Friday, 29 November 2013

Craftshop na Méar and Tar Abhaile

My first mince pie of 2013 in The Flying Saucer in Convent St. On Monday.


This is a cause worthy of your support, Áras Mhuire.  Why not enjoy a night at the movies for just €10



We are having great fun setting up shop in Craftshop na Méar

Sunday's gang gathered around the spinning wheel, Maureen, Mary, Una, Namir, Mary, Kelly and Mary. Mairead at her wheel.

Our window display caught the attention of this little girl who was passing with her mom.

We had a surprise visit on Sunday from Miriam who grew up in in No. 53 Church St., now Craftshop na Méar.

Namir is getting the hang of weaving under the watchful eye of Mairead.

Mary, Mairead and myself taking a break from dressing our window.


Sunday next Dec 1 2013 at 9.30 on Tg4 learn the stories of two lovely visitors to North Kerry this summer.

Angie and her husband met up with Jimmy Deenihan.

Here is Angie with Ger Greaney and Damien Stack at the Genealogy Roadshow.

Kay and I posed for the camera with 2 more of Bridget Ryan's descendants who travelled from the US to meet Julie.

Michael Lynch brought Workhouse records for Julie to see.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A question in parliament about Listowel, 1920, Sunday's Craft Fair and Tar Abhaile

I had a busy day on Sunday. It was a big day in town with most of the shops offering discounts. In the town park the Community Centre was holding a Craft Fair. Here are a few photos I took on my visit.

These people were there to promote a fundraiser for Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue. Watch out for a great night with celebrity chef in The Listowel Arms.

Catherine Nolan had reed diffusers, jewellery etc.

Carmel and Paddy Fitzgibbon were chatting to Vincent Carmody at his stall.

Imelda Murphy and Noreen O'Connell were catching up.

 These sisters had slate products and Tilly dolls for sale.

Enterprising pupils from Tarbert Comprehensive TY class were selling Christmas wreaths.

Another happy customer for Vincent; Paddy McElligott.

Mary Fagan was admiring Maria's diverse array of paper products.


Neighbours, Helen, Christy and Noreen were doing a spot of early Christmas shopping.


Nowadays we are reading of the re ignition of an old fiery subject….. the question of Irish language signage.  Leo Varadkar, in response to pressure from Irish language lobbyists, is proposing to give placenames as Gaeilge more prominence on signposts than the more familiar English placenames that are in daily use.

Back in 1920 Listowel had its own signage as Gaeilge controversy.  Paddy Keane found this account on line.

HC Deb 25 November 1920 

Mr. ALLEN PARKINSON asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that Miss Kearney, Messrs. John F. M'Guire, John Kean, John Quigley, James Crowley, all of Church Street, Listowel, Patrick Buckley, Jeremiah Foley, Thomas Beechinor, all of William Street, Listowel, Edward Moran, Market Street, Listowel, have within the last fortnight obliterated their names in Irish character on their showboards; whether this was done because of threats made by police constables in case they refused to do so; whether any of these are licensed traders; whether he is aware that Messrs. Timothy D. O'Sullivan, Michael Fitzmaurice, James Lynch, John Relihan, Michael O'Connor and Edward Gleeson, and Mrs. Michael Stack, Mrs. J. J. Keane, all of William Street, Listowel, Miss Katty Stack, Main Street, Listowel, Messrs. Morgan Sheehy, James Bunyan and John Began, and Mrs. Counihan, all of Church Street, Listowel, licensed traders, have, within the same period, also obliterated their names in Irish characters on their show boards; whether all these have, and prior to such obliteration had, their names in English characters over their doors as required by Section 25 of The Licensing Act, 1825; whether this obliteration was done under similar threats; whether, on Friday, the 12th instant, Constables Cahill and Beiman called at the premises of Mr. Flavin, a newsagent and flour and meal merchant, and threatened Mrs. Flavin that unless the name in Irish was taken down within 24 hours the premises would be blown up, and if the same constables on Wednesday night repeated this threat to Mr. Flavin's assistant, giving her until midnight to have the name removed, otherwise the house would be burned; whether in consequence the women and children were afraid to sleep at home that night; whether the same constables made a similar threat to Mrs. John B. Walsh; whether, when Mr. Walsh produced a letter from his solicitor as to the law on the point, they informed him this law was out of date, and that he must have his name in English letters six inches long, under Section 10 of The Licensing Act, 1864; whether there is such a Statute, as alleged by the police; whether there are still several traders having their names in Irish over their shops; and whether any assurance will be given to these that their property will not be destroyed in consequence by the police or other forces of the Crown, and that these traders will not be further molested in reference to this matter?

Sir H. GREENWOOD I am making inquiries into these allegations, and shall be glad if the hon. Member will repeat on Thursday next this question, of which I only received notice yesterday.

Mr. SEXTON asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he will make further inquiries into the statement that only licence-holders were compelled to withdraw from their signboards their names in Irish; and whether traders may now be assured that they will be free in the future from interference of that character?

Sir H. GREENWOOD In view of the specific allegations in a question put to me to-day by the hon. Member for Wigan (Mr. Allen Parkinson), I am having further inquiry made into this matter.


I am looking forward to Tg4 on Sunday Dec. 1  at 9.30 to revisit a happy time last spring with Julie Evans and the Mahalicz  family.

The film crew went to Sydney to film Julie "at home". Here she is Hyde Park Barracks with her cousin Barbara.

Julie at work

Filming at Hyde Park Barracks

The Tg4 programme will also feature this lady. She is Angie Mihalicz from Canada. NKRO found her Irish roots in Asdee. 

Angie brought some of her family with her. 
The connection with Peter McGrath? They are trying to make a family connection on Peter's family's vast family tree.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Christmas preparations and Craftshop na Méar and Tar Abhaile

Photos from Changes at Nine Seven , Christmas 2013


Craftshop na Méar

Mairead Sharry is spinning by the range in Craftshop na Méar at No. 53 Church St. Listowel. Namir Karim of Scribes is opening a craft shop just in time for Christmas. Knitwits will be selling their wares there and spinning demonstrations, knitting classes etc are planned.
Our first job was to make a St. Bridget's Cross to pray a blessing on the venture

Kniwits joined in a good old sing song around the wheel and by the range;

The shop will be officially opened on Dec. 10 2013.


Do you liked the new sign?
Its not finished yet. I'll bering you the fully finished sign soon.


It's that time of year again.


These two are in rehearsals for this year's panto. Alladin will go on stage in early January 2014.


Date in the diary yet?

Mary Cogan, Kay Caball and Evelyn O'Rourke

Sunday next Dec 1 Tg4 9.30 Tar Abhaile from North Kerry. People outside of Ireland can watch it in a live stream from TG4.

This is the press release from TG4:

"Don't forget , TG4 , This Sunday Night 9.30 P.M. A night of Genealogy with North Kerry Reaching Out. This week's programme of the "Tar Abhaile " series comes from Listowel and other locations around North Kerry and West Limerick.
The first descendant who features this weekend is Julie Evans, a teacher from Sydney Australia who discovers the mystery behind how her grandmother's grandmother ended up leaving Listowel Workhouse in 1849 and on a ship to Australia as a 16-year old girl as part of the Famine Orphan Girl Scheme. 
The second is Angie Mihalicz, a retired teacher from Beauval, Saskatchewan, Northern Canada who comes back to discover what she can about her grandfather's father, Peter McGrath and his mother Ellen, who emigrated to Canada at the height of The Famine and after a long search finally gets to stand on the land of her ancestors.
Join us live on TG4 at 9.30 P.M Sunday , Listowel time
Monday 8.30 A.M. Sydney time
Sunday 3.30 P.M. Beauval Canada time.
Watch it live anywhere in the world at or Just go to www.tg4.ieand click on the Tar Abhaile (Come Home) logo when it appears in the 'Check it Out' box and it will bring you directly onto the series link on the player.
It is available to view live and for a further 35 days after airing."


Lovely photo from Friday night. Bernard Brogan and his parents watch the fireworks in The Square, Listowel.

( More beautiful shots from a better photographer than me to come in the next few days)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

All the schoolboys named, Tar Abhaile and painting.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Listowel

Flavins window


Mike Enright took this great photo of a sunrise in Ballybunion, November 2013


Don't forget to watch TG4 on Sunday night next at 9.30

Julie and Glyn Evans pictured outside the famine graveyard in Listowel in Spring 2013.
Julie's search for her the truth about her great great grandmother brought her to Teampaill Bán Famine graveyard.


Dan Doyle's old photo has brought much pleasure and not a few sad memories to many in Listowel and further afield. May the Lord have mercy on the souls of the men no longer with us who in this photo are smiling here as hopeful little boys, To the others who are still with us, thank you to those who have contacted me and a special thanks to Tadhg Moriarty and Aidan Murphy who put their memories to the test  and passed with flying colours.  Below are all the names as supplied to me by the two aforementioned men.
Má tá bréag ann, bíodh.   (If there's a lie in it let it be).  This was the old storytellers get out phrase.

Front row
Oliver Doyle, Denis McElligot, Ned Lyons, John Burke, Mark Walsh, Liam Gunn, Christy Walsh,Jimmy Moore, Padraig Walsh, Michael Scannell
Aidan Murphy, Ned Moriarty, Eamonn Hartnett, John Beechinor , Stephen Coffey. 

Middle row 
Paddy Neville, Timmy Rellihan, Richard Keating, Maurice Chute, Colm Keane, Paudie Carey , Michael Hannon, Paddy Horgan, Pat O Donoghue, Tom O Connell,
John Sweeney, Gerry Kiernan, Gerry Murphy, PJ Brown
Tom O Connor.

Back row
Peter O Reilly, Pat Stack, Eamonn O Carroll,
Maurice Carroll, Kevin Woulfe, Raymond O Mahoney, 
Denis O Connor, Nelius Scannell, Tom McElligott, Tadhg Moriarty, Michael Barry, 
Tim Nolan,  Paddy Duggan, Dan Doyle, Liam O Driscoll.


Fred Chute continues his painting while he chats to Martin Hickey on Church Street last week.


Date for the diary

Tomorrow night Weds, November 27 the committee of the great Ballydonoghue Parish Magazine will be in Conversation with Weeshie on Radio Kerry at 6.00 p.m. The winners of the competitions will be announced. I have entered a few photographs and I have high hopes.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Chrstmas is coming

This lovely postcard of Listowel Town Square on Friday evening is the work of Gillian Finucane.

Doreen Buckley's photo of the crowd in town.

Church St,  Christmas 2013

Fealegood video of the switching on of the lights here

We got mulled wine

Jennifer and Kelly were well pleased with a job very well done.


Behind the Scenes

The lights going up: the postman busy….Must be Christmas.


Mary Frances Behan, Eileen O'Sullivan, Mary Sobieralski, Tina Kinsella and Marie MacAuliffe

I took this photo of the lovely ladies volunteering  in Second Time Around on Friday. The local conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is also expecting its shop to be busy for Christmas.


This is a patchwork head of a horse. Students taking the V.E.C. textiles course in The Family Resource Centre are making a full life-size patchwork horse as part of their project. I visited them on a bad day as  many of the ladies were attending a funeral but I met three lovely hospitable ladies. I'll be back.

Brenda Rochford, Pricilla Sweeney and Anne Lavery


St. Senans Under 16 champions