A view of the town from Dylan Boyer
The Monday cleanup gang: Well done all.
At the ceremony to mark the closure of the Sluagh Hall in Listowel and the standing down of F Company, Michael Guerin gave an address on the background to the Sluagh hall and the FCA in Listowel.
I am paraphrasing this address from the account of it in The Advertiser.
At the outbreak of WW2 the Irish government declared a state of emergency on June 7th 1940. The following year a Local Defence Force was formed.
The Listowel District Command covered 21 districts in North Kerry and included a Field Ambulance Company.
The first regular army instructor appointed the LDF was Bill Kearney. (Bill became a stalwart of the Listowel drama Group). The LDF had its headquarters at Moloney’s Garage in Upper William St. (This premises was later Lonergan’s Supermarket and now houses Royal China.)
In 1943 the army bought an old egg packing store by the railway bridge in Upper William St. This premises was converted to a Sluagh Hall. There were 78 of these halls throughout the country. The Hall had offices, a training hall and an indoor rifle range.
Down the years Listowel Sluagh Hall has been used for basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball, drama productions, Writers’ Week exhibitions, boxing and Tae kwon do.
In 1946 the old reserve was disestablishes and An Fórsa Cosanta áitiúil (FCA) was established. This was formed into 6 companies in North Kerry. The company met for training on Tuesday nights and parades at weekends. The highlight of the year was the annual training camp in Ballymullen Barracks in Tralee. This was like a two week paid holiday for many a young North Kerry youth.
In 2005 the FCA was disbanded and the Army Reserve established in its place. The numbers joining the Army Reserve never reached the peaks seen in the FCA in the 1960s and 70s.
In 2013 Listowel’s F Company was finally stood down and the Sluagh Hall closed up forever.
These two are taking part in a sketch in school. They are Rhona Tarrant and Chloe Walshe, both of whom have gone on to carve out careers in media.
Poster from 1980
Don't you wish you lived here all year round?
Ballybunion Sea Angling posted this from his morning walk by The Cashen on Saturday April 20 2013