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Tag: OQuigley

Ciarán Sheehan, Irish Language Revival in Listowel in 1900 and a picnic in the Park

Photo: Róisín Darby


Entertaining the Troops

The man in the middle between the then U.S. ambassador and Billy Keane is Ciarán Sheehan. Ciarán is an accomplished Broadway singer with Listowel roots. On the day I took the picture he sang the U.S. national anthem at the unveiling of a plaque to Kathy Buckley who had been a cook in the White House. The occasion was part of Listowel Food Fair 2015.

What is Ciarán up to now? Apart from acting and singing on Broadway,  he is singing for front line workers  at Yale New Haven Hospital. Here is what the hospital website says. The photos came from there too.

Actor, singer, and Broadway star Ciarán Sheehan thanked healthcare workers at Yale New Haven Hospital for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic with a repertoire of emotional, uplifting Broadway tunes on Tuesday, June 23. Mr. Sheehan completed the stirring musical performance before dozens of socially distanced patients, staff, and onlookers outside the main entrance of 20 York Street on the York Street Campus.


Irish Language Revival in 1900

Kerry Sentinel  Wednesday, 21 November, 1900; Page: 4


On Friday night a large and thoroughly representative public meeting was held in the Hall of the St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Society, Listowel, in support of the Irish Language Revival Movement, Addresses were delivered by Messrs; M J Flavin, T O’Donnell, M.P’s; J Gallagher, Tralee, and others. The proceedings throughout were of the most enthusiastic character.
Amongst the others present were—Messrs T Gibson, M Enright, B.A, Professor St Michael’s College; P Breen, do; M; O’Connor, J.P; J T Pierce, V.S; J J. Galvin, R.D.C; Dr Crowley, R J Marshall, Solr; D Browne, R Browne, J B Tackaberry, UDC; W L Fitzgerald, do; P Hayes, do; M Kerin, do; R J Cuthbertson, J Collins, J M’Guire, E O’Sullivan, D J Flavin, U.D.C ; C Hanlon, J Nolan, J Browne, L Buckley, U.D.C ; W Keane, etc, etc.
The Chairman, who on rising was received with loud applause, said that he sincerely thanked them for conferring on an humble townsman of their own the very high and distinguished honour of being asked to preside at that meeting, and he thought there were very few occasions greater pride than on an occasion like the present, when old men and the young blood were hand in hand in support of their good old language, which was prized by their ancestors, and which unfortunately and unfriendly Government had done all that in them lay to bury beyond hope of resurrection (applause). He thanked God the spirit of the Irish people, as well as the spirit of the Irish language, had not been killed. They were assembled to give their little assistance to push forward the Gaelic language by every means in their power;
and he said that the language, being the language of Ireland, was a language well worthy of support; and they could not expect that the Irish people would be worthy of their ancestors unless the language that had been handed down had been preserved by them (applause). His duty there that night would be a very light one—merely to introduce to them the several speakers , some of whom were young men who had made a very close study of the Irish language, and whom, he was sure, they would be delighted to see coming ward speaking in support of their native tongue. On the proposition of Mr M Kerin, U.D.C, seconded by Mr J J Galvin, R.D.C, Mr T O’Sullivan was appointed secretary to the meeting. The following letters of apology were read:— Listowel, November 16.1900. Dear Mr O Sullivan —Lest I may not be able to attend your meeting to-night, I write to let you know that the movement which is being got up here for the revival of the Irish language has my fullest sympathy and shall freely get any help I can give it. (Applause). Yours faithfully, John Pattison. Finuge, 16,11, 1900.
T F O’Sullivan, Esq, Sec Gaelic League, Listowel Branch).
Dear Mr. O Sullivan —I am duly in receipt of your circular, and in reply beg to say that the movement to revive the Irish Language has my fullest sympathy and support. I am sorry I cannot be at your meeting tonight, but shall gladly become a member and do what I can to forward the movement (applause). Yours Sincerely Edward J Cussan
Mr T Gibson proposed and Dr Crowley, seconded the adoption of the following resolutions.
1—That we pledge ourselves to promote by every means in our power the revival of our mother tongue (applause).
Several other promotional points were also approved.


Hairdressers are back

Damien Stack found this old ad for a Listowel hairdressing family.


Picnic in the Park

Yesterday, July 2 2020 was a lovely summers day. I had a picnic in the park with my friends. We had a delicious afternoon tea box from John R.’s and we enjoyed it in the shade of this beautiful ash tree. David Twomey, Listowel’s very knowledgeable town gardener told us that this ash tree was planted by the Chinese ambassador on a visit to Listowel.

The sapling he planted was brought from nearby Gurtenard Wood. It is thriving in its location in front of the Pitch and Putt clubhouse. Is is showing no sign of the dreaded ash dieback disease that has affected some of the other trees in the park.

Barbers, official opening of Listowel Castle and some more piseogs

The Rise and Rise of the old-fashioned Barber’s shop.

Men and their  Hair

There was a time when men had their hair cut at the barber’s and women went to hairdressers. The times changed and we had a very strange phenomenon called Unisex Hairdressers. This term was coined in the 1960s to describe a salon that was not gender specific.

There is a certain man who likes to have his hair cut in a male environment so the traditional barber still did a steady trade.

Then we saw the rise of a man who likes to have his hair cut, styled and dyed and to have his facial hair attended to in a men only environment. So now we have stylish salons to rival any ladies’ hairdressers devoted entirely to men.

This is a traditional barber’s pole. It projected into the street so that even an illiterate man would know this was the spot for the haircut. The story behind the red and white stripes is that originally the local barber was the person most skilled with knives so he was also the local surgeon.

O”Quigley’s in Church Street have incorporated the pole into the shop front.


Found this!


Three Generations return to Listowel

The lovely lady on the far right of my photo is Peggy Gannon and I met her with her daughter and granddaughter as they were visiting a family grave in John Paul 11 cemetery.  Peggy will be 90 next birthday but she has lost none of sharp brain power or her good looks and she is still playing Bridge.

Peggy told me that the last time she met me was when she called to my door canvassing for Jimmy Deenihan and I was pregnant. That child is now 30.


John B. and Piseogs

Piseoga or Pishogues are not to be trifled with. My friend who sent me the article about piseogs from told me that an old man from Rathmore told him that Derrinagree was a deadly spot for piseogs…so deadly that they brought in a missioner to get rid of them. When the visiting missioner visited the church he found a pig’s head left on the altar for him.

Now from The Limerick Leader a piseog story nearer to home from the pen of John B. Keane.

Pishogue scare

AT THE time of writing there
is a big pishogue scare in the district of Lisselton and the townlands adjacent
to it. Lisselton lies at the foot of fabled Cnocanore, where the Fianna of old
hunted and played.

It is only four miles from
beautiful Ballybunion and five miles from lovely Listowel. From time to time
there are pishogue scares in most townlands in North Kerry but the present
Lisselton one seems to be the biggest of all because many people are affected.

One man has a sore hand. The
milk of another is back by a score of gallons every day. For no good reason, a
milch cow in prime condition died belonging to another. Then there is the man
who had a quality greyhound of great promise.

The dog has shown a complete
reversal of form and is now considered worthless. In case the reader might
think that these stories of woe are mere invention journey to Lisselton and
find out for yourself.

There are strong goings on
all over the district and a number of people are living in fear in case the
evil hand of pishoguery is pointed in their direction.

Some locals claim there is
no power in pishogues while others swear that infinite damage can be done. At
present, it is all very mysterious but have no doubt about it there is evil
work in the fields and fairy forts of this quiet countryside.

A Lisselton man to whom I
spoke last week told me that in his opinion the district is on the verge of
many calamities. Apparently if one believes pishogues can do harm then harm
befalls the believer. It is the opposite with non-believers. Those who scoff at
the so-called power of the evildoer seem to escape unscathed.

At present one of the
methods used for the spread of pishoguery is the laying of eggs along the
headlands of the field of those against whom the pishoguer has a grudge.

It could be too that the
pishoguer is jealous. The eggs are laid in a ring and the number put down is
thirteen. The desired effect is that the hens of the victimised person will
stop laying.

Sometimes eggs are found
under cocks of hay but this could be the work of a rogue hen who decides to lay

One can only be certain that
a pishogue is being worked when the eggs are round in a ring of thirteen. Only
white eggs are used.

In all instances of which
I’ve heard and some cases which I have personally seen, there has never been a
brown or speckled egg used. One of the most malicious forms of pishoguery and
one which is being currently practiced in Lisselton is the scattering of milk
within the bewitched circle of fairy forts. Lisselton abounds in fairy forts,
some of them quite famous.

This practice of
milk-spreading is an abominable practice in country districts where the economy
is built around the milch cow. The spreading by the pishoguer of fresh milk is
supposed to dry up the cows of those he envies. Some people swear that the
pishoguer very often has the desired effect. Others have been known to sell off
their stock of milch cows.

Let us hope the Lisselton
scare peters out and that there is no further harm attempted. Most of the
people in that happy district refuse to take it seriously but no one denies
that it is happening and deep down there is the fear that oneself will be next.

Corpus Christi procession 2014, painting and Abbeyfeale Hall

This year the procession left St. Michael’s after 11.00 a.m. mass, travelled up Cahirdown, down the John B. Keane Rd. and ended with hymns and benediction in Ballygologue Park. The weather was glorious.

Sunday masses are celebrated in St. Michael’s while St. Mary’s is undergoing floor repairs.

Canon Declan O’Connor carries the monstrance up Cahirdown on Sunday June 22 2014.

The people of Cahirdown made a great effort, erecting altars and coming out to stand and show respect.

Charles Nolan was at the island by the roundabout, capturing wonderful memories of the event.

Seán Moriarty and grandson making every effort to get there on time.

(more photos tomorrow)


In the park on Sunday I met Lilly taking her grandparents for a walk.


In the Emmetts pitch,  Captain Jack Sparrow was twisting balloons into animal shapes and Mickey and Minnie Mouse were posing for photos. I have no idea what it was all in aid of.


The Coffee Nook is next to be painted.


Abbeyfeale Hall

St. Ita’s Hall was originally known as the Parochial Hall, Abbeyfeale  It was officially opened on New Year’s Night 1928.  Fund-raising for the Hall was organised by Canon Jeremiah Murphy, who had been appointed P.P. of Abbeyfeale in  April 1924.  The building of the Hall was a co-operative effort, all involved giving their services free.  This new Hall replaced the Temperance Hall, which was burned by The Black & Tans.  In the downstairs area the late Mr. Jim Kelly and his sister Anna commenced their Post Primary School, later to become St. Ita’s College in a new location.

Presently the Hall is a hive of activity – Legion of Mary, Bereavement Support, West Limerick Community Development, Parents’ & Toddler Groups and many others. In recognition of Abbeyfeale’s proud association with the Irish Language the name over the main door reads “Halla Íde Naofa”

(source: Abbeyfeale newsletter)


Memory lane

Mrs. Crowley’s class 1954, Listowel Boys National School


Lovely video memories of June Bank Holiday weekend 2014 in Listowel

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