Eily’s Report – 19th January

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

We live in historic times, tomorrow 20.1.2021  Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the new President of the United States of America. Never in the history of that mighty state or indeed of the world did this event attract some much interest or publicity. Every eye in the World is on the Big Smoke at these tense times.  I suppose there isn’t one place in the world that is not affected one way or another by what goes on the  United States. We are inclined to look on America  as a Big Brother, a force that is there standing between us and the big bad world and when something significant or threatening happens there, who can blame us if we get worried. We think of the many thousands of our people who are living there and how the various happenings affect them, and goodness knows we have seen enough of strange happenings  in the past five years which keep us the edge of our seats all the time. They say that power is a very dangerous thing if it gets into the wrong hands. Need I say more.  Five years ago the world could see that Donald Trump was not a suitable man to rule the USA. It showed right throughout his campaign. His lack of respect for people, especially women, his overbearing attitude towards the rule of law, climate change and so on and to think that this crazy monster had his finger on the button that had the power to sink the world into all out war and destruction. I asked my American friends that time, if they voted for Trump and they said they did and in view of the ways that he portrayed himself  I asked them why. The answer was that the hated Hillary Clinton was that enough to plunge their homeland into ruin.  These are highly religious people. They think differently today. All attention will focus on the media until Mr Biden is safely in the chair . Narcissism is a terrible ailment which gives no caring thought for anybody else and with a narcissist  like Donal Trump at the helm anything could happen. It’s curable but the person involved has to agree to be treated, I can’t see Donald Trump agreeing any time soon or maybe one day he will see the light and allow himself to be transformed into a nice man. We won’t hold our breadth.             Pray that Joe Biden’s inauguration  will all go according to plan.         le cúnamh Dé

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Eily’s Report – 12th January

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

It was a very nice surprise to see the ground covered in a blanket of snow when we got up one morning last week. For various reasons  not everybody likes the snow but nobody can deny that it adds a mighty swell to the mood  with it’s all over cover of the land making everything look bright and beautiful. The overhead images taken by drone over the hills and dales of our rural areas painted a very special picture. The light fall of snow pointing out the details of the various features of mountains and valleys. The loop walks which have been so lovingly carved out on the mountains in recent years for our pleasure are plain to see with the naked eye. They are there for everybody to enjoy, either in the heart of cold  winter or the height of a warm summers day.  The  aerial view is a great help to those who are planning to take to the hills. Thanks to those who share their findings via the drone with everybody.   A young family got the thrill of a lifetime last week when on a visit to Coomatrush lake to find that the recent frost had turned the mighty waterfall into a fairyland of icicles, all glistening in the midday sun.  We are urged to stay in at all costs, not an easy thing to do. So we each have to work out a plan of our own to deal with the Covid problem. T.G we have phones and we can talk all day and night if we like without endangering anyone, we can even see one another . I thought I’d heard it all this week when two of my great grand children played games together, one in Cork and the other in Perth, Australia and my daughter in Cork was able to let me see them playing on her phone.  Their laughter had to be heard/seen to be  believed.

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

Eily’s Report 5th January

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

Welcome to the year of 2021. In the past couple of weeks we have come through some very unusual and strange events we had to do without many of the age-old customs and rituals which have been part of our Christmases since the Birth of Christ. To say it was challenging would be an understatement but at the end of the day we can pat ourselves in the back and say I did it, I did it my way and came out stronger as a result. Full of new determination to take 2021 by the scruff of the neck, take it on with all our might and the help of God.

One of the main highlights of our Christmas was the return of our beloved parish priest Canon John FitzGerald to our alter following some heartfelt weeks without him and while we are deeply grateful to the other clerics who looked after us so well in his absence, there was something special about having ‘the Boss’ the Father figure home.  We wish Canon John all the best for the future. The streaming service in our Church made a huge difference to us over the Festive Season. There was a great attendance of those who were fortunate enough to be among the limited few who were allowed into the church on Christmas night, but for those of us who tuned in from home it was so special to be able to see the alter in all it’s splendour all lit up and the celebrant in full view, his words coming through as clear as crystal. Speaking for myself and I’m sure many more of my vintage I found it great to sit in the comfort of my own home for Mass and still feel a part of it all, joined by our people from all over the globe in one big celebration of the birth of Christ. The Christmas Crib all newly painted and surrounded by lush branches of green ivy was placed as usual at the bottom of the church where it is still intact and where people can pay homage any time as the church is open every day.   Hand sanitisers available the whole time.  There is a collection box at the Crib and the money raised there goes to good causes every year.  In ways I suppose we are seeing our Alter for the first time in many ways. Never before has it been held in our full gaze for so long and it looks so beautiful. The mosaic walls, the marble pulpit, altar and steps, the brass candle sticks and flower vases filled with a profusion of fresh flowers and the overhead lighting casting lustre on it all, the huge picture window at the back. Whenever you hear something praised to the hilt, there is nearly always a BUT. I suppose it’s an age thing with me and with all health and safety regulations being  drummed into us every day, I can’t but notice the absence of handrails on the steps of the altar to see the Padres negotiating them in their flowing robes makes me nervous. Every place we know that has steps even a couple has handrails. Our beloved clergy is going through very difficult times at the moment. It can’t be easy for them to come on the altar and minister to an empty house. We’ve heard of a flock without a shepherd, but a shepherd without a flock, can’t be easy .

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Eily’s Report – 22nd December

Dia is Mhuire díobh go léir a chairde, and welcome to my last report for 2020.

How we have longed for this Christmas to come in order  that we could put all our ability into making it a good one, so as to make up for all that we have endured during the year. They say be careful of what you wish for. Little did we know that our plans would be skewed at the eleventh hour. But like everything else in life, we’ll have to grin and bear it. As we’ve said so many times, we’re all in it together, when we have digested the situation and find that there is no way out of it.  We will move up another gear and make the best we can of it. The scary accounts they are giving us about how rapidly it can spread will drive us into a state of determination and self-survival that will give us new strengths that we never knew we had.  We will make sacrifices because we know we must. Being flippant or blaze about it will not do. So our last few days in the run up to Christmas Day on Friday, will be different in every sense of the word. How I can recall those heady days when my own children were small. It was not the same world then. Winter time on the farm was very demanding  cattle being housed during the long winter months had to be tended every day. Tended only by man power and indeed helped by woman power. There was no press button solution to anything  then. But the trip to Cork on Christmas Eve or maybe the day before it was a must, an annual day out .That morning the cows were left out to water earlier than usual and were given their daily supply of hay .Pigs ,Hens , and any other livestock all got an early breakfast while the children ,fussed around indoors ,getting their own things done ,by way of dressing and invading their piggy banks and their lists of   ‘Must Haves’ , from the big city. The last thing anybody wanted to hear was that there was a cow due to calve, or a sow due to farrow.  Devastation ,   utter devastation, panic, tears , tantrums. Disappointment if there was. In such case there was the inevitable delay, the waiting for the new life to make its way into the world, prayers, curses anything to hurry the process up. But eventually we’d all pack into the little Anglia and head off. Parking didn’t seem to be a problem in the 60s. And in a little over an hour our off springs were released to the wild which was Cork City on Christmas Eve. I find it hard to believe how primitive it all was ,compared to today. It was the early days of toys having movements, How we marvelled at them ourselves ,and gloried at the joy that the little children got out of staring at them. It was easy to impress ,children then, and indeed parents also. Sore feet were ignored as we traipsed from shop to shop, street to street, looking at all the wonders of the big city ,as the world prepared for the birth of Christ. We’d go into any chapel along the way, where the massive crib would be all at the ready . The children all amazed ,and asking countless questions about this and that. Finally after having some food on the hoof ,and seen all the lovely things, it was time to make our purchases, it was often hard to make a secret purchase , to have as a surprise ,or Santa Gift  for the stockings by the fire on Christmas morning. And then the spending of ‘their own’ money. The little something that made it for them . We never missed the trip down the Coal Quay, with its numerous bright stands ,and sales women shouting out the lists of their wares. How we loved their funny use of words, two-and –sixpence all the dolls. The last few boxes of train sets, give this free with it, holding up a rag doll or an orange–. The place would be packed ,and people in festive mood , saluting one another , shouting out bits of news and Christmas cheer. As night fell, a heavenly atmosphere fell down and gave  the Coal Quay an out of this world    feeling ,the darkness ,brightening every lamp and bulb ,reflecting   off  the shiny wrappings and toys  and boxes strewn around the place. As we all chewed on the wonderful goodies that were to be had in abundance in the stalls and the children drank their lemonade from the bottle which they held firmly by the neck , it was time to bid our annual Christmas Eve Day in Cork to a close. Children tired and maybe cranky with fatigue ,we once again piled into the reliable Anglia and headed out the Carrigrohane Straight. We all sang together, our Christmas songs with all ours hearts, Dan driving R.I.P.  me holding the youngest, John D, on my lap and the Girls Geraldine & Nora in the back.  No seatbelts .  In no time our tired little charges  were fast asleep, still clutching the favourite purchases.

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

Eily’s Report – 15th December

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

Oh what a joy it was at the weekend to actually see our Masses being celebrated before our very eyes. It was the third Sunday of Advent so the pink Advent candle was lighting and Fr. Billy Radley the celebrant.

How we have longed for the day, when we could see our priest and to know that our people all over the world could join in with us for Mass. What a difference it will make to our Christmas ceremonies. When I think of all the people who would be home if they could, seeing them in the chapel for midnight Mass often finding it hard to get a seat with the crowds, the beautiful choir softly singing Silent Night, the crib all aglow awaiting the birth of Jesus. These are scenes which cannot be matched but thanks to the wonder of streaming, for now, we can all be together in spirit and the warmth of our St. Patricks magnificent church will reach out to them wherever they are.  We are by no means belittling the efforts made by all the neighbouring priests and churches and indeed of the whole world who kept us connected to our Holy Masses, for the past number of months, they were great, but we have to admit there is nothing like your own. The snippets of news, little changes local deaths and anniversaries to name but a few, the little things which knit a community together, they are important.

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

Eily’s Report – 8th December

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

December 8th.  A  Magic day, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Lady.  A Holy Day of Obligation. It was a day when schools were closed and after early Mass, everybody headed off the  cities and towns to do the all important Christmas shopping, not for food, but for all the little surprises, that would go as stocking fillers  for Christmas morning. That important list filled in utter secrecy, (or their wouldn’t be a surprise from Santa on Christmas morning.) The  young adults of the family needed to buy things of their own choice  with the  pennies and pounds which they had saved during the year. The mind boggles at the thought of some of the ensembles   which  were  brought  home. It’s a hard time in life when parents have to give in to the fact that little Jimmy or Mary is growing up. Up ‘til then their minds are fully taken up with meeting the  every day costs and trying to make ends meet.  Then all of a sudden, the little offspring  has a mind of its own and cash enough of its own to put you out of the business of choosing for them and joined by a sibling or school friend they will sally forth to the shops while you go and get yourself and himself something nice to wear for Christmas. At the appointed time everybody meets up at the car or bus or train, weighed down with bags and head for home, all broke and tired but full of stories of the events of the day. Those were the days when Dad drove the car, mom in the passenger seat with the youngest on her lap and all the others squeezed into the back. Long before the birth of seatbelts. Everybody joined in the singing which  shortened  the journey.  It’s only when you get home ,and all the purchases  were put on view, that you realise that your little ones have moved up a gear.   Words like, ’Oh my God, surely you’re not going to go out in that’, comes out of you before you can help it.  But no amount of objections will work, you have to give in and next time when they’re all dressed up  for the dance, ready to go out you find yourself  even if a bit ice tone, saying That’s Nice. Mind ye’re  selves.

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

Eily’s Report – 1st December

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

The first day of the last month of the year and what a year has been.  It’s a good thing that we don’t know what is coming. The veil that shields us from the future was woven by an angel of mercy.  Can any one of us imagine what it would be like if we were told last Spring what was ahead of us in the coming months. Ignorance is bliss surely, because the “not knowing” kept us geared up in the hope that each day or week or month would be the last. So we soldiered on, kept the rules as best we could and prayed for the best.  Now that some vaccines  have  been found we are all the more hopeful that the future will be good as long as we still keep the rules until the coronavirus is stamped out completely  and  we can all relax again. It’s beyond our comprehension what kind of world it will be, but the Good Lord who brought us thus far will be still there to guide us into our new future.

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

Eily’s Report – 24th November

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

The November wind is howling outside but still the little birds come and feast on the peanuts that I hang out for them at if it was calm and pleasant. It’s a well known saying that we are all built to meet our task in life and the little birds are a sure proof of that. Talking of meeting our challenges, with the end of the lockdown another week away, patience is wearing thin in a lot of people. Tempers are fraying and like the long distance runner  the finishing  line was never so much sought after. But there is always light at the end of the tunnel and the hope of a successful vaccine is enough to make us all try a little harder and make sure that we don’t lose the trophy for the want of that final push.   So keep on praying and keep on trying.

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

Eily’s Report 17th November

 

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

Fondest greetings everybody as we embark on a new week, with the hope of a vaccine for Covid19 filling us with new hope and a new determination to keep the spread of the killer disease  as low as possible until that magic formula arrives.  The weeks of our lockdown are passing slowly by, a little over two weeks to go, I think, the light at the end of any tunnel tells us that there is a way out and that’s what we want to hear. le cúnamh Dé

Christmas remains in the balance as far as travel is concerned, but it hasn’t stopped our  business people from setting up their shops and stores and displaying their wares giving us ample time to get to work on our gift list. Christmas decorations are going up in all the shops and their choices of gift ideas has to be seen to be believed. The well known plea to shop at home was never so important. Since last Christmas businesses have been literally shell shocked by  what has hit them in one short year and we must all play our part in helping them to stay afloat  and not only that but to build themselves up to a confidant future.  Thanks to our business ladies we will have Christmas lights in the town  in spite of all the negativity they are forging ahead and asking people to fund them on a voluntary basis rather than asking business people to foot the bill in light of all that they have been through since Covid19  began. Donations are still being accepted and can be handed in to Niamh at Wordsworth bookshop. To Noirin’s Boutique or Catherine at her auctioneering business office, West End. They deserve our support so please give generously.

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

Eily’s Report – 10th November

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

What a difference a goal can make. I’m sure you know by now that my knowledge of football or any competitive game is almost nil. My many interests are elsewhere. But I cannot fail to be  overjoyed, proud  and plain delighted at the lift which that winning shot scored by Mark Keane, for Cork at the  very last minute on Saturday  evening gave to every red blooded Cork person in every corner of the world. Where else would you get such a return for a kick of a ball that put Kerry out of the Munster Final. Most people were forced to watch it at home for obvious reasons, the loss of companionship  and banter meant that it was a fairly noiseless event as matches go, but when that ball went in all hell broke loose. Babies and other resting folk were roused out of their sleep, peaceful dogs and cats scrambled for shelter by the explosion of screaming cheers that went up in every house. It is still almost unbelievable that Kerry will not be in the Munster Final.  The importance of sport cannot be over rated. Win, lose or draw, sport of any kind brings people together, it’s great to see youngsters getting the chance to be part of it and better still to see girls making their presence felt. Even those who have no competitive skills have have a part to play. Looking back I can recall a some lads who did no more than mind the coats for the players, or the water and they were made part of the whole and  made just  as important as the players themselves. On winning day they were fitted into the group photo to go down in history with the rest.    As I said at the outset, I know very little about sport, I could never watch a match, if my side were losing it would be all too much for me.  But I’d always want to know who won when all was over. I had a friend like that, she would go off out during the play and on her return ask the husband who won. One day when she came back and asked him who won, he said he didn’t watch it at all and she said didn’t you know I’d want to know  who won, he said yes and if your side lost you’d give out to me.  When your side wins  you’re as happy as them all. Well done Cork.

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

Eily’s Report – 3rd November

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

November never lost it. It had the name ever of coming in cold and blustery, the yellow flood and gale warnings of the past week helped it to live up to it’s old name.  When fairs were held in towns years ago the November Fair was always the one that few people looked forward to. Fair fields were open places and unprotected from wind and weather and the grassy surface was no match for galloping hooves and hobnailed boots.  So when stock owners had to remain beside their animals for long periods in the hope of making a sale there was nothing for it but stand your ground and put up with it. November Fair in Knocknagree stands out as the one most talked about and still is for all the wrong reasons. The Fairfield  is high and open and facing north  bordered at the back by the houses of the village. Sleety showers  in November drove cold into the hearts and souls of all  who traded there, the likes of which they never forgot. We don’t get many icy showers now but November still has the power to send us scuttling for last years warm woollies.

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

Eily’s Report – 27th October

 

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

This past week took us into another lockdown and on Saturday night our clocks went back one hour. In each case leading into no small number of changes that we will have to make. Neither of the two changes were very welcome, but as there is no way around them we may as well start by finding how we are going to plan our way forward. The first shock is always the worst, be when we give it time for the dust to settle then we can come up with plans. The first long evening is always terrible. The mind races to find some way of whiling away those long hours of darkness. Some people I know have resolved to get up an hour earlier in the morning and put in the hours so that by the time evening comes they are satisfied to call it a day, anytime from five o’clock on. Rising early of course is a wonderful thing regardless of any time change. Early risers have told us, over and over that we are missing the best part of the day and I couldn’t agree more. The world is a different place at the tail end of the night. It is then that all nocturnal creatures are retiring to their nests and burrows. You’d be forgiven for thinking that we haven’t much wildlife in our district but because they are night-time creatures we don’t see them.  We occupy the land at different times. The badger, the hedge hog, hares, foxes, rats, mice,minks, bats, they are all here but politely give us our shift without interruption until we retire.  So maybe our early morning people have the right idea and have the pleasure of  seeing little animals popping into their warm places of rest while we take over for the  day.

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

Eily’s Report – 20th October

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

Prayers were never so needed as we sink down further into the abyss that is Corona Virus. Prayer is a wonderful prop when there is nothing better to be had. From where I’m standing and looking back at the years that have gone, prayer was vitally important. If somebody, a family member, a neighbour, a friend’s friend was sick, perhaps waiting for an X-Ray result or facing an operation, then those close to her/him would engage in extra prayers, Novenas, Masses that the Good Lord would make them better. But this time it’s different, we are all in there. All in the same boat, needing so many different things for so many different people so the best thing for it is to have we all put our shoulders to the wheel, both for ourselves and for those around us. There is no need to be sad or morose about it.

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

Eily’s Report – 13th October

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

The strange times continue and it looks like we are in it for  the long haul so we may as well make up our minds to the fact and each one of us must carve our own way through it. Find out what is working for us as it has done for the past seven or eight months and hope for the best. God knows we’ve been told often enough to wash our hands and wear a mask and stay one meter away from others at a social distance and we must keep on doing it. I suppose as rural dwellers we have an advantage over those who live in built up areas and more cramped conditions. So in that regard we can count ourselves more fortunate to some degree, but nothing is guaranteed.

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

Eily’s Report – 6th October

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

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Oh where did it all go wrong, so wrong. We were doing so well even counting the days till we were back to normal and even though there were plenty of complaints about the way things were, we’d give a lot to have that old normal back again now. But since we have no choice we may as well knuckle down and bring on plan B. Plan B can mean different things to each one of us. We must all take a good look at where we are at and go on from there. The fact that we have escaped up to now must be proof that we are doing the right thing. Easy for me and my equals I suppose, because we have no commitments as such. Not so easy for those who have to go out to work, take children to school, look after others. Apart from minding ourselves, the only other thing we can do is to pray.  In all fairness, we are good at it. We like praying, we’ve been relying on God’s mercy some of us for well over eighty years and looking back, it brought us through some bad and sad and uncertain times but a lot of great ones too. We didn’t get everything that we asked God for and looking back it was a good job that we didn’t because it would have been all  wrong for us at that time. But it never stopped us from asking for divine help no more than we never stopped asking our parents for things that they couldn’t afford or that wouldn’t be proper for us to have. When we were at the stage where younger people are today, rearing children, making a living, struggling to make a living, we had very little time for prayer sometimes none at all. So now we count it as a priviledge to have been spared, to make up for lost time as it were. To have lots of time to spend in prayer every day and to pray for those who are caught up in the rat-race of their lives which allows little time for talking to God, but as long as they believe and do their best then our prayers for them are never lost. We are all in it together.

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

Eily’s Report – 29th September

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

Have you noticed how the evenings are starting to draw in a little. Not so much when it’s sunny and bright but if it’s cloudy and dull then you notice it. That spat of frost one night during the week was rather a surprise and left some of our tender blossoms looking a little less than their best.  In fact it wiped out some of my succulent bizzy lizzies.  Thankfully mydahlias escaped.  They are the late flowering kind and last year as they were all set to adorn my autumn garden, one night of frost sent them back to sleep for another whole year. The worst thing about this early frost is that it can creep up on you and for just one night only.  When the mild weather returns you are left with that  sad feeling as you gaze on  your would be  flowering  plants returning to the earth. Joy of joys my little spud in the bucket escaped.  Mind you for safety sake I had moved it nearer the hedge a few days earlier.  Lawns  are still flourishing and still have to get their regular nine day trim and the smell of a new mowed lawn never loses it’s charm. Leaves are beginning to fall, though the autumn colours haven’t come yet. The Virginian Creeper is almost at the ready to light up every wall and hedge even along the ground in so many places.   If the weather treats it right it will stay that way for ages. During the long summer months it creeps along in the background in a dull green fitting in almost unnoticed amid all it’s  neighbours as they show off their glowing colours and multi coloured foliage,  but come the autumn the Virginian Creeper takes  over as if to say it’s my turn now and gives us  days or weeks of blood red bliss.  The blanket of wild raspberry canes/briers are turning the ditches and roadsides red at the moment with their massive crop of small bright red fruit and it’s great to see the birds feasting  of them.  Most of the corn and hay is safely stored by now and as we have no commercial potato growers around here, I’m not sure if that crop is in. It was always considered a September task, so I’m sure they are all in by now.  These are the things which got priority in my young days. The winter feed for the animals and the food and firing for the people was all important . There was no other way to get the necessities of life, only to provide them yourself. They weren’t selling in the shops that time.

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

Eily’s Report – 22nd September

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

The Autumn sun shone bright and warm on Saturday for the First Holy Communion of 14 boys and 17 girls from the town schools. Like so many other things it was a ceremony with a difference which allowed parents only to accompany  them to the church. The little boys went first at 10 am and the little girls at 12.30. It was indeed a strange sight, so different from the large number of parents, siblings, grandparents, great grand parents and cousins who filled up the church in the rear in former years. But on returning home, to the wide open spaces, where social distancing wasn’t a problem, lots of pictures taken and they were able to enjoy a wonderful celebration, the memory of which will remain with them forever. Family photos were taken to record the great occasion and the story of their 2020 Holy Communion Day will be recalled in many the year to come, every time they look at them again. We wish them God’s Blessing for the future and say heartfelt thanks to Canon John, the teachers and all those who helped in any way to bring this very difficult situation to such meaningful and happy conclusion. Míle Buíochas

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

Eily’s Report – 15th September

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

Animal lovers will be glad to hear that the little kitten that I mentioned last week, lived to be claimed back by it’s owner. His nine lives saw him through countless trips to the shops as well as long journeys out into the country, safely curled up in the engine of a family car.

The death of Dame Diana Rigg during the week, awoke some wonderful memories . It was a great boost for Millstreet back in the sleepy 70’s to have a Hollywood film made in Drishane. The excitement when they looked for extras, to fill in the background was electrifying. There was no internet or computers and very few phones, even house phones at the time. So news depended on word of mouth  and rumours were rampant. We were delighted of course that our daughter Geraldine got a place so we had first hand account of the daily happenings. The money was great, more than the normal wage of the day and the food beyond compare. But they saw for themselves the price that film stars have to pay for their beautiful figures  while they gorged on roast beef dinners and succulent desserts, Diana Rigg nibbled on a dry biscuit. Life long friends were made and the House of Brede faded into history and that’s why it was so great to see the memory resurrected again this week.

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

Eily’s Report – 8th September

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

When you see a third crop of silage being harvested from a field, you tell yourself that maybe it’s not a bad year after all and because it’s early September still, a fourth crop may come.  An old man of the roads used to go around here one time and in spite of his poor station in life, he always said that hope was a grand thing and who are we to argue with that.

I must tell  you the tale of the cat. About two weeks ago a beautiful black kitten arrived into my daughter’s house in Cork City. It was raining at the time but the little lad was dry as a bone and pleading for food and shelter. So she gave him some bread and milk which he cherished and because she had no facilities for him indoors, he bedded down in the garden on the warm sunny evening. Now because he was dry when he arrived on a wet evening, it could only be imagined that he came on the engine of a car or some vehicle. Next morning before driving to the shop, she checked to see where was the elusive feline ,nd when she couldn’t find him she went about her business,only to find that when she returned into her own drive, the little black beauty calmly stepped out from the body of the car. They didn’t want a cat,but the cat had other ideas. He was perfectly behaved asked for food when he wanted it and lovingly coiled himself around any leg that stayed long enough in one place. Even the most anti-cat member of the family softened to him. Some of the family went on holiday two hours drive away and a couple of days later, some others went on a day trip to join them. Before they left there was the now usual search for the cat, but again without success. So on arriving home from their half day tour guess what the little black beauty once again popped out of the engine. Nobody can understand how he survives on these trips both long or short but I imagine his nine lives must be running rather thin by now, though I hope not.  It’s the accepted  thing now that anywhere they are going with the car they have an extra passenger. To the shops, anywhere. You hear a new one every day.

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

Eily’s Report – 1st September

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

And welcome to the month of September, but with it comes a sting of cold that we didn’t expect,which sent us reaching for our warm fleeces, boots and socks. But every cloud has a silver lining ,they say that a heatwave is on it’s way. So we live in hope.  During this cool spell, it isn’t easy to refrain from  checking the wardrobe and go through all the lovely clothes that we never wore this year. The catchy little two-piece that you bought at the right price for that wedding that was coming up in June, or the few changes for that four-day outing in July.  The strappy sandals that went with everything, still in the box. It all goes to prove that we only dress to impress other people. We went through the past four or five months, with only a few changes of clothes and the plainest ones we had, the reason being that nobody would be seeing them only ourselves.  Well now at least we’ll have to change a little anyway, if we are to get out the warmer things of many colours. Another legacy that we have inherited from Covid19 is that we can no longer lick our fingers, pick a seed from between our teeth or so, because the vile taste of the much used sanitizer prevents us from relishing such simple pleasures. Even the last bite of food into the mouth doesn’t go down without it’s trade mark. Let the assurance that we are doing our bit to keep safe, be our consolation.

September 18 is National Culture Day. It’s that day set aside every year when everybody, or community , or team etc. are invited to put their best foot forward in an effort to portray their own place to the best advantage. Not to be outdone our own Marie Twomey is up there among the best of them with her Community Singers. She never fails to encourage the not-so-young to take an important place in the life of her Community. So she has entered the popular CD which she made with the group some years ago. They asked for more,  so at midday last Saturday she gathered her flock and dressed in smart black/white outfits they performed a rousing version of Glory Glory  at Tubrid well in brilliant sunshine while being expertly filmed by the trusty Sean Radley.  So roll on Culture Day on September 18th, and wish them the best of luck.

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

Eily’s Report – 25th August

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

I ate some of my very own potatoes today. The little spud that I took from the bottom of the bag in March grew up between the flowers and shrubs on the bed and produced some lovely tubers for me to enjoy. I have some more scattered around the garden amongst the flowers that I will call on whenever I need some lovely flowery spuds for my dinner. It was a beautiful day, warm, calm  and so inviting to sit out with a friend and admire the flowers and the greenness of the lawn and the fields beyond to watch the birds swirling high and low and playing bird games with one another. I don’t feed the birds in summer but I like to give them any leftover breadcrumbs and it’s great to watch them gobble them up. The weather forecast is for another  storm this time called Francis and that made me all the more determined to make the best possible use of the present. There was no use in I dwelling on the peril to come  maybe I’ll sleep through it and my worry would have been a waste of something lovely. Having taken a tip from TV gardening expert Diarmuid Gavin I planted a couple of potatoes in a bed of compost in a bucket and if all he says is true I’ll have a new tubers for Christmas. Even if I don’t  the anticipation will keep me going over the weeks ahead. I finished the last of my peas today and took down the wire and stakes that kept tall and unbending against wind and rain while I relished their product  when passing their way. None of them reached the pot they are so sweet and wholesome when eaten  fresh off the mother  plant.  Most fruits  have done whatever  they were going to do  by now. The yields were good, but the weather not so kind, but still those who caught the ball on the hop and picked lots of blackberries, raspberries,  strawberries and gooseberries  I’m not a jam maker myself and there’s no nicer gift  than a jar of succulent new seasons jam. The strong winds over the past week put many a plant to the test, especially tall plants. I found it a wonderful season for roses. The blossoms just kept coming on after deadheading.  Sunflowers which can reach over six feet succumbed miserably to the force of the elements. But the smaller more compact little varieties lived to fight another day and are there in full colour to prove it. Buíochas le Dia.   It’s better to light a candle than curse the dark, so instead of moaning about the floods swilling through my yard I bought a large box of cheap detergent and spread around and left the torrents to do the rest. And now I have a lovely clean yard instead of a slippery slimy  dangerous one.

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

Eily’s Report 18th August

 

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

The month of August is certainly living up to it’s name as being a season of floods and change with many places in the County paying the price with their homes and places of business destroyed by flash floods. But it is not all doom and gloom, there is always something to be cheerful about and the recent past being no exception. We have to put all sob stories aside and think of  happy things.  Take the two young men who saved young lives at sea  during the week. One lad in Dublin threw his own safety to the wind and jumped in and saved two youngsters from being drowned. Meanwhile off the West Coast a young lad out on the fishing boat with his Dad, was the first to spot the two ladies as they clung to a lobster pot for 15 long hours  and what young lad of his age wouldn’t change places with him  for being the knight in shining armor to rescue two damsels in distress from a watery grave in the deep. All night the country held it’s breath and prayed that the cousins would be found safe.  The pulse of the nation took a leap next morning  at the wonderful news that they were found safe and well . No doubt the two heroic lads will have a great story to tell for the rest of their lives. bBuíochas le Dia.

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

Eily’s Report – 11th August

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

The Month of August is inching along and we are still wondering what has hit us. It’s a good job that we didn’t hear about it beforehand, we’d say that we could never cope with a global virus but we are showing that we can and le cúnamh Dé we will. I’m just back from a few days break and it was wonderful. One of the days saw me at the lovely seaside in Garryvoe which is only about a thirty minute drive from Cork City. The weather was delightful and having a lively little four year old with us we joined with a friend who has a house down there and who also had a couple of youngsters of around the same age it was a joy to see them  splashing and falling in the tide while I did what I do best on such occasions, take a long walk on the beach. Looking out at the sea and the sun dancing on the waves, it was easy to forget about Covid 19. I’m always fascinated by the colours of the stones on  beaches. All different sizes, different colours, all rounded and smooth. And as I make my way along, I have to pinch myself now and then to bring  myself back as it were to the real world and take in the sights instead of going along with my head down looking at the ground the whole time. Needless to say I never leave the beach without a few special stones, well, the ones that I thought special anyway. Every beach seems to have it’s own variety of coloured pebbles, some green, others blueish but the ones at Garryvoe were different to any I’ve ever seen. They looked pinkish with blood red veins running through them. So I couldn’t stop myself from bringing a couple away with me. Oh dear, already I can hear people saying that’s against the law, you’re not supposed to do that. So I stand accused, but if that’s my greatest sin, then we’ll leave it to God. There is a story in every little pebble on the beach. All so roundy and polished. You can’t help wondering ,what was it like to begin with. It never started out like this, did it break off of a mighty rock during the Ice Age in the other side of the world and was it kicked, tossed and grounded among the rest of the stones of the world until it was washed up on Garyvoe beach and retire there till the end of time. Not unlike the story of our own lives really.  No wonder I love the beach, it seems to talk to me ,and pose questions for me to ponder on.

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

Eily’s Report – 4th August

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

The Holiday Season is in full swing and not a trace of a plane in the sky. You can’t help wondering what is happening instead of the criss-cross lines up in the blue carrying thousands of people from one crowded airport to the other right across the world. Where did it all go and what have we got instead?  You’d think the world would grind to a halt if the likes happened but it hasn’t.  No it hasn’t because T.G. people refuse to be downed. In spite of all the knocks they find the grit to keep going the strong helping the weak  and everybody learning from the next.  Every day we read of people making determined efforts to get back up again, carry the day and survive.  That is why it is so important that we support home industry, shop at home, bring your support to those who will stand us in good stead for the future. It is truly amazing what a town like Millstreet has to offer.  Last week alone I got my Laptop serviced and my car smartened up without ever leaving the area and at very reasonable rates. There is a host of other services in the  area, all depending on our support. It’s great to see so many places being done up and painted and so many businesses getting back to work. Everything  forward-looking and no sign of giving up.  Long may the trend  continue.

What can we say about the response to Sean Radley’s Go-Fund-Me plea for the Museum. Needless to say like everybody else,I’m overjoyed but sad at the same time. Sad because it took so long for the museum complex at the Carnegie Hall to get it’s true recognition. Our museum and website are the heart and soul of what we are.  It’s our link with the entire world. It deserves a lot more space to allow it to reach it’s full potential and sadly when the Carnegie Hall  was being refurbished some years ago what used to be a two roomed facility  for the museum etc.was reduced to one, forcing massive amounts of its artifacts to be boxed and put into storage at Sean Radley’s  own expense. Since then he has literally worked miracles  in  limited space  to make today’s wonderful service a reality and talk of good coming out of bad. It took the worldwide Corona Virus plague to wake us up to this great need  on our own doorstep. One of Sean’s dreams was to put a book on every shelf and he did when he gave Picture Millstreet to us and to the world, I know he has big ambitions for our museum and website, we help him to achieve it. Shame on us if we don’t.  Sean’s work is so very important. When we see the value that is placed in images of the past  such as of late with the Centenary of the Fight for Freedom 1900/1920s. The way old photos were tracked down and treasured  his store of pictures must run into hundreds of thousands and all are kept in pristine condition and dated and named for generations to come to enjoy and by which family records can be traced. But his pictures are only one aspect of what he has in store for the future. Long may our dear Sean continue to do what Sean loves best. To enhance his community ,in so many ways. Thank God for HIM.                       And Thank You Sean.

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

Eily’s Report – 28th July

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

August Bank Holiday, the very mention of the word gives us  a great feeling, fills you with excitement and the promise of annual holidays and a much needed break from the norm. Yes, that is what it used to be like, but alas not this time and it only took one small bug to put an end to it, change the world forever. For a long time now the media has wasted no time or energy in telling us about terrible things that threaten our very existence. Super powers stockpiling bigger and more powerful weapons of war and mass distruction, most of which never comes to fruition. T.G.  But there wasn’t a word about a little bug that was hatching away in China which put us all hiding behind masks for our own protection and that of those around us.        The whole world  is at bursting point and the annual holiday season only makes it worse. People can’t be blamed for casting their minds on the might-have –been.  Holidays both at home and abroad booked for months, having to be cancelled. To Holiday at home at short notice requiring careful planning , with many new aspects to be considered.  With very little hotel or B&B accommodation to be had they may be lucky enough to get a vacancy at a campsite, but even then the customary trip to the cafe or diner  could also be a no no. Already I’m hearing of towns in scenic places that are full of people and no pub or restaurant open. People with little children are to be pitied. Adults may curse their luck and settle for an alternative, but try telling the little ones that we’re not  going to France after all, or indeed to the seaside, because we’d have no place to stay. For years planning a holiday anywhere in the world  was done by pressing a few buttons and your every need was met. But it’s not like this year. This time people will have to do it all themselves, take the knocks and try again. To make it good for the August Bank Holiday this year is going to take some new thinking, more effort,  but I’ll bet that when it’s over, we will  hear  some wonderful stories from people who thought outside the box and had a wonderful time, in spite of Covid 19.

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

Eily’s Report – 21st July

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

Say what you like, I pity the publicans. The Bar business is their livelihood  and no community is complete without them. A well run bar can be a wonderful thing, a place where to meet a friend or have a party, or run a fundraiser, the list goes on. But  their future has been dragged along, in an atmosphere of uncertainty for months. When they were told they could open on Monday July 20 they left no stone unturned to pave the way for their grand opening with public health a priority.  With only days to go they stocked up with all the drinks etc. and then the ax fell again. It’s nobody’s fault. The powers that be had no option but to call a halt because of the many new outbreaks of Covid19 in the country. We  look  to them to protect us and if they didn’t there would be uproar all over the place. It’s just that the publicans are in that sort of business that isn’t easy to lay down rules which will be right for everybody.

The pubs are part of what we are and I hope it won’t be long before we will see them back in business again.

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

Eily’s Report 7th July

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

Time marches on and Covid19 continues to be the main topic of discussion everywhere you go. It continues to call the shots and we must all adhere to it’s every demand. Ever so slowly life is inching  forward with nobody quite sure if they are doing the right thing  but  the need to get back to some form of normal life drives them on to at least try. Food and drink providers are the most affected and it’s interesting to see the many changes they have to make in order to start up again. Some of course will never come back again  but for those who will the challenges are immense. I went to the Wallis Arms Hotel for my dinner on Monday. I booked at one thirty and dined at two. As I was the only one there at that particular time I asked Nigel, the manager to show me around, show me the new changes and the ways that they have adopted to run their business. Needless to say they have sanatisers at the entrance and inside they have ample room to seat groups of up to eight guests in the dining lounge, while out in the function room at the back they can seat many more with ample social distancing . The days of copies of the menu on your table are gone. Gone also are  the jars of sachets of mayonnaise,ketchup, pepper/salt and so on.  Now they bring  a selection of them to your table in a small dish and reminded that if you want more of any you are welcome to ask. The customary glass of water remains the same.  The days menu is displayed on a notice board at the entrance and if you miss it like I did, the friendly waitress will read it for you. If you’re on your own, like I was, you can get a table for one.  All the staff were wearing masks. I didn’t. The name of every customer is entered in their book as is the norm everywhere you go now. I enjoyed my meal, it was superb.  By then other customers came in and sat at tables to suit their numbers. Now that I have made the break I’ll be more relaxed the next time and there will be a next time. The only other ‘eatery’ that I have been in, is the Lovely Aroma Cafe in Minor Row, where they have  Perspex dividers and their customers can enjoy their cuppa or full meal happy in the knowledge that they are safe in their own space. At the West End, the Lovely Cinnamon Cafe  provides takeaway meals for the moment. Their beautiful homemade brown bread is just one of the delicious  items that they have to offer. Our pubs are still waiting to get the go ahead from the powers that be. In the meantime they’re looking at how they can extend their space in order to comply with the you-know-what.  Looking at  ways that  they can move up or out so that they can make a decent living  in spite of all the odds that are stacked against them. We wish the all every success and again appeal to everyone to support them.  Please shop at home. Leave your money with your own people so that they can be there for use in to the future. Many congratulations to entrepreneurs Danny and Eileen Buckley,CloverHill on the launching of their new food products and on winning a weeks advertising on Virgin Media. It was great seeing them on the box at teatime every evening. No better man than Danny to drive the message home.

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

Eily’s Report – 30th June

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

The big news this week has to be that I was at Mass on Monday morning June 29.  Following a lapse of about three and a half months, it did seem strange. Our beautiful St. Patrick’s Church has the capacity to hold several hundred people in comfort, but this time there were just 50 souls in attendance. Sanitised going in and coming out. A great deal of hard work  went into arranging the seats in order to comply with the rules of social distancing and it was carried out to the letter.  We were met outside the chapel door by a team of ushers, all looking very officious with their masks and perspex face covers.    Their friendly and helpful attention made it easy for us to do the right thing. Having booked  in advance our places were marked out for us and each one was escorted to their  own particular place.  Only the centre isles of the church were used and only two people per seat one at each end . It was indeed a strange sight to see. At ten on the dot, Canon John came on the alter and started Mass, it was  the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul. We all know that he has been saying Mass there all along and some people in the catchment area were lucky enough to be able to see him.  Others like myself were glad to listen in on Cork Music Station, thanks to Sean Radley.   At first it was a rather an alien experience, but as the weeks and months passed I got to love the clear words that were spoken  and in my own little cocoon I made the daily Mass, all my own. With the result that when I went to Mass in the Church I found it  very different. For months now I have been totally free to do the things I do. I didn’t have to be anywhere, attend anything, meet no one if I didn’t want to. Sit down, get up, job in the garden, cook a meal, etc. all in my own time, wander at will.  At Mass this morning ,the first discipline that I encountered was to stand up at Mass or sit  down at the right times join with the others in prayers. It wasn’t that I minded it but I was aware of it. Even at home before going I was  fretful. What if the time slips me and I’ll be late, or if the car won’t start and I having a precious place booked.  My seat would be empty and I after taking a seat that somebody else would be glad to have. But I needn’t have worried, it all went fine. TG.

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

Eily’s Report 23rd June

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

Every week has it’s highs and lows and last week brought more of the same. We must congratulate our beloved Fr.Paddy O’Byrne on the Diamond Jubilee of his  ordination and last week we learnt with horror of the death of Detective Garda Colm Horkan. To hear that a member of our Garda force has been murdered fills us with disdain and fear.   We look upon them as a body set apart, as something precious, vital, protect life. A sort of invisible shield that stands between us and the ‘big bad world’ and then to see something awful to happen to one of their members ,hits us where it hurts. Our local Gardai have placed a condolence book at the barrack ,where people can put down their names and  show solidarity with our National Garda Siochana.   Please support it well.

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

Eily’s Report – 16th June

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

Hopefully a date will be fixed for the biggest break in the Covid19 regulations, the ban on hairdressing. No other section of the entire pandemic regulations gets more coverage. It went to the point of panic as people of both genders, but mostly the women, looked to the future in despair as tresses grew longer and white roots got whiter. The signs were everywhere. Social distancing brought us into every home right across the world as reporters gave us their news from their own sitting rooms. Devoid of make-up and hair grooming. Hair was full topic on every phone call or meeting and friends who normally turned on Skype refrained from doing so because they were reluctant to let anybody see how they looked, unkempt. It was easy to get hair colour and family members turned stylists with a mixture of perfect or disastrous results. Not everybody was lucky enough to have someone  to trim their locks or even have a pair of scissors suited to the task, so the next best thing was D.I.Y. Again the need for a professional touch was plain to see.  They say that after this pandemic, things will never again be the same and I think it will apply to the locks as well. Some say they’ll never dye their hair again, others when they’ve seen it in a different line will want to change their style.  Hairdressers will be over-run because everybody will want to be in first.   The discarded tresses will fill volumes. It will level out in time but for now we mustn’t let the hair problem , go to our heads.

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