Tuesday, 31 March 2015

UCC Social Science class, Scully's Corner, some happy boys and a festival of everything seaweed related

This group of local social scientists is pictured at their conferring ceremony in UCC.  My collaborator did not give me a year.

Front row. Cork UCC staff. Far right Paddy Drummond, -----? Fr Michael Galvin.

Middle Row L-R; Garda ?, Robert and Olive Pierse, Eileen Larkin, Mrs Sheahan, Mrs Walsh, Mrs Culhane, Mr and Mrs John Pierse, Pat Kennelly. 

Back Row, l-r; Garda ? , Bill Walsh, Michael Dillane, Pat Rochford, John and Jer Kennelly and Dan Keane.


Big Changes at Scully's Corner

Broderick's  is also now being renovated.


Ellis Island

Little known fact:
Ellis Island is named after a farmer, Thos. Ellis who owned it and used it for grazing animals. But when millions of people were arriving into NY and creating all sorts of chaos, not only carrying diseases, the NY authorities purchased the Island as an Immigration Station where people could be "processed" before being allowed into the US. Prior to that the people went to Castlegarden, in NY. Ellis Island opened in 1892 and it is said that in 50 years 12 million passed through. There is a lovely Irish Balled called "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears" which tells the story of Annie Moore, a 15 year old Irish girl who was the first to be processed on the Island.


World's Smallest Public Library?

My daughter snapped this in Bonn recently


Noreen O'Connell is a very proud Nana. She sent me these photos of her grandsons taken on St. Patrick's Day 2015

8 year old Chris O’ Connell was busking in Castlebar on St. Patrick's Day 2015 and 21 month Darren O Connor enjoyed a cone while watching the Listowel parade.


Seaweed Festival

Ballybunion has come up with a great idea for a festival; the Wild Atlantic Seaweed Festival. This is what the organizers say,

"Ballybunion will be celebrating everything good about seaweed...from seaweed in cookery, in healthy living, in beauty products to soaking in the age-old tradition of our famous seaweed baths at the Wild Atlantic Seaweed Weekend on the 5th, 6th & 7th of June, 2015. Our weekend will also celebrate other bounty from the sea like our local Shannon Dolphin, periwinkles, mussels, oyster, fish and sea salt."


….days like this

Looks like the whole town decamped to the sports field on June 29 1953.
 In response to John Murphy, Margaret Ward identified a few more people.

"In reply to John Murphy(who I think is one of the Murphys of the Railway Gates), yes next to him is a Cahill but it is Maurice RIP. Next to Maurice is Paddy Mc Guinness, then an O'Mahoney from Charles St. (I'm not good on first names), next is Ned Boursin, an O' Carroll from the Red Cottages, again no first name, then a Kennelly(Cloth Hall) who married one of the Harmon girls, who is also in that photo."


Are you researching your Kerry Ancestors?

Here is a link to a great blogpost by Kay Caball outlining what resources and records are available to you:

Researching your Kerry Ancestors

Monday, 30 March 2015

Time and Tide wait for no man

Falling into decay

I had occasion recently to pass by the convent and I took the opportunity to document its further decline. It's very sad to see it  gradually go to rack and ruin.

End of an era !


Radharc film of a Fair day in Abbeyfeale in 1963



Happy Day in June 1953

From Marie (Nelligan) Shaw in New Jersey comes this memory.

Marie wrote;
"I remember that agricultural display in the sports field in 1953 very well. On the extreme right there is a tall man in a dark suit, that was Mr. Morgan from Colbert St., next to him is my aunt Liz and the kid sitting on the fence is me.


Exciting developments at Listowel Garden Centre

Listowel Garden centre is a building site at the moment. Watch out for news of its grand reopening


Friday, 27 March 2015

Old Creamery, folklore and a paen to motherhood

Old Creamery

This photo is in Vincent Carmody's book,  Snapshots of an Irish Market Town. It is the old McKenna's Creamery in Listowel.


Listowel Folklore

Here is some more wisdom from the folklore archive gathered by Listowel children in 1937/38
These accounts refer to food.

Peggy’s Leg

Kevin Sheehy of Church St. interviewed Dan Broderick also of Church Street.
Dan remembered a woman called Peggy Carey who used to make a confection called Peggy’s Leg. It was made from sugar and "farmers’ butter." Peggy also sold seagrass. Peggy used to  sell her wares at “Listowel Cross out in Newtown”. ( I’m presuming this refers to Moyvane. )  The Peggy’s Leg cost  two pence. 
Another local confectioner was Bridge Conway. She used to sell penny bars which she made herself.
A man from Moybella, Lisselton whose name was William Diggin used to make porridge from “yellow meal, salt and creamery milk.”

Hand Savage of Lisselton also had a story about William Diggin. Mr. Rice from Moybella had several men digging potatoes. He promised a quarter of tobacco to the man who would produce the biggest potato. William Diggin was one of the men digging the spuds. He dug a big potato and cut it in half. Then he got another potato and quartered it and he tied the two potatoes together with string to make one enormous potato. He won the quarter of tobacco.

It was the custom not to give a workman his breakfast until he had paid for it in work. A labourer often worked for two hours on an empty stomach.

People killed a goose at Michaelmas and on St. Martin’s Eve.

The stories told to the children were full of hearsay and inaccuracies but also laced with gems of wisdom. A D. Bunyan of Market Street wrote what he heard about the Famine. He wrote about a mill on the banks of the river which was full of corn and surrounded by soldiers guarding it. The local people used to go down to try to get the wheat but the soldiers prevented them. Finally the wheat rotted and had to be thrown out.


Jim MacMahon set me straight on this one.
He wrote;

"The Sciath was a half moon shaped basket  made from scallops . It was originally a shield in olden times , hence the phrase … buailim  sciath ..meaning a braggart or one who struck the shield of a chieftain who hung his shield outside his castle thereby calling him out to fight .
Re Tae Lane  there used to be a shed there with a curved wall at the right hand side going down. Tim Hannon from Ballybunion told me his father had a cinema there in the very early days of films."


Celebrating the century

The extended family of Stacks of The Arch Bar now Stack's off licence dressed in period costume on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate their 100th  year in business.

These celebrations were tinged with sadness a short week later, with the passing of Mrs. Máiréad O'Connor (née Máiréad McGrath) of Market St., on March 24th. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.


Celebrating Mothers

The following was read at masses in Tarbert on Mothers' Day.

This is for the mothers who read The Three Little Pigs, The Billygoats Gruff and Little Red Riding Hood every night for a week. Then a little eye would open and a little voice would ask, “Please Mom, will you read it again?”

This is for mothers who take their children to football matches and basketball games, who sit in the car and watch and wait or stand on the sideline and when your child says," Did you see my goal, mom?"proud as punch you answer, “Of course, love, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”

This is for mothers who run car pools and bake birthday cakes and sew Halloween costumes and for mothers who don’t.

This is for mothers whose patience runs out when their two year old wants ice cream before dinner and whose four year old says, "I’m bored. I want to go home.”

This is for mothers who taught their children to tie their shoelaces before they went to school and for mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
And for the mother who bites her lip til it bleeds when her fourteen year old dyes her hair green and puts seven earrings in each ear.

This is for mothers who don’t sleep a wink, wondering and waiting and hoping all will come in. Now all safely home and the lock on the door, she turns over and says., “Thank God for the end of another weekend.”

This is for mothers whose children have gone astray and can’t find words to reach them and all they can do is pray.

This is for all the mothers who cook, launder and clean, wash up all the dishes and never complain,

This is for all the mothers who turn automatically when they hear a little voice say,”Mom” even thought they know their own are safe at home.

This is for the heartbroken mothers who put flowers and teddy bears on the graves of their children, who hold precious and fond memories of times past and wonder today, what they would look like or how tall they would stand.

This is for the mothers who have gone home to Heaven themselves. If we had them today we would treat them and spoil them but instead we pray for them and look forward to meeting them in heaven.

This is for young mothers who are learning and mature mothers who are trying to let go, for working mothers and stay-at-home mothers, for young mothers and old.

Can I say, “Hang in there. We need you. You are rarer than gold. God bless all mothers. May they never grow old.”


Alexandra Park

Some people live near really beautiful places, e.g. Alexandra Park London


Darkness into Light, Saturday May 9 2015

Below is the link for online registration if you would like to take part in the first Listowel walk

Pieta House Darkness into Light


That show on a lovely June day in 1953

John Murphy sent the following

"This is  in response to the picture dated June 29,1953.
I believe this is me the seventh person seated from fence on right and I believe Sean Cahill is seated immediately on my left  as you view picture  and that is Junior Griffin standing to the left  and behind  Sean Cahill as you view picture.
It sure brings back some great memories of that show.
Keep up the great work you are doing keeping us informed while faraway from lovely “Listowel”.
Yours Truly,
John F. Murphy "


Listowel Community Centre  is planning a refurb and is looking for ideas.