Monday 30 April 2012

May Eve

"Up the airy mountain and down the rushy glen
We dare not go a hunting for fear of little men."

Today was a kind of red letter day in old Ireland. It was believed that the fairies became very active around this time. Almost anything could happen between sunset on May Eve and sunrise on May morning. Witches and piseogs were at work and dairy produce was particularly vulnerable. Any stranger seen about one's property on May Eve or May morning was thought to be working piseogs.

Piseogs were a kind of pagan charm or curse that caused your hens not to lay, your crops to fail or your butter not to keep.

One of the commonest tales from these times is the story of Kitty the Hare. The story goes that a farmer saw a hare sucking the milk from his cow on May morning. The farmer chased the hare away and injured him with a stone. The bleeding hare led the farmer to the cottage of an old crone who lived nearby. The farmer found her on the floor of her house, bleeding. She had assumed the form of a hare to steal the farmer's milk.
In my youth "A Kitty the Hare story" was a byword for any tale that was far fetched and incredible.

 There used to be a series in Ireland's Own called Kitty the Hare. I don't know if the stories are still going strong. Ireland's Own is still with us anyway.

Another piseog was worked by laying a spancel across a cow's back. That cow would abort her calf and the person who set the piseog would have healthy twin calves. Eggs or meat were sometimes hidden in the neighbour's field or barn and this scared the bejasus out of the poor farmer who found this on a May morning because it meant that his crops would fail.
Spooky times indeed!

"March will search, April will try
And May will tell whether you live or die"
May was a critical time for sick people and any injury acquired on May Eve of May Day was particularly difficult to cure.

So watch out!


Now for something completely different.

I snapped Cliff Gore on Charles Street. He was out and about with his lovely daughter, Helen, home with her family for a short visit.


Patsy O'Sullivan shared this photo with us. I hope you'll be able to read the names of the boys in his class in Clounmacon School.


I have to mention our little heroine at the U.N.

Picture: AP

Joanne, with hair dyed red to show her support for her beloved Cork wowed them all at the U.N. Here's hoping she gets her robot.

"Joanne, 16, is one of only seven people in the world with Total Amelia, a congenital birth condition causing the absence of all four limbs.

She told the gathered delegates: "I have always been breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles. I do not look at the word ‘impossible’ and see it as ‘impossible’. I look at that word and my life and say ‘I’m possible!’"

Friday 27 April 2012

Very Interesting old photos from Jer

These boys attended Knockanure School  in 1912

Knockanure Boys c 1912
From Jer

Back row L-R Hugh Goulding, Mick Sullivan, Con Hunt, Willie G Stack, Paddy Carroll, Mick Mulvihill and Mick Lane;
Second row; Ned and jack Murphy, Paddy Kearney, Lar Broderick, Bill Buckley, Bill Fitzmaurice, Mick Kearney;
Front L-R Tommy stack, Paddy Horgan, Mick Moore, Jack Dunne, Mick White, Larry Kearney, John Leahy Con Buckley.


These girls were in Tarmons in 1922

TARMONS Girls 1922
Front; Margaret Denihan, Mary O' Connor, Ann Fennel, Nora Cronin, Bridie Sweeney, Jule Fitzgerald. 
2nd Row; Mary G Corridan, Nora Barton Hanlon, S Sheahan, Mary Collins, Liz Murphy, Margaret Buckley, Jo McMahon, Margaret Nolan, Mary Sheahan, Maisie Enright, Nellie
 O' Grady.
Back Row; Margaret Dunne, Eileen Corridan, Margaret Nolan, Bridie Curnane, Jo Buckley, Mary Sweeney, Mary O' Connor, Nell Collins, Mina Wren, Mary Fennell, Mai Enright, Mai Fennel cousin of Mary, Catherine Wren, Nellie Curtin, Mary Sweeney an Mary Brandon.


These are 2 old photos of Ballybunion Castle before it was preserved.


This photo came from the RTE website. It shows children in 1974 picketing Montrose to ask for the retention of Wanderly Wagon which was threatened with closure. I wonder where they are today; Vita Cotex maybe?


According to Listowel Town Council's latest figures they had 249 applications for housing up to the end of March. This compares with 252 applications for the whole of 2011. The Council has 204 houses. All but 11 of these are currently occupied. They have a 94% rent collection rate.


Today's random bit of news.Yesterday Rory McIlroy tweeted this photo of himself aged 2.

He'd have made a great hurler!


Always remember


Megan Specia took this photo yesterday outside a post office in St. Andrews Street, Dublin.

Thursday 26 April 2012

More St. Patrick's Day photos and WW2 re-enactment

Do you remember with old film cameras we took 12, 24 or if we were lucky 36 photos over a period of time? We removed the roll of film from the camera and we took or sent it to Spectra and we waited 48 hours to see the finished result. There was the eager anticipation of wondering what the photos would turn out like and the frequent disappointment when they were overexposed, had heads cut off or were otherwise ruined.
Nowadays you take a photo and the subject is straight round to take a look and accept or veto the finished result. There are cameras which have a screen at the front so that the subject can see how he looks before you click the shutter. There is a new camera, the Lytro which allows you to edit and enhance photos in the camera. We used to say "The camera never lies." Well it does now!
This preamble is by way of introduction to today's photos. They are James Kenny's photos from the St. Patrick's Day Parade. They are a bit late for today's audience so used to instant gratification but they are worth sharing nonetheless.

BTW this camera will soon be available in Ikea. It's made of cardboard, takes 40 photos to an internal memory, runs on 2 AA batteries, and has usb connectivity. And it will be cheap as chips. It was only a matter of time......



Louis le Brocquy R.I.P.
I first heard of Louis le Brocquy, who died yesterday aged 95, in Listowel Writers' Week. Mairead Pierse was in charge of art in the 70's and she had a great eye for talent.  She was responsible for bringing many artists to us. Some of these, like Louis le Brocquy went on to greater things.


Take a look at the promotional video for the May weekend. It's really good.

Wednesday 25 April 2012

Official opening of Listowel Family Centre

Frances Fitzgerald T.D. officially opened the centre on Monday.

The centre is located off the John B. Keane Rd. in Stokers Grove.

It is a magnificent purpose -built building and it is really busy every day and night. It is a gem: a huge asset to us in Listowel.

Here are some of the hard working staff and volunteers as well as some of the service users and guests at the opening.


Tuesday 24 April 2012

May day mayday

The location looks familiar but who are these motley crew?
The men are Cornelius O'Sullivan, Kieran Barry, Conor O'Donoghue, Cormac Heffernan, Pat O'Sullivan and Gerald Forde.
 Padraig Nolan took the photo to publicize the May Day high jinx in Listowel. There will be vintage everything on that weekend including a swing dance in The Listowel Arms. Vintage dress is optional.


Calling all graduates of UCC

Dr Michael B. Murphy
University College Cork

is pleased to invite graduates and friends to

A Lecture Evening & Reception
To Celebrate UCC’s Connections with County Kerry

A Great Kerry Academic & Public Man: President Alfred O’Rahilly, UCC
by Professor John A Murphy, Emeritus Professor of History, UCC
Reflections of a UCC Graduate
by Dr Denis Brosnan, Founder Kerry Group Plc
with guest of honour,

Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD,
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

from 7.30pm – 9.30pm

on Monday, 28 May 2012

in St John’s Theatre, The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry
A Reception will follow the Lecture at 8.30pm

Please forward this email to any UCC graduates you know who may be interested in attending.

RSVP by 22 May 2012 (as numbers are limited.
Please include your home address)

To:   Ms Caroline Waters, Development & Alumni Office, UCC
Tel:  021 490 2040

Looks like we could be in for a good night.  
Read more about Alfred O'Rahilly here


My Cork roots are showing  bit lately!! But I have to mention this young lady. I know that people like Joanne shun the label "inspirational".  Joanne is playing the hand she was dealt, but boy! is she playing those cards well:

"Cork teenager Joanne O'Riordan, who was born with no limbs, will travel to the United Nations in New York today to address the ITU conference.

Joanne, 15, is to give a key note speech to the International Telecommunication Union on how technology has helped her advance her life through both education and the social environment around her.

She is the only person with a disability to be invited to this exclusive conference entitled "Girls in Technology".

Some of the world's leading women in technology will also attend the event which Joanne hopes will empower others to realise the importance of technology in their lives.

The Irish Film Board has granted Joanne's brother Steven O'Riordan and 2000 AD Productions in Galway funding to produce a documentary charting his sister's extraordinary life story.

The working title "No Limbs No Limits" is to highlight the positive and lasting effect on how people perceive those with disabilities in Ireland and beyond.
Mr O'Riordan's debut film, "The Forgotten Maggies", was a documentary charting the human rights issues surrounding the Magdalene Laundries in Ireland."


Remember these?

Nuns in Tralee in 1952 - location unknown


“If everything you try works, you are not trying hard enough.”
This is a quote from Gordon Moore, founder of Intel. I read it today in an article from Tom McEnery. The article is  here and it is well worth reading as it contains much food for thought.