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

Tag: Asdee Page 1 of 3

Church Street Restoration, Asdee Chapel

Two pictures of Coomeenole in West Kerry taken by Éamon ÓMurchú on the same evening at almost the same time.


Loyal to the Traditional Facade

Many premises in Listowel are undergoing refurbishment at the moment. In keeping with Listowel’s status as a Historic Town, Kerry County Council’s Heritage Officer is closely involved with the renovations. This house on Church Street is a case in point.

It is being lovingly restored by its present owner who takes her role as custodian of our traditional architecture very seriously.

Since I took the first photo the door has been painted.

This is a picture of the same house one hundred years ago. This picture was taken in the aftermath of the infamous Black and Tan raid in Church Street which saw the next door premises, Flavin’s, completely destroyed and much of Lower Church Street burned and looted.

Note how the present owner has restored the original look of the house and her new windows are absolutely faithful to the old design.


The Story of Asdee Chapel Continued

From Shannonside Annual 1956


M.S. Society Busking Day 2010

Musicians and volunteers in Main Street on one of the good old days.


A Lovely poem from the late John McCarthy

(from John McCarthy’s anthology Hope on a Rope)

John was a passionate compassionate poet who tackled the subject of mental illness before it was fashionable to do so. He was an activist credited with starting the Gay Pride movement in Cork.

He was a great friend of John B. and Mary Keane.


A Poem about Loss, Jerry Ryan R.I.P. and the Old Chapel in Asdee

Waterfall at Conor Pass by Éamon ÓMurchú


Another Poem from Poetry Town


A Permanent Reminder

This recent mural with a quotation by Brendan Kennelly is a poignant reminder of how fleeting all the living voices are. The man whose distinctive voice enthralled so many has left the stage. R.I.P.


+ Pat O’Flaherty R.I.P.+

Pat O’Flaherty of Chic Boutique has passed quietly away. She will be a huge loss to Mary and to her many friends. May she rest in peace.


A Fact stranger than Fiction

According to a story in The Sunday Times there are more than 50 billboards in the UK fitted with cameras and equipped with facial recognition technology. If you are walking past one of these billboards it can recognise your age, sex and mood and it will then display an advertisement it is programmed to “think” suited to you.


The Old Chapel in Asdee

from Shannonside Annual 1956

Continues tomorrow….


+Jerry Ryan R.I.P.+

Nobody’s child; everybody’s friend

“No Mommies’ Kisses and no Daddies smiles” but Listowel took Jerry Ryan to its heart and he was a valued member of our community.

The Monday after Listowel Races 2014

Jerry Ryan who passed away recently was the salt of the earth. He did his job diligentlty, keeping our streets clean for many years before his retirement from Listowel UDC. He always had a smile and a friendly word. He didn’t know my name. “Friend,” he called me. Jerry had many friends.

With Mark Loughnane
With Pat Hickey

I took these pictures of Jerry at work.

He was part of the fabric of Listowel life for years.

I invited Jerry to come to the launch of my book, Listowel Through a Lens, in 2009. He had never been to a book launch and he was a bit dubious about whether it was his kind of thing.

This is the photo of Jerry and Jim Cogan in Listowel Through a Lens

I can tell you all that it was my honour to have Jerry there and there was no guest more appreciative of the invitation.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.


Listowel Defibrillators, a Poem and Jesse James

Entrance to Gaelscoil Lios Tuathail from Dowd’s Road


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


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.


The story of famous local raparee from Shannonside Annual 1956


River Feale Works, Asdee and a (very) Short Poem

Loughfouder School, Knocknagoshel: mural by Mike O’Donnell


Combatting Erosion on the Banks of The Feale

A huge job of work is underway on the riverbank.

This is the right hand side where a previous shoring up with boulders was done.

There were seven lorries full of boulders queued up on the day I visited.

A road is being laid and the big boulders will be placed on it as an emergency measure to save the houses at Convent Cross from being undermined and falling into the river.


Jesse James of Asdee from Shannonside Annual 1956


A Sad Ditty

Do you love me

Or do you not

You told me once

But I forgot.


Cherrytree Drive, Listowel’s First Cinema, Asdee, John B. Keane’s and O’Sullivan’s Mill

Cherrytree Drive is to get a Flower Bed

Work is underway in preparing for a new flower border at the entrance to Cherrytree Drive.


John B. Keane’s is getting a repaint


Listowel’s First Cinema

Liam Dillon, who is one of the longest continuous residents of Church Street has confirmed for us that the first cinema in town was in the building that now houses North County Guesthouse.

Liam’s mother saw her first film there. It was a cowboy film. She ran home in terror when the shooting started.


Asdee is being Revived by its Young People

“John Kennedy is tracing a finger through the map of his childhood during the 1960s in Asdee. 

He says: “We had a shop in the village and below that was the community centre along with the national school and the church. Further down the road was the Jesse James bar, then you had Kissane’s which doubled as a shop and a bar. Christy Walsh had a shop and then you had the post office which was run by the Doyle family. Every house in the village was occupied and there was so much life.” 

The hinterland was well catered for also with Tom Pius Walsh’s shop situated on the approach road from Ballylongford while the Ballybunion side of the parish had a booming hub of businesses. 

John says: “You had The Store bar and shop, the creamery, and O’Sullivan’s. All were busy. The centre of life then was the local creamery, it was the meeting place every day for local farmers. 

“From early morning you’d have a stream of farmers stopping at different places, collecting messages, and talking football and farming.”

From Colm O’Connor in The Irish Examiner, August 31 2020

John is describing the Asdee of the days of the two drama groups, a vibrant thriving village before emigration and unemployment combined with the urbanisation of rural Ireland brought it to its knees.

According to articles in The Kerryman and The Irish Examiner, Asdee has formulated a five year plan to transform the area. A committee has been formed and 30 targets across five categories have been identified for development. The LED lights are up. the funding is secured and the people are more than willing.

Wouldn’t Fr. Pat be proud?


O’Sullivan’s Mill, Ballylongford

(Photos: Breda Ferris)

This lovely old building is soon to be refurbished. 


Iroquois Nations and Lacrosse

Irish Lacrosse team….photo from the internet

“The International World Games is due to take place in Alabama in the summer of 2022, but Ireland’s lacrosse team, despite having qualified, won’t be there. ” Michael Glennon.

Now my understanding of the situation and the Irish team’s part in it is this. Ireland is kinda handy at this minority sport. The Iroquois Nationals are more than handy at lacrosse. They are brilliant at it. They invented the game.

In the qualifiers for the World Games Ireland came in eighth and the Iroquois Nationals came third.

But Iroquois Nationals is not a sovereign nation and they dont have an Olympic Committee so they were deemed to be ineligible to qualify.

This decision upset the lacrosse community and their protests led to the ruling body reversing their decision. By now all the qualifying spots had been filled. The Irish team took the sporting decision to bow out to make room for the Iroquois Nationals.

So who are the Iroquois Nationals?

I found the answer in Michael Glennon’s article.

“Well, the sport itself originated among the Mohawk, Cayuga, Onondaga, Seneca, Oneida and Tuscarora Nations, collectively known as the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in the northeastern United States.

They compete in international lacrosse as the Iroquois Nationals. “

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