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: Ballylongford Page 1 of 5

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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Memories

Cluain Doire, Listowel in August 2022

The residents of Cluain Doire have the loveliest entrance to any estate.

They are showing their support for Kerry Rose, Edaein.

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Ballylongford Traditional Craft Fair

The fair promised more that it delivered. I was disappointed not to get a tour of the old mill and a few of the promised crafters that I had been looking forward to weren’t there when I went on the Sunday.

I missed the Black Irish Band as well.

However the crafters that were there gave us a great insight into how things were done long ago. My great grandfather was a weaver. There weren’t any weavers at the fair but there were spinners and felters.

The felters were from Cork. They had some lovely colourful stuff and they were teaching the children how felting is done.

This crafter was making jugs and vases out of leather.

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Seán MacCarthy Remembers

I was looking through an old book, Streets of Listowel when I came across this great essay from the late great Seán MacCarthy.

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Fr. Anthony Gaughan

This house in the Silent Valley in Co. Down is renovated in the style of an old time cottage with open fire and old furniture. Photo by Éamon ÓMurchú

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McKenna’s Yard staff

Photo Mike Hannon

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A Poet at a Book Launch

Gabriel Fitzmaurice and Fr. Anthony Gaughan in St. Jiohn’s at Writers’ Week 2022
queueing for a signing
Eamonn and Marion are great supporters of Fr. Gaughan

The setting was a coincidence. The picture of the Blessed Virgin was on stage as a prop for the lunchtime play, The Six Marys.

Fr. Gaughan, Catherine Moylan, Martin Moore and a lady who writes bilingual books

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Maureen Flavin Sweeney Commemorated in Knockanure

Ted and Maureen Sweeney

Maureen Flavin was born in Knockanure 99 years ago. She married Mayoman, Ted Sweeney.

The Sweeney family, Ted, his mother Margaret and sister Frances, together with Maureen, had been reporting on the hour, twenty-four hours a day, to the Meteorological Service in Dublin for the length of World War II. This hourly reporting continued until an automatic meteorological station was brought into operation in Belmullet in 1956.

On her 21st birthday, June 3 1944 the barometer at the remote weather station at Blacksod showed pressure was dropping rapidly, indicating a major Atlantic storm was due to arrive and blow right across western Europe. Based on Maureen’s readings, US general Dwight D Eisenhower postponed the D-Day landing by 24 hours. And so a woman from Knockanure changed the course of the war.

She was honoured in her home place on Sunday June 19 2022. She was not well enough to attend but I’m sure her relatives brought her back photos and recordings of the event.

( A little bird told me that she attended the All Ireland Final of 1951, the last time Mayo won)

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The New Kingdom

The New Kingdom Bar was been repainted. I love the new look.

This is one of the very stately upstairs sash windows.

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A Poignant Book Launch at Writers’ Week 2022

This book launch had a few elements of a wake about it. Like any good wake it had an element of hooley about it too.

We had songs and stories and we laughed and cried with the chief mourner.

Mary Kennelly gathered into this book a collection of poems she wrote chronicling her feelings as she observed two beloved uncles fade into the grey of dementia.

This wasn’t just another political duty for Norma Foley. Norma is a friend of Mary’s and like everyone who contributed to the success of this book launch was there a friend who empathised with Mary, knowing the toll this illness takes on families.

The book was published as a thank you to the two nursing homes, Aras Mhuire in Listowel and Fatima House in Tralee, where Mary’s two uncles, Fr. John and Brendan were cared for. All proceeds from the sale of the anthology go to these two places.

Brendan Kennelly who loved words, lost his words at the end. He returned, “helpless as a baby” to his Kerry family who eventually, in death, returned him to his worldwide family, an audience, who loved his words.

Mary Kennelly signing my book at Writers’ Week 2022.

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Convent life Remembered

Through an eye of the Big Bridge in March 2022

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Sr. Consolata Remembers her early Days in Listowel

From an interview in Pres. School Yearbook 2009

(to be continued)

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More from St. Patrick’s Day 2022

Lovely Pres. girls enjoying the parade

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Family outing in Malahide

Photo: Éamon ÓMurchú

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The Square in Late March 2022

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Census 2022

Sunday is Census evening. Dave O’Sullivan found a few tibits to get us in the mood for recording for posterity

1911

According to 2016 CSO figures the population of Listowel is 4,820.

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The Bad Old Days

St. John’s, Listowel in March 2022. Photo by Éamon ÓMurchú

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Market Street, Spring 2022

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Nurse O’Donovan’s

This is a private nursing home which was located on Church Street, Listowel.

The photo is in Tipperary Studies Photos of Munster

Once upon a time there were lots of private nursing homes in Listowel. Maybe someone in your family was born in one.

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Old School

If you have someone in your house who felt frozen to death during the Covid restrictions, show them this from the schools’ folklore collection of the 1930s. Sitting beside an open window and wearing a mask is small hardship by comparison with what our ancestors endured in schools like Derrindaff.

About sixty years ago there was an old school in Meenganare. It had a thatched roof and only one small window to let in light. The floor was an earthen one. In wet weather the roof let in the rain and it formed into pools under the children’s feet. The seating accommodation consisted of long planks placed on two blocks of wood. There was only one teacher in this school Mr Purcell, a native of Cork. He lodged near the school. He was paid every Friday evening.
Irish and English were the only subjects taught, Irish was spoken by master and pupils. The teacher wrote on a large stone flag placed against a wall : the pupils wrote on slates.
Mr Purcell taught in that school from 1844 to 1879 . Told by Mrs Quill of Derrindaff.

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Covered dining in Listowel Town Square

This is the scene in the Square. Work is underway to prepare for the erection of the canopies to cover our new dining and performance area.

Our returning emigrants won’t recognise the place when they come home.

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A Poem for our Times

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Something to Look Forward to

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A Worthwhile trip to Ballylongford

From The Advertiser

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