Photo: Chris Grayson
Down Memory Lane in The Seanchaí
Jimmy Deenihan gathered some old Tanavalla neighbours, a few cousins and assorted GAA friends to meet and greet Mary Kay Marince, daughter of Tom O’Donoghue of Tanavalla and Pittsburg. Tom was a great GAA supporter and a friend to any Irishman who found himself in Pittsburg and called into The Blarney Stone. Mary Kay was in Kerry with her two daughters for the Rose of Tralee Festival 2017.
Old friends, Peggy Brick, Junior Griffin and Kathleen McCarthy.
Mary Kay remembers her father and his love of Kerry in general and Listowel in particular.
Junior regales the Florida Rose with tales of her card playing grandmother.
Elizabeth meets the next generation of old neighbours, the Sheahan family of Listowel.
Elizabeth Marince with James Sheahan.
Elizabeth with Nora Sheahan, who lived beside the O’Donoghue’s in Coolnaleen and who visited them in Pittsburg.
Elizabeth’s Rose escort was a Donegal man. He came to Listowel to be part of her homecoming.
Elizabeth with her cousin Mossy Molyneaux.
Lots of Cousins and friends
O’Connell’s Avenue 1961 or ’62
Noel Roche shared this one a while ago.
Included in the photo are:
Noleen Reidy, David Roche, Giggs Nolan, Pat Galvin. Seamus Fealey, Timmy Nolan, Sheila O’Connor, Jeremiah O’Connor, Mikey Hayes, Paddy Gunn, Anita Gunn.
Gapo’s of William Street
This restaurant has been doing business in Listowel for a while now.
Recently it was featured in Listowel Food Fair’s Facebook page and here is what they wrote.
“From one of the world’s most ancient nations, to a North Kerry town at the heart of rural Ireland. The journey for Gapo’s begins far away in Armenia where Head Chef Artur Gabrielyan comes from. Born and raised near the country’s capital Yerevan one of Europe’s most exuberant and endearing cities, Artur was born into a family steeped in food culture. All family both immediate and extended were involved in cooking, his grandmother Nvart was the head village Cook, the lady who villagers called on whenever there was a cause for celebration; birthdays, christenings or weddings. Nvart would gather her crew, usually several other village women all great cooks they would get together and feed the party. Creating hearty feasts of their country, sharing dishes and great times. Having grown up in this environment, it’s not surprising that Artur chose a career in food, although it didn’t begin that way.
Living in Yerevan in the late 1990s, Artur closed the business he was running largely due to the unrest around him, the city had remained in turmoil since its break from the Soviet Union in 1991. He felt a life away from his homeland was the best option for his future. Initially planning on heading to Sweden with his friend, this didn’t work out and he found himself in Ireland. His first experience of Irish culture was watching Riverdance while still living Yerevan, the iconic dance performance captured his imagination and planted Ireland in his conscious.
On arriving in Ireland, he first came to Dublin and shortly afterwards arrived to Listowel. It was here he found his feet and began taking English classes that were being offered at the time to residents in the town looking to learn the language. While doing these classes, a local woman Sue McKenna who noted his talent for food, introduced him to Mario Del Alessandro who took him on as a chef. And so, began a 16-year career at Casa Mia’s Ristorante further up William Street.
Not only did he find a job, he also met his wife Liene Druka who worked as a waitress at the restaurant. Liene had arrived on a gap year from college with her friend, a native of Tukums Latvia, she spent a year at Casa Mia’s before returning to college to complete her studies. Once her studies finished, she was back in Listowel and remained working at Casa Mia’s until the birth of their first son in 2007. Following on from that she worked locally in both Ballybunion and Listowel until 2016 when the couple decided to open their own restaurant. Spotting a demand for something different in the town, while also having the opportunity to create Armenian style dishes, Artur and Liene took over the property on William Street formerly known as Mai Fitz’s. Opening on May 11th, 2016 they have made their mark as giving a unique dining experience in the town. While there are several Lebanese style restaurants located on the east coast, close to Dublin, to find an Armenia exclusive restaurant is tough. So, it may be possible that Listowel has the only Armenian Restaurant in Ireland!
The creations at Gapo’s are uniquely Armenian with a reference to European cuisine. Artur and Liene offer an experience for their guests by taking them on a journey through the different countries by using food as their vehicle. The main characteristics of Armenia Cuisine are a reliance on the quality of the ingredients, the use of wheat in a variety of forms, of legumes, nuts, and fruit as a main ingredient as well as to sour food, and the stuffing of a wide variety of leaves. The Tabule dish for just €6 served as a starter on the evening menu is a great way of trying out the cuisine.
And what does the name Gapo’s represent? Gapo is the name of Artur’s grandfather who without doubt would be very proud of the success his grandson has achieved here in Ireland.
We have had a real adventure this week with Gapo’s and would like to thank Artur, Liene and their two beautiful sons Gabriel and Mikael for having us and sharing their Food Story.”
A Killarney Celtic Cross
This magnificent Celtic Cross is situated in the town centre opposite The Haha in Killarney.