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Harvest thanksgiving in St. Mary's, Mayor Kennelly of Chicago

Evening in Ballybunion


February 1951

Michael Kennelly's caption "First Rome reunion social in The Lake Hotel, Killarney, Feb. 1951"


Thanksgiving for the Harvest in St. Mary's Listowel


Chicago mayor with Irish roots

Martin H. Kennelly was elected in 1947, and worked with the City Council to create modern superhighways, an airport and subways. His diplomacy enabled many projects.
One year later, he supported Chicago censors who banned Jean-Paul Sartre’s play, “The Respectful Prostitute.” Kennelly declined an invitation to a private showing saying: “I do not like the play. I do not like the title. The title alone would be enough to ban the show, as far as I’m concerned.”
Kennelly established the tone of second term with these words from his Inaugural Address on April 19, 1951: “The pattern of adherence to sound moral values in government has been established. Its basis is efficiency, economy, integrity, impartiality—and the service of only one special interest—the general welfare. There must be no deviation from this standard.” He maintained this standard.
Some of his mayoral successes included extensions for Wacker Drive and the Outer Drive. Congress superhighway and the Congress Street Bridge were constructed. The sewer construction program and the Chicago Skyway were completed. Plans were initiated for extensions to the West Side Subway, the Northwest superhighway, the South Outer Drive and O’Hare Airport.
He was defeated in the 1955 Democratic Primary by Richard J. Daley. He retired and concerned himself with community affairs. He assisted his alma mater and other organizations.
Martin Henry Kennelly died on November 29, 1961, and was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Evanston. He lived his life according to the lines he quoted from Edgar Guest in his First Inaugural Address on April 15, 1947: “If freedom shall new splendors reach/ And not be dragged into the dust/ This to our children we must teach—that/ Public Service is a trust.”


Didn't he do well

Ger. Greaney with his proud parents at his conferring in UCC last week

Scouts on tour, Crusaders and some Halloween fun

Setting out for Austria Dec 26 1948

Knaresborough 1947



Irish Runner Magazine posted this great picture of Kerry Crusaders in Dublin for Monday's marathon.


KDYS Halloween Parade

Listowel youngsters heading down Bridge Road for the start of the 2014 Halloween Parage organized by KDYS, Listowel.


Getting the word out early

My friends in Athea are making sure you know about their event in good time.


This one is booked out

Community spirit in Ballincollig and Athea

Up The Village

This is Ballincollig, Co. Cork and it is where  many people I love now live. The Village is what native people have always called this massive dormer town. It must be the biggest village in Ireland.

Ballincollig is still en féte in celebration of a momentous victory in The County Senior Football Championship. This might seem like a bit of overkill to places in Kerry, well used to club victories but you might understand better the appreciation of this victory when I tell you that Ballincollig GAA club was set up in 1886, just two years after the founding the GAA. This makes Ballincollig GAA one of the oldest clubs in the country and this is the very first time ever they have won a senior club county football  championship. 

The place has gone bananas.

The church is bedecked in bunting. You would be forgiven for thinking that the bishop or some other church dignitary was due a visit.

This is Scoil Eoin. It and all the other Ballincollig schools were temporarily uniformed in Green and White. The visiting team members included many past pupils. They wangled a whole week off homework for the delighted young supporters.

Dunnes Stores showed its support.

So if you are passing through Ballincollig, be sure to congratulate them. They are still on a high.


Athea Victory

This is  Athea Tidy Town Committee celebrating their victory in the 2014 Limerick in Bloom competition.
If you are anywhere in the vicinity, do drop into Athea, one of Ireland's loveliest villages, in my opinion.

Still preserved and loved in Athea

butter churn

wash board
These artifacts can be viewed at  Blueberry Home Bakery in Athea

Something old, something new…..

Another great oldie from Mike the Pies on Facebook

Mike the Pies early 60's. Paddy Murphy, Jack Mangan, Dan Joe Leahy, Dan O'Donoghue, Danny Hayes, Jack Leahy, Mick Halpin.


Then and Now


Outward Bound for Rome 1950

Michael Kennelly's caption on this group of photos says "On board the Inisfallen from Cork"


Big job underway at Ballybunion Castle

The walls are being strengthened and treated to withstand the ravages of the sea. The top bit which was blown down in a storm will not be replaced. It's good to see that this landmark will be with us for a while yet.


Athea visit with some old friends

Phil and Frank visited me last week and I brought them to one of my favourite places, Athea

 Phil and Frank ar Shlí na Sí

They had seen bug houses but never before a bug hotel.

They left their worries behind with the worry fairy.

The local craft group were working that morning and their keen eyed marketing manager spotted some potential customers.

Phil and Frank bought a fairy door for their granddaughter  and one of the very artistic ladies customized it especially for Cara.

We had a lovely lunch in Blueberry Home Bakery where we found my book sitting on the table for the entertainment of the diners.

October, Mike the Pies, Lough Derg and I've seen the future and it's digital

St. Michael's Graveyard on a misty October morning, 2014


Mike the Pies

This iconic bar in Upper William St. takes its name from the famous meat pies which were traditionally served there during Raceweek. The photographs below appeared on the pub's Facebook page

Mike the Pies

Local people put the date of the first photo at 1984 or 89. The second one shows the popular pub in more recent times.


Scouts in Market St. in the 1940s


Memories, Memories!

Michael Kennelly's Lough Derg picture brought back many memories for my blog readers. Listowel people took many of these pilgrimages right up to the 1980s. with many people traveling to the penitential island year after year.

Names for these ladies are slow in coming forward but this might be helpful:

"From that picture of the Lough Derg group on the boat I recognize two people: Eileen Bunyan, Convent Cross (in the dark suit at the back) and Margaret Brown, Convent St. (looking at the camera with coat over her shoulders.

One diligent historian has taken it upon himself to write to the record keeper in Lough Derg. Below is her reply:

Thank you so much for your email .  It is amazing to see the old photographs from the pilgrimage in 1954.
I can check our pilgrim ledgers to see if 1954 Season is there – not all years were preserved.  If it is there then it simply lists the pilgrims names, no address etc.  But perhaps I can identify Michael Kennelly’s name and see who is listed immediately before and after him.  Did the 2000 pilgrims travel over the course of the whole Season (1st June – 13th August). 34,039 pilgrims in total made the pilgrimage in 1954, the second highest number for any one season since pilgrims numbers have been recorded since 1861.  The highest number was 34,645 recorded in 1952.  I wonder what was the reason for such high numbers in the early 1950’s?

Leave this with me .  Our archives are on the Island and I am now back in our office in Pettigo Village for the winter months but I do plan to go across to the Island one day next week to tidy up a few bits and pieces and I will check the ledgers then.

Best regards
Maureen Boyle
PA Fr Owen J Mc Eneaney, Prior


Did you have one of these?

This is a photo from the 1970s of  little girl on her typewriter writing her first novel.

Fast forward to 2014. Today's little girl who, in the parlance of the trade, is "a digital native" will write her novel on her tablet. It will never see paper. It will be downloaded by anyone who wants to read it and it will come with interactive graphics and lots of embedded content.

The long predicted demise of the book, as we know it, is upon us. Future generations will subscribe to a service like Netflix, pay a regular subscription and read whatever they want when they want on their tablet or smart phone.

Dedicated ebook devices like Kindle have had their day too. Future readers will merely flip their tablet into "book mode" and hey presto, they have all the benefits of back lighting, book marking etc.

Such is the onward march of progress!!!!


Nowhere to go In Ballybunion

Listowel people in Rome in 1950 and reconfigured Convent Cross

Changed aspects of Church St. 


Listowel people in Rome

Michael Kennelly made two trips to Rome in 1950, once with the scouts and then in October with a local pilgrimage. The scouts' trip in July 1950 is mentioned in Anthony Gaughan's account. This was the trip, when, during an audience with the pope, the Listowel scouts presented some Irish tweed to the pope for the poor children of Rome 

  Listowel people on pilgrimage to Rome October 1950


A Limerick limerick by Pat Brosnan

Outside Abbeyfeale near Feale Bridge
Lived a handsome young damsel called Pidge.
Her admirers all came
 But pursued her in vain
For this Pidge could dodge like a midge.


Convent Cross 2014

Convent Cross is now safer to negotiate. The low wall has been removed and the road widened.

A long wall and a footpath have been put in beside the secondary school on the Ballybunion Road.


6th Annual Gary MacMahon Singing Weekend

The link above will bring you to Michael Collins' charming photographs of people at The West Limerick Singing Club's Gary MacMahon commemorative event last weekend. Below are just a few of these treasures. Do visit the website to view them all.

My trip to Chicago

Chicago from the plane

Chicago is huge. This is just a small section I photographed from the plane.


This is the air traffic control tower in OHare. On the day I arrived, Sept. 26 2014  it was totally out of action due to a fire.

 Sign in the taxi from the airport. Big Brother is everywhere.

 The view at night from the Hancock Building

Reminder that you are in the USA where guns are everywhere.

Chicago is one of the seven architectural wonders of the world. This carpark is one of the iconic buildings that mark Chicago. According to our tour guide, you drive your car in and onto a lift and it is transported to its slot.

I took this photo of the car park from our tour boat on the water. You  can see the cars neatly slotted into their parking spaces.

This is the very tall and very shiny Trump Tower.

There is poverty here as well. I photographed this poor man from the bus on our city tour.

I was in Chicago Zoo. I saw this rhino.

 This charming drinking fountain is in Chicago Zoo.

 Listowel has something in common with Chicago…a statue of Schiller.

This cheeky bird hung around us on the tour boat waiting for crumbs to fall.

 Some of Chicago's skyscrapers. Many Irish names appear among the list of the city's architects.

There are various romantic stories about how the great fire of Chicago 1871 was started. Whether it started on a boat or not, many boats were destroyed in the massive conflagration. When I was there flimsy makeshift boats were being put on the water in preparation for a festival when they were to be burned.

There are 42 bridges in Chicago. Three of them are drawbridges and are opened regularly.

Like Venice, Chicago has water taxis.

Ard Curam, the convent chapel, a Limerick limerick and the good life in St. Jean de Luz

King of the Stags

Timothy John MacSweeney photographed this magnificent brute in the National Park last week. This bucko is a twenty pointer and is the most mature dominant stag in the herd of red deer in Killarney.


Ard Cúram, Listowel

In May 2014 Jimmy Deenihan and Micheál OSuilleabháin turned the sod to launch the building project of Listowel's dedicated day care centre for the elderly, Ard Cúram

One of the recent planks of the fundraising drive was the participation of the charity in The Ring Of Kerry Cycle. As you can see above the sponsors contributed a massive €149k. The project is well on target for a 2016 opening.

Ard Cúram website is at:


Presentation Convent Chapel

In response to a request, here are some more memories of the convent chapel. This lovely prayerful space is sorely missed by some people in Listowel.

 Our Lady's Altar; This altar was at the left hand side beside Sr. Consolata's organ.

Calvary in the grounds.

 The centre aisle

The choir gallery


The return of the bicycle

This bicycle park in Drury St. Dublin (photo: Twitter) is testament to the growing popularity of cycling to work.


Dublin 1958

(photo from Old Photos of Dublin on Facebook)


A Limerick limerick

Recently I bought a book of limericks in the NCBI shop in Listowel. They have a great offer at the moment of 3 books for €1.
The little book I bought was called The Book of Limerick limericks and its by a man called Pat Brosnan. He has written limericks for lots of Limerick towns. Here's one;

Coming home from the mart in Listowel
A limerick man crashed in a hole
But the Council he blamed
And was no way ashamed
Of his gross overdose of the bowl.


Meanwhile in St. Jean de Luz

The EPIC adventure continues for my lovely grandsons. They are enjoying temperatures of 24 and 25 degrees in their house on the beach.

I'm reminded of the song lyrics, "How will we keep them down on the farm….?"


Well done, Fiona

(photos Irish Independent)

In The Irish Independent is this great story of generosity on the part of Listowel teenager, Fiona Murphy. Fiona has donated her hair to make a wig for Keeva, who suffers from alopecia. It's all organized by The Rapunzel Foundation

Michael Kennelly in The Alps, Fr. Charles Troy and some names from 1955

As it is now; As it was then


From Michael Kennelly's Scrapbook

Michael describes the dwelling in this picture a his digs.

On this holiday in The Alps it would appear that Michael was a kind of one man tourism ambassador. He distributed An Tostal literature everywhere he went and he organized for a troop of scouts to visit Listowel.

An Tóstal (Irish pronunciation: [ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ˠoːst̪ˠal̪ˠ], meaning "The Pageant") was the name for a series of festivals held in Ireland in the 20th Century. Inaugurated in 1953 as a celebration of Irish life, it continued on until 1958 when it died out in most centres except Drumshanbo.
The original purpose of the festival was a celebration of Irish culture, with an emphasis upon drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. It was marked by a series of regional parades, arts and sporting events. Many towns began a clean-up plan, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards, which is running still in Ireland. In 1953, a set of commemorative stamps designed by Limerick artist Fergus O'Ryan, were issued by the Irish Post Office.
Chess Competitions were held as part of An Tóstal by the Irish Chess Union from 1954 to 1957.[1]
Drumshanbo in County Leitrim have the distinction of being the only place that An Tóstal has continued to run every year since 1953.  (Source; Wikipaedia)


Fr. Troy of Listowel

Capuchin Annuals of early 1930s had articles by Fr M C Troy, MA, CC of St Michan's, Halston Street, Dublin. Fr. Troy was born in Listowel.

Monsignor Charles Troy K.C.H.S. Parish priest, ordained 1921, he was the last surviving of five priests in his family. He also had a sister a nun in the Mercy Order in Illinois. In his obituary in Sunday Independent of November 12th 1972 it is stated that  he played with Athea alongside Fr. Mullane and Fr. Leahy and in 1919 they won the West Limerick title. Charles Troy helped Kerry to the final, but did not get an All Ireland  medal, because he entered the seminary before the final. He played with Con Brosnan.

Ballyfermot GAA Club De La Salle, organised in 1953 as Ballyfermot Gaels. They trained and played junior fixtures at the facilities located behind the De La Salle Primary Schools on Ballyfermot Road. The club plays in the Kerry colours as a tribute to the first parish priest, Kerryman Charles Canon Troy who sponsored the club.

Ballyfermot Gaels hurling tem togged out in green and gold.

In  1962 Canon Troy presented the cup for the best Ballyfermot graden.

De la Salle schoolboys with Canon Troy


Eurovision winners

RTE has announced that, this year, they will go back to the old format. Anyone can submit a song. The recent format of selecting mentors and allowing them to choose a song and a singer clearly has not worked. It also fueled accusations of cliquishness in RTE with the same names and  the same faces appearing year after year.


Scout Reunion names

Trish Tatten recognised her late dad and John Cahill did his best to remember some memory.

John Cahill's best guess:
 BACK ROW:  Nial Stack, Dermot Tattan, Michael Kennelly,,  ? White   -?.Johnny Fitzmaurice?

Front Row.  John Cahill,  Donie Hartnett,  Dan Guerin, William (Curly) Keane Stack, Justin Stack, Dick Flaherty. 

Autumn in the Cows' Lawn, Then and Now and Listowel people in Lough Derg in 1954

The Trees are in their autumn beauty.
The woodland paths are dry."

All photos taken in the Town Park, Listowel in October 2014.


Time and tide wait for no man

Is there a message for our times in the replacement of a bank by a betting shop?


Another look inside Michael Kennelly's album 

Michael's caption on this group of photographs is  "Lough Derg Trip 1954".


Listowel Properties getting a facelift


Allied Irish Bank


Listowel Girls Night Out 2007

(photo credit: Mike the Pies on Facebook)

Front: Marie Kelly, Jackie Roche, Aine Sloan, Eileen Roche

Back: Matilda Sweeney, Kitty Behan, Mary O Connor, Mag McDonagh, Hannah Sweeney, Phil O Connell, Dolores O Connor,Marilyn Kelly and Kay Downey

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