Friday, 24 October 2014

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.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

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.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

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.