The cast and crew of Athea Drama Group’s production of ‘Pretend Sick’ which continues again this Thursday night 22nd, Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th at Con Colbert Hall. Doors open at 7.30pm curtain up at 8pm. The play is getting great revues with a full house every night, so be there early in order to get a seat.

Community First Responders (CFRs)

The Community First Responders (Registered Charity Number 20164973) will hold their annual Church gate collection this weekend.   They respond to five life-threatening emergencies – Sudden un-responsiveness, stroke, heart attack, choking and cardiac arrest.  All the members are trained in CPR, defibrillator use and administration of Oxygen and Aspirin.

All funds raised are used to train new volunteers and maintain/purchase new equipment. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

Parachute Jump

Michael Ahern from Garrygloss is doing a parachute jump on March 24th in aid of the children’s ambulance “Bumbleance”. Sponsorship cards are in the shops and pubs. Your support would be appreciated.

The Kerry/Cork/Limerick Cancer Health Link Bus Variety Concert

Ann and Benny Thade McCarthy, Duagh would like to express a huge thank you to each and every one of you from North Kerry, West Limerick and North Cork for your kind and generous support to our fundraising Variety concert that was held in  Fr Casey’s Abbeyfeale on February 5th.  A grand total of €8,505 was raised and will go directly to the Kerry/Cork/Limerick Cancer Health Link Bus. A big thank you to all the singers and musicians and storytellers who gave up their time so generously for the occasion, to Mary and Pat for the Sound and the use of their band equipment,  to the Car Park Attendants, to Noel Murphy and Staff for their kindness and to Kevin Daly our Video Man and Paul Ward our Photographer for their professionalism. To all the Local papers, outlooks and advertisers  and local  radio stations that promoted the event so well for us and a big thank you to Josie, Ann and Kay for taking care of the door on the night and to Sean for his help with the raffle and to all those who helped sell the tickets for the event and the raffle, and to all the local business for their beautiful spot prizes and to all the other people who brought spot prizes and who send donations on the night.  To the local drama group for accommodating us with the beautiful stage, a huge thank you to the brilliant audience who thoroughly  enjoyed the night  so once again on behalf of Ann and Benny Thade and the Kerry Cancer Support Group a sincere thank you, your continuous support which was really appreciated and it was great to see a packed house and to see people who travelled such long distances to be with us  so thanks again, God bless you all.

A Three and A Half hour DVD of brilliant outstanding entertainment of our recent variety concert in Fr Casey’s, Abbeyfeale is now available by contacting Benny Thade McCarthy on 0879918546 they are 15 Euro with all Proceeds going directly to the Kerry/Cork/Limerick Cancer Health Link Bus where the Route is being extended from Kerry into Limerick facilitating all cancer patients undergoing treatment  and is hoped to be up and running by June 2018.

 The weather

By Domhnall de Barra

What would we have to talk about if it wasn’t for the weather… In this country we have a kind of obsession with the prevailing conditions, to such an extent that we sometimes are guilty of making silly comments to each other . Picture the scene; there is one person walking down the street, another passing by on the way up. The rain is belting down but that doesn’t  stop one of them saying “’tis very wet” to which the other will reply “God knows it is”. I’m sure God does know, as should anyone  who is out in the downpour getting soaked. We do it all the time and don’t even think twice about it and I suppose we will continue to do so. Dick Woulfe, one of the “attorney Woulfes” who lived at The Glen in Cratloe, would say to me when meeting on the road: “I suppose you know about the weather young Barry”. Maybe the fact that it is so unpredictable keeps it constantly on our minds . Well, maybe it is not so unpredictable as is illustrated by the following story.

There was a man  living in Clare in the late part of the last century who was said to be a great judge of the weather. His fame grew and word of his uncanny ability to make forecasts eventually reached Montrose where the powers that be in RTE decided that he would be worth interviewing. In due course an outside broadcast crew was assembled and they made their way down to what they thought was “the back of beyond” on the West Coast of Clare.  After a few enquiries they eventually arrived at the man’s door and knocked. When he came out the broadcaster told him who they were and said “I believe you are a good man to predict the weather.”  “I  have that reputation all right”, he said. “What method do you use “, he was asked so, he stopped and thought for a moment. Now, along with knowing  a good deal about the weather he was also a bit of a rogue and he wanted to have a bit of fun with the “Jackeens”. “I’ll tell you how I do it”, he said, “if you can see that hill over there, it is going to rain” and he went in and shut the door. The gang in the yard were left open mouthed and soon realised that they could not go back to Dublin with just that comment so they knocked on the door again.  When he came out the broadcaster said, “I know you said if you can see that hill clearly it is going to rain but, what happens if you can’t  see it”?  “Oh”, came the reply, “if you can’t see it, ‘tis raining”!

Today, we have very sophisticated methods of  predicting weather and experts are constantly analysing it and coming up with theories as to why there are changes that may affect us into the future. “Global warming” is the great topic and we are constantly being told that we are responsible for this through the amount of gases we release into the atmosphere. Every thing is to blame from sprays, burning of fossil fuels, car emissions etc., even cows, because they fart methane. Maybe they are right but down through the ages the climate has always changed. The world has warmed up and cooled down at various intervals. I was reminded of this the other day when Pat O’Connor brought me in an article that was published in an Abbeyfeale journal called “Macalla na Mainistreach” many years ago, about the big freeze and the famine that followed from 1739 to 1741. Before the freeze there had been  10 very good, mild years but in ’39 the temperature took a mighty dip, going down to what was described as “35 degrees of frost”.  Rivers and lakes were frozen solid, so much so that a game of hurling was played on the river Shannon. The frost killed all the fish and destroyed the potatoes and other crops. Potatoes were usually kept in pits in the fields. These pits were well insulated by thatch and earth to withstand normal frost but they were no defence against the extremely low temperatures that were so unusual at the time.  Food soon became scarce and many people and animals died. Ships of grain were sent from abroad but they could not land their cargoes because the waters around the  ports were frozen over. It is reckoned that between 300 and 400 thousand people lost their lives in the famine. Unlike the famine of the nineteenth century, very few people emigrated, possibly because they could not afford the  sea fare as times were tough and there was little money around. After three years the weather changed and the next 10 years were very good  and once more the barns were filled with corn and hay.

This is just one example of extreme climate  change and I am sure that similar extremes were experienced long before records were kept. Just to be on the safe side, I think we should play our part in looking after the world we live in. We may be able to slow down the changes that seem to be the cause of the violent storms, flooding and earthquakes that are becoming more and more common in recent years. In the meantime we will continue with our favourite topic of conversation, the weather,  and tell each other what we already are well aware of

“Fine soft day, thank God”