Raymond Enright, Bill Mulvihill & TJ. Mulvihill who climbed to the top of Carrantouhill on Sunday

Raymond Enright, Bill Mulvihill & TJ. Mulvihill who climbed to the top of Carrantouhill on Sunday last

Limerick Diocesan Synod 2016 Your Church, Your Voice We need to hear from you so have your say

The Limerick Diocesan Synod will take place in 2016 and will be the largest meeting ever held in the Limerick Diocese, bringing delegates together from every aspect of life throughout the diocese. It will be an opportunity to look towards the future of the Church in Limerick

It is important that everyone has the opportunity to shape this future and influence what the Church will look like in Limerick in the years ahead. We need to hear from you so have your say. In next week’s issue we will have a questionnaire which you can answer by logging on to www.synod2016.com.

Knockdown Vintage Club along with Estuary Macra 

Are holding a Vintage Car/Tractor, a Modern Tractor Run and a Raffle on Sunday,  29th March.

These events are taking place at The Knockdown Arms. Lines are on sale now at €2 each for the following prizes

1st Prize: €100 Voucher for any of the O’Donoghue Hotels, Killarney. 2nd Prize:5 Bags of Coal. 3rd. Prize: 10 Bags of Turf. 4th Prize: Hamper. 5th Prize:  Meal Voucher for Shannon House, Foynes, 6th Prize: Voucher for Serenity Beauty Salon, plus various other Prizes. Proceeds from the day will be donated to St. Vincent de Paul.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. The feast of our patron saint is an opportunity for us to honour the man who brought Christianity to our country but I am afraid that has got lost along the way. It is now more of an occasion to take the family to see parades in various towns around the country, for politicians to jet off to all corners of the globe and  unfortunately an excuse for drinking binges. No other day of the year  is celebrated like this with “Plastic Paddy” images everywhere, huge green leprechaun hats in abundance. The majority of the revellers wouldn’t know a thing about St. Patrick if asked. As a matter of fact we know very little about him as it is. Scholars can’t agree whether he came from France or Wales and recordings of his activities are sketchy. He did however come to Ireland and converted the great majority of the population. Whether he banished the snakes from the country as we are told is debatable. He certainly missed a few of the two-legged variety who have thrived and flourished since.

All that aside it is a great day to be Irish and to celebrate our Irishness in the full view of the world. No other country’s feast day is featured worldwide, but of course we have travelled the world as a nation and settled in all corners of the globe. For many years we were known as the “drunken, fighting Irish” and in fairness it was a fair reflection of what some of us got up to. Thankfully those days are long gone and we now are esteemed worldwide for our business, sporting and  artistic successes. It is amazing that a country with a population less than many cities in Britain can perform so well and compete at such a high level. Our country is also one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From Donegal to Cork, Antrim to Kerry there is a richness of geographical beauty that is second to none. If only good summers were guaranteed, but then we would be swamped with visitors and things would change. We have a lot to be thankful for and St. Patrick’s Day is a good day to show off our wares and enjoy the celebrations whether at the parades, at the club finals in Croke Park or at a session in the local pub.

Going back to my youth, which I tend to do more and more as time goes on, I remember looking forward to the coming of St. Patrick’s Day, not for any religious reasons but to break the fast we were on since the beginning of Lent. In those days Lent was a very strict time of fast and abstinence. One main meal a day was all that was allowed with two other very small meals at morning and evening. The size of these small meals was governed by weight. I forget how many ounces were allowed but it wasn’t much. I remember seeing the older people weighing their bit of bread and wouldn’t go a crumb over the limit. When we were younger we would give up something we liked for Lent. Sweets were the favourite but it could be going to the pictures, jam on bread or sugar in the tea. The men usually gave up drink. This was loosely interpreted by some who gave up the “drink” (porter) but would drink port or sherry!. Anyway we looked forward to St. Patrick’s Day to go back on the things we gave up and really enjoy them. I am grateful for the practice for a selfish reason. On one occasion I gave up sugar for Lent and Easter being early that year, St. Patrick’s Day was a few weeks in. I hated the taste of tea without the sugar and looked forward eagerly to the morning when I put two heaped teaspoons into my mug. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t stand the sweet taste. I threw it away and haven’t had sugar since.  Thank you St. Patrick !