Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Ard Churam, Bord na Mona in Lyreacrompaneand more Listowel street names

Ballybunion Golf Club in Association with Ard Cúram


Bord ns Mona in Lyracrompane

Tony McKenna posted this photo on Facebook in January with this caption.

"We might have posted this a few years ago. It shows the tipper at Barna Bog, Co. Kerry. The caption states the photo was taken by Mr. E. Switzer in April 1948. However Barna didn't officially start producing turf until 1950, so is it Barna or Lyrecrumpane? Switzer worked for BnM in the early days, he was reputed to have lost an eye in the first World War and the family had a shop in Grafton Street."

Then in the comments some people with local knowledge helped him out.

This photo is of the Tip at Lyreacrompane as it stands today. I never remember it having steped walls at the sides as in the Switzer photo but I wouldn't remember back beyond 1955. Perhaps it was altered. I will check with locals in Barna for any memory that might solve the mystery...
 Joe Harrington


Denis Lenihan wrote this 

"Definitely Barna, The truck is Cadbury’s Rathmore. At this time it was hand cut turf. Next came a spreader which was filled by hand before the bagger arrived. A brilliant quality photograph."

And then this;

Interesting in a quiz, you know the answer instantly but given time doubts set in. Same here I withdraw the words definately Barna. The tiphead in Barna and Lyreacrompane were identical as far as I know and theres little background. There is another photograph of that truck taken from the side. The truck was new and was brown the Cadburys colour. It has a Cork Reg. and Cadburys factory is on the bank of the Blackwater but on the Kerry side of the river.The man with his back to the camera could be the manager Jerry o Leary, he was a slender man that always wore a hat. In the view from the side the embankment is Barna, much higher on the right than the left. Lyreacrompane is on flat ground.


Cad as Duit?

When is Church Street not Sráid an tSeipéil?
Answer: When it's Listowel, Co. Kerry's Church Street.

This Listowel solution to a Listowel problem has been puzzling a few people since I raised it here.

Will you look at this one? The Púca is the devil who would catch you if you were out late and not minding your own business. How come he shares a name with Convent Street.


Turf Cutting in the 1930s, The Square and other street names and The Acting Irish Festival 2019 in Listowel

In Listowel's Garden of Europe in April 2019


Wing Sleán Turf cutting Competition

Information from Tony McKenna, Bord na Mona archivist.

The first All Ireland Turf Cutting Championship was held on 21st April 1934 at Allenwood, Co. Kildare. From the late 1600s to the end of the 19th century around 6 to 8,000,000 tons of turf were cut each year for home heating and sale. The industry in the 1800s mainly produced moss peat for animal litter and some briquettes. However by the early 1900s the amount of turf cut each year had fallen to around 3,000,000 tons. The turf cutting championships were organised as part of a campaign to increase the amount of turf cut and reduce the imports of coal. Eamon De Valera and other Ministers attended each year. The competitions ran from 1934 until 1939. When the war started everybody went back to the bog so the competitions were no longer needed. This photo shows the wing slean competition in 1934.

When Tony published this post on his Facebook page he received some interesting responses. Here are two;

On June 2nd in Ballyteague at the All Ireland turf footing championship we are commentating the 85th anniversary of this event all descendants of those who participated are invited we have done a huge amount of research and have a vast collecting of photos and memorabilia it promises to be a great day

Denis Linehan : I believe Christy Daly from Gneeveguilla Co. Kerry was the best turf cutter in Ireland. He came from a stone throw of Eamonn Kelly story teller.


Parnell Square?

I took this photo on April 24 2019

In Irish and English it's just the plain old Square

I'm having a hard time convincing people that there is no Patrick Street in Listowel.

We have St. Patrick's Hall with its big statue of St. Patrick but, sorry folks, no Patrick Street. Despite the proper name of the street being William Street or Sráid an Phiarsaigh many residents of the street give their address as Patrick Street.

Mike the Pies, probably the best known business on the street, is at 28 Patrick Street  and Casa Mia, a few doors down on the same street is at 38 William Street. Across the road Listowel Chitropractic is at 49 William Street and Halo Health is at 7 Upper William Street.

The length of William Street was originally known as Pound Lane. There was an animal pound where The Mermaids is now. For those who never heard of a pound, it was a place where animals which were found straying or which were confiscated were kept until the owner was found and any fines owed were paid.
Lord Listowel is was who changed the name to William Street. His own name was William and it is alleged he called the street after himself.


A Feast of Theatre

In the space of a few days last week you could have seen six excellent plays all performed by superb actors from the American continent. All of this was because 
Acting Irish International Theatre Festival 2019 was in town.

I saw three of the six productions including Long Day's Journey into Night which blew the adjudicator away. She gave it all the big prizes.

This play was great.

Here is the cast. The two oder players played the parts of the younger ones 35 years later.

My theatre companions posed with Jimmy Deenihan who was part of the local organising committee.

I also saw Spinning but I took no photos. The actor who played Conor in this production was my pick for best actor but what do I know?

I also saw Long Day's Journey. It was a tour de force of acting and I'm glad to have seen it but unlike several in the audience I wouldn't go to see it more than once. One man told me it was his fourth time seeing the play. 

The play is three and a half hours long. It's theme is beyond sad. It is three and a half hours of unrelenting misery, no uplift at all. However it is a classic and people who know so much more than me about these things think really highly of it.

If you want to see more about the festival, including more photos and an account of who won the prizes here is the link

Acting Irish International Theatre Festival 2019

Monday, 29 April 2019

The Poor of Listowel, Ballygologue Park, Rattoo Round Tower and Ladies Bountiful in the 1870s

William Street Neighbours

Stacks of The Arcade and Keanes of John B. Keane's Bar have been neighbours and friends for years.


The Poor of Listowel

(Kay Caball found us this one)

From The Kerry Evening Post Saturday January 11 1879

 Misses Harnett collected alms and purchased warm clothes for the poor. The warm clothes seem to have consisted of blankets and warm underskirts. I know which I'd prefer to receive if I was freezing.

So who were the Misses Harnett?

Dave O'Sullivan has the answer:

The Misses Harnett referenced were Mary and Florence, daughters of Richard Creagh Harnett and Robina Forbes. 

It seems they ran a successful campaign for clothing for the poor, blankets especially during these years.
They lived at 10 The Square, Listowel. Richard was a solicitor and coroner. He died in 1885 and is buried with his wife (died 1903) and son Thomas (d.1917) at St Michael’s cemetery. (Headstone photo attached)

It seems from an auction notice that they left Listowel in 1909.

Mary and Florence never married, Mary died aged 81 in 1926 in what was then described as The Home for Protestant Incurables’ , now St Luke’s Home, Mahon, Cork. She lived at 3 Sorrento Villas, Old Blackrock Road, Co Cork, Florence died at 3 Sorrento Villas, Old Blackrock Road, Co Cork in 1937 aged 84.

And Mary’s bequest in 1926. Includes the Sustentation fund of the parish of Listowel.


Ballygologue Park Junction in April 2019



Photos by Elizabeth Brosnan on Facebook


I learned so much about the great Fitzmaurice, Knights of Kerry clan yesterday in Lixnaw. Watch out for more on this topic later.

Friday, 26 April 2019

Carmody's Corner, Cough syrup, some Weekend events and Freddy Chute R.I.P.

 Carmody's Corner

This was always the pick up point for Listowel Celtic players on their way to a match. 

Across the street is Jerome Murphy's now All Regions

Maybe its time to take down the sign for the golf club.


This will soften your cough

A blog follower checked this out and found that it is not all it was cracked up to be.

According to Neatorama, One Night Cough Syrup was the subject of a legal case from 1934 in which the FDA ruled the drug’s “claims of its therapeutic properties” were misleading — because, you know, most of its main ingredients are highly addictive, harmful substances.


Busy Weekend in Store

Ballybunion has the usual star studded line up of guests for Women in Media 2019


Over the road a bit in Lixnaw there is a great free local event

The Drama Festival continues in St. John's


+  Fred Chute R.I.P. +

The radio has been silent for a while now. Today, April 26 2019,  we bury the radio's owner. Fred was a familiar face on the streets of Listowel as he went about his business of beautifying our town and playing his part in making it the artistic gem it is.

I took these photos of Fred as he did one of his last painting jobs, when he was already ill.

Fred was my neighbour and friend. I had huge respect for his work and he had huge respect for mine. He loved my piece on him in my book and he loved to see himself on the blog.

He would drive slowly by me and roll down the window to tell me that he had heard me on the radio and he loved what I said. We were like Nancy Pelosi and Bono:  from different worlds but massive fans of one another. This is why I dared to interrupt him in his work to ask him to smile for his relatives in the U.S. who follow the blog.

Listowel is the poorer for the passing of one of its great visual artists. He has left a great legacy of colourful paintwork to Listowel. I hope that future generations will respect and preserve it.

I extend here my deepest sympathy to his devoted partner, Teresa, to Priscilla and Hunter, to my friend, Roly, Fred's brother,  and to all who loved Fred.

Rest in peace, my friend.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Street Names Saga Drags on in the 70s and its daisies and dandelions everywhere in 2019 and Friends in The Áras

Signs of Summer in Upper william Street

The circus is in town. The ice cream cones are out. It must be summer.



We have all learned that we have to allow the daisies, dandelions and other wildflowers to grow and flourish as they play an important role in the natural world. Listowel is doing its bit.


Listowel Street names

It would appear that the MacMahon family preferred Ashe Street to Church Street as their address.  Ashe Street is an English translation of the Irish Sráid an Aghasaigh

Many people to this day use Patrick Street instead of William Street Upper, even though that plebiscite was defeated. 

Colbert St. was changed by agreement from Bridewell Lane although I dont know why it is Street in English and Road in Irish.

To this day the naming of places proves controversial. We wont mention the Ballybunion/ Ballybunnion or the Moyvane/Newtownsandes debate. As for Dingle, An Daingean or Daingean Uí Chúis....


Friends in High Places

Áras an Uachtaráin....the Listowel Connection

The Kerry Association in Dublin presented their Arts award for 2019 to Pauline Bewick. The presentation was made by Uachtarán na hEireann, Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin.

Jim and Elizabeth Dunn of Athea and Listowel, as friends of Pauline's, "were (according to Liz) humbled to be invited and honoured to attend".