Drogheda Independent

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Around the districts: Broomfield, Duleek, Stamullen

Broomfield: contact me. Contact Gerard on 087/2729154 or E-mail: starinaghgerard1@gmail.com if you have an item for this Column, the deadline for which is 12 noon on Friday. Thanks for your co-operation as always.

Best Wishes

The best wishes of the Association and Community is extended to all who are hospitalised or ill at this time. We wish you a speedy recovery.

Sincere Sympathy

The sincere sympathy of Broomfield and District Residents Association and the Community of Broomfield & District is extended to the family, extended family, relatives, neighbours and friends, and all those who were bereaved by the passing of Mary Maguire RIP, Drumboe, Kells Road, Collon recently. Ar dheis De go raibh a h-anam dilis! You are in our thoughts and prayers at this sad time for you.

Community Response to Covid-19 Free-Phone

The Meath County Community Response number is 1800 808 809, E-mail covidsupport@meathcoco.ie

The Louth County Council Covid-19 Community Call Helpline number is 1800 805 817, E-mail covidsupport@louthcoco.ie

Both Helplines are open from Monday to Sunday from 8 am to 8 pm. They can help with a myriad of things and are only too willing to do so.

Important sources of information

The following are important sources of information at this time. Meath Public Participation Network at www.meathppn.ie or by e-mail at meathppn@meathcoco.ie and on 087 3512281. Meath Local Sports Partnership at www.meathsports.ie or by e-mail at mlsp@meathcoco.ie and on 046 9067337.

Mental Well-being Campaign

A reminder about the Mental Well-being Campaign launched recently. The campaign offers support and resources for people to help deal with stress and isolation. It also helps people to maintain well-being and how to cope at home at this time. The campaign is running on all National and Local radio channels, as well as across social and digital platforms. The website is www.gov/together and the hashtag is #Together.

RTE 4 Week Programme

RTE are producing a 4 week programme of Operation Transformation Staying Well, going out on Wednesday evenings at 9.30 pm in response to the need to help people cope with staying at home/cocooning at this time. The Gov.ie/together campaign is linking in with RTE to assist with this strategy.

Community Alert

A significant number of new names have been added to the Community Alert Text Alert System recently, with more to follow. If you live in the District and wish to have your name included, please get in contact. The Broomfield & District Text Alert number is: 086 2193103. Slane Gardai on 042 9824202, Navan Gardai 046 9036100. Don't forget to test the Socially Monitored Alarms!

Keep in contact please

Please keep in contact with your relatives and neighbours, especially the elderly, during these challenging times. A phone call will always be welcome as its always good to talk. Give them a call as often as you can. Social isolation leaves people feeling alone and excluded. We all like a chat, so make it a priority to call your neighbours, especially the elderly, on an on-going basis, and see if there is anything you can do to help.

Keep in contact with us also. Broomfield and District Residents Association's Secretary, Gerard on 087 2729154 or visit the Broomfield and District Residents Association Facebook page. If anything can be done to help, please contact us.

Answers to last Weeks Quiz

(1) 1142 AD.

(2) On the Hurcle Road on the Mellifont side of Doe Bridge, on the left. It is an OPW protected site

(3) The Rule of St. Benedict.

(4) 1990 (there was a Community Activity Weekend in 1989).

(5) The Joe Tolan, St. Columcille, Oriel and Jim Hanratty Ceili Bands.

This Week's Just a Minute Quiz!

(1) There was a Gaelic Football team in Rathbran in bygone years. What was the name of the team?

(2) On whose land is the location of St. Columcille's Well?

(3) What year did Ollie Kealy win his All-Ireland medal?

(4) What year was the Constitution of Broomfield & District Residents Association adopted?

(5) When was the 'New' Bridge over the River Mattock at Carrickenane officially opened ?

Answers next week! Stay safe and well.


Contact Me

If you have any news or items for this column, please contact me on my new e-mail address annfinger@yahoo.co.uk or contact me on 086-3131708. Please have all information to me by 7pm on Thursday evening for the following Tuesdays paper.

St Cianan's Church

St Cianan's Church Duleek continues to remain open during the day, for those who would like to spend a quiet moment.

Duleek Credit Union

Revised opening hours are in operation in Duleek Credit Union. The office is open on Tuesday's from 12 noon to 4.pm and Friday's from 2pm to 7pm.

Welcome Back

It's nice to see our local Chinese take away Tenda back in business. Also the Tribe Restaurant is open for take aways.

Duleek Village

It's great to see people taking an interest in the village by weeding, cutting grass and keeping it clean and tidy.

St. Vincent De Paul

SVP St Cianan's offer to assist those in our community who are experiencing hardship or difficulties. Contact the helpline on 087-0931068.

Alarms for the Elderly

Make sure to test your alarm to check that the battery is working, press the button and speak to the operator . If you have any problems ring Annette on 086-1050159 or 041-9821598.

Community Assistance

Assistance to those who may need shopping or medication delivered in the community. Duleek/Bellewstown Community Support for Elderly, Call Gillian on 087-7548403.

Alone (8am to 8pm) 0818 222 024.

Haven Pharmacy Duleek are happy to deliver prescriptions to their customers contact 9823326.

McNallys Pharmacy 365 offer online prescription ordering and free collection and delivery service contact 9814846.


Spare a thought

This time last year and indeed, back in 2018 as well, the people of this particular north-east district were anxiously awaiting the coming of the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann to Drogheda, attracting the best in Irish music, culture and dance. B&B`s, guest-houses and hotels were already booked out for this huge event which attracted over half-a-million visitors to this area over the 8-day extravaganza.

Many people rented out rooms, beds and even their back gardens to accommodate those arriving from around Ireland and the world. The good weather prevailed from around this time, early May, particularly in 2018 when we had a `scorcher` of a summer and by the time mid August had arrived, all things were in place and the greatest Irish music & dance gathering got underway and passed off without a hitch and, by all accounts in its aftermath, those in their thousands who had attended were left with lasting memories of this wonderful occasion on the Banks of the Boyne. Unfortunately, the town of Mullingar in our neighbouring county of Westmeath, were all set and ready to host the 2020 Fleadh Cheoil; plans have been in the making and all set-to-go later in the summer and, now in early May, as the summer begins to unfold, the people of Mullingar, local businesses, etc. etc. must be left totally devastated; another `victim` of this deadly virus. Drogheda hosted this event for two years in succession; it will be interesting to see what the immediate future now holds for such large-scale gatherings as we move forward.

Current Crisis

Back in the winter of 1739/40, a heavy winter frost set in across Britain and the island of Ireland in the aftermath of Christmas of 1739 and as the year 1740 began the cold weather prevailed and there was no sign of any thaw or let-up with the frost. Initially people thought that this was wonderful, skating on frost-covered ponds and lakes, the gentry of the day were hosting parties on the frozen ice, such as at Beaulieu House just outside Drogheda; there was dancing and even a pig-roast turning on a Spit in the centre of the frozen pond at Beaulieu.

Local people were excited to see the great Boyne River had also frozen over and, by and large, the populace treated this bad weather event as a novelty at first.

This `novelty` however, was not long wearing thin when the frost didn't go away as the country emerged into the spring of 1740 and when it did become milder during the early summer of 1740, a drought then set in which lasted the whole summer and autumn of 1740.

By the winter of 1740 into 1741, this dreaded frost came back again, rivers lakes, ponds all froze over, coal could not be extracted from the ground in Britain, ships were frozen in ports and harbours and mill-wheels couldn't turn so flour could not be ground and so the bakers had no bread to make, while the humble spud had also frozen in their storage-pits underground.

The `novelty` soon wore off as people began to realize that this had become pretty serious and within a very short space of time, it had become a total catastrophe with people dying of both exposure to the cold, along with that of starvation and killer viruses. It was totally devastating, not just on the economy of the day, but more importantly, on the health and the lives of the populace and, as a result, some serious riots took place across the country with one of the first outbreak of `social disobedience` actually taking place in Drogheda. By the time this event had ended, over half-a-million people had died across Ireland as a result.

This strange phenomenon lasted until the spring of 1741 and, apparently, it had an effect all across Europe and it is believed that it may have been caused initially by some kind of volcanic eruption way out in Eastern Europe. There is a book written on this event of 1740/41 which is titled `Ireland`s Mini Ice-Age`, written by a man named David Dickson, from Trinity College some years ago.

The current crisis that we now find ourselves in as a result of the virus Covid 19 reminds me of the catastrophe of the mid-18th century. Firstly it becomes a `novelty`; "Ah sure it's only something that`s out there in China, we`ll be alright here in little Ireland, it won't come here"! So, then it did come and people were told that they couldn't go to work and the schools were closed: this became a `novelty` at first, to some. "Ah sure isn't this great, off work now for a few weeks, even with pay; this is great"!

Everyone out walking, but not the elderly, they have to stay at home and peer at the world outside through their front windows, wondering if indeed they may ever see and hold their childen and grandchildren again. "Sure it`s only for a short period, we`ll be grand"! "Off school now, for weeks and weeks and weeks, sure isn't this great"!

As what happened back in 1740/41; the `Novelty` soon wares off when people begin to see the `fuller-picture` off what exactly may be ahead of us regarding the freedom to move about at will, where and when we want to as our own choice. Currently, this `choice` is no longer our own!

Drogheda Independent