07 May 2018

Summer sunshine arrives
on Sunday in Ballybunion

The south beach in Ballybunion on a sunny Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018; click on image for full-screen view)

Patrick Comerford

I once knew a holiday apartment block in Crete that was known to Irish holidaymakers and to local hoteliers alike as ‘Ballymun in the Sun.’ The place is closed now, but I thought at the time it was an unfair description and said a lot about Irish expressions of snobbery but also how Greeks understood it.

But yesterday I spent a glorious afternoon in Ballybunion in the Sun.

After a harsh winter and an exceptionally wet spring, this is the first real bank holiday that gives people the opportunity this year to enjoy sunshine and the sea.

I have only started to get to know Ballybunion properly in recent months, long after I came to this group of parishes. It is part of my parish, but previous ventures into this part of the parish on Sunday afternoons have been outside weekends like this. So, it was a delight to see how popular Ballybunion is with people from throughout Limerick and Kerry.

Seen on the beach in Ballybunion on Sunday afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

The beaches were crowded with families, with surfboarders and kiteflyers, with swimmers, and with toddlers enjoying their first steps into the waves and the water.

There were bouncy castles, crepe stalls, ice cream outlets, beach balls, candy floss, and all the traditional ephemera of seaside resorts that I wish could have survived from the 1960s and 1970s in more places than this.

Signs that summer has arrived in Ballybunion (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Children of all ages were showing their ambitions as potential and promise as budding architects as they busied away at building sandcastles.

Two of us walked on south beach before having lunch at a table by the window in Daroka, and then went for a walk on the north beach before venturing on for a cliff walk.

With blue skies, golden sands and sea breezes, it seemed summer has arrived.

Looking down on the north beach from the cliff walk in Ballybunion (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2018)

Rathkeale Parish notes
in ‘Newslink’ May 2018

Following the Good Friday processions in Thessaloniki … a week after Easter celebrations in the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castletown and Kilnaughtin

Priest-in-Charge: The Revd Canon Patrick Comerford,
The Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick.

Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Easter, with all its hopes and joys, has dawned … and Patrick had an opportunity to commemorate Good Friday and celebrate Easter in Thessaloniki, where the Greek Calendar marked Easter a week later this year.

Sharing the Light of Christ at the Easter celebrations in Castletown Church

Although the Easter Vestries have met, one after another, the Easter Season, with all its celebrations and liturgical greetings, continues until the Day of Pentecost, Whit Sunday (10 May).

These celebrations continue with special celebrations marking three particular days in May: Ascension Day (10 May), the Day of Pentecost or White Sunday (20 May) and Trinity Sunday (27 May).

Sunday 6 May (Easter 6): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert.

Sunday 13 May (Easter 7): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Castletown Church; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Sunday 20 May (Pentecost, Whit Sunday): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Saint Mary’s, Askeaton; 11.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Saint Brendan’s, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert.

Sunday 27 May (Trinity Sunday): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Castletown; 11.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Holy Trinity, Rathkeale.

Easter Vestries:

Askeaton Easter Vestry: Churchwardens: Simon White (Rector’s), Ann Drew (People’s) Churchwarden; Glebewardens: Simon White (Rector’s), Ralph Drew (People’s), Treasurer, Ralph Drew; Secretary, Anne Drew. Additional vestry members: Hilary White, Betty Cregan, Donogh O’Grady, Gerald Griffin, Richard Langford, Brian Fitzell.

Castletown Easter Vestry: Churchwardens: Declan Shier (Rector’s), David Downes (People’s); Glebe Committee: Thomas Downes; Treasurer, Thomas Downes; Secretary, Raylene Downes. Additional vestry members, Valerie Downes, Linda Smith, Victor Gardiner.

Kilnaughtin Easter Vestry: Churchwardens: Eric Parkinson (Rector’s), Alan Fitzell (People’s); Glebewardens: Alan Fitzell (Rector’s), Joe Gleeson (People’s); Treasurer, Nikki O’Mahony; Secretary, Margaret Fitzell.

Rathkeale Easter Vestry: Churchwardens: Niall West (Rector’s), Daphne Casey (People’s); Glebewardens: George Shorten (Rector’s), Niall Shorten (People’s); Treasurer, Jennifer Shorten; Secretary: Susan Shorten. Select Vestry: Edward Buckingham, Jean Fitzell, Pearl Mitchell, Evelyn Lambert, Shirley Sheehan, Isaac Langford.

Group Treasurer: Victor Gardiner.

Rectory work parties:

Over three or four weeks, work parties have been busy in the Rectory Garden, cutting back the growth, pruning the shrubs and bushes, tending to the trees and the grass. The garden is now a welcoming place, and already, on sunny mornings, it has become a place to work, to think and to pray. A warm thank you to all involved.

The Rectory Garden in Askeaton … ready for summer after successive work parties

Forward planning:

10-12 May: General Synod meets in Armagh.

23 May: end-of-year service in Coláiste na Trócaire, Rathkeale.

24 May: Patrick Comerford speaks at book launch, The Preacher and the Prelate, by Patricia Byrne, O’Mahony’s Bookshop, Limerick.

Newcastle West font: The Baptismal Font from the former Church in Newcastle West is about to find a new home in the Desmond Castle in May. Parishioners interested in attending the events to mark this should contact Patrick.

This is an edited version of the Parish Notes in the May 2018 edition of the diocesan magazine ‘Newslink’