09 February 2018

An evening of humour and
history in Rathkeale

The coat of arms of Thomas Arthur Southwell, 4th Viscount Southwell, in the centre of the three-light window above the High Altar in Saint Mary’s Church, Rathkeale (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The Rathkeale community notes in today’s edition of the Limerick Leader [9 February 2018] begin with the following report:

Rathkeale & District Historical Society: The society will hold its next meeting on Friday February 9 at 8.30 pm, in the Community Arts Centre, New Line, Rathkeale. Topic: The Southwell Family and their connection with the stained-glass windows at St. Mary’s Church, Rathkeale. Speaker: Dr Patrick Comerford, lecturer in Church History at Trinity College and Administrator St. Brendan’s Church of Ireland. All are welcome. Admission Free.

Having worked for years in provincial and national newspapers, it still surprises me how names, titles and job descriptions can be shuffled around like this.

But it is good to get this sort of advance notice for tonight’s lecture. I promise it is full of humour, with some light digressions and excursions through the social and church history of Rathkeale. I even have stories about Parnell’s eccentric sister-in-law who ended her days feeding anchovy sandwiches to her pet monkey, a mediaeval sculpture in Bangor Cathedral in Wales, and the family connections the British Home Secretary Amber Rudd has with Rathkeale.

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