Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Harmonie Festival 1999, Listowel politics in 1910 and 1916 commemorative installations

The Bend for Home

This is the road out of town for Tralee or Limerick. The Millennium arch is on the left and the cars are on the Big Bridge.


Jimmy Hickey brings international honour to Listowel in 1999

The high point of Jimmy Hickey's career as a dancer and dancing teacher was the winning of this magnificent trophy in 1999.

Here is the story

The HARMONIE FESTIVAL is a festival of peace, friendship and international understanding.
It takes place in Germany every six years. There are competitions for traditional singing, dancing and music. Participation is by invitation only. To this day the organisers are inviting Jimmy to come back, despite receiving hundreds of applications from other Irish dancing schools to participate. I think he might be thinking of having one last go at it. I hope he does. The next Harmonie is in 2017.

Winning group Harmonie festival 1999

Back Ted Kenny, Mary Doyle, Michelle Mulvihill, Donncha Quill, Jimmy Hickey, dancing master, Mary Ellen Quill and Ellen Quill


 Sarah O’Mahoney, Fiona Twomey, Una Nolan, Lorraine O’Brien, Seán Browne, musician, Margaret Prendeville, Jean O’Connor, Marion O’Connell and Helena O’Connell.

Harmonie Festival, Lindenholzhausen 1999

42 nations from all over the world each with their own cultural dance.

Arriving back in Shannon with the trophy.

When the Kerry dancers went first there was no competition, just exhibition and just five countries took part.  When it developed into a competition Jimmy Hickey’s dancers took first prize in 1999 and 2005. This was a huge honour, which deserved wider recognition at home. They represented their country in an international competition, competing against 42 other countries and came home with this unique and valuable trophy. It depicts the town, Lindenholzhausen, where the competition took place. It has the symbol of the competition and symbols representing the traditions of music and dance that were celebrated.  Each dance group contributed one judge to the panel, so they were judged by an international jury of their peers.


Kerry Evening Star 1902-1914, Thursday, January 13, 1910; 

An account of a fairly lively political meeting in Listowel in 1910

The famous George Sandes.  Mr. Flavin,  living in Listowel,
could not stand his conduct,  so he took off his coat, fought him
fearlessly and well, and beat him all along the line. He hunted him
from every public Board in the county, and from the Bench he disgraced
him, until finally he hunted him to his dishonoured grave, he having
died a broken-hearted brute.

 Again they found Mr. Flavin , when there was confusion in the Irish Party, he proved himself loyal
to the authority of the chair. They found him in Meath assisting
another honest Irishman, Michael Davitt. (Cheers). They all remembered
the testimony of Michl. Davitt to honest Michael Flavin—that if he had
the giving away of his seat in the morning, the one man he would
select as a fearless fighter, as an honest man, was Michael Joseph
Flavin. (Cheers). 

Fourteen years ago Mr. Flavin was selected by a
Convention In North Kerry, and he got a mandate then from this
constituency telling him to bear the Home Rule flag in the English
House of Commons, and Rev. Speaker asked them had he not proved
himself an honest man since then, practically attending to his duties,
fruitfully doing them and doing them well. (Cheers). 

He had given the
best years of his life in the service of his country, regardless of
the consequence to his health. They found him once brought to death's
door by the strife and turmoil of the battle, and now he would ask
them was that the man they should change for this gentleman from
London town?—(cries of of "Never")—a man they had never heard in
politics up to the present time, and who heard of now, Rev. Chairman
had no doubt, for a sinister purpose. ("BOO for Neville Stack.") They
were passing through a critical crisis, perhaps one of the most
critical that had ever arisen in their country's history. Home Rule,
the desire of every Irishman, was now within measurable distance of
them. The Cabinet Ministers were proclaiming from the platforms all
through England that if returned to power they had committed
themselves to the granting of a full measure of Home Rule to Ireland.

While the hands of the Irish people were stretched out for
that long denied measure of justice to this country, the right of
Irishmen to make their own laws had in their own Parliament,  Joe
Chamberlain issuing his manifesto the other day to the electors of
Birmingham, appealing to their prejudices as Englishmen, not to vote
for the Liberals, because if they were returned to power they would
give Home Rule to Ireland. (Cries of "Shame.") While their hands were
stretched out, they had the Unionists of Ireland subscribing twenty
thousand pounds for the purpose of scattering foul literature and to
defray the expenses of every foul-mouthed ruffian that was willing to
go across to villify their country. They had seen where the Tories had
opened the war chest and had given generously of it to every renegade
Irishman who was prepared to go across and fight a constituency in
Ireland, and Rev. Chairman had no doubt that this Mr. Thos. Neville
Stack was there for that purpose.

 He was supposed to contest that
division of North Kerry. He did not do it with a hope of winning,
unless he was an unmitigated fool, because he had as much chance of
winning as Rev. Chairman's dog, Macnab. (Cheers and laughter). But if
by any chance he was returned, what would that mean? It would mean one
more voice in the wilderness, away from the Irish Party in a position
to do no good, but a lot of mischief. (Cheers). 

He would give them an
idea of what a humbug this gentleman was. He had gone to Mr. Redmond
and had stated he was willing to submit himself to the Convention. He
had not turned up, because he knew he would not get a man to propose
him, and if he did he would not get a seconder. (Cheers). Then he
issued his manifesto telling Mr. Redmond that the Convention would be
packed, and that it was a bogus one—which was a lie—and that he would
go forward and fight as an independent Nationalist "morryeah," laughed
Rev. Chairman, amidst cheers and laughter. He was to his (Rev.
Chairman's) mind an independent humbug, and when the fight was over
and the battle won, and he thought he could trust the sons of the
patriotic fathers in North Kerry, the first district in Ireland that
struck a blow for Home Rule and the extinction of landlordism in 1872;
when the day came for the counting of the votes, that they would prove
themselves worthy sons of those patriotic fathers, and give to this
London Stageen such a whipping in the race that never again would he
have the hardihood of entering for the North Kerry "Cup." (Loud and
prolonged cheering).

Mr. Flavin, who next addressed the meeting and was received with
applause, expressed his confidence in the support he would get if Mr.
Neville Stack had the impudence to force the electors. He (Mr. Flavin)
had no doubt about winning, but one he would like to have made clear,
and that was on the day of the polling, many of his supporters might
say, "Well what is the use voting  he is bound to win easily, and
voting won't make any difference." Well they should no give way to
such apathy, but  come up and record their votes  so that factionism
for all time should be  blotted off the map of at leaat North Kerry.
(Loud cheers).

A warm vote of thanks was passed to the Rev. Chairman to which he
suitably replied terminated the proceedings.


Listowel's permanent 1916 memorial

David Toomey told me all about this when I met him at work in the park last week. The tarmac bit is in the shape of a Tara Brooch. It's going to have commemorative plaques of the 1916 signatories in the circle of the brooch. All round the edge will be two rows of box hedge in different colours of green. It looks promising. I'll keep you updated as it takes shape.


Dublin City Marathon

Kerry Crusaders were well represented at the Dublin Marathon this year. (photo:Tommy Commane)

This year too a special medal to acknowledge their participation in 25 marathons was presented to the Kerr family. They run with their son Aaron who uses a wheelchair. Two Listowel sisters, Rochelle and Tena Griffin, are part of the team of people who help them push the chair for some of the way


Moyvane 1916 Garden of Remembrance

Highlights of the ceremony to open the 1916 Garden of Remembrance and the village Vintage festival and dog show 2016


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