Happy 50th Birthday Dolores

A swan flies over the Shannon while a Limerick Rose fades

A tormented but beautiful soul

I remember seeing you for the first time, no it was not in concert but in a shopping mall

You looked so fragile next to the man who towered over you,your husband.

Small and fragile but yet so tall and powerful.

Your voice mesmerized me, so sad and full of hope at the same time.

Non assuming and humble and yet a genuine rock star.

Your earthly shell has gone but your legacy will linger

A Limerick Rose fades away as a Swan flies over the Shannon.

Happy 50th Birthday Dolores up there at the big gig in the sky

MacArthur Park

Today is Jimmy Webb’s 75th birthday. Rather then going into Jimmy’s life, I will focus on one of his many songs, ‘MacArthur Park’ .One of my favourite songs.

It doesn’t happen that often the 2 versions of a song are equally as good. The 1st version was by fellow Limerick man(although I am just a blow in) Richard Harris, the 2nd version by Disco Diva Donna Summer.

The song was released in the month I was born ,April 1968.

In an interview with Newsday in October 2014, Jimmy Webb explained:

“Everything in the song was visible. There’s nothing in it that’s fabricated. The old men playing checkers by the trees, the cake that was left out in the rain, all of the things that are talked about in the song are things I actually saw. And so it’s a kind of musical collage of this whole love affair that kind of went down in MacArthur Park. … Back then, I was kind of like an emotional machine, like whatever was going on inside me would bubble out of the piano and onto paper.”

So without any further ado the 2 versions of the song.(For those who want to bake a cake, please make sure you keep the recipe and please don’t let out in the rain)

A River Runs Deep-A poem about the Shannon

Nothing can stop you, no matter what. Your beauty is breathtaking, but there is a dark side too.

Some are in awe, when they look at your majestic flow towards the ocean. They try to comprehend the power you possess.

Other realize that power and know that it can bring life and also end it. It is an option so often contemplated. Just one jump and that’s it, never to be seen alive again.

A river runs deep and has many secrets to keep.

I choose to only see the beauty. Your lush green river banks, the reflection of the trees and the fading sunlight. A swan just lands as if it was an airplane landing on a runway, but with so much grace. Indifferent to the sounds around her, focused on one thing, landing safely in the water.

The swan too knows of the power of the water beneath her.

A river runs deep and has many secrets to keep

From the dawn of time you were here, just waiting to be explored. You determine your own direction. You determine who your own destiny, A freedom so much desired by so many.

A river runs deep and has many secrets to keep.

The Suicide of Elsa Reininger- A forgotten Holocaust victim.

A few weeks ago I discovered a Jewish Cemetery in Limerick. It was across from a landmark pub in the city called ‘the Hurlers’. There was small laneway across from the Hurlers leading to the small Cemetery.

One of the graves was of Simon Gewurz. He was originally from Bratislava in Slovakia. But he moved to Limerick where he died in 1944. I recently found out that he was the last Rabbi in Limerick.

In 1938 he had to conduct the funeral service of Elsa Reininger.

Elsa’s story was a tragic one. She had fled Austria after Hitler annexed the country. Reininger was her maiden name, she was married to Berisch Hofler. a Polish Jew. The couple had one daughter, Margarete.

Austria was annexed into the Third Reich on March 13, 1938, the day after German troops entered Austrian territory, the so called Anschluss. The Nazis were greeted by cheering Austrians with Nazi salutes and Nazi flags. A law was published, declaring Austria “one of the lands of the German Empire” under the name “Ostmark”. On April 10, an Anschluss referendum was held in Austria. According to official Reich data, with 99.08% of the population voting, the Anschluss was approved by 99.75%.

Almost immediately attacks were carried out on the Austrian Jewish community in an attempt to get them to leave the country. They were beaten up and forced to sell their businesses, scrub footpaths and clean public toilets on their hands and knees.

Shortly after the ‘Anscluss’ the Hoflers left Austria. It is not clear how the the Hoflers left Austria, but both Elsa and her Husband ended up in Limerick city, Ireland. Their Daughter, Margarete, had married a widower, Gaskel Kaitcer, in the UK. Gaskel had family in Limerick, the Tobin family, so the couple decided to move to Limerick. Margarete soon got a job working as a violinist in one of Limerick’s cinemas.

In September 1938 Berisch visited his daughter, and stayed as a lodger with Gaskel’s cousin, Annie Tobin and her Husband at 18 Newenham Street. Elsa followed in October 1938. Elsa had arrived in Limerick from England, where her passport was stamped for a 48 hours stay, basically a short term visa.

The experiences of what she witnessed in Austria had really disturbed Elsa. Her nerves were shattered from what she had seen and experienced in Vienna and the possibility that she might have to return there. She spoke continuously to the Tobins about Hitler. She suffered from depression. On October 27, 1938 she booked a room at the Crescent Hotel, she took a
gun from her handbag and as she lay on the bed, she put it to her head and pulled the trigger, killing herself, aged 57. No one heard the shot. Around 8 o’ clock Berish Hofler went to his daughters house and was distressed he didn’t find his wife. At 23.30 Margarete went to the Garda(Police) station and reported her mother missing. The body was found shortly after midnight. The Gardai(Irish Police) notified the family. In the early hours of Friday morning the 28th, the Fire Brigade ambulance arrived and removed the body to the morgue at Barrington’s Hospital on Georges Quay. As it was the eve of the Jewish Sabbath the family were anxious have the remains buried. Mr Nathaniel Fine made arrangements for the burial with Griffins funeral home on Lr. Gerald Griffin Street. As the body was about to be
removed the Gardai intervened and had the deceased returned to the morgue, but after a post-mortem examination had been made on Saturday, permission for the burial was
given again . On Sunday morning 30 October, a Griffins’ motor hearse went to Barrington’s Hospital, collected the coffin and drove to the Jewish Cemetery in Kilmurry where, in the presence of Berisch Hofler, Margarete Kaitcer and her husband Gaskel and the last serving Jewish Rabbi of Limerick, Simon Gewurz, the remains of Elsa Reininger were laid to rest in an unmarked grave.

Elsa was just one of the thousands that were so overwhelmed by the evil they had witnessed, that they felt they could not continue to live. These are often the forgotten Holocaust victims because they are not registered as such.

sources

file:///C:/Users/Dirk/Downloads/Elsa_Reininger_A_Forgotten_Victim_of_Ado.pdf

https://www.geni.com/people/Simon-Gewurtz/6000000003823159033

Click to access ct046.pdf

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Art from a Limerick Artist.

2020-08-08

Wild swans at Castle Oaks’ Oil on canvas. Scenes from Ireland. By Louise Harrison.

 

Sources

https://www.facebook.com/ArtistLouiseHarrison/?__xts__%5B0%5D=68.ARBsHB0Om-VVO1Wy_WowAkJCoO7vmcZebM9cPwJqmEhze7Ju0XctDOeTrXK8in_H9dB8okjFXhKOqEEol_CPGKijdNnSUnupbwkXaAmVKv5spaNYhw8FbYmLVuZQq_bDfioPB08cb9-vNtb4-kaUvFWrxrGJXBvd3U6BV4010PVV6e3sE-_XICqFYHdxANVSa6I7XFG1-udGCyBHWxChsu4D7jMu0_9LQXqMHwLYPmoZH6yiUEh4UocIJwGPSBl3prqC30LcmmnqWQxcS-qBpCU5qj8INOn_hZ1a_zQtWeAlakXAAQwLO0CG7OJwNwCNPKwaO1SxiomMj3ccf-0

 

https://www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/1620991?fbclid=IwAR2szPS9uKSqG9PsyDZ-FBXFXfAduFY3coPTEIQjFMGa2G3_4cPXGfCGFik

 

 

 

Richard Hayes AKA Captain Gray-Ireland’s WWII code breaker.

Doertz

Although Ireland was neutral during WWII it didn’t stay completely out of the war.There were even some famous Irish war heroes like the Beamish brothers from Cork who became RAF flying aces.

beamish

On the other hand there were less conspicuous heroes, unlikely heroes even like Limerick man Richard Hayes.

He was born in Abbeyfeale, Co. Limerick and grew up in in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College in Klidare and in Trinity College in Dublin.

trinity

Richard Hayes was no soldier ,he was a librarian, in fact in he was the director of the National Library in Dublin. It is nor clear how Colonel Dan Bryan, head of Ireland’s G2 intelligence service identified Hayes as a code breaker, but he did, probably because Hayes,was highly regarded for his mathematical and linguistic expertise.

Great  Britain had complained of radio transmissions from a house in north Dublin owned by the German Embassy.ciphers had been found on another captured spy here. So with the support of Eamon de Valera, who always had a big interest in maths, Hayes was given an office and staff to go to work on the German codes.The coded messages were a substantial  threat to Irish national security and the wider war effort.

Hayes’s biggest  nemesis was Dr. Herman Görtz,

Gortz

In the summer of 1940, Görtz had parachuted into Ballivor, County Meath, Ireland uis goal was  to gather information. He moved in with former IRA leader Jim O’Donovan. His mission was to act as a liaison officer with the IRA to get their their assistance in case of potential German occupation of Britain. However, he quickly decided that the IRA was not reliable enough. On landing, he had lost the ‘Ufa’ transmitter he had parachuted with. Goertz, attired in a Luftwaffe uniform, then walked to Dublin. He was not arresested despite calling into a Garda barracks(police barracks) in Co Wicklow, asking for directions to Dublin.

Goertz’s  was eventually arrested in Dublin in November 1941, he was carrying a code later described by MI5 as “one of the best three or four in the war”.

The “Görtz Cipher” – which was a complex substitution of figures for letters had puzzled many of the greatest code-breaking minds at Bletchley Park, but the mild mannered librarian from Co.Limerick had cracked the code. The first of the Goertz messages to be successfully decoded was unlocked with the key ‘Cathleen Ni Houlihan’. Informed of the breakthrough by Hayes, Cecil Liddell of MI5 visited Dublin in 1943 and the Irish and British secret services continued to share intelligence information until the end of the war.

Another German spy in Ireland , Günther Schultz, had used an un-coded system of “microdots”, allowing tiny messages to be contained within the letter “O” in newspaper cuttings, which had baffled the American OSS. Hayes cracked that too , as well as enciphering system used by the  Sicherheitsdienst

The captured Germans only knew their quiet-spoken and polite interrogator as “Captain Gray”, only a few at the G2 secret service knew that Captain Gray was Richard Hayes.

Hayes

Hermann Goertz was released from jail in Athlone in August 1946, but was arrested again in 1947. Friday May 23, 1947 he arrived at the Aliens’ Office in Dublin Castle at 9.50 am and was told he was being deported to Germany . Goertz was afraid he would be handed to the Soviets ,he opted to take his own life.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Irish Times

RTE Radio

Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

The long walk of Liam McCarthy

1973

It was such a glorious day for us that 2nd September 1973 in Dublin, although it rained the sun shone in our hearts, because you were ours.

Your previous master ‘the Cats of Kilkenny’ looked not after you well, so we fought them and after beating them by 7 points we took you home to us. Your new home at the Shannon was going to be marvelous.

But it was only 12 Months minus 1 day the Cats ripped you out of our midst.

For decades you were lost and wandering throughout this mighty nation of ours, but no one look after you as good as we did.

But in 1980 we nearly had you in our grasps again if it hadn’t been for the tribes men of Gaillimh. It would have been so good for you to return to the treaty city, but alas.

Galway

Then September 4th 1994, we could see you, feel you, my God we could even taste you. But no, you decided ON Ofally. Ofally of all places for crying out loud!

Ofally

Our heart was in pain and it was burdened. Would you ever come home again to us?

You teased us again 2 years later, but this time you sold your soul to Wexford for a mere 2 points. Things were getting so bleak. True the Celtic tiger was roaring, but Liam all we wanted was you, why did you not understand that?

Wexford

The years came and went, even a new millennium had started but you were never in sight. We saw you on telly alright ,having love affairs with Kilkenny, Galway,Clare and many other counties, but never us. We didn’t even get the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech.

But lo and behold come 2018, there you are smiling at us. Nearly we lost you again because some eejit of a referee decided ” 70 minutes isn’t long enough let’s make it as close to 80 as we can” As Bono once said” You were close and yet so far” however you decreed 45 years is a long enough walk, lets go home.

Liam

 

Irish Coffee- A WWII Drink

800px-Irish_coffee_glass

Who doesn’t know that warm beverage called Irish Coffee? Often mistakenly credited to the Hollywood actress Maureen O’Hara as having invented it. However the only connection Maureen has with it is her is O’Hara’s husband, Captain Charlie Blair, who was one of the pilots who used to fly the sea planes into Foynes, and flew the last commercial sea plane out of Foynes.Co. Limerick,Ireland.

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The drink was ‘invented’ by Joe Sheridan, a head chef at the restaurant and coffee shop in the Foynes AirbaseFlying boat terminal building.

In 1943, Brendan O’Regan opened a restaurant and coffee shop in the Foynes terminal building. It quickly became regarded as one of the best restaurants in Ireland. Chef Joe Sheridan, originally from Castlederg, County Tyrone, had been recruited by O’Regan to run the kitchen.

Uiche Be Atha

Late one  night in the winter of 1943, a flight left Foynes for New York. During the 1930′s and 40′s Foynes was one of the most important airports in Western Europe. After flying for several hours in bad weather, the captain decided to return to Foynes  wait for the weather  conditions to improve . A Morse code message was sent to the Foynes control tower to inform them of the return. Staff were called back in and the passengers were brought to the restaurant upon landing for food and drink.

Foynes-Flying-Boat

 

Sheridan added whiskey to the coffee to warm the passengers. After the passengers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was “Irish coffee”

One of the passengers was Stanton Delaplane, a travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle,worked with the Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco to start serving it on November 10, 1952, and worked with the bar owners Jack Koeppler and George Freeberg to recreate the Irish method for floating the cream on top of the coffee, sampling the drink one night until he nearly passed out.

Without blowing my own trumpet( and yet I am) some of my family members say I make a darn good Irish Coffee.

1024px-Making_of_Irish_coffee_on_Coffee_Right_in_Brno,_Czech_Republic

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Flyingboatmuseum

RTE

 

Johnny Cash ,Kris Kristofferson and Eric Clapton in Limerick

ad

If Elvis is the King of Rock N Roll then Johnny Cash is the King pf Country and Western music, and Eric Clapton must be the King of the Blues. But only 2 of those Kings ever visited Limerick.

Johnny Cash gave at least 2 concerts in Limerick. The first one on October 17, 1963, in the Jetland Ball room. On that gig June Carter accompanied him.

30 years later on February 10, 1993 he returned to the treaty city and performed at the University Concert Hall , this time Johnny Cash and June Carter had some help from another Country and Western heavy weight, Kris Kristofferson.

Kris Cash

They played the following songs:

 

Ring of Fire
Folsom Prison Blues
Get Rhythm

I Still Miss Someone
Man in Black
Doin’ My Time

Long Black Veil
Big River
(with Kris Kristofferson)
(Ghost) Riders in the Sky

It Ain’t Me, Babe
Jackson
The Wreck of the Old ’97

Forty Shades of Green
(with Kris Kristofferson)
Why Me
(with Kris Kristofferson)

One of my all time favourite guitarist also made an appearance in the city at the Shannon. In the legendary venue the Savoy

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This was on March 12 1979. He did not come alone. His band consisted of great musicians, each one of them great performing artists in their own rights.
Albert Lee – guitar / vocals
Dick Sims – keyboards
Carl Radle – bass
Jamie Oldaker – drums.

In the greater scheme of things and compared to other cities in the world, Limerick may be considered a small city but when it comes to music it does punch above its weight. It is was Limerick that gave U2 its first break and of course it is the city that spawned the Cranberries.

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Linger -RIP Dolores

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A swan flies over the Shannon while a Limerick Rose fades

A tormented but beautiful soul

I remember seeing you for the first time, no it was not in concert but in a shopping mall

You looked so fragile next to the man who towered over you,your husband.

Small and fragile but yet so tall and powerful.

Your voice mesmerized me, so sad and full of hope at the same time.

Non assuming and humble and yet a genuine rock star.

Your earthly shell has gone but your legacy will linger

A Limerick Rose fades away as a Swan flies over the Shannon.

F1 Rocks at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl - Australia