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: Jedward

Philip O’Carroll of Cahirdown

Three from the internet to start your day!

I wonder how much it made?


This has to be the dearest carpark in Ireland.  It’s in Dublin.

Adds a bit to the day’s shopping bill!


A giraffe Mammy kisses her new baby in Dublin Zoo last week.


Why did I put three instead of two or one?

Here’s why.

The “rule of three” is a
principle in writing that suggests that things that come in threes are
inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of
things. The reader/audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume
information if it is written in groups of threes. A series of three is often
used to create a progression in which the tension is created, then built up, built up
even more, and finally released. –Wikipedia


There is a good piece in last week’s Kerryman about Dr. Philip O’Carroll, another very talented son of Listowel. Philip is a brother of the late Louis. Philip now lives in a prestigious area in California, a world away from his native Cahirdown where he grew up in a family of 15. Like many of his siblings, Philip is multitalented and has risen to the top in his chosen profession; neurology. His main area of interest is Alzheimers Disease. He calls it the “revenge of unexpected consequences for modern medicine.” More people are living longer and so more people are getting diseases usually seen in the elderly.

But this is not why he is in the news. He has co written a screenplay and we could be seeing it on our screens in years to come.


I found the following photo on the internet, Do you remember when Lower William Street looked like this? Was Centra Crowleys?

Memorial Day and Writers’ Week

Today is the last Monday in May, Memorial Day in the U.S. Memorial Day pays tribute to all the servicemen who fought in all the conflicts in which the U.S. has taken part. It is usually celebrated with flags at half mast, veterans’ parades and the laying of wreaths.


They did their best. They took their beating, congratulated Sweden and have now moved on. They are praising their fans and planning their world tour on Twitter. Not a word of regret, no looking back. We could all learn from Jedward.


posters spotted in town.

Wednesday is Writers’ Week opening night, a highlight of the year in this literary town.

This is the first committee. As usual not everyone was present for the photo. Mrs Corridan gave me the picture. Someone else might name them all for us.

This is the 2012 committee.  Here I am taking a really lazy option. I have copied the names of the committee from the Writers’ Week website. Not everyone was present on Tuesday night for Ann MacNamee’s photo.



Vice Chairperson

Literary Advisors

Festival Team

Colm Tóibín

Very Rev Dr J Anthony Gaughan,
Michael Barry

Seán Lyons

Lisa Fingleton

Rose Wall, Anne O’Sullivan

David Browne, Madeleine O’Sullivan,
Joanna Keane O’Flynn, Michael Lynch
Sean Lyons

Lawrence Block, Seamus Hosey,
Brendan Kennelly, Colm Tóibín,
Michael Collins

Eilish Wren, Máire Logue

Lisa Dennehy

Margaret Broderick, Bríd Leonard,
Bernie Carmody, Veronica Cotter,
Jackie Goodall, Kieran Gleeson,
Noel Keenan, John McGrath,

Jean Allen-Goggin, Joe Murphy,
Deirdre O’ Brien, Máire O’ Connor,
Anne O’Neill, Marian Relihan,

Cara Trant, Brenda Woulfe,

Norella Moriarty, Maria Doyle,

Gerry McDaniel, Mary Cogan,
Vincent Carmody, Eamon Dillon,

Ann McNamee, Aisling Wren,

Bridget Curtin, Noel Twomey,
Mairead Costelloe, Annette Fitzgerald,
Orla Mulvihill. 


I forgot my roundup of posters on Friday so some of these are a bit late. Others are extremely early.

And finally in poster parade, a Monday laugh from a restaurant in Carlingford.


Tonight I intend going to St. John’s to celebrate the life of one of the greatest Listowel academics, Alfred O’Rahilly.

The extraordinarily talented O’Rahilly family were born in this house in The Square, Listowel. The above plaque commemorates them. Tonight we will have a lecture from John A. Murphy of UCC and a bit of a hooley to celebrate the great man.


Who’d have thought it?  BAFTA for best sit-com.

Old photos and Jedward

Dolly Parton in Páidí O’Sé’s in 1990

Kate Kearney’s Cottage Killarney in 1900

Photo from Jer Kennelly Nonie O’Flaherty at age 100

John O’Connell, Tony Rohr and Colm Meaney on the set of P.J. Dillon’s Most Important

On the subject of local films don’t forget Stella Days and Listowel’s own Vintage Wireless Museum in the cinema tonight at 8.15


Then and Now

Remember these: another pair of Eurovision brothers. They came 9th.

Can we do better ?  Jedward bring the phrase ‘giving it sox” to a new level.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

I was out bright and early with camera.

Danny made an extra effort for the big day. He was rocking the Jedward look today.

Evanna and Angelica made the effort as well and came in green.

I’m off now to the parade and later to the Tea Dance so I’ll have lots of snaps for you on Monday.


Meanwhile a little light reading for you:

I took this from CNN on the web in an article about Irish writers returning home.

Returning to a literary hometown

he now lives in England, poetJohn McAuliffeoften returns to his childhood home inListowelto visit family and to recharge his
writing. On the surface a typical North Kerry market town, Listowel has a
literary tradition inspired by the playwright John B. Keane and fiction writer
Bryan MacMahon. Keane ran a pub where writer Michael Hartnett and other writers
and townspeople would gather, now operated by his widow and son.

To a
young boy, Keane and MacMahon both seemed of the town and outside it.
“They were after something penetrating, subtle and comprehending when they
wrote, unsentimentally, about the town’s hinterland of farming villages and
about the positive impact of modernity on old hierarchies: wised-up insiders
with a natural sympathy for the outsider,” says McAuliffe, co-director of
the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester, editor of “The
Manchester Review” and author of “Of All Places.”

For the
visitor: “When I’m at home I walk Market Street, past John B’s (pub) and
into the redesigned town square where the terrific converted church, St.
John’s, hosts theater and music every week,” says McAuliffe. “I walk
past the Listowel Arms Hotel — where Charles Stuart Parnell made his last
public address — under Listowel Castle, whose ruin is now attached to an
interactive museum, which documents and celebrates the work of John B. (Keane),
(Bryan) MacMahon and other writers from the area.”


In case you missed this lovely photo on NKRO ‘s Facebook page

 Timothy J. O’Neill , pictured in 1876, was a fireman in New
York for 40 years. He was born in Lisselton. The photograph was sent to NKRO by
Kathleen Price.

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