This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at listowelconnection@gmail.com

Tag: Ballincollig Page 1 of 5

A Dog Picture, an Old Story or Two and a new one.

Blooming Cherry Tree in Ballincollig, Co. Cork

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Humans with an animal head

I was completely behind the times on this one. I have just discovered that a friend of mine commissioned such a picture for his fiancee for her birthday.

The picture was done by Van Woof. Isn’t it cute?

If you are stuck for a present anytime soon, here’s an idea.

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Browsing through the Newspapers Online

A friend of this blog found these;

THE ST. PAUL GLOBE SUNDAY NOVEMBER 20, 1898

FIVE OF THE MOST SINGULAR RAILWAYS IN THE WORLD

There Is a “single-line railway” now working In Ireland. 

The Listowel & Ballybunion railway sounds like the Invention of some mad humourist;

but such a place as Ballybunion really exists. It is a very popular seaside resort in the southwest of Ireland. The distance between this point and the other terminus at Listowel is ten miles, and there is one Intermediate station—that of Lisselton. The system on which this railway is worked is called the Lartigue single rail elevated railway, and was the invention of a French engineer.

This single rail line, it should be explained at once, is not a single track railway, but actually has only one rail for trains to run on. This rail is supported on iron trestle work at the height of three feet three inches from the ground, and the locomotive and carriages are actually balanced on it.

And

18 Feb 1986

Nyack NY Journal News 1986 01759_1.pdf

By WILLIAM DEMAREST

Staff Writer

A retired New York City police officer from Haverstraw has been named Grand Marshal of the Pearl River St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is to be sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Rockland County.

John Scanlon, 57, will lead the celebration of Irish-American heritage down Central Avenue in Pearl River on Sunday, March 23. Honoured three times for bravery during his 25-year career with the New York Police Department, Scanlon is the treasurer of Division One of the AOH in North Rockland. “He has been a dedicated and faithful member and can always be relied upon to get the job done,” said Thomas Keyy, an AOH Division One spokesman, of Scanlon’s selection as grand marshal. A resident of the village of Haverstraw, Scanlon was born  in Lisselton, County Kerry in Ireland, where he was educated in local schools. He is a graduate of St. Michael College in Listowel. County Kerry, where he was a classmate of popular Irish playwright John B. Keane.

Before moving to the United States in 1949, Scanlon was a farmer. He served in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952 in Korea. Soon after his discharge from the Army, Scanlon joined the NYPD, finally retiring in January 1985.

The father of five children, Scanlon is the husband of the former Mary Browne, and they have three grandchildren. He works in the security department of St. Agatha’s Home in Nanuet.

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People I Met

I met this lovely couple on the street on Saturday April 30 2022. They were in town for a wedding the day before.

They are from Rossmore in Co. Cork. and they were looking for John B. Keane’s pub. They weren’t in need of a drink. They just wanted to see the place where Sive and so many of the playwright’s famous plays were written.

The name Rossmore may not be familiar to you but for lovers of amateur drama it is the location for a very popular drama festival. Year after year one of the entrants is a John B. Keane play. This year it was Sive.

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Pres. Yearbook 1983

Chorus lines were recruited and our gallant first and

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+Niall Stack R.I.P.+

I took this photograph a few years ago at Writers’ Week Opening Night. Niall had just met up with his friend Anthony Gaughan.

Niall Stack Passed away on April 29 2022. May he rest in peace.

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A Christmas wreath, some shop windows and Colourful Spirits exhibition

A Kerry Donkey: Chris Grayson

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Cured, you say? Caused, more like!


Photo from Facebook

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Some Christmas windows

Utopia

 Tae Lane

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A Christmas Wreath

My lovely daughter in law, Carine, treated me to a wreath making workshop in The White Horse in Ballincollig. Even if I say so myself, we made some lovely creations.

My Christmas wreath 2019

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John Paul 2 Cemetery



I put my Christmas wreath on Jim’s grave. The cemetery was looking lonely in the winter sunshine.

The burial ground is expanding rapidly with a whole new section opened up recently.

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Colourful Spirits Exhibition in St. John’s


I took the following photo s at the opening evening but the pictures will be there for the month. I’m delighted with my purchase. I’ll leave it hang for a few more weeks but I’ll have it in my home for Christmas.

Viveca Amato’s Santa greeted us at the door.

I think most of the Spirits who were exhibiting are in one or other of these photos. The group does have a few more members but their work is not in this show. The paintings are lovely. Well worth a visit. These artists do commissions as well so if you like someone’s work you could talk to them about doing something more special to you.

This mixed media picture is very eye catching.

This is me with my painting and the artist who painted it. Máire did a bad job on the photograph. I’ll have to take it again when I get it home.

Máire bought Jim Dunn’s Mad Hatter.   ‘nough said!

New Director at St. John’s, Church Street girls, Owen Family of Ballyhorgan Cycling and the Crown Jewels



Wildflower meadow at Ballincollig Regional Park


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They’re Changing the Guard at St. John’s




Máire Logue is the new artistic director of St. John’s Arts and Heritage Centre, Listowel. I photographed her in St. John’s with Joe Murphy, the retiring director.


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Church Street Girls


Eileen Sheridan shared a photo memory


Clementine Crowley Ann McSweeney, Gertie Kennelly, Mary OSullivan, Eileen Scanlon, Ann Ryan

Mary Fitzmaurice Mary Walsh , Eileen McSweeney,  Alice Gleeson.


Sadly three of the girls have passed away.

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Owens of Ballyhorgan

Harriet Owen with Tom Fitzgerald and Jimmy Deenihan in The Listowel Arms on one of Harriet’s frequent trips to Kerry to reconnect with her family home in Lixnaw.

Harriet sent me a short version of her family history which I published in Listowel Connection. John Stack of Kildare and formerly of Duagh was interested to see that an Owen had married into the Ellis family of Abbeyfeale. Ellis was a family John had encountered when researching his own family as these Ellises were his mother’s people’s landlords.

He sent us a newspaper cutting

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Resurgence of Cycling

In our cities nowadays you have to be struck by the numbers of people cycling to and from work. I took these photos on Cork’s Grand Parade recently. There seems to be bicycles everywhere.

The bike scheme stand was almost empty.

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The Theft of The Irish Crown Jewels

A friend lent me this book. The story of the disappearance of the Irish Crown Jewels and its disastrous consequences for North Kerry is a fascinating one.


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In Dublin Yesterday



Kerry has survived to fight another day. I don’t know if the supporters nerves will survive another one, though.

Lovely Listowel people, Changing meanings, Public phones and Hair Oil

St. Patrick’s hall, July 2019

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Chance Meetings


Nature lover, Carmel Gornall I met walking by the river on a sunny morning.

Frances and Edel were enjoying the sunshine and the music in the Square

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Post no Bills

This sign is on an arch in Ballincollig. I suspect today’s young people have no idea that it has nothing to do with payment due.

I grew up in an age when this sign was a common sight in public areas. It means  Do not affix advertising posters to this wall.

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Public Phones





Working public telephone boxes are rare enough these days so when I see one I grab a snap. The above one is in Kildare town.


This one is in Kent train station in Cork. It takes credit cards as well as coins and you can make international calls.

The tariff is a bit steep at a minimum of €2 per call and calls to mobiles costing €1 a minute.

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Mattie Lennon Remembers

These were found during the dig at the site of the new bypass road at Curraghatoosane. I posted the photo last week, and Mattie Lennon has been in touch;

Hi Mary,

I remember when Brilliantine hair oil came in those phials. It cost a penny ha’penny.

( hair oil, for those not in the know, was for plastering men’s hair down so that it stayed in place.)

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John Lynch Mass



Martina OGorman has emailed to tell us that the people of Ballylongford are putting on a memorial mass for the late John Lynch on Sunday next ,August 11 at 10.30.

You may remember that when John , who was originally from Ballylongford, passed away in London recently it was feared that he had no relatives or friends left to attend his funeral. The  London Kerry community were rallied by Martina and friends and he had a good Kerry send off. Now Martina is hoping that the Kerry people at home will turn up to this special mass for John.

Cork’s Denny Lane, Tarbert Bridewell and some Bird Stories from Dúchas

Summer 2019

Aisling and Molly in Ballincollig Regional Park in sunny June 2019

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Cork’s Denny Lane

I spotted this on South Mall in Cork last week.

This is the elegant doorway to the Lane house

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Tarbert Bridewell Relaunch


Here I am with another visitor and our guide, Mary O’Connell at the relaunch of the Tarbert Bridewell project on Saturday June 29 2019. If you want to give your children an easy history lesson or if you just want to find out something about rough justice in the 19th century this is a great place to come.

We follow the story of Tom Dillon who is accused of leaving his cow to trespass on his neighbours property. His defence was that the cow wandered through an open gate and he entered the field to retrieve her. The policeman who attended was having none of it and Tom was brought before the court sitting in The Bridewell Tarbert.

This is Dillon. Members of the local Tarbert drama group have recorded the story in dramatic fashion which we listened to as we went from room to room.

This is the maligned Mrs. Ahern whose grass Tom’s cow was eating.

The judge was a bit harsh I thought. You’ll have to visit to find out the sentence.

In another cell is this poor prisoner, emprisoned with her young baby.

Tarbert Bridewell visitor experience is located on the road to the ferry. It’s well worth factoring in a stop there if you are going to Clare. There is a lovely coffee shop and souvenirs as well.
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Bird Lore from the Dúchas Folklore Collection


There was once a middle aged man who had little or no money. Then it was coming near Christmas his shoes became worn and he began to collect all his money a few days before Christmas she found he had twelve shillings so he went along the road to the nearest town to buy a pair of shoes. When he had gone little way he heard a black bird on a bush saying “Spend and God will send”. He went on and he heard a thrush saying “Be merry today to-morrow you die.” He went on to town and spent the twelve shillings on drink and as he was coming home he heard a wren saying. “Have it yourself or be without it.”

Some people go torching. They light a candle and having the bottom of a bottle knocked out, they put the candle into it. The lighting side of the candle should be stuck up the jowl of the bottle. You must follow the wind always. When you see a bird you must strike him on the head with a piece of stick and kill him. A stormy night is the best sort of night to go torchhing. The How pigeons build their nests. The hen goes into and box and the cock lungs straw in and the hen fixes it and after about two says the nest is made and in about a day or two the hen lays an egg and the next day she lays another egg. Then the cock hatches in the day and the hen hatches at night and about three weeks the young ones come out. Then you should get crushed corn and give it to the pair. Then the pigeons fill their craws and throw it up into the young pigeons mouths and in about three week they come out of the nest and in about five days they can fly.

Collector Pat Mc Elligott, Address- Bedford, Co. Kerry
Informant Tom Halpin- Age 27 Address, Bedford, Co. Kerry.

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Lyre Concert



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