on the Cliff Walk, Ballybunion


Some Public sculptures in Ballybunion


One Hundred Years Ago We were cut off

Before we had broadband


Memories, Memories

Presentation Sisters, Listowel when they lived in the convent in Greenville. Most of these lovely women have now passed away but the memories linger.


An Act Of Civil Disobedience….Ploughing the Cow’s Lawn

Over the years since I’ve been writing this blog, several local people have told me their family story of this incident from 100 years ago. Margaret Dillon, Eileen Sheridan and Paul Murphy have shared memorabilia with me from that time.

But it was very remiss of me not to acknowledge that yesterday’s account of the incident was researched and written by Kay Caball. Kay has done very thorough research into that time in Listowel’s history and she gave a most informative talk on it complete with photos and graphics a few years ago in The Seanchaí.

Another addendum to the story came to me yesterday in the form an email from Eamonn Dillon.

Eamonn wrote;

It is with great pleasure that I reach for my phone every morning just to see what new nugget or gem you have posted overnight.  Thank you so much for your great work. I am sure that very many follow your blog but – and I include myself in their number – they do not either thank you or provide feedback.  
Your blog this morning was a particularly good example.  I remember in the early 1980’s visiting the Old Folks Home at the hospital in Convent Street.   One of the residents was John Joe Mulvihill who lived just up the road from me in Church Street. Indeed the name Mulvihill is still in plaster over the door to this day. He lived with his two sisters Aggie and, I think, Peg. All three are long gone now.   I recall John Joe vividly describing the gathering of the Volunteers from the town itself as well as from the surrounding areas, the march to, and the gathering outside,  the Estate Office , the specific orders to all Volunteers to gather peacefully, the marching into Lord Listowel’s fields, the ploughing of the fields and the general excitement. His mind was crystal clear and perfect and it is one of my regrets that I did not have the presence of mind to record him. He was one of the, I think, 13 men, who were arrested. He told me that he was sentenced to 3 months in jail for his participation. One of the reasons that he told me so much about it was because the man marching next to him was Edward (Ned) Stack from Carrueragh, (Knockanure Company) my maternal grandfather.  On the day he was arrested,  John Joe told me that Ned went left and he went right. Ned got away and John Joe was arrested!


A Fact about Cake

” Let them eat cake’ was never said by a callous Marie Antoinette to starving Parisien revolutionaries who were demanding bread.

Cake is the translation given of the French brioche which isn’t really cake at all, just fancy bread. There is so much sugar in today’s bread that the line between cake and bread is very blurry today too.

The famous “let them eat cake’ line had been in use in France well before The Revolution. It was a kind of cliché for aristocratic decadence, implying that the rich eat fancy bread so if the poor are clamouring for bread why dont they go the whole hog and demand brioche. The slogan was used during the French Revolution for propaganda purposes.