Mar 16

Maureen Sparling


Maureen Sparling

LÁ FHÉILE PADRAIG: As we look forward to our local parade, we will place particular focus on the participation of our parish band, St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, established 1885, who are a firm fixture in the line-up for many and many a decade now. We also look forward to many other sports’ bodies and other units from within the parish participating. Hopefully, the weather will be clement on the day or at least, dry. To the loyal readers of these weekly notes; Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh go léir!

LÁ FHÉILE PADRAIG: As we look forward to our local parade, we will place particular focus on the participation of our parish band, St Mary’s Fife and Drum Band, established 1885, who are a firm fixture in the line-up for many and many a decade now. We also look forward to many other sports’ bodies and other units from within the parish participating. Hopefully, the weather will be clement on the day or at least, dry. To the loyal readers of these weekly notes; Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh go léir!

CÓRAIGH DALY-WALSH: Congratulations to local resident, Córaigh Daly-Walsh, on her recent induction into the mellifluous choir of St Mary’s Cathedral. It was indeed quite an auspicious occasion when the young girl was formally admitted to this age old choir, with the present Dean, Ms Sandra Pragnell, presenting Córaigh with her membership card and surplice. She was also given a copy of the RSCM Chorister’s Companion. Córaigh’s family were present to honour the special event, as was her music teacher at Árd Scoil Mhuire, Cecilia Madden. We wish Córaigh many happy and fulfilling hours of singing with this august choir who have never relented on their adherence to their very high standard of a musical ethos that never fails to render joy to all who attend the weekly service in the Cathedral, and on special occasions throughout the year also.

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.

HELEN OUR HEROINE: Congratulations to a wonderful Limerick woman, Helen O’Donnell, who has had the distinction of being awarded the Limerick Person of the Year! In so doing, she has beat off an unbelievable line-up of stiff competition. Take a look at last week’s ‘Limerick Leader’ and you’ll see what I mean. There is a saying that goes, ‘if you want something done, ask a busy person.’ Who could be busier than this lady of Hunt Restaurant fame? Yet, she has shown such a dedicated interest in the general appearance of her native city, that it leaves the rest of us wondering and feeling a little lazy, may I say. I have little doubt that had Helen been around during our famous (or infamous even) sieges, she would definitely have been to the fore showing the example to would-be comers! And I can tell you she would be firing more than apples. In every sense of the word, she is a ‘doer’ an accomplished achiever, (just like the late Denis Leonard) and she deserves this outstanding accolade, and with it the praise an admiration of all our citizens. Once in a poem I described Jan O’Sullivan, as a woman of substance. Now Jan has a worthy partner in the person of Helen O’Donnell.

BRIAN KELLY SAYS THANKS: U11’s -OMG as they say in Willow Park what a day for our Under 11s, Shannon RFC, on the road before 7.00am poor little mites didn’t know such a time excised, came up against some schools in the morning fixtures and learned a few lessons about themselves and put into use in the afternoon fixtures. Some great results from both Blues & Blacks alike that makes me as team manager so proud to have such wonderful kids in our club. Many thanks to the Coaches & Parents who supported both teams and made it a day we will not forget.

DIOCESAN COLLECTION: The monthly Diocesan collection will be taken up at all Masses in our church this weekend. The Stations of the Cross will follow the 10.00 am Mass on this Friday and next Friday.

NOTES ARE WELCOME: Please keep in mind that anyone is welcome to submit any matters of local interest to these weekly notes. Simply send them by Monday of any week for inclusion that weekend.

TÁ CRIOSTÓIR AG TEACHT: Our parish native bi-lingual writer, Criostóir O’Flynn, will be at the Library in the Granary on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at 8.00 pm. There we can look forward to an enjoyable ramble in time from the man who has published over sixty books by now. An octogenarian of agile gait, Criostóir is guaranteed to fill the bill with plenty of gaiety and perhaps a speckling of history, now perhaps that should be the other way around. Everyone is welcome and if wine is your poison then you will be allowed a glass on the night and if not then you can avail of orange, water or lemonade.

CATHEDRAL LUNCHTIME CONCERT: There will be yet another Lunchtime Concert at St Mary’s Cathedral on this coming Wednesday, March 20th. It begins at 1.15pm and concludes at 2.00pm. Admission is free. However, a small donation would be most welcome and gratefully appreciated. Leaving Cert students from Villier’s School will be performing at the concert this Wednesday.

LIMERICK SPORTS SEMINARS: Registration is now open for Limerick Sports Partnerships Club Development Seminar Series. Four Seminars will take place during March and April covering the following topics: Components of Fitness & Nutrition for Performance: Foundation Building for Strength & Conditioning Programmes: Running a Sports Club: Brief Intervention Training to deal effectively with Substance Misuse. Each Seminar costs €15 per person, per seminar or there is a Special Sports Club Rate of €50 for one place on each Seminar, when booked together (this is a club space therefore the club can nominate a club member to attend each Seminar and does not have to be the same person each time). Places are limited so early registration is advisable. If you have any questions or require any clarification please contact me on 061 333600.

ABC 1898: Having scanned my insertions in the ‘Limerick Leader’ last week I noticed that I had predated the birth of Athlunkard Boat Club by a number of years. Of course the rowing club was initiated in 1898, whereas 1889 saw the beginning of the ‘Limerick Leader,’ 125 years in existence next year.

THE FIVE-LINE ‘limerick’: In last week’s ‘Letters’ page of the ‘Limerick Leader’ a reader from Toronto had a letter extolling the five line verse for which our city is famous, namely, the ‘limerick.’ In fact he stated that ours is the only city in the entire universe to have a form of poetry named after it. Should we not then, be capitalising on it just a little more. In other words, paying it more respect. A few years ago the then Mayor of our city had a brilliant idea and in conjunction with the Arts’ Council, ran a competition. There were nine winners in all, with one outright winner, a novelist from the Ennis Road area, her name eludes me at this moment in time but it was a great entry about the Poor Man’s Kilkee. I was lucky to have been among the winners with my five-liner on Bridge Street. At that time, it was proposed that each winner’s ‘limerick’ would be secured on a lovely plaque on the street or area they had written their five-liner about. A lady from Waterford who was also a top winner, had her ‘limerick’ placed high up on the wall outside the Jim Kemmy Museum. Sadly, however, it suffered from vandals or some such. None of the other winners’ entries got to the point of being honoured in this way, which, incidentally, was promised. Now that the city Year of Culture is fast approaching, would it not be a wonderful idea to have them suitably placed. Besides all and everything else it would give a job to someone locally, as I understand it was someone locally who had been jobbed, and what a joy it would give the winning entrants! As everyone knows, the first two lines rhyme, the third and fourth line rhyme, then line five rhymes with lines one and two.

A ‘limericks’ competition so grand

For some talented entrants was planned,

The winners numbered nine

Which was ever so fine,

But their entries on city walls failed to stand.

STATE OF THE ART: Talk about good solid sense, a letter inserted by our prime city artist, John Shinnors, in last weekend’s ‘Limerick Leader,’ asks the question, “What is state-of-the-art seating?” He was, of course referring to the description of the now misfortunate Belltable seating. Leaving that sad, sorry saga aside, it was the said much hackneyed phrase, ‘state-of-the-art,’ that alerted my attention. How it originated nobody knows but by now it has been worn to a frazzle. Anything and everything newly built is termed thus. Thankfully, the other much hackneyed phrase, ‘I’ll run it by you,’ has exhausted itself. There are many more which I can’t recall right now that have also run their course. They are like pop-up shops, which incidentally serve a purpose, but trendy phrases such as the above serve no purpose whatsoever.

KILKEE BEACH LIGHTS: We won’t feel it now until we are making tracks or whatever else to our ‘Costa by the Sea’ good and reliable old Kilkee. For those who take late night walks, they can anticipate a much brighter promenade. Thirty-seven lights are to be placed along the strand line, on the inside of the wall, I read and each light fitting will cosy €2000. As life goes, not much changes in Kilkee and many of us are very glad for that, but this will be a welcome move from a visual and perhaps a safety angle also.

GLASS-LESS CASTLE: Oh, what a welcome visual relief! Yes indeed, the much maligned (and rightly so) sheets of glass which defaced the facade of our 13th century King John’s Castle, have finally been removed. The action should have been snapped on the spot to keep in the archives of the ‘Limerick Leader!’ Just imagine people in 50 odd years time saying, wonder what it looked like, must have had glass to give away way back then. Back in the mid 1800s, stone was plentiful. St John’s Cathedral was built around that time and probably the Square also (not certain). My house was also built of solid stone at that time also. But they say, all things come to him who waits and this has surely been a long and painstaking wait and as I write this piece I am wondering is there anyone who has actually extolled its merits, that is outside of the major architectural award the said Castle received soon after its renovation, for believe it or not, blending the old with the new! We are now left wondering as to what is going to replace the glass, something far more visually pleasing, one would hope. Well think about it, it can’t possibly be worse.

GLASS RETURNS: Well, wouldn’t you know, I spoke too soon. Within a few days of having penned the above piece, I was passing the Castle (It’s my normal route anyway), and lo and behold, the ‘glass menagerie’ had made a very unwelcome return. All I can say is that it looked much cleaner. Now whether it was a case of being taken out to get washed or whether it is new glass altogether, nobody knows. And so, the mystery at the castle continues.

SEAN-FHOCAL: “ Is deacair a bheith ag feadail agus ag ithe.” “It’s hard to whistle and eat at the same time.” “Beagán a rá agus é a rá go maith.” “Say little but say it well.”

ANDREW CHERRY: This year marks the 201st anniversary of the passing of parish poet, playwright and comedian, Andrew Cherry. It is, therefore, most appropriate to publish a verse from one of the most famous poems pertaining to this weekend celebrating the Feast St Patrick and which was written by Andrew Cherry who lived on Bridge Street, in Creagh Lane, to be precise (or Quay Lane as many people say). Unfortunately, the Civic Trust plaque which hung over the old Post Office for many years, is now no more and neither is the plaque which hung in honour of our other great poet and novelist, Gerald Griffin, adjacent to the end house in St Augustine Place, close to the spot where the renowned poet is reputed to have been born, according to his brother. Some writers have placed the place of his birth close to Convent Street. My belief is that the family moved there probably sometime after Gerald’s birth. However, the highly accomplished local parish historian, the late WW Gleeson, has opted for the former and he was very exact pertaining to all matters of a local historical nature.


There’s a dear little plant that grows in out isle,

‘Twas St Patrick himself sure that set it,

And the sun of his labour with pleasure did smile,

And with dew from his eye often wet it.

It thrives through the bog, through the brake,

through the mireland,

And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland.

The sweet little shamrock, the dear little shamrock,

The sweet little,green little, shamrock of Ireland.

Andrew Cherry (1762-1812).

CITY OF CULTURE: C With reference to the above omissions as to marks of honour or remembrance to our prominent citizens of centuries past, would it not be an idea to rally to such a cause and for someone who will be paid for organising events having to do with that particular year, 2014, to make a list of those citizens of note who have passed from out our midst to be honoured. In the event that he or she is not familiar with the possible honours list, then he or she could send out a general request through the medium of the local press or the local radio.

One thing is for sure, these great people of our city should not be forgotten.

SPOT OF HUMOUR: C An army officer was regaling the guests at a London party with an account of his family’s military history. “My grandfather fought in the Boer War,” he said. “My father fought in the First World War. My elder brother was in the Second World War and I am at present serving with the army in Northern Ireland.” “My goodness,” said an old lady, “Your people don’t seem to be able to get on with anybody!”