By Marian Harnett

VIRTUAL FLEADH BY THE FEALE: A major benefit of running our fleadh workshops virtually this year is being able to access tutors from all over the world. We are thrilled to have Billy tutoring with us this year all the way from Maryland, America! This is such a wonderful opportunity for any accordion players out there. We strongly advise that you register ASAP as spaces are filling up quickly.  See our Facebook page for registration details.

BATS IN SPRINGTIME:  Spring has arrived and our resident bats are coming out of hibernation and beginning to feed again along the hedges, ditches and woodland areas. Bats are mammals, just like us, not rodents. The female has just one pup per year and a bat lives to be 7 years on average. We have 4 species of bat regularly seen in Abbeyfeale and in the surrounding area. Abbeyfeale Town Park is an ideal place in which to see bats. Irish bats eat only insects and one bat can eat 3000 insects per night. Remember that a bat can only feed at night and only if the temperature is moderate (there are no insects on cold nights). Also nights that are very wet or windy are hungry nights for bats, so a bat needs to eat well on every available night. In 2020 one colony of bats numbering 76 was monitored in Abbeyfeale Town Park and they would consume 1,500000 midges per week. To help our bats along, Abbeyfeale Community Council, under the chairmanship of Maurice O’Connell, has secured a supply of bat boxes. These boxes are placed on trees and give shelter and resting places to bats. Many of these bat boxes will be erected in Abbeyfeale Town Park and we also have some for distribution in the local area. Remember that the presence of bats is a great indicator of a healthy environment. Bats will only live where there is access to clean water, a good variety of plants and no pesticides in use, so if you are sharing your environment with bats, you are living in a healthy place.  If you would like a bat box for the bats in your area please contact Maurice (086 163 1639) or James (087 2500 929) and we will be delighted to help.