Monday, 30 September 2013

Water Safety Week 1960 in Listowel, Daithi at the Races and Scituate

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.
( We'll live to fight another day)


According to the caption on this photo kindly shared with us by Maura MacConnell, these youngsters were participating in Water Safety Week 1960. Looks like half the town was there. As they say on Crimecall " it's a very clear image" so get naming.


Everywhere I looked on Ladies Day 2013 I seemed to see Daithí OSé.

 Daithi flirting with the girls and posing for a picture

Fraternising with the horsey crowd and picking up tips.

Chatting to winning trainer, JJ OHanlon

Judging the fashion with Celia Holman Lee.

Interviewing the final 15 in The Best Dressed Lady contest.


So which is the most Irish town in America?
The answer to this question is Scituate, according to a story in Irish Central.
Have you ever heard of it?
Scituate 30 miles from Boston is home to the highest population density of Irish Americans in the U.S.
In the latest census data  almost 50 percent of residents there are of Irish decent. It is one of a cluster of towns on Boston’s South Shore  that Irish  have colonized. At least 44 percent of the population in Braintree, Hull, Marshfield, Avon, Pembroke, and Milton claim Irish ancestry also.according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
But some folks disputed our figures.
Namely the folks in Breezy Point, New York and Spring Lake New Jersey begged to differ -- both claiming the title.
At first glance it appeared they had a case......
Breezy Point has the highest numbers of  Irish according to  the census, at 60.3. But the problem is the beautiful area on the outskirts of Rockaway in Queens is not a proper incorporated town.
It is actually a massive co-operative combining  three smaller areas.
 In 1962 the residents purchased 500 acres of land from the government at below value cost and  the community became a co-operative.
The Census Bureau says only that it has the highest number of Irish per zip code, not that it is the largest town with Irish population.
So Scituate fends off that challenge.
Now Spring Lake New Jersey is also claiming the prize and indeed the US census for 2000 awards them that title -- or does it?
 Like Breezy Point, Spring Lake is an ocean community that swells with vacationers. during the summer.
 It is famous for the shark attacks in 1916 that killed four victims and  later inspired Peter Benchley to write ‘Jaws.’
On the Irish front  the census in 2000  said that 39 per cent of the population was of Irish extraction.
But Scituate, a much larger town, at 17,000 plus residents as against 3,500 has almost 50 per cent.
So Scituate wins that too.
And keeps its title as most Irish town in America.
Adding insult to injury for New York and New Jersey six other towns in Massachusetts have a larger Irish population.
No wonder quarterback Tom Brady is so popular here.

This is a 1937 ad for briquettes. The P and F referred to is the Peat Fuel Company.  The prospect of a representative coming to interview one sounds a bit daunting.
The Peat Fuel Company closed in 1939 and Lullymore briquette factory was re-opened by the Turf Development Board in 1940 due to the fuel shortage created by the war.


Young people helping other young people

The above link is to the promotional video from Louise, Chloe and the gang at Xistance Youth Café. Their project is called Picture my World and it is a 2014 calendar of beautiful photographs. But this is a calendar with a difference. It has all the contact details for support services for young people in crisis. 

The calendar will be delivered free to every young person attending a second level school in Kerry. The thinking behind the calendar idea is that while you might lose a business card or a scrap of paper with a phone number, if you hang a calendar on your wall it will be there at hand if you need help.

This is a marvellous initiative and the team behind it are to be commended for their efforts to help us in Kerry lose that chilling title as "the county with the highest rate of suicide in Ireland"

Friday, 27 September 2013

Some photos from Ladies Day 2013

Some people at Ladies Day




I'll be cheering for Anthony Nash and all the Cork team on Sunday.

Look who's into the hurling now!


This extraordinary photo was taken at Glenachoor Stream by Mike Flahive of Bromore Cliffs.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

1960s Listowel people, more from Ladies Day 2013 and Cork for the hurling

Everyone has gone to The Ploughing this week. The photo is from the ploughing championships of 1959 and no, we dont know who this Queen of the Plough is.


Seaspray at Bromore Cliffs photographed by Mike Flahive.


This is another of Maura MacConnell's photos from the 1960s. I think that they are Red Cross.

I'm sure someone will put names to them all.


Some more style from Ladies Day 2013


Jer took these photos on Thursday Sept 19 on the racecourse.


I was in Ballincollig Co. Cork last week and everywhere was en fete for the hurling final.

My roots are showing again!


Ireland youths played Estonia in soccer in Listowel  on Tuesday afternoon. These people were there and John Kelliher took these and hundreds of other photos of the action.
By the way, Ireland won.

John Delaney got to be photographed with Martin Hickey, President of Listowel Celtic.


Mystery solved

Maurice MacMahon has confirmed that he is the boy in the middle of the group snowballing on The Island. He estimates that the year is probably in the mid 1950s.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

More from Ladies day 2013 and the ballad of Lidl and Aldi

Here they are; the first tranche of my Ladies Day photos. I'll be posting more tomorrow and in the following days, but don't worry, I'll try to include a few non fashion related items as well.

If you needed a bag or a hat to complete the ensemble you could purchase one on the spot at a stand on the island.


Serious message coming up!

The link above is to Christy Moore's anti Arthur's Day song. Listen and you will notice the ambivalence of the audience. They want to clap and sing along but the song is not a happy clappy number. It's a very serious wake up call to alert us to the danger of being sucked into this image of Irishness being peddled by the advertisers.

We are all familiar with the iconic image of Barack Obama in a pub in Moneygall with a pint in his hand.
The queen's visit was not complete until Prince Philip had been photographed in front of a pint.

Closer to home, I saw so much drunkeness in town on the Friday of Raceweek that I am very concerned for our young people.
A regular follower of the blog wrote to me to ask me to appeal to people to be "guardian angels" and look out for their friends and neighbours who are so incapacitated by drink on a night out or in this case a day out that they are a danger to themselves and others.

Rant over!


In response to numerous requests, here it is Mickey MacConnell singing his ballad of Lidl and Aldi live in John B's. Enjoy!


I wonder if they were as hard to come by in 1939.


Free blood pressure checks today, Weds. Sept 25 2013 at Listowel Family Resource Centre between 10.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Ladies Day 2013, soccer and goslings

Some local ladies enjoying Ladies Day at Listowel Races 2013


 This was taken by Listowel Celtic. Pictured in the parade ring at The Races are Savannah McCarthy, Aiden O'Connor and Daithi O'Se looking forward to Ireland v Estonia in Pat Kennedy Park this afternoon, Tuesday Sept. 24 2013 at 4.30. Free Admission.


John Kelliher's Nightime in Listowel with Ferris Wheel


Some scenes from Ladies Day,  Listowel 2013

crowd in the stand

crowd behind the stand


From my Bord na Mona connection comes this lovely photo of some geese and their goslings.