St Mary’s Feb 1

AA MEETINGS: AA meetings take place in the Town House situated behind our church on Tuesday and Thursday at 8.30 pm every week.

AA MEETINGS: AA meetings take place in the Town House situated behind our church on Tuesday and Thursday at 8.30 pm every week.

ST BRIGID’S CROSS: In keeping with the Feast of that ancient Irish saint I have come upon the meaning of keeping some semblance of her famous cross in the house or pinned on the lapel of your coat.

“Traditionally believed to ward off evil and to keep the homestead safe, St Brigid’s Cross can be found in many Irish homes. St Brigid, a religious companion of St Patrick, is revered for her many charitable miracles in Ireland during the 5th century.”

COLLEEN BAWN ON THIS WEEK: The popular Dublin acting company, Druid, are presently touring Sligo, Belfast, Galway and Dublin with their award-winning production of Dion Boucicoult’s ‘Colleen Bawn,’ and will be staging that play of extreme local interest at the Lime Tree Theatre in Limerick from January 4-8, 2014. Contact 061-774774. Tickets €25 and €20.

OLD LIMERICK JOURNAL: Number 47 of the ‘The Old Limerick Journal’ has recently been published and is still living up to its previous excellence. Naturally, the front cover features a picture of its former chairman and editor, Larry Walsh, now deceased (1949-2013). It also features an obituary on the said man, a former curator of the Jim Kemmy Museum, by Brian Hodkinson. The unique aspect of this particular book is that despite having retained its excellent productive quality, it has managed to remain at the most reasonable price of only €10.

The inside back cover features a most wonderful collage, comprising of a fine picture of our literary pride and joy, Gerald Griffin, (1803-1840), he of the Collegians/ Colleen Bawn fame, as well as featuring images of many aspects of his all too short life; place of his birth close to our parish Cathedral; school room not certain where; Fairy Lawn where the family lived outside Limerick at one stage; Our Lady’s Mount, Cork where the poet spent his final two years in the Christian Brothers teaching, and finally the place of his burial on North Monastery, Cork, complete with headstone.

Throughout this very fine publication there are numerous interesting articles. However, the few that stood out for my interest were: The St Munchin’s Parish article; A letter written from the county jail in 1829; Bedford Row; Irish Estates, Corbally; and the one I really look forward to reading when time presents itself, that of ‘Mad Doctoring’ in the 19th Century. In actual fact I haven’t read one word of the book yet. The pictures throughout are superb altogether, with one very classy one of the Savoy staff of old; the clock tower at St Joseph’s on Mulgrave Street; yet another of particular interest is that of Rutland Street of old, where many people will remember Lou McMahon’s vegetable shop, and also Cusack’s where a man might purchase tobacco for his pipe. There is also a picture of St Munchin’s Church while still under construction, together with the old church still standing close by. Well done to its very fine editor, Tom Donovan, and also to his vibrant committee!

As a matter of interest to the loyal readers of this journal, if you look up the web site you will easily happen upon one site where almost every past journal is featured all together in rows. This certainly will help anyone to tick off the issues they have or do not have, as this fine page is set up with colourful covers, thus keeping the memory of its founder, the late Jim Kemmy alive somewhat. As well as in the various shop outlets, this journal can be purchased in the City Library on Michael Street.

THE CURRAGHGOUR MILL 2: “James Fisher’s father was Joseph Fisher, of Richmond, whose death in 1830, is thus referred to in the ‘Limerick Chronicle.’ ‘We are concerned to announce the death of Joseph Fisher, Esq., at his seat, Richmond, near this city, after a very few days’ illness. Mr Fisher was many years a principal of one of the mercantile houses in Limerick, and universally esteemed as a man of strict probity. He was a Director of the Irish Provincial Bank in this city, and Treasurer of the Wellesley Bridge Commissioners and the County Infirmary.‘ It should be of interest to Limerick people to know that Gerald Griffin, the poet, generally submitted his articles to Mrs Fisher at Richmond, for her revision and approval before publishing them.” What an interesting style of language that was in use way back then.

THE LEGACY OF HANNAH VILLIERS: Allan Callender has published ‘The Legacy of Hannah Villiers - Almshouses and Schools’ which recalls the history of Villiers Homes and Schools from 1792 - 2013. Price €25 plus p&p. Order from Allan at email:, Tel: Mobile 087 - 142 1525.

ACTION CENTRE: St Mary’s Action Centre is situated at the old Alms Houses opposite the Tracey-Mace Supermarket on Nicholas Street. It might be considered the Nerve Centre of the area. Here you will find all you need to know concerning many social welfare matters. It also offers the facility of having CVs typed professionally and in confidence. Contact number is: 061-410737.

MASS TIMES AND EXPOSITION: There is 10am Mass in our church every weekday morning. Mass and Novena for the Sick takes place on Saturday morning and this is followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. There is Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament from 9 - 10 am on Saturday mornings. There is the Vigil Mass at 7.30 pm on Saturday evening. On Sunday, Masses are at 9.30 and 11am. The parents Folk Choir, led by Helen Flanagan, sing at the Vigil Mass every Saturday evening at 7.30pm. Our Senior Choir sing at the 11.00 am Mass every Sunday under their Director, Jim Graham, and the organist is Brendan Frawley.

STIX FOOD EMPORIUM: Business on Nicholas Street is still rather quiet and though it looked like things were about to move forward with the improvement of many vacant buildings, it all turned out to be somewhat of a facade effort. Buildings have been well painted but they also have been shut up and no life has emerged as yet from within those doors. This is indeed a terrible pity. However, there is at least one saving grace in the presence of Stix, formerly the Thomond Cinema, which I remember all too well. It was always considered a step up from the Tivoli over on Charlotte Quay near Baal’s Bridge if you could manage the extra few pence to attend the Thomond, which was run at one stage by Paver Dillon who also had a pub on that same street, where the Cauldron now stands. Anyway, Stix, as well as being a very well-run leisure centre, is also a great food emporium, eat in or take away. Recently, the facade of this fine building has undergone an extensive professional painting job and it looks smashing altogether. Well done to the owner of this fine building for his care and attention. We wish him many more years of success!

ST MARY’S ARE WE: Our title is our glory. So goes the opening lines of a very familiar parish song and the following piece on their website puts is in the picture of their humble beginnings and how far they have come in the 71 years they have been inexistence. “St. Marys Rugby Football Club was founded in 1943 in the shadow of St. Mary’s Cathedral in the heart of St. Francis Abbey when a group of sporting enthusiasts that included Harry Bedford, Paddy Mc Sweeney, Michael Bourke, Michael Kelly, Paddy Casey, Tommy Carr and Michael Doran decided to form a new rugby club to cater for the many young men of the area. The club applied for membership of the Munster Branch in April 1943 and on the proposal of Peter Galbraith (Garryowen) and seconded by Charlie St. George (Young Munster) they were accepted.

The first meeting of the club was held in St. Mary’s Hall (Todsies) and a committee was formed. Michael Kelly was elected President, Paddy Casey as Secretary and Tom Joe Finnan as Treasurer. Tom Joe was replaced by Michael Doran after a short period due to work commitments. The committee comprised of Tommy Carr, Harry Bedford, Tawdy Clancy, Sean Keogh, Peter Mc Namara, Paddy Mc Sweeney and Joe Hanrahan.

In the early 1940’s St. Mary’s like most junior clubs did not a playing pitch for home games and so depended on the goodwill of others to fulfil their fixtures. Most of the training was done on the Island Bank but in bad weather the forwards used St. Mary’s dance hall for scrum practice in their socks. Many playing areas were used for home matches including Scouts Field, Slattery’s Paddock, Regans Field, and Nash’s Field before they obtained their own pitch at Corbally.

In only their second competitive season St. Mary’s won their first trophy the City Cup in 1945-46 and they competed in their first Munster Junior Cup Final in 1948-49 but alas lost out to Cork Con in the final in only their fifth season in competitive rugby. It was not until 1967-68 that St. Mary’s won the Munster Junior Cup for their one and only time. They have also won the Munster Junior Challenge Cup in 1990-91 and the Munster Junior Plate on two occasions in 1985-86 and 1990-91. The Transfield Cup has been won five times plus numerous underage trophies in both boys and girls.

The facilities that the club have now are second to none having come on in leaps and bounds since those early days and having completed the first phase of the re- development which included a complete new playing surface which is one of the best in the country this is to be followed by the erection of floodlights which is due to be finished by Aug-2012. There is a lovely clubhouse with a capacity of 270 people to cater for any occasion and an all weather pitch which is 40m x 20m and floodlit. All this is complemented by three changing rooms, a referee’s room and showers, which is a long way from the days where the players used to wash themselves in the river after training and games. Now heading into our Seventy-first year it is fitting that our Junior side is now back playing in Division One of the Munster Junior league having won Division Two (Liam Fitzgerald Trophy).”

THOMAS’ ISLAND: “Seán South wrote a poem about the island, or rather an incident that took place there, back in 1846. He was in the company of fellow teenagers, including my sister, Maura, picnicking on the island, but through some misunderstanding, they were marooned when their ferryman (I was blamed), failed to turn up. Darkness had fallen and my now thoroughly alarmed father, Joe, cycled and untied our old angling cot to affect a rescue. Maura’s relief at the sight of her rescuing father soon dissipated when he took off his belt and gave it to her across the legs, at the same time berating the by now thoroughly scared group of teenagers. Seán South a humorous poem about the incident, which he also illustrated, published in ‘A Spot So Fair.’

Present owner of the island is Raymond O’Halloran, an angler and conservationist. It could not be in better hands.” Extract from a piece which forms part of a wonderful publication entitled, “Reflections on Limerick” by parish writer, Denis O’Shaughnessy; the ideal gift to send abroad for St Patrick’s Day.