PROLOGUE: "If you can’t beat them, join them. If you can’t join them, it’s probably because you just tried to beat them." Author Unknown

DEATH: We offer our sympathy to the family of Maureen Burke who was laid to rest in Abbeyfeale on Wednesday. May she rest in peace.

WEDDING BELLS: Congratulations to Miriam Joy, daughter of James & Bridget who married Pat Fitzgerald in Abbeyfeale on Saturday last. We wish them every happiness in their married life together.

JUBILEE CONGRATULATIONS: Sr. Catherine has recently returned to her home in Australia to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her acceptance into the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. We send her the best wishes of all the people here in Abbeyfeale whose lives she has touched since coming to live among the residents of St. Ita’s Sheltered Housing. Both Sr. Catherine and her compatriot Sr. Elizabeth along with our Mercy Sisters do invaluable work with the elderly and the vulnerable in our community which often goes unrecognised so can we take this opportunity to thank them all and wish them many more years of service – no retirees in the Religious life!

RECONCILIATION SERVICE: It will take place in Abbeyfeale on Monday, December 22 @ 7pm.

BIRTHDAY WISHES: Congratulations to Maureen Murphy, Killarney Road who recently celebrated her 70th birthday.

CHORAL SERVICE: Congratulations to everyone involved in the Joy of Christmas service in Abbeyfeale Church last Sunday. It was a wonderful celebration of music and song headlined by the Senior Church Choir with performances from the Youth Ministry Choir, Dr. O’Donnell’s Folk Choir, the Scoil Matháir De group and the boys from St. Mary’s along with Riona Curtin and Helen Hausenfuss and Fr. Enright who travelled all the way from Rome to sing. The sound engineer was James Kennedy and he recorded the entire night. An edited version will be broadcast on WL102fm on Christmas Day afternoon from 2-3pm.

COFFEE MORNING: Emma Sexton, a transition year student in Colaiste Ide agus Iosef Abbeyfeale is travelling to Calcutta in March with the Hope Foundation to work with some of the most disadvantaged children in the world, she needs your help to do this. She is holding a Coffee Morning in St Ita’s Hall, Abbeyfeale on Thursday, December 18 from 9am to 1pm. Your support would be really appreciated. There will also be a raffle for a hamper. If you cannot be there and would like to help then donations can be made at Colaiste Ide agus Iosef Abbeyfeale. No amount is too small.

KNOCKNASNA N.S: The Scoil Naomh Padraig annual Christmas concert will take place at the school in Knocknasna, Abbeyfeale on Friday, December 19 at 10:00am, all are welcome.

TEA DANCE IN FOYNES HOUSE: Big Maggie is running a tea dance on Sunday, December 21 with music by Natasha and Billy Joe from Kildare. Admission €10. Hot food served.

YOUTH CLUBS: Kate Murphy says” We would like to thank all our young people for participating in all events over the past year. Thanks too to our leaders who give of their time. We wish you a peace filled Christmas and a safe New Year.

SANTA IS COMING ON PRE CHRISTMAS VISIT TO ABBEYFEALE: The members of Abbeyfeale District Search and Rescue got a call to Head Quarters during the week from the North Pole !! Santa needs their help on Friday night next when he visits Abbeyfeale. He will be in his Chalet in the Square from 7pm, and he says he’s really looking forward to seeing all the boys and girls of the locality. He even said he’d give everyone a little pre- Christmas gift!! So come along and see the man himself on Friday night. I hope the members of ADSAR are on the "nice” list too !

CARD GAME IN CRYLE VIEW: The third night of the card game is changed to Saturday, December 20 at 9pm. The winners of last week’s game were Sean T. Enright and Timmy Dee. Proceeds to Fr. Tim Galvin.

CHRISTMAS PRAYER: Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment in which the son of God was born of the pure Vir

FEALE FIT: Fealefit would like to thanks all their friends, family and clients for another great year! Great memories of 2014 and looking forward to making new friends and memories in the New Year. Have a great Christmas, eat, drink and be merry and see you all for The New Year’s resolutions. Merry Christmas and a Happy New year from Shane & Kadie.

WELCOME TO BROTHERS OF CHARITY: We are delighted to hear that the Brothers of Charity are opening a workshop at Mountmahon before Christmas and the Abbeyfeale and Tournafulla people who attend their services at Laceys Cross, NCW will be moving much closer to home.

NEW BARBER: Welcome to Pat who has set up a new Barber Shop on Main Street. We wish him every success in his new venture.

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CANTATA IN PARISH CHURCH: A huge well done to the staff and pupils of Scoil Mháthair Dé on their brilliant performance of Christmas Cantata and their Nativity Play on Thursday last. They really helped to bring the spirit of Christmas to the parish and then the Choral Service in the Church on Sunday night put the finishing touches to a great week of preparing for the birth of Christ.

FARMERS’ MARKET: Next Friday will be the last Market for this year. Get your locally grown chemical free vegetables, farm fresh turkeys, free range hen and duck eggs, Christmas cakes and puddings, jams and chutneys smoked salmon and much more more. Buy local and keep money circulating in the area.

GOOD NEWS FROM THE COMMUNITY EDUCATION CENTRE: Following a meeting between a subcommittee of the new group formed to help save the Adult Ed. Centre and the staff at the centre it has been confirmed that a new programme of courses will be starting in the New Year – for more information ring (068) 31198. The problems highlighted at the public meeting of the cost of upkeep and maintenance of the building were discussed and will continue to be monitored.

BEE KEEPING COURSE: The course with tutor Seamus Quinlan of the Kingdom Beekeepers has finished for this year. It was held at the Adult Education Centre, Abbeyfeale every Tuesday from 7-9pm and will resume in the New Year. Further information 087 6866450.

ADVENT GIVING TREE: Take a leaf off the tree in the sanctuary and bring back a gift next week. These will be distributed to the elderly of the parish by the youth of the parish before Christmas.

MEN’S SHED: The Men’s Shed is open every Monday evening from 6-9pm. New members are always very welcome.

CHRISTMAS PRAYER: Hail and Blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in a stable in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At the same hour, vouchsafe O My God, to hear my prayer and grant my petition. Amen.

TIMOTHY O’NEILL LANE 1852 -1915: The Coiste Timothy O’Neill Lane Committee was set up recently to commemorate appropriately this outstanding man and his contribution to the Irish Language and to the Nation. A book written about O’Neill Lane by Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh was launched last week in Abbeyfeale Library and copies are available from members of the committee including Éamonn Ó Liatháin(chairman), John Joe O’Sullivan (secretary), Tadhg Ó Maolcatha(treasurer), Larry Begley, Séamas Ó Súilleabháin, Michael Lane(Templeglantine),Liam Ó Léanacháin, Séamus Lane and Lorcán Mac Curtáin.

MEENKILLY NOTES: Winners with 13 games: Maureen Fitzgerald, Kathleen Harnett. Jer Roche. Runners up with 12 games; John Lyons, Nora Lyons, Dan Brosnan. Sheila Breen, Billy Broderick, Paddy O Sullivan.Dick Fitzgerald, Gobnait Scanell, Sean O’ Connor.
Door prize; Fintan Quirke, Dan Brosnan. Table prizes; JJ Leinihan, Toddy O’ Connor, Maurice Collins. Tickets; Bridie Collins, Julia Murphy, Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Mossie Gleeson, Marion Roche, Dixie Quirke.

ICA NOTES: PRO Bridie O’Shea writes; After our Christmas break, the first guild meeting in 2015 will be on Tuesday, January 20, commencing at 7.30pm at the Community Education Centre, Mountmahon. New members will be welcome. We wish a Happy Christmas to one and all.

PPN MEETINGS: Limerick City and County Council has announced the establishment of a new network aimed at enhancing and expanding the role played by community groups in the formulation of local government policy and the future development of local communities across Limerick. The Public Participation Network (PPN) will be the new representative voice of the community and voluntary, social inclusion and environmental sectors in Limerick and will be the main link through which the local authority connects with groups.
Putting People First – An Action Programme for Effective Local Government (October 2012) sets out a vision for Local Government in Ireland: “Local government will be the main vehicle of governance and public service at local level -leading economic, social and community development, delivering efficient and good value services, and representing citizens and local communities effectively and accountably.” Section 46 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 enables local authorities to take all appropriate steps to consult with and promote effective participation of local communities in local government. Citizens and communities will be encouraged and supported to participate in the decision-making processes of the local authority. PPN’s will be established in each of Limerick’s four Municipal and Metropolitan Districts, namely Limerick Metropolitan, Adare-Rathkeale, Cappamore-Kilmallock and Newcastle West, which will feed into a City and Countywide PPN. PPN members will be able to nominate representatives to the Council’s primary decision making bodies, including the Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), the Joint Policing Committee (JPC), and the Council’s Strategic Policy Committees (SPC).
Online registration for the Public Participation Network opened on Thursday, November 13, 2014, and will continue until Wednesday, January 14, 2015. Registration can be completed online where more information is available.

CONNIE HARNETT MEMORIAL SWIM: The family of the late Connie Harnett have been in touch to say: “A fundraising swim will take place in Ballybunion on New Year’s Day at 1pm. All money collected will go to the Day Hospital at St. Ita’s Hospital, NCW including both the Physio and OT departments who gave support and help to Connie for many years. No words would be enough to thank them for all they have done for us and others. We hope the money raised will go some way to helping them. Anyone interested in swimming or sponsoring a swimmer can contact Mary @ 087 7919414or Kathleen @ 086 3151447.”

SUE RYDER: In Sue Ryder this week, we have an extensive array of winter clothing, including hats, scarves and children’s coats. We also have a limited selection of perfume and soap sets that make ideal stocking fillers for Christmas. We have raffle tickets for our Christmas draw. The 1st prize is one of our fantastic doll’s houses (worth over €140) and the 2nd is a child’s building tool set. A strip of tickets costs €2 or get 3 strips for €5. We are always delighted to receive donations of clothing, footwear, bags, working toys and bric a brac. We regret that we are unable to recycle old duvets, pillows, broken toys or electrical items. Also we desperately need paper or plastic bags so when you are doing your Christmas shopping please remember to save the bags for us. Thank you for your continued support.

GREAT SOUTHERN TRAIL: The GST will host a walk/cycle along the Greenway on Saturday, December 27 at 2.30pm commencing at the old Abbeyfeale Station. The round trip for walkers is to the Kerry Border and back (4 miles total) while cyclists will go to Tullig Wood, Templeglantine and back (10 miles total). Refreshments will be provided afterwards at the adjacent Railway Bar, Abbeyfeale. Tá fáilte romhaibh go léir!
Text or telephone 086 813 4061 for any enquiry.

WREN BOYS: King of the Wrenboys, Paddy Finnucane has issued an appeal for musicians, singers and dancers to join with St. Ita’s Wrenboys on their annual fundraising outing on St. Stephen’s Day. He can be contacted at McElligotts Furniture, Main St.

RAMBLING HOUSES: Ita McQuinn holds her monthly Rambling House on the 3rd. Monday of the month in Monagae Community Centre while Mick Sheehys Rambling House, Knockalougha is held on the 3rd. Tuesday of each month from 9pm.

MARIAN’S DANCING: There will be no further classes until after Christmas.

REILIG IDE NAOFA: There will be prayers and a ribbon and candle ceremony on Sunday, December 21 @3pm.

ABBEYFEALE PARISH CHURCH NOTES: Parish office 11-1pm Tuesday-Friday 068 31133. Parish Support Worker 068/31019. Counselling Appointment 061/314213.Church 068/51915, Canon John O’Shea P.P.: Tel: 068 – 31157 : 087 – 9708282, Fr Joe Foley CC: Tel: 087 – 2618412. Mass Tuesday – Saturday at 10am except in the event of a funeral when Mass is 11am. Mass Monday at 7pm, Mass on Saturday 11am followed by Confessions, Vigil Mass 7pm, Sunday 9.30am and 12 noon. Mass Intentions: Wednesday 8.15 Phil O’Kelly. 10am Maurice Cahill, Ballaugh and deceased family members of the Riordan & Cahill family Purt and Ballaugh

Thursday 8.15 am Bill Lane & Sr Mary Ignatius McCarthy, 10am George Barry, Friday 10am John Walsh. Saturday 11am John Murphy, Ballaugh & Grogeen. St. Anthony Novena takes place each Monday at the 7pm evening Mass. Adoration on Tuesday and Friday from 10am – 10pm and on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8pm. It is now the responsibility of family members and relatives, if they require a visit, to let the priest know when people are in hospital.

BINGO BUSSES: Eoin 087 2522402 leaves for Castleisland from outside Tuohig’s Supervalue at 7.40 pm every Tuesday and Dinjoe goes to Shanagolden.

BRIDGE: Abbeyfeale Bridge Club every Thursday at 7:30 pm at the Railway Bar. Visitors welcome. Anybody interested in Bridge Lessons contact 087 3344909.

BUS SERVICE: Cork Colleges Bus Service: Fitzpatricks of Listowel & Abbey Coaches. A bus will serve Abbeyfeale (5.20pm), Newcastlewest (5.40pm), Dromcollogher (6pm) each Sunday evening and will return on Fridays at 1.30pm and 6pm. €10 per seat, Call 087 3966399.

ADAPT: There is a support worker in Abbeyfeale each week to meet women one to one by appointment. The worker can listen to women and support them in keeping themselves and their children safe. Ring Sheila on 061 412354 for more information or to make an appointment.

ABUSE OF STIMUNANTS: For support around drug and alcohol use the HSE Drugs & Alcohol Helpline is available Monday to Friday, 9.30am and 5.30pm. This confidential service has both a freephone Helpline helpline).

WEST LIMERICK TOASTMASTERS: Toastmasters hold their meetings in the Desmond Complex on the first and third Wednesdays of the month from September to June from 8.30 – 10.30pm. Next meeting on Wednesday December 17. Further information from Bill on 087 9079223.

BEREAVEMENT SUPPPORT: The local group can be contacted at 068- 31230/51984 /31262.