Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Some photos from Christmas 2012

 On Thursday Dec. 20th I met Noreen and Rosarie doing their Christmas shopping.

 Griffin's door: perfect!

Listowel Arms' welcoming fire

 Listowel Arms' tree

I popped in to the Friday Market just in time to snap Anne Moloney being presented with her prize in the traders' raffle. Presenting Anne with her hamper is Maurice Hannon. Also in the picture are Jimmy Moloney and Ella O'Sullivan.
While I was there I took a few more photos of the stalls.

 Mulled wine and reindeer food were on offer here.

This knitwear stall was being run by a camera-shy nun who told me that her (very pricey) knitwear was being sold for charity.


Below is the cover of the December issue of Munster's newest glossy magazine.

Listowel is well featured in this publication.

This article describes the work of the new Love Listowel organization set up to promote the town.

Aoife Hannon, our very own haute couture milliner is featured.

Danny Russell gives us an account of a typical day in his busy life. 

I spotted this rose blooming on a wall in a back lane on Dec. 21.


Good news from Kerry Radio

Kerry Parents & Friends have won the fight against Government plans to cut its funding by 5%.

The organisation joined forces with the Federation of Voluntary Bodies in successfully campaigning for the cutback to be reduced to point three percent (0.3%).
 According to the association, which  works with people with an intellectual disability, and supports their families, its funding has been cut by over €1m over the past four years.


The fireworks display is here:

Monday, 24 December 2012

Páidí ÓSé, Michael Holland and street scenes

I wish all my readers a very happy and a peaceful Christmas and a hope that 2013 will be good to us all. I wish to thank most sincerely everyone who helped and encouraged me during the year. Listowel connection is now a community and its success is due to all the people who send me stuff. I hope that our community will grow and prosper in the New Year and that even more people will share their photos, poems and stories with us all.


O Christmas Lights

O Christmas Lights from Ireland’s dells
How gently gleams thy glow
Like stars above Judean hills,
In Bethlehem long ago, 
Where angels sang and shepherds prayed,
O’erpowered by wondering awe,
As Mary in a manger laid
Her Babe on stable straw

This verse is from a poem by the late Michael Holland of Ballybunion. I came across Michael's poetry by chance. Many people in Listowel will remember him from his work with Kerry County Council and later in Listowel Community College. Michael was a man of deep faith. If you remember him this Christmas, please say a little prayer for his soul.


Paddypower is getting a new sign.

This busker is getting into the spirit of the season.

Weds. Dec 19: I don't know what the two on the roof were doing. The men with the tractor were straightening the sign.

The Square


In Tralee one day recently Jer recorded this really good singer busking on the street.

He is well worth a listen.


Well done to whoever is responsible for the front cover of last week's Kerryman.
Some lovely tributes in both English and Gaeilge too inside.


This is Paul Galvin's tribute to Páidí ÓSé from Paul's website

December 17, 2012

Three short months ago I went west towards Gaeltacht Chorca Dhuibhne. Weeks spent in Ceann Trá and Baile ‘n Fheirtéaraigh as a youngster left me with a fluency of our native tongue and an affinity for the parishes that preserve and promote it that hasn’t left me since. There’s a wildness about the place and its people that I love.

I was lucky to spend a few hours in Paidi’s company talking football and music and photography and then more football. He was a cultured man and he appreciated his own culture more than any other. Whilst I never knew Paidi as well as someone like Eamon Fitz I always admired and respected him. I loved his company and his stories often had me rolling with laughter. The more I laughed the more Paidi enjoyed it. The O Se’s are like that.
We spoke about writers too. Con Houlihan and Aengus Fanning came and went. We sat and listened to some of John Spillane’s music. I remember Paidi being surprised that I knew some of John’s songs. He spoke of his pride in Eamon Fitz in his new position. The two share a special bond. Paidi trusted Eamon, Eamon delivered as Eamon does. He spoke of his pride in Páidí Óg.
It struck me how sharp he was regarding the game. He said two things to me about my own game that only a really sharp football man would notice. He put me thinking I must admit but then Páidí had a wit that could put anyone thinking. He could provoke, but then leaders must.
 Those things will remain private of course because some things mean more when you keep them to yourself. Whilst I never soldiered much under him as a player I remember PO’s team talks vividly. They were more than team talks really, they were a call to arms that you had to answer and everyone answered the call for Paidi. His teams played football like he did. With passion and purpose and all the skills. Anyway there are men better placed than me to talk about his qualities as a manager.
As a man I was drawn to him. He had courage and charisma and I’m glad of those few hours we spent now. If Kerry football has a foundation then the four O Sé’s are the cornerstones upon which it is built. Páidí passing won’t change that only re-inforce it. Great men are an even greater loss I guess. We’ll shoulder this one together. Páidí, I’ll take your words with me as I go. The wild west won’t be the same without you.


I got an email from Barry O'Halloran with his own Páidí memory:

"For Listowel people this must be one of the most liked photos of Paidi -taken immediately after the 1997 All Ireland Final with Stephen Stack.

Stephen gave an exhibition of corner back play that day to win his second All Ireland medal after a gap of eleven years. 

Kerry won 0-13 to 1-7.  Paidi was manager of course.
I grabbed the photo from the website - 1 of 67 Paidi photos.

As a footnote,  A few minutes later Stephen gave a brilliant sideline interview to Marty Morrissey,  which he opened by sending his best wishes to his god-mother (Eileen O Halloran - my mother) who was in her last few weeks of fighting cancer. Stephen brought Sam McGuire to her bedside 2 days later)."

(R.I.P. Eileen and Páidí)


Listowel's second annual Christmas parade video

I should have the fireworks display video for you after the holidays


I am going to take a holiday from blogging until after the New Year. See you all in 2013.

P.S. I had intended stopping today but I have so many photos that I will schedule a few of them to post on December 26th. Then I will definitely take a break.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas 2012

Le coinnle na n-aingeal
Tá an spéir amuigh breactha.
Tá fiacal an tseacha sa ghaoth on gcnoc
Adaigh an tine is thigh chun na leapan
Lúifidh mac Dé insan tigh seo anocht.

Listowel parish choir's carol concert 2012 here;


There are many songs written and sung about a spontaneous temporary Christmas truce in the trenches of the Great War in 1915. This is a link to a moving compilation of images, put together by Alan Starkie and accompanied by the singing of Mike Harding. This will draw  tears  from many.


Jim Halpin paid his own tribute to Páidí ÓSé


Christmas in town

The Mermaids' Christmas window

Santa in Garvey's

The cinema extension, almost completed.

Gardaí on the beat on Upper Church Street.


This is a Bord na Mona Christmas card from the 1940's.

Some of the men who worked on the bogs in the midlands in the 40's did not get to go home for Christmas and it was customary to have a party for them.

 Here the porter is being poured into mugs  from what looks seriously like a milk bucket.......Some party! No wonder the men don't look too happy.

Will you take a look at their Christmas dinner?

I sourced these photos onóna-Heartland/180733458639655

You should visit the page yourself for a description of some fascinating Christmas customs. Thank you, Tony, for a great webpage!


Sr. Eilís at the secondary school has researched  the name of every nun who lived in Listowel from 1844 to the present day and she has recorded all the names in a handcrafted collage in the shape of an oaktree, the symbol of the Presentation order. This is a new and inventive way to remind today's pupils of the contribution of all of these women to education in Listowel.


Don't forget the fireworks tomorrow night  in The Square at 5.00 p.m.


News is just coming in of the passing of Pecker Dunne. Listen to him here:


And now a little Christmas toast from Kay Forristal

Here's to you and yours and theirs and mine
May good-health and cheer be yours this Christmastime.

May the years ahead blessings herald
And swiftly bring into our world
Fortune that will favour you and yours
And theirs and mine especially at Christmastime.

Now I take my leave and say
God bless you and yours and theirs and mine
Fond thoughts to our loved ones in heaven
 This Blessed Season, Christmastime.

Kay Forristal (c)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

NCBI 10th anniversary in Listowel; 1955 communion boys

The NCBI charity shop which used to be called Mrs. Quins celebrated 10 years in town with a one day half price sale, a raffle and an in-shop all day party on Friday last. I bring you some photographs of the hard working staff who pulled out all the stops to make Friday a great day for their customers. Well done girls. You brought a bit of cheer to an otherwise dull and rainy day.


Joanne Dillon brings us a link to a good news story from the U.S.


Paudie Carey wrote to me about this photo

This is what Paudie wrote;

"I just noticed the Holy communion picture on your Blog. My uncle (Paudie Carey, after whom I was named), is in the centre. I have marked up a picture to point him out. He emigrated to Australia circa 1970, married a girl from Dublin and had one girl (named Nora after my grandmother). He was killed at the age of 23 when he fell from the construction of a bridge on the Hopkins river. He was a strong swimmer (learned in the river Feale), but drowned as he wore heavy boots and a tool belt. His body was not found for about 3 weeks.  The hardest thing for my grandparents at the time, is they never got to bury their son; no such thing as bringing home bodies back then or flying relatives out. Communication was bad at the time, only a handful of phones in Listowel. Guard Healy (neighbour) was asked to call toto tell my grandparents of his death but refused as he did not have the heart. I was my mother who got the hard task. Just goes to show how communication has changed the world. "

What a sad sad story! I'm grateful to Paudie for sharing the story with us. Maybe people reading this will remember the older Paudie who looked so sweet and dapper on his communion day in 1955.
 May he rest in peace.


Another photo taken at the Ballydonoghue Magazine launch

Noreen, Gerard and Dan Neville with their old teacher, Joseph Linnane


The unveiling of the Paddy Finucane plaque;  video from Jer.


This link should lead you to a Pathé clip of the GPO 1938 in an ad advising people to post early for Christmas. Listening to that voice I am transported back to the cinema of my childhood.


Páidí ÓSé;  a life in pictures here


Don't bother reading this next bit if the variations in font size lately have not bothered you.

( Apologies to the people who care about style and consistency in format;  Recently you will have noticed that text is often too big or too small and the formatting is all uneven. I have eventually discovered why this is happening despite my best efforts to tidy it up.
 Blogger offers me a choice of text sizes, smallest, small, normal, large and largest. I always choose normal but recently normal can be either tiny or huge rather than normal. This happens because I have cut and pasted someone else's text and Blogger takes "normal" from there.
To cut a long story short, I will try cutting and pasting contributions into Word and formatting there before cutting and pasting again. That should eliminate the annoying variations in text size that have been the bane of my life in the past week. Thank you for your patience. No body has mentioned it to me so I'm delighted that my readers value substance over style.)