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13 June 2021

In the Magic Hour (performances) and In Your Words (collected stories)

IN THE MAGIC HOUR by CoisCéim Dance Theatre 
When: Performances between 11 – 20 June 
Where: Handball alleys across Ireland to be announced / Online 
Ticketing: Online Viewing: Streaming information to watch at home will be released in June. Free. 

Firmly embedded in the Irish psyche, handball alleys are fascinating structures. Not just for sport – they have been spaces for everything from matchmaking to card playing – where people have gathered to dance, to chat, to meet, to play… 

read and listen to the stories collected:

For more information please contact the Programme Coordinator, Caoimhe at
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9 May 2021

Barntown, Co.Wexford

Barntown, Co.Wexford Screengrab from Facebook page with permission from Barntown Heritage Group. Photographed August 2008, by S.Ryan Read More......

25 March 2021

Brackloonagh South, Co.Mayo

Brackloonagh South, Co. Mayo. Permission for use of top photograph from 1996 provided by the phtographer M.Bunn. All remaining photographs provided by D. Keegan and A. Roddy in March 2021
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14 November 2020

Drumquin, Co. Tyrone

This alley was demolished in summer 2020 The upper photograph is by Kenneth Allen on the website Photo credit:Handball alley, Drumquin cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Kenneth Allen - Upper photographs Second photograph showing the cleared site of the former alley from newspaper article about the demolition of the alley in June 2020 amd provided with the permission of journalist Emma Ryan of the Ulaterhearld.
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Clifden, Co.Galway

Photographs provided by R. Harrison. This alley was demolished in April/May 2018. The stone plaque records that it was built as a gift to the boys of the town by Maria Gorham. These photogrphs are also availble on the Galway County Heritage Website
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15 October 2020

Kanturk, Co. Cork

Kanturk, Co. Cork Extract from local newsletter sent to emigrants in USA, dated 1963; transcription provided by M. Cogan of Listowel Connection, who has assisted this project on handball alley many times. Handball News: This is something new for the News Letter. We are glad to announce that the Handball Alley in Strand St. has been re-opened and a third ball Club formed. The Officers are as follows: Presidents — Rev. Fr. O'Keane, C.C. and Mr. Andrew Keating (Egmont Place). Chairman—Mr. Noel O'Toole (Newmarket Road). Treasurer — Mr. Seamus O'Riordan (Bluepool Dr.). Secretary — Mr. Don Fitzgerald (Ballyheen). There are 70 members in the Club. A few challenge Games have been played in which Jerry Mullane (Bluepool Upr.) and Seamus Riordan werebeaten by Mr. Cremin and P. Egan,Liscarroll in Novice Soft Ball Doubles. In the Junior Softball Singles John O'Mahony (Mill Road) was beaten by T. Murphy, Liscarroll. In the County C'ships Colm. Lynch, (Knocknacolan) and Don Fitzgerald (Ballyheen) won the first round in the Junior Soft Ball Doubles. The following will represent the club in other Grades Novice Doubles — Brendan Fogarty (Bluepool Dr.) and Andrew Cotter, (Main St.), Novice Singles — Noel O'Toole, Junior Singles — Colm Lynch, (Knocknacolan). “Over the Bar" may not be a technical term in the Handball vocabulary, but as a matter of interest the "Alley Bar" closed down since the death of Mrs. Julia Twohill R.I.P., has been re-opened and is now the property of Mr. Ned Jones, of Ballydesmond. Read More......

Corramore, Co. Roscommon

Site of demolished alley at Corramore, Co. Roscommon Photographs R.Ryay, Aug 2020. Screenschot from 6" OSI historical map showing alley (survey date 1838)
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Loughanure, Co. Donegal

Loughanure, Co. Donegal This alley was located behinf the technical school (gairmscoil) on site of former limekiln. There were many lime kilns in this village.See history in photographs. Infirmation and photographs by R.Ryan and K. Healion, Aug 2020
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Carndonagh, Co.Donegal

Carndonagh, Co.Donegal This alley was built by Peter Clarke - a builder and coffin maker from Tyrone who settlled in Carndonagh – at location known as Cowpark. It was a 3-wall alley with wiremesh covering the roof. It was demolished in 1984. Flowers and planting on site of alley Information (provided by local man M. McClure) and photographs collected by R.Ryan, Aug 2020
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Bunnagee Pier, Culdaff, Co.Donegal

Bunnagee Pier, Culdaff, Co.Donegal Elderly lady renembers handballl being played at the coastgard station. Possible location of then 1-wall alley pointed out to R.Ryan by local man. Photographs and information from R.Ryan, Aug 2020
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19 August 2020

Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon

Four Mile House, Co. Roscommon
Photographed by R. Ryan, August 2020

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13 August 2020

Kildoon, Co. Kildare

Photographed by E.Timoney in December 2018.
Thanks to J. Howard for additional information.
This alley is located close to the alley in Nurney and is dated to circa 1790. It was close to demolitiion some years ago but was rennovated by the local community. The alley is in very good condition. During the rennovation work additional height was added to the back wall, as was a safety cage around the gallery. The imprint of the gable of now demolished house is visible on the side wall to the east (right).

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Portroe, Co. Tipperary

Site of alley adjacent to Portroe primary school, Co. Tipperary. Photographed by Á. Ryan, July 2020
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Silvermines, Co. Tipperary

This overgrown and inaccessible alley in Silvermines, Co. Tipperary is close to the village green and a former mine shaft.
Photographed by Á. Ryan, July 2020
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Lyre, Co. Cork

Lyre, Co. Cork. Photographed by Á.Ryan, July 2020.
This building of this alley is recounted in the 'Old Church at Ball-Alley' in the Schools Folklore Collection.

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