Lesser Redpoll

Photo credit:  Graham Davies


Garden of Europe in Winter 2018

 The trees are bare and, after weeks of relentless rain, the ground underfoot is soft and soggy.

An evergreen tree relieves the uniform greyness.

Schiller is framed by the bare arms of the willow.

This lovely green hedge at the side of the lower entrance is coming along nicely.

The plaque indicating the MacMahon tree needs a facelift.

The McMahon tree is a bay which once grew in Bryan and Kitty MacMahon’s garden in Church Street.

 There was a solitary daffodil in bloom beside the sleeper steps.

The Town Council Depot is a bit unsightly from this path into the Garden.



Listowel silversmith, Eileen Moylan, of Claddagh Design engraving a name in Ogham on a ring

Seven Facts about Ogham

Ogham is the oldest form of writing found in Ireland. It dates from the 4th to the 6th centuries.

Ogham is an alphabet with letters based on the names of trees

All outstanding Ogham inscriptions are proper names.

Ogham was carved in stone.

Typically the name of a chieftain would be engraved in the edge of a stone monument.

Ogham reads vertically from the bottom up.

Ogham is now popular on Irish designed jewellery


Ballybunion Cliff Walk

I took advantage of a short break in the wet weather to take a walk along the cliff at Ballybunion.


Sive at the Gaiety

This is now

That was then.

A modern interpretation of Sive is wowing audiences at the Gaiety.  Back in Feb 1959 Listowel people knew they were witnessing something groundbreaking. I think no one realised quite how enduring this great play by a local lad would be. 

Sive tells a story as old as time. It’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s Westside Story. John B. always had his finger on the local pulse. He was a great observer and recreator of characters. While Mena may be seen as the villain, I can’t help but feel sympathy for her. Look at the hard life she had and the bad match she made. She genuinely saw the advantages of marrying Seán Dota. John B. understood here well.

Dave O’Sullivan has been trawling through the newspapers for review and stories from the fifties. Here are a few of the cuttings he unearthed as the play swept the boards at the All Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone.

I still think that local folk are the best interpreters of the play. As I listen to people these days, I am reminded of nothing but the crowd who claim to have been in the GPO in 1916. The whole of North Kerry, it would appear, was in Walsh’s fully heated ballroom for that first spine chilling production. Almost to a man and woman, they cite the stand out memory as the tinkers. The drum beat of the stick and the thud of the bodhrán added a dramatic dimension they had not seen before. It has been dinned into their folk memory ever since.