by Pat Brosnan


Death of Kathy Moran


Kathy Moran of Toureendonnell, whose death occurred early last week in her mid-nineties, was a well known and highly regarded member of the local community and her passing was widely regretted not alone by her immediate family, extended family, relatives, neighbours as well as a wide circle of friends who will all miss meeting her and who so often enjoyed her cheerful and jolly company which was always a tonic to all who knew her. However Kathy’s earlier life was certainly not easy as her husband died at an early age several decades ago leaving seven young children which she then had to bring up on her own. How well she coped with this task can be seen in how successful her family were in their careers and the shaping of their own lives. But sadly as well two of Kathy’s sons Patrick and Sean both died at an early age in more recent times. But in spite of all her personal troubles and sad bereavements Kathy never lost her sense of humour and outgoing ways and she kept up her interests in attending football and hurling matches regularly and going out to social functions with her family, relatives and friends which were occasions she always enjoyed . She also visited and stayed on occasion with family members both in this country and in England and she also visited Australia and the United States. However she always loved to come back to her home in Toureendonnell where there was always a welcome for neighbours and friends who might call and the kettle was always on the boil to treat visitors to a cup of tea. Kathy was originally a native of Ballyguiltenane in Glin Parish before she married but spent the most of her life in Toureendonnell. Her son Tommy is the proprietor of The Red Cow Hotel a well-known Dublin landmark and he has also other hotel business interests both in this country and in England. Her other son Michael has worked in the bar trade for several years and he was a well-known and useful footballer in his earlier years and won a Limerick Senior County  Championship medal with Athea in 1968, and he also played football for the County. Kathy’s three daughters are living in different areas, Mary in England, Joan in Templemore and Helen in Adare. Kathy spent some time in hospital earlier this year but later returned home and was lovingly cared for by members of her family until the end.  A wake was held at her home on Tuesday and Wednesday nights of last week and the removal to St Bartholomew’s Church, Athea took place on Thursday morning. This was followed by Requiem Mass and the funeral afterwards to Knockanure cemetery. Huge numbers called to the Moran home to pay their respects and sympathise with the family and there was also a big congregation at the Mass and the funeral afterwards to Knockanure Cemetery was well attended. Sympathy is extended to her sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nephews, nieces and other relatives. ‘Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis’.


Irish Ship Hijacked

While it is now common knowledge that the Irish ship, the “Saoirse”, carrying food and medicine supplies to the beleaguered and isolated people of Gaza has been invaded and hi-jacked by the Israeli Navy and its crew detained in this unlawful action by the Israeli authorities. The Irish citizens who were on the ship included my son-in-law former Fianna Fáil Dáil Deputy Chris Andrews, as well as a number of other democratically elected public representatives from Irish Political Party’s. For a few days we had no account of them apart from the news bulletins we were hearing on radio and television until on Sunday morning Chris got a chance to make a three minute phone call home to Dublin.  The Israelis also hijacked a Canadian ship which was also bound for Gaza with humanitarian supplies, and its crew was also detained. Thank God on this occasion anyway the Israelis did not kill anyone, something which would not be very unusual for the forces of that country to do. Earlier this year when the “Saoirse” was berthed in a Turkish port there was damage done to the ship in what was suspected to be a deliberate and blatant act of sly sabotage which would prevent the ship from sailing or possibly sink it. These acts of terrorism by the Israeli Authorities appear to be commonplace and their forces apparently have a free hand to do exactly as they like without any regard of acting in a civilised manner or taking any responsibility before world opinion for their misdeeds. This is possibly because they feel that they have the Americans behind them when they carry out any acts of harassment. It is an extraordinary paradox that a people whose immediate ancestors suffered so much under the Nazis would continue to harass and intimidate the population of a small area such as Gaza which is only half the size of County Louth.  But then of course they bombed the area a few years ago and killed a thousand of its residents within a couple of weeks. They even bombed and damaged the United Nations building there of which an Irishman was in charge at the time. Nobody wants to condemn the Israelis or to wish them any harm, the Jews suffered enough under the Germans, but on the other hand it is difficult to be tolerant of their brutal and uncivilised actions towards the Palestine people and their interference with those who are trying to deliver humanitarian supplies to them such as the crew of the “Saoirse” ship were doing last week when they were intercepted and illegally taken into custody. What were the Israelis afraid of in a ship load of food and medicine whose only purpose was to alleviate the suffering of the stricken people of Gaza.  But then again in all fair play the Government and Security forces of Israel are so obsessed and paranoid that they are not really responsible for what they are doing.  But then the question must inevitably arise, what steps are the Government here taking to prevent the Israelis from carrying out such outrages against an Irish ship and Irish citizens? Has a protest been lodged at the Israeli embassy? Have they been warned that a repeat of last week’s incidents will not be tolerated? While we know that Tánaiste Eamonn Gilmore spoke on RTE about it at the weekend we all expect the Irish Authorities to take firm action on the matter. And what about our Limerick and Kerry Dáil Deputies that we elected last February, should not they too be in the forefront of the protests as well? We hope our citizens will be home before the weekend without any further needless complications and after that we shall have to await developments.


The Somerset Tragedy

The disastrous vehicle pileup which caused the multi-crash that claimed seven lives in the motorway near Taunton in South Somerset caught my attention as well as my sympathy for the victims.  Having lived and worked in a hospital in the other side of Somerset, further north, Taunton too became familiar enough to me as the head hospital of our group in the region was Sandhill Park Hospital in Bishops Lydeard a few miles outside Taunton where we spent many days bringing the patients to sports meetings, fetes and so forth from our own Farleigh Hospital in Flax Bourton.  Sandhill Park was a huge complex with a big number of patients and also staff of course. At a casual meeting with a man from Taunton a couple of years ago he informed me that Sandhill Park Hospital had closed down just like Farleigh Hospital where we were employed, both victims of the Thatcher’s austerity regime.  Some years ago on my last visit to Puck Fair we met a group from Taunton who were doing a lovely and lively English Folk Dance on the street there, very talented, colourful and also friendly people who did their dance wearing wooden-soled shoes.  According to a policeman speaking on the RTE News on Sunday evening the horrific crash was caused by thick smoke coming from fireworks presumably celebrating the Guy Fawkes bonfire night. It goes to show the danger of those uncontrolled fireworks which can be such a hazard to ordinary citizens going about their lawful business during this time of year both here and in England. A much stricter control on the sales of these devices is needed if accidents from these pranks are to be avoided, in fact they need to be banned completely.