PROLOGUE: "Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young."
Theodore Roosevelt

DEATH: We offer our sympathy to the family Margaret Lane, The Hill whose funeral took place on Saturday. Margaret was in her 100th year and one of the oldest residents in the parish. May she rest in peace.

PASTORAL AREA: A meeting of the local Pastoral Area will take place this Wednesday , January 18 @ 7.30pm in St Ita’s Hall.

PLAY AT THE GLÓRACH: John B Keane’s play ‘The Highest House on the Mountain’ continues its very successful run at the Glórach Theatre this coming Friday, January 20, Saturday 21, and Sunday 22. Curtains up at 8 pm and tickets for this in-house production can be booked at 0871383940. I was there myself Saturday night and have to say that it was edge of the seat stuff with a strong cast telling the story of rural isolation, greed, simmering violence and longing for love all shot through with comic moments. The pent up violence in Martin Tobin’s Connie- the greasy, conniving, self-centred returning son is shocking while Lorcan Curtin as the alcoholic returning son is convincing and authentic. Listowel resident Frances Kennedy is the damaged, soft hearted daughter in law who overcomes many obstacles but finally finds peace and contentment. Domhnall de Barra whose transformation from a hurting, frightened man to a man willing to fight for the love of the woman he wants was a wonder to see. Donal Woulfe plays the widower and father and the repression of his sexuality results in his comical longing for chops and goose stuffed with pandy. Fair City, Emmerdale etc have story lines only trotting after this little seen gem from the pen of John B. Keane so make sure and book your seat while there are still seats left.

NEW YEARS DAY SWIM: Well done to the Harnett family who raised just short of €11,000 at the annual swim in honour of the late Connie for the dialysis unit in Crumlin Children’s Hospital, they also made a donation to two students travelling to Calcutta this spring from Colaiste Ide agus Iosef.

COMMUNITY ALERT: Deirdre Walsh on her Radio Kerry programme’ Talk About’ recently had a piece from a Tralee Garda about recent scams which seem to be targeting people who have held on to their land lines. It’s mostly elderly people who have done so – if you get a call purporting to be from a bank looking for information on your credit card his advice is “ just hang up”. Give out no pin numbers or any information over the phone – let the bank write you a letter. He also announced that the Gardai have a new FB page for this division and you are invited to like the page in order to receive regular updates – ‘Garda Síochána – Cork, Kerry and Limerick Division.’ The following are some tips downloaded from Met Eireann’s advice on keeping warm and safe in winter. “In winter it can be difficult for everyone to get about and conduct day to day activities. It is even more difficult for the elderly and other vulnerable people. Keep warm, eat well and avoid unnecessary travel. You should eat regular hot meals and drink plenty of fluids, this will keep you warm and will give you energy to keep active. Ensure you have sufficient supplies of food and of any prescription medicine you may need. Keep active indoors . Have sufficient fuel supplies to maintain adequate heating in your home. Ask your relatives and neighbours for help if you need it. Keep their phone numbers on a list beside your phone. In icy weather, wear well-fitted shoes with non-slip soles if you have to go out but try to limit walking outside during the cold weather. Consider wearing a personal alarm so that family or neighbours are alerted if you fall. If you have a fall, even a minor one, make sure you visit your doctor for a check-up. Leave a low energy light on at night time, preferably one with a high light output. Use a non-slip shower or bath mat. Make sure wires or cords from lamps, telephones etc. do not trail where you walk. Arrange furniture so that you can easily move around all your rooms. Remove rugs or use non-slip tape or backing so rugs will not slip. Consider installing hand rails on both sides of the stairs Keep safe this winter – for more information visit

SAVE THE DATE: Abbeyfeale’s first Mock Wedding will take place at the Railway Bar on Friday, March 10 next. This is a fundraiser for Nicole Prendiville Doyle, who is travelling to Namsana, Uganda to volunteer for 5 weeks from June 20 with Nurture Africa. Nurture Africa is an Irish NGO who organise short term overseas volunteer placements for 3rd level students and professionals. She will be working on school, health and outreach projects and will work on a building project for a Ugandan community. As part of the project, volunteers are required to raise €2,300 to cover the cost of their trip and make a substantial contribution to the work of Nurture Africa which exists to provide health care and educational services to orphans and vulnerable children in Uganda. Nicole will be paying her own fare so all funds raised will go directly to Nurture Africa. Tickets for the wedding are €10 each and includes entertainment, finger food and DJ Tiny. There will be a prize for the most appropriately dressed wedding guests, spot prizes and lots more. Tickets available from Carina Prendiville, Mairead Daly and the Railway Bar. More details in the coming weeks. Watch this space.

ST. MARY’S BOYS N.S. FUNDRAISER: St. Mary’s Boys’ School are having a clothes collection during the month of January. Bags of unwanted clothes can be dropped into the school during school hours. Your support would be greatly appreciated.

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY COUNCIL: ACC’s monthly meeting took place in Leen’s Hotel on last week. There was a large representation from local community groups along with representation from Bank of Ireland, West Limerick Resources and all three of our local Councillors. A wide range of topics were up for discussion, the first shocker of the evening was news from local undertaker James Harnett that Reilig Ide Naofa or “The New Graveyard” as its more commonly known, has approx. just 12 months left before it runs out of space for new graves. He pointed out that Limerick City and County Council have being looking for a site in preparation for another Burial Ground but out of all the sites they have looked at all failed the strict requirements regarding ground type and/or water levels etc. James Harnett said “this leaves us looking at a scenario 12 months from now where we will need to start looking at taking some of our burials to outside the local Community if a suitable site cannot be found”. Chairperson, Maurice OConnell offered to write directly to LCCC to highlight the issue and to ask for an urgent meeting regarding same while the three local councillors in attendance also offered assistance in helping to locate sites in and around the Abbeyfeale area. Updates to follow in the coming weeks.

The Christmas Lights Committee was represented by Hillary Collins who gave an update on the work done over the Christmas period following an emergency-like get-together of new members only a few weeks earlier. High praise was given to The Christmas Lights Committee by all attending the meeting for the wonderful effort they put in considering the little time they had to prepare. Hilary explained that a more detailed long-term plan was going to be put in place for this coming year and that an approach would be made to all other organisations in the Community in order to obtain more help.

West Limerick Resources was represented by Suzanne Rowley who gave an overview of some of the possibilities for applying for funding from the Leader Programme. She stressed that the available funding compared to previous years was much reduced and the criteria put in place for applications had increased significantly. She also stressed how important it was for everyone with projects in mind to research and understand the new changes in how applications were made and the strict cut-off dates attached to each step. Anyone with queries regarding this should contact West Limerick Resources on 069 62222.

Bank of Ireland was represented by Barry O’Leary with news that B.O.I. are going to organise a large scale Enterprise Exposition in Abbeyfeale in the coming months. Barry explained that he has just been given the go-ahead from B.O.I. HQ to run with this and is very much looking forward to working with Abbeyfeale Community Council and all other individuals and groups within the Community . More details will follow on this in the coming weeks.

Chairman, Maurice OConnell surprised everyone with the exciting news that following Abbeyfeale Community Council’s deputation and presentation to Newcastle West Municipal District a few weeks earlier that he then received a phone call from Limerick City and County Council offering extra funding for Abbeyfeale. This funding will be used to implement various projects which had already been highlighted for attention. More details on these projects will be released in the weeks and months ahead.

Abbeyfeale Community Council meetings are open to everyone in the Community and new members or representatives from organisations are always welcome to attend. If you have a query on any of the above please email:

NEWS FLASH: The local conference of SVP would like to announce the opening of a shop on Main St. in the near future. Further information 087 1213560.

BORD NA nOG AGM: The meeting was opened by Bord na nOg Chairman Tomás TJ OConnell , he gave an overview of the past 12 months with details from last year’s fundraisers and various competitions held over the year. Tomás TJ also thanked everyone from within the Club and the wider Community for the amount of help received during the past year and said he was looking forward to another great year in 2017.

Secretary, Maurice O’Connell, Maurice gave details of the huge changes in Child Protection Policies and legislation which had taken place over the previous two years. He said that Fr Casey’s Bord na nOg was now being recognised as being at the forefront of complying with those changes. He went on to give a detailed breakdown of the Féile Peil na nOg Competition and what it meant to Fr Casey’s GAA as a Club and to Abbeyfeale as a Community. He thanked everyone involved including the Host families and the children who took part. Maurice also spoke about the success of having the Senior, Bord na nOg and Ladies Football Committees all working together and the success that came from that in the form of a summer fundraising campaign which resulted in the creation of a new all-weather training and playing field which is now there for everyone to see. He then moved on to a separate review of all the underage teams from U6 to U16 which are involved with Bord na nOg and thanked all their Management/Mentor teams individually for the amount of personal time and effort each and every one put into helping the youngsters enjoy their season at the Club and helping them to try and achieve their best. Maurice also spoke about the importance of having a School Coach as part of the set-up and thanked Mike “Foxeen” Harnett for his years of dedication as School Coach and wished him all the best in his future ventures, now that he is stepping back from that role. Maurice then thanked the Club staff for all of their assistance, for the well-maintained facilities and manicured pitch which was appreciated by all, Club members and visitors alike. On a final note, Maurice thanked everyone in the Senior and Ladies Footfall Committees, along with those at the meeting and to anyone who helped in any way to make 2016 a memorable one for all involved.

Treasures Address:

Shay McAuliffe gave a brief overview of 2016 and then proceeded to give a breakdown of the previous year’s financial report. Shay stated that considering the huge burden of hosting visiting teams during the Féile Competition that it was a credit to everyone involved that the Club broke even from the previous year. Shay also when into details of the income and expenditure for all aspects of Bord na nOg activity during 2016.

Bord Members and Club Mentors.

Chairman Tomás TJ OConnell officially stated that the Board were then stepping down but were willing to stay on for another year if so re-elected. After a brief discussion all Bord na nOg Board members were proposed, seconded and agreed. Tomas JT thanked everyone attending for allowing the current Board another season at Bord na nOg and then proceeded to the selecting of Mentors. Several Mentors were re-elected into positions within the various age groups with a few outstanding positions to be filled at a later stage. Tomás TJ also opened the position for a new School Coach with a final decision to be made within the next week to ten days. He also thanked those who had already put their names forward for the position.

Registration Night.

Treasurer Shay McAuliffe announced Thursday, January 26 from 7-9 pm as the date and time of the official registration night for all youngsters getting involved with Fr Casey’s Bord na nOg in 2017. €25 per child and €40 for 2 or more youngsters in the same family who are joining. A note of caution that all youngsters must wear mouth guards at all training sessions and at all matches. All children joining the Under six age group or for anyone joining for the first time must also bring a copy of a birth cert. Every effort will be made to announce this date again in the local and County Newspapers.

Card Game Fundraiser.

Shay McAuliffe announced Friday, February 10 at 9pm as the date of the Card Game fundraiser which will be held at Fr Casey’s Clubhouse with tickets costing €5 each and with lots of spot prizes to be given out on the night.

Bag Packing Weekend

Shay McAuliffe announced April 13/14 as the dates for the bag packing fundraiser at Twohig’s SuperValu and reminded everyone that this was a great source of funding the previous year. He also said a roster would be drawn up for Bag Packers and Supervisors before the dates involved.

Church Gate Collection

Tomás TJ OConnell announced October 7/8 as the dates for this year’s Church Gate collection.

A DATE FOR THE DIARY: Abbeyfeale Drama Group are rehearsing at present for their production of a Michael J Ginnelly Play ‘A Wake in the West’ which will be begin its run at Fr. Casey’s on St. Valentine Night and continue through February on 16,18,19,21,23,25 and finishing up on Sunday, February 26. Other upcoming events include a Mock Wedding at the Railway on March 10 and the Bank of Ireland Expo on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4.

NEWS FROM THE ADULT EDUCATION CENTRE: A New Level 5 Childcare Course is starting Jan 2017. Art Classes starting on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. Computer Classes starting on Wednesday morning. Contact 068 31198.

SOCIAL DANCING CLASSES AT THE RAILWAY: Social dance classes have resumed at the Railway Bar on Tuesdays, beginners class at 8,30pm and advanced from 9.30pm to 11pm. New people are always welcome.

"LAST ONE FOR THE ROAD" the final collection of short stories and essays by Raymond Fennelly is again available at Ann Lyons Shop in The Square, Abbeyfeale.

CONCERT: Irish Trad band "Breaking Trad" play new music venue “Mike the Pies”, William St, Listowel on Thursday, February 2. Doors 8:00pm. Adm. €15, Tickets contact 087 9255230. Breaking Trad feature Abbeyfeale accordionist Donal Murphy, Niall Murphy (fiddle) & Mike Galvin (guitar/vocals). The band kick-off their 2017 tour at the fabulous Listowel venue, a great night not to be missed!

‘COME AND SEE’; A vocations event is being held in the Pallottine House, Thurles on February 17/18 next. It is for men aged 18-40 thinking about the priesthood. Contact Fr. Tony or Fr. Joe for further details.

RURAL EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (RES) / YOUTH EMPLOYMENT SERVICE (YES): If you need support job seeking and feel that you are a little lost in deciding what you want to do, then you should contact the RES / YES which offers 1:1 support and career planning to individuals around education, training and employment opportunities. To find out more you can contact Finn or Lynne at West Limerick Resources on 069 61316 or Adrienne & Dee on 069 62222. Make sure that we are one of your New Year’s Resolutions! Looking forward to hearing from you in 2017.

Keep up to date with us on Facebook: Phone us on 069 62222 or call in to see us on St. Mary’s Road, Newcastle West.

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY COUNCIL: Our next monthly meeting will be held in Leen’s Hotel on Thursday, February 9 at 7.30pm. This will be our AGM.

BENNY THADE’S RAMBLING HOUSE: This will be a fundraiser for St. Ita’s Hospital and will take place at Fr. Casey’s Clubhouse on Thursday, January 19 with doors open at 8pm.

LEADER FUNDING OPEN: Contact West Limerick Resources if you are planning to look for funding. An information session on the above will be held in the Desmond Complex, Newcastle West, Co Limerick on Tuesday January 17 at 7.30pm and again in the Askeaton Community Centre on Thursday January 19 at 7.30pm. For further information see:

LIMERICK TOASTMASTERS: Toastmasters will continue on the first and third Wednesday every month until May 2017. Next meeting Wednesday, January 18 at the Desmond Complex, Newcastle West from 8-10pm. Further information 087 7972855.

Toastmasters provide you with the tools to become a confident speaker in a safe caring environment where everyone is on the same path. Great for anyone who finds it hard to stand up in public and get their opinion across.

ABBEYFEALE PARENT & TODDLER GROUP meet every Tuesday & Thursday morning from 11am to 12:30pm in St. Ita’s Hall, Abbeyfeale. Great opportunity to meet other parents for cup of tea and chat, where children play in a safe environment. New parents and toddlers are always welcome. If you have any queries please contact Mary in West Limerick Resources on 087 938 2883.

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.

NEW TOASTMASTER CLUB IN LISTOWEL: If you would like to gain self confidence, self esteem and improve your ability to speak in public then you should check out the newest public speaking club in North Kerry. The next meeting will be held in the Listowel Arms Hotel on Thursday, January 19 from 8 -10pm. Admission €5 which covers cost of refreshments and rent of the room. Further information from Gerard Mannix on 087 2193670.

ABBEYFEALE PARISH CHURCH NOTES: Parish office 11-1pm Tuesday-Friday 068 31133. +Parish Support Worker 068/31019. Counselling Appointment 061/314213.Church 068/51915, Tel: 068 – 31157 : 087 – 9708282, Samaritans: 061 – 412111 or Free phone 1850609090 A.A. 061-311222 Al-Anon 086-8143425 Bereavement Support: 068 / 31203 068/ 31262 068/51984 Console 061-306792

Fr. Anthony Mullins P.P. 068/31157 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 Maurice and Nora O’Connor, Knocknasna. Thursday 10am Deceased Members of the Harnett family Inch, Leah Harnett e Belfry Heights Friday 10am Deceased members of the Leahy Family Banard. Saturday 11am Paddy Walsh, Dromtrasna.

7pm Tom & Mary Ann Moloney, the Hill. Mary Edward, Bridget & John Fitzgerald. Kathleen Harnett, Mountmahon. Sunday 9.30am Lily O’Keeffe St Ita’s Road 1st Anniversary. Mame Harnett, Knockbrack. 12noon Pat Moloney, St Ita’s Terrace, Month Mind. Peggy O’Riordan & Eileen Twomey . Novena prayers to St Anthony on Mondays during the 7pm Mass Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Fridays during the 10am Mass. Catholic Schools Week 2017 is from January 29, – February 4, 2017

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is marked from January 18-25 every year.

To see the daily readings you may log on to and click on daily reading on the home page. Log onto for the church webcam. You can now watch all services from home if you have access to a computer. You are asked to use car parking spaces in the Church car park before you start parking in the middle of the yard.

LEARN SOCIAL DANCING: Eileen McDonagh from Tournafulla has started a social dancing class at the Parish Hall in Newcastlewest on Monday nights from 8-10pm. Everyone welcome.

ARDFERT RETREAT CENTRE: Self-Care Day: Practical skills for stress management and emotional wellness, Saturday, January 28 from 9.45 to 4.00pm Contact Anna O’ Donoghue 0879447105. Ref.

JIM LYONS’S RAMBLING HOUSE: Held on the third Tuesday of the month in Knockaloucca.

SET DANCE CLASSES: Set dancing classes in Ballyhahill Community Centre from 8.30-10.30pm. Further information from Seamus 0851149796.

MONAGAE RAMBLING HOUSE: The monthly rambling house in Monagae Community Centre takes place on the 2nd Monday of the month.

MEDJUGORJE PILGRIMAGE: May 31 to June 7, 2017. Daytime flight to Mostar (40 mins from Medjugorje and return from Dubrovnik). Spiritual Director Fr. Sean Corkery. Cost €719.00 on a Half Board basis per person sharing including flights, airport transfers, taxes, and travel insurance. €200 deposit secures place. 15 places left on this pilgrimage. Contact Sean O’Shaughnessy 086 2959380.

SOCIAL DANCING CLASS: Classes commence in Monagae Community Hall on Friday, January 20 from 9 – 10.30. All welcome.

TAKE A BREAK THIS SPRING: Spring Week End Break Friday ,March 31 – to Monday April 3, based in the beautiful Boyne Valley 3 Star Hotel with complimentary use of the leisure centre in Drogheda. Breakfast and dinner each day. Touring every day and after dinner dancing in our hotel to great toe tapping music. On Friday we will stop at the the Obama Plaza for refreshments and there will be comfort stops on the journey. In the evening we will have a four course dinner and then dancing. Saturday morning after breakfast we will board our bus for Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Being based in Drogheda this is not a long journey we should arrive at our destination Bambridge Outlets Centre just under an hour, the outlets are giving us vouchers, you can use euro’s in some shops and others you need sterling currency. Also we will take in a view of the magnificent Mountains of Mourne. After dinner again in our hotel we will have a relaxing evenng entertaining ourselves ie. singing, yarns, story tell and mighty ‘craic’ – we have found this a most enjoyable part of our break and we get to know each other. Sunday after Mass we have a surprise trip and again after dinner in the evening dancing to more great music. €255 per person sharing and an extra €40 for those wishing to book a single room. The stated amount covers your hotel accommodation dinner on arrival breakfast & dinner Saturday and Sunday breakfast Monday, music for dancing, bus and complimentary use of the leisure centre. Please contact Maureen Finnegan for more information and booking. 087 9845102. .