Another Week

by Domhnall de Barra

We have a bit more to publish this week with contributions from Tom Aherne, Peg Prendeville, Kathleen Mullane, Johnnuy Quaid and a lovely poem by Roisín Walsh. It comes as no great surprise that Roisín has a way with words being the granddaughter of the late Pat Brosnan, the famous poet and songwriter  who contributed to this newsletter for many years.

I am self isolating at the moment due to the fact that I am over 70. I miss being able to go to the shops and call into the office but most of all I miss my daily walks. One of those walks takes me up the Cnoceens and over by the windmills to Keale. I hardly ever meet a soul there and it is probably one of the most healthy places to be. There is a special air in the bog that is invigorating and the smell of the heather is a real tonic. I would be better off up there than stuck in my room but it won’t last forever.

There is a silver lining to every cloud. Families are beginning to sit down to eat together again. It is a great time for discussion and working out problems now that life is not so busy. Relationships need nourishing and breaking bread together has always been a good way of communicating. It reminds me of a time, long ago when I was a boy, when there was one meal  that was the highlight of the week; the Sunday dinner. Of course there was a dinner on weekdays as well but this was always bacon and cabbage or turnips which were grown in the garden. The bacon hung from the ceiling and was well cured. Families did not get a chance to eat together. If some of the children were going to school they did not get home until after three while the rest of the household ate in the middle of the day. Sunday was the exception. Although it was not a working day, most people rose early in the morning to go to Mass after which a bit of shopping was done. Fresh meat was purchased at the butcher’s and a loaf of bread from the local bakery and soon as they came home the dinner was put on.  The aroma of beef or mutton being roasted or boiled filled us with anticipation. It was like Christmas Day and the dinner would not be complete without a slice of “sweet cake”, usually  madeira or sponge, washed down with a mug of tea. It was a great feeling, all being around the one table talking about one thing or another and I am glad that families can once again have that experience. The following is the Chorus of a song entitled “The Old Sunday Dinner”

The table was set with the best we could boast of,

The bread was as light as the first fall of snow;

We had plenty for twenty, and we made the most of

That old Sunday dinner a long time ago.

The following poem was drawn to my attention by Helen Stapleton and thanks to the composer, Roisín Walsh, for sending me the complete version


Reclaim Our World Once More

A halt has come there’s time to ponder

My mind can’t help but deeply wander

And memories grow so much fonder

Of the life we knew before

This plague cast across our earth

And executed so much hurt

New ways of living we had to birth

To reclaim our world once more.


The things that once were trivial

Now seem much more convivial

We yearn times when it was liberal

To bring friends inside our door

But since the people have unlinked

And we have time to overthink

Our sanity now on the brink

We pray for earth to be restored.


Requested of us as a nation

To participate in isolation

So that we can fight in correlation

Until we win this war

Although it’s hard not seeing friends

We practice what they recommend

If we’re to flourish in the end

Our distance must ensure.


Businesses lock down their gates

Country leaders in hot debate

Many a livelihood at stake

Finances no more secure

Anxiety now commonplace

Infection happening at high pace

Challenging times we all must face

Until we find a cure.


People working the frontline

In times to come I hope you find

Peace of mind, people kind

And happiness at your door

After darkness there comes light

When we overcome this plight

In simple pleasures we’ll delight

And live our lives once more.


But for now we must abide

With regulations they provide

Need to take it in our stride

As our communal chore

Now we stay in quarantine

But soon again we’ll live the dream

In a world where countries lean

A little closer than before.


Church Services Online

Siobhán Barrett sent me the following and it might be useful to people who are deprived of attending Church ceremonies at the moment.

As our local church is currently closed the following are some church services that may be of interest to parishioners and are available through the webcam option on Parish Information & News | Limerick Diocese | Abbeyfeale Parish

(If you just Google Abbeyfeale Parish it will lead you to the site)

Weekday Masses:

Monday 7pm

Tuesday to Friday 10am

Stations of the Cross :

Daily at 3pm

Weekend Mass:

Saturday 6.30pm

Sunday 10am & 12pm

Please note change of time this Sunday morning and again for Easter Sunday morning – this is to facilitate West Limerick 102 broadcasting the mass on Radio .

Further information will be available later this week regarding Easter Ceremonies via webcam so check in on social media .

Please share with neighbours , family & friends.

Contact details for Ide Naofa Pastoral Area Priests

Canon Tony Mullins. 087-2600414

Fr Denis Mullane. 087-2621911

Fr Shoji Varghese 087-4431922

Fr Brendan Duggan is cocooning at Rockwell College Co Tipperary currently, but would like to let the people of Athea know that he is thinking of us all and includes us in his daily prayers and masses. Please feel free to give him a call as he would love the chat . 087-0562674


How will history judge our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar decades from now?

by Johnny Quaid

When trying to answer this we have to look at how other world leaders are dealing with the virusIndia has (as of 29.03.20) over 900 confirmed cases with 20 deaths. A population of over 1.3 Billionpeople were given less than 4 hours notice of a 3 week lockdown, this left million without food and supplies. The United States of America has more confirmed cases than Italy and China which is a frightening statistic. Donald Trump has questioned the seriousness of the Coronavirus and maintains all retrictions are to be lifted across the country by Easter Sunday, April 12th. This is a worrying time for healthcareworkers and the American public but Trump is defiant. He has ordered General Motors, one of the world largest car manufacturers with billions of dollars in revenue, to produce life saving ventilators for America’s overwhelmed healthcare system. If Trump can flatten the curve by getting these medical supplies produced and injection 2 Trillion dollars into the economy, it will probably see him re-elected.

Now we look at our own leader. Varadkar, a former doctor, has moved quickly. He see’s the carnage in Italy and our nearest neighbours in the UK. He has put restrictions in place, of course frustrating, are vital and he did so in incremental steps. The government gave us the opportunity to comply with social distancing and advised us not to congregate in parks and beaches, but unfortunately not everybody listened and frankly cared. The next and most recent step needed to happen for our safety 1. Comply 2. No option BUT to comply.

Listening to people of a certain generation talk about how the government is reacting is soothing in these anxious times. I have heard extremely positive views and how proud they of how Leo Varadkar, Simon Harris and Dr Tony Holohan project stern but calm in the middle of this crisis.


Abbeyfeale Notes

by Marian Harnett

PROLOGUE:  Oh Holy Spirit:  Please help me and guide me

DEATH:  Sincere sympathy is offered to the family of the late Mairead Lenihan, Clash Cottage, Abbeyfeale on her recent death.  May she rest in peace.

WHY WE NEED TO KEEP WASHING OUR HANDS:  Following on from the Harnett Reunion last year one of our new contacts sent us an article written by a journalist who had to have a bone marrow transplant which resulted in her immune system being compromised:   “After my transplant, I washed my hands constantly, and I washed them thoroughly. I washed the palms, the backs, my wrists, each finger individually (concentrating on the finger tips), and then I scrubbed my fingernails in my palms. The whole “wash your hands for 20 seconds” thing made me laugh when I first heard it. If you truly wash your hands thoroughly, with the goal of removing any trace of pathogen you may have touched, it always takes at least 20 seconds, if not more.  I washed my hands like this after every time I used the bathroom, before I ate, after touching anything in a public place, immediately after returning home from being out anywhere, after working out, after driving my car, after working on my computer, after feeding my pets, after cleaning my house.  If I wanted to scratch my nose, or I needed to put in my contact lenses, I washed my hands first, before ever touching my face.If my hands didn’t physically feel freshly washed, I washed them.  If I couldn’t remember the last time I washed them, I washed them.  I only used hand sanitizer when I didn’t have access to hot water and soap.If this sounds extreme, consider how much simpler and easier this is than being sick. Washing your hands constantly is just a matter of habit. You have to make yourself do it for a while, and you have to really focus on remembering, but once you do that long enough, you create a habit that will protect you for the rest of your life. In a globalized world ripe for pandemics, this is a necessary 21st century practice.   If you find yourself wondering whether you’re washing your hands enough, then you aren’t.”

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT:  The most important thing you need to do today is write out your Eircode and place it by your phone.  If, God forbid, you have to call the emergency services this is all the information they require to arrive to your hall door.  Task who are the alarm installers that Abbeyfeale Community Alert work with have advised that everyone who has a panic button presses that button to make sure that it is in working order.  Don’t entertain callers offering

to do jobs around the house.  If you need shopping or messages, contact the local committee who have been set up by Abbeyfeale Community Council on 068 31169/068 32080/ 087 7571144 any day between 9-5pm.  The Gardai are also available to help vulnerable people and will call to people, collect shopping or medicines so if you want help ring them.  Do also  ring Abbeyfeale Gardai on 068 30010 (Three hundred ten) if you have concerns over callers/ travelling salesmen, if the phone is unattended the call will be answered in NCW and the local squad car will be notified.  When you reach the age of 65 and live alone or with a person/s aged over 65 you are entitled to receive a monitored alarm system. But if you have younger people living in the house who are out for long periods of the day then,  because you are spending hours alone you are also entitled to the system provided that you are over 65.  The free equipment is provided by Pobal following an application from Abbeyfeale Community Alert, there will be a monitoring fee to be paid from the second year of installation to the installing company of €72.  Please note that this fee has increased by €6 and is payable in a lump sum each year after year one.  Should you not have a landline the installing company Task provide a sim card at a rate of €7.50 per month payable from day one.  Then, in year two you will also receive a bill for the monitoring fee so in year one the bill will be €90 and in year two and every other year after it will €162 approx.  Committee members are Michael O’Kelly N.T., Seamus Stack, Mossie Gleeson, Kathleen Collins, Mary McArthur, John O’Sullivan, Billy Quirke N.T., Cllr. Francis Foley, Catherine Daly, Marian Harnett.

 HELPLINES:  Men suffering domestic abuse, operates 36 hours a week on 1800816588.  Limerick Social Services:  061-314111.    AA    061/311222 Al-Anon 086/8143425. Parent Support worker 068/31019.  Accord NCW 069/61000.   Samaritans Freephone 116123 or text 087/2609090 or email [email protected] Aware (Depression & Anxiety) 1980 303 302 National Suicide Helpline (Pieta House) 1800 247 247 Irish Advocacy Network (Peer advocacy in mental health) 01 872 8684 Pieta House (Suicide & self-harm) 01 623 5606 IACP (Counselling & Psychotherapy) 01 230 3536 Shine: (Supporting people affected by mental ill health) 01 860 1620 061 – 412111 or Free phone 1850609090 A.A. 061-311222.  Al-Anon 086-8143425 Bereavement Support: 068 / 31203    068/ 31262    068/51984    St Vincent De Paul    Tel 087/1213560 .  Counselling Appointment    061/314213.  ALONE; has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary.  The support line is open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024. Hours may be extended to meet the demand.  SPRING FORWARD:   Clocks go forward on Sunday, March 29.  This year’s spring equinox fell on the earliest date in 124 years. The first day of spring occurred on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those in the Northern Hemisphere, which is marked by the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox.

CHURCH SERVICES:  Mass is being celebrated every day in the Church of the Assumption and broadcast on and Monday to Friday,  the Stations of the Cross are also being broadcast at 3pm.  RTÉ will air Mass every weekday at 10.30am from St. Eunan’s and St. Columba’s Cathedral,  on RTÉ News Now. The church is now locked due to the new regulations announced last Friday. West Limerick 102fm will broadcast Mass on Sunday morning from Abbeyfeale at 10am.   Radio Kerry will also broadcast Mass on Sunday morning during the Horizons religious programme at 9am (Mass will be at 9.30am). On Sunday mornings RTE 1 broadcast  either Mass or Christian worship prayer at 11am . If you have Sky or one of the other TV packages, check out EWTN Catholic religious station for broadcast Masses and prayers. On the RTE Saorview channels, if you keep moving up through the tv channels you get to the radio channels coming through the TV, and on them there is Saroview channel 210 that broadcasts Radio Maria Ireland – a lovely station of Mass, Rosary, prayers and conversations on religious topics.