Tribute Asdee 2022


June 08 2022 01:50 AM








Death of Tom Rice (Asdee and Kilburn London)




The death took place in Kilburn London of Tom Rice of Rusheen, Ballyline and Tullahinell.




Son of the late Pat and May Rice (nee Roche) he was born in 1932 in Rusheen and he spent the vast majority of his life residing and working in London.




Coming from a family of 10 siblings when he finished national school in Ballylongford he went to work with his uncle Sean Roche who was a small farmer in Ballyline.




In his late teens he had an urge to seek employment elsewhere and like many of his age group he headed off for the bright lights of London and ended up in Kilburn Ireland’s 33rd county as it was called at that time in North West London.




The streets of London were not paved with gold at that time but a decent living could be made there if a person was willing to work hard and look after their earnings.




It was not a bed of roses in the English capital at that particular time for Irish people as racism was part of everyday life and was not against the law either.




Tom was a very strong young man who was a tremendous worker ethic and he had no apprehension of going out and doing a decent days work.




Like many young men of that era he worked at construction and he brushed up on his skills along the way and could do any kind of work as time progressed.




He was a jack of trades and often the work he done was very laborious but it never bothered him.




As he got more experienced in the types of work he was doing he discovered he enjoyed working in the construction trade and he knew he could make a decent living from it.




There was plenty of demand for labourers at that time and Tom began his working life with the big Irish Building Contractors.




He was only in his late teens at that time so it was an alien environment to head into but he was never shy of work and made the best with what he had.




Then one day when he was walking down the bustling Kilburn High Road he spotted a good looking girl at a bus stop and he said to himself I will marry this girl some day.




They met again at the famous Irish Club in Kilburn at the time The Bamber (which now is Sainsburys) and they danced the night away together and as the saying goes he never looked back after that.




Her name was Annie Maguire and she hailed from Glangevlin in Co. Cavan.




Their relationship flourished quickly and they were married at the Sacred Heart Church in Quex Road Kilburn.




They lived in Lamberth in South London for a couple of years and then they purchased a house in Kilburn where they reared their family and were in their comfort zone with the big Irish emigrant population that lived in North West London at that time.




They made friends quickly with their neighbours and built up a great relationship with them over the years.




They immersed quickly into the London style of life and they were actively involved in the Irish emigrant in the English capital.




Tom was a man of outgoing and obliging nature and he would help his neighbours out of a hole in his capacity as an all - round tradesman.




They went on to have 5 children and all of them have done very well for themselves in life with his encouragement and advice,




He was a great family provider and he had no qualms about heading out to work in the small hours of the morning and worked while there was still light in the sky.




Back in the early 80’s he became a property developer building holiday cottages in West Cork and he built another bungalow in Dundalk.




He also invested in a small farm in Guhard Lisselton which he rented out for a long period of time but he eventually sold it.




One of his regrets was that he didn’t build a family house in North Kerry as he visited it so regularly.




In his youth he had a reputation as a bit of a prankster and he liked to play a bit of fun on people.




He livened up the townland of Ballyline with his tricks and games and was coming up with new ideas on a regular basic.




Back in the 1950’s he played a trick on a local man while he was out doing a bit of shopping in the village.




Together with a friend they took off the wheels off his donkeys cart and took it into the kitchen of the living house and put the wheels back on again.




Then they took the Donkey into the kitchen and tackled him up to his cart again.




When the owner came back home he was totally mesmerised and could not take in what was before his eyes.




Meanwhile Tom and his friend were close by in a room and had a real laugh about it afterwards and the incident was the talk of the parish for a couple of weeks.




Another night before Christmas he got his hands on a turkey and got on the roof of the house and let it down the chimney and those sitting by the fireside scatted very quickly.




Another day a neighbour was coming home from the village dressed up to the nigh in his 3 piece suit and tie.




Tom hid in wait close to a pool of dirty water on the road and as he passed by he jumped into the water and splashed it all over him.




Again this incident was high on the local conversation list in the weeks that followed and it gave local neighbours merriment when they gathered around the fireplace at night.




He was a prolific storyteller and had great tales to tell about his childhood years.




After years of working for Irish construction Companies he decided he would go it alone and operated as a small building contractor.




It took a bit before he got into full steam but as his customer base expanded he was constantly kept busy doing projects all over London and the home counties.




As time progressed he took on employees and he went on to have a thriving business.




His wife Annie was very good book keeper and she took care of the office side of things.




While he settled into London comfortably he always had a great love of Kerry and he came over regularly for holidays.




He loved to catch up with all his relatives in North Kerry and he went out of his way to visit all of them.




Tom and his late brother Patsy were security guards at The Forum Irish Night Club in Kentish Town in the 70, and 80’s.




A lot of drunken fights took place at the venue but if anyone tried to take on Tom at the door they were in for a rude awakening as he would restore order quickly.




He became a property developer in the early 80’s constructing 3 cottages in Goleen in West Cork and he also built a house in Dundalk.




He rented them out for many years but sold 2 of them.




He also purchased a farm in Guhard in Lisselton and he rented it out to local farmers for many years but sold it in the 1990’s




He was always honest and sincere with people he met in every day life and was always available to help out anyone that sought his assistance.




He was always very straight and forthcoming with people he dealt with and never had any time for people who engaged in any kind of underhand tricks.




In London he occasionally went out on the social scene and enjoyed meeting fellow construction workers in the bars in Kilburn at a time when it was full of Irish people.




He was not a big drinker but he would have a few social drinks with his family and friends.




Everything he achieved in life was through hard work and endeavour and he was always very proud of how he done in life.




His faith played a pivotal role in his everyday life and he attended Mass every weekend at Quex Road Church and he promoted honesty integrity and fairmindedness in his every - day life.




He loved a bit of fun and banter and he enjoyed meeting some of his older relatives to reflect on his bygone days growing up in rural North Kerry.




He was a very opinionated man who was very proud to be Irish and he was not shy to express his republican view points and he always believed that a United Ireland would become a reality down the line




He believed in all the old traditions in life and enjoyed telling tales about his happy childhood where he engaged in harmless devilment just to have a laugh and pass the time away prior to the arrival of a more modern style of life.




He lived a long and fulfilled lifetime and passed away just a few months before his 90th birthday.




He enjoyed good health for most of his life but in recent years his mobility began to decrease when he was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia.




While things began to get tough for him as time progressed he took it in his stride and never complained about it.




He got on exceptionally well with the carer that looked after him in more recent times and he was a great patient showing kindness, respect and friendliness to everyone who looked after him.




Even though his health was declining rapidly in recent times and he was finding it hard to do basic things he always had a smile on his face and never bothered complaining about anything.




He battled gamely to the very end and he passed away as he would have liked surrounded by his family.




Tom and Annie celebrated their 67th wedding Anniversary 10 days before he passed away after a wonderful lifetime together.




Honesty, decency, integrity, generosity, kindness are some of the adjectives that sum up the life he lived.




The esteem in which Tom and his family was reflected in the large congregations that turned out for the removal of his remains to Sacred Heart Church Quex Road London.




Friends he worked with over the years turned out to give him a good send off.




Prior to the beginning of the ceremony members of his family brought items to the altar to signify what they meant to him in life.




They included, his favourite glasses as he was an avid reader, a Shamrock showing his love for his native country, a packet of Emerald Sweets showing that he had a sweet tooth a container of earth of his native Kerry and a copy of The Kerryman Newspaper to show that he never forgot his roots




A very congregation turned out for his Requiem Mass




In his homily Kilburn PP Fr Terry Murray said Tom was a gentle giant who was a hard working man all his life and he was devoted to his family.




He said he made a huge contribution to the community of North West London where he made so many friends,




He said his faith was an integral part of his everyday life and always enjoyed a bit of a chat wit him after the Sunday Masses.




Beautiful music and song were provided by his two grandsons Stephen and Thomas Rice and his niece Cathy Ryan.




A wonderful eulogy was delivered by his daughter Karen describing just how good a husband, father, and grandfather he was.




She said he devoted his life to his family and was very proud of each and every one of them.




She said his kind deeds were endless and his generosity, decency, were trademarks of a life well spent.




While he was out working hard every day but his family was everything for him and he spent as much time as possible with them.




A beautiful poem was recited by his grand - daughter Corah and a lovely reflection by his daughter Anne.




Afterwards he was laid to rest at Padding Old Cemetery Willesden Lane Kilburn a mere stone’s throw from his home in Kilburn.




While his life on this earth has ended fond memories of him will last long into the future whenever his family have a gathering of any type stories about him will always enter the topic of conversation.




He is survived by his wife Annie, daughters Karen and Anne, sons Brendan Pat and Tommy, sisters Angela and Mary, brother Mike and extended family.








2022 June 22 Knockanure




MEMORIAL and Thanksgiving Mass for Fr. Kevin will take place on Sunday 26th June at 2pm at Moyvane Church, at the Doorway of Hope (weather permitting) in memory of the Covid Masses. After Mass a plaque will be unveiled in his honour. Everybody very welcome. Mass in thanksgiving for Fr. Kevin's life will take place on Wednesday 29th June at 7.30pm in St. Agatha's Church, Glenflesk.


BEST WISHES on her 102nd Birthday to Nora Lynch, (nee Flaherty) from Glasha, Athea, and born at Knockanure. Family and friends Celebrated the occasion at Athea on June 11.








BY: Mal Rogers- April 27, 2021


THE death has occurred of businessman Pat O'Carroll, the founder and director of Millennium Crane Hire. Pat, who died in London on April 18 at the age of 78, was from Knockanure in North Kerry.Sport was a big feature of Pat O'Carroll’s early life — he was an All Ireland champion in weight-throwing as well as being a Kerry footballer. It was while growing up in Kerry, and playing for the North Kerry Minors, that Pat met Phil Donovan.




They later went on to build a hugely successful UK business as well as striking up a friendship that lasted a lifetime.






Today on the show, Alex explains how the prodigiousness of the Third Infantry Division was due to effective leadership, and the sheer fact that they were in combat so long, serving from the very beginning of the war in Europe to its very end. We then get into the stories of Britt, Daly, Ware, and Murphy, unpacking their varied backgrounds, how they earned their Medals of Honor — and many more decorations besides — and what their lives were like after the war. We end our conversation with what Alex has personally taken away from the stories of these brave men.








Fr Coughlin








Without Father Flanagan, I'm not here': Park City Irish pub a tribute to famous priest who saved owner's grandfather




Park City pub • Establishment's namesake, a Catholic priest, took in a homeless boy in the early 1900s whose grandson would later honor his legacy by offering Irish fare in a Utah town.








CONCERT FOR PEACE IN THE CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION:  Preparations began some weeks ago with bi weekly rehearsals, tickets printed, posters distributed, spot prizes collected and finally on Friday the Blessed Sacrament moved to the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel after 10am Mass with adorers for every hour until 6pm.  The final sound checks and doors opened at 7.30pm with a line forming from 7pm in the car park.  Dr. Mick O’Donnell, the band leader of The Lost Souls and organiser along with Donal Murphy of the concert had had a busy evening arranging the altar into a stage with cables and microphones and music stands.  The night began on the dot of eight with Katie O’Connor and the Church cantors and musical accompaniment from their director Riona Curtin, these are the group who served us so well during lockdown when choirs were not allowed in church and they took it in turns to sing at Mass.  Friday night they all came together and gave us a ten minute set finishing with the lively ‘Now I’m a believer’. Surprise guests included our own Philip Enright, the traditional singer singing the Sean McCarthy classic ‘Come Home to Abbeyfeale’ to rapturous applause. Indeed it was a night for rapturous applause and standing ovations between Fr. Tony our parish priest with his rendition of ‘Grace’ and the Murphy Family – Kevin on bodhran and banjo, Eilsh on the concert flute, Donal the patriarch on the accordion, Melanie on the fiddle and Owen on guitar who raised the rafters with their jigs, slides and polkas and even a waltz written by Donal during the lockdown in honour of their father and grandfather – the late Dan.  We clapped and hollered and danced in the seats and enjoyed Donal’s stories about writing a tune to celebrate Owen’s christening twenty one years ago which is now part of a set of jigs known as the Christening jigs and which is on his new album.  He told us too about how some years ago he and Mary his wife, went on a trip up the midlands to Cloonfad, Co. Roscommon to visit where his maternal grandmother was born and going into the empty church in the middle of the village to say a prayer for all belonging to him only to hear the strains of ‘Rock around the Clock’ echoing through the church and see an elderly priest playing a selection of rock and roll classics on the organ – it would only happen in Ireland.  After a short break and the sale of raffle tickets for a load of prizes donated by local businesses, community groups and the Sisters of Mercy it was time for the Lost Souls to take to the stage and boy, they did not disappoint.  We had everything from the Eagles to gospel to the Cranberries to Pink Floyds ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and loads beside – I nearly forgot Dee Dennison’s wonderful singing of The Parting Glass. The latest addition to the group was Scott Fitzgerald on drums who brought the group to a new level.  I’ve run out of superlatives but must mention Gary of the smooth mellow tones who sings and plays the Eagles.  There was a saying above at home when I was young that when someone was that good that you’d bring them home and put them on top of the dresser and throw sugarstick at them!!!  Band leader Dr. O’Donnell in his introduction spoke about what Ukraine is currently enduring and said it’s a misnomer when people say that the innocent people of the Ukraine are enduring a living hell because Hell is full of people who deserve to be there but that those poor people are innocent bystanders in something much worse than hell – a war not of their making. We were joined on the night by a family from Ukraine who have relocated to Abbeyfeale and hopefully they felt the love that was projected.  Well done to the musicians without whom it couldn’t have taken place, the church stewards who manned the doors, collected the door tickets, sold the raffle tickets and generally kept everything ticking smoothly. Well done too to our parish clerk Anne who fed and watered the musicians, organised everything and with the help of Shane Pegley (who fumigates the church after every Mass and keeps us all safe) made sure that the church was returned to its usual pristine state before the weekend Masses with the Blessed Sacrament back in situ in the tabernacle..  It was a great outpouring of community spirit and to paraphrase Fr. Donal Neary S.J. editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger “We show our living Christian faith in our acts of loving care – the care we show for the marginalized and the dispossessed in our own communities or those who have been driven to our shores by war or climate change.”


From Abbeyfeale Notes May 30th 2022.






This piece was graciously written for us by Sherri Price Bruen about her third great-grandmother Caroline Halsey (Robinson) Freeman in honor of Mothers’ Day.




“It is my duty to write to you upon the painful subject of your husband’s death…”




Holding the official-looking letter, Caroline Freeman’s hands must have trembled with dread. Her mind must have spun furiously, like a child’s out-of-control whirligig, even if she didn’t quite know why yet. Born in 1835, Caroline had never learned to read or write, so she needed help to decipher the contents.




The time it took to find that someone would have been interminable, even if only minutes. And yet, hearing the words of Captain Albert B. Hull of the USCT 20th Regiment—the subject of your husband’s death—rather than reading them for herself, couldn’t have softened the blow.




It’s a mistake. It’s somebody else. He can’t be dead! One can imagine the chaotic thoughts and emotions whirling through her. Surely, Charles was still alive, and when he came home, she would have so much to tell him about all that had transpired during his absence: cute stories about the children, and all the gossip and goings-on in the village. Most importantly, his new daughter—she would finally introduce him to little Frances. To fathom that she would never see his face again, never hear his voice, never feel the touch of his hand must have been near impossible. After all, they still had a whole life to live.




In 1855, when both were 19 years old, Charles Freeman and Caroline Halsey Robinson married. Over the next few years, they created a home with their four young children: Amelia, Mary Elizabeth, Mellissa, and Lewis. Then, the War of Rebellion broke out in the south, and Charles answered the call to arms. He would serve his country and fight for the freedom of fellow black men as well as the future of his children to enjoy American citizenship. He enlisted in December 1863, leaving his pregnant young wife to care for their family. No doubt as all departing soldiers did, he promised to come home safe and sound. Except he didn’t. Not even his body was sent home to make this news feel real—to give her the closure of saying a proper goodbye to her husband and life mate. Yet, it was all too real. Charles Freeman was dead, and all her memories couldn’t change that.




Eventually, the full import of Charles’ death and what it would mean for her, and her children, must have set in. What they’d both expected to be a temporary separation, with Charles one day returning home to resume life as they’d planned, was now permanent. Still, despite the cruel twist of fate that had stolen her husband or the brokenness she likely felt, Caroline had to pick herself up and forge ahead to support her family, including her aging parents who lived with her. She had to rise to the occasion and don the roles of father, mother, and breadwinner.




One bright spot in her situation would have been the financial relief she could expect in the form a veteran widow’s pension. Unfortunately, the bureaucratic nightmares of today were alive and well in the nineteenth century. She applied in December 1864, four months after Charles’ passing. The process would prove to be arduous and lengthy, requiring documented proof of Charles’ service and death, proof of their marriage and the birth dates of the children sworn to by physicians who attended the family. She needed to gather affidavits from neighbors, friends, and acquaintances attesting to her character and life in the community. It would be a laborious undertaking for anyone to gather all these required documents. For an uneducated woman, it must have seemed a herculean task, but Caroline accomplished it all and submitted the paperwork.




Then, she waited. And waited. And waited some more. During that time, Caroline made ends meet employed as a day servant in private homes, caring for the welfare and conveniences of prominent families. At night, she would trudge home to care for her own family. Also during that time, the infant daughter Frances she’d born in Charles’ absence became ill and died. After two trying years had passed, the government finally approved this waiting widow’s pension. Caroline received her first check of $8 a month plus $2 each for her three qualifying children under 16 years of age.




Life as widow and mother went along normally for a time, and then, another unexpected loss touched too close to home. Caroline’s younger sister, Julia, died in 1875. Having married on the same day, had their babies in tandem, and partnered in caring for their elderly parents, it is probably safe to say Caroline and Julia had a strong sisterly bond. With her sister’s death leaving three young daughters motherless, Caroline rose to the occasion as many an elder sister would for their little sister. She moved into the home of her brother-in-law, Robert Williams, to care for her nieces. And in the blink of an eye, she became full-time mother to a total of six children—three of her own, her sister’s three, and a grandchild.




Like most women, Caroline lived day-to-day life in a supportive, but indispensable role in the lives of her family—providing a clean home with meals, washing and mending clothing, teaching manners and social skills, soothing bruises and nightmares, and always smothering children with love to keep them balanced and prepared for the world ahead. Time moved along, and Caroline’s children grew up, married, and made her a grandmother. She was present at the birth of most of these babies, which in those days was at home rather than a hospital. And always, she was there to lend a helping hand. When her daughter, Amelia Bruin, became a young 38-year-old widow with children, a by-now wise and seasoned Caroline had been there, done that. She knew the ropes all too intimately. And she stood right by her daughter’s side to help raise her seven, now fatherless grandchildren.




This brought Caroline into her mid-50s when most people today begin to think about hanging up their working shoes and adopting an easier lifestyle. Not Caroline, because tragedy once again reached up from the bowels of hell to catch her in its grip. In painfully quick succession, two daughters passed away—Mellissa in 1890 and Amelia in 1891. As with her sister, both daughters left behind children needing a mother’s love, and Caroline neither hemmed nor hawed at the prospect. Seamlessly she stepped into the role of caregiver for those she loved, particularly for the Bruin children who had also lost their father two years before.




Still, as unstinting as was her love and devotion to her family, Caroline’s own health began to fail. No longer able to care for her young grandchildren, they were parsed out to work in private homes as live-in servants or sent to an orphanage. For a woman who had spent her life working hard to keep her family together after her husband’s death, this must have been one more terrible blow to her. Not very much later, at the age of 62, Caroline passed away from heart disease. Caroline Freeman died on 29 December 1897 and is buried at Washingtonville Cemetery. Her husband Charles lies in parts still unknown somewhere in Louisiana.




Some people make headlines. Some become rich and famous, some even world-renowned. Most of us live quiet lives, and memories of our time here fade with the passing generations. Little by little, no one talks about us anymore, and our mark on the community is no longer readily visible. Caroline might seem like just such a person. Her life was defined by loss, but also by uncommon fortitude and resiliency. She never remarried, perhaps never healing from the heartbreak of losing Charles. However, she was able to move through her pain and loss to make a powerful example of motherhood for her descendants. And she demonstrated how to survive the hard knocks. While there are no diaries to learn about Caroline in her own words, a paper trail paints a picture of her life and her contributions as a mother and grandmother. Quiet as her life may have been, she has not been forgotten. Descendants have spoken of her for generations, and still do, more than one hundred years after her death.




And so, on this Mother’s Day, I wanted to memorialize in writing Caroline Halsey (Robinson) Freeman, my third great grandmother—the unsung hero who overcame life-altering events to provide a mother’s love and support to a long line of children and children’s children. A cousin of mine once dubbed a few of us genealogy nuts “Caroline’s Daughters.” It has a nice ring to it, I think, and a deep sense of generational baton-passing. I am proud to be a fifth-generation Daughter of Caroline, and I hope she is proud of the family she built.









May 04 2022 05:00 AM








Asdee notes celebrates its 40th birthday




When you get a bit longer in the tooth like myself the years seem to go bye so quickly and with so many things happening in this crazy world we live in sometimes looking back it seems to be just a dream.




This week marks a very special landmark in the history of the Asdee Notes as this week the weekly column celebrates its 40th anniversary.




A lot of water has gone down the river in Asdee over the past 4 decades with some huge changes in peoples lives most of them for the better.




How the weekly notes came to fruition happened out of the blue back in May 1982 when a few people had expressed an interest in getting the Asdee Notes off the ground.




At that time the neighbouring Ballylongford Notes were written by my good friend the late Seamus O Neill and after a chat with him he gave his backing for it.




A couple of people said they would do the notes but eventually it was left to me to get the show off the ground.




I wrote to The Editor of The Kerryman at that time the late Seamus Mc Conville and in his reply said he would accept my stuff on a trial basis.




As the old cliché goes the rest is history and 40 years later I am still doing the job.




Now my fledging journalistic career took off the ground but there was no guarantee that I would become a millionaire along the journey I was on.




Of course a huge amount of change has happened over the past 4 decades with the country flourishing through the 80’s into the 90’s and when the Celtic Tiger burst people got a reality check and had to tighten their spending habits as the recession of the 90’s hit people of all age groups.




Starting out the Notes were composed every Sunday night and were compiled by the good old reliable biro and you had to be careful to try and have your material as accurate as you could as it would be a bit of a mess if changes had to be done at a later stage.




Asdee were fortunate to have a very thriving local community at this particular time and there was plenty of organisations and clubs who were only too happy to get a bit of free publicity.




I was walking on shells for the first few weeks as my status in the community mushroomed and people I met every day had good things to say about what I was doing.




I was very anxious ahead of my first notes being published the first death that appeared was the late Margaret Hennessy of Larha who was an institution in the community.




She was the pillar of the local community and she done a phenomenal amount of voluntary work for local organisations.




A couple of weeks later came the sudden death of the late Kerry footballer Eamon O Donoghue.




There was a number of local people who were great to me in the early years such as the late Jimmy O Carroll (The Road) who ran all the Padre Pio pilgrimages to Knock.




The late Martin Mulvihill was also furnishing me with a lot of news items over the years. Martin was a local newspaper correspondent back in the 50’s.




The late Tommy Walsh of Asdee East gave me huge encouragement and often furnished me with news items when I popped into his retail grocery.




Another man who was good to me also was the late Mick Hennessy of Tullahinell who was a local legend promoting Drama PTAA and Scor in the local community.




The local Comhaltas, PTAA, ICA and Drama Groups brought fame to the parish and back in the late 80’s there was a Boxing Club in Asdee.




I was very nervous compiling my first column but as the weeks went bye I got into the swing of things.




Exiles of the parish were tuning into the notes every week as well as local people living in other parts of the country.




They looked forward to the Notes every week and at a time when very few people had landline phones it was their only way of keeping in touch with what was happening at home.




The key to thrive as a Newspaper correspondent is to socialise frequently keep an ear out for local gossip and have a notebook and a pencil in your pocket.




It was very important to have a pencil in the pocket as often biros had a habit of letting you down when they went out of ink.




I rarely forgot my notebook when I was going out for a few pints




But from time to time I committed the cardinal sin of leaving my pencil at home but I always came up with a plan in the case of emergencies.




I have jotted news items on the back of a Players Number 6 Box (I gave up the cigs in late 1982 one of the best things I ever done), or a beer mat was also a good substitute.




In the early days I got some great stories at my local watering hole Jesse James Tavern on a Sunday night.




I always tried to adopt a lighthearted approach and I always sought stories of a humorous nature from time to time as they always went down very well with the local community.




It was always great to compile a news item that would produce a smile on a readers face knowing that it would be a big topic of conversation in the local community for the rest of the week.




I might not have too much to write about some weeks but after spending a few hours on the high stool many a good story was revealed.




The readership of the Notes spiralled out of all proportions back in 1985 when it was reported that the Statues at St Mary’s Church in Asdee were seen moving.




Thousands of people from all over the country flooded into the village for a 6 week period with TV Crews and journalists camped in the village.




I compiled a lot of material regarding what transpired and now the column was read all over the county and beyond.




There was always going to be a sporting theme in the notes with strong soccer and GAA Clubs in the parish and I would have to make special mention to Jack Hennessy the PRO of the local GAA Club journeying from Ballybunion to my house every Sunday night on his motorbike wind rain or snow with his weekly GAA notes.




Another man who tuned in regularly was the late Mick Sheehan of Beale Hill who provided some great old GAA stories from his big archive collection.




If there was something in the Notes that some people didn’t like it was always a bone of contention in the days after the paper was published but that only happened rarely.




Of course there is always a rotten egg in the bunch and I was sent a couple of anonymous letters but they were quickly disposed of in the fire place.




Of course now the way media is presented has made huge advances in the mid 90’s and I had to keep in touch with the big changes that took place the most important change was the birth of information technology.




Initially the Notes were concluded on Sunday night and then they were posted off to The Kerryman on Monday morning.




While the Notes were despatched mostly by mail in the early days an odd time they got lost in the Bermuda Triangle and I was kept busy during these times with people asking why the notes were not published..




There was always a bit of a problem with bank holiday Mondays as the copy had to be taken to the Kerryman by friends that I relied on.




A breakthrough came in the early 90’s with the arrival of the Fax Machine.




This was very handy bit of kit as the stuff could be sent directly to The Kerryman and typists were at hand to type them out.




Of course problems did arise from time to time with pages of fax messages going missing.




Of course the biggest change came with the arrival of the computer and I invested in one in 1995 and never looked back since.




Now exiles can tune into the notes digitally all over the world at the flick of a button which literally brings the paper into a mobile phone tablet or desktop.




A lot has happened in the local community over the past 4 decades and media has evolved enormously from the day of writing stuff in a notebook to the emergence of new technology and that revolutionised everything.




New Digital Versions of papers are the in thing now and readers can tune in all over the world as soon as the paper is published.




While this new trend is growing there is a lot of people out there that are not computer literate and would rather have the paper in their hands to read it and they will continue to be accommodated.




From time to time some people were not too economical with the truth forwarding information to me and consequently a juicy story was never far away but at times had to be taken with a pinch of salt from time to time.




One thing that troubled me over the years was the demise of the Handball Alley in the village. The area produced some great handballers and it was a shame that it is now beyond repair.




The closure of The Store Bar, Jesse James Tavern, Kennedy’s and Kissane’s and the local Post Office could never have been forseen and these changes bit into the social life of residents of the area and was an unwelcome development that affected more senior members of the community.




We were well served by local grocery shops over the years with Tommy Walsh’s Kennedys, Fitzgeralds, Mike Walsh’s in village, The Store, O Sullivans and Ferris up Larha. Kissanes and Jessies also sold groceries at one time it was also a butcher’s shop.




Now John Pius Walsh and his daughter Marie Alice are keeping the local family shop running and it is providing a great service to the local community at a time when big Supermarkets are dominating everything,.




While I have a lot of fond memories to look back on there are sad ones also with some fantastic characters gone on to their eternal rewards some long before their time.




It is a great pity there was not videos back in the old days as the area had some great characters who were the life and soul of the local community.




If there was a secret camera at The Store or at Jesse James Tavern they would have some great stories to reveal.




Now you can send messages talk face to face at the flick of a keyboard to any place in the planet and the communication happens instantaneously.




It is great to see people taking such pride in the village in recent years with a great 10 year programme in place to enhance it going into the future.




The older generations over the past 4 decades would never in their wildest imagination expect to see the arrival of divorce same sex marriages, or clerical abuse.




I don’t know what the future holds for this type of column but I am fairly sure that it is a part of the life of the community and the first part of the paper that residents go to every week are the notes.




Admitedly it does not have the same appeal for the younger generation as they are too busy on their mobile phones, Tablets and laptops but there are still a lot of people that read The Kerryman every week.




The late Jerry Bunyan went out every night for a couple of pints but he always stayed at home on Wednesday nights to read The Kerrynan and he read it cover to cover.




Everyone fondly remembers the annual Lord Mayor of Asdee competition which was run by the Asdee Rovers Soccer club during the 80’s and early 90’s.




It was their big fund raiser and it created great interest by the community at large.




Three competitors took part every year selling tickets and the person wo sold the most tickets was declared the winner.




There was Intense rivalry between the contestants and the various contestants called to all pubs in North Kerry and West Limerick.




The new celebrity was crowned at The Store and was always packed to the capacity for the big event.




Each contestant had their own campaign plan and the competitor that sold the most tickets were declared the winner and was crowned with their chain of office.




The first Lord Mayor of Asdee was Jack Hennessy last was Donie Finucane first.




The male dominated event had to make way for the ladies with Ann Costello becoming the first female Lord Mayor.




Unfortunately it began to get very difficult to get people to take part in the fund raiser and the event was discontinued in the early 90’s.




The main sporing places for youngsters during the 1980’s was the school field and it became really famous for staging the annual 5 a side League.




There was no age barrier for entering the competition and the final always a big crowd of spectators.




The big sporting achievements included Asdee Rovers winning the Munster Final of the Munster Junior Cup a game that was staged at their famous pitch in Ballynoneen.




Another big sporting event was the official opening of Jack Walsh Park in Tullahinell




After a down turn in the economy in the mid 80’s work was very scarce and consequently there was a major exodus of young people from the area most of whom went to the United States.




The local community were concerned with the demise of the local handball alley.




This was the recreational facility at the disposal of the youth of the area and they spent a considerable amount of their spare time playing handball every evening and at the weekends.




At this time also the local hall was at the heart of the local community and a lot of social functions were held there over the years.




Everyone fondly remember the Asdee Races and the Asdee Festival which created a great buzz in the village




It would be interesting to know how the people of the early 80’s would greet the arrival the mobile phone as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Ticktok.




I am moving close to the twilight of my writing career but I have enjoyed it enormously and will miss it greatly when I hang up my pen, pencil, notebook and keyboard as it will leave a big hole in my lifestyle.




I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Notes over the past 40 years without their help and encouragement the notes would have fell by the wayside many years ago.




I remember a short time before my Dad died he said to me “Life is like a Dream” and he was 80 years old.




I think it is the same old story for me with the past 4 decades distant memories now and I find it extremely difficult to take in how this big period of time has gone by so quickly.




While we are always told that life is for the living and we should live life to the full the computer in our heads will always remind us of our past and that will never change.




What the future holds nobody knows but I am fairly sure The Kerryman will still be thriving going into the future.




News items in this column often created big conversations on the high stools with everyone putting their own spin on articles but when was all was said people were thankful that they had a topic of conversation that they could dwell on and add to from time to time.




Obituaries were the most popular articles that I have written and I always tried to pay tribute to people who made a big contribution to the community they lived in.




It was nice when bereaved families phoned me up and extended their thanks to me. While I never sought gratitude for what I compiled getting appreciation from bereaved families made the effort I made very worthwhile.




My role aways was to be the voice of the people of the community and my main focus was to write articles about people who done the parish proud in whatever capacity it was.




Of course achievements by local people and local organisations was always top of my priority list.




If anyone is interested in having a look back on issues of the paper now copies of the newspaper are available at libraries.






This is an interview I carried out with John Moriarty in 2001. It was originally written for the killareny.ie website, which I ran at the time and which is now defunct. I met John in Killarney and later drove him to his home on the side of Mangerton Mountain. He wrote nine books, most of them huge ponderous things but which carry you along. John died in 2007 from cancer.






A tribute to Mr John Molyneaux, St Michael’s College, Listowel




                                                By David Kissane, Class of ’72




It is fifty years ago since a group of about thirty young fellas headed out the gates of St Michael’s College, Listowel and into the wide, wild and wonderful world of the 1970s. As a member of the class of ’72, there is a compulsion to remember the year and its hinterland. Its place in our layered lives. What contributed to what we are cannot go uncelebrated. It just keeps on keeping on.




But how can one capture the colours and contours, the shapes and shadows of half a century ago when the world had a very different texture to what we perceive now in the bóithríns of age? The ships we sailed out in may be wrecked or dismembered. The ports we set sail from are hidden in the mists of time and memory, and our fellow sailors are scattered.




So where does one begin?




The writer Colm Tóibín once asked the artist Barrie Cooke how he began his paintings. Cooke answered “I make a random mark on the canvas and see what happens”.




Just as I follow Cooke’s suggestion and type a random “J” on the screen, the phone rings. It is Jim Finnerty from Glouria. I look at my J and wonder if Cooke was right! “There’s a man you knew well after passing away in Listowel” Jim announced. Listowel, I thought out loud as Jim let the news simmer in the wok of my memories. A number of names came to mind before Jim said “John Molyneaux”.




And then my canvas began to fill in. I write the name of Mr John Molyneaux, my Latin and English teacher, my athletics and football coach, and the dam opens. For the five years I spent in St Michael’s College, Listowel, he was an enduring presence, a multi-dimensional man who had a huge influence in our lives for those budding years. An icon.




Of course the first question that challenged my memory was “when did I last see John Molyneaux?”




About three years ago I parked my van down by the Feale off the Square in Listowel. Near Carroll’s Yard. Near the entrance bridge to Listowel Racecourse where you’d hear “Throw me down something!” on race days in sepia Septembers. As I returned to the van with a brand new chimney cowl, I saw him coming along the bank of the river. Lively as always, thoughtful, loaded with intention, energised quietly by the magic of the Feale walk, eyes down. I knew immediately if was him although I hadn’t met him in thirty years or more.


See Listowel Connection for full tribute









On Friday 8th April 2022  the sad news of the passing of Bridget Carmody (Née Ahern) R.I.P.of Willow Place, Listowel and late of Bridge Street, Ballylongford. Bridie as she was more affectionately known was a wonderful person and a lady to her fingertips. She doted on her family and their achievements in life. Many years ago, Bridget and her late husband Dan returned home to enjoy their retirement spending a short period in Ballylongford before settling in their new home in Willow Place, Listowel. Sadly, Bridget’s beloved husband Dan passed away peacefully in December 2020 creating a huge void in her and her family’s life. But with the loving care of her family Bridget was wonderfully cared for until her sad passing on Friday afternoon last. To her heartbroken family of her two sons Thomas and Danny, her grandchildren Ronan, Conor, Jason, Cheryl, Louise & Ellie, her nephew Seamus, nieces Marie, Bernie and Theresa, daughter-in-law Margaret extended family, relatives, neighbours and many kind and good friends we extend our deepest sympathies. Bridget’s body lay in repose at her home in Willow Place, Listowel on Monday 11th last. With her Funeral cortege arriving at Saint Mary’s Church, Listowel on Tuesday 12th for Requiem Mass at 11:30am followed by interment afterwards in Lislaughtin Abbey, Ballylongford.


From Ballylongford Notes Kerryman




Fr, Kevin






The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday will award Knoll the prestigious Crafoord Prize, considered a complement -- and for some winners, a precursor to -- a Nobel prize.




The honor is for his work on illuminating the first 3 billion years of Earth's history, determining the ages of layers of bedrock, discovering tiny organisms from the depths of time that are the infinitesimal ancestors of every one of us and explaining the world's worst mass extinction.










The OSV Challenge is a multi-round entrepreneurial competition designed to accelerate unique project ideas in any stage from Catholics whose faith has motivated them to make a difference.




We’re seeking people with ideas ready to impact the Church that deserve to be nurtured, cultivated and taken to new heights. The OSV Challenge invests over $1 million dollars annually in these Catholic innovators to make this happen.








The five women who have shared their experiences of birth trauma in this video have kindly done so to support other women who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth.






Saul and David




Envy is a deadly sin, whereby death enters into the world. David, in today’s First Reading, has won a great military victory, causing Saul to envy him. Saul’s envy drives him to try and kill David, even though David has done nothing to merit this treatment.




The Twelve




In the Gospel today, Jesus establishes the New Israel—the Church—around himself as the Head. In this New Israel, the people will no longer need to be connected by bloodlines; they are brought together by the Holy Spirit. Jesus calls us all to be with him in this spiritual family.




Loving Our Enemies




In today's passage from the Book of Samuel, David mourns the deaths of Jonathan and Saul. He even praises Saul, who had been an adversary in many ways. The selflessness displayed here reflects David's character. He is truly magnanimous, a man with greatness of heart.




Paul's Spiritual Sons




St. Paul's witness inspired others, such as Timothy and Titus, to become great Saints themselves. Today, as we read Paul's Letter to Timothy, we reminded of the importance of family, and we are challenged to take up the Cross ourselves. Indeed, we are called to offer up hardship for the sake of the Gospel.




A Light to My Path




Jesus’ teaching in today’s Gospel draws on imagery found in the Old Testament. The Word of God is like a lamp, illuminating the paths on which one walks. Spend time today with Sacred Scripture, asking the Lord to guide your way with his words.










Fr Kevin McNamara RIP




Fr Kevin McNamara RIP (former assistant priest in Tamworth): “The Diocese of Kerry has expressed its “widespread shock” at the unexpected death of the much-loved priest and columnist Fr Kevin McNamara. Fr Kevin, as he was affectionately known, was in hospital for several days when he suddenly took ill and died.




From Cooraclare in West Clare, Fr Kevin was blessed with the gift of communicating with the masses and he used several channels to help spread the word over the years. He was ordained in 1981 as a Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest, serving in Tamworth from 1984 to 1988 where he was a much-loved assistant to Fr Pat Duffy. He also worked in Liverpool, before he returned to Ireland to serve as parish priest of the Sacred Heart Parish on Cork’s Western Rd from 1993 to 1999.




It was during this time that he wrote a weekly column for The Echo, and later for The Muskerry Leader community paper in Ballincollig. He organised two novenas annually which attracted huge crowds, and he often arranged for a chip van to park outside the church to feed the crowds.




He also featured in the RTÉ TV documentary, The Confessors, in which he spoke openly about how the church has been very hurtful to women and about the upset he felt at the flood of revelations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy. Documentary film-maker Alex Fegan described Fr Kevin as “one of a kind” with a gift for communicating.”










'Larger-than-life' Fr Kevin McNamara and Fr Con Cronin brought laughter to the Masses


The Catholic Church, under severe pressure due to a shortage of priests, was dealt a further blow last year when it lost two of its best-loved characters, Fr Kevin McNamara and Fr Con Cronin. Neil Michael reflects on the careers of two men who brought laughter to the masses.


'Larger-than-life' Fr Kevin McNamara and Fr Con Cronin brought laughter to the Masses




Fr Kevin McNamara outside a local parish church during Lent in 2015. Picture: Eamonn Keogh



Sun, 23 Jan, 2022 - 06:28


Neil Michael




Fr Kevin McNamara and Fr Con Cronin were no ‘ordinary’ priests. Described as "larger-than-life" characters by all who knew them, they eschewed the normal conventions of the Catholic Church.




Flossing on the altar, conducting drive-in Masses, holding confessions in the pub. Their sudden deaths last year dealt another blow to a Church already struggling to man its dioceses.




More than 21% of Ireland's entire population of parish priests and brothers — both serving and retired — have died in just three years. In addition, the church has an ageing clergy waiting to retire, or beyond retirement age, and few ordinations to replenish its ranks.




The Association of Catholic Priests says parishes are going to have to be amalgamated, churches closed, and fewer Masses held. There are also claims in some quarters that some existing clergy are "out of touch" and contributing to a decline in Mass attendance.




Fr Kevin and Fr Con, in contrast, were held in the highest regard by all who knew them, resonating with a younger ‘audience’. Hence the outpouring of grief at their deaths.




In the RTÉ documentary The Confessors, which aired last October, Fr Kevin is seen enjoying a pint with his parishioners in a North Kerry pub. He jokingly predicts what will happen after he dies in banter with customers at Enright’s in Moyvane. One of the jibes is about the length of Fr Kevin’s Masses.




“Listen, you’ll get the short mass eventually and eventually you'll get no mass,” he quips.




One of the drinkers replies: “Ara, sure, we'll just say it ourselves, so.” Fr Kevin laughs as he tells them: “It's only when I'm gone, you'll be weeping here. And someday you'll be having your pint and you’ll say about me ‘You know, I could miss him’.” Little did people realise at the time how prescient his words would be.




Just over a month after the programme aired, Fr Kevin was dead. He went into hospital in December for a routine procedure and died a few days later. Thousands of people who had met him over the years were shocked by his sudden death and tributes poured in from across the country and beyond.




The sports-mad 66-year-old was born in the West Clare village of Cooraclare, and ordained in 1981 as a Missionaries of the Sacred Heart priest. He served first in Liverpool, then in Kirby, before he returned to Ireland as parish priest of the Sacred Heart Parish on Cork’s Western Road from 1993-1999.




Fr Kevin McNamara in The Confessors just over a month before he died.


Fr Kevin McNamara in The Confessors just over a month before he died.




It was during this time that he wrote a weekly column for The Evening Echo, and later for The Muskerry Leader community paper in Ballincollig. He then moved to Kerry where he was based in a number of dioceses, moving to Glenflesk in 2021.




While serving in Cork city, his twice-yearly nine-day long devotional prayer novenas attracted so many people – more than 1,200 used to attend – he had to lay on fish and chip vans to keep the people fed.




And he wasn’t shy of publicity. During Lent in 2015, he seized on the Fifty Shades of Grey frenzy and erected a huge sign outside his church with the words: 'Whatever about the 50 shades – remember the 40 days!'




Fr Kevin said he was “a great believer in the public pulpit” and he wanted to remind people Lent was a time of renewal and joy. But he wasn’t shy about criticising the Church.




Read More


Widespread shock at death of Fr Kevin McNamara, a priest who was 'one of a kind'




In The Confessors, he spoke openly about how the Church has been very hurtful to women and the upset he felt at the flood of revelations of child sexual abuse perpetrated by the clergy.




Undeterred by the arrival of Covid, he showed his ingenuity by celebrating drive-in Masses in Moyvane during the various lockdowns, making sure his parishioners were not left completely isolated.




The sudden death of Fr Kevin in December was the second blow suffered by the Church in Munster last year. The first was the tragic death of Kiltegan Father, Con Cronin, in August, who was struck by a bus in Monkstown, Co Cork.




In an act of heroism, Fr Cronin pushed a friend to safety as the bus swerved out of control. The 53-year-old bus driver Mark Wills, a father of two, also lost his life during the freak accident. Mourners at Fr Con’s funeral were told “he died as he lived – trying to help others".




Also featured in The Confessors, Fr Con was so widely known and loved that an appeal for memorial benches in his honour in Cork Harbour and West Cork where he was born and raised quickly clocked up €24,000. At the time of his death, the 72-year-old was serving in Passage West after decades working as a missionary in Nigeria.




Before he started studying for the priesthood in 1970 at the age of 22 he worked behind the bar of a family-owned pub in his native Ballylickey, near Bantry, and later in Dublin. He was ordained in 1979.




(Left to right) Fr Con Cronin, Kenrick O'Sullivan, Foreman Vision Contracting, Fr Sean O'Sullivan and Paul Carpenter, Cook Architects Cork, at Ringaskiddy Village Church, where the historic Oratory was undergoing a rebuild in 2014. Picture: Jim Coughlan


(Left to right) Fr Con Cronin, Kenrick O'Sullivan, Foreman Vision Contracting, Fr Sean O'Sullivan and Paul Carpenter, Cook Architects Cork, at Ringaskiddy Village Church, where the historic Oratory was undergoing a rebuild in 2014. Picture: Jim Coughlan




After 25 years spent in the Diocese of Minna in Nigeria, he served in Castlerea in Co Roscommon, before spending eight years travelling around the country promoting the work of the St Patrick's Missionary Society in Ireland. He then started work in the Harbour Parishes, including Passage West.




Like Fr Kevin, he was a larger-than-life character, with a wide circle of friends from across the country. He too was no stranger to publicity. His spontaneous attempt to copy the Floss dance craze moves in 2019 on the altar during a Communion Mass went viral.




His sudden death led to tributes from all ages all and from across the globe. Maker of The Confessors, Alex Fegan, was one of those who was deeply impressed by the two men, and has fond memories of them.




Married to a Kerry native, the acclaimed Dublin-based filmmaker had planned to be back in Kerry and Cork over Christmas and had arranged to go for a drink with Fr Kevin and Fr Con. He kept in touch with them after the filming stopped and was shocked by their deaths.




“The two priests I had arranged to meet for a drink both passed away within days of me arranging to meet with them,” he recalls.




“Fr Con drank in a pub in Passage West that he called Dub's and I said ‘I'll come to Passage West and I'll join you for a pint’ and then he passed away not long after that.




“And then the same with Fr Kevin.




“I got on very well with them. They were one-of-a-kind, both of them. They both said Mass to people outside [churches] during Covid-19. They both met people where they were at."




Fr Kevin McNamara was no stranger to publicity. Picture: Eamonn Keogh


Fr Kevin McNamara was no stranger to publicity. Picture: Eamonn Keogh




Fr Kevin, says Fegan, would have heard people's confession in the pub, because Jesus would have met someone in a pub.




And they were both kind of irreverent. They both spoke what was on their mind, they didn't just tell people what they wanted to hear.”




But while both men were jovial and good-humoured, there were also darker sides they kept hidden from public view. One of the things Fr Kevin spoke to Alex Fegan about was his loneliness.




“He actually rang me up just as he was moved to Glenflesk and he spoke about being very lonely there,” he said.




“When he was serving in the north Kerry parish of Moyvane he was able to walk up the road to Enright's bar. But he wasn't able to do that in Glenflesk and I just think he was very honest about just how lonely he was at that time.




“That said, he also made a great point, which is that – in his words – you have to bloom where you're planted. He didn't sulk for long, he got back up onto his feet.”




He was known to have been helping a number of women – who he dubbed "Prodigal Daughters" – who had survived mother and baby homes. And he felt they had been let down not just by society, but by the Church.




Fr Kevin had been a close friend of Jackie Healy-Rae, who died in 2014. His son Danny recalled one of the last times he spoke to Fr Kevin. It was in Con Spillane’s Bar in Headford, near Killarney, just a few days before he went into hospital.




“Unlike a lot of priests I have known over the years, he wanted to live and work in the community.” Fr Kevin had his own grievances with the Church.




He said in the documentary: “If you're working with McDonald's or you're working with whatever company you're working with, sometimes the company might give you that little bit of affirmation.




In a church context, you don't get that affirmation from the hierarchy. You don't get anything.




“Every time I was called either before a superior or a bishop, it was always for correction. It was never a sense of ‘you're doing well’. And that would have saddened me over the years.”




Fr Con’s nephew Colm Cronin also spoke about the sense of isolation his uncle experienced. He said: “He missed someone to come home to at night to say ‘You know what kind of a day I had’.




Fr Con Cronin - 'He missed someone to come home to at night to say "You know what kind of a day I had".'


Fr Con Cronin - 'He missed someone to come home to at night to say "You know what kind of a day I had".'




"It was lonely: the fact that he'd go home to an empty house, and maybe a glass of whiskey or something like that to go through the day back in your head again. But he would do it on his own.”




At his uncle’s funeral, Colm said he was approached by a Presbyterian priest, who told him how he first met Fr Con.




“He was at some function about 18 months ago, and he came across Con,” he recalled. “Apparently, the first thing he heard was this big, deep voice saying ‘I hate you’. He didn't turn around at first but then he heard it again: ‘I hate you’.




“So he turned around, and there was Con dressed as a priest, with the dog collar. And he says that Con started talking to him, but started by pointing his finger at him again, repeating ‘I hate you’.




Your man was like, God, this isn't a great first meeting with this guy. But then Con explained himself and he said look, he said, ‘you know you can go home to your wife and family tonight. I go home to an empty bed’.




“So it did get to him."




Marcia D'Alton, who Fr Con used to ask for help on behalf of some of his parishioners, also spoke about how lonely he was before he died.




“He did interviews with people on the Passage West Facebook page during lockdown,” said the Passage West-based Cork county councillor.




“And to be fair, I think it was initiated not just for people but also for Con because he was so lonely. It just gave him an opportunity to interview what were typically ordinary people in the town.”




She added: “I sensed that while he appeared outwardly confident, he might not have been quite so confident inside.” Asked what his loss means to the people he served, Colm replied without hesitation: “He was like a magnet when he would go to a crowd. It wasn't really to do with religion, as such, it was to get to the people first.




Fr Con Cronin with the Liam McCarthy Cup in 2005. Fr Con believed the role of the Church was to make life more human. Picture: Des Barry


Fr Con Cronin with the Liam McCarthy Cup in 2005. Fr Con believed the role of the Church was to make life more human. Picture: Des Barry




“People, young and old, have told me since he died that he got them back interested in the Church. He had a kind of an unorthodox way of saying Masses where he could sit down in the congregation while someone else read.




“I think the people loved that and I think they, they tuned into it. Mass attendances had a lot more younger people, who came because he made them feel more comfortable."




There appears to have been two formative factors in Fr Con’s early life. The house where he grew up in West Cork was a sociable one with a lot of people coming and going regularly.




But tragically, his father died when he was quite young. When he was 14, his mother suffered a stroke, and he left school to look after her.




Fr Sean O’Sullivan, who served with Fr Con in Cork’s harbour parishes, said he nursed his mother until she died. He was encouraged to join the priesthood by a nun he knew, according to Fr Sean.




“But the difficulty presented itself: he had no Leaving Cert because he'd obviously quit school to look after his mother.” To overcome this difficulty, he left the cosy familiarity of West Cork for Scotland in 1970, to go to St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, Scotland.




At the launch of 'Shreds & Patches' in 2010 by Paddy MacMonagle was the author with Fr Kevin McNamara, a larger-than-life character, with a wide circle of friends from across the country. Picture: Eamonn Keogh


At the launch of 'Shreds & Patches' in 2010 by Paddy MacMonagle was the author with Fr Kevin McNamara, a larger-than-life character, with a wide circle of friends from across the country. Picture: Eamonn Keogh




It was here he got the equivalent of an O-Level, and ultimately the qualifications he needed to begin his studies for the missionary priesthood with St Patrick’s Missionary Society. But while Fr Con then devoted so much of his time to the Church, he appears to have missed somewhere to call home.




Colm said: “A lot of the time he lived out of a suitcase because he travelled a lot. It was only when he came to Passage West did he really find a home, and because he knew he wasn't going to be moved for a good while.”




Fr Sean added: "Fr Con believed the role of the Church was to make life more human.




“He really, really believed that. That was kind of where he came from. This wasn't about rules. It wasn't about structures or institutions – it was, for him, all about people and life and joy and dignity.”




While he hadn't known them long, Alex Fegan quickly got the measure of them in the short amount of time they worked together.




“At one point, I asked Fr Kevin if he knew Fr Con. And he didn't, or at least not that I knew of. But I could tell that he could see a kindred spirit in Fr Con.”














Comhghairdeas to Anita Kelly, formerly of Main Street, Tarbert who has been appointed Consul General in Mumbai, India. Anita who works with the Department of Foreign Affairs is currently First Secretary with the Irish Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The role of a Consul General is to serve as a representative who speaks on behalf of the country in the state where one is located. Anita was one of nine Consuls General who were recently appointed. Mumbai, formerly Bombay, is the largest city in India with a population of some 13 million people and is situated on the west coast. We wish Anita every success in her new mission. 






Professor Deirdre Raftery[1] talked about the significance of the archives for religious congregations. Her quotes included, “No archive, no history”, “If you don’t tell your story, it will be told anyway, but wrongly told”, and, “The voice of the sisters needs to be heard and heard now”.








Mary's recital of 'The God we hardly knew' by Oscar Romero








Fr Kevin McNamara, Rest in Peace December 2021


DEATH on Tuesday 21st December 2021, of Fr. Kevin Mc Namara of Killarney, Kerry / Cooraclare, Clare.  Son of the late Mary and Tom and survived by his sister Geraldine Condren,  his brother-in-law Dave, niece Niamh, nephew Caimin, his extended family, neighbours, the Bishop and Priests of the Diocese of Kerry, Conferees in the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, his parishioners in Glenflesk and a wide circle of friends. Fr Kevin reposing in St. Agatha's Church, Glenflesk on Sunday 26th December 2021 from 10.00am to 12 noon and in the Church of the Assumption, Moyvane on Sunday evening from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm. Requiem Mass on Monday, 27th December in St. Senan's Church, Cooraclare at 2.00 pm, burial afterwards in Dromelihy Cemetery




Bishop Ray Browne expressed the shock and sadness on the death of Fr Kevin:




There is widespread shock and sadness at the sudden death of Fr. Kevin McNamara, parish priest of Glenflesk. Currently he was parish priest of Glenflesk, having served previously in Kenmare, Killarney , Rathmore and Moyvane. Fr. Kevin was in hospital for a number of days, when Tuesday morning he suddenly took ill and died.  Fr Kevin was a man of huge energy and colour. We all regret his passing.  Rest in peace, Fr. Kevin.




Fr Kevin was born in 1955 in Cooraclare Village in Co. Clare. He was ordained as a Missionary of the Sacred Heart in 1981. He joined the diocese of Kerry in 2004 and spent a short while in Kenmare. Killarney was his next parish in July of that year. Rathmore followed in 2012 till 2015 when he moved to Moyvane. His current parish was Glenflesk. Fr. Kevin was a gifted writer and communicator. He put great work into his parish newsletters. These can be read here.




CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS from Fr. Kevin taken from this week’s newsletter :




In all this long run up to Christmas (which started back in November) in the media, I have not once


heard the word ‘Jesus’ or ‘Faith’ or ‘Birth’ or ‘Mary’ or ‘Joseph’. No mention at all of God-made-Man.


No reason given for the presents we are to buy and give, no reason for Christmas greetings and best


wishes (The Media say Happy Holidays – rather than Happy Christmas). It is truly amazing and equally


awful. Just as we, centuries ago, took over a pagan festival of winter-time and turned it into the


Christian Christ’s Mass to celebrate His birth, so now the secular commercial industry has taken it over,


lock, stock and barrel.




So might I suggest that you, dear reader, be sure to put Christ back into


Christmas by underlying His presence in your home and in your life at this marvellous time. Whether you


are single or married, separated or divorced, whether you have a family or not, whether you are well or


not, needing to be looked after – you can be sure to have Christ with you. One way of ensuring that


Christ is in Christmas is by the use of Blessings. The word ‘Blessing’ has two distinct but related


meanings. It refers to our praise of God and to our request for His loving care for us. Some people


mistakenly think that only a Priest can give a blessing. Some blessings are reserved to Priests in special


circumstances, but all of us can praise God and ask His blessings:




So as we journey to the 25th how about blessing your home praying:


“Let us pray to God for His Blessing, Father in heaven, look upon this family in Your


love and give us the blessings of Your joy and peace. Let Your Spirit of joy fill our


hearts, so that we may be holy and happy. May our concern for others reflect your


love and bring us happiness at this time and throughout the coming year. Amen”.




Many homes have a little Crib. Why not bless it:


“Father almighty bless this Crib that we have prepared, and let it be a reminder to


us of our Lord Jesus, your Son and Son of Mary. Father we praise You through the


Babe of Bethlehem. Amen”.




Bless your Christmas Tree – all the family stand around the tree:


“All glory and praise to you heavenly Father: We thank you for sending your Son Jesus


to be our Brother. Bless us as we gather here, and bless our Christmas tree. Let its


lights remind us of Jesus who came to be the light of the world and to save us from sin.


May we give presents rejoicing in the present You gave us – Jesus Your loving Son.


Father, we love You and we praise You through Christ our Lord. Amen”


May the Christ who came for us to be made holy give you and yours a Happy Christmas.








by Merrit Malloy




When I die


Give what’s left of me away


To children


And old men that wait to die.


And if you need to cry,


Cry for your brother


Walking the street beside you.


And when you need me,


Put your arms


Around anyone


And give them


What you need to give to me.




I want to leave you something,


Something better


Than words


Or sounds.




Look for me


In the people I’ve known


Or loved,


And if you cannot give me away,


At least let me live on your eyes


And not on your mind.




You can love me most


By letting


Hands touch hands,


By letting


Bodies touch bodies,


And by letting go


Of children


That need to be free.




Love doesn’t die,


People do.


So, when all that’s left of me


Is love,


Give me away.














27th January 2017






The poet and former Trinity College professor, Brendan Kennelly, was last Saturday 21st January honoured by Kerry County Council, which hosted a Civic Reception in his native north Kerry village of Ballylongford to mark his contribution to literature. Mr Kennelly (80), who recently moved back from Dublin to Kerry, was joined by his extended family, neighbours and friends at the reception in Ballylongford Parish Hall just a short distance from where he was born in 1936.




Paying tribute to Mr Kennelly’s exceptional literary output and achievements, the Leas-Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Liam Purtill said the poet was “a literary hero of north Kerry and was cherished in his native place in the same way as literary figures like John B Keane and Bryan MacMahon. Brendan’s dulcet tones and cheery disposition have won him so many fans and his poetry is as popular today as it ever was, if not more so. His work has retained a loyal and appreciative audience to this day. It is fitting that we, as a local authority, honour him today in his native place,” said Cllr Purtill.




Addressing the reception, Brendan Kennelly said he been away from his beloved ‘Bally’ and Kerry for over sixty years but the village and county always stayed with me.


“Dublin was my home and a place that I loved dearly but my original home was always with me, all the time, wherever I went. Bally and its people would come to me at night as I slept; I would dream of the streets, of the river going up through the village, of the football field, of the laneways, and the teams of young people and the rhyme that we had:


Puddings and pies for the Ballyline Boys


Sods and ciarogs for the Well Road Rogues


Meal and bran for the Saleen Clan


Eggs and rashers for the Tae Lane Dashers




“Like all places, Bally has its own uniqueness,” said Brendan. “When I was growing up Ballylongford was a busy, self-sufficient place that was full of life and energy. It had a cinema, two dance halls, draperies, shoe shops, chemists, several pubs, tailors and dressmakers, bakeries and grocery shops.




“It had everything that its people needed. The big show-bands of the day came to Bally during the carnival. The farmers came in every day with their milk to the creamery – they were a daily visiting presence. They would come in with their horses and carts and you would hear the noise of the wheels on the street while lying in bed in the early morning. Soldiers stationed at Fort Shannon were regular visitors to the village,” Brendan continued.




“Bally is full of stories – we have the great history of the O’Connors of Carrigafoyle and the story of Lislaughtin. There is the story of the girl who worked for the O’Connors who fell in love with a British soldier and who lit a candle in one of the windows of the castle to indicate this was the weakest part of the building and the Cromwellian soliders attacked it at that point.




“There is an amazing history attached to the place. It was the story of Cromwell’s army coming to Bally that ignited my interest in the man and I wrote an epic poem about him. I went to his home in Ely in England and I read all his letters for my research. I remember phrases that he used, one in particular about ‘work I have to do in Ireland’. He was a mass murderer but he saw what he was doing as work that had to be done.




“I am back living near Bally again. I carry the Bally that I wrote about in The Crooked Cross within me and see it as I pass through the village and, although a lot has changed, I still know this to be my heart’s home place,” said Brendan.




Mr Kennelly was presented by Kerry County Council with a framed scroll marking the Civic Reception it hosted in his honour as well as with a picture of nearby Carrigafoyle Castle. The reception was also attended by the Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell as well as local councillors, TDs and senators.








DEATH of Brendan Kennelly (poet and Professor Emeritus, TCD) Ballylongford, and Trinity College Dublin on 17 October 2021. Son of the late Timmie Kennelly and Bridie Ahern, father of the late Kristen (Doodle) and brother to the late Colm and John. Brendan is survived by his brothers and sisters, Alan, Mary (Kenny), Nancy (McAuliffe), Paddy and Kevin, grandchildren Meg, Hannah and Grace, sisters-in-law Rena, Brenda, Kathleen and Marion, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family, his wide circle of friends, and his former colleagues at Trinity College Dublin. Funeral Mass was held in the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Ballylongford, on Wednesday 20 October, followed by burial in Lislaughtin Cemetery, Ballylongford.


The Mass will be livestreamed on OGormans Memorial Video Services - Home | Facebook


A public memorial will be held to celebrate Brendan’s life in 2022.


“Deepest sympathy to the Kennelly family on their sad loss. Hard to believe it’s 53 years since he gave me a very warm welcome to Trinity. Brendan’s lectures were a joy to attend and he always brought laughter into the room while imparting his love of language and literature. Great memories will be treasured by all who were fortunate to enjoy his company. May he rest in peace”.


Dick Spring






Brendan Kennelly (17 April 1936 – 17 October 2021) an Irish poet and novelist. He was Professor of Modern Literature at Trinity College, Dublin until 2005. Following his retirement he was titled "Professor Emeritus" by Trinity College.






Reflection Fr. Kevin of Glenflesk -October 2021




'Though we live in a world that dreams of ending


That always seems about to give in


Something that will not acknowledge conclusion


Insists that we forever begin' Brendan Kennelly (1936 - 2021)


Magic words from Brendan Kennelly's poem, Begin. God rest Brendan, he was called home at the


weekend. What a golden legacy he has left to us through his teaching, stories and poetry. May his


infectious smile be radiant in the presence of Jesus, whom he loved dearly while a pilgrim on this earth. At some time or other, most people have longed for a second chance to make good a regretted mistake. It may be a harsh word spoken in panic, the lie protecting pride, the infinitely in a moment of passion, the worthless item stolen in haste, the vicious blow struck in a fit of anger, the drunken driving


escapade in a moment of bravado. Whatever the error, the plea is the same. The longing for a new


beginning without the burden of past failure. It is like the plea of Bartimaeus in this weekend's Gospel whose heartfelt cry to the Lord 'Let me see again", has echoed down the centuries. Whether


Bartimaeus' loss was through illness or negligence, the pain was the same, he longed to see again. Guilt is a blindness that darkens many a life, it turns us in on our limited self, rather that outwards to others and to God. It prevents us seeing God's all embracing forgiveness. It even binds us to the new


beginning our loved one maybe offering us. The antidote to guilt is hope. Without trust there can be no hope. To build trust is our greatest achievement, to enable another to trust enough again, to be loved and to love is to be a co-creator of happiness with Jesus. It is to heal the darkness of all despair, the darkness of all blindness. Jesus help each of us to see each other as You see us and to see You as You really are. Give us the strength at all times to forever begin again and again and again






Kennelly Funeral: tributes to ‘a poet, academic, scholar’


The Funeral of the late Brendan Kennelly took place at 12 noon in the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Ballylongford, on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 followed by burial in Lislaughtin Cemetery, Ballylongford.




Kerryman- Sinead Kelleher


October 20 2021


The Funeral Mass of Brendan Kennelly, one of the nation’s best-loved poets, heard of the legacy he leaves behind and the high esteem in which academics, poets, scholars and teachers held him in.




Mourners were told that anyone who met the poet over his lifetime immediately loved him because of his kind and warm personality.




"There are many Kerry accents, but Brendan's was probably the nicest, the brightest and the most glorious," Fr Michael Hussey.




"Who wouldn't fall in love with him? Of course all the women loved him with the soft smile, the gentle [manner] and the lovely soft voice. Say no more."




The former Professor of Modern Literature and latterly Professor Emeritus at Trinity College Dublin was laid to rest today (Wednesday) at Lislaughtin Abbey in his home village. He also authored more than 30 acclaimed poetry collections.




His was a fitting place of rest, close by to where Brendan's very own words hang on a rusted gate honouring the memory of the monks of Lislaughtin Abbey.




Brendan passed away on Sunday, aged 85, surrounded by his family at the Áras Mhuire nursing home, where a man sometimes called ‘Ireland’s favourite poet’ had resided in recent years.




Having retired in 2005, he moved back to his native Kerry in recent years. His nursing home was not far from the village of Ballylongford, where he was born.




The Mass was presided over by Parish Priest Fr Michael Hussey, who described Brendan as a “poet, academic and scholar” whose work should be seen as “safeguarding memories” for all.




"What are creative people doing when they commit their material to paper? They are trying to safeguard memory, and I think that is a powerful way of describing what is left behind by creative people, that their work should be seen as safeguarding memory."




Tributes focused on his humanity and how his poetry and writing reflected the issues impacting ordinary people.




He said there was the makings of a wonderful play in the gathering of departed geniuses in Heaven – Brendan Kennelly, Patrick Kavanagh, Seamas Heaney, John B Keane, Bryan MacMahon and Brendan Behan among them.




He said the word "death" was too ugly and rough for a wordsmith such as Brendan Kennelly.




"Brendan has fallen asleep in Christ," he said.




Fr Hussey recalled an interview that Brendan had done with a Sunday newspaper, an interview which he had kept for many years.




In it, Brendan said "Memorising is an act of love. Now tell that to a 15- or 16-year-old doing their Junior Cert or their Leaving Cert. But as years go by, when you remember bits of knowledge and wisdom from things like poems, it is a gift of memory."




"For most of his work, Brendan was a teacher...they shine out like stars for all eternity," Fr Hussey said.




The Requiem Mass concluded with a special reading of his acclaimed poem, 'Begin'.















TRIBUTE; Bridget Ann Joyce, 76, in recent years of Holmes, NY and long-time resident of Lake Carmel, NY, passed away on September 28, 2021.


Bridget was born on March 29, 1945 to John and Ellen or ‘Nell’ (Mulvihill) McAuliffe in Moyvane, county Kerry, Ireland.


As a child, many adventures were shared playing make-believe in the fields near their home with her siblings and cousins of Moyvane.  With a deep imagination and a love of storytelling, Bridie- as she was known to all- along with her brother John, would imagine themselves famous radio announcers ‘Paddy and Jack’, or private investigators.  She loved to try her hand at repairing bikes and other mechanical things.  She also spent some time living in Glin, Limerick with her aunt, uncle and grandmother.  She had a natural wit and the gift of humor, sharing many of these early stories from Ireland with us in America.


As a young woman, Bridie came to America with her sister Marie in 1960 and lived on Valentine Ave in the Fordham section of the Bronx, joining her parents.  Later, her brother John and sister Rita would also come out to America.  Bridie attended Roosevelt High School and afterwards joined Merrill Lynch on Wall Street.  She loved attending the Irish dance halls such as “The Red Mill” and “The Jaeger House”, with Marie.  She was very close to her Aunts and especially enjoyed many shopping trips to Macys with her Aunt Jule who lived in Parkchester.


She met and married her life-long partner, Patrick Joyce, on August 14, 1965.  Saving and working hard to purchase their first home, they accomplished this in 1971, when they found a two-family house on Decatur Ave (near her Uncle, Martin Mulvihill, well-known musician & composer of Irish music).  The first in the family to own a home,  Bridie was overjoyed and so proud of the accomplishment.  Soon after, they were blessed with five wonderful children.


They lived in the Bainbridge neighborhood of the Bronx before moving to Carmel, NY in 1979. 


Bridie also worked as a Home Care Assistant as well as in local nursing facilities and as  a bus monitor for a number of years at Red and Tan Lines in Carmel, NY.


Family was important to her and she was a devoted wife, mother and grandma.  Bridie adored all her grandchildren and felt blessed by each new addition.  She was gifted at making delicious dishes for family occasions and holidays.  She always welcomed many children into her home and would feed half the neighborhood if given the chance.  Bridie was also known for helping others out when in need.  One time she took under her roof a student from Glin, Co. Limerick who came out to New York to attend college and find work.  Bridie treated him like family and never expected anything in return.  To this day, he would call her and love to spend time chatting & reminiscing on the time he spent in her home in the Bronx.  Bridie also took in her youngest sister, Rita, when their parents retired back to Co. Kerry in 1972.  Rita lived with her for over a year until finding an apartment of her own. 


Bridie loved animals, having many pet dogs over the years, such as Gilda, Lady, and Inky and Binky (aka Little Mama and Little Papa).


Bridie loved collecting and wearing decorative jewelry, attending many outdoor markets for fun.  Her musical tastes ran from Irish songs, to Elvis and 1950’s music.  She had an outgoing nature and was more recently a friend to all at the nursing home where she lived.  She loved reading mystery and detective novels and having visits from family and friends, especially her sister, Rita.


Bridget is survived by her beloved husband Patrick, and her children, Delia, Cormac (and Melissa), Conor (and Sharon) Joyce, and her cherished grandchildren, Aidan, Brendan, Samantha, Julianna, Maya, Natalya, Alex and Sophie.  Her loving sister, Rita  (McAuliffe) Romano also survives her.  Sadly, she is predeceased by two beloved sons, Sean and Patrick Joyce, and two siblings, Marie Moran and John McAuliffe.  She leaves behind many cherished nieces and nephews as well.


Bridie was a deeply religious Catholic who endlessly offered up prayers and good intentions for those in need.  Bridie will be missed by all who knew and loved her.


Visitation will be from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at Cargain Funeral Home, 10 Fowler Avenue, Carmel, NY. 


A prayer service to celebrate and honor Kimberly's life will take place at 4:30 P.M. on Sunday, October 3, 2021 at Cargain Funeral Home in Carmel, NY. 


A private cremation will follow.


In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Bridget’s memory to National Breast Cancer Foundation (https://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/).


Funeral arrangements entrusted to Cargain Funeral Homes, Inc., 10 Fowler Avenue, Carmel, NY, 845-225-3672, www.cargainfuneralhomes.com.








ADVENTURES of Sr M. Juliana Culhane in July 1922, Part 1


by Marian McGreal SSL, coordinator


The scene - in St Louis Convent, Louisville, Monaghan. I was a boarder there from 1919 to 1922. I came with an inlaw of my Auntie’s, Maria Brosnan, a sister of Con Brosnan – the famous Kerry footballer. I loved the place. The Sisters were very kind to us. Sr M. Laurentia was the Mistress of Schools then. At that time there was Junior, Middle, and Senior Grade (in the Inter Exams). I did Middle Grade in June 1922. The times, due to the 1922 Civil War, were very disturbed. The exams for some, ended about June 18th and Sr M. Laurentia did her best with information from Headquarters in Dublin, to send the girls home safely. But some of the subjects like Art, Commerce etc. dragged on, and it was well on in June by the time about 30 or 35 of us were finished. We were all set in great form for going home, when the news came, urgently from Dublin that there was trouble in the city and that there was no means of travelling for any girls from the south. No trains running from Dublin to Limerick or Cork, or from Dublin to Waterford. So there we were about twenty of us “all dressed up an nowhere to go.” I often think what the poor sisters felt like with us crowd on their hands! Then just before the news from Dublin had come I had been making plans how I would spend my holiday, as I had made up my mind to enter September 8th. Well we just had to make the best of a bad matter and be grateful to God and the Srs that we were safe and sound with them. Then bright and fair one morning Sr M. Laurentia got word that the city was quiet, and that we could get to Dublin, but no trains to the south. Well, God was good to me, I had a pal, Margaret Fleming from Castleisland, Kerry. She luckily had a cousin in Dublin married to a D.M.P. [Dublin Metropolitan Police] man, and she made me come with her. I forgot their names, but they had the greatest sympathy for us, were so good to us. The D.M.P Inspector had a heart of gold. He knew well that our relatives would be in a very bad way about us, no means of sending a wire or letter. So the good and kind man went out every morning and found out if there was any chance of a train to the south. So, praise to the good God, he came back in haste one morning and said that there was a train going to Waterford in an hours’ time that we could also get a connection to Mallow that same day. Well, in two shakes of a lambs tail he had us across the city, and just in time for the Waterford train. It was like a passport to Heaven to get that train!! The good D.M.P. man wished us the best of luck. Thank God we got to Waterford in time to catch the train to Mallow.






The Perfect Gentleman


By June Rose


“An excellent work” (The Guardian): James Barry was a pioneering 19th-century military surgeon. After his death, it was discovered that he had been named Margaret at birth and raised as a girl. Learn the true story of an extraordinary life in this riveting read.






A Mighty Girl




"The Nazis called them 'Night Witches' because the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made reminded the Germans of the sound of a witch’s broomstick. The Russian women who piloted those planes, onetime crop dusters, took it as a compliment. In 30,000 missions over four years, they dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders, ultimately helping to chase them back to Berlin. Any German pilot who downed a 'witch' was awarded an Iron Cross. These young heroines, all volunteers and most in their teens and early 20s, became legends of World War II but are now largely forgotten. Flying only in the dark, they had no parachutes, guns, radios or radar, only maps and compasses. If hit by tracer bullets, their planes would burn like sheets of paper."


So begins a NY Times tribute to one of the most famous "Night Witches," Nadezhda Popova, pictured here. Popova, who flew 852 missions during the war, passed away in 2013 at the age of 91.


For a gripping historical fiction novel for adult readers that explores the history of the Night Witches, we highly recommend "The Huntress" at https://www.amightygirl.com/the-huntress


For a fascinating YA historical fiction novel based on the Night Witches, for ages 13 and up, we recommend "Among the Red Stars" at https://www.amightygirl.com/among-the-red-stars


For adult readers who would like to learn more about the role of Russian women combat pilots during WWII, there are several excellent books including "The Unwomanly Face of War" (https://amzn.to/2KcO6BJ), "Night Witches: The Amazing Story Of Russia's Women Pilots in World War II" (http://amzn.to/2e6z2BQ), and "Wings, Women, and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat" (http://amzn.to/1fyPOs8)


For an inspiring book about more courageous women who stood up to the Nazi regime, we highly recommend "Women Heroes of World War II: 32 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue" for teens and adults like, ages 13 and up, at https://www.amightygirl.com/women-heroes-of-world-war-ii


For adults who love to read about heroic women of WWII, you can find more of the best fiction and non-fiction books in our blog post, "Telling Her Story: 30 Books for Adult Readers About Women Heroes of WWII," at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=24501


For books for children and teens about girls and women living through the WWII period, visit our "WWII & Holocaust" section at http://amgrl.co/1l9UWIe


And for books for tweens and teens about the experience of girls living under authoritarian regimes, visit our blog post "The Fragility of Freedom: Mighty Girl Books About Life Under Authoritarianism" at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=32426






Anthony of Padua –Feast Day: 13th June.  Saint Anthony was born into a wealthy noble family in Lisbon, Portugal, on 15thAugust 1195.  He was christened Fernando Martins de Bulhom.  He received a good education in his native city before joining the Regular Canons of Saint Augustine there at the age of 15.  Soon afterwards, he was transferred to their monastery in Coimbra which was then the capital of Portugal, where he devoted himself to prayer and to the study of theology and Latin.  He also developed there a great knowledge of the Bible. When the relics of Franciscans who had been martyred were brought to Coimbra in 1220 this had a profound effect on Fernando who requested permission to become a Franciscan.  Granted that permission he took the name Anthony as he joined in 1221that new order which had been founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in 1209.  Anthony wished to go as a friar to Morocco in North Africa to preach Christianity and to die there as a martyr.  However illness forced him to return home immediately after his arrival in Morocco.  On his way home a storm forced his ship off course and he ended up in Sicily and he was to spend the last 9 or 10 years of his life in Italy.  He travelled all over that country preaching the Gospel.  He was a great teacher and a very eloquent preacher and many miracles were attributed to him during his lifetime.  He settled in Padua in the north-east of Italy in 1226 and that’s where he passed away on 13thJune 1231 at the relatively young age of 35.  Less than a year later he was canonised on 30thMay 1232 by Pope Gregory IX.  He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946.  Apparently lilies were placed on his tomb in Padua shortly after his death.  Mysteriously these did not wither for a considerable period of time and so the tradition arose of the Franciscans blessing lilies in his honour on his Feast Day.  Many graces have been received by people through these blessed lilies and cures have been reported through them.  People also invoke St Anthony’s intercession to help them to find things that are lost.





June 2021; When Sister Margherita Marchione died recently, at the age of 99, the New York Times, to its credit, published a lengthy and sympathetic obituary. Less to its credit was the clumsy anti-Catholic mistake in the obituary. A mistake the newspaper then, surprisingly, corrected.




Best known for her works defending Pope Pius XII, Sr Margherita was also a gifted teacher, lecturer, literary scholar and dedicated member of her order, the Religious Teachers Filippini, which she’d entered in 1935. Her autobiography, The Fighting Nun, is a wonderful read.