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 4

A Poem, School Milk and a Night in St. John’s

The Big Bridge, Listowel in October 2021

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The Pebble

Remember Liz Chute’s story that inspired a Bryan MacMahon short story?

It also inspired a poem by Listowel born poet, Noel Roche.

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Halloween 2021

This year Halloween seems to be a bit low key. We seem to be skipping straight to Christmas. Maybe it’s time to abandon the Trick or Treating and fireworks and return to remembering instead our dead loved ones and visiting family graves instead.

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School Lunches!

Photo from Vanishing Ireland website

Did you bring milk to school in a Chef Sauce or YR bottle? If you did you’ll probably be about my age and you’ll be cringing in horror at this sight. No matter how much you washed and scoured, getting the smell of sauce or salad cream out of one of these bottles was impossible.

Don’t even mention breakages! These bottles were glass and broke easily. I remember the first Thermos flasks and their innards broke easily too.

Schooldays were the best days of our lives?

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Ballylongford in 1910

1910 Main Street, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry.

L to R John Thomas Carrig Sr. John Thomas Carrig Jr. M Mahoney, ? Dalton, The Kelly sisters.

Thanks to Geraldine Brassil for photo and information.

Ballylongford Snaps on Facebook shared this image and caption

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A Very Different theatrical Experience

There was something for everyone in the audience in St. John’s on Saturday night. We all got a taste of ” one he made earlier”.

Manchán Magan was our entertainer for the evening. Dressed in a tailored tweed trousers, grandfather style shirt and what looked to me like homemade pampooties, he told us in Irish and English about the connectedness of everything, about history, etymology and our close connection with the fairy world, all while baking a sourdough loaf and churning some butter.

It was an extraordinary evening’s entertainment brought to us by an extraordinary man. Manchán’s depth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for his subjects are a sight to witness.

After the show, he chatted, signed books and shared his sourdough starter and his delicious bread and butter.

It was my first night back in St. John’s since Covid.

What a show to return to!

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Believe it or Believe it Not

Once Gillette recalled 87,000 disposable razors because, thanks to a manufacturing error, they posed a cutting hazard.

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Love in a Coffee Shop, a Shark and Some Window Displays

Ballylongford by Breda Ferris

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Virtue Signalling

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Fact Sometime stranger than fiction

Regular readers of this blog will know that this is my kind of book. I picked this one up in Listowel’s Vincent de Paul shop and I’m loving it.

Here is a gem for you.

Greg Norman, the golfer is known as The Shark (He comes from Queensland, home of the great white and he plays very aggressively)

Once while fishing in Florida he caught an 80 pound blacktop shark. It was immediately eaten by a hammerhead, ten times as big.

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Ballylongford Windows

During the blacksmithing festival a local shop in Ballylongford displayed some old implements. Breda Ferris took the photos.

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New Shop in Town

In Mill Lane

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Update re spam comments

A big thank you to the people who helped me solve my spam problem. Peace has been restored. Comment away, if you like, but you must do it within 5 days of my posting.

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Ballylongford, A Pebble, a poem and a Very Clever Sculpture

Ballylongford Mill today; Photo by Breda Ferris

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It’s the simple things like sharing a donut….

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A Tribute to a Beloved and Missed Mentor

Elizabeth Carroll (Liz Chute) remembers Bryan MacMahon and his influence. The story is told in Liz’s screenshots from her Instagram feed.

The Pendant

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That Naas Sculpture

Helen O’Connor and Dave O’Sullivan filled me in on this one.

Title: Siren

Artist: By Alex Pentek

Location: Siren is located on the green adjacent to Naas Fire Station on the Newbridge Road.  

History of the project:
Over the last number of years, Athy and Naas have both opened purpose built fire stations.  A refurbishment of the fire station in Monasterevin has also taken place.  As part of the building programme, Kildare County Council engaged three Irish artists to further enhance each building by means of commissioning art works, through the Per Cent for Art Scheme.  The Fire Officer, Michael Fitzsimons and County Arts Officer Lucina Russell considered the physical building and their particular location when designing a brief for the commissions.   


Artist statement:
The sculpture shows how I think the sound of the fire alarm would look if it were not a sound but an object.  As the sound of a fire alarm broadcasts the message that the help of the Naas Fire Service is required, it is not a soothing sound, but a loud and shrill noise that forces anyone who hears it to consider their own personal safety for a moment.  As the traditional fire-bell has been replaced with the wailing cry of the air horn, the form of the proposed sculpture comprises of a series of fluted horns, pointing outwards in all directions as if to make sure that everyone gets the message.  

About the artist: 
Alex Pentek is a graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork and currently works from a studio at Monard, Rathpeacon, Co. Cork.   

With the style of the work ranging from abstract to figurative, he have worked predominantly on large-scale public art sculpture commissions for outdoor locations using durable materials. Some of this work includes two life-size female figures from cast marble sand in Tralee, Co. Kerry; three giant leaves in cast bronze in Clonakilty, Co. Cork; and four giant seeds from carved oak in Tower, Co. Cork, to name but a few.  During this time he has also carried out several smaller scale, private commissions for both indoor and outdoor settings.

While continuously exploring aspects of Nature in a variety of materials ranging from sheet metals, cast bronze, ceramic, carved wood and cement, he also enjoys the challenge of new materials. 

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Bog in Ballylongford, an old Christmas card and Listowel Printing Works is Relocating

In the bog; photo by Breda Ferris

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Lord Listowel 1963

photo found on Glin Historical Society

This is the 5th earl, William Hare. The current earl is Francis, his son from his third marriage.

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A Listowel Christmas Card

Listowel; men, Michael O’Connor and Bryan MacMahon collaborated in the making of six Christmas cards. The cards were produced by Oriel Press.

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A Poem as Halloween approaches

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Fuel of the Future?

Enjoy this old ad.

This month we read that Ireland is now importing horticultural peat from Latvia.

Read all about it here;

4000t of Horticultural Peat arrives in Drogheda

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Listowel Printing Works is gone from Church Street

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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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