Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Buttevant, Bridge Road, a tip for Town Planners and Rás Tailteann 2018

 Photo: Chris Grayson


 I was in Buttevant

Butevant is a very historic town in North Cork. I was there recently and I made a few observations.

Isn't this a good idea? They have  seats celebrating local families and the history of the family in a notice close by.

There are lots of old shopfronts left unchanged.

Just like us they have a castle in the middle of the town. Ours is in better nick though.

The convent in Buttevant has been sold.  The identity of the buyer was a topic of speculation on the day I was in town.

This old graveyard is in the grounds of the church. It is ironic that the man whose funeral brought me to the town would be the very man who could have told me all of the history.

The church had an ancient feel to it too. The galleries, there were three, are accessed by a stairs from the outside.


Bridge Road

Prompted by Derry Buckley's account of Bridge Road houses, Kay Caball who also came from Bridge Road, wrote the following;

".....In connection with Derry Buckley's photo of  the Bridge Rd.,  my parents rented one of the three houses built and owned by his grandfather, facing the river.  Then they moved to the left hand side of the bridge to what must have been new houses in the early 1940s.  We lived in the second from the stone wall - I think it was owned by Mrs. Murray who had a shop in Main St., selling religious goods - rosary beads, holy pictures, scapulars etc.  (The Murray also must have had the 'franchise' for holy goods at the missions in all the north Kerry churches. They would have covered stall in the yards of the churches at .mission time' selling all these good like hot cakes.

Other people who lived down our (left hand side) of the Bridge Rd., were the Nielsens (Hilary Nielsen taught in the tech), the O'Sheas (Fr Kieran O'Shea), Mr. O'Sullivan the Creamery Manager, (we called everyone Mr. or Mrs. then, had no idea of their christian names). the McElligotts (I think Mr. McElligott sold encyclopedias) and the Woulfes (Mr Woulfe worked in McKennas).   Accross the road we the Griffins (Juniors people) the Kennys, Hassetts, Rita Purcell and her lodger Dan Daly, the Callagys and at the top of this side there were two shops- beside the road going down to the track - Bolsters who sold lovely Lucan Ice Creams and Moloneys (no relation) who had a large shop selling everything, tea, sugar, meal  and shoes."

Peggy Brick who also lived in Bridge Road remembers a Mulligan's shop as well.


Seen on Twitter

A picture paints a thousand words


Neighbourly chat in Charles Street

I met Jerry and Violet on a sunny morning in May 2018


Rás Tailteann in Listowel May 22 2018...a little known Listowel Connection

It's May 22 2018. There I was on Market Street waiting for the Rás to hit town and filling my time by taking a few snaps of the locals when.........

who do I spot across the street but my old school friend from Scoil Mhuire, Kanturk? 
Why was Mary Kiely (now Corkery) in Listowel at the Rás finish?

This is why. Her lovely grandson is riding in the race. Here is Dylan Corkery with three proud grandparents.  
\And here is the Listowel connection or, to be more precise, the Duagh connection. Dylan's grandfather is an O'Keeffe from Trienireach, Duagh. Dylan at 19 is one of the youngest riders in Rás Tailteann.

(More from the Rás to come)

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Memories, Lord Listowel, Comic Con , An old tractor. Stack's Arcade and Rás Tailteann 2018

 Chris Grayson


Dan Shine of Listowel

I posted this photo of Dan with his daughter Laura's children and it brought back happy memories. His sister, Rose wrote;

"Hi Mary, how wonderful to see a photo of my brother Dan Shine, thank you for posting it. I have many memories of him getting his uniform ready for his FCA meeting every Monday Monday night, cleaning the brass buttons with Brasso until they were gleaming and polishing his black boots, you could almost see your face in them lol, happy happy days. Regards, Rose.


Zumba in The Square

At the recent History Festival there was a great variety of different activities going on.

Deadpool and the missus were taking a stroll on Church Street


Lord Listowel

This is a photo of the third earl of Listowel. I found it online when I was researching for my walk around the Square and into Bridge Road on June 2nd. 2018 as part of the Listowel Writers' Week programme.


Comics, Games and figurines at Comic Con

In comjunction with Listowel History Festival there was a Comic Con in The Listowel Arms. This was a first for me but it obviously has a huge following judging by the crowds in attendance.


A Few More from The History Weekend

This tractor is over 100 years

It was brought to Listowel by the Donegan Family who run a garage in Milford, near Charleville in Co. Cork. They are passionate about restoring old tractors and proudly told me that there are only three of these tractors still around today and the Donegan family own all three.

I remember these tractors as the ones that pulled the thresher which was a feature of farm life in my young days.


From the John Hannon Archive

An old photo of Stack's, The Arcade.


Listowel Welcomes Rás Tailteann 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

Industrial Schools, Castle Hotel, Ballybunion, Abbeyfeale, a Craft Fair and a Sand Art Festival in Ballybunion

Chris Grayson's robin


Numbers in Reformatory Schools 1939


Old Ballybunion

The Castle Hotel;  a photo posted on Facebook by Ballybunion Prints



After my recent trip to Abbeyfeale I received this email from a loyal blog follower;

Welcome to Abbeyfeale, Mary!
This year marks the Golden Jubilee of the new Church in Abbeyfeale. Celebrations are planned and a commemorative magazine is in preparation.
The traditional Stations of the Cross are really eye-catching and artistic. No wonder, for they were donated to the Church in recent years when the Sisters of Mercy closed their Convent across the road form the Church.
Originally, the Stations of the Cross were a gift to the Convent in 1900 from a local man who made good in the USA.

The following report in the Freeman's Journal of 1 September 1900 gives the history of the generous gift:

Mr. John M. Nolan, a wealthy citizen of Lowell, U.S.A., who emigrated from Abbeyfeale some years ago, has just presented the Sisters of the Mercy Convent, Abbeyfeale, with the Stations of the Cross for their chapel, the order being executed in Paris at an estimated cost of £250. 

The carving and tinting of the figures is most elaborately and artistically executed.

·  ·  Sat 1 Sep 1900 

·  ·  Page 4 

I wonder what  the 1900 amount of  £250  would represent in today's money?
The Stations are priceless in many ways,  and the Sisters were most generous and far-sighted 
to ensure that such a treasure will always be  part of the heritage and the daily religious faith experience in Abbeyfeale Church.
They will also be a  beautiful and  commemorative tribute to the good work of the Sisters of Mercy in Abbeyfeale.
There are but two Sisters residing in Abbeyfeale now- once there was a host of them  in the thriving Convent Community.
The times and the changes! 



I was at a craft Fair in The Seanchaí on the May weekend

Maria Leahy was minding her father's stall. He makes these hand made replica wagons at his home in Buttevant. Hours of patient hard work goes into every one. They are all made to a unique design.

Frances O'Keeffe is still making her gorgeous tea cozy creations.


Friends Reunited

Childhood friends in Listowel, Jean, Hilary and Eileen met up for a chat and a catchup.


Sand Art in Ballybunion on Saturday May 19 2018

This is a marvellous new festival. I wasn't there myself so the photos are from various Ballybunion photographers 

These are just some of the creations by sand artists from different parts of Ireland.