Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Tuesday laugh; badminton and Fred Peard

 Do you recognize any of the signs in yourself?

Being Irish means.............

Describing someone with longstanding, persistent and untreated psychosis as "a character".

Saying "There's definitely no recession here!" every time you see more than ... 5 people in a pub

Saying "Ah but he's very good to his mother" about some utter lunatic

TK Red lemonade and white pudding. Not together of course

Your ma or da greeting you with the phrase "d'ya know who's dead?"

That mini heart attack you get if you go out and forget to turn off the immersion

You're not drinking??? Are you on antibiotics?

Wallpaper on your school books

Being Grand!!

Boil everything in a huge pot for 3 hours

Being absolutely terrified of a wooden spoon.

Learning a language for 12 years and not being fluent

Flat 7UP heals all illnesses

Calling Joe Duffy instead of the Guards


Very poignant picture of Ellis Island in 1912


This is Irish Olympic gymnast, Kieran Behan. Kieran failed to qualify for the final but his story so far is one of triumph over adversity.

The New York Times traced Behan’s inspirational story from his childhood up until today. Behan remembers first being enamored by gymnastics at the age of six while watching them on the Summer Olympic Games. At age 8, he began taking lessons and showed great promise as a tumbler.
However, at age 10, all that promise was seriously threatened when a benign tumor was found on Behan’s leg. During the surgery, Behan’s doctor left a tourniquet on too long and tied too tight, causing nerve damage in the aspiring gymnast’s left leg.
Coupled with the bleak outlook, Behan remembers cruel schoolchildren taunting him at the time.
“They’d say, ‘Oh, look at the cripple,’ and that was so hard for me because, already, I was doing gymnastics and I was short, and I was doing a girls’ sport,” said Behan.
“So a lot of times, I would sit at the kitchen window and watch all the kids running around the park and playing football, and I’d get pretty emotional. All I wanted to do was be an ordinary kid again.”
Despite all the adversity, Behan made an astounding comeback. Fifteen months after the botched surgery, Behan was getting back to normal.
However, only about 8 months after Behan was back in the swing of things at gymnastics, he encountered was has been described to be a “freak accident.”
Behan smacked the back of his head on the metal horizontal bar during a routine and tumbled to the ground in a lump, resulting in traumatic brain injury and severe damage to the vestibular canal of his inner ear.
The damage affected Behan so greatly that the slightest movement could trigger him to blackout, which he did perhaps thousands of times following the accident.
Behan’s mother Bernie Behan remembers her son struggling to turn his head, feed himself and walk without stumbling and looking as if he were dead drunk.


One olympic sport many Listowel people enjoy watching is badminton. Chloe Magee is through to the second round.
Traditionally badminton in Ireland was a "Protestant" game. Maybe it is because there were so many Church of Ireland families in Listowel that it really caught on here. In my time in town the continuance of badminton is down to two man; Junior Griffin and Roly Chute.

Junior tells this story of a Listowel connection with Irish badminton at the highest level going back a few years.
A family called Peard lived in the house on the right of St. Mary's in The Square. This is the house that was later demolished to extend the church. The Peard family lived in Listowel from 1932 to 1938 and were very involved with the local badminton club. Fred Peard went on to be one of Ireland's best players. In his book "Sixty Years of Irish Badminton" he alludes to his time in Listowel and to partners he remembers playing with. One of these was a Gus Stack who was his teacher in St. Michael's. Another was a Mrs. Macauley. Fred Peard went on to become M.D. of Guinness Ireland. He  still  maintains his interest in badminton.


Another poem from Kathleen Forrestal

Martin’s Daly's Cart

Our front door was open to one and all,

The other houses were the same.

Children played their games outside,
Cowboys and Indians,
Spinning a top.
Rolling a bicycle tyre,
Mammies and Daddies,
Sometimes we made mud pies,
Hide and seek,
Rough and tumble with the boys,
Waiting for the Martin's cart.

Martin drove a hay cart up along Charles Street,
Children jumped on it and dangled their feet.
At Dowd's crossing, we’d hear him yell “Whoa”!
We’d open the railway gates to allow him through.
Up the boreen past fields of hay,
On through the glaise to collect his load,
And back to the waiting children on the road.

Not much room left on the cart,
Boys hanging at the edges as cart jostled hedges.
And then we’d hear Martin roar,
“Clear off the cart or ye’ll come no more”.
I can hear you yet Martin Daly
On your horse and hay cart,
I can see you in my mind’s eye.


News is breaking this morning of the passing of the very popular writer, Maeve Binchy.
+ May she rest in peace +

Monday, 30 July 2012

Festivals galore, doggie loo and Petra Anderson

Next weekend everywhere you turn in North Kerry there will be a festival taking place. These are not rival festivals but all complementary, providing something for everyone. In short, North Kerrry is the very best place to be for the August bank holiday weekend because there is something on to suit every taste. You can learn about your Irish heritage, dance at the crossroads or take a walking tour of Listowel with the very knowledgable Vincent Carmody, you can visit local gardens and learn about flower arranging, you can give your dog a very enjoyable day out, you can visit a craft fair or dance to Declan Nerney all on next weekend in our very own backyard. Listowel will be THE place to be.


What in the name of all that's good and holy is this?
It's a doggy loo. I photographed one on the John B. Keane Rd. Your beloved pooch does his business, you scoop it up and deposit it in one of these dog toilets. I have heard no reports yet on the success or otherwise of this initiative. I hope these toilets will prove more popular than the one for humans in Market St.


This extraordinary story from last week's cinema shooting in Aurora is true.

Petra Anderson, violinist.

Petra Anderson

It seems as if the bullet travelled through Petra’s brain without hitting any significant brain areas. The doctor explains that Petra’s brain has had from birth a small “defect” in it. It is a tiny channel of fluid running through her skull, like a tiny vein through marble, or a small hole in an oak board, winding from front to rear.  Only a CAT scan would catch it, and Petra would have never noticed it.
But in Petra’s case, the shotgun buck shot, maybe even the size used for deer hunting enters her brain from the exact point of this defect. Like a marble through a small tube, the defect channels the bullet from Petra’s nose through her brain. It turns slightly several times, and comes to rest at the rear of her brain. And in the process, the bullet misses all the vital areas of the brain. In many ways, it almost misses the brain itself.  Like a giant BB though a straw created in Petra’s brain before she was born, it follows the route of the defect. It is channelled in the least harmful way.


Finally, a poem for Monday from Kathleen Forristal who wants to share some of her happy memories of growing up in Listowel.

Clean and Happy

Reflection’s of flames upon the stone floor.
Sound of fire, damper open, chimney roars.
Clock in centre of oven door tells no time.
Hand moves slowly round but never chimes.
Tin bath with handles propped between chairs,
Pots of hot water, kitchen fills with steamy air
Immersed in warm water I make a bubbly lather.
Wrapped in a warm sheet, vigorously dried from hair to feet.
Mother tells me the story of the little red hen.
Baby doll under my arm, innocent, sweet and warm.

Friday, 27 July 2012


I have been seeking out a Listowel connection with the Olympics. I do, myself have a very tenuous connection. My grandchildren's French first cousins have a first cousin named Fanny Bouvet who is a diver on the France's Olympic diving team.

This following was the nearest Listowel connection I could find with the 2012 games.
A North Kerry man, John Relihan, carried the Olympic torch through the London borough of Ealing.
As well as that, Duagh-born John Relihan  also had a walk-on part in Eastenders, as it had the torch run as part of its storyline.
John is already a star in his native Duagh. He works  as a Senior Sous Chef with Jamie Oliver in London.


1948 Olympics opening ceremony in London


Here is another note from one of my favorite sites for wasting time on; Lists of Note. This list is from Johnny Cash.


Robert Fister wrote to me from South Carolina. He intends visiting his ancestral home in North Kerry and he would like to make contact with any of his Walsh relatives beforehand.
This is what he wrote:

My Walsh family came from newtowne sandes, My great great grandfather John R Walsh was born abt 1811, his son my great grandfather was born abt 1834. they left ireland in or abt 1849 to come to the states. They came to Carlisle, Nicholas Co Kentucky, Patrick Married a Mary Stack who arrived on feb 27 1852 to new orleans and from there she came to the same town that the walsh men came to, I do not know the name of my great great grandmother, it could have been Catherine Mahony? I have not found any other familys looking for these people here in the states, I have been at this for several years. Thank you as maybe you can give me some advice as to Walsh familys in Moyvane as it is now called.

I notice that Robert has a Stack in is ancestry so he might join the clan for their reunion in 2013. More on that here;


Next Sunday is Reek Sunday when pilgrims traditionally climb Croagh Patrick. Long ago this penance was usually done barefoot. ( Photos by Kerry Climbing)

Since I prepared this post, Jer Kennelly sent me loads of information about North Kerry people who won Olympic medals. I'll post it early next week.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Tea cosies;ribbon dance; Harnett clan gathering

"They stretched in never ending line..." Montbrecia on the John B. Keane Road this week.

Take a look at this:


Mrs. Doyle is knitting tea cosies and selling them online.


Ribbon dance

This is a photograph of the famous ribbon dance that used to be rehearsed for days and performed on St. Patrick's Day by the girls from the convent primary school. My apologies to the ladies. I was given the names but I can't put my hands on them at the moment.


Here is the cast of Bawdy and Soul. This hilarious play with much audience participation entertained North Kerry for a winter a few years ago. Local people will recognize a few of the faces. The "play" was loosely based on the work of Brendan Kennelly. The central tableau was a very lively wake featuring a grieving singing widow and some performing mourners. A highlight for me was Mike Thornton's party piece, a hornpipe which made up in exuberance what it lacked in skill.


Waterford museum brought us this photo of Bobby Clancy, his wife Myra and brothers Tommy and Liam in Waterford in 1966.


Jer. Kennelly took this video of tree planting at the Harnett Clan Gathering in Abbeyfeale last weekend


Okay folks, the people in this picture are Bunny Dalton, Dr. Johnny and Vincent Walsh and Tim O'Sullivan.

Tony Dillon writes this of the man in front;

The man in front of Bunny Dalton and the Walshe brothers is, I believe, Joe Keogh of O'Connell's Avenue.
Low in stature - big heart!

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Lacrosse again and some O'Donoghues

Remember our silver medal winning lacrosse team? When I was alerted to the presence on the team of man with a strong Listowel connection, I set out to find out more about Colin O'Donoghue.
Through the internet I tracked down his father and he sent me some photos of Colin and the press release about the lacrosse team. What a pity we did not know about him before the European Championship. He could have had a whole new bunch of fans.

Press Release:

Colin O’Donoghue, Pittsburgh, Pa, USA
Silver Medal Irish National Lacrosse Team
European Championships 2012, Amsterdam Netherlands

Recently back from the 2012 European Lacrosse Championships in Amsterdam, hosted by the Netherlands, 21 year old Colin O’Donoghue was proudly wearing his silver medal won through his efforts with the Irish National Lacrosse Team.  Colin carrying dual citizenship had qualified for the team during  a 3 day tryout at University of Dublin in October 2011.  Over 80 athletes participated for the 25 man roster and for the first time in Irelands young national lacrosse program they put together a formidable team that would rank them a spot in the top division of the best 6 teams in Europe.  The standard of European lacrosse has never been more competitive and although the expectations for the team were a 5th or 6th place among the 18 participating countries, their goal was to hopefully capture a 3rd or 4th.  But these young men had a different goal in mind, they walked, talked, and played for to get to the championship game and capture gold.  The Irish team had the toughest schedule ahead of them, but really came together as a solid unit and actually gained momentum as the grueling 10 day tournament rolled along.  After dropping the opening divisional game to England, Ireland lost in double overtime to a heavily favored German Team, as O’Donoghue’s  game winner in the first overtime was ruled to have crossed the line at the buzzer.  Things looked bleak for the Irish team after dropping the next game to their host, the Netherlands, but their Coach, NCAA Hall of Fame inductee, Richie Moran kept the spirit high, and with incredible support from the chanting Irish fans the team rallied to a win their next five games including an unexpected but convincing victory over the Germans in the quarterfinals of the championship tournament.  Ireland had made it to the championship game leaving many of the more favored countries rallying behind them to keep the dream alive and beat the English.  England has played lacrosse for over 40 years has  never lost to a European Team, but as the clock ticked down they kept their record intact by wearing down the Irish.  The Irish lads left everything on the field, but carried proud heats as they gathered in-front of their loyal supporters,  packed in the grand stand, formed a line with arms over shoulders, roaring along to a chorus of  “Ireland call”.  To sum up the impact the Irish had on the event in whole a quote from the Netherlands tournament director; “Two lasting memories I will take away from this event is watching a higher caliber of lacrosse by European teams as witness by the rally of the Irish men, and the incredible Irish supporter with all of their chants and songs….just incredible to behold”.        

As an additional point of interest Colin finished as one of Team Irelands top scorers, playing every minute of every game.  Additionally he plays for the Pittsburgh Celtics Gaelic Football Club which last year made it to the GAA North American Board National Championships hosted in San Francisco taking away a gold medal as National Champs.  Colin is currently a senior at Duquesne University majoring in Supply Chain Management, he is a founding partner at LakerDog Youth Lacrosse Camp, obtained a scholarship to Wingate University in N. C. prior to transferring, was a High School All American at Seneca Valley H. S. near Pittsburgh Pa.  Colin's Irish roots are his; Grandfather Thomas O’Donoghue of Tannavalla, Listowel County Kerry; and his Grandmother  Margaret (Lenihan) O’Donoghue’s parents, Balina County Mayo and Cork City County Cork. 


The O'Donoghue clan have a great website here

Rod O'Donoghue recently visited the home of his ancestors in North Kerry and he had a whale of a time. So if you have Kerry O'Donoghues anywhere in your family line, you have a lot of the hard work done for you.


Another O'Donoghue

This is Dan Donoghue from Duagh and Margaret Kennelly. He died in 1927. Jer. Kennelly sent me the photo.


I have had another email about this photo.

Tom Fitzgerald says that the man holding the saxophone is none other than Jim Sheahan of Greenville.
Now who is the man in front?


The Madonna concert in The Aviva in Dublin last night

Quote of the night from Madge : "It is always raining when I come to Ireland."

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Philip O'Carroll of Cahirdown

Three from the internet to start your day!

I wonder how much it made?


This has to be the dearest carpark in Ireland.  It's in Dublin.

Adds a bit to the day's shopping bill!


A giraffe Mammy kisses her new baby in Dublin Zoo last week.


Why did I put three instead of two or one?
Here's why.

The "rule of three" is a principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia


There is a good piece in last week's Kerryman about Dr. Philip O'Carroll, another very talented son of Listowel. Philip is a brother of the late Louis. Philip now lives in a prestigious area in California, a world away from his native Cahirdown where he grew up in a family of 15. Like many of his siblings, Philip is multitalented and has risen to the top in his chosen profession; neurology. His main area of interest is Alzheimers Disease. He calls it the "revenge of unexpected consequences for modern medicine." More people are living longer and so more people are getting diseases usually seen in the elderly.
But this is not why he is in the news. He has co written a screenplay and we could be seeing it on our screens in years to come.


I found the following photo on the internet, Do you remember when Lower William Street looked like this? Was Centra Crowleys?

Monday, 23 July 2012

John Ashe: Golf: Eugene Brosnan

Did you watch The Open yesterday? Ernie Els had an unexpected victory as poor hapless Adam Scott suffered a dramatic collapse. It was painful to watch.

Maradona said "Football isn't a game or a sport, it's a religion."
Some wag replied, "Football is not a religion. It's far more serious than that."
If football is not a religion, golf certainly is.
Check out this incredible story from wartime Britain;

As the Battle of Britain began to take hold in 1940, a bomb fell on an outbuilding belonging to Richmond Golf Club in Surrey, England. As a result, the club — rather than halt future rounds of golf — issued an incredible list of temporary golf rules to all members that took into account the potentially life-threatening conditions on the course.

The list read as follows.

(Source: Richmond Golf Club; Image: Policemen inspect a bomb crater at North Shore Golf Course in Blackpool, 1940. Source.)

  1. Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the mowing machines.
  2. In competitions, during gunfire, or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
  3. The positions of known delayed-action bombs are marked by red flags placed at reasonably, but not guaranteed safe distance therefrom.
  4. Shrapnel/and/or bomb splinters on the Fairways, or in Bunkers within a club’s length of a ball may be moved without penalty, and no penalty shall be incurred if a ball is thereby caused to move accidentally.
  5. A ball moved by enemy action may be replaced, or if lost or destroyed, a ball may be dropped not nearer the hole without penalty.
  6. A ball lying in a crater may be lifted and dropped not nearer the hole, preserving the line to the hole without penalty.
  7. A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place. Penalty, one stroke.

This must be taking the exhortation to "Keep calm and carry on " to the extreme.


I had a photograph of Bunny Dalton last week. I am told that the people in the photo with him are Dr. Johnny and Vincent Walshe and Tim O'Sullivan and the photo was most likely taken in Walshe's Ballroom and not in Ballybunion.


I had an email last week from a lovely young lady who stumbled upon my blog at a time of deep sadness in her life. She is Niamh Ashe. She lost both of her parents within a short timeframe. Her beloved father was John Ashe of Church St.
Niamh contacted me because she was sorting through some of her father's memorabilia nd she found some newspaper cuttings and photographs that she though I might be interested in. She will send these in due course but, in the meantime, at my request, she sent me a photograph of her dad and the obituary she wrote for The Kerryman. At the time she wrote it her mother was still alive .

John Ashe of Derrylea, Tralee passed away peacefully on 4th March 2012 after a short illness.

John was born on 12th September 1937 in Listowel, Co. Kerry, son of Michael and Julia Ashe.  He was the middle child with two brothers and two sisters, Mary, Hallie, Thomas and Aine. John grew up on Church Street Listowel and attended Listowel National School followed by St. Michael’s College. He had many a colourful story recalling his childhood and school years. He was also a regular to the dance halls in Ballybunion and it was there that he met Mary Hickey, from Rush Co. Dublin one weekend. They were later married in 1965. John worked in London for a number of years in the late 50s to early 60s. He worked for Murphy Construction in their accounts department and lived in Shepherd’s Bush. On his return from London, he married Mary and they lived in Limerick for a brief period, before moving to Raheny in Dublin. In Dublin John worked with Bord na gCon from June 1962 and then undertook a position as senior clerk with Co. Dublin Vocational Education Committee (VEC) in 1969. It was while he was with Co. Dublin VEC that the opportunity arose in 1972 for him to take up a position with Kerry VEC and it was then he relocated back to Kerry. John and Mary lived in Bridge Street initially, before moving into Derrylea in 1973. They were the first residents in Derrylea at the time and moved in just before the birth of their third child.

John was very popular within the VEC and served under Seamus MacDwyer, John Falvey and Barney O’Reilly, before retiring in 1997. He was well known amongst the principals and teaching staff throughout Kerry. It was during his time with Kerry VEC that John became involved in many ventures and organisations, including Cospoir, The Kerry Way and Tralee Credit Union, to mention just a few. In 2002, he was honoured to be awarded a beautiful piece of Valentia slate in recognition of his contribution to the Kerry and Dingle Way. He was also greatly involved in Cappanalea and organised sailing events throughout the schools each summer. It wasn’t unusual for him to be seen on the roads, dragging a sailing boat behind his car. He was also greatly involved in the Oakpark Residents’ Association for many years. John was a very popular character in Na Gael GAA where he was happy to debate religion and politics amongst his friends. He was a fantastic story teller and he was always guaranteed an attentive audience. He was a keen gardener and spent hours tending to his various shrubs and plants. He was well known for his crops of gooseberries, blackcurrants and strawberries each year and was quick to donate shrubs to anybody who was starting their own garden.

He was a loyal husband and devoted father to his four children. He was always encouraging and full of advice. He adored his seven grandchildren and spoke very proudly of each of them. He was a very likeable character with a great sense of humour and plenty of stories.

John will be missed greatly by everyone who was fortunate enough to have met him but especially by his wife Mary, his four children, Michael, Gregory, Niamh and Brendan, as well as his brothers and sisters, his grandchildren, his daughters-in-law, his nephews and nieces, his many friends and wonderful neighbours.

John’s family would like to express sincere gratitude to the Palliative Care Team in Tralee General hospital and the staff of Fatima home, Oakpark where he received excellent care in the later stage of his illness.

+  Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh  anam John agus anam a bhean, Mary.  +


Barefaced plug coming up:

Give a listen to my cousin, singer/ songwriter, Eugene Brosnan singing Spring Wind here:

Friday, 20 July 2012

Unsung heroes and washing day blues

Jer Kenelly sends us this account of some of Ireland"s unsung heroes

Irish Priest received accolade from Emperor of Japan

Fr Stan Brennan, Irish priest who received accolade from Emperor of Japan, dies
Wednesday, July 11th 2012
Tributes have been paid to an Irish priest who after he passed away
this week after a long illness and was one of only eight people in the
world to receive a prestigious honour from the Emperor of Japan.
Just last month Roscommon born Fr Stan Brennan received the 6th class
Grand Order Award of the Rising Sun Silver and Gold rays for his work
in the South African City of Boksburg where he was dedicated to the
development of social welfare and the preservation of the environment.
The accolade is awarded by the Japanese Monarch for exceptional
service internationally.  The Franciscan priest had been working in
Boksburg since 1965 where he had established projects on education,
drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS, childcare and domestic abuse.
Born Seamus Brennan, Fr Stan was born in the village of Fuerty in
County Roscommon in 1929.  At an early age, Fr Stan dedicated his life
to work on the missions in South Africa and arrived in Boksburg in
South Africa in 1957 after studying in Rome.
His first post was as spiritual Director of the Diocesan Seminary in
Boksburg and he was later to work in Rieger Park as parish priest of
Saint Francis Church.  His greatest work will always be synonymous
with helping AIDS victims.
As a Franciscan, he personally took up the challenge and drew
symbolism with the story of St Francis of Assisi who dismounted his
donkey to assist a leper and confront the general fear people have
towards the disease with human kindness.  In 1992 with Fr Stan's help
Sr Francis Care Centre in Boksburg opened its doors after a lengthily
legal battle.
The clinic prospered and is now funded by George Bush's PEPFAR
programme.  St Francis Care Centre administers essential daily ARV
treatment to 4,000 people.
As well as his work for AIDS victims, Fr Stan was also involved in
education and helped fundraise to build Africa's largest second-level
education college and technical skills centre.
Saint Anthony's College has 5,000 enrolled in its classes every day
and its technical skills training college a further 600 who are
obtaining a 45-day crash course in the fundamental skills required in
sectors like welding, plumbing, car mechanics, dress making as well as
a host of other practical courses.
In 2004, he started Mercy Haven, a multi-racial drug and alcohol
rehabilitation in Boksburg.
During his time in the city, he received more than 50 awards and in
2009, he received the Michael Memorial Award for dedicating his life
to the uplifting of the poor.
On June 19, last Fr Brennan was too ill to receive his Grand Order
award.  His brother Andy travelled from County Wicklow to receive the
accolade at the Japanese embassy.
His funeral will take place in Boksburg on July 12 and afterwards his
remains will be cremated.
His ashes are to be spread both at St Francis Care Centre and in
County Roscommon.
The South African ANC party will perform a full guard of honour at the
funeral ceremony.
by Sean Ryan

July 2012 Vatican declares Irish Nun Venerable.

Venerable Mother M. Angeline Teresa was born Bridget Teresa McCrory on
January 21 1893 in Co Tyrone.  However, when she was just seven years
old the family moved from Ireland to Scotland.  At nineteen, she
joined the Little Sisters of the Poor and made her novitiate in
France.  The Congregation was engaged in the care of the destitute
aged.  After profession she was sent to the US.
In 1927, she and six other members of the Little Sisters of the Poor
were granted permission by the Vatican to begin a new community that
would be focused on care of the aged.  In 1931, the fledgling
community affiliated itself to the Order of Carmel and became known as
the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm.
When she died on January 21 1984, Mother Angeline Teresa’s
congregation had blossomed beyond her expectations.  She is remembered
for having said, “If you have to fail, let it be on the side of
kindness.  Be kinder than kindness itself to old people.”

ST GALL: This year the Abbey of St Gallen in Switzerland is
celebrating the 1400th anniversary of the arrival of St Gall in the
region in 612 AD.  St Gallen is situated between the Swiss Alps and
Lake Constance.  St Gall was one of the twelve companions who
accompanied St Columbanus on his mission to the Continent from
Ireland.  After his death around 646 AD, a small church was erected
which developed into the Abbey of St Gall in the city of St Gallen.
This later devloped into one of the largest Benedictine Abbeys in

I had heard of St. Gall but I had never heard of the other two. Sounds like it is high time their names were known.

Video from North Kerry Reaching Out here


Washday in times gone by!!

I think that this photo is posed because the chair , the good dress and the bracelet do not ring true for me but the washtub and the washboard are items that I remember from my childhood. 

I remember our first washing machine which we got in 1957. 
My mother had to boil water in a Burco boiler to fill it. 
She filled the machine with boiling water and  turned it on. It washed the clothes. Then each item had to be lifted out with a wooden tongs. The washed item was rinsed in a bucket of cold water before being fed into a mangle/wringer. The mangle was a pair of rollers which, when you turned a handle, squeezed the water out of the clothes. If it was a "whites" wash, here was another final rinse in water coloured blue by a Reckitt's Blud bag. My mother then hung the clothes on the  clothesline to dry. Then she proceed to drag the machine to the back door in order to empty it.
Washing was always done on Mondays. it usually took up most of the day.

Biological washing powders were a long way off.

Remember this?

And do you remember when toothpaste came in a tin?

Before this great product hit the shops, some people cleaned their teeth with soot! Yes, soot from the chimney.