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Tag: Ladies’ Day 2018

Miss Ryan, Daniel O’Connell in Abbeyfeale and More from Listowel Races 2018

It’s Official. Listowel is Ireland’s Best Town 2018

It’s been a massive community effort led by a brilliant Tidy Town Committee.

I have rarely seen people so proud of their town as Listowel people are.

Listowel is a beautiful town to call your native place and it’s a beautiful town to blow in to.

We are so blessed!

Here are a few photos to celebrate our big win in the Super Valu Tidy Towns Competition 2018


Do You Remember Miss Ryan?

One of my roving reporters ran into this lady on a trip to Galway. This is what he says about  her.

Miss Ryan of Waterford taught art in Listowel. Remembers well Mr Drummond, Mr Fitzgerald, Mary B’s Hotel. Miss Moloney, Matt Mooney. She had also copper work, very much like Tony O’Callaghan’s work, but had no name for its maker.


 From Echoes of Abbeyfeale

A letter written by Daniel O’Connell in January 1836 to Mr. Leahy, The Square, Abbeyfeale reads as follows: 

I will be at your house about two o’clock on Sunday – have four horses ready for me by twoo’clock – take care that the drivers have mass. I will not arrive until after last mass and will not allow any man to drive me who miss mass. 

Truly Yours
Daniel O’Connell 

On November 4th1 836, Daniel O’Connell had the services of a driver and four horses from Abbeyfeale to Newcastle. The four horses were Jack and Major, Nancy and Grey. O’Connell paid one pound and eight shillings for this service. His driver was paid seven shillings. We
are indebted to the owner of Leahy’s Inn for meticulous book-keeping. He was Mr. David D. Leahy, son to Daniel Leahy. In 1832, at Leahy’s Inn a gentleman got dinner for one shilling; lodging for one shilling; breakfast for one shilling and two pence; livery for two shillings and sixpence; oats and feed for horse eight pence; for the weary traveller a glass of punch cost two shillings.


Friday Sept 14 2018

 Style and more from The Island

This is the colourful scene outside the Budweiser tent as the beautiful ladies wait for the tap on the shoulder to say you are in the top 10.

Fashion is a top to toe thing.

These three beautiful girls could have bagged the three young racers prizes but the lady in the middle had no hat and that’s a requirement. As it was, her two friends caught the judges eye and were rewarded.

Some local men were a day late for the best dressed man competition but they posed with some local beauties anyway.

Those pheasant feathers are surely the work of our best known local milliner.

Good friends, Máire and Keelin were catching up and having a look at the fashion at the same time.

Oh, the stress!

Maud and Eleanor, like myself, chose a ringside seat.

Cliona caught up with her former teacher.

The O’Halloran family were enjoying a return to one of the haunts of their youth. Marie, on the far right, told me that she enjoys Listowel Connection in Sydney.

I was delighted to photograph these, my local friends. 

Bridget came from County Limerick for the day.


Vincent Carmody Sheds Some Light on another photo

I don’t think the photo was taken outside Buckley’s ( It was known as Nora Lynch’s). Sheamus Buckley would have been the photographer.The window is not right for Buckleys, they had a sectioned window, similar to what is there today, with a bar across the front for protection. It may have been Mary Ann Relihans’ or else a bar downtown.


This witty letter writer to The Irish Times seems to have got it right 

St. Michael’s Graveyard, Listowel and photos from Listowel Races Ladies’ Day 2018

Ballybunion by Deirdre Lyons

Deirdre Lyons of Abbeyfeale is a super photographer. This photo has been chosen as on of the top 20 finalists in the FBD Insurance calendar competition.


Celtic Crosses in St. Michael’s Graveyard, Listowel


Old tombs and graves in Listowel


Listowel Races, Ladies Day 2018

This year the arrangements for the tagging and the judging were different. The judges mingled among ladies milling around the old haunt near the parade ring and then they went to this bar and gazebo. If you got the coveted pink wristband you were in the running and you could enter the Holy of Holies, a.k.a the Budweiser bar tent. There, you awaited the tap on the shoulder to tell you you had made the top 10. For most that tap never came but they proudly wore their pink wristbands, marking them as people the judges thought stylish.

My  gorgeous Writers’ Week friends, Madeleine and Eilish, chose monochrome.

 This lady won the prize for the most iconic outfit. I think that means timelessly stylish.

She certainly met that criteria. She made her own hat.

 Paul and John were enjoying it all.

Mary O’Halloran is always beautiful. She loves the races and she loves dressing up for Ladies’ Day.

These three know a thing or two about fashion.

The judges had a hard job. The place was so full of stylish outfits that you could miss one right under your nose.

Niamh Kenny gets her pink wristband from Aoibhin Garrihy. I think the chat was as much about motherhood as about style.

Anne Leneghan and Maria Stack love this day and they both looked beautiful.


To Vincent Carmody the Final Word on the Doodle Photo

 Margaret Dillon, who has a great memory for faces and names, wrote the following;

Hi Mary,

I’m going to take a stab at the Doodle party names.

“2nd from left standing Peter Moloney , Charles st., Sean Grogan,my sister Sheila thinks the next person with his hand to his tie is our uncle Jackie Sharry, he was certainly involved in the caper , Curley Keane- Stack, O’Neill??from Ballygologue?, Tommy Murphy William St, Matt Kennelly, Chuck Roche, Bottom right Dan Lou Sweeney, Up Church st., Middle front Finbarr Mc Auliffe?? Church St.

Vincent Carmody writes:

It was taken in a back room at the rere of William Keane-Stacks chemist shop. The occasion was a Doodle Frolic, one of the early get togethers of the Doodle Executive.

In front are, Derry Tatten, Finbar McAuliffe and Dan Lou Sweeney.

Standing, John Joe Daly, Plunket Moloney, Sean Grogan, Dinny Carroll, Curly Stack, Michael (Gulliver) Stack, Michael Carey, Tom O’Connell and Timmy Shanahan.

Back, ? Guerin, John B Keane, Tommy Murphy, Danny Kelliher, John Kennelly and John (Chuck) Roche. 


D Day for our great Tidy Towners

The very best of luck to the Julie, Mary and all the Tidy Town workers. Whatever the outcome in The Helix, Listowel is a credit to you. Everyone who visits praises your work. We are so lucky to have such dedicated people making sure our lovely town always looks its best


What’s in store

Between the Races, Culture Night, an important book launch and my trip to Cork I have lots and lots of photos to share with you over the next while. Jimmy Hickey and Mike Moriarty also sent me some great photos of interesting events in their lives.  So if I have taken your photo and there is no sign of it here, please be patient. It might take a while.

Listowel Pitch and Putt Course, Members of the Independent Courageous Party and Ladies Day 2018

Horse chestnut tree in Library Road Listowel in September 2018


Beautiful Listowel Pitch and Putt Course



Do you remember Paul Murphy’s newspaper clip of a Doodle rally?  Jim MacMahon recognised a few faces. Here is what he wrote;

Mary I recognize many in the TomDoodle photo . People like Pat Whelan should be able to identify almost all . In the centre is Stackianus , a central character in the story , Stack . Beside him is Mick Carey from the Gleann. In the front right is Tom O Connell from the small square .Possibly Mat Kennelly at the back . The names of some of the others should come to me but people like Pat Given should also know , regards Jim

I dont think any of the people Jim mentions follow the blog. But is anyone wants to show them the picture and get a few more names that would a great help. Thanks, Jim.

Maria Sham thinks she might know a few faces as well;

She writes;

 Hi Mary, me again,the photo of a group of men in dinner jackets I recognize on the left my uncle Peter Moloney and next to him I am sure it is Sean Grogan. Sean was postman. Both men were from Charles street lived opposite to one another. In front of them could be Dermot Tatten, ambulance driver

Thank you, Maria


More from Ladies’ Day at Listowel Races 2018

John Kelliher is the real Races photographer and if you want to see the outfits and the local people who were there, John’s Facebook page is the place to go. He has some marvellous coverage of the Races.

I snapped this bevy of beauties as they were lining up for John to take their picture.

Three very stylish local friends who always make a huge effort for Ladies Day.

It was a pleasure to meet three generations of the Keogh Carmody family looking beautifully turned out as always.

I snapped Peggy on her way to put on a bet.

Listowel Races is the perfect place to spend some time with old friends .

These young men were snazzily dressed .

The style judges were doing their job and chatting to the locals as well.

Honan Chapel, UCC, Race week 2018 and style from Ladies’ Day 2018


Honan Chapel, UCC

On my recent walking tour of UCC I visited the Honan Chapel and I learned about a Listowel connection.

 The magnificent mosaic of the River Lee teeming with fish was executed by the mosaic artists of the firm of Oppenheimer, the same company which did the mosaics in our own St. Mary’s.

The much admired stained glass windows are the work of two artists, the great Harry Clarke and the lesser known Sarah Purser. Harry Clarke’s work  totally overshadows Sarah Purser’s windows. The Clarke windows, while magnificent in themselves, are dark and leave in very little light. They are characterised by their deep deep blue glass. Purser’s are refreshingly lighter  and in my humble opinion function better as windows as in they allow light into the building.

St. Gobnait is the patron of the nearby village of Ballyvourney. She is depicted in her window surrounded by bees.

Sadly, beside the door there are two blocked out windows, victims of the penal window tax.


Upper Church Street, Race Week 2018


Ladies’ Day Sept. 14 2018

Some of the ladies I spotted as i made my way around the course.

Not all fun and games. Helena Halpin was off to work when I ran into her.

Niamh Kenny looked every inch a winner, but she didn’t win.

The lady on the right with her gorgeous Aoife Hannon headpiece was the first runner up.

This lady was also a top 10 finalist. Isn’t her hat fabulous?


Credit Where It’s Due 

Yesterday I had some photographs of this seat with its verse to the memory of the late Paudie Fitzmaurice.

I have since learned that the verse was written by his good friend of many years, John (Junior) Griffin.


Possible Identification

The first black and white photo looks like it was taken at Buckleys. If my memory is correct the boy at the back is Buckley and the girl on the right  was his sister. They had a bar, and I can remember that they sold ice cream. I would love to know if I am correct

Is Maria correct?

George Boole, Harvesting Apples, rides at The Market 2018 and an early take on Ladies’ Day

Phlox in a border in my garden in Autumn 2018


“Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfullness”

Everyone who is lucky enough to have fruit trees will tell you that this year we have a massive crop. My grandsons helped me to harvest my apples.


Great Genius and Common Sense or Lack of it

This is George Boole, father of Boolean Maths which in turn gave rise to the internet. That’s what our guide on our walking tour of UCC told us. This statue to him was unveiled in 2016 but already the student library was named after him.

Here’s the anecdote our guide told us.

George lived in Blackrock and walked into college every day. On this horrendously wet day in November 1864, Gorgeous George (our guide told us that that was his nickname) set out for college on foot. He was soaked to the skin but he gave all of his lectures and did not leave for home until all his duties were fulfilled. He refused to get a cab and instead he walked the three miles to his home.

He was by now chilled and feverish and on the verge of pneumonia.

George’s wife was a believer in homeopathy. This branch of medicine was in its infancy and I fear Mary took too literally the belief that what had made you ill was the best thing to cure you…a sort of hair of the dog belief.

Anyway, she put poor shivering George to bed and piled wet blankets on top of him.

Ten days later, on December 8 1864, George Boole, Cork’s greatest mathematician died of pneumonia, aged 49.


Meanwhile down the road

It used to be called Brandy Lane. Now it’s St. Finn Barr’s Road but the corner hostelry is hoping that that won’t put student’s off.


The Market, September 2018


One Boy Named

Maria Sham recognised someone in Seamus Buckley’s old photo. Here is what she says;

I recognize my cousin Michael Fitzgerald, blond hair facing the camera, from Charles Street, now in the US A.

If anybody is in contact with him, will you tell him please.


Ladies’ Day Races 2018

I was on the Island early, so I took a stroll around.

Isn’t that a lovely touch? For Listowel people far and near, young and old, Raceweek is a time for remembering. It is a landmark week in the life of so many Listowel natives. 

These were the first lovely ladies I encountered. There were hundreds more to meet in the course of the afternoon. 

It is lovely to see families coming to the Races . This young racer won’t remember this one but he has many more ahead of him.

In the bar the staff were enjoying the calm before the storm.

Even the bookies enclosure was like a ghost town…but not for long.

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