Laying out their 'White Elephant Stall' at the 1990 Castleisland Indoor Market at the community centre were from left: ??? ??? , Mary McCarthy, Sheilagh Brosnan, Bertha O'Sullivan, Lil McCarthy, Eily McSweeney, Mary Hickey and Eilish McCarthy. Can anyone out there identify the two girls on the left. ©Photograph: John Reidy 28-9-1990
Laying out their ‘White Elephant Stall’ at the 1990 Castleisland Indoor Market at the community centre were from left: Anna Brosnan, Ballymacelligott; Marian Murphy, Glounsharoon;  Mary McCarthy, Sheelagh Brosnan, Bertha O’Sullivan, Lil McCarthy, Eily McSweeney, Mary Hickey and Eilish McCarthy. With thanks to Eileen McGaley for her help with the names of the two ladies on the left.  ©Photograph: John Reidy 28-9-1990

This Friday night at 8pm the doors of Castleisland Community Centre will be flung open and the floor swarmed by bargain hunters. It’s Indoor Market time in town.

I think it was only in 2006 that the great social occasion, known locally as The Indoor Market, ever deviated from its late September / early October posting. And only then because the local community centre was still under refurbishment work and it pushed it into December.

Since its 1974 debut on the Castleisland calendar of events it has indeed merited every sinew of the old strength-to-strength cliche.

Tommy O’Rourke’s Shop

That debut was in Tommy O’Rourke’s Main Street grocery shop. And it was about then what it’s about now. It was the Kerry Parents and Friends of the Mentally Handicapped back then.

The title has been modified to the Kerry Parents and Friends Association now. The maintenance and promotion of positive mental health is still at the core of its mission.

Generations or waves of volunteers throw themselves into the service of the community each year as their parents and grandparents did for years before them.

Their great, joint efforts may have been expended those generations apart. They’re united by a single aim.They’ve a common monument in Glebe Lodge Residential Centre.

I don’t ever remember a year or an occasion on which the crowd or the gate or the take was a disappointment to the organisers.

Demand for Description

It’s a desperate occasion for gobbling cliches in its demand for description from me and my equals. Something for everyone – is another that screams from the files as smiling hordes of youngsters and more look back at me with items which caught their eye on a given night.

Anyone with manners has no business of going down there early. If you’re a bargain hunter with manners, you’ll be trampled as eyes widen and teeth are bared with the sound of the bolt being drawn back on the doors of the centre.

Great Christmas Presents

Nobody got killed or maimed yet – thank God. But many got great Christmas presents, suits of clothes, long out of print books and records – and vinyl is coming back – and that little corner is often a treasure throve – there goes another one of those cliches.

If you dare, the doors open at Castleisland Community Centre this very Friday night at 8pm.

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