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

Category: Ballylongford Page 2 of 5

Convent life Remembered

Through an eye of the Big Bridge in March 2022


Sr. Consolata Remembers her early Days in Listowel

From an interview in Pres. School Yearbook 2009

(to be continued)


More from St. Patrick’s Day 2022

Lovely Pres. girls enjoying the parade


Family outing in Malahide

Photo: Éamon ÓMurchú


The Square in Late March 2022


Census 2022

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


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


The Bad Old Days

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


Market Street, Spring 2022


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.


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.


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.


A Poem for our Times


Something to Look Forward to


A Worthwhile trip to Ballylongford

From The Advertiser


Getting Back to Normal

Chris Grayson in The Gap of Dunloe


What’s in a Name

This Damien Stack, pictured in The Kerryman, is the much travelled man who has visited 193 different countries and has left reviews of 176 of them on Tripadviser.

I wrote about him last week and many people thought that the man referred to was the better known locally, Damien Stack, proprietor of The Arcade. I felt, myself, that it wasn’t our Damien. I thought it was another namesake, Damien Stack, the sports journalist.

Who knew that there was a third famous Damien Stack, the man of the moment?



Tralee, last week had all the flags out to welcome teams and supporters to the weekend games.


Something to look forward to

A Message from the good folk at Ballylongford Mill

We’ve been busy preparing for our first event for 2022 at the Mill, the Irish Traditional Trades Fair on the weekend of 30-31 July.

This will be a much expanded version of our Blacksmithing Fair from last year, there’s been an amazing response and so far there are 33 different traditional trades and craftspeople who are either confirmed or interested in attending.
It’ll be a family friendly weekend with old fashioned fairground games for the kids, there will be talks and demonstrations by the exhibitors, food and entertainment and lots of traditional crafts for sale. 

It’s going to be quite a unique event, there’s no other event in Ireland that brings so many different traditional trades and crafts together in one place, and we’re hoping it will bring several thousand people into the village over the weekend.  
In addition, there’s an amazing folk band called the Black Irish Band coming over from the States for the weekend to play in the Mill and at the Fair who are seriously very, very good.

It will be the first of an ongoing annual event that will help to put Bally on the map as a 

a place that runs interesting, historical themed events, and start getting visitors back into the village.

We’ve just set up a Facebook page for the Trades Fair, this is the link for anyone who wants to like and follow the page, which would be very much appreciated, and there will be regular updates on both pages as the event draws nearer.


A 1915 Chancer

Dave O’Sullivan found us this gem.


You’re Banned

Photo; Éamon ÓMurchú in Mount Usher Gardens


Some strange Bans

My source


A Listowel ICA Play

A group of Listowel ICA members taking part in a drama sometime in the 1980s.


Asdee Drama Group 1959


Remember this shop?

Used to be on Church Street, Listowel


Shannonside Annual 1958

Uh, oh!



by Merrit Malloy

When I die
Give what’s left of me away
To children
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
Around anyone
And give them
What you need to give to me.

I want to leave you something,
Something better
Than words
Or sounds.

Look for me
In the people I’ve known
Or loved,
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on your eyes
And not on your mind.

You can love me most
By letting
Hands touch hands,
By letting
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
Of children
That need to be free.

Love doesn’t die,
People do.
So, when all that’s left of me
Is love,
Give me away.


Brendan Kennelly Essay, The Plaza and Jim Halpin’s Memories

Portmagee; Photo by Armel Whyte on Facebook


Showing Molly around

Molly was very lucky with the weather for her Kerry holiday. Here we are on the path by The Garden of Europe on a lovely Autumn day in 2021.


Remember Bingo?

Hard to believe that it’s two years since the last Bingo session.

A sad legacy of Covid 19.


From Shannonside Annual 1956


Memories of a former Tenant

I included this photo on my blog last week and I also uploaded it to Facebook. There it evoked these happy memories from Jim Halpin.

David Carrolls; where I started my fishing and shooting business from when we moved from our house at the Dirha Cottages back in 1982. lovely Lady Betty Anne Marian Mc Auliffe and Bob Downey behind the counter backed up by Lisa , Kevin and Anne.

I always remember the 2nd last fleadh cheoil that came to Listowel, tents and pegs, sleeping bags, gas cleaned out the week before the event. I think we took more money that week than we would take in a month. The good old days. With the Cows Lawn black with tents there was never a spot of trouble. Great music and craic. Tim O Connor, our postman and we hiding Tim’s post bag trolly. Charlie the manaquin out side the door. Patrick John Jones from Glin [not his real name] who would come to town every Friday and depending on the uniform would arrive into the shop giving out about it.

Christmas, Halloween the big window display with kids having their eyes glued to it.

Great to see it being used again. Great job, well done folks. People would comment of how friendly the Carroll family were and it being a pleasure to shop there and how the family appreciated the business.


Page 2 of 5

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén