Friday, 23 December 2016

Photos and more photos


Happy Christmas to all followers of Listowel Connection. Thank you for all the support and good wishes in 2016.

I'm taking a short break to recharge the batteries. With your help, we'll do it all again in 2017.


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Humans of Listowel

Some lovely Listowel people, mostly in pairs, who I photographed in Listowel Community Centre on November 25 2016.




















Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas memories and more

1909 Christmas Card  

(From the National Library's Collection)





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Great Craic at Lyreacrompane Christmas Party



Fr. Seán enjoying the banter in Lyre at Christmas 2016

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Memories of Christmas in Ireland in the 40 and early 50
By Marie (Canty) Sham

Maria grew up in O'Connell's Avenue Listowel. Here she looks back on a very happy Christmas time




  
I remember

Going to the wood to cut the holly which grew wild, and the moss to put on the crib.
Christmas Eve cleaning the house, the excitement of setting up the crib filling jam jars with sand and putting the candles in them, decorating them with crepe paper, putting up paper chains, my mother would have made a large Christmas pudding in a gallon and put it aside

The turkey or goose was bought at the local market and plucked by our neighbour Bill Boyle. He must have done it for everyone because the road would be covered in feathers. The innards were still warm when it was cleaned out, that was all on Christmas Eve so it was fresh.

We were not well off but we were lucky as my father was always working, we were not short of anything. At that time in Kerry there was a lot of unemployment.

The shops mam shopped in during the year gave a Christmas box. One shop would give tea, sugar and maybe a pot of jam. That shop was called Jet Stacks and it is not there now. The butcher Murphy’s would send Danny to deliver us maybe a large piece of lamb, of course it would be delivered by him on his bicycle with a basket in front

I can also remember a donkey and cart outside the shops with a tea chest and all the shopping would be put into it. These people would be from the country and would not come to town again until after Christmas.

There was a shop called Fitzgibbons and we would pay in whatever we could afford for toys or anything else. I paid in sixpence a week for a sewing box and I still had it when I got married. Mam paid every week for the Nativity figures for the crib I have never seen anything so beautiful since.

The ham would be on the boil and with the crib set up. The candles would be lit by the youngest member of the house, I think at 7o clock

Our clean clothes would be kept warm over the range ready for midnight mass.
Going out on the frosty night and seeing all the windows with lighted candles was wonderful.



Home after mass a warm fire in the range a slice of the ham or maybe a fry! Our stockings would be hanging at the end of the bed. We did not get much; my dad was very good with his hands and would make things for us. He made a scooter once and a rocking horse.

My brother Neil wanted a mouth organ and it was like the song scarlet ribbons, dad went to so many shops until he got one for him. I was too young to remember that but mam told that story.

Christmas morning I will never forget waking up to the smell of the turkey roasting.

Up quickly and look if Santa had come, our stockings might have an orange, we always got something. I remember getting roller skates; I also remember getting a fairisle jumper from Santa. The problem was I had seen my aunt knitting it. All the children would be out in the Avenue with their new toys to show off.

Before dinner our neighbour Paddy Galvin would come in to wish a Happy Christmas and mam would give him a bottle of stout. I think that was the only time he ever called in. We would have lemonade and stout in for Christmas.

Dinner was wonderful, our Mam was a great cook. There was Mam Dad, Nelie, Paddy, Doreen and myself. My brother Junie came along later, and after we would wrap up warm and visit the cribs; one in each church, hospital, convent and St Marys and bring home a bit of straw for our crib which I think was blessed.

More food when we got home
Bed and looking forward to St Stephens day and the Wren Boys, no cooking on that day we finished up the leftovers.

What wonderful times!





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Giving Back at Christmas



The man on the left is Michael McEnery. He comes from Causeway and now lives in Dublin where he is president of his local Fingal Rotary Club.

This Christmas he is putting his passion for running to use to help others. He is currently undertaking

Kerry Crusaders 200 miles to Freedom

running from Dublin to Kerry to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis and Cancer charities.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Exits 2016, Christmas in Florida, a ball and A Letter from a Watchman



Losses of 2016    (Photo from Twitter)




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I Still Wouldn't Trade Places. Would you?



(from the internet)


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Our Friends at Áras Mhuire are planning big Things





NEWSFLASH!

Meet your sporting heroes for the Cause of Causes

at the Áras Mhuire Black tie Ball. All proceeds will go to acquired brain and spinal injury services at Aras Mhuire Nursing Home.

It is a black tie ball event to be held in the Listowel Arms hotel on Saturday February 11th.
 Drinks reception at 7.15pm Dinner at 8pm.

We will have a number of national sporting heroes present on the night. 

The main theme of night involves having an online auction of sporting memorabilia. The auction which will be held beforehand is for the only  jersey that was signed by the Irish team in Soldiers Field in Chicago after the win against the All Blacks. 

The auction will also include a jersey signed by the 2014 All Ireland Champions and a signed Dublin Jersey from the 2016 Champions. 

Other Jerseys to be auctioned will be announced later. The online auction will conclude on the night and the winners will be announced at the dinner.

Tickets are €100 and are available from The listowel Arms and 
Áras Mhuire Nursing Home, 068 21470

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One from the Archives

Letter from Listowel, published in the Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 11th May 1865.

Local Grievances and Local Scenery
We forward the subjoined letter which has been handed to us by “Lame Paddy,” our news boy. Hitherto, we did not give the writer credit for such flippancy of thought, but he ensures us that the effusions are his own, and though we differ broadly from him in his views as regards the duties of the night watchman referred to, yet there are some locally important matters adverted to which may render the letter worthy of a place :-

“To the Editor of the Daily Reporter.
Church-Lane, Listowel, 10th May 1865,

Dear Sir – In my meanderings and up-and-down wanderings through the town, I pick up a great deal of news early and late, without much profit to myself, or benefit to the public, but as I am now on the staff of the Cork Reporter, for you know it is myself, Sir,  that carries about your paper every day, and it gives me much pleasure to state that it is well received by all classes and all parties, irrespective of creed or political feelings, which, by Dad, gives me a large commission.
The great desideratum of  our gaining a local name and habitation among the “Northerns” is  already achieved and, although the “South” may have many attractions, they are not a bit beyond us in intelligence; we can estimate measures, not men,  and we can draw a distinction between what is for our good and otherwise, but that is not here or there to what I want to say.
Some few weeks ago the watchman that is here spied upon Maurice O’Halloran,  and in consequence was he fined £1 and costs for having some persons in his house at 11 o’clock at night.  This was all right you will say, but I say it was all wrong, as the watchman, being paid by the shopkeepers only to sing out the hour, ought to let the police mind their own business. At any rate, a few persons in the town, determined to put down the wretched crew of informers  that exist here, signed a paper appointing another man and the people were afraid  of signing this for fear of causing anger to themselves, or annoying the head who put his tail into it.
But as I am heartily sick of the low tricks and ignorant devices of officialism in Listowel , I hasten to inform you that I am going out on Sunday to see that far-famed and justly celebrated watering place called Ballybunnion, on a visit to your agent there.  Mr. Harence, the popular Landlord of that locality , was there last week, and was welcomed with bonfires, &c. He placed a splendid clock, at his own expense solely, in the church, which is of great advantage to the folk, as they will know “the time o’ day.” He is about fitting up a hotel, which I do not see much use of, as there is a first-class one there before, kept by one of the most obliging landlords in the country. I do not know how will he act towards this hotel-keeper, as the place will not support two; if he is strong he ought to be merciful, and look to what he exemplifies in his own case- vested rights.
I am told he is about to build a number of cottiers’ houses which will be of service to the working classes, that is if the working classes are there for them. He is also to start a public car, connecting it with Foynes Railway, so that tourists may proceed at once to Ballybunnion without waiting at Listowel. All these arrangements to be effected this season.
Ballybunnion, as a watering place, stands unrivalled for scenic beauty. All along, an iron bound coast is lashed by the billows of the mighty Atlantic, and the wild scream of the sea-birds, as they rise on high, fills one with awe. The healthful breeze blowing landward, braces the nerves and gives renewed courage to face manfully the trials of life and struggle among those contending upward and onward. There are some beautiful natural caves through which, at high-water mark, the sea rolls, disporting itself through the basalt rocks until it makes an outlet at Doon Bay, a sad and solitary spot, where the curlew’s wail is heard far away.
The strand is a beautiful level table of sand, firm and unyielding, and the places set apart for male and female bathers are well selected, and possess every advantage. Mr. Harence, it is said, will erect baths, a consummation devoutly to be wished for, as we calculate, after a little trial they will compete with any in the country. The town of Ballybunnion consists of a number of houses with a large and commodious hotel, where every accommodation can be got. Mr. Scanlan, the proprietor, is an intelligent gentleman, who gives his best attention to tourists, and all parties visiting the waters. As the season is likely to be a crowded one there, I will after my visit give you a few more particulars – I remain, Sir, your obedient servant, LAME PADDY.”



Local Grievances and Local Scenery –
Letter from Listowel, published in the Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier of 11 May 1865.

We forward the subjoined letter, which has been handed to us by “Lame Pady,” our news boy. Hitherto we did not give the writer credit for such flippancy of thought, but he ensures us that the effusions are his own, and though we differ broadly from him in his views as regards the duties of the night watchman referred to, yet there are some locally important matters adverted to which may render the letter worthy of a place :-

“To the Editor of the Daily Reporter.
Church-Lane, Listowel, 10th May 1865,

Dear Sir – In my meanderings and up and down wanderings through the town, I pick up a great deal of news early and late, without much profit to myself, or benefit to the public, but as I am now on the staff of the Cork Reporter, for you know it is myself, Sir,  That carries about your paper every day, and it gives me much pleasure to state that it is well received by all classes and all parties, irrespective of creed or political feelings, which by dad, gives me a large commission.
The great desideratum of  our gaining a local name and habitation among the “Northerns” is  already achieved and, although the “South” may have many attractions, they are not a bit beyond us in intelligence, we can estimate measures, not men   and we can draw a distinction between what is for our good and otherwise, but that is not here or there to what I want to say.
Some few weeks ago the watchman that is here spied upon Maurice O’Halloran,  and in consequence was he fined £1 and costs fo having some persons in his house at 11 o’clock at night.  This was all right you will say, but I say it was all wrong, as the watchman, being paid by the shopkeepers only to sing out the hour, ought to let the police mind their own business. At any rate, a few persons in the town , determined to put down the wretched crew of informers  that exist here, signed a paper appointing another man and the people were afraid  of signing this for fear of causing anger to themselves, or annoying the head who put his tail into it.
But as I am heartily sick of the low tricks and ignorant devices of officialism in Listowel , I hasten to inform you that I am going out on Sunday to see that far-famed and justly celebrated watering place called Ballybunnion, on a visit to your agent there.  Mr. Harence (sic), the popular Landlord of that locality , was there last week, and was welcomend with bonfires, &c. He placed a splendid clock at his own expense solely in the church, which is of great advantage to the folk, as they will know “the time o’ day.”
He is about fitting up a hotel, which I do not see much use of, as there is a first-class one there before, kept by one of the most obliging landlords in the country. I do not know how will he act towards this hotel-keeper, as the place will not support two; if he is strong he ought to be merciful, and look to what he exemplifies in his own case- vested rights.
I am told he is about to build a number of cottier’s houses, which will be of service to the working classes, that is if the working classes are there for them. He is also to start a public car, connecting it with Foynes Railway, so that tourists may proceed at once to Ballybunnion without waiting at Listowel. All these arrangements to be effected this season.
Ballybunnion, as a watering place, stands unrivalled for scenic beauty. All along an iron bound coast is lashed by the billows of the mighty Atlantic, and the wild scream of the sea-birds, as they rise on high, fills one with awe. The healthful breeze blowing landward, braces the nerves and gives renewed courage to face manfully the trials of life, and struggle among those contending upward and onward.
There are some beautiful natural caves through which at high water mark the sea rolls, disporting itself through the basalt rocks, until it makes an outlet at Doon Bay, a sad and solitary spot, where the curlew’s wail is heard far away. The strand is a beautiful level table of sand, firm and unyielding, and the places set apart for male and female bathers are well selected, and possess every advantage. Mr. Harence (sic), it is said, will erect baths, a consummation devoutly to be wished for, as we calculate after a little trial, they will compete with any in the country.
The town of Ballybunnion consists of a number of houses with a large and commodious hotel, where every accommodation can be got. Mr. Scanlan, the proprietor, is an intelligent gentleman, who gives his best attention to tourists, and all parties visiting the waters. As the season is likely to be a crowded one there, I will after my visit give you a few more particulars – I remain, sir, your obedient servant, LAME PADDY.”


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Writers' Week fun prize, Sheehy's Tea and a Gary MacMahon poem



This eagle owl was photographed by Chris Grayson. Superb photo you'll agree.

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It's That Time of Year


Saturday fun run in Ballincolllig Regional Park

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We have a Winner

At the recent BOI enterprise town expo the good folk at Listowel Writers' Week set people scratching their heads and racking their brains to come up with the last line of a Limerick.


Here are some of the good sports who chanced their arms at a spot of poetry.









The librarian didn't win it. The bankers didn't win it. The solicitors didn't win it. The boardgamers didn't win it. The postmistress didn't win it. Restauranteurs,  business executives and retailers all had a go.
The winner was a schoolboy. Here he is, Patrick Brosnan who might have got a little help from his sister and mother.


Here is his winning entry;

Finish the Limerick Competition

There was a young man from Listowel
Who wrote mainly prose on the whole
But a poem the right size
Won him a Writers' Week Prize
And that sent him off on a roll.

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A Welcome Gift

Recently I called on a friend and she made me a lovely cup of tea. When I told her how much I was enjoying the tea, she reached into her press and presented me with this packet of tea.



As you can see from the lable, Sheehys, who pack the tea, have a few more strings to their bow.

My friend, Judy, as well as giving me the tea gave me an absolutely beautiful Christmas card. It was especially made a few years ago as a fundraiser for St. Gabriel's in Dooradoyle in Limerick.


The image on the card is of Gallarus Oratory on Christmas Night and the verses inside are by the late great Garry MacMahon.



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Monday, 19 December 2016

Family, Lily's and a few more from December 11 in The Square


Well done, Ballydonoghue, North Kerry Champions 2016


(photo: John Kelliher)


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Kindness at Christmas 2016

Nancy Kelly's eyesight is failing but she loves the internet. She also loves to surprise people with an unexpected phoncall, card or greeting. She loves Listowel and Ballybunion and she truly appreciates those of us who bring her images and news from her home in North Kerry. 
Above is the lovely surprise her new internet friend, Mario Perez, created for her on the beach at Ballybunion.

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Blackbird in the town park in December 2016.




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Family Events at Christmas

I had a ceremony of Light, Christmas Concerts and a end of term drama show on my most recent trip to Cork.


My girlies in the Church of Christ our Light, Ballincollig for Róisín's Ceremony of Light.


Cora was the very best sheep in her Seó na Nollag at Gaelscoil Uí Riiordáin


Killian played carols at the concert for residents in Rosenalee Nursing Home.


Róisín was an urchin in her drama class' end of term show.


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Another New Business Opens in Charles Street




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A Pizza and an Elf walked into the Square

A few more photos from Dec 11 2016 in the square for the Coca Cola trucks event










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What I'm Reading and What I'm Listening to


While I'm reading Pat Given's poems I have this lovely album playing in the background. It features all of the artists who appeared on this season's Late Late Show and all the proceeds go to St. Vincent de Paul.

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Christmas Day Swim


Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue will be organising their usual swim on Christmas Day. If you don't feel brave enough to take the plunge you could drop by and contribute to their bucket collection. They do great work.