Wednesday, 4 October 2017

NKM in Listowel, Playboy and Woulfe's Bookshop




Looking towards St. John's from St. Mary's

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Old NKM tin


It seems that there are quite a few of these still about. Helen Gore bought this one on the internet.


Vincent Carmody posted this old postcard with a picture of the NKM sweet factory as well as the below pictures of his two tins and a brief  account of the factory in Listowel



The tin box is an original from Listowel's sweet factory which traded from the old mill building, which occupied the site where Carroll's Hardware providers is now located. The mill, a fine, six floor, cut stone building, was originally owned and operated by the Leonard family of The Square. It was powered by water from a millstream, which ran from near the old ball alley to the mill. The mill closed in the mid 1800's, despite an effort by John Latchford of Tralee to buy the property. He subsequently build a mill back in Greenville.

The building served for a time in the early 1900's as a creamery, this was owned by George R. Browne. He also had a creamery at his property at Cahirdown. He had in his employment an Englishman, Thomas Armstrong. When Brown decided to sell his interest in the business, it was purchased by Armstrong. Shortly afterwards, Armstrong went into the manufacturing of 'Irish Cream Toffee Sweets' 


The tin carries the initials N.K.M on the cover, with North Kerry Manufactory at the side, however with a play on the initials, the legend "Nicest Kind Made" also appears on the cover.
There is not much information on the business, however, we know that after a period of industrial unrest, Armstrong closed the factory in 1921. The Mackintosh sweet company bought the brand and continued making these sweets at Rathmines Dublin, under the brand name,'The North Kerry Manufacturing Co Ltd'



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Playboy and Ireland


On hearing of the passing of Hugh Hefner, Mark Holan, in his great blog, wrote this insightful piece about our own playboy.


BTW Synge's Christy Mahon was a Kerryman

Synge’s ‘Playboy’ arrived in Ireland long before Hef’s mag

by admin
The New York Times proclaims: "Hugh Hefner, the Original Playboy, Is Dead at 91." Vanity Fair describes the dearly departed (27 September 2017) magazine publisher as “the indefatigable (albeit Viagra-enhanced) Playboy of the western world.”
We can only wonder what the late Irish playwright John Millington Synge would have thought. His play, “The Playboy of the Western World,” debuted in January 1907 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin,  well before the December 1953 appearance of “Hef’s” Chicago-based skin mag. As The Washington Post reports:
Hefner had planned to call his magazine Stag Party, but when the publishers of another men’s magazine named Stag threatened to sue, a colleague came up with an inspired afterthought: Playboy.
The Online Etymology Dictionary says the term for a "wealthy bon vivant" dates to 1829.
Synge died in 1909, two years after his play offended Irish moral sensibilities and sparked riots. In a 2011 theater review, The Guardian noted:
Synge had clad his maidens in shifts, presumably to mollify strict moralists among his Abbey audience. But perhaps he half-suspected a truth which Hugh Hefner would later turn into a different Playboy business: that a scantily clad woman can be even more inflammatory to the jaded imagination of male puritans than one who is wholly naked.
Playboy magazine was banned in Ireland until 1995. Twenty years later, Ireland became the first nation in the world to legalize same sex marriage by popular referendum.

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Woulfe's Bookshop


Woulfe's Bookshop is one of Listowel's gems. It is a rarity nowadays to find an independent bookseller. This shop stocks a wide variety of titles for adults and children. Books of local interest are a speciality.

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Bill Dowd of Ballydonoghue and Pittsburg passes away




Monday, October 02, 2017

William "Bill" Dowd, Age 94, of Shaler Township, formerly of Penn Hills, peacefully on Monday October 2, 2017 with his children at his side.  Bill was born and raised in Ballydonoghue, County Kerry, Ireland in 1923.   After spending time in County Kildare cutting peat and as a coal miner in Sheffield, England, he came to the United States in 1949 and was welcomed by his cousin Molly (Dowd) Devine and her family in Pittsburgh. Bill was a player and faithful long-time supporter of the Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association and a proud 60-year member of the Plumbers Laborers' Union. He was the beloved husband of the late Mary (Grills) Dowd; loving father of Tom (Maria) Dowd, Kathy (John) O'Connor, Mary Beth (Dean) Reynolds, and the late Jack Dowd;  cherished grandfather of Michelle (Brad) Tresky, Katie (Brendan) Dowd-Dusette, Kevin, Deirdre, and Ryan Dowd, Sinead, Ciara, and Sean O'Connor,  Laura (Tyler) Tarney, and Dean and Brennan Reynolds; proud great-grandfather of Kaelyn, Liam, Ciara, Meghan, Keagan, Maggie, and soon-to-be baby Tarney.  Dear brother of the late Tom, Jack, and Jim Dowd.  Also survived by nieces and nephews in Pittsburgh, Ireland, and England. Friends will be received on Tuesday from 6:00 to 8:00 PM and Wednesday from 1:00 to 3:00 & 6:00 to 8:00 PM at the Bock Funeral Home, Ltd., 1500 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Bonaventure Church, Glenshaw, on Thursday at 10:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Pittsburgh Gaelic Athletic Association, 1203 Woodbourne Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15226 or Elfinwild Meals on Wheels, 3200 Mt. Royal Blvd., Glenshaw, PA 15116

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