Feb 9

Maureen Sparling


Maureen Sparling

SUPERB SHANNON SHINE: C Well done to our parish team, Shannon, who succeeded in defeating UL Bows by a massive margin of 31-13 on Friday evening last out in Thomond Park. We now look forward to their winning ways continuing. Read all about this thrilling event in the excellent Sport’s section of this newspaper.

SUPERB SHANNON SHINE: C Well done to our parish team, Shannon, who succeeded in defeating UL Bows by a massive margin of 31-13 on Friday evening last out in Thomond Park. We now look forward to their winning ways continuing. Read all about this thrilling event in the excellent Sport’s section of this newspaper.

DEAN VISITS BANDROOM: C Sunday last marked a very special occasion in the long life of the St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band. It celebrated the visit of our newly appointed Dean of Limerick and Ardfert, Sandra Pragnell, to the nearby bandroom at the request of its President, Jack McGrath. Despite the inclemency of the weather, once one stepped inside that musical orientated enclosure, everything automatically turned to brightness when that talented Band struck up in their usual vibrant manner and played for about fifteen minutes. As always, they looked impeccable and their playing was precision perfect. Following that, the Band’s President accompanied Dean Pragnell on a tour of the bandroom, which included viewing the outstanding Museum display, of which they are hugely proud. It is indeed a wonderful place to visit as many individuals within its ranks, have throughout the years had the intelligence and foresight to preserve the Band’s unique history in picture and other forms. Their numerous trophies would dazzle your eyes. And so packed full of history are the walls of this bandroom, one is simply at a loss as to where to look first. I even saw Mickey Raleigh (remember him?) in a framed picture hanging on the wall, thanks to my guide for awhile, Aidan Hurley, who first joined the band back in 1963. He, like many members of the band is a mine of information. Another band member, Tom Naughton, also had an amount of the band’s history to dispose of as names, dates, travels up north and abroad rolled quite naturally off the tongue.

It was good to see comedian, Pascal O’Grady and his wife present at this rather unique event. But best of all, and a man who visits that old musical haunt on many Sundays, was the presence of nonagenarian, Paddy (Whacker) Casey and he holding his own and ever ready to greet new people. Paddy is the oldest living member of the band which begun back in 1885. Dean Pragnell was totally delighted with her visit to the bandroom and generally she seems intent on becoming familiar with our historic surroundings in the King’s island area. As is their wont, each and every band member present was the very essence of sociability. The art of meeting and greeting people could well be deemed their insignia. In short, their talent doesn’t stop at the playing of the fife or the drum! Well done to the Band’s President, Jack McGrath, for initiating this positive association between band and church, in this case, the Church of Ireland. By so doing, yet another solid social bridge has been built.

ASH WEDNESDAY: C This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday and as such marks the beginning of the holy season of Lent. As usual there will be Mass celebrated at 10.00 am every weekday morning and as far as I know the Stations of the Cross will be said on the Friday, as in former years. It is the practice of many people to make a resolution during this season and this on top of their New Year resolution, making us all ever increasingly aware, the need to stop and think, to assess our sense of spirituality in the ever fast moving materialistic world which surrounds us. The one thing I miss in this all too fast-moving world of late, is the characters of old, the people who had the courage to be different and often they didn’t even realise they were different, such as....sure I’ll leave that for another week. One thing for sure they added a spice to life, particularly within the confines of our parish.

GUARD ON DUTY: C Like many more Garda stations around the country, our local station on Mary Street has closed. However, there is a saving grace in light of this closure. There will be a Guard on duty at the Community Centre or close to it, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12.00 – 1.00pm to deal with any queries you may have and to aid in filling out forms etc.

LENT AT CATHEDRAL: C Ash Wednesday: February 13th Holy Communion and Breakfast 7.30am; Holy Communion at 10.30AM; Service for the Beginning of Lent 7pm – all at St Mary’s Cathedral. Thursdays in Lent at 10.30am : Holy Communion with short Lenten address, St Mary’s Cathedral.

CHEMIST OPEN IN PARISH: C O’Sullivan’s Pharmacy is open six days a week. It is annexed to our wonderful Primary Care Centre within sight of Assumpta Park in the heart of King’s Island. So far, this chemist shop is proving a great asset to the surrounding community.

Maranatha Prayer Ministry invites you for the Healing

Retreat through the powerful ministry of Rev. Fr.Michael Oshea&Marie Beirne, enriched with Holy Rosary,Healing Mass, Eucharistic adoration, Word of God, Praise &Worship, Confession and Spirit filled music by Maranatha Gospel Choir, on Sunday 17th February, 2013 from 2.30.pm till 7.30 pm

at St .Pauls Church, Dooradoyle, Limerick.

For more details contact :0871190289,0874167561 ,061338283.

Web site:www.maranathaprayerministry.org

PARISHIONER DIES IN AUSTRALIA: C The death has occurred in Australia of Jack O’Halloran, aged 98 years, late of 3, Nolan’s Cottages near Crosbie Row and Off Nicholas Street. Jack was brother of the late Christy (McCormack Singers) and Foncie. We extend our sympathy to his relatives and friends both here in Limerick and in Australia.

JOB SEEKERS: C Do you have a disability or a health issue? Find it hard to get a job? Need some help getting started? Please contact Work Access Ltd 061 493095. We provide a supported employment service in Limerick city and also outreach offices in Kilmallock and Newcastlewest.

LIMERICK LIONS CLUB: C Wish to thank all their patrons and friends who supported them so generously last year. The Club are having a NEW MEMBERSHIP DRIVE for 2013.Further details from Lions Club President Noel Sexton on 086 3527418.

‘ROUND THE MARKET: C Not being a frequent Saturday Market attendee, I never cease to wonder at the invariability of meeting many regular faces who seem to never miss that weekly mecca for a multiplicity of various vendors. Recently, I attended, and bumped into photographer and Parish man, Dermot Lynch, who happened to be in conversation with fellow photographer, Seán Curtin, and naturally we had the old chat. That seems to be part and parcel of that weekly scene. Both men are always in good humour and a delight to meet. Then outside the market, who crosses my path but another Parish man, Pat Lysaght, and he always has some matter of interest to talk about. He is a natural conservationist, (the word ‘conversationalist’ would also suit Pat perfectly). He is God’s gift to all the aquatic creatures down at the end of the Mill Road in Corbally. Best of all, however, was coming across a 1967 record, ‘The Best of Frankie Laine,’ which I purchased for only €3 outside the Market. It has all his favourites on it, including, “Answer Me,” “Jealousy,” “High Noon,” “Cool Water,” “Jezebel,” and “Granada,” etc. It was in perfect playing order, not a hitch. Having been given a present of a lovely wooden 4 in 1 for Christmas just past, I have reverted to playing records again, my collection, including mainly classical but also a fair speckling of Neil Diamond, Englebert, Glen Campbell etc, having been hidden from sight for fifteen years or more.

POET MARK IS A PARISH NATIVE: C Well, wonders never cease, do they? Upon reading John Rainsford’s interview with Mark Whelan in a recent edition of the weekend ‘Limerick Leader,’ I learned and surprisingly, may I say, that our highly rated and talented poet, Mark Whelan, who began his working days at Geary’s Sweet and Biscuit Factory on Merchant’s Quay, is actually a parish native. ‘Near the Abbey River,’ he lived, he tells us until he was six or seven before moving with his family to Janesboro. Perhaps, he’ll make a token visit down our way when a special day which will focus on the Abbey Fishermen and all the Clancy’s etc, will take place at the Community Hall, King’s Island for the ‘The Gathering,’ on May 1 and 2, 2013. In 1996, Mark graduated with a BA in Philosophy, English and Religious Studies, from Mary Immaculate College as a mature student. He tells us in the interview that he is drawn to poetry with a metaphysical or existentialist theme. His latest collection is entitled, “The Sear of Wounds,” and broadly speaking, he says, “Deals with love, loss, and what might be termed religious and philosophical considerations.” For details of his latest collection you can access: www.omahonys.ie/catalog/books-by-author-Mark%2BWhelan.html. Best of luck to poet Mark, who has just been added to our ever increasing list of native Parish writers! As a matter of interest, yet another noted playwright, Mary Coll, had very definite Parish connections, her grandparents having originated in some part of the Sandmall and very proud she is of this fact too. Mary, who happens to be blessed with an excellent speaking voice and clear delivery, has from time to time been featured on ‘Sunday Miscellany’ and yet again one of her plays was broadcast on RTE 1 only two Sunday nights ago. One of her most enjoyable ‘Miscellany’ pieces dealt with local rugby anthems, giving the height of praise to ‘The Isle’ while casting a wondering and quizzical eye as to the meaning of some other sporting local anthems.

SYMPATHY: C The death occurred in Cardiff recently of Maura Williams (nee McCarthy) late of 3, Long Range, Sandmall. Maura, who emigrated to Wales to join her brother, Thomas, when she was sixteen, had returned to her native city at least four times a year. She was pre-deceased by her parents, husband, Ray, and brother, Jimmy. Maura’s family, the McCarthy’s from off the Sandmall, were deeply involved in St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, a fact of which she remained proud of all her life. They were and still remain a much respected family.The Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr John O’Byrne who was accompanied on the altar by Canon Donough O’Malley. The accomplished soprano, Olive O’Brien, sang beautifully during the Mass. Following the Mass, the niece of the deceased, Maria Goodwin, gave a glorious and fitting tribute to her Aunt Maura, as did her uncle Thomas, reminding all present of the wonderful times they had experienced as children when they visited her in Cardiff, and the house and all its edible delights became theirs for the duration of their sojourn. Maura loved to follow rugby and kept a close eye on her native team while I suppose being seen to have an interest in Wales also. It was fitting then that as her coffin was shouldered down the aisle of the church where she had been baptised all those years ago, the glorious voice of Olive O’Brien sang out and rather poignantly in this case, the very haunting, ‘Fields of Athenry,’ which was preceded by a short interlude on the organ of the Welsh national anthem, ‘Land of my Fathers.’ We extend our heartfelt sympathy to her brothers, Thomas and Michael, her sisters, Rita (Goodwin), Bernie Madden), Noreen (Priddy), and Joan Vaughan, her brother-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, relatives and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

NARROW ESCAPE AT ABC: C “On August Monday morning, 1958, a party of sixteen, comprised of members and their families, left the club slipway for a pleasure trip on Lough Derg. ‘The Launch’ was owned by Pat O’Shea, of Bridge Street Post Office, and with such an experienced skipper in charge, the passengers had no fears and everyone was in high spirits as they set out on their voyage.

The lake was reached by early afternoon, and with all aboard admiring the lovely scenery, danger was the furthermost thoughts on their minds. Suddenly, however, a squall blew up with storm force winds sweeping the lake. “The Launch” was being battered by strong waves, and the excursionists feared for their lives. The gandlow being towed by ‘The Launch” broke free and the children in the boat, particularly, were now terrified.

Skipper Pat O’Shea, was now left with no alternative but to make for the shore, and with all his skill honed in the stormy reaches of the lower Shannon, managed to beach the boat on the other side of the lake to the great relief of all aboard. All got off ‘The Launch” safely and some of the excursionists were lucky to get a lift home immediately. For most, however, it proved a long trek to Clonlara, where luckily, they met a lorry driver and he conveyed them home.” (From the recently published book, “The Story of Athlunkard Boat Club,” no writer is given credit. The book is on sale at Tracey’s on Nicholas Street, the Mall Bar, Corbally Bar and at our local Credit Union on Athlunkard Street at the cost of only €10. You can also contact 087-671822. Conclusion next week.)

VALENTINE’S DAY: C This coming Thursday we honour that most commercialised saint of all time, St Valentine. For the past 18 years I have only one memory of that same day but it doesn’t necessarily constitute mention in these notes. However, many years ago I penned a little poem which one way or another has gained momentum. Here it is for what it’s worth. I don’t recall having written it with anyone particularly in mind because I dedicated the poem to ‘all those who still find time to dream’. It forms part of my collection entitled, “A Gem in the Wasteland,’ which was published in 2004.


If thoughts of you were money,

I’d be a millionaire,

If thoughts of you were courage,

The loftiest peak I’d dare.

If thoughts of you were azure,

God’s canopy I’d fill,

And if thoughts of you were labour,

I’d be the hardest working mill.

If thoughts of you were a symphony,

An orchestra I’d lead,

If thoughts of you were honey,

Nests of honeybees I’d feed.

And if thoughts of you aquatic were,

An ocean I’d keep stored,

And, if thoughts of you were stars at night,

I’d be a shrine adored.

SEAN-FHOCAL: C “’Sé leigheas na póite ól arís.” “It is the cure for a hangover to drink again.” “Bíonn gach go lách go dtéann bó ina gcarraí.” “Everyone is good natured until a cow goes into his garden.”