The latest posts from our blog (click on title to open):

St. Mary's renovation; progress report, Fungi and some puppies


Fungi, the Dingle Dolphin



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From Bord na Mona Heartland


The First International Peat Symposium took place in Ireland, 60 years ago in July 1954. Delegates came from 15 countries to discuss the latest technology in the peat industry. 20 years after an Irish delegation visited Germany and the Soviet Union to look at the industry there, now overseas delegates came to Ireland to look at our industry. This is the visit of the delegates to Clonsast Bog.

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St. Mary's Parish Church Listowel ….progress July 26 2014



The project is on target and is due to finish on Saturday next, August 2 2014.


St. Mary's will revert from a building site to a place of worship.



New floor looking good



Radiators are being reinstalled. The old ones were good enough so no new expense there.



A new and safer ramp gives access to the altar.



Beautiful  confession boxes are put back.



Great new lighting will highlight some of the lovely old features of the church.



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Puppy Walkers Needed




Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind  are looking for volunteer puppy walkers in Tralee.

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R.I.P. Maurice Stack ….another of the old stock




Photo of Maurice Stack and the late Eamon Keane from the internet.

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Saving the hay, salmon fishing and an end of year dinner and dance

Make hay while the sun shines….

On Muckross House Traditional Farms they saved the hay the old way. The photos come from their Facebook page.



 This man is gathering the hay prior to making the wynds. This machine requires quite a  bit of skill to operate.


This man appears to be using a four prong pike so I'd say he is finishing off the wynd and combing out the loose hay. Haymaking was always done with a two prong pike.


The wynds made and the field raked…job done!

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Lisivigeen school 1930




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Lyre



Lovely photos from Lyreacrompane dinner and dance here:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lyreacrompane-Community-Development/257124171035097?fref=photo


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Moss Joe Browne's video of salmon fishing in the river Cashen last week;

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=262803743921812&fref=nf


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+  Tom Fitzgerald, Billerough and Church St.  +




Tom Fitzgerald and Jim Cogan on Church St. in 2008. May they both rest in peace.



This obituary to the late Tom Fitzgerald is taken from the North Kerry Board GAA website

Former Secretary of the North Kerry Football Board                                                                                                       Billerough, Listowel.

It was with immense sadness and much regret that we learned of the news that swept throughout North Kerry and beyond on Wednesday morning last July 16th 2014 of the passing of the late Tom Fitzgerald R.I.P. Tom was to so many, a person of the highest integrity through his profession as a Secondary School Teacher and then through his involvement and love of the G.A.A. He was always a great family man, despite the fact that an amount of his time did revolve around his profession and sport. Indeed it is at this time that we think especially of Tom’s family and particularly that of his beloved wife Marie, daughters Ann Marie and Juadth sons Paul and Gerry, daughters in law Denise and Olivia, son in law David, grandchildren, brother Kieran and sister Eileen nephews, nieces family relatives and wide circle of friends with whom our sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with at this sad time.

Indeed to go through everything that Tom achieved whether it be on the pitch or at the boardroom table or in the confines of the Tech in Listowel would indeed require a lot more space to highlight than what is printed here. It would require reams upon reams of paper to properly document everything that went into his most illustrious life. In this article we  wish to highlight as much as possible his involvement particularly in the G.A.A. where he touched the lives of so many people. From his early childhood Tom was steeped in the G.A.A. and won a Minor North Kerry Medal with Listowel in the mid 40s. That followed on with a Senior North Kerry Championship medal again with Emmets in 1957. 

An absence from these shores followed with Tom spending a few years in England. On returning he once again became involved with the Listowel Emmets Senior Team who were going through a bad patch at that particular time which was in or around the beginning of 1971. Through the efforts of the late Chairman Mikey Kennelly, Secretary Vincent Carmody and Tom a big drive was put in place to put together a good and young energetic team in which over 36 players were watched and looked at with a young squad emerging that would propel the Club into great success. 

By the end of 1972 the Emmets Senior team had captured the North Kerry Senior Championship defeating Finuge in the Final. They also won the Co Junior Championship defeating Glenflesk in the Final. The North Kerry League was also to be theirs even though Emmets drew with Desmonds in the  Final with the replay going out until June of 1973. To his credit Tom has had unbelievable success in both training and as a selector in so many various teams. He trained Emmets to great success, again capturing titles in 1995, 96 and 97. He trained Finuge and Ballydonoghue during the course of his career plus he guided and trained Feale Rangers who went on to win a County Under 21 title. He also trained both Listowel Vocational School and the Kerry Vocational School teams to glory at both local, County, Provincial and All Ireland levels. He also trained Shannon Rangers along with guiding the Kerry Juniors to All Ireland success.

But his role as an administrator was exemplary. His ability, time and patience will never ever, ever be matched, forgotten or surpassed by anybody whom had the privilege of either serving or working with him during the course of his 23 years as Secretary of the North Kerry Football Board. He took over the role as Secretary of the Board in 1972 on the retirement of the late Andy Molyneaux who proceeded to be appointed as Secretary of the Kerry County Board on that particular year. During the following 23 years Tom served under three different chairmen Dan Kiely, Gerald McKenna and Bernard O’Callaghan. Indeed if anyone had all the attributes that make a unique Officer of any Club or Board Tom Fitz, as he was more affectionately known, had all of these and more. 

Those of us who had the privilege of either serving with him, or working with him, indeed we will always hold his friendship, courteous manner and style to the highest degree. His duties and loyalties were again to the forefront when he took the position of Chairman of the Emmets Club on the stepping down of the late Mikey Kennelly. In recent years he was made President of the Emmets Coiste na nOg Club a position he held with great pride until his passing from us. 

Indeed the high esteem that Tom was held in was very much borne out on Saturday morning last as over a hundred school kids flanked his remains as it made its way from his home to St Michael’s College. Tom Fitzgerald R.I.P. gave so much to Club, Divisional, District and County G.A.A.  has left us a legacy in his passing for which we will always be humbly grateful. May the sod in St Michael’s Cemetery in Listowel rest lightly on the gentle soul of our esteemed friend, colleague and comrade who now joins with so many of his fellow Gaels in that huge arena in the sky. An chuid file suaimhneach, a chara,  Ní bheidh muid ag feiceáil a chuid leithéidí arís. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

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His and Hers Hairdressing in Charles Street has got a facelift.


This is the town end of Charles St. this week. His and Hers Hairdressing is second from right, next to Carmody's off license, now closed.

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Chapatti

I hope that we in Listowel get to see the new play by Christian O'Reilly which played to rave reviews at The Galway Arts Festival last week.


Dublin in July 2014 and some local sporty people

I made a trip to Dublin and Kildare for a theatre break and to visit family


I did not come to Dirty Dancing with too high expectations and in terms of light summer entertainment it was an enjoyable night out, light hearted and untaxing. The mostly female audience entered into the spirit of things and their enthusiasm added to the atmosphere.



My theatre companion, Clíona, at the theatre before the show. The Bord Gáis theatre is currently on the market.

 I took this photo from the upper tier at the interval. The Bord Gais theatre is really such a well designed gem, fitting perfectly into this lovely space.


 After the show, with the place all lit up, I'd buy it myself if I had the money. I hope it goes to the right buyer anyway.


Controversy surrounds these chimneys as well with plans to demolish them being opposed by some Dubliners who see them as "iconic". They are across the city in a direct line with the theatre.


On a beautiful summer evening many people were chilling out on the canal wall.

I had heard about the teenagers who don wetsuits and come down to swim in the canal. They were thrilled to see my camera and put on a performance for me and the tourists on the Viking Splash Tour.









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Kerry Crusaders



I found this photo on the Crusaders Facebook page. It shows some of those who took part in the Run Killarney event last weekend.

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FAI summer camp



photo: Facebook

A record number, 163 young people, participated in the recent FAI summer camp in Pat Kennedy Park, Tannavalla. The future is looking bright for football in Listowel.

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The Adventure is Over…. for now


Listowel's Savannah MacCarthy and the  U19 Irish Ladies Football team failed to make it to the final of the European Championships last night. They have shown such talent throughout the competition that I have no doubt we will be hearing more of them in the future.

Valentia, Geokaun and Portmagee


Valentia, Knightstown and Geokaun




This is the Valentia lifeboat. It is anchored in Knights Town, one of the prettiest villages I have ever visited.


This is Hotel Valentia overlooking the harbour.





Everywhere there were boats and signs of a maritime lifestyle, all beautifully painted and pristine.


The local Tidy Town's committee have done a great job of painting, restoring and preserving. This is an old weigh bridge, all painted up and looking beautiful.


This is the wall that greets you as you come off the ferry.



 What a beautiful way to decorate a boring old fence! In the international language of flags, this display spells Knights' Town.




The old Church of Ireland church is surrounded by a sensory garden.


This looks like an old baptismal font put to a new use.


This is one of the many wooden items in the innovative and different playground.



Below is a shop which has been in the news recently. It is Walsh's and has reopened after 21 years.





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Geokaun


No visitor should leave Valentia without visiting Geokaun. On a clear day you can see for miles and miles some of the most breathtaking views. The drive up the mountain is a bit scary but worthwhile.













This is Portmagee, a lovely little tourist town as you come off the island.




Ballybunion


Another lovely photo from Mike Enright

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A hare photographed by Timothy John MacSweeney.

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Pictures from last Sunday's Glin Swim


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It's a boy




Photographs of Dublin Zoo's new baby elephant are by Patrick Bolger.

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Will you look who's wearing a loom band bracelet now?


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Good luck tonight to the Irish Ladies U 19 football team. A win tonight will see them into the semi finals of the European Championship.

Derrynane, loom band bracelets, Rory McIlroy and a mural in Athea

Tarbert goes west


When I arrived for my break in The Derrynane Hotel I was surprised to see so many Tarbert people in the hotel lobby. It transpired that Joan Murphy was with a Tarbert group on a historical tour of the peninsula when they called in to meet their old friends, David and Mary O'Connor in the Derrynane Hotel before going home.




The hotel is a lovely family run, family friendly retreat in an absolutely beautiful corner of this lovely county.




The view from my hotel room window. The seagull came every morning.



Food miles are kept to a minimum here. This is the hotel's herb garden. 
The O'Connors believe in supporting local producers and everywhere you looked in the hotel, there were local crafts on display and in use.

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Derrynane Fairy Trail

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a big fan of the fairy folk and this summer, in the company of my lovely grandchildren, I have enjoyed many fairy related experiences. 

Derrynane is the best.


The woods are dense and the path surrounded by lush greenery. A great habitat for fairies.


The little fairy houses are beautifully constructed and often concealed in the trees. Looking for them was part of the fun.



This is the fairy restroom, a kind of public toilet for fairies who might find themselves short taken while out and about in the woods.


There is a ruined tower in the wood. Nearby a fairy architect has designed a replica for his fairy client.


















I have given you just a taste of this magical place. The Fairy trail is in the woods beside Derrynane House. When you are finished visiting the fairies, you can have tea in the tearooms and visit Daniel O'Connell's chariot. Derrynane beach is also within walking distance so this is an ideal place for a day out with small ones. 

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Loom Banding; Summer 2014's craze


Three year old Cora gets to grips with her loom.

 So many bands, so little time!



You can also make loom bracelets on your fingers.

Voilá

Garvey's Super Valu are having a loom banding day on July 25th next with demonstrations and competitions galore.

By the way I could swear that I noticed that Rory McIlroy wore a band bracelet throughout the Open and his mother was wearing one on Sunday. Rory's Sunday one matched that fashion mistake of  a grey and pink get up that Nike kitted him out in.


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Savannah McCarthy


(Photo from Listowel Celtic's  page)

Savannah and the Ladies U19 Football team will play their semi final in the European Championship on Thursday July 24 2014.

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Homeward Bound


Photo: Athea Tidy Towns

Lovely study of  man and  horse. I love the way the absolute trust between man and beast is conveyed…reins loose and hand in pocket, both in working mode yet totally relaxed…perfect harmony  and understanding.

Some sights from a traditional Irish summer.

Stacks on the bog








As part of the annual Stack Clan Gathering which took place at the weekend, the troop took a trip to the bog where Seamus Stack and his family introduced the visitors to the joys of a day in the bog. Ger Greaney took these photos.


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Fleadh na Mumhan


This photo from Celtic Steps gives a good impression of the huge crowd that thronged Killarney's streets at the weekend for the fabulous outdoor concerts that were part of Fleadh na Mumhan 2014.







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Soccer Success

Photo; Gareth Maher

The Irish girls' under 19 team caused a huge upset in the European Championship by beating a fancied English team. Listowel Emmett's Savannah McCarthy scored one of Ireland's two goals.  The very talented seventeen year old is one of the big stars of women's football. Then to crown their victory against England they went on to beat Sweden last night. Savannagh scored one of Ireland's two goals. Roll on the semi-final

Another less well known Kerry connection to the team was told to me by Mike Lynch

"the manager of the Irish Ladies' Under 19 team, Dave Connell, went to Minard to learn Irish as a lad back in the 1970s.  He and his mates from the Cabra area enjoyed “The Gaeler” (as they called the Gaeltacht) a lot, particularly as Dublin were pretty good at Gaelic Football at the same time!"



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Meanwhile in Muckross




On Muckross Traditional farms, the hay is saved in the old fashioned hay and is brought home to the barn on an old style hay float.

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Old Post box






This old post box is at The Six Crosses

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Lovely film of some of the highlights of Listowel Writers' Week 2014

http://youtu.be/DCKFZFG47Y0

A wedding in Bantry

A wedding with a difference




Bantry

Bantry Bay

Last week I attended a family wedding in a beautiful corner of the country. The wedding was in Glengarriff Lodge and Louise and Benny, the happy couple, are two of the three directors of Vantastival Music Festival This is an early summer  music festival where families or others roll up in camper vans and tents to enjoy  a weekend of music and fun. Many of the guests at this wedding were music folk or festival helpers or both.



Some chose to camp in the grounds of the lodge.



 The wedding marquee was decorated with wild flowers.


Wild flowers in jam jars decorated the tables and tree branches hung with tea lights in jars provided the lighting.


The Lodge is not a hotel, merely a four bedroomed house that the family used as their base for the week of the wedding. The groom, Benny, cut down a tree in the nearby forest and made some of the seating for the day.


A river runs beside the lodge and the sounds of flowing water added to the musicality of the ceremony.


The ceremony was conducted in a clearing in the forest and the guests sat on blankets or on the terraced ground in front of the lodge.


Bunting and other adornments were hand made by friends of the couple. Louise and Benny are both artists.



The dress code was very flexible and accommodated all tastes and styles.


We ate a pig cooked on a spit and lots of salads and home made fare.



The marquee came all the way from Co. Louth. It is the Vantastivel marquee, but was also ideal for the wedding reception.





Cork Luxury Loos are just that; luxury, by portaloo standards anyway.







These 'flowers' were made from painted plastic bottles.

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I am delighted to see Rory McIlroy back at No. 2 in the world rankings after a great weekend when he became the first European golfer to win three different majors.

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Ard Cúram cycle and Prof. Kennelly

Ring of Kerry Cycle for Ard Cúram

A staggering number of 578 people cycled in The Ring of Kerry cycle to raise funds for the new
 day centre for Listowel's elderly.



Ard Cúram had a busy band of volunteers out preparing and distributing food and refreshments to the cyclists. A big credit is due to all involved.


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The Early Days


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Fulbright Scholar



This is Professor Edward Kennelly and he has a strong Listowel connection. His father is Jim Kennelly of The Cloth Hall, Upper William St.

The following is from the internet:

Lehman College congratulates Professor Edward Kennellyof the Department of Biological Sciences for his 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholarship to research modern Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Hong Kong. He is one of 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals selected for the prestigious honor.
Dr. Kennelly will work with colleagues at the Institute for Chinese Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong as he performs fieldwork, in vitro activity testing, and chemical analysis in an effort to better understand how selected modern TCM formulas may exert their effects.
As traditional Chinese medicines continue to grow in importance outside of China, so does the need for a thorough understanding of how it is used and how it works. “TCM as practiced in Hong Kong offers a unique opportunity to study both a well-regulated system of complementary medicine, and one that is undergoing rapid modernization,” explains Prof. Kennelly.
Dr. Kennelly’s research focuses on the biological activity of certain compounds found in plants, also known as phytochemicals. He is specifically interested in phytochemicals with biological activity that may help to prevent or treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer.
In addition, Dr. Kennelly serves as the Executive Officer of the CUNY Graduate Center’s Program in Biochemistry.  He teaches and mentors students in the CUNY Ph.D. Subprogram in Plant Sciences and Biochemistry at the Graduate Center. His lab maintains close collaborations with Columbia University,  The New York Botanical Garden, Minzu University (Beijing).

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Sign in Clonakilty, Co. Cork



Spotted by Ger Greaney

A visit to Wetlands, Tralee, and Athea, Co. Limerick


My grandchildren are the greatest joy in my life at the moment. Getting to know one's grandchildren is a blessing not granted to everyone and I am eternally grateful that it has been granted to me.


Last week, when Sean and Killian visited, we went to Wetlands, one of the Kingdom's great visitor attractions.


This yoke is called  a zorb. The boys had great fun rolling around in them on the lake.


After the zorbing the boys couldn't wait to take to the water again, this time in a pedalo.


They got a good drenching when they got stuck under one of the fountains….great fun.


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Athea


 Despite their scepticism about the fairy folk, they loved the legend of the Athea giant and his unfortunate mother and they were willing to give the worry tree a try. As the Kerry man said, "I don't believe in fairies, but they're there."







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We carried on to O'Halloran's Garden Centre  and the Blueberry Coffee Shop






My two boyeens are animal lovers and they particularly love these ones, who are so tame and friendly.




A feature of the village of Athea is the abundance of really great mural art. This agricultural themed one is my favourite

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Siamsa Tíre



Siamsa, the early days

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Moyvane Playground opening



 Your invitation: 'Official opening of the Moyvane Community Playground will be held this Sunday, 20th of July at 2pm. This will be a family fun day with Bouncy Castles, Face Painting and many more....Hot Food, refreshments and treats will be available on the day... Lots of fun for both young and old, so come along and enjoy the opening of a fantastic amenity to our local Village...We look forward to seeing you there. "

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Gather by the Feale


Some Vikings arriving in Abbeyfeale ahead of this weekend's festival

Listowel Castle and some Listowel success stories

Listowel Castle…a great visitor attraction


Diane Nolan C.C. at her day job as tour guide in Listowel Castle.


 I visited the castle with my two young visitors. They enjoyed the tour and they learned so much from our guide, Mike Moriarty. They were particularly fascinated with the gory and disgusting details of toilet facilities and the siege in 1600 when,  18 soldiers  held out throughout the siege, only for 9 of them to lose their lives at the hands of the victor.


 This massive door is actually a double door with the planks on one side lying horizontally and on the other side vertically. The original door was hung as the walls were being built. This reproduction hangs a few inches off the floor.



Mike pointed out to us that there were three different types of window in the castle. There was no glass in the windows. They were glazed with animal intestines.



This is the primitive toilet. There was one on each floor. They were used as wardrobes as well since the ammonia in the urine was good for killing off fleas and other bugs. 



Sean is standing beside a cubby hole. These were in every room. They were used for standing a candle out of a draught or for putting any goods that you didn't want sitting on the floor.







Views in one direction over the river and in the other over the town are an added bonus of the tour.


For native and visitor, a trip to the castle is a must this summer. The tour takes about 45 minutes and it's free.

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Round Ireland sailors


Father and son team, Derek and Conor Dillon took part in the Round Ireland yacht race and….they won their section!

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Sinead O'Hanlon from Listowel is the current Miss Kerry

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Listowel Cúl camp 2014


The kids are having a great time in Listowel Emmetts grounds.
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