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Tag: St. John’s Ballybunion

Ballybunion and Other Places

Greenway mural Sept 2023


Iconic Ballybunion

Certain images say Ballybunion to us all; the castle, Virgin Rock, Nine Daughters Hole for instance. Uptown there are some unique local identifiers too.

trompe d’oeil cottage

Joyce’s, the post office

Mary Young statue seated outside St. John’s


Listowel Races 2023

I only went to The Island on one day and it was Ladies Day. This year, the celebrity designer judge, Don O’Neill, brought a New York frisson to the occasion.

Some of the style on show

Danny Russell put his millinery skills to work. He made this magnificent hat to match Norella’s silver pants suit.

My old friend and a faithful Listowel Races attendee, Mary O’Halloran was there with her daughter, Louise, both looking very stylish.

Photo: John Kelliher

The very popular winner of the top prize was local lady, Kathleen Flaherty, in a classic blue crochet suit. The judges recognised timeless style when they saw it.


I Remember, I Remember

This is my mother’s family home. It is no longer in the family but I paid it a visit on a recent trip home. If those walls could speak they’d tell the story of my beloved Uncle Bernie and Aunty Eily. Eily planted those flowers.

This tree was planted by my grandfather. He lives on in it and the memories it evokes.



I never knew, until someone shared this online, that Kerry schools once had their own approved catechism. Does the line “a general catechism for the kingdom” actually refer to Kerry or The Kingdom of Heaven?


A Fact

The phrase “rule of thumb” comes from an old English law which forbade a husband to beat his wife with anything wider then his thumb.


Listowel and Ballybunion

Vincent Higgins, Mallow Camera Club. He captioned it Take no Notice


Old Listowel

This very old image of the Square was shared on line by Dave Curran.


Stained Glass and Moya

All roads led to Ballybunion on the weekend of May 31 to June 2.

I was in St. John’s for this.

Fr. Hannafin introduced us to 5 of the windows in St. John’s that are rarely seen.

This is the view from the gallery. Behind me as I took this photo are the windows which were the subject of our talk.

The gallery is reached by a narrow dark spiral staircase which has to be used going up and going down. I can see why it is not open to the public.

The saints depicted on the windows all have a connection with Munster in general and North Kerry in particular. They are St. Brendan, St. Ita, St. John the Evangelist, St. Senan and St. Brigid.

The windows are absolutely beautiful. It’s a pity they are hidden away up there.


A Star Attraction

I’ve got my ticket for Donie and Malachy at Listowel Writers’ Week 2022 but they are selling fast. Wouldn’t it be great if something important turned up and John King, CNN’s chief national correspondent, had to talk to Donie while he is in Listowel.


Road Works

Listowel Credit Union were in a prime location to take this picture of the recent roadworks on their doorstep.

It looks like Roadworks are a constant in Listowel as this picture from 1986 shared on Facebook by Mike Hannon proves.


On Saturday May 7 2022 in Kerry Writers’ Museum, Minister Norma Foley launched a exhibition of memorabilia of Kerry’s Amateur Dramatic history.


St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2018, 1984 All Stars and Holy Week in St. John’s Ballybunion

Listowel Castle in Spring Sunshine


St. Patrick’s Day in Listowel 2018


Listowel All Stares

Way back in 1984 Listowel Badminton Club organised an all star awards evening for the sports clubs of the town. Here are some of the newspaper cuttings Dave O’Sullivan found when I asked him to see if the papers had anything about this event.


Holy Week

Today is Good Friday, the day on which we, Catholics commemorate the crucifixion of Christ.

This week I visited Ballybunion’s beautiful church with my young visitors and I was surprised to see that the old custom of draping the statues in purple is still observed in this magnificent church.

I couldn’t remember why the statues were draped so I made enquiries and it is so that all the focus is on the passion as depicted in the Stations of the Cross.

Ballybunion’s St. John’s is an artistic triumph. It’s architecture, its mosaic tilework and its stained glass and statues rival any that you will see in the finest churches in the land.

In Easter 2018 I saw a installation depicting the scene at Calvary on the first Good Friday.

At points around the church aisles are various gorgeous artworks on the Calvary theme.

Ballybunion, Listowel Town Park, Postboxes and Cashen fishermen

Heron at Fota

photo; Chris Grayson


More from St. John’s Ballybunion

Above are the priest’s tombs, below is the side entrance.


Commemorative Garden coming along nicely


Seeing Double in North Main Street, Cork

On a recent visit to Cork I was surprised to spot these two mailboxes side me side in North Main Street. There must have been huge volumes of mail in this part of town once upon a time.

The boxes are from different eras as you can see from the different designs.


Cashen Fishermen in the 1980s

Photo and caption from Cashen Connections on Facebook

April 1958

(Lt) to (Rt) : Seamus Rourke, Jamsie (Mac) Mc Ellistrim, Willie Stack-Sullivan, Richie (Mouse) Diggin, Behind Richie: Willie Mc Carthy, Sean Rochford, Francie Diggin, Jackie Stack-Sullivan, John Neill, Johnny Healy, Mikey Reddon, Behind Mikey : John Carthy, Far background: John Patrick(John Taid ) Sullivan
All gone but not forgotten!


Cycling News

Stage 2 of Rás Mumhan will start in Listowel on the Easter Weekend 2017

St. John’s Ballybunion, beggars and daffodils in bud

Hippopotamus at Fota Wildlife Park

His name means water horse but he has little in common with the horses we know. A hippo is highly dangerous due to his aggressive and unpredictable nature. He can run at 19 miles an hour for short stretches. Chris  Grayson, who photographed him, can run much faster.


St. John’s Ballybunion

St. John’s Church in Ballybunion is an absolutely beautiful edifice. The renovation work carried out on it in recent years has further enhanced it. I’d recommend a visit.

This magnificent window is behind the main altar.

Because, in response to Vatican 11 we got rid of so many statues from our churches, I find it strange when I visit churches like St. John’s and find so many still  in place.

I like statues because they take me back to my childhood when we had statues everywhere, in our homes, in schools and hospitals and in grottos on main roads and at holy wells. Statues were part of the landscape of my childhood.


Beggars, the unemployed and refugees in 19th Century London

No Change There Then……….

It’s absolutely true that there is nothing new under the
sun. Read this account of the treatment of beggars in London in 1819 and see if
you don’t hear echoes of rhetoric we are hearing so often today.

The Sydney
Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser;       
Sat 29 May 1819

The charitable
Institution for the discouragement of mendicity, and the relief of poor
travellers, approaches very neatly in principle to one which has been eminently
successful at Bath, and which forms a branch of the Pierre Point-street
Institution in that city.

Every person
who has visited that town, where the number of beggars was once proverbial,
must be aware what a benefit has been conferred on the public by affording a
small but systematic relief to poor travellers.  It is computed that they have been assisted by
one fourth of the sum usually expended in street alms giving ; and it appears
altogether improbable that any ever visited Bath in quest of the small
allowance of a two-penny loaf and a pint of soup, which is all that is in
general bestowed. This could never induce

paupers to
deviate from their general route, much less to travel from a distance.

A full third of
the applicants at Bath have been discharged soldiers and sailors with their
families, returning home from Chatham, going to London for prize-money, or to
pass the Board at Greenwich, or to seek employment in sea-port towns. A full
sixth are discharged workmen, dismissed from parishes not their own, in
consequence of the desire felt by the parishioners to employ their own

stock of
paupers, in preference to giving them unearned subsistence. A full third of the
number may be referred to the class of workmen dismissed from decreasing
manufactories, dock-yards, and establishments which have ceased on the change
from war to peace; the rest are Irish labourers seeking employment, starving
negroes, who have wandered from different seaport towns, and perhaps a very few
regular mendicants, who may have deceived the vigilance of the attending

But the
Institution has saved many donors from being deceived, and is in fact more advantageous
to the rich than even to the poor; while to the latter it affords relief in due
proportion to their immediate necessities, giving to all the benefit of a comfortable
meal, of advice, if necessary, and of that repose which the weary traveller can
best appreciate; and in some instances extending assistance a little farther,
though always within very narrow bounds.

* mendicity = begging


Daffodils about to blossom

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