Monday, 17 September 2012

Listowel Races

Jer. Kennelly found this great old cutting.


Queen Anne founded Royal Ascot in 1711 and steeplechasing began in Ireland in 1752, starting in Co. Cork in a challenge race between two church steeples.

Listowel may not be as big on the racing calendar as Ascot but it is a highlight of the Racing year for many many people in Listowel an farther afield. Lets hope that the weather is kind to us this week and that we all enjoy a great week on the island.

This is one of the "characters" who came to town during race week. These lovable rogues ranged from working people trying to earn a few bob to out- and -out chancers and con men.

The following poems from Kay Forrestal recall some of these.

The Apothecary

A small scrawny man stood on a tea chest in the market
Calling the people to come and listen to him.
He shouted,
For baldness I have a cure, for lack of brains
For idlers I have a cure, and one for the insane.
For the woman who wants a man, come here tand talk to Dan.
For the bachelor who wants a woman, I have the thing for you.
Come up here and talk to Dan,
Take a slug of my demon brew.
One and all, listen to me.
I have a cure for every ailment.
Come here to me and you will see.
For rheumatism, aches and pains, whatever the devil ails you
Inside this bottle is a magical potion
Throw away ye’re old creams and greasy hair lotion,
Take one swig of this drink and you'll be a new man.
Take it from me, Dan the miracle man.
I'm here year after year, I stand over my wares.
See my beautiful wife, sure she hasn't a care.
Look at her hair, long, shining and black
Ladies come here to me and I’ll have you looking like that.
Rose my wife here she has no notions.
Others pay half a crown for my magical potions.

Gypsy Rose

I remember Gypsy Rose with hair sleek and black.
Decorated with pearl pins, it cascaded down her back.
Great rings dangled from her ears, rings on every finger
I loved to see her call and loved to linger.
She had fiery eyes and a smile for us
And she would produce a big basket,
Selling at our door to us.

"Madame," she spoke in softest tones
Silk ribbons for the little one's hair,
Beautiful hair slides for the child
Any colour, sold in pairs.
And for you, Madame
Silk stockings, perfume and jewellery
Rustproof clothes pegs, the strongest kind.
They'll last and last on your clothesline.

Choose something from my basket, Lady?"
She glanced from underneath long lashes
But seemed to me a little glum
Then with deep voice she began to hum.

On our table she spread her wares,
Lovely things, I could only stare.
Diamonds sparkled and she smiled at me
She tossed her head and laughed flippantly.
Bracelets jingled on her arms.
We bought the goods from Gypsy Rose,
Enchanted by her karma.

Fealegood video from Races 2011


Well known publican, Tom Moran is walking from Athea to The Red Cow in order to raise funds for the suicide help centre, Pieta House. Jer took a photo of Leo Finucane seeing Tom and some other celebrities on their way.


Jer took this video from the ferris wheel in the market yard

Listowel from the big wheel Sept. 2012


Threshing in Enniskerry during their victorian day at the weekend.

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