Eily’s Report – 5th December

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

The fiftieth anniversary celebrations of our Community School were indeed a very Star-studded glittering affair. Held in the first day of December 2023. At the massive Gym Hall in the school complex. It was a mega undertaking by any standards. Nursing a bad heavy flulike cold, I wasn’t there for the early proceedings of the day, so I can’t speak for them.  But I’m led to believe that they went on all day following the raising of the flag at 11 am. In the Hall there was a buzz of excitement before the show started. The frosty night outside did nothing to cool the excitement that people felt at running into old friends, people they shared years of learning with, before spreading out all over the world to make their living. Few things compare to the joy of meeting up with past school friends and recalling things of the past.

Needless to say everybody waited with bated breath to see Marty. Marty the man we only ever saw in the screen, and admire his busy witty ways. It was no exception when he came on board on Friday night.  He soon endeared himself with the crowd and made them his own before calling the first guests  and I have to say that I felt honoured to be one of the invited guests to appear there on the night.  When I was taken to the green room to prepare, I literally fell into the arms of Niamh Cavanagh. The star who put us on the world stage by winning the Eurovision Song Contest for us and for Ireland in 1993. We had lots to recall before Sean and myself and the lovely daughter of Dan and Mary O’Riordan, (Clara) were called to the stage. I was very glad that my bad cold took a break and allowed me to speak. We were pleased with our contribution judging by the response from the full house and were glad when it was over. For the rest of the night we were able to sit back and enjoy the show and what a wonderful show it was. Showing all and sundry, the wonderful dancers, singers, musicians. We have as well as world class academics stars of stage and screen, the list goes on and on. The late Ken Brennan’s lovely wife Helena sent a video message of good will, as did many others including the up and coming man of the day singer supreme Darren Kiely and by the way Darren will be giving a concert in aid of our GAA at the GAA Hall on December 27. Tickets on sale from December 1.  But to get back to the school. I wasn’t able to wait till the end but am reliably informed that  following the interval the program continued in the same wonderfully entertaining vein as before.   When Niamh Kavanagh and Pól Ó Síodhcháin brought the show with a rousing duo, him on the piano, to  a late end, nobody was inclined to leave, there were still more past scholars  to meet and to renew old friendships once again.

All I can say is well done to all involved and may our Community School continue to flourish for another 50 years and well beyond.  le cúnamh Dé

The town looked beautiful for the celebrations on Friday night. All Gayly bedecked in its Christmas lights, with many visitors passing favourable comment.

Maybe the annual Mass and Christmas Party in Cullen on Saturday was a very poor relation of the star studded performance at the Community School on Friday night but  believe me it had a flavour all of it’s own. Once again the dwindling organising committee of the Cullen & District Special Needs Association put the best foot forward to continue with the Christmas Mass and party that they have held for the past 38 years. Back then they had many helpers. People they loved and treasured who have  gone to the Eternal rest over the years. But thank God there are still great people who will come to the rescue in their time of need. On Sunday over 150 Special Needs people both men and women and parents and friends filled into the local hall for Mass at 1 pm. Canon John was there to celebrate and a choir to lead the hymns with many joining in especially for the last one, ‘This Little Light of Mine.’ The Mass was followed by teas and refreshments before the DJ struck up the music and the floor was soon full with dancers.  Each Special Person was given a gift going home. There was a lot of stowing up to do but there were people there with willing hands. Others out on the road to make sure that  everybody, every vehicle came and went in safety. While Members of our Red Cross gave soothing hand massage to anyone who needed it.

The good news is that we can all over do it at our Christmas fests, because the famous Cullen Sponsored  annual Weigh-In is due to start again in January, with Hannelie O’Connor at the ready to put you through your paces.

Please come prepared on this  weekend to give generously to the annual St.V de Paul church gate collection. Which will be held at all Masses this weekend November 9/10. Every year before Christmas our volunteers do trojan work in helping needy people to have a warm, well fed and Happy Christmas. But they need money to carry out their great work, so please give all you can.

This Friday December 8 is a Holy Day of Obligation and Masses with be the same as for the weekend.

December 8 was a day when is the past many of us wrote our Christmas Cards and what a stack of them we sent. The list of many years would be put on the table with the cards and away you went. Sometimes it’s worth looking /browsing through your old mailing Christmas list. See the changes that the years have brought. Little x’s in front of some when that someone is no longer there. New names added when family move away, get married have children who in turn will grow up and more and you add them too. Friends come and go for different reasons ,but the one person who we will exchange a card with you every Christmas, is an old school friend. Someone you only hear from once in the year. This card always includes a synopsis  of how we all are now and  what the past year was like for us and a prayer that God will keep us all safe and well in the year  to come.  Even at 90 it never fails.

Our Active retired Association are having their Christmas dinner at the Wallis Arms Hotel this Saturday. The meal will be followed by music and dancing with the popular Peter Lane.

The Men’s Shed will hold an Art Exhibition and Sale at their newly refurbished premises in the Macroom Rd. on Saturday next December 9 and Sunday December 10th from 10.am to 6. All proceeds to St. V de Paul Fund. Please give them you best support.

Millstreet Gramophone Circle Christmas Presentation by Pat McCarron on Friday, December 8 at 8.15 at the Canon O’Donovan Centre. All welcome.

Please shop at home. Dine and celebrate in our own town. Support our many shops and business places. Buy the local calendar and Seanchás Duhallow, proceeds go to good causes, including the great Cinema fund.  The biggest contract that Our Community Council has embarked in for a long time. When ready it will house our Community Gym. Leaving more much needed space at the Youth Centre for an extended Creche.

Our 11.30 Mass was made very special on Sunday last when Canon John welcomed a group of people from Goa in India who work in Munster Joinery. They lined the front seats. It was the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of their country, St. Francis Xavier and they placed his emblem on the Altar. They read the prayers of the faithful and paid homage to their National Patron. With some more of their friends coming to join them. One could not help thinking of our own people in foreign lands on St. Patricks Day.

Sunday marked the beginning of Advent a very special time in our church calendar. A few weeks to prepare for the coming of Christ. Always a time for some extra devotion.

The pupils of Scól Mhuire will hold a carol service in the Church on  December 15th  Keep that date free.

Here are the results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Sunday night. Numbers drawn were 8,12,17,18  and the Jackpot was not won. €100 went to Eileen Murphy, Shanaknuck. The seller was Centra West End and they got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Donnacha, Allie & Nana c/o Guys & Dolls, Tina Murphy, Liscahane, c/o O’Leary’s, John Healy Pound Hill, Jamie Cooper, c/o the Bush Bar, Connie Tarrant, c/o Noreen, Twomey Family, Station Rd. Emer & Sarah O’Sullivan, c/o the Bush Bar, Tarrant Family, c/o Noreen. Mis Sally, c/o Tom Carroll, CIE.  Next draw December  10th. Jackpot €14.400.

There was great joy at the Lotto Draw on Sunday night when co-chairman Noel Buckley arrived. following his recent painful surgery. A hearty welcome greeted him.  There was a feeling almost like  ‘Daddy’s Home’  because nothing is quite the same without him. In wishing him continued recovery he was asked to convey best wishes to his lovely wife Margaret who is recovering well from a knee replacement.

I want to wish God’s help and Blessings on all those who are ill at the moment, either at home or in hospital, or who are lonely or worried in any way.

Take good care when travelling in this frosty weather. Places could have hidden icy places. The little prayer to the Guardian Angel wouldn’t go amiss. Oh Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide.

Listen in tonight  from 9.15 on Cork Music Station to Sean Radley’s wonderful show.

Sinn a bfuil a Cáirde slán is beannacht  Dé libh go léir.

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