Listowel Connection

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

Credit Union and Pitch and Putt at 50

Lovely statue of St Patrick in Harp and Lion window

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Vincent’s Window

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St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2023

Spectators on Main Street

Local Primary scho0ls were out in force this year. It was heartwarming to see so many young people taking part. Well done staff and parents. They were a credit to you.

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Credit Union looking back

Listowel Credit Union is celebration 50 years since the early days in Charles Street. The present committee brought out a booklet to celebrate.

I took a few pictures of the pictures in the booklet.

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More Pitch and Putt Memories

A few more of Tom O’Halloran’s photos of good times in the pitch and putt club.

Looks like a prize giving…a good few O’Hallorans in this photo.

Another prize giving

Fr. Kerins and Pat Walshe

This one looks like a bit of a party in the clubhouse; Brendan Kenny with his back to the camera, Con Whelan, Michael Walshe, Teresa Carey and Billy Moloney.

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Surprising Facts About the American Civil War

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Pitching In

Main Street Listowel March 17 2023

Liam Brennan as St. Patrick leads the parade down Church Street in sunny Listowel on St. Patrick’s Day 2023.

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Listowel Pitch and Putt Club

Tom O’Halloran took a few photos of drainage works under way in the days when everybody pitched in and got dirty.

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Man’s Friend ; The Robin

Photo; Bertie, the robin by Chris Grayson

Robin by Dick Carmody

The
Robin……          

            …….companion for a reluctant gardener.

Reluctantly I kneel to tend my garden, derived of some pride, devoid of great pleasure

Painstakingly I toil to keep apace of mother nature, as weeds compete with work rate

Then I am suddenly less aware on my ownliness, a companion ever present at my side

The Robin makes his predictable welcome appearance to distract from my discomfort.

Red-breasted, he sits proud upon the boundary wall to watch my laboured movement

Takes pride in that he fanned the fire in Bethlehem’s stable to keep the Baby warm

And how the flames had burned his then colourless breast to testify his zealousness

Or was it when he pulled the thorn from Jesus’ brow on his way to cross on Calvary

And now carries his blood-stained feathers as if to show his favoured ranking.

At arms length he follows my every move, often playing hide and seek with me    

Standing tall or sometimes with head erect, motionless he stares me eye to eye

I could believe him God-sent, no other bird in sight in hedgerow or on leafless tree

Or is it just that he sees me as his meal-ticket, as I gather and discard the
fallen leaves

Exposing tasty morsels in the unfrozen ground to help him cope with winter’s worst.

I move along, hunched on bended knee, he follows cautiously close behind, beside

Sometimes out of sight, I seek him out again and know I will not be disappointed

For sure enough he’s back again here, there and everywhere, not taken for granted

Now gardening is less of a chore as I’m gifted a companion, my new forever friend.

©
Dick Carmody                                           

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Celtic Art Postage Stamps

These recent stamps are based on The Book of Kells.

This is what An Post says about them.

Over half a million visitors view the Book of Kells at Trinity College, Dublin, each year but, on February 23, you will have the opportunity to lay your hands on two stamps that feature beautiful illustrations from this masterpiece.

The Book of Kells is widely credited as being the most renowned of all medieval illuminated manuscripts for its intricacy, detail and, particularly, the majesty of the illustrations. Measuring 330 x 255mm, the book is an illuminated manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament. It was reputedly created by Columban monks c800 AD.

The two stamp designs feature details of the profile of a lion’s head, a symbol of Christ and his resurrection. The FDC image represents a cat apprehending a rodent in possession of a communion host. The illustrations on some pages highlight how, in medieval monasteries, cats were seen to preserve the supply of food for body (and soul – chasing mice breaking into stores of Communion hosts.)

The images in the Book of Kells are called miniatures and were painted by artists who were known as miniaturists and later as illuminators. Abstract decoration and images of plant, animal and human ornament punctuate the text with the aim of glorifying Jesus’ life and message.

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Your help is Needed

Good morning.  My Name is Allen O’Callaghan and I live in Omaha, Nebraska, USA.  I’ve been pursuing my families history in Ireland, and particularly in the towns of Listowel and Ballybunion.  My G—G grandfather owned properties in both towns, as well as agricultural properties south of Listowel.  His name was Gerard J. O’Callaghan (1808-1888) and apparently prominent as he was in the local newspapers quite often.  He had a daughter named Mary Jane O’Callaghan (1845-1923), who professed with the sisters-of-mercy as Sr. M M Louis.  According to census records she was Mother Superior of a convent in Ballybunion.  I’m having problems reconciling modern day locations with the family lore and actual known records.  At one point I was told that a family home called Sea View Lodge was given to the Catholic Church.  If you have any knowledge of any of these old locations and/or can recommend any available histories I can review, I’d be very much appreciative.  

Sincerely

Allen O’Callaghan

If you can help Allen will you contact me on listowelconnection@gmail.com and I’ll put you in touch with Allen.

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St. Patrick’s Day 2023

Statue of St. Patrick in Listowel

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Today is St. Patrick’s Day, a day of rest and celebration so I’m just going to check in with you here. I hope to go to the parade and to take a few photos which I hope to post here next week.

For the day that’s in it a few pictures;

Michael O’Connor’s beautifully illuminated copy of St. Patrick’s breastplate now in Kerry Writers’ Museum.

The late great Michael Dowling in Danny Gordon’s photo of a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Listowel in the 1980s.

A more recent picture of Liam Brennan as St. Patrick.

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Credit Union Memories

Upper Church Street March 2023

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A Tara Brooch

One of the most beautiful  treasures in the National Museum is The Tara Brooch which dates from around 700A.D. It was found on the beach in Bettystown in 1850 and according to Wikipaedia has nothing to do with Tara at all. 

The original may have nothing to do with Tara but this one has a Listowel connection. Eileen Moylan of Listowel, Macroom and Claddagh Design fame was once commissioned to make a modern day replica solid silver “Tara” brooch. She took us step by step through the smithing process in her blog here: 

The pieces cut out in silver.

Inserting the gems.

Engraving, finishing and polishing

Eileen’s splendid finished diamond and emerald brooch

Wouldn’t it be perfect to wear on Patrick’s Day?

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Listowel Credit Union at 50

The interior of Listowel Credit Union’s lovely office on the Monday of the celebration, March 6 2023.

I met Eleanor OSullivan and Jimmy Deenihan.

Leo Daly and Betty O’Sullivan are long serving members of the credit union. They posed for my photos with Jimmy Deenihan.

There was a big display of press clippings on the day. I photographed a few.

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Look who is Coming to Listowel Writers’ Week 2023

“Seamus O’Hara, who plays Turlough in An Irish Goodbye, will be leading a workshop with acclaimed Casting Director Mary-Ellen O’Hara called ‘Interpretation, Inflection, Intonation: Poetry Aloud’.”

You can book a place in this workshop or tickets for some of the events on the programme at Listowel Writers’ Week

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Something Different

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Dandy Lodge, the early days

Listowel Castle in Spring 2023

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The Confraternity

I posted this picture of Listowel men on a confraternity retreat a while ago. I had hoped to spark some memories of that all male institution but I haven’t got very far. The Confraternity was essentially a prayer group to keep men on the straight and narrow. It met for “meetings’ once a month. These were held in the church and consisted of prayers and sermons. Once a year they all headed off to Limerick for a retreat.

Locally some sceptics regarded them as “Holy Joes” A while ago I got this missive from an unnamed local man;

Regarding the Confraternity and the Sodality; these were gone or on the way out when I was a nipper. I do remember a crude put-down that was used in those days against  someone that was, in the common perception, ‘ró-mhór leis an gcléir,’ and involved in every religious event and occasion- this put-down was as follows: ‘Jaysus, that fellow is stuck in everything! He’d be in the Children of Mary as well, if they could find a knickers big enough for him.

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Looking Forward to St. Patrick’s Day

Some stalwarts of St. Patrick’s Day parades in the past.

Charlie Nolan
John Lynch
Dancing teachers, John Stack and Jimmy Hickey

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Dandy Lodge Story Continued

This is a photo in the National Museum of Bridge Road, Listowel in 1903. You can see the Dandy Lodge on the left.

There it stood until 1997 when it was moved brick by brick into Childers’ Park to be looked after by Listowel Pitch and Putt Club.

You can see from the press release that Adare Co. Limerick had an interest in purchasing the lodge. We have to thank the foresight of Listowel Pitch and Putt Club members who made sure it remained in Listowel.

The late Tom O’Halloran took these photos of the relocation.

The following pictures were taken at the opening.

A presentation to Tom and Eileen OHalloran

Joe Dillon, Jerry Brick and Cathal Fitzgerald

Bill Walsh, Paul O’Dowd, Jerry Maher, Dr. Corridan and Joseph Dillon, previous owner of The Dandy Lodge

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