Friday, 30 March 2018

St. Patrick's Day Parade 2018, 1984 All Stars and Holy Week in St. John's Ballybunion

Listowel Castle in Spring Sunshine


St. Patrick's Day in Listowel 2018


Listowel All Stares

Way back in 1984 Listowel Badminton Club organised an all star awards evening for the sports clubs of the town. Here are some of the newspaper cuttings Dave O'Sullivan found when I asked him to see if the papers had anything about this event.


Holy Week

Today is Good Friday, the day on which we, Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Christ.

This week I visited Ballybunion's beautiful church with my young visitors and I was surprised to see that the old custom of draping the statues in purple is still observed in this magnificent church.

I couldn't remember why the statues were draped so I made enquiries and it is so that all the focus is on the passion as depicted in the Stations of the Cross.

Ballybunion's St. John's is an artistic triumph. It's architecture, its mosaic tilework and its stained glass and statues rival any that you will see in the finest churches in the land.

In Easter 2018 I saw a installation depicting the scene at Calvary on the first Good Friday.

At points around the church aisles are various gorgeous artworks on the Calvary theme.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

St. Patrick's day 2018, final episode of Vincent and Lars Larsson

Photo: Chris Grayson


Humans of Listowel, March 17 2018

Here are some more photos I took before and during the parade on St. Patrick's Day 2018

Christy Walsh washed his van in preparation for the parade.

Martin McCarthy and Ailís OSuilleabháin were preparing to welcome Rith and Micheál O Muircheartaigh to Listowel.

A Zumba session was in full swing in Main Street.


A Chance Meeting illustrates that Truth is surely often stranger than fiction

Read yesterday's and the day before's episodes to get the full story...... 

(Vincent Carmody is St. Michael's Cemetery with two Swedish visitors who are looking for a grave.)

When we went the grave, which is marked by an inscribed flat stone with iron railings, it was covered by thick low branches of a thorn bush, with the stone unreadable, I went across the road to a garage and got a shovel. Returning, I quickly cut away the bush, which allowed the details to be seen,
Lars Larsson, 1872-1929.

So, on that lovely summers evening in the 1990’s, I stood and heard the visitors recite the Lord’s Prayer in their native tongue. They were delighted to have found the grave of the man which they learned of first, on a page, in a foreign language.  I was happy to have been the conduit through which I first learned of the Swede, sitting with Dotie, many years previously.

James Cronin was married to Ellen O Sullivan on November 27th 1900
Ellen Cronin died 1926
James Cronin died 1940.
Mary Ellen Cronin (Dotie) 1901-1993.

Lars Larsson was born in Sweden in 1872; he came to Listowel to work as a Creamery Engineer/ Fitter at the behest of George R Browne, who was proprietor of a number of private creameries in the North Kerry area.
Larsson lived in lodgings at Upper Church Street with an O’Connor family; he is listed as a boarder in both the 1901 and 1911 census. In these, his place of birth is given as Sweden and his religion is ‘Protestant Episcopalian’
Lars is listed in Civil Records as ‘found dead’ on the 21 January 1929; an inquest on the 27th January found that his death was due to heart failure.

The house, now number 76, was subsequently bought by Ita Brosnan, who afterwards married Willy Keane. I spoke to Paddy Keane about Larsson; he told me that his father once came across some papers which might have belonged to Lars; Paddy assumes that they were thrown away. He also told me that on a web site that allows you access to old newspapers, to which he is a contributor, he came across at one stage, a piece detailing notables from the town who had made financial contributions to the local Feis.  Larsson had given five bob, which, as Alo Sheehy would have said, was "not to be sniffed at”.



In the papers

Examiner of 17-4-1924 
Promoters of Listowel Toffee Factory held meeting in the premises of the old factory. Mr Medill presided. Present were George F Gleasure. P Browne, J J Walsh, P Landers, E Stack, T Corridan, T F Cotter, T O Connell, assistant clerk of the union, William Elder, H Larsson, T T Cronin, Etc. They hoped to open the business to provide employment, a deputation was to canvass businesses in the town to enlist support, could open within a month or six weeks.
(It would appear that that canvass was successful as the Toffee factory di open and provided employment for many years.)