Feb 23

Maureen Sparling


Maureen Sparling

CONFIRMATION: The boys and girls of our parish will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on this coming Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the 11.00 o’clock Mass. We wish them all the very best on this their special day and hopefully, the weather will be kind to them. I will publish their names in future notes.

CONFIRMATION: The boys and girls of our parish will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation on this coming Saturday, February 23, 2013 at the 11.00 o’clock Mass. We wish them all the very best on this their special day and hopefully, the weather will be kind to them. I will publish their names in future notes.

THE LATE STUART GRAY: As a tribute to Stuart, St Mary’s Cathedral Organist and Master of the Choristers for 25 years, a Memorial Service has been arranged for Sunday 24th February 2013 at 3pm in St Mary’s Cathedral. Everyone is welcome to attend.

CATHEDRAL MUSIC: A Leaving Certificate Guide To Catata BWV 78, Jesu Der Du Meine Seele Johann Sebastian Bach: Pre-Concert Talk and Demonstration at 6.30 p.m. Full performance 7.30 pm. Presenter and Conductor Peter Barley. Performers - Ancór and St Mary’s Cathedral Choir with full orchestra. Soloists - Pauline Graham, Duncan Brickenden, Wolodymyr Smishkewych and Nathan Morrison. Wednesday, March 6, 2013 in St. Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick. €8 Students / €10 Adults / Music Teacher free with group of 6+. For further information ‘phone (061) 310293 or email peterandrewbarley@gmail.com. Supported by the Post-Primary Music Teachers’ Association and The Companions of St Mary’s Cathedral Music.

TROCAIRE: The familiar Trocaire boxes have become part and parcel of the Lenten period and as we all know this annual collection is for a very good cause, the less well off in far off lands. So we must keep this in mind and pass them in to the church at the end of Lent. Of course, the schools are a great force for good in this matter and deserve praise for encouraging the children in their care to collect for the less well off.

HOLDING COURT: “She’s there again. That Woman. I grasp the end of the counter with the tip of my fingers and lift myself high enough to see her. Hello Love! I drop down again in my confusion at being spotlighted. That Woman would surely speak to me again, so I hide myself in the space under the counter hoping that she’ll forget about me and start talking. She’s a great talker. Givvus a Woodbine, Ka, and put it on the book. My Auntie Kathleen gropes under the counter for the open packet of Woodbines. I push it into her hand. She flips the top open and withdraws a single cigarette. I know the ritual well, I hand the matches to her – she snaps one into flame and leans over the counter. I hear That Woman draw a deep breath, exhale with mighty satisfaction, cough a great chesty rattle which clears her throat and then she begins to tell one of her stories. I watch the grey-blue column of smoke rise above the counter up into the air it swirls magically and I think of a genie. The sulphur of the match added to the smoky smell means that she can stay a long time telling the latest episode of her eventful life.

I’ll never forget. I’ll never forget That Woman. She trots out all sorts of tales while she enjoys the Woodbine right down to the smallest but. So closely does she smoke the cigarette that her upper lip is permanently brown –as iodine coloured as her index finger and thumb.”

(From “My Home is There 2” a collection of miscellany pieces by Parish writer, Mae Leonard. Second and final part next week.)

TÁ CRIOSTÓIR AG TEACHT: Yes indeed, the date has been confirmed and our native Parish outstanding bi-lingual writer, Criostóir O’Flynn, is due to give a talk at the Library in the Granary on Michael Street on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 8.00 pm. This is definitely a date to look forward to, as Criostóir is as entertaining as he is intelligent and so full of local knowledge. His two most recent books are entitled, “Old Church Street” and “Meeting Mrs Zebedee.” Perhaps, those who have not yet had a chance to avail of these books will have the chance to do so on that night at the Library.

LUNCHTIME CONCERTS TO RETURN: Good news is on the way as I am happy to report that the very popular Lunchtime Concerts at St Mary’s Cathedral are set to return on Wednesday, March 13, 2013. I will keep you informed as to the participants in these concerts as the weeks go by.

NICHOLAS STREET 1901: Nicholas Street which was once known as the Great Street was always known for its commercial aspect during the 40s and 50s and 60s, can’t verify further back than that. It is, however, very interesting to note that in one house alone, must have been a big one, no less than 11 men lived and each one had a different occupation. According to the census they were Presbyterians born in Scotland. There was a ploughman, a miner, a shoemaker, a gardener, a bleacher, a mill worker, a sailor, a printer, a commissioner, a car owner, and finally someone who worked in a Billion Works. A similar situation existed in another building.

ORGAN RECITAL AT JESUITS: If there is one good thing that transpired in 2012, it was the occupation of the Sacred Heart Church or as we all remember it, the Jesuits, by the organisation known as Church of Christ the Sovereign King, who promote the much-loved, Latin Mass. Their occupation of this magnificent building has been a monumental step in the preservation of once sacred building that might otherwise have gone over to a common enterprise or might even have been left to decay and what a sad sight that would have been. Now, on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 7.00 pm there will be an organ recital in that same church, together with the Seminarians singing the very beautiful Gregorian Chant. Admission is free to what promises to be a truly nostalgic and worthwhile church event. Many readers of these weekly motes will recall the wonderful Plain Chant week we all participated in at St John’s Cathedral during our Secondary school days. I, for one, can never forget it. It was a wonderful musical church experience.

LIMERICK CITY AT 6.50AM: Creepy quiet. Not even a tweet of a songbird, the Dawn Chorus having already exhausted their vocal chords, have gone in search of twigs and fluff in an effort to diligently construct a comfortable nest for their expected offspring. Large snow white cross protrudes eerily above the wall of Munchin’s cemetery and I wonder what it is like to live in the houses opposite it, to wake up every morning and look out, a constant reminder. Bard holds his usual proud stance as I approach Castle Plaza; workmen in safety helmets already at work on what we envisage will eventually be a brand new-look King John’s Castle. Man in high vis gear lies prone on Newgate Place and initially I’m left wondering until I see a slight movement as he presses one ear to the ground testing something underground. A van with ‘Hydro..something’ stands guard. Two lone cars occupy a vast Merchant’s Quay. Spot an empty open purse, a rather nice one, on Mathew Bridge and wonder. The Barber on Denmark Street is already actively engaged in cutting a snow white rather woolly older head. Saturday market traders set up as the emerging dawn begins to peep through to a waiting city public. Plastic covered packs of ‘Irish Independents’ piled outside the various hostelries. On Parnell Street ‘Ger’s Foodstore’ and Coffee Dock is open for business.

COFFEE AT COLBERT: Not another budge of life until I reach Colbert station where wide-eyed people hold cardboard receptacles of tea or coffee as they move dreamily about. Shop wide open as a man delivers yet more daily newspapers; filled roll and a bottle of water, great price, didn’t purchase. Queue forms for rail transportation to the ‘Big Smoke’; listening to my transistor radio I hear Mike tell John on local radio that the word ‘equine’ can cover many species of animal and I almost upchuck my intake of two grilled rashers and scrambled egg of 45 minutes previous! By now, that once lovely word has taken on a rather odious connotation. They tell a joke on radio; a man went in to buy a burger or some such edible take-away and the counter assistant asked, ‘what do you want on that?’ to which he replied, ‘ten to one!’ Finally I board the train non-stop to Dublin in the height of comfort and recall the times back in the 40s and 50s when we, together with some neighbours took our annual trip to Knock by train, and the trains back then were clickety-clackety rumblers, coupled with strong persistent fumes of something or other and some sort of wide strap was pulled to open the window almost like the glass windows of the mourning carriages of decades ago. From what I remember the carriages of those trains of old were completely separate, all rather private, something like you’d see in “The Lady Vanishes.” A few rumbles on and I busy myself with my crossword puzzle book and am pleasantly surprised at the alertness of the mind and think, whoever said morning is the best time for study was so right, for sure the mind is sharper; enjoyed my brief sojourn in Dublin Day ended well as the purchase of a €1 scratcher at Heuston realised €25! This is the second time in one week that such has occurred. Birthday the following day and I’m thrilled; tempted to purchase a box of chocolates; don’t normally partake of same. I didn’t; got one anyway the following day. I am joined by a male family member going home, five decades apart but great pals. Mature sporting party travelling down to Kerry for big match next day. Green bottles of Heineken appear, no shortage; a right spirited happy lot; shortened the journey for sure. Checked on score next day only to find that Dublin had trounced Kerry in a score that read something like 1-11 to 6 or seven points. Their return journey should have been lively, to say the least. This was not an isolated rail travel experience; I actually travel quite a bit, but perhaps, not nearly as early in the morning, a very interesting time of the day indeed.

CHEMIST IN KING’S ISLAND: There is a Chemist Shop in the King’s Island Primary Care Centre which is open six days a week. Generally, this quite outstanding building is architecturally eye-catching, encompassing several care needs, including a Chiropodist, who is present on the First Friday of every month. This is a vital asset to many older people or those who may have diabetes and who should not cut their own toenails. And, of course, the best part is that the price medical card holders need to pay is about one third the cost one might have to pay elsewhere. From the one experience I had, I would have to say that the service here is excellent. This professional lady definitely knows her job but be prepared to wait when you go there, no matter how early in the morning!

All in all, this well-planned building has done wonders for the area. In addition to that, it houses a medical staff who is fully committed to the care of the body of the young, middle aged and most important of all, the elderly.

LOCAL SPORTS PARTNERSHIP: Sports First Aid; Sunday, March 2, 2013, at the South Court Hotel from 10am-5pm. Ideal for clubs. Limited places available; €40. All participants who successfully complete the Course will be issued with a two year IHF Heartsaver CPR/AED. Contact 061-333600 or cmcinerney@limerickcitysports.ie.

OUR RUGBY EXPORTS: Readers of my notes may recall that I recorded the death in Australia of Jack O’Halloran at the age of 92 years in recent notes. It was quite coincidental then, that while tidying around my desk this past week I came across a priceless piece which was penned by the late, WW Gleeson, late of Exchange Street and later of Blackwater. Many O’Hallorans are mentioned in the piece and I can only imagine that they may have had a connection with the late Jack. Hope all the rugby fans enjoy this precious piece of nostalgia as much as I did. Chroniclers such as WW Gleeson have been vital to local life just as the makers of all our parish notes record matters close to home each week in these pages. Just think for a moment as to the difficulties endured by travelling to such a far distant land in those seemingly dreary days of old.

“Delving through musty tomes of newspaper files in my archives recently, I came across a photograph depicting a Shannon juvenile rugby team, winners of the Tyler Cup season 1905-1906. A short time after the photograph was taken, six of the team emigrated to Australia. They were, Jack Bourke, Tom O’Connell, Paddy O’Halloran, Tony Quin, Martin Clohessy (captain), Patsy Carroll. As time passed, so great was the joyful news of the venture, names such as, Joe and Tom O’Halloran, Bob and Paddy Burke, and two sisters were added to those ‘pioneers.’ Charlie McNamara, Charlie Clohessy, followed by Turlough Griffin and his sister and her husband soon made up the motley gang; while Fanny Lynch and the American Ambassador, a Mr McKiernan, from Kilalee, formed a goodly sprinkling from the Treaty City!

Some more Limerick people who made their mark in the land of the Southern Cross that I recall, were Bishop Duhig, Bishop Gleeson, (former Director of the Limerick Arch Confraternity of the Holy family). Finally, Archbishop Mannix, whose mother (nee Cagney) was a native of Trough, Adare, when sailing from the U.S. to Ireland, at the height of the Black and Tan terror, was arrested off the Cork coast and placed on a British destroyer. Non-plussed, he said to the British captain: ‘This surely must be the biggest English naval victory since the Battle of Jutland.’ (WW Gleeson).

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER 2013: C International and interdenominational, a global movement of informed prayer and prayerful action. All are welcome. The service is prepared by Christian women in France. The theme is ‘I was a Stranger and you Welcomed Me’date is Friday March 1st. at 7.30 p.m. in the Parish Centre, Holy Rosary Church, Nth. Circular Rd. and Thursday March 7, 2013 at 10.30 a.m. in Villiers Sq. The speaker will be Dean Sandra Pragnell.

SPOT OF HUMOUR: C An Orangeman died and went to heaven but St Peter stopped him at the gate and asked him what he had done to deserve heaven? “I was the bravest Orangeman that ever lived,” said the man from Belfast. “I was the first man to carry the Union Jack up the Falls Road. “When did you do that?” asked St Peter. “A few minutes ago,” said the Orangeman.

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.”