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 listowelconnection@gmail.com

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Mary Cogan, retired from teaching in Presentation Secondary School, Listowel, Co. Kerry. I am a native of Kanturk, Co. Cork.
I have published two books; Listowel Through a Lens and A minute of your Time

In Listowel

Agri Auto Parts in November 2022

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A Doubting Thomas Punished

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Lovely People I met

I was in town with my visitors on Saturday Nov. 26 2022. Here are some of the people we met.

Aoife met P.J and Joan Kenny on William Street.

In the Vincent de Paul shop (now open on Saturday afternoons) we met Eileen O’Sullivan who gave Aoife a beautiful book. Thank you, ever generous Eileen.

Eileen was having a look around with her sister.

On Church Street we met Mags and Liz and the adorable Jaycee.

Mary and Clíona are old friends from schooldays. Here they are , now both mothers, with Maisie and Aoife.

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Listowel Pantomimę

Tommy Moore shared these photos a while back.

Have fun naming the actors.

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Commemorating 100 years of An Garda Síochána in Listowel

November 30 2022

This was the first garda I met on the day. Her smile says it all. Everyone was in great form. The weather was perfect. The buzz was mighty.

Schoolchildren lined the streets around the Garda Station.

Look at this lovely little man saluting the Garda car.

Everyone had a garda friend on the day

Teachers and pupils loving the break from class and learning a bit of history at the same time.

Lots more to come….

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Somethings to look forward to

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Last Saturday in November 2022

Saturday Nov 26 2022

Do I spot Santa in town?

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Visitors for the Late Late Toy Show

Ryan Tubridy on TV

Aoife watched because it was on but I think she is a bit young to appreciate what all the fuss is about. She prefers Cocomelon

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The Grinch in Listowel

The Grinch is in town early. I met him in Olive Stack’s Gallery. He was calling into all the shops, doing a bit of grinching.

The artist in residence is a good sport. She tolerated his gurning and posed for a photo.

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“Beneath My Skin, the long-awaited collection of amazing verse from Bernadette Ní Ríada, coming to Kerry bookshops this week.

Don’t miss it.” (John McGrath)

MY FATHER

Time marches on!

He used to say that every night

before winding the clock.

Coarse grating sounds

in short bursts

when he turned the silver key.

Then a short pause

while he repositioned his fingers

on the key to turn it again.

The corncrake, running through

the long grasses of the meadow

makes a sound like that

of a clock being wound.

Two hoarse bursts,

then a short pause before the next

rasping couplet.

The corncrake doesn’t live here anymore.

Nobody winds the clock.

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Just a Thought

My most recent week of reflections on Radio Kerry are here;

Just a Thought

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Cock Crow at Christmas

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Hats off to Listowel

Hat and owner have been reunited.

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Great Day in Town Nov 30 2022

We had a great day yesterday celebrating with the guards. I took lots of photos but I’ll have to sort them out. Here are a few to be going on with.

Bit of a scrum outside the Garda Station, politicians, media, lots of gardaí and retired gardaí and their families.

Primary Schools out in force

The plaque commemorating a centenary of policing

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Christmas Market

Listowel 2022

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Listowel in Times Past

remembered by Cyril Kelly

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Christmas Market, Saturday November 26 2022

I was a bit early and the festivities hadn’t started in earnest when I was in the Square. My little visitor had fallen asleep so we were at home before the switching on of the lights which was done this year by Paul Manning. We missed Santa and the school band as well so my photos do not do the event justice.

This is Paul Manning at the festivities in The Square. Unfortunately on the way home, Paul lost the hat he is wearing here. The hat was adorned with 2 badges which are of sentimental value to Paul. If you found it, you could hand it in to John B.s, St. John’s , The Garda Station or Doran’s. Indeed if you hand it in anywhere in town they’ll get it back to Paul.

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Folklore

On Friday I was back in Listowel Library for Tom Dillon’s entertaining talk on folklore. The talk was based on some of the local stories in the national folklore collection.

I was struck that some things that happened during the recent Covid crisis are things that only we know. Not everything is reported in the paper. I resolved to tell my family that Nick and the team at Listowel Garden Centre gave me a present of a plant and a bar of chocolate one day during lockdown. The gift came out of the blue. It meant a lot as did all the other kindnesses I received. I will pass the stories on to the next generation. That’s folklore.

Many stories were collected by schoolchildren in copies like these in the great initiative in 1936/37. Is it time to do it again?

Here is an extract from that great treasure trove;

My great grandfather whose name was Daniel Mangan from Bedford owned a house in William Street but it belongs to a man by the name of Corbet now and he fixes [?] cycles. When the house was owned by my great grandfather it was a latin school and it was taught by a man named Mac Namara My grand father whos name was Pat Mangan was taught Latin there. Mr. Mac Namara aied [?]named man.

They had slates to write on with slate pencils. The black board was a big slate. They had a few stools and planks across two or three boxes.

There was a hedge school in Ballydonohue. It was taught by a man named Relihan. One day they were attacked by English soldiers and Relihan was hanged.
Told by Mrs. Keane, Ashe Street, Listowel.
Written by W. Keane, Ashe Street, Listowel.

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What an Improvement

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Exemplary Fire Fighters

Photo; The Kerryman online

Proud to see our own John Curtin and John Kelliher rewarded for their long service to the fire service.

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Christmas in Listowel Started

Presentation Primary School band of yesteryear

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Some Christmas Windows 2022

This year’s theme is The Grinch.

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My Weekend Visitors

Clíona and Aoife picked a good weekend to visit. Lots going on. Aoife slept through most of it though.

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A Christmas Belief

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A Lifetime in Pitch nd Putt Rewarded

The late Tony O’Callaghan was a very talented artist. He produced a huge body of work in his lifetime and many a Listowel home treasures one of his pieces. The one above was presented to John Joe Kenny by Listowel Pitch and Putt Club to acknowledge his years of service to the club.

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Christmas Memories

John Tangney somewhere in Eastern Europe

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Christmas Past

Bord na Mona workers Christmas 1944. These turfmen, and they were all men, came from all over Ireland in the 1940s and 50s to harvest turf in the midland bogs. The work was backbreakingly hard, cold, wet and inhospitable. They were accommodated in hostels where they stayed for the season.

From 1942 to 1944 any men who stayed on for the winter were brought into Edenderry and Newbridge Hostels for special Christmas events. They usually arrived on the 24th and stayed until December 27th. St Stephen’s Day activities were usually football games and other sporting events. In 1945, due to falling numbers the event was confined to Newbridge. This photo comes from Newbridge Hostel in 1944.” Bord na Mona Archive

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All Ireland Winners

Tim Kennelly, Tony McAuliffe and Gary MacMahon

R.I.P. All Ireland Football medal winners from Listowel

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Cold Turkey by Cyril Kelly

Christmas in Church Street in the 1950s

WARNING :

If You are in any way squeamish, DONT read this great Christmas essay by Cyril Kelly.

I warned you. If you read it despite my warning, you may be sorry.

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Happy Times in School

I have no date for this but it is a Staff versus Pupils End of Term Match. These were always great fun. R.I.P. Cliff, in school uniform.

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Listowel , Sound Town

Today fm has declared Listowel Ireland’s Soundest Town 2022. They hit town on Saturday to kick off the start of the Christmas Season in Listowel.

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