Community news: Castleisland

John Reidy

That Romantic Ireland, if it ever existed, is dead and gone, and that is now well and truly confirmed as its coffin is rained with rusty nails.

The romance of rural Ireland was in the spontaneity of its people and in the rough and tumble of their past-times and pursuits.

But the land is now being stalked by an animal more avaricious that any other before it.

What rough and tumble is there in 'Drive-in Bingo' you'd have to wonder.

What's in it that the insurance moguls have driven and priced it out of existence and off the calendar of events for this year at least ?

In other parts of Rural Ireland there are beer-drinking and kite surfing festivals being buried by massive insurance demands to the extent that they're being cancelled altogether.

In the case of the Castleisland Drive-In Bingo, it acted as a fundraiser for a variety of local charities over the few years of its existence.

These are charities for special units in schools that would have to be funded by the government of the day.

And yet, the government of all the days seems helpless and even heedless to the cry for insurance justice from the very heart of Rural Ireland itself.

How can it be put across to a seemingly heedless government that people up and down through the same Rural Ireland - people who are being denied services and even basic human rights - are out there organising fun events in their communities so that the services so badly needed in hospitals and schools don't have to wait for an inert and unresponsive government department to cough up the funds so vital to the welfare of the vulnerable and of the community as a whole.

The Drive-In Bingo in Castleisland may have been driven off the calendar for 2019 but the organisers have not thrown their collective hat at it for next year.

Organiser Cllr Charlie Farrelly said at the weekend that they would look at tying the drive-in bingo to other events so that one insurance payment would provide umbrella coverage for a collection of smaller, charity fundraisers.

You'd have to wonder, also, how long the various beneficiaries of these fundraising events can go on being denied such a vital source of revenue - and who exactly will have the courage to step up and throw that vital life-line down to Rural Ireland?

Thinking about it, the side-show at Listowel Races is the perfect microcosm.

Collectors stand in the River Feale and call on the race-goers passing over the bridge above them to 'Throw Me Down Something.'

But at least, and for the sake of the tradition that's in it, many people do respond.

An Ríocht Athletics Club Remembrance Mass is well received

On the evening of Wednesday, August 21, a special Mass for the deceased members of An Riocht AC was offered at the clubhouse at 8pm.

Castleisland PP Fr Mossie Brick was on hand again to do the honours.

Founder member, Con Dennehy provided a rundown on the deceased members, and their names were read out by Marie Walsh.

The following is a list of people who were acknowledged and prayed for on this special occasion:

Peter Rodgers, Anthony Cronin, JJ Fleming, Donncha Brosnan, Tom Shanahan, Kate Moyna, Donal Curtin, Humphery Murphy, Tim Kerrisk, Danny Nelligan, John JJ Crowley, Fr Jimmy O'Connell, Dan Kenny, Brendan O'Connor and Denis Twomey.

A portrait of Peter Rogers was presented to the club on the occasion.

Relatives and friends of the deceased members made up the bulk of the 90 in attendance, and the kitchen, under the guidance of Bernadette and Chris, provided after-Mass food for everyone there.

Heart-warming service at St Stephen’s

Every day you learn something new is a good day.

The attendance at the Ecumenical Service and Blessing of Graves Ceremony at St Stephen's Churchyard here in Castleisland on Tuesday evening learned that the day marked the feast of St Bernard of Clairvaux, Patron Saint of bee-keepers and candle-makers.

The information came courtesy of Reverand Joe Hardy of the Church of Ireland side of the ecumenical service, while PP Castleisland Fr Mossie Brick wore the geansai for the Catholic side of the bargain - for want of a better term.

It was an evening of celebration of community and co-operation.

In the course of his talk to the attendance, Reverend Hardy remarked on how lucky we are in this part of the world that we can do this together and on such a pleasant evening.

Fr Brick, in introducing Reverend Hardy, outlined the work he had done in Tralee to repatriate Irish emigrants who had fallen on tough times in England in particular.

Fr Brick, in his turn, provided a history lesson on the lives and sacrifices of the two men and saints to whom the main building, St Stephen's; and the older wing, the Church of St Nicholas are dedicated.

The evening concluded with a blessing of the graves, and a container of holy water was made availaple to members of the attendance present so that they could sprinkle it on the graves of their ancestors buried within the walls of the historic site.