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: Harp and Lion Page 1 of 5

Remembering Seán MacCarthy

Main Street, Listowel

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Listowel Shop in the 1930s

Galvin’s of William Street Listowel.

Another lovely old photo from the good folk at Tipperary Photos of Munster.

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Pres Magazine 1991

Presentation girls pay tribute to one of our iconic local writers.

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Then and Now

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Listowel in Happy and Unhappy Times

In Market Street, Listowel in November 2021

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Did you know?

Listowel Garda Station was once the local RIC station. It was the scene of a famous mutiny in 1920.

The Ladybird version; The police commissioner for Munster planned to impose Martial Law on the town and to amalgamate the police and the military in a bid to wipe out Sinn Féin.

Constable Jeremiah Mee declared that he was an Irishman and with that he plonked his cap belt and bayonet on the table and refused to follow Ferguson’s orders. His fellow officers supported him and they too refused to cooperate and prevented his arrest.

Later that day 25 officers met in what is now John B. Keane’s pub and it was agreed that 14 single policemen would resign from the force.

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Happy Boys at The Falls

Seán Keane sent the photo. Éamon ÓMurchú enhanced the photo and researched the names.

Eamon O’Connor is lying in front with his hand to his head. On his right (left in photo) is Eamon Leahy. Behind him is his brother, Tadhg Leahy, beside him behind Eamon O’Connor is Ciarán ÓMurchú. Buddy Scanlon is the boy with the towel over his shoulder. Behind him is Monty Galvin and Toddy Scanlon is behind Monty.

Any help in naming the others will be greatly appreciated.

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New Mode of Transport

My first sighting of an adult scooter in Listowel.

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Then and Now

Harp and Lion in 2007
Harp and Lion in 2021

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A Christmas Window for 2021

John R.’s gingerbread house display is in keeping with the delicious fare inside this shop.

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River Works

Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú

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River Feale Development

Barbara Walsh has been keeping an eye on the massive job underway on the River Feale behind Convent Street.

The fine weather has meant that work is proceeding without delay with the crew working long hours and the huge logistic operation moving smoothly.

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My Fact of the Day

In January 1964, Nelson Mandela, leader of the African National Congress was jailed for life for sabotage and plotting to overthrow the South African Government. (Source; Irish Examiner)

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A Highly Respected Listowel born Priest

New Zealand Tablet, Volume XXIV, Issue 50, 9 April 1897, Page 15

THE LATE REV. FATHER O’CONNOR.
(From our Christchurch correspondent.)
Very great and widespread regret is felt at the demise of the Rev. Father Daniel O’Connor, who died somewhat unexpectedly at his late residence at Rangiora at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, 31st ult. The rev gentleman, who was parish priest of Rangiora, had not been in robust health for some time. Yet no serious results of his indisposition were anticipated until he visited Wellington in the early part of the year in order to consult Dr. Cahill, who informed Father O’Connor that his malady was a hopeless consumption.

In accordance with the doctor’s advice Father O’Connor abandoned his projected visit to Napier and returned home. He became rapidly worse and succumbed to the desease.

He was going about on Tuesday last and apparently fairly well. On the night of the same day he retired at eight o’clock but became restless and unable to sleep. Father Tubman, Miss Kellier and the Rev. Mother and the Sisters of St. Joseph were with him to the end.

Father O’Connor, who was approaching forty years of age, was born in l858 at Listowel, County Kerry, Ireland. He studied at St. John’s College in Waterford, and was ordained priest on the 18th of June, 1882. Immediately after his ordination he came to Christchurch, under Archbishop Redwood, who appointed him to Greyniouth. Thence he came to Port Lyttleton, where he remained several years. For the administration of that parish he received warm praise from Archbishop Redwood.

Ten years ago Father O’Connor was appointed parish priest of Rangiora, where he has done most excellent work. He was always most generous in supplementing from his own pocket the funds for the maintenance of the schools, and in every way sought to promote the cause of education. The whole parish is left absolutely free of debt.

During his residence in the Rangiora and Kaiapoi districts he has endeared himself to all classes of people. His house and all that it contained was open to every one. As an instance of the warm affection of his people for him, some of the ladies of the parish waited upon him a few days before his death in order to present him with a purse of sovereigns wherewith to meet the extra expenses of his illness. This thoughtful action made a deep impression upon the dying priest, and he was most anxious to acknowledge the gift through the newspapers. This he did not live to do.

New Zealand Tablet, Volume 04, Issue 6, 4 June 1897, Page 16

The Rangiora Standard has the following. The following was received by a private letter at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Ireland, when a cable message was received there of the death of the Very Rev. Father O’Connor, at Rangiora, N.Z., this church presented a most mournful appearance on the 3rd of April, when Requiem Mass was celebrated, and thirty-five priests with their bishop, were present. Also at Listowel, a Requiem Mass was held at the church in which the late lamented priest said his first mass. This indeed was the most impressive, as all the relatives of the deceased priest were present. 

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Veno’s Soothes your Cough in Seconds

Irish Examiner Archive

Speed seems to have been the USP of this old cough medicine. In the days when T.B. was rife across the land, anyone coughing was looked on with suspicion. Nowadays with Covid among us, we dont like to have anyone cough near us either.

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Beautiful Cong, Co. Mayo

Photos; Éamon ÓMurchú

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Move Completed

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Church St. Girls in 1958, Races 2019, a Funny story about the Harp and Lion and Stack’s Arcade is repainted

Well known Facade remodelled

Stacks Arcade was repainted recently. It looks absolutely smashing, modern and stylish.


Below is McKenna’s big window during race week 2019.

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Anthem of the ICA

This song used to be sung at all ICA gatherings. I wonder if it still is.

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Snapping the Fashion at Races 2019

Lorraine and her mother model Lorraine’s beautiful hats.

The lady on the far left, Mary Kelliher was the winner on Ladies Day.



I dont know all the names in these photos but I’m sure you’ll recognise the local ladies



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Another gem from Eileen Sheridan


It is summer 1958 and these are the girls

Front row Ann Gleeson

Mary Keane,  Noreen Scanlon, Noreen McSweeney, Geraldine Flaherty

Angela Breen, Eileen Guerin, ? ,Kathleen Kenny

Maisie McSweeney, Eileen Scanlon

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Some Anecdotes from Vincent Carmody










Mary,   yournice study of the Harp and Lion and of Martin of the Chute family painters dynasty reminded me of a number of stories, the first, recalled to me by John B himself.

The feature has three phrases,

Latin: Spes Mea In Deo, My Hope is in God

French: Maison De Ville,   Town House

Erin Go Bragh:  Ireland Forever.

One time, when he was quite young, he said, a number of American tourists had walked up Church Street, they were admiring McAuliffes plaster work, this particular day they stood outside the Keane families front door, looking across the road at the Harp and Lion. As they tried to decipher the various languages on the plaster work, the young John B. came out his own front door, one of the Americans sensing that the young man would have the inside information as to the meaning of the phrases, said, hey son, can you explain the meaning of the language on that piece across the road. Of course, the young Keane, sensing that a dollar tip might be in the offering, stood out on the pavement in front of the visitors and with typical confidence, said,

The Latin translation is, I am a Lion,

The Franch means, I have eaten Rhubarb, 

And with a great flourish he said, Erin Go Bragh means, don’t stand under me. 

John B. told me that the visitors gave him a standing ovation and not one but two dollars.

The Chute family have been Listowel painters and sign writers  since the 1800’s,

Bryan McMahon once recalled, he was traveling in the west of Ireland one time, and stayed for a day in the town of Gort, as he went around the town he came across a painter on a trestle, painting a house front, Bryan stood, watching the tradesman, after a while the painter looked down, recognising the Listowel man, he shouted down, Master McMahon, am I as good as the Chutes of Listowel. 

Our Listowel master craftsmen, Pat McAuliffe, Paddy Whelan (The Cement God, Galvin’s old home at the corner of The Square and Bridge Road is a great example of his work) and the Chutes are known nationally.   

             

Classy’s Bus, Repurposing in 2015 and Main Street Listowel in Sept 2019

Ta Dah! Isn’t it gorgeous ?













Classy’s Bus



On the Friday of Raceweek, Ladies Day there is a complimentary bus service from the Square to The Island. It is customary for ladies who are entering the Best Dressed Lady Competition to wear footwear that is totally unsuitable for walking to the course or for walking any distance anywhere. So the directors of Listowel Races lay on a shuttle bus for the afternoon.

In homage to this, Lynch’s coffee shop set up this window display.

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Upcycle recycle in 2015


Today’s Races story is from Listowel Tidy Towns alternative fashion event in 2015. 

This is how I told the story on my blog in September 2015

This fashionista, Anne Leneghan from Cork is looking fabulous in green. Anne and I are old friends and I took the below photos of her on the racecourse before the event.

Anne was wearing a vintage dress in a beautiful green brocade. She had accessorized it with vintage gloves and handbag, both worn originally by Anne’s mother. But the piece de resistance was Anne’s hat which was made for her by her friend, milliner, Maria Stack. The base is a piece cut from the dress when the girls decided to shorten it. The next bit was made from an old handbag and the “feathers” are not feathers at all but some things they sourced from an artificial flower display. Anne’s beautiful vintage earrings are connemara marble and marcasite.

Maria Stack, whose family were so successful at this event in 2014 had suffered a family bereavement. So Maria was here on her own to support her friend, Anne. Maria is always beautifully turned out and a great supporter of Ladies Day and Vintage Fashion Day.


Anne is on stage describing her up cycling and restyling story to Orlagh Winters.

The judges loved her too but she didn’t win. She’ll be back again this year with another fetching outfit and another story.

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Lower William Street and The Small Square





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