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: Manny

A Dragon, an ambassadorial palace and a closed newsagents

I did it. I visited Manctuary, home of the dragon.

I met Virginia and explained to her how, unknown to himself, Manny had gained an internet following. She introduced me to himself. He is a beautiful speciman. Manny likes to admire himself. Virginia held up the mirror for him and he perked up and posed for the camera.

He pushed out his lovely spikes and fixed me with his dragon’s eye.

I was delighted to make Manny’s acquaintance. I hope you will fall in love with him too.

He loves his peace though and he has posted a handwritten sign on his cage calling for respect for his need for rest and undisturbed relaxation.

Now for  the story I referred to earlier of the Canadian embassy. With all my cutting and pasting I have lost the name of the letter writer but it was someone who had just visited the newly refurbrished Irish ambassador’s residence in Ottowa. She was overawed by the luxury, scope and lavish décor of the palatial building and horrified at the thought of what it must have cost the Irish taxpayer in these straightened economic times.

Here are a few snippets from the letter.

The residence is located at 291 Park Road, Rockcliff.

The recent refurbrishment cost the Irish taxpayer $6.75 million.

It is “stunningly beautiful”.

The magnificent artworks and furnishings were all shipped in from Ireland.

The dining room has 20 oak chairs with intricately inlaid bog oak.

It also has 3 large Waterford chandeliers.

The house has 15 chandeliers in all.

At 24,000 sq. ft. our embassy is TWICE the size of the Canadian prime minister’s official residence.

Our ambassador is Ray Bassett. He is not the one responsible for the grandeur of the place.

This story has no Listowel connection. I just read it on Sunday and thought I would share it. Maybe Bernard or any Canadian who is reading this would call in and take a few pics for us.

And finally, while I was out with my camera I took this.

Sign of the times!! Sad, sad! !

WW1 and a lovely recent photo of Patrick Sheahan

Below is a recent post by a person who uses the name John Granville on the Listowel forum.

There might be people reading this who have an interest in these things. We, in NKRO, 

would love to find someone interested in doing this research and we would post it 

on our soon- to -be- revealed website .

I watched some of the ‘Nationwide’ programme on Mon. night about the

 number of Irish people who died in World War I. As the camera panned

down the list of names I spotted that of John Barry of Listowel who was

killed in action in France on March 17th. 1917.

Curious to know a little

more, I did a little research.

Anthony Gaughan hasn’t much to say about the period in his book except that hundreds from the area joined the British Army and died in the Boer War and in World War I, especially at Gallipoli. He doesn’t mention any names. (p.152, Listowel and its Vicinity)

I didn’t find any more information about John Barry but I discovered that Kerry County Library archives has a list of Kerry related fatalities from WWI, 674 in all, listed alphabetically.

Some of the entries have linked photographs of the deceased, a piece of official documentation or, sadly, a letter from a mother or relative to the authorities requesting information about a missing loved one.

The following is a typical entry:


Rank: Lance Corporal. Regiment or Service: Royal Irish Rifles. Unit: 2nd Battalion.

Age at death: 20. Date of Death: 26-October-1914. Service No: 9950.

Supplementary information: Son of John and Ellen Stack, of Church St., Listowel, Co. Kerry. Born in Listowel, County Kerry. Enlisted in Cork.

Killed in Action. Grave or Memorial Reference: Panel 42 and 43.

He has no known grave but is listed on the Le Touret Memorial in France.

There are many more from Listowel. Like the above, many died very young and have no known grave. It would be interesting to know how

many from Listowel, urban and rural, lost their lives in that awful conflict

 and also, of course, those who fought and survived

 Next I have a few housekeeping words for you. I’m fairly new to blogging but how it works is this:

I post something. I look at it online and then I edit. I am now discoveing that people who have signed up with feedburner get the first draft sent to them. This very often has missing links, missing photos, missing letters, punctuation etc.  If this is happening to you, you will have to go in to the blog a second time to see the actual post. If you don’t know what I am talking about, ignore this next bit.

On Sunday I posted a letter I found on Twitter about the refurbrished Irish embassy in Ottowa. I cut and pasted, I posted as an image, as a link and in every way I knew but I couldn’t put it online, so my feedburner people got a mention of it and no story. I’ll try today for the last time and if I fail I’ll give you the gist of it in my next post.

I will post later on today if I get a photo of Manny.

Meanwhile Tom Fitzgerald shared this lovely photo of Patrick Sheahan of Finuge relaxing on “his” bench in the summer sunshine.

Manny the reptile

Okay, okay, so the Listowel reptile is not exactly a croc.  Manny, the bearded dragon hangs out at Manctuary in Charles. St.  He is a lizard. That’s a reptile, isn’t it?

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