23 May 2017

Summer sunshine comes
to the rails at Rathkeale
church and the countryside

Putting the finishing touches to a brighter look at the churchyard at Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

It was a busy day in Rathkeale yesterday, which included a school visit, a committee meeting, and meetings with parishioners.

Outside Holy Trinity Church and the churchyard on Church Street, a workforce sponsored by Rathkeale Community Council is painting the railings and the churchyard boundary wall beside the school, and planting flower boxes along the footpath.

This work shows how the church is owned by the local community, and as we stood talking the workers involved took personal pride in the state of the churchyard and its associations with local history and heritage.

As Spring turns to Summer this week in this part of West Limerick, the brighter colours on the railings and the wall add to the sparkle in the town in the bright sunshine.

Summer colours in the fields south of Rathkeale (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017; click on image for full-screen view)

In between meetings, I walked out into the countryside south of Rathkeale, where the fields have long turned from the brown of winter to the green and gold of summer.

On my way back into Rathkeale, I stopped to talk on the corner of Church Street with Gerald Fennell, who welcomed me into An Seabhac. I wrote about his former wine bar and restaurant last week, describing it as ‘a picture postcard corner of Rathkeale.’

He had many stories about the house, which has been in his family for four or five generations, and which has a history that may go back 400 years. ‘Six degrees of separation’ is too relaxed a description of connections in Ireland … it turned out I have known his brother for yours.

Later, by River Deel, the waters were clear blue under the bright summer sun. But there was work to be done, and I headed off to Bloomers for a management of the Rathkeale Pre-Cohesion Social Project.

Walking by the banks of the River Deel in Rathkeale on Monday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

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