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: McKennas Page 1 of 4

1956 Advertisement, The Land and an Old Pres. Photo

Photo: Breda Ferris

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From Shannonside Annual of 1956

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Once a Tidy Towner……

Breda McGrath is not fond of having her photo taken. So she didn’t pose but I snapped her doing her level best to make sure we win that gold medal again. Breda is just one of the many volunteers who work round the clock keeping Listowel looking beautiful.

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A Very Strange Happening in 1842

Boston Pilot 9 July 1842

The Wandering Quakers. These silly fanatics arrived in Listowel from this town on Tuesday evening last, and formed their encampment in the extensive area in the rear of one of the houses in the square, under the shelter of which they sat in pious silence the greater part of the next day in expectation of obtaining followers, or at least hearers, and of being internally moved by the spirit to preach, sing or pray. Finding, however, after a great trial of their patience that, all their expectations were in vain, they rose and retired to Adam’s Hotel where they did justice to the good things of this carnal world, making atonement in the flesh for all that was wanting in the spirit. The next day the holy’ tribe set out on their peregrinations, after having excited the surprise and laughter of the good folks of Listowel. — Kerry Examiner.

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Photo by Éamon ÓMurchú of farm implements at Newbridge House

The Land

John McGrath

I stand in fields where my forefathers stood once

And feel the dreams of those who’ve gone before me.

I tramp through damp and half-remembered pastures,

The folds and features of the land that bore me

All around.  Above the sound of lark’s song,

Below the spring of earth beneath my feet,

The green and gold of April in the hedgerow,

The purple haze where sky and heather meet.

Where mighty men have thought to mark their passing

The furze creeps back to mock the spade and plough,

Those futile epitaphs of generations

In Folk Museums condemned to moulder now.

Where men have raised a fence or tilled a furrow

The land, as if to scorn their simple gains,

Erases each proud trace until tomorrow.

The men have gone; the land alone remains.

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A Passover Meal in Pres. Listowel

I could guess a few names but I’d probably be wrong so I’m hoping someone will help us out.

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Some Listowel Shops, Presentation Day 2004 and some old friends

McKenna’s in June 2020

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A  Few last Covid Signs Now no longer Necessary

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Newly Painted Moloney’s and MK Beauty

Behan’s is having a facelift too.

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Presentation Day in Pres. Secondary School 2004


School staff and visiting sisters in 2004

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Gone from Our Streets


( Photos by Tom Fitzgerald)

John Joe McElligott R.I.P.

Martin Hickey R.I.P.

Kay Brady R.I.P.  Kay was as regular visitor to Listowel Writers week

Shop windows, Flowers at the Courthouse, Christmas Customs and A Christmas Craft Fair

Listowel Castle December 2019

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Some Lovely Shopwindows


Listowel shopkeepers make a great effort with their window displays always.

Cheryl’s lovely crochet crib figures are on the NCBI window.

NCBI

McKenna’s Winter Wonderland

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Work at Listowel Courthouse courtyard



They look like flowerbeds in the making.

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Christmas Cleaning from the Dúchas collection


The first job always seemed to be the cleaning and painting.

Christmas Customs

It is an old custom to clean up the house the week before Christmas, to white wash it and paint all the furniture. All the old people like to go to Tralee for the Christmas.

On St. Stephen’s day boys flock together and go around with the wren. They dress up in various kinds of clothes and get a dead wren and a bit of holly. They go from house to house and sing and play and dance. The people of the house give them some money and sometimes give them drink.

The old people put up holly around the windows and mantles for Christmas. On the Eve of each holiday candles are lighted through out the Christmas.

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Christmas is a merry time for young and old. Five days before Christmas the people go to a town or village for their Christmas supplies.

The first sign of Christmas is the houses are whitewashed and the places cleaned. On Christmas Eve the candles

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Mike’s Murals




Mike O’Donnell’s own photo of himself painting the old Kerryman masthead over the door of The Kerryman building

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Listowel Tree 2019






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Christmas Craft Fair



I never got round to posting these last week. This was the Christmas Craft Fair in Kerry Writers’ Museum with some lovely things to buy.

The heavenly Elle Marie ODwyer is a new face at Listowel craft fairs. I love her new song, Christmas by the Lee. Have a listen.

Our local historian, Vincent Carmody was there with his chronicles of old Listowel and old Newcastlewest

Anne and Katie’s snowmen and candy canes were very popular.

Frances O’Keeffe is the best knitter and knitting designer I know. Her cupcake dolls are a new addition to her range and they’re gorgeous. I also love this Rhode Island Red hen tea cozy.

This lady had beautiful large or small Christmas arrangements.

Church St. Girls in 1958, Races 2019, a Funny story about the Harp and Lion and Stack’s Arcade is repainted

Well known Facade remodelled

Stacks Arcade was repainted recently. It looks absolutely smashing, modern and stylish.


Below is McKenna’s big window during race week 2019.

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Anthem of the ICA

This song used to be sung at all ICA gatherings. I wonder if it still is.

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Snapping the Fashion at Races 2019

Lorraine and her mother model Lorraine’s beautiful hats.

The lady on the far left, Mary Kelliher was the winner on Ladies Day.



I dont know all the names in these photos but I’m sure you’ll recognise the local ladies



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Another gem from Eileen Sheridan


It is summer 1958 and these are the girls

Front row Ann Gleeson

Mary Keane,  Noreen Scanlon, Noreen McSweeney, Geraldine Flaherty

Angela Breen, Eileen Guerin, ? ,Kathleen Kenny

Maisie McSweeney, Eileen Scanlon

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Some Anecdotes from Vincent Carmody










Mary,   yournice study of the Harp and Lion and of Martin of the Chute family painters dynasty reminded me of a number of stories, the first, recalled to me by John B himself.

The feature has three phrases,

Latin: Spes Mea In Deo, My Hope is in God

French: Maison De Ville,   Town House

Erin Go Bragh:  Ireland Forever.

One time, when he was quite young, he said, a number of American tourists had walked up Church Street, they were admiring McAuliffes plaster work, this particular day they stood outside the Keane families front door, looking across the road at the Harp and Lion. As they tried to decipher the various languages on the plaster work, the young John B. came out his own front door, one of the Americans sensing that the young man would have the inside information as to the meaning of the phrases, said, hey son, can you explain the meaning of the language on that piece across the road. Of course, the young Keane, sensing that a dollar tip might be in the offering, stood out on the pavement in front of the visitors and with typical confidence, said,

The Latin translation is, I am a Lion,

The Franch means, I have eaten Rhubarb, 

And with a great flourish he said, Erin Go Bragh means, don’t stand under me. 

John B. told me that the visitors gave him a standing ovation and not one but two dollars.

The Chute family have been Listowel painters and sign writers  since the 1800’s,

Bryan McMahon once recalled, he was traveling in the west of Ireland one time, and stayed for a day in the town of Gort, as he went around the town he came across a painter on a trestle, painting a house front, Bryan stood, watching the tradesman, after a while the painter looked down, recognising the Listowel man, he shouted down, Master McMahon, am I as good as the Chutes of Listowel. 

Our Listowel master craftsmen, Pat McAuliffe, Paddy Whelan (The Cement God, Galvin’s old home at the corner of The Square and Bridge Road is a great example of his work) and the Chutes are known nationally.   

             

Listowel Toilets, Halls in Knockanure, More St. Patrick’s Day Photos and Daffodil Day 2019

Market Street, Listowel in March 2019

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More Photos fromThe Parade 2019



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Spending a Penny In Listowel

This public convenience is in Market Street, Listowel. It is costing us a fortune in maintenance and it is rarely used. We are all half afraid of it and it appears to me that visitors to town are the only patrons.

Michael Guerin posted an amusing video on Facebook detailing the locations of previous toilets.

Listowel Toilets

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Knockanure Dancehalls



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Now and Then



Same corner but without the public phone kiosks

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Daffodil Day 2019



I missed Daffodil Day in town this year but as you can see from these photos posted on Facebook, the hard working volunteers covered every corner of town and had another very successful fundraising day.

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