Monday, 1 September 2014

All Ireland semi final 2014 and Presentation Convent, Listowel, 2014 and Irish Famine Orphan Commemoration in Sydney

What a match!  All Ireland Football semi final 2014…the replay

Marc O Sé comes on as an impact sub.      (photo; John Kelliher)

A fact from Weeshie Fogarthy seemed sad before the match but was forgotten in the euphoria of victory;
"End of sequence stretching 101 championship matches an O Sé brother has started for Kerry. 
1995 Munster final v Cork last time."

Tralee's photo says it all;  rolling back the years, Ogie Moran, is filled with pride and joy as he greets the Kerry players after the match. His son, David, was one of the heroes of the thrilling game.

Only in Kerry! In Listowel the score was announced at evening mass and in another neighboring parish the mass was delayed because the match went to extra time. Football is a religion in these parts.

All green and gold final in 2014


Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness….

Today is Sept 1 2014. Autumn is upon us and soon it will be Race Week and summer will be officially over.

Above is the bridge connecting town to the racetrack.
Below is how the track looks this week.


A poem for mammies at back to school time

Another tear jerker found by Doreen Buckley.


Former Presentation Convent Listowel

I apologise to the people who will be greatly saddened by these images. This is how it looks today; a sorry sight.

The cross

From the chapel side

Gate from the old primary school into convent garden

convent chapel


Irish Famine Orphans' Commemoration, Sydney, August 31 2014

Most of my blog followers will be familiar with the story by now so I'll just put it in a nutshell. During the Great Famine in Ireland young girls were shipped to Australia from Irish workhouses under a scheme called The Earl Grey Scheme.
The stories of the girls who left Kerry is well told by historian, Kay Caball, in her excellent book, 

The descendants of the "girls" in Australia have established a permanent memorial in Hyde Park Barracks because this is where the immigrants were held following their arrival in the colony.

Every year a commemorative event is held in Sydney.  Julie Evans, a descendant of Bridget Ryan and a keen family historian, goes there every year. She sent these photographs taken by her husband, Glyn, so that I could bring you a flavour of the event.

 This is a recreation of the dormitories in which the girls slept. Their belongings were kept in a trunk beside the bed. The room looks fairly spartan by today's standards but if we remember that these young girls were coming from overcrowded disease ridden workhouses in Ireland, we will understand that, by comparison, this was the lap of luxury.

This is the actual trunk which came with one of the orphans,  She was Margaret Hurley, from Galway. Julie found her details on the orphan database. She and her descendants treasured and preserved it.
  • Surname : Hurley
  • First Name : Margaret
  • Age on arrival : 17
  • Native Place : Gort, Galway
  • Parents : Thomas & Mary (mother living at Gort)
  • Religion : Roman Catholic
  • Ship name : Thomas Arbuthnot (Sydney 1850)
  • Workhouse : Galway, Gort
  • Other : shipping: house servant, cannot read or write, relative in colony: uncle, Thomas Welsh. To Yass Depot. Empl as house servant by WH Broughton, 'Broughtonsworth', Burrowa, £7-8, 2 years; married at Yass on 7 Feb 1852 to Joseph Patterson [came free with brother in 1838 from Edenderry]; 7 children - two sons returned to Ireland, one took over the Patterson Funeral business in Edenderry; Margaret died near Parkes on 5 Sep 1922. c. 90yrs old. Beth Turner: maxbeth[at] Pat Williams; spworner[at]; Rose Perry: inverness[at]; Joan Davis - email us please.

This is songwriter, Brendan Graham, who has taken a keen interest in the orphans and  has written a lovely song, Orphan Girl.  Here it is, sung by the UCD Choral Scholars;

This is the paragraph in Julie's email referring to Brendam Graham and the cd with the song.

"Today was the launch of a CD featuring Brendan Graham’s song Orphan Girl. It also has The Whitest Flower and You Raise Me Up.  Brendan Graham has given all royalties to the Irish Famine Memorial Commemoration Committee for their fund which supports the education of migrant women in Sydney today. Very generous I thought."

Thank you, Julie and Glyn

Friday, 29 August 2014

First day of school, Kerry flags and a postbox at Convent Cross

He'll be Fine

Dear Teacher

I know you're rather busy
First day back, there's just no time
A whole new class of little ones
And this one here is mine

I'm sure you have things covered
And have done this lots before
But my boy is very little
He hasn't long turned four

In his uniform this morning
He looked so tall and steady
But now beside your great big school
I’m not quite sure he’s ready

Do you help them eat their lunch?
Are you quick to soothe their fears?
And if he falls and hurts his knee
Will someone dry his tears?

And what if no-one plays with him?
What if someone’s mean?
What if two kids have a fight
And he’s caught in between?

You’re right, I have to leave now
It’s time for him to go
I’m sure he’ll learn so much from you
Things that I don’t know

Yes, I’m sure they settle quickly
That he’s fine now without me
I know he has to go to school
It’s just so fast, you see

It seems like just a blink ago
I first held him in my arms
It’s been my job to love, to teach
To keep him safe from harm

So, when I wave goodbye in a moment
And he turns to walk inside
Forgive me if I crumple
Into tears of loss and pride

I know as I give him one more kiss
And watch him walk away,
That he’ll never again be wholly mine
As he was before today.

Are you crying?
Blame Doreen Buckley who found this poem on the internet for every mammy and daddy who is seeing off a little one to school this week.



Everywhere all over town the green and gold is flying before Saturday's replay of the All Ireland Semi final against Mayo.


Down Memory Lane; Postman and Council man

Jerry and Pat on Church St. a few years back.


Elizabethan Postbox at Convent Cross

Convent Cross


New kids on the blog

Sean and Killian have made a great start on their blog of life in Basque country HERE

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Something old, something new 2 ……..

Aspects of  Listowel Town Square in August 2014


From RTE Archive, 1968

A programme about basketmaking in Connemara

Refuse strike in Dublin 1968


Brave Listowel man in 1942

The Catholic Press (NSW : 1895 - 1942) Thursday 8 January 1942

M.B.E. to Catholic Doctor


An Irish Catholic who has distinguished himself in the raids on Britain is Dr. John Joseph McCarthy, of Listowel, Kerry, until recently medical officer of the Islington Mobile United. For his services he has been awarded the M.B.E. When houses were demolished and gas and water mains fractured, Dr. McCarthy, helped by members of a rescue party, repeatedly   entered a gas-filled tunnel made through the debris to attend casualties and give oxygen to a trapped man. As a result, nine lives were saved.


The School around the corner

This week's Kerryman had an account of the programme and a picture of the participants as they are today;

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Something old, something new….

Then and Now


Car Boot Sale

(Source: Rare Irish Stuff on the internet)

This is a far cry from today's car boot sale. These are becoming increasingly popular. There was one in Listowel last Sunday and one in Ballybunion next Sunday. They have dispensed with the car boot and these are now held indoors in community halls.


Church St. tailor and draper

Tom McAuliffe, son of Tom P McAuliffe( 1846-1921) and Catherine Gleeson  (1879 -1954) lived 79 Church Street, Listowel,  and his wife,  Elizabeth Gaire who died in 1957.


Calling all Griffins

John Griffin who lives in the US is having difficulty pinpointing where in Kerry his ancestors come from. The most reliable method of doing this is to find a DNA match with some other Griffin from that area. The naming patterns in this man's family match many of the Griffin families in North Kerry.  His request now is for some male Griffin from North Kerry, who is willing to undergo a simple saliva test, to contact him. There will no cost to the volunteer.

Drop me am email if you are interested and I'll get you some more details.


Market Street in Bloom

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Changes and departures

Time and Tide Wait for No Man



 While looking for the above photo of William St.,  I came upon this one. The late Eleanor Scanlon had met up with her former teaching colleagues at Scoil Realta na Maidine, Madeleine O'Sullivan and Theresa Molyneaux during Writers' Week 2009.


Sign in Market St.


Today is August 26 2014 and the day when my beloved twin grandsons leave Ireland for a year in France. They have promised to blog their sojourn. I'll keep you posted.

On their last trip to Kerry we paid a final visit for 2014 to Blueberry Home Bakery and Café in Athea because that is where the best milk shakes and chocolate biscuit cake is to be found.

saying au revoir to one of the goats

Bye bye donkeys

The ducks ignored us as usual

the hens were only interested in food.

A face only a mother could love

Pig smiling outside his pigsty.


Waterford 1905

Drohan's Forge