PROLOGUE: Out with everything you don’t need — the junk, clutter, hang-ups and hurts — and in with the fresh, fantastic, unencumbered life you’ve always wanted."

DEATH: Sincere sympathy is offered to the Flynn family, Coolanelig on the death of Helen O’Connor nee Flynn. May she rest in peace.

ABBEYFEALE TOWN: We’re in lockdown, most shops, hairdressers, pubs and restaurants are closed. Abbeyfeale Community Council have organised a rota of volunteers to run messages for our vulnerable elderly, they can be contacted from 9 -5pm on 068 31169, 06832080, 087 7571144.

SPRING FORWARD: Clocks go forward on Sunday, March 29. This year’s spring equinox fell on the earliest date in 124 years. The first day of spring occurred on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at 11:50 p.m. EDT for those in the Northern Hemisphere, which is marked by the arrival of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox.

CHURCH SERVICES: Mass is being celebrated every day in the Church of the Assumption and broadcast on and Monday to Friday the Stations of the Cross are also being broadcast at 3pm. RTÉ will air Mass every weekday at 10.30am from St. Eunan’s and St. Columba’s Cathedral, on RTÉ News Now. If you have a neighbour who is not on the internet then ring them and place your phone beside your laptop and they will be able to hear Fr. Tony or Fr. Shoji celebrate daily Mass. Adoration from 11am to 6pm each day except from 2.30pm – 3.30pm when the Stations of the Cross are on. Exposition will be in the Main Church to facilitate social distancing. Enter the church by the Blessed Sacrament church door as all other doors will be locked. We regret these changes but we must adhere to the HSE guidelines.

BISHOP LEAHY’S SPECIAL MESSAGE:Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy has said that we must prepare ourselves for the most difficult experiences over the coming weeks and months, including death, as the Coronavirus takes hold. In a statement after Sunday Mass, which was streamed live from St. John’s Cathedral today, Bishop Leahy also gave personal testimony of the fine life-and-death COVID-19 line that loved ones we will walk as we battle the virus. Stressing that it’s within our own gift to win this battle, Bishop Leahy said we are entering a period of weeks when we will experience shock, suspense, fear and dismay, and, sadly for some, bereavement. Loved ones, he said, will be struck down by the virus and some will die. “I had a foretaste of this myself during the week as to how fine the line will be. On Wednesday, I received word that a friend was going for testing for the virus as he wasn’t well, Thursday a text from my friend to say he was told he needed oxygen and that he would probably be in for a few days and that should help. “Friday evening, another text from someone but with the shocking news my friend was unconscious, in a coma, critical. Thankfully, he has turned a corner and we are hopeful for him and he is surrounded by a symphony of prayer storming heaven. “However, all of this came as a great shock to me. While I am praying for him, thinking of his wife and family, this has brought home to me just how serious the situation is. It has shown me how indiscriminate this virus is. A healthy man in his 60s. In short, if it gets near us, we are vulnerable and no one knows how much.” Stressing how much this is all in our own hands, he said: “I appeal, therefore, again today that we all do our part in preventative action. We have heard the guidelines and we’ve listened to the public health officials, experts telling us to really be attentive in every moment and in every action, remembering social distancing, hand hygiene, the stay at home recommendation, not hanging around in groups. “If we saw a car out of control heading for us, we’d make sure we got out of its way. The virus is that car out of control. The danger is that it will take our parents, grandparents, the unwell, people we love dearly from us. But we can save them. If it were a car, you would do all you could to get them out of the way before it strikes right into, and potentially kills them. You can do that now. Together we can be their protector. We can guard them.” It will not, he said, be easy as we are a social people but that it is a sacrifice for however long it lasts that we have to make and we must stay the course. “None of this is easy. It doesn’t come naturally to us to isolate, to restrict our movements like this. Thank God, we are a social people, we love company. So, this requires sacrifice. But this is what loving my neighbour as myself means today. In a word, love right now is… ‘not growing the virus’.” As ever, there is light in the darkness, he added. “What we can grow is a new recognition that the people by and large we isolate with is a cluster called family. Those that aren’t able to cluster there are feeling being away from family as never before has family been threatened on a large scale like this. It’s a time for us to appreciate, with a new gratitude, the family. We all belong in some way to a family. It’s a time to make the effort in creative ways to be a family and I’m hearing wonderfully encouraging anecdotes of people, in this moment, realising the importance and magic of family. “The look on a child’s face in those moments of joy as we reconnect, whether through walks, games and other activities can wipe stress away, putting this moment in time – albeit a deeply troubling one – into perspective. “Maybe there are difficulties and tensions in the family. But perhaps we can appeal to each other for an amnesty at least for the coming weeks that we try for the sake of the children to put our hostilities on hold and be there for them. “They, too, are worried and they need you now. Perhaps we don’t appreciate how this is probably a nervous time for them. They are picking up all kinds of signals that they may find hard to process. They may be trying to cope with the worry that their grandmother or grandfather, or perhaps their mother or father, is going to get seriously ill or worse. “So, we really need to make the effort for the sake of our children to surround them with a caring environment that speaks to them of protection, safe space and time to talk, common activities.“But there is also great resourcefulness and encouragement as well, not least in humour. It’s been a week when people have circulated funny Whatsapp images and videos describing the cabin fever. It’s good to keep our sense of humour alive. It’s a necessary tonic in these days.”In wishing all mothers a very special day, he also singled out the frontline workers of the battle against COVID-19. “I think, too, of all those mothers on the healthcare front line today. Nurses, doctors, hospital staff of any kind, mothers in GP clinics, of course in the testing centres, those ensuring the essential services continue to be provided. “We need to tell them today that, more than ever, they are our heroes. We know they are our heroes now so please, tell them this on our behalf. We will salute them properly in due course, but right now, I ask those of you whose mothers are out on the front line today to tell them how much we esteem their contribution. And if you have a sister or brother in any of those positions, tell them too. They are guardians of all now, just like Mary, Mother of God herself.”

HARNETT MAGAZINE: Some Harnett Reunion magazines are still available at Ann Lyons Shop and from James Harnett.

NOTICE TO PUBLIC:As a result of the escalating situation regarding the Coronavirus, all West Limerick Resources events, Training Courses, Workshops and Face-to-Face Meetings are postponed until further notice. Staff are available to respond to clients and community groups by email or phone in relation to West Limerick Resources work and projects. Please check our Website on or Facebook on for further updates or contact the main office landline 069 62222.

HARNETT/HEALY 100th ANNIVERSARY: Sunday, September 20 next at 6.05pm we intend to mark the centenary of the murders of these two men at the monument on the Killarney Road and are asking that family and friends will take this as advance notice and notify people abroad.

RURAL SOCIAL SCHEME (RSS):We are Hiring.West Limerick Resources CLG currently have vacancies on the Rural Social Scheme (RSS). The Scheme supports low income farmers/fisherpersons. It provides support and delivers services within local communities. RSS gives participants the opportunity to gain and develop new skills in an environment with like-minded people from your community and work on projects in your locality, helps with reducing social isolation and gives the opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and skills. Presently, participation for new entrants to the scheme is for a maximum of 6 years. Who is eligible? Farmers or Fisherpersons who are in receipt of a means tested social welfare payment e.g. Farm Assist/Jobseekers Allowance. Have an active herd number and copy of EU Basic payment Application. Dependent spouse/children/siblings of a qualifying person are also permitted to participate in the scheme. Working hours: participants work 19.5 hours per week on days and hours agreed at commencement. Payment: a top up is provided to a participant’s social welfare payment which is based upon their individual circumstances. rsswlr

LOCKDOWN: Yes there is fear, yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying, yes there is sickness.Yes there is even death.But,they say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise, you can hear the birds again.They say that after just a few weeks of quiet. The sky is no longer thick with fumesbut blue and grey and clear. They say that in the streets of Assisi, people are singing to each other, across the empty squares,keeping their windows openso that those who are alone , may hear the sounds of family around them.They say that a hotel in the West of Irelandis offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.Today, a young woman I know, is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighbourhoodso that the elders may have someone to call on.Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Templesare preparing to welcomeand shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way. All over the world people are waking up to a new reality. To how big we really are.To how little control we really have.To what really matters.To Love.So we pray and we remember thatYes there is fear.But there does not have to be hate.Yes there is isolation.But there does not have to be loneliness.Yes there is panic buying.But there does not have to be meanness.Yes there is sickness.But there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes there is even death.But there can always be a rebirth of love.Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.Today, breathe.Listen, behind the factory noises of your panicThe birds are singing againThe sky is clearing. Spring is coming,And we are always encompassed by Love.Open the windows of your soul and though you may not be ableto touch across the empty square,Sing. Brother Richard Hendrick A Capuchin Franciscan Brother.

SOCIAL FARMING: Social Farming is the practice of offering activity on family farms as a form of Social Support service. In Social Farming the farm remains a working farm at its core but invites people to participate in the day to day activities on the farm. Interested farmers & farm families who would like to hear more about Social Farming please contact James at West Limerick Resources CLG, on 069 61316 / 087 366 3842 or email jledwith

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT: The most important thing you need to do today is write out your Eircode and place it by your phone. If, God forbid, you have to call the emergency services this is all the information they require to arrive to your hall door. These are strange times and we must all pull together and look out for our neighbours. Remember that the best way to stay safe is to wash your hands with soap, stay a couple of meters from the next person and self-isolate if you don’t need to go out. Elderly people need to stay active so imagine there is an orange between your shoulder blades and that you are squeezing it – this will improve your posture and stop your shoulders rounding. Set an alarm for every 45 minutes and get up from the chair and either walk up the stairs or up and down the hall or please God, if the weather improves we’ll be able to get outside. Stand by the worktop, put your hands on it, do squats or stand on one leg for 10 seconds and then change to the other leg. Drink water all day. Do circles with your arms while holding a bottle of water or a can of beans to keep your muscles active. We have heard of people calling to the elderly in urban areas offering to test them for the virus at a cost or do shopping for them – that will hardly happen here but if it does, don’t entertain them. If you need shopping or messages, contact the local committee who have been set up by Abbeyfeale Community Council on 068 31169/068 32080/ 087 7571144 any day between 9-5pm. Ring Abbeyfeale Gardai on 068 30010 (Three hundred ten) if you have concerns over callers/ travelling salesmen, if the phone is unattended the call will be answered in NCW and the local squad car will be notified. When you reach the age of 65 and live alone or with a person/s aged over 65 you are entitled to receive a monitored alarm system. But if you have younger people living in the house who are out for long periods of the day then, because you are spending hours alone you are also entitled to the system provided that you are over 65. The free equipment is provided by Pobal following an application from Abbeyfeale Community Alert, there will be a monitoring fee to be paid from the second year of installation to the installing company of €72. Please note that this fee has increased by €6 and is payable in a lump sum each year after year one. Should you not have a landline the installing company Task provide a sim card at a rate of €7.50 per month payable from day one. Then, in year two you will also receive a bill for the monitoring fee so in year one the bill will be €90 and in year two and every other year after it will €162 approx. Committee members are Michael O’Kelly N.T., Seamus Stack, Mossie Gleeson, Kathleen Collins, Mary McArthur, John O’Sullivan, Billy Quirke N.T., Cllr. Francis Foley, Catherine Daly, Marian Harnett.

CALLING ALL TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND PARENTS! World Vision Ireland’s Climate Change essay competition 2020 is opened until March 31 for children between the ages of 8 and 18. The winning essay writer will get the chance to meet Ryan Tubridy in the RTE Studios and will also win a €500 Smyths toy voucher.

For more information on how to enter, go to our website

HELPLINES: Men suffering domestic abuse, operates 36 hours a week on 1800816588. Limerick Social Services: 061-314111. AA 061/311222 Al-Anon 086/8143425. Parent Support worker 068/31019. Accord NCW 069/61000. Samaritans Freephone 116123 or text 087/2609090 or email jo Aware (Depression & Anxiety) 1980 303 302 National Suicide Helpline (Pieta House) 1800 247 247 Irish Advocacy Network (Peer advocacy in mental health) 01 872 8684 Pieta House (Suicide & self-harm) 01 623 5606 IACP (Counselling & Psychotherapy) 01 230 3536 Shine: (Supporting people affected by mental ill health) 01 860 1620 061 – 412111 or Free phone 1850609090 A.A. 061-311222. Al-Anon 086-8143425 Bereavement Support: 068 / 31203 068/ 31262 068/51984 St Vincent De Paul Tel 087/1213560 . Counselling Appointment 061/314213. ALONE; has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Professional staff are available to answer queries and give advice and reassurance where necessary. The support line is open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024. Hours may be extended to meet the demand.