A Word in Your Ear……. watch out for the young ones.  it’s  All Fools’ Day.

Photo: Chris Grayson


A  Lesson from Listowel’s Garden of Europe

Our Garden of Europe is built on what was the town landfill site. In 2014 when we had the father and mother of a storm a tree was uprooted in the Garden. I posted this photo before in 2016 and the caption is what I wrote then.

Nature and Man; This tree was uprooted by the storm of 2014. It revealed underneath a mass of our discarded plastic waste which will not disintegrate for years and years.  

“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.” Native American wisdom.


Beauty Queen with a Listowel Connection

Five years ago Sarah Jane Dunne, daughter of Pecker Dunne reached the final of Miss Ireland. Mattie Lennon wrote this poem celebrating the occasion.


Air; Sullivan’s John

By Mattie Lennon

Oh, Sarah Jane Dunne, ‘though she hadn’t  won, on the nineteenth day of July.

This talented lass,  from the Traveller class, was neither aloof or shy.

“Tinkers daughter”, you’d hear, amid debt-ridden fear in that place that’s called Dublin-four 

She never felt shame but carried the name, as the Pecker had done before.

To the final she went, then felt quite content when her rival Miss Cork took the crown

All set to advance, with a positive stance Sarah didn’t see cause for a frown.

If one doesn’t stop, till they get to the top there’s always a price to be paid

Like Kipling she knows, no matter how  the wind blows, there’s no failure just triumph delayed. 

From the time she was small it was clear to us all,   she was on the road to fame.

At a match or a fair in Cork, Kerry or Clare to busk with her father she came.

Unlike Sullivan’s John, from the road she’s gone but the globe she plans to roam.

She’ll model and teach and great heights she’ll reach; the world is now her home.

She has got this far and her rising star will continue to ascend.

New points she has scored and with critics ignored  begrudgery she’ll transcend

And you can be sure that her Godfather, Moore, will pen her a song bye and bye

As the Pecker sings proud, on his Heavenly cloud,  a new  Tinker’s Lullaby.

© Mattie Lennon2014



(Kerry Weekly Reporter, June 28 1919)

The Fancy Fair in aid of the renovation of the. Presentation Convent Chapel opened on Wednesday in beautiful, in fact, ideal mid-summer weather— but considering the laudable object for which the function has been brought about it must be said the attendance, especially from the rural area, was sparse. However in the evening the townspeople showed up in goodly numbers and business in the different stalls interspersed about the Sportsfield and in the Gymnasium Hall was fairly brisk and led to the hope that the second day’s venture would be enthusiastically supported by town and country and thus bring the function to the happy and successful climax it so eminently merits. 

Every taste is catered for from both the masculine and feminine view and the work on sale of the most intrinsic and artistic order. The fair was formally opened by our highly esteemed Pastor, The Very Rev. D Canon O’Connor, P.P., V.F.; and that great paragon of popularity ,the Rev. Charles O’Sullivan, C.C., who made some useful and artistic, articles as souvenirs of the occasion, at prices that could “defy competition.” 

The Listowel Temperance Brass Band attended and discussed a highly acceptable programme throughout the day.

 The following were stall holders, each and all of whom rendered very satisfactory accounts of their stewardship- Mrs. D. H. Leane, Mrs. Dr. O’Connor, Mrs. W. McElligott, Mrs J. Crowley, Mrs. Foran, Miss Maggie Harnett, Mrs. J. M. Galvin, Mrs. J. Cronin, (Church St.). The following gentlemen formed the Committee, the Hon. Secretary being Mr. R. Tackaberry to whom much credit is due for the excellent manner in which the details of the undertaking had been carried out—Dr. M. O’Connor, U.D.C; Messrs H. J. Marshall, solr; J Macaulay, J.P.; Jas. Crowley, V.S; T. Mortelle, P.Breen, T. F Cronin ; P. Corridan, T. J. Walsh, U.D.C; J McKenna , Co. C ; Thos. Corridan, J. Donnelly , Ed. Boylan. J. Cronin ( Church St.); W Henigan, V.S.; W. McElligott, C.P.S.; E. Bursen, R. A. Macaulay, solr.; D. H Leane, L.P.S.I; J J. Galvin, Dr. Buckley, U.D.C. ; M. Griffin, N.T.; J. Scully, D. B Judge, J Kileen.
The Ladies Committee was composed of Mrs. Dr. O’Connor, Mrs. D. H. Leane,Mrs. T. Mortelle, Mrs. J. M. Galvin, Mrs. T. J Walsh, Mrs. McElligott, Mrs. Dr Clancy, Mrs. Pierse, Mrs. and Miss Macaulay, Miss M. McMahon, Miss Horgan, Mrs. T. O’Brien, Mrs. McKenna, Miss Maggie Harnett, Mrs. Dennehy, Miss Kirby


The Room Where Con Houlihan Wrote

Photo: Ian O’Riordan


A Story for You

I love a good book. On my daughter’s recommendation I was reading a great story called a Spool of

Blue Thread by Anne Tyler. It was unputdownable. Then after a weekend in Cork I went and left it

behind, just as I was getting to the crux too.

I tried the library. No joy there. the lovely librarian ordered it in but it could take 10 days. Can I wait

that long for Denny to find the thread to mend his father’s dashiki?

So I tried the charity shops. The book was published in 2005 and in my experience you nearly have

to go to an antiquarian bookseller nowadays for anything over 2 years old.

I didn’t get A Spool of Blue Thread but take a look at my haul.

………And I only spent €3.00. God bless Marie Kondo!

And Then……….

I got a phonemail from Listowel library to say….ta dah….Martina had sourced a copy of the book for me.

I toddled down as soon as the library opened. I’ve nearly finished the book. I’d highly recommend it….a great read