PROLOGUE: "I’d rather look forward and dream, than look backward and regret."
James Van Praagh.

FAREWELL CANON JOHN: It was like Christmas Eve in Abbeyfeale last Friday evening when the parish came together in an overflowing church at the Thanksgiving Mass for Fr. John’s service to the community since his arrival here 14 years ago. The church was shining under the loving care of Kathleen Coffey and the altar society. The voices of the men and women in the senior choir soared as they sang words of praise and thanksgiving under the direction of Dee Dennison with musical accompaniment by Riona Curtin. Chief Celebrant Canon Neville, our retired parish priest, assisted by curate Fr. Joe Foley, was joined on the altar by Canon John and a group of priests from all over the Diocese. Canon Neville spoke eloquently about the man who took his place 14 years ago, the work he has done since he came, especially with the youth, the work that he completed on the Blessed Sacrament chapel recently, how inclusive he was and how he was able to make every person from the oldest to the youngest feel welcomed in church. Before the Mass concluded, Ann Eggliston on behalf of the Adoration Society, presented Canon John with the cards signed by the people who had offered up their hour in the Adoration Chapel for him. It was an emotional night with many the tear being wiped away surreptitiously as the realization dawned that the time for saying the final goodbyes was getting closer. Speaking to the congregation Fr. John told of the day he received the news that he was being sent to Abbeyfeale and his mother asking him what did he do to the Bishop that he’d send him out beyond Barnagh, he said that he had grown over the years to think of Abbeyfeale as his home but now the Bishop had spoken again and it was his duty to go where he was sent. His parting words were the exhortation that he had received from an elderly lady as he did his First Friday rounds earlier in the day “Keep the faith and stay out of trouble”!

It is a fact that behind every good man is a greater woman and that never rang truer than when we went from the church to Fr. Casey’s Complex where the organizational skills of parish clerk Anne O’Meara and her assistant Bridie Collins had come to the fore. It was transformed for the night into a bright welcoming space by members of the GAA committee and the C.E. staff. Kathleen Harnett and her three daughters welcomed everyone with a sherry reception, Ann Kennedy and her team outdid themselves with the meal served in jig time (no pun intended!) to over 500 people with musical accompaniment from the various young musical groups in the parish. Mary Murphy and her sister in law Kate ably assisted by Nora Quirke, Carmel Fitzgerald, Noreen Daly, Trish Roche and members of the youth ministry group and the youth clubs ensured the smooth running of the night, seating people, serving teas and coffees and keeping the dining area cleared as people finished the wonderful food. M.C. Connie Daly then introduced the different groups who wanted to pay tribute to Fr. John and to thank him for all his work for the past 14 years. Chairman of the Pastoral Council Micheal Lane said “Canon O’Shea is a priest in the mould of Pope Francis, sincerely interested in people and supportive of the young people within the community. He is a man of the people who understood our needs and concerns and was an ever helpful friend to everyone. We have always been blessed with a strong Catholic faith in Abbeyfeale, indeed in our Square we have the monument to our former Parish Priest Fr Casey who was also renowned for his work in the Parish and as a powerful friend of the people. With the help of Canon O’Shea, this good work and legacy has continued. We look forward to welcoming Canon Tony Mullins as our Parish Priest who will be joining us next week.” Retired County Counciller Sean Broderick then presented the Canon with a gift on behalf of the parishioners. Other speakers included Kathleen Harnett who told of Fr. O’Shea’s work in the schools, the two Parish Missions he spearheaded, the concerts he arranged, the annual Walk to the Well which is now such an integral part of the Easter celebrations, his care for the elderly and sick of the parish and his support of the various groups and organizations like the weekly card game in Meenkilly N.S. whose organiser Marian Roche gave him a deck of cards to remember them by. Kathleen spoke too, of his love of the land and how as an astute farmer his ears would prick up at the mere mention of the word ‘grant! Fr. John’s farming credentials have never been in question and the night could not be held without the appearance of some stock, this time it was humans dressed up as animals bringing to mind the memorable appearance of Jackie the Poet’s very well behaved donkey during the singing of Silent Night at one of the Carol Recitals. The local branch of IFA presented him with a pair of the very newest style of wellingtons so that even though he is moving to the city he’d have the proper footwear whenever he’d get the chance to get out onto the land again – mind you , his sister Margaret fell in love with the said pair of boots and remarked that they’d look better on her! Kate Murphy representing the 4 Limerick Youth Service youth clubs in the parish presented him with a pictorial record of the trips they went on all over the world and said “The seed you planted 14 years ago has grown and enjoys a vibrant role in our parish community today. I speak of the fun and games enjoyed by our youth clubs in St. Ita’s hall. The cherished outings of world youth days in Germany Australia Madrid and Krakow, the pilgrimages to Lourdes will never forgotten, prayerful and joyful trips”. Sr. Delia, representing the Mercy Sisters in the parish told of Fr. John’s spirituality, his social skills and his sense of humour. The GAA, Gardai, and Singing Club were amongst the groups who all made presentations to Fr. John with Philip Enright serenading him with the traditional song written by the late Sean McCarthy ‘Come Home to Abbeyfeale’. Fr. John too is a noted singer and M.C. Connie persuaded him to join himself and Con Curtin who are both members of the Men’s Choir in a spirited rendition of ‘There is an Isle’ to tumultuous applause. The Glórach Theatre was represented by Mary Healy who presented him with a pair of candlesticks to remind Fr. John of his memorable appearance as the Bishop over a short run in the Glórach production of ‘The Bishop’s Candlesticks’ some years ago. Abbeyfeale Drama Group members Mary Murphy, Maurice O’Meara, Joan O’Connell and Dick Woulfe performed a skit based on the breaking news that the Bishop had decided to move Fr. John and a hilarious piece from Moll concerning the visit Ulick and Bridgie paid to the Canon and Moll to book their forthcoming nuptials. That poor Canon hadn’t a word to say in that parish unlike our beloved Canon John who as a parishioner said on Friday night was the most down to earth, calming influence you’d meet but that it was safer not to catch his eye or he’d land you with a job! Music and sound was provided by local DJ Jeremiah Roche who brought the night to a close and whose selection of music had everyone including one of our oldest parishioners Noreen on the floor in a sedate waltz with the Canon who later proved that he could jive with the best of them (!). It was a befitting night for a wonderful man who will be sadly missed and whose place is assured in the annals of Abbeyfeale parish. In the words of the old Irish blessing:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

AFTERNOON TEA DANCE: Tralee/West Kerry MS Society are holding an Afternoon Tea Dance on Sunday, October 9 at Fr. Casey’s Clubhouse. Dancing 3-6pm. Music by Pa Quade. Admission €5. Teas served. Raffle on the day for selection of gifts. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

STRICTLY COME DANCING: The launch of the DVD of last May’s Strictly Come Dancing takes place at the Winners Circle, Abbeyfeale on Saturday, September 10. The party gets underway at 9pm and a great night is in store with music supplied by Tiny the Dancer. Everyone welcome.

WEST LIMERICK TOASTMASTERS: The ago season of Toastmasters begins at the Desmond Complex, NCW on Wednesday, September 7 from 8-10pm and will continue on the first and third Wednesday every month until May 2017. Toastmasters provide you with the tools to become a confident speaker in a safe caring environment where everyone is on the same path. Further information from 087 7972855 or check out our Facebook page.

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR CHILDREN WITH READING – WORKSHOP FOR PARENTS: This Workshop takes place on Wednesday, September 7 from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in the Further Education and Training Centre Abbeyfeale. For further information or queries or to book a place, contact Mary at West Limerick Resources on 087 938 2883 or Nora on 068 31198. Booking early is advisable to secure a place on this workshop.

SALE OF PRODUCE FROM PARISH COMMUNITY GARDEN: We have peas, tomatoes, broad beans, spinach, kale, rhubarb and onions to harvest so we are going to sell them at 9.30am Mass outside the Church of the Assumption on Sunday, September 11 and donate the proceeds to the outreach service for our local clients of the Brothers of Charity who give us a great hand in the garden every Monday.

LEGION OF MARY PILGRIMAGE TO KNOCK SHRINE: A bus will travel from Abbeyfeale on Sunday, September 25 at 7am. Book your seat €20 from members; Sean Broderick 068 31213 Bernard Broderick 068 31565 Gerard O’Callaghan 087 2980841 Michael Lane 087 9639775 David Davy 087 0994272.

ALZHEIMERS DANCE: A Fundraising Dance at the Railway Bar, Abbeyfeale in aid of Alzheimer’s will take place next Saturday, September 10 with music by Mike Condon. Eats and Treats on the night.

WEST LIMERICK SET DANCING CLUB: Set Dance Ceili in Devon Inn Templeglantine on Sunday, September 11 at 4pm. Music by Donie Nolan/Taylors Cross. All welcome. Teas served. Any queries to Con Egan on 087 6259340.

BLOOD DONOR CLINIC: A mobile unit will be holding a Blood Donor Clinic in Colaiste Ide agus Iosef, Abbeyfeale on Monday, September 12 & Tuesday, September 13 from 6pm to 9pm each evening.

FUNDRAISING CYCLE: On Sunday, September 18 Patrickswell cycling club along with Adare cycling club are running a charity event on behalf of Adare Day Care centre for Alzheimers and for Parkinsons Mid-West Branch. The event includes a 110 k and a 50k cycle, a 5 k walk and a raffle. It will start and finish in Adare community Centre.110 k goes through Patrickswell, Askeaton Foynes, Glin ,Athea, Carigkerry, Ardagh, Rathkeale Adare. Events fully insured and marshaled. Refreshments available for all participants. We are on Facebook under Events -A@P West Limerick Challenge. Further information 0851681144.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: CareBright are looking for people to train as Healthcare Assistants within a radius of 20 miles of Newcastleswest. They offer a 4 week internship programme which will commence in Croom on Monday, October 17. Further details and application forms from Monica Hanley on 087 8310999 or email

PARENTING CLASSES IN WEST LIMERICK: Parenting /self-care classes will recommence in West Limerick in September. There is no cost involved, but as places are limited, booking is essential. All classes are organised by staff from Limerick Social Services. Classes are planned for Thursday mornings 11.00am – 12.30pm. Venue and start dates to be confirmed, depending on numbers. For further details, or to book a place please contact: Enda: Tel No: 0831949882 Mary: Tel No: 0863514700

CON COLBERT WEEKEND: A weekend of events to honour local patriot Con Colbert will take place in Athea over the weekend of September 24 and 25 with the unveiling of a magnificent bronze bust being the highlight of the celebrations. A football blitz, free concert and a historical lecture are also planned for the weekend.

RED HURLEY IS COMING TO ABBEYFEALE: A concert featuring the gospel songs of Red Hurley will take place in the Church of the Assumption on Friday, October 15 at 8pm with tickets costing €15 available from Sean Broderick, Moss the Farmer, David Wards, Pat Buckley’s, Heavenly Gifts and O’Donoghue’s Convent St.

FREE TO BE’ PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT COURSE: This Personal Development Course (6 week programme) starts Tuesday morning September 27 from 10am to 12 noon in the Further Education and Training Centre Abbeyfeale. ‘Free to be’ is essentially a positive way for people to make time for personal growth. It’s a gentle time for people to step back, take stock and examine how they are, where one can discover personal strengths in a safe confidential space. Anybody who feels they can commit to 2 hours on a Tuesday morning for 6 weeks are welcome. Booking early is advisable to secure a place on this course. For further information or queries or to book a place, contact Mary at West Limerick Resources on 087 938 2883 or Nora on 068 31198.

VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT: Special Olympics Athletes and Volunteers will be resuming after the summer break on Tuesday, September 13 at 7pm. in the Community Centre, NCW. Looking forward to meeting you. Contact Maureen 087 9845102.

NATIONAL GRANDPARENTS PILGRIMAGE: Celebrating our 10th Anniversary on Sunday, September 11 at Our Lady of Knock Shrine, Knock. All Children are invited to write a prayer for their Grandparents, these prayers will be blessed at the pilgrimage. Prayers to be sent CGP, Castlebar St. Westport, Co. Mayo or brought to Knock on the day. Ceremonies begin at 2.30pm with be the anointing of the sick and 3pm Mass followed by the rosary. O’Shea’s picking up at the Church at 8am. €30 Per Person, O’Shea’s 066-7180123 .Donal Kelliher 087-6361023.

ABBEYFEALE’S SINGING CLUB: West Limerick singing club monthly singing session take place on the first Friday of every month in the Ramble Inn Bar, Abbeyfeale. The next session will take place on Friday, September 2 at 9.30pm. All are welcome to come along and join in the singing, tell a story, or just listen to the performers.

SAGART PILGRIMAGE TO LOURDES: A five day pilgrimage to Lourdes will travel to Lourdes on September 22 and return on September 27. Further information from Canon John O’Shea or Fr. Joe Foley.

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. Masses: No morning Mass Monday, evening Mass at 7pm. . Mass Tuesday – Saturday at 10am except in the event of a funeral when Mass is 11am. Mass on Saturday 11am. Mass Intentions: Wednesday 10am Deceased members of the Ward family. Thursday 10am Michael O’Sullivan, Colbert Terrace. Friday 10am For God’s Blessing on every home in our Parish Saturday 11am Margaret O’Connor Knocknagoshel 7pm Mary Murphy 50th Anniversary and all the Murphy family Glenashrone . Jack & Nonie Kelly, Knocknasna and daughters Mary B, Theresa and granddaughter Lisa. Sunday 9.30am Frank Collins, Banard. William & Margaret O’Riordan, Banard. Mary Murphy, Radharc Na Feile. 12 noon Paul Collins, Convent St and Limerick. Neilus Healy, the Hill & Ballaugh

To access the daily readings you may log on to and click on daily reading on the home page. Log onto for the church webcam. A direct link from the parish website has been set up. You are asked to use car parking spaces in the Church car park before you start parking in the middle of the yard.

ROALD DAHL DAY AT THE SEANCHAÍ: Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel will host a special Roald Dahl 100th birthday party on Tuesday September 13 from 4.30 to 6 pm. Children aged 4 to 12 years welcome and admission is free. For more information visit

MONAGAE TEA DANCE: The first of the monthly Afternoon Tea Dances kicks off on Sunday, October 2 with music by Declan Aungier.

COUNTY LIMERICK BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION: The next meeting of Limerick Beekeepers Association will take place on Thursday, September 8 in Mungret GAA clubhouse at 8:00 p.m. Guest Speaker: Mr Tom Prendergast. Lecture: Preparing for Winter. Tom is another of Ireland’s best beekeepers, keeping 100 hives since he was very young in a number of apiaries throughout Tipperary. He is much sought after to give lectures all over the country, including at Gormanstown. Tom is interested in the management of bees to allow them to work with the minimum of interference but guiding them to maximise his returns. He also runs his association’s Apiary in South Tipperary as well as contributing to their newsletter and organising their education programme. Tom will take us through what we should be doing in order to ensure you have healthy stocks of bees coming through the winter. This is the start of the new beekeeping year, judicious preparations now should reduce the risk of colony loss. Membership details can be found on the following website:

ANNUAL PATTERN DAY: September for Ballyheigue means Pattern Day. Bishop Ray Browne will celebrate Mass on Thursday, September 8 at 11.00a.m. at Our Lady’s Well.

OUTING TO CLONMACNOISE AND BIRR CASTLE: An outing to Clonmacnoise (Pattern Day) and Birr Castle will take place on Sunday, September 11. Details from Pat O’Donovan 0879977340 or Mary O’Keeffe 087 6990816 of Knockfierna Heritage Society. All are Welcome.

LISDOONVARNA TRIP: A bus will leave NCW on Wednesday, September 14 at 10am and bus will depart Lisdoonvarna at 11pm. We will book a bus if there is sufficient interest for a day trip. We have a deadline for names Friday 2nd September. So if your interested contact Maureen 087 9845102.

RURAL EMPLOYMENT & EDUCATION SERVICE: Are you looking for some support and guidance to help you get back into training or back to work? The Rural Employment Service is a free confidential service based in Newcastle West providing career guidance supports, CV and interview preparation supports and advice on training and education courses. Contact the following at West Limerick Resources, Finn (087 759 1951), Adrienne (087 277 3294), or like us on Facebook WLR Rural Employment Service for the latest updates on job vacancies and training courses.

COUNTRY MUSIC BREAK: Great County music break from Monday October 17 –

Friday, October 21 based in the Great Northern 4 Star Hotel, Bundoran with complimentary use of the Leisure Centre. There will be a host of Entertainers each night. Our first night Monday; Thomas McGuire & Fiona Ennis, Tuesday; T.R. Dallas, Wednesday ; Country Music Jamboree with Declan Nerney, Jim Devine, Cliona, Patricia Maguire, Robert Mizell & more to be announced. Thursday; John Hogan. Breakfast and dinner. If you like dancing every night and then enjoying taking in the beautiful Donegal scenery and visiting places of interest during the day this is the break for you. contact Maureen 087 9845102 for more details and booking.

CARMELITE MONASTERY: Vocation Exploration Day. Saturday,
September 17 from 10.30 – 4pm. This is a day to pray with the sisters and to
explore the possibilities of a Carmelite Vocation. Bring packed
lunch. For details phone 085/8601794.

CHRISTMAS PANTO: Musicians, e.g guitarists, drummer and keyboard players
needed for this year’s Panto in Listowel. Young people wantted to take
part in this year’s production. Anyone interested, please contact
Michelle Whelan 087-2071371.

LOUGH DERG ONE DAY RETREATS: Places are still available on two alternative Special Retreat Days – ‘A Day of Friendship & Prayer’ on Wednesday, September 14.

This ecumenical day is an opportunity to gather as a Christian pilgrim family.

Guest Speaker: Most Reverend Patricia Storey, Church of Ireland Bishop of Meath & Kildare ‘Living With Suicide’ on Wednesday, September 21. This day offers those who have been affected by suicide in any way an opportunity for deeper understanding and support to ‘make sense of it all’. Guest Speakers: Conor Mc Cafferty, ZEST – Healing the Hurt – & Geraldine Kennedy, a personal experience. Advance booking is essential for all Retreats. For further information contact Maureen or Lorraine on 071 9861518. Email: