Eily’s Report – 26th May

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

Buíochas le Dia, no death to report from Covid 19 yesterday, for the first time since it all began back in March.  The first person died of the Covid 19 in Ireland on March 21st.  It is indeed great news. But it didn’t just happen. It was made to happen  by the efforts of every one in the country. Those at the top took on a parent role  and guided us through troubled waters, the likes we have never seen before. But we mustn’t forget that the battle still goes on and the hand washing, the social distancing, the staying at home as much as possible still goes on. Easy enough for me and my equals, but the young people are like greyhounds at the track, snapping at the gate to get out, it will take all the strength they have to keep a lid on it as they are slowly inched out to freedom. They have our prayers as we longingly await the first hug from loving grand/great grand children, other family members and friends.  But it will come,  le cúnamh Dé.

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

Eily’s Report – 19th May

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

I hope you are all doing well and are ready for the next step up in our global battle against Corona Virus.  It doesn’t make much difference to people of my age but it’s great to see so many businesses opening up and more people returning to work. Restrictions of course will be severe and I’m wishing all those who have got their freedom the best of luck and God’s blessing as they venture out into what can be called a new world. The world of social distancing and face masks and total dedication in their efforts to return to some sort of normal life. A life where queuing is the norm. Busy people having to stand  for up to two hours to get into a supply store. Being ever thoughtful to sanitise and in lots of cases wear a mask. It won’t be easy but at least there is movement and the air of freedom will give everybody the gusto to meet the new challenges, head on.

God love the little children. They still can’t go to school and meet their friends. I’m sure when they get going they will never again be heard to say, “Mommy why do I have to go to school?” Parents are playing a blinder as they take on a teachers role every day to supervise the lessons which come online to every child.    That’s only one section of the community. Some of  the parents of young people with special needs are finding it extremely difficult. In many cases, because they miss their friends and their routine, and they can’t understand why.

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

Eily’s Report – 12th May

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

I must say a special thanks to all those who contacted us during and after the radio program that Sean Radley and myself did on Cork Music Station last week. It was indeed a great honour for me to be invited by Sean . We are so glad that people enjoyed it. People from all over the world got in touch, to say they were with us. The power of the media knows no bounds and it is such a privilege for us to be able to draw our people from near and far under the umbrella of Cork Music Station for even a couple of hours.  At the risk of leaving somebody out I’d better not mention any names, but it was great hearing from you. Sean does this wonderful program every Tuesday night and it never fails to bring a taste of home to Millstreet people wherever they may be.

Thank God we all survived the dreadful thunderstorm that came to visit us on Saturday afternoon. It’s a long time since we got one as severe or as prolonged and coupled with the heavy rain it was dramatic to say the least. It caused power cuts in some areas and the  lightening caused fiery sparks to fly off many overhead wires while a house in another area was set alight. Dogs ran amuck as dogs always do when there’s thunder.  Owners have to pay special attention to their pets, because they need lots of comforting at such times.  Personally I have to say thanks to the thunder I was having an afternoon nap after doing a big clean up, removing garments  to another press of many that are now out of season and indeed out of use for the unforeseeable future. Having hung them out in brilliant sunshine I decided to leave the rest to God  and take a break until I was woken up with a bang  as the place shook around me, flashes of lighting lit up the world. Loud bangs of thunder and big drops of rain just starting to fall. In no time I had them all in the basket dry as a cork, and gave thanks that I caught them in time.

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

Eily’s Report – 5th May

May 5th And we’re off,  the lockdown is lifted. Well a little anyway for people of my own vintage. We are now allowed to go 5 km  from base. What will it mean. For one thing it means that we are stepping into another phase of our lives. Will it be called our life after the cocoon in our history books. We are on lockdown since before St. Patrick’s Day.  Like most others, I never went outside my own gate since then, never drove my car, didn’t go to a shop, or church or the Town Park.  Didn’t meet a friend for coffee, or buy any new style, any of the everyday things that we have taken for granted all our lives. It was the rule and we adhered to it.  What will our lives be like as a result. We will have to exercise great care, being off the road for such a long time will surely have played on our ability to drive safely again. It is so important that we don’t spoil  our newfound freedom by having a mishap.  The world knows it has been a strange and abnormal happening, but necessary of course.  I passed from the age of 86 to 87 during that time and in all my years have never thought that I and the whole world around me would become part of history at this part of my life for all the wrong reasons. History has taught us that there have been plagues in the past and they make sensational reading but they were long gone destined to the history books for anybody who would take the trouble to read about them. We are the history makers now and  up to now we are fortunate to have a government and medical crew who are guiding us through it as best they can keeping in mind that the Corona Virus is as new to them as it is to us.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 5th May”

Eily’s Report – 28th April

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

We have to start today by wishing the lovely Julia Murphy, Gortavehy a sparkling great 106th birthday, still hale and hearty, enabling her to enjoy every moment.  Julia has told her story over the years to Sean Radley, and it’s great to have it stored away for others to learn from as they make their own way up the ladder of life. Fondest love, and best wishes, dear Julia from our Community.

We are into the last few days of the month of April, the 5th of May can be far away as we anxiously await the verdict of the powers that be to let us know if we are to be released from our cocoon. Will we emerge as beautiful butterflies or caterpillars, I wonder. Seriously, though are we hoping to be told that we are free to go and  if we are , would we?  The stakes are high and after toeing the line so dutifully for the past five or six weeks would we break out now and run the risk of picking up the bug at the last hurdle. I doubt it.  The lockdown is by no means six wasted weeks. They can be seen as a gift, that has seen people from all walks of life, using them to catch up with some of the finer things of life, quality time with family and children, going for walks exploring new places in the locality that were always there but never had the time to stop and admire or learn about. In many cases telling others and letting them in on it as well. We  thank God for the continued fine weather. There isn’t a house in the country and maybe the whole world that hasn’t got a new coat of paint, a new garden fence  or long awaited repairs indoors. It  was great to see the roads almost devoid of traffic and see families  out cycling their bikes with gay abandon. Who could fault it.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st April

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

Fondest greetings, as we settle down to yet another week of total lockdown. The mind boggles at the enormity of it all. We are still trying to grasp the fact that people in the minutest corners of the world are restricted like we are and toeing the line accordingly. The One World Together global concert on Sunday night  on RTE2 brought it home to us again as if we needed reminding. With singing stars from every corner of the world saying the very same as we are here. We dare not ask  when will it all end or what is the world going to be like by then. I started a jigsaw of a thousand pieces a few days ago and its going to take me months and months to put it all together again. I think that is the way I feel about the world today, it is broken up  by sickness, by massive closures and mass unemployment. Some businesses will never open again.  But there will always be a need for people, perhaps they wont be doing what they did before but they will be needed when the world picks up again and with the Corona virus experience behind them I think it’s going to be a better place.

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

Eily’s Report – 14th April

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

The morning sun on the dewy grass turns the lawn into a carpet bejewelled with millions of diamonds and the (hated), moss is beautiful to walk on, maybe it wets my shoes but I’m sure I have another pair.  The lovely scene will be gone very soon and it would be a pity to miss it. With the power of Skype I showed some local scenes to my friends in the faraway Wild West of Nebraska last week where the prairie stands brown still in the tail end of winter and they were amazed at how green everyplace is here. The red camellias and yellow daffodils and multi coloured primroses painting a beautiful picture for me to show to my friends.  Sometimes  it’s only when you hear others saying how lovely some thing is that you stop a say to yourself, yes it is.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  I always leave a seat or chair in different places in my garden where I can sit down at any time and enjoy it and maybe say a little prayer.

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

Eily’s Report – 7th April

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
I hope you are all doing well following the first week of our more intensive isolating and social distancing. For people of my vintage the order was clear cut, stay at home. For others it wasn’t so plain. It’s easier to be something, rather than to be a borderline case. For those who were given a certain amount of freedom, there was always the concern when going to the shops or Post office etc.  Bringing  stuff to people, as to whether they were observing the rules to the full degree of safety, but in the three weeks since our isolation, be it partial or full, we are grateful that no case of the dreaded Virus has broken out amongst us. So we face the future with determination and hope. Even in total isolation we can still learn a lot. Things we miss, things we can do something about, and things we can’t.  I am a great believer in doing  something about the things we can changed and improved. For three weeks now lots of those in total isolation have spent most of their time sitting inside the window looking out. The weather was great and there was lots to see. So it is of vital importance that  that window should be kept perfectly clean. The dry windy weather blew a lot of dust on to the panes and bit by bit the vision became dull. It is amazing the difference it makes when a window is cleaned. The whole house looks cleaner and the views  outside become suddenly clearer. The moral being, if you love your Mom/Dad, clean their windows. There is no need to make a big deal of it, most windows have fine big panes now and the long handled  model, combining a mop and blade can brighten the view in minutes. Another important thing  is their specs. Few people get them done right. A Specsavers expert told me once  that specs cannot be properly cleaned without the use of a good lens spray with an alcohol content. Forget the rub of a towel, or toilet paper, or the tail of your gown. Alcohol content is the answer, so if you don’t  have some a dip into your bottle of Paddy or Powers will suffice.

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

Eily’s Report – 31st March

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

And so ends our two weeks of self isolation,  only to be followed by two more. Looking back it hasn’t been so bad. I heard an old man saying one time that  “to look ahead, forty years is a very long long stint, but believe me when I tell you that it’s nothing when its spent”. I think we can say the same but at a much lower scale about the past two weeks.  Looking back I can’t help wondering  where did they go?  What have I got to show for it. A lot of what we do in life, is determined by the way we handle it.  It’s really down to our attitude. A long time ago I came across the following piece  never read it more than once but put it into my scrapbook to be taken out and read again  “When I’d Have Time”Now I have weeks of time and if I share with you, you have weeks of time to read it. I  quote. “The longer I live the more I realise the impact of Attitude on Life.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes,than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness  or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that other people will act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one thing we have and that’s our Attitude. The writer is convinced that life is ten percent what happens to us and ninety percent how we react to it .We are all in charge of our own Attitudes’. Unquote. Sound advice.

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

Eily’s Report – 24th March

 

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

Another week on and we are still to the good, Buíochas le Dia. If there is anything good  to say about this present crisis, it has to be the weather. As they say  it is like the doctor ordered it. The whole world is in turmoil and new needs come on stream by the minute and new methods have to be found to try and meet them. For instance  test centres. They are popping up all over the place, in football pitches and other open areas.  The mild weather is playing it’s part. If we were getting wind and rain the temporary structures wouldn’t stand up to the pressure of elements and the important work of testing could not be held in such large numbers and by all accounts early detection is vital.

It is regrettable that we still have some people who  haven’t grasped the importance of isolation  and personal cleansing. You’d wish they would spare a thought for all our doctors, nurses, medical staff and volunteers who put their own lives in danger to save the rest of us. My heart goes out to them and to our medical people who are working abroad  and can’t ignore the call of home and come to help. They surely must be inspired by some super power that motivates them to turn a blind eye on their own safety to look after others. The whole world is in   their debt.                                                   At local level we are still trying to get used to the life-changing situation that we have found ourselves in. But we are getting there. Did we ever think that we would confine ourselves to a space of four feet in every direction. St. Patrick’s Day was different from anything that we have ever seen before. But to keep the custom alive in our hearts, families, who had no public parade to dress up for or watch, held their own ritual at home. Thanks to modern media the little  home-made parades were whisked off  to family and friends, on line where they could be watched over and over. Tri-colours were hung out and shamrock worn with pride. Letting the world know,            ‘that we shall overcome’.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 24th March”

Eily’s Report – 16th March

The Virus.

Cancelled, cancelled, cancelled, is all we ever see and hear at the moment. We are indeed living in strange times. Did we ever think we’d see a time when we are all told to keep three feet away from each other.  Everything around us closed down and wash our hands umpteen times every day. Well it has happened and we are on a two week lockdown as a result of this world-wide virus called Corona. A new word in our vocabulary  and as there is no way backwards, we will have to go forward and find ways to cope.

One redeeming feature has to be that it is not a danger to the young for which we are all deeply grateful. But as the finger points at those of us in the senior bracket  we will have to find ways to mind ourselves and pass the time.  Two weeks seems a long time to be more or less  confined to barracks, most of us on our own .Thank God for our phones and laptops, they will keep us in touch with family and friends from near and far. But there is need for more. Used right, the time can be both enjoyable and time consuming. Personally it will give me an opportunity to look again at all the lovely videos that are waiting year after year to get another spin, The Student Prince, The Sound of Music, videos from EuroVision  to mention just a few, as well as  family weddings and local happenings.   All the time in the world to watch them. No checking the clock to see if I should be somewhere else, and am I already late. There will be time to take a leisurely stroll in the garden, if there is a fine day and even if there isn’t. I can plant some seeds in boxes in the shed and have them ready to place outside when the time is right. D.V. Then there is that jigsaw of a thousand pieces that I got as a present and is still in the box. I can spill it out on the counter and take all the space  I like, because I won’t be having anybody to tea. That of course is the upside. Aside of that there will be times when time will hang heavy, times when I’d love to hop into the car and visit family of friend but  have to put down the keys again and ask myself is it safe for these people if I go.  A chance not worth taking.

  St. Patrick’s Day will be very different, no parade, no meeting of friends and supporters that we only see once a year. Personally I’m determined to hang out my tri-colour and wear a sprig of Shamrock ,not that anybody will see it, but it will make me feel that I am at one with all the other St. Patrick lovers all over the world and  we will all ask him to protect his Emerald Isle.

Thanks to the  modern media  which will enable us to attend Mass on the telly, and our mobile phones etc will keep us talking and talking . Those of us who have gardens and a yen for pottering in them can busy ourselves gathering up all of last seasons pots and emptying them and washing them, planting them up again, giving us faith in the future. But do what you like, I know we’ll never get through this without the Help of God. The days of looking or treating prayer as a joke are gone, gone.  It’s going on for a long time now and it hasn’t  worked, so let us go forward to the past if we want to succeed. My generation in the main never gave up the faith. All our lives, through our belief in God we prayed for everything, and never forgot to say thanks, and even when the world around us found that it was no longer fashionable to believe, we soldiered on. Still asking God to help a world that no longer believed in him.  But we can’t do it alone anymore, and now  we need help. Corona Virus seems to be a threat to the elderly. By no means do we look upon it as though God has deserted us, but as a wake up call to the unbelieving multitudes that we need them to pray for us and  with us now.   Masses on TV might be a good place to start, for those who are too shy or embarrassed to be seen going to Mass or prayers again.   Who knows by the time this crisis is over, they will be as proud as we are to be called soldiers of Christ.

Its not all bad, some days are bright and sunny, so we can get out and about.   The price of oil has plummeted and we can fill our tanks for less than ever. Always look on the bright side.

Please keep up your spirits, greet everybody  with a smile and a word of encouragement.   Honey gathers than vinegar.

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day.    And wash your hands.

Eily’s Report – 10th March

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

Fondest greetings everybody and I hope you are all well. It isn’t easy to open any conversation now without mentioning the Corona Virus so how can I be any different. The power of the media today is making the whole world  feel as small and as intimate as any parish or even a town land of old. In olden times, the spread of bad news should wait till after the morning trip to the creamery or on arriving at work, passing it on to people who would waste no time in bringing it out to the fields and scrioctering houses of rural areas. And the Cork Examiner was a must, bought at the local shop and taken home, from the creamery to where the whole family gathered around the boss of the house and listened with the utmost attention as he revealed the latest scoop. Reading done the paper put down and then a detailed discussion took place  weighing the pros and cons of the matter  before returning to the work of the day. If the subject was tragic or scary and worrying, there was time to tease it all out and find another angle and find strength and support in one another.  On the other hand if it was something lighthearted and funny the whole clan enjoyed the moment and had a wholesome laugh together.

Today if there is some incident be it good or bad in many cases the first place you’ll hear it from is Australia. There is always someone faster than you on the button and before you have time to press yours  the message will hit your screen from down under with maybe more on the story than you had. There is no doubt, it’s great but there is always a BUT, the family unit, as we knew it is gone and with it is the wonderful family support. Lots of people live on their own now. Every door is locked.  Bad news and upsetting messages are not easy to take  when there is no one to share it with, no one  to lean on, or thrash it out with.  The Corona virus is a case in point. Once the first account of it hit the media, it went viral. Having digested to initial shock, the fear of scarcities set in, sending the multitudes off to stock-pile. Emptying shelves  of whatever it was that they thought, they couldn’t live without, leaving others frustrated. People are creatures of habit and as such they’re frightened they’ll run out of something. It happens at Christmas, at Easter or any time we have a Bank Holiday weekend. I’ve seen it happen over and over and every time I see these wagons of food stuff leaving the Supermarket, I can’t help telling myself that they’ll never eat all that in two or three days.  The thought of wasting food scares me.  [read more …] “Eily’s Report – 10th March”

Eily’s Report – 3rd March

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

We have come through some of the most varied and powerful weather in recent times. And even though we didn’t suffer any major damage around here it did give everything and every one had a sense of uncertainty. Planned events having to be cancelled or going ahead and being badly attended. And our March Fair was no different on Sunday. Nobody fixes it but it’s a traditional thing that it goes ahead on the Sunday nearest to the first of the month and this year it struck it head on. The weather was exceptionally bad for the last few days of February which cast a doubt over the annual Fair. Every other year the vendors would come into town the previous evening and mark their territory by putting the iron frames for their tents lying by the curb and guard them jealously till time to get everything ship shape and open for business next morning. None of that happened this year.

Horses are not allowed on the streets of the town anymore. They are confined to what used to be our Fair Field, but now a modern car park. So our Garda did what they always do on March Fair Day. They put up lots of traffic signs and barricades, letting all and sundry know where to go and where not to go.  Anyway the first day of March dawned  and with it came bright sunshine and blue skies, heavenly calm, which continued all day long. There were only a few horses, few standings and very few people on the finest March Day Fair that we had seen for years. Oh dear.

International Women’s Day is on our doorstep. The experts say that women hold up half of the sky and I suppose having said that we’ll have to say that the men hold up the other half. That’s a nice rounded statement. Very fair and very balanced. Half for them and half for us. I just wonder when did it happen? At what stage did women begin to take another look at themselves and say  “I’m better than this”. God knows that and many others like me, have seen some mega changes in our time. Some you forget, others stand out. But the one that sticks with me is that women were always seen as the underdog and not just grown women. Girls of the family had to polish their brothers boots, iron their shirts, etc. Saturday night would find them doing these menial tasks while the lads played ball or some other boyhood games. There was a definite line between men’s work and women’s work. A man wouldn’t be seen hanging out the washing, cooking ,baking, making the beds, brushing the floor. Even in name she was Mrs Paddy Smith, not Mrs Mary Smith. A man was free to treat his wife  in any way he liked, he was The Boss and there was no law in the land nor the Church to protect her. Women rarely,very rarely had their names  included in any  property and if her husband happened to die, she could be put out in the road along her children. In the early part of the Century, women couldn’t vote, they had no say in the running of church  or state.                                                                              This paints a very sad and morbid picture of the life of women back then. The truth of the matter is that they were very happy and content and they shared their lives and difficulties with the other women around them. But that in itself was not a good thing. Thinking as they did like their mothers before them and coping with the same old problems, being prepared to go that same old  road again stopped them from taking another look at themselves and asking, ‘Is there another way’?        And as soon as they became aware of their own strengths and dreams and self worth, there was no stopping them. They came out of the shadows, built themselves up and proved to the World that  they had the power. In the early days of the 1900’s they made history by forming  one of the first Women’s wartime bodies which they called Cumann na mBan and helped the men to gain freedom for our country. They did it for us all and that’s why we can hold up Half of the Sky Today.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 3rd March”

Eily’s Report – 25th February

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

Shrove Tuesday and don’t we all love the pancakes. The custom is as old as the hill behind the house and is greeted with glee every time. Like everything else in the kitchen the job of making them gets easier all the time and the pancake today can be so varied. Gone are the days when you shook a bit of sugar on them and rolled them up. First of all, the mix. The old ritual of making the batter by beating  flour, eggs and milk is gone. The mix can now be bought in powder form, mix with milk and pour. Or they can even be bought made, stacks of them ready to be warmed and add your own flavouring, sweet or savory. Either way the humble crepe was always with us and is here to stay.

In a way I suppose it acts as the last laugh before we immerse ourselves in the penance of Lent. Tomorrow Ash Wednesday is one of the only two days of Fast and Abstinence that we have left in the Church Calendar year, the other is Good Friday. I have often wondered how having fish instead of meat could  be called a penance. I love fish  and  with the variety of it that is available today it’s a treat. In ways it has passed out meat, even in name. All the best places refer to it now as seafood, which elevates it to a very lofty status. It wasn’t like that long ago when the choice of fish for Lent was confined to salted hake or ling. It came to town heavily salted, dried and in the shape of the whole fish flattened out, like you’d see a sheepskin . Shops displayed it hanging outside the  door, regardless of wind or weather and cut it to the required amount for the customer.  Wednesday and Fridays were the fast days all through Lent so hake was in great demand  with some people buying the whole piece  rather than bit by bit. But even then  many people relished this fish, because it was cheap, portions were big and there was a great feeling of reiche (plenty) about it. It had to be steeped in water  overnight, sometimes changing the water a few times to get the extra salt removed.  Then into the pot and boiled. It was turned into a feast when dressed with oceans of creamy buttery white sauce with loads of onions, and flowery spuds to crown it.

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

Eily’s Report – 18th February

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

In Millstreet, St. Valentine’s Day was widely celebrated starting off on Friday and continuing right through the weekend. Our flower and chocolate outlets did a roaring trade  as did our jewelry and perfume shops, the food outlets and the all-important cards that  say the tender words that any lad or lass would be loathe to utter. The business people of the Town have to be commended for their efforts in dressings their premises in a wide range of brightly coloured decorations which didn’t go unnoticed.  It all helped to distract our minds away from the approach of the demon “Denis”  the Hurricane. All things considered, I think that we didn’t fare too badly around here.No flooded homes or power cuts and no road blocks due to fallen trees. By and large our people are good at listening to the warnings and obeying the rules which is vitally important. We did have a few claps of thunder and when I hear that I of course reach for the Holy Water and sprinkle it around and pray that all will be safe. But the very next thing  for me at any rate is to think of the dogs. I don’t own a dog, much as I’d love to, but dogs are terrified of thunder and if at all possible, should never be left unattended during a thunder storm. I think that the bold “Denis” is staying around for a little while longer,so remain on your guard.

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

Eily’s Report – 11th February

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

The severe weather warnings at the weekend painted a pretty solemn picture of what  we were to expect and we were well advised to pay attention.  The elements didn’t make it easy for us to cast our votes on Saturday but the howling winds and heavy rains  did nothing to dampen the determination of the multitudes to come out and avail of their just right to have their say at the ballot box. The outcome was to say the least dramatic and you’d wonder if our elections were always held on a Saturday would the response be as great.  I was talking to two university students the other day. The first lad hardly knew what I was talking about and didn’t bother to register while the other  had secured his paperwork and was all set to cast his first ever  vote when he got home at the weekend. I don’t know what that proves but it’s nice to know what the young people think because they are our future.

I don’t know about you or what you thought of the Election. The winners and the losers and so on  but I’m going to tell you that I’m glad to see the back of Minister Shane Ross. His handling of the drink/driving laws was nothing short of a criminal act. With the stroke of a pen he penalised our elderly rural dwellers and subjected them to a life of loneliness that sent them to their graves.  Alright maybe to say you can’t drink and drive but give something instead. Provide a reliable rural transport system that they could avail of to bring them to town to meet their friends for a drink and chat. It was such a beautiful social thing, which kept them clean, tidy and happy. To go to town they should shave, change into clean clothes and in some cases just wash the wellingtons. I always thought they looked great.  They kept the stories and folklore of old alive but when the new laws came in, we lost all of that.    To see them growing lonely, unkempt and sad   before our very eyes was painful to see.   The trend is still there today which caused the closing down of so many rural pubs and they were important to rural Ireland.

Can you blame me for not being sorry to see the last of Shane Ross?

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

Eily’s Report – 4th February

 

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

The Month of February has dawned and Spring has sprung and  the countryside is taking on the look of Spring itself. La le Breeda, Candlemas Day and the Feast of St. Blaise with the Blessing of the Throats are all annual reminders.   We look forward to the lovely St. Bridget’s Crosses every time and make sure to secure a new one to replace the old rather tired looking model that has kept us safe from all harm during the past twelve months. At Masses on Sunday, which was Candlemas Day the Priest blessed the candles which will be used on the alter for the coming year and people were free to bring their own for the blessing  if they wanted them in their own homes. In Blessing the candles Canon John extended a special blessing to the entire congregation. The Feast of St. Blaise synonymous with the Blessing of the throats always draws a big crowd with many people saying they never suffer any throat problems because of it and last night was no exception in our parish church.  It’s sad to say that there isn’t much interest on holy things today, but in the past the Blessed Candle and the Holy Water were vital in every home. Especially in the Spring at calving time, the Holy Water was brought out to be sprinkled on any new born animal, on the crops in the fields and people were not ashamed to thank God for his blessings.  Worried mothers shook the Holy Water on their boys and girls going out to dances or on himself taking a cow to the Fair so that she’d make a good price. There was very little guarantee with anything that time. No fixed price for eggs, livestock or any farm produce, so the Blessed Candle and the Holy Water seemed to have given people the confidence that all will be well. And if it didn’t it gave them the strength to fight on and to cope anyway. That inner ingredient is missing in a lot of things now and it’s a pity. ‘It’s not what matters to you but how you react to what matters that counts.’(A borrowed quote)

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

Eily’s Report – 28th January

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

Not everybody likes the month of January so I suppose it is with a certain amount of relief that they see it coming close to an end. It’s a month that sees the effects of  many of  the over  indulgences of Christmas, not least among them the unpaid bills or indeed many extra pounds on the body that does no good for the mood. It’s a month that sees many loved ones returning to other places, some to the other end of the world and facing a long wait before they can spare up enough cash to come again. But January isn’t all bad. The evenings get longer and Mother Nature  begins to push up the daffodils and many other little plants from their winter bed and it never ceases to amaze me how a spud, forgotten in a bag, be it at the bottom of the press or in the shed, can send out strong healthy shoots as soon as the month of January dawns. Looking at it how can you say there is no God?  We all need to be reminded of things to do, but Mother Nature gets her work done unaided and moves in mysterious ways.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st January 2020

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my report.
With the huge volume of traffic on our roads today there is danger lurking at every moment which I found out to my peril in the past few weeks. Travelling to Macroom for the NCT on my little 12C Renault Clio  which was fully serviced to give it every chance of passing. The morning was very wet with lots of surface water on the roads. About two miles from journey’s end I met a driver who swerved from the water on his side of the road and hit my wing mirror (never stopped) sending it flying out of its cosy nest. Luckily it held on by the wires at the back and I was able to pull in at a lay-by and press the mirror back into place, and continued on my way to the test which I passed. It was my lucky day, buíochas le Dia. Those who  rose early on Monday morning were met by a surprising blanket of snow in places. It was light and those who didn’t leave the warm valley between the sheets until ten missed the show. By then the snow was all gone but left some hidden danger spots in the way of unwary motorists. Sporadic snow and ice pose the greatest danger to road users, it can give them a false sense of security until they hit a bad patch and all of a sudden their plans for the day takes a sharp turn for the worse.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 21st January 2020”

Eily’s Report – 14th January

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome to my first report of 2020.

Not only have we a New Year, but we have a new decade. Going forward from today I feel ill- prepared to give an account of the happenings of past number of weeks  because of a long spell of flu, I missed out on Christmas completely. The lovely closing down parties before it where the many things I’m involved in around the parish, where everybody will recap on the past year, revamp friendships and plan for more of the same ‘after Christmas’. I missed all the lovely church services and the Women’s Little Christmas party etc.

Mind you I didn’t spend my time out, saying “why me”. It does us a lot of good sometimes to take a step back. Take time to think over  what you’re missing and how much we miss them. The involvement, the companionship and the support of such things become all the more important and  worthwhile when you are separated from them for a little while. Buíochas le Dia, all is well again.

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

Eily’s Report – 23rd December 2019

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

With only a matter of hours to go to the Magic Fest. It’s great to see the weather being mild and safe for travel as people rush around some to airports, trains, buses, cars, using every means of transport to be where they want to be for Christmas. Some of us don’t know what the feeling is like to be home for Christmas because we were never away but judging by the efforts that I’ve seen people making to be home with the family,it  must be pretty special.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 23rd December 2019”

Eily’s Report – 17th December

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

They said it wouldn’t catch them all and they were right. Yes i’m living proof that the Flu jab doesn’t guarantee and flu free winter.  My watering eyes and pain filled  joints and a palate devoid of any taste leaves no doubt in my mind that I have  the flu.  It reminds me of the flu that we used to get many many years ago  always after Christmas or early Spring. Never worse than  when the calving season was in full swing. Nearly everyone in the house used to get it but sick or no sick the animals had to be taken care of. After calving each cow had to be give a warm bran drink for three days, multiply that three or four cows calving at the same time. Water had to be fetched from the stream, turf from the shed and the big pot put on the range or over the open fire. With a long wait for the water to heat up and then take it to the cows in their stalls.  Meanwhile the sick people in their beds would be pleading for something to soothe their own misery.

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

Eily’s Report – 10th December

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome.

The lashing  snowy rain and high winds and thunder and lightening didn’t  deter our St.Vincent de Paul committee from hosting their annual church gate collection at the weekend. They took refuge in the church porch which gave them a degree of shelter but it was still a trying task. And now that the collection is over, their work is only beginning. We are indeed indebted to this dedicated group who carry out this work every year. They work tirelessly to bring  help to many in accordance with the various  needs. And their work goes on right up to the last minute on Christmas Night. Their main concern is that some people might be left out, so they are asking those who are in need to let them know. Every case will be dealt with in strictest privacy and respect.

Congratulations to Betty Corbett, Gurrane who won €1000 on the Maura and Daithi  Show on Monday.

Christmas Parties are being held at a great rate all over the place and I havn’t a hope of keeping pace with them all. The people of Aubane held theirs on Friday night.  The Mass was said by Canon John, the Church choir attended and the readings were done by the people of the locality. In his homily the Canon praised the efforts of the local committee for the great work they do in keeping rural Ireland and its customs and folklore alive and well. A large crowd attended and there were a few newcomers, some from other lands and the closeness of the event gave rise to new friendships and conversation. Following the mouthwatering refreshments, the Colmhaltas Group took the stage and played some lilting music that set some toes a-tapping. Following that we had local beauty, Breda Moynihan ,better known as a Diamond Sister and she had us all joining in at a rousing sing-song. We had young children and some bordering 90, all enjoying the same entertainment in a close and friendly setting, how could you ask for more. Many thanks to the people of Aubane and long may their Social Centre continue to flourish.

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

Eily’s Report – 3rd December

Dia is mhuire diobh go leir a cairde and welcome.

Our Christmas Lights were turned on with great gusto on Friday evening. Great crowds, including many from other countries and creeds.  All wearing Santa hats and sparkly gear adding a real carnival atmosphere to the occasion. If the evening was cold, nobody felt it. We had the pipe band, the community singers and the event was presided over by Community Council Chairman Noel Buckley.  There were no shortage of politicians for turning on the lights. Warming cups of tea were passed around. Thanks to a friendly Garda presence who saw  that all went well and passing traffic was not held up or delayed.
I have to compliment the hard working ladies who spearheaded it all and the many hands on people who worked so hard to made our Town Centre a bright and cheerful place in the run up to the Festive Season.

And now that the Christmas Season is on please shop at home. We need our shops and they need us. Our shops are always full of gift ideas at Christmas time. And they will all give vouchers which is the easiest way of all to shop.  There are many of us who neither want to wade into the masses in the big stores nor know what to get, so a voucher from a local store is a winner every time. Be it a beauty product, hairdressing, clothing, heating fuel , cutting hedges, paint a wall , trim the grass , the list is endless. Good luck to those who love to rummage through the big places, but there are many who almost  faint at the thought,  and the idea of a voucher says it all. I know it does for me.  So please shop at home.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 3rd December”

Eily’s Report – 26th November

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

We are into the last week of November, the month of the Holy Souls and still a few days left to gain an indulgence for the Holy Souls by dropping into any graveyard and saying a prayer for them.  We are also into the fourth week of the month when we are asked to pray for the souls of Faiths who do not believe in Purgatory.

This is the final week to sign up for Millstreet Text Alert for 2020. It costs just €10 and application forms are available at Wordsworth Book Store in the Town and at Gueren’s Shop in Ballydaly where you can sign up and pay and fill in the form. Please help others to avail of this great service if they are unable to do so themselves.

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

Eily’s Report – 19th November 2019

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

The monthly meeting of the Community Council was held at the Wallis Arms Hotel on Tuesday night. It was well attended and many important items were discussed. In union with our Gardaí we are asked to renew our Text Alert accounts for the coming year. The project is proving very successful all over the country, bringing a sense of security to all those who have registered. Happy in the knowledge that our Gardaí are watching out for us at all times and letting us know by phone if something suspicious presents itself. For those who didn’t register at Tuesday’s  nights meeting please know that forms are available at both Wordsworth book shop in town and at Guerin’s Shop in Ballydaly where you will get help if needed. Cost €10. But please bear in mind that the opportunity closes on  November Saturday 30th.

The Millstreet Calendar for 2020 will be in the shops in the near future and proceeds this time will go to cost of the new children’s playground in the Town Park.

There will be no Christmas Party/Market in Millstreet this year.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 19th November 2019”

Eily’s Report – 12th November

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

‘Oh the cold wind doth blow and we shall have snow, and what will the Robin do then, poor thing’. What will any of us do for that matter, except to take heed of the warnings and take every measure  to deal with it.  For a long time now we’ve been blessed with  very mild weather which has left us in a  false sense of complacency and assurance that it ain’t going to rain no more.  Then all of a sudden the warnings spring up telling us that we are in line for a spell of frost and snow and wind and rain. If we are wise we will pay heed. But if it never happens well so be it but we are prepared.

So many things have to be considered, care of people ,and stock of course, also family pets. Some in cages in the garden, others such as donkeys or ponies. The cold snap hits them the same as it effects ourselves. Bird feeders also must come into action and the crow that I saw burying a nut some months ago, I hope he will find his stash in good nick to tide him over the bad spell.

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

Eily’s Report – 5th November

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

Hannelie OConnor is getting friendly messages from all quarters to congratulate her that her native South Africa are World Rugby Champions.   Its not often that we have only one person  to send our cheers to at global level, so Dear Hannelie on behalf of our community,  please accept our heartiest congratulations, on what must have been an ultra proud moment for you.

The Month of the Holy Souls is moving on and our Church services continue. This year we are asked  to pray for different things each week for the month. Week one,  Pray for the Souls of  family and ancestors.

On Saturday night November 9th the Church Choir will attend the 6.30 Mass which will be said for all those who have died in Millstreet and Ballydaly in the past year. All the names are displayed at the beautiful  November Garden which can be visited at the end of the church.

[read more …] “Eily’s Report – 5th November”

Eily’s Report – 29th October

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

 This  week we welcome the repair work done by the County Council at the West End of the town. The crossing at the Church and car park have all been treated to a brand new surface . And what a difference it has made.  So smooth and so safe now,  we have to say a very sincere word of thanks to our County Council and to anybody who brought this welcome development to fruition.

 The dark evenings have crept up on us with the change of time at the weekend. And the touch of frost put manners on our lovely begonias and dahlias,  sending them back to bed until the Spring. I had waited with bated breath for my late flowering Crimson Dahlia to give me a blast of  late season colour and it strutted its stuff but for one night only before Jack Frost applied his wily ways. Aaah.

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

Eily’s Report – 22nd October

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

The first frosts of winter were crisp on everything when we got up on Monday morning. The sudden drop in temperatures sent us  reaching for our warm boots and scarves. But the noon sun came out and melted it all away.

On Sunday last which was Mission Sunday, some fruits of the earth were placed on the Alter for all Masses and the Priest thanked the Lord for the abundance food for both man and beast which the land produced over the past number of months and prayed for the hands that worked on them.  The choir sang hymns appropriate for the occasion.”All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all”.   Buíochas le Dia.

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