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Tag: Irish Traditions

November in Church

Trant’s Pharmacy, Market Street


November 2023 in St. Mary’s

Seats and kneelers at the front of the church have now been upholstered. Tried one out and I must report that they are very comfortable indeed.


Irish Traditions

by Kathleen Jo Ryan and Bernard Share

Below is an extract from an essay by Bryan MacMahon on the Irish people he knew.

Book Launch

We had a great time in St. John’s on Saturday, November 11. Vincent’s latest book is probably his best and most important book yet.

Kathy Buckley, a humble Listowel girl, daughter of Lar, the local cooper, ran the White House kitchen under three US presidents. Vincent has done a marvellous job of research on this one and the beautifully presented book is full of information, photographs and interesting stories from behind the scenes.

Finbar and Cathy Mare were in charge of sales.

Some of Vincents old Listowel friends gathered for the launch

John Cahill, Anne Crowley, Owen MacMahon, Elizabeth Moriarty and Kay Moloney Caball.

Katie Hannon launched the book for her childhood postman. She caught up too with Canon Declan O’Connor, a fellow Duagh native.

Photo; Tidy Town

Just some of the Tidy Town stalwarts at the presentation of local prizes last week.

Fact of the Day

With delight I bring you today’s fact, sent to us by Vincent Doyle



Church Street Lower


US Book published in 1985

Edited by Kathleen Jo Ryan and Bernard Share

Extract from John B. keane’s essay on The Quality of Neighbourliness.

The Ballybunion Buds


A Shared Pain…Story in photographs

The lighter penguin is an elderly female whose partner died this year. The darker one is a younger male who lost his partner two years ago. Biologists have followed them as they meet every night to comfort each other. They stand for hours together watching the lights. 

[Photographer Tobias Baumgaertner captured this image of two widowed fairy penguins looking over the Melbourne skyline. It has won an award in Oceanographic magazine’s Ocean Photography Awards. Via: MeliMels99 on Twitter]


Have you a Product to Sell?


My Final Thoughts on Nurses

Based on what I have read in this book.

The overriding impression among the Irish nurses who had trained in Britain that Ethel interviewed for the book was that nurse training in Ireland was a closed shop to many. The following quote from Mary McCarthy from Limerick seems to me to sum it up.

“I had not applied to nurse in Ireland. It was whom you knew and what you knew there to get into nursing. Your education meant a lot, for instance if you went to a private school or boarding school, also if your father was a doctor, dentist or solicitor.”

As well as this snobbery, would be nurses in Ireland had to fight for places against nursing nuns whose jobs were guaranteed.

English trained Irish nurses were often from farming backgrounds. There was great camaraderie and support in the nurses’ homes which were usually on site with the hospital. Homesickness was often the biggest problem. Most seemed to have an ambition to return and work in Ireland. Many did.


Deo Gratias

I am delighted to report that they have painted the pillar box at the end of Church Street. It looks smashing. They haven’t done the ones in the walls yet.


A Fact

More people get heart attacks and more cars break down on Mondays than any other day of the week.


Nurses, a Dog, a Mart and a shark

Bryan MacMahon statue in the grounds of Kerry Writers’ Museum


Ballylongford Thanksgiving

Photo; Helen Lane

Beautiful harvest thanksgiving altar in St. Michael’s.


Dog walking….Advice from your pouch


More Titbits about Irish Nurses in Britain

Nursing in Ireland was held in higher regard as a career than it was in Britain. Places in nurse training were harder to get and usually there was a fee to be paid.

English trained nurses were accepted into Irish hospitals and worked side by side with Irish trained staff.

An Irish trainee nurse in an English hospital was very often expected to work on a ward on her first day in the hospital. It was very much a learning by doing type of training. It wasn’t until the 1960s that auxiliary nurses and nurses aides were employed. Before that nurses did all the washing and cleaning as well as nursing duties.

Prospects of rising to the rank of Matron in an Irish hospital were slim. Top jobs were always reserved for nuns. In Britain too, matrons were usually unmarried. the long unsociable hours and hard work were thought unsuitable for a married woman.


A Treasure from a Charity Shop

I paid €5 for this in the Listowel Irish Wheelchair shop.

The book has stunning photographs by a lady called Kathleen Jo Ryan. She also co edited the book. It was published in the US in 1985.

There are essays by John B. Keane and Bryan MacMahon, Caoimhín ODannachair and others. I will give you a flavour of these soon.

Look at these lovely Listowel photos…copyright Kathleen Jo Ryan. These are photos of photos in a book but you can appreciate that the images are brilliant;

Listowel Mart


A Fact

The phrase “raining cats and dogs” originated in 17th century England. During heavy downpours many unfortunate cats and dogs drowned and were washed down the flooded streets giving the impression that it had literally rained cats and dogs.


I gave you false information last week. Loreto Weir informs us that sharks can get cancer.


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