Eily’s Report – 9th August

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

Great to be here on this beautiful sunny day   Today (Monday) I was up a little earlier than usual and it was worth it. A blanket of fog covered the land and as it melted more and more places came into view and it’s wonderful to know that tomorrow will be the same and so on for the rest of the week. It gives everybody an opportunity to plan no matter what is your station in life. Plan to take the children to the beach or get some of the early harvest work done on the land.  It’s autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.  Season of blackberries, hazel nuts, torn hands from binding corn, season of the chance of finding beautiful wild mushrooms. When seasons were the soft days of autumn were great for bringing them up and we searched for them early and late to get that unique taste that the mass produced ones don’t have. With the saving of the hay and the turf done, in the summer there was still plenty to do when it came to the  autumn/harvest time. The  grower kept a close eye on the planes of golden corn and wheat and barley  as he roamed the fields in the cool of the evening testing the grains between his teeth to see if they were fit to harvest. We hated binding the corn, but our bonus was that we were kept at home from school to help. My Dad would sit on the  two horse mower, rake in hand and as the horses moved along the rich bounty would fell and he would divide it into bundles known as sheafs. It was our job then to take a bit off of each bundle and use it to bind it securely. Back breaking work and it was made all the more painful if there were thistles or nettles in the mix  and when we cried out in pain at being stung by a nettle, we were told to find a dock weed and squeeze the juice of it on to the problem patch. This we always did, but I never seen it to work and there was no use in going back again there was nothing more for it, you were told what to do so bind on. At night when the days work was over the scratches and pricks of the thistle came into their own and also the scratches from the remains of the corn left standing called caoinleens, (oh they were sharp on our bare shins ) often kept us awake after a hard day but come the morning we didn’t say a word in case we’d be deemed not fit for the cornfield and have to go to school. Tea out in the meadow was the thrill of a lifetime. It made a welcome break from work and gallons of half hot tea and fresh homemade bread plastered with butter and new seasons blackberry jam was a tonic for any pain or ache. Another autumn task was the digging of the spuds. In the country they were always called spuds, while our town colleagues called them potatoes and chided our country lore. Again time off school to follow the spade all day and rattle the sods to get the last one out. In time we got a potato digger which was pulled by the horse and the spinning wheel broke the drill into shreds and tossed it aside exposing the grand display of our food until the same time next year.

We were not great party people, we’d love parties but we didn’t get them, but other places held Harvest dances and gatherings in celebration of all the year’s successes on the land.  Facing a winter with barns full of hay, lofts laded with homegrown grain for man and beast and pits of potatoes enough to see us through the winter. How have we left all those forms of self supporting go? In the autumn of my own life looking back and wondering how did we let it happen. But like the words of the well known song . “The road down hill was the easy road and that’s the road we went”  In later years after I got married, with the harvest work completed we’d all pile into the little Angia on a Sunday, parents, grandparents and three children all packed in and head for a couple of hours at the sea, but should be home for the milking. Nowadays there is no room for extras in the family car with each one belted in and children in individual seats, there is no room for the elders.  A great blow to yet another lovely family custom.

Every means of getting people out is being treasured now, from parties, to  gatherings at  funerals and weddings. If you blink you’d miss one. Look up the website for the long list of winners from the area who excelled themselves at the Munster Fleadh last week, Those of us who didn’t go were treated to uplifting excerpts from it on tv and likewise the colourful pictures on the web of so many people who are engaged in fundraising, it’s mind boggling. A reunion of the Desmond family was held at the Abby Hotel on Saturday and brought friends and relations from far and near. The well known John Cyril Casey whose Mother Peggy was Desmond, made the trek   all the way from New York  to be with his own. Following an absence of twenty years, John C is making every effort to shake as many hands as possible during his short stay. On a visit to Sean Radley at the Museum, he enriched the occasion by recalling many old memories and adding some historical points not listed before. Tune in to Sean tonight at 9.30 on Cork Music Station for his chat with John Cyril.

This week we welcome home my grandson David Dunne and his lovely wife Lisa and two children on a four week holiday from Oz.

This week all the McSweeney siblings are coming for the wedding of Allison, daughter of Kevin and Josephine, Kilmeedy Bridge. Many coming from the USA and Kinsale to name but a few.  The  marriage will take place in Millstreet on Friday, August 12th. Followed by reception at the Killarney Heights Hotel. Further to that the many friends of the McSweeney Family   including past members of the Slanan Rovers Team are meeting at the Clara Inn on Sunday evening August 14th.  All old friends are welcome to come, starts at 5pm.

The huge gathering for Jerry Corkery’s funeral was another great place for people to meet. Meeting seems to be much more intense than before. Following the years of covid people want to make the most of any meeting. It’s only when we meet those who come for such occasions that we realise how many lovely people have left with the passage of time and it’s always great to see them when they come again.

The 4pm Mass on Monday, August 8th, was different to anything seen here before. The Mass was for 5 year old Rosie Fenaroli O’Sullivan of London adored only child of Donagh and Fran, granddaughter of Timmy Joe and Brenda O’Sullivan of Cullen. The Church was beautifully decorated  in childlike fashion for the Mass. A very large crowd attended and offered their sincere condolences to the bereaved. To the O’Sullivan family and the families mentioned here, we offer our sincere sympathy and prayers that God will help them to carry the cross he has placed upon them. Amen.

A note on this weeks Mass missalette to say that a Kiltegan Father will speak at all Masses here this weekend. His visit will recall the importance of missionary work to our Faith and how to continue supporting it.

Our prayers are asked for Mark Moriarty who will be ordained a deacon in Killarney at 3pm this coming Sunday.

The Statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be on Main Street, Killarney on Saturday 13th from 2.30 to remember Our Lady’s 4th visit to Fatima. Divine Mercy Chaplet will be recited on the Street at 3pm. All welcome.

Aubane Walk August 21st.   Dromtarriffe Parish Walk today, Boeing Walk Tuesday 16th. Parking at Derrygallon.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night, Numbers drawn were 1,17,19,24 and the Jackpot was not won.

€100 went to Pat Barrett, Carrigacooleen. The seller was Jerry Lehane and he got €50 sellers prize, €50 went to Charlie Cooper, Liscahane, €20 each to Millridge Picano c/o Lehane. Marie Cooper, Cullen, Caelinn Feehan, c/o Herlihy Centra, Jason Murphy, Main Street, James O’Sullivan c/o the Clara Inn, Waterford Fan, c/o Shane Browne, Mike Keane & Fia c/o the Bridge Bar, DJ Golden, Tullig.

Jackpot for next week E20,000 the draw on  August 14th.

Sinn a bfuil a cairde, please take care in the Hot Sun. Slán.


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