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Christmas Lights, A Stroll through The Garden of Europe, Some Craft Food and Frances Brennan in town

Christmas Lights

I went to the switching on of the lights ceremony last Saturday. Unfortunately I couldn't get the setting right on my camera to cope with the light in The Square.  You get the drift though.

 The Millsiders entertained the large crowd.

 Mulled Cider, Cupcakes and other confectionery was on offer.

 Billy Keane was M.C. Kelly OSullivan Browne was one of the organizers.

 Jennifer Scanlon, another organizer was there with her family.

The crowd in The Square.  Again my apologies for the very bad photos.


Lovely Listowel in autumn 2014

I took all of the above photos on the morning of November 18 2014 in Listowel Town Park and The Garden of Europe. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful town.
As they say on Facebook; feeling blessed!


On Sunday Nov 23 2014 I went to the Craft Fair which is held annually in conjunction with Listowel Food Fair, in the The Community Centre. Here is what I bought.

 The quiche from The Mixing Bowl was a spinach and olive delight. I would definitely recommend the trip to Ballybunion just to try it.  The mince pies from there were delicious as well. They were a bit pricey at €2 each. 

The Mint and Pea soup was the best I've had ever. The brown bread was perfect as well. Sell done to the local new producer.

Finally is this really interesting product. The little jar on the right contains Dandelion Flower Preserve.
It is from The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers who make these delicious confections from hand- picked wild produce which they cook  using old recipes. The Dandelion Preserve is delicious with goats' cheese and the lovely lady who sold it to me told me that it is also  a brilliant natural cure for a sore throat.

I heard later that it had won the Food Fair prize for best upcoming food product.


At Your service, Listowel

Francis Brennan snapped in the company of some well known locals.

The hard working people in the Love Listowel marketing group brought Francis Brennan to town to talk us all into shape. The meeting  in The Seanchaí on Tuesday evening Nov 25 2014 was very positive . Frances was full of praise for how the town presents itself to the visitor. He had no magic bullet to solve the problems of Listowel's traders but he got everyone talking and that is a great start.

Birthday celebrations at Craftshop na Méar, The River Feale and some Christmas lights

Katie Taylor…Superstar

5 times World Champion…a record unlikely to be beaten


Birthday Celebrations in Craftshop na Méar

The crafters and friends had a great party on November 22. The shop was packed and everybody was having a good time.

Sean Lyons, chairman of Listowel Writers' Week, came to give the venture his blessing. He is pictured with Bernie Carmody.

The very talented Amy O'Sullivan played the accordion and flute.

 A section of the audience listening to Liz Dunne read a Christmas poem.

Clodagh Murphy learned 6 new tunes especially for her performance. She was just one of the many  people showcasing their talents in the lovely space that is Craftshop na Méar.

Anne and Carmel met up for the first time in a while.

Abraham posed for me with his friends, Mary and Patricia.

Namir and one of the very talented crafters, Eibhlín Gleeson of Tigh Polly.

The crafters cooked the goodies and Namir made the mulled wine and provided the birthday cake. It all went down a treat with shoppers and visitors.

All in all, a great day. Happy birthday, Craftshop na Méar. Here's to many more birthdays!


The Feale

My Silver River Feale, November 2014


The Christmas lights in Main Street


The intricate lacework of the humble spider, a naturally super crafter

My garden on a November morning in 2014


Last photo of Laurel and Hardy; 1956.  Photo from Historical pictures on Twitter


Rory in Oz

(Photo: Rory McIlroy on Twitter)

Rory looks happy to be back in Australia to defend his Australian Open Championship


Yesterday's Photo Captioned

The occasion I think was a presentation to Archdeacon Wallace by Michael O Neill, who was representing the Urban Council, also Mons.Sheahan P.P. Listowel, Mrs Wallace, Patsy O Sullivan and Bryan McMahon.  Thanks, Vincent.

Them, pool in Mike the Pies and a few more old ones

November morning in Listowel

All photos taken in Listowel Town Park in November 2014.


Christmas Tree in Craftshop na Méar

Some photos from the craftshop's celebrations to mark one year in business coming up shortly.


A New Business in town

Sewing Island is a brand new dressmaking, sewing and alterations service based in William St.


A Few Old Ones


Pool players in  Mike the Pies

Lofty Kelliher, Ned Broder, Jack Sweeney, Eddie Hartnett and Tom Lyons.
(photo; Mike the Pies on Facebook)


Guess Who?

He hasn't changed that much!



I don't know the circumstances but it looks like the boys' school hall, Bryan MacMahon, Patsy O'Sullivan making a presentation to the Church of Ireland rector. His retirement perhaps?


North Kerry young people honing their internet skills

Techspace is a Foróige project for teenagers, helping them to explore computer usages. This is the first Listowel gang in the Seanchaí at their recent graduation.  (photo:Doreen Buckley)

November list, Cycling in Tralee in the 1920s and Erskine Childers

November, the month of remembrance of all our dead

St. Michael's Graveyard, Listowel
November altar at St. Mary's, Listowel

This list is displayed in the church during November. It has the names of all the people of the parish who died during this past year. May they rest in peace!

Don't forget Friday, November 28 is the day of the mass of remembrance 
7.00 p.m. in the parish church


Chance Meeting

Tuesday morning at the parish office


The below two photos are from a great site for old Tralee memorabilia;

 Outside Caball’s Shop in Lr. Rock St., 1929, Moss Moriarty, Jack Connor, Arthur Caball (1877-1939), Jimmy Caball (1915-2009)

One of the first Tralee Cycling teams. They are pictured in the Sportsfield Tralee
 on Sunday 6 May 1899.


From the RTE archive

Lovely photo of the late Erskine Childers after whom Listowel Town Park is named.


The Seanchaí, Weather, Listowel Courthouse and a U.S Tarbert connection

Staff at The Seanchaí, Listowel get ready for Christmas

November 2014


Sam in Duagh

Duagh people are justifiably proud of their local football star, Anthony Maher, and they turned out in force in their new Sports Comples to see him bring the Sam Maguire trophy to The Mall.


Sad to hear of Carrauntoohil's Cross vandalized

( Photo Breaking News )

Piaras Kelly of said: "No matter what anyone’s personal views on having crosses on peaks are, this goes beyond that. It’s an iconic cross on an iconic peak."


The Weather

(photo: Irish Times)

A horrendous amount of rain has fallen lately. This photograph from the Irish Times shows horses being herded to safety from submerged fields in Eniscorthy two weeks ago. Thankfully, we are currently enjoying a dry spell.


Eccentric obituary from the Times of London ….no Listowel connection


Listowel Courthouse

This very old image of Listowel courthouse is on a postcard which Jimmy Moloney unearthed in his attic.

This is a later picture of the courthouse from the 1950s. The road is improved and building has been erected to the right of the courthouse.


An old homestead

This house is situated outside Tarbert beside the old Kirby's Lanterns

It is the ancestral home of one Brian C. Smith who is Mayor of the Village of Irvington and Head Trader at Blue Ridge Capital LLC. Didn't he do well?

This is what he posted on his Facebook page after his Irish visit when he showed his children their great grandmother's home in Ireland.

"What a great day in Ireland! Stopped by my great-grandmother's house in Limerick (right on the Kerry border). It is still there but not in the best shape. Was great to be able to show it to my children - gotta remember your roots! The best part was my tour guide, Philip Kiely, my cousin in Ireland. Loads of laughs and lots of fun."


Busy weekend in store for Listowel and Duagh and more from my grandmother's purse

This weekend, November 22 and 23, Listowel will swing into Christmas mood. 

The Food Fair continues. Itis one of the best ever. Full timetable of events HERE.

On Saturday Nov. 22 Craftshop na Méar is following a pendant making workshop with a celebration to mark the shop's first anniversary. There will be live music, readings, mulled wine and nibbles in the shop after 4.00p.m.

Many of Listowel's shops will have special offers on the day and many shops will be open on Sunday afternoon.
Paul Galvin will be signing his book in Woulfe's on Saturday afternoon.

The highlight of the weekend will be the switching on of the Christmas lights by Kerry Footballer, Shane Enright. It promises to be an umissable event. Details HERE

Duagh has planned a big night for Nov 22 2014 as well. Duagh's own Anthony Maher will bring the Sam Maguire to the new Sports complex. Another big night in The Mall promised.


Last Saturday I snapped this training session in the Cow's Lawn. The future of sport in Listowel is safe while we have great volunteers who are willing to give their time to training our young people.
Well done!



These two lovely ladies, friends Maureen Connolly and Una Hayes are two stalwarts of Listowel's knitting group, Knitwits. The group meets to knit in Scribes on Church St. On Tuesday and Saturday mornings at 11.00. and on Thursday in the Family Centre at 7.00p.m. 
New members are always welcome.


Believe it or Not!

Yesterday, I told you about unearthing my late grandmother's purse. I showed you her three sets of prayer beads. The  purse also contained a surprise newspaper clip.

I'm flabbergasted by this piece of synchronicity. The newspaper photo shows Michael Kennelly of Listowel talking to 2 Mulcahy brothers at the scout reunion in Killarney in 1951.

Why did my Kanturk grandmother cut and keep this photo? Who were these Mulcahys and what was the connection with Michael Kennelly?

Here is the amazing answer to these questions.

These Mulcahy brothers grew up next door to my mother in Ballintubber, Kanturk. And they have a Listowel connection. Tom Mulcahy was a Garda superintendent in Listowel until his retirement in the seventies. He was a leader with the Listowel Scout Troop.

 Sad to say, his brother, Daniel, who is with him in the photo, passed away on the voyage back to the U.S. after this 1952 visit. This is possibly the last photograph of him.

I knew none of this until I found the newspaper cutting, contacted my brother in Kanturk and he made contact with his friend, Tom Mulcahy,nephew of the superintendent,  who still lives near the family home in Ballintubber.

Oh! the magic and interconnectivity of social history!



Also in  my grandmother's purse was this Victorian hand stitched case for stamps. It is in very poor state of repair but you can still read the tapestry wording. Ironically it contained the stamps pictured below. They each cost dhá phingin go leith; two and a half old pence.
She obviously had the stamp case for a long time.


Poem from an exile

Missing You
The lights of Dublin seem so far away,
Glowing dimmer day by day.
I left home to see far off lands,
beautiful islands and golden sands.

Eight years now since my departure,
And the lights of Dublin seem even further.
We travel this country following the boom,
worlds away from Ireland’s gloom.

"No work today'" Christy said,
As the youth of Ireland lay in their beds.
The pubs are empty, the shops are shut,
People are broke and stuck in a rut.

Those people in the banks and in the Dáil,
you raped the country and watched it fall.
 Driven by money, corruption and greed,
 You took the life from the country and watched it bleed.

There’s nothing left, there’s nothing there,
only drugs and suicide, gloom and despair.

 The lights of Dublin seem so far away
Getting further day by day.

As the sun burns my skin and the sweat stings my eyes,
Covered in dust and tormented with flies,
I think of my family a life time away,
Maybe one day I'll return to stay.

This poignant poem was penned by a young Irish emigrant in Australia on the Irish in Australia website. 

14 Charles St.,Listowel, Adare, More than one rosary and the passing of Gus Cremin

Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose

This photo which I snapped opportunistically on Charles Street last week has proved very popular. Vincent Carmody got in touch with me to remind me that in his book, Listowel, Snapshots of a Market Town, he has a photo taken at the same spot over 100 years ago.


Adare Manor

J.P. McManus has purchased Adare Manor. This photo on Limerick Life shows Queen Victoria arriving there in 1897.


An cloch is lú ar mo phaidrín

My title for my little story comes from an Irish phrase that means, literally, the littlest bead on my rosary or, figuratively, the least of my worries.

Recently I was told a story of a lady who purchased a rosary beads for an elderly relative. When she got the present home, she discovered that it had only 4 decades. She returned it to the shop where the shop assistant discovered that the whole batch of beads had only 4 decades. Everyone presumed that the rosaries were faulty and another example of shoddy workmanship.

I was, however, aware of other sets of beads beside The Holy Rosary as we know it.

I had a very saintly grandmother who, like many of the women of her day was devout and prayerful. After her death I inherited her little purse where she kept her beads. It contained 3 sets of prayer beads.

Conventional, if rather large, rosary beads

These two sets of beads are a mystery to me; one has five "decades", each of 5 beads; the other has seven "decades" each with 7 beads.  Any ideas?


+   Gus Cremin R.I.P.  +

(photo; Terrace Talk on Facebook)

End of an Era

Gus Cremin of Lisselton, Gaelic football legend, passed away last week.

Gus Cremin born 1921 was Kerry's oldest living winning All-Ireland

Senior medal holder in Gaelic football.

With his team mate and fellow midfielder, the great Eddie Dowling, Gus

helped the Shannon Rangers win the 1945 Kerry County Championship,

thus putting him in line for the Kerry captaincy the following year.
He was chosen for the Kerry Juniors in 1946 and then went straight
onto the senior side for the All-Ireland semi-final against Antrim.

In the final against Roscommon he captained Kerry and became the
youngest ever to lead the side in an All-Ireland final. It was a
dramatic match and late goals from Paddy Burke and 'Gega' O'Connor
helped snatch a draw for the Kingdom. Gus was shouldered high from the
field by supporters after an amazing game. However, Kerry caused a
sensation by relegating their captain to the subs; Gus was
dramatically dropped for the replay.

With fifteen minutes left in the replay the Kerry team were trailing
the Connaught men by two points, and Roscommon showed no sign of
losing their lead. Entering that last quarter Kerry made the move that
won the match by finally allowing the former captain to come on the
field as a sub. He immediately set up Paddy Burke who found the net
and the Kingdom were ahead. With a few minutes to go in the match Gus
scored a magnificent point from 50 yards. This was the decider and
Kerry went on to win. Later it was described as "one of the most
perfect and valuable points ever scored in Croke Park."

The following year Gus was most unfortunate when a broken leg
sustained in a North Kerry League game prevented him from traveling to
America for the historic 1947 Polo Grounds Final in New York. He
played his last game for Kerry in the 1948 All-Ireland semi-final loss
to Mayo.

Mini Stages Rally in Listowel Nov 9 2014

On Sunday Nov 9 2014 a service station for the Kilflynn to Listowel stage of the Banna Beach Hotel sponsored Mini Stages Rally was located at Listowel Racecourse. A kind lady sent me these photographs from the day.
If you know someone who was there please let them know that the photos are here.

Some of the cars

Some of the people

St. Mary's, Haddington Rd., passing of May Stack and Listowel pilgrims in 1951

A Dublin St. Mary's

Recently I visited the capital for a weekend. I was staying on Haddington Road. On Sunday morning November 9 I found myself at mass in St. Mary's Haddington Rd. Quite unknown to me this was a red letter day in the parish. The church was celebrating its 175 th. anniversary.

It is a beautiful church with a long history but on this, its anniversary, it had a mass concelebrated by three celebrants (average age I'd guess at 65). There was no altar sever on the altar and the gifts were brought up by Phillipino people.  Time was when we would have seen 30 priests and as many altar servers.

 The sanctuary is particularly beautiful. The priest in his sermon told us, "We are sitting in a treasure."
Like many churches, it had a mud floor, a roof with no ceiling and only a centre nave when it was built 175 years ago. Over time, a ceiling, 2 side aisles and many more features were added.

The unusual wooden altar rails survived Vatican 2.

This is the recently restored war memorial. No one could tell me if the names thereon were parishioners. The war poet, Thomas Kettle's name was there. He wrote one of the war's most poignant poems to his infant daughter, Betty;

"…..So here, while the mad guns curse overhead,
And tired men sigh with mud for couch and floor,
Know that we fools, now with the foolish dead,
Died not for flag, nor King, nor Emperor,
But for a dream, born in a herdsmen shed,
And for the secret Scripture of the poor. "

 Some parishioners stayed behind after mass to view the memorial and to congratulate the priests on a wonderful job of cleaning and restoration. Apparently, up to recently, it was illegible.

A section of the mass goers who attended the little post mass celebration.


+     R.I.P.  May Stack   +

I took this photo in Spar on Market Street in 2011. Canon Declan O'Connor was buying a token in aid of The Irish Heart Foundation from May.

May was small in stature but she had a big heart. She dedicated her life to helping others. She was a familiar face collecting for charity, selling tickets at the parish bazaar or helping with The Laundry for the Elderly. Her generosity extended beyond her death as she donated her body to UCC for medical research.

May she rest in peace. Listowel and May's family have lost a champion.


Listowel Arms refurbished



Listowel Arms posted these photos of its revamp on its webpage.


Listowel pilgrims in Rome in 1951



(Photo; Mary Toomey Roche)

These brave souls completed marathons and ultra marathons last weekend. They are all runners with Kerry Crusaders and are a credit to North Kerry.

Success stories

This is the Life!

Saturday morning was a beautifully crisp November morning in Ballybunion. Mike Enright was out early fishing. He captured these stunning views as the sun rose. He also got some amazing flounder and bass.


Billy O'Connell of Lixnaw, Co. Kerry

Billy O'Connell hails from our very own Lixnaw. He now lives in Huntingdon Beach in California. He is in the news because he has been recently elected to public office.

His Facebook biography says this;

Billy O'Connell is the Founder and current Executive Director of Colette's Children's Home, an emergency shelter and transitional housing program for homeless women and women with children. Founded in 1998, Colette’s provides a safe home and nurturing environment where women and children receive the supportive services necessary to gain independence. Colette's is a hand up, not a hand out. Under Billy's dedicated leadership, Colette's has housed and served over 3,000 women and children helping them break the vicious cycle of homelessness.


Another Success for our Causeway neighbours

Smiling faces from Team Dairymaster after winning the Eurotier Gold Medal for Innovation for our Swiftflo Goat Rotary Milking Parlour at Eurotier, Hannover last night!   ( Photo and caption from Dairymaster website)


Tony O'Connor, Equine Artist

Tony O'Connor is from North Kerry. He is descended from a line of blacksmiths and he has a love of horses bred into his DNA. The above images are from his 2015 calendar which is available from his White Tree Studio


Well worth another Look

A Great Listowel weekend in June 2014


Beautiful Christmas Creations from the Crafters at Craftshop na Méar, Listowel

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