Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Book Launches and Writers at Writers' Week 2015 and a trip to Kildare

There are few things more enjoyable in the annual Writers' Week programme than the launch of a book by a local author. This year I missed Mary Kennelly's and Matt Mooney's events but I made John MacAulliffe's in The Seanchaí. It was a really popular event and could have done with a bigger venue.  John is  much more than a local poet. He is now intentionally recognized .

 Barney and Anne O'Reilly with Mairead Pierse

 Section of the huge attendance

 Lucy MacAulliffe with her daughter Catherine and grandson

 Madeleine O'Sullivan who introduced the launch

 John MacAulliffe with his English teacher from St. Michael's, Pat Given.

 Lucy with John's wife and son


Children's Author visits Athea Primary School.

This is Andrew Cope and his wife Louise at The National Children's Literary Festival at Listowel Writers' Week 2015. Andrew writes the very popular Spy Dog and Spy Puppy children's books.
It was my pleasure to be assigned to be his driver for the day. Andrew's job was to visit Athea Primary School and to read from his novels and talk to the children about writing.

I gave him a quick tour of the village. He was happy to leave his worries behind at the worry tree. Andrew has studied the science of happiness and he is a very popular motivational speaker in his native U.K. He has developed a  course called The Art of Being Brilliant. Maybe he will be back with that next year.

Andrew with the principal and some staff members in Athea.

Athea pupils enjoyed Andrew's stories and helped him with ideas for another one.

Boys queueing up for Andrew's autograph.


"Straight I will repair to The Curragh of Kildare"

I spent a few days last week with my family in Kildare.

Plans were well under way for the weekend's big event, The  Derby
My hosts, Sean McKenna and Clíona Cogan

I'll tell you more about my  trip soon.


Black is the new white

Irish Independent photo of U.S. skateboarding star, Tony Hawk and his bride. They were married recently in Adare Manor.


Tomás Ó Sé's Sunday Game Clobber

Tomás Ó Sé gave the commentators on Twitter a great night on Sunday when he rocked up in a tux.
Here are a few of the best comments:

Anyone know who Tomás Ó Sé is playing in the snooker?

The name's Ó' Sé; Tomás Ó Sé

Did Tomás get dressed out of Dónal Óg Cusack's locker?

Is Tomás Ó Sé going to his Debs later?

But the best came from a Kerry supporter;

The man has five All Ireland medals. He can wear what he likes.

Monday, 29 June 2015

San Diego and other odds and ends

Look who's in San Diego for the summer!

Liam Corridan, Kilian O' Carroll, and Kevin O' Neill of Ciarrai.

According to Stephen Ahern of Irish Outreach San Diego the boys were to play a special pre game performance on Saturday night. The game in question is an annual Irish Night event.

On the previous Saturday the Irish community in San Diego held a memorial mass for the students killed in the Berkeley tragedy. 800 people attended that mass.

Below is link to a lovely account of this memorial event in last Saturday's Irish Times:

I thought I couldn't be prouder to be Irish…


Photo: Internet


An Old One from John Kelliher


Fungi Going Strong

photo;  Go Kerry


Highwaymen in The Sky

This clip by Fleadh Cheoil Chaiarraí of Frances Kennedy doing what she does best in a pub in Cahirsiveen at the fleadh has gone viral on the internet.

The Ballad of Ryanair


Céad Míle  Fáilte Romhaibh Abhaile

The French branch of my family who have been discovering the Basque Country for a year are due home today.
"How're we gonna keep 'em down on the farm……"


Origins of Kerry Step Dancing

Jimmy Smith of Rinceoirí na Ríochta (on left) back in the day.

A DVD featuring Jimmy and the origins of Kerry Step Dance was launched in the Brogue, Tralee on Friday night.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Listowel Tidy Towns and an unusual Cork Workshop

Listowel Tidy Towns

Listowel Tidy Towns are a great organization, well embedded in the community. They do excellent work and support every effort that contributes to Listowel's looking and feeling better.

Listowel Girls Primary school community at the raising of their 5th green flag.

Kerry Crusaders help Listowel Tidy Towns with a clean up.


A really unusual Café

During my Cork holiday, I was taken to a really quirky and quaint café. it is located not too far from the airport. If you want to visit, you will have to look up the directions on their website; 

One of the first things to caught my eye as we parked the car was the tree hung with old chipped and cracked cups.

The family who run the venture also keep prizewinning hens and poultry. My photo does not do justice to this lady as I caught her when the wind had ruffled her feathers.

 A tabletop made from an old road sign

A rail of turf at the door

As you can see, its not your usual café entrance. The business is run by two brothers and it is housed in what was once their father's workshop.

 Once inside, you will see that the place is full of curios, antiques and bric a brac. Everything is for sale, even the chair you are sitting on.

 An old record player was playing swing music on the day I was there.

In the bathroom, the washhandbasin is inside an old gramophone cabinet.

This is a photograph of a man in Fermoy standing beside a door from his shop which is now a feature of The Workshop.

Pinning their colours to the mast, in pride of place is a framed signed Cork jersey.


Remember these?

I took the above photographs in The River Island Hotel in Castle Island


Pastoral scene near Glenflesk


This is a photo (from the internet) of a cyclist in the Tour de France in the early 1900's