do the rest. Plucking a goose was no easy task. More often than not the fine downy feathers were carefully put aside and used for packing  pillows or cushions  when there was enough of them collected over time. The strong wings  from the outer joint were greedily sought after for sweeping down the stairs, cleaning around the fire and countless other uses. To get a gift of a ‘wing’ from somebody who had a lot of geese was tops. Every bit of the goose was used. As well as the feathers and so on, The heart,the gizzard, the liver, were all washed and added to the pan. Potato  stuffing was always used in goose and the smell of the hot mashed potatoes, diced onions, lots of pepper and salt all smearing in yellow country butte  still remains with me today as if it were only yesterday. There was great ceremony in putting the bird into the roasting tin, getting the turf fire in the old iron range, up to,or as near as possible to the right heat, and in it went. The long wait of a couple of hours,began until it was proudly landed on the dinner table all juicy and roasty, with the stuffing bursting out on to the pan, to be enjoyed by all.

That’s about it from me for this week. Don’t forget to tune in to CMS tonight on www.corkmusicstation.com for Seán Radley’s wonderful Program “Radio Treasures” from 9.30.

Have a good week.  Slán agus beannacht.

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