Lighting up a Limerick legend

first_imgLimerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Advertisement NewsLocal NewsLighting up a Limerick legendBy Alan Jacques – September 3, 2015 1238 Print Facebook Linkedin Email Twittercenter_img Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR AS part of Culture Night on Friday September 18, Limerick City and County Council will light up the birthplace of world-famous soprano Catherine Hayes. Limerick Post reporter Alan Jacques recently visited her old Alan JacquesSign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up [email protected] GHOSTLY light will illuminate 4 Patrick Street, the birthplace of soprano Catherine Hayes, to mark the life of a colossal and unique Limerick talent as part of Culture Night 2015 on Friday, September 18.Lighting up her former home is a small, yet very touching gesture to honour Ireland’s first true international superstar.Sadly, there is no permanent memorial of any kind to the world-famous operatic diva in her native city. So, this simple salute at least shows some minuscule effort to right this apparent wrong.From Catherine Hayes’ impoverish beginnings in the heart of Limerick City, she went on to become a global success.The Limerick Post recently visited 4 Patrick Street where her intriguing story begins.Standing outside her old home with its Williams’s Stores shop-front, I feel a pang of sadness that there isn’t even a small plaque to mark the life of this incredible Limerick woman. Passers-by scurry past in a biblical-style downpour, none the wiser about the special significance of this historical building.By the time my local authority tour guides arrive to show me inside, I am looking like a drowned rat, soaked through to the skin, but excited nonetheless about the prospect at having a peep around the Limerick singer’s former homestead.We enter through an alley at the back. With torchlight revealing the dark building’s rich past, I am greeted by what in another age was a stable. Complete with cramped servants’ quarters overhead, this rickety and rotten repository sends a cold shiver down my spine. It is a bleak and eerie space.The constant cooing of the pigeons, that now call 4 Patrick Street home, only adds to my unease in this murky cavern.The cribs of the rich and famous this is most certainly not!We quickly climb the creaking wooden stairs that looks as though it could give way at any moment. It seems to groan under my weight.Once safely up on the landing, we make our way through to the front of the building which has seen obvious changes since Hayes’ time.A shop counter and shelves stretch the whole length of the room; hence the signage at the front of the building. Dusty and grey, it is a ghostly relic of the provisions store it housed long after the opera star’s passing.A protected structure, the council have taken steps to preserve this historical site. It is dry and ventilated and will hopefully, one day in the not too distant future, be restored to its former glory in Catherine’s memory.Out in the hallway leading to the upstairs, there is an old bathtub curiously perched in the darkness. The house, although Dickensian in feel, looks like something out of modern horror movies such as ‘Insidious’ or ‘The Conjuring’. It is as creepy as hell.The stairs, covered in bird shite, are as lopsided as the Tower of Pisa.With the rain pelting against the windows on a confounding summer’s day, I can’t help but laugh out loud on finding a copy of the Irish Independent from August 27, 1960, in one of the upstairs rooms.The headline on the front page reads: ‘Young cattle suffer through wet summer’.Not much has changed it seems!Council architect Seamus Hanrahan points out a crack on one of the walls and assures me, “If you can’t stick your fist in it, you don’t have to worry about it”.Walking around this old building, I can’t help but think about the ‘Limerick Nightingale’ and wonder about her young life, spent within these rooms.Catherine Hayes’ story began right here on Patrick Street. Her birthplace is steeped in history and would make the perfect location for a museum to celebrate her lustrous career.She lit up the world with her talent and on September 18, Limerick will light up her old home to show she is not forgotten.The Irish nightingale who travelled the worldby Alan [email protected] HayesTHE Dolores O’Riordan of her day, opera star Catherine Hayes was born at 4 Patrick Street on October 25, 1818.One of the best-known singers of the nineteenth century, her story is a classic rags-to-riches tale. Of humble Limerick stock, the flame-haired beauty was the youngest of three daughters of Arthur and Mary Hayes.A frank and open person, she grew up in abject poverty in the heart of the city where she lived surrounded by music. Irish folk ballads were the staple of her younger years and she is said to have spent many a summer’s day sitting under a tree in the garden making sweet music to rival the song thrush or the lark.Sadly, her father, a bandmaster of the Limerick City Militia, abandoned his family never to be seen again when Catherine was only five-years-old.Later, after accompanying her mother, a housekeeper, to work at the home of the Earl of Limerick, the 14-year-old songbird’s beautiful voice won her the patronage of Church of Ireland Bishop of Limerick, Edmund Knox. The bishop and his wife Agnes immediately organised a fund to have her voice trained, paving the way for a life in the limelight with international stardom beckoning.After preliminary coaching in Dublin, she then travelled to Paris in 1842 and later to Italy to complete her studies.The rest, as they say, is history.Fondly known as the ‘Irish Nightingale’, Hayes was a legend in her own lifetime. By her early twenties, the Limerick soprano had the world at her feet as an internationally acclaimed diva — as famous as any of today’s best-loved rock singers.She made her debut as prima donna at the world-famous opera house La Scala in Milan in 1846, the first Irish woman to do so, where she performed in operas by Bellini and Verdi.This was followed by performances at the leading opera houses in Europe including Venice, Vienna, Florence and Genoa. World famous composer Giuseppe Verdi was so taken with the Limerick singing sensation that he wanted her to star in one of his operas at the time.Catherine performed for Kings and Queens, even giving a performance for Queen Victoria and 500 guests at Buckingham Palace. She enthralled audiences from Hawaii to Lima to New York, London, Calcutta, Florence, Singapore, Santiago and Sydney, becoming the first Irish woman to be an ambassador for her country abroad.In 1851 she travelled to America during the ‘gold rush’ to give concerts in 45 cities where she performed for presidents, statesmen, business leaders, and, even, hardworking Irish miners.A ticket for one of her recitals is said to have sold Stateside for $1,150.In a successful career that brought fame and fortune, Hayes circumnavigated the world three times over, dazzling admirers with her vocal and theatrical prowess in performances that came complete with elaborate sets and large choruses.She was a star. Ireland’s first. But she never forgot her native city. She often returned to Limerick after her world travels and even once sang outside St Mary’s Parish Church, where she was baptised, after two sell-out concerts in the city.A unique and much-loved soprano, arguably Ireland’s greatest, Catherine Hayes died of a stroke in 1861. She was only 42.In 2006, her home at 4 Patrick Street was designated a heritage building. WhatsApp TAGS4 Patrick StreetCatherine HayesCulture Night 2015featuredlimerickLimerick City and County Council Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Previous article#BREAKING – Man dies following garage accidentNext articleThe Real Inspector Hound Alan Jacques last_img read more

Worldwide coronavirus cases top 18 million

first_imgiStock/koto_fejaBy: JON HAWORTH, EMILY SHAPIRO, MEREDITH DELISO and MARC NATHANSON, ABC News (NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 687,000 people worldwide.Over 18 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 4.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 154,841 deaths. Here’s how the news developed on Sunday. All times Eastern:11:10 p.m.: Worldwide coronavirus cases top 18 millionFor the second time in a week, the number of global coronavirus cases has increased by one million.There are now 18 million cases of COVID-19 globally, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.The pandemic surpassed 17 million cases on Friday after topping 16 million cases last Sunday.From the time the virus became known in December, it took about six months until worldwide cases reached nine million on June 22 — but only six weeks for another nine million to become infected.10:15 p.m.: Philadelphia Eagles head coach has COVID-19Doug Pederson, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, has tested positive for COVID-19.The team released a statement Sunday night confirming the diagnosis, noting that Pederson is currently asymptomatic and is “doing well.” He is self-quarantining, the statement said, and anyone who has been in close contact with Pederson at the team’s facility has been notified and is following protocols including daily testing.The NFL team opened its training camp on July 28.Pederson is the second known NFL head coach to test positive, after the New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton contracted the virus and recovered in the spring.Several MLB coaches, including those on the staffs of the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins, have also had tested positive for the virus since the league returned last month.8:24 p.m.: Michigan state senator tests positiveA Michigan state senator is the latest lawmaker to test positive for the coronavirus.Tom Barrett of Michigan’s 24th Senate District said in a statement that he was informed Sunday evening that he had tested positive, according to Grand Rapids ABC affiliate WZZM-TV.Barrett, an Army veteran who currently serves with the Michigan Army National Guard, was tested on July 31 as part of the National Guard’s screening policy, WZZM said.In his statement, Barrett said that he has no significant symptoms at this time, and that he will be self-isolating according to medical guidelines.4:40 p.m.: Mets outfielder won’t play this season due to virus concernsNew York Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has decided to skip this season over COVID-19 concerns, ESPN reported, citing General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen.Cespedes did not show up for Sunday’s game and his agent informed the team that he was opting out, ESPN reported.2:43 p.m.: Kids make up 10% of new cases in LouisianaOf the 3,477 new coronavirus cases in Louisiana since Friday, 33% are among people between 18 and 29 years old, according to the state’s Department of Health.Children under 18 years old account for 10% of the 3,477 new coronavirus cases — higher than the over 70 age group, the department said.Louisiana has over 119,000 coronavirus cases. At least 3,893 people in the state have died, according to the Department of Health.12:36 p.m.: If you go on vacation in a hot spot, ‘assume you’re infected,’ Birx saysDr. Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator for the White House task force, told CNN Sunday that anyone on vacation in a hot spot should “assume you’re infected.”Despite discussions on staying home and promoting social distancing, Birx told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday: “I traveled around the country. I saw all of America moving.”“I think it’s our job, as public health officials, to be able to get a message to each American that says if you have chosen to go on vacation into a hot spot, you really need to come back and protect those with comorbidities and assume you’re infected,” Birx said.Birx said the current stage of the pandemic “is different from March and April.”“It is extraordinarily widespread … it’s both rural and urban,” Birx said.“More importantly, if you’re in multigenerational households, and there’s an outbreak in your rural area or in your city, you need to really consider wearing a mask at home, assuming that you’re positive, if you have individuals in your households with comorbidities,” she advised.11:26 a.m.: Florida’s daily test-positivity rate falls below 10%In hard-hit Florida, the Department of Health reported a daily test-positivity rate of 9.28% on Sunday — the first time the daily test-positivity rate fell below 10% in several weeks.As of Sunday, just 19.24% of Florida’s adult ICU beds are available, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration.Forty-two hospitals have no available ICU beds, while 30 hospitals have just one remaining ICU bed, the agency said.These numbers are expected to fluctuate throughout the day as hospitals and medical centers provide updates.More than 487,000 people across the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Florida is the second highest state for number of cases, behind California.10:35 a.m.: Australia’s Victoria enters ‘State of Disaster’Australia had largely avoided widespread community transmission, but cases have been increasing exponentially in Victoria. On Sunday, State Premier Dan Andrews announced that Victoria will enter a “State of Disaster.”The “State of Disaster” imposes a six-week lockdown with restrictions including: an overnight curfew; mandatory face coverings; remote learning; and shopping limited to one-person per household per day.Victoria reported over 2,500 new coronavirus cases between July 23 and 29, up from 2,200 cases reported in the week prior, according to Australia’s Ministry of Health.Overall, Australia has a total of 17,895 COVID-19 cases and 208 deaths.While cases have spanned all age groups, recent diagnoses are Victoria residents between the ages of 10 and 49.About 6% of those recently diagnosed have been admitted to hospitals.Workplace restrictions are expected to be announced Monday.4:32 a.m.: Red Sox player out for season due to COVID-19 related heart issueThe Boston Red Sox have ruled out the return of its top starting pitcher for the 2020 season.The 27-year-old left-hander tested positive for the coronavirus before the start of summer camp but was cleared and returned to workouts on July 18.He hasn’t had another positive coronavirus test, but said an MRI revealed a condition called myocarditis, that the team’s medical staff felt was serious enough to shut him down for at least a week.Rodriguez has been restricted from baseball activities since July 23.3:37 a.m.: FBI says COVID-19 tests at Texas facility ‘should not have been used’FBI San Antonio is seeking to warn members of the public who were tested for COVID-19 at Living Health Holistic Healthcare in New Braunfels, Texas, in the last several weeks.Authorities have reason to suspect the COVID-19 tests administered at the facility should not have been used to diagnose or rule out an active COVID-19 infection.Individuals who were tested at this facility are asked to contact the FBI and those individuals are also encouraged to contact their primary care physician, local health department, free-standing ER, or nearby urgent care facility for re-testing.1:14 a.m.: Cardinals games postponed following more positive COVID-19 testsThe weekend series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers has been postponed after one player and multiple members of the Cardinals staff tested positive for COVID-19.According to ESPN, three staff members tested positive for COVID-19 on the rapid tests. The team expects the complete results of saliva testing later Saturday, MLB said.In addition to Saturday’s game, both games of Sunday’s doubleheader between the teams have also been postponed.“Due to additional testing and monitoring of the St. Louis Cardinals’ players and staff members, the Sunday doubleheader between the host Milwaukee Brewers and the Cardinals at Miller Park has been postponed,” said Major League Baseball in a statement. The Cardinals will play four games against the Tigers in Detroit from Tuesday-Thursday, including a Wednesday doubleheader. The Cardinals and Tigers will serve as the home Club for two games each at Comerica Park. The Brewers will play this week’s home-and-home series vs. the Chicago White Sox as scheduled. Major League Baseball will continue to provide updates regarding its schedule.”Just last week multiple members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for the coronavirus causing games to be coronavirus testing is underway, the league confirmed in a statement.The Miami Marlins canceled their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles scheduled for last Monday after multiple members of the team tested positive for the coronavirus,Since the Philadelphia Phillies played Miami one week ago at Citizens Bank Park, the Marlins have now had 20 positive tests, including 18 players.MLB commissioner Rob Manfred told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus, it could shut down for the season, sources familiar with the conversation told ESPN.The two positive tests by the St. Louis Cardinals players on Friday have only exacerbated concerns inside the sport about the presence of the coronavirus and whether players are following MLB’s protocols are being followed properly to prevent outbreaks similar to Miami’s.Should another outbreak materialize, Manfred, who has the power to shut the season down, could move in that direction. Multiple players briefed on the call fear that season could be shut down as soon as Monday if positive tests jump or if players continue not to strictly abide by the league’s protocols.ABC News’ Alex Faul, Matt Foster, Ahmad Hemingway, Josh Hoyos, Christine Theodorou and Scott Withers contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more