Animals of World War 1

One feature of World War 1 that the Lisselton soldiers would have been familiar with was the use of animals. Both sides used animals and birds in the war effort. Indeed the supply of horses was one of the first steps America took to get involved in the war, long before formally becoming an ally.Approximately nine million people died during the war, but it is estimated that over eight million horses, mules and donkeys died in the war on both sides.The early days of the campaigns saw the old fashioned cavalry charges, as was the case at the Battle of Mons in August 1914. But as trench warfare became the norm, and activity went below ground and slowed up, horses and mules were used for transport. By the time the battle of the Somme was fought in 1916, horses were so important for moving material that one horse, “Jimmy the Horse”, was promoted to sergeant after he had been killed in action!

The demotion to carrier status from cavalry status was not popular among the soldiers who had prided themselves as elite horsemen. Having to dismount and dig trenches was demoralising and added to the misery of the war, which already included sleep deprivation and loneliness. The humble donkey made his contribution too. In Gallipoli, where James Carr of Kilgarvan and PatrickWalsh of Tullamore lost their lives, and where Michael Enright of Dromerin served and was wounded, “Duffy the Donkey” became a hero when he was used to transport wounded soldiers from the bloody battlefield. As the allies withdrew from Gallipoli, five hundred mules were killed as they could not be transported quickly enough and would not be left behind alive for the benefit of the Turks. Similarly, Canadian horses were sold off for meat in France after the war because of the difficulty of shipping them back home.

Pigeons were used to carry messages during the war, and stories abound about their effectiveness. Their speed was said to be up to sixty miles an hour. German snipers were ordered to shoot these pigeons out of the sky. It is related that one such bird was wounded in the air with an important message from one trench to another but arrived alive and was responsible for saving soldiers’ lives. Falcons were later sent into action to obstruct the enemy pigeons.

Cats were also used during the war to detect gas in the trenches but also to help to distress the troops, while dogs were trained to carry messages. Some dogs were sent out with explosives attached into the enemy lines. Dogs also were promoted to officer status after deeds of valour, as was the case of a Canadian dog which held a higher rank than his owner!
Perhaps the most amazing use of animals was the use of glow-worms. The tiny beings were gathered in bottles and were utilised to light up the dark trenches in the absence of other sources of light. Books and letters could be read and maps deciphered with the help of these worms.
Towards the end of the war in 1918, when the Germans were retreating and the Allies could leave their trenches, the cavalry regained their old status in some areas and horses galloped again in the traditional charge. Success was not still guaranteed, for example one hundred horses were killed in Clateau-Cambresis (check spelling) just as the war was ending.

The role of animals to World War 1 was not recognised until quite recently when a monument was erected in London to mark their contribution. The film and play “Warhorse” has helped also to highlight the importance of animals in the four years of the war that did not end all wars.

If There’s One Thing…! Cranky Dick speaks his mind again

If There’s One Thing…! Cranky Dick speaks his mind again

If there’s one thing that irritates my bladder it’s when I hear young fellas talking about cooking and baking! Instead of hearing lusty young stallions talking about women below at the Cross, all I hear is one saying to the other “Oh, I use a sprinkle of farta-varta when I marinate the Spanish onions and it gives a lovely flavour to the sirloin!” I saw a fella on the tv the other evening winning the chef of the year competition with a concoction that looked like a doc leaf on a fresh cowdung! In the name of God and the baby in the manger without pyjamas, what kind of talk is that for young men to be going on with! Did your grandfather ever marinate the mangles! Did he carmelise the kale! Sure cooking is women’s work anyway!

In my day, men ate food like hairy bacon and greyhound cabbage with pandy and lashings of salt and butter…but they never talked about it! Whose idea was it to turn young men into lady-boys with their “I did a really nice dish last night with a lovely bit of stuff I bought over the net and I made added the wow factor with a dash of urinated kagasaki”.
Jesus, it’s enough to give one the runs!
Talking about the runs, when I was a young caffler above in the Hill, there was a neighbouring woman called Nora and her husband Patsy. Patsy had the grass of one cow and the water for a hundred! Now, it was the custom for Nora to make gruel for her Patsy once a week. What’s gruel I hear the young fellas asking! Well, gruel was a man’s food, and we didn’t go around boasting about making it. No, we ate it and farted and that was that! Gruel was yella meal boiled with milk and a dash of…there I am talking about cooking and I won’t do that now!
Anyway, around the time of night that Din Joe was finishing his dancing show “Take The Floor” on the radio, Patsy would say, looking out the dark sash window as if talking to nobody in particular, “I’d like a bit of gruel”. Nora would oblige. Anything for a bit of peace, and sure women are great that way. He would ate it down and put it inside his shirt and let out a few burps to show it was winding its way to the nether regions. One particular winter, after a few gruel sessions, Nora began to notice that Patsy would get an oul gleam in his eye and get a rosy colour in his cheeks and become very frisky. She knew that men as they got older got notions that went against a woman’s logic. And she, being a woman, decided to do something about it.
Things rested so until the next night, about a week later, when “Take The Floor” finished. Patsy looked out the dark sash window and declared to the world that he would like a bit of gruel. Nora smiled (be careful when a woman smiles…she is sucking your blood) and rose without a word to do as her husband requested. (Be careful when a woman does as you ask, it comes at a heavy price!)
The poor oul husband smiled to himself at his power in the world. His heart lifted when he thought of the gruel going down like sweet súlach and then a bit of the other thing later. A double thrill that made him believe in a male God in heaven and a woman’s place on earth.
So she got the ingredients from the press under the dresser and scooped a crúiscín of fresh milk from the white enamel bucket that was covered with an old pillow case. She got the muller and put it on the coals and did her female magic. As the concoction began to simmer, she turned to Patsy as he finished picking a ball of hardened snot from his left nostril and said “You’d better have an oul look at the heifer out in the cow-house. I’d say her time is up”.

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Reluctantly he put on his turned-down Wellingtons and lit the carbide lamp and headed out. He was putty in her hands. She had the power of the food. The minute he was gone, the real woman set to work. What did the bitch do but take down the tin of Andrews from behind the tea canister in the dresser and put in three big spoons of it in the gruel. Now if you don’t know what Andrews is, ask your granny. She did it with a light in her eye like Eve after eating God’s apple in the Garden. You can’t be up to women! They get a great thrill out of avoiding sex!
When Patsy came in and settled down to the gruel and emitted the kind of sound that a young bog-pony makes when he smells a mare of any description a mile away in the prevailing wind. He took a big spoon of it. He let it slide down his throat, allowing it to percolate the hinterland at will with a lateral thrill. He sensed that it had a richer texture than ever. It seemed full of jizz. He put it down to the expectations he had for later, and hadn’t he noticed a curious light in her eye as she served him the gruel in the blue bowl. “T’anam on diabhal,” he thought to himself, “she still has that oul grá for me and she isn’t having any herself. She is giving it all to me!”
He finished the rest of the gruel and scraped the arse of the muller in a manly way just to get her going more. He had that Fifteenth of August feeling from his youth as he took out his false teeth and put them safely into the old snuff box that his beloved grandmother used to get her thrills from.
Well, when they got to bed, he felt his expectations building up as he let his galloses drop and soon he felt the pounding of her heart against his bare chest. He had built up a head of steam and was ploughing a good furrow when suddenly he felt a small but foreign rumbling in the pit of his stomach. He ignored it for a while in his state of fiery desire, but then quite suddenly it became a bubbling volcano! Well as quick as you could say gruel, he pulled up his drawers and shot out of the bed like a rocket and hit the west haggard firing on all cylinders! Oul John across the fields said the next day that he heard a fierce thunder that night, but saw no lightening! Neighbours say still that there was a fierce growth of grass in that west haggard the following spring. Patsy’s drawers were never found.
When he came back in, a good tamaillín afterwards, Nora could see that he was the colour of new milk from head to toe. “What’s after happening you at all?” she inquired with a light in her eye that he did not see, and she lying naked on the bed to rub salt in the wound.
“Oh, Nora, I’m afraid my passion for you is too great” he said in a vain attempt to restore his manhood. He buried his head in the bolster as a confused fog enveloped him and he couldn’t make hog, dog nor devil of this life. He fell into a deep sleep where he subconsciously rethought the nature and role of man.
Every night after that Nora would purr like a puisín with a longing, mar dhea, in her thieving eye, while “Take The Floor” was on the old Pye Radio. Then, as the programme ended and the dancing died away, she would almost moan “Would you like a bit of gruel…you know!”
But poor oul Patsy would remember the volcanic rumbling and the quick run out and the long stay abroad and the burning in his tóin and say, in a low voice, “No, a ghrá, I’d sooner say the rosary!”
Of course, some of the boyos now are trying to impress the women with food. Forget it lads. Grub is for eating. Don’t make a religion of the bloody thing. You’ll all end up in the west haggard!
By the way I was going to tell you last year about the craic we used to have at the carnivals. Well, one night in Ballyduff…what! The deadline is gone! Them hoors of ghosts in the Magazine are cutting me off again! If I could stuff them with Nora’s gruel, that would sort them out. That would send the rips out to the west haggard and…

On Losing My Sight By Ned Purtill, Rahoona (in conversation with David Kissane and Jim Finnerty)

Maria and I were married in 1964. In the same year I had a shooting accident when a pellet from a shotgun went through my eye.I had an old Volkswagon car with a starting handle on it and I had to drive it home. When I came in home, Maria took off my jumper, and didn’t the pellets from the cartridge fall all over the place. We went to the Bon Secours in Tralee but they wouldn’t touch me there. They said I would have to go to Dublin to get my eye removed. When I got there, they told me the pellet had hit the bone near the eye. They decided to try to save the eye and put two stitches on the eyeball to preserve it from decaying. It was the first time the procedure had ever been done in the hospital and they kept me for ten days. I remember there was about twenty students around me with the doctor every day because of my condition.

I had the sight of only one eye from then on, and that’s fifty years ago. I played a few football matches with only the one eye, but in the end I found it hard to judge the flight of the ball. I did refereeing after and for nearly all the refereeing, I had only one eye! The other eye was as good as two eyes! I used to be behind at the greyhound track in Tralee and no one would ever beat me in judging a photo finish!
The loss of sight in one eye did cause some problems though. Not long after the operation, I drove Maria to Ballybunion to go shopping and after waiting a while I drove away only to find that she was not in the car! I came home without her! Yerra howl, you could be talking about that forever! But at other times I was perfect in every way all along the line. But then about five years ago I had trouble with cataracts. The doctor gave me the choice of leaving things as they were for a while and holding on to the bit of sight that I had, or risking an operation which might cost me all my sight. I decided to leave things as they were, as there was too much fluid in the good eye, and take a chance to hold on to the sight I had. But a few years later I found myself telling Maria not to walk up the church too far in front of me because I couldn’t see her! So we started going up to the hospital in Cork for the guts of two years. The fluid had reduced but glaucoma had set in and no operation could be done.
I have no sight at all now. Shadows only. At times you would get down and out. I can’t drive. I can make no effort inside the house. When I get up out of here, Maria has to carry me as I can’t make out a door even. I can’t go from this chair to another one. The house is a mystery to me. I can walk around the garden outside alright with my hand on the wall and with my stick, but I can’t go out myself or come in. When Maria leads me out in the garden in the middle of the day, I can’t detect the colour of the sky. It’s the same as if I was going out in the middle of the night. ’Tis night the whole time. I can’t use a Zimmer Frame because my age is against me. I would be able to sense what type of weather is there all right. The dog for the blind and the walking stick are not options for me.
I have accepted what has happened to me and I can’t change it. The doctor told me once that it might improve but that didn’t happen and medicine can do no more for me now. I get a bit down at times but ninety nine per cent of the time I am fine. I haven’t a pain or an ache otherwise. My hearing is a small bit better since I lost my sight. I can’t see what’s on TV but I can listen to it. I like listening to Mrs Brown on the TV all right, but I was never one for hanging around television anyway. I was always out. I can eat and I can walk for Ireland as long as Maria is with me. Yesterday we went to The Cliff House to eat and we couldn’t get any place to park nearer than the school and I was able to walk to the hotel and back all the way to the car with Maria.
My advice to people who have problems with their sight is that they should go about it on time to the doctor. I am glad I had my sight for all those years and would not have been happy to have been born blind.

Storm in Lisselton 1850

Taken from Tralee Chronicles Dec 21st 1850

Dec 17th: A most awful and terrific thunderstorm occurred on Sat last in the neighbourhood of Ballybunion. The storm rushed over from the Clare side. In its progress through Lisselton, the electric fluid was caught by the turrets of the belfry of the Protestant church, in an instant demolishing a great portion of that fabric. It carried huge masses of rock from the church to a distance of nearly one eight of a mile.
Two of those huge masses of stone were hurled through the house of the Rev James Walsh, PP as if shot from a cannon, demolishing property to a considerable extent. The fluid passed through David Gunn’s house through the chimney, struck a large dog and deeply singed it.

They Died by Pearse’s Side By Pádraig Ó Conchubhair, Lenamore

(To commemorate the centenary of the 1916 Rising, historian Pádraig Ó Conchubhair writes about the three 1916 martyrs who were born nearest the Parish of Ballydonoghue)

“An Cuimhin libh feighil is aiséiri na Cásca,
A shráideanna naofa Ath’ Cliath
’S na soilse a adhandh do leighis bhúr náire,
A shráideanna naofa Ath’ Cliath
Níorbh fhada a ré is a scéimh, faraoir,
B’e an falla géar is an piléar an díol,
’Gus flatha na Féinne san aol ina luí,
A shráideanna naofa Ath’ Cliath

Four men from Kerry died in Dublin during the Easter Rising of 1916. One was Patrick O’Connor of Rathmore, who, it is thought, was shot in Thomas’s Lane off Cathedral Place, escaping from the inferno of the Imperial Hotel on the other side of O’Connell Street, opposite the General Post Office. The other three were all North Kerry men: Michael Joseph O’Rahilly from Ballylongford, Patrick Shortis from Ballybunion, and Michael Mulvihill from Ardoughter in Ballyduff.

The O’Rahilly, Ballylongford (1875-1916)

Born on October 23rd, 1875, Michael J O’Rahilly was a founder of the Irish Volunteers and the only one of those founders to be killed in action in 1916. At the age of twenty three he sold the family business in Ballylongford and went to New York to marry Nannie Brown, a young American lady whom he had first met at a dance held in Ballydonoghue House on the outskirts of Tarbert.

They and their three sons returned permanently to Ireland in 1909 and from that time on Michael Joseph devoted his life, and a not inconsiderable part of his wealth, to the ‘Irish Ireland’ movement. He was a member of Sinn Féin, the political party founded by Arthur Griffith and he enthusiastically embraced the work of Conradh na Gaeilge (The Gaelic League) and did everything in his power to encourage the study of local history and place names and to stimulate Irish industry and native crafts. He began to sign his name in its Irish form – Ua Rathghaille – and this led to his becoming known as The O’Rahilly.
He it was who drafted and dispatched the invitations to the meeting in Wynn’s Hotel in Abbey Street which led to the foundation of the Irish Volunteers and he was elected Treasurer and later Director of Arms for that body. Because of the capture of the German arms ship Aud in Tralee Bay, he agreed with the decision of his Chief-of-Staff, Eoin Mac Neil to call off the rebellion fixed for Easter Sunday 1916. Indeed he travelled by taxi to Limerick on that day to reinforce Mac Neil’s countermanding order for the Munster Volunteers. When he returned to Dublin and found that the rising was going ahead he resolved to join it.
“I wound the clock,” he is reputed to have said, “and now I’ll hear it strike.”
On the Friday of Easter Week he led the party of volunteers who tried to escape from the flames of the GPO to set up a new headquarters in nearby Parnell Street, but he was mortally wounded at the corner of Moore Street and Sackville Lane (now O’Rahilly Parade).
He is buried in Glasnevin, it was left to WB Yeats to immortalise him in verse –

“Sing of the O’Rahilly
Do not deny his right
Sing a ‘the’ before his name
Allow that he, despite all these learned historians
Established it for good
He wound the clock
And helped to hear it strike.”

In April 1966, a memorial plaque to The O’Rahilly was unveiled on the family home at the Square in Ballylongford. The O’Rahilly’s five sons were present with more than twenty other members of the family. The local GAA club is called after him as is the Kerins O’Rahilly club in Strand Street in Tralee.

Michael Mulvihill, Ballyduff (1880-1916)

Michael Mulvihill was born at Ardoughter, Ballyduff on April 2nd, 1880, and was educated at Ballincrossig Boys’ National School where his father John was principal. The second son in a family of nine children, he left home at the age of eighteen for London and after two years in college joined the Civil Service. He was a constant support to his younger brothers and sisters and visited Kerry every year on his holidays. He left his position when he was called up for military service in World War I, but evaded the call-up, and with his brother-in law Austin Kennan and Seán McGrath, a Longford man who later settled in Kerry, he travelled to Dublin on Good Friday 1916. They stayed at the Kincora Hotel in Parnell Square where Michael registered ‘Michael O’Connor’ (using his mother’s maiden name) as he was technically liable for immediate arrest for evading his call-up notice. According to some accounts he was unaware of the plans for the rising but as he was an active member both of the Gaelic League and of the London Corps of the Irish Volunteers this seems doubtful. Austin Kennan tells us that they saw the men of the ‘Kimmage Garrison’ of the Irish Volunteers who had returned from London march towards the GPO on Easter Monday and that Cahersiveen man, Dennis Daly, called out to them ‘Join in boys, this is the revolution.’ They followed the Kimmage men, entered the GPO and were vouched for by Michael Collins. They were sent to the roof of the building and were armed with shotguns and home-made bombs which they were warned to preserve from the rain. When it rained on the Wednesday night they obeyed their orders and took off their overcoats getting drenched themselves but keeping the bombs dry!
On the Thursday of Easter Week they left the roof and Austin lost contact with Michael. Michael may have been part of the second group of Volunteers who left the building on the Friday evening. His body was later seen at the junction of Moore Lane and Henry Street. He was buried in St Paul’s Plot in Glasnevin.
In December 1966, a plaque in his memory was unveiled by his nephew and namesake at the family home in Ardoughter. Three of his sisters, Margaret Mulvihill, Molly Hartigan and Mrs Keenan were also present as was his brother-in-law Austin who had fought beside him in the GPO. When Ballyduff and Ardoughter GAA clubs amalgamated his name was chosen for the new club and Ballyduff Michael Mulvihill’s are one of the few clubs in Kerry who field teams in both hurling and football.

Patrick Shortis, Ballybunion (1893-1916)

Patrick Shortis was born in Ballybunion on July 4th, 1893. His father, a native of either Kilkenny or Tipperary, was at one time station-master on the Lartigue Railway and later a publican and general merchant. He attended Gortnaskehagh National School and was an extremely bright pupil winning a £20 scholarship to St Brendan’s Seminary in Killarney in 1905. He went on to study for the priesthood in All Hallows College Dublin, but left after two years, realising he did not have a vocation. In the meantime he had obtained his BA degree from the National University. He attended a Marconi College with a view to becoming a wireless operator but he was denied a certificate on account of his political views. He worked in London and he too was a member of the London Corps of the Irish Volunteers. He was a good runner and took part in athletic competitions in that city.

Because of the danger of being conscripted into the British army, he returned to Dublin in January 1916 and became attached to ‘F’ company of the Second Battalion (Fairview), Dublin Brigade which mustered in Father Matthew Park on Easter Monday. The previous day’s confusion still continued and the Volunteers were not certain of what their role might be. An officer of that Battalion (and later a Lieutenant-Colonel in the National Army), Charles Saurin tells us: “Consequently [ie because of the confusion] Séamus Daly and myself along with Harry Coyle accepted the invitation of Paddy Shortis, a Kerryman of our company, to go with him to the house in which he was stopping and which happened to be the residence of MW O’Reilly, (a volunteer who was part of the Headquarter’s staff) in Foster Terrace off Ballybough Road. There he fed us and he also gave me a revolver which he had obtained earlier in the day.”
Later Shortis made his way to the GPO garrison and with his fellow Kerryman, Dennis Daly, was a member of the party led by The O’Rahilly that attempted to storm the Barricade at the top of Moore Street on the Friday of Easter Week.
The O’Rahilly’s sister, Anna, tells us: “After the surrender we were told that my brother, Michael, and his nephew (this was Dick Humphreys, whose mother, Nell, was Anna’s sister) had been killed. We went down to the morgue to identify the bodies, one was Michael’s but the second was that of Paddy Shortis from Ballybunion.”
Shortis was buried in St Paul’s Plot in Glasnevin Cemetry. His brother Archie, who was a chemist’s apprentice in Dublin had spent days and nights looking for his body. As a result his health broke down and he emigrated to California and later moved to Indiana.
Pat Shortis was not forgotten in Ballybunion. In Killahenny cemetery in July 1934, Moss Twomey, the Kerryman who was then chief-of-staff of the IRA, unveiled a memorial to his memory, a memorial which also honoured Dan Scanlon who was shot at the RIC barracks in Ballybunion in October 1919.
In October 1966, Patrick’s niece, Angela Gilmore-Shortis unveiled a commemorative plaque on the house in which he was born in Main Street, Ballybunion. Among the attendance were his two sisters, Mrs Violet O’Carroll and Mrs Ann Johnson, the latter married to District Justice and playwright Richard Johnson.
These three men were the nearest of the 1916 martyrs to Ballydonoghue Parish.

“No dirge did hum
No funeral drum,
Did beat its muffled tatoo,
But the Angelus bell their requiem knelled,
As it tolled through the Foggy Dew.

My Captaincy of Ballybunion Golf Club 2014 By Seán Kennelly, Lacca

My Captaincy of Ballybunion Golf Club 2014 By Seán Kennelly, Lacca

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I started playing golf in 1985 at the ripe old age of 30! A friend of my sister Marie was down from Dublin and he had golf clubs in the car and we were telling him that he was a yuppie! But his answer to us that we were fools if we didn’t play golf with the best golf club in Ireland right beside us. The perception at the time was that golf was for wealthy people.
But the first day I played on the golf course was not exciting. The small ball was sitting up there on the tee waiting for me to hit it, and it didn’t occur to me that I could miss it! I didn’t realise that the secret of it was that you had to keep your head steady at all times when hitting the ball. I had lots of “fresh airs”. Embarrassing!
But I kept at it as time went on, getting braver and braver, getting bits of advice from people, and getting to know people. My handicap improved, beating standard scratch (after going out to 21 at one time). Then Brendan Daly, my brother-in-law, and myself won a four-ball and I started improving. I started picking up small little prizes with 5ths and 6ths placings and so on, and lo and behold things started happening. On several occasions I said to myself “I’ve made it!” which was great until I went back the next day and I was back to square one. It’s like football – some days you will hit the ball straight down the middle, but other days, disaster. It’s not so much that you are playing against yourself. You are trying to beat the golf course. You are trying to get your best score but you are out there the best part of four hours and you lose concentration. You may be on a team, but you are on your own most of the time. If you don’t keep the noodle, you are gone!
Since I began playing golf, the club in Ballybunion has seen massive changes. The promotion of the club had just started in the 1980s and it’s a big business here now. There are thousands coming to Ireland every year to play golf and the Ballybunion courses are among the top places people want to play. The whole set up accommodates the touring players. The clubhouse alone is state of the art. The sheer size of it is impressive. It is very modern. Downstairs there is the spikes’ bar where the golfers can go with their golf shoes. (When I started there were metal spikes but they are outlawed now, except for professionals, and soft spikes are the norm for amateurs. Metal spikes are very severe on the greens.) There is another bar and restaurant upstairs and there is also a members’ bar where only members are allowed. That is a typical American idea.
As far as becoming a member is concerned, it has become a bit easier in the last four or five years. The demand is not what it was 10 years ago. Anybody who wants to join can go online and fill up the form. Then you get somebody to propose and second you, and if you pay seven and a half thousand euro, then you are in. The women’s side of the club is struggling to get new members in. Since women have equality in the club, they have to pay the same fee as the men. The junior girls are in low numbers also, but the junior boys are increasing by twenty members each year. There is a waiting list for them actually. The attraction for young people to join is that they can upgrade to full membership at 21 for about fifty per cent of the fee.
There have been many exciting events in my time in the club. When Bill Clinton came the first time there was fierce excitement around. The security was something else, as manholes were welded around Ballybunion and the CIA were everywhere for a week before. It was a really fine day when the US president arrived. I was fortunate that I played just two groups behind President Clinton. His security group numbered about twenty but they kept a discreet distance. In his playing group were Dick Spring, Christy O’Connor Senior, Charlie McCreevey and the captain of the day, Brian McCarthy from Ballylongford. There was a massive crowd around the 18th green as he finished and he went in to the club then and mingled with people. I shook hands with him myself and asked him to come back sometime, which he did. I had actually met him at Lisselton Cross also when he stopped there earlier in the day! He was friendly with everyone.
My road to becoming club captain began around seven years ago when I sought a position on the committee. You have to be nominated and seconded and then be elected. I didn’t succeed the first two goes but I tried again and got elected onto the committee then. There are different sub-committees then for handicapping, competitions and so on, and I was elected to the competitions committee. I became chairman of competitions and was later promoted to finance. Then Mike Barry was captain and asked me to be his vice-captain. Later then I was elected captain. I was fortunate with my job because I had the time for the job as it is very time-consuming.
Since becoming captain, I have met a lot of different people. I have met a lot of American business people. I met Donald Trump only a few weeks ago at his newly acquired course in Doonbeg. He saw the Ballybunion tops and came over to us. I recently played with a man from Sunningdale golf Club who is six foot ten in height! A small little ladeen! I also met Ed McMahon, an overseas member of Ballybunion who is a lawyer in Washington. Recently he had to defend Alqeda members recently. Another man I met was David Bates who is a member of the Congressional Golf Club where Rory McElroy won his first major. Bates is also an overseas member of Ballybunion.
Outside of Ballybunion, the best course I have played is Donegal in Murveigh. I have also played Mount Juliet and Killarney and overseas I think Congressional stands out.
My captaincy lasts till December. I would like to be remembered for treating people well, and for welcoming them to Ballybunion. There are 2,200 members in the club and I hope I have helped to create an atmosphere where all opinions can be expressed openly and fairly. I would like to think that I have motivated all to share in our common direction in Ballybunion Golf Club.