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: Magdalen Laundry

Gleasures of The Square, Magdalen Laundries and Listowel Emmets

Gleasures of The Square

In the photograph on the left is Joseph Gleasure of The Square. This photo was taken around 1905. On the right is Ben Naylor, Joseph’s grandnephew. When he visited Listowel for the first time earlier this year, Ben decided to recreate the family photo.

Joseph’s story is a sad one.  Anyone following The Gleasure letters will be familiar with the story but for newcomers here is is in a nutshell.

Joseph is unhappy in Listowel and begs his older brother to let him join him in the U.S. Frank eventually gives in and sends Joseph the fare.

On December 19, 1907, Joseph is working on the Boston and Albany railroad coupling cars when he is crushed by the train cars and killed instantly.  The obituary the next day from the Boston Herald reads:

One Crushed Coupling Cars, the Other Run Over About the Same Hour.
 Two men were killed about the same hour last evening upon the tracks of the New York, New Haven & Hartford railroad, one in the South station and the other in the South Boston cut.

About 10:30 o’clock Joseph Gleasure, 25, married, residing in Allston and employed as a brakeman on the road, was coupling cars in the South Station when he was caught between them and terribly crushed, death being instantaneous.  His body was removed to the City Hospital morgue by Undertaker Jones….

*Just a note- the paper got a few things wrong- Joseph was 21, not 25 and he was not married. (extract from Ben and Kathleen’s blog)


I haven’t seen the film, Philomena yet but since it is so much in the news I’ll bring you this piece I read on Twitter;

Rev. Theobald Mathew, the famous teetotalist reformer, preached in aid of the Magdalen Asylum, Limerick (1841)


The dream management team for the republic of Ireland soccer team has been revealed. The smarties on Twitter are having a field day.

Best tweet, in my opinion, “Will Roy be happy to be a prawn in Martin’s game?”


North Kerry Division 1 Champions

Old cards, Magdalen Laundry and 1988 schoolgirls

Do you remember my collection of holy pictures last week? 

Kathy Taylor wrote to tell me that in the U.S. they give these holy pictures at funerals as a memorial of the loved one who has passed on. She sent me these examples. I love St. Patrick.


Jer found this very damaged and faded copy of a photograph of John B. Keane’s class in 1935. John B. is 4th from left at the back.  I suppose it is too damaged even for Photoshop?


Gloucester St. Magdalens (photo Limerick Museum)

Advert from 1913…….so sad in the light of what we know now.

Another advert. below….date not given.


Those were the days….Ballybunion in the 1980s


Mary Sobieralski and Sr. Consolata reading the 1988 Pres. Yearbook.

Here, as promised, are a few photos from the magazine.

If you recognize yourself and you would like to tell us where you are now, with a recent photo, I’d love to hear from you.


Of interest to illegal Irish people in the U.S.

Immigration Reform

In the current climate of immigration reform taking place in Washington, DC and the estimated 25,000 – 30,000 undocumented Irish among the 12 million supposedly living in the U.S., Irish Outreach San Diego is one of the many Irish groups in the U.S. on the front lines supporting immigration reform that may change the plight of the undocumented.

Introducing Shannon N. Barnes, Esq.

Immigration Attorney

Fragomen is the world’s leading provider of immigration services, including a dedicated Ireland practice group to handle immigration counseling and services for Irish citizens and companies. Fragomen has been structured specifically for all aspects of individual, family-based and corporate immigration services.

More information about Fragomen and its service offerings is available at

Shannon N. Barnes

Attorney at Law

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP

11238 El Camino Real, Suite 100

San Diego, CA 92130


Local success story

Congratulations to Gerard Barrett on winning an IFTA for his short film, Pilgrim Hill; a rising star surely.

( And the frocks on Irish Oscars night?…….very disappointing; mostly balck)

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén