MASS SHORTAGE By Stephen McKinley
Last week came news from Kerry that due to a shortage of priests, several Sunday Masses would be cancelled.
The Killarney parish administrator, Fr. Gearoid Walsh, told parishioners that the Masses would be cancelled in Killarney.
Fr. Walsh admitted to The Kingdom newspaper that the change would cause upset.
“Nothing is written in stone — we have to be open to some things we might not have thought about,” Walsh said. “Anybody can come to us and ask us if we realize that putting a Mass on at a particular time clashes with something else.”
103 AND GOING STRONG
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In Sligo, Freda McLoughlin recently celebrated reaching the grand old age of 103, making her the county’s oldest woman.
A special party was held for her at Nazareth House last week. Born in 1899, she has lived all her life in the town of Aghanagh in Ballinafad.
The youngest of none children, Freda worked all her life on the family farm, and enjoyed fishing for trout in her spare time.
Now that she lives in Nazareth House, she spends her time listening to the radio.
NEIGHBORS FROM HELL
The mother of a teenage thug in County Down has fled her home after being confronted by a gang of Republicans, alleges the Down Democrat newspaper.
Residents living in Downpatrick’s Kennedy Square estate called the woman and her son the “neighbors from hell,” after the teenager carried out numerous assaults and acts of vandalism in the area, including knife attacks as part of a gang called the “Teenage Terrorists.”
Cars were vandalized and house windows smashed on a regular basis by the gang, with the full support of the drug-dealing mother, the said.
“My child was told that he would be blinded if he didn’t stop looking at her son,” one mother said. “We were all living in total fear. Please God, they won’t come back again. My nerves wouldn’t stand it.”
The mother and son are believed to be in Armagh.
SINN FEIN TRIUMPH
Sinn Fein swept to power in the election — the one held in Mount Zion School in Waterford, that is.
In a mock election, 255 pupils gave Sinn Fein candidate David Cullinane a landslide victory, followed by Fianna Fail Minister Martin Cullen.
The other two elected by the Mount zion pupils were Fine Gael Candidate Maurice Cummins and John Halligan for The Worker’s Party (without reaching the quota) on the sixth count.
Just before the loyal townspeople of Ballinamallard, Co. Fermanagh, turned out to greet Queen Elizabeth, Fermanagh District Council voted to ban the flying of the Union flag over the Town Hall. All military crests and memorabilia were also removed from the Town Hall’s public rooms.
The coincidence of the two events illustrated how divided the county is, between loyalism and nationalism.
At a heated council meeting, Unionist councilor Bertie Kerr clashed with Sinn Fein councilor Pat Cox.
“The flag of this nation is the Union Flag,” said Kerr, to which Cox shouted, ”
Shocking news from The Kerryman: yes, fans will be able to watch World Cup soccer games in their local pub — but there won’t be any booze.
Ireland’s first game will be against Cameroon on June 1, but at 7:30 a.m. Irish time, well before first orders.
John O’Sullivan, the chairman of the Kerry Vintners Federation and licensee of the Munster Bar in Tralee, has confirmed that under the Intoxicating Liquor Act of 2000, pubs are entitled to open in time for the big kick-off — but there’s a catch.
“Certainly, we can open at that time, but as things stand, we can only serve soft drinks, teas, coffees and breakfasts. We definitely can’t serve alcohol,” O’Sullivan explained.
“This wouldn’t preclude individual towns or villages making an application for an exemption to their local District Court. If the gardaf have no objection, the chances are that they’ll get it,” O’Sullivan explained, but he reckoned that the appetite for drink would be lessened at 7:30.
“I wouldn’t want to prejudge the situation, but I’d imagine that a lot of people would just prefer to have a light breakfast on June 1 and maybe celebrate with a beer or two later in the day if we get the right result,” he said.
GARDAI HOT AIR
Gardai in Athlone will be reaching for the sky later this month, in a hot air balloon race to raise money for St. Hilda’s Services for the Mentally Handicapped in Athlone.
Publicans and police officers in Athlone thought up the odd idea, according to Athlone Garda Pat Keegan.
“We picked it as the night after the second semifinal in the World Cup, as an alternative form of entertainment in aid of a good cause,” he told the Westmeath Independent.
“St. Hilda’s is a most worthy cause, providing as it does community-based services in 17 locations to 120 families in the Athlone and Midland regions,” he said.
ARTIFACTS FOR SALE
Artifacts from the historic Lissadell House in Sligo will go to auction in County Kilkenny at the end of the month, including a military uniform believed to have been worn by Countess Markievicz during the 1916 Rising.
The unique collection includes valuable works of fine art, antique furniture, and a rare collection of silver, as well as diverse items such as fireplaces, carpets, nursery furniture and childhood toys.
The current owners of Lissadell House, Sir Josslyn and Lady Jane Gore-Booth, returned to live in the house from England last year. Sir Josslyn is a great grand-nephew of Countess Markievicz.
“The principal driving force behind the sale is to continue to restore the house. The goal I’ve been aiming for is to fully restore the house, because I believe this should be done for the nation and for posterity,” Sir Josslyn told the Sligo Champion.