Seat in The Garden of Europe


From the Archives

The Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW : Wed 26 Aug 1874-Page 3

DEATH UNDER EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.—The following extraordinary story (says

the Cork Examiner) is sent to us from our correspondent at Listowel, whom, we think it right to say, we have always found trustworthy and accurate:—

A young woman named Murphy aged about 19, the daughter of a farmer in the parish of Abbeyfeale, with a younger sister of about 17 years, had gone to the early Mass at Abbeyfeale, last Sunday, and, it is said, they both received the sacrament that morning. Having returned home, the sisters went out for a walk about twelve o’clock, and proceeded along the bank of a stream which runs adjacent to their residence. They had not gone far, when they observed four men bearing a coffin coming towards them from the fields, and as they approached where the sisters stood they deposited the coffin on the ground. The men then advanced, and attempted to lay hands on the elder sister, who, with a piercing shriek, retreated from them, but the men closed upon her and as they dragged her towards the coffin, she cried out in a piteous tone, ‘Oh leave me until I am better prepared.’ The younger sister ran home in a state of intense alarm. The young girl’s mother, on hearing what occurred proceeded at once with the younger daughter to the place where the latter had witnessed the struggle. On nearing the spot they observed no trace of the men nor the coffin but they beheld the form of the young woman lying apparently lifeless on the ground. On attempting to raise her, they found that she was dead and her features were so altered as to be scarcely recognisable by the bereaved mother.

 Such are the facts, as narrated by the surviving sister and the impression the story has made in the minds of all who have heard it cannot be well described. I have not heard that an inquest was held on the body, though one might suppose this was a case that certainly ought to be thoroughly investigated.


David Toomey and his Ultra Marathon

Many of us in Listowel know David best in his day job as our very talented town horticulturalist and planting expert. What you may not know is that David is also a very keen runner and his latest distance is ultra marathon.

At any time of year marathon running is not for the faint hearted but on the weekend of February 15/16 2020 with Storm Dennis battering the country, anyone with any sense would deem it a day for the fire. Not David Toomey. He was committed to doing the Gaeltacht Mhuscraí marathon.

Here is David’s own account, as posted on Facebook, of his adventure

Sorry about the long post but I felt I’d better share the epic journey of the Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscrái 2020.

We started the run at about 8.20 from Kealkil after a 1hr 30m bus journey. It was raining and cold at the start line. The first few miles went ok. It was actually warm and I felt I was over dressed.

I got about seven miles in when the calf started to play up. After another mile or two I was reduced to a walk with serious pain. At this stage I was gutted because there was nice running conditions, flat and downhill sections which I had to walk. I decided to take it handy, not panic and get to the checkpoint where I could assess the leg.

After arriving at the checkpoint, I think around mile 11 I took some painkillers and after talking with the support crew at the feed station I decided I’d continue to the next checkpoint at Ballingeary which was about 7 miles.

A tough slog over the mountain’s there was wind and driving rain but I got to Ballingeary. On arrival I told the lads my problem and fair play, one of them rubbed out the calf for me. It was very sore and swollen. A big knot had formed at the top of the calf. This was causing most of the problem. I asked them how far to Ballyvourney, the next checkpoint, and they told me about 19kms so I decided to plough on and hopefully make it. 

I had decided to call it a day at Ballyvourney because I was afraid of doing damage and there’s a long year ahead. I’ll never forget the next section. With all the rain the river had burst its banks and we had two crossings waist deep. Also the trail was flooded so we had to navigate that. At one stage I went to the chest in water. All I could think of is God help the lads coming behind us because the river was rising rapidly. The bog sections were very difficult, slippery, soft, wet and ankle deep rough going. 

Ballyvourney came at last. I felt lucky to have made it this far. A pit stop for tea,food and a little chat to myself. 24km to go. So I said I’d struggle now and walk if I had to.  Again tough going, mountain, bog, fire road and lots of water. Long story short I met a few lads on this section and we helped each other. The calf had loosened out a bit so I was able to jog/walk along. 

Finally got to Millstreet I couldn’t believe it when I could see the lights in the distance. The joy I felt is indescribable. I thought at seven miles I was going home, now I’m finished possibly the toughest race I’ve ever done. Thanks everyone for all the lovely comments, messages it really keep me going. Thanks to my love for keeping me going on the phone and finally to the MMRA crew for putting on a fantastic race support and volunteers. 

I’ll be back again on a better day. Storm Dennis no match for ultra runners. 

Ps if someone has a loan of two legs I’d be happy to take them.


The Guardian……A Listowel Connection

When you’re a freelance  photographer getting your photo on the front page of The Guardian is a triumph. This is just what happened to Cathal Noonan. His photo of the MV Alta, grounded off Ballycotton was chosen as the front page picture on Tuesday’s paper. Cathal has two Listowel aunts and many Listowel cousins.


A Local Beale Hero

From the Dúchas Schools’ Folklore Collection

The best hurler the oldest people ever remember was James Moriarty.He lived somewhere around Kilconly. One Saturday he and his wife removed to the border of the County of Cork. After going to bed that night his wife said it was better for him to be there than to be going to the “Moneens.” The moneens are in Flahives farm, Bromore. “What is in the Moneens”asked the man. The woman told him that she had received a letter that he should go and attend the hurling match which was to be held there. He made up his mind to go and jumping out of bed he went off to Bromore. When the ball was thrown up he was the first man that struck it and after striking the ball he leaped thirty three feet. There is a mark to this day on the place where he jumped. The place is pointed out above at Dan Flahive’s field of Bog

Nora Griffin vi

Beale, Ballybunion

June 24th 1938

Information from people at home.