Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Irish Coinage, Poor Relations, Trees and a VIP guest for Listowel Food Fair


Restaurants in Church Street, Listowel

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A quick History of Irish Coinage

In 1926 The Irish Free State set up a committee to design and plan a new Irish coinage. William Butler Yeats who combined a knowledge of poetry, art and Irish history was an inspired choice to chair this committee.

The design chosen to be used on all the coins was the Irish harp,. The Irish harp is a 16 string model. The best example is the Brian Boru harp in Trinity College, Dublin. The reverse of each coin depicted an animal.


On Feb 15 1971 decimal coinage was introduced to Ireland. The new coins were designed by Gabriel Hayes


In January 2002 the latest iteration of coinage happened with the change from the punt to the euro and then today's coins were minted. The biggest innovation of this move was the replacement of some notes by €1 and €2 coins.



Half pennies have gone and pennies were to be phased out with the introduction of "rounding up" in 2015. This does not seen to have caught on and there are still quite a few lower denomination coins hanging about.

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Poor Relations by John B. Keane

Part 2

I was in the kitchen of a farmer’s house one time when a poor relation called in search of a substantial sum of money. He required it to pay a fine and compensation for an offence committed while under the influence. If the money was not forthcoming it was certain that he would wind up in jail, which meant in his view that not only himself but his relations would be disgraced in the eyes of the countryside.

“My friend,” said the farmer,” if I had money you would have no need to call because knowing your plight I would hand it over without being asked. Would you believe,’ said the farmer, extracting a large cigarette packet from his pocket, “that this is my last fag. God only knows where the price of the next one is to come from.

So saying he threw the empty box on the floor, placed the cigarette in his mouth, bent over the fire, lifted a coal, blew on it and applied it to the cigarette and was soon puffing contentedly as he calmly awaited the next cue of what to him was a comedy, but to his visitor a tragedy.

“You could sell a cow,” said the poor relation. “You wouldn’t miss one and I swear I’d pay you back before the end of the year.”
“Of course, I could se;ll a cow,” said the farmer,”and if you got into trouble again I could sell another one. Word would spread and anytime a relation was in trouble I could sell a cow but what would I do when the cows were all gone? People would ask me why did I sell all my cows when I asked them for help.”

The poor relation held hid tongue at this rebuff while the farmer shook his head at the injustice of it all.

“I would have nowhere to turn,” he said, with a tear in his eye.

I almost shed a tear myself as I listened. At first I had been sorry for the poor relation. Now I was even sorrier for the farmer. There was a contorted look of sheer weariness on his face. He looked wanly into the fire before he spoke.

“I have nowhere to turn,” he choked as though his cows were sold already. “ I have no well off relations like others. All my relations are poor. They haven’t a penny to put on top of another. You wouldn’t like to see me pauperized, would you? You wouldn’t want to see me with a bag on  my back walking the roads?”

Here the farmer laid a hand on the shoulder of his poor relation. He looked him in the eye for several seconds.

“of course you wouldn’t,” he answered in the poor fellow’s stead, “ because you are not that kind of a man. You know what it’s like to have nothing yourself and you wouldn’t like to see another in the same fix, especially one of your own.

After the poor relation had departed the farmer pulled out a large packet of Gold Flakes fro another pocket, ripped off the protective tissue and extracted a cigarette which he lit from the expiring butt of the first.

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Poems are made by fools like me
But Only God can make a tree.




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Guess Who's Coming to Dinner



It has been confirmed that this year's Rose of Tralee, Jennifer Byrne will attend on Opening Night of Listowel Food Fair, November 9 2017







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