DENIS IS BACK: Denis O’Shaughnessy will be launching Reflections on Limerick, his latest book on his native city, on Friday October 25 next, in St. Mary’s RFC clubhouse, Grove Island. This is Denis’ eighth book of this highly successful genre, and this latest publication is his most ambitious to date, containing up to fifty stories, a diversity of all Limerick life in past years. Denis’ native Parish is well represented in the book with miscellaneous stories of such as the famous Turbridy’s Bakery, the legendary seven O’Connor brothers from Athlunkard Street, famed rugby, rowing and athletic sportsmen, who were by far the city’s greatest sporting dynasty, and the immortal character that was the Abbey’s Bansha Hayes.The book is sprinkled with many attractive photographs, including a remarkable one of a Pioneer bus excursion that left outside St. Mary’s Church in 1958, and which includes some great Parish characters, many who were born in the 19th century.
Denis is issuing an open invitation to the launch, and he is hoping it will be a Gathering of all his old his friends and neighbours in the Sandmall/Athlunkard Street areas. “We had a great night in St. Mary’s clubhouse for the launch of the Athlunkard B.C. book, and hopefully we will have the same on October 25. We will keep the old musical tradition of the Parish alive with some great singers lined up for the occasion,” Denis said.
WRITERS RARELY REST: I had just returned from my exceptionally enjoyable autumn sojourn in Kilkee when upon opening my email I find news from Parish writer, Denis, announcing the publication of yet another book. This is a most welcome addition indeed to the prolongation of the literary fabric of the Parish. One might have assumed, given his seven packed to capacity publications to date, that his reservoir of research had fairly well become dry by now having truly exhausted just about each and every aspect of our beloved Parish, but it seems not be the case. Just when you think writers are doing nothing; that is exactly when they are most definitely doing something, sitting on the literary egg, so to speak, just waiting for it to hatch! They spend many unsociable hours burning the midnight oil, making absolutely sure that all is delivered to the printer in ship-shape, as it is not the printer’s job to correct or alter; his business is but to print. All writers eventually arrive at that reality; which is why we should appreciate our writers, particularly our local writers. As I mentioned in these notes a few years ago, nothing happens by osmosis, even given a certain amount of talent, that same talent needs to be nurtured and has to be worked upon by the writer themselves. Writers are very slow to seek help of whatever kind, being extremely protective of their own creation, somewhat like a hen with his latest brood; in short they like to do it for themselves. So, let us all exhibit a good heart towards this new Parish publication and attend the launch if we can and more particularly buy the book when it appears in the shops. By no means as a rule are writers misfortunate, but neither are they roaring rich; they go about doing their literary task simply for the love of it and in and to a large degree of affording an amount of pleasure to the wider community; so it goes without saying that every sale is precious for them.
SMART TRAVEL FOR CORBALLY: “The introduction of new walking and cycling facilities in Corbally has been welcomed by local election candidate Christy Mc Inerney, commencement of work on the Shannon Fields in Corbally started earlier this week. The smarter travel initiative seeks to facilitate travel in a more sustainable manner within particular hubs across the City. The project involves the construction of walking and cycling facilities for 1.43 Kilometres, with the pathway being widened to 4 metres, complete with two rest areas. The key feature will be the introduction entrance feature with new signage and LED public lighting. The scheme also involves the extension of the new LED lighting scheme alongside the pathway. The second phase of the project will see the introduction of a cycling lane on the Corbally road to the City Centre with access points along the 2 Kilometre stretch, the delivery of sustainable transport across Limerick City is vital for the travel needs of communities within the relevant hubs.” concluded Mr. Inerney
AUDITIONS FOR YOUNG SINGERS: Calling young singers – aged 11 to 19 Production : Noye’s Fludde – Opera by Benjamin Britten, composed 1957, based on Chester Mystery Cycle play. St Mary’s Cathedral, in association with partners across the city of Limerick, presents Noye’s Fludde as a collaborative, community production with a professional core. Music Director: Peter Barley, Stage Director Joan McGarry Moore. Auditions: Saturday, 12th October - 10am-12.30pm; 2-4pm.
CASTING: 1. Noye’s Sons: Shem, Ham, Jaffett – Boys with unchanged voices
2. Noye’s sons’ wives: Mrs Shem, Mrs Ham, Mrs Jaffett – girls aged approx 11-15.
3. Gossips (i.e. Mrs Noye’s cronies!) – older teenage girls i.e. aged 14/15 – 18/19. These roles call for well-trained voices and lively personalities. In the case of the gossips, stronger voices, especially in the lower register with strong dramatic capabilities.
PREPARATION: One solo of own choice (music theatre?), plus an assigned excerpt from Noye’s Fludde
Will be asked to do some dramatic movement/improv/reading. Accompanist will be provided.
Outline schedule – performance and most rehearsals to be in St Mary’s Cathedral. Music rehearsals will start in November; Staging rehearsals will start in January 2014 (tbc). Tech Week: 24 – 27 March. Performances – March 28 – Apr 1st. Contact: to schedule an audition and obtain Noye’s Fludde excerpt; Please email Janet Bray (Reception at Villiers School) email@example.com (or telephone (061) 451 447). Email is the preferred form of contact.
CATHEDRAL HARVEST THANKSGIVING: Is on Sunday, October 6, 2013; the decorating of the Cathedral will take place on Saturday next 5th October from 4pm. Please note time as due to a wedding in the Cathedral earlier that day it will not be possible to decorate in the morning as usual. Your gifts of time and talents, flowers, vegetables etc. will be most welcome in the decorating of the Cathedral. Harvest produce of fruit and vegetables will be donated to the Br. Stephen Russell Home, Mulgrave Street, Limerick, after the harvest service.
ANNUAL SERVICE OF HOPE: Organised by Northstar Family Support, this Service will be held at 7.00pm in the Augustinian Church for anyone who has lost a family member or friend to any form of substance misuse (alcohol or drugs).
LIMERICK BRIDGE CONGRESS: The 49th Limerick Bridge Congress will be held this year in the Radisson Blue Hotel Ennis Road Limerick from Friday 11th - Sunday 13th October. There will be competitions for all grades of bridge players from Novices to Master Players and there will be open pairs also on each day and evening. We welcome all bridge players to our Congress.
LEAVING CERT MUSIC: Wednesday 16th October 2013 at 6.30pm in St Mary’s Cathedral, A Leaving Certificate Guide to Piano Concerto No.23 in A major K.488 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. For further information phone 087 6738631 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limerick City Parish needs YOU: The Plant Sale and Autumn Fair is less than three weeks away and is gathering momentum. Raffle tickets are on sale in a church near you – please take some and sell them on to your friends. Also there will be a box for donations of non-perishable items in all three churches on Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th of October, these items will be used to make up hampers for the raffle prizes so please be generous. The stalls this year will include Cakes, Jams & Preserves, Bric-a-brac , Books, Plants, Fruit & Vegetables, Lucky Dip and a Bottle Stall. WANTED - bottles of any kind for the bottle stall (e.g. shampoo, shower gel, drinks or basically anything in a bottle!!), cakes, jams, chutneys, plants, fruit & veg, cookery; gardening; DIY & Natural History books, handbags and bric-a-brac for the stalls. As the bric-a-brac will need to be sorted in advance, please deliver your donations of good quality bric-a-brac (no electrical items) to St. Michael’s Hall between 7.30pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday 16 October. Please contact Elizabeth Stanley on 086-2687123 or at email@example.com or Tracey Lyttle on 086-6486197 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or to offer your services, volunteers will be welcomed with open arms.
WELL WORTH PRIZES: I understand that the prizes for the above-mentioned raffle are quite substantial, in effect that the fuel prizes of 1st and 2nd, will keep you supplied with an adequate supply of winter warmth for the entire Winter and to purchase a ticket or even a book of same, won’t hurt anyone’s pocket. Simply call into the Cathedral abd find out more.
OUR PARISH IN POOR TIMES: “When invited to state the nature of the cases to which he alluded, Fr Braham continued, ’fever was epidemic in this wretched parish of mine, arising I believe, from famine, produced from want of employment, something approaching to famine. I was then working curate in the parish. I was called to attend a fever case in one of the closes of the parish in a wretched lane. In one room I think he could not then say whether there were still so many people in it, fourteen by sixteen. I found three or four men lying in the fever, each on a sort of a straw bed; and upon enquiring what were the circumstances I was told that they were ejected from some farms in the County of Clare and that they came into Limerick to seek employment and took the fever and were then in very great danger. Many cases similar to this, though not to the same extent as to sickness, have occurred up to a late period.” (Author, D.M. Next week we find several families in one house).
CATHEDRAL LUNCHTIME CONCERT: On this coming Wednesday, October 9, 2013, there will be another Lunchtime Concert at St Mary’s Cathedral from 1.15-2.00pm. The line-up will include Susan O’Leary (flute), Michael Dooley (bassoon), Colette Davis (piano)-music by Beethoven and Lalliet. Entrance is free but a donation to the Retiring Collection would be greatly appreciated as this will go to aid the Friend of St Mary’s Cathedral Music.
CARE AND REPAIR SERVICES: St Mary’s Aid Care and Repair offer a free service for less than two hours. Volunteers and handy-people will carry out small repairs and complete minor home tasks for older people and people with disabilities. Anyone over 65 or anyone who has a disability and who lives in St Mary’s parish qualify for this wonderful and much needed service. These very caring volunteers have good DIY and home improvement skills; have a friendly and caring approach, and have completed Training by Age Action Ireland and Limerick City Care and Repair. For further information simply call the following number; 061-318106 at 10, Nicholas Street or email; email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
HISTORY OF CREDIT UNION: “After the move to Athlunkard Street the membership increased rapidly and soon the business outgrew what volunteers alone could accomplish in the limited time they could give. The Credit Union then took its second giant step forward, bought an Accounting Machine and employed full time staff. The late Mr Joe O’Brien was appointed Manager and Mrs E Clancy, who had been a voluntary worker, became Accounting Machine Operator and is still with the Credit Union operating the Hermes computer which was purchased in 1980. On the death of Mr Joe O’Brien in 1979, Miss J Lynch was appointed Manager. There are still a number of very faithful voluntary workers who act as Tellers, Assistant Treasurers, and from time to time, in other capacities.
Tribute must be paid to Fr Shinnors, and those who joined him in the initiative to found the Credit Union; to all those who have given their time so generously over the years and particularly to those worker members who have died; Walter Butler, who guided the organisation in its formative years; John O’Farrell, the Treasurer up to the time of his death; Dr Ted Lyttle and Mr Joe O’Brien. Requiescant in pace. (Final piece of an article written by Peter R Donnelly, PRO which was included in that wonderful compilation of articles on the Parish, “Golden Jubilee – 1932-1982.”
ST MARY’S RFC 1943: St Mary’s RFC have a fine Clubhouse out in Grove Island but their beginnings 70 years ago, was similar to the humble beginnings of many other parish sporting clubs. The stalwarts who have given voluntarily of their time over the years are to be praised. Their ample, yet cosy Clubhouse is a credit to their valiant endeavours and has proved a most agreeable venue for many a launch or get-together. For the next few weeks I will be bringing you an article on the history of this very fine rugby club which formed part of that wonderful “Golden Jubilee” book 1932-1982. Here is the first instalment.
“Founder Members: Harry Bedford, Paddy (Hada) Sweeney, Michael Bourke, Paddy Casey, Mattie (Bansha) Hayes, Michael Kelly. With the departure of Abbey RFC from football in the 30s, the void was not filled until the above named men decided to form a new club, to be appropriately named, St Mary’s Rugby Football Club. The club’s first President was Michael Kelly and Captain Thomas (Tawdy) Clancy. The club did not have long to wait to record its first success, winning the City Junior Cup in 1946 under the captaincy of Dom Bourke, and retaining it the following season led by Colm McGrath. Also in the 1947 season the Juvenile league was won under the captaincy of J. Storan.” (Written by Tom Kerley, PRO. Continued next week.)
QUOTES FROM KATE: “She was one of those women who have a shadow - beauty to the end.” “The fact was that the paving stones had ears in these parts.” “The river hardly whispered.” (A few inspiring quotes from Kate O’Brien’s novel, “Without My Cloak,” which was almost entirely set in Limerick and features the goings and comings and the business operations of the Considine family).