Archive for June, 2020

Knockanure Notes – 02/07/2020

by Jer Kannelly

MASS Sunday 28th June, at 11 O’Clock  will be the last Mass from the church side door, it is for Jack Shine, Glin Road and his twin brother Pat. Sunday Mass at 10am on youtube.

Sat 27th mass at 7.30pm for Parishioners; Sun 28th at 10.00am, This is our last week on YouTube, mass for Karen Harrison, The Wirral, Liverpool (Rec Dec).

GRAVEYARD MEETING:  In Ahavoher Cemetery at 8pm Monday 29th June.  All committee members to attend.

FIRST FRIDAYS:  No calls for July but hopefully August might see a return to making these calls.

WE ARE BACK – THANK GOD from Fr. Kevin.

For many of us the sea holds mystery, even fear.  Fortunately there are those for whom it holds no terror, only respect.  I like the story of the Pilot who came aboard to guide a large tanker into the harbour.  The Captain asked him worriedly if he was sure he knew where all the rocks were.  “No”, the Pilot replied, “but I know where there aren’t any”   If you know where to avoid in life, you will always stay in safe waters.  I am delighted to have lived to see the re-opening of our Churches for Masses and the Sacraments on June 29th.  I am equally delighted that over twenty-four parishioners have generously volunteered to help all of us to continue to stay safe and well as we continue to keep the C19 virus at bay.  In simple terms, and with the advice of health and safety officer Adam Farrell, the volunteers and myself have come up with the following guidelines:  Please familiarize yourself with the following – the most important thing is to have engagement with the stewards and maintain social distancing.  These will be reviewed weekly on how safely things are progressing.

DEATH of John Joe Kearney of Fr. Russell Road, Limerick, formerly Kilbaha, Moyvane on June 17, 2020. Husband of Kay, dad to Pat, Norma, Karen and Olive and grandad to Shane, Emma, Jack, Laura, Molly, Ava, Alison and Matilda. Sadly missed by his daughter-in-law Deirdre, sons-in-law Paul, Brian and Seán. Sympathy to his brother Patrick & family in Kilbaha, his brother Mossie & family, Manchester and his sister Bridie & family, Listowel.

DEATH has occurred of Bridget Buckley, New York and l/o Upper Direen, Athea. Survived by  brother Denis O’Connor & family, New York and also her sister Mary Kelly & family, New York.  Con Buckley l/o The Village, predeceased Bridget. Bridget was  a sister to the late Paudie O’Connor, Upper Direen.

DEATH of Gerard O’Connor, Springmount, Duagh, on Tuesday, June 23rd 2020. Gerard, son of the late Michael and Bridie is survived by his wife Margaret, his  children Sharon, Niamh, Gearóid, Darragh and Clodagh, brothers Kevin, Fr. Declan, Brendan and Brian, sisters Valerie and Carmel, sons-in-law Simon and Seán, Gearóid’s partner Jessica, Darragh’s partner Kelley, grandchildren Tadhg, Róisín, Donagh, Aoibhín, Fiadh and Éabha, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces.

ANNIVERSARIES: Jim Galvin, Seamus Vaughan, John Joe Barrett, Padraig Madden, Patrick Synan, Michael Murphy, Kathy O’Donovan, John Joe O’Donnell, Sr. Ida Woulfe, Jerry Carey, Eileen Holly, Julia O’Connor, Mick Finucane, Mary Kirby, John Kirby, Richard Kissane.

FIRST MASS IN THE CHURCH SINCE THE LOCKDOWN IN MARCH  WITH CONGRETAION AND THE DISTRIBUTION OF HOLY COMMUNION; Mon 29th  at 7.30pm for Marguerite Flynn, Knockanure, 40th Birthday celebration; Wed 1st at  7.30pm for  Seán Begley, Kantoher, Limerick (Anni); Fri 3rd at 7.30pm for Fr. James Kissane, Ahalahana (Anni) & deceased of the Kissane Family and Sat 4th at 7.30pm for Willie Pearse, Woodgrove (Months Mind) and Sun 5th at 11.00am for Elsie Murphy, Ballyphehane, Cork (Anni).


I was blessed and deeply touched with messages of good will, gifts, Mass Cards/Prayers, etc which I received on Sunday last and right through the past week for my 39th Anniversary of Priesthood.  Mary, Amanda at the Porch Masses and  Chairperson of our Pastoral Council Michelle on YouTube this weekend all shared beautiful messages – very many thanks.  From outside the Parish, I received touching messages, cards and gifts too.  My great friend of 47 years, Maura, came in front of the camera for our YouTube welcome last Sunday.  It’s a first for Maura to be in front of a camera.  All her years with Gay (RIP), on the Late Late Show she was the tremendous powerhouse behind the scenes.  I was Back in 1981 – honoured, delighted, surprised and deeply touched with her lovely contribution, when I had hair & razors!! (P.S. Bridgette (Conor’s Mum) and Maura are cousins!!)  So thanks to one and all and even the Novena attenders from other Parishes blessed me in so many ways on my 39th Anniversary.  You all made it special and it meant a lot to me.   Thank you.

MASS in Church; Please sanitize your hands on entering and leaving the Church.

Family seats clearly marked can accommodate up to 5/6. All other seats will have three people per seat with social distancing clearly marked. As you enter by the main door you will be greeted by a parish steward.  Please follow their instructions. Please come early to Mass to ensure that there is no confusion at the last minute. You must co-operate and go to the seat allotted to you.  Please don’t insist on going to your normal seat. If you feel safer with a mask, please wear one but they are not obligatory. No toilet facilities available. Inside and outside the Church will be sanitized before and after each Mass. Those with special needs can enter via the door with the ramp at the school side of the Church.  Anyone who feels anxious or nervous about coming into the Church can continue to get Mass on television, on live stream or on radio or if they wish they can stay in their car in the car park as we will continue to relay the Mass in the car park for the moment. The dispensation from attending Mass on Sundays and Holydays of obligation remains in place until further notice. People are encouraged to attend Mass on any day during the week.  Those who wish to stay in their cars and receive Holy Communion after Mass must enter and park in the first section of the car park for safety reasons.   Anyone who is attending Mass in the Church please park in the lower section of the car park or outside the Church. Fr. Kevin will be the only one for the first week at least giving out Holy Communion in the Church and at the porch door at the end of Mass for those in the car park.  Our friendly stewards will guide and direct you.  I am sure you will respond generously and support them.  If so it means we all stay safe.

RETIRING shortly Fr. Tom Looney ordained over 50 years ago, he served in London where 25 Kerry priests went to serve our exiles, Fr. Joe Nolan a priest with many local connection also worked in England. Fr. Looney later spent 6 years in Peru and continued the rest of his life serving in Kerry parishes. In the meantime he also battled with cancer twice.

BINGO in the Mart Yard in Castleisland on 29th June was an innovative answer to lockdown. Churches could take an example from them and use car parks also. It is being proposed to have an outdoor circus in Tralee.

FULL MOON on 5th July; We will miss the Con Curtin Festival in Brosna, it was their 20th Anniversary. The Ring of Kerry cycle, for the first time in 37 years, to be cancelled.

FITTEST CLUB: On Saturday June 27th Moyvane GAA took part in North Kerry’s Fittest GAA Club event. The initiative is raising funds for the Listowel Community Hospital, Kerry Parents and Friends Association and Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue. Please donate to these very worthy causes.

They put on their running gear and took to the highways and byways of the county to determine who is the fittest of them all. See also article by Mortimer Murphy on Moyvane’s Sean Walsh in week’s Kerry’s Eye.

REACH ACTIVE WORKS: Cable installation works will continue on the Knockanure-Moyvane Road from Monday 29th June until Friday 3rd July, all of these works will be complete under a single lane closure traffic management system. A full road closure will commence between Knockanure football pitch and Knockanure Church from Monday 6th until Friday 24th July. This will be a full 24-hour road closure with no through traffic allowed, diversion routes will be in place. Jerry Clancy – 086/6072159

KN WORKS: Minor works will take place on the Moyvane Road between Ahalahana Road and Aughrim Road junctions and on the L1010 in Tarbert from Monday 29th June to Friday 3rd July, these works will be complete under a traffic light or stop and go traffic management system.  Shane Sheehan – 087/9829576.

GAA: Athea GAA club are returning to training for as many teams as possible from the 29th of June.

FARMERS’ MARKET REOPENS at Abbeyfeale small square from 9-1pm every Friday.

TARBERT BRIDEWELL RE-OPENS –  The management and staff are glad to say that with the lifting of restrictions of COVID – 19 that they are now in a position to reopen as of this Monday 29th June.

LEAVING Cert Students at Tarbert Comprehensive School, award winners included; Rugby, Murtie Moriarty, Tarbert; Girls basketball, Olivia Twomey, Athea; Equestrian, Aobha Quinn, Moyvane; Art, Caoimhe Kennelly, Ballylongford; principal’s award, Rachel O Connor, Knockanure; girls soccer, Hollie Kelly, Ballyhahill; boys soccer, Cormac Healy, Glin; poetry aloud, Jack McMonagle, Ballylongford; mentoring, Rachel Martin, Tarbert; girls GAA, Claire Carmody, Athea; boys GAA, Paul O’Donnell, Ballyhahill; LCA student of the year, Holly Heffernan, Moyvane, sportsperson of the year, Claire Carmody, Athea and Shane Cregan, Ballyhahill; students of the year, Orlaith McSweeney, Loughill and Paul O’Donnell, Ballyhahill. Great credit is due to Conor Horgan, for compiling the youtube video of the school’s graduation event.

ACCORD; are  now  offering  over  the  phone  counselling  for couples,  Individuals  &  family  members  during  this  time  of unprecedented stress & pressure during these weeks of COVID-19.  Call: 01 5313331.

BOOK: The Wisdom of Laudato Si,  In his book Father Lane focuses on the neglected implications of Integral Ecology for faith, spirituality and theology. He says, “Ecology challenges theology to reimagine who we are, who the Spirit of God is, who Christ is, where creation is going, and what is the role of liturgy in society – all in the full glare of the ecological crisis.”

GLIN: Work is continuing on the Interpretative Centre at the back of Glin Library.

RACING: Limerick July 11th, Killarney 13th July and Listowel Sept. 21st.

DIRECTORY; Vatican issues new catechetical directory addressing, Bioethics, gender identity, and biological sex are new subjects covered in the Vatican’s latest Directory for Catechesis, released recently. The revised directory says that new scientific developments must remain respectful of the creative will of God and human dignity. The 300-page book, which provides universal norms for pastors and catechists in the work of evangelization, was written in continuity with the Church’s directories from 1971 and 1997…

BUTTERFIES, there are 34 species here, the painted Lady arrives here in May and returns in August. It begins its journey to here from North Africa, more information on butterflyireland site.

Kerry CCÉ – Kerry County Board of Comhaltas.

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The discovery of 200,000-year-old fossils in a cave in northern Israel shows that the first humans migrated to Israel during the Ice Age, or 100,000 years earlier than previously believed.

KNOCK: https://eucharistic

ROME: Pope emeritus Benedict XVI arrived back in Rome after a four-day trip to Germany to visit his  brother. The Diocese of Regensburg reported June 22 that 93-year-old Benedict XVI said goodbye to his 96-year-old brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who is in poor health.

NEW YORK; Under the newly widened restrictions, houses of worship may now admit up to a quarter of the people they are designed to hold — 250 for 770 Eastern Parkway, according to COLlive. (Gov. Andrew Cuomo accelerated the pace by which houses of worship could open amid pressure from religious New Yorkers, including Orthodox Jews, and left it up to each one to create its own mask and distancing rules.). Taken from (JTA).

E-TICK will be a great resource for volunteers, students as well as youth workers, teachers and trainers in the field of global citizenship education. Contact [email protected] for more information. www.

CHILDREN: Over 8 million children are living in orphanages and 80% have at least one living parent.

New York NY World 1894 a – 5317.pdf

20 Nov 1894 New York NY World

Kennelly’s Heirs Again; Fourteenth set of  Claimants  to  the  Old  Pomade makers million now appear. PROPERTY  ESCHEATED  TO THE  STATE

One  more  assault  Is to be made  on the $l.000.000  estate  of  the  eccentric   pomade   manufacturer.   William    Kennelly,   who   died  sixteen   years  ago and whose  property  was declared  escheated  to the State of  New  York.

Condensed; Old William Kennelly came to NY from St. Catherine’s Ontario in 1838 a lad of 16. Began as a messenger boy, later becoming manufacturer of essential oils and their products. He lived alone and died 1878 and gave money in his will to his brother Edward from whom he departed from in 1838 and left money for orphanage, where no religion would be taught. Wm and Edward were sons of John Kennelly Sergeant of the Life Guards in the English Army, he had a pretty wife called Hann Harbour, who ran away with her lover. The father John went back to England and William went off his own way and the other brother Edward, was never heard of again. Lawyer Murphy is now trying to prove his client has a right to the money.

New York NY Herald 1881 – 0010.pdf

Those who died  of old  age  were  Honorah Moore, native  of  Ireland,  aged  102 years;  Caroline  Levy, native   of    Germany,   aged   100  years;   Phoebe  Davis,  native     or    England,     aged     103    years;    Bridget    McKenna,    native    of     Ireland,     aged    101   years;   Anna    C.   Potier,    native    of    Calcutta,    aged    1U0    years;   Jane   Douglas,   native-  of   Ireland,   aged  100  years;   Mary   McGowin,   native   of  Ireland,  aged  100  years;   Michael   McDonough,”native  of Ireland,   aged   105 years;  Mary   Hayes,  native   of  Ireland,  aged  103  years;   Martha  P.  Elliott,   native   of   Virginia,  aged  101   years,  and  Ellen   Moriarty,   native  of   Ireland,   aged  111 years.


GRIFFIN.-In   Chicago.  MAURICE   GRIFFIN.   native   of   Knockanure.    County   Kerry,    Ireland beloved   nephew   of  Mrs  Otto   Moosbrugger.  936  N   Orlanna   st.  and cousin   of   Sylvester.    John.    Maurice,   Mary.   Nellie   and, Nora   Casey.    Relatives   and   friends   are Invited   to   attend   the   funeral,   on   Tuesday.   at   8.30  A M. from  936  N   Orlanna   st.     Requiem   mass at   St   Peters   Church   at 10  A  M.   Interment   at   Most   Holy   Redeemer   Cemetery.

Maurice Griffin Knockanure

Philadelphia PA Inquirer 1911 – 2256.pdf


Knockanure School opening 4 2 1967 p9

New York NY Irish American Advocate 1967 a – 0126.pdf

Con Dee death Advocate NY 1967- Jan 21

Chicago  News  BY  O’LOUGHLIN  One  of  Ireland’s daring,  fighting,  men  of  the  Irish  Republican  Army  whose  story  appeared for  six  weeks  in  a  row  in  the  Chicago  column of the  Advocate   a  year  ago,  has  died  suddenly  in Chicago. He is  Con Dee known to  many  around Chicago commanded  the  8th  Battalion  of  Kerry  Brigade  No.  1 in fighting  the  Black  & Tans, fit was believed  that he was the  only  remaining  survivor  of  the  May  12,  1921 Battle  of  the Valley  of  Knockanure.  He died Tuesday in St. Anne’s Hospital. In 1925 Con  Dee came to the U.S. and  worked  many years for  the Bd. of  Education in Chicago.  On retiring in  1962  he   established   the   River   Forest  Travel  Bureau,  7427  North  in  the  suburb. Survivors include his widow,  Mrs.  Margaret  Pierce Dee, three  daughters:  Ellen.  Louise and  three     daughters:     Ellen   Louise,   Honora Loretta  and Mrs.  Mary Rita  Flynn, a sister,  Rita  and two brothers,   William  and Michael.  Requiem Mass was  offered  on Saturday. Long,   long   ago,   beyond  the  misty  space Of twice a thousand years In   Erin  old   there  dwelt  a  mighty  race, Taller  than  Roman spears. Like   oaks   and towers   they  had  a  giant  grace  Were fleet  as deer. With wind and waves they made their “biding place.” These  western  shepherd  seers.

Forty-seven   years   has   almost   passed    since    men    like   Con Dee fought   for  the  freedom  of  Ireland.  Successive  Irish  governments  have  done  little,  if  anything,  at  home  and  at the United Nations. The apathy on the   part of  Ireland’s  ambassadors  to   foreign   nations  is   well  known.

HISTORY: At Kerry Writers Museum, we celebrate their work and invite you to gaze through the windows of wonder to discover a wider and greater world.

Personal Histories is an initiative by History Ireland, which aims to capture the individual histories of Irish people both in Ireland and around the world. It is hoped to build an extensive database reflecting Irish lives, giving them a chance to be heard, remembered and to add their voice to the historical record.

China removes over 250 church crosses in first 4 months of 2020: report

The years 1919 to 1922 saw the Irish War of Independence leading to the partition of Ireland. During this period some 500 members of the Royal Irish Constabulary lost their lives, mainly through acts of politically motivated violence. The Rank of T/Cadet here refers to the Temporary (Officer) Cadets

of the Auxiliary Division.


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By Carrig Side – 02/07/2020

by Tom Aherne

The following are the  Important points to note for return to Mass in our Ardagh/Carrigkerry  Churches.

  1. To ensure the safety of all who come to church especially those who are vulnerable and to comply with government guidelines and the Bishop’s Framework document we are obliged to:
  2. a)  Provide signs to promote Physical distancing (2metres) inside and outside the church, whether stationary or moving. We must also close off rows of seats and erect signs to indicate clearly where people may sit/stand/kneel. Physical distancing is also to be observed when people are moving e.g. going up to receive Holy Communion and exiting the church.
  3. b)  Provide sanitizers at the entrance to the church and encourage people to use them going in and coming out.
  4. c)   Clean out the Holy water fonts so that there is no water in them that might cause contamination.
  5. d)   Clean the church pews and other furnishings, which people may have touched, after each Mass.
  6. The Bishops of Ireland have dispensed Catholics from their Sunday obligation.
  7. To cater for the safety of all who come to our churches the capacity of each church will be greatly reduced. In Ardagh the Church it is down to 45 -50 and in Carrigkerry it will be down to 35- 40 – depending on how many families come together. So that we cannot accommodate all who might want to go to the one Sunday Mass.
  8. We would encourage people who can come on weekdays and leave the Sunday Masses free for those who can only come on Sundays.
  9. If you wish to come to Mass on a weekday instead of Sunday, we are providing an evening Mass in Carrigkerry on Thursdays and in Ardagh on Fridays at 7. 30pm. The Sunday Masses will be on Saturdays at 6.30pm in Carrigkerry and 11.00am on Sundays in Ardagh (until October).
  10. The basket will not be passed around for the collection. But a box/basket will be placed at the entrance for collections at all Masses in the week.
  11. The First public Mass after the lock-down will be celebrated in Ardagh Church at 9.30am on Monday 29th. Tuesday Mass will be at 10am in Carrigkerry and Wednesday Mass will be at 9.30am in Ardagh. Fr Michael.

As we open our Coolcappa/Kilcolman churches for the public celebration of Masses and Sacraments, we do so cognisant of HSE and Diocesan guidelines.  As the Sunday obligation has been temporarily dispensed with, a new Mass Schedule has been put in place for the coming months, beginning Tuesday  June 30.

St. Kyran’s, Coolcappa, Tuesday 9.30am,Thursday 7.30pm,Saturday 7.30pm. St. Colman’s, Kilcolman, Wednesday 9.30am,Friday 7.30pm,Sunday 10am. The time lapse between each mass is 36-48 hours which will allow the church to be ventilated, cleaned, and sanitized after each ceremony.  Because of the 2-metre social distancing rule, the capacity of our churches is greatly reduced Coolcappa 28, and Kilcolman 40.

On reaching full capacity, stewards may request people to listen the Mass on the loudspeaker system. Entry to the building is by the main door only and exit by the side door.  People are asked to use the hand sanitizers provided at the entrance and exit.   If they so wish they can drop their weekly envelopes in the box provided in each entrance.  These are difficult and challenging times and the welfare and safety of people is of paramount importance . Looking forward to meeting people in Church again Fr. Tim.

Mass will be celebrated in Kilcolman graveyard on Sunday July 5 at 10am, Mass will be celebrated in Kilbradern graveyard on Sunday July 12, at 12 noon.

Congratulations to Adam Teskey Reens Ardagh who was recently elected as chairman of the Adare/Rathkeale electorate district.

Congratulations and best wishes in the future to Mary Foley Knocknagun Carrigkerry who recently celebrated her birthday.

The Limerick GAA Club draw 2020 has commenced after the delay caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The second draw was held on Saturday last June 27 and announced  during the Live 95 Radio  Sports Show. The Saint Kieran’s club had one winner. Congratulations to Owen Hayes who won € 250. People interested in joining can contact the club on their face book page.

Best wishes to Jack O’Connor, son of Dympna , and Donie Kilcolman who is one of two Irish people shortlisted for the ten outstanding young persons of the world awarded by Junior Chamber International .He is a student in University Limerick at present having graduated from Desmond College in Newcastle West in 2017. Jack is also current United Nations Youth  Delegate  for Ireland. Although voting to help  secure his place  in the top ten has closed narrowing the 2020 top twenty  finalist s rests  with the final judging panel comprised  of representatives  of select partner  organisations and the JCI president.

The Greenway from Rathkeale to Ardagh is closed to the public, as they commence the upgrading of the trail to the Kerry border.

Saint Kieran’s club grounds have reopened since Wednesday June 24, and training has been  allowed since Monday June 29. The formats for the various competitions  have be revised due to the shorter playing season. In the County Senior Football Championship Saint Kieran’s will now play only two matches instead of five. They will meet Galbally and Monaleen in a group of three with the top two teams qualifying for the County quarter finals. The first round will be played on the weekend of August 16.

Old Mill Ladies Football Club are holding a sponsored walk on Sunday August 9. It will commence at Ardagh Hall and proceed along the Greenway if the Covid -19 restrictions allow. It is also planned to hold a coffee morning in September. Team training has also commenced, and new members are most welcome to join the club. Contact Moira Mc Enery at 086-8110634, for all the details.

Saint Kieran’s GAA club and ADRSC are planning a scrap metal and clothes collection on Tuesday September 29. People who may have items  that they would like to give before this date are asked to contact club officers in the coming weeks.  All donations will be greatly appreciated.

This week we continue to look back at the Ardagh/Carrigkerry parish notes in the Limerick Leader from Saturday June 23, as notes are scarce due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The wedding took place recently of Pat Murphy formerly from Carrigkerry and now based in the US, to Marie O’Sullivan Springmount, and Collins Park Abbeyfeale. We wish the happy couple all the best in the future.

Kilcolman Rovers AFC wish to thank all those who contributed  so generously  to their recent church gate collection held in Ardagh and Carrigkerry.

The annual Mass at the Mass Rock in Ballyine will take place  next Sunday June 24. The Mass which will be celebrated  in Irish begins at 3pm.

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News – 25/06/2020

by Domhnall de Barra

This week we have notes from Abbeyfeale (Marian Harnett), Knockanure (Jer Kennelly,  Knockdown (Peg Prendeville), Carrigkerry/Ardagh (Tom Aherne) with Kathleen’s Corner (Kathleen Mullane with items submitted by Damien Ahern and Noran Sexton and a short article by Johnny Quaid.

Next week sees another step on our road back to normality. It is very difficult to see how local pubs are going to be able to survive if they have to limit customers’ time, maintain social distancing and provide substantial meals. We will have to wait and see. The opening of Churches for Mass will be greatly welcomed by the general public but the restriction to 50 people is a joke. The smallest Church I know is in Gougán Barra and even there 50 people would be a very small crowd. I do not envy priests who will have to stop churchgoers at the door because the 50 places have been taken.  Having said that, i have seen the regulations blatently broken at some funerals recently where big crowds attended the church service and the burial so I suppose the 50 will become elastic and stretch a bit.

Th CE scheme are busy at the moment keeping the grass cut and the streets clean. It pays dividends because, no matter where I go, people are commenting on how well Athea is looking and what a great place it is for voluntary work. It makes me feel proud o be a part of it so well done to the Community Council, Tidy Twns and all the other organisations who work to make Athea a better place for us all. Keep up the good work

Hannah Scanlon, another exceptional woman from Athea celebrating her 98th birthday this weekend. Must be the good Athea air! Happy Birthday Hannah! (Thanks to Damien Ahern for the photo)


A wild and wicked race!

by Noran Sexton

It’s a long way from Lower Athea to Norway but for London-born Helen Mullane the possibility of competing at one of Europe’s most prestigious, yet gruelling, dog-sledding courses representing Ireland was something she could never have imagined. Helen, who is the daughter of Leo Mullane, originally from Lower Athea, and Caroline Dunne from Cavan, was first introduced to dog-sledding during a holiday to Tromso, Norway where she got the opportunity to try out the sport. Then, after a hectic period of work in the film industry she decided to take a few months out to learn how to train dogs in Norway and found herself with a new career. Over the past five years, Helen has lived in Norway, Alaska and Sweden where she has worked with some of the world’s top dog trainers, or ‘mushers’ as they are known as.

Helen signed up for the arduous race known to many but completed by few, where she would single-handedly drive a team of huskies across 650km of wild, snow-capped terrain with temperatures plummeting to -30C. After an intense training regime, race day arrived last February, and Helen, accompanied by her twelve huskies, set off from the start line of the Femundlopet course in Norway representing Ireland. To survive, she took short periods of rest huddled with her dogs to maximise body heat. Sleeping arrangements during the race involved Helen sleeping on her sled bag and the dogs sleeping out front with their coats and some straw. Four days later, and in very challenging conditions, she completed the race in 19th position. Helen now has her sights set on partaking at one of the world’s most famous courses in Alaska.

Helen was recently the subject of a documentary on RTE Radio One called the Long Run where she spoke about completing the challenging race. She has also been busy publishing a book called “Nicnevin and the Bloody Queen” which will hit shelves in Ireland this August.



Going forward – A though to bear in mind.

by Johnny Quaid

We are all aware of the situations that arose at the first stages of COVID19 in this country regarding the government’s stance. The packed pubs in temple bar in Dublin city, the beaches mobbed even though we knew a virus was in our communities, the Italy v Ireland rugby match due to be played that was eventually cancelled but flocks of Italian supporters were still let in to the country and of course the Cheltenham races debacle.

We have many reasons to be angry and bitter towards our leaders and you have a right to be, no more so than a family that lost a loved one due to the coronavirus. However, we must not let this anger and frustration move forward with us as we are coming to the end of the lockdown. The so called “new normal” will be difficult enough to manoeuvre besides having that extra baggage of bitter emotions going with it.

We can only hope that we as a country can learn from our mistakes, because we did make them, and be critical enough that we are well equipped, physically and mentally, to be able for any situation similar to this arising in the future.

We can be sucked into a certain way of thinking about our approach to the pandemic. Negative, angry, resentful. We might not even realise we are in the middle of it until it is too late and your head is spinning, lying awake at night looking at the ceiling, stressed to the max. We can go the other way. Thankful we were not affected directly by the virus, our family and loved ones are safe and if your job is safe, incredibly positive outcome.

If you are to question the government or the local councillor/TD and expressing your dissatisfaction about the entire process, is understandable and quite frankly should be done. Like any business or corporation, people should be held accountable for the areas we could have done better.

“Positive Anything Is Better Than Negative Nothing”. – Elbert Hubbard

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