Thursday, 21 August 2014

65,000 Irish Horses, Blasket exhibition and another postbox

Ballybunion…a fisherman's view

(Mike Enright)


War Horses

This beautiful horse is my niece's eventing horse. He is a far cry from the horses we heard about in a brilliant documentary on Radio 1 on Sunday night, August 17 2014.  I'd advise anyone with even a passing interest in horses to listen back.

At the outbreak of The Great War in 1914, there was a pressing need for lots and lots of horses in double quick time. They were used for bringing munitions to the front, for bringing supplies to the troops, for pulling ambulance carts and, of course, in the heat of combat when they were expected to ride into the thick of battle where so many of them lost their lives.

We must remember that Ireland then was a 32 county island under British rule so it was only to be expected that the men tasked with finding these horses would look to our equine stock.

These poor horses were ill prepared for the ordeal ahead. The conditions they endured and their terrible fate is graphically described in the radio documentary.


Some photos from Sunday in Tralee Town Park

Garda Helicopter

Richie Kavanagh

Kerry School of Music


Elizabethan Post Box in Killarney

This box was made by W. and T. Allen and Co. of London.


Exhibition of photographs of Blasket Island people

This exhibition of extraordinary photos of islanders is currently on show in St. John's. The photos show a way of life that was at once romantic and cruelly spartan. Blasket islanders were fairly self sufficient. They were ruled by their own king, they spoke their own language, had their own distinctive style of dress and lived life close to Nature, dragging a subsistence living from the sea and the rocky landscape.

Liadh Ní Riada officially opened the exhibition and she and the MC for the night, Gabriel Fitzmaurice spoke eloquently in both Irish and English of their love for the islands and the body of literature that emerged from writers born on The Blaskets.

Below are a few photographs from the official opening

Liadh Ní Riada M.E.P.

Micheál ÓMórdha of Ionad Oidhreachta an Blascaoid presenting copies of the book of photos to Liadh, Gabriel and Joe Murphy


Good News for North Kerry Genealogists

A wonderful record of longevity was celebrated in Tarbert on Sunday last, when the congregation and a large gathering commemorated the bi-centenary of Kilnaughtin 1814-2014.   To mark this event, the Tarbert Historical and Heritage Society launched an impressive book ‘200 Years of Change’.    For anyone interested in the history/genealogy of the North Kerry area, the book is a must.
The contributors to the book were able to draw from the Vestry Minutes Book 1778 – 1834, valuable primary sources.  There are 254 pages of local history, including stories of bygone farming practices, and excerpts from the 1938 Schools Folklore Essays, submitted at that time by pupils of Kilnaughtin National School.

For myself, the fascination of reading the entire Register of Baptisms 1793-1914, clearly printed,  no scowling through  a magnifying glass trying to decipher long faded entries, was a revelation.  The lists include the date of Baptism, Christian Names, Parents Names and Place of Abode.  

This is the first paragraph of a great article on Kilnaughtin Parish records from Kay Caball's Find my Kerry Ancestors.  Read the rest of the article at

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

100 Tommies, School around the Corner 2014, Footprints and some lovely ladies

Doomed Youth

100 photographs of Tommies before they went over the top at the Somme are HERE
The British Independent is trying to identify them.

The title Tommy for British soldiers came about because the sample enlisting form was filled out in the name of Tommy Atkins


The School around the corner's not quite the same


‘The school around the corner’s just the same,
The school where we were taught to use our brain,
Where is Dublin on the map?
Put your hand out for a slap,
Oh, the school around the corner’s just the same.’

In January 1964 Paddy Crosbie arrived in Abbeyfeale to record an episode of ‘The school around the corner’. Sheila Prendeville, St Ita’s Terrace performed a Skipping Rope Dance and received a prize of a school bag. She has the bag to this day and uses it to store all the important documents she has accumulated over all the years since. On Saturday night, August 30 we are going to recreate ‘ The School around the Corner’ at Fr. Casey’s GAA Clubhouse, follow it with a school sports day, enjoy a visit from the Fit Ups and finish the night with a school Hop to music by DJ Jeremiah Roche. Light refreshments served so no need to bring lunch. School uniforms optional. Reverend Mother armed with her measuring tape will be at the door checking that pinafores are a suitable length. There will be a prize for the student – male or female - with the hairiest legs, the student who brings teacher the blackest driest sod of turf, brown hairy sods will lead to a spell in the Bold Corner, the student who can recite the 12 tables and much more. Admission €10.


Well protected grave

This photograph of a grave in Ballyphehane in Cork appeared on The Apparently this measure was taken to deter bodysnatchers.


A Corner of Town Now and Then

(photo: Footprints on Facebook)

This premises was a bakery run by the Kerins family, then by John Cahill (father of Siobhan, who played the grandmother in the original version of Sive, Maurice (R.I.P.) who was married to Peggy Devereux, Cahirdown, and John, who played the part of Carthalan in the play and is still hale and hearty, living in Cork with his lovely wife Mary (JD) O Mahoney.

After the Cahills it was run by the Beechinor family as a fruit and veg. shop.Then it was bought by John Scanlon (Ballybunion) who ran it as a restaurant called The Spinning Wheel. Now it is a shoeshop, Footprints. 

(Information from Vincent Carmody via the internet)


Looking Lovely

These lovely ladies are Deirdre, Aoife and Eileen Kelliher. I took the photo shortly before Aoife set off on an adventure to Dubai. I predict that she'll be back next year as the Dubai Rose.


Michael Kelliher, Artist

If you are in town with a few minutes to spare do drop in to the Seanchaí to see Michael's exhibition. He has some lovely copper work in the style of the late Tony O'Callaghan. Most of these are sold but they are worth viewing while you can. It  is lovely to see a talented local artist exhibiting his work in his native town.


Ruby, don't take your love to town

Tracy is holding on tightly to the returned Ruby and pugs. Good police work by the local Gardaí and masses of support from the public saw all of the dogs happily returned to Kennedy's Pet Farm. The birds are still missing.
 The family who run this tourist venture are absolutely thrilled to have their animals back. This is not just a business for Kennedys. Their animals all have names and personalities and are treated as part of the family. The family have all received a great lesson in how much they are loved and appreciated by all who know them and who visit the farm. We are all delighted at the happy outcome.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

A Stack with a Listowel connection and a mural

Fr. Michael J,. Stack and his brother Bob Stack from Listowel, pictured in Dublin in 1940. (photo from the internet site Man on the Bridge) Fr. Stack was later parish priest of Ballydonoghue.


Jack Maguire and his wife Margaret (nee Hughes) 1940 in Dublin



Daniel O'Donnell and Dolores Keane phtographed in Killarney recently  (photo from Daniel's Facebook page)

Honor Heffernan before her recent concert in St. John's


McKenna Stack Listowel connection

Recently among the claims for compensation that I included in the blog there was an account of Jack McKenna and the losses he suffered during the Troubles.
Across the seas in South Carolina a regular blog follower read this item with interest and this is the email she wrote;

"I thank you so for your newsy notes and photos.  John Mckenna of Market St is an ancestor of mine though my Great great grandfather Edmund Mckenna and Ellen Stack.  I have been in contact with his daughter in law Susan Mckenna and her husband Jack, through written letters in the past year.
Each morning I look forward to opening up your email with a "cuppa" coffee and smile as I read and view your postings.
Sheila Ryan Falkowski
South Carolina"

I replied to Sheila. The gist of my email,  "Tell me more"

Sheila's reply;

"Miss Mary, I am only too pleased to share anything with you.  I am 73 and have been doing my Ancestry for about 2 years. I am 100% Irish as I had DNA done also.  All my dads family came from Waterford (the Walls) and Wexford, (the Doyles) and Nenagh, Tipperary, (the Ryans and Guilfoyles).
My moms side are the Mckennas, Stacks, and a Jane Ffoulkes, (I guess originally from a place called Thurles? evenutally to Kerry- my Edmund Mckenna( B: abt 1802, married an Ellen Stack , birthed abt 9 or 10
children of which I have 8 baptismal records, one of their daughters, Bridget Ellen born abt 1840, came to the USA about 1852, lived in Macon, Georgia during Civil War-married a Philip William Flood in 1860 in Macon.  He came from Cty Cavan and was a mason, served for the South during the Civil War-  they moved to Manhattan, NY in 1868 and had 11 children, 8 of which survived.
Ellen Stack was my great great grandmother on my moms side and her name is listed as Ellen Stack on my great grandmothers death cert from New York City in 1926.  I just can't seem to find Ellen Stacks fathers name, but suspect it is perhaps Maurice as Maurice is a name featured several times starting with a son of Ellen Stack and Edmund Mckenna.  I am surely aware of the Irish naming patterns.  Oh the mysteries of life as we search for our dearly departed and ponder their trials and tribulations and imagine their clothing and daily lives.
Every time I see "Listowel connection"  a little butterfly flutters in my "tum" and what a lovely start to my day!
I am more than happy to extend an email invitation to my Ancestry trees as they are public, but will only do so if you are interested.  And I shall continue to comment if you don't mind.  I do hope Jack and Susan are faring alright-they are of an advanced age however very strong and of good health.
Sheila Mary"

Unusual image from WW1

photo from Limerick 1914 on Twitter

"A German messenger dog races to the rear to deliver a message." (c. 1916)


Listowel Mural

Work is underway on this mural at the side of Existance Youth Café


Rose of Tralee sculpture

(photo: Official Rose of Tralee twitter feed)

Some Roses take a photo of escorts at the new sculpture on a roundabout just outside Talee

Monday, 18 August 2014

WW1, Kilflynn and St. Mary's Listowel 2014

A Picture paints a thousand words

Ronan McGreevey snapped this during yesterday's game.


One of the fallen

Rank: Private. Regiment or Service: Irish Guards. Unit: 2nd Battalion.
Age at death: 22. Date of Death: 17-March-1917. Service No: 7579.
Supplementary information: Son of Bridget Barry, of Knockanune, Newtownsandes, Co. Kerry. Grave or Memorial Reference: V. H. 6. Born in Listowel, County Kerry.
Enlisted in Listowel, County Kerry. Killed in Action. Cemetery: Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery in France.


That was then; This is now


MacMahon House 



Kilflynn IRA

Kilflynn IRA
1922 Flying IRA Column

Front (L to r); Terry Brosnan, Lixnaw, John McElligott, Leam, Kilflynn, Danny O'Shea, Kilflynn, Timothy Lyons (Aero) , Garrynagore, Tim Sheehy, Lyre, Pete Sullivan, Ballyduff, Paddy Mahony, Ballyegan, Battalion O.C.

Back (L to r); Denis O'Connell, Lixnaw, Stephen Fuller, Kilflynn, William Hartnett, Mountcoal, Tim Twomey, Kilflynn.


St. Mary's Parish Church, Listowel August 2014

St. Mary's Parish Church, Listowel is an absolutely beautiful church with very striking mosaic work in the sanctuary and some beautiful stained glass windows. The recent work on the floor has enhanced it even further. In my opinion, our church is now a new visitor attraction and worthy of asking tourists to make a detour to visit. It is, of course, primarily a place of worship and in that regard is a peaceful and prayerful place.

This is the piece of tile work that marks the recent refurbishment of our local parish church.

Just a bit of work remaining to be done in the adoration chapel.

section of  tiling

I was thrilled to see this. Wheelchair users are welcomed with their own designated places, centralized in the congregation. Well done to whoever is responsible for this.

border by the wall

entrance to the reconciliation room

The sanctuary with new ramp

Beautiful work of integrating the new ramp

Detail on the tomb in front of the altar

beautiful old mosaic tiling


door handle

centre aisle


This is an old very poor quality picture of the men who worked on the last refurbrishment.


Words fail me!

An internet picture of Rory McIlroy with the claret jug at Old Trafford. A word in your ear, Rory …If this outfit was chosen by a stylist, sack him. If you chose it yourself, get a stylist.



This is Ruby. She is 12 years old and useless for breeding purposes. She is dearly loved by everyone in Kennedy's Pet Farm. She and several other more valuable animals and birds were stolen from the farm on Friday night last.  Ruby may be dumped when the thieves realize that she has no sale value. If you see her, please contact the Gardaí or the heart broken family in Kennedy's Pet Farm.