By Patrick Markey
In the realm of dying wishes, it was one with a distinctly personal touch.
Raymond Maurice Rendall, an English film-maker who fell in love with Listowel and Ballybunion in the early 1980s, had his last wish fulfilled recently, when some of his ashes were scattered near the fireplace in his favorite pub – John B Keane’s at William Street, Listowel, reports The Kerryman newspaper
Before he died six weeks ago, Rendall left instructions with his friend, Joe Dolan, as to where his ashes were to be placed. Dolan arrived in Kerry, with two-thirds of the ashes, and asked John B’s son Billy if the unusual request could be carried out.
"We were very happy to oblige and everyone in the pub stayed quiet while Joe said a few words and scattered the ashes near the range," Billy said. "Afterwards, we asked if it would be appropriate to have the usual Sunday night sing-song and Joe said it was no problem, that Rendall would have been delighted."
Rendall also left instructions that some of his ashes be thrown into the Atlantic Ocean at Ballybunion beach, another of his favorite haunts.
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A native of Leeds, Rendall spent most of his career in the music and film industry, which included a stint as personal assistant to Pete Townsend, lead singer with The Who.
He first came to Kerry in early 1983 after a chance meeting with John B Keane and his wife Mary in Dublin. Dolan said his late friend would have been delighted to have his ashes scattered close to the stove in his favorite pub. "I think he was hoping the stove would become a shrine to all film buffs and lovers of stout," he said.
A bird? A plane? No it’s art
At first the orange and white tubes inscribed with cryptic Russian motifs stumped army experts and sparked a round of theories about UFOs. But it seems, the mysterious objects which parachuted in Waterford recently, were actually part of an elaborate art exhibition.
According to the Munster Express, the newspaper’s reporters were first to establish that the strange gadgets did not land from the clouds. They were placed at nine separate locations around the city as part of a kinetic art expo.
The orange and white "parachutes”, attached to aluminum tubular frames, with what looked like test tubes containing soil and water suspended in the center, baffled the investigators and prompted speculation to their origin. The Russian inscription on the objects added to the intrigue.
Kinetic artists consider that art should be there for people to interact with. These objects were placed by a local artist, who is attached to a west Ireland art college and who is "involved in environmental and people-friendly sculpture."
The gárdaí were not pleased, however, with the artist’s endeavors. A gárdaí spokesman said that if anybody was found to have wasted their time he or she could be prosecuted. The objects were all taken to the gárda barracks at Ballybricken and an army
explosives disposal team took away samples for forensic examination.
A Limavady man gave new meaning to the term light as a feather recently when he stole four valuable birds from a local aviary but later killed one by sitting on it after he’d had a few too many, a Derry court heard recently.
According to the Derry Journal, Ronald Hunt, 22, admitted stealing the precious feathered creatures from the aviary and then taking them home. After the aviary’s owner called RUC to report the missing birds, investigators paid Hunt a visit.
Inside his home, constables found three birds flying around one room and another bird crushed to death on the sofa. Hunt, who has previous convictions for cruelty to animals, had apparently sat on the bird and killed it in a drunken stupor.
Hunt was given two years probation and ordered to pay the birds’ owner £100 compensation.
Home and away
A London-born bricklayer with Derry roots has created a best-selling jacket that allows football fans to always be prepared — a reversible sports jacket which has your team’s home colors on one side and the team’s away strip on the other.
Terry McCauley, a Londoner whose parents are from Waterside, designed the innovative "Home and Away" jackets after an accident forced him to give up his laboring work. Now several of England’s top premier teams have snapped up the jackets and even British Prime Minister Tony Blair owns one.
After an accidental meeting with former Liverpool and England captain Phil Thompson in Spain, McCauley was encouraged to get advice from fashion and sports design specialists and set up his own company.
"Hopefully, Derry City FC will soon be wearing my jackets," McCauley said.