Mallow Camera Club Image of the Year 2020/21 Competition

Grade 1 : Image Title ” A Robin’s not just for Christmas”

1st Place : Brian Power.


Portmarnock in February 2021

Rough Seas at Portmarnock recently photographed by Éamon ÓMurchú


McKenna’s in 1901

Photo shared on the Glin Historical Society page


Certified Seed Potatoes

In a post last week I remembered The rituals involved with planting the studs. It was very important to use only certified seed potatoes. I never knew who certified them or how the certification process was carried out. Then I got an email from a blog follower, Ken Duckett.

Ken Duckett

7:49 AM (7 hours ago)

to me

Hi, I was very interested to hear of Dan Keane’s book of The Placenames of North Kerry, Tralee and Ballymace Elligott. Is it possible to find a copy of this publication still?


I was also interested in your passage on the certified seed potatoes. I used to inspect these in the growing season by walking through the rows looking for signs of pests

and diseases. This was part of the certification process and mainly to ensure that viruses were not present for the new crop. There were different grades of certification 

and the very best actually came from usually high altitude Scottish farmers that were able to keep their crops aphid (greenfly) free. The aphids were the pests that spread

the viruses. This enabled good stocks of potato seeds to be planted each year giving good domestic potatoes with good crops.


During the training to work on these inspections we had a gruff Scotsman we had to also identify the different varieties by their growth habit and colours of the leaves. To

learn this we had to walk from bed to bed of potato varieties and write down the name. He would blow a whistle and we moved to the next one! At the end he would walk 

through them and get us to shout out to see if we had the correct variety. If you got it wrong he would call you over and point out the minor details saying very firmly in his

Scottish accent ‘Do you not see that?!’.


( By the way, can anyone help Ken out with a copy of Dan Keane’s book?)


A Pismire

Have you ever heard this word? It has nothing to do with urine. It is in fact an ant like insect. We were quite familiar with them in my youth but I haven’t heard of or seen one for years.

Pissabed was the word we used for the dandelion. I suspect this was to keep us away from it so we wouldn’t be tempted to pick it and blow the gossamer seeds all over the place, thus spreading the weed.

Piss poor, I’m told, referred to the custom of having a chamber pot under the bed for the purpose of nocturnal micturation. The urine could be sold to the local tannery for curing animal hides.  Some people were so poor they didn’t have a pot to piss in and so were piss poor.