The man takes a hold of me as I lie down on my back. I grab two metal poles behind me and start to arch myself until my head is perpendicular to the rest of my body. The man then starts to lower me down into a hole in the floor. This is not the most natural of feelings but these are the things you do to kiss the most famous stone in Ireland.
The man’s name is Dennis – I guess it’s appropriate to at least be on a first name basis with someone holding me so intimately as I share my saliva (albeit with an inanimate object). He’s seen his fair share of strange things from his perch up here on the top of Blarney Castle.
“When someone takes a dive at the stone,” is his answer when I ask about weird things that happen.
“It never happens with a lady, it’s always with a man. He comes down here, he’s very quiet and nothing happens and when he comes here, it’s a dive he does. And he’s never small. He’s always big. I can’t tell you the words I use in my own mind – they’re not gracious words!” 
Thanks to Gillian who let us know that today’s newspapers featured Millstreet man Denis Cronin who is set to retire from his role of Keeper of the Blarney Stone after 13 years of holding thousands of visitors each day as they hope to gain the gift of the gab. [Irish Examiner] [Journal.ie]. The very best to Denis, who you can often meet in their local shop in Millstreet – An Siopa Deas.
Last November the local papers reported that small levels of cryptosporidium had been found in the Millstreet water supply, despite the fact that an assessment in 2015 rated the risk of cryptosporidium as “very high”. The EPA recommended that even though there was no immediate health risk, Irish Water should install an adequate barrier against the parasite to ensure the town’s water supply is adequately disinfected at all times.
Thankfully Irish Water are reporting today that “Upgrade works are underway in Millstreet in North Cork to provide a new UV disinfection system at the treatment plant.” [theCork.ie]
It was after World War II that Dan Collins, then a blacksmith apprentice at Coleman’s Garage in Millstreet, Ireland, came to the United States alongside his brother Johnny. Collins first worked at a Ford agency in New York, and within a few years news of his expertise as a mechanic had spread all the way to Oregon where Gordon Smith, owner of Lakeview’s local Ford dealership, offered Collins a job. With only a few dollars to his name, Collins traveled cross-country to Lakeview to join the Ford operation, which subsequently burned down soon afterward.
Despite the setback, the Collins brothers persisted, and by 1953 established a repair shop in Lakeview. Two years later, having built a Dodge-Plymouth agency alongside their repair shop, another fire nearly ended the business. The family regrouped, and by 1958 had bought the Chevrolet dealership from Buz Thompson, which in 1960 suffered yet another fire. [read more …] “Dan Collins Ford”
– Video: Here’s a short quadcopter video of Drishane Castle this week, taking off from near the cemetery. [Instagram]
Congratulations to all our locals who won Duhallow Senior Scór titles on Friday night: John O’Sullivan of St. Johns GAA for his Recitation, Conor Linehan of Millstreet GAA, Cullen Ballad Group [John Tarrant]
Tom Creedon Cup Quarter Final: St Michaels v Millstreet, at St. Michael’s, 1pm Sunday 29th January. Start of the Football season already! [Cork GAA] [Millstreet GAA]. St.Michael’s won easily
Millstreet hospitality energises Breifne on the Beara way: En route, Breifne enjoyed North Cork hospitality at an event that recalled a moving chapter in Irish history. “It’s been an amazing and whirlwind journey so far, many miles covered, thousands of calories burned and hundreds of new friends made”, he said … [The Corkman]
Congratulations to Brian O’Croinín, Millstreet, and Denis O’Donoghue, Dromtarriffe, on winning prizes in the Cork GAA Draw for January [Cork GAA]
Mark Ellis is again at #5 in the Cork Senior Hurling team to play Limerick on Sunday 29th January at 2pm in the Co-op Superstores.ie Munster Hurling League Final @ Gaelic Grounds [Cork GAA] [The 42]
Photos: These two teams represented the Presentation N.S. at the Credit Union Quiz this evening in Mallow. Best of luck girls! [Presentation N.S.]
St.Brendan’s N.S. are already the proud recipients of two Green Flags – for Waste and Energy, and for the last year have been on the hunt for their third Green Flag, this time for Water … [St.Brendan’s N.S.]
Bernard O’Donoghue is named as one of the judges for this year’s Ted Hughes Awards for New Work in Poetry [The Poetry Society]
Steven O’Riordan’s documentary on his sister Joanne “No Limbs No Limits” will be getting its Italian premier this year 🙂 [No Limbs No Limits]
She almost didn’t come to the third day of the Leopardstown winter racing festival, but Gillian’s last minute decision to go ahead with her original plan to wear a Donegal tweed two piece she designed herself turned out to be a triumph in the keenly contested Cliff At Lyons Style Stakes.
Her peplum tweed jacket and longline skirt was accessorised with a Marc Millinery hat with pheasant feather, white shirt with jabot, cream patent Amy Huberman heels and vintage gloves and bag. The outfit was made by a polish dressmaker near her home and the family’s love of the hunting ‘n fishing county look was clear when they are jubilantly joined mum in the parade ring. Many congratulations to Gillian. [read more …] “Winning the Style Stakes at Leopardstown Races”
Irish fan of “Zenith” in St. Petersburg found my love and took her home
With Zenith St.Petersburg playing Dundalk this week, Russian Magasine Life has an article this week on Kenny Cremin. Soccer mad Kenny was working in St.Petersberg for a few years, and while there took to supporting Zenith, and also met Olga.
If you can handle Russian the article is here, but for most of us we’ll have to go to the translated article here.
Thanks to Mags Gargan of “The Irish Catholic” our Millstreet Corpus Christi Procession 2016 features again this year in the famous national “Irish Catholic” weekly newspaper on page 8 of this weekend’s publication.The Millstreet Legion of Mary makes this weekly newspaper available at the back of the Church. (S.R.)
During the past week the military visited Millstreet and arrested the following members of the local Sinn Fein organisation—Messrs J. Twomcy, J. Bnckley, J. Riordan, P. Carmody, L.Buckley, and M. Riordan. Accompanying the military were District Inspector Egan, Macroom, and Sergeant Mulcahy, Millstreet, assisted by some members of tho local force.
A Press Association Millstreet , Co. Cork, telegram states—Further arrests were made here yesterday morning in connection with the Sinn Fein movement, but attempts to secure arms and ammunition have been futile. Several persons are evading arrest and have taken to the hills. Three hundred Territorials have arrived.
The Irish Examiner reports this morning that on December 8th 2013, two trains travelling towards each other on the same track on the Mallow-Killarney railway line narrowly avoided a head-on collision when they came to a stop just 175 metres apart at Millstreet station.
It reports that the cause was that one of the drivers failed to stop at warning signals. An accident was only prevented after a signal controller became aware of the danger and contacted the drivers to stop their trains. Read the full story on today’s Irish Examiner, and the investigation report below.
In 1964 there was another nearly head-on collision at Millstreet Station this time involving a runaway train:
On the night of Monday May 11 1964 a special goods train was derailed at Millstreet and blocked the Mallow-Tralee line. The special was headed by loco A54 and had originated at the Rathmore siding of Messrs Fry-Cadbury where it was loaded with chocolate crumb. It was scheduled to cross the 02:25 Mallow-Tralee mail goods at Millstreet but seemingly got out of control on the two mile fall at 1 in 154/124 approaching the station. The Millstreet signalman, fearing a collision between the runaway and the mail goods, [read more …] “Trains nearly collide at Millstreet Railway Station”
Twinning group celebrates 30th – Millstreet’s strong links with Pommerit le Vicomte has maintained a highly successful twinning with the Britanny base over the past 30 years and three decades of involvement were celebrated at a function in the Wallis Arms Hotel (12th Nov in the Corkman)
Joanne collects award in Japan – Millstreet’s Joanne O’Riordan won recognition for her contribution to people with disabilities at a ceremony in Japan (12th Nov in the Corkman)
Signs of rich Cork heritage going up across county – The Heritage Unit of Cork County Council, with the support of the Heritage Council, is at present finalising five informational signs to be located at a selection of important heritage tourism sites which are either owned or maintained by Cork County Council (12th Nov in the Corkman)
Twinning group celebrates 30th anniversary – Millstreet has maintained strong links with Pommerit le Vicomte in a highly successful twinning over the past 30 years and three decades of involvement will be celebrated at a function in the Wallis Arms Hotel on this Saturday night (7th Nov)
Self Build Show returns to Green Glens this weekend – The Millstreet Self Build Show returns to the Green Glens Complex this Saturday and Sunday featuring new products and technologies to enable and promote sustainable building practices throughout Ireland (7th Nov)
Some of my very earliest memories are of visiting Mary Cronin’s shop clambering to have a look over the counter, as we got the Cork Examiner, big bags of flour and other bits and pieces. It seemed that Mary was sitting patiently there forever, … for well before my time anyhow. Her gentle smile seemed everpresent, and the shop like a gateway into the past(, and not forgetting her able assistant Pat Joe Kelleher either). But all good things come to an end and the shop was closed in 2004, and Mary herself passed away in February 2014.
Congratulations to Joanne O’Riordan who has won the prestigious Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person of the World Award for 2015.
She was was shortlisted for the award by public vote, receiving almost half of the 26,000 online votes for the award which honours individuals under the age of 40 who have contributed greatly to local and global communities.
She was selected as the winner by a panel of judges for her contribution to children, world peace and human rights. Joanne will fly out to the awards ceremony at the JCI World Congress in Kanazawa, Japan – November 3rd – 8th.
– Joanne is finished being a fresher in UCC – First year at college can take lots of getting used to after the familiarity of school and living with mum and dad. So imagine if you were disability campaigner, Joanne O’Riordan … (the Irish Examiner – 25th May)
Many Hands make Light Work – Tonight on Facebook a debate has begun about the roads leading into Millstreet. This morning this bag and a half of rubbish was picked up between Killarney Road and Tubrid Well, a stretch of road of about 1/2 of kilometre. It is sad to think that … (MillstreetTidyTown.ie – 24th May)
Transition years graduate at MCS – The Transition Year Graduation took place in Millstreet Community School with Mass celebrated by Canon John Fitzgerald … (the Corkman – May 23rd)
Communion celebrations – A sense of occasion added to the enjoyment of Holy Communion in St Patrick’s Church, Millstreet last Saturday … (the Corkman – 23rd May)
A Millridge One-Two – A feature of the supporting programme was a superb 1-2 in the final of an A3 550 sweepstake final by Millstreet owner, Donal G O’Mahony, who won in 30.30 with Millridge Matt and was second with Millridge Zephyr … (the Kerryman – 23rd May)
Nil Points for RTÉ Eurovision Tall Tales – our backs are covered as Killarney express their disappointment at Angela Scanlon’s recent depiction of Millstreet in 1993 as a backwater … (Killarney Today – 20th May)
Leaving Cert Graduation (14)- A mass, with singing and instrumental music, was one of many testimonies on the night to the group’s diverse talents … (MillstreetCommunitySchool.ie – 20th May)
Millstreet receives investment in its water infrastructure – A new water main from the Drishane Pump in Millstreet was also completed in recent weeks with further upgrades scheduled for the pump station in the coming weeks, representing a €30,000 investment in the water supply for Millstreet … (Cllr John Paul O’Shea – 19th May)
Ireland and the Eurovision – the Good the Bad, and the Mad – (Video) Millstreet is profiled (from 24:40 to 26:15), but they weren’t too diplomatic, saying we were “a small village”, that “there was no railway station”, that there were no direct roads to Dublin or Cork and that roads had to be built, that the Green Glens was unfinished, etc … ( RTÉ 1 – 18th May )
Dromtariffe Well Day – Every year on the 6th May, our parish celebrates Dromtariffe Well Day. Mass is celebrated at the well which is situated near the old Dromtariffe church and graveyard. This day was a special parish holiday up to about the 1940’s and all the schools had the day off! … (St.Brendan’s NS – 13th May)
Kilcorney Dairy farmers switch co-ops – Milk trucks from Tipperary dairy co-op Arrabawn have made their first collections from 12 ex-Dairygold suppliers in Kilcorney … (Irish Examiner – 13th May)
Crowds keeping the tradition at Tubrid – Large crowds are flocking to Tubrid Well, sited close to Millstreet Town, during the month of May to maintain a long time tradition of paying the rounds… (the Corkman – 8th May)
New Plaque to Commemorate Pearse visit – The Millstreet Monument Committee plan to erect a plaque at “The Railway Hotel”, now Corkery’s Bar, to commemorate the visit of Padraig Pearse 100 years ago… (the Corkman – 8th May)
Community Mourns Jim Cronin – The community is mourning the death of respected GAA administrator and historian Jim Cronin… (the Corkman – May 8th)
Cork County Board of the Volunteers meeting – Millstreet was represented at a meeting in Mallow covering regional activity of the Volunteers in the run up to the 1916 Rising. Presided over by senior officer Tomás Mac Curtáin … (An Phoblacht – 8th May)
Back in the Fold – Kevin Crowley to start at #4 for Cork footballers v Dublin challenge game this Sunday in Cil na Matra as Cork make 11 changes after being hammered by Dublin last week … (the42.ie – 8th May)
They are all prisons – Anti-Deportation Ireland on the Direct Provision centres … (The Cork News – 8th May)
An Fáinne Óir – students from T.Y. got the Silver Fáinne, and one achieved the Gold Fáinne … (MillstreetCommunitySchool.ie – Apr 30th)
Energy Efficiency and Electric Cars – to celebrate the fact that St. Brendan’s has been awarded a second green flag for Energy, we were lucky enough to have a visit from Aidan Mahony with an electric car! … (St.Brendan’s NS – 30th April)
Showtime at the Glen Theatre – young actors from Millstreet, Rathcoole, Lyre, Banteer … recently gathered together to showcase their talent and their craft under the skilful direction of Elle Lynam of DRAMA! … (Corkman – Apr 30th)
Meeting to discuss the “Future of Farming” – This is a really crucial time for Irish farming. The dairy sector, so crucial to the Cork agriculture sector, is on the cusp of major expansion … (ainecollins.ie – 24th April)
Tromso and the Northern Lights – For as long as I have known of their existence I have wanted to see the Aurora, or Northern Lights. I think I became aware of them in about 1955 when … (New Irish Writing – Ann Lane – 24th April)
Fabulous fashions in MCS Show! – The Millstreet Community School fashion show was held on the 23rd of April 2015. We had 12 shops from around our … (MillstreetCommunitySchool.ie – 24th April)
First World Problems! – So as my journey comes close to finishing, I decided to treat myself and take a few flights recently rather than … (Maoriki – 23rd April)
Both sides of Referendum to debate– Aine Collins TD, Neil Prendeville Red FM and Dr Louise Crowley UCC announced details of a public meeting and debate on the forthcoming Same Sex Marriage Referendum … (Cork Independent – 23rd April)
Drug Seizures in Carriganima and Kilmeedy A substantial quantity of Cocaine was discovered in Carriganimma, and a grow house was located at Kilmeady, in early April and 72 mature cannabis plants and 100 stems with a street value of €100,000 were seized”… (Southern Star – 18th April)
Talent a Plenty at the Féile Cheoil – All that’s best and positive about Irish culture surfaced at the Millstreet Comhaltas Ceolteoiri Eireann hosting to their Annual Feile Cheoil in Millstreet Community School on Sunday … (the Corkman 18th April)
Easter 2015 is just gone, but here’s a look back at the Easter Ceremonies in Millstreet 99 years ago, and how different it was:
The impressive ceremonies connected with Holy Week were carried out with the customary solemnity in St.Patrick’s Parish Church, Millstreet. On Holy Thursday High Mass was celebrated at 10 o’clock, the celebrant being the Rev M. F. Scanlan, C.C.; deacon, the Rev. J. J. O’Sullivan, C.C, and the sub-deacon, Very Rev. J. Canon Casey, P.P., V.F. After Mass the Blessed Sacratment was taken from the High Altar to the Alter of Repose. The children of the Presentation Convent Schools, tastefully dressed, and the members of the Children of Mary Society, preceded by cross-bearcer and neolytes (sp?) . inarched in processional order round the Church. The Altar of Repose, where the Sacred Heart rested in a bank of flowers, and lit up by innumerable tapers, formed a beautiful spectacle, and was visited all day by a constant stream of devoted worshippers. On Good Friday Mass of the Pre-sanctified was celebrated by the Very Rev. J. Canon Casey, P.P., V.F., and tho Blessed Sacrament was taken back to the High Altar in processional order, as on Holy Thursday. All through theo day the Church was visited by worshippers, whose demeanour was most edifying. The glorious Feast of the Resurrection was celebrated with all the joy and splendour befitting the great occasion. At nine o’clock Mass, an eloquent sermon on the [read more …] “Easter Ceremonies 1916 in Millstreet”
A huge congratulations must go to Colin Mullane from Rathcoole, who lost an amazing six stone as he transformed his lifestyle and his body in the past year. There’s lots of us that could take inspiration from his efforts.
His story has gone viral since it was broken first by the Irish Mirror on Jan 9th, and has been taken up by lots of newspapers (Irish Mirror, the Mirror, RSVP , Celeb News …) and radio stations (RedFM, C103…).
Listen below to the audio of his interview with Neil Prenderville of RedFM (from 9:25 to 20:35), and he will be interviewed by Patricial Messenger on C103 on tomorrow Wednesday Jan 14th (Now added below).
If you are a fan of Eurovision then this will be very sad news. Anita Notaro was the tour de force responsible for directing the Eurovision Song Contest in 1993 from Millstreet in Ireland.
The 1993 contest was brought from the small village of Millstreet in County Cork and was a directing challenge for Anita Notaro but she confounded all the critics and made it one of the most memorable Eurovision’s in the contest’s history.
Anita worked as a highly successful Director with RTE (Irish National Broadcaster) for 18 years where she directed many programmes from The National Political Election coverage to The Eurovision Song Contest to Ireland’s most watched [read more …] “Anita Notaro”