A male chaffinch

Photo; Chris Grayson

Listowel Community Rose of Tralee 2024

Photo: John Kelliher

Aoibhe Joy was selected as Listowel’s Community Rose for this year. She now goes forward with other Community Roses to compete for a place in this year’s festival.

Listowel Drama Group

I have to return to the superb Big Maggie, now finished its run in St. John’s. Circumstances meant that I thought I had missed it but as soon the extra night was announced I booked my ticket.

The production values of this play were second to none. The acting from so many professional- standard well seasoned actors was breathtaking.

What I want to single out for mention here is the set…wow, just wow!

Look at John Kelliher’s picture above and notice the cash register, the signs, the old fashioned weighing scales, the jars of sweets but the coup de grace for me was the brown paper roller on the end of the counter. The bin of meal!!! I could go on. The attention to detail was impressive.

Walter Polpin wasn’t cold in his grave when the name over the door was changed. I’ll single out as well the impressive opening flat of the graveyard which was cleverly converted into the shop with a minimum of scene changing.

I’m glad I got to see this one. It will live long in the memory.

A Fine North Kerry Musician

Story and pictures from The Irish Examiner

A Poem


 (Written during the first lockdown.)

By Mattie Lennon.

Were you born since nineteen fifty four?

Then listen to my tale.

Since now I can’t go past the door

It’s worse than being in jail.

The Mens’ Shed  basks in silence now

Dead ashes in the grate.

The powers that be will not allow

Us meet or congregate.

Trips to historic places

Postponed till God  knows when

And absence of the faces

Of jolly Mens- Shed men.

Restrictions with good reason

Our precious lives to save,

But it’s Limbo land this season

No wooden beams we’ll shave.

Sans banter, cakes or mugs o’ tay

The shedders felt marooned

 Spin-doctors soon came into play 

‘Twas simply called “cocooned.”

The sound of saws and lathe no more

No smoke or leaping flames. 

We miss the sawdust on the floor

And elders calling names.

No forty verses now from Jack 

Or the  Micks with Niall and Noel.

No poems or  songs or mighty craic

To elevate the soul.

Poor remedy for culture shocks

Are Zoom and mobile phones.

We’ll have to take our stumbling blocks

And make them stepping stones.

A Fact

Before the Great Famine of the 1840s, Ireland experienced a famine in the years of 1740 to ’42. Extreme cold weather over all of Europe resulted in hundreds of deaths.

In Ireland it is believed that 100.00 to 300,000 out of a population of 2.4 million perished.