Eily’s Report – 29th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The month of November is on the way out and again we ask ourselves where did it go?  How did it go so fast?  If I asked Tade and Mary Lane the same question, they would say the same thing I’m sure about the sixty happy years that they’ve been married. God spared them to provide a home and bring up a wonderful family and pass on to them the wonderful cultures such as songs and lore that was handed down to themselves. Starting off by buying a humble cottage on the mountain road leading to Gneeves Bog and turning it into a birds- nest-like dwelling where they grew their food and kept hens, ducks etc. In time there was room in the acre to build a beautiful home for one of their two sons, for him and his wife to take on the same contract in life as his parents. How things have changed for the better for the people who lived in what used to be very remote areas. Where modern windfarms have brought wonderful prosperity to those who have turbines built on the boggy planes. Motor cars and other modern methods in time turned Tade and Mary’s remote beginnings into a thing of beauty and a joy for them for as long as they need. What a lesson their story would be for young people starting off today. To achieve so much from humble beginnings by adding on  according as they could afford to. They brought new life back into a little deserted place. I have always admired their progress and now it gives us all great joy to see them celebrating sixty years of a great life together. Well done Tade and Mary. We wish you many more years of wedded bliss.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 29th November”

Eily’s Report – 22nd November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

What a lovely start to any week, the sound of children singing. Monday November 21 was Presentation Day and all the pupils from our Presentation Convent  National School along with their many teachers and minders crowded into the church for the special Mass which is said every year to celebrate the important occasion and because of the association with the Community School some students from there also attended accompanied by the Principle Pól Ó Síodhcháin and religion teacher John Magee. The readings and the music and singing were all done by the children and after Mass bouquets of flowers were laid at the Nuns Graveyard representing both schools. Big changes from my day when we would go around the treelined ‘walks’  at the back of the school/convent singing the praises of the Lord and afraid that we’d put any leg wrong.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 22nd November”

Eily’s Report – 15th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Our Church Choir outdid themselves on Sunday at 11.30 Mass. Our own choir were in great voice and they were joined by a number of Eukrainian people who  sang a hymn in their own language. The sounds were so melodious.  Canon John complimented them and the congregation showed their appreciation with a huge round of applause. Something we’d love to hear more of in the future. The readings on Sunday were deep rooted as they dealt with things that we’ve been learning since childhood about the end of the world and are more believable today than ever before. Down the years we have experienced signs and warnings that seemed to be true but never came to pass. I will never forget 1960. For years before it according to one of Our Lady’s Secrets in Fatima we were told that there was going to be three dark days that year. It was said in papers and magazines well in advance.  Needless to say we were very worried and wondered if this was going to be the End. Unfortunately I fell pregnant that year with my second baby, which added to our own worries and that time you’d have a weeklong stay in hospital for your confinement and here I was with my lovely new baby away from the others at home.  Consumed with worry I spent hours every night looking out of the hospital window, wondering if the sun would come up and it did. TG. The three dark days never came, not sunless ones anyway, but maybe there was some other explanation for it which escaped me. Other signs and prophesies came to light over the years and people who were stirred by them in various ways. So the bottom line is that we don’t know the day nor the hour, but always be at the ready.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 15th November”

Eily’s Report – 8th November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The weather held it’s fury for the blessing of the graves here on Sunday. Following 11.30 Mass large crowds went along in temporary sunshine for this annual event. We all go at different times throughout the year to pay our respects to our loved ones but when our priests lead us in prayer in November it makes it all very special. People pay extra attention to their family resting places and it makes a great meeting place when prayers are over where friends meet and talk about many things but mainly about the loved ones that they have lost. During the month of November special indulgences can be gained by visiting any graveyard and players for the Holy Souls and special Masses said throughout the month also for the souls of our dear departed. Many thanks to all those who erected a lovely Garden of Remembrance in our church. The Keel in the Clara Road is also a popular place where people stop to pray for the  poor souls who lie there without any sort of identification. May they all Rest in Peace.

The monthly meeting of the Community Council will be held tonight at the Adult Learning Centre starting at 8.30 sharp.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 8th November”

Eily’s Report – 1st November

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

November the first, The Feast of all Saints,A holiday of Obligation. Masses as for Sunday.

Oh my goodness how it brings back memories of freezing cold winds and chilblains. I’m not sure if that’s the proper spelling because I can never remember seeing it written down. But I can well recall the blistered fingers and toes which broke out when winter came. I have no idea of when they gave up coming and it’s not easy to explain to young people today what they were like and the pain they caused. Putting on the boots and stockings in the morning was the worst.  Sore crusty feet had to be packed into them and funny enough once installed and after the first couple of steps they seemed to soften and away you went to school or whatever until time came to remove them all again at bedtime when removing the footwear seemed to release the demon, soreness again. Then a rub of the unbeatable pink ointment for the night. Fingers didn’t escape either and even though the complaint affected mostly children all ages could get them. In fact we knew one man in the area who even lost fingers and toes to them and his winters were his dreaded time of year.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 1st November”

Eily’s Report – 25th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

You look out and it’s raining, look again and the sun is blazing, decisions decisions, will I put out the washing or not. Well rather than put them in the dryer, I’ll put them out and see what God will send.

The 40th National Dairy Show was held at the Green Glens on Friday afternoon, all day on Saturday and there was a lot to celebrate, not just 40 years but the first in two years because of Covid. Many new challenges also had to be met because the comforts and securities of past years were now taken up by the Ukrainian people who had to flee from their own war-torn country. I was determined to go and see how the great Green Glens could accommodate it all. I arrived in brilliant sunshine on Saturday afternoon, when every where was fully crowded, well supervised car parks full and shuttles bus services in operation. I must say I found it hard to believe that I was standing in the Green Glens, the place that is so familiar to me since the day it was founded. The number of marquees and covered areas and passageways was baffling. Including the spacious covered diner. I  was told beforehand that there was a lot to do, to bring it up to standard, but it wasn’t until I saw with my own eyes, the magnitude of the whole undertaking. Trade stands abounded and seemed comfortable in their allotted sections with ample space to show off their wares. The Show Ring was a place apart, where the cream of all bovines inched their way  around under the sharp gaze of the team of judges. It being the 40th. presentations were made.  Every man who directed the National Dairy Show here over the years was called into the ring where they were lauded for their dedication to this important event in the life of farmers everywhere. Then the man who made it all possible, the one and only Noel C Duggan ,representing the Duggan family was called in and extolled for their outstanding co-operation over the past 40 years. Having received the special award comprising of a special clock, denoting ‘Time Given For Time Taken” and in his reply he lauded those wonderful  people who have kept the National Dairy alive and well at the Green Glens and looking to the future with more determination than ever. I have to congratulate all connected with the Dairy Show. The locals who put their shoulders to the wheel even on show day they were there fully alert to any problem that may arise. The National Dairy Show is important to Millstreet because a rising tide raises all craft it’s a boost to our community at many levels.

All concerned can justly take a bow.TG.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 25th October”

Eily’s Report – 18th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The scene outside is a picture of tranquility with nothing to show for the record breaking wind and rain of the weekend. The sun is shining brightly on the lush green fields both near and afar as our parish rejoices in not just one but two successes in the playing field at the weekend.  The extreme elements failed to dampen the spirit of our gallant teams who brought an unbelievable double win to our town on Saturday evening.  Our U17 hurlers brought home the bacon while our lovely junior Camogie girls sanctioned a place for themselves in the final in the near future. Flags and bunting flew from every vantage point to support them on their way and they didn’t disappoint. The Pipe Band and supporters were there to celebrate with them all the way. Following a welcome meal at the Wallis Arms Hotel, they were paraded through the town and the  wind and rain did nothing to stop them. Our brilliant pipe Band members wore rainproof gear and played on. Two wins in one evening was indeed something to celebrate. Flags were sold out in many places, but people hung out whatever they had, just to show their  support for these young teams and their trainers and all those associated with them. They did us proud indeed and all that support will be there for the girls in the final as we wish them the best of luck when their day comes.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 18th October”

Eily’s Report – 11th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

Our Church choir got no less than two rounds of applause at the 11.30 Mass on Sunday. It was lively and melodious and the sort you’d like to sing along with. Young people took part, and a solo pipe music  by one at the after the Consecration brought a loud  applause from the congregation, further to that in closing the choir gave a rousing hymn to the air of the Goilla Mar and the people showed their appreciation with yet another full bodied round of clapping making it clear their feelings for this sort of upbeat atmosphere at their Sunday Mass. Well done to all concerned.

There’s more good news, the baskets will be back in the church before the end of the month. Perhaps it’s another sign that the virus, if not finished, is at least under control. T.G.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 11th October”

Eily’s Report – 4th October

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

The AGM of our Community Council will be held tonight at 8.00 at the Adult Learning Centre. All welcome.

The sun is shining beautifully outside, just now, but I’m not going to hang out the washing, because the notice on my phone says that it will rain again in fifteen minutes. The wonders of modern technology has brought it to such a  fine detail now, is that we can plan our movements to the letter. But oh, if only life Itself were so manageable and predictable. In our youth, we listened to our elders as they related their ways of letting them know what the weather was up to. Houses were not as well built as they are today.  No such thing as central heating or insulation nor carpets or any soft furnishings, bare concrete and timber floors everywhere. As long as the door remained shut when you banged it, it didn’t matter if there was a gale blowing in at the sides, the same for the windows. If it kept out the hens or the cat and the likes, who were always lurking nearby in the hope that a morsel of food would be thrown  to them, then it was alright. But of course  the weather was all important and planning the farm work to either work with it or around it was a very frail balance. With nothing to go on but their wits, various people had different ways of guessing what the elements had in mind. When my stepmother, God rest her, came I suppose being new she was conscious of the various features in our home and the one thing that stands out in my mind is that she always knew when it was going to rain, because the floor in the hallway became damp and sticky for a few days beforehand and when the rain went away it dried up again. Coming from the creamery my dad would check to see if Jack Peter’s goats were gone out. Jack and his brother Pete lived in the cottage, at the end of our boreen. Pete was our cook and housekeeper until our dad married again. They kept two goats for milk. Tied together with a homemade devise, comprising of two   bucket handles bent round to make a collar and a length of chain of about  18 inches to hold them together but with ample room to graze. This prevented them from wandering into the neighbours fields and flower gardens, so they grazed the long acre all their lives and came home to be milked every evening and when milked next morning they were free again to go or stay. To see them still in situ in late morning was a bad sign of the weather and my dad would know it was not going to be a day for hay. But if they were gone away up the hill, then the goat knew best and it was all hands on deck in the meadow.  It’s a far cry from when at a meeting last Friday, nearing the end somebody asked about the weather outside and one member checked his phone and declared that the sun would shine in 20 minutes, and so it did.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 4th October”

Eily’s Report 27th September

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my weekly Report.

We sought them here were sought them there, we sought them here, sought them everywhere and it paid off. Not wanting to bore you about wild mushrooms, I have to tell you that they were found in the most unlikely places once the word was out that they were in season.  Before I go on, I want to thank the kind person who told us about them at the start and even went on to share them with the neighbours. How nice it is  that we still have kind people who are willing to share. Some were found by walkers in the Town Park and even in St. Mary’s Cemetery as well as many other places,   keep looking, the season may not be over yet. Wild mushrooms don’t have the long shelf life as the cultivated ones do, so the plan is to put them into an egg packer and it will prolong them for a few days longer. By the way this plan applies to all mushrooms.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report 27th September”

Eily’s Report – 20th September

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

What did you do on Monday, the first day of this week, could I be forgiven for saying that I did very little, other than watch the Queen’s funeral on telly. Not everybody’s cup of tea  but I just couldn’t resist it. For years the life of the Royal Family has been something of an open book. Their family squabbles, their fall-from-grace times, their good times had all come into the public domain and we followed them with interest. Their way of dealing with life’s challenges was of interest to the rest of the us a place where we could ask ourselves,  “what we would do in a similar situation?”, on a lesser scale of course. No matter how the years pile up, we are never too old to learn because the world around us keeps on changing and we must remain abreast of it or lose out. We have a lot to learn from those who have gone before us be they rich or poor and Queen Elizabeth was no exception.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 20th September”

Eily’s Report – 13th September

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

So the Queen has died, went to sleep at 96, letting us know once again that they don’t forget anyone. We have no hope of recalling the changes that have come about since she assumed the throne in 1952, at the tender age of 25.  I left the Presentation Secondary School in 1950, at the age of 17. Education for girls, or indeed for anybody at that time, counted for very little. Those who were blessed with a lively mind, a good brain and an element of ambition about them, forged ahead and sought a better way of life than the stay-at-home kind who were satisfied or maybe forced to carry on the same as all those before them. To show signs of trying to better oneself very often brought snide remarks and opinions that someone is aiming above his station. Some of my friends took the boat the England to become nurses, because there were no places here in Ireland where they could do so. My one ambition in life was to become a nurse, but as it turned out my dream I could not fulfil, because I was needed at home to help with the farm work. The lives of many young men were spoiled when they had to stay at home to cut the corn, etc, when parents were getting too old and the other sibling had already flown the coop. There they had to stay and take antiquated orders from bossy parents or maybe do it the old way rather than to offend them and in time succumb to their ways. If by any chance a fellow met a girl whom he may like to marry and settle down with, well, she would have to pass the very rigid test of being of good stock, of being well thought of and more important still to have a suitable fortune. Love counted for nothing. It was not unknown for a girl to have to go to England or America the top up her fortune before she qualified. Many of those who failed to get hitched, lived on in the bit of land, in time parents grew old, some living  to a great age while the son or daughter advanced in years themselves and when both parents were dead found themselves in a no-man’s-land, with nothing but their own death facing them.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 13th September”

Eily’s Report – 6th September

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

Now that was quick, the rapid change from lovely warm sunny days to wild winds and rain . It takes a lot of getting used to, sending us searching for those warmer bits that we had put well out of sight for so long. The weekend was marred by heavy rains, strong winds and power cuts and people would be well advised to stock up with alternative lighting  as the trend is said to continue for the rest of the week. Roads will be very slippery following the long dry spell ,so a little caution there I’m sure would not go amiss. The long sunny days of August were too hot for some of us at times but they were great, it gave us the feeling that  we were  away, without the trauma of booking flights and fearing cancellations.  But they  were not without a few concerns. To see the fields turning bare and brown in places and rivers running low, were a cause of worry, at least to some of us who never fail to find something to worry about. (another drawback of old age) Can we not praise the Lord for our Blessed Holy Tubrid Well which supplied not just Millstreet but many neighbouring towns and farms with water right throughout the long drought.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 6th September”

Eily’s Report – 30th August

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

Oh what a lovely way to start the week, to answer the door just after 11 am  on a Monday to be met by a friend bearing gifts. A surprise gift of the fruits of our community tunnel at the back of our Adult Learning Centre in town. Knowing I’m on my own, Jerry brought a little sample of each, carrots, tomatoes, courgettes and the funniest looking spuds  I’ve ever seen. Dark purple in colour and I’ve yet to taste them, but I’ll let you know. In my young days my Dad often spoke of Champions (Spuds). They were  a mixed colour of white and purple. He always grieved their passing saying that nothing like them ever came on the market again. Who knows these may be a throw-back.  But then the old people of my young days were always longing for things that had passed into history, just like what I’m doing now I suppose. The said tunnel under the leadership of Marie Twomey was a great place of learning for lots of people since the Spring, where they were tutored in the art of planting seeds so that in time they may grow their own .

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 30th August”

Eily’s Report – 23rd August

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

The long life of our €20.000 Jackpot was brought to a successful conclusion at the offices of our Adult Learning Centre on Sunday night. The lovely Paddy and Mary Golden came to claim their wonderful prize as did Marie Reen to claim her €2 000 seller’s prize. A fine number of members turned up to greet them and a pictorial record of the special occasion was expertly done by Sean Radley, as only Sean can. Mary was well-known to some of the members as a great supporter of Bingo here in Millstreet in the past and now starting off with a jackpot of €6.600 the dedicated team will continue their great work in aid of Millstreet GAA, The Town Park and the Community Council for the Youth Centre. Needless to say it cannot be done without your help, your continued support enables these leading groups to keep Millstreet on the map for people of all ages in our community. So please keep up the good work.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 23rd August”

Eily’s Report – 16th August

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

We have a winner, Winner Alright ,Our Lotto Jackpot of €20.000 has been won. Won at long last. And the lucky winner is Paddy  Golden, Kilmacrane. The lucky seller was Reen’s  Pharmacy and they got €2,000 sellers prize. Amid stoppages because of Covid our jackpot had grown from €8,400  on 17.8.2020 ( according to my records but I could be wrong) and when we resumed our weekly draw following a long break .The Jackpot accumulated to a massive €20.000 which was the limit, and we had to stop adding to it but all the time in the background a new jackpot has been growing, enabling the committee to start off again next week following the big win, with a decent Jackpot of €6,400. We’d like to congratulate our winner and wish him the very best of luck with his windfall, and also the sellers Reen’s Pharmacy who will get the €2,000 sellers prize.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 16th August”

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.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 9th August”

Eily’s Report – 2nd August

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

The biggest crowd ever for the Rosary, exceptionally long queues for the removal and a full church for his requiem Mass, That was the tribute which was meted out to the humble Pat Lane, who passed away before the weekend and who was Pat Lane. Born 60 years ago to parents Connie and Peggy Lane in Caherdowney.  We take little notice of each other getting on with our daily lives, but it is only when someone dies that we are rocked into a sense of the reality, that they will be with us no more. Born in 1962, we all knew and loved Pat for different reasons. Mine started long before he was born, when I walked the Liscahane road with his lovely mother Peggy Butler going and coming to school every day for years. We were soul mates, like all of us going to school that time we knew one another in depth and that familiar gene seemed to be passed on to Pat for when I’d meet him,  his mom’s name came up every time and some story or memory to go with it. On the wider scale Pat was a friend to everyone and his needs were few. So long as Mary and the children were OK, everything else came second. Pat had no high class education, he worked hard to make a living, be it on a powerful track machine or using the shovel to clean the streets or the shlean to cut the turf, even plucking turkeys at Christmas. If we are wise, we will learn a lot from Pat. He had many talents, play music, sing, recite, converse, which he rarely used and without them by just being himself, he gained the respect and regard of all those who met him over the years. Even the Healy Raes and the  Brennan Brothers came. Many would be wise to take a page out of his book. The shortest sermon I ever heard a priest to give at a Mass was when he turned towards the congregation (They faced the alter that time for Mass) and said in slow profound words, ‘Remember you may be the only Bible that someone will ever read’. The biggest crowd for the Rosary the longest removal and the fullest church,  the lovely Ford sisters with their meaningful songs and music, lorded over by Canon John.

Pat got it right.

We offer our deepest sympathy to his grieving wife Mary and his children Maria, Con, Patrick and all his extended family. No doubt Pat will work hard for them in Heaven as he always did on earth. R.I.P.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 2nd August”

Eily’s Report – 26th July

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

Anybody looking at the web would have to say that we are a community apart. Helped along by suitable weather it is a pleasure to see so many out-door events being held. There is something about the out-of-doors that makes a difference. Lots of fundraising for good causes and enjoyable things for folks to take part in.  Having spent more than two years undercover it’s a real pleasure to see communities organising events, in some cases brand new events, different things starting up by young people  which can give an injection of new life in the years to come.  Take young Neil Corkery, son of Sheila and Neily at his beautiful new residence in Cloghoula, himself and his wife Noreen started up a Pony Trekking business. Pony trekking is new in the area and judging by the interest in it. it will grow and flourish in the years ahead. At the start of the school holidays  this year, they held a pony camp which proved extremely popular with the youngsters.  As well as rides Neil had a wide range program of games for them, all with an equestrian theme. Last week five of his ponies took part in the Pony Young Riders competitions at the Green Glens and with great success. The business is proving very popular not only with  the Irish, but also with tourists from many parts of America. From base in Cloghoula, visitors are taken on the scenic route over the local hills and  shady forestry ways. Their service provides riding lessons for beginners at a young age. Plus livery services, which means they will stable ponies for those who have no place to keep one at home. More and more people are showing an interest in this new and welcome service in our parish. If you would like to learn more, give Neil a ring 087 272 7759. In closing I want to wish Neil and Noreen continued success for the future.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 26th July”

Eily’s Report – 19th July

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

Not in the best of form this week, a nasty chest infection has taken up residence in my body and it’s not a nice thing or an easy one to get rid of. Being the sort of person who doesn’t like to sit still for very long it’s an effort to mind myself. The moment I feel good I want to be off but not far into my quest I know that all is not right inside and I have to give in and return to base. We never know where we pick these things up and can only mind oneself when it’s too late. My paying guest, Fiona has the same thing  but with the help of our trip to the caring GP, a few sincere prayers, followed by a course of antibiotics, we’ll both be good as new in the not too distant future. So we motor on.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 19th July”

Eily’s Report – 12th July

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

If it’s heat you’re looking for, well you have it. Maybe a little too hot for some of us, but there are places to hide if the scorching sun is too much for you.  At my time of life any sort of extremity is dangerous and on Saturday as I watched younger folks wallowing in the noon-day sun, I admired from my undercover abode. The heatwave hadn’t begun on Thursday when our ARA organised bus trip to Ballyheige was held. Skies were dull and the ground wet as we drew close to the beach, but joy of joys the day broke into a soft warm rainless few hours as we went for long walks along the sandy beach. It’s a long time since I’ve been to Ballyheige, not since the times that I’d pile all my grandchildren in the car and head off for a week. Three boys and three little girls all under ten, the youngest four.  We didn’t always go to Ballyheige, other venues were Ballybunion,  The Wheel INN in  Beara etc. It was the highlight of the year, when I’d have fixed the date and booked to seaside caravan, the excitement was electric. They’d join me with their little belongings, bucket and spades, summer attire, sleeping bags, a bit of pocket money and a severe warning from the moms and dads to be good for Nana. Coming from a family of seven myself, it was so natural to have the crowd around me. God Rest Dan, we left him at home, he would be far too nervous of the harmless pranks and games of the young, so that it was better that he took the week off from us all. Books could be written on the things we did and the wonderful times we shared, all the time the bonds between us all was getting stronger. While in Beara I took them in the cable car out to Dursey. All in our little family car and we’d sing our hearts out along the way. At night we’d go to the merries if they were there. They loved the slot machines, great when they won but not when their few coppers ran out. Back in the caravan we’d play cards and tell stories ,while one by one my little charges fell off to sleep. We never got any setback or accident, T.G. except for one stormy night in Ballybunion. Our abode shivered and shook and was in danger of blowing over like those around us, and Michelle held a holy cross in her little seven year old little hand all night asking God to protect her little four year old brother Dave and He did. Next morning we emerged bright eyed and bushy tailed ready for another fun day. Time flies, children grow fast and Ballyheige was our last place we went to. One day my  six as I called them, gathered around me and asked if they could stay in a tent, it being our last night. They’d met others in the dunes that day and formed a plan. The eagerness in the little faces took me by surprise. I needed to think, so I told them to go off and play while I made up my mind. Soon they were back for my reply and I said yes because the last thing I wanted was to disappoint them, but my mind was racing. The work started just beside the caravan and you never saw a tent going up so fast. Driving pegs  throwing on the cover, securing it all hands on deck and finally  to pull up the zip. Then it was off to play until I called in for food. The weather was not good, rainy, cold  and they didn’t go out again so we played games and we told stories and talked about the days happenings until it was time for their big adventure. They bundled up their sleeping bags, a flashlamp, music, the tuck box etc. etc. and spilled out the door. But alas they were not long outside when they came with the bad news that the tent was all wet inside and they couldn’t use it. Needless to say the disappointment was soon forgotten and we had more fun till they fell asleep and I with a feeling of relief like never before. We came home the next day our week was down and we came home next day they were getting bigger then and went on holidays with their parents. Life went on and our bonds of love and friendship still to the good. And whenever they meet, they can’t wait to recall those wonderful childhood years. But it was only when Ken, the oldest, got married many years later, that I plucked up the courage to tell them that I threw a bucket of water into the tent all those years ago ,it was easier than  having to tell that I couldn’t allow them sleep in it. There are ways, don’t you agree.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 12th July”

Eily’s Report – 6th July

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

The hunger for outdoor pursuits was well portrayed  this past week with the huge attendance at outdoor events. The Willie Neenan five-mile race which is no stranger to great support, didn’t disappoint. Supporters filled the town on Friday evening and some lined the way along to lovely route taking in the picturesque Glebe road. The Glebe road was the real deal for the aristocrats of the town when I was a child. You had to be a certain sort of person. Know how to walk with an expensive looking walking cane. Know what to wear  and have the proper company. Mostly married couples of mature years. Very staid looking never smiling, dead intend in conversation with one another. The women always wore heeled shoes, common by todays standards I suppose which could not have been that comfortable for the long trek, five miles. But perhaps the walking cane helped. Himself in his tweed suit and long gabardine overcoat and hat. The lady also wore a hat. There was an educated way of using the cane. After every few steps or more, the end of was given a little toss in the air while the knob turned in the palm of the hand. She wore her well tailored calf-length tweed coat, often topped off with and expensive looking natural fur. Very like what she wore going to Mass on Sundays. Sometimes they met up with others of their class and had a brief chat before moving on for their weekly walk around the Glebe. I’d heard of the Glebe road, but it was years before I ventured that far and when I did, it was easy to see how it attracted these town business people who were cooped up inside a counter or an office all week. The French Sisters of the Divine Jesus were in vogue back then at Drishane Castle with a upmarket boarding school for girls,(who could afford it) and a busy working farm and knitting factory which gave employment to may locals, both men and women. So there was plenty for the passers by to see.  To us young mortals Drishane was something of a mystery. It was down there away from our daily lives. For one thing they could be seen walking in groups on the roads outside the Convent, which was alien to us because our nuns in the Presentation Convent couldn’t come out at all. Not that we ever encountered one of them and we were told that you addressed them as madam while we addressed ours as sister. As a child you accept many things as normal, because you don’t know how to ask questions and those whom we’d ask them of wouldn’t be able to find answers. So it’s only in later years that it dawns on you that you just settled for what was handed to you and if we could go back I bet we’d do it all again the same way. The road took the walker around a great deal of the Drishane Estate. So the scene kept changing all the time. Sometimes past the historic entry gate with it’s mini castle feature, clear views of the Castle and buildings below, then the rolling meadows and cornfields and the tillage fields providing fruit and veg for the large number of residents and staff.  The historic graveyard could also be seen in the distance.  Turning off the main road was a joy all of its own with the huge beach trees meeting overhead forming a cooling tunnel, a wonderland, scented by the lush greenery on all sides. The next entrance gate to Drishane brought a change of view, the cooling waters of the busy Finnow  came insight as it rushed along under the road, to meet the Blackwater before they joined forces to make their way to Youghal. The humpback bridge ,I’m sure was a great place to stop and gaze into the river and get a different look at the Drishane Estate. Moving on past the home of the Doody Family, the shiny waters of one of the historic ponds couldn’t be missed. Reminder of the great lime industry which the place was famous for in the past. Trains were powered by steam on those days and you’d wonder did the strollers ever encounter a steam bath as they neared a passing locomotive as it filled the vale with it’s puffing steam. As they crocked the railway they came to the the last lap on the approach  back to  town  which gave them a view of the McCarthy O’Leary Estate and a reminder that because of them our Railway is now a mile from town. Coming up  must have been a welcome sight and an appetite for evening tea  neatly prepared by the maid. A big different from the fast-moving competitors who went there last week in honour of Willie Neenan. But no matter how you look at it the now and the then, we will always have folks who will go around the Glebe.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 6th July”

Eily’s Report – 28th June


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

Some like the rain, some don’t, but we all need it at least the land and the world around us do. It’s when nice warm sunny days turn wet, windy and cold days come that it becomes hard to bear. Warm clothes which were consigned to the shelf for the summer are pulled out again leaving us with over stocked wardrobes, crooks at the back of the bedroom door, or any other place where they can be easily accessed in a moment of chill, or wild shower. It’s a time when winter and summer clothes have to learn to live together. Not something that we like, but have to accept. People coming home from sunny climes, tell us of long hours day in and day out of brilliant sunshine. Little more than flimsy gear to cover their sun-starved bodies as they cash in on their good value break. But we live in hope of an improved July with lots of sun.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 28th June”

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.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 21st June”

Eily’s Report – 14th June

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

It’s hard to imagine that my next Report (dv) after this one will be on the longest day of the year. June 21. So don’t say that I didn’t tell you that the year is moving on. Moving on it is and we can’t stop it but are we making the full use of the passing days and weeks and months. There is no use in blaming the weather because we can do nothing about it but there are things that we can do regardless. The old saying the It’s better to light a candle than curse the dark, can also apply to the way that we can motivate ourselves into taking on a plan B if the sun don’t shine. God Bless our crowd  of who  headed off on a bus to Donegal on Monday morning 50 plus of them both men and women for four days all organised by our excellent Active Retired Committee. I know they will love it because I went on the very same program a few years ago with a lovely group from Castlemagner. But as I’m not the sit-at-home type I’ve booked a couple of more locally based trips. For a mere €25 the well  known Jerry Lehane will take us on  day trips around the rings of Kerry or Beara and even to Galway and more. He knows all the best places to stop and shop and eat and stretch the legs. In his very own relaxing way. Look him up on our website for details.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 14th June”

Eily’s Report – 7th June

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

The Bank Holiday weekend brought rain and more rain, mostly at night, just as people were remarking on the rather dry conditions in the ground. Mixed blessings as some blessed the soft rain in some places while  others far from happy because of plans spoiled by the wet conditions. One wonders how our Divine Maker can please us all. I look out my window almost in disbelief at my beautiful Laburnum tree. It’s sturdy limbs weighted down with beautiful yellow tendrils in bright yellow. Maybe others wouldn’t be so moved, but since my childhood seeing them in the Convent grounds where we went to school I’ve loved them and longed for the day when I’d have my own Laburnum tree. They say that everything comes to those who wait and believe me I have waited. Didn’t get the chance till we retired and then having purchased a fine healthy sapling made the mistake of planting it near other shrubs which were well established giving the snails a launching pad to go on board my precious Laburnum and make a meal of it’s juicy foliage. Box and all they moved up to the highest limbs and took up residence until I discovered them on high when it was too late.  Enter a new plant and I waited a few years for it to mature, eventually after my long wait it flourished and put out a promising array of greenery all set to burst out in a mass of yellow. But alas it was not to be, along came a couple of days of wild wind and rain blew the  precious streamers to oblivion. I was tempted to cut it down and try something else. But decided to give it one more chance and low and behold my long wait has been rewarded. I can feast my eyes on the tranquil sight of my very own laburnum tree.  Makes no difference if it never flowers again or if I’m not here to see it, I love it now and that is all that matters.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 7th June”

Eily’s Report – 31st May

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

You hate to say it but time really is flying and we can only hope that we are making full use of it.  The tell-tale signs of a year moving on are all around us. Even the little broken shells on the ground is proof that the birds have already done their job of procreation and are busy feeding their chirpy garcucs (Baby birds) who never seem to stop asking for more. It’s silage time another reminder of the passage of time and the onset of exam time. Up to now the pressure has been piling on the students who are about to sit them. It gives me the pip every year when for months beforehand, the papers and the media and word of mouth are telling our students how awful it’s going to be and woe betide them if they don’t get tops. Often making those involved believe  that if they’re not worried out of their wits, then they mustn’t be trying hard enough. Sadly most students today go for an academic career leaving a wide vacuum of trades people. In my time it was always tradesmen, because the work of the carpenter, or the plumber, electrician or mason were men only. But is as open to the girls now as it is to the lads. And very often a trade is a less stressful way of life.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 31st May”

Eily’s Report – 17th May

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

The Month of Our Blessed Lady is moving on and the Holy Rosary is being recited at cross roadside Grottos and indeed at our own Tubrid Well regularly since the month began and will continue till the end. The annual Mass will be said at Tubrid Well on Friday May 27 at 7.30. Further to that Masses will be said at all of our Cemeteries during the month of June. Please keep an eye out for the dates.  While on the subject, I’ve been asked to mention that the toilets at Tubrid Well are not open which is a great inconvenience  to many who go to  pray there.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 17th May”

Eily’s Report – 10th May

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

The Merry Month of May is not very merry today (Monday) with rain falling instead of the twenty degrees heatwave which was forecasted. However we must be thankful for what we get, because the grass and flowers won’t grow without the rain and there’s no more to be said. I like to use the wet weather  to replenish my stocks of rain water. We cannot store up the sun, but we can store up rain. Old habits die hard and in olden times when every drop of the precious stuff had to be drawn in buckets from the nearest stream for general use and perhaps further away from the nearest well for making the tae or soup or boiling fruit and so on. So the custom of placing containers in strategic places to grab the liquid Manna from Heaven made sense. To put a barrel under the shoot came natural or many barrels under many shoots to make it better. Wetting the feeding for pigs, leaving pans of water out for fowl  to drink, water to wash the spuds for the dinner all took their toll on what was in the barrel and when the store was empty there was nothing for it but take the long trek with a bucket in each hand to resume the long haul. From watching those before us we learned to save and spare, and use and reuse. It became a habit ,and gave us a great sense of achievement if we succeeded in our quest. For example if the stores under the spout were not still drained out before the next rainfall we’d be delighted that we made it to the next re-fill. I’m still like that today and count my tubs full of rainwater as a free gift from God every time I dip in my watering can.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 10th May”