Eily’s Report – 21st June

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

Monday June 20, and beautiful sun drenched day to herald in the longest day of the year. The turf is drying  rapidly in the bog, making up for a late start and there is a vast increase in the number of patrons seeking peat fuel this year. Turf  has been the saving grace of our people for centuries. Apart from giving employment it gave light and heat to the poorest of the poor. When oil was scarce during the 39/45 war we did our lessons by the light of the fire. From beginning to end turf gave exercise and hope to both man and beast who were involved in rescuing it from it’s bed of slush on mountains and flatlands. Turf was created when it built itself up over the centuries. The vegetation which grew on the boggy surface rotted down over the years and ever so slowly grew into tall banks ready for the day when man and shleán came to avail of it. The jelly-like surface held together only by a thin film of greenery. So bogs by nature are pretty inaccessible and in the old days the best help which was available to cope with it’s soft terrain was the humble ass. Men cut the turf and spread out on the ground to dry but getting it to hard ground by the roadside was in many cases done  by a donkey.   Creels or baskets strewn across the animal’s back were commonly used in the West of Ireland. A scene which featured in many a picture postcard, but not so around here, so homemade inventions were put together for the task. Day after day the nimble beast made the rounds from bank to roadside ferrying the precious turf on some sheet of tin or timber dray until the last ciraan was out.  To be collected later by a powerful horse and crib and brought  home. At home many turf sheds were placed a distance from the dwelling house, in a sort of effort to spare it. The word spare was applied to most things that time. Spare the turf,  a cranky man could be heard saying to the wife, Spare that turf, you were a long way from the bank when I was cutting it. But he still had to get his dinner. Once home the turf had to be brought into the house for the fire. So a jute or meal bag was the normal receptacle. Young lads were usually the ones for this task, at least it was in  our house.  As he headed off bag in hand he would go with the warning to bring the dry ones and as he filled his sack with sods  he had to do his best to obey orders, and you dare not give a back answer or a well placed clip in the ear could follow. Needless to say sods of turf got broken in transit, small pieces were known as Ciaraans, while more turned to dust and  was called turf bruss. Ciaraans were very welcome when the fire was bad. They were very like lumps of coal and they ignited very fast and always gave new life to a sulking hearth. On the other hand turf bruss or turf dust as some people called it was rarely used for anything. It’s hard for us now to imagine that the fuel which served us so well for centuries has now become a forbidden thing. It almost feels like the  betrayal of an old friend.

 I always look on  the donkey with great love and great memories. There were many different breeds of the beast. Tall pale coloured ones, which were called Spanish donkeys. Distant and unfriendly and  were strong enough to replace a second horse for pulling the plough, or bringing home the root crops. The genit of course was half pony half donkey, the pony being the dad and the mule bigger again again a cross breed.  But my favourite was the smaller more friendly ass. Light brown in colour with a darker coloured strip running over its body  from shoulder to shoulder, crossing line of  it’s mane as it went all the way to the tail , forming a cross,  reminding  us of the important part that the humble ass played at the Flight into Egypt. Saving Jesus and the Holy Family  from the forces of Herod.  Beautiful mini donkeys are available as pets these days and can be seen in  many private gardens, They really are adorable, but mine will always be the one with the cross on his back.

Take a look at our website and see the pictures of our gallant Active Retired group and their friends as they enjoyed the wonderful scenes of Donegal and many places in between. Full marks to the organisers who pulled out all the stops to make it a trip to remember for over fifty people and this time their outing was made all that much more special with the inclusion of so many men. By and large men are not the best to come out and take part, but the package this time was made so attractive that it made it hard for them not to go and having ventured once we hope that their example with act as a precedent to others to open up to a wider range of activities which are there to be enjoyed. Having been on similar four day trips in the past I know how fulfilling they can be, not too long, not too short.  A one day trip to Tralee is planned for Wednesday, July 6th. Cost, €50 to be paid upstairs at the  Parish Centre on this Thursday June 23 from 2pm. Stops at Ballyseedy and then to the beach with a stop for dinner later. Details from Mary 087 053 7172.

Further to that  more one-day coach trips are planned by Jerry Lahane Banteer. Look out for his notices. His trip to Galway on Sunday next is booked out.

Now that our furniture stores in the West End are no longer trading, people may be interested to know that a new place has opened in Kanturk. O’Neill’s Furniture, Hen St  has a wide range in stock.

A tip for those who do not put milk in their tea, find it too hot to drink but adding cold water ruins the pleasure of your regular cuppa. We rarely drain the pot, but instead of throwing the extra  away, pour it into a nice jug or jar put it in the fridge and use it to bring the cup that cheers to your favourite tempt, for your own enjoyment.

 The dry weather is calling for a lot of watering in the garden. I still have my supply of rain water stored up and it never fails to give me a lift to know that I’m not dipping into the public supply. They tell us that rain is on the way, and no matter how much we welcome the sun, we do need God’s gift of the rain. Flower gardens are a joy to the eye as we travel the roads these days.. Cascades of multi coloured roses fall out over walls and some climb up  tall trees ,reaching for the highest point to show how beautiful they are. My Laburnum is on the wane but it gave a great show and now the violas and double headed begonias etc are replacing it in great style.   Buíochas le Dia

The 45Card drive closed in Cullen last we but will continue at our Canon O’Donovan Centre every Tuesday night at 8.30. Always a good place to meet your old friends and make new ones.

The Thursday morning Coffee from 11, at the beautiful Blue Rose Cafe is very well attended every time.  There’s always room for more and there is a wide range of choices to pick from. Skinny Latte, Green Tea, Americano, etc  plus hot scones, current, brown or plain and more.

Many congratulations to Dan Duggan, West End who is 89 years old today.

Mass every day in our beautiful church. At 7.30pm Monday and Friday and at 10am Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.  Eucharistic Adoration in our Church every Tuesday following 10am Mass.

Confessions every Saturday from 12.30 to 1.

10am Mass on Thursday of this week will be the Month’s Mind Mass for my late Brother Jack Corkery.

Please pay a visit to the church and pray for the many needs of the world of today.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were,12,16,24,29 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Michelle & Buddy, the Seller was Sharon Lane and she got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Mary & G O’Mahony, Incheleigh House. €20 each to KOPD c/o O’Leary Butchers. ETS Crew Apls c/o Noreen Tarrant. Huss-band C/o Michelle Whelan. Pearse, Donnaca. & Grace, Drishane. Darragh & Ryan O’Sullivan, c/o Mary O’Connor, Maurice Fennell c/o Capabu. Cullen GAA, c/o Jerry Lehane, & Paulie Pennino, c/o The Bridge Bar.   Next Draw June 26. Jackpot €20.000.

A very pleasant ceremony was held at Tubrid well last night (Monday) in honour of the ordination of our Popular Fr. Paddy O’Byrne 62 years ago. Friends and acquaintances came from near and far for this special occasion.  The evening was warm  and calm. And following the special Mass ,some lovely refreshments were served beneath the trees  as people sat around and chatted at leisure. Sean Radley was there to record it all on his trusty camera.

We’d like to congratulate Fr. Paddy on his 62 years a priest, most of which were spent in far away Nebraska and where the people there  still remember him with love and gratitude.  We  wish him good health and God’s Blessing well into the future.

 At the eleventh hour before sending my Report to Hannelie for the web, I want to Thank God for a successful operation for burst appendix, during the night on my lovely great grand daughter Kathlyn (Katie) Buckley, daughter of Jonathon and Noreen, who was rushed to hospital on the day when  she was due to sit the last paper of her Inter Cert. Exam.  Again I want to thank God and  wish Katie a full and speedy recovery.

 As we celebrate the longest day of 2022, let us make up our minds to make the most of the coming days, weeks and months, which will be getting a tiny bit shorter all the time .

Agus Sinn a bfuil a cairde, have a good week, Slán

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