‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’
It’s been 74 years since Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane wrote the classic song ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’ It’s a song that conjures up fragile hope and optimism, intermingled with a mournful tone. Judy Garland, who made the song famous, even found the lyrics too depressing initially. I often think this song, written for the 1944 musical ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ sums up Christmas. For some people it is the most wonderful and magical time of the year, for others – who may be lonely, bereaved or worried – it can be an absolute nightmare. As a caring community, West Cork is seldom found wanting at any time of year in looking after the elderly and those alone, in fundraising for worthy causes or in empathising with the vulnerable. This issue reflects these exceptional qualities in abundance, which constitute the true meaning of Christmas: the many friendship groups in the area; Sensational Kids, Clonakilty; Friends of Bandon Community Hospital; Age Friendly Bandon; Make Your Mark on Cancer; Clonakilty Resource Centre and numerous charity cheque presentations, from Tragumna to Ahiohill, are all featured this month, and may we say ‘well done’ to all those admirable people involved.
We carry a 14 page Christmas Fun, Fayre & Festivities section, full of events and attractions over the festive season. A major new town centre development for Bandon got the green light from An Bord Pleanála this month – full details in this issue. Comedian and actress Deirdre O’Kane features in ‘In My Opinion.’ We bring you welcome news of plans to build a new playground in Bandon and highlight the recently-opened one in Innishannon. In a right to reply to The Opinion, Lorraine Guerin of Cork Nature Network is given a full page to outline why she thinks Bandon Flood Relief Project was not environmentally friendly. Bandon trader Bob Deane celebrates 60 years of work, 50 of which were in his own business; Dunmanway has ‘Stars in Their Eyes.’ We revamp our Women in Business series with Christine Heffernan of LEO and Kate Ryan asks leaders in the food sector what their absolute favourite dish is for Christmas dinner. As you will see, this issue is jam-packed and we regret that we have had to hold over some editorial and photographs until our next issue, out on December 28th. The good news is that our Bumper Christmas Annual is ready and will be in the shops on Thursday December 6th. We anticipate huge demand for this publication, so be sure to get your copy early.
So… back to where I started… Christmas, some love it, some loath it! Garrison Keillor, the American writer, once said, “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together,” …… how true!
Finally, on behalf of everyone on The Opinion team, I wish you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas and good health in 2019.