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Tag: Shortis

After the Frost

Market Street in January 2024

A Rescue Dog

Cork Cogan’s rescue dog, Reggie, out for a frosty walk in Ballincollig last week.


Young people will have no idea what these are. Mending threads were to be found in every house once upon a time. These were for mending stockings.

Mending stockings!

Deserted Playground in January

From the Archives

Kerry Sentinel Wednesday, 19 June, 1895

BALLYBUNION. Important AUCTION of Licensed/House Property. Situated at BALLYBUNION, TO BE SOLD AT THE Listowel Arms, Hotel, On TUESDAY, 25th JUNE, INST., At the hour of ONE O’Clock.

MES. ELLEN KENNELLY, Market Street, Listowel, has instructed Subscribers to put up and Sell by Public Auction us above, her Right, Title and Interest in the TWO LICENSED HOUSES, situate in the Main Street, Ballybunion, in as large and ample a manner as same is held by Lease from and under George Hewson, Esq., for a term of 999 years from the 29th of September, 1883, at the small Yearly Ground Rent of £6 15s. The frontage to the public street is 54feet, keeping the same width from front to rere for 86 feet.


The above valuable property consists of Two Large, Roomy, Licensed Houses, situate in the main street of the Town, both let to most respectable tenants, who keep the property in first-class repair and condition, and pay their rents satisfactorily. The are tenancies are yearly. Mr. Shortis  Annual Rent (payable half-yearly), .£26- 0 -0. Mr. Scanlon’s Annual Rent (pay 1st every month), … £20- 0 -0

The business situation of the premises cannot be excelled. The Tenants have most attractive houses, do a thriving business, and entertain lodgers during the Summer months, having already made good business connections, and have large interest in their holdings.

Ballybunion, as a seaside resort, is progressing rapidly. During the season the principle complaint is scarcity of Lodges, and every other year suitable buildings are rising to meet the requirements of the many who resort this well-known and appreciated health resort. The Lartigue Railway System has done wonders for its progress, in connection as it is, with the Limerick and Kerry Line at Listowel in 40 minutes.

The Houses and Premises will be put up for Auction singly.  in the first instance, each subject to half existing ground rent, £3 -7s. 6d., the vendor reserving the right to sell both in ONE LOT, should the biddings for the entire exceed those offered for the Two Lots, separately. For further particulars and conditions of sale apply to MRS. ELLEN KENNELLY, Market Street, Listowel; MESSRS. JONAS BLACKALL & SONS, Solicitors, 93, George St., Limerick; or to McELLIGOTT & SONS, Auctioneers, Listowel.

A Fact

The founders of the Mattel toy company named two dolls after their children…Barbie and Ken.


Shortis’ Ballybunion, Vietnam and coursing in the 1960s

Blennerville in 2017

Photo: Chris Grayson


Shortis’ Bunker Bar, Ballybunion

An Anglican priest, lecturer and writer called Patrick Comerford writes a great  blog here 

Patrick Comerford’s Blog

The below photo and story is from his January 8 2018 post.

William Shortis was born in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary, in 1869, and came to Ballybunion around 1888 and worked for about a decade as the Ballybunion station manager on the Listowel & Ballybunion Railway (L&BR). This unique, nine-mile monorail ran between the two Kerry towns from 1888 to 1924, and was known affectionately as the Lartigue, after its French inventor, Charles Lartigue.

Shortis was a founding member of the nearby Ballybunion Golf Club in 1893, and he built Shortis’s bar and lounge around this time. Like many pubs of the day, the premises included a general shop, selling everything from groceries and hardware to shoes and clothing, as well as coal, iron and oil, and William Shortis also exported salmon to Harrod’s in London.

William Shortis married Annie Brown, but life took a sad turn for the family in 1905. Annie, died in childbirth on 7 June 1905, and William died five months later on 12 November 1905. Local lore suggests he died of a broken heart, leaving five children with no parents.

Annie’s sisters, Norah and Mary Brown, moved in to take care of the Shortis children.

By 1911, the eldest son Patrick Shortis, aged 18, was a theology student at All Hallows’ College in Drumcondra, Dublin, studying for ordination to the priesthood.

But five years later, Patrick Shortis died in the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916. He fought at the GPO in 1916 and was killed with the O’Rahilly in an assault on the Rotunda. His brother, Liam Shortis, was a Republican prisoner during the Irish Civil War, but was released in 1924 and became an eye specialist. Dr Liam Shortis died in the 1950s.

The pub on the corner of Main Street and Cliff Road in Ballybunion was renovated around 1930, and a render pilaster pub-front was inserted at the ground floor. The pub was extended to the rear to north in late 20th century, with the addition of a single-bay, single-storey flat-roofed return that has a dormer attic added. The shopfront has pilasters, decorative consoles and modillion cornice, and the painted rendered walls have decorative panels at the east gable end.

Today, the bar is also known as the Bunker Lounge, which is appropriate considering the role of William Shortis in founding the Ballybunion Golf Club around the same time as he was building his pub and shop.

A cut-stone plaque on the corner of this building reads: ‘To the memory of Lt Patrick Shortis born here in 1895, killed in action in the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916, erected by the No 7 Kerry Republican Soldiers Memorial Committee, 1966.’ 


Crossword Poems

I love poems and I love crosswords so, when I recently saw a book entitled Crossword Poems in one of my favourite shops, Second Time Around, Upper William St., Listowel I was intrigued.

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

Old Time is still a flying

And that same flower that smiles today

Tomorrow may be dying.

This is an example of a crossword poem. 

Apparently in the years before WW2 British schoolchildren all followed a common course in English, so there was a corpus of poetry known to every child. The compiler of The Times crossword always had one clue that was a line from one of these well known poems with a word omitted.

People had a kind of sentimental attachment to these poems and in 2000, the people at Parsimony Press published an anthology of the well loved poems under the title

 Crossword Poems.

Here is another one;

The Lady Mary Villiers lies

Under this stone with weeping eyes.

The parents that first gave her birth,

And their sad friends laid her in earth,

If any of them, Reader, were

Known unto thee, shed a tear;

Or if thyself possess a gem

As dear to thee, as this to them,

Though a stranger to this place,

Bewail in theirs thine own hard case;

For thou perhaps at thy return

May’st find they darling in an urn.


Mike and Marie Moriarty were in Vietnam


Coursing Photo from the 1960s

You’ll have to help me with the names


Storm Fionn at Skellig

Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan on Twitter

A Piece of Lartigue history, Christmas Run in Ballylongford

photo; Timothy John MacSweeney


Relic of an Old Lartigue Carriage

Robert O’Mahoney posted this recently on Facebook. It leads me to the following story I read on the internet.

A man called Mark Holan writes what he terms an Irish American blog. Last August he wrote a blog post about safety concerns with regard to The Lartigue Railway that were raised  in 1905.

“I regret to say that some day you need not be surprised if an appalling accident is reported to you.”

      William Shortis letter of 16 August 1905 to Transport Ministry

Here is the gist of Mark Holan’s  story:  William Shortis was a well- to -do merchant in Ballybunion. He was a founder member of Ballybunion Golf Club. He was also Ballybunion station master of the Lartigue in the first decade of its running.

1905 was an anus horribilis for poor Mr. Shortis. He lost his young wife, Anne, in childbirth. 

His letter to the transport ministry is dated August 16. August 15 was the traditional pattern day in Ballybunion and thousands of revellers would have traveled on the Lartigue from nearby Listowel for a fun day at the seaside. Seeing so many people use the monorail obviously set Mr. Shortis thinking about the safety of these people. He felt that the train’s braking system was inadequate. Since the train travelled at between 10 and 15 miles per hour, there would not be too much brake power needed to stop it. Nevertheless, Mr. Shortis decided to put his concerns in writing to the Transport ministry. 

On the day after Mr. Shortis put pen to paper, another man, a Jeremiah MacAulliffe, who, like Shortis, had worked for The Lartigue Company at one stage, wrote to the same Minister to express his concern;

“Thousands of lives on the mercy of the Lord traveling on a railway without a brake,”  he wrote.

He said that the brakes hadn’t worked for years and the train was reliant on a hand brake.

Despite these dire predictions, the train ran for several more years without any accident  barring a few small mishaps, none of which resulted in loss of life or injury.

photos from The National Archive collection


Michael (Brian) O’Kelly……Abbeyfeale archeologist remembered

 Editor of Mainster na Feile, Nicholas Leonard, reminds us;

“This year is the centenary of the birth of Professor Michael O’Kelly- the
Abbyfeale man who, among other achievements,  did such mighty work to
excavate and restore Newngrange to its glory.  There was a
free public  lecture on Dec 6th in Meath to mark the centenary of
O’Kelly’s birth in 1915. Sadly, he seems to be forgotten in Abbeyfeale,
though he is one of our most celebrated archaeologists, and one of
Abbeyfeale’s greatest achievers, with an international reputation and
respect. There are still relatives of his in Abbeyfeale (O’Kelly’s
School that was, etc).

On a separate note, I used to know his niece, Seosaifín Lynch in UCC in the 1970s. I have lost touch with her but would love to connect with her again if anyone can help.


Christmas Run in Ballylongford, 26/12/2015

(photo; Ballylongford Snaps)


Remember This?

This arch stood regally at the Bridge Road entrance to the town until February 12 2014, when it was destroyed by a storm…Storm Darwin in case you were wondering. 

That was back in the days before the alphabetical naming of storms.

Millenium Arch today


Good News from website

“The ‘school’s out’ signs will go up for almost three weeks as the national holiday extends seamlessly into the Easter break.

It means schools will finish on Wednesday, March 16 and not re-open again until Monday, April 4.

While Easter 2016 will have a special place in the national calendar as the centenary of the 1916 Rising, that is not the reason for the extra-long school break.

A particularly early Easter in 2016 means that only one school day – Friday March 18 – separates St Patrick’s Day and the start of the Easter holidays.

The date for Easter, which is fixed as the Sunday following the first full moon on or after the spring equinox on March 21, varies every year.

In 2016, Easter Sunday falls on March 27, and the official school timetable dictates that the previous Monday, March 21, is the start of the traditional fortnight off.”

Shortis of Ballybunion, Fleadh 1987, Holy Trinity Church, Adare and Hay and Tae in Bromore

Another great Then and Now from Time Travel Kerry

-Shortis bar Ballybunion-

Located in the middle of the village at the corner of Main St. and Cliff Road, it was a shop in the original picture and is a public house called the ‘Bunker bar’ today. It’s great to see that almost all of it’s original exterior plasterwork has survived in good condition.

William Shortis, owner of the shop at the time of the original photograph was also the manager of the Ballybunion station of the famed Lartigue monorail. He died in 1905. The Lartigue closed down in 1924.

The building was built around 1890 with a renovation in the 1930s which included building the pub and changing the facade slightly to accommodate this. The rear extention and dormer roof lights were added in later years. There is a cut-stone plaque on the building inscribed: “To the memory of Lr Patrick Shortis(Son of William)born here in 1895 killed in action in the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916 erected by The No. 7 Kerry Republican Soldiers Memorial Committee 1966′

The houses to the left of the modern picture were also added after the original picture was taken.

(Original photo – Lawrence early 1900s)

(Modern photo April ’15)

Historical ref – Listowel blogspot, Buildings of Ireland)


Church of the Holy Trinity, Adare, Co. Limerick

This is a copy of a Trinity icon by Andrei Rubiev of Moscow. This ancient Russian icon represents the Trinity as three angels. “The church chose this icon as it most fully expresses the dogma of the Holy Trinity; the three angels are depicted in equal dignity, symbolizing the triunity and equality of all three Persons.”

This beautiful church in Adare has an old fashioned look to it. It still has statues, a pulpit and a railed off sanctuary. It has some beautiful stained glass windows but many very plain ones too. Call in and have a look for yourself if you are passing through Adare.


August 28 1987

Photo of The Fleadh committee 1987 in two halves        (photo from Betty Stack)


The more things change, the more they stay the same.  I found this on the internet. I have no idea of the year referred to but there is clue in that the recruiting agent is Lieut. Charles Friend, His Majesty’s agent for Emigration.


Two postscripts

Adrian McCarron wrote to me about this one. Betty Stack identified most of the people in this photo but Adrian’s name eluded her. So, for the record, the little boy in the blue jumper, third from left in the front row is Adrian McCarron and Adrian reckons the year is 1978 and not 1976 as I stated. He remembers the fleadh in Buncrana in 1976 and this is definitely Listowel.

Adrian, like so many others was delighted to see this old photo and we owe a debt of gratitude to Betty Stack for sharing it. So let me take this opportunity to ask other readers of Listowel Connection to take the time to seek out and share more old photos, a small thing to brighten someone’s day.

Ethel Murphy took the time to email me to tell me that Pearse Street is in fact, William Street. Thereby hangs a tale which I must investigate further.


Hay and Tae in Bromore

On Friday evening, Mike Flahive organized his now annual Hay and Tae festival. This could be called the Meitheal in the Meadow because that is what it is…a group gathered together along Bromore Cliffs to save a meadow of hay the old fashioned way.

Ah, the memories!

The hay in the meadow is cut into swarths, these are long rows of mown hay. Here Mike is gathering the hay into cocks with the wooden tumbling paddy.

There is a huge skill in tumbling this much hay without injuring yourself. I remember my father operating this implement but then he also had a horse to control. This way the tractor can stop dead still and there is no fear from that quarter.

This is an old fashion wynnd.

This is a new one! Spectators on chairs! In my young day there were no spectators in a meadow. Everyone had a job to do.

What a lovely setting for an evening of haymaking.

The man on top of the wynnd had a very hard job to do because he had to distribute the hay evenly to give the wynnd its cone shape.

Once the wynnd is made the man on top is helped down.

The loose bits of hay are raked down.  later these bits will be made into another wynnd.

Every farm has to have a young fellow on a tractor. Looks like this young lad wasn’t even born when this tractor first saw the light of day.

Ah,  tea in the meadow, the taste of yesterdays.

(photos; Ballybunion Prints, Beautiful setting ,hay and tae; Bromore Cliffs)

What a beautiful setting for such a simple yet great event. Well done all!

Shortis, Ballybunion and a Flavin Costelloe family

Remember this?

Shop and Bar 1901 

Looks as if you could
buy almost anything from this shop and bar in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry at the
corner of Main Street and Cliff Road. It’s a pub now.

Our thanks to3.1415926535forthisandthis contemporary viewof
Shortis’s pub as it is now.

Thanks toDannyM8for doing some digging on the Shortis family in the
1901 and 1911 census.

This was theShortis family in 1901, with
father and mother William and Annie, both aged 32 and described as General
Merchant and Publican and Wife of a Merchant respectively.

Matters took a sad
turn for the Shortis family in 1905 however.DannyM8reports:
”Annie Died in Childbirth 1905

William Shortis,
Born: 1869, From Carrick on Suir, Co Tipperary, Married to Annie Browne Died:
1905, ‘Died of ‘Broken heart’, leaving 5 children with no parents. Occupation:
Manager of Lartigue railway. Exported Cashen salmon to Harrods in London,
England. Reference: He built Shortis’s bar and lodge in Ballybunnion, Co Kerry.
TheCensus of 1911sees
William and Annie Shortis replaced by Norah and Mary Brown, sisters and Aunts
to the Shortis children.

DannyM8also found out
that Patrick Shortis, aged 8 in 1901, was at All Hallows, Drumcondra, Dublin in
1911 aged 18, and described as aStudent of Theology Undergraduate(aka a priest in training?), and provides a follow-up to Patrick
Shortis’s story:
”Patrick Shortis and Daniel Scanlon both lost their
lives in the fight for independence and were honoured by the North Kerry branch
of Republican Sinn Fein.
Patrick Shortis fought at the GPO in 1916 and was
killed with the O’Rahilly on an assault on the Rotunda while Daniel Scanlon
lost his life in Ballybunion in 1917 while on active duty against occupied

stephen Kelleghanadded
further Shortis family information:
”There was also a Dr. Liam Shortis
from Ballybunion was in Tintown during the Civil war as a Republican prisoner,
hes mentioned in Mossie Harnetts book called “Victory & Woe” page
156, he was a brother of Patrick Shortis, he was released in 1924 became a eye
specialist and passed away in the 50s.

Really delighted thatslimdandywas inspired to
apply his artistic skills tothis photo. He said:
is what Heaven is to me. A dry goods store (because I can’t take anything with
me when I go), with a Bar in the back and a nice room upstairs. All needs met.

Date: Circa 1901

(All of the above comes from the National Library of Ireland)


Another woman with a Ballybunion connection is Peggy Flavin Knowlton. Peggy is a keen family historian and is very proud of her Irish roots. She has made one trip to North Kerry from her home in San Diego. She would love to come again but in the meantime someone might be able to fill in a few gaps in her knowledge about her Costelloe and Flavin antecedents.

Here is the church record of their marriage that Peggy found online. As you can see Denis Flahivan came from Tullamore. This could be the Tullamore near Listowel and we will presume that Catherine came from Ballybunion. 

Does anyone reading this have these people in his/her family tree?

Area – KERRY (RC) , Parish/Church/Congregation – BALLYBUNION


Back to search results

New search

Datee.g. 13/08/1710

Husband Wife
Occupation NR NR
Father NR NR NR NR
Mother NR NR NR NR

Further details in the record

Husband’s Father’s Occupation NR

About the record

Book Number Page Entry Number Record_Identifier
1 N/R N/R KY-RC-MA-6991

The church register page containing this record has not yet been imaged.

  • Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism


Elm Motor Works Limerick


Andrew and Michelle Woods at the official opening of their new post office in Tarbert.


A man called Joseph O’Loughlin took a road trip from Listowel to Tralee on November 6 last. He videod the journey and it’s here on You Tube:


Gaeilge; an official EU language: a luxury we can’t afford

When Enda Kenny (in his teal tie) began his opening address to the EU bigwigs assembled in Dublin for the start of our presidency, in the first official language of this state, one Brussels hack was heard to say to another, “Why is he talking gibberish?”

The reason that the journalists who cover the affairs of the European parliament are so unfamiliar with Irish is because, in the past two years, Irish has only been used 9 times in the parliament.

Is it time to re-examine the place of Gaeilge in the EU? Could savings which are now being made by cutting the allowance for panic buttons for the old and vulnerable and by reducing the respite allowance for carers, be made instead by dropping Irish from the EU scene along with all the attendant translation costs.

Just a thought!

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