Monday, 23 October 2017

Images of Listowel and Maidhc Dainín ÓSé remembered

A Listowel Sign


Brendan Kennelly's verse in Listowel Town Square


Our Fish Shop


Charles Street


Maidhc Dainín ÓSé R.I.P.; the Listowel Connection

Maidhc Dainín ÓSé was the father of Daithí ÓSé. Ever before Daithí found fame, Maidhc Dainín was a well known author of several books in the Irish language. He was also an accomplished musician.

Maidhc's day job was as a lorry driver for Kerry Ingredients in Listowel.

Maidhc was tickled pink when his autobiography, A Thig ná Tit Orm (Oh house, don't fall on me) was chosen as a text for the Leaving Cert. Every year during a period in around the turn of the millennium Maidhc used to come to The Seanchaí during Seachtain na Gaeilge to read from his book and to play for the students.


I hope I have uploaded the little clip properly. Maidhc was describing the deal he made with the director of the Cúrsa Samhraidh. He would play for the small weekday ceilí in exchange for free admission to the Ceilí Mór. Money was scarce and the céilithe móra were where the girls were so he was anxious to try his luck there.

Maidhc was a breath of fresh air after Peig. He told his story with humour and much self deprecation. My pupils loved him.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.


Micheál Flavin R.I.P.

(Photo shared by Noreen Keane Brennan on Facebook)

Micheál lived in Church Street, Listowel. He was Bryan MacMahon's friend and preferred bookseller. His shop is still in the Flavin family. Long may it continue to trade in his memory.


Storm Damage in The National Park, Killarney

Kathleen Griffin braved it to work during Hurricane Ophelia. She took these photographs in Muckross on the day after, October 17 1017

Friday, 20 October 2017

Something old, something new and the flea trainers are identified

KDYS Building was once the Carnegie Free Library


Two National Treasures

A cap gun


A Dublin Street Scene in 1974

 This photo tells us a lot about Irish life back then.


This fantastic evening sky scene was shared by Féach News


Under our feet in There Square, Listowel


Photo Of Old Dublin

Moore Street in the 1960s



from someone who was there

The boy on the left, the flea tamer  is John O'Sullivan, also known locally as Seán Tack, the boy on the right, the flea catcher, is Conor Keane and that is John B. Keane squatting down inside the frame


No, It's not a Holding Cell

This is the photo that set some blog followers talking this week.

I wandered down to the back lane and took another snap, this time from the other side of the building.
Still looks a bit like stables or a garage as described by Rose Shine who grew up nearby.
Then came this missive from Jim MacMahon who also remembers the building well.

"Mary , when I was a boy in the 1940s that building was a storehouse of a sort , maybe guards' cars although there were few of them about . We used to gather there to watch the Mulcahy brothers , sons of the super , fiddle around with cars . On wet days there might be a dozen or so boys and youths about . Pat Given , of course, or Niall Stack would be able to give much more detail if you ask them , regards Jim"

Next stop Pat Given or Niall Stack. I'll waylay them one day soon at morning mass.

I wonder does any serving garda follow the blog. We might be able to get a photo of the interior of the shed now.

This is the lane beside the building. That is the back of the Garda Station at the end. Looks like lots of the windows are boarded up. Could it be they feared they would blow in in the recent Hurricane?

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Bank of Ireland, a Match Programme, a poem and a warning to returning exiles

Bank of Ireland, The Square, Listowel in October 2017


Alice Taylor Poem


A Rare National Treasure

This is a match programme from when Mayo last won the All Ireland Football.


John B. Keane [poem engraved in The Square]


Braying Stag in Killarney National Park October 2017

Photo: Jim McSweeney


Returning "home' after Years in Exile

It's not all a bed of roses for returning emigrants. 300,000 people left Ireland out of necessity in the 1990s. Now some of them want to come home.  Here are a few quotes from people who addressed a recent webinar on the difficulties of coming home to Ireland.   Source: Irish Central

“Make sure the reason you move home is not just sentimentality,” said Siobhan Gibney, who moved home to Co Mayo after 26 years in Australia.
“People should stop and think carefully before making the decision to move home. It’s a terrible thing to live a life of regrets, but Ireland changes. Life is about opening new chapters. We have been lucky to settle in Westport and I feel like a bit of a fraud to be at this conference, because my experience of moving home has been mostly positive.”

Yvonne Tierney, who moved home to Galway after almost 20 years in Chicago, said it had been extremely challenging to deal with officials who expected her to have Irish documentation.
“Both my partner and I had drivers’ licenses for over 15 years in Chicago,” she said. “Yet we couldn’t transfer our licenses over and we haven’t even been able to get quotes for car insurance. Our job qualifications did not transfer over, either, because both of us qualified in America.”

Rita Feeney, a teacher who returned from Dubai, said the only information she received about returning home came from a Facebook page. She had been teaching in the UAE for over ten years, but found that her experience was not deemed fully relevant in Ireland.
“For me, Ireland is not appealing right now,” she said. “Family and friends are the only reason I am home. I am not teaching at the moment. I am in a factory and I hate it. It’s good to be home, I have no regrets, but I do want to take off again. I do wish this country would make it more attractive for us to come back.”

Julia Scully, who has just moved home after 20 years in Seattle, said she was overwhelmed by the paperwork she has faced since she returned to Ireland.
“It has been tough. I just feel it’s very, very difficult to get going here. It’s difficult to have to take 12 driving lessons when I have been driving for over 20 years in the US. Sometimes I feel like packing everything up and just moving back to Seattle,” she told the conference.



not quite from the horse's mouth but from an eye witness

Hi Mary, with regards to the old building behind the Garda Barracks, as a child, I always assumed it was used for servicing the police cars, as there was a huge oblong shaped hole in the floor, like a pit that you see in garages. Many happy memories of playing in there with the sergeants daughter, Mary Sheppard and friends, happy days. Regards, Rose Sheehan, ( nee Shine of Colbert Street).

(Thank you Rose)


60 Years Ago

Sixty years ago tonight: Lennon (17) & McCartney (15) on stage together for first time. The Quarry Men on Broadway … Norris Green, Liverpool
Photo and caption from Twitter

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Stags, A Crolly Doll, Sive songa and a George Fitzmaurice quote

Chris Grayson took these rutting stags in The National Park, Killarney in October 2017


A National Treasure

Gaeltarra Eireann made these dolls right up to the 1960s. They were much prized by U.S. tourists and are now "collectable'. 


Berkie Browne's


Sive Songs

These verses are on the wall of Lynch's Coffee shop in Main Street 


Poetry in The Square

This is one of the pieces in Listowel Town Square


One for the Exiles

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Hatching continued, Kennelly Travel and a Cork shop has the last laugh.

Phew! Is she Gone?

That was some storm. I haven't been out so no photos except those on Twitter

Eerily quiet Dawson Street Dublin on October 16 2017.


Behan's and The Horseshoe


A Flea and a Fly flew into a Fleadh

I love it when people are trawling through the Kennelly photo archive and come across something Listowel related and share it.
I don't know who these boys are or a date for the photo but I'm presuming it was a fancy dress parade prior to Listowel's hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann.


Cobwebs in the mist

A few spider facts for you;
If a thread of steel could be made as fine as a spider's silk, the steel would be less strong.
Spiders webs have been used in Indonesia to catch fish.
A baby spider is born with the ability to spin a web. He doesn't have to be taught.


Hatching  by John B. Keane  (part 2...continued from yesterday)

The reluctant hatcher was presented with a saucer of hoochpaste but showed no interest at first. It didn’t look very appetizing so the woman of the house spoon fed her until she began to cluck appreciatively and cock her head high for more. I never saw any creature of the female gender take so quickly to booze. In less than three minutes the saucer was empty and she was sleeping as soundly as a drunken apostate during a long sermon.
“She’ll die surely.” Said the woman of the house.
“She won’t nor die,” said himself who knew from long experience that a person could be dead drunk without being dead. How right he was! She slept for several hours without moving, contributing throughout every moment of her repose to the hatching process beneath her craw. When she awakened she tried to rise but failed. She fell asleep again. The next awakening was different. She staggered around the kitchen until she arrived at the door where she was assailed by that arch enemy of all forms of drunkenness; fresh air. It revived her instantly but a second saucer of hoochmeal was prepared and presented to her before she  could sober up. Afterwards she fell asleep for a whole day.
After a fortnight the eggs were hatched. There emerged twelve of tha handsomest chicks you ever saw.

The hatcher died soon afterwards of liver disease but she had nobly served her purpose and if some may crib about forcing her into alcoholism, I say to these to come and have a gander at the chicks she hatched. They grew up into outstanding specimens of their breed, seven hens and five cocks.One hen who wandered too far from the fowl run was carried off by a fox but tte other eleven survived and I know for a fact that not a solitary one of that fine clutch put a taste of booze to their beaks to the day they departed for the heavenly henhouse in the sky. So we see some more good uses to which whiskey may be put as if there weren’t enough already


Only in Cork

The shop is Scally's in Clonakilty and the photo appeared on Reddit.

Monday, 16 October 2017

A Hatching Hen, an Irish wake, Aughrim and a Mystery Building

Bailey and Co. in Main Street


Hatching     (an essay by John B. Keane0

I remember once there was a somewhat contrary hatching hen appointed to sit on a clutch of eggs which weren’t her own. She was a Sussex Blue and the eggs were laid by a Rhode Island Red. Maybe this is why she was so reluctant to remain sitting on the eggs. Did hens have a way of knowing one egg from another? I suspect they did.

Certain hens will hatch anything from pheasant to duck eggs but there are no two birds alike as the cock said to the drake. Let us return, however, to our own bird and her reluctance to hatch the eggs of a stranger. There she would settle, trancelike, as only hens can, when suddenly for no apparent reason she would make for the door. She would be recaptured instantly and reminded firmly of her obligations. No sooner would she be reseated than she would desert once more. She exasperated the entire household whose every member took a turn keeping an eye on her.

“There’s only one cure for the hoor,” announced an old woman who happened to call one evening for the loan of a cup of sugar.
“What’s that?” we all asked.
“The bottle,” said she. We waited for an elaboration. None came. We asked again.
“What bottle?” said she,”but the hot stuff.”
Of course we all knew what the hot stuff was. Wasn’t the man of the house and his cronies greatly addicted to it without any great harm!
“It will rest the creature,” said the old woman, “ and it will keep her off her feet.”
Up in “The Room” was a bottle of the very hot stuff in question, as hot, according to himself, as ever was brewed.

“Mix it,” said the old woman, “with a saucer of Indian meal and you’ll end up with a nice paste that she will find palatable.

(Tune in tomorrow to find out how the hen took to the gargle)


Irish Wake Linen

This picture is from 1962 and is in included in The National Treasures collection. The person who contributed it was the daughter of the woman whose job it was to lay people out for the wake when wakes were held in people's homes. The linen was hand made  especially for the purpose.


After Aughrim

I learned this poem in school. I came upon it recently in an old school book. Aughrim was the bloodiest battle ever on Irish soil. It was fought in 1691. 7,000 lives were lost .


Behind the Garda Barracks

At a guess I'd say it's old stables from the days when when the guards rode horses . If anyone knows what it really is I'd welcome the information.