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Tag: Pope francis

Ballylongford, The Price of a Bodhrán, Crubeens, Phone Boxes and Memories of Two Papal Visits

Ballylongford by Ita Hannon


Lyreacrompane Honours Kay

Pat McCarthy, Duagh and Dublin, makes a surprise presentation to Kay O’Leary, who initiated the Dan Paddy Andy Festival twenty-one years ago, for her role in the community, especially for her work in building the Festival over the years.

Photo and caption from the Lyreacrompane website


The Price of a Bodhrán

The late, great John B Keane was a Limerick Leader columnist for more than 30 years. This column first appeared in the edition of November 24, 1973

Awful price

“SEVENTEEN pounds is an awful price for a bodhrán,” writes Drummer of Sirand, who does not want his name mentioned but is a familiar face at wrenboy competitions all over Limerick and Kerry.

The remark was prompted by Sonny Canavan’s statement in last week’s Leader that he was charging £17 apiece for homemade bodhráns.

“I can walk into any shop,” Drummer continues, “and buy a span new drum for twelve pounds, a drum that will last.”

I showed his letter to Canavan and asked him to reply.

“Tell him buy the drum,” Canavan countered, “and let them that wants bodhráns buy bodhráns.


Cork Heritage

Cork is doing its best to hang on to its distinctive vocabulary.

On August 18 2018 I had a langerload of Cork heritage.

This is a statue to the shawlies in The Coal Quay. The Coal Quay is the Moore Street or Covent Garden of Cork. It’s nice to see the tradition of outdoor stalls continuing although most of them were not selling foodstuffs or, if they were, they weren’t native Cork food stuffs.

One tradition The Cornstore revived for Heritage Day was the eating of crubeens.

They were serving them to us with a dollop of mustard sauce.

I did try one but there was nothing to eat, just skin, fat, gristle and bone.


In Cork, A Spire and Phone Boxes

I spotted this along the quay before the Clayton Hotel. It looks like a kind of a crooked spire.

There is an old fashioned phone box on the pavement outside the mobile phone shop on Patrick Street.

The streets were very quiet. It was early in the morning but I think this no traffic lark is biting a bit.


Knock Apparition

P. J. Lynch painted the mural depicting the apparition at Knock. Pope Francis visited and prayed there on August 26 2018.


Just a Thought

Here is the link to my most recent set of Thoughts for Radio Kerry.

Just a Thought


Listowel People who saw the Pope in Ireland

Lots of Listowel people went to Dublin to attend  the pope’s mass. Members of the Listowel Folk group went to sing.

Eileen, Catherine, Mary, Tina and Mike were in The Phoenix Park in August 2018

But Junior Griffin was in Limerick in 1979. He took these photos as the pope landed by helicopter at Limerick Racecourse and took a jaunt in his popemobile before saying mass.

A Glimpse of Heritage Day in Cork and a few other odds and ends

Christopher Grayson on Carrantuathail


A Shady seat in Childers’ Park, Listowel in August 2018


St. Patrick

On a pillar in St. Mary’s Listowel


Heritage Day, August 18th 2018

In my youth the Echo boy was a strong symbol of Cork. Everyone bought the two local papers, The Cork Examiner and The Evening Echo. I can hear the distinctive cry of the paper sellers in my head as I remember them. ‘Twas far from Tommy Hilfiger gear the Echo boy was reared.

Cork puts on a great programme for Heritage Day and I was lucky enough to enjoy lots of it this year.

One of the happenings was a talk at the Carpenter’s Hall.

This was a kind of olde worlde guild hall but nowadays it’s home to other trades was well.

The trade manuals look well used.

This is an example of a dry stone wall, built without cement or mortar.

This man was the main attraction. He is an expert on stoves and he frightened the bejesus out of half those present. He told us that he takes out more stoves nowadays than he puts in.

He explained the plumbers and other stove fitters are not lining the chimneys properly. They put the flue liner directly into the outlet of the stove. There should be a length of pipe between the outlet and the liner and this pipe should have a cooling section in it. Smoke going into a flue liner should be cold he told us.


A St. Michael’s Old Boys reunion

Below is the email I received from Ned O’Sullivan.

Hi Mary

The Class of ‘68 Re-union is all set for the weekend 7th to 9th September. We have a nice mix of events for participants with a banquet on Sat 8th in Listowel Arms Hotel. 

We are still trying to contact a few elusive colleagues who may not be aware of it. 

We’d be grateful if you would include it in listowelconnection blog which is a must read for exiles all over the world. 

Many thanks Mary,

Ned O Sullivan – on behalf of organizing committee. 

Organizing Committee. 


Boxing for Pope Francis

Saol Ó Dheas on Twitter shared this great picture of two of the Beglley family getting ready to play for Pope Francis on Saturday August 25 2018

Kilmoyley Hurlers 1907, a new tenner and needle felting in Craftshop na Méar

Check out the Kilmoyley hurling team of 1907. The photo comes from the National Library. It would appear that they played in bare feet. I wonder if anyone recognizes any of these tough men from their family tree.

That was then; this is now

Under 21 2013 football champions; Knocknagoshel;           photo by John Stack


Isn’t this a lovely picture of Pope Francis? It was taken last month at a live crib.


Date for the diary!

Christine Dwyer Hickey will read from her new book in Woulfe’s Bookshop, Listowel on Friday next Jan. 17 at 7.30p.m.


This is the new €10 note which will come into use in September.

Why? you ask.

Harder to counterfeit, I hear


These people attended the first needle felting workshop in Craftshop na Méar on Saturday Jan 11 2014. The next class will be on January 25th and we will learn about wet felting. We will bring a jam jar and come away with “a work of art” The taster class costs €10 including a light snack in Scribes  and it starts at 2.00 p.m.


Jimmy Moloney posted the following on his Twitter feed after last night’s Council meeting:

Budget passed in listowel. No increase in commercial rates,property tax not to be applied on council tenants. Services to remain as 2013.

Listowel F Coy FCA, Travellers, Ciarán MacMahúna and Listowel Bridge

End of an era for the FCA in Listowel at the Sluagh Hall on Easter Saturday 2013.

The caption says it all. This and other moving and valuable pictures of the final day in the hall can be viewed and purchased from  John Kelliher


John Kelliher’s stunning photo of Listowel Bridge at night.


A group of Travellers on their way to Puck Fair in 1954. Life then was a far cry from the lifestyle depicted in My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. Hardship, cold, poverty and struggle and early death were the lot of the Traveller back then.


Shoeing a horse


This photograph was taken in Athea and not today nor yesterday.


“Rashers and Sausages Music”

Memories of Ciaran MacMathuna

By George Lee

“Rashers and Sausages Music” was what it was called in our house though purists knew it as “The Lark in the Clear Air” but it was that piece and Ciaran’s distinctive voice that announced Sunday morning.

We felt we had a hold on him, he grew up 5 doors down the Edwardian Terraced Cul de Sac, he had gone to the same school as us, and some of the old people in the Avenue remembered the McMahons in number 14. I recollect the excitement of the RTE Camera Crew coming some time in the 1970’s with him to do a biographical programme on his life and my father even possessed a copy of his wife Dolly’s song “The Hills of Connemara

The music still elicits all sorts of memory pictures of getting up early to serve Mass in the nearby Cathedral and of Spring sunshine catching the dust particles in its beam as it reflected off the kitchen floor. It was atmospheric and indicative of a time when life was slower and certainly less complicated and more innocent. My Dad got home from work for his breakfast some Sunday mornings and if you were lucky you shared his rashers and the soundtrack was always Ciaran’s voice and music.

Occasionally he would make a reference to Limerick, his upbringing or his family and that made him more “ours” and though his life was in a very distant Dublin (where we went to the Zoo) we always felt that in some way his ties were to his homeplace.

Of course I now understand that Ciaran’s work was so much more than just that radio programme and that as a nation we owe a great debt to him and the others who travelled the country recording a disappearing culture and preserving it. This was done in the days when recording devices were cumbersome and travel was difficult but his “Job of Journeywork”, as he styled it, has laid the foundations for much of the music and the Irish Cultural Revival that has happened over the past 40 years.

He often spoke of West Clare, of Fleadh’s and Mrs Crotty from Kilrush, of Tulla and Kilfenora, of Micko Russell and Willie Clancy, and of flutes and fiddles, all of the familiar things that meant something to a young man whose extended world encompassed his home place and the annual holiday in Kilkee.

We grew up with his slow measured bass voice and as it got older and early Sunday Morning rises gave way to long lie ins after late nights we parted company for a number of years. But as if to mark the passage of time when our own children arrived and woke with the dawn Ciaran’s voice once again anchored us reassuringly and the Rashers and Sausages music took on a new meaning.

And so it was that I was privileged to be the one despatched to collect him from Limerick Station to assist in the launch of a charity album. We drove up Mulgrave Street that dark wet Friday night and that Sunday morning voice was now in my car regaling me with stories of his youth and enquiring about old neighbours. I had a million questions to ask him but I sat and listened immersing myself in the voice and understanding just what a formative place his home was in his view of life. I realised that our upbringing in that same place though 50 years apart were almost identical and I learned from him that his passion for his trade was undimmed by the years and that my childhood Sunday Morning influence was as real in person as he was through the speakers of the radio in the kitchen

Ciaran finally no longer finished his programme with the line “go dtí an céad uair eile” in 2005 and went to his eternal reward in December 2009 and Sunday mornings have never been the same. For me the smell of Rashers and Sausages or the music of Geraldine O’Grady always reminds me of Ciarán MacMathuna.

 The above was posted on Limerick Life’s blog


Donal Óg Cusack is no stranger to controversy. In his very well written article in Irish Central he gives us his views on Pope Francis.

St. Patrick’s Day in Listowel 2013 and some more 1974 ads.Old ads,

Fran’s the man alright. A great start to his papacy. Let’s hope the humility and empathy filters down the ranks as he follows in the footsteps of the fisherman.


A short video I made on St. Patrick’s Day 2013


A few more photos from the parade


More ads from panto programme 1974


Nice one!


From the official website of the GAA to publicize the next round of the Allianz football league and the clash of the old rivals.

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