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Tag: School Folklore

Opening Night LWW 18, Gerard Mulvihill, a Living Art competition and Camilla and the Listowel Connection

Feeding Time

Photo; Graham Davies


The Great and the Good arrive for Opening Night, Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

Two lovely Listowel ladies who always love to support Writers’ Week are Nora Sheahan and Betty Stack

Singer/songwriter, John Spillane arrives for Opening Night.

Seamus Hosey of Rte, a regular at Writers’ Week.

Con and Catherine Kirby of Listowel love Writers’ Week.

One of the stars of the festival in 2018 was the great Pauline Bewick. She came to opening night with her daughter, Poppy. The artists were greeted by fellow artist and chair of Writers’ Week Art Committee, Jim Dunn.

Vincent Carmody of Listowel brought some Newcastlewest friends.

Canon Declan O’Connor, whose father was once a chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week arrived accompanied by Bishop Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry.

Breda Moore came with her daughter.

Joan McCarthy, Head of Tourism in Kerry County Council, appreciates her native town’s magnificent tourism offering.

Tom McEllistrim was there.

Journalist, Gerard Mulvihill, arrived with family and friends.

Gerard Mulvihill is one of five students from Kildare, Kerry, Dublin and Galway about to commence their summer internships as part of the HRI Student Internship Programme. The interns will be based in HRI’s head office at Ballymany, Kildare in the Marketing and Communications Departments and Tote Ireland and at Leopardstown Racecourse.                  Source; Go Racing on Facebook

Our own Fr. Martin Hegarty came to enjoy yet another Writers’ Week.


Listowel Folklore recorded by children in 1938

Peggy’s Leg

Kevin Sheehy of Church St. interviewed Dan Broderick also of Church Street.

Dan remembered a woman called Peggy Carey who used to make a confection called Peggy’s Leg. It was made from sugar and farmers’ butter. Peggy also sold seagrass. Peggy used to  sell her wares at “Listowel Cross out in Newtown”. I’m presuming this refers to Moyvane.  The Peggy’s Leg cost  two pence. 

Another local confectioner was Bridge Conway. She used to sell penny bars which she made herself. 


Have a go at this novel competition


John Hannon Archive Photos Revisited

I posted this picture of these two handsome devils before and no body could help me with names. The reason no-one had names is because they were not local men at all but apparently came to town with a “Wall of Death” attraction. They rode motorbikes around a cage climbing higher and higher up a mesh ‘wall”.

I met this handsome devil, Batt O’Keeffe and he remembered the occasion well. It was the first date for himself and his now wife Gertie in Banna.


The Duchess, the Silver Bookmark, Presentation 75 Commemorative book, A nun, a poem and The Listowel Connection

On Friday last we had a working meeting for the Presentation Commemorative Book. 

Sr. Mary MacMahon and Sr. Consolata hard at work on choosing photos for inclusion.

People have been really generous with memories and memorabilia and we are in the work of drawing it all together, so if you have promised and haven’t done it yet, time is running out.

One of the contributions was a poem from Sr. Una Harman. You’ll have to wait for the book to read it in full but the theme is around opportunity and the doors that are opened to Pres. girls all thanks to four pioneering sisters who brought education to Listowel girls.

The poem mentions a yearbook which was sent to Sr. Una by her nieces, Darina and Elaine from Ireland in 1994.

“We should find that yearbook,” says I and put it with the poem.

The yearbook cover in 1994 was designed by none other than Eileen Moylan, now a very successful artist in silver, gold and precious stones.

I return from the school and I’m trawling through Facebook as you do, and in a little piece of synchronicity, there is account of the very same Eileen who has designed a piece which was presented to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall by the deputy Lord Mayor of Cork.

This photo was taken as the deputy lord Mayor of Cork Cllr. Ian Doyle is showing Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall around the headquarters of Irish Guide Dogs during her visit on June 14 2018

The duchess was presented with a bookmark designed and executed by Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan at her studio in Macroom.

This is the bookmark and the translation of the lines by Cork Poet, Seán ORiordáin.

AND Eileen also made the chain of office which is being worn by the deputy mayor.

Opening Night Listowel Writers’ Week 2018, a local poet, candle making long ago and pitch and putt today

In the Pink

Photo; Chris Grayson


Folk on their way to Opening Night Listowel Writers’ Week 2018

In glorious evening sunshine on May 30 2018 they trooped into the ballroom of The Listowel Arms. There were writers and prizewinners, invited guests and local people. I photographed only a few of them.

Writers’ Week opening night is attended by loyal local people, writers, young competition winners and their proud parents, older competition winners and the great and the good in Ireland’s literary firmament.


Donal O’Connor, Tarbert

Photo by Graham Davies on Facebook

Donal is a poet farmer and a bit of a local legend. He is a brilliant raconteur with stories and poems readily to hand. He gained a whole new audience with his appearances on a TV series called Senior Moments.  If you encounter Donal in storytelling form, he is sure to brighten your day.


When fat wasn’t all bad

The school’s folklore collection has all sorts of little interesting snippets of information. This extract is all about candles and candle making

Before candles were commercially made people used to make their own from “fat.” They used the fat of goats and other animals according to Mary Hickey of O’Connell’s Avenue who was 85 when she told her stories to B. Holyoake of Railway House. According to Mary, they got a mould, put a stick across the top. Attached to the stick were 6 or 7 “cotton threads”  These were obviously the wicks. Then they “rendered the fat”. 

(I rememeber well my mother rendering suet in the days before cooking oil.  There was always a bowl of fat or dripping at the ready for frying. This dripping is actually making a comeback recently and you can buy it again in artisan food shops.)

Back to 1937…the hot fat was poured into the mould and left to set overnight. In the morning they had 6 candles. Half penny candles were called “padogues”.

Another type of candle was a dip candle. These were so called because the wick was dipped into the tallow, brought out, allowed to cool and then dipped in again.


Listowel Pitch and Putt Competition

I was out walking early on Sunday morning when I spotted a competition about to begin at the pitch and putt club so I grabbed a few photos.

I learned later from Facebook that it was the County Strokeplay competition and these were the winners.

Nun’s Grave, Lusitania, school folklore and The Kingdom County Fair 2015

Lovely capture of windmills and gathering clouds over North Kerry by Johnny Joy of  

Finuge Freewheelers


Gravestones Restored

I was in St. Michael’s Graveyard on Sunday May 3 2015. I was absolutely thrilled to see that the headstones which were smashed in the storm of February 2014 have been replaced. The gentleman in my photo is Jim Buckley from Behins and he told me that when he is in the graveyard tending to his family grave he pops by and removes any litter or weeds from the nuns’ plot. Isn’t that kind?

 The grave plot looks lovely now.

This is one of the smashed headstones in March 2014


Luisitania Remembered

These  photographs from the National Library Collection are part of exhibition of photographs currently on display in Cobh. They depict two scenes from the  Cork town in May 2015. The middle picture is of local men digging graves for the 145 victims of the sinking who were never identified or named and below is their funeral procession.

It is generally agreed that this atrocity was utterly avoidable and a similar result, i.e; jolting the U.S. into the war  and recruiting at home could have been achieved without so much loss of innocent lives.

The Lusitania was a British passenger ship but it was also carrying munitions so the German UBoats torpedoed it as a legitimate target. Almost 1,200 lives were lost, some of them US citizens. Cobh opened its doors to the shocked and dazed survivors and the story of the rescue and recovery mission is etched into the folk memory of people of the towns of Queenstown, now Cobh, Coutmacsharry and other villages along the south coast forever. Bodies were washed up all along the south coast and westwards as far as Mayo.


Schools Folklore from 1937

Do you remember how I went to the Tralee Archive to read some of the submissions to the Folklore Commission’s school’s project in 1937. Now I have great news for you. You don’t have to go to Tralee. It’s all on line Here


Kingdom County Fair 2015

This event in Tralee on Sunday May 10 2015 was a complete wash out. I braved the deluge to photograph my niece’s lovely horse, Sonny Bill, who was having his first outing to a show. He did really well, considering the conditions, pelting rain, colorful umbrellas all round and one man even led 2 dogs by the ring. Sonny Bill watched everything, took notice of all these new sights but stayed calm and looked regal. He will go places yet!

My poor camera!

 The handsome, Sonny Bill enjoying his first big day in the spotlight.

His supporters braving the downpour to watch him.

One of the most nerve racking parts for the owner is the element of the judging where the judge rides your horse. He has to canter and trot in response to the judges prompt. Sonny Bill did really well on his first go.  He thoroughly enjoyed his day out. On now to Bandon next week. His season is launched and he will go on now to success in more shows throughout the summer.


More photos here from The Kingdom County Fair 2015

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