CHRISTMAS IN YONDER YEARS: St Stephens Day was great for children-I think everyone knows the activity on that day. A lot of people didn’t eat meat on St. Stephen’s Day that was to ask God for health and contentment for the following year.

CHRISTMAS IN YONDER YEARS: St Stephens Day was great for children-I think everyone knows the activity on that day. A lot of people didn’t eat meat on St. Stephen’s Day that was to ask God for health and contentment for the following year.

Christmas ended on January 6th known as Old Christmas Day. Santa used to come again to some homes. I have special memory of one St. Stephens Day. I went out with a neighbouring boy around nine years old. So the usual introduction was, “Up with the kettle and down with the pan, a penny or tuppence to bury the ‘ran.” Then you proceeded to sing or dance. We went around our local houses and were well treated with sweets, lemonade and tupences. So as we got tired we decided to call quits and divide the takings. I complained that he wasn’t giving me a fair deal, So we parted with the words from him as follows, “Well! I hope we meet in better times”. That young boy was Leo Healy from Clonelly R.I.P. The humour was always in that family. Three generations later we are having the Healy good humour, thank God for it and thank Willie, our local correspondent. Christmas trees were not so popular then. My mother had a big house plant and she used to decorate it and ask the neighbouring children in; such as the Cosgrove girls, Cornakelly, now in the U.S.A. and Tony Farrell of Clonelly. We still talk about it- good simple memories. The older and some younger men used to have what was called A Join. This consisted of a group of them gathering together and putting the required amount of money together and buying a Barrel of Porter. It was called a quarter or a half barrel. It would be brought to a certain house and enjoyed before 6th January. I remember it being held in my home in Cornakelly and the men dancing four hand reels on the kitchen floor, this would go on ‘til the dawn and Julia remembers the Ballinamuck Bell ringing for 7am Mass. There wouldn’t be many girls at same. They had Kitchen Dances and lots of fellows at other times of the year. Peggy Brady (Nee McNamee) could tell you about such dances. She was very good at helping make the tea, as she did in my old home at Football Dances for raising funds for Dromard GAA Club. At that time such men as Stevie Reilly, Pearce Daly, Big Frank McNamee, James Maguire, Clonelly and Tommy Murtagh, Corglass were the Joe Murphy’s, Eamon Kiernan’s and Sean Conefrey’s of that era. The “Bishop” McNerney used to sing “The Bright Silver Light of The Moon”. Jimmy Reynolds, Garvary, and Sonny Nicholl, two Violin players were the main musicians. With greatful thanks thanks to Julia McLoughlin-sorry for any errors-“Til we meet in better times”

GAA SOCIAL: On Saturday night December 15th next, the people of Dromard will assemble in The Breffni Arms, Arva for this great occasion of honouring and thanking our brave and honourable players and management, male and female who have made so many sacrifices and gave their all for the honour of Dromard Parish. Over all they came so close to fulfilling their dreams and they competed so well, that there was nothing between the top teams, as it came down purely to luck on the day. It will also be a great night for all involved I the very successful Dromard Well-A-Thon and all other club activities. In the end it is all about bonding and rebuilding for the future. Music on the Night will be provided by Night Fever and this is traditionally a night that is the high light of the year and the start of the Christmas celebrations for many. There is the added excitement of the special draw for two return trips to Australia and one thousand euros spending money or the alternative equivalent of €3000 cash. The funds raised are going towards the on -going development of Páirc Ná Gael and the current car park resurfacing. Please come along on the night and join the gathering at whatever time is convenient for you. The more the merrier!

SHOP AND DRINK LOCAL THIS CHRISTMAS: Or there’ll be no local! Shopkeepers should know that they are surrounded by families and that they must provide family portions of meat, fish, potatoes, chips and all other supplies at good family value. No mother is going to buy two small portions at greater expense when the shop keeper should provide good value large family portions. If shops and businesses listen to the advice of clever men or women in grey suits about how to take more money from the customers they will lose. Remember the men in grey suits are not your customers! I am not referring to any particular local shops but rather I am sharing my life’s experience of local shops up in the “Big Smoke”. I am sure that all the decent local shopkeepers would welcome advice or requests from their customers as to what they want from them and how they could better serve their needs. We all have a duty to speak honestly to each other for the greater good of all. I can honestly say that no shopkeeper has ever asked me if there was anything that I was not happy with or is there any way they could improve their service. This is not just my advice but the well- known advice of one of Ireland’s greatest retailers Fergal Quinn. Silence is not golden-it is the absence of customers and loss. Even worse than that the big retailers are not your friends and have more tricks up their sleeves than magician Keith Barry. In ancient times the hunter only hunted in territory that he dominated and knew well.

CHRISTMAS BINGO AT MOYNE: €130 Lily O Neill, €100 Geraldine Faughnan, €65 Brigid Kiernan, €40 Brigid Kiernan. Other winners were; Louise Maguire, Mary Ellen Gray, John Joe Donohue, Margaret Donnelly, Eileen Taaffe, Mary Kiernan, Caroline Luke, Lily Cainswarren, Nuala O Hanlon, Mary Clerkin, Doreen Reilly, Nan Connolly, Pat McHugh, Noel Lyons, Bernie Smith, Louise Gumley, Ita Reilly, Kathleen McHugh, George Taaffe and Mary Keogh.

MORE CHRISTMAS MONEY: Dromard GAA Lotto Results; 3/12/12 No’s Drawn; 3, 9, 12 and 26. €20 winners were; Aedin Mimnagh, Nuala McLoughlin, Danny Petit and George Taaffe. Sellers prize went to Aedin Mimnagh. Next week’s prize is €1900.

FIRESIDE TALES: Jude Flynn has done it again with his 10th Volume of Fireside Tales. It comes in a bright classy style and is full of very interesting historical features. One of special local interest brings to public attention the great stories and recollections of The Sage of Dromard, Johnny Creegan of Crott. It makes for a super Christmas gift available in all local shops and through-out local counties..

THE FOUR SCHOOLS DROMARD REUNION: As part of the Gathering 2013, a committee has been formed; Chairman Joe Murphy, Vice Chairman Michael Masterson, Ballyduffy, Secretary Catherine McNerney PRO Eamon Kiernan, Treasurer John Joe Donohoe and Assistant Treasurer Jamsie Maguire, Tony Farrell, Peter Cassidy, Johnny Creegan, Angela Hudson, Catherine McGahern and Pat Faughnan. It is expected to take place starting on Friday August 9th August 2013 next and running over that weekend or week. It will take place in Legga, Dromard, based around the GAA Grounds and other locations. It will be by Open Invitation to all past pupils of Dromard National School (St. Patricks N.S.), Legga N.S. Moyne N.S. and Edenmore N.S. It is expected that a wide range of activities social, sporting and local tourism initiatives will be organised. It is hoped to publish a commemorative book/booklet. In this regard we are requesting past pupils of all ages to contribute a short article detailing your memory of your time in primary school together with any old photos that you might have from that time. Photos will be scanned and the originals returned to the donors immediately. To facilitate this, an e-mail account dromardschoolsreunion@gmail.com has been set up for the purpose or contributions can be submitted in writing to Catherine McNerney c/o St. Patrick’s National School Ballinamuck P.O., Co Longford.

LADIES CLUB AGM: Dromard Ladies Club will hold their AGM on Sunday December 16th from 12.30 to 1.30pm in the Dromard GAA Clubhouse. Everyone is welcome to attend. The U/12 Girls league winning panel will be presented with their medals on the day.

AUSTRALIA FOR FIVE EUROS: Dromard GAA Club are holding a special draw for a top prize of two Return Tickets for an Australian holiday plus €1000 of spending money or €3000 cash equivalent. The Draw takes place in The Breffni Arms in Arva on December 15th next. Tickets are five euros or a book of six for €20. Tickets are available from Kevin Sheridan, Corrigan’s Oil and fuel Depot, Moyne Stores, Gus McEntire, John Kenny, Noelie Maguire, Pete Faughnan, Eamon Kiernan, Sean Conefrey and all dedicated club members. When you see the continuing innovation of this dynamic and evolving club seeking to cater for all members interests and especially due to the great efforts of our players and for our youth academy –we seek your great goodwill.

COMEDY PLAY: The Acorn Players are delighted to present their Three Part Comedy Play-“The Two Loves Of Gabriel Foley”, at the Latin School Community Centre, Moyne, at 8.30pm on December 14th next. I have two loves smoking and drinking! Be there or be square.