A NEW IMAGE : Limerick city over the past thirty years or more has had a national image that has been exaggerated and certainly not warranted. The media has been faulted for not giving Limerick fair treatment. Due to a number of happenings in the city Limerick was targeted as the ‘ whipping boy’ by sections of the media notwithstanding similar acts were happening in many other parts of the country This is really a debateable issue but also the fact is that many of those who ought to know better have become too sensitive about the whole matter. .. Nevertheless, while we cannot hide the truth it was unfair to depict the city and its people in such a manner. On a visit to Limerick recently the State Pathologist, Dr. Marie Conway declared that Limerick had lost its bad image and she seldom visits the city now in her line of work. Some time ago the Jewish envoy stated that ‘the Limerick pogrom is over-portrayed’ and back in the 1960’s this manifested itself by much negative debate and discussion about Limerick and the Arch-Confraternity.
For many years Limerick people have decried the fact that the image of the city was being sullied unfairly by the media, all organs of it. Some of those took advantage of negative and bad happenings in the county and especially in the city and used the opportunity for tarnishing the image of the city in an exaggerated manner. At times the reports have given a bad overall impression not alone of the city but of the people of Limerick. In some quarters comment has been made about the diligence of a certain reporter to report nationally on stories that portrayed the ugly side of happenings in the city. This had been done on many occasions down through the years despite the fact that the story had been reported already by the national broadcaster. This practice only highlighted the story and added to the ugliness of the story and the image of the city. Of course that reporter was entitled to report as he so wishes and as he sees fit but one must question the said reporter’s loyalty to the city and its people where he resides. It is not the practice in other areas of the country and consequently there is no further tarnishing of their image.
This has resulted in many citizens, especially some in positions of authority, condemning those who write about the city or its people in a negative manner. It has even happened when the stories carried about Limerick or its people were of little or no import and in some instances were even untrue. Of course they had every right to respond and to refute these untruths. But sometimes the remarks of those who responded to the defence of the city and its people appeared to give these ‘fictitious’ stories more weight and with the resultant publicity their comments also gave the original negative publicity more importance in the opinion of the listener or the reader . While it is understandable that untruths are refuted when necessary there are occasions when it does appear that we are too defensive here in Limerick. It would have been far better if the original untrue or exaggerated report or story was treated with the contempt that it deserved and ignored altogether.
Other areas of the country both urban and rural also get negative publicity from time to time but seemingly they do not get as much attention or notoriety. It would appear that they ignore what is being said whether it is true or not. Limerick is the equal of many other areas in a great number of respects and better than others in other respects and we are aware of this. Our reputation is worse than what we are so really there is no reason for exaggerated concern by us.
Perhaps, it would be prudent for us to ignore what is being reported for in a great many of the reports the reporter is only filing copy to comply with the demands of his/her superiors or editor. If we are aware that there is no truth to the report or if we are aware of gross exaggeration by whomsoever is responsible for the report why give them greater import and satisfaction by drawing attention to it. Treat it with the disdain and contempt that it engenders and deserves. The image of Limerick’s crime has been equally over-portrayed by some elements of the media. Our city appears to be the ‘whipping boy’ in some media quarters that endeavours to sensationalise anything bad that happens here. All acts of vandalism or crime, petty or otherwise, against the accepted norms in a civilised society must be condemned and action taken to prevent their re-occurrence. Zero tolerance was a goal that was set in New York and this should be implemented in as far as is possible in our society.
PROUD AND PROGRESSIVE : Now that the future of the so-called Opera Centre development is somewhat assured this ought to be the catalyst for the re-development of the city centre and the re-furbishing of this whole area. If a city the size of Berlin in Germany that was divided in two contrasting halves for a very long period of time could be united as one and re-built as a modern and beautiful city again there is no reason at all for Limerick not accomplishing a completely new centre city to be proud of for the future. We are a resilient people proud of our past, unashamed of our present and determined to emerge from the ashes of the old image for the future. We are ready to create and re-design a modern society with a new friendly attractive environment that will entice visitors to our city not just for rugby but out of respect and for pleasure. Next year Limerick will be the city of culture an aspect that has been part of our make-up that has been endemic in many strands of our society and which many residents past and present have displayed and continue to display in several cultural spheres. Already, there are many happenings underway that are somewhat embryonic in this process so let us support these in our society in so far as is possible.
ÉIGSE MICHAEL HARTNETT: Michael Hartnett was one of the greatest poets that has come from the Mid-West region in both the Gaelic and English languages. Such literary muses as the poet laureate Seamus Heaney and the contemporary poet Paul Durcan speak highly of Micháel Hartnett. The Limerick County Council Arts Office has had a literary event each year in Newcastle West to honour him. Éigse Micháel Hartnett will take place in Newcastle West from April 25 to the 27 . The event will be opened by the Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council , Cllr. Jerome Scanlon and the RTE Director General Mr. Noel Curran will be the guest speaker on the opening night. An ‘éigse’ is a literary and artistic festival and with such literary and artistic luminaries such as Robert Ballagh, Mark Patrick Hederman OSB,Paula Meehan, Julie Feeney and many, many more it certainly promises to make Éigse Micháel Hartnett well worth a visit.
HERITAGE LECTURE SERIES: The Mungret lecture series will be on art, history and community all of which are an integral part of the Mungret area and its environment for many, many years. Now that Mungret village is scheduled to get a re-development over the summer period this series of lectures should be even of greater interest to the general public.
The first lecture will be on this Friday, Aprilk 19 commencing at 8.0pm and the venuewill be the old Mungret College that has its own history. Dr. Charlotte Murphy will present the talk on ‘Gravestone Art in Old Mungret Graveyard’. It will be preceded by a live art demonstration on the same theme by Anne Fitgerald the renowned Limerick artist.
On Friday, April 26 also commencing at 8.0pm Dr. Matthew Potter will present a talk on ‘The History of Mungret College.’
On Friday, May10 at 8.0pm Nessan O ‘Donoghue will give a talk on ‘Mungret: A Community of 10,000 years A-Growing’. Part 1: from Mesolithic to Monastic .which will embrace stories, images, sounds and objects.
Last Sunday, April 14 the final ‘Do This in Memory’ Mass .took place before First Holy Communion in St. Paul’s church at 11.0am.
A.A. MEETINGS: The St. Paul’s group of Alcoholics Anonymous meets in the St. Paul’s national school on three evenings of the week at 20.30hours. They come together on each Monday, Thursday and Saturday. If you are having difficulty with your drinking habits you are cordially invited and welcome.
GIVE SUPPORT: On Saturday, May 5 students and teachers of Crescent Comprehensive College will take part in the Great Limerick Run in order to create awareness and funds for the Parkinson’s Association. If you would like to help in any way big or small contact Gráinne Delaney at <firstname.lastname@example.org.
INSPIRATION: The turnout of 2,000 walkers/runners for the Pieta house walk ‘Darkness into Light’ can only be described as inspirational. All the participants are to be commended for their generosity of spirit and notwithstanding all the doom and gloom that seems to be a big aspect of our daily living presently the fact is that there is still this fact that the world has many good Samaritans. This years walk/ run for Pieta House will be held on the morning of May 11 commencing at 4.0 am and all volunteers are seeking sponsorship for what has now become a serious problem in our society.
EXPOSITION: There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Blessed Sacrament chapel attached to St. Paul’s church after the 10.0am Mass on Wednesday and it will continue until 10.0pm. Every Wednesday there is exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and all worshippers are welcome.
SEE YOUR WAY: If you have spectacles (glasses) that you no longer use or that have been replaced by new glasses the International Lions club is collecting them for recycling to a developing country. It is its intention to pass them on to developing countries for use where they will be of benefit. If you wish to dispose of your old spectacles there is a box in the porch-way of the Dooradoyle library where they are collected. Your voluntary gesture of disposed spectacles will be beneficial and very welcome.
CONGRATULATIONS: It was with delight that many ordinary citizens who met the newly ordained Bishop of Limerick, Dr.Brendan Leahy, outside St. John’s cathedral last Sunday greeted him. After a three year wait without a bishop it is hoped that the new bishop, who quoted from the song by rock-star Bono, in his homily will enable many of us to find what we are looking for. We wish him every success in his episcopal work.
MUNGRET/ST. PAUL’S CREDIT UNION: The Mungret/St. Paul’s credit union continues its community helpful service in conjunction with the Limerick Citizen’s Information Service. A representative of the Limerick Citizens Information Service will once again be in attendance in the Dooradoyle office of MPCC Credit Union on Wednesday, April 24 from 10.30am - 12.30pm. This is an outreach service that takes place on the last Wednesday of every month for members who wish to avail of the services of the Limerick Citizens Information Service, who provide information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services. Topics covered include health & family matters, social welfare, taxation, housing, consumer affairs and education amongst others.
Information and advice is provided on a free, confidential, independent and impartial basis to all. All meetings take place in a private room and operate on a drop-in basis with no appointments necessary.
Having this service on your doorstep is a real benefit of being a member of the credit union and MPCC encourages members to avail of this service if you have any queries or concerns regarding public services or your rights and entitlements.
POT-HOLING: Due to the shortage of finance with the local authority services are not as forthcoming as heretofore. Consequently, such matters as pot-holes do not receive the same prompt attention. Stoneyhurst estate is one estate where there are several pot-holes that deserve attention sooner rather than later
Some are four inches deep and growing or rather being further developed by the weather conditions and the many vehicles that swing on this piece of ground. The surface of the drive was never great but with these pot-holes it is becoming worse.
TRAFFIC SIGNALS: The traffic signals on the ST. Nessan’s road for the Ballykeefe estate are changing with a rapid frequency to such an extent that there have been many delays in the traffic movement especially over the Christmas period. Even driving school instructors are now using the stretch of road from the traffic signal lights at the Dooradoyle estate into the city environs instructing their pupils. Many drivers would regard that stretch of road with two roundabouts, three pedestrian crossings and two sets of traffic signals as one demanding great attention. It would greatly help the flow of traffic if the signals at the exit of Ballykeefe/St. Nessan’s road were checked for frequency.
REAPING THE HARVEST
A series of lectures are taking place in St. Nessan’s primary school and the first lecture was on last Tuesday evening and it was delivered by Fr. Gerry O’Hanlon, SJ. The next lecture will be on Tuesday, April 23 and it will be presented by Dr. Suzanne Mulligan. Her talk is titled ‘The Church in the World: A Light for the Nations?
The final lecture will delivered by Fr. James Corkery, SJ and the title of his talk is ‘Joseph Rat ziner’s Theological Ideas: Wise, Cautious and Legitimate Hopes.
All the talks are about post Vatican II and commence at 7.30pm and everyone is welcome for free.
A new boxing for fitness club has commenced in the Mungret/St. Paul’s GAA club-house. It takes place each Wednesday at 7.0pm. For more information contact John at 087/9115411
10K EVENT: There is just under 6 weeks left to the 10k- have you been training? Don’t forget to register early only €20 for what has been a very well run and organised event. There is a great choice of Charities you can donate to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue, Enable Ireland , TLC4CF (Tipperary, Limerick Clare 4 Cystic Fibrosis), Rathfredagh Chesire Home and Mid-West Cancer Foundation all great charities that are connected to the club and all in need of fundraising, why not get a group of friends together and raise extra funds for your selected charity. The date to remember is 19th of MAY. Application forms are available in the club shop open Saturday morning 11.30am to 12.30pm or from the website www.mungretstpauls10k.com. Why not friend our facebook page www.facebook.com/mungretstpauls.tenk
Healthy Living Club Questionnaire
This is available on the club web site as well as through facebook - we need the input of all club members of all ages to ensure that the club is able to put in place a structure to meet the health and well-being needs of our community. It only takes about 10 minutes to complete yet the results could lead to years of improved health and well-being in the community.
Camogie: The U14 camogie girls played home last Tuesday against Murroe. It was a very tough and physical game with Murroe on top in the first half. Mungret came back at them in the second half;but it was Murroe who were winners in the end. Well done to all the Mungret girls who tried so hard to the end. Our next match is on tues 16th at home at 6:30.