Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tralee, schoolboys photo revisited and travelling workers

Brrrrrr!!  Early March 2015

Spring how are you?


Remember when water was free?

I photographed this pump in Ballincollig. I remember when they were a feature of every town in Ireland.


Interesting Tralee fact from Historical Tralee

Have you ever noticed the gate about half way down the railing in front of the houses at Day Place? Well, the wrought-iron railings on cut limestone plinth with iron bollard to gate were put in place around 1800 to separate the front area of the houses from the river which at the time still flowed over ground along what is now the road.  The opening was for access to the river.

Princes' St. was known as Princes' Quay as the Big River flowed through it. The river was used at high tide to bring small boats up to the Dominican Abbey which stood where the Abbey Car Park is today.The Dominicans were originally situated at Abbey St. until the last prior, Thaddeus Moriarty was arrested and hanged in Killarney in 1653 by Cromwell's soldiers. In 1864 the Dominicans moved to to their present site. They had a school at No.1 Day Place from 1862 to 1910, called the Jeffers Institute.

Day Place was built in 1805 by Judge Robert Day. The residents had direct access to the river through a gateway in the railings...this is still to be seen today. Ozanam house was the home of Fr. Paul O'Sullivan who established a men's club called "The Tralee Catholic Library Society (T.C.L.S.), also still to be seen today.

Staughton's Row got its name from a family who were large landlords in North Kerry.


1932 Schoolboys

Paul Corridan visited his uncle,  John Corridan, in Cork and this is what he reported back . John remembers his class well and he too has kept that photograph through all these years.
He said the year was 1932.
He also believed the following.
Back extreme left ;  ? Sheahan
Back 2nd from left; Gerald Larkin Ballygrennan now the home of Jimmy Hickey. Was a butcher in Ballybunion.

3rd Row extreme left. ? Sweeney from Greenville
2nd Row Paddy O"Connor whom he believes was a genius , became a teacher , into the arts and when his time came he got 1st in Ireland in his Leaving Certificate
2nd row No.8 he says was not a Guerin but Paddy Dwyer from Church St

Front Row. I think you left out No.5 so it should read as follows

1Richard(Dick) Bolster, Bridge Rd. had a shop  probably where Mulligans live next to Vincent Moloney. Opposite Cows Lawn entrance.
2 T Lynch  Market St or Convent St
3 L O Brien (Willie)
4 Sean Kirby  and so on to pupil no. 12


Memories, memories

Do you remember that I mentioned the annual visits of the washer woman during my Kanturk childhood? 
There were washer women in Listowel too but I can't find anyone to give me a name.

 Cathy Dunne has this memory of another such traveling tradesman.

…. we had a blind man called Mick Doody who came every year to take the horse hair out of the mattresses and "pull" it to let air through it and make it more bouncy.  Then he would use the new "ticking" my mother would have bought to make the new covers, stitch them by hand with a sacking needle and put buttons into the covers and he presto a practically new mattress!  All done by a blind man.  We looked forward to Mick and his little terrier coming every year.

Anyone else remember him?


Monday, 2 March 2015

St. Jean de Luz 2015 and Ballyduff in 1970

A Nun and A Church

Listowel; February 26 2015


A Sin of Omission

When I was telling you all about St. Jean de Luz, didn't I forget its real claim to fame. Louis XIV was married in the church in St. Jean. He married a local lady.

This is the bricked up doorway where louis entered with his bride. He ordered that it be closed up so that no one else could go through it after him. Did you ever hear the like?

The whole story is here, in French.

The church itself is very dark and gloomy. They'd more want to open a few doors than closing them up.


St. Jean de Luz is also now famous for seriously good cakes

This is the shop. My mouth is watering at the sight.



Photo taken at Walshs bar Ballyduff 1970, including members of the Ballyduff Tug o War team 
Tomas Sheehy, Pat O'Carroll, John Sugrue, John Nagle, Micky Guerin, Joan Walsh,,John Walsh,Tom Joe O'Carroll, John Patrick O'Sullivan, Nicholas Browne, P Mulvihill, Micnael Fealy,Tom Dalton, Pat Dillane, Pat Walsh

( Photo and caption from Martin Browne )


Mike the Pies

Denis Carroll took this photo at Mike the Pies Comedy Club


Date for the diary

The Life & Times of J.D. Bourchier
Professor Michael Foley,
Lecturer in Journalism, DCU
Seanchaí – Kerry Writers’ Museum
24 The Square, Listowel
Tuesday March 3rd at 7.30 pm

When the County Limerick born journalist, James David Bourchier (1850-1920) died in Sofia Bulgaria in 1920 one leading newspaper declared on its front page: ‘Our Bourchier is dead’. When news of his death became widely known in Sofia a crowd gathered outside the Grand Hotel Bulgarie, where his two rooms had been the nearest thing to permanent home for the previous 30 years. It was an indication of his standing in his adopted country that his funeral service took place at the Alexander Nevski Memorial Church, a stunning monument of neo-Byzantine architecture that commemorates the Russian soldiers who died in the fight for Bulgarian freedom in 1877. According to the British Ambassador, Sir Arthur Peel, he lay in state and the King laid a wreath.  The lecture will explore the fascinating life story of Bourchier from his early life in Bruff to the Balkans.

Tel. (068) 22212/57927

Friday, 27 February 2015

Some recent local photos

Signs of Spring spotted on Market St.

 Seed potatoes

Lawn mowers lined up outside McKenna's


Three local Historians

Snapped on the street on Ash Wednesday 2015, Jer. Kennelly, Denis Carroll and Damien Stack, my fellow keepers of the flame of Listowel memories.


Then and Now

Below are the three most recent locations of Listowel post office in chronological order

Upper William Street is very quiet these days. Getting a parking space to visit the shops here is no bother at all these days.


At Craftshop na Méar

If you would like a novelty tea cosy, these beautiful creations, all hand made, including the rosary beads are available in the craftshop in Church St. Lots of other beautiful things on offer as well.


Parking in Super Valu

These signs have appeared recently. I don't know what the punishment is for exceeding the 2 hours.

There car park was very busy on the day I visited, with big lorries delivering and cars everywhere.

This is a new one on me. Again I don't know what the penalty is for exceeding the time.


Emigrant Girls From Killarney

Thirty five Killarney girls were meant to sail on the Elgin from Plymouth to Adelaide, (Southern Australia) on 31 May 1849.   Finding the identity of these thirty five girls has been a major problem for me, since starting the research on the book The Kerry Girls:  Emigration & the Earl Grey Scheme. 

Thus begins another great essay on the fate of some Kerry girls during The Great Hunger. 
Read Kay Caball's blog post here;

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Clounmacon, a brush dance and times of last mail collection in Listowel

The following is from an old commemorative journal published to celebrate the opening of the GAA sports field in Clounmacon, near Listowel

By Gabriel Fitzmaurice

Arguably the first time I heard of Clounmacon was when they won the North Kerry Senior Football Championship in Tarbert in 1954. Footballers to me in my youth were gods and duly took their place in my youthful pantheon when they were celebrated in Dan Keane’s famous ballad, “Ball, Battle and Bucket”. Football and poetry ..the poetry of football  ..the football of poetry   .. Clounmacon.

The years went by and I qualified as a National Teacher in 1972. I took my first teaching  post in Avoca. Co. Wicklow. Another poetic (and local) connection: Thomas Moore’s famous “meeting of the waters” is in Avoca where the Avonmore and Avenbeg  rivers meet to flow together to the Irish Sea at Arklow, a few miles distant. Thomas Moore’s father, John Moore, is reputed to have hailed from the banks of the Annamoy in Clounbrane, Moyvane, and to have been educated at John Lynn’s hedge school at Trien, Knockanure about 1750. From Avoca I came south to Limerick City in 1974 where I taught for a year in Caherdavin. And, in 1975, the year Dwyer’s Babes won their first All-Ireland, I was appointed assistant teacher in Moyvane N.S.

I duly began to involve myself in the community - training under-age football teams, being a selector for the senior team, becoming chairman of Knockanure Comhaltas, involving myself in local development etc. All that was in the Moyvane/Knockanure parish.

Then one day an invitation came to attend a rehearsal for a John B. Keane one act play(its title now eludes me) to be performed in Clounmacon. We were to meet at Toddy and Maureen O’Sullivan’s and to proceed from there to Clounmacon N.S., the Community Centre for rehearsal. Margery Long was to produce. Having assembled and having been assigned our various roles, we met regularly thereafter for rehearsal.
Jackie Carmody of Listowel had the major role of the tramp in the play - and a very good tramp he made! However, on the eve of the first performance, he fell ill. Consternation. What were we to do? Who would (and could) fill in at such short notice? Liam Hanrahan of Kilbaha, of course. The redoubtable Liam, a seasoned Thespian, agreed at once and, in a Herculean feat of  memorization, had the part off on the night.

One incident from that play sticks in my memory. Liam Hanrahan’s character dies on stage and had to be borne off in great solemnity by my character and another – played by Liam Keane of Gale Bridge, Clounprohus (I’m almost certain). Liam Hanrahan, a fine sturdy specimen, duly ‘died’. The solemn moment of his removal arrived. Tragedy turned to comedy as Liam Keane and I, two scrawny striplings, caught him by the arms and legs and staggered gingerly across the stage barely able to make the wings! Still, the play went down well and I had acquitted myself competently in my first adult stage role.

After that we had many concerts and Irish nights in Clounmacon. I remember them with affection, driving to Clounmacon School, meeting old friends, singing and playing till morning. Those were the days! I cut my teeth as a performer in places like Clounmacon Community Centre. For which I am truly grateful.


Happy Days!

The Brush Dance at a Parents' Dance in Pres. Secondary School, Listowel in the seventies. Innocent fun!


Books Now, Pints then


Our new postal arrangements

You can still post a letter at the old post box outside the old post office.

The collection time for mail posted at the old post office is 4.15p.m.

At the new post office, mail will be collected at 5.30


Thought for the Day

If your lips would keep from slips, five things observe with care;
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak and how and when and where.