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Tag: John Griffin

Another Anniversary, St. John’s Window of Reconciliation and Paddy Drury Remembered

This shrine to St. Teresa, who’s feast day occurs in November. It is in the Church of St. John In Ballincollig.


November is a time for remembering our loved ones who have passed to their eternal reward. I am going to share with you a piece from a lovely book  called Irish Stories of Love and Hope which was produced a few years ago to raise money for the Irish Hospice.


Peter Fallon

You turn

Hearing the joy

Of football

In the yard

You yearn

For the footfall

Of the lost

The scarred.

Again and again

And again

You feel the sten-

Gun attack

Of that “What if?”

And that, ‘What

Well then he’d be
a boy

Who’s ten.


St. John’s, Tralee, new Window

This is the Window of Reconciliation and it was blessed by Bishop Ray Browne on October 27 2017

My photograph does not do it justice so you’ll have to go to see it for yourself.

The window was executed by Thomas Denny who is a descendant of the Dennis of Tralee.

It is in three panels, each panel evoking reconciliation. The central panel depicts the prodigal son as he is embraced on his return by his delighted father. The right hand panel is inspired by Jesus reading from the book of Isaiah.

In the left hand panel, St. John, patron of the parish sets forth filled with The Holy Spirit.

I took this information from a leaflet I picked up in the church. It also told me that this is the first new stained glass window in the church in 60 years.


A Few Photos I took on the day of the recent performance of his Tom Crean Show by Aidan Dooley

Rose Wall with Aidan

Eilish Wren bought Aidan’s book

Elaine Kinsella with Tom Crean actor and writer, Aidan Dooley


John Griffin Again

This is the very competent O’Sullivan team who were looking after the sound and lighting and the media content on the day of The Young Adult Book Fest in Listowel Community Centre. On the right is John Griffin whose mother is originally from Listowel.


A Paddy Drury Story as remembered by Jerry Histon

When Paddy came home from his war work in Scotland after the 1914 1918 war, he had, of course, some money spared. After hitting Listowel he met two cronies and took them in for a few drinks. At the time drink was very scarce and it was suggested that certain publicans were not above eking out the supply of drink with materials that never saw the distillery. Anyway, Paddy asked the lady inside the bar for “three glasses of whiskey”. When those were downed, Paddy called the woman again “Mrs, give us three more glasses of nearly!” The lady was puzzled”What nearly?” she asked. ” nearly water, ma’am,”  Paddy shot at her, to her consternation.

A missioner, giving a retreat Moyvane, asked Paddy: “what is the difference between God’s mother and your mother?” I don’t know, but I do know there was an awful difference between their two sons!” Was Paddy’s humble reply.

Paddy hired with a local farmer and one of the conditions was that he should be home for The rosary each night. The man of the house generally offered up the rosary for “myself and my four and no more!” One night the farmer asked Paddy to offer the rosary. Paddy had a few drinks on board and was, anyhow, getting tired of the farmer, So his offering was “I offered this rosary for  myself and no more!”

<<<<<<<< An Important Correction re Drury Knockanure Satire >>>>>>>>

This correction is provided by a Knockanure local and the correction of the correction by Vincent Carmody. Thanks.

“The Rhyme about Knockanure was written by John O’Sullivan.  John, from Charles Street, was a reporter for the Kerryman. His daughter May Kathleen followed in his footsteps.  She was also married to an O’Sullivan. May Kathleen’s uncle was the famous journalists, T F. O’Sullivan.

( Eamon Kelly’s father in law was. Michael O Sullivan, from the Beara Peninsula, he was an Irish teacher in St Michael’s. He had nothing to do with the O’Sullivan satirised in this rhyme.

Drury wrote about John O’Sullivan.

In Listowel Town, there lives a clown, 

who would sell his soul for porter,

Sullivan John is the man,

 a dirty mean reporter.”


This Knockanure Local also had a photograph of Paddy Drury


A Wedding in the Behan Family

I took these photos of The Horseshoe window on November 17 2017

e car as a symbol of Progress, Tasty Cotter, Writers Week Competitions and an Emigrant’s Tale

Listowel January 2016; an ecar fuels beside the Bus Eireann shelter in The Square. In the background is St. John’s.


Tasty Man about town

(photos and text; Vincent Carmody)

Tasty Cotter

Timothy Fitzmarshall Cotter was
also known as ‘Tasty’ Cotter. He was a well loved Listowel character. The
family had a shop at the corner of Main Street and Church Street, Timothy
worked with the Urban Council as a rent collector. He always dressed in style
and was a familiar figure at all events, be entertainment, sporting or

Tasty was a very efficient
Hon.Sec.with the Listowel GAA club in the early 1900s and as you can see from
this 1908 photograph of The Independents, he was a well turned out footballer
as well, as were the rest.

Timothy trod the boards and was a
prominent actor and performer with an early drama group, known as ‘Listowel
Dramatic Class’.  He also was a member of
The Listowel Musical Society and he is included in that Society’s rare and well
preserved programme from their Grand Opening Concert in St Patrick’s Hall on
Tuesday March 4th, 1930.

There was a story told once by
Bryan McMahon of a time when Maurice Walsh (of Quite Man fame), had invited a
number of his friends from Listowel; Bryan McMahon, Tasty and a few more to
attend an opening night in Dublin. Afterwards Maurice Walsh and his friends
adjourned to Boland’s, his local in Stillorglin for drinks. Here they were
joined by some members of the press. As the evening progressed those present
gave their various party pieces, Tasty sang his; an operatic number in Italian.
The press people in particular, were enthralled. One was overheard to ask, how
one from such a rural part of the country could have such clear diction in that
language. Hearing this, Tasty’s reply was spontaneous. He said, ” Friend,
if I had the benefit of a University education, like that lavished, like axle
grease on the heads of newspaper reporters, then sir, I would have become
Governor General of Hyderabad.”


Do you know a Young writer?

If you know a young person who loves to write please encourage them to visit The National Children’s Literary Festival.

The competitions are free to enter and the prizes are good.

There are competitions for adult writers too.


One Listowel Emigrant’s story

Junior Griffin and his late brother, Bert

Junior and Bert’s father’s people come from Knockalougha outside
Duagh. It was from here that Junior’s father emigrated to the U.S. in 1915. He
remembered getting off the boat and seeing a paperboy announcing the main
story; The sinking of the Lusitania. He found work in the Ford Motor Co. in Detroit
and he worked there under the first Henry Ford. They were manufacturing the
Model T.

John Griffin Senior experienced tragedy early in his life in
the new world. He married a lady from Tipperary called Sheridan. Their son was
very young when John’s wife died in the great flu epidemic of 1920. He brought
his young son home with him in 1926 and this boy, Jimmy, was raised in Fourhane
by Junior’s grandmother.

John married again. His second wife, Junior’s mother, was also
Griffin from Fourhane. They married in Detroit and their first daughter, Joan, was born there
in 1931. Junior’s maternal grandmother had 12 children, 11 of whom lived to
adulthood but the eleven were never under the one roof together. The eldest
two, Annie and Josie had emigrated to America before the youngest 2 were born.

When the Griffins returned from the U.S. they settled first
in Knockalougha and their eldest daughter, Patsy was born while they were
there. Her birth was well remembered in the family. Junior’s father had to
travel through two feet of snow to Duagh to fetch the midwife on February 25

Jimmy Griffin, Junior’s older half brother joined the army
and was one of Douglas Hyde’s official army drivers. After leaving the army he
settled in Limerick and he married a lady called Eileen O’Riordan, a grandaunt
of Dolores of The Cranberries. Jimmy has passed away.


Renovation Work Underway here

Hammering banging and clouds of sawdust are emerging from here recently. A big refurb job underway apparently.


Look Who Got the Golden Ticket

Bernard O’Connell, formerly of Upper William Street and his wife at the Bruce Springsteen concert.

Bernard took this picture as the stadium at the Air Canada Centre filled up.

A day out in Fota, Junior Griffin and Listowel sailors

It was Fathers’ Day 2014.

Three happy little girls decided to treat their Daddy to a trip to Fota Wildlife Park.

Some of the fabulous animals and birds we saw up close and personal in Fota.

Fota has recently added a tropical house and a Tiger Garden.  If you haven’t been for a while,

these are well worth going for.

You can actually watch butterflies hatching out and learning to fly.

For obvious reasons I had to photograph the tiger through a fence.


These blocked up windows are in the premises at Leahy’s Corner, now Punjab Spice Indian restaurant.

The reason for the blocking up of windows is explained in Wikipaedia thus;

The window tax was a property tax based on the number of windows in a house. It was a significant social, cultural, and architectural force in England, France and Scotland during the 18th and 19th centuries. To avoid the tax some houses from the period can be seen to have bricked-up window-spaces (ready to be glazed or reglazed at a later date), as a result of the tax. In England and Wales it was introduced in 1696 and was repealed in 1851, 156 years after first being introduced. France (established 1798 – repealed 1926) and Scotland both had window taxes as well for similar reasons.


St. Mary’s is a building site this June 2014. The work is projected to take 2 months.


One of Listowel’s most genial and knowledgeable gentlemen, John (Junior) Griffin with his trusty bicycle.


A Life on the ocean waves for Listowel father and son team

Derek and Conor Dillon

and son duo from Listowel in County Kerry are taking on the double-handed
challenge in this year’s Round Ireland
Yacht Race
. The pair Derek Dillon and son Conor, a 19–year–old
Univesity of Limerick student, will race the family Dehler 34 ‘Big Deal’
that is based on the Shannon Estuary.

The Foynes Yacht
pairing have been racing together inshore for over
 ten years, and have competed at numerous ICRA’s, Cork Weeks and Calves
Weeks. The pair are sponsored by leading marine supplier, Union Chandlery.

recently made the move into offshore racing, enjoying recent success in
multiple ISORA Qualifying

look forward to the competitive adventure associated with doing such an
endurance race, double- handed’, father Derek told

The pair also
plan to compete in the Volvo Cork Week
double-handed and compete fully-crewed in Cork Dry Gin Calves Week, in which
they have finished first in class in the past two consecutive years.   



In response to Monday’s post, a friend sent me this short poem by Jet Stack for all the carers

McKenna’s Social, Corpus Christi and a Moloney family from Duagh

 McKenna’s Social from Junior Griffin  (continued)

At the request of the staff members I organised another trip in 1963, this time to Galway taking in Salthill also. The new Galway Cathedral was almost completed at that time and we spent a long time walking through and admiring this beautiful church.

My most abiding memory of that day was our stop in Ennis.

Through our then local travel agent, the late Michael Kennelly  I had organised lunch at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis and on arriving we all trooped in.There was many non staff members on this tour  also and I finished up at a table with just Tim Shanahan and myself. Many will remember Tim from the paint department and from the glass cutting at McKenna’s.

We were all viewing our menus when the swing doors from the kitchen area were literally burst open and in a John Wayne like swagger, what I would call a portly, pompous gentleman wearing a dickie bow  confronted us.

Standing in the middle of the room and clapping his hands he exclaimed, “Attention please, who is in charge here ?”.  I’m afraid the eyes of my colleagues turned to me and like a frightened school-boy and putting up my hand I retorted, “I am sir”. Turning to the waiter and clicking his fingers and then pointing towards me , “Waiter,” he said, “that gentleman  is free”

Yes, I did get my free lunch but it proved to be a costly one  for many years to follow, as when any discussion of food came up at shop level Tim Shanahan would always remark;  “Ah, you did me out of a meal. If you had said that I organized that trip with you, I would have got a free meal that day above in Ennis as well.”

Just a few memories of days gone by, as said previously our staff social went from strength to strength for many years after, even getting tickets for McKenna’s social at times were harder to come by than a ticket for a  Kerry/Dublin All Ireland final. 

Thank you Junior for those lovely memories


Some more photos of people walking in the Corpus Christi procession 2013


Fr Denis Moloney with  his sister and his father, John Moloney of Islandanny, Duagh.



Máire MacMahon’s picture is quite a talking point. Maura Brennan of Colbert Street and now New York contacted Margaret Dillon to give us 2 extra names.

Back Row second from left is Sheila Brosnan of Woodford.

Second from right is Noreen O’Connor McAleer of Ballygologue and now Chicago 

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