St Mary’s Feb 8

GER HOGAN’S HORSE POWER: Amid all the devastation in the King’s Island area over last weekend isn’t is just great that so many brave souls emerged to relieve this drastic situation that was thrust on us so suddenly. Prime among these brave souls was one Ger Hogan , as well as Michael Coady and his son, John: as well as the by now famous horse, Peg. Well done to Ger, Michael and John and all the other good people who bravely and generously gave of their time by being available to bring people up and down from early morning, as well as delivering piles and piles of sandbags to the houses that needed them.

GER HOGAN’S HORSE POWER: Amid all the devastation in the King’s Island area over last weekend isn’t is just great that so many brave souls emerged to relieve this drastic situation that was thrust on us so suddenly. Prime among these brave souls was one Ger Hogan , as well as Michael Coady and his son, John: as well as the by now famous horse, Peg. Well done to Ger, Michael and John and all the other good people who bravely and generously gave of their time by being available to bring people up and down from early morning, as well as delivering piles and piles of sandbags to the houses that needed them.

ST MUNCHIN’S RESOURCE CENTRE: Well done to all the people involved in the St Munchin’s Resource Centre for extending an astounding helping hand to the people of St Mary’s parish during their recent distress due to unprecedented massive floods which destroyed some houses beyond repair. Such a display of thoughtfulness and helpfulness is most admirable.

CONTRIBUTORS TAKE NOTE: Contributors should take note that the email address above has been slightly changed from the previous one.

FEAST OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes - World Day for the Sick. Opportunity to receive the Sacrament of the Sick: Date Tuesday 11th February. Venue St. Mary’s Church, Athlunkard Street. Time 10am. Homilist Very Rev. Noel Kirwan, P.P. Choir Ard Scoil Mhuire, Corbally

PROPOSED SPORTS’ GARDEN: The vast derelict site opposite King John’s Castle has become visually tiresome and needs immediate attention. Civic Trust envisions a Sports’ Garden to honour our local sporting greats which will include, if things come to pass, our outstanding hockey player of former years, Marie Bartlett, who hails from the parish. It is a most ingenious idea altogether on the part of the present Civic Trust, who have already succeeded in creating and maintaining the Community Garden opposite the entrance to the magnificent Villier’s Square. And although that same garden always comes into its own in spring and summertime, it was not forgotten at Christmastime either. It was afforded a seasonal appearance much to the delight of the passers-by, though few nowadays, as pedestrians could well be described as someone whose car is parked a few yards away!

WORK IN PROGRESS:It seems that something may also be about to happen also within the area which was once part of the Convent grounds and which lies adjacent to the present Car Park for visitors to King John’s Castle. A huge digger has been doing the rounds there recently and who knows within a few months what might spring up. In the meantime, we continue to enjoy the magnificent structure that is our King’s Island Primary Care Centre that offers a vast range of medical care for those who need it and which encompasses O’Sullivan’s Chemist shop, which is open six days a week, with early closing at 2.00pm on Saturdays. To contact this Medical Centre just call 061-311811.

PARISH OFFICE: Our parish office is open three days a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 3– 5pm. It is situated at the back of the church in the two storey house with the glass porch. The contact number is 061-416300.

MEMOIR WOKSHOPS: The Limerick Writers’ Centre is offering a series of workshops designed for senior citizens in the area of memoir. The proposed writing theme for the workshops is love stories from Limerick. The workshops will run for ten weeks, commencing February 25. The workshops will run in two venues, Limerick city and Kilmallock. The times are 10.00-12.00 in Limerick and 13.30-15.30inKilmallock. No fees apply and computer literacy is not a requisite. No experience of memoir writing is necessary. If you wish to participate please contact Dominick Taylor at or telephone 087-2996409 for an application form.

CRITERIA FOR PARTICIPATION: For participation in the above workshops Minimum age is 55 years; availability to complete the course; willingness to write on a particular theme and willingness to have writing published in a book. This project is funded as part of the Made in Limerick programme of Limerick City of Culture.

CATHEDRAL AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Quite a unique Concert will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, February 13. All proceeds will go to the Special Olympics which will be taking place in Limerick this summer. Some of the singers and choirs participating will be, award winning singer, Kevin Neville, and contralto, Sarah Ellen Murphy. Concert organiser, Dolores Hanley, has also lined up the following highly accomplished choirs; Seoda, Anchór, and the Voices of Limerick. There will also be participation on the part of some highly talented students of the Limerick School of Music. Tickets cost €10 and can be procured from UCH at

THE HASELBECK COLLECTION: The Exhibition at Limerick City Hall, Merchants’ Quay is from Monday 13th January 2014 to Friday 28th February 2014. Open Daily from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Admission is free. Franz Haselbeck worked as a professional photographer in Limerick City from 1912 and left behind an amazing record of his life as a professional photographer in the city He photographed many important events in Limerick City at the time. From his studio on Wolfe Tone Street he captured a permanent image of many Limerick families from bonny babies to Holy Communions, weddings and family portraits. Patricia Haselbeck Flynn holds responsibility for the preservation of her grandfather’s collection.

PATRICK STREET SPRINGS TO LIFE: Finally, the scaffolding has been lifted from that famous block on Patrick Street, which includes the birth-place at number four, of our 19th century highly popular soprano, known to all as the Swan of Erin, the much revered Catherine Hayes. So, it seems things are back to square one and we most definitely are not going to have the largest shopping Centre in Munster after all. The question is, what exactly is that once hive of commerciality going to turn out to be. Already, various units of old have received a brand new frontage and in time, perhaps, things might half return to what was once a grand entrance for visitors to our city when approaching from the east of our country. The wonderfully spacious that has been created on Michael Street where Workspace once stood, is to be much applauded. So, if our City Fathers keep that same thinking capon, who knows we might yet have a city we can all enjoy and be proud to welcome visitors to.

LIMERICK BANKS OF LONG AGO: This article which I’ve rescued from my archives was penned in the earlier part of the 20th century. “In medieval Limerick, commerce, industry and finance were well catered for, and many present day problems, social amenities, industrial developments, etc were undertaken successfully by enterprising citizens (without any government help) not afraid of being dubbed eccentric, but possessed of initiative and indomitable perseverance.

Finance must always hold an important place in any community, and so did private bankers in the years prior to the joint stock banks. Maunsells, Roches, Bruce etc are names still remembered. The great houses known as ‘Bank Place’ are so called, not because they are built on the bank of the Abbey River, but because they were the headquarters of Hedges, Maunsell & Co, one of Limerick’s leading banks, and even now curio collectors treasure some of the notes issued by this firm. But, as well as being successful, in their business, the Maunsell family had a high sense of their responsibility to their less fortunate fellow-citizens, and readily gave time and money to such useful institutions such as the House of Industry and the Savings Bank.” Continued next week where we discover Bruce purchasing that enviable acreage known as Hermitage.

REMEMBERING COLM McGRATH: In 2010 St Mary’s Fife and Drum band celebrated the 125th year of its foundation. As part of the wonderful celebrations that year, they published a marvellous book which featured an amount of excellent articles that were ably complemented by some extremely interesting pictures. One of these pictures is of the Band pictured against the Exchange wall in the grounds of St Mary’s Cathedral back in 1894, the occasion being the All Ireland Championship, where they had won four Silver Cups. The following article, a tribute to the late Colm McGrath, a man who was synonymous with this great band, was written by Derek Mulcahy in 2009.

“Last July, 2008, Colm McGrath, Hon Secretary of St Mary’s Prize Band, died. Colm had nearly 60 years service with the band, becoming a member in 1954 and then from 1956 to 1963, he held the position of Vice-President. In 1963, he was elected Hon Secretary, a position he held up to the time of his death. In his younger days Colm played rugby with St Mary’s RFC, winning two city Junior Cup Medals in 1946 and 1947, also winning the Transfield Cup with St Mary’s in 1955. Colm also played rugby with Bohemians RFC, Shannon RFC and CIE RFC, winning two Goulding Cup Medals in1954 and 1956 with CIE. Colm also boxed in the Mid Forties with St Francis Boxing Club. Colm was a Bass Drummer with the band, learning from the late Miko Ryan Bandmaster, and won International Band Competition honours playing Bass Drum with the band on many occasions. Colm was also a keen gardener and had great joy tending to his vegetables at his garden in Garryowen.

COLM’S UNIQUE HANDWRITING: As Secretary Colm excelled, and with the gift of a good hand, his recording of minutes at meetings and his recording of band outings has sustained the history of our band for many years to come. He also kept Newspaper cuttings and photographs of the band and had a phenomenal encyclopaedic memory and if anyone had a question of any nature about the band even 20 or 30 years previously, he would be able to recount exactly what was said and also have written proof, so you would need your facts right if you questioned Colm on anything, as many of us have found to our cost. On hearing of the passing of Colm, local poet and author, Maureen Sparling, remarked that she kept correspondence she had got from Colm over the years, as he had beautiful handwriting and a great way with words, a thing you do not see much of nowadays,” Derek Mulcahy Band Master; part 2 next week.

Referring to the above, as I was sorting out (trying to anyway) recently, I actually came across Colm’s definite neat black ink correspondence and it goes against the keep-sake based brain of mine to throw out anything and for sure I could never part with Colm’s priceless handwriting, a style all his own for sure; however, it might be a good idea eventually to pass them back to the band archives to display in their superb museum. One added attribute about this legendary man was that of his mode of dress; he always looked impeccable and the ties he sported would outdo John Bowman any day!

SYMPATHY: The death has occurred of a very popular parish, Molly Yelverton (nee Cunningham),of St Mary’s Place, Off Athlunkard Street. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to her sons, Billy and Michael; her daughters, Eileen, Nancy and Marion; grandchildren, brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces, relatives and friends. May she rest in peace.

PUNJAUB: Contained in that same book is the music and lyrics of a song named ‘Punjaub,’ lyrics by Paddy Casey, the oldest living member of that famous Band, while the tune was the result of the musical ingenuity of one, Charles Payne. It is for 1st Bb Flute. It was printed by John A McNamara. The caption beneath this music and words are as follows. ‘The Trio of the Punjaub Lyrics, as sung by Limerick born soldiers in the Munster Fusiliers,’ The words that follow are from the heart of a true Limerick man, Paddy Casey.

Fare thee well the Abbey, fare thee well the Island Field,

Fare thee well Athlunkard, and don’t forget Parteen.

Fare the well Blackwater and the lovely Shannon Fields,

For we are off to India, with the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Fare thee well sweet Plassy, where we swam, fished and played,

Fare thee well bold Garryowen and good old Thomondgate,

Fare thee well old Thomondgate, where we danced jigs and reels,

For we are off to India with the Royal Fusiliers.


“There’s a destiny that makes us brothers,

None goes his way alone,

All that we send into the lives of others,

Will come back into our own.”