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: Mary Doyle

Mary Doyle R.I.P., Bridie Gallagher in Listowel

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins (Author)

We gave Mary Doyle a great send off on Friday. I have never before been at such a funeral. In the funeral home, we had music, songs, poems, eulogies and lots of dancing. The moving sight of Jimmy Hickey’s dancers dancing a last waltz for Mary will remain in the memories of all who were there to see it.

Mary’s remains were accompanied to the graveyard by her family, friends and neighbours. Her hearse was flanked all the way by a guard of honour of members of her beloved MS Society, many in wheelchairs, braving the biting cold.

Mary was laid to her final rest to the haunting sound of Anne Hilliard’s beautiful voice singing a lament.

Everyone’s abiding memory of Mary is of a woman of great kindness and unfailing good humour.

 “Mary would give you half her heart.” That says it all.

I líonta Dé go gcastar sinn.


Vincent unearthed this great photo of Bridie Gallagher, “The Girl from Donegal” in her hey day performing in Walsh’s Super Ballroom, Listowel. Some crowd turned out too see her!

Were you there?


Savour this from Radio Kerry!

3 Feb 2012

Arthur Spring to return over 10,000 euro in expences

TD for Kerry North, West Limerick Arthur Spring says he’ll return more than €10,000 in expenses. The Labour deputy was paid over €52,000 in vouched expenses, putting him second highest in the list of how much TD’s claimed.

However, the first time TD says this position is inaccurate because he has confirmed he’ll send €10,000 back. Meanwhile Kerry’s five remaining TDs claimed over €185 thousand in unvouched expenses. Members of the Oireachtas are allowed to claim expenses up to a certain amount without specifying what these expenses are.

Michael Healy-Rae claimed just over €42,000 in unvouched expenses. Kerry North West Limerick Sinn Fein TD Martin Ferris and Kerry South Fine Gael Deputy Brendan Griffin each earned €43, 403. Independent TD for South Kerry Tom Fleming claimed €42,764, while Minister Jimmy Deenihan earned over €11,500.

Under the Parliamentary Standard Allowance, Ministers, Ministers of State and the Ceann Comhairle are not entitled to the travel allowance. In all €6m in expenses has been claimed by all TDs since March. Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore says a new vouched system of expenses is now in place.

Candlemas Day, the groundhog and Listowel schoolboys

If Candlemas Day be sunny and bright

Winter again will show its might.

If Candlemas Day be cloudy and grey

Winter will soon be on its way.

Looks like winter might be on the way out if we are to rely on the wisdom of the old rhyme.

Today is Groundhog Day. In the U.S. Punxutawney Phil is poking his nose out or not and people are interpreting the signs.

February 2nd. seems to be the traditional day for looking for signs that the year is on the turn.

The actual church feast is the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. It was traditional for women to go the church for “purification” after giving birth. The purification of Mary coincided with the presentation of her first born to the Lord.

People of my age will remember that when a baby was brought to the church for christening, very often the mother was “churched” at the same time. My memory of this ceremony is that prayers were said over the mother and only then was she free to return to the sacraments.

This photo from The Kennelly Archive shows pupils of Scoil Realta na Maidine in 1957. They are holding a model of the new school as  they sit on the wall outside the old schoolhouse. 

I have no idea who they are but they do look really well turned out for the occasion. Could it be communion  or confirmation day?

Is this about the return of Dallas to our screens?

No, its the remains of a shop sign in Listowel

Today I had a first. Someone accessed this blog from a country I had never heard of. Wow!!

This is what Wikipaedia says about Palau;

Palau (Listeni/pəˈl/), officially the Republic of Palau (PalauanBeluu ęr a Belau), is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles (800 km) east of the Philippines and 2,000 miles (3,200 km) south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia, a Compact of Free Association was approved in 1986 but not ratified until 1993. It was put into force the following year, making it one of the world’s youngest and smallest sovereign states. In English, the name is sometimes spelled Belau in accordance with the native pronunciation. It was formerly also spelled Pelew.[4]


R.I.P. Mary Doyle

I cannot let today go by without mention of my friend, Mary Doyle who sadly passed away on Tuesday night.

Mary was the chairperson of North Kerry M.S. Society and only last Friday she was the life and soul of our annual party.

Mary is a great loss to Jimmy and her family but her passing also leaves a huge hole in the volunteer core of MS Ireland. From the moment she joined the society in the 1980s, Mary has worked tirelessly for the benefit of people with M.S. She was an excellent organizer. Whether it was a party, a physio session, a trip to the MS Care Centre, a busking day or an AGM, Mary was the one to organize it. When the organizing was done, Mary rolled up her sleeves and did whatever hard work was involved in running the event. She was enormously popular with the members of the society locally and nationally. She was highly respected and her sudden passing has left all of us in the MS community in shock. She will be sorely missed.

May she rest in peace!

My photo was taken on MS Busking Day last June. Mary is pictured with Jimmy Hannon and  musicians, volunteer fundraisers for North Kerry M.S.

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