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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Part of this shop’s history is told in pictures by Maura McAuliffe on Facebook.
“Dan Flavin’s burnt to the ground by the Black and Tans. Dan Flavin was put in jail. They would have shot him only he had an American passport as he was born in New York and brought back as a child to Ireland.”
Martin Moore shared these receipts and this caption.
3 receipts from the 1920s, one is for a contribution to the North Kerry Republican Soldiers Committee, and another is for 200 copies of Irish Independent and is marked as the first received in nearly two months (due to the Civil War).
New Exhibition in Kerry Writers’ Museum
At the launch of Lifting the Curtain, an installation celebrating amateur drama in Kerry, our own Lartigue Theatre presented a compilation of extracts from Sive.
Billy Keane (standing behind Cara Trant) watches the enactment of extracts from his father’s play.
Liz Dunn of Writers’ Week is in the foreground.
Dr. Fiona Brennan, an amateur drama scholar, presented a brief synopsis of the history of drama in Kerry.
This marvellous old snap is one of the great photos shared by Mike Hannon on Facebook.
In the centre of the photo is the late Ned O’Connor of Convent Street.
Ned was the first Listowel man I met on my first visit to town. The year was 1972 or 1973. I was a very young teacher and on my first big assignment. I was to examine the Leaving Cert. class in Presentation Secondary School in oral Irish.
I had never been to Listowel before.
I looked up the Bord Fáilte book for a suitable Bed and Breakfast for the week. (There was no internet in those days)
I think it was the Convent Street address that prompted me to choose Ned O’Connor’s premises. I figured it was surely within walking distance of the school. It was.
I arrived on the Sunday evening, to begin work on Monday. Ned welcomed me and showed me to a very comfortable room. He told me that the week before the “Padre Pio priest” had stayed in that very room.
The next morning after my breakfast, Ned gave me an orange to bring with me to school. He told me that he thought my voice would be sore from all the talking and oranges were great for relieving a sore throat. I had never stayed in a B and B before but I knew that this level of caring couldn’t be the norm.
As an ambassador for Listowel, Ned did an excellent job.
May he rest in peace.
By the way, the Leaving Cert girls did excellently well in their oral exam.
It’s Done and It’s Lovely
And who are the two men enjoying a chat and admiring the newly unveiled area?
Billy Keane and Aidan ÓMurchú were relaxing in the sunshine in the new facility.
Necessary but a bit unsightly in our lovely new meeting, performing and eating space
From 2002/03 Pres. Yearbook
Back in the day Dáithí ÓSé used to be a weatherman on TG4
I was completely behind the times on this one. I have just discovered that a friend of mine commissioned such a picture for his fiancee for her birthday.
The picture was done by Van Woof. Isn’t it cute?
If you are stuck for a present anytime soon, here’s an idea.
Browsing through the Newspapers Online
A friend of this blog found these;
THE ST. PAUL GLOBE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1898
FIVE OF THE MOST SINGULAR RAILWAYS IN THE WORLD
There Is a “single-line railway” now working In Ireland.
The Listowel & Ballybunion railway sounds like the Invention of some mad humourist;
but such a place as Ballybunion really exists. It is a very popular seaside resort in the southwest of Ireland. The distance between this point and the other terminus at Listowel is ten miles, and there is one Intermediate station—that of Lisselton. The system on which this railway is worked is called the Lartigue single rail elevated railway, and was the invention of a French engineer.
This single rail line, it should be explained at once, is not a single track railway, but actually has only one rail for trains to run on. This rail is supported on iron trestle work at the height of three feet three inches from the ground, and the locomotive and carriages are actually balanced on it.
18 Feb 1986
Nyack NY Journal News 1986 01759_1.pdf
By WILLIAM DEMAREST
A retired New York City police officer from Haverstraw has been named Grand Marshal of the Pearl River St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is to be sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Rockland County.
John Scanlon, 57, will lead the celebration of Irish-American heritage down Central Avenue in Pearl River on Sunday, March 23. Honoured three times for bravery during his 25-year career with the New York Police Department, Scanlon is the treasurer of Division One of the AOH in North Rockland. “He has been a dedicated and faithful member and can always be relied upon to get the job done,” said Thomas Keyy, an AOH Division One spokesman, of Scanlon’s selection as grand marshal. A resident of the village of Haverstraw, Scanlon was born in Lisselton, County Kerry in Ireland, where he was educated in local schools. He is a graduate of St. Michael College in Listowel. County Kerry, where he was a classmate of popular Irish playwright John B. Keane.
Before moving to the United States in 1949, Scanlon was a farmer. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952 in Korea. Soon after his discharge from the Army, Scanlon joined the NYPD, finally retiring in January 1985.
The father of five children, Scanlon is the husband of the former Mary Browne, and they have three grandchildren. He works in the security department of St. Agatha’s Home in Nanuet.
People I Met
I met this lovely couple on the street on Saturday April 30 2022. They were in town for a wedding the day before.
They are from Rossmore in Co. Cork. and they were looking for John B. Keane’s pub. They weren’t in need of a drink. They just wanted to see the place where Sive and so many of the playwright’s famous plays were written.
The name Rossmore may not be familiar to you but for lovers of amateur drama it is the location for a very popular drama festival. Year after year one of the entrants is a John B. Keane play. This year it was Sive.
Pres. Yearbook 1983
Chorus lines were recruited and our gallant first and
+Niall Stack R.I.P.+
I took this photograph a few years ago at Writers’ Week Opening Night. Niall had just met up with his friend Anthony Gaughan.
Niall Stack Passed away on April 29 2022. May he rest in peace.
This parasitic bird is usually associated with this time of year.
The striping on the underside of the cuckoo’s body mimics the sparrowhawk. This frightens the sugar out of smaller birds. They abandon their nests long enough for the cuckoo to lay her eggs.
The eggs take 12 days to hatch. From day one these nestlings are bullies and they chuck the legitimate hatchlings out of the nest.
Cuckoo chicks grow quickly and are known for their voracious appetites. They often grow to several times the size of their adoptive parents. These parents are usually worn to a thread trying to feed their ever hungry offspring.
Wait for this bordering on incredible fact!!!!!!
A female cuckoo may visit and lay eggs in up to 50 nests in a breeding season.
By September they all clear off to Central and West Africa where they rest and gird their loins for another onslaught on the unsuspecting little Irish birds.
From Pres. Listowel 1983/84 Journal
The journal opened with this kind of mission statement.
History and NFTs
In 2015 I posted the Titanic story of this man. He is Dr. Francis O’Loughlin, formerly of Tralee, who drowned with The Titanic.
Here is the story I borrowed from a Facebook page called Historical Tralee and surrounding areas:
Bravery of Titanic Surgeon Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin
New York Herald
Monday 22nd April 1912
In accounts printed about the Titanic and the bravery of her officers little has been said of one who probably was the most widely known and best beloved of all classes. He was Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin, senior surgeon of the White Star Line, who perished with the ship.
During the forty years Dr. O’Loughlin has been a surgeon aboard ships of that line he gained the close friendship of innumerable men and women of prominence. Known as one of the most upright and kindly men, he also was regarded as a leader in his profession and a student of the highest order.
Survivors say they saw Dr. O’Loughlin on deck going from one to another of the frightened passengers, soothing them and aiding them in getting into the lifeboats. As the last lifeboat left the vessel he was seen standing in a companionway beside the chief steward, the purser and another officer swinging a lifebelt. He was heard to say: “I don’t think I’ll need to put this on.” He was in the companionway when the vessel went down. From those who knew him well statements were obtained yesterday regarding the fine character of the friend all were mourning. All agreed he was one of the kindest men they had ever met. Many incidents showing his unselfishness were related. One of the friends said: “He was the strongest personal friend of every officer and seaman he ever left a port with, and he was a most thorough officer. He would give his last dollar to charity and was never known to speak ill of anyone. He was the most tenderhearted man I ever met.”
One of Dr. O’Loughlin’s intimate friends in the profession was Dr. Edward C. Titus, medical director of the White Star Line. He said: “Dr. O’Loughlin was undoubtedly the finest man that I have ever known. Kind at all times, his work among the persons he met endeared him forever to them. Always ready to answer a call for aid at all hours of the day and night, he would go into the steerage to attend an ill mother or child, and they would receive as much consideration from him as the wealthiest and mightiest on board. “He was one of the best read men I ever met. Dr. O’Loughlin was always doing some charitable act. Of his income I believe it will be found that he left little, having distributed most of it among the poor. There is no doubt that he died as he wished. Once recently I said to him that as he was getting on in years he ought to make a will and leave directions for his burial, as he had no kith or kin. He replied that the only way he wanted to be buried was to be placed in a sack and buried at sea.”
Dr. O’Loughlin was a native of Tralee co kerry in Ireland. Left an orphan he was raised and educated by an uncle. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin. When twenty-one years old he went to sea because of ill health and followed the sea continuously thereafter. Prior to being transferred to the Titanic he was surgeon on board the Olympic.
Fast forward to April 2022 and I have an email from Lorelei Llee whose job title is
Titanic Content Developer for E/M Group & Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.
In her research she has come across my blog post about the good doctor and she wants to use it. I have to inform her that it’s not my story anyway and I certainly didn’t take the photo. Im old but….
So, of course, I look up her company. They are e/m group “an experiential media group”