Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my weekly report.
The November wind is howling outside but still the little birds come and feast on the peanuts that I hang out for them at if it was calm and pleasant. It’s a well known saying that we are all built to meet our task in life and the little birds are a sure proof of that. Talking of meeting our challenges, with the end of the lockdown another week away, patience is wearing thin in a lot of people. Tempers are fraying and like the long distance runner the finishing line was never so much sought after. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a successful vaccine is enough to make us all try a little harder and make sure that we don’t lose the trophy for the want of that final push. So keep on praying and keep on trying.
Presentation Day falls on November 21st. Celebrating the Day when our Blessed Lady told the Angel that she was willing to become the Mother of God, saying, “Let it be done unto me according to thy word”. We have been blessed to have a Presentation Order of Nuns in our town since the mid 18 hundreds. The McCarthy/O’Leary’s were the local landlords at the time and they kindly donated the land for the building of the beautiful convent and school. Presentation Day is celebrated every year even though there are no teaching nuns here now the name lives on. Personally I have been associated with the Convent for many generations . When my sister and I started there in the early forties the nuns told us that they had our mother (then deceased) in school some years before. In later years my own daughters attended secondary school there and now my own grandchildren and great grand children are being taught at the Presentation Convent School. School days were not always happy days when you’re living them, learning was difficult and we didn’t always like the way our lives were being moulded but looking back we can only think and wonder at how an enclosed order of women were able to deal with hoards of young people from all walks of life and give each one the guidance they needed to meet the challenges which they were destined for.
There was a nice picture on our website of this year’s Presentation Day celebration, it depicted a retired nun, Sr. Eileen, Canon John, and some pupils, all well distanced in the Nuns Graveyard which is at the back of the Church Yard Cemetery, where they were about to place a wreath, in memory of all those who are gone to their eternal reward. What a difference it made from days of old, when everybody got the day off school (which they did this year),but where there was a large numbers of nuns to celebrate together in the lovely surroundings of their private convent and manicured grounds, giving praise and honour, to the Blessed Virgin Mary , for agreeing to be the Mother of Jesus. Times can’t be stopped from changing, sadly there are no Sisters on the teaching staff today but long may the name of our Presentation Convent School continue to flourish in our Town.
We have to give credit to our local monuments committee, who never fail to pay homage to our people who gave up their lives so that we could have the freedom which we enjoy today. Because of this centenary year many new names have come up and the victims, or should I say heroes getting their rightful place in the history of our State. Each time I see our local group, either in person or on the web as they hold yet another memorial ceremony, I feel that they should get our full support for their great work. Gone are the days when history was kept alive by stories around the fire of people and happenings, that are easily lost and the importance to these commemoration ceremonies cannot be overrated. Just as an example think of people like that late Tom Goggin, who never gave up until a memorial was erected to King Mahon, brother of Brian Boru who was murdered on the slopes of Mushera Mountain back in the 16th century . Were it not for Tom’s persistence this important date in our country’s history would be long forgotten. Our Monuments Committee follow in Tom’s footsteps today. So well done to them.
Surely the hand of God was in the Football match on Sunday when the Tipperary team broke the spell of 85 years, gaining victory at Croke Park where their own countryman Michael Hogan was shot dead as he captained his home team, one hundred years before and even if they did beat Cork, you’d have to be happy for them. What a phenomenon. No doubt one of the best ever for the history books.
In spite of all the lockdowns and closures our Community Council got together on line and produced a 2021 Millstreet Calendar. They held a well distanced launch of the calendar in the Town Park on Sunday. It’s in the shops and will make and ideal Christmas Gift. The proceeds of the calendar go to some local good cause every year and this time it will go to the Canon O’Donovan Centre/Meals on Wheels fund. So please support it well.
The Meals-on-wheels service continues to provide fresh cooked diners five days a week and are widely used. If you are in need of their service Details can be got by ringing 029 70926.
Other publications with a local flavour, such as Noel Bourke’s wonderful book entitled ‘Memories of Millstreet’ can be bought at WordsWorth Book shop. The Aubane Historical Society never fails to give us something new, of late I was glad to get their copy of the death of Mikie Dinneen who was murdered by the Black and Tans. So seek and you may find something that interests you for Christmas.
Christmas Cards ‘From Millstreet’ can be bought by the box or singly plus a wide variety of other cards and signed Mass Cards and many religious objects at Dola’s Shop in the West End run by her brother Fr. Paddy O Byrne.
Virus or no virus, Christmas on coming and because there is so little to be happy about, little children are working up a frenzy of excitement about putting up the decorations both inside and out. It’s as though they want to have something to raise their spirits. And it’s working. Already the trees, santas and tinsil of former years are being brought down from the attic, and all hands are willingly on deck in an effort to brighten up the scene. Out of doors it’s the same and every year up til now, some new and exciting products are put on display. Even this year thanks to shopping on line, great efforts are being made to not just keep up with the Joneses but to pass them out. I hope that the annual Toy Show will live up to the expectations of our young viewers this Friday night with Ryan Tubridy. In former years they got great milage out of it by recording it and playing it over and over again. I sincerely hope it will live up to its former name for the children’s sake.
Parents too are in need of a lift and when youngsters are happy so are their parents. So it could be a win, win situation.
Last week I informed you of a Creative Writing course which is coming on stream. Starting on line today, it may not be still too late for those interested in taking up the pen to join. Details can be got by ringing Marie Twomey at 087 6863887.
In the run up to Christmas it is of vital importance that we all shop at home. Our shops and stores are pulling out all the stops to provide us with a wide range of choice. They have special offers and many places are willing to give vouchers. Vouchers can make welcome gifts for lots of things and make easy work of your Christmas Shopping, from petrol to heating products, spirits , hairdressers, food, hardware, Mass bouquets, the list goes on. At this point I want to wish our business people the best of luck for the Festive trade and thank them for their wonderful services during the past difficult months. The latest lockdown is destined to end in a week or so and let us hope that those who had been affected by it will be allowed to open up when the ban is lifted and resume their livelihood.
The words of the song ’When Irish eyes are smiling’ ,never came into its own right until now . The wearing of masks has changed our lives more than we even realise. For the moment gone are the days when people love to meet and chat, admire one another. Women liked to put on some makeup and feel smartly turned out often complimenting one another on their choice of lipstick or makeup, hairdo, outfit or perfume. It was the way we were and we liked it, kept us cheered up but also made us more careful about our appearance. The compulsory wearing of the mask and the danger of catching the bug changed all of that. Now we go around as demure as we can say as little as we can but still look out for signs of familiarity in those whom we meet and seeing the likes we have to judge if they are in a mood to return a gesture and the only way that we can do that is by studying the look in their eyes. We have learned to know if they are smiling, its the only thing that we can do. So when we see a pair of smiling eyes it makes our day and will until the masks are off and we can once more meet our friends face to face, and have a chinwag . Roll on that day.
Here are the results of this weeks Lotto Draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 14,19,21, 29 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Barry Murphy. Kilcorney. The seller was Paula Healy, and she got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Ciara O’Connor, Woodland Drive. €20 each Phillip Daly c/o Colemans, Han Moylan, Coole, Lil and Tony c/o Colemans, Pat Dinneen, Keale, Mae Kelleher, Ballyclough, Sarah O’Shea, Lackadota, Pakie Linehan, Buttivant, Susan O’Leary , Murphy’s Terrace, Next weeks draw will be November 29th, Jackpot €11,400.
Needless to say we are overjoyed at the prospect of having the streaming system installed in our beloved Church. We have longed for this service so that we can actually see our Masses and be at one with our Canon John or Fr. Paddy during our religious ceremonies. Thanks to Sean Radley and his wonderful Cork Music Station we have been kept in touch with our church services on line over the past dismal number of months, and even though we could have availed of masses streamed from many other places, lots of people still preferred to listen to our own.
And don’t forget to listen in tonight to Sean’s wonderful program which starts every Tuesday night at 9.30. A show not to be missed.
Slán agus Beannacht libh go léir, have a good week.