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Tag: Women in Media 2018

Church Street Long ago, Women in Media 2018, and Redmond O’Hanlon’s true identity revealed

Photo: Chriostóir Grayson


Church Street in the Rare Old Times

Denis Quille sent us this old photo of Church Street. Notice the thatched house, second building on the left of picture. That is where Lawlees is now.


Women in Media 2018

I told you a while back that I was at this great event and then I forgot all about it until now. This year as ever there were some great discussions. I particularly benefited from a discussion on bullying, cyberbullying and sexting Sinead Burke, a very able and impressive little person and James Kavanagh, a Snapchat, Instagram influencer were two of the star turns.

I met lots of Listowel people whose photos I took and I hope they will forgive me that I forgot about them until now.

 These ladies are not actually from Listowel. They are Limerick ladies  with Rachael English but they love Listowel.


The Good Wine ‘Til Last

The very last event of the WinM conference was not on any programme. It was like a little extra treat for people like me who stayed until Sunday and it was on the theme A Picture Paints a Thousand Words. Along with Jerry Kennelly and Michelle Coper Galvin were some of the movers and shakers in Irish photo journalism and they showed us some of the best of newspaper photos of the past while

There I am in exalted company, your humble photographer rubbing shoulders with some of the best.

Below are some of the photos they showed us. I took photographs of the monitor so the quality is not great. Most of the photos you will have seen before as they are prizewinners and have been singled out as the best of their genre.

I am truly in awe of these masters of their craft.


Who was Redmond O’Hanlon?

Do you remember last week I brought you an essay on a stranger’s attempts at grappling with Kerry idiom? That stranger from The North was none other than local man, Luaí ÓMurchú.

Vincent Carmody informed me that Redmond O’Hanlon was the pen name adopted by Luaí in his essay writing. Luaí’s son Eamon, at my reques,t filled us in on a few details, e.g. 

Who was Luaí ÓMurchú?

Who was Redmond O’Hanlon?

Luaí Ó Murchú

Luaí Ó Murchú was reared in South Armagh, but spent most of his life in Listowel, Co Kerry.  He was born on 30 May 1909 in Netownhamilton.  He was educated in Ballymoyer School (where his father was Principal Teacher), St. Mary’s College Dundalk, and Salesian College Pallaskenry. He was a playing member of St. Killian’s Football Club between 1928 and 1940, winning an Armagh J.F.C. medal in 1940; during that time he served as Club Secretary and reperesentative at County Meetings; he was a member of the Armagh team which won the Ulster J.F.C. in 1929, and registrar of Armagh County Committee in 1933.  

He joined the Civil Service in 1934, his employment eventually taking him to Listowel, Co Kerry, in 1946, where he played a prominent part in the founding and development of Writers’ Week, Listowel.  He was a founder member and first Chairman of Listowel Writers’ Week. (1971-


 A writer and broadcaster in both Irish and English, South Armagh has provided the background to much of his creative work.  Many of his stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio and Radio Éireann. Other stories have appeared in The Irish Press and in various publcations. Over the years he contributed numerous articles and reviews to newspapers and periodicals including Inniuand Comhar.  Much of his writing in English was under the pen-name Redmond O’Hanlon. He published the history of his local football club “St. Killian’s G.A.C. Whitecross” in 1996, and his collection of short storties “Journey Home” was published in 1997. He died in 1999.

“He adopted the pen-name of Redmond O’Hanlon.  Redmond O’Hanlon was a 17th century Irish Raparee who was born in 1640 at the foot of Slieve Gullion, a mountain which could be seen from my father’s home-place in Whitecross, Co Armagh.”    Eamon ÓMurchú

Count Redmond O’Hanlon (1640–1681) was a “rapparee” or guerrilla-outlaw. He is often referred to as Ireland’s answer to Robin Hood. Although born in impoverished circumstances, he was a descendant of the last O’Hanlon chieftain who was Lord of Airgíalla and Master of Tandragee Castle. O’Hanlon lands and property was confiscated when he was alledged to have been present at a fatal argument. He took to the hills around Slieve Gullion and became an outlaw, or rapparee. Many other Gaelic Irishmen flocked to his banner.

Like many dispossessed members of the Gaelic gentry, Count O’Hanlon forced the Anglo-Irish landowners and Ulster Scots merchants to pay for insurance against theft. Travellers under his protection were provided with a written pass, which was to be shown to anyone trying to rob them. Those who disregarded the Count O’Hanlon’s passes or rustled from livestock herds under his protection were forced to return the stolen merchandise, then fined, and finally murdered if they persisted.

On 25 April 1681, Count Redmond O’Hanlon was fatally shot near Hilltown, County Down. According to popular account, he was murdered while sleeping.


Redmond O’Hanlon (Sung by Tommy Makem)

There was a man lived in the north, a hero brave and bold
Who robbed the wealthy landlords of their silver and their gold
He gave the money to the poor, to pay their rent and fee
For Count Redmond O’Hanlon was a gallant rapparee

Then hurrah for Count O’Hanlon
Redmond O’Hanlon
Hurrah for Count O’Hanlon
The gallant rapparee

He had a noble big, black horse that was his joy and pride
A brace of loaded pistols, he carried by his side
He roamed the hills and valleys with a spirit wild and free
Count Redmond O’Hanlon, the gallant rapparee


‘Twas high upon Slieve Gullion that he used to ply his trade
And Squire Johnson from the fews, this handsome offer made
He said “I’ll give four hundred pounds to hang him from a tree”
But, not a man in all the land would sell the rapparee


They sent the soldiers after him to try and bring him back
O’Hanlon only laughed at them upon the mountain track
And while the soldiers slept that night among the mountain gorse
He stole their guns and rode away upon his noble horse


‘Twas back in 1681 that Count O’Hanlon died
And still along Slieve Gullion’s slopes, they speak of him with pride
And anyone will tell you from Rathfriland to Forkhill
That in the silence of the night, you’ll hear him riding still



+    R. I.P. Margaret Broderick  +

Margaret Broderick passed away suddenly on Thursday last. She was, up to her last moments, full of live. She was fun loving, lively and the heart and soul of any party. She will be greatly missed by her bereft family and by her many close friends. She is a huge loss to Listowel Writers’ Week.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal.

I took this photo in Listowel Town Square on St. Patrick’s Day 2018. Margaret is with two people who were very dear to her, her husband, Fin, and her great friend, Madeleine O’Sullivan. They are on their way home from the mass in Irish that was broadcast on RTE.

Margaret was talking away to me as I was taking the picture. She was full of praise for the beautiful music and singing of Listowel’s folk group. Many of those same singers and musicians sang those same songs for her funeral mass on May 7 2018.

Margaret would have loved her own funeral. Her beloved family played their parts to perfection. She would have been so proud.

Her clearly broken hearted Fin held it together to pay tribute to his lovely wife and to thank everyone who had tried in vain to ease the pain of losing Margaret.

Guím leaba in measc na naomh di.


Kerry Idiom, Cheryl’s Closure and Women in Media 2018

Brown Hare by Tracy Marsden…Irish Wildlife photography competition


The Kerryman Unbuttoned  Part 4

Redmond O’Hanlon in Shannonside Annual

Once I had
occasion to call on a strong farmer near Finuge. I knew him  but slightly then but well enough to have
noted the practical streak that made him a successful farmer. He was away from
home when I called and it was with some surprise I learned that he was in the
garden. His farm lay between the road and the river and as I ambled towards The
Feale, I pictured my farmer working in his glasshouses tending tomatoes or
early vegetables or flowers for market. Or I thought thast maybe he goes in for
blackcurrants or strawberries or other small fruits in a big way. Possibly he
might be pruning or spraying serried lines of Cox’s Orange, Allingham Pippin, or
Lane’s Prince Albert or Worcester Pearmain or Bramley Seedling. Why, we might
even get to discussing fruit trees in general, I imagined as I hurried along.
But it was not to be. I found my farmer merely “rising to” his potatoes and a
further stage in my education on Kerry idiom had been reached. For in Kerry the
garden is a tillage field and poattoes, root crops and grain are all equally
likely to be found there.

Here, I admit, I
felt a bit resentful at what was to be an abuse of language. “If this field is
a garden,” I countered, “ What do you call the space in front of the house
where you grow flowers?” “Flowers,” echoed my Kerry man, “Where do you come
from, boy bawn? ‘Tis aisy we are in Kerry about flowers.”

Before the
farmer’s house one will often find a dry wall. The expression always sets me
thinking. Here I was baffled again, for I thought there must be some
distinction implied. But so far I have not come across a wet wall. Walls, of
course, whether in Kerry or Limerick are a subject in themselves. But here it
seemed I was ignorant of even the most elementary principles of wall
construction. Built without mortar or cement, as in Galway, one might concede
the point, but any examples I have seen were solid examples of the builder’s
skill with plumb and trowel.


Another One Bites the Dust

Cheryl’s vintage shop has closed its doors.

Across the road is the empty Craftshop na Méar


Remember Pat Slemon’s Shoe Shop?

Photo: John Hannon


Women in Media 2018

Katie Hannon of Duagh and RTE was one of the stars of the show. Here she is catching up with her old school pal, Máire Logue who was on a kind of busman’s holiday, enjoying our neighbour’s festival.

This was the really prestigious panel for the first symposium I attended. These formidable women of the media world are  our own Katie Hannon, prize winning investigate journalist, widely acknowledged as one of the best in the business, Caitríona Perry, news anchor, author and rising star in Irish journalism, the very impressive Susan Daly, editor of the best online journal bar none, The, Deirdre O’Shaughnessey of Cork 96FM fame  and Miriam O’Callaghan. probably Ireland’s best known woman in media.

Máire, Lucy and Rose basked in the summer sunshine.

Mary O’Rourke and Nell MacCafferty were representing us, the retired generation.

The years have been kinder to some rather than others.

I knew Chloe Walsh when she was in a brown uniform in Pres. Listowel. She is still the same lovely girl and I was delighted when she approached me after I had failed to recognise her.

John Kelliher took this great photo of a group of Listowel Ladies who attended the grand opening of Women in Media 2018. Katherine Lynch and Miriam O’Callaghan have only a tenuous Listowel connection but Katie Hannon is one of our own, a neighbour’s child and we are all dead proud of her.

Glashas, The Building of O’Connell’s Avenue and Women in Media in Ballybunion 2018

Photo; Pat O’Meara, Mallow Camera Club


The Kerryman Unbuttoned

From a Shannonside Annual, Redmond O’Hanlon writes of his experience of the distinct idiom and expression of Kerry speech

The woman of the
house where I stopped to enquire told me that the people I was looking for lived
only the pelt of a stone from the road. “Mary here will carry you up to the
headland, sir, ”  she added, “but you
will have to jump the glasha.” My proferred escort was a minute barefooted
maiden of about ten summers. Looking at the wisp of femininity and remembering
my eleven and a half stone, I thought of Sinbad, the Sailor and The Old Man of
the Sea. But the glasha was still a problem. What was it at all and how did one
go about jumping glashas? I wondered as we walked on. And did the daily jumping
of such obstacles in Kerry account in any way for the ease with which the
county’s ball players rose for the high ones in Croke Park?  And then light dawned. “Glasha,” I repeated
as I walked along with the wee one, that must be the Irish glaise, a stream.
And so we came to it. I said goodbye to my guide at the headland and duly
jumped the glasha. No bother this to me in those days. A rangy leggy lad I was
then and the jumping of glashas for years to come was to be one of the
privileges of a job that brought me all over North Kerry and West Limerick.

(more tomorrow)


Communion Class in Scoil Realt na Maidine

Photo credit; Ned O’Sullivan on Facebook


Building O’Connell’s Avenue

(Photos and Story from Vincent Carmody’s Living History on Facebook 2016)

In the 10 years after our Civil War, very little was achieved, nationally, in the building of local authority housing. Around 1930, the members of, the Listowel U.D.C. were concerned with severe overcrowding in many properties and the use of many more with very poor sanitary conditions. Following a survey of the town’s housing stock, they presented their findings and sent a plan to the Department Of Local Government. In response they were informed that the Listowel Council had been granted funds for the building of 104 houses. At this time, it was to be one of the largest local authority building contracts in the country.

The contracting tender, in 1932, was won by a local building contractor, M.J. Hannon. This in itself was a great bonus to the town, as it guaranteed a substantial number of years’ work for the town’s tradesmen and laborers, with, of course, a great spin off for the town’s businesses.

Some years ago, I spoke at length, and took notes, from Mr Jim (Red) O’Sullivan of Charles Street. Jim, who had worked with the Hannon Builders since he left school, was officer manager at the time of the construction, (he is pictured in the second last row), unfortunately, with the passage of time, the notes were misplaced.  However, I can recall a number of the things which he told me. The council took soundings on a possible name. One of the early contenders, before they decided on O’Connell’s Avenue, was Eucharistic Avenue, this was on account of the Eucharistic Congress which was been held in Dublin, in the summer of that year. He also explained, that the wage bill per week was, if I remember correctly, in the region of £400. At the time, this would have been an enormous sum of money, Jim would collect the money from the bank first thing each Saturday morning, after which, he would be escorted by an armed detective back to the office. There he would make out the pay packets in readiness for paying each man, at the conclusion of the half-days work on Saturday. All the blocks for the building work were manufactured on site.

The land on which the houses were built had been purchased from Lord Listowel, prior to it being built on, it had been used as meadowing by the O’Donnell family, family butchers in Listowel. The main entrance to the houses was from Convent Street, Later a roadway was built to connect up with Upper William Street. The building of this later facilitated the erection of St Brendan’s Terrace. 

The official opening was on Monday, June 17th 1935. It was presided over, by then Government Minister, Sean T. O Kelly. ( He, ten years later, in June 1945, became Ireland’s second President, replacing the outgoing Douglas Hyde).

The first residents had taken over their houses, prior to the official ceremony. In the main these were couples with young families. Today, a third generation of these families own many of these houses. Over the years there has been mass emigration from the area. However, those who remained, have contributed greatly, to the, social, cultural and sporting history of the town. 

The pink photograph is of a  pamphlet which was distributed to the local businesses, asking them that they allow their employees time off, to participate in the ceremony.

Local men who were part of the official party are seen here in conversation withe the minister. They are Eamon Kissane, T.D., Eddie Leahy and John McAuliffe in conversation with Minister Seán T. OCeallaigh.


Women in Media 2018

I was in Ballybunion at the weekend for this super event. John Kelliher photographed me with some of the Writers’ Week gang who were there enjoying a festival at which they didn’t have to work.

Of course I was working away on your behalf. John snapped me as I snapped another photo for Listowel Connection. I’ll bring you my report during the week as well as an account of my trip to St. John’s for Many Young men of Twenty and to the Seanchaí for the history lecture.

John Kelliher’s photo of me taking a photo of some Limerick ladies with Rachel English

Elizabeth Dunn, Annette Fitzgerald, Rachael English, RTE journalist and author, Mary Cogan and Elish Wren

Photos; John Kelliher

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