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Tag: Craft Fair

Shop windows, Flowers at the Courthouse, Christmas Customs and A Christmas Craft Fair

Listowel Castle December 2019


Some Lovely Shopwindows

Listowel shopkeepers make a great effort with their window displays always.

Cheryl’s lovely crochet crib figures are on the NCBI window.


McKenna’s Winter Wonderland


Work at Listowel Courthouse courtyard

They look like flowerbeds in the making.


Christmas Cleaning from the Dúchas collection

The first job always seemed to be the cleaning and painting.

Christmas Customs

It is an old custom to clean up the house the week before Christmas, to white wash it and paint all the furniture. All the old people like to go to Tralee for the Christmas.

On St. Stephen’s day boys flock together and go around with the wren. They dress up in various kinds of clothes and get a dead wren and a bit of holly. They go from house to house and sing and play and dance. The people of the house give them some money and sometimes give them drink.

The old people put up holly around the windows and mantles for Christmas. On the Eve of each holiday candles are lighted through out the Christmas.


Christmas is a merry time for young and old. Five days before Christmas the people go to a town or village for their Christmas supplies.

The first sign of Christmas is the houses are whitewashed and the places cleaned. On Christmas Eve the candles


Mike’s Murals

Mike O’Donnell’s own photo of himself painting the old Kerryman masthead over the door of The Kerryman building


Listowel Tree 2019


Christmas Craft Fair

I never got round to posting these last week. This was the Christmas Craft Fair in Kerry Writers’ Museum with some lovely things to buy.

The heavenly Elle Marie ODwyer is a new face at Listowel craft fairs. I love her new song, Christmas by the Lee. Have a listen.

Our local historian, Vincent Carmody was there with his chronicles of old Listowel and old Newcastlewest

Anne and Katie’s snowmen and candy canes were very popular.

Frances O’Keeffe is the best knitter and knitting designer I know. Her cupcake dolls are a new addition to her range and they’re gorgeous. I also love this Rhode Island Red hen tea cozy.

This lady had beautiful large or small Christmas arrangements.

Craftfair, Aghadoe, Bothar, Christmas in Killarney and Ballybunion Radio Station

Seanchaí Craft Fair

Pat Murphy was in The Kerry Writers’ Centre on Sunday December 16 2018 with some lovely new stock.

Vincent Carmody was selling his unique new book of printed materials from 1870 to 1970.

This new hair device, Dreamy Curls, curls your locks without the aid of heat. It is invented, made and marketed in Listowel. I bought one for my granddaughters. I’ll let you know how it goes when they have road tested it.

Orla has had 2 craft fairs in a row so she had enlisted some young help with this one. Her confectionary was selling fast.


Aghadoe, Killarney

The path to the viewing spot at Aghadoe

Remains of old tower in Aghadoe

Heavenly spot.


Sheep May Safely Graze

When I saw this pastoral scene on may way back from Aghadoe I was reminded of the hymn;

Sheep may safely graze and pasture

Where a shepherd guards them well.

So the nation ruled in wisdom

Knows and shares the many blessings

Which both peace and plenty bring.

And then I spotted the sign on the next door fence.


Christmas in Killarney


Ballybunion Radio Station

(Photo and text from Liam O’Hainnín on Facebook)

Despite references in several publications, Ballybunion Station was not built by Marconi, and never operated commercially. The station was built by the Universal Radio Syndicate. Construction started in 1912, but the station had not obtained a commercial licence by the time World War 1 started. The company went into liquidation in 1915. A sister station at Newcastle New Brunswick, built to the same design as Ballybunion, suffered a similar fate. The Marconi Company bought the two stations from the liquidator in 1919, mainly to prevent their use by potential competitors. The stations were not idle in the interim, however, having been appropriated by the British Admiralty almost immediately upon outbreak of the Great War and kept in constant activity as key components of the allied communication system until the Armistice of November 1918.

The Marconi Company did not use the stations commercially, and it would appear that the Ballybunion station was only used briefly, in March 1919 for a successful telephony experiment with the Marconi station in Louisbourg, and for communication with the R34 airship in July 1919.

In March 1919, Marconi engineers H.J Round and W.T. Ditcham made the first east-west transatlantic broadcast of voice, using valve technology, from the Ballybunion station using the callsignYXQ. The first west to east voice transmission had already been achieved by Bell Systems engineers from the US Navy station at Arlington Virginia to the Eiffel Tower in October 1915.

The contents of Clifden and Ballybunion were sold for scrap to a Sheffield-based scrap merchant, Thos. W. Ward in 1925.

Industrial Schools, Castle Hotel, Ballybunion, Abbeyfeale, a Craft Fair and a Sand Art Festival in Ballybunion

Chris Grayson’s robin


Numbers in Reformatory Schools 1939


Old Ballybunion

The Castle Hotel;  a photo posted on Facebook by Ballybunion Prints



After my recent trip to Abbeyfeale I received this email from a loyal blog follower;

Welcome to Abbeyfeale, Mary!

This year marks the Golden Jubilee of the new Church in Abbeyfeale. Celebrations are planned and a commemorative magazine is in preparation.

The traditional Stations of the Cross are really eye-catching and artistic. No wonder, for they were donated to the Church in recent years when the Sisters of Mercy closed their Convent across the road form the Church.

Originally, the Stations of the Cross were a gift to the Convent in 1900 from a local man who made good in the USA.

The following report in the Freeman’s Journal of 1 September 1900 gives the history of the generous gift:


Mr. John M. Nolan, a wealthy citizen of Lowell, U.S.A., who emigrated from Abbeyfeale some years ago, has just presented the Sisters of the Mercy Convent, Abbeyfeale, with the Stations of the Cross for their chapel, the order being executed in Paris at an estimated cost of £250. 

The carving and tinting of the figures is most elaborately and artistically executed.

 Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 – 1932)

·  ·  Sat 1 Sep 1900 

·  ·  Page 4 


I wonder what  the 1900 amount of  £250  would represent in today’s money?

The Stations are priceless in many ways,  and the Sisters were most generous and far-sighted 

to ensure that such a treasure will always be  part of the heritage and the daily religious faith experience in Abbeyfeale Church.

They will also be a  beautiful and  commemorative tribute to the good work of the Sisters of Mercy in Abbeyfeale.

There are but two Sisters residing in Abbeyfeale now- once there was a host of them  in the thriving Convent Community.

The times and the changes! 




I was at a craft Fair in The Seanchaí on the May weekend

Maria Leahy was minding her father’s stall. He makes these hand made replica wagons at his home in Buttevant. Hours of patient hard work goes into every one. They are all made to a unique design.

Frances O’Keeffe is still making her gorgeous tea cozy creations.


Friends Reunited

Childhood friends in Listowel, Jean, Hilary and Eileen met up for a chat and a catchup.


Sand Art in Ballybunion on Saturday May 19 2018

This is a marvellous new festival. I wasn’t there myself so the photos are from various Ballybunion photographers 

These are just some of the creations by sand artists from different parts of Ireland.

Writers’ Week Children’s Festival and Craft Fair

This is Bromore, Ballybunion last week. For more photos of this stunningly beautiful spot click HERE


What other literary festival boasts a full children’s festival programme in tandem with its adult events? The 2013 children’s events were as varied as their adult counterparts and they were enjoyed by hundreds of young participants. There was Fossett’s Circus. The Big Top also doubled as a venue for all sorts of literary and ghostly goings on. There was Larry Lartigue showing our next generation a window into the past. We had Baby Boogie, always a hit with the smallies, a Teddy Bears picnic as well as all the readings and workshops.

I had first hand experience of 2 events when my grandchildren came to visit on Saturday. Here is 6 year old Aisling at her animation workshop. You can see her finished cartoon here.

This next event was called Bee the Book.

It took place in Garvey’s Super Valu on Sunday morning and it was a resounding hit with early readers and pre readers. Book reading is fun!


As always Xistance youth Cafe helped out with the children’s programme.

Louise and Chloe are 2 of the hard working members who ensured that everything ran smoothly.


As well as the scheduled programme there are also other attractions in Listowel during the weekend.

A Busker
Street musicians


There was racing on the Island on Sunday and Monday and all the glamour of a very successful Ladies’ Day. I was at the Craft Fair in The Seanchaí instead.

What a wealth of beautiful things!


John Stack’s photo of the Feale Rangers team who defeated Mid kerry in the first round of the County Championship 2013. For more information about this photo or to see lots more of John’s great North Kerry football photos go to this site:


Just like the old days!

Ballybunion the way we remember it but this time its June 9 2013

Jer Kennelly’s video memory is here

Craft Fair and a marathon with a difference

Yesterday was the final day of another very successful Food Fair in Listowel.

I headed off to the craft fair with my charges.

 The fair was being held in The Community Centre. Some of the stalls were outdoors.

This little girl surveys the fare on offer at KnitWits stall.

Our impressive display of knitting, costume jewellery and bric-a-brac.

The prizes for our raffle.

Our very expert member, Anne, had an array of toys and baby cardigans on her stall.

 Some KnitWits members with Tina and Mary from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

  Maureen who crocheted the prize throw with the happy winner.

Handing over  €282,  the proceeds of the stall to Mary Sobarielski who accepted the money on behalf of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.


Tickes for this show are selling fast. Be sure to book or you will be disappointed.


ESB notice in the papers in 1951


Fords of Cork in 1936


Obituary for Fr Sean Ryle R.I.P

“He helped many parishes develop laity-oriented pre-marriage programmes, and later, programmes of marriage enrichment. Most of the participants in these programmes were non-Catholics, but all expressed themselves extremely grateful for the insights they received.”

 Fr Seán Ryle from Islandganniv, Listowel, Co. Kerry, was born on 9 May 1926. He was educated at Killorglin NS, CBS Milltown, Castlemaine NS and St Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe. He came to Dalgan in 1945 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1951.

Assigned to Japan, he arrived there in 1952 and after language studies served as assistant in Odowara and Katase, then, later as pastor in Hondo and Minoshima. In the late seventies and eighties he served in the Diocese of Yokohama. Shortly after Vatican II, Seán took time to study pastoral counselling in Canada and the United States. He specialised in the Family Life Apostolate and this became his life’s work and his distinctive contribution to missionary outreach in Japan.

He helped many parishes develop laity-oriented pre-marriage programmes, and later, programmes of marriage enrichment. Most of the participants in these programmes were non-Catholics, but all expressed themselves extremely grateful for the insights they received. Over the years the programmes led to a number of conversions. He also helped to introduce Worldwide Marriage Encounter to Japan.

Seán had an extraordinary gift for organisation. Along with his friend and colleague Sr Yoshinaga, a member of the Congregation of Catechists, he invited many people, experts in their own fields like doctors, nurses, married couples of all ages, to help in his Family Life programmes. His seminars were conducted over wide areas and in a number of dioceses of western Japan. This apostolic outreach was Seán’s major contribution to the mission in Japan and for these efforts he is fondly remembered.

He took up residence in the Dalgan Nursing Home at the end of 2006. There he was often visited by faithful friends from Japan. An unexpected heart attack led to his being moved to Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, where he died on 26 October 2012.

He was buried in Dalgan Cemetary on October 29 .2012

May he rest in peace.


This is my nephew Philip pictured after the Chicago marathon.

Philip was all set to run in the New York marathon yesterday. He was at the airport in St. Louis (where he lives) when he got the word that the race was cancelled. In order not to let his sponsors down, Philip ran a marathon anyway. As luck would have it there was a half marathon scheduled for St. Louis so Philip ran the first half marathon on his own and joined the race for the second half . He was pleased with his time and delighted that he was able to keep faith with his many sponsors. I am very proud of my talented and dedicated nephew.

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