Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Michael Kennelly in The Alps, Fr. Charles Troy and some names from 1955

As it is now; As it was then


From Michael Kennelly's Scrapbook

Michael describes the dwelling in this picture a his digs.

On this holiday in The Alps it would appear that Michael was a kind of one man tourism ambassador. He distributed An Tostal literature everywhere he went and he organized for a troop of scouts to visit Listowel.

An Tóstal (Irish pronunciation: [ən̪ˠ ˈt̪ˠoːst̪ˠal̪ˠ], meaning "The Pageant") was the name for a series of festivals held in Ireland in the 20th Century. Inaugurated in 1953 as a celebration of Irish life, it continued on until 1958 when it died out in most centres except Drumshanbo.
The original purpose of the festival was a celebration of Irish culture, with an emphasis upon drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. It was marked by a series of regional parades, arts and sporting events. Many towns began a clean-up plan, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards, which is running still in Ireland. In 1953, a set of commemorative stamps designed by Limerick artist Fergus O'Ryan, were issued by the Irish Post Office.
Chess Competitions were held as part of An Tóstal by the Irish Chess Union from 1954 to 1957.[1]
Drumshanbo in County Leitrim have the distinction of being the only place that An Tóstal has continued to run every year since 1953.  (Source; Wikipaedia)


Fr. Troy of Listowel

Capuchin Annuals of early 1930s had articles by Fr M C Troy, MA, CC of St Michan's, Halston Street, Dublin. Fr. Troy was born in Listowel.

Monsignor Charles Troy K.C.H.S. Parish priest, ordained 1921, he was the last surviving of five priests in his family. He also had a sister a nun in the Mercy Order in Illinois. In his obituary in Sunday Independent of November 12th 1972 it is stated that  he played with Athea alongside Fr. Mullane and Fr. Leahy and in 1919 they won the West Limerick title. Charles Troy helped Kerry to the final, but did not get an All Ireland  medal, because he entered the seminary before the final. He played with Con Brosnan.

Ballyfermot GAA Club De La Salle, organised in 1953 as Ballyfermot Gaels. They trained and played junior fixtures at the facilities located behind the De La Salle Primary Schools on Ballyfermot Road. The club plays in the Kerry colours as a tribute to the first parish priest, Kerryman Charles Canon Troy who sponsored the club.

Ballyfermot Gaels hurling tem togged out in green and gold.

In  1962 Canon Troy presented the cup for the best Ballyfermot graden.

De la Salle schoolboys with Canon Troy


Eurovision winners

RTE has announced that, this year, they will go back to the old format. Anyone can submit a song. The recent format of selecting mentors and allowing them to choose a song and a singer clearly has not worked. It also fueled accusations of cliquishness in RTE with the same names and  the same faces appearing year after year.


Scout Reunion names

Trish Tatten recognised her late dad and John Cahill did his best to remember some memory.

John Cahill's best guess:
 BACK ROW:  Nial Stack, Dermot Tattan, Michael Kennelly,,  ? White   -?.Johnny Fitzmaurice?

Front Row.  John Cahill,  Donie Hartnett,  Dan Guerin, William (Curly) Keane Stack, Justin Stack, Dick Flaherty. 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Autumn in the Cows' Lawn, Then and Now and Listowel people in Lough Derg in 1954

The Trees are in their autumn beauty.
The woodland paths are dry."

All photos taken in the Town Park, Listowel in October 2014.


Time and tide wait for no man

Is there a message for our times in the replacement of a bank by a betting shop?


Another look inside Michael Kennelly's album 

Michael's caption on this group of photographs is  "Lough Derg Trip 1954".


Listowel Properties getting a facelift


Allied Irish Bank


Listowel Girls Night Out 2007

(photo credit: Mike the Pies on Facebook)

Front: Marie Kelly, Jackie Roche, Aine Sloan, Eileen Roche

Back: Matilda Sweeney, Kitty Behan, Mary O Connor, Mag McDonagh, Hannah Sweeney, Phil O Connell, Dolores O Connor,Marilyn Kelly and Kay Downey

Friday, 17 October 2014

Scout Social 1955,Changes and a fly fishing enthusiast.

Scout Reunion Social 1955

This photo from Michael Kennelly's album is captioned ; Lake Hotel Killarney, January 3 1955

Michael knew them all so well he did not need to note the names. If someone looking at them can name even a few, I'd love to publish them.


The Changing Face of Listowel

Town end of Charles' Street in 2007

Town end of Charles' Street in 2014

Church St. 2005

Same corner of town, October 2014


Fly Fishing in North Kerry

Damien Willis wrote the following in his blog :


Twice each year I travel to a remote part of North Kerry to take some time out with some close friends and family. Fortunatley my 74 year old father Aiden was able to travel on this adventure. My angling companions on this occasion were Aiden Willis,Tom Wilson,Noel Fitzpatrick and Brendan O Sullivan. Warm sunshine and temperatures averaging 18C combined with early tides played to our advantage with a total of 21 sea bass and 36 Flounders in North Kerry.

Surf fishing is probably the easiest form of shore fishing – tarvelling light is the key which increases mobility and reduces minding from the flodding tide. As the trout season comes to a close my focus is turned to sea angling. For 37 years I have fished with my father Aiden around the coasts of Ireland. I am glad to say that my father whom is now in his seventies is still as active as ever, we continue to take time out togeather fishing in this part of Ireland.
Angling in North West Kerry is exceptional in that it contains something for everyone. To miles of sandy beaches with crashing surfs for the angler after Bass, to quite places like estuaries, piers, and cliffs that sink into deep water. This part of Ireland has treasures galore to suit all types of fishing, all year round, containing a variety of fish to match every taste and all within easy distance of each other.

It is prohibited to take and kill more than two bass on any one day. (Bye-law No.667)
The minimum overall size limit of 40cm. From tip of snout to end of tail. Closed season from 15th May to 15th June.


Images of Irish Fuel

1960s filling station

Taking turf to Tory Island


Sunset over The Black Rocks

photo by Ballybunion Angling and Coastal Views

Thursday, 16 October 2014

My holiday snaps!

This is Kevin O'Malley, the recently appointed  U.S. ambassador to Ireland.

What is his photograph doing introducing my holiday photos?
Simple! He comes from St. Louis, Missouri and that's where I went for my holidays this year.
That's the very tenuous Listowel connection.
There is another very tenuous connection you will see later on.
If you have no interest in learning about St. Louis, go on to reading your emails now, and I'll see you tomorrow.

 I had never been to the U.S. before September 2014. St. Louis might seem a strange location to choose. It is not exactly a holiday resort and not one that appears on The Bucket List too often. But it is a lovely place and it is where my lovely nephew, Philip, resides with his lovely American girlfriend., Anna.

One thing to remember when visiting St. Louis is that local people pronounce the final s. In fact they pronounce all their French place names (and they have many) as if they were English.

I am not going to bore you with all the details of my visit but I'll give you some highlights.

The reason for the plane photo is that my experience of air travel was a nightmare. I travelled with my sister in law on the day a poor tormented man chose to set himself alight in the air traffic control tower at O'Hare Airport. This was the hub through which we wished to travel on our journey from Shannon to St. Louis. All the air space around Chicago was closed for four hours with all the attendant delays and cancellations……..

Surprisingly, St. Louis has a chess quarter. It has the world's biggest chess piece, outdoor chess, indoor chess, chess lessons, chess tournaments and a chess Hall of Fame. You can take your photo with the giant "king" and post it on Facebook on a page called The King and I.
I didn't, because I'm not 18 and besides, I can't even play chess.

From everywhere in downtown St. Louis you can see their arch. It is a magnificent structure, about 50 times the size of Listowel's Millennium Arch. You can go up to the top in a glass viewing elevator. I didn't,  because the elevator was tiny and it was 32 degrees of heat. The climate in St. Louis is one of extremes. Temperatures in mid summer can get up to an unbearable 40 degrees.

At the right of this photo is the base of the arch.

The skyscrapers in the background give you an idea of the size of this magnificent engineering achievement.

 By the time I had finished reading the instructions for crossing the road, the lights had changed and I had to wait again. Traffic was very light in central St. Louis on a Saturday, but it pays to be careful.

St. Louis is 250 years old this year and to mark this milestone they have placed 250 birthday "cakes" around the city. They have customized each one to match the building or area outside which it stands. I photographed lots of them. I'm just giving you a flavor of the venture. Some schoolchildren have taken on a project for the year to photograph themselves with every one of of the cakes.
 The ultimate selfie challenge!

That's me above on a very warm day about to escape into the imposing public library of St. Louis.

I took this photo in a very stylish shop in a shopping mall policed by armed guards. The shops were stylish and expensive and the clientele mainly white.

St. Louis is a very racially divided city. Ferguson, of the recent infamy, is one of its suburbs.

These signs are all over The Metro. They are even more scary when it is pointed out that the key word is concealed. It is okay to carry a legally held weapon in plain view.

Anna, our lovely hostess and a native of St. Louis, teaches in one of the poorer neighborhoods. She drove us through some of these disadvantaged areas. We saw lots of boarded up houses and shops and everywhere signs of hardcore poverty.

Recently Anna set her class a task to write a poem modeled on George Ella Lyon's Where I'm From.

Here is what one of Anna's pupils wrote:
I’m from Divorces and Step Parents
From the oldest of 5 and only one blood sibling
I’m from a Paramedic and a nurse
An Architect and a poet
From a certified genius.
I'm from glorified opinions
From, “Shut up I’m playing the game!”
And from, “You may be older...but he’s taller.”
I’m from attempted rape and 1st degree depression
From self inflicted wounds and never ending nightmares.
I’m from the cliche boy jock and girl nerd relationship
From, “You may need an education, but you need to get sunlight too.”
From the people who will never understand…
But will always listen….


Not too far from the poorer areas is the breathtaking splendor of the Catholic basilica. Heating this nine stories tall vault of a place in Winter and cooling it in summer must cost what it would take to feed the poor of the nearby areas for a year.

Poor Box in the basilica

The basilica was built by an Irish born archbishop  of St. Louis, Fr. Glennon.
 Glennon was a controversial figure, very anti women and he promoted racial segregation in Catholic schools, even in the teeth of opposition from his own priests and from the Loreto order who ran the Catholic school.
Glennon was promoted to cardinal, aged 82, and, after some hesitation, decided to make the trip to Rome for his investiture in the winter of 1946. Since he was so near to his native Westmeath, he decided to make the trip home with his new cardinal's hat.  He was received by  President, Seán T. OCeallaigh and  Taoiseach, Éamon De Valera.
Unfortunately the trip was all too much for the elderly man. He got a flu and died. His body was brought back to St. Louis and he  is buried in the cathedral.

This building near where my nephew lives looks a bit like the U.S. embassy in Dublin. Could they have the same architect?

Everywhere preparations were going ahead for Halloween. I took the photos of the glass pumpkins and the real ones in the very beautiful Botanical Gardens in St. Louis.

This is a praying  mantis. This and the nighttime sound of the cicadas are strong symbols of St. louis for this visitor.

There is a fad in St. Louis for drinking out of jam jars.  When in Rome….

While I was in town I handed over a consignment of caps, knitted by the ladies of  Knitwits Listowel for the charity, Hats from the Heart.  In the picture with me is Sabrina Wagoner. Sabrina is the lab. manager in the laboratory at Washington University in St. Louis, where my nephew works. She is also  founder of the charity which provides knitted caps to children undergoing chemotherapy in hospitals in the St. Louis area. I was delighted to be part of this Listowel connection.

Farewell Philip and Anna. (I knitted the tea cozy and Philip's mom provided the mugs from home) 

After our trip to St. Louis, we moved on to Chicago where we spent three happy days exploring that city. 

Farewell, St. Louis, lest I never pass this way again.