By Marian Harnett

PROLOGUE:  A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every challenge.  Winston Churchill.

DEATHS:   We offer our sympathy to the family of Siobhán Tobin, Main Street whose funeral took place on Friday. May she rest in peace. We offer our sympathy to the family of Patrick Cahill, Dromtrasna Collins who has just died. May he rest in peace.

SPEECH WRITING: Action Talks is the newly launched Action Aid National Speech Writing Competition.  The competition is open to all students aged 14 to 17. The first prize is a €500 One4All voucher for the winning student and a €500 One4All voucher for their teacher.  To enter, write a five-minute or 600-word speech. Entries are to be sent by email from the student’s teacher to [email protected] by Friday, January 15.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP:  We were delighted to have Fr. Dan Lane who is officially retired helping Fr. Tony our PP over the Christmas.  He blotted his copy book with the gospel on the Feast of the Holy Family when he announced that wives should obey their husbands but was forgiven when he continued by saying that husbands should honour their wives!  His homily on the same day reminded us we should praise people when they are alive to hear it instead of waiting until they are dead and included the following: If with pleasure you are viewing/ Some good work that I am doing,/ And you like me, or you love  me/  tell me now./ Don’t withhold your approbation/ Till ‘Father’ makes oration/ And I lie with snowy lilies o’er my brow./ For then, no matter how you shout it,/ I won’t hear too much about it / I won’t see How many teardrops you have shed./ So; If you think some praise is due me,/ ‘Now’ is the time to slip it to me, /For I cannot read my tombstone,/ When I’m dead. /If I’m worthy of some appreciation, now bestow it./ If you love me let me know it./ Let the words of encouragement NOW be said./ Do not wait till life is over and I’m underneath the clover./ For I cannot read my tombstone,/ When I’m gone..  (Letters of appreciation can be sent to the Editor, Weekly Observer, Mallow. Co. Cork.!)

NEW COURSES AT THE OLD TECH:  The following free classes are starting up in January: Beginners Woodturning, Beginners Art, Craft class (Papermaking, paper crafts, felting and more!), Knitting for beginners, Experimenting with art (drawing, painting making etc), Basic cooking, Cookery for blokes, baking (Breads, pastry’s & Desserts),  Healthy eating made easy, taste of Italy cookery class, Easy entertaining/summer cookery class, Machine sewing, Furniture Upholstery, Grow your own vegetables class, Beginners Sign Language, Childcare Level 5 & 6, Healthcare Level 5, Beginners Computers, intermediate computers. If you wish to register for any of the above free classes, please call Mary in the office: 06831198 or log onto, click on ‘our courses, and select the location as ‘Abbeyfeale’.

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:  Have you made any New Year’s resolutions? If not, there’s still time, and Pope Francis has some ideas for you. These are the ten things that he called upon Vatican employees to do: 1. “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”2. “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.” 3. “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.” 4. “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.” 5. “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.” 6. “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.” 7. “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.” 8. “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for point-ing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.” 9. “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”10. “Making sure your Christmas is about Jesus and not about shopping.

HELPLINES:  Text 50808 to receive support from a volunteer.  Hospice Bereavement Line 1800807077 Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm. Jigsaw support line is now up and running on freefone 1800 JIGSAW (544 729). It will provide free mental health support and advice to young people aged 12 to 25 years old, and parents or concerned adults who live in the Republic of Ireland.  A helpline for Men suffering domestic abuse operates 36 hours a week on 1800816588.

Men’s Aid (Amen) 01 5543811 Monday – Friday 9-5pm.   24 hour helplines for women suffering domestic abuse 1800 341900 or Adapt 1800 200504.

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 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.

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.   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.