Monday, 22 October 2018

October horsefair, Ballincollig Remembers the Army, and a photo of some Kerry legends

Chris Grayson in Killarney National; Park


October Horsefair 2018

Some photos from the recent horsefair


Remembering the Army in Ballincollig.

Many of my family live in Ballincollig so it is a town that is dear to my heart. By the way, Listowel beat Ballincollig by only one point in the 2018 Tidy Town competition. Ballincollig, like Listowel, won its category and got another gold medal.

Ballincollig was a kind of garrison town as it was home to the gunpowder mills and military barracks during the years before independence. The barracks was handed over to the Irish army and was eventually closed 20 years ago.

To mark the 20 year anniversary of the closing of the barracks the army held a remembrance ceremony and they brought a few big guns to remind Ballincollig of its military past.

This building occupies a central location on the main street in Ballincollig. It was once an army  gun store. Now it's a Starbucks café.


Some Kerry Greats

Photo and caption from Des Cahill on Twitter

Proper legends!! Taken by photographer, John Bambury, 28 years ago when the “International Club” honoured . Jack O’Shea, Micheál O Muirceartaigh, Moss Keane, Mick O’Connell, Chief Justice Liam Hamilton (Inter. Club), J.B., Brendan Kennelly, John B.Keane

Friday, 19 October 2018

Childers Park in Autumn, Fitzgeralds in the U.S. and new memorabilia for the Lartigue Museum

Photographer in the Park

Deirdre Lyons took these lovely autumnal photographs in Childers Park, Listowel in early Autumn 2018


Proud of his Kerry Roots

I've been writing this blog now for 7 years. There are over a million posts now out there in cyberspace. Every now and again someone googles something or someone and finds his way to an old blog post, This is what happened to Robert  Fitzgerald when he looked online for information about his ancestors.

He sent an email;

Good Evening:

I recently came across your blog post Farmers and gardeners from Tuesday, 3 January 2012.  The man that you talk about (Thomas Fitzgerald) turns out to be my great, great, grandfather.  I am only recently starting to find out more about the heritage of my family and it is my knowledge that Thomas came to Beaver, Pennsylvania to start a floral business and the many, many descendants of this Listowel gentleman have remained in the same small town for over 5 generations now.  Thomas had a son John (my great grandfather), who had a son John Lee (my grandfather), who had a son James (my father), that led to myself, Robert.  There are of course many other children involved as our family has grown quite considerably from the small Listowel roots. 

I am quite uncertain of any relatives still living in the Listowel area or the entirety of Ireland for that matter, but it is my intent to make the trip out there sometime in the near future and see for myself the humble beginnings of Thomas Fitzgerald and what is now a massive family here in the US. Browsing through some of the more recent posts on the blog, I see that the local area is quite beautiful and certainly full of history and tradition.  

I want to thank you for putting that information out in the blog as I was able to really uncover a lot of family history and learn a bit more about the small Irish town that my family descends from after many generations and what was thought to be lost history.

Very Respectfully,

Robert Fitzgerald

And here is the blogpost he is referring to ;

Here is a man I found on the internet. He has a Listowel connection but I wonder if he is related to any Fitzgeralds who still live around here.

FITZGERALD:   John Fitzgerald and Mary Conway Fitzgerald, of County Kerry, Ireland saw their second son, Thomas off  to Canada in 1862.  Thomas, who was born in Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland, came from a long line of gardeners and had worked at this since he was a boy in Ireland, managing the grounds and hothouses of Lord Colliss, of Tarbert township, County Kerry, Ireland and for 15 years an estate in Glin, County Limerick, Ireland. Thomas was leaving his beloved land to earn enough to bring his intended over and get married.  After 3 years of work in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, he was successful and brought Mary Healey, his intended over and they married.  Their first child was Patrick, born in 1865.  At this time Thomas and his family moved to the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area where he worked as a gardener on a nearby estate. While in Pittsburgh, Mary and Thomas had seven more children; John, who became manager of the Plumbers Supply Company in Erie, Pennsylvania; Thomas M., who was sent to study in Ireland for 3 years, and returned to open a large florist business in Beaver, Pennsylvania; James F.; Annie; Mary Catherine; Edward, who married Catherine Conville and was sent to Erie with his four children to help his brother John with the business in Erie; and William.  Thomas and Mary later moved to Beaver to help in their son Thomas M. Fitzgerald's greenhouses.
Two published biographical sketches provide great insight into the life of the Fitzgerald's of Allegheny and Beaver County Pennsylvania

Update: 10.00a.m. Vincent has looked him up and this Fitzgerald gardener is from Tarbert. He was married in Ballylongford on July 24 1832.

So if you are a Tarbert Fitzgerald and you think you are a relative, do drop an email to Listowel Connection.

Lartigue Museum Received Fascinating Donation

Recently the Lartigue Museum have put on display some lovely old postcards and photographs donated to the museum by Catherine Kenton

Thursday, 18 October 2018

Listowel Hospital, Emmy Award for Journalist and a piece of Leitrim history

Tree at the gate of Listowel Hospital


In the Grounds of Listowel Hospital

Áras Mhuire retirement home

Senan House

Hospital chapel


Prize winning Journalist with a Listowel Connection

The man in the middle receiving his Emmy award is multi media journalist Malachy Browne from Broadford, Co. Limerick. 
His Listowel Connection? 
He is the son of David Browne, Director and former chair of Listowel Writers' Week.

Why is he famous?

"Malachy and his team were presented with the prestigious award exactly one year to the day after the massacre took place in which 58 people attending a concert were gunned down and slain. Called 10 Minutes, 12 Gunfire Bursts, 30 Videos, Mapping the Las Vegas Massacre, the film won the Outstanding New Approaches: Current News award.
It is an investigation which tracks the timeline of the shootings, using mobile phone footage and CCTV footage and puts viewers right at the heart of the rampage,  knowing how it felt with nowhere to go to escape.
Malachy was the senior producer on the documentary film along with Drew Jordan, Nicole Fineman and Chris Cirillo. He has been with the New York Times since 2016." 
Limerick Leader

This Limerick man (with a Listowel Connection) is working at the cutting edge of  multi media technology journalism. We will be hearing more of him.


The Bad Old Days

People who have recently seen the film Black 47 will be familiar with this type of very poor dwelling. This image and the story that follows is from a great Facebook page on Irish folklore and history.

From the National Folkore Collection as by Stephen McGann of Drumlara, Co Leitrim,
"Soon after the ordination of the new parish priest Lord Leitrim increased his father's rent because he said he was able to pay a higher rent when he could educate his family. The priest's father died in 1865. Soon after his death Lord Leitrim was passing through Drumgirla and met cattle wandering on the road. He dismounted and drove the cattle into the widow's yard. He called her out and asked him if the cattle belonged to her. She had to admit they did and she had to pay the penalty of an increase in rent. In a few years later he heard that she had carried out improvements on her place...She foolishly admitted. 'I have got no improvements made except some wallpaper for the walls and a new window put in where it was absolutely necessary' Lord Leitrim laughed scornfully and said, 'papering walls, a woman who can afford to paper walls can afford to pay a higher rent."
(From National Folklore Collection under the heading of "Lord Leitrim)
Note how in this case the victim is a widow and the wide range of ingenious excuses which Lord Leitrim used to increase the rent. This tale may have grown in the telling but the fact that it does refer to an exact date and an exact placename may indicate that there is a lot of truth to it. Scholars have judged that Lord Leitrim's rents were not that high in comparison to those of neighbouring landlords but the main problem may have been that he tended to raise them in a very arbitrary manner. The picture below shows a cottage outside Mohill co Leitrim in 1889, not untypical of the poverty of the smaller tenants.


A Lifelong friendship that began in Charles' Street, Listowel

These ladies are old friends, Marie on the left and Doreen on the right. They are pictured here on the occasion of Doreen's eightieth birthday last weekend.
Marie is Marie Nelligan and Doreen is Doreen Stack and their friendship began over 70 years ago in Charles Street Listowel. Emigration took both ladies far away from their native Listowel but they still today live within walking distance of each other in New Jersey.
Thank you ,Marie for the photo and Happy Birthday, Doreen.


Edwardian Post Box

Wrong E......The post box at Convent Cross is Edwardian and not Elizabethan as I said. 
Thank you, Tom Walsh, for the correction.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

John Paul 11 Cemetery, October Horsefair 2018 and Feale Drive

Tree in The Grounds of Listowel Hospital


John Paul 11 Cemetery, Listowel


It was a Small Horse Fair 

The last horsefair of 2018 was held in Market Street on October 4th. Horse fairs have been changing and evolving over the years. The latest evolution fascinates me. The horses are tiny. This year's October fair had a mind boggling amount of miniature horses. I'm presuming they are kept as pets or as companions for other bigger horses. 

Horses are very social creatures. They love the company of other equines. Traditionally a donkey was the animal of choice to keep as a companion animal. Now it would appear that the humble ass has been replaced by the more charming tiny horse.

This little horse was being carried around in a gig pulled by a full size horse.


Feale Drive


Launch of Betrothed

Followers of this blog will know how much I love stained glass windows. Well, there is another Listowel man who shares my love of this art form. Paraic Maher has launched a book, detailed the story of the marriage of Mary and Joseph as told in stained glass windows. He launched the book in St. Michael's College, Listowel.


A Memory

This photo from 1983 resurfaces every now and again. It is of Listowel's marching band and mentors practicing for the St. Patrick's Day parade. This time it was Anne Marie McCarron who unearthed it in tribute to her father who passed away recently. Happy days!

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Remembering, an anniversary poem, Convent Cross and Halloween at Kerry Writers' Museum

Trees in John Paul 2 cemetery


Poem from Richard Moriarty on a wedding anniversary


Just thinking back on yesteryear and how it used to be
When love was new to me and you, and life a mystery

How I’ve cherished all these special years, since we first said “I do”
Just like a dream, or it would seem, with someone as dear as you

I wander back to when first we met, we’d walk down by the strand
We’d kiss each other on the cheek and hold each other’s hand

How we strolled along the boardwalk and gazed out on the sea
Those endless days of happiness, the way ‘twas meant to be

Together all the things we’ve done, and all the things we’ve seen
The little gifts that we have shared and the places we have been

Those simple times like holding hands, when all the world seemed still
Or saying such things as “I love you” and I know I always will

And there were times when I felt down and life seemed all so grey
But you were there to show you cared, with a gentle word to say

And when things went wrong, as they sometimes do, and woe was all about
You’d smile and say
“Don’t worry now, this too we will work out”

All through these years of joy and tears, you’ve been a friend to me
A union blessed, at God’s behest, for all the world to see

And in years to come, on that special day, just like we’ve done before
We’ll hold each other in our arms and say it just once more

You bring me joy this very day as you have for all these years
We’ll kiss each other on the cheek while holding back the tears

Again we’ll stroll down by the strand, we’ll gaze out on the sea
And with love we’ll share some other care,
And another ANNIVERSARY.

Richard G. Moriarty

Richard now lives in San Diego, California but he hails from Lisselton.


At Convent Cross

The postbox is Elizabethan.


Thinking Ahead to Halloween

Dare to enter the Haunted Writers’ House at the Kerry Writers’ Museum, Listowel this Halloween where ghosts & ghouls lurk around every corner. Follow the haunted trail and find the clues hidden within. A thrilling, heart-stopping, fun-filled experience the whole family will enjoy.
Open daily from October 31st to November 2nd from 3 to 6 pm. Tours every half hour.
Suitable for children age 6 to 10 years.


Molly was back

Molly came to Listowel with her forever family for the weekend. She has grown up a bit and matured ...a bit.


Positive Ageing

If there is a better depiction of active ageing, I haven't seen it.

Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh from Twitter