Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Aras Mhuire, a Visit to Athea and an 1888 dispute settled

Chris Grayson


The Last Few Photos of People I snapped at Áras Mhuire

At James Gould's 80th party


Friday Market, April 2016


Athea Revisited

I'm looking forward to the finer days when Jim Dunn can resume work on his beautiful mural.

My tech savvy boys scanned the QR code to get the map of the Fairy Trail.

The air was ringing with the sound of bird song.

 All worries were left with Cróga.

 We climbed through the giant's garden to the graveyard.

Bluebells, buttercups and other wild flowers were everywhere around.

No visit to Athea is complete without a trip to the Pet Farm

The animals and fowl have wintered well.


The Judgement of Solomon

Kerry Sentinel, Saturday, 30 June, 1888; Page: 2
At the Quarter Sessions on Wednesday, the remitted action at the suit of Mr. John Creagh, ex-manager of the Provincial Bank, Listowel, against Mr. John P. Broderick, solicitor, Tralee, for £3.000 for alleged libel and slander which the plaintiff complained was contained in certain letters written by the defendant, came on for hearing. There were also two civil bills, one for £44 and the other for £45.
When the case was called. Mr. Creagh said if Mr. Broderick made a public apology to him in court he would withdraw all proceedings against him. Mr. Broderick at first declined, but was persuaded by his lordship to do as requested by Mr. Creagh. Mr. Broderick then said for quietness sake he would apologise.
His Lordship said he would not have that – there should be an unconditional apology.
Mr. Broderick then apologised unconditionally, and withdrew all imputations against the plaintiff, and at the suggestion of his lordship both plaintiff and defendant shook hands.
All the accounts between the plaintiff and defendant are to be submitted to the arbitration of Mr. Huggard, clerk of the Crown and Peace, and Mr. Downing, solr. The actions stand, pending the result of the arbitration.

Military re enactors in Listowel, May 1 2016

Monday, 2 May 2016

Golden Folk, James Gould's 80th birthday and an old dispute between servant and master

Sunset in Ballybunion April 23 at 19.50


Communications Today

My two boys are talking to one another on Snapchat.


Golden Folk

The Listowel cast of the play The Golden Folk from around 1960


Some More Photos from my Trip to Áras Mhuire


A Long Shot

Does anyone know of a photograph in existence of the interior of St. John's when it was a church? 


An Old Dispute

Back in 1869 the court reporter had a great way of telling a story;

Kerry Evening Post, Wednesday, 15 December, 1869; Page: 3
LISTOWEL. PETTY SESSIONS—Saturday: (Before A. Elliott, chairman G. Hewson, and J. M. Hatchell,R.M. Esqrs;( Edited)
Broder v Buckley
The complainant in this case was the female help of defendant.  The agreement was made in far famed, and justly celebrated Abbeyfeale between the now contending parties; but a different version of said agreement  given by each,  suitable  to their own views, and hence a great deal of mystery enveloped the matter requiring a thorough clearing up.
Miss. Broder in giving her evidence displayed none of that shrinking modesty, or affected sensibility that too often characterize females when presented at Court, and subjected to the gaze, admiration or condemnation, of the “great’ unwashed.” She braved public opinion, and in appearance and language asserted her rights and detailed her wrongs, like a perfect Amazon.
 Her case was, that her engagement was for nine months from 20th February, salary £6 6s., one days horse work, and ground for a pottle of flax seed. She appears to have gone on well for some time, but as service is no inheritance, some slight differences arose, and were acquiring strength every day. 
The Mistress called her one morning to arise and proceed to work, but she only changed  sides in the bed, saying it was rather early to commence labour. She then got sick, and  so did the Mistress. Matters must have looked queer in the concern.  Tady, the husband of defendant, came forward to aid the case, and ye gods what a presentation was his. Let your readers imagine, a short bull  necked, thick got blubbar lipped rustic, a head and frame ignorant of all toilet appliances, and with a voice like Boreas in a storm, cracking the ears of all within sound of his vocal thunder; and though his appearance might not be a safe letter of introduction he displayed in his evidence a cleverness, caution and ability that would do credit to a more refined and spiritual physiognimy. In fact, Tady is no joke, and knows how the cat jumps, his only fault being that like the cat he is too much of a domestic animal, and allows his wife only to play second fiddle, albeit a Scotch one.
— The evidence pro and  con was most confusing, And would require the services of a more extended jurisdiction to deal with, not but that  the legal gentlemen engaged at both sides, Messrs. Broderick and Harnett, did full justice to their clients, Keeping the steam up, as the supply of hot water is always abundant in Listowel Court. However, after a storm comes a calm, and matters toned down.

 When business came to be arranged, Miss Broder having got some dresses in town to array herself in, and display those masculine charms which, after all, are most captivating, and which, when properly charged, lays the mine to any fortress no matter how impregnable, and generally succeeds in capture. The aforesaid dresses were paid for by the veritable Tady,-who produced voucher for same. These, with some cash advanced, reduced Miss Broder’s claim to £3 6s. lOd, which, without costs, she was allowed. A divorce was then pronounced between the parties, and they left court together. Tady presenting the appearance of a case of collapsed cholera, while Miss Broder was radiant with smiles.
Glossary: a pottle was half a gallon
toilet appliances would be hairbrush and comb, razor or facecloths and soap
Scotch fiddle was a kind of rash caused by eating too much oatmeal


Military Tattoo 2016

I'll have all the news plus photos from the weekend for you in the coming weeks.


Soldiers with a Listowel Connection

Pat Del Savio sent me photos of two of her uncles in military uniform. I have none of the story to go with them though.

This is what Pat wrote of them:

"My Mom was Theresa Dillon of Gurtenard (?), daughter of Patrick  and Johanna Dillon. The pictures are of her brothers, Paddy Dillon(Jr.) and William Dillon. William's photo has the white background. 
I don't know the years they were taken, but my Mom was born in 1910. Paddy was her older brother and William was her second youngest brother.

Patrick (Paddy) Dillon Jr., 1902-1979, was a bachelor. He was in the Irish Free State Army.
William Dillon, 1915-2003, was the 14th child in a family of 15 births. He had 8 children and lived in Dublin."

Friday, 29 April 2016

Ballybunion Sunset, Richard Cotter and Domhnall de Barra of Athea

Some of my family watch the sun set at Ballybunion  April 23 2016


A Final few Photos from Banna

A History class from Pres Listowel were there.

 I met these two Listowel ladies on my way back to the bus.


Second Year in Pres. Listowel 

This photo from the 1950s has come to light. People who have been recognized are Mary Catherine Sweeney Reidy, Sinead Joy O'Sullivan and Eithne Buckley.

Does anyone recognize anyone else?


The Light of Other Days

In Scribes last week Richard Cotter, grandson of "Tasty" Cotter after whom Cotters' Corner was called, met up with Eileen O'Sullivan and Mary Sobieralski.

Eileen remembered Tasty as a rent collector who used to call to her house every week when she was a child. Richard is a keen family historian and was delighted to meet someone with memories of his grandfather.

Richard has a puzzle for us. His grandmother's family were Buckleys from Ennismore.

He has this photograph of four of the Buckley sisters taken at the wedding of their sister in 1910. Richard doesn't know who is who . His grandaunts were Mrs. Jane Kelly whose husband, Ambrose  was a farmer from near Finuge, Mrs. Paddy Griffin who worked in Cotters shop, Mrs Fitzmaurice who had a daughter  a nun and who had Kearney relatives in Ballyduff and Mrs. Seán O'Brien who worked in Cotters' shop and whose grave is inside the gate in St. Michael's graveyard.

Mary and Eileen looking at Richard's photos of his ancestors.

Richard's grandparents on their wedding day in 1910. His grandmother was Margaret Buckley, known in the family as Rita.


Athea's Domhnall de Barra, a Great local Chronicler

Making a Newsletter

Only on Wednesday last did I realise that this issue will be No. 1008.
Somehow we passed the 1000 mark a few weeks ago without marking the
occasion in any way. To be honest I never dreamed, when I first
thought of creating a local newsletter, that it would last for such a
long time. It had its humble beginnings as part of a FAS scheme
sponsored by Cáirde Duchais. Our first publication had four pages
(black and white of course) and it cost 20 pence in old money. Soon
afterwards the FAS scheme ended and I decided to keep the publication
going. In the early days it came out towards the end of the week to
facilitate the inclusion of the Church pamphlet which we printed also.
Lillian and myself sold the newsletter at the Church gates on Saturday
night and the two Masses on Sunday. It was a bit of a commitment every
week but it was great to meet all the people coming from Mass (the
Church was full in those days). Eventually we were in a position to
leave the selling to the two shops, Stapleton’s and Brouder’s  and we
extended our sales to Carrigkerry and Knockdown. The shops did this
for us free of charge and continue doing so to this day. We are very
grateful for this as the newsletter does not make a profit. We were
also very fortunate in securing the services of correspondents,
Kathleen Mullane, the late Pat Brosnan R.I..P., Tom Aherne and Peg
Prendeville who kept our readers abreast of all the local news and

The newsletter gave an opportunity to local clubs and organisations to
publish their events, fixtures, results etc. free of charge.
Publication of small classified ads were also free. Other commercial
advertising was given at a very reasonable rate. As long as we made
ends meet we wanted to be of service to the community. All we asked in
return is that the clubs and organisations who benefitted from the
newsletter would use C.D. Printing  for all their printing needs. Most
of them do so but there are the odd exceptions!  In the early days
there was a lot of typing. Computers were scarce so longhand was the
order of the day. The actual printing process was also very different
to what we do now. As soon as the pages were ready for printing, a
plate was made for each one. These were then printed off individually,
put together and folded by hand. This took a bit of time and the
quality of the printing was not great in comparison to today. As time
went by, more pages were needed as more and more people began to use
the newsletter. This created more labour as the pages had now to be
collated by hand, before folding.

Fast forward to today and things have changed a lot. We are now at 12
pages and in full colour. The biggest change is in the printing.
Plates are no longer necessary with the advance in technology. As soon
as the newsletter is ready for printing it is sent directly to the
printing machine. This prints a whole book in one go and folds it as
well. All I have to do is ensure the setup is correct and count the
copies as they are printed.

Setting up the newsletter for printing is an art in itself. The
process begins with the clearing of items from the past week’s issue,
some items will remain from week to week. Towards the end of the week
I start to create a new crossword. Sometimes it flows to me but there
are other times when I am wracking my brain trying to make words fit.
I try to make the clues not too difficult but I include one or two
“sticklers” to keep people thinking!. If I have time I do my own piece
as well. On Monday morning the e-mails start coming in and Lillian
goes to work, downloading and placing text and treating photographs in
the photo shop. The text has to be resized and put into the correct
font with paragraph headings in the proper size and colour People call
into the office with notices, anniversaries, thanksgiving prayers
adverts etc. All these are typed up and placed in different pages.
Some come in over the phone. Finally, when all the material is
together everything must be placed so that each page is full. This is
where the skill comes in and there are a few little “tricks” to
getting text to fit into available space. Now it is time to collect
the remaining crosswords from the shops and, together with the ones
already handed in to the office, they are checked for accuracy. The
correct ones are put into a box and a winner is drawn. Now the file is
put onto my USB key and I take it home with me. I start up the printer
and do the necessary settings on the computer. A test copy is then
sent to the printing machine and I give a quick look through it. Some
more adjustments are made and another copy is printed. This goes on
until I am satisfied that it is ok. I key in the required number for
each outlet and off the machine goes. Sometimes the paper gets jammed
but eventually all the copies are printed and ready to go to the
shops. Another week gone by and another issue on the shelves. Number
1008; who’d have thought it.

Domhnall de Barra

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Easter Rising Commemoration in Kerry, A Party in Áras Mhuire and more Photos from Kennelly at 80

Beautiful Ballybunion In April 2016 photographed by Jason O'Doherty


Kerry and The Rising; State Commemoration

One of the saddest events of The Rising of 1916 happened in Kerry when the driver of the car bringing 3 volunteers mistook the pier at Ballykissane for a road. All three were drowned. This event was commemorated when President Higgins came to Kerry last week.

Photo: Aisling Griffin

Aisling Griffin shared this photo too of the L.E. Niamh in the waters off Banna during the  commemorative event on April 21 2016.

It was a reminder of the ill fated Aud which hovered in the bay, hoping in vain to be able to come ashore and land the guns to arm the Rising.

Photo: Aisling Griffin

The soldiers at Banna on April 21 were drilled to within an inch of their lives. Their formation was perfect, their uniforms pristine, the barked orders, as Gaeilge, loud and clear and everyone to a man and woman proud to be there.


The World and His Wife Was in Banna

 Owen O'Shea was an excellent M.C.

 This actor, Declan McCarthy, made a convincing Casement as he delivered the rousing speech from the dock.

 Our president , Michael D.Higgins gave a measured and crafted speech. I was so glad we elected a polished orator. He does this sort of occasion with great pride and dignity.

 Everyone I spoke to experienced the same catch in the throat and tear in the eye as the three planes flew overhead and out to sea as we sang the National Anthem.

 And the tricolor flew over it all.


Party in Áras Mhuire

James Gould is 80 and his friends in Áras Mhuire threw him a party. They invited me.

 Danny Hannon came to wish him a happy birthday.

Noreen O'Donoghue joined in the celebrations.

 Stevie Donegan provided the music.

 This lovely lady, a visitor, sang a song or three.

Happy Birthday, James


People in Ballylongford at the Kennelly at 80 Event

 Christy Kenneally and Rose Wall at the launch of the DVD, River of Words in The Seanchaí.

 Poet, Mary Lavery Carrig was among the attendees at Lislaughtin.

 Paddy McElligott in Kennelly's Bar. Paddy performed two of his acclaimed Moloney sketches

Gabriel Fitzmaurice in Kennelly's, Ballylongford and below in Ballybunion.

Liz and Jim Dunn. Liz is organizing the bus and Jim took a few photos while waiting for the talk to begin.

Two well known Listowel ladies enjoying the day.

watching the action