PROLOGUE: ‘ Please release me , let me go, I can’t take these Corona restrict ions any more. To waste my life would be a sin – if you leave me out I promise to come back in.’
Sally Broderick.

Oh dear old Abbeyfeale,
what are we currently seeing?
Who’d of thought such disruption,
would be caused by Covid-19.

The streets are eerily quiet,
it’d make one feel alone,
but please listen to the experts,
and continue to stay at home.

Will there be a Sunday Game?
Many sports fans are going insane,
fearing they won’t see their favourite games,
at this stage we’d stand in hail or rain.

The barstools stand empty,
the chatter still for a time,
but we’ve so much to be thankful for,
especially the beautiful sunshine.

In the bar we’d have a good sing song,
young and old would sing along,
there’d always be hush in the room,
many a customer loves a good tune.

It’s important for our older customers to cocoon,
when all you’d love is a drink in Jack & Nora’s room,
when we’ll be open remains to be seen,
until then continue to quarantine.

During this time Abbey has made it on TV,
they failed to show our many wonderful committees,
‘Make Abbeyfeale Great Again’,
post pandemic this must be our meme.

Our committees are keeping our town nice and clean,
our priests delivering mass through the big and small screen,
we have already missed the ‘fleadh’ and it’s wonderful scene,
the only plus for many is their gardens are green.

A night on the town with our friends we dearly miss,
a pint of plain, oh it would be bliss,
to gather, to chat and have a natter,
but we must wait it out no matter.

Right now there is no one on the streets,
friends and family we rarely meet,
overcoming covid is no mean feat,
when we do the bar taps will be flowing on repeat.

But this too shall pass,
and normal service will resume again,
we’ll cherish each other’s company,
while enjoying a Dingle Gin.

Our shop keepers are keeping our food in supply,
our front line workers’ courage we cannot deny,
the last few months have just flown by,
please stay indoors and heed our leaders cry.

It’s times like this that can shine a light,
as hardship often can,
to see the best in people,
and the good there is in man.

And when these days are over,
and all but memories remain,
we’ll continue to be thankful to the frontline staff,
who stretchered so much pain.

When John Mike’s opens its doors again,
we will welcome one and all,
until then, stay safe,
and abide by the governments call.

John & Robert Browne

TROCAIRE: You can forward your contribution to, or to Trocaire, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, or keep the box and contribution until the current restrictions cease and return to the parish office.

AGE ACTION & RED CROSS COVID 19 HARDSHIP FUND: Age action has launched a Covid 19 Hardship Fund in conjunction with the Red Cross to respond to the immediate needs of older people in vulnerable situations across Ireland experiencing additional hardships at this time. A once off grant payment to the max of €500 is available to anyone experiencing hardship as a result of Covid 19.

Who Can Apply: Older people in need of assistance, family members supporting an older person and carers of older people, social workers and local voluntary organisations or community groups providing direct assistance to individuals within this target group.

How To Apply: The COVID-19 Hardship Fund Application Form is available hardship2020 Phone: Irish Red Cross at 01 6424600 or Age Action at 01 475 6989.

FUNDRAISING: Electric Ireland & Pieta launch urgent Darkness Into Light ‘Sunrise’ appeal for funds. As the walks cannot now take place as planned on Saturday, May 9 a Darkness Into Light ‘Sunrise’ appeal is taking place on that day. This special appeal encourages people to donate what they can to this vital charity and to come together while remaining apart by getting up at 5:30am to watch the sunrise and to show community and solidarity with those impacted by suicide. Pieta are also asking people to spread the message and offer hope by sharing their sunrise moment using the #DIL2020.

FARMERS: Teagasc has set up a telephone helpline to assist farmers with questions concerning the current Covid -19 virus. It will offer advice on a range of issues that the farming community face, as they continue to do their essential work in maintaining the food supply around the farmyard. The number is 076 111 3533, it is open from 9-30am to 12-30pm, and from 2pm to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

MESSAGE FOR THOSE WHO ARE COCOONING; If you are living alone and need assistance or advice phone one of Abbeyfeale Community Council Helpline Numbers any day 9-5pm on 068 31169, 068 32080 or 087 7571144. The Gardai are also available on 06830010 and they too will pick up medicines, messages etc.

SHORT STORY: Seán O’Faoláin International Short Story Competition Word limit: 3,000 words. Closing date: July 31(midnight)- Entry fee: €18 per story. The competition is open to original, unpublished and unbroadcast short stories in the English language of 3,000 words or fewer.

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT: Remember that all the shops have designated times in the early morning for shopping for the elderly or if you are cocooning and 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. The Gardai are also available to help vulnerable people and will call to people, collect shopping or medicines so if you want help ring them. Do also 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. Don’t entertain callers offering to do jobs around the house. 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. If you fulfil the criteria for a panic button the installing company will drop the gear to your door and then let you set up the connection yourself with assistance over the phone from their staff. I have been assured that it’s only a matter of connecting a cable and anyone can do it. I have not included the phone numbers of the committee in this notice but if you want to get a panic button then ring Abbeyfeale Garda Station on 068 30010 and they will contact one of us. 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.

HELPLINES: Men suffering domestic abuse operates 36 hours a week on 1800816588. Men’s Aid (Amen) 01 5543811 Monday – Friday 9-5pm. 24 hour helplines for women suffering domestic abuse 1800 341900 or Adapt 1800 200504. 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.

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. West Limerick 102fm will broadcast Mass on Sunday morning from Abbeyfeale at 10am. Radio Kerry will also broadcast Mass on Sunday mornings at 10am.. On Sunday mornings RTE 1 broadcast either Mass or Christian worship prayer at 11am . If you have Sky or one of the other TV packages, check out EWTN Catholic religious station for broadcast Masses and prayers. On the RTE Saorview channels, if you keep moving up through the tv channels you get to the radio channels coming through the TV, and on them there is Saroview channel 210 that broadcasts Radio Maria Ireland – a lovely station of Mass, Rosary, prayers and conversations on religious topics.