Launch of Feohanagh/Castlemahon Parish Annual

Eileen (Riordan) O'Brien, Bill O'Brien, Eddie O'Sullivan, Brigid and Frank Phelan, Pat O'Donovan, Con Colbert (who launched the journal), Pat Normoyle, Sean Liston and John King. Den O'Brien Launch of Feohanagh Castlemahon Parish Annual

Eileen (Riordan) O’Brien, Bill O’Brien, Eddie O’Sullivan, Brigid and Frank Phelan, Pat O’Donovan, Con Colbert (who launched the journal), Pat Normoyle, Sean Liston and John King.

The 36th Feohanagh/Castlemahon Parish Journal was launched by Con Colbert, in the New Hall Castlemahon, on Thursday night last November 17th. A good crowd was in attendance in the spacious and comfortable hall and all received a very warm welcome to this annual event. It is always nice to be in the company of people who you may only meet at this event each year. It was a nice, relaxed and enjoyable evening as people mixed and mingled before and after the launch.
It was a night of celebration for the dedicated committee that once again has produced a fine publication. It was a night also that was tinged with sadness at the loss of a number of parishioners and friends of the annual over the past year. They were well remembered over the 60 minute launch, and during the conversation later, and also in the annual.
The proceedings began with history committee member Eddie O’Sullivan, a man of many talents, welcoming all who had come long distances to the launch. He spoke about the recent big events in the locality, The Joanne McMahon Thanksgiving Fundraising, the Michael Fleming sponsored Scholarship awards, the Con Colbert Monument that was unveiled at Monlena, and the launch of Eamon O’Riordan’s book As a Matter of Fact. Birthday wishes were sent to Mary Brouder, and Susan Scanlon, who have reached 100 years, and Pat Normoyle who celebrated his 80th birthday.
Eddie handed over to Pat Normoyle, who was the very efficient MC for the evening. Pat in his relaxed manner and soft spoken voice welcomed everybody and announced a number of apologies from people who were unable to attend. He then introduced Con Colbert from Dublin, a nephew of the 1916 patriot.
Con spoke for 15 minutes, holding all present on the edge of their seats, as he traced the life of his uncle Con from his birth to his execution. He also spoke about his father James who was a TD and who represented Limerick in the Dail. Con praised everybody who was involved in putting the annual together and announced it launched.
A number of guest speakers spoke after the launch including Canon Donagh O’Malley, Canon Frank Duhig, Liam Irwin, Jerome Scanlon, and Francis Foley. They all praised the invaluable work done by the history group in chronicling the events of the area, which will be such a great source of information in years to come. They all had their own nuggets of information to pass on connecting people and places to the parish and to past book launches. This mix of views and observations is always an added bonus at a launch.
Jerome Scanlon paid tribute to the late Rory O’Donnell, a school friend and a tremendous community worker. He acknowledged the work done by Michael O’Regan, and Jackie King in putting in place the monument to Con Colbert at his birthplace at Monlena. Liam Irwin spoke about the modesty of the Colbert family and the importance of parish and the annual which records the rich local history.
Presentations were made to Con Colbert by members of the history group in appreciation for performing the launch. Frank Phelan, Life President and a valued contributor received a birthday card for his 89th birthday which takes place on 1st December. It was lovely to see Frank, and his wife Brigid, and John Joe Nash three stalwarts from the parish present.
Refreshments were served by the ladies which was most appreciated by all present. The evening concluded with lots of chat and entertainment from Grainne Buckley who played the harp, Tom O’Donoghue, the accordion, and storyteller Chrissie Roche. The fine singing voice of Coireal MacCurtáin, sent all present home happy after another very enjoyable night.
The parish annual contains interesting articles, poems, and reports, and includes colour and black and white photographs. It is printed in good quality paper, and has an attractive 4 page colour cover. It has articles from the usual contributors, and from a number of new writers, from around the parish and beyond. The front and back pages feature a photo of the Con Colbert Monument, and group photos after the unveiling. The 120 page annual is on sale in all the usual outlets within and outside the parish and it costs €10 and it is a most enjoyable read. It would make a lovely Christmas gift for a person interested in their local parish, or for one of the many exiles, longing for their homeland. It comes highly recommended and it will not disappoint readers over the festive season.