Edward VII postbox with Maid of Erin in the background



Tidy Town volunteers, Breda McGrath, Julie Gleeson and Jimmy Moloney returned from Croke Park with another Gold Medal, a well deserved reward for all the hard work.


On Upper William Street

This popular shop has recently moved and refurbished. It’s lovely.


Gardaí at the Hospice Coffee Morning

Listowel Arms, October 5 2023



A story from Billy McSweeney prompted by my use of a word I heard often from my Cork mother but is not so familiar to Kerry people.

I hadn’t heard the word ‘caffling’ before so I looked it up. Most dictionaries hadn’t heard of it either but I liked John Arnold’s definition of ‘pranks’. It reminded me of a story from before my time and handed down to me. 

There lived in Convent Street two brothers who were noted cafflers. 

As was inevitable, one of them died; and the whole neighbourhood came 

together to make the arrangements for the obsequies. The poor man was 

dressed in his best clothes and for the wake was laid out in the bed 

with a candle on each corner and suitable seating arrangements on both 

sides of the bed for the caoining women.

     At the appropriate time in the evening the candles were lit and the 

women took their sorrowful keening places around the bed. Friends and 

neighbours arrived in dribs and drabs to pay their respects and partake 

of the food and drink laid on for the occasion. Memories of how good a 

person the deceased was were related midst the weeping assent of those 

seated all around. Gradually, over the next hour or so, the level of 

noise grew as the attendees grew into their sympathetic roles, helped in 

no small way by the lubrications on offer.

     Suddenly, a raised voice came from the bed; “Turn me on my left side”!

     There was a momentary silence, split open by screeches and screams 

as the whole room erupted and rushed out the door. Silence ensued in the 

room until, after a few minutes, a brave soul peeped back in and 

announced that they must be mistaken. The mourners sheepishly resumed 

their seats but decided that even though they imagined the voice, the 

instruction in the voice was clear, so they turned the body in the bed 

on its left side. All agreed that the corpse looked more comfortable on 

its left side so all settled down and resumed normal obsequies. One 

could not after all neglect the duties of consuming the good food and 

drink that would otherwise be wasted just because of their imaginings.

     Another hour or so passed uneventfully until everybody then in the 

room was suddenly startled to hear the voice once more: “Turn me on my 


     Again there was pandemonium as the mourners sought to escape 

whatever retribution might descend on them from this supernatural 

emanation. The room again emptied but one can get used to anything so 

this time they looked back in shortly afterwards and saw that nothing 

else had occurred. They again nervously resumed their seats and as per 

the voice’s instruction, turned the corpse on its face.

     When, shortly afterwards, the voice rose again: ” Now kiss my 

arse”!, There were some incredulous cries from the audience at this turn 

of events and en masse they examined for the source of the voice. They 

lifted the bed and, lo and behold, there, under the bed, was the other 


As it was told to me, extended in the tradition of good storytelling, the corpse asked also to be ‘turned on his right side’ but either because the corpse had a sore right arm from lifting pints or that Listowel Connections was short of space, I left that one out. pastedGraphic.png

Billy McSweeney


English Trained Nurses

From the 1940s up until the 1980s, thousands of Irish young ladies trained as nurses in English hospitals. It is a phenomenon that should definitely be studied and memories recorded while these ladies are still with us.

This thought was prompted by an email from Ken Duckett.

…my brief knowledge of my mother’s nursing training in Eastbourne, Sussex. The pictures would have been from the early to mid 1930’s. Just the surnames appear below the pictures and it includes my mum who was Kathleen Hanlon from Asdee east, Kerry. Maybe your readers may recognise the faces, surnames or different uniforms. I wondered how she got there and if there was a sea route from Cork or she went to Dublin and Liverpool?

Anyone else reading this who trained in England, maybe even in Eastbourne, we’d love to hear from you.

Thanks to David O’Sullivan for help with the photos.

Aren’t the uniforms gas?


A Fact

A father sea catfish keeps the eggs of his young in his mouth until they are ready to hatch. He will not eat until his young are born. This may take several weeks.

(Some of these facts are leaving me floored)