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: Horgan

Jan 9 2013

John Kelliher took this lovely photo of St. Mary’s at Christmastime.

My closer shot shows our new sign with mass times and contact details.

This road sign seems to have taken a bit of abuse over the holidays.

I’m including this photo of The Maid because I know it is an evocative icon for many.


News comes from Jim Horgan in the U.S. of a gathering event in the planning.

Calling all Horgans, Creighans, Shines, Brosnans, O’Neills, O’Reillys, Masons, O’Donoghues, Mulvihills, Molyneaux, O’Sullivans and any other cousins that I may have overlooked!

The Horgan gathering is a go! Check out our web site at:

The festivities will be based around the Listowel area from September 7 to 13, 2013.

We are looking for ideas and volunteers to help get some events organized.

Hope to see you in Kerry!


This photo from The Examiner shows Cork’s Patrick Street at Christmas in 1961.


Lauren Davis who wrote originally to ask me to help her by translating any Irish in the blog, fills us in now on her Listowel connection.

“My great-great grandparents were James Burke Carroll and Katherine (Kate) Dowling. We don’t know much about James except that he was from Listowel. Kate born in County Cork. She was supposedly born the night of the “Big Wind.” I’m not sure this is right as her birthday is given as 2 Jan. 1839 and I’ve read that the Big Wind was Jan. 6-7, but maybe everyone figured that was close enough? James and Kate sailed from Cork to America on 3 July, 1870 as newlyweds. 

They lived a few years in Penn Yan, Yates Co., New York, where my great-grandfather, Michael Edward, was born. The family later moved to the wilds of Maricopa, in Arizona Territory. This must have been quite a change from the green fields of Ireland! We think they came out West following a brother or cousin who was in the Calvary stationed at Fort Lowell, (which later became Tucson.) The Carroll’s became a pioneer family in the rugged Southwest. That’s as much as I know about them so far, but would love to learn more.

Thanks again for keeping up the Listowel Connection. It’s wonderful to have such a personal, friendly way to learn about our Irish family roots.

Happy New Year!


Maybe there are people reading this who can fill Lauren in on the Carroll side of her tree.


This article with an emigrant’s view of Ireland is from The Irish Times.

James Taplin (41), Dubai: “The emigration issue is less raw this year” 

Saying goodbye to my wife and kids in Westmeath to return to Dubai after Christmas this year was much easier than last, as the day this article is printed they will be moving out here to join me in the United Arab Emirates.

We went to visit my sister and her children on St Stephen’s Day, an annual tradition, to watch the racing at Leopardstown together. Apart from that, we had a quiet Christmas as my father-in-law is unwell.

The thing that struck me most during this visit was how much my daughter Cara’s speech had developed since I last saw her in August. She’s two, and speaking in full sentences now. It took her a while to get used to having me there in person. Every time I turned on the computer she pointed at me as if to say, “you should be in there”. Daniel is five, and he was delighted to see me.

There is an air of resignation in the country now that is very noticeable. The fight has gone out of people, which I was saddened to see. I brought up the budget a few times in the pub, and no one wanted to talk about having less money in their pockets next year. At this stage, most people only have the energy to put on a brave face.

The emigration issue is less raw this year than last. The media are still looking for the sob stories but, generally, emigration is another fallout from the recession that people have accepted.

This year has been an expensive one, with plane tickets and visas for the family and paying for schools, but I am much better off mentally and physically in Dubai than I was back in Ireland with no work.

James Taplin moved to Dubai for the second time in 2011, where he works for a sports equipment supplier.


Today in Irish history


The first
students began their studies at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland’s first


Arthur Griffith was elected Taoiseach of Dáil Éireann after Eamon de
Valera stepped down.

Horgans of North Kerry: Railway people in Pittsburgh

Today has dawned bright  and dry in The Kingdom. It’s a “Good morning, God” rather than a “Good God, morning!” sort of day.

My story for you today was sent to me by Jim Horgan of Pennsylvania. Again it’s a story of an emigrant who prospered in the U.S. but who never forgot his Irish roots.

Andrew Joseph Horgan was born in Glenderry, Kerry on 5-December 1876 to John Horgan(1843-1921) and Johanna O’Sullivan (1842-1944) of Lisselton.  Andrew was the 3rd of 8 children and emigrated to America in 1901.  Ultimately, five of the eight children went to Pittsburgh and three remained in Ireland.  Andrew arrived on the SS Cumric to Ellis Island on 23 April 1901 with his cousin Michael.    He made his way to an uncle in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and found work at the Glenwood Shops of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  He worked alongside his cousin Patrick (1877-1956), son of Michael Horgan(1850-1908) and Julia Savage (1850-?) from Tralee. On 12—April 1904 Andrew married Catherine Brosnan daughter of Daniel Brosnan (1830-1890) and Ellen Sheahan (1838—1917) from Islandanny, Duagh.  In 1910 Andrew was promoted to supervisor, but left the B&O during the railway strike of 1911.   He then went to work on the Monongahela Connecting Railway until his retirement.  His sons, Andrew Jr. and Timothy worked on the same railroad for 40 years each.  I am currently in my 37thyear on the railroad, and my son Patrick is a 4thgeneration railroad man, having started a few years ago.

Andrew and Catherine had the following children:

1 John (1906-1906)

2 Helena (1907-1918)  died in the flu epidemic

3 Johanna (1909-1909)

4 Andrew Jr. (1910-1985)

5 Mary (1913-1985)  married Andrew Stana, 1 child

6 Rita (1916-2001)  Married Thomas Kerin 5 children

7  Timothy (1918-1974) married  Ann Marie Roscoe 4 children

8 John (1919-1987) Married Erma Heiles 6 children

In 1939, Andrew Jr. married Helen Sheehan (1915-1985) the only daughter of John Joseph (Paddy) Sheehan (1881-1965) of Ballyheigue and Katherine Shine (1878-1953) of Gurtomasillihy, Moyvane.

They had 4 children, of which I am the youngest.  In 1978, I married Bridget Creighan, daughter of William Creighan and Mary Teresa O’Donoghue, daughter of Denis O’Donoghue (1898-1974) of Duagh and Hannah Molyneaux (1903-1986) of Behins. 

Andrew Horgan and Katherine Brosnan now have 91 descendants who were born in America.

Jim tells me that he has met some of his Irish cousins, but he is always happy to meet some more of his Irish family.

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