Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Art Exhibition Continues, Listowel Badminton Club in 1924 and Coolard Memories

 Photo of Ballybunion on a March night in 2016 is by Jason of Ballybunion Prints


Exhibition Continues

The Red Door Gallery is located in The Square Newcastlewest. It is a beautiful Arts space. The current exhibition is the varied and intriguing Colourful Spirits show. Below are a few last photos I took at the official opening on March 3 2016. It is well worth a visit.

 Billy Keane with some of the pictures.

 Two Billy Keanes: the younger Billy ( on the right) is a talented singer.

This fascinating artwork started life as a photograph.


Listowel Badminton Club in 1924

(Junior Griffin)

In its early years Listowel Badminton Club was a mens club only and Eddie Faley, Mortimer Galvin, J. Farrell and others were members at that time.  Ladies applied to be admitted but to no avail.  It is said that Eddie Faley considered the females to be “A bloody nuisance”.

However he was prevailed upon to admit the ladies and grudgingly condescended,  and in his first ever mixed doubles game his partner was one Aileen Cronin, and lo and behold, she became his life partner for many years to follow.
Indeed, it leads one to ponder on the seemingly unending number of romances that have blossomed through Badminton, and one feels that that the figure of Cupid should be depicted with a racquet and shuttlecock and not with the customary bow and arrow.

Listowel is very fortunate that yet another dance ticket  was found in an old Library Book giving details of yet another dance ball but more importantly for the benefit of historians, the officers and committee of that time was listed.

This dance, known as a wireless ball coupled with a fancy dress parade, was held also in the Gymnasium on Saturday March 1st 1924 .

The committee listed are as follows;
President; Mr Seamus Wilmot;
Hon Sec; Mr. P.V. Fahey;
Hon. Treas; Mr. R.I. Cuthbertson
Committee; Messer’s C.Tackberry, M.Hannon, T.Moore, J.Farrell, M.Naylor, J.O’Sullivan, J.Medell, J.Walsh and T.P. Cotter.
It is interesting to note the data on this card such as the admission price where the men had to pay an old shilling more than the ladies, 8/6 pence compared to 7/6 pence.
There is  nice line stating that “Mr. Dunne’s Orchestra is personally conducted”
The back page gives information on the Wireless Concert. (To the young people of today a wireless is now known as a Radio).
It states that “Subscribers will be entertained to a programme Broadcasted from the following stations; London; Paris; Bournemouth; Manchester and Glasgow.
Detailed Programme can be seen in the Irish Independent of Saturday March 1st.
The set is fitted with the latest and most up-to-date-Loud Speaker”

With the IT technology that is available today the world has certainly come a long
way since those updated loud speakers of 1924.

It is interesting to note that whilst Listowel had a wireless on March 1st, some days later, on March 6th, 1924, that Pope Pius XI had a wireless installed in Rome for the first time.
One wonders did he have some contact in Listowel who told him about this new form of communication, and did he, per chance, purchase it from McKenna’s of Listowel?
Who Knows?


The Old Order Changeth Yielding Place to the New

March 4 2016


Maurice O'Mahony, Principal of Coolard Primary School

Maurice O'Mahony launched his memoir and history of the school where he has been principal since 1973. When he took to the stage in St. John's on March 5 2016 the tale he had to tell was an extraordinary one.

Maurice came to the school in 1973, aged 20 years. He must have been one of the youngest principals in the country at the time. When he came, Coolard had no running water, no electricity and no telephone. It must have felt more like 1873.
Maurice is still at the helm today and the school has all the modern trappings, internet, white boards, SNAs, a secretary etc., etc.

When the principal of his old school, Ballydonoghue rang him one day to ask him for the names of all the teachers who had taught in Coolard, he undertook a search and discovered that, while all the pupils names were recorded, some of the teachers' names were in danger of being forgotten. Thus began the long years of research to gather together as comprehensive a history of the school as possible. The culmination of that research is a magnificent magnum opus which will be treasured by local historians and everyone who has a link with the school.

The school has been through many trials and strifes and has seen much success, Thankfully we rarely hear about school boycotts nowadays but Coolard had one in its history and it lasted for 15 months. It is not as famous as the boycott in Drimoleague which is still not talked about to this day. It had at its heart though the same cause, i.e. the appointment of a principal.  You can read all about Coolard's strike in Maurice's book.

The local community has resisted any efforts to amalgamate their school with the other Primary school in the parish and under Maurice's stewardship it has gone from strength to strength.
I'd advise you to go out and buy yourself a copy of A History of Coolard School 1846 to 2016. It will soon be a collector's item. An interesting feature of the book is that it contains the name of every pupil who was ever on the roll there.


Fuinneoga Gleoite

Listowel Florist


Tae Lane Store


Another successful performance

photo: Listowel Drama Group

Listowel Drama Group cast and crew with adjudicator at the North Cork Drama festival where high praise was given to their  stellar performance again last night.
Final run last night March 14 2016 in Hollycross in North Tipperary.


Flying the Flag for the best of Irish Food

In London they celebrated St. Patrick's Day early, on Sunday March 13 2016. Chef John Relihan was there cooking up the best of Irish beef on the best of Irish turf.

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