Eily’s Report – 1st February

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

Welcome to the month of February. If you are feeling down or sorry for yourself today, then cast your mind back to this time in 2020 and again in 2021, what a sad lot we were with a worldwide killer on the loose and no hope of controlling it’s spread. The thumb screw was getting tighter every minute as the world leaders in medicine and politics tried to make sense of it all and find some common ground to build on. It isn’t over yet, at least now here we are full of cautious hope and plans for the future. Buíochas le Dia.

 Today February 1st  is St Bridget’s Day and what better way to spend it than  to pray to her, our own treasured Irish Patron  Saint  and ask her to guide us through our new normal ways of life. St.Bridget  was everybody’s friend but especially the people of rural Ireland and we have very few people today who have not sprung from the land soon or later. Many Irish people will either make or lay their  hands on a St. Bridget’s Cross today made of simple strands of bogland rush, which they will hang up in the homes for the coming year  and those who remembered to hang out a piece of cloth last night will treasure it in the same way.

Tomorrow Wednesday is Candlemas Day. Mass will be at 10am,  it’s for the late Johnnie O’Keeffe and candles to be used on the Alter for the coming year will be Blessed at this Mass. In the past people brought donations of candles, placed them on the alter and left some while taking one or two home with them. The shops always had a store of them in to meet the demand. For many reasons that custom no longer exists but I’m sure financial donations would be very welcome. It was considered a very safe thing to have a Blessed candle in your house and it was used for many things throughout the year. Blessed candles are different from the normal ones. They are rather yellow in colour and have a certain wax content. The Blessed candle was brought out when a cow was calving or the many other happenings in the farm yard. They also reached for it during thunder storms and if a family member got seriously ill and had to be anointed then the blessed candle was a must. Better class homes even had their own anointing set, comprising of a Crucifix and two candle holders standing on a wooden base. I bet they can be found in a few of our older homes still.

Thursday is the Feast of St. Blaise, the patron saint of sore throats. In the past every year we cued up to be individually blessed, when the priest placed the Blessed Candles under our chin and said the prayer which was special for the occasion.  But due to the obvious it’s not happening at the moment, so instead the priest will bless the congregation at 10am Mass.

On Friday evening the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed from 6.30 followed by Mass at 7.30. It’s a very important week in our Churches calendar, please attend it well.

One can’t but notice the marked increase in the number of people going to Mass and seeing so many going up the church in very noticeable. The easing of restrictions has made a great difference and aside of that people have taken to congregate outside the Church when Mass is over. Great to see them in full conversation and sharing lots of laughter here and there, like it used to be.

There is a notice on our Mass leaflet this week telling of help which is at hand for anybody who needs to talk or share their worries and concerns with someone. They can contact 085 802 2859.

Our Active Retired Group are coming into line and preparing for the Season ahead. Already they are sending out word that they are up and running and I’m confidant that they will book many enjoyable events for us throughout the year.

Now that the restrictions have eased, there will be many people who will be at a loss as to how to get back into the swing of life again. It is very important that we all play our part in an effort to help others. New places are opening up, shopping is fast becoming the thing to do again. Maybe not always to buy but to be part of it, see what’s out there and have that long-awaited cup of tea with a friend or meal out. Workers will have to go to work make the decision to work from home or travel but retired folks like me will have to club together and keep out of their way.  Find interests of our own to fill our time. Find those who have lots in common with us. Bingo and card games are coming to life again. A bus leaves Millstreet on Tuesday nights for Bingo in Banteer. While the 45 Drives continue at the Canon O’Donovan Centre on Tuesday nights and in Ballydaly on Sunday nights  at 8.30 are on  and they are coming on stream over the wider areas also and carsharing is the popular way of getting there. The Men’s Shed is also open weekly at the popular premises in Church St. Life is never a bundle of laughs at the best of times but if you can be happy in your heart it’s a great help, see the bright side. Portray the bright side and as the old song says, make someone happy and you will be happy too. Sundays can weigh heavy on some people of our calibre, everybody seems to be going somewhere but you, so its a good idea to join up with a friend or two and for those fortunate enough to still drive the car, then move out a little. Personally I like to go to the beach, winter or summer. No not to dive in, never, but to perhaps walk a little along  by the waters edge, feel the wind on my face and my hair, see bits of debris washed up on the sand and wonder where it has come from. The sea is so different, there are no boundaries, it’s vastness is unfenced, no divisions, walls or gates or hills or hollows. It’s a Godlike scene where it’s very easy to size up the meaning of life, or to pray or just listen to your Maker. Either walking on the sand or sitting in my car. The waves  be they gentle or wild and the birds winging it over it all in gay abandon, never fails to fascinate me. To use a modern phrase, that’s my fix. I may not be able to go there for a little while, but it’s on my bucket list and that will keep me happy or now.

So it’s up to each one of us to find what our priorities are and to engage in them. Each to their own.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were3,5,22,28 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Kathleen McCarthy, Carriganima. The seller was Colemans and they got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Judy Murphy, Fairfield Rise, €20 each Patsy & Co,c/o Patsy Corcoran, Catriona Twohig, C/O Lahane and Robert, Emma, Stephen, Marie and Cathal c/o Colemans. Clara Manley, c/o Corkery’s Bar. Pat and Mary O’Callaghan, Derinagree, Ian Buckley c/o the Bush Bar, Patrick Dennehy, Liscahane and Mgt. Healy Ballyclough, c/o Mary O Connor.

Next Draw February 6th , Jackpot €19,000.

As far as I’m aware, there are no plans in place for St.Patricks Day and with an extra day off this year time will tell what will emerge. Other towns have already made plans to go ahead with their annual Parades.

Don’t forget to book your seat for the Comedy Show at the Glen Theatre on Saturday February 19th. Contact 0872279657.

Let me remind you again that the wonderful work of Dan Joe Kelleher is now available on YouTube. His vast collection of recordings of Stations and weddings and house parties over the years will bring joy to all those who will source his great work.

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

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