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Tag: Ladies’ Day 2015 Page 1 of 2

The Very last Ladies Day photos, a Christmas shop opens in Listowel and a fire in Greenlawn

Photo;   Timothy John McSweeney


Saturday Oct. 10 2015

Yes, I have the date right. Bank of Ireland Listowel was open last Saturday for a mortgage event. Could the Celtic Tiger be creeping back on to our streets? If so, let’s hope we have learned the lessons of history.


Some more well dressed ladies at Ladies’ Day 2015


Where did you get that hat?


Big Houses in Tralee in the 19th century

IN the early to mid 1800 s The principal gentlemen’s seats in the Tralee area were :

  • Ballyseedy, the finely planted demesne of Arth. Blennerhasset, Esq., occupied by Sir Edward Denny, Bart.; 
  • Oak Park, the residence of John Bateman, Esq., situated in grounds well wooded with oak, among which are some trees of singular size and beauty, and open to the public; 
  • Belmont, of the Rev. A. B. Rowan; 
  • Ballard House, of Fras. Crosbie, Esq.; 
  • Spring Lodge, of F. J. Martelli, Esq.; Lower Cannon, of J. Eagar, Esq.; Magh, of W. Seely, Esq.; 
  • Chute Hall, of W. Chute, Esq.; 
  • Spring Hill, of Captain Chute;
  •  Arbella, of Fras. Feet, Esq.; 
  • Plover Hill, of George Gun, Esq.; and 
  • Frogmore Lodge, of the Rev. Barry Denny.

fromHistorical Tralee


The countdown has begun

All the elves at Listowel Garden Centre have been really really busy. They opened their Christmas shop on October 7 2015. Every year I think their display just can’t be better than last year’s and every year it is. Do drop in and see for yourself.

Danny Russell tells me that he has seen Christmas displays in Harrods and Brown Thomas and he thinks that Listowel Garden Centre Christmas Shop 2015 is better.

I dropped in early to take some photos before all of this beautiful stock starts to walk out the door.


What a Shame!

Greenlawn Nursing Home has been vacant  and neglected for some years now. On Thursday last, October 8 2015 it was extensively damaged internally by fire and smoke.

New Chair of Listowel Writers Week and The last photos from Ladies day 2015

Stag in Killarney National Park       (Jim McSweeney)


Elizabeth Dunn, Newly elected Chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week

The reason that this essay is accompanied by a photo of both Liz and Jim Dunn is because Jim, through his work on the Athea mural is well known to my blog followers. Liz is his talented and hard working wife. In taking on the role of Chairperson of Writers’ Week, Liz is cementing her love of Ireland and her love of literature as she (and Jim) continue to contribute to the cultural life of their adopted home.

Who is Liz Dunne?

Here is the answer in her own words

Seventeen years
ago Jim and I were house hunting for our retirement home in France. We had
taken our daughters on holiday there on a regular basis and the lifestyle,
language and culture appealed to us greatly; as did the slim possibility of
meeting past pupils from our former lives as teachers.

Today, I sit at
my desk being congratulated on my election as Chairperson of Listowel Writers’
Week for 2016. How on earth did THAT happen?

My background is
that of teaching; my first and only choice of career (apart from a brief desire
to be a ballet dancer or vet).

In search of
‘free’ accommodation, I took posts in independent schools in the U.K. As many
such schools provide boarding facilities for their pupils, most of my teaching
posts involved being ‘in loco parentis’ and residential. As a result, I lived a
kind of ‘Downton Abbey’ existence in many beautiful locations with gardeners,
handymen, cooks, cleaners, matrons and assistant staff. The only downside,
forgive the pun, was that my accommodation was ’ in lieu’ of the very demanding
job of looking after the children morning, noon and night on both weekdays and
at weekends. This of course involved annual agonising over dormitory
arrangements, staff rotas, evening and weekend activities and the inevitable
mountain of paperwork now involved. I could regale you with tales of my charges
and their many adventures but in this day and age I have to protect the
innocent (and the not so innocent) and I can’t afford to be sued!! I did toy
with the idea of creating a board game to enlighten those who think working in
a ’posh’ school is a wheeze, nothing could be further from the truth but I
loved it.

As the thought of
retirement loomed, Jim and I realised that our ‘Downton Abbey’ style of
accommodation was drawing to a close and that, never having owned a house, it
was time to start house hunting in France. Friends who had already purchased a
home here encouraged us to visit Ireland before we disappeared to France for

We docked at
Rosslare on a grim February evening with a grumpy teenager and little idea of
where we actually were; not helped by the weather conditions that meant we
couldn’t actually see where we were!

Jim suffered
Guinness poisoning on the first night and the weather (like the teenager’s
mood) showed little improvement over the long weekend. On our last day we
ventured into Abbeyfeale and casually looked into the window of Jerry Flynn,
saw a cottage, went to look at it, fell in love, put in an offer, had the offer
rejected, realised we were dealing with a different currency so upped the offer
and won ownership of our ’forever’ home (I did all this whilst Jim still
suffered. It wasn’t until three months later that he actually set foot inside
the house!)

In 2009 with both
of us facing yet another mountain of paperwork and stress as we each faced yet
another school inspection, we decided enough was enough and decided to retire
to Ireland permanently.

Going from a very
busy life to the quiet of the Irish countryside was marvellous for us both but
it wasn’t long before I needed an outlet. We had left family behind in the UK
and our beloved daughters had both moved to Switzerland. I needed to be needed.

Suffice to say
that the annual invitation for volunteers by Listowel Writers’ Week that
October tempted me, filled the void and the rest, as they say, is history.


Ladies Day at Listowel 2015

The style at Listowel Races on Ladies Day 2015 was such that I had to drip feed it in here over time. Here are a few last photos I took later on on the day.

It is in the nature of a day at the races, that one wanders about mixing and mingling with different sets of friends. Inevitable that means that I have taken some people more than once in different combinations. It does not denote any favoritism on my part.


The late Garda Kennelly of Moyvane

A few weeks ago I told you about the tragic drowning while on duty of  Garda Michael Kennelly of Knochanure in 1934.

Garda Michael Kennelly is featured in the
‘Gardai 1930’ photo, seated extreme left. He hailed from Newtownsandes
(now Moyvane) Co. Kerry and lived in Aillebrack with his wife Alice
McHale-Kennelly. He was killed ‘on duty’ in January 1934 when he and
his colleague Sergeant Forde, were returning to Maam Garda Station
after escorting a female patient to Ballinasloe Mental Hospital. On
driving through Galway the hackney car in which they were travelling
left the road and entered the River Corrib at Woodquay. Garda Kennelly
was drowned along with the others in the car.    (Clifden 2000)


Newly refurbished and ramped Plaza


Listowel’s newest shopkeeper

In the centre of this photo is Katie Heaton, flanked by her grandmother and father. Katie opened her new shop, Kerry Wool, in Main Street Listowel on Monday October 12 2015. The shop will sell knitting and sewing supplies as well as hand knit garments. In opening this shop, Katie is following in the footsteps of her grandmother, who has years of experience in the knitting yarn and craft business.

Lisselton, Listowel Military Tattoo flag day and some more style on Ladies’ Day 2015

Sunset at Ballybunion August 2015 (Ballybunion Prints)


Listowel Military Tattoo Flag Day

Shoppers coming to town on Saturday September 26 2015 might be forgiven for thinking that the town had been invaded by a motley crew of military from the armies and air corps of the world. No invasion at all, just the hard working people who run the Military Weekend collecting for their big project.

Read all about it HERE


Lisselton Then and Now from Time Travel Kerry

Lartigue Monorail, Lisselton station-

The unique Listowel-Ballybunion Railway was opened in 1888 at a cost of £30,000 and it ran for 36 years until it was closed in 1924. The train carried passengers, freight, cattle and sand from Ballybunion. The station had two lines and two switching points at which trains could be crossed, which happened in busy times. 

The station building was of corrugated iron and had ticket offices and a waiting room. The line was only barely financially viable for the whole of its existence; it supposedly never made a profit. The closure was hastened by the severe damage that was inflicted on the line during the civil war of 1921-23.
A spark from the chimney of a Locomotive once set fire to the thatched public house in Lisselton causing it to be burned to the ground. Currently a diesel replica of the train is running in Listowel at certain times of the year.
These views here are of Lisselton station looking West in the late 1800s and the same view(approximately) in late 2014.
(No credit available for the original picture)
(Some history from M Guerin’s fine book on the subject)

Text and photos from Time Travel Kerry on Facebook….follow the link above to access this great site.


More Photos from Ladies Day at Listowel Races 2015

Maria Stack told me that she had brought this cute bag with an eye to impressing the new sponsors: McElligott Honda.


1916 Commemoration

As part of the 1916 commemoration, members of the Armed Forces are bringing a copy of the proclamation and a flag to every school in the country and they are giving a little history lesson to the children as they fill them on the significance of next year’s commemoration.

On Thursday, October 8 they visited Scoil Realta na Maidine where they presented the flag to Niall Stack, one of the oldest past pupils and a boy from Junior Infants, one of the youngest present day pupils.

These and all the photos of the visit are HERE

Ballybunion,Weather and a few more for Ladies Day 2015

Beautiful Ballybunion Dawn

Mike Enright is a fisherman and is often out to enjoy the sun rise or set in Ballybunion. He took this stunning photo early in the morning of September 27 2015. The photo is not in any way enhanced. All the enhancement is Nature’s own.


McCarron Family Celebration

John Kelliher photographed the McCarron Family who have contributed so much to Listowel life as they gathered to celebrate their parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.


Stylish Ladies in Listowel 2015

I hope I have not posted some of these before as I’m trying not to become a kind of fashion blogger so I’m spreading the ladies’ photos out a bit. Believe it or not, I still have more so forgive any errors and omissions.

Orla O’Connor’s very stylish shoes which match her outfit (below right) perfectly.

I think this is called a statement piece. What a bag!


Always take the weather with you

If you thought 2015 was a wet summer, you should cast your mind back to 1958. The below report of that summer’s weather comes from Bord na Mona Heartland

Thankfully the following year had an exceptionally dry summer. Let’s hope history repeats itself.


Found on Facebook

A very young Jerry Hannon ( 15, he tells me, but he looks younger) learning the tricks of the trade from his hero and mentor, the great racing commentator, Des Scahill, the voice of Irish racing for over 40 years.


Look who I met in town yesterday

I bumped into Mary O’Flaherty and Denis Keane chatting in Main Street and they kindly posed for me.

Straw Boys, John Relihan and more from Listowel Races 2015

Ballyduff Farmer in The Farmers’ Journal

John O’Regan, Dairy and Tillage Farmer, Ardoughtar Cross, Ballyduff, Co Kerry celebrating National Potato Day            Photo:Valerie O’Sullivan


Strawing In

This photograph of straw boys in Milstreet, Co. Cork was posted on Facebook by Tom Healy.

I googled straw boys and this is what I found.

“Whenever they started, the Straw
Boys seem to have survived in modern Irish life – at least in the western
counties of Ireland where they almost certainly originated. They’re most often
described as an exceptionally odd bunch of party crashers – young men who
appear suddenly at a wedding, possibly uninvited, and dance with the bride and
groom before departing as swiftly as they arrived. The only thing that
’s consistent in all the stories about them is the way they
conceal their identities behind stylized hats made of straw.

Still Dancing

Many present-day accounts say that
the Straw Boys still appear at weddings from the Achill Island area (northwest
county Mayo) on down through the middle west. They’re familiar enough, in fact,
that some wedding planners offer Straw Boys as a feature you can choose, along
with champagne and chocolate cake, from the standard event menu. For about
$250, you can apparently have a group of 4-5 of these fellows enter the dinner
room, accompanied by a fiddle, dance around the tables for a few minutes, and
then lift the bride from her chair and carry her out to the dance floor to
begin the “Ceili.”

According to Jane Fitzgerald,
speaking on a wedding website, “they were boys who rustled cattle. After the
job, they
’d avoid capture by dressing in
straw hats and sneaking into a wedding. They
’d drink and dance but never talk. Eventually they got to be a
sign of good luck. It
’s called “strawing a wedding.” Another wedding planner advertizes Straw Boys who “dance around the bride and groom to protect them from evil
” But many traditional accounts say
the boys don’t appear at the wedding at all, but at the bride
’s house before the wedding. Several other writers say that in
olden days, weddings were usually for family members only, and that the Straw
Boys led a delegation of friends into the town square to welcome the bride and
groom home from their honeymoon.”

My memory of straw boys is not of this hired entertainment but of local lads who came to the house of the newly married couple when they returned from their honeymoon and demanded a party. They were usually half expected and the singing and dancing went on all night.


Coming to a Screen near You

Look out for John Relihan from Duagh  cooking up a storm with Jamie Oliver on Top Secret BBQ. Coming to our TVs in January…..especially for those who love meat!


More from Ladies Day 2015


Book Recommendation for You

Jason of Ballybunion Prints took this photo of Mike Flahive at his  beloved Bromore Cliffs.

Mike is one of the contributors to this book of 50 stories of growing up and living in rural Ireland. The book was launched at The Ploughing Championships 2015.

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