Thursday, 29 September 2016

And the winner is.........

Photo of a Happy Man

Kieran Moloney of Listowel Tidy Towns Committee with the Best Small Town Trophy which has only once before been won by any town on two occasions.

John Kelliher's marvellous image of our beloved small town.


Listowel Tidy Towns Vintage Day 2016.... My Part in it

This is the line up of finalists in Listowel Tidy Towns Vintage, Upcycle and Recycle's Fashion event at Listowel Races 2016.

The competition was judged by Orlagh Winters and a representative from An Taisce. The lady in red on the far left was the winner. Niamh Kenny, second from right came third and Helen Culhane on the far right was a finalist

But the lady in blue is the cailín in whom I had a special interest. She is Mary Moylan and she was wearing the suit I wore as a "going away outfit" on my wedding day in July 1975.

This is me going away. You can see my bouquet in my hand as I was about to throw it, as per age old tradition, to the unmarried girls who were guests at the wedding. The photo was taken outside the Deerpark Hotel in Charleville. That is the back of my late mother's head in the foreground.

This is an old ad for Dorene. My dress and jacket were made by Dorene.

It was purchased in Todds of Limerick.  (photos from the internet)

You will agree that the outfit withstood the ravages of time better than its owner.

I am known in my family as a hoarder but my brother claims that keeping a suit that doesn't fit me for over 40 years is a step too far even for me.

Mary with her sister, Alice.

Mary with her friend, Aoife, who provided the hat to complete the look. Mary's jewellery was her grandmothers and her bag was originally her mother's.

Kieran Moloney of Listowel Tidy Town's chatting to one of the sponsors.

Mary won a hamper of goodies and a voucher for a Listowel shop. Listowel business people are really supportive of this competition and the prizes were substantial.

(Mary looked after me well too)

As well as the beautiful bouquet, she treated me to a delicious dinner which she cooked herself.

I'll be rummaging in back of the wardrobe again for next year!

Mary's interview with Orlagh Winters is here;
Mary Moylan interviewed by Orlagh Winters


Only in the USA.

Regardless of who wins the presidential election this November, we will witness history being made.
If Hillary Clinton wins the U.S. presidential election, it will be the first time in history that two U.S. presidents have slept with each other!

If Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election, it will be the first time in history that a billionaire moves into public housing vacated by a black family.


This sign is proudly displayed on my Mayo neighbour's wall. I hope he has something to cheer about very soon.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Listowel Tidy Towns' Vintage Day at Listowel Races 2016

Where  Things old are valued

Vintage Day at Listowel Races is my favourite of all the side shows that take place during race week. It is the brainchild of Listowel Tidy Towns and every year it  goes from strength to strength.

The marquee was packed on Saturday Sept 16 2016. There was none of this pink wristband palaver. We were all welcomed in . The interviews, sympathetically conducted by Orlagh Winters, were entertaining and enjoyable. None of this "I bought this here and that there," of Friday’s fashion fest. This was trips down memory lane, charity shop finds and a few obvious lies…all part of the fun.

First up were the men and Joe Broderick stole the show. He spun more yarns than a silkworm but he is such a lovable rogue that we all played along. He flirted with Orlagh, flattered and amused the audience and best of all he looked a million dollars. He was a hard act to follow but the stag on the inflatable horse came close. He had come from London with 14 friends and they were having a great time at The Races. Stag parties at The Races is a growing trend in recent years. There was also a hen party but they were from closer to home, from Limerick.

In this competition, the story of the outfit is part of the fun. 

Anne Leneghan of Kanturk and Bishopstown was sponsored by the Kanturk St. Vincent de Paul shop. She asked them to be on the lookout for anything vintage for her to wear and they found just the ticket....a 1970s bottle green crimpelene suit and they also sourced the alligator bag, with the claws on show, for her. 

I recorded part of Anne's interview with Orlagh.

Anne Leneghan Interview

Anne's friend, Listowel girl, Maria Stack had a great story to tell about her accessories. Maria bought her bag for €4 in The Killarney St. Vincent de Paul shop. When she got it home, she examined it more closely and this is what she discovered.

Maria's charity shop find was a Beverley bag. When she Googled Beverley bags she found out that the wife of Ireland's first Uachtarán, Seán T. OCeallaigh carried a Beverley bag on her arm on their first state visit to the U.S. for St. Patrick's Day. That bag is now in the National Museum of Ireland.

Inside Maria's bag was the original tag.  Maria's bag  cost £5. 15s first day.

In the bag Maria also found a ticket for the viewing gallery at The Empire State Building. So Maria's bag had a trip stateside too.

Above is a photograph of the christening dress Maria's mother, the very talented Betty Stack, made for her children. She permitted Maria to use it to make her hat for Vintage Day. Maria knew that the treasured christening robe was a family heirloom. She used all her millinery skills to create the chapeau without ever taking a scissors to her mother's creation.

That's Betty on the right of her great friend, Nora Sheahan.

Norella Moriarty was in her going away outfit, set off by her great grandmother’s silver brooch. Her uncle posted it to her in an envelope to wear at her wedding in America.

Helen Carmody wore her wedding suit. She looked stunning.

 Other outfits were sourced from vintage shops and relative's wardrobes.

Many of the contestants were attired in such timeless style that they could have entered the best dressed lady competition of the day before and outshone many of the very expensive ensembles on parade.
Deirdre O'Sullivan's orange and black outfit was a typical classic.

Stylish Eilish described her fetching ensemble as last minute dot com. Her first choice failed to work out, so she begged, borrowed but didn't steal to put this yellow and black stunner together.

Miriam O'Connor dyed her hair a vintage shade of grey to set off her eye catching style.

Niamh Kenny was resplendent in a timelessly elegant outfit  Her coat she picked up in a shop in Cork and her gorgeous shoes and bag were once worn by her mother.

Imelda Murphy was beautifully turned out. She couldn't enter the competition as she was involved in organising it.

The entrants on stage.

Tomorrow I will tell you about the winner and the runner up.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Listowel, Ireland's Tidiest Small Town 2016

We did it

Listowel was once again crowned as Ireland's tidiest small town at The Tidy Town's ceremony in The Helix in Dublin on September 26 2016. This is a huge achievement for the local Tidy Towns Committee. It is also a huge achievement for all of us who live and work here.

Today we are all bursting with pride in Listowel. Well done us.

Best Dressed Man at Listowel Races 2016, Gogglebox and a new boutique on Market St.

Two Famous Listowel Men

Billy Keane and Junior Griffin photographed by Mary McGrath at a surprise birthday party organised by his friends in badminton in John B. Keanes on Friday September 23 2016


Best Dressed Man Competition 2016

The ladies on the left were the judges of the best dressed man at Listowel Races 2016.  Above they are recruiting a local finalist for their competition.

These are some of the finalists with the judges.

Winner all right!

Will you look at how easy it is for the men. They can rock up in fine comfortable brogues and still win. The unstated dress code for the ladies includes vertiginous heels.


Wednesday's and Thursday's Racegoers

The Best Dressed Man competition took place on Thursday. Here are a few more people who were on The Island on Wednesday or Thursday, enjoying a great day's racing.


Meanwhile some people had to work

The couple on the left of this picture came all the way from the U.S. to watch their horse run in Listowel. He obliged; He won.


Cavan Twins Replace O'Donovans as the Nation's favourite Brothers

I read this story on and the photo is from there too. Apparently the story goes that there is now a programmme on TV3 in which we are expected to watch people watching television. These farmers, who are twins and live in Cavan, are the stars.

Part of the irony is that they don't actually like television so they are eloquently dismissive of the programmes they are watching.


Market Street


Golfer, Rory McIlroy with Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill. Arnold Palmer, the king of the game passed away recently.

Rory posted this photo on his Twitter feed.