The Grange Parish Book, "Grange Past and Present" (2015) – Two Years On!
Incredibly, two years have passed since the Grange Parish book, Grange Past and Present, was published and launched by Grange Cross Residents Association on that memorable evening of 25th November, 2015 at Clancy's Bar and Restaurant in Bruff.
Grange Cross Residents Association in consultation with some members of the former book committee, thought it would be appropriate to mark the passage of time by writing a short review of those two years, making this article readily available to Grange parishioners and, indeed, to anybody who may be interested.
A lot of water has, in the meantime, flown under the Camogue River Bridge at Lower Grange. Sadly, a number of parishioners, including contributors to our book, have passed to their eternal rewards over that short time. Their names appear towards the end of this article.
Of course, time never stands still and, in the two years since our book was launched, the community has experienced inevitable change and development, including a number of notable parish events - more about these below.
Seven hundred copies of our book were printed, and only a relatively small number remain unsold. Copies have found homes across the globe - no doubt the book is a constant reminder of homeland, homestead, places, events, ancestry, family and friends - a book cherished and protected for the enjoyment of generations to come.
It is unlikely that the book will be re-printed. It would be prudent, therefore, to purchase one of the few unsold copies, and perhaps to store it in its protective wrapper for the enjoyment of the family members of generations to come. Some families may have done this already. While the book may now be read online, this is no match for the ownership of a beautiful hard copy, especially if the book is of sentimental value.
The book project was never predominantly a money-making endeavour, although costs had to be covered through fund-raising and book sales, and they were. Surplus funds were used for parish improvement projects. The primary purpose of the book was more of a social and cultural nature, permitting Grange to tell its story, past and present, in writing and through imagery - for the permanent record and for the enjoyment and information of anybody with a Grange connection or an interest in the locality. All of the feedback to date strongly suggests that this objective has been achieved.
There are, no doubt, hundreds of people scattered throughout the globe with a Grange connection of some kind. Only a relatively small number of these will have acquired a hard copy of the book. It was for this reason that GCRA (copyright owners of book) agreed to publish the full book in the website which was launched by friends of Grange in May 2017. The full book may now be read at:
This website is owned and managed independently of Grange Cross Residents Association, but the Association is very supportive of the website and appreciates its importance as a community facility.
It is hoped that many, who were not fortunate enough to acquire a hard copy of the book, will enjoy the book online.
The website, as well as carrying the Grange book, hosts much more, including parish news from time to time, life stories not to be found in the book, accounts of major parish events, artistry/painting, sporting, photography, overseas news and more. News items have covered the ongoing GCRA works - including road-side upkeep, shrub and flower planting, seasonal country markets, ongoing improvements at the old schoolhouse and its grounds, the community defibrillator project and much more.
For example, the whole proceedings of the event held adjacent to Grange Church on 24th April, 2016 to commemorate the Easter Rising 1916, particularly the opening of a Remembrance Garden, are captured in video/audio, photography and the written account. The several speeches made at the event are recorded on video/audio as is the beautiful and memorable singing by parishioner, Triona Daly. The speech made by Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, T.D., after he performed the official opening of the Remembrance Garden, was a highlight captured on video/audio. An account of the remembrance ceremony held at Easter 2017 is also available on the website.
The book testimonials and the book critique, published by The Limerick Leader, are impressive, indeed, and can all be read on the website, as can accounts of the book launch event at Clancy's in Bruff.
Local people who purchased the book and, indeed, a number of people overseas, have remarked to us how they are drawn to the book repeatedly to re-read articles. Some have read or re-read the whole book, some have read and maybe re-read articles of particular interest, dipping into the book from time to time to read another article for the first time. Some like to keep the book in view in a prominent place, as this reminds them of the content, causing them to dip in again from time to time. Some just like to browse the many photographs, each telling its own story over and over again. There is evidence that copies of the book held at Limerick libraries have been borrowed for reading. For many people, the book has become an old and dear friend. Read the testimonial by Dianne McGuinness and Family, New York.
It is good to reflect briefly on the wide-ranging content of the book, as this might ignite enthusiasm in readers of this article to browse or re-read the book again. It might also encourage those who have not already acquired a copy of the book to do so soon, before all of the available copies are sold.
The ninety or so articles that make up the book may be categorised (see website for details) as follows:
Grange Church and Clergy (8 Articles)
Grange School and Teachers (4 Articles)
Growing Up in Grange and After (9 Articles)
Families and Personalities (22 Articles)
Fight for Irish Freedom (6 Articles)
Grange Sporting People (7 Articles)
Farming (3 Articles)
Places in Grange (10 Articles)
Great Events and Achievements (6 Articles)
Other Writing (10 Articles)
Images from Colour Sections of the book
The Book Quiz – Can you Recall
No doubt, this book of some 700 pages has something for everybody.
Several Grange people, as mentioned below, passed away since the Grange book was published in November, 2015. Thomas Conway, who wrote for the book, passed away in June 2015, before the book was published. Very fittingly, Thomas was remembered and honoured at the book launch in November 2015, with members of his family in attendance. A number of those who have passed away made significant and important contributions to the book articles. Others are mentioned by individual name or have their family name mentioned in the book.
Thomas Conway, RIP (June 2015)
Dan Conway, RIP (Jan 2016)
Matthew Gleeson, RIP (Feb 2016)
Maureen Cregan, RIP (Aug 2016)
May Flavin, RIP (Oct 2016)
Bridie O'Riordan, RIP (Nov 2016)
Phyllis Bulfin, RIP (Dec 2016)
Sean Madden, RIP (March 2017)
Bridie O'Donnell, RIP (April 2017)
Luke O'Brien-May, RIP (June 2017)
Anne Doherty, RIP (July 2017)
Tony Hourigan, RIP (Aug 2017)
Jimmy Brosnan, RIP (Oct 2017)
May They All Rest in Peace.
In the event that there is an omission from the list above, I extend my sincere apology. Please contact me or another member of the CCRA Committee, and I will arrange for this article to be updated immediately.
In conclusion, I wish to extend best wishes to all Grange people, to friends of Grange, to anybody with a Grange connection, to readers of our book and to readers of this article.
Grange Cross Residents Association