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: Kerry Writers’ Museum Page 1 of 2

Defibrilator, Mallards, Sive and a Horse Fair

Defibrilator installed in the Square in October 2021

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You have to Laugh

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A Poem about ducks by a poet called Catherine Gander

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A Literary Treasure returns to Listowel

From left: Cara Trant, director of Kerry Writers’ Museum; Joanna Keane-O’Flynn; Karl Harding; John Keane; Billy Keane; Mar Harding. Picture: Tom Fitzgerald.

The above picture by Tom Fitzgerald illustrates a great story in the Irish Examiner, October 4 2021

The man in the front in blue was clearing out an old house in Cork when he came upon the original script of John B’s Sive signed by the author.

Karl Harding is a keen John B. Keane aficionado. He and his wife Mar determined that Kerry Writers Museum was the proper place for this treasure. They are pictured above with Cara Trant and members of the Keane family at the hand over.

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October Horse Fair 2021

Smaller than usual but a welcome return to near normal, the horse fair returned to Market Street yesterday. There were goats, donkeys, ponies and miniature horse breeds but very few horses.

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Shops and Signs, A Poem a Recent Snap or two and a To Let Sign

KDYS /Old Carnegie Free Library

This lovely old building is at the top of Church Street where it joins Dowd’s Road

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Listowel shops and their signs during Lockdown 2020

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Carroll’s is Open

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At the AIB


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Carroll’s Yard


The River Walk

After a long dry spell the level of water in the river is very low.

There was a funeral in progress in the church.

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The Dawn above the Dark


John Fitzgerald has written a poem for those who have forgotten what a pulled pint is.

The Dawn above the Dark

Out of a gold grained silvered font the dark stream seeks the light The gargoyle bows its ugly head To flow it out of night

Into a steady downward plunge that surges up the dawn
and takes it o’er the ticking glass to let the pint take form.

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Snapped in Town



Jimmy Deenihan was having a socially distant chat with a friend.



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First Covid Business Casualty ?



I am so sad to see a To Let sign on one of my favourite coffee shops.

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

A Robin  close up



Photo: Chris Grayson


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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.

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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.


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+ 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.

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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.

Round the Square, Morning walk at Listowel Writers’ Week 2019

I’m Back

And this is where I was. At least this is where I was on Saturday June 2 2019. Elizabeth Brosnan and Bridget O’Connor are our photographers. The man on the left is Sean Stack. He was in charge of the sound. The man on the right (seated) is a man who comes every year to Listowel Writers’ Week . He is P.J Kennedy from Cavan.

Left to Right; Mike Moriarty who gave us a potted history of Listowel Castle and who sang for us. me, my daughter, Clíona McKenna who read, Mary Moylan whose beautiful voice enchanted everyone, Eamon OMurchú who read from Joseph O’Connor’s Hostage to Fortune. Behind Eamon and Mary is John Keane, formerly of this parish and beside Eamon is John’s brother-in-law, Simon O’Flynn

Our morning walk was curtailed this year owing to the sad and unexpected passing of Jimmy Moloney, brother of Kay Caball who was to have been one of the contributors to the walk.

So, turning a negative into a positive, we walked from the Tidy Town’s seat to the Kerry Writers’ Museum and there the audience sat on the amphitheatre and we presented our show to them there. I think it was a better idea really since the crowd was very large and the traffic heavy so it would have been hard to hear if you were at the end of a line of walkers.

This is David Browne, director of Listowel Writers Week and here is an “only in Listowel'” story. 

Paddy McElligott was to sing John B. Keane’s Sive songs BUT….

Paddy, who swims in the sea every day had an unfortunate experience on Saturday morning. He accidentally trod on a weever fish. If you have never heard of a weever fish, look it up and prepare to be frightened. This agonising experience delayed him considerably and it is a tribute to the trooper that he is that he came at all. He, for one, was grateful that the walk was short.

Another great trooper, Mike Lynch agreed to sing the first song in Paddy’s absence and he made a great job of it, revealing to his fellow committee members in Listowel Writers Week  a talent that he had kept hidden from them up to now.

Mike Lynch accompanied by Mary Moylan  (photo by Bridget O’Connor)

At The Seanchaí, Paddy, in the pandemonium in the wake of the weever fish accident,  realises that he has forgotten his bodhrán  and the words to the songs. He opens the nearest door to go in search of a bodhrán and who does he find but a man who, not only has a bodhrán but whose party piece is singing the Sive songs… ……    only in Listowel.

Dvid Browne was one of the surprise highlights of the “walk”.

Mary Fagan and Dave O’Sullivan read a short extract from Sive. Local people will know Mary from her Horizons programme on Radio Kerry and Dave, who is a Kildare man, is just returned from the All Ireland Drama Festival in Athlone where his drama group, Prosperous Dramatic Society won the overall award for their production of An Enemy of the People.

Dave’s name will be known to followers of this blog as a great researcher who contributes much of the newspaper archive research for us.

As well as his bit of acting as Thomasheen Seán Run he gave us a great insight into the history of the library in Listowel.

Mary Fagan gallantly held the microphone for experienced and reluctant-to-be amplified performers. Here she is with Eamon OMurchú, son of the late Luaí OMurchú who was the very first chairperson of Listowel Writers’ Week.

Sr, Una Harman was pleased that we paid tribute to the Presentation sisters and their work for Listowel, particularly during the Famine.

Most of us on the steps of Listowel Castle

The shortest walk in the history of Writers’ Week morning walks ended with Mike Moriarty leading us in a verse or two of Lovely Listowel.

I am delighted that so many of my family, friends, neighbours and fellow Listowel people joined the Writers’ Week visitors for my little contribution to #Listowelww19


Lots more Writers’ Week stuff in store over the next few days.


President Michael D. O hUigínn in town, Ballybunion Dining, Writers’ Week 2018

Presidential Visit to Kerry Writers’ Museum

The purpose of the president’s visit to Listowel last weekend was to celebrate Listowel’s great win in the Super Valu Tidy Towns’ Competition 2018. While he was in the area he fitted in a few other engagements as well. On Friday evening one of Listowel Tidy Town’s  hardest working volunteers, Breda McGrath was out giving the place a last sweep up when she spotted Uachtarán na hEireann in his motorcade on his way to The Seanchaí.

There were gardaí everywhere. Here are three who assured me that they have a Listowel connection.

Rambling house musicians waiting to play for the president.

The greeting party at Kerry Writers’ Museum with their VIP guests, Eoin Moriarty, David Browne, Sabina and Michael D. Higgins and Madeleine O’Sullivan

I’ll have more photos from the presidential visit after my short break.

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Ballybunion, Main Street

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Cosmopolitan Ballybunion


Eating in Ballybunion can be a very interesting experience with cuisine from around the world offered in different establishments around town. Here are a few examples.

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Writers’ Week 2019


Tomorrow May 29 2019 is opening night. Here are a few photos from last year to whet your appetite. Here’s to a great week for those who love to write, those who love to read and those who love to photograph the people who write and read.

I’ll be busy Writers’ weeking for the next while. I’ll share all the photos later.

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