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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Bits And Pieces For Halloween

Founded in 1886, Lucan Sarsfields GAA Club is the largest sporting organisation in West Dublin, and the oldest. The club was also the first in Ireland to be named after the great Irish hero Patrick Sarsfield - who was born in Lucan around 1649 and became Earl of Lucan in 1690. It began life as most GAA clubs did, with a group of local young men getting together and forming a club.

On Thursday 10th October, in conjunction with Lucan Social Initiative, they organised a wonderful historical tour of the Beara Peninsula. It included a visit to Molly Gallivan’s cottage and traditional farm located in Bonane, outside Kenmare. Molly Gallivan was widowed with seven small children. An innovate woman, she used her resourcefulness to make a fairly comfortable living . She sold part of her farm produce such as butter, eggs and honey at the local markets. Her home baking and spun woollens were famous all over Kerry and parts of Cork. However her poitin (“Molly’s Mountain Dew”) was her most profitable product.

Molly’s house, now a museum , originally a single story thatched cottage, which was extended, raised and slated in the early 1900s, was inhabited by one of Molly’s descendents until 1997. At this fine heritage and culture centre you will experience the simple lifestyle of the people of rural Ireland before the days of electricity and modern conveniences. The adjoining farm is complete with animals, fowl and traditional agricultural implements. From the ruins of a family dwelling from the era of the Great Famine to a Neolithic Stone Row it’s all there. It is described in the brochure as, “5000 years of history on a 500 metre walk.”

The Druid, a wooden sculpture, by Andy Comeford, which stands outside Molly Gallivan's cottage.

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The committee of Lacken Community Development Association is bringing out a 2020 calendar. Keep your shirt on. It doesn’t have twelve pictures of muscular semi-clad sheep farmers. It has pictures of the most stunning views in the world taken by local photographer, Christy Crowe. Details from:

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Did I mention here before that Journalist Brenda Power suffers from taphophobia, which, as you all know, is the fear of being buried alive)? Well, she has found a solution: “. . . as far as organ donation goes, I want the doctors to take whatever they can use. . . With heart, lungs and kidneys gone, I reckon, the chances of me waking up in the coffin are pretty slim.”

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Satirist, Oliver Callen, from Enniskeen, is 39 but he has his epitaph ready, “Why are you in a f***ing graveyard reading this? Go home, enjoy yourself. And do no harm. Now get out, you’ll be stuck here long enough.”

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It is that time of year when it was believed that the veil between this world and the next was drawn aside, and Irish people honoured the Holy Souls. Recently my favourite journalist, Billy Keane, was telling the customers in his pub how much he missed his late parents John B. and Mary. He wrote, “I concluded my talk with, ‘I’m fairly sure my mother and father are still here.” The Irish-American lady looked at me and said, "Billy, your Mom and Dad are still here. Why would they want to leave?”

The great and good of the literary world turned up on Thursday in Dubray Books for the launch of Billy's latest book, "The Very Best of Billy Keane."

To date Billy has a number of books under his belt, "The Last of The Heroes," "Rucks Mauls and Gaelic Footballs," which he co-wrote with Moss Keane. He ghosted Billy Morgan’s autobiography "Rebel Rebel." His latest novel "The Ballad of Mo and G" was a best seller. And of course "The Best of Billy Keane" published in 2016.

This latest publication "The Very Best . . ." is not to be missed. Details from:

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The multi- talented John Sheahan is no stranger to John B. Keane’s. His collection of poems "Fiddle Dreams" was published in 2015, but I only got my hands on it recently. If you can track down a copy please do. No matter what sort of day you are having John’s compositions will give you a lift.

Happy Halloween.

See you in December.

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