By Marian Harnett

Prologue: “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.”

Phyllis Diller

DEATH: Sincere sympathy to John Lane, Bridge St. and his sister Tess, Ennis on the death of their mother Chris, nee O’Donnell, The Hill.  May she rest in peace.  We offer our sympathies to Marian Quirke and Teresa Sheahan on the death of their aunt, Nora Gould Kilmorna.

NOONAN’S LIGHTS GO FUND ME PAGE:  A reminder that the page is still active and further donations will be much appreciated.

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 www.learningandskills.ie, click on ‘our courses, and select the location as ‘Abbeyfeale’

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 comms.ireland@actionaid.org by Friday, January 15.

THE STORY OF ST. ITA:  The feast day of St. Ita is on Friday January 15. We will miss our annual night out in Rahenagh this year but please God we’ll be back,  Jer Keneally, the local historian from Knockanure sent me the following: ‘Legend has it that Ita was led to Killeedy by three heavenly lights. The first was at the top of the Galtee mountains, the second on the Mullaghareirk mountains and the third at Cluain Creadhail. Her sister Fiona also went to Killeedy with her and became a member of the community.

Also known as the Brigid of Munster, biographers often compare St. Ita to St. Brigid, but the differences are more striking than the resemblances between these two foremost women saints of the Catholic church. Brigid’s life was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid’s convents, she founded a convent in a district where there was none, at the foot of Sliabh Luachra. The place became known as Killeedy and it was here that she remained until she died.

A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the stories that surround her life. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Bishop Saint Erc gave to Ita in fosterage when he was a year old. St. Ita kept him until he was six. (Taken from St. Ita, foster-mother to the saints of Ireland, by Bridget Haggerty.)’

http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ASaints/Ita.html

ABBEYFEALE FARMERS MARKET:  Jon Nolan returns to the Square on Friday morning next at 8.30am.