This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at listowelconnection@gmail.com

Category: Ballylongford Page 2 of 3

Races 2021, Baby Joy and more photos from Ballylongford

Listowel Races 2021 by Bridget O’Connor

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Just another Working Day

Pat Healy of Healyracing working on The Island on Monday.

Gordon Elliot, trainer, back in Listowel for another year.

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Welcome Baby Aoife

What a blessing! I get to hold the hand of my newest granddaughter.

(The painted nails are the remains of the wedding.)

Aoife with her Mammy, Clíona Cogan McKenna. Aoife is 2 months old.

Aoife has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger already.

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Ball Alley Transformation

Listowel Ballalley has had many makeovers. The latest is a series of lovely murals by local artists. Paul (not so local), Erin and Eimear were hard at work when I visited at the weekend. The murals are a work in progress and we should have the grand launch soon.

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Old Post Box

At Kelly’s, The Six Crosses

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We all grow into our mothers eventually

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Last few from the Blacksmithing Festival

There was lots more than smithing going on in Ballylongford on Saturday September 25 2021. There were pony rides for the children, a wandering musician, stalls with vintage stuff for sale and other side shows.

This “lord and lady’ were dressed in period costume, sword and all.

Indoors I met my friend, Dan Hartnett, with lots of vintage tools, cutlery and miscellaneous stuff.

Another seller had these colourful tin signs.

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Races, A Poem, a Postbox and Smithing in Ballylongford

In The Garden of Europe

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Listowel Races, Sept`. 2021

Listowel native, Niamh Kenny won a prize for her beautiful hat. It complemented her outfit perfectly.

Wllie and Jackie Mullins in the winners enclosure.

The ever stylish Mary O’Halloran was one of the Ladies Day finalists. She did a moving interview with Celia Holman Lee. Mary loves Listowel Races and comes every year.

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Talking Poetry

John Given and Jimmy Deenihan are finalising plans for the publication of John’s father, Pat Given’s, next book of poems.

Here is a poem from Pat’s last anthology. It was reproduced for Poetry Town.

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Post Box on College Road, Cork

This lovely post box is on College Rd. Cork near the junction with Highfield Road.

I had occasion to be in the Bons. The paper shop in the hospital was closed. I made my way to what in my day used to be Flirty’s shop and post office. It is now a Daybreak. There I made a discovery.

Students don’t buy newspapers. I was in the shop at 8.30 a.m. and there was only a handful of papers available.

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A Tinsmith at Work

At the Ballylongford Blacksmithing Fair Sept. 25 2021

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At The Races, Ballylongford a New Library Experience

Howth by Éamon ÓMurchú

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A Poem from a Week of Poetry in Poetry Town

From the 10 to 18 September 2021 Listowel was one of Ireland’s Poetry Towns. Here is another of the poems that were available to collect all over town.

Great idea! I hope we get to do it again.

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Ladies Day at Listowel Races 2021

A few more of Bridget O’Connor’s photos

The winner of Race Three; Game Catch

Patsy Dowling and John O’Connor

Christy O’Connor and his grandaughter

Margaret Kearney, Ballyduff

Maria Stack and Anne Leneghan

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Blacksmithing Festival, Ballylongford Sept. 25 2021

The festival was part of the fundraising effort to revive and restore the old mill.

I parked in the church carpark and walked to the venue for the festival. At the bridge I came upon this group being given a guided tour of the architecture of Ballylongford by Dr. Declan Downey. Had I known that was on I’d have taken part in that too.

Declan Downey is a thorough researcher and an excellent guide.

At the corner I met these three heroes. I think they may be from Asdee. After a bit of good natured caffling they pointed me in the right direction.

I obeyed the sign and found my way to the displays.

There was a nice little crowd gathered around the exhibitions.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about what I saw of the fun of the fair.

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The Public Library is Changing

I hadn’t visited the library in person in ages until a few weeks ago. I have been listening to audio books on Borrowbox and I have been reducing my “to be read” pile slowly.

I made my return with my granddaughter in Ballincollig.

Cora showed me how the system operates now.

It’s a DIY job now. You put your library card and then your book, whether you’re returning or borrowing, under a barcode scanner and all the information is digitised and recorded on a computer. No need for any interaction with a librarian any more.

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Kerry Thanks

A full page ad in Irish Examiner, Monday September 27 2021

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Just a Thought

My reflections, broadcast last week on Radio Kerry are at the link below;

Just a Thought

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Anseo, The Races and Blacksmithing

Howth photographed by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Anseo

Anseo is an initiative by Kerry County Council and others to help the entertainment industry and to bring a bit of entertainment to our streets that have been so quiet for so long.

This is the scene at the Anseo concert in Listowel on Saturday Sept 18 2021.

Afternoon Show 1.00 – 3.30pm

Eoghan Duignan, John Browne & Brendan O’Sullivan 

Tim O’ Shea & Afro Trad Ireland 

Liam O’Connor & Family 

Evening Show 6.00 – 8.30pm

Seamus Begley & Donogh Hennessy 

Sephira 

Peter Staunton and Super Ceili 

This is the line up. As you can see it features the best musicians and brilliant music. So why was the venue almost empty?

Answer; People didn’t know about it.

“I would have been there if I’d known,” is what I am hearing on every side since.

I know the First Communion was on and the storytelling festival but maybe it should have been part of the craic for these events.

These four ladies couldn’t resist breaking into a set.

I’m told that the evening concert was sold out.

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After the Races

A poem for the week that’s in it.

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At the Storytelling Festival

The O’Connor family from Cork with local storyteller, Godfrey Coppinger at the international Storytelling Festival at Kerry Writers Museum on Sept 19 2021

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Ladies Day, Sept 24 2021 at Listowel Races

I missed the Races this year but my friend deputised for me and took a some photos for you. Here are a few of Bridget O’Connor’s photos from Friday.

Chloe Daly and Graham
Patricia Collins
Celia Holman Lee and Orla Diffley
Lisa Griffin and her daughter
Claire, Elaine and Katsy with Elaine’s baby at her first Harvest Festival of Racing

(more tomorrow)

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Ballylongford Blacksmithing Festival

I was in Ballylongford on Saturday September 25 2021 for this very new , very different festival. The blacksmiths looked nothing like blacksmiths I remember from my childhood and their open air forges were fuelled by gas.

These smiths were not farriers but decorative workers in molten metal. I saw no leather aprons and face shields here and there seemed to be a certain kind of hippy style to these modern day smiths. They made beautiful things and it was great to see them at work.

I will have more photos for you during the week.

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A Church, a Social and a Rookery

Photo; Chris Grayson at St. Mary of the Angels, Beaufort

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Church of the Immaculate Conception, Castletownroche

Wedding in Church of the Immaculate Conception, Castletownroche

While I was in Castletownroche for my family wedding last week, I took a few photos of their lovely windows.

This window is behind the main altar and is unusual in that, apart from the central image, the side panels are repetitive and rather uninteresting.

The Mother of Sorrows window, like the others has no acknowledgement of a donation so it looks like the parish had to foot the bill.

This Sacred Heart window matches in design the Madonna one. Both are very pretty and colourful.

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North Kerry Pioneer Total Abstinance Social 1962

I had this email from Kathy Reynolds

Hi Mary

My name is Kathy Reynolds (nee Fitzmaurice) now living in England’s smallest county Rutland but originally from Lisselton
My family are pleased to hold Tony Fitzmaurice’s (Sandhill Rd, Ballybunion) large collection of photographs in particular the early photographs from the 1950’s & 60’s that capture so well the town of Ballybunion and the people of North Kerry. A video showing photographs taken at the what I thought was  1962 Ballylongford Pioneers Social can be seen at https://vimeo.com/592832676 However I was told today that although held in Ballylongford it was a North Kerry event and people from across North Kerry including Listowel are shown.
It would be wonderful if the people could be identified and the photographs reconnected with those people or their families, what recollections might be brought to life. Are there any photographic or historical groups in the Listowel area that might be able to help me reconnect the photographs with the families, indeed a link to it in your own wonderful blog would connect with so many. If you can offer suggestions I would love to hear from you.
A future project for Tony’s archive is more directly linked with Listowel as it is about 150+ images of children sitting on Santa’s lap at McKennas in 1959. I expect many Listowel children will have been captured but there will be children from across North Kerry
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind Regards,

Kathy Reynolds

kathymreynolds@icloud.com

( Please follow the link and let me know if you recognise anyone. We’ll have a better chance with the Santa ones when Kathy puts them up.)

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Look Up

They say that crows are a very intelligent species. They were quick to spot an opportunity on the scaffolding at St. John’s.

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Mother Gertrude came from a Very Holy Family

New Zealand Tablet 26 October 1899

Death of a Venerable Nun.— The death of Sister Mary Gertrude O’Connor (known for upwards of a generation as Mother Gertrude), of the Presentation Convent, Listowel, is an event deserving of more than local or ordinary notice (says the Daily Nation.) For nearly 51 years this truly excellent lady occupied a prominent and honoured place in the religious life of her native county. Entering the Listowel Convent on the 15th of August, 1849, her religious life may be said to have synchronised with the life of that distinguished branch of the great Presentation Community, and the remarkable growth of that Convent, both in usefulness as a educational institution and in size, is in no small measure due to her influence and labours. Mother Gertrude was born in Tralee about 76 years ago. Her father held a commission in the British Army, served with distinction under Moore and Wellington, and the hero of Corunna is said to have died in his arms. The Very Rev. John O’Connor. D.D., who, for many years occupied a prominent place in the clerical life of his native diocese, and was one of the organisers of that brave band of Irishmen who went to the assistance of Pope Pius the Ninth in the early stage of his struggle with the infidel makers of modern Italy, and who, led by his fiery missionary zeal went abroad while yet a young curate, where he died some years ago, was a brother of Mother Gertrude. Another distinguished brother was Dr. Morgan O’Connor who died universally respected and regretted a few years ago in Wagga, New South Wales. 

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