Tuesday, 18 June 2013

McKenna's social, Corpus Christi procession 2013

I posted this photo a while back with names supplied by Jer Kennelly. The photo was much commented on  and a few of the names were corrected. I asked Junior Griffin to take a look. He did better than that. He gave me the names and the back story so here you have it, in Junior's own words.

Hi Mary,
Starting this on Thurs. afternoon but God only knows when I will complete it.
Firstly, re the list for photo that Jer sent you, he has a lot of the names correct but not all. I list as follows;

Seated, left to right; Angela O'Flaherty (maiden name Hayes), A.N.Other but definitely not Kathleen Clifford, Maureen O' Connor (Buckley), Kathleen O'Regan.

Middle row, standing; Eileen O'Mahony (O'Connor), Kathleen O'Brien (Murphy), Mikey O'Connor, Pat Walsh, Junior Griffin, Sean Lynch, Dick Kiely, Willie Barrett,Tim Shanahan, John O'Mahoney,Tom O'Connell (a brother of Ned's who worked in McKenna's), Michael Crowley, Margaret Crowley(Stack). Note; behind the Crowley's are three faces. I would be almost certain that the face looking over Ml. Crowley's right shoulder is Kathy O'Connor, Mikey's wife; other 2 unknown

Back row; Michael O'Neill, Brendan Daly, Kathleen Daly, Tom O'Connor, Mickey O'Mahoney, John Daly

Just a small follow up on our first social held in the Hotel on January 8th, 1962. 
It all originated from a Ring of Kerry staff  tour that I was asked to organise on the last weekend of August. With 10 shillings left over and a chat with Michael O'Neill down in Waterville on the day of our trip the social seed was planted.

I don't remember who we booked the hotel with but I remember well on New Years Day, which was one week before the social date, the four of our committee, Michael O'Neill , Brendan Daly, Dick Kiely and myself being summoned to the Square by John Joe Kenny, the butcher , where the Veterinary Centre is now based . I can't place whether we were working then on new Year's Day or not but being a Monday it would have been a half day.
At his door John Joe met us. "Lads," he said, "ye will have to call off that do next week. I won't be able to supply the turkeys. Put it off for a week." We were literally stuck to the ground and there was no chatting back with John Joe. 

I remember well the four of us standing on a snow clad Square and wondering what in the name of God would we do, with tickets printed and at that stage many sold. We decided to go to the Hotel to see could we change the date.

We met the manageress who was a Miss Olivia Featherston,  a native of County Roscommon and who, not too long after that, was to marry Tommy Murphy of William Street.  
We asked her was it possible to change our social date for a week. She queried why and we told her that Mr. Kenny could not supply the turkeys. She looked at us and exclaimed, "you are not serious".

She said it was I engaged the fowl from Mr Kenny and he had no right what so ever to consult ye.  If Mr Kenny cannot supply me with what I want I have many other contacts who would be only too delighted to supply my order.
To make my story short, our social went ahead as booked on Jan. 8th, and John Joe did supply the turkeys. Miss Featherston certainly put John Joe in his place.

That year, of course, the hotel was called "The White Horse Inn" and was owned by renowned singer Josef Locke. The name of the hotel called after one of his great numbers.

Mr Locke was on tour at that time but to our luck he returned the evening of our social and went on stage during the night for us and sang  several of his well known numbers including Blaze Away, Hear my Song, Goodbye and  The Drinking Song amongst others. It really made our night for us and indeed it was the talk of the town for a long time afterwards that Josef Locke sang at McKenna's social.

For me personally it was a wonderful thrill as I have always been a great fan of Josef Locke.
Early on in his career it was the operatic scene that Locke had in his mind.
After the death of Enrico Caruso in the 1920's two of the world's most acclaimed tenor's of that era were Italy's Beniamino Gigli and our own John McCormack. 
In the 1940's Gigli was in concert in Covent Garden, London and his under study was none other than Josef Locke, such was the esteem that Locke was held in around  that time.
Following advice from John McCormack, however, who felt that Locke's voice was more suited to the lighter repertoire rather than the operatic career he had in mind, McCormack urged Locke to find an agent, thus he found the noted impresario, Jack Hylton, who booked him but could not fit his full name on the bill, thus Joseph McLaughlin became Josef Locke, and the rest, they say, is history.

That year, 1962, saw the Arms Hotel change hands and I can't exactly remember the reason but our second social was held in Tralee, the hotel was unavailable for a period of time but we did return to the renamed  Arms Hotel for many years to come. 

Ah yes, many happy days (and nights).
Best wishes
Junior Griffin

( to be continued tomorrow)


Presidential candidates and their spouses 1990


Some photos I took at the Corpus Christi procession this year.


Warning: the following is in French. It is an interview with my 7 year old grandson who, last week, was "expat of the week " among French children in Cork.  Indulge a proud Nana or simply ignore.

Du haut de ses 7 ans, Seán est un petit garçon qui apprécie les plaisirs de la vie. Il aime beaucoup faire la fête et rigoler. Même s'il prend beaucoup de plaisir à vivre en Irlande, son pays natal, c’est en France qu'il s’amuse le plus. Il attend donc les grandes vacances avec impatience

L’année scolaire en Irlande
 Né en Irlande, Seán a une maman française et un papa irlandais. Il vit à Cork depuis qu'il est né. C'est aussi là qu'il va à l'école. Aujourd'hui, c'était : "la Journée sur l’Inde", car il y a une petite fille d’origine indienne dans sa classe. Il a découvert des danses indiennes, mais aussi des chansons et de la nourriture de l’Inde. "C’était bien,"dit-il en souriant. D’ailleurs, Seán apprécie l’école. Il trouve les maths assez facile, par contre il pense que la langue irlandaise est fort compliquée car "les mots sont très différents." Il est très content de savoir "parler deux langues, comme ça tu peux parler avec beaucoup plus de gens."
Seán aime s’amuser et bouger 
Quand il rentre de l'école, il y a une nounou qui s'occupe de lui et de son frère jusqu'à ce que sa maman rentre du travail. Seán est un garçon bien actif. Après les devoirs, il fait beaucoup de sport. Il va jouer au football et prend des cours de tennis. Il aime aussi beaucoup nager. Même son anniversaire, il le fête dans un lieu où l’on bouge et s’amuse. Il se souvient que sa maman les a emmené à Chuckies. Il pouvait faire du rodéo sur un "bull et si tu tombes, tu perds ton tour." Il y a là plein de jeux pour se distraire et s'amuser.

Les vacances en France, c’est la fête 
Seán attend les vacances avec beaucoup d'impatience. Avec son frère jumeau et ses parents, ils vont les passer en France. Rien que d’y penser, c’est déjà la fête. Le voyage est assez long car ils prennent le bateau entre Cork et la Bretagne, mais qu’importe. Il y a "beaucoup de gens. On a une cabine, il y a un restaurant, un cinéma et aussi un spectacle de magie." Et puis en France, "on peut se coucher plus tard. On va à la plage, on joue et il y a les cousins." Et en plus, "je peux manger des moules et des crevettes." nous dit-il ravi. Seán ajoute : "Il y a trop de pluie en Irlande". Il n’y a pas assez de plages à son goût. Car son rêve secret, "c’est de voir beaucoup de plages dans le monde. En Amérique, parce qu’il fait plus chaud qu’ici."
Propos recueillis par Isabelle Barth, expatjunior.com/cork


Safe Tractor Driving Skills Course for youths aged between 14-16 years will be held in Listowel Mart on Tuesday June 25,2013 between 10am and 4pm. The Course costs 30 euro or 15 euro if your family is in receipt of social welfare payments or an employment scheme such as CE, RSS, TUS etcetera. For more information or to book a place for your son or daughter please contact North and East Kerry Development reception on 068 23429 before Wednesday June 19.

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