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The days of the brindled cow

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Looking out the window at the rain pouring down as I pen these notes, I am reminded of weather forecasts modern and ancient. Like many other things in the modern world, there is a belief that the ancients knew nothing. After all, they didn't have the benefits of mobile phones or digital cameras or sat navs.

They had to make good use of their own senses because that was all that they had to rely on. They also picked out the important things to concentrate on such as the local weather. Tsunami in Thailand or earthquakes in Egypt didn't rank nearly as high in importance as showers around Slievenamon or floods in Fenane. The more immediate the weather was, the more important it was.

Long long before, we ever heard of global warming, we had learned of certain weather patterns, at certain times of the year. The very recent harsh spell of cold winds snow, sleet and showers was recorded centuries or even millennia ago in the story of the old brindled cow (the sean bo riabhach) or the "shoun – reeuck".

The story goes that the old cow had almost survived another winter and the end of March was at hand. The old cow boasted aloud of how she had survived and was heard by March who was greatly angered. Pride comes before a fall and all that. March borrowed a few days from April and during those days sent storms, snow, floods etc to attack the old cow, who was exhausted and died whether it was a result of cold or drowning. This gave rise to the legend of that flurry of winter weather at the end of March and into April, like we had last week. Another local weather tradition and there are many concerns the sight of snow on Slievenamon.

The Butlers of Kilkenny were once the landlords of this area. They weren't as bad as we would expect Kilkenny people to be. In fact, they were quite kind to their tenants. Were snow to be seen on Slievenamon on May day, (May 1st), the tenants would have no rent to pay that year. As regards snow on Slievenamon, we first saw snow on the mountain about a week before Christmas. It remained there in spite of the change of weather in the valley until the last week of March. Then suddenly the cap of snow was back with a vengeance during last week's weather. I don't know if it ever disappeared.

Now May 1st is on the horizon and maybe the snow will be on Slievenamon that day. Now the Butler landlords are dead and gone. Who will remit the payment of the rent this year if we see that white cap on May 1st. Perhaps NAMA will issue a special instruction to the banks re mortgages. I wouldn't hold my breath.

On the local weatherfront, 85.2mm of rain fell on 17 days during March. So far this year, about 209mm of rain has fallen in the first quarter of the year, compared to 251mm during the first quarter of 2009. On a worrying note, there has only been one fine day during the last three weeks. Our modern forecasters tell us that better weather is on the way.

Perhaps, the days of the brindled cow are over for 2010.

Weekend Collection:
A church gate collection will be held in aid of South Tipperary Bord na nOg before all masses in the parishes of South Tipperary this coming weekend. South Tipperary Bo

rd na nOg has put an enormous amount of time and effort into the promotion of GAA in South Tipperary during the last number of decades. During those decades, the local Club has had by and large, a very good relationship with South Tipp Bord na nOg.

Easter Ceremonies:

The Easter Ceremonies were well attended in the local St. Michael's Church. Holy Week began with a Penitential Service on Palm Sunday evening. On Spy Wednesday night, there was a special service for the sick of the community. The usual services were held on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. In addition to the Good Friday Service, there was also Stations of the Cross that evening. At the conclusion of the Holy Week Ceremonies, Parish Priest, Fr. John McGrath thanked the very big number of parishioners who helped out during the ceremonies. Of course, the heaviest burden of all fell on Fr. McGrath himself and he deserves our greatest thanks.

Mick Hanly Concert:
The long awaited "Mick Hanly Concert" will take place in Berminghams of Ballycullen (Crocanoir) on this Saturday night April 10th. To book or for more details, please contact John or Monika at 052 9153117. While your chances of obtaining a ticket for the show may be "Past the Point of Rescue", give it a try anyway.

Community Playschool:

The local Playschool is taking enrolments for September 2010. Please call into the playgroup (behind the Community Hall) or telephone 052 9153622, between 9am – 12.30am Monday to Friday. We look forward to hearing from you.

2009 News Review:
In our review of the news of 2009, according to the local Parish Newsletter, we come to the final quarter of the year. October began with an appeal from the Community Council to the public for a person or people to take over the publication of the Mullinahone Magazine. Alas, no volunteers after 25 editions. Our under 16 hurlers went out of the championship at the semi-final stage with a defeat to Kilsheelan.

Condolences were expressed on the deaths of three well-known ladies of the parish. These were Mary Dunphy of Kickham Place, Mona Gahan of Kylothea and Cloneen and Johanna Sheehan of Ballydavid.

Wed in Coolagh Church on October 3rd, were Sinead Scott, Cois na hAbhainn and Robert Pennefather, Shannon, Co. Clare.

Two ladies with long connections with the playschool severed those links. Thank you to both Phyllis Carroll and Judy Maher.

Anti-Swine Flu precautions began to be taken locally. They appear to have been successful.

A Mass of Thanksgiving was said in St. Michael's Church as a mark of appreciation and gratitude by the family of Richie Quirke who had been injured during a night out twelve months previously.

The parish was shocked at the untimely death of Michael McGrath of Grangemockler.

Christmas reared it's head with the Ladies Club enquiring about a Christmas Party.

First Holy Communion in 2010 will take place on Saturday May 15th.

The Knocknagow Senior Citizens Club were visited in Mullinahone by their confreres in Ballingarry.

"There is no pillow as soft as a clear conscience"

Mullinahone GAA Club:

U21A Hurling: Our championship got underway against a fancied Moyle Rovers in Kilsheelan last Saturday. Considering the recent weather the Kilsheelan Club can take great credit for the condition of the field which was to contribute to a great game. Mullinahone while playing with the wind had the best of the first half and went in at half time with a good lead. After the restart Moyle Rovers clawed their way back and drew level in normal time. Extra-time saw us reduced to 13 players but the lads held on for an historic win. Well done to all the players on the day.

Their attention now turns to the County Football semi-final in a couple of weeks.

Club scene:

Our senior hurlers start their championship next Sunday evening with a game against Ballybacon in Monroe at 6-30. A monthly meeting of our senior club will take place this Friday at 9-00pm.

Fur and Feather:

With the great success of the first day the market for poultry and small animals continues this Sunday from 8-00 to 2-00pm.

There was great variety the first day so come along with the family and enjoy a great occasion. Hot food ,tea ,coffee and sandwiches will be available in the sports complex. Come early for the bargains.

Circus comes to town:

The Royal Superdome Circus will come to the Sports Complex on April 14th for one night only. Hand juggling, acrobats, men on stilts along with Shrek, Spiderman and Catwoman are just some of the acts on show. Posters will be up soon along as information to the schools. Circo Cordenieo has proven very popular everywhere it performed.




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