A camelia in The Garden of Europe


A Photo from the Johnny Hannon Archive

Junior Griffin to whom I  went to ask for help in  identifying these people wrote;

The best known name here of course is Sam McGuire. Not sure of the man on the left but he may be Walsh from O’Connell’s Ave as the other3 are from that area of town., namely Tom Lyons, Mick Carey and “Gigs Nolan, who sadly died just a few months ago. Mick Carey was known as the doyen of the Gleann street league football and knew the game inside out.


A John B. Keane Story   (serialised )

Today I’m beginning another serialised essay of John B. Keane’s. He writes of a different era when Irish people were in the thrall of the church and fear of the wrath of God, as defined by the Catholic church, was ever-present.

The Council of Dirha       by John B. Keane

Good luck and
success to the Council of Trent

What put fast upon
mate but not upon drink,

(Overheard at a

When the above
couplet was conceived there was fasting on Fridays. Nowadays, Lent apart, we
may eat meat with impunity throughout the entire year. The church was quite
clear in its strictures regarding the consumption of meat and meat products on
days of fast and abstinence. Then in 1966 Pope Paul promulgated new laws for
Roman Catholics. Fast days, which had included all the weekdays of Lent, the
vigils of Pentecost, The Immaculate Conception and Christmas and the Ember Days
were reduced to two, i.e. Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In the same decree
Pope Paul reaffirmed the laws of abstinence from meat. However, he allowed
episcopal conferences to substitute for abstinence with other forms of penance
especially works of charity and exercises in piety.

theologians of the time were known to smirk at the expression “works of
charity”. They deduced in their own indigenous fashion that to be charitable
one had to be rich. Since neither they themselves nor their associates were
remotely connected with wealth, they regarded themselves as being incapable of
charity. When it was explained to them that charity had other connotations such
as love of one’s fellow man they were quick to point out that because of their
innate worthlessness no one, save their own family, places any value on their

(more tomorrow)


Horan’s New Look


My Latest Knit

The story of a jumper that turned into a saga.

Handknitted by moi
with a little help from Woman’s Way’s Louise Finn

It all began with
Woman’s Way, “Ireland’s best selling women’s magazine”.

I spotted a knitting pattern and I thought “This has my name on it.” 
Simple pattern, easy peasy knitting and beautiful result down to the
beautiful colourful yarn. But…..

I went on line to
the two big online sellers of wool, Vibes and Scribes in Cork, my favourite bricks
and mortar craft shop but I knew they sold online as well, and Springwools in Dublin,
Ireland’s biggest online yarn retailer. Neither of them seemed to stock Tivoli
Colour Maze.

Feeling a bit
miffed I contacted Woman’s Way with my false assumption that they had published
an old pattern and the yarn was discontinued. Louise Finn, the lovely deputy
editor, who has become my new best friend in this venture, emailed back to say
that my assumption was wrong. It was  a brand
new pattern and the wool came into the shops in September 2017. She gave me the
phone number of Tivoli, the Cork company who market the wool and Anne there
told me that they had thousands of yarns and not every shop takes every one.
She couldn’t sell it to me because they don’t sell directly to the public. When
she found out that I lived in Kerry, she found that the nearest retailer to me
with that wool in stock was in Kenmare. I gave her a quick Geography lesson.
Kenmare is 100kms from Listowel.

I reported back my
lack of success to Louise. Now Louise didn’t get to where she is today by
giving up. She did a bit of research and she found a lovely shop in Midleton,
Karen’s Krafts. Karen had the yarn in stock and she was willing to post. Now we
were sucking diesel or so I thought.

I contacted Karen.
There were 8 colourways available and she didn’t have them all but she was
expecting a delivery. So the final outcome of my chat with Karen was that she
would text me when the wool came in and I would take a trip to Midleton on my
next visit to my family in Cork.

Meanwhile my
daughter is going to Midleton with her work on Monday, February 26 2018.
Spottting an opportunity I ask her to call to Karen to suss out my wool. I ring
Karen and now she hasn’t got three balls in any colour. (The pattern requires
three) but the delivery from Tivoli hasn’t come yet.

Delivery comes  and Karen texts me to tell me that the only 3 ball
stock that came in are grey or beige. Now remember I said that this is a very
basic jumper only made special by the colourful yarn. Let’s say grey and beige
don’t cut it with me in the ‘Colourful” stakes . So I decided to throw in the

Did I mention that
Louise did not get to where she is today…….?

When I told her
that I had accepted failure she was having none of it. She emailed back to say
that she had contacted a wool shop in Blanchardstown and they were willing to
order the wool and to post it to me.

And so they did.
The yarn arrived in Listowel and now all that was left for me to do was knit
the blessed thing. Then Louise emailed to say that she would like to see a
photo of the finished product for publication in the magazine.  No pressure then.

So voilà, me in my
beautiful new jumper just in time for the next cold snap.


Two Names

The two people on the left have been identified as Arthur Chute and Violet McCarthy. The search continues to identify the other three people.