Tuesday, 19 May 2015

A.P. McCoy to be celebrated at Writers' Week, Liam Healy and Pres. Girls in 2007

Fungi Again


Remember this?


Racing photography at Writers' Week 2015

This great photograph of the recently retired jockey A.P. McCoy is one of the masterpieces by Healyracing that will feature in a not to be missed local event during this year's festival.

The Healy family have been taking  photographs on racecourses now for 3 generations. Pat Healy is the master of the art of capturing it all in one image. His photographs have appeared in all of the best sporting publications and daily newspapers in Ireland and around the world. It's a hard job that sees him out in all weathers, jostling his way through the media scrum to capture that iconic shot. This one of A.P. McCoy is just that.

Racing strangely now combines the hard graft of the working jockeys with the glamour of "best dressed ladies". Could there be a greater contrast than this mud spattered working man and the buffed and polished glamour pusses that grace our racecourses? Pat Healy has photographed them all and you can see them at this special exhibition in The Listowel Arms during  Listowel Writers' Week 2015

The exhibition is a tribute to A. P. McCoy and it opens at 11.00 on Thursday 28 May 2015


Liam Healy, Listowel man, Racing photographer and family man

 Mary Cogan and liam Healy

For the next few days I am going to bring you, in installments, the story of the man who started it all, Liam Healy.

Liam Healy,  founder of Healyracing, entrepreneur, family man, Listowel man and all round sound man.

Recently I spend a very happy hour and a half in the company of Liam Healy. Liam is an extraordinary man who has built up a successful business which now employs all of his family. Liam has none of the trappings of the successful businessman. He lives a quiet humble life in the bosom of his family in Ballygologue. He has worked hard all his life, and he is filled with gratitude to all the people who have shaped and made him what he is today.

 Liam has fond memories of his early life in Convent Street. He was born on June 12 1945 to Kitty and Paddy Healy of Number 11 Convent Street. Paddy was the only son of a second marriage so there were no Healy aunts and uncles in the young Liams life. This was significant because tragedy struck the family in 1948. Kitty died in childbirth leaving Paddy with 4 very young children to rear.

Paddy had to work to earn a living for his family so the obvious course of action in his circumstances would have been to put the children into care. Liam had an Uncle Gerard, a Carmelite brother in Drumcondra who begged Liams dad to keep the family together and at home with him. They had suffered the loss of their mother, losing their home would have been an unbearable second blow.

(treasured old photos of Liam and his brothers)

Generous Listowel people rallied round and helped Paddy to look after the children during the day.  No matter where they were during the daytime they always all returned home to their father in the evening.

The young Liam was taken under their wing by a neighbouring childless couple, Hannie and Garrett Carey. Liam speaks of them and of his time spent with them with great fondness and abiding gratitude. Garrett was a painter and Hannie was one of the Mixum Hennessey family. Liam was very well looked after and he was happy with his new arrangement, returning home every night to his father and his brothers, Pat & Michael and sister, Margaret.

The Careys were betting people and they used to send Liam with the money for their little wager to Moriartys Betting Shop, which was on William Street in a shop that is now part of Damien Stacks Arcade. Liam credits those early trips to the turf accountants with sparking his interest in photos of horses. The man behind the counter in Johnny Moriartys shop was Roddy OSullivan and he was always kind to the young Liam. Liam was fascinated by the photos of horses on the pages of the newspapers that lined the walls. Because he was anxious that the youngster would not be seen to linger too long in the shop, but recognizing Liams genuine interest in the photographs, Roddy agreed to keep the papers for him. Liam remembers especially The Sporting Life. It was a newspaper devoted to Horse Racing and little did he know Healy Racing would supply them with photographs in later life.

(More tomorrow)


Listowel Tennis Club

The Listowel Tennis Club's Facebook page is  Here


School Memories

Pres. girls with the Heiniken Cup in 2007

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