Bill Clinton statue in Ballybunion, May 2024.

A Returned Emigrant and friends

Many of Nora Griffin’s classmates are scattered around the globe. She probably meets more of them in New York, where she lives, than in Listowel, when she returns home. But she took the opportunity on this visit to have meal out with her lovely, mom, Mary, and her old school friends, Siobhán Brassil and Linda Grimes.

Nora caught up with Sheila Scanlon as well.

North Kerry Themed Schools’ Show

The curtain call for a the talented young people who entertained us on Monday. I was at the first of their two shows. It was an honour to be part of this project.

Below are some of the visual art works created during the project. We saw paintings, drawings, pottery and sculpture.

A Man with a Listowel Connection

Tim McCrohan send us this email from Florida;

Hello Mary, 

I came across your website, while I was searching for some history of my grandfather, James J. McCrohan Sr., whose family grew up in Listowel.  

My wife and I visited there in June 1983.  For a bit of history, my father, James J. McCrohan, Jr was an only child (born in Syracuse, NY) after his father emigrated to the US sometime in the late 1800s.  My grandfather came from a family of 8 children (who lived in Listowel), one of which was Timothy F. McCrohan ( who I am named after).  

I wanted to share a story with you about Dr. John Walsh. For some history, we know that my uncle (Timothy McCrohan) was cared for Dr. Walsh during his last year of life.  He was cared for at a nursing home back in 1955, which was called the Kennedy Private Nursing Home, I believe. When he died in 1955, my father sent some money for his burial. With that information, we set out to visit Listowel for the day, (while on a tour of Ireland for our honeymoon in June, 1983). 

Upon arriving in Listowel via bus, we searched for and found Dr. Walsh’s office. We knocked on the door and when I introduced myself as ‘Timothy McCrohan”, his jaw dropped as if he’d seen a ghost.  He immediately told me he knew my Uncle well and explained how he had cared for him during the last year of his life. The sweet man then closed his practice and insisted upon taking us around Listowel to share where our family lived and then to where my uncle was buried. He shared with us a story about when his own time was to to come, he wanted to be buried on a hill under a tree in the same cemetery.  Not sure if this ever happened, but I wanted to tell you that we were so comforted and appreciative that he took the time to share with us the history of our family who grew up in Listowel.  Every time we talk about our Ireland adventure to people, we always focus on how nice the people there are/were, and especially we relay the story of Dr. Walsh who closed his practice the day we visited there.  We hope that he ultimately received his wish to be buried in the place he discussed, because he was certainly a gentleman. Here is a picture from June 1983, we have of him. 

Thanks for sharing your website with us

Tim and Karen McCrohan

Jacksonville, Florida

I forwarded the email and the photo to Eleanor, Dr. Johnny Walsh’s daughter and she shared it with the family and she wrote back to Tim.

Here is Eleanor’s reply;


Thank you so much. Brought tears to my eyes! Dad’s nursing home was called ‘Greenlawn’. He didn’t sell it until 1961 when it became the Kennedy. I used to go with Dad as a child and it had this extraordinary Nissan hut  out the back where there were patients! 

I will email Tim McCrohan 

Your blog is amazing at keeping people in touch, keep up the good work! 

Eleanor x

( more on this story next week)

A Fact

Denmark’s current flag design was first used in 1219. No other modern country has used the same flag design for so long.