A Millstreet Miscellany (3)

Aubane:Where In The World Is It?The Aubane Historical Society have released a new publication. The third in a series of collections of historical items which contain some very interesting historical items on Millstreet’s past. It is dedicated to Sean Radley in recognition of his services to Millstreet, and is currently available in local shops.

The official launch of the publication will take place in mid-February in the Aubane Community Centre (details to follow).

Amongst a number of publications that have been made available to the public, the two earlier publications in the series can be read on the Aubane Historical Society website. These are:

A Millstreet Miscellany and, A Millstreet Miscellany (2)


In The Fields Of Claraghatlea North

In the fields of Claraghatlea North far north and far away
The migrant redwings chirping in the dawning cold and gray
And the salmon swim upstream to spawn as yesterday’s flood goes down
In the river known as Finnow within sight of Millstreet Town
On a wintery sort of morning with a high of four degrees
The wind from Clara mountain soughs in the windswept trees
The birds of song are silent on the wind ravaged hedgerow
And on the leafless beech tree the ill famed grey backed crow
One disliked by sheep farmers who lives by Nature’s law
Birds that are recognizable by the harshness of their caw
In weather that is chilly quite cold enough to snow
A cold wind from Clara mountain across the old fields blow
And the cattle in the farm shed are bellowing for hay
Far north in old Duhallow from this Land far away.

by Francis Duggan

Far North Even By The Short Route

I was born and raised in Claraghatlea near Millstreet Town
Though that hardly would rate as a claim to renown
Far north even by the short route as the birds choose to fly
From where I live now thousands of miles of sky
Where the Cails from Kippagh to the Finnow does flow
By ditches and through old fields where rank rushes grow
In that old countryside mine was a known face
But now I might be a stranger in the old Homeplace
A countryside that inspired the long dead bards to rhyme
Years before I was born that is going back in time
Through green Ballydaly by night and by day
The Cails from Kippagh ever babbles it’s way
Through Feirm, Annagloor, Shannaknock, Liscreagh and Clarghatlea where Finnow it does meet
In the old rushy fields near the Town of Millstreet.

by Francis Duggan

Video: The Ballad of High Mill Lane

Tim Browne (Tadhg de Brún)
Tim Browne (Tadhg de Brun)

A little-known Rebel Song from Co. Cork. It is sung here by the great singer and bouzouki player Tim Browne
(Tadhg de Brun) from Kanturk, Co. Cork.
The song tells of events that occurred in Millstreet, Co. Cork, probably in November of 1920, when the Black and Tans were attacked in the town centre by the Irish Republican Army.
In July 1920 Col. Gerald Bryce Ferguson Smyth addressed the Black and Tans in Listowel, Co. Kerry instructing them to shoot suspects on sight and not to mind the consequences should innocent people be killed, as he assured them no Black and Tan or RIC man would be charged or named. This prompted a change in IRA policy meaning that from then on Black and Tans would be shot on sight without warning or call to surrender. As for Col. Smyth, he was shot dead by an IRA unit lead by Dan O’Donovan in a prestigious Private Club in Cork City late in 1920. O’Donovan said to him: “Smyth, you gave the orders to shoot on sight. Well, you are in our sight now, so prepare to die!”

We Sound Unsure

We Sound Unsure are a Millstreet band and in their own words:  “We hail from the tiny hamlet of Millstreet and we’re like the best band there. Seriously.”

They released an EP some time ago entitled “Awkward Times, Awkward Measures”. You can listen to five of their tunes on their myspace page, as well as their bebo page. The music itself is actually quite interesting, sounding at times quite like Cathal Coughlan (from his Fatima Mansions days).

[read more …] “We Sound Unsure”

Millstreet May 15th 1993

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Just in case anyone had forgotten, this is when the Eurovision visited Millstreet. Here is an article about how Liverpool took on Ireland in Millstreet … and came off second best!

It is an interesting read with a bit of humour too, and it also has lots of the videos of the songs from the night. So, go visit the article if you think it might be interesting to remember back.

Nollaig na mBan

Christmas treeToday is Nollaig na mBan (also known as Womens Christmas, Little Christmas, and The Feast of the Ephipany) where the men get to take over the house and the women get to enjoy themselves.

After a long cold Christmas the women amongst us deserve to put up their feet for the day and enjoy themselves for once if they can … with the hope of not getting food poisoning! 😉

For those that have never heard of it, the tradition of “Nollaig na mBan” is an old custom that’s still celebrated by women all over Ireland (and indeed in Irish emigrant communities all over the world). It goes back to the days when large families were the norm. Men never lifted a finger in the house to help, and were never expected to. If a man washed the dishes, he would be called an “auld woman” by other men. No full blooded Irish man was prepared to risk that! I’m not really sure that it applies in these days where work is less well defined between the sexes, but it still a good tradition which celebrates the importance of the women amongst us.

There’s a nice article that you can read here on Womens Christmas

Willie Neenans Night

I was there that night in eighty three as one of the massive crowd
For to celebrate our great athlete he made us all so proud
The speeches were made in the Town Square the band played up and down
From San Juan he had brought a World Championship medal with him to Millstreet his Hometown.
.
The Town Square full of people it was an amazing sight
Surrounded by friends and family it was Willie Neenan’s night
We felt honoured for to honour him in the old Town of Millstreet
In a place of many sporting greats he was our best athlete.
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One who worked so hard for his success and fame the miles of road he ran
Cork County, Munster, All Ireland and World Championship medals he was a mighty man
Yet he was always down to earth untainted by conceit
At cross country meetings when I was young he was the one to beat.
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How often he ran up and down to and from the cross on Clara Hill
Will Millstreet see his likes again I doubt it ever will
In five hundred years or more from now with the life from him long gone
The legend of Willie Neenan will still be living on.

by Francis Duggan

Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records

http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/images/banner_search.jpg

At the end of November 2009, Martin Cullen TD, Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism unveiled a new website called irishgenealogy.ie, with the aim of allowing everyone to search for information on their Irish ancestors from the comfort of their own homes.

Luckily for us, the Kerry Diocese along with the Dublin Diocese are the first to have their records included on the site, so the records for Millstreet Parish (includes Ballydaly and Cullen)  are available to browse throughhttp://www.irishgenealogy.ie/images/logo.jpg

For Millstreet, there are 11,718 Baptismal records and 1,957 Marriage records for the dates 1st January 1751 up to 31 December 1903.

[update Feb 2013]  The full list of Dioceses with records online has increased since this article was first published, and is now:

The site is very easy to use, so it should be one of your first ports of call if you are researching your ancestors.

Thanks to Presley for reminding me of this item

LTV2 Prog 143: Nov 2009

The first ten minutes of LTV2 Millstreet Program no 143 Nov 2009. Part of the video includes Seán Radley talking about the Ireland Involved Awards for which he was nominated.

LTV2 has also informed us that they now have their own channel on YouTube where they will be adding videos of their programs, and a Facebook page where they will be adding photos, where you can discuss topics etc.

Photo: Gneeves 2-Jan-2010

Thie scene yesterday is from on top of a wind turbine in Gneeves
Thie scene yesterday (Sat Jan 2nd) from Gneeves wind farm after the previous nights frost had melted. The top of Comeentrush is in the foreground, Mushera mountain (covered in snow) is behind the visible wind turbine, and Millstreet Town is just out of view at the middle left of the photo. (Click on the photo for a bigger image with better quality)

Initially I thought the photo was taken from the top of a wind turbine, but it was actually taken from a small remote controlled helicopter (a microkopter). Helipix.ie who took it are a Macroom company that specialise in aerial photography. A video of the microkopter during a test flight (from Coolcower, Macroom) is available to see below:

Video: Delivering Windmills

The Windmills are still being delivered to the Boggeragh Windfarm (as of the start of December). These foggy early morning videos from the bottom of Tullig and from up in the windfarm give an idea of what’s still going on without us realising.

[read more …] “Video: Delivering Windmills”

The Boeing New Year’s Day Swimmers

‘Tis something that one should not do in a whim
To participate in the Boeing New Year’s Day swim
In dark icy waters swollen by rain and sleet
In the river Blackwater near the Town of Millstreet.
.
In the depths of Winter in zero degrees
With frost on the ground in the cold gusty breeze
Just thinking about it does make me feel cold
But then again time has left me feeling old.
.
There must be great inner warmth in the Duhallow grog
For the Blackwater in Winter would freeze a hairy dog
Those who took part in the swim medals for bravery are due
To their Glacial Gods they would have to be true.
.
It was for a good cause that much I do know
But in weather that’s even too cold for to snow
Without a single leaf on any deciduous tree
To swim in the Blackwater seems beyond brave to me.
.
Of the coldness of the Blackwater in Winter I do have an idea
And after such a swim one would need something stronger than tea
‘Tis not for the faint-hearted is all I can say
And for the Boeing New Year’s Day swimmers lets hear the hooray.

by Francis Duggan

To get to the article and pictures of the New Years Day pictures, follow this link.

The Boeing New Year’s Day Swimmers

‘Tis something that one should not do in a whim
To participate in the Boeing New Year’s Day swim
In dark icy waters swollen by rain and sleet
In the river Blackwater near the Town of Millstreet.

In the depths of Winter in zero degrees
With frost on the ground in the cold gusty breeze
Just thinking about it does make me feel cold
But then again time has left me feeling old.

There must be great inner warmth in the Duhallow grog
For the Blackwater in Winter would freeze a hairy dog
Those who took part in the swim medals for bravery are due
To their Glacial Gods they would have to be true.

It was for a good cause that much I do know
But in weather that’s even too cold for to snow
Without a single leaf on any deciduous tree
To swim in the Blackwater seems beyond brave to me.

Of the coldness of the Blackwater in Winter I do have an idea
And after such a swim one would need something stronger than tea
‘Tis not for the faint-hearted is all I can say
And for the Boeing New Year’s Day swimmers lets hear the hooray.

Mushera Christmas Day Climb 2009

Brave souls that ventured to the top of Mushera Mountain for the annual Christmas Day Climb in aid of the Baby Jacob Trust Fund (click to see the full picture
About 40 brave souls that ventured to the top of Mushera Mountain for the annual Christmas Day Climb in aid of the Baby Jacob Trust Fund (click to see the full picture).

Despite the roads being treacherous because of rain freezing when it hit the ground, there was a good crowd who were all in good spirits. The ground was hard and icy, but the heather was good for getting grip. Thankfully it stopped raining for most of the walk, except for the last few minutes on the way down, and the wind was not as strong as it has been in the past, but the mountain was shrouded in cloud while we were up there. At the top, and on behalf of the Baby Jacob Trust Fund Jerry Pat O’Leary thanked everyone for their efforts in the difficult weather.

Wishing everyone a very happy and a peaceful Christmas.

I Am Not A Poet I Never Said I Was

I am not a poet I never said I was I just pen doggerel
The sort of stuff that few bother to read and I cannot hope to sell
I’ve been rhyming for many years and though my better days long gone
Until the Reaper claims the life from me I will keep penning on
I’ve written reams and reams of rhymes one might say more than most
But that’s not something I’m proud of or of which one should boast
Though every day and every night more new rhymes come to me
I’m addicted to penning rhyme or so ‘twould seem to be
When I was in my late twenties and my hair was dark brown
I penned my first rhymes years ago back home near Millstreet Town
In my many walks in the old fields I made up rhymes on my way
I was in love with Nature then and I still love her today
And if I said I’d give up rhyming I’d be telling a lie
For I will keep penning doggerel until the day I die.

by Francis Duggan

Marina Cassidy on the Drishane Concerts

Killarney soprano and harpist Marina Cassidy has also joined dozens of musicians and singers who will perform at a sell-out benefit concert at Drishane Castle in Millstreet on December 6th for the Baby Jacob Trust.

The Killarney woman became aware of baby Jacob six weeks ago when she sang at the opening of the restored chapel at Drishane Chapel on the invitation of the Duggan family.

“That night, the Duggans were talking about the fund-raising for Baby Jacob and they asked me to be involved in the concert and I’m delighted to be,” Marina said. “There was just an incredible atmosphere in the church that night.

“When I heard about the little baby, I felt I really wanted to be part of it.”…

Read the full article on the Kerry’s Eye Newspaper

Get off yer Backsides!

While having a few of the black ones the pub last week I got to talking to a young lad of about thirty that was in for a similar hit, and who was giving out about the state of the council, leaning on their shovels, arriving for work late, extended tea breaks, and any other bit of idling they could get up to. Sure, people were talking about the council on the radio all day as well so it was fine to do it.

Now God bless them if those lads can get away with it, and I know that shoveling is a tough job cos God knows  I’ve spent enough time doing it myself, but surely they themselves realise that if they don’t pull up their breeches they themselves will be joining the dole queues as have some of their compatriots already due to this damn recession thing that’s apparently going on at the moment.

[read more …] “Get off yer Backsides!”

Baby Jacob has his First Operation

Little baby Jacob has gone through the first operation for his condition anophthalmos and his mother Wiola has written about it on his website:

A few days ago Jacob had his first operation in Germany. It was an emotional experience for us. We were very worried when they were taking him into the operating theatre. I was thinking: he is still so little, how will he take a general anaesthetic?
During the operation, Jacob got his first expanders, which from now on will be stimulating orbital growth. Thanks to a few operations like this one Jacob will be able to receive his ocular prostheses.
When after the operation we were called into the recovery room, I found myself looking at the huge IV catheter inserted into his tiny hand. I was wondering why it is so in this world that children are born sick and …

You can read the full article here. Also, ff you haven’t done so already, there are still tickets available for the extra concert in Drishane on December 6th in aid of Little Jacob.

In Millstreet Only One Cormac Dineen

He was a man we used to celebrate
A Millstreet and a Cork footballing great
A fearless fellow in his younger years
His passing would have been a source for tears.
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Born on the Cork and Kerry border near Rathmore
The green of Millstreet and the red Of Cork he wore
And memories of him remain evergreen
In Millstreet only one Cormac Dineen.
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As a person for his integrity respect to him was shown
A Millstreet vet one admired and well known
One in the flesh we never more will see
He will be missed by friends and family.
[read more …] “In Millstreet Only One Cormac Dineen”