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: Listowel Races Page 1 of 4

June Races, Ladies Day 2022

Dublin’s Temple Bar from a website Ireland of the Welcomes

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Listowel Races, June Weekend 2022

Sunday was Ladies Day on The Island and John Kelleher took these photos of the style winners.

These were the 10 finalists for the best dressed lady competition.

The judges had a hard job. On the left is the runner up, Denise Jeffers. The winner is in the centre off the photo, Grace Flynn. Winner of the most fashion forward hat was Denise O’Connor on the right.

<<<<<<<<<<<

People on Opening Night June 1 2022

Vourneen Kissane and Margaret Reidy
Maureen Hartnett, Carmel Hartnett and Aileen Scanlan
Bernie McAuliffe and Michael Enright
David Browne and Michael Enright

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Lartigue Monorail back on track

The O’Neill family were first on board for the 2022 season. I hope they all have a great season as I know funds were running low for this unique Listowel visitor attraction. This might be a good year for Listowel folk to take a trip.

<<<<<<<<<

A Poem

Local poet, Pat Given, launched his latest anthology, A New Day, at Writers’ Week 2022

Pat with his wife and family on the night of the launch

One of Pat’s charming poems.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

A Tumbling Paddy

I remember being fascinated as I watched my father working with this piece of equipment. I haven’t seen one in real life for years and years. I must be remembering it from 1955 or early 56. My father died in 1957.

The tumbling paddy was attached to the horse and he pulled it along while my father guided it through the hay row. The purpose was to gather the hay into piles to be made into wynnds. The skill involved tumbling the pile of hay. My father used to put the reins over his head for the act of tumbling. He would then upend the paddy and tumble out the pile of hay. This meant for a few seconds letting go of the shafts. He then skilfully circumnavigated the pile of hay, retook the shafts and the reins and continued on hay gathering. It was hard skilful work. The paddy had no moving parts. All the work was done by man and horse working in unison. It is one of my most vivid childhood memories.

The photograph was shared by Dan Hartnett on Facebook. Thank you, Dan.

<<<<<<<<<<

Update on the Cinema

The campaign to save our cinema has unfortunately, not been successful.

This is the latest post from the brave committee who tried their best to save the cinema. They have bowed out gracefully.

Yesterday we were informed by the auctioneers that the Classic has been sold to a “retail investor”. There is a detailed update on the GoFundMe page (link in bio) but we’d just simply like to thank everyone on here for your support. It’s been a real pleasure.

Thank you

Friends of Listowel Cinema

<<<<<<<<<

Illumination

Listowel Town Square in May 2022

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Clarification

I posted this picture yesterday and I wondered why there were so few boys in the class. Vincent Carmody solved the mystery.

There were always junior (locally called Babies) classes in both the boys and girls schools in Listowel. There was a custom for boys who lived in O’Connell’s Avenue or other houses near the convent or for boys who had an association with the convent to go there up to First Communion class.

I presumed that the full class of communion boys must have been in the new school. Not so. Éamon ÓMurchú remembers boys communion classes in the old school and in The Carnegie.

Everyone agrees that Quirkes of Church St. was the place to go for the best after communion breakfast.

<<<<<<<<<

Lovely Listowel

This Church Street shop has very elaborate and unusual embellishments on the first storey.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

St. Vincent de Paul Society Honours Hannah

Listowel St. Vincent de Paul Society recently honoured one of its most treasured members, Hannah Mulvihill.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Illuminated Parchment Presentation

This photo was shared by Mike Hannon on Facebook. I recognise the occasion. It is the handover during race week 1958 of an illuminated work of art to the directors of Listowel Race Company.

The picture being presented is the work of Bryan MacMahon and Michael O’Connor.

Jer Kennelly found a great clip online that explains the work of an illuminator.

Bishop Barron

It is well worthwhile to watch this to appreciate the genius that was Listowel’s Michael O’Connor.

I am looking forward to developments at Kerry Writers’ Museum which will see O’Connor’s work displayed for us all to see. Many examples of the great artist’s work have been promised by their owners, often his family members, to the museum as soon as it has a place to conserve and display them.

Example of a Michael O’Connor illuminated letter

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Betty Remembered at The Races

In memory of Betty McGrath, her good friend, Larry Buckley, has organised a race at this weekend’s race meeting. The race will be run on Sunday June 5 2022, Ladies Day

In The Lingerie Room, Elaine is a is also remembering. Her window display remembers Betty, a queen of style.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

New on Church Street

I checked out their website. I think it is a kind of government recruitment agency. This is what the website says;

“Get the tailored support you need Turas Nua is delivering the JobPath programme to help long-term unemployed people get the support they need to move into suitable, sustainable employment….”

<<<<<<<<<<

NCBI Window Display

NCBI Listowel is getting behind Writers’ Week with this apt window display.

<<<<<<<<<

Mary O’Halloran was pictured at Navan recently.

Mary is a frequent visitor to Listowel Races where she is always one of the best turned out ladies on the course.

Mary is living with Motor Neurone Disease.

I can’t give her the 2 page spread Charlie Bird got in last Sunday’s Independent. But I can tell you that I greatly admire Mary and all the other people with MND who are quietly getting on with life.

<<<<<<<<<<<

Old Days, Old Ways

Listowel Town Square in May 2022

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Carroll’s of William Street

On William Street this shop is being renovated and, keeping true to Listowel tradition, attention is being paid to the upper stories.

<<<<<<<

First Holy Communion Time

I don’t have a date for this class photo but since its all boys it has to be after Scoil Real na Maidine moved into the new school.

Before the boys moved into their new school they used to go to the convent until communion year and then transfer to the boys school. Marie Gorman kept this lovely souvenir of her First Communion Day. The cohort of boys seems small by comparison with the girls.

<<<<<<<<<<<

Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Listowel in 1972

Photo shared by Mike Hannon

Joan Kenny and a friend from Dublin, Eileen Kelly, enjoying a wafer ice cream at the fleadh.

Back in the day, you could buy this delicacy in a shop. The shop assistant took a block of ice cream from the fridge and with a big knife, usually kept close by in a jug of cold water, cut a slice of ice cream and put it between two wafers for the customer.

Joan and Eileen appear to have got a very generous slice.

<<<<<<<<<<

The Maid of Erin, Then and Now

Mike Hannon shared the old photos. I took the recent one last week, May 2022.

Potters
Galvins

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Official Opening and Blessing of The New Stand

Photos shared by Listowel Races on Facebook.

<<<<<<<<<<<

Lovely Listowel Shopfront

<<<<<<<<<<<<

A Thought for U.S. Politicians

In the wake of the Uvalde Elementary School massacre, a rabbi posted this thought.

In Judaism there are many actions that are preceded by a prayer. If one says the prayer and then does not do the action, e.g. eat the bread that one has blessed, that is considered a sinful act.

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Pub Theatre returns to John B.’s

Pub theatre has made a welcome return just in time to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the great dramatist. John B. Keane passed away 20 years ago today.

His spirit and memory is still very much alive, never more so than at this time of year, Listowel Writers’ Week.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Prince Monolulu

Tim Doody; Mallow Camera Club

<<<<<<<<<<

A Corner of The Square in 2022

The green area is the designated car parking spaces for electric cars while they are on charge.

<<<<<<<<<<

Lidl

Our Lidl store is going to get an upgrade. The shiny new store will be on the site of the old one so we’ll have to do without for a while.

Lidl have purchased the nearby derelict Dowd’s cottage. This will be demolished and that site will become part of the new superstore.

<<<<<<<<<<

Prince? Monolulu

Alice Walsh shared this great old photo recently on Facebook. It was taken at Raceweek 1961 at the opening of Walsh’s Super Ballroom.

In the centre of the image surrounded by Mick Delahunty band members is a beloved visitor to Listowel Races, an eccentric tipster known as Prince Monolulu.

He wasn’t a prince and his name wasn’t Monolulu and he wasn’t an African chief as he claimed.

In Listowel in the 1950s and 60s a black man was a rare enough sight. A very tall black man dressed like an Ethiopian chief with a monstrous ostrich plume on his head and a lion’s tooth around his neck was bound to attract attention.

He was a regular on racetracks in Britain. When not at the races he was a “Lion tamer, fire eater, street dentist, preacher, tribal chief, boxer, prisoner of war, and entertainer.”

“He was married six times.”

When Spion Kop won the 1920 Derby at odds of 100-6 (about 16-1) Monolulu won a reputed £8,000 (worth around £400,000 in today’s money). 

This was all part of the myth that surrounded this man. But like most “facts’ about this character we have to take everything with a pinch of salt.

Monolulu was American. He came to England and soon discovered that a life as a showman could be quite a good living in the early 20th century.

He plied his trade on racecourses until his death in 1965 on Valentine’s Day. The story goes that he choked on a strawberry cream from a box of Black Magic. Like everything else about him, this too sounds a tad implausible.

On his trips to Listowel he would visit The Island armed with a handful of sealed envelopes. “I got a horse to beat the favourite.,” was his cry. He sold you the tip sealed in an envelope and urged you not to share it so as not to upset the odds.

He must have been successful as he came back year after year. He was part of the colour that was Listowel Harvest Festival of Racing.

Another of Alice Walsh’s photos shows Monolulu on the stage.

<<<<<<<<

Writers’ Week Committee 2012

Listowel Writers’ Week Festival Committee 2012

Doesn’t feel like 10 years.

Catherine Moylan, Simone Langemann, Liz Dunn and Jim Dunn

I took this photo of some of today’s Writers’ Week people at the launch of the Amateur Drama Exhibition in Kerry Writers’ Museum on May 7 2022.

<<<<<<<<<

Soap, a Bridge and a Ferry

Photo: Jim McSweeney, Mallow Camera Club

<<<<<<<<<<<

When Soap was Soap

If you remember this, you are as old me. This was ‘household soap”. It was manufactured by Lever Brothers in Port Sunlight outside Liverpool. it was used everyday for hundreds of jobs. If anything, and I mean anything, needed washing this was the go-to soap.

Scrubbing the doorstep, indeed scrubbing floors generally, was an activity undertaken by some on a daily basis. The scrubber knelt on the floor and with scrubbing brush and soap scrubbed every inch of the floor, mopping off the excess moisture with an old rag. These poor women (they were always women) ended up with a condition known as “housemaids knee”.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<

We’ll go racing again

We’ll cross this bridge again in 2022. I was delighted to see the sign advertising a June meeting and The Harvest Festival of Racing for September has been erected at the River Feale entrance to the racecourse.

<<<<<<<<<<<

Old Tarbert Ferry Postcard

<<<<<<<<<<<

From Pres. YearBook 1990

<<<<<<<<<<

A Well Travelled Trip Adviser

(From RTE on the internet)

A Kerry man has made it into the review history books, as he’s named the best-travelled reviewer on Tripadvisor.

The review site has published a break down of its stats, as it reaches a milestone of publishing one billion reviews and traveller insights.

User @damienstack, from Listowel in Co. Kerry, Ireland, was revealed to have posted reviews for 176 different countries. If that wasn’t impressive enough, he has actually visited all 193 countries in the world!

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén