Eily’s Report – 15th March

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

“I tore me ould breeches going over the ditches, St. Paaterick’s Day in the morning”.  It was a phrase that was on most people’s lips on March 17th long ago,  as we youngsters ran off to find some Shamrock.  There was always an air of joy about it, another milestone on the calendar. Devotion to the Patron Saint was very real and profound. Back then, Spring would be well on it’s way. Many fields ploughed in readiness for planting and new grass coming up.  We forget a lot with the passage of time, but it’s great to have a few pointers for us to dwell on. We got married in mid February 1957 and I can recall that there was a rush on to have the early potatoes in the ground before ‘Patrick’s Day.’ Seasons have changed a lot since then. I wonder how many of my ilk can remember the differences they found between where they were born and reared and where they married into.  Lots of us married in our early twenties, moved from one family to another and started anew. I came from a rather secluded place a mere couple of miles away and arrived close to many busy roads. Many of the farmers in the area were resettled people.  Descendants of people who were evicted from their lands and homes back in the 1800’s because they couldn’t pay their rent. Families were big that time and were forced to live in hovels work for a pittance, while saving up the fare to go to America. In time the grip of the English landlord lost it’s power and some large estates became available to be divided among those who were evicted, though the acreage was very small compared to what they lost. The great man who made it all happen to a great degree was Riobard O Suilabhan the moonlighter, better known as the Bard was one such recipient in the immediate area. Dwelling Houses were built in these holdings and the people moved in, paying rent and rates twice a year. Some with very little knowledge of farming, since they had none or very little connection with the land up to then, some returning from America to take possession.

By the time I came on the scene it was all settled and the farmers were getting on with their lives having made full use of any books or lectures that were provided for them. I think what struck me the most was the love that they had for their land. They made full use of every inch. If there were stones or bushes which there was plenty of. They took them away and exposed the lovely light rich soil . Warm on the Southern slopes of Clara Mountain. They planted crops, more than they needed, sold the surplus and saved the money which enabled them to buy more land. I liked what I saw, I was part of a close-knit setting where people borrowed from one another, worked with one another at all levels. Most had only one hoarse and when somebody needed a second one to pull the plough of mowing machine you could hear a loud voice winging across the valley saying ‘bring over the horse.’ Other times it could be the hacksaw, or the  pincers, or the sprayer for the garden. Such was the silence, the peace of the day. This system of calling applied to everything of course. ‘The dinner is ready, ‘There’s a cow calving ‘. I won’t say bring in the spuds for the dinner, because that was the woman’s job. She went out and dug them, collected a head of cabbage or a turnip as well. All juicy and fresh. Needless to say it wasn’t all plain sailing, we had our losses and our crosses like everybody else  but that’s the spice of life and the old Kilmeedy Castle looked down on it all, as it still does. T.G. What a tale it could tell. There were days when I’d climb the stairs and view the countryside around.                                                                                         “Sometimes I’d climb the castle and look out on the planes,  seeing grass instead of stones made the blood rush in my veins. Forty five acres is all we had and some of that still rough, but with Dan as leader of our clan, we always had enough.”

The organisers were blessed with fine weather on Sunday for the great fundraiser which was held in aid of Ukraine and other worthwhile causes.  The town square was full of vintage cars from early and the Pipe Band was on hand to play them on their way which took them on a tour of our finest scenery and dinner at the newly refurbished, highest pub in Ireland at the Top of Coom. A breath taking event by all accounts. The  Pipe Band was later present at the GAA Hall which was the base for a variety of ways to support the cause for Ukraine. The Astro Turf pitch  played its part too. There was no shortage of volunteers throughout and who saw that everything was spick and span in the venue following their hard days work. The dancers stole the show. Empire R&R dance troupe from Mallow put on a grand display of their own National Culture  and music.  Similar fundraisers were held in Cullen/Ballydaly, Dromtarriffe to name but a few. Well done to all those who helped in any way with this sad venture.  May God reward their efforts.

We wish Seán Radley well with his recovery whom has now left the hospital and moved to a Care Centre for a fortnight.  He is in our thoughts and prayers.

Many thanks to Hannelie for displaying some interesting photos on the web recently. Old photos always draw great attention can bring back many old memories.

Next week it will be like old times to have a National Event being held at the Green Glens Arena on March 22-24.  Following a two year break it will be great to see the return of the Spring Farm Machinery Show which will bring business people from all parts of the country together in one place. We wish the organisers and the Duggan Family every success and God’s Blessing with the show. All going well the 37th Dairy Show will be held there in October.

As we speak the organisers of our St. Patrick’s Day Parade are in the business of decorating the town to honour our Patron Saint and they are asking everybody to row in behind them by putting up their own decorations, flags and banners to give the annual occasion a big welcome back following the two-year break because of Covid. A couple of short years ago, 2018 in fact I was delighted to bring Daniel O’Donnell to our town where himself and Majella made us proud for having them as Grand Marshals at our Parade. This year again the organisers have made a wonderful choice by inviting the world renowned Joanne O’Riordan to do the honours. We thank Joanne for doing us the honour, especially as she had requests from other places. But instead she chose her own home town. We wish all those involved in the St.Patrick’s Day events every success and good weather. The parade is at 5 pm as usual.

Here are the results of this week’s Lotto draw which was held on Sunday Night. Numbers drawn were 2,11,15,18,and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Frank Hartigan, Lackabawn, the seller was O’Leary’s butchers and they got €50 sellers prize. €50 went Michelle & Buddy, c/’o Sheila Lane. €20 each to Fur ball, c/o The Mal Paso, Stacia c/o  M. Twomey, Grainne & Riona Murphy, c/o Sheila Lane,  Irene Herlihy,  Rossmore, c/o Centra,  Ann Vaughan, c/o Apls and Noreen Tarrant, Daniel Dennehy, c/o The Bush Bar, Louise Lawlor, c/o Colemans and Dylan Condon, c/o Capabu. Next Draw March 20th.

There is a special announcement from the Lotto Committee, who are representatives of The Town Park Committee,  Millstreet GAA and the Community Council for the Youth Complex.

Since the Jackpot is now at €20,000 it has reached it’s limit. So they have decided to start another Jackpot of €2,000 ,which will be increased by €200 each week if not won. The original €20.000 is there to be won any week as usual, but in view of the law governing it, it can not be added to. So instead the €200 will go into the new jackpot. If more clarification is needed please ring Secretary Marie 087 686 3887.

The  Lotto Committee made a generous donation the Ukraine Fund  at this weeks draw.

At the recent Community Council Meeting a cheque for €1.500. The proceeds of this years Calendar was presented to Donie Lucey in aid of Air Ambulance Fund. Many thanks to all those who supported it.

Because of St. Patrick’s break, many of the voluntary events organised by the Active Retired Group are not being held and could lead to extra isolation or loneliness to some people, please be on the lookout for someone who may like to go for a walk, or a coffee, or a chat or whatever. Special questionnaires are being passed around the parish ,through the shops etc.in an effort to make Millstreet a better town for the elderly and the lonely. Please read them and fill them with care and interest. We still have many people who are in need of company ,and very often they are last ones to ask for some.

Good luck to all those who have made nice plans for the extra bank holiday this weekend, sadly for some it could be just another long, long day. A smile or a little of your time could mean the world to someone .

St. Patrick’s Day March 17th. Easter Sunday April 17th and Lent will be over, So keep up the prayers.

Today is Tuesday we have Mass at ten am and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until 7.30. Some have signed up to spend an hour at a given time but we are all asked to come and spend some time in the presence of God Church  Arrangements for St. Patrick’s Day are as for Sundays.

I wish you all a very Happy and safe ,extended, St. Pat’s Fest.

Slán agus beannacht


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