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31st Wonder Of The World Available Now On CD
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Congratulations to local historian Mr George Cunningham who officially launched his CD recording on The Holy Island Of Monaincha on Wednesday last in Damer House.

At a very well attended function Dom Laurence Walsh OCSO officially launched the CD. Dom Laurence said that George has opened all our eyes and our hearts to the beauties and the wonders of Roscrea. He thanked George for this and said most of us never even saw these beauties till he stirred us up.

The CD is produced by Maurice OKeeffe as part of the Irish Life and Lore Series of Audio Books. The CD is now available from The Music Store, Roscrea, it is moderately priced at just 20.00 and provides listeners with a fascinating insight to one of Irelands greatest treasures.


Dom Laurence Walsh OCSO (left)officially launched the new CD on Monaincha in Damer House on Wednesday evening. The CD was produced by Maurice and Jane O Keeffe (left) with commentary and script by George Cunningham. Centre picture are Carmel Cunningham and Fr Ciaran O Sabhaois OCSO.

Full Text From The Speech Made By Dom Laurence
At The Launch Of Monaincha On CD

Dom Laurence Walsh OCSO who officially launched the CD.

I am always fascinated by Georgian Dublin. Anytime I'm there travelling by bus or by car or of late by Luas or on shanks mare, I keep looking at these beautiful streets of Georgian buildings and say Thank God we didn't burn everything British except their coal. Thank God too for the Georgian Society which has done so much to ensure that these marvellous vistas of city streets and marvellous houses around the country have been preserved. I have to admit though that I don't know which of the Georges these buildings are called after, much less know anything about his architectural tastes or whether he himself had much or any input into that great architectural period. But if I don't know anything about the background of Georgian Dublin - I know an awful lot about the background of Georgian Roscrea! And here he is, the one and only George.

George has opened all our eyes and our hearts to the beauties and the wonders of Roscrea. Most of us never even saw these beauties till he stirred us up. That reminds me of a little story of an incident my father, Lord rest him, told me of how he and a great friend of his, Dan Donnelly, were down in Limerick at a wedding - the father thought he'd give Dan a nice treat coming home, so he drove back by Portroe, and into the car park at the Look-Out. He faced the car straight out towards Lough Derg, looking across to Iniscealtra, but there was no reaction from Dan, the conversation continued on the prices paid at the Cattle Mart on Friday. The father tried a new move. Get out, he ordered Dan. And out they both got, but the price paid for a pen of Hereford bullocks was Dan's next remark. The boss lost his patience: Isn't that gorgeous? he said angrily. And then the instant reply: Lord, Lar, the breath of air is great. Weren't we like Dan? The breath of air in Castle Street and Church Street was grand until George removed our cataracts and we saw for the first time. We learned that we were a heritage town.

Then of course we all wheeled or footed turf out in Birch's Bog, and what a blessing weather like we've had of late was in the bog. And then there was the new-fashioned idea the Bacon Factory got of producing their own pigs out there. Yes, I nearly forgot, there was the little Church across in the fields, the Holy Island. Anyway after a day in the bog you were starving and you bounced up on the bike and headed home, and got a good supper, and felt very happy that the turf shed would shortly be well filled for the winter.

That was grand until one day Georgian Roscrea ordered us all out with the Sodality Banners and what not, out to where do you think - out to Monaincha - the Holy Island. And there lo and behold we were ordered to offer Mass - if you don't mind - out in the middle of Monaincha bog. Is it back to the Penal Days again? we understandably wondered - until the sermon - by George of Roscrea - and then the cataracts were removed again, when we discovered we were there praying, thanking God, praising God, singing his Sanctus with the eight century Cile D, the small cell of monks here on the Holy Island - the 31st Wonder of the World.

Sadly the old cataracts grow again - so George got into co-hoots with Maurice O'Keeffe. Maurice has been producing a wonderful Irish Life and Love series - Audio Books he calls them - that you push into your player at home or in the car, or that you send to someone else who footed turf in Monaincha bog and you and they will be led by the Siamse Tire folk group into the enthusiastic fascination of the Holy Island, the 31st Wonder of the World.

George says he doesn't know what the 29th or 30th Wonder of the World is. Well I do - George Cunningham. And with that I declare the Holy Island of Monaincha CD launched.

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