St. John’s Listowel, July 2019


Today’s Fun Fact from The Second Book of General Ignorance

The animal who dreams most is the duck billed platypus, one of the oldest of all mammals. 

How do we know?

Answer; The dream state is known as REM, Rapid Eye Movements. Eugene Aserinsky discovered this in Chicago in 1952. He studied the brain activity of 20 sleeping people. He found that when the subjects eyes were moving rapidly, their brain activity was so vigorous that they should have been awake. Waking them from REM sleep led to vivid recall, This doesn’t happen when their eyes were still.

Animals most at threat from predators dream least. Platypuses sleep so deeply that you could raid their lair and they would never wake.

Dolphins don’t sleep at all. One half of their body goes to sleep at a time while the other half is fully awake, including one eye. They don’t have REM at all


Second Time Around

This is one of my favourite shops with my all time favourite shop assistants. It is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11.00 a.m. It has everything; friendly staff, friendly customers, great bargains and it is always full of surprises. I love it!

Kay Landy, Marie MacAulliffe and Eileen O’Sullivan were manning the shop when I called last week.


Corner Stones

Last week I told you about this stone that Pat O’Shea had spotted in Cork and we discovered that these stones or bollards were put at junctions in order to prevent horse carriages rolling over the nearby wall and wearing it away. Well, would you believe such stones were right under my nose all along? On my morning walk with my canine house guest last week I discovered two such junctions in Listowel town square, one at the road that goes to the river by the castle and the other very nearby at the entrance to stables by The SeanchI.

More on these, including their right name tomorrow….


Anna Guerin’s Dualist Collection in Brown Thomas

Can you imagine the thrill of seeing your designs in Brown Thomas window? Anna Guerin of Listowel has that experience these days every time she passes Brown Thomas. Her beautiful Donegal tweed The Dualist collection is getting rave reviews and is selling well.

“Anna Guerin’ s debut fashion brand The Dualist weaves exquisite

Irish textiles and peerless tailoring into a sustainably made

collection of Donegal tweed coats, ” writes Elaine Prendeville in The Sunday Business Post.

Anna is passionate about the ethical side of her business. Below is part of her interview with The Sunday Business Post.

“Guerin concedes that all is not rosy in the fashion industry.”

“I’ve seen how desperate workers’ conditions can be with

my own eyes,” she says, “so it was imperative for me that

when I did establish my first brand, that kindness would

be one of its pillars.”

Before preparing The Dualist for launch, Guerin com-

pleted an MA in business, graduating top of her class. Her

research explored the value of authenticity and sustain-

ability in Donegal tweed, a examine at PhD level.

“Unlike Scotland’s Harris tweed, there is no legal protec-

tion for the production of Donegal tweed,” she says. “It can

be produced in China and bear the Donegal name. It seems

crazy to me that a product synonymous with our national

cultural identity is unprotected, despite the evidence that

it has been produced in Donegal for at least 800 years.”

The designer believes academic research could

support a bid for protected status for the native


For now, she’s preserving the traditional in the best way

possible: by making it relevant and desirable to the modem

audience. The result is the definition of slow fashion, and it’s all the better looking for it.”

Well done, Anna, a Listowel young lady doing us all proud.


Run/Walk in Aid of Stack’s Mountain House Project

A word from the organisers:

Planning for this project began a few years back. We have secured planning and preparations are now well advanced to convert the first Lyreacrompane Schoolhouse into a Heritage House for the Stacks Mountains.  The schoolhouse stands on the old ‘Butter Road’ that ran from outside Listowel to the Cork Butter Exchange.  We are continuing our fundraising endeavours for the development and to this end the Dan Paddy Andy Festival committee have kindly chosen our project to receive the proceeds of their annual run which takes place during the festival. We’d appreciate any support we can get and if anyone has a query on it please contact me at