Friday, 30 October 2015

Rut in Killarney National Park, County Show and a rising star in the world of Digital Marketing

Rutting Season

The spectacle of The Rut in Killarney National Park has attracted photographers from far and near. It is an extremely sensitive and dangerous time to be around deer so I stayed well clear of it. The photographs below are from excellent photographers with powerful zoom lenses who photographed the deer from a safe distance.

The stags look magnificent with their imposing antlers. I was watching Country File last week and I learned that, in the U.K. they sedate the stags and saw off their antlers in the interests of the health and safety of the stags and the hinds. It looks awful but we, the viewers, were assured that there was no pain involved and the antlers grow back.

I also learned that all that bellowing is not so much to warn off other stags as to summon the hinds and announce that the buck is ready for action.

(Ita Hannon)

(Jim MacSweeney)

(Tom Healy)

(Timothy John MacSweeney)


The County of Kerry Agricultural Show 1901

Extract from an account in The Kerry Sentinel Sept 7 1901

Horses' Judges—Major Kiggel and Mr J Evans.
 Cattle Judges—Messrs W Roberts and W M'Donald. 
Judges of Kerries—Messrs J Butler and H M'Clure. 
Judge of Butter—Mr R Gibson. 
Judge of Honey—M W Boxwell, Patrickswell, Co Limerick. 

The County of Kerry Agricultural Show was
held in Listowel on Tuesday, and taking all circumstances into
consideration must be regarded as a successful exhibition. The weather
was favourable, and the attendance of the public, particularly in the
evening, was extremely large. All the arrangements were well attended
to and left very little to be desired. 

Mr M W M'Elligott, hon sec,
with the capable assistance of Mr E J Gleeson, was responsible for the
management and  discharged his duties in a highly satisfactory manner.
The same observation applies to the other officials, all of whom
appeared to give general satisfaction. 

With regard to the exhibits,
the entries in the horse section were large, and some of the animals
were of an excellent class, while numbers were not up to the mark. The
entries in the cattle department were not so large, but the quality of
the exhibits showed an improvement on last year. The sheep entered
were fairly good, and the pigs exhibited, though not large in number,
were of a particularly good class. The butter section afforded some
first class exhibits, the fowl and honey departments very little
interest was taken though some of the exhibits were of a good quality.

Of the exhibitors Messrs Philip Healy, G Mullins, and J F Shea were
most successful. Mr Healy won a number of prizes, while Mr Mullins bull
Silver Beam, retained his title as champion of the county for three
years in succession. Mr Shea , Glenbeigh got first prize for his
handsome black filly, Biddy, and would have been awarded first prize
for his bay gelding, Tommy, in the remount class but for the fact that
he was disqualified for being " docked " They are both by his own
horse, Hampton Moor, a sire that is sure to make his mark. The filly
should distinguish herself in the hunting field or between the flags.

Mr J J Galvin, Listowel, offered a number of special prizes for which
there was keen competition. The number of industrial exhibits in
connection with the Show, though not numerous, were interesting.
Messrs McKenna and Kennelly, Listowel, and M MCowen, Tralee, had an
imposing display of agricultural machinery, while the Derrymore Tweed
Mills were also well represented, and their exhibits attracted
considerable attention.


One to Watch

In the centre in this photograph is Padraig O'Connor of Ballyduff. He is pictured adding another accolade to his impressive cv. Last weekend he was in Dublin to collect his award in the Marketing and Commerce category of the Irish Blog Awards.


Ar Scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine
(People live in the shelter of one another)

Our president, Michael D. Higgins is a master of finding the right words to suit the occasion. He was brilliant on his state visit to Britain and he is brilliant again as he visits the U.S.

He was at his eloquent best when visiting Berkeley. I swelled with pride in him as he thanked the people who had helped our traumatized and injured young people after the balcony collapse earlier this year.

This is part of what he said, “In the blink of an eye, these young, talented and bright students – most of whom were thousands of miles from home – and their families and friends suddenly needed the compassion and intensive support of those where they found themselves, people who turned out not to be strangers but great friends,” 
“You did not fail them. Your actions gave such powerful definition to the term ‘hospitality’.”
Well said.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Halloween, Clounmacon bard, and Craftshop na Méar

Showing them how it's done

Listowel Tidy Towns welomed Clonakilty Tidy Towns last week. They were in town to admire the work of the 2015 winners. Any rivalry between Ireland's Tidy Towns is of a very gentle kind. Everyone shares the aim of making all of Ireland's towns places of beauty for citizens and visitors alike.
The local committee were only delighted to display Listowel in all its glory to their Cork guests.



It's pumpkin time again.

The folks at Xistance Youth Café are getting in the mood.


Famed in Song and Story

Clounmacon is a place that has produced bards and writers in numbers out of all proportion to its size. Because of this, poems in praise of this small place abound in local lore. One of these is the one below by the late Jerry Histon

( Thanks to Noreen O'Connell)


Craftshop na Méar

With Christmas just around the corner , it's time to turn our thoughts to present buying. Why don't we adopt the late Mary John B.s motto; "Support your local town or soon you'll have no town to support."
What better place to start your search for that unusual present than Crfatshop na Méar on Church Street where new products are arriving all the time. Below is a sample of some of the goods available there.


Flanagan's in Church Street is in Halloween colors all year round.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Crafters, Some Pres. Old Girls and grandchildren in Christmas shop


New Busker in Town

This man on the corner of Market St. is a new addition to our streets.


Talented ladies

These three ladies sell their crafts in Craftshop na Méar, Listowel.  I met Maureen Connolly, Eileen Fitzgerald and Eileen O'Sullivan in the shop on Saturday.

These two above photos are the front and back of the bag that Eileen is in the process of making. Wow!


Some Pres. Old Girls

5th and 6th Years 1953


A Little Corner of our Lovely Town

Between the Ball Alley and The Millennium Arch is a lovely little park with flower beds and picnic tables.


Loving the Christmas Shop

My beloved girls were in town for a short break and they loved Listowel Garden Centre's Christmas display.

I bring everyone who visits me to the shop. For me it has become an essential visitor attraction.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Smithy in Moyvane, Dowd's Road and Listowel Town Park


Dublin Marathon

Kerry Crusaders were out in force yesterday for the Dublin City Marathon.

Familiar faces in the crowd supporting super marathon fundraiser, Brenda Doody

Listowel sisters Tena and Rochelle Griffin, pictured before the start.

Tena was running on behalf of a charity that is very close to the hearts of her family:

 The Ronald MacDonald House.

(All photos from Facebook)


The Forge
by Seamus Heaney

All I know is a door into the dark.
Outside, old axles and iron hoops rusting;
Inside, the hammered anvil’s short-pitched ring,
The unpredictable fantail of sparks
Or hiss when a new shoe toughens in water.
The anvil must be somewhere in the centre,
Horned as a unicorn, at one end and square,
Set there immoveable: an altar
Where he expends himself in shape and music. 
Sometimes, leather-aproned, hairs in his nose,
He leans out on the jamb, recalls a clatter
Of hoofs where traffic is flashing in rows;
Then grunts and goes in, with a slam and flick
To beat real iron out, to work the bellows. 

I was reminded of this Heaney poem recently when I read a lovely account on Moyvane Village on Facebook of the last blacksmith/ farrier in the village.

The last blacksmith in the village was Maurice O'Connor who was known to locals as "Mossey Cooney". His Forge was on the Glin Road and it was built around 1850. It was originally owned by McElligotts before Mossey's father Con O'Connor took it over. Mossey's uncle Tom also worked in the forge and he owned the famous greyhound Dainty Man who won the first Irish Derby in 1930.
"Three cheers for Tom Connor to give now we must,
That his hammer and anvil might never show rust.
And that we in the future around Newtownsandes
Will see more Coneen Brosnans and more Dainty Mans."

Below are the photographs that accompanied the post

Gerard Roche with Áine Cronin and Mossy O'Connor

A Smithy in Moyvane….The Rugby World Cup Connection

If Ireland had won The Rugby World Cup, the trophy might have found its way to Kerry to reunite with its exact replica, the Sawtell Cup which has resided with the O'Connors in Moyvane for the past 85 years.

The Sawtell Cup was won by Dainty Man at the first Irish Derby in Clonmel in 1930. It was worth 100 guineas at the time. The cup was created by Carrington and Company in London who also created the original Webb Ellis Trophy in 1906. It is a Victorian version of an original cup fashioned in 1740 by renowned English designer and silversmith Paul de Lamerie.

The Cup is silver gilded in gold, 38 centimetres tall with two cast scroll handles. On one there perches the head of a satyr, on the other the head of a nymph. The terminals are a bearded mask, a lion mask and a vine. The pineapple on the top was for centuries a symbol of welcome, hospitality and celebration, and Dainty Man and his owners and trainer were treated to all three when they returned victorious to Moyvane in 1930.


A walk in The Park

Listowel Community Centre looking well

Recent storms have brought down some debris.

Local dogs enjoy a swim.

On Saturday morning the local rugby youth were warming up prior to a match.


Dowd's Road, Listowel

This is the view looking down Dowd's Road from the John B. Keane Road.

Dowd's Road is named after the family who lived in this house, now unoccupied and falling into disrepair.
Once upon a time the railway ran along what is now the John B. Keane Road.


As I roved out

Saturday, October 24 2015 was a beautiful Autumn day. I took a walk  by the river Feale and I encountered these 2 filmmakers at work.


We all love a selfie

Even the famous like to be photographed with the famous. Daniel O'Donnell was on the Late Late Show on Friday evening and he posted a photo of himself with fellow guest, Joe Schmidt  on his Facebook account.