Eily’s Report – 30th January

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

Can you believe it, yes you can. The popular Carroll Family did it again this week. Tom having shared the €15,200 Jackpot with Nigel at the Wallis Arms last week, sold the winning ticket of €2,000 to his wife Patricia this week and was awarded the sellers prize €200 for his trouble. Needless to say there was consternation in the office coupled  with good wishes to  the winners again. The committee forged ahead with another €2,000 jackpot for the next draw, and all and sundry were taken for a celebratory drink by the lucky winners.

The full list of this week’s draw. Numbers drawn were 16,26,27,31 and the lucky winner of €2.000 was Patricia Carroll, The seller her husband Tom, got €200 sellers prize. €20 went to the following 9 people. Margaret Corkery  Liscahane,  The Boys c/o Margaret Bourke, Mary Daly , c/o Ita, Noel O’Sullivan, Newmarket c/o Centra, Maria  Margaret Smith c/o the Juvenile Club, John D. Buckley c/o Eily Buckley, Dara ,Ria & Mary C, c/o Colemans, Jerry Kelleher, Aubane, c/o Corkery’s. Maria Smith and Tony McCaul, c/o the Juvenile Club. Next draw Bank Holiday Monday February 5th.

Jackpot €2,000.

The long wet January is coming to a close and it’s going out in a cold but bright note with snow on faraway hills and mountains. Things keep changing and they tell us that we are in for a fall of red rain this week. We can recall when it happened before when the red sands of  the African  desert were airlifted by the strong winds and deposited on us, on our cars and it made itself visible on sheds and walls as well as fields where you couldn’t see it. But whatever the weather the brave daffodils are up well and strong. Pushing their way through soggy weeds and the lower limbs of the other growth around them. They must surely be a source of hope and encouragement to the rest of us . The camelias  are making their presence felt as they dare to peep out from below their rich green foliage. They are at high risk of ruin if jack frost finds them. But we won’t think about that now, just enjoy what they have to offer. Our used tea leaves gives the camellia tree  a lovely treat because they come from the same family that our everyday cuppy is brewed from.

I must be failing, because I haven’t fed the birds yet.  I bought the peanuts ages ago but every time I wanted to venture out it was raining.  The sun is shining out there now and I’m filled with guilt but as you can see I’m busy. Later on now I bet I’ll get it done.

This is a very important week in all our lives with the Feast Day of St. Bridget upon us on Thursday. Bridgeen Crosses will be made available to many  to replace the one that has kept us safe and well for the past twelve months. On Thursday morning we will have Mass at ten for the people of the Parish. Our morning Masses are preceded by Mary Dennehy saying the Rosary and prayers from 9.40.

Friday is candlemas Day when the wax candles for the alter for the coming year will be blessed. In the past people brought along bundles of candles and left them on the alter rails where they would be taken and used by the church. These days a cash donation is more acceptable. The shops in the town stocked them well in advance of candlemas day. Back in time householders got some candles blessed for use in their own homes and considered it very important to have some in the house. Lots of people died at home and a plenary Indulgence was gained  when the candle was lit in their final moments.  During the wake they were mounted on their best or borrowed candlesticks and they were kept alight for the entire duration. Some better off people had a real anointing set at hand, comprising of a crucifix and a candleholder at either side.

At calving time, the blessed candle was brought to the stall as well as the Holy Water to bless and give thanks for the new births. They were in full use at times of danger such as thunder storms.

Does anybody remember the word ,beastings. I haven’t heard that word in years and years. It was big during the calving season when I was a child. Beastings is the first milk that a cow gives after calving and as well as it being essential for the young calf it was also a novel drink/food for the people of the house. Not  the very first issue but after perhaps the third milking the rich fluid was lightly boiled in a saucepan where it thickened like custard and made a pleasant and nourishing treat for all the family. This went on for about  four or fifth milking and by  then the milk was fit to go into the churn for the creamery. With calving in full swing at springtime there was a plentiful supply for ages. Sometimes if a farmer had an early calver, he would share the beastings with neighbours until such time as they had some of their own.

Last week we had to bid goodbye to yet another dear school friend. The kindly Bridget King passed away in the wonderful care of them all at Araglen Nursing Home. One of our best historians gone to her just reward. Her ill-health in her early school days did nothing to stop Bridget from going to England where she became a qualified nurse and worked there  for many years until she came home to mind her ageing Dad. She found work in our local hospital for a number of years. Though never married she took on the task of caring for her ailing niece, aided by the kindly Donal Lehane who often came to her aid. What a coincidence it was that her brother Paddy died on her birthday and Bridget went to God just a day later. Bridget was a wonderful historian, ask her about anything from away back ,who was who, and who was related to who and she had it at the tip of her tongue and wouldn’t even stop at that, she’d go on to elaborate as though she was anxious to pass on her knowledge before it was too late. We loved Bridget deeply, we valued her and we know that God will reward her for all that she gave to his world while she was on it.

Goodbye Dear Friend.

We had a very pleasant  event at the Day Centre last Friday when the organisers threw a gala party in honour of Mary Hickey’s 90th birthday. All of us 90 pluses were sat down to a special table and got the royal treatment. Super Valu sponsored a beautiful cake and many pictures were taken to record the happy event. Many thanks to the organisers who planned the happy occasion.

Many of our activities will resume from now on. Keep an eye out for the notices.

The Morning Coffee at Linda’s is full on on Thursdays after ten o’ clock Mass.

We were all glued to our screens on Thursday night for ‘Ear to the Ground’ to see Conor, his lovely wife Lavinia  and all the Sheahan family displaying the source of the most expensive beef in the world. Craft butcher, Tony O’Brien enhanced the day by cooking the precious flesh before our very eyes and shared some with the neighbours, as we drooled at the mouth before our screens. Not to be outdone, near neighbour Conor O’Riordan gave us a glimpse of his equally precious Dexter cattle. All in all we feel blessed to have such forward seeing and ambitious young farmers in our neighbourhood and we wish them every success in the future.

Last week 40 people weighed In in Cullen and 77 pounds weight was lost. More of the same on Monday night each week .Please continue to give them your best support. The proceeds of this annual event is very important to the organisers as they continue their great work in aid of the Special Needs Association. Exercise to music each night  with Hannelie, before the weighing. This Monday night 38 people were weighed by Mairéad and 67 lbs were lost.

Cullen Community Centre will host a basic CPR/Defib course to begin in the future depending on numbers.

If interested please ring   086 162 6607.

Two of our 4th yr. medical students, Jennifer Linehan & Gemma O’Regan are going to Africa this summer to volunteer in hospitals in Malawi and Zambia. They are holding a monster Quiz at the Bush Bar on this Friday night February 2nd. All the money raised through this fundraiser will go towards purchasing medical equipment and supplies for the hospital they are going to work in.   Please give them your best support.

Still with fundraising our Day Centre will hold their annual Church Gate collection this weekend February 3/4. Again they ask for your continued support.

Eucharistic Adoration every Tuesday from 10.30am to 7.30 pm Please support it well.  Please note that it is streamed  for part of the day.

A  note on the Mass leaflet to say that copies on the Pastoral Letter from Bishop Ray are available at the end of the Church .It is entitled ‘Moving forward with Hope’ shaping together the future of Pastoral  areas parishes and local Church Communities in our Diocese. Kindly take a copy.

Before I go I want to wish you all a very happy and pleasant Bank Holiday weekend. Please take Care and make it a safe one.

Slán is Beannacht Dé libh go léir.

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