Friday, 25 May 2018

A May altar, A Love Story and Guerins of Convent Street

May altar in Knockanure Church photographed by a local photographer

Bring flow'rs of the fairest,
Bring blossoms the rarest,
From garden and woodland
And hillside and vale;
Our full hearts are swelling,
Our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest
Rose of the vale.

O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May,
O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.


On the trail of illustrious ancestors

Roz Scharf and her sister are coming from Australia to conduct some further research on their ancestors. One of their ancestor was deported for his Whiteboy activities.

Gerard Curtin
Religion and Social Conflict during the Protestant Crusade in West Limerick 1822-49
Winter edition 2003
The Old Limerick Journal
quote from the historian Maurice Lenihan,  writing in 1867, may have been Edmond/Edward with his surname changed or misremembered?

The first dancer I ever met – he was the first in Munster, Leinster or Ulster, 
an inventor, sir, of dancing himself – his name was “Edward Ellard;* he was a 
Kerryman, sir. He danced Irish dancing with any man that ever laid foot to flure 
[floor]. He was unequalled at the Moneen Jig. Oh! to see him dance it, you 
would go any distance or spend any time; it was delightful, sir – aye, I say 
delightful! The Moneen Jig, you know, or ought to know, is the best dance that 
ever was known – a true, real, undoubted Irish dance; it would dazzle your eyes 
to see it danced, sir. Well, Ellard was transported for life! He got at the head of 
a great number of rebels, and he attacked the home of a gentleman where he 
was teaching, and was informed against by one of his own party, and sent over 
the seas for life! Oh, he was a great teacher – he taught myself .... He was a  
native of Listowel, in the county of Kerry – a great man entirely. 

Anyone know anything about this fellow?


Philomena and Peter ...A Story of Enduring Love

This is a recent photo of Philomena and Peter on a holiday in Prague

I asked Philomena to tell me her story and she did. I'm looking forward to meeting her when she comes for her Irish holiday later in the summer. She is bringing her photograph album.

Philomena Moriarty Kuhn

I was born in Listowel, lived in O’Connell’s Avenue and I attended the convent primary school and then the  secondary school for two years. I went to Germany in August 1962 for a week’s training with a view to coming back to work in the Listowel factory.  Jowika was the first factory to come to Listowel. It was later Stag. I never intended to leave home for  good. I love the Irish culture, dancing, singing, just the Irish way of life which I still miss.

I met Peter in 1963, shortly before it was time for me to go home. (What will be, will be, as they say) I left Germany in November 1963 with the intention of going back again in January but unfortunately I got T.B.  I was in Edenburn hospital from January to September of 1964.

That summer Peter came to visit me. I got out of hospital for a few days so he stayed in Listowel. Afterwards when I went back to hospital he stayed in Tralee. Bunny Dalton knew a family in Tralee and they put him up. They were the Ryans of Stacks Villas. The first two days they drove him out to Edenburn, so that he would learn the way. Then they gave him a bike and he cycled out to visit me every day for two weeks.

I think the nuns felt sorry for him as they took him into the convent for his dinner every day. I don’t know they communicated as he had very little English but somehow it worked.
The nuns were very good. My favourite was Sr. Laurence. I kept in contact with her for years after leaving Edenburn. My first Christmas card every year came from Sr. Laurence. I visited her years later with my family. She was then in the Bon Secours Hospital in Cork as Edenburn was closed down.

Once a week a group of Irish singers and dancers used to come from Tralee to Edenburn to put on a show. There was a little hall on the hospital grounds. Those of us who were on the road to recovery were allowed to get dressed and go there. I used to look forward to  Thursday evenings. Many friends from Listowel and Tralee came to visit me while I was there. I was really surprised the day Bunny Dalton and John B. Keane came. When I was discharged John B. sent a car to bring me home. That’s what’s nice about living in a small town; everyone knows everyone and helps when help is needed. I’m afraid that has changed now. When I come home and take a walk up the Avenue it’s all closed doors., not like long ago when the doors were always open and the neighbours sat outside chatting and welcomed one home. I know life goes on and things change. Still it makes me sad.

I was sad to see that my old school was knocked down as I was hoping one day to go through my old classrooms. Also I thought it a pity that Clieveragh Bridge was knocked down but I suppose it couldn’t cope with the heavy traffic.

When you live away from home, you always hope that when you come home everything will be just the same as when you left. We know that isn’t possible as life goes on and things change. It’s a dream one has of wanting everything to be the same as it was when you left.

There is a song I love sung by Mike Galvin from Killorglin. It’s called Dublin in my Tears. This beautiful song describes how I feel when I come home. I call it Kerry in my Tears.

To finish my story, I was discharged fro Edenburn in September 1964. I went back to work in the factory in May 1965 and I wen t back to Germany in October’65. I got married to Peter in 1967. We have two children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren, bless them.


From the John Hannon Archive

Do you remember when it looked like this?


Eugene Moriarty, Family and Friends

James Kenny took this photo in Market Street after Eugene Moriarty cycled into town at the end of Stage 3 of Rás Tailteann 2018. He was surrounded by family, neighbours and friends.


An Appeal for help

Hi Listowel 

I am still looking for any information on any Flavin in Listowel or elsewhere who is interested in
Family history. I am particularly interested in any photos that might exist of Michael Joseph Flavin 1916-1985. 




Friends Returning from Mass in the sunshine of may 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Church Street Auction, Cars from the Movies and Jackie Moore

Donkeys photographed by Ita Hannon


Old Auction Poster

A little bird tells me that a local historian is compiling a book of old posters, like this one I found on Facebook. Posters, in their own way, add a valuable element to the history of Listowel. 


Your Help Needed

I posted these photos before without success. The first was taken at the door of St. Michael's College. The last one looks like a pilgrimage. Any help with identifying these people would be appreciated.


Pop up Craft Shop

When it's gone, it's gone. This lovely addition to our town's retail offering is only staying until after the June weekend so if you want an artistic craft item, pay a visit while it's here.


Friends and Neighbours Meeting

Tony, Alice, Anna and Ella were having a chat when I met up with them in Main Street in May 2018


Iconic Vehicles in Town


Julia's Balloon Animals

Meeting Julia is always an uplifting experience. She is someone who is incurably cheerful and positive. Here she is making her balloon animals at the History Festival 2018.


A Listowel Pipesmith

Photo; John Hannon
This is Jackie Moore photographed in his workshop in Charles Street Listowel


R.I.P. Denis Keane

I took this photo of Denis Keane with his friend, Mary O'Flaherty in 2015 when he was in town for Writers' Week. May his gentle soul rest in peace.


Rás Tailteann leaves town May 23 2018

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Buttevant, Bridge Road, a tip for Town Planners and Rás Tailteann 2018

 Photo: Chris Grayson


 I was in Buttevant

Butevant is a very historic town in North Cork. I was there recently and I made a few observations.

Isn't this a good idea? They have  seats celebrating local families and the history of the family in a notice close by.

There are lots of old shopfronts left unchanged.

Just like us they have a castle in the middle of the town. Ours is in better nick though.

The convent in Buttevant has been sold.  The identity of the buyer was a topic of speculation on the day I was in town.

This old graveyard is in the grounds of the church. It is ironic that the man whose funeral brought me to the town would be the very man who could have told me all of the history.

The church had an ancient feel to it too. The galleries, there were three, are accessed by a stairs from the outside.


Bridge Road

Prompted by Derry Buckley's account of Bridge Road houses, Kay Caball who also came from Bridge Road, wrote the following;

".....In connection with Derry Buckley's photo of  the Bridge Rd.,  my parents rented one of the three houses built and owned by his grandfather, facing the river.  Then they moved to the left hand side of the bridge to what must have been new houses in the early 1940s.  We lived in the second from the stone wall - I think it was owned by Mrs. Murray who had a shop in Main St., selling religious goods - rosary beads, holy pictures, scapulars etc.  (The Murray also must have had the 'franchise' for holy goods at the missions in all the north Kerry churches. They would have covered stall in the yards of the churches at .mission time' selling all these good like hot cakes.

Other people who lived down our (left hand side) of the Bridge Rd., were the Nielsens (Hilary Nielsen taught in the tech), the O'Sheas (Fr Kieran O'Shea), Mr. O'Sullivan the Creamery Manager, (we called everyone Mr. or Mrs. then, had no idea of their christian names). the McElligotts (I think Mr. McElligott sold encyclopedias) and the Woulfes (Mr Woulfe worked in McKennas).   Accross the road we the Griffins (Juniors people) the Kennys, Hassetts, Rita Purcell and her lodger Dan Daly, the Callagys and at the top of this side there were two shops- beside the road going down to the track - Bolsters who sold lovely Lucan Ice Creams and Moloneys (no relation) who had a large shop selling everything, tea, sugar, meal  and shoes."

Peggy Brick who also lived in Bridge Road remembers a Mulligan's shop as well.


Seen on Twitter

A picture paints a thousand words


Neighbourly chat in Charles Street

I met Jerry and Violet on a sunny morning in May 2018


Rás Tailteann in Listowel May 22 2018...a little known Listowel Connection

It's May 22 2018. There I was on Market Street waiting for the Rás to hit town and filling my time by taking a few snaps of the locals when.........

who do I spot across the street but my old school friend from Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk? 
Why was Mary Kiely (now Corkery) in Listowel at the Rás finish?

This is why. Her lovely grandson is riding in the race. Here is Dylan Corkery with three proud grandparents.  
\And here is the Listowel connection or, to be more precise, the Duagh connection. Dylan's grandfather is an O'Keeffe from Trienireach, Duagh. Dylan at 19 is one of the youngest riders in Rás Tailteann.

(More from the Rás to come)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Memories, Lord Listowel, Comic Con , An old tractor. Stack's Arcade and Rás Tailteann 2018

 Chris Grayson


Dan Shine of Listowel

I posted this photo of Dan with his daughter Laura's children and it brought back happy memories. His sister, Rose wrote;

"Hi Mary, how wonderful to see a photo of my brother Dan Shine, thank you for posting it. I have many memories of him getting his uniform ready for his FCA meeting every Monday Monday night, cleaning the brass buttons with Brasso until they were gleaming and polishing his black boots, you could almost see your face in them lol, happy happy days. Regards, Rose.


Zumba in The Square

At the recent History Festival there was a great variety of different activities going on.

Deadpool and the missus were taking a stroll on Church Street


Lord Listowel

This is a photo of the third earl of Listowel. I found it online when I was researching for my walk around the Square and into Bridge Road on June 2nd. 2018 as part of the Listowel Writers' Week programme.


Comics, Games and figurines at Comic Con

In comjunction with Listowel History Festival there was a Comic Con in The Listowel Arms. This was a first for me but it obviously has a huge following judging by the crowds in attendance.


A Few More from The History Weekend

This tractor is over 100 years

It was brought to Listowel by the Donegan Family who run a garage in Milford, near Charleville in Co. Cork. They are passionate about restoring old tractors and proudly told me that there are only three of these tractors still around today and the Donegan family own all three.

I remember these tractors as the ones that pulled the thresher which was a feature of farm life in my young days.


From the John Hannon Archive

An old photo of Stack's, The Arcade.


Listowel Welcomes Rás Tailteann 2018