16 September 2017

A positive view of the people
and the town of Rathkeale

Rathkeale is the subject of a full page report in the ‘Limerick Leader’ this weekend

Patrick Comerford

The Limerick Leader publishes a full report by Norma Prendiville on Rathkeale in today’s edition [Saturday 16 September 2017].

This report is the final feature in a series, and in her visit to Rathkeale Norma Prendiville finds ‘that voluntary activity is thriving and has clocked up huge achievements.’

I am quoted extensively and at length in this report, which is headed: ‘A town that keeps digging deep and is determined to survive.’

The report begins:

The thing that most people overlook about Rathkeale is the great loyalty and warm affection it commands from its citizens. And this is true both of the “settled” community and of its Traveller community.

For them, Rathkeale is home, and home and the idea of home are things to be loved and cherished, and, if necessary, defended.

And when those not from Rathkeale run down the town, there is hurt, and very often, indignation at how the town is characterised in the media.

But Patrick Comerford, the new Church of Ireland minister in the parish, has come to Rathkeale with fresh eyes. Before he arrived in his new post earlier this year, he explained, he blanked out any of his preconception, saying, “I am just going to take it on its own terms.

“My first impression was that it was a beautiful town. I am enjoying walking around it,” he says.

He was very impressed by the Georgian and Victorian streetscape and architecture, and was so taken by the Georgian doors he included them in his blog.

“My second impression was that people were talkative and welcoming,” he continues, adding that he was very impressed by the efforts of people to keep businesses going “against what others see as against the odds,” people who still have faith in Rathkeale.

For many people in Rathkeale, the Rev Comerford has hit the nail on the head. It is people and their faith in the town that are at the heart of Rathhkeale.

The feature also lists the Church of Ireland church among the amenities in Rathhkeale, and lists Rathkeale No 2 among the schools in the town.

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