Monday 10 December 2018

Community news: Charleville

Charleville Heritage Society will participate in National Heritage Week 2018 which is on from August 18-26 at the Provincial Heritage Centre at the Convent of Mercy, Main Street.

The theme for this year's Heritage Week is connecting Irish and European Heritage, and Charleville has many connections with the European mainland going back to the Crimean War when nuns from the local Convent of Mercy went to nurse soldiers wounded in the war.

The war was a major European conflict of the 19th Century in which an alliance led by Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia challenged the Russian Empire in the war which lasted from 1853 to 1856 and was fought mainly on the Crimean Peninsula.

The Charleville nuns travelled to the Crimea at the request of the Mercy Sisters from the Mother House in Baggot Street in Dublin seeking sisters to aid with nursing the soldiers, who were wounded in the war. One of the two sisters from the Charleville convent who offered to travel was Sister M. Joseph Croke, a sister of Archbishop Thomas William Croke of Cashel.

She wrote a diary of the journey of the group of nuns to the war zone, and their time there. She related their experiences nursing the wounded, their frosty relationship with Florence Nightingale, the much-vaunted Lady of the Lamp, and the conditions they endured during their time in the Crimea from 1854 until the war ended in 1856.

Sister Joseph Croke returned to Charleville and was afterwards the Mother Superior of the Convent of Mercy, Charleville and remained there until her death.

Her diary will be on view as part of the European Heritage Week as well as other artefacts connected to the war.

Other Charleville connections to Europe, who will be featured in the week-long exhibition are Charleville born Professor Daniel Binchy, who was the first Irish minister to the Germany from 1929 to 1932 during the Cosgrave government.

Charleville poet and translator John Anster, who was born in the town in 1793, will also be remembered.

He converted from Catholicism to the Church of Ireland and was educated at Trinity College. He was admitted to the Bar in 1824 and became Regius Professor of Civil Law at TCD and was Registrar of the Admiralty Court. He contributed prose essays to the North British Review and poems to Amulet in Blackwood's Magazine.

He translated Goethe's 'Faust' from the German to English, and his translation is still in use to this day.

‘God Save Us Da Health’

A two-act story entitled 'Lord Spare Us Da Health' is about the life of a Kerry man who worked in construction in England before coming home to farm a small holding near Hospital in Co. Limerick, and it will be staged and related by his son at the Schoolyard Theatre, Charleville on June 29 next.

Actor and musician Michael O'Sullivan will tell the story of his father, also Mick, who was born in 1915, one of nine living children to Jack and Johanna O'Sullivan, who lived near Dingle in rural west Kerry.

The story takes the audience through his life from Dingle to the building sites of England and finally to the small Co. Limerick farm. He tells the stories of the characters he met along the way, who along with everybody else were striving to survive, sharing the ups and downs of life, and what little they had with their neighbours. They played cards, told stories and tried to get from dawn to dusk without killing each other.

'There were the do-gooders who saved us all, the begrudgers who wanted it all and the lovers who had it all,' as the play relates.

'Lord Spare Us Da Health' is presented in two acts through the eyes of Mick's son, Michael, who runs a theatre education company called Humourfit, which visits second level schools throughout Ireland. He presents and performs self-penned plays on bullying and mental health issues at teachers' conferences.

Michael is also the writer in residence for Clifden Community Arts Festival in Co. Galway. A competent musician, he was a member of the Gimick Showband during the heyday of the showband era.

Booking for the Schoolyard show is at 087-1804870.

‘Ballyhea Says Know’ this Sunday

This Sunday, June 10, marching at 10.30am sharp, the 'Ballyhea Says Know' group continues its campaign to highlight the injustice of the bank debt burden.

This month the group is asking marchers to wear red to show solidarity with the many women affected by the cervical cancer scandal and the Standing4Women demos which took place recently around the country.

'Even as we cut corners on our screening programme we continue to destroy billions of euro to repay the debts of a failed bank, Anglo Irish. What value do we put on the lives of women?' said a group spokesperson.

'Despite the fact that it is now almost completely ignored, it hasn't gone away. Last year, our Central Bank destroyed €4 billion. This year, so far, another €1billion; since 2014, a total of €10.5 billion has been destroyed.

'The Anglo Promissory Note debt legacy [is a] a legacy we now leave our children; unless we take a stand. This is all being done in front of our eyes but with no publicity. And it has real ramifications.

'Join the dots, join us in Ballyhea, 10.30am Sunday and, if you can, wear red.'

New windows for Ballyhea church

Saint Mary's Parish Church in Ballyhea is to get new windows.

A notice in the parish newsletter states that work has commenced on the making of new windows for the church.

'It is expected that it will take about a month to make the first window. The new windows will be timber sash windows and will be modelled on those in St. John the Baptist Church in Kinsale. The latter church was built in 1832 by the same architect that built Ballyhea, Brother Michael Augustine Riordan,' said the newsletter.

The church was built in 1831 by the Parish Priest the Rev. John Power, on a site donated by Mr. Harrison of Castleharrison, Ballyhea. The addition of the new windows follows the installation of a new bell by the present parish priest, Right Rev. Monsignor James O'Brien.