Apr 20

Maureen Sparling


Maureen Sparling

WELCOME BISHOP BRENDAN!: The Parish warmly welcomes Bishop Brendan Leahy into our city. We wish a long life in his role as Bishop of Limerick, and we look forward to his presence in our beautiful church when he comes there to confirm our children next year.

WELCOME BISHOP BRENDAN!: The Parish warmly welcomes Bishop Brendan Leahy into our city. We wish a long life in his role as Bishop of Limerick, and we look forward to his presence in our beautiful church when he comes there to confirm our children next year.

SHANNON RFC PRESIDENT’S DINNER: The President’s night for Mr Vinny Ryan took place on Friday April 5th. It was a great night with about 100 people in attendance. The clubhouse looked great, being all decked out in the black and blue. The food was amazing with the menu reading, Cream of Vegetable soup for starters, Rib of Beef with seasonal veg for mains and Apple pie with cream for dessert. Vinny Ryan spoke very well after dinner and as usual kept everyone entertained with his speech. Flowers were presented to Ann Browne and Violet Flynn for all their help with meals for the players during the year and Maire Ryan, the ever pleasant Bar Manager, also got recognition with flowers for all her hard work and excellent service to the club during the year. Martin Power received Club Person of the Year and well deserved it was too. He has given over 25 years to the club and is highly respected at all levels. The beautiful trophy for the Club Person of the Year, which was donated by the late Dr Darragh Little and family, was presented to Martin, who was obviously not expecting it. Music was provided by the talented Night Owls after dinner and a disco by Johnny Fortune followed. Vinny Ryan and friends also entertained the happy gathering with a few songs on the evening. A thoroughly enjoyable night was had by all. Micheal Noel Ryan, who captained that gallant team who won the Munster Senior Cup for the first time in the history of the Club, back in 1960, gave a brilliant speech about past achievements and also made special mention of Stephen Fitzgerald, which made Stephen’s family, who were present on the night, very proud and indeed delighted. Jim McNicholas was also fondly remembered by all, as well as other great comrades who have gone to that great rugby pitch in the sky. All in all, upon reflection, it was one of those nights of celebration that a person would wish could happen oftener, but there has to be a reason, and what better reason than The President’s Night!

ADULT EDUCATION MEETING: An important meeting of the Adult Education Centre on the Islands Road will be held at 6.30pm this Thursday, April 18, 2013 at City Hall, back entrance.

CORBALLY YOUTH CLUB: Limerick Youth Service will hold an open evening for our new Corbally Youth Club, on this Thursday, April 18th at Corbally Utd FC Clubhouse from 6:30 to 8pm. The Youth Club, which will run every Thursday from7.00-8:15pm, is open to young people from 10-14 years. Corbally United Clubhouse is located in Athlunkard, Parteen, Co. Clare. Follow the Corbally Road beyond Shannon Banks and Westbury and you will find Corbally United’s grounds on the left just short of Larkin’s Cross.

CATHEDRAL LUNCHTIME CONCERT: The Lunchtime Concert on this coming Wednesday will feature the students of Mary Immaculate Training College. The music on the day will include, Liszt, Bach and Irish Traditional Music. The Concert begins at 1.15pm and ends at 2.00pm. Admission is free but a donation to the Retiring Collection would be very welcome and this will go to aid the Companions of St Mary’s Cathedral Music.

NOTES ARE WELCOME: Anyone can submit any matter of local interest to this column, be it of a sporting nature, a religious item, literature or even a piece on a popular person of the Parish, who may have been neglected so far. The latter would certainly make very interesting reading. Some Parish people’s reflections might stretch much further back than mine and as most people are aware, a vital interest in the past has surfaced in the past decade or so and I’d say this mainly due to some local writers doing a superb job at rooting out our rich past. One might justly refer to such writers as, ‘archaeologists of the word!’ be it in verse or prose. Yes, they also dig and dig until they find and upon finding they impart, no good if they don’t.

RATHBANE AND ST MARY’S GOLF: The management of Rathbane Golf course, Mack Golf, unveiled a magnificent new 6-hole course designed to facilitate the introduction of junior golfers to the sport earlier this week. The Mayor of Limerick, Councillor Gerry McLoughlin, accompanied by his daughter, Cllr. Orla McLoughlin, officially declared the new area open at a very enjoyable ceremony at the course. The opening coincided with the Limerick City Sports Partnership’s Junior Golf Lessons resumption, after the winter break, which facilitates children from the Limerick area to learn to basics of the game. One of the groups which benefits from this programme, St. Mary’s National School, were present to demonstrate the golf skills they have acquired over the five-month long programme to the Mayor. It was appropriate that the St. Mary’s children should be present for the unveiling of the 6-hole course, as the Mayor had previously taught the majority of the children when he was a teacher at St. Mary’s Boys National School. At the opening ceremony in the Rathbane clubhouse, the Captain of the course, Martin Ennis, and the course manager, John O’Sullivan, welcomed the children, guests and members of the club committee who attended the opening. The Captain of the club remarked that the club always tried to facilitate new junior members, and also thanked the Mayor and Cllr. Orla McLoughlin for giving of their time to attend the opening ceremony.

Liam McCabe, Managing Director of Mack Trading, welcomed the guests, and said that the new facility would welcome new junior members, and one of the rules of the new course was ‘that any adult who intended using the new facility would have to be accompanied by a junior member’. Rathbane Golf Course and Club are to be congratulated on such an innovative idea, and the real winners will be the new junior members who decide to take up golf as a sport. Among the guests present was Elaine O’Connor, Co-ordinator of Limerick City Sports Partnership, who complimented the foresight of the course management in facilitating the introduction of new members to the junior section. Limerick City Sports Partnership has introduced over 200 children to the sport over the last four years, and work in partnership with the management and members of Rathbane Golf Club.

SUMMER FITNESS CHALLENGE: The Summer Fitness Programme introduces participants to a range of different classes, including, Spinning, Aerobics, Kettlebells, Circuits, Aqua, Jogging, Boxing etc. This Programme is ideal for people who are looking for ways to improve their fitness levels and try activities that they not have tried before. The Programme will run for eight weeks, from Wednesday May 8 – Friday, June 28, 2013; Mondays, 8-9pm Wednesdays, 7 – 8pm and Fridays, 6.30 – 7.30pm. The cost is €5 to register (not refundable) and €3 per session, payable at UL Reception. Places are limited. To register visit: www.limerickcitysports.ie or contact Tracy at 061-333600: or tmahedy@limerickcitysports.ie.

SPECIAL LOCAL BAND EVENT: A rather unique event of nostalgia will take place at the Bandroom on Sunday, April 28, 2013. The families of three men, Jack McGrath, Paddy Casey, and John McNamara, as well as invited guests will be present to honour an event which took place 50 years ago to the very day. A very interesting article which was written by the late WW Gleeson at that time and dated just two days following the major achievement by St. Mary’s Fife and Drum Band will form part of my notes next week.

HOGAN’S CUTTING LANGUAGE: Continuing from last week’s account of Michael Hogan’s life, by W J Paul, published in Belfast in 1894. “The career of the poet was pretty smooth and devoid of much public interest until he commenced the publication of a series of satires. These made him become the admiration of some, to others the object of fear or execration. He had a thorough command of cutting language, and when the prominent public men got out of his graces, as they so often did, he came down on them with merciless severity. Their lack of appreciation of him preyed so much on his mind that her determined to ‘give the citizens a bit of his mind concerning these great men.’ In 1869 he commenced a series of publications entitled, Shawn-a-Scoob, (John-a-Broom). These satirical pamphlets, eight in number, issued at various periods, were directed against the Mayor, Corporation, and other men, impeaching them with ‘high crimes and misdemeanours.’ The public interest in their issue was great. Their circulation was enormous, and the sensation produced by them was something unprecedented during the past half century. An outline of the general nature of them may be gleaned from the following stanza which occurs at the beginning of the eighth number. It is entitled, “The Bard’s Pastoral,” and is dedicated to “All who don’t like it.”

The world’s a hive of vagabonds,

The Church a nest of knaves,

The State a den of scoundrels,

And the land a mart of slaves.

Princes, prelates, dukes and lords,

Are found a common clan,

But ‘tis the devil’s job on earth

To find an honest man.”

Continuation of the Bard’s life by W J Paul in next week’s notes, as this month is the anniversary of the writer’s death in 1899. For sure he would not get away with such caustic writing nowadays.

FR LIAM LAWTON CONCERT: On Sunday April 21st at 8.pm, Caherconlish will have the honour of welcoming Fr. Liam Lawton as he performs in Concert in Our Lady Mother of the Church, Caherconlish. Fr. Liam will be joined by local Adult and Youth Choirs under the direction of Valerie Walsh. This concert is being organised by the Parish Pastoral Council. The Concert is in aid of Caherconlish-Caherline Funds. For the past 20 years Fr. Liam he has been composing sacred and inspirational music and has performed in venues including the Vatican, Carnegie Hall, the White House and the Eucharist Congress held in Dublin. His song Cloud’s Veil was adopted as an anthem across America following 9/11. Tickets cost €20 and are available at Caherconlish Post Office or by contacting Phil on (087) 1363747, Nuala (086) 8443288 and Fr. Roy Donovan on (087) 2225150 or email: Philomenamartin_619@hotmail.com.

OUR PARISH ‘GATHERING’: As mentioned in previous notes, the Abbey Fishermen’s ‘Gathering’ will take place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Registration will take place at the King’s Island Community Centre from 8-10pm on the Friday night. On Saturday morning there will be a tour of the Parish and in the afternoon a boat trip to the Power House out in Ardnacrusha, as well as a History lecture on the Abbey Fishermen. That afternoon from 2.00-4.00pm yet another event takes place at the Absolute Hotel, where our Parish writer, Mae Leonard, will be reading. On Sunday evening there will be a social at St Mary’s RFC out in Grove Island from 8.00pm ‘til late. All events are completely FREE! For information on the Abbey Fishermen’s ‘Gathering’ contact the following: abbeyfishermen5@gmail.com or For information on the Abbey Fishermen’s ‘Gathering’ which will take place on the May Bank Holiday weekend, you can : ger.hayes1954@gmail.com or phone 087 6596787(Ger is the Chairman of the Abbey Fishermen’s ‘Gathering’ Association.)

SEAN-FHOCAL: “An t-am agus an taoide ní fhanann said le haoine.” “Time and tide waits for no man.”

MUSIC: “For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.”

ARTHUR LYSAGHT: C Keeping in mind the upcoming Abbey Fishermen’s ‘Gathering’ May 3-4 and 5, 2013, I return once again, to the beautiful and evocative poetry of our Parish native, who wrote extensively on the said topic and indeed on many matters pertaining to the Abbey River area and its environs. His poetry is easy to access mentally and is a sheer pleasure to read. The recurring refrain in this particular poem is simply beautiful and quite haunting as ‘the green sallies’ are given a certain life. The wind is also given a life and all four seasons is brought into this poem, as you will notice also in next week’s final part.


The fish nets are gone from the old Mall Wall,

No more do they hang there to dry;

Where are the men of the water?

Sad, searching winds seem to sigh,

“Gone evermore from the Abbey,”

Swaying green sallies reply.

The brocauns are gone from the Abbey,

No more her clean stream they enjoy;

Where are the men of the small boats?

Fresh spring winds seem to sigh,

“Gone evermore from the river,”

Swaying green sallies reply.

Salmon grow scarce on the Shannon,

Corbally Fall wonders why;

“Who depleted the eel and the salmon?”

Soft river winds seem to sigh,

“Ah, it was not the men of the Abbey,”

Swaying green sallies reply.

Arthur Lysaght

(First half of a most beautiful poem, second half next week).

SHANNON RFC SAYS THANKS: C Shannon RFC says a big ‘thank you’ to all who participated in the 5k Walk on Sunday last. The weather just about held up but either way, they would have persevered anyway.