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Tag: O’Quigleys

Pat Leane, Vintage Day 2017 and O’Quigley’s Ladies and Gents Hairdressers

Chris Grayson


Old Dublin

Source; Old photos of Dublin on Facebook


Pat Leane, Olympic Athlete

At Listowel Races I met the lovely Helen Lyons and her charming mother. Helen’s mother is sister of the great Australian athlete, Pat Leane

I’m  reproducing below the piece I included in the blog a few year’s ago , when John and Monica Summers alerted me to this unsung hero.

up is an Olympic story with a Listowel (more correctly Finuge ) connection.

following information was sent to me by John and Monica Summers, who live in Sydney, Australia but who have a Whelan
connection with Finuge. 

about the format. It’s a digitized old newspaper…March 14 1952) 

Leane’s  family was from Finuge and there are still members of the family
living there including Nell Leane who was born in Australia, fell in love and
moved to Finuge in the 1950s. 


Rugged Pat Leane has
impressive records for almost everything on the athletic field. He has hopes of

TWENTY – TWO – YEAR – OLD’ six-footer Pat-
Leane, of Oakleigh, 13 stone of Irish pluck,must be Victoria’s most versatile amateur

Australian Olympic selectors have so far
overlooked him, but happy-go-lucky, curly-haired Pat hasn’t given up hope yet.

He’s going to make one last do-or-die bid to
crash his way into the Helsinki team this month. And rugged Pat can do it if anyonecan.

Tomorrow he will be in the last stage of
the stiff Victorian decathlon championship – the perfect outlet for his varied
and out-standing talents.

Title-holder Leane‘s best total so far has been
5,886points. But he’s training hard daily, and is sure he can reach the Olympic
standard of 7,000 points, provided he is not hampered by adverse weather

or track conditions.

Talk to the star and youfind him almost
excessivelymodest, but his list of bestperformances easily qualifyhim as the
State’s leadingcne-man athletic team.Here they are:

High Jump: 6ft. 5¿in.

Broad Jump: 24ft. 23in.

Hop, Step, and Jump:

44ft. 6in.

Pole Vault: 10ft. 9in.100 Yards:
10.1sec.220 Yards: 23.3sec.

440 Yards: 51.7sec.

Javelin Throw: 165ft.Shot Put: 38ft.

Discus Throw: 128ft. 6in.120 Yards Hurdles:


1,500 Metres: 5.20

Pat has
already proved him-self Australia’s best broad andhigh jumper this season,
andrecently became the only ath

lete to better the Olympic stan-dard of
6ft. 4in. for the highjump.

When he’s not concernedwith improving his
athleticform, schoolteacher Pat is
also well up in the football world. A brilliant centre half-forward, he played
with Association club Oakleigh in 1947-48-49, and Golden Point, Ballarat, in

For recreation he playsa
keen game of tennis,and in his spare time plays the piano!

A natural athlete, Pat began picking up sport trophies
as a12-year-old at De La Salle College, Malvern. He was good at football,
cricket, and handball,and school champion in the 100and 220 yards, high and
broad jumps, and shot put.

He had some early tips from De La Salle
honorary coach. BobWright, and now gets a little advice occasionally from
“Pop”Gordon, well-known University coach. Mostly, however, he trains
by himself, and figures out his own schedules.

“It’s more fun that way,” hesays.

Experts believe he has suchterrific
potential that If he had been coached consistently

Over the last 10 years he would now be in
top international class in any one of his strong events. But Pat, undisturbed, likes to have a go at everything,although
he prefers jumping.

For his decathlon training Pat Is building up stamina with two
six-minute miles once

 a week,
and improving technique on five other days.

Pat‘s future
is uncertain. His burning ambition is to represent Australia at the Olympic Games.
But if he doesn’t go to Helsinki, his athletic career may be cut short.

engaged to a Ballarat girl, and a tempting offer has been made for him to play

professional football with North Melbourne.

He makes no attempt to disguise his love
for athletics, but professional football would help him establish a home. It
would also immediately disqualify himas
an amateur.

parents hail fromCounty Kerry, and they’remighty
proud of their son.

“But,” says Pat with
aprobably they reckon he’d be a world-beater at

the good old Irish game of hurley.

“that’s one game at which I’d draw
the line -it’s too tough!”

– Alan Trengove


A Few More Photos from Vintage Day 2017


O’Quigley’s Repainted

Jumbos, Martin Chute, Master Signwriter, Dunlop and Lartigue

Ita Hannon has a superb eye for a photograph

Boats always fascinate this photographer. It’s in the blood.


New Kid on the Block

This premises on Church St. is soon be home to a gold and silversmith’s workshop and shop.


Watching a master signwriter at work

The sign writing and artistic painting work of the Chute family is a hallmark of Listowel’s shopfronts. Here is Martin Chute at work on the O’Quigley Hairdressers sign.


A Strange Co -Incidence in 1888

To mark the opening of the newly restored section of monorail, Irish Times columnist, Mary Mulvihill wrote a lovely “Irishwoman’s Diary” article. Junior Griffin kept it and gave it to me. Cliona Cogan retyped it and I present it to you here.

An Irishwoman’s
Diary by Mary Mulvihill

Now here’s an
unusual double date. An eccentric new railway opened in North Kerry 125 years
ago today, which was inspired by, of all things, a camel train. And the
previous day in Belfast, a Scottish vet rolled out a clumsy arrangement of
rubber, copper, wire and fabric pieces, intended to make bicycling smoother for
his son, inspired by the air cushions that stop patients from getting

            One of these inventions would go on
to revolutionise transport, one was destined to be a cul-de-sac. But if you had
been here on March 1st 1888 (or to be precise, February 29th),
would you have picked the winner? Which would you bet on, camel train or
bed-sore cushion? Take the camel train. This was the brainchild of a French
engineer, Charles Lartigue, who had seen camels in Algeria walking tall and
comfortably carrying heavy loads balanced in panniers on their backs.

            Before you could say “Ballybunion to
Listowel” he had designed a new type of railway. Instead of two parallel tracks
on the ground, it had a single rail sitting out of harm’s way above the sand
and held at waist height on A-Shaped trestles. Specially-made carriages would sit
astride the trestles like, well, panniers.

            By 1881 Lartigue had built a 90 kilometre
monorail to transport grass across the Algerian desert, with mules pulling “trains”
of panniers that straddled the elevated rail. 
In theory, a monorail system should be lighter, easier and cheaper to
build than a railway with twin parallel tracks, so several European railway
companies took an interest in Lartigue’s novel idea. But only two Lartigues
were ever built, one was in  France, but
it was never used; and the other linked Listowel and Ballybunion. When it
opened on February 29th 1888 it was the world’s first
passenger-carrying monorail. The future was looking bright and possibly even

            Kerry’s unique Lartigue railway
carried freight, cattle and passengers, bringing tourists to Ballybunion and
carting sand from the beaches. And it ran for 36 years, which was pretty
amazing because although Lartigue’s design worked fine with mule trains in the
African desert, it was less suited to locomotives pulling passengers and
freight across north Kerry.

            The engines, for instance,  and all the carriages had to be specially
made at considerable expense. (Each locomotive had two boilers and two cabs,
balanced on either side of the rail, the driver riding in one cab and the
fireman in the other.) And because the elevated railway crossed the country
like a fence, bridges were need to carry roads over the line – there could e no
such thing as a “level-crossing”.

            Loads also had to be carefully
balanced – a time-consuming process, especially where cattle were
concerned.  Even then, the Lartigue had a
reputation for rolling sickeningly as it moved. It was also renowned for being
noisy, unpunctual and slow, taking 40 minutes to travel the 15 kilometres
between Balybunion and Listowel.

            There was never enough traffic to
support the route, and after the line was damaged during the Civil War, the
railway closed in 1924. A short section of the track was salvaged, but
everything else was scrapped.

            Back in Belfast in the 1880s, nine
year old Johnnie Dunlop had asked his dad to make bicycling less of a
bone-shaking experience. John Boyd Dunlop was a Scottish vet with a successful
practice. He had an inventive streak, having already devised various veterinary
medicines and implements. In those days wheels then were solid and roads had
rough dirt surfaces, or at best were cobbled.

            Dunlop realized that cushioned
wheels would be more pleasant and thought of trying tubes filled with water.
But his doctor and friend, John Fagan, was familiar with patient cushions and
suggested using air.  Dunlop improvised a
tube from a sheet of rubber, inflated it with a football pump and fixed it
around the rim of a wheel, holding it there with copper wire and strips of
fabric torn from one of his wife’s dresses.

            On February 28th 1888,
Johnnie took some prototype  air tyres
for a test drive on his tricycle and returned ecstatic. There weren’t just
comfortable, they were fast as well.

            In December 1888 Dunlop patented his
“pneumatic” invention. But the first tyres were too bulky for a conventional
bicycle and special frames had to be made to accommodate them. The first
official outing was in May 1889 at a Belfast cycle race when, to considerable
derision, local racer Willie Hume appeared on a bike with thick and
clumsy-looking pneumatic tyres. He won every race, however, beating the Irish
champion Artheur du Cros.  News of the
new tyre spread – especially when it was banned from some races as being unfair
to the competition.

            And the rest you say is tyre-some
history. Dunlop’s tubes made cycling more comfortable and faster, but their
greatest impact was on the new automobile. Without the pneumatic tyre, the
motor car might never have become popular, the internal combustion engine might
not have commercialized and aeroplanes might never have taken off.

            But they don’t give up easily in
North Kerry. A short stretch of the Lartigue railway has recently been
recreated. A new double-sided locomotive, specially built in England, arrived
at Listowel last March.  And this spring,
all going well, and thanks to work of scores of dedicated Lartigue devotees,
the camel train will ride again, 125 years after it first steamed into the


Jumbo’s….A Listowel Institution

Jumbo’s is a lot more than your average fast food restaurant. This iconic restaurant is run by the gentle O’Mahoney family who have contributed so much to Listowel over the years. Every young person’s story of growing up in Listowel includes some Jumbo’s memories.

Recently Listowel Food Fair featured Jumbo’s in its tour of Listowel’s long established food halls.

This is how it used to look.

That was 1983. Today the new look Jumbo’s is still run on William Street by the O’Mahony family.

Nowadays its Damien and Jade who have replaced Dermot as the faces of Jumbo’s. A hallmark of the O’Mahony’s method of doing business is a strong dedication to the town where they operate. They have given employment to many local families over the years and they have dedicated themselves to giving back to the town in the form of involvement in local organisations, particularly Listowel Tidy Towns and Love Listowel.

Damien, Dermot and Jade today …photo from Jumbo’s Facebook page. 

Jumbo’s has made this corner all its own.

A Friday roundup

This is a mixum gatherum of sequels and updates:

It’s on Monday! O’Quigley’s are celebrating their 100 years in Listowel on the 100th day of 2012.

Sorry! Misinformed! It was on Easter Monday and they had a great time.


Remember Puisín! 

She was the great talking point at Tadhg Horan’s veterinary practice in The Square. 

I am sad to report that she is missing. The last sighting of her is on Tadhg’s cctv at 4.30 on Good Friday when she was at the door of the shop.

Horans are offering a reward of €25 for her safe return. Hopefully someone is looking after her thinking that she is a stray and will return her to her cozy nest in Horan’s window shortly. Everyone is missing her very much.


This is definitely a cause for celebration. Good luck to Jennifer in her brave new venture.


The following are photographs of photographs displayed in Aiden O’Connor’s window.

Savannah MacCarthy and proud family.

Savannah and proud trainer, Dominick Scanlon.

Savannah in action in her international shirt.

Eason opening,O’Quigleys and The Battle of Tea Lane

Eason, Church St. Listowel

The new shop interior

A new chapter in retail history in Listowel is opening today. This was the scene yesterday. Today it will be all ship-shape and Bristol fashion. If Mickey Kearney could only see his old place!

  Across the road, another premises is getting a face lift before its big birthday.


This letter appeared in last week’s Kerryman

Wednesday February 22 2012

Sir, I am writing from Alice Springs, Australia about my first visit to Ireland and Tralee at end of May/start of June 2012.

You must get many letters like mine but I hope you will assist me in my hope of finding descendants of my great-great-grandfather who was from Tralee.

He and two of his brothers were sent to Bermuda during the Great Famine, for stealing a cow. They endured great hardships and were released finally in Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania). I don’t know what happened to Owen’s brothers after they were released.

My great-great-grandfather was Owen (Eugene) O’connor, baptised at St John’s RC church in Tralee on 26 May 1817. His brothers were Thomas, b.1810 and Cornelius b. 1828. Their parents were Denis O’connor and Ellen Doyle.

Owen married Mary O’hayes in Tralee and had a son Denis. Denis married Margaret Mcquin on 29 June, 1859 and had two sons, Eugene, b. 1859 and Michael, b. 1862.

I hope readers of The Kerryman will be to help me reconnect with members of my Irish family. I can be contacted at the email address:

Sincerely, Lyn Mcleavy, Alice Springs, Australia.


Ed O’Connor alerts us to another great resource for people In the U.S. researching their Irish roots


Now a treat for you all.

John Fitzgerald, formerly of this parish but now residing in Dublin sends us this epic.

According to  Kavanagh, Homer’s ghost said  “I made the Iliad out of such a local row.”

I enjoyed this tale of boyhood tribalism. I’m sure you will too and especially

anyone who remembers any of the participants.

The Battle of Tae Lane

There’s a
one eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,

there’s a
cavalcade of cavalry lost in Death Valley too.

there’s the
pharaohs in their pyramids and the Eiffel on the Seine,

but who of
you remembers the famous Battle of Tae Lane.

planned his sorties from a galleon out at sea,

Hannibal crossed the Great Alps on an elephant you see,

Bush set
his sites on Bagdad as  mighty Caesar did
on Spain

and the Casbah
planned new boundaries to encompass  sweet  Tae Lane.

‘Twas in
the year of fifty nine, at the back of Sandy’s shed,

 long since Hitler went to Poland and Paddy to

and of all
the wars you’ll mention, there is none will hold a flame

to the
fight fought by the Gravel Crushers defending their Tae Lane.

For weeks
before the New Road was a tranquil place by day

as the boys
played round the grotto and the old ones knelt to pray,

but at
night behind the Astor, they gathered one and all

to plan their
deadly battle and The Gravel Crushers fall.

The sally
and the hazel were long stripped before the fall.

played no part in this of that I well recall.

‘Twas the
hand of Tarzan Murphy paring sticks both thick and tall

as he swung
through trees and branches letting bows and arrows fall.

The signs
were all apparent if only eyes would see.

Paddles Browne
went round the town on an errand of mystery.

From Moss
Scanlon’s up to Shortpants he gathered off cuts by the score,

pouches for the making of the deadly slings of war.

Bomber Behan
scoured the backways, picked up bits from forge to forge.

Each scrap
of steel, the point he’d feel, an arrow tip or sword.

‘Til at the
back of Charles Street, as the last forge he did pass

he felt the
boot of Jackie Moore go halfway up his ass.

His shouts
and bawls off  backway walls went half
way round the town

Connor and Gigs Nolan thought ‘twas the Bandsroom falling down.

But the ear
of Tommie Allen, sharp as any corner boy

Heard the
beans were spilt , they’d all be kilt , and he began to cry .

“The game
is up”, he shouted from Scully’s Corner’s vantage point

Bomber he’s been captured as he was struggling to find

live ammo for
the battle in the cold and p p pissing rain

Pat Joe Griffin
must be warned to strike early on Tae Lane.”

Brave Victor
of the Broderick clan defied the daring raid,

He called
his troops together and ‘twas then this plan he made.

“We’ll meet
them at the bottleneck” that went by the shithouse name

under Dan Moloney’s
garage in the heart of sweet Tae Lane.

marshalled troops to left and right, of the gushing sewer outfall.

No silver
from these waters flowed of that I well recall.

 Half were placed on the market cliff and half
on Dagger’s dump

and there
they’d wait in soldier’s gait ‘til Victor shouted jump.

The Gravel
Crushers ammo was got ready for the drop,

guns and  gadgets from Fitzgibbon’s  well armed shop,

no trees
they’d cut, no face they’d soot, yes, they’d face no blame or shame

gallant lads from William Street who defended their Tae Lane

The butcher
boys, the Shaughnessys were such an awesome sight.

Young Mickey
climbed the saddle of the King’s Tree on the right

Titch  and Teddy ever ready,  pointed bamboos on the bank

As P.J.
stood next to Victor, his brothers he outranked.

While Back
The Bank they gathered just below the Convent Cross,

Mickeen Carey taught us all the game of  pitch
and toss.

John Guerin
took no notice, no thoughts for God or man

only the
rushing of those waters where the silver salmon ran.

Pat Joe was
the leader of the Casbah’s fearsome band,

with the Nolans,
Long John and Spats, he’d backup at his hand.

There were
the  Reidys and the Roches, the Cantys
and the Keanes

and they
all set off together to capture sweet Tae Lane.

‘Twas a
battle worth recalling, there were heroes more than few,

as the sky
above grew darker when the stones and arrows flew,

and in the
close encounters , it then was man to man

one a Gravel
Crusher and one a Casbarian.

With blood
flowing towards the river, it all came down to two,

the leaders
of those fighting hordes, Victor Broderick and Pat Joe.

wrestled in the nettles, in the rubbish they did fight

among stickybacks
and dockleafs and Mary B’s pigshite.

The duel it
was well balanced as they struggled on the grass,

a rabbit
punch, an elbow  a kick in shin or arse.

No mercy
would be given, sure the day would end in pain

such was
the price one had to pay for lovely sweet Tae Lane.

The bold
Mickey took a horsehoe  which he’d
pinched from Tarrant’s forge.

No more in
vain he could watch in pain his brother  poor Pat Joe.

The glistening
shoe of steel he threw, it caught Pat Joe’s left grip.

“The odds
have changed”, Eric Browne exclaimed “we’re on a sinking ship”.

Just then
the sky above  them changed, the sun  shone through instead

as round  by Potter Galvin’s came the flash of Ollie’s

Mounted on
a milk white stallion from Patrick Street he came

thundering to
the brother’s rescue as he lay wounded in 
Tae Lane.

There are
mixed views of what happened next, but I was surely there.

No classic
from the Astor or the Plaza could compare.

Mac Master
or Mc Fadden could never stage the play.

Who won?
Who lost?  What matter, all were Gleann
Boys on that day.

That battle
royal still lingers in the confines of my mind.

No time nor
tide dare loose it as long as I’m alive.

‘Twas the
battle of all battles  that held no blame
or shame

fiercely by those boys of yore for the right to rule Tae Lane.


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