Thursday, 14 January 2016

Holidays, Holy Well in Ardfert and that flood of 1828


Do you remember when going on your holidays meant going a few miles out the road to your cousins? Those were the best holidays except, maybe,  for the times when your cousins came over from England for a bit and brought with them a few hand-me downs. 

Those lucky enough to have visiting American cousins were the really lucky ones. Americans were rich and often has gadgets like cameras. I grew up in a house with no camera. Most of the photos of us as children were taken by American relatives. 

When cousins came you got taken places, often only to visit other relatives but that was the height of excitement in  the 1950s. Cousins from abroad loved jobs like saving hay, a trip to the bog or the well, bringing in the cows or having a go at pulping mangolds. This stuff was all new to them and they thought it was all "great gas'. Because they enjoyed it so much, it didn't seem like drudgery any more.

I was reminded of all of this when I got some holiday snaps from my peripatetic friends at Christmas.

While I was at home in rain soaked Ireland other people were sharing their holiday snaps from exotic destinations.

My sister in law was in Vietnam

My niece went to Venice.

My friend, Mary Sobieralski, was in Cologne.


Women pray at a holy well in Ardfert  sometime in the 1930s

One thing that fascinates me about this photo is the very colorful shawls on the two women on the left. These are more like table coverings and not at all like anything I have ever seen before worn by Kerry women.


Listowel Drama

Sive marked a pinnacle of successful drama for Listowel folk.
Below is Liam O HainnĂ­n's photo of the sleeve of his L.P. of the play.

Listowel Drama Group are taking to the road again. Next March in Holycross in Tipperary a wider audience will get a chance to see the brilliant production of Blythe Spirit we all enjoyed so much last year.


Apropos My Flooding in Abbeyfeale Story

I posted this last week: 

Irish Examiner 1841-1999, Saturday, 25 January, 1941; Page: 10


The most destructive flood in the Feale for a century was recalled by
the death of Mrs. Nano Stack, of Moynsha, Abbeyfeale, which took place
in her 90th year, after some weeks illness. About the middle of the
fifties of the last century. Mrs. Stack, when a child of about six
years old, was save  by her brother, the late Dl. O'Connor , Church
Street, Abbeyfeale, who took her in his arms, and climbing a wall of
their house at Islandanny, which the big Feale flood had isolated,
remained  so until the flood subsided. This flood, which occurred in
August, broke down the Feale Valley with tremendous depth and force,
and swept to their death eleven persons.

and it drew this response from Nicky Leonard:

Hi, Mary,  I have read your very interesting  account of the narrow escape, at Islandanny.  of Mrs. Nano Stack from the great Feale  flood.
I had previously come across the following report  in the Spectator of 1858; it probably refers to the same great flood. How factual the account of the deaths and destruction at Abbeyfeale is, I am not certain. The last paragraph is particularly apt  in the light of the current Great Floods.
Best wishes,  Nicky Leonard: 

From The Spectator of 25 September 1858:
“…there have been very serious floods in Limerick, Kerry, and Cork. At Abbeyfeale, in the river Feale, five persons were drowned, bridges, houses, and a great deal of property destroyed. 

In Cork and Connemara alike walls were swept down; vessels carried from their moorings; stacks of corn, hay, oats floated off; potato fields submerged; horses drowned. 

The destructive effects of this sudden rising of the waters in the south of Ireland will be painfully felt in many a village and homestead.”

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