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

Ballybunion Sunset, Richard Cotter and Domhnall de Barra of Athea

Some of my family watch the sun set at Ballybunion  April 23 2016


A Final few Photos from Banna

A History class from Pres Listowel were there.

 I met these two Listowel ladies on my way back to the bus.


Second Year in Pres. Listowel 

This photo from the 1950s has come to light. People who have been recognized are Mary Catherine Sweeney Reidy, Sinead Joy O’Sullivan and Eithne Buckley.

Does anyone recognize anyone else?


The Light of Other Days

In Scribes last week Richard Cotter, grandson of “Tasty” Cotter after whom Cotters’ Corner was called, met up with Eileen O’Sullivan and Mary Sobieralski.

Eileen remembered Tasty as a rent collector who used to call to her house every week when she was a child. Richard is a keen family historian and was delighted to meet someone with memories of his grandfather.

Richard has a puzzle for us. His grandmother’s family were Buckleys from Ennismore.

He has this photograph of four of the Buckley sisters taken at the wedding of their sister in 1910. Richard doesn’t know who is who . His grandaunts were Mrs. Jane Kelly whose husband, Ambrose  was a farmer from near Finuge, Mrs. Paddy Griffin who worked in Cotters shop, Mrs Fitzmaurice who had a daughter  a nun and who had Kearney relatives in Ballyduff and Mrs. Seán O’Brien who worked in Cotters’ shop and whose grave is inside the gate in St. Michael’s graveyard.

Mary and Eileen looking at Richard’s photos of his ancestors.

Richard’s grandparents on their wedding day in 1910. His grandmother was Margaret Buckley, known in the family as Rita.


Athea’s Domhnall de Barra, a Great local Chronicler

Making a Newsletter

Only on Wednesday last did I realise that this issue will be No. 1008.
Somehow we passed the 1000 mark a few weeks ago without marking the
occasion in any way. To be honest I never dreamed, when I first
thought of creating a local newsletter, that it would last for such a
long time. It had its humble beginnings as part of a FAS scheme
sponsored by Cáirde Duchais. Our first publication had four pages
(black and white of course) and it cost 20 pence in old money. Soon
afterwards the FAS scheme ended and I decided to keep the publication
going. In the early days it came out towards the end of the week to
facilitate the inclusion of the Church pamphlet which we printed also.
Lillian and myself sold the newsletter at the Church gates on Saturday
night and the two Masses on Sunday. It was a bit of a commitment every
week but it was great to meet all the people coming from Mass (the
Church was full in those days). Eventually we were in a position to
leave the selling to the two shops, Stapleton’s and Brouder’s  and we
extended our sales to Carrigkerry and Knockdown. The shops did this
for us free of charge and continue doing so to this day. We are very
grateful for this as the newsletter does not make a profit. We were
also very fortunate in securing the services of correspondents,
Kathleen Mullane, the late Pat Brosnan R.I..P., Tom Aherne and Peg
Prendeville who kept our readers abreast of all the local news and

The newsletter gave an opportunity to local clubs and organisations to
publish their events, fixtures, results etc. free of charge.
Publication of small classified ads were also free. Other commercial
advertising was given at a very reasonable rate. As long as we made
ends meet we wanted to be of service to the community. All we asked in
return is that the clubs and organisations who benefitted from the
newsletter would use C.D. Printing  for all their printing needs. Most
of them do so but there are the odd exceptions!  In the early days
there was a lot of typing. Computers were scarce so longhand was the
order of the day. The actual printing process was also very different
to what we do now. As soon as the pages were ready for printing, a
plate was made for each one. These were then printed off individually,
put together and folded by hand. This took a bit of time and the
quality of the printing was not great in comparison to today. As time
went by, more pages were needed as more and more people began to use
the newsletter. This created more labour as the pages had now to be
collated by hand, before folding.

Fast forward to today and things have changed a lot. We are now at 12
pages and in full colour. The biggest change is in the printing.
Plates are no longer necessary with the advance in technology. As soon
as the newsletter is ready for printing it is sent directly to the
printing machine. This prints a whole book in one go and folds it as
well. All I have to do is ensure the setup is correct and count the
copies as they are printed.

Setting up the newsletter for printing is an art in itself. The
process begins with the clearing of items from the past week’s issue,
some items will remain from week to week. Towards the end of the week
I start to create a new crossword. Sometimes it flows to me but there
are other times when I am wracking my brain trying to make words fit.
I try to make the clues not too difficult but I include one or two
“sticklers” to keep people thinking!. If I have time I do my own piece
as well. On Monday morning the e-mails start coming in and Lillian
goes to work, downloading and placing text and treating photographs in
the photo shop. The text has to be resized and put into the correct
font with paragraph headings in the proper size and colour People call
into the office with notices, anniversaries, thanksgiving prayers
adverts etc. All these are typed up and placed in different pages.
Some come in over the phone. Finally, when all the material is
together everything must be placed so that each page is full. This is
where the skill comes in and there are a few little “tricks” to
getting text to fit into available space. Now it is time to collect
the remaining crosswords from the shops and, together with the ones
already handed in to the office, they are checked for accuracy. The
correct ones are put into a box and a winner is drawn. Now the file is
put onto my USB key and I take it home with me. I start up the printer
and do the necessary settings on the computer. A test copy is then
sent to the printing machine and I give a quick look through it. Some
more adjustments are made and another copy is printed. This goes on
until I am satisfied that it is ok. I key in the required number for
each outlet and off the machine goes. Sometimes the paper gets jammed
but eventually all the copies are printed and ready to go to the
shops. Another week gone by and another issue on the shelves. Number
1008; who’d have thought it.

Domhnall de Barra


Easter Rising Commemoration in Kerry, A Party in Áras Mhuire and more Photos from Kennelly at 80


Golden Folk, James Gould’s 80th birthday and an old dispute between servant and master

1 Comment

  1. Cynicus

    Cannot get the Newsletter in Abbeyfeale – pity.

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