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: Ballybunion Golf Club Page 1 of 2

St. Ita

Ballybunion Golf Course January 16 2022; Photo; Catherine Moylan

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I don’t know much about this photo except that Bryan MacMahon and John B. Keane and others are on the back of Stuart Stack’s truck. Any help with identifying the others and telling us when where and why this photo was taken would be great.

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Local Lore and Legend

Newmarket man, Raymond O’Sullivan is a great man for local lore. Here is his Facebook post about St. Ita.

St. Ita, the patron saint of Killeedy and Co. Limerick, is also called ‘The Foster Mother of the Saints of Ireland’. Among her many illustrious foster children was none other than St. Brendan, the Navigator, who was brought to Killeedy when he was one year old and stayed until he was six.Her çult remains strong in the hill country along the Cork, Kerry, Limerick borderlands. One unusual feature of the cult is letting the Christmas decorations up until after her feastday on the 15th of January. Not sure if it is out of laziness or devotion to her that I continue to observe this custom. Probably a bit of both. We got married on her feastday, and, when unsure of the anniversary date over the years, a discreet inquiry about St. Ita’s ‘pattern’ got me out of many a potentially perilous situation.

Shrine to St Ita in Killeedy, Co. Limerick

Stained glass window of St. Ita in The Oratory in Gougane Barra

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Your Help Sought

I am trying to trace any (relatives) or people that may know of/ be related to my Grandfather, John Sylvester Horan.

My hubby is doing my family tree My mum, ( who died in 1990) was orphaned when she was 9 yrs. She told me that she was led to believe her father was a bigamist but, I have found through ancestry that he was in fact a widower when he left for Liverpool. I only know that his 1st wife was called Sarah.

John was born in 1886 in Listowel. I know this is a massive long shot, but maybe someone may know something.

Thank you so much, Patricia Jones…South Wales x

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Telling Stories

This little piggy….

Aoife and I had great old chats on her recent visit. I can’t wait to share all the family secrets with her.

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The one who came back to say thanks

John O’Leary contacted Listowel Connection to thank his former teacher in Rossmacowen Primary School, Miss Enright of Bridge Road. He remembered her with gratitude. We tracked down the Sheila Enright in question and John’s gratitude and kind words will be conveyed to her.

This is from John’s latest letter;

Hi Mary,

I can not  thank you enough for all your time and effort in tracing my primary school teacher, Sheila. I moved into the fourth class as Sheila arrived at our school. Sheila was kind and always showed interest in your progress, caring, taking time to explain the subject, never telling you off. It was a time of learning. The classroom was always welcoming with displays and all the flowers on the window board and on her desk. There was the open fire with all the bottles of drinks for lunch time, as from Oct to March we all brought a sod of turf for the fire and at lunch time we went up through the fields to collect wood for the fire. My last years in primary school were so memorable. Thanks to Sheila or, as we would say, Miss Enright.

John

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John B. Keane and Big Words, A Minute of Your Time and my Book Signing

Photo taken in Beale, Co. Kerry by Ita Hannon

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John B. Keane on Corporal Punishment


(from the Limerick Leader archives)

“Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words will never hurt me.”

(According to John B. scholars always preferred a scolding to a beating)

However, I remember a singular exception to this.

Many years ago in Listowel, there was a secondary teacher by the name of Paddy Breen was reputed to be one of the best English scholars in Kerry.

Once, after an argument with an inspector, he was asked by the school’s president to render an account of what happened.

“All that happened,” said Paddy, “was that I bade the fellow beat an ignominious retreat to the native valleys of his own obscurity.”

There was in Paddy Breen’s heyday a pupil attending each morning unfailingly late.

Always he would come up with a different excuse.

It so happened that one morning, Paddy was taking the first class of the day.

Our friend, as was his want, arrived a half-hour later.

“Well,” said Paddy, “what excuse have you to offer this time?”

“My mother’s watch, sir, she stopped,” was the invented answer.

All the other clocks and watches in the house had long since been rendered inoperable due to a variety of misfortunes.

“You, sir,” said Paddy Breen “are the misbegotten metamorphosis of a miscalculating microchonometer.”

One young friend took the jibe poorly and did not attend class the following day nor indeed for many a day afterwards.

Eventually, Paddy received a solicitor’s letter asking him if he would be good enough to repeat the damaging statement in court.

Paddy replied that he would be agreeable and sent the solicitor an exact copy of what he said.

No more was heard of the matter but had he used smaller and more easily understood words there would have been no misunderstanding whatsoever.

Alas, there would have been no colour either, and the class would have been a drabber, duller place.

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Floods in 1890



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Wartime Rationing

One of the unexpected things that was rationed during World War 2 was golf balls.

Balls which were remoulded by the Dunlop company were supplied in small numbers to Ballybunion and other clubs.

The first captain of Ballybunion Golf Club was Canon R. Adderley of Listowel. Mrs. Rosalie Shortis Venn was the first lady captain.

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A Minute of Your Time




will be telling you more about the launch of my book in the coming weeks but in the meantime let me tell you about an exciting signing event in Philip’s Bookshop in Mallow.

It’s on November 2 starting at 2.00p.m. Philip’s Bookshop is celebrating its 30th birthday and they are planning a big party.

John Spillane will be the singing MC. Darina Allen and Alice Taylor will be among those signing. And, in keeping with their policy of encouraging local authors, I will be there . If you are near Mallow be sure to put the date in your diary. It promises to be a great day. I might be in need of a friend as I try to hold my own in such exalted company.

Evening Press 1939, Listowel Hospital and Clinics and the old popemobile

Roses at Listowel Big Bridge July 2018

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More advertisements from the Sunday Press of 1939

That one doesn’t seem to have caught on.

Back in 1939 they were pushing bottle feeding. Apparently it protected a child against the winter weather!

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In Listowel Hospital Grounds


I took a wander back Greenville to see how things were in that part of town. Here are some pictures I took in the hospital grounds

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Donncha  ODulaing and the Popemobile



This photo is in the RTE archive. I wonder if the new popemobile will look less like a caravan mounted on a lorry

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Interesting Sign for the Golf Tournament




AA signs now have the eircode for the event venue  Genius.  No one will ever be lost again!

Rattoo Sunset, Bank of Ireland Mural and Pitch and Putt in the sun

Rattoo Sunset

Photo: Michael Pixie O’Gorman

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Olive Stack’s Mural in Bank of Ireland, Listowel


The mural depicts The Square as it was. It’s sad to see so many of the characters who have passed away


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Well Done Tidy Town’s People



The old telephone exchange is not a particularly pretty building at the end of O’Connell’s Avenue. My eye was drawn away from the industrial bleakness of it to the lovely flower tubs at the corner.

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Pitch sand Putt Course Looking Resplendent


As I was walking through the park last week I spotted three happy men out for an early morning game of pitch and putt.


Don’t they look like photos from Florida?



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Ballybunion/ Ballybrown……Could be in Florida


These photographs of Ballybunion Golf Course this week were taken by Barry O’Halloran and he tells me that CTH stands for Closest To Heaven as it is on  the highest point on the course.


A Visit to the Lartigue Experience, Volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul shop and Caddying in Ballybunion



My grandsons posed for me on the comfortable Tidy Town seat in Listowel Town Square

on July 17 2017

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Showband Stars Named

Yesterday I posted Joe Harringtons photo of some of the greats of the show band era. I posted Joe’s caption as he had it on Facebook.

Joe Dolan, Dickie Rock, Brendan Boyer, Derek Dean, Brendan O’ Brien(Dixies), Butch Moore,  Tom Dunphy, Larry Cunningham. Can’t place the other 3. 

Then Tommy O’Flahety came to the rescue. He wrote the following

Hi Mary. Great stuff on your page. The three missing names on the Showband picture are Art Supple of the Victors, next to Joe Dolan, and Declan Ryan of The Arrivals in front of Butch Moore and Tony Keeling of The Graduates to his left.



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Deserted Kerry homestead



Chris Grayson is fascinated by old deserted houses. He took these photos somewhere in Kerry. They evoke another era when the house was cosy and warm.


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A Visit to the Lartigue Monorail Museum



My grandsons were with me on their Kerry holiday as I visited this superb Listowel visitor attraction. If you have visitors, old or young, to entertain, be sure to fit in a trip here. It is excellent, a piece of history and a unique experience to be enjoyed by everyone.

We visited on a Tuesday and that is my friend, Junior Griffin’s day for volunteering. He had read my blog in the morning and it had brought back memories of Cleeves toffees and the good old days of his childhood when handball, the sweet shop and the pictures were the centre of his world. I recorded a snippet of his tale.

Junior Griffin at The Lartigue

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The name Lartigue is not that rare in the Bordeaux region of France. There is even a Chateau. The late Bert Griffin brought back two bottle of this vintage and donated them to the museum.

It’s not just tourists who take a trip. I met a past pupil of mine with her lovely young family at the door.

This family were not local. Junior is the kind of unofficial photographer.

The whole affair s very leisurely for us the visitors. It looked like hard work for the volunteers, especially John McAulliffe who was  turning the train on the turntable.

Junior took our photo. Killian hooted the horn.

Killian is on the bridge where one crosses to the other side of the train.

This is us with the locomotive in the background

These are all our travelling companions on July 18 2017




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St. Vincent de Paul Volunteers



On our way home down William Street we met my good friends who volunteer in the Second Time Around shop preparing for their summer sale.

The ladies in pink are Kay Landy, Hannah Mulvihill, Eileen O’Sullivan and Catherine O’Driscoll


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The Barefoot Caddy



Forget The Barefoot Contessa. Once upon a time Ballybunion had its own barefoot caddy.

Photo shared on Twitter by Ballybunion Golf Club.

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