St. Michael’s graveyard in April 2024

Trees in the Park

This beautiful cherry blossom is in the pitch and putt course.

I met Denis O’Rourke on his morning walk. I photographed him against the backdrop of this magnificent tree.

This one will forever remind me of picnics in the park during Covid.

This fairly bare one is in the middle of the car park.

Thade Kelly’s Hen and the furore that followed

You’ll have to go back to yesterday’s post for the text of the poem and what David O’Sullivan found about the poet.

David discovered a very interesting joust in the papers between Foley (poet) and OSullivan (journalist) as to the merits or demerits of the ballad of the hen.

Here is some of the marvellous commentary in the newspapers of the time, mainly The Kerry Sentinel.

In October 26 1889 Foley got a good review from his own Tralee paper,

In March 1901 at a big Listowel Concert, Foley was going grand while he was singing familiar songs by other composers. However his encore, his own composition, Thade Kelly’s Hen, drew the ire of a local journalist who was prompted to write (anonymously) to the paper. Foley took offence and replied in his own defence.

Back came ” Your Correspondent’s” reply

The boys were going at it hammer and tongs in the local paper when, from beyond the Ganges, a retired Captain O’Sullivan enters the debate. He launches his scud at the poor hin while writing at a temperature of 105 degrees

But who was this Thomas F. O’Sullivan who took such exception to poor Foley’s attempt at local humour?

Dave found that out too and I’ll tell you tomorrow.

May Eve

In the old Celtic belief, the new day began a sunset, so Bealtaine began on May Eve, April 30. Bealtaine celebrates the return of the light after the dark days of Winter. It is the first day of summer and traditionally it was celebrated with dancing and feasting.

The Christian tradition built on the old Celtic one and May became the month of Our Lady. May altars were built and decorated and processions were held in honour of the Blessed Virgin.

A Fact

In some parts of Ireland where a lot of store is set by folk cures, a man who had never seen his father was thought to have a cure for many ailments.