By Peg Prendeville

Six months after the Knockdown Arms shutting its doors it was exciting to see it re-opening this week with food being served also. Ta is not one to sit around waiting so he decided to do what he was asked to do and serve food with the drinks. He has it all set out to comply with social distancing and has extractor fans to ensure air circulation for the health and safety of all who visit. We hope it will go well and that people will appreciate the effort he is making.

It is Back to School week. Having two daughters who are teaching and nine grandchildren going to school I am eager to hear how it will all work out. Hopefully it will be a success for all concerned. I am hearing of “pods” and “bubbles” and am intrigued and in awe of all the background work that has gone on to make things safe as is possible. Schools need to open for all children’s sake so we should all be careful with the hygiene, handwashing, masks and social distancing.

We have no races and no ploughing this September so it will be a quiet month in comparison to other years.

This time last year the cast of the Cailín Bán play was in full swing getting ready for the opening night in Glin Castle. I fear there will be no drama this year for the Abha Bhán group which is a pity. But the time will come. We must have patience.

I wrote this during the week

Summer 2020 in the library

The summer can be busy in all libraries I know

With little children coming in when all the schools are closed.

But, Summer 2020 changed all of the routine

With some branches closed to public and the staff behind a screen.

But Covid 19, that virus, was still not strong enough

To kill imagination; we’re made of stronger stuff.

So stories were recorded and shared through Facebook pages

And little ones kept happy without turning any pages.

Children were invited to write stories of their own

About an Unexpected Adventure with others or alone

They were offered lovely prizes to help them on the way

And they look forward to the final when they can shout hurrah.

Meanwhile in the libraries preparations were being made

To open up to public in a safe and happy way

Sanitizing stations were erected and marks put on the floor

To guide the readers safely in and out the door.

Peg in Glin enjoyed the challenge as she adapted to the change

Working in teams and travelling towards Newcastle or Adare

Getting to know her colleagues in various other places

Enjoying the camaraderie and getting to know new faces.

Helena and Mary in Newcastlewest kept everyone in line

Together with the two Mary’s and Catherine from Foynes

Donna, Peg and Sarah helped whenever they were asked

While Pat and Jim, the doormen, were excellent at their task.

Down in Adare it was the same with another Sarah at the wheel

With her staff Patricia and Mike from Abbeyfeale

With their masks and gloves and visors everyone was welcomed in

And readers were delighted to be in a library once again.

So when this year is over, whatever it will bring

We’ll all be changed forever but maybe that’s the thing

And the reason for this virus will be obvious to us all

That when we got this challenge we all answered to the call.