Saturday 23 March 2019

Community news: Charleville

Corajio ULC, the Dublin based retail company, has received planning permission from Cork County to change the use of the former John Lane & Sons bed manufacturing unit to a retail complex at Charleville.

The new complex will be located at the junction of Broad Street and Baker's Lane, Charleville in an area which was formerly the bed manufacturing facility at the Broad Street side and, in former times in the 19th Century it was the site of a tannery and leather and harness making for the farming sector.

The company got permission for the demolition of derelict dwellings, car repair garage, lean-to warehouse extension and ancillary buildings. They propose to change the use of the building from industrial use to retail with ancillary storage use, including elevation alterations and addition of signage.

They also propose to widen the existing entrance and provide dished kerb access off Baker's lane, with the relocation of speed ramps on Bakers Lane, the provision of 35 carpark spaces, a new landscaped plaza and all associated site works at Broad Street/Bakers Lane.

The company trades as Mr. Price and is the most innovative and rapidly expanding discounted variety retailer in Ireland. They are an Irish owned company and have 42 stores up and down the country with more set to follow.

Mr Price sells branded products at low prices - from health and beauty to household, home décor, stationery, arts and crafts, toys and confectionery.

Dark and comic tale of recession is local author’s first novel

Congratulations to Charleville writer Michael Sheehan, who has had his first novel, entitled 'The Sugar Sugar Café', published by Dalzell Press, and it is available on Amazon and kindle, for the next year, and thereafter will be available in bookshops all over the country.

The novel is a series of interlinking episodes and intertwining stories set in a small town in County Cork. It looks at the lives of ordinary individuals in the dark days after the 2008 financial crash. The action centres on the café, a small 'greasy spoon' type in Rathluirc, but encompasses other locations such as Panama and New York, as the story moves from the past to the present, and between comedy and tragedy, and fantasy and grim reality.

A bleak yet compelling narrative, told through the alternating perspectives of each of the key characters, hammers home the extent to which, for so many people, daily life is mostly taken up with a gruelling struggle to simply get by, and isolation and frustration are an inevitable part of the everyday routine. This sense of hopelessness is alleviated, however, by many moments of dark humour - and above all, by the rich and often surprising inner lives of these individuals, into which we as readers, are given a privileged glimpse.

As the novel progresses, each character reaches their own individual point of crisis. Some will look disaster squarely in the face and manage to sidestep its worst consequences; others will plunge with a kind of fatalistic enthusiasm into fresh setback and new worlds of pain.

The common denominator in all of their stories is a realisation that many of the key structures of modern society - family, church, romantic relationships, work, school, the justice system - all the things we are taught to aspire to - are woefully inadequate in helping us navigate the crushing realities of the daily grind.

Dark and yet funny, tragic and yet comic, the 'nasty, brutish and short' lives depicted in this compelling novel are rescued from despair by the deep humanity and compassion of the writer who has conceived them.

Michael Sheehan (Micheál O'Síocháin) was born in Gorey, Co. Wexford in 1962 and grew up in Charleville. He has lived and worked in Barcelona, Laredo, Washington DC and London, and has now returned to his hometown of Charleville. He currently works as a lecturer in accounting in LIT Limerick, and is married with three children.

Since 2010, Michael has had numerous short stories short or long-listed for national awards, including the William Trevor award, the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year competition and the Penguin/RTE short story award. In 2017, he won the Over the Edge short story competition, as well as their New Writer of the Year 2017/8 award. The Sugar Sugar Café is Michael's first novel.

In addition to the above, his work has either been on the long or short list for the Hennessy New Irish Writing short story competition, the Carried in Waves short story award, the Glimmer Train shorty story competition and the Mercier Press fiction competition.

Fond farewell for Fr Naughton

A farewell Mass for Reverend Father Tom Naughton, C.C. Charleville was concelebrated by Fr. Naughton, Very Rev. Donal O'Mahony, P.P., and Rev. Fr. Anthony Sheehan in the local Holy Cross Church, to mark his departure from the parish to minister in Mallow.

Fr. Naughton was in Charleville for the past six years and during that time he endeared himself to parishioners, who expressed their sadness at his leaving the town.

Fr. Naughton thanked the people for their kindness and generosity to him during his time in Charleville, and he said he would remember them in his prayers, even those who disagreed with him.

Ms Carmel Hannigan, chairperson of the local Parish Council, made a presentation to him on behalf of the parish, and said that while they regretted his departure, she wished him well in his new parish. "When he first came to town he pledged to visit every house in the parish and it took him three years to complete this task," she said.

Very Rev. Donal Canon O'Maohny, P.P. Charleville thanked Fr, Naughton for his contribution to the many organisations in the town during his stay in Charleville, and he applauded his efforts in the parish over the past six years.

Fr. Naughton thanked Ms Hannigan for her kind words and Canon O'Mahony, saying it was important to feel appreciated. He got a standing ovation from the congregation. He was noted for his singing at Mass and advised the congregation to keep on singing.

He is replaced by Rev. Fr. Anthony Sheehan, C.C., who last ministered in Charleville in 2002.