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

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MS Busking Day 2022

Red Stags Photo; Chris Grayson


M.S. Busking 2022

A Busking Day fundraiser for the North Kerry branch of MS Ireland has been a feature of summers in Listowel for well over a decade now.

It was great to see this institution back after the Covid interruption.

Eileen McCarthy was the first I met, stationed at the junction of Church Street and Main Street.

Jimmy Hannon, Denis O’Rourke, Mike Moriarty and John Kinsella were playing when I was there in the morning. Several other singers and groups replaced them throughout a day of great entertainment in the Small Square.

Batt O’Keeffe, Noelle Hegarty, Beatrice Hayes and Bridie O’Rourke were shaking the buckets in the traffic island.

Passing motorists were extremely generous as always.

Barbara Walsh and another band of collectors were positioned at McKenna’s Corner.

In the afternoon an new cohort of musicians, singers and collectors had taken over.

The sun shone. People were in great form. Many many volunteers were generous with their time and talents. The music was of a high standard.

and there was dancing in the streets


People I met

On my way home I met Paul Manning and Jimmy Hannon having a break and a chat.


A Fact

A jiffy is an actual unit of of time. It is 1/100 of a second.


Summer 2022

William Street in August 2022


Listowel Widows Association

Phot; Ena Bunyan

Barbara’s tour of the Republic comes to an end

Barbara at Dunquin Pier

Day 5, a busy day.  We drove to Blarney Castle and Gardens.   We walked around the gardens.  I didn’t go up to the top to kiss the Blarney Stone.  I tried it years ago and once was enough for me.  Then we went to the quaint village of Adare.  From there, we went to Tipperary to the Rock of Cashel with medieval buildings, built in the 12th, 13th and 15th centuries.  That was my 1st time at the Rock of Cashel.  A beautiful view of Tipperary from The Cashel.   Then we went back to Dublin for another night at The Riu Plaza-The Gresham Hotel.  It was the end of the 1st tour.   

One of the ladies on the tour told me that I could have been the driver’s co-host since I knew so much of all the areas we had visited.   

Now the 2nd tour will be different as we will be exploring the Northern part of Ireland.   I must say I loved every minute of both tours. 


Thomas O’Halloran R.I.P.

Martina O’Gorman rallied all the Listowel diaspora in London to pay tribute to an innocent old man only trying to do a good deed when he was cruelly murdered.

Photo; Lucia Butler of Facebook

Martina wrote;

Not sure if you saw me on RTE or Sky News on Sunday.

Basically myself and a friend from Castlemaine organised a gathering of Irish people in London to pay respect to poor 87yr old Tom O Halloran who was stabbed to death.

Photo Lucia Butler on Facebook

We thought there would be 20/30 of us turn out but over 300 attended.   It was a beautiful service, surreal and emotional.   The local priest said some prayers & then we had poetry recited and played some Irish Music and they sang Tom’s favourite song, Boolavogue.

We asked everyone that was attending to wear their county colours and they turned up from all Counties in Ireland, but big turnout was from Kerry.


A Master at Work

Martin Chute at work on William Street Listowel Aug 24 2022


Ballybunion Triathlon

Breda Ferris sent us a few photos


A limerick you’ll like


Heritage Week 2022, Walking Tours

In Marley Park…Eamon ÓMurchú


Heritage Week 2022

I attended my first in person event for Heritage Week 2022 on Saturday last. It was a guided history walk around the Square with the best informed and most entertaining historian, Tom Dillon. Tom is a thorough researcher, an informed and engaging guide and a superb communicator. He is wasted in any job where he is not enthusing young people to engage with and learn about local history.

Photo credit; Maire Logue

This is our little band assembled at the castle as we headed out on a sunny Saturday.

Tom took us to St. John’s. That’s Máire’s dog guarding him as he enthralled us with the story of this building which was once a Church of Ireland place of worship and is now an Arts centre and theatre. He told us lots of interesting stuff here but I’m going to leave that for another day.

There is another event in St. John’s for Heritage Week where we are all going to learn about stained glass windows, making them and restoring them.

Tom told us lots about the parishioners of St. John’s and lots about the building itself. The clock which was made by Mangans of Cork only stayed going for 3 years. It was a big loss because it was the town clock and men left off work on Lord Listowel’s estate when they heard ‘Mangan Bangin'”

A local poet, D.C. Hennessy, wrote its obituary which Tom read to us.

In 2017 on my Feb 1 blogpost, I have a great story connected to the clock. If you have a minute, read it at the below link.

St. John’s Clock, John Griffin of Bridge Road and Canon Declan O’Connor and their Listowel Connection

An addendum to the clock story is that it was completely refurbished in 2021. Unfortunately the old movement was removed and replaced with a modern digital movement which will see the clock tell the correct time but won’t please the purists.

Here we are at the end of our walk by the banks of The Feale and Tom is telling us about how the Feale got its name , the history of the castle and why it came to be built here. We had stories of the days when the river teamed with fish and the local big houses drew water from it.

We finished our walk with Tom leading us in a verse or two of Bryan MacMahon’s Lovely Listowel.


Showing Listowel to the Grandchildren

Sean took the selfie as we headed out on our walk. The boys are half French so much more accustomed to the heat than their poor old Nana.

We walked through the Garden of Europe and by the River before returning through the town

No trip to Listowel is complete without a trip to Jumbo’s.

They hadn’t heard of Jerry Kiernan so they caught up on another piece of Listowel history.


History Lite

Helen Gore Mitchell and her lovely family are in town on a long summer visit. Helen is the daughter of my friends Cliff and Mary Gore, now sadly both passed away.

Helen was disappointed to hear that the weekly tours were not running this year. (I didn’t know then about Heritage Week). So I offered to give my very amateur version of a tour with tales of a few historic happenings. Helen’s cousin, Gillian and her family came too and my visitors tagged along to learn something. We had a lovely evening, lovely company and lovely chats.

We were all remembering Mary and Cliff, two great stalwarts of Listowel who did so much for their local community. I am delighted to see the next generations honouring their memory and keeping the tie.


Ballybunion Sunset

There were some spectacular sunsets during the heatwave of 2022. Alice Moylan photographed this one in Ballybunion.


Community Garden

By the River Feale Aug 2022


The Other Side of the Wall

Our apples are ripening nicely.

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


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.


From 2015

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


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


From Kanturk to Ballybunion

a poem


Remembering Friends

Molly Madra at the River in July 2022


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 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 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.


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.


Turas Nua

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


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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