On Thursday evening last, our oldest parishioner, Mairéad Chawke (nee Speiran), passed to her eternal reward. She was in her 99th year and left this earth between the feast days of St. Patrick & St.Joseph. Wife of the late Ned. Deeply regretted by her daughter Mary, sons Richard & Jimmy, grandchildren Emma, Éamon, Niamh, Gillian, Richard & Alan, great-grandson Charlie, daughters-in-law Mary & Kay, nephews, nieces, relatives & large circle of friends. Her requiem Mass was celebrated in St Joseph’s Church, Granagh, on Saturday 20th, with burial afterwards in the local cemetery. Again, with Covid restrictions in place, the many people who would have wished to attend, but could not do so, were able to view the Mass on YouTube. Fr. Tom was assisted by Fr. Tim O'Leary and afterwards Canon Willie Fitzmaurice recited prayers at the grave. Granddaughter, Emma McMahon, sang all of Mairéad's favourite hymns, beautifully accompanied by organist, Roisín Sexton. Indeed, Mairéad would have sung these very hymns when she was a member of the Choir. Family members did the readings and prayers and Jimmy's eulogy was a lovely tribute to Mairéad. Before I came to the parish at all, I got to know Mairéad through Macra Na Feirme. The local Club began to enter the Light Entertainment & Drama competitions from '73 onwards and Mairéad was one of our fantastic supporters, travelling all around the country after us ! During this time, she would also have been running the shop at the cross, so she was able to keep the parish updated with our activities. In '83 it happened that Mairéad was onstage for a county final with the ICA guild while her daughter Mary was competing in an all-Ireland debating final - both groups came home winners that night.
She was also a long time supporter of the GAA and was in Dublin when Limerick won the 1940 double All-Ireland, in which her future husband Ned, had played. She was a member of the ICA & participated both on and off stage in all of their activities. She could sing, dance, recite poetry and was a natural comedian. For any parish activities, fundraisers, concerts, sports days etc or events run by the Pioneers, Apostolic, Legion of Mary, Young at Heart - the one person you could depend on to be there, was Mairéad. When Granagh Players began in '08 and up to recently, you could expect to see Mairéad in the audience, nearly every night of the six night run. Was it 2010 that Fr. Dan held a night in the Hall and surprised us with a table quiz, on the parish - the school, church, history, dates etc. Many of us were stumped with the questions & there was no ' phone a friend' either.! The outright winners on the night were Mairéad's team as she had a fantastic memory for dates and events. Mairéad loved her car and continued driving until she was ninety four. Richard usually accompanied her on her travels and you could meet them anywhere. !
As recently as January '19 Mairéad attended a tribute night for the Granagh ICA guild, in the Hall. I suppose you could say her last official event was attending the celebration of the Community Centre's 50yr anniversary in December that year. Covid arrived in '20 so unfortunately that put an end to local activities, social contact, house visiting etc. Fr. O'Leary finished prayers by thanking God for the blessings that were bestowed on Mairéad during her life, which she shared freely with family and community. Her love of people, her concern for the needy & elderly, her dedication to the parish, her example, energy & courage, her caring for priests, which was second to none and her extraordinary deep faith. Ní bheidh a leithead ann arís.
I will finish with the communion reflection, reminding us of the joy that awaits our loved ones. " Perhaps if we could see the splendour of the land to which our loved ones are called - we would understand. Perhaps if we could hear the welcome they receive from old familiar voices - we would not grieve. Perhaps if we could know the reason why they went - we would smile, wipe away the tears & wait, content. '' Go dtuga Dia solas sioraí, dí i measc na Naomh.
PALM SUNDAY: Sun 28th Mar: No palms will be supplied this year, so everyone can get their own. Fr. Tom will virtually bless your palm as you tune in to online Mass on Sunday.
TLC 6: Friday April 2nd: Let's look after our own patch over Easter ! Unfortunately the roadsides are littered with rubbish. I fail to understand how people see no wrong, throwing rubbish out the window, are they just lazy, uneducated or what?! However, we need to keep Granagh Green, so if we all do a little, it will make a big difference.!
Team Limerick Clean-Up is an initiative sponsored by the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and we must send good wishes to the great JP, on his recent 70th birthday. Be sure to get the children involved too - " Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I Learn.''
Liskennett Equine Therapy centre held a fantastic fund-raising St. Patrick's day parade, it is available to see on YouTube or on the 'granaghcommunity' Facebook page. They put such a lot of work into it, with fabulous music supplied by Liam O'Connor & family and video links with special guests. You can donate on the page, to directly help Liskennett with their animal care and feedstuffs.
Also, to help support their services they are running an on-line Raffle for a beautiful handcrafted free standing Bird Feeder and Flower Pot Display, which was donated to help raise funds.
To be in with a chance to have this fab piece in your garden, buy a ticket before the 6th of April, they are only €5.
See - www.idonate.ie/raffle/stjosephsraffle2021. Proceeds from the raffle will go straight to St. Joseph's Foundation.
Our sympathies to John and the Kiely family on the death of Rona, who passed peacefully at her residence on March 21st . Sadly missed by her loving husband John, children Steven, Amy, Sharon, Daniel, Sarah and Jack, grandchildren Clodagh, Ella and Aaron, mother Kate, brother Jason, relatives, kind neighbours and many friends. Funeral service will take place for family only on Wednesday, March 24th 2021, at Shannon crematorium at 12 pm. Service can be viewed online, see www. rip.ie for details.
CHILDREN's GRIEF CENTRE:
Sr. Helen Culhane, never one to sit still, is spearheading a new project - the ' Dream Build ' funding campaign.
Since their centre was founded in 2009 they have supported more than 1,500 children and the demand for their services continues to grow, to the point where they now have a waiting list of over 300. They are a listening service for children from 4-18years and it is the only centre of its kind in Ireland. With the increase in demand, they had plans to build a new centre but in February just gone, they were gifted the Ladies Residence on the John Henry Newman campus of Mary Immaculate College, on O'Connell St. It was built as a home for widowed women in the 1800s, built from local stone and has some beautiful architectural features.
The building is the right size, but it needs re-roofing, new windows, new heating, electrics, toilets and stairs as part of adaptations to bring it up to current standards. It requires a substantial investment of 3.5 million euro and they’re looking for donors to help fund this unique and important project. If anyone knows anyone with money..... Every donation will be more than welcome - www.childrensgriefcentre.ie
NAT TREE WEEK:
21st Mar - 27th Mar: National Tree Week is the designated week for tree protection awareness in Ireland.
Organised by the Tree Council of Ireland and Coillte, the theme of this year's event is 'Healthy Trees Healthy Planet'.
You are encouraged to plant, look after and encourage knowledge around trees!
Did you know... The Irish forestry sector currently supports 12,000 jobs in Ireland?
Coillte, will donate 30,000 native tree saplings such as oak, birch and rowan. There are twenty two native tree species in Ireland, Lough Gur have them all.!
Why are Protecting Trees Important ? They are often described as the lungs of the earth due to their essential role in producing oxygen during photosynthesis.
World Down Syndrome Day - 21st Mar. Text DSL to 50300 to give €2.
Daffodil Day - Friday 27th Mar.
Limk Mental Health Assoc - Text LMHA to 50300 to give €4.
65 Roses Day - Monday 6th Apr.
DID YOU KNOW:
The space between your eyebrows is called a Glabella.
The plastic bit at the end of your laces is called an Aglet.
The rumbling of the stomach is called a Wamble.
Finding it difficult to get out of bed is called Dysania.!
Illegible writing is called Griffonage.
The sick feeling after eating/drinking too much is called Crapulence.