Friday, 17 November 2017

Adhlacadh mo Mháthair, The Sive Walk and Paddy Drury Remembered

Today's November photo shows a little robin perched on a statue in St. Michael's Graveyard, Listowel. Many people believe that a robin in a churchyard is the spirit of the dead loved one coming back to tell us that all is well.

Below are two verses from Seán ÓRiordáin's poignant poem, Adhlacadh Mo Mháthair (My mother's burial) the translation I found on the internet by Valentín Ironmonger
Bhí m’aigne á sciúirseadh féin ag iarraidh
My mind was screwing itself endeavouring
An t-adhlacadh a bhlaiseadh go hiomlán,
To comprehend the internment to the full.
Nuair a d’eitil tríd an gciúnas bán go míonla
When through the tranquility gently flew
Spideog a bhí gan mhearbhall gan scáth :
A robin, unconfused and unafraid.

Agus d’fhan os cionn na huaighe fé mar go mb’eol di
It waited over the grave as if it knew
o raibh an toisc a thug í ceilte ar chách
That the reason why it came was unknown to all
Ach an té a bhí ag feitheamh ins an gcomhrainn,
Save the person who was waiting in the coffin
Is do rinneas éad fén gcaidreamh neamhghnách.
And I was jealous of the unusual affinity.
Farewell Sive Walk

Photo by Denis Carroll

Now that the green light for the new relief road around Listowel has been given, it means that the campaign to save the Five walk has been lost.

This lovely rural walk was called Sive after one of John B.'s most famous heroines. The walk led through a grassy pathway into a bog where John B. loved to take some alone time.

I took a walk there recently and its a lovely peaceful place but very under-utilised. Pity to see it go.

Cliona Cogan on the Sive Walk


Remembering Paddy Drury, Poet, Patriot, Wit and Seanchaí

I  remember  Paddy Drury  (I typed this from a library copy of Shannonside Annual)

By Jeremiah Histon

My name is Paddy Drury,
I come from the Bog Lane,
I work for Morgan Sheehy,
Drawing Porter from the train.

This is Paddy Drury's answer to the Black and Tans who accosted him in Listowel the end of 1920 to ask who he was. He escaped with nothing worse than a kick in the behind.

Paddy was a small stocky rubicund little man, with an old hat clamped on the back of his poll when I knew him. He was  not at all unlike the statue of Padraig O Conaire now in Galway, but while he had a native wit he did not have OConaire’s aptitude for writing.

Paddy was born about 90 years ago in the Bog Lane, Knockanure, Co Kerry. I believe that all of the family were rhymers. He had three brothers, Michael (always referred to by the family as Ruckard), Bill and Jack (who was lame), they had one sister Mary. When Mary left the district, Ruckard when asked where she had gone, always answered she went in the police. Paddy had little if any, schooling. From an early age he worked for farmers around Listowel, Knockanure and Athea. During the 1914-18 war he went to Scotland to work in a factory on war work. 

The stories told of and by Paddy are legion. Many of them do not sound so well in cold print, but when told by Paddy in his own inimitable style, they had a drollery and humour  that was infectious. He was also liable at any time to put his thoughts into rough verse, but unfortunately most of his verses are gone into the Limbo of forgotten things and a new generation  did not know Paddy and care less about him.

One of Paddy's best known effusions is his diatribe on gaping neighbours in Knockanure, who are looking over at their half- doors at him one morning as he walked along, sick and sorry after a good night the night before. Paddy broke out:
Knockanur, both mean and poor,
with its church without a steeple,
With ignorant boors, lookin’ over half-doors
Criticisin’and dacent people!

Again one day when the North Kerry Volunteers were lined up int The Square Listowel, Paddy noticed the 2 bellmen  (or town criers) of Listowel looking at the parade. Paddy was moved to utter:
Brave Irish Irish men you are lined up;
no doubt you are good Fenians;
you commanders too are out in view-
Mick Lane and Harry Sleeman !


An Invitation

We are all invited by Listowel Tidy Town Committee to the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate all who died in the Listowel Workhouses during The Famine. Some local Famine scholars will give talks and the plaque will be revealed at the hospital chapel. All this on Saturday next November 18 2017 at Listowel Hospital Chapel at 2.30 p.m.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Listowel Trees and Statues a Beaver Moon and some folk on a food trail

Listowel Big Bridge in Autumn 2017


The Community Centre Gym

The gym is now housed downstairs in the recent extension.


More Trees

Tree in the car park at Listowel Community Centre

Old trees on Bridge Road, Listowel

Beautiful stand of trees on the perimeter of Listowel Pitch and Putt Course

Steps leading from The Garden of Europe, Listowel


Some Listowel Sculptures

This great likeness of the late scholar, teacher, poet, essayist, playwright, short story writer and folklore preserver stands outside the castle in the grounds of The Seanchaí, listowel's literary and arts centre.

Listowel's most recent sculpture stands in the town square and welcomes visitors to Listowel. The seat commemorates the outstanding success of Listowel in The National Tidy Towns' competition.


A Beaver Moon

People have been noticing that for the past while the moon appears bigger and brighter than usual. It is not, as some thought, a super moon or even a harvest moon. It is, according to Mike Enright who is usually correct about things related to tides and weather, a beaver moon.

Chris Grayson took the photo.


Date for the December Diary

This event sounds novel and very enticing


Some of my Fellow Food Trailers

Here are some of the lovely people who trailed for food around Listowel as part of Listowel Food Fair 2017

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Paddy Drury, a tree creeper and a Food Trail

November...a time for remembering


A Fascinating Little Bird

Chris Grayson who is one of the best nature photographers I know snapped this little tree creeper. Isn't he well camouflaged.


Paddy Drury's Epitaph

The late poet, Paddy Drury, was renouned for his witty verses about other people. His tongue was caustic and many a one in his time felt the lash.
Probably his best known lambast is his unjustified criticism of the lovely people of Knockanure.

Knockanure both mean and poor
Its church without a steeple
Hungry hoors looking out half doors
Criticising decent people.

Paddy composed his own epitaph

Here lie the bones of Paddy Drury
Owing their size to Guinness brewery

However, one of the good nuns in the Killarney home where he died prevailed on him not to have it engraved on his headstone. Paddy agreed, maybe because he was well aware that there was no money there for a headstone anyway. However when a band of his friends, under the leadership of  John B. Keane collected enough to erect a gravestone to Paddy and the Drury family, they kept to the usual conventions in these matters and put a more respectful and dignified inscription on it.


A Few Late Tourists Still visiting us


Listowel Food Trail 2017

As part of Listowel Food Fair we took a trail around the town on Nov 11 and we stopped to sample some appetising fare at eateries along the wayWe started our trail at The Listowel Arms Hotel

The bar was set very high with lots and lots of delicious nibbles on offer. Like the bad sprinter who bolts like a greyhound out of the traps and then finds that there is nothing left in the tank for the last stretch, I ate way too much here. We had five more stops on our tour and I was beaten already.

On we soldiered to Allos

Here we settled down in the very comfortable back lounge while Armel told us the story of the food we were about to eat. I tasted friand for the first time.

In Café Hanna at John R.'s we had some delicious savoury and sweet treats

Our next stop was Mike the Pies and I told you all about that on Monday's post

Then we strolled down William Street, well sated at this stage but we still had Jumbos, Lizzy's and Gapos to come.

Damien served us turkey burgers and tacos. His butcher, Larry was on hand to verify the provenance of the ingredients. If you thought Jumbos was just beefburgers and chips you'd be wrong. This visit was an eye opener for me.

Lizzy is now a nationally acclaimed cook and her restaurant is one of the most popular in town. Food here was top class.

Lastly we went to Gapos. This is one of my favourite restaurants so I knew the food would be good. It was lovely to meet the chef and hear his story as well as tasting some of his native Armenian dishes.


V.I.P in town on Friday

Colm Cooper will be signing copies of his autobiography in Woulfe's Independent Bookshop at 5.00p.m. on Friday next November 17 1017


A little birdie told me that Mickey MacConnell will be one the Late Late Show with his ballad of Lidl and Aldi.