1843-1970 West Cork Agricultural Societies and Shows





July 2022, Abbeydorney Parish

Good news for Irish Autism Association and Sightsavers. I am happy to let

parishioners know that, during the coming week, I will send the amount of

€1,300 to each of the organisations mentioned above. That is happening

because of the generosity of many people who responded to my invitation

in this newsletter, on the occasion of the celebration of my Golden Jubilee,

to help both organisations in the good work they do. I wish to thank those

who gave a personal donation to me, in addition to giving to the two

charities. (Fr. Denis O’Mahony)





Despite its English name, the peanut, or Arachis hypogaea, is not a nut in the botanical sense. Rather, it is a leguminous plant belonging to the family Fabaceae. The plant’s specific epithet hypogaea (“under the earth”) references how it adapted to produce bright yellow flowers above ground and fruit below ground. This form of reproduction, known as geocarpy, evolved to protect plant offspring from harsh conditions.




The peanut, a natural hybrid of two wild species, originated in Bolivia. Andean civilizations domesticated the plant through natural selection over millennia, spreading its cultivation to other regions of central South America.










Elderberries and elderflowers have long been used by Indigenous healers for treating fevers and swelling and to induce sweating. The berries, which feature prominently in some Indigenous folklore, are also often dried and stored for the winter for later consumption.




The recent entrance of elderberry into mainstream popularity and market success is marked not only by an increasing popular desire to engage with traditional, “natural” remedies but also the impact of scientific “confirmation” of elderberry’s advantageous bioactive components and potential for drug development.






Tribute from Asdee Notes in Kerryman May 2022






Death of Margie Rice (Walsh)




Another member of the old stock of the local community passed on to her eternal reward during the week with the unexpected death of Margaret Margie Rice, (nee Walsh) of Blanemore, Ballylongford and Dromtrasna Abbeyfeale Co. Limerick.




A member of a very well - known and highly respected family she had been in good health and passed away after a brief illness.




Known to everyone is Margie she was a very popular member of the local farming community and was a lady of kind and genial nature who was held in the highest regard by everyone who know her.




A native of Abbeyfeale she moved to Blanemore when she married her husband John and they ran the small family farm.




While she entered into a new environment when she moved to Ballylongford it was an easy transition as because of her gregarious nature she made new friends quickly and she knitted in snugly into this small rural community.




She loved all the old traditions in life and was very straight and upfront with people in her everyday life.




She was a great conversationalist and she loved to call to her neighbours on a regular basis for a chat and catch up on the local news.




A diligent worker on the family farm she was a jack of all trades regarding farming chores and was up bright and early every morning and turned in a greats day’s work seven days a week.




While she stepped back from the laborious side of farming in more recent year’s she could offer plenty of advice and support to her daughter Kathleen.




She reared a lot of chickens and hens and provided free range eggs for her neighbours and friends.




She had a great love for the land and the freedom of rural life and rural family suited her to perferction.




She had a big cross to bear in life when her husband John passed away suddenly at the age of 50 and she was left to look after her two daughters Kathleen and Patricia.




With the help of her family, friends and neighbours she got on with life as best she could and continued to run the family farm.




Widely admired for her caring qualities she looked after her father in law Mick Rice who lived into his 90’s




She was a great cook and anyone who called to the house was given the very best of hospitality and were given lashings of home cooked food.




She had a great zest for life and she was a prolific storyteller who had great tales to tell about her younger years.




She never had much interest on television and she would rather meet local people for a chat.




The Pandemic affected her hugely as she was unable to make her house visits due to the lockdown..




While she was very happy where she was living she made regular trips to her native parish back in Abbeyfeale to catch up with family members neighbours and friends.




Although she was advancing in years she still had a great interest in the farm and she shared her vast knowledge of farming methods with her daughter Kathleen who took over from her to keep the family tradition alive.




She really loved her 3 grand - children Sophie, Cillian and John and she passed on all of the tricks of her trade to them regarding how to rear chickens and hens and they have their own little oasis of a garden where the fowl roam around freely every day.




Her untimely passing came as a great shock to her family, friends and neighbours and her passing with create a void in the district that will be difficult to overcome.




However Margie has left a legacy of fond and cherished memories behind which will be around for many generations to come.




She lived a long and fulfilled lifetime and made a huge contribution to the community she lived in.




No one had a bad word to say about Margie because she was a great neighbour to everyone around Blanemore and surrounding area and if she needed any kind assistance she had people would only be to glad to help her out in any way they could.




She lived her life in a God fearing fashion who respected everyone she knew, practiced her faith religiously was kind and generous to everyone she met in her daily life and had a kind word with everyone she met along the path of life.




A woman with a big heart she was fair and honest with her dealings with people and showed warmth and kindness to those who were fortunate to have known her.




She lived by the old traditions in life who was and practiced them through her long life time.




The esteem in which Margie and he family are held locally was reflected in the very large and widely representative congregations that turned out on Thursday evening to sympathise with the family at Lynch’s Funeral home in Ballylongford.




A big crowd turned out on Friday morning at her family home from where her remains were taken to St. Theresa’s Church Ballydonoghue.




Neighbours and friends of the family formed a guard of honour as the cortege left the family home and people stood out in front of their houses in respect along the journey for her Requiem Mass.




The celebrant at her Requiem Mass was Fr Martin Hegarty and in his homily he described Margie as a wonderful woman who made an enormous contribution to the local community.




He said he looked forward to celebration stations at her house where he said she had a big welcome for everyone who attended.




He said she had a strong faith and had a great devotion to Our Lady visiting Fatima, Lourdes and Knock many times during her long lifetime.




Her rosary beads meant a lot to her and she recited the rosary at here every night.




He said she lived a life who was friendly with everyone and had kind words to say about everyone she met.




He said she done an excellent job running the farm when her husband John at a young age and neighbours were only glad to be able to lend her a hand whenever she needed it.




She is survived by her daughters Patricia and Kathleen and Patricia her sister Helen and Extended family












Priestly Intercession




On Good Friday, Jesus, the true High Priest, offers himself to the Father on the Cross for the salvation of sinners. Today, the Church’s liturgy uniquely emphasizes intercessory prayer, interceding as Christ did. Following Christ’s and the Church's example, spend time praying for others and their needs.




From Silence to Celebration




Today, there is silence in heaven, for the Son of God has been put to death. Reflecting the silence of the tomb, the Church’s only liturgy today is the Easter Vigil. In this vigil Mass, the silence is broken as the Church celebrates Christ’s glorious Resurrection!




He Is Risen Indeed




Christ is risen! Jesus, once entombed, has risen from the dead, conquering sin and death. With his Resurrection, the New Creation has been ushered in. Rejoice today, celebrating Jesus’ victory over death and the new life he is offering you.






The report was written by Emer Smyth and Helen Russell, both adjunct professors at Trinity College, and draws on the substantial data base compiled under the Growing Up in Ireland survey. The report is based on research among fathers of children of the 2008 cohort who were aged 9 in 2017.


Both the authors and Minister O’Gorman have emphasised the need for greater state and employer support for parents, and, in particular, for fathers, to enable them to take more time off work to be with their young children. O’Gorman referred, in this context, to the government’s decision to extend paid parental leave from 2 to 7 weeks from 2022.


Of the original 8,032 families initially interviewed, the focus group was narrowed down to families where both parents were part of the household. However, of that cohort just 5,997 had both a father and a mother who were part of the household at all stages of the interview process. Which means that just over 25% of the households surveyed were headed by just one parent for all or a part of the process (p11.)


That closely matches the findings of the 2016 Census which enumerated 218,817 one parent families – 24.4% of all family units. Over 86% of these were headed by a mother. And yet the report devotes almost none of its more than 100 pages to discussing this issue – despite it being one of the key areas of family studies in most western societies.


In particular, the absence of a father has been identified as a key factor in the likelihood that the children of a single parent household, particularly boys, will engage in harmful or even criminal behaviour. A comprehensive 2020 review of the literature on this area was conducted by a team of leading Dutch academics.








he Way I See It




By Domhnall de Barra




There’s an old joke that goes like this: “how do you know politicians are telling lies?   their lips are moving?”.  The sad part of that is the fact that it is not a joke at all but the truth. Politicians may start out with the best of intentions but they are soon dragged into the party system where survival is the name of the game and they have to toe the line. A politician’s loyalties are firstly, to themselves getting re-elected, secondly, to the party and lastly, to the country.  This makes them do and say things that are not strictly honest and they have no problem in telling us what they want us to hear, even if it has no relationship to the truth. Governments have been lying to their citizens from the dawn of civilization and sometimes they will tell you it is necessary for the greater good. Whatever about yesterday’s politicians, some of the present day ones have brought the profession to a new low. The mould was broken when Trump ran for office in America. The truth to him is whatever he deems it to be and anything contrary is fobbed off as “fake news”. He told potential voters what they wanted to hear and gave credence to white racists and other malcontents who ended up attacking the seat of government. He fabricated theories about election fraud despite court after court throwing out cases because there wasn’t one bit of evidence of vote rigging. Still, a great many people actually believe that the election was “stolen” and consider him to be the legitimate president. The whole purpose of American politics is for republicans to defeat democrats and vice versa. Many good laws, that would improve the lives of ordinary citizens, are not passed because one side or the other has a majority in one of the houses of legislation and would rather kill the bill than give a “victory” to the other side. The government also makes decisions on foreign policy that are not communicated to the general public, in fact they may be told something quite different.




The art of lying has always been used but has been brought to a new level by Boris Johnson. This was obvious during the lead-up to the Brexit referendum when, ably assisted by Dominic Cummings, when he told blatant lies about the amount of money it was costing to stay in Europe and how much it would mean to the NHS. They even put it on the side of a bus. The public swallowed it and the rest is history. He got away with it and has continued in his deceitful way ever since. At last he has told one too many and is hanging on to power by his fingertips. The dogs in the street know he was at a party at 10 Downing Street in contravention of the  Covid restrictions that he was forcing on the general public. Despite this, he continued to deny that there was a party, and when that was found out he said he did stumble into it but did not know it was a party. Now, this is his home and, if there is a party in your home, surely you have to know about it. His race is almost run and, if the Tory party has any bit of decency left, he will be thrown out sooner rather than later and good riddance.




We have not covered ourselves in glory on this side of the water either. Simon Coveney, in a jobs for the boys scenario (or should that be jobs for the girls?), appointed Catherine Zappone to a cushy position in Europe when she failed to hold her seat. When challenged about it he should have apologised immediately and admitted that he should have gone through the proper procedure but, instead he tried to justify it. Then there was a party in his department offices that he did not attend but, once again, it left a sour taste with those who had obeyed the rules. Had he come out and condemned it at once it might not have appeared so bad but he didn’t. Now, I like Simon Coveney and I think he is by far the best politician we have but he did himself no favours by taking us all for mugs.  People resigned and were forced out of their jobs for attending a golf dinner in Galway which, to my mind, didn’t break any of the rules because the dinner party was divided into two groups in different rooms where they were within the limits. There was a baying for blood after this so I presume the same fate will await the civil servants who attended the retirement party. Hang on though, Leo Varadkar said on radio the other day that the government had no power to put sanctions on civil servants so it will probably all finish up in a bottle of smoke. Since he made that statement, a law expert has contradicted him. While the minister has no power over the civil service, the government as a whole has but I doubt if that power will be exercised. The whole thing gives the impression that there is one law for us, the little people, and another for those who govern us. If you don’t believe me, ask a politician!




And what about the government’s latest plan to pay €100 off the electricity bill for every householder in the country?  Now, I don’t mind helping those who find themselves in financial difficulties at this time but to give it to everyone is just a waste of money we don’t have. I don’t need it, thank God, and there are many more like me out there not to mention the thousands of well paid civil servants, captains of industry, wealthy business people, millionaires and billionaires. I think this has more to do with government popularity and the threat of Sinn Féin than  a genuine attempt to help people. There is also the proposal to give €1,000 as a bonus to workers who were on the front line during the  height of the pandemic. A nice idea in theory but who qualifies? Already we have many groups putting up there hand  saying they were in danger and also deserve a bonus. Not enough thought went into this. Of course those who worked in wards full of Covid patients should be rewarded but wouldn’t it be much better if their pay and conditions were permanently improved. We already see an exodus of medical staff from this country because they are much better off working abroad. We need more professionals in the HSE and more capacity  in our hospitals. Only when that is achieved will we have a service that will be attractive to work in but one where there will be no more patients on trolleys in corridors waiting for admission to a ward. The pandemic may be coming to an end but the waiting lists are not.




What has happened to the news on RTE?  For almost a week before the announcement, the heading of every bulletin was about the possible easing of Covid restrictions and each option discussed in detail. Numerous pub, restaurant and night club owners were interviewed, day after day, letting us know what they wanted and expected to happen. By the time Micheál Martin made his announcement on Friday everybody knew exactly what he was going to say so where did RTE get its information? Was there a leak in NEPHET or was it a government ploy to tip off businesses so that they would be ready to open. I leave it to your own imagination. There was also the OTT reporting of the sad murder of Aisling Murphy. For the guts of a week, the RTE news crew broadcast from Tullamore again interviewing everyone and anyone who would answer a question. Their attention bordered on the ghoulish and intruded on the privacy of the family who were grieving. It continued with coverage of the funeral Mass and burial. To my mind funeral processions should never be filmed as they capture the immediate family when their emotions are at their most extreme  and not for public scrutiny. The cameras have now gone and the country’s attention has turned to other matters but Aisling’s family have to live with the horror of her brutal murder, something that will have changed their lives forever. May God give them the strength they need to get through this horrible time.




It was nice to be able to sit down with a group of musicians for a session at the Top of the Town last Saturday night. There was a kind of a carnival atmosphere about the place as people tasted freedom from restrictions for the first time in ages. It just goes to show how important it is for us to socialise. Our mental health will be all the better for it and we hope that it will continue. We dare to look forward to better days ahead and a return to normality. It has been a long, hard slog and many of us have suffered throughout the long periods of confinement. Some people will have lost loved ones during this time and it was especially heartbreaking not to be able to visit hospitals or attend funerals. With any luck that is all behind us but I urge you all to continue to take precautions such as wearing masks in indoor settings and avoiding close contact where possible. Anyway, I am looking forward to a few more sessions of music and, who knows, we may have the Fleadh here in June. Wouldn’t that be a nice boost for the area.








Tom Aherne notes Jan 2022


Damien O’Reilly, presenter of Countrywide on RTE Radio 1 on Saturday morning last, interviewed Ardagh native Jim Woulfe who recently retired as CEO of Dairygold. It was a very interesting piece of radio between the two who covered many past and present farming topics. Jim was recently honoured with the Cork Chamber ‘Outstanding Contribution to Business Award’ which recognises a lifelong career in the agri-food industry. Jim was also appointed onto the Board of Enterprise Ireland. Jim is involved in a lot of activities and projects and does some hobby farming at present. In retirement he will still be busy, but he  is looking forward to spending more family time with wife Ann and family and  pursuing his sporting interests.








The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich


By William L. Shirer


“One of the most important works of history of our time” (The New York Times): This National Book Award winner offers a chilling account of the rise of Nazi Germany. “Monumental” (Pulitzer Prize–winning author Theodore H. White).






The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner


By Franny Moyle


Though J. M. W. Turner ranks among Britain’s most celebrated painters, the details of his tumultuous private life are less well-known. This “monumental” work (Booklist starred review) reveals the man behind the remarkable artistic achievements. “A thorough, balanced, and wonderfully fluent account” (The Times).




Disease and History


By Frederick F. Cartwright and Michael Biddiss


How did the bubonic plague influence medieval civilization? How did syphilis affect the reign of King Henry VIII? And did hemophilia play a role in bringing down Russia’s tsars? This comprehensive look at the ways diseases have shaped history is “fascinating and highly recommended” (Library Journal).








Ireland Associates Reflection – The Sacrament of Letting Go


by Máire Nic Gráinne, Secretary Carrickmacross Associates






“The Sacrament of Letting Go” by Macrina Wiederkehr




 Slowly she celebrated the sacrament of




Letting Go.




First she surrendered her Green




Then the Orange, Yellow and Red




Finally she let go of her Brown.




Shedding her last leaf




She stood empty and silent, stripped bare




Leaning against the sky she began her vigil of trust.




Shedding her last leaf




She watched its journey to the ground.




She stood in silence,




Wearing the colour of emptiness




Her branches wondering:




How do you give shade, with so much gone?




And then, the sacrament of waiting began




The sunrise and sunset watched with




Tenderness, clothing her with silhouttes




They kept her hope alive.




They helped her understand that




Her vulnerability




Her dependence and need




Her emptiness




Her readiness to receive




Were giving her a new kind of beauty.




Every morning and every evening she stood in silence and celebrated




The sacrament of waiting.








The above poem really resonates with us here in the Carrickmacross Branch of the Associates, as we enter the season of Advent. Since the Covid-19 pandemic began to wreak havoc, we are acutely aware of all that has been lost. However, when we compare our losses to those who have watched loved ones die, in isolation, become impoverished, or have had their lives turned upside down, we have little to complain about. What do we miss here? We feel more fragile and, stripped of all certainties, we are more aware of how vulnerable we are. We have learned too, much about our dependence and need, and feel thankful for the guidance from the experts.








We are also in the middle of a climate crisis, with dire predictions of deluges and terrible fires. The English mystic, Julian of Norwich, lived during the plague known as the Black Death. The city suffered the devastating effects of the plague and Julian, from the seclusion of her cell, retained hope and optimism. She could still say, “All shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.”








Fear can paralyze us, and we must still ourselves and be in the present moment. St John of the Cross likened human suffering to the clouds crossing the moon. He noted that we tend to follow the clouds instead of keeping our eyes firmly fixed on the moon. Therefore, the desert periods of life can easily obscure our vision of God, given to us that we would live joyfully. Like the tree, we must wait in hopeful expectation that greener days are ahead.








New coal plant generating electricity in Japan


This plant alone will emit more than seven million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.


Japanese government decided to build 22 new coal-fired power stations, to run on cheap coal imported from Australia.




So why the coal? The answer is the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.




In 2010 about one third of Japan's electricity came from nuclear power, and there were plans to build a lot more. But then the 2011 disaster hit, and all Japan's nuclear power plants were shut down. Ten years later most remain closed - and there is a lot of resistance to restarting them.






Triclosan is used in thousands of different consumer products. Although the FDA banned triclosan in hand soaps and body washes in 2016, citing safety concerns and skepticism that triclosan worked any better than regular soap and water, it’s still very widely used in other products. Naturally, it finds its way into the human body—especially through everyday toothpaste use—with the research team pointing out that a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found traces of TCA in 75 percent of urine samples in American individuals. It’s among the top 10 biggest pollutants of U.S rivers.









According to the United Nations, 78% of Lebanese now live below the poverty line, as compared to less than 30% before the onset of the crisis in late 2019, widely blamed on decades of corruption among Lebanon’s ruling class.




Since that time, the Lebanese pound has lost some 90% of its value against the dollar, leaving many people unable to afford basic necessities. Between October 2019 and September 2021, food prices increased by 1,870%, according to figures from Lebanon’s Central Administration of Statistics.