Feb 2

SPRING HAS SPRUNG:

SPRING HAS SPRUNG:

Anois teacht an Earraigh beidh an lá ‘dul chun síneadh,

Is tar éis Féil’ Bríghde ardó’ mé mo sheól

Ó chuir mé in mo cheann é ní stopfaidh mé choíche

Go sheasa mé síos i lár Chontae Mhuigheó.

This is the first verse of the Gaelic poem ‘Cill Aodáin’ by Antoine Ó Reachtabhraigh the great Gaelic poet that many pupils of yester-year would have learned by heart for their Inter-cert examination or Junior cert of more recent years. Perhaps you are wondering what is this all about but the fact of the matter is that the first day of February is this Friday and that was also the feast of St. Bridid. You may still be puzzled and wonder to yourself as to whom that is. St. Bridgid is a great Irish saint who lived during the fourth century and whom many would regard as on a par with Ireland’s national patron saint, St. Patrick. There are many more who would regard her to be greater than St. Patrick but irrespective of personal perceptions both were great Irish Saints.

The first of this month is also the first day of Spring and notwithstanding the harsh weather of a couple of weeks ago it is natural for Spring to usher in the birth of new life. Even though the ground is still very cold daffodils are beginning to push on and up; lambs are being born and buds are starting to form on some trees, shrubs and bushes. Like nature it is also time for all of us to shake off the lethargy of the winter months. As the years roll on the inclination to do this becomes less but as an old friend of mine, now deceased, would say “gather yourself”. Life is for living both for young and for old. The days are getting longer and the dawn is intruding into our bedrooms earlier and earlier. Let us enjoy our waking hours as they become longer. The more active amongst us are already engaged in athletics and sports of one kind or other and some people can be seen pottering about the garden even if it is only to tidy up for it is too cold to think of setting anything yet. Nevertheless, Spring has sprung! Hurrah!

BACK TO THE FUTURE: A topic that is becoming more frequently reported with the passage of time is the condition of our roads. Pot-holes are appearing all over the place and the unfortunate motorist is obliged to endure the cost of becoming acquainted with them. Everyone is surely aware by now that the finances of the Local Authority have been severely cut back and that many members of the roads staff have been retired. A couple of weeks ago three members of the roads staff of the County Council were on the job in the Dooradoyle estate on Carrig drive dispensing shovels of gravel and of tarmacadam into the many holes that had opened up some of which were almost six inches deep. It is really a temporary solution or to use a hospital metaphor ‘a sticking plaster job’ but it is the best that can be done under the circumstances.This is sure to become a more frequent sight on our roads in all districts.. A number of years ago there were ‘highways’ being built all over the country. It could be said that we took two steps forward but we are now obliged to take one back due to the constraints of finance. They were all part of the roads infrastructure that would bring us up to European standard. How time changes everything and now we are having to resort to filling holes with shovels of tarmacadam as was the situation prior to the so-called Celtic Tiger. This conjured up the thought ‘back to the future’.

PROPOSED: The Limerick County Council has had a public notice published on the proposed extinguishment of public right of way at the laneway leading to Fr. Russell road and between House Numbers 23 and 24 at Bellevue Court. The Council has given notice that it proposes to extinguish the public right of way and a map showing this can be viewed at County Hall, Dooradoyle road from January 14 for one month during normal office hours until February 14

Objections or representations in relation to the proposal should be made to the Senior Staff 0fficer up to and including Thursday, February 28, 2013.

Any person making such a written objection may include in their submission a request that they be allowed to state their case at an oral hearing conducted by a person that may be appointed for such purpose by Limerick County Council.

LOCAL OFFICE: The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland Mid-West office is located just off the St. Nessam’s road and is directly opposite the Ballykeefe housing estate. It is on the Dooradoyle side of the Crescent Shopping centre.

SET DANCING: During the winter nights it may not be your wish to remain indoors every night and a good outlet for your social inclination is to take up set dancing at the Mungret/ St. Paul’s GAA clubhouse either on Tuesday night which is for beginners. If you are an experienced exponent of this activity there are classes for more advanced set dancers on Thursday nights. Both nights commence lessons at 9.0 pm.

POOL: The very heavy showers of the past week were not particularly welcome on several days. This was especially so in St. Nessan’s park and the Dooradoyle estate where a very large pool of water formed at the end of the St. Nessan ‘s estate before exiting on to the St. Nessan’s road. It inhibits the progress of pedestrians causing them to avoid it by stepping onto the road with passing traffic. If anybody was walking by and a car quickly came the passer-by could get an unwelcome splash of water from the passing vehicle. This problem is not new. It has been there now for more than a year and like all things out of sight out of mind. It re-appears with each heavy downpour of rain. Sometime ago, perhaps a year or more a vehicle with a suction pump solved the problem. Although there is a shore-hole nearby the blockage seemingly is in the pipe that takes away the water to a larger pipe under the ground. It is high time that the local authority attended to this problem.

ROSE RETURNS: Each Thursday at 11.0am the story-telling lady named Rose entertains children of pre-school years in the Dooradoyle county library. She returned yesterday and will continue with her stories each Thursday. It is not suitable for school groups nor for children of creche going years. It is important to inform the staff at the library desk if you wish to attend.

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.

Also of interest to members is the fact that Alcoholics Anonymous is holding its Annual Convention in the Carlton Castletroy hotel on this Friday, February 1 until Sunday, February 3. The theme of this year’s convention is ‘Primary Purpose’ and on Sunday from 12.30pm there is an open public meeting at which anyone may attend and make a contribution to the discussion. It is an opportunity to meet other members here from the other groups in Limerick and perhaps make friends.

TRAFFIC SIGNALS: As referred to in these notes previously these 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 Ballykeefe/St. Nessan’s road were checked for frequency.

FIRST FRIDAY: This Friday is the first of the month and there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament in the Blessed Sacrament chapel after the 10. O am Mass in St. Paul’s church. The exposition will continue until 1.0pm and all worshipers are welcome.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL: This weekend will see members of the local conference of the St. Vincent de Paul society collecting outside all churches at Mass times on Saturday which is at 6.0pm and on Sunday at 10.0am, 11.15am and 12.15pm. Your generosity will be appreciated.

GOLD CALENDER: The calendar Limerick Going for Gold that was distributed with the Limerick Leader newspaper earlier last month as a lovely production, It featured all the winners of the competition last year. Gouldavoher’s Denis Ryan was pictured standing proud, and well he might, after accepting the financial prize for Gouldavoher’ s success. The completion that is sponsored by J.P. McManus will be held again this year and it is never too early to commence cleaning up and improving your local area. Perhaps, you will be featured in next year’s calendar.

MORE VANDALISM: A few weeks ago this column drew attention to the fact that there was evidence of wanton vandalism happening in this district when it was pointed out that all the high-lights that illuminated the name of the County Hall and Halla an Chontae had been smashed and that the metal plates that had been placed on the gaping holes were also taken or damaged. Since then one of the two metal standards that were in position at the very front of the main entrance path up to County Hall was damaged and has either to be replaced or repaired. It may have been co-incidental that this has also happened but then again it could be that the County Hall is being targeted. Irrespective of which or whether the fact that this wanton damage takes place should not be ignored but rather it should be reported upon.

HERITAGE TALK: The Limerick County Council Arts office has arranged a series of talks that will continue in February and March on Limerick’s Built Heritage past, present and future. The talks will be about ringforts, milling and the strategy for 2030. This is the sixth series of such talks that have taken place. It will examine the mills of Limerick and the first of the talks will be on ringforts .There are more than 47,000 of these recorded in the country. The talk will be presented by Dr, Matthew Stout on next Tuesday, January 29 commencing at 8.0 pm. It is open to the public and it is in the County Hall. This series is being organised and funded by the Limerick County Council.

Credit Union Schools Quiz :  .The Mungret/St. Paul’s Credit Union has invited local primary schools within its catchment area to participate in the first stage of the nationwide 2013 Credit Union Schools Quiz competition. The local heat will take place in Mungret / St. Paul’s GAA Club on this Friday, February 1st  at 8.00pm. It is anticipated that there will be approximately 30 teams taking part involving talmost 120 children.  There will be teams representing St. Paul’s, St. Nessan’s, Crecora, Patrickswell, Ballybrown, Educate Together School in Mungret and Gael Scoil Raithin.  Over the course of the quiz, the children will have to answer questions compiled by primary school teachers, which will cover general topics such as geography, history, music, literature and sport.

WISHFUL THINKING: The Crescent College Comprehensivde Senior schools team will be hoping for good luck in the schools rugby competition this season and perhaps by the time these notes will have been published they will have overcome Rockwell college. Everyone in the district wishes the team a good season.

REMINDER: This is to remind all drivers that the roads at Mungret that have been closed off to traffic for the past number of weeks will be back to normal for traffic again commencing from to-day Friday, Febraury 1. .