To survive, Greenfield taught music. She got her big break in 1851 when she gave a private performance for a rich Buffalo socialite and her friends. Dubbed “the Black Swan” by Buffalo journalists, she was soon sought after and supported by wealthy white and Black patrons who arranged for, publicized, and supported her performances. In a time of publicly-sanctioned segregation, she performed for mixed audiences.




As her fame grew she embarked on a national tour. Soon, Greenfield was performing in front of audiences of thousands. At places like the New York Harmonic Society, which prohibited Black people from attending, people prevented from seeing her nearly rioted. In response, Greenfield would sometimes perform the same program at both white and Black venues.


Remembering a popular teacher and a great servant of the GAA who died in Nigeria.


Who was Frank Sheehy?


The question is answered by Vincent Carmody




Frank was born in 1905 to John J.(b 1870) and Annie Sheehy.(b 1874) His father served as a drapery assistant in the Listowel and his mother was a native of Tipperary. Frank was the youngest of 4 children, with a brother John (b 1898), Margaret(b 1899) and Ellen ( b 1901).




He received his primary education at the Boys' National School, only 3 doors up the street from his home,. After this he attended St Michael’s College where he was a classmate of Seamus Wilmot among others.


 Having achieved an M.A. at University College Dublin he then applied for and was accepted to attend at St. Patrick's Training College 1932-1934 to complete his studies to become a National Teacher. Among his colleagues at this time was the redoubtable Sean O Síocháin, later to become a long time General Secretary to the Gaelic Athletic Association. OSíocháin, in a tribute to Frank in 1981 wrote, ‘I first made his acquaintance in 1932/1934 as a student teacher in the Primary School attached to St. Patrick’s Teacher Training College, in Drumcondra, Dublin, where Frank had established himself as one of the great primary teachers of his time. In the following years, through the thirties and into the forties, we worked in after-school hours for the Comhar Dramaíochta, in the production and promotion of plays in Irish, he as runaí and I as a junior actor and sometimes Bainisteoir Stáitse. His high efficiency, his drive and his sense of humour streamlined many a situation for amateur actors which, otherwise might have been chaotic. During the forties, as Principal of an Endowed Primary School in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, gave him a distinction enjoyed by few in Primary Education, while his period in that part of Co. Meath, which coincided with that of the incomparable Paul Russell as Garda Sergeant, transformed the town and the district into a mini-Kingdom all their own’.




He returned to his native town in the early 1950s and quickly immersed himself in the local club and county GAA scene. He became Chairman of the county board in 1953 and many would say that he indeed was the spark that ignited the Kerry Senior team to regain the Sam Maguire, the first since 1946. That year he also organised the golden jubilee of the county’s first All Ireland success in 1953 and he was also instrumental in initiating the scheme that allowed Kerry All Ireland medal holders the right to apply for two tickets whenever the county reached the final.




He was appointed as principal of the senior boys’ school on his return to Listowel, a position he held until 1960. He served as Munster Council President from 1956-1958 and was narrowly beaten for the Presidency of the GAA by Dr.J.J.Stuart.






In 1961 he went to Nigeria, Africa, to take up a position of Professor of Educational Science at a training college in Asaba. He died there in 1962.


Listowel sports field is named ‘Pairc Mhic Shithigh’ in his honour.










‘Pray for me’: The last letter of an RIC officer executed by the IRA


Ronan McGreevy




The poignant last letter of former Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) officer who was executed by the IRA for being a spy has been released as part of the Brigade Activity Reports.


James Kane, a fisheries protection officer in Co Kerry, was executed on June 16th 1921 on suspicion that he gave his former RIC colleagues details of eight IRA men who were  involved in the shooting dead of the constabulary’s divisional commander.


Detective Inspector Tobias O’Sullivan was shot dead on January 20th, 1921 outside Listowel barracks in Co Kerry. Some time later men from the 6th Battalion, Kerry North Brigade, kidnapped Kane. They did so on instruction from IRA General Headquarters (GHQ) and interrogated him.


After a prolonged period of interrogation he was executed on June 16th, 1921. His body was left by the side of the road with a note, “Convicted spy. Let others beware. IRA.”


Before he died Kane composed a letter to his family which is in the newly-released Brigade Activity Reports files of 1 Kerry Brigade. The letter is addressed to his children, one of whom is said to have cried out as the coffin was lowered into the ground, “Daddy, daddy”.


It beings: “My dear children, I am condemned (to) die. I had the priest today, thank God. I give you all my blessing and pray God may protect you all. Pray for me and get some masses said for me.”


Kane goes on to list the financial provisions he has made for the family and the money he owes to people locally.


It is clear that his children will be left as orphans as he requests that he be buried next to his “loving wife if possible”.


He concluded: “Don’t go to too much expense at the funeral and have no drink or public wake. I am told my body will be got near home. I got the greatest kindness from those in charge of men.


“Good bye now and God bless you and God bless Ireland. Pray for us constantly and give my love to all my friends and neighbours and thank them for all their kindness.”


The stay-at-home mother’s pregnancy was considered high risk because she was over 40 and had suffered previous miscarriages. As a result, her doctor ordered blood tests on the baby early on and monitored the pregnancy closely.


She started to bleed during the pregnancy and was diagnosed in spring 2013 with a subchorionic hematoma, a blood clot in the fetal membrane. The only thing doctors can do for that condition is prescribe bed rest. If the blood clot ruptures, it can result in a spontaneous miscarriage.


DEATH NORA Bennis, who regularly made headlines for her outspoken views and passed away this week aged 78, has been laid to rest in her native Limerick.


Married to the late Gerry Bennis from the famous hurling family from Patrickswell, she was a very energetic and forceful voice in a wide range of areas from women working at home to abortion and sex education.


The staunch pro-life campaigner had plenty of followers and secured more than 18,000 first preference votes when she contested the 1994 European elections in the then Munster constituency.


Her funeral took place this Thursday at Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Ennis Road, adjacent to her family home at Revington Park. She was to be buried in St Mary’s (New) Cemetery, Patrickswell.


Nora was daughter of Paul Shinners, a veteran of the Easter Rising. As a political activist, she regularly hit the headlines including when leading a boycott of a sex shop which she described as “filth” when it opened on Ellen Street many years ago. See details in Limerick leader Eugene Phelan,14 Feb 2019.


From Listowel Connection


Down Memory Lane to the Ball Alley




A man called Enda Timoney is compiling a history of handball in Ireland. His research brought him to Listowel Connection and Junior Griffin's account of hand balling in Listowel in the 1940s and 50s.




Here is another memory from Junior;




"By all means Mr. Timoney can use my few words, in fact I would feel honoured. I think it is great that he is contemplating  writing a history on the handball alleys.  There was a time when we literally had nothing in our pockets and handball was our main sporting outlet as it really cost us nothing.


In fact as young boys during the war years some of us in the Bridge Road made a bit of money out of the handball.


On a Sunday morning the alley was packed with many young, and not too young, men awaiting their game of handball.  No emigration.  A few of us budding  entrepreneurs from the Bridge Road would have picked up one old penny somewhere, when there was 240 pence to the old pound, and we would make our way to  lovely old lady named Mrs Dowling about a mile outside Listowel and buy apples from her and then go back to the alley and sell our apples. Our aim was to make a profit of 3 old pence, 2 pence for the Sunday matinee and the one penny left would buy us 2 squares of the old Cleeves slab toffee. Our week was made, we wanted nothing else. The two squares were joined together and we would break them by hitting them against the metal leg of our seat in the local cinema. More than likely a square, or maybe both, would hit the ground, but the word hygiene was not on our dictionary in those days. What a lovely, carefree life it was.




The end of the war changed all that, as most of the hand ball young men of that era emigrated to different corners of the world. As I got older I played a lot of handball myself and gave many years as secretary of the local club.. The game of handball meant a lot to us in those days and I honestly believe that as young boys and then as young men it kept us out of harm’s way as the game of handball was such a brilliant game to play."




Worrying Times




by Domhnall de Barra




We live in a fast-changing world that sometimes is hard to keep up with as every day brings something new. Advances in technology have enhanced our lives and given us new gadgets that make life that bit easier. International travel has improved and the world has become a much smaller place. I remember when I was in my teens hearing of a neighbour going to Australia. The only way to go was by passenger ship and the journey took 6 weeks to complete. Going to England by train and boat took over 24 hours, roughly the same time it now takes to fly to Australia. We can use skype and facetime to talk to friends and relations anywhere on the globe and watch them on the screens of our phones and tablets. If we need to find out about anything we just have to “google” it and the answer is there. Likewise with online shopping which gives us  a huge choice of goods to choose from.




I recently had to replace two EGR valves in my Land Rover. The cost of the two in Ireland was €900. By searching the net I got them in Germany and they were delivered to my door at a total cost of €103. Now, that was some saving but we also need to be careful. The internet has given new opportunities to criminals who can pose as genuine traders and take all the money out of our bank accounts. We are fast approaching a time when paper money will be just a memory. Even now it is difficult to buy anything with notes over a couple of thousand. It will make it more difficult to launder money and will affect the black economy. We just have to adjust to these changes no matter how much we want to stop the world so that we can get off. Since the end of the 2nd World War we have had a more peaceful time but that is now in danger with the behaviour of the US, Russia and China in particular. I am old enough to remember the cold war between Russia and the USA and how close we came to a nuclear war that would have spelled the end of the world for us. There was an arms race with both nations trying to build bigger and better bombs and missiles. At one stage, Russian warships were heading for Cuba to launch an attack on the US but president Kennedy held his nerve and, at the last minute, they turned back. Common sense prevailed and eventually a treaty was arranged where both nations agreed to curtail their nuclear activity and the arms race was over. Now Trump says he wants to pull out of that arrangement and go back to building up the supply of arms.  Putin of course will follow suit and we will be back to the bad old days. Make no mistake, these two leaders are dangerous men who lose no opportunity to boost their already inflated egos and are quite capable of pressing the button that will end in total destruction. Let us hope that wiser heads will prevail and these lunatics will not be allowed to bring the world to the brink again. I was hoping to say that we have moved on as a nation and that we are now more open to diversity than ever before.




The divorce and gay marriage referendums have shown that the people are more enlightened and I thought our politicians were too until I saw an article in one of the Sunday papers recently about plans the department of justice had to award some money to Joanne Hayes, the woman from Kerry who was wrongly accused of murdering her baby in 1984.  She was treated badly by agents of the state who sought to make the crime fit a theory they had and they went so far as to persuade members of the Hayes family, simple country people, to admit to a crime they did not commit. I met Joanne during the trial in Dublin. I was playing in a place called Kitty O’Shea’s on Grand Canal Street at the time and she came in with her solicitor Patrick Mann one night. Patrick came from Abbeyfeale originally so we got chatting and he introduced me to Joanne who came across as a very shy, timid individual who was no more capable of murdering her own baby than I was. The trial fell apart when forensic evidence proved that the baby in question was not Joanne’s at all. The damage, however, had been done and she and her family have had to live with that ever since. A couple of Taoisigh and ministers for justice apologised over the years but, even though it was obvious that the police work in the case left much to be desired, nobody was held to account and no compensation was paid. Now the payment mooted comes with strings attached. A confidentiality clause will have to be signed also  a waiver from taking any future action against the state. The payment is not an admission of liability on the government’s part and is not deemed to be compensation. It is the same old story; protect the institution at all costs. This is what happened when priests were found guilty by their bishops of sexual crimes against minors in their diocese. Instead of reporting them to the Gardaí immediately they were just moved on to different areas to continue with their abuses. Victims of crime were less important than the institution and now our politicians are acting in the very same manner. It is time to call a halt. Joanne Hayes should be paid compensation and the government should hold its hands up and admit that she and her family were treated very badly, without any conditions whatsoever. Forget about confidentiality clauses and the likes and don’t add insult to injury. That family have suffered enough..




On a brighter note. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us so the sales of flowers, chocolates and wine will soar. It is nice to get a gift but the best gift of all is love.




Kerryman North Edition, Thursday, July 21, 2005; Section: Kerryman Tralee


A very fit Micheál steps back from the chalkface


ON Monday Micheal O Ruaric retires as Vice Principal of Clounalour CBS — after 45 years of teaching, the bulk of which have been spent with the Tralee Christian Brothers.


It will come as a surprise to many to learn that Micheal is 65. He looks fresh and fit and his tall frame gives him the appearance of a younger man. And he probably would have liked to carry on. Because of the surplus of teachers, however, he like many others has to retire because he has reached the retiring age.


Micheal O Ruairc’s fame extends far beyond the classroom, although it was there that he was happiest and made many friends. A whole generation of boys who passed through the school will recall him. But to those who never sat in his classroom he was known as a prominent GAA man and a member of a number of cultural organisations in the town.


Appropriately, we tracked him down this week at Clounalour CBS where a football league final was being played in bright sunshine.


He presented the cup to the jubilant winners and made a speech. His wit appealed to the boys and they cheered him. Being with the youngsters will be something he will miss in retirement.


“I will miss being with young people,” he said. “I found teaching a very rewarding and satisfying job; one was surrounded by laughter to a certain extent.”


Micheal O Ruairc was born in Ardfert. Shortly afterwards his father was transferred to Farranfore where the family spent four years. They later moved to Tralee and spent some time living in James’ Street, before moving to Ballymullen.




Micheal was educated at Edward Street CBS and trained as a National Teacher in the De La Salle College, Waterford, from 1928 to 1930.


His first teaching post was at St Joseph’s Orphanage, Tralee, where he spent three months. He spent a short time sub-teaching at Rathmorrel NS, Ballyheigue. Here he was deputising for Mr Harry Connor, father of Fr. Fergal O’Connor.


In September, 1931, he was temporarily appointed to the teaching staff of Edward Street CBS. In January of the following year he was appointed permanently to the staff. At that time the monthly salary for a National Teacher was £12. Seven years later it had increased to £17.


“Teachers were not well paid in those day,” said Micheal. “Money, however, had value. It was a simple world in those days. We had peace and stability, we had just recovered from the recession after the First world War.” He recalled making a trip to Lourdes from Liverpool in 1938 and spending four nights in a good hotel. The total cost was £9!


As a youngster growing up in Tralee Micheal inevitably became interested in football. “We had to make our own fun in those days,” he said. “It was the era of the silent films and there was no great attraction in going to the cinema. There was a great emphasis in sport in those days and hurling and football were very popular. Young lads from the town spent a lot of time in the country in those days. Ballymullen was not actually joined to the town then.”


Micheal’s football career really began when he played for Edward Street CBS. In 1927 he won O’Sullivan Cup and Dunloe Cup medals with the school. He also played on the Munster Colleges team.


He was a member of the John Mitchel’s team from 1929 to 1939, during which time he won two county championship medals. He played for Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-finals of 1929 and ‘30. He was a member of the Munster team which was defeated by Leinster in the 1930 Railway cup final.


Micheal was chosen on the team for the 1930 semi-final in an unusual way. He was sitting in the stand watching a junior game when the then Secretary of the County Board, Jack McCarthy, approached him and said that some of the Dublin-based Kerry players had failed to turn up. Micheal was one of the last minute replacements!


“I borrowed a pair of boots from one of the junior players who was about my own size,” he recalled. “This kind of situation wouldn’t arise in modern times,” he said. “It just shows what a supreme GAA county Kerry was at the time. There was always a large selection of players.” Incidentally, he was a substitute on the 1930 team that defeated Monaghan in the final.


Reminiscing on his football contemporaries, Micheal listed off a galaxy of talent. John Joe Sheehy, Paul Russell, Con Brosnan, Bob Stack, Jackie Ryan, “a delightful footballer for a big man,” Miko Doyle, “one of the greats,” the Landers brothers ... the list seemed endless.


Micheal, who lives with his sister, Madeline, in Ballymullen, says that he has not given any thought as to how he will spend his retirement. “I would be going on annual holidays at this time of year anyway, so I have not really thought about it,” he said.


As a parting shot he said: “I have pleasant memories of the brothers and the lay teachers I worked with over the years, particularly the present teachers who made me a generous presentation at a farewell dinner in the Tralee Bay Hotel. He may have retired from teaching, but I think we are far from seeing the last of Micheal O Ruairc.


Miss Sandes in Wicklow


On a recent visit to Belfast, while flicking through a volume in a second-hand bookshop, I found myself looking at photographs of pre-World War I British army camps in Co Wicklow. The book, Enlisted, was the autobiography of Elise Sandes, a Kerrywoman who established a network of soldiers’ homes, and an organisation which survives to the present day.




Sandes was born in Tralee in 1851, and had a happy and conventionally religious upbringing.


FLORA SANDES; She was demobilised in October 1922, and found the transition to civilian life more difficult than becoming a solider: “It was like losing everything at one fell swoop, and trying to find bearings again in another life.”



J. McKenna's Memoirs


Louise McKenna


Attachments21:15 (15 minutes ago)


to me Hi Jer, I attach an invitation to the launch of the memoirs at the Seanchaí next Wed.




Galway Books and famous boxer, died 1818 and old art Listowel teacher.




If you’re looking for some thoughtful, non-polemical insights about some of the craziness you see going on at college campuses, this episode is for you.








Listowel Racecourse and river 2018






Last Sunday through the rain they walked.




Approximately 10,000 people gathered for the largest Catholic procession in England since Pope John Paul II's visit to Britain in 1982. This was the culminating act of the 2018 Eucharistic Congress then taking place in Liverpool.


This was a Eucharistic procession with a difference though.




Prescription; “In 2015, the number of opioids prescribed was enough so that every American could be medicated around the clock for 3 weeks,” she said. “In addition to the number of prescriptions, the average day’s supply of prescription opioids increased from 2006 to 2015, from 13.3 days in 2006 to 17.7 days in 2015.”


– Joan Grogan.


In the townland of upper Athea near the boundary between Limerick & Kerry, Joan Grogan was born in a small house. As a girl she did not seem to be in any way different to others. She was gay and lively.


When a young woman she with other girls and boys were on their way to a wake. It was after night fall and the party came to a stream which they should cross.


DEATH of Sr. Augusta died aged 102 years March 2018


End of an Era? In ATHEA




By Domhnall de Barra




So sorry to hear that Rose in Brouder’s Shop is closing down this week. It is another nail in the coffin of the small shop in our community and a sign of the changing times in rural Ireland. There aren’t many places left where you can go in and buy your groceries over the counter and I’m afraid we are heading for the time when the “counter” will be but a memory. Talking of memories, the news brought to mind a time when I was young and the place was littered with shops, even out the country. There were a few in my area and they evoke different memories. Johanna (Pats) Woulfe had a shop just over the Cratloe road. It could be seen out our back window and I was often sent there as a child. I remember the smell of paraffin, or lamp oil as we called it, as you walked in the door. The barrel was kept it in a little shed by the house  and it had a little tap on it. We would take our can, an oblong shape with a flat top and an opening with a screw on cork, and she would fill the can with a gallon of oil with the assistance of a funnel. For some reason there was always a bit of spillage; hence the smell of oil. For a youngster it was not easy to carry home as the can was heavy and a couple of ditches had to be negotiated as we always took the short cut through the fields. Oil was a vital commodity for the lamps which were the only source of light before electricity. Another item she kept was common soap. This came in a long block and Johanna would cut off as much as you wanted. It was terribly hard but was very good for the washing of clothes when used with a washboard.  Another item in great demand was tobacco. In those days most of the men smoked pipes and bought their tobacco in quarter or half quarter pounds. Like the soap it also came in a  block and the desired amount would be cut off. This then had to be prepared before it could be put into the pipe for smoking. A sharp penknife was essential to pare the tobacco in narrow strips into the palm of the hand. When there was a sufficient amount for a fill the penknife was put away and the slices were crushed between two palms until they were almost turned to dust. The filling of the pipe was also a trade in itself. Too loose and the flame would run through it and too tight and it would be impossible to draw the air through it. The old lads were experts at it and didn’t mind how long it took for the perfect fill. “Bendigo” was the most popular and sometimes the only tobacco available until the arrival of brands like “Clarke’s Perfect Plug”. Everything in the shop came in sacks, chests or boxes and had to be weighed and wrapped for the customer. The wrapping was usually brown paper tied with string that hung from a reel suspended from the ceiling.  Things like sweets would be wrapped in what we called a “tóisín” (spelling probably wrong). It was a sheet of paper twisted into a cone shape with a twist at the bottom to seal it.  Sweets could be bought by the penny worth. You could get three Bell’s toffee  or six “Milseán Uí Gráda” or one “Peggy’s Leg” (a candy bar). It sounds cheap but in those days pennies were hard to come by. My grandmother would send me for ten Woodbines, a box of matches and a bar for myself and I would get a halfpenny change out of a shilling; happy days!




Johanna’s wasn’t the only shop around. There was one at the cross in Knocknasna owned by Jess Horan and there were two more, one each side of Cratloe creamery. Tommy and Peggy Leahy had one on the Athea side and  Birdie Collins had one on the Abbeyfeale side. Collins’ shop closed when I was still young but Willy Healy, who worked at the creamery and was also a blacksmith, opened a shop just back the Abbeyfeale road at the crossroads. It was  handy for people to do a bit of shopping  when they went to the creamery but money seldom changed hands. A book was kept and accounts were settled at the end of the month when the creamery cheque came in. I can’t see Lidl, Aldi, Super Valu or Tesco operating a scheme like that!.




Things were beginning to change from the ’sixties on and, with more transport available, people began to do more shopping in towns. The closing of rural creameries was the last straw and one by one the small rural shops disappeared  as they could not compete and found it difficult to make a living without the morning trade from the milk suppliers.  I suppose it is easy for me to look back nostalgically at those days but time marches on and nothing stands still. Are we better off for all the progress or has the demise of the small shop taken away a valuable social as well as commercial outlet? The small shop was the centre of the community.




It is my fervent hope that Brouder’s shop won’t stay closed  for long and that somebody will take it over. If not, our village will be all the poorer. Like the saying goes: “you’ll never miss the water ‘til the well runs dry”.




Paddy is going






The field work diaries of Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball in Clare 1930-36; stories for the present?




Dr Anne Byrne of NUI Galway will tell the story of the Harvard anthropologists Conrad Arensberg and Solon Kimball who came to Ireland in the 1930s to study rural communities in County Clare.




Writing about the Survey in 2001, Anne received a gift of five original social anthropology field work diaries. Sharing the gift again, she invites re/readings and new conversations on the unpublished diaries and archives querying their contemporary relevance.




Extracts from the diaries on farm and family life will be examined in this talk and you are invited to contribute your thoughts and ideas as we listen to the first hand observations of rural family life and farm work in Ireland in the 1930s.




The diaries and survey letters record the original voices of men, women, farm families, shopkeepers, priests, publicans and politicians with whom the anthropologists conferred. Arensberg’s diaries of his time in west Clare, namely Luogh, record the preoccupations of people, their work on the land, rearing, selling and buying cattle, conventions of marriage and inheritance, the dominance of religion and politics in conversation, the scarcity of money and the significance of ‘influence’ for procuring work.




Anne Byrne is a sociologist in NUI Galway (Political Science and Sociology) interested in how biographical stories and narratives of the past and present illuminate everyday struggles and moments of resilience in ordinary lives. With CLASP press in Clare Library, in 2001 she and Ricca Edmondson and Tony Varley, published a long essay on ‘Arensberg and Kimball and Anthropological Research in Ireland’ as part of the republication of the facsimile third edition of Family and Community in Ireland. Recent socio-biographical publications include with Colm Byrne, 2017, ‘Family Stories and Secret Keepers: Who is Maíre Bastable?’ in Sara Anne Buckley and Pat Dolan (eds) Family Histories of the Irish Revolution, Four Courts Press; 2017, ‘Epistolary research relations: correspondences in anthropological research - Arensberg, Kimball and the Harvard-Irish Survey 1930- 1936’ in O’Giollain, D. (ed), Irish Ethnologies, Notre Dame University Press; 2014, ‘Single Women in Story and Society’ In Inglis, T. (ed) Are the Irish Different? Manchester University Press; with Tanya Kovacic, 2014, ‘Those Letters Keep Me Going: tracing resilience processes in US soldier to sweet heart war correspondences, 1942-1945’ in Reid, H., and West, L., (eds) Constructing narratives of continuity and change: a transdisciplinary approach to researching learning lives, Routledge.




KDHS lectures are free to members, EUR5 for non-members. New members are welcome. The annual membership fee (July-June) is EUR20.




This essay was published in Irish Stories of Love and Hope, a book published to raise funds for The Irish Hospice






Loss in the Traveller Community




Dictated by Missy Collins




I lost my eldest son 25 years ago. He was killed in England. He was called Kieran, Kieran  Collins. He was 13 at the time. My brother’s son was killed at the same time. He was 15, Michael. It was a month before my eight child was born. I’ll never forget the day; it was the 20th of June; it was a Sunday. He went out the door that morning along with a whole lot of his friends and Michael, his cousin, with him. About three o’clock that day (It was a lovely warm day) I seen the policeman approaching our house. Me and my husband, we asked him what’s wrong and he said, “Have ye got a son called Kieran?”. I says,’yeah”. He says;” Will you come inside?” We were at the front of the house. He told us, he says, ”He’s dead.”




I didn’t know what happened. I remember my husband roaring, but I passed out and ended up in the neighbours house next door. I remember coming’ round after someone giving me brandy on a spoon. My husband was going over to my brother’s house who lived a few streets away and they were roarin after their son being killed. Their youngest, my eldest. We brought them home to Ireland to bury them., the two were buried together. I suppose at that time and I suppose up to this present day, I never really got over it and I never will because, put it this way, it hits me every day of the week but especially at Christmas and birthdays. I still have to go and visit his grave regular. I even came home from England. I have to chat with him. I love to look after the grave.




How did I cope? I was a stronger woman at the time and had other children. I knew I had to keep going for them. Me faith helped me a lot. I went to healing places and shrines and prayed to God to give me strength to look after my family. I could not look at his picture. I loved to, but couldn’t for at least 14 years. Then I eventually started looking at his picture. Doctors wanted to give me sleeping tablets for my nerves, but my mother said, ”Don’t start taking them, Missy because you’ll have to come to terms.” I don’t think I ever came to terms but that my own family and extended family kept me going. My husband never came to terms with it. He couldn’t visit the grave and walked away from it crying. I lost him five years ago. We were very close and the rest of me family were very close to their Daddy. We are not the same since that happened either, the support is gone, the boys were very attached to him and the girls as well. I think all that keeps us going is the graves, both of them are buried together. We go and fix the graves. We’re a very lonely family.


Just to say anyone that loses a family member is never the same again. There’s a part of the family missing. Time heals a bit but you never forget.


e Miseries and Beauties of Ireland


Author: Jonathan Binns


Jonathan Binns, The Miseries and Beauties of Ireland (London 1837). (Available on






Tarbert — Noticeable objects on the Shannon — Mount Trenchard — Droves of fattened pigs detained by the storm — View from near Tarbert House — Trade of Tarbert — State of the people in Lower Conello — Cabins, fuel, and clothing — Emigration — Middlemen — Prices of provisions — Blood of calves — Revengeful feelings of the peasantry, connected with the taking of land — Cabins — Conacre — The golden vein — Rent of land about Tarbert — Fuel — Mr. Maxwell Blacker — Lislactin Abbey — Listowel — Catholic devotees — Irish fights — Lixna Castle — Sir William Petty — Abbey O'Dorney — Tralee — The funeral cry — Ballyseedy — James O'Connell's estate — Castle Island — Arrival at Killarney.




From Limerick I went by steamer down the Shannon as far as Tarbert (situated at the north western corner of the county of Limerick), a distance of thirty-six miles, the fare being three shillings. After leaving the former place, the river gradually expands into a magnificent stream, its banks abounding with modern villas, old castles, and a variety of interesting objects that demand


Travels in Ireland. Johann Georg Kohl First edition [xii+417 pages] Bruce and Wyld, 84 Farringdon St. London (1844)




Travels in Ireland


Author: Johann Georg Kohl, File Description


The Lakes of Killarney


‘To pick up’—Crime in Kerry—Fog-landscape—Travelling Mania—Killarney—the Upper and Lower Lakes—Environs of the Lakes—The Gap of Dunloe—Macgillicuddy's Reeks—Kerry Horses and Straw Harness—Turf-bog on the Mountains—Goats and Wolves—Lakes on the Mountains—Mountain Dew—Rounded Rocks—Excursion on the Upper Lake—An Enchanted Kingdom—Colour of the Shores—Islands in the Upper Lake—Robbing the Eagle's Nest—Tamed Eagles—Faithful Temperance Men—The Lower Lake—O'Donaghue—Innisfail—Trees and Ruins—Trouble in Vain





Lets get Limerick (Ireland) talking about mental health this May.




Can your parish or local group be part of the conversation?? What would it be like to offer green ribbons after Mass on Sunday this May?




See Change, the National Stigma Reduction Partnership are rolling out a month long national Green Ribbon Campaign to get people talking openly about mental health problems in May 2017




More than 500,000 green ribbons will be distributed nationwide free of charge to spark a national conversation about mental health in boardrooms, break-rooms, chat rooms, clubhouses, arts venues, college campuses and around kitchen tables throughout Ireland. Our aim is to make the month of May every year synonymous with promoting open conversation of mental health and challenging the stigma of mental health problems.




You don’t need to be an expert to start talking about mental health or have all the answers. Sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to let someone know that you are there for them and simply listen.




    Talk, but listen too: Simply being there will mean a lot.


    Take your lead from the person: As a first step, ask them how best you can help.


    Avoid the clichés: Phrases like ‘Cheer up’, ‘I’m sure it’ll pass’ and ‘Pull yourself together’ definitely won’t help - Being open minded, non-judgemental and listening will.


    Keep in touch: There are lots of small ways of showing support - Send a text or just ask someone how they are doing.


    Don’t just talk about mental health: Just be yourself, chat about everyday things as well.




Contact See Change The National Stigma Reduction Partnership: E: T: 086 0496311




See Change is a growing partnership of 90 Irish organisations, volunteers and ambassadors working together to change attitudes and behaviours to mental health problems and end stigma.


Some Stories.



My wife and I were watching "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”


while we were in bed. I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?''No,' she answered.I then said, 'Is that your final answer?' She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying, 'Yes..'So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend." And that's when the fight started...




I took my wife to a restaurant. The waiter, for some reason, took my order first. "I'll have the rump steak, rare, please."


He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?" "Nah, she can order for herself" And that's when the fight started....




My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school


reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging


his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table. I asked her, "Do you know him?” "Yes", she sighed, "He's my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn’t been sober since."


"My God!" I said, "Who would think a person could go on


celebrating that long?” And then the fight started...




My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels.


She asked, "What's on TV?” I said, "Dust.” And then the fight started...




My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our forthcoming anniversary. She said, "I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 225 in about 2 seconds.” I bought her bathroom scales. And then the fight started......




After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for


Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home. I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.The woman said, "Unbutton your shirt." So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, "That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me", and she processed my Social Security application. When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office. She said, "You should have dropped your pants. You might have got disability too." And then the fight started...




My wife was standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror.


She was not happy with what she saw and said to me,


"I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment." I replied, "Your eyesight's perfect."


And then the fight started........




I rear-ended a car this morning ... the start of a REALLY bad day! The driver got out of the other car, and he was a DWARF!! He looked up at me and said "I am NOT happy!"


So I said, "Well, which one ARE you then?"That's how the fight started.






On the Lighter Side




Domhnall de Barra




I am fed up with politics and politicians and the constant bickering and silly point-scoring by those we have chosen to run the country for us so, this week, I am not going to go on my usual rant and instead I hope to bring a little amusement to this column.




Going back a good few years there was a man born to Irish parents in New York. His father was a policeman and worked long hours in a dangerous environment for modest pay. His grandfather had  come to America from Tipperary and had worked on the building of the great railroads in even tougher times. Mick Moloney was very clever and figured that the country now owed him a living and he was determined not to follow in his father’s or grandfather’s footsteps. He was a great charmer and very soon got street wise. He soon became a con artist and lived on his wits until one day he was nearly caught and decided he had to find something better. He was watching a programme on TV one day, a documentary on psychiatry. He was amazed at how little the psychiatrist had to do  to earn big money so he decided there and then that this was his ticket to riches. One small problem was the fact that he had no qualifications. This was soon solved by acquiring a false set of papers from one of his friends in the underworld. He couldn’t operate in New York where people knew him so he upped sticks and headed for Chicago. He rented rooms in a fashionable area, put a brass plate on his door displaying his false credentials and put an ad in the local newspaper that read: “Dr. Moloney,  cures for all psychological ailments. Fee $50 per ailment”  Word soon got around and business was good. In most cases all he had to do was listen and turn on the charm and people left feeling better. Three lads from New York were visiting Chicago and saw Mick’s photo in the paper. They recognised him at once and, knowing he was a fake decided to have a little fun with him. One of them was unknown to him so he was deputised to go to the “doctor’s” rooms with three complaints that could not be cured.  John was the man’s name and he arrived at the door of the clinic and knocked. It was just after normal hours so a maid who answered the door told him he was late and to make an appointment. John informed her that he had not one but three complaints and that it would be worth the doctor’s time if he could cure him. After a brief wait he was shown into a well furnished room and was invited to sit in a very comfortable chair. “What seems to be the problem?” asked Mick. “I have three” John replied. “I can’t tell the truth, I can’t eat and I can’t remember anything”. Mick looked at him thoughtfully for a few moments and then rose and left the room. He quickly went upstairs where there was a cat’s litter. He got a tea spoon and filled it with cat’s shit and returned to the room below. “Open your mouth” he said and shoved the spoonful in. John grimaced and gagged a bit but eventually swallowed it. When he had regained his composure, the doctor asked him “what did that taste like”. “That tasted like shit,” he said. “That is correct” said Mick, “that is the truth and that is your first problem solved. As for your second problem, well, the man who can eat shit can eat anything and as for your third problem about not being able to remember; I guarantee you that, as long as you live, you will never forget the day you ate cat’s shit. $150 please”.




A priest came to a new parish and as he was out walking one day he came upon a man who was looking distressed and in some trouble. The priest asked him what was wrong and he told him that he was convinced his wife was trying to poison him. The priest thought he was exaggerating but the man insisted that he knew she was putting stuff in his food. The priest said nobody could be that bad and he said he would go and see the woman for himself and try and sort it out. The man told him where his house was and he promised to wait there until he returned. About 40 minutes later the priest returned. A great change had come over him. There was a stare in his eyes and his hair that was always neatly combed was now all over the place. “Did you meet her” asked the man. “Did I meet her”, said the priest, “I have never before in my life met anybody like her. I could barely get a word in edgeways from the time she opened the door to me and some of the things she said to me are unrepeatable.” Well” said the poor man, “having seen for yourself what she is like, what would you advise me to do?”   The priest looked at him for a minute and then replied; “I have only one piece of advice for you – TAKE THE POISON!!”








RETIREMENT: Just came across these few lines about retirement which give us the ‘10 best things about it’




    Not having to wake up to an alarm


    No rush hour traffic


    Spending enough time outdoors


    Having ‘entire’ days to yourself.


    Keeping the house & garden in good order.


    Having time to read the books you want.


    Going for a day out mid-week.


    Sitting in the garden when the sun shines


    Having at least one hobby.


    Turning your hand to gardening.




            Indeed things to look forward to!


Holy Thursday Knockanure Hymns 2017




 Coptic Christians






TEL AVIV (JTA) – At a Shabbat service in Tel Aviv on Friday evening, congregants recited the mourner’s prayer for those killed in Syria’s civil war.


Ireland 1876


Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932) Sat 29 Apr 1876 Page 5




A Memorable Scene After a day of feverish anxiety as the chill wintry clouds closed in, and the members were assembling, College Green became covered with a sea of upturned faces, lit by


the flicker of a thousand torches — by the flashing of a thousand emotions. Many were


the comments, grave and gay. of praise and scorn:— 'Come Mr. M — , you were paid this morning ; give us a tenpenny bit to drink your health.' ' Success to you, my Lord E— . It was you made the good bargain, it’s a credit to us all, you did not sell your country too cheap, Three cheers for Sir William, boys ; he bargained to be a lord when there's to be no lords at all.' Here's Harry D — G— , boys. How much did they mark on your brief, Harry ?' Castlereagh was almost shielded from popular scorn


by the superb beauty of his wife : but when Lord Clare appeared, many a fist was clenched, and groans were changed to cheers, wild, loud, and high as Plunkett reared his head, and glorious little Curran flashed his


Solo In South Sudan, By Helena Quinn


Posted on September 3, 2013


I found this in my purse when packing yesterday. I don’t know where it came from but I expect I found it once upon a time in my grandmothers things. I don’t know the context or which paper it appeared in. By the time my dad was 21 he had already served one tour of duty in Katanga Province in the Congo, had been involved in the Siege of Jadotville and spend a number of months as a hostage held by Katanga rebels. I think when this note was written, he would have been preparing for his second tour in the Congo.




I am thinking of him now and how different our journeys into Africa are. Aside from the purpose, I am aboard a very comfortable BA flight on what will be a journey of just over 8 hours. When Dad first went to the Congo, the journey was 13 hours with 120 or so other men in a military personnel carrier. I will have lunch served soon, he was given a plastic bag with a sandwich and some fruit for sustinence. He was wearing a bulls wool uniform, I have clothes suitable for the terrain which employ the latest technologies to keep me cool when I need to be cool and warm when I need to be warm. To combat malaria Dad took one quinine tablet each week. I have two months supply of very expensive and effective Malerone which taken daily will prevent my getting the dreaded disease.




As my dad loves to remind me “I don’t know how easy I have it!!”




FILM:  THE SIEGE OF JADOTVILLE AT GLÓRACH:  Through the very kind assistance of Helena Quinn, we look forward to showing the film The Siege of Jadotville on Saturday evening, October 29.  The siege took place during the United Nations intervention in the Katanga conflict in the Congo in 1961, and saw a small group of Irish peacemakers bravely holding out for as long as they could in the face of Katangan rebels who had a vastly superior numerical advantage.  Helena's father Tadhg was a corporal in that company and we will be having a question and answer session with Tadhg after the screening of the film.  The film has received critical acclaim, but most importantly has been given the thumbs up from the surviving veterans of the siege.  We hope to raise funds for both the Glórach Community Theatre and also for Fr. Tim Galvin's missionary work in Sudan, where Helena has volunteered in recent years.  Doors open at 7.30 pm and the film will begin at 8.  At the time of writing there are just 30 seats left so so booking is essential at 0871383940 to avoid disappointment.  Keep an eye on the Glórach Facebook page for further updates.




Dennis Sullivan  and Mary Sullivan Sullivan


102 Pioneer Irish of Onondaga


Dennis Sullivan and his wife, Mary Sullivan


Sullivan, came to Syracuse from Killarney, County


Kerry, in 1836. They came here to improve their


fortunes, leaving behind them the life of the far-


mer. Dennis found his first work packing salt,


for which he received the standard price of three


cents a barrel, earning about seventy-five cents a


day. After three or four years he was appointed


sexton of Rose Hill Cemetery, and had charge of


the "pest" house on Highland Street, where the


victims of small-pox were housed. Dr. Pease was


then health officer. For five years he worked as


sexton and superintendent and then lost his job


because of the enmity of a man who hated his race


and did not want an Irishman to be above his


grave. The man's name, strangely enough, was






Dennis Sullivan then bought a farm near Split


Rock and lived there two years. Returning to


the city he bought a horse and cart and spent


twenty years in carting. He drove the same


horse for the whole period of twenty years, surely


a record and a proof of his humanity.






Syracuse 127




Thomas Griffin




Welcome as a mother's arms to a sick child is


his native land to the suffering man. In his ill-


ness exile becomes a distressing circumstance.


Thomas Griffin and his wife, Ellen Lynch, and


their nine children came to Syracuse from Tralee,


County Kerry, in 1846. After several years


Thomas fell sick, and in his misery vowed a vow


that he would return to the land of his fathers.


He kept his vow in 1852 but, later, returned to


Syracuse with children and grandchildren. Two


sons, John and James, remained in Liverpool,


England, one son, Thomas, went South. His


daughter Mary married John, son of John and


Margaret Gallavan McDonald of Tralee, and came


with him to Syracuse. The other children who


reached maturity are Bridget, Michael, and Ellen.




Thomas Griffin was a grocer in Tralee, but here


he engaged in the clothing business at the corner of


Clinton and Water Streets. Some of his patron-


age was from travellers on the packet-boat.




One day two Irish boys boimd for the west were


put ashore at the packet-dock to die victims of


ship fever. Father Heas came to administer the


last rites of the Church. There was no shelter


for the unfortunates, for no one dared to receive


them. Thomas McManus as messenger for the


priest found Thomas Griffin ready to construct a


shed in the rear of his premises for the reception


of the dying youths.






Patrick Griffin




Patrick Griffin left his home in Ballylongfort,


County Kerry, to board a man-of-war, the


Rodney, in 1846. With 11 00 men it sailed the


Mediterranean, stopping at many ports, on to


Alexandria. One day they passed a vessel bear-


ing Pope Pius the Ninth and gave him the royal


salute of twenty-one guns. Returning to the At-


lantic, the cruise was along the west coast of


Africa to Cape of Good Hope and thence to Ports-


mouth. Here Patrick was paid off for two years


and nine months of service and with the money








Syracuse 139




came to America. First he revisited his home and


saw the dreadful effects of the famine. Many of


his friends were dead.




In Syracuse he for the first time in his life was


sick. The prevalent fever and ague quenched his


desire for further travel. His first work was as


porter in the Brintnell Hotel. There were then


only two houses on Onondaga Street and one or


two on Fayette and nothing but swamp and fields


between the two streets.




WILLIAM TOBIN was in Otisco before 1850.


He was the son of John and Mary Hickey


Tobin, parish of Castle Island, County Kerry.


The other children of the family came to Otisco


after William. They are: William, who married


Mary McGuire; Mary, who married John Long;


John, who married Ann Sullivan; Richard, who


married Joanna Kinney; Patrick, who married


Ellen Ready ; Julia, who married Patrick Kinsella ;


and Cornelius, who married Martha McGuire.




The children of Richard and Joanna Kinney


Tobin are: Mary, who married Michael Lucid;


Sarah, who married Dennis Curtin. Their other


children are Julia, Ellen, James, John, Bessie, and


Kate, the four first of whom went to California.








38 Pioneer Irish of Onondaga


James Lynch


James Lynch was the son of Cornelius and Jo-


anna Dooling Lynch of Tralee, County Kerry,


Ireland. Originally from the city of Dublin,


Cornelius Lynch married and settled among the


relatives of his wife in Kerry. Their sons, James


and John, both came to Onondaga County.




John Lynch, son of Cornehus and Joanna Dool-


ing Lynch, of County Kerry, Ireland, came to


Sahna in 1833, where his brother James had been


estabUshed since 1824. John had married Mary,


the daughter of Dennis Scanlon of County Kerry,


and they had brought with them from Ireland their


eight children. One child was born on board ship


and the youngest was born after they had taken


up their residence on a farm in Dewitt. There






William Fitzsimmons, a native of Limerick, Ireland.


Her two sons, William and Robert Walton Ealden,


served in the I22d Regiment, N. Y. Vol. Inf., in the


Civil War. Robert was nineteen years old when


he enlisted, begging to be allowed to go with his


brother. Both contracted consumption, William


by swimming the Potomac to save some army


records and becoming chilled. He died in Los


Angeles. Most of the Fitzsimmons children


located in California.




Patrick Shaunessy


 T. E. Cheney.  From a Forest to a City.


Patrick Shaunessy and his wife, Mary Bustin,


came from Stone Hall, County Limerick, to


Syracuse about 1830. They had married very


young and Patrick was eager to come to America


when the boys of his neighborhood made up a


party to emigrate. He had paid his pound


sterling as guarantee, but his mother insisted that


he forfeit the deposit and wait until his family


could come with him. The boys who sailed


went down with the ship.








Michael Leyden, from whose note-book the above


extracts were taken, came to this country, from


Ennis, County Clare, Ireland, bringing with him


his wife, Anna Walton, daughter of Thomas, and


their five children, John, Michael, Jr., Mary,


George, and Anna.


The note-book above shows that he left Limerick April I, 1824, and reached New York May


7th, and May i8th left New York, paying eleven


dollars for their passage to Manlius. He evidently


came on to Salina and made various payments to


Mr. McCarthy






John Walsh




It was early in the War of Independence that


John Walsh of Skaneateles enlisted and his


service lasted until peace was declared. In 1775


he enlisted in Col. Paul Dudley Loyrant's regiment,


in Captain William Scott's company, and served


 E. N. Leslie.




Stack  Salina 13


Thomas was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth


Stack McCarthy and when a boy about fourteen,


according to the custom of the country, he was


bound out until he was twenty-one. He went


to Dublin and there learned the draper's trade,


which he and his descendants exercised for more


than a century in this County. Under the condi-


tions of apprenticeship in Dublin, the apprentice


entered the family of his employer and worked in


the latter's shop, for which privileges the appren-


tice's father paid the employer a certain number of


pounds sterling a year. Whether it was the father


or step-father of Thomas who paid the fees, the


term of apprenticeship had not expired when his


mother came to America. When at last he was


free he invested his savings in merchandise and


with his brother John came to join his mother.


John settled in Canada and Thomas at Salt








W. W. Clayton says:


The nucleus of the present church of the Immacu-


late Conception was formed by several families resid-


ing at Fayetteville and Manlius Square from 1846-


1855. Among these may be mentioned John Farrell,


John McCarrick, John O'Brien, and Jeremiah Bohan


of the former place, and Edward Gaynor, John Sheedy,


Patrick Holland, Timothy Holland, John Shea, Patrick


Tobin, William Griffin, John Kennelly, Patrick


Maloney, Michael Foley, Thomas Flattery, and others


residing at Manlius Square.




Church Clark writes^:


Church of St. John the Baptist


In 1829 St. John's Roman Catholic Church in the


village of Salina was commenced and enclosed by the


exertions of Thomas McCarthy and James Lynch and


a few other Roman Catholics and the liberal donations


of their Protestant fellow-citizens in the villages of


Salina and Syracuse, and by collections made by said


McCarthy and Lynch from their friends in Utica,


Albany, and New York. Rt. Rev. John DuBois was


then bishop of the diocese of New York, and for the


two succeeding years the congregation being small was


visited by clergymen only once a month. Rev.


Francis O'Donohue, Rev. James O'Donnell, Rev.


Haes, and Rev. Cummings are the priests (Irish) who


have had charge there.


Murphy’s Law




“If things can go wrong, they will”. That is Murphy’s law and though it is a very pessimistic view what may happen it is occasionally correct. I was reminded of this the other day when I came across an old edition of Treoir, the Comhaltas magazine, that contained an article on a Tour of America I was involved in way back in 1973. I think this was only our second visit to the North American continent and for the first time we were to visit venues in Canada. Our first hiccup occurred at the Canadian border. It was the custom at the time to bring records and tapes of the artists for sale at the interval. This was a good money-spinner and we had no problem with customs in New York because one of the Comhaltas members  worked there and, as long as we declared them as presents for the families who would act as hosts to the travelling musicians, singers and dancers, they were allowed through. Not so at the Canadian customs.  The big trolley of goods was halted and  our leader, Diarmuid O Catháin, was trying to explain the situation here. He told the official that they were presents for the host families as each case was taken off and opened. In fairness we would need to have been staying for six months to get rid of all the goods!  Eventually the official put his hands in the air and shouted to his fellow officials who were nearby: “Hey guys, come on over; we got Santa Claus here”  the place erupted in laughter and after we all had  time to recover we were allowed through on payment of a small fine. Our next clanger was that afternoon in Montreal. We had a matinee performance in Leo’s Boy’s Club, a club set up to cater for underprivileged youths. We always began our concerts with the Irish and American anthems and, not realising the fact that we were in a different country and a city that is anti-American, we played the Soldier’s Song followed by the “Star Spangled Banner”. We were greeted by silence at first, closely followed by boos. Talk about egg on your face!. Eventually, after profuse apologies, we continued with the concert and won the crowd over before the interval by promising free gifts to all. As musical director, it was my job to get things right for the main concert that night. I went down town and found a music shop. They supplied me with the score of “O Canada”, one of the nicest anthems. A few quick rehearsals and we opened that night as if we had been playing it all our lives.




On that same tour we had two lady singers who could pass anything except a sweet shop. We had been through Canada and were at the airport in Ottawa ready to go back to Montreal for the final appearance in the country. Our flight was called and we made our way to the gate. All were accounted for except the two ladies. No mobile phones in those days so we couldn’t contact them. They didn’t make the flight. I had to make arrangements to fly them out on the next available flight and of course I had to stay with them to ensure they got on ok. I found the two of them filling their faces in a café, oblivious to the time. Eventually our flight took off. It was bound for Paris but was touching down in Montreal. The girls did not know this and  when the captain announced, soon after we were airborne,  that we were on board the flight to Paris, they panicked. One of them stood up and shouted “stop the plane, I can’t go to Paris, I have to be at a concert in Montreal tonight”. Needless to say this provided light entertainment for the flight attendants and the other passengers. I managed to calm them down and we eventually arrived, just in time to go on stage. That was our first visit to Canada, one I certainly will never forget, for all the wrong reasons.




Domhnall de Barra