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Tag: 1916 garden

Early Summer 2023

1916 centenary remembrance garden, June 2023


Listowel Writers Week 2023

The Kildare branch of the family made it.

Home from Colorado, Alan Groarke joined his mother Madge and his sister, Rachel, for the festival.

My friend, Bridget, grabbed a chance to be photographed with a film star. We all loved Seamus O’Hara in the Oscar winning short film, The Irish Goodbye. He was really down to earth in real life and he made a huge contribution to the year’s festival.


A Sorry Sight

The River Feale on June 17 2023. Fishermen tell me they have never seen the river so dry.

Not for long! the drought is over for now. We have had monsoon like weather this week with the heaviest rainfall in living memory.


Collecting for Nano Eagle School

I met these lovely people out fundraising for their great school on Saturday last.


Bonfire Night

Tomorrow, June 23, is St. John’s Eve. Traditionally fires were lit to celebrate midsummer. I don’t know is it will happen this year, but in the past this tradition was carried on in places around Listowel.

The feast of St. John, Midsummer is a Quarter Day.

Before we had the Gregorian calendar in 1752 we had the Regency calendar. Ordinary people didn’t have calendars so all they worried about were the seasons. The seasons were marked by quarter days. The year began on the first of these quarter days, Lady Day, on March 25. The other quarters were based on religious feast days making it easy for the peasants to remember. These were, Midsummer Day, Michaelmas Day and Christmas Day. All rents and other debts fell due on these quarter days.


Jerry Kennelly Remembers

The Square, Listowel October 2022


Jerry Kennelly’s Memories

From Shannonside Annual 1959

Shannonside Annual printed some of Jerry Kennelly’s reminiscences in 1959.

Jerry claimed that he was known by every man, woman and child in Listowel and district.

I hope this print isn’t too small. I firmly believe our ancestors had great eyesight. Old newspapers and magazines all seem to have tiny print size. This old man tells a first person account of life in Listowel in bygone days…. e.g.”the time of Bonaparte.”


In The Park

1916 Commemorative garden

Lane between Park and Bridge Road


De Valera and the Jews

Further to my Michael O’Connor story of Friday last, I went on an internet search for a forest in Israel and Jewish people in Ireland.

I found this picture of the Nobel prize winning physicist, Edwin Schrodinger on the internet. He was probably the most illustrious (and controversial) Jewish person who Dev. invited to Ireland.

Dev had two great passions, Celtic Studies and Maths. He set up the Institute for Advanced Studies and invited Shrodinger, then a renowned theoretical physicist, to be part of it. The invitation was timely as Schrodinger, an Austrian Jew, was facing expulsion or worse. He came to Ireland in 1939 and spent 17 happy years here.

I don’t pretend to understand any of his wave mechanics stuff. All I get from “Schrodinger’s Cat” is that a cat can be alive and dead at the same time.

Schrodinger took out Irish citizenship in 1948.



Presentation Convent Then and Now, a poem and the Community Centre extension

The 1916 installation in January 2017

It looks great.


Presentation Convent, then and now

My photographs of the convent  made so many people feel sad that I thought I’d better post a last few nice photographs from the convent in its heyday, the way we all prefer to remember it.

So sad!

When I was writing some convent memories earlier in the week, I included this Facebook comment from Maria Sham

What a waste! Sr Dympna loved the gardens, with the help of a man named Mackassey. I remember walking around the gardens following the Priest with the Blessed Sacrament all of us in our white dresses. It was Corpus Christi. We had another name for it. Does anyone know what it was ?

Seems that lots of people know what it was, Maria. It was the Quadrant Ore Celebration of the Eucharist.

James Kenny did a bit of research on this practice. This is what he wrote;

Sham referred to a procession at the Presentation Convent during Corpus Christi and was querying if it had a name. It was called the Quarantore, official name
is Quadrant’ Ore. I remember the processions….I was an altar boy at the time and had the great
“honour” of leading out the procession with the other boys and the priests.

The Quarantore wasForty Hours’ Devotion; a Roman Catholic exercise of devotion in which continuous prayer is made for forty hours before the Blessed Sacrament in solemn exposition. It commonly occurred in a succession of churches,
with one finishing prayers at the same time as the next takes it up

A celebration of such a devotion was begun by a Solemn Mass or “Mass of Exposition”, and ended by a “Mass of
Deposition”. Each of these masses includes a procession and the litany of
the saints being chanted.

Theword derives from early 17th century  Italian: quaranta
meaning forty and ore meaning  hours.

I don’t recollect if the procession in the convent
grounds was the beginning or the end of the forth hours adoration.

Although the precise origin of the Forty Hours’ Devotion is wrapped in a
good deal of obscurity, the custom of exposing the Blessed Sacrament in one church after another is recorded as having
started as a novelty in Milan, in May, 1537.”

Margaret Dillon remembers Listowel’s Quadrant Ore well. The Eucharist in a monstrance was held aloft by the priest. That year’s communicants (girls) in two lines came forward and strewed petals before the Eucharist. This was a carefully choreographed exercise. Sr. Dympna was in charge and she drilled the girls in what to do. At a certain point, the girls who were at the front went to the back and two new girls took over the petal duty at the front of the line.

Vincent Carmody remembers this Corpus Christi procession too. Vincent was an altar boy in the convent chapel and on Corpus Christi he got a day off school to participate in the the procession. The ceremony was part of Quadrant Ore or forty hours of prayer to mark the feast of the Body of Christ. 

As Vincent remembers it the blessed sacrament was taken in the monstrance from the altar where it had stood during the Quarantore exposition and it was carried down the corridor of the convent followed by the nuns and the Children of Mary. It was carried out the front door and around the front lawn following the path, before being returned again to the chapel.

Seán Keane remembers it well. He wrote “No doubt you were there for the “Quarantori” as I think the Corpus Christi procession was called ( forty (Quarenta) days after Easter Sunday?)The girls scattered petals of flowers from baskets,onto the ground in front of the priests at the head of the procession around the convent grounds.

I was one of the young Altar boys who served the priest at all the ceremonies in the convent church.

Sr Aloyius was our taskmaster

The 7.30 am Mass was a bit of a bind but was compensated for by the freedom to roam which we took and the generosity in the kitchens which we availed of while we waited to serve at benediction after retreats for the Children of Mary etc.

I recall seeing a nice photo of the group of us Altar boys taken in front of the convent door

( exactly as in our picture) about 1960.

Others will have more.”

Maura McConnell remembers it as well. “The procession through the convent gardens on Corpus Christi was known as Quarant’Ore  . The garden always looked immaculate then and woe betide you if you were caught walking on the grass 😂 Maura”


A Poem for You

I Like to Walk with Nana

I like to walk with Nana,

Her steps are small  like mine.

She never says “let’s hurry-up!

She always takes her time.

I like to walk with Nana,

Her eyes see things like mine.

Shiny stones, a fluffy cloud,

Stars at night that shine.

People rush their whole day through,

They rarely stop to see.

I’m glad that God made Nanas

unrushed and young like me!

Author: unknown


From the Archives

Kerryman 4 January 1947

South Kerry Domestic Servant’s Fatal Injuries. About 6. 10 pm on

Christmas Eve, while seventeen years old Miss Mary Curran a domestic

servant, of  Coomastow, Ahatubrid, was proceeding home from her

employer’s place at Waterville, she was involved in a collision with a

motor lorry at Kinneigh, seven miles from Caherciveen and received

injuries to which she succumbed in about 20 minutes.


Progress on the Community Centre Extension, January 11 2017

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