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Tag: Tasty Cotter

Ballybunion Sunset, Richard Cotter and Domhnall de Barra of Athea

Some of my family watch the sun set at Ballybunion  April 23 2016


A Final few Photos from Banna

A History class from Pres Listowel were there.

 I met these two Listowel ladies on my way back to the bus.


Second Year in Pres. Listowel 

This photo from the 1950s has come to light. People who have been recognized are Mary Catherine Sweeney Reidy, Sinead Joy O’Sullivan and Eithne Buckley.

Does anyone recognize anyone else?


The Light of Other Days

In Scribes last week Richard Cotter, grandson of “Tasty” Cotter after whom Cotters’ Corner was called, met up with Eileen O’Sullivan and Mary Sobieralski.

Eileen remembered Tasty as a rent collector who used to call to her house every week when she was a child. Richard is a keen family historian and was delighted to meet someone with memories of his grandfather.

Richard has a puzzle for us. His grandmother’s family were Buckleys from Ennismore.

He has this photograph of four of the Buckley sisters taken at the wedding of their sister in 1910. Richard doesn’t know who is who . His grandaunts were Mrs. Jane Kelly whose husband, Ambrose  was a farmer from near Finuge, Mrs. Paddy Griffin who worked in Cotters shop, Mrs Fitzmaurice who had a daughter  a nun and who had Kearney relatives in Ballyduff and Mrs. Seán O’Brien who worked in Cotters’ shop and whose grave is inside the gate in St. Michael’s graveyard.

Mary and Eileen looking at Richard’s photos of his ancestors.

Richard’s grandparents on their wedding day in 1910. His grandmother was Margaret Buckley, known in the family as Rita.


Athea’s Domhnall de Barra, a Great local Chronicler

Making a Newsletter

Only on Wednesday last did I realise that this issue will be No. 1008.
Somehow we passed the 1000 mark a few weeks ago without marking the
occasion in any way. To be honest I never dreamed, when I first
thought of creating a local newsletter, that it would last for such a
long time. It had its humble beginnings as part of a FAS scheme
sponsored by Cáirde Duchais. Our first publication had four pages
(black and white of course) and it cost 20 pence in old money. Soon
afterwards the FAS scheme ended and I decided to keep the publication
going. In the early days it came out towards the end of the week to
facilitate the inclusion of the Church pamphlet which we printed also.
Lillian and myself sold the newsletter at the Church gates on Saturday
night and the two Masses on Sunday. It was a bit of a commitment every
week but it was great to meet all the people coming from Mass (the
Church was full in those days). Eventually we were in a position to
leave the selling to the two shops, Stapleton’s and Brouder’s  and we
extended our sales to Carrigkerry and Knockdown. The shops did this
for us free of charge and continue doing so to this day. We are very
grateful for this as the newsletter does not make a profit. We were
also very fortunate in securing the services of correspondents,
Kathleen Mullane, the late Pat Brosnan R.I..P., Tom Aherne and Peg
Prendeville who kept our readers abreast of all the local news and

The newsletter gave an opportunity to local clubs and organisations to
publish their events, fixtures, results etc. free of charge.
Publication of small classified ads were also free. Other commercial
advertising was given at a very reasonable rate. As long as we made
ends meet we wanted to be of service to the community. All we asked in
return is that the clubs and organisations who benefitted from the
newsletter would use C.D. Printing  for all their printing needs. Most
of them do so but there are the odd exceptions!  In the early days
there was a lot of typing. Computers were scarce so longhand was the
order of the day. The actual printing process was also very different
to what we do now. As soon as the pages were ready for printing, a
plate was made for each one. These were then printed off individually,
put together and folded by hand. This took a bit of time and the
quality of the printing was not great in comparison to today. As time
went by, more pages were needed as more and more people began to use
the newsletter. This created more labour as the pages had now to be
collated by hand, before folding.

Fast forward to today and things have changed a lot. We are now at 12
pages and in full colour. The biggest change is in the printing.
Plates are no longer necessary with the advance in technology. As soon
as the newsletter is ready for printing it is sent directly to the
printing machine. This prints a whole book in one go and folds it as
well. All I have to do is ensure the setup is correct and count the
copies as they are printed.

Setting up the newsletter for printing is an art in itself. The
process begins with the clearing of items from the past week’s issue,
some items will remain from week to week. Towards the end of the week
I start to create a new crossword. Sometimes it flows to me but there
are other times when I am wracking my brain trying to make words fit.
I try to make the clues not too difficult but I include one or two
“sticklers” to keep people thinking!. If I have time I do my own piece
as well. On Monday morning the e-mails start coming in and Lillian
goes to work, downloading and placing text and treating photographs in
the photo shop. The text has to be resized and put into the correct
font with paragraph headings in the proper size and colour People call
into the office with notices, anniversaries, thanksgiving prayers
adverts etc. All these are typed up and placed in different pages.
Some come in over the phone. Finally, when all the material is
together everything must be placed so that each page is full. This is
where the skill comes in and there are a few little “tricks” to
getting text to fit into available space. Now it is time to collect
the remaining crosswords from the shops and, together with the ones
already handed in to the office, they are checked for accuracy. The
correct ones are put into a box and a winner is drawn. Now the file is
put onto my USB key and I take it home with me. I start up the printer
and do the necessary settings on the computer. A test copy is then
sent to the printing machine and I give a quick look through it. Some
more adjustments are made and another copy is printed. This goes on
until I am satisfied that it is ok. I key in the required number for
each outlet and off the machine goes. Sometimes the paper gets jammed
but eventually all the copies are printed and ready to go to the
shops. Another week gone by and another issue on the shelves. Number
1008; who’d have thought it.

Domhnall de Barra

e car as a symbol of Progress, Tasty Cotter, Writers Week Competitions and an Emigrant’s Tale

Listowel January 2016; an ecar fuels beside the Bus Eireann shelter in The Square. In the background is St. John’s.


Tasty Man about town

(photos and text; Vincent Carmody)

Tasty Cotter

Timothy Fitzmarshall Cotter was
also known as ‘Tasty’ Cotter. He was a well loved Listowel character. The
family had a shop at the corner of Main Street and Church Street, Timothy
worked with the Urban Council as a rent collector. He always dressed in style
and was a familiar figure at all events, be entertainment, sporting or

Tasty was a very efficient
Hon.Sec.with the Listowel GAA club in the early 1900s and as you can see from
this 1908 photograph of The Independents, he was a well turned out footballer
as well, as were the rest.

Timothy trod the boards and was a
prominent actor and performer with an early drama group, known as ‘Listowel
Dramatic Class’.  He also was a member of
The Listowel Musical Society and he is included in that Society’s rare and well
preserved programme from their Grand Opening Concert in St Patrick’s Hall on
Tuesday March 4th, 1930.

There was a story told once by
Bryan McMahon of a time when Maurice Walsh (of Quite Man fame), had invited a
number of his friends from Listowel; Bryan McMahon, Tasty and a few more to
attend an opening night in Dublin. Afterwards Maurice Walsh and his friends
adjourned to Boland’s, his local in Stillorglin for drinks. Here they were
joined by some members of the press. As the evening progressed those present
gave their various party pieces, Tasty sang his; an operatic number in Italian.
The press people in particular, were enthralled. One was overheard to ask, how
one from such a rural part of the country could have such clear diction in that
language. Hearing this, Tasty’s reply was spontaneous. He said, ” Friend,
if I had the benefit of a University education, like that lavished, like axle
grease on the heads of newspaper reporters, then sir, I would have become
Governor General of Hyderabad.”


Do you know a Young writer?

If you know a young person who loves to write please encourage them to visit The National Children’s Literary Festival.

The competitions are free to enter and the prizes are good.

There are competitions for adult writers too.


One Listowel Emigrant’s story

Junior Griffin and his late brother, Bert

Junior and Bert’s father’s people come from Knockalougha outside
Duagh. It was from here that Junior’s father emigrated to the U.S. in 1915. He
remembered getting off the boat and seeing a paperboy announcing the main
story; The sinking of the Lusitania. He found work in the Ford Motor Co. in Detroit
and he worked there under the first Henry Ford. They were manufacturing the
Model T.

John Griffin Senior experienced tragedy early in his life in
the new world. He married a lady from Tipperary called Sheridan. Their son was
very young when John’s wife died in the great flu epidemic of 1920. He brought
his young son home with him in 1926 and this boy, Jimmy, was raised in Fourhane
by Junior’s grandmother.

John married again. His second wife, Junior’s mother, was also
Griffin from Fourhane. They married in Detroit and their first daughter, Joan, was born there
in 1931. Junior’s maternal grandmother had 12 children, 11 of whom lived to
adulthood but the eleven were never under the one roof together. The eldest
two, Annie and Josie had emigrated to America before the youngest 2 were born.

When the Griffins returned from the U.S. they settled first
in Knockalougha and their eldest daughter, Patsy was born while they were
there. Her birth was well remembered in the family. Junior’s father had to
travel through two feet of snow to Duagh to fetch the midwife on February 25

Jimmy Griffin, Junior’s older half brother joined the army
and was one of Douglas Hyde’s official army drivers. After leaving the army he
settled in Limerick and he married a lady called Eileen O’Riordan, a grandaunt
of Dolores of The Cranberries. Jimmy has passed away.


Renovation Work Underway here

Hammering banging and clouds of sawdust are emerging from here recently. A big refurb job underway apparently.


Look Who Got the Golden Ticket

Bernard O’Connell, formerly of Upper William Street and his wife at the Bruce Springsteen concert.

Bernard took this picture as the stadium at the Air Canada Centre filled up.

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