Bringing home the Christmas

Deerpark

Posted on: 1st December, 2014

Category: Features

Contributor: West Cork People

Residents at Deerpark House Nursing Home in Bantry share some of their Christmas memories over a cup of tea with Mary O’Brien.

John Crowley from Dunmanway worked the nightshift for 40 years with O’Leary’s bakery in Dunmanway. “I remember being so tired after baking all those bracks in the run-up to Christmas that I was in bed by 9 o’clock on Christmas Eve. We had three days holidays at Christmas time.”

Although John’s mother always lit a Christmas candle held securely in a turnip and decorated with holly, John says the family never had a Christmas tree. A candle was lit in every window of the house to welcome the Lord and any travellers out on the road.

John lived 50 yards from The Parkway Hotel in Dunmanway and he remembers how busy it was at Christmas time. “Joe Dolan, The Dubliners, they came from all over to play concerts there,” he says.

Another great social outing over Christmas was to ‘go to the pictures’ in Dunmanway. “The owner was a gas man,” recalls John. “He didn’t take kindly to complaints. I remember one time when someone complained about the quality of the picture, his response was — ‘what did you want for your one and three pence…Marilyn Munroe to come down and sit in your lap?’

Kevin Cadogan from Schull recalls ‘Hunting the Wren’ on Stephen’s Day. “It was a great way of getting some money to go to a concert or dance,” he says. “We dressed up in old clothes with a ‘face and eyes’ mask covering our face.

In many households back then, clothes were turned inside out or the collars changed or a sleeve cut and reknitted to give the items a new lease of life. Kevin remembers however that at Christmas time there was always a trip to Barnett’s in Schull for a new outfit.

Kevin’s family loved music. “My sister brought home a gramophone and we all loved singing along with it.”

A Cork City native and proprietor of the Anchor Bar in Bantry for many years, Bill O’Donnell grew up in the pub industry. “Regulars always got a free drink on Christmas Eve and the bar opened for ‘free’ drinks on Christmas morning until 2.30pm.”

“I still remember, as a small child one Christmas Eve, hearing something on the roof before I nodded off to sleep next to my father.”

Dan O’Donovan and his family went to mass at 6.30am in Skibbereen on Christmas morning. “Every picture in the kitchen was decorated with holly and berries by my mother.”

From a farming family, Dan recalls how the animals were always given “a bit of extra feed at Christmas”.

He also recalls that when a sow was farrowing, it was brought in to the house for the week and walked outside at night.

Presents were small and more often than not practical and oranges were a huge treat on Christmas morning. A turkey for many households was a luxury.

Everyone distinctly remembers ‘Bringing home the Christmas’, one of the nicest traditions, when families came in to town from the country on December 8 and brought home the Christmas Candle and fruit to make the Christmas cake.

It was the simple things that made it magic. “There was always a footprint in the ashes on the hearth on Christmas morning,” recalls Kevin smiling.

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Visiting restrictions in place at Bantry General Hospital due to Flu Presentations

Strict visitor restrictions have been put in place with immediate effect at Bantry General Hospital due to the number of patients who have presented with flu like symptoms.

In the interest of patient care and in order to restrict the spread of the flu virus within the hospital, it is necessary with immediate effect to ban all visitors to Bantry General Hospital, with the exception of following: critically ill patients are restricted to one visitor per critically ill patient and confined to visiting times only, and attendance at the Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and Local Injury Unit (LIU) should only take place if absolutely necessary, only one relative per patient attending these areas.

The elderly, children, pregnant women or young adults, those with chronic illnesses or vulnerable others are advised not to visit. Outpatient, Day care services and routine hospital admissions are not affected.

All infection control measures are in place and every effort is being made to manage and contain the spread of the flu virus.

People with flu like symptoms are advised to contact their GP by phone in the first instance and avoid presenting at the Emergency Department at Bantry General Hospital.

Bantry hospital staff are asking people to think about all their care and treatment options and keep ED services for the patients who need them most. Others with a less serious illness can be treated by their GP or out of hours GP service where their GP can refer them to an Assessment Unit the following day if required.
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8th January, 2018  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Cope Foundation's Happy Christmas from Cope Foundation. ... See MoreSee Less

What makes Christmas special? Children and adults we support, our incredible staff, families and supporters - these are the people who make our organisation so special every single day, but especially at Christmas! Meet some of them here... Thank you to the wonderful team at AV3 Media who kindly produced this video for us as a Christmas gift! To make a Christmas donation today, go to www.cope-foundation.ie/donate. We believe that together we can do great things and with your support we can do so much more! Please SHARE our video so that more people can learn about the amazing things that happen at Cope Foundation! Evening Echo; Irish Examiner; The Southern Star; The Avondhu; Cork Independent; West Cork Times; West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork; Bandon Opinion/The Opinion; Vale Star; East Cork Journal; Cork Chamber - Faces of Cork Business; Cork City FC; Cork Institute of Technology - CIT; University College Cork; Corks RedFM 104-106; The KC Show Corks 96 FM; Cork's 96FM; Cork's Best; C103 Cork; Cork Airport; Cork Opera House: The Everyman; Cork County Council; County Cork; Cork City Council; CorkLike; CCCahoots; Cork On Ice; Glow Cork; CIT Cork School of Music; RTÉ Today; Ciaran Bermingham - Actor; Rob & Marian Heffernan; John Spillane; Ger Wolfe; Eimear O'Brien PR; Jack O Rourke; Theo Dorgan; Mahon Point Shopping Centre; Blackpool Shopping Centre & Retail Park

18th December, 2017  ·  

This is the real spirit of Christmas at Caseys of Clonakilty. ... See MoreSee Less

Are you alone or do you know someone who will be alone this Christmas? If so, then we here at Casey’s would like to make your day that little bit easier. We are offering a full Christmas dinner on us! Christmas dinners can be collected Christmas Eve from 12:30pm - 8:30pm. Wishing everyone a very happy Christmas from everyone at Casey’s

15th December, 2017  ·  

RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta’s has just announced its Christmas schedule and it features several programmes of interest to listeners in West Cork.

On New Year’s Day at 12.08 pm we’ll hear highlights from the Éigse Dhiarmuidín Festival that took place in West Cork in early December, remembering musician and broadcaster Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin. An Nollaig ar Oileán Chléire is an archive show presented by Mícheál Ó Sé on Wednesday 27 December at 5.30 pm about Christmas on Cape Clear and on Friday 29 December and 5 January at 7 pm, Peadar Ó Riada will bring us very special editions of his Cuireadh chun Ceoil programme from Múscraí. Keep an ear out!
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15th December, 2017  ·  

West Cork People - The Best Free Read in West Cork shared Garda Síochána - Cork, Kerry & Limerick - Southern Region's photo. ... See MoreSee Less

REMINDER: An Garda Siochana are hosting a Retail Crime Prevention Meeting, to be held at 7pm on Wednesday 29th November 2017. This meeting will be held in the Munster Arms Hotel in Bandon. This meeting is one of a series being held across the West Cork Garda Division, in association with Operation Thor, the Garda National Anti-Crime Strategy. The purpose of the meeting is to increase the cooperation between Gardai and the retail sector, ensuring that the current low levels of crime in the locality extends past the busy approaching Christmas season. The meeting will be addressed by the local Crime Prevention Officer, Sergeant Ian O’ Callaghan, who will discuss burglary prevention, shoplifting, fraud, and cybercrime. There will be a particular focus on cash handling and cash exposure of businesses in the run up to the Christmas shopping period. All aspects of commercial crime will be discussed, and we would strongly urge all businesses to make a special effort to attend on the evening.

28th November, 2017  ·  

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