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Tag: stained glass

Heritage Week 2022

In Marley Park; Éamon ÓMurchú


Heritage Week in St. John’s

St. John’s held a great stained glass event for Heritage Week.

The man in the centre of my photo is Glynn, the expert who restored the windows in St. John’s.

These are a few details from the window that is behind us in the first photo. This memorial window is dedicated to Major James Murray Home who lived in Gurtinard House. He was a popular agent of Lord Listowel for over 20 years. His coat of arms is in the centre panel of the window, with his motto True to the End. He died in Scotland and is buried there but his name is also recorded on the family headstone in Dysert, Lixnaw. I learned all this on Tom Dillon’s excellent guided tour.

We learned lots from Glynn about how stained glass is done and we got a chance to have a go at cutting some glass.

Easy peasy says she who stuck to taking the photographs.


Bryan MacMahon Statue


A Fact

Britain’ s royal family used to be called Saxe- Coburg-Gotha. They changed their name during WW1 . They dropped the name which had German connotations and settled for Winsor. At the same time their cousins, the Battenberg family, changed their name to the less German sounding Mountbatten.


Moonlighters, Scribes’ new proprietor and St. John’s window

Photo: Jim MacSweeney, Mallow Camera Club


The Bad old Days

You’ve heard of shotgun marriages. Now I have for you a shotgun non marriage.



It’s a Long way from Silale in Lithuania  to Listowel in Co. Kerry


Brigita Formaliene
is the new proprietor of Scribes Café in Church Street, Listowel, a long
way from her native Lithuania.

Patrick McCrea sent this photo of a typical winter scene in Lithuania. This is his 

ice-bound local river.

Brigita has swapped the below zero temperatures of her native land for the milder Irish winters. 

She has one
brother who now lives in Tralee. She lost her father recently and her mother
lives in Lithuania.

grandmother had a huge influence on the young girl. While her mother was
working and during school holidays the young Brigita spend all her time with
her Nana. She was a seamstress and she lived in the centre of the little
village near Brigita’s home. Her’s was a sort of Lithuanian rambling house.
There were always parties and celebrations going on. Nana’s house was next to
the church and on feastdays and other religious occasions Brigita’s Nana threw
parties for the priests and the people. These parties had to be catered for and
from about age ten Brigita was cooking and baking and she grew to love making
cakes and pastries. Her grandmother was a skilled needlewoman and Brigita too
has a gifted pair of hands. She can produce the most delicate crochet work or
knitted garments .

Brigita with her Nana on her wedding day

Since she was a
little girl, Brigita wanted to be a teacher. So, after school she went on to
teacher training college. Part of her course involved work experience in a
school and it was then that Brigita realized that teaching was not for her.

Brigita admits
that some of her most monumental life changing decisions were made in a flash.
She decided to leave college and go to the USA to perfect her English. She
spent a year in the U.S. working as an au pair.

She returned to
Lithuania with fluent English and the idea of teaching English as a foreign

She met and fell
in love with Almantas. After a whirlwind romance they were married. Soon they
had their lovely daughter, Mileta, and then it was a case of  “Where will we go
now?’ They decided on Norway. Almantas found work and they were happy there but
soon Brigita returned home to Lithuania.

The young family
was anxious to be together. Brigita’s friend, Aurelia, was living in Ireland
and working in Scribes in Listowel and she persuaded the young couple to try

When the Formaliene
family came to Kerry first, they lived in Firies and Brigita found work in a crèche.

Aurelia introduced
them to Namir Karim. Namir and Brigita soon became friends. They discovered
that they shared a love of food and baking. Brigita’s idea of a nice day off is
to spend it in the kitchen baking.

Brigita’s family today, her husband Almantas and their daughters Melita and Emma

Brigita left her
job in Firies and  started work  in Scribes in 2015. She loved the work and she
grew to love the Listowel people. Soon she had relocated to Lixnaw and was
working in Scribes  regularly .

Before Christmas
2017 Namir decided to leave Listowel, to concentrate on his businesses in
Ballybunion. Again, Brigita did not take too much time to mull over her next
move. She would take over the lease on Scribes. Her family helped her to
redecorate and soon she was open for business in her very own restaurant.

Scribes offers  a small menu of good food. People will be  queueing up to taste her delicious red velvet
cake or her apple tart and home made custard. Her friend makes a  traditional Lithuanian honey cake
that is to die for.

Maybe Brigita’s
wanderlust has been satisfied now and she will settle to business in lovely

This week’s Scribes speciality is Cinnamon Swirl Pancakes served with almond flakes and scoop of vanilla ice-cream ! They were mouthwateringly delicious.

Brigita lives in
Lixnaw with her husband and their two daughters, Melita and Emma.


Stained Glass Windows

I love a good stained glass window. The ones above are in Duagh.

As I’ve recounted here before the newest such window in Kerry is in St. John’s Tralee. Now I’ve discovered a brilliant post online with great text and great close photos of the Tom Denny window.

Roaringwater Journal

This is St. John in his camel hair coat

This is the father hugging his prodigal son. The theme of the window is reconciliation.

If you have any interest in Tralee or in stained glass art do click on the link above.


A Little Highlighted Problem

Shane MacAulliffe is in Zanzibar and he posted this local issue on his Facebook page

90% of Zanzibar’s seaweed farmers are women. Their incomes have fallen dramatically in recent years for two reasons. One is that they cannot compete with the cheaper grown seaweed in Asia and also the rising sea temperatures have caused seaweed to die. Once one of Zanzibar’s most important exports, seaweed is shipped to Asia and Europe where it is used in cosmetics.


Just a Thought

Thank you to all the people who listened to my Just a Thoughts on Radio Kerry last week. Just in case you missed them and would like to hear them, here is the link

Just a Thought ; Week beginning Jan 15 2018

Titanic Windows

The Coleman who executed these marvelous windows has a Knockanure grandmother. Jer Kennelly brought us this story.

Stained Glass Windows
St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane

County Mayo, West of Ireland

‘Titanic Rescue’ and ‘Emigration’ Stained Glass Windows

In 2011 a dream became a reality with the installation of two specially commissioned stained glass windows in St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane. The windows were the inspiration of the Addergoole Titanic Society, as part of the preparation to commemorate the centenary of the sinking of RMS Titanic with the Mayo Titanic Cultural Week 8th – 15th April 2012. Fourteen people boarded Titanic from the locality in April 1912, eleven perished.

New church windows in Lahardane in memory of Irish emmigrants and local people who perished on the Titanic

*Photo courtesy KM Noone Photography, Lahardane Co Mayo Ireland*

Designed by local artist Michael Coleman of Whitethorn Studios, the task of constructing the windows went to Art Glass in Derry, who also has the commission to create the stained glass dome ceiling in the re-created ballroom of the new signature building in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

Titanic memorial church windown in LahardaneThe two stained glass windows, one entitled ‘Emigration’ and the other ‘The Titanic Rescue’, required research with an eye for detail, as well as respect for those who perished and those who survived.

Fortunately, present day descendants of the Addergoole Fourteen have kept this story committed to memory and the windows are a memorial to their ancestors. The windows are appropriately placed either side of the existing marble memorial plaque, which was placed in St Patrick’s Church in 2002, to honour the memory of the fourteen emigrants who sailed on RMS Titanic in 1912.

The Titanic Window, depicting Boat 16 being lowered, is based on what Addergoole survivor, Annie Kate Kelly, who became Sister Patrick Joseph, an Adrian Dominican Sister in Michigan USA, remembered. Annie was standing in line waiting to enter Boat 16. A man accompanying two woman was refused entry. One woman said: “I’ll not leave my husband”, and the other “I’ll not leave my brother”. They were Catherine and Mary Bourke from Addergoole. Annie, next in line, was given a place. As the lifeboat was lowered she looked up and saw her cousin, Pat Canavan, and the others including James Flynn. As the window depicts, Pat was holding his rosary beads and waving.

The lifeboat’s capacity was 65, but it was not full. Eleven other passengers who also boarded at Queenstown were saved in this boat, which was lowered at about 1.20am. Eight were from County Longford and three from County Galway. A Galway survivor, Ellie Mockler from Caltra, also became a nun with the Sisters of Mercy.

*Photo courtesy KM Noone Photography, Lahardane Co Mayo Ireland*

The Titanic Window is likely to be one of the very few church windows, worldwide, dedicated to Titanic victims. Equally the Society is not aware of any church window in the country dedicated to Emigration. Significantly, these windows stand alongside the ‘Harry Clark’ classic church window of the Madonna and Child, a triumphant trio of church craftsmanship for all to see in St Patrick’s Church, Lahardane.

American descendants of the three survivors generously donated the cost of the Titanic Window. Then Society members, Bridie Syron and David Donoghue, descendants of ‘The Addergoole Fourteen’, secured funding for the Emigration Window from other descendants in America and the UK of those lost. Donations were also received from other local descendants and from people with an interest in the Addergoole Titanic story.

The official dedication and blessing of both windows takes place on Sunday 15th April, as part of the Cultural Week, 8th to 15th April 2012 and will be a lasting legacy to the memory of all Lahardane emigrants.


Last week I met Mrs. McAulliffe in Catch of the Day as she was buying some fish.

Time was when we all bought our fish in MacAulliffe’s. Mrs MacAulliffe remembers when mackerel was one shilling. In those days there used to be a long queue outside her shop every Thursday and Friday. I remember queues down the street as far as Scully’s Corner on Holy Thursdays.

On my way home from town I met these two boys spraying the weeds and keeping Listowel looking beautiful.


NKRO’s festival date is confirmed for the week beginning August 3 2012. The week’s events will run until August 10. If you want help in locating ancestors or  relatives prior to your visit, please contact

Committee members, remember tonight’s meeting in The Seanchaí at 8.00 p.m.

Keep an eye on the Facebook page or follow us on twitter to keep abreast of plans.

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