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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.
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.
I found this photo on the Crusaders Facebook page. It shows some of those who took part in the Run Killarney event last weekend.
FAI summer camp
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Three year old Cora gets to grips with her loom.
You can also make loom bracelets on your fingers.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
Another less well known Kerry connection to the team was told to me by Mike Lynch
Lovely film of some of the highlights of Listowel Writers' Week 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
My two boyeens are animal lovers and they particularly love these ones, who are so tame and friendly.
Siamsa, the early days
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. "
Gather by the Feale
Some Vikings arriving in Abbeyfeale ahead of this weekend's festival
Listowel Castle…a great visitor attraction
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.
We knew him when he was only a lad
This is why Namir is in the news. On Ryan Tubridy's show on 2FM on the 10th July 2014 (you can listen back on the RTE Player) Namir told his fascinating story. With Namir and Ryan in the photo is Namir's wife, Kay.
There are very few Iraqi people in Ireland. But Namir is well used to belonging to a minority. He comes from one of the few Christian families in his native Iraq. As he told Ryan, Iraq has about 20 different religious sects in all. We are familiar with the majority Shia and their enemies, the Sunni, but there are several smaller faiths as well, including a very small scattering of Christians.
Namir was doing his compulsory military service in 1991 when all hell broke loose in his troubled country. Iraq, under Sadam Hussein, invaded Kuwait. The U.S. entered the war. Namir along with his fellow soldiers were given a week's leave in exchange for a donation of a pint of blood. Iraq was expecting massive amounts of casualties and so was stockpiling blood. During his week's leave, Namir fled with his family to the north of the country and to relative safety.
A year earlier Namir had met the love of his life, an Irish nurse called Kay Carr from Ballydonoghue. Namir's mother had suffered a stroke and was in hospital in Bagdad. The family heard of an Irish hospital/hospice which had a very good reputation and they were anxious to move their very ill mother there. This hospital was staffed entirely by Irish nurses. While his mother was here, Kay and Namir met and fell in love. Namir described Kay as 'the most caring person in that hospital". The lovers had to be careful as any association between a soldier and a foreigner would be treated with suspicion.
To cut a long story short, Kay returned to Kerry. Her contract had ended and she was free to leave. She and Namir vowed to meet again when the war was over.
When the war ended in September 1991, Kay could not believe her ears when she got a phone call from a very relieved and now free Namir. Kay had heard nothing from him since she left Iraq and she feared that he was killed in conflict. She was overwhelmed with relief to hear that he was alive and still in love with her and willing to come to Ireland and make a new life with her.
Namir remembers that the film Not Without my Daughter was showing in all the cinemas at the time. This did not paint the best picture of an Iraqi son in law.
The Carrs however welcomed Namir into their family. Kay and Namir married and started a family of their own. Namir's first business was a a shop at Fealesbridge. Since then he has had a succession of different businesses. Now he enjoys his time in Scribes and Craftshop na Méar. He is very much part of the Kerry community now.
Namir's Iraqi family were into different kinds of craft and Namir, when he takes a break from the café, loves to make candles, paint pictures and to try his hand at new crafts. He is in his element in Craftshop na Méar or chatting to the Knitwits knitting group in Scribes. His beloved late mother was a knitter.
Namir Karim is a lovely man with a great back story. Ryan Tubridy said he thought that there was the makings of a book or a film in the story.
What about George Clooney to play Namir?
Shawnee visitors and a Mennonite choir in town
Visitors to Listowel from our twin town, Shawnee in the U.S. were in Christy's on Wenesday night last to wash down the hearty meal of bacon and cabbage that Seán Moriarty cooked for them. Also in my picture, on behalf of the host town, are Damien Stack of Tura Lura Tours and Norella OFlynn.
Joan Walsh was accompanied by her sister when she came out to greet the visitors. Joan's late husband, Tom, was the Mayor of Listowel when the first Listowel group travelled to visit Shawnee.
These people are not from Shawnee. They were in Christy's on Wednesday as well, having a good time.
Irish musicians provided the entertainment, in competition with the second semi final of The World Cup. The American visitors had no interest in the soccer. They loved the music.
The distinguished looking gentleman in this group is the mayor of Shawnee, Jeff Meyers.
Tom Fitzgerald sent me the names.
Bettie Moloney R.I.P.
Last week we bade farewell to one of the town's old stock. A familiar and stylish figure behind the counter in Robert Moloney's in The Square or walking the streets of Listowel, Bettie was an affable and gentle lady. She will be missed.
As a postscript to the Munster hurling final here is Gary MacMahon's lovely poem. I'm sorry about the quality of the photo.
Good news for all Irish people not living in Ireland
You now have a minister in The Dáil to represent you.
And he's from KERRY!