June 1

Maureen Sparling

Reporter:

Maureen Sparling

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION: What a wonderful day our First Communicants had on Saturday last as weather-wise the day was brilliant and that means so much to everyone concerned, not least the communicants themselves. We wish the following boys and girls who received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the first time all the very best and hope they all had a very happy day. Well done to their teachers who prepared them so well for their big day. The singing on the day was so angelic and uplifting. From my own experience back in the 60s I know all too well the amount of preparation that goes into such a church event, the only difference I had seventy children to prepare. Congratulations to the following boys and girls!

FIRST HOLY COMMUNION: What a wonderful day our First Communicants had on Saturday last as weather-wise the day was brilliant and that means so much to everyone concerned, not least the communicants themselves. We wish the following boys and girls who received the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist for the first time all the very best and hope they all had a very happy day. Well done to their teachers who prepared them so well for their big day. The singing on the day was so angelic and uplifting. From my own experience back in the 60s I know all too well the amount of preparation that goes into such a church event, the only difference I had seventy children to prepare. Congratulations to the following boys and girls!

Kelsey Morgan, Kayla McNamara, Amy Roche, Katelyn Casey, Tammy McInerney, Laci Johnson, Kiera Glasheen, Roisin Hayes, Aliea O’Callaghan, Ava Enright, Tony Carroll, Lee Woodland Deveraux, Christopher Counihan, Dylan Considine, Lucas Buckley, Connor Mannix, Adam McGuane, and Joshua Lyons.

GANDELOW GOES TO MARKET: As mentioned in these notes recently a Gandelow has been built by a few members of the Curraghgower Boat Club over the past few months, with Anthony O’Farrell, at the helm so to speak with a wealth of expertise which he put to good use for the good of this ancient Boat Club established back in 1877. Well, that same Gandelow found its way to the market on Saturday last and probably will make yet another trip there this coming Saturday and maybe next. This handcrafted specimen of the aquatic world seems to have given a brand new lease of life to the said club because some of the members are now sporting a navy baseball style cap with the club’s name in bright gold lettering in front. It is most eye-catching, particularly when worn by the Club’s Chairman, John Griffin. The draw for this work of art will take place on June 15, 2013 and I will have the venue where it is taking place in next week’s notes. One thing is certain, you won’t need your car to get there and chances are you might just be cruising home in your very own Gandelow! Tickets, which cost €5 can still be purchased from any club member or by contacting John Griffin at 087-2621800. Now for a little ‘limerick.’

A Gandelow they built from scratch, The wood came from a Tipperary patch, It is 23 feet long And ‘tis yours for a song, If your ticket is pulled from the batch!

ADULT EDUCATION MEETING: C There will be yet another Adult Education meeting on this very Thursday evening at City Hall at 6.30pm. The good new is that the membership is growing in leaps and bounds and D’Hub at Old Church Street is due to open this week. In fact as you read this piece it may just have done that!

FIFE AND DRUM BAND AT MARKET: On this Thursday evening at roughly between 7.30 and 8.30pm, our local band, St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, will perform at the Milk market as part of an all local jamboree style event. This will be a lively event and as far as I know all is free! The event, I understand will start earlier than 7.30.

THE LEGACY OF DENIS LEONARD: In an article in last weekend’s ‘Limerick Leader’ City edition, there was a very promising article on a British historian’s observation of our Georgian heritage. Mr Dan Cruickshank has been all of 25 years as top British historian and has fronted many TV programmes focussing on historical buildings worldwide. Of our local architecture he said, “It is not just regular architecture, it is part of the great European civilized urban creation, relating back to Rome and so on.” This man who is also a European specialist on Georgian Architecture said how well preserved the Limerick area is in this regard.

One name and one name alone sprung to my mind as I read this encouraging article and that was the late Denis Leonard. How ideally placed, people-wise, Denis would have been to converse with this distinguished visitor to our city, for he alone was well studied in the art of Georgian Archictecture. He is the one and only reason I can think of as to why our city received such high praise from this renowned historian. He saw potential where other bodies might have thought it better to engage with the Demolition Crew! At times perhaps, this is the handiest way out but is it always the best? According to the late and great Director of Civic Trust, preservation was the ‘in’ word. He practically wore himself out in this regard. He possessed an aptitude for knowing how to contact the right people that I doubt we will ever experience in any such person ever again in this regard. He was definitely a once-off human gem. His work, as one former employee of that establishment told me, did not finish at the appointed time of 4.30 or 5.00pm. That is why his name can never and should never be forgotten, not alone in our parish which was his place of work but also throughout our entire city. What a precious legacy he has left behind him, that a top historian from Britain could regard the state our Georgian Architecture with such an amount of praise.

OUR MAYOR AND HECTOR!: In my notes last week I mentioned about our newly appointed Bishop, Brendan Leahy, in conversation with Miriam O’Callaghan on RTE Radio 1 and how he praised Limerick. Well, this past week it was Mayor Gerry McLoughlin who was in conversation with the brave Hector on RTE Radio 2, early morning programmes. The entire interview was lively, to say the least and I only tuned in because someone phoned me to alert me and I instantly switched away from my more relaxing radio greeting of the day, Lyric FM. Quite naturally, Gerry gave us a great run as a city. In all honesty, he couldn’t do otherwise, could he?

LUCKY LOOP HEAD: The comparatively new Visitor’s Centre at Loop Head just outside Kilkee has been the proud and worthy recipients of a much coveted award this week. Yes indeed, they have won an ‘Irish Times’ competition which has voted this scenic spot, which is incidentally, in the vicinity of the precious ‘Little Ark,’ the best place to holiday in Ireland. In so doing, they have beat off such stiff competition such as, Killarney, the Glen of Aherlow, Inis Boffin, Derry City and i think maybe one other. There were 1,400 entries and it came down to five where the decision was unanimous! There were four judges and one just happened to be a tour guide. And despite the obvious outstanding scenery that graces the other four popular spots, it was the rather reticent and unobtrusive area of bleak Loop Head that most impressed the judges. One judge mentioned on Clare FM radio earlier this week of how he was totally taken by the Victorian style promenade, the handsome seafront together with the truly warm and personal welcome in that quiet place apart. He also commented on how, despite the building of houses, which is necessary for people to live in, this gem has in no way become disfigured. This coveted award will no doubt double or even treble the vast numbers who visited this spot last year and in so doing will be to the advantage to the cosy town of Kilkee and not before time may I say. Well done to all!

MARANATHA PRAYER MINISTRY: Invites you for a 3 day evening Healing Retreat led by Rev.Fr.Xavier Raj CSsr (India) on June 5, 6 and 7, 2013, from 6.30 pm till 9.30 pm enriched with Spirit filled teachings ,Mass and healing adoration at St. Pauls Church, Dooradoyle, Limerick. For more details contact: 0857338617, 0873878728, 0874167561

ABBEY HISTORY BY FRANK (2): “These aboriginal Limerick Gaelic placenames have gone out of normal usage since the North Circular Road area began to be settled by the city’s merchant princes almost two centuries ago, more is the pity! Although they had no great tradition of keeping written accounts of their transactions, the fishermen nevertheless had in their numbers men of great scholarship and intellect such as John These aboriginal Limerick Gaelic place-names have gone out of normal usage since the North Circular Road area began to be settled by the city’s merchant princes almost two centuries ago, more is the pity!

Although they had no great tradition of keeping written accounts of their transactions, the “Gages” Clancy and his nephew, Jackie “Diddles” Clancy- the latter was the Secretary of the guild when they bought outright the inures of the Arthur family from Captain Charles William Augustine Arthur of Kilbane, County Clare in 1931, which had been owned by his family for centuries. The ancient office of Mayor of Limerick has been filled on fifty seven occasions by members of the Arthur family.

Jackie Clancy was a seanchái and the source of all the information that has been left to us about the fishermen and recorded by William “Nay” Lysaght in his history of the Guild, “The Abbey Fishermen: A Short History”, in 1964.

His uncle “Gages” Clancy had compiled his own dictionary of all the terms and expressions which were mostly in Irish, which they used in their trade. One such example of these was their word coovagh (coova) which they used for the shelter they scooped out in a hedge to boil tea for themselves while they were fishing. According to the erudite and extremely popular local journalist, historian, poet and Gaelic scholar Séamus O Cinnéide, who did so much to widen public appreciation of the fishermen’s heritage, this was the same word used in earliest Gaelic descriptions of the Flight of the Holy Family, when they sought refuge or shelter in Egypt. Unfortunately this source of valuable knowledge was lost forever when a young boy was paid a half-crown by “Gages”’ sister to clean out their attic. He threw out all ‘Gages’ writings and memorabilia over the nearby river wall and so deprived scholars in this field of a valuable source of primary knowledge.” ‘Their History and Legacy.’ A Talk by Frank Prendergast Sunday 5th of May 2013 at St. Mary’s Rugby Football Club. Many thanks to Frank Prendergast for allowing me to publish his excellent piece in my weekly column. Final extract next week.

ST MARY’S SCOUTS: “Over 50 years ago scouting was established in St Mary’s, when the 2nd and 6th Limerick and sea scouts under the aegis of C.B.S.I. was formed. In that long interval, numerous boys of the parish have benefitted in many ways from scouting. The first scout hall was a timbered structure on the Island Bank (later St Brigid’s Boys’ Club) and after a lapse in the thirties the troop was reformed and had temporary premises in the Playground, Bishop Street. Previous to that they had meetings in Athlunkard Boat Club under reforming officers, Joe Gilligan, scout master; Kevin Bradshaw, chairman; Joe Murphy, Hon. Sec. The very Rev Fr PJ Lee, chaplain. In the Marian year of 1954, a new scout hall was built, again on the Island bank, under the leadership of Fr Wall, chaplain, whose great work with the movement is still remembered in the parish. In 1968, the lapse 6th Limerick was reformed under Tony Hayden, SM.

Scouting in the parish received a severe blow on St Patrick’s Day, 1980, when the hall was maliciously burned down. Since then a search to procure a suitable site for a new hall has not yet been successful. The unit now meets in temporary quarters in the old St Munchin’s hall opposite the Castle. Here, over 100 cubs and scouts meet regularly to continue the great scouting tradition of St Mary’s. Long may it continue!

The present officers are; Chairman, G. Mulcahy; Hon Treasurer, Michael Downey; Hon Secretary, Miriam Duggan; Unit Leader, Ricky Woodrow; Chaplain, Muiris O’Connor. There is a very small committee functioning at present and new members would be welcome.”

An accompanying picture to this article show St Mary’s Parish Scouts and the names of the Committee: Mr Morgan, Mr Healy, J. Griffin, Scout Master. Mr. Ryan, Chairman. W. Wixted. Scouts: M. O’Sullivan, C. Madigan, Fr O’Regan, Scout Chaplain, J. Cowhey, T. Daly, M. Hoare, T. Andrews, T. Finn, R. Quigley. From the ‘Golden Jubilee Book’ 1985, no author is credited.

TOURISM IN ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL: The following email has reached me. It is that time of year again when we are looking for people to man the Cathedral desk at weekends. If you feel you can spare a few hours on Saturdays or Sundays please contact Andrew on 087 - 249 2068. Thanking you in anticipation.

LIMERICK SINGS - INTERNATIONAL CHORAL FESTIVAL: June 1st St Mary’s Cathedral 8pm, June 2nd University Concert Hall, Limerick 3pm. Tickets for both events €10 / Concession €8.