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Tag: Christmas 2016

Should old acquaintance……

Christmas 2016

I spent a lovely Christmas holiday in 2016 in the bosom of my family. Below is a photo of us all taken on Christmas Day in Bishopstown as we embarked on The Goal Mile.

 Meanwhile in Ballybunion, Santa led out a big group of hardy souls for the annual Christmas Day dip in aid of the Sea and Cliff Rescue.

These photos were posted by Ballybunion Tidy Towns and Ballybunion Prints. Jason of BB Prints photographed his dog, Bella, who was snug and warm in her holiday attire.

Local piper, Danny Houlihan, piped the swimmers into the water.

Caoimhín ÓSé posted these photos of the annual Wrenboy celebrations in Dingle.

Bernard Brogan, who is a second generation Listowelllian got married and the big talking point was the bridesmaids’ jumpsuits.


A Strange New Year Tradition

This information comes from Ger Greaney who got it from Maura McConnell so its a bit of Dúirt bean liom go ndúirt bean léi  (hearsay).

Don’t forget the old traditions of Jan 1st. First Footing. The first person to cross your threshold should be a dark-haired, tall, good-looking, and it would be even better if he came bearing certain small gifts such as a lump of coal and some salt.

Blonde and redhead first footers bring bad luck, and female first footers should be shooed away before they bring disaster down on the house. Don’t let them near your door before a man crosses the threshold.

The first footer should knock and be let in rather than unceremoniously use a key, even if he is one of the householders. After greeting those in the house and dropping off whatever small tokens of luck he has brought with him, he should make his way through the house and leave by a different door than the one through which he entered.

Nobody should leave the premises before the first footer arrives — the first traffic across the threshold must be headed in rather than striking out.

(I’m sorry that this information is coming a bit late in the day but maybe we’ll remember it for next year!)


Another Old One

The old people believed that anyone who died during the twelve days of Christmas had received a “cuireadh na Nollag” (Christmas invitation) . A soul receiving this special invitation goes straight to Heaven.


A new sign for an old club

Suddenly we’ve gone all american


Two Facts about the Irish language I learned on Twitter

The word order in Irish is verb, subject, object.  This means that ‘I thought I saw a bird’ would be translated as ‘Thought I saw I a bird’.  This word order is very rare as only 9 per cent of the world’s languages use it.

Gaeltacht Thuaisceart an Oileáin Úir (or the North American Gaeltacht) is the only Gaeltacht that exists outside of the island of Ireland.  Irish emigrants fleeing the famine settled here and managed to keep their language alive, eventually going so far as to declare themselves a Gaeltacht in 1994.


The Best idea for the New Year

A lady called Helen at Spread a Little Kindness posted an Advent calendar on the internet. It was so popular that she has made one for January

You may download it and print it for free from her website (link above)


New Year; New You

(photo: Love Listowel)

Saturday January 7 2017 and a fine crowd out walking and running the Listowel 5k park run

Wren boys continued, a Christmas poem, the Clauses of The Seanchaí and people at the Coca Cola truck event

Abbey at Rattoo photographed a few years ago by Padraig O’Connor


A Very Sad Seasonal poem from Seán McCarthy


Wren boys in North Kerry by Wm. Molyneaux as reported in The Shannonside Annuals in the 1950s

Part 2

He (The Man from the BBC) asked me then what way we used to dress in the Wren boys. I told him we used dress in green and gold or any colour. I told him we had a Wren Cross (which we had in them days) and we had the Wren Cross painted in green and gold and we often took out two wrens in the morning and brought them back alive and restored them to liberty. I told him when we go in to a farmer’s house that we’d say those words to the farmer-the farmer’s houses where we’d expect to get a good reach the captain of the Wrenboys would address the man of the house by saying these words:

The man of the house is a very good men

And it was to him we brought the wran,

Wishing you a happy Christmas and a merry New Year

If you give us the price of a gallon of beer,

We’d continue on until we go to the next house-which was the landlady’s house. The captain addressed the landlady in these words

the wran, the wran, the king of all birds-

St Stephen’s Day she was cought in the furze;

although she be little, her family being great,

Rise up, landlady, and give us a trate;

Up with the kittle and down with the pan

We’ll thank your subscription to bury the Wren!

That’s the way the captain would address if he went into a big farmer’s house or into a landlady’s house.

(more tomorrow)



John (Junior) Griffn and Billy Keane at the launch of Billy’s novel some years ago.


The Seanchaí Claus family at the BOI Enterprise Town expo

Joe’s been a good boy.


Gala Christmas Sunday in Town

Eoin Enright’s photo gives a good idea of the scene in The Square as the light was fading on Sunday December 11 2016.

Here are some people I met at the Coca Cola truck on Sunday December 11 2016

Foggy landscapes, Roadworks and Enterprise Town Expo

The North Wind doth blow

And we shall have snow

And what will poor robin do then, poor thing?

Well it’s not exactly snowing, but there is cold snap in the air these days and mornings are misty and foggy.


Early Morning fog

Work is continuing on the extension to the Community Centre.

Schiller through the mist.

Holocaust Memorial in the fog

This pruning and clearing was going on last week.

Roadworks on William Street are nearing completion.


Bank of Ireland Enterprise Town event

We had a great night in Listowel Community Centre on Friday evening November 25 2016. Pierce and Fitzgibbon gave us a bag to collect all the loot and freebies, Aoife Hannon made a hat, we had a snatch of Riverdancing, an interview with a handsome New Zealand rugby player, the Primary School band under the baton of Anne Brosnan and a fashion show. That’s just a small taste of what went on.

The BOI welcoming group

Handing out the loot bags

Marguerite with the Pres. girls

Trants Pharmacy was just one of the many stands running a competition on the night. I din’t win.

This lady is Denise Mullane of BOI. She was the MC for the evening as well as the very able organiser of things.

The convent primary band with some of the audience.

Angeline was in character for some of her roles at The Seanchaí

I looked away quickly from Centra’s oh so tempting display

I bought a lovely journal from the Love Listowel range at The Seanchaí stand.

Holding the fort at the McGuire’s Pharmacy stand.


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