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

Tag: Billy Keane Page 1 of 11

Covid Signs,and A Sister’s Love in a poem and Opening Night Listowel Writers’ Week 2020

Only God can Make a Tree

Kay McDonnell took this photo

<<<<<<<<<



Sisterly love in a Poem


“Limerick poet Anne Mulcahy wrote the poem Sister in 2014. I have her permission to get it published. ” Mattie Lennon”

The story behind it is as follows;

   A mutual friend of ours had a brother, David, with Down Syndrome. He was also non verbal. David spent 55 of his 57 years in an institution until his death in 2014. When he reached the terminal stage of his life that same institution clearly did not wish to have him remain in their care but rather wished him to enter an acute hospital setting. This issue needed to be robustly fought with the members of the institution to allow David to remain in his ‘ Home’.  His sister, who had been his Guardian Angel for decades, was an able and willing advocate to defend his rights. 

Sister was written from David’s perspective from beyond the grave.  

 Dear Sister, thank your noble heart, that fought my need to sleep,

In sheets that smelt and felt so familiar to me,

You spoke my words when my voice could not be found,

Through divided chaos you firmly stomped the ground,

Chin firm, teeth clinched, and no budge to make-

Steering the ship to higher ground!

Now, here, in this realm my tongue is loose and free,

And sings songs like Jingle Bells and happy melodies.

I cannot keep a pair of shoes, so worn are they from dancing.

And I laugh so much, I cry big tears, till my shirt oft needs changing.

Cold nights I read before I sleep, warm tales of hope and peace,

And all the while, I lay entwined, in my own familiar sheets!

Everything here is wonderful, both the company and the food,

And I’ve met many here that I once knew.

Pain does not exist here-only a great peace of vast magnitude.

Dear Sister, hold fast the times we had,

We both know the efforts you made, the gifts you brought, the prayers you said,

And when we meet, as sure we will, I’ll have a bed ready and made!

©Anne Mulcahy 2014.

<<<<<<<<<




Listowel in the Pandemic of 2020

Jumbo’s and O’Connell’s Decor are two very busy shops at this time.

McKenna’s has a one way system.

The pharmacy next door has lots of signs

You can see the table with the sanitiser for customers. A one way system is in operation.

Behan’s The Horseshoe is open for take away food.

Sad to see a Robert Moloney’s, a shop which always worked long hours, closed.

When I took my second walk downtown later Dominick was in town checking on his premises. Dominick  Moloney is a tonic in a pandemic, always in good form and ready to pose for the camera.

<<<<<<<<<

Listowel Writers week Opening Night May 27 2020


I love Opening Night. i take up my position at the hotel door and photograph local people and visitors arriving in their finery for one of Listowel’s biggest nights. The atmosphere is electric, the music uplifting and everyone is in great high spirits.

Covid 19 meant that all of that was different in 2020. Opening night speeches and prize giving went online. RTE came to town and Joe Stack, whose usual role as sports reporter is in a bit of a lull, interviewed local people about the loss of the festival and its revenue. Lovely Listowel was on every news bulletin.



The scene at The Listowel Arms on May 27 2020


Billy Keane was being interviewed at the door of John B.’s

In The Square, RTE was interviewing Gabriel Fitzmaurice for TG4.

<<<<<<<<


Out and About with Camera


I met my friends, Joan and P.J. Kenny in the Square on May 28 2020. They posed, at my request, on the Tidy Town seat.


John Paul 11 Graveyard and A Trip down Memory Lane and Mother’s Medicine in the 1950s

 Harp and Lion in May 2020

<<<<<<<<<<<<


Lest we Forget


On VE Day 2020

<<<<<<<<<<<<

St John Paul 11 Cemetery


I visited my husband’s grave last week.


Sea shells, a candle and crochet covered stones, tributes from family and friends.

<<<<<<<<


From the Archives


In Greaney’s Spar at an NKRO event

Maria Leahy, Ger Greaney, Eilish Wren, Damien Stack, Grace Kelly, Jimmy Deenihan, Mary Cogan, Robert Pierse and James Kenny

Jimmy Deenihan and Billy Keane on the viewing stand at an old St. Patrick’s Day parade


Fr. Pat Moore R.I.P. signing for friends at the launch of his book, Weathering a Storm

<<<<<<<


I Remember it well



The hot water bottle eased every pain unless it leaked and scotched you half to death.

Sudocrem s still my go to unction for everything.

Dockleaves were for nettle stings

( Neantóg a dhoigh mé, cupóg a leigheas mé is a  seanfhochal meaning a nettle burned me, a dock cured me]

Lucozade was found to have no curative properties but it probably replaced any sugar loss.

Seven up had to be flat to work. Again, I’d say replacing sugar may be its only curative function.

We all know teas and toast is the best “meal” for a sick or recuperating child.

Christmas at The Listowel Arms, A Poem, Mike the Pies shopfront update and A Book Launch

Listowel in December 2019

<<<<<<<<<

The Listowel Arms at Christmas 2019

It’s all red and green in The Listowel Arms this Christmas. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming. It’s just another gem in our lovely Christmassy town.

<<<<<<<<<


Kerryman of the Year

 by Noel Roche of Chicago and Listowel

To my brother, Tom, who makes me proud

He was born in 1945 on the third day of July

Another child for Dick and Madge, a little baby boy.

Rumour has it he was late, they thought he wouldn’t come at all.

When he finally did come out, he was soloing a ball.

Just like all the other boys, he always loved to play.

It seemed he was a natural when it came to GAA.

His heroes were the Kerry teams, those men so big and bold.

His dreams were that someday he would wear the green and gold.

And wear the green and gold he did in 1963.

He won an All Ireland medal and became a hero to me.

Soon he moved to England and left Kerry behind.

“Twas his body that left Kerry, Kerry would not leave his mind.

Tom can talk of anything under the heavenly sky

But when he talks of Kerry he has a twinkle in his eye.

If you want Tom to help, all you have to do

Is throw in the word Kerry and he will be there for you.

How much does he love Kerry?  To him its not a game

Tom has got a daughter and Kerry is her name.

And now I’m here tonight to cheer

As they name my brother Tom, Kerryman of the Year.

There is no better man and I will tell you why

When it comes to Kerry, Tom is do or die.

And if you cut him open this sight you would behold

There is no red inside his veins. His blood runs green and gold.

<<<<<<<<<


Mike the Pies


Mike the Pies shopfront is still a work in progress.

Here is where Martin is at but there’s lots more to do. It will be mighty.

Martin Chute, signwriter, at Mike the Pies on Saturday December 14 2019.

<<<<<<<<



Launch of The Very Best of Billy Keane



A book launch is a lovely family time. It’s a time to make the people who love you proud. There was a lot of love in the room of The Listowel Arms Hotel on Sunday Dec. 15 2019.


Launching the book were Gabriel Fitzmaurice and Jerry Kennelly, here with Billy’s able assistants, John Keane and Billy O’Flynn.

Billy chatting to his William Street neighbour, Catherine.

Liz and Jim Dunn were buying a few Christmas presents.

Laura Shine read one of the newspaper columns from The Very Best of Billy Keane.

Old friends turned up to support Billy.

Fellow author, Emma Larkin, took time out from the St. Seanan’s celebrations to lend support.



Proud family, Elaine, John and Anne listen as Gabriel reads from The Very Best of Billy Keane.

<<<<<<<

Another New Barber on Church Street


<<<<<<<<<


Lunch in Lizzie’s


We are so lucky in Listowel to have so many excellent cafés and restaurants. For a festive lunchtime treat there is no better food and value available anywhere than in Lizzie’ s of William Street.

Helen Moylan, Celebrity chef Lizzie Lyons, Miriam Kiely, exiled in Dublin but constantly drawn “home” to Listowel and your blogger, Mary Cogan.

I had the Christmas pie of buttermilk-brined turkey and ham topped with puff pastry, followed by the flourless chocolate and almond dessert;  delicious food and great company on a gloomy wet Listowel afternoon.

New Kerry Jersey, Gap of Dunloe and a Teacher Contract in 1923 and Christmas Parking

A Christmas Robin


Photo; Chris Grayson

<<<<<<<<<


Do you Like the New Jersey?



<<<<<<<

The Gap of Dunloe from old Kerry Photos


<<<<<<<<<<


Holycross and Sive


Billy Keane visited Holycross recently to lend his support to the local drama group who chose the John B. Keane classic, Sive. for their 2019 production.

<<<<<<<<<

I missed this very special event in St. John’s. Poetry from the Pulpit was a great successs with local minor celebrities reading their favourite poems. I think this is our own recently retired Vicar Joe.

<<<<<<<


The Good Old Days


Patrick O’Shea shared this on Facebook. It is from the US but I dont know if terms this side of the pond were much better.



<<<<<<<



It’s No Ordinary Panto….It’s a Listowel Panto




<<<<<<<<<<



Christmas Parking in Listowel….Good News


Free parking arrangements will be put in place in Listowel in the run up to Christmas.

Beginning this Saturday, parking will be free in the town for up to two hours every day; this will continue until January 1st.

Parking on Sundays will continue to be free, as usual, during this period.

<<<<<<<<


Christmas Customs from the Dúchas Folklore Collection


Old Times Christmas
Long ago the people were not as well fed as they are now days. They had to buy meal when there was no flour, and then wet the meal with boiling water and in this way they made the bread. This bread was eaten with a cup of butter milk. There were no ovens or pans for baking but a griddle hung over the fire by means of the pot hanger and in this way the bread was baked in squares. Latter on in years they got a querns for grinding oats, and when it was ground the sieved was got and this used to keep all the shells of the oats, and leave the oaten meal through. They used also make bread from this and this bread was called oaten meal bread. This was given to the people for their dinner. The supper the people used to have that time was to get a fist full of oaten meal and put it in a wooden cup of butter milk and stir it with a piece of a stick. The people had nothing for Christmas but “stampy”. It was made a few day before Christmas. They would get the potatoes, and cut them up with a grater. Then they would get a flannel cloth and put the cut potatoes into it. Then they would twist the cloth and the water would come out though the cloth. Then it would be put down to bake, and this would be eaten on Christmas morning.
Collector, Jerry Moloney- Informant, Maurice Shanahan, Address, Liscullane, Co. Kerry.

The Horseshoe, Launch of Emma Larkin’s Book and Behan’s The Horseshoe

A Robin  close up



Photo: Chris Grayson


<<<<<<<<<

A Book Launch in Kerry Writers’ Museum


This is me with the author, Emma Larkin. Her new book is really clever because her heroine can play in Cork, Kerry or Dublin colours depending on your little one’s native county. I bought a Cork book.

Half of Finuge was there to support Emma who is from a family of Cork hurling royalty.

Kerry Sevens Rugby and football royalty were there. I snapped them chatting to Billy Keane, who, for once was not  the most famous person in the room.

I gave my former star pupil a quick peek at my book. She recognised her old dancing teacher on the back inside cover.

We were entertained by these lovely ladies as we queued to have our books signed.

Another of my star pupils was there too. Rhona Tarrant works in New York and she was on a flying visit home.

These local ladies play football with the local Mothers and Others team.

The hall was packed.

Kate O’Callaghan, chair of Finuge St. Senan’s Ladies Football Club gave  a great opening speech encouraging all young girls to participate in sport. Participation in sport, particularly team sport was a theme throughout the evening.

Emma and her husband, Robbie watched attentively.

Billy Keane was the official ‘launcher”. He praised the young girls and all the volunteers and parents who give so much time to encourage young girls to play sport. He loved Emma’s book and congratulated her on a job well done.

This is the illustrator, Paul Nugent whose work brought the story to life from Izzy’s back garden to Croke Park.

This man, a neighbour of Emma’s Cashman relatives and a trainer of Cork ladies football came from Cork to lend his support.

Louise Galvin is living a dream she didn’t even dare to dream. For women, playing sport professionally, especially rugby or football was unheard of in Louise’s youth. She is delighted now to be earning a living doing what she loves. She is an excellent ambassador for women in sport. She told us her idol is Katie Taylor.

This is the author of Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure. Emma Larkin is also fulfilling a long held dream of becoming a writer.

<<<<<<<<<<


Looking around in Behan’s Horseshoe Restaurant


I was in The Horseshoe recently and I took a few snaps of what was on the walls.


<<<<<<<<


+ R.I.P. Toddy Buckley +



I took this photo of Toddy and his beloved Noreen on St. Patrick’s Day 2016. May he rest in peace.

<<<<<<<<



Racing Photographer making the news rather than reporting it




I’m glad to report that Pat Healy of Healyracing is making a good recovery after his accident in Navan yesterday. Pat is a man with a lifetime’s experience of horses and particularly those most unpredictable of all horses, thoroughbred racehorses. He was standing working beside the finishing post yesterday when the second placed horse in the first race took a notion to break through the plastic railing, knocking Pat to the ground.

If you’re going to be knocked over, a racecourse is probably the best place to be. Medical personnel attended to Pat at the scene and an ambulance was on hand to take him to hospital.

I wish him a speedy recovery and I’m looking forward to seeing his familiar figure back on track very soon.

Page 1 of 11

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén