Eily’s Report – 25th January


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

We have some wonderful causes for celebrations here this week, as we rise from the ashes of Corona virus, the principle one being the 100th birthday of the lovely Gobnait Twomey, Murphy’s Tce. Still as bright as a button and straight at a needle, her wonderful  family and friends left no stone unturned to make  sure her gala celebrations well worth waiting a hundred years for. Not far behind were Denis Corkery and Noel Collins who were 80. Popular Postie Jerh Keating who turned 50. We wish them many more years of happiness and good health.

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Eily’s Report – 18th January

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

They say the world is always changing and how so true that is. Only last week our minds and hearts were full the story of  Charlie Bird and all the goodness that he portrayed in the face of his own death. His name was in everybody’s lips, but alas, following the dreadful events of this week you’d almost be forgiven for asking “who is Charlie?”No where in any part of the world have the proper words been found to describe the awful murder of the lovely Ashling Murphy. Never before have we seen such a reaction to the fatal attack on a lovely little girl who went for a walk after work. Our friends in Australia tell us of candle light vigils and other forms of support that are being held there in her honour. All over our own country cities, towns and villages are pulling out all the stops. Our own Town Park was a blaze of light and music on Friday night and in the village of Carriganima also. At times like these people are in shock and they want to do something.  It’s at times like this that they feel the need to be close to each other. People who never met before cling to one another, stand close for support, often saying nothing at all but just being there.

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Eily’s Report 11th January

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

Well I have it, I have Covid19, tested positive five or six days ago. Earlier trials proved negative and how I dreaded the wait to see if the second red line would move along and put me among the condemned. For a day or two about a week ago I didn’t feel great so I ventured on another test, a move I didn’t take lightly because the word was out that testers were in short supply. To make sure of doing it right I didn’t spare my poor nostrils, followed the rules to a tee and waited and then low and behold the second line reddened up. This time instead of feeling any sense of alarm, I was rather more relieved. Glad in a way that the waiting was over and there was nothing to do for it but hope for the best, listen to the body a give it all the help I could to help it cope.   Other members of the family ranging in age from 10 to 38, were already a week into their isolation and doing fine apart from headaches and stuffy noses. Now I’m the same. Having the advantage of my age I had the added guard of the booster in my system.

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Eily’s Report – 4th January

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde and welcome to my first Report of 2022.

I’ll start the year anyway, don’t know if I’ll finish it but will go as far as I can.  As far as the Good Lord allows and judging by the wonderful feedback that I got over the Christmas I am encouraged to continue. Many thanks to all those who took the trouble to contact me.

Greetings everybody and I wish you all a very happy New Year. When I began writing these weekly Reports, in earnest at the start of the Covid pandemic the world was a very frightening place. The future looked bleak with every country in the world reporting widespread cases and no hope of curbing it’s travels. But now more than a year later things have changed. Thanks to modern medicines vaccines soon came on the market which makes the future look a lot brighter. Being a pandemic of global dimensions meant that all countries despite former disagreements had to club together to find a solution, so many lessons were learned at top level. Today though still a serious threat, Covid19 is not regarded as being the sure killer that it was, and for that we are truly grateful to God and to science. My own family didn’t escape but those who were affected some months ago have fully recovered and those going through it at the moment have our prayers that they will likewise come through Covid 19 unaffected.

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Eily’s Report – 21st December

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

December 21st. The shortest day of the year. From now on things can only be looking up, each day will have a few moments more, evenings will get get gradually  brighter and as we plough our way through the pandemic a bright day makes everything seem better and it starts tomorrow. So chin up until next June when the longest day is the 21st will see the year slowly winding down again. The cycle of life and the very circle of life was brought back to me this week with the lovely response from Gerard Chambers proud son of Maureen (Murphy) whom I mentioned last week and how she followed in the footsteps of her lovely Mother Katty.  How she continued the trend by singing in the choir of the adopted home town in the USA, thus completing another circle of a seed well sown. Many thanks Gerard for your welcome response.

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Eily’s Report – 14th December

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

The third Pascal Candle, a purple one, was lit on the Alter before Masses at the weekend, letting us know that the Season of Advent is moving on fast. This weekend the candle will be pink and the one for Christmas Brilliant white. So let us leave no prayer unsaid in the run-up to the great feast of the birth of Jesus on Saturday December 25th. But before then there are lots to be done. The level of fundraising has reached fever pitch as people some for the first time are throwing all their energies behind the effort to ensure that not one person will go without their needs this Christmas, whatever those needs may be. They say that nothing is ever all bad, that every cloud has a silver lining, that there is always another way and I think that the awful corona virus has proved all of these things to be true. When no way forward can be seen or achieved then it’s time to take a step back and consider an alternative. Life goes on, it has to. It’s not of our making, we can’t switch it all off so we must find a way or ways forward. It looks to me as if the world has looked at the less well off in a different way, taking the view that with a little help a great deal of situations can be brought up to speed, in a way that will give the have-nots to chance to become equals.  The present situation has changed many people’s lives. None or very few foreign trips to visit family abroad  or for loved ones to come home. At home there are mass cancellations of concerts, family parties, or hotel breaks. These things cost a lot of money and planning, but without them people have both time and cash on their hands, which sends them off in pursuit of something to do  and what could be better than to turn their thoughts and energies towards the country’s human problems around them.

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Eily’s Report 7th December

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

All the headlines both on paper and the media carry warnings of Storm Barra. A severe thing by all accounts. Our Millstreet website carries a picture to show us where we stand and by all accounts we’d better listen to the what they’re telling us . Great if it’s not as bad as they say,but better be sure than sorry. We can all see a few things that we can do to improve our situations in times like these. As I’ve said so many times before how we’ve become so dependent on so many things that we have no command over any more. It wasn’t like that in the old days. Not everything worked, we just didn’t have everything but what we had we were able to manage. Today if the car won’t go  you can do nothing with it until you try for help, whereas in days of old if the horse or donkey stopped you gave it a little rest or a poke of the stick and away they went. If the paraffin lamp quenched for the want of oil you remained in the dark and did with the light of the fire to get around or just sit and talk. Today if the power goes out the fridge will stop so will  the freezer and food will rot and there is nothing you can do until  the right person comes along to restore it. Many of us are using oil heating now, it’s clean and efficient and so labour saving  but what happens if the ‘light’ goes out, there is no power to pump the stuff in. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that the great Henry Ford died of the cold when a cold spell happened when he was living in his ultra modern  country mansion ,which was fitted with all the mod cons of the day.  The heating system died and so did he of the cold. A sobering thought. I’m an oil freak now, enjoying the benefits of it all, but I’m never be without a supply of smokeless coal, kindling and firelighters in the shed.

The 45Drive due to be held in the Canon O’Donovan Centre this evening  has been cancelled on account of the weather.

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Eily’s Report – 30th November

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

I’m trying to gather my wits about me at the end of a long day. An eventful day but one with a safe and happy ending. In advance of a Hospital procedure, later this week at CUH I was told to present myself at the Orthopaedic Hospital in Cork today (Monday) for a Covid test. In my innocence I gave myself only an hour and a half to get there not counting on all the road works that are going on between here and there. In normal times it’s a one hour journey. But I was playing safe as I hadn’t driven there in a long time. My first stop was at the bypass works, coupled with a building site this side of Macroom. Following a few minutes delay I motored on happy out that it took so little time. Through Macroom was the usual crawl but I was still OK for time and headed off out of town but alas very soon it was plain that we were going nowhere fast. From the edge of the town my skyline was blurred by the sight of huge lorries that never seemed to move. I daren’t look at the time. But on reaching the turning  for Coachford  I made a fast decision to take it even though it threw my mental plan for the hospital out of focus. Luckily there was scarcely a car on the road so I motored on. Right all the way as far as the North Gate Bridge in the city where I would veer left for Shandon Street but somehow things were not as plain on the road as they were in my head but surprise, surprise after many diversions I arrived at my destination twenty minutes late. At Block 7 there was a row of cars, about twelve cars in line all heading for the arch, where you would drive in for the test. A lady came out asked for my details, I could see they were all written on the little phial which she had in her hand and when all my answers compared to the ones in her hand we were in business. She couldn’t be nicer and more pleasant, which made the poking at my throat and nostril seem completely painless. Driving out the gate I felt elated, I did it. I then  made my way across the city where Geraldine and Mick had the kettle boiled for a welcome cup of tea and lunch. Anyone of my family would have driven me, but I’m reluctant to part with any ability that I have, believing that If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Needless to say, prayer plays a big part.

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Eily’s Report – November 23rd

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

It was a very exciting week in Millstreet with the ceremony of  turning on of the Christmas Lights stealing the show over everything else. The hard work that went into the  preparations paid off and thanks to the mild weather of late, even the hanging baskets on the poles looked fresh and colourful. Due to another engagement I missed the speeches and the actual turning on but it was justly rewarding for me to arrive into town and find the place bustling with a carnival atmosphere. Whole families came to town. Tiny tots were dressed up and balloons were popping.  The place was like is used to be in not too distant past. To have world champ Steve Collins to do the necessary and give his speech only reminded us of how fast the past 25 years have flown since he became world champion here in 1995. His friendly demeanor and openness endeared him to all and the youngsters who got his autograph will treasure it all their lives. In his own inimitable style Noel Buckley chairman of our Community Council spoke for us all in fitting words that only he could put together and Margaret Bourke, treasurer of the Community Council made a presentation to Mr Collins on behalf of the people of Millstreet. The Members of our Garda Siochana mingled with the crowd, their friendly presence adding that protective aura which is always so much appreciated. Capabu shop were serving hot chocolate and other goodies while warming crepes with the flavours of your choice were also available on site. All in all it was an occasion to be remembered for all the right reasons and well done to all those who were associated with it. It only goes to show that when Millstreet is asked to do something, they can do it well. A fuller account plus photographs are available on our website.                  While still with the website, it was great to see our own Sean Radley back in action again  for this historic occasion  following his recent foot surgery.

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Eily’s Report – 16th November

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

Fondest greetings everybody as we bask in weather that is so warm, mild and pleasant. Outdoor events are being held with no disturbance from the elements. People intent on fundraising are enjoying a bumper time with the weather playing no small part. The great music afternoon, held at Star Trax venue on Sunday by Peter Lane of Blackwater Sound Fame, in aid of his brother Pat surpassed all records. Supported by many of his friends in the music business, they pulled out all the stops in support of his beloved brother, the Pat and while we compliment them all on their great success we want to wish the popular Pat, our prayers and best wishes for a speedy recovery in Dun Laoghaire. It will surely lift his heart to hear of the large crowds who turned out in support of  his deserving cause.

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Eily’s Report November 9th

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

The month is moving on, some days are as sweet as summer, others with a brrr to send you searching for your woollies. Showers come sending us running, well trying to run for cover.   In our minds, I speak for those of my own ilk of course, we think that we can run and bend and twist and turn as we did in our youth but alas putting it into practice is a different matter. Old habits die hard and how we’d love to be able to tear around at work or play as we did in our young days. Days of hard physical work, days climbing mountains, engaging in long walks, never having to stop and think if I can make it or do it, in your youth, yes you can and what a joy it is when the task is complete. But you never lose the feeling of achievement that such challenges bring and today when I see younger people doing great things I pat myself on the back and say, “I’m so glad I climbed Carrauntoohil twice when my girls were in their teens we cycled from Achill Island to Millstreet twice on bicycles that had no fancy gears and the Ring of Kerry also. Those were great days for cycling, roads were not too busy and safety was taken for granted. On a bike you  can see the country inch by inch, smell the air, stop for a better look at something that caught your attention, talk to people along the way. You can discover places to come back to with the car and tell others about it. Eating at the side of the road was a joy in itself. Apart from a welcome break, the food tasted so much better and over night stays at a friendly B&Bs, gave you the opportunity to meet the residents and get the story of their particular place. But nobody can do it all, I never climbed Mushera Mountain, why, I don’t know and I can safely add that I won’t now, but I’m pleased with what I did and my advice to any one starting out is to do it all while you’re young because the years mount up faster than you think. A nice walk in our Park still fills me with great satisfaction, sometimes with the aid of my walking stick, it’s best to slow down but also best never to give up.

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Eily’s Report 2nd November

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

Welcome to the Month of November. It’s is the month in which we think of our beloved dead and pray for them as well as getting Masses said for the repose of their souls. Check our website for details of all the Masses and ceremonies that will be held in the days and weeks ahead. The month starts off with All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day November 2nd  and make a note of  Saturday November 13th. Mass will be said at Tubrid Well that evening at 5 pm.

The minute the sun comes out we tend to forget what it was like earlier. I’m writing this today November 1s t All Saints Day, weather wise  it is a mixture of sun and showers and the sunny spells give us a cheery feeling  which tides us over the wintry shower that follows. But the closing days of October gave us no such relief because it rained incessantly both day and night. Floods ran down the streets and yards as people like me, viewed them from the safe havens of our homes.  I like looking at the rain and floods, if they are no threat to life and property around me. In the old days  when farmyards were devoid of any solid foundation and were a far cry from the state of the art creations of today,other than the earthen base which bore the weight of all the farm buildings leaving humps and hallows which trapped every morsel of animal sewage. In Summer they dried up during  the long sunny days but it was another story in winter.  With all stock and fowl housed and toxic pools grew bigger and deeper. Small children often fell into them and following a quick rub down, resumed their play. Such conditions were part and parcel of every rural farmyard. There was seldom a mention of any sickness or blood poisoning even though cuts and bruises were common. Looking back on life the sun seemed to shine all the time. But the one time I can recall about the rain was how the men made great use of a wet day to brush the yard. The heavier the rain  fell the better. Rainproof wear was not only scarce,  it was non-existent and I can still  see the Fear a’ Tighe  in his knitted geansie and old trousers and hobnail boots course brush in hand and he giving vent to the muck, helped on in no small way by the floods of rain falling from Heaven. Didn’t always change his clothes after the task was done but continued on see to his stock before calling it a day. Was it any wonder that so many of them died of the ‘pains.’  My own yard gets lots of sticky residue  washed in from the passing traffic,on the busy road outside and I make no wonder of reaching for the coarse brush and taking the help from the passing showers to rid my patch of anything from fallen leaves and other muddy stuff , that I can do without.  Old habits die hard.

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Eily’s Report – 26th October

As a mark of respect for the late Denny John Hickey, my  weekly report will not appear this week in it’s usual format.

To lose a husband, a dad, a dad-in-law, a granddad a brother, an acquaintance, a friend or neighbour like Denny John is a dreadful cross to bear. His untimely death has left a deep void in the lives of all those who knew  and loved and respected him. His devoted family, extended family, friends and neighbours.                                                                                

 Denny John was someone that I knew who worked in Noel C Duggan’s yard over the years where I found him pleasant and obliging at all times. But it was only when his beautiful daughter Denise and my son John D got married that we  all got better acquainted and progressed into a life of friendship, co-operation, joy and everything that goes into making life  lived to the full. In time Molly and Dan came along and Denny John was always there to record their young lives on film, to play ball with Dan and show him his tricks of the game while Mary encouraged Molly to develop her natural aptitude for cooking and baking. But that is only a mere example. I, having been part of it all never tired of the atmosphere of wellbeing which existed throughout. I could write volumes about it but not now. Some day I will, because such a wonderful story should not be lost to history.

Sickness came as sickness will as is the will of God and has to be accepted.  What cannot be cured must be endured.  But God promised that no matter how heavy that cross may be that he will give the strength to bear it and that is what we ask of him today that he may lighten the burden of Denny John’s death for the family that he loved so well.  His youthful demeaner will live on in their memories in the Land where he will never grow old and where he will  continue pray for them all.                                                                 Our deepest sympathy goes out at this sad time to  Denny John’s grieving family, his  wife Mary, daughter Denise, son Padraig, Son-in-Law John D. Grandchildren Aoise, Molly and Dan and all his extended family and friends. May God console them all in their grief and grant the soul of Denny John Eternal Rest.

The Results of this weeks lotto draw which was held on Bank Holiday Monday night .Numbers drawn were 8,22, 28,30 and the Jackpot was not won. €100 Went to Teisha Carroll, Drishane View, the seller was Tom and he got €50 sellers prize. €50 went to Maura Cronin, Main St. €20 each to Patrick Murphy, Pound Hill, Irene Duggan, c/o the Camogie Club, Humphrey Healy, The Bridge Bar, Donal & Billy Cronin, Knocknakilla, The Lynch Family, The Kingdom. Agnes Twohig, c/o Colemans. Nora O’Sullivan c/o Colemans, Mary McSweeney, Killarney Rd.  Next Draw Sunday October 31st Jackpot €16,800.


Eily’s Report – 5th October

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

How great it is to see so many places and events opening up again. There is a definite air of confidence and relaxation about. It’s still the done thing to wear the mask in certain places and as long as we keep on wearing them the situation will allow us to take more liberties. Sadly our churches are the one place where we feel that restrictions could be eased more. I know that more people allowed in would mean a big increase in the amount of after care for the people who have to wipe every seat etc. when the crowds are gone but I’m sure more volunteers would come on board. It’s sad to see the First Holy Communions and Confirmations going ahead without full family back.  After the ceremony the chatter and comradery among many generations of family always made them days to remember. Precious pictures were taken,  and as the years rolled on were dearly cherished as part of the family tree. These gatherings are very important but in years to come I wonder will there be a gap in the pictorial history of the early 2020’s. But with the hunger that is in people to get back to normal, we hope it won’t be even noticeable.

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Eily’s Report – 28th September

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

OOOh, those showers are windy and cold, a big change from the soft tropical like days of recent times. It’s takes a lot out of the system to take such rapid changes in temperature. Mind you we did get prior warning from those  whose business it is to keep an eye on what’s  in store for us from the skies but we are slow on the uptake because they have been proved wrong so many times, a little bit like the boy who called wolf.

Among other things we had no less than two local weddings at the weekend and they must be counting their blessings today that the Good Lord blessed their big occasions with brilliant sunshine.  What a difference is the weather, for the past couple of weeks people have embraced the out of doors with a hunger to be outside, from high powered car events, to strolls in the woods or traversing food fairs, very often raising massive amounts of funding for needy cases. New attractions are coming on stream all the time and each with the under the skies in mind.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st September

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

Fondest greetings everybody,  as we sail into the third week of the ninth month, we can’t complain about the weather. It is calm and pleasant and rich. The greenness of the mountains and fields around us looks almost artificial and unreal. There seems to be an upsurge in the amount of land which has been newly reclaimed and re-seeded. In no time at all the naked earth is sporting their  new green coats, filling us with confidence for the future. I’m sure there are those who think I’m crazy to be so interested is such things, but once a person of the land, a person of the land forever.  The importance of the land can never be overestimated. In one way or another, everything we do or have is connected with it. It’s the raw material that God gave us to carve our lives out of. Everyone to their own, as children we found ourselves very different from our town and city cousins, a difference that made us feel inferior. Unkept, we even pronounced our words in a different way to  them and looking back now I can’t help but ask myself, why?  How come? Us rural folk seemed to use the letter H in too many places. For instance the word slap was pronounced Shlap, Skirt /Shkirt and so on. We also spoke with sort of a drawl and were often the butt of a townies joke as they nudged each other and winked at our quaint ways.

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

Eily’s Report – 14th September

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

You’re never too old to see or learn something new. They say there is always a first for everything. The latest mini-heatwave came as a bit of a surprise, well I wasn’t expecting it anyway. I always take cover indoors when the sun is too hot. It’s another advantage of being on the non-working list. Those engaged in outdoor employment have the take the heat. God love them. Animals can also be affected in their own way and if they are free to do so can head for cooler terrains.  But one of our family canines wasn’t so smart recently. Not yet a fully grown Labrador with a satin furry coat, he basked in the noon-day heat for longer that was good for him and got violently sick. From both ends of his little body and couldn’t even stand up.  The concerned owners took him to the vet and were shocked to hear that their beloved pet had sunstroke. There wasn’t much to be done except wait until he cooled down, had plenty to drink and take cover from extreme heat for a while. It was our first time hearing of a dog getting sunstroke.

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

Eily’s Report – 7th September

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

Please be reminded that the weekly 45Drive resumes at the Canon O’Donovan Centre, Millstreet tonight Tuesday at 8.30.  Give it your best support. Proceeds go to the Centre.

Welcome to the month of September, the first week already gone. The time goes so fast, let’s not waste a minute of it. Time lost cannot be retrieved. How do I know that, I wonder. The passage of time has taught me that a missed opportunity could make all the difference between success or failure, joy or sadness, love or not, it doesn’t have to be a major thing. Just saying no to an offer of a day out, or a challenge which required your own endeavour to get something off the ground. Better to try and fail than never to try at all. Sometimes a small failure takes it’s toll in our pride but the lesson learned could be priceless.  No matter how old we get, we never stop learning, never too old to make a mistake nor to recover from it. So we venture on. Like the cream on the milk, the important things keep rising to the top and what could be more important than food. Each one of us have our own preference, be it the taste, or the price and so on. Almost every program on TV these days includes a section of food and cooking. I love watching them even though I never take them on board and for the most part continue what I always did.  I’m rarely without an opinion or gripe these days, this time I’m standing up for one of my favourite meats  Streaky Bacon. Bacon not pork.  I have a few friends who love it also, but can’t get the like in our town. Streaky rashers are quiet common in the local stores and sell very well, but not in a slab like other pieces of bacon. I have never seen streaky bacon used in any one of the cooking programs on TV. Eating out it is not on the menu. It goes under different titles, Belly cut, Side cut. To those of us who appreciate it, it is the most palatable and flavoursome part of the pig. The even  layers of fat and lean complimenting each other. It’s usually boiled with cabbage of turnip, or any veg for that matter. But to give the final result that extra oomph, put it under the grill to brown the top and further enhance to final result. When I asked about streaky bacon in our local stores I was told that they couldn’t sell it. People would not buy it and in places where it is sold in butcher shops in Cork City they have to sell it at half price to move it off the shelf. Maybe one of these days I will contact one of these experts on the box and ask them to do a meal of it to infuse new life into streaky bacon and tell the world how they’re missing out on the best part of the pig.

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

Eily’s Report – 31st August

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

The last day of yet another month of 2021 and what a lovely way it has chosen to end with beautiful warm/hot sunny days and pleasant balmy evenings giving everybody the chance to get out and do whatever they like to do. Our weekend was full of things to do with lots of outdoor pursuits to choose from. The International Horse Trials at the Green Glens, outdoor music in Carriganima and at Star Trax Studios in Knocknagree. At Family level there were some special birthdays to celebrate from the tiny age of two right up to the 80’s and even 90’s. Our heartiest congratulations go  out to them one and all.  In spite of the fact that attendance at the Horse Show was limited for obvious reasons, there was a brisk upsurge in the demand for accommodation and our food outlets were rushed off their feet. Many thanks to Sean Radley for giving us the spectacular  pictures of the Show.  Others took to the hills and the notice boards in the town were being scrutinised for information on what Millstreet has achieved in the past and what it has to offer from now on. As an upgrade on the Beara Way, some new signposting was put up in the Clara Road and in the to pointing out the Bridge Crossing over the Blackwater at Dooneen.  Our 11.30 Mass on Sunday was very special. There was a marked increase in the number of those in attendance and the ushers were kept busy escorting people to where seating was available. Their work had to be admired for their professionalism. Numbers checked at the door and as spaces became fewer, each one or family were led to places as far up as the alter and when it was over the  group of volunteers began their task of cleaning of all the seats etc as they have done since our church was opened to us many months ago. We are so grateful to them and to Canon John, Fr Paddy, Fr Billy, organist Deirdre and all of who make our church services so special. Alas a few people still remain at the end of seats thus depriving others who come after of a place to sit.

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

Eily’s Report – 24th August

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

We won’t talk about sport, but that doesn’t mean that we are losers all the way. Indeed we have great pleasure in congratulating Gillian and Raymond Gilburn on winning first prize of two tickets to Sundays Match for being the best dressed residence in the run-up to the match and he being from the Treaty town himself only went to double the joy for him. Their premises, representing both Cork and Limerick at the Killarney Road end of our town was a credit to them.  Once again they made us proud as they have done so many times in the past as they sweep the boards all over the country at Horse racing and other National events for being the Best Dressed people there.  Many congratulations to them and long may The Gilburn Family continue to be successful at what they do best. Credit also to all those who made the effort to brighten our town with flags and bunting not to mention Humphrey’s red car down at the dip of the town. Thanks  also to his artist supreme Brian O’Leary. Needless to say our commiserations go out to the Cork Team who didn’t make it on the day but will  sometime in the future.

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

Eily’s Report – 17th August

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

According to the books the months of Autumn are September, October and November but the changes of our climate disagrees in part at least with that as the season of autumn is well on it’s way even though we are only in the middle on August.  August as we knew it was a month full of promise, the time when we looked forward to reaping the fruits of our labour. A time to wonder through the fields and admire the crops now coming into harvest time. Some have the hay already safely tucked away in sheds or reeks, acres of grain not ready just yet. I would follow my Dad around the headlands in the evening after milking time, being the youngest, he would take me with him to keep me out of trouble or danger and as we would amble along he would run his hand with pride along  the long laces take a grain of oats  from a stalk, remove the outer covering and put it between his teeth, this was the  test it to see if  it  was solid and ripe enough to be cut. The same went for the barley or wheat. Any evidence of a milky residue, proved  it wasn’t ready  yet. By this time to whole seen would have changed from a mass glossy green to a rich golden hue the barley especially standing out in the gentle breezes with its whiskers giving a sleek velvety appearance to the scene. As with most things of the land it was a very worrying time. Grain being a very vulnerable crop. There was little choice or opportunity to get it saved  from the elements. Sometimes it became victim to high winds and heavy rains and where perhaps a field of hay would get a second chance, it was not so with grain. Lodged corn was the nightmare of every grain grower. Once down it was a free for all in the bird world. Crows, pigeons, seagulls seemed to send out the word that it was feeding time in the grain world. It was up to the farmer to apply his art to try a fend them off in order to salvage some degree of  his precious crop from their hungry jaws/beaks. Some were fortunate to have a licenced gun and spared no effort in letting them have pellets in full blast to either kill of ward them off. To capture a dead crow, was to have a prize possession. Their remains hung up in the troubled area to let others crows know they were entering a danger zone  and kept other members of the species at bay. Not being armed with gun-power the farmer had to resort to his own artful talent to save his property. Enter the scarecrow. For those who had nothing to lose to the bird invasion, the scarecrow provided a prolonged exhibition of rural talent as they drove the highways and byways of the countryside at that time of year. All manner of ensemble(s) was used. Colour was paramount or at least the variety of. Himself frustrated by the threat to his livelihood would storm into the kitchen, demanding castoffs from the wife while he went outside to make a strong framework to place in his field, and the sooner the better. All this time while his plan was in the making, the crows were enjoying his grain.  Joining him in the yard, the longsuffering wife arrived with a multicoloured supply of the oldest drapery that she could find. Her most gaudy dresses that she had on at countless weddings and funerals and Holy Communions and Confirmations for longer than she care to recall. Then his own well worn colourful handknit gansies and that old Sunday coat that no longer fits. He wouldn’t let it go if it did. But to top it all there was Granda’s battered old hat and scarf. Out on the  lodged patch the combined effort of man and wife busied themselves to construct a never-before seen sculp, impressive enough to set the marauding insurgents to ask themselves if it was alive or not.  Many of these inventions did work admirably but alas others became utter disappointments when despite all their scariness the offending rooks were seen to land atop of them for a better view of the place around.  At least it provided many a good picture of rural Ireland for tourists to send to their folks at home. But thanks to Mother Nature the crops did ripen eventually and the hard manual work to save them began. In the pre-tractor days it was done by horse and man/woman power. The old Pierse mowing machine which was still in the corner of some field since the cutting of the hay was once again brought into action. This time a special crib was fitted to the cutting bar for making sheaves and a second seat was fitted for a driver. From an early age this was my job, to drive the pair of horses while my Dad armed with a hand rake used the crib to divide the falling corn into matching bundles. It was the case of all hands on deck then when these bundles were gathered up a bound into neat sheaves and put aside until all was done. At the completion of the task these sheaves were collected and every six or eight of them were stood up against each other to form a stook and left for a week or more to further dry in the sun. There was no spraying of any kind for weeds or thistles or docks so the presence of them was quiet common  and they posed a painful problem for workers.  At the end of the day there was often a few thorns to be  picked.  It was such a common problem that most people came prepared.  Most men kept a headpin stuck in at the point of the lapel of their  coat where it was at the ready to remove and painful thorn or splinter. Some thorns were regarded as being quiet dangerous causing blood poisoning and even death in some cases. I’m not sure if I’m right but I think that the thorn of a whitethorn bush in Springtime when it’s starting to green up after the winter was supposed to be one of the greatest offenders and led to the demise of some unlucky people when treatment for blood poisoning  wasn’t still discovered.  When conditions were right the months of July and August were good ones for wild mushrooms. But we didn’t call them wild mushrooms back then. They were the only ones we had. The clammy mild weather at that time of year seemed right for them. And what a novelty it was to find some their creamy white heads bursting up through the grass. Some years were better than others, and when there was a bumper crop I heard of people making mushroom ketchup. Above all not any were wasted. There was something magical about  mushrooms back then. You could search without luck at a certain time, come back an hour or so later and be lucky. They seemed to spring up and open like an umbrella. Some fields were better than others and how we combed the best places in the dear hope of arriving home with even a few. Sometimes the snail or crow, beat you to it ,but not always. There was never enough to make a meal of them, just shake a little salt and stand it on the hot range, until  it changed colour and filled  up with succulent juice, then in one go, into the mouth for a God-given treat. The flavour was unique. With the development of a thriving mushroom industry, we can all enjoy them today in many forms. I have never lost my respect or admiration for them and even though they don’t taste the same, the look of them alone, takes me back.

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

Eily’s Report – 10th August

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

We are heading into the middle of the month of August, the countryside is taking on the look of a year having done with it’s growing season and steering us into that time when we are about to reap or harvest the fruits of our labour in the hope that the Good Lord has been kind to us one more time. Goodness knows, people of my calibre have looked back on many an August. Some good but not all and yet we have survived and always looked to the future with hope in God and hope in ourselves. With my Roman Catholic hat on I can cast my thoughts back to times when all seemed lost  but buoyed up by our faith in God, we soldiered on. Our favourite requests were not always granted but we somehow were given to see things another way, often a better way and finished up alright in the end. Sometimes I felt that God had a sense of humour a funny side, if you know what I mean.

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

Eily’s Report – 3rd August

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

Fondest greetings everyone and welcome to the Month of August. I’m feeling tired today following a busy bank holiday weekend. The beauty of Beara never fails to draw my away at the least excuse and the past weekend was no exception. I know that Ireland is full of similar beautiful attractions, but I have no  family connection with them and I know that if people who go there were to give a written account of their travels then mine would be only  just another item on the list. Since the opening up of the Wild Atlantic Way some of the hidden gems which were inaccessible in the past are  now being presented in their best light to the visitor. Winding little boreens which were just sheep paths initially were upgraded to allow tour buses campers and cars to reach  the outer limits and they didn’t take all the turns away either but left them there to further enhance to journey. Travelling those bends ,opens up new scenery all the time , the sea, the rocks ,the sky providing an ever changing view as you go. Scenic cross country walks have also been established for the more energetic. It didn’t take enterprising people long to recognise the potential of meeting this new development head-on by opening up hospitality services  in places never before even considered for the purpose.

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

Eily’s Report – 27th July

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

It doesn’t take us long to look for rain after we’ve been pleading for fine weather a short time before. What a shame it is that most of us need to have rain more than others. Since time began those involved in making their living from the land  often come in for great criticism because they need to get rain pretty often to grow the food and other necessities of life for man and beast. They love  fine weather like everybody else. Long sunny days helping them to work long hours in pursuit of their goals. But dry land produces no crops and they have look heaven wards for God’s free blessings on their labour. Last week were promised a fine spell, this week we are                  promised rain. Already we were getting warnings about the scarcity of water and the importance of not wasting it. Power washing and dripping taps were already being frowned upon. But then the chart looks like we’re about to change all that. As for me, I’m cleaning up my tubs and tanks and placing them under every down pipe in the hope that they will  fill up again and see my plants through the next dry spell.

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

Eily’s Report – 20th July

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

Here comes the sun, we can hardly believe that we have our very own heatwave. They say be careful of what you long for, in case you should get it, and I suppose that about conjures up how we are feeling right now. Goodness knows we love the sun and the fine weather but as we were always told that too much of anything is good for nothing  we would like our fine spell to be a little less h o t .  However it’s here and we have only to find ways to cope and work our way around it. A heatwave affects different age groups in different ways, the oldest and the youngest surely being the most vulnerable, I imagine, but of course there are exceptions to every rule. But it’s not just the humans who are affected, all manner of life feels the heat  and have to be protected .and with all the regulations about hedge cutting  and fencing kept a distance from fences in the interest of wild life it can’t be easy for stock to fine shade from the midday sun. Water, God Bless it, is a great cooler and there is nothing better to placate a few young children on a hot day than to give them access to it. Dressed in their oldest garb, n o need for a dangerous tubs or pools, just pans and perhaps a dripping tap where they can douce one another to screams of laughter and fun. It is something which is sure to turn over-heated tears into high jinks making everybody happy, including parents.

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

Eily’s Report – 13th July

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

How is it possible for me to continue to walk the line which started for me in the early thirties when life was so primitive to the world of today where the great Richard Branson was able to fly into space and be back on time to watch the match on Sunday. I think that we should start to look at ourselves in a different light. Well, we were always led to believe that we were not very bright and indeed told that we’d never do any good. I think it’s time that we gave ourselves a bit of credit in fact give ourselves a pat in the back for the way that we have coped with all the changes that we have endured over the years.  I’m thinking again of the old man that I mentioned last week, who herded his cow on the long acre. A humble person in every respect, yet his contribution to the life of his surroundings was immeasurable. He was there every day, he met everybody as they came and went and interacted with them all. He met those going to the creamery and met them again on their way back. They’d have a word each time perhaps there would be some unfinished dialogue, where either were at a loss to know the end but on the return journey the creamery goer would have solved the mystery when he talked to his counterparts as they awaited their turn to dispose of their milk and that would be relayed to the man-with-the-cow,  while the beast of burden availed of a quick mouthful of grass off the ditch or a slug of water from the roadside streamlet. Very often the Angelus Bell would ring out across the valley from a distant church and each would remove his headgear and silently pray. Mind you at such times they’d say the short version to get back to the chat. He met the little children as they walked to school. Maybe not in the mornings, because he wouldn’t be up that early, but sure as anything, he’d be there in the evening when they were coming home. They didn’t all come at once but in dribs and drabs, which gave him a better chance to talk to them all. The first question without fail always was of course, “How many slaps did you get today” and each of them related their tales of woe but woe didn’t last long when he went on to enquire about their young lives in his own light hearted way very often leading to some funny incident or happening from his own past. From their daily encounters he knew them all by name and who their parents were, what class they were in  (he didn’t say it like that but ”what Book are you in?” how many were in the family where did their father work.  Did your mother hear from her sister/brother in America lately and of course the big news would be if an immigrant was planning to come home for a holiday. As time went on children grew up and took on some of the chores that went with the time. Boys and girls took on more grown –up roles and all went on under the gaze of the lovely old man on the ditch. As well as knowing the people, he knew everybody’s animal. The story goes that one day a young girl passed along with a donkey and cart, he said “are you such a man’s daughter?”  “I am,  Sir, says she and how did you know me Sir?” “ah” says he, “I knew you out of the donkey” All the stories of the day were related by the old man at his fireplace that night from whence they were taken to other fireplaces on the wider area  welcomed and relished and shared, better than any six o ‘clock news of today.

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

Eily’s Report 6th July

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

News varies, sometimes drab and uninteresting, other times eye catching and interesting and very stirring. Few things have grasped our interest in recent times as the article on our web-site this week, telling of the dreadful death/murder on one of our near neighbours Creedon, Adrivale in 1921 as he carried out his work as a member of the Royal Irish Constablery (RIC). Michael Cashman is the expert behind these wonderful articles which never fail to be highly interesting thus creating a lot of local interaction as people contact one another to find out more. The old method of passing the stories on is gone from the scene but TG due to the power on the internet etc they can be told to us again and because they are in print we can go over them anytime we need to. Already people are making contacts across the world about this article. People beyond the waves wondering were they the folk that they lived near, or were related to and wondering why they had never heard the story before. So well done Michael, please keep up your wonderful work .

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

Eily’s Report – 29th June

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

I hope the end of another month  finds you safe and well,  ready to take on the lovely month of July. Our new lifestyle doesn’t make it easy for us to be aware nor fully awake to the passage of time. In the past we had a calendar of events to keep us in touch with the passing weeks and months. Each month had it’s own attractions, it’s own list of things which that month was special for. But with mass cancellations  the milestones disappeared and we are left mid-air and waiting for the next month in the hope that there will be ample easing of restrictions to allow some form of our previous life to return. Promises were never made so often and  broken. The powers that be do all they can to give people hope especially those in the hospitality sector who  make changes and they stock up and prepare for their big break, only to be told, not yet, you must hold on a little longer. All of those blockades have left us all in a sort of false world.  For example, only last week on June 24th, St. John’s Day, the day when we all crowded on to the slopes of Mushera for the annual Mass.  Beforehand we’d have a dot on the calendar in case we’d forget, look for a lift or maybe offer a lift to someone.  Following the lovely Mass coupled with the parish choir and music, there was a great meeting of people, some who only meet at St. John’s Well every year. Because it was widely presumed that it wouldn’t be held this year, there was no need to watch for the date, no need to seek or give a lift and sadly no meeting of friends. Multiply that by all the other events which had to be cancelled since early 2020 including funerals and weddings. I met a lady recently and she told me that talking makes her tired now. Whatever muscles she was using to communicate have gone lax and  she has to cut her conversations short as a result. We are on the brink of the Month of July  and every year around this time the name Milltown Malbay in County Clare was on everybody’s lips. Lovers of traditional music and dance from all over the world prepared to go on their annual pilgrimage of friendship good company and the love of our native entertainment. Like everything else the axe has fallen on this great International event again, it was cancelled last year also. We went  there for over thirty years and saw that small village grow to a mighty town complete with every service to meet the needs of the vast crowds. All thanks to one man, Willie Clancy, box player.   The Cork Agricultural Show was another event which brought everything to a stop on the land when it was held in the Cork Show Grounds for a week every year on June. Other things were pinpointed by it. Something would be either before the show or after it.  The new spuds were judged by it, if they were fit for eating by the 21st of June then it was a good year and everybody was happy. How we loved to see them coming up out the ground before the fork, or spade, the rich earth falling away but leaving a fine coat which was washed away in a bucket of cool water from the stream. Side by side with them the drills of cabbage and turnips, enough for both man and beast and other lesser crops such as peas, carrots, which gave a wide range of choice for the family table.  With all these crops in a healthy state, it was a sort of a celebration to take a few hours off and go the Cork Summer  Show. It always drew great crowds and people met a talked about farming things. The cattle, the price of milk. The remedies for certain ailments in the cattle or fowl. Of course it was the Show case for the best livestock in the land, also pigs, sheep, all kinds of fowl. It was exciting to be there and when time came to come home to milk the cows etc.  We felt enlightened and full of new ideas and information about things that we could adapt to our way of life  at home.

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

Eily’s Report – 22nd June

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

I’m putting pen to paper on the longest day of 2021, June 21st.  A choppy breeze is blowing outside but the bright sunshine makes it feel and look like a real mid-summers day. I got my lawn fed at the weekend and the welcome showers have made it look greener already  or has it, maybe I’m imagining it.  I suppose we can make ourselves believe what we want to believe and maybe that’s the attitude that has kept us going all our lives. Nobody of advanced years, has come through all those years without experiencing some make-believe along the way. The world stands still for no-one and if we are to be part of it we have to stay abreast of it’s many changes and challenges. We learn this lesson from childhood. The smallest child playing with her dolly really believes that dolly can be put to sleep and wants everybody to be quiet in case they’d wake her. The same with a little boy with his toy gun when he makes it go bang bang his pal has to fall down or the game of make believe doesn’t work. It starts there and goes on all through life. Good times are great but it’s the bad ones that teaches us and lets us know where our true strength lies. How many times when thinking of some major stumbling block have we said “oh, I could never do that,  I’d die” but when confronted with it and left with no choice but to go forward, then we find the grit that we need to deal with it after all.  Very often telling ourselves that yes we can. Needless to say the power of God has a lot to do with it as we move on. For people who believe in his infinite power and goodness there is always a plan B to call on when everything else fails. I think that our religion is the best and most important aspect of our entire lives. I don’t know what it’s like for those who do not Believe. I suppose we had the advantage of it being drilled into us since day one and anything that came our way to try and make us stray from it never succeeded. Believe me it wasn’t always easy, when faced with some obstacle be it sickness or failure in business or in love and the Good Lord was in no hurry answering or plea, how we often swore that we’d never talk to him again or go to Mass but in the end we always got our answer and held on. Maybe not what we were asking for but definitely another angle which fulfilled our needs and how often we agreed that His Way was the best Way after all. When you grow old you can’t be blamed for thinking that you know it all.  All the bridges that you’ve crossed must surely count for something. We’ve come so far and managed youth, marriage, childrearing, retirement and surely the rest is plain sailing as we reach the stage where we can watch the world around us with some degree of ease and comfort. But then along came Corona Virus, Covid19, the pandemic, call it what you like  but it hit us where we’d never been hit before, utter confusion and our learning was only starting. It was always said that you’re never too old to learn and we became proof of that in a very short time. Looking back on the past 18 months, I think we’ve been bloody marvellous. To put it in lay-man’s language. Life had never been so good for the aged, foreign holidays, coach tours, group parties ,trips to the shops were all part of our daily lives and we took them all for granted like there was no tomorrow. Then wham, something very mysterious came creeping up but of course ‘someone’ will look after that and we can motor on regardless. But but, but, what is this we hear, there is NO ‘someone’ out there, so we must start learning again and teaching ourselves to play our part in our very own survival and that of those around us. So we cancelled our way of life and took up another one , and we  beat the bug at it’s own game , repeating once again ,as we have said so many times in the past, that you’re never too old to learn. But it ain’t over yet, having spent so long in captivity ,we must teach ourselves now, how to re join the outside world. Some are finding it difficult to get a footing on it If the local cafes were open they would provide a great launching pad where we could meet up with old acquaintances and plan some more social events. Already some have joined friends for cards etc. while our Pitch ‘n Putt course is extremely busy.  We all need a fresh start and in danger of sounding a bore, it’s up to ourselves to make the start. If driving out  for the first time following  a long non driving term, please take extra care.  Roads have become very busy and our judgment is not the same  until we get familiar with the traffic again.                The world is waiting for us again  and if we believe in ourselves, that will take us a long way.

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

Eily’s Report – 15th June

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

We’re still reeling from the heat of the hottest day.  The experts said that Sunday would be a roaster and it was. Some people handled it well by planning it well, not an easy thing to do when we’ve been starved of fine weather for most of the year. The mention of a hot sunny day sends us searching for the togs and towels and all the others gear which would make a day on the beach a dream day come true. But alas it wasn’t to be for many who did just that and headed off only to find that along the way there were a few  traffic delays, which soon turned the car into an oven like experience, multiply that by a few over excited little children and your own back yard and a paddling pool soon became a very desirable option. I know of some who did a  U-turn and salvaged some very happy hours sipping a cool drink while the little ones wallowed in the plastic pool or busy garden stream. Outdoor food providers did very well and gave us the feeling that we were in some foreign clime. Looking at the new changes that people have made because of Covid19 is  non-stop and only goes to show how much we have learned and how adaptable we are to change. Any bit of ground out the back be it your handy dump or holding place for things that maybe you’d use someday have been given a new lease of life. All cleaned out surrounding walls  repaired painted, decorated and well distanced dining furniture complete with huge umbrellas put in instead. Other places have made full use of spaces out the front where we can have our refreshments in a public place and greet the passers-by giving us the opportunity to meet acquaintances who who have been hidden away by the Corona Virus and only starting to emerge from it’s clutches. If we were all to tell our own story of how we beat the bug it would make very interesting reading indeed. How gratifying it is to see two Irish people being highly awarded in England for their great work in developing the Vaccine. Be careful when handling things with sanitised hands. A couple I know sat outside their local watering hole all set to enjoy their first pint when alas her slippery hand failed to hold  the glass and it slid to the ground splashing everybody around.

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