One side of Listowel Town Square


Honour for Listowel man

This is the O’Sullivan family at their recent reunion in The Listowel Arms in September 2023.

Pride of place in the centre of the picture is occupied by Sr. Bríd.

One O’Sullivan not there is Michael who joined in the banter from his home in Rochester in the U.S. His daughters Fiona, Deirdre and Norah were there as well as his son, Stephen. His other son, Paul, was with his dad in the US making sure the technology worked.

Michael O’Sullivan was the man of the moment for he was the one to be honoured during the occasion.

Here is the story.

Vincent Carmody grew up in Upper William Street beside the O’Sullivan family. The Carmody boys and the O’Sullivan boys played together as children and that bond strengthened over the years. There was only a few months between Michael O’Sullivan and the late Moss Carmody, Vincent’s brother, both born in 1935.

Vincent stayed in touch with Dr. Michael O’Sullivan even when his career took him far away from Upper William Street.

Dr. Michael O’Sullivan became a consultant pathologist. He served in the US forces for 2 years and when he returned to his post in the Mayo Clinic, he was informed that he was to head up a new research lab. At first he feared that he would not be up to the task but he was persuaded. He picked his team of researchers and the unit grew and grew until it was the greatest research unit in the world.

Dr. Michael moved on to The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona and there he worked for over 30 years. When he retired he returned to Rochester with his wife Margaret (from Lixnaw).

At Christmas 2022, Vincent was in the US visiting family and he was invited to visit his old friend. The dinner party was also attended by Dr. Michael O’Connor whose father came from Listowel.

On his return to Listowel, Vincent mulled over the possibility that Dr. Michael O’Sullivan of The Mayo Clinic was surely the most successful man to ever come out of Listowel. Yet he had never been honoured by his native town. Vincent also knew how much an honour would mean to his old friend.

Vincent set to work. He contacted local councillor, Jimmy Moloney, and Jimmy set the wheels in motion. Listowel Municipal District was only too happy to bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award on Michael.

The ceremony was organised for the week of the races when the descendants of the O’Sullivans planned to gather in Listowel.

Vincent invited some of Michael’s former classmates and teammates from his footballing days. He also gathered some old Upper William Street neighbours and friends.

After the formal awarding of the honour and speeches by Aoife Thornton and others, Vincent introduced the informal part of the event.

It was all live streamed to Michael in the U.S.

Old friends and neighbours reminisced and chatted. The highlight was a rendition by Dr. Bryan MacMahon of the Jack Ashe poem, The Night the Boro Rovers Met in Combat with the Gleann. This celebrated a 1953 football match in which Michael was in goals.

The occasion was enjoyed by all. It was much appreciated by all of the O’Sullivans, especially by Michael who ranked it among the greatest honours of his life.


Memories, Memories

My friend, Margaret, comes from a family of treasure keepers. The history of two sisters who were seventies teenagers is stored in old chocolate boxes which she is now slowly going through. She has sent us some photographs which will definitely evoke memories for some.

I don’t know the story of Cadbury’s Milk Tray. But I only knew it as a Cadbury brand. What’s with this Fullers logo and Dunnes Stores branding?

The back of the box

I had forgotten St. Bernard. When did he become uncool?

Back in the day it was very important to emphasise that chocolates were made from milk, a glass and a half in every bar. Milk Tray was a high end brand. I remember the tag line in the TV ad in the early days of Telefís Eireann “…because the lady loves Milk Tray.”

Look out for another chocolaty memory tomorrow.


More Photos from the Hospice Coffee Morning

October 5 2023


A Fact

How does Swiss cheese get its holes. Cheesemakers call these holes eyes?

As Swiss cheese ferments it generates a bacterial gas. As the gas is released it bubbles through the cheese leaving the characteristic holes.