Archive for January, 2013
Writings of Michael McDermott
Last week my neighbour Billy Collins, who lives on the western side of Knocknagorna townland, presented me with copies of some lovely writings by his nephew Michael McDermott who lives in Carlow. Michael is a native of Cappawhite in Tipperary where he grew up. His late mother was the former Joan Collins of Knocknagorna and his father, who was a native of Clare, was a Garda who was at one stage stationed in Athea but who is long since deceased.
Michael has written various interesting non-verse type of poems on different subjects and his interpretations and recollection of people and events that he has come across during his life he describes in rich, colourful and poetic rhyme that is truly remarkable.
Michael has written with great admiration and sensitivity about some of his fellow workers in Roundale where he works. He writes about Paddy Buckley, a popular local resident, a baker and a neighbour of Michael’s family when he lived in Cappawhite.
His writings are so varied and paint such a lifelike pen-picture of the people and places that he writes about that the reader feels as if he has somewhat personally known them. Those people that Michael has portrayed with such a depth of feeling are real figures and the kind of folk to be usually found in most workplaces around the country, but in Michael’s rhymes they are somewhat exalted to a higher and more special level without ever losing their everyday human qualities. He writes about the Poor Clare’s religious order and the great work that the Sisters are performing “going quietly and serenely about their daily tasks”. There is indeed a spiritual dimension to all, or at least much, of Michael’s writing that has to be read to become obvious.
Michael writes a story about John, an Abbeyfeale man, who fell on hard times in London, quote; “John huddled on his bench. His breath shallow in the chill wind. He coughed a few times as only smokers can. The lights of Piccadilly shone brightly in the distance”.
Michael goes on to recount how after getting some good advice and help from the Samaritans John managed to turn his life around and “John was looking forward to working again in the future. To going home to his people in Limerick. John had dreams of a future again. The crucifix around his neck dangled in appreciation as if understanding his thoughts. Too many of his friends and countrymen had left their lives, families and careers. In the Red Lions and Ladbrokes of English cities”.
Happily, according to Michael’s account John from Abbeyfeale was no longer going to be among them.
Michael’s description in writing about the time when he spent his school holidays with his near relatives in Knocknagorna with his uncles including Jack Collins and his wife Ita, his numerous cousins in Knocknagorna and around the parish and other local people whom he got to know all make for some fascinating reading, for those who in that time grew up in the locality.
Michael describes his trips from Knocknagorna to Athea creamery with his cousin late Mickey Liston in the horse’s car with its three milk tanks and Michael guiding the horse with the reins after taking over the job with Mickey’s consent and approval.
There are so many great stories/poems written by Michael McDermott that would require much more space even to outline their contents. What is surprising however is that any of this great writing has never apparently been submitted for publication to the two local annuals, Athea Parish Journal or Ballyguiltenane Rural Journal. Much of Michael McDermott’s writing would certainly enrich and enhance the contents of both those annual publications. Hopefully some of this new and wonderful writing will appear in the next edition of both Journals.
The McDermott family has for many years been prominent with GAA, Camogie and Ladies football in Tipperary. Michael’s niece Angela (Angie) McDermott has won many All-Ireland titles with Tipperary in both Camogie and Ladies football. Their near relatives in Athea and West Limerick have every reason to feel proud of the McDermott family.
Dan Barrett of Upper Turraree, recently celebrated his 80th birthday with his family. Dan, who is one of the nicest people in that part of our locality, is always well dressed when he goes out with a spring in his step that makes him look like a young sixty rather than eighty year old.
Congratulations to Dan on this happy occasion and best wishes for the future.
In his column in “The Kerryman” of January 16th Weeshie Fogarty, great sports journalist that he is, paid a glowing tribute to the high standard of football in the recent North Kerry final between Duagh and Beale. Weeshie tells the story well of the magic of the two games since Christmas, first the drawn game and then the replay, and Duagh’s magnificent victory, their first since 1962 after being fifty years of disappointment in the North Kerry football wilderness. The scenes after the replay when the Duagh captain Kieran Quirke went up to receive the Eamon O’Donoghue Cup, his rousing acceptance speech which Weeshie describes as the best he ever heard after a Kerry District championship final the he ever had the privilege of attending. Weeshie states that it was heart warming stuff and how the huge crowd looking up at him in total admiration loved every minute of it.
Weeshie ponders the question as to what is the magic of the North Kerry championship, what is it that brought out thousands of supporters from far and wide for those two games of football deep in the heart of the winter. He maintains that a club’s position in the County League means nothing in a North Kerry championship clash. This was proved in the two unforgettable games this year between Beale and Duagh. Weeshie goes on to state in his unique style that for him however our own local heroes, people who can inspire us in our daily lives, are sports people, figures we can believe in and for him those footballers he has written about in this column should be recognised and acknowledged as the real heroes, not those so-called celebrities with whom we are bombarded without a murmur of protest in this day and age about the cult of those celebrity nobody’s whom thousands look up to and adore and who have graduated from one of those wretched reality shows. Long live the North Kerry Championship.
We wonder had Weeshie also in mind some of the celebrities that are being constantly portrayed in the colour magazines that come with the Irish Sunday newspapers. Many of us can find empathy to at least some extent on this particular subject with Weeshie’s views on the matter, while at the same time being aware of the fact that all the nobody’s of this world are somebody’s to some other somebody’s. In the meantime congratulations to our Duagh neighbours on their great win. Some of us who played for Duagh (our native parish) in less successful years are very happy about their latest achievement. Well done indeed.
The following are the Lottery results from Peadar’s Bar Ardagh, on Monday 21st January. The numbers drawn were 15,20,26,27, and there was no Jackpot winner. Congratulations to the lucky dip winners. €60 Eileen Flaherty c/o Curleys. €60 Mary O’Neill c/o D Greaney. €60 Paddy and Kay Daly Ardagh. €30 Kathleen Ryan Ardagh. €30 Kieran Madigan c/o Curleys. €30 Tom Shields c/o Curley’s. Next week’s draw will be held in Moore’s Bar Carrigkerry and the Jackpot will be €5,600.
Congratulations to Noreen O’Keeffe, and Bill Downes, who were prize winners at the Flag Floor card game held on Wednesday 16th January. Cards each Wednesday at 9pm. and all are welcome.
Johnny McCarthy and Darragh Treacy were members of the Limerick Football team that lost to Kerry by 3-17 to 1-11 in the Mc Grath Cup semi-final at Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney on Sunday 20thJanuary. Brendan Mc Carthy was introduced as a second half substitute. Brendan was also a member of the Limerick U-21 Footballers defeated by Mary Immaculate College, in a challenge game by 2-10 to 1-11. Congratulations to Paudie McCarthy who has been nominated for a West Limerick G.A.A. All Star Award for Junior A Hurling. He will be presented with his award at the All Stars Awards Night in the Devon Inn Templeglantine on Saturday 2nd March.
Shane Lynch and Raymond Noonan were part of the West Limerick Colleges team that lost to Colaiste Chriost RI by 0-7 to 0-3 in the Corn Ui Mhuiri Football quarter final played in Mallow on Wednesday 23rd January. Diarmuid Crowley was part of the management team.
The pupils of Coolcappa School will receive their First Holy Communion in Saint Kyran’s Church Coolcappa on Saturday,4th May. The pupils of Kilcolman School will receive their First Holy Communion in Saint Colman’s Church Kilcolman on Saturday 25th May.
The Sacrament of Confirmation, in the parish will be administered on Tuesday 23rd April.
Newcastle West Golf Club is celebrating their 75th Anniversary this year. The Club was formed on the 14th April 1938 at Egan’s Central Hotel in Newcastle West. They played the game on a 9 hole course on land rented for 77 pounds a year from Mick Mc Coy at Killeline, which was known as ‘’The Tillery.’’ It was a short distance from the town up the Cork road and the course contained about 40 acres of land. This land was purchased in 1943 with the club house plot for 1,100 pounds. The Club provided the people of the town and beyond with a sporting and social outlet over the years. A drawback was that it was wet and often unplayable in the Winter months. The Club was on the lookout for a suitable parcel of land for a while to overcome this difficulty and they were rewarded when the present site came on the market. A brief history of the site which was owned by the O’Brien family from nearby Cahermoyle up to 1922 app reads as follows. Rathgoonan was once part of the 2,775 acre Cahermoyle estate which belonged in the 18th century to the family of William Smith O’Brien, the patriot who led the Young Ireland rebellion in Ballingarry in Tipperary in 1848 and who was exiled to Tasmania as a result. Charles Murrough O’Brien built Rathgoonan house in 1873 with stone imported from Wales. This part of the estate which contained app 100 acres of land and the fine limestone house was bought by Tom Lynch from Croagh, for a reported fee of eight thousand pounds from the O’Brien family.
It changed hands again during the war years (1945) when Mrs. Betty Cripps (nee Goodbody) from Annacotty Limerick bought the estate for 3,600 pounds. Her husband Lieutenant Colonel Cripps was in the British Army at the time and in active duty with the Irish Hussars in North Africa. He was missing on duty for a period during the War and when it ended he came to live in Rathgoonan and to enjoy a peaceful lifestyle. He ran a dairy farm plus dry stock and a stud farm. He had a number of famous horses in his stables, which won many races for him. The most famous was Shot Silk who won the Queen Mary Race at Ascot in the sixties. Rose of Tralee a daughter of Shot Silk won many valuable races and prizes as well. Colonel Cripps died in the Cheshire Home in the late seventies aged 79 years, and his wife Betty a year previous. Martin O’Connor from Ballylongford in Kerry was the next owner of the estate in the early eighties. He bought Patie Connors farm next door (in Coolcappa parish) which contained a sandpit and about 44 acres of land. This was intended for a Council dump but the plans were shelved after local opposition and the dump eventually opened in Gortnadroma.
The Club purchased this land in Rathgoonan Ardagh in late 1991 for a reported fee of 323, 00 thousand pounds. It was an ideal site for the proposed 18 hole golf course and about six miles from the Town. Jim Hickey was the contractor and Arthur Spring designed and built the course. A Community Employment Scheme was secured and the workers played a big part in the ongoing development. The new parkland course with a par 70 was officially opened by Tánaiste Dick Spring on 31 July 1994. The Club has grown and gone from strength to strength in the intervening years, and the house was renovated and extended and the old stables turned into a bar and restaurant. The course is now considered one of the best parkland courses around the Mid West and it attracts lots of groups and society’s. A lot of local people have joined the Club since then, and have made their mark as players, and officers. The Function Room and Bar in the Clubhouse has also been an asset for the surrounding areas, offering clubs and individuals a comfortable venue for recreational purposes. The Newcastle West Golf Club is now part of the local landscape, and it also provides much needed employment. It is set in a quiet part of the countryside and only recently was presented with the Munster Hidden Gem Award. The Club is also offering good deals on membership with all combinations and pockets catered for. The club is seeking material at present for their upcoming book celebrating their 75 year history. Material of interest, articles, and photos, is to be handed into the office before Friday 15th February.
The West Limerick Indoor Bowls Club meets every Thursday night in Halla Tadhg Gaelach in Tournafulla at 7.30pm. A junior section for people over 14 years is also available. New members are welcome at any time, and visitors are welcome to view the game and enjoy the proceedings. The contact number is 069-81936
The feast of Saint Brigid will be celebrated at Saint Brigid’s Well Shanagarry, Newcastle West, on Friday 1st February at 8pm. The Rosary will be recited and prayers said by candlelight and all are welcome.
The annual Parish Clerk collection for sacristans, Tony and Joan will be taken up in Coolcappa and Kilcolman on the weekend of 2/3rd February. There is an envelope provided in the weekly offering box to facilitate this collection.
Parents wishing to enroll their children in Saint Molua’s National School for September 2013 are invited to contact the school principal for an enrolment application form. The closing date for application is Friday 22nd February. Please telephone 069-76353 for more details.
A fundraising table quiz in aid of Kilcolman National School will take place in Saint Colman’s Community Creche, on Friday 8th February at 8pm The entry fee is €20 per table of four people. A raffle will also be held on the night with lots of spot prizes. All are welcome and all support will be much appreciated.
A trad session will be held at Foley’s Bar Reen’s Ardagh, on Friday 8th February at 9pm. All musicians are welcome on the night.
A meeting to discuss the proposed Carrigkerry Playground was held in the Community Centre, on Thursday 17th January. A lot of items were discussed by the good attendance with finances one of the most important at the moment. The Committee needs to raise €3,000 quickly to set the project in motion. They would like to thank the local business people who have already responded to their request for funding. The next public meeting will be held on Thursday 31st January in Carrigkerry Community Centre at 8.30pm. All are welcome to attend and to get involved in the project.