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

Billy Keane, Mount Hillary, Ballincollig and Clonmel

Billy Saves the Blog

Billy Keane is a great encourager. Here he is with me in St. John’s on the evening of my book launch a long year ago.

I met Billy on Sunday morning last when I was going for my walk. As usual he told me how important what I do is and how much it is appreciated. I felt I had to confess to him that I was actually thinking of giving up. 

My idea for the blog was always to be a mix of news from town, a bit of nostalgia and the odd quirky bit that only I might be interested in. The randomness of its content has always been part of the attraction for me and for blog followers. Lately there has been less and less news from town and most of what there is is gloomy.

Convent Street Clinic on Sunday October 18 2020. With the number of cases of Covid 19 in Listowel rising alarmingly, it’s hard to find good news to blog about.

So I felt that the blog was descending into a rehash of old stuff and scraps gleaned from Facebook .

Billy convinced me that my posts are still relevant. “You are needed now more than ever.” said he.  “I’ll help you.,” he continued. “Take a photograph of everyone you meet today. Take a photo of every dog. People love dogs.”

So I did, starting with Billy and his cousin Pat Treacy and his lovely wife Rose who happened along.

Bridie O’Rourke is a great walker and helpfully stopped to let me take her picture. I told her that Billy Keane sent me.

On this sunny morning people were walking with and without dogs.

Then when I came home reinvigorated, I found my email inbox full of lovely photos from Máire MacMahon, Eamon ÓMurchú and my family.

My nephew and family went hiking in Mount Hillary in North Cork.

Remember Helios? Here he is enjoying life in the Regional Park, Ballincollig.

Máire MacMahon is missing Listowel but she has some lovely places on her doorstep in her new home in Clonmel.

Máire wrote;

Thank you for your daily posts on Listowel connection, makes me feel very close to home as I am “stuck” here in Tipperary. 

As Eamon O’Murchu has been sending photos of his travels around Dublin I thought I would send you some photos of what I met on my walk this morning. the Suir Blueway runs along the River Suir from Cahir to Carrick on Suir. It is possible to kayak from Cahir all the way but you can walk from Clonmel to Carrick on Suir on a lovely smooth path, which is suitable for my scooter and bikes and buggies. Although I can join in about 5 mins walk from my house in Clonmel, but my favourite stretch is from Kilsheelan ( about 5 miles from Clonmel) towards Carrick on Suir. 

The first photo shows the bridge in Kilsheelan, I am on the Tipperary bank of the River and Waterford ( forbidden terrority)  is on the other side. I have included a map of the Blueway and a photo of signs that are dotted along the way giving information of the various sites.  This morning I saw ducks, and swans and a larger bird ( not sure of its name). I will send on these in separate emails. 

More to come.

Eamon OMurchú’s recent ones are absolutely stunning. I’ll leave them for another day.


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1 Comment

  1. Cynicus

    Brilliant. The ducks bring me back to my "Ducks Ditty" in my favourite book of old: 'The Wind in the Willows' Here how it goes:
    All along the backwater,
    Through the rushes tall,
    Ducks are a-dabbling,
    Up tails all!

    Ducks' tails, drakes' tails,
    Yellow feet a-quiver,
    Yellow bills all out of sight
    Busy in the river!

    Slushy green undergrowth
    Where the roach swim–
    Here we keep our larder,
    Cool and full and dim.

    Everyone for what he likes!
    WE like to be
    Heads down, tails up,
    Dabbling free!

    High in the blue above
    Swifts whirl and call–
    WE are down a-dabbling
    Up tails all!

    N. Leonard

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