Following on from the success of last year’s “Make your ceili” initiative in Tydavnet Parish, the wellbeing committee from Scotstown GAA once again is encouraging people to get out and about on their ceili this winter too. In attendance for the launch of the event were representatives from the Scotstown GAA ladies and men’s senior teams, Paraic Duffy, former Ard Stiúrthóir of the GAA, MIchael Owen McMahon, County Chairman, and representatives of many clubs and community organisations. With the longer nights approaching, everyone is encouraged to keep up the tradition of calling in on their neighbours and to combat isolation in the community. Bernie Sherry from the Wellbeing team spoke of the success of last year’s event – the three parish schools embraced the idea, and children encouraged their families to go out and visit older relatives and neighbours in the area. Bernie encouraged everyone to make an effort – many people who were able to make a ceili last year might not be able to do it this year due to changed circumstances, and she encouraged everyone to find a reason for a ceili – someone in your neighbourhood might have had a bereavement, a diagnosis, or an illness, a new baby or a new house – be neighbourly and call!

Cormac Sherry also stressed the need to make time, and to find a balance in life for the important things, to move away from screens and bring the tradition of visiting back. He welcomed the fact that there was such a large crowd for the launch – it was good to see the initiative making a positive impact coming into the long winter nights.

So c’mon everyone, there are several people you promised to call to – why not do it this week? Drop in on a neighbour, an elderly person living alone, someone you haven’t seen in a while – do it now and make a night of it. Don’t leave it to others, and don’t leave it any longer.

JohnJoe Sherlock penned an appropriate poem for the occasion…….

Gone is the summer, there’s no leaves on the trees,

The birds have gone quiet and not much sign of the bees.

Winter is coming, there’ll be hailstones and rain,

There’ll probably be snow and the odd hurricane.

To put my clock back, I best not forget,

And get myself tuned, to a winter mindset.

I have a house to myself, just me and four walls,

But it’s very rare, that anyone calls.

I get through life, sometimes living in fear,

Because I live in a place, that there’s nobody near.

To being lonely sometimes, I’ll have to confess,

And I’ve been overtaken, by the aging process.

People my age, have become fairly scarce,

Most of my friends, have gone off in a hearse.

I’m old and infirm, many years past my peak,

A young generation, might call me antique.

To keep me in news, I have a wireless and phone,

Though life can be empty, when it’s spent on your own

Now I’m not plucking strings, on my wee violin,

But I’m watching the door, hoping someone comes in.

I’m not asking much, maybe just stay a while,

It doesn’t take long, for a kettle to boil.

There’ll be homemade bread, with a mouthful of tae,

What you won’t realise, is that you’ll brighten my day.

Of course I am old, but I’m not a bit slow,

I have stories about stuff, that even Google won’t know.

Stories from old, dating back to my youth,

That as far as I know, are made up of the truth.

To go on your ceilí, was once a tradition,

But nowadays, people look for permission.

So get off your couch, turn off the TV,

And pay a visit, to someone like me.