Jeremiah Molneaux dancing with Sheila Bowler (nee Lyons)


Sheila was born in Mountcoal to Jamesy Lyons and Mary Anne Kirby, one of 7 girls and 2 boys.  

Sheila went to Dromclough N.S. and learned dancing from the well-known traditional step-dancer, Jerry Molyneaux, who also frequented Hartnetts and Flahertys of Mountcoal.

She was an apt pupil and made great progress winning 9 Kerry Championship medals (7 in a row) and also a Munster Championship medal.  This is probably unknown to a lot of people, due to Sheilas quiet and humble nature.  She was one of a group called the Dancing Darlings of Mountcoal€™.  She was also a pupil of the late Willie Dineen, who entered his pupils for the feiseanna.

When she first started teaching at the age of 16 years, she bought 2 items a bicycle and a Singer sewing machine.  She cycled all around North Kerry, giving dancing classes from Lixnaw to Ballincrossig, Causeway and Ballybunion, Ballyheigue, Abbeydorney and Kilflynn.  She even cycled all the way to Kildimo, Limerick, to give lessons.

When Sheila married Brendan Bowler, she moved to Kiltomey, Lixnaw and among her many pupils were her own daughters and grand-daughters.  As well as the dancing classes, she supplemented her income by making dancing costumes, wedding outfits etc. along with rearing her children.  

In all, she taught for 44 years and entertained for many more.  She appeared on Bring down the lamp€™ on RTE television on two occasions.  

Sheila was a member of Lixnaw CCE for over 30 years and to acknowledge this, a special tribute night, in Sheilas honour, was held by Lixnaw CCE on the 29th October, 2005.

Seemingly, Sheila'€™s favourite dance was €˜The Garden of Daisies€™.  Sheila passed away in January 2021. May she RIP.