Calvary at Convent Cross


Visiting the graves

November is the month for remembering our dead and visiting their graves. Above is our own Jerry Ryan’s grave as always adorned with flowers, plants and placques from his long lost family and his Listowel friends.


Charles Fort

No trip to Kinsale would be complete without a trip to Charles Fort.

Charles fort is one of several forts which once protected Cork harbour.

looking out the window at the bay and the cannons that protected it.

Once upon a time there was a huge garrison billeted here.

The whole place is painstakingly preserved and restored as a visitor attraction. This fireplace has survived since the Victorian era.



With the advent of the EV we may be coming to the end of the gasoline era.

Mattie Lennon sent us this one of a grentleman stopping at a gas station in 1920.


Listowel in the 1980s and 90s


Irish Nurses in Britain

Ethel Corduff in her marvellous, well researched and well written book looks at the reasons nursing in Britain was so popular as an option for Irish school leavers.

During and after the wars there was a crying need for nurses in England. Many young women had left nursing for war work. Hospitals were catering for more and more casualties of war and infectious diseases were rampant.

In Ireland in the 1920s Boards of Guardians were replaced by religious orders  in the running of hospitals. Many of these hospitals charged for training. They also had reserved places in their nursing programme for their own nuns. The easiest way to train as a nurse in Ireland was to join a nursing order of nuns.

Meanwhile across the Irish Sea, particularly in the Greater London area many hospitals were crying out for healthy strong girls to train as nurses. They offered free training, accommodation and a career. Irish country girls were thought to be well used to hard work and were often offered a free trial period on the basis of a photograph and a well written letter of application. Travelling for interviews was not an option.

Over time Irish women rose to be matrons in some of the big training hospitals. They set up a kind of recruitment scheme with parish priests and doctors in Ireland who recommended girls for training. For rural Irish girls from large families the opportunity to travel to the bright lights of London was a welcome one. Thus began the phenomenon of Irish girls training as nurses in English hospitals.


A Fact

The correct response to the greeting,”Top of the morning to you.” is “and the rest of the day to yourself.”