St Mary’s Sept 21

SHANNON SHINE: Well done to our Shannon rugby team who succeeded in defeating UL Bohs at Clifford Park on Saturday last in the final of the Charity Cup, as the sun shone from out a clear Autumn sky. The final score was 24-22. The charities who have benefitted from this sporting encounter are: Milford Care Centre, St Vincent de Paul, Redemptorist Fathers Christmas Campaign, IRFU Charitable Trust, and the Sisters of Charity, Lisnagry.

SHANNON SHINE: Well done to our Shannon rugby team who succeeded in defeating UL Bohs at Clifford Park on Saturday last in the final of the Charity Cup, as the sun shone from out a clear Autumn sky. The final score was 24-22. The charities who have benefitted from this sporting encounter are: Milford Care Centre, St Vincent de Paul, Redemptorist Fathers Christmas Campaign, IRFU Charitable Trust, and the Sisters of Charity, Lisnagry.

It was interesting to read some of the ‘tweets’ as they appeared on the screen, with the name of Tadgh Bennett appearing on almost every one. Here are a few: ‘Shannon defending well’ ‘Fab try by James Murphy with conversion by Tadgh Bennett’ ‘Great drop goal by Tadgh Bennett’ ‘Tadgh Bennett’s last penalty kick wins it for Shannon’ ‘Great display by our lads, all should be proud.’

DIGITAL HUB: The recently formed Digital Hub (D’Hub) is situated at 3, Old Church Street, King’s Island. At a packed meeting of members on Thursday evening last plans were set in place for what promises to be a vibrant local set-up of courses having to do with computers. Leader of this new digital set-up is Mary Donnelly, who is exhibiting just as much enthusiasm as she has done in her role as Manager of the Adult Education on the Island Road. I will have much more information on D’Hub when they come to hand. The contact numbers are as follows: 061-319468 and 087-7479350.

SENIOR CLUBS RETURN: It’s that time of the year again when the long evenings are upon us and television can be rather boring, so it is good to have somewhere to go and socialise a little. We have two Seniors Clubs operating in our parish. Wednesday’s Club meet at about 3.30pm in the Community Centre which is situated at the start of the Island Bank. Transport to and from this Club venue is available if needed. All you need to do is to contact anyone at the Centre and they will be glad to help you out. There is also the facility of transport to and from the 7.30 Vigil Mass on Saturday evenings. From time to time someone comes in to give a talk on Social Welfare matters etc. The members also have the chance to do some light exercise during the course of the meetings.

On Thursday afternoons, yet another group of Seniors meet at the Town House which is situated behind our church at roughly the same time. They also do many interesting things, including singing together to the piano playing. This particular club organise a pilgrimage to Lourdes every two years. Anyone is very welcome to join either or both clubs. Well done to the ladies who give of their valuable time in keeping both these clubs going and who efficiently organise outings during the year and particularly the dinner prior to Christmas.

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: On this coming Wednesday, September 25, 2013, yet another Concert will take place in St Mary’s Cathedral from 1.15-2.00pm. It will feature Edel O’Brien (mezzo-soprano), Irina Dernova (piano) - music by Handel and J.S.Bach. Admission is free but a donation to the Retiring Collection would be greatly appreciated, as this will go to aid the Friends of St Mary’s Cathedral Music.

ABBEY YOUTH TRAINING INITIATIVE: Are you between 16 and 35 years? Would you like to take part in a 9 month programme that offers a diverse range of educational and employment opportunities? If you have answered yes to the above or simply paused to think, then read on! Facilitated by Limerick Youth Service, Abbey Youth Local Training Initiative is a 36 week programme that is designed to provide opportunities for marginalised learners in the King’s Island, Lee Estate and Corbally areas of Limerick city.

‘The LTI is primarily aimed at unemployed young people who have no formal qualifications or left secondary school at an early age,’ said Louise O’Connor, coordinator, Abbey Youth LTI. The programme, titled ‘Employability Skills,’ provides vocational training and project based learning to assist participants in their educational, personal & social development. Learners will cover nine modules that include communications, IT skills, career preparation and include invaluable periods of work experience. ‘Learners also have the opportunity to participate in other programmes and activities such An Gaisce (the President’s Award), FAI Kick Start Coaching Course, Healthy Eating and First Aid,’ added Ms. O’Connor. ‘Since we started in 2011 our learners have progressed to employment and further education,’ continued Ms. O’Connor.

If you would like to apply for the course please contact Louise O’Connor at or call 061-272694. Based at Nicholas St Youth Space, the project gets its name from the nearby Abbey River, which cradles King’s Island from the Potato Market through Athlunkard Bridge before meeting the Shannon at an area known locally as, the Island Field.

Abbey Youth LTI is facilitated by Limerick Youth Service with the support of FÁS. Certificates are accredited by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland. Now in its fortieth year, Limerick Youth Service remains committed to supporting and encouraging young people to be active participants in shaping their futures. Louise O’Connor, Abbey Youth LTI Coordinator, Limerick Youth Service. Tel: 061-276941. Dermot Troy, Communications & Youth Information Officer, Limerick Youth Service. Tel: 061-142444/083-1726898

OUR PARISH IN POOR TIMES: “The body of the people he further explained was composed of individuals who spent seven years in learning the trade and had become free, as they called it, of the body amongst themselves. It was constituted by private agreement; they formed a certain code of laws, generally tending to raise and keep up the wages they get.

Asked if he thought that it had this effect, Fr Brahan, voiced the opinion; ‘it creates a necessity for these private arrangements. They are punished if they openly contravene the rules; they still feel the necessity to contravening them to get employment, hence they think they avoid punishment and gain employment by entering into a private agreement. The ‘body’ upon learning of a breach of the rules generally imposed a fine or a penalty and if that was not paid the ‘body’ refused to work with the individual and ‘thus they often succeeded in depriving a poor man of the labour he would otherwise get.’ The practice, witness believed a rather general one and all those who had the necessity for giving employment were very well aware of it.” (Continued next week).

DIGGING AT CONVENT GROUNDS: Work is ongoing at the spot where St Mary’s Convent once stood. I understand it is to be developed as a beautiful memorial garden. I also am given to understand that this area is of extreme archaeological interest due of course to the old Abbeys that once existed in and around that ancient area. We anxiously look forward to seeing how things develop on both counts. We are so lucky to be living in these ambitious times and especially to be living within the boundaries of the most ancient part of Limerick city. I sure wouldn’t mind being in on that archaeological dig! Just imagine; the possibilities are legion.

SÉAMUS ON GURKY McMAHON: The late Séamus Ó’Cinnéide who resided under the tower was a gifted literary figure, a natural historian and a Limerick character that should never be forgotten. He bore a wild, yet intelligent demeanour as he peddled his high bicycle around town and out into the country. He was full of intelligence and one could readily say he was a glutton for knowledge and an accomplished Gaelgóir he was too. During his lifetime, unfortunately, his hundreds of literary offering were never committed to any kind of a collection but thankfully, his god-son and nephew, Dr Eoin Devereux, has expertly taken care of that situation following some years of hard work. About seven years following his death Eoin had an amount of his uncle’s priceless pieces published in a book entitled, “Last Word by the Listener,” which he dedicated to his mother, Anne Devereux.

One hardly knows what to choose from this packed to capacity book. I took it with me on a train journey recently and I became so involved in its contents I could well have missed my stop. Intelligence shines throughout every sentence. His witty ‘take’ on local events, together with local characters high up or God forbid, low down. Of course this book was published in 1999 and I ran through it then, but as with certain movies, you relish it even more the second time round. Now for his reference to that famous parish man, Gurky.

“The late great folk wit, Gurky McMahon, was one of the hundreds of inoffensive citizens transplanted by Limerick Corporation down to the Island Field, now St Mary’s Park, forty years ago. Gurky had a neighbour called Sully; short for his surname, O’Sullivan. Sully was one of Limerick’s colourful, indefatigable newsvendors. Sully and his colleagues didn’t remain static. Like true itinerant trade artists, they peddled their wares all over the town. On different beats, of course. Sully’s advertising chant was something like: ‘Leedoreea, Een-ing Echo’ a whole litany of peculiar names for every local and national and cross channel –public print.

One night, his public trade having made him unusually affluent, Sully adjourned to a tavern in the immediate approaches to The Field. Having over-imbibed, he staggered homewards, past midnight, shattering The Island’s silence with his loud, ‘Laydor-ee etc.’ chant. Sully’s recital outside Gurky’s residence disturbed the folk-wit’s slumbers. Gurky opened the window. He looked down at Sully and told him: ‘Sully you’re singing the wrong song. It should be, None Shall Sleep Tonight.” (What wonderful original writing! I presume that it was written around 1978 as the St Mary’s Park houses were completed around 1938.)

SCOUTING HISTORY: In last week’s notes you will have seen a piece concerning the times for the meetings of our cubs and scouts. It is great to see that scouting is still vibrant in the parish. Well done to Barry McInerney for giving of his time to steer these young lads in the right direction. Now for a little glance at scouting in the past. “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.

Written in the ‘Golden Jubilee Book’ 1932-1982; no author is credited.


Our melodious choir is gifted,

From Limerick’s best songsters they’re sifted,

Their musical repertoire is vast,

For forty years they did last,

Just to hear them your mind would be lifted.

BLACKBERRY PICKING: “The juice would run down our chins and our fingers were purple for days afterwards.” “My mother cooked them immediately and we ate the jam hot, piled up high on Tubridy’s cottage.” (Mae Leonard)

SPOT OF HUMOUR: The boss was interviewing an applicant for a job in a furniture factory. “I hope you’re not one of those people,” said the boss, “who drop their tools the minute they hear the whistle and walk off.” “Oh no,” said the applicant. “I always have my tools put away neatly half an hour before the whistle goes.”