PROLOGUE: The darkest hour only has sixty minutes. Morris Mandel

DEATH: We offer our sympathy to the family of Mattie Dillane Kilmanahan whose funeral took place place recently. May he rest in peace. We also send condolences to Marian and the family of the late John Moloney Accountant whose funeral took place in Moyvane and to Mike O’Donoghue Templeglantine and Eileen Finnegan, Mountcollins on the death of their mother.

SHOUT OUT FOR WORK MATES: I was contacted by a Johnny Heffernan who used to work in Mungret College possibly in the fifties and he’s looking to get in touch with Dan and John Sheehan from Kilmanahan /Brosna. If anyone can help him reunite with his mates will you contact him on 086 8811567.

WEST LIMERICK RESOURCES: As a result of 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 with any queries and you will be directed to the appropriate staff member.

NEW C.D ON SALE: Natasha Sheehy, daughter of Vincent and Noreen, The Hill who is based in Boston is featured on a CD playing the button accordion with a group of musicians who play the bodhran, fiddle and guitar. It’s called ‘Ship in the Clouds’ and is on sale in Sheehys on the Killarney Rd and in Pat Buckleys, Templeglantine.

ASH WEDNESDAY: One of the most significant days in the Christian calendar is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. This year due the Coronavirus restrictions it will not be possible for people to gather for Mass in church on Ash Wednesday. Here in Abbeyfeale parish and in our neighbouring parishes of Athea, Templegalntine, Tournafulla -Mountcollins we plan to distribute a Lenten Pack which will include unblessed ashes, a prayer card for Ash Wednesday and a Trocaire Box. Parishioners will be able to collect these Lenten packs from their local churches on the afternoon of Sunday, February 14. On Ash Wednesday ashes will be blessed at Mass and the blessing will extend to the ashes collected from the church the previous Sunday. In the current climate for the safety of all parishioners, no ashes will be distributed at any of the churches in our pastoral unit.

MUNSTER BISHOPS PLEAD FOR ADHERENCE TO GUIDELINES: “Funeral guidelines must be observed to avoid further lives being put at risk –Bishop Leahy”. On Tuesday last, The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy along with the bishops of Munster announced updated guidelines for the celebration of funeral Masses and burials during this period of lockdown. Bishop Leahy said “while we must preserve our great culture of compassion towards the bereaved, we must stay away from funerals or further lives will be put at risk. He said that in offering these five points, it must be recognised that the vast majority of Catholics have been careful in their observance of the public health guidelines. The five points are: 1. Public Health guidelines are clear: attendance at funerals is to be restricted to 10. We appreciate there are some who believe that for the sake of accommodating the immediate family it would be better to allow a number higher than 10 for the funeral liturgy in a church. We too look forward to when that number can be increased. However, it is important that undertakers and priests clarify with bereaved families as early as possible regarding the limit of 10 people in the church. 2. As recommended in our statement last March, there should be no removal to the church the evening before. 3. People not attending the funeral liturgy should avoid congregating immediately outside the church building or around the hearse. For the sake of the great majority trying to keep to the public health guidelines, we ask people, difficult as it is, not to approach the bereaved in the church grounds or cemetery to sympathize. 4 .As per the public health guidelines regarding social and family gatherings, there should be no wakes or large gatherings for prayers in the house of the deceased nor gatherings in cemeteries. 5.Support for the bereaved can be expressed through social media as an alternative to attending the funeral. Often it is possible to link to a local church for a funeral ceremony via a webcam/Facebook Live. We invite people to pray for the deceased and family of the deceased in their own homes at the time of the funeral Mass 6.Bishop Leahy said, “In restating the guidelines around funerals we do so for the benefit of all concerned –mourners, undertakers, neighbours and friends as well as priests and public authorities –that we might have a common understanding of good practice around funerals aimed at keeping people safe from the virus. The bishops concluded “We wish to express our thanks to priests and sacristans as well as the many volunteers in our churches who ensure that all the requirements around the sanitising of our churches are observed. We also acknowledge with gratitude the care and help of undertakers in implementing the restrictions. May our deceased loved ones rest in peace and may the bereaved be comforted.”

GREENWAY PIONEERS OPPOSE PROPOSED NAME CHANGE: The Great Southern Trail Ltd. (GST) voluntary group was formed about thirty years ago after Shannon Development had abandoned their visionary project designed to create Ireland’s first Greenway along 85km of the former Limerick to Tralee railway. Shannon Development bestowed the name ‘Great Southern Trail’ on the project to reflect the railway heritage. They engaged John Grimshaw of Bristol to survey the route and prepare a comprehensive study. John’s report was visionary and is available on However, trenchant opposition from an anti-Greenway cohort of adjoining landowners was a major factor in Shannon Development’s surprise decision to abandon the project. Our fledgling organisation was shocked by this abandonment and we decided to take over the reins of the project. We spent the 1990‘s garnering local support and organising meetings and regular walks along the route. We used the Students Summer Jobs Scheme to clear the bushes / briars and to surfaced short sections. In the dawn of the new Millennium we negotiated a licence from CIÉ and opened the 4km from Newcastle West to Ardagh in 2004. Subsequently we gradually lengthened the route. The Department of Rural Affairs, Limerick County Council and the local Leader group became our partners. By 2010 we had a through route of 38 km from Rathkeale, via Newcastle West, to Abbeyfeale. All this was achieved with an outlay of about two million euro. By 2012 Limerick Council had surfaced an additional 2 km westwards from Abbeyfeale to the North Kerry Border. Unfortunately, a reincarnation of the 1990‘s opposition manifested itself on the Kerry side of the border and prevented any walks or works to take place thereby stymieing commencement of the extension to Listowel until 2020. In 2015 we ceased managing the Greenway as the 40km route was simply too long for volunteers to maintain. Our licence from CIÉ was transferred to Limerick City and County Council (LCCC). Meanwhile, Kerry County Council (KCC) purchased the railway from the Border to Fenit.
We continue to be interested in the Greenway and we welcome most of the initiatives by the local authorities. We particularly appreciate the work carried out by LCCC in making the Barnagh Tunnel more easily accessible and their positivity in restoration of railway buildings at Barnagh, Ardagh and Rathkeale. Therefore, it is with great regret that we have to disagree with LCCC’s current plan to rebrand the Greenway as the "Limerick Greenway" just as the long awaited extension to Listowel and North Kerry is coming to fruition.They had already changed the original Great Southern Trail name a few years ago to "Great Southern Greenway Limerick". This involved new signage being erected with associated costs. We expressed our reservations to the change at that time but to no avail. If "Limerick Greenway" branding proceeds it will be followed by "Kerry Greenway" and the cost will not only be monetary but will also be likely to confuse visitors and perhaps deter those who want to experience a lengthy cycle or a marathon walk. The length of the Greenway should be an attraction to visitors in its own right and two names are likely to cause confusion. We have visited numerous Greenways throughout Europe but never encountered one with two names. (One of us did however explore the Two Tunnels Greenway in England!) Furthermore, bland names are not very common from our experiences throughout Europe. The first rural Greenways visited in England were the Camel Trail and the Tarka Trail. We also organised visits by several groups of our supporters to Greenways in Spain, Italy, France, Belgium, Austria, and Germany where we visited the Schinderhannes Radweg (which is named after a highway man). A Google Maps search will instantly locate all four of the English and German aforementioned routes. Of course we cannot forget the very successful Great Western Greenway in Mayo. It’s name, derived from ours, recalls the era of railway heritage and assures the users that the route is off road, has easy gradients and most likely some beautiful stonework in bridges and old railway buildings. There was a great fraternal bond among the railway personnel employed along the Limerick to Tralee railway. It was a line which had its own character and the subject of three books: two of which were published by the GST. With sales of over two thousand books and multiples of that figure viewing our YouTube videos of the railway we are confident that the grá for the railway era continues.
We suggest "Great Southern Trail Greenway" as the English language title since it recalls the origin of Ireland’s first Greenway and its primarily rural hinterland rich in flora and fauna. We propose as the title in Irish "Slí Luimneach-Ciarraí" which covers both Counties. We hope that our elected public representatives in both counties will make appropriate representations in this regard. Liam O Mahony, Cathaoirleach, GST Ltd.Denis McAuliffe, Vice Chair. Pádraig Condúin, Treasurer. Mike Mac Domhnaill, Records Secretary. Michael Guerin, Convenor, North Kerry. Jim McNamara, Director.Tim O’Leary, Director.

MEMORY CARD DISPLAY IN FUNERAL PARLOUR: James Harnett has told me that if anyone wants a copy of one of the memory cards on display in the window of the funeral parlour he’ll sort them out. Contact him on 087 2500929.

TAKEOUT AVAILABLE: We all need something to look forward to during these months of pandemic so why not treat yourself to a meal from Leens Hotel. Available from 1-8pm seven days a week. Conor Mc Carthy’s Kitchen Table has also reopened for Takeaway and the Green Gourmet in Convent St. is open for takeaway until 3pm Monday to Friday.

CHURCH CLOSURE: Fr Tony Mullins 0872600414, Fr Dan Lane (Retired) 087/2533030, Fr Denis Mullane 087/26219. Due to current restrictions around Covid-19 parishioners are not allowed to attend Mass inside the Church Building but you are more than welcome to attend Mass in the Church Car Park in the comfort of your own car and listen to Mass on the Car Park Radio on 107fm. Due to current restrictions only 6 people are allowed to attend weddings and 10 to attend funerals. The Blessed Sacrament chapel is open every day from 11-6pm for private prayer. Mass Intentions: .Intentions for the week: Wednesday 10am Elizabeth & John and Moss O’Connor. Lizzie & James O’Sullivan Anniversary. Thursday 10am Mass for the Sick. Friday 10am Deceased members of the O’Connor and Colbert families. No Saturday morning Saturday 6.30pm Peter Scannell, Clash Road Anniversary. Eileen Broderick, Purt Months Mind. Jimmy Ahern, Shanbally Anniversary. 10amWillie Riordan, Upper Purt Anniversary. Reader’s lists and Missal are available from the sacristy. .St Anthony Novena take place each Monday evening during the 7pm Mass. Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help each Friday morning at 10am Mass. World day of Prayer for the Sick is Thursday, it is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of Prayer for the Sick. The celebration of Mass on Thursday morning will include special prayers for all who are sick at this time and for all our frontline workers. We invite you to join us online for this special feast day.

PARISH FINANCES: In this week’s parish newsletter our PP Canon Tony Mullins writes: “I would like to acknowledge the ongoing financial support of parishioners. Your donations to the church and the various collections are greatly appreciated. However, the ongoing lockdown continues to impact on parish finances. Last year the offertory collection was down by 35% on the previous year’s collection. The offertory collection is the main source of income for the parish. Despite the lockdown, the continuing maintenance of the church building and the service provided to parishioners remains constant. I encourage parishioners to continue to make contributions towards the running of the church. You can do so by setting up a direct debit with your bank. For further information on this method of donating to the parish, contact the parish office and you will be helped in putting the payment in place. Parishioners can also contribute to the parish through the DONATE system now in place on the parish website. If parishioners wish to contribute by way of their weekly envelope, we will collect any offerings you may wish to give in on Sunday 14thof February. This can be facilitated when parishioners come to collect their Lenten Pack on the afternoon of the 14thof February between 2 and 4pm. All donations are welcome. Sincere thanks to all of you for your ongoing generosity to the parish and for all the personal support that I receive. God Bless and protect you at this time.”

FOOD/TOURISM BUSINESSES IN WEST LIMERICK: West Limerick Resources CLG has secured funding under the LEADER Food Initiative delivered by the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Agriculture to further develop the food sector and food tourism industry in the West Limerick area. The second phase of the West Limerick Food Series, a comprehensive networking and training programme designed to inspire and develop the food sector and food tourism industry by fostering collaboration between businesses in the region, starts on Wednesday 17 February 2021. “West Limerick Wednesday” features a series of free networking and training modules delivered by westlimerickfood

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT: Beware of text messages looking for your DOB, PPS. Address, Banking details, whether you live alone or not and purporting to be from the HSE offering you the vaccine. IGNORE ALL. Only answer phone calls from numbers you recognise, let the rest leave you a message and listen back at your leisure. Call none of them back unless they leave a message so you know who you are talking to. Wear a high viz jacket every time you go outside on the road. Be careful in the ice and frost and only go out these days if you really need to. There was a saying years ago that the East wind was good for neither man or beast so stay inside from it – it’s only going to last for a few days. If you suffer from fuel poverty then just heat one room and layer up. If you have a panic button, check to make sure it is working by pressing it and speaking to the monitoring service – that’s why they are there 24 hours a day and why you are paying a yearly monitoring service fee. Gardai are asking people to let them know when people call selling goods or offering services on 068 30010. Try and make a note of their general description ie height, accent, hair colour, tattoos etc. Write down the vehicle reg. colour and make. We are all being asked to make only essential trips to the shops, chemist etc. for the next few weeks to help break the cycle of Covid. If you need messages collected contact our local Garda Station on 068 30010 and they will organise someone to do them for you. 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. There may be some confusion over the word free – the equipment which costs in the region of €400 is provided free of charge by Pobal as is the first year of monitoring but after that you will be charged by the installing company for the monitoring. 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 with a deposit of 6 months payable on the day of installation.. 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. If you wish you can arrange a direct debit and pay this amount off monthly. Committee members are Michael O’Kelly N.T., Chairman Seamus Stack, Secretary Mossie Gleeson, Assistant Treasurer Kathleen Collins, Assistant Secretary Mary McArthur, John O’Sullivan, Billy Quirke N.T., Cllr. Francis Foley, Catherine Daly, Maurice O’Connell, Assistant Treasurer Marian Harnett.

.HELPLINES: Text 50808 to receive support from a volunteer. Hospice Bereavement Line 1800807077 Monday to Friday 10am – 1pm. Jigsaw support line is now up and running on freefone 1800 JIGSAW (544 729). It will provide free mental health support and advice to young people aged 12 to 25 years old, and parents or concerned adults who live in the Republic of Ireland. A helpline for 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 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. ACCORD; are now offering over the phone counselling for couples, Individuals & family members during this time of unprecedented stress & pressure during these weeks of COVID-19. Call: 01 5313331. 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.