This blog is a personal take on Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am writing for anyone anywhere with a Listowel connection but especially for sons and daughters of Listowel who find themselves far from home. Contact me at listowelconnection@gmail.com

Category: Listowel Page 1 of 20

A Poem, School Milk and a Night in St. John’s

The Big Bridge, Listowel in October 2021

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The Pebble

Remember Liz Chute’s story that inspired a Bryan MacMahon short story?

It also inspired a poem by Listowel born poet, Noel Roche.

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Halloween 2021

This year Halloween seems to be a bit low key. We seem to be skipping straight to Christmas. Maybe it’s time to abandon the Trick or Treating and fireworks and return to remembering instead our dead loved ones and visiting family graves instead.

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School Lunches!

Photo from Vanishing Ireland website

Did you bring milk to school in a Chef Sauce or YR bottle? If you did you’ll probably be about my age and you’ll be cringing in horror at this sight. No matter how much you washed and scoured, getting the smell of sauce or salad cream out of one of these bottles was impossible.

Don’t even mention breakages! These bottles were glass and broke easily. I remember the first Thermos flasks and their innards broke easily too.

Schooldays were the best days of our lives?

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Ballylongford in 1910

1910 Main Street, Ballylongford, Co.Kerry.

L to R John Thomas Carrig Sr. John Thomas Carrig Jr. M Mahoney, ? Dalton, The Kelly sisters.

Thanks to Geraldine Brassil for photo and information.

Ballylongford Snaps on Facebook shared this image and caption

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A Very Different theatrical Experience

There was something for everyone in the audience in St. John’s on Saturday night. We all got a taste of ” one he made earlier”.

Manchán Magan was our entertainer for the evening. Dressed in a tailored tweed trousers, grandfather style shirt and what looked to me like homemade pampooties, he told us in Irish and English about the connectedness of everything, about history, etymology and our close connection with the fairy world, all while baking a sourdough loaf and churning some butter.

It was an extraordinary evening’s entertainment brought to us by an extraordinary man. Manchán’s depth of knowledge and infectious enthusiasm for his subjects are a sight to witness.

After the show, he chatted, signed books and shared his sourdough starter and his delicious bread and butter.

It was my first night back in St. John’s since Covid.

What a show to return to!

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Believe it or Believe it Not

Once Gillette recalled 87,000 disposable razors because, thanks to a manufacturing error, they posed a cutting hazard.

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Basketballers Named, the Ball Alley and a love poem

Listowel Town Square

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Ball Alley Art Gallery

The St. John’s and Listowel Tidy Towns Art project is finished. It’s really really good so if you are in town do drop in.

The walls are now adorned with picture bubbles depicting Irish culture with an emphasis on Listowel.

I was delighted to see that the alley was still serving its original purpose with a young man practicing badminton.

Junior Griffin’s poem remembers the ball alley as it was in its heyday.

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With a Little Help from my friends

Denis Carroll named most of them and I got a little help to jog his memory on only 2.

Back; Gerard Tarrant, Yvonne Croghan, Kay OShaughnessey, Martina Fealy, Katie O Sullivan, Miriam Beasley, Karen Carmody, Denis Carroll.

Front: Jacinta Hartnett, Beatrice Kelly, Marie Carmody and Deirdre Diggins

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Daddy’s Girl

I’m unashamedly awarding myself the award for most heart melting moment captured on camera.

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Back to Nearly Normal

Cork Opera House for my first trip back to the theatre, 60% capacity, face masks and covid certs.

The play was a classic and performed with all the respect that such a classic deserves.

Alex Murphy in the role of Gar Private stole the show. You may know him from his role in Young Offenders

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Historic Listowel, Maid of Erin and a Beauty with a Listowel Connection

Ballybunion Kayaking Tours

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Armel Whyte spotted this one on Facebook

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Two Historic Listowel Buildings Changing Hands

This house on Church Street was once the home the Wilmot family. Séamus Wilmot went on to become registrar of The National University of Ireland. This house was also the home of the legendary Babe Joe Wilmot.

Correction: Martin Moore tells me that this was not the Wilmot home. It was further down the street. This was the home of sisters, Aggie and Peg Mulvihill. Apologies for misleading you.

The Central Hotel/ Maid of Erin was sold recently. The facade of this premises is one of the most iconic in Listowel. It features one of the best known and loved examples of the stucco work of Pat McAuliffe.

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Living the Champagne Lifestyle

Caitlin Carmody is the daughter of Kevin and Christina and granddaughter of Vincent and Kathleen.

Caitlin is studying Physical Therapy in the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois.

Caitlin is also a part time model and her recent photoshoot with photographer Roland Lim is featured in Imirage magazine.

Caitlin is the cover girl.

Here are just a few of the photos of this stunning beauty with a very strong Listowel connection.

Cover, Imirage October 2021

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Killarney Story with a Kanturk Connection

Killarney Today had this story about father and son, Pat and Luke O’Neill who each scored a goal for Killarney Celtic in a recent match.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and the tree once grew in Kanturk.

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Listowel Defibrillators, a Poem and Jesse James

Entrance to Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail from Dowd’s Road

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The Square is Changing

Listowel Town Square in 2016

Before that, this old phone box used to sit in the corner of the Square.

Listowel Town Square in October 2021

The new defibrillator box occupies the site of the old phone box.

Here are the locations and times of availability of other public defrillators in town

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A Poem recalling the Children of Lir

Fionnuala was the eldest of Lir’s children and the mother substitute who looked after her brothers as they wintered on frozen waters. The poet invokes her as she leaves her loved one in the charge of another Fionnuala.

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The story of famous local raparee from Shannonside Annual 1956

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Day Care Centre, an Irish Honeymoon and rutting deer

Sunrise at Béal by Ita Hannon

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Back Breaking Work

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Turning the Sod at Ard Churam

R.I.P. all those no longer with us.

Photo by John Kelliher of committee and fundraisers at the official starting ceremony for the building project that is now Ard Chúram

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Charlotte Bronté, the Listowel connection

“Charlotte & Arthur is a story of love and grief as we see Charlotte falling for her husband only after they have wed, and her struggle to cope without her siblings as well as her own faltering health. A masterly work of skill and commitment, no stone or sod is left unturned in this fantastic recreation of Charlotte Bronte’s honeymoon in Ireland.”

– Liz Nugent

I haven’t started it yet but I’m looking forward to this new book from Pauline Clooney who its no stranger to Listowel and Listowel Writers’ Week.

Charlotte and Arthur’s honeymoon trip took them on a tour of Wales and Ireland. Follow their journey at the link below

Charlotte and Arthur honeymoon trip

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Rutting Season

The rut has started in Killarney National Park. Jim MacSweeney was there to get a few photos.

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Help would be appreciated

This weekend I had a V.I.P. visitor.

I had to introduce her to all the nearby beauty spots.

So I was away from my computer for 2 days and then this happened.

I moderate comments for obvious reasons. I have put in every filter I can think of. For instance I’ve blocked “By way of introduction” in all its forms, upper case, lower case and a mixture. I’ve blocked comments containing links. All no good. I come back to 291 rubbish spam comments selling me cbd oil, offering me jobs, praising my blog etc. etc. I dont really want to stop comments completely but it looks like I may have to.

Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated. And yes, I know I’ve written the trigger words here so I can look forward to even more “comments’ next week.

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