It’s Official; Summer is here

Yes, we know one swallow doth not a summer make but I’m still delighted to see that Mike Enright spotted this little harbinger of sunny days in Ballybunion last week.


Wild Flowers in the Park

Primroses and buttercups on the bank of the glaise that flows through the park

“Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.”

This section of the pitch and putt course is covered in daisies.


Back to my Roots

Kanturk in Times Past

Ger Greaney alerted me recently to this great old series of photographs of my hometown. Looking at the comments when he shared the Youtube video I realized that you don’t have to be from Kanturk to enjoy this one.

The sequence opens with an old railway carriage in the train station at Kanturk. The station is now only a memory but what a memory!

The ballad of The Bould Thady Quill has a line, “Proceed to Banteer to the athletic sports and hand in your name to the club committee”. In my youth the way to proceed to Banteer was by train. It cost 3d for the short train journey and I can only remember making it on Sports Day.

Michael O’Sullivan, who made the slide show, is the next generation of O’Sullivan’s from Klamper who have left their mark on the town forever. The O’Sullivan brothers emigrated to the USA where they did very well. They brought their wealth back to Kanturk, set up several businesses in retail, catering and the licensed trade and they transformed the face of Kanturk. They brought with them a whiff of US glamour and they opened our eyes, in the Kanturk of the 1950s and 60’s to a world we only saw in the movies (films we called them then.)

Just doors away from the local cinema the O’Sullivans opened a café, the like of which had not been seen before in Kanturk. It had a juke box!!!

Do you know the lyric? “Please Mister, please, don’t play E17. It was our song; it was his song but its over…..”

Only people who remember a juke box will have any idea what this is all about. Each record had a number and for 6d. you could choose the song you wanted played. Through a glass, you could watch the drum turn the records and then  the selection tool would take the chosen record and place it on a turntable, the stylus would come across and the whole café listened to your selection. There was a kind of honor system in operation where people took turns to pay for the music. He who paid the piper always called the tune despite much pressure. The proprietors got in new records regularly and there was great clamouring to listen to the latest arrivals.

One of the photos in Michael’s slide show was taken in the café. The machine in the photo is a weighing scales and, sadly, not the juke box. There are also other familiar local scenes like the official opening of the Marian grotto, the mammoth Corpus Christi procession, Fancy Dress parades, firemen, FCA and much more.


Talented sisters

Rosaleen and Patricia hard at work in Craftshop na Méar. These two are multitalented and make many of the lovely items available in Craftshop na Méar in Church St.


Bang for your Buck

Listowel people were well versed in the art of advertising back in 1960. Who could resist these bargains?


Snapped in Flavins, Church St. April 15 2015

Flavins is an old style newsagents where the personal touch is valued. In the words of John B. in another context, “Courtesy and civility guaranteed at all times.”  Long may it continue!


Well done, girls!

(photo: Listowel Celtic)

Listowel Celtic U12 girls after winning their match away to Killarney Celtic 6.0. They are now JK Sports U12 league champions!


2015 Nano Nagle Poker Run

These and lots  more lovely photos from Saturday’s bike run in aid of Nano Nagle school  here;

John Kelliher