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

Goodbye Molly

The Harp and Lion in July 2023


On the Greenway

Molly and I ventured on a short walk on the greenway

Im sure that young people and technologically literate people find this most useful.

Molly looking back on her last glimpse of The Kingdom for a while.

I was reminded of Coleridge’s lines

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

Happily reunited with Cora.


Building the Ark

St Swithin has brought us biblical rainfall. Lets hope not for for 40 days though.

River Feale on July 15 2023


Seeking your help

Jeff and Lois Mathews from Delaware with Vincent Carmody in Listowel in May 2023.

Vincent is helping Lois and Jeff to piece together aspects of their search for Lois’ Irish ancestors.

One piece of the puzzle lies in Ballylongford. There was a fire in the presbytery in St. Michael’s Church in the 1980s when Fr. Ferris was P.P. and many of the records were lost. (Incidentally it was the late Garda Jerry McCabe, who died so tragically later in Adare, who rescued Fr. Ferris from the fire).

Here is the paragraph from Lois’ letter.

“I have one more shameless request, Mary. Do you by chance know the parish secretary at St. Michael’s Church in Ballylongford? In May, we stopped at the church hoping to get some key questions answered, but the parish secretary was on holiday. The kind priest, Fr. Hussey (sp?) suggested I write to the parish and pose my questions. I sent an email to, but have not received a reply. That is the parish where my great-grandfather in Pittsburgh (John Stack b: 1866 d: 1938) was baptized. I am trying to find out what happened to his parents, Michael Stack & Margaret Donohue.  I am even more curious about them now that I read about the civil strife in Ballylongford. “

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.



I met these two lovely Kilkenny ladies last week. I told them I’d put them in my blog. I hope you are continuing to enjoy your holiday, in spite of the weather.


A Most Unusual Wedding Dress

(Thanks to Dave O’Sullivan for finding this)

When Stephen Rynne came to town on July 6th. he brought with him his mother’s wedding dress and the papal blessing illuminated by Michael O’Connor which was his present to them on the occasion of their wedding in 1967.

The dress is beautifully embellished with celtic embroidery and the Papal Blessing scroll is a beautiful piece of Michael O’Connor artwork

Aideen Rynne with her wedding dress in Listowel on July 6 2023

And some detail from the dress and train:



Building, Painting and Feasting


Artwork, History and Poetry


  1. Siobhan Foley

    That ornate wedding dress would be an eye catching piece for the museum along with the Papal Blessing if the family wish to leave it where it began.

    • listowelconnection

      Totally agree Siobhán. The magnificent dress has no family connection to the museum but it definitely deserves a place in a museum and what better place than amidst a display of modern celtic art. M.

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