Listowel Christmas Tree 2020
I took this photo on the day the tree arrived. The tree now has a barrier around it to keep it safe.
Christmas in Rathea a few years ago
I asked Maura Griffin to give us a flavour of her childhood in Listowel in the 1950s
I remember going round the corner to Thornton’s in Ballybunion Road with my Saturday penny for sweets. Guerin’s in Market Street for ice cream cut off a block in wafers. Mackessey’s shop across the road from us where the car wash is now. The lovely Bunyans Eileen, Peggy and Delia at Ballybunion Cross. It was always a joy to visit them on our trips home. McElligotts where we bought our milk in a jug. The Doyle family next door. Hairdressers then and amazing that it still is to this day. Walking across to the Feale and picking wild garlic flowers to take to school. I am sure the nuns weren’t too pleased with the smell. Also the lovely yellow lily type flowers in the field opposite where the racecourse car park is now. My good friend Helena O’Connor who lived opposite us before moving to St. Brendan’s Terrace. We had great fun in the summer sitting on the back of haycarts dangling our legs off the back and ending up way into the countryside and walking home. I can’t remember many school friend’s names but one that I do is Angela Breen, her parents had the pub which I believe is now called ‘The Pure Drop’. The nuns that I can remember are Sisters Francis, Patricia and Therese. For my First Communion I was given the choice of white or black patent shoes. I choose the black patent and was disappointed that I couldn’t strew the rose petals in the procession around the convent garden unless I had white shoes. Oh, the lovely smell from those roses. What great fun we had at race week, the town was buzzing. Family came to stay from Limerick and I remember winning a few bob. (Lost some as well though). Loved our days in Ballybunion, what excitement when we got off the coach, ran down the cliffs to the beach. (Still my favourite beach of all time).
We lived with our grandparents but unfortunately I was a year old when my grandfather, Andrew Robert Griffin, died, so cannot remember him. My grandmother Hannah Griffin who had 10 children ran the shop with my mother Norah. I remember the large square tins of biscuits which were weighed out by the pound on the counter. When we were over a few years ago I was lucky enough to be able to go into our old house. The now owner very kindly arranged it. She gave me a a framed picture ‘Consecration to the Sacred Heart’ with family names (my grandparents, aunts and uncles) that unbelieveably had been in the house since 1926. It is such a lovely thing to have and hopefully I will get it restored soon. My parents were Tony and Norah Griffin (nee Quaid). My mother was from Limerick and she met my father when she worked in Ryan’s shop in Ballybunion. Four of us were born in the ‘Griffin’ house between 1943 and 1950. Donal, Tony, myself (Maura) and Charles, Tony sadly died in 1991.
Donal, Tony and Charles. Helena, Edward and P.J O’Connor. Top right is a cousin on the Shine side of our family and myself. Holy Communion day
My schoolfriend Helena O’Connor
Helena and friend in the 1960’s probably outside her house in St. Brendan’s Terrace.
Joan and the late Eileen Fitzgibbon with Maurice MacMahon a few years ago.