Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Drowning Tragedy in 1934, Ladies Day 2015 and a new look for Sheahans

An sad old story that unites Kerry and Galway

Those of us of a certain age learned at school Raftery's sad dirge which tells the story of how 19 people and numerous sheep were drowned in Anac Cuan in Galway Bay. I'm putting it in here in Irish and with an English translation for those of you who would like to take this trip down memory lane. If you never heard of Anac Cuan skip to the end of the poem for the other drowning story with  a Kerry connection

Ma fhaighimse sláinte is fada a bheas trocht ar
an mhéid a báthadh as Anach Cuan.
Mo thrua amhrach gach athair is mathair
bean is páiste atá ag síleadh síl.
A Rí na nGrásta, a cheap neamh is Páthas,
nár bheag an bhacht dúinn beirt nó triúr?
Ach lá chomh breá leis gan gaoth gan báiisteach
is lán an bháid acu a scuabadh ar siúl.

Nár mhór an t-íonadh os comhair na ndaoine
a bhfeiscint sínte ar chúl a gcinn?
Screadadh is caoineadh a scanradh daoine,
gruaig cíoradh is an chreach á roinn.
Bhí buachaillí óga ann, tíocht an fhómhair,
Síneadh ar chróchar is tabhairt go cill.
Is gurbh é gléas a pósta a bhí dá dtorramh
Is, a Dhia na Glóire, nór mhór an feall?

Loscadh sléibhte agus scalladh cléibhe
ar an áit ar éagadar is milleán crua,
mar is iomaí críatúr a d'fhág sé ag géar-ghol,
ag sileadh is ag éagaoin gach maidin Luain.
Ní diabháil eolais a chuir i dtreoir iad
ach mí-ádh mór a bhí sa gCaisleán Nua.
Is é críochnú an amhráin gur báthadh mórán
is d'fhág ábhar dólás ag Anach Cuan


If my health is spared I'll be long relating,
Of the boat that sailed out from Anac Cuan,
And the keening after of mother and father,
As the laying out of each corpse was done.
Oh King of Graces, who died to save us,
It was a small affair but for one or two,
But a boat-load bravely on a calm sailing,
Without storm or rain to be swept to doom.

The boat sprang a leak and left all those people,
And frightened sheep out adrift on the tide,
It beats all telling what fate befell them,
Eleven strong men and eight women died.
Men who could manage a plough or harrow,
For to break the fallow or scatter seed,
And the women whose fingers could move so nimbly,
To spin fine linen or cloth to weave.

Young boys they were lying where crops were ripening,
From the strength of youth they were borne away,
In their wedding clothes for their wake they robed them,
Oh King of Glory man's hope is vain.
May burning mountains come tumbling downward,
On that place of drowning may curses fall,
Full many the soul it has left in mourning,
And left without hope of a bright day's dawn.
The cause of their fate was no fault of sailing ,
It was the boat that failed them the Caislean Nuadh,
And left me to make with a heart that's breaking,
This sad lamentation for Anac Cuain.

Corrib Tragedy January 18 1934

Over the years, the River Corrib has seen many tragic moments because of drowning accidents. While the Anach Chuain disaster of 1828, was terrible, with the loss of 19 people, one of the saddest must be the tragedy that occurred during a cold winter’s night of January 1934.
What makes this accident so haunting is the fact that the people who lost their lives were neither boating or swimming: they were occupants of a motor car who should not have been in that particular area on that night. What is even sadder still is that they drowned within ear-shot of a dance that was being held in the Commercial Boat Club. As young people enjoyed the dancing and music in the hall, four others struggled for their lives in a submerged car just outside. Many people say that one cannot escape fate, and this is a story of just that: it is haunting to say the least as one examines the circumstances that led to this appalling tragedy.

The following account of the accident was published:
“Drowned Within Sound of Dance – Agonising Search – For Four Bodies in Motor Car – Pathetic Final Scenes.”
“Whilst the band played and the dancers danced at the Commercial Boat Club, Galway, on Thursday night last, a motor car returning from Ballinasloe plunged into the Corrib at the end of Steamer’s Quay, carrying its four occupants to death in four feet of water.
No one heard the splash: no one witnessed the grim tragedy of a mistaken road. All was over in less time than it takes to write the story. It was not until Saturday morning, after a diligent search by the Civic Guards, that the car with its huddle of dead bodies in the back seat was found lying on its left side beneath the waters.
The names of the victims were as follows:
            Sergeant Forde (28) in charge of Maam station, a native of Tynagh, Co. Galway, married; leaves a widow, a son and a daughter.
            Guard Kenneally (32) Maam, a native of Newtownsands, Co. Kerry, married; leaves a widow and one son.
            Martin Keane P.C. (45) Maam, shopkeeper and farmer the driver of the car, married; leave a widow, three boys and two girls.
            Miss Margaret Laffey (25) Carragh, Cornamona.

The purpose of the ill-fated journey that day was to take a girl, Sarah Laffey, who had been ill for some time, to a hospital in Ballinasloe. The first leg of the journey was from Maam to Carragh in Cornamona, where the girl lived. Her sister, Margaret, decided to accompany her and travelled with them. The party started on their journey for Ballinasloe about 12:30pm and arrived there at 3:30pm. They travelled in a 1929 green saloon, Fordor Ford car, the property of Martin Keane of Maam, who was also the driver.

The drowning tragedy happened on their way back to Galway.
Source: Alice Kennelly, granddaughter of Garda Michael Kennelly)


Fashion on Ladies day 2015


Another Lovely Paint Job

Sheahan's Bar and Grocery is rebranding. Fred and Roly Chute were putting the finishing touches to paintwork when I met them on Saturday September 26 2015.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Listowel, Ireland's tidiest small town, Clounmacon Calling 2015 and some photos from Ladies Day 2015

Simply the Best

As someone who spends a lot of time photographing Listowel, I can say, without fear of contradiction that it is one of the loveliest towns in Ireland. I have observed the work of Listowel Tidy Towns committee at close quarters and I am in awe at their hard work and perseverance. The town is a credit to them and they can bask in the pride and gratitude we all feel at being declared Ireland's tidiest small town for 2015.

"After 22 years in the national TidyTowns Competition Listowel is now a clear leader and all in your community should be very proud of your efforts."

Above is the final line of the judges'  report.

Just a few photos of our lovely town


Clounmacon Calling

On the Saturday of their Gathering weekend the assembled Clounmacon folk took a walking tour of Listowel and then after lunch they gathered in the old school house to relive those far off schooldays. They talked of teachers and pupils, walking to school, school lunches of cocoa and sandwiches, they sat in their old school desks and through rose colored glasses viewed those bygone days.

The gang at the end of their walking tour with Vincent Carmody who was their guide.


More Road Repair Contracts  as reported in The Tralee Mercury 1836
 1 Maurice Connor and Richard Bunnion, to keep in repair for 7 years 802 perches of the Road from Tralee to the Cashion Ferry and Listowel between the bridge of Moybella and the East bounds of Gowrie contracted for by Michael Grady, securities James Kissane and William Collins at 4d per and by the year  for
Michael and Robert Cox to keep in repair for 7 years 1356 perches of the Road from the Cashion Ferry to Ballylongford between the cross of Curraghdarrag and the Church of Ahavallin contracted for by Michael Cox, Securities Robert and Philip Cox at 4d per, and by the year for £22 12s 0d.

3 William Perryman and Thomas James, to keep in repair for 7 years 1302 perches of the road from the Sea at Ballybunnion to Ballylongford between the Chanel of Glonnacore and the cross of Curraghdarrag, contracted for by William Perryman Securities John Lawor and Cornelius Cahill at 4d per and by the year for £21 14s 0d
 4 James and Edmond Slack, to keep in repair for 7 years 111 4 perches of the Road from Tralee and the Cashion Ferry to Tarbert between Edmond Stacks house at Litter and Farranstack, contracted to, by James Stack, Securities Patrick M'Elligott and James Flahavan at 4d per and by the year.

5 Timothy Molony and Maurice Connor to keep in repair for 7 years 496 perches of the Road from Tralee and the Cashion Ferry to Ballylongford between Mrs. Tracys house at Gunsboro and Mrs, Forhan's house at Kilgarvan Contracted to by Maurice Connor Securities Samuel Raymond and William Raymond, at 5d per. and by the year for

6 Thomas Lynch and Denis Harty, to keep in repair for 7 years 1863 perches of the road from Listowel to the sea at Ballybunnion and Kilconlie, between the cross of Moybella and the bridge of Bromore, contracted for by Ambrose Gallivan, Securities Thomas Lynch and Roger Harty at 5.5d per, and by the year for.

7 Garret Stack and Michael Mulvihil, to keep in repair for 7 years 1145 perches of the road from the sea at Ballybunnion to Ballylongford and Tarbert, between the cross of Lahanes and Garret Stack's house at Tullihinel, contracted for by Michael Kissane, securities Richard Kissane and Thomas Collins at 3d per and by the year for

8 John Fitzmaurice and Thomas Scanlan, to keep in repair for 7 years S44 perches of the road from Tarbert to Abbeyfeale, between the cross of Tarmous and the pipers cross near Newtownsandes, contracted for by John Fitzmaurice, securities Thomas Scanlon and Maurice Walsh at 7d per and by the year for,

9 Thomas Mangan and Daniel Loonie,
to keep in repair for 7 years 680 perches of the road from Tralee and the Cashion Ferry to Ballylongford between the cross of Leamsahane, and the west bound of the warren of Beale, contracted for by John Kennelly, securities Thomas O'Connor and Thomas Mangan at 4d per and by the year for.

10 Wm- Connor and John Horgan to keep in repair tor 7 years 1716 perches of the road from Listowel to the sea at Ballybunnion, between the cross of Scortleagh and the bridge of Ballyloughron, contracted for by Wm. Connor, securities George Hewson and Gerald M'Elligott at 9d per and by the year for

11 W m. Brunskill and John Hanlon to keep in repair for 7 years 410 perches of the road from Tarbert to the harbour of Tarbert, between Mrs. Hamilton's house and Patrick Moore's house both in Tarbert, contracted for by Wm. Brunskill, securities John Fitzmaurice and John Hanlon at 7d per, and by the year for.
Richard Pope contract 391 perches of road from Tarbert to Abbeyfeale , between John Stacks House, Kealid and Tom Stacks House Kilmeny, half years salary £3-9-2.5d.
Surveyors; Gerard O Callaghan and Darby Conway.

Some of the stunning hats at Ladies day 2015

Aoife Hannon

Antoinette O'Mahoney

Antoinette O'Mahoney

Antoinette O'Mahoney

Maria Stack

Philip Treacy
Philip Treacy

The lady in the middle is Bríd Hayes who won the prize for best dressed lady. Her hat was from Aoife Hannon. I don't know the provenance of the other two.


Round Tower revealed

(photo; Bridget O'Connor)
The scaffolding has finally been removed from around Rattoo Round Tower and it is open to the public again.