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Tag: creamery

John Pierse R.I.P.

By the Feale in August 2022


+ John Pierse R.I.P.+

John Pierse’s Tidy Town colleagues changed their window display as a tribute to one of their stalwarts, John Pierse.

John’s nephew, Roibeard Pierse, captured the essence of John when he said that John was a man who would do the hard work and step away when the photograph was being taken. That was the John I knew. For a man who was often seen with a camera and who appreciated the importance of a photograph to document a historic moment, he was himself very camera shy.

However when I looked for photographs to illustrate my small tribute I found that I had quite a few, mainly of John in the company of like minded people.

I took this photo of John with his friend and collaborator, John Lynch on the first occasion I saw Bliain dár Saol, an invaluable documentary of life in Listowel in 1972.

The importance of this film was recognised again lately when it was shown on three days during Heritage Week 2022. The film, beautifully scripted and narrated by Eamon Keane, records The Fleadh with which John Pierse will be forever associated , the Wren and other traditions whose memory is still alive today.

With friends, Pat and Leisha Given at a book launch

John Pierse was a scholar who loved learning. This class phot0 of a group of Listowel people at a conferring in UCC on the completion of an adult outreach diploma has both Mairead and John in it. John was a life long learner. He was generous in sharing the fruits of his learning and I am one of many who has learned much from him.

With Kay and Arthur Caball

Kay Caball worked with John on many of his history projects. There was a deep mutual respect and friendship between these two avid historians.

Eileem Worts R.I.P. , John Pierse R.I.P., Joan Byrne, Breda McGrath and Mary Hanlon

One of the projects close to John’s heart, a labour of love, was his book, Teampall Bán. He has done the town an invaluable service in trawling through documents and records to put together this thorough account of the Famine in the Listowel area. In an act typical of the man, he donated all the profits from the book to Listowel Tidy Towns’.

This book will stand as John’s legacy to future generations.

With Finbar Mawe

John had a huge library of history books and maps. He was a great supporter of local authors. Here he is at the launch of Vincent Carmody’s book adding another to his collection.

John loved the company of local people who shared his love of the town and its history. With him here are Kieran Moloney, Paddy Keane and Michael Guerin.

With John in this photo taken at an event during the military weekend are Kathy Walshe and Dr. Declan Downey.

These two photos I took after an event in the hospital chapel, forever a reminder of Famine times in Listowel and North Kerry.

This is the last photo I took of John Pierse. We were in a brief respite in pandemic restrictions and we were both out early in the morning to see how Listowel was faring in these extraordinary times. John was his usual chatty self. While suffering under the privations of enforced isolation, John was putting his time to good use with his books.

In his 86 years in this life, John lived a fulfilled life. He packed more into one lifetime than anyone I know. He is part of Listowel’s rich history now. He will be greatly missed by his beloved gentle Mairead and by all his family.

I am glad I got to know him.

“Lives of great men remind us

We too can make our lives sublime

And departing, leave behind us

Footprints in the sands of time.”

Go gcloise tú ceol na naingeal go síoraí, a John.


Going to the Creamery

This photograph which was shared originally to Rockchapel Memories by Charles MacCarthy shows the scene at the creamery in Rowles, Meelin sometime in the 20th century.

That scene, or versions of it, was repeated in villages and rural areas all over the country when men made the daily trip to the local creamery. Judging by the size of the milk churns, these men were not rich but happy farmers making a living on small holdings in a remote part of North Cork.

The ritual of the morning at the creamery involved the exchange of news and gossip. Men looked forward to what was often their only social interaction in the day. It took a few hours to get to the creamery and back but in those days people weren’t in a hurry.

This photograph was also shared on line. Sorry I cant remember by whom. Was it you, Brigid O’Brien?

It is a later time when tractors and the odd car had replaced the horse or donkey and cart. The ritual was the same though and chat was still a big part of going to the creamery.


Tina Kinsella was entertaining her sister in Lynch’s Coffee Shop. Bernie was on holiday from Wexford.


The Creamery

Bring flowers of the fairest,

Bring blossoms the rarest….

It’s May folks

Photo credit: Jim McSweeney


Wouldn’t you miss Weeshie?

They’ve named a roundabout after him in Killarney.. The roundabout is near Fitzgerald’s Stadium where Weeshie spent happy days as a player and official and later as a broadcaster.

I think a roundabout is a fitting tribute to him too as he often shirked the modh díreach in his questioning as he wandered into other topics or memories. He interviewed me once and I found him to be a lovely, kindly man. He loved to discover a connection and he found one with me. Weeshie has relatives in Kanturk and he had happy memories of the town.

He was born to broadcast on local radio. He was one of a kind.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Weeshie’s family at the dedication of the roundabout on Thursday April 28 2022 Photo; Radio Kerry


A Blast from the Past

Jim Halpin and a garda I can’t name at the door of Jim’s shop in Church Street in 2015.


The Creamery

There is a Facebook page called The Vintage Lens and recently it posted this photograph. Only people of a certain age will know what this is.

It’s a seperator. The picture was taken at a creamery in the 1950s or 60s. Men, like these in the photo brought their milk to the local branch creamery. Ours was Banagh, a branch of North Cork CoOperative Creameries.

The milk was taken in by the man on the landing and tested for butterfat content. The price you got for your milk depended on this test. Then the milk was separated and the skim milk was sold back to the farmers. You delivered your milk at one side of the building, drove or led your horse around to the other side and filled your churn with skim milk. This was used to feed calves and pigs.


On a Listowel street

Beautifully finished windows and doors are a feature of Listowel’s streetscape. These striking ones are on Upper William Street.


Badminton from the 1983 Pres. yearbook



The lights have gone up and the pavement is being restored. It looks lovely, very modern and as unobtrusive as it could be. I look forward to meetings, dining and performances here in the future.


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