Garden of Europe in January 2019

The Garden looks very bare, pruned and cut back in anticipation of Spring. Daffodils are springing up everywhere.

Below are some photographs Junior Griffin took on the day of the official opening. Have you ever wondered why, in a garden dedicated to all of Europe there is such a heavy German and specifically German Jewish presence. Well, I have been told the answer because that question puzzled me for a while too.

The Garden of Europe on the site of the old town landfill  was the brainchild of Paddy and Carmel Fitzgibbon. This marvellous idea got wholehearted backing from Listowel Rotary Club. That club did most of the hard work to get this project to completion. The original idea was to have a piece of artwork in each country’s garden. But only one embassy responded to the request for the piece of sculpture. Germany gave the magnificent Schiller bust. It was thoroughly appropriate to send a bust of their greatest poet to a town renowned for its poets and writers. So thus evolved the idea to make it into a peace garden to include a commemorative art installation remembering Europe’s darkest days and so the Holocaust memorial came to be part of the garden

These are some of the local Rotary Club members and some of the dignitaries who attended the opening.

The centre of attention here is Mervyn Taylor T’D. I think he was invited to represent the government because he was Jewish.


Quarter Days

Many of my readers will have never heard of quarter days. Let me tell you they were once the most important dates in the calendar.

Before we had the Gregorian calendar in 1752 we had the Regency calendar. Ordinary people didn’t have calendars so all they worried about were the seasons. The seasons were marked by quarter days. The year began on the first of these quarter days, Lady Day, on March 25. The other quarters were based on religious feast days making it easy for the peasants to remember. These were, Midsummer Day, Michaelmas Day and Christmas Day. All rents and other debts fell due on these quarter days. The following account from the Knockanure blog hits the nail on the head here.

Lady Day in Knockenure

The Christmas festivities were hardly over, when the general topic of the day in this parish, from fifty to a hundred years ago, was who would be evicted this Lady Day no one dared to ask the estate bailiff. Batt and his undermen, the rent-warner too was not asked so the whole thing remained a mystery until the day arrived. But the timid folk had already made their ground sure that they would not be among the evicted ones by making presents to the estate bailiff. The fiery sons of the soil, too proud to bend the knee waited for the day like caged lions and were it not for sheer dread on the part of Batt and Co many of them would be homeless. The funny thing about it was not sufficient to pay the half-gale rent the tenant should also give over possession this was done by taking a wisp of thatch from over the door and handing it to the estate bailiff then if he had any friend of his own for the place the unfortunate tenant was evicted. Some farmers got possession through these happenings.


Were you There?

Junior Griffin took these photos at the blessing and official opening of the St. Vincent de Paul day centre. I have no date but maybe someone reading this remembers the day and will tell us all about it. The Day Centre is located behind The Plaza and it is from here that the meals on wheels service works.