It is not often that visitors to the historic village of Littleton are given a Cead Mile Failte in the language of the Portugese nation and as Gaeilge on the same night.
So, step into the history books, Thurles Garda, Bart Howard, Coolcroo, Two Mile Borris, who was Fear a Ti thar bharr for the reception in Main Street Street, Littleton, recently to launch a beautiful CD, ”The Circle Of Life”, produced by local lady, Stella Quinn, who was well served by a fine production team of Ellie Gooney, Mandy Fennessy, Peggy Costello, Melissa Morris, Kay Ryan, Linda Bryan, Padraig Dwyer, Fr Joe Tynan, CC, Johnny Quinlan, Noel Cooney, John Ryan, Andrea Cooney, John Moloughney, John O’Gorman, Paddy Costello and Philly Purcell.
We were out in Littleton, once mentioned by William Joyce in his World War 2 broadcasts”, Germany Calling, Germany Calling” to announce the capture of Britain’s first Prisoner Of War, Larry Slattery from “LittleTown” in County Tipperary.
Joyce, known to wartime radio listeners as “Lord HawHaw”, was hanged by the British after the war.
But our mission to Littleton was of a more joyous nature. A mood of celebration was in the air despite the inclement weather for the month of July which Kiltegan Missionary priest, Fr. Paudie Moloughney, from nearby Laharden, declared he loved, a sentiment common enough among our Irish visitors home from very warm countries.
Moycarkey/ Borris parish was celebrating the Ruby Anniversary of the ordination to the priesthood of very popular priest, Fr. Paudie Moloughney 40 years ago.
Garda Bart Howard, who initiated and was main organiser of the reception and CD launch, was, he said, delighted and honoured to be Master of Ceremonies on the night.
Prior to the launch, Fr Paudie was led into the village to the reviewing stand outside Darmodys’ hostelry by the awards winning Sean Treacy Pipe Band, Moycarkey /Borris, preceded by a Garda Patrol Car with lights flashing blue in the darkness. You’d be forgiven for thinking that it was a night in September and the McCarthy Cup was on the way. And indeed, maybe it is!. The Moloughney family have many links with the long established band who have their own band hall in the village.
Fr Paudie arrived in a mule and carriage with Stella Quinn, the CD Producer and James Bourke, a neighbour of Fr. Paudie’s.
The production team arrived in Limos, courtesy of Munster Chaffeurs and Mr Tony Cogan of Thurles and Munster Limos, courtesy of Brendan O’ Dwyer. The mule and carriage were courtesy of Liam Morris and Cecil Melbourne and certainly attracted great attention.
The national flags of Brazil, where Fr Paudie now ministers, and Nigeria where he has ministered, flew proudly alongside the Irish Tricolour on the O’Dwyer Transport lorry which was a platform for the night.
And the flags of Moycarkey Borris and Tipperary were also in evidence in bunting –bedecked Littleton, and well done to FAS for their colourful work in this respect.
Garda Bart Howard thanked the preproduction team who had been working hard over the past 12 months to produce the CD. He said:”It was an idea that came about in an effort to raise funds for Fr Paudie Moloughney, who is currently sharing his ministry in Brazil. He is part of that community who are building two churches and also an Ecological Reserve and planting a large number of trees and engaged in other and much more badly- needed projects”.
Paudie was ordained to the priesthood on April 1st ,1971 in Kiltegan.
He celebrated his first Mass in Two Mile Borris and later had his reception in Littleton Muintir na Tire Hall and Benny’s Pub. He has spent 40 years in Mission fields throughout the world.
Mr Howard extended a warm welcome to visitors to Littleton from Australia, Canada, Belarus and other parishes. And we even had a Greek connection.
Mr Howard said “Remember, by your purchase of this CD, you are bringing a tear of joy, hope and fulfillment to so many faces less well off than ourselves. Just think of it, – from a social point of view, if you consume alcohol or tobacco that’s five minutes gone. That same 10 Euro will last much longer in so far as physical structure and purchase of much-needed resource materials is concerned for our brothers and sisters in Brazil. After all, the Gospel tells us that we are God’s Children and we here, in the parish of Moycarkey /Borris, Littleton, are all Fr. Paudie’s friends”
Fr. Moloughney noted he was on stage “beside the spot where I went to school in Scoil Naisiunta Baile Dhaith, where I learned to love the Irish language and the Irish culture and our history and where I studied with Miss English, Miss Sulllivan, Denis Commins and Miss Hayes. And little did I know that I would spend almost all of my adult life on the missions, not losing the love of the language, the people and our culture.
It’s fascinating to learn another language or languages and, I suppose, our own language helps us to develop a love for other languages and other people.
It’s your prayers, its your help and your support down through the years that has helped me and kept me on the Mission as your representative and a proud representative of Moycarkey Borris and Littleton where I grew up.
Tonight we prayed for the Ryan family and I remember, I suppose, in a special way, Harry(former member of North Tipperary County Council and a noted community activist). I remember my colleagues, Joe Ryan, who went to school with me, Leonard Commins, and Percy Duggan who was ordained with me in ’71. It was a different time, a different era and possibly very much a different Church at that time
It’s fascinating to stand here tonight and watch a group of people who so enjoyed putting this record together,”The Circle of life”, in which we all have to participate”.
Referring to the slideshow of family and Mission photographs shown on a screen nearby and compiled by family members and Bart Howard and with the technical expertise of helpful Paddy Loughnane of Thurles Camera Club and Michael Fahy. Fr. Paudie said: “Maybe we have to rediscover yet more of our roots and who we are within the “Circle of life.”
He thanked all those wonderful people who had spent the past year in the labour of love in producing the CD, including Stella Quinn,( Producer),Bart Howard and all who have laboured in producing this wonderful memento of the occasion. He said he would love if two or three of the group could come on over to Brazil and make the presentation personally to the Finance Committee of his parish. There is a possibility that Bart Howard and Fr. Joe Tynan will take up the invitation.
Referring to the one of the songs on the CD, “Alleluia”, which was sung by the artistes featured on the CD, he likened it to the Clare Shout, brought back by Ger Loughnane of Clare whereby you lift the left shoulder and the right leg a bit and shout y’ahoohoo!. And he demonstrated the technique!.
“I think we need a bit of that life and joy back into life again here in Ireland. So, I hope the record will be sung in many homes and many places and that it will put the joy back in our Circle of Iife again.”
Before the arrival of Fr Paudie’s cavalcade we were treated to fine entertainment from Gordy Gooney(Lady GAGA),Brid Dwyer (Michael Jackson, playing spoons),Mary Gooney, Gordy’s mother, Jason Reilly. Fr Joe Tynan.
Bart Howard thanked on behalf of the group, sponsors, the entertainers, Paddy Loughnane. Fr Joe Tynan and Michael Fahey on slideshow and for erecting the big screen of Littleton, Tom Healy, on sound and electrical supervision and Liam McCormack and Billy Tuohy who entertained in Darmody’s cosy hostelry where a sumptuous repast was laid on for all.
Also thanked were the Sean Treacy Pipe Band, FAS, Muintir na Tire, the crews of the limousines and mule- drawn carriage and all who had helped in any way towards this wonderful occasion, including An Garda Siochana Traffic Corps, Thurles, and the folks who laid on the repast.
Many folks contributed entertainment at the session in Darmody’s after the launch including singer/guitarist, Michelle Skehan of Holycross, who was a huge hit on a national talent competition on RTE, and also folks who featured on the CD.
The 16track CD, ”The Circle Of Life” costs 10 euros and would make a lovely Christmas present, especially for exiles. It’s on sale in local shops.
The large attendance at the celebration night included Fr Paudie’s brother, John, Drom, and his sisters, Mary Mooney, Ellen Cussen, Galbertstown Lower and Catherine Moloughney O ‘Sullivan, home from Melbourne, Australia, whom we met with her daughter, Katie Moloughney O ‘Sullivan and Katie’s friend, John Verenais and also Ella Cooney. We also met former Tipp Senior Hurling goalkeeper, and ace accordionist, Tom Doran, and Moycarkey /Borris GAA stalwart, Willie Ryan. Met too, Tom Purcell, whose wife, Margaret Mc Cormack Purcell, will direct the play ,”The Seafarer” ,with Thurles Drama Group for the next drama festival season. And congrats, Tom on a recent achievement.
And best wishes to Tom and Margaret’s daughter, Roseanna, in the theatre world, Break a leg. Also present was V. Rev George Bourke, PP, Fr Joe Ryan and Stephen Hewitt, Pat Costello, Billy Costello, Martina Cooney, Francis Ryan of Littleton, Dan Fitzpatrick, Martin McCarthy and Norma McCarthy and Mary and Brendan Healy, Seskin.