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

Category: Ballybunion Page 1 of 13

Community Garden

By the River Feale Aug 2022

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The Other Side of the Wall

Our apples are ripening nicely.

This area will be beautiful when the flowers and climbers grow a bit.

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Meeting a Former Pupil in Ballylongford

On my visit to the traditional crafts farina Ballylongford I ran into my friend, Bridget O’Connor and then together we ran into a former pupil, Dora Mulvihill. Dora and I are in a framed picture in Presentation Secondary School Listowel, celebrating Dora’s gold medal for achieving the highest marks in Irish at her Leaving Cert.

Dora’s lovely son took the picture for me.

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From 2015

When browsing through Boards recently I came across a link to these old photos.

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Bet you Didn’t know this

Fourteen years before the Titanic sank, a novelist Morgan Robertson published a novel called Futility. The story was about an ocean liner that struck an iceberg on an April night.

The name of the ship……….Titan

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From Kanturk to Ballybunion

a poem

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Remembering Boards.ie Friends

Molly Madra at the River in July 2022

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Commemorative Seats

I may have said this before but its worth saying again. Someone should photograph the commemorative seats and trees in town, should write up a little bit about the people they commemorate and put it into a booklet or online. Many of these people will be forgotten if we dont make an effort to remember them.

I’m including this one especially for Mossie’s brother, Derry. Derry and Nancy were due home for a holiday this year but due to ill health will have to postpone til next year.

This seat in the corner of the park commemorates an extraordinary Listowel family. Three of the Sheehy brothers are remembered on the seat.

Martin, Michael and John Sheehy were the three of the five Sheehy brothers who emigrated to the U.S. They all did well in their adopted homes but their hearts never left Listowel. Martin and Michael came back more often than John and I met both men more than once. Yet John Sheehy is the Sheehy I knew best,

If it were not for John Sheehy there would be no Listowel Connection. He encouraged me and defended me against trolls when we didnt even know what they were. We were on Boards.ie back then. I checked just now (In truth about an hour ago) to see if the Listowel Thread was still there. It is and if you have an hour or two to spare and you love Listowel I’d highly recommend it

I’m now going to perform an act laced with the sweetest irony. I’m going to post a link to the Listowel thread on Boards.ie When I started my blog I used to post a link to it on Boards. The administrator threw me off because I was driving traffic away from Boards. So here I go driving traffic back to Boards. All is forgiven.

Listowel

Most of the photos are gone and some of the links are broken. Many of the contributors, including all three Sheehys and my own husband, Jim, have passed away. May they rest in peace.

We all had pen names on Boards. John Sheehy was Sandhill Road.

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Turas Nua

This lovely premises on Church Street is the home of Turas Nua. I think it is the new Intreo.

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Traffic Disruption

If you feel that there are always roadworks somewhere or other in Listowel, you’ll be sad to hear that the situation is only going to get worse. Here is what is planned.

Information from the Kerry County Council website

N69 Listowel Bypass Proposed Road Development

Works scheduled between July 2022 and Christmas are as below:

Proposed Traffic Management on JBK Road

Phase 1. Works on John B Keane Road between McKennas and Clieveragh Roundabout.

One way traffic E-W between Mckennas and Clieveragh Roundabout.  Ballybunnion traffic diverted down Market St (No left turn onto John B Keane Road).   Works to commence on the 25th July with this phase being completed for the Races on the 16th September 2022.

Phase 2 – Works on Ballybunnion Road/Market St junction

Phase 2 will commence after the races. Two way traffic between McKennas and Clieveragh Roundabout.  One way Traffic in Market St. (N-S).  The Contractor has requested Road Closures at the Ballybunion junction in late November to allow surfacing to be completed.

Phase 3 – Works on Ballygologue Junction

At the same time works will be happening on Ballygologue Junction. One way traffic W-E between Clieveragh Roundabout and Ballygologue. The south side of Ballygologue Rd will be closed, with a closure sought from end September to mid – November.  The Contractor’s programme has this work scheduled for completion by the end of November.

January 2023 through to June 2023 will see works progress for the remainder of the John B Keane Road.   Traffic management for these sections will be finalised in the coming months and having regard to the experience of the works in 2022. 

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Listowel in July 2022

Listowel Racecourse bridge

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Tireless Volunteers

While you were enjoying the sun and I was out walking my doggy visitor, P.J., Joan, Joan, Joan and Bridie were rolling up their sleeves and cleaning St. Mary’s church.

This group is just one of the many cohorts of volunteers who help look after our church.

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Our Community Fruit and Nut Garden

Our apples are ripening up nicely.

We won’t be eating these but the horse chestnuts are ripening into conkers. At the risk of causing a run on them, I’ll share a tip I have been given. Horse chestnuts are thought to repel moths. I have no idea if it works.

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The Times they are a Changin’

The Irish post image evokes feelings of nostalgia for an Ireland long gone.

Sometimes when one emigrates and sees Ireland in the rearview mirror it doesn’t look all that bad. Then the emigrant comes home and is reminded of how bad it was.

Stephen Twohig wrote this poem on a return visit to the farmyard home of his ancestors.

Farmyards.      (1997)

Black plastic covering

fermenting  fodder

The pot pourries of Eire

mixed with fuchsia

farm fumes and woodbine.

Discarded tyres

lying worn

catching rings

of time rusted water.

These the scattered 

daily cycles

Holding down

the year to come.

Haggard

On the back of a ditch

a rusting wheel,

black jalopy of a bike

with a little dynamo

that once flickered a faint light

on some dark passages.

Broken glass

blue delph from a table

things thrown out long ago.

Eyeless car

dismantled mower

left one time not knowing

it would be your last.

Each haggard a wealth of history 

thrown out as leaves from

the back door.

Look behind your own and leaf

through the pages

piece together the future

of what was left behind.

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Local Hero

Message from Ballydonogue GAA

Jason Foley & Sam Maguire and some of the Kerry team will be coming to visit Coolard clubhouse next Monday 8th August at 8pm. Everyone Welcome Ballydonoghue GAAKerry GAA💚

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Life Savers

Ballybunion Sea and Cliff Rescue Photo; Jaxon ODoherty

These men and women are constantly at the ready to keep us safe on the water and on the cliffs.

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Holidays in Ballybunion

In Listowel Town Square July 2022

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Flower Beds in the Pitch and Putt Course

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Ballybunion Memories

Once upon a time families in North Cork, those who were lucky enough to enjoy seaside holidays, often took those holidays in caravans (mobile homes) or boarding houses in Ballybunion. In The Irish Examiner Alice Taylor remembers holidays with Nana in Ballybunion.

I’m giving you the opening paragraphs and the closing one.

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Notes for a Poem

The following is a blog post from a photographer poet called Nigel Borrington from 2014

One day last summer while I was walking along the beach at Ballybunion, County Kerry, I was trying to think of words that gave a sense of this place , so I jotted down the following word list for a poem, but I feel it’s a poem as it is.

Ballybunion beach

cool air, sound of sea birds, fresh breeze,
people walking, dogs running, cold swimmers, children shouting,
Waves rolling, people eating, chatting, talking, cliffs casting shadows,

Old castle walls dominating, caves temping you to explore,
Posters offering family photographs, lunch time meals and places to shop,
Restful moments , capturing views,

Old people pottering, memories of traditions past,
Time dragging to a stop, mind slowing,

Families gathering, men managing, car doors shutting, keys locking, after parking,
deep breaths taken, locations chosen, bags unpacked,
People now sitting, grannies talking, best instructions, suggestions given,

Steps taken, shoes in hand,
Temperature falling, evening calling, holiday homes inviting,
Beach clearing, winds rising, cold setting in,
Sea birds return, dogs last walk of the day
Night fisher man setting lines, day over

Peace and nature returning, tide rising,
On Ballybunion beach.

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They’re Home

Molly’s family are home from their sunshine holiday. This is Aisling adorned with holiday hair. Molly is delighted to have them home.

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Joy and Sorrow

William Street at evening…photo Elizabeth Brosnan

The sun has not set on the celebrations just yet.

Photo ; Breda Ferris

The Kerry ladies put up a gallant fight against a superb Meath team.

Beidh lá eile ag an bPaorach.

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Some of the Kerry Team Support in Listowel

Danny’s Hair and Beauty
Blossom in Market St.
Mermaids

When neighbouring counties win both the hurling and football, there are bound to be some very happy Listowel households.

Bailey and Co.

Ballybunion showing its support in typical Ballybunion fashion.

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Ballybunion 2022

Tommy Martin of The Irish Examiner holidayed in Ballybunion this year.

Here is how he opened his article on his experience.

For Sean O’Shea’s moment of square-jawed heroism NOT to be the prelude to Kerry’s ultimate deliverance just doesn’t seem to make any narrative sense. It would be stupidly anti-climactic. To north Kerry, in the space between two All-Ireland finals.

Your correspondent finds himself on his annual pilgrimage to Ballybunion this week, the seaside resort town which remains oblivious to global meltdown. While Europe burns, Ballybunion warily slips off its kagoule, not liking the look of those clouds one bit. “Some heatwave!” is the sardonic comment of choice, as two days of hazy pleasantness gave way to temperatures soaring into the mid-teens.

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A Meadow Walk

When the gardeners of the local council mow the grass in the town park they leave it tall for the birds, insects and bees and they cut paths through the grass for us to walk and enjoy. A great Idea!

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Lest we Forget

This award winning front page will forever be the image of the worst of Covid 19 restrictions. Now that we are at the other side of that awfulness we should spare a thought and a prayer for people scarred forever.

This poem is for them.

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