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: Jimmy Hickey Page 1 of 6

The Bog

Road works on Church Street 2022

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It’s that Time of Year

A picture is worth a thousand words. These pictures which Mary O’Donnell took in the bog last week tell the story of our forefathers. Handcut turf drying in the May sunshine is a sight that spans the decades.

The turf is harvested with skills and tools passed on from generation to generation. It’s a link with our ancestors, a beloved tradition that is fiercely defended whenever it comes under threat.

In the first picture you will observe the wind turbines on the right, the past and the future side by side.

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Tara Griffin Shares Some ads

There is a great swell of nostalgia on a Facebook group named Listowel and North Kerry do you know.

A recent contributor to this site is Tara Griffin, the late Bert’s daughter. She is sorting through her father’s archive of photographs and memorabilia. Look at the above great Listowel advertisements from a match programme.

Listowel where everyone is a poet.

For a bus to Duagh

A plane to New York

A slow boat to China

Or a train to Cork

Consult Michael Kennelly

I presume the Fountain Café was Roly Chute’s with “the finest chips to pass your lips”.

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Old Ballybunion

A while ago, Glin Historical Society shared some lovely old photos of Ballybunion is the days of changing huts and donkey rides.

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Jimmy Hickey, Dancing Master

Photo shared on Facebook, Listowel and North Kerry,do you know

Siamsa Tire have shared a great video of Jimmy Hickey.

Here is the link;

Jimmy Hickey, Dancing Master

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A Brian Bilson Poem for you

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St. Patrick’s Day 2022 Continued

St. Patrick’s Day mass in St. Mary’s Listowel as legendary Listowel dancing master, Jimmy Hickey, dances before the altar with two of his star former pupils, Jonathan Kelliher and Patrick Brosnan.

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Meanwhile in New York

The New York Kerryman were out in force, joined this year by a Listowel Kerryman, Jimmy Moloney, Mayor of County Kerry.

Denis Hegarty sent us some pictures. That’s Denis back in his usual spot proudly carrying the banner of The Kerrymen’s association.

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People I met at the Parade

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A Puzzle

Is this the flag of Palastine?

Why is it flying in Ballybunion on St. Patrick’s Day?

Very strange?

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Some Placenames

Triopal…a bundle of rushes

Billeragh, Biolarach…A Place with cress

Ballygrennane, Baile an Ghrianain…the sunny homestead

Ennismore, Inis Mór, The big peninsula

Bedford, Ath an Turais, A ford on the way to the holy well

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A Poem from Joe Fahy

Exploitation

Culture to Cain, the importance of label
In expressing social status.
Economic power, its Everest, from the steppingstone
It’s foundation, the rock of exploitation.
It’s superiority, its status,
Who pays for the products on the table?
It’s resources from third world locations.
Mixed by and through manipulation,
Political in essence
The priesthood of power,
Political domination,
Economic exploitation,
Social and Cultural
Marginalisation.
Our menus,
From first world T.V. stations
Emphasis on ‘having.’
Children forever grieving,
Totalitarian values at the
Crucifix of consumption.
The two thieves of much
And more, on either side-
Twin towers of greed.
But resurrection is guaranteed-
The first of the Nazarenes’
Abel, in our era.
Remember apartheid,
Our contemporary Roman Era.
That fella of the sixties,
Nelson Mandela.
Romero in the eighties,
Ignacio Ella Curia in the nineties,
The new Holy Land Cuscatlán,
Meaning, ‘land of Rivers and Jewels’
El Salvador, our Saviour.

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Sunday Morning in Listowel and photos from the Launch of The Personals and he Jimmy Hickey DVD

Rutting Season 2019



Photo: Chris Grayson

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Sunday Morning, Coming Down



” There ain’t nothing short of dying half as lonesome as the sound

Of the sleeping city sidewalks, Sunday morning coming down.”


The streets are quiet in Listowel too on Sunday mornings. It’s a good time to snap the streetscape. The light wasn’t great on the morning I took my stroll so the photographs are a bit dark.


Eileen O’Sullivan was coming from mass. She stopped to offer a few words of encouragement.

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Launch of The Personals

I have a few photographs for you from the launch of The Personals in Waterstones on October 3 2019

This book by RTE journalist, Brian O’Connell, is a look at the stories behind the small ads; the classifieds as we called them.

Brian bravely contacted the sellers of interesting items he spotted in his trawl through the small ads in the papers and on Done deal and he met with them and more often than not, got an interesting story.

The launch drew a a packed house with a few celebrities in attendance.

Seán O’Rourke told us a few tall tales of a great grandmother who regularly washed her burial shroud or habit and hung it out on the line to air it so that it would be ready whenever…. He told us of a mother who made sheets from flour bags, and he mentioned a few of the more unusual items for sale that Brian tells us about in The Personals.

The author, Brian O’Connell watching on as his book is launched.

Will you look who I met. Evelyn O’Rourke is a colleague of Seán’s and Brian’s. She remembered our time making a programme for TG4 with great fondness. It was she who presented the programme where Julie Evans came from Australia to research her gr. gr grandmother who had left from the workhouse in Listowel under the Earl Grey Scheme. Below is the link to the story which was picked up by the makers of the Tar Abhaile programme.

Earl Grey Story

Me in  between Evelyn O’Rourke and Sean O’Rourke.

Brian O’Connell signing my copy of The Personals. Look what he has in his left hand. I invited him to the launch of A Minute of Your Time. You’d never know. He just might come.

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Jimmy Hickey’s DVD



This DVD has been years in the making. It was a labour of love for Jimmy Deenihan and a few more and I’m delighted it got such a good reception in The Listowel Arms on Sunday last and I am so sorry that I couldn’t be there.

John Kelliher took some great photos on the night. These are just a few, click on the link for more.

The man himself enjoying his big night.



Jimmy in the company of his friends and fellow dancers with the North Cork music maestro, Liam O’Connor


Irish in Virginia 1900, A Poem and Launch of Jimmy Hickey DVD

Photo: Ita Hannon

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Let us not forget



( from Limerick History Gazette archive)

Th

Irish immigrants circa 1900 coming up from a 16-hour shift in the Virginia coal mines.

They were paid in company coins which could only be used in the company store and for company housing.

They were virtual slaves, but they kept their families together, went to church every Sunday, and sent their kids to school to be educated thus ensuring that future generations would live free and prosper.

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A Thread to hold on to in these turbulent times.

The Way it is



by William Stafford

There ia thread you follow

It goes among things that change.

But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it, you can’t get lost.

tragedies happen; people get hurt or die,

And you suffer and get old.

Nothing you can do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

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Jimmy Hickey’s Life in Dance


Jimmy Hickey has led an extraordinary life. He has achieved everything he ever dreamed of in the world of dance.

Now his place in the history of Irish dance is to be celebrated in a DVD; Jimmy Hickey and his place in in the History of North Kerry Step Dancing.

The DVD will be launched by Fr. Pat Ahern in The Listowel Arms on Sunday, October 6 2019 at 7.00

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In Listowel Town Park



Community Centres and Dandy Lodge

Danny Hannon’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, Thurles train station and Munster Championships for Listowel

The Tidy Town corner of Listowel Town Square

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Danny Hannon Honoured at Writers’ Week 2019


Danny held his beloved Eileen’s hand at his big night at Listowel Writers Week, May 29 2019.

The Hannon family at the door of the family home as they prepare to take the short walk to The Listowel Arms for Opening Night.

Maurice escorted his mother while Joanna Keane, daughter of his great friend, John B. escorted Danny.

The night was filled with emotion, love,  pride, affection and a tinge of sadness.

The story of Danny’s contribution to the Arts was told as this very humble gentle man listened. There was talk of drama and books, of plays and playing and particularly innovation in the field of theatre. Many of Danny’s family and friends were there to celebrate him.


 V.I.P. guests Joseph O’Connor, Colm Tóibín and Carol Drinkwater listened enthralled.

And still Danny held Eileen’s hand. He later joked about the manicure.

The hall was packed. Danny has a long association with Mercier Press who co incidentally sponsored the trophy.

Danny and Eileen posed with Eddie and Helen Moylan, parents of Eileen who designed and crafted the beautiful presentation piece at her Claddagh Design studio in Macroom.

His good friend, Jimmy Hickey was on hand to congratulate Danny. He was just one of a long line of well-wishers.

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Joys of Free Travel

 I had a little rail trip last weekend and I took a photo of this Victorian post box in some train Station but I cant remember which one.

This is Thurles.

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Listowel Pitch and Putt


I was walking in the park yesterday when I spotted that the pitch and putt course was closed. There is a good reason. The hard working club members are getting the course ready for the Munster Championships at the weekend.

The always beautiful course is looking even more beautiful today.



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