By Pat Brosnan

Gary McMahon Singing Weekend

The Gary McMahon Singing Weekend will take place in Abbeyfeale on 17th to 19th October where hundreds of people are expected to gather for the three day event of singing songs and stories and last weekend there was no shortage of singers to launch the event at The Ramble Inn, Abbeyfeale. Among the entertainers were the 2014 All Ireland Champions Michael O’Sé and Catherine Broderick Murphy, Joe O’Connor, leading Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann reachtaire from Co. Clare and Philip Enright, a founding member of the West Limerick Singing Club also entertained in the Ramble Inn bar where Philip (proprietor) runs many “Irish Nights”. Joe O’Connor explained “it is a fitting memorial to a man who was not just a great singer and maker of great songs but a man who realized the importance of being a careful custodian of all we hold sacred in our culture. Gary McMahon was an inspirational man, his legacy to the West Limerick Singing Club will be remembered. Owen McMahon, brother of the late Gary, also recalled his father, Brian’s, work on ballads going back over sixty years ago. He displayed a poster advertising a lecture by his father in Tralee in 1950 which declared “the ballad is back”.

The singing weekend kicks off with the official opening on Friday 17th October by Seamus Brogan, well-known Wexford singer and lilter, to be followed by a singing session in Leens Hotel and the Ramble Inn. There will be free singing workshops on Saturday morning catering for all age groups, to be followed by further singing sessions in the afternoon and evening. The mid-day Mass on Sunday will feature the music written by Gary McMahon for Aifreann na Riocht and will be performed by the Abbeyfeale Choir. There will be a tribute to the late Jimmy O’Brien on Sunday afternoon before the last session of the weekend.

Limerick to Celebrate International Credit Union Day

On October 16th, Credit Unions in Limerick will join 57,000 Credit Unions from around the world with 208 million members to celebrate International Credit Union Day, an annual event which celebrates the role that financial cooperatives play in improving the communities they serve and the lives of their members the world over. Despite the economic difficulties of the past number of years, the Credit Union movement in Ireland is still one of the most popular in the world with over 3.3 million members across the 32 counties – the highest member penetration rate per GPA. Membership of the country’s Credit Unions has increased by 70,000 in the past 12 months, a reflection of continued loyalty to the not for profit community lenders. The Irish Credit Union movement is looking to the future and is undergoing change in order to meet member’s growing needs, like introducing new electronic payment services, online access to accounts, new travel and car insurances through and a raft of other services like bill pay and foreign exchange. While providing much needed local access to financial services, the Credit Union also has an ethos of supporting local initiatives and investing in the communities in which they operate. Because of their members, Credit Unions are able to play a vital role in the development and financial stability of the communities they serve by providing fair loans and high quality services to their members.

Recent Deaths

Sincere sympathy is extended to the Leach family, Cratloe East, Abbeyfeale on the recent death of their father Michael (Mick) Leach. He was pre-deceased by his wife Kit.

Also to the Shanahan family, the Collins family and other relatives on the sad news of Paudie Shanahan’s death (of Dirreen, Athea)

May they both rest in peace.

Flue Vaccine

The HSE is urging people in at-risk groups this week to get vaccinated against influenza and warned that flu causes severe illness in Ireland every year. The flu vaccine is a lifesaver because flu can be a very serious and sometimes deadly disease. The HSE provides the flu and pneumococcal vaccine free of charge to all those in the at-risk groups. The vaccine and consultation are free to those with a medical card or GP visit card. Those without a medical card or GP visit care will be charged a consultation fee.