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

An American wedding, Lyre, Ballybunion and Kissane Photo Gallery opening

“Ireland unfree shall never be at Peace”

This photo from the National Library is of Padraig Pearse delivering his famous speech at the graveside of O’Donovan Rossa, one hundred years ago.


Anne MacNamee of Paper Hearts took this lovely wedding photo of an American bride who returned recently to the hometown of her ancestors to get married. The wedding in St. Mary’s Listowel and The Listowel Arms was featured in this article in  The Irish Independent

Wedding of Corey and Shannon


A Party in Lyre

The good people ofLyreacrompane had a party and they put the photos up on Facebook. I’ve copied a few for you and I’ve printed here the reflection, Fr. Pat Moore, their parish priest sent to them. As Fr. Pat continues his recovery, his parishioners are never too far from his thoughts. He shares with them the valuable life lessons he is learning, lessons that are deeply personal but have a universal application.

His flock have got to know their shepherd a lot better in these past few months.


I now realise I have felt it all my life. Again and again I find myself going down to the shoreline, negotiating the last few steps where the road meets the strand. We always called it the pinch. Breathe in the air, feel a bit of warmth in it. I turn west along the strand, by Dexter’s Rock where the Englishman who deserted his army, read his newspaper. The soft carpet of sand beneath me, ground stone taken from cliff. Nothing is permanent, rock and land to sand and the rock rises out of the sea. Listen, listen to the conversation between the sea and the shoreline – the taking and the giving. It is now enforcing the lack of permanence for things are always changing. At a deep level there is nothing to hold onto.

Yet the voice of the sea speaks to the soul. I am walking in the shadow of faith. Believing,I now realise is not seeing. Where is my frantic activity bringing me, bringing us, in our world? How do I keep my zest for life? What helps me value building family and community? What I hold onto brings me within, through the heart to grasp something to hold onto, something that lasts. I have sensed it as an invitation and the response I have hitched my wagon to is in and through Christ. The zest can’t come from myself, it comes from beyond.

Is it God that gives me the impulse to want God and that sense of permanence I seek?


A Few more Listowel ads from 1960

Both of these businesses are still going strong today.


Rough Summer in Ballybunion

The sea is cold and rough, the beach is deserted. I have pity for the poor people who depend for their income on the tourist season in seaside towns in Ireland this summer.


Kissane Photo Gallery Launch

Eamon, Eily and John at the opening of the Kissane Photo  Archive in The Horseshoe Gallery on Sunday August 2 2015.

The archive is an extraordinary collection of photographs of three Kissane families, of Lacca, Kilcox and Kilgarvan, all descended from the same ancestor. Eily Walsh has done trojan work in researching the family tree. Eamon OMurchú, whose mother was a Kissane, did the work on the photographs, editing, mounting and captioning them. They have done their families a huge service.

Jimmy Deehihan performed  the launch. He was mightily impressed with the exhibition and he will be using it as an example of what can be done. This family has many high achievers in its midst and the younger generation of high flyers was well represented on Sunday evening.

The gallery is open to the public. Do drop in while the Kissane photos are in situ. You will be amazed at the beautiful black and white photos and the extraordinary story they tell.


Ballybunion Surf School, Fleadh na Gael and Stack’s Off Licence


2 sad stories; Liam Tarrant and Fran O’Toole and new life in The Square

1 Comment


    who would know of Ellen Kissane 1840, married Jeremiah Collins 1865"

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