By Peg Prendeville

The people of Knockdown are sad to hear that Tom Barrett has passed away in London and extend sympathies to all the Barrett and Sheahan families.

Ballyhahill/Loughill ICA guild members wish to express sympathy to fellow member Geraldine Cahillane on the recent death of her mother.

On Sunday last the Knockdown Vintage group and friends paid a visit to the “Old Irish Ways” Folk and Heritage Museum near Bruff. Denis O’Connor has been collecting thousands of antique, historical and novel items over the years and has incorporated them into this museum in what used to be a shed at the back of his dwelling house. Situated not too far from Lough Gur it had the effect of transporting the group back in time; some items dated back to pre-famine times. There is a cobbler room, a schoolroom, an old kitchen, a bar, a country shop and much more. A very welcome cup of tea and coffee is offered to each visitor as they begin their journey through this place of treasure. Try and visit it if you can. It will be worth it. Look up

Just a reminder from the Ballyhahill Parish Hall committee “that plans are in place for what promises to be a lovely community event at the “Food & Craft Fair – Sun 26th Nov @ 1pm. We had a great response from people wanting to showcase their wares, lots of local produce & handmade items.We appreciate all the time & hard work undertaken to get many of these items to us on Sun 26th Nov. We invite you to come & see for yourself! Doors open @ 1pm.Light refreshments will be served- a great way to kick off the “Festive Season” and an opportunity to pickup lovely local crafts & gifts. We look forward to meeting old friends & acquaintances as well as welcoming new people to our community.”

Facebook can be a curse or a blessing depending on how it is used. It turned out to be a lovely surprise for me last week when I met a Facebook friend from Chicago in the Knockdown Arms. Patricia Land, Illinois, whose mother came from Ballyhahill Co. Limerick and who is a cousin of Fr Mikey O’Connor became my friend after writing an article for the Loughill/Ballyhahill Newsletter in 2012 so when she told me she was visiting Clounleharde I was delighted to meet her in person. Her article was a true story of a murder of a woman, from Ballyhahill, in Chicago many years ago. She told me that “My interest in this event all came about when my cousin, Fr. Michael O’Connor, was visiting us in Chicago in May of 2011. This was the first time he had come back after the death of my mother the year before. My mother, Ann Dalton Skerrett, was from Ballyhahill and had immigrated to Chicago in 1929. For the final three years of her life she lived at Holy Family Villa, an assisted living center. There she made many friends, including Fr. John O’Brien, also a resident. Fr. O’Brien loved to reminisce and tell stories of his days as a young priest in Chicago. He told my mother the story of the Walsh sisters. Although she did not recall the crime, she did remember them as girls from her school days in Ballyhahill. When Fr. O’Brien met Fr. Mike and learned he was from Ballyhahill he told the story of the Walsh sisters. It was a story Mike had never heard before and felt that it should be shared.” The story, as I said, is included the 2012 Newsletter. I may reprint it here sometime but in the meantime I remind all readers that all local journals are stocked in Glin library. These journals contain an amount of local history and are invaluable. It was great meeting Pat, whose mother was Paddy Dalton’s sister, and her husband Larry.