PROLOGUE: We have two ears and one mouth so we should listen more than we say. Zeno of Citium.

DEATHS. Sincere sympathy to the families of the late Brenda Aherne Woulfe, Church St. and Peg McEnery nee Collins, Knocknagoshel. May they rest in peace.

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE: Are you interested in developing or expanding your social enterprise? Have you an innovative approach to addressing community needs? ‘Cooperating to Succeed’ is an imaginative yet practical programme designed to support social entrepreneurs, providing a year-long training and support package, tailored to your current needs. For further information please contact kmurray or 069 66294.

CONGRATULATIONS: Well done to the Stryker family on the big spread they got in the Farmers Journal Machinery Section of February 27. It is great to see a thriving business in Abbeyfeale employing up to 6 people. Their garage is based in Kinclonlea Upper and they specialize in Defender Land Rovers.

THE END OF AN ERA: Ann Lyons’s sweet shop and small grocery, The Square, Abbeyfeale which opened for business approximately 41 years ago closed on Saturday, February 27. Christmas week 2020 had brought the shocking news that Ann Lyons was dead – Ann whose sweet shop in the Square was an institution, shelves laden with jars of sweets, stacked boxes of penny sweets at eye level, sweet cakes and buns , Brennans loaves, tins of custard, jellies, soups, Limerick ham, Charleville cheese in the fridge, rubber gloves, dish clothes, scrubbing brushes and much much more. The counter covered in Split the Bucket, C.D’s, sporting books, parish magazines, tickets for socials, parish outings, afternoon tea dances, fundraisers, raffle tickets and all the minutiae it takes to keep a community going. Ann might have been confined to a wheelchair but she was always there to help out her church and her community no matter how often she was asked. Ann’s support of WL102fm from it went on air first in 2005 to her death was extraordinary and she was very proud of the involvement of her nephew Liam Aherne who was one of its first sports commentators and who has now moved on to work with RTE. Her shop was a Mecca for the thousands of children who passed through her doors over the past 40 years coming from school or in town on Saturday for the weekly shopping or attending the St. Patrick’s Day Parade or the Fleadh by the Feale, the Gathering, Santa’s arrival in town, and all the other going’s on down the years. A trip to town was no good without a call to Ann and communions, confirmations, sporting achievements were all celebrated there. Thirty six years ago Mary Flynn from Meenaline finished her Leaving Cert and took a summer job with Ann, she quickly became indispensible helping Ann with the ordering, packing shelves, serving customers and all the myriad of jobs that running a small shop entail. Mary and Ann made for a formidable twosome – there was the welcome of the world for every customer and it didn’t matter whether you were coming to spend your pocket money or do your weekly shop, Ann and Mary knew your name and what class you were in or if you had moved on to college or to work or to quote Rosemary Fonseca who came to live in Abbeyfeale some years ago. “Ann Lyons’ … We knew not well

a well-known landmark within the town

And as we came from lands afar

you both welcomed us with a smile

when we landed within the square

A well-known place for folks, young and old

buying candies from the jars

shelves well stocked within the store

When we met in the street

The lady in the chair

a beam that shone so bright

Upon this sweet and bountiful day

Both ………… ‘Ann and Mary’,

would take their time to speak to

A blow-in upon that day

Thank you for the time you took

to welcome us to the town

The times we took to step inside

You beckoned us with a smile

that made our day

It was so sad to hear

That she was laid to rest

Upon the day

The lady within the chair.

We thank you both for the wondrous times

That children had, both the young and the old

in passing time

rambling from school to home

visiting the landmark within the midst

T’is sad to hear – A landmark so dear

within the square is passing through

Hearing stories, through the vine

Will close …….. this one last time

A landmark within the town

That we now know so well

(On hearing that this shop and the people involved, has been in the town

for over 41 years) To Mary and Ann (Rip)

Mary continued to run the shop after Ann’s death but unfortunately its days were numbered and it finally closed on Saturday, February 27. Thank you to Ann’s family who gave away much of the stock of her shop to her customers. The love and esteem that Mary was held in was evidenced by the queues that lined the Square on Friday and Saturday from early morning to dusk with children carrying bouquets of flowers and gifts to give to the lady who always had the smile and who called them by their name no matter their age. We wish Mary great success as she begins the next chapter in her life.

Recently returned emigrant Pat Fitzgerald from the Railway put pen to paper about his memories of childhood forays to Ann Lyons’s sweet shop.

Ann Lyons’s Sweet Shop

There was a million things going on in the square

After school in the 80’s when Florry used cut our hair

Myself and my best friend, a pound in the hand

We’d get 10p back and sweets to ‘bate’ the band

The BMX 20 would get tossed to the floor

We often nearly carried the two jambs off the door

To that magical world

Of sweets, crisps, lollipops

T’was a magical world

Was Ann ‘Lyons’s sweet shop.

We’d pick up fifty things and put back forty nine

Sure part of the joy was changing our mind

There was black jacks and golfballs, penny drinks and bulleyes

The fat frog, the banshee bones and some new fangled surprise.

The cadbury cream egg if you had financial power

But our ten p in there lasted surely an hour.

And then up to the counter to spill out our treasure

A few sweets from the jar just to add to the pleasure. Smiles and thanks from Mary, lovely Ann in her chair

Believe it or not we were walking on air!

What did you get we would eagerly ask?

If you had done better twas your moment to bask.

Will you swop this for that?

Or break me a bit off

You’re getting none of my cola bottles will you ever feck off!!

We would line up our treats and decide what to eat first.

‘Did you get anything at all in there to quench the thirst?’

‘Never mind.. Sure tis fine.. This moment is gold’.

I’ll remember this happiness when I’m grey and old

We stuffed our little faces and home to mam we’d run

"You went to Ann ‘Lyons’s, I can tell by your tongue"

‘We didn’t, I swear’, we would bluff for a while

She didn’t really care I could tell by her smile.

Well Ann ‘Lyons’s continued throughout our lives

Secondary school, immigration

Anne ‘Lyons’s survived

But now that I hear it will no longer be there

I just long for the square

And after school in the 80’s when Florry used cut our hair. Pat Fitzgerald, Railway Road.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS: will be aired on the Radio 99.9fm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 4pm. The Stations are on the Radio only, so you can listen from your own homes.

ON-LINE LENTEN ADORATION: Adoration Initiative for Lent and commit to that hour, text Fidelma at 086 –2603421 the following information:

URGENT MESSAGE RE; PHONE SCAM: People have been receiving calls from Tel: +375602605281, Tel: +37127913091, Tel: +37178565072, Tel: +56322553736, Tel: +37052529259, Tel: +255901130460 or any number starting from +371 +375 +381.

These guys only ring once and hang up. If you call back, they can copy your contact list in 3sec and if you have a bank or credit card details on your phone, they can copy that too…

+375 code is for Belarus . +371 code is for Lativa. +381 Serbia. +563 Valparaiso.

+370 Vilnius. +255 Tanzania. Don’t answer or Call back. Also, Don’t Press #90 or #09

on your Mobile when asked by any caller. It’s a new trick which is use to access your SIM card, make calls at your expense and frame you as a criminal.

SELLING ONLINE: Moving Your Business Online: This free course will provide you with all the information required to create a business plan for moving online with your business and is running on Monday, February 22, from 9.30am to 1.00pm. Delivered by Talent Pool and supported by West Limerick Resources and Limerick Local Enterprise Office, it is open to all new and existing businesses operating in the Limerick area. This training will be carried out through Zoom and pre-booking is essential. In relation to one-to-one, group meetings and the current situation regarding Coronavirus, please see Notice to Public above. For further information and to book your place, please contact Aimee Grigg at West Limerick Resources on 069 66295 or email agrigg

CONGRATULATIONS PADDY: Up and coming apprentice jockey Paddy Harnett from Ballaugh, son of Adrian and Louise, gave trainer John Geoghegan his second winner of the week in Dundalk on Monday evening after coming first in an eight-furlong handicap. Well

WANTED: Trainers & Mentors Wanted: Social Inclusion & Community Activation Programme (SICAP) is looking to form a panel of experts to support the delivery of SICAP activities. For Expression of Interest Form please visit dconlon

JOBS: Follow for daily posts on job vacancies and training opportunities throughout West Limerick.

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. 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. Stations of the Cross every Friday at 9.30am. Mass Intentions: No Saturday morning Mass 6.30pm John Joe Lane, Ballaugh Months Mind. Mary O’ Connor. Knockbrack Anniversary. Sunday 10am Michael and Teresa Devine. Johnny and Eily Lane, New St. 12 noon Ted Mulcahy, Dromtrasna 19th anniversary. Johnny Lane, New Street.

ABBEYFEALE COMMUNITY ALERT: 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.

DO YOU HAVE NEWS: If there is something you’d like covered in the Abbeyfeale notes please contact me on 087 6866450 or email me on marianharnett1