Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Pig Market

Pigs are becoming a bit of a theme this week. 
The delightful caption on this post card reads, "Argy strikes a bargain."
 Obviously there was a thriving pig business in Listowel one time, such that warranted a market all to itself.

When I looked for information on the internet about the pig market in Listowel, this is what I  found.

The date on this one 1906

I found this following also

"Ballyhooly House (The Mansion) was built in 1871 by the dowager Countess of Listowel. At one time a Pig market was held every Monday and a Butter market every Tuesday in the village."

Ballyhooley is a town Near Fermoy in Co. Cork. The population was 533 in 1837, 149 in 1893 and 186 in 1905 and there were 4 public houses. The village as it stands was built by the Earl of Listowel in the year 1830. Visit the village of Ballyhooly by crossing the bridge and turning left at the 'T' junction. On entering the village, at the left, is a picnic area and a uniquely designed Ballyhooly area map.
Ballyhooly Castle is situated in a picturesque setting overlooking the bridge on the Blackwater.
The tower house is in a good condition, having been renovated by the Countess of Listowel in 1864, but all that remains of the surrounding enclosure is a turret and section of wall.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Mr. T. Gibson, Bridget's pigs and a 2012 calendar

From The Kerry Sentinel Feb 1827

The Recent Illness of Mr T Gibson, Listowel.



   After an absence of five months in the metropolis, through illness, Mr Thomas Gibson has returned to his splendid and well-known establishment and home in Listowel fully, we are glad to say, recovered to health and vigour. Mr Gibson was, needles to say, in the hands of the best members of the medical faculty in Dublin, including his own talented and able son, the distinguished master of the Coombe Hospital, and as a result of this, of course, considerably aided by his own magnificent constitution, we have once more amongst us one of Listowel's most popular and genial citizens.

Does anyone know anything about this man or his distinguished family?
It sounds like he was one of the movers and shakers of Listowel in his day.

Radio Kerry carried a story yesterday telling us that there is a steep decline in the numbers of farmers in Kerry. This is my excuse for including this fabulous photo. The picture was taken by a friend whose family are involved in farming. Aren't these handsome specimens  a sight to behold!

Speaking of photos,

 North Kerry and District Photographic Society have a lovely calendar for sale. It features beautiful images from around North Kerry, taken by the club members and a competition with the prize of a portrait session with one of the club's photographers. The calendar is available from club members and is a snip at €3.

Don't forget NKRO meeting tomorrow night at 7.30 in the Seanchaí. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Windle family

James Windle

has contacted us with his family tree. Sorry, James, I couldn't insert it as a tree. You can see the names and if anyone has any stories or connections to this tree, you can contact James directly. Some of the names got a bit mashed in transferring it from the tree but if anyone contacts me directly I will forward the tree.

Descendants of Unknown Windle

Helen McCarthy
James Fitzgerald Windle 1832 - 1889
Unknown Windle
James McCarthy Windle
Unknown Fitzgerald
Mary Raphael McGuire 1879 - 1959
Kathleen Margaret Waldron 1914 - 1980
Natalia Y. Pietrzyk 1980 -
John Windle 1801 - 1865
Lilian Mary Josephine Windle 1872 -
Thomas McCarthy Helena Jane Windle Windle 1859 - 1918 1865 -
Clare Maria Fitzgerald Windle 1974 -
Freya Maria Fitzgerald Milner 1998 -
Alice Mary Windle 1866 -
James Patrick Fitzgerald Windle 1947 -
David James Milner 1961 -
Daniel James Fitzgerald Milner 2001 -
Ellen Frances Windle 1867 -
Henrietta vandenBerg 1947 -
Margaret Windle 1870 - 1941
James Fitzgerald Windle 1870 - 1914
John Fitzgerald Windle 1862 - 1887
Gerald Edward Fitzgerald Windle 1910 - 1965
Henry Miller Nevin
Helen Margaret Mary Windle 1908 - 1978
William Herbert Gatfield 1895 - 1966
Brian Richard Nevin Gatfield 1937 -
Francis Gerald Fitzgerald Windle 1949 -
Mary Daly 1952 -
Thomas M. Windle 1950 -
Rose 1953 -
Victoria K. Windle 1976 -
David Duncan Illtyd Jenkins 1970 -
Robert A. Windle 1977 -
Luke Gerald Fitzgerald Windle 1980 -
Quinlan John Fitzgerald Windle 1987 -
Dominic E. Windle 1988 -
LaurCenatChyelAesmteyFFitiztzggeeraraldld WiWndilnedle
1981898-6 -
Emma Jane Fitzgerald Milner 1997 -
Natasha Anne Fitzgerald Milner 2004 -
Luke Geraint Fabian Jenkins 2011 -

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Clounmacon in 1954

A blast from the past for you this fine morning.

This is another photo from Jer Kennelly's collection.  The only caption is Clounmacon 1954. Who are all of these fine young men, and what did they win?

I trust that some of my readers will help identify them.

I'll leave you with this thought for the day that's in it.

 Just for today I will not worry
Just for today I will not anger
Today I will do my work honestly
Today I will give thanks for my many blessings
Today I will be kind to all living things

Not a religious tract, these are the 5 principles of Reiki.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Travels with my camera

Today I went into town. As usual I had my camera with me.

On Market Street corner I encountered this street musician entertaining the passers by.

On Church Street I had a huge surprise when I met an old friend and her new husband.

This is Lisa Brake and her husband Matt. Lisa came to Listowel from Georgia in the U.S. many moons ago as a newly qualified teacher. She taught English to the girls at Pres. Listowel where she was very popular. She fell in love with Ireland, even though she had no Irish connection before she came. She comes back regularly to visit North Kerry. She usually stays with her good friend, Johnny, in Ballylongford.

Lisa now teaches in a virtual high school. She would love to come and live in Ireland for a few years before she settles down back home.

Lisa and Matt are celebrating their first wedding anniversary in Kerry so if you see them on the street be sure to say Hi.

Till bells ring....

This is Betty McGrath's window; the first Christmas window I spotted in Listowel. Since then I've seen lots of festive displays in town.

Today is Black Friday, the day when our stateside friends go on a mad spending splurge. Thanks to the internet we can all get in on the act with lots of online stores offering bargains for one day only.

BUT this year Listowel traders want everyone to make a special effort to spend our money locally. We are not going to have Black Friday, we are going to have Liveline inspired Fiver Friday. Starting next week, look out for €5 promotional deals in lots of local shops.

Shops will open on Sunday afternoons from now until Christmas.
Local independent traders will sell vouchers which will be valid for  one year. These will be a kind of local currency to be spend with any of the participating traders.

All the bumph about this and other great offers is available here

Now, after the ad break, the address of our website, as promised. Niall of  RPM has been working through the night to get everything ship shape and Bristol fashion for our debut.
Here it is  

With help from our friends we will be adding  to the content as time goes on.

Lastly; don't forget tonight is trad. night in The Swanky Bar, Tarbert

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Today for our  US friends is all about family.

I made the mistake, a few years back of giving a visiting U.S. friend a gift on Thanksgiving. It's not about presents, it's about presence. So to all our stateside friends who can't make it home, enjoy your meal and your day off and may you soon be reunited with your family.

For the day that's in it I have a story about a family divided by emigration and now reunited by the internet.

I'm printing in its entirety the letter sent by Jim Horgan. Unfortunately the photos do not seem to be with it.

Mary, hope all is well in North Kerry.  I have put together a little of the story of my mother’s paternal side of the family tree, if anyone is interested.  I am also adding a few photos.

Thomas Sheehan was born in Direen, Kerry on 23/12/1860 the son of John Sheen of Inchaleen and Julia Murphy of Claramore.  Thomas married Margaret White (1857-1891) daughter of Edward White and Johanna Connor of Clahaneelesh, Kerry.
Thomas and Margaret married 18-February 1879 in Ballyheigue.  They had 7 children:

Bridget (1880-1952) – Married William Stack (1885-?) and had 5 children.
John Joseph (1881-1965) – Married Catherine Shine of Gurtomashilihy, Moyvane and had 1 child (my mother, Helen)
Edward (1882-?)
Anna (1885-1967) – Married Daniel Werner and had no children
Mary (1888-1977) – never married
Thomas (1889-?) -
Michael Edward (1891-1939) – married Ellen Duffy and had 4 children.

Margaret died 4 months after the birth of Michael, and Thomas brought all of the children to America, arriving in Philadelphia 13 August, 1891.  He brought the children to his wife’s mother, Johanna White, who had emigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1880.  The story goes that Thomas went west to find work and was never heard from again.  The children were raised by their grandmother, who was a shop keeper.

The descendants of Thomas and Margaret number over 100 that I know of now spread all over America.  There are doctors, lawyers, nurses, and business people among the descendants – all of whom can trace their Kerry roots to the tragic event in 1891 when Margaret died at an early age.

The third picture is of my grandfather’s black thorn walking stick.  It is hanging on the wall in my home in Atlanta.  I remember receiving a few wallops with it when I was young!

I will work on the other grandparents and their stories to share with you as I can.

Finally here is a link dedicated to Neal Shine.  He was the son of my grandmother’s brother Patrick from Gurtomashilihy.

All the best, Jim

Thank you, Jim and well done on all the research.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Are we there yet?

The answer is No, I'm afraid.

Here we are; your eager NKRO webteam, beavering away into the small hours to bring you the promised website. It's taking a little longer than we anticipated but we are hopeful that it will be ready for unveiling next week.

In the meantime here is a bit of local news

This is the local knitting group who knit and natter every Saturday from 11.00 to 1.00p.m. in Scribes.
New members are always welcome.

Don't forget Friday night in The Swanky Bar, Tarbert.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Local heroes, collectors and sharers of our heritage

Doesn't this photo take you back? I have no idea where it was taken. The picture is part of a huge collection of  memorabilia amassed by local historian, Jer Kennelly of Knockanure.

Jer has done us all a service in collecting materials over the years. Much of this archive stuff would have been lost were it not for collectors like Jer and Vincent. Now Jer is making his photos available to us in NKRO. We are really excited about sharing them with a huge audience. Thank you, Jer.

Another woman with an appreciation of the value to us all of collecting old photographs is Nancy McAuliffe and she has just brought out a magnificent book of photographs of Ballylongford. She has a huge number of quality pictures and, better still, she has told us who they all are.

Tonight the NKRO website will be going live. It's just at the beginning stage but we are hoping that you will all help us is collecting and sharing a photographic, audio and video treasure trove. I'll tell you the link tomorrow.

Our NKRO postcards are available now in shops and credit unions. We want people to send them to the diaspora to make them aware of us and hopefully to encourage them to share their photographs and stories with us. When our website is up and running, my friend Maria Leahy, another adopted daughter of Listowel, will blog about North Kerry. So we hope to bring you news of Listowel and the whole of North Kerry on a regular basis.  Exciting times indeed!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Altar boys identified

Here they are again. There has been great interest in these likely lads with several people, some of them in the photo, giving me the names. Éamon ÓMurchú was the first to put the names in print so he gets the credit.
And they are...
Paddy Keane, Joe Walsh,  Martin Sheehy,  Breandán Ó Murchú,  Caoimhín Ó Murchú,  Ciarán Ó Murchú,  Éamon Ó Murchú, Tom Walsh, Brendan Dalton, Brian Dalton, Cyril Kelly and John Keane.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh to all who offered to name the boys and who showed so much interest in this old photo.

The man who sent me the photo was John Sheehy R.I.P., a man whom I think of often when I am posting here. He would have loved this so much. May the sod rest lightly on his gentle soul.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Something light for the weekend

What da...? as the young people would say?  
It's abviously aimed at that small section of the market who can only afford to ride a bike but would love to ride a horse.

Next Friday night November 25 is NKRO's next Irish trad. night in The Swanky Bar in Tarbert. It promises to be a good one.
Look out for beautiful postcards of North Kerry which will be available in time for Christmas. The postcards contain the contact details of NKRO and the plan is that local people will send them abroad with their Christmas greeting to let North Kerry people everywhere know of the existence of  North Kerry Reaching Out.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Something old, something new....

A group of saintly Listowel altar boys from yesteryear,
Has anyone any idea who these people are?

Today is market day in town

 I'll leave you with a few good news stories:

Congratultions to local girl, Eabhnait Scanlon of St. Josephs basketball club Duagh, who has been awarded a s sports cholarship to NUI Galway.

St. Josephs basketballers

 Following is a quote from the Kerry Community Games AGM
"Next weekend the National area awards will take place in Ballinasloe and Kerry have three representatives going forward. Listowel are nominated for the best area having continuously been the top area at Kerry Community Games for a number of years."
Well done everyone! Take a well deserved bow!

Tonight promises to be a good night in The Seanchaí as Dan Keane launches his new book of limericks. Dan is a credit to North Kerry and a national treasure.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Staff of St. Michael's College, Listowel 1979

Tempus fugit.  This is the teaching staff of "The College" in its centenary year.
May the lord have mercy on the souls of the three who have gone to their eternal reward.
Most of the others are now retired.
Only 2 of the people pictured are still working in education.

Memories, memories!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Listowel Through a Lens at a bargain price

Recently, Ger Greaney, our chairperson in NKRO took a trip with his family to The Big Apple. While there he visited the New York City Library and, just for curiosity,  he looked up what books they have about Listowel, Co. Kerry. They have two. One is Fr. Anthony Gaughan's Listowel and its Vicinity, a second edition of which sold recently at auction for €400 and the other was ...
Listowel Through a Lens.

Apart from bragging, why am I telling you this?

Because I, Mary Cogan, publisher of this book, am making the last remaining copies of it available at €5 each, while stocks last. If I have to post it to you, the bad news is that you will have to cover that cost, which, unfortunately will be more than the cost of the book.

For those of you not familiar with the book, it is a book of photographs of Listowel during the Celtic Tiger years. Much has changed since I took the photos between 2000 and 2009. The book records a prosperous and dynamic time in the history of Listowel.

Below are a few of the many photographs

A Corpus Christi procession with Fr. Donal O'Connor.

Joe Stack of RTE shares a joke with his former teacher, Eleanor Scanlon who, I am sad to say, passed away earlier this year.

A group of Ashes old boys who togged out for a victorious trip down memory lane.

The late great Michael Dowling, in the role of St. Patrick, a role he did so well, leads Listowel Emmets down Courthouse Rd.

Local historian and businessman, Jack McKenna, leads locals and visitors on a walking tour of the town during Writers' Week.

You can contact me at if you would like a copy. 
Why not bag a collector's item for the grandchildren!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

A Dragon, an ambassadorial palace and a closed newsagents

I did it. I visited Manctuary, home of the dragon.

I met Virginia and explained to her how, unknown to himself, Manny had gained an internet following. She introduced me to himself. He is a beautiful speciman. Manny likes to admire himself. Virginia held up the mirror for him and he perked up and posed for the camera.

He pushed out his lovely spikes and fixed me with his dragon's eye.

I was delighted to make Manny's acquaintance. I hope you will fall in love with him too.
He loves his peace though and he has posted a handwritten sign on his cage calling for respect for his need for rest and undisturbed relaxation.

Now for  the story I referred to earlier of the Canadian embassy. With all my cutting and pasting I have lost the name of the letter writer but it was someone who had just visited the newly refurbrished Irish ambassador’s residence in Ottowa. She was overawed by the luxury, scope and lavish décor of the palatial building and horrified at the thought of what it must have cost the Irish taxpayer in these straightened economic times.

Here are a few snippets from the letter.
The residence is located at 291 Park Road, Rockcliff.
The recent refurbrishment cost the Irish taxpayer $6.75 million.
It is “stunningly beautiful”.
The magnificent artworks and furnishings were all shipped in from Ireland.
The dining room has 20 oak chairs with intricately inlaid bog oak.
It also has 3 large Waterford chandeliers.
The house has 15 chandeliers in all.
At 24,000 sq. ft. our embassy is TWICE the size of the Canadian prime minister’s official residence.
Our ambassador is Ray Bassett. He is not the one responsible for the grandeur of the place.

This story has no Listowel connection. I just read it on Sunday and thought I would share it.  Maybe Bernard or any Canadian who is reading this would call in and take a few pics for us.

And finally, while I was out with my camera I took this.

Sign of the times!! Sad, sad! !