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  Christmas 2014 on Cape Clear

Christmas on the very special West Cork Island of Cape Clear in the year 2014

A reflection by Séamus

Yesterday evening as I waited for the ferry to arrive with former Skipper, Ted O’Drisceoil we looked back towards the grotto area and noticed the Christmas lights sparkling in the darkness.  “ Doesn’t that look nice”, Ted commented and one could only agree .And fair play to Mary Leonard for inspiring  this bit of Christmas magic on the Island not to mention the elves that were earlier busy strimming and cleaning around the Church and Grotto areas and of course the manger itself, always set up with loving care by Cecelia.Christmas on Cape Clear

And it struck me that the up run to Christmas on the Island, always good, has been exceptional this year, thanks to the efforts of so many different people.  Since the usual fabulous Halloween festivities barely a week has gone by without one or more events. In November we had three Sunday sessions of Bingo followed by a quiz and culminating in mulled wine, sumptuous refreshments and music thanks to CARA.  On the 6th December Steve and Mary hosted the last Thai Night of 2014 to a well filled Cotters and a convivial, festive atmosphere. Some of those present no doubt enjoyed the annual Christmas Shopping trip to Cork City organized as usual by Bus Cléire the following Monday 8th December. This weekend past the annual Christmas Party saw Club Cléire packed with over fifty lucky residents and visitor’s enjoying a traditional festive meal prepared by Neil and delivered with the usual aplomb. This was followed by music and dancing into the early hours. I say lucky because, so great was the demand that there was even a waiting list for places. This was followed by another full house in the Club on Sunday afternoon for the School Christmas Pageant where the ever growing musical, singing, dancing and acting talents of the Island’s children were greatly enjoyed and appreciated by all. It is truly inspiring to see the way the Island’s children are cherished by all and each ones effort, at their own level, recognised and richly rewarded by popular acclaim. Of course, this would not be possible without the warm hearted efforts of the teachers and other staff of Scoil Náisiunta Inis Chléire.

And there is more to come, next Friday 19th brings the monthly Pizza night. The decision to have these once a month in the winter is a wise one as it gives us something to look forward to and better to appreciate as an occasional family outing.  Saturday 20th sees the annual pre-Christmas visit by Santy, another popular community event and also  cards, with a bottle of something nice for the winner. In a break with tradition Christmas Mass will be held at 3.30pm on Christmas Eve this year and we hope Fr Quelly will enjoy his well-deserved opportunity after many years to enjoy a more relaxed Christmas day with his Community at Rockwell. We look forward to Christmas toddies and the famous punch in the Club on Christmas Morning itself and most of us will be content to play a supporting role only for that fearsome event, organised by Niamh, the annual Christmas swim in North Harbour around noon.

St Stephen’s Day will see the big and little Wrens roaming the Island and this year the contributions will all go directly to purchase medicines for a hospital in Kenya.

And all this is only the tip of the ice berg as there will be umpteen smaller family and other celebrations taking place over the season as well as various happy happenings known to all who need to know but even in these days of face book and twitter, not everything needs to go on the WWW.

We wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas and extent a heartfelt “mile maith agaibh “to the seen and unseen hands that have made so much possible.

email:   telephone: 028 41923