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Excerpts From A Dingle Diary By Ted Creedon

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Saturday, January 12, 1985
The Kerry patriot Thomas Ashe was born 100 years ago today. Robáird and Liam Casey called to the house and we discussedideas to celebrate the anniversary.

Tuesday, January 15.
What a day!

Temperatures were minus 4 degrees this morning and all the windows, inside the house, were covered in ice.
Headed for Ballyferriter but the car gave up at the crossroads at the top of the Maum after a mini-explosion under the bonnet and steam everywhere! Later, it was towed to town by Morans and luckily it wasn’t anything serious but a warning to put anti-freeze in the radiator from now on.
There was great excitement in the area over the weekend when two young girls were ‘kidnapped’ from their father’s care in Muirreigh by his estranged wife and four men from England. They left the father tied up in the house on Saturday night before making off on the ferry to the UK.
The incident made headlines in the national media and tonight there was a full report on the RTE programme Today Tonight.

Wednesday, January 16.
Not as cold today but heavy snowfalls along the east coast. Also, reports of snow in Rome and in places usually associated with sun holidays.
The Dingle Christmas tree is still standing to the left of the bridge, opposite Donal Connor’s house, and is fully lit every night.
The Ballyferriter tree is still standing near the new school.
The price of petrol has fallen for the second time in a month, first by 4p a gallon and now by 2p but will probably jump again in the budget which is fast approaching.
Over 400 people died in a train crash in Ethiopia.

Thursday, January 17.
Another hard and frosty night with sub-zero temperatures. I was able to stand on the frozen surface of the glasshouse reservoir! There are reports on the radio all day about the Arctic weather conditions in the east of the country with heavy snowfalls.
The cold winds are also affecting the local population - the cold economic winds, that is. So many young people have emigrated in the past year to traditional landfalls in Britain and the USA. Jobs are scarce here and it’s no wonder there’s so much vandalism, robbery, drug addiction etc. these days in Ireland.

Friday, January 18.
The biggest fall of snow to hit this area in 40 or 50 years lay on the ground this morning. Drove in very difficult conditions to Ballyferriter. Some staff at the co-op didn’t get in to work before 11am.
Then the road conditions got worse from compaction and co-op boss Gearóid Ó Brosnacháin decided to send all staff home at 2pm.
Some cars were stuck at Baile Aglishe and there was no hope of getting up the Ventry or Leataoibh road so drove to Dingle via Feothanach and made it home without incident.

All schools were closed early. Bishop McNamara has gone to Dublin and will be installed as Archbishop on Sunday and the big question now in Kerry is who will be next. Dean Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin is being tipped along with Fr. Dermot Clifford.

Saturday, January 19.
The snow has almost disappeared but the roads remain frozen and no way could I get the car up the hill from our house to the main road.
Managed to put a snowball through the glass panel on our front door (by accident).

Got some new glass in Fitzys which cost £3 and poor Jim McCarthy sliced his hand open while cutting the glass.

Irish actor Wilfrid Brambell died yesterday. He was best known as Steptoe in the TV series Steptoe and Son.

Sunday, January 20.

Met Pat O’Connor in Dingle and we agreed to go training in the Doonshean naomhóg. After lunch we, along with Pádraig Quinn and Michael Slattery, met at the pier and put the canoe, (Number 24) in the water. We pulled to the harbour’s mouth until the waters got a bit too choppy then pulled west to Cloosh and back to the pier. It took about an hour.Later, went to a meeting of the Kerry Currach Committee in Geaney’s pub.

Monday, January 21.

Attended a meeting in the Convent secondary school tonight which was called by the curate, Fr. O’Connor. Most local social, cultural, charitable and other organisations  were represented. The meeting was a sort of open forum at which each group outlined their respective activities. It lasted for 3 hours.
It was agreed that a concert would be staged at Easter with each group performing some act with its own activities as the theme. I wonder.

Ronald Reagan sworn in for second term as President.

Wednesday, January 23.

Had a phone call from Kathleen Browne, County Librarian, asking if I would be president of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society. I said I’d think it over.
Letter from Irish Distillers expressing interest in sponsoring currach races.

Thursday, January 24.

Story on the radio this morning about the launching of an old folks protection group in Dingle - as if there are serious attacks on senior citizens in this area.
Who’s behind this?

The Tralee Tribunal in the Kerry Baby Case is hotting up. People from all over are now picketing the proceedings and the manner in which chief witness, Joanna Hayes, has been cross-examined by council for the Gardaí.

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