Mar 30

Maureen Sparling


Maureen Sparling

ClOCKS ON: The clocks go forward one hour this weekend, giving us much longer and brighter days. As the saying goes, ‘spring forward, fall back’.

ClOCKS ON: The clocks go forward one hour this weekend, giving us much longer and brighter days. As the saying goes, ‘spring forward, fall back’.

ABBEY FISHERMEN GATHERING: As part of ‘The Gathering” a three day get- together is being held from May 3 to May 5, 2013. The first two events will take place at the Community Hall in King’s Island, while the event on the third day will take place at St Mary’s Rugby club out in Grove Island. I will have more definite details when they come to my attention. Anyone who may have any memorabilia by way of accounts of happenings, photos etc. would be greatly appreciated if you could submit them to St Mary’s Rugby Club on any Friday night. Please help if you can at all. You might as an alternative send any information pertaining to the Abbey Fishermen to my email address and I will gladly relay the info to some member of the organising committee.

ABC QUIZ: Athlunkard Boat Club is about to host our 2nd annual Table quiz on the 11th of April in The Strand Hotel.

Registration starts at 7:30 and the event begins at 8:00. Tables are €40 each, with teams of four. Last year was a great success with plenty of spot prizes on the night and we are sure this year will be even better than last. All are welcome! Contact club captain Roger Kiely @ 087 4122325 or or contact club facebook page’ Athlunkard Boat Club’ to book tables in advance.

ADULT EDUCATION: A very well attended meeting of the St Mary’s Adult Education Centre which operates out of the old Boys’ School on the Island Road was held at City Hall at 6.30pm on Friday evening last. Many matters re funding etc, too complicated to do justice to in these short notes, were discussed. Mayor Gerry McLoughlin attended and was quite vocal in a very positive and impressive vein, as was Ger Ryan and a very brave lady, named Susan, who did a lot of straight and honest talking. Local Assumpta Park man, Donal Hehir, offered some very valuable contributions and also pressed for answers which he eventually got. Some other ladies whose names I do not know were quite vocal and all, without doubt, knew exactly what they were talking about. Cllr John Gilligan also attended and offered one vital and very worthwhile comment. One of the four Directors of the Centre, Brian Thompson, (Architect), was also present and acquitted himself quite well in the face of the many difficult questions he was put upon to answer alone, a fact which did not go astray on one person present at the meeting who made mention of this fact during the meeting. We couldn’t but agree with her honest observation. Manager of the Adult Education Centre, Mary Donnelly, received two rounds of applause (it just happened that way), for the outstanding work she has done over the past four and a half years. During that time she has been responsible for organising some very fine and well attended classes, including Flower Arranging, Copper Designs, Photography, Literacy, Irish, Self Improvement, Computer classes from Basic all the way up to the top, and many more classes. I must say here that I attended many Computer classes in order to update my skills in that Centre and was all the better for having done so, both educationally and socially. I found Mary Donnelly a wonderfully positive person to come into contact with. For helpfulness in any area, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with. I understand that among a few other things, Mary has been the driving force behind the runaway success story of our local Restaurant. The next meeting, which should prove very interesting, will be held on April 19, 2013. Keep an eye to these notes for an update.

LITTLE ARK GETS BACK CRUCIFIX: I think that due to the vast number of local people who have made Kilkee their summer residence that the following piece of information would be most interesting to place in my notes this week. The vast majority of these people are familiar with the brave and gripping story of the Little Ark which stands in the church out in Kilbaha. And now that this area has recently become famous due to the Loophead Lighthouse Visitors’ Centre, the Little Ark is all the more important. In light of the emphasis these days on the Famine era, the exciting news that has just recently filtered through that a special cross having to do with the said Ark has been recovered is precious indeed.

The Crucifix of the Little Ark used in worship on Kilbaha foreshore in the 1850s has been recovered. It was presented to the legendary Fr Michael Meehan, PP Moyarta and Kilballowen in 1852. For many years after that it was kept in the Parochial House in Carrigaholt . One hundred years later it was given to Fr Lynch, Carrigaholt .

The whereabouts of the crucifix were unknown until last week. A courier delivered a box containing the historic relic. Attached was an explanatory note to Fr Patrick Culligan, Carrigaholt. Kilbaha natives were delighted with the news of the crucifix’s recovery. Fr Cullinan intends to have it placed in the Church of the Little Ark, Kilbaha, which houses the original wooden ark built in Carrigaholt in 1852 by local carpenter, Owen Collins. Anyone visiting the newly erected Loophead Lighthouse Visitor’s Centre this coming summer can just drive along the road a few yards or so up and follow the sign to the Church of the Little Ark and you will experience the wonder and devotion of the people back in the dreary dismal times of the mid 19th century and learn how the people, though poverty stricken, fought tooth and nail to retain the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And yes, the story does have a Limerick connection, that of Fr Meehan, must check that aspect further, but I believe it was William Street he came from, something about a restaurant also. Since the early 90s I have been totally gripped with this wonderful story, so much so that I penned a rather lengthy poem (ballad if you like) and it is included in my third poetry collection, entitled, “Reflections of Life,” and to further embellish the story-like poem, I have included an excellent picture of the said Little Ark. Here is the first verse and the refrain, which reoccurs throughout the poem In scenic county Clare within sight of bleak Loop Head,

It was the famine year of ’45,

The potato crop had failed them and their food intake was slight,

Scant sustenance was their lot to keep alive.

Oppressed, they stood unsure in the landlord’s mighty grasp,

They neither could oppose nor voice their view,

If a farmer dared have Mass within his cottage said,

Eviction without mercy was his due.

But their faith was ever strong

And their voices raised in song,

Though the enemy lay outside,

Their true faith they kept alive.

JOYS OF EASTER: I wish a very Happy Easter to all the loyal readers of these weekly notes. I also wish to avail of this opportunity to wish the blessings of this joyous season to our clergy, Canon Donough O’Malley, PP, and Fr John O’Byrne, CC, to our loyal choirs, the Eucharistic Ministers, the collectors, the cleaners, the readers, the Sacristan Pat McRedmond, the sisters who take care of the church linens, the gracious young man, Diarmuid Bourke, who distributes and collects the Mass books, and of course, Ursula, who manages the Parish Office with the utmost precision.. In short, anyone who takes part in keeping the Parish fabric pattern together throughout the year, making sure that no stitches fall out. As the old saying goes, “Ní neart go cur le chéile.” Loosely translated, “Together we stand,” or “There’s strength in numbers.”


With OUR EYES we see

The beauty of Easter

as the earth awakens once more...

With OUR EARS we hear

The birds sing sweetly

to tell us Spring again is here...

With OUR HANDS we pick

The golden daffodils

and the fragrant hyacinths...

But only with OUR HEARTS

can we feel the MIRACLE of GOD’S LOVE

which redeems all men...

And only with OUR SOUL

can we make our ‘pilgrimage to God’

and inherit His Easter Gift of ETERNAL LIFE.

Helen Steiner Rice

TROCAIRE: Recently, Canon Donough O’Malley expressed his gratitude to the parishioners who so far have donated €5,555 to the annual Trocaire collection.

HOLY WEEK AT CATHEDRAL: Thursday: 7.30 am Holy Communion (Cathedral) followed by breakfast. 11.30 am Chrism Eucharist (Cathedral) 8.00 pm Liturgy of Upper Room (Cathedral) Good Friday: 10.30 am Ecum. Walk of Witness from St Mary’s Cathedral to St John’s Cathedral 12.00 - 2.00 pm Music/Prayer/Scripture/Silence (Cathedral) 2.00 - 3.00 pm Liturgy of the Cross (Cathedral) EASTER EVE 13.00 pm ‘Hunger Lunch’ (see below for details) 5.30 pm Easter Vigil (after Easter Egg Hunt) EASTER DAY 8.00 am Holy Communion (Cathedral) 8.30 am Holy Communion (St Michael’s Church) 10.00 am Holy Communion (St Michael’s Church)11.15 am Sung Eucharist (Cathedral) 12.00 noon Holy Communion (Abington Church) 7.00 pm Evening Prayer (Cathedral). 10.00 am Holy Communion (St Michael’s Church) 11.15 am Sung Eucharist (Cathedral) 12.00 noon Holy Communion (Abington Church) 7.00 pm Evening Prayer (Cathedral).

SOUP FOR LENT: Every Saturday during Lent soup can be availed of in St Mary’s Cathedral at 1.00 pm. Donations to the very worthy Simon Community.

PARISH EXTENDS TO CORBALLY IN 1961: “The parish was bounded by the four bridges – Thomond, Baals, O’Dwyer, Park, and Mathew. Corbally was part of St. Patrick’s Parish. This may be difficult to .understand nowadays, but when you remember that there was no bridge near Athlunkard Boat Club until 1793, when Monsell of Tervoe, the Landlord of Corbally area, built Park Bridge to replace a ferry. Athlunkard Street was not constructed until 1824, so the approach to the old bridge was along the Mall. The people of Corbally and Park used to go to Mass in St. Patrick’s and when the canal was opened, they still had the hump bridge to get across. It is interesting to note that the Church in Kilquane was also part of St. Patrick’s, but was lost to that parish when the P.P. of St. Patrick’s would not go to Ennis to claim it after the oath of Abjuration had been taken by the priests to claim back their parishes, as it was in Co. Clare.

After the opening of the new church in 1932, many developments began to take place within the parish which were not always appreciated by older parishioners. In 1934, a new housing estate, later to be called St. Mary’s Park, was built on the Island Field area, consisting of 454 houses, in streets called after Irish saints. The locals did not really welcome this intrusion into their peaceful way of life. These strangers arrived from uptown overcrowded flats. In 1954, there was the building of St. Mary’s Shrine, just at the entrance to the Park. This was in honour of the Marian Year. Then there were two more estates added on – Assumpta Park with 61 houses in 1958 and Lee Estate with 81 houses in 1980.

A further enlargement of the parish occurred in October, 1961, when Bishop Henry Murphy incorporated most of the Corbally area in the Parish of St. Mary’s. The people in these new estates – College Park, Janemount Park, Richmond, Roseville, Rosendale, Park Gardens, Irish Estates, as well as Corbally Road as far as Athlunkard Bridge, and the Mill Road and the Old Park Road, all these had been in St. Patrick’s Parish, but few ever went to St. Patrick’s Church as St. Mary’s Church was so much nearer then. An extra Curate had to live in Corbally in Plassey Avenue to cater for the pastoral needs of so many extra houses. It also necessitated the opening of a new Primary School – Scoil Íde (1964) and St. Munchin’s Diocesan College nearby had also opened in 1962.

But some 30 years later, there had been further developments in the area across the Shannon in Parteen Parish, with the building of Shannon Banks and Westbury estates. Consequently, Bishop Jeremiah Newman felt constrained to form a new Parish called, St. Nicholas, consisting of these new Estates on one side of the river and the Irish Estates and Mill Road on the other. The division took place on July 1st, 1991 and Fr. Oliver Plunkett became the new P.P. and the Curate in Plassey Avenue became his Curate. So, the people in Corbally who had been in St. Patrick’s Parish, found themselves in a third different parish within 30 years.

Corbally area also had the advantage of a new Girls’ Secondary School, Árd Scoil Mhuire, run by the Sisters of Mercy. They had transferred from their small second-level school (1943) in Bishop Street, out there in 1978. In more recent years, we have seen new Estates opened within the present confines of St. Mary’s Parish – Abbeyvale (91 houses), Abbeylock (48 houses), Carriglea (42 houses), Curra Morna (21 houses), and Danesfort (48 houses). There are also 26 new houses being built beside Lee Estate in the inner parish. These 250 new houses are some compensation for about 400 that were transferred to St. Nicholas Parish, giving St. Mary’s Parish now about 1450 houses, approx. 6000 parishioners.” (From “Light on the Past,” by the late Canon Brendan Connellan, 2001.) There are a limited number of these books to be had at the parish office behind the church for only €5.

SPOT OF HUMOUR: C The customer in the restaurant called over the waitress, a kindly, friendly old soul. “Look,” he said, “There’s a fly in my soup.” “Ah, poor thing,” said the waitress, “It must have been too hot for him.”A woman left a note for the milkman. It read, “Don’t leave any milk today. Of course when I say today I mean tomorrow because I’m writing this yesterday.”

SEAN FHOCAL: C “Is búaine clú ná saol.” “Fame is more enduring than life.”Maireann croí éadrom a bhfad.” “A light heart lives a long time.”