Listowel Town Square in January 2019
Yesterday was Little Christmas or Nollaig na mBan. Here is a hair raising story from the folklore collection;
The Big Wind, 1839
The Big Wind fell on Little Christmas night. A man by the name of Paddy Cronin who lived in Beal was in the house with his mother. The storm lifted the roof off the house. He took out his mother and tied her on to an ash tree, lest she would get hurt. While he was going back for some blankets to put around her from the cold, the tree was uprooted and there was not a trace of the tree or the woman to be found.
A Quick Look Back
My family plus dogs walking in Ballincollig Regional Park at Christmas 2018. It was that kind of Christmas. We had lovely mild dry weather so we were outdoors as much as possible.
Santa came to those who were expecting him.
2018 was the year of slime. I don’t get the attraction myself.
Santa brought Cora a massive gorilla. He is now part of the family.
At Christmas 2019 we had Listowel births, marriages and way too many deaths.
Billy McSweeney relives a 1940s Christmas in Listowel
I remember one Christmas eve in the days of Ration Books and deprivation of the 1940’s. Darkness had fallen and the Santa tension was building in our house.
My mother was out shopping for some last-minute necessities, when she
suddenly burst in the front door screaming “Santey, Santey. Come quick,
come quick !”
My young sisters and I rushed out the door at the top of Church Street
to clearly hear harness bells jingling and trotting hooves clattering
off the road just past McAuliffe’s corner, barely 100 yards away but
already out of sight.
“Aw, you just missed him!”
When a chasing charge was obviously forming in our minds we were told:
“Get your coats on or you will get your death of cold!”
A riotous melee formed around the coat stand and a number of
half-attired children took off down the street. Alas, by the time we
reached McAuliffe’s Corner the sleigh with it bells and reindeer had
vanished and we trudged home elated that we had nearly seen him but also disappointed that we had missed him.
My mother had a joyous smile on her face that her timing was impeccable.
Reunion at Christmas time 2018
Photo: Denis Carroll ; Names: Seán Healy
Front row LtR: Don O’Sullivan, Gerard Buckley, John Dowling, John Moynihan, Seán Healy, Johnny Mulvihill, Michael Mulcare, Dan Sheahan, John O’Sullivan, Patsy Ryan, Bernard O’Keeffe, John Lenihan, John Horgan.
Middle Row: LtR: John Beary, Eddie Relihan, David Dillon, Nick Roberts, John Lyons, Thomas Mulvihill, Richard Cantillon, Michael Curtin, John Kennelly, Patrick Flavin, Jim Furlong, John Purcell, Eoin Rochford.
Back Row LtR: Seán O’Sullivan, Michael Casey, Séamus Given, PJ Kelliher, George O’Connell, Conor Keane, Pat Flavin, Tony O’Carroll, Denis O’Carroll, Declan O’Connor, Dan Mulvihill, Pat O’Brien, Brendan Nolan, Billy Stack
The View from Nelson’s Pillar in the 1960’s
Photos of Dublin
A Call to Action for 2019
(from our own John Keane in The Kilkenny People)
As 2019 begins, we have a request for the readers of The Kilkenny People newspaper.
As a new year’s resolution, would you commit to saying hello to everyone you meet?
A little nod, a quiet word, a smile, a touch on the arm, some kind of inter-action – as Bruce Springsteen asked: ‘Share a little of that human touch’.
December has been a bad month in the city and county with a number of tragedies.
We cannot fathom the depth of the pain for the families and communities involved.
Do Something Positive
What we can do is stop giving out about the glaring gaps in the State’s mental health service and do something positive.
So instead of cursing successive governments’ continual lackadaisical approach to mental health in this country and instead of getting upset over the huge waiting lists to access mental health services (particularly for children) do something positive yourself.
Walk down the street and engage, show empathy, give people that little bit of comfort by saying ‘hello’, ‘well’ or whatever cool salutation you can think of.
It just might make a difference to the recipient; the little kindness they need to get them through the day; to know that there is light, there is hope in the depths of their depression or whatever demons they are fighting.
So as we look in horror as this government, like all the rest, turn a blind eye to the biggest killer in the State by refusing to adequately resource the services needed to address the issue, let’s do something ourselves.
And ask yourself, why is it that voluntary agencies like The Samaritans, Pieta House (Darkness Into Light) and Teac Tom are having to do so much of the work that should be shouldered by the State.