Pew Sheet – 17th January 2021

The Rector writes  ‘Thanks to all who bought the Parish  Cookbook. They turned out to be  ‘Best Sellers’ and we had to print more books to cope with demand. There are still a small number of books left so if you would like one, just get in touch with me.  Until we meet again please stay safe !’

DIOCESAN MAGAZINE subscriptions are now due.    €25 for 2021.
Please post your subscription to Rowland Newenham,  Cooleens,  Church Road, Carrigaline  P43 FR88,  (or you may also pay online to Rowland Newenham, Please contact him for details.)

Music Notes 17-01-2021

Hymns for today:

587    Just as I am

562    Blessed Assurance

537    O God our help in ages past

With events in America so much on our minds in this period it seemed appropriate to include an American hymn today. ‘Blessed Assurance’ is from the American evangelist tradition of hymnology. The lyrics were written by Fanny Crosby (1820-1915) and the melody by Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908). Fanny Crosby was one of the most prolific hymn writers of her day contributing some 9,000 hymns in total. She was blinded in infancy and received her education at the New York City Institute for the Blind where she excelled in singing, and playing the piano, harp and guitar. The words of this hymn came to Fanny immediately on hearing the melody composed by her great friend Phoebe Palmer Knapp.


087 228 5965

Random Notes  CCCLXXIII

Castletownshend, West Cork, March 1936. This sleepy little village was still a last bastion of the British Empire, even though Ireland was now settling into Independence. Many retired British Army and Naval personnel enjoyed the peaceful beauty of this tiny corner of Ireland.

On the evening of 24th March, most people were looking forward a play in the village Hall. Admiral Henry Boyle Somerville and his wife Mabs had just finished dinner when they heard footsteps outside on the gravel. It was likely to be a young man looking for a reference to join the Royal Navy. Boyle had been a vice admiral and a note from him would give a prospective recruit a better chance. 

The stranger asked “are you Mr Somerville?” 

Boyle replied “I’m Admiral Somerville”.

The stranger said “you’ll send no more boys to the British Army”    

Numerous gunshots were fired at point blank range and further more into the hallway to make sure that Boyle was dead. 

The shooting caused worldwide outrage. Boyle considered himself Irish and Castletownshend was his home. He was born there in 1863. He spoke Irish, had supported the Home Rule movement and took a genuine interest in the country. He was also the Vice president of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society.

So who shot Boyle Somerville?    In the days when cars were exceptionally rare, a car had that evening been seen, not speeding out of Castletownshend in Hollywood style fashion, but stalled as it clambered up the hill out of the village.    Nobody was ever charged with the murder.

In later years, Tom Barry admitted involvement in the murder. He said that he had given the order but never meant for Somerville to be shot.

One would have thought he would have understood the plight of young men wishing to enlist in the English army on navy. He himself had joined the British Field Artillery in 1915 before going on to join the IRA in 1920.

The IRA did not trust him for many years, believing him to be a spy for the British. It is also interesting that in June 1936, De Valera’s government declared the IRA an illegal organisation and began a widespread operation against it.”


Photo courtesy of/copyright of the Roaringwater Journal.

Categories Parish Notices | Tags: | Posted on January 18, 2021

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